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Engaging an Online Community

Submitted by Michelle Boule on July 19, 2011 - 7:47am

Libraries have always been about community. Whether the library serves an elite clientele or is open to all, a library is defined by its community. Librarians fill shelves and populate web pages based on the information needs and desires of their communities.

Serving a communities that now spend more and more of their lives online has shifted they way libraries, and everyone else in the world, serve their communities. As librarians, we have freely acknowledged and embraced the idea that our communities do not always walk through our physical doors and often do not live in our geographical area. We have been searching for ways to serve our expanding communities while utilizing the technology and limited funds we have available.
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Continuing the Conversation: Evaluating and Implementing Web Scale Discovery Services in Your Library

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 13, 2011 - 2:44pm

We just wrapped up the first session of the ALA TechSource Workshop Evaluating and Implementing Web Scale Discovery Services in Your Library with Jason Vaughan and Tamera Hanken. The presentation included some fantastic discussion, and we wanted to provide an opportunity for participants and the general public to continue that here. Do you have follow-up questions from session 1? Do you have questions you’d like to see addressed in session 2? General questions or the need for clarification? Go ahead and ask them in the comments area!

You can send the presenters questions for session 2 by e-mail if you like!


Here are some of the big discussion points that came up in today’s event: Read More »

Meredith Farkas on Mobile Services and the Mobile Library Future

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 11, 2011 - 8:18am

If you try to keep your library on the cutting edge, you probably know Meredith Farkas. Meredith, Head of Instructional Services at Portland State University in Oregon and an adjunct faculty member at San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science, has been writing about social networking, libraries on the web and mobile technology just about as long as anyone. Later this month, Meredith will be facilitating the ALA TechSource Workshop Delivering Innovative Mobile Services through Your Library, where she'll provide practical guidance on how to establish and/or enhance your library's mobile presence and services. I spoke with Meredith about what Mobile can do for the library, libraries that have already implemented interesting services and programs, and where she sees this all going in the future. Whether your planning on attending the workshop or not, check out what she has to say. Read More »

Archive of the 2011 ALA Annual Tech Wrapup

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 8, 2011 - 2:58pm

We just finished up our fantastic webinar, the 2011 ALA Annual Tech Wrapup. Our panelists did a fantastic job of covering what went on tech-wise at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference from many different angles. If you missed the live event, the archive is available here:

Jason Griffey's presentation begins at 4:06

Kate Sheehan's presentation begins at 19:50

Sue Polanka's presentation begins at 32:28

Marshall Breeding's presentation begins at 50:03

Tom Peters Interviews Tom Mercer from 3M About the new 3M Cloud Library

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 5, 2011 - 8:15pm

As you probably heard, last week at the ALA Annual Conference, 3M announced the launch of its new Cloud Library e-Book Lending Service. This new service is a comprehensive platform that offers a broad range of options for libraries looking to lend e-books and even e-readers to patrons. 

Before the announcement, our own Tom Peters conducted an interview with 3M's Tom Mercer, the product development manager for the Cloud Library Project. The interview, conducted via Adobe connect, is available for viewing here: .


Filter Failure Can be Fun

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on July 5, 2011 - 7:19am

I have long been a fan of NPR’s On The Media. It’s interesting to me both as a citizen who tries for a varied media diet and as a librarian. The show frequently touches on how we consume, process, and access information. Just before ALA, they did a politics-focused piece about the echo chamber that could just as easily apply to answering reference questions, looking for ideas in librarianship, or making decisions about purchasing technology for your library. Read More »

Balancing User-Generated Content with Library Policy - Free Webinar

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on June 30, 2011 - 2:50pm

Our friends at WebJunction will host the free webinar Finding a Legal Comfort Zone on the Web with Eli Neiburger and Barbara Jones, on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Photo by Hans

Neiburger and Jones are contributing writers to our December Library Technology Report Privacy and the Freedom of Information in 21st-Century Libraries (vol. 46 / no. 8). The report presents analysis from the library community's intellectual freedom leaders alongside articles from a few of its most active technology advocates. "We hope to open up lines of communication," writes Angela Maycock in the Introduction, "to invite one another into our separate spheres, and to ensure that our thinking and our conclusions are better informed by the insights of one another." Pairing the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom's Jones with  the provocative Neiburger, the webinar promises to accomplish that along with simulating conversation in the chat window. Read More »

The Annual Tech Wrapup: A Free ALA TechSource Webinar

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on June 21, 2011 - 7:46am

We're happy to announce that we'll be wrapping up ALA Annual 2011 with an exciting ALA TechSource Webinar! Don't miss this free event--our panel of experts will discuss what they learned and what stood out at Annual Conference. From ebooks to tablets to RFID and library systems, you'll get insightful perspective on the technology buzz in New Orleans!

You can register for this event, which takes place on Friday, July 8th, 2011 at 3:00pm Eastern/2:00 Central/1:00 Mountain/Noon Pacific and lasts 90 minutes, here: Read More »

Google Chromebook, 6 months later

Submitted by Jason Griffey on June 20, 2011 - 7:40am

Almost exactly 6 months ago, I wrote up my first impressions of the Google CR-48 Chromebook, the first dedicated hardware device to use the Google Chrome operating system. In the intervening time there have been tons of software upgrades to ChromeOS, and true to their word Google launched the first commercially available Chromebooks in cooperation with Samsung and Acer. 

Last week I received a tweet asking me what I thought: 

@griffey What was your final verdict on the Chromebook? Wondering if it might be useful to have for workforce development in libraries...less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

So it seemed worth revisiting, especially as I think one part of the Chromebook is particularly interesting for libraries. I’ll get to that in a second. Read More »

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Becoming Nodes of Information

Submitted by Michelle Boule on June 16, 2011 - 8:15am

Lee Rainie has been directing the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project for the past 10 years. He was recently interviewed by Project Information Literacy about a new book he is writing about what he calls the “new social operating system.” In the interview, Lee says some interesting things about the way information is used and created and the role librarians play in this new operating system.
Read More »