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)