July 2008 Archives

'Casting @ OWLS

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The OWLS LSTA grant project "Enhancing Library Services via Podcasts, Screencasts, and Vodcasts" is coming right along! I continue to post progress on the 'Casting @ OWLS blog, along with links to resources I'm finding along the way.

Some of the projects completed so far include the CCBC workshops and InfoSoup screencasts, but even more exciting than those are member library projects that are starting to be completed. I had the honor of attending a poster unveiling at the Muehl Public Library in Seymour last week (good job, Elizabeth!), and we'll be putting together a video of the presentation and interviews with the poster models (stay tuned!). In addition, Elizabeth Eisen tried out our portable voice recorder to create an mp3 of Lesley Kagen's recent author visit to the Appleton Public Library (good job to another Elizabeth!). You can listen to that on their website. All of the projects that result from the LSTA grant will be linked to from the Results page on the 'casting blog, so check there for future updates.

I'm hoping to complete the instructional materials for all of the equipment in August, along with a reservation calendar so you can reserve the equipment and try it out at your library. If you have any questions about the grant or the equipment and software available, please contact me. I'd also love to hear from anyone with ideas for projects we could do for your library!

> contributed by Beth

Project Play Date

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logo2.jpgProject Play held its second Play Date this morning on the topic of Google apps. If you missed the OPAL session, you can still get all the info on the blog, including a recording of the Play Date session.

Our next OPAL date will take place on Friday, August 22nd, when Jean Anderson from South Central Library System will present "More on LibraryThing." Be sure to register online if you'll be able to join us!

(Remember, anyone can participate in the Play Dates, even if you haven't participated in Project Play before this. Directors seeking recertification can earn contact hours for the OPAL session, too!)

> contributed by Beth
At noon on Thursday, July 31, WebJunction and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries will present a free hour-long Webinar focused on a topic important to the work of sustaining Rural and Small libraries, "Motivating Your Board: Money, Lawsuits, and Facilities."  This is the second Webinar in a series on board relationships and strategies.  Presenters Ellen Miller and Jim Connor will facilitate the session outlining proven techniques for motivating the board and empowering them to make the most from their position.  Information about the Webinar, instructions on connecting to the session, and an archive of related Webinar can be found here:

> from Channel Weekly, Vol. 10, No. 39 - posted with permission

Libraries save money

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The Consumerist recently ran an article entitled 7 Ways Your Public Library Can Help You During A Bad Economy. It's a pretty decent article that states a lot of the obvious things we know, but what I found really interesting were the comments added to the post by readers. Here's a sample:

And they have databases where you can find investment info, info about a company you might want to work for, and even databases of car repair information.

You can even get software from some libraries - programs that will help you build a deck, for example.


You forgot one of the best ones! Free computers and internet use! I saved $50 a month for a year by not giving into Comcast and using the internet only at work and, when needed, the library.

And there are lots more. It lifted my spirits to think of all of the library lovers out there, and I hope it will lift yours, too.

> contributed by Beth (spotted on LibrarianInBlack.net)

Check out these free software cheat sheets available from CustomGuide. Software included: Microsoft Office (Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.), Internet Explorer, Windows, Firefox, QuickBooks, Dreamweaver, and more. They have different guides available for various versions of each of those applications, as well. The guides might be good to print and provide by public workstations or as a helpful link from your library's website. Take a look!

> contributed by Beth
Laura Milligan has posted links to 100 Awesome YouTube Vids for Librarians at Accredited Degrees. Here's the intro to the post:

Librarians should no longer be thought of as fuddy duddy types with long dusty cardigans or pince-nez dangling around their necks. These days, public librarians and academic librarians are on the cutting edge, dedicated to bringing their resources and their patrons into the 21st century with technology. Librarians are also bloggers, IT professionals, database managers, technology mavens; and these YouTube videos and tutorials are just for them. Watch these vodcasts and recordings to learn about new library tools, interesting literacy campaigns and outreach programs, and even hysterical videos about library stereotypes that are circulating on the Internet.

The list includes inspiring and hillarious examples - do they get you  thinking about what your library could do with the 'casting equipment available through OWLS? I hope so!

> contributed by Beth (spotted on LibrarianInBlack.net)

A little inspiration

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My husband gave me this quote yesterday (thanks, Matt!), and I thought I'd share it with all of you. It's good for a pick me up when you're wondering why we do what we do.

"It's a sector [nonprofits] in which you are allowed to pursue truth, even if you're going in the wrong direction; to experiment, even if you're bound to fail; to map unknown territory, even if you get lost; a sector in which we are committed to alleviating misery and redressing grievances, to giving rein to the mind's curiosity and the soul's longing, to seeking beauty where we can and defending truth where we must, to honoring the worthy and smiting the rascals (with everyone free to define worth and rascality), to combating the ancient impulse to hate and fear the tribe in the next valley, to finding cures and consoling the incurable, to preparing for tomorrow's crisis and preserving yesterday's wisdom, and to pursuing the questions others won't pursue because they're too busy or lazy or fearful or jaded."

~ John Gardner, educator and social activist, on the nonprofit sector

Here's to wishing you a day free of smiting rascals and thanks for all of the wonderful things you all do!

> contributed by Beth

InfoSoup screencasts

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Part of the 2008 OWLS LSTA grant, Enhancing Library Services via Podcasts, Screencasts, and Vodcasts, includes the creation of "online instructional materials for patrons on the use of InfoSoup, its patron features, and online databases and research tools." I'm happy to report that we have posted our first 3 screencasts on blip.tv, and they have collectively been viewed over 120 times in just one week! The screencasts have also been highlighted on the InfoSoup homepage and in What's Simmering, the InfoSoup blog.

If you haven't had a chance yet, take a look at the screencasts we have so far:
I'm planning on creating more on several different topics, including Saved Searches and Reading History.

Keep in mind that any of the screencasts can be embedded in your web sites to highlight help available to your patrons. If you'd like help doing that, please contact Evan.

If you have comments or constructive criticism about the screencasts or ideas for additional InfoSoup help we could provide, please post your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!

> contributed by Beth

OverDrive and iPod

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Many of you may have heard that OverDrive will soon begin offering iPod compatible audiobooks in MP3 format (see http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6542329.html). Current OverDrive AudioBooks are in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format and cannot be played on iPods.  While OverDrive will begin offering some books in MP3 format, the truth, as is often the case, is not so simple. The over 3000 audio books currently in the OverDrive collection will remain in WMA format and will remain incompatible with iPods. In September OverDrive will begin selling a separate collection of audio book titles in MP3 format. As of now, only a few publishers have signed on to allow MP3 downloads through OverDrive. Since MP3 files will not have any digital rights management (DRM) attached, publishers remain concerned about the ease of copying and distributing audio books in MP3 format. It will be interesting to see how this all sorts out. What this means in the short term is that if/when MP3 files are added to our OverDrive collection, the selection likely will be missing titles from many of the major audiobook publishers.  To see some of the titles currently available in MP3 format, you can look at the District of Columbia Public Library which is the first OverDrive MP3 test site.

Another thing to note is that OverDrive has somewhat jumped the gun and has already posted iPhones and iPods as compatible digital devices.  There is a small disclaimer and and small icons denoting that iPods are not WMA compatible, but this is likely to be lost amid the colorful pictures of Apple products and the big recently added starburst icon. I hope OverDrive will do a better job of clarifying the iPod compatibility issue and modify this page. Until then just remember that we do not currently have any OverDrive MP3 titles, they likely will not be available until the fall, and when available will probably be limited in scope. Besides that, it's great news :)

> contributed by Evan

Project Play Date

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Our next Play Date is scheduled for Friday, July 25th at 10 a.m. online in OPAL. The topic will be “More on Google Apps.” Since this is a continuation of an earlier topic, be sure to do Week 2 of Semester 2 so you’re up to speed on the topic before the OPAL session. If you’d like to attend the online Play Date please register on the SCLS web site, so we’ll know how many people to expect. If you can’t make it to the Play Date, the content will be posted here on the blog so you’ll be able to go through it at your leisure.

Remember that you can attend and participate in the Play Dates even if you didn't participate in either semester of Project Play. Just do the blog exercises included above to be sure to be up to speed with everyone else.

“See” you on the 25th!

> contributed by Beth

Whether you attended the recent ALA conference in California or not, you may want to check out the ALA Conference Materials wiki to see what treasures you can find. Links to presentation slides, handouts, etc. are included on the site for a variety of conference sessions. Dig around a bit and see what helpful info you can find!

Did you attend the conference? Tell us what you thought in the comments.

> contributed by Beth

Summer reading

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Bug-on-Tube-sm.jpgCheck out the OWLS summer library program web sites (Catch the Reading Bug & Metamorphosis @ Your Library)  to see what librarians and patrons are recommending this summer. And please encourage your patrons to participate on the sites by adding their comments and reviews. There are forms available on the sites for people to use to contribute. It's fun and easy! And any time your patrons (or library staff) add a review a link is provided to your library's web site, so it's free PR for you, too! :)

> contributed by Beth

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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