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Patrons & Services

This page is a collection point for members' contributions on recent topics and other resources. Members' contributions and initiatives after the fall of 2008 may also be found in the archives of the e-newsletter, Search. Use the Google search box on the home page to search the e-newsletter archives and this site.

The BALIS Adult Services Committee brainstormed database marketing ideas in the spring of 2009:

  • Add MARC records where possible (Gale provides these for GVRL; subject tracings can be added)
  • Do canned searches and use persistent URL (Gale uses “I-ball”, or InfoMark) and add to web page
  • Give a report to adult (and teen? Children’s too if you can)) service meetings on new databases
  • Do a database a week or month on staff blog or email
  • Get a local (free?) paper to agree to a regular library column that can do “database of the month”
  • Do Tips and tricks on website (this idea originally floated for public website, but this could work for a staff intranet as well)
    Incorporate vendor-provided tutorials, etc on website
  • Use vendor provided pathfinders (or in-house produced if you have them) on subject specific databases in the non-fiction stacks Collect vendor swag and hand out as “reminders” to library users
  • Teach subject specific courses to the public
  • Do handouts, one on access overall with an idea of what they do, or shorter ones on key databases
  • Hold an open house to demo a few databases Do show and tell for other city/county departments; get in on your jurisdiction’s training program
  • Show your library advisory group and get them to be advocates—same for government commissioners and supervisors
  • Distribute flyers with tips in some unusual places, e.g., auto shops for auto database, health food stores for health and medicine databases
  • Ask the State Library and/or your library system for financial help in doing a campaign: billboards, bus tails, and movie ads, as is done with Free2

Lending Laptops/Netbooks
In 2010, the San Bruno Public Library contributed these documents:

April 2008 MaintainIT Webinar - Laptop checkout program of Alachua County Library District - Be Astengo from Alachua County Library District discusses the laptop checkout program her library developed in this 30-minute archived Wimba webinar on WebJunction..

IM - Instant Messaging
In 2008, these member libraries contributed these documents:

Alameda County


From BALIS Reference Committee Meeting Notes October 12, 2006:
"ACL now offers IM reference service from one reference desk computer in each branch from 3:00 – 5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday. They began on October 2nd with a soft roll out. Busier branches are getting the bulk of the questions. The library has AIM and Yahoo screen names and is using Trillian; people at home are encouraged to use Meebo. Information is on the ACL “Ask Us” page. An announcement was sent out to teens who registered for the summer reading program. Eventually they will market it more for everyone. Staff was nervous that they would be overwhelmed, but the busiest period they have had so far was 3 questions in one hour. (At Livermore their busiest period brought 4 questions in a two hour shift.)"

Webliography on IM
A quick way to bring yourself up to speed is to run a search using the tems "IM" and "instant messaging" on LII, Web4Lib, ALA's LITA, and DIG-REF.

Librarians Internet Index -lii.org
There was a "how-to" and three from Pew Internet & American Life Project:

Frequently Asked Questions About Instant Messaging
Questions and answers from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about "Instant Messaging (IM)... an electronic messaging service that allows users. ... to exchange text messages with connected parties in real time." Topics include how IM differs from email, current best practices for capturing IM, and archiving of IM content created by government agency employees when the IM is a federal record.
URL: http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/initiatives/im-faq.html
Added to LII: 2006-10-12

Web4Lib - http://lists.webjunction.org/web4lib/

LITA - ALA's Library & Technology Association - www.lita.org
Librarians' experiences and presentations are posted on LITA's blog. A search on "instant messaging" brought up these three posts.

DIG-REF Archives - http://digref.org/archive/
Select " Search by Thread" in current year. Entries are in chronological order, starting with January 2006 on the first page. To see the newest posts, go to last page. To find a topic, use the "Find" command on each page. The seearch box isn't intuitive.

Problem Patrons

PLP Libraries' Policies

San Jose Public Library (2006)

In 2010 the library posted its policies on its web site via the site map in the "Policies" section. The list on that page is very long and covers a variety of issues.

San Francisco Public Library - 2010

CSU Monterey Bay 2010 - Policies and Priveleges
- List of policies including library computer use, food and drink, and conduct, as well as collection development, fines and fees, and more.

Santa Cruz City and County Library 2010 - Library Policies
- Library Code of Conduct - September 14, 2010

The library welcomes all members of the community, and asks that all visitors respect other people's right to use the library, respect library staff and respect library materials.
To this end, please:
• treat library materials and furniture with care
• use beverages with lids only and away from computers
• secure bicycles and other large items outside the library
• bring service animals only
• silence cell phones
• keep personal belongings from obstructing access to library materials and spaces
• note that children under 9 years must be accompanied by a person 14 years of age or older


Resources on Problem Patrons

WebJunction has posted policies and stories to help librarians successfully handle problem patrons are in the Difficult Patron Behavior: Success Stories from the WebJunction Community entry on WebJunction - www.webjunction.org

If reading this article prompts you to look at your library's policies, check out WebJunction's policy page also.

Infopeople's Past Training Materials

Screencasts or Online Tutorials

Whether member libraries call it "screencasting," "online videos," or "web-based tutorials," they are usually meaning patron training modules made with TechSmith's Camtasia, Adobe's Captivate , or Talking Communities' TCscreen.

Peninsula Library System Help Page for Innovative Interfaces Catalog FAQ's
has five tutorials. Here are their titles:

* Simple Title Search
* Placing a Hold
* Placing Multiple Holds using Bookbag
* Renewing Your Items
* Changing Your Email and PIN

Mountain View Library used Camtasia for a tutorial on freezing holds at the bottom of its "Freeze Holds" information page.

Link+ Tutorial from the Charles Von der Ahe Library at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Elisa Slater and Lauren Talbot created this tutorial.


Using Widgets
Widgets, aka "gadjets," are mini-applications or simple bits of code, easily dragged onto a desktop or pasted into a web page, which update themselves whenever the code source is updated. IM and podcasts on library websites are examples; other examples are videos, slideshows, and music.

Have you considered offering library widgets for patrons' personal pages? The University of Texas Library has some ideas to crib on its page devoted to widgets to aid students in their research. The library's LibWidgets page groups links into three categories:

Search plug-ins - CD's and DVD's on the web, Google toolbar, plug-in for students' Facebook pages, Firefox extension, and an open URL resolver

Information Organizing - Add-ons and tools from Del.icio.us, Flickr, Google Notebook, NoodleBib to save citations in MLA or APL format, Zoho Notebook, and Firefox extensions for marking text or using Google Send to Phone

Collaboration - ClipMarks and PBWiki

The page includes video tutorials and a form to suggest widgets, with a verification code to deter spam from bots.

Service / Therapy Animals
The difference between service animals and therapy animals and how to manage situations involving these animals: http://www.petsandpeople.org/difference.htm

The U.S. Dept of Justice information about ADA requirements about service animals http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm with a FAQ http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm.

Sample library policies on service animals:

 Back to top

Internet Abuse and Library Policies
Whether it's displaying pornographic images, hogging bandwidth by downloading huge files, hacking the library's web site, libraries work on solutions to these problems. Here is a look at some information and policies:

Internet Sex Crimes Mostly by Young Adults - School Library Journal

Fines, Fees, and non-tax Revenues
How significant are non-tax revenues?

Public Libraries: A Study of Sources and Dispositon of Library Revenues, by Milly C. Lugo, Santa Ana Public Library, April 2008. Results of a survey of 18 California small and mid-size libraries of revenues from fines, fees, gifts, book sales, rentals, notary and passport services, and more. Report

Starting in 2006, the BALIS Adult Services Committee collected documents for weeding guidelines, including "green" disposal of withdrawn items.

"Selections, Acquisitions, Weeding" - Acquired November 2006 - Collection2 Weeding

Green Weeding wiki - Livermore Public Library's Adaptations 2009-09

"Promoting Ecofriendly Options for Library Discards" By Sarah Penniman & Lisa McColl -- Library Journal, 9/15/2008