30 Days of Innovation #4: Revamp Your Shelving

As I write this, I’m more or less barricaded by book carts at my desk. The culprit? A reorganization project in the literature section, started by my term three student intern. Term four began on Monday, which means if I want the project finished, I’m actually going to have to do some work myself. The goal of the project? To reorganize much of the 800s so that students can easily walk to the stacks and find both works by a particular author or poet and criticism on that same author or poet, all in the same place.

There’s been much debate on my state organization’s listserv about “neighborhood” shelving (sometimes also called “bookstore” organization) versus Dewey or Library of Congress. Staunch DDC and LOC defenders insist we must prepare teens for academic libraries and teach them how to use catalogs efficiently. Where’s the authority control in a neighborhood system? Who determines the genres? What about books that might arguably “belong” in more than one place? What happens to a new librarian who inherits inscrutable rules and neighborhoods?

And, more importantly, who cares?
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It’s Not the End, It’s the Beginning

Yesterday the blogosphere and Twitterverse were abuzz with the news that Amazon was possibly going to start a book service that would work similarly to how NetFlix works for video. Articles appeared that mentioned libraries and even suggested that this move by Amazon was a nail in the library coffin. But, why would that be? It’s not really the end of libraries, it’s another example of how we are now at the beginning of lots of new opportunities. It’s another indication that we get to tell the library story that’s a story not about library as warehouse for materials but library as: Continue reading

Twitter FTW

By now, many of you have probably already heard the story the Twitterverse has dubbed #amazonfail – the revelation that Amazon.com has stripped sales rankings and searchability from titles it deems “adult.” Consider it the safesearch of the online shopping world. This might be a mere annoyance–most of us prefer to determine for ourselves the parameters of our searches–but many authors and bloggers contend that the stripped titles are overwhelmingly those that cover sexuality, feminism, and LGBTQ themes, with or without content that could be considered “explicit.”

[You can read more about the stripped titles, and why we should even care about rankings and searchability, all over the internets–but you might want to start with Mark R. Probst, Meta Writer, and Jezebel. Oh, and you can watch #amazonfail unfold by following that hashtag in action–if you hop on over to Twitter Search, you’ll see that #amazonfail and #amazon are among the top trends at the moment.]

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Virtual College Fair

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Teens on Eye4You, the virtual island in Teen Second Life, wanted information about colleges-filling out applications, acquiring financial aid, etc. This weekend, October 20-21, colleges from all over the world will interact with teens to provide information about careers and their college. If your teens sign up for a free account at teen.secondlife.com and teleport to the island, they can enjoy the fair as well. Speakers include representatives from NASA, Linden Lab, Amazon.com, Squirrelverse publishing and several other colleges.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki