If you’re heading to NASIG this year, please look for me and say hello.  I’ll be starting a term as co-chair of the Electronic Communications Committee, but otherwise plan to keep a light meeting schedule. 🙂

Straight from Louisville I’ll be traveling to Spearfish, SD, for the Ex Libris Users North America meeting, where I’ll be doing an all-day SFX refresher at the Ex Libris Technical Seminar that precedes the user group meeting. Would you rather spend the day with me and SFX, or visiting Mt. Rushmore?  That’s what I thought.

Staying in Touch with the Users

I started my professional life as a cataloger. I have felt the push and pull of inter-departmental wranglings: “they don’t understand the value of what we do!” and “they don’t understand how people actually use the catalog!” Now that I’ll be helping e-resource librarians implement an ERM system and will no longer be an end user myself, I’m conscious of the fact that I’ll start to lose touch with what it really means to do the job.

I would like to minimize that phenomenon as much as possible, and I’d like your help, dear reader. I still manage ERIL-L, I’ve recently learned about a couple e-resources blogs and have subscribed, and I recently joined the editorial board of JERDA, so I’ll surely be reading that. I plan to attend NASIG and start a subscription to Against the Grain. I know there’s more out there–what else should I be doing to stay connected to the front lines of ERM? Journals, websites, blogs, conferences? Send your suggestions, please, so I’ll be well prepared to assist should Verde be in your library’s future!

Articles on Managing and Career Development

Boxes and Arrows, a web zine about design and information architecture, has two articles about making career choices in its current issue. The first offers some tips for deciding whether or not you want to manage and the second looks at the “three-pronged fork in the road,” reminding readers that managing isn’t the only option when it’s time for a change (“guruhood” and reinvention are the other two). While some of the content is design-specific, both articles are worth a look, and while you’re there you can ooh and aah over the brand new site design, also definitely worth a look.

New Riders Titles for Web Librarians

Most of what I know about web design and development I’ve learned from New Riders books. I’m finally reading Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug, a book on web usability that practices what it preaches. (Those of you who have read the 1st edition might want to get hold of the new edition, which includes 3 new chapters.)

Other books on my shelf:
Designing with Web Standards by Jeffery Zeldman, just out in a 2nd edition
Eric Meyer on CSS by Eric Meyer, of course
Building Accessible Websites by Joe Clark

There are many more titles available on topics from Photoshop to writing for the web to search engine optimization.

I should also give a nod to A List Apart (the other ALA), where these authors and many more contribute useful articles that are free of charge.

OPAL, Virtual Reality, and Academic Libraries

Looking for free or inexpensive continuing education opportunities? Check out OPAL, which describes itself as “an international collaborative effort by libraries of all types to provide web-based programs and training for library users and library staff members.” Most events are offered for free and past events are archived at the website.

One upcoming event of note for academic librarians is “Collaboration Opportunities for Academic Libraries in Second Life.” Second Life is an online virtual reality environment, and according to the program description, “This fall over 50 institutions of higher education are offering (or preparing to offer) courses in Second Life.” Is this the Next Big Thing?