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.


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.


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


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.

On my way to Work with Ulysses

I like to listen to audiobooks on the way to work and back since most of my regular reading is devoted to reading for class.  I love as a source of public domain material performed by volunteers.  I recommend listening to “Moby Dick” from Librivox and Frankenstein but,  I could not get into Jame Joyce’s “Ulysses.”  The recording was purposely done in a less than normal manner such as allowing street noises which to me was a distraction

Thanks to a free, two book trial, from, I downloaded a professional recording of Ulysses and it is superior.  The voice acting is done well and the audio is clear.

I’ve only gotten up the 4th chapter so far.  There is over 22 hours of audio in this book.  That’s like listening to The Bible on CD, which I have.  So far it is an interesting read.  The noted “stream of consciences” passages are a bit difficult to keep in mind while driving though.

Why Ulysses? It is generally recognized as one of the most important books of the 20th Century.  So, I thought I should read it as I am trying to catch up on the other Classics too.

Taking Notes

Image  This semester for LIB200, Dr. Ron has us taking notes for all the reading.  I think the concept of taking notes is a good idea based on the premise that we forget what we read and writing it down is a way to help remember.  What I don’t like is that it take more time not only to read the book but to write down a shorted summary too.

   I have been trying out different ways to speed up this process.  First I tried reading a passage and write the notes, thoroughly in a Word document.  That took a lot of time.  Next I tried reading more of the chapter and writing down the notes.  Again, because of my through nature, this took time.

   I am now trying Evernote again.  I created an account a year or so ago but I never really got into the whole note taking syncing. Now I have more of an incentive to work with Evernote.  I have an iPad to take notes on while I am reading a passage.  Then I can sync to my desktop and copy-n-paste the notes into a Word document.  I think this will help to reduce the time it takes to take notes.  I hope.