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Why I just published a useless book.

I just used Kindle Direct Publishing to learn the steps so I could offer this as a library program, basically:

A Simple QR Code Project for your library

If your library lends eBooks through Overdrive, then this is a simple project you can set up in about a day.

Take a look at this page, http://www.pbclibrary.org/classic-ebooks.htm

Classic eBooks to Download

(Not just for) Homework Downloads

What if you need to read a book for school, but all the copies are checked out? If it's a "classic work of literature" (meaning "old") book and you have your smart phone, you may be able to download it and read it on your phone right now. The black and white images below are special codes, called QR codes, that link to eBooks you can read on your phone or tablet computer.

But you'll need a few things to use the codes: your phone, the Overdrive Media Console software and a QR code reader.

If you don't already have it, you can download the Overdrive Media Console from here: Overdrive Media Console. Install it on the phone or portable device you'll use to read the eBook.

If you don't have a QR Code reader on your phone, you can download one from the iTunes App Store, Android Market, Windows Marketplace or BlackBerry App World depending on your phone.

Once you install the code reader, you can open the app and use your phone's camera to scan the code for the book you want. And when the book downloads, it will be yours to keep, for free!

Facebook Privacy Movie

so I just read the Lifehacker story, "Facebook Is Tracking Your Every Move on the Web; Here’s How to Stop It" and came up with this video. Please laugh.

Facebook Privacy Movie by: tom

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Results from the Book a Librarian Survey

Thanks to those who completed the book-a-librarian survey. It wasn't official or anything and didn't affect my job or earn me any financial compensation.

Most of the results appear in this very large image. You'll need to use the zoom feature. And the colors sure are pretty.

But depending on how one answered the questions, a few other questions appeared. So if you look at the results and see that a few questions had many fewer responses, that's because of the branching.

There are 20 sets of responses.

There were also place for comments. And again, depending on previous answers, some of those questions appeared to fewer participants.

In response to Please describe the experience (of participating in a book-a-librarian service), these comments were offered:

It is very convenient and helpful

Our students tell us ahead of time what their project is, so one can prepare for appointment. It saves time for everyone.

We wind up doing a lot of technology coaching, particularly with regards to the library's downloadable collections and transferring items to the patron's gadgets. We have also gotten a handful of interesting reference questions.

Mostly we help patron one-on-one with computer training. It is easier than trying to set up a class where everyone has different agendas for what they want to learn.

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Please take this survey on micro-instruction in libraries

the survey is finished; thanks for participating.

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This is a survey on "book-a-librarian" programs in libraries.
As the name says, this is an appointment based service with a librarian or library associate for personal assistance for a fixed, short time period.

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Petition for librarian toy.

This is a petition to request that the Disney Store and The Walt Disney Company create a Vinylmation figure in the Vinylmation Occupations Series that represents Librarians.

Although the series includes a Teacher figure that is designed with an image of books, the figure has an apple for a head. This is not an acceptable substitute for a Librarian figure as librarians rarely receive apples from students.

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January 25, 2011 is Florida Library Snapshot Day

In Florida, we are ready for our own Snapshot Day. Other states have participated and now it's our turn.

"In 2009, almost 89 MILLION people visited Florida's public libraries compared to just over 67 million visits to the major theme parks."

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Libraries + RFID + Augmented Reality = ?

Okay, so Apple has a patent on blah-dee-blah and the next-gen-iProducts will have an RFID chip onboard, but what could this mean for libraries?

I'm not familiar with what you can do with RFID, but I was wondering if there would be an app that would be called a Dewey Killer.

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Where is our TV show?

I don't watch a lot of TV. Or maybe I should say that I don't watch a lot of non-Jersey-Shore-based TV.

But sometimes while I'm going round the globe of 400 available channels I see a bit of the reality show, Pawn Stars. And apart from being initially slightly disappointed at the premise because I'd misread the title, I was surprised by much research the guys do looking up the values of old coins and stuff.

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Lying Librarians and Honest Journalism.

The south Florida paper, the Sun Sentinel has a problem with public libraries.

"Some day in the future, boys and girls might read on their electronic devices about cavernous, well-air-conditioned, book-loaning storehouses from the past. They were called libraries.
...
Book reading devices such as the handheld iPad, the Amazon Kindle, or even a computer laptop, allow readers to download free library books without ever setting foot in a library."

So here is a newspaper, itself an industry on the brink of extinction, bitterly distracting its few final readers from that fact by attacking the local libraries as dinosaurs. Libraries, I should say, account for many of the print editions that the newspaper is still able to sell. Our library probably receives 40 copies of the daily Sun Sentinel. And yet you need to go down 27 paragraphs to get to this:

"The past five years in Palm Beach County have seen staggering growth: Circulation is up 36 percent, visitors 50 percent, and computer users 83 percent, according to the system's statistics."

You can almost hear the "wink, wink" that piggybacks onto the words, "according to the system's statistics," like libraries are making this stuff up. Thanks for the support.

Really, what does it cost to read an ebook, I mean a bestseller?

The Kindle is a minimum $139, but for that price you need a place with wifi to download a book. Add 3G for another $50 to truly be independent.

Is this what a librarian does?

Is this a positive or negative library transaction? Does something like this spread goodwill or is it just wasting time? What do you think the patron/customer thought about it?

Here is a recent chat transcript. Names have been changed, etc...

Question: How are you doing today?

[You have been connected to Tom.]
Tom: Hello, welcome to the library. I am Tom and I will be assisting you today. Please wait a moment while I consider your question...

Tom: ...after considering your question, I believe that I am okay.

How many browsers?

I'm learning about facilitating training in an online classroom and right now I need to test some tools in the Adobe Connect training room.. so I logged in with Internet Explorer as the trainer (host), and since I don't have a second computer available right now, I signed in as a student with Firefox on the same computer. But now I need a third "person" in the room so I installed Opera and signed into the room.

I did this mainly so I can see that I clearly have 3 different "people" (IE, Firefox, Opera) to work with in the same classroom.

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QR Codes in Practice

I just noticed that the LISWire features this story:
QR Codes and More Featured in Reference Renaissance 2010 Program. We just started using a QR Code on our monthly computer class calendar.

I don't know everything about them, like just how small a QR Code can be and still function, but the one I have works fine.

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Not recommended: The Girl who something something Fire.

I plodded patiently through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because I wanted to give a dead man an even break. But now I'm in the first third of the second part of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, and that is enough.

I suspected during The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that in spite of Larsson's Men Who Hate Women theme, that the novel was little more than a middle-aged man's wet dream. Our hero, Mikael Blomkvist, seems to sleep with every woman he meets. Because Larsson's women are in control of their bodies and their bodies can't resist 40-somethingish Blomkvist.

The author has created women who are independent, yet compelled to jump into bed with our protagonist because sex with him is "uncomplicated."

I stopped reading when a couple of women slept together and the narrator had to explain it to us. Why does the narrator need to explain why two women are in bed? They like each other. There's no reason to say, "Chloe had her first lesbian experience when she was eighteen and never looked back or regretted not being with a man." There is only one reason to say that, well two, one is to show your readers that you, the author, are cool with lesbians, that you understand them, that you are a hip dude; and the other, is to justify why a woman wouldn't fall right into bed with your hero, Blomkvist.

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new Facebook group: Library Layoffs

Library Layoffs on Facebook:
"To show support for those laid off or to post your story or to network and find where the jobs are right now."

I'm currently the sole member, so I'm a little lonely. Please join. I made a mix tape if you want to hear some music when you get there. You like Styx?

How many times will you replace items that get ripped off?

We let patrons use headphones and we provide privacy screens and sometimes these things go missing. We also let the patrons use scissors, staplers, calculators, and magnifiers, and they sometimes *forget* to return them.

Maybe they think these things are Free. Maybe because we don't put price tags on these things, they think they can take them home. Like the books and DVDs that they forget to check out on their library cards.

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How to get your name in the paper.

First. Be clever. But more importantly, be clever in a way that the reporter wants. How do you know what she wants? You don't. So be clever, and lucky, and maybe you'll get your name in the paper.

Back in May, I saw that USA Today had a request for story ideas called "status envy" on how people can post more interesting items on their Facebook and Twitter pages. I emailed this:

When you leave people out of the loop by posting, "now that's what I'm talking about" without letting us know what the hell you're talking about.
Or using microblog slang that I don't understand; or just posting, "watching House." Although "watching White House" might be interesting; or "watching Obama in White House from crawlspace in ceiling" would be really interesting.

and later that day, I had this message from their reporter:

Hello, thanks for message! I'm the reporter working on the Status Envy story and would like to use some of this - can I call you to confirm it's from you and get your details (age, occupation, town you live in, etc.)? If so, please call or email me your contact number.
Thanks much!
USA TODAY

I didn't believe she was an actual reporter; but phone calls are cheap, so I called her back. Now, here comes the interesting part:

She asked me how old I was, and when I told her just how ancient, she followed with, "Oh, then you're new to all this social networking stuff?"

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