Tourists in the Library

Saw this article in the Univ. of Tennessee student newspaper titled “Library not a place for frivolity“. It’s mildly satirical (in my opinion) but raises some valid points. For example, “why do you come to the library at midnight to get on Facebook?” Or “Why come to the library just to check it out … in the middle of the night?”

I know, the newly remodeled Commons here at Hodges is very nice.. And I’m familiar with the “Library as Place” idea that factored into it’s creation. But is the campus library really supposed to be the new student center? Or a computer lab? Maybe it’s the way libraries have to go in the 21st century but at times I miss the peace and quiet.

Note: I also posted this at LISNews.

Busy May

May is almost over and I’m not sure where it went. Work has been going ok, the UT Libraries version of the new UT web templates should be ready in the next couple of weeks. Then the long and probably painful process of converting the libraries over to the new templates can begin.

On a personal note, I spent most of May getting the family finances in order. Cashed in some stock and paid off all our credit card debt, which was a sizable sum. Next on the agenda is looking at buying or building a house. Building on the land we have now is one option, or we may sell our current place and move a bit closer to work.

Anybody want to buy a Mac mini or a couple of Pentium 4 Windows XP machines? The only computer we ever turn on at home anymore is the laptop, so I’m on a mission to get rid of our desktop machines and reclaim some cash.

But for now we’ll be taking a break and headed to Arkansas for Memorial Day. Should be a nice change of pace.

Library Podcast… file extension issues

I’ve been working on putting a podcast up for The Commons at work. Which is a little harder than it sounds. First I had to figure out podcast RSS feeds. The University of Washington has a good site for that.

Then there was an issue with the .m4a file that GarageBand saves podcasts as. .m4a is not an official MIME media type, which means it’s probably not going to be in the Apache mime types. At least it wasn’t for the library web server. And it might not hurt to add .m4v as well.

AddType video/mp4 .m4v
AddType audio/mp4 .m4a

MPEG 4 has various (and mostly interchangeable) file extensions, although .mp4 is the only official extension. But Apple has popularized .m4a and .m4v into what appear to be defacto standards.

Tennessee Library Association Conference

Just got back from the TLA Conference in Chattanooga. I had a good time, saw several people that I hadn’t seen in a few years. The presentations were good, Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect was the keynote speaker. Sadly I didn’t get to hear her speak since the room was standing-room only by the time I got there. I attened sessions on IM reference, wikis, and library website redesign among other things. I also toured UT Chattanooga’s Lupton Library.

Social Libraries: The Books

Two of these aren’t published yet and at the moment my book budget is zero so I can only dream. But here’s the list.

Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service
Michael E. Casey and Laura C. Savastinuk – not yet published, Information Today, Inc. (May 21, 2007)

Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change
Walt Crawford

Library 2.0 and Beyond: Innovative Technologies and Tomorrow’s User
Nancy Courtney (Editor) – not yet published, Libraries Unlimited (June 30, 2007)

Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online
Meredith G. Farkas

More on Social Libraries

Today appears to be Social Libraries Friday here at Library Monk. It may signal the beginning of a trend, you’ll just have to wait until next Friday to find out. 🙂

First we have 23 Things from the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, which is described as:

23 Things (or small exercises) that you can do on the web to explore and expand your knowledge of the Internet and Web 2.0.

Most of these I’ve already done or know about, but it’s a nice intro to things 2.0.

Then there is Five Weeks to a Social Library which is a course I wish I had known about while it was going on. But the content is still there, looks like there’s lots of good info to peruse.

We’ve been blogging at UTK Libraries for a while now. Recently (along with the rest of UTK) we’ve been experimenting with podcasting , although it’s called Volcasting here, naturally.

There has been some talk of the library doing something with Second Life, but nothing concrete at this point. You might find me on Second Life as Librarymonk Merlin, but I don’t get the time to hang out there much.

Library Social Networks on Ning

I’ve had a Ning account for about a year, but I really hadn’t used it much. Well recently Ning seems to have gained popularity, at least among library folks.

ALA now has a Ning site, and Bill Drew has started a Library 2.0 site on Ning. There is also a Librarian Bloggers site. It will be interesting to see where these sites ago.

P.S. I was going to leave my last post up a bit longer, but for once I actually had something to write about.