Chocolate: The Exhibition

May 30, 2008

The Henry Ford is hosting a new exhibit all about chocolate!  The exhibit traces the history of chocolate from the time of the Aztecs and Mayans in Mexico and Central America through present day.  Samples will be availabe on certain weekends all summer.  There will even be a Chocolate Café with delicious treats available for purchase. 

‘Chocolate: The Exhibition’ opens May 31 and runs through September 7 at the Henry Ford Museum.  The exhibit is free with admission to the museum.

Read the article at:

ALA Emerging Leaders Poster Session

May 29, 2008

If you plan on attending the American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim this year, stop by the ALA Emerging Leaders Class of 2008 poster session on Friday June 27 from 3 PM to 5 PM at the Hilton Anaheim, California Pavillion C.

Steven K. Bowers, DALNET director, is a member of this year’s class of Emerging Leaders.

Click HERE for the ALA press release.

Applications for the 2009 class of Emerging Leaders are available HERE.

Non-Latin Script Data in Name Authority Records

May 21, 2008

“The major authority record exchange partners (British Library, Library and Archives Canada, Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and OCLC) have developed a plan to allow the addition of non-Latin script data (also known as nonroman script data) to name authority records distributed as part of the NACO program… .  The addition of non-Latin script data is scheduled to begin no earlier than June 1, 2008.”

**See this page of FAQs from the Library of Congress**                     

Google Book Search and WorldCat

May 20, 2008

From the press release:  “Under terms of the agreement, OCLC member libraries participating in the Google Book Search™ program, which makes the full text of more than one million books searchable, may share their WorldCat-derived MARC records with Google to better facilitate discovery of library collections through Google.

Google will link from Google Book Search to, which will drive traffic to library OPACs and other library services. Google will share data and links to digitized books with OCLC, which will make it possible for OCLC to represent the digitized collections of OCLC member libraries in WorldCat.”


Detroit Festival of the Arts

May 19, 2008


What: Detroit’s Unrivaled International Arts Festival

Where: In Midtown’s University Cultural Center

When: June 6-8, 2008

(Friday: 4-11 PM, Saturday: Noon-11 PM, and Sunday: Noon-9 PM)

For more information, visit

h.y.p.e. Grand Opening

May 16, 2008

Update! — Click here to read about H.Y.P.E. in the School Library Journal


The ribbon cutting for the Detroit Public Library’s new teen center was Thursday, May 15th, with grand opening events occurring all week from May 12-17.  The Woodward entrance of DPL Main was draped with a red carpet and valet parking was provided to attendees.  The center is named h.y.p.e. (helping young people excel) Teen Center. 

The newest center at the Main Branch “combines digital technology with interaction, resulting in innovation and engagement that allows our teens to develop and become hyped for success.”  The Redford branch on Grand River is home to another h.y.p.e. Teen Center.

Services offered at the teen center include leadership programs, video conferences, career workshops, homework help, tutoring, technology, mentoring, an Entrepreneurs program, a Debaters program, summer camp, creative arts, and more.

For more information, visit


MLA’s Academic Libraries Day Report

May 15, 2008

The 2008 Michigan Library Association’s Academic Libraries Day was held on Friday, May 9 at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI. The theme was “Virtual Libraries/Virtual Learners: A Matter of Perspective”.  There were approximately 80 attendees.  Debbie Morrow from Grand Valley State University Libraries, ARLD Chair, did a wonderful job organizing this event.

Roy Tennant, presently the Senior Program Officer for OCLC Programs and Research, was the keynote speaker. Prior to his current position at OCLC, Tennant worked in academic libraries his entire adult life with a majority of it being at the University of California-Berkeley.

He stressed that it is important to know about our users and where to find them. According to OCLC’s 2006 report titled College Students’ Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources: A Report to the OCLC Membership very few begin their search at the library’s web site. A majority begin their search using a search engine such as Google. Also this report states that the library brand identity is books. Tennant stated that this should concern us.

Tennant brought up the term “satisfice” coined by Herbert Simon. “Satisficing” means deciding what constitutes a satisfactory outcome and then looking for ways to achieve it. For any given task the user is willing to go through some pain to get results, but users have different tolerances, and our library users may have a low threshold for pain. Many view our library catalogs and systems as painful. He gave an example of the University of California-Berkley online catalog. He stated that it is a home grown system that UC Berkeley made for UC Berkeley librarians, not for students or faculty. And its search terminology did look painful! He added that librarians need to remember that not everyone likes the search as most of us do; users like the find, not the search.

The integrated library system is still needed but a new kind of finding tool on the user-end for searching must occur, Tennant said. He referred to next generation library search engines such as Primo from Ex Libris and Encore from Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III). Open source systems Tennant mentioned were VUFind from Villanova University and Koha from LibLime.

WorldCat Local from OCLC offers a customized view of which is the OCLC database open to the public. Presently WorldCat has over 1.25 billion holdings. WorldCat Local puts local items first which differs from the ranking of The ranking in is based on the number of libraries that own the item—the more that own the item the higher the ranking. All of these systems use faceted browsing.

He asserted that searching will happen anywhere such as from cell phones and it will be more disaggregated. The library needs to be where the user is; we need to build a search around them, not around us. And the user is on virtual spaces such as Facebook, Flickr, Meebo, etc.

Our goal needs to be to get users to what they need as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Tennant states that open url resolvers are a good start, but we need to do more. The Getting Users to Full-Text (GUF) Project at the University of Rochester is like a “link resolver on steroids” according to Tennant. This is a move in a positive direction for our users, he believes.

One of the best points Tennant made was showing the audience a picture of very intricate plumbing. Most of us do not care about plumbing unless it doesn’t work and then we call a plumber. He equated it with our catalogs. Our users do not need to see the guts, they just want the catalog to work.

He acknowledged the following barriers: lack of resources, lots of bad data, lack of appropriate vendor solutions, institutional inertia, and staff skill, with the latter being solved by retooling our staff. He viewed our opportunities as follows: working collaboratively, reallocating resources, creating agile institutions, using the library as a user would, and being in physical as well as virtual spaces.

After Tennant’s keynote, there were morning and afternoon breakout sessions. The titles follow:

  • Research Help Now: Virtual Reference Service with a Multi-Library Arrangement
  • Embedded: Librarians in the Online Trenches
  • E-Books: Issues, Perspectives and the Future
  • Navigating the Stream with a Paddle: Video Streaming Applications and Management

I attended two of them and found both very informative. Dr. Richard Cochran, Dean of the Library at Ferris State University, was excellent at facilitating the discussion and wrap-up of the day. The last presentation was from Russ Knopp of Traverse Management Resources. He spoke about the MLA restructuring, transitional leadership, and communities of practice.

This was the first Academic Libraries Day I have attended, and I found it enlightening. The Park Library at Central Michigan University is spectacular!

(Report by Cathy Wolford)

Sandy Tolan Book Reading and Signing at the AANM

May 14, 2008

Journalist, teacher and public radio producer Sandy Tolan will appear at the Arab American National Museum at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17 to give a lecture and read from his book The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew and the Heart of the Middle East (Bloomsbury, 2006). The Lemon Tree chronicles the lives of two families – one Israeli, one Palestinian – who both occupied the same stone house in Ramle, while telling the larger story of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) and the 1948 creation of the state of Israel.

During the lecture, Tolan will explore the 60th anniversary of that fateful event, share some of its untold history and discuss its contemporary impact. Following the lecture, Tolan will take questions from the audience and sign copies of his book, available for sale in the Museum Store. Attendees are welcome to bring their personal copies of Tolan’s book to the event.

The lecture in the AANM Auditorium is free and open to the public; RSVP to Fay Saad at 313.624.0200 or

Sandy Tolan is a teacher and radio documentary producer. He is the author of two books: Me and Hank: A Boy and His Hero, Twenty-Five Years Later (Free Press, 2000), about the intersection between race, sports, and American heroes; and The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East . The Washington Post called the latter book “extraordinary” and placed it among its top nonfiction titles for 2006; the Christian Science Monitor wrote, “no novel could be more compelling” and proclaimed, “It will be one of the best nonfiction books you will read this year.”

Tolan has reported from more than 30 countries, especially in the Middle East, Latin America, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe. As co-founder of Homelands Productions, he has produced hundreds of documentaries and features for public radio.  He has written for more than 40 newspapers and magazines.

The Museum is located at 13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI, 48126.  Museum hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.  Closed Monday, Tuesday; Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for students, seniors and children 6-12; ages 5 and under, free.
Call 313.582.2266 for further information.

New way to search Wikipedia

May 14, 2008

From Powerset’s About page: “Powerset’s first product is a search and discovery experience for Wikipedia, launched in May 2008. Powerset’s technology improves the entire search process. In the search box, you can express yourself in keywords, phrases, or simple questions. On the search results page, Powerset gives more accurate results, often answering questions directly, and aggregates information from across multiple articles. Finally, Powerset’s technology follows you into enhanced Wikipedia articles, giving you a better way to quickly digest and navigate content.”

JSC RDA Meeting Outcomes, April 2008

May 13, 2008


View the outcomes of the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA Meeting held in Chicago on April 13-22, 2008:

The next meeting will take place on November 9-18, 2008 in Ottawa, Canada.  At this meeting, the JSC will finalize the text for the first release of RDA.


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