Internet Librarian, part 8

Jody Turner, keynote

Jody Turner spoke about trends.

Youth today:

  • Be who you are
  • Do what you love
  • Define what having is

“Data is the new social capital.”

Empathy = Innovation = 360-degree design

Community: “If my town does well, I do well.” Invitational.

  • Sensemakers
  • Factual
  • Innoventers
  • Connected Community

Have a personal mission statement.


  • Unstuck
  • A Whole New Mind
  • Art of Innovation
  • Baked In
  • The Power of Pull

4 types of online attention:

  • Story of you
  • Story of us
  • Story of me
  • Story of we

Value-Added Research

Amy Affelt talked about the customized clipping and alerting service she provides for her organization: what they might not have found themselves or didn’t know existed.

“Requestors like the attention. You read the news so they don’t have to.”

“If you ask, people won’t want it. but if you just start doing it, then they like it.”

Gets the major financial papers on Kindle now. Uses USB to transfer files to or from PC. Kindle has a “my clippings” folder. Can use it as an ad hoc flash drive. Kindle has lots of advantages over iPad. This is an area librarians can become experts in.

Can order an e-book from Amazon and have it downloaded to the user’s app (!).

Daniel Lee talked about the media monitoring he does. His boss needed info about women parliamentarians quoted in newspapers.

Content analysis. “Conversation audits”: social media, web forums.

Similar to cataloging; lot of data entry in Excel.

Concise writing, curiosity.

Search analytic software does facets (e.g., by author, by source).

Data visualization: tag clouds, heat maps.

Factiva, other media monitoring companies are doing these things now.

Qin Zhu, of HP, talked about putting information in context.

Case study: Finding publications by HP Labs researchers for the annual report.

Compiled from various databases, reformatted and sent out by e-mail, in XML, etc.

Searched by affiliation and date range, then deduplicated. Format as HTML, plain text, RSS, XML. Posted on library web site, bibliographic database, e-mail bulletin, RSS feed integrated with internal bulletin — with links to full text.

Contineud doing updataing to provide regular alerts.

Use RSS Feeds to get info and to distribute.

In context: Understand your organization and your users. Distribute info where your users are.

Best Free Stuff for Broke Libraries

Sarah Houghton-Jan of San Jose Library talked on this topic. She mentioned many specific tools, but I’m mostly going to list the types of stuff available. Her complete presentation is available online. (If your network blocks Slideshare, you can see a similar post on her blog.)

Operating system: Ubuntu

E-mail/Calendar: Gmail, Google Calendar

Browser: Firefox, Chrome

Financial: GNU Cash

Office software: Open Office, Google Docs

Typefaster Tutor

Adaware, Spybot

Free E-Books

Free Databases, Articles

Reference tools: Chat, VOIP, etc.

Software to pop up help info if a user has been on a DB for x minutes

Online meeting tools

Social networking: check if your preferred user name is available. Good for keeping your user name consistent across multiple sites, which other speakers at the conference recommended.


Website management:

  • CSS picker: Typesetter
  • Google Analytics

Google Translate

To find more, follow these sites:

Evernote: for saving notes Vitual business card

Digital Librarianship: Web 2.0 and Open Access:

Edwin Henneken and Donna Thompson from the Astrophysics Data System talked about what it is and how it started. It’s one of the primary indexes in its field.

Started as metadata only, now full text.

Retrospective coverage of nearly every astronomy journal

Notification service available

One-box searching

OpenURL linking

“Private libraries” allow users to share a bibliography (for example, with co-authors or students)

Connections with archives, repositories, journal publishers, services (such as libraries, Worldwide Telescope)

2004: Indexed in Google


Restructuring system architecture
Improving user interface (facets)
Extending search capabilities
Enhancing personalization, recommendations
Incorporating semantic web

Historical literature project:

Including older astronomic literature that was not widely distributed
Books to microfilm to scans
Page where users can help index

Jeremie LeBlanc of Natural Resources Canada spoke about his library.

They merged libraries, web sites, ILSes (went with Evergreen)

Integrated knowledgebase: integrating library catalog into intranet search engine

Weekly bulletin:

  • Library acquisitions
  • Key trade publications
  • Scientific publications by staff (approx. 1,300 a year!)

Doing training on:

  • wiki
  • blogs
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Web 2.0 librarian:

  • Tech mentor for deputy minister (a political appointee near the top of the org.)
  • Involved in collaborative and innovative projects

Linked Google with library catalog and GeoScan (NRCanada’s database of geological literature about Canada)

Linked GeoScan with Google Maps

Library catalog links to Google Books preview

Adding Value with Visualization

Liz Lawley did the closing session. As usual, she provides all kinds of food for thought. Her slides are on Slideshare. Her favorite links are on Delicious. So, I’ll just list a few high points.

Shoutout for the Tufte books.

Boing Boing’s Is the Web really dead? shows how Wired misread the data.

People are not necessarily good at typography or desktop publishing.

The Felton Report is a personal annual report.

What if we could get graphs of our library checkouts?

Panlibus magazine on library graphics (pages 14-15). More at

Manyeyes: Shakespeare’s favorite words

A bathroom scale that makes a graph of your weight.


Internet Librarian 2010, part 7

Learning from Failure

There were a number of sessions on failure and how to learn from it. Matt Hamilton of Anythink Libraries in Colorado (that’s really what they call themselves) spoke. “We open doors for curious minds” is their slogan.

They built a number of new buildings but didn’t do any project management. The books got there before the furniture.

“We shoot for 80% [success] then work on the other 20%.”

Had an unconventional summer reading program with no sign-ups or prizes, but people missed those things.

“We can’t let [the uncomfortable people] kill the library for the sake of their personal comfort.”

They don’t have a formal process for documenting failures and lessons learned.

Links from Bobbi Newman’s presentation are available at her blog, Librarian by Day

Surfacing value: speaking to be heard

Mary Ellen Bates spoke on the topic of “Surfacing Value: Speaking to Be Heard.” The slides are available.

She emphasized that you want to be able to talk to your boss’s boss. When you get that chance, you don’t want give him or her an “elevator speech,” but rather an elevator conversation.

Don’t talk about what you have and what you do – at least not in library lingo. Talk about what’s in it for them. Talk about the why, not the what or the how. Good words and phrases:

  • Value-added intelligence
  • Provide insights, identify trends
  • Facilitate good decision-making
  • Competitive advantage
  • Customer service (not “reference”)
  • In-depth research for content Google can’t find (not “online searching”)
  • Information analysis (not “search results”)
  • “We don’t make the strategic decisions; we make them better”
  • “We bring insights from the outside”
  • “We help people make better decisions”
  • “We make critical information findable”

Answers to “What do you do?”

  • “I’m part of the information mafia”
  • “I make sure my CEO looks good”
  • “I’m my organization’s secret weapon”

Government 2.0

Gary Price talked about what’s new in the world of government web sites.

Metalib is a new metasearch engine from the U.S. Government Printing Office. The basic option searches about 10 databases. The advanced/expert option searches 53. See the A-Z list to get an idea of what it’s searching or just to find out about some great databases from the federal government.

Mobile apps:

C-Span has an amazing new video archive (well, amazing if you’re a government nerd like me).

The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications has lists of new electronic titles (click on “New Titles”).

User Experience Design

Implementing a one-click “Get It!” button:

  • Whether the library owns it or not
  • Whether it’s a book or journal article

The system will figure out whether to make an in-house request or an interlibrary loan request. They need to change their ILS to work with LDAP.

Patron-Driven E-book Acquisitions

[Update: Slides available at]

Librarians at UC Irvine wanted to take the approval model to the e-book world. What’s more, they wanted to make sure every book would get used (the average for print books is about 50%).

Most vendors require a deposit upfront. UCI preferred to spend as they go.

Desired current content.

They selected three publishers: Cambridge, Chicago, and Oxford. All publish a large number of e-books, which are released soon after the print edition.

Then they looked at vendors. Each has a different pricing model. Settled on Coutts/MyiLibrary.

The deal they got with Coutts is that if an e-book is available within eight weeks of print, they would send a MARC record, which is loaded in the OPAC. If the item is used three times, the library is charged for it. If it’s used two times or fewer, no charge.

The URL in the catalog record goes to a product page, which has info such as table of contents. The user has to go deeper for it to count as a use.

E-book prices tend to be 1.2 to 1.75 times as much as the hardback price.

Not able to resolve the interlibrary loan issue. All publishers had DRM limits.

Libraries, E-books and E-content

Librarians from the University of Houston tested various e-book readers and vendors. They compared Sony E-reader, Kindle, and the Kindle app for iPod Touch, purchased various books and had librarians test them. They also had a trial with NetLibrary and Springer E-books (downloadable and device-readable).

People like iPod Touch the best: small size, other uses (music, the web). Nook app for iPad became available later: backlight. (IPad also became available after the test. It has many of the same advantages with the addition of a bigger screen.)

Kindle and Sony: single use, hard to read in sunlight, bulky, difficult to download to them.

None of the devices did well with scientific works, which need to display tables and color images.

NetLibrary for E-readers collection allows downloaded “checkouts” for a limited time. Have to download additional software: Adobe, etc. Content wasn’t geared to an academic library. Another NetLibrary service has PDFs, but they’re not made for small devices.

SpringerLink: No DRM, but only downloadable by chapter or sections. PDFs not formatted for small devices.

Kindle and Nook apps available for iTouch. However, iTouch battery runs out sooner.

Blio (new reader from Ray Kuzweil): Graphics look good, reads aloud. Connection with Baker & Taylor.

Internet Librarian 2010: My favorite session

Social Computing Tools: Telling Users About Themselves

I thought this would be another talk about how to use Facebook and Twitter. Instead, Bee Bornheimer of Qualcomm — who was unexpectedly presenting solo — talked about using social networking tools within her company’s network. It gave me some good ideas about stuff I could do back at MPOW.

Her library has three main areas:

  • Research and analysis
  • Content licensing (e.g., market research)
  • Technical

They have a database of their past service requests, which is what drives a lot of their magic. For example, they do an annual report with statistics to management, such as:

  • Here’s how your group is using the library
  • Here are popular downloads for your department

“People like talking and hearing about themselves.”

They have internal versions of social media. (Note: it’s not clear to me if these were completely home-brewed or if they purchased software and slapped their own name on it, invariably beginning with a “Q.”)

  • Wiki
  • Blog
  • Social bookmarking (similar to

When a group is sharing information on a wiki, the library can chime in with resources.

They produce “wiki widgets” about the library, which can go on users’ web pages, with information such as:

  • Most popular books for your department
  • Most popular journals for your department
  • Popular downloads
  • Additional resoruces
  • Contact info.

Once they produce these, they are dynamically updated, so there’s no more work to do.

“Nobody ever says no.”

When they talk about the library to staff, people say, “I’ll go when I have time,” which means they’ll never come. You can come to them.

Benefits to clientele:

  • Embedded in their workspace
  • Customized to their needs
  • Highly relevant resources
  • Allows staff to see what their peers are doing (particularly useful for new employees)

Benefits to the library:

  • Connect more people with resources
  • Strengthen partnerships with other groups
  • More opportunities to learn about users’ needs
  • It’s easy to do!

They keep their stats in a Filemaker DB (including circ. system and web site stats — both imported into Filemaker).


  • Research request
  • Purchase request (linked from no-results screen in the catalog) **

Internet Librarian 2010, part 5

Keynote: CIOs

Michael Ridley, CIO and chief librarian, U. of Guelph; Donna Sheeder, CIO of Congressional Research Services, LC; IT guy from a small public library in Kentucky (gamely substituting at the last minute)

Ridley: enterprise IT vs. tech populism (everybody doing their own IT). The Information Age is over. Everybody is in the information business. It’s the Age of Imagination. Open organization: freedom to try things, even if we fail.

Sheeder: Understand the ecology and environment in your organization: tech, culture, budget, risk. (LC, with Congress watching over it, is risk averse.) Movement for telework. Proliferation of devices: align your content to what users are using. SaaS, GIS. (I never heard anyone pronounce these as “sass” and “jis” before.) Very concerned with security.

Kentucky IT guy: “Here to help you get there from here.” Made changes to network and servers to save energy.


  • Internet everywhere, library everywhere
  • Show a solid business case for what you want to do
  • Align with the greater goals of the organization
  • Think like a user and like a decision maker
  • Make yourself visible
  • Tolerance of other “tribes”

(Good advice for anyone in any kind of support role in your org.)

Sheeder: IT and staff should develop requirements before jumping to a solution. Ridley (disagreeing somewhat): Have to have creative “skunkworks” out there doing their own things.

Personal Information Management

Gary Price (presentations) talked about all kinds of web sites/open-source software to do:

  • Computer backup
  • Site capture (a webmaster will know you are doing this, unless you use a VPN to disguise your IP address)
  • Bibliographic management (review of various services)
  • Social media archiving (one-click download of your Facebook data, e.g.)
  • Storage
  • Bookmarks plus
  • Web archives and caches (Archive-It)
  • Searching your hard drive

Adding Value to Research

Marcy Phelps, Phelps Research (presentation)

Make information easy to use, distill, make connections. What’s the bottom line? Ask your user.

  1. Have an executive summary: 1-page, bulleted, top-level summary, address questions, link to additional information further down
  2. Cover memo: Address user’s research questions, your general approach, any issues that came up, findings in 25 words or less, one-page, branded
  3. Add meaning to boring numbers. Excel charts, data visualization (see Gapminder and the Guardian‘s data store for inspiration)
  4. Add a dashboard: graphical display all in one place, multiple graphs
  5. Let others do the work. Dialog has a report option you can use. Smart art in Excel. American FactFinder

Invest in learning and creating templates, showing your value.

Internet Librarian 2010, part 4

Managing Your Library’s Online Presence

Jennifer Koerber of Boston PL talked about your library’s presence on social networking sites:

  • Common logo, font colors (as much as allowed)
  • Use the same name everywhere if possible, or similar
  • Spell it out if you can
  • Use for IM names, user names
  • Have generic e-mails (such as webmaster@, reference@, etc.)

[Update: Jennifer Koerber’s slides are at]

SuHui Ho, UC San Diego:

Moving online: analog services have digital counterparts:

  • Collections
  • Services:
    • ILL, circulation
    • Reference (texting, IM, e-mail)
    • Instruction (LibGuides, podcasts, Camtasia videos)
    • Outreach (social media)

Building vs. managing a web site.

Life cycle management is like weeding the print collection. Bad links are bad PR.

Use metrics to determine:

  • Links on the home page (what’s popular)
  • Keywords to put in metadata (search terms)

Colleen Brazil, Sno-Isle (Wash.) libraries:

Overdrive subscription not easy to use.

Detailed error form and tracking db.

Brand Awareness

Librarians from Colorado State University talked about paying for advertising on Google and Facebook to target students who might be interested in their full-text databases. In Facebook, you can target people at a school, but people on Facebook are not interested in doing research at that moment (who knew?). With Google, you can exclude IP addresses, but not target them. You can, however, target a small radius (c. 10 miles). A much higher percentage of Google users went on to do a search. (At the time of the conference, if you went to Google and set your location for Monterey, Calif., then searched “Awesome CSU librarians,” you’d see one of their ads.)

Librarians from Providence College talked about putting your logo everywhere — signs, tschotschkes. “Your web site is your Sgt. Pepper’s.” Think about mobile. Have regular, interesting content on your blog. Ubiquitous, consistent presence. Software like xtranormal and blabberize converts text to video. Jing does video of computer transactions.

Digital Managers

David Lee King, Sarah Houghton-Jan, Bobbi Newman, and Matt Hamilton talked about being the digital managers at their libraries. No slides (yay!).

David: Role is to expand services, 2-way communication with users. Digital collection is like a building: it has a collection, a building, staff, even a janitor.

Sarah: Asking all San Jose Library staff to write content.

Discussion of whether staff content should be unmoderated. All thought it should be, but some were overruled by higher-ups.

Interaction with IT: Tell them it’s a 3-month beta test, then everyone forgets.

Requirements: project management, inspiration, creativity, marketing, not being afraid to experiment in public, communication, perseverance.

David’s roles: digital branch manager, long-term planning, social media.

Sarah’s roles: web site, databases, ebooks, social media, tech training. (Breaking news: Sarah’s redesigned web site just debuted today, Nov. 15. It looks great!)

Bobbi: Everything with no staff and no money.

Internet Librarian 2010, part 3

Information Architecture and Navigation, cont’d. from earlier post

Jacquelyn Erdman of East Carolina U. talked about her library’s web site redesign.


  • No manual
  • Roving librarian
  • As much as possible, automated

Navigation goals (done with an MS Access db and ColdFusion):

  • Dynamic
  • Facetted (e.g., publication types, peer-reviewed sources, etc.)

One-search (using Summon) and browse by topics.

Best bets (recommended site for topics), tags

Sidebar: recommendations, tutorials, contact info.

ECU Joyner Library sites

Web site for library web site redesign project

Search Discovery Tools, Greg Notess, Montana State U.

“Discovery Tools” are the hot new thing vendors are selling to libraries. But, according to Notess, Discover = metasearch. It’s the newest variation on the premise of one [Google-like] search box for all library content:

  • Library catalog records
  • Citation and abstract metadata (some or all)
  • Full-text indexing (some?)
  • Local digital collections

Some vendors with library web pages where examples can be seen:

The difference between discovery and federated search is that discovery puts everything in one index and searches it, but federated search goes through each database separately. So, discovery is faster.

Problems with discovery:

  • Search multiple databases through discovery is not the same as searching each one individually. About 90% of the data gets into the discovery index. (Is that OK? It means you’re paying for data that people might not see if they only use the discovery tool.)
  • There’s also overlapping metadata between databases; duplicates are not always caught.

Montana State had problem with Worldcat Local (old WLN records didn’t show up) and Summon:

  • Items deleted from the catalog didn’t get deleted from the discovery index
  • Upgrades had issues
  • Thousands of results from simple searches
  • Problems searching for known items, such as database names, book titles, journal titles

Other problems with discovery tools:

  • We don’t know when it’s searching full text
  • Relevance ranking is not as good as it should be (for example, in the known item searches above, the known item didn’t always show up first)


Internet Librarian 2010, day 1, part 2

Information Architecture and Navigation

Jenny Emanuel, of UIUC, talked about ways to improve your web site:

Home pages:

  • Identify the site, establish the brand
  • Set tone and personality
  • Allow people to do something right away
  • Reflect the personality of the library

Pathway pages:

  • Gateways to secondary content
  • Great for categories of stuff you can’t put on the homepage
  • An additional way to navigate

Finding stuff:

  • 5 ways of finding anything (3 of them can be a search box, a site map or index, and pathway pages)
  • But ease of finding is better than multiple ways


  • They’ve lost their purpose
  • Can be used as breadcrumbs
  • Length and organization: no more than 2 slashes
  • Index pages (index.html)
  • Lowercase letters
  • Naming conventions


  • Lower case names
  • Less than 10 letters
  • Broad topic areas that fit with navigation (such as Basic info., Library content, and Guides, how-tos)
  • Index pages can be your pathfinder pages


  • Don’t scroll on a homepage or pathway pages
  • Other pages OK, but be reasonable


  • Readers read in an F-pattern
  • Break up text, use bullet points
  • Use active voice
  • Don’t rehash content on lots of different pages

Page creep:

  • Don’t allow similar pages
  • Each page has a purpose
  • Each page has a home (in the navigation structure)

Tutorials, guides, etc.:

  • Pick one name or define differences


  • Each page should have a title in the title tags
  • Meaningful link text (not “click here”)
  • Image descriptions in the IMG tag
  • Bullet lists for lists
  • Tables only for tabular content

More later.

Internet Librarian 2010, day 1

Keynote by Patricia Martin. She says we’re living in a “Renaissance generation.”

  • More blog content than the collections of the Library of Congress
  • Facebook would be the 4th largest country
  • More e-books published [last year?] than traditional books

Winners are those who can go from “me” to “we” (think of end users), empower creativity, manage the human interface.

In the future:

  • No [one] “story”
  • Screens everywhere
  • Return on time (rather than investment)
  • Cloud storage
  • Story is the new killer app
  • Precognition

ALA and Finca collaborated on a campaign to encourage the use of financial info in libraries.

Add value to your community:

  1. Put the user at the center
  2. Let users collaborate on rules
  3. Curate the human interface

Not sure what some of this means. Definitely food for thought.

Search Engine Update

Chris Sherman of Search Engine Land talked about what’s new. His links for this talk are at, but he didn’t have time to talk about everything on that list.

There are now just two big search engines.


  • Faster indexing
  • Faster results
  • Algorithmic changes (all the time)
  • Search suggestions as you type (for example, weather, time, flights, spell check)
  • Image swirl: visual links, related terms
  • Real-time search: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. (Can get e-mail alerts of this **)
  • Can find out what’s new at
  • (Privacy concerns from sites like Inside Google


  • “More on this page” links
  • “Intent classifiers” change results and 2nd-level options (synonyms, general/local/news results, difference points of view, product reviews)
  • Bing Entertainment (5 million full-length songs)
  • Bing maps
  • Travel: fare predictions
  • University search (Google had something similar)
  • Event search

Yahoo: Now uses Bing index, but results sometimes differ.

Blekko: Uses “slashtags” to limit search results. In private beta; tweet or e-mail to beta test.

Targeting: Ad targeting has gotten quite specific. See Criteo and Google Ads Preferences has data sets. back to Q&A. Not really a general search engine any more.

More later.