Tuesday, August 26, 2008

At Your Local Library

If you love children's books, this exhibit is not to be missed. There is still time to catch the Children Should Be Seen: The Image of the Child in American Picture-Book Art at the Los Angeles Central Library which is being held till September 14, 2008.

I must admit I haven't gotten down to see this exhibit yet but do plan to. One thing I appreciated about the webpage for this exhibit is its links for all the artists' websites of which many are authors as well. If you're looking for some new children's books, this is a great place to look.

Library Stuff Blog from Steven M. Cohen

It is hard to keep up with the library happenings across the nation and the world. Conventions, sessions, meetings, people getting fired for doing libelous things.

That is why I appreciate Steven Cohen's Library Stuff. In some respects it is like Headline Library Network News. He directs you to the source of the story and there is an occasional comment.

Sure it is easy to point the finger at library purps who don't pay their fines or county officials that still think America is linguistically fixed at 1808 and not an evolving multilingual nation. That is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Library Stuff

As you move through his posts you start to get the tingles that something are not right in the library world.

For example, he has a referral post on a Library Assistant who wrote a book about the more colorful patrons that she encountered on the job. You can read the full story at the Traverse City Eagle-Record.

Here are a few small hints should anyone thinking about doing this...
  • Yes, it is a good idea to do this under an assumed name.
  • Yes you should change the names of the people you write about. Seriously altering personal identifiers would be even better.
  • Yes, you should read in depth about libel, libel laws and workplace confidentiality.
  • No, do not included a photo of the actual library, even if you put it in a collage
There is more than just library crime and mischief at the blog. This is a fast way to learn how other libraries are incorporating audio/mp3 files into their collections, there are issues with Google and did they run a game on librarians, and can the ALA trademark on the word READ?

I don't want to give the wrong impression. According to Mr. Cohen, he plans to transition his blog more to law, law marketing and law library related issues. Blogs can and do evolve. So by the time you get to Library Stuff it might not be the same as I described it.

Either way, it is a good way to survey what is happening in the library verse.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Job Opportunities at Alhambra Public Library

Library Assistant (Teen Services)
August 20-September 5, 2008

Library Page (Part-Time, Temporary, Open)
August 14- August 29, 2008

More information at: www.cityofalhambra.org/jobs/index.html

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pasadena Public Library - Page Position

Pasadena Public Library is taking applications at this time.

Job Title:
Page/At will Temporary
$9.83 - $11.54 hourly
Job Type:
City of Pasadena, California


Open until 60 applications have been received.

Page positions are part-time (19.5 hrs/wk maximum). Work schedules are varied, including any combination of day, evening and weekend. Some Page positions may require a valid Class C driver's license or alternative transportation if the job duties require work assignments at or to different job sites.

The Los Angeles Young Librarians Meet-up Group

Looking for a library related group to socialize and network with?

If so, check out The Los Angeles Young Librarians Meet-up Group.

They're a relatively new group and have had 2 meet-ups so far. The third meet-up is this Saturday in Glendale, CA at The Americana Barnes and Noble bookstore at 2pm. Even though it says on their website that it's for young librarians in their 20s and 30s, the group is actually more diverse than that in ages, experience, and etc. Toni Rodriguez, a student in the PCC Technology program, is currently the organizer of this group. I am planning to stop by so it would be great to see some more familiar faces!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fall Semester 2008

Don't let the Fall semester sneak up on you! Believe it or not, classes begin in just three weeks on Tuesday, Sep. 2nd. Those of you that are signed up for the Library 103 Circulation class, remember there is no school on Monday, Sep. 1st of that first week due to Labor Day. So for that class, the first session won't be till Sep. 8th. If you're looking to add or drop a class (without a W), the last day is Saturday, Sep. 13.

Good luck in your classes whatever you may be taking this semester!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Calisphere and California Cultures

Calisphere is a project of the California Digital Library. It's mission is to provide public online access to some of the collections from the University of California Libraries, Museums and contributing public library systems.

Calisphere California Cultures
The California Cultures website is especially interesting. This gives a visitor the ability to find out information about African American, Asian, Hispanic and Native American cultures.

I decided to explore the Asian American section. There are a number of pathways I could follow such as the Gold Rush Era with an historical overview of the time.

Chinese Family in San Francisco
I also was able to view photographs, advertisements and some of the anti-immigration publications of the time. Depending on the amount of documentation available you can find out the source of the photo, the context and related keyword searches to help you access even more information.

Where available there are letters, political cartoons, oral histories and diaries and other materials to aid in researching a topic such as the Transcontinental Railroad.

You could spend hours reading and catching up with the good and the bad of California's history. And you will learn a lot about how different ethnic groups shaped that history.

National Archives Videos on Google

The National Archives and Records Administration, in partnership with Google, has uploaded a number of videos to Google Video. This is a good resource for researchers, writers and students.

The National Video ArchiveThere are currently 110 videos from the following categories:
A couple of points to keep in mind about the movies.

These are recordings of their time produced by the United States Government. For the most part these are promotional or public relations generated movies that might have appeared at the local movie theater before the main show. They are a reflection of the what was known and presented as fact.

For patrons looking to historical research, students who are writing papers or historians trying to document changes in attitudes about topics this is a resource that should not be ignored.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Cuil - New Seach Engine on the Block

It ain't easy being the new kid in town. The cool kids can't see you for who you are. The snobs know everything and have no use for you. But Cuil, I think you got potential.

Cuil is a new search engine. It is pronounced "cool". I like some of the features of Cuil and I want to show you what it can and sometimes can't do.

Cuil Search Box
First off, let's not compare it to Google. I think it has more in common with Ask.com which is a dang good search engine. I type the term "collection development" Cuil gives me the following screen:

Cuil Search ResultsYou have the option of a two column or three column layout and the items matching your search term appear on the screen. On the upper right side is the explore by category menu.

Cuil Category MenuIt will bring up additional categories. By clicking on the gray bar it will give you related terms you can use to search with your initial search term.

I like this for a good and bad reason. I can get more specific by telling Cuil I want to know more about library collection development. But if I want to stray of and dive into something new I can do that too.

I mentioned that Cuil is more similar to Ask.com and I want to show you what I mean:

Ask.com Sidebar
Comparing it to Ask.com

Ask.com also has a feature to narrow your search but it is a little more focused. It understood that I was looking for library collection development, offered to show examples or links to planning, tools and practices.

Ask.com is not perfect. You have to know that there are sponsored links above and below your actual search results. Some of the links provided even under the stated categories are out of place or relate to other industries that also use the term collection development.

I like the concept of having suggestions to narrow the search term and I think Cuil is on to something. Having multiple categories to choose from can lead you down many interesting roads.

Small Caution and Safe Searching

As I was going through the links I noticed that some seem to repeat themselves. I looked down at the URLs listing and finally figured out the problem. Blog spoofers, spammers and other forms of low life are stealing content and linking it to their websites or blogs. Why would a seller of baby products wrap itself around the term collection development is beyond me.

This is not Cuil's fault. It is an on-going problem with all search engines. Be extra cautious about automatically clicking on a link. Read the sample text, many times the crum bums can't spell or there is non-sense text. Look at the URL before you click and practice safe surfing.

I'm not just saying this about Cuil. You have to be attentive with all search engines.

Is It Worth It?

Yeah, I think it is worth a tryout. When I refined my search to library collection development Cuil pulled up links from university and professional associations. It also presented books containing collection development content.

It was fast and I liked that it was more of a visual experience. I think you should add it to your reference tool kit for a test drive.