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I had a great time this year at COMO, the Georgia library conference.  I was insane lucky enough to present three times!

First up was “A View from the Trenches: Using GIL-FIND in Instruction, Reference and Marketing,” where I co-presented alongside Lori Critz, Rebecca Drummond and Claudia Shorr, fellow members on the GIL-OPAC committee.  We talked about using GIL-Find, Georgia’s instance of the VuFind open source catalog interface.  We had a great crowd and some excellent questions from the audience.

Next was a great panel presentation on starting up a texting/SMS reference service.  It was a loose, conversational panel presentation with Casey Long, Sarah Steiner, James Stephens, Jeff Gallant and myself.  Again, we had a wonderful group of folks in the audience and some interesting dialogue–it’s always interesting to see what other folks are doing!

Last, I got to take part in the closing keynote!  We got off to a late start (partly my fault for getting my laptops confused!), but Tim Daniels and Buffy Hamilton did a great job.  We all talked about the future directions and possibilities that lay before libraries, and it was very heartening to see that all three of us came to the same general conclusions (we didn’t even share notes, I swear!).

It was a great conference! I got to hang out with old friends and make some news ones. Thanks again, everyone, for making a great COMO!

If you missed yesterday’s Wednesday Webinar, fear not, the archive is online!

I did a concise talk on The Social Library, looking at the social nature of information and the library itself, as well as some of the tools and technologies available to stay in touch with library users. Amanda Goodman was kind enough to make her notes available online (PDF), so if you want to skip straight to the links I talked about, check her notes out!

Then I had the pleasure of listening to Charlie Bennett and Ameet Doshi present Library on the Radio, a presentation all about their radio show Lost in the Stacks that plays every Friday on WREK from noon to 1pm.  What I loved about their presentation was that they emphasized connecting to the folks around you to make amazing things happen.  If you aren’t already listening to Lost in the Stacks, check it out!  It’s badass!

All in all, it was an amazing pleasure to be a part of the Wednesday Webinar series.  Big thanks to Buffy, Sarah, and Pat for making it happen.  And thanks to everyone for showing up, and I hope you walked away with some new information!

Hi folks!  The view ain't bad!

I’m settling nicely into Atlanta, and enjoying all the exciting work in my new job as the Web Services Librarian at GSU.  We’re hard at work on a new website, so keep your eyes open for the groovy new features we’ll be rolling out in the next few weeks.

In the mean time, here are some speaking gigs I’ve got lined up for this month:

I’m really looking forward to doing both presentations, and to taking part in the post-talk dialogue with librarians (always my favorite part!).  So sign up, show up, and let’s have a conversation!

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be joining Georgia State University as the new Web Services Librarian starting June 1st! This is a very exciting opportunity, and I’ll be joining a great team.

I’ll still be sad to leave Valdosta, though, since this is my home town & Odum Library is where I “grew up” as a librarian (if I can even call myself a grownup!).

The future looks both adventurous and challenging for libraries, and I’m eagerly anticipating the next chapter in our story together! Wish me luck!!!

This week I had a user come to me frustrated because she was unable to find articles in a ProQuest database.  I noted that the journal issue she browsed only had a single article listed.  I knew this was an error, so I reported it.  This is what I heard back:

Unfortunately, it looks like ProQuest will not be changing this indexing error
because no content is actually missing. Here is the response from the ProQuest
Content Department:
==
This is a known issue. The method used to load some of the older content resulted in
some records loading to duplicate page collections. The manufacturing system does
not allow for documents to be moved from one collection to another. It would involve
a manual process of deleting and re-creating the records. Since no content is
missing no resources were ever allocated to clean up these issues.
==?

So basically, ProQuest is telling me that even though the data is completely useless since it is unfindable, that this isn’t a problem, because at least it’s there.

This makes me angry on a variety of levels.  Let’s go down the list, shall we?

  1. My user’s problem with locating content that they are paying for with their tuition isn’t important in the eyes of ProQuest.  After all, they’ve already got their money, so what should they care?
  2. Information quality control is of little to no concern for ProQuest.  They need to allocate their resources elsewhere.
  3. I should never bother reporting problems to ProQuest ever again, since they obviously don’t care about end users being able to use their products.

I’m sure I’ll hear from ProQuest on this one issue (hello power of social media!), and I’m sure they’ll resolve it in short order.  But that still won’t solve the larger problem of quality control or addressing errors in the system.

Working with technology, there have been plenty of times where I’ve had to manually update records and web pages.  It’s dull, tedious work, yes.  But I do it — as do all of us who work in information control.  We do it because we know that somewhere down the line, someone is going to need this stuff.  And the moment that an error is brought to our attention, we work on fixing it, because as information professionals we provide the best information resources possible.  Because that’s our job.