Blog Posts by gina.persichini

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Fundamental Computer Skills — free courses in many languages!

Thanks for the Librarian in Black and WebJunction for pointing out this great resource. 

Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Community Learning Curriculum teaches “basic to intermediate technology skills in a hands-on manner in several different languages.”  See the full description at WebJunction ( 

Course materials are available in English, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Traditional Chinese, and Bahasa Malaysia.

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How are people reading? (Publish or Panic)

Thanks to Joe Reiss for pointing out this article “Publish or Panic” found in the March 13th, 2006, edition of U.S. News and World Report. Find the article on their website.

The article discusses how readers are moving to new formats for books. They are reading them online, with special readers, and on the portable devices they already carry. New technology is making the electronic book more attractive. It also talks about how the publishing industry is responding to these changes.

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Book Club from Unshelved

I’ve been a big fan of Unshelved since I first saw it.  I enjoy reading this online daily comic strip because the characters are funny, sometimes it hits a little close to home, and it’s set in a public library! 

Well Unshelved added a new feature at the end of 2005 — Book Club!  From the site, “every Sunday our characters discuss a different book in a full page of color.”  The reviews are great.  On their blog, Bill (one of the creators of Unshelved) states that some libraries “are printing out Book Clubs and using them to promote books,” which was the intent of these new Sunday strips.

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Online demonstration of LiLI Unlimited statewide catalog now available

Recently, the Idaho State Library presented information to JFAC, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, the legislative committee that makes state budget recommendations. As part of the State Library’s budget presentation, committee members were shown a 3-minute demonstration (Windows Media Player format) of the LiLI Unlimited Catalog. This demonstration is now available for viewing on the LiLI Unlimited website at

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User Centered Services

Michael Stephens over at Tame the Web has some very wise advice. He’s listed “5 Factors for User Centered Services,” which includes 5 questions to ask yourself while planning/considering a new service at the library.

The first of the 5 is a favorite of mine:

“Does it place a barrier between the user and the service?”

During the 2020 Vision Think Tank held in August, I recall a lot of discussion about breaking down barriers–barriers of all kinds. Something to keep in mind.

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    There’s a new blog in town… BSU

    The Albertsons Library at Boise State University has just unveiled their newest tool to provide service and information to university students–a blog. The blog, @ the library, aims to “showcase news and resources available in Albertsons Library to the Boise State Univesity campus and the greater Treasure Valley community.”

    The blog is a collaborative effort of library staff, with entried currently contributed by three members of the BSU Reference staff.

    Congratulations, BSU, on a wonderful new service!

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    User perception - one example

    A friend of mine was recently raving about her library service. She’s a customer of the Altanta-Fulton County library system in Georgia. She had this to say on her blog:

    “Have I raved about our local library system recently? I love the online system where I can request book holds. I have 9 books in my queue now, and most of them are books that I’m interested in but not enough to fork out $10-15 per book on. Getting the books pulled via holds saves me time and frustration, because I don’t have to try to keep a toddler in check while crawling through the stacks. The email notification of when books are available just makes it that much better.)”

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    Stephen Abram, Librarian 2.0, and the future of our profession

    Stephen Abram has brought togther a lot of the pieces in his article “Web 2.0 - Huh?! Library 2.0, Librarian 2,0.” You can find a PDF version online in his listing of Articles and Presentations. It is also in the December 2005 issues of Information Outlook.

    From the end of the article:

    It is essential that we start preparing to become Librarian 2.0 now. The Web 2.0 movement is laying the groundwork for exponential business growth and another major shift in the way our users live, work and play. We have the ability, insight and knowledge to influence the creation of this new dynamic–and guarantee the future of our profession.

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    New ‘Tech Tips’ Column in CIL

    This month’s Computers in Libraries has an article introducing a new regular column to be called “Tech Tips for Every Librarian.” The column is co-authored by Rachel Singer Gordon and Michael Stephens. Both are very conscious of the funding issues of small, rural libraries and approach implementing technology solutions with that in mind. They are mindful that there may be no available funds for technology solutions. Tips will address those issues.

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    A retrospective of 2006

    Yes, 2006.Karen Schneider posted a blog entry on the ALA TechSource blog last week that got me to thinking. Not only is it an interesting perspective of the near future for libraries, but she does it in a style that reads as if it
    already happened. It got me to thinking about a couple things as we consider our future.

    1. I’ve generally been taught that goals should be identified in the positive, as if they’ve already happened. The act of doing so, makes it seem more real. Possible.