It's Tuesday night. But first, a word about how much fun I had on Monday.
I started my day with a pancake breakfast with my LLNE colleagues. We talked business and about all the great Sunday evening receptions and parties. Then I biked to work and had a fairly active morning at the Reference Desk. (There was a question about old Maine Supreme Court decisions from the medical school and one on finding old national responsibility exams from a visiting faculty.)
Around noon, I began to prepare for a series of library tours. More than 100 visitors came by to see the library's reading room, books and portraits of lawyers (who are mostly white men). I had a lot of fun talking about what we do and hearing from so many others about what they do. I learned about weeding collections and LLM student outreach. Thank you to all those who came by! And I thank you to my six colleagues who helped show folks around.
The tours ended at 5:00 pm and I rushed back to Hynes on my bike for an ALL-SIS Collection Development roundtable. Twenty-three collection management librarians (and two directors) talked about (1) eresource licensing complications, (2) poor vendor response for user stats, (3) observations from first-round cancelations and (4) re-focused collection policies - both in terms of scope and population to be served.
I then came home for the night to take a long walk around Cambridge with my wife. We walked around the neighborhood we may move to soon. We had inspection this evening on a condo (yikes)!
Today, I finally really made it to the Exhibit Hall! I learned about Lexis Advanced and Lexis ebooks. And from the poster sessions, I learned about effective visualization of information and tools that improve the quality of legal research instruction. I also ran into so many great colleagues I had yet to see. Folks from all over who I always look out for! I even finally met the wife of a colleague.
After the Exhibit Hall dessert fun, I had a couple meetings. These meetings were mostly about librarian advocacy – how do we improve what we do and make folks aware. It was an inspiring conversation. (I left in time to miss the thunderstorms!)
I am so energized and exhausted by the conference that I went for a great run after this evening's home inspection. Yeah for another AALL conference. Yeah for Seattle!
So, I knew that QR codes are used for coupons, and that they're often found in magazines. I had thought that their usage was irrelevant, and as a result, would soon go the way of myspace. But QR codes aren't fading away. Their use is actually on the rise according to several studies.
But what good are QR codes for a library? Well, when scanned with a smartphone scanning app, a QR code can lead to a website, a video, a screencast, a survey, etc. I found them at the Harvard Law Library yesterday, so I know that they're used in academic libraries. However, I work at the Louisiana Supreme Court Law Library, and not many of our patrons are under the age of 25.
Yet, I was inspired by today's program and came up with some ideas for their use in state, court and county law libraries:
1. Use QR codes for a self-guided library tour.
2. Use a QR code to link to the library's online catalog, instead of posting a long URL on a flyer.
3. Place a QR code on library bookmarks which link to library hours or catalog.
4. Use QR code to link to exhibit information.
5. Use QR code on CLE flyer in place of a long URL.
6. Use QR code to link to a short useability survey.
So, that's a start. If you can think of any others, please share it with me on Twitter @taralibrarian.
This Harvard Law Library QR code leads to a webpage
with four options for finding and requesting research
material. You can scan it with your phone right now.
The Cool Tools Cafe was bustling this morning, with people flowing out the doors to see what new and inspiring technologies their colleauges were presenting. Jessica Randall from the University of Connecticut Law Library showed me and others 3 free web conferencing/webinar tools - useful information in this time of budget constraints. Steven Ellis of BU Law demonstrated seamless translating tools available for the web and in word - a great tool for international student populations, or international research. Other cutting edge technologies that were explored included: mind mapping systems, file sharing through platforms like Dropbox, RDM, legal research apps available for iPad and Android, iBooks Author, Firefox add-ons for legal research, Adobe Acrobat Professional, Pinterest, Zoho Creator to build database applications, wireless countrol of your destop or laptop via your iPad, LibGuides, Docket Navigator, Prezi as an alternative to PowerPoint, and screencasting software. This dynamic session was definitely a highlight of the conference.
Listening the luncheon speaker talk about change and value, I was reminded of my favorite sign on a tip jar:
DO YOU FEAR CHANGE?
LEAVE IT HERE
Last night’s annual business meeting highlighted some important accomplishments of the organization and our members. We also welcomed delegates from CALL, IALL, and ALLA. Immediately follow the meeting was the Members' Open Forum. With all of the buzz surrounding the bylaw changes and proposed changes to the annual meeting (see Board books and minutes) this was sure to be a lively discussion period. Regarding the new bylaws changes, one member discussed the development of an ad hoc committee. This committee is preparing a position paper highlighting their concerns with the change in membership terms. She also requested that the Board prepare a similar document. The Board replied that a document was already under development. Another member requested that the time for vote on the new bylaw change be extended to allow membership more time to consider the measure. The Board took the suggestion under advisement but noted that the timeline would likely need to stay in order to not only adhere to the bylaws but to also not conflict with upcoming elections. Other members spoke in favor of the proposed change. Another member suggested doing away with the CRIV sheet in Spectrum since CRIV now has a blog. The Board responded that CRIV would likely revisit the issue once the blog has become more established. Another member suggested a graduated membership rate for members based on employment status and salary and thr Board also took that under advisement. Finally, another point of discussion are the proposed changes to conference schedule and model for next year, particularly how it will impact the PLL-Summit. This issue is certainly going to receive more attention going forward in the coming months. The meeting was transcribed and the comments should be available soon on AALLnet.
The Exhbit Hall closes at 3pm today. Have you talked to all the vendors yet? Collected all the toys and tools they're generously offering? If you haven't headed over to Thompson Reuters I highly recommend taking a few minutes to learn about what's new while waiting in line to get yourself immortalized in cartoon form.
by Betsy McKenzie
There are two kinds of swans in the Boston Public Garden, and both are romantic and beautiful. There are the swan boats, which have been a tradition with Boston families and visitors since 1877. The same family has managed the swan boats all that time! The inspiration came from the opera Lohengren, where the hero, a knight of the Grail, is carried in a boat pulled by a swan.
The idea, and the boats, were started by Robert Paget. But he died one year after the swan boats started, at the young age of 42, according to http://www.swanboats.com/history . His widow, left with four children, struggled to carry on the business. But in 1878, this was not an easy thing for a woman.
Quoting from the website:
From 1878 through the early 1900’s, Julia persevered to keep the family business alive. Because she was a woman, she was required for many years to gather signatures from local business owners in the Back Bay to provide testimony to her ability to run her business.
In 1914, Julia was able to pass the business to her son, and it has continued to remain with the family ever since, prospering and growing. Swan boats run seven days a week, except when it rains, or is very windy. The fares are modest: $2.75 for adults and $1.50 for children 2 – 15 years of age. Seniors pay $2.00. See http://www.swanboats.com/schedule-fares for more details.
The other kind of swan at the Public Garden is the living sort. Each year, in early May, a pair of mated swans, named Romeo and Juliet are brought back to the lagoon in the Garden. It is quite an event (if the video doesn’t work, you could always check out this news report in older style) where the swans arrive in beautifully decorated glass carts, delivered from their winter home at the Franklin Park Zoo, in the Dorchester area, south of Boston.
For years, the public waited for cygnets, … and at last the news leaked out – Boston’s swans are a same-sex couple! In 2005, eggs appeared in the nest and the couple began jealously guarding them. The park officials believed they had a male/female pair. But, time passed and the eggs did not hatch. Years, passed, and eggs never hatched. And the suspicion grew that this couple might be more representative of the city where same sex marriage was legalized! The pair is devoted to each other, and seem quite happy.
Parents of children may also want to know about a childrens’ book that features the swans of the Public Garden, and the swan boats as well: Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White. Louis, a trumpeter swan fledged in Canada, is mute. He tries to overcome this difficulty by learning to play a trumpet. Louis spends part of the time in the book, earning money by playing his trumpet and working with the swan boats. He lives at the Ritz Hotel during this period. There is much more to Louis’ exciting story than his stay in Boston, but it was certainly my introduction to the swan boats and the Public Garden! The book won the William Allen White Children’s Book Award in 1973.
The U.S.S. Constitution is a really fun trip over to Charlestown. You can take the MBTA water shuttle (which is fun all by itself). The current exhibit is "A Sailor's Life in 1812". You can also visit Bunker Hill while you are over there.
If your kids really love dinosaurs the Zoorassic Park at the Franklin Park Zoo might be for them. This is probably only something you should do if you have a car. Right across from the Zoo tonight is an outdoor concert by Athene Wilson.
If you want something close to the conference the Mary Baker Eddy Library is sponsoring "One World for Kids" - today the Red Sox mascot will be there. The Mapparium shows the world as it was in the late 19th century and is kind of cool.
The recipient of the Renee Chapman Award for Outstanding Contributions in Technical Services Law Librarianship is George Prager, New York University Law Library. TS awarded a certificate of appreciation to Jolande Goldberg, Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division, for all of her contributions to the work of technical services professionals. Both awards were presented at the TS annual business meeting on Sunday. Michael Umberger, University of Washington (law library intern and law librarianship student) received the Marla Schwartz award this year. TS-SIS has completed its strategic plan, which will ensure that all members get the most out of belonging to TS-SIS. Please visit the TS-SIS website to read the strategic plan and follow updates from Boston: http://www.aallnet.org/sis/tssis/ I look forward to serving as Chair this year!
This year's AALL Distinguished Lectureship address was given by Anne Klinefelter, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Kathrine R. Everett Law Library at UNC School of Law.
Her lecture asked the intriguing question "Should Librarians Retire the Privacy Ethic?" Klinefelter noted that the general public is giving up more and more of their privacy, and that we may we marginalizing ourselves by valuing privacy so much. On the other hand, some groups look toward librarians to be the defenders of privacy. These competing factors have led Klinefelter to explore how law librarians should deal with privacy.
First, Klinefelter pointed out that law librarians have many policy statements defending privacy, as does the American Library Association. (Throughout the lecture, Klinefelter used the words privacy and confidentiality interchangeably for convenience, but she acknowledged that there are differences in the two). She asked if librarians do in fact live up to that ethic, and if that is even possible? Many of us can remember writing our names on a card to check out a book. Now libraries do things like keep minimal records on patrons, but that may not be enough in an era of tracking on cell phones, broad terms of services on "free" services like Google, legislation effects along the lines of SOPA, and more, it can be hard.
Klinefelter then reached the crux of the talk, asking the audience if we should still try to protect privacy. With the help of the audience, she covered both the benefits to protecting privacy, and the benefits of not protecting it. She also revealed the results of a poll she conducted before the conference, showing that a majority of law librarians did believe we should maintain our privacy ethic. This poll mirrored the feelings of the crowd, who were quite pro-privacy ethic. Look for more on this poll, and this topic, from Klinefelter's scholarship in the future.