Monday, November 30, 2009

ACRL: College and Research Library News

ACRL CR&L News April 2009 (vol. 70, No. 4)

INTERNET RESOURCES: Professional writing and publishing: Resources for librarians by Laurie L. Putnam (Communications Consultant & Lecturer in SLIS San Jose State U: laurielputnam AT

This site is a well-balanced, highly informational list of Metasites, Opportunities, How-tos, and more. There are also listservs and mentoring/coaching programs. Please share your experiences on publish-or-perish, blogs, mentorships, whatever on this space,, FB or LinkedIn. There are many members who are quite interested in this requirement.

Stephanie Gross, Organizer NYLM

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



"Are you networking?"

A concise recap of a recent networking session with the networking guru, Liz Lynch. Please read and comment.

About the contributor:
Marion I. Lipshutz earned an M.S. with Distinction in Library & Information Science from Pratt Institute.She can be reached at

YogaLibrarianNYC's Blog

YogaLibrarianNYC's Blog

A 'masterpiece' in process by one of our talented members. So...what do you think? I give this a definite 'thumbs-up'! Stephanie, Organizer NYLM

Monday, November 23, 2009

HEADS OR TAILS: The Library of the American Numismatic Society

On November 17th, I had the opportunity to attend the Beta Phi Mu annual fall event in NYC at the American Numismatic Society. This is the second Beta Phi Mu event in New York that I’ve attended. Last fall, I met members of the Theta Chapter while we toured The Horticulture Society of New York and got a private and revealing look at their library. This year, I’ll admit to being nervous before sending in my RSVP. I will be up front and confess; I had no idea what the word “numismatic” meant. I had never seen or heard that word before. A trusty visit to the dictionary reveals that numismatic, an adjective, is “of or relating to coins or currency.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The New York Information and Intelligence Forum

The New York Information and Intelligence Forum, hosted by the New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association and curated by 2010 President Elect Pam Rollo, offered a fresh perspective on the economic and business-related events that rocked 2009 - not an easy feat considering the pervasive analysis of this calendar year by most perceptive news sources.

Keynote Speaker William Duggan kicked off the day's events with discussion on strategic intuition, or - to put it into laymen's terms - the process by which our knowledge of history combined with a quieting of the mind can create insightful ideas which have the potential to lead to the next big breakthrough in business strategy or services. That's a mouthful, but considering a few examples can help.

Consider, for example, Napoleon's early success as a military strategist. His knowledge of the tools of the trade (portable canons) plus military history (the defeat of the British in the American Revolution) added up to a major win for Napoleon at the Siege of Toulon in 1793. Another pertinent example is Henry Ford's moving assembly line, which combined the Oldsmobile model of the stationary assembly line with the method of slaughtering livestock in the Chicago stock yards. A gruesome example, to be sure, but a pertinent one - remember, insight comes from a diverse set of places, so be on the lookout! And, moving more closely to out era, remember that Steve Jobs had the insight to pair small, portable computers with Xerox's newly developed Graphic User Interface, which sparked a revolution in personal computing.

The Take-Away: learn all you can about the past, let quiet the mind, and let the insights roll! Then, of course, comes the hard work...

The next event slated for the day was the Provider's Panel - a group of four high-level executives from our favorite vendors. On hand to answer moderator Bill Noorlander's insightful questions were Trish Frankenfield from Capital IQ, Steven Goldstein from Alacra, Clare Hart from Dow Jones & Company, and Scott Livingston from Lexis-Nexis. This group of savvy individuals answered a wide range of questions from how these companies reacted to the fall out of the financial services bust in 2008 to what the outlook for the corporate library profession could look like in the future. Spectators were relieved to learn that the vendors worked very closely with their clients during the economic downturn, focusing on the needs of businesses in transition throughout the year. Despite the upheaval in the financial markets, our vendors remained financially solvent, taking the opportunity to narrow their business focus appropriately and even investing in new products and services as needed. The most salient points for the library crowd included a discussion about what types of jobs are up and coming which will utilize our hard won information retrieval and organization skills. All four members of the panel see a wide variety of opportunities to come for those with research skills, and each encouraged today's librarians to diversify their skill sets, focusing primarily on what it is that you're most interested in pursuing.

Following a lovely lunch and social hour, we saw two presentations of innovators in the field today. Bill Patterson made the journey from Pricewaterhouse Cooper's campus in Tampa FL to present on current trends in the analysis which his group provides to clients of PwC. Bill sees knowledge services in general trending toward future-oriented analysis and away from the more traditional desk reference. Librarians are in a great position to move into these roles, as we're likely already performing user-oriented research. Karen Kreizman Reczek was on hand to discuss her tireless work in turning out a product for her company, Bureau Veritas, which collates years of research on compliance and industry guidelines for manufacturers. Karen shared her experience with creating a physical, tangible product within a timeline of eight months (yikes!) - the fruition of which is a true testament to the value that libraries can provide for the organizations and clients. Imagine what kind of a book most of us could write with all of the information we've researched and collated for our end users!

A break-out session wrapped up the day, with most participants heading out to discuss the future of libraries. Other sessions included the lasting effects of 2009, mechanical methods for accomplishing our big goals, and influencing library policy at the national level. Each group then reported their findings to the whole. A recurring theme from these breakout session involved the need for more business-oriented training for current and future librarians, and the need to address these issues with the library schools in New York.

All told, this was an expertly curated day of speakers, panels, and break-out groups. Thanks to Vida Cohen's tireless efforts, the day ran extraordinarily smoothly and was punctuated by ample time to mingle and speak with other participants. Most attendees with whom I spoke seemed to walk away from this event feeling galvanized and ready to take on the challenges that await us in the coming year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This fall's tour of NYPL SIBL

You probably already know that the New York Public Library system has a research library devoted to Science Industry and Business. But did you know:

  • That NYPL SIBL has dozens and dozens of computer stations and laptop docking stations, as well as wireless throughout its facilities?
  • That the current site of SIBL is the former site of the former site of the huge B. Altman department store, a New York City institution in the late 19th and early 20th Century?
  • That SIBL has classrooms and conference rooms that have been used by 70,000 students in workshops, trainings, programs, and classes that are held nearly every day?
  • That SIBL is a first-rate resource for small business people and entrepreneurs of all sorts?
  • That SIBL has small collection of circulating popular books on its ground level?
  • That SIBL has become NYPL’s job search headquarters, offering free career coaching on weekdays?
  • That SIBL is a technologically modern and forward-looking library that just happens to still use pneumatic tubes to page books from the closed stacks?

Neither did I until I dropped in on the Librarians’ Meetup tour of SIBL this fall. It was the first time I had joined the group and I can definitely recommend Librarians' Meetup tour events. They are a great opportunity to get an insider's view of many interesting libraries in the New York City area. And what better way to meet new colleagues and reconnect with fellow information professionals, librarians, and library school students?

Heather Halliday, member NYLM

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mulberry Street Branch Library

In May 2007 the New York Public Library opened its 40th branch library in Manhattan and 87th within the NYPL system: the striking new $6.1 million Mulberry Street Branch Library, located at 10 Jersey Street, between Mulberry and Lafayette.1 Just south of Houston, the Mulberry Branch Street Library is the first branch to open in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan—a neighborhood historically known as the Cast Iron District.2

The Mulberry Street Branch Library “fills the ground floor and two underground levels of an 1886 building” that used to be the Hawley & Hoops candy factory.”3 Designed by the architecture firm Rogers Marvel, much of the old factory's elements were kept to maintain its historical character. “Soaring cast iron columns, dramatically lit underground vaults, brick archways, and massive wood beams are among the original architectural features ….”. 4

However, the space was renovated to house a broad range of resources, “including extensive collections and an advanced infrastructure for library technology.”5

The 12,000 square-foot, three-level library has an extensive collection of 32,655 adult, young adult, and children’s books, DVDs, audio recordings, and other resources including 28 public access computers, wireless Internet access, and a user-friendly self-checkout station. In addition to English, the library also offers a selection of books in Chinese, Spanish, and Italian.6

This selection of language books reflects a special effort on the part of the library to ensure that its materials are representative of the neighborhood it serves. For example, there are a number of books in Chinese for the Chinatown community and the books in Italian are a nod to the area's Italian immigrant past. Additionally, library-card holders can order books from the library’s system by going online.7

According to Supervising Librarian, Jennifer Craft, who oversees the operations of the library, the Mulberry branch offers “resources for every age and every interest, and we want the community to know that we are here to help them with their needs for information and other resources. Whether for recreational reading, story hours, homework projects, job information, or internet access, among many other services, there is something for everyone here in our beautiful new branch."8

There are nine full-time staffers, as well as a number of other part-time and volunteer workers at the Mulberry Street Branch. The library’s hours are Monday: 12-8PM, Tuesday: 10AM-6PM, Thursday: 10AM-6PM, Friday: 1PM-6PM and Saturday: 10AM-5PM. The library is closed on Sundays and Wednesdays.9

For more information about the Mulberry Street Branch Library, please click on the following links:

1. Mulberry Street Branch Information -

2. Press Release: The New York Public Library's New Mulberry Street Branch Opens May 21 –

3. Gothamist L.L.C: Mulberry Street Public Library Branch Opens Today! -

Works Cited:

1. The New York Public Library. (2007, May 15). The New York Public Library's New Mulberry Street Branch opens May 21. In Current press releases. Retrieved November 7, 2009, from

2. The New York Public Library. (2009). Mulberry Street Branch information. In Branch history. Retrieved November 7, 2009, from

3. The New York Public Library. (2007, May 15). The New York Public Library's New Mulberry Street Branch opens May 21. In Current press releases. Retrieved November 7, 2009, from

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. Chung, J. (2007). Mulberry Street Public Library Branch opens today!. Gothamist. Retrieved November 7, 2009, from

8. The New York Public Library. (2007, May 15). The New York Public Library's New Mulberry Street Branch opens May 21. In Current press releases. Retrieved November 7, 2009, from

9. Chung, J. (2007). Mulberry Street Public Library Branch opens today!. Gothamist. Retrieved November 7, 2009, from

Friday, November 6, 2009

Volunteers Needed

As mentioned in November's meeting, NYPL Mulberry Street Branch would appreciate volunteers to help with reshelving. Interested librarians and library science students should contact Jennifer Craft, Supervising Librarian, via email ( It's a lovely library! - LT

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Twitter lists and real-time journalism By Pete Cashmore, Special to CNN (repost)

Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore: There's money to be made on Twitter lists
A new feature allows Twitter users to create lists of people to follow
The micro-blogging site is buzzing about this addition
Cashmore: Lists help cut the noise out of Twitter; and list curators add value .

Editor's note: Pete Cashmore is founder and CEO of Mashable, a popular blog about social media. He is writing a weekly column about social networking and tech for
London, England (CNN) -- The Twitter community is abuzz this week about the site's new "Lists" feature, which allows users to create collections of interesting people to follow on the micro-messaging service.
From lists of sports stars to comedians to political pundits, Twitter has provided its members with the tools required to splice a torrent of updates into a series of relevant, topic-based streams.
In doing so, the social networking startup may have hit upon the long-overdue cure to information overload and birthed a new breed of editor: the real-time Web curator.

Drowning in data

Approximately 25 million Tweets are posted every day; more than 5 billion have been created since Twitter's launch.
Facebook users are even more prolific in aggregate: Forty-five million updates are posted there daily. In May, the last date for which we have data, YouTube announced that 20 hours of video is uploaded to its servers every minute. That's more than three years of content being uploaded to YouTube daily.
As the barriers to media production fall -- cameras in virtually every cell phone, video cameras in iPods, text messaging as a publishing platform -- this content tsunami is growing ever taller.

The friend filter

An obvious antidote: use your friends as a filter.
Google's new Social Search allows users to add their social networking profiles to a Google account and see search results filtered and prioritized based on their circle of friends.
Through integration with Facebook, meanwhile, Web sites are allowing users to create personalized experiences. Connect your Facebook account with social news site, for instance, and your existing friends become a filter for the most interesting web links.

From personal to professional

Much like blogging, however, link-sharing on the Web has evolved beyond the personal. While most Twitter users stick to the standard "What Are You Doing?" fare, a growing number spend much of their time collating links and pointing their followers to relevant, timely, topic-based information.
Tracking the pulse of PR in the digital age? You'll probably want to follow Edelman Digital's Steve Rubel, who scours the Web for topical links and shares his findings on Twitter and FriendFeed.
Seeking insights into the mainstream media's transition to the Web? Follow Jeff Jarvis, journalism professor, podcaster and media pundit.
Want to know what venture capitalists are reading these days? Try Union Square Ventures' Fred Wilson, who shares links and insights daily with his 35,000 Twitter followers.

See a list of CNN's anchors on Twitter

Next up: collate dozens of these experts into a topic-based list, and -- voila! -- your hand-picked editorial team extracts the signal from a wall of noise.
Most of these link gatherers have "real" jobs, you'll notice; I see no reason why that should remain the case. In the attention economy, wherein the scarce resource is time and the abundant one is content, those who effectively allocate our attention create value.
Where value is created, it follows that money can be made. The inevitable outcome: Web curators are not just real-time but full-time.

The rise of real-time journalism

Possibly we don't need a new breed, however, just an adaptation.
Journalists, it would seem, are well-placed to capitalize on the trend, since directing an audience's attention via links is not materially different to editing a newspaper or magazine.
Perhaps media companies already see this emergent future: The New York Times has created a Twitter list of all its staff, and the Los Angeles Times has set about categorizing Twitter celebrities.

See CNN International's Twitter list

The Web-centric Huffington Post has gone a step further by embedding Twitter Lists on its Web site to create hubs of real-time updates.
For those cast adrift in a sea of content, good news: A "curation" economy is beginning to take shape, tweet by tweet, list by list.
Uncovering Steve Jobs' Presentation Secrets - BusinessWeek

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Librarians & Blogging

Monday evening four local librarians generously shared their experiences as bloggers in a Meetup meeting at the NYPL Mulberry Branch’s community room: Lisa von Drasek, EarlyWord Kids; Alexandra Crosier, Shelved @ NYC; Jenna Freedman, Lower East Side Librarian; and Jennifer Craft, Blogs @ NYPL−Mulberry Street Branch.

The blogs discussed range from professional to semi-personal, from collaborative to solo, from self- to system-initiated. In EarlyWord Kids, von Drasek reviews advance books for young children, providing a heads-up for librarians. Crosier’s unique New York City-based blog, Shelved @ NYC, combines an event calendar with her commentary on library-related issues. Freedman, who has other blogs, mixes personal and professional concerns−among them subject headings and zines−in Lower East Side Librarian.
Craft and her staff contribute to the NYPL system-wide blog for their branch, Blogging @ NYPLMulberry Branch, featured in a recent NYPL newsletter. (To read Craft’s blogs only, see

They did a fantastic job as speakers, touching upon
untapped needs, development of their respective blogs, snarky blogging, and finding a middle ground between caution and total frankness. Von Drasek, for instance, turns to colleagues (in the audience!) who serve as sounding boards for posts that might be over the top.

Other issues explored were rude feedback, posts that received lots of hits and why, and waning output. Attentiveness to design, commitment to open-source technology (Lower East Side Librarian utilizes Drupal), and use of tag clouds and Twitter were also discussed.

About twenty people attended this informal discussion, including Marion Lipshutz, a Meetup member. She started a library-related blog last month, Information Vistas.
Afterward seven members went to a nearby restaurant on Lafayette Street.

Thanks so much to our fabulous guests and audience for their participation. And a big thank you as always to Jennifer Craft, Mulberry Branch Supervising Librarian, for use of the community room.
- LT (rvsd. 11/6/09)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New York County Lawyers Association Guided Library Tour

New York Librarians MeetUp October 27, 2009

New York County Lawyers Association

The New York County Lawyers Association, one of the largest bar associations in the country with 10,000 members, was founded in 1908 as a response to the restrictive membership rules of other state and local bar associations. Interested in legal and public policy questions, it is open to all members of the New York Bar. For a more detailed description of the Association, see its website:

The NYCLA library, with about 230,000 volumes, expects to serve 12,750 patrons in 2009 both in the physical library and fee based services such as copying and legal research. About 45% of NYCLA’s budget is appropriated to the library. The library has 6 professional librarians on staff.

Dan Jordan, the Director of Library Services, provided a tour of the library which encompassed an introduction to legal bibliography and research. As he explained the development of legal bibliography and the basics of legal research, he showed us the physical books, not just the shelves, but what the books looked like inside. We also visited the basement where the superseded volumes required for research are stored. As in most libraries, legal materials are moving online and people (depending on when they graduated from law school) are using books less. So NYCLA deals with the question of what to keep in physical form and what to discard.

I had briefly worked at the NYCLA library when I worked for Cassidy Cataloguing in the early 1990’s. As a law librarian for more than 25 years, I was familiar with legal bibliography and research. Still, I enjoyed the tour very much. This meetup was an excellent introduction to legal bibliography, legal research and the workings of a subscription library.

Caren Rabinowitz, JD, MLS
Assistant Organizer, NY Librarians Meetup