Sunday, October 30, 2011

Library 2.0 Coming to You

Have coffee?  Tea?  Water?  This is a long one!

    How will libraries evolve?  What does the future hold for these community establishments?  Will their automation and technology budgets grow with Web 2.0 and other digital changes?  Will decision-makers understand the importance of libraries in a digital world?
     This week's Web 2.0 assignment provided five articles that discussed the future of libraries and librarians: library 2.0 and librarian 2.0.  All five articles were published five years ago.  That is a long time in a constantly changing field.  I surfed the source site ( for more recent articles.  I learned several things from both sets of readings.  First, offers several "advanced citation functions" (  Second, OCLC's NextSpace publication appears to be a wonderful resource for library students and librarians.  I subscribed to the publication.  These items are not part of the assignment, so there I must go.

     Regardless of age, the assigned articles are timely.  Libraries as community places, information cafes, and knowledge sharing spaces are libraries of the future.  Librarians need to adapt and adjust routines and tasks to maintain currency in their communities and organizations; a timeless common thread in the provided articles.
     Library 2.0 is a necessary step in library evolution.  I see two things that will inhibit a library's metamorphosis to Library 2.0:  priorities and budget constraints.  What is the library's role in an organization?  Do academic libraries play a greater role in their organization than a public library?  My opinion:  No.  Both are equally important but academia appears to prioritize libraries as necessary and valued departments.  County governments maintain public libraries in my region.  Based on resources available in the public libraries I feel they are not as valued.  

      I use four libraries for homework, two college libraries and two public libraries.  The college libraries provide innumerable access points for patrons: public workstations for Windows and Mac users, large tables in quiet areas, and group study rooms with several outlets for laptop power cords.  Their print reference collections are not out dated and include several topics.  
     The two county libraries offer limited hours, minimal print reference materials, and a small amount of personal work space.  One library has only one outlet for laptop users.  The other limits computer access to ninety minutes per day.  In addition, their computers and software are so outdated that library students cannot use these workstations to access the library school's online course tools.  The public libraries are not as valued as other departments that have access to current technologies. Does the County Executive's office staff have current technology for their tasks?
     Until public libraries are considered valuable by their governing bodies they are crippled, unable to grow and embrace the tools and concepts of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0.
     Bookless libraries?  In private institutions where technology resources are available to patrons, yes.  In government libraries that are funded by taxes, no.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Zotero or Zorro?

I prefer Zorro.  (Long post, feel free to skip to links at bottom)

     I can see where Zotero would be useful for group projects.  Members can post articles, websites, and other information sources.  Judges presiding over cases in multiple counties might be able to use it to share resources with their confidential lawyers (law clerks) and secretaries.  I cannot picture the court system embracing Zotero in the near future.  First, Westlaw and Lexis are not Zotero friendly sites; second, the courts do not use the Firefox browser.

     I most likely will not make an effort to use this tool.  Most of the databases I access provide citations in the document delivery.  In addition, I have to check the citations against my style manual (APA, MLA, NY Official Reports Style Manual: depends on project requirements).  See today's links for more information.

     This week's assignment called for the creation and posting of my Zotero library.  Feel free to browse.  I easily added items from Amazon.  I had to enter information manually for the one legal publisher I visited and two legal databases.
     I experienced several quirks with Zotero.  First, I lost my internet connection and had to rely on a public library.  The library system in my county limits users to Internet Explorer.  That eliminated Zotero.  Zotero's homepage does not state that it is a Mozilla Firefox add-on.
     Second, I could not access my school's course resources at this library, the software/hardware was too old.  I experienced this three years ago.  It is odd how one branch has more advanced technology than another branch.   These limitations will adversely affect a library's decision to use Zotero.  If the supporting technology is not available, Zotero is not a Web2.0 tool that will be used professionally.

     It is not as simple as installing a free browser and add-ons on a computer.  Anyone who has worked in a complex organization understands this.  In addition to a multitude of factors, most libraries are at the bottom of the organizational food chain / flow chart.  This leads to other concerns.
Today's Rant:
     If libraries are fighting for technology scraps, how are they to provide patrons access to current educational and employment tools?  As a library school student I could not utilize the online tools provided by my school because this library was technologically insufficient to meet my needs.  Civil service exams, job applications, court forms, DMV transactions, and information for parents are all online.  In many cases, they are only online.  How are parents going to learn about their children's school activities if they cannot go to the library to access the internet.  Oh, they just go online at home.  No, many cannot!  We have to remember that libraries are the only place that large portions of our population can access the internet with a high speed connection.  And that is a topic for another day.  And a topic for a research paper.

     Back from the tangent.

Today's legal links are about citation:
1.  The New York Official Reports Style Manual (  When I worked in chambers this was our primary citation guide.  This is available online at no charge or in print.  
2.  Basic Legal Citation ( from Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School:  Another free legal citation manual.  E-books are available without a charge, too.  
3.  The Bluebook:  (  If you are in the legal field you have heard of the Bluebook.  It is available online for a fee.  Print edition available, too.
And for the non-law person:
4.  The Purdue Owl ( is Purdue's Online Writing Lab.  Surfing this site is not a waste of time.  APA and  MLA are only two of several research and writing tools provided by Purdue.
5.  Grammar Girl ( had to be included in this post.  A search for citations resulted in an informative page that discussed the citation forms for podcasts and the importance of citing sources. 

Why Tag?

     I don't get it.  Do you really need to know what websites interest me enough to be added to my bookmarks?  As my favorite first grader would say, "Seriously?"  Creating an account, adding links, and then sharing them seems to be another time-waster for me.  Yes, this may be useful for individuals using multiple computers in multiple locations.  But sharing my links?  Really?  Is the world that interested in my favorite websites?  Are you?
     Future employers might like to see what websites I frequent.  My links can determine if I am aware of relevant resources.
     Libraries can use this type of service to share links with patrons, but I find this redundant to other services.  Link pages on library websites already fulfill that objective.  User guides (pathfinders) do the same at the local level.  Do libraries have the resources available to maintain an account with a bookmarking website?  Not many do during the current economic climate.
     People without a computer and personal Internet access would find websites like useful.  Patrons without a home Internet connection can use and a Google account to fulfill their computer needs.  One service stores bookmarks and the other provides e-mail, blogging, document creations and storage, a homepage, and more.
     I created my account, added links, and tried to sort the links into stacks.  Stacking my links did not work.  It may have been my browser.  I followed the directions, but were stated ADD I could not find ADD.  I was not able to select individual links to add to a created stack and I was not able to save new stacks.  I doubt I would use this type of service for a long-term research project.  I am too leery of the lack of permanence on the Internet.  I might consider using it for a short-term project, but I would still back-up my links in my favorites and on an external drive.  This is another case of redundancy. 

Once I fix my laptop I will try different browsers.

Now for some law related links: 
I have shared the NYCRR with you in the past.  The NYS DOS website is a repeat, but needs to be shared again. 
The New York State (NYS) Department of State (DOS) Division of Code Enforcement and Administration (DCEA) ( provides easy access to a wealth of information from manufactured homes to swimming pools.  The building codes, current AND past, are available, too. 
     Fire, plumbing, building, residential, energy, fuel gas, and other code books can be found at  The 2010 books are current for today (no guarantee for tomorrow).  The 2007 books are also available at this link.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Feed and Read, Read and Feed

Learning 2.0 lesson number six was an introduction to RSS and newsreaders.  I used my Google Reader account to subscribe to several RSS feeds.  The exercise called for the initiation of ten library related RSS subscriptions.  My first thought:  Who has time to read TEN different subscriptions every day, all day?? 

As directed, I subscribed to the Learning 2.0 blog feed, Unshelved, and Reader's Club new review feeds.  I promptly unsubscribed to the Learning 2.0 and Reader's Club feeds.  Learning 2.0's last post was years ago.  No need for this feed!  I noticed the same thing with the Reader's Club feeds that I had chosen.  The RC feeds were a little more recent (last year) but still not current enough to warrant more than an entry in my bookmarks.

My favorite?  Unshelved.  It is a series of library-related cartoons.  Great way to start the day.  Will I continue this subscription?  Don't see why.  I can use Unshelved as my homepage.  It will provide the same service to me.

I did subscribe to several regional alert feeds.  The alerts notify me of emergencies, traffic problems, and weather advisories for specific geographical regions.  Genesee County experienced an airborne irritant alert this morning.  For more information regarding the NY-Alert services go to

I will not be using RSS feeds habitually for a long time.  They are just another thing to check. 

RSS feeds can be a powerful library tool.  They can be used to increase community awareness of library events.  Advertising new technologies and training sessions, promoting teen events, and sharing upcoming after-hours parties for adults are a few additional items that can be shared using RSS feeds.  Announcements that require more than 140 characters can be quickly shared with subscribers by utilizing feeds.

It is now time to discover what is creating that noise in the Xterra's front end. 
I hope all is well out  there!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Which Wiki Will You Wiki?

Wiki Wiki Wiki. My son can make a fun song from the word "Wiki."  The current assignment called for the exploration of wikis.  My wiki experience is limited to online classes.  I found wikis to be a useful tool for communicating with my cyber-classmates.  I was a little put-out by participants' ability to edit any entry in the wiki.  No one took advantage of this feature.  Posted rules were followed.

The Learning 2.0 assignment recommended several wikis.  This blog entry nicely summarize the wiki experience and provided several relevant guidelines for maintaining a public wiki.

I attempted access to the AALL wikis, but the work-space was not available.
Most of the wikis I found appeared to be links to other wikis or to useful websites.

What is in a Wiki?  What ever you want to be in a wiki!  That is the beauty of wikis.  While a blog is a soapbox or podium, a wiki is a conference room.

I feel a wiki would be more appropriate than a blog in my library.  It could be used to keep each other appraised of the Helpdesk calls, publisher quirks, and database irregularities that occur frequently within our organization.

Today's Gripe:  Microsoft.  TechSoup for Libraries provides informationto nonprofits and public libraries regarding the receipt of donated technology.  My problem with Microsoft is their restrictions:
"The following types of organizations are ineligible for Microsoft software donations:
    • Governmental organizations or agencies.
    • Educational institutions, including K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and trade schools.
    • Healthcare organizations and networks, including hospitals, specialty networks, ambulatory healthcare services, home healthcare and assisted living healthcare organizations, research organizations, and laboratories. Exceptions: Community health clinics, medical research groups, behavioral healthcare nonprofits, women's health centers, and blood banks are eligible to request Microsoft software donations.
    • Political, labor, and fraternal organizations; commerce and trade associations without charitable aims or activities; sponsorships of events, tables, exhibitions, or performances; fundraising events such as luncheons, dinners, walks, runs, or sports tournaments.
    • Religious organizations not registered as a charity and without a secular community designation that is separate from the church or religious organization. A secular designation is defined as an organization that provides services to people regardless of their religious beliefs and does not propagate a belief in a specific faith. Example: A food bank with nonprofit or charity status that is run by a church but is a separate and unique organization that provides food and meals to anyone who qualifies for services, regardless of religious beliefs. Religious organizations without secular designations can visit Programs for Charitable Organizations for information regarding licensing options; they may be eligible to receive discounted Microsoft software through these programs.
    • Refurbishers that will be installing the donated software on refurbished computers to be distributed or donated to nonprofits or schools. Please visit theRegistered Refurbisher Program.
    • Nonpublic libraries, including private libraries, school libraries, specialty libraries, armed forces libraries, and libraries in government agencies"

If the aforementioned libraries are restricted from participating in Microsoft's portion of the program, what is left?  Court libraries are government agencies.  Most public libraries are part of a government organization.

 know one public library that is not a part of the Erie County system.  Erie County closed the West Falls branch several years ago.  It is still open, but I could not find a website (does a classmate need a project?).  Maybe the West Falls library will qualify for donated software from Microsoft.

The incredible skies I have viewed that past few days bring us to today's links:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( provides in-depth weather information.  Weather alerts, oceans, satellites, and climates are just a few topics available for exploration.
The National Weather Service ( is a part of NOAA.
The New York State Thruway Authority ( provides up-to-the-minute traffic status for the Interstate highways in New York State.  Web cameras are strategically placed so that travelers can check road conditions before departing from warm safe environments.  This is important in Western and Central New York during the upcoming months.

Happy Trails!