I HAZ Ginger! February 17, 2008Posted by Minerva in RSS feeds, Web2.0.
Tags: I haz Ginger, netvibes, pageflakes, startpages
add a comment
(Forgive the title, but it appears to be how to declare one is using the product. I would have chosen the title O Pioneers!)
I am officially a beta tester (that’s private beta). I received an invitation to test the upcoming Ginger release of Netvibes. I have never tested anything before, but I love Netvibes. Ginger is more social network than the previous versions, and now users can create their own public pages of feeds (called Universes). Before, only organizations and famous pop stars could create Universes on Netvibes. My public pages are viewable here. The first tab, General, is admittedly a mess; I haven’t decided on a theme, and am using it to play around. The next two tabs focus on government information. I’ve chosen feeds from the FDLP, FGI, and the blogs of various government agencies.
The nice thing is that I can still maintain my private page. I can also send widgets to my private page from my public page and vice versa. There’s an option to mark items to share publicly or save privately. The feed now displays when the article was posted (see below). This keeps me from skimming the same feeds, only to wonder if I’ve seen them before.
Unfortunately, it takes some of the feeds longer to load than in the Coriander release, but this is beta, it’s to be expected, and the Netvibes people are working on it. I would like to see the basic feeds include the option to display thumbnail images. Pageflakes does this, and it keeps one’s page from looking like an ocean of text:
Compare this to the same feed rendered in a Netvibes widget:
I would also like to see a video player added, so one can view video feeds without leaving the page. This works with certain widgets, but not with vodcasts.
All in all, I’m pleased with the new product. And as long as I can keep my private page private, and my public Universe on the side, I’m looking forward to the official release.
BART and the Library February 15, 2008Posted by Minerva in libraries, public libraries.
1 comment so far
BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), will soon have library lending machines in some of its stations, thanks to the Contra Costa County Library. Coming in April, the “Library-a-Go-Go” machines (yes, that’s the name), will let anyone with a CCC Library card check out the books for free. This is the first library in the country to offer such a service.
Not only is this ideal for those achingly long commutes, it also puts libraries in parts of the Bay Area that lack library branches of their own:
The idea is perfect for the far eastern area of Contra Costa County, such as Discovery Bay, Byron Knightsen and Bethel Island, where brick and mortar libraries are lacking. Readers would be able to take advantage of the service without ever having to drive to a building that would cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars it doesn’t have.
Thanks to my intrepid informant, who sent me the link.
Cataloguing in a changing world October 12, 2007Posted by Minerva in cataloging.
Tags: cataloging, cataloguing
The Australian Committee on Cataloguing has posted the papers, presentations, and podcasts of their September 7th seminar, Promise for the future, or legacy of the past? : cataloguing in a changing world.
Among the presenters was Karen Calhoun, who gave a talk entitled “On competition for cataloguers.”
Blogging cataloguer October 12, 2007Posted by Minerva in cataloging.
Tags: blogs, cataloger, cataloging, cataloguer, cataloguing
add a comment
Another cataloging (or should that be cataloguing?) blog: The Cataloguing Librarian. The author blogs from Canada, and her posts look at the nature of cataloging as a profession, and at the conflicts catalogers encounter in their work. If you’d like some food for thought, read her post “Creativity? In Cataloguing?“
Here’s to more catalogers showing the rest of the library world know what we do.
Bionic cataloger September 23, 2007Posted by Minerva in blogs, cataloging.
Tags: cataloging, cataloging blogs, library school, training
1 comment so far
There is a new(-ish) cataloging blog: “Cataloger 2.0: We can rebuild her. We have the technology.” The author’s latest post notes the ever shrinking number of cataloging classes offered in library schools, and suggests a change to the curriculum:
If I were teaching a “basic” cataloging course, I would teach students how to “use” a library catalog. I would teach them search strategies that can be used with all catalogs, regardless of vendor. I would teach students about controlled vocabulary and how subject headings are formed. I would teach students how to read bibliographic records. I would teach students about DDC and LC in general terms, and get them familiar with what goes where.
(I wonder if she can assign classifications at lightning speed…)
Days like this. September 20, 2007Posted by Minerva in cataloging.
add a comment
This evening I read the post “It takes a special soul to be a cataloger” by Jenica P. Rogers-Urbanek at her Attempting Elegance blog. At first, the snarky side of me wanted the title to read “You must be some kind of nut to be a cataloger,” or “It takes a special something, alright.” (It’s been a long day, bear with me.) But then I read the tale of this librarian, first a cataloger and now a manager, as she chronicled the return of cataloging to her workday.
I’ve learned that, with my current work, I get up in the morning, energized, and need to use the first half-hour of my day doing some basic household tasks, because when I get home after 8 to 10 hours of library management, I’m exhausted. Bone-deep weariness. Four hours of sustained work on budgets, book selection, project management, and communication leaves me feeling like I’ve been wrung out and hung up to dry. But four hours of cataloging? Is nothing. Headphones, some good music, and an organized workstation and I’m good to go for days on end. Cataloging is fun. And easy. And makes sense to me.
Cataloging has become (in a small way) part of her library work again.
I don’t entirely agree with the descriptions of cataloging as fun or easy, or that it makes sense. It’s not particularly any of those things if you’re trying to assign subject headings for a thesis on the genetic sequencing analysis of leeches. (And I’m not the science type.) But sometimes, after you’ve managed to crack whatever enigma’s been thrown at you, it is fun. And rather rewarding. That didn’t happen with me today. But reading Jenica’s post made my earlier frustrations melt away. As for the leeches, I’ll think about them tomorrow.
“Old School” Card Catalogue, ca. 1967 September 17, 2007Posted by Minerva in Uncategorized.
add a comment
Originally uploaded by Queen’s University Library
A piece of advice to libraries:
If you decide to leave your old copy catalogue on display, don’t get upset when patrons start using the cards as free note paper. You’re just asking for trouble.
Do you copy- or re-catalog? September 17, 2007Posted by Minerva in cataloging.
add a comment
Andrew, if CILIP and your councillors won’t tell you, I will. You should stop the practice of re-cataloguing as should all your colleagues around the country. The course you are advertising and holding in Glasgow for cataloguing, in the name of CILIP, should not be for public librarians and there should be no public expenditure on it. If there is a problem with BDS, which, frankly I doubt, then your responsibility is to help them correct it– not to spend public money in the way you appear to be[.]
Without getting involved in the politics of UK public library funding, it’s interesting to note the choice of words used in the post. It’s not copy cataloging, it’s re-cataloging. Please do not confuse the two terms, as they are anything but synonymous. Copy cataloging is using shared records created by your institutional friends, pausing to correct and verify that the information is correct. Re-cataloging on the other hand, is the nitpicky habit of changing trivial information, gilding the lily, while sucking both time and money from the library, the university, and the community.
The fact is that all libraries improve on the records they receive. The panlibus blog responds to the Good Library Blog’s Carry on Cataloguing post by pointing out Talis’ own shared records service. But even shared records, which are based on standards, require tweaking. The ISBN is incorrect (or missing), words are misspelled (it happens), and sometimes it’s not even cataloged in your language. Then remember that for every institution that (finally) inputs a record, there are many more who prefer to wait for someone else to do it. At one large research university library, books fill countless shelves, waiting for student assistants to perform the monthly search in OCLC for copy. More often than not, these books are soon returned to the same shelves, only to wait for the next month.
Even for those records that are available and pass the sniff test, classification must be performed. If the record was created by the Library of Congress or another PCC institution, then local procedure usually dictates automatic acceptance of the call number. Sometimes the easy choice is not always the best solution. Your library may not only use Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress classification. In this country, there are also government documents with there own classification systems: Superintendent of Documents classification (for federal documents) and several states do the same for their own state documents. Woe to the person who must try to integrate all these materials in one collection, when sometimes it’s just not enough to accept copy.