Bronwyn's Library Blog

Friday, March 31, 2006

NextReads for your library

NextReads is a subscription email service developed by the creators of NoveList.

With NextReads, you'll expand fiction and nonfiction readers' advisory services beyond the walls of your library, and beyond the bestsellers. NextReads provides 20 monthly and bimonthly lists for library patrons, including both fiction and nonfiction genre coverage, plus two lists created just for library staff. All lists carry your library's branding and are easily customizable to your needs, holdings, and customer tastes.

Visit the NextReads website

Google's literary land grab

Publisher Nigel Newton calls for a boycott of the Google search engine in protest at its plans to scan books
If you click on Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in Google Book Search, you may find yourself taking an unexpected journey. Google's ambient advertising programme hotlinks to a dating agency called Great Expectations Dating ("Find Your True Love Today"). How crass is that? We can be sure that Dickens would have thought it so. Indeed, he would probably have reserved a special vituperation for Google's literary land-grab.

Article continues

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Librarians - space marine heroes

Thanks to Miriam for this description from White Dwarf Magazine


Of all the Space Marine heroes, there are some who stand apart from their brethren like no others. These are the Space Marine Librarians, both cursed and gifted with potent psychic powers that are honed by decades of study, prayer and experience to make them the most powerful battle psykers in the galaxy.

The Librarian fulfils many roles within the Chapter, and employing their terrifying powers to smite the enemies of the Emperor is but one. It is they who use their powers to probe every corner of a potential recruit's mind, searching for any sign of corruption or weakness. Should such a taint be discovered, it is they who will destroy the potential recruit to ensure that his corruption spreads no further. These are but part of the Librarians' tasks for it they who record the Chapter's glorious history, its victories, its honours and its heroes....

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

DIY READ posters

Make your own READ posters and add them to the collection.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Library data - promiscuous - vital

Thanks to Jessamyn for the link to Seeking Skunkworks and Promiscuous Library Data.

Sifting through the tech language, I see an impassioned call for more user-friendly interfaces for library data.

It really is another case of the need to look outside the square at the information we collect in our libraries.

I am reminded of a letter to the editor of Incite from Jeff Cabral in New Zealand who made a very good case for using patron data to build better collections and to underpin direct marketing campaigns.

Just two paragraphs from his letter:

“Still, perhaps we’re taking our guardianship roles a bit too seriously – rather than guarding the collection and preserving the customer’s identity, it’s also important to consider how well we actually communicate about our collections and provide service to customers. Let’s just at least remember to think about the customer and how we can enhance service…..

One of the most important recognised assets of any decent-sized business is its customer database. So much so that companies insure them, they invest in them … and, ultimately, they even assess them as financial assets on their balance sheets … What about marketing? Direct marketing? …

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Books for your dolls house

A dolls house cannot be complete without books. Here are instructions on how to create them for your own dolls.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Reclaim your inbox

Thunderbird 1.5

“Thunderbird delivers. Enjoy safe, fast, and easy email, with intelligent spam filters, quick message search, and customizable views. Brought to you by Mozilla, Thunderbird makes email better.”

Friday, March 24, 2006

Google digitizes historical video clips

Web users now have free access to 1940s newsreels and more

Through an agreement with the National Archives, Google Inc. has added historic video footage of such events as the Apollo moon landing and Japan's surrender in World War II to its internet search engine. Students, teachers, researchers, and others now can access these digital video clips free of charge through the Google Video search portal.

Read the whole article

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Millions celebrate NEAs Read Across America Day

Reading Tour 2006 Culminates in New Orleans As Celebrities, Athletes, Politicians Join NEA to Deliver New Books to Gulf Coast Public Schools

The ninth annual National Education Association's Read Across America Day was more than the nation's largest reading celebration. With nearly 45 million participating nationwide, it was the party with a purpose that brought together celebrities, athletes, politicians, education leaders and other notable public figures for a very special cause: to bring the gift of reading to children who have been affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

Read the whole article

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

MLS launches Gaming SIG

Calling all MLS gamers and wannabe gamers!

MLS is starting a special interest group for members (and anyone else) interested in gaming in libraries. This includes video games, board games, role playing games, etc. We'll talk about how to keep moving forward after last year's Gaming in Libraries Symposium, how we can help each other start or improve gaming in our organizations, how MLS can support you in your efforts, and more. Plus, we'll play some games ourselves! Come to this first meeting and help us shape the future of gaming in libraries!

Visit the site

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

If a library is bookless, what's in it?

The "Bookless Library." Is it a contradiction in terms, or a sign of the times? Information technology changes as soon we think we understand it. With mammoth collections to maintain, libraries are struggling to keep up -- and to redefine their role.What helps make the evolution of libraries so complicated are two related questions: What is the library's role -- and who should pay for it? The squeeze on county and municipal budgets prompts many to wonder if they will continue to pay for these institutions. Others insist that the public library plays a vital role as a community center and as an intellectual oasis, a place to reflect as well as a place to learn. But if it's to survive, it has to adapt.

Read more

Monday, March 20, 2006

Tagging - the latest way to search the web

Jeff Jarvis
The latest trend sweeping the web - as trends are wont to do - is tagging. Last month, Yahoo! bought the leading tag service,, which enables you to save a web link and associate it with labels so you can find it later.

Read the whole article

Sunday, March 19, 2006

How to evaluate a web source

Is It Worthy of a Citation?
Believe it or not, the Web does not always contain accurate information. In fact, every once in a while, you might come across something that (gasp!) is not true. Well, that’s to be expected, really – the Web is made by people, and people aren’t perfect, and people make up a LOT of coo-coo-crazy stuff.

Read the whole article

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Making good use of digital library content and services

The changes described here are but a few of those that have occurred over the past few years in the information center of one research organization, where utilization of digital technologies, and increased access to digital resources and services have made the corporation more efficient, productive and competitive. The skills of information center staff have been leveraged to improve the corporation's "bottom line," and that has benefited the corporation's work force as well as its clients

read the whole editorial

Friday, March 17, 2006

Deep web research

By Marcus P. Zillman

Bots, Blogs and News Aggregators is a keynote presentation that I have been delivering over the last several years, and much of my information comes from the extensive research that I have completed over the years into the “invisible” or what I like to call the "deep" web.

The Deep Web covers somewhere in the vicinity of 900 billion pages of information located through the world wide web in various files and formats that the current search engines on the Internet either cannot find or have difficulty accessing. The current search engines find about 8 billion pages at the time of this writing.

Read the whole article

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Parents complain about a book's undertones

A children's book about two male penguins that raise a baby penguin has been moved to the nonfiction section of two public library branches after parents complained it had homosexual undertones.
The illustrated book, "And Tango Makes Three," is based on a true story of two male penguins, named Roy and Silo, who adopted an abandoned egg at New York City's Central Park Zoo in the late 1990s.

Read the whole article

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tolls on the internet superhighway? reports that major U.S. phone companies would like to change the pay structure of the internet. They would like to effectively create a "toll lane" and give preferential treatment to those who pay more. They would provide a "tiered service" whereby pay subscribers would get priority treatment for "data packets." Article continues

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Australian author wins top SF award

Canadian Published Australian Author WINS Coveted Top Australian SF Award.

EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing issued a statement today announcing that the science fiction novel ECLIPSE, by Australian author K. A. Bedford, is the hands down winner of the coveted Australian Aurealis Award for best science fiction novel of 2005.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Doctorow's "The March" wins Pen/Faulkner fiction award

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation will announce today that E.L. Doctorow has won its 2006 fiction award for his novel "The March." It is the second PEN/Faulkner award for the much-honored Doctorow, who won in 1990 for "Billy Bathgate" and whose 1975 novel "Ragtime" established him as a writer capable of combining literary ambition and commercial success. Article continues

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Reference question - from the Feel Good Librarian

There is absolutely nothing I could have said to her that would have made any difference at that point. Something personal would have been completely inappropriate and unprofessional, not to mention obviously unwanted. In Reference Interview seminars, we are taught to end with, “Does this answer your question? Please let me know if I can help you further, “ or other wrap-up phrases. But she was so intent on getting the information from that book that I immediately ceased to exist, and those phrases served no purpose. They don’t ever cover this in library training, but sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Library Housing project one of the first of its kind

In mid-September, Saint Paul Public Library celebrated groundbreaking for the new Rondo Community Outreach Library / University and Dale Apartments. The project is one of the few combined library-housing projects in the nation. A 32,000 square-foot library will share a building with a 98-unit mixed income housing complex.

Read the whole article

Friday, March 10, 2006

What if Wal-mart ran the library?

by Joseph J. Esposito


The giant retailer Wal-Mart is used here as a metaphor for large-scale industrial processes that are being brought to bear on many industries in the evolving global economy, but by and large not on academic institutions and libraries in particular. It is anticipated that the application of such processes will reshape the world of libraries as we know them, with an increasing division between the support of undergraduate education and the requirements of research faculty. While there will be significant opposition to the introduction of such processes, especially because of the resulting disruption of the lives of academic librarians and their institutions, inasmuch as the decisions to make these changes are driven by increasing economic pressures and will be made by authorities above librarians in the institutional hierarchy, the Wal-Martization of the academic library is inevitable.

Read the whole article

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Hamilton Library first to offer e-books

Hamilton Public Library’s virtual bookshelf now holds 500 e-audiobook titles for borrowing and downloading, making it the first public library system in Ontario to launch the service. Launched in partnership with Ohio-based Digital Library Reserve, Inc., the decision follows the success of audiobooks in large U.S. library systems, such as in New York City.

Read the whole article

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

EPA Libraries closing down

BUSH AXING LIBRARIES WHILE PUSHING FOR MORE RESEARCH — EPA Set to Close Library Network and Electronic Catalog
Washington, DC — Under President Bush’s proposed budget, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is slated to shut down its network of libraries that serve its own scientists as well as the public, according to internal agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In addition to the libraries, the agency will pull the plug on its electronic catalog which tracks tens of thousands of unique documents and research studies that are available nowhere else.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Reading challenge to tackle illiteracy

A national reading program to tackle the problem of illiteracy in Aboriginal communities is set to be launched at a major literary conference in Melbourne.
The Australian Readers' Challenge will be launched during the Writers at Como conference in front of Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt and prominent Australian writer John Marsden.
The challenge is a project encouraging readers from preschoolers to adults to read 10 books, including seven from a set book list.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Library housing project one of a kind

In mid-September, Saint Paul Public Library celebrated groundbreaking for the new Rondo Community Outreach Library / University and Dale Apartments. The project is one of the few combined library-housing projects in the nation. A 32,000 square-foot library will share a building with a 98-unit mixed income housing complex.

Read the whole article

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Partnership for a nation of learners

“We're glad you're here! If you're a museum, library or public broadcaster, we want to help you work together to address local needs, increase civic engagement and improve the quality of life in your communityOn this site you will find resources that will help you to partner effectively with each other and with other organizations in your area – case studies, exercises, tools – as well as information about training events and sources of project funding.” . Visit the site

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Librarians cant code?

Librarians can’t code because too many librarians and library schools have their noses so far up in the air about computers that they are neither recruiting coders (which is purest, sheerest madness—why are we not using the exodus of women from comp sci to our advantage?) nor creating them.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wikipedia's help from the hill

Edits Lead Site to Block Some Lawmakers' Offices
The scope of the scandal keeps growing, and now that an investigation has been launched, a growing list of Capitol Hill members and their staff appear to be involved.
No, this isn't about fallout from the shenanigans of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. This concerns Wikipedia -- the online encyclopedia written and edited by anyone who wants to contribute -- and the suspected perpetrators of untruths about certain lawmakers.  

Article continues

Thursday, March 02, 2006

ICT in libraries - qualifications

You may have heard recently about the development of two new qualifications, the Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Applications of ICT in Libraries. The qualifications are based on the Peoples's Network training and were developed by the Scottish Library and Information  Council (SLIC) ( and validated by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA)
( The qualifications are applicable accross the UK and may also be of interest to library staff elsewhere. Millennium City Academy, an associate college of London Graduate School of Management, has now been approved by SQA to offer these awards, which will be delivered on a Distance Learning basis.Please see for full details, or check for a look at the online course materials.If you have any queries, please email

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Taking advantage of the web and Library 2 - thanks John

John Blyberg’s “Taking advantage of the web and Library 2, in response to Hinchcliffe’s ten ways to take advantage of Web 2.0 is excellent, practical and thought-provoking.  But can we hire you John?