Monday, March 2, 2009

CARL's "Impossibly Wonderful Things"

The Northern Regional meeting of the California Academic and Research Libraries (CARL) attracted a roomful of academic librarians to Sonoma State University on Friday, February 27, 2009. CARL members were welcomed by Sonoma State University Librarian Barbara Butler and CARL VP North Ned Fielden. Special presenter was CARL President Tracey Mayfield, who showcased the newly designed CARL website. Check it out! We also learned that the 2010 CARL Conference will be in Sacramento. Details to follow. In the near term, there is a New Basic Skills Curriculum workshop on April 24, 2009 -- a good time to advocate for Information Literacy.

CARL Interest Groups met and networked over lunch break. The North IT Special Interest Group attracted a number of new and potentially new members. Co-chairs Sheila Cunningham and Ann Hubble gave an overview of the SIG's annual summer workshops, website, listserv, and blog. Pam Howard of San Francisco State University Library encouraged us to look at Library H3LP, an integrated IM/web-chat program especially designed for libraries. We also considered addressing new or ways to present library stats and measurements.

In the afternoon, several members were invited to give 5-minute presentations on "Wonderful Things" -- useful new tools and practices for the profession from around the region. Here are some of them:
  • Jeff Rosen of San Francisco State sped us through an overview of MobiLib Home, ways libraries are making the library accessible via wireless devices such as cell and smart phones. Some examples of mobile access include University of Richmond, Scottsdale Public Library, Ball State Library, American University Library, Harvard University Library, and Washington Public Library. Of the above libraries, only Ball State Library had a "mobile access" option on their website. Jeff provided an impressive list of mobile applications: catalog search, computers (reservations?), library hours, ask-a-librarian, reserve a room, video services, LibraryThing, and more -- remember, all this in 5-minutes!
  • Snoopy Library Catalog - Paula Hammett of Sonoma State University Library showed how students could use the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) phone link for text messages.
  • Worldcat. Caroline Harnly of San Francisco State University Library did some special WorldCat tricks for Collection Development
  • Captivate by Adobe. Aline Soules of CSU East Bay gave an impressive overview of how she has personally invested in Captivate software for creating 10-12 minute modules for students. It is 508 compliant. Preparing for closed captioning takes a bit of practice, but works well.
  • - multimedia
  • 2CoolThings blog by Jackie Siminitus. It captures CARL and a wide range of cool IT tools, events, and issues. It was started two years ago, thanks to an invitation by CARL North IT blogmaster Christine Holmes of San Jose State University Library to participate in SJLearning2.0. Recent posts include Second Life events and mobile access examples in libraries (see tags on sidebar).

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