Library 2.0 for You (L-2-4-U)

Brian Herzog, Paige Eaton Davis, Elizabeth Thomsen

From left: Brian Herzog, Paige Eaton Davis, Elizabeth Thomsen

Program Description:

Flickr isn’t just a bird, isn’t just your NELA luncheon, and WordPress isn’t a new kitchen gadget. Find out what these things are and how these popular Web 2.0 applications (and more!) are being used in real-world libraries. L-2-4-U offers a panel of three experienced Massachusetts librarians: Paige Eaton Davis from the Minuteman Library Network, Brian Herzog from Chelmsford Public Library, and Elizabeth Thomsen of NOBLE. They share their expertise with applying Web 2.0 technologies to help promote your library’s resources, programs, and materials. The program sponsor is ITS whose business meeting is included in the program.

Elizabeth Thomsen, North Of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE):

Elizabeth started off this panel discussion by comparing the old way of finding information to the new.

In the old days, people found information in books. Someone else decided what information was important. For example, if you were interested in Lewis Hine child labor pictures, you never saw the photos from Salem, MA in published works because they are not as interesting as some of his other photos. But if you work in Salem, you are interested in them. You can now find them as part of the Lewis Hine Project. “What’s interesting for you may not be something that’s interesting to everyone else.” Continue reading

The Vanishing Male: Guy Stuff that Lures and Hooks

Nancy Davis of the Ivy Group began her investigation of why men don’t use libraries and strategies to increase use with a caveat that she would be making gender generalizations and that some of the points raised were based on an overall view of what the research indicates, the majority of library users are women. Davis stressed that increasing male usage is an opportunity to boost card registration and circulation, increase program attendance and financial support and to connect with more community organizations. She raised an interesting point in regard to increasing financial support by stating that promoting library services, programs and collections to men would result in more men willing to vote in favor of libraries and to think of their local library as a recipient of financial donations when thinking about their family finances or estate planning.

Davis recommends giving your library the Male Appeal Test. Is your marketing material full of pictures of moms and kids? Do you have pictures of men using the library on your web site? Is your non-fiction collection outdated? What about staffing in this predominantly female profession? Do your library displays feature quilting and basketry and nothing on fishing, car repair and features on business publications? Additional suggestions include revamping programs to appeal to males such as history, world affairs and politics; scheduling storytimes for dads on nights and weekends, gaming (she cautions against writing gaming off as a teen-only activity), books clubs for men and mentoring programs. Davis’ suggestions for a plan of attack include targeting fathers, she compared men’s use of library with their approach to shopping–men don’t browse–if they aren’t going to ask for directions, we need to make sure signage is informative. Eliminate the emphasis on reading and market the full menu of library services including online resources and non-print resources and position the library as a source of information and solutions to problems, particularly in this economic climate we are in a powerful position to do so. She emphasized marketing e-resources and remote access. We now have the first generation of kids who have grown up with the internet and several generations of men who are computer savvy who would be willing to use library resources if it didn’t mean going to the library.

The presentation was followed by a discussion of what libraries are doing to lure males to their library. Some suggestions included circulating tools, posting library info at the town dump and hardware store, programs on the history of brewing, giong green and an entrepreneurial career series. One male librarian noted that libraries are stacked against men and that having males on the staff helps to bring men in.

The handout for this presentation is available on the NELA website

Drop In Demos: Games and Gaming

Jan Wilbur, Past President of NELA, tries her hand at Rock Band

Jan Wilbur, Past President of NELA, tries her hand at Rock Band

As The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and the Star Wars theme are heard in the background, members of NELA’s ITS Committee  have provided a drop-in session to demonstrate the latest in video gaming to promote this growing phenomenon of gaming in libraries. There’s a selection of Nintendo DS games and two DS devices , a PC set up with Lego Star Wars and , Mario Kart and Wii Sports, DDR and Rock Band, all set for folks to try. Surprisingly, many people visiting here are new due to this phenomenon and you can tell there are few people on the periphery just chomping at the bit to have a go–I think they’re ringers, modern day pool sharks. Games are projected on the walls and there are a total of 7 stations set up, pretty accommodating considering the size of the room. I dropped by at subsequent sessions throughout the conference and attendance was strong. Sunday’s drop in demo followed up Beth Gallaway’s early session,” Get Your Game On!” that explored the value of video gaming in libraries as well as ways libraries can develop their collections to target the gaming population. Beth’s handout from the earlier presentation is available at

News Savvy: Journalists, Citizen Journalism, & the News Consumer

How can we foster media literacy when there is more information available in more formats than at any time in history? How do we encourage responsible civic participation in the increasingly narrow space between uninformed opinion and self-serving corporate propaganda? In this session, four panelists addressed the blurry nexus between news production and news consumption in an age of scaled-back print media and ramped-up internet chatter.

Bill Densmore and Meredith McCulloch from the New England News Forum facilitated a lively discussion on cooperative ventures among public libraries and local newspapers. Editor Martin Reynolds weighed in virtually with a description of just such a venture in California, where the Oakland Tribune has opened a news desk in the West Oakland branch library in an effort to give the residents access to the media and dispel perceptions that the paper is out of touch with the lives of real people in the community it serves. And Mike LaBonte gave a fascinating presentation on Newstrust, a new online effort to connect citizens and journalists to encourage informed analysis of online journalism. Check them out!

Wikis & Zoho Creator

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Emily Belanger & Sarah Feldman

Presentation will be posted on NELA website.



A wiki is a collection of web pages that be edited by anyone with administrative permission. They promote collaboration and communication and are most popular and successful  when used for project communication and documentation. There is a trend toward replacing static web sites with wikis.

Edits are instant and use plain text instead of complicated programming language. If you can write an email you can edit a wiki.

If considering using a wiki it is best to buy wiki software; it’s relatively inexpensive. Look at for software suggestions.

A wiki offers only very basic text, ie, italics, bold, different sized fonts, and color. It will not support fancy graphics like a website does.  The focus of a wiki is on content, not looks.


Zoho Creator is a custom database creation tool. Like a wiki, it is a shared space for data, all staff can contribute and view. There is a low learning curve, and low (free) cost.

It is especially useful for keeping reference statistics.

The address is

My College Freshman is Your High School Senior

Presenter says she will prepare a LibGuide and upload it to:

Incoming college freshman have wide ranges in their information literacy (IL). Students are often unprepared for research. There is inconsistencies in abilities among classes. Some have some familiarity with evaluating resources, using databases. Others can’t find a book on the shelf. Some have library anxiety and are coming in with negative experiences from public libraries.

At Mt Wachusett (presenter’s school) librarians are trying to raise awareness among faculty of information literacy by using assessment tools developed by librarians. By doing this, faculty are more apt to talk to their classes about IL and work it into their lectures. In addition, they are more likely to invite library staff into the classroom (or arrange a library visit) to assist students. Train faculty and they will sell the product to the students. The OCLC white paper reports that students use what their faculty tell them to use.

One focus is to teach students that librarians are approachable and want to help.

Mt. Wachusett offered events for high school students taking college classes. Students came to the library, listened to the faculty talk about their expectations of students, got to look at a syllabus.

High school students are allowed to use college’s collection. Flyers were sent to high school to extend offers to do library instruction at the high schools.

There are college readiness efforts in MA via Gov. Patrick’s administration. The presenter felt librarians should try to get involved in these efforts.

When presenting to students, try to inject humor to get their attention. Working the room = good instruction.

When teaching students to authenticate their resources (who is the author, how old is the info, what are the author’s sources), choose an interesting library topic to wake the students up like urban legends. “Teaching Information Literacy: 35 Standards-based Exercises for College Students” has other good examples.

Is it necessary to teach style guides when there are tools like Easybibs, noodlebib, refworks, zotero and Facebook applications (CiteMe)? Should time be spent on other IL skills?

What type of search skills are students being taught in high school? Boolean? Natural language? Do they know anything other than Google? Try teaching them the value of taking a moment to think about their search first and to use good keywords.

Draw kids into the library with popular reading and engage them in conversation. Make use of LibGuides to help with fiction Reader’s Advisory as well as for curriculum support

Make connection with your local high school and attempt to collaborate, see what you can come up with that is right for your community.

Hot Teen Titles: Sexuality and Teen Fiction

Presenter: Amy Pattee, Simmons College GSLIS

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2:30 – 4:00 PM

Amy started by discussing some of the issues in collection development. We often face situations where parents are concerned about what their children are reading. Part of our job is to educate people about the books in our collection and why they’re there.

How do we define sensual or sexual content in Young Adult literature? Here’s part of a quote from Patrick Jones:

“Verbal references to sexual activity, innuendo, implied sexual activity, actual activity.”

This is a huge continuum – so what do we do? We all do have different ideas about what’s appropriate.

How does this affect our library collections? Who are we serving?

What do teen readers like to read? They are difficult to stereotype. They read across all genres. Our collections need to reflect this. Young people read for a variety of reasons: to satisfy curiosity; taking part in a taboo text builds a shared experience among peers; they enjoy what they read – it makes them feel good.

Teen readers are developing a relationship with reading. The Young Adult librarian nourishes that relationship, and must provide a wide variety of materials. As adults we want freedom to read, and feel empowered to request what we want. Young people often find barriers in getting the information and reading materials they want. We need to authorize all sorts of reading experiences in how we select material. We also need to reassure them that it’s okay to not finish a book.

Collections must present a variety of choices for young people. How do we ensure a good collection to reflect what young people want? The difference between being a selector and censor is narrow. One is positive, the other is negative. The selector looks for values, strengths, and reasons to keep the book.

Example: Gossip Girl – very popular and controversial. Why is it popular? Because it’s part of the shared experience – “everyone” is reading it and/or watching the TV show. The selector asks: why do we keep this book? Just as not all adult books are of the highest literary value, we need to have books that are popular to teens that aren’t necessarily of strong literary merit.

We also need to make sure that we read the books they want so that we aren’t just dismissing them outright.

Urban Fiction/ Street Lit: enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Self-published, sold on the street about life on the street. Includes sexual content, and drug and alcohol abuse. Some feel this is dangerous to young people. But it’s popular fiction. Triple Crown publishing is a publisher of urban fiction for adults and teens. These are often very powerful critiques of society that offer a different and much needed perspective.

How do we know what books are appropriate for what readers? We can’t know. Labeling books does not work. If we want to encourage reading and library use we can’t limit it for them. Often annotated booklists (passive programming)are a way to connect books to readers. YA designation is broad – ages 12 – 18. Aspirational age is important to consider (12 year olds want to read about 14 year olds, 16 year olds want to read about 18 year olds and so on). “The right book for the right child at the right time.” This implies that there’s only one “right” book, and that we’re the ones to decide what the right book is.

We need to be reading ourselves and talking to young people about what they like to read.

In summary, we need to be aware of what books are popular with teen readers, understand why they want to read them, and make sure that the books they want are accessible to them.

Exhibitor Demo: LibLime

Marc RobersonTuesday, 11:00 – 12:00

Meet Koha, the first open source Integrated Library System. Marc Roberson of LibLime demonstrates Koha’s extensive feature set and outlines the advantages of the open-source development model.

LibLime was founded by Josh Ferraro, and he worked at the first library in the nation to use open source. That software is now known as Koha.

But the biggest problem with open source is: who will support it?

Open source is supported by the use community, and everyone gives back for what they get (that’s what “koha” means).

Because of this, the users are the developers, so needed features are ready in days to weeks instead of years to never with traditional vendors.

Free? that’s just not good enough anymore – it’s often not tailored.

The library’s goal should be to minimize the cost of delivering a useful product to patrons. So even Koha/LibLime does cost money, the value of what is delivered is a fraction of what traditional ILSs deliver.

For more information on LibLime, visit the LibLime website.

Open Source

Any software that the base source code is made public. It is popular because

  • it has reliability through peer review (“with hundreds of eyes on a problem, all bugs are shallow” – The Cathedral and the Bizarre)
  • There is no vendor lock-in
  • It’s all user-centric development – users do the innovation
  • The software is free – no license fees – only cost is in maintenance contracts, which you can contract anyone to do (just like you can hire any plumber to work on your pipes at home)

Take a look at Koha
Areas to look at:

  • Patron account interface – patrons have lots of control over their account information
  • Tagging – support for this is built in
  • Reading history – patrons can track their history on an opt-in basis
  • Messaging – patrons can sign up to be notified of reserves, due dates, etc. – this can replace patrons using LibraryElf
  • Spelling suggestions when searching
  • Search results – function display, and can be customized; results are available as rss feed, can be limited to just currently available items; faceted search is available on the left, to show all the extras catalogers have been adding to records for years – subjects, series, etc.

Live Examples

  • Athens County Public Libraries
  • Near East University (Cypress) – allows switching between English and Turkish – also has a “where in the library is it?” map link for every item in the catalog
  • Howard Country Library – this is where the look of the default Koha catalog comes from; also includes a “cart” feature, which is a session-based list, that can be exported for citations or sent via email; also has “list” feature – this is an alternative to the system-generated reading history, and people can use multiple lists to keep track of books in different subjects

Neat Features

  • Extra content (reviews, summaries, etc) come from B&T Content Café, Amazon, Google Books and Syndetics
  • Patron Comments
  • Browse the shelf – patrons see a virtual shelf list (which engineers serendipity)
  • Title/editions grouping – all versions of a single title (format, print, etc) can all be linked to in a single record

The staff client

It’s all web-based, so no more software being installed. And it works well with all browsers. It can be hosted either at the library or at LibLime (usually about 20% cheaper to host with LibLime because they have such large server capacity and don’t have to go through library hardware and staff to maintain the system).

Has a “news” feed, to let staff know of staff meetings, announcement, etc.

Patron Record
Patron searches can be done by almost any field in their record; shows what they have checked out; lets staff change due dates (based on permissions); also includes a modification log to see who makes changes to a patron’s record; can also link family records to prevent parents from checking things out if their kids have items overdue

Has a built-in module, and also uses for information – subscription will be $1/day

Has several ways to add new records – import, z39.50 searching, original catalog (and supports multiple frameworks for different formats); checks for duplicate records on import/creation; as soon as it is saved, it’s available in the catalog – it doesn’t require an end-of-day process

Has templates to print spine labels and more.

Written in SQL, so they can either be written by hand or use the built-in reports wizard. Reports can be scheduled to run and have results emailed, and they can be saved to run at any time (don’t have to be built every time)

Easy to search within System Preferences to find out where settings need to be made.

Can control default actions – for instance, for overdue notices, the first is a mild reminder, the second is a bill, etc.

The Role of Planning in Grant Preparation

Program Description:

Winning a grant doesn’t just happen – it requires careful planning and preparation. Marlene Heroux and

Dawn Thistle, Linda Hummel Shea, Karen Pangallo, Debra Mandel

From left:Dawn Thistle, Linda Hummel Shea, Karen Pangallo, Debra Mandel

Shelley Quezada from the MA Board of Library Commissioners present examples of academic libraries’ use of a planning process, longrange plans, and assessment tools to win grants and implement change. Grant projects include working with people with disabilities, green initiatives, acting on LibQual results, and other projects, described by the librarians who planned them. The program is sponsored by ALS and ACRL/NEC.

Tuesday: 10:30 to 12

This is a follow-up from last year’s program on grant planning and features four successful academic grant programs. These grants are all  the result of a planning and assessment project by their colleges.

Debra Mandel, Head of Digital Media Design Studio, Snell Library, Northeastern University,

Grant for Assistive Technology. One of the goals of NE’s grant was to provide tools to learn how to use these resources.

Assistive Technology examples: magnifying glass, assitive listening systems, closed captions.

For campuses with a disability resource center, the first step is to get to know the people at these centers.

Assistive Technology Committee – charge was established in 2000. We started building momentum for assistive technology even before we started thinking about writing a grant.

Grant-writing process was six months for a two-year grant. Put together a grant-writing team with five people that represented all interests, including a person from the Burlington campus and the Webmaster who is familiar with this technology.

Students who were part of the user population said they needed additional training and thought the services weren’t marketed well enough.

The program and service components of the grant included staff training, patron training, equipment and materials, and greater publicity.

The grant was for $19,779 with matching funds of $29,076 from the university.

The Snell Library Web site lists the equipment that is available to users with disabilities.

Highlights – tripled number of Assistive Technology workstations, added 51 Closed Caption video titles to collection, conducted 13 half-hour training sessions for public services staff, coordinated two workshops for all staff, revised and expanded Assistive Technology flyer.

Karen Pangallo, North Shore Community College and Linda Hummel Shea, Northern Essex Community College

Academic Library Incentive Grant – This year, two academic libraries did grants for campus green initiatives. The MBLC is offering a grant next year specifically targeting green initiatives.

Pangallo – hates the planning process. In 2007, her library submitted the long-range plan. At the same time, her college had submitted something called the Green Curriculum Project. As part of the project, the college introduced seven new courses. The library needed to find ways to support the new curriculum in those courses. The courses cover a wide variety of areas.

The college is working on its strategic plan this year, and one goal is to support green initiatives.

It was the perfect time to apply for an Academic Library Incentive grant because the library needed money to provide those resources. This grant was written primarily to support the curriculum.

Shea – this is her third LSTA grant and Shea loves planning. Northern Essex had a five-year grant on file with the MBLC. The library recently did a collection analysis of the biology collection. The average age of the biology collection was 1972 and the average age of the physical sciences collection was 1969. The library also had a need for science database subscriptions. At the same time, the college was looking at environmental impact and sustainability issues.

The program components are to work with faculty and students to develop a library book, journal and DVD collections. They are also celebrating “Green Library Month” in Spril 2009. The event will include a carbon footprint project, an electronics recycling center, and a college open house with Jim Merkel as a speaker.

A big thing they’re working on is evaluation. They’ve put in an evaluation component that includes collection usage and outcomes from the carbon footprint project.

Dawn Thistle, Assumption College

Why plan? We all know we’re supposed to plan, and I don’t know how to promote it any better than that. Assumption began its first strategic plan in 1999. The college does action plan updates almost every year and has done the renewals.

Assumption has already done a disabilities grant and a customer service grant.

The LibQual grant paid for the LibQual survey. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it.”

The best thing about LibQual is it offered a way to manage the library’s marketing effort. They got good feedback from the students. Some suggestions were easy to address, but it also gave them the information needed to move to the next step and hire a space planning consultant.

Assumption also applied for an Academic Incentive Grant to fund “Instructo-mercials.” It addressed the strategic plan goal of developing library instruction plans that would use new Web 2.0 technologies. The commercials were based on A Christmas Carol. We’ll post them to the blog as soon as they are available on the Web.

Other things grow out of your planning. When you submit your budget proposals, you can show where specific items are covered in the plan. Assumption also links performance assessments to the plan. The plan also helps them to market and manage projects. All of their plans link together and support each other.

If you haven’t done a strategic plan, just sit down and start writing. Include things even if you can’t afford it. Don’t worry if it isn’t done the “right” way.

Online resources:

Help! The Teen Librarian Has Left the Building

YA Librarians Abby Reidy from the Morse Institute Library in Natick, MA and Christi Showman Farrar from Woburn Mass. Public Library. All handouts will be available online.

YA Reader Advisory by Christi Showman Farrar: Talk to the teen-not their parent. Direct questions and eye contact. Be honest. If you have not read a book-say so. If it is a popular bookand you have heard positive things about it-say so. Do not talk down and don’t try to talk like. Remember, you are not teen and that is okay. The teen has to make an investment in the selection. Use bookblurbs when showing a teen a book-let them read it themselves and decide.

Basic Reader Advisory questions: Fun or School? How Long? Any requirements? Genre? Topic?  What do you like and dislike? Sometimes it is easier to avoid a few things they dislike then trying to find the perfect book they will like. What was the last book you read that you enjoyed?

Not a YA librarian-visit the YA section and see what is available. Available tools are

Booklists available at and     A lowtech version-use binders for lists-make available for youth. Make pamphlets available.

Teens are our best resource in finding out what is popular.  Use simple book review forms, shelf-talkers, bookmarks and Teen Top Ten. Make it okto not finish a book. Feeling like you are “married” to a book can frighten youth and adults from being advid readers.

I agree 100% with the advice “Read YA Books! – You Might Like Them”  Challege yourself to read atleastone ya a book a month. I personally have found some of my favorite books in the YA section.

Bribery & Behavior Modification-A rewards program that can work for any librarian by Abby Reidy. What do you do with those teens in the library just hanging out-the non-readers? Avert negative behavior?

An interactive reward system was the suggestion of a teen.                     What is your carrot to get them involved? Candy is a suggestion. The began with trivia on a whiteboard. Correct answer-candy. To combat sharing of info-have them prove their resource for the answer.  Engage the youth while at the library. They will learn what is available for resources and services at the library.

Morse Institute Library in Natick, MA started a Morse Moo La library currency program. Waysto earn it was library trivia, bookreview, purchase request, wild book hunt, show library card. Ways to spend: Candy, pay off fines, mini prizes, gift cards. video game play time.  How did this program work at Morse?  The pros were staff involvement means staff ownership, positive reinforcement, teens familiar with library services and staff. The cons were alot of paperwork, cheating, busy reference desk,  How do we keep this program fresh and children coming back?  Budget for program: look for donations from community for prizes. Paperwork, staff time. Visit for more information on ya programs at this library.