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Professional Online Presence: Here’s Mine, What’s Yours?

Earlier this week, my GODORT colleague Starr Hoffman posted Pondering Professional Online Presence over at her Geeky Artist Librarian blog. The first part of her blog entry ponders the means and goals of building a professional online presence and the second part covers the different tools she uses to create her online presence. On of my favorite parts of her blog post is why she chooses to link her Instagram account to her professional portfolio:

I don’t tend to use Instragram in a specifically “professional” manner, but I do link it on my professional online accounts like LinkedIn and About.me. Why? Because personality is important. I don’t want to work at an institution where I clock in and do my job and clock out. I want to work at a place that’s full of vibrant, interesting, exciting people who are passionate about what they do. Thus, shouldn’t I advertise to the world that I’m also that kind of person? That, yes, I’m a great researcher and an awesome librarian, but I also love urban architecture and great cups of coffee and travel–and that’s what my Instagram feed shows. It shows beauty and humor in everyday moments, and that’s important to me.

Starr’s post made me think that it would be great if librarians and others talked some about their professional online presence and explained why they use the tools they use.

It’s a little hard for me to talk about “my online professional presence.” Unlike Starr’s well organized Geeky Artist Librarian site with links to portfolios, I don’t think I have a single online space that captures everything I hope to convey to my professional community.

People in the government information community may most closely identify me with Free Government Information (FGI), a policy and education blog that I remain a contributor to. While it is a fabulous presence, my blog there shows that for the past two years I’ve mostly been providing updates on the State Agency Databases project I coordinate for ALA GODORT. While an interesting project in and of itself, the vast majority of great content on FGI is created by James R. Jacobs and James (Jim) A. Jacobs. I’m proud to be associated with them, but they are the ones doing the heavy lifting on FGI.

Turning to work that I’m solely responsible for, I’m very active on Facebook and Tumblr, somewhat active on LinkedIn and WordPress, less active these days on Flickr and the social features of OCLC WorldCat. I have a toe in Google+ but am not terribly active in it. In addition to these social media tools, I am active on several e-mail discussion lists.

The digiterati will have noticed a glaring omission on my list – Twitter. I had an account up until 12/31/2012 but then I cancelled it. It wasn’t Twitter. It was me. I wasn’t really using it except for rebroadcasting some of my blog entries here and elsewhere. It had turned into one more thing to check and I found I got a lot of professional content through Facebook, so I dropped it. Again, I dropped Twitter because it wasn’t working for me. It might work for you and if you haven[‘t tried it, you probably ought to as it.

Since my presence is splintered, here is a brief rundown of what I consider professional vs personal, or at least considered personal before reading Starr’s blog entry:


Daniel Cornwall, Librarian (Facebook Page) – Created as an outgrowth of my current writing project. Used mostly to promote resources from my upcoming self-published book  There are no trees in Barrow.  Articles about libraries and librarianship sometimes get shared here. Consider “liking” the page if you want to see government information resources can do for fiction writers.

There are no trees in Barrow (WordPress) – The book blog for my upcoming book and most humbling in terms of stats. Posts are almost exclusively about my tentative progress in revising my manuscript. Will be used to disseminate or sell the book when completed.

Daniel Cornwall (LinkedIn profile) – An up-to-date professional work history, plus shares of professional articles. If you know me professionally and I know who you are, let’s connect.

Daniel’s blog at FGI – As mentioned previously, heavy on project status updates. Tries to promote the volunteers who are the heart and soul of the State Agency Databases project.

alaskanlibrarian (WorldCat) – The world’s largest catalog also also users to create lists, write reviews etc. I need to write more reviews.


Facebook (personal page) – I originally started my Facebook page as an experiment in social media and friended most anyone who asked. But then much of my family and current and old friends came on. So I weeded out most of the purely professional contacts and asked them to connect on LinkedIn. I now won’t add anyone I haven’t met in person or online. BUT – I still don’t say anything on my “personal” Facebook page that I think could haunt me later. Criticizing coworkers or posting unclad photos is bad in ANY personally identifable online presence. Just don’t do it.

Photos by an Alaskan, etc (Tumblr) – If you’re on Tumblr, I’d be pleased to have you follow me. Focus is on photography, astronomy, space exploration and sci-fi/fantasy geekery. VERY LITTLE politics. Some library stuff mostly due to reblogging cool folks like the Lifeguard Librarian. I don’t think of myself as a “tumblrian“, but I’m glad they’er organizing.

Alaskan Librarian (Flickr) – Storehouse for my personal photography. A small amount of library and government documents material.

Hopelessly mixed

Alaskan Librarian – the blog you’re reading now. Aside from FGI, this is the place where I’m mostly likely to write about professional librarianship matters. I’ve also used it to feature resources I thought people ought to know about and use. But its origin was a place to park posts on politics that I felt were out of place on the LISNews journal I kept at the time. In the years since, there have been a lot of federal politics on this blog. I pointedly do not comment on state politics on this blog due to the nature of my work. But I’m willing to believe there may be some institutions, mostly in “red states” that would deem me unemployable for my political views, even though I’d never express them at work. But then I probably wouldn’t want to work anywhere that would blackball someone for their political views, so I’m hoping its all good.

I do link to most of my other activity from Alaskan Librarian.  So much for the what of my online presence.

Here’s why I use the tools that I use. Like Starr says, “Take it or leave it.” :)

E-mail discussion lists – These are great to keep up to date on your specific field. When I was a documents librarian I was very active on govdoc-l. After I had been on it for a few years I think I built up a good reputation by answering questions and taking part in respectful debates on the future of government information. Now that I oversee web, IT, technology education and distance learning support for my organization, I use learnrt and lita-l. On those lists I’m still in the learning stages, asking questions, getting the feel of the culture of the list and offering opinions only when I think I’m on solid ground or am speaking about what is going on in my library.

I’m also very active on my state library association e-mail discussion list. If you are a librarian, paraprofessional or library student and haven’t subscribed to your state association’s list, you really ought to. The participants are your nearest colleagues.

LinkedIn – I use LinkedIn primarily for hosting a full work history and to connect with people that I would not connect with on my personal Facebook account. Recently I’ve found it very helpful for finding useful articles in my field and industry news. I’m trying to do most of my “article sharing” there. I’ve also joined a few groups, but haven’t interacted a whole lot with them.

WordPress – I use it to host my quasi-personal blog (what you’re reading now) and my book blog described above. I really like its pages feature that lets you create content that won’t sink beneath the waves of your blog posts. In the past few months I’ve started using its “reader” feature to read wordpress blogs of interest and to easily reblog entries from others with commentary.

Facebook – I use it for my personal life because the bulk of friends and family are there. I use the “pages” feature for a professional page to easily share resources concerning my book project and to sometimes share professional articles that most of my Facebook friends would find eye-glazing.

Facebook also has some really good professional groups. I’ve become a big fan and sometime participant in the Technology Training and Libraries group. I also participate in two groups specifically for librarians in Alaska. If you work in a library in Alaska and want to know which ones, e-mail me at work.

Tumblr – I started my Tumblr partly because a friend was really enthusiastic about it, but mostly because the Flickr to Tumblr blogging tool was far superior than the Flickr to WordPress blogging tool. With the Flickr to Tumblr blogging tool my Flickr tags carried over to Tumblr and I could queue my photo posts. For a photo blog using Flickr as its source, a Tumblr seems like a no-brainer to me. My Tumblr expanded beyond photos because of the great Tumblr people I follow. I couldn’t help but start to reblog with commentary. I also push my personal Tumblr feed to my personal Facebook page. I also push my book blog posts to Tumblr because I know there are writers on Tumblr.

Flickr – I started Flickr years ago as a photo warehouse and that’s mostly where it remains. I do participate in a few groups and tried to start some government documents themed photo groups, but they sort of fizzled. I’ve got way more storage space on Flickr than on any of my blog sites, so it is very convenient for hosting.

WorldCat – I mostly use this to highlight reading I think might be of interest to others. I also think think that librarian created book reviews without a financial ax to grind are valuable, but I haven’t written enough of these.

That’s what I use and why. How about you?


Finding women when you only have maiden names

I was recently emailed by someone trying to locate classmates for a school reunion. For some of the female classmates, he only had a maiden name. He wasn’t sure where to start and wondered if marriage licenses were the answer. Here’s what I suggested assuming he meant a high school reunion in the United States:

My top five suggestions would be:

  1. Google the first name of the classmate plus the name of your school. Many social networks encourage people to include their schools.
  2. If the maiden last name is unusual, try the phone book (paper or online). This could get you their parents, who might tell where their daughters are.
  3. If you haven’t started the search yet, go ahead and search the maiden names. More social networks are encouraging women to include both maiden and married names to make finding them easier.
  4. Take a walk back through your yearbooks and see if you can the female classmates in group photos. If you have contact information for some of the other people in your photos, ask them about the female classmate as they might have stayed in touch.
  5. If you have Facebook information for any of your classmates, start browsing through their friends lists if they’re available to you, looking for the first name of your female classmate. I’ve found long lost relatives and classmates this way.

Thinking about marriage licenses was a good thought. Most marriage licenses in the United States are issued at the county level and usually require the payment of fees to search for them. There are a few exceptions, such as Sanpete County Utah which has a listing of marriage licenses from 1850-2011 that can be viewed at no charge.

There are likely proprietary databases constructed by the private sector where marriage license data might be searched, but I’m not familiar with any that I can recommend to you.

I think this was an ok answer, but if you have other thoughts about how to find folks when all you have is a maiden name, consider leaving a comment.

Best Job Ad Ever: Web Ninja

I ran across the following ad on one of my e-mail lists. I thought they did such a good job in making the position sound cool I wanted to share here:


POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Anythink Web Ninja (part webmaster, part virtual library visionary, part social media guru)

Closing Date:
24-Sep-2012 (MST)

Job title: Anythink Web Ninja (part webmaster, part virtual library visionary, part social media guru) Business Unit: Communication Department Pay range: $46,176 – 55,441 DOE Job Type: Full-time, exempt
Job description:
You have the right blend of creativity and technology skills to advance Anythink’s vision in our digital, mobile, connected-everywhere world. You are dedicated to helping people feel inspired, creative and empowered in our online environments just as they are in our physical locations. You understand the power of content management systems and aren’t afraid of a few acronyms (PHP, JS, JSON, XML, etc.). You love to dabble in all areas of technology and embrace the fact that we live in a multimedia world. You combine fierce brand advocacy with your intuitive understanding of how to support and enhance the user’s experience.
Ready to join in a bold opportunity to help us take community library services to an entirely new dynamic realm?
Who you are:
• You have a solid foundation in web development and content strategy.
• You have a firm understanding of marketing concepts using online tools.
• You have strong editing skills and attention to detail.
• You have a thing for libraries; you’re excited about your role in helping shift perceptions of them.
• You engage well with people and are passionate about providing an exemplary customer experience.
• You are a deadline-driven multi-tasker, ensuring projects are accurate and timely.
• You take the initiative, working independently or with others.
• You inspire fun in the people around you.
Your vision:
• You see the big picture and understand the web’s role in promoting/supporting Anythink’s services, programs and collections.
• You are Anythink’s webmaster, managing the district’s website through development, content updates, user administration and troubleshooting.
• You lead Anythink’s virtual library task force to help set the district’s development priorities and implement its web build plan.
• You manage the development of Ignite, Anythink’s intranet, to respond to the changing needs of the organization.
• You are a fierce econtent advocate, promoting our collections and resources, and an explorer of solutions to increase usability of Anythink’s digital collections.
• You are a champion for seamless integration/responsive design and are always mindful of the user experience by coordinating/conducting ongoing usability testing.
• You are a social media genius, interacting with customers wherever they are and staying up-to-date on the hottest new venues. You are always looking for new ways to create compelling social media experiences for our customers.
• You encourage contributions from staff, using your keen editing skills to ensure that all messages are clean, concise and reflect the Anythink voice.
• You collect, curate and contextualize Anythink’s internal/external online content, including photos, blogs, news stories, discussions and more.
• You are a multimedia maven; you know a video or podcast sometimes packs more punch. You can use basic digital media creation tools to tailor a message to a variety of formats.
• You work closely with Anythink’s IT, Collection Development, and Public Services staff and collaborate frequently with branch staff and other departments.
• You are a project management superstar; you know how to bring the right people to the table depending on the project and can communicate in terms they understand.
• You are a training wizard, bringing out the best in staff; your enthusiasm for technology is infectious.
• You love our products. You are a voracious reader, listen to a diverse range of music, and love a good movie.
• You understand that when the pressure is on, we all work together; you enjoy being part of the team to make it happen.
• You do the right thing. Every decision you make and action you take is an opportunity to demonstrate our collective integrity.
Do you have what it takes?
• You have 3+ years of web management experience.
• You have experience working in Drupal or other content management systems and know enough PHP, JavaScript, and XML to be dangerous.
• You have a bachelor’s degree and a love for exploring new skills and technologies.
• Social media savvy required. Google analytics experience preferred.
• A working knowledge of basic video/sound editing software preferred.
• You have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
• You have the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, prioritize effectively, adapt flexibly to changing priorities, and meet deadlines in a high-speed environment.
We are guided by these shared values:
Compassion for our customers and each other Passion for our product Eagerness to learn Optimistic attitude – we believe that anything is possible
Why Anythink?
A job with Anythink is a chance to use your knowledge and experience to enable transformations every day. You will be instrumental in helping our customers have fun, whether they’re sitting by the fireplace with a newspaper, surfing the Internet, gaming in the teen room or learning something new at one of our many intriguing and entertaining programs. As you help and inspire others, you will also be inspired. This job will have you loving Monday mornings again.

Your job will involve your being “on the move” in our libraries: You will stand, walk, crouch, stoop, squat, twist, climb, push/pull up to 50 pounds, and lift up to 25 pounds.

For more information about this position and our library district, visit our website at http://anythinklibraries.applicantpro.com/jobs/11631.html.

Advice for Dealing with Broken URLs

My NANO writing project has several appendices of stuff that didn’t fit into the main chapters. Here’s the still work in progress but hopefully useful section on recovering broken URLs. Other advice on recovering broken links welcomed in comments:

Appendix E – What to do when URLs/websites break.

The resources in this book are mostly web-based. This was a deliberate choice on my part. Admittedly it was easier for me to browse the web and make comments than to do a bunch of interlibrary loans and spend quality time at the National Archives. There were benefits for you also. The main benefit being the same as mine – desktop research in most cases. We are mostly an immediate gratification sort of society and I am not too proud to cater to it when quality information is available.

Web resources have their drawbacks, the most dramatic of which is link rot.  Some URLs are more durable than others, but chances are good that at some point you are going to visit a site or ebook from this book and get a 404 (File Not Found) error. In most cases, especially with US federal government materials, this is not the end of the world. There are several techniques that you can use to find the missing resource. There are more options for finding documents than entire websites and this appendix will help you find both.

Finding documents published on the web with a broken URL:
1) Try trimming the URL to find a linking page. Sometimes when you get a 404 error on a document, the item has just been moved around the website. Finding the page that lists the title of your document will help you find your way back.

For this method, let’s use:

Manual of the Medical Department (MANMED), NAVMED P-117 at http://www.med.navy.mil/directives/Pages/NAVMEDP-MANMED.aspx

Let’s pretend the full URL leads you to a 404 error. What we do now is to start trimming the URL back to each forward slash. So our URL would become:

http://www.med.navy.mil/directives/Pages/ – Sometimes this would be enough, but as of November 2011, this led to page that says “Access denied. You do not have permission to perform this action or access this resource.” Undeterred, we clip Pages/ from the URL, leaving us with:

http://www.med.navy.mil/directives/ – This URL rewards us with a page called “Navy Medicine Directives.” Looking at the left-hand column, we see MANMED listed. Click on that are we are back to our original document.

2) Try going to the top level of a website and use its search box (if available). Because of varied security practices, the URL trimming technique will sometimes result in failure even if the document is still available on that website. In these cases, you’ll want to go to the top level of the site and search your document title in the search box that is almost always in the top right hand corner of the page.

Keeping with our MANMED example, we go to http://www.med.navy.mil and, seeing a search box, type in MANMED. This brings up a list of result of which the MANMED manual is the top hit. Click on it and you’re back to your original document.

Two reasons this technique might not work for you are either the document really has been removed from the website OR the document is still there, but the site’s search engine has not been updated. In the second case you’ll see a promising search result but when you click on it, you get the same 404 error you started out with. But we still have three more tricks up our sleeve for find the elusive document.

3) Try using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to view the document. The Internet Archive is a nonprofit that periodical takes snapshots of the web. Their “Wayback Machine” available at www.archive.org allows one to view websites as they existed the past unless the site owners have disabled archiving. For technical reasons, some other pages and files don’t get collected either. Explaining why that is so is beyond the scope of this book.

Popping our MANMED URL of http://www.med.navy.mil/directives/Pages/NAVMEDP-MANMED.aspx into the Wayback Machine, we are presented with a calendar. Dates with blue circles indicate available crawled content. We select August 23, 2010 and are presented with a table of contents. Somewhat frustratingly, we don’t get the entire document. But at least the table of contents can help us decide if we want to pursue the document further.

An example of a document that has been successfully preserved on the Wayback machine is the Alaska Department of Natural Resources document Time-Saving Tips for Prospective Gold Seekers where an archived copy of the full document can be found at http://web.archive.org/web/20070226025703/http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/timesavi.pdf. The Wayback Machine is always worth a check.

4) Use Google or your favorite search engine to see if another site has a copy of the document you are looking for. Remember the Abu Gharib Taguba Report on Torture? Even though it was technically classified, it was copied widely. The same is true for ordinary government documents, and sadly, for copyrighted materials.

Going back to our MANMED example, let’s go to Google and do the search navy MANMED. Because Google personalizes searches, your results might not match mine. On the first page of results I got, I saw three promising hits not from the Navy. One was a simple list of files and otherwise content free. Another site linked back to the Navy site, so not good for our example. But the third, a listing from a company called Brookside, had a copy of the MANMED manual on their own server at http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/ManMed/Manmed.htm.  They were nice and specified that they had pulled this from the Navy and that people should go to the Navy for the latest version. Not all sites will tell you were the official version was supposed to be. Using this method you may also run a risk of picking up a document that was altered from the original version though that hasn’t happened to me.

As an aside, while http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/ManMed/Manmed.htm is not a government site, it is a useful URL to pick apart. As of November 2011, if you trim off ManMed/Manmed.htm, to get http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/,you’ll find yourself in a directory listing leading to all sorts of medical publications and product pages. Try a few and see what happens.

5) Go to WorldCat and see if there is physical copy or library-digitized copy of your document. If you’ve gone through all of the steps above and still have found nothing, it probably means your document is no longer on the open web. You still have one final trick up your sleeve – WorldCat at worldcat.org. Think of WorldCat as a worldwide card catalog or global book location service.

Once you get into WorldCat, there will be five usual possibilities:

  1. A physical copy is available somewhere in the world and you can ask your local library to do an Interlibrary Loan to get it for you.
  2. A physical copy is available somewhere in the world, but the holding library will not lend it out. In these cases you can either visit the library, whereever it is or you can ask to have a chapter or two and/or the table of contents to be copied for you. Some will honor this and others will not.
  3. An electronic copy is available for free but was in a library respository that Google doesn’t index. In these cases, just click on the link provided and your home free.
  4. An electronic copy is available, but licensing restrictions keep you from seeing it. In some cases, interlibrary loan might help you. Often it won’t. Restrictions on copying of copyrighted digital materials are far harsher than their print counterparts.
  5. There are no hits in WorldCat. If you strike out here after carrying the steps above, you’re pretty much out of luck. If it’s a federal report, you MIGHT be able to get something through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but it may be a long and expensive undertaking. For more information about FOIA and ways to request information through it, see the National Security Archive’s FOIA page at http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/foia.html.

Continuing with our example of MANMED, we ought to use the spelled out titled.

Manual of the Medical Department, just in case there are foreign language hits from MANMED. Adding Navy would be optional and done if you drowning in non-Navy hits. As it turns out, a search on “Manual of the Medical Department” in WorldCat brings up 24 hits and the first page seems to be all Navy. Some are older editions, which might have their own usefulness from a writer’s point of view.

Examining the first record at http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/2607685, we find that title is held by 41 libraries. If a library name is underlined, you can see where at that library the item is. Chances are you won’t need to. Just print off the page with the catalog record and take it to your library as an interlibrary loan.

There might be other options though. Let’s click on the “back” button of your browser and go back to the search results. See the left-hand column? It’s a set of facets that let you narrow in on your desired item. There’s format, author, year, language and topic. Notice that there is an e-book option under format. Click on the check box to see the four e-book results. Ironically, in this particular case, none of them is the manual you are looking for. But there are some links to older editions from the 1910s and 1880s that could be useful in historical stories.

If there’s an e-book option, it’s worth checking out because in some cases it will be a case of immediate gratification.

Finding websites that have just plain vanished:

In my experience, there are two ways of finding vanished websites, going to the Wayback Machine using method 3 above and using your favorite search engine. If you’ve got a printout or clearly remember the title of the website, put that title in quotes and search it. If the website domain has changed (i.e. instead of http://www.med.navy.mil, the site is now http://medicine.navy.mil or http://medicine.dod.mil/navy, then your title search, if unique enough will bring to the new website address.

If neither the Wayback Machine nor the search engine method above brings back your website, then it is is probably just plain gone. If you’ve discovered another method to recover broken or removed websites, I’d love to hear about it.

Library Day in the Life Round 6 Wrap Up

This week marked the second time I’ve participated in the Library Day in the Life project. In Round 5, I carefully took notes during the day and blogged each night.  This time around, although I still support the concept, I tweeted. Below are tweets I came up with during the week. They paint a life of meetings, reference and advising people on tech matters. That seems about right. If you have questions about anything below, ask in comments and I’ll answer if I can. Now, the tweets:

Monday, January 24, 2011

#libday6 ref shift was mostly signing patrons onto Internet and working on a few remote access problems. Monday, January 24, 2011 5:11:09 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 hour after lunch split between being showed repaired equip in micrographics and researching layer 2 broadband. Ref @ 3. Monday, January 24, 2011 2:47:38 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 also referred a realmedia access problem to my IT specialist. Monday, January 24, 2011 1:02:20 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 Archives web update was easy. Posted some museum press releases and updated their Elluminate archive. Now lunch. Monday, January 24, 2011 12:59:49 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 after break – quick temp notice for archives web pages, then helping on a Digital Pipeline issue. 10:14 AM Jan 24th via TweetDeck
#libday6 Spent 1.5 HR updating Museum newsletter archive. Added 16 bulletins, added dates and notes to web page. 10:12 AM Jan 24th via TweetDeck
@diylibrarian which two Juneau librarians are you following? I’d like to follow any Juneau based librarians who aren’t me. #libday6 6:43 AM Jan 24th via TweetDeck in reply to diylibrarian
librarianbyday If you’re taking photos for #libday6 don’t’ forget to add them to the Flickr Pool http://bit.ly/iflXCd 4:22 AM Jan 24th via TweetDeck Retweeted by DanielCornwall and 2 others
#libday6 Currently reviewing feeds in Tweetdeck for iPhone while on stationary bike. 6:22 AM Jan 24th via TweetDeck
#libday6 Today’s plan – updates for museum & archives for vacationing webmaster, ref shift in afternoon & some IT liaison stuff between. 6:20 AM Jan 24th via TweetDeck
#libday6 I plan on tweets coming early morning, during lunch & breaks, and perhaps one or two after work, M-F 6:17 AM Jan 24th via TweetDeck
#libday6 This week I’m tweeting for Library day in the Life Round 6. For background see “What Librarians Do” Alaskanlibrarian.wordpress.com 6:13 AM Jan 24th via TweetDeck

Tuesday, January 26, 2011

@cclibrarian Reminds me of when I interned at Tyndall AFB in Panama City FL. I was one of two MLS’. Proud of my ILS management. Cataloging N Tuesday, January 25, 2011 8:04:27 PM via web in reply to cclibrarian
@rhonabwy See http://web.archive.org/web/20061004130037/http://www.va.gov/gilgamesh/index.htm Looks like the VA took down the original. Tuesday, January 25, 2011 8:02:31 PM via web in reply to rhonabwy
#libday6http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/80769365 – Avoiding Litigation Landmines. Gritty and effective. Learn how to avoid nine traps. Tuesday, January 25, 2011 7:56:42 PM via web
#libday6 Finished my class, then wound up helping a colleague on a Census question. Now on way home. Tuesday, January 25, 2011 5:12:49 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 wkshp useful so far. Emailing on breaks. Tuesday, January 25, 2011 10:29:29 AM via TweetDeck
@rhonabwy Did you know the VA did an animated film using giglamesh? Had to do with PTSD. Tuesday, January 25, 2011 7:44:17 AM via TweetDeck in reply to rhonabwy
@cclibrarian I like the idea of the same person doing cataloging and LibGuides. Is this innovation, short staffing or a combo? Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:28:07 AM via TweetDeck in reply to cclibrarian
mridley Reading/Admiring “It’s the ‘glass half full’ people who will define the future of libraries” @rtennat http://bit.ly/gArvS5 #libday6 Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:45:14 AM via TweetDeck Retweeted by DanielCornwall and 1 other
@RachaelNeu @CanuckLibrarian That’s my understanding from participating in the the last round. #libday6 Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:20:14 AM via TweetDeck
#libday6 today’s training is in human resources and I’m looking forward to it. As a manager it is important to keep up with correct policy. Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:07:20 AM via TweetDeck
#libday6 for the past two months my normal Tue has included two hours of barcoding boxes at the State Archives. Today I’m in all day trng. Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:04:36 AM via TweetDeck

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#libday6 – Alaska Dispatch ran my blog post about the increasing use of Alaska’s libraries. http://tinyurl.com/4u9pvb2 Thanks Dispatch! Wednesday, January 26, 2011 9:16:25 PM via web
#libday6 – On the plus side, I did get the one “drop-dead” task for the day done and the AkLA 2011 meeting was positive. Wednesday, January 26, 2011 7:01:07 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 The extra meeting had to do with Alaska’s Broadband grant RFP. I also got dealt a meeting for tomorrow morning on digital records Wednesday, January 26, 2011 6:59:33 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 As you might imagine from my twitter silence, today was very busy. Got an extra meeting w/background material. Wednesday, January 26, 2011 6:57:36 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/57207064 – Morning mtg featured this ref interview video. Good. Interview is one edge over Google. Wednesday, January 26, 2011 10:06:02 AM via web
#libday6 forgot I also have an open Userful/RealAudio issue involving an online Alaskan Native phrasebook. Wednesday, January 26, 2011 6:45:24 AM via TweetDeck
#libday6 also plan to implement some filing ideas from yesterday’s workshop. Or at least start. Maybe a little BTOP or NDSA as well. Wednesday, January 26, 2011 6:11:02 AM via TweetDeck
#libday6 For today, section meeting, lunch meeting to plan state library conf. Hope to do some IT liaison work in between. Wednesday, January 26, 2011 6:08:47 AM via TweetDeck

Thursday January 27, 2011

#libday6 There are many good and important things I could be doing this evening – meeting prep. Conf prep. PHP study. I’m ripping cds. Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:42:02 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 During ref shift helped patron print MS Works doc and answered staff questions about LinkedIn. After made progress on newsletter. Thursday, January 27, 2011 5:15:45 PM via TweetDeck
Next up ref desk from 3-4:30. Then hopefully work on newsletter from 4:30 to 5. Thursday, January 27, 2011 2:48:21 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 Did lunch. Then posted Museum PR, helped a librarian w/Surveymonkey and reviewed a request to reformat some Archives pages. Thursday, January 27, 2011 2:46:27 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 both my morning meetings generated new assignments – divisionwide speaker and digital records policy. Also added Fri mtg. Thursday, January 27, 2011 12:12:22 PM via TweetDeck
#libday6 Aside from work, I also have some LIS side projects, mostly govdocs. I’m passionate about my field. Likely more about that later. Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:28:41 AM via TweetDeck
#libday6 Ideally, I’d also touch base with NDSA Action teams I’m working with, but I’m guessing tomorrow or next week. Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:24:23 AM via TweetDeck
#libday6 Today – two meetings (digital records and museum marketing) and an afternoon ref shift. Also should work on appraisal and filing. Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:21:52 AM via TweetDeck
@librarianbyday Thanks. They’ve published me before, but not in this subject area. Thursday, January 27, 2011 6:15:17 AM via TweetDeck in reply to librarianbyday

Friday, January 28, 2011
#libday6 Received and posted three fugitive documents to http://lostdocs.freegovinfo.info. I don’t get paid to do this. Docs a passion. about 15 hours ago via TweetDeck
#libday6 Ref shift was good. Arranged to show Zotero to a staffer on Monday and searched for a 1950 book. Going out w/2 work friends. about 19 hours ago via TweetDeck
#libday6 Last of today’s meeting ended early with good news about microfilm digitization. Score! Off to ref desk. about 21 hours ago via TweetDeck
#libday6 Happiness! All meetings so far have ended early with manageable action items. Had chance to ans q about Zotero and other email. about 23 hours ago via TweetDeck
#libday6 Bldg mtg ended early, which allowed me to send out newsletter and handle web question. 5 min till digital records mtg. Friday, January 28, 2011 9:56:14 AM via TweetDeck
mattrweaver Installing WAMP, Drush & Drupal on Windows 7 on Vimeo – http://icio.us/OAUY5z #libday6 Friday, January 28, 2011 6:11:49 AM via Delicious Retweeted by DanielCornwall
johnmac38 Final added entry to my blog – a cataloguing poem: http://bit.ly/ejt6NB #libday6 Friday, January 28, 2011 5:05:56 AM via web Retweeted by DanielCornwall and 1 other
lemurph Oh students, if you gossip about last night outside my door then I can hear you. Wish I had the power to un-know. #libday6 Friday, January 28, 2011 5:25:03 AM via TweetDeck Retweeted by DanielCornwall
#libday6 tonight or more likely tomorrow, I’ll have a blog post collecting my tweets and perhaps offering thoughts outside 140 chars. Friday, January 28, 2011 5:59:53 AM via TweetDeck
#libday6 8:30-10 new Bldg, 10-12 digital records, 12-1, conf planning, 2-3 micrographics update, 3-4:30 Ref. Friday, January 28, 2011 5:56:19 AM via TweetDeck
#libday6 Today is meeting heavy even for me. I work 8:30-5. Aside from, I’m scheduled for a mtg or desk shift till 4:30p. Friday, January 28, 2011 5:52:28 AM via TweetDeck

One thing in the tweets I don’t usually do are the numerous web updates I did for the State Museum and State Archives.  I supervise the division webmaster and she’d usually be the one to post press releases and fix links. She was on the last part of a two week vacation last week, so I did the easy stuff and took notes on the more complicated assignments that she’ll work on when she gets back. As a manager of a section I think it is important that at least two people are trained in common tasks. No service of your institution should come to a total halt just because someone is out for more than a couple of days. You don’t have to make the person providing coverage EQUAL to the absent person. But you should have somebody who can provide basic functionality.

I did save one more tweet:

Last Official #libday6 Tweet

#libday6 Last Tweet – If you’re never passionate about your field, seek other work. You’ll be happier and so will we. about 15 hours ago via TweetDeck


Three Books on Big Delta

This week our “Three Books on …” series takes us to Big Delta. Here is a description of Big Delta’s location and climate from the Alaska Communities Database:

Big Delta is located at the junction of the Delta and Tanana Rivers, 73 miles southeast of Fairbanks on the Richardson Highway. The community lies at approximately 64.152500° North Latitude and -145.842220° West Longitude. (Sec. 08, T009S, R010E, Fairbanks Meridian.) Big Delta is located in the Fairbanks Recording District. This area of Interior Alaska experiences seasonal extremes. The average low temperature in January is -11 °F. The average high temperature during July is 69 °F. Temperature extremes, ranging from a low of -63 to a high of 92 °F, have been recorded. The average annual liquid equivalent precipitation is 11 inches, and the average annual snowfall is 37 inches.

Looking through WorldCat, we find these three books with Big Delta as a subject, among others:

Ferguson, Judy. 2002. Parallel destinies. Big Delta, Alaska: Glas Publishing Company.

Moss, H. P. 1997. One Alaskan’s potpourri. Eagle River, Alaska: Eagle River Type & Graphics.

United States. 1961. Providing for the withdrawal from the public domain of certain lands in the Big Delta area, Alaska, for continued use by the Department of the Army at Fort Greely report (to accompany H.R. 2283). Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O.

The last item on this list, a US House report, serves as a teachable moment. It’s listed as being held by only two libraries — A library in San Diego and a library in Oklahoma. If this strikes you as odd for a Congressional report about Alaska, it should. This report and many other Congressional publications like it are part of a group publication called the US Serial Set. A decent definition and description of the Serial Set can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Set.  A more detailed presentation is available from the Government Printing Office.

This is also a good moment to know that while a catalog like Worldcat.org is a great thing to have, a catalog plus a trained librarian can often be better. I won’t lie. Not always better. But often better. Here ends the bibliographic instruction.

Join us next week as our trek through WorldCat takes us to Big Lake.

LibDay5: Fri: Less Typical Than Thur

My final workweek posting for Library Day in the Life Round 5 is even less usual than yesterday’s for a few reasons, beginning with the fact that my wife a had a 10am appointment and was staying home till then.

6am – Hopped on stationary bike with Realms of the Gods and read a bunch more pages for the next 63 minutes. At the end, the bike assured me I had ridden 19 miles and burned 551 Calories. Wondered if it was right on either score, but felt comforted.

7:50am – Walked to the post office bus stop with intention of making 8:03 bus to get to work by my scheduled 8:30 time.  I think Juneau has a great bus system for a town of its size.

7:55am – Ran into a friend at the post office who gave me a ride to work. I love my small(ish) town!

8:10am – Got to my desk and checked my calendar. I showed four commitments:

  • 9:00am – Teach half hour class (2 students) on Google Groups navigation.
  • 9:30am – Tour Micrographics with Division Director.
  • 11:30am – Reference shift (my 3rd of the week)
  • 4:00pm – Access learning time.

8:40 am – I got a call from the Alaska Court System summoning me to the Dimond Court House as an alternate grand juror. Let people know I was going to the court house and grabbed my coat. Under Alaska Rule of Court 6, this is all I can tell you:

Jury service

I can also tell you that the floor the jury room is on has nice views. Here are a few pictures taken on a break:

Judicial Perspective 1

Judicial perspective 4

When we weren’t on break, our phones had to be turned off and put into a picnic basket under the control of the court clerk. Virtually all of us randomly chosen jurors had iPhones. Made me grateful for my green case.

11:45am – Checked in with our Director because my boss wasn’t in the office and headed to an early lunch to decompress. Don’t ask me why. Rule 6. It’s there for a good reason. Researched Digital Photography Classes at my local University. Looks like I could take a three credit class in September. Looks good, but I estimate it to be $540 for the semester. How much do I like photography? Juneauites – Any opinions on Art S222 “Digital Camera Photography”?

12:45pm – Back at work. Agreed to take a “back up” reference shift from 1-3. That means that a paraprofessional is on the desk who handles straightforward questions and the internet signups I’ve talked about earlier this week. If more difficult questions come up, they can call the backup librarian.

1-3pm – The shift goes pretty quietly. I helped one person with a printing problem. Otherwise I’m not called. During this time I did the following, among other things:

  • Traded e-mails with various IT and Division staff on a database migration. The IT folks literally put their best database expert on it and I’m looking forward to working with her.
  • Tracked down some software that was ordered 7/1 but hadn’t arrived yet.
  • Signed end of the month timesheets for my section staff so they could get paid.

3-4pm Reviewed and answered e-mail, including some that might lead to an expansion of high school internship opportunities for the Division. Reminded me that our relations and interconnections with our parent agency have greatly improved over the past few years.  I also posted a procedure to our staff intranet for bringing our Userful computer network back up after a power failure. The procedure came from the Library IT person I supervised, but I did some light editing before putting on the intranet.

4-5pm – I actually get to my Access Learning Time.  At this point in the book, I’m mostly refreshing my memory about database design concepts I first learned in library school during the mid-1990s. I’m working through Access 2003 Bible instead of something more current because that’s the version the Micrographics label program was written in. I’m reading the book through ebrary, and there’s not a day I don’t give thanks for our subscription.

Ok. That was my work week, Monday through Friday. Since I’ve only been in my current position since April 2010, I’m not really sure whether this was a typical week or not. Ask me in a year.

Not really related to my work, I wanted to share one more photo:

Bobbi Newman tribute shot

I took this picture in the Jury break room. I meant to be photographing something else and I noticed the iPhone was staring right down at my shoes in a pose somewhat reminiscent of one of Bobbi Newman’s shoe pictures. It seemed like a fitting tribute to one of the founders of Library Day in the Life to post a similar picture. Thanks, Bobbi.

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