Where's the Library?

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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

The state of the library?

Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on June 19, 2013

Libraries as a place.

Libraries are ubiquitous.

It’s all online.

We need to save things because everyone else is throwing things away.

All true!! All not true!! That is the problem with libraries. We don’t know what we are doing or where we are going. We have lots of good ideas, but does anybody really care? Oh maybe a few, but for now let’s all play on the Internet!!


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Reference and the New Library

Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on September 23, 2011

You know some say reference is dead. They should come sit at the reference desk with me. Not that every second is busy, but people still need to discover resources. That is my job when I sit at the desk!

I show them ways to find what they are hunting. Sometimes I show them the library databases and the library catalog. I show them how to search to find “on topic” information. I show them subject searching in the library catalog. For example, if someone needs a book about William Shakespeare, they need to use the name as a subject, otherwise they will get all the books that contain his writings. If we use his name as a subject, then they get what other people had to say about his writing.

How is this related to digital resources? Some of the methods that I use to teach people lead them to digital resources. Databases contain digital resources. Library catalogs do, too.

I think we over-estimate people’s abilities to locate what they need. Most of the time, they do a quick look at Google and then think that is all there is. Google works for its purpose, but not to find specific information for a topic.

Oh yes, Wikipedia! It is a great starting point for many topics. Besides the encyclopedic materials, there are citations that can get people started toward the “right stuff.”

Reference is not dead, but those who want to kill it don’t appreciate what reference is all about! They do not understand or want to understand the “information needs” of the people who come into the library.

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Digital projects

Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on June 8, 2011

Since I started this blog, I have been adding digital records to our library catalog (OPAC for all you librarians out there). When I was a library assistant, or technical worker, I added batches of e-documents that I got from Dataminer. I would filter records that were created in a previous month and then process them into our OPAC.

In our department, we tried several methods to upload them. Student workers checked to see if they were already cataloged and adding 856 fields with URLs. We tried dumping in the entire batch filtered for our library. We tried variations on the same idea. We still weren’t satisfied.

When I got to be in charge of the department, I experimented some more and now have a different variation. I filter the records at Dataminer by our depository number and then download the batch. Since some of the links include records to the GPO catalog, but not to the digital item, I don’t want to include those records. I use MarcEdit to make batch changes to the entire bunch and then upload them into our OPAC. It is not quite that simple, but it is not that difficult either. It takes some tweeking of the records and of the holdings codes, and I am done.

I used a similar process to batch load e-journals and ERIC records. I may write about them another day. Hope this jogs someone into thinking about a better way than I am now using and that they let me know. Until then, it is the best that I have come up with.

Posted in Digital Collections, Libraries and librarians, Library catalogs, technology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Information Communication and Technology–It’s what the Internet is all about.

Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on April 17, 2009

The Internet and Communication. Our readings for our class this week discuss how it all works together, using such things as TCP/IP, packets and connectedness. What I liked about reading Joseph Miller, is that he explains the terminology, rather than just talking about it.

It seems impossible with billions of IP numbers available, yet we are using up the available IPs. Yet Miller explains that not all of these IP addresses are available for all to use. Additionally, offices and homes are using up multiple IP addresses for printers, networked peripherals, with more items being added all the time. I looked around my office at work and realize that every computer and most of the printers have IP addresses. Additionally, the computers that the library patrons enjoy have IP addresses. Furthermore, I recently read about household appliances becoming connected to the Internet, but it didn’t seem significant until I read Miller that each of these appliances would need an IP address. So if my refrigerator needs “to phone home” or tell me that we need to buy milk, then it would need to connect to our home network, or to the Internet directly. Amazing!

Other facts that I found interesting, included the connections to the Internet, some I have used over the years and others I knew were being used. Miller kindly explained the differences, rather than using jargon to talk about them. I think that is what I like about Miller the most. Years ago, computer experts would not share their information readily, for a variety of reasons. Yet today, with information all around us, it seems that there is a gap between the very basic knowledge available about technology and the jargon filled expert knowledge. When a novice wishes to learn more about technology, it can be a daunting task to break through the barriers to understanding what the technology is all about. I think Miller should have been considered as a textbook for our class.

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