Hey library folk! Join in planning an Indiana reference unconference

One of my professional activities is serving on the Indiana Library Federation Reference Division board of directors. This year we’re trying to do something a little different with our annual conference. Here’s our mini-press release — join us in on the fun!!!

Indiana Library Federation Reference Divison sponsors “Unconference” at Ball State University

Are you familiar with “create your own adventure” books? How about a “create your own library conference?”

The Indiana Library Federation Reference Division is doing just that with Reference Unconference 2009 at Ball State University’s Bracken Library on Friday, August 7.

What makes an unconference is special is the ability for everyone to be actively involved from determining the topics to giving presentations and contributing to the discussions. Everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner! It is a format becoming popular throughout the library world!

The first step is to visit the unconference wiki at ilfreference2009.pbwiki.com. There you can read more about the unconference and answer one of these two questions….

  1. What do you want to learn?
  2. What would you like to teach or facilitate?

In early summer we will then take all of those proposed topics and have participants vote on them. Sessions with the most interest will be offered during the unconference. We will then finalize the agenda and submit the unconference for continuing education credits.

Indiana Library Federation
941 East 86th Street
Suite 260
Indianapolis, Indiana 46240

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Dozen Distinctive Destinations :: Buffalo, NY

Many of you know that I’m always saying something good about my rustbelt hometown. Well, it’s nice to see someone else appreciating it for once.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently named Buffalo as one of it’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.

It’s a travel website that points you to “real” American places that are a joy to visit.

Check out Buffalo’s entry and you’ll see why I’m always bragging on it.

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The incredible edible egg?

My father-in-law, reading through a copy of Consumer Reports, passed along the nugget that you can eat eggs 3 to 5 weeks after the carton’s stamped expiration date— so long as they’re not cracked and properly refrigerated.

Darlene and I responded. “Wow. Really?”

To underline the concept, he told us an interesting story.

He was serving KP duty on a troop-cargo ship carrying 6,000 Puerto Rican infantry troops to the Korean War.

The menu that day was scrambled eggs. “That’s all we had was scrambled eggs.”

As he was cracking, he found they were all green. Put them all in, the head cook said, “they won’t hurt anyone.”

Really? Challenging him, my father-in-law noted the date stamped on the cartons.

They’ve been in cold storage at the right temperature and humidity — they’ll last forever, he was told.

He did as he was ordered. But still it was 1950 and the eggs were stamped 1935.

Maybe 3 to 5 weeks isn’t crazy after all.

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Christmas Parade

The city is using our street to get the Christmas Parade in formation. I think it’s more entertaining to watch it all get organized than to watch the actual parade. Indeed, we just had the entire high school theater troupe come into our shop to warm up.

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Three in a row?

Three press conferences in three days. It seems like the media is focusing on Wall Street for reaction, but I’m thinking the target audience is actually walking on Main Street. Is a certain president-elect actually trying to loosen pocketbooks in time for the shopping season?

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Errr... that's not our library

I wonder if this is a common problem at libraries.

The contact forms from our library’s website come to my inbox. With a name like Madison-Jefferson County Public Library we receive a lot of questions destined for other libraries.

I’ve received numerous requests from central Virginia for books and information. Central Virginia? Yes, they’re looking for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville.

I received a request from Madison, Wisconsin, on what they needed to register to vote. I forwarded them to the Madison Public Library and the city of Madison voter registration clerk.

We regularly get genealogy questions for Madison County, Indiana, which is actually in the bailiwick of the Anderson Public Library.

Today, however, took the cake.

I received a form from a person living in southern California (according to their phone number) wanting to find the debates between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison on the framing of the constitution of the United States of America.

Why in the world would someone from California be asking us this question? Why not their local library?

I’m ashamed to say it took me a few minutes to realize the obvious. The person contacted us because we’re the Madison-Jefferson County Public Library.

(Yes, I did send some helpful links)

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Fresh from my web foundry

My latest web project just went live yesterday. I’ve been creating a new website with the Switzerland County Public Library in the adorable rivertown of Vevay, Indiana.

The director is getting a bunch of her patrons and friends to beta test it, but I thought I’d toss it out to anyone reading this blog.


Leave a comment — tell me the good, the bad, the ugly, suggestions and any bugs you might encounter. Yes, it might look a little weird in Internet Explorer… I’m working on that.

There’s more content coming down the pike such as more local history-genealogy, community events and children services stuff, but we’ve gotten it to the point it works and can be useful to their patrons.

I’ve been also working on an update to my library’s website. It’s making progress, but I still have a lot of work to do— especially graphically and debugging the site on MS Internet Exploder.

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