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A Library for Avatars

Submitted by Tom Peters on April 17, 2006 - 10:52am

Avatars need libraries, too, you know. An avatar—in this context—is "an icon or representation of a user in a shared virtual reality." Last Thursday, the Alliance Library System officially announced that this summer it plans to begin offering library services to avatars who live and work in the 3D virtual space Second Life. Second Life has significantly more than 100,000 registered avatars, but at any given time a few thousand are actually online and active, so this global virtual village currently is about the size of Vegetable City, Iowa. You can set up one avatar for free, but the real folks at Second Life do ask for a credit card number or Paypal info. for verification purposes.
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A 'New Media' Information-Literacy Tool

Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on April 13, 2006 - 6:28pm

Can we claim that there's a difference between watching television and playing a video game? or reading a book and surfing the Web? or writing a letter and writing an e-mail? or having a conversation and participating in some form of Instant Messaging? Does the mobility of telecommunications shift our everyday lives? Are we more individualized in contemporary culture than we were when people watched television in the 1960s and `70s?
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How OPACs Suck, Part 2: The Checklist of Shame

Submitted by Karen G. Schneider on April 3, 2006 - 3:02pm

Karen G. Schneider head shotIn my first article in this series, I wrassled with the biggest bear in the forest: how most online catalogs lack relevance ranking. That's one big hairy bear, but as some readers pointed out, it's a little forced to pick on relevance ranking, out of the context of all the other important features most online catalogs don't offer—or are features implemented so badly that librarians disable these features rather than further confuse the poor user, who just wants to find a book or DVD, for crying out loud.
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Rock On! Celebrating the Library and Learning

Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on April 1, 2006 - 2:41am

Collaboration 2.0?

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 30, 2006 - 12:13pm

Paul Miller

Near the conclusion of the Computers in Libraries Conference in D.C. last week, Paul Miller (pictured at your left) from Talis, a United Kingdom-based library-automation vendor, presented an interesting session about the challenges of Web 2.0 to libraries.
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Measuring My First CIL

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 25, 2006 - 9:35am

Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet and American Life Project gave Friday's keynote address. He's a very lively speaker—mentally I started referring to him as Peppie le Pew—and he has lots of data and facts about how Millenials (those born between 1982 and 2000) think, use the Internet, search for information, communicate and form communities, and believe in themselves and the technologically and media rich lives they lead. If Stephen Abram wants facts, Peppie has 'em.

Rainie organized his talk around eight key realities of the Millennial generation: Read More »

At CIL: The Future, Innovation, and Visiting the LOC

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 25, 2006 - 9:12am

Thursday—The second day of the Computers in Libraries Conference in DC was packed with sessions. Megan Fox from Simmons College started it all off with her keynote presentation about planning for a handheld mobile future. She encouraged the conference attendees to understand both the possibilities and limitations of offering library content and services for use on handheld information appliances (cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, portable media players, GPS devices, smart watches, gaming devices, ultra PCs, etc.) with small screens. If you've ever heard Megan speak on this topic, you know she packs in a lot of tremendous information in a small amount of time. Read More »

CIL in DC: Day One

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 23, 2006 - 11:56am

Tom is attending his first Computers in Libraries Conference this week.Wednesday—The first day of the Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington, DC. It's the 21st annual, but my first. I was up at 3:00 a.m. to catch my six-a.m.-red-eye flight from Kansas City. After I stumbled out of bed and dressed, I called Max to go for a walk, and he indeed got up off the sofa, but he had a quizzical look on his face as we headed out into the frosty night.

After the walk, off to the airport.
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Contemplating the Library

Submitted by Teresa Koltzenburg on March 22, 2006 - 11:51pm

Change Your World @ your library, National Library Week, April 2–8, 2006

“Libraries are…" I can't finish that sentence; I can't seem to come up with an encompassing term or pithy phrase to finish it in a way that would do justice to the notion of the library, the value libraries provide to humanity, and all the library facets we encounter in the Information Age.
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On the 2.0 Job Description: Part 1

Submitted by Michael Stephens on March 21, 2006 - 12:31pm

Evaluating Our Institutions and Education
The posting of a job at Wayne State University Libraries back in January was worthy of note to me because it was the first time I'd seen Web 2.0 tools specifically mentioned in a job ad. The 2.0 meme was indeed unfurling into many facets of libraries. A few weeks later, Jenny Levine posted about another job—this time for a school media specialist with definite 2.0 duties.
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