Sunday, October 28, 2007

Library of Congress Classifiction Tutorials

Yes, learning the Library of Congress Classification system is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately there are some online resources that you can use to get a handle on how things are done in LC land.

The LC Classification system is a subject based classification system using alphabets and numbers to create subdivisions of a subject.

Classification Number Anatomy

Dennison University has a visual page that shows the construction of an LC number.

Another place to check is Tarleton State University Library has a clear tutorial page that explains how the call numbers are built.

If you have the current version of Java running you can access a Java based slide show on how the numbers function in the real world. First thing you will learn is that "Nothing comes before something" and the second thing is "single letters come before double letters." There is a quiz at the end to test your comprehension.

Theory Based Tutorials

Tulane University Howard Tilton LC Informal Notes page talks about the features of LC, how it was constructed and some of the quirk inherent in the system.

Colorado State University goes into a bit more detail on how the call numbers are constructed. The first section has information on the classification scheme and the second section describes how to find the book on the shelf.

University of Michigan Libraries Understanding Library of Congress Call Numbers combines the anatomy approach with an explanation of how to read the number. This is a downloadabled .pdf document.

And finally thanks to Lisa The Librarian's blog there is a complete demo tutorial on shelving and reading LC numbers at the LibraryU website. Look for the link "Demo" on the left side of the screen.

Of course you should visit the Library of Congress Classification Outline page where you can download specific sections of the classification system and observe how the system is constructed and spend time exploring Classification Web.

Copyright and Fair Use Resources

In this connected world we all have to be concerned about copyright and fair use issues. It is , not just what the patrons will do with the content but the libraries themselves; especially when it comes to public presentations, handouts and teaching materials.

American University's Center for Social Media has a page that deals with issues about copyright and Fair Use. The site contains downloads of guides, articles and videso that help to explain the concepts of what you can and can't do with copyrighted material. Peter Jazsi has a simple list of what you can do such as able to use any U.S. government documentation without permission and that include text, audio content and videos.

What Works Are In the Public Domain is a four page chart of what works you can freely use without concern.

There are other places to check out for assistance such as The Center for the Study of Public Domain from Duke University. This is a humorous comic book style guide that will help readers understand issues concerning copyright.

Standford University Libraries has a wonderful page full of just about everything you would want to know about the topic. There is a library resource page that contains links to other libraries that have a specific focus on the topic such as music libraries, rights to rebroadcast DVD and videotape content and more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Temporary Employment at AIM

If you are flexible with your schedules and would like to build your jobs skills you should check out some of the temporary work opportunities from the Advanced Information Management (AIM) website.

Terry Fresques, a former student of the program gave Mrs. Kim the heads up about the following positions:
  • Upper School Librarian
  • Temporary Part-Time Library Assistant in Santa Monica
If you go to the employment page web site you can also see some of the other on-going temporary positions that are available. If you only want to work a half day on Sunday this might be the resource you are looking for, the City of Torrance needs you.

Working temp is a good way to find out what you like and don't like in a work environment. One the day that I visited the site there were law library, circulation and public library position.

Road Trip - The California Library Association Conference

Well, it is just a few days until the California Library Association Conference. It will be a busy Saturday. The actual conference is a four day of workshops, exhibits, meet-ups, eating opportunities and networking among folks who love to exchange information.

Thanks to the kind folks at InfoPeople for providing tickets to the exhibit floor. PCC LibTechs will be cruising to learn, share and experience a library focused conference. InfoPeople mission is to provide training and support to California's libraries and library workers.

For the conference newbie here are some of the standard tips to help you maximize your experience.
  1. Be on time - you snooze you loose!
  2. Wear comfortable walking shoes, you will be covering a lot of territory and most of the time you will be on your feet.
  3. Bring only the essentials, like a really big bag or backpack. Or a bag with wheels on it. Your goal is to stuff it with every scrap of paper that is available on the exhibit floor.
  4. Scope out the exhibitors you want to meet and then work your way to your second and third choices.
  5. Bring your business cards if you have them. You never know when a job opportunity or a great contact will present itself.
  6. Know where to find the bus that will bring you back to Pasadena.
  7. If you should happen to miss the PCC ride home then know where to board the Metro Blue Line which will get you into downtown Los Angeles (7th and Figueroa). Transfer to the Red Line to Union Station and a final transfer to the Gold Line to get you back to Pasadena. It will be a long and adventure filled trip.
If you want to know more you can visit the CLA 2007 Conference Blog or you can make your own itinerary planner. See you Saturday!

Pasadena Unified School District Seeks Library Coordinator

The Pasadena Unified School District is looking for candidates to fill the Library Coordinator position at various elementary school locations. The ideal candidate is a graduate of a library technology program and has at least one year of actual library experience.

Duties Include:
  • Operation of an elementary school library
  • Assist students and teachers
  • Perform clerical functions as needed.
The pay rate is $14.04 an hour for under six hours a day without benefits. The full time pay rate is $12.98 per hour for over six hours a day with benefits.

The application deadline is November 9, 2007. For more information you can visit the PUSD Employment page to download the job notice or call (626) 568-4513

Friday, October 19, 2007

Alliant International University Seeking Library Technician-Access Services

Alliant International University is a not for profit school that prepares upper undergraduates and graduate level students in degrees in the Social Sciences. The library is looking for a technician to assist in the Access Services Dept.

From the website:
The Library Technician--Access Services, under the direction of the Information & Access Services Librarian, is responsible for Access Services, including: circulation, course reserves, assessment management, serials management, supervision and other duties as described below.
This is a full time position. The hours are from 1:00pm to 9:00pm Monday through Friday, however there may be some weekend assignments. The salary depends on experience.

If you would like to apply for this job opportunity please contact Stephanie Ballard, Information & Access Services Librarian Alliant International University - Los Angeles, Library
1000 S. Fremont Ave., #5 Alhambra, CA 91803 or you can email

Monday, October 15, 2007

PCC President Ambassadors

The President’s Ambassadors are students that serve as the honorary representatives of Dr. Paulette J. Perfumo, Superintendent-President of Pasadena City College.

The President’s Ambassadors have the privilege of showcasing Pasadena City College as one of the country’s premier community colleges in a various promotional activities, such as community events and visits to local schools. They discuss the benefits of attending PCC, including transferring from the college to a university and earning an associate degree or certificate with prospective students, campus visitors and community leaders.

Typical activities include:
  • Presentations to K-12 schools
  • Attending on-campus events and ceremonies
  • Attending off-campus fairs
  • Conducting campus tours
  • Providing support to college activities and programs.
Among the benefits the Ambassadors gain from participating in the program:
  • Learning effective public speaking skills
  • Networking with college and community leaders
  • Serving as role models and mentors to other students
President’s Ambassadors in good standing will also receive:
  • Recognition in the graduation program announcement
  • A certificate of participation in the program
  • A letter of recommendation from Superintendent-President Paulette J. Perfumo
  • A general letter of appreciation from Dr. Paulette Perfumo
  • Acknowledgment of participation in the President’s Ambassadors Program on the PCC transcript
Program Requirements:
  • A minimum of six units completed at Pasadena City College
  • Maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Submittal of a program application
  • An interview
  • Attending an orientation
  • Minimum two hour per week commitment
If you would like to apply for being an PCC Presidential Ambassador please contact Mary Ann Laun for more information.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dewey Decimal System - All Dewey All The Time

If you find yourself working in a public library chances are good that it will use the Dewey Decimal System. Melvil Dewey is certainly represented on the web and in the blogosphere.

The following places of interest are a quick look at some of the resources available to help you learn and understand about the classification system. If you are taking Library 105B you are hip deep in the Dewey so hopefully I can dig out additional resources for the class.

The official Dewey site Online Learning Computer Center (OCLC) contain a gateway to the world of classification. You can download a copy of Introduction of Dewey Decimal Classification. In 37 pages it will give you the history, the classification schedules and the beginning steps on how to determine a subject, Notation, field of study and working with schedules and tables.

You will also want to check out the glossary of Dewey terms. Students in certain LT classes have access to Web Dewey but if you would like to get a head start on how to use the Web Dewey feature you can view a Power Point tutorial.

Outside of OCLC another place you want to visit is the Dewey Blog, edited by Johnathan Furner and the DDC team. If you can think it there is (or will be) a Dewey number for it. The blog represents life as viewed by the DDC. One of the entry that had me blinking was the classification of the toys and lead problems that have been in the news.

They go through the process of how this topic has been classified and what they do when there is not an exact match in the classification system. It is also a good opportunity to observe how a DDC "built" numbers are constructed.

Not every public library has Dewey, in fact there are a few that stopped using Dewey numbers such as the one in Arizona. They will arrange books by topic instead.

This has generated a lot of posts. Daniel DeStefano isn't crazy about the idea. A Library By Any Other name blog suggest that one of the problems with patrons finding books is that there isn't the right kind of signs or visual cues that would make it clear that where to find the history book.

Not all folks hate the idea of pitching Dewey - some folks like Shelly from A View From Here mention that maybe there could be a merger between the bookstore model and the traditional library classification systems.

California Codes - California Law Finder

Library 102 is making me feel very humble. I have forgotten how to find things in print. What I have forgotten is matched up with what I don't know. There is a lot I don't know.

But I am coming along slowly so I want to share this tip should you find yourself needing to find information about a law in California. Special shout out to Raffi because I would have never found this without his help.

In Print:

When you are looking for laws you have to think in terms of keywords. In the library there is a master index, LARMAC Consolidated Index to the Constitution and Laws of California. This has the listing for all of the keywords that are associated with the law or code.
  1. Search for the keyword and the you will find the legal citation number.
  2. Write that number down.
  3. Locate a legal resource that has that section of the law. At PCC we have West California Code; however there are other books that cite California law as well.
  4. Find the book that has the citation range, look up the number and you have successfully located the law.

The state of California has a search engine, California Law, that helps you find the codes and laws of the state.
  1. Enter the keyword in the search box at the bottom of the screen. I'll use "Chicken".
  2. Select the code that best matches your search area or select all to show all of the relevant codes under the keyword. The database will show you a listing from the table of contents that matches your keyword search.
  3. Select the number of documents you want returned, the default setting is twenty.
  4. Click the search button.
  5. A listing will appear with the sections of code that are relevant to your keyword.
  6. Click the link and you will be taken to that section of the code. In this case it was the section from the Food and Agriculture codes. You now have to drill down to find the code or law that you are searching for; so if I am looking for the code that defines a specific class of Chicken meat and I am looking for Roasters then I am searching for section 25852(c) which will give me the code for what is considered at Roaster chicken in California.
Which Is Better?

Both have advantages and disadvantages. The print version you have a keyword but that may not be the word used by the code. There will be a cross reference to the correct word but you will be flipping pages. The good news is that you will be able to observe the legal context of your search area and may see a better keyword that matches what you are looking for.

The online method is initially faster but it will take you longer to drill down to the section of law or code. Instead of zooming in like you can in the print version you will have to visually drill down on the screen.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Looking At The Financials - Finding Business Information

This post was inspired by a class exercise in Library 102. Where do you find reliable financial information if you are not an investor, economist or Warren Buffett?

So this is a small sample of websites that have established reputations, clear descriptions of what they do and the information that they provide. As with any site on the web, particularly with financial sites evaluation is extremely important.

For the most part I have collected most of the sites listed below via recommendations from college and university web sites. is a free information portal for visitors to compare and find credit card rates, saving, auto, mortgage and interest rates, and retirement plans. If you are looking for the best interest rate to stash your emergency cash this is the place to come to. helps visitors understand what is happening in the world of personal finance. There are articles, tutorials and calculators.

It is a free service however it is supported by advertising and some of the tutorial content is provided by various financial companies. The site does disclose when the information is provided by a sponsoring company. also syndicates their content to other websites and publications.

Perhaps you need to locate a company. There are a lot of ways to go about it. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:
All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free. Here you'll find links to a complete list of filings available through EDGAR and instructions for searching the EDGAR database.
The Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, EDGAR is a database of those reports with the names, addresses and legally required documentation (i.e. financials) that are filed with the federal government. There are tutorials on how to use EDGAR and information on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code List.

Another place to locate U.S. company data are Hoover's, which can help you general financial information by company, geographic location or industry. Hoover's also has profile videos that focus on certain segments of industry. This is a subscription site but the general business data is free to view. Hoover's is owned by Dun & Bradstreet.

Michigan State University - Global Edge If your needs are more substantial, such as finding information about international business or trade, academic research, historical trade data select countries.

Global Edge also has industry profiles on specific business area such as food and beverage. The information is produced by the University International Business Center. Global Edge is free and the general public is welcomed to use the information.

The World Bank Data and Research section has extensive statistics in a variety of formats. If you want a quick overview of Napal's poverty level and the economic status of the country this is your place. Huge amount of data.

These are just starting points. The important things to remember about financial websites are that you want to know who is producing the information, the context of the information, what is the relation to advertisers and sponsors and can the information be verified by external sources independent of the web site.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Alhambra Library Seeking A Part-Time Library Page

Thanks to Helen K. for this employment lead. The Alhambra Public Library is looking for a part-time library page. The duties include:
  • Primary duties of the position include lifting, moving, sorting, and re-shelving library materials.
  • Other duties may include, but are not limited to the following: shelf reading; maintaining audio visual/microform equipment; magazine processing; raising and lowering of flags; checking in of all library materials; processing (cover books, stamp items, make labels, etc.) library materials and other duties as required by the supervisor.
The pay rate for this position is $8.59 - $9.90 per hour. This is a temporary position and there are no benefits.

If you are interested you can download a job application form at the city's website. At the website you can view the full description of the library page employment description.

Pasadena Central Library Needs Volunteer LT's

Pasadena Public Library has a Community Calendar of events database which does a great job of sharing with the community the different things that are happening in the Pasadena area.

If you have time or need on the job experience they need help with the data entry. It is a good opportunity to observe the workings of the library and being of service to your community as well.

If you would like more info contact Anne Mellow at 626-744-4318

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

In the Author's Voice - Book Videos by Publishers


This concept is a little different than CSPAN Book-TV, Between the Lines or an author appearance on a talk show. Publishers are slowly starting to realize that they can introduced or enhance the relationship between authors and readers by using video to promote the books.

At The Penguin Group there is a specific page for authors. I selected the Robert Parker video. Either Penguin has a different idea about video (static screen shots over audio) or I have video problems (Doubtful). The audio was excellent and Mr. Parker was dishing cool writing tips. However it was a little odd looking at his facial expressions frozen in time.

The video of William Gibson worked much better. It was in QuickTime format. It was a slick production but still very informative. Penguin Books also has a podcast of various writers

At Random House I really had to hunt for the videos. I luck out when I clicked on a name, Sophie Kinsella; there are a number of videos on her page. She seems to write fiction about a hyper-shopper. This is not a line of books that I would read. Nothing personal, I really don't care for shopping but she seemed really enthusiastic.

Random House does have a page for blogs and podcasts but I'm not entirely sure they want you to find it.

Last on the speed tour is BookVideos.TV from Simon and Schuster and a video production company named Turn Here. The video I viewed was of author Jeanette Walls and her book "The Glass Castle".

The video gives a brief overview of the author and her book. It doesn't take much to get hooked.You learn appearances are deceiving. In addition to viewing the video folks can leave comments about the book, or have the ability to embed the video in a blog. Most important there is a link to purchase the book as well. If you are going to do publish author videos this then this is a good starting point to build up from.

Slightly outside of the publishing web sites is VidLit. These are short videos that can be a simple commercials for the book or in the case of Liz Dubelman's "Butterflies and Martinis" a neat intro into her world. If you really like the video you can downloaded it to your video iPod or media device.

There are quibbles. With the exception of BookVideos.TV most of the authors presented via video were male. Second you have to know that you are watching a "commercial" presentation. No one is going to do anything disturbing unless he or she is channeling Hunter Thompson or something. I liked the Parker and Gibson videos because they did talk about the process of writing. But it was a PR piece.

My last quibble is that these shouldn't be so hard to find for the average user to locate. Publishers don't really understand about viral networking or including the reader in the process (if the reader is free to choose) to help spread the word about the author or the books.

It does take promotion out of their direct control and that can be scary. There is another issue that some authors have made it very clear they don't want anything to do with blogs and bloggers or that the book they have written is not intended for a general readership.

So these are starting steps for the publishers. It will get better. It must and there is a wide open opportunity for those that can see past the initial challenges.

Monterey Park Public Library Needs You!

If you want to get on the job experience with technical services Monterey Park Public Library has need of folks who can help process, mend books and materials and help out on special projects.

This is a volunteer opportunity that would look very nice on a resume. If you are interested there will be representatives from the library on campus for the job fair next week or you can contact Evena Shu, Senior Librarian at 626-307-1379