Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Library Blog Quickies - What Folks Are Talking About

The Amused Muse has an interesting post about LC versus Dewey. Actually I don't find it much of a "versus" post. To me it is more comparing and contrasting the two types of classification systems. Both have strengths and weaknesses.

It is a quick read but it helped me understand some basic concepts of LC and Dewey.

Over at Rambling Librarian he has got an interesting post how it may not matter if patrons use DDC or any other classification system. In a future time they might have a Personal Digital Assistant Device (PDA) that guides them to the books or maps out the areas in the library where they might find what interest them.

And finally an unexpected treasure for those of you planning on working with kids, Library Kid Music Blog is a review of the various musical artists that make music for the younger set. It doesn't have to sound like dribble. There is good stuff and more appropriate than a three year old trying to sing the words to "Gold Digger"

Take One Down and Pass It Around - Book Mooch

Let's say that you had a burning desire for a book. But you didn't want to go into a store and you don't really want to visit or It is not about selling. It is more of making sure your book is going to a good loving home. Have I got a place for you.

Book Mooch is an extension of a growing idea of recycling information and culture. You have a book that you've read and enjoyed but your not going to read it again. You can post your book or certain magazines on Book Mooch and trade with other people. You pay for the shipping if you are the sender but you pay nothing if you are the receiver of the book.

But wait, there is more. You earn points for sending books and receiving books. You can also donate books to certain charities that are on the lookout for what you have, such as prisons, libraries and hospitals. Cool, huh?

You can sign up for a free membership. You earn or lose your reputation by the number of books you give and take. For more information visit:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dr. Angelou's Book and Fond du Luc High School

I was catching up on my library reading and Maya Angelou's book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is being challenged, again. This time in Fond du Lac Wisconsin.

You can read the local news paper articles:
My understanding based on the news articles is that the parents objected to their child reading the book. The high school made an accommodation to the parents by allowing the child to read another book.

The parents wanted the book removed from the English reading list but it would remain available in the library.

There are a number of side issues but this is a question that school libraries continues to face on a semester basis. What is appropriate reading material for, in this case, high school students?

Is a true factual story of childhood rape too intense for contemporary teenagers?

At what point does a society begin to engage young people on difficult real life issues? Do school libraries have a role to play in that process. Or is it a matter of community standard must be respected and upheld?

Sorry folks, I have far more questions than answers for you today.

Library Freedom PSA

I am currently taking an online cyber-ethics class. My instructor posted this video for the class to consider. It was originally created by the Ad Council, it is no longer on their site, nor is this particular campaign active.

How much security? How much regulation? What is the balance of intellectual access version national and civic security?

You are studying to be library assistants. Does this concern you or do you pass the buck to the librarian in charge? Or are you the de facto librarian in charge?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Zotero - Firefox extension to cite, manage, collect research sources

"Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work — in the web browser itself."

This tool works well with LibX another Firefox extension that integrates library resources.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Liszen - A Library Blog Search Engine

When I am searching for library specific blogs I general use Google Blog Search It helps but I still have to wade through a bunch of junk to find the types of blogs that I am searching for.

Liszen makes it easier to find library based blogs. You just type in the search term and it will only look at a subset of library specific blogs. What is interesting about Liszen is that it is built using Google's search engine architecture.

To simplify, users get to make your own search engine with the power of Google behind you. So if you wanted to create a search engine that looked for natural science web sites you can construct it with help from Google.

I don't want to mislead you. You need a certain level of technical skill to pull this off. For more information on how to get started visit

In the meantime I'm diving into

Urban Dictionary – Putting the Funk in Your Wagner's

Keeping up the the latest slang can be a full time job. Just when you think you know your "Boo" from "fo shizzle" here comes a piece of dandruff to make you go whack. Fear not, help is at hand.

The Urban Dictionary is a catalog of past, present and just created about 10 minutes ago words and terms used by the young, the gifted and the scatologically inclined. If you are easily offended you do not want to visit this site.

The Urban Dictionary is a safe way to figure out what is on the minds of folks and how the language, in this case English is being recreated. Text messaging, emoticons and mashed in standard English are giving birth to a new strain of communication.

For example:
  • Shoulder surfing – talking to one person but on the look out for someone better to talk to.
  • D & D – Drug and Disease Free (for posting on a dating site).
  • I Ain't Fronting Holmes – I'm telling you the truth, my friend.
Not to be confused with the other meaning of Holmes which you will have to research for yourself.

You can sign up for RSS feeds to keep you in the know on new words as they appear. You can also receive them via your cell phone or post the word of the day on your site or blog.

Sunnyvale Library Assistant and Specialist III

For our visitors from up north and anyone else who is interested here is a position in Sunnyvale courtesy of Ken Lin. Tight deadline on this one folks so if you are interested hurry, the deadline is Friday, November 17, 2006

The Sunnyvale Public Library is currently recruiting for Library Assistant and Library Specialist III positions.

Library Assistant

The Library Assistant helps prepare library materials for the public by adding materials to the library's online catalog and modifying and deleting records to update the catalog. In addition, the Library Assistant coordinates the physical processing of materials, develops procedures as appropriate, provides general office management support such as maintaining records and files, preparing meeting minutes, and other reports, as well as monitoring, ordering and receiving supplies.

Library Specialist III
The Library Specialist III position, under general supervision,performs library and related clerical tasks of moderate difficulty;work is of a routine and non-professional nature and may involve varying degrees of public contact, and performs related work as required.

If you are interested in either of these exciting opportunities,please submit your City of Sunnyvale employment application to the Human Resources Department no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, November 17, 2006. Electronic applications may be submitted online through the City's employment page at

Contact Person:
Steve Sloan, Administrative Librarian
Sunnyvale Public Library (408) 730-2768

South Pasadena Clerk Position - Still Open

Seeking part-time computer and Microsoft Office-literate records management staff member, 20 hours/week to assist two-person City Clerk’s office.

Duties include preparation of meeting packets for City Council, conducting research to fulfill public records requests, scanning documents and researching records using Laserfiche document management software, and assisting with file reorganization.

Must be available Fridays; hours flexible on other days. Salary range $9-$10.94/hour. City application available at For information and job flyer, contact Sally Kilby , City Clerk, at 626-403-7232, email

Adobe PDF Job Description Flyer:

O'Melveny & Myers Technical Services Assistant II (Cataloging)

O'Melveny & Myers LLP, a global law firm with 13 offices worldwide,has an immediate opening in our downtown Los Angeles office for a Technical Services Assistant II (Cataloging).

Responsibilities for this position include:
  • Performing copy cataloging of print, audiovisual and electronic resources using RLIN and other biographical utilities,
  • Processing and labeling library materials,
  • Updating the automated library catalog and
  • Participating in technical services projects.
Previous library experience, as well as knowledge of cataloging principles, MARC records and LC classification, highly preferred.

Familiarity with legal materials and experience with bibliographic utilities, preferably RLIN, and automated library systems such as Horizon, also preferred.

Must be able to input and interpret data, have strong interpersonal and organizational skills and be detail-oriented. A four-year college degree is preferred.

We offer an excellent salary and benefits package, which includes a transportation allowance. For consideration, please submit your resume. Visit us at Response will be given to candidates who closely meet our requirements. EOE M/F/D/V.
No telephone inquiries please.

Contact Information
Company: O'Melveny & Myers LLP
Fax: 213-430-7857
Reference Code: Cataloging

Alliant International University - Job Opportunity

Another full-time Library Assistant position information from Jamie Holguin. Thank you, Jamie!

Alliant International University
Los Angeles Campus

POSITION: Library Technician - Access Services

RESPONSIBILITIES: Under supervision, the incumbent is responsible for interlibrary loan (ILL), circulation, course reserves, and stacks maintenance. Specific duties include:

INTERLIBRARY LOANS: In cooperation with other libraries, use the Innovative Millennium, OCLC, and Docline systems to receive and process ILL requests from AIU students and other libraries.

CIRCULATION: Oversee circulation desk activities, including processing all notices and billing for unreturned materials. Direct the paging of inter-campus and LINK+ materials and the use of materials booking function. Resolve patron circulation problems. Assist patrons with special needs and requests.

COURSE RESERVES: Compile and manage course materials as listed on instructors' book request forms and course syllabi.

STACKS MAINTENANCE: Oversee shelving of library materials, general shelf maintenance including shelf reading, searches for lost items, space planning, and shifting of the collection as needed.

SUPERVISION: Supervise student assistants working at the circulation desk, including hiring, scheduling, training, and daily supervision of students. Evaluate student assistants' job performance each year. Maintain circulation procedures. Oversee a variety of projects assigned to student assistants.

Perform other duties as assigned.

  • Bachelor's degree or Library Technician Certificate, and experience with library access and/or technical services.
  • Experience using the OCLC ILL system and Docline.
  • Experience with Innovative library system and LINK+ preferred.
  • Good supervisory skills and experience.
  • Good written and oral communication skills.
  • Accurate typing and word processing skills.
  • Strict attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment and to take initiative when appropriate.
STATUS: Non-exempt, full-time (37.5 hours per week), with the possibility of some evening and weekend hours.

If any of you want to apply this position, read the job description carefully. Then send your resume, cover letter and three references to:

Maria Diaz, Information & Access Services Librarian
Alliant International University
1000 S. Fremont Ave., Unit 5
Alhambra, CA 91803

Monday, November 06, 2006

American Library Association Job List

ALA has a new job board for seekers and employers -

Some of the features of interest to library job seekers are:
  • Ability to upload your resume
  • Using RSS to subscribe to job leads that match your selection criteria
  • Tips and helpful guides to aid in your employment search.
For those of you seeking work as a librarian or IT Library Technicians this is a promising resource. I'd keep an eye on it.

For library staff workers I'm not so sure you would want to use this a primary resource but it could be used to target and identify potential places of employment.

Thanks to Mary Ann Laun for the head's up about this site.

South Pasadena Needs Your Skills

Seeking part-time computer and Microsoft Office-literate records management staff member 20 hours/week to assist two-person City Clerk’s office.

Duties include preparation of meeting packets for City Council, conducting research to fulfill public records requests, scanning documents and researching records using Laserfiche document management software, and assisting with file reorganization. Must be available Fridays; hours flexible on other days.

Salary range $9-$10.94/hour. City application available at

For information and job flyer, contact Sally Kilby , City Clerk, at 626-403-7232, email

Visual Thesaurus - Seeing The Connections

What if you could see the connections between words? Visual Thesaurus is a cross between a thesaurus and a computer mind mapping program.

Who uses a product like this? Advertisers, writers, word junkies or those that want to build their crossword/anagram skills.

You can try out the program by typing a word at the top of the web page. The results will be displayed with the links to the associations with the word in question. In addition to the program this website contains

Virtual Thesaurus can be rotated to show 3D views of the relationship with other words, additional languages and access to the magazine articles that are teased on the front page.
These features are not available in the online sample version.

This is not a free program. There are purchase options. You can buy the program or purchase a monthly subscription access online.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

UK Library Assistant Steals Books - Sells To Ebay

Every group has its bad seeds. I regret to inform you this is one of ours. I had heard this news story but assumed it was a patron.

It was indeed a library assistant who gave a new meaning to shelving. The BBC has the story:

Norman Buckley stole antique books and rare editions. He kept most of the books but he made a killing selling Chaurcer and John Dunne.

Tsk, tsk.

California State Library Blog & Wikipedia Page

I think this blogging thing is catching on. The California State Library has just uploaded their blog This blog will help support the CSL's mission and also provide a way for folks to communicate with the state library.

I suspect that the page is ADA compliant. The text is much larger than I am use to seeing on a page. The background is color neutral. It is a good thing to be aware of and put into practice.

The real kick is that the state Library has put up its own Wikipedia page.

It gives full information about what the state library does, the branches and a great link to the California Research Bureau. If you want to know about the issues and regulations that affect dogs on California beaches this is your place.

It is an intriguing question. What if more librarians and library workers claimed ownership of Wikipedia pages?

The Bookshelf Project - What's On Your Shelf?

You meet someone new. You like him (her). For some of us the first thing we do (on the sly of course) is to check out the bookshelf. It is a great way to find out who you are really talking to.

Now you don't even have to leave home to check out other people's books. Flickr is a photo hosting web site. 1,119 people have uploaded photos of their stash of books. Amazing. You can post photos for private or public consumption.

It is not just the books but how they are stacked, piled and housed. What the person is reading and what it reveals about what this individual cares about.

I'd do it except that I need to keep a low profile - The number of books and papers I've got might be violating a couple of fire codes.

Flickr is free and, if you are a Yahoo member, you can log in with your user name. You can create a Flickr page in no time. It is very easy to upload photos. Check it out.