Wednesday, September 24, 2008

of tags, tag clouds and OPACS

Tags in your library catalog.
Many have asked: "would users do it?", "why would users do it?"
(and always: "wouldn't that be the end of the world?")

Darien shows great ways to kick start it:
Darien Sopac Tags

they are showing them off, creating a buzz, making it fun...
I have no doubt people will find why, how and when to tag library records in their opac

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Monday, September 22, 2008

text bytes

reading around last week, I loved:

"..if you enforce the intended purpose of something, it greatly reduces its use."
the effing librarian


"If you have the same problem over and over, maybe it's not a problem, maybe it's a fact."
Clay Shirky

quoted in a Blyberg twitter

“don’t toss up a bunch of bibliographic citations when a decent URL will do. You’re online, act like you’re online.”
Jessamyn West

quoted at maisonbisson

"Sports is to war as pornography is to sex."
Jonathan Haidt

TED blog


" takes 100 crazy ideas to find 10 worth funding experimentally in order to identify 1 project worth pursuing..."
Eric Schnell
probably, likely, I think quoted at TameTheWeb

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Google Sketchup

Hey Hey Hey, thanks to Paul for pointing it out, no more core board for me:

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Friday, September 12, 2008

PayPal bust

file under "this is broken":

I set up a PayPal account for my library to directly collect fees and fines from the OPAC...
I create the account with PayPal, have it email me (and a few back ups) about deposits etc. The PayPal account is linked it to my employer's bank account.
Beside the fact that I was puzzled by the absence of a way to automatically transfer the $ from the PayPal account into the associated bank account, I now find out that all PayPal accounts have a $500/month WITHDRAWAL limit (yes that is what they consider that kind of transfer to be.) That limit can only be lifted by giving PayPal either a SSN or a CC#. Of course, MPOW doesn't allow me to use my SSN or CC for that purpose, and I now find out that PayPal cannot accept an Employer Identification Number in lieu of a SSN. Isn't that the SSN for businesses?
Anyway, I get the really stiff "nothing we can do" on the phone, "these are the 2 options for lifting limits", "can't you get a debit card from the bank?" la, la, la... There is only 1 level of supervisor you can talk to...

I really hope that bureaucracy does not force me to terminate this service before it even takes flight...

so bummed (did I already say that?) and now grumpy...
I miss Zappos!

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I love to tinker, we are expanding a library to add a youth services wing, and there we plan a lot of really really cool things. one of these is a wifi cafe where we want to offer power (A/C) right in the booths. We debated how to best have powe outlet in an eating drinking surface. I tried to draw up my ides but I am not that good at it. I turned to coreboard and made this:
wi-fi cafe table
note the funny photocopy of an outlet glued to the surface made from this phototaken with my cellphone, emailed to flickr so it could be printed pronto.
I had fun. Hope the booths turn out good. Furniture folks will probably laugh at me but hopefully they get the idea and come up with a real no crumbs no coffee solution.
note the "wave" line exists in many forms in the building and other furniture.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

of learning

" very careful of what you put in people's heads..." so true...

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

my little brag

we finally have Paypal access thru the OPAC. it credits the user's account in Unicorn in real time. it wasn't hard, SD offers the option. really, getting the accounting side of it organized was the hardest part...
i know it's not much compared to what Gwinnett and Darien just did but hey, here's to a nice thing done. i shall buy myself a drink tonight.

update 9/5/08:
well, I never got to get myself that drink. It took a few days for the 1st user to discover/try and it seems like the PayPal IPN (instant payment notification) is VERY slow at times. All my testing was done in the early morning hours and I could see credit applied to my library account in Unicorn immediately. The 1st true payment took a whole hour to post. subsequent tests (mid-day, and afternoon) were just as disapointing... Then again this morning at 7, immediate credit appears. I hope this is not what SD and PayPal call "minimal delay"...
more to come

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Darien Library Model

Blyberg Rocks! See for yourself

Darien Library Director Louise Berry:
...John Blyberg, Darien Library’s Head of Technology and Digital Initiatives, has created our website and the connection to our online catalog using open source software, and at his initiative, we are making it freely available to all libraries, as a contribution to strengthening the role of all libraries in their communities.

Michael puts it best :
“This, friends, is huge - or it has the potential to be huge. The next step is for libraries - many libraries of all types and sizes — to explore this option, to try it out, to make it so…”

also read LJ article

credit also must go to the team that designed this website. the way it's organized, the simplicity and the meat behind it is spectacular.
I just registered and played aroud a little.
Man, it is truly a great usability design.

update 2 the update (He DID do it all!):
Thanks Alan for the clarification. I have been a long time fan of John, and this only goes to confirm and further my admiration. You guys are lucky to have him on your team, we are all lucky to have him in our field.

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