Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bermuda law firm Mello Jones & Martin looking for Information Services Manager

Are you looking for a new law librarian experience? Why not try Bermuda! Danielle Brousseau posted this to the CALL listserv and I asked if I might re-post it to my blog for others. --

Information Services Manager

Mello Jones & Martin, located in Hamilton, Bermuda, is looking for an Information Services Manager to add to the Firm’s Management Team. The individual selected will be responsible for acquiring, managing, presenting and disseminating the legal, business and other research and data necessary to support the provision of legal, trust, and corporate administration services. In addition, the successful applicant will be the liaison with the Firm’s IT consultants.

Duties and Responsibilities include (but are not limited to) the following tasks:

  • Perform legal and business reference queries and other practice related research as requested;
  • Assist and/or train users in the selection and use of print and electronic research tools;
  • Develop, maintain and train users in other information and data management projects as assigned, including databases used via the intranet/internet
  • Acquire and maintain existing book, legislation, Government documents and periodical collection, including cataloging, monitoring circulation and looseleaf filing;
  • Stay abreast of current library technology, and trends in the field;
  • Prepare annual budget, and account for time and disbursements to clients;
  • Liaise with external Information Technology consultants;
  • Provide and organize training on various applications;
  • Maintain and update the firm’s Intranet and Internet sites;
  • Provide administrative support to the marketing function.


  • An advanced degree in library science (MILS or CILIP), business, or law;
  • At least three years reference experience in a legal or business library preferred;
  • Proficiency with LexisNexis, Quicklaw, and other electronic sources for legal and non-legal research;
  • Knowledge of Moys classification, AACR2 and MARC;
  • The ability to determine the appropriate resource based on time and cost requirements;
  • Demonstrated project management and supervisory skills;
  • Experience with DB/TextWorks an asset
  • Strong comfort level and desire to stay current with leading-edge research and information technologies;
  • A strong service orientation and the ability to work both independently as well as on a team under time pressures, in a busy, time-sensitive environment;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Proven ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks under pressure as required with a high level of attention to detail.

    An attractive compensation and benefits package is offered. Interested applicants should apply in writing, and include a detailed resume, to:

Human Resources

Mello Jones & Martin

P.O. Box HM 1564

Hamilton HM FX

Fax 296-4555 or email

CLOSING DATE: April 15, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Social Networking Tools on Friday - Still Room!

I am teaching the Social Networking Tools course at FIS PLC (Professional Learning Centre at the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto) on Friday. There are still a few spot lefts if you have been waiting.

I've been teaching this introductory survey course on a frequent basis since last August. Demand is finally starting to slow up for it. If you still want to catch it, I suggest signing up for the March 28th class. If you can't make it that day, there is one more scheduled for May. We're not sure if there will be enough demand after that, so don't miss out on your chance!


Toronto Catastrophe Slam - Free Public Registration Slots Open

Last week I told you about the Toronto Catastrophe Slam taking place on Sunday, March 30, 2008.

30 slots have now been opened for free public registration to the Catastrophe Slam, and the full 3 day Digifest event is available for for $25. You can register for digifest here:

Monday, March 24, 2008

LISTen Podcast - Interview with Joshua Neff on Library Camp Kansas

LISTen host Stephen Kellat asked me for a contribution to this week's podcast. To me the most exciting, positive thing happening last week was Library Camp Kansas which followed closely on the heals of Library Camp Syracuse. So, I asked the organizers of Library Camp Kansas for an interview.

Stephen and I both discussed the organization of the unconference Library Camp Kansas with Joshua Neff of Johnson County Library in Kansas. I hope you will have a listen!

LISTen: The Podcast - Episode #14

Dear reader--I hope this will inspire you to organize an unconference in your region. If you do, drop me a line.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Was I Too Harsh?

I was reading through comments on the LISNews blog last night. There was one post about public libraries being turned into video arcades. Essentially public libraries have been introducing gaming into their libraries to attract a younger crowd, and there has been much criticism from some people about the direction this is taking libraries. And of course, you have those on the other side defending themselves. So typically it is a confrontational situation and emotions can run high for those working in the public libraries. I have been following the discussions but largely been neutral about it since these are not really my choices to make.

That being said, one comment in the string really stood out to me. I read it and went away for a couple hours. It started to get under my skin, so I went back to it and felt compelled to reply.

I can understand the person's negative feelings about the way things are going in his/her library. But these particular lines right at the end were, to me, really telling: "we have books here. we just have adult and children too stupid to read them now." (emphasis added).

I can understand this young adult librarian's frustration that the books are not being read. And illiteracy is becoming an increasing problem, granted. But it is not stupidity that is the issue. It is one thing to take out the anger on the system or the administrators, or even fellow librarians who see things differently, but to hold such contempt for the people he or she is supposed to be serving! How can this person effectively do the job if there is no respect for his or her patrons?

Anyway, I was unusually outspoken in my response. Was I too harsh?

Please--how do you see things? Tell me what you think, or head over to the discussion and weigh in with your opinion. If you think I was out of line, please do go over there and tell me so. Do me a favour, will you, and put your name on it? It is easy to take pot shots anonymously. Let's get some balance in the discussion--the more voices and opinions, the better.

Thank you,

Toronto Catastrophe Slam

This message was sent out via the Torcamp Google Group email list yesterday. If you work in a local public or academic library in particular, this may be of interest to you:

"a day of dialogue over Toronto disaster scenarios".
This event is part of Digifest 2008 ( )
ONTARIO SCIENCE CENTRE -Sunday, March 30, 2008

Be part of this unique day of dialogue and challenge for academics, students, professionals, not-for-profit and the public. The purpose of this event is to exchange knowledge and ideas with others on the topic of catastrophe, disaster and emergency. This is a rare multidisciplinary engagement that will include informative keynotes and participatory challenges that will be designed to examine scenarios including a Natural Disaster scenario, a Health Epidemic and
Security Crisis. For more info on the Catastrophe Slam check out

A Design Slam is where we have a fictitious group of stakeholders present a problem to groups of "consultants". We will form these groups randomly at the beginning of the event. These ingenious and innovative people will have a set block of time to design and pitch their idea to
the stakeholders.

We have 30 slots that we are opening up for free public registration to the Catastrophe Slam but I encourage you to check out the entire 3 day Digifest event for $25. You can register for digifest here:

BUT if you want to sign up for the Catastrophe Slam only head over to

1. Create an Account on the Wiki.
2. Sign Up for the event on the signup page. No Charge

I hope that people who are interested in participating will let me know if they have any questions. It should be a really great day we have some great people coming out to this event and it is a unique space to play in.

Bryce Johnson
Director of User Experience Design, Navantis Inc.

This is being done in an "unconference" style where everyone who participates will help set the curriculum for the day. Sounds like an exciting way to tackle this topic, especially since disaster planning usually takes a backseat to our otherwise busy lives.

Are you planning on going? If so, let me know.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blogger Get Together at AALL 2008

Will you be at the annual conference for the American Association of Law Libraries? If so, Barbara Fullerton told me about this blogger meetup:

It's time to mark your calendars for the AALL's Third Annual Bloggers Get Together!

Time: 5-6 p.m.
Date: Sunday, July 13th
Place: TBA
Guest Speaker: TBA (we are inviting bloggers from the Portland area)

Come share your ideas and meet the other law librarian bloggers! Open to all bloggers and potential bloggers.

RSVP: Last year we had over 35 participants so we are anticipating a good crowd this year. For a headcount, please RSVP Barbara Fullerton by Tuesday, July 1st to

Special Thanks to Laura Orr, Law Librarian at Washington County Law Library, for helping in organizing this event!

Twitter - What It Is and How I am Using It

Twitter is an interesting social networking tool. It looks deceptively simple--like instant messaging, except that the 140-character messages are sent to a large group of followers. It is a bit like the status line in Facebook, but it is so much more.

Below is the terrific Common Craft video called Twitter in Plain English that will get you started understanding it, but again they only really scratch the surface. And like many of the tools on the web, you really do have to try it (probably for a few weeks at least) before you really "get" what it is about.

The discussion in the comments over on the LISNews on the post Twitter in Plain English prompted me to make an extensive response, especially as I was identified as a (horrors!) Twitter user. Since I put so much effort into writing it out, I thought it a good idea to share here as well:

Twitter is definitely not a one-size-fits-all networking tool. I use it to connect with people around the world who are interested in social media and social networking tools as I am. I meet people at a lot of different meetings and conferences, and normally would forget who most of them are. If we can connect somehow through a tool such as Twitter or LinkedIn, I am likely to keep that person top of mind. Being able to talk with them via Twitter allows us to push past mere casual acquaintances.

Here are a few of the work-related ways I am using Twitter:
  • organizing informal face to face meetings with people; for example, several months ago Mitch Joel was on his way to Toronto from beautiful Montreal and sent out a message via Twitter saying "who is available to do lunch?". I responded, and we had a lovely "twitter lunch" (as he called it) exchanging ideas about social media. Mitch is someone I had met at Podcamp, but sitting down and sharing a meal helped to solidify our contact into more of a friendship;
  • promoting events; letting my friends and contacts know what is happening in our city and elsewhere
  • learning about key events in my city
  • micro-blogging key information coming out of talks I attend for those who cannot be there (and reading those others are attending)
  • hearing about important articles and blog posts in my areas of interest first, allowing me to take part in those discussions early. I especially like to read along what Steven Cohen of Library Stuff posts since he is always up on the latest things
  • promoting my own writing and projects; I get a great number of blog/web hits from Twitter since the people who are following me are interested in what I am pointing them towards
  • brainstorming ideas (see my blog post yesterday for an example)
  • seeking reference/research help from colleagues, such as obtaining suggestions for where to look next
  • seeking tech assistance when I can't figure something out myself with some of the social networking tools
  • connecting with people who have potential work for me (I have just started a consultancy and am already sourcing work from the people in my Twitter network)
  • looking for people who may be able to help me in my work
  • hearing about international news (usually big stories hit Twitter before mainstream news)
  • since I am working from home, it lets me feel connected and acts as my "water cooler" break during the day
  • and my particular favorite: guerrilla librarianship - I nudge people towards library services who might not otherwise think of them. I sometimes answer questions as if they were reference questions, and also promote critical thinking about web sources--all the while pointing out in a fairly public forum how librarians can help.
This last one is a win-win because people find the answers they are seeking, and the image of library staff gets boosted with a group that might not think about using libraries.

That being said, it is a time-consuming pursuit. And, it takes having a certain number of people you are following and a certain number of followers (roughly 30?) before you really start to see the benefits. After a year consciously building a following, I have close to 700 followers--imagine how many of those I could mobilize if I need help with something. Wow.

In a future post I will put together some ideas for getting started with Twitter. In the meantime, if you would like to follow me, find me at

What about you? Have you tried Twitter? Did you like it? Why/why not?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Twitter Word Association Game: Collaboration, Communication, Community

I have been doing some thinking about and writing for my forthcoming business website. The words seemed to be a little too flat, however. I therefore threw a few words out to my friends in my social network on Twitter and asked them to play a word association game. Below are my lists of (1) who contributed and (2) the words/phrases/ideas they contributed. Thank you everyone for helping me out!! (Names are twitter IDs as opposed to real names.) What do you think of when you see these words? Please add your thoughts to the comments!


Game participants:



Google Docs, sharing, brick, online, excellent work done quickly, wikis, knowledge, partnership, connecting, team, people working together, group, brainstorming, lots of post it notes, password protection, jazz band, people, sharing, team, time consuming, discussion, disagreement, the exquisite agony of shared songwriting


Game participants:



knowledge, miscommunication, people, conversation, message, meme, story, dialogue, exchange, telepathy, interface, api, i/o, mind-sharing, mind-swapping, speaking, work, flow, cooperation, relationship, connection


Game participants:



a caring place, place where like-minded people are/can meet, association, brotherhood, colony, commonwealth, nation, neighborhood, populace, public, residents, society, state, family, help, smiles, friends, Twitter, "front porch", more than just knowing folks, it's about mutual support, even if we don't like each other all the time, peers, colleagues, co-workers, neighbours, local, virtual, diversity, ecosystem

Thanks to everyone for participating!!

Seriously cool image from Flickr courtesy and

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference - Don't Miss the Early Bird Deadline!

Tomorrow is the early bird deadline for the CALL Conference -- don't miss it!

I think this may be the sleeper event of the season. When I went to book a room in one of the conference hotels today, I found it was booked up. That means lots of people have booked! Fortunately they have added a block of rooms at another hotel (I appreciate that they have found more space, and that I don't have to hunt around for it myself).

I suspect we are going to have a lot of first time attendees, a lot of newer members to the law library community. Very exciting. I can't wait to see the new faces and meet lots of new people.

If you read this blog please do introduce yourself to me! I love to hear about what type of work you are doing, how your career journey is going, and what you are excited about.

I hope to see you at CALL!


Attend the Annual Conference for the International Association of Law Libraries with the IALL Scholarship Programs

Lyonette Louis-Jacques sent this message around the listservs today. Note the deadline is May 15th. I encourage you to apply! More details on this page. I definitely would apply if I qualified. This year's conference is taking place in Puerto Rico.

You want to join the next IALL Annual Course?
The International Association of Law Libraries each year makes available financial assistance to enable law librarians who are normally unable to benefit from Association activities to attend the Annual Course in International Law Librarianship that forms the annual conference of the Association.

2008: Puerto Rico
The 2008 Annual Course will be in Puerto Rico Nov 30th - Dec 3rd, and the topic is Puerto Rico and the Ciribbean: Legal Information in Multiple Legal Systems. The conference website is found at

Three Bursaries
IALL offers three bursaries to attend its Conference comprising the following benefits:
The conference registration fee is waived.
A grant of up to US$1,500 to assist with accommodation and travel costs membership of IALL for one year (including journal) without charge.

The deadline for 2008 applications to be received is May 15 and all applications will be considered after that date.

More information
For more information, have a look at our website at have a look at - or contact the chair of the IALL Scholarship Committee (

Application should normally be by typed letter with full contact details to:
Halvor Kongshavn
Chair, IALL Scholarships Committee
Bergen University Library, Law Library
N-5020 Bergen, NORWAY

Please, also send a copy of your application, including CV etc, by e-mail -

Halvor Kongshavn

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Lawyers Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies

Legal technology experts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell are set to release their new book The Lawyers Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together through the American Bar Association.

The table of contents (available in PDF form from the description) shows the book covers a wide range of subjects including:
  • collaboration inside and outside the office
  • the initial implementation process including something they are calling the "collaboration audio", setting priorities and getting buy-in
  • the various aspects involved in collaborating on documents
  • collaboration on cases, transactions and other projects
  • various platforms used for collaboration, including email, extranets, intranets, wikis, and a range of other collaboration tools
  • developing a strategy for collaborating
  • practical issues such as ethics, metadata, ownership and control and potential pitfalls
  • scenarios for various types of practices and legal departments
  • creating a collaboration culture
  • resources
This looks like a fantastic resource. Hat tip to Simon Chester for pointing it out over on Slaw.

Happy St. Paddy's Day To All My Friends!

To those of you raising a pint on this fine day: Sláinte!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Movers and Shakers 2008 announced in the American Library Journal

The March 15, 2008 issue of Library Journal includes this year's Movers and Shakers. Congratulations to those selected!

From the 2009 nomination guidelines:
emerging leaders in the library world. Our eighth annual Movers & Shakers supplement will profile 50-plus up-and-coming individuals from across the United States and Canada who are innovative, creative, and making a difference. From librarians to vendors to others who work in the library field, Movers & Shakers 2009 will celebrate the new professionals who are moving our libraries ahead.


Cindi Trainor over at Citegeist is putting together a spreadsheet of all Movers and Shakers to date (2002 - 2008) so we can have a look at the demographic breakdown. Read Cindi's post and give us a hand with this! (Many hands make light work)...

Jessamyn West has made a briefer version of this list - Congrats to Library Journal's Movers and Shakers if you just want to scan the names.

Movers and Shakers State by State - including this year and previous years.

Introduction by Francine Fialkoff, Editor-in-Chief: Transformative Librarians

Form for 2009 nominations (due November 24, 2008)

Acknowledgements [appears to be incomplete]

The Movers and Shakers!

Maria Redburn - Bedford Public Library
Grace Under Pressure

Becoming manager of the Bedford Public Library, which had closed briefly in 2005, was a risky career move for Maria Redburn: city council members were considering outsourcing it to LSSI. But as a Bedford resident who had always dreamed of living and working in the same community and making a difference for her neighbors, she took on the challenge of restoring library service.

Marshall Shore - Maricopa County Library District
The Man Who Said No to Dewey

When MCLD began to design the new Perry Branch for the community of Gilbert, Shore took the opportunity to ask the local residents what they desired in a public library. Community members said they wanted a library they could browse in and explore, with books easily available in broad subject areas, much like—you guessed it—a bookstore.

Hilary Davis - North Carolina State University Libraries
In Context

Kathleen Brown, NCSU Libraries director for planning and research, calls Davis a pioneer in the use of analytics. But for Davis, detailed statistical analysis of the collection is only half the job. The other half is understanding “the research and teaching cultures” the science collection supports.

Jim Cheng - University of California-San Diego
Films 'R' Us

Realizing that East Asian studies professors at University of California–San Diego (UCSD) were increasingly using popular media for research and teaching, librarian Jim Cheng built an unparalleled collection of East Asian films for them. This now-renowned collection (including posters, too) has enabled faculty and student research on a wide variety of topics.

Darci Hanning - Oregon State Library
Giving Back

...Darci Hanning felt the need to “'give back' to society in a more direct way—librarianship became that way.” And “give back” she has. The Plinkit project (, developed for the Oregon State Library, is based on the open source Plone Content Management System and provides 36 rural Oregon libraries free, content-rich, easy-to-update web sites that can be maintained locally. Each web site provides libraries with an events calendar, incoming and outgoing RSS feeds, catalog search, and links to databases (including remote authentication), plus pages staff can update themselves. All for free—“And free is a very good price,” as the Plinkit web site proclaims. It's also expanding to three more states through the Plinkit Collaborative (

Allyson Mower - University of Utah
Thrill Seeker

Though she's not even finished with her MLIS yet, she's been providing access to information at the University of Utah's Eccles Health Sciences Library through her work on the Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library ( and the library's wiki, as well as the classes she teaches on database searching. Now, as coordinator for the university's Institutional Repository (, she is creating its database, soliciting content, and negotiating copyright issues.

David Lee King - Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
User-Centered Technologist

Librarians agree: David Lee King is your go-to guy for simplifying complex technology. “He has that rare ability to take tough tech and make it easy to understand and get excited about,” says Kathy Dempsey, former editor-in-chief, Computers in Libraries. TSCPL executive director Gina Millsap concurs: “David communicates ideas in ways that are accessible, inclusive, and humorous. His laid-back style encourages others to participate and believe they can do this stuff, too.”

Christopher Harris - Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services
Deep Impact

Disappointed with vendor-provided library portals, Harris decided to tailor his own system for member institutions. His portal, which turns MARC-formatted files into nodes within Drupal (an open source content management system), allows users to manipulate and add to the records. Half the member libraries now enjoy use the systemwide catalog, taking advantage of its capabilities to append pathfinders, calendars, and students' book reviews, tagging, book ratings, and social bookmarking.

Steven Bowers, DALNET
Extending OPACs

Steven Bowers, director of the 20-member Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET), wants to expand library collections and digital projects to include materials created by the interactive online community. That's why he enabled librarians to incorporate YouTube videos and make them viewable within the online catalog, with full MARC records, ultimately increasing public access to valuable digital data. DALNET's own pilot project began with videos of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches, which were made available through member libraries' catalogs.

Evette Atkin - Michigan Library Consortium

Evette Atkin says her wide-ranging interests feed her work for the Michigan Library Consortium (MLC), as a trainer, and as leader of the statewide development of Evergreen, an open source catalog debuting in pilot libraries there this summer. Years of teaching violinists of all ages and abilities helped her adapt instruction to librarians' existing skills and interests; origami trained her in “precision and attention to intricate detail.”

Elisabeth Jacobsen Marrapodi - Trinitas Hospital

A different perspective is what she delivers in her online explorations—Marrapodi believes that “immersive learning environments offer librarianship a chance to repackage and reinvent the way we deliver information.” Inside Second Life, Marrapodi has shadowed physicians, produced a short film illustrating the potential of 3-D applications for clinicians, and interviewed virtual world counselors on applications of “avatar therapy” and cybertherapy services.

Char Booth - Ohio University
Collaborative Experimentation

Booth's “Skype a Librarian” innovation enables virtual text, video, and audio reference from patrons' PCs or library kiosks, taking full advantage of freeware for cutting-edge service. This lets librarians “serve patrons where and how they naturally function,” build connections with distance/international students, and potentially personalize reference service across understaffed branches and service points.

Michelle Boulé - University of Houston Library
Geek Librarian

A member of ALA's Library Information and Technology Association (LITA) since 2003, Boulé is often working on new ways librarians can participate virtually. She ran Library and Information Resources Week with Meredith Farkas in 2006 as part of HigherEd BlogCon (, the first blog-based higher education online conference. And in 2007, she, Farkas, and four others drew on this experience to create Five Weeks to a Social Library (, a free, grass-roots online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries.

Tim Spalding - LibraryThing, LLC
Metadata Man

With LibraryThing (, Portland, ME–based web developer/publisher Tim Spalding has repurposed the library catalog into a social web application and, in the process, made cataloging fun. “LibraryThing brings into large-scale practice what the most visionary among us can only talk about,” says Don Yarman, assistant director, Delaware County District Library, OH—“folksonomies, crowd-sourcing, a populist concern for authority, and a cooperative method for constructing it.”

Caleb Tucker-Raymond - Multnomah County Library
Never Satisfied

Caleb Tucker-Raymond might have developed Oregon's statewide digital reference service, L-Net (, from the ground up, but according to Jim Scheppke, Oregon State Librarian, he's not resting on his laurels. “For Caleb, the status quo is never good enough,” he says. “His fine mind is always working on how to make virtual reference service better.”

Nancy Teger - Florida Department of Education

Nancy Teger is known for getting things done. When the Florida Department of Education (DOE) couldn't fund databases for every school in the state, Teger, DOE's program director for media services, got them by working with the state library. When school librarians lost their sense of direction under the pressure of high-stakes testing and level funding, she brought them together to create an evaluation model for school libraries, ExC3EL—Expectations for Collaboration, Collections, and Connections to Enhance Learning.

Jessica Moyer - College of St. Catherine
Reader's Best Friend

...Moyer started conducting research herself and spreading that knowledge to help librarians improve their RA [readers' advisory] service and to use 2.0 services for NextGens. As an LIS educator, she preaches the RA gospel to future librarians. Her missionary work includes writing numerous articles on RA, speaking frequently about it at library conferences, and writing Research-Based Readers' Advisory (ALA, 2008).

Marcia Mardis - Wayne State University
Push Technology

As assistant professor in Wayne State's school library media program, Mardis constantly encourages school librarians to show teachers how new technologies—even personal entertainment devices—can enhance student learning. She's worked with the Michigan Education Resources Digital Library and National Science Digital Library to disseminate high-quality digital resources among school librarians and teachers.

David Rothman - Community General Hospital
Direct Effects

Rothman has an equally direct effect on the lives of busy librarians as cocreator of LibWorm, which searches over 1500 library-related RSS feeds (from blogs to journal tables of contents). Since LibWorm lets users set up custom RSS feeds to track topics of interest, it helps them manage information overload. Two of his greatest contributions to the medical field are his “enthusiasm and generosity.”

Mark Greek - District of Columbia Public Library
Restoring History

As photo archivist for the DCPL's Washingtoniana Division at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the city's main, Mark Greek restores historical photos from the ravages of time and invisibility by constructing a database of holdings, writing finding aids, producing exhibits, and adding new images to the collection.

Lisa Sweeney - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Translator

Every day, Sweeney helps sophisticated researchers and amateurs alike use geospatial data to study how cybercommunities are created, air quality is monitored, and models of global change are built. [Reference coordinator and public services librarian Heather] McCann sees in Sweeney's efforts a combination of the fundamentals of librarianship—“collecting, describing, and providing access to data,” she says—and the advanced technological skill of “loading nonrestricted geospatial data in usable form to an online repository with Federal Geographic Data Committee metadata.”

Mark Vrabel - Oncology Nursing Society
Show Me the Evidence

Anne Snively, director of periodicals publishing at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), says Vrabel, the society's information resources supervisor, supports ONS evidence-based practice initiatives by keeping nurses apprised of research on best practices in clinical treatment of cancer patients. He not only assists society members with their own research, but he writes articles for clinical practice journals himself.

Mario Ascencio - George Mason University Libraries
Anger into Fuel

As a 17-year-old library page, Ascencio once helped a timid, illiterate Latina get her library card. The experience made him realize the extent to which libraries could affect the disadvantaged, and from that moment on, he resolved to become a librarian. Now, as visual arts liaison librarian at George Mason University Libraries, he's also one of the few Latino professionals on campus. A past beneficiary of REFORMA sponsorships, he makes a point of mentoring the university's minority students and supports its Spanish-speaking MLS students' attendance at REFORMA conferences.

Robin Kear - University of Pittsburgh
Global Thinker

Robin Kear loves both librarianship and travel and puts both loves to good use. During an internship at the UN HABITAT Agency in Nairobi, Kenya, Kear taught library staff to use electronic databases, helped produce a CD-ROM publication on water and sanitation issues for the 2003 World Water Forum, and learned the difficulties of librarianship in countries lacking adequate communication infrastructures.

Annabelle Núñez - University of Arizona
Life Work

Annabelle V. Núñez became passionate about health issues when her mother's chronic illness made her understand the cultural and financial barriers to good health and preventive care among Hispanics. Now, in her daily work at the Arizona Health Sciences Library and in frequent conference presentations, Núñez helps medical professionals, community leaders, and librarians understand those barriers “so they can work very hard to close that gap.”

Alex Youngberg - Vancouver Public Library
On the Line

Alex Youngberg, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 391, is an activist on many community issues, but the three-month strike she led against the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) exemplifies her belief that issues must come not from leaders but from the ground up.

Joshua Ferraro - LibLime
Open Source Evangelist

“No one in the library profession has served as a greater evangelist for open source software than Josh Ferraro,” says Carl Grant, president of CARE Affiliates, Blacksburg, VA, and one of his many admirers both inside and outside of the Ohio library community. Ferraro was systems administrator for the Nelsonville Public Library, OH, when it became the nation's first library to switch to an open source ILS (Koha, on Labor Day 2003). In promoting open source to other libraries, however, Ferraro says he found most didn't have access to “internal support staff who would enable them to deploy something as complex as an ILS without help from a commercial vendor.” So, in 2005, he cofounded LibLime and thus helped bridge the gap.

Jennifer Nelson - Minneapolis Public Library
Leveling the Field

Jennifer Nelson puts together programs, she says, that help solve “some of the inequities we see in our community.” As partnerships coordinator for digital inclusion at the Minneapolis Public Library, she collaborated with the Neighborhood Development Center to develop the Micro Entrepreneur Resource Center ( and then make it more widely accessible by raising money to get its Business Plan Builder translated into Somali and Spanish.

Daniel Cornwall - Alaska State Library
On a Mission

...Cornwall works with the American Library Association's Government Documents Round Table to increase public awareness of what's available. Because he is concerned about the future readability of digital documents, he led the Alaska State Library to adopt LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) technology for preservation.

Padma Polepeddi - Glendale Library
Passion for Diversity

Now supervisor of the Glendale Library, Polepeddi builds collections and programming for a diverse community and buttonholes new immigrants to tell them, “All this is free!” Though her branch is known for its extensive Russian and Spanish-language collections, Polepeddi has expanded its diversity program, improving services to other nationalities, teens, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

Amanda McKeraghan - Sevens County Rural Library District
Rural Improvement

Having worked her way up in the Stevens County Rural Library District (SCRLD) from bookmobile driver to branch manager to director, now she knows it's true: her eight small libraries serve 40,000 people, including an active Russian and Ukrainian community. They range from 4800 square feet down to a station inside a general store—and have an outsize impact in towns without “trendy bars, Internet cafés, youth centers, or other places that people gather after school and work.” Whitney Edwards, manager of Colville Public Library, a branch of SCRLD, says that because of McKeraghan's work, “people in Stevens County view their libraries as their community hubs, their reference source, their connection to the Internet, their bus stop, their office, their living room even.”

Mary Ellen Stasek - Lakewood Public Library
Community Ambassador

Lakewood Public Library director Kenneth Warren is justly proud of the “smartly designed, deeply conceived, and community-connected web site” that Mary Ellen Stasek created for the library ( From the beginning, has been about the library and the neighborhood, because Stasek realized how wide an audience it would attract: prospective residents and business owners, genealogists, students doing school assignments, parents, homeowners, and more.

Jennifer Schember - Las Vegas - Clark County Library District
On the Same Page

Of German-Japanese descent, Schember relishes her opportunity as community outreach and adult programming coordinator to honor Clark County's many ethnic and cultural groups. Deputy Director Robb Morss says she's “developed productive partnerships with each of the community's ethnic chambers” and dramatically increased Heritage Month programming, with additional Heritage months honoring the county's Asian Pacific Americans and Native Americans, seniors, and GLBTs.

Amy Buckland - Library Student Journal
Do Something!

When Library Student Journal's (LSJ) founding editor, Eli Guinnee, left, Buckland became editor. She argued in her first issue that LIS students “understand the average user better than many practicing librarians” and “see information needs in new places (and new worlds).”

Guinnee says Buckland has moved into those new worlds, creating a Facebook group for LIS students, an Editors's Blog that's “an important place for LIS students to discuss developments in the field; and LSJ's virtual office in Second Life, where she's also a reference librarian.”

Kim Ricker - University of Maryland Libraries
Data Tracker

In three years, she's taught more than 2500 people to use GIS, managed hardware and software upgrades, surveyed campus GIS needs, and helped faculty use geospatial data to research topics like low-income families' access to dentists who accept Medicaid. One satisfied professor praises her “keen understanding of faculty needs.”

Alexia Hudson - Penn State Great Valley
A Blended Passion

...She “helps students reenvision libraries as a place for continuous professional development with emerging technologies.” Hudson focuses on graduate student orientation, training, and developing the virtual campus in the Second Life Penn State Virtual Worlds project. Her involvement in immersive environments helps libraries “maintain relevance in a highly technical global landscape” and demonstrates her “originality and inventiveness…to promote library services in both the real and virtual world,” says Susan Ware, reference librarian at Penn State Brandywine.

Tony Tallent - Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg Count
Razzle Dazzler

Tony Tallent is an unparalleled generator of ideas. As director of youth and outreach services for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC), he rocks the library, literally. Director Charles Brown says Tallent initiated PLCMC's “first ever rocking music series for young children and their parents,” the enthusiastically received Tricycle Music Fest hyped as “Three months. Three Bands. Three Ways To Rock at the Library.”

Penny Sympson - Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
Creating Customers

Penny Sympson knew when she was hired as corporate librarian for Wiss, Janney, Elstner (WJE) Associates that the firm was considering outsourcing the library. She found that challenge irresistible—and met it. Now WJE's professionals rank their satisfaction with her library as 6.59 out of a possible 7, and the company's president brags that once he “called Penny for a book, and by the time I hung up the phone, she was standing at my door with the item.”

Stephanie Squicciarini - Fairport Public Library
Action Figure

Squicciarini chose to work with teens “because they are so worth it,” but she wanted to do something special for them: she launched the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival ( She organized local librarians and media specialists, and together they lined up the funding, location, and a slew of popular authors. Now entering its third year, the festival has become wildly successful (1000-plus attendance in 2007, double that of year one).

Devo Carpenter - Austin Public Library
Not Clowning Around

Many people know Devona Carpenter as a storyteller at the Austin Public Library. Some know her from her spare-time roles as “Devo the Clown” or as the puppeteer who staged a two-minute production of The Wizard of Oz, complete with tornado, wicked witches, and flying monkeys. But to teens at Austin's Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center, she's the woman who changed their lives, bringing them books and treating them like people with a future.

Karen Brooks-Reese - Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Better Than Cool

Brooks-Reese helps teens expand their skills and gain the respect of their peers. She helps them turn their program ideas into reality. Together, they've created a slew of programs, including Tell-a-Tale Theater (teens bring popular children's books and activities to children at CLP branches); a video contest for teen-designed ads promoting the library; and Behind the Book: Authors Talk to Teens. “I feel that teens will have a greater appreciation of literature if they are directly exposed to those who create it,” she says.

Alison Cody - Loyola Notre Dame Library
Working the Crossroads

Cindy Fisher, one of numerous grateful fellow students at Simmons, called Alison Cody “the glue holding many Simmons GSLIS programs together,” because, as lead technology reference assistant (TRA), Cody helped students and faculty alike with computer problems and created a training manual and wiki for new TRAs. Seeing that fellow students wanted to understand new technologies better, Cody also created and promoted workshops on topics like social software, screencasting, tagging, and more. She even taught them how to run a technology workshop—perhaps so they could replace her.

Lucía González - Broward County Library

Through her programs at the Imagination Factory (an MDPLS program promoting reading through storytelling), she encouraged Hispanic children to read and their parents to read to them. Now with the Broward County Library, she's developed bilingual children's story times for libraries, public schools, and daycare centers throughout the county. Her efforts to expand the library's Dia de Los Niños/El Dia de Los Libros (Children's Day/Book Day) helped the library win the prestigious Mora Award for 2007.

Jamie Watson - Harford County Public Library
Spark Plug

Nationally known for her leadership in YALSA, particularly on its Quick Picks Committee, she also works with Maryland library groups to identify teens' favorite books and moderates book discussions for teens 14 and up ( Her blog, The Mashup: A Blog About Books for Teens, is part of her contribution to public television station WETA's “All About Adolescent Literacy” web site (

Peter Bromberg - South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative

Bromberg's day-to-day work is transforming librarians. He delivers what Rider University librarian Robert Lackie calls “state-of-the-art technology training programs and staff development opportunities for SJRLC's 630 member libraries.” He coaches librarians as they move into leadership positions and shares best practices on blogs, wikis, electronic discussion lists, and chat.

Sarah Erwin & Candice Gwin - Kirkwood Public Library
Team Effort

Though Sarah Erwin (l.) and Candice Gwin are young (28 and 27, respectively) and new on the job, Wicky Sleight, Kirkwood Public Library (KPL) director, attributes KPL's winning tax referendum and its 2007 Missouri Library of the Year award largely to their “work ethic, programming ideas, and service philosophy.”

Sol Gómez - Pima County Public Library
Paying It Forward

Sol Gómez was a construction worker when he entered the University of Arizona's (UA) Knowledge River program, which trains librarians to serve Hispanic and Native American communities. Now, as a branch manager at the Pima County Public Library (PCPL), his raw materials are young minds, and what they're building is a better future.

Kim Fuller - District of Columbia Public Library
On Time, on Budget

With just a $20,000 grant from Idearc Media, 88 Idearc employee volunteers, a few contractors, and staff, Fuller brought the project [the makeover of the Black Studies Center at the city's main library] in, on time and on budget. She also met the other goal, that the makeover of this DCPL crown jewel, a special collection not renovated since the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library opened in 1972, make the same impact as Southeast's renovation. Fuller opened up the space, improved the lighting, created a zone for quiet study, added vibrant color, and installed end-of-stack larger-than-life-size photos of African American heroes.

Lisa Wells - Moore Public Library

Within months of being hired, Wells convinced city leaders to fund both a library renovation and the branch's adoption of RFID as a pilot for the system. She says city officials joke that “if it costs money, it's one of Lisa's ideas!” But she made that investmentpay off: 46,000 of Moore's 50,000 residents have library cards, over 3000 students participate in summer reading programs, and more than 700 people take part in library literacy programs. Wells partnered with a local Baptist college to provide math and science tutoring and with arts agencies to provide summer concerts.

Congratulations, everyone!!

Thanks to Kathryn Greenhill for this blog post title (and for, along with Cindi Trainor, egging me on to do this), and to David Rothman for the magazine cover image which I couldn't find anywhere on the LJ website.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Talkshoe News: New Facebook Application

As predicted by William Spaetzel (see the comments), Talkshoe has launched a new Facebook application (you will need a free Facebook ID to view this page).

According to Greg Schwartz who hosts my favourite show on Talkshoe, Uncontrolled Vocabulary, "this will allow you to listen live to Uncontrolled Vocabulary and participate in the chat room during the live call without ever leaving Facebook."

Want to try it out? Uncontrolled Vocabulary #33 is live tonight 10 to 11 pm Eastern.

More details about the Talkshoe changes in the Press Release.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday Roundup (March 7/08) - An REM video duo

Before I was a book and computer geek, I was a music geek and even DJ'ed for a short period on campus radio. To kick off your weekend (March break?) I offer a couple of REM video selections.

Have you seen their ninetynights promo? Started January 1st, ninety video clips are being released one a day in HD (available for the one day only). Fans are permitted to "remix, remash or otherwise edit" the HD clips. [March 6/08 video removed due to annoyance factor as it played automatically upon entering the blog.]

And here is the song Supernatural Superserious from REM's forthcoming CD Accelerate which REMHQ released via YouTube:

Today's post is dedicated to another REM fan and law librarian, Steven Cohen. ;-)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Upcoming Courses: Professional Learning Centre, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto

I had a couple of messages today from my friend Eva Kupidura at the FIS PLC at the University of Toronto with an update on courses. There are two new course being introduced, plus space still available in three others for March.

One of the classes is my own Social Networking Tools. I have been teaching this introductory survey course on a regular basis since last August. Demand is finally starting to slow up for it. If you still want to catch it, I suggest signing up for the March 28th class. If you can't make it that day, there is one more scheduled for May. We're not sure if there will be enough demand after that, so don't miss out on your chance!

I have to say the other courses here look topical and excellent. I have taken the Information Audit and Mapping Course and can't say enough about it--I found it invaluable to both my work in the law firm and in my understanding of other areas of management.

New--just added:


May 13, 2008
1 day (6 hours) - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Instructor: Penny Clayson
Fee: $240.00

Is your organization facing the challenge of trying to manage it's ever growing email? This interactive course will help you to recognize and understand practical ways of handling your organization's email, improve effectiveness and efficiency, reduce risk, and enhance your compliance in the changing legal environment.

New online course:

24 Mar 2008 - 11 May 2008
7 weeks; online
Instructors: Kathleen DeLong & Pam Ryan
Fee: $395.00

This web-based, instructor-led course is for participants seeking ways to effectively position their library for success with decision-makers and constituents. Advocacy is about raising awareness and gaining commitment that leads to action. Successful libraries understand the advocacy process and exercise professional leadership in the gaining the attention and commitment of decision-makers to address the library's issues. Advocacy may relate to policy, funds, support, or partnership, and may be directed to external or internal decision-makers.

The course includes how advocacy relates to promotion and marketing, how to understand your decision-makers’ environments and their perceptions of libraries, and how to identify and engage key stakeholders. Participants will develop an advocacy plan for a particular issue of
concern (objectives, target groups, obstacles, communication tools, and evaluation) tailored to their own individual situation or environment.

There is still space in the following PLC March courses in Toronto:

Thu. 27 Mar 2008 - Fri. 28 Mar 2008
2 days (12 hours) - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Instructors: Ulla de Stricker & Dennis Ablett
Fee: $425.00

The course is ideal for those in information intensive functions who want to ensure their services and plans are aligned with their organization’s and/or stakeholder community's priorities and preferences. It is also an ideal course for those developing an information management or knowledge management strategy or those working in an organization where the value of content management or information services may not be fully understood.

Fri. 28 Mar 2008
1 day (6 hours) - 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Instructor: Connie Crosby
Location: Toronto
Fee: $240.00

Web 2.0, Facebook, Second Life - have taken the world and the library by storm! Explore these social media networking tools in this hands-on computer lab class. Set up a blog and wiki, view RSS feeds in an aggregator, try a social bookmarking site such as, and create a profile on professional networking site LinkedIn. Look at Flickr, LibraryThing, Ning, Facebook, MySpace and Second Life. Test out the latest apps such as Twitter and Jaiku. We will try some of these and have a "tour" of others, as well as discuss the implications for libraries.

For library technicians, librarians, library managers and directors as well as others interested in Web 2.0.


Mon. 31 Mar 2008 - Tue. 20 May 2008
8 weeks (24 hours) - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Instructor: Carolyn Watt
Location: Toronto
Fee: $625.00

Effective design is the core principle in developing information products (on paper and online) that are appropriate to the environment and are easy to use. But how do we evaluate the effectiveness of an information product? What tools can we use to make sure our products help our users? What is usability and why is it important in the development cycle of any product? How do we use the results of usability tests and assessments to improve the information product? And finally, how do we sell the concept of usability to our colleagues and clients (internal and external)?

For the complete Winter and Spring 2008 schedule check PLC website:

Monday, March 03, 2008

Waiting for News from TalkShoe

I have been using the web show hosting platform TalkShoe a fair bit lately. If you read this blog, you know that I participate in the library show Uncontrolled Vocabulary as much as possible. As well, we used TalkShoe for our last episodes of the Podcamp Toronto Podcast (we recorded Episode #14 last night which should be out soon).

Well, as a member of TalkShoe I received this interesting teaser tonight:

Things at TalkShoe are certainly moving fast and 2008 is proving to be a monumental year. We have already introduced our new web interface, our iPhone application and just last week we saw a new record number of community calls take place! We aren’t resting however, in fact on March 11th we will be making a very exciting announcement of a new application that is sure to put the voice into social networking (that will be my only hint!).
TalkShoe founder Dave Nelson also included an invitation to a meet-up in San Francisco. Too bad I won't be able to make it! But, I look forward to the news.

Connie Crosby on Podcamp: LISTen Episode #11

In this week's episode of the postcast LISTen, StephenK interviews me about Podcamp and the lessons we can take away for libraries. He throws me a couple of "curve-ball" questions, so you can listen how I handle them.