Anonymous's picture

What is SEARCH?

Catching up on blog entries, we have some terrific material and thoughts being shared. Thanks to everyone for contributing and reading.

I’ve been able to meet with Brenda Cooper and Louise Marley in person, and Dave Kusek by phone in the past couple of weeks. They are all excited to attend. Brenda and Louise will be able to join us for the entire Think Tank. They will stay in the discussions, and Brenda will help with facilitating if needed.

Brenda’s first novel, with dean of Science Fiction Larry Niven is out this month. Title: Building Harlequin’s Moon. I am reading it now and it’s a great summer read. Earthborn people escape an over-technological earth but get stranded on the way to a new world. They have to build their own world, and in so doing must use the same technology they set out to escape, plus they have to birth a new civilization of moon-born. Thus they must come face-to-face with their own prejudices and fears.

Anonymous's picture

All-Terrain Google

If you’re like me, you like the beaten path. Routine is a great way to stay organized and save time and energy. And of course it’s comfortable.

That said - and you all know where I’m going with this rhetorical strategy - we need to get off our self-worn paths on occasion and synchronize our selves with what’s out there.

There’s no single web site I visit more often (except, where I practically live) than Google. I’ve worn a deep, rutted path from my browser’s Google favorite button to the search box and then to the “Google Search” button. But just off to the side, there’s a “more >>” link. Beneath this oft-overlooked link is an array of web services highly under-recommended by such a simple label.

gina.persichini's picture

Pat Wagner and The Generation Gap

Attendees at this year’s Summer Institute track “Improving Library Service: Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication” are in for a real treat. While we were both in Chicago, I met with Pat Wagner (Pattern Research) who will be presenting a major portion of the content at the Summer Institute (August 1st - 5th).

Pat is sharp, experienced, and has the ability to relate the material right to the attendee. She shared some theories with me, and I just can’t wait for Summer Institute when the whole group will get to experience the entire program. Later in the conference, I had the opportunity to see one of the programs that Pat was presenting: “Generation Gap: Challengs and Benefits of a Mixed Generation Workforce.”

marj.hooper's picture


With the recent comments about vacations, it seems appropriate to mention the travel web site It was brought to my attention in a recent Ebsco futures' Alert in a little blurb from CANADIAN BUSINESS (4/25/2005) entitled "Beware of zero-gravity pickpockets." Many may already know abut the web site. As a scifi fan I enjoyed my clicking-trip which required no dramamine.

Anonymous's picture

the rearview mirror

Professional librarians are taught how to acquire, organize and disseminate information to meet the needs of their patrons. Librarians are also exposed to core values of the profession. One of the core values is the concept of the public good.

Anonymous's picture

Measuring up

In one of my many readings, a posting listed several different ways of looking how public libraries are measuring up. One such project, the Normative Data Project for Libraries has a great website:

I was looking at Idaho's information which shows that we are ranked 7th in the nation for library visits per capita.

gina.persichini's picture

Some themes heard over the past few days at ALA

One of the great things about ALA is the opportunity to step back and see the larger picture of what is happening in libraries. It’s great to learn about other libraries, and even better to find out that they all share common challenges. I attended a couple different programs on Saturday that addressed the future of resource sharing. Add to that the content of the “Mining the Long Tail” presentation, the OCLC Environmental Scan, and pretty much anything written about the behavior of next generation library users and now I’m all riled up! Some major themes keep coming up:

It’s about Content, not Containers.
Library users, and potential library users, are becoming more interested in the information they need, and not so much concerned about the format or the source.

Anonymous's picture

Why Do We Exist?

I think that in order to determine where we should go we have to first step back and ask ourselves why we exist at all. What makes libraries of any sort — public, academic, prison, governmental, special, school — so important that they exist? Why should the taxpayers/company/whoever pay thousands for what we do? Could someone else do it better and more efficiently? What do we give back to our communities that others do not?

And, perhaps most important, has the day of the library, historically the epitome of linearity, ended? Or has it just begun?

Mike Doellman
Marshall PL

gina.persichini's picture

Mining the Long Tail

One the challenges of a huge conference like ALA is that there is so much going on, so much information being presented, that one (me) needs some time to process what was heard/seen/experienced. It’s now 14 ½ hours after my day started here and I’m trying to process what happened. How do I sum up a 3-hour presentation in this short space? The answer? It’s not going to be short.

OCLC sponsored a symposium today: “Mining the Long Tail: Libraries, Amazoogle and Infinite Availability.” It began with Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine. In October 2004 he wrote an article titled “The Long Tail.” I’m having a hard time explaining the long tail without a picture. But think of it this way: When considering movies, there is a core selection that makes up the bulk of what is viewed. And if the movies were ranked and put in order of popularity (purchase/rental) in a graph, the graph would start high with the big box-office superstars, continue to slope downward through the popular mainstays, and then end with a long tail of those movies that are ranked low in popularity. Not just low, some may rarely see the light of day.

gina.persichini's picture

Virtual Travel to ALA

Many a librarian will be traveling to Chicago this weekend to participate in the ALA Annual Conference. While attendance will likely hit around 20,000 people, a lot more are unable to make it. But that’s no reason to be out of the loop. There are a number of opportunities to keep up with what’s happening at the conference.

Right here Idaho State Library staff will do their best to keep Idaho libraries informed about the news, ideas, and information they pick up during the conference.

Readers may also be interested in the perspective on these other blogs, which will have live blogging from the conference: