Thursday, July 27, 2006

Paying Partial Attention to Many Things?

I just got through watching an old online seminar on the SirsiDynix Institute archive, titled When Everything Connects to Everything: The Impact On People's Relationships to Each Other and to Information.

In that seminar, Lee Rainie discusses Linda Stones concept of Continuous Partial Attention as it related to the Millenials (people born 1982-2000) and their tendency to be constantly on the lookout for better opportunities via their many technology portals (IM, mobile phone, etc.).

This practice is related and similar to the process of multi-tasking and, in my own words, being scatter-brained. It appears to me that teenagers always did this sort of thing, however, they have technological tools that allow them to be immersed in this practice even more.

But is this concept limited to Millenials? To take another look at the concept of Continuous Partial Attention, the Distant Librarian discusses this affect on our workflow. She states:

When was the last time you were in a conversation with someone at work and you gave that person 100% of your attention?

To rephrase this, when was the last time you were in a conversation with a customer and you gave that person 100% of your attention?

With air conditioners breaking down, computers being overbooked, print card machines giving customers a hard time, fellow staff members not relieving you at the desk in a timely fashion, e-mail messages backing up, reference desk telephone ringing, a certain off-desk project deadline approaching, line at the circulation desk getting long, are we still able to give our current customer 100% of our attention?


Perhaps our current customer CAN be our Calgon. . . because for that moment, that fleeting moment, all that matters is helping that customer find what they need.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Paying Attention to DOPA?

The House may vote on DOPA today. Read this ALA notice for further information.

What is DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act)? The above article explains it this way:

DOPA would extend the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) by requiring schools and libraries that receive E-rate support to block chat rooms and social networking web sites like MySpace.

What sort of message would this send to our teenage customers?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Newsbank's New Service: America's News Magazines

Newsbank has added some additional sources recently. While Newsbank has traditionally been a source for newspapers, these new sources are some familiar magazines such as Newsweek, People Weekly, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, etc.

When you access Newsbank, you will have two main links: 1) America's Newspapers; 2) America's News Magazines. Click on America's News Magazines and you will be taken to a list of the available magazines.

Be careful when using this, though. While this is a great service, we also subscribe to InfoTrac Onefile, and many of these sources are also available in InfoTrac Onefile (sometimes with broader full text coverage).

For example, Newsbank has full text coverage for Fortune from 1993 to current. InfoTrac has full text coverage for Fortune from 1983 to current.

Network Neutrality and Us

Someone recently asked what I thought about Network Neutrality. As people who work in libraries, how will this effect us? First off, what is it?

Well, Doris passed on this wonderful link to an ALA site dealing with Network Neutrality.

This site has the answers to your questions. Take a look.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Using Watermarks in Word

Someone recently asked how they could add the word "DRAFT" behind their text on their Word document. Technically speaking, they wanted to add a watermark to their document.

To add a watermark:

  1. Click on the Format menu.
  2. Point to Background and a menu will appear.
  3. At the bottom of the menu, you will see Printed Watermark. . . Click on it and a separate dialog box will appear.
  4. You have three radio buttons (1. No watermark; 2. Picture watermark; 3. Text watermark). To add text, click on Text watermark.
  5. Use the dropdown menu to select the word(s) you want to use as your watermark (ex. Draft, Top Secret, etc.).
  6. Click OK.