By Meredith Farkas | July 22, 2007
When I find a post or article interesting and think I might want to comment on it, it goes into the “to blog” folder. That folder is getting pretty darn full, and I think it’s time I accept that I’m not going to blog all of these things and maybe should just point to some of them:
- Discord Over Dewey – a Wall Street Journal article that avoids lame stereotypes and presents a very balanced look at the Maricopa County Public Library’s experiment with replacing Dewey classification with “plain-English subjects.” Lots of librarians you might recognized are quoted. All in all, a rather good article.
On a personal note, I don’t have really strong opinions about the library’s decision to get rid of Dewey. I applaud the fact that they made changes based on user survey data. I think it’s great that they are trying something that hasn’t been done before. I don’t know if it will make things better or worse in terms of patrons being able to find what they’re looking for. I suspect it will be a little bit of both. I wonder if the burden on staff will increase. I know it wouldn’t be a good solution at every library and I don’t see it as being quite so innovative as some have said. I’m definitely curious to hear about how it’s gone after a year and I wish them well.
- Vu Find – I saw something about Vu Find on Roy Tennant’s blog, played with it for a few minutes thought “that’s cool” and then went back to the zillion other things in my aggregator. That might have been it if Winona Salesky of UVM (we presented together at a Vermont Library Association meeting on Friday) hadn’t spoken about it as well in her presentation and mentioned that it was designed to go on top of Voyager catalogs (which is what we have at Norwich), much like the Endeca interface goes over NCSU’s OPAC. I looked over at our Head of Technical Services and our brand-new Electronic Resource Librarian and am pretty sure that they were thinking the same thing I was.
Here’s the description from the website.
VuFind is a library resource portal designed and developed for libraries by libraries. The goal of VuFind is to enable your users to search and browse through all of your library’s resources by replacing the traditional OPAC to include:
* Catalog Records
* Locally Cached Journals
* Digital Library Items
* Institutional Repository
* Institutional Bibliography
* Other Library Collections and Resources
VuFind is completely modular so you can implement just the basic system, or all of the components. And since it’s open source, you can modify the modules to best fit your need or you can add new modules to extend your resource offerings.
It’s definitely a project I’ll be following!
- Librarian 2.0 – Interviews on the future of librarians – Like many, I completely forgot that I had done this interview for Degree Tutor until someone pointed to it last week. I am only one of almost 30 librarians who were interviewed for this series (most of whom will be familiar names to you). It’s really interesting to read people’s thoughts on libraries, librarians, the future of libraries and their own work.
- When To Use a Wiki? – This great post from Online Community Report discusses some conditions under which a wiki is a good tool to use. A lot of this echoes the advice I’ve given in the past regarding wikis, but these tips can’t be stressed enough. A wiki isn’t the right tool for every collaborative job and it definitely needs to be presented to people in the right way.
- STEP ONE: STOP CALLING THEM DATABASES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Amy Kearns really wants us to stop calling our online library resources databases. I heartily agree, but am not entirely sure what a good alternative would be. When I redesigned our website last year, I called them Online Library Resources (and further broke them down into ebooks, articles and reference works), but I think even that is insufficient to explain what they really are. To me, “databases” are the tip of the library terminology iceberg. In our periodicals section, I recently noticed a sign that says “Periodicals Do Not Circulate.” Now, what part of that sentence would the average Freshman understand? How about “do” and “not”. I think we could be doing better with terminology in a lot of areas and we really need to go into our facilities and systems thinking like someone who has never visited a library before.