June 20, 2007
Posted on behalf of Lisa Coats--
On June 14th the Reference Section presented a program hosted by Monmouth University Library. It was attended by 26 people including librarians from public, medical, special and academic libraries, as well as a few library science students.
After a networking session over coffee, Lisa Coats, a Librarian at MU Library and a member of the Reference Section, gave a tour of the library. Part of the beautiful building was originally a summer ‘cottage’ designed for Murry and Leonie Guggenheim in 1903 and completed in 1905. Leonie passed away in 1959 (Murry died in 1939) and the estate was conveyed to then Monmouth College in 1960. Some modifications were made to convert the home into a library and it was dedicated as the Murry and Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library on September 24, 1961. In 1978 it was entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
Years later, after the completion of a 14 million dollar restoration and renovation project completed in 2005, the mansion is finally more equipped to house a university collection, while maintaining much of the original structure for administrative, circulation, and reference space. It is now known as the Monmouth University Library, though many of the offices, study rooms and the Library Café are considered part of the “Guggenheim Wing”.
The tour concluded in the Instructional Lab where Dr. Ravindra Sharma, the Dean of MU Library, spoke on the development of international librarianship and its importance in the twenty-first century. Dr. Sharma began his talk by giving a brief introduction on the beginning of libraries and presented the history of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). He also espoused on his visits to libraries in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Mexico, Northern Ireland, and France. Dr. Sharma encouraged the attendees to get involved with IFLA, read and write for journals on international librarianship, and to urge the American Library Association (ALA) to focus more on librarianship outside of the United States. He entertained questions at the end of his talk and joined the group for lunch where he continued the discussion.
The NJLA Reference Section would like to thank Dr. Sharma for speaking and for hosting this successful event.
May 2, 2007
Super Searcher Robert Lackie
How many of us—when we learned that Robert Lackie would teach a session on finding personal information online—clamored to attend his Wednesday session, secretly hoping Robert would show us every website that would give us the lowdown and dirty secrets on, well, just about anyone?
When retelling our NJLA experience to colleagues, we justified our prying instincts, saying we attended Robert’s session all in the name of professional development. Robert appealed to the latent stalker in most everyone who attended the program…but certainly not me…really.
On a more serious note, Robert presented some unsettling things to think about: the fact that Zabasearch.com published social security numbers, available online and for free; the fact that so much personal information comes from the government’s public records, such as housing and tax records and that whether you request your name be removed from one people search site, there’s no stopping another site from posting that exact same information elsewhere.
A couple of brave souls volunteered their names for Robert to use as examples in internet searches. Robert plugged these volunteers’ names into sites, such as Zaba, Wink, Private Eye (Because You Need to Know!) and cross referenced various sites to develop a full profile of the person being searched.
Visit www.kn.sbc.com/wired/fil/pages/liststudentpe3.html for a full list of personal search sites online.
Posted by Valerie haeder
April 27, 2007
Incorporating Tutorials Into Library Instruction
Eleonora Dubicki, Monmouth University
Annemarie Roscello, Bergen Community College
Ruth Hamann, Passaic County Community College
Eleonora opened the presentation with an overview of how library instruction has evolved. Lectures and handouts have been replaced by tutorials and hands-on practice. The types of tutorials vary in format from simple handouts such as a PDF on using WilsonWeb, to EBSCO’s Basic Searching Powerpoint slides, to interactive content seen in the University of Wisconsin’s CLUE multimedia tutorial, http://clue.library.wisc.edu/
Annemarie continued with showing a graphic illustrating the most effective learning (75%) takes place when students ‘practice doing.’ She also encouraged us to incorporate gaming into learning as this will engage the learner more. Additional challenging questions posed for the audience were, ‘what can we do to improve learning and retention without becoming programmers?’
Rounding out this presentation, Ruth introduced us to the ARCS Model of Model of Motivation for Instructional design by John Keller. We need to rely on and use the tools of instructional design: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction as we design and create tutorials for our students.
A discussion of vendor-produced tutorials versus in-house production followed. The User Education Committee of ACRL/NJLA conducted a comprehensive review and evaluation of online database tutorials both vendor-created and library/librarian created. This valuable table was included as a handout. Some sites Ruth showed included the following:
Guess-the-Google, http://grant.robinson.name/projects/guess-the-google/guess-the-google.swf an image guess game.
An engaging tutorial on business research from Baruch College: http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/tutorials/zicklin/research/
posted by Chris Herz, Gloucester County College
More Captivating Your Audience
The session was a smorgasbord of how librarians are using Captivate in a variety of teaching settings. Four presentations were packed into the 50-minute allotted time. This User Education Committee sponsored-session gave a great value for your limited conference time! I opened the program with the following:
Creating Image Movies: More Than a Simple Slideshow
Chris Herz, Gloucester County College
Instead of PowerPoint use Captivate to create an image movie. To the resulting movie you may enhance the images with text captions, highlight boxes, and audio. The timeline feature in Captivate gives you director control of your movie.
Captivating First-Year Students: A Different Take on a Web Tour.
Leslie Murtha, Princeton University
Leslie gave an overview of the time it took from learning Captivate to its implementation in rolling out a polished, finished tutorial for first year students. While it is a tour of the library’s website, it also introduces students to its digital resources. Leslie's Captivate project can be viewed here:
What Makes a Journal Scholarly?
Eileen Stec, Rutgers University
Eileen engaged the audience much as she does her students by inviting us to recall a sporting event and asking some questions leading us to the concept of the rule-enforcer, the referee. Eileen’s presentation can be viewed:
A title Eileen recommended:
Conrad, R. & Donaldson, J. A. (2004). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Captivate Tutorials, We Can Build Them But What Are We Going to Do With Them?
William Vincenti and Nicole Cooke, Montclair University
Bill discussed their experience with getting familiar with Captivate and then his and Nicole’s sales pitch to their Reference Dept. and Administration to garner support for the project.
Both their tutorial, Finding Periodicals, and their presentation are available here: http://blake.montclair.edu/~vincentiw/Captivate/FindPeriodical/
posted by Chris Herz, Gloucester County College
April 26, 2007
Ran's Ready Reference
Dr. Ran Hock, former librarian and founder of Online Strategies, presented "Exploring Internet-Enhanced Ready Reference” at the NJLA pre-conference on Monday, 23 April. Dr. Hock hailed the internet, comparing the easy-to-find information of today to what was available in print before the advent of online data. He cited an example that many a librarian related to: that of the confused patron who saunters up to a reference librarian asking for an article on a general topic from Time about two months ago. As we all know, the patron might have wanted an article from Newsweek published about two years ago. Dr. Hock pointed out that finding the specific article that patron wanted would have been nearly impossible before articles and databases were online; but with digitized information, a librarian can provide exactly what the patron is looking for.
The database example aside, Ran Hock listed the sources he uses the most—sources not unfamiliar to the librarian or the layman. He presented some shortcut searches in Google: for example, to search for a phone number without going to a white or yellow pages website, simply enter a person’s last name followed by the town and state that person lives in. Similarly, you can try the same thing for a business, and one of the first results Google yields—if not the first—is a phone number and address. Another shortcut that Hock highlighted is the calculator and conversion tools in ask.com, Google and Yahoo.
Dr. Hock suggests looking at websites’ “nooks and crannies”—all of the extra links found in a web page that offer a plethora of information. He visited the CIA’s World Factbook site, viewed a country’s profile and clicked on the icons within the page. (In the World Factbook, the icons—the nooks and crannies—provide metadata, comparisons and graphs.) He points out that a searcher could spend several hours on the Internet, browsing these ready reference sources, but that’s our job; we should be doing that!
One fun site Dr. Hock recommended is www.forbes.com/lists, such as Forbes’ list of 400 wealthiest people—which what you’d expect to find on a Forbes list—and less common lists, such as the top tastemakers, most romantic hotels and smart cars for teenagers, just to name a few.
To get a full list of the ready reference sites Dr. Hock mentioned in his class, go to www.onstrat.com/reference.
Posted by Valerie Haeder
April 24, 2007
Graphic Novels- Not in the closet anymore!
Your guest blogger: Laverne Mann, Reference Librarian/Adult Trainer for the Ewing Branch Library, Mercer Cty Library System. My personal blog is Redhead Fangirl, where I write about comics, graphic novels, librarians, redheads in comics, my MidJersey Comicon, and lots of other stuff!
On a picture perfect spring day, librarians descended on the Ocean Place Resort for the first full day of the NJLA conference. A quick camera phone image shows the view from the conference center in Long Branch, which has gone through a lot of development in the last few years of conferences here. Remember when Ocean Place was the only large building?
I went to 4 sessions, and the keynote today, and I'm going to blog about Graphic Novels: Not in the Closet Anymore!, presented by Saleena Davidson (another redheaded librarian comic fan like myself!) of South Brunswick Public Library and Janet Rosolanko of Hillsborough Public Library.
There were three handouts: TokyoPop rating system [important to all school and public librarians!], some YA and Adult titles with gay characters, and a list of websites.
Janet suggested the title Serving Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens, ISBN 978-1-55570-566-4. Paraphrasing, Janet said that while the amount of GN literature is vastly improved and readily available, "a lot of hope but also still homophobia for the average queer teenager, who can experience harassment almost daily.".
For librarians, "adolescence can be a lonely time, and teens look for reflections of themselves, so we need to serve ALL our populations in materials"
Seleena gave an overview from The Gay League- LGBT Comics Timeline, an excellent resource:
Welcome to the GLA Timeline! In these pages we have attempted to catalog the representation of the LGBT community in comic books and comic strips. We start with the earliest days of the format, when gay content could only be hinted at; through to the time of the gay liberation movement when LGBT themes began to appear overtly
This table image shows some of the suggested titles: Y the Last Man, Death, Fun Home, Desire, Antique Bakery.
Saleena also discussed going to the NY Comicon [librarians given free passes- I've taken advantage two years in a row! Great librarian and comic/graphic novel special panels, and you can 'geek-out' completely!] She got a book from PrismComics for $5.95 on LGBT guide to comics.
Actually, I love to see that crossover into NJLA exhibits-- small or indie comics publishers who could promote and sell their work at NJLA...hint, hint...
Well, it was a 13 hour day and I hope this gives you some insight into just one session! Thank you Seleena and Janet! I even sat in front of David Lisa, one of the writers of the new Super Librarian comic, and the Director of the West Long Branch Library. All librarians should get a copy and help promote Super Librarian!
April 3, 2007
Print and Electronic Resources
The issues surrounding print and electronic resources will be around for some time to come. One meeting, article or discussion will not answer all our questions or even provide a satisfactory solution. Each conversation, communication or interaction is a small step in a long journey.
The Reference Section provided such a step on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at the Mount Olive Public Library in a program about print and electronic resources. Over forty people were in attendance, which speaks to the importance of this issue. The speakers were Angela Camack of Sussex County College, Eduardo Gil, Periodicals Librarian, Harry A. Sprague Library, Montclair State University, David Lisa, Director, West Long Branch Public Library and Karen Parry, Head of Reference, East Brunswick Public Library. Below is a brief summary of the proceedings.
The cost, availability and stability of resources are three very important considerations. We all have budgets to adhere to and how we spend our money is crucial to supplying our patrons with the appropriate materials. Consideration must be given to how our patrons are accessing information. Increasingly it is online and remotely. Providing electronic formats, whether in the form of databases, e-books or e-audiobooks, is going to become fundamental to what we do because patrons are going to expect this type of service. More and more materials are becoming available in electronic format, some exclusively so. In many cases the electronic format costs less than the print version, or because of remote access, is available to a larger audience, thus lowering the overall cost to the institution. A major concern to librarians everywhere is the stability of access to the information, especially the archives. When we purchase print resources we have them until we remove them from our collections. This isn’t always the case with electronic resources. Concerns arise over the issue of whether we pay only for the right to access the information or whether we have future access to the information we paid for.
Future generations are going to be involved electronically in ways that we can’t even imagine today. Another issue facing us is how we present our services. Reference service is taking on a new face and will continue to change over our careers. What do we do with our collections and how do we reinvent our services? More and more librarians are getting out from behind the desk and walking the floor. Wireless laptops allow librarians to go to the patrons. Remote access allows patrons to get information no matter where they are or what time it is.
Three trends that we should watch for are online delivery, remote access and virtual reference services such as Q&A NJ. As more resources are available online, the demand for them will increase and patrons will expect more efficient delivery of services. Remote access will give patrons the ability to use the library 24/7. Virtual reference, a combination of personal reference service with the convenience of electronic delivery, is a very valuable and growing service.
There are many questions to ask when considering how to deal with print and electronic resources:
-What is the cost
-What are the needs of my library and its patrons
-Are databases the best resource for current information
-Should there be a cooperative effort to retain information archives
-How should staff and the public be trained to find and use electronic resources
-How would an increase in electronic resources impact the use of computers in the library
-Is library use affected by remote access and what does that mean to us
-How can we prepare for changes in software and hardware
-How do we effectively market electronic resources
-Will electronic resources alter the way patrons use the print fiction and nonfiction collections
At the ALA Annual Conference in June, the preliminary program lists the following program: “Reference Books Bulletin: Is Print Reference Dead? - A panel will discuss whether the print reference collection is a thing of the past or whether it still has a place in the increasingly electronic world of reference.” Another step in our journey.
It is clear from the March 27 meeting that there are many differing opinions. And there won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. Each library, branch and department will have to reassess its’ needs and decide what is most important to its patrons. The most difficult part of this equation will be the need for us to change. As technology changes we must adapt our services to stay relevant. Libraries will always be an important part of society, but it doesn’t come with a free pass.
Please watch the listservs in the coming months for more programs on print and electronic resources.
-- Paul Schroeder
February 6, 2007
The American Community Survey from the U.S. Census
“Helping you make informed decisions” is a motto of the Census Bureau, just as it is a mission of libraries. As the country undergoes rapid demographic changes, decennial census figures do not represent current realities, so, to create a better basis for decision making, the American Community Survey came into being. On August 8, 2006, at the Camden County Library, November 13, 2006, at the CJRLC office, and on January 25, 2007, at the Morris County Library, Whittona Burrell, from the Bureau’s Philadelphia office, which covers southern New Jersey, and Rosemarie Fogarty, from the New York office, which takes care of northern New Jersey, explained the aims, data collection methods, and use of the ACS. The programs were cosponsored by the NJLA Reference Section, SJRLC, CJRLC and HRLC.
Because awareness of the American Community Survey is not widespread, many citizens receiving forms fear privacy invasion and other scams. Librarians are asked to spread the word that this is a legitimate endeavor, benefiting communities. As with all Census surveys, responding is mandatory.
No longer will the Census “long form” be distributed; the continuously compiled American Community Survey replaces it. About three million addresses are selected annually. Demographic, economic, housing, and social characteristics of geographic areas in the United States and Puerto Rico can be researched. Librarians planning services and collections will take particular interest in data about age, education, language spoken at home, disability status, time required to commute to work, race, gender, sexual orientation, and income level, but much more detail is provided in narrative form, tables, and maps.
Comparisons between the previous Census reports and the American Community Survey will have to be made with care. For example, the decennial Census surveys people, while the ACS concerns itself with households. Rewording of questions means that, for example, reports of income are not quite comparable, as the decennial Census asked about income in the previous calendar year, while the ACS asks about the previous twelve months, and, since the forms are distributed throughout the year, those months can be very different from January through December. The ACS inquires as to residence during the previous two months, while the decennial Census generally looks at a person’s usual residence (college towns will have different numbers). Data from the ACS is available for geographic areas with a total population of at least 65,000; smaller communities must wait until 2008 and every three years thereafter for compilations of data about their environments.
In spite of some inconsistencies, the American Community Survey promises to serve as a powerful new tool. Visit www.census.gov/acs/www to try it out. For more information or guidance, especially in respect to New Jersey information, contact either the New Jersey State Library, www.njstatelib.org/Ask_a_Librarian/ask_jerseyana.php or email@example.com or The Newark Public Library, 973-733-7775 or firstname.lastname@example.org . For additional assistance, please be in touch with The Newark Public Library Reference Desk, 973-733-7779 or email@example.com, or regional Census offices, Philadelphia.Regional.Office@census.gov or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Newark Public Library
December 13, 2006
Summary of Customized Reference Service Program, 12/4/06
This program was presented at the Springfield Public Library, December 4, 2006 by Allan Kleiman, Assistant Director of the Old Bridge Public Library
Just as, generations ago, the telephone created changes at the reference desk, so do 21st century technologies. Be we in public, academic, or special libraries, we are working to adapt to new demands for faster, more hand-holding, more comprehensive assistance. Each library will design its own plan of priorities, and we need to remain relevant to our communities, if for no other reason, because, although we may feel as busy as ever, reference statistics are declining, and our governing bodies may therefore reduce our desperately needed revenues.
To bring in more people-and to send them away as satisfied customers-Allan Kleiman suggests that we remain true to our "hunter-gatherer" role of looking for material and then, not just referring people to it, but actually collecting it, even opening books and other resources and pointing to specific articles, paragraphs, and illustrations. We can also accommodate people in some relatively nontraditional ways. Some newer services include notarizing documents, issuing passports (a money-making operation, since a fee is set by the U.S. Department of State), providing one-on-one assistance in resume writing and in finding grants and scholarships, and completing forms for our patrons. Anything library staff cannot do may still be accomplished at the library by invited volunteers or officials; for example, at the Old Bridge Public Library, an Assemblyperson's staff help older adults to apply for Medicare prescription plans. SCORE and college student organizations have for years visited libraries to help people with tax preparation. Reference librarians are also increasingly working on programs, pathfinders, and readers' advisory. If we determine that a service is beyond our library's purview, we want to send people requesting it home with useful referrals to places where they will receive that service.
We pondered the benefits and drawbacks of classes, especially technology classes, versus individualized instruction in using ebooks, email, and databases. The best solution may be to engage in both, but of course to do so efficiently. Juggling more than one "one-on-one" patron or scheduling assistance by appointment are options for busy librarians.
"The times, they are a-changin'." Because our profession do deeply cares about people, dovetailing with our communities, while challenging, remains our mission. When one librarian wondered how to encourage pro-activity among staff, we thought that vibrant customer service continuing education might offset resistance. Some two dozen librarians attended this stimulating program. The conversation continues-and that's grand, because librarians are good people with whom to think, talk, and act.
The podcast of this program and the PowerPoint slides will soon be posted to the NJLA website. Click on the link below:
Summary by Leslie Kahn, Newark Public Library