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

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.

Government Documents Online

Sunday, October 19th, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Presenters: Julie Schwartz, CT State Library & Alix Quan, Ass’t Director Head of Reference, Massachusetts State Library

Julie’s Schwartz’s Presentation Another contact: Steven Slovasky

The Connecticut State Library initiated the Connecticut Digital Archive Project because so many state documents and reports are now only available online, and often are posted for only a month or two and then disappear. Search engines don’t provide access to most of these publications even though users expect easy access.
The Connecticut Digital Archive was established to alleviate “The Empty Shelf Syndrome,” i.e. no print versions anywhere & difficult or impossible to find on the web, a big problem for the reference department. The digitized archive harvests and ingests “born digital” Connecticut state publications, catalogues them in MARC, and integrates linked records in their OPAC. Then these state publications are made available through Connecticut’s statewide union catalog and WorldCat. They started in 2002 by “grabbing” a group of documents that are 4-5 page reports by various government departments. Linked from their OPAC by using “web harvester” which set up the parameters of the link. Links frequently broke so some were downloaded to desktop and uploaded to catalog. The harvested & ingested “born digital” Connecticut state publications were sent to OCLC’s databases in Ohio. Software is constantly changing so archivists must constantly adapt to change. They can harvest an entire webpage with multiple links on a certain subject as an integrated resource. Sometimes find documents on archived pages. After cataloguing in MARC and integrating the linked records in their OPAC, the records are made available through Connecticut’s statewide union catalog and WorldCat. Sharing these resources are shared and integrated on OPAC, Statewide Union Catalog and WorldCat to improve access. WorldCat is huge, with 64,000,000 records, and 1 billion library records.

WebHarvest grabs a document from a URL on the web and ingests it on their OPAC with NO errors or changes. Using metadata is key for accuracy. The best method is like picking raspberries, slower process but more quality. Their secret weapon is Steven Rice who combs through CN state agency websites looking for suitable documents for the state library’s database. Standardization is another basic principle of digital preservation. “Name authority control”. We need to know who did the preservation and how it was done. Preservation metadata.
OCLC says the data will be migrated or emulated as their website changes, now they say they will “manage” data.
Library of Congress NDIIPP (National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program) Web Archives Workbench takes a more archival approach. CONTENTdm is OCLC’s latest – it makes everything in your digital collection available to everyone, no matter the content. Connecticut says it’s not working very well.

Alix Quan Ass’t Director Head of Reference, Massachusetts State Library

To develop the State Library of Massachusetts’s Electronic Documents Archive, open source software was used. This Open Source Institutional Repository Software was developed in 2002 by MIT and HP to store theses and dissertations. It’s robust but bare bones, written and customizable in Java
In 2003 the state library received funding to: configure a webcrawler that would locate and download .pdf and .doc files from agency sites, create a database that manages these downloaded files, and purchase a server to store them. They found that the documents were difficult to locate, no permanence. State law requires agencies and legislative offices to send State Library copies of any publications they produce, but no one complies. They configured the webcrawler to find and grab documents in various formats, and found it worked too well. It found so many documents, it was difficult to manage. Some of what was retrieved were not what was wanted. So they took another approach. As electronic items were discovered, they were catalogued with links to agency websites.

In the 2nd phase, they chose DSpace as electronic depository. Even though they preferred open source, they found that it isn’t really free because it needs a high level of Java expertise to configure. DSpace provided keyword indexing of all the documents. In 2005 &06 they received funding to scan MASS Session Laws (Acts and Resolves), approx 50,000 pages. Each Act is a separate file and fully keyword-searchable. These are used heavily by legislative staff, lawyers and town officials. They created separate PDF and tax files for each, and in addition, downloaded a copy of each so that the state library would have a permanent copy. They are encouraging agencies to notify us about new “digitally born” reports, and can having them send the link or a copy of document to a state library email account. To date, they have added 1000 docs. Staff is identifying and adding other scanned docs. They have set up a scanning center at Boston Public Library: They scan it, and OCR it . Have done Legislative Biographical directories and Annual Reports from 1840s on. They are collaborating with UMASS Boston, UMASS Amherst and Boston Public Library. UMASS Boston is sponsoring the dig of older Acts and Resolves from 1600s to 1940s. Other area institutions have scanned other series: UMass Amherst – Yearly report on Vital Statistics, Election Statistics, Fruit Notes,
and Annual Reports of Northampton State Hospital, Boston Public Library – Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Boston University – some years of the Department of Public Health. The State Library has created a webpage with links to the major series scanned: More material from throughout the country is being scanned and added constantly to the
Internet Archive site:

Future Plans:
• Download archival copies of scanned docs and make available on dSpace (for the keyword search capability)
• Migrate and upgrade dSpace to the state library to be managed there.
• Evaluate other digital asset management systems to see what meets needs best.
• Put all digital projects in one central location

Contact Information
Alix Quan
Assistant Director/Head of Reference

State Library of Massachusetts
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133

What is a NERTCL?

Why do we go to conferences? To collect ideas, meet new and old friends, recharge and rejuvenate our work in our libraries…

NERTCL, The New England Roundtable of Teen and Children’s Librarians, held a session to provide an opportunity to do just that. The meet and greet provided a casual forum for youth service librarians to meet like-minded professionals and learn about successful library program initiatives in New England.

Sample Program highlights included:

 “Book Buddies” from Lincoln Public Library            Lincoln, RI

Teen volunteers (11-18 years) earn community service hours for coming to the library and pair up with a child 3-8 years of age.  The volunteer reads stories, play with floor puzzles and color with their younger buddy. Book Buddies meets once a week in the afternoon for eight-week sessions, three times a year.  Lincoln currently has about 12 teens volunteering for the program and many of the younger book buddies have been participating for many years.


“Teen Pizza Taste Off “– Woburn Public Library            Woburn, MA

Eight local pizza businesses were asked to donate three to four pizzas for a blind pizza taste off for a teen program at the Woburn Public Library. The program was hosted in January in an attempt to lure teens into the library during a traditionally quiet programming lull during the year. The Library’s teen advisory board was active in running and promoting the event. Over 65 teens attended and voted for their favorite pizza in the following categories: Best Cheese, Best Sauce, Best Crust and Best Overall.  The local newspapers picked up the story and many of the winning businesses framed their recognition certificate and display it in their restaurants.

YALSA’s Young Adult Galley Project – McArthur Public Library             Biddeford, ME

In 2006, YALSA started a YA galley review project and appointed 15 libraries across the country to serve for two years terms. The McArthur Public Library is in its first year of its second appointment participating in the galley program. Once a month, twenty teens (12-18 years old), hand picked for this program, meet to discuss the galleys they have read. Publishers send two copies of each galley title (ranging all genres of teen books) to the appointed libraries. Teens are encouraged to think critically about what they are reading and they are required to fill out a review form for what they read.  The 15 participating libraries nominate the titles for the YALSA Teen Top Ten list. 

NERTCL meets monthly (Sept- May) to discuss youth librarianship and plan programming for the annual NELA conference and the NERTCL Spring Symposium.  NERTCL also hosts the Jordan Miller Storytelling Workshop (alternating with the MA Library Association). There is a rep. from each state on the board – and NERTCL is currently seeking a VT representative.  Visit the NERTCL page for more information and please consider getting involved with this great group of people! 

NELA ITS Spring Program – technology self-sufficiency!

The New England Library Association Information Technology Section proudly presents our 2008 Spring Workshop, “Library-Wide IT Proficiencies.”

The workshop is focused on teaching technology self-sufficiency, so library staff in every department can feel comfortable handling common technology issues. Using a “train the trainer” format, the presenters will emphasize sharing the practical knowledge and skills IT staff may take for granted. The goal is to reduce the fear factor many library staff have when dealing with common technology, from changing printer cartridges to navigating the network.

Date: Thursday, June 12, 2008
Location: Bryant University, Smithfield, RI
Directions to BU’s Bryant Center:

Cost: NELA Members – $55 Non-members – $65

8:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 12:00 Part I: Proficiency, IT Staff and End Users
12:00 – 12:45 Buffet Lunch
12:45 – 3:00 Part II: Roadmap to Creating an IT-Savvy Library Staff
3:00 Questions and Program Wrap-Up

Each workshop attendee will receive a flash drive containing all presentation materials and handouts.

Visit for both online and mail-in [pdf] registration forms.

IT staff must be able to assist in maintaining a library-wide level of competence and confidence not only in using current IT resources, but also in learning new ways of working smarter. The workshop begins with the basic elements of end user education to promote departmental self-sufficiency and moves on to the higher level of assisting librarians with cutting edge technology awareness and use. Participants will receive tools, techniques and many ideas on ways to increase the IT proficiency of all library staff.

Gary K. McCone and Grace R. Sines work in the Information Systems department of the National Agricultural Library. As Associate Director, Gary is responsible for the development, maintenance and quality Assurance of computer systems and NAL databases, and has significant experience in providing consultation for the establishment of libraries in developing countries. Grace, Deputy Associate Director for Information technology, has over 20 years of experience in managing information technology services, and has authored numerous Federal policies and procedures concerning the implementation and operation of information systems.

Create a Successful Staff Retreat

Denise van Zanten of Manchester City Library, Dianne Hathaway of Goffstown Public Library, Amy Lapointe of Amherst Town Library and Marilyn Borgendale of GMILCS, Inc. led this presentation about a successful staff retreat that GMILCS libraries had in February. GMILCS is a consortium of 12 public and academic libraries in New Hampshire.

Shared documents on the retreat –
Shared readings on our retreat –

Continue reading

Discussion Group: Library Lifelines

This discussion group was led by Diana Comer (dean) and Louise Motta (librarian) from the Dorothy Salter Library at Salter College.

Louise describes herself as a non-traditional librarian (3rd or 4th career) serving mostly non-traditional students in a non-traditional library.

She described this project as a “Field of Dreams.” They started the library with a vision to turn a small for-profit post-secondary career school into a two-year degree granting college with a small academic library. Not everyone could see the dream. A few librarians did: Terry Plum (Simmons College), Jerry Miller(Simmons College), Carolyn Noah (CMRLS) and Margaret Cardello (CMRLS). Continue reading