Showing posts from 2010

Giving the Buzzer: Hoi Polloi Fact Checking Game Shows, Rabble-Rousing Due to Network Research Errors

Fox network researchers came away with a black eye recently, when the wild west of invisible internet folks noted they made an error when they ganked a couple on the new show Million Dollar Money Drop. The show told the couple - who had bet $800,00 - that their answer of the Post-It note being in stores earliest was not true, and that it was the Sony Walkman that hit store shelves first. Amateur researchers across the internet shouted about the error until Fox caved and admitted the error. It does my librarian heart good to see people so interested in looking deeply for an answer instead of just taking a game show host's name for it.

I bet the Fox execs are missing the pre-internet days before the gainsayers could catch them out, or are hoping they were asking questions based on polls they had conducted (and could funge the data for). Back when folks just shut up and accepted what they were told by authorities.

I wish my students were as diligent about their fact-checking. This le…

For the Love of Librarians: On Book Reviewing

An interesting topic came up recently, which comes up every so often when folks start discussing book reviews. I'm a regular fiction reviewer for Library Journal, largely in the fiction section (mystery, horror, thriller, paranormal, etc.). I also occasionally review for such journals as Journal of Access Services, Journal of Web Librarianship, Choice and a few others.

A Philosophy of Reviewing: A Pleasure & a Service

I very much think of reviewing as both a pleasure and a service to the profession. Like most of us, my free time is precious, and I have a long backlist of personal need-to-reads in addition to the books I review for various publications. For reviews, I am often asked to read authors I haven't come across before in the genres I'm most familiar with. This is an exciting opportunity for me to hear fresh voices.

In terms of service, I review in the hopes that folks making purchasing decisions (either for their personal libraries or for their place of work) find…

Takeaways from Yahoo's Delicious Debacle

Folks can laugh about the "sky is falling" reaction to Yahoo's leaked information that the social bookmarking site Delicious was being sunsetted, but given how reliant those of us who are active on the social web are, and how much of our information is logged and stored by entities outside our control, it holds some lessons, both for users and service providers.
1. You as a provider are not unique, and your users will bail if you shaft them, are perceived to have shafted them, or if there is a rumor you may shaft them. I don't know if there's a report yet on what the number of signups over at Diigo, Pinboard, or even Google bookmarks

2. You as a company should not assume that any confidential meetings are confidential. Especially if those meetings entail laying off 10% of your workforce. Be PR-ready with such announcements. Come on, guys. If Apple can't hold out without a leak, doubtful that you can, particularly when you've just majorly pissed off the prod…

Sad List of 2010 Heroes

Zuckerberg walked away with Times Person of the Year. Which I find baffling. Yes, Facebook as a product is incredible in terms of connecting people, even if it is used largely to poke people, announce breakups, and copy and paste meaningless messages. But given the outcries of privacy issues it creates - and Zuckerberg's remarkable reluctance to take those user concerns seriously - I'm rather surprised about the decision. I probably shouldn't be. He's a bazillionaire with his very own movie.
Many wanted Julian Assange (WikiLeaks founder) or Bradley Manning, the Army private who worked on classified networked and distributed any number of classified diplomatic cables and top secret government documents, to have been the choice, and here I leap into librarian heresy: I'm not going to call Assange or Manning heroes for wholesale datadump of classified material.
In any case, Zuckerberg, Assange & Manning. The Tea Party, which is not, in fact, a "person," bu…

2011 or Bust: The Commitments

I'm not going to call these resolutions, since the very word reeks of failure, given the past thirty years. No, this year I am making some personal commitments to myself. They're all pretty selfish and me-me-me, but I also think they'll help me be better to others. They're very much related to my last post, "Making a Better Me: Lessons Learned in 2010.'

If I have my way, 2011 will be Colleen's Year of Busting.

1. Butt-busting

I'm going to admit it. I felt so much better when I was hitting the gym five days a week, two or three of those with a personal trainer. I felt better physically; stairs did not make me as tired, I had more energy throughout the day, and my aches and pains were minimal. I also felt mentally better - my gym time was a really fantastic way for me to downshift from work time to home time (which I have failed miserably at for 2010, and which, according to Tony Schwartz, is pretty important). I slept better. I felt more comfortable in my …

Making a Better Me: Lessons Learned in 2010

Inspired by Justin the Librarian's "Eight Things I Learned" and Bobbi Newman's "The Four Most Valuable Lessons I Learned in 2010", I thought I would contribute my own list. (Meme, anyone?) I've actually been thinking quite a bit about this in the past few weeks, as I've been assessing what I've done, what I haven't, the person and professional I'd like to be, and the general rollercoaster ride of 2010.
Lesson #1: Overextension /= Overachievement
I have had the very good fortune of being invited to speak and write a great deal this year. I have a difficult time saying no (first of all because those invitations are usually a result of a proposal I wrote, and that would be rude; secondly, you never know when the well will dry up!). This resulted in a lot of travel, a lot of deadlines, a lot of late nights and working weekends. On top of my actual job (which is fabulous), the three courses I took toward the doctorate this semester, and my crea…

Petsko's Letter to SUNY-Albany, the Mission of the University, and the Faltering of Humanities Support

Have you had the chance to read Professor Gregory Petsko's open letter to the president of SUNY-Albany? If not, read the open letter here. If you have any interest in higher education at all, it is worth your time.
Essentially, President Philip announced that due to budget strictures, SUNY Albany would be eliminating the French, Italian, Classics, Russian and Theater Arts departments. Reasons included that 'there are comparatively fewer students enrolled in these degree programs' and that, as Petsko writes, "the humanities were a drain on the institution financially, as opposed to the sciences, which bring in money in the form of grants and contracts."
The letter goes on to detail the value of liberal arts as integrated into the university curriculum. Petsko is more eloquent than I am, and I leave you to read his letter for the rest of it.
But what I want to return to is this: what is the mission of the university? Petsko states, "the word 'university'…

Multiple Personality Disorder: Service Migrations and Perspective

I should have more sympathy for my campus's migration to Banner, which was finalized (mostly) in August. I should, particularly since I'm part of the ILS migration to WMS here at the library, and I know that bugs can be surprising, data can be unmungeable in teh short term, and that errors in migration occur. But I do not have much sympathy. This made me feel like a shabby person, so I am trying to tease out why. My reasons:
User Disruption. The Library has been very careful to keep our old systems up and running with no interruption while we test the new system. Yes, you can test our sexy new WorldCat Local install, but there are big red letters over it saying that the availability info is only available and up to date in our current catalog (which most of our users are accustomed to). We haven't jacked up any accounts, we haven't fiddled with anything for the user, because we are busy kicking the crap out of the tires before we set it loose on our users. While I'm…

These Terrible Sacraments is Available!

Most of the blog lately has been my notes on library conference sessions. Outside of libraryland, though, occasionally I accomplish other things important to me on a personal level. Making that list this month is that my latest book of poetry, These Terrible Sacraments, is finally in print and available for order from the publisher's online bookstore. (For the record, it is the same press that published my first book of poems, God in my Throat.
For my first book, I was excited simply to get my work published. This time, though, I'm excited for all different reasons. The book is dedicated to my brother, Patrick, who served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the stories in these poems are his. Some are mine. The poems are written from the perspective of our loved ones serving overseas, as well as from the points of view of those of us who remain home to wait and pray.
It was a difficult collection to write, dredg…

Access Services 2010: Session VIII

This is my presentation slot, Mapping, Managing, and Improving Staff Performance. Wish me luck!

Access Services 2010: Session VII InterLibrary Loan and Doc Delivery

When Access Starts with Interlibrary Loan/ Document Delivery by James Harper

Access starts with acquisition... Unless the library wont buy it, then it starts with interlibrary loan. Where is ILL going, where does it need to go, how do we ge there? i'Ll is playing a big role in collection development, serving larger percentage of population, leveragigpower of consortiums. Striving to close the gap between discovery and delivery, expand the types of services delivered, diminis heffect of location and or ownership and acess for between branches, enlist. Rest of ADS in these pursuits.

Interesting statistics. 2001-2 was eleven percent of population. Last year, served twenty one percent of population, 6579 differetpatrons. Amount o fundergrads usigill and docdelivery growing in the same period. i'Ll used ot be only open to grad students and faculty through an oclc terminal and it took forever to get hints. Distance learners and extension personnel grown from 1084 to 4425 for use of …

Access Services 2010: Session VI - Semiotics of Customer Support

How May I Help You? The Semiotics of Superior Customer Support at the Library's Service Desks by Frances Anne Pici and Colin Bragg

Purpose is to examine fundamental principles governing customer support by utilizing basic theories and analytical tools provided by semiotics. Thi approach can help define and improve customer support at service desks. Intro to semiotics, fundamentals of customer support, and signs of customer support at service desks.

Semitoics examines how humans represent worked through system of signs. Used to examine phenoms interdisciplinary, art, language, lit, music, media, performance studies, etc. Central is notion of sign. Broadly, semiotics is science of signs or study of use of signs. All human comm and interaction is composed of signs, a. Dhuman experience sociocultural system created, mediated and sustained by signs. In almost all human cultures, signs carry some info that we use to describe, reposing a d evaluate world. Words, images, symbols, images, g…

Access Services 2010: Session V

You Want Us to do What? Practical, Data Driven Planning and Decisionmaking For Access Services by John Miller-Weels, Wendy Begay, and Robyn Huff-Eibl

They restricture frequently. Access and info services is traditional stacks, microform, govdocs, but not reserves. Now reference, portions of interlibrary koan and doc delivery. 32 staff and over 100 students. University of Arizona Tucson. Many services in one unit across many sites. Staff always saying "you want us to do what?" why bit her with needs assessment, resources involved, technology used, sources of data, tools they use, how. All of this feeds into outcomes and create an environmental scan doc ument and how that kids into strategic plan document, how it ends up with happy users.

Why data driven planning, why needs assessment? In the past decades with shrinking budgets, increased pressure om libraries ot maintain or cut costs while increasing variety and quality of services offered. Focus services that bring value wh…

access Services 2010: Session IV

access Services, Innovative Management in the Changing Era by Dell Davis and Amy Chang

We need to think about management. Managers are busy people a d in mAnaging services we forget about internal piece. How change impacts access services, innovative management for change, some of the challenges. What causes change? Space,customer centered services, technology, administrative decisions, bottom up innovative ideas. How do we create and nmanage these spaces better? Customer based services through needs assessment. Checked through irb and questions were okay as long as they didn't want to publish, so started to ask students informally about services. Libqual Comments are best measure of services. Ex, deficient links in ere sources so folks now report through point of need through ticketing system. Srudents begging. For quiet spaces while we are focused on collaborative spaces, disconnect. Facilities issues. That management piece falls on. Access services in most environments. Also tec…

Access Services 2010: session III - the customer comes first

The customer comes first: implementing a customer service program at the university of minnesota twin cities

By jerrie Bauer and (someone) Llewellyn.

Why customer service, easily stages of the project initiated in 2006, customer service training from report, classes, measuring outcomes of good customer service. Process improvements and what they learned along the way, tips and tricks for implementing program.

Jerrie: why customer service? Folks have a good conept of customer service and what it is. They wanted a statement of service philosophy for access services why they think it is important. People ask why the staff? We compete for user attention with any other methods of delivery, and they believed that if they don't get good customer service users will seek out alternatives. Pele will just leave and find it somewhere else that they can get help. Front line interaction, and they wanted high and consistenn level of service to sets. Prior, no unified service expectations. They are…

access Services 2010: Session II - Ereserves

Electronic reserves: change is our constant companion by Linda Fredericksen and Michelle (Chelle) Batchelor

Brief history, current model, challenges, streaming, discussion.

History of reserves. Short term access to instructor material has been logtermm tradition in us academic libraries as early as 1880s at harvard, uMich, johns hopkins. Has been around a long time. Mor ethan a nerd years later, is changing gin a number of levels. From one type of ereserves tech to another, or a more fundamental level in terms of electronic reserves environment. Old print reserve room was bustling place, lot of work wen tint getting print item moon reserve, a d a lot of work in maintaining, then taking off reserve. Back end part of print reserve room was busy. Very location bound. Library controlled all of the access in terms of what came in and what went out.practice of circ based on first sale for these historical hard copy reserves. Despite problems of space limitations and single use access, most AR…

Access Services 2010: Session I - Ending the Turf War

"Ending the Turf War: Circulation, Reference, and Instruction on One Team" by Ken Johnson and Susan Jennings from Appalachian State

Circ ref and instruction on one team to address interteam issues. Approach is figure out way. To say yes as much as possible. Reducing service differences between teams helped them do that. Lot of folks have ventured down this path. How many have actively combined circ and reference in the library? How many people think it's intriguing, how many people think it's awful? Libraries differ organizationally and culturally. We think we were successful at it. Ken johnson is coordinAtor pf learning and research services team. Susan Jennings is lead librarian for desk services, teaks desk services for user centered services. True commons. Responsible for material delivery and delivery to faculty offices.

Appalchiannstate in NW corner of NC. Has sixteen thousand five hundred students, part of unc system, new library in june 2005, gate count is over…

Access Services 2010: Keynote, Tim Daniels

Tim Daniels, Manager for Lyrasis Technology Services, formerly assistant state librarian for technology and infrastructure at Gergila Public Library Service. Cloud, content and discovery.

Has had a lot of jobs, doesn't mean he cant keep a job :) he doesn't know a lot about access services other than coolest job in library that no one else gets to do, we get to say no! A great access services head is the one thing you must have because they mMs everything work. If someone is not willing to draw the line and enforce rules with some logic and balance, it can go bad fast, so critical to have that layer of folks on the desk. As he was looking at technologies and how we would apply them, better to talk about what he'll talk about, then discuss how it applies to our situations.

Gartner Hype cycle. The gartner group studies technology, writes four page reports and charge five thousand dollars. One of things they developed was Gartner Hype cycle. Chart that shows for any given tech…