Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cranky - Search Engine for Mature People

The creators call this an age-relevant search engine. What they are trying to say is that it is designed for an older population. If you are over 50 Cranky wants you to visit.

Here is the premise as I see it. The regular search engines give too much information or non-relevant results. When you put a search request into Cranky it will give you the top four results.

I have to tell you this is making me twitchy. Now I understand that most people don't use quotation marks in their searches. I know that less than 10 percent even click on the advanced search button to refine the searches.

But that is not a factor of age, folks just don't know how to use search engines more effectively!

Then again, I do like having to slog through a million hits. I find neat stuff that way.

I digress. Cranky does have a value. I gave it a test search for a music group known as "The Soul Children". I didn't use quotation marks.

Cranky initially pulled up a Wikipedia page and a tribute page that listed the single recordings. It also brought up two false hits, one for a charity and "Walt Witman and Soul Children of Chicago."

Now, I have to tell you this is an obscure search. There are other people and companies using the name "Soul Children". I'm looking for a history or complete discography of the group. As I continued to search Cranky it just wasn't giving me what I wanted.

However, if I was looking for general items of interest then Cranky doesn't do too bad. So how does this help you help patrons? Well, you can give them the option of using Cranky instead of Google or Yahoo.

You can use Cranky as a crude marketing tool to find out what the over fifty crowd is searching - here is a hint. They still like info on "knocking boots." Yes, the over fifty wants to know more about the linen based horizontal mambo.

And if you are pressed for time and don't want to slog through a million hits then you might want to see if Cranky can save you some time to locate your search topic.

All I ask is that if you do offer Cranky please do so as an option and not an assumption that older folks need a special search engine.

Bibliographic Assistance - NoodleBib Express

I have multiple copies of the yellow “Guide to Preparing an MLA Format Work Cited List”. It has been getting a workout both in and out of classes. I review and check my papers before I turn them in for grading. I find out after the fact that I’ve dropped a comma or bold an item when it should have been underlined.

On one of the list servs that I belong to there was a great question about on-line citation generators. Huh? I never even thought to check.

Before we dive in I need to share an important caution. Keep the PCC Shatford reference guide by your side. Each school has its own requirement for following the citation formats. One size of bibliographic creation generator does not fit all.

We start our journey with NoodleBib Express - a free on-line citation generator. If you don't need a master list of citation and you just need to pop off a few quick ones this is the place. You choose from MLA or APA format and follow the question prompts. There is a wide variety of formats available, don't forget to pull down the menu for traditional and on-line choices.

For example, I might have cited a song by David Bowie. It is on a Compact Disc. Here is how NoodleBib Express will handle it:
Bowie, David. "Changes." Best of Bowie. EMI Records, LTD, 2002. 
Too cool and under 30 seconds. Now if you have multiple citations and you don't feel like copying and pasting there are other options. But to reduce the stress level this is a great little bon-bon when you are plowing through your reports.

Friday, January 19, 2007

CSUN's Knowledge Management Program

Most of you have received Mrs. Kim's e-mail about the new library program at California State University Northridge in theTseng College of Extended Learning. I was curious about the program so I visited the web site to get more information.

There are a number of distinctive features about this program:
  • It is a distance learning program - you will take your classes online and interact with your instructors and classmates via the Internet. For those of us that have day jobs or time constraints this is great news.
  • Students that start the program at the same time will graduate with the same class members. Information learned in one semester is built upon in the next series of classes.
  • There are specific classes students must take - you don't get to pick and choose subjects.
  • The Knowledge Management Masters program is accredited (as far as I could determine) by the Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities for the Western Association of Schools (WASC). The MLS program web page is not up and there is a question about ALA accreditation. When more becomes available I'll post it.
If you think you might be interested you need to start the process ASAP. Applications are being accepted up to May 31, 2007 for the September 2007 semester; that's if there are any seats available in the class. Even if you think you might be interested let them know, I'm sure the program will be willing to answer any questions that you have.

So. Pasadena Part-Time Job Openings

South Pasadena Public Library has 3 part-time positions:

  • Lib. Aide II/Technical support (20 hr/wk)
  • Lib. Aide II/Monitor (24 hours/Wk) and
  • Lib. Aide I (20 hrs/wk).
If your are interested in applying you can pick up an application at the reference desk. The library is located at 1100 Oxley Street South Pasadena, CA 91030.

To get more information or to download an job information sheet you can also visit the employment page at

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Library Assistants in the Blogosphere

You'd think I would have gotten around to this by now but to tell the truth it is really hard to find and then keep up with all the folks that define themselves as "library assistants". So this is just a sample of what is out there and some of the people you may or may not encounter on the job. Might become a monthly feature. We'll see how it goes.

1. Love my job but...

There are a bunch of post that fit this description. Dennis at Procrastination Station primarily writes about his life but there is a post about his current working conditions. Ouch, solidarity man and don't forget to duck.

There there are others that are on the low end of the compensation pool. Well i'll let Lisa describe it to you. The main part of her blog is a mix between her job and her life.

2. Looking for a job...

Yep, there are a few folks that would love to be a library assistant. There are others that wouldn't mind it and a few more that see it as a placeholder position until something good comes along. Some folks like Emily are using a faith based back-up system to look for work and write about their reasons for looking into the library world.

3. Transitions

Folks that are leaving that certainly will be missed. You know the type. The person that knows everything in the library and then some that doesn't have an MLS. There is a tribute page at Little City Library for Mrs. Heberlein. From the tribute post you can kind tell she gave far more service to the patron than she was compensated for by paycheck.

On the other end of the spectrum Trinity03 has just gotten a new gig at a library and beginning the transition from student to working life.

Well, that is it for now. If you would like to share your experience as a library assistant or tech drop a comment or email.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Library Interns Needed At Long Beach Memorial Hospital

Long Beach Memorial Hospital Library is reclassifying its library collection. This library wants to have some internship students from our program.

If any of you are interested in this work experience, contact me for signing up Lib 106 Field Practice for the spring semester 2007.

Give me a call or send me an email.

Joanne Kim, Coordinator Library Technology Program
Pasadena City College (626) 585-7837 or

Loyola Marymount Needs A Library Assistant III

Molly Parks, one of our program graduates, sent me this position announcement at Loyola Marymount University. If you are interested in, please pursue the link and apply.

Wishing you the best,

Joanne Kim
Coordinator, Library Technology Program

This week Loyola Marymount University posted an opening for a library assistant to work with the Systems Librarian. Perhaps someone from the program is interested.

If you are interested you can send an applications to:
Human Resources Department
University Hall
1 LMU Drive, Suite 1900
Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659

Main Office: 310.338.2723 Fax: 310.338.7711 E-Mail:

Molly Parks

Job Leads Via E-Mail from AIM

Belinda Beardt from Advanced Information Management(AIM) has an offer for all LibTech students north and south. Yes, folks are starting to checking in from Cuesta College Library Information Technology program. Welcome!

AIM is offering to send job leads to your e-mail box. All you have to do is subscribe to received the job postings by visiting

From Belinda:

"Subscribe to AIM's jobs list before 5:00 pm PST on Wednesday, January 31 and you will be automatically entered in the $50.00 American Express Gift Card prize drawing.

We value your privacy, so your contact information will kept confidential and will not be rented, sold or distributed outside of AIM.

Interested in entering our prize drawing but not in the market for AIM jobs at this time? Simply return to our website
after January 31, 2007 to "unsubscribe."

Thank you and have a wonderful new year!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The $100 Laptop Computer - All Systems Go!

Another milestone has been crossed. Almost two years ago, maybe less there was serious discussions about creating a universal laptop computer that could be used in a variety of environments, specifically designed for children in poor or economical disadvantaged countries.

A few months back I saw a photo of the prototype for this machine. I had no idea they would be ready for production this soon. The specs on the machine are:
  • Runs on a specially created version of the Linux operating system
  • Has the ability to display in color or a high resolution version of black and white depending on the environmental or power needs at the time
  • Built in wireless that can network with other notebooks to create a network
  • Has no hard drive but will have 4 USB ports for additional storage needs
  • Has built in web browser, word processor and journal functions.
There is a great deal of debate about this machine. One could argue that providing a sustainable source of water, food, shelter, health care or, in the case of the poor souls in Darfur, help and assistance to stop the genocide from continuing might be more important than delivering a $100 laptop computer.

My understanding of one the long view goals of the project is to begin building a universal infrastructure for education. That all children no matter where they are on the planet have access to the basic tools for learning.

The machines at this time can only be purchased by governmental heads of education. So the laptop may cost $100 the goal is to sell millions throughout the world. My guess is that some of the western countries will donate thousands of computers to poor countries.

The method of delivering learning and information has just been radically changed. Certainly there will be international library portals that will be set-up to meet the millions of new uses about to join the Internet in the next three years. There will be an huge demand for all kinds of information.

To learn more about the project visit or the wiki at

The " M " Word - Marketing To Libraries Blog

Just when you think you are done with a topic up pops a few more links that you can't leave alone. The "M" Word blog is an attempt to take the mystery out of promoting libraries.

Nancy Dowd is the Director of Marketing for the New Jersey public library. She writes in an easy to understand manner how to promote your library no matter the size of your budget. She invites all to participate in the conversation.

In addition to this blog Nancy is also the curator of Library Videos. She searches the web for library videos, comedy bits from television or that curious new sensation, library musicals? If you have the bandwidth check it out. Most are in YouTube/Flash video format so all you have to do is click the play button to view the videos.

City of Arcadia - Library Job Announcments

Mrs. Kim has another job lead from the City of Arcadia Human Resources Office.

There are two part-time positions in the Arcadia Public Library for a Library Technician I with a salary rate between $14.72 to $18.39 and a Library Technician II with a salary rate between $16.25 to $20.29.

For more information about these positions you can download an informational job flyer from the city's web site. The final date for applying for this position is Friday, January 26, 2007 at 4:00 PM.

For further information call the Human Resources Department at (626) 447-4609, the job hotline: (626) 574-5406 or visit the City of Arcadia's website at