November 19th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

You can also check out an article about the event @ The Wichita Eagle.

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July 28th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

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February 9th, 2007 by Michael Sauers

Explained in a 4 minute video by a professor at Kansas State University. (No, it’s not boring. Watch it.)

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December 28th, 2006 by Michael Sauers

Since several people have asked me, I realized that I’ve not yet blogged about my experience getting home for Christmas. Well, I ended up originally getting a flight that got me into Rochester, via Washington Dullas, at 11:00pm on Christmas night. On Saturday I went to look at my updated schedule online and didn’t find it. So, I called United back (was on hold for only an hour this time) and confirmed my Monday flight. During that call the agent asked me if there was a different city I could fly in to. I mentioned Buffalo and she found me a flight that got me into Buffalo at 6:15pm Christmas Eve. I snagged that one fast. The only hitch was that it took me through Kansas City (which finally has facilities inside security!) and Washington Dullas. On Sunday I ended up getting up at 4:30am, getting to the gate at 6:30am, and leaving Denver at 8:30am. I ended up getting to Buffalo roughly on time, but for some unexplained reason my luggage stayed behind at Dullas.

The baggage clerk “found” my bag at Dullas ans said that it would be arriving in buffalo at bout 11pm. Unfortunately, I needed to get to Rochester and didn’t want to impose on my parents any more than I’d already done by making them pick me up about 70 miles from home. The clerk told me he had no more drivers for the night but that he’d have my bag delivered to me in Rochester the next day, Christmas.

Christmas day was fun as the photos can attest. We were able to keep my earlier arrival from my brother and his family so that was a nice surprise for them. Around noon I started wondering where my bag was so I tried calling the automated baggage claim phone system. I wouldn’t accept my claim number nor would it recognize “sauers” as a last name. I tried transferring to a human but every time I tried that I was told that the “transfer had failed” and that I could try the automated system or “call back later”. It’s interesting that instead of being put on hold, I was, in essence, being hung up on by the system.

About 2pm Christmas day I got the call from United confirming the delivery address for my bag and informing me that it would be on the 6pm run. Finally my bag showed up at five to midnight.

Now I’m hoping I don’t get stuck in Chicago on the way back home on Saturday as I hear the snow is starting again in Denver and they’re expecting another two feet of the stuff.

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December 19th, 2006 by Michael Sauers

The Library Management Team of the Kansas State Library held a staff meeting in Second Life. Go Christie!

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November 2nd, 2006 by Michael Sauers

View from the middle of the roomI’m on the campus of Friends University in Wichita, KS for the South Central Kansas Library Systems Technology Training Day. This morning I gave the keynote on Library 2.0 and this afternoon I’ll be teaching my three hour blogging session. Photos from the event can be found in my flickr set and there’s at one video in YouTube. (My keynote slides will be made available in the next few days.)

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April 24th, 2006 by Michael Sauers

Back in January I wrote a post titled When is a Podcast not a Podcast in which I agreed with Greg Schwartz regarding folks using the term “podcast” when they’re talking about linking to MP3 files on Web sites. In other words, complaining that people are misusing the term. To clarify, here’s the basic definition of podcasting from Wikipedia:

“Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio programs or music videos, over the Internet for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. The distribution format of a podcast uses either the RSS or Atom syndication formats… Podcasters’ web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their files, however a podcast is distinguished by its ability to be automatically downloaded automatically using software capable of reading RSS or Atom feeds.

What brings me to mention this is two recent posts, one from Library Stuff and another from Travels with the State Librarian. In the first case, Steven points out that the links for the MP3 versions of the SirsiDynix Institute recordings are not podcasts and I completely agree. The second case is a little more complicated.

Christie, the state librarian of Kansas has posted her first podcast using AudioBlogger.com a free service that allows you to post audio files to your blog via your telephone. Just call the number, enter your PIN, and record your message. Minutes later a link to an MP3 version of your recording will appear as a post on your blog. Even I, in the past have called this a “quick and dirty podcast”. However, giving it some more thought, and looking back at the definition of podcast, I’m forced to change my mind. This is not a podcast. Here’s why.

In the case of AudioBlogger, even if you have an RSS feed for your blog’s content, the MP3 file itself is not being distributed via that feed, nor can it be automatically downloaded. All that’s being syndicated via the feed is a link to a MP3 file that you must manually download. For these reasons, linking to an MP3 file, regardless of the method of announcing such a link is not a podcast.

Now that I’ve argued the semantics I wonder if I should bother. Language changes and terms get applied differently as more people use them. Technically, you don’t “go” to a Web page, the page is sent to you. However, that doesn’t mean I never say “go to this or that Web page”. Should I care this much about how the term podcast is being applied? Should any of us?

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April 10th, 2006 by Michael Sauers

I can’t say enough about the PaperCuts blogs out of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas. Here’s yet another great post from them regarding different books with the same title. I think we should all find more examples and submit them as comments.

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October 24th, 2005 by Michael Sauers

David King, Kansas City Public Library
Michael Stephens, St. Joseph County Public Library

Hiring and Keeping Techie Staff (David)

  • External Hiring
    • Job ad
      • Get lots of applications
      • Get apps from suitable candidates
      • Attract, describe basic requirements, written from applicants viewpoint, use specific wording about the skills you want
      • Be specific with “must have” skills
    • Place the job ad where qualified people will see it
      • Online for techie jobs
      • ALA, LITA, Chronicle, LISJobs.com, Your Web site
      • NON-MLS: Local newspaper, Monster
    • Weeding candidates
      • focus on basic job requirements
      • preferred qualifications
      • interview who’s left
  • Internal Hiring
    • Can hire “good library employee” then train them
    • Offer interally first is a good option
    • Steal from other departments
    • Why internally: skills, library-friendly, will work for food
    • “This person should be a quick learner and enjoy technology changes”
    • Hiring goals
      • dedicated to the library
      • enjoys service
      • willingness ot learn
      • already helps out with technology
  • Keeping Staff
    • Obvious things
      • benefits, praise & recognition, pay, interperonal relationships
      • If your the leader, be flexible and be willing to experiment
    • Keep the involved in the library
      • committees, planning, yearly goal setting for the library
      • make them feel personally invested in the library
    • Training
      • on the job
      • formal
      • buy lots and lots of books
    • Techies like toys! Give them some.

Ten Steps for Staff Buy-In (Michael)

Here’s his blog post explaing all of them

  1. Listen
  2. Involve staff in planning
  3. Tell stories
  4. Be transparent
  5. Report & Debrief
  6. Do your research first
  7. Manage Projects Well
  8. Offer training for all technology (including the board!)
  9. Let them play
  10. Celebrate successes
  11. Breathe & take care of yourself

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October 24th, 2005 by Michael Sauers

Glenn Peterson, Hennepin County Public Library
Sarah Houghton, Marin County Free Library
David King, Kansas City Public Library
John Blyberg, Ann Arbor District Library

  • Large Public Library Web Sites (David)
    • Phoenix: Current information, online news, catalog, research, welcoming their customers, subject guides
    • Seattle: interacting & introducing (action words)
    • New York: programming/events, finding things
    • Main focus: content, customers, communication
    • Redesigning with Web Standards
  • How are libraries doing it? (Glenn)
    • No legions of Web developers
    • 3.6FTE devoted to Web services in (6 actual people)
    • 70% of reserves are being places through the Web site.
    • It’s all about leverage
      • Web application software
      • Rapid Development Environment (Web site design specific software)
      • Reference staff for content
    • Learn more about XML (pull in RSS data)
    • Subject Guides
    • Starting points for finding information in specific topic area
    • Bring together in one place all library resources on a topic
  • What’s include
      • Datdbases
      • Websites
      • Catalog links
      • Events
      • Blogs
      • RSS feeds
      • classes
    • 2000 pages, Sarah’s it and get just 5 hours per week to work on the site
    • Use blogging & RSS
    • You don’t have to call it a blog
    • Linked searches
    • Simple HTML forms
    • Printable PDF forms
    • Reading/listening lists
    • Collect patron feedback
    • Lightweight virtual reference
      • IM, Jybe (for library version coming soon), SMS
  • An Arbor District Library (John)
    • LAMP
      • Linux
      • Apache
      • MySQL
      • PHP
    • Drupal CMS
  • Trends (David)
    • More redesings
    • More connectivity (RSS, SMS)
    • More video
    • More patron content contribution

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