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

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

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:

The Internet Is NOT Flat

Ethan ZuckermanTuesday, 8:30 – 10:00

Ten years ago, 70 million people used the Internet. Today, there are more than 1.2 billion people online, and that number is still growing. As projects like One Laptop Per Child come to fruition, we can imagine a future where it’s possible to talk to almost anyone, anywhere in the world. But what will we say to one another? Ethan Zuckerman, cofounder of Global Voices, offers a tour of the globalized Internet, looking at ways in which users around the world are connecting – and frequently misunderstanding one another. Along the way we meet Nigerian spammers, Saudi feminists, Tunisian mapmakers and Chinese gold-farmers, as we discover the tools and guides necessary to navigate this growing new world. The program is sponsored by ITS.

Presentation slides:

Geeks and librarians share a connection – we both work on creating and sharing information.

One exciting type of information is the kind that cuts across borders to connect cultures and building cultural bridges.

1980’s arena rock and roll

If you were a rock star in the 1980s, your life was really good 20 years ago – and now you’re hoping something will take you back to that. But if your band doesn’t have it’s lead singer anymore, what do you do?

Watch videos on YouTube, looking for a really good cover band. When you find one, contact the person that posted the video and then get in touch with the singer.

This happened with Journey, after a Journey song was used in the final episode of The Sopranos. The lead guitarist wanted to go back on tour, and the singer he found was in the Philippines (but try telling this story to the government officials who issue visas to come to the US – he had to actually sing to prove it was true). Journey is now out on tour with this Filipino lead singer.

Why is this surprising?

Our world is such that this is possible. We laugh because it is unlikely, but it is possible because we are connected like never before.

It is not at all uncommon to buy bottled water from Fiji in any convenience store, or getting imported food is just about any restaurant. Competition, especially in the technology world, is often not from companies in the same town or region, but in India.

It’s our infrastructure that allows this – shipping channels, undersea cables, airline routes, etc. Despite these established connections, we often do it poorly.

Mike Berry, aka Shiver Metimbers, has been responding to all of the Nigerian scam emails he gets. His goal is to get them back by doing whatever he can to waste their time. He tells them he is a television producer talent scout, and tells them that he can fund them to come to the US to appear on television if they put an audition video of themselves doing Monty Python’s Dead Parrot Sketch. Or he offers a scholarship for wood carving, and makes them send him intricate wood carvings. Or he tells them he is in a church to “shivers” and to be admitted and brought to the US if they send him a photograph of themselves getting a tattoo that says “Baited by Shivers.” He justifies this because these Nigerians are taking advantage of people, but their greed is causing them to comply with him voluntarily.

This is a modernized version of the “Spanish Prisoner Scam.”
It only works if

  • someone thinks they can get something for nothing
  • it comes from a culture the target thinks is corrupt

The problem is that this caused people to want to have nothing at all to do with Nigeria – to the point where they block their websites and domains from Nigeria IPs. Which essentially means we have started “unwiring” the world.

This desire for cultural connection started with Socrates – he said he was not a citizen of Athens, but a citizen of the world.

Book suggestion: Cosmopolitanism, by Kwame Anthony Appiah. He talks about bridge cultures by explaining why we’re bad at it. We’ve only been doing this for the last couple hundred years, and up until that point we really only got to know the people immediate around us. It’s only for the last few generations that we’ve had experience in getting to know people from totally different cultures.

But we still view the world through filters. Nigeria has about as many people as Japan, but Americans pay much more attention to Japan – about 8 times more (as far as news stories). This produces a distorted view of the world.

Alisa Miller of PRI has begun to look at how distorted our world view is based on media stories. She has started to make cartagrams, which are maps with countries sized by media coverage.

Another player in this are tools like – it’s a social website where users rank news stories, so you can see what’s important to other people like you. This is called homophily, which is the tendency of birds of a feather to flock together. As we become more mobile and travel around the world, we find we are still gravitating towards people already like us.

This causes us to become more polarized to our individual groups, because we are only listening to people with our same point of view. This is the “echo chamber” effect.

This is a problem with people, but is much more a problem with nations.

New York Times as an example of Persuasive Technology

  • paper edition: 25 stories on front page, with about 200+ words each
  • online edition: 300 stories, with about 20 words each

In print, they try to entice you to open the paper. Online, they trust you to know what you want and find it yourself.

Serendipity – we are able to stumble into things or discover connections that are otherwise unavailable. This is not randomness, this is giving people opportunities. Library shelves are like this – related books are put together.

How is this replicated online? Create tools that allow connections between cultures, and are not echo chambers – they bring in related information from different areas and viewpoints, to bridge these connections.

These overt connections and cooperation are vital to solve problems in the modern world, because there are many subtle and complex connections that we don’t recognize. The housing crisis in the US affected Iceland, which affected mainland Europe because many of them used Icelandic banks. The first approach to a solution was for each government to work separately, but nothing got better until the governments cooperated and worked in concert to address the problem.

To do this, we need to get past our filters – read newspapers and blogs from other cultures (and get someone to translate why these stories are important to the people there).

Blogs and bloggers are great ways to build bridges. Bloggers are people (egomaniacs), and like to talk about and share their blogs and information with anyone who contacts them.

To get better globally, we need to look for tools that help us get past this. One Laptop Per Child is one tool that lets kids in Nigeria not just connect to other cultures, but contribute to the global culture.

We also need to engineer serendipity, to give people the opportunity to stumble upon the information they need that they didn’t know they need.

We need to get people out of their flocks once in awhile.

We need to be more xenophily.

Don’t stop believing.

Ethan Zuckerman


Can you tell us more about Global Voices?
Check out – it is our aggregator for world news. Paid editors (about $800/month) recruit a team of people to cover what’s doing on in a particular country. We collect news in about 25 languages, and put out stories in about 15 languages.

What does the CIA think of Global Voices?
Originally (when lots of stories were about North Korea), the server stats showed that 12% of traffic was coming from .mil sites. Now, the government is coming around to the idea that valuable information and intelligence can come from blogs

What’s the future of the media?
The media is driven by following cycles and trends, and not reporting necessarily on news. However, they are responding to what the public wants, so it’s not entirely their fault. What we need to do is learn what we should be paying attention to, and then the media will respond with these important stories. We know so little to start with (outside our echo chambers) so people don’t know what to look for.

Were you involved with OLPC, and how is it working?
I’m friends with Nicholas Negroponti (founder, at MIT), and we argue a lot about it. He wants to change the education systems in developing nations. The problem is it was marketed as the $100 laptop, but ended up being $250. Also, educators hated it – they were distractions in the classroom, and kids liked them more than paying attention to teachers, and teachers were not trained to teach with them. This is because they were developed and launched without cultural sensitivity to how they would be used in these environments.

Can you talk more about building serendipity into library websites?
My “engineer serendipity” call was a cry for help. Amazon is doing this really well, with their purchase circles (what are people in my town buying – try to figure out why). It’s tricky online, because there is no rigorous definition for it. It needs to be both surprising and interesting, so needs to be related to connect in some way, but not something you already know about. A lot of computer systems are based on ratings. LibraryThing has the unsuggester, which is a unique approach to it. Sometimes the best we can do is go for “arbitrariness within context,” and just see what happens and hope for the best.

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

“Graphic” Non-Fiction

Program Desription:

They are definitely “graphics” but they definitely are not novels. Non-fiction in the graphic format is a growing trend and can engage readers who might reject other non-fiction. Two Rhode Island young adult librarians, Robin Lensing of Pawtucket Public Library and Ed Fuqua from Woonsocket Harris Public Library, discuss the advantages of adding non-fiction to your graphic collection. The program is sponsored by NERTCL.

Monday, 3:30-5 p.m.

Robin Lensing and Ed Fuqua

From left: Robin Lensing and Ed Fuqua

Lensing and Fuqua went through an extensive list of titles for non-fiction graphic novels that a library could add to its collection. I will post a link to the list here as soon as it is available on the NELA Web site.

Fuqua noted that the popularity of graphic novels is really huge right now. Public reception of graphic novels is greater now than it ever has in history. Every major publisher has a graphic novel in print.

While showing Beowulf by Gareth Hinds (Candlwick, 2007), Lensing said, “how hard is it to get kids interested in Beowulf?” If a kid needs to read Beowulf, the graphic novel may have more appeal than other versions.

On the other hand, Fuqua said the graphic version of the 9/11 Report gives faces to the people who died in the attack. It can bring it alive for kids.

Question from audience: Are these really graphic “novels”? Since they are non-fiction, should they be called “novels?”

It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction. The format is graphic novels, even if it is non-fiction.

But this raised the question of where you should shelve your graphic non-fiction.

“You should put things where you think your readers will find them,” Fuqua said.

Some titles are put in fiction, others are put in non-fiction.  It doesn’t matter to our patrons. It matters to librarians.

A person in the audience said her library puts all its graphic novels together. It doesn’t separate fiction from non-fiction.

Lensing, referring to a graphic novel about the Holocaust said, the benefit of putting it in non-fiction is that a child researching the Holocaust may come across the graphic novel.

Fuqua added that several titles on the list don’t have popular appeal. They may work better with non-fiction books.

Lensing also saw potential for working with these non-fiction graphic novels in school. What would be great, she said, if you’re working in a school is if you can get teachers to encourage students to write graphic novels. If they can see that graphic novels can be different than Spiderman, it may inspire them in a different direction.

It Takes a Community: The CLOCKSS Initiative

Program Description:

How will you ensure researchers have access to electronic content in the future? What happens when journals get sold or lost in the shuffle of a merger? These questions vex librarians and publishers alike, but CLOCKSS has answers. CLOCKSS (Controlled Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) is a community-wide endeavor built upon the widely-used LOCKSS system. Victoria Reich, Director of the LOCKSS Program at Stanford (CA) University, explains how they are working to guarantee long-term access to digital materials, regardless of ability to pay. The New England Technical Service Librarians section (NETSL) and the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) co-sponsor the program.

Monday, 8:30- 10

When libraries first started subscribing to more and more databases with licensed periodical content, I remember a lot of discussion about whether libraries should keep subscribing to the print version of a periodical. What would happen if the vendor stopped licensing the content from a periodical?  Many libraries have dramatically cut back on their serials subscriptions as they rely more heavily on the licensed content from their database vendors. But, if budget cuts make them curtail their database subscriptions or if a vendor severs a relationship with a publisher, that content is lost to the library. With the print subscriptions, that content remained with the library long after the subscription was canceled.

The LOCKSS and CLOCKSS intiatives have separate ways of addressing this issues. LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) tries to replicate the print serials subscription model by providing a way for libraries to store the content provided by a database vendor on a server, called a LOCKSS box. According to Reich, LOCKSS allows libraries to build local collections. They take local control of content from the Web and download it to a LOCKSS box. It’s preserved and you have 100% perpetual access.

CLOCKSS, on the other hand, is a dark archive of material built on the underlying LOCKSS technology. Nobody can access the content in a CLOCKSS box until it is no longer available through any publisher.

Reich said Stanford University and the other institutions involved are committed to these initiatives because they believe library collections are the key to democracy. Libraries are important to democracies, and collections are critical to libraries. “What keeps the group going at Stanford is the fact that we believe libraries situated in communities that have collections are central to core democracy.”

She started her presentation by talking about CLOCKSS. Continue reading