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.