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June 28, 2007

Thing #8 and counting

I played with the Endeca catalogs at NCSU, McMaster, and FSU. I've previously looked at Library Thing for Libraries, the AADL cloud tag, and the Librarian's Internet Index.

What I would find the most useful would be, in priority order:

Relevance ranking of results as the default, with the ability to sort by author, title, or date.

Faceted browsing

The ability to tag records quickly and easily, and to see only my tags if I choose

The first two are really a tie, rather than one and two rankings. Tagging is definitely lower priority than either, at least for me.

Posted by janeblum at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2007

The Seventh Thing

Next Gen OPAC. I've followed the discussion about this to a certain extent but hadn't done much with it. Having now played with the NCSU catalog enhanced with Endeca, I have a better understanding of what all the hoopla is about. I love it - four clicks to find a book that would have otherwise required paging through about thirty screens of catalog entries.

When I tried to do the same search in MIRLYN, I gave up in frustration. If I hadn't just found the Endeca-enhanced search so easy, I might have stuck with it. Not only was it more time consuming, but the search process itself had so many dead ends that led me to start over that the frustration level was even higher.

Great object lesson in what patrons mean when they dis the online catalog.

Posted by janeblum at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

Where are the doctors?

Two for the Road - Times Select - New York Times Blog

I came across this in the NYT by accident. Will Okun, a high school teacher, and Leana S. Wen, a recent medical school graduate, won an essay contest to travel in Africa with Nicholas D. Kristof. "Two for the Road" is their blog of the experience and "Where are the doctors?" is Leana's post about the crisis in medical care in Rwanda in particular as well as in Africa in general.

Those of you who participated in the 2007 Ann Arbor/Ypsi Reads program and read Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House, 2003), heard Tracy Kidder speak at AACC, heard Paul Farmer speak UM, or came to the HSL discussion of the book are already familiar with the issues she raises. You will also have heard about Partners in Health, the organization Farmer founded to address health care issues for the poor in developing countries.

Did you also know about Librarians without Borders, a global health initiative of the Medical Library Association? My friend and colleague, Marcus Banks, and his wife, Helen Ip, are in Nigeria as I write this as part of the E-Library Training Initiative sponsored by MLA and funded by Elsevier. This initiative is based on the principles behind Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI). Marcus is blogging the experience at his blog Marcus' World - the first post in the series is "Nigeria Bound on Saturday" - and Helen has posted pictures on Flickr.

All together, a compelling and disturbing situation.

Posted by janeblum at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

I love a good sneering match

The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog: Librarians Find a Place in a 'Web 2.0' World

The short blurb itself is a summary of an lengthy (41 pp PDF) essay titled "The Peloponnesian War and the Future of Reference, Cataloging, and Scholarship in Research Libraries." Even more interesting is the immediate ad hominem attack on librarians by a self-described scientist. I have to say that this is not typical of my experience with researchers in the biomedical sciences, most of whom understand and appreciate the role of librarians and libraries in research and teaching.

Posted by janeblum at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2007

Things #5 & #6 - Facebook

By coincidence, I had set up a Facebook account just before this series started. The Health Sciences Libraries have a group, the Leadership and Management Section of the Medical Library Association have a section, and now there's an MLibrary2.0 group. All this, and I still don't have any good ideas on how to use this for graduate and professional students in the health sciences.

The medical and nursing students have facebook groups, but they aren't particularly academically oriented. However, it's a sign they are present in facebook and the question becomes how to take leverage that.

Ideas, suggestions?

Posted by janeblum at 07:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2007

Things #3 (yesterday) and #4 (today)

Yesterday I blogged delicious and today I'm blogging flickr. My MLibrary flickr account is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/janeblum/. I've uploaded one photo, but I don't know if anyone can see it yet.

I didn't realize that the uberfeed would pickup a long run of previous posts, so apologies for cluttering your readers with pre-program messages. I didn't want to create a new blog because I already had two blogs and two delicious accounts. (Now I have two flickr accounts as well.) Enough is enough.

Earlier this year there was a conversation among medical library bloggers about whether to have one blog, or separate personal and professional blogs. Some of my colleagues felt that work was just one part of who they were and that they wanted to share their outside interests and thoughts with colleagues and coworkers.

Others, including me, opted for two - not to keep secrets, but to make it easier on readers. The birders and gardeners and naturalists who read my personal blog shouldn't have to wade through thoughts on scholarly communication or the 13 things, and vice versa.

Posted by janeblum at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

Interesting Article on Search Engines

The Human Touch that may Loosen Google's Grip

I like this quote:

"A growing number of entrepreneurs are placing their bets, however, on a hybrid system that puts humans back into the search equation."

I wonder if someday a person might make a career of doing just that. :)

Posted by janeblum at 09:43 AM

June 24, 2007


Del.icio.us, yummy - same thing, right? :)

Account URL:


3 Links:

tagged library2.0

tagged web2.0

tagged blogs

Posted by janeblum at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

Thing #2

Yesterday, for thing #1, I resurrected my former blog.

Thing #2 is feed readers. I use Bloglines for my work-related feeds and Google Reader for my personal interest feeds.

What do I read? At work, I subscribe to the Chronicle newsfeed and Wired Campus newsfeed; ALA techsource; a variety of UM and MLibrary feeds; a number of blogs by medical librarians, NLM, Google, and other important medical and library institutions and partners; some journal tables of contents; Lorcan Dempsey; Stephen Abrams; and The Bearded Pigs, a band composed entirely of medical librarians.

What's in your feed reader?

Posted by janeblum at 08:43 AM | Comments (1)

June 22, 2007


Here at UM, we're doing Thirteen Things. Here's the official announcement:

Participate in MLibrary 2.0 by accomplishing the 13 Things! The things are tied-in to the workshops, but you don't have to attend the workshops to participate. Create a blog (Thing #1!) and post your thoughts/results on each thing to your blog as a separate post. Each person who completes all 13 Things (by August 17) will be recognized at the Project Share event on August 21 and receive a certificate noting their accomplishment.

So, I thought I'd wake up this blog and use it to participate. Here's post number one - I'm looking forward to hearing the experiences and opinions of my colleagues.

Posted by janeblum at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)