Archive for the 'Add new tag' Category

4Cast #92: Online Book Discussions…Interactive Websites…Vista Drops in Price…Another Google Hook-up?

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

1. Live, Online Book Discussions?
Oprah’s new Live Book Club launched on Monday, March 3rd. Approximately 500,000 simultaneous logons crashed the system, but Harpo Productions, Inc. says that they are going to keep trying. The club is available as a podcast on or iTunes.

2. Get interactive
Making websites interactive will boost traffic and can quite easily feature library activities and services. Putting your librarians – and even your patrons – in the spotlight will make users keep coming back to see what’s new.

3. Oh, Vista
Microsoft significantly dropped the price of Vista when it released it to 70 different countries last week. Price cuts vary by country, but if purchased in the US, only the higher-end versions get the new price.

4. / Google Hook-up?
First Jeeves left Teoma…now Ask?

4Cast #91: Library Hybrids, Librarian Profession, Free, Webware

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

This week’s 4cast:

1.  It Ain’t Your Grandma’s Library.

Libraries are offering more and more services inside and outside of their walls, allowing them to better serve their communities in creative and practical ways.

2.  Does Being a Librarian Still Mean What It Used To?

Across the globe, the library profession seems to be undergoing harsh scrutiny from administration, raising the question of whether or not today’s librarians perform work that is less complex than their predecessors.

3.  Libraries Do It For Free.

And have for generations.  ‘Nuff said.

4.  2.0 PR Materials for Libraries.

WOW your users with  It’s a great source for adding spice to your presentation, graphics and web pages.  Here are some recent posts (which are also available by RSS) that will make your PR materials stand out.  Webware also reviews new software, offers new widgets to make you more productive, and writes about technology trends that could be requested by your customers.

4Cast #90: Google Health, Blu-Ray, Gaming, E-Books

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

This week’s 4cast:

1.  A Google A Day Keeps the Doctor Away.

Google will begin its final phase of global domination, er, I mean personal medical records storage today as it begins testing its long-awaited health service.

2.  Feelin’ a Little “Blu?”

You’re not alone.  Wal-Mart, Netflix, Amazon and others have recently announced their alliance with Blu-Ray.  It sure looks like the end for HD DVD.

3.  Game On.

Regardless of your own thoughts on gaming in libraries, it’s hard to ignore the headlines.  Are games drawing teens to libraries for the right reasons?  Do “wrong” reasons exist?

4.  More E-Buzz on E-Books.

New campaigns are under way to get more readers interested in electronic books.  While it could significantly lower costs to big business and provide convenience to consumers, some speculate that for the most part, the e-book will never leave the e-shelf.

4Cast #87: Library 2.0, LTR, Social Media, Gaming

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

This week’s 4cast:

  1. Co-Opting Library 2.0

Technology brings challenges, of course, but how much 2.0 does a library really need?  Are important issues being ignored for the sake of all that is L2-centric?

  1. Library Technology Reports

Meredith Farkas of Information Wants to be Free, shares some hand-picked ALA Library Technology Reports and two projects of note:

  1. Social Media Adoption for Your Library: Yay or Nay?

Social networking can help increase a library’s online visibility, but it requires staff time and effort.  Below, some thoughts and objections on the value of networking in the virtual arena:

  1. Gaming Continues to Gain Acceptance in Libraries

Board games, putt-putt golf, and video games are turning up in libraries across the country as a means to raise money, increase awareness, and draw in library users of all ages.

4cast Podcast #25: Library Web Presence

Monday, November 19th, 2007

For years, libraries have been issued the challenge of creating an effective (but not overly invasive) web presence. For many libraries, the extent of this presence can be found in a single location—the library website. This is an excellent start, but what else can libraries do to ensure ongoing virtual visibility in their communities?

In this 4cast Podcast, Laura Watkins (OPLIN Library Services Manager) returns from the annual Internet Librarian conference with six tangible ways that libraries can improve their web presence.

4cast #78: Digitization, OpenSocial, ILS, Websites

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Don’t Digitize That Obituary Just Yet

Anthony Grafton writes in The New Yorker that massive digitization projects (such as Google Book Search and Microsoft Live Book Search) have some people foaming at the mouth about a grand universal library that will put traditional libraries out of business. Except for one thing – these projects will never get around to digitizing everything.

2. Google’s Buddies Corner Facebook

In a move that puts pressure on Facebook, Google has unveiled OpenSocial, a common set of technical standards (APIs) that will allow third-party developers to more easily build applications that work across multiple social networks. MySpace and other well-known services were quick to jump on board.

3. Out With the Old, In With the Open

In recent months, some more library systems have been dumping their traditional ILS vendors in favor of open source solutions such as LibLime and Evergreen.

4. Library Website? Don’t Go There.

Meanwhile, echoing a sentiment expressed a few weeks ago in 4cast #73 (item 1), one of the key findings of the most recent OCLC report (see 4cast #77, item 2) is that less and less people are visiting the library website.

4cast #76: Digitization, Experimentation, Comcast, Fines

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Your Scanners Are Not Welcome Here

Several influential research libraries have spurned offers to join Google and Microsoft’s mass digitization projects. Instead, in an effort to make sure that their materials are available digitally without any commercial or other restrictions, these libraries are turning to the Open Content Alliance.

2. Step Into Our Lab

Ken Varnum (RSS4Lib) has created a directory of experimental library websites, where libraries of all types are trying out new web features and services before fully implementing them. What’s happening out there on the cutting edge?

3. Cast Out

It recently came to light that Comcast, the second-largest Internet service provider in the country, has been actively disrupting BitTorrent and other file-sharing traffic on its network, regardless of the legality of the traffic. Comcast claims they’re just slowing down a few bandwidth hogs, but critics say it amounts to a sneak attack on Net Neutrality.

4. Fine! FINE!

Aaron Schmidt (walking paper) is on a mission to rid the world of overdue library fines, and has set up the Anti Fines wiki for librarians who feel the same way.

OPLIN 4cast #73

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Let’s Meet Somewhere Else

Karen Coombs (Library Web Chic) ponders whether the time, effort, and resources devoted to the aesthetics and endless details of her library’s website redesign would be better spent figuring out how to make the library’s data and content more usable in places other than the website. You know, where people actually go.

2. Hopin’ for Open

More and more libraries are interested in open source software and solutions, but without the technical expertise on staff, the prospect becomes daunting. Where to begin?

3. Honk if You Love the Mudflap Girl

So how do you know if your statewide library marketing campaign is making an impact? Level of kerfuffle in the bibliogosphere is one measure.

4. No Talk, Just Type

According to a recent survey, American adults are willing to sacrifice the time they would otherwise spend with friends, loved ones, or a newspaper in order to spend it online. Younger folks tend to see less of a distinction between being online and offline.