Yesterday’s reference, today’s reference – 8 differences

1. Yesterday’s library reference was all about looking in books.
Today’s reference is all about finding the resources the people need, wherever it’s found.

2. Yesterday’s reference was all about what was housed in the library building. Today’s reference includes online services and digital resources.

3. Yesterday’s reference was all about getting information.
Today’s reference is also about helping people create and share information.

4. Yesterday’s reference was about term papers for students.
Today’s reference is also about multimedia projects for them.

5. Yesterday’s reference was all about being copyright enforcers.
Today’s reference is about being intellectual property counselors.

Continue reading Yesterday’s reference, today’s reference – 8 differences

Library Collaboration

Collaborative undertakings must have:

  •  Distributed benefits – more is accomplished jointly than could be individually
  • Common, new goals
  • Commitment from the organizations’ leaders
  • Well-defined relationships
  • Planning, including goals, objectives, activities, and measures of success
  • Mutual risk
  • Shared resources or jointly contracted

A web presence for every library

Did you hear? OCLC’s Innovation Lab is going to start a new project: a web presence for every library. They will focus on the small libraries in America. It’s pretty exciting and offers some real possibilities to stand-alone’s that want to get a site!

QR codes in libraries

I went to a good presentation by Marriott Library and Eccles Health Sciences Library on QR codes. QR stands for quick reference, btw. The notion is to have a code that someone can take a photo of with their handheld device, and the device will translate that code to the information represented underneath.  A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be small or large. It can be huge, as on the side of a building.

Here’s a QR code about my Trading Spaces Mentoring Program: trading spaces qr code

Libraries can use QR codes in all kinds of ways:

  • Paintings or photos in the building
  • Map of the library
  • Search the library catalog
  • Place holds on books
  • Summer Reading signup
  • Upcoming events
  • New book arrivals
  • Contact information
  • Any text at all
  • If you can print, post, or tweet it you can QR it

In order to access QR codes people need:

  • A handheld device with a camera and the internet such as a smartphone, iphone, droid, one of the many products that are widely used today
  • A QR app which can be found at the app store or at a variety of places on the internet

It’s really easy to create QR codes. You need a QR code generator and there are so many that are free, it’s easy to get one.  Just look online. The one that I used to make the above QR code was Delivr. The one that Eccles is using is BeeTagg.

There are tips for creating QR codes, for example, don’t have a long url, the image will be too finely grained. Shorten it first using a url shortener within your  QR code generator, or use another such as or

Also, make sure you are pointing to a version of something that is made for handheld devices. A url to a very large website won’t be readable on the handheld once they get it, so that’s lame.

There’s more,  I hope to hold a training on QR codes in the near future. Stay put.

Sincerely, Colleen (p.s. here’s my contact info, try it out on your iphone)

Futures Thinking for Academic Libraries

Futures Thinking for Academic Libraries: Higher Education in 2025 by Staley and Malenfant tells of 26 possible scenarios that may impact academic libraries in the next 15 years. The scenarios include things like academic culture, demographics, distance education, funding, globalization, infrastructure/facilities, libraries, political climate, publishing industry, societal values, students/learning, and technology. The authors have examined the probability, impact, speed of change, and threat/opportunity potential of each scenario.

Of the 26 scenarios discussed, those with the highest impact and probability are:

  • Breaking the textbook monopoly. Most states will have passed legislation that requires textbook publishers to make textbooks affordable in the future.
  • Bridging the scholar/practitioner divide. Online publications, by scholarly societies in partnership with trade organizations and professional associations, are predicted to be open access and support robust community-based dialogue.
  • Everyone is a “non-traditional” student. The interwoven nature of work/life/school will be accepted in higher education as life spans increase and students are unable to fund tuition in one lump.
  • Increasing threat of cyberterrorism. University and library IT systems will be the targets of hackers, criminals, and rogue states, disrupting operations for days and weeks at a time. Continue reading Futures Thinking for Academic Libraries