Thursday, July 26, 2007

More Facebook and Flickr

I'm equally obsessed with facebook and flickr.

Yesterday was the first time someone I didn't know commented on my flickr pictures. I had posted pictures of the dorm I stayed in when I went back for my 30th reunion (!!!) at Mount Holyoke. (It was a dump.) Some incoming freshman found my picture and went into a panic about what dorm she should choose next year. I felt kind of bad and tried to steer her to current students on, of course, facebook.

I have struck up a number of conversations with incoming freshman on facebook (thank you Brian Matthews). I have been asked to be their friends, but I'm not kidding myself. I know it's a blanket invitation. In fact one student asked me to be her "top friend", which I'm POSITIVE was a mistake! I alerted the dean of freshman to the Class of 2011 group, which she had never checked out. You certainly get an excellent feel for what they're worried about by reading the posts. I also told one of the IT guys that there seemed to be a lot of confusion about vista. He joined the group, supplied some information and also updated the website. That made me feel good and like I'm not TOTALLY wasting my time here...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Using for a class website

Sue made a web page this morning for a group of summer school students using only tags. (The idea came from Carrie Newsom at at U of Florida.) It's not perfect -- she can't figure out how to change to order of the links. But it was very quick to put together. And now as students send her more links, she can add them.. Kind of a fun experiment.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Schools They Turned Down

There is a fascinating discussion going on the Class of 2011 facebook group. The question -- What schools did you decline offers to go to UR?

They turned down Cornell, Penn State, Brown, Bowdin, USC, George Washington, U Washington, Scripps, Bucknell, Carnegie Mellon, Gettysburg, Virginia Tech, Skidmore, Duke, UNC, NC State, Ohio State, UMichigan, Tufts, Emory, U Illinois, Colgate, Brandeis, Indiana, Wesleyan, Brown, Rice, Wash U, Amherst, U Minnesota, Northeastern, Northwestern, UCLA, Tulane, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Dartmouth, U Virginia, American, Georgetown, Oberlin, Lehigh, RIT, Syracuse, Purdue, Penn, Johns Hopkins, etc....

Reasons they chose UR

financial aid (lots mentioned this)

"so much better"


seemed friendlier

early decision

UR is a "new ivy"

it's about getting an education

brilliant professors who are actually good at teaching

loved my visit (several mentioned this)

got accepted to the 8 year medical program

Reasons they turned down other schools

too big (more than one mentioned this)
they did turn down some full rides. In fact one student wouldn't consider a school until there was a full tuition package

curriculum not as flexible as UR

knew friends who couldn't switch majors because their GPAs weren't high enough

high suicide rates

professors not actually doing the teaching

big names colleges have a lot of ego

ivy league schools don't allow graduates to do research


too close to home

I love to cruise facebook!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Web Page for Future Students

Quite by accident, I was looking at the Colorado State University Libraries homepage. They have a very cool page for "future students". I especially like the quotes from current students in the box "how we use the library". Very nice page. I'd like to do the same thing.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Picture

We finally took a new picture of the reference staff. It takes a lot of shots to get one where everyone has their eyes open and doesn't "look funny".

Mission Accomplished

I have to confess -- I set the bar quite low with these classes we do for freshman (actually pre-freshman) that don't have a library assignment. Sigh. But I am declaring Tuesday's class a complete success. One of the students said she wasn't planning to use the library but now that she had seen it, she probably will. That's a home run as far as I'm concerned.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Too Much Information?

We were having one of our summer technology show and tells today and Sue came up with an interesting idea. Should we add links to our flickr pictures, our librarything accounts, our facebook pages from our staff pages? We're always looking for ways to break down barriers. Would more personal information help or would it be too much??

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where to start?

We did a class for freshman yesterday. Well, they're not even technically freshman yet; they're on campus for a special three week program. We showed them the library homepage. That was excellent. How do you find the library homepage? What is the url? Can you find it in google? Can you get there from the university homepage? We thought we were showing them the course reserves pages.... But I was sitting in the back of the room watching and listening to them, and I realized they didn't know WHAT a reserve book was. Sigh. Go back a step or two. We had them find a book in the stacks. That was useful. They were awed by the size of the library. We ended by showing them the DVD collection. That caught their attention more than anything else. I'm always of mixed mind about these classes. At best they learn their way around the library and come away knowing that there are people to answer their questions. But at worst, they think the library is really lame and a total waste of time. I'm not sure if we can ever undo that impression.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

LibraryThing and the OPAC

Heard a very cool talk by Tim Spalding, found of LibraryThing at ALA. The Danbury Public library has purchased their tags and added them to their catalog. Wow. How cool is that?

I'm looking at the record for an indian cookbook. The LCSH are Cookery, Indian and Cookery, Asian. Cookery??? Who has ever used the word cookery? Asian? Huh?

While the LibraryThing tags include cooking, indian, indian cooking.

We need help and user added tags might be the answer!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Freshman and Facebook

I read an interesting post by Brian Matthews about reaching freshman through Facebook

So I went and checked out the group of the entering UR freshman class, "University of Rochester Class of 2011". It's interesting to see what they're talking about - vista vs. xp, room assignment, what to bring for a dorm room, freshman writing classes, etc. They are also lots of pictures, including some of the library. I joined so I could answer their questions about the pictures and I added a few pictures of Carlson Library. Within minutes someone had commented on my comments and on my pictures! I don't know if it will lead to much, but the response was immediate.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The "no list"

The best talk I heard at ALA was by Don Barlow, Executive Director of the Westerville Public Library. He and his staff keep a running list of all the occasions during the week when they say "no" to a patron. At their staff meetings they review the list and talk about ways to turn the "no" into a "yes. Oh my gosh. This is such a great idea! I turned two "no's" into "yes" before I even got back to work. And they have a cool homepage and even cooler catalog.

Monday, July 02, 2007

You know you work in a geeky library when

students have taken all the free Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) time line posters. Wow. Imagine those in a dorm room!