Submitted by Cindi Trainor on May 8, 2009 - 10:03am
…applying what I learned at Computers in Libraries 2009
Have you ever cleaned papers off your desk, only to find lurking at the very bottom that list of nifty ideas from that awesome conference you attended months ago? It's easy enough to report what was seen and heard at a conference; it’s more difficult to apply that knowledge and demonstrate its application. Life and work inertia typically get in the way, even at institutions that welcome new ideas. The Computers in Libraries 2009 conference was a month ago. Have I applied what I learned there? The answer, not surprisingly, is “yes and no.” Here is a brief summary of the takeaways from my favorite session at this year’s CIL—and what I have (or haven’t!) done with them. Read More »
Submitted by Cindi Trainor on March 9, 2009 - 10:53am
Drupal is hard. It has its own vocabulary. Its potential is so wide open that it is literally possible to do nearly anything with it, and while this idea is greatly liberating, it is also sort of paralyzing: Where do I start? What modules do I need? What can I DO with this thing?
But the way I see it, the fact that Drupal has a steep learning curve is no excuse. There's no question that Drupal has a steep learning curve, or that it can be messy and complex to implement, but its potential is too great for libraries to ignore. There is also no question that we can do it.
Read more about this unconference and how to get started with Drupal in your library. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on February 10, 2009 - 11:30am
A group of prominent software vendors have signed on to an open letter to President Obama encouraging him to push for the adoption of open source software by government agencies.
There is a lot of excitement about the new President, and I share the sentiment of the authors of this letter--it is extremely encouraging that the President has emphasized the importance of science and technology throughout his campaign and in his innaugural address. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 17, 2008 - 4:59pm
I'd like to talk about a style of software that everyone in libraries is definitely familiar with--the massive interconnected hunk of software that does everything. In libraries, that could be the ILS, but what I'm going to talk about today is something that almost everyone is familiar with: the Microsoft Office suite. In fact, let's just take a single piece of the suite: Microsoft Word. Word is easily the most popular word processing program in the US. But as we know from reality television, popular does not always equal good. Is Word the best at performing a specific function? Pick any single writing assignment or a single piece of functionality from Word. Can you think of a way to do it better, or do it differently that makes more sense for your workflow? What if you could swap out just that one activity for a piece that makes it better? Read More »
Submitted by Michael Stephens on July 28, 2007 - 2:24am
I keep my eye on many innovative libraries. These libraries are at the outer edge of our market, leading the way with new takes on service and outreach. They inspire me. They also help me do my job. I love to see what Hennepin is doing, and what Darien will do as they build their new library, as well as many other libraries across the country and around the world. And I'm also keeping a close eye on the state of South Carolina. If there ever was a state filled with library goodness, it would be there.
Here are just a few reasons why:
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Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on December 13, 2006 - 12:44pm
Last week, you may have read about some new collaborative efforts (check out the District Dispatch's second podcast, intro music and all!) and Web 2.0 tech tools launched by some creative ALA staffers and the ALA Library. One of them is the Librarian's E-Library, "selected resources on Libraries and Librarianship from the American Library Association (ALA) Library and a growing list of volunteers."
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Submitted by Michelle Boule on October 25, 2006 - 9:12pm
From Internet Librarian 2006, Monterey (Monterey Peninsula), California...
The theme for the first day seemed to be libraries using their funds differently when planning for program offerings and technology needs. More libraries are saying "no" to large, expensive turnkey, out-of-the-box products and "yes" to more money for staff who can build unique, flexible products.
Out-of-the-box products create more silos and information gateways, which may not be integrable with other items in a library's virtual presence. Though these products may save your library time, it forces the user to invest more time in finding what he or she needs. “Save the time of the user,” Ranganathan said, not save the time of the library staff member.
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Submitted by Karen G. Schneider on July 26, 2006 - 11:48pm
This week it's hot as a pistol across the United States, and as I sit in my office without A/C, a feeble fan drying the sweat on my face, I'm grumpy. Grumpy enough to line up a few peeves against the wall and slap them around.
Yes, I know, open source is a saint and you'd let your sister or brother marry it. But I hate the idea that for some librarians if a particular software is open source, hands down, it's the right choice. The right choice is the software that meets the mission. While the principles behind open source are admirable, when an open-source product doesn't meet your library's needs, your first obligation is to your users.
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