Friday, March 30, 2007

Registering in order to give a presentation

I've been reading with fascination Michelle Boule's posts about give a full day preconference at TLA. Not only is she not getting paid for the preconference, they are REQUIRING that she register for the conference in order to give her presentation. I'm impressed that she is throwing a fit and such a public one. Now it turns out that she misunderstood the letter from TLA, but I know from personal experience, that this situation is not out of the realm of possibility. It happened to me last fall at the USAIN meeting. I was being a sport and filling in for a speaker who cancelled at the last minute. I had to drive two hours down to Ithaca. And when I got there, they demanded that I pay the registration fee. I argued briefly, and then just gave up. I won't do that again!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Taking a break from signage

I've decided that we had gone over board with the signage. We had signs about recalling books, extension cords, wireless printing, saving to flash drives, and printing clusters. It was just becoming a big clutter of information that no one paid any attention to. I went out this morning and just picked up every single sign holder on every single table and put it away. We are officially taking a break from signage!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A sweet story about two of my librarians

This is a sweet story. Katherine O'Clair, a life sciences librarian at Arizona State, is one of the 2007 Library Journal's "Movers and Shakers". She is a graduate of Nazareth College which is in Rochester. She became a librarian in part because of her positive interactions with Isabel and Kenn, who helped her when she was working on her biology papers and using our collections! How often do we actually know that we've had an impact on someone's life? Not very often!

Living the Life Sciences

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Back ups

When we interviewed faculty as part of our IMLS grant two years ago, we were struck by what a big problem it was for them to keep backups of important texts and files. Now we're interviewing graduate students, and again, they go through all kinds of hoops to backup their data. They back up their files to laptops, lab computers, flash drives, ipods, gmail, and finally print. I was feeling kind of superior until we lost access to our library network drive for 48 hours. Yikes!!! Suddenly sending myself an attachment on gmail didn't seem so silly after all.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Finding an article in a print journal

Twenty years of helping students find articles in print journals, and it's still just as hard as it always was and is still completely non-intuitive. I just helped a woman find a journal title. She had dutifully looked up the call number in the OPAC. And that's all she had. No author, no title, no year, no page. She understood the problem when I showed her shelves and shelves of bound journals. Who could blame her for being ticked off at having to go back and redo her work? Sigh. No wonder everyone (me included) chooses the online article whenever possible.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Google Personalized Home

Oh my gosh, we're having so much fun playing around with the google personalized homepage. It's probably been available for months, but we just noticed it. And we LOVE the different themes. The tea house theme goes dark at night. The little fox is asleep in the bed at night. When it's raining outside, the tea house is dark. At noon, a picnic table appears. It's too clever!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Hole Punch has been set free!!!

I had the illuminating experience this morning of being a patron. I tried to the use the three hole punch that we've put by the printers. Hmmmm. It turned out to be almost impossible to actually use because we have it secured with a cable and lock. It doesn't seem to make much sense to put out a hole punch if it can't actually be used to punch holes.... I set it free and we'll just take our chances with theft. Somehow I think people are more interested in stealing laptops and ipods than a hole punch.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Self Check out Machines

I shouldn't have done this, but I squashed concerns yesterday about installing a self check out machine. But good grief. I saw a woman with a SEEING EYE DOG use one at Seattle Public Library!!! I'm pretty sure our geeky UR students can figure out this technology....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Extension Cords

We're checking out something new at the circulation desk - extension cords! We now have laptop locks, desk lamps, and extension cords. Students are moving tables and chairs all over the place in order to plug in their laptops. We looked into the cost of adding new outlets, but it was prohibitive. Just buying a half dozen extension cords and checking them out seemed to solve the problem without breaking the bank!