Christina's LIS Rant
Thursday, March 31, 2005
  Professional-Lurker: Lessons learned from AoIR abstract reviewing
LS writes this nice post about being a reviewer. I would have commented there, but alas, she appears to have killed comments.

I recently was a reviewer for a conference and it was a very interesting experience. I can't agree more with her points. Somethings to keep in the back of your mind for your next submission.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
  VR in Corporate Special Libraries via Enterprise IM

I've long been a fan of virtual reference, but there are many reasons joining a cooperative or subscribing to a commercial VR product doesn't work for special libraries.

IM (instant messaging) has been around for a long, long time (I've personally been using it off and on for more than 10 years, more if you include "talk" on Unix LANs) and has made various inroads -- mostly through backchannels -- into corporate settings. Employees first installed the IM clients -- then local admin access was removed and the ports were blocked, so they used a web-based IM client. Finally in 2002-3 we started to see the introduction of enterprise IM onto the market. Later this year, Microsoft's Live Communications Server will start offering interoperability with the Yahoo product and AIM.

Software-wise Enterprise IM differs from Personal IM in several key ways. First, the data and the traffic pass through a local server behind the firewall. Second, there can be filtering to check for inappropriate behavior. Third, it is auditable and can be covered by the digital records management policies required by whatever laws apply to the organization (HIPPA or SEC). Remember, the company owns whatever is typed on the company computer, done on company time, or passes through the company network.

I came back to this topic recently because my workplace just released enterprise IM and because there was so much discussion of it at CIL2005. I would love to eventually write a couple of articles on it, but I have to get some customers first!

So, how does the content -- the conversations, the use -- of enterprise IM differ? How do special libraries/ians market availability through this service? How can/does this work into my proto-model of insinuating the librarian in to the customers' social network? Realistically, how do you show Available (ask me! ask me! -- said in the Monty Python Holy Grail voice) instead of just available?

I started by looking in business databases but then kind of hit a dead end. I now know a lot more about the business of IM and security issues, but not about the use. I then moved to the ACM Guide to Computing Literature. There is some reading material here (sub required for full text). I'm starting with:

As far as marketing goes...? I've made up a poster and will mention it at future presentations... I'm not big on handing out pieces of paper, it's already on my business card (LCS uses your e-mail address)... Ideas anyone? Suggestions?

Update: Resource Shelf points to the new LJ article from Schmidt and Stephens on IM reference (article date 4/1/2005)
instant messaging|virtual reference|special libraries

updated: apparently there were some random xml tags that were throwing the feed off.
Monday, March 21, 2005
  Blogdigger Group for the Non-Core CIL2005 Bloggers
Please feel free to add yourself if I've missed you. Likewise, delete yourself if you don't want to be associated with this mess!

Update: 3/22 -- let me briefly clarify my view on the whole core/non-core thing. It's a non-issue. ITI could only afford to provide a limited number of dedicated internet ports in the conference rooms. They picked a few well-known bloggers from different settings and provided them with access. I think this is a great thing. I think it's forward thinking. We all complain about not having access for every attendee with a laptop or whatever, but do we want to pay $1k to attend a conference? I set up the group to just provide visibility to the other bloggers, not as a criticism of the ITI policy. No doubt there are bloggers on that list who would prefer I didn't add them and other bloggers who felt hurt that I omitted them -- hence it's open. ITI couldn't leave their list open because they are sponsoring it and will be connected with whatever rants get posted. Thanks and back to the regularly scheduled ranting.

  Wired News: Cell Phones Put to Novel Use
Pointed out on LISNews. The point here is not that this is possible, because we know that it is possible. The point is that it is becoming probable that we will have customers who want to do this. In my part of the library world, I need to see tables and equations in engineering handbooks available for PDAs. I spoke with the CRC rep about engnetbase and he said that PDAs are not supported and that CRC isn't ready to spend to get to that point right now. For anyone who's not familiar, the CRC handbooks are a necessity for many chemists, physicists, and engineers. The online product is downloaded in 20Mb +/- chunks in PDF format. Very nice for desktops on broadband.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
  CIL2005: Morning After Wrap-Up
It was an exhausting but rewarding 3 days. Some of the presentations were along the same lines of last year's but there were a lot of neat new ideas, too. I definitely have a few things to try right away when I get back to the ranch.

An admin note: my notes from all the sessions are backdated to when I actually took the notes. If you're following my blog closely, you probably saw things pop up and change order -- it makes sense when viewed from above but it was probably confusing at the time. I may still go back and clarify and edit some of the posts when I have a chance, but I will note what changes are made at the bottom of each post.

As SC says, the best part may have been the small group interactions before, between, and after the sessions. Many of the most important librarian bloggers were there and this is probably one of the few chances we'll all get to be in the same place at the same time because most of them are from public libraries. With that said, I'm not convinced that many of the presenters realize some of the unique challenges of implementing these technologies in special library settings. I might try to present next year to see if I can bring some visibility to those issues -- especially since I also have public library experience.

For anyone considering going next time, I highly recommend bringing a warm sweater as some of the rooms have an arctic breeze, also bring contact lens rewetting drops and a canteen because it is very dry (maybe some hand lotion, too)... It's good to be able to blog while you're there so you can touch base with other attendees in two dimensions (laptop and wireless card required) ... Go to dine-arounds and bring at least $35 to cover. For lunch, get a quick sandwich at the Safeway down 19th street and save your money for drinks later. Head to the bar at the end of the evening for more networking -- no time to sit around with a cup of tea, teabagging ; ) -- but there is time to get a drink and talk about what's new.

Questions? Something I left out?
Updated: spell checked!

Friday, March 18, 2005
  CIL2005: Cool Search Tools & Sites

Gary Price and Tara Calishain

Available www.digbig.com/4cxfk or http://www.freepint.com/gary/cool05.html
I’m not linking everything here for time reasons, so use the site above to get a clickable version of this.

MSN maps – live traffic reports via text messaging
Yahoo maps – local traffic maps on Yahoo maps
Yahoo local – send the information to your phone so you don’t have to copy it down

Gigablast (roll your own)
Custom topic search – gives you a form to list up to 200 domains and folders to be searched

Search 5M articles. Around for years, recently approved. Lots of sort options. RSS feed of results.

From Florida International University (free). Satellite imagery, local information, directory information. Similar to keyhole but with more information.

Contextual Information (helps you to narrow your search by suggesting refinements or new terms)
YQ – contextual information fromYahoo, this feature is available through the developers network so you can embed it in your own site
SurfWax – helps you find the best areas
Pinpoint shopping
Google suggest

Direct Answers
brainboost, not perfect, but works ok
AskJeeves – smart search, works really well for certain ready reference
MSN – from Encarta
Yahoo shortcuts – example: gas (zip code) to find cheap gas

Bloglines – also mobile version, search engine
Keyword search RSS feeds – Yahoo news, Topix (good local, also separates out press releases)

Jux2 – allows you to compare results from different search engines so you can see what the overlap

Yahoo shopping (new in 2003), product reviews from PC Magazine
Kayak (travel)
MSN for advanced search interface

Multimedia search engines
Singing Fish – multimedia search engine (open web, not p2p)
GoFish – search ring tones
Google video
PBS video search (from Virage) – every word spoken (from captioning)
Speechbot – every word spoken from radio programs (from voice recognition)

URLInfo (from Michael Fagan) – lets you find information on a page

A9 yellow book with storefront pictures (there’s also pagesjaunes with the same thing in France and Spain)
Argali White and Yellow – federated phone book

RedLightGreen – from RLG, search for books, then see if they’re in your library. Groups editions (unlike worldcat)

Yahoo Developer Network
With API
Hasn’t been updated since 2002
New APIs that work with news and other searches
They have a list of samples that people have made


  CIL2005: Evaluating Search Tools
Mary Ellen Bates
She uses an evaluation of Exalead as an example (everyone should go look at this search engine. It looks very promising). I am only giving very, very sketchy notes here – she provides a ton of really neat tips – too fast for my typing…
1) first impressions, what can you see by looking at the front page (who’s it for? Help? About them? Advanced?)
2) run a bunch of searches with different issues to test for weaknesses (here’s a helpful hint: many search engines don’t limit well by country because they just look for the top level domain – like .au – and won’t pick up a .com or a .org)
3) refinements
4) presentation of results (sort? Cluster?)
5) what does it cover?
6) try it on different browsers
7) compare results with results from the big 4, make sure you look at the first 50-100 results at least
8) ads/pop-ups/additional software
9) customization?
10) who told you about it (if it was ResourceShelf, think about giving it another chance, maybe it’s down right now)
11) how long has it been around (in beta?)

  CIL: Specialty engines
Gary Price, Raul Valdes-Perez, Jefferey LaPlante

“what hasn’t changed much in seven years is how hard people are willing to work at searching” AP 10/04
Still only first page, 2.8 words per query, give up after 5 minutes

(GP)Commercial side realizes:
AKA vertical search, niche engines, usibility of data in a specialized interface

(JL) Xrefer
RUSA study – only 9% of in-library reference questions were answered with reference books
Students searching the web find more questions, not answers, and get a myopic view.
Book budgets are shrinking (ok, tell me something new)

43 publishers 170 titles – Cross searchable. Visualization tools.
~~~advertisement omitted~~~
Now he’s telling us we have to market library services. Duh.

(R V-P) Vivisimo
Bookstores vs. Electronic World
In a decent bookstore you don’t just see piles of things on the floor, things are in neat order on the shelf. In the electronic world, that’s not the case. You get a big pile. People have tried to fix this by applying rules from the print world – hierarchical listings. Doesn’t work.

He’s demonstrating clusty – they’ve added Teoma, dropped Overture. Works on the fly, spontaneous, helps you discover new ideas,
Tabs for channels of information – there’s a new government tab. Click on details to see how many results from each resource.

Of the competing ways – refinement, extraction, or clustering – they’ve gone in for clustering.

Pitt has licensed this for the Digital library– they use a meta-search but it just gives them a pile of 25 from each database, not de-duped not integrated. W/clusty it groups and orders the results

Question from the audience – what is clustering – in 200ms the computer looks at the text of the results, finds common concepts, groups those sites together, creates heading on the fly.

Laura (a LJ Mover and Shaker) pointed out something very interesting – how about a way to combine the folksonomies with the clustering? Maybe it could cluster the tags? Maybe the tags could inform the clustering – be weighted more heavily? Clusty does have a blog tab that searches Technorati—but I haven’t used it thinking about tags. Hmm. Have to come back to that.

Funny little note, they had a clip from me on their site as negative feedback for their search! How great is that.
Update: I verified that it was my quote -- but it was from a forum, not my blog. It's linked above.

  CIL2005: Start Your Engines

Greg Notess and Ran Hock
What’s left still standing with a unique database?
-Ask Jeeves
-MSN Search
-Exalead (new as of November, in beta, results are presented differently, the actually have truncation and proximity operators)
-WiseNut (LookSmart)

Article from Wired, comparing Yahoo to Google. By the numbers Yahoo beats Google by far.

RH- More about Yahoo!
Look at Google Labs to see what Google will have in 6 months, Yahoo is 1-2 years ahead of Google (and occasionally vice versa)

So what’s the problem?
Nobody uses advanced features (actually 1%, but it’s 1% of a few hundred million)

Stripped down search engine vs. fancy portal
Personalization – myYahoo!
Integration – integration of content into search results, delivery (mobile, alerts), integrated into collaboration tools (Yahoo 360 – new blogging software?)

Enhanced search
- advanced options’
- other databases (video, images, etc.)
- personal – my web (has kind of a furl feature)
- im search – pretty cool, but have to use yahoo im
Other goodies
- Feed reader (my yahoo)
- Document storage
- Calendar

Search Under the Cover (of Books) – instead of computers in libraries, it’s libraries in computers (GN)
See his upcoming article in May
Amazon A9 vs. Google Print

Google scholar: from a web crawl
Google print: 3 components
Magazines - old, very small
Books from publishers
Library books (separate from scholar)

Google Print
How do you actually get into it? (by accident, search on a title of a book, then it may return up to 3 books)
If it says copyright vertically up the rhs of the page, it’s from the publisher
If is says google print vertically up the rhs of the page, it’s from the library program
You can’t just search for a passage from the book and hope to find the book
Try: book Romeo Juliet (that seems to work, mostly for publisher books, not really for library books, but book has to come first in the search. You might also get books by accident, and the ocr-ing of the books isn’t perfect so that hurts retrieval)

Look for the search inside note
In a9, you can open that column
You get different results from Amazon vs a9 – if it tells you that it can’t find anything then ask it to give you similar results
You have to have an Amazon account


  CIL2005: Search Engine Update
Chris Sherman
(I got here at 10:50 – about half way done)

To come, next steps
Google – word processing, operating system, spreadsheet
Yahoo – to come, better search, better consumer search, invisible web (academic resources), challenge: informing users
AskJeeves – scaling teoma, personalization/desktop search, bloglines acquisition, challenge: small.
Microsoft – msn search – major improvements in scale and relevancy, new advertising, challenge: getting users to try it

In general
- no disruptive technologies, more incremental updates
- better, more visual interfaces (see keyhole, http://www.keyhole.com, desktop client)
- heavy competition between the giants
Question from the audience re the tension between seo and librarianship – why don’t libraries buy advertising on google (not for the term “library” but for the terms for your areas of specialty)


  CIL2005: Keynote: Trends/The Past/Personas/The Future
Keynote: Stephen Abram (Sirsi) and Mary Lee Kennedy (Harvard University Libraries), Trends/The Past/Personas/The Future

Information Engagement levels – we have to understand our users at a totally new level.

Computers (smart phones, games, etc.) and connectivity are a given and essential
Internet is better than tv
Learning occurs through trial and error rather than rules
Zero tolerance for delays

Only 20% of learners are text-based learners yet all of our library materials are based that way – no wonder our market penetration is so low…

The Past
Mixed, unpredictable experiences with searching, reference (virtual and physical), ebooks, elearning, video games, chatrooms and other collaborative softwares. Some reports of great success some failures with the same technology in different locations

Organizations and individuals have varying degrees of tolerance for change and risk so changing workflow, developing skills… impacted

Started at Microsoft during the boom to answer the question – how do we retain top employees? How do we understand our employees based on their demographics, position, time in position...
Hypothetical but based on natural groupings of users, defined by goals…
A personal definition document contains goals, usage scenarios, info-seeking behavior
A key publication: Cooper, The inmates are running the asylum, computer programmers designing tools based on their own usage.
Information seeking behavior still needs more study (good for me in my return to grad school)
How do we understand – gathering data to identify possible “anchors”, observing behavior, pattern emergence in narrative
Ask the questions not just what do you want to read but what do you want to get from what you read, how do you want to feel… is it about the journey/process (the finding of ancestors in geneology) or is it about the goal (who is my great-great-grandfather).

The Future
Do you know what the next information products and services are?

Public library pilot project
Libraries in rural, urban, and suburban northeastern us
April – May 2005
Leveraging proven techniques for understanding complex markets (Cynefin Center) (my questions: ethnographic? Not longitudinal, not critical incident, hmmm what methodology is this? Definitely qualitative – how is the coding going to be done
Huge database of transactions in libraries (1 billion transactions for each of the past two years, GIS of library locations and populations, national center for educational statistics – try to get the numbers closer to real time)
Possible follow ups include academic
Understanding users in terms of their
Needs preferences and desires
Goals and aspirations
Expectations and assumptions
Values and their beliefs
Tolerance for risk and change
Goals –increase customer satisfaction, get everyone in the organization to work to achieve the same goals, set a clear direction (good luck buddy! How many public librarians do evidence based practice or tolerant enough of change to be willing to change direction to implement these findings?)

Thursday, March 17, 2005
  CIL2005: LIS News – Collaborative Blogging

Blake Carver

What Gorman got right:
We’re not edited, not always scholarly, we are hopeful, we do move too fast, some of us are fanatical digitalists, we are quick to judge and criticize, we write too fast and emotionally, sometimes we only need random facts and paragraphs

LISNews is not a MEblog

LISNews is
- online librarian community
- weblog (powered by Slashdot)
- mailing list (4k readers, 3x/week) and feeds
- comments – which allows for collaboration
- news
- place for discussion of ideas
- database of stories (14k), comments, blog entries
- one of 100+ librarian feeds on lisfeeds.com

- open
- collaborative
- more visitors
- financially supported by community
- fast server
- HTML decent enough

- open
- more visitors, submissions, comments
- HTML is only decent enough
- Inconsistent (too fast/too slow in quantity, quality)
- Untrammeled by editors

Started in 1999. Upgraded, upgraded again, new server, new server….
Has a LISHost.org – cost sharing with about 30-40 paying customers

Statistics – have a fee based program to get stats. Spent some time discussing the various statistics

Why do people visit?
News, comments, journals, librarian fetishists a place to find their soul mates, community feeling, they have a voice, class assignment, recommended by a friend/colleague

Publishing cycle – submit a story > author posts > comments open > archived and comments closed

All the news that fits – save the children stories are the most popular, feel good stories are a lot of the content


  CIL2005: Building Communities in the Palm of Your Hand
Megan Fox
Slides will be at http://web.simmons.edu/~fox/pda

I got here a few minutes late.

Fox starts by giving a laundry list of equipment included in the talk -- She’s very broad including tablet PCs and gaming consoles as well as IPods, treos and all the rest of the standards

The point is that they’re ubiquitous.

Libraries are:
Checking out IPods with audiobooks
Checking out IPods with audioreserves
Giving IPods to incoming students

Report from AFAICS: Ebook readers, PDAs loosing out, smart phones are the winners

How can libraries support this community?
Connecting users to information – mobile pages, OPAC mobile compatible, Handheld content (reference, ebooks, journals, and databases)
Examples on: http://web.simmons.edu/~fox/pda

Good content for PDAs
- reference stuff like hours, stack locations
- ephemeral stuff like announcements
- chapter a day and whole books

Several of the large ILS vendors have implemented interfaces for mobile.
Amazon still sells ebooks
University of Alberta – guide to downloading netlibrary books to your PDA
Ovid @ Hand
PubMed on Tap
L-N works with blackberries
Westlaw wireless

http://www.google.com/palm -- to find PDA friendly resources

Citation Sharing - IUSM – converting Endnote files to Palm, has a blog for support
Libraries host support groups for PDA owners

Reference through SMS, IM, etc.
Google SMS – weather, phonebooks
One university has students register, professors can send messages out to their classes
Announcements from the library - personal (your book in), general (new hours)

- espn
- cnn
- tv shows

RSS feeds – your library record (personalized RSS)
Moblog and blogging from your PDA
Mobile feedreaders
Sirsi – pocket circ (includes barcode scanner)
(ok, so I did this last year as part of my marketing program, but I had to upload when I got back, it wasn’t live)
Amida Simputer – haptic controls? Accelerometer so you can flip the page by shifting the device

Update 3/18: I talked to the representative for CRC about how engnetbase works with PDAs -- he says it doesn't. That answers that.


  CIL2005: Collaboration & IM: Breaking Down Boundaries
Collaboration & IM: Breaking Down Boundaries
Michael Stephens
Aaron Schmidt

The notes here are somewhat fragmented because that’s the way it went, you’ll see the topics appear twice so I’ve put the speaker’s initials next to the heading to differentiate.

It’s huge right now: 60% of big businesses will be IM-ing by the end of the year, 53M Americans IM

Multiple competing networks – you may want to use all of the services at the same time

IM – beyond virtual reference, in addition to virtual reference

History at TFML (AS)
Made up a screen name
Made up cards with the screen name
Passed the cards out to kids
Had tons of messages (400 IMs in 6 months)
A few anecdotes:
Personalities are different in IM than in face to face interactions – the shy can come into their own
Newsweek article – autistic woman who couldn’t communicate but could IM, implications for special needs situations
Add local teachers to your buddy list so you can help them find resources, pull items for them.
Find customers where they live.

Ethics (AS)
Privacy – both local and remote, AIM has a new terms of service, Trillian stores your logs by default (good for evaluation, bad for privacy)
Workflow issues

Replace VR (dropped VR vendor) – the problems of setting up VR, the expense, the number of questions received, trouble manning the system, promoting your library within the community – it’s new to the customers when the customers are already into IM
Collaboration across the library world – community of practice

Staff had already finished VR training – so that made it easier
Some librarians really took to it

Ethics for IM (MS)
Use “away” messages
Don’t share confidences
Log chats – but let people know you are doing so (LJ NetConnect 4/1/05 issue)
Set a good example
Use the nuances of IM

Best Practices for IM in the Libraries (AS)
1) make it part of your technology plan
2) promotion/marketing of screen name, services
3) admin should be messaging – set a good example
4) train everyone, encourage everyone
5) put your IM name on your business card

Best Practices for IM Externally (MS)
1) use a multi-network utility Trillian or Gaim
2) use away messages
3) speed over perfection in technology
4) use abbreviations
5) use online sources only if they provide the best answer
6) don’t panic – if you’ve got someone on the phone, someone on IM, someone in person

Impact on teen and ya services
Internal decision making
IM is…

co-browsing – jyve? Software


  CIL2005: Wikis @ Your library

Will Richardson from Weblogg-ed

His definition: a website where anyone can edit the content at any time.

It’s an important part of the read/write web
Traditional html requires some skill
Blogging interfaces are an easy to create web content with little to no technical knowledge (about 5m active)
Podcasting and v-logging allows people to talk freely – and have a broad audience

Huge implications for schools and libraries
Internet as a notebook
Tons of capacity
Collaboration – “the social, collaborative, construction of knowledge and information”

Wiki features
Any one can edit
Recent changes
Page history (easy to revert to an older version, see how the content has evolved, see Jon Udell’s video of how wikipedia works with a particular case of a vandal)
Can include authentication
Can have notification features (RSS or e-mail)

Visits StarTrek Wiki … Demonstrates editing the page – demonstrates vandalizing the page… Nice… now everyone in the audience will feel that they should go out and vandalize a page. Does not fix it. ARGH! Discusses having faith that the page will be fixed – doesn’t encourage good wiki citizenship.

Tours wikipedia
Shows a post he made this morning
Recommends it as a starting point for research
Discusses 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake
Collective/collaborative truth (with 6k edits for the tsunami disaster)
Offshoots – wikibooks, wikitravel, etc.

Other wikis
Northern Voice conference
Bimiji (sp?) State class wiki
UIUC Library wiki
Library Association of New Zealand
U Mn, Mt. Holyoke

Why use wikis in your library
Easy to create
Small learning curve
Information storage
Easy retrieval
Easy tracking

Keys to success:
Effective structure
Monitor content
Page naming conventions
Active participation

  CIL2005: Social Software 101
K. Matthew Dames (SESO Group Digital Information Advisors, editor, SNTReport.com)
He spoke last evening at the dead technology session with great advice: keep fighting the good fight to not just accept overly restrictive licensing that’s being forced upon us.

What is social software -- s/w that supports group interaction
Social Networking -- an analysis of the relationships between the individuals and how they are connected together
Digital Collaboration – a more broad term, includes distance learning, the software, working together across a distance enabled…

Included technologies and software
• Browsers (via plugins, add-ons, extensions)
• Search
• IM
• Blogging, Syndication
• Wikis
• Groups
• Discussion For a
• P2P technologies in general
• Ways to connect – gaming consoles, smart phones, PDAs

Browsers: here Dames includes tools accessed via the browser like del.icio.us – personally I like furl better and the topics in furl are now indexed in technorati just like the tags from flickr and del.icio.us. Personally, I like reading my feeds in a separate aggregator, even though firefox allows me to read feeds using active bookmarks.

ECTO API blogging tool?

Blogs: here Dames contrasts Cohen’s approach with te approach in SNTReport. SNTReport is apparently just a filter and doesn’t include commentary. Future uses: blogs may replace html coded websites because they are customizable and provide easy content. He also expects to see greater use of podcasting and use of blogs for project management (see for example, basecamp hq?)

Syndication (feeds): more advertising to come.

Messaging: IM, SMS. The best way to contact many of the presenters here including Cohen. Not only between individuals, but information from Yahoo! and other providers to your mobile device.

Peer-to-Peer: bittorrent, filesharing, VOIP (I think he might be mistaken in this because I don’t think VOIP is necessarily P2P), etc.

Wikis: Wikipedia (of course), question of provenance – this may not be the case for more specialized wikis, but this will be covered in another session later

Mobile devices: mp3 players, gaming consoles (play station portable and others using 802.11x to network), smart phones, PDAs

Directions for Libraries: Community, Context, and Collaboration

  CIL2005: Good Morning- 2nd Day
Here I am with all the A-list bloggers sitting in the lobby of the CIL2005 hotel not blogging because we’re not getting online. At least some of us! Oh, well, off for coffee and more blogging in the word processor. As much as I complain, the instant formatting is helpful.


  CIL2005: Audio Post
this is an audio post - click to play

Update: added title, tags.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
  CIL2005: Tips for Keeping Up: Without Losing Your Sanity
Tips for Keeping Up: Without Losing Your Sanity
Steven M. Cohen, Gary Price, and Genie Tyburski

Genie Tyburski
• Set Limits
• Be selective with what sources you read, re-evaluate them to make sure they are responding to your needs – if it is redundant or goes down hill, dump it
• Control e-mail – use disposable addresses for alerts, use feeds
• Use keyword alerts from traditional (L-N) and new media (Yahoo! news)
• Keep backups of important work
• TrackEngine (monitor changes to web pages) $$?
• Monitor search engine queries

Steven Cohen (www.stephenmcohen.com)
• Don’t browse – have the information come to you
• Use the methods that work best for you
• Don’t take your work home – remember who you work for (prioritize – family first)
• Take it slow at first – don’t immediately subscribe to every possible site
• Use community aggregation – lisfeeds, also del.icio.us, furl, citeulike
• Always look for new stuff, monitor it for a little bit, then try it
• Purge, purge purge -- if you add something, remove something else
• Customize
• Be a hero - make your customers happy, solve their problems

Gary Price
What can I say, Gary’s my hero. A lot of great things here. He will also be speaking at an upcoming Maryland Special Libraries Association event on March 31.
• Share the load with your colleagues
Topix.net (couldn't agree with him more on this, 150k topics, RSS feeds)
• TrackEngine OR Website Watcher -- notifies you of when a page is updated
• SearchEngines -- try the beta tests, things in the sandbox.
• News.com - e-mail alerts for keyword searches
• ShadowTV - fee-based, allows full text searching of TV news broadcasts
• Non-commercial directories
• Things for mobile devices (nextaris, feed beep, bloglines)


  CIL2005: Mary Ellen Bates -- 30 tips in 40 minutes
Can’t really reproduce her set of tips without reproducing her slides (under copyright) or taking away her business. Let me summarize: 1)if you ever get the chance to attend one of Mary Ellen’s sessions – do so. You won’t regret it 2) learn some of the tricks of the search engines you do use 3) try to use subject specific and specialty resources 3) search blogs and groups 4) use the search engines to find where the people are and look there first.

Please note: I am backdating all of these entries to when I typed them into my word processor since wireless isn't available in the venue itself.

  CIL2005: Technology for the Information Commons

Technology for the Information Commons in a Special Library
Nancy Allmang and Rosa Liu, NIST, Information Services Division

What is the information commons?
Physical place for gathering and sharing new technologies
Virtual “place” for accessing digital
Their goal was to seamlessly merge the two
Library as Place – places for collaboration, knowledge management centers?
Real places as well as virtual spaces
Enabling technologies:
IM reference – using external software (AIM, Yahoo, MSN)
Wireless loaner laptops (145 checkouts in a year, small core of ardent fans, wireless security issues)
Wired carrels
Beaming stations – send results of searches to PDAs, blackberries via IR
Self-service PDF scanning station – users use this to scan journal articles instead of photocopying them. Also has OCR software.
The wireless security is key, see the current issue of Computers in Libraries
Now use WiFi Protected Access (WPA)
TKIP – dynamically generated
IM Reference
Ask a librarian link from a web page with instructions
Use Trillian (the free version)

Virtual Commons
Three pieces
Virtual library, virtual museum, integrated knowledge editorial net??
Federated searching
Links to open access journals – selected by library advisory board
Links to feed aggregators and feeds
Links to video, audio search
Links to speechbot – searches radio broadcasts
PDA resources page
Depository of articles, book chapters, etc. written by NIST staff
Will be searchable by the public

Feedback forms


  CIL 2005: Web Services

Web Services: An Overview for Librarians (once again, Frank Cervone)
Architecture for application-oriented services over the web:
Business Models
Defined as
Published, located, invoked across the web

Runs on XML and http, implemented in layers
Service discovery
Service description

Services transport

SRW (Search and Retrieve Web Service) – uses SOAP, application to application, like SFX and the OPAC talking
SRU (Search and Retrieve URL Service) – uses REST, parameters passed through the URL itself, kind of like Open URL to an extent

3 basic operations
Explain – what the database contains, what fields can be searched, what metadata schemes are supported
All of this allows for dynamic discovery of services, allows for flexibility, reliability

Introduction to Amazon E-Commerce Services: Applications for Libraries
Larry Mrazek (http://www.lcm-res.com/)

Online searching for books in the OPAC you lose serendipity. He then started to use Amazon because it has reviews and recommendations, readers advisory, almost, and then he finds a copy to read in the OPAC.

Yes, ILS systems now have modules you can purchase for this, but you can add in Amazon’s stuff for free.
Library uses:
Use Amazon for ILL verification? – don’t we already?
Friends of the Library – can be an associate and can get donations for purchases from link-throughs from the library web site
Book cover images

Using the web services you have access to more indexes than you do via Amazon’s interface.

One request per second per IP address
No contract – can’t say it will exist and be free tomorrow

Getting Started
1) get a developer token (free, like API key for Google)
2) download and read developers guide, code samples
3) locate “browse mode” subject headings
4) go to the scratch pad (it automatically creates the XML for you)
5) fill out all the stuff
6) hit the button, copy url (preview first)
7) embed the information into your web page (you could write a script that does this once per day)

  CIL2005: Implementing Federated Searching
I attended this session but my post is missing. This is a placeholder until I can locate and copy my notes over. (10:21 3/21/05)
Update 12pm 3/21, here are my notes:

Frank Cervone from Northwestern spoke about implementing federated searching. He also spoke about this last year (link to notes)

He admits to trying to make it Google-like (the horror!), trying to help interdisciplinary researchers as the databases tend toward silos of information, and trying to remove the reliance on vendor specific interfaces.

Now that federated interfaces are in place only 10% of users will use both the federated/simplified, only 5% will use the database-specific interface. Of the 5%, many are librarians.

User expectations

Search strategies:


Author’s last name

Students almost never use the refine features

Faculty only use certain ones

Context Sensitive Linking

From a citation list – takes you to full text (via SFX?)

You can have it check consortium catalogs and request ILL

What happens when you do metasearch- there are so many variables

You don’t always get the same results back, sometimes just “a solution exists” sometimes the full record with link out to full text

The main protocol that is used is still Z39.50.

He lists 7 vendors of the service right now.

How do you pick a service?

Rollout, Acceptance – most of the resistance comes from within the library, it’s not the be-all end-all, but users accept this and don’t expect perfection.

  At CIL 2005
Well, here I am at CIL with my spiffy work laptop and wireless card, I’m detecting a network and I have a good connection, now what do I do next? No internet, alas!

Clifford Lynch is now giving the keynote. Always very interesting. Since this is the 20th anniversary of CIL, he started with a history of the internet. Libraries have led the way to a certain extent because for many people the first interaction (not results of but interaction) with a computer was accessing the OPAC at their local public library.

He then went on to talk about the difference in cultural history now that there are conversations, “he’s not just a civil war general, he’s my great-grandfather” or “he’s more than a ‘native bearer’ he was my great-grandfather.”

Another interesting thing he mentioned is the archive of information that is the internet. If you google yourself, you might find a flame you sent to a listserv in 1994 that argues what now is an unsupportable position. Unfortunate, but unavoidable. Kids now will have to deal with their pre-braces, pre-contact lenses, pre-nose job pictures residing forever on the internet.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
  Marketing Special Librar(y/ian) Services Through Increasing Social Capital
Another not-so-well-formed-thought post...
Point: We know that people like to get information from other people
Point: We know a little about the biases that impact which librarian users approach at the information desk at a public library
Point: We know a little about what members of the social network are approached for information (When an information problem exists, that is when members of the customer's close network can't help, the user needs to resort to weak ties to get help (kind of a paraphrase of Johnson, 2004) see also the 5 hypotheses from Borgatti and Cross, 2003 )

Question: How can these knowns help librarians in special libraries gain more market share in question answering and information sharing in their organizations? How do we get them to ask us at least second if not first?

This is really an age-old question, but I'm not certain that marketing has been designed to capitalize on the whole social network research scene.

A few ideas:
-Aim to form closer ties with the customers so the librarians become easy, inexpensive sources of information (use mixers, company softball leagues, clubs)
-Lurk in the customers collaborative communities within the organization -- find something helpful to say -- contribute...
-There's also the hope that if we put ourselves in their way (physical proximity, see our upcoming poster session at SLA Toronto), that there will be serendipitous exchanges which will lead to more work.
-Hope that because we are very good at what we do and because we have the appropriate credentials, that customers only need to learn of our existence and qualifications to begin using our services (weak ties, but seen as authorities -- this is pretty much doing nothing, so not an acceptable marketing plan!)

Question: Does marketing a monolithic library where the professional staff are considered interchangeable parts hurt us more than help us with this model?
  Almost like being there....
One of the best parts of being active in the blogosphere... conference reports. The number of conferences seems to double every year. There are far more than anyone could afford to attend. Most pick one or two good ones and maybe a local one... In the past, you had to know someone to read their trip report. Now, with real-time and near real-time conference blogging, you can get a lot from home.

Yes, you do still miss the "information grounds" and the synergistic effects of meeting people in person. Plus you can't really contribute, you still have to be there for that. With small budgets and lots of cool conferences, it's a lot better than nothing.

Here's an example: Liz Lawley's blogging of SXSW on Many-to-Many. Read this great post first: Many-to-Many: sxsw: leveraging solipsism.

Thursday, March 10, 2005
  Response to funny looks and raised eyebrows...
Yesterday I spoke to a really neat group of people on blogs, blogging and feeds. I mentioned that the library blogging community is vibrant. Raised eyebrows - one lady actually tried to correct me, "you mean the librarian community." I said, "that, too!"

See this page for a non-comprehensive list of libraries with blogs.
Monday, March 07, 2005
  Technorati adds "related tags"
Pointed out on Many-to-Many by Weinberger. Technorati listens. I think this was added to help with the whole authority control issue -- not fix it, but help.

When you search for a subject (use tag:subject), it suggests related tags.

It didn't work too well with the first samples I tried:
But it did do better on some of the other things I tried:
Ok, so it isn't really number of posts that helps, because the SLA tag doesn't have that many... requires more detailed inspection...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005
  Picking up a dropped line of thought.
About a month ago, I was on a little tangent about business researchers studying information seeking and not citing other people doing the same research OR the vast body of LIS research on information seeking... Along those same lines, BI just pointed to a neat article by a LIS researcher that might really have been useful to the business researchers. I double checked and neither of them cited it. Not only does she talk about social capital and information seeking from other people but she cites all the big people in LIS research. Of course, she had to, this work was an offshoot of her dissertation.

Here's the citation: Johnson, C.A. "Choosing people: The role of social capital in information seeking behaviour" Information Research, v10 n1 paper 201 (Oct 2004). Available http://InformationR.net/ir/10-1/paper201.html.


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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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