Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blog Business: New Additions

Two important blog additions: a "How to Subscribe" page (self-explanatory) and a "Subject Guide" page (explained more fully below).

The Welcome post mentioned that "this will be an evolving work." There is definitely a learning curve in creating a blog and a good deal of that is using it enough to identify some of the features that make up a good blog.

Part of the determination in selecting Blogger as the host for this was price (free) and ease of use for training purposes in a classroom. Blogger will likely stay the host for this blog, despite the fact that there are some features missing from the "most wanted" list.

Chief among these is the lack of subject headings (categories in blogspeak) and trackback pings. (For further details, there are some great posts about comparing features and some workarounds in the Blogger section of the How To Blog blog.)

In an attempt to pretend that there are categories, there is now a slightly clunky Subject Guide page at the CFLC Web site that will at least give some major groupings for readers who would like to see them. Bear in mind, it is "homemade," not technically part of the blog, and will look different from the blog itself. (See the "Subjects" at the end of this posting.) Trackback pings will just have to wait a while...

Feedback, as always, would be appreciated.


Workshop Wealth: New CFLC Workshops

CFLC will be having a busy summer! Check out the summer quarter's workshops and classes at the CFLC Workshops Page.

Some of CFLC's new classes include: PowerPoint Level 2; Library Blogs & News Feeds; Boomers & Gamers: Serving Different Generations; Change Management in Libraries; and Internet Resources for Spanish-Speaking Patrons.

Some statewide events scheduled in the CFLC region include: The Gentle Introduction to Library IT series and the New Planning For Results session.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Reference Riches: ALA Program Highlights

From the LITA Blog covering the American Library Association Annual Conference comes a thought-provoking entry, Reference Interactions in the Digital Age: Revising the RUSA Behavioral Guidelines. The revised guidelines themselves, found here, address specific behavioral issues as they apply to general, in person, and remote reference. This particular summary concentrates on the panel's discussions of providing remote reference. The new guidelines and discussion of them will be incorporated into the CFLC Workshops, Ready Reference for Paraprofessionals and The Reference Interview; watch for them soon!


Workshop Wealth: Free from SOLINET

SOLINET has announced that there is still plenty of room in its upcoming FREE one-hour Web-based workshop introducing WebJunction, OCLC's ever-growing library online collaborative community. The session is scheduled for Friday, July 8, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and registration is requested by Friday, July 1. Further information about the class and registration information can be found here.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Technology Tales: Wikis and ALA

Going to the upcoming American Library Association Annual Conference this week in Chicago? Check out the unofficial wiki for the conference: ALA Chicago 2005 Main Page--ALA Chicago Wiki.

At present the site has sections on: Newbies, Conference, Chicago, Calendar, and Links. Use this wiki to gather tips to make your conference experience better, or, since this is an interactive format, contribute your own tips to help others.

Not going and suffering from Conference Envy? Try the "Conference Bloggers" list on the wiki to learn which folks will be blogging their experiences from the conference. Drop in on or subscribe to the blogs and experience the conference without the sore feet!


Web Search Stuff: Google Help for ALA

In the spirit of killing two birds with one stone, I post this to share with members who may be going to the upcoming American Library Association Annual Conference this week in Chicago and with those interested in things Google.

Check out the beta Google Ride service on the Google Labs page. Chicago is one of the selected metro areas for which you can "find a taxi, limousine or shuttle using real time position of vehicles." Balloons color-coded by company show up on a Google map and indicate the actual location of the vehicles, with the positional information usually less than five minutes old.

So, visit Chicago, have a wonderful conference, and in the event that you need a ride, "enter a zip code, the name of a city or even a specific address" and reduce your wait by finding the company with the most vehicles in your vicinity!


Friday, June 17, 2005

Tips: "Reveal Codes" in Word?

Does your Word document change styles on you unexpectedly? Are you a former WordPerfect user who desperately misses the "reveal codes" function? During a conversation about exactly that, a workshop participant offered this nugget yesterday: now there is a program that shows those hidden format codes and offers the same functionality for Word.

Check out the information on CrossEyes and note that there is a free trial available. Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of this product. Not even the participant offering the information has used this program, let alone anyone at CFLC, but it does seem to have great potential and appears to be similar to "reveal codes."


Technology Tales: Blogs

The Library Blogs & News Feeds class yesterday at CFLC included lively discussions of the World "Live" Web and may have inspired some of the participants to create their own blogs. Anyone who does create one is invited to publicize it through this blog.

For others who want to join the conversation and learn more about new technologies and how libraries are using them, the workshop will be held again August 16 in Volusia and September 14 at CFLC.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

OCLC Downtime Redux

Again a post of relevance to our members from the OCLC Resource Sharing List:

Subject: Update on ILL Direct Request

Though a great deal of progress was made today thanks to the five institutions testing with us, an issue with loss of patron data on incoming requests was found. Due to the level of effort necessary to fix this problem ILL Direct Request will not be made available until Monday June 20th. A message will be posted to this list when ILL Direct Request is brought up live.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Web Search Stuff: Twingine for Comparison

Having just taught a class and used this tool last week, it occurred to me that CFLC members might enjoy experimenting with and using a relatively new tool that, when searched, displays side-by-side results from both the Yahoo! and Google search engines, Twingine (formerly YaGoohoo!gle).

If you'd like to see Twingine in action, come to the upcoming workshop, Google Like a Goo-Ru!, at Volusia on Wednesday, August 10.


OCLC Downtime Extended

Again a post of relevance to our members from the OCLC Resource Sharing List:

Subject: OCLC ILL Direct Request to be temporarily unavailable

OCLC has found that ILL Direct Requests are failing at nearly a 90% rate. As a result, we will be taking down ILL Direct Request at approximately 9:15 am EDT today (Tuesday, June 14). If ILL Direct Request is not available by 5:00 pm EDT today, a status report will be sent.

OCLC regrets this inconvenience to our member libraries.


Friday, June 10, 2005

OCLC Downtime

Some posts of relevance to our members from the OCLC Resource Sharing List:

REMINDER: WorldCat Resource Sharing/ILLiad Downtime June 10-13, 2005

The WorldCat Resource Sharing data migration weekend has arrived. This is to remind all our members that the system will be taken down tonight at 11:00 p.m. EST and is scheduled to come back live 12:01 a.m. EST on Monday morning (e.g. right after midnight Sunday). This affects users of WorldCat Resource Sharing and OCLC ILLiad.

We encourage all members to check the list where they have seen this message first thing on Monday morning before starting work for any final messages concerning the migration.

Subject: ISO-ILL Downtime June 10-14, 2005

This message only affects libraries and systems which communicate with WorldCat Resource Sharing via the ISO ILL protocol. It does not affect libraries and systems using IDR or Web Services.

As part of the migration of WorldCat Resource Sharing to the new platform the ISO ILL server has also been re-written. To ensure the migration proceeds smoothly for all OCLC member libraries, OCLC will conduct final testing with ISO on Monday June 13th. Therefore the ISO ILL server will not be brought back live until Tuesday June 14th at 7:00 a.m. EST. A message confirming the server is available will be distributed via this and other lists on Tuesday.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Technology Tales: Webcasting & Podcasting

I participated in my first Webcast session on Wednesday and found the content quite good, but the technology fascinating. I would give the citation for the site here, but it is a closed "by invitation only" site. I will talk about it in more detail and show some screen shots from the site at the upcoming Library Blogs and News Feeds workshop at CFLC next Thursday, June 16.

Also finding myself faced with a long drive on Wednesday and Thursday and wanting to make it more productive, I listened for the first time to a podcast, another technology that will be discussed in detail at an upcoming workshop, Technology Update, at Volusia on Wednesday, August 10.

I commend these particular podcasts highly for anyone wanting to learn more about the cutting edge of library technology applications. I found these detailed in an excellent blog, The Shifted Librarian, by Jenny Levine, one of the participants in the conference being recorded, the spring program of the New England Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Although I found it very difficult to hear the contents clearly over the automobile and highway noises and had an almost overwhelming desire to take notes while driving, I still enjoyed them and learned a lot. I'll have to listen to certain sections again when I can actually hear them all, take notes, and look at the downloadable accompanying handouts at the same time!


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Welcome & Objectives

Welcome to CFLC Currents, the new blog for and about the Central Florida Library Cooperative in Maitland, Florida. We are one of six Florida Multitype Library Cooperatives (MLCs) and serve an eight-county area in Central Florida. The MLCs are non-profit membership organizations serving libraries and library staff, and the CFLC Mission Statement can be found here.

Part of the mission as stated is to provide "seamless access to the wealth of information available" to members and this blog is another step in attempting to do just that.

What will be covered here?

1. Information about CFLC Events.

2. Tips and tricks and hints related to CFLC training workshops, a schedule of which can be found here (and registration for which is not limited to members only). CFLC workshops run the gamut from technology training to Internet resources to "soft" skills.

3. Other items deemed by the CFLC staff to be of relevance or use to our members and other interested parties.

Needless to say, this will be an evolving work and feedback is appreciated!