How to tech out your library without spending dough

This great list of free and/or open source software from the Librarian in Black can help you outfit your library without spending a dime on software.

I’d like to add Pezi for more interactive and attractive Powerpoint-esque presentations. Also Liquid Planner for running multiple projects. Now, if only I had a smart phone with an internet plan…

Improving Cultural Literacy at the Glenwood Library

Situated in the piedmont region of North Carolina, the Greensboro Public Library (GPL) system hosts a central library and six satellite libraries to serve Guildford County. These seven libraries support a diverse community of 242,817 with 12.4% of residents speaking a language other than English at home (U.S. Census Bureau, 2009). The Glenwood Library branch located at 1901 W. Florida Street was established as the depository for the majority of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and foreign language materials held by the GPL. Since multiculturalism is among the forefront of current issues, we have questioned whether the GPL’s decision to host nearly all the multicultural materials in one particular library branch was an appropriate move for the Greensboro community. With the traditional user group of the library changing, libraries must adapt to the needs of these new demographics.

This is the paper my partner and I wrote for our Action Research Project. If you’d like to read it, please access it here.

Materials to Develop a Library Website

I finally finished the wiki I had to build for my Library Collections class. I am posting it here on a request: Materials to Develop a Library Website.

Comments would be greatly appreciated!

Introduction: The purpose of this wiki is to create a list of resources that will enhance a librarian’s understanding of how to create, maintain, and market a successful library website. Since the focus is on the fast-paced environment of the internet, most resources below exist online. However, the internet is often prey to websites simply disappearing or becoming stale as they are abandoned. The questionable longevity of an internet resource then makes it pertinent for a web developing librarian to keep on their toes so that their website does not get bogged down in dead links or the design to become outdated. Such seemingly trivial aspects will turn away the user base as they continue to look for more sophisticated resources that can keep pace with their information needs. This wiki includes the following topics:

• Where to follow the latest news in the library professional and in web development
• What web technologies will best reach out to you users/patrons
• What are the best qualities found in outstanding library websites
• How to market your website for a broader and more involved audience
• Informative and humorous tips, tricks, and videos you can add to your website for greater appeal

A Vent on Disorganization

So last night I attended a library presentation about an hour away from here. I had tried to recruit some classmates and other members of the library organization I’m involved in to ride with me so I wouldn’t be attending alone. Unfortunately, there were no response. However, I decide to go anyways (valuable information was being disseminated) and strapped on my big girl boots and headed out to an unfamiliar city and wandered around lost on an unknown campus.

I was given wrong directions FOUR times by people who attended the school. The posted school map on a giant board did not distinguish between normal car-access streets and foot paths so I got lost in a short time. However, I eventually managed to turn myself around and by walking in circles was able to arrive late at the presentation.

Then after the presentation, I asked the lady next to me for directions on how to get back to the parking lot where I had left my car. “Go back out the front door and make a right.” Since she purported to having years of experience on the campus, I trusted her and set out in the dark, alone. After ten minutes of trekking through the dark I realized the lady had been wildly wrong. This area did not look familiar at all. So I did some more circling, dodging under spots of light as I made my way on uneven brick footpaths posing as sidewalks. Cars whizzed by below and I tried my damnest to not look alone or lost. I did not want to be vulnerable considering the national news rape/kidnapping/murder of a student from this area last year.

Eventually I found my way back to my car. What my problem is that the student organization that I’m a part of does NOTHING to try and get people to carpool for not only economical/green reasons, but for safety. I’m furious that a club which has been formed for years does not have a system in place to encourage members to go to these distant events together.

I’m fortunate that I came out of this experience okay and that it was not later and more isolated at night time. I would have been a prime target as a slight female wandering around in the dark by myself with no one knowing exactly where I was. I am going to report this incident and demand changes be made.

Google lets you custom-print out of copyright books

Looks like Google has found a way to get out of copyright books available for readers to print on the cheap.

Neller said the deal was clearly about the long tail of books, a reference to Wired magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson’s theory that hits become less important when distribution costs drop. One of the main benefits, according to Neller, is letting local book stores compete with by reducing their need to have expensive inventory.

For librarians this means that older books can be obtainable for much cheaper prices than trying to secure the books expensively online. Or that older copies of books won’t be damaged since copies can be printed out and sold that leaves the authentic original copies intact.