introducing INFLUX library user experience

Who: Amanda Etches-Johnson and Aaron Schmidt
What: a library user experience consultancy
Why: because we love libraries and UX work, so we put them together for libraries wanting to improve their websites and in-house services
How: many ways!
What Else: a blog and a fun contest to kick things off!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh announces plan to close/merge branches

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's board of trustees voted last night to close or merge eight facilities, trim hours and cut staff to save an estimated $1.2 million in the 2010 budget.

Karen A. Coombs Joins Librarian Web Host LISHost as Web Applications Specialist

BUFFALO, NY--September 18, 2009 -- LISHost (, the leader in web hosting for librarians & libraries, announced today that Karen A. Coombs has joined LISHost as the Web Applications Specialist. In her role at LISHost, Coombs will work with libraries and librarians to identify and implemented open source web applications to meet their needs.

Coombs comes to LISHost from University of Houston Libraries where she served as the Head of Web Services. Karen has over 8 years experience in libraries. She began her career at the State University of New York at Cortland as the Information Technology and Instruction Librarian and then went on to serve as Electronic Services Librarian. Coombs has extensive experience implementing and customizing open source web applications such as Drupal, Wordpress and Mediawiki.

"I'm very excited that Karen has joined LISHost," says Blake Carver, LISHost's Founder. He continues, "Karen's experience with open source software and libraries is a natural fit for LISHost whose customers use open source software heavily." The addition of Ms. Coombs to the team will allow us to expand the variety of web applications we host and offer additional services to help our customers select, implement, and customize web applications that meet their needs.

Mosio Launches RefStart: Virtual Reference + Social Media + Search =)

RefStart is a web-based reference application giving librarians customizable one-click access to reference tools, search engines, web 2.0 sites and popular social networks, providing a single starting place to answer patron inquiries. Think of it as having easy access to a single web page where you can manage Facebook and Twitter, search Google, World of Congress and Librarian’s Internet Index, launch your instant messenger service(s) and receive alerts of new Text a Librarian questions. Make reference easier by having everything in one place.

Web Advisory Committee: Recommendation about the Use of ALA Connect

The Web Advisory Committee (WAC) is a standing committee of the American Library Association (ALA). One key duty of the WAC is to advise the association on priorities and strategies that promote utilization and continued development of the ALA website.

In Spring 2009, ALA introduced ALA Connect, a new section of the ALA website. Fulfilling our mission of advising the ALA on website issues, the Web Advisory Committee strongly urges all ALA organized groups and ALA members to take advantage of the ALA Connect service.

ALA Connect replaces the Online Communities service that ALA previously offered as a virtual, collaborative, workspace online. ALA Connect is a centralized space where official ALA “groups” can work together online. In addition, any member can create new “communities” (unofficial ALA groups) without any staff assistance, so the site will combine association work with communities of interest in one place.

Whether you participate in a “group” for an official committee, roundtable, section or divisional activity, or whether you engage with one of the other unofficial “communities” that become available, you have a number of tools with which to work together. By default, each one has blog posts, online documents (like wiki pages), a calendar, polls, a chat room, a discussion board, and images (logos, pictures, etc.). The group can use any or all of the tools it finds valuable.

ALA Connect should be your primary workspace for committee work, for information and for networking within the ALA organization.

All official ALA organizations and committees have a page in ALA connect. To visit yours go to and log in with your ALA website username and password. The Web Advisory Committee is committed to using the new Connect space to carry on the work of our committee and our task-oriented subgroups. Collaboration on this document has been done using ALA Connect.

You can learn more about:

* about ALA Connect at
* video tutorials are available at
* have questions? get help at
* the role of the Web Advisory Committee at

We look forward to seeing you soon on ALA Connect!

ALA Web Advisory Committee

Michael Stephens, Chair

Washington State Library releases new "Hard Times Resource Guide"

For the past few months, staff at the Washington State Library have been working hard, exhaustively scouring the web and compiling quality resources to help library users across Washington State. The result? A thorough guide detailing resources and techniques to help you and your users navigate this tough economy. We've covered numerous subjects, including health and nutrition, family and parenting, finances, job-seeking, and a whole lot more.

Check it out now at

Have a question? Try Ask-WA!

Ask-WA is pleased to announce the launch of Washington State's first online virtual reference portal. Connecting more than 60 libraries across the state, and backed by a worldwide cooperative, Ask-WA provides 24/7 reference service to the library users of Washington State.

Ask-WA is an essential resource for students looking for citations at three in the morning, for Washington residents doing personal research, for genealogists. Washington librarians are available to help you get started on that tough research project, investigate your family roots, or even just settle a bet.

Show 'Em You Care With An Ice Cream Flavor and More

In case you've been in Casablanca or otherwise out of the librarian loop this summer (or not on facebook), you might not know about the Facebook Group People for a library-themed Ben & Jerry's flavor! But now you do know about it and there's been a 'call to action'!

Here's a message from the leader of the charge and new LISNews author Andy W, on the group's facebook page:

"4,000. It took awhile but we got there. Completely awesome. This past month and a half has been pretty different for me. Stories about the group have appeared in Library Journal (both print and online), a local newspaper, tons of tweet and retweets on Twitter, and shared on Facebook. And for all those efforts, I cannot thank you enough. I am planning this to be the penultimate message, with the last message being one announce success =D

So, here's the deal now. Time to step it up and take some action in a couple easy steps.

(1) Submit a flavor to Ben & Jerry's directly.
Appeal to the 5 Flavor Gurus directly! (Arnold, John, Eric, Peter, & Nettie) Here is the link for their Suggest a Flavor form.
And here are a couple of the flavors, easy to cut & paste into the form. Pick one and submit (or submit one of your own).

a) Name: Gooey Decimal System (birdie's recommendation)

Webinar Next Week on Google Library Project Settlement

Advance registration for the webinar scheduled Wednesday, July 29, 2 pm ET Time – 60 minutes.

The webinar is being promoted for publishers, but hey, why shouldn't librarians attend too...sponsors are Google (of course), AAP and PW.
Here's Google's blurb about it:

"In a webinar first, the leaders involved with the crafting of the Google Library Project Settlement will share with the publishing industry the benefits of the agreement for publishers and authors. If approved by the Court in October, the agreement will create one of the most far-reaching intellectual, cultural, and commercial platforms for access to digital books for the reading public, while granting publishers unprecedented opportunities and protections. Presented in collaboration with Google, The Association of American Publishers, and Publishers Weekly, the web session is a must-attend event for publishers everywhere."


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