Category Archives: Recommendations

NPR Library Blog!

For those of you who may be interested, the NPR library has a new blog called “As A Matter of Fact.” 
Posted by Tom R.

Gov Docs Via Google!
GPO Launches ‘Google’ for Federal Docs
The Government Printing Office today launches Federal Digital System (FDsys),
the new online home for original federal documents.

Users will eventually be able to search for information from the government’s
50 different collections. The site currently hosts the eight most-popular
collections, including the Federal Register, the Congressional Record and
archive of Congressional hearings. The other collections will be added to the
site by this summer, according to GPO’s chief information officer Mike Wash.

The new site also marks the launch of the Federal Register’s new Daily
Compilation of Presidential Documents, an archive of executive orders,
speeches and other information released by the White House Press Office.
The daily online compilation replaces the printed Weekly Compilation of
Presidential Documents.

“In today’s world, where things are widely expected to be available
immediately and online, we need to have a really good repository of
information to maintain federal publications to get easy access to that
information,” Wash said.

Web users could just as easily use Google or other search engines to find
government information, but FDsys assures access to the original, authentic
versions of government documents.

Work on the site began in 2004 and GPO has spent roughly $20 million so far
on the project.

“What we use is a lot of standard software. We haven’t been doing much custom
software,” Wash said. “A lot of our research was focused on doing search and
content management. Lots of our time was spent on configuring standard tools
to meet our needs.”

Wash’s team consulted congressional staffers, librarians and the federal
agencies as the development process began. More recently, GPO has consulted
with members of the tech-savvy Obama transition and administration.

“I think we’ll be talking with them more, because what we’ve been doing here
is a good example of good open government,” Wash said.

Courtesy of Carol Koenig at NGIC.

Posted by Tom R.

Competencies Finally Approved!

This just in from Library Journal

After More Than a Decade of Debate, ALA Approves Core Competencies

John Berry — Library Journal, 1/28/2009

  • More than a decade of debate
  • Core competencies emerge from task force
  • Committee on Accreditation to weigh in

After more than a decade of debating what LIS students should have learned after earning a master’s degree at an ALA-Accredited program, the American Library Assocation (ALA) Council, after minor editing, Tuesday approved the Core Competencies (CCs) developed over the past two years by the ALA Presidential Task Force on Library Education. Among them are Foundations of the Profession, Information Resources, Technological Knowledge and Skills, and Reference and User Services.

The task force was appointed by former ALA President Leslie Burger during her term and chaired by former ALA President Michael Gorman, who had made library education reform a theme of his presidency. The Council also sent the CCs on to ALA’s Committee on Accreditation, asking that powerful committee to incorporate them into ALA’s Standards for Accreditation of LIS programs.

Flexibility recommended
Completed at the 2008 Annual Conference, the CCs were sent to the ALA Executive Board which approved them and sent them on to the Council during the Midwinter Meeting in Denver. At a Library Education Forum moderated by Gorman. about 60 ALA members, a third of whom were library educators, discussed the CCs after hearing positive comments about them from Accreditation Committee Chair Richard Rubin (LIS program Kent State University, OH), who urged continuous revision and flexibility for the CCs as the field changes.
Linda Williams, Coordinator of Library Media Services for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, MD applauded the CCs for “embracing all aspects of the work of professional librarians” and hoped that would lead to more consistency between LIS programs and professional library practice. Janet Swan Hill of the University of Colorado, Boulder, spoke on cataloguing as a core competence of librarianship and discussed the CCs in that light. She, like others, stressed the difficulty of articulating the relationships between professional education and library practice.   

Posted by Tom R.

Top 10 Librarian Blogs!

10 Librarian Blogs To Read in 2009

By Blake on Technology

I started the “10 Blogs To Read in…” 3 years ago to find people in different areas of librarianship doing the most interesting and original writing on the web. Each year we’ve gathered a group of librarians working hard to increase the understanding our profession and it’s place in the rapidly evolving online world. Again this year I tried to choose 10 writers who cover very different aspects of our profession, 10 sites that inform, educate and maybe amuse. I hope you’ll find the list a nice place to find something new to read, or a place to gain better understanding of a part of librarianship that’s outside of your normal area. We all have much to learn from each other, and these bloggers are working hard to share their knowledge and understanding with you. Read on below to see why each site made the list.

David Lee King Feed
David King is the Digital Branch & Services Manager at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library as. He says his blog tends towards library website stuff – managing, marketing, experimenting, usability, and planning. Sometimes he strays into other related-yet-cool (translation: fun) topics, like video blogging, experience design and planning, and web 2.0 / library 2.0 topics.

In The Library with The Lead Pipe Feed
Written by ” six librarians working in academic, public, and school libraries across the United States.” In The Library with The Lead Pipe “is intended to help improve our communities, our libraries, and our professional organizations. Our goal is to explore new ideas and start conversations; to document our concerns and argue for solutions. Each article is peer-reviewed by at least one external and one internal reviewer.”

And now for something completely different… 2 communities from Livejournal. Choose your favorite based on your tolerance for chaos.
The Society for Librarians* Who Say “Motherf*@!%r” Feed
If that sounds like it’s a bit too much for you, try
Library Lovers’ LiveJournal Feed.
A post from yesterday to The Society for Librarians* Who Say “Motherf*@!%r”:, ” Is it Saturday or the full moon that brings out all the jackasses today?” Both of the LiveJournal groups are wonderfully eclectic and active places to catch some interesting reading.

David Lankes Feed
R. David Lankes is director of the Information Institute of Syracuse, and an associate professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. He posts video and audio from his presentations, and writes about a range of issues from an academic view point.

Planet Cataloging Feed
If there’s a more exciting topic in librarianship than cataloging, I haven’t seen it. And there’s no better place to keep your finger on the pulse of catagloing than Planet Cataloging (unless you can handle AUTOCAT). Planet Cataloging is an automatically-generated aggregation of blogs related to cataloging and metadata designed and maintained by Jennifer Lang and Kevin S. Clarke.

Alternative Teen Services Feed
The Alternative teen services blog is maintained by teen librarians who share ideas, resources, and advocacy about serving teens. By sharing their ideas in a fun and supportive environment, the say they’ll gain perspectives that improve our library services to teenage youth.

Designing Better Libraries Feed
Designing Better Libraries is a blog about design thinking and how it applies to library settings. The goal of this blog is to provide information, news and ideas that librarians can use to design a great library user experience for their communities. Among the topics they’ll be covering are instructional design, innovation, technology design, and the application of new media to design – and of course – design thinking.

Closed Stacks Feed. Closed stacks was the “readers favorite” this year. Although I got far fewer votes this year than in years past, Closed Stacks was most popular. A group blog written by a variety of librarians, they cover just about everything.

Brave New World Feed
Topical items and views on the impact of digitisation on publishing and its content and the issues that make the news. Run by Martyn Daniels, Value Chain International’s VP Marketing, Media and Publishing. The blog covers book digitization and Internet, bookselling and publishing.

Open Source ILS Vendors, choose your favorite.
The Liblime Folks: (Feed) and/or (Feed) and/org (Feed).
The Evergreen Folks: (Feed)
I’m a BIG believer in Free and Open Source Software, and I made a prediction that 2009 will be a big year for the open source ILS vendors. Follow along on their blogs to see what they’re doing to give you control of your ILS.


Posted by Tom R.

New Table of Content Service!

This just in from Gary Price’s Resource Shelf blog:  (pretty cool stuff)

TicTOCs is a new scholarly journal tables of contents (TOCs) service. It’s free, its easy to use, and it provides access to the most recent tables of contents of over 11,000 scholarly journals from more than 400 publishers. It helps scholars, researchers, academics and anyone else keep up-to-date with what’s being published in the most recent issues of journals on almost any subject.

Using ticTOCs, you can find journals of interest by title, subject or publisher, view the latest TOC, link through to the full text of over 250,000 articles (where institutional or personal subscriptions, or Open Access, allow), and save selected journals to MyTOCs so that you can view future TOCs (free registration is required if you want to permanently save your MyTOCs). ticTOCs also makes it easy to export selected TOC RSS feeds to popular feedreaders such as Google Reader and Bloglines, and in addition you can import article citations into RefWorks (where institutional or personal subscriptions allow).


Behind the scenes, the ticTOCs service aggregates TOC RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds produced by journal publishers. The content of the TOCs displayed within ticTOCs is dependent on the information contained in the publishers’ RSS feeds. RSS feeds exported via ticTOCs are the publishers’ own feeds. Links to articles are to either the full text, or landing pages, on publishers’ websites. Content includes journals from Elsevier, Springer-verlag, John Wiley and Sons, Informa (Taylor and Francis), Sage Publications, Sabinet Online, Oxford University Press, Inderscience Publishers, Cambridge University Press, Biomed Central, Wolters Kluwer, Emerald, IEEE, Revues, Nature Publishing Group, Hindawi, Institute of Physics, and over 400 other publishers.

Here’s the link to Roddy MacLeod’s blog post/press release.

Posted by Tom Rink

Britain’s Bayeux Tapestry

Those interested in British History (e.g. those enrolled in Dr. Mercer’s History of the English Language) might be interested in accessing the Museum of Reading’s scene by scene description of the Bayeux Tapestry or watching the following YouTube video from avidavid62.

Thanks go to Yale Arts Library for pointing this one out.

American Indian Books about Thanksgiving


Parents and teachers interested in promoting a multi-cultural perspective of the upcoming holiday should consider the following recommendations from Good Books about Thanksgiving by American Indian Studies Professor Debbie Reese.

Grades 4-6:

Hunter, Sally M. Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1997.
Peters, Russell M. Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1992.
Regguinti, Gordon. The Sacred Harvest: Ojibway Wild Rice Gathering. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1992.
Wittstock, Laura Waterman. Ininatig’s Gift of Sugar: Traditional Native Sugarmaking. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1993.

Grades 4-up:

Bruchac, Margaret M. and Catherine Grace O’Neill. 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2001.

All ages:

Swamp, Jake. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message. New York: Lee & Low, 1995.

Teacher resource:

Seale, Doris, Beverly Slapin, and Carolyn Silverman, eds., Thanksgiving: A Native Perspective. Berkeley: Oyate, 1998.