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July 26, 2007

Who's game?

Google has issued a challenge: Gmail: A Behind the Scenes Video. Considering there's two classes worth of MLibrarians (at least, thanks to Dave and MLibrary2.0 crew), are any of you interested in taking a stab at this?

Posted by janeblum at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2007

The decline of western civilization

Or so it will seem for some, based on this NYT story about a public library abandoning Dewey classification. If that hasn't convinced you, there's always the earlier much-blogged NYT story about how cool today's young librarians are. Pick your poison.

Those of you who were at ALA have probably heard all about the no-Dewey Arizona public library, and discussed it to death in DC. But for those who are latecomers to the discussion, let me ask - Is it really so terrible? How else are you going to find out if grouping the materials works better than Dewey classification in public libraries, or even just in this particular public library.

If it doesn't work well and the library goes on to try something else, or goes back to Dewey, we've still learned something. And I'd bet the average library patron on the street couldn't care less what library-significant number we put on the books spine. Outside of a library, does anyone know the correct order for shelving books when you get down to the cutter level? Generally the shelvers all have a different theory of how it's done, and my experience is that in most libraries you end up in the general area looking for a particular book or browsing anyway.

And yes, all of us untrustworthy folks now over 30 were cool once, too. We didn't wear our hair in buns, shunned sensible shoes, and never shushed ourselves or anyone else. We embraced technology and empowered the user. And we still couldn't outrun the power of the librarian stereotype. ("You don't look like a librarian." "Actually, I do. This is what librarians look like these days.")

So my reaction? Extreme jealousy. A generation of librarians finally broke out and got good PR in the bargain. More power to them! Now, if we can just outrun the stereotypes about boomer librarians and the evils of library directors*, we'd really be shaking up the profession.

*Obvious disclaimer that I am not disinterested and unbiased in my assessment should be inserted here.

Posted by janeblum at 12:42 PM | Comments (1)

The Thirteenth Thing

Write a post reflecting on your experiences with web2.0 tools and the 13 things exercises.

This concludes the formal exercises for the self-instruction portion of library2.0 summer workshops. What have I gotten out of this? First, I tried some additional tools other than flickr and delicious, so I have first hand experience with some things that I wouldn't have played around with otherwise. Also, I had a chance to reflect on how these tools are useful for me professionally rather than just for my personal amusement. No exciting discoveries or revelations there, but I think that now I'm better equipped overall to understand how librarians and libraries in general can use them.

But the real benefit for me was learning something together with my colleagues. I interacted with and got to know librarians and staff at UM whose paths don't cross mine in the normal course of business. Yes, it's called social networking for a reason.

Posted by janeblum at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2007

Useful to know

David Rothman reports on Google's embedded custom search engines that search all the websites listed on the containing page. (If that's not clear, go read David's post!)
davidrothman.net - Blog Archive - Easy Custom Search Engines “On the Fly”

Posted by janeblum at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2007

Interesting post on social software and health sciences libraries

davidrothman.net - Blog Archive - Presentation: Social technology in health library practice and outreach

David Rothman finds the most interesting things to share on his blog. He writes about and gives real-life examples of web2.0 and library2.0 put to use in health sciences libraries. Many of the ideas and applications he flags have wider applicability outside the health sciences. Well worth the read if you're interested in what HSL2.0 might look like.

Posted by janeblum at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2007

11 & 12

LibX (the umich version) and Zotero both installed. They work well together for searching and capturing books from mirlyn and links from the web. I was also successful in capturing full text from Google Scholar.

On the other hand, when looking for articles, the interface with SearchTools drove me crazy. It is really irritating that I'm finding it so difficult to capture pdf articles in Zotero, because it's otherwise useful.

Posted by janeblum at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

Trends in library architecture

Chronicle Blogs: Library Renovation at Ohio State U. Promises More Space, but Fewer Books

Interesting that while space for print materials decreased, they are still considered symbolically important.

Posted by janeblum at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2007

Good news about licensing

The Krafty Librarian reports that the Wellcome Trust medical images are now available under a Creative Commons license. It's so nice to have some good news on the licensing front.

Posted by janeblum at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2007

This is a classic

If not an antique. Two years old, which is like a century in Internet years. Anyway, for all of my colleagues at UM who don't have the pleasure of working with medical students, here's what it's like:

Posted by janeblum at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2007

It's hard to keep up with curve, let alone get ahead of it

ALA TechSource | Can U TXT the LBRY?

Interesting report out from the Mississippi Library 2.0 Summit, looking at the use of SMS (cell phone text messages) for reference. My first reaction was "Of course, who sees any sort of student these days without a cell phone in use?" Do we think SMS is the wave of the future, based on the habits of this year's high school students?

Given the popularity and proliferation of smart phones in medical settings, it would be interesting to find out which the students turn to first - email or texting via phone.

Posted by janeblum at 04:00 PM | Comments (1)

Podcasting, which is thing #9

I have in the past subscribed to various podcasts, but I find it hard to sit and listen for more than a few minutes at a time. I have a short commute, and I haven't been very good at concentrating on my driving and my podcasts at the same time - I get home (or to work) and have no idea what I've heard during the trip.

For this exercise I found some health system and medical school podcasts to follow for a little while. One is just a short blurb on research findings during the proceeding week, but the other two are blogs by medical students, reflecting on the experiences at UM. I'm thinking they'll be an interesting way to get insights into the students here and their lives.

Posted by janeblum at 02:00 PM | Comments (1)