Library Issues

Waste not…


So that photo is of the top of a trashcan on Friday at ALA Annual 2007. Why did I take a picture, you may ask yourself (this is not my beautiful house!)?

Because on top of the can are the contents of two of the bags that ALA distributes to every registered attendee. This was not an isolated incident…I have seen at least a dozen or so of these piles of paper, and I myself immediately tossed everything except the included map of DC. Probably 2 pounds of paper in every bag. There has got to be a better way of doing this, ALA.



Going to turn on Twitter2Blog for the extent of the ALA conference, to make it easier for me to post/keep up with things. If it falls apart and I don’t notice, someone let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

Digital Culture

That word….

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


Digital Culture



Originally uploaded by griffey.

Does anyone else see the disconnect between having a physical message board at Computers in Libraries?

People still leave notes? Really?

Library Issues

Library of the Future

Darien Library

Three Principles

  • Covenant with our patrons
  • Stay ahead of expectations
  • First of the new libraries, not te last of the old

Two Goals

  • Design and Build an absolutely fantastic new library (NB: ummm…thats a goal?)
  • Use technology wherever it will make us more efficient and effective, and however it will meet our patron’s demands

One Rule

  • Tolerate Uncertainty

Continuing Vision

  • Eternal Values
  • New Technology

The library technology center is in the basement! The concept of a street-level greenway that continues into the building is really clever and forward thinking.

“We’re just a cute little public library in Southwestern CT”

Lots of spaces for collaborative work, together and with the staff.


  • Observe
  • Orient
  • Decide
  • Act

Technology Layers in the Library

  • Infrastructure
  • Administrative
  • Staff
  • Patron Indirect
  • Patron Direct
  • P2P

No Tech services, no Circ office…90% of the books are shelf-ready. They don’t care where a material comes from: the ups truck or a patron return, it’s the same workflow.

No cataloging

Outsource EVERYTHING related to Technical Services

What would a library be if it needed no booktrucks? A booktruck is full of things that aren’t in the hands of a patron.

  • Active item back on shelf in 20 minutes
  • Time from ordering a book to first Circ is 18 hours

NB: Holy. Shit.

No more defensive positions. Think of reference as a concierge desk.

Digital Culture

Future of OPAC

Tim Spalding, Librarything:

“The library is the most fun you can have with your pants on.”
“You are not better for being a mall…you can’t leave a mall”


  • Focus on the OPAC, the website and the opac are not seperate things.
  • Allow inbound links
  • Link outwards: Why wouldn’t you link to commercial service?
  • Link Around: ubiquitous hyperlinks..everything is a first level entity. Everything is massively linked, and this is where serendipity comes in.
  • Dress up your OPAC (syndetics): someone needs to create a free database of covers
  • Get your Data out there: including RSS, but people don’t want YOUR content, peope want THEIR content. How do you tell people what you are reading from your OPAC? OMGWTF: LibraryThing sharing data with OPAC, including tags and recommendations.
Digital Culture

Podcasting with a Purpose

Rachael Clemens, Cal State Fullerton

Focused on NURS 505, a nursing class with 40% of the students as distance ed

Modules developed:
What is peer review
and 10 others that I couldnt’ get because she swapped the slide too fast. ๐Ÿ™

Created PPT? Huh? *shudder*

Tools used: audacity, quicktime pro, sound recorder, digital recorder, Camtasia,digital camcorder, mediasite

Digital Culture

Cool Tools for Webmasters

Yahoo Pipes
Google MyMaps
Yahoo Design Pattern Library
What Is my IP?
The Rasterbator
Web developer/web accessibility toolbar for Firefox
Firefox: Linkify
Firefox: Link Checker
Trailfire – Web Tours

Google Webmaster Tools
Open source web design

Open Source Federated Search
DBWiz – Simon Frasier University
Keystone ILS – Index Data

Library Issues

Pimp my Firefox with Jessamyn West

Presentation and handouts available at

Firefox is open source, standards, compliant, cross platform

NB: Jessamyn is a great speaker…you can get some from the presentation, but she’s great in person

Demos how to install a Firefox add on: Google Favicon
Adding a keyword to a search field, allowing you to search the form/site from the address bar using only a keyword
Greasemonkey! Does as sorts of fun scripty stuff including removing ads and pressing buttons for you.

Digital Culture

Organization 2.0

Our heirarchical organizations may not survive the web 2.0/library 2.0 shift.

2.0 tech is changing the way we think about when we work, where we work, and how we work

We have become more distributed in our tools, more collaborative, etc…but not in our expectations or work hours.

Organizational change: nothing is more difficult. it is fundamentally about making choices and changes, and both are scary

Org. Structure

    Past structures are not effective in present or future work processes
    Younger the staff, the more comfortable they are with tech, collaboration, more uncomfortable with top-down
    Small, agile groups move faster than large bureaucracies
    Leadership & Followership are Critical Success Factors
    85/15 rule: process & Structure problems beat people problem hands down
  • Form follows function
  • Functions Change quickly
  • Form drives behavior
  • Reporting relationships create loyalty (who you report to is the most important aspect)
  • Collaboration decreases as distance increases (more than 50 feet apart)

Stability signals staleness and death
Clarity dissolves conflict

Authority and power is increasingly associated with the people that know and understand the 2.0 principles

2.0 Leadership
Make the invisible, visible
Make the intangible, tangible

Most of the time, most of the people do what they do best.