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New Report Published--Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2007-2008

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This is great information that can be used to show the amount of technology access and support libraries are providing to their communities. Share with your stakeholders, city officials, and especially, your grant funders! I love seeing proof of all the library wireless access and technology training! --sg

The ALA Office for Research & Statistics and the Information Institute at Florida State University just published “Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2007-2008.”  The complete report is available for free at www.ala.org/plinternetfunding, and a copy of the bound report can be purchased through the ALA, www.alastore.ala.org/.

Who is in YOUR unofficial support network?

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Happy birthday to Chris Peters, MaintainIT Cookbook author and one of my favorite people to turn to when I need to better understand something about library technology. If he doesn't know the answer to a question I ask, he sees that as a challenge and soon he does know and explains it to me, too.

Can you future-proof your library?

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This was a question that Micheal Krasny, host of the Forum on NPR's affiliate in San Franciso asked of his guests yesterday in an hour-long program called "The Future of Libraries." Al Escoffier, City Librarian for the Burlingame Public Library, Jane Light, Director of the San Jose Library, Jim Rettig, president of the American Library Association, and Martin Gomez, President of the Urban Libraries Council were on the program.

Wired for Wireless?!

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There were many great discussions at today’s Book Club webinar on Avoiding Wireless Networking Problems including: wiring for wireless, planning for access points, using repeaters, how to minimize interference and even how to improve bandwidth. There was a great combination of techie experts, novices, and in-betweeners.

IT Department or Rec Department?

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I’ve noticed lately that libraries are beginning to be co-opted into different local government departments. In Roseville, CA, the library is under the Recreation Department and something similar has been done in Palos Verdes. Most recently I’ve noticed the Library Director job is being defined as "Community Services Director" in San Bruno, where there will only be an Assistant Library Director. These are just a few of the examples of libraries I can give from California; I’m sure there are many more.

A Reel Find: Tennessee libraries use a wiki to share technology tips and techniques

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At the MaintainIT Project, we're always working to find new and useful ways to communicate about library technology, so when I recently encountered the Reelfoot Regional Library System's Reel Wiki, I asked Joyce Gunnels if she would share some information about it with me. Luckily, she agreed and here are her responses.

The Influence of Technology

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The first time I heard someone talk about the struggle to prepare students for careers and jobs that don’t currently exist, I could only imagine some sort of futuristic science fiction type of world. But now I realize that this has already happened in my life. The methods I use to contribute to the MaintainIT project were not possible in the early 90’s when I was in library school--webinars, blog postings, and downloadable books. But really, the skills I focused on in my formal education: writing, research, and librarianship are still the foundation of my work today. However, it made me start thinking about how technology affects libraries and librarians today.

Web 2.0... for your patrons!

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An interesting thread on publib last week covered a discussion around web 2.0 and how it's used in libraries. I think Sara Weissman from the Morris County Library (NJ) said it best when she mused, "What are the patrons getting out of any/all of this?" Sara continued, "the most effective channels to/for our patrons, to date, are an events listserv (995 subscribers, no postage!) and electronic reference via good-ole web form/e-mail."

Techies and Non-techies: We know we need each other!

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I have to admit, after listening to the Aug. 13th 30-Minute MaintainIT Webinar, the Gershwin song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" kept going through my mind. No, not because I wanted to break up with MaintainIT (we have such a great relationship!), but because of the title, "I say tomayto, you say tomahto: Communicating with techies and non-techies: Can’t we all just get along?"

Why you should let your teen patrons design the library's MySpace profile

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk with Cara Sawyer from the Cherryfield Free Public Library, a small independent library in Maine. Cara informed me that she recently decided to replace their little-used web site with a MySpace page, and she enlisted the teens that use the library’s two public access computers to help her set it up and maintain it.

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