Friday, April 30, 2010
Thanks to WAPL Conference Chair Dave Weinhold and his excellent team for putting together another great librarian gathering. More than 300 librarians from across the state have been congregating at Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. Among the highlights were a reception at Mead Public Library, a keynote speech by ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, and guest appearances by journalist and public television commentator Joel McNally and Milwaukee historian John Gurda.
DLTCL Assistant Superintendent Rick Grobschmidt (left) thanked librarians for all they do to assist state residents, especially for "stepping up to the plate" by helping Wisconsin job centers assist the increased number of unemployed residents. Times have been tough for library funding, he acknowledged, but he was optimistic that things will turn around. His speech was laced with gestures to symbolize Wisconsin's economic highs and lows, as well as libraries' excellent response to the new demands. Above, he demonstrates his hope that state funding to library systems, which has been cut in recent years, would soon go back up to normal levels.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
There is a $10 registration fee for the public. For more information, or to register, please visit http://www4.uwm.edu/sois/samore.
New round tables must have 35 people interested in joining the round table before it can be established. The petition will be available at the WAPL conference to sign this week. Interested? Contact Faith Steele,(414) 288-6295, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Rachel Singer Gordon - Getting Unstuck
* The "Brisket" Story - great-granddaughter was still cutting off both sides of the brisket before cooking, because that's the way her mom did it - but it was originally only because the pan was too small.
* Why do we do things the way we do them? Just because the person before us did it? What's the purpose behind the action? Did we cut back at one point and then forget to go back to full service? Don't stop asking!
* Librarians can be agents of change for our constituencies
* If you don't promote yourself, you're doomed to defend yourself
* Your career is not your job - look at your job as a single piece of your career puzzle - where do you want to see yourself in 1, 5, 10 years? Are your activities moving you towards those goals? You may need to do things outside of your job.
* We talk a lot, and we complain a lot - if we do so without exploring solutions, we start to enable each other into a rut
* What do you cut off to fit in? In hard economic times, we hunker down to not get noticed. When new staff come on board, we say "that's not the way we do things here" - new staff need to pace themselves, or they'll get burned out by tilting at windmills.
* We put people into boxes, and say "this person is good at X, and that person is good at Y" and there they stay forever - what skills haven't been identified or expressed at work?
* "I can't..." - spiral of negativity - How could I learn how to do that thing I want to do?
* Where is your locus of control? External (life is pushing me around things happen TO me) or Internal (I am the master of my own fate)?
* Are there grants I could apply for? Are there resources or services that are no longer priorities for our constituencies, and we could save money if we don't do?
* Rather than a pie-in-the-sky idea, propose a plan - who, what, where, when, why
* Resilience - what steps can I take to improve this situation for myself? No white knight is going to ride up and fix all the problems.
* Are you just passively receiving information for your professional development? A magazine isn't going to send you to a conference. There are a lot of free online webinars. You could volunteer in exchange for free registration fees - or be a speaker!
* Don't let 15-20 years go by where you only do the same things at your job - if you ever want a different job (or are forced to seek another job), you're going to need more than just that position on your resume. Write articles, attend trainings, give presentations, show interest.
* Develop a picture in your mind of your goals - what are you doing this week to move yourself towards that? Power of incremental change - 15 minutes + 15 minutes, etc. adds up, can grow to 30 minutes + 30 minutes, etc.. - develop habits.
* What drew you to this profession? Try to re-capture that excitement. How do you tell your own story - you can tell it from multiple perspectives. Power of story.
* Rachel keeps up with what new librarians are up to.
* Why do you not have enough time? Do you watch TV? Cut out a show each week. You may not have hours of free time in a block, so you need to learn how to work differently - multitasking, or 15 minutes here or there.
* Don't procrastinate because you think it needs to be perfect. Life is perpetual beta. Try things! What parts worked to some extent?
* We can get into ruts - commute to work the same way each day, stop for coffee and lunch at the same times, see the same people, etc. - try changing one small thing each day - new conversation, new lunch partner. Make new connections in other cities through professional social networking sites.
* Even those actions that helped you to be successful can be your downfall, if you get stuck in them - read outside the library literature and learn from others.
* Re-assess your goals, and change them as needed
* Nothing lasts forever - change is constant
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Susan Heffron and Eric Thobaben, Carroll University
* Front-loaded into first two semesters of Biology
* 1st library session -
* Overview of applicable library resources
* Scholarly vs. popular, primary vs. secondary
* At end - ok, everyone feel 100% confident about these resources? [they think they are]
* Lab -
* Observation of an organism (amphipod) in clear plastic cups of water, with leaves and twigs - model system
* What questions can you generate? "Just be 10" - totally open to anything
* 2nd library session -
* We pair students and have them highlight words in printed article abstracts that relate to these organisms
* We compile a master list of keywords from students' reports back - keywords, and what they think the article was about
* "OK, now get started!" [They realize they've forgotten everything from 1st library session. We're comfortable with their discomfort.] "Who would like a refresher - which databases?"
* Students start asking: "Is this okay, Dr. Thobaben?" - review of scholarly, primary research
* Recognition of scientific article vocabulary, pieces & parts (abstract, methods, etc.) - 2nd semester lab, we have them spend an entire period reading an article from start to finish
* What can they take from methods section that they can take back to the lab and use to experiment with their amphipods? - not repeating, but getting inspiration - how generate data? how measure? how control? - up until now, we've only given them the T-test (compare x to y)
* What will help them to answer the questions they generated through initial observation? Do more observation and develop explicit questions you could test. How would you measure behavior?
* Thinking like a biologist: Observation - generation questions - finding key words - selecting articles - knowledge application - experimental design
* Future labs - do more and more on their own, build on what they've learned; assignment: write a grant proposal, librarian assists with finding funding sources
* Juniors/seniors can work with faculty doing research - one of them actually does use amphipods to study the behavior of cannibalism
* Other assignments require multiple iterations of a report (proposal, draft, final) - which require 4, 6, 10 citations.
The Google Books Settlement
Prof. Michael Zimmer, School of Information Studies, UW-Milwaukee
* "Spheres of mobility" - can be physical, intellectual, digital - freedom to improve ourselves
* Historically, we've had general freedom to move about in these spheres without people looking over our shoulders
* Much of our mobility has been redefined and converged through Google - Siva Vaidhyanathan: "The Googlization of Everything"
* Faustian bargain - may constrain/restrict our ability to move about in these spheres
* Data-vaillance - surveillance of personal data - built into Google's infrastructure
* Searching is not anonymous - cookies identify your computer, Google encourages creation of accounts - including Gmail, actions increasingly linkable, data is retained, their goals include selling advertising personalized to you
* Google Book Search - launched Google Print in 2004; they already had a digitization service in place
* UW-Madison and Wisconsin Historical Society Library joined the project
* Notable lawsuits: US Authors Guild, Assn of American Publisher - Settlement proposed - cash payment of a couple hundred million dollars; creation of a book rights registry - anytime someone paid for access, some money would funnel back to authors/publishers; allowed advertising (Amazon.com, etc.)
* Anti-trust + international copyright concerns
* Revised settlement now back in front of a judge
* Deleterious to intellectual freedom and privacy - non-anonymous
* After pressure from European Union, cookie only lasts 2 years (except it renews each time you visit)
* At a library, I can pick a book up and read it without being identified or tracked; libraries delete patron records after various amounts of time
* Settlement requires authentication before buying a book
* In future, might need to log in just to search, or to read free books in Google Books
* Concerned that our gains will be overshadowed by our losses
* How do we build library/librarian values and norms into Google Books settlement?
* Libraries/librarians have attended related conferences, written letters, asked questions - mainly, Google is remaining silent - they say they need to build the product first and think about privacy next, but this is a flawed design
* "Media ecology" - systemic effects of these decisions
* Dept. of Justice and Federal Trade Commission indicated they'd block settlement - Google finally released some information about privacy (July 23, 2009)
* Can you trust Google? Their people are nice, but...
* Other countries have laws that required Google to protect more privacy than they do in the U.S. - ex: Google Street View - faces blurred
* Libraries are facing more of these issues themselves; decisions need to be made - Patriot Act challenges, Facebook pages giving access to patron information, etc.
* There will always be a struggle with privacy and security
* Google actually refused an order to provide a month's worth of search data, from government agency trying to determine how easy it is to return child pornography from innocent searches - all other search engines complied
* Google uses encrypted login and doesn't allow advertising based on their Health Records service
* Google reports to Chilling Effects Clearinghouse when they've been requested to take something down from YouTube, etc.
* Electricity involvement has made them a de facto public utility - so far, they haven't been treated as such
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Wisconsin Aerial Photographs
Jaime Stoltenberg (UW-Madison's Map Library)
Melissa McLimans (UW System Digital Collections Center)
Michael Bricknell (State Cartographer's Office)
* "Changing Landscapes of Wisconsin", soon to be released
* Thousands of photographs
* ~900 Gb in storage for 1930s images
* Original purpose: to determine crop acreage
* Modified Dublin Core metadata schema (14 fields, some automated) - includes geospatial references
* UWDC has other digital map collections, in different formats
* Hope to connect multiple collections, so one search on particular parcel will return aerial photo, land patent, etc.
* Typically, you would come into the library and look at an "index map" to determine which photographs you want to look at - this project involved software that matched points on map to GIS coordinates
Beth Harper, UW-Madison Memorial Library
* FDSys = New database from U.S. GPO (Government Printing Office)
* Designed to handle changes in digital formats
* Intended to replace GPOAccess (15+ years old), which was difficult to navigate and annoying to search
* Search box is front and center, results include keywords in context and date, able to perform faceted browsing, better metadata for files
* Help file is decent - explains all about what publications are produced by different agencies, with sample searches
* Facets: Collection, Date, Government Author, Person (can also be place), etc.
* Advanced search allows searching in various fields, including full text, SuDoc number, etc.
* Citation search - shows you what a sample citation looks like for each collection
* Some collections can be browsed (alphabetical or date published)
* Intended to collect documents from many agencies, all branches
* Includes news media transcripts - interview on Jay Leno, etc.
* Currently only text, not other types of media
* Thomas - from different agency (LOC); only legislative or Congressional materials; will continue to exist
* Links to Catalog of government publications - not integrated into FDSys
* GPO isn't currently taking digitized documents from others, because they aren't the "official" copies
* "View in Catalog" and "Find in a Depository Library" links aren't particularly useful yet
* No "Print" button - just use browser's print option
* Considered "beta" - GPO has announced future changes with new releases
* Could use an RSS feed
* Can bookmark settings
Marni Bekkedal, WI Dept. of Health
* Part of National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
* Face difficulties with combining environmental hazard datasets + exposure datasets + health effect datasets.
* Need to agree on definitions of terms
* Owned by different governmental agencies and private entities across country, requires negotiations.
* How do you match data sets geographically? Some sets use zip codes, some use counties, some use GIS coordinates for monitoring stations which are only located in a few places, etc.
* Which data can/should/will be released to the public online? Some is "suppressed" for privacy reasons, others considered "unstable" because not large enough statistical sample.
* Websites are very user-friendly, visual; Wisconsin's has built-in logic that only allows queries that will result in data
Friday, April 16, 2010
And, finally, here are the award winners
People's Choice Award: Beth Harper, "In Defense of Food"
Critic's Choice Award - 1st Place: Jennifer Stibitz & Catherine Boldt, "Metamorphosis"
Critic's Choice Award - Runner-Up: Todd Bruns, "The Chocolate War"
Critic's Choice Award - Runner-Up: Lesley Wolf, "Click, Clack, Moo"
Best Entry by a Student: Jenny Sessions, "Olivia Makes Dessert"
Best Entry based on a Children's Book: Lesley Wolf, "Click, Clack, Moo"
Best Entry by a Family (tie): Carrie, Elizabeth & Grace Nelson, "The Paper Bag Princess" and the Kious/Jenkins family, "The Boxcar Children"
Best Entry by a Group: General Library System Business Services, "Cook the Books"
You can start planning your entry for next year's event!
Beth Harper, Kristina Glodoski, and Todd Bruns, organizers of the 2010 Edible Book Festival
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Two books are new to the list: Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer and “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult.
Both Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and Robert Cormier’s “The Chocolate War” return after being dropped from the list in 2008.
“Even though not every book will be right for every reader, the ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely are core American values,” said Barbara Jones, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Protecting one of our most fundamental rights – the freedom to read – means respecting each other’s differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read.”
For nearly 20 years, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has collected reports on book challenges. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed or restricted because of content or appropriateness. In 2009, OIF received 460 reports on efforts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.
Though OIF receives reports of challenges in public libraries, schools, and school libraries from a variety of sources, a majority of challenges go unreported. OIF estimates that its statistics reflect only 20-25% of the challenges that actually occur.
The ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009 reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:
1. “TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Week Web site at www.ala.org/bbooks.
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
As you are well aware, libraries are being threatened by a perfect storm. They are busier than ever helping families survive during these tough economic times.
Yet public libraries, school libraries, and academic libraries are facing closures, and elimination of librarians and library workers- the people who help those with a job application, teach 21st century skills, and nurture the love of reading in kids that will serve them the rest of their lives.
‘National Library Week’ is next week, and it will be perfect time for you to contact your state officials to let them know how valuable libraries and those who work in libraries are during these difficult times.
ALA has worked with chapters to create an ‘Action Alert’ through our shared Capwiz advocacy system, which will make it easy for you to send messages to our legislators and governor.
I’ll be posting another message on the blog Monday with a link to our state’s ‘Action Alert.’
Please take a few minutes during National Library Week to raise your voice for libraries. And don’t forget to forward on to your friends and colleagues to add their voices!
Thank you for advocating for libraries!
ALA Chapter Councilor
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
WAPL Registration Reminder
This Friday, April 9, is the last day of early registration for the WAPL Spring Conference “Anchoring the Past, Setting Sail for the Future” at the Blue Harbor Resort in
You’ll find registration information at: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/wapl/conferences/2010/index.htm as well as the schedule at a glance and the conference program. Don’t miss the great speakers and programs that will help your library improve services and weather these difficult economic times. If you are unable to complete registration by April 9 you will be able to register at the conference.