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September 20, 2007

Going to the Field

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens -- Library Journal, 9/15/2007
Sometimes it seems like higher-ups create policy without a feel for what actually happens on desks throughout the library. Often, those higher ups are labeled “out of touch.”...

...It's not entirely the fault of the administration. Those people in accounting and collection development and, yes, even IT, perhaps have never worked in a library. Oh, they work in the offices of a library, but they've never really stood at a reference desk and answered questions during science project season, or dealt with an angry mother who just found something she refers to as “erotica” (or worse) in the children's area. They've never had to juggle those “in-your-face” customer needs with administrative tasks.

Don't misunderstand; those administrators deal with an entirely different set of demands and duties, but the purpose of the library is to meet the needs of the user. Remember, the service desks, branches, and satellites are the front lines in your library's ability to deliver quality customer service.

So how do you get administrators and support staffers to understand the daily operations of the real library?

Find out how by reading the full column text.

September 19, 2007

What Fun!

pirate sign
Originally uploaded by Canton Public Library (MI).

Canton Public Library, Canton, MI

Obit: TimesSelect

It simply couldn’t work, and now the New York Times has seen the writing on the wall and cancelled their TimesSelect subscription service.

We have ended TimesSelect. All of our Op-Ed and news columns are now available free of charge. Additionally, The New York Times Archive is available free back to 1987.

Two years ago the New York Times decided to hide their best and brightest behind a wall of greed, forcing loyal online readers to pay for the witty words of numerous editorial and feature writers. But the Times did not see (or refused to see) that the changing Internet marketplace was based more and more on free (read: ad driven) content.

But many people could have told them this two years ago. I was furious at the change, and wrote about it here, but I never thought the Times would drag it out for two painful years. The good news is that the Times is now publishing more blogs, more customer-driven content, in an attempt to bring the passive reader into the game with a place to voice their questions and opinions.

September 12, 2007

Article: The Graying of the Web

...“Teens are tire kickers — they hang around, cost you money and then leave,” said Paul Kedrosky, a venture capitalist and author of the blog “Infectious Greed.” Where Friendster was once the hot spot, Facebook and MySpace now draw the crowds of young people online.

“The older demographic has a bunch of interesting characteristics,” Mr. Kedrosky added, “not the least of which is that they hang around.”

This prospective and relative stickiness is helping drive a wave of new investment into boomer and older-oriented social networking sites that offer like-minded (and like-aged) individuals discussion and dating forums, photo-sharing, news and commentary, and chatter about diet, fitness and health care...

Full article from the New York Times.

September 10, 2007

Article: Prisons Purging Books on Faith From Libraries


Behind the walls of federal prisons nationwide, chaplains have been quietly carrying out a systematic purge of religious books and materials that were once available to prisoners in chapel libraries.
The chaplains were directed by the Bureau of Prisons to clear the shelves of any books, tapes, CDs and videos that are not on a list of approved resources. In some prisons, the chaplains have recently dismantled libraries that had thousands of texts collected over decades, bought by the prisons, or donated by churches and religious groups.


Full article text from today's New York Times.