Posted in conferences, events

Report on Northwest Archivists Conference

This year’s Northwest Archivists Conference New Frontiers in Archives and Records Management was held at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska at the end of May.   The sessions were on a variety of topics, ranging from usability studies to minimal processing, managing digital photographs to a discussion about the protocols for Native American archival materials.  Two highlights of the conference included the screening of Eskimo,a classic 1933 film, shot on location near Teller, Alaska, which depicts the daily life of the Inuit people and a session on collections from several Alaskan repositories.

Many attendees took advantage of the long daylight hours to hike in the wooded areas near campus with the hope of spotting a moose or two.  Next year’s conference will be held in Portland, Oregon.

At the conference, it was announced that Robyn Ward (OR-7) had been awarded the Northwest Archivists At-Large Student Scholarship.  Congratulations, Robyn!

Posted in ALA, video

Loriene Roy Webcast

Last November, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, ALA President Loriene Roy delivered a lecture at the Library of Congress which was sponsored jointly by the Office of Workforce Diversity, the Law Library and the Center for the Book.   Entitled Guiding Our Destiny, it is now available as a webcast.

Posted in resources, tools, web 2.0 tools

The Future of Web 2.0

The third and last installment of this series by Michael Baird (OR-7).

Web 2.0 has been around for longer than most of us think. It has been labeled and made popular over the fast few years, but it’s nothing new. Blogs and online journals and ezines have been around for quite awhile. I think the basic guts of Web 2.0 are content that is shared and social. This happened back in the days of BBS (bulletin board service) via good ol’ dial-up modem at whopping 2400 baud.

I see the huge surge of web 2.0 technologies (see The Complete Web 2.0 Directory ) dying out and consolidating. Everyone and their mother have a widget or social networking site. It’s just too much. A lot of these are going to quickly die out when the advertising that funds them is withdrawn. I see a lot of mergers or go-betweens for the larger companies. As an example: MySpace and Facebook. Why can’t they play nice together? It’d be so handy to do all of the same things in one place and not have 80 different and overlapping friend sets online. Standards are being developed to facilitate this very thing.

Services will need to become more transparent and intuitive. What does this mean? I want my Facebook and MySpace photos to be derived from my Flickr account. Why should I have to maintain 3 sets of the same photos?

Keeping up

Subscribe to these blogs, skim through them and read what interests you. Do it every day.

Infodoodads (I contribute to this blog)

Tame the Web: Libraries and Technology



43 folders (not necessarily very web 2.0, but it will improve your life, I guarantee it)

Posted in resources, tools, web 2.0 tools

My Favorite Web 2.0 Tools

This week Michael Baird (OR-7), talks about a few of his favorite web 2.0 tools. Please feel free to post your favorites in the comments!


Use Flickr to store and share digital photographs. I have a few thousand on my personal Flickr account. Whenever I’m watching a movie or TV I’ll log in and tag/title photos. Some people knit, I tag. Organize your photos into sets, collections. Join groups with folks that have similar interests, have discussions about those interests. Set privacy settings on your photos so your friends can see your crazy party pictures but your mom can only see those that are public or tagged for family.


This is an online productivity suite. For those of you who may have delved into Google Docs & Spreadsheets you won’t be straying too far from home but instead get a massive remodel. Zoho includes a word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, conferencing, a notetaker, database creation, and a few more fun things I can’t remember at the moment. The notetaker is pure gold. It’s like Microsoft OneNote, but web-based. Feature packed with more options than Google and just as collaborative. I’ve used this for my last several presentations.


This might be a little basic for some of you, but I think it’s just important enough to cover anyway. A lot of sites out there have the little orange buttons to subscribe to their RSS feed. If you like the site and want to keep up with it, but not navigate to it every day to check if something new has happened, you’ll want to subscribe to their feed. Bloglines is what we call a feed aggregator. It keeps track of your RSS feeds and shows you which ones have new content available for viewing. There are a ton of these aggregators out there, some are programs you install on your computer, others are web-based like Bloglines. Instead of navigating to 60 different websites each day, I just open up Bloglines and take 20 minutes to get updated in all of the things I care about. It’s that easy.

Posted in conferences, resources, tools, web 2.0 tools

Part 1: Web 2.0 Tools/ Web 2.0 for Libraries and Librarians

This is the first part of a three-part series on Web 2.0 tools written by Michael Baird, (OR-7), Evening Reference Coordinator at the Oregon State University Valley Library. Michael is one of five librarians who post on Infododads, a blog which “reviews and discusses existing and new tools, services, and technology for finding information on the internet.” He will be the lead presenter discussing “Information Discovery for Librarians – Keeping Up with Web 2.0” at the Online Northwest 2008 Conference on February 22nd.

Two great introductions to Web 2.0 are a youtube entitled The Machine is Us/ing Us and this article by Tim O’Reilly entitled “What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software”.

Subject Research Guides / Website Guides –

Use the linkroll feature for lists of links maintained in subject research guides or website guides. You don’t have to edit the webpage to change/edit/add links, just edit that group of links in your account. Look in the Other Suggested Resources section in the the Chelmsford Public Library for an example.

For a (relatively) small investment, Libguides is an amazing service that offers branded custom “widgets” that may be used as subject guides or portals for users. These widgets can pull in all sorts of information: RSS feeds, embedded video or podcasts, tag clouds and a lot more. Some even have live chat widgets (Meebo, Chatango, etc.) embedded. Here’s an example from Boston College University Library.

The Catalog –

What if you could rate items in the catalog? Comment on them? Leave recommendations for other users? Not possible? Sure it is. Check out this link for “A thread of grace” by Mary Doria Russell at Hennepin County Library. Note that the book has comments as well as tabs for summary, reviews, and excerpt.

Hennepin is also a great example of another web 2.0 technology in library catalogs. Is there a search you repeat on a regular basis? Do you have a favorite author? Add an RSS feed for your search and be notified when new items for that search are added to the catalog. Here is the RSS code for a keyword search on Miles Davis. Just copy and paste it into your feed aggregator (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.).

Announcements –

Instead of updating text on your library homepage for each new event, service, or news update, use a blog. Again, this really opens the arena for any user to have the skills to create and publish the content. Aside from the initial setup, web skills are not necessary. Here is an example from Western Oregon University Library using a blog to feed news items to their home page. This library has two blogs feeding to their homepage: one for featured databases and one for announcements. The way these display is completely customizable so they “fit” the look and feel of the existing page and blend in.

Next week Michael writes about his favorite Web 2.0 tools.


Posted in blogging about LIS, publishing

The Secret Life of a Library Journal Reviewer

April Younglove (OR7) shares her experience as a reviewer for Library Journal.

Ding dong! “That’s odd,” I thought to myself, “I’m not expecting anyone.” It was 11 AM on a Monday, and solicitors rarely made it through my building’s closed entryway and all the way up the flight of stairs to my apartment. I cautiously opened my door and looked out, but didn’t see anyone. Then I noticed a mysterious bulge beneath my doormat. When I lifted up the mat, I found a package underneath it — even though I couldn’t recall ordering anything. I took the brick shaped package into my house and examined it. The return address said: “Library Journal.” Then I remembered! A month earlier I had responded to an email looking for social science reviewers for the journal. I had filled out and returned the extensive attached application with only mild hopes, and had not heard back yet. Was this a book for me to review? When I ripped open the package, I found my first Advance Reading Copy inside with accompanying instructions. They were brief. The paper listed a few guidelines in bullet point form, specified a 200 word limit, and had a two week deadline written in red ink across the top. I felt like my childhood hero Maxwell Smart. I had been given a surprise secret assignment just for me — a mission to accomplish!


Reviewers typically receive either an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) or galley in the mail. They then must respond within the next few days if they do not wish to review the book because of time constraints or a conflict of interest. An ARC usually looks like the finished paperback on the outside, but on the inside it has not undergone a final edit. ARCs are given to reviewers and publicists a few months before the book is scheduled to hit bookstores in order to provide information about the book and to generate interest. One can usually tell that a book is an ARC because it identifies itself as such with a sticker or notation on the outside or with stamps or other labels on the inside. In one ARC that I received, there were still footnotes from the editor throughout the text telling the author to verify a fact here and insert an additional story there. A galley is similar to an ARC except that it does not have the finished paperback quality that you would expect from a purchased copy. The pages are made from lower quality paper and then bound with cardstock and binding tape. Although there is no law against selling ARCs and galleys, it is common courtesy not to circulate an unfinished copy of someone’s work; I don’t know of any bookstores that will purchase one. Advance books for reviewers are meant to be either kept by the reviewer or recycled.


After penning a review that meets the requirements, a reviewer sends her or his work to an editor – in my case, I email my reviews to the social science editor of Library Journal. The editor then responds, usually by asking for clarification on a particular point or by suggesting minor changes or improvements. I try to get back to the editor with a revised copy or a series of facts and answers within a day or so after her response. My review is then published in the next month’s issue, and after publication it may be picked up and republished as a blurb by sources like or Barnes & Noble.


Remember that even a simple reviewer’s words can carry great power. A reviewer must be scrupulous about the facts that she cites and should always be prepared to back up her description of the work with passages from the book itself. A poor review in Library Journal can equate to poor library sales for an author. An unfavorable Library Journal review that is picked up by can be even worse for that author. I am not advocating that reviewers overlook a book’s weaknesses or ignore other points that should be critiqued. I am suggesting that reviewers strive to be as balanced as possible though. After an unhappy author questioned a review that I published this year, I have learned to cast a more critical eye on my own writing.


If you are thinking of becoming a reviewer, you should expect reviewing to be a major time commitment that can show up at random on any day, regardless of what you already have scheduled. You should also keep in mind that sometimes your final printed review will be minus a sentence that you particularly liked, or that your editor may insert an additional adjective or two based on the information that you gave her. In addition, I prefer and often read the kind of lengthy and detailed reviews that have become popular in publications like Salon, The Christian Science Monitor, or The New York Times. Unfortunately for me, writing a 200 word book review is much more like composing a good haiku than it is like writing an introduction to the next Great American Novel. Because of the length restriction though, I am learning to become a better more disciplined writer. I also still get a big kick out of seeing my name in one of the most widely read journals in my field. And finally, I enjoy knowing that my reviews are actively helping other librarians make good choices about what to purchase for their libraries. But the best part of being a reviewer? It is the thrill that I get when I see a new and mysterious package beneath my mat and I wonder what it contains. Will my next mission will be exciting or routine? Will I discover new things? Am I up to the challenge? My heart begins to race a little as I pick up the plain outer wrapping to see what is inside . . .


Apply to become a Library Journal reviewer:


As a LIS student, you are eligible to receive a free one-year subscription to the Library Journal. Offer expires December 31, 2007. Just print out the form found here, fill it out and mail.

Posted in events, presentations, web 2.0 tools

A Little More Help from Your Friends: Social Bookmarking

Rachel Bridgewater (Oregon 4) will present a SirsiDynix Institute
seminar entitled “A Little More Help from Your Friends: Social Bookmarking” on November 13, at 8 am. These seminars are free, but you do need to register. They will also be available afterwards free of charge, at your convenience, on the SirsiDynix Institute website.

Here is a description of her presentation:

Is there a better way to bookmark? This question has inspired many of us to turn to social bookmarking as a method of keeping track of favorite websites. But if we’re having a hard time keeping track of our own information, can adding a social element possibly help the situation? And aren’t tags just a messier way of organizing information? Whether “folksonomy” is Greek to you or you’ve been tagging your bookmarks in since back in the day, this session will deliver insight into the broad concepts involved with social classification as well as examining nuts-and-bolts practical applications.