The Year in First Lines

There is a meme going on.   I am not going to tag you.   It never works anyway.   Just do it if you want to do it.  🙂

December: Oh yeah, there’s been a hiatus.

November: So, I can generally get funding for approximately one conference per year.

 October: I’m happy to say that the Halifax Public Libraries have launched their Learning 2.0 program with quite a bit of fanfare

September: I was absolutely astonished to discover that I am #22 on the Online Education Database’s list of the top 25 bloggers.

August: Ok.. It all happened on July 25th, but René Simon Deschamps was stuck in an incubator with a bili problem for the past little while.

July: Yes, one year of the Other Librarian as of 1pm July 5th.

June: At the CLA Emerging Technologies Interest Group Pre-Conference, Mark Leggott presented something he titled “Library 2.0: Threads in the Tapestry.”

May: The big story today was the Ontario government’s banning of Facebook from staff computers.

April:

Accident I took these pictures over the past week just up the street from my house.

March: Finally, Mark Leggott has responded and kicked the Slow Library off in the way that it should — with its originator!

February: Having invited a few people to play around with a test server and default version of Joomla, I figured I could start sharing what I know about this Content Management System (CMS) and how I think you should approach a website architecture with the knowledge that you are moving from a static website to a CMS.

January:  This is the exact way I met my wife. . .
(More or less) The only thing it needs is Michael Stephens wearing a bun.

Advertisements

Tell me what you think. . .

We are launched in beta with a new website over the holiday on January 17, 2008 and I would really appreciate your feedback. Your information will be really valuable to me because we are already looking at a review of the website just as fast as we launch it. True to principle, we may never get out of beta.

Untrue to principle, at least for the short term, there are no RSS feeds yet. They will be coming I promise — it’s just that there are some minor tweaks that need to happen and folks are doing vacations right now. Look out for them on the left hand side of the page, beneath the programs though.

I’d would also really like it if people could do a test using the following:

1. A mac

2. A screen reader or other assistive technology.

3. Non-Firefox or IE browsers.

4. Handheld browsers, especially the iPhone.

As any web designer knows, it’s really hard and expensive to cover every single base out there. We are using web standards, so most things should be fairly operable, but you can only be sure if you actually have a system in front of you.

A Month-Long Change of Theme. :)

Oh yeah, there’s been a hiatus.   Lots of real life going on these days.   But here are some interesting things:

  • I will be presenting at Computers in Libraries on the use of laptop labs in libraries.   This is exciting because fellow Library Society of the Worlders, Steve Lawson, Joshua Neff, and Rikhei Harris are going too.   And there’ll be more I’m sure, though I haven’t seen the whole schedule yet.
  • I changed the theme of my blog for a festive feel.  What do you think?
  • I’m moving my stuff into a new house this month, which is pretty exciting and sad.  I love this house, but for my kids I want to live closer to a school.

Carnival of the Infosciences #84

 So the big news for this Carnival post is that most of y’all were too busy eating turkey to send in submissions.   So this one’ll be fairly short and sweet.

Larry Ferlazzo thought the set of tutorials from the Calgary Public Library would be pretty useful.   I agree — it’s always good to show people where to find the good learning tools.

Anna Creech, the Eclectic Librarian sent in Mark Lindner’s article on DDC with this comment:  “I know it’s a little old, but I found it to be an interesting read. It’s rare that something about cataloging doesn’t make my eyes glaze over, and this addresses and important issue with traditional library cataloging structures. ”

 Kathryn Greenhill put in an interesting article of her own entitled “Website or Web Presence?” basically outlining how web design is very much like web marketing these days — in all its modes:  promotion, understanding the user and so on.

ANd finally, Katie of the Young Librarian sends in “LibWorld: Library and Librarian Blogs of the World” by the Filipino Librarian.  The biblioblogosphere definitely has a good lot of North Americans out there, it is nice to see that library blogging is catching on in other places as well.

An Other Carnival of the Infosciences (#84)

I just couldn’t resist joining in on the fun, so The Other Librarian is the host for the next Carnival of the Infosciences.

“So what?” you say.    “So what do you want to see in the next issue?” is my reply.

It works like this:  you tag something with “carninfo” in del.icio.us with a  little comment or something over the next week, and I’ll post all about it come next Monday.  That’s it.

And if you don’t want to del.icio.us, then you can use the submission form instead.

Of course, if you wanted to host the Carnival yourself, you can just find an open slot in the wiki, read through the hosting guidelines, and send Chadwick a message telling him your intentions.

Jerk: the Current Library Brand?

I found this to be an interesting quote from Tim Sanders, who wrote The Likeability Factor, in a news article I read today.

“In this bloggable, cell phone camera world, your brand on the inside is going to be your brand on the outside. If you have a bunch of jerks, your brand is going to be a jerk.”

I think libraries as a whole have to consider the “plays well with others” factor in who they hire — for sure.   It’s pretty simple, if libraries send jerks out to the community — the library is going to be considered a jerk too.   And, however stereotypical, it’s hard to say that “grumpy & scowling” has not been part of the library brand for quite a while now.   (Jerk?   Well, I’d agree with that too, but I won’t add a link for that because I might end up calling some nice guy or girl a jerk).    Thank goodness for efforts to change that image [snark].

This only goes to show that a user-centric library may have to also be fairly librarian-centric in the end.   If we want to change our brand to something positive, we will have to invest our time and energy in attracting positive non-jerk librarians in the end.   For alot of countries (and the U.S. is an exception to this) that are going to be looking at labor shortages in the next couple of years, this is going to be more and more difficult.   In other words, it goes to show that going on a manifesto of user-centricity is not going to be enough to satisfy the needs of our users in the end.   We have to consider the whole package.   We can’t be user-centric, if our employees are jerks.

Flocking to Flock?

A new browser, just out of beta!    I gave Flock a try and it’s pretty fun, actually.    The main feature I would say are the social-software integration.   This browser is intended to handle all of those accounts that you’ve booked into, whether it be Facebook, or Twitter or Flickr.

The big feature I would say are the sidebars.   There is a “People” sidebar that will store all of your social software friends’ info for easy access all the time (“no sir, I’m not on facebook — it’s just constantly hooked into my browser!”).  And then there’s a media sidebar that can remind you of all your favorite pictures, videos and whatnot.  There’s a “My World” tab which appears to be a built-in portal of all your favorite things.

flock.gif

There’s alot of fun to be had here.    Who says that the Web is platform?  It’s like we almost forgot that it’s the browser that helps us turn that web into a platform.   Flock seems to be a strong reminder of that fact.