Tell Me Something Good

monday-morning-inspiration-quotes-e1442491467149Tell Me Something Good is a simple challenge that prompts bloggers to share a nugget of positive news or wisdom and it’s started by the creator of A Momma’s View.

So for all of you who would like to play along and stick to the rules, here they are:

  • I enjoyed the neighborhood Monday cocktail (or wine), appetizers and conversation. I love that the neighbors or a few of them gather regularly in the summer months. Everyone brings their own drink and an appetizer to share.
  • I’m getting excited and planning my short trip to New York in a few weeks. I’ll be going to my sister’s wedding on the 26th and will be there till the 30th.
  • I’ve been enjoying volunteering at two different libraries. In Northbrook, I get to help out in the maker space and at Skokie I’m helping in Readers’ Service and A/V. In both areas I am learning a lot.
  • I savored the elegance of Gilded Age portraits like these at the Drieshaus Museum’s member’s preview of their newly opened exhibit.

It’s easy:

Mention something that you consider being good in the comments

• Or write a post about it on your blog (please don’t forget the pingback if you do so I don’t miss out and also share the link to it in the comments below). Something good that happened to you recently, or something good you will experience in a little while, or something good you know will happen soon. Something that makes you feel good.

• Share this post and invite your followers as well.

 

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Dyslexic Fonts on eBooks

I discovered that eBook services commonly offered by public libraries have fonts you can choose that help people with dyslexia read. These fonts’ letters are heavier on the bottom. Researchers have found that this makes reading easier for those with dyslexia.

I wanted to share how people can get these fonts so I made a short video using Adobe’s Spark and Screencast-o-matic. You can do quite a bit with their free features.

Please share this information so more can use it.

Poem of the Week

In the Library
by Charles Simic

There’s a book called
A Dictionary of Angels.
No one had opened it in fifty years,
I know, because when I did,
The covers creaked, the pages
Crumbled. There I discovered

The angels were once as plentiful
As species of flies.
The sky at dusk
Used to be thick with them.
You had to wave both arms
Just to keep them away.

Now the sun is shining
Through the tall windows.
The library is a quiet place.
Angels and gods huddled
In dark unopened books.
The great secret lies
On some shelf Miss Jones
Passes every day on her rounds.

She’s very tall, so she keeps

Her head tipped as if listening.

The books are whispering.

I hear nothing, but she does.

[categories poetry]

Thoughts on the Future of Reference Library Services

What kinds of sources or services might you be able to develop to meet the needs of your patrons?

I would hope to provide better information literacy/fluency courses for patrons, not only those who’re timid or unfamiliar with the databases, but also for those who’re pretty proficient and could be come power users if given more instruction. I’d like to be part of making short YouTube videos on different sources so that instruction would be available with a click any time of day.

I’d also like to use Scoop.it to curate community news and pertinent topics like parenting, job hunting, film, culture and keeping on top of technology. I’d like to see community volunteers contribute the the Scoop.it boards.

I’d like to take part in community outreach through programs like “Laptop Librarian” who sets up shop now and then at a cafe, train station or community center.

What do you think the future holds for reference?

I think the future holds amazing things for reference services and collections. I’d like to see more sources that cover more countries, rather than just the U.S. and come in more languages. I’d like to see better, more sophisticated training for patrons. People will become more information savvy particularly digital natives who get good information literacy instruction in their K-12 education. Thus public and academic libraries can concentrate on moving people even further. I think the ready reference questions will continue to decline and more involved questions will keep coming our way.

Money’s a big unknown. I fear municipalities may think our services aren’t as important so they’ll cut back on funding. It will continue to be crucial for libraries to prove their worth.

Michael Casey and Laura Savastinuk assert that libraries will become more democratic and users will take on a greater role in the direction of libraries, which I think will intimidates some librarians. I see this change as good. If they’re engaging, they care. They also contend that we’ll need to reach out to non-users and we can do thing through long-tail collections, i.e. the ability to satisfy those who’re looking for items that aren’t on the best seller list or blockbuster films, but that are in demand when people find them. Chris Anderson illustrates this well when he points out that when Into Thin Air was published, a lot of readers discovered Touching the Void, through Amazon.com. Demand from this book suddenly was sparked. We’ll have to be mindful of this long-tail effect for our collections and we’ll constantly be surprised by what patrons discover in this way.

What does the future hold for your library?

Since I don’t work in a library yet, I’ll answer based on UICU and the Northbrook Public Library.

Both will have to stay on top of electronic sources and to up their games in terms of instruction. Blogs, videos, and a myriad of means of communication will be the norm. One-size-fits-all won’t work Some people will avoid the chat box, others will still come in person. No library will be able to sit on its laurels and the days of “plan, implement, and forget” are gone. People will expect to have their comments and ideas heard.

Libraries will have to embrace the role of incubator rather than only as a place to offer knowledge. To stay current, I think libraries will also offer assistance for patrons who are more active in creating knowledge.

Librarians will have to learn how to collaborate and constantly learn in a very effective manner, because change and development will continue at a brisk pace. As a respondent to Tenopir’s survey said, “This explosion [in resources] challenges the self-concept of those who think that as a librarian, they need to know everything about all the resources. The new technologies help reference services only to the extent that the librarians have embraced those technologies and the new world in which librarians are valued for their ability to handle ambiguity and unknown situations or resources.” So librarians need to be flexible in how they view their work and roles.

Reference

Anderson, Chris, “The Long Tail,” Wired, October 2004. www.wired.com/wired/archive
/12.10/tail.html

Homework: Bibliography Questions

1. Who is the editor of School Library Journal?

The Editorial Director of School Library Journal is Rebecca T. Miller. I found this by going to slj.com and when I didn’t see a masthead on the About Us page, I looked for a column since many periodicals have a column by the editor and this is no exception.

“Rebecca T. Miller.” (2014). School Library Journal. Web. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/author/rmiller/ on March 21, 2014.

2. I need a review of The Lightening Thief by Riordan.

I first searched Book Reviews Online and found 14 reviews for this novel and more for its other formats, e.g. audio book and graphic novel.

I also checked New Yorker and found they published a review as well:

Diones, Bruce. (2010). “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” New Yorker 86.3: 14. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.

I loved the ease of use of Book Reviews Online, but they don’t list reviews printed in newspapers and magazines, which can have value. This bibliography seemed accurate and worth returning to.

3. I need to find a library that holds the work Avvisi di Costantinopoli that was published in Venice in the 17th century.

I searched worldcat.org and found that Harvard University has Avvisi di Costantinopoli, which was published in 1684 in Venice. Even though I trust World Cat since our text and professor recommend it, I searched Harvard’s library and it is there, available for in library use.

4. I am looking for a copy of Pride and Prejudice in Romanian. Can you help me?

Using World Cat OCLC, I found that the following libraries have Jane Austen’s classic in Romanian.

I looked on AddALL.com, but there were no copies available in Romanian. Amazon.com has the Romanian Thesaurus Edition of Pride and Prejudice. Depending on my library’s policies, I might offer to acquire the book through Amazon. I tried Project Gutenburg Europe for a copy to download, but that site seems to be abandoned.

I trust World Cat OCLC, “a network leader,” because it’s widely used and recommended in our text and by several professors.

5. Is there really a publisher by the name of “Small Beer Press?”

First I searched Literary Marketplace’s database and found no listing of them. Then I searched Yahoo and did find Small Beer Press. They only accept paper manuscripts and queries and they promise to read all submissions, thus I think they’re a very small organization.
Small Beer Press: http://smallbeerpress.com/category/books/
Literary Marketplace: No listing. See link below:
http://www.literarymarketplace.com/lmp/us/publishersorglist.asp?Name=S&publicationid=1&xsectionid=1&whichpage=3&pagesize=50

6. I really liked Neil Gaiman’s ‘Good Omens. What other authors or titles might I like?

I used Novelist to find some books that this patron might like. Under similar authors, my search yielded nine titles. The first five are: Gil’s All Fright Diner by L. Martinez, Shades of Grey by J. Fforde, Sacre Bleu by C. Moore, Gravity’s Rainbow by T. Pynchon and four more. The Author Read-alikes included Michael Chabon, Steven Milhauser, Clive Barker, Charles DeLint, Stephen King and four more.

I like that each author or title is followed by a succinct explanation for the suggestion as well as the person who provided the suggestion. I consider this source reliable because my professor recommends it and both the UICU and Northbrook libraries subscribe to it.

Reader’s Online Advisory offered five authors that Gaiman fans might enjoy. To find title read-alikes, I had to click on Gaiman’s name and then the title. The sidebar didn’t offer this choice so at first I didn’t think Title read-alikes were availab.e
“Neil Gaiman or Good Omen Read-alikes.” (2014). Novelist. Web Retrieved March 24, 2014.
“Neil Gaiman or Good Omen Read-alikes.” Web Retrieved March 26, 2014.

7. Does the 11th edition of the Guide to Reference Books recommend the Bopp & Smith text used in this class? Speculate as to why or why not.
It lists this book, but doesn’t recommend our text but it does list it. I thought I’d see if it recommends other reference texts and I found the page (see next page). My best guess is that as a text, this isn’t a book that a library would seek to acquire for its collection or that some of the contributors may be editors for this guide.

My favorite source this week was Novelist because I could spend all day reviewing the various recommendations. It is easy to use and intriguing. I thought the Literary Marketplace had a poor, outdated web design also it didn’t yield Small Beer Press.

Library Wars

LIBRARY-WARS

Is an idea worth fighting for?

Library Wars is a Japanese film based on a manga series by Hiro Arikawa. The film focuses on the conflict between the Japanese Library System’s credo of supporting protecting intellectual freedom and the government’s Media Betterment Act of 1989 that legalizes censorship.

The story opens in 2019 when the Betterment Squad, a band of armed men all dressed in black suits, open fire in a library killing all but one librarian. Next the Betterment Squad descends on a bookstore where they pull all the improper books off the shelves and out of the hands of customers. One high school student, Iku Kasahara, hides an adventure book behind her back and which the Betterment Police soon find. A tug of war between Iku and the book police ensues. When the Library Defense Squad, a department of the library system that’s armed and can shoot to warn, arrive one of its soldiers comes to the girl’s aid. He approves the book for library purchase. Immediately this soldier becomes the girls hero. Iku plans to follow in his footsteps.

Years later Iku joins the Library Defense Force. She’s an energetic, able, idealistic recruit who soon becomes the sole woman to make it into their elite force. Yet she does so despite Dojo, her drill sargent’s harsh treatment of her.

The film’s got an upbeat didactic tone, as many manga do. Itu is a typical genki (i.e. Energetic in a very Japanese way) woman. She’s easy to root for as she has the right mix of skill, idealism and flaws.

Though Dojo’s unfair to Itu, we forgive him because his tough treatment is a result of his idealism and eventual love for this rookie.

Library Wars is a fun film with a message. The message is put out there rather blatantly, but I found I could excuse that as I don’t often see intellectual freedom promoted to the culture at large. Like manga do, it makes an esoteric idea accessible and can promote discussion of big ideas like intellectual freedom amongst us ordinary folk. While the film should fall flat for its message, it doesn’t because you sense the characters do believe that intellectual freedom is worth dying for.

Amazing, huh?