Sunday, September 30, 2012

Library of Congress Transition from to

The Library of Congress is developing a new portal site for researching the data generated out of the U.S. Congress.
Beta version of web site

You still can use to find information on a bill or piece of legislation. In about a year's time the new site will take over. The new site will make it easier to find bills, research legislation, and you will be able to access data over mobile devices.

One of the things that will be easier is getting a better understanding of how congress works. You should check out the legislative page that contains text and video that brings a bit of clarity about the process.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

National Archives 1940 Census Site Is Live

I love it when history, technology and crowd sourcing come together. What do you do when you have 3 million plus pages of census documents that need to be entered into a database?
You ask for help. 160,000 people volunteered and within five months The 1940 Census is available for free from a number of partner web sites in addition to the National Archives.

This is a short video created by the National Archives explaining how they converted microfilm to a digital format and how to use the enumeration district numbers.  For those of you in the digital technician program pay close attention toward the end of the video.

At the National Archives site you can get a primer on how to do a census search, the vocabulary you need to understand and more. There is even a blank 1940 Census form for your perusal.

You can get much of the information from proprietary sites like Archive.comFamily, or access to ProQuest.

This is a great opportunity to find that rascal of a relative or to get a better sense of how people functioned in the the time between the Great Depression and World War 2.

Monday, August 13, 2012

RDA Templates Demo Video - Library of Congress

The cataloging process is evolving. Once upon a time I spent my evenings trying to get a grip on MARC, Dewey and AACR2. To stay in the game you have to be willing to keep up to date with the changes in the field.

Resource Description and Access (RDA) is the next level of library cataloging. This is a video by the Library of Congress by Cataloging educator Deborah Fritz and library software developer Richard Fritz.

This is an opportunity to take a look at a prototype of RDA and to get a sense of where cataloging is going. 

For a transcript of this presentation or to view it in Real Media format, you can visit the Library of Congress RDA Templates web page.

If you would like to get your hands of the software mentioned in the video you can visit the RIMMF wiki and download the software. The software is under a Creative Commons license and is free to use for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

ALA Advocacy Excerpt - The High Ground

This is an small part of a presentation given on the Expo floor of the American Library Association 2012 conference. in Anaheim, CA.

This is an open caption version of the video. We all want to support libraries and part of that support is seeking funding. This is a look at the ways that libraries and those that love them go about getting financial or resource support.

In this excerpt, the speaker talks about one of the ways to gain support for libraries is to get the attention of decision makers. Surprisingly is not always about facts or figures; is about the ideological high ground.

For more information about learning about advocacy skills that support libraries visit the American Library Association Advocacy University web site. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Opportunity to Brush Up on Google Search Skills

For those of you that want to do more with Google than to use quotation marks you might be interested in a free on-line class that Google is conducting in Power Searching.

Power Searching with Google Registration Page

Power Searching with Google is a free, short term class that Google is conducting. It is in the same spirit as the MIT classes on the Python programing language and Building a Search Engine.

Meaning that you could have classmates from all over the world. This specific class is being taught by Google. There will be opportunities to go deep via Google+, Google Hangouts and other social media pathways.

I would guess that you would be able to ask questions via Google Hangouts or a number of different ways. I'm half tempted to buy that Nexus 7 tablet just to try it out. Like I need an excuse to buy tech. 

Class starts on July 10, 2012 and runs for two weeks.  So, fire up that phone, tablet or desktop and register.

Addendum: Just got my confirmation; ixnay on the phone. You can use a tablet, notebook or desktop computer. I'm thinking they would prefer that you use Chrome. Just a hunch.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fanzines From the ALA Expo Floor Part 2

Before blogs, before the Internet as we know it there were fanzines. The great news is that there are still fanzines being produced. On the ALA Expo floor was an exhibit of some of the publications.

Fanzines are small publications that focus in on a particular topic or niche subject area. They can be handwritten, assembled from found materials, photocopied or professionally produced.

The topics can range from surviving the workday after a bender to a catalog of every Tonka toy made. Whimsy or dead serious in content. Sometimes explicit. Sometime reveling in the mundane.

I remember finding fanzines on the floor of record stores next to the free alternative newspapers. That was one method of distribution. Another was mail sharing or trading. Fanzines could also be sold for subscription.

It was hit or miss. There could be one issue or seven or 130. It depended on the person. There are still a few folks producing fanzines in the U.S. but other countries are continuing the tradition.

 It was kinda cool to find this spot of creativity at the conference.

Monday, June 25, 2012

My View From the ALA Expo Floor - Part 1

It has been a few years since I graduated. Life and the general economic situation has lead me to unexpected paths away from brick and mortar libraries. I stay connected by dipping into the cyber equivalents.

I thought going to see the exhibits at the conference was a good way for me to re-connect. I have to say that I felt like an interloper.  Maybe I was, I'm not a librarian.

Which is the number one question I got when I stepped up to a table. "What library are your from?" "Who do you represent?" "Are You A Librarian?"

Totally understandable.

It would have been misleading to add the school library to my badge. I'm not a student any more. I don't work at a library. I can say that I have been applying what I have gained in the program to communicate and share information with various on-line communities that won't step foot in a physical library.

They should. They won't. I meet folks where they are.

But what about the other stakeholders in literacy, technology and freedom of information advocates? Should we not have come?

As I walked through the convention center (and it was huge) I had people flash a look at my badge. If it didn't display what they wanted to see they looked away, hoping I wouldn't walk over.

Why Would a Non-library Person come to ALA?

Beyond my personal reasons,  I could see what has changed and not changed since the last time I visited. Paper books are still important. There are vendors selling and librarians wanting audio CDs for their patrons. E-book vendors getting a bit more space on the floor.

A lot of things to think about and to share.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Yes, it's that Time Again! Time for ALA in Anaheim

Debating whether you should go to ALA's conference this weekend? If you're a student member, you cannot beat the price for what you get. Even if you decide to just go for the exhibits and after hours events which many are free, it will be worth your venture out there. You will get tons of freebies and the chance to network. When I went to my first ALA conference four years ago in Anaheim, I was about half way through the PCC Library Tech Program. What amazed me was the welcome I got from the library professionals I met there even when I told them I was just a library assistant getting my certificate in Library Technology. I was, of course, asked if I was considering getting my Master's to which I responded affirmatively but still with hesitation. Here's the link for registration fees. One can register at ALA onsite.

If you still have not decided whether or not you are attending the American Library Association (ALA) conference in Anaheim this weekend, here's some reasons straight from them:

  1. Learn from your peers at 500+ programs on hot topics
  2. Fill your toolbox with tools for library advocacy
  3. Choose among the wide range of Preconferences and continuing education
  4. Have the chance to share your expertise in a “Conversation Starter” program
  5. Connect with employers or job seekers at the ALA JobLIST Placement Center
  6. Meet hundreds of authors at four live stages and in booths throughout the exhibit hall
  7. Hear unforgettable speakers and presenters such as John Irving, Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer, and the Rock Bottom Remainders
  8. See and try the latest in products, services, publications and technologies from 800+ exhibitors in the largest library exhibition in the world
  9. Engage at the Networking Uncommons—impromptu sessions, and conversations
  10. Enjoy the professional and personal experiences your colleagues describe here.
If you do go to ALA, feel free to share your experiences here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Data Journalism Handbook

There are all kinds of ways to find information. What do you do when you find it? Or perhaps there is so much of it that it requires a different approach to share the main points of the sources.

The Data Journalism Handbook is a guide written by journalists to help other journalists and people who need to deal with large amounts of information to find a way to get to the good stuff and make it visible.

There is a free web version and a paper version that will be published some time this year. In the web version you can select the chapter that most meets your needs at the moment.

The books focus is from the point of view of someone in the United Kingdom but who wants to always search American centric information anyway.

Chapters that might have an appeal to library students include:

  • A Five Minute Field Guide - suggested methods to organize your thoughts and a listing of data sources that could provide support to hard to answer questions. Some of the sources cited are the Guardian's World Data Bank, Project Wombat and ScraperWiki.
  • Basic Steps In Working with Data - how to ask the right questions and find the answers.
  • Designing with Data - because when you find it you have to do something with it. How do you present the result of your search without distorting the intended meaning?
This is a good resource for the old kit bag

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Library Interview Tips

Do your research:
  1. Know what the institution is about, its goals and history.  During the question and answer period it’s good to be able to talk about specifics. Be aware of recent awards and upcoming events. 
  2. Show some forethought, even if it's just a page position.  When asked if you have questions, ask about something that is coming up in the pipeline for them.  Scan the news, their website and their fliers; many institutions strive to convey their triumphs to their patron base.
Take inventory of yourself:
  1. Don't just play up your library skills and knowledge.  Even if you haven't finished your certificate there are other skills you could relate that could be applicable to the position.
  2. How do your previous experiences relate to this library and its functions?  Before the interview think of your current skills and successes at work, then relate them to the library you will be interviewing for.
  3. To expand on the first two points, what other skills do you have: phone skills, handling money, handling difficult people?  These are some skills that may come into use for a position that simply lists job duties as shelving and clerical work.
Sell yourself:
  1. Be yourself. Put your best foot forward to be someone the interviewer would want to work with.
  2. Dress a level above what you see in the workplace.  Some libraries have a relaxed dress code for work. You may see librarians and technical staff in jeans and t-shirts.  But for the interview dress it up a little to show a level of professionalism.
  3. Greet everyone professionally, that "patron" you ignore standing at the desk could be your future boss.  In the excitement and nervousness of a pending job interview it's easy to have tunnel vision, focusing on what you've prepared to say and what questions might come up, but be friendly and open to those around you.  You never know whose input may count when they sit down to decide between candidates.

Here are a few web pages for review.  Some of these tips are for librarian positions, but they will help you stand out from other candidates.

Also check out this previous PCC Lib Tech Blog post regarding interviews:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

National Library Week: April 8 - 12th, 2012

Almost every day there is something to do to celebrate National Library Week sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). This year's theme is "You belong @ your library."

Today is National Library Workers Day. One can go to the National Library Workers Day website to recognize a library worker of their choice from any type of library.

Are you a Twitter fan? If so, you can tweet your six word library story of why you belong at the library by using this tag #nlw6words. Stories will be compiled and judged You have till Wednesday, April 11th to participate. You can also follow National Library Week at #nlw12 on Twitter and on Facebook.

Wednesday is also National Bookmobile Day. Thursday is Support Teen Literature Day.

If you happen to be on campus, then check out the Rotunda display at the Shatford Library celebrating National Library Week. There are new READ posters with assorted library staff, campus staff and students. In addition, check out the most current happenings dealing with banned books in Arizona. There are also boards set up where you can write what your favorite book is. Currently, one of my most favorite books is "The Time Traveler's Wife" which is a fictional story about a time traveling librarian who works at the Newbery Library in Chicago and his relationship with his wife which is told from both points of view. Feel free to post a comment of what your favorite book is and why.

Conference website:

Early Bird Registration is open:
ALA Student Member** (All Access 6/22-6/26. Excludes Preconferences and Ticketed Events).

** Join online:
Student membership: $33; Library Support Staff membership: $46.
Early Bird student Registration (by May 13): $95; Advance (by June 14): $120; Daily Fees (Paid onsite only): $92 .

ALA Annual Conference attendance tips from YALSA:
5 Ways to Return Triumphant

[NOTE: these are also useful tips for job applicants!]

From YALSA Blog: Direct link to post:
reposted from From: [calix] "Jane Gov" <>

With only three short months until the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, we hope you’ve taken advantage of Early Bird Registration ($215 for YALSA members until May 13) and marked your calendars for June 21 – 26.

With all of the great programs and events offered by YALSA at the conference, you’re going to soak up a fantastic amount of new and exciting information.
Coming back from ALA Annual, it is typical to be overloaded with two things:
ARCs and ideas.

Conference presentations are inspiring, and the exhibit hall always a place of dreams, but as with anything, the devil is in the details. Here are five tips for making the most of your ALA Annual experience once you return to your library.

1. Know Your Library System
A program that worked beautifully for a rural library that serves a population of 3,000 might need tweaking for your suburban, six-branch systems that serves 30,000. If possible, either during or right after the conference, think of ways to adapt the idea. Going to your supervisor or manager with a way to make the idea/program work for the community you serve, rather than “this worked at Library X!” will increase the likelihood of it happening.

2. Know Your Library’s Hierarchy
What is the management style of your library or library system? Good or bad, most places have a chain of command that should be followed. Jumping a person (or two, or three) makes it less likely that the new Summer Reading Program you’re dying to try will happen. Be respectful of the hierarchy. If your system requires you to inform your immediate supervisor, so that she or he can inform the next person up, and so on, follow every step– even if the Director of your system knows you personally.

3. Know Your Library Community
Implementing a Spanish story time is not going to go over well if the population you serve is predominantly Japanese. However, adapting the idea (see suggestion #1) for your Japanese community could go over very well.

4. Keep Contact Information
Most presenters and vendors are more than happy to give out their contact information. If you’re having trouble getting people get on board with your idea, or you need more information about a product/service/database that you think your library must have, use that contact. Ask the presenter if they have advice, ask the vendor for statistics, take them back to the appropriate channels, and be prepared to do it all again.

5. Be Persistent
The most important thing is to not give up. Follow through with ideas. It may be that your supervisor is happy to implement a new hold shelf method the day after you get back, and it may be that your Summer Reading theme won’t be used for years. Keep at it. You’re adaptable, you know your system, you know your community, and you have all those contacts to make things a success, and you can make it happen.

And in a few years, after you present your brilliant program at ALA, you might get a phone call or an email from another librarian, asking you how you got it done.

See you in Anaheim!

--Posted by YALSA Local Arrangements Committee 2012

**"Student members of ALA are enrolled in MLS/MLIS, NCATE and LTA programs. They are studying to be public, academic, school and special librarians. Some are furthering their studies with post-degree certifications while others are pursuing terminal degrees like doctoral programs. All are eligible for our discounted Student membership dues and each are invited to participate fully in ALA membership during their studies. Student members, whether full- or part- time, are also given the best rates for conference registration – often at discounts as high as 75% off.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Dealing with the Difficult

A short while back I gained my first library job, and while it’s been quite taxing after my original job, I find it suits my desires. Many of the patrons who visit the library are knowledgeable in the sense that they know what they are looking for or know whom to ask to find said item. Though there have been a few patrons who have come in looking for things the library does not provide.

One such patron happened upon my work area while I was in the middle of training with my supervisor. Said patron walked up to us and asked a question of us that in no uncertain terms the library could answer or even attempt to do so. However this patron was adamant that the question be answered to satisfaction.

I took a breath and asked a cautious question of my own. I did not want to brush this patron off, but did not also want to inflame their anger either. I wanted to diffuse a little of the stress I had heard in the original question. Unsatisfied the patron left the library. Belatedly I came to understand I could have handled this situation much better. But it was handled tactfully at the time.

My own personal strategy varies depending on the issue and the patron, but can be summed up as:

1. Take a breath.

  • A few heartbeats are enough to collect your thoughts and form what you wish to say. When taken by surprise it can feel natural to want to immediately say something, but take a moment to form the right response in your head.

2. Answer the question.

  • Refer to your library’s policy or procedures regarding this issue. Don’t attempt to deflect or walk around the patron’s query or statement, this may just make the patron more stressed or angry than they already are.

3. Rely upon coworkers and supervisors.

  • Unless you work alone rely upon those who have more experience than you. It also helps to have another person to help to diffuse a charged situation.

In addition I would like to refer you to this excellent article dealing with problem patrons entitled Problem Situations, Not Problem Patrons, by Steven Slavick.

For a bullet point list please check out MLA2010: Black Belt Librarians: Dealing with Difficult Patrons, by Brian Herzog. Especially the section titled “How to (safely) approach a stranger and get them to comply with policy.”

OCLC WebJunction also has a free recorded Webinar called Dealing with the Difficult Patrons. You can access the recording here. The webinar is about an hour long, but well worth it! For those of you who work alone there is a good part at the 40:56 time mark that deals with your specific situation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

U.S. Public Libraries: A Snapshot of Priorities & Perspectives

This new report details findings from a study OCLC conducted with libraries in mid-2011 to learn about their priorities, initiatives, thoughts on the future of their service points and the sources they use to keep up with developments in the library field. Nearly 1300 public library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.

Select Key Findings Most public library staff:

  • Are focusing their priorities on Internet access, demonstrating value to funders and delivering e-content

  • Are concentrating on e-books as their top current initiative

  • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—while just a few use social media

  • Opinions are split on the make-up of service points in the future

  • The top priority for public library directors is demonstrating the library's value to funders

Full report available from:

Monday, March 26, 2012

A glimpse of PCC's library Technology program and the work of library technicians:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One City, One Story 2012

This year is Pasadena Public Library's (PPL) 10th year of One City, One Story with Geraldine Brooks', People of the Book. If you are interested in checking out this book, you can download an ebook, listen to an audiobook or get a print version with your PPL library card. Also, the Shatford Library at PCC has multiple print copies available to borrow as well.

If you have not had a chance to participate in any of the One City, One Story events, it is not too late to do so. Tomorrow Geraldine Brooks will be at Pasadena City College from 2-3:30pm at the Creveling Lounge. She will be discussing her experiences in writing historical fiction with a Q & A session following. Brooks will be signing books at this event as well.

Tomorrow at 7pm is Conversation with Geraldine Brooks at All Saints Church which is located at 132 N. Euclid Avenue. The director of PPL, Jan Sanders, will talk with Brooks' about her experiences writing People of the Book. A Q&A session will follow in addition to a book signing.

If you cannnot catch Brooks tomorrow night, she will also be at Caltech on Friday, March 23 at 3pm. in the Baxter Lecture Hall in Bldg. 77 which is at 1200 E. California Blvd.

Other events include Flavors of the Book, a cooking workshop presented by Old Town Cooking School at the San Rafael Branch located at 1240 Nithsdale Road on Saturday, March 24 at 11am.

For those interested in old manuscripts, Sara S. Hodson, Curator of the Literary Manuscripts of the Huntington Library, will be giving an illustrated talk on medieval manuscripts using examples from the Huntington Library's collections. This will take place in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at the Central Library at 285 E. Walnut Blvd at 2pm.

For those interested in participating in a book discussion, check out the La Pintoresca Branch Library which is located at 1344 N. Raymond Avenue on Saturday, March 24 at 1pm or the Lamanda Park Branch Library which is located at 140 S. Altadena Dr. on Monday, March 26 at 11am.

If you had a chance to attend any of the One City, One Story 2012 events, feel free to share your experiences. I will be attending Brooks' talk at PCC tomorrow and will share my experience in a future posting.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Transmedia and Mr. Morris Lessmore

It isn't often that an animated film about books gets any kind of attention. As bookaholics and library students you should know about the 2012 winner of an Oscar® for Best Animated Short film.

The Fantastic Flying Adventures of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a touching film about a man's adventures with books. The movie does not contain dialog but there is an expressive musical track.  If you haven't seen the movie take a look at the trailer.

You can watch the full authorized version of the movie on iTunes. There are bootleg versions in other locations. We all need to make a better effort to respect copyright. I won't link to those versions.

For me, the movie operates on many levels. I can appreciate it as a love poem to reading and traditional books. According to the producers of the film, it is also an homage to the great silent film start Buster Keaton. I can clearly seen Buster's spirit giving the okay on this honor.


It is also one of many growing examples of transmedia. Think of transmedia as a tree with many branches. You have your source material that can be extended with new content to other platforms.

This isn't new. Spiderman started out as a comic book. Then an animated series, a live action television show, a movie series and a theatrical show on Broadway.  This is the digital version of transmedia.

Mr. Morris Lessmore's adventures will be converted to a picture book based on the movie. There is a supporting iTunes application where users can explore the world of Mr. Morris Lessmore and interact with some of the characters.

What Does This Mean?

Well, it could mean that when you get a request for a book you might need to consider offering related content. There might be a physical book, a recording, and an app on Android, iOS or Windows smartphones and tables. (Trust me, there will be an Windows tablet.)

There could be a web site that supports the book or a fan community that is adding content to their shared experiences. Or an electronic book that is only located in the Nook, Kobo, Google or Kindles stores.

This is an extension of knowing your collection. Collections, as the trailer and movie demonstrate, have a life of their own.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Library Support Staff Certification - Registration Assistance

Are you a graduate of PCC's Library Technology Program?

PCC's Library Technology Certificate courses are now approved by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA).
The Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program is a national certification program that allows library support staff to demonstrate their competencies and be certified by the American Library Association.
In January 2012, the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) completed an agreement with the Pasadena City College (PCC) Library Technology Certificate Program. This agreement allows PCC graduates to apply for the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) without having to complete additional courses or portfolios.

Press Release: American Libraries -ALA News 2/7/12
"Library Support Staff Certificatio (LSSC) program recognizes Pasadena City College Graduates"

Apply for the Library Support Staff Certification

Visit the LSSC website for more information on the certification, competency skills sets, eligibility requirements and the online application: (

Eligibility: High school diploma or GED and one year library experience, paid or unpaid (1820 hours collectively over five years)

Certification Requirement: Completion of PCC’s Library Technology Certificate of Achievement or other approved coursework and/or submit portfolio documenting achievement of six LSSC competency sets.

Enrollment: Apply at:
Cost: $350 ($325 if ALA member) See below for financial assistance opportunity

View the free Webinar on the LSSC certification. schedule and archived presentations:
contact:Ian Lashbrook - ALA-APA 800.545.2433 ext 2424

LSSC Registration Assistance Award

Along with this agreement, PCC can award up to 10 Registration Assistance scholarships to eligible graduates (2009-2012). Registration Assistance Awardees will receive a $175 credit toward the $350 fee for the LSSC Library Technology Certificate. Complete the following online application to apply for a Registration Assistance Award. Application deadline: June 1, 2012.
Application for LSSC Certification Registration Assistance
Note: if more than 10 eligible applications are received, registration assistance awards will be awarded by lottery.

Contact Information:
Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail the program coordinator for assistance:Krista Goguen (626 585-7832)

Monday, February 27, 2012

California Library Association's 2012 Spring Fling

Fling yourself into spring with CLA’s 4th annual Professional Development and Networking Program!
Spring Fling participants learn new skills, enjoy cultural activities, and find people with shared interests!

Registration discounts are available for CLA members and library students. If you are not a member, we encourage you to join today!

2012 Spring Fling Programs

Please note:
Your registration for a Spring Fling program constitutes permission to utilize photos taken of you at the event for news, promotion, and similar purposes.
Refunds cannot be issued within three weeks of an event taking place.
All refunds are subject to a $25 processing fee.
Events costing $25 and under are not eligible for refunds.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Library of Congress visits Pasadena

One cannot travel through library history without hearing about Thomas Jefferson's valuable contributions. Last summer, I had the amazing experience of finally visiting the Library of Congress. Viewing the reconstruction of Thomas Jefferson's Library which is an on-going exhibit was only a small part of this visit. So imagine my delight when I found out that this past Saturday, February 11th at the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, there would be a talk on "Jefferson's Legacy: Building the Rare Book Collections at the Library of Congress" given by LofC Chief of the Rare Book and Collections Division, Mark Dimunation, which was sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America. I envy this man's position as he gets to work daily with this collection while searching for those items that were destroyed in the fire of 1851.

Dimunation showed slides of various items from Jefferson's Library. Jefferson divided his library into three categories, Memory, Reason and Imagination, which he interpreted as History, Philosophy and Fine Arts which he further divided into forty-four chapters. While can view the exhibit online, it is not quite the same as seeing it in person though I would recommend both. One can take all the time he wants viewing more details of each item online. One can even send "postcards" to others of various items by registering first.

Even though the seminar's focus was to be on Jefferson's Library, Dimunation also showed representations of LofC's Bible Collection and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition. $100,000 is a still lot of money to us but imagine how much that was back in 1865? While I could not locate the very same poster that was shown, you can take a glimpse at this similar one.

Even if you cannot get to the Library of Congress in person any time soon, you can still take a virtual tour. One of the advantages to this feature is getting to access past exhibits as well. So take a spin on a cost-free trip to the Library of Congress right at the tip of your fingers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Visit to the Antiquarian Book Fair

Hi everyone,

Just a quick hello to let you know, Cynthia, Caseyann, and myself had a chance to go to the Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend.

What a great time, aside from the great vendors and exhibits we were able to attend a seminar by the Chief of Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library Congress. The seminar was titled Jefferson's Legacy : Building the Rare Book Collection at the Library of Congress. He spoke of Thomas Jefferson and the contributions he had made in the field of book collecting, some history of the Library of Congress and the current project to replace Jefferson's collection that was destroyed in a fire. He referenced us to the Library of Congress link as his lecture was not being posted. Lots of information.
On Sunday we went with the intention to get some books appraised but only a certain number of tickets (120) had been given out. The next Fair is next year in San Francisco so maybe we can make that one.

Monday, February 06, 2012

45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair!

Feb 10-12th, 2012 Pasadena Convention Center
$25 Friday, $15 Saturday or Sunday

All tickets good for re-admission throughout the Fair.
Fair attendees receive special admission to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Event Coordinator: Simin Atayman
Winslow & Associates
746 Hayes StreetSan Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: 415-724-2874

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Networking Tips

I don't know about you but when I think of going to some business or social event to network, I get nervous. But I found that networking really can come up in unexpected situations. Recently, I went to a library student dinner social at a noisy restaurant. Initially, I was not going to make the drive to the San Fernando Valley from the San Gabriel Valley. But in the end, I was quite glad I did. Sitting at my table was this woman who is affiliated with CSU Northridge along with the student Special Libraries organization. One of my cohorts was asking me when I planned to relocate. When she heard where I was planning to relocate, she gave me the name of a library employment agency that I had not heard of. So, of course, I immediately added that possible lead to my organizer.

Today, I came across this article that was posted by a fellow acquaintance in the library field on Facebook today titled "An Introvert's Guide to Networking." While Lisa Petrelli is not in the library field, she does offer a few simple tips for networking along with her story about why networking is so important.

So the next time you are debating whether to go to some social business networking event, remind yourself of the pros rather than the cons. You may not be job hunting now but you never know when a contact made through networking will come handy in the future.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Petition to Support for School Libraries

(reposted from CALIX)

Background information:
Carl Harvey, 2011-2012 AASL president, has initiated a White House petition on school libraries, which specifically petitions the Obama administration to “ensure that every child in America has access to an effective school library program.” 25,000 signatures are required in order for this petition to be viewed by White House staff, no later than February 4, 2012.Please take a few seconds to sign this petition, spread the word to your member groups, ask your colleagues and library supporters in your circles to sign on, and spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and other channels!The url is: .

Text of Petition:
we petition the obama administration to:Ensure that every child in America has access to an effective school library program.Every child in America deserves access to an effective school library program. We ask that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provide dedicated funding to help support effective school library programs. Such action will ensure more students have access to the resources and tools that constitute a 21st century learning environment. Reductions in school library programs are creating an ‘access gap’ between schools in wealthier communities versus those where there are high levels of poverty. All students should have an equal opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to learn, to participate, and to compete in today’s world.
A total of 25,000 signatures is needed for this petition can reach the President’s Desk! (The White House Petition for School Libraries:

A few things of note:
• We’ve heard that the petition software is temperamental. If you cannot sign in on your first attempt, please log out and log back in. Or, try a different web browser, or as a last resort, try a different computer.
• This petition should not be confused with a petition begun in 2011.
• White House petitions must be authored by individuals, not any
association. Therefore, Carl has introduced this petition as an individual, not as a representative of AASL or ALA.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Locating the Law Handbook for Non-Librarians

I love a freebie that comes from good stock. The Southern California Association of Law Libraries has a new edition of the Locating the Laws Handbook. If you are interesting in working in a law library or need to find a law source quickly this might be the publication you have been seeking in the stacks.

5th Edition of Locating the Law, A Handbook for Non-Law Librarians

There is much goodness to be found here. Chapter 3 has a guide to conducting a legal information search and interview techniques. This is a section of the handbook that talks about the legal information interview:

Regardless of how the question is phrased, the user is ultimately asking what law or laws apply to his or her situation. Your first task, as in any reference interview, is to analyze the information provided in order to identify the relevant facts and to weed out the irrelevant. To determine the relevant facts, you will usually need to ask additional questions. At this point, it is appropriate to briefly address concerns about the unauthorized practice of law.

Librarians conducting a reference interview should not be afraid to ask questions of someone seeking legal information. Asking questions in order to make recommendations about appropriate legal resources to consult does not constitute giving legal advice. 

The handbook is a Adobe PDF document. You can view by chapter or you can download the entire handbook and read it on your computer or with you favorite tablet or e-reader.

You definitely want this on your virtual resource shelf.