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Blog posts from November 2008

Stunning Library Art

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 26, 2008 - 11:23am

Before we take our Thanksgiving break, I thought I’d leave you with these very cool images from the Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. branch of the Pima County Public Library in Tucson, Arizona.

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Making Friends

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on November 24, 2008 - 4:52pm

Online life is fraught with drama. We all have stories of unexpectedly adolescent awkwardness erupting in our digital lives. Online friending can get weird enough when you're stumbling across high school frenemies, but toss in your coworkers, work friends, personal friends and your boss? Yikes!

The natural extension of the biblioblogosphere has been librarians on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the like. Reading a blog is easy, but trying to decide who to follow on Twitter or move into your “Friends” group on Flickr is hard. It’s confusing enough to warrant presentations on how to manage our online identities. Read More »

Alternate Reality Games

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 21, 2008 - 11:59am

In a Techsource post a couple of months ago, I talked about the hot video games for the Fall and holiday season. This time around, I want to introduce readers to a type of game that they might not be aware of: the Alternate Reality Game, or ARG. ARG's are becoming more and more popular, and libraries need to be aware of them and ready to embrace them. Read More »

Greening Our Libraries

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 19, 2008 - 11:34am

Last week, you may have read Tom Peters’ post on the new, green Mancos Public Library in Colorado.  It’s very exciting to see libraries and other institutions around the country making a concerted effort to build green—we get to watch the future of technology, libraries and architecture unite right before our eyes. 

While it’s inspiring to see these new buildings springing up, it is important to remember that it takes people to get there. The exciting developments in places like Mancos cannot be an excuse for complacency—librarians must take the greening of our profession into our own hands through action and advocacy. For every librarian in a new, green building, there are dozens of us still stuck in older buildings using up financial and ecological resources, and usually with no plans for a new building.

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National Gaming Day at My Public Library

Submitted by Cindi Trainor on November 19, 2008 - 9:06am

Originally uploaded by cindiann

Saturday was National Gaming Day, and the kids and I braved the cold, wet weather to check out the Wii games at the Village Branch of the Lexington Public Library. The staff report that the crowd was smaller than other, weeknight gaming events, but they were no less enthusiastic! The kids were playing Wii Bowling when we first arrived; here is the group's reaction to the final score.

Guitar Hero
Originally uploaded by cindiann

Next up was Guitar Hero (also Wii). This one was so popular that the kids had to draw numbers to see who would go first. The rocking party was still going strong when we left. The newly-expanded Village branch is located in the Village shopping plaza, on the west side of Lexington. Gaming events are held in the Teen Center; the library also includes a small collection of materials, easily-accessible "airport" restrooms, and a newly-expanded meeting room and computer lab. The four-year-old library, one of six branches in the medium-sized Central Kentucky city, also boasts bilingual (Spanish/English) staff.

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The Google Book Search Settlement: Heading Towards Resolution

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 18, 2008 - 10:36am

If you are a regular reader of business or technology news (or for that matter, business technology news), you’ve probably heard a bit about the Google Book Search lawsuit that has been making its way through the courts over the past few years. In 2005, a group that includes The Author's Guild, Pearson's Penguin unit, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons and Simon & Schuster sued Google, which had begun a massive book-digitization project a year earlier. The plaintiffs claimed that by digitizing these books and making them searchable online, Google had committed copyright violation.

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A "Commons" Experience: Five Benefits of the Information Commons

Submitted by Michael Stephens on November 17, 2008 - 7:33pm

As I reflected on my 2008 Information Commons field trips, I realized how important these spaces are to information literacy, to the relevance of the library and to the mission of the institution itself.

In "The Comedy of the Commons," Dr. Carol M. Rose describes the commons as a place where each person adds more value. In our LIS701 course here at Dominican, we use Rose to illustrate the potential and usefullness of common spaces in relation to different types of libraries and what they might mean to their users. According to Rose,  "The more who join and use the commons, the greater the enjoyment of each participant."

This was entirely evident in the series of field trips I made this year to visit library spaces that had integrated the idea of the commons. Read More »

Happy Gaming Day greeting from an old friend

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on November 14, 2008 - 8:38am

Saturday, November 15, is National Gaming Day @ Your Library, and gamers are gearing up for major events around the country. Hasbro donated their game Pictureka to hundreds of libraries nationwide, an effort coordinated by ALA. Our goal is to get a mind-blowing number of people to play the same game on the same day. Wizards of the Coast offered 1,000 libraries a choice of their games Dungeon and Dragons or Magic: the Gathering. ALA Editions author Eli Neiburger and his colleagues at the Ann Arbor District Library will be running a national videogame tournament on their GT System.

At ALA TechSource, we recently heard from an old friend who is busy promoting gaming in libraries once again. Former ALA TechSource editor Teresa Koltzenburg launched this blog, recruiting Jenny Levine, Michael Stephens, and Karen Schneider. It was Teresa and Jenny who initiated the Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium.

Teresa quietly left ALA in March 2007. At best, our career paths take us on switchbacks where skill and knowledge gained is expressed in new ways. Here's what Teresa is up to now.

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Hello ALA TechSource!

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on November 13, 2008 - 10:20am

I've been working backstage for some time now as manager of ALA Publishing's Online Resources unit, which in addition to ALA TechSource includes Guide to Reference and RDA: Resource Description & Access. With loads of help from Jenny Levine, not to mention Joe the Drupal developer, I coordinated the migration of the blog to the Drupal platform. I recruited Jason, Kate, and Cindi to the blogging team and hired Dan . . . but I've never posted to the blog! I'll be writing the occasional post, mostly reporting on other ALA Publishing projects. More soon. Read More »

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Video Coverage of the Gaming Symposium

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 13, 2008 - 8:48am

Our friends at AL Focus have once again provided some great video coverage, this time from last week's Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium.

To relive your fantastic memories, or to find out how much fun you missed, check out this post by Greg Landgraf.

Mancos PL Builds Green

Submitted by Tom Peters on November 12, 2008 - 7:21am

Second Life is good for a lot of things.  Professional networking is one of them.  I have met and worked with so many librarians in Second Life that I probably never would have met if I had confined my professional activities to real life.

A few months ago I met Plautia Corvale, the avatar of Victoria Petersen, the Technology Manager of the Mancos  Public Library in Colorado.  We are, along with several other librarian-avatars, in the process of constructing Emerald City, an island in Second Life devoted to helping libraries and library-related organizations to become more environmentally friendly, and to serve as strong community resources on this topic.

Victoria just returned from the annual conference of the Colorado Association of Libraries with the exciting news that CAL has formed a Second Life Interest Group and is an official sponsor of the Sustainable Living Library on Emerald City in Second Life.

I've never been to Mancos, but I've visited Durango a couple of times. The Durango Public Library has build a new green building, which will open on December 1st.  Evidently, southwestern Colorado is a hotbed of green librarianship!  Recently I asked Plautia about some of the nitty gritty aspects of the process of building a green library. 

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Video Review of the 2008 LITA National Forum

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 11, 2008 - 9:00am

AL Focus has posted an excellent video review of the LITA National Forum that took place last month.

Hat tip to our friends at LITA Blog for getting the word out about this first.

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More on the Gaming Symposium at American Libraries

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 6, 2008 - 1:41pm

Greg Landgraf at American Libraries has some outstanding coverage of the symposium over at AL Inside Scoop. You can read his detailed and comprehensive coverage symposium events here, here, here and here. Read More »

More Than Just a Game...

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 3, 2008 - 4:03pm

My parents never bought me a Nintendo when I was a kid. They had this crazy idea that reading was the best way for me to learn and entertain myself, so I had to go over to my neighbors house when I wanted to play The Legend of Zelda or Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. I’d go back home after playing and describe how cool these new games were to my parents, who inevitably rolled their eyes, frustrated at this trendy, expensive new toy their son was dying to have.

As I write this from the 2008 ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium, I can’t help but think how far gaming technology has come since the days of 8-but graphics and cheap midi sound effects. At this symposium, gaming is hardly a game—it’s a rapidly evolving and increasingly important part of our profession. More and more, librarians are using gaming to help students of all ages learn, to help adults improve and hone their skills, and to draw young people into a lifetime of library use.
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