Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Earth Album

Inspired by Civillibrarian ("inspired" sounds so much better than "copying", don't you think?) I took a look at Earth Album, a mashup that smooshes flickr and Google maps. Behold, Sarah's guided tour to Cambridge:

Here's the campus where I lived for 4 years. I walked to work this way, and worked here and here as a University library clerk.

I ate lunch here, and spent too long here.

And now I'm feeling a little homesick...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lady Constance Stewart Richardson (LOC)

I was going to post a picture of some library managers doing a role-play at a training session, but I opened my flickr account and there was this amazing photograph, courtesy of the Library of Congress' flickr stream. Lady Constance is fascinating - I found the following excerpt in "Every Woman's Encyclopedia":

A daughter of the late Earl of Cromartie and sister of the present Countess of Cromartie-who succeeded to the title on the death of her father, there being no heir to the peerage-lady Constance has earned the reputation of being the most unconventional and daring personage in smart society. She has carried everything before her as a swimmer; has explored parts of India in which no other white woman has trod; has lassoed cattle in Texas; started the fashion among women of wearing a kilt for shooting and fishing in the Highlands, and of riding astride in Rotten Row, while, at the beginning of 1910, she appeared at the Palace Theatre, London, in a series of the classical dances made popular by Miss Maud Allan. Lady Constance married Sir Edward Stewart-richardson in 1904, part of their honeymoon being spent in Somaliland-for Sir Edward is very fond of big-game hunting. The bride's unconventional costume was a soldier's grey flannel shirt, open at the throat, with sleeves rolled up, khaki trousers, and a cowboy's hat. Lady Constance, who is now thirty years of age, has two sons, and lives for the greater part of the year at Pitfour Castle, Perthshire.

According to an abstract of a NYT article, in 1913 she was called to account for her scandalous dance costume and suggestive poses. I'm not sure how scandalous this pose is, but she does look like a woman who flouts convention.

Stumbling upon these pictures, in my photostream, without having to go to a library site - what the LOC has done is to put its collections (which are, in point of fact, public collections) where the public already is, so the public can discover them.

Which is the point of Library 2.0, I think.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Online Collaboration Tools

OK, got this from Stephen's Lighthouse, just blogging so I don't lose the link - ReadWriteWeb guide to online collaboration tools. Sweet!

My creation

My creation
Originally uploaded by sdentan
OK, on to thing #10, playing with image generators. I'm a fan of the fake-painting filter, myself... But now I've got my flickr linked with big huge labs linked with this blog...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Library Blogs

Hey 27-thing-ers, still looking for Library-related feeds? There's a list of the top 50 librarian blogs here. I'm not sure what EdGuru's methodology was, but you might find something that interests you!

Social Media Club

Last night I attended my first Sacramento Social Media Club event – the topic? Government 2.0 & Social Media.

The panel covered a lot, and my notes are a little sketchy (I didn’t bring a notebook, so my notes are scrawled all over the speaker bio sheet), but here’s what stood out for me [my thoughts are in brackets].

Websites are moving out of IT and into Communications [in libraries, into the program/services arena]. Of course there needs to be collaboration among all groups, but IT is no longer the driver/owner of these things. Social networking policy should be decided at the management level, not in IT.

Government is intrinsically conservative/slow at adopting new technologies, but Obama campaign changed everything. From a campaign perspective, the trick now is to use tools effectively, manage client expectations. Metrics don’t yet exist to measure impact of social media – it’s there, but we don’t know how to measure it yet. Building relationships (actually, networks of contacts) isn’t the hard part – it’s keeping that network alive. Also, need to monitor social network for activity related to our organizations. [Individuals are driving this process by personal participation in social networks, the blurring of personal/professional online means institutions have a presence whether they intend to or not.]

Social media can be mapped on two scales, hype and utility/value. For political campaigns, low hype high value is preferred. [Libraries could benefit from high hype/high value – improves our image while being useful – what should we be looking at?]

Government activities:
Social Media Council of the Federal Web Managers’ Council (they don’t do acronyms) is working on best practices for social media in government. See particularly EPA work around Earth Month [and Library of Congress on flickr, YouTube, etc.] Advocating consistency, standards rather than rules. Naming conventions and more here.

Governor is highlighting State dept’s social media presences, will eventually have a directory [why isn’t the Library doing this, or connecting to it?]

Message of the day – social media moves fast, gives quick feedback. Allows us to “fail quickly and move on”.

I enjoyed the evening, it was friendly, informative, and there were snacks and beer on offer. I traded cards with a few folks, including a woman who I first noticed when she tweeted about our recent amnesty week. I left before the serious networking started, but it looked like a fun bunch of folks.

Update: Video!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Things 8 and 9

So I took a look at Bloglines, and decided I like Google Reader better. I've already got a number of feeds sent to Google Reader, and I discovered, completely by accident, that all the Blogger blogs I follow through 27 things go to my Reader without any extra effort on my part. So I'm sticking with Google on this one.

That said, I'm always ready for some good Library feeds. I've given up on listservs - anything of substance gets blogged eventually, and 14 years of following the same seasonal debates (xmas trees in libraries - generic holiday cheer or harbinger of the end of religious freedom?) seems enough to me.

This morning I added the Library of Congress blog... You know how much I love LoC (and if you don't, read this). Other folks I read regularly can be found in the "folks I read" sidebar on the left there - I'll be adding more of my regulars soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Model for Service

The Model for Service blog has just debuted - you can find it here . I hope you'll check it out and comment - it should be a great place to ask questions, get answers, share ideas, and generally take advantage of the smart, creative, and generous community that makes up SPL.
If you're interested in being able to post to the Model for Service blog, let me know, and I'll get you listed. The more people we have participating, the better resource the blog becomes!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I have updated, I really have!

So for some reason the blogroll at SPL27things thinks I haven't updated for 8 months. But I have! I have! I hope they can figure out a way to fix it.

Of course, if they fix it and I still have no followers, I'll feel pretty silly...

And I'm including a gratuitious image from The Commons on flickr, because I love the photo and I love The Commons - and DC Public Library has just joined, so they've got even more great images on offer!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm a sucker for fake motivational posters. I threw this one together the Motivator Generator at Big Huge Labs, where you can do this and other things to your photos.

Right now, though, my library-related technology obsession is focused on sighting SPL Amnesty Week in the "civilian world". I do a daily Twitter search in the hopes of finding more references (4 so far, and not all of those are from SPL employees).

Which leads me to another obsession, whether library bloggers/facebookers/tweeters are effectively promoting the library. Right now, the majority of my social network is from the planet Librariana (a term designated by the non-librarian boyfriend of a colleage, attending his first Library conference). Figuring out how to break that wall of isolation and communicate with the real world, now that's the next challenge. I'm pretty sure an official library twitter/facebook/blogger identity would be a good start. I'm finding a number of corporate library presences on the various social media resources I frequent, and they're being followed and friended by people who are simply interested in what the library is doing. I think this would be a valuable tool in our promotional arsenal (and essentially free!)

Friday, April 10, 2009


If Easter is your holiday, I hope you enjoy it as much as this lady did...

(And have I mentioned how much I love The Commons on flickr?)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What's down here?

What's down here?
Originally uploaded by sdentan
I'm testing blogging directly from flickr. I don't have many Library photos in my flickr account, but that will change now that I have something to do with said photos!


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

And I'm leaving it up to prove I did it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Library of Congress, how I love you!

OK, I presume we'll be getting to online photo and video sharing (i.e. flickr and YouTube) eventually, but I just got some news that is thrilling to my inner library nerd as well as cementing my love of the Library of Congress.

The LoC is proving to be a real force for pioneering remote access of public collections. They started digitizing their collections years ago, and the American Memory collection of collections is still a fascinating way to kill some time at the reference desk (and learn something, too).

But the LoC didn't stop there. In a move that made lots of archivists and traditionalists nervous, they started putting their collections on flickr, the public photosharing website. In my estimation, this was revolutionary - rather than waiting for the public to find them, they put their materials where the public already was. They also enabled community tagging, making it possible for any member of the public to add a search term to an item. The world did not come crashing down on the heads of catalogers and archivists, and other libraries and museums have built on the work of the LOC. Flickr is now home to The Commons, a searchable, taggable repository of public photographic collections. Again, a great way to spend free time. And as a bonus, most of these images are copyright free, so it's a fun place to look for images to spice up presentations!

This brings me to my latest discovery - LoC now has it's own YouTube channel! I haven't had time to do much digging, and there's not much there yet, but it looks to once again put library material where the users and non-users already are. This seems the ultimate outreach.

I am so pleased that my tax dollars support the work of this institution. They are expanding the possibilities for libraries and archives beyond the walls of their buildings, and I can only hope we all go along for the ride.

Monday, April 6, 2009

27 Things, here it comes!

Well, it's time to start 27 Things. I first started this blog when I was following along with "All together now", the SLJ version of PLCMC's 23 Things, but then I got busy and it all kind of slipped away. This time I'm hoping to stay on track a little more closely.

So this week's assignment is to blog about the 7 1/2 habits of successful learners, particularly what is easiest and what is hardest:

Easiest, for me, is having confidence as a learner. This is fairly hard-won for me, as my achievement in school was, shall we say, mixed. I don't like being told what to do, and that includes homework, studying stuff I'm not interested in, and a bunch of other things that are important in school. Lucky for me there IS life after high school, and I've found out in the world I'm pretty adept at figuring out how to do stuff when left to get on with it. I'm also quite sure that breaking computers (particularly library computers) is very difficult, so I'm not afraid to poke at them until they do what I want them to.

Hardest was a little tricky to decide on, but for the purposes of this post, I think I'll say "Begin with the end in mind". I, like many people, am excited by the whiz-bang of technology. And I do believe the whiz-bang has practical applications - laugh if you must, but the process of color-coding my outlook calendar has been a real help in terms of getting myself organized and prioritized. Thank you Office 2007! But I do sometimes wonder about the practicality of some technologies... They're fun, but what's the end? Particularly as the technology is ever changing?

I think, for me, the answer has to be this: Right now, a good portion of our customers and potential customers are using this technology to an extent I don't even understand. The "end", for my 27 things, is to have a better idea of where they're at (or maybe where they were last month). The ideas for personal applications will come, or maybe it won't. But at least I'll have a better idea of the environment I'm working in.