Ask LISNews

Bloggers Covering ALA Conference in San Antonio?

Guy Montag writes "What bloggers are covering the ALA midwinter conference in San Antonio?

Chistopher answers "So the question of Webcoverage 2006 is out there. If you are blogging, or otherwise covering ALA midwinter 2006, please respond in this thread."


Direct Marketing To Librarians?

I've been running LISHost for 3 years now, and what started out as a fun hobby has grown into a fun part time job. It's never been a big money maker, and I've never done any advertising, but I'm considering doing some next year. Last year was the first year I made more than I spent, and it wouldn't be a bad thing if that trend continued. Up till now, 100% of new folks have come via word of mouth. So maybe it's time to try and grow this little business a bit more, so I'm thinking of buying a list and sending out some postcards.

Has anyone done any direct mail marketing using a list available from librarian specific lists? I'm curious what the response rate was. I'm assuming it's rather low, but I'd love to hear from anyone with some experience in this area.

We've all been on the receiving end, I'm curious if you feel like you get too much junk mail. If a postcard from LISHost showed up in you mail box, would it bother you? Am I wrong to think about buying your name from someone you might not want selling it?

Update: 12/15 21:45 GMT by B :Note: This is about LISHost, not LISNews. LISHost is a web host I run over Here


Public Libraries Using Free Software - For CIL Mag

Rachel Singer Gordon writes "For an upcoming article in Computers in Libraries magazine, I'd like to hear from public libraries who are using free or very low-cost software on public-access computers. I'd particularly like to hear from smaller institutions and those who are using less common programs such as Tux Paint or Gimp. E-mail [email protected], and I'll send you just a few short questions. Thanks!"

"Information Science" site searching

Anonymous Patron writes "Major nationally read information science blog, LISnews, relegates search bar to the bottom of its main page. Millions of voices cry out in muted suffering."

Unix or Windows for your Automated Catalog?

This was recently sent to the Web4Lib E-Mail list service:

Dear Colleagues,

Our library is in the process of selecting a new automated system. We are a medium-sized library with 30 service points, one of which is a large central library. Our current platform is off the table as an issue, as is any expertise I bring to the discussion after twenty odd years of automating libraries. Since I've been told that I -- as a mere librarian -- do not have the requisite perspective to make such a decision, I was wondering if you all would be willing to help me out?

What are the pluses, and minuses, of each platform? Thanks for your assistance.


Selling Institutional Repositories?

Our university system is promoting a new "digital storage initiative that aims to provide a safe haven for published and unpublished electronic content of any discipline. It is designed to capture, store, index, distribute, and preserve the intellectual output of the university." I'm curious what others' experiences and opinions are about such initiatives.


What school offers the fastest, cheapest distance MLS program?

Anonymous Patron writes "I'm looking for the fastest, cheapest, easiest to earn distance MLS. It must be ALA accredited. It should be as close to completely online as possible and it should require the bare minimum of on campus time. I do not care about prestige just the quickest cheapest MLS available. Surely I'm not the only one who has embarked on this hunt."


What are the THREE BIGGEST THINGS facing librarianship?

We're having a good discussion over on Daniel's Journal about our little world.
1) What are the three biggest problems facing librarianship today?
2) In a perfect world, how would these issues get resolved?
3) Is there anything we as individual librarians and/or library associations can do in the real world to fix the Big Three problems?

Several good answers already, I'd love to read more.

Library Instruction using virtual games

Jay Writes "I was wondering if there are any video games/virtual games available or someone designing them, to use them to teach and reinforce library skills. What got me curious was the presentation by Alane Wilson, at the IATUL conference that I attended this year in Quebec City. Here is the link. Alane's presentation: Wilson, Alane Reclaiming the Third Place: Libraries and their Communities in the Age of "Amazoogle" This presentation [ppt] and Alane's talk motivated me to think about how libraries can target a new evolving population of gamers in teaching them information skills. I would love to hear your comments/ideas and thoughts about it.


Backing Up Your PC Data?

I'm curious about how people are backing up data on their home machines. My normal regiment includes CD-Rs, but I'm concerned about longevity, I'd like to be able to pull data from these disks in 10 years (assuming of course hardware still reads CDs). Good archival CD-Rs are about $1 a piece, which might be good for storing bunches of small files. External hard drives are a relatively cheap option, but I'm not so sure those will even be functioning in 5 years. DVD burners and disks have come way down in price, but I have the same concerns about DVDs as CDs. I suppose I could just print everything out onto paper :-)

So what's your long term personal back-up plan?



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