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  • 14 Apr 2014 11:28 AM | Jessica Roy (Administrator)

     

                It's been a while since I went to a major conference. Limited help and budgets will do that to you. When I heard that this year's Evergreen International Conference was going to be in Cambridge, MA, I decided to heck with it, I'm going. I attended the first one in GA 5 years ago when the Maine Balsam Libraries Consortium was in its infancy. After what I saw and heard in Cambridge, I can tell you that both the software and the community using it have come a long way.

                We started on version 1.209 if I remember correctly. The newest stable release is 2.5 and developers are already talking about what to add to 2.7. When we formed Balsam, the major clusters of Evergreen users were in South Carolina, British Columbia and Indiana. Today, pretty much all of GA, SC, IN, BC and MA are in, Mobius in MO, a group in TX, and other clusters in WA, OR, MI, CT, NH, OH and AK are expanding. On the international front, Evergreen is being adopted in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Canada, India, The Republic of Georgia and Tasmania.

                Many of you know that I worked with Karl Beiser to support Innovative’s Millennium software. In that role, I attended several Innovative Users' Group Meetings. There were a bunch of people every year who dazzled me with their creativity and innovation at those meetings. I saw many of those same people at the Evergreen conference and they're applying their 'Star Wars' cool to open source now. That really excites me. My biggest problem with Millennium was the way enhancements and new features were selected. It was done by ballot and the academic libraries always seemed to trump what public libraries wanted for new features.

                With Evergreen, the situation is completely different. Let's say there's a new component or feature you'd kill to have in the software, but it would cost $20,000 to develop it. The way the Evergreen community is structured, any number of libraries or consortia can pool funds and hire someone like Equinox Library Services to develop the code. Once it's working and blessed by the Evergreen oversight committee, it's rolled into the next release. Your consortium might only be able to pony up $1,000, but every little bit helps. There's also a website where bugs can be reported and tracked by a cadre of librarians three times smarter about this stuff than I'll ever be.

                If you're interested in the development side, or simply want to lurk, these sharp pencils meet regularly on IRC and welcome new blood. The Evergreen community also has several listservs that are open to anyone interested in learning about Evergreen. Those, and most links related to Evergreen, can be found at http://evergreen-ils.org/ and the Evergreen wiki is here http://wiki.evergreen-ils.org/doku.php

                So, you wonder, what happened at the conference? There were sessions on the git tutorial,  documentation and developer hackfests, “Hello Reports: Stumbling toward the data you need,” “It's Funny Afterward: Technical tales of tragedy...and recovery,” “Evergreen Welcome Panel,”(I was on this), “The Import/Export Business: Working with Vandelay in Evergreen,” “Consider the KPAC: Implement and customize the children's catalog,” “License to ILL: How Equinox turned Evergreen 2.o into FulfILLment@, an open source resources sharing platform,” “Being the Cat Herder: Managing an open source software release,” “Batches, Buckets & Bookbags,” “Tiny Budget, Abundant Results: Creating an online catalog at Georgia's Governor's Mansion with Evergreen,” “Authority Control in Evergreen: The straight dope,” “Three Dozen Is a CrowdundefinedDeduplication,” A Practical Serials Walkthrough,” Structured Library Data: Holdings, libraries and beyond,” “Exploring a Browser-Based Staff Client,” and “SQL for Librarians.”

                Pretty much every session's slides, handouts, documentation and links will be collected over the next couple of weeks and made available as links from one site. As with most conferences, one of the best aspects was the sharing and networking. One of my interests, stemming back to my days at the Maine State Library, is getting additional Z39.50 resources for catalogers. I'm in the process of swapping ours with two of the consortia who were there and may explore additional ones with single libraries that have extremely unique collections. I returned home, energized and enthusiastic, but a bit overwhelmed at all the information that was sent my way.

                Now to why this piece is titled as it is. We received a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation last year to help libraries interested in joining the Maine Balsam Libraries Consortium with migration costs. If what you have read here whets your interest, I, or project manager Chris Maas, will be happy to talk with you and do our best to answer any questions you might have. My email is berek@tds.net and the phone number at the Hartland Public Library is 938-4702.

  • 14 Apr 2014 11:24 AM | Jessica Roy (Administrator)
    In March, Deb Clark, SMLD Consultant, Laurel Parker from Windham Public Library, Annika Black from Norway Memorial Library, and Mary Beckett from Edythe L. Dyer Community Library in Hampden attended the one-day conference in Worcester, MA of the New England Roundtable of Teen’s and  Children’s Librarians (NERTCL). This year’s conference focused on “Kids and Technology.” The following series of blog posts are reports from each of the attendees.

     

    Use These Tools! 

    This presentation featured several Youth Services Librarians discussing various websites that they use and why we should consider using them.  Websites included YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Vine, and Minecraft.  I found the YouTube presentation particularly compelling.  Ideas discussed included uploading short videos of librarians demonstrating rhymes and fingerplays.  This creates a learning opportunity for parents and also a way to promote library story times to young patrons.  Videos could embedded into library websites or shared on the library Facebook pages.  I thought book trailers created by young patrons would be fun to share.  This librarian also uploads video of programs.  She seemed a bit lax in regards to patron privacy stating that it is legal to photograph or video people in a public place.  While it may be legal to do this I think there are ethical issues to take into consideration.  The presentation on Pinterest was also interesting.  The Librarian presenting uses this site to feature a children’s book illustration of the day and links to book trailers.  This was a fun session offering an opportunity to see how others are using popular online tools to enhance their library programming.


    Mary Beckett from Edythe Dyer Community Library in Hampden.

  • 14 Apr 2014 11:22 AM | Jessica Roy (Administrator)
    In March, Deb Clark, SMLD Consultant, Laurel Parker from Windham Public Library, Annika Black from Norway Memorial Library, and Mary Beckett from Edythe L. Dyer Community Library in Hampden attended the one-day conference in Worcester, MA of the New England Roundtable of Teen’s and  Children’s Librarians (NERTCL). This year’s conference focused on “Kids and Technology.” The following series of blog posts are reports from each of the attendees.

    E-Books and Publishing Workshop presented by Noreen O’Gara, Bedford (MA) Free Public Library.

     

    A great history of  systems using computers for storing texts, electronic ink, reading devices, and where we are today was presented.  In 2007 eReaders became available with content from Amazon and sold out in 5 ½ hours.  Backorders were finally filled in April of 2008.  When iPads hit the market in 2010 it was the end of the boom years for dedicated eReaders.  2011 saw Penguin refused to sell new content to libraries. HarperCollins placed a 26 time check out limit on library eBooks on March 7, 2011. Random House tripled the cost of eBooks to libraries in March 2012.   More tablets than eReaders were being sold in 2012, with android almost doubling the sales of Apple.  Getting content is now complex with considerations including publishers, printers, device makers, and content providers.  Be leary of subscription services stating that they are “fabulous” and “hand-curated” (movies, apps, books, etc.) such as Kindle Free Time ($2.99/$4.99/$9.99 per month), Oyster ($9.95/mo) Scribd (8.99/mo) Entitle (2 books/month, $9.99).

     

    The Minuteman (MA) Consortium buys an Overdrive shared collection.  80% of the titles are for adults, 20% for children.  Studies show that 28% of adults have read on an electronic device and 46% of kids have read on electronic devices.    In looking at the Maine Info Net Overdrive a breakdown of adult vs. children’s titles is not readily available.  James Jackson Sanborn did pass along to me, “In terms of new YA or child content, the apparent lack of that content could be due to the lack of requests coming through the system coupled with the availability or lack thereof in ebook or e-audiobook format.  Although we have a few people who make selections with an eye toward YA lit, most of our collection is built by responding to direct user requests that are made through the search system.”  Children’s and Young Adult librarians…let’s get involved!

     

     

    Laurel T. Parker

    Children's Librarian

    Windham Public Library

  • 14 Apr 2014 11:19 AM | Jessica Roy (Administrator)
    In March, Deb Clark, SMLD Consultant, Laurel Parker from Windham Public Library, Annika Black from Norway Memorial Library, and Mary Beckett from Edythe L. Dyer Community Library in Hampden attended the one-day conference in Worcester, MA of the New England Roundtable of Teen’s and  Children’s Librarians (NERTCL). This year’s conference focused on “Kids and Technology.” The following series of blog posts are reports from each of the attendees.

    Library Instructor Teacher Jen Reed presented on the various technology tools she uses with her students during library classes. Her PPT can be found here. First, she sets up her learning commons to make it flexible and conducive to student-driven learning. Her stacks are on wheels and her furniture is moveable. The laptops, which are always out, and other tech tools are easily available to the students. She describes her library as “organized chaos” with her as a “guide on the side” to assist student exploration and learning.


    Some of the literacy-related activities she facilitates are making Wordles  and Tagzedo word clouds about books, creating book spine poems, and letting children record themselves with an iPad talking about a book. (She always instructs students not to record their faces.) The students can use Animoto to create book talks and book trailers, Skype with others to discuss what they are reading, and use tools like Kid Pix, Comet Creator, and Flip cameras to create visual presentations about favorite stories.  

    Reed ties all her programming to the Essential Learning Targets and Common Core. She regularly collaborates with the greater community through library events, makerspaces, author visits, and a summer reading program. Reed believes students need information, guidance, resources, space to explore, and an audience to encourage high quality learning. She documents her programs and examples of student work at her school district’s website to better share with parents and the community.


    Submitted by Deborah Clark, SMLD Consultant

  • 14 Apr 2014 11:15 AM | Jessica Roy (Administrator)
    In March, Deb Clark, SMLD Consultant, Laurel Parker from Windham Public Library, Annika Black from Norway Memorial Library, and Mary Beckett from Edythe L. Dyer Community Library in Hampden attended the one-day conference in Worcester, MA of the New England Roundtable of Teen’s and  Children’s Librarians (NERTCL). This year’s conference focused on “Kids and Technology.” The following series of blog posts are reports from each of the attendees.

    Embrace your Inner Tech Goddess or God!

    This first presentation was my favorite because it involved new ideas interspersed with the actual technology being used for a particular program.  Cindy Wall and Lynn Pawloski presented a high energy presentation chock full of ideas.  Their excitement and creativity was contagious.  The program started off by showing the app for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr.  Morris Lessmore.   With it you can go into the world of the story by learning about pianos, book repair, and even storms.   Over the next hour, Cindy and Lynn described various activities which involved technology as a part of their programs.  Here is a brief description of some of them.

    Maximizing attendance

    We all know how hard it is to plan for programs, because even if there is required registration, some people never come, while others drop in that day.  In order to fill up their programs with as many children as possible, they ask the adult signing up for a $3 deposit for one child and $6 for a family.  This is only to ensure that the patron actually comes to the event, and when they arrive for the program, they get their money back.  However, if the patron needs to cancel and gives the library enough time to call the first person on the waiting list, then they also receive their money back. 

    e Tots

    Ages 2 to 6 yrs

    This is an interactive story time with children and their caregiver that involves using an iPad.   They explained that one computer account can have up to 10 devices registered under it.  This allows the librarian to buy 10 songs or app’s for the price of one.  An iPad poem is used to teach proper use.  It is based on 1, 2 Buckle my Shoe and this is how it goes:

    1, 2 Clean my hands

    3, 4 Sit on the floor

    5, 6 Tap the app

    7,8 Look, listen, and wait

    9,10 Swipe the page

    Now it is time to read again!

    Older children and Transmedia

    These programs were for school age children.  The topics included:

     The Solar System with The Cat in the Hat app’s and modeling clay,

    A monthly art program called Pixels and Pencil’s where there was 15 of app time and then 30 minutes of  creation time.

    Explore the Titanic, using a 3d movie, Her Story app, a fish tank and frozen balloons, and hidden tickets under chairs of actual passenger on board, that had to be researched through an app.

    Al Capone Does my Shirts book discussion with two games where you had to get onto an island and one where you had to try and get off it, and a Mug Shot app.

    The story of Hugo Cabaret, Stop motion filming, and using story board templates.

    Through their whole presentation they emphasized that these programs do not need to be perfect, just fun.   They will be doing a webinar through ALSC on April 9th and 24th.  There is a fee.

    Submitted by Annika Black, Norway Memorial Library



  • 13 Sep 2013 9:15 AM | Anonymous
    Nominations are now being sought for the 2013 Outstanding Librarian Award.  The selected recipient will be presented the award at the upcoming MLA/NELA conference in October.
    The deadline for nominations is September 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm.  Nominations should be sent electronically to Jeannie Madden at jmadden@falmouth.lib.me.us.


  • 12 Sep 2013 1:52 PM | Jenna Blake Davis (Administrator)
    We have just confirmed that MLA's membership meeting at the NELA Conference will be held on Monday, Oct. 21st at 8am in the York Room.  Please join the MLA Council if you are attending the conference. 
  • 30 Aug 2013 2:32 PM | Jenna Blake Davis (Administrator)

    Banned Books Week is September 22-28 this year. The whole topic of privacy and intellectual freedom is very much on people's minds this year, courtesy of the NSA, so celebrating Banned Books Week in our libraries is especially timely, as is highlighting what libraries are doing to protect the reading and computer use privacy of patrons.

    If you wish to order posters or other display materials from ALA, check http://ala-publishing.informz.net/InformzDataService/OnlineVersion/Individua

    l?mailingInstanceId=3452267&subscriberId=1026699415.

    For more info, http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/and http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek.

    Jim Campbell, Chair

    MLA Intellectual Freedom Committee

  • 13 Aug 2013 9:41 AM | Debora Lozito (Administrator)
    Application deadline for four conference grants of up to $250.00 is September 30 this year. 
  • 12 Aug 2013 5:45 PM | Jenna Blake Davis (Administrator)
    In keeping with Biblionix’s devotion to small and medium sized public libraries, we offer a $250.00 stipend for public librarians to attend the combined MLA/NELA Conference October 20-22,  2013.   Eligibility requirements are: 

    •o   Library director or staff at a public library in Maine

    •o   Member of MLA

    The funds can be used to cover conference expenses, including the following:


    -   Conference Registration

    -   Pre-conference workshops

    -   Travel costs/mileage

    -   Meals

    -   Lodging

    -   Cost of replacement staff if needed

                   

    Requirements are:

    • Volunteer for a minimum of 2 hours at the conference
    • Attend the MLA business meeting
    • Attend meals with speakers

    See brochure for full details: Biblionix Grant   

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