DALNET @ MLA, November 4-5

October 28, 2009


Visit DALNET at the MLA Annual Conference, Booth #322

 Learn more about the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET), pick up your free DALNET reusable eco-tote, and enter to win one of five free 8 GB USB drives.


Michigan Information Literacy Initiative

May 12, 2009

The Michigan Information Literacy Initiative (MILI) workshop will take place Friday, June 19, 2009 from 9 AM to 4 PM at Oakland Community College’s Orchard Ridge Campus (27055 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI).

At the workshop, you will learn to improve library/faculty collaboration, “preplan talking points, identify prime opportunities to engage, and pinpoint library champions, all to better promote library instruction and better serve your customers.”  

The agenda will include a panel discussion on teacher/librarian collaboration and three breakout sessions titled “Information Literacy Assessment and the First-Year Experience,” “Elevator Chat: Promoting Information Literacy and Library Instruction in 5, 10, or 15 Minutes” (Caryn Noel, Library Director, Adam Cardinal Maida Alumni Library, Orchard Lake Schools and DALNET Board Member will be participating in this session), and “Insight into a Successful Librarian-Faculty Collaboration.”

Registration is $85 for members and $170 for nonmembers.  Register at http://www.mla.lib.mi.us.

MLA 2008 Conference Report

November 13, 2008

The 2008 Annual Michigan Library Association Conference was held in Kalamazoo this year on October 22-24.

Shaping your community’s yesterdays for today and tomorrow: building your library’s local history collection – This presentation highlighted many useful tips about establishing or promoting a library’s local history collection.  Kris Rzepczynski, Michigan/Genealogy Coordinator at the Library of Michigan, presented the viewpoint from a large library with an established collection.  Sara Wedell, Adult Services Librarian at the Delta Township District Library, presented the viewpoint of a library just starting out with their local history collection in a new building. Things to consider when creating a local history collection are the scope, what neighboring libraries are doing so as not to duplicate services, whether to circulate materials, and access vs. preservation.  Establishing contacts, such as libraries, historical/genealogical societies, newspapers or churches, within your community is also important.  Resources available to local history librarians include the MeL Genealogy Gateway (which includes HeritageQuest), Michigan County Histories and, soon, SeekingMichigan.org, an online collection of historical collections.

Tech Tools for Reference: a Public and Academic Library Perspective – This was a very informative presentation about all kinds of useful online tools.  Holly Hibner, head of Adult Services at Salem-South Lyon District Library presented some tools from the public library perspective and Christine Tobias, Reference and Technology librarian at Michigan State University showed the audience tools that could be useful in an academic library setting.  A link to their presentation is available here.

Get the Point Across with a Wink – Glenn Fischer from the Genesee District Library presented about a software tool called WINK which is a free way to record computer screen activity, annotate the recording with text or voice, and export the recording in a number of formats.  At DALNET, we have already begun experimenting with this tool for training purposes.

Catalog Records of Tomorrow: Cataloging Rules and Standards in 2009 – This presentation discussed RDA: Resource Description & Access and the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control report.  The portion of the presentation by Lisa Robinson, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services at Michigan State University, is available here.  Amy L. Ranger’s presentation can be found here.

Michigan Evergreen Project: Michigan’s first open source group catalog – Representatives from the Michigan Library Consortium and the Grand Rapids Public Library discussed the Michigan Evergreen project, an open-source shared system available to Michigan libraries that was launched in 2008.  Currently, the system includes Circulation, and Cataloging, and OPAC, with Acquisitions and Serials slated for 2009.  Libraries that have already migrated included Branch District Library, Grand Rapids Public Library, and Niles District Library.  For more information, see the Michigan Evergreen blog and wiki.

VUFind: an Open Source ILS Independent OPAC – Presentations about VUFind were made by representatives of both Western Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University.  WMU’s presentation can be found here, while the presentation by Jackie Wrosch, Systems Librarian at EMU, can be found here.  VUFind does not replace your ILS, but it can be an improvement on the OPAC supplied by your vendor.  Jackie discussed the improvements that were possible with VUFind, such as the ability to customize, better keyword searching, and integration of outside content, and also the areas that did not quite reach expectations, such as holds/requests, online renewals, and tagging.  Plans for the future include improving the functions they need, comparing VUFind with their vendor OPAC and developing in-house support.

[Report by Kristy Wells]

Making History with YouTube and the OPAC

October 27, 2008


The DALNET staff enjoyed attending the 2008 Michigan Library Association annual conference last week.  Lots of new things were learned that will be shared with consortium members.

Director Steven K. Bowers and volunteer Pat Lewis delivered a session entitled “Making History with YouTube and the OPAC”.  The presentation was about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Speeches and Interviews project.  Click below to view materials from their presentation.

PowerPoint: http://www.dalnet.lib.mi.us/MLA/2008/MLA2008.ppt

Some Considerations When Proposing a Digital Project (Handout): http://www.dalnet.lib.mi.us/MLA/2008/digital_considerations_handout.doc

Download the MARC Records (right click and save): http://www.dalnet.lib.mi.us/MLA/2008/youtube_king

Library Director’s Summit

October 15, 2008

The Library Directors’ Summit will be on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at Bloomfield Township Public Library (1099 Lone Pine Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI  48302) from 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.  Click here for the flyer.   

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
9:00 –10:00 a.m.
Libraries in the Near Future (Tomalee Doan, Head, Management & Economics Library, Purdue University)
10:00 – 10:15 a.m.
10:15 – 11:30 a.m. 
Breakout Sessions
A.  Managing Library Investments in Times of Economic Turmoil (Dawn Lovrovich, Asst. Vice President Merrill Lynch)
B.   Archiving a Presidency: Behind the Scenes at the Ford Presidential Library and Museum (Elaine Didier, Director – Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum)
11:30– 12:00 p.m.
Tours of Bloomfield Township Public Library
12:00 -1:00 p.m.
1:00-2:00 p.m. 
Organizing for Efficiency: Streamlining Processes to Cut Costs (Christine Andrysiak, Consulting Manager, Planning and Operations, Plante & Moran)
2:00 – 2:15 p.m.
2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Planning For Our Future 
·    Scanning Our Environment, Roger Mendel, Director, Mideastern Library Cooperative
·    MLA Communities of Practice, Kathy Irwin, MLA President, University of Michigan, Dearborn
·    MLA Strategic Plan, Larry Neal, MLA President-Elect, Clinton Macomb Public Library

The cost is $85 to MLA member, $170 to non-members.  You can register here.

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 WorldCat.org 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 WorldCat.org. The ranking in WorldCat.org 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)

MLA Call for Presentations

January 25, 2008
MLA 2008 Conference

The deadline for the Call for Presentations for the 2008 Michigan Library Association conference has been extended to January 31, 2008. Click here for more information about how to submit a proposal.  Programs will be selected by March 14, 2008.

 The MLA conference will take place October 22-24, 2008 in Kalamazoo.