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Changes That Make Sense for Libraries, Faster: a Conversation with Equinox COO Grace Dunbar

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on May 18, 2011 - 7:39am

A chance encounter with Equinox COO Grace Dunbar can make conference downtime into the most interesting session of the week. Rather than relying on fate and the hotel bar to ensure a chat with Grace, I asked her if she’d let me interview her for TechSource at this year’s Evergreen conference. In the course of conversation (sometime after she introduced me to pimiento cheese), Grace mentioned that she had worked at Stanford and been involved in the Google Books project. That’s about when I brought my laptop out

KS: What was it like to work with the Google Books Project?

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Quick Tips for Technology Training

Submitted by Michelle Boule on May 17, 2011 - 7:49am

Summer is almost upon us. For academic librarians, finals are over and the students are already gone. The lull between sessions is like music to your to-do list. If you are a school librarian, you are still shepherding the kids through their finals. Public librarians are gearing up for all the summer programs. Here in the south, the heat of summer is blazing and I am already looking forward to the Fall.

Summer is also the season when we take the time to conduct training for our staff, because for many libraries, summer is slower than other seasons (I know, public libraries, not  for you!). For those of you planning some technology training for your staff, I have compiled a list of technology training tips to keep in mind.

Choose a tool or process that is already being used in your library but not being used well--a process that could be made easier, or a service that could improve.
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Making Library Management More Efficient Through Technology: A Chat with Kenley Neufeld

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on May 16, 2011 - 7:55am


If you are a library administrator or you supervise library staff in any capacity, you know how difficult it is to balance your responsibilities. On the one hand, you have to provide leadership, management, training and counseling for your staff, while on the other, you need to ensure that day-to-day operations of the library, including your own day-to-day responsibilities, are fulfilled. In his upcoming ALA TechSource Workshop, Kenley Neufeld will show you how simple, free and low-cost technologies can help you get better organized, more efficient and less stressed out. I had a chance to talk with Kenley about what he'll cover in this two-session event, and how he's learned the lessons he'll be teaching through experience. Read More »

Continuing the Conversation: RDA: Designed for Current and Future Environments

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on May 11, 2011 - 2:02pm


We just wrapped up the first session of the ALA TechSource Workshop Using RDA: Moving into the Metadata Future with Chris Oliver, Karen Coyle and Diane Hillmann. Chris Oliver led today’s session, RDA: Designed for Current and Future Environments. Here are some questions that came up based on what we discussed today, as well as some resources from the event. Whether you attended or not, feel free to chime in via the comments area with questions or comments--Chris, Karen and Diane will be part of the discussion as well! Read More »

Google I/O

Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 10, 2011 - 2:56pm

Today was the start of the Google I/O conference, the developer conference that Google holds every year where they make major announcements, primarily about their Android operating system. During the keynote today, they offered several updates and new products that could potentially be interesting for libraries. Here's the ones that I think are the most interesting:

The Android Market was updated to include movie rentals. This allows for one-click rentals via either the web or an Android device, streaming from the web or available to be "pinned" to a portable device and watched offline. The selection isn't huge, but one can only imagine that it's going to grow rapidly if the service becomes more popular. The model is similar to the iTunes rental model, where you can purchase the rental and then you have 30 days to start watching, and 24 hours to finish watching once you do. Read More »

Readings for the RDA Workshop

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on May 10, 2011 - 11:01am


Are you registered for the ALA TechSource Workshop Using RDA: Moving into the Metadata Future? I'm here to nag you about doing your homework.

As with all ALA TechSource Workshops, we've asked our presenters to select a set of readings for participants. The common foundation will support a focused discussion. If you're not able to attend the Workshop, but want to learn a bit about RDA, read along with us. Chris Oliver, Karen Coyle, and Diane Hillmann suggested the following readings: Read More »

BuddyPress, Libraries and Higher Education: An Interview with Kenley Neufeld and Michael Stephens

Submitted by Kyle Jones on May 9, 2011 - 7:56am

The following interview was conducted by Kyle Jones, with Michael Stephens and Kenley Neufeld. The interview discusses the use of BuddyPress as a Content Management System in higher Education. Michael Stephens, a longtime ALA TechSource blogger, is a professor  in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University and writes and speaks extensively on the future of Libraries. Kenley Neufeld is the Library Director at Santa Barbara City College, and also writes and speaks regularly on library technology issues. Both have extensive experience working with WordPress in a library context. Read More »

The Margins of Marginalia

Submitted by Tom Peters on May 2, 2011 - 8:25am

In the damp, dark, twisting catacombs of this long digital revolution that eventually will lead to the bright future of eReading, marginalia may be the lowly canary.  Marginalia, that wonderfully eccentric habit of writing in the margins of printed books, has become an object of scrutiny and some concern.  Coleridge, Melville, Twain, David Foster Wallace, and a host of others made marginalia into a form of literary expression.  If printed books are being marginalized, what is the future of marginalia?

Of course, we’re talking about writing in the margins of personally owned copies.  Writing in the margins of library books is a no-no.  Ditto for underlining and highlighting.  Very boorish behavior and fodder for fines and polite chastisement.  Read More »

Innovative Interfaces to Launch Sierra: A New-Generation Automation Platform

Submitted by Marshall Breeding on April 26, 2011 - 5:58pm

Innovative Interfaces has joined the fray of library automation vendors launching new-generation library automation platforms.  With Innovative’s new system, dubbed Sierra, they aim to offer the depth of functionality equivalent to their current Millennium ILS. This system leverages current technology architectures that include open source components, with full-featured API bundles that enable greater extensibility and flexibility in the way that libraries make use of the system. Read More »

Visualizing Linked Data

Submitted by Karen Coyle on April 26, 2011 - 7:26am

The following post is cross-posted at Karen Coyle's blog Coyle's InFormation. As Karen mentions below, next month, she will be presenting an updated version of the ALA TechSource Workshop Using RDA: Moving into the Metadata Future along with Chris Oliver and Diane Hillman. You can register for this workshop at the ALA Store. Read More »