30 September 2008

Some innovative ideas from LibraryThing

LibraryThing currently has two, different promotions going on that will help them out.

The first one is YOU get to help find the next 3 LibraryThing employees. It's a very cool idea and a neat way to find someone they may not have otherwise heard about the position.

Find us a Maine—or anyway within an hour of Portland, ME—employee and we’ll give you $1,000 in books.

We did this once before. It’s how we found John, our Systems Adminitrator. (John found himself, so he got his own $1,000.)

Jobs. We have three potential jobs to fill.

  • Hacker. We’re looking for PHP hacker. JavaScript genius and library-data experience. We hope we get two of those.
  • Graphic designer/user-experience guru. Experience designing for data-rich sites like LibraryThing a must.
  • Brainy, overworked assistant. Smart, flexible, organized, relentless—willing to do both high-level (strategic analysis) and low-level (send-out-these-CueCats) work. The job is non-technical, but you need to be super-comfortable around computers.

Rules! You get a $1,000 gift certificate to Abebooks, Amazon, Booksense or the independent bookseller of your choice. (Longfellow Books? Books Etc.?) You can split it between them. You don’t need to buy books with it (but why do that?).

Here's the complete information for helping LibraryThing find an employee.

The second promotion is a chance to help design a logo for Legacy Library. Here's a description on what the legacy library is:
A group for those interested and involved in entering the personal libraries of famous readers into LibraryThing as Legacy Libraries.
And here's the rules for helping them design a logo.

Some very cool ideas from a very cool group, so make sure you check them out.

29 September 2008

Library 2.0 Conference in Slovakia

Got this via one of the Code4Lib and while I won't be able to attend I thought I'd post here in case others were interested or knew someone that might be. It looks to be an interesting exploration of Library 2.0 concepts and a chance to network with our European colleagues. What I found even more interesting was this tidbit (granted it's from 2008):
When you are not able to visit Elag 2008 this year, you can still follow all plenary meetings via WURTV. All plenary meetings are broadcasted live over the internet. In a split screen you can see the speaker as well as the presentation on the overhead display. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer is required to see WURTV
I can't find any information on whether or not this will be continued in 2009, but how cool that they streamed their videos!

Call for presentations: "New Tools of the Trade", ELAG Conference, 22 – 24 April, 2009,
Bratislava, Slovakia.

Web 2.0, social networking applications, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, facetted searching,
semantic linking and digital documents are just some of the new developments that are
rapidly changing the systems environment in libraries and what users expect from the
systems that they use. To respond to these challenges, systems librarians and developers
need to "re-tool": they need to discover and master new ways of developing and applying
informatics to solve information problems. The ELAG 2009 Conference is calling for
presentations on new tools including:
• innovative software, applications and environments
• emerging formats, protocols and standards or new ways of applying existing standards
• new procedures and techniques

Place: Bratislava, Slovakia
Host: University Library of Bratislava, (Univerzitná knižnica v Bratislave)
Dates: 22 - 24 April, 2009

Deadline for submissions: 24 November, 2008
Address for submission: ron.davies@ec.europa.eu or roy.gundersen@bibsys.no

Further Information is available on the 2008 conference website at http://library.wur.nl/elag2008/
nder "ELAG 2009".

Information for presenters

The emphasis of the ELAG conference is on new developments and practical experience with library technology rather than academic presentations but relevant user studies are welcome. Presentations at the ELAG are generally 20-25 minutes in length to allow time for discussion. The working language of the conference is English.

Submissions should include a 300-word description of the project or topic, references to sites if
available and a short biography of the speaker indicating background, involvement in the project
or activity and public presentation experience. The Programme Committee will review all submissions. Notification regarding acceptance will be made by early January 2009. Speakers are normally expected to provide their own travel accommodation costs and the nominal registration fee.

Programme Committee

Ron Davies, Belgium (Co-chair)
Roy Gundersen, Norway (Co-chair)
Alojz Androvič, Slovakia
Iris Marthaler, Switzerland
Ere Majaila, Finland
Martin Svoboda, Czech Republic
Maja Žumer, Slovenia

What is the ELAG Conference?

ELAG is Europe's premier conference on the application of information technology in libraries and documentation centres. For more than twenty-five years, the ELAG (European Library Automation Group) Conference has provided library and IT professionals with the opportunity to discuss new technologies, to review on-going developments and to exchange best practices. The conference follows a unique format, where subject-specific workshops alternate with single-track plenary presentations and a variety of social activities that provide a memorable opportunity to meet and exchange views with colleagues from a wide range of European countries.

The 2009 conference will be hosted by the University Library of Bratislava, (Univerzitná knižnica v Bratislave or UKB) in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia from 22 to 24 April, 2009.

For information on past conferences go to http://www.elag.org.

15 September 2008

Culling the herd (RSS subscritptions that is)

I just came across this great post by Lee LeFever (of CommonCraft fame) on weeding RSS feed subscriptions. Lee talks about how he was subscribed to feeds not because he wanted to read them, but because he felt he should be reading them. After a period of time of not checking his feeds at all, he decided to start fresh. Now he only subscribes to... well here are his words:
"My RSS reader is now filled with subscriptions to sites that matter to me. These posts are written by people I know and care about. They make me feel like reading RSS is a treat - a few minutes spent being with an old friend."
The post really resonated with me, because this is one of the projects that I've undertaken twice in the last year. In fact I just finished up again today (after reading Lee's post.) I started this weekend by creating a list of all the feeds that I was subscribed too. And then I took a long look at the feeds, what was I getting out of them? Did I start things to follow back up on? How many in the last few months? What information did they really provide? And then I started deleting.

I kept some things like Lifehacker, DownloadSquad even though they post 30 times a day, because for the most part, I do get something out of them. I enjoy seeing what's out there and learning of new technologies. The hard decisions came to those things I felt like I had to be subscribed to, like ResourceShelf. It's got some great information, but the information just didn't seem relevant to me. So I weeded and weeded more.

And after weeding I'm down to 105. I know that sounds like a lot but let me break it down a bit:
10 in Journal subscriptions (update once a month)
5 in Job feeds (you never know)
1 for Hulu updates
15 only update once in a while and are artists or feeds like the Daily Kitten. Their feeds that give me a brief smile, but don't require any thinking.

So that leaves 74. These are feeds that require me to pay attention to what I'm looking at and decide "Is there useful information here?" Of those 74 that are left I feel like I know about 60 of the people that write the blogs through Twitter, FriendFeed, and in some cases I've even met the people(which is always cool and I wanna meet all of them, hopefully that will happen one day.) In many cases they are fellow librarians. Some of these I just added recently and may decide, eh...I can live without them. But for now I stand where I am

11 September 2008

7 years ago today

I'm sure a number of people are writing posts like this today, but I wanted to add what I saw and experienced 7 years ago today, too add my own memory to the collective.

7 years ago today I was finishing up my last semester of undergraduate. In undergraduate I was an art education major and this last semester was spent doing my student teaching. I remember another teacher coming into the room and telling us to turn on the TV something had happened. Students were filing in and out of classes at the time and had no idea what had happened...ours didn't until they set foot into the classroom. And we watched in shock and horror as events unfolded.

An e-mail was sent to teachers/faculty not to tell students anything that was going on. They didn't want them to panic and worry. My school wasn't the only one that did this, many adopted that policy to varying degrees of success as parents pulled their children from school. I guess we were too afraid to turn off the TV, fear over what would happen next. The "mentor" teacher I was working with didn't want the students to do nothing in the classroom, so we left the TV on, volume turned low, and asked the students to keep working. Why we thought we could have a normal class after just the first plane flying into the tower I'll never know, but it didn't last long. I had to reassure students that Rock Hill, SC wasn't going to be attacked by terrorists, that they'd likely hit somewhere else first (yes, I did tell them that they'd go somewhere else first as a way to comfort them, strangely it worked for most). I remember calling friends to make sure they had the news on and that they were okay. I remember going back to campus and most of the campus felt almost unnaturally quiet. Friends gathered and prayed and hoped that all the people we knew were safe. Some of us had just been in NYC in the spring and couldn't imagine how it would be different.

I wish I could say that I had some life changing moment, like Colleen, but I can make no such claim. I did start thinking about things differently and viewing life and friends in a different way and eventually got into the librarian world. I've tried not to take my friends, virtual or real life, for granted (I'm sure I have and if I do just smack me all right?) and that's probably the greatest change that I've had in my way of thinking. (I've always been a liberal, thought deeper thoughts than most kids my age, and been different that everyone else--till I got into librarianship that is). This seems like a good stopping point for now.

Good News Resources

Been a bit slower at posting as MPOW just went back into session and brain being dead. Good news is I've been diagnosed with a sinus infection so hopefully my brain will be back into gear soon and I can post more. Bad news, its a sinus infection.

Wanted to pass this resource/post along. It comes from Phil Bradley, good news resources!
It's a great place to find some literal good news. Particularly in this day and time of always hearing such bad news. Check it out and find some news to lift your day.