Friday, March 29, 2013

Hello RDA, Good-bye Dept.

Few things in the library world in recent years are as big a deal is Resource Description and Access, better known as RDA.  It may be of more interest to catalogers at this point than anyone else, but if you use a library catalog, you'll eventually notice RDA. 

One change RDA makes is to eliminate all those abbreviations that bibliographic records are full of.  Earlier cataloging rules required abbreviations in order to fit as much information as possible on a 3" x 5" catalog card. With a few exceptions (and I'm not a cataloger, so I don't remember what they are), RDA records have all words spelled out.

Since I work primarily with government documents, this has a big impact on me.  For all of my gov docs career, I've been happily using "dept." instead of "department".  During a period when I was (1) doing quite a bit of cataloging and (2) didn't have a mortgage, I had to pay some additional taxes at tax time.  I duly made my check payable to "Oregon.  Dept. of Revenue", which at that time was the correct heading. 

I actually think RDA, while it has some confusing aspects, is a long-overdue update to cataloging rules.  It should make our catalogs more user-friendly and thus enhance access to our collections.

At the State Library, where I work, the head of cataloging switched our author and subject headings from "dept." to "department" yesterday.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes me to make the switch myself!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ten useful stretches for library workers

Yes, it's that time again. Have you been stretching and breathing and drinking water? Good.

Here's another source for "stretches...useful for workers who complete assembly tasks, like library workers". We assemble books on shelves! And other materials, of course. Avengers assemble!

 So the folks at nclpa have an Ergonomic Exercise PDF (originally from UCLA ergonomics) that has upper body stretches starting on page five. Remember also to be careful that you don't stretch beyond what you are capable of. Sharp pain is usually a good indication of that, to state the obvious; stretching pain has been described as a slight "stinging in the muscle".

Monday, March 11, 2013

Libaries in the news this week: What's unique about your collection?

We start off with a beautiful visualization of catalog searches from the entire state of Wyoming.
Filament Mind from yongjulee on Vimeo.

You can read more about this unique installation in the Wired article Massive Fiber-Optic Installation Lights Up Library Queries.

Public libraries around the country are adding some creative check-out options to their collections: Libraries offer weird things to draw new borrowers. I wouldn't necessarily call these "weird", just... new. Multnomah County is one of the libraries in Oregon offering the "Kill-O-Watt" meter to measure energy usage.  What does your library offer that might be considered "weird" by the uninitiated-to-libraries people? Please tell me there is a library in Oregon that checks out seeds.

And finally, a couple congratulations:
First to the folks at the Broad Channel Library, which just reopened after being wrecked by Sandy,
And second to Paralibrarian of the Year 2013: Laura Poe.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Latest Kindle iOS deletes your library

You may have heard by now, but in case you haven't, the Kindle for iOS app update (3.6.1) for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch deletes libraries and saved settings in iThing. 

Amazon issued this statement:
We have identified an issue with the app update that may cause your app to become deregistered. To register, enter your Amazon account e-mail address and password and all your Amazon content will be available in the cloud. We have submitted an update fix for this issue and are working with Apple to release.
And as of today, there's an even newer version of the app (3.6.2), which still doesn't seem to have fixed the above issue, based on user comments

Fortunately, all the information is stored in the Cloud, but restoring massive amounts of books, movies, and TV episodes can be a painful undertaking. 

Pass this along to your patrons with Amazon's Kindle app!