Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Reading Log - a review

The Library Network's iBistro catalog links to My Reading Log. They recommend it as a tool to help patrons keep track of books they've read as well as books they'd like to read. Since I've been using the iBistro catalog for almost two years now, I thought it was time to give it a shot.

The one thing that My Reading Log has going for it is that it is simple. Patrons who are internet "newbies" will appreciate the lack of information overload, but that's if they can get the darn thing to work in the first place.

The first thing I did when I created my account was try to read their little introduction. I glanced it over, seemed like a normal, easy-to-use-site, so I carried on. I got to my home screen and tried to add a book...

When you add your own book, instead of searching by ISBN (or whatever other number you have), you have to make sure to enter in all of your own data. The site isn't intuitive enough to take a title and just automatically find it's author/pub info/etc. I guess I was expecting this...

So I did a search via ISBN. I accidently put the ISBN in wrong and after waiting a couple minutes (they say their search function takes a while, they weren't kidding), they added something to my "Want to Read" list that had absolutely no information in it. No error message came up - just a blank record added to my list. Durrrr....

I finally got the ISBN right, added the right book to the list, and now they tell me that the author's name will be all in one field (Last Name) as opposed to two (Last Name, First Name). Which requires the user to go back in and fix every single one of them, if they're a perfectionist like me! My frustration is building....

Next I scrolled down and noticed that there's another search option available. I tried to search Lincoln Park's catalog, since they're my "home library." I did a search for a title that I know to be in the collection - Cancer Schmancer (by Fran Drescher). It opened up a new window and promptly gave me an error. I clicked ok, to see if maybe it'd still work, but then I got another (different) error. :-( Now that I know THAT doesn't work, I did a Amazon book search and it gave me what I wanted - but that doesn't necessarily mean that it'll connect back to My Reading Log in any way. The WorldCat search also works in the same fashion.

Also, as a side note, the user must guess that the "My Account" link goes to their home page. I've always associated "My Account" with changing password information, user information, etc.

To make a long story even longer (not that any of you have read this far), I must say that My Reading Log has completely disappointed me. At this point I have no desire to explore any of the other options on the site.... but if anyone else comes across something here that's useful, feel free to give me your $0.02.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Information overload at LOC

Thought I'd share. From "Library of Congress Groans Under Data Strain":
"Even with the falling cost of storage, the Library of Congress is still confronted with an almost incomprehensible volume of data, prompting officials to forge partnerships with a slew of government and commercial organizations.

As well as helping the library design its storage systems and build specific preservation tools, officials also need help in deciding which digital data needs to be preserved, and which does not."

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Thought you all should know...

"In 2003 the directors of about a dozen Cuban independent libraries were sentenced to 20-year prison terms; entire library collections, including classics such as George Orwell's "Animal Farm," were burned by order of the Cuban courts. The detained Cubans have been named prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International. After independent libraries in Cuba are confiscated, the government replaces them with new state-run institutions stocked with censored books and electronic games. For details, readers can refer to a press release being prepared by the Friends of Cuban Libraries ("Secret Plan Revealed to Replace Confiscated Libraries"), to be published on April 12."

From "War Declared on Library of Congress by Venezuela."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

LISPers forever!!!

Blogging is all about personal opinion. It is with this in mind that I disclose to you a particular opinion I have.

I love my profession. I am so enthused to begin being a librarian that I simply cannot wait to get that piece of paper in my hand. The people I have met throughout these last couple years have been fantastic, and I never knew I could get along so well with anyone. Not just my peers in the program, but also the professors and my colleagues at the many different jobs I’ve held.

Which is why commencement in May is going to be a bittersweet event.

Back in January I asked (or begged) Dr. Bajjaly, our phenomenal LIS Program Director, if I could teach a section of LIS 6080. He agreed to let me do so. I am so thrilled to be able to remain a part of the program at Wayne State, and I’ve vowed to work my buns off in order to make sure every one of the students taking my section is successful in my class.

And I’ve been given the opportunity to go do a book talk for a ladies’ club this Friday. Ethical issues aside (I’m not technically a librarian, nor would I get paid a librarian’s salary to do this book talk) I think I’ll do it… After all, I’m a total schmuck for this job.