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Blog posts from July 2008

A Comment on Comments

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 31, 2008 - 10:35am

If you've been adding comments to our posts recently, you may have noticed that your comments, once added, disappear into the abyss. This morning, one of our more vigilant bloggers noticed this and let us know. It turns out that when we switched over to Drupal, we did not configure our "comments" settings the way that we wanted to, and all of our comments were sent to a queue where they were waiting for approval. Since we didn't know that, it seemed to us that no one was commenting. So for the past couple of months we've been in the ironic position of wishing our readers would comment more on our posts, while our readers were wondering why we weren't allowing them to comment.

For anyone who has been confused by this unfortunate situation, please know that we not only allow comments on the site, we absolutely encourage them. Facilitating an open and ongoing dialogue, and allowing unfettered reader comments is a huge part of that. As of today we have reconfigured the site so that you can comment all you want. We've even posted the comments that had been waiting in the queue. Read More »

Gaps and Bridges, Bridges and Gaps

Submitted by Jason Griffey on July 28, 2008 - 3:06pm

Susan McKinlay and Jason griffeyThere are many stories from the 2008 ALA Annual conference in Anaheim, from Google being MIA on the exhibition floor to what happens when a few hundred librarians descend onto Disneyland. But my favorite story from my time in Anaheim starts like this... Read More »

A “Cuil” New Way to Search

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 28, 2008 - 2:20pm

You don’t have to Ask Jeeves to know that a lot of search engines have come and gone since the web went mainstream. While in the past we may have yahooed, hot botted or altavista’d our way around the web, today there is no question that Google is king. Even if Google isn’t your preferred search engine, it’s hard to deny that it is the most popular engine, an industry standard and an unparalleled innovator. Google has been on top of the world for some time, but the race for something newer, bigger and better never stops.

Enter Cuil. Designed by a group of engineers and programmers who were instrumental in developing Google itself, this new search engine was launched today with the goal of “solv[ing] the two great problems of search: how to index the whole Internet—not just part of it—and how to analyze and sort out its pages so you get relevant results.” Cuil claims to index 120 billion web pages--3 times more than Google. It also boasts an innovative, customizable search results interface that is markedly different from the interface on Google or anything seen on previous search engines. Read More »

The Ever-Growing World of Gaming in Libraries

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 25, 2008 - 9:04am


It seems like the role that gaming plays in libraries is expanding exponentially. What once seemed like a trend is now a deeply entrenched part of our profession. Gaming is playing a bigger and bigger role in academic, public and school libraries all over the world and librarians are not only increasing their gaming content and its availability, but are also using it prominently in library programming and public service.

Our colleagues have been working hard to keep up with constantly evolving technology and increasing demand, while trying to ensure that there is a method to the madness of the gaming world. Gaming played its largest ever part in the 2008 ALA Annual convention, with hoards of librarians attending gaming-related programs, meeting with vendors and participating in the open gaming night at the Anaheim Hilton. The blogosphere is abuzz with positive feedback about this year’s programming. Read More »

Restore, Reuse, Recycle

Submitted by Cindi Trainor on July 24, 2008 - 12:05pm

Microfilm Reels Sculpture by Shell Dunn

What materials do you recycle and reuse in your library?  Do you have an innovative use of recycled materials?  Please post your images to flickr and add to the TechShots pool or link to them in the comments below.

This wall hanging was created by library staff member Shell Dunn from colored microfilm reels and duct tape and hangs in the Library Information Technology staff area in the William T. Young Library at the University of Kentucky.

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Private Parts?

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on July 23, 2008 - 10:30am

2008 has been my introduction to ALA’s conferences. Philadelphia, PA was my first mid-winter, Anaheim (“it’s a dry heat”), CA my first annual. The size of the conference made for difficult decisions, including pitting LITA’s “Top Tech Trends” against OIF’s “Privacy: Is it Time for a Revolution?” I chose celebrity over friendship and went to gawk at Cory Doctorow. Read More »

The ALA Annual Tweet-Report

Submitted by Michael Stephens on July 15, 2008 - 10:28am

First up, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Folks at ALA 2008 in Anaheim, California were all “A-Twitter!” Of course there was also much Flickring, texting, blogging, IMing and any other 2.0-ish, social-networkey “ing” you can name going on as well.

  Read More »

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Best in Show(case)

Submitted by Cindi Trainor on July 15, 2008 - 10:00am

BIGWIG PresentersThe adage, of course, is that a picture is worth a thousand words. What picture could sum up the best of ALA 2008 for me? After combing through the more than 1,400 photos I took at sessions, on the exhibit floor and inside and outside the hotels and convention center in Anaheim, one moment stood out for me: the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase. You'll notice I'm even in this photo, which means, of course, that I didn't take it--Tech Source editor Patrick Hogan was on hand for the session and was kind enough to snap us goofing around together afterwards. Read on to see why this photo encapsulates the best of ALA '08 for me. Read More »

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Confessions of a First-Time Exhibitor

Submitted by Tom Peters on July 10, 2008 - 11:55am

After attending 20 ALA Annual Conferences (Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, NYC, shaky LA, Chicago...) as a rank-and-file librarian, I arrived in Anaheim late last month in a new role as a first-time exhibitor.  It was an interesting experience, to put it mildly.  I opted to start with a regular 10 x 10 booth exhibit, rather than a table.  Because it was all new to me, I had to learn about costs, who provides which conference services, and generally how to not make a fool of myself.  I think I succeeded, but I have my doubts.

  Read More »

Reflecting on Annual

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 10, 2008 - 9:58am

Now that we’ve all recovered from the conference and our California suntans have faded away, we’re ready to share our conference experience with the rest of the world.

The 2008 ALA Annual Conference was a huge success. Attendance was excellent, the programming was outstanding and the technology available to members was unprecedented.

In the coming weeks we’ll be taking a look back at the conference as our bloggers reflect on what they saw and learned. We’ll also be posting links to some of the presentations, audio, video and photos from the conference, so if you weren’t able to make it, you can still get a taste of what you missed. Read More »