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Blog posts from August 2009

Guest Post: Using New Technology to Save Money and Improve Service (Part 2)

Submitted by Mary Anne Hodel on August 26, 2009 - 11:02am

In this second installment of her guest posts to our blog, Mary Anne Hodel provides more insight into how the Orange County (Florida) Library System has used technology to streamline services and save money.

--Dan Freeman


Recently, our library purchased a small number of iPod Touch devices. Since these devices function on our existing staff wireless network, they enable staff to handle a number of daily tasks conveniently at a relatively low cost. Without the need to get to a desktop or even a laptop, our staff can input statistics on patron interaction. For instance, we’ve automated our “reference statistics” function so that staff need only enter a few points of information  into the iPod, then they can move on to the next patron transaction. We’re also able to do catalog searches, check for materials on the shelves and place holds, all while still physically in the stacks with the patron. Read More »


Cool Device Watch: PogoPlug

Submitted by Jason Griffey on August 19, 2009 - 10:17am

For better or worse, I've become a sort of gadget-review guy for TechSource, watching all the new hardware announcements and trying to pay attention to things that I think will be useful, novel, or even just interesting to libraries and librarians. I've found another little bit of technology that I think might be interesting for a few reasons, not the least of which is the future that it holds in its oh-so-small frame. I've been testing one for a couple of weeks now, and it's just so insanely cool and it works so incredibly well that I have to point people at it just to see what someone else thinks about it, because I'm officially won over.

The gadget: Pogoplug
Read More »


A Tale of Two Twitters

Submitted by Tom Peters on August 17, 2009 - 11:02am

It was the best of Twitter, it was the worst of Twitter, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.

Okay, that’s 140 characters.  While I used to be ambivalent about the value of Twitter, now, based on a whole bunch of tweeting that I observed during a recent online conference, I have become strongly ambivalent about Twitter.  Twitter is a good tool for some things, but in some ways, I find it deeply troubling. Read More »


The Digital Divide Inside the Library

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on August 13, 2009 - 10:17am

Technology and reference are intertwining strands of public service. The task of keeping up with Librarians (and their jobs) is getting techier. As our systems get more sophisticated and our desire to overhaul and remake those systems gets more intense, libraries need librarians who are tech savvy and back office staff who are pure tech. It's not uncommon to hear librarians declare that "Technology is Reference", but is that a one-way street? There's no doubt that reference librarians need a strong technology skill set, but do our techies need to have public service experience or skills? Read More »


Guest Post: Using New Technology to Save Money and Improve Service

Submitted by Mary Anne Hodel on August 11, 2009 - 2:21pm

We're always looking to explore how libraries around the world are using new technologies to their improve access and services. To that end, we're extremely lucky to have Mary Anne Hodel, director of the Orange County (Florida) library system as a guest on our blog. Thanks to her innovative thinking, OCLS is a recognized leader in technology and was the first public library in the nation to offer RSS feeds. OCLS also became a very early adopter of providing free wi-fi access to library cardholders.  Orange County's roving reference with Vocera, virtual library, and mystery shopper programs have been recognized as national models.

Read More »


Library 2.0 Gang 08/09: Social OPACs

Submitted by Richard Wallis on August 7, 2009 - 11:23am

There is more to the term Social OPAC than meets the eye, as we found out when we brought together this month’s guest Beth Jefferson from Bibliocommons with Gang regular John Blyberg.

Bibliocommons has spent the last couple of years realising their ambition of delivering a social OPAC service for Canadian libraries. This centrally hosted service, although architected differently, shares the same motivations as John’s SOPAC project to add value to the OPAC user’s experience with social features. Read More »

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