Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Picasa Slideshow Issue resolved on this Site

The issue with Picasa's embedded slideshows has been resolved--on this blog, anyway.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Problems with Picasa's Embedded Slideshows

If you scroll down to earlier entries in my blog, you'll notice that the entry related to recarpeting has a sizable block of white space. This is where I had embedded a slideshow from Picasa and it hasn't been running for about three days now. I haven't seen anything on their group page apart from one similar complaint, but at this point there have been no responses. I'll check back in when I find out more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Google Presentations

Yesterday, Google added presentation software to their web based office suite. After an initial review, it seems that the focus of the software is web collaboration, as you can see in this short example. I'm not sure what happens if the presentation is left online with no moderation, though.

The format is very basic so far, with limited export options and no ability to integrate sound. The most surprising thing to me was that I didn't see any evidence of the ability to integrate the presentations with other Google products, namely Picasa. The ability to subscribe to RSS feeds of presentation changes is a definite plus, however

All in all, It's an interesting start and I am sure that they will add more features soon.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Pushing for Respect

I read with interest Regina Powers' opinion piece--"A Plea for Respect"--in the August edition of American Libraries. Her plea is a common complaint among librarians today--"the public doesn't know what we do."

Usually, it is suggested that we either stay the course or we add more features for the public at our institutions--game nights, in house movies, "coffee and Danishes".... The problem with both lines of thinking is that we need the public's attention to make either work, and we just don't have it.

What we need to do is connect the information and resources that we have with the public at its point of need. We need to get out of our buildings physically and electronically and begin to push our resources the way other institutions do. We need to create partnerships with news media, local governments, public institutions, ISPs and others in order to connect the public with the information it needs at its point of need.

For example, our library has indexed the local newspaper for years. It carries the complete run on microfilm, as well. Periodically, when people have called the newspaper, looking for research on a dated topic, they have been referred to us, and we have been glad to provide that service.

Imagine, however, if our indexes were provided to the newspaper for use in their online edition and linked by keyword to current articles. An article about light rail would list links to citations concerning an older light rail study, or a series of articles about light rail, or previous council votes. An article about a political candidate would contain links to citations for previous articles concerning the candidate.

A local ISP could provide a start page with local news linked to article or book references.

Physically speaking, a librarian could actually be present with a laptop outside a city council meeting to provide instant access to relevant information concerning the meeting.

My point is this, we can't wait for people to discover how indispensable we are--we have to make ourselves indispensable. As long as we wait for people to come to our buildings and websites, our value will remain relatively hidden.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Branch Recarpeting

We have new carpet at our branch! It looks great, but getting it done was a challenge and the final stage was a bit of a rush: