Tuesday, May 29, 2007


New Blog Address!

Hey all! I'm going to try and keep this up...
Library Basics and Beyond

Good luck this summer!


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Privacy Code of Ethics in the Corporate World

Kelly, in my 759 class, posted a fabulous response to a question on our BlackBoard site. The problem with BB though is that once a great post is generated, it is lost forever. I emailed her and asked for her permission to copy and paste it into my blog. She generously agreed, so if this posting helps in any way, it would be great to hear back from you!

Kelly's post:
Your question gave me pause for thought on ethics in library and information science generally. You're right, as librarians we give great consideration to our code of ethics; we certainly spent a great deal of time in discussion on the topic of privacy beginning in my 701 class, and every class I have participated in so far has touched on the subject. The ALA has taken a very strong stance on the subject of privacy as it relates to the library user--stating in its Code of Ethics a responsiblity to protect each library users' right to privacy. But I wondered, as you did, what other professional organizations have spent the institutional energy on the subject of privacy and confidentiality. I thought the class might benefit from some links to professional organizations in the information technology world and their codes of ethics or statements of professional responsibilities:

Association of Independent Information Professionals

International Webmasters Association

Association for Computing Machinery

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers

Institute for the Management of Information Systems (UK)

These are just a few of the professional organizations of the IT world, but your question raises a good point about just who is protecting the privacy of the digital library user or, more broadly, electronic information users in general I think the discussion goes way beyond just the individuals that we may work with--its an awareness issue as well as an ethics issue.

Interestingly, an examination of the CPSR site also reveals issues with other local values in the information ecology generally: peace and the role of information technology in the military, equality in the workplace and gender differences in communication, democracy and the role of technology in voting, to name a few--and these apply to digital libraries as well (e.g., democracy and equality as they relate to access). I think the point O'Day and Nardi make is that the perspective of each of the components of the ecology (users, sponsors, developers) is different and needs to be brought down to the local level in the design process as a means to discover new applications (Digital Library Use, 2003). But does this really extend the responsiblity we have as participants in the design process to ensure ethical design in the systems we work with? I think it does....

Friday, September 01, 2006


Help! I Got My First Blog Reference Question!

OK. I hope that some of you librarian 2.0 folks are reading this, because I think I have encountered a new trend in reference questions. Here's the scenario:

A lady came into the branch yesterday, and asked the reference librarian if he could answer a question about blogs. He immediately grinned and then referred her to me. So, here's her issue:

She is designing a website for a long-term care company, and the company would like to add RSS feeds of REPUTABLE blogs in the areas of healthcare, long-term care, nursing homes, and perhaps news/politics. She said that she had already explored Technorati, and she was looking for other recommendations.

What I have found, at least in the library world, the people who blog the most, also have published articles in periodicals like Library Journal (and their blogs are often mentioned within the article), so I used the same thinking to research long-term care blogs. This thinking, however, was not as productive as I thought, and even though I came up with blogs like AARP's blog and Jack Halpern's Blog, myeldercadvocate.typepad.com. But, I didn't find blogs for The American Healthcare Association, which advocates for long-term care. Sooooo, I was back where I started again, realizing that if I were looking for a book or a periodical, then I could look at review sources to assist me in unfamiliar subject areas. Yet, this is different.

I have two different resources that were sort of helpful...
The Internet Public Library's page about blogs, and The Bloggies, found on the Librarians' Internet Index. Both of those were helpful, but not wonderful...

I have a feeling this will come up more and more... Do any of you smarty-pants folks have any other ideas? I really respect your opinions, and I think that this presents an interesting challenge. Thanks so much!!!!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Internet Basics #2 (Audioblog #2)

this is an audio post - click to play

OK. Here is the conclusion to the first part.


Internet Basics #1 (AudioBlog #1)

this is an audio post - click to play

OK. I attempted something here for the first time. After our podcasting group talked, I was determined to use podcasting to help with library user instruction. Like I have said before, we have a huge digital divide in our community, and I wanted to find some ways to incorporate these Library 2.0 instructional capabilities into our daily lives. As I was writing the script, I had planned on beginning with a "How to Get a Yahoo Account" post, but I realized that it might make more sense to start with the basics. I do recognize that if a user can't use a mouse, he/she will not be able to pause the audioblogger, but my thinking was that eventually, these files could be loaded onto a portable MP3 player...

Anyway,although this first time around wasn't perfect (I ran out of time for the first post, and had to call back), it was a great experiment in alternative user instruction.

By the way, I haven't had a chance to listen to the post myself, so I might have to delete it and post it again soon...

Thanks for checking this out, and good luck to everyone!


Thursday, August 17, 2006


OCLC Meets the Onion

I'm sure that most of you already subscribe to Sarah Houghton's Blog, Librarian In Black, but if you don't, this link was priceless! For all of you who had 703 with Marjorie, she would love it!

Here's the link "Dewey Decimal System Helpless To Categorize New Jim Belushi Book." Enjoy!


Sunday, August 13, 2006


Blog Post #6 (My website)

OK. Here is my first attempt at a website. It's really simple, but it's easy to use, and that's all that matters...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Blog Post #5 (Databases for Dummies)

If you are reading this, then you probably know me somehow. Either you are related to me (possibly even birthed me!), or you are in library school. So that means, if I want this blog to continue after 753 has ended, I will have to make it useful to other people--ones who are not forced to comment on it every month! That means that as much as I want to rant on about the controversy over gangsta lit, it would probably be more helpful if I could make LIBRARY RESOURCES more accessible somehow. In an epiphanous moment as I showed my mother how to access Novelist, I realized that my friends and family, even ones who use the library, often don't know about databases. My mother found that because Novelist offers a cleaner interface, it is actually easier to use than Amazon (the only bummer is that it does not link directly to her library's catalog :( ).

So, we have established that databases can be fun. But, when are they more useful than Google? That depends on what you are looking for. What kind of information do you normally search for on Google? Trivia? Driving directions? Exboyfriend's bad photos? For the most part, those searches are best left to Google, Wikipedia, and Mapquest. But let's say that you are looking for financial information, a new novelist, a practice GMAT test, an encyclopedia you can rely on, or perhaps an article from Consumer Reports (without having to pay for a subscription!), then many times, you can access this information through your library's database.

What is a database, exactly? Well, according to Lakeland Community College, their Webclass states, “A library database is an online resource that the library subscribes to that contains articles and information from print sources such as magazines, newspapers, journals, and reference books.”

OK. So now here's the hitch...(or two)..

Because the library pays for these services, most likely, you will need a library card to access the information. Instead of one or two clicks of a mouse (like Google), you will have to first search your library's home page to link to their databases, then enter in your library card number on the user authentication screen. After that, unfortunately, you might have to navigate through some confusing layouts to access the information. Libraries are slowly improving their marketing and design of these resources, but some sites are better than others.

In this blog, I hoped to post screen shots to illustrate a few examples, but instead, I will have to rely on linking. In this way, I will not be able to give step-by-step instructions, but can instead offer an overview.

When attempting to decipher a library's database collection, I usually try to view a list of all the databases offered. The West Bloomfield Public Library has a link from their home page called, "Find Articles and Information". It then brings me to a user-friendly display of all the databases. This is one of the best-organized screens I have seen because the databases are organized by subject and include both a graphical image and a brief summary. This layout makes the information much easier to navigate. Also, notice that you did not have to enter in your library card until you chose a database. Nice marketing without trying!

As for the databases themselves, I am completely impressed! In fact, I can:

 Learn a foreign language using Rosetta Stone,
 Search for a novel for my book discussion group using Novelist, or What Should I Read Next?
 Find information about a country using Culturegrams,
 Look up a celebrity and link to articles using Biography Resource Center,
 Practice a test using Learn a Test
 Research my stocks and create my own reports using Morningstar
 Along with tons of other options!

I know that your library may not have the financial resources to purchase all of these databases, but it probably has access to a few. My advice is to explore your library's website, and see what databases they offer, but if you have trouble finding what you are looking for, call your librarian! That's what he/she is for! I can't tell you how many times I've walked people through our databases over the phone!

Anyway, I hope this helps! Have a great one, and one last thought… I love this new marketing that Chicago Public Library is doing… And on that note, take care!


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