Friday, December 11, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Study

There is no regular Impress Your Professor this week - just a hearty shout of GOOD LUCK with all your finals, papers, and projects.

We'll see you all next semester.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Finals Fun

Because Finals are upon us (Good Luck to all!) we're only posting two fun videos today. Cheers!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Digitization Without Fear

Two new Wired Campus pieces on The Chronicle of Higher Education Web site highlight recent university efforts to make their print collections more accessible to more patrons through technology.

In the first, our Washingtonian neighbor George Washington University is experimenting with an automated digitization system to determine whether a specially designed robot is faster and more cost-efficient at digitizing rare books than human page-turners. Rare Middle Eastern texts from GWU and Georgetown libraries will be the first texts digitized this way, and GWU plans to share its findings with libraries that might be considering a similar system.

Visual reproduction isn't the only form of digitization in the news this week. Audio reproduction of texts got a rare mention. Librarians at California State University-Dominguez Hills realized that the text-to-audio feature of their Kurzweil 3000 software for the visually impaired could be used to allow all students to turn texts into mp3s. Now 17 machines have been set up on campus for this purpose.

There are surely copyright concerns that will arise from all this, but it's a step in the right direction. It's nice to see people writing and thinking about technology in libraries with optimism instead of fear.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Be Professional

Librarian 2.0
What does it mean to be the new librarian?

Now With Sidearms... of books!
A cops parody


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Open Sesame

The Internet as Right?
A case for open internet.

The Internet - In a box!
I can't embed this video, but follow the link for hilarity.

The IT Crowd - Series 3 (The Internet)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Lose the Books

NPR has a rather interesting story posted on its website about how a school library is saying goodbye to its print collection. It seems to me like this yet another tipped domino in an increasing move towards digital collections and e-books.

NPR quotes the schools Academic Dean as stating, "Part of our desire to move in this direction is to meet the students where they are most comfortable... And it's our responsibility as well to help students understand the emerging technologies that they are going to be faced with."

But with great new power comes great responsibility. (Oh, Spiderman.) This week, NPR also posted a story about a Vision Group requesting that a school stop buying Kindles until Amazon comes up with better way to turn on the vocal reading option.

So, my question to everyone is, how do we continue to move forward with our digital and electronic tools without leaving people behind?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Mobile

There's an app for that.


Think book mobile.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Unprepared

I was not prepared to post anything on the blog today. No stories stuck out in my mind. I didn't come across any incredibly interesting articles. Frankly, I was drained of all my energy because I had to teach two courses of library instruction / information literacy yesterday. (After 3 hours, I have a new found respect for teachers who stand up and talk all day.)

So, here I sit, blanking on any information to type. I could discuss more about Google Wave (named after a communications method from my beloved and bygone space cowboy show Firefly), but it's been done and will continue to be done. I could peruse the ASIST journal and bulletin for articles, but I'm not in the mood. Ultimately, I've decided to do what most people do when they're stuck: procrastinate.

(1 hour later)

Success! In my procrastination, I decided to clean out my e-mail files. Look what I came across: Library101.

A large part of working in an academic library is teaching to undergraduates. We have to make the library look all sorts of awesome while still teaching them how to use all our (awesome!) tools and resources. Library101 offers a (somewhat hokey) crash course in what it means to remain relevant in a changing and technologically innovative society.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Overload, Part II

Facts and Stats
Just how much overload is overload?

The Cure?
Has anyone found Bing to be the cure to IO?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hey, at least they're saving trees!

It's not news that libraries are considering digital alternatives to print, but to replace an entire collection with Amazon's proprietary Kindle reader? Today? In the Fall of 2009? Is the future really here, or has Cushing Academy jumped the gun?

USA Today reports that the Massachusetts school began removing its print collection entirely last summer and replaced it with a fully digital collection accessible through Kindle readers and through databases on student laptops. A few books still remain, but those are also slated to be removed.

Format may be less important than content, and getting reliable resources into the hands of the patron is goal number one, but is putting faith in a proprietary system this early in a very competitive game really wise? It's a question for the accountants. Is it cheaper to upgrade this technology if and when it gets outpaced by its (possibly open source) competitors than it is to wait? And from a research standpoint, has content been recreated digitally, or has it simply been replaced by something more palatable to high schoolers?

Whether or not it helps the school's bottom line, it does show that libraries are willing to grow with the culture and embrace technologies that will expand the information and services they are able to offer. It's a bold step forward by a boarding school that, USA Today tells us, was the first in the US to admit both boys and girls.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Overstuffed

Information Overload
How does it affect you?

Do You Suffer From IOS?
Side affects include...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Search Me

Just how nerdy are you? If you're like me, very, very nerdy. So nerdy in fact that you find the most recent ASIST Bulletin to be awesome. It's all abouts searching. In their article, "An Evolution of Search," authors John D. Holt and David J. Miller give an overview of how searching (Boolean, Relevance ranking, etc.) developed and evolved over time. It's utterly fascinating.

What's your preferred search style?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

EVENT: National Meeting Preview

Whether you're looking for a sneak preview of ASIS&T's 2009 meeting in Vancouver or can't make to Canada, join PVC-ASIS&T and the CUA Chapter of ASIS&T to hear preview talks from PVC-ASIS&T members who will be giving presentations at the national meeting.

INCLUDED: Dinner will be provided

Speakers Include:

Trudi Hahn
"The Information Connection in Times of Crisis"
A report of a federally funded project to study roles for public libraries in serving the information needs of their communities in times of disasters.

Joe Hourcle
"Interoperability in the Space Sciences"
To deal with the highly heterogeneous data needs, NASA has funded the creation of a number of specialized "Virtual Observatories" (VxOs) in the space sciences. This presentation discusses these original VxOs, as well as phenonomena based VxOs such as the Virtual Waves Observatory (VWO), browseable directories such as the Virtual Space Physics Observatory (VSPO), standardization efforts between the VxOs such as the Space Physics Archive Search and Extract (SPASE) and the associated query language SPASE-QL, as well as related international efforts.

Joan Lussky
"Social tags and other kinds of subject access occurring library catalogs"

WHEN: Monday, October 26, 2009
TIME: 6:30 - 8:30pm
LOCATION: Catholic University of America
May Gallery, John K. Mullen Library
620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington , DC 20064
Campus Map:

METRO: Brookland/CUA station, red line. 
From the metro, walk up the road past the guard station.  The Mullen Library is the large white building.  Go around the building to the front entrance.  Tell the attendant that you are there for the ASIS&T Event.  The May Gallery is directly to the right after passing the attendant.  We advise attendees to take the Metro. Limited parking is available in front of the library.)

$10  ASIS&T Members
$15  Non-members
$5   Students

Have a friend in ASIS&T?  Attend the meeting with him/her and attend at the member cost!

RSVP by: Friday, October 23, 2009 (5pm)

YouTube Tuesday: Catch the Wave

Google (Tidal?) Wave
A brief overview of the new Google program.

Make Waves @ Your Library
An animated short

Friday, October 16, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Google vs. Amazon, Sunday Sunday Sunday!

While the media was drowning in Google Wave's backwash this week, the information behemoth more quietly announced its intent to enter the e-reader market in 2010 with "Google Editions."

An article in Wired magazine details the announcement made Thursday at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. Five years after launching Google Books, the company plans to start selling e-books and put itself in direct competition with Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader. Editions users could buy e-books from Google directly or from other booksellers such as Barnes and Noble or Amazon and read them on any device with a Web browser, including smartphones.

Will Google Editions books on your phone be the Kindle killer that some expect?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Voracious Reader

A tutorial on a circulation self-service station.

I Read them All!
A kid has read all the children's books in the library.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Usenet Cautionary Tale

The new deadline for the revised Google Books Settlement is exactly a month away, and the web continues to hum with wildly varying perspectives. Google is shiny, sleek, and overwhelmingly competent-- when they want to be. In a particularly interesting cautionary tale, Kevin Poulsen uncovers what happens when Google gets bored with a project. The Usenet archive, which Google purchased in 2001, spans the history of the internet as we know it (and for many of us, far before we knew it); starting in 1980, this newsgroup functioned as a primary definitive record for the early web days. Its 700 million articles are now buried in Google Groups, basically unsearchable unless you already have a direct link. From unprofitable archives to orphan books, handing over information monopolies to major corporations can lead to serious accessibility issues.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Library! Literacy

Information Literacy
You can never get too much... or can you?

Library! Library!
Warning: Ear worm ahead.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Impress Your Professor: You want books? Go to Barnes and Noble!

I see a future. A future where there are libraries. (Hurrah!) A future where people go to libraries to read. (Huzzah!) A future where libraries don't have books! (Hurr... wait, what?)

CNN posted an interesting article a few weeks back about Library 2.0. Yeah, yeah, I know this topic has been widely covered in academic and library circles, but this was the first time I had seen a story of this type in the mainstream media. CNN covers a story that we are already aware of and have heard before, but it does it in such a way that our users can understand.

So - in this age of 2.0 - how do we rebrand ourselves as tech enthusiasts in a way that excites both ourselves and our users?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Literacy

21st Century Literacy
A brief overview to a new definition of literacy

Muppet in the Library
Work those shooshing fingers.

ASIST Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder - the postponed first meeting for ASIST has been rescheduled for TOMORROW in the Information Commons from 5:30 to 6:30pm.

As extra incentive, we've got information about a scholarship (the money kind!) available to SLIS students.

See you there!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Technical Flu

Warning: This entry will not cause dizzines, dry mouth, or fever. It will, however, possibly cause you to spend large amounts of time playing on Google.

With the pig sickness cause great panic (thank you local television news) and the seasonal flu about to kick in, I thought it was about to time show you all the procrastination tool that is Google Flu Trends. While you all go check to see if the illness is lurking on your block, I'll point out that Google has just created a brilliant use of information search technology. This website employs an algorithm that tracks people searching for terms that match flu symptoms. Google then works their magic to extrapolate the data to create charts determining how the flu is striking specific geographic areas.

Cool. I know.

But there is a bigger picture to be seen here, beyond Google and beyond the flu. In putting together their colorful charts and graphs, Google is not only showing that information can be useful, they are also showing that information can be beautiful.

To check out more information displayed in helpful and gorgeous ways, I highly recommend checking out the website Information is Beautiful.

Stay well everybody, the semester has just begun.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MEETING POSTONED: Moved to Wednesday, September 30

The CUA Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology(ASIST) meeting that was originally scheduled for today from 5:30-6:30 in the Information Commons is being POSTPONED until next week due to health issues.  Please look for an e-mail later in the week for more details on the meeting for next week. 
And please try to stay healthy and remember to wash your hands often.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

PVC- ASIST Student Award

Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T Student Membership Award

The Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T will award seven student memberships to students enrolled in an information science education program. The memberships are good for a one-year period and students may apply again for this annual award. The deadline for submission is October 24, 2009.


1. Accepted or enrolled in the graduate (master’s or doctoral) information science programs at the Catholic University of America or the University of Maryland. Please include an acceptance letter or contact information to verify enrollment.

2. A statement 100 words or less addressing how ASIS&T will benefit your career and how you will contribute to ASIST&T locally or nationally. Consult the website at Review the list of Special Interest Groups (SIG) at and identify a SIG that you would like to join.

3. Completed ASIS&T membership application available at

Send a completed awards application package to either mail or e-mail address below:

Jeff Prater
2059 Huntington Ave #805

Alexandria, VA 22303



Our first meeting is tonight in the Information Commons at 5:30pm. Come prepared to brainstorm!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

YouTube Tuesday:

Open Sesame
An overview of Open Access and scientific publication.

And They All Fell Down

The world's longest book domonios? Check it out.

Impress Your Professor: Google Books Settlement

I apologize for this post being late (and short)! This week, NPR had a long interview involving several people about who should control the virtual library. They brought on authors, a person from google books, and callers from libraries. It was a very interesting conversation and I highly recommend it.

Who do you think should control the digital library?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

CUA ASIST Meeting!

The CUA Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology(ASIST) will be holding a kick-off meeting on Wednesday, September 23rd from 5:30 to 6:30pm in the Information Commons.

All SLIS students are encouraged to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

This meeting will be a brainstorming session for the semester. Please let us know what events you'd like to see this semester and if you're interested in a leadership position.

See you there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Google Dance

Google Books Settlement
An overview of Google Books and their take on the settlement with authors and publishers.

Just Dance
Librarian: An Interpretative Dance

Friday, September 11, 2009

Impress Your Professor: The Web and Us

The first edition of this semester's Impress Your Professor series comes from the 2009 August/September issue of the ASIST bulletin. As many of you have noticed,  information is becoming more social. By social, I mean we are interacting more and more with each other through  networking, commenting, tagging, etc. Not all social websites are successful (Re: the ongoing Facebook v. MySpace debate, among others). In his article, "The Information Architecture of Social Experience Design: Five Principles, Five Anti-Patterns and 96 Patterns (in Three Buckets)," Christian Crumlish attempts to lay out a successful plan for drafting a successful social website.

While Crumlish lays out a structured list of dos, donts, and shoulds, I was struck most by the philosophical tone of parts of the article. Social media is not just an application, people use it discover concepts of self-identity. On the web, we can personalize anything and everything. The web is no longer a "thing" we visit. It's become a place where we create extensions of our personal selves. We form new communities that reflect back on our lives outside of the social web.

Crumlish's article is chock-full of good stuff - take a look!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Late Start

We're off to a bit of a late start with the blog this year. But have no fear - we are now back! To kick things off this semester, here is our first edition of this fall's series of YouTube Tuesday.

Old School
This (admittedly wonky) video gets a post for two reasons: it's hilarious and its a look back at information literacy.


Delicious Books
An oldie but a goodie.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SLIS August 29th New School Year Picnic

All Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends Are Invited To

A Welcome the New School Year

BBQ and Pot Luck

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Noon to 4 p.m.

Marist Hall Lawn

A Time to Socialize with Your Teachers, Fellow Students and Those Who Have Gone Before!

Join the fun by bringing a side dish or dessert to share

but all are invited!


(To tell us you are coming and if you can bring something.)

Sponsored by

The School of Library and Information Science

& the SLIS Alumni Association Board

Monday, August 3, 2009

Welcome to CUA!

Hello new SLIS students and welcome to the School of Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America. We are happy to have you!

As a reminder, please mark your calendar for the following important date:

New SLIS Graduate Student Orientation
Friday, August 28, 3:00-6:30 pm
Information Commons, Room 132 Marist Hall

SLIS Information Commons


· Welcome to SLIS

· Obtain parking passes and student identification cards

· Visit Mullen Library

· SLIS Faculty Panel and Q&A

· Dinner (please RSVP)

· Student organization representatives for SLIS students


Please visit for directions to campus and a campus map.

Please RSVP for the New Student Orientation by responding to this email. We look forward to meeting you!

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Stop Studying

This week's YouTube videos are nothing but fun. Enjoy the study break and good luck with finals!

Baby Thinks Literature is Delicious
So that's how babies get fiber...

Librarians and Their Cats
If only this job existed.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Impress Your Professors...One Last Time Before the Summer!!

Summer is finally upon us, which means a break from the blog and lots of free time! If you're like me, you'll be spending the time reading books and watching movies. In which case you might find these news stories interesting...
Disney just purchased a 30% stake in Hulu, making Hulu even more of a powerhouse (CBS is the only major network not yet a partner) and leading to speculation that this influx of funds may lead to Hulu going mobile! Rumors are flying that Hulu is developing an iPhone app. Maybe soon there will be TV on your iPod?
Speaking of iPhones, do you read books on yours? Recent data shows that the fastest growing category of apps is eBooks (285% in the last three months)!
And just for fun...did you know birds can dance?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Hide and Seek

Google and Privacy
A brief introduction on what information Google collects, how it is used, and how it relates to privacy.

Peek a Book
Hide and Seek in the Library

Friday, April 24, 2009

Impress Your Professor: I'm in love...with viewzi

I went to a presentation at Computers in Libraries that talked about how our users are really getting into visualization when it comes to search engines. One of the search engines the speaker talked about was Viewzi. I was finally able this week to play around with it a bit and I think I'm falling in love!

I'm not sure exactly when Cupid shot me with the love arrow but I'm thinking it has something to do with how fresh viewzi seems to me. It's just a different way to look at results from a web search. I would highly recommend people play around with the Google timeline feature. Instead of me writing more about the search engine I'll just give you all some videos to watch. ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Go Global

World Digital Library
A teaser trailer for the World Digital Library

X Marks the Spot
The library is a treasure

Monday, April 20, 2009

EVENT: Registration Ends Soon!

Join the Potomac Valley Chapter and CUA Student Chapter of ASIST for our next program!

As social media technologies continue to advance, how will the effects of these innovations be experienced by musicians, their audiences, and the information professionals who organize music? While websites ranging from iTunes to MySpace to and Pandora abound, how can you best navigate these spaces ethically while discovering new talent or learning more about favorite genres? What's now, and what's next?

The Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T is pleased to bring you local musicians, information professionals, and music experts on a lively panel discussion about the many fascinating issues that the Information Age brings to music and its analysis.

Panelists (Invited):
  • Brent Burton
  • Raul DeLeon
  • Ben Licciardi
  • Michael Pahn
  • Ginger Richards

WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TIME: Dinner 6:30 - 7:00pm; Panel Discussion 7:00 - 8:30pm

LOCATION: Catholic University of America, May Gallery

For registration and more information, click here

See you there,

Jeff Prater

Tiffany Smith
Vice-Chair, PVC-ASIST

Kathleen Mahoney

Friday, April 17, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Map This!

In his article for May's ASIST bulletin, Alan Oxley discusses how Web 2.0 can be applied to geospatial relationships and geography. He states, "items can be geotagged, giving their physical location. Individuals can also make maps for their own use."

While Oxley goes into more technical aspects of how Web 2.0 and geography work together, the first thing I thought of was RFID technology. Wouldn't be cool if you could, one day, log on to Google Books and see exactly where in the world a specific text was. Not just the library, but the exact shelf.

Then again, this same technology could turn BookCrossing into a stalker's paradise.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

EVENT: Beats and Bytes: Music and Creativity in the Information Age

Join the Potomac Valley Chapter and CUA Student Chapter of ASIST for our next program!

As social media technologies continue to advance, how will the effects of these innovations be experienced by musicians, their audiences, and the information professionals who organize music? While websites ranging from iTunes to MySpace to and Pandora abound, how can you best navigate these spaces ethically while discovering new talent or learning more about favorite genres? What's now, and what's next?

The Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T is pleased to bring you local musicians, information professionals, and music experts on a lively panel discussion about the many fascinating issues that the Information Age brings to music and its analysis.

Panelists (Invited):
  • Brent Burton
  • Raul DeLeon
  • Ben Licciardi
  • Michael Pahn
  • Ginger Richards

WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TIME: Dinner 6:30 - 7:00pm; Panel Discussion 7:00 - 8:30pm

LOCATION: Catholic University of America, May Gallery

For registration and more information, click here

See you there,

Jeff Prater

Tiffany Smith
Vice-Chair, PVC-ASIST

Kathleen Mahoney

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Government and Libraries

The GPO and Libraries
A brief introduction

Need to Escape!
Even the Agents don't mess with the librarian.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

EVENT: Beats and Bytes: Music and Creativity in the Information Age

Join the Potomac Valley Chapter and CUA Student Chapter of ASIST for our next program!

As social media technologies continue to advance, how will the effects of these innovations be experienced by musicians, their audiences, and the information professionals who organize music? While websites ranging from iTunes to MySpace to and Pandora abound, how can you best navigate these spaces ethically while discovering new talent or learning more about favorite genres? What's now, and what's next?

The Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T is pleased to bring you local musicians, information professionals, and music experts on a lively panel discussion about the many fascinating issues that the Information Age brings to music and its analysis.

Panelists (Invited):

* Brent Burton
* Raul DeLeon
* Ben Licciardi
* Michael Pahn
* Ginger Richards

WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

TIME: Dinner 6:30 - 7:00pm; Panel Discussion 7:00 - 8:30pm

LOCATION: Catholic University of America, May Gallery

For registration and more information, click here

See you there,

Jeff Prater

Tiffany Smith
Vice-Chair, PVC-ASIST

Kathleen Mahoney

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Spacey

Start to Finish
See the creation of a book

Books Are The Law
Because technology fails

Friday, April 3, 2009

Impress Your Professor... Mobile Trends.

This has been a crazy week... seriously crazy. I was fortunate enough to be sent to Computers in Libraries again this year but I feel like I'm suffering from information overload. As I begin to digest the load of information that is currently overloading my brain I'll let you in on something I noticed this year... Mobile Trends. People are moving their searches to their phones. And I want to ask the obvious question... Why the heck not?

So late last year I caved and joined the hordes of people that have become iPhone users. Yeah yeah, sit there and roll your eyes about how awful Apple is blah blah blah... but this thing has CHANGED MY LIFE! You can do anything and everything with it. Now I don't want this post to become an Apple love fest so I will add that I have several friends that have other variations on the smartphone - Blackberry, Palm, etc. They all say the same thing - "How did I do anything before I got my (insert smartphone here)?". Now I'm not stuipd, I know some of you are sitting there reading this saying that you don't own a smartphone. Guess what - you will someday. Whether you like it or not, you will. They're becoming cheaper and easier to acquire. I was you, I told myself that I'd never get a smartphone but I did. It'll happen.

Obviously the point of this post was to direct you all to the fact that our users are not only online but they're also online everywhere they can get some bars on their phones. Can you hear me now? Yep I can hear you now, I can see your reference text message, I can see you checking our catalog from your phone, I can see you requesting a book from us, I can see you using the library from your phone. Awesome! Anyway, check out cnet's coverage of CTIA Wireless. Look what's coming out and be amazed people. These are the phones of the near future: CTIA Wireless Coverage.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Sing for your Stacks

Gators Can Sing?
A tour of the music library at the University of Florida

Symphonic Shelves

The stacks are haunted?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Impress Your Professor...Open Access

A victory for the advocates of open access in the academic world!! Two weeks ago, MIT faculty unanimously approved a policy that gives them “nonexclusive permission” to disseminate their journal articles through DSpace, as well as “the right to use and share the articles for any purpose other than to make a profit.” I think this is just great, but then I'm all about free and open scholarly communication. (Need more detail? Go here.)

Also, Gmail's fifth birthday is coming up next week on April 1. Keep an eye out for new features!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Competition

Competitive Edge
How library's can gain a leg up.

I found this. It is slightly awesome.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Impress Your Professor: The Changing Net

The latest ASIST Bulletin has an interesting review of a discussion/panel at the recent Annual Meeting. At the meeting, Genevieve Bell gave a talk about how the Internet is more than just technology or a series or webpages. It's, in a way, a philosophy. The author states:
Bell’s final pivot point involves new and old anxieties. There are concerns about privacy, trust, security, and now, reliability. There are also concerns about access, reputation/image, participation, sustainability, responsibility, authenticity, authorship, ownership, surveillance and control, cultural health (digital literacy), dumbing down and distinctiveness. The list of things we need to worry about, she says, is expanding quickly.
If you were unable to make the Annual Meeting, I suggest checking the story out. Heck, even if you didn't miss the meeting, this review is still a good read.

I for one, find the idea of the Internet as cultural is too often overlooked. What say you?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Kiss Me, I'm Green!

Ireland and Europe
The role of the national library...

A Green Drill Team


Friday, March 13, 2009

Impress Your Professor : What does "The Year of the ebook" mean for YOUR professional life?

Gale Group is partnering up with Yankee Book Peddler to sell ebooks. An interesting development...what might it mean for the future of collection development?

Looks like it might behoove all of us to know a thing or two about developing electronic collections. Just FYI, Ned Kraft of the Department of State is teaching a class on just that topic this Summer at CUA-SLIS, and from what I understand he is an expert on the subject.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Books and Beyond

Service Learning
A project in Bloomington, IN.

Canada's Take
A little risque, but completely funny.

Monday, March 9, 2009

EVENT: The Cloud, the Exaflood, and the Internet of Things

The Cloud, the Exaflood, and the Internet of Things - Realizing the Full Potential of the Next Generation Internet

Speaker: Michael Nelson
Visiting Professor of Internet Studies in
Georgetown University's Communication, Culture, and Technology Program

Michael Nelson is currently Visiting Professor of Internet Studies in Georgetown University's Communication, Culture, and Technology Program. Since January, he has been doing research and teaching courses on "The Future of the Internet" and Internet governance as well as consulting and speaking on Internet technology and policy.

WHEN: Monday, March 30, 2009

TIME: Dinner 6:30 - 7:00pm / Program 7:00 - 8:30pm

LOCATION: Catholic University of America - Marist Hall, Information Commons

$15 members
$20 non-members
students free, but must register

For directions and registration, click here:

See you there!

Jeff Prater
2008-09 Chair, PVC-ASIST

Friday, March 6, 2009

Impress Your Professor...Copyright Issues

I've been fascinated lately by the hubbub over Kindle's text to speech capability. As you may know, Kindle is an ebook reader and it now has the ability to 'read' ebooks out loud. Publishers, of course, argue that this technology infringes the copyright to the audiobook. Others would argue that when you buy a book, you buy the right to read it out loud, and that the robotic voice produced by Kindle is no substitute for an audiobook anyway.
Some authors have weighed in on the issue. Here's what Wil Wheaton had to say. And Neil Gaiman. And Cory Doctorow. Who do you side with?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Spring Beak Fun

Darn Straight!
Everyone should want to be a librarian

Cat v. Snow
In honor of yesterday's snow day.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Twitter... maybe.

Ok go ahead and give me a hard time. It's ok, seriously. I know that back around Halloween I wrote a blog post about blogs and here I am now talking about Twitter. Honestly I had never given much thought to Twitter until today when I read an article about how Google has a Twitter account.

For those of you that are wondering what I'm talking about, Twitter is basically a mini-blog. As if having a blog wasn't enough lets go ahead and have mini blogs. I have a twitter account. I don't usually write anything it's just a great way to cyber stalk people... um... I mean see what your friends are doing. Of course with all new age cyber awesomeness (that is cheap and relatively easy to use) why don't we incorporate it into the library. For anyone that's interested I found a Guide to Twitter in Libraries. I seems like another way for us to get where our users are. What do you think?

Happy Spring Break to all the CUA people!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Lit Quick

Wikipedia Bad?
Most professors don't like it, and here's why.

Kid Teaches Mom
Kids are awesome.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Word!

I was reading through my RSS feeds a few weeks back (Google Reader, you are so addictive) and came across a Wordle of President Obama's Inauguration speech. The word cloud shows that the words he spoke the most were "new" and "nation."

If you've never seen or heard of Wordle, it is a program that creates word clouds based on the prominence of a each word's use. It's one of those new fangled ways of reading. While I will argue that it certainly will not replace reading, it does give and interesting spin on how we can absorb the overly meaning or theme of something. These word clouds are interesting because they break an idea, webpage, or speech down into a single, textual image.

For example, the Wordle below is comprised of the text I cut and pasted from the About SLIS webpage. We are dominated by information.

Wordle: About SLIS

I suggest inputting your own information and seeing what comes out. Warning, this may be addictive.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Find it Fast!

I am a Scholar!
Google it, but better.

This Is Why I Love My Public Library

No lies... I really just wanted to post something about zombies.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Impress Your Valentine

Impress your Valentine...

or this one will make you smile...

and especially for people who like cataloging...go to and do a Subject Heading search for "love" will be thrilled and intrigued!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Library Love

Loving the Library
In honor of Valentine's Day

Date and Dash

A blind date gone horribly wrong.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Impress Your Professor: New e-book technology on the horizon?

Amazon is expected to unveil the second version of their e-book reader, Kindle, on Monday. The original model sold over half a million units this year alone. What will the new Kindle offer? Some say an updated design --perhaps better keypad and buttons -- and faster page downloads, thanks to improved E Ink technology. There are now 230,000 books available for Kindle--will you be trying out a few?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Economics

Libraries Save You Money
We all knew this, but it's nice to see our services in the news.


The Valhalla of Volumes!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Be a fly on the wall!

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall? Listening in to conversations? Seeing how people act when they think they're alone? Blend in and not be noticed? Alright spaz, settle down. I don't want anyone getting excited and then being labeled a stalker.

A coworker of mine told me about the website Userfly. Userfly lets you be that fly on the wall when people visit your websites. Userfly will record the movements and mouse clicks of the people visiting your website and then play them back to you. I actually tried it out and was amazed at how easy it was to install and use.

For anyone looking to do some cheap usability testing on their websites I think Userfly is a great place to start!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

EVENT: When the Human Meets Computers

The Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIS&T invites you to our half-day conference at the renowned Human-Computer Interaction Lab! Come see the latest technologies and get ask questions to leading professionals in the field.

What: Innovations at the Human Computer Interaction Lab: When the Human Meets Computers: An Afternoon of Technology Previews, Presentations, and Discussion

When: Feb. 20, 2009

For more agenda and registration information, please click HERE.

See you there,

Jeff Prater
2008-09 PVC-ASIST Chair

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

YouTube Tuesday:

I Dat I Daw a Puddy Tat
A Common Craft introduction to Twitter.


I'm not gonna lie. This video had me genuinely spooked.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Event: Open House

The CUA SLIS program's next Open House for prospective students will take place on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to Noon in the Information Commons, 132 Marist Hall.

If you have friends, colleagues, relatives who may be considering a career in librarianship, tell them about this opportunity and encourage them to attend. There's more information, and a downloadable flyer you can post, on our website at .

Anyone planning to attend should sign up using the online RSVP form, also on the website.

Note for those in the legal community: we'll be holding a special breakout session for prospective law librarians during the second half of the Open House, so please encourage your friends and colleagues to come and find out more about law librarianship and the SLIS program.

If Feb. 21 isn’t a good date, or your friends would prefer another location, we’re planning other open house events as follows. Watch for more details:

February 28: Arlington, Va
March 7: Richmond, Va
May 9: Washington, D.C. (Marist Hall)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Cheap!

We can all use a few ways to save some cash... particularly in this economy. If we can find ways to save our employers money - even better. One of the many ways that individuals and organizations are looking to save their pennies is through the use of open source software.

This stuff has been around for longer than most people think. The idea of incorporating open source software into our lives is still a rather new concept. If you're still fuzzy on what open source software is, I suggest checking out Scot Colford's introduction in the most recent ASIST bulletin.

The take-away message I found: open source software is higly useful and customizable, but only if we're not afraid of it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

YouTube Tuesday:

Sorry for the delay in this week's YouTube Tuesday. My fingers were thawing from spending hours outside at the Inauguration.

Students Today
What can this video teach us about our patrons?

Insulting Librarian
A study of what not to do.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Impress Your Professor : All Things Inaugural

Some very savvy librarians have put together a great list of resources for and about this and all inaugurations. If you're planning on attending or even if you're not, it's worth a look.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: First Week Fun

I Want to be a Libarian
Like a producer, with shushing arm action.

Librarian Doo-Wop
Warning: Contains political content

Monday, January 12, 2009

Welcome Back!

It's the first class day of the Spring 2009 semester. The board of CUA ASIST would like to welcome all return and new students to our blog.

We'll start up our regular posting schedule this week.