Saturday, March 17, 2007

Customer service?

I've been in two Barnes & Noble bookstores in the last week and at both places, there was a line formed waiting to talk to a staff member at the customer service desk. It occurred to me that there is rarely a line waiting to talk to a staff member at the reference desk in the library and the reference desk performs something of the same functions as the customer service desk in B&N. So what do you suppose would happen if we changed the sign above the reference desk to customer service? Would we too be deluged with customers? Would we be happy to help everyone, no matter what their question or would we be complaining that the questions being asked were too mundane for people with our training, education, and skills?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring break fun

I think this makes it official. If there were any questions in your mind about my nerdiness before, I'm just about to squash them. I'm all excited because I'm going to spend my spring break next week reading and writing a review of the Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion! I responded to a call for book reviewers that Library Journal recently sent out and, much to my surprise, they responded and asked if I'd like to review reference books. Of course I said yes!

One small problem is that Library Journal is published by Elsevier and their standard author contract requires me to give up all of my copyrights to the reviews I write and they accept for publication. But I've got a list of web sites where I can go to find examples of language to use to ammend that (when I find it, I'll share it with you).

Oh, just to balance things out a bit...I'm also really excited that I have a daffodil just about to bloom in my back yard.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I attended a really good webinar on Tuesday about mashups. Mashups are a software application that allows you to combine data from two or more sources (usually web sites) to create a new web site. Most of the earliest mashups were created using Google maps combined with all kinds of other information like home prices, weather, traffic, etc. Here's a couple of examples of the cool things you can do with mashups:

This is a mashup that displays patterns in news reporting across countries.
This one is a map with "push-pins indicating the physical location of librarians with blogs.

This is something cool that I'd love to play around with in my spare time (hah!). If I ever get around to it, I'll share my creations here!

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I am... a wife a daughter a sister/sister-in-law an aunt a reader a librarian a doctor a quilter a niece a grandmother ;-) a cat owner 6 feet 1 inches tall a yoga enthusiast a cook