Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ground Level Library Humor - Love The Library

I'm almost back to speed. My hard drive crashed and I lost a bunch of links and other stuff. Yes, I backed up my system so I have all my documents.

But somehow I neglected to back up the folders containing e-mail and my bookmark data program. I have the software but it is a special kind of joy trying to find the serial numbers to re-install programs.

Yes, I need a laugh. Marian the Librarian and Liberry AKA Amy have a fun blog that lists some of the things that happen inside of the library. Love the Liberry is a gold mind of the adventures and misadventures that happen every single day in most libraries. There will be a lot of head nodding as you read the posts. If you want the true skivvy on what happens in a library you gotta check it out.


Monday, April 21, 2008

BookExpo America At L.A. Convention Center

Many events are happening in Los Angeles and one of them is the BookExpo America at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The expo takes place May 29 - June 1, 2008.

For three days you will have the opportunity to soak yourself in books, book sellers, buyers, educational events and the ability to network with potential employers. This is just a sampling:

Breakfast with the Authors, one that I wish I could attend would be with Mike Mignola,the author of Hellboy and Art Spiegelman, the author of the acclaimed graphic novel, Maus.

Special pavilions focusing on books for children, graphic novels, African-Americans, Latinos and Independent publishers.

Educational Panels feature topics on looking at Environmental Trends in Book Publishing, What Americas Latino Voices are Reading And Why, What Retailers & Librarians Should Know about Video Games and Gamers, New Technologies and New Literacies for Teens, Obscene in the Extreme: Why Books Still Get Banned and more.

Now it might happen that you can't attend the event this year but fear not, through the magic of BEA Audio Podcasting you can listen to last years events and panels. You can listen to them online or download to your media player:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Free Introduction to WestLaw Class At Pasadena Central Library

Sarah Sabasteanski of the L. A. County Library will be teaching a free Introduction to WestLaw class. Class topics include locating legal forms, state and federal case law, court rulings and more.

The class will meet Wednesday, May 7 between 12:00 noon and 1:00pm. The class is located at the Pasadena (CA) Public Library, the Central branch on Walnut. To register visit the Pasadena Public Library Training page.

Library Job List Wiki

Just a quick reminder that there are a lot of resources on the Internet for library workers.

The LISWiki has information and tips on how to find a library job, the interview process and looking at the job offer.

There are also links to other resources you can check for employment opportunities.

John Blanchard, Jr. Memorial Scholarship For Potential Librarian-Teachers

The California School Library Association has a scholarship opportunity for a library technician.

From the CSLA website:
This $1,000.00 scholarship is to assist a school library paraprofessional in obtaining the preparation needed to quality and serve as a school library media teacher. Mook and Blanchard, in collaboration with CSLA, have established the John Blanchard, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. John, an avid reader, believed that self-discovery comes from reading books by favorite authors about special interests. He passionately promoted building collections of reading materials in school libraries so that students could discover themselves through the pleasure of reading.
The deadline for applying is April 30, 2008. You can download an application or you can contact Marlin More, Chair of the Blanchard Scholarship Committee.

CalTech Has Library Assistant Position Open

Ken Lin, a librarian and former student in the program has provided this employment alert. California Institute of Technology (CalTech) Sherman Fairchild Library is looking to fill a library support position. Here are the details:

Library Support, Associate - CIT14491LF Requisition Number: CIT14491LF
Job Title: Librarian Technician Associate
Department Name: Caltech Library System
Job Category/Family: Library
Job Discipline & Career Level: Library Support/Associate
Salary Grade: 38
Anticipated Hiring Range:$13.50-14.50 per hour
Date Posted: 4/7/08

This is from the Job Resource page at CalTech:
The Library Assistant functions as a member of the Sherman Fairchild Library staff, part of the Caltech Library System, providing assistance and support for circulation and collection maintenance, in addition to assisting users of the Sherman Fairchild Library Information Commons, photocopiers and printers. Additional responsibilities include occasional support in other units for circulation and collection maintenance. The incumbent will work a 40 hour week, and will report to the Supervisor of Library Service, Sherman Fairchild Library

The mission of the Caltech Library System (CLS) is to provide library resources and forward-looking information services of the highest quality in a timely, cost-effective manner to support and facilitate the research and educational programs of the Institute.

In support of this mission the incumbent performs the following activities: A. Assist in the provision of customer services in accordance with established policies and procedures; B. Maintain collections and designated equipment; C. Participate in ongoing database and digital archive maintenance activities; and D. Perform other responsibilities as assigned. Once trained, the incumbent is expected to be able to prioritize and coordinate tasks based on the current activity within the Library.

For more information visit the CalTech Human Resources employment page. You can search for positions and post your resume directly to the CalTech employment database.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Music Cataloging Resources

You walk into a room. There are hundreds of boxes of vinyl recordings before you. You open the first box and see this 45 record:

Originally uploaded by me1vinsparks

How do you catalog this record? You've taken the cataloging class but that was primarily for books. The concepts are the same but you want to review the resources for cataloging music.

AACR2 Resources

Training Materials for Music Cataloging
. In 1995 Ian Fairclough put together this list of cataloging study tips that can be reviewed. It gives you the sections of AACR2 to review and study for music cataloging. Please understand that this is an old list and does not address music formats such as MP3, FLAC or DRM issues.

From the University of Buffalo another option is to take a look at the Sound Recording Workshop Handouts created by Jay Weitz. It seems to be a Power Point presentation that was converted to images but it is really helpful in focusing on the areas you will need to extract information from and how to do it.

MARC Resources

Penn State University Sound Recording MARC Fixed Field Cheat Sheet - This will give you an idea of how to find or prep music MARC codes. This cheat sheet is for the Unicom system, you would have to adapt it to Voyager or other software programs.

Yale University Library has a Voyager based Physical Description Codes for Sound Recordings
that you can use to make sure that you are on the correct path in Voyager. You should also view the Fixed Fields for Sound Recording Chart.

Other Resources:

Music Catalogers ListServ (MOUG) - if you really want to know more about music cataloging, OCLC issues and the day to day realities of quantifying that grove.

Authority Tools for Audiovisual and Music Catalogers: An Annotated List of Useful Resources

Music Cataloging At Yale - Long list of websites and resources for a wide variety of music cataloging needs.

Just for Fun (Kinda)

Jason Poole created a video about his informal survey with librarians on how they classified music. It is music and text, no vocals. There is also a brief introduction to the ANSCR music classification system.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

How Do I Convert Thee, Let Me Count the Ways

In the case of number conversions one size does not fit all. Which is part of the problem. There is no single measurement system that is universally used around the globe. Yes, the Metric system is the predominate system but did you know there are variations?

Living in America tends to metrically separate us from the rest of the world. Did you buy a liter of water or a little more than a quart of water? So in the spirit of moving us metrically forward here are a few web sites to add to your Ready Reference list.

Online Conversions Calculators

The big daddy of them all is Online Conversions. It has all of the basic conversions such as temperature, speed and weight but it also has converters for energy, flow rates, frequency, light and 50,000 other means of transferring data from one system to another.

You type in the value, select the system you want to convert from and the one you want to convert to and you have your answer in a blink of an eye. Which I sure can be measured for speed but I don't know how.

Other sites that perform similar functions include:
  • Martindale's Online Calculators with 23,000+ methods of calculations including Agricultural, Gems and Jewry, Medicine Photography, Scientific and many more calculators and converters.
  • RefDesk has a Weights and Measure Resource page with links to time zones, periodic tables, currency converters and related topics.
  • MegaConverter and Mega Converter2 allows you to perform many of the same type of conversions but there is an added bonus on the resource page. You can download an Excel spreadsheet that has ancient or obsolete measurement systems.
Units of Measure Dictionary

Russ Rowlett of the University of North Caroline has a Dictionary of Units of Measurement page. It is kind of like a mini history or number word etymology of different number systems. It is old school in appearance but I now know what a Pfiff is and a Zoll is 1/12 of a fuss.

How Big Is Big?

If you have ever seen The Incredible Shrinking Man you know the answer is relative to your position in the universe. Nikon is a primarily a photography and image processing company. They created a section on their website to give people to get a sense of scale when it comes to size and the relationship to other objects. I suppose it is a way of converting the words we use to describe size and dimension into a graphical representation.

The Universcale is a Flash 6 animation that allows you to see size in relation to other objects. It is a little tricky to get use to but if you click on an object it will give you its size and the relationship to other objects that are larger and smaller. You can also move through a size scale or a measurement scale to compare a Double Decker bus with a jet airplane or a dinosaur.

This would be a great site for children but they would need a little navigational help first.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Job Search & Mock Interview Practice Session May 3

The Shatford Library staff is organizing its third "Job Search and Mock Interview" session on Saturday, May 3, 2008 from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm. If you are attending:
  • Bring a draft of your resume.
  • Bring questions to ask college and university, public and school librarians at the open Talk Tables.
  • “Dress for Success” as if you had a real interview!
  • Think about and practice how you would respond to these typical interview questions: "Tell us how your background and experience have prepared you for this position." and "Do you have any questions for us or would you like to make a final statement?"
Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. and we will have two keynote speakers who will offer you tips for job searches. The mock interview sessions will be very valuable because you get to hear panel's critiques for improving your answers and other manners at the interview.

Please respond to Jennifer Cooper by Tuesday, April 22, 2008.

Do not miss this valuable opportunity. Especially the younger students that think they know how to handle preparing a resume or a job interview and the older students who think they know how to handle preparing a resume or a job interview.

Those of you that are middle aged, you have sense enough to know to show up.

EditGrid - Online Collaborative Spreedsheet

Picture this. You are working at a library that has Internet access but really old versions of Microsoft Office. Or you are working on a team project where you need data from a variety of people.

EditGrid Online Spreedsheet

Those people maybe in the same building, across the state or across the globe. You've got numbers to crunch. You have Microsoft Office, Open Office or access to Google Docs but you need to be able to collaborate with other folks entering information. Google Docs does have spreadsheet collaboration but does it do it in real time or with an Instant Messaging connection?

You might want to take a look at EditGrid. If you know Lotus 123 or Excel you can handle EditGrid. Now when you need to share spreadsheet info with team members it is a lot easier.
You can upload an existing spreadsheet or create one from scratch.

The neat part is the options that are available to users. You can:
  • Keep the spreadsheet private or set the viewing and participation rights to the spreadsheet
  • Use Instant Messaging to communicate inside of the EditGrid about the spreadsheet
  • Create a workspace for contributors for just their area of input.
If that wasn't enough they are working on a version of EditGrid that can be used on a iPhone.

So What Is the Catch?

The spreadsheets are hosted on EditGrid servers. If EditGrid goes out of business and you haven't saved a local copy then you could loose your work. But you know to save a backup copy of anything you can't afford to lose, right?

EditGrid has three user options. The free version is for home and personal professional use. There is a limit of a 2MB upload however you can have a many spreadsheets as you want. You still can share and make use of the live chat options.

The other versions, Subscription and Licensed are fee based but allow you to have access to more features like a custom log in page, connection behind firewalls and account administration.