The Shifted Librarian -

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* Friday, January 21, 2005


This afternoon I did a presentation about information shifting at the Downers Grove Public Library for their staff in-service day. I modified it to include more about online social networks since I’ve been drawn to the topic lately. In the section on “library web services” and user-centered vocabulary, I showed the progression from Flickr tags to Books We Like tags to SWAN tags. I wanted to really drive the point home, so I did a mock-up (click on it for a larger version).

Tags in SWAN

Try to spot that word that freaks out librarians. I think we can figure out a way to handle all of this, though. Wouldn’t it be a cool way to browse the catalog?!

Tangent: After the presentation, a staff member came up to tell me that her daughter got a Zipit for Christmas. The woman had been nodding yes throughout my presentation.

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IM Story of the Year (So Far)!

An email message I received today from the Head of Adult Services at my local library:

“I recently set up an AIM screen name for the reference desk, with the aim (ha!) of publicizing our IM availability soon. We haven't told
anyone about it yet.  Nothing on the website, no cards or fliers, no nothing. 

Except our AIM profile, that is. A resident teen looked us up and IM'd me this afternoon, asking if we had a certain book in.  I was pretty

And I realized I need to print a glossary to keep at the desk.”

He shoots, he scores!

You may remember a similar story about wireless last year....

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New Track for Public Librarians at Internet Librarian!

Michael Stephens is organizing a track just for public librarians at October's Internet Librarian conference. This is most welcome news because PLA books sessions at its conferences too far in advance to address "current" trends, while most public librarians I know feel LITA is beyond them. I think we can fill a real niche here, especially since Michael plans to focus on practical advice and tips, not theory. Even better, he's aiming the sessions at small- to medium-sized libraries, those that need this the most.

He's already got a few ideas that he wants to implement, but he's also asking for comments, suggestions, offers, and discussion from all public librarians. Got a topic that intrigues you? Heard about a "top tech trend" but you're not sure how to actually implement it? Have some ideas of your own? Share them all over on Michael's post. This is your chance to help build a track that addresses YOUR needs. Help us prove that if you build it [the public librarian track], they will come!

Then make sure you register for Internet Librarian (October 24-26, 2005). :-)

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