The Hollywood Librarian Showing

The Hollywood Librarian logoOn Monday night, NELA sponsored a showing of the new movie, The Hollywood Librarian. About 70 librarians came to the showing, and were fairly vocal during the movie – lots of laughs, and many gasps of surprise.

The movie essentially chronicles the way librarians have been represented by Hollywood in film, from black-and-white movies to present day blockbusters. These library-related clips were interspersed amongst interviews with authors and librarians from across the country, giving their own views on the field and how we are viewed by the wider world.

A second theme that develops later in the movie follows the plight of the Salinas Public Library, in Salinas, CA (home of John Steinbeck). Faced with a shrinking budget, the town failed to pass tax measures that would keep the library and other vital services operating. The situation became national news, and following a local grassroots campaign, the voters approved funding to restore normal hours the next year.

The movie itself rambled and intertwined the interviews, film clips, and coverage of Salinas, which prompted some discussion afterwards. Most everyone enjoyed the movie, but felt that it was building to a climax or core theme that never materialized. It was both a humorous and sobering look at the place of libraries in society, and some felt that these two extremes weren’t meshed well enough to convey a single message, or appeal to anyone who isn’t a librarian.

Another goal of the movie seemed to be to combat the traditional stereotype of a librarian being a nose-in-a-book, shushing, middle-aged white woman. The movie did a great job of showing that modern librarians do much more than pass out books, and that libraries are no longer stiff, academic places of absolute silent independent research. However, with most of the librarians interviewed being middle-aged white women, that idea might be less of a stereotype and more of a reality. But also interviewed were male librarians, librarians of color, and a young library student, so the makeup of the field was indeed accurately portrayed.

The Hollywood Librarian is certainly worth seeing if it is playing in your area. Each of the movie clips were cited, and I for one was scribbling down titles I want to check out of my library. The coverage of the Salinas Library is also important viewing for any librarian, as in these days of uncertain budgets, we should all be prepared to face a similar situation. But the bottom line is that this movie makes you feel good to be a librarian, and reminds you that you’ve chosen a worthwhile and noble profession.

More information on The Hollywood Librarian

When to call a Systems Librarian

Systems LibrariansTuesday, 10:30-12:00

Margaret Donovan from the Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, MA, Edward McDermott of Goddard Library at Clark University, Don Richardson from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Laurie Welling, Assumption College Library, all in Worcester, MA, discuss their experiences, good and bad, taking on the positions of System Librarian at public and academic libraries. Find out how they deal with the many day-to-day varied situations of their jobs, and who they need to involve to keep the systems functioning smoothly.

Everything is technology, so SysLibs end up working with all departments and all tools

Everyone (staff, Trustees, patrons), etc., like to see evident results – new tools, statistics, and working computers

Technology Culture is important in the library – staff should understand available tools. Libraries also have staff-only tools (mp3 players, digital cameras, etc.), to borrow, use and learn. The best way to create a technology culture is to rewrite job descriptions to include tech skills, and make sure new employees are qualified and comfortable in all aspects of librarianship.

What software do you use for statistics?
Voyager ILSs’ software into MSAccess database, database stats from vendors (trying to migrate to the “counter” standard with vendors – there is also the “sushi” standard, which is an automated stat system that gets pushed to you)

What about tracking PC maintenance

  • Most PCs are on a regular replacement cycle (3-4 year cycle), with funding coming from Town (they have to know how much this costs and that is important)
  • Use a spreadsheet to keep service records and IP address and service phone numbers, to make service calls easier
  • Use a spreadsheet to keep track during the year of all stats (usage, circ, etc) to make compiling at the end of the year easier

How do you manage unfreezing to do updates?
DeepFreeze and CleanSlate are both used. All computer stay on all night, and updates are scheduled for night (DeepFreeze is great for automating)
DeepFreeze should work on Vista no problem

Do you create and update websites?

  • WPI: Originally we created websites (in the 1990s), but maintenance and updating is shared throughout the library staff (4-5 people). But soon WPI is going to a CMS (Red Dot), so all existing models will change
  • Assuption: work more with OPAC than website – Electronic Resources Librarian does website
  • CML: There is a web team (2 people) who do most of the content, but there is supposed to be more. I do mostly thr tech support.

How is a good number for a web team?
WPI: We found 9 is too many, so pared it back to 6. Everyone knows basic HTML and has different areas of the site they maintain.

Do you implement technology competencies?
CML: We had a checklist, which made people nervous because they saw it as a test. Most people are getting better, and some have strengths in areas where others don’t (also use less-tech savvy people to troubleshoot and proofread handouts, because if they can do it, anyone can do it)

How about patron training at different skill levels?
CML: We do schedule classes in our training room, but there hasn’t been a lot of interest. Mostly it is on-the-spot, one-on-one

How does network tech support work with individual libraries?
CML: We learn a lot from each other (Minuteman), and they are great for responding

What about tech support coverage when you’re not there, and how many hours a week are you open?
CML: We have almost complete coverage, but there is always plan B: hang an “out of order” sign, and it can wait until tomorrow. But we do get calls/emails at home.
Hours: CML: 68 hours/week, WPI: 105 hours/week, Assumption: 100 hours/week

Do you circ laptops?
WPI: It is popular, and we check them out as normal but with a special “laptop use” agreement
Assumption: We use a lojack on the laptops

What about your professional development?
Assumption: Lots of on the job training, but have taken classes or self-taught: Oracle, php, MySQL
WPI: Haven’t learned as much as I’d like to, but comfortable with learning new things
CML: Was sent to Microsoft Server school, but since then it is just learning as software evolves (no one else in the library has to learn so much as quickly)

How do you document your job for your replacement?
CML: A collection of binders with manuals, etc. Also keep a “day book” of daily tasks and problems (which I also use to refer back on myself)
Assumption: Our documentation is out of date
WPI: We document the Voyager ILS well, and regularly update job descriptions, but we could do a better job with the details

Do you have digital microfilm equipment (scan to pdf, email, etc)?
CML: We had one, but it got stolen, and then we found that people were happy just printing right from the microfilm. You never know what the public wants until they start to use things
Assumption: We have assistive technologies, but not all staff can know everything. We want them to be familiar, but not experts, and let patrons (the users) be the experts

Best and Worst Experiences
WPI: Best – after 25 years, I got my own office. Worst – can’t think of one
Assumption: Best – tape backups don’t run on weekends because no one is there to change the tapes. I wrote an export script that ftp the backup to an external server. It took months, but it was worth it. Worst – not having an office, because I can’t concentrate
CML: Still waiting for best and worst. Bad – two different floods (which both came from the ceiling, not from below). Good – you always know you’re helping to make the whole library work

How much time do you spend helping patrons with computer questions?
CML: Maybe six times a week. Staff is good at calling me only in real emergencies. Also have to manage expectations, and not go above and beyond in every single situation.

What elevel of access do staff have to their machines?
CML: Most are powerusers (web people are local admins), and no one knows admin passwords on public computers. To do this, you need authority from above, and also the credibility for staff and patrons to believe you. We crack down a bit on non-work use (changing wallpaper, online shopping, etc), because these aren’t the staffs personal computers, they are the library’s computer (those are the people that usually end up with spyware and slow computers).
WPI: Staff have admin rights on the PC they use, and they are responsible for it
Assumption: Mostly same as WPI, because staff is busy and work hard, so it is important for them to stay connected (especially for those that work extra)

Scriblio: Web 2.SO? – Why it matters to Libraries

Lichen RancourtTuesday, 8:30-10:00

Scriblio is a program to help libraries create a stronger online presence developed by Casey Bisson of Plymouth State University and Lichen Rancourt of the Manchester (NH) Public Library. Lichen demonstrates why this just may be a new model for future OPACs. It provides keyword searching, faceted searching and browsing, persistent URLs for easy linking and full integration of website and catalog content and… it’s open source and can be used for free.

Slides available at

What is a library?
A collection that is cared for and made available to the public

  • A collection: is not just books, but information resources – audio books, DVDs, internet resources
  • Cared for: librarians manage these materials and assist in their location and use
  • The public: the people we serve; our town, our consortium, anyone who uses our website or comes into the building (not limited to geography)

Enter Web 2.0
Libraries are no longer just destinations, but are a platform for information exchange (library to patron and patron to patron). This is also what Web 2.0 does – lets people share information with each other easily.

Geography is becoming less and less important, because some interaction happens online.

Three characteristics of Web 2.0

  • Usability: Traditional library tools are built to be used by experts. Web 2.0 tools are built to be used easily by anyone (2.0 = do it yourself)
  • Remixability: How easy is it to use content from our source and use it in another (embedding YouTube videos or flickr pictures into a blog, etc)
  • Findability: How are these tools found online? Patrons can’t find library books through google because traditional ILSs are “closed systems.” Web 2.0 tools are open to external searches and links

If libraries are about serving communities and Web 2.0 is about building communities, then Web 2.0 needs library service. Because, what do libraries have that Web 2.0 tools don’t have? Librarians to help.

Enter Catalog 2.0
This allows ILSs to serve patrons however they are searching online (the library website is just one avenue to the collection).

Traditional ILSs don’t like to share their data – even with librarians. New options are:

Scriblio meets all of the above criteria – easy to use by non-experts, but provides expert information in an open and shared way.

It’s a small plug-in for a wordpress blog

Tamworth Library website:

  • Sidebars has calendars with upcoming events and library hours (based on Google calendars (one location for data is represented in multiple locations, instead of having to update multiple locations)
  • Sidebar also has a flickr badge, showing the latest uploaded photos (of programs, resources, etc)
  • Blog posts serve as announcements, in the center of the homepage
  • Pages are for more static content, which exist within the website’s navigation
  • Catalog data is also treated as “live” data, so they show up as new books on the homepage (like a blog post) – having data in this format makes is very easy for patrons to browse new books. Catalog records use all existing library controlled data, as well as incorporates user tagging data (patron-generated data is not stored in the ILS – it is stored in Scriblio)
  • All three data types are searchable from one search box
  • Drawbacks: data is not live (uploaded manually in batches), so circ status is not completely accurate, and holds cannot be place. YET – this is open source and always in development
  • Some data provided by amazon – images, reviews, etc. – in return for a link back
  • RSS feeds are available through Scriblio automatically – for anything you want, based on the way you tag/categorize records
  • Patrons are adding comments and book reviews
    • this data is also included in the search
    • this is how Tamworth is currently handling reserves – they are sent as emails to staff (and this comment is not published)
    • All comments are moderated (patrons can choose “private” so that librarians see it but other patrons don’t)
    • Patrons also suggest things to do/purchase
    • Makes homebound patrons feel welcome

Jay RancourtJay Rancourt, Director, Cook Memorial Library

  • Implementing this makes the Board of Trustees nervous – be ready for this, but push forward. The Board likes it, but are worried about privacy
  • Posting policies for privacy issues: library incorporates web posting into their policy: get permission in writing from program presenters, and get verbal permission from parents (and try to avoid taking recognizable pictures of kids faces)
  • Managing information is less work than the old site – all web-based, so it can even be done from home (think snow days)
  • Knowing how people get to the website is a favorite thing – people coming from search engines is now equal to people who go there directly (it means the library data is findable to the world)
  • Kids and Teens love this, and get interested in posting
  • Use this to promote local history resources (much better than a vertical file). Best of all, patrons who know this local history can contribute
  • This is a great way to open a new channel to patrons – we already do in-person, phone, fax, email, etc… now we do IM and respond to comments

Back-end (WordPress)

  • Try setting up a free blog at to see how it works and how easy it is
  • New posts are easy forms to fill in
  • Changing the look of the website is just choosing a theme
  • Different permission levels for different users (staff can each have their own login and level of rights
  • Plug-ins are easy to add and turn on/off
  • Scriblio is a plu-in, with it’s own admin screen. Easy form to upload new catalog records
  • See for a working example of a “fresh” Scriblio install

Is this tied in with LibraryThing?
Tagging is separate from LibraryThing tagging

Is it really just two people doing this?
Yes (Casey Bission does code, Lichen interacts with libraries, both develop ideas), with Jessamyn West helping with documentation.

Do you work with other Open Source projects?
Not directly, but the OS community is very open and friendly

How much time do you spend doing this?
Maybe 2-3 hours a week; the interfaces are so good that it’s easy and fun to use – especially since results are immediate

Is this moving the idea of a community center online? ie, are you helping community patrons start and use flickr accounts, etc., so they can contribute, too?
We hadn’t thought of it, but that’s a great idea. It’s also a great idea for programs. However, we do post information from patrons – one Trustee posted a video to YouTube of the 4th of July parade, and the library embedded that in a blog post.

When will this be ready for us?
Soon – maybe summer 2008. Contact Lichen for more information.

Aged to Perfection, Part II: Libraries and the Senior Marketplace

Nancy DavisRemember the essentials of Marketing:
Delivering what the people want to the people who want it in the way they want it

Why are there children’s specialists, market segmentation (infants are treated differently from toddlers) and special programming effort for children, but not for seniors? When hiring, we should look for people with prior experience and aptitude in this area.

A responsive and supportive senior community can have a tremendous impact on the library.

Growing senior population challenges

  • Reallocation of staff and funding to include seniors, and must be able to support the tools they need (and adapt as their needs change)
  • Reassessment of facilities and collection (need to be ADA-compliant, seniors may have trouble with oversized books or high/low shelves, provide adaptive technologies, etc)
  • Libraries need to provide more personal assistance, including serving those who can’t come to the library (van/mobile services, programs outside the library)

Opportunities for the Library

  • Enrich the lives of long-time community members (and an important voting block). It’s also good to recognize long-time patrons (cardholder for 50 years, etc.
  • Seniors are great community resources themselves, and are valuable volunteers
  • Grants are available specifically for these types of services
  • There is a potential to launch a “planned giving” program, in anticipation of the shift of wealth to older generations. We need to make these people aware of the library as a recipient of donations, trusts, and grants (it is especially important for Trustees to get involved)
  • Seniors control 70% of disposable income in the US (and usually the decision-maker is female)

Seniors use the library for many reasons

  • Pleasure reading, travel information, health information (it is dangerous to self-diagnose), hobby information, starting new careers, lifelong learning, share their love of reading with grandchildren, doing genealogy research (which is also a great way to introduce seniors to databases and online computing
  • Information available at the library is free. Seniors are thrifty and often vote against tax increases, but usually are willing to support a library that they use

What the library can offer seniors

  • Free recreational reading (from other libraries via ILL, too)
  • Professional, friendly and knowledgeable service catered to their needs and their pace
  • A place to socialize with other members of the community (not just other seniors)
  • Volunteer opportunities to give back and feel needed
  • Timely information about larger social issues, community events, government services
  • One-on-one attention with a high level of service (seniors can remember a time when service was important, and they notice when they get it)
  • Access to the internet and internet training

The “Silver Market Test” – Does the library have…

  • …leadership committed to serving seniors?
  • …strategic initiatives geared towards seniors?
  • …programming and collection materials that meet the needs and requirements of seniors?
  • …a budget line-item to support senior programs?
  • …established customer service guidelines (and staff trained to these guidelines)?
  • …a facility (the building, your website, in-library technology, signage, everything) that meets all accessibility needs? See and
  • …a senior advisory board?

How to reach seniors?

  • Seniors read, so reach them through the library newsletter, other forms of direct mail, church bulletins, the newspaper
  • Freebies and promotions, grouped and branded for seniors
  • Community events and flyers/posters around town
  • Word of mouth is very important, and negative impressions circulate just as fast as positive impressions
  • Eliminate all library jargon
  • Don’t surprise them – if you promise something, do it.

Ideas that Work

  • Program around Older Adults Month (May)
  • 1/2 off fines and fees on senior days
  • Collection of materials for caregivers
  • Lunch with a Book for seniors
  • Program Ideas
    • How to downsize/relocate
    • Planning a family reunion
    • Getting started in genealogy
    • Intro to tech gadgets
    • Take pictures of your grandkids with a digital camera
    • Creating writing classes, scrapbooking
    • Container gardening
    • Display of family photos/mementos
    • Oral history programs with schools

OS Follies – Windows Vista, Linux GNU/Ubuntu and Mac OS X

This presentation covers three popular operating systems: Windows Vista, Linux GNU/Ubuntu and Mac OS X.

Barbara AndrewsVista: Barbara Andrews

  • Comes with a lot more drivers so fewer things need to be installed
  • Service Pack is coming out in the first park of 2008 (support for XP will go through 2014)
  • Vista is more Mac-like, graphics-wise. Much more visual cues and helpers, such as a variety of desktop “gadets” (like Mac widgets)
  • Start menu is pretty much the same, exept “start button” have been replace with Windows icon
  • Built-in computer search, which is also useful for locating programs
  • No more fly-out menus – everything is dropdown
  • Windows explorer has search box. They’re trying to eliminate menu bars so tools and features are not hidden.
  • New: Snipping Tool – allows easy screen capturing to convert any section of screen to jpg and email. It also allows annotating these images
  • New: User Account Control – alerts user when some non-user-initiated process begins. Pops up whenever something unusual is happening, to warn you of viruses. But it can be annoying
  • New: Photo Organizer – similar to Mac’s iPhoto, it easily puts photos in folders and allows basic function, such as redeye reduction, size reduction, cropping, etc., and also has various print options (multiple images per page)
  • Task bar shows thumbnail of minimized program
  • Alt-tab has new Windows-tab 3D program scroll feature
  • New: Built-in Parental Controls – inside user accounts, you can create a “child” account, and then set things like website filtering, time limits, block programs/games based on ratings or other criteria
  • New: Allows USB Flash Drives to be used as additional RAM (“speed up my system” auto-detection). This portion of the flash drive then becomes dedicated computer memory, and can’t be used for data storage
  • Windows Defender firewall comes standard
  • Question: How much RAM?: Presenter using 1GB, so 2GB (which has been recommended) is not necessary

GNU/Linux (Ubuntu) Wes Hamilton

  • Reliable: Linux is known to be reliable, and is increasely becoming a realistic alternative to Windows
  • Powerful: Linux gets more out of a computer, so older computers get new life
  • Freedom to Choose: Open Source means lots of different developers working on lots of different projects, so there is a lot of available options (good projects rise to the top, and bad projects fall away)
  • Ubuntu: Secure, Simple: Made for people to use, and doesn’t have virus like Windows. For root-level changes, it prompts you for admin password (like Vista, but doesn’t prompt you every single time)
  • Computer settings are divided between “preferences” and “administration” – administrator settings requires password
  • Afforable: It is free
  • Does not force applications at you like Windows (who sell desktop space for new installs)
  • Allows for switching between different “workspaces” instead of minimizing programs.
  • Comes pre-packaged with software: games, Firefox, Open Office software, photo editing, an dmore – doesn’t require additional installations
  • Default view is a desktop, but also has a built in terminal program
  • File storage is slightly different than Windows – everything can be found from desktop menus
  • Niche for libraries: give new life to old WinX computers – for free
  • Can Windows be undone to add Linux to an existing system? Yes, but it’s involved, because Windows wants to take up all available space. Windows partition can be shrunk to make room for Ubuntu, and then ask on bootup which OS to boot into
  • Question: Is there anti-virus for Linux? Luckily, not many viruses written for Linux. There are some worms, but patches come out quickly. The anti-virus is called Clam (ClanWin for Windows). Doesn’t run in background like Windows programs, but is more of an on-demand scanner
  • Question: What about wireless? It actually depends on the hardware of your wireless card. Broadcom is kind of hostile to open source, so their equipment doesn’t work very well
  • What about Overdrive and DRM? Depends on vendor and how they feel about open source – web-based programs work better. Also an idea is to run a Windows-emulator within Ubuntu (VMWare) and run the Windows programs that way

Scott KehoeMac OS X Scott Kehoe

  • Pronounced “O.S. ten”
  • Links available on Scott’s
  • Once you go Mac you can’t go back” – it’s true, because Macs make computing fun again
  • How different is Mac from Windows? Right-click still works, file formats and peripherals (mice, USB drives, CDs, DVDs) all work the same, almost as much freeware and most windows programs have Mac-versions, and now Macs use a lot of the same hardware
  • OSX and libraries: work just fine with printers and other peripherals, no virus, spyware or bloatware, built-in firewall with “invisible” wifi (easy to set up in Mac), comes with secure mode (like Deep Freeze), has built-in PDF support (don’t need Adobe Reader and keep up with updates), Firefox works the same, many kids get familiar with Macs in school, and using Macs make the library look tech-savvy
  • Current version is OS X 10.4 Tiger. Next is 10.5 Leopard due in 10/2007 (kind of the equivalent of Windows XP’s Service Pack 2). Has a new built-in feature called “Time Machine” that is a backup system – backups all versions of all files
  • Apple Stores are a great resource – free wifi, classes, hands-on experience, and tech support at the “genius bar.” store finder
  • Macs are keyboard-oriented, so lots of shortcut keys. F9 displays all open windows in miniature. System search (“Spotlight”) works really well to find documents, programs and even email messages
  • Office 2008 is due in late January 2008 (Mac’s version of Office 2007)

LibraryThing and Social Cataloging

LibraryThing is a free website that helps people catalog their personal libraries and connect with thousands of other readers with similar interests. Started on 2005, it now has more than 173,000 users who have cataloged more than 11 million books. It’s also a social space, making book recommendations based on your cataloged collection. Abby Blachly, the LibraryThing librarian, gives an overview of the site and discusses aspects of social cataloging including tagging. Kate Sheehan ( of Danbury (CT) Library describes the implementation of LibraryThing into their catalog.

note to self for next year: when going to a LibraryThing presentation, come early!

Abby on LibraryThing
Quick Demo of LT (within an individual library)

  • Add Books: enter isbn and/or title, etc, which searches amazon (or your chosen library), and click on book to add to your library
  • Library display is sortable and changeable
  • Add tags, dates of acquisition, reading, etc
  • Within your catalog, all data is editable

Global View of LT

  • Shows tags for all LT members, recommendations based on all libraries that contain this book
  • Different editions and versions of each book are combined into single “works.” Users do this, based on guidelines provided by LT. This allows users to see reviews and other information for all versions at once.
  • Users also combine author names (LT has no Authority File) to compile all variations of a name into a single author page
  • Users upload cover images, photos of authors (requires permission from author), translate site text into other languages, contribute to discussions about books and authors
  • Social Cataloging (Common Knowledge): includes extra fields for works and authors, like author gender, dates of birth/death, awards, primary characters, important locations – all supplied by users. All edits are tracked by user, and allows reverting to previous versions
  • Edits can be made by members and non-members (a user doesn’t need to be logged into the website to make changes)


  • 25 million tags in the system
  • Tags mean the most to the person tagging, based on their memory of the book
  • With such a large number of tags, even sporadic and personal tags become meaningful to everyone, as errors and offensive washout statistically
  • Tagging is like fluffing pillows – you’ll do it at home or friends houses, to help them, but you wouldn’t volunteer to fluff pillows at a hotel (akin to tagging at
  • Tags like “chicklit” and “unread” are great for readers advisory. Tags also have “related tags” to link to similar books (although subject headings are included on “works” pages, they are usually less helpful than user-supplied tags)
  • Tagging does have problems: “sf” could mean “science fiction” or “san franscico;” “Katrina” could be books about Hurricane Katrina or books lost in the storm

Readers Advisory

  • Provides recommendations based on a large variy of data (including amazon’s suggestions)
  • There is also an “Unsuggester” which lists books totally unlike a given book – all based on LT data statistics

Kate on adding LT to an OPAC
Using LibraryThing for Libraries. Their site offers a sign up to be a tester, an faq, and updates (via Thingology. The entire process has been very open and transparent, versus secretiveness.

  • Puts LT data right into the library’s OPAC, such as similar books, tags, etc (the same links and data as provided on the LT site, but within the OPAC)
  • The data resides on LT servers
  • The data relates to and includes only books in the OPAC
  • LTfL allows patrons to be involved in the process
  • The entire process was quick and easy – did not have to go through vendor (Innovative Interfaces)
  • Problems: had to do some code workaround a bit to make data show up in the right place in the catalog. Other problems were fixed by LT staff in under an hour
  • Staff loves it – wonderful for readers advisory. Patrons love it, once they are shown that it’s there
  • The library could not have done this on their own or with a typical ILS vendor
  • This does not require patrons to change how they use the library or learn how to use new tools – the data is provided right in the catalog, which people already understand

Presentation is available on

Does LT include information on music CDs and/or DVD/VHS?
Non-book formats can be added, but they are not officially supported by LT

A lot of childrens books?

Audio Books?
Yes – there are entire libraries of just audio books. THis also shows up in “other editions”

Readaway is a very similar program – can I upload to LT?
Yes – there is a universal import feature that relies on ISBNs. As long as ISBNs are in the file, it’ll work.

How to people pay for LT?
non-profile $15/year to use it as your OPAC (free for under 200 books)
LTfL pricing depends on circulation – email for more information

Is Casey prepared for a flood of interest in LTfL?
Yes. There are 15 live and 100s in process.

What about consortiums?
Yes, it’ll work (there aren’t any consortiums using it yet, but some are close)

Are searched libraries being expanded?
Yes. Currently 82, soon to add 300 more. Trying to add more public, but they need to have open Z39.50 systems.

Is there a desktop application?

How does LT know what books Danbury Library has?
Danbury has to upload new list, which DPL does once a month. Other libraries do it more frequently.

What are the demographics of LT users?
LT does not keep people data on the system, so this sort of thing really isn’t tracked. All that is needed is a username. A lot of traffic comes from blogs and word of mouth.

What is SRU?
It’s a transfer protocol to move data from one library catalog to another.

How are new titles uploaded for LTfL?
Go to website, and there is an easy upload form (however, be careful when choosing “append” or “overwrite”). Using this same form, you can also change in-OPAC settings on the fly (how many tags to show, etc.)

Does LTfL work with all ILSs?

Discussion Group: Wireless

Wireless technology now has many faces. Join ITS members to discuss the various issues that we face with all the wireless devices and platforms. Non-wireless users and “thinking about it” persons are welcome too. The ITS business meeting is included.

Introduction to NELA-ITS, and what they do – work with and talk about technology, and plan an annual ITS Spring Technology workshop.

Wireless is very common in libraries today, so today’s session is an “in-person tech support session” with ITS tech staff.

Issues brought up:

Problem is with signing on with IE7 and/or Vista not with bluesocket connection (but okay with IE6 and/or Firefox).

  • check for firmware upgrades
  • check “security” settings in browser – try setting everything to default
  • check any other security settings (Norton, McAfee, etc)
  • Connecting to wireless with Vista has actually worked better than XP for ITS staff, as Vista recognizes a wireless connection and automatically locks down other areas of the computer to protect it

Wireless laptops in the library

  • Circulating laptops saves on room as they don’t require dedicated table space
  • Using wireless laptops as lookup stations in parts of the library that would be difficult to wire
  • Handling updates can be problematic, as they all need to be turned on and “unfrozen.” Perhaps leave them on overnight to let updates happen
  • Use same virus protect as on public computers
  • Think about using some kind of bandwidth limiting (or a packet shaper). Bluesocket can also do this

How to balance access and security?

  • Access should be as wide and freely-available as possible
  • Keep in mind that if a network is hacked, then all information on that network is potentially vulnerable
  • Weight likelihood of break-in (such as Coast Guard Academy or a college’s student network) with needs of the public

Wireless printing

  • Provide a link for patrons to download printer driver
  • Have a separate printer networked to the wireless router
  • Have patrons send document as email attachment to special email account
  • Keep a flash drive handy to move to a print-enabled computer

Turning off wireless connection at night?

  • Turn it off at night to keep people from hanging out in the parking lot
  • Police will sometimes prevent loitering, even though the connection is on
  • Seems to be bad publicity for library

Wireless network separate from staff network, to protect ILS and staff from external computers

  • currently using free Comcast network access
  • use VLAN

Network monitoring (if one person brings in an infected computer, just block that one person instead of shutting down the entire network) and a splash screen (patron must agree to Acceptable Use Policy)

ITS Annual Business Meeting

  • Rick Taplin is incoming Chair
  • Scott Kehoe is Vice-Chair
  • Marilyn Borgendale is secretary
  • Members-at-Large: Margaret Perkins and Brian Herzog
  • Kathy Lussier is outgoing Chair
  • NELA-ITS has a Yahoo group – sign up for meeting announcements
  • Usually meet bi-monthly in Shrewsbury, MA
  • Main activities is planning for Spring Conference, sessions for NELA Annual Conference, and a cookout at Rick Taplin’s house.

Brian Herzog’s Introduction

Hello, I’m Brian Herzog, Head of Reference at the Chelmsford (MA) Public Library, and this will be my second NELA annual conference. I’ve never been an official blogger before, but I’ve been posting my session notes for all the conferences I attend on my own weblog. I’ll be at the conference all day Monday and Tuesday (probably going to see the Hollywood Librarian Monday night). I’m looking forward to meeting everyone, so please come up and say hi if you see me.