Reflections on Core Readings

Buckland, “Redesigning Library Services”

My first thought was that this article was really old, over twenty years.  I understand there are foundational ideas that are fundamental to librarianship but when it comes to technology, three years is considered old.

Reading through Buckland’s work, I am reminded of when I first started at the library.  Buckland mentions the ability to make CDROM data available to the patrons via mounting them for distribution.  Our library had CDROM towers full of MedLine and PsychoInfo discs and automated it so as to be able to distribute them on our network or dial-in modems.  Then Buckland makes another point that is poignant.  He says that CDROMs are transitional technology a fact that has come to pass as our databases are no long supplied via CDROM media but are licensed directly from the publisher and accessed via their Internet websites.

The purpose of Buckland’s paper is to explain the transition from paper, to automated, to electronic libraries.  As of 1992, the transition was just at the automated stage.  I believe we are now transitioning into the electronic library, at least my experience in the academic library world tells me.  Here are some examples:

  • Paper versions are no longer the go-to media; students demand full-text electronic versions of journal articles accessible from anywhere.
  • The catalog is no longer just for books.  Next generation catalogs add a discovery layer that searches databases, patron tags, patron comments as well as books to bring the most desirable results to the searcher.
  • With the exception of archival materials and university documents, libraries are not digitizing their paper collections as Buckland thought.  The publishing companies have found that charging libraries for subscriptions to digital versions of indexes, journals and books is more cost-effective than the library digitizing their materials of their own accord.  Not to mention issues with copyright.

There is much more to talk about Buckland such as his foresight in anticipating the users’ desire to access information remotely (although never mentioning the Internet) but I have to reflect on the other readings.

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Lankes, “The Library As Conversation”

I agree with much that Lankes and company have to say about moving the library more into a participatory entity rather than a resource only.  This philosophy has been influencing my library as well as others for some time now.  To be more, “in the conversation,” is desirable on many levels.  Libraries have to compete with other information resources like Google, so adding a personal touch helps the library to compete with a “cold, uncaring corporation.”  The more attention that the library receives by being in the conversation, the more attention that administration will pay to the library; and by paying meaning more budget given to the library.  Today’s patrons are used to being in an online world that is filled with social participation.  As the article says, bringing the library to the conversation is important.  Today that means that the library should have an active Facebook presence.  Bringing information to people when they need it is an important goal for library services to strive towards. But as I was reminded of this weekend, not everyone, even those that I would expect, have Facebook accounts.  Therefore, the participatory library cannot rely on just one form of social conversation like Facebook.  It needs to offer alternatives.

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Casey, “Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service”

Like the Buckland book, there is a lot of information contained in this book that will be skipped over to write a short reflection on its contents.  My first impression is that Library 2.0 is not a new concept.  All the library conferences that I have been to lately have incorporated Library 2.0 ideas, mainly participating in conversations with patrons, engaging patrons and adapting new technology to continue with library participation.  But knowing about the Library 2.0 does not mean that every library, including my own, has implemented its features.

The most stand out feature I see in Library 2.0 is making it easier for patrons to give feedback.  The idea of placing this feedback area in plain sight on the main web page is something that I plan to implement.  Another key feature is to evaluate services on a regular basis.  I know my library has fallen victim to the “Plan, Implement, and Forget” strategy but not following up on a project to see if it was useful for either the staff or patrons.  One of my librarians says that she does not want to go to the next conference because even if she learns about a new process, she will not be able to follow up and integrate it into her daily workflow.  Using the: investigate, plan and review teams seems like a good idea but I think the idea would have to be modified based on the library’s size and structure.

The last tidbit that I found interesting was the devotion of content dedicated to the revolution that MySpace was having in social media and barely a sentence on Facebook.  Oh how things have changed since 2006.  Does anyone use MySpace?  It goes to show that technology, services, products and mindsets change regularly.  Change is constant and consistent.  Change is here to stay.  Library 2.0 tells us to embrace change, change regularly and with a purpose.  Convincing staff to change established processes is a difficult matter.

-Gerald Rezes

Transitions

Transitions are difficult.  The transitions that I am referring to is going from school break to back to school.  I’ve been staying up way too late recently trying to fit in the activities I was doing before school started back up with the things with my two classes require.  I finished up last night reading my textbooks for LIBR 287 and tonight I have to start reading for my LIBR 202 class.  Going to have to stop watching TV and playing Diablo III.  😦

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Introduction

374052_10150347781561295_705761294_8375925_326502986_nHello everyone, my name is Gerald Rezes.  Let’s see, I am one of those less than 25% minority library students who happen to be male. 🙂 I come to librarianship with a live long professional interest in computers and information technology.  I would not have guessed that would be studying to be a librarian.  But that changed after spending the last sixteen years working at an academic library.

I work for Loma Linda University, University Libraries.  I started out as a computer technician working for the library.  After my supervisor left, I was assumed the position of Library Systems Administrator.  I have participated in the rapid change that technology has brought to libraries.  For example, the Integrated Library System (ILS) has changed from being the online card catalog to a discovery platform that not only searches our cataloged monographs but our databases and digital library.   Although librarians dislike the term, the biggest push in libraries today I think is that they are becoming more “Googlish” meaning a one-stop-place to find information.  Librarians will argue that at least the results found through the library’s search are more trustworthy.

Back to me.  I live in southern California specifically in Redlands.  I am currently married with a son in fourth grade.  I try to find time for astronomy and video game playing.  Reading for school is usually all the time I have for reading but I enjoy listening to audio books while commuting.   I am working on listening to the classics like “The Odyssey”, “Dracula” and “Moby Dick” because they are public domain and volunteer sites like Librivox present great downloadable versions.

I am just beginning with my SLIS program.  I am taking my third and fourth classes this semester.  I hope to learn throughout this course the finer specifics of using social communications for librarianship.  I am a participating contributor to my library’s Facebook page, blog and website.  We are still in our infancy when it comes to promoting ourselves in this media.  I think we can do better and hopefully this course will give me some pointers to bring back to my work.

Good luck everyone, I look forward to working with all of you.

First Spring 2013 class started

One more day of freedom before my second class starts.  It starts on the 23rd not 22nd like I thought.  🙂

My first class of spring 2013 started today, a little early.  It is the Hyperlinked Library class and it will be conducted all within a WordPress blog (http://thehyperlinkedlibrary.org/hyperlib/).  I remember someone from last semester mentioned this class and the URL.  I checked it out then and I am pleased that I am taking the course now.  I hope it will be an easy class due to my background with computers, social networks and previous experience. I am hoping for an easy class because I will be taking two classes this semester which will be a new experience for me.

Finished Ulysses

I finished listening to James Joyce’s Ulysses.  I am not a book critic but I can give you my impressions of the book.  It is long and rambling at times brilliant and other times strange 51nQaLjA0zL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_and difficult to follow.  I can see why this novel is considered a modern classic with the way Joyce uses different writing styles throughout the book to relate a 24-hour narrative.  There are several passages that I liked but it is difficult to concisely say what those passages are.  The critics, especially of the time, objected to the sexual content in the Nausicaä episode but I found the last episode, Penelope, detailing Molly Bloom’s thoughts to me more obscene.  I also have a hard time thinking that James Joyce knows what is going on inside a woman’s head enough to give a detailed description whereas it is more like a man’s fantasy of what women are thinking.  At least that is my two cents.

The voice acting of this audio book is excellent.  I was easily transported to the novel’s time period and the narration allowed me to engaged with the character uniquely.  The Librivox version of this book was too distracting given that different people voiced different episodes.

Next on the reading list, “At the Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Lovecraft.  I never read Lovecraft before although he has inspired countless movies and stories of our time.