Library vs Amazon

Just saw Libraries: How they stack up from OCLC. It has lots of good comparisons of libraries to other “stuff” – here are a few good ones:

U. S. public library cardholders outnumber Amazon customers by almost 5 to 1 (Amazon – 30 million customers; public library cardholders – 148 million).

Amazon ships around 1,500,000 items per day; U. S. Libraries circulate 5,400,000 items per day.

And a completely silly one:
– Librarians worldwide: 690,000
– Population of Bahrain: 656,000

I’m Getting Things Done

Empty InboxJust bragging a little… here’s proof I currently have an EMPTY INBOX! I have recently read Getting Things Done by David Allen.

I’m apparently not the only librarian reading through this book. I actually don’t remember where I heard about it – some blog, most likely. David Allen, the author of the book, has a website and blog, too.

OK. I’ll see if this organizational method works for me. The interesting/neat thing I found with this method? It’s geared more towards knowledge workers (translation – librarians), it’s geared to handle “what do I do next” questions (called “next actions” in the book – a little too corporate-sounding to me, but oh well), and it helps blend all your “stuff to do” – work, home, hobbies, somedays, etc – just what I was looking for. For me, all that stuff is mixed into one big “what do I do” heap in my brain, and individual “stuff” doesn’t neccessarily make itself know at the most appropriate of times. Otherwise, I end up being efficient at work OR home, but not both.

So – just an FYI to others looking to organize a little better.

Blogging Makes You Smarter!

Take a look at this article, “Brain of a Blogger (found via Darlene Fichter’s link blog).

In this article, two MD types argue that writing a blog is good for your brain. Why?

1. Blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking.
2. Blogging can be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and associational thinking.
3. Blogs promote analogical thinking.
4. Blogging is a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information.
5. Blogging combines the best of solitary reflection and social interaction.

So. since I blog AND email (since email lowers IQ), it’ll all even out in the end, right?

PS – for a fun discussion of the silliness of the whole “email lowers IQ” study, check this out.

Internet Librarian 2005 and Public Libraries

Check out the hip Internet Librarian 2005 Conference. The Advance Program is out, so you can check out the many dynamic programs taking place at this year’s conference.

I’m not sure if this is a first or not (but it’s cool nonetheless) – this year’s conference has a Public Libraries track! Personally, I think of this conference as one of the Do-Not-Miss conferences for librarians. Whether or not you consider yourself a techie, you are guaranteed to learn something new, something useful that you can actually take back to your library, and something fun.

That techie/non-techie part is important, too. Sure, there are sessions that will go way over your head (they’ll certainly go over mine). However, a great majority of sessions are given by librarians like you or me – librarians who discovered something new or something that is helping connect their libraries to their customers – and got up the gumption to share about it with others.

Here’s the track – hope to see you in Monterey!

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TRACK B: Top Tech Trends for Public Libraries

This track explores what top technology trends some public librarians are using to reach their users and explores how medium and small PLs can successfully implement some of those new technologies. With an eye toward cost, staffing and the ROI, these sessions offer useful tips, take-home examples, and loads of practical experience. Moderated by Michael Stephens, St. Joseph County Public Library & Tame the Web

Web Trends & Innovations
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Glenn Peterson, Hennepin County Public Library
Sarah Houghton, Marin County Free Library
David King, Kansas City Public Library

A lively opening to our day! Meet the experts for a discussion of the state of public library Web sites, including what smaller public library Web sites arefocusing on in terms of content, tips for effective Web presence and maintenance, bold design and new technology, and what cutting-edge public library Web sites are doing and plan to do in the next year, including integrated subject guides and a team approach.

Digital Content
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Ken Weil & Joe Latini, South Huntington Public Library,
Long Island, NY

Meet librarians who have implemented a successful audio books program in their libraries detailing many valuable lessons about choosing the right vendor, configuring the Web site, promoting, and eventually surveying users. And don’t miss the librarians from the first public library to circulate iPod Shuffles!

People and Technology
1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
David King, Kansas City Public Library
Michael Stephens, St. Joseph County Public Library

How do we manage technology, people, and ourselves in the public library environment where change is constant. King discusses how to hire and keep tech-savvy staff and Stephens presents ways to promote staff buy-in when planning and implementing technology.

Social Software & Sites for PLs
2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian
Jessamyn West, www.librarian.net

Learn what public libraries can do with social software and sites. Images! Bookmarks! Tags! Presented by two notable blogging librarians, this session offers tips and tricks to use in your library for marketing, outreach, and presence!

Hardware Solutions
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Aaron Schmidt, Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Bernadine Goldman, Los Alamos County Public Library

Schmidt outlines the best practices for configuring the public computer. From reasons not to “dumb them down” to spyware solutions, these hints and tips offer useful insights for participants’ public libraries! Goldman outlines how to take control of public library computing stations with step-by-step instructions and tips for planning.

Future Tech Trends for PLs
4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sarah Houghton, Marin County Free Library
Joe Latini & Ken Weil, South Huntington Public Library
Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian
Aaron Schmidt, Thomas Ford Memorial Library

To finish the day, join another lively panel of practicing public library technologists for their forecasts and implications of new technologies. What’s next? How do we plan successfully? How do we keep on top of this evershifting world? Take time for questions and discussion to round out the day!