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Blog posts from May 2010

Take Pictures, Tell Stories: Stay on Top of the Chaos

Submitted by Cindi Trainor on May 27, 2010 - 8:22am

'Photo Paper' courtesy Orin Zebest

In sitting down to write Part 5 of this series, "Turning Images into Objects," I realized I'd gotten ahead of myself. If you've been keeping up with this series, you'll know that we've covered photography basics, what the modes on your camera mean, and ideas for using your camera creatively in the library. Before we can think about prints, greeting cards, business cards, stickers and other interesting and practical things that you can make from photos, you have to get them off the camera and onto the web. Simple, right? Well.... It can be, if you plan ahead a bit. Here are some tips that may help. Read More »

Bricks and Mortar

Submitted by Tom Peters on May 25, 2010 - 8:19am

If I had a brick for every time I’ve heard or read the phrase “bricks and mortar in library literature and conversations, I’d have at least as many bricks as the third little pig.  We librarians love to talk about bricks and mortar libraries, more than HVAC systems, load-bearing walls, and even shelving.  Recently, I had an up-close-and-personal encounter with bricks and mortar that got me thinking again about the past, present, and future of bricks and mortar libraries. Read More »

Archive: Organization 2.0: Building the Participatory Library

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on May 24, 2010 - 8:45am

We're happy to present the archive from our recent Webinar, Organization 2.0: Building the Participatory Library. Thanks again to our fantastic presenters Meredith Farkas and John Blyberg.

Whether your reviewing the webinar or enjoying it for the first time, we've opened up some content from previous issues of Library Technology Reports to supplement the experience. Please visit our MetaPress archive, where you'll have free access to Michael Stephens' Web 2.0 and Libraries Series:

Part One: Best Practices for Social Software

Part Two: Trends & Technologies Read More »

New LTR eBook Part of ALA Editions eEditions Initiative

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on May 21, 2010 - 12:29pm

April's issue of Library Technology Reports, Gadgets and Gizmos: Personal Electronics and the Library, by Jason Griffey is available as an ebook bundle in the ALA Store. Typically, single-copy purchasers have a choice between buying print (available in the ALA Store) or, for an ebook, a PDF version from our MetaPress site. As we prepared for Griffey's webinar, we realized that it would be a fitting, if not an expectation, for the issue to be viewable on a gadget.
Read More »

Change how you read online

Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 20, 2010 - 8:29am

I decided that this month I wanted to share a couple of very specific tools that I find invaluable for dealing with information online. These two tools make reading long form text online so much easier and more convenient that I can't recommend them enough. The two tools are the Readability bookmark from Acr90 Labs, and the Instapaper service.
Read More »

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"Sorry if I Spammed You"

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on May 18, 2010 - 9:59am

"Hi, I'm sorry if I spammed you" has been my standard greeting for the last several weeks. If you've ever had email contact with me, you already know some of this story: a few weeks ago, my gmail account was hijacked. I believe this is what they call a "learning experience."

As usual, timing is everything. In the middle of April, I spent two weeks at conferences, one of them driving distance from my house. On my way home from the first day of the conference, my phone chirped with the familiar text-message sound. Like a good driver, I ignored it. Read More »

Library 2.0 Gang 05/10: RFID - Connecting with the physical world

Submitted by Richard Wallis on May 12, 2010 - 5:17am


RFID on the surface didn’t seem the sexiest of topics for my last show chairing the Library 2.0 Gang, but it turned out to be one of the interesting ones.

It was clear from the discussion, that evolved with Gang regulars John Blyberg and Marshall Breeding, that RFID needs to be adopted as part of the core processes of a library. Treating it as just an add-on for a single process, such as self-service, will not provide a ROI. Self-service and RFID are often conflated as issues, they are often closely connected but it was agreed that they are separate issues.

It is also very clear from the conversation that RFID does pose some challenges for the library systems suppliers. We heard of smart-shelving systems establishing a parallel catalogue/databases because the ILS/LMS “didn’t have the horse-power to support the request traffic”; such systems pulling in enrichments such as book-jackets to provide an user enriched experience; and inconsistent implementations of the SIP2 protocol used to connect RFID systems to library systems. Read More »

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The Business Side of Library Automation

Submitted by Marshall Breeding on May 6, 2010 - 7:58am

This column appears in the April 2010 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter. To read more from Marshall Breeding on mobile library technology and other facets of the library automation industry, you can purchase this issue or subscribe to Smart Libraries Newsletter at

I have a strong interest in the business side of the library automation industry. I find it fascinating to monitor and report on the latest news and events surrounding the companies and other organizations that develop and make technology products available to libraries. Libraries make significant investments in technology year after year, and it’s essential that we understand as much as we can about the organizations involved.  As a writer and analyst of the library automation industry, I try to make sure as much information as possible is available to libraries as they make decisions about how they work with these companies and organizations. Read More »

Take Pictures, Tell Stories Part 4: Fun with Photos at Library Events

Submitted by Cindi Trainor on May 5, 2010 - 10:36am
Now that you've learned how to take better photos, what should you take photos of? The obvious answer is to document events and activities in your library, but libraries everywhere are getting creative with their digital cameras and to inspiring users to get creative with theirs.  Here is a sampling of library photo sets on flickr:

A photo booth can accompany any event, whether a summer-reading costume party or library staff day. Use paper or fabric to create a backdrop, which you can accessorize with paper cutouts or printed signs. Read More »

Mash Ups & Mobiles: A Conversation with Paul Hagon

Submitted by Michael Stephens on May 4, 2010 - 8:48am

Last fall, while traveling around Australia, I was lucky to spend a couple of days at the Queensland Public Library Association Conference. Speaking on a panel with me, my co-investigator for the Learning 2.0 project Warren Cheetham and David West, senior manager at Moreton Bay Region Libraries, was Paul Hagon from the National Library of Australia. The ideas he shared intrigued me and I attended his mash up session later that day. Hearing Paul speak about combining Google maps with the library’s digital collections was AMAZING. It was the first time that the true power of mashing up a library’s collection and sending it outside the library walls for people to access via their mobile devices made total sense to me. Read More »

Conferencing: Computers in Libraries and Evergreen 2010

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on May 3, 2010 - 7:45am

What makes for a good conference? It’s tempting to reduce it to a simple equation: C+P+L=E. Content plus people plus location equals experience. I’m just back from three consecutive conferences and in addition to my annual sense of wonder at the librarian obsession with conferencing, I’ve been mulling over conferences in general, and technology-oriented conferences in particular.

Content, people, and location are all important, but I’d add expectations, technology level, format, and focus to that equation. Computers in Libraries was one of the first conferences I attended and it is, in many ways, my mental model for a conference. However, every year (and this year was no exception), I talk to an attendee who expected more “under the hood” tech. I’ve come to think of CiL as if it were a more tech-focused section of a large conference like ALA. The daily keynotes give big-picture “state of libraries and technology in the world” talks and the sessions focus on presenters’ projects and pet passions. It’s not a good venue for detailed technical discussions – the shorter sessions don’t lend themselves to it and even if the sessions were longer, the audience’s diversity is a complicating factor. Read More »