Monthly Archive for May, 2007

Keeping up with Web 2.0?!?

There has been some recent discussion on Libnet about Web 2.0, how to keep up, reading what blogs, who has time, what are libraries allowing/blocking etc. It is hard to keep current with the acceleration of new technologies. I use Bloglines and subscribe to about 45 RSS feeds. I rarely get to them all but about once a month, I skim through everything. About ever couple days (I’d like it to be daily but…) I read my top blogs. I love technology applications so most of them are “tech/web 2.0” related, but there are library grant blogs, teen programing blogs and lots more too. I also subscribe to vodcasts and podcasts via blogines.

One of my top blogs is The Librarian in Black (by Sarah Houghton-Jan) http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/
I try to read this blog if no other becasuse Sarah’s blog
serves as a one-stop-shop for keeping up with technology without having to read dozens of websites, blogs, & RSS feeds related to web 2.0, web design, technology news, library world news, reference stuff, funky gadgets, and other amusing news/sites/posts. She keeps up with reading tons of other blogs and creates posts about what she finds; whats new. I can find out about a cool projects/ideas (Such as IM & Security:How to talk to IT; New blog Friends: Social Networking Sites for Engaged Library Services; sarah’s post of A few good presentations to take a look at), good blog posts by another(such as Top 10 Library 2.0 “no brainers” for Public Librarians; How to Allow for Change in Your Library, Tech for Small Libraries) or fun new free online tools (such as Firedoodle – turn web into whiteboard; Cool Tools for Webmasters; and 3 Sites Worth Checking Out)

On the con side, I have seen inaccurate reporting in blogs – we need to remember blogs are still someone’s opinion, not reviewed, and their interpretation of what they read/see. An example on Sarah’s blogs deals with her interpretation of the upcoming Collaborative Virtual Reference Symposium in Denver and several comments explaining the true purpose of the event.

Conclusion – always remember to evaluate the information you read or yourself!

Grants Aren’t Always A Long Shot

Congratulations to several Coloradoans who received some grant money this month. Patty Chapman, Judy Van Acker and Sue Keefer received the Colorado State Library’s scholarship to attend ALA. This must have been Sue’s lucky month, because she also received an additional $5000 from Anschutz Family Foundation to boost her general operating costs to support ongoing programs that reach out to the Spanish community. Lastly, Gretchen Villers from Custer County School District received $5000 from ALA’s ALSC Division from their Bookapalooza Grant. This grant gives only 3 libraries across the country $5000 in free books.

Gretchen stated in her application,
“I want my students to experience not just the horses, cattle and rodeo of our ranching community, but to also know about Africa and New York City and people who are different from them. I believe it is through books that our children can experience this.”
Congratulations, Gretchen!

The point in all this is to encourage you to take some time to look at some of these opportunities and see if they fit with your goals. CLiC consultants are happy to offer advice and direct you to resources that can help make sure you have the best chance of receiving additional funding. If I missed anyone, please comment on my post!

Shelley

2007 Vendor Awards & Discounts

One of CLiC’s main goals is to help libraries save money so that more materials and services may be offered to patrons, students, and faculty. One way CLiC does this is through the Vendor Awards & Discounts program. In the fall of each year, we send RFP’s to several vendors and ask them to give their best discounts for our membership, above standard discounts to libraries. Your library can take advantange of discounts on books, audio-visual materials, supplies, and much more. If you’re currently taking advantange of these discounts, great! If you’re not sure, please check out our vendor awards and discounts list on our website. We’re interested in hearing which of the discounts you use most often and if there are other vendors we should send the RFP to this coming fall. Please post your comments on our blog so that we may track your preferences. As always, when you place your order be sure to specify the discount code that’s found on the first page of the 2007 Vendor Awards & Discount List. This is the only way you can be sure you’re getting CLiC’s discount.

Weak passwords – easy hacks

Does your password look like any of the following?

  • The name of your partner, child or pet
  • The last four digits of your social security number
  • 123456789 or 987654321 or any lower combination
  • Your last name, your city, college or football team
  • Your date of birth – or of you partner or child
  • The words: “password”, “god”, “dog”, “money” or “love” or any other word found in a standard dictionary
  • Or any of the above followed by a 0 or a 1?

I admit I WAS guilty of using one of the above common passwords. What about you?

John Pozadzides from One Man’s Blog reveals how hackers steal identity. http://onemansblog.com/2007/03/26/how-id-hack-your-weak-passwords/

Here are John’s tips to making your password more secure.

  1. “Randomly substitute numbers for letters that look similar. The letter ‘o’ becomes the number ‘0?, or even better an ‘@’ or ‘*’. (i.e. – m0d3ltf0rd… like modelTford)
  2. Randomly throw in capital letters (i.e. – Mod3lTF0rd)
  3. Think of something you were attached to when you were younger, but DON’T CHOOSE A PERSON’S NAME! Every name plus every word in the dictionary will fail under a simple brute force attack.
  4. Maybe a place you loved, or a specific car, an attraction from a vacation, or a favorite restaurant?
  5. You really need to have different username / password combinations for everything.”

So based on what John wrote I came up with what I thought was a jim-dandy-secure password, and ran it through Microsoft’s password strength tester. I came up medium. MEDIUM! This is harder than it looks.

So what’s the solution? The security experts out there recommend using a password manager like Roboform or PassPack that store your passwords and allow you to use a master password on all the sites you visit. Search “password manager” on Google to find other password managers programs.

Here’s the best part of a password managers – You only have to remember ONE MASTER password – the perfect solution for brain squeeze!

Valerie Horton

Resource Sharing Tutorial

We’re excited to announce a new CLiC tutorial on our web site, the Resource Sharing tutorial. If you feel awash in a sea of acronyms where resource sharing is concerned (OCLC, BCR, CLV, CLC, CSL, CLiC, and more!), then this tutorial can definitely help you. Resource sharing isn’t just interlibrary loan, but there’s plenty of information about Colorado ILL systems in the tutorial.

The tutorial is barely two weeks old and already 30 people have taken it! This is a great response rate and I’m glad to see that so many people are interested in the fine workings of resource sharing in CO. If you’ve taken the quiz and are still waiting for your snazzy certificate, I apologize…each quiz is carefully hand graded by yours truly, and May is a busy month for us. Those should be out soon!

We also have the tutorial available on CD for those of you that might have slower Internet connections. Just email me at rdean(at)clicweb(dot)org and I’ll get a CD in the mail to you.

Supervisory Training – Budgeting Class

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend one of our classes on Supervisory Training, now is the time to start. The full plan is listed on our website www.clicweb.org. Go to Continuing Education/Supervisory Training.

The next class being offered is “Budgeting Basics for Non-Profits.” This class is on May 16th in Pueblo. Here is the link to registration:
http://host.evanced.info/clicweb/evanced/eventsignup.asp?ID=21

If you have any questions, please contact Shelley Walchak swalchak@clicweb.org or 719-650-1090.

New Organization for Western Slope Librarians

A new group for Western Slope Librarians has formed and its new name is River Path Library Leaders (RPLL). Comprised mostly of libraries from the former Three Rivers and Path Finder Systems, this informal group has evolved from recent meetings in Aspen and Glenwood Springs. RPLL currently will have no dues, no membership list, just participation and promotion of libraries on the Western Slope. The intent is to provide networking opportunities, increased communication and promote training and other activities to Libraries in our region.

A listserv has been established as a first step in doing this and anyone may subscribe by visiting http://email.marmot.org/mailman/listinfo/rpll . With almost 40 subscribers already, spread from Granby to Delta and everywhere in between, I am excited about the potential for RPLL.

The next meeting of RPLL will be on July 30th in Glenwood Springs at a location TBD.
Stay tuned for further developments!!