Professional Development

In the 'Library 2.0' Category...

REFolution Day 2

Thursday, April 16, 2009 10:47 am

Moving Beyond the Reference Desk

This first session of the day was two presentations on how two different libraries have shifted the focus of their customer service away from the reference desk and the reference department and are meeting their patrons where they are.

Have Laptop Will Travel- Pat Dawson (Rider University)

Dawson is the science librarian at Rider, and in order to interact more with students taking science courses, she decided to have set hours in the science student study lounge in the science building. In order to not conflict with possible BI sessions (ie, the professor woudn’t schedule a session if they thought she would be providing this service), she set up times later in the semester, around Thanksgiving. Dawson posted signs in the study lounge letting students know when she would be having office hours there, and she emailed faculty members so they could announce in their classes.

Dawson ended up having some student contact during her sessions, but also felt that the faculty contact she had was just as valuable. She was able to meet with several new faculty members and set up library sessions for the following spring semester. She felt that the timing around Thanksgiving wasn’t right for the students, so she is planning on having the sessions several weeks before Thanksgiving in Fall 2009.

How We Stopped Manning the Fort and Became Virtual- Kate McGivern (Bergen Community College)

McGivern discussed several ways in which they have modified their reference area and services to be more accessible to their student population. During larger library renovations, they replaced their “fortress” desk with a low, dumbell, shaped desk. This made the desk more approachable and gave them more work stations where they could consult with students. They also added butterfly monitors so that students could see the searches more easily. (This is similar to what we have done over the last few years with our desk.) They also sent their entire reference collection to the stacks, and over the summer will make them circulating titles.

The reference librarians have also started doing “roaming” and “embedded” librarianship. Their usual staffing schedule is to have two librarians at the desk during a shift. One of those librarians is supposed to roam the library to see if there are patrons that need help. They wear nametags but don’t carry any sort of communication or handheld device. McGivern indicated (I think!) that their layout was such that they could see the service points from anywhere in the building (two floors) and that there were workstations on both floors that they could take patrons to if they needed extensive help (beyond deciphering LC and locating a book in the stacks). The embedded librarians were participants in courses via Blackboard. They created a “Librarian on Board” icon for those courses and the librarian had full access to the Blackboard course.

Both speakers highlighted their use of the book, The Desk and Beyond: Next Generation Reference Service by Sarah K. Steiner and M. Leslie Madden (Z675 U5 D425 2008, Reference Office).

Sending Out an SMS: Exploring Reference Via Text Messaging with Mobile Devices- Joe Murphy (Yale University)

Murphy discussed the implementation of texting services at the six Yale science libraries, and the evolution of text services in general. He strongly stressed the importance of text and mobile services to our student populations, several times saying that that was the main way that he got information. Our students are very comfortable with these methods of communication, but sometimes we are not. If libraries plan on implementing text services, we need to make sure that we manage staffing, cost and student expectations. We need to make sure we are answering questions as effieciently as possible, especially for those students who don’t have unlimited texting (ie, don’t answer the question as if it was an email, don’t assume that all students have unlimited texting). He also sees texting moving beyond reference services into other library services, such as catalog searching and overdue notices.

During the lunch break, there were two vendor presenations (AltaRama and Reference Universe) and time to look at vendor displays. I picked up information from Reference Universe, Credo Reference, LexisNexis and AltaRama.

AltaRama- Arthur Brady

AltaRama is another product that was designed by librarians, and the name is an aboriginal word for “the act of finding.” They have several different components and you can purchase them as a package or only the particular components that you need. The different components are: DeskStats, RefChatter (uses Library H3lp), RefTracker, RefScheduler, SMSReference and VRLPlus. He emphasized that they are all very customizible to each library.

Reference Universe- LuAnn Harrison

The Reference Universe product from Paratext has taken the indexes and articles from the major reference publishers (Gale, ABC-CLIO, etc…) and created an online database so that their contents are now searchable. Additionally, they have included the current online content from these publishers, making over 20 million citations searchable at the same time.

OK, This is Just too Weird- Elizabeth Edwards (George Washington University)

The last presentation of the conference was an interesting one discussing the Gelman Libraries study of Facebook use on their campus, and specifically, how students percieved the use of Facebook by the library and librarians. They worked with a graduate student in the anthropology department to do an ethnographic study of the student population. He did surveys and informal interviews with students who responded to a Facebook ad, a library webpage ad, or a Facebook group email. Most of the students felt that Facebook was a purely social space, the only academically related activity they used it for was to set up study group meetings. This made it difficult for students to understand why “authority” figures such as professors, librarians, or even family members, would be in that space, and it made them uncomfortable, but they weren’t sure why. When they looked at librarian facebook profiles, they liked the profiles that already matched what they thought librarians were like, i.e., included book recommendations, research tips, but not when they included personal information (though, interestingly, they felt like they were invading the librarians’ personal space). She recommended considering student perceptions of the library, taking the time to ask them how they felt about the library and Facebook as a social space, as this survey was specific to the George Washington student population, and other campuses could be very differerent.

Again, if anyone has questions or would like more information about any of the presentations, let me know! Lyrasis is supposed to post the powerpoints and other documents soon, so I can forward that to anyone who is interested.

Harrisburg Airport fun fact: In addition to a much-appreciated Starbucks and a lovely, non-desiel-fume- smelling waiting area, the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant is located at the end of the runway! Somehow I missed it when I arrived!

REFolution Day 1

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 8:58 pm

On Monday and Tuesday, April 6-7, I attended the REFolution: Reference Service in a Constantly Changing World conference in Hershey, PA. It was a busy two days with lots of content and not as much chocolate as you might expect!

Foreshadowing Reference Futures: Far Out or Forthcoming?- Mary Radford (Rutgers University)

After an early flight out of Greensboro, I arrived in time to check into my room and head to the ballroom for lunch and the keynote address. Mary Radford is a professor at Rutgers University and was a very engaging and energetic speaker. She began her talk by discussing all of the continuous change that we deal with, both in our jobs and at home, because of advances in technology. She shared the results of research she has done on how Millennials (born 1978-1994), and more specifically Screenagers (born 1988-1994), get their information. This research showed that Screenagers want instant access and use their phones for texting and IM rather than talking. Interestingly, they prefer to text rather than to call because there are no awkward silences with texting, and they can carry on multiple conversations at one time.

When discussing their responses to virtual reference specifically, Screenagers used the service because it was recommended to them, it was convenient and it was efficient. They didn’t use VR because they perceived that they got unhelpful answers when they did use it, and that those answers did not go beyond what they had already found via Google. They were also interested in interacting with subject specialists who could get them beyond the basics they had already located.

In terms of marketing reference, Radford suggested promoting our full range of options because our users want to know all of the ways they can contact us. To illustrate how we could promote the convenience and efficiency of using reference services, she shared a tag line from Harvard, “spend two hours doing research or 5 minutes with a Harvard librarian.”

Looking into the future, she sees continued growth in the following areas: distance education, technology innovation, the use of portable wireless services, ebook digitization, assessment, collaboration through consortial involvement and different models of staffing. She closed with, “we are change managers, don’t get in the way of change.”

READ Scale: Using Qualitative Data to Record Levels of Effort and Expertise in Answering Reference Questions- Lynn Berard (Carnegie Mellon University), Bella Karr Gerlich (Dominican University)

The traditional method of keeping statistics at public service desks is to just keep tick marks for each question or patron interaction. Obviously, a single tick mark does not reflect the variations in the time it takes to answer a question or the level of subject expertise needed. The READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data) is one method that can be used to reflect these aspects of our reference interactions. Each interaction is given a rating from one to six, one being directional and six being in-depth, labor intensive research assistance. Berard and Gerlich discussed their national study that focused on the implementation of this scale in academic libraries of various sizes around the country. They started by surveying the libraries involved to make sure that they all agreed on how different types of questions would be ranked. This is an important aspect to keep in mind, because it is crucial that each participant is using the same criteria to rank their interactions as everyone else. Beyond the time involved in answering the question, other criteria used to rank interactions included the number and types of sources consulted.

Most of the libraries in the study felt that the system was easy to use and easy to incorporate into their workflow at the reference desk. The libraries used the statistics they gathered to make staffing changes (maybe a student can handle the times when there are mostly one and two level questions) and to have on-going staff training and development (staff discussed how they might have answered the question differently, veteran reference librarians showed newer librarians different resources and vice versa).

Google Gems for Reference Librarians- Russell Palmer (Lyrasis)

This was a pretty interactive session, with lots of demonstrations and examples from attendees on how they use Google everyday in their workflow and at the reference desk. I was familiar with quite a few of the resources mentioned, but it is always good to have a refresher on all of the things you can do with Google. A few I liked were:

  • Google sets: fill in two or more words in a series, and Google will give you other related terms (enter hook and line, Google adds reel, lure, float, sinker, bait). It was suggested that this would be good for students to use when they need to think of additional search terms.
  • using the “:”: examples given were: define: , stocks: , allintitle: , and filetype: . The example for filetype was to search filetype:pdf coca-cola to locate annual reports and other company information that isn’t on the website but is located in pdf files.
  • Google news archive: useful for geneology searching and has a helpful timeline feature that allows you to see when in time the majority of references to your search topic appeared.

Scaling up IM Reference: Using Library H3lp- Rebekah Kilzer (Drexel University)

Rebekah Kilzer discussed the implementation of Library H3lp in the reference department of Hagerty Library at Drexel University, starting with the evolution of their virtual reference services. In 2006, they used AIM and Yahoo with an average of 30 chats per month. In 2007 they added gmail and MSN, and in 2008, meebo. Their IM traffic jumped from 100 chats per month in Winter 2008 to 600 chats per month in Fall of 2008. Their email traffic also rose during this time, partly because their IM requests were routed to email when the chat service was unavailable. The increase in chats and emails required a change in desk staffing, and they now have two librarians at the desk each hour and one in their office monitoring the chat service.

Library H3lp is an open source program, though there is a minimal fee based upon FTE (this wasn’t discussed in detail). The program was designed specifically for libraries and features queues, customizable widgets, the ability to transfer chats to another librarian, stat tracking and call logging. Other aspects that I found interesting were: patrons can email the transcript to themselves when they are done, it can convert text to chat, any previous IM clients can be forwarded to it, and the widget can be set to forward questions to email when there isn’t anyone staffing the desk.

Kilzer stressed the importance of staff training before the new system was active. They did a lot beforehand to make sure that they kept the good aspects of the previous system for both librarians and patrons. They also did a lot of practicing, with small groups of librarians sending and answering questions amongst themselves, so that they would be comfortable with the interface and features. They found that after they implemented Library H3lp, of the over 200 questions they answered, almost all were through the Library H3lp interface, with 2 from AIM and 2 from Google Talk.

Of these sessions, I really liked the presentations on the READ Scale and Library H3lp. I think there are aspects of each that we could implement and benefit from, even if we didn’t decide to adopt the entire system.

Lauren P @ Midwinter

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 12:28 am

Whew! Midwinter was busy, productive, and good this go around!

the capitol building

As you know I typically blog each event and pull the posts together into daily posts here. This time I quickly realized that I wouldn’t even have the time for that type of reporting, so I did daily posts over on my blog, and I’m pulling them together here into one conference post. If you want more details, here are the daily posts: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. If you want more details than that, let me know! I have lots of notes, but just didn’t have the time to process them into blog posts. Here’s the summary of what I’ve been up to (in alphabetical order and bulleted for easier reading):

Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange Round Table

Discussion Group on Staff Development

  • CLENE is a group that focuses on staff development
  • Some issues can be resolved with training and others can be resolved with strong supervision
  • Discussed merits of online training
  • Talked about the relationship of management and training
  • Discussed our perception of ourselves vs. our patron’s perceptions, and a lot of vocabulary issues.

Reception (hosted by Pat Wagner)

  • I just learned of and met Pat at this conference, but I am really impressed with her! She ran an exercise for the Emerging Leaders Town Hall, hosted this reception, and was an active participant of the CLENE discussion group.
  • This reception was an excellent introduction to CLENE, and I met one of my local Twitter friends face-to-face, Lori Reed!
  • I also ran into Peter Bromberg, so we followed up on some of the activities from earlier in the day, and I got some good advice on some of the areas I want to work on developing.

ACRL Women’s Studies Section

  • I’m a member of the Instruction Committee and we’re doing interesting work!
  • Rewriting the Information Literacy standards for Women’s Studies
  • The committee hopes to present on this topic at the National Women’s Studies Association conference

Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship

  • Every once in a while there is a question of the value of COSWL. We’ve done a good job over the last three years of keeping active and involved so those questions wouldn’t be asked. However, at this meeting there were only three members present (we were outnumbered by observers).
  • Discussed the nature of committees formed by presidential appointment
  • Considered possible partnerships
  • We agreed that all the virtual work the committee had been doing was a good thing, and we would continue doing so (including using the listserv to find a time that would fit more people’s schedules)
  • The second meeting is tomorrow, so I’m not posting the details here yet. I imagine it will be a continuation of the discussion we had earlier at the conference.

Emerging Leaders Town Hall

  • I figured I’d see what this meeting was like since I’m just one year out, and I was really impressed.
  • Leslie Burger, Maureen Sullivan, and Connie Paul ran the meeting as usual.
  • A number of useful (and not too stressful!) networking exercises
  • Feedback from participants on what ALA should look like in the future

LITA, general

Top Tech Trends

made it to #ttt09

  • Susan and I attended this together, but came from another session, so we got in about an hour into it
  • Standing room only, but it was interesting enough to merit standing for the hour we were there
  • While we were there, the discussed trends included: changing in publishing paradigm (for books and newspapers), the broadband divide, and changing displays. When asked how many in the audience have more than one monitor at their workspace, I was surprised that it seemed over half raised their hand. I wonder if it is the norm, or if a techy crowd would be more likely than a non-techy crowd.
  • If you’re interested, you can watch it here!
  • (Because what they did is so great, I’m cutting and pasting this bit straight from my blog): But the most important part of this year’s Top Tech Trends was the use of technology. It was amazing. Official tags allowed audience members (both in the room and across the country) to follow what was going on in various channels. Ustream surpassed 20 people. The FriendFeed room pulled everything together. This was exactly how it should be. LITA demonstrating how these tools can be applied to allow ALA to positively impact more people in the profession. It’s good for us as professionals looking to learn more, it’s good marketing (I knew we could still go to Top Tech Trends because of the Twitter messages I was getting in my breakfast session), and it’s good practice as information professionals. Kudos to Jason Griffey, BIGWIG, and TTT for showing how it can be done.

The LITA Town Hall Breakfast

  • LITA Town Halls are planned by LITA’s Vice President and tend to focus on issues around what LITA is or should be and how to position the organization for the future.
  • This one was lead by a consultant that had small groups consider different aspects of LITA (competing organizations, what areas of IT LITA should address, how we can collaborate better, etc) and then share out to the group.
  • I got there a bit early and missed the formation of the Twittering/Google Docing/Live Blogging table, but felt like I was sitting there because of their awesome technology use. Though I was sitting with my group, I could follow along with a larger discussion (including with people across the country) in a number of ways. This is what was on my laptop:
    laurenpressley - twhirl 0.8.7
    The panel on the left is a live blog, and the columns on the right were for friendfeed and twitter. This is an example of an awesome use of technology, and a great way to get more voices heard. I’m not sure what will come of the brainstorming in the meeting, but at a minimum, this demonstration of how these tools can be used effectively was worth it.

LITA Distance Learning Interest Group

LITA Committee and Interest Group Chairs Joint Meeting

  • This meeting is for the chairs of all the LITA committees and interest groups.
  • This meeting gets all the LITA leadership into one room: board, chairs, staff, etc
  • Discussed transparency in scheduling and decided to use the LITA wiki for this purpose
  • LITA Forum will have amazing keynoters (David Weinberger, Liz Lawley, and Joan Lippincott) and is still accepting program proposals. (Man, I’ve got to get on that! Thanks for being part of this, Susan!!)
  • Walt Crawford started an interesting discussion on the similarities of “publications” and “communication” committees, and where are the lines of publishing for a group with print publications, electronic ones, a website, a blog, a wiki, a listserv, etc.

Distance Learning Interest Group Discussion

this year's nametag

  • (I’ll be posting real notes for this session on my blog, on the LITA blog, and on the DLIG blog.)
  • I chair this group, so this was my top priority of the conference.
  • I was a bit worried about the DLIG this conference. We don’thave a set membership and different people show up at the discussions at each conference, so it’s hard to know ahead of time how it will be. I thought with it being cold, in Denver, and with the budget issues so many people are facing we wouldn’t have hardly anyone. Instead we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 20.
  • We talked about text messaging, screencasting, and a little on embedded librarians and content management systems.
  • We’re establishing a discussion list and will hopefully be doing some exciting things in the near future.

LITA Web Coordinating Committee

  • This was my first meeting with the LITA Web Coordinating Committee.
  • I am starting this term as part of mycommitmentto LITA for their sponsorship of me in the Emerging Leaders program.
  • It takes a while to figure out the social dynamics of a committee, the charge, and what the committee is actually able to do. I’m still feeling it out.
  • It does look like there might be some changes to the site in the next year or so, though, so I’ll probably be around for that.

Programs

Alexander Street Press Breakfast

  • Susan and I attended the Alexander Street Press breakfast. It’s always a great event.
  • First, I really think Alexander Street Press understands where information is moving, and they’re leading edge thinkers about how to provide content for users now and in the future.
  • Perhaps even more exciting, they are figuring out ways to allow users to search through video content quickly and locate specific spots in the video the user needs. It’s amazing stuff.
  • Second, they always have a great speaker (and provide a great looking breakfast). So, for leading edge issues: they now have a database of graphic novel/comic materials.
  • As for their speaker, this year, because of the new database, they invited Art Spiegelman. He was an engaging speaker and gave me a lot to think about (in terms of conveying information in text and space, using images to cause people to think critically about culture, displacing norms)…. it was a great talk. He also helped me justify my recent interest in graphic novels

SPARC-ACRL Forum on Open Educational Resources

  • Panelist: Richard Baraniuk, an architect of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration and founder of Connexions
  • Panelist: David Wiley, also a leader of the Cape Town Declaration and Chief Openness Officer (cool, no?) for Flat World Knowledge
  • Panelist: Nicole Allen, leader of the Student PIRGs Make Textbooks Affordable campaign
  • Panelist: Mark Nelson,Digital Content Strategist for the National Association of College Stores, the trade association representing the higher education retail industry
  • This panel gave a great presentation and discussed interesting topics. Some practical issues were addressed (like getting started on your own campus) as well as more theoretical ones (do textbooks even make sense in a constructivist environment?)
  • The most striking point, to me, was if the government requires open access topubliclyfunded research, why don’t we require open access topubliclyfunded educational materials?

Other ALA Notes

The Corner Office

  • Sarah and I roomed (which was really nice!) at the Curtis Hotel (which was the funnest hotel I’ve ever stayed at!) Our room was on the 13th floor, which was horror themed. When the elevator stopped it said, “heeeere’s Johnny!” and there was a picture from The Shining right outside the door. It was great rooming with Sarah, we were able to eat a few meals together which was really nice.
  • I saw a bunch of ZSR folks! Sarah and I, obviously saw each other quite a bit. One evening we got dinner with Steve. I ran into Wanda in the convention center (though I was so in-my-own-head that I almost missed her!) Susan and I spent Sunday morning together and saw each other at the LITA happy hour. Steve, Sarah, and I ran into Debbie Nolan. She seemed to be doing well. I never saw Lauren, but I know Susan and Sarah did. It’s amazing how at such a large conference you can see so many people you know.
  • It was COLD. I mean WAY colder than the weather channel said it would be when I left Winston-Salem. I mean the type of weather where I don’t even own appropriate shoes.
    it keeps getting colder!!
  • That being said, this was a fabulously walkable conference. Our hotel was three blocks from the convention center, and there was a great free bus that ran through downtown.
  • Everyone was talking about Tough Economic Times. Attendance was way down. Every meeting I was in talked about the economy in terms of how it’s impacting the organization, libraries, and/or communities.
  • Blogs seemed to play less of a role at this conference, and Twitter/Liveblogging/streaming video played way more. It dawned on me at one point that I used to keep my RSS reader open throughout the conference to see what was going on. I barely cracked it on this trip, insteadincessantlyupdating and watching Twitter. I actually think this might be a move towards the positive. There were several meetings where people all over the country participated because of the real-time nature of Twitter.
  • I am gearing up to focus my energy on LITA. At this point I think LITA has the best chance at impacting ALA and making it a better organization. I also know that I need to focus my committee energy a bit more to be more effective. My WSS and COSWL terms are coming to an end at Annual, and I’m not going to seek out any replacements in areas non-LITA sections of ALA. WSS was incredibly welcoming to me as a new professional. COSWL gave me incredible insights into how ALA works and what we need to do to be effective, but spreading my time across ACRL, LITA, and the council committee meant that I couldn’t make a real impact in any one. It’s time to see what changes I can really make happen. :)

Leslie at SEMLA ’08

Monday, October 13, 2008 6:25 pm

On Oct. 9, I drove down to East Carolina University in Greenville for the annual meeting of the Southeast Music Library Association. It was a very interesting and varied program this year:

Library “Infomercials”

Nathalie Hristov, Music Librarian at UT Knoxville, gave a presentation titled “The Music Library Informercial: a Practical Guide for Creating the Most Powerful Marketing Tool You Will Ever Use.” Nathalie had noticed that certain materials in the Music Library — audio-streaming databases, directories, vocational literature (job ads, etc.) — seemed to be under-utilized. She contacted Alan Wallace, UT’s Education Librarian, who had made videos for the main library, about producing an infomercial on the Music Library’s resources and services, with a special focus on the under-used resources, to be shown at the music school’s fall convocation, which all students were required to attend.

The infomercial fulfilled all expectations: surveys conducted before and after showed increased student awareness of the Music Library’s services in general; an increase in the number of students who knew about the under-used materials and who had used or planned to use them; and a large majority who reported that they found the infomercial to be both entertaining and helpful.

Nathalie’s and Alan’s advice on the nuts-and-bolts of producing an infomercial:

Script:

  • Don’t overload your infomercial. Decide what you want to focus on (e.g. under-used resources), and cut your script to make it as concise as possible.
  • Keep narration to a minimum, or you’ll lose viewers’ attention.
  • Speak the students’ language (not librarianese).
  • Play on students’ strengths, wants, and needs (papers due, rehearsals to prepare for, finding a job after graduation).

Scheduling:

  • Create a timeline. Divide the project into sections, and set a deadline for each section’s completion.
  • Stay on schedule to avoid losing currency of information.

Cast:

  • Use local talent. (One option: drama students.)

Taping:

  • Survey your venue for aesthetics. Ugly objects like trash receptacles, signs taped up on walls, etc., are “forgiven” by the eye in real life, but jump out on the video screen.
  • Use cue cards, since your cast are likely not to be trained actors.
  • Use uniform clothing (a school T-shirt is good) for your cast. Otherwise, if you’re filming the same people in separate sessions, subsequent editing can create a comical impression of sudden costume changes (say, for warm and cold weather).
  • Go for interesting angles (from above, below, etc.). In cramped stacks spaces, the UT team shot through openings between shelves.

Editing:

  • The UT team used iMovie, a Mac-based software. They also used Final Cut Pro, but warned that this product was expensive and involved a steep learning curve.
  • Screencasting tools like Snagit and Camtasia can be used.
  • The final step is exporting and burning to disk, which depending on the application can take anywhere from a couple of hours to fifteen.

Evaluation:

  • Solicit viewer feedback, as the UT folks did with before-and-after surveys.
  • Also important is cost/benefit analysis. Document everything: the UT team made daily records of time spent, tools used, etc.

Embedded Info-Lit

Sarah Manus, Music Librarian for Public Services at Vanderbilt, gave a presentation titled “Librarian in the Classroom: an Embedded Approach to Music Information Literacy for First-Year Students.” Vanderbilt’s music curriculum includes a “core” of four courses on music history and literature which all incoming music majors are required to take. Sarah took advantage of this opportunity to embed herself in all four courses, giving progressive instruction from the basics (the library’s catalog) in the introductory course to advanced research tools (composers’ thematic catalogs) in the fourth. Her original plan was to give two info-lit sessions per course, but faculty subsequently asked her to “front-load” her syllabus with more sessions in the first course.

Sarah’s participation included:

  • Attending all class sessions.
  • Participating in class discussion, when asked to by the instructor.
  • Answering students’ questions about their research.
  • Holding office hours twice a week.

Sarah warned that this degree of embedment required a huge time committment, especially after the music school added a second section to the core, and she consequently found herself attending class five days a week. Sarah said she also had difficulty remembering which material she had given when to each section!

(It’s also worth noting that Vanderbilt has three music librarians — one for public services, one for cataloging, and a director of the music library — which enabled Sarah to make the necessary time committment to an embedded project of this scale. As Sarah noted, where you have one person performing all three roles (like at Wake), or you have a large program with several hundred students enrolled, it would not be the most feasible option.)

There were some other unanticipated difficulties with the embedded approach. Sarah’s familiar presence in the classroom led some students to draw the wrong conclusion. The inevitable procrastinators expected her to do their research for them, and others prevailed on her to pull strings on their behalf, such as having library fines forgiven. The instructor had to give the class a stern lecture to the affect that “Sarah is not your slave, and will not do your work for you!” Still, Sarah found that the opportunity to get to know the students and their needs, and to be more closely involved in the overall educational process, was well worth it.

Improvements Sarah plans:

  • Devote more time to the research process. Sarah found that many of the students were used to doing short critical essays, and had never done an extended research project before.
  • Use active learning techniques, such as small-group work.

Ethnological fieldwork

Holling Smith-Borne, also from Vanderbilt, gave a presentation on “Recording the Traditional Music of Uganda.” This was an update on the development of the Global Music Archive project, a website hosted by Vanderbilt that offers audio streaming of traditional music, so far from Africa. Holling became acquainted with a prominent Ugandan musician who served as an adjudicator for Uganda’s annual national music festival. This man consequently knew all the best traditional musicians in the country, and had an extensive network of contacts with universities, govenment agencies, and other institutions interested in preserving Ugandan culture. Vanderbilt provided him with a salary, recording equipment, and training, and engaged him to travel the country supplying material for the Global Music Archive. Holling and his team hope to identify similar contacts in other African countries, to expand on this work.

They next plan to add to the Archive:

  • Appalachian dulcimer music
  • Indigenous Mexican music
  • An existing Vanderbilt archive of tango music

http://www.globalmusicarchive.org/

Greenville being so near the coast, our guest speaker was retired ethnomusicologist Otto Henry, who shared wonderful reminiscences of his fieldwork on the Outer Banks, recording old-timers singing and playing folk music of the area. Many of his recordings were issued on the Folkways label.

Business meeting

We missed the company of a number of colleagues this year due to cutbacks in travel funding (Georgia’s state library system in fact announced the total elimination of travel funding just a day before the SEMLA meeting). We dovoted some time in our business meeting discussing how the general downturn in the economy was likely to make professional travel increasingly difficult for many for some time to come, and explored ways of compensating for this unfortunate trend, including screencasting future SEMLA meetings.

Also in the business meeting, a student member proposed creating a Facebookaccount for SEMLA, with the object of outreach to library-school students, and of increasing awareness of music librarianship as a career. The idea was well received, and an exploratory committee was set up.

All in all, a very enjoyable and informative meeting this year — I’ve come back with lots of ideas for our LIB250 course and other endeavors!

NCLA RTSS Spring Workshop

Monday, May 26, 2008 3:56 pm

RTSS 2008 – The Future of Bibliographic Control

At NCLA’s Resources & Technical Services Section’s Spring workshop, held this year on May 22 in Raleigh, the keynote speaker was Jose-Marie Griffiths, Dean of the Library School at Chapel Hill, and also a member of a working group charged by the Library of Congress to:

(1) Explore how bibliographic control (formerly known as cataloging, also including related activities) can support access to library materials in the web environment;

(2) Advise the Library of Congress on its future roles and priorities.

The group published its report, titled “The Future of Bibliographic Control”, in January of this year. It’s available on LC’s website: http://www.loc.gov/bibliographic-future/

Concerning the web environment, Giffiths began by noting that many users nowadays turn first to Google or some other web browser for their information needs; that despite the number of web-based library catalogs, there are still many separate library databases that are not accessible by a web search; that, due to the web’s worldwide reach, our users are increasingly diverse, using multiple venues (vendors, databases, social networking, etc); also, that bibliographic data now comes from increasingly diverse sources via the web; and that, as a result, bibliographic control must be thought of as “dynamic, not static”, and that the “bibliographic universe,” traditionally controlled by libraries, will in future involve “a vast field of players” (including vendors, publishers, users, even authors/creators themselves).

As for LC’s role, the report reminds us that LC’s official mandate is to support the work of Congress. It has never been given any official mandate — and most importantly, the funding — to be a national library, providing the kinds of services (cataloging, authority control, standards) for the nation’s other libraries that national libraries typically do. Of course, over the years LC has become a de facto national library, providing all the above services, upon which not only American libraries but libraries worldwide rely heavily. As this unfunded mandate is rapidly becoming unsustainable, pressures are building to “identify areas where LC is no longer the sole provider” and create partnerships to distribute the responsibility for creating and maintaining bibliographic data more widely (among other libraries, vendors, publishers, etc.); also, to review current LC services to other libraries with an eye to economic viability, or “return on investment.”

To achieve these aims (exploiting the web environment, and sharing responsibility), the working group offers 5 recommendations:

(1) Increase efficiency in producing and maintaining bibliographic data. Griffiths noted that duplicated effort persists not so much in creating bib records nowadays (thanks to OCLC and other shared databases), but in the subsequent editing and maintaining of these records: many libraries do these tasks individually offline. Proposed solutions: recruit more libraries into the CCP (Cooperative Cataloging Program, those other large research libraries that contribute LC-quality records to OCLC). Convince OCLC to authorize more libraries to upgrade master records (the ones we see when we search) in the OCLC database. Also, exploit data from further upstream: Publishers and vendors create bib data before libraries do. Find more ways to import vendor data directly into library systems, without library catalogers having to re-transcribe it all. (This may cause some of us who’ve seen certain vendor records in OCLC to blanch; however, the Working Group’s report adds: “Demonstrate to publishers the business advantages of supplying complete and accurate metadata”[!]). Similarly, recruit authors, publishers, abstracting-and-indexing services, and other communities that have an interest in more precisely identifying the people, places, and things in their files, to collaborate in authority control. Team up with other national libraries to internationalize authority records.

(2/3) Position our technology, and the library community, for the (web-based) future. We need to “integrate library standards into the web environment.” Proposed solutions: Ditch the 40-year-old MARC format (only libraries use it), and develop a “more flexible, extensible metadata carrier [format]“, featuring “standard” “non-language-specific” “data identifiers” (tags, etc.) which would allow libraries’ bib data to happily roam the World Wide Web, and in turn enable libraries to import data from other web-based sources. Relax standards like ISBD (the punctuation traditionally used in library bib records) to further sharing of data from diverse sources. “Consistency of description within any single environment, such as the library catalog, is becoming less significant than the ability to make connections between environments, from Amazon to WorldCat to Google to PubMed to Wikipedia, with library holdings serving as but one node in this web of connectivity.” Incorporate user-contributed data (like we see in Amazon, LibraryThing, etc.) that helps users evaluate library resources. Take all those lists buried in library-standards documentation – language codes, geographical codes, format designators (GMDs), etc. – and put those out on the web for the rest of the world to use. Break up those long strings of carefully-coordinated subdivisions in LC subject headings (“Work — Social aspects — United States — History — 19th century”) so they’ll work in faceted systems (like NC State’s Endeca) that allow users to mix-and-match subdivisions on their own. (This is already generating howls of protests from the cataloging community, with counter-arguments that the pre-coordinated strings provide a logical overview of the topic — including those aspects the user didn’t think of on their own.) The Working Group supports development of FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, a proposed digital-friendly standard), but like many in the library community, remains skeptical of RDA (Resource Description and Access, another proposed standard meant to bring the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules into the digital age) until a better business case can be made for it: “The financial implications … of RDA adoption … may prove considerable. Meanwhile, the promised benefits of RDA — such as better accommodation of electronic materials, easier navigation, and more straightforward application — have not been discernible in the drafts seen to date…. Indeed, many of the arguments received by the Working Group for continuing RDA development unabated took the form of ‘We’ve gone too far to stop’ or ‘That horse has already left the barn,’ while very few asserted either improvements that RDA may bring or our need for it.”

(4) Strengthen the profession. Griffiths noted that in many areas we lack the comprehensive data we need for decision-making and for cost-benefit analysis. We need to build an evidence base, and “work to develop a stonger and more rigorous culture of formal evaluation, critique, and validation.”

(5) Finally, with the efficiencies gained from the above steps, LC and other libraries will be able to devote more resources to cataloging and digitizing their rare and unique materials. The Working Group feels that enhancing access to more of these “hidden materials” should be a priority.

Griffiths shared with us LC’s immediate reactions to the Working Group’s report. The concepts of shared responsibility, and of accepting data from multiple sources, were “expected.” More controversial were the shifting of priorities to rare materials; the relinquishing of the MARC format; and the focus on return-for-investment in assessing standards, such as RDA.

LC’s final decisions regarding the Working Group’s recommendations are expected to be announced this summer.

Roz at LOEX – Teaching Web 2.0 to Students 1.5

Friday, May 2, 2008 2:11 pm

Robin L. Ewing and Melissa Prescott from St. Cloud State

Web 2.0 Definition (won’t regurgitate this – the basics – Social networking, bookmarking, tagging, communicating, RSS, etc.)

Web 2.0 Surveys 2007

Teens and Social Media from Pew Internet and American Life

Creating and Connecting from National School Board survey

  • 64% online teens have created Web 2.0 content
  • Approx. 30% of online students have their own blogs
  • 22% have uploaded videos they have created

Their own Web 2.0 Awareness Survey

74 students

Awarness of Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Blogs, Podcasts, Social tagging, Wikipedia, Other Wikis, RSS

  • RSS had not heard of 92%, 0% had ever used
  • Social Bookmarking 68% had not heard of
  • Other Wikis 45% had not heard of
  • Podcasts 51% had heard of but had not used
  • 5% had blogs
  • 8% had uploaded videos

Audience discussed how their students compare – similar experiences — students are not seeing new technologies as ‘exciting’ the way librarians do….for them it’s like a new feature on a car — or a refrigerator…..

Librarians respond to Web 2.0 — we see it as a way to connect, market, facilitate — but do students want us there?

Wanted to use credit courses to introduce Web 2.0 concepts and applications, identify tools to discuss with them but not have them create the content or evaluate

Devoted the last 5 minutes of each class to Web 2.0 technology – overview and example — used PPT presentations, or Social Bookmarking YouTube videos (In Plain English series)….. sometimes also did in-class exercises

Virtual Library Tour

  • Had students take the pictures (check out the cameras from Circ) …..upload to Flickr….. tag….
  • Set up a Flicker account for the class
  • Assigned them to groups
  • Gave each a camera
  • Instructor uploaded them to Flickr
  • Tagging happened later in the semester
  • Now they do a short tour – students upload the pcitures – students add tags and notes — http://www.flickr.com/photos/13167481@N03
  • Practice tagging with Google Image Labeler

Social Bookmarking

PPT – definition, video — in class they signed up for account and tagged some sites

Podcasting

Online article — Online May/June 31-31 — Bennington, Adam. 2007. Stick it in your ear: Keeping current with Podcases

Had them listen to a podcast and then evaluated it in class….

Next Steps

Connect Web 2.0 Resources to student research

  • Blogs as research logs
  • Wikipedia article creation
  • 23 Things idea….
  • Short readings ’7ThingsYour Should Know about…..” from EDUCAUSE outside of class and come into class ready to discuss

Implications for IL Instruction

Evaluation of Information from Web 2.0 Sources needs to be considered – not easy to get a checklist format for this.

This was a great session because it confirmed my hunch that students don’t use Web 2.0 the  way librarians use it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not relevant to their research in certain circumstances. I really love the idea of having the students take pictures of the library and then use the concept of tagging to introduce the concept of controlled vocabularies.  I also got some other good ideas about how to approach the topics with students by starting with things we know they do (read their updates in Facebook) and applying that to other Web 2.0 technologies (RSS Feeds).

Library 2.0 Publication Podcast Interview

Saturday, January 12, 2008 4:20 pm
Library 2.0 Publication Podcast Interview
Library 2.0 Publication Podcast Interview

This morning I had a new conference experience. Most of you know that Erik, Caroline and I recently authored a chapter in the new ACRL book “Library 2.0: Initiatives in Academic Libraries.” The publisher invited authors who planned to attend ALA Midwinter to be interviewed about our projects on a podcast. It will be linked from the ACRL site and from the project wiki. I was joined by Dawn Lawson from NYU, who used Facebook for outreach to East Asian Studies students. It was an enjoyable experience, although I’m sure either Erik or Caroline would have been better spoken. The interview was conducted by David Free (coincidentally the editor of C&RL News where Lynn’s and my South article will soon appear!). Kathryn Deiss, ACRL’s Content Strategist joined us and hosted the interview in her hotel room.

This afternoon was my one committee obligation. As you may recall, I’m on the Instructional Technologies Committee which is charged with writing 2-3 “Tips and Trends” articles each year. I volunteered to partner up with another committee member to write about the use of Facebook in Library Instruction. But unlike others in our library, my committee is fairly one dimensional, meaning we get all our business conducted in one two hour session. It was interesting to learn that our chair’s plan to have a mid year conference call to supplement the face-to-face meeting today was turned down by ACRL powers because there are strict procedures for asking for extra meetings and adhering to a strict notification procedure 10 days prior to holding such a meeting. Geez…..

I just finished up my day with a lovely visit with our regional representative from ExLibris, John Straw. I wanted to start the conversations we must soon have about Meridian’s future, EnCompass for Digital Collections’ future, and Voyager’s overall viability in the ExLibris product line. I did find out there is discussion of porting Voyager to Linux and saw a very quick demo of the new WebVoyage interface for 7.0. We talked about lining up times to preview DigiTool and Verde. I did nab 2 pens and one mint life saver. Let’s just say that the schwag Giz is so fond of was scarce in the exhibit hall today!

Finally, here’s my people siting report: I literally ran into Debbie Nolan in the exhibit hall. She had larengitis so I had plenty of opportunity to fill her in on all the activities at ZSR. She sends her greetings to all of you. I also made a visit to the Alibris booth to say hi and check up on my new duathlon partner Billy O’Banks (AKA Bill Kane). He reported he has been in a tapering training mode in his travels the past week, but will back to the training grindstone this coming week. Lastly, Mary H. and I plan to meet up with Lauren for dinner, and she is picking out the restaurant. Seemed only fair since Mary and I will eat anything.

Library 2.0 at UNCG (Lauren’s report)

Monday, June 18, 2007 9:52 am

For those who have been following the evolution of Library 2.0, a lot of this will be familiar… so I am just going to include links to most of what was covered:

  • Tim Bucknall highlighted the OCLC findings
  • Patrons want self-sufficiency, satisfaction, and seamlessness
  • Danny Nanez highlighted Michael Habib’s Academic Library 2.0
  • academic library 2.0
  • Discussed Blackboard, pathfinders, chat reference
  • MyWelch: a blackboard interface for library services
  • Students as creators of content
  • Ann Arbor Library is innovative
  • Ann Arbor Catalog
  • University of Minnesota Website wiki is EXACTLY what we’re trying to do
  • Gaming in Libraries (Amy Harris & Scott Rice)
  • The idea is to make the library fun
  • Overview of millennials (PDF)
  • Discussed their game night, citing Giz & WFU; they include cards & board games
  • Photos on Flickr
  • Info Island on Second Life
  • Another option, Active World, can link to web content, create floor plan of the library & link to real library resources
  • UNCG Info Lit game, teaches info lit uses AJAX, is ADA compliant, and is free under CC License
  • Tim Bucknall discussed the future of the ILS/OPAC, cited Roy Tennant presentation from SOLINET
  • Federated search beyond just our catalog (journals, websites, etc)
  • “Will ILS return to original function as inventory–rather than a search–tool?”
  • Google Books (which I love, as you may know)
  • Adding MARC records isn’t scalable when we have full text from all these major research libraries (via Google Books)
  • People don’t want MARC records, they want to search full text
  • Will probably turn to local data & inventory, where catalog is just a piece of search
  • Says, “Why don’t we have a Digital Guilford where people can search local documents.” Sound familiar?
  • Terry Brandsma discussed AquaBrowser as an enhancement to the catalog
  • Examples of AquaBrowser: Queens Library & Arkansas State Library-Beebe
  • AquaBrowser doesn’t require MARC records, could include journal articles, websites, etc
  • Discussed Endeca as a more efficient catalog; developed for retail/business
  • Examples of Endeca: NCSU & McMaster University
  • Discussed WorldCat as way to search beyond just local holdings & searches across books and articles
  • University of Washington is using WorldCat as their catalog
  • Discussed SirsiDynix Enterprise Portal Solutions (EPS) as a way of forced clustering before searching
  • Examples of EPS: Arcadia, Boston Public Library, & Cerritos College
  • Discussed faceted and visual browsing including SirsiDynix & KartOO Visu
  • Tim Bucknall and Lynda Kellam discussed Breaking Down Barriers
  • Tim pointed out that libraries have traditionally tried to set itself apart from the internet & say “that’s bad, we’re good.” Now we’re realizing that users will be in that other space, & we need to put our content there.
  • We can do this using: OpenURL, COinS (we have it, thanks to Kevin!), Bookmarklets, & Blackboard
  • Pushing specific content to subject area classes in Blackboard
  • Lynda demoed this content push to Blackboard; there is a “My Library Resources” option in the course
  • Don’t have to reauthenticate once they’re in Blackboard
  • Can also be pushed to open course websites (not necessarily Blackboard)
  • Banner extract of classes is added to a library database, liaisons then can interact with databases & add appropriate resources to their courses
  • Tim followed up on the Blackboard push project, they wanted to get down to just one click, so it required a different technology
  • Want to use this technology in other ways: news, new resources, reminders, contact links, course guides, mobile, etc. Much more targeted!!
  • Richard Cox worked on the technology behind this
  • Tim answered questions: WebFeat was discussed… a little clunky/slower, limited searching, but is a big step forward from current EZ Search

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