I recently answered a few questions for a Viewpoint/Interview piece in the upcoming Reference Services Review (38/2), most of which is now available to subscribers in pre-print. The issue is devoted to mobile services in libraries and features some of the smartest content I've seen on the subject thus far. Several of the articles are... Continue Reading →

straight up.

My ALA MARS presentation went extremely well, not only for the fact that I was on enough to crack people up, but for the mountain of positive feedback I received regarding a specific aspect of my talk. Tons of people expressed their surprise at my "brutal" honesty about the fact that most of what we've... Continue Reading →

card goes in, book comes out.

I'm always interested in news about developing kiosk/remote/ library service models - particularly ones that seem like they will actually work - so I was happy to hear that a Contra Costa County Library BART station book lending machine is now operational. The program is known as Library-a-Go-Go, and you can read a press release... Continue Reading →

reconstituting the video kiosk.

Much of my last year's program experimentation time was devoted to a series of Skype reference pilots created in collaboration with my Technology Team colleagues at Ohio University - an interesting process to say the least. In one of these programs we set up a reference kiosk that maintained a perpetual Skype videocall with a... Continue Reading →

meebo in the catalog.

In Mashing on the Library, Part 1 Jenny over at the Shifted Librarian profiles examples of libraries who have integrated Meebo widgets into their OPAC. Sarah at Librarian in Black has a similar post. Judging from our incredibly positive experience with Meebo reference the in-catalog widget approach couldn't help but be a success, and Sarah... Continue Reading →

(underwhelming) meebo firefox extension.

I've been trying out the new Meebo extension for Firefox: It enables a collapsible Meebo contact list that displays on the left side of the browser window and also sends popup notifications to your desktop when messages arrive: Although it has a lot of potential to improve Meebo's functionality for Firefox users, it also has... Continue Reading →

tokbox your librarian

I was recently contacted by Dennis Clark, head of Reference at the Texas A&M Libraries, about OU's Skype a Librarian pilots. He expressed interest in how video is working in terms of public services, which is unfortunately not a question that can be answered in a few words - I'm still working on a series... Continue Reading →

overprivileging privacy?

Since the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 librarians have become increasingly expert at protecting information freedoms from an unprecedented degree of governmental scrutiny - aptly described by K. G. Schneider as "antispeech legislation" in 2002, the Patriot Act was reinstated in 2006 with few revisions. In libraries, privacy is paramount. We offer open... Continue Reading →

skype in the university of canterbury libraries

The University of Canterbury Libraries in Christchurch, New Zealand are running a Skype-based video pilot for their national Library Week. I've been communicating with Engineering Information librarian Deborah Fitchett about the experiement - she initially contacted me about potential Skype security and bandwidth concerns from her campus IT department (we've not had any issues, by... Continue Reading →

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