November 2008
Volume 29 No. 3

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News You Can Use
Statewide Reference at CLA

Stacey Aldrich, Deputy State Librarian updated attendees on this Five-stage project in the "Statewide Reference for Tomorrow" workshop. She noted that the project and workshop are really about "Information Services" not "Reference."

The first stage, data gathering, commissioned the Zogby survey on information-seekers' behavior on the Internet and their relatively little use of AskNow. The second stage designed a think tank process, reviewing all the data gathered so far and, with facilitation by futurists, Michele Bowman and Sandy Burchstead, interpreting this data for trends.

The article on the in the September 2008 CSL Connection reported on the third stage, the August 2008 Think Tank and presented the top 10 societal and information-seeking trends the participants noted and prioritized. These trends were turned into colorful posters, displayed around the CLA workshop room.

The fourth stage was the CLA workshop, which detailed the work so far and expanded on the Think Tank conclusions. The stages, Zogby findings, and posters are pulled together in the workshop slide show.

Previous efforts and reports, while useful and used, are a solution in search of a problem. The State Library will be piloting the "vice versa" in pilot projects, the results of which will be analyzed along with input gathered so far.

Until a solution becomes obvious, the current system structure remains in place,

The first pilot will be a link on to refer people who do not find what they want to a librarian who would answer the question. The answer would contain a link to the seeker's local library, which would be credited for the answer. The to-be-created test link would be live for a few hours over some weeks. Watch for announcements.

The initiative will be co-branded with AskNow - - the current LSTA-funded statewide service. A few AskNow participating libraries also may coordinate these links on their sites.

The workshop concluded by having the attendees prioritize the top three beneficial scenarios on a survey form (with notes). The fifth stage will be the development of an action plan after the analysis of this data: Workshop attendees' surveys, the findings from the pilot, and possibly the discussions on the Statewide Reference NING and the documents the participants post there

At the later AskNow users group meeting, a local library announced plans to pilot the QuestionPoint email component and possibly to install the QuestionPoint chat "quidget" on selected web pages. Since out-of-state libraries adopting the "quidget" have seen an enormous increase in chat and email questions from their own patrons, California libraries are cautious. Libraries staffing the chat "quidget" will see their local patrons first and have a moment to select them. Keep up with QuestionPoint on its blog.

To keep up with with the State Library's new focus on information services, and see informative, thought-provoking posts, join the invitation-only collaborative NING. Email Mary Beth Train for an invitation.

Free2 at CLA
Linda Crowe and project director, Terry Jackson, announced the state-wide launch of free2. Michael Fiels, Executive Director of the American Library Association. also announced ALA's alliance with free2 in its ALA's Campaign for America's Libraries that may integrate the @ your library brand and other Campaign tools with free2. The December initiative of this 18-month publicity campaign is Free2give, which guides people to responsible charitable giving during the holiday season and highlights donations to food banks. The campaign includes red Free2 wraps for the libraries' food collection barrels. Free2dream is the theme for the months of January and February in recognition of Martin Luther King, the inauguration and Black History Month.

Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros
"Día" is a Spanish-English community program from the American Library Association to celebrate families and encourage reading, which culminates on April 30, 2009. Oralia Garza de Cortés, an early literacy specialist and REFORMA's Operational Coordinator for "Día," will coordinate this program, sponsored by the State Library for all of California. State Library blog post. Resources from ALA. Resources from REFORMA.

Care of Collections - Bookshelf Grant from IMLS
The Institute of Museum and Library Services will offer a final round of competition for its Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of texts that are essential for the care of collections, worth about $800. Details.

Events and Training
Resource Sharing - Town Hall Meeting - December 8, 2008
The State Library and Califa are sponsoring a free meeting to discuss WorldCat, CalCat and resource sharing. Catch up with these services and join the discussion of what you want to see accomplished.

10:00am - 12:00pm or - 1:00am - 3:00pm
San Jose Public Library - Details and registration

Edmond Otis - Difficult People and Stress - January 27-29, 2009
Edmond Otis, popular Infopeople trainer and distinguished professor emeritus at U.C. Riverside, returns from New Zealand to give three Infopeople full-day workshops to system members. Cost: $75 each. Flyer

Dealing with Difficult People: Making Libraries Safe & Sane - Outline
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - San Mateo Public Library - Register

Stress Management in the Library Workplace - Outline
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 -
San Francisco Public Library
(Latino/Hispanic Room)
- Register

Making Difficult Conversations Easier - Outline
Thursday, January 29, 2009 - San Jose Public Library - Register

Database Packages
All staff can sample the databases offered by EBSCO and Gale for the systems' package purchases on the vendors' sites. Supervisors have access to general proprietary documents and trial links posted on Google Groups.


Reference Picks
Demographic Statistics
Find local and international demographic statistics resources in the System Reference Center's new Demographic Statistics webliography.

Search Medica -
This search engine for authoritative medical sites for doctors, nurses, and the public has a clean Google-like home page. The links are to articles summarizing research and treatments as well as respected sites such as MedlinePlus and the Mayo Clinic. The search results page groups the results by topics, e.g. complementary medicine, clinical trials, etc. and has links to related concepts.


News from Our Members
Election Success - Member Libraries' Bonds Pass
See the California State Library Blog for details.

  • Berkeley - Branches 67.7% - Gann Override 76.9%
  • Contra Costa County - Martinez 68.4%
  • Palo Alto 69.5%
  • Santa Clara County - Gilroy 68.1%

General tax ballot measures and Gann overrides require a simple majority (50+%) to pass, but library special taxes require a 2/3 supermajority to pass.

Salinas Library Card Drive Signs Up 15,000 Students
Benjamin MacBean, librarian at Salinas Public Library and coordinator for the library's School Card drive, reports:

  • 15, 000 cards were issued in two school districts in 2008.
  • School districts provided lists of students with full name, grade, and teacher's name. The library made the cards and presented them at special assemblies.
  • These cards have the same privileges as regular cards and include passes for the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • The school districts and the library absorb fines and book losses.

Salinas Library and National Steinbeck Center awarded $700K+ IMLS Grant
The Salinas Public Library and the National Steinbeck Center received a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). An award of $713,899 has been made to support their two-year project proposal Cultivating Knowledge: Life and Literature in Salinas. Details.

San Mateo County Libraries Pilot Youth Literacy Project
Through California Library Literacy Services (CLLS), San Mateo County Library READS, along with two other California libraries, is piloting a 3-year literacy program for teen mothers "who are not attending school and are in danger of joining gangs, or committing crimes." The program launched in October in Half Moon Bay, in collaboration with the Teen Parent Support Project of San Mateo County Health Department's "Pre to 3" initiative. The next location will be in East Palo Alto. The library will work with community organizations to recruit and train volunteers and tutors, and it also will develop collections of instructional and support materials. Details from CSL Connection September 2008.

National Game Day @ Your Library - November 15, 2008
Prompted by the unsolicited delivery of the timed board game "Pictureka!", children's librarian, Pat Ryan, at Alameda County Library's Union City Library celebrated National Game Day. With only a blog post the week before, the library still had 38 participants. She assembled card games and some board games, e.g. Monopoly, Yahtzee, and checkers. Six teen volunteers supervised the games at the all-day event. Resources. Announcement of National Game Day 2009 - Saturday November 14, 2009.

MemberS Receive Awards at the 2008 CLA Annual Conference
These people and entities in BALIS and SVLS received awards at the 2008 annual conference of the California Library Association. Details.

President's Award: Donna Bero, Executive Director of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library

Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy Award: Jean Hofacket, Director, Alameda County Library

PR Excellence Award: This state-wide campaign had nine library winners in all.

Budget: Under $5M:

  • First: Contra Costa Library - Lafayette branch
  • Second: Hayward Public Library - Digital Storytelling

Budget: $5M - $10M:

  • Second: Friends of the San Francisco Public Library - New Organizational Identity & Ballot Measure Empowers
  • Third: Santa Clara City Library - Free 2 Succeed

Budget: Over $10M:

  • First and Best of Show: Contra Costa County - Library A Go-Go


If your library has interesting statistics or press releases, please share them with your staff, post them on committee listservs, and send them to Mary Beth Train for inclusion in Search. One good idea begets another!


BALIS/PLS/SVLS System Reference Center

For libraries to submit an article or a suggestion for Search, email Mary Beth Train at train-AT-plsinfo-DOT-org.
Find Search archives at Search Newsletters.

We're part of the Library!

To send a Second Level reference request:

  • Web form Email us at info-AT-plsinfo-DOT-orgFax: (650) 349-5089 or (800) 505-5583
  • Phone: (650) 349-5538 or (800) 644-6244

System Reference Center Flyer Use for staff orientation and training.


Who we are:

Linda Crowe -

Executive Director,
Mary Beth Train -
Search Editor
Angel Kao -
Program Assistant


Volume 29 Number 3
is published bi-monthly: January, March, May, July, September, November