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April 30, 2007

Tim Berners-Lee interview from March Tech Review

Tim Berners-Lee
Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.


Tim Berners-Lee
The inventor of the World Wide Web explains how the Semantic Web works and how it will transform how we use and understand data.
(8min 24sec)

April 27, 2007

Keeping Up and Making Time

Please go read Emily Clasper's excellent post at Library Revolution. I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her four points regarding professional development:

  1.  It really doesn’t take that much time. I have all of my subscriptions in my aggregator, and I peruse them when I’m on the phone with people, killing a few minutes before a meeting, and (gasp!) at home when I’m not actually “on the clock.” If something looks really interesting and I don’t have time for an in-depth read, I keep it as new and hit it later. And if I don’t have time, I don’t sweat it. Or I just dump some of the more expendable stuff. And I don’t sweat that, either.
  2. We need to keep informed. Sometimes librarians get so busy “doing our jobs” that we forget the responsibility we have to our profession. And a big part of being good professionals is keeping current and well informed, even if it takes you away from day-to-day tasks now and then, and even if it means you have to devote some of your personal time to doing so.
  3. We need to rethink our priorities. I think this is true for most of us in life, not just librarians. But when you find that you are missing out on something important in your profession because you “don’t have time,” I think some of the things that are eating up your time need to be reevaluated. If I could have a nickel every time a librarian who “doesn’t have time” explains in the next breath the weird, complicated procedure they use for this-or-that function in their library… Are those strange work-arounds and time consuming procedures so important and necessary? How can you streamline your job so that you can accommodate your professional responsibility to keep current?
  4. Employers and supervisors need to support professional development. For real. I think that most of our supervisors talk a good game about how we all need to engage in “professional development” and keep abreast of Libraryworld happenings and trends. So they need to stick to that. If you are a supervisor, what are you doing to encourage your staff to keep themselves informed? If you’re a “supervisee,” what are you doing to keep your boss honest about this one? And how can we be supportive of our colleagues in this endeavor?
Full post.


24 hours of flickr

24 hours of flickr
Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

What happens around the world in one day? In a word – life. Here on Flickr, photographers are sharing what they see: snapping daily moments, recording history, telling stories, capturing beauty.

To celebrate this global community, we invite you to join us in "24 Hours of Flickr" – a day-long global photo project. On May 5, 2007, grab your camera and whatever else you need, and chronicle your day in pictures. The group's photos will be featured at Flickr events around the world this summer and in a companion book, which will contain a selection of photographs chosen from the group (more about this soon!).

April 26, 2007

Look! A Kitty! (And a cool new book.)

David Weinberger's "Everything is Miscellaneous"
Originally uploaded by freerangelibrarian.

April 25, 2007

my favorite slide from Jenny Levine's presentation at CIL2007

my favorite slide from Jenny Levine's presentation at CIL2007
Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

April 17, 2007


Transparent Library Graphic Michael Stephens and I are writing our next column for LJ's The Transparent Library and we realized what a perfect place to discuss the recent Wired piece "The Naked CEO" by Clive Thompson.

Thompson blogged about the article while writing the piece and asked for input.
At his blog, Thompson sums up so much of what we've been discussing about the advent of web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the almost-left-the-station Cluetrain:

Reputation Is Everything: Google isn't a search engine. Google is a reputation-managment system. What do we search for, anyway? Mostly people, products, ideas -- and what we want to know are, what do other people think about this stuff? All this blogging, Flickring, MySpacing, journaling -- and, most of all, linking -- has transformed the Internet into a world where it's incredibly easy to figure out what the world thinks about you, your neighbor, the company you work for, or the stuff you were blabbing about four years ago. It might seem paradoxical, but in a situation like that, it's better to be an active participant in the ongoing conversation than to stand off and refuse to participate. Because, okay, let's say you don't want to blog, or to Flickr, or to participate in online discussion threads. That means the next time someone Googles you they'll find ... everything that everyone else has said about you, rather than the stuff you've said yourself. (Again -- just ask Sony about this one.) The only way to improve and buff your reputation is to dive in and participate. Be open. Be generous. Throw stuff out there -- your thoughts, your ideas, your personality. Trust comes from transparency.

Let's try this. We'd love to hear from directors, librarians, library staff -- heck even users. Please comment here or at Tame the Web.

Some points to ponder:

  • What does it mean to be radically transparent?
  • How closely tied is it to radical trust?
  • Is secrecy dead?
  • What reputation do you want your library to have? What reputation DOES it have?

April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, 1922 - 2007

You know we've had to imagine the war here, and we have imagined that it was being fought by aging men like ourselves. We had forgotten that wars were fought by babies. When I saw those freshly shaved faces, it was a shock "My God, my God—" I said to myself. "It's the Children's Crusade."

-Slaughterhouse-Five, 1969. 

April 10, 2007

Mark's Last Day

Mark with Shirt
Originally uploaded by One Page Turner.

Today was Mark's last day at the Dacula library. Mark was one of the original fourteen staffers who helped open the branch, and while he's going on to bigger and better things we will miss having him in our library system. Good luck Mark!

April 08, 2007

Passive Aggressive Behavior

I received an email from a friend of mine on the left coast asking how to deal with this type of behavior. It's an unfortunate fact that this type of passive-aggressive behavior still exists in today's libraries. It must be dealt with head-on. This is just the type of attitude that leads to the cultures of perfect and no, an issue I talk about with Michael Stephens in this month's Library Journal.  

Here's the email my friend sent to admin about a retention policy question: 

Dear Mr. Williams,

How long do we retain back issues of the New York Times? Thanks.

Mary at Smallville Branch

And this is what she got in return:

Dear Mary,

You'll find the answer on page 21 of the Retention Policy Manual in the System Manual, volume 4.

J. Williams.

What could the letter writer have said that would still have been instructional but less passive-aggressive and more friendly?

Dear Mary,

We keep them for 3 weeks. If you ever need this info in the future you can find it in our Retention Policy Manual in volume 4 of the System Manual.

Good luck,

J. Williams.

Good Sounds

Check out Darren Chase's A Cautionary Tale About the Hazards of Never Having Any Fun. Very cool! Reminds me of Lou Reed.

April 07, 2007

Therapy Dogs at Dacula Library

Therapy Dogs at Dacula Library
Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

Every-other Saturday at 10:30AM.

April 06, 2007


Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

Companion website to Library 2.0, the book

April 03, 2007

Customized Desktops

What would something like Desktop On Demand allow us to do in the library? When a customer logs into the OPAC with their library card number a service like this launches and gives that user a desktop that is completely their own. They can customize that desktop any way they want. They get their own private online storage, their own Office-style applications, their own pop email client, a full-featured and tabbed web browser, an instant messaging client that works on the major systems, and the ability to share files with other user. When they log off it is all saved just as they left it, and when they return they can pick up exactly where they left off. Would our customers/patrons/users want this? Are there better alternatives?

April 02, 2007

the books arrived!

the books arrived!
Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

Library 2.0 entry on Amazon

Desktop on Demand

Desktop on Demand
Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

I've been playing with the WebOS service Desktop On Demand for a few days now and I must say that I'm rather impressed. It is a virtual desktop -- a web-based Linux OS desktop that has a tabbed web browser, pop email client, office-compatible applications, instant messaging apps for the majors, media players, and other services. Plus, it has a gig of online storage. Desktop On Demand also takes security seriously, encrypting data at both ends. You have the choice of downloading the NX client software and running Desktop On Demand through it -- the better choice if you'll be using the service from the same computer -- or you can use it in your Java-enabled web browser. They have a thorough FAQ here and Richard McManus has a nice write up here.