Friday, December 26, 2008

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

The United States Congress has an easy way for you to obtain historical and biographical information on the men and women who serve in Congress.

The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
can help students and historical researchers get information quickly and without a lot of trouble.

United States Congress Biographical Directory
The Biographic Directory can be searched by the name of the congress member, the party, state or year of service.

Shirley Chisholm
You will see a photo or illustration of the congressperson and a historical record of their education, prior employment held before becoming a member of Congress, party affiliations and notable achievements.

The database contains records from 1774 to the present time so you should be able to find anyone who has served in the House or the Senate.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Marian Library at the University of Dayton

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute focuses research and collections concerning Mary, mother of the Christ Jesus. The library is hosted at the University of Dayton, in Ohio. This is an example of a specialized library; one with a religious focus.

The mission of the library is to provide information about Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to collect literature and art that focuses on Mary and to maintain connections with the Marian community.

The Marian LibraryFrom the library website:
  • over 100,000 books and pamphlets in some fifty languages, ranging from the invention of printing in the fifteenth century to the present
  • more than 63,000 clippings from newspapers and magazines
  • nearly 100,000 cards depicting Mary in the art of all ages and numerous Marian shrines. (i.e., if we count the postcards, Christmas cards, holy cards, and prints of various sizes).
You can search for the library holdings via a Marian specific Google Search. This will reflect those holdings that have a connection to Marian research.

On-Line Collection of Marian Art and Research

The library maintains a collection of art with Mary as the primary focus. There are traditional and contemporary paintings of Mary in a variety of styles and interpretations.

Marian Poetry Collections

There is a huge collection of Mary inspired poetry at the site. There are seasonal poetry, poetry of praise, assistance and poetry by John Donne, Pier Paolo Pasolini, in Italian, and Thomas Merton.

This is an opportunity to explore a topic or a collection you may not have been aware of it existence. It is also a great reason to check out the art gallery.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Legal Glossaries And Dictionaries

With all the financial, legal and political mischief that is occurring in the news I thought that this might be a good time to provide resources to legal terms and expressions.

These are on-line glossaries and dictionaries that can help make sense of some of the legal concepts that will be introduced in the coming year. For those of you of a tactile nature and have access to PCC's Shatford Library the following items are on the shelves:
  • Black's Law Dictionary REF 340.03 B 1-3 1999 This is also available on-line if you have access to Westlaw.
  • A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage REF 340.03 G 1 1995
  • Real Life Dictionary of the Law REF 340.03 H 2
For our non-library students readers the format is: the name of the book, the type of material, in this case it is a reference (REF) book that cannot be removed from the library, the Dewey Decimal Number and general location in the library.

Many libraries will have at least one or all of these dictionaries in their reference stacks but the Dewey number or Library of Congress number may be different. When in doubt ask at the Reference desk.

Glossaries of Legal Words, Terms and Expressions
  • Lawyer' Glossary - You can select the most frequently used terms or enter your word or phrase in the search box. Very handy when you need to know what Fraud in the factum means.
  • Nolo's Law Glossary - What does lex loci mean? What is the exact meaning of the McNaghten Rule? A good resource for accessible meanings to legal terms.
Law Dictionaries
  • Dictionary at - You can search a term, a definition or choose your favorite legal letter of the alphabet to find your legal meaning or concept.
  • Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law at Google Book Search - This is a limited preview version of the dictionary but the section that is available maybe all that you need to locate the legal term of your choice.
  • - If you need to research Canadian legal terminology this dictionary is maintained by Barrister and Solicitor Lloyd Duhaime. Not only can you search by letter or by the newest additions you can also check out Canadian legal history and Canadian laws.
So when you need to know what habeas corpus really means (provided you don't watch CSI or Law and Order) I hope you will access these legal resources.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Shopping at Your Local Library

Looking for great bargains on books and other items? Then look no further than your local library! Many have a little bookstore run by the Friends of the Library for that particular library. You'd be amazed at what finds you can stumble upon. I have found many very gently used or practically new books at these various bookstores right in the library for simply amazing rock-bottom prices. Granted, most people think of going to the library to borrow books. But if you're looking for books for people on your holiday shopping list or even for yourself, this can be an excellent place to start.

One place I venture a lot lately is at Pasadena Central Library since I volunteer there weekly. After doing my volunteer hours, I have been heading to their bookstore to check out what is new in their stock. Before they were only open on Saturdays, but they have recently been able to be open during the week as well for limited hours. Upon speaking with one of the volunteers, she said the best day to come in if you can is on Thursdays (which is when I volunteer!) since they re-stock the bookstore with new donations on Wednesday nights. Next week due to the holidays, the newest donations will be put out on Tuesday night and the store will be open on Wednesday, Dec. 24 which is Christmas Eve. The library will be closing at 1pm though so that doesn't leave much time. The bookstore should be open for about 2-3 hours if interested in stopping by.

Other recommended places are Glendale Central Library, Burbank Central Library, and South Pasadena Public Library. I've seen rare books for truly wonderfuly prices as well as cool coffee table books at all of these places. I have to say I've never walked out without finding something of interest in all of these places. If you have a library bookstore that you can recommend, drop a comment and let us know! I'd love to discover more worthwhile places to find wonderful books while also supporting our local libraries.

Now if you're one of those that prefer to shop online, then head to PCC's Shatford Library website and click on the Amazon link. If you use this link, a small portion of any purchase you make will be donated to the Library - at no additional cost to you!

So remember these great sources for gifts at this time of the year or any other gift giving times.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quote of the Week

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do without thought of fame. If it comes at all it will come because it is deserved, not because it is sought after. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I got a card this week with part of this quote on it and felt it fit at this time for this week's quote of the week. With finals week upon us and a number of us graduating from the Library Technology Program, being successful is something that is weighing on our minds whether in our classes, job search, current jobs, and etc.

I truly believe that if you do the best you can in whatever you're doing in your path wherever the library world may take you, you will be a success whether you remain a library technician or head on to grad school and become a librarian.

One thing I will always remember from Mrs. Kim was not to stress so much on grades but on learning. I believe that if you realize that you need to always strive to keep learning no matter how much you think you already know, you will truly succeed. The why of what you're doing is so much important than being known for what you're doing in my opinion. It is what will keep you going when the tough gets going. At least, it has for me especially this semester which will be over in just two days for me. For those of you that is it over, congratulations and pat yourselves on the back!

Today someone told me that we need to give ourselves credit for all we do even more so than hearing it from others. I shall take this advice from this wise soul and hope you will do so as well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

City of Sierra Madre - Library Technician, Part Time

There is hope and one of you folks might be the person the City of Sierra Madre is searching for; there is a need for a part-time Library Technician.

  • Performs circulation duties by communicating clearly with library patrons to: create new and update existing accounts, check out and receive books and other items, answer questions regarding library fines and fees, calculates fines and fees, collects money, and completes required documentation;
  • Performs opening and closing procedures;
  • Assists patrons in use of computers, microfiche, reader-printer, etc.; retrieves requested reading and research materials; acts as an information source about library events and programs and other general information;
  • Assists in implementing public programs for adults, teens and children;

The ideal candidate will have a Library Technology Certificate with one-year of public library experience or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Application deadline: Monday, December 29, 2008 at 4:00 p.m.

Candidates should send a completed application and current resume to Miguel Hernandez, Personnel Analyst, Sierra Madre City Hall, 232 West Sierra Madre Boulevard, Sierra Madre CA 91024. Applications can also be faxed to (626) 355-2251.

You can fill out an application on-line or download an Adobe.pdf application.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Library Science (Chemistry) Humor Video

You need to relax. Put your feet up. Take some time to smell the roses. Or check out this video on yet another way to find love in the stacks.

The video is silent with a brief musical accompaniment near the end, but it will not affect your understand and vibrate the Dewey in your soul.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Quote of the Week

The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history. - Carl T. Rowan

Considering that it seems most of my life has been beleaguered by our country being at war with someone, this quote reached out to me from the many quotes I pondered upon. In addition, the concept of intellectual freedom is one that has been explored in basically every course I've had in the PCC Library Technology Program. Without fail, from Circulation to Cataloging, it comes up again and again. One can try to run from such a concept but when our country whose democratic values have been founded upon the idea of having an informed society then it cannot be ignored.

Once again, the PCC Courier printed an editorial opinion lamenting over the noisiness found in the PCC Shatford Library. I felt once again they have misunderstood what the mission of the library strives for. Sure, there are some students who need quiet study areas. But others are learning through noisy group study. And if the library is indeed a temple of learning, who is to say it must be a quiet place all the time? I don't know of any actual church/temple that is always quiet. There is a time for quiet and a time for noise.

That is not to suggest that I don't believe that noise is not an issue at all in the PCC library at this time. But I do believe the PCC Courier failed to properly investigate what the Shatford Library is doing in coming up with solutions for this issue. One thing for sure is there is no easy answer. One may wonder why is there such a problem. Speaking with Mary Ann Laun, our Library Director, I found out there are a couple reasons why the library is so heavily populated and noisy at times. She stated that one reason is the library serves as an only open student lab for drop in use. Secondly, we are also a temporary "campus center" since there is no venue at this time until construction of the new one is finished. What was astonishing to find out from her is this: "This Fall semester, this library with 950 seats was serving 8500 students!"

Wow! That would definitely explain the incredible number of students served at the Circulation desk during the first few weeks of the semester. I remember days when it seemed you were lucky to catch a breath in between helping students at the desk. And all the shushing we would do as people would walk in. As things have calmed down, I find we still have to remind students to lower their voices but not as much.

Upon talking with fellow co-workers at the Circulation Desk, we were in agreement that the noisier patrons tend to be younger or older people. It didn't surprise me at all that the younger students would tend to be noisier due to my experience working at elemntary and high school libraries. Normally, when the school library is occupied by students it is indeed not quiet. As for older people, perhaps it could be due to talking louder due to hearing loss. I know I can relate to that myself as I sometimes talk louder than I realize due to my hearing loss.

Solutions in Motion
  • Announcements (which the students didn't like)
  • Campus cadets
  • New signage
  • Personal intervention service (if students come to the desk and complain)
  • Roving technicians

As one can see, it's been a trial and error process in trying to come up with resolutions that makes the majority of people satisfied. Please note that I said, the majority of people. In a perfect world, we'd be able to satisfy everyone but there are some that no matter what you do, you can't satisfy them.

On a good note though.....

Yesterday in LIB 103 Circulation class, our teacher and Access Librarian, Eric Hanson talked about this issue briefly. He talked about how there was one student who had e-mailed the library from his blackberry several times about the noise issue. What was gratifying to hear is that more recently the student e-mailed the library once again to say that he noticed the efforts the library has taken to make it an easier place to study quietly. So the efforts have not gone unnoticed at least by some!

Yes, we could tell someone to just come at a different time to study when the library is quieter like in the evening or on a Saturday. But perhaps that is not a viable solution for that student. I have to admit that I hear quite a few people asking if the library is open on Sunday but alas we aren't. I'm sure if we were open on Sunday, it would indeed be quiet then as well.

Mary Ann Laun also said that in planning the new building for the library based on what we know now, they would definitely have added way more study rooms. Hopefully, none of them would be right next to the lecture room in the library though. There's been many a lecture when the teacher has had to tell a noisy study group in the room right next door to keep it down. Even though we have study rooms, another issue is they aren't sound-proof. So that's another concern as well. It seems it never ends, doesn't it? But I believe that's part of what makes library work stay challenging.

The message I wished the PCC Courier could have relayed is this: We should all try to respect each other within the limited space in the PCC Shatford Library during this time as we reach our learning goals at hand.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

On-Line Language Translation Websites

You are all alone at the desk. You have snuggled up with a book and there is a word in another language. You can't guess at the meaning and you don't feel like browsing through the stacks.

There is help for the linguistically needy. There are free translation websites that will help you translate a word, a paragraph or an entire website.

There are a few cautions before you embrace you new translation tools. These are machines based translations, not human. They will do a good job but language is far more that matching word for word translations. There are concepts and meanings that may not exactly fit from one language to another.

I have used these on-line applications to converse with a friend in France. His English is a lot better than my French, which does not exist. Sometimes I need to explain a concept and I want to sent a letter to him in both English and French to make sure he understands.

He sends me newsletters in French that I have to translate into English. I get the general concept and meaning but there are conceptual errors that can be funny or insulting.

I've used this on the job when I couldn't find an staff interpreter. I always inform the recipient that I am using a translation program. So, let's start our run to the tower with Babel Fish.

Yahoo Babelfish
Altavista Babelfish now known as Yahoo Babel Fish is an oldie but a goodie. Bablefish will translate a passage or an entire website. Babel Fish can translate certain forms of Chinese as well as the Roman languages.

Reverso Translator
Reverso will not only translate a passage but if you are skilled in the 2nd language you can add the proper punctuation marks if necessary. There is also a dictionary and if you are a student of languages and need to know how to conjugate a verb this could be of great help.

Google Language Tools
Google Translate - yes they do have a translation application. You can type in a search term in English and then select the language to find the equivalent term in another language with search results. It will also allow you to enter more than 150 characters of text and it will translate web pages for you. What will blow you away is the number of languages it can translate.

I hope these language tools will be a help to you inside and outside of the library. Just remember they are not a replacement for human interpreters or translators. But they might help out in a pinch if you have a patron that needs written assistance in another language.

Library Assistants and Workers Express Themselves via Blogs

When the PCC library Technology blog started in 2006 there were at least six other library assistant/worker blogs. By the end of 2006 most of those blogs had disappeared. There was good reasons, burn-out, overloaded with the day job or not being sure that what they had to say was of interest.

I'd check from time to time but outside of the Library United for the Library Media Technicians Community (and the post seem to have stopped in 2007) it was hard to find folks or blogs that consistently talked about working in libraries that were not librarian or librarian students.

Well, Catherine kind of gave me a good kick in the pants to see if I could find contemporary examples of folks working in libraries and how they felt about it. This is just a quick look and I'm expanding this to people who blog who are not necessarily writing about being library workers but include it as part of their life experience.

Amanda at the Bell Jar
Amanda at The Blog Jar has one of the coolest looking blogs I've seen in a while, from a book junkie standpoint. I love her graphics and her sidebar challenges. This woman reads and reads a lot. Much goodness here.

Pink Roses and Chocolate has a gratitude list and one of the things she is grateful for is the opportunity to work in a library:
"Working here has been the best possible job for me. I am so grateful for the kind coworkers who genuinely care for one another, for the faculty and students that I am able to develop friendships with, for the work that I do that is not only interesting but also fulfilling."
I also like her sidebar where she had a list of quotes from famous people that end with a graphic of "Proud Bookworm".

Over at Live Journal's Library_grrls: Queer Library Staff there is gratitude for getting a Library Associate job and a bit of a fashion dilemma over what to wear if you are (her description, not mine) a "chubby queer."
"i'm wondering what is the most appropriate thing to wear? my interview clothes are a little more feminine than my average taste and are certainly too dressy for a first day, but i am worried about a false presentation."
The comments section was really supportive and offered her a variety of tips to handle being honest with her clothing preferences and balancing the dress code of the library. The work Kakis seem to come up a lot.

Speaking of clothing, there seems to be an issue of uniforms for library workers. NottGirl at Nottingham Is Crap (UK) writes about a situation of library assistants being forced to wear uniforms. You can read the news story/interview that explains the point of view of Barbara, who has been a library worker for five years. This is an extract from the article:
"...It means we can't use our initiative as much and it makes us feel like clogs in a machine. And the ultimate of this is that they want us to wear uniforms. Which means we will be just part of a machine and there will be no individuality left at all. And I think the informal, individual atmosphere of the libraries is one of the good things about them. It also means that people who are excluded from a lot of other places feel more comfortable in them. Teenage boys, asylum seekers, people like that who really don't want to be in places where there are uniformed staff. [...] They feel comfortable now but not anymore if we are uniformed."
In the article, Barbara goes into detail about her job, the patrons that visit and some of the changes that is occurring in the UK library system.

Well that is what I have come up with and it took 1.5 hours to find these folks. It is still a challenge to find library worker/assistant specific blogs but that doesn't mean they don't exist. If you know of a library assistant/worker blog that specifically talks about their working world drop a link in the comments.

Monday, December 01, 2008

National Treasures, Local Treasures Coming To LAPL

Attention library junkies, bibliophiles and bookaholics; clear your schedules for December 12, 2008 between 10am - 12noon. The Library of Congress is having an event at the Los Angeles Public Library. This is a portion of the planned festivities that was received via e-mail to Krista Goguen.

Interim City Librarian Kristina Morita will accept, on behalf of the Los Angeles Public Library, a facsimile of a 1937 "map of the stars" from the collections of the Library of Congress.

DVD Cover National Treasure 2: Book of SecretsOn the program from the Library of Congress are John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book, Guy Lamolinara, the center's communications officer, and Gail Petri, educational outreach specialist from the Office of Strategic Initiatives. The program will include the screening of a special feature available with the DVD for "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets," filmed in part in the Library's extraordinary Thomas Jefferson Building.

During this event, a student from Upland in the Letters About Literature contest will read her winning letter to an author. Novelist Nina Revoyr will also speak, about how research at LAPL has helped her succeed as an author.

The "National Treasures" program will include demonstrations by Library of Congress educational specialists on how to bring California history alive with rare primary-source materials available on the Library's Web site at

There will also be an online demonstration of the interactive Library of Congress Experience which brings unique historic and cultural treasures to attendees through cutting-edge interactive technology. The Experience comprises a series of new exhibitions and a continuing online educational experience on this personalized Web site.

These include:

"The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building," a tour through this exuberant 1897 masterpiece of American craftsmanship.

"Creating the United States," which tells the story of how our Founding Fathers used creativity, collaboration and compromise to form our nation, with a focus on the words and phrases that created the republic.

"Thomas Jefferson's Library," which features thousands of original volumes that provided the foundation for the Library of Congress and its universal collections.

"Exploring the Early Americas," which tells the story of the Americas before the time of Columbus, as well as the periods of contact, conquest and their aftermath. Jay I. Kislak's extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, historic documents, maps and art of the Americas comprises the major portion of this exhibition, which also features Martin Waldseemüller's 1507 Map of the World, the first document to use the word "America.

The event is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles Public Library and the California Center for the Book.

The Library of Congress Center for the Book was established by Congress in 1977 "to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries."

The address of the Los Angeles Public Library - Central branch is 630 W. 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles. So if you have the time and the inclination hop the Gold Line and then transfer to the Red Line to Pershing Square station. The library is a block and a half from the station.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Senior Library Assistant - City of Commerce Public Library

The City of Commerce is looking to fill a Senior Library Assistant. From the website this is a description of the position:
Under supervision of the Library Section Supervisor, performs a variety of complex customer service, technical service and clerical tasks; coordinates selection, purchase, distribution and inventory of library supplies and equipment.
Duties Include:
  • Assist patrons and library staff
  • Provides asset management for the City by maintaining inventories of all library supplies, purchase orders,cash receipts, requests for warrants, and all library materials.
  • Registers new patrons, issues library cards and maintains patron database,
  • Collects fines for overdue materials, balances receipts, clears paid accounts and processes financial transactions using the automated library system,
  • Searches, modifies and downloads OCLC catalog records and concurrently updates OCLC with our library’s holdings,
  • Prepares library materials for circulation including bar coding and anti-theft security devices,
  • Types and maintains file of requisitions for purchase of library materials and supplies including tracking order until items are received and delivered to requesting personnel.
  • Provides training and assistance for library patrons on the use of library equipment including computers, printers, Internet, CD roms and a variety of computer software, photocopiers and microfilm reader printers,
  • Supervises inventory of library collections and resolves items listed on the “inventory exception report”.
  • Coordinates monthly library book sale including fiscal management, may schedule and provides computer orientations,
  • Supervises start of day and end of day library opening and closing procedures including building security,
  • In the supervisor’s absence, may supervise staff in assigned section and generate work schedules.
Additional Requirements:

Possession of or ability to obtain a Class C California Driver’s License and insurability by the City’s insurance carrier. Will be scheduled to work some Saturdays, evenings, and overtime as requested. All City employees are required to perform assigned Civil Defense duties in the event of an emergency or disaster.


They pay rate is $3,308 - $4,030 month with benefits.

How To Apply:

If you are interested in the position your applications must be received by the Human Resources Department by 6:00 p.m., Monday, December 15, 2008. Postmarks and faxed applications are not accepted.

You can download a copy of the application or visit the City of Commerce Human Resources department at: 2535 Commerce Way, Commerce, CA, or by calling the 24 hour Job Line at (323) 887-4415.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Info On Mind Mapping -

How Do You Find Stuff? I don't mean the specific tool but your own personal process. How do you take in information? How do you learn and how do you organize what you have learned?

For some of us it is a visual process. We need to see the lay of the land before we start digging in. For visual learning mind mapping software can help to organize your thoughts and and create a structure for your reports, projects and goals.

Outlines do not have to be word based. Check out some of the on-line mind mapping applications. This is an example of one of them.

is an web application that helps you organize the jumble in your head so that you can see the common and related connections. You can add notes and reminders as well as a Wikipedia page that related to your topic.

Mind42 Free Online Mind Mapping Software
This is a silent tutorial video from Mind42 that demonstrates the web application:

Mind42: Introduction from Stefan Schuster on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Center for Social Media - YouTube Channel

The Center for Social Media at American University has a YouTube Channel that talks about the importance of Social Media for educational and informational purposes. There is a series of videos that is particularly important to information and creative workers, Fair Use.

This is a video that gives an overview about the rights of documentarians, creators and educators about what they can and can't do with copyrighted material.

For more information visit the Center for Social Media. There you will find documentation on:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Swiss Army Librarian - On The Front Line of the Reference Desk

Folks talk a lot about library 2.0 and technology. I know I do it but I'm a book loving nerd with a thing for gadgets. But what if we are being distracted from what is really necessary? Serving the patrons at the various level of services that they need.

Swiss Amery Librarian thought about this and he graphically should what is necessary and what is possible in today's public library.

Chart of Important Functions and People
This is a quote from his post:
It is the role of the library to take what we can get, and do the best we can with it to meet the needs of our patrons. Sometimes this means offering limited or abridged services, or services that sort of do what we want, but aren’t ideal (i.e., the current state of downloadable audiobooks). But even by working within the constraints placed on us by the groups that support us, we should always strive to provide patrons with services tailored to meet their needs.
That is getting harder to do with budget being squeezed, patrons increasing use of libraries and limited staffing hours. Yet, librarians and library workers make it happen every day.

It is a good post and has given me much to think about. I'm not giving up my gadgets just yet.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shifting from the Stacks to Circulation

Even though I enjoyed working at the Circulation desk this past summer on a trial basis in that department, I still thought I would miss working on the Student Task Force once I left there for good. One reason I believed that is because I felt I would be stuck behind the Circulation desk as I assumed I wouldn't be spending that much time elsewhere. But as time has gone on, I've come to change my mind.

I'm sure part of it is that two of the shifts I work are in the evenings, so I get a chance to do book pick-up which is one of the things I enjoyed doing while on the Student Task Force. Even though I have the same basic tasks I do every shift, no day is ever the same. Some evenings, it can be incredibly quiet but others times, things can be quite busy or go haywire. I have found there does seem to be the most activity during the shift that I work 12 noon-5pm which makes sense, since according to statistics that's when we have the most people coming in and out of the library.

It's really nice that part of my job is being able to interact with and actually help people more now. Before when I was on the Student Task Force, I could help people but on a very limited basis. In spite of that, I can say that working on the Student Task Force was very helpful in making the transition from working in that department to Circulation an easier one. Pretty much everything I did on the Student Task Force, I do in the Circulation department. From re-shelving, shelf reading, cleaning/straightening up, book pick-up, sorting and taking books to the storage shelves and last but definitely not least, customer service.

One thing I don't miss is that I would be on my feet pretty much the entire time I was on my shift while I was still on the Student Task Force. That's not the case with working the Circulation desk which my feet thank me continously for!

Things I have learned or have become better at since working at the Circulation desk:
  • Boolean searches
  • Overcoming my fear of dealing with people who I have trouble hearing
  • Services/materials that are available to students-calculators, headphones, the wide range of reserve textbooks and more
  • Better familiarity of the campus
  • Problem patrons
  • Setting up display cases

So yes, sometimes I do miss being among the stacks but not nearly as much I thought I would. I love my new position behind the Circulation desk as I can apply what I've been learning in the various classes in the Library Technology program in more depth with my every day work experiences here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Library News - Never A Dull Moment

I don't know why people think libraries are boring, stuffy places. Yes libraries contain books, DVDs and wireless connections but libraries also contain people. People are not boring and this is a current round-up of libraries in the news.

International Library News

From the Times of India there is an column by Gurcharan Das who explains how he started going to the library, how the library system works in India and the different between a lending library and a free library in India.

The Yomiuri Shimbun via The Daily Yomiuri in Japan reports that many library books are returned damaged. This is beyond normal wear and tear damage. Food damage, animal bits and writing the "who done it" on the first page of mystery novels revels a different understanding of respect for a library book means in some cutures.

To quote a passage from the article:
About six months ago, a staff member at a public library in the Kinki district found a picture book that had been returned with nearly all the pages covered in crayon scribbles. When a library worker brought the damage to the attention of the woman who returned the book, the borrower said, "this [damage] should be permissible since we are paying taxes," the staff member said.

The William J. Clinton Library in Arkansas is not only good for the community but it also draws tourist from around the world to visit the museum. Arkansas Matters has a report and a video clip of the anniversary celebration

Libraries Closures and Reduced Hours

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that there was not full disclosure about the statistic responsible for closing 11 libraries in the city. Many of the libraries being closed were built by Andrew Carnegie. WPVI Channel 6 has a short video of the community being concerned about a local branch being closed.

The that covers Grass Valley and Nevada County California also reports budget troubles. Temporary workers could lose their jobs and branch hours may be cut to make up a budget shortage.
Until the economy brightens, the library has discontinued several online search databases and postponed regular maintenance, such as fresh coats of paint.
Ironically, the state of the economy has driven many to the library for free books, music CDs and movie rentals.
Homework Over Gaming

The Daily Herald reports that the Eagle Mountain library will ban afternoon online gaming at the library. Seem it was too popular with the game players and school kids that needed to do homework were left out in the cold.

Entertainment News

The Cat Channel, Meryl Streep might play the role of librarian/author Vicki Myron of the book "Dewey: A Small Town Library Cat that Touched The World" According to the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) it is a done deal. No word yet on the feline selected for the staring role.

Well that a quick look at library news. There is always something happening at your local branch or at a library across the world.

Monday, November 17, 2008

At Your Local Library

It's been awhile since I've posted "At Your Local Library" I realized the other day. How time flies by when you're busy. Hopefully, I can make time to go to some of these that I haven't had a chance to experience just yet.

Jack London Exhibit

If you haven't yet had a chance to check out the Jack London exhibit by Devon Struther in the Centennial Room that was in conjunction with the recent The Big Read at the Pasadena Central Library, I recommend taking some time out to do so. You'll get a chance to view an intimate glimpse into the life and career of Jack London through photos, newspaper articles and more. The exhibit will continue to run till the end of November.

Bus Tours Round 'n Round Historic Filipinotown

Ever wondered what is Filipino about Historic Filipinotown? The Filipino American Library (FAL) answers this question in its free Bus Tours of Historic Filipinotown this coming Saturday, November 22 at FAL. On the bus tour, a guide narrates and points out the importance of sites, events, and individuals in and around Historic Filipinotown to give a historical overview of Filipinos in Los Angeles.

Four 1.5-hour tours will begin at 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm, and 4:00pm.

To reserve a seat, please contact or 213-382-0488. While the tours are free, space is limited and they usually fill up in advance.

National Native American Heritage Month

Interested in learning more about Native American heritage and culture? Then head down to one of the branches of the L. A. County libraries. There's quite a few events happening this month but I'm just listing a sample of what you can find.

At South El Monte Library on Thursday, Nov. 20th at 6:30pm, one can watch Rodney Howard, one of the premier Native American dancers on the West Coast, as he performs dances, songs, and stories from tribes across North America.

On Saturday, Nov. 22nd from 1-4pm at the American Indian Resource Center in the Huntington Park Library will be hosting a screening of selected short films in partnership with LA Skins Fest.

Burbank Library exhibits for November

Are you a die-hard Nancy Drew fan? Or a movie buff? Then head down to Burbank Central Library, where items from the summer Nancy Drew movie and memorabilia from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" from Warner Bros are on display.

At the Buena Vista Library branch, one can find WORLD WAR II memorabila and uniforms which currently fill the display case that come mainly from the estates of Burbank residents, and one is from a soldier who served here in an anti-aircraft unit protecting Lockheed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pasadena Public Library Reviewed onYelp

A few weeks ago I was mentioning the importance of being aware of social networking for library workers. There are online communities that share information and hip each other to what is good and what is bad in their opinion.

Pasadena Public Library Review on
Yelp is a community that allows users to review and rate a restaurant, hotel, theater experience and yes, even a library experience. The Pasadena Public Library (California) has a Yelp page and at least 23 people have chimed in about their experience about using the library.

For the most part, it is a positive experience for patrons. They like the atmosphere, the beauty of the library, that it has wi-fi, and for one user that it still have VHS videos.

Now some folks felt it was creaky as in creaky chairs and tables and didn't care for the restroom. I understand, as did others people that particular issue related to certain members of the homeless population. There is no easy answer about that situation.

Check out the reviews and if you want to chime in on the Pasadena Public Library, most of us who are or have been in the program have been roaming the halls, then you can add your opinion as well.

The other thing to keep in mind about this is that other libraries can be reviewed as well. Especially if you are looking for work in a library and want to know what the patrons feel about their experiences.

The advantages for libraries this is a way to gauge how the public perceives your services and what they found valuable. It gives libraries an way to take a truth pill as to how they are doing.
It is important to remember that these are people that are motivated to share what they think. It may or may not be unbiased but it is one person's opinion gathered in a collection.

For one library in the valley that might be a bitter pill to swallow. I mention no names but people will talk. Some of that conversation is happening on Yelp.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Seventy million books in America's libraries, but the one you want to read is always out."- Tom Masson

Coming upon this quote made me smile, laugh and ponder. There has been many a time I've gone to the library and the very thing that I want to borrow is indeed out or perhaps not even available period. So I'm forced to find a suitable substitute if such a thing is really possible. Ultimate reading pleasure satisfaction is what I'm after usually. Though lately, I've been seeking to fulfill informational needs for various areas in my life as well.

Also, it made me think about the students that come in the elementary school library where I work that want a particular book but we don't have it or it's checked out. It's not always easy convincing a kid to find something else to read when his heart is set on a particular book. I do my best to meet this challenge though. I will admit it's helpful that usually the student's teacher will help ease this situation as well if need be.

In addition, it's something I have to deal with working at the Circulation Desk at the PCC library. Students often want a reserve textbook that is checked out by someone else exactly during the time frame they need it. It's especially can be frustrating when there is only one copy available. One way we try to deal with that situation is a having a Reserve Materials Request list. While students cannot reserve these type of materials, having such a list keeps students from monopolizing reserve items when other students need them. Other times, it could be a regular circulating book is out and we tell the student that he can put a hold on it. If we're not too busy, we'll help them put a hold on the book. We also refer them to the Reference Desk to find where they can hopefully find the wanted item at a nearby library.

Recently in a film, "How May I Help You? (Soaring to Excellence)" put out by the College of Du Page Press that we watched in LIB 103 Introduction to Circulation, a librarian spoke of how her mother stopped going into her public library due to continuously not being able to find exactly what she wanted. Of course, this is not something we as library students and/or workers like to hear, I would hope! Perhaps this was a lack of customer service on that library's part? (Incidentally, this was a film that dealt primarily with customer service in the library.)

Anyhow, I am hoping the next time I go to my public library haunt that I won't have to hunt so hard for my pressing heart's desire in reading pleasure. Though on second thought, I've found many a new favorite author when I couldn't find exactly what I wanted on my first try. So perhaps not finding exactly what one wants isn't such a bad thing as it can lead you to new books and paths.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Improve Your Searches Using Google Features

You type in the Google search box and hope for the best. Tsk, tsk. There is so much more you can do to refine your search results and save yourself a bit of time. So let's take a quick look at library specific feature that will help you get the most from your Google experience.

Google Feature PageSearch Box Quickies

These are some of the things you can do to get your answer quickly without having to find a specific web site. There are many tools that can help you survive the Ready Reference desk whammo of the day. This is just a sample:
  • To get a definition of a word type define, press the space bar and then your word.
  • Use it as a calculator, if you know basic math just type in the formula and press search. Your answer will appear before your eyes.
  • To find a restaurant in a certain zip code type the kind of food, press the space bar and then the zip code. Google will show you a list of the area restaurants with a map, the name of the restaurant and their web site. You might think it is important but I have people asking me all the time where can I go for a taste of Yak.
So if you are very busy spend a little time on the Google web search page and learn a few quick tips that will help you find what you need more efficiently.

Those of you who will be sitting at the Ready Reference desk will absolutely want to embed these skills to memory.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Major Shout Out To Evelyn Keolian!

Mary Ann Laun and I would like to congratulate Evelyn Keolian on receiving a recognition of Academic Achievement Award from The Pasadena Mayor's Committee for Employment of Persons with Disabilities.

Evelyn received her award at the 22nd Annual Awards Breakfast in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month at the Brookside Country Club in Pasadena. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, October 29, 2008.

In addition to being the editor of the blog since July, Evelyn works at the Circulation Desk at the Shatford Library, and also works with the Alhambra Schools.
She has also worked at Pasadena Public Library.

Congratulations Evelyn, on your academic excellence and achievements!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Info On Collaboration Tools

The word for today is Collaboration. You will be collaborating with your peers, volunteer organizations and individuals you will never meet.

In the past, collaboration happened in meetings, phone conferences or passing documents back and forth via mail. It is now possible for groups, team members and activists to communicate and exchange information about a project and build a documents, process or create an event.

Look, All I Want To Do Is Shelve Books, Is This Really Important?

Yes it is. I support sniffing book dust but at some point you are going to be asked to participate in a project or presentation. If you haven't taken Library 104 yet this is your pre-warning.

You will find that your team members are time strapped. They have personal and professional obligations in addition to the one they just got roped into. The same as you.

Online collaboration tools make it easy to contribute, edit and present information with a reduction of time lag. The other thing about on-line collaboration is you find out real quick who is the slacker and who delivers what they have promised.

What Is A Wiki?

I'm going to let the good folks at PBWiki help explain this to you.

A wiki is a place where a group of people use software to make it easy to work together on a project. You can upload text, photos, maps or links to places that would support the team's goals. You don't have to be a techie to use a wiki, everything is set up for you to enter your information and put it out to the public or just visible to the folks on your team.

In addition to the ones I mentioned in the Library 101 presentation:
  • PBWiki and there is an Academic version of PBWiki for educators, libraries and institutions.
  • Backpack It allows you or a team member to organize a project, a work flow or anything else a group of folks want to work on. There are free and paid versions. Check out the video tutorial on the main page.
  • GoogleDocs allows you to using an online word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software with other team members. So if there is a class report that has to be completed your team could set up the report and members could add to it any place where there is Internet access and at any time. You just need a Google Account and then sign into Goolgle Docs.
These are great tools but not the only one - there are all types of collaboration tools that would fit your budget (free to me) and the kind of resources required. Let's take a look at a few more.


Thinkature - visual collaboration with drawings, outlines and short notes. Remember, not all good ideas arrive via words. Sometimes you have to show in order to tell.

Zoho Notebook - you can add video, photo or text to your Zoho Notebook and keep track of changes made to the project. Zoho has a whole range of free on-line applications such as word processing, wiki, e-mail client, planners and more.

WriteWith is specifically for team documentation. It allows you to set up your team members, the name of the document and the last update. Using WriteWith a team leader can send invitations to team members to review what you have written or edit and include a deadline.

Writeboard CollaborationWriteBoard - Place your idea on the write board and have others edit what you have written. You can have a list of team members and you can view comments about the changes in the document.

When you have to get something done with a group of people and there is no time to meet in person then consider using one of these tools to meet and work in cyberspace.

As always, if you have questions please send them in the comments. The comments are moderated so it might take a while to check them out and get back to you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Info Book Media Tools - Library 101

If you intend to be a library worker you need to know how to view, download and save an electronic text files, Adobe .pdf files or how to find and listen to an audio recordings.

Hey, I'm In It For the Books. Why Do I Need To Know This Stuff?

Define "book?" This is not a trick question. Traditionally there was a physical, tangible object made of paper and ink called a book. It was and is a delivery device used to convey ideas, stories, methods and instructions. A mighty fine delivery device.

However, it is not the only way to deliver content. A book can now be:
  • An electronic text file that can be read on-line or through a e-book reader and some media players. For example, if you wanted to read a book in the text format you could visit Project Gutenberg to search, download and read books that are in the Public Domain.
  • In the Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf) that can represent book-like feature but allows you to search, annotate and electronically highlight sections. .pdf files are printer friendly and can be sent via e-mail, downloadable via the Internet or compose your own book for distribution. Planet PDF has free books for download such as Anna Karenina, A Tale of Two Cities and Beyond Good and Evil.
  • An audio file book can be delivered via vinyl records, cassettes, proprietary audio formats ( or in computer audio formats such as .mp3, FLAC, .wav, aiff and other electronic audio fomats. Computer audio formats can be listened to on-line, played back on certain CD/DVD players or from a media players such as Apple's iPod/iTouch, Windows Zune, Creative's Zen and many more. One place to find free audio books is LibriVox. I can personally vouch for The Prisoner of Zenda.
For example, you are assigned in the library computer lab. You are siting at the desk all alone on a Saturday afternoon and the tech staff is long gone. A patron comes up to you saying "I want to download Parallel Systems: The Coexistence of Subject Cataloging and Folksonomy" and save it on my USB drive. Could you help that person?

Or, you are asked to find an audio copy of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" Can you find a legal public domain version in the mp3 format? Could you also find other audio versions performed by professional actors that the patron might want to know about?

To Get You Started:

Try the recommended links and view the web sites. Now if you do this at a public library or even at PCC there may be restrictions on what you can view, download or save to an alternate device.

Some libraries will allow you to save to a USB drive but not to the computer's hard drive. Other will temporarily allow downloading to the computer's hard drive but the user needs to know how to transfer to the USB drive. Ask the staff or read the computer lab policy first.

When searching remember, it is not just about Google. Try, Hakia and SearchMe.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RSS In Plain English - Captioned Version

For those of you that don't have audio, headphone or a decent audio card this is a captioned version of RSS in Plain English.

What that you say, you have a banana in your ear and still can't see the video. No problem. Here is a transcript:

Common Craft Presents...RSS in Plain English

The Internet has problems. Technorati says there are 50 million blogs, and you can see, it's going up. This is overwhelming. Today's show is about a new and efficient way to keep up...
...with all this cool stuff that's happening on the Internet.

so I'm going to talk about two ways that you can keep up with what's happening on the Web.
There's the old slow way - Boo!!! Then, there's the new and fast way - Yay!

Here's the difference between the new and the old way. This is you, and here are your favorite websites. You log on to your computer, and you're looking for something new. So you go out to your favorite blogs.Is there anything new there? No. You go out to your favorite news sites. Is there anything new? No.

Every time you look for something new and its not there, you've wasted valuable time.
This is the old way. Now, let's consider the new and fast way, ...which is simply taking these arrows...and turning them the other way.

This means the new things from blogs and new things from your news sites come to you instead.
It's like Netflix compared to going to the video store. So, what we're talking about is using a single website that becomes your home for reading......all the new stuff that's coming from your favorite websites.

There are two steps to getting started. The first step is you need a "home" for reading new posts. This is a website called a reader. It is free and all you need is an account. I use a site called Google Reader It looks like this...

My favorite sites are listed on the left...and on the right I can scroll through all the new posts from my favorite sites in a single place. So, to complete step one...
You need to go sign up for a reader. Google Reader, Bloglines, Newsgator and My Yahoo!
... are good places to start.

Step number to set up a connection between your reader and your favorite websites.
Setting up these connections is called subscribing, and it's really important. Nearly every blog and news site offers the ability for you to updates in these sites show up here in your reader.

To set up these subscriptions, you just need to look for funny little icons. This is the standard one using the standard orange color. You may also see these.

These little icons say, "Hey look! Subscribe to me! I can save you time!" Once you find one of these buttons on your favorite on it....and the page that appears will give you everything you need for subscribing.

After you click that button, one of two types of pages will appear. This is one that provides one click access to subscribing in your reader. The other page you're likely to see looks like this...
...with code on it.

If you see this page, copy the URL at the top of the page....go to your reader and look for a link that says "Add Subscription" or "Add Feed." Click on that, and paste the address into your reader. So, once you've added your subscriptions and the connection is there... posts begin arriving in your reader...and you'll see why this is the new, faster way to read the web. It's addictive, so be careful!

So a quick recap. There are two things you need to do... Number one is go sign up for a reader.
Number two, go to your favorite websites... on the icon and subscribe.

I'm Lee LeFever and this has been RSS in Plain English...on The Common Craft Show.

For more captioned videos you should visit DotSub

Employment Bonaza - Check Out These LT Jobs

Let's get right to it starting with California Institute of Technology (CalTech). There are two positions: LIBRARY CLERK and PROJECT ARCHIVIST

Library Clerk - CIT15019MA - CIT15019MA
Requisition Number: CIT15019MA
Job Title: LIBRARY CLERK Department
Name: Library - Circulation Department Job Category/Family: Library
Job Discipline & Career Level: Library Support / Assistant Salary
Grade: 37 Anticipated Hiring Range:$10.00 per hour Date Posted:
10/20/08 Summary Under direct supervision, provide support by performing a variety of general to paraprofessional clerical, technical and customer service duties utilizing automated library systems Institute-wide.

Project Archivist (Temp PT) - Archives - CIT14996LF - CIT14996LF
Requisition Number: CIT14996LF
Department Name: Archives Job Category/Family: General Administration
Job Discipline & Career Level: Archives Services - IC / Assistant
Salary Grade: 40 Date Posted: 10/20/08 Summary Part-time temporary professional 4-6 month position (20 hours per week) in the Caltech Archives arranging and describing several large complex manuscript collections to the history of genetics. Works under the general supervision of one of the Senior Archivists.

To apply for these positions, please visit:

Part-Time Cataloger

Next there is Library Associates Companies (LAC) is seeking a part-time cataloger for a Company located in Pasadena, California that deals with food and nutrition. Projected hours are 8 to 16 hour per week or a day and a half weekly.


Primarily copy cataloging of books, periodicals and media dealing with food, baking, cooking, law, nutrition.

  • Previous cataloging experience using OCLC, MARC records, AACR2.
  • Experience using an Integrated Library System (ILS)
  • Catalog training in an accredited Library School or a College offering a Library Technical degree

Please send resume and cover letter to the attention of Patty De Anda at, Please use "Cataloger - #1092" as the subject line of your email.

Experienced Cataloger

Also at LAC is seeking an experienced Cataloger for a prestigious Company located in Irvine, California. The position requires the cataloging of a backlog of materials, primarily books.

This is a full-time position until the backlog is complete and the position will then become part-time to keep the collection updated and for the cataloging of new acquisitions.

The items to be cataloged are primarily in one office but additional items will be required for pick-up in a private residence close to the main office. Reimbursement for work-related travel will be provided.

Full-time hours to begin are from 8:30 to 5:30, Monday-Friday.


Cataloging of a variety of books, mainly History, Travel, Ancient Christian Commentaries, Art Books, Religious materials, Map Books, Novels and general Non-Fiction.

  • MLIS is preferred but a BA degree and extensive cataloging experience will be considered.
  • Extensive use and knowledge of cataloging systems, including Dewey Decimal, Library of Congress, AARC2, LC subject headings, MARC records, etc.
  • Excellent work habits, reliability and the ability to be self-directed.
  • Must be able to drive to nearby residence for pick-up ofmaterials to be cataloged.

Email resume as a Word attachment to Joanne Schwarz,
Please use "Cataloger - Private Collection - #1042" as the subject line of your email submission

Library Associates Companies is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that values diversity in the workforce.

More Info On RSS Readers - Library 101 Presentation

In my presentation I mentioned that RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. What that means is if you really like the blog and want to be alerted to new content you can copy a bit of code that will connect and keep you up to date with new content.

It is similar to a magazine subscription; you like the magazine and you want to receive it on a regular basis. Unlike magazines there is no fee involved and you can start and stop at any time.

Another way to look at it is there use to be three television networks that created content. After the program was canceled or finished its run it would go into syndication where other television stations could air the show when they wanted to show it to you. Most times it was 4:30a.m.

Instead of a company distributing the content when it wants to the user or patron gets to decide what content to received from millions of choices.

What You Need To Get Started

You will need to have what is called a RSS Reader. This is software that looks at the code, goes to the website or blog and transmits the new content to you. In class, I showed you Bloglines which is a free service that you can use to keep track of your favorite blogs, podcasts and web videos.

If you look at the bottom of the PCC Libtech blog you will see two buttons. One of them is for Bloglines. After you set up your account you can click that button and subscribe to the blog. The orange icon is another way to subscribe to content for other applications and services that use that format.

If you are a Google Guy/Gal no worries. If you use Google applications and services you just need to activate your Google Reader account. Google has a tour page that will explain the process.

Now I've tried to give a basic explanation but there a video that will make it crystal clear. Back in 2007 I wrote about the Common Craft videos and this is an example of my RSS In Plain English post from 2007. Definitely check the video out; it will help you understand and get you started building your link collections.

Library Coordinator Position at John Burroughs High School

There is a Library Tech position open at John Burroughs High School. If you missed the e-mail announcement here are a portion of the details:
Under the direction of an assigned supervisor, provide library services related to the evaluation, acquisition, circulation, distribution and recovery of library books and reference materials at a school site. Provide general library assistance and information to students and staff. Supervise large groups of students utilizing the library during regular operating hours; work is performed independently with only occasional supervision. Subject to lifting, climbing and pushing.
For more info you should visit the Burbank Unified School District Employment website and then perform the following steps:
  1. Click on Employment on the top bar of the screen
  2. Click on classified posting just below the top bar
  3. Click on View job posting for all candidates
  4. Choose Library Coordinator.
The closing date is November 6, 2008 so get a move on and polish that resume.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Celebrating Banned Book Week 09/27-10/4/08

Perhaps this post is a little late but I believe every day we should celebrate the idea of not banning books and embracing a place that encourages nonexistence of censorship.

How did you celebrate Banned Book Week? I will confess that I didn't do much on my part for Banned Book Week since I didn't want to raise too much controversy as a relatively new library aide at the elementary school I work at. Since I just recently opened up the library, I decided to have books on display that dealt with going back to school, being the new kid, and similar issues. Some of these books that I put up just happened to be "banned or challenged books." Since I wasn't doing a banned book display, I decided to put up books dealing with topics of using libraries, history of libraries, and how a book is made. In addition, I found a tween book and YA book whose plots dealt with teens dealing closure of a library or books being banned.

I discovered that Pasadena Central Library celebrated Banned Book Week with a display all month long during multiple visits. At another local library that I go to, I was disappointed that there wasn't any banned book display which surprised me but I didn't inquire as to why there wasn't one there.

Interested in reading more about Banned Book Week, visit ALA. They also talk about the difference between banned and challenged books as well. Check out ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom on the celebration of banned books through cartoon strips. Another great place to check out is the Banned Books Archive for more information.

I have to say that I really liked this year's slogan of ALA: "Closing books shuts out ideas." Just this past week, a teacher spoke briefly to his class at our elementary school library during the library orientation emphasizing the opportunity to read new books to gain new ideas. Hearing that made me smile. One last slogan I came across in my quest for more information on Banned Books Week was, "Free People Read Freely." Oh, so true!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Prologue Magazine - National Archives and Records Adminstration

There is an abundance of historical information contained in the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) web site. One area I'd like to draw your attention to is the quarterly magazine Prologue.

NARA's Prologue Magazine
Prologue is a great resource. Did you know that there was a court case about frozen ice cream and flavored ice between Popsicle and Good Humor? Or that there were inconsistent rules applied to women and naturalization between 1802 to 1940?

Many people have issues about the response handling in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina but did you know that there were slackers, looters and governmental incompetents that added to the confusion on who was responsible during San Francisco 1906 Earthquake?

You can read and decide for yourself if history repeats itself in the article "When an American City Is Destroyed, The U.S. Military as First Responders to the San Francisco Earthquake a Century Ago".

There is a lot of talk recently about subversives, anti-Americans and being "the other." It is scary stuff but it is not new to the country. In Prologue magazine there is an article about how the McCarthy era came into being by the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations (AGLOSO).

You can learn about how fear took root the government and in the country. Once you know how it got started you can be on the look out for new versions that are being implied or suggested.

This is your tax dollars being put to wonderful use. I would certainly add this to your information tool kit.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Recap of UNT/CSUN MLS Information Session

The information session held in CSU Northridge's Delmar T. Oviatt Library presentation room was attended by about 15 eager and aspiring Librarians. One gentleman said that he has been waiting "years" for a Master's program to begin at CSUN. Several people, including myself, expressed their disappointment last year, when CSUN's initial Master's program was denied ALA accreditation. Needless to say, there was an air of excitement in the room as Dr. Susan Curzon introduced herself and University of North Texas' program advisor and past dean Dr. Phil Turner. Dr. Turner made it clear from the get-go that this is the "best time in history" to be pursuing a Master's Degree in librarianship due to the upcoming retirement of up to 50% of all librarians within the next 5-10 years.

Important Info:

- ALA Accredited for 60 years
- 90% Graduation rate
- Culminates in an MLS degree (not an MLIS) from UNT
- 12 proscribed courses chosen by UNT, CSUN and LA library leaders
- GRE or the MAT (Miller's Analogy Test must be taken
- Cost will NOT increase during the course of the cohort
- Financial aid and scholarships are available

Program highlights:

- SLIS Village -
A place to connect with all the UNT MLS students across the country.
- Capstone Experience -
Like a thesis/portfolio required by other programs
- Practicum -
Required for the MLS (can be waived with 60 hrs paid library work)
- Graduate Academic Certificate -
In Advanced Management in Libraries and Information Centers

In my opinion, this is a great opportunity for students who wish to focus in Library Management. Students have the opportunity to meet with peers to study because everyone will live the greater Los Angeles area. The fact that CSUN Professors will be accessible in office hours is a plus. The graduation ceremony will be on the CSUN campus. Overall, I would recommend that if you are interested apply! Deadlines are February 15, 2009 for the first draft of 20 slots and then April 1, for the second 20 admittances.

For more info see: UNT Catalog Page for SLIS

Friday, October 10, 2008

Volunteer and Play It Foward Saturday October 11th and 12th

I know this is short notice if you didn't get Krista's e-mail. Here is the text:

We are collecting used books to give to several locations in or more Elementary schools, one Middle, one High School Library and several classroom libraries. These books are going to be delivered to Lake Avenue Church this Saturday Evening (5:30 - 7:00 PM) and Sunday 9 AM - 3PM.

Also... we would love to have some assistance in our libraries that are receiving these books to help them get processed and on the shelves. So that is actually another need that will go beyond just this coming weekend.

I am looking for volunteers with some library experience to assist in receiving these books and making a rough sort or even more detailed sort if we have the personnel.

The times are listed above and if anyone could give me a couple of hours of more that would be so appreciated. If you know of anyone who might be interested they can contact Judy Boehr.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Web Search Strategies In Plain English - Subtitled

This is another winner from the good folks at Common Craft. This video explains basic web search strategies and short cuts on how to find what you need from web search engines. This is the open captioned English version from DotSub.

DotSub is a web based tool that allows video creators to add subtitles to videos in almost any language. There are hundreds of subtitled videos on the site and more being added everyday.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Adam Matthews Digital Subscription Resources

Adam Matthew Digital is a subscription database that handles specialized collections. The target audience would be those folks interested in research, education and librarianship.

The collections are divided into 20 areas of focus that include:
  • America, Asia and the Pacific
  • India, Raj and Empire
  • Defining Gender, 1450 - 1910
  • Travel Writing, Spectacle and World History
  • China, Trade, Politics and Culture 1893-1980
What is available is primary sources from diarists/journalists (in this case people who had direct experience with a situation and wrote letters to friends or recorded the event for their personal memory book) and documentation from business sources, drawings and photographs and similar material.

The collection draws upon the experience of teachers, professors and library collections. There are essays available to provide an introduction. This is a fee based service but there are free samples that you can use to evaluate the usefulness of the collections.

I was able to find an sample article on "Research Strategies on Women, Popular Culture and Family Life in American 1800-1920" by Amy Blair, Assistant Professor, Marquette University.
It was a review of the publication of that time that reflected the cultural values of what a woman should aspire in terms of her home, domestic affairs and fashion.

If you are interested in evaluation the site there is a four week trial period that is available to librarians or school faculty. There is none available to students. However I would suggest that students keep an eye out for some of the free sample information that is located on the site. A few of the freebies that I found was very informative.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

New MLIS Program on the Block

If you're applying for an MLIS program in the near future, consider looking at the newest MLIS program at CSUN (California State University, Northridge) in conjunction with University of North Texas that will be starting class sessions in Fall 2009. This special program will admit a group of post-baccalaureate working adults (limited to a maximum of 40 students per cohort) who wish to move up in the field of library management or who wish to transition into library and information management. There will be a strong emphasis on the challenges and opportunities that are distinctive to the management of libraries and library collections and services in the diverse urban context of greater L.A. and Ventura.

There are four upcoming informational sessions held the beginning of October at three different locations.

Monday, October 6 - 6pm
Glendale Public Library
222 E. Harvard St.
Auditorium, 2nd floor
Glendale, CA 91205
(818) 548-2030

Tuesday, October 7 - 3 and 6pm
CSUN Oviatt Library
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330
(818) 677-2271

Oviatt Library Presentation Room - Enter from 1st floor of library.
Parking is $5 - Visitor Parking in Lot B4

Wednesday, October 8 - 1:30-3:00pm
Calabasas Library
200 Civic Center Way
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 225-7616

For more program information and online application materials, visit:
Questions- contact: Dr. Phil Turner at

(Thanks to Kristen Annes for passing on this information!)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

SANTA MONICA COLLEGE - Lead Library Assistant-Technical Services


Lead Library Assistant-Technical Services

SALARY$19.46 - $23.65 Hourly $1,556.77 - $1,892.31 Biweekly $3,373.00 - $4,100.00 Monthly $40,476.00 - $49,200.00 Annually
OPENING DATE: 09/29/08
CLOSING DATE: 10/17/08 11:59 PM
This is a merged promotional and open competitive recruitment. Positions in this classification perform a wide variety of independent paraprofessional and high-level library clerical duties relating to the Periodicals and Technical Services area of the college library. An Eligibility List is currently being established to fill one vacancy in the Campus Library, Monday - Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm., 12 months per year, 40 hours per week. This list will also be utilized to fill any vacancies that may occur during the one year life of the Eligibility List, which may include part-time and temporary positions. Selection Process A qualifying evaluation of submitted application materials. All qualified applicants will be invited to the Written Exam (worth 60%). The candidates with the top scores on the written exam (approximately 10 candidates) will be invited to participate in the Qualifications Appraisal Interview (worth 40%). Candidates must be successful on each test part to continue in the selection process. Candidates must be successful on all test parts for their name to be placed on the eligibility list. Santa Monica College reserves the right to modify the above stated examination components and weights prior to the administration of any examination. Work Authorization In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Santa Monica College requires that all new employees provide documentation to establish both work authorization and identity.
Serves as a lead worker in the technical services and periodicals areas of the library and assists in other areas, such as circulation Responds to technical services problems of a more difficult and complex nature Performs copy cataloging of materials, including searching bibliographic utilities for MARC records; downloading records; and editing and proof-reading bibliographic and item records Plans, coordinates, and oversees major projects in periodicals or technical services, such as inventory, periodical holdings, and bibliographic and item record maintenance Oversees and maintains reserve collection, including creation of bibliographic and course records for each item, preparation of notices to faculty Provides guidance and work direction to other Library Assistants; reviews work for quality and accuracy Monitors and maintains the periodicals collection; verifies that all subscriptions are kept current; prepares claims to vendors of missing issues Processes materials in all formats, including books, audio-visual, and realia Repairs library materials; prepares books for bindery Prepares and maintains records and statistical data related to the technical services area as assigned Recruits, selects, trains, schedules, prepares payroll for and provides daily work direction and supervision to student workers Performs circulation duties, such as assisting library users at the circulation desk and checking in or checking out library materials Assists the Technical Services Librarian in ensuring the smooth operation of the technical services area of the library Assists in planning and developing policies and procedures related to technical services Greets students, staff and visitors in a pleasant and helpful manner; explains department policies and procedures to library users Performs other related duties as requested or assigned Examples of essential duties are descriptive and not restrictive in nature and are generally listed in descending order of importance
Education Requirement: Graduation from high school or evidence of equivalent educational proficiency Experience Requirement: Three (3) years of experience performing a variety of paraprofessional library clerical duties including acquisitions, and cataloging using an automated on-line library system and bibliographic utilities. Education/Experience Equivalency: Up to two years of the required experience may be substituted with additional related college coursework on a year-for-year basis. Licensure and/or Certification: None

For SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION and Supplemental Questionnaire

OR Personnel Commission Office Office Location - 2714 Pico Blvd., SM, CA 90405
Mailing Address - 1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405