Friday, September 21, 2007

The World at 2100

Stephen's Lighthouse points out an interesting "curation at The Bibliothèque nationale de France. There is a wonderful online gallery of illustrations by Villemard from 1910 imagining what life would be like in the year 2000."

A few envision the world of mass transport:

A few envision automation:
  • Construction (one architect with a bunch of machines)
  • Barber Shop (I would never...I repeat, NEVER go to a place like this)
And another envisions warfare (sort of a Mad Max scene - SHOOT AT THE TIRES!). And this is interesting as this is prior to World War I and the introduction of the tank. Tanks did not really come into play until World War II. And the French and British did not think that the tank was that important... until Germany showed them how the tank was supposed to be used. So the fact that a French artist in 1910 saw mobile fighting units as being important in the future is interesting indeed (sorry for the historical aside...)

So why is this series important? The paintings envision a future with the tools that were possible (sort of) at the time that the paintings were made. It is difficult to plan for or predict the future when you have no idea what tools will be available for you at that time.

I started working at the library 10 years ago in LINC at the Main Library. We did not have one public Internet access computer in the building. I don't know if I would have predicted the library's importance in providing that access to the public. Because I would not have known that companies would be "forcing" people to fill out online job applications, that e-mail accounts would be a necessity for all.

And when I started my current job as Technical Trainer just three years ago, I had no clue that I would be placing so much content on the Web for all to use. Because these tools were not readily available then.

So how will the library adjust over the next five, ten years? We can certainly envision what we can do with the existing tools at hand. But we cannot predict what new tools will become available to us during that time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The World Waking Up To The Fact That Libraries Are Carrying the Load For Internet Access

Here is a link to an interesting AP article on ("Libraries Facing Internet Traffic Jam") regarding a study recently released by ALA, Florida State, and the Gates Foundation.

Libraries are finding it difficult to locate funds, space, and wiring for additional computers to meet increasingly higher demand (due to sites like YouTube, online job applications, and homework assistance). Some libraries are having to move money and resources away from existing library services (youth outreach, book purchases, etc.) in order to meet the demand for the "new" service of providing internet access to citizens.

Three cheers for the AP for creating this story about this report (the same for for choosing to post it). We need all the help we can get.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Delay Outgoing Outlook Messages In Case You Instantly Regret What You Sent

Have you ever sent an e-mail message only to instantly realize that you forgot to include an attachment, or sent it to the wrong person, or misspelled something, etc.?

If you have, then this tip from the How-To Geek is right for you. It explains how to delay all messages being sent for a certain brief amount of time. This gives you a chance to stop a message if you press Send and instantly wish that you had not.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Placing Holds for Items with Multiple Volumes or Years

I just added some new instructions to the WorkFlows wiki regarding placing holds on items with multiple volumes or years.

Please take a look. Click here to see the new entry.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Staff Language Skills on MPLICWiki

The Staff Language Skills document that was once available on the Staff Intranet as a PDF document is now available via wiki. The prior list was outdated due to staff departures and changes in location. The new list can be updated instantly.

Please keep in mind that the purpose of the Staff Language Skills is to help staff with non-English speaking customers who have information questions either in the building, over the phone or via Internet.

Customer requests for translations should first be offered language dictionaries/books/tapes. If the customer needs further translation assistance or needs a letter, document, form, etc. translated, they should be referred to the Humanities Department, which will use the Translator File to connect the customer to the right translator.

Change to MPLICWiki on the Staff Intranet

MPLICWiki IntranetThe MPLICWiki is no longer listed under the "Web Authoring" heading on the staff intranet. The MPLICWiki now has its own heading with links to several resources currently available on the wiki.

You can either click on the MPLICWiki heading to go to the main page of the MPLICWiki. Or you can take a shortcut to any of the resources found underneath the MPLICWiki heading.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Staff Development Website

We have been working on updating the Staff Development website, using the MPLICWiki. Using the wiki will allow us to make frequent changes so that information remains updated. This also allows us to place training dates on the page as well. So, not only do you receive a detailed description of all of our training opportunities, but you also have links to handouts (still working on adding some of these) and listings of existing training dates.

Let me know what you think as this is still a work in progress.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Future ILS Trainings

Our intermediary trainings on WorkFlows and the EPS were offered in August. Those were WorkFlows Searching, WorkFlows Holds, and EPS OPAC Searching. We offered these trainings to fill an immediate training need while we figured out what the permanent structure of the trainings would be.

The WorkFlows Searching and the EPS OPAC Searching will be absorbed into Search Strategies. The Search Strategies Training Team will meet in early October. In that meeting, we will finalize the new structure of the four-day training. The new ILS has made it necessary to review and restructure three out of the four days. A tentative structure has been agreed upon, with some particulars needing to be ironed out.

And, of course, the structure of the four-day training affects the Search Strategies Refreshers. And the tentative agreement allows us to go ahead and schedule a Search Strategies Catalog Refresher on October 4, 1:30-4:00pm. This Refresher will include searching tips for both WorkFlows and the EPS OPAC.

But what about holds? Well, placing holds is not really classified as "searching", and Search Strategies needs to remain focused on searching. So holds will now be covered in a new required class for new reference staff called Introduction to WorkFlows. This class will cover basic searching, holds, marking items missing, discarding items, sending items to Tech Services, changing Item IDs, adding Circ Notes, etc.

So keep your eye out for future training opportunities. There will be plenty.