Monday, December 17, 2007

This blog is frozen untill better times, and author's inspiration.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Need some help on virtual reference statistics

Dear colleagues. I am writing a research paper based on a survey we made last year to find out our patrons' needs and wishes concerning virtual reference. The main goal of that survey was to compare our perception of VRS with our patrons'. Now I need some other examples of this kind of poll, taken BEFORE creating a library VRS. Some results of our survey you can see here.
Please, if you have any kind of information - researches, results and so on - share it with me!
Thanks in advance

Monday, July 23, 2007

JSTOR news

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has decided to discontinue its relationship with JSTOR, effective December 31, 2007. The AAAS and JSTOR began working together in 1998 to include Science and Scientific Monthly, a related title that has ceased publication, in the JSTOR archive.
No content will be removed from the archive. JSTOR will continue to preserve Science from 1880 to 2002, as well as Scientific Monthly, which was published
from 1915 to 1957. The Moving Wall will become fixed. With the addition of the 2002 issues in early 2008, JSTOR will cease to digitize and archive any further issues of Science. Access will continue. JSTOR will continue to provide access to Science from 1880 to 2002, as well as to all issues of Scientific Monthly. This includes supporting persistent links to articles in Science and Scientific Monthly from online resources and web pages.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Translation finished

Long ago I have recieved a permission from John Blyberg to translate his 11 reasons why library 2.0 exists and matters. Today I've posted the the last - 11th - reason on my russian virsion of this blog and the whole translation is now available here.
Thank you, John!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Infobib : Library blogs in Russia

As I have already posted, I was very surprised and flattered, when in the end of May I was asked to write a sort of article about Russian biblioblogoshere for the international project Infobib. I also must confess that I first agreed and then started thinking what I will be writing about, as at that moment I was sure I was the only librarian blogger in Russia. The situation has changed recently. I have learned that my friend and coworker Marianna Ponikarovskaya has a kind of blog on library related topics. And in the end of June Russian State Library has also started blogging. So, one can say that nowadays there are at least three library blogs in Russia.

The rest of the post read on Infobib next week. As soon as it appears there, I'll post a link.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Every blogger should read this

If you are going to start or already running a blog, then this information will be interessting for you
55 Essential Articles Every Serious Blogger Should Read by Matt Huggins

What I liked most, that links are categorised, so you'l find information on:
Blogging Basics: Getting Started
Building Meaningful Content
Increasing Traffic & Retaining Readers
Linkbaiting, SEO, & Social Networks
Building a Community
Blog Monetization
Miscellaneous Blogging Advice

Wish you luck with your blogs

Thanks to Srephen and his Lighthouse

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One more russian biblioblog

Great news!
Russian State Library has started blogging!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good News

Great! I've got a permission from John Blyberg to translate and post his "11 reasons why library 2.0 exisits and matters". For those interested - visit Russian version of this blog.
Many thanks to John!

Monday, June 18, 2007

on-line journal

If you are interested in Russian library science, than this link might be helpfull
on-line archive of a journal Bibliotechnoe Delo

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I am sorry not to post for such a long time.
I'm deep inside Fulbright application, our patrons' examination period, every-day extreamely urgent duties and other occupations.
I'll post something as soon as I have more than 5 free minutes.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

IfoLib invites

Today I recieved a letter from Sarah Lohre to become a guest blogger in an international project on It's aim is to draw a picture of library related blogs in different countries and to make up a world wide bibloiblogosphere.
As far as I know - I am the only russian biblioblogger, so I have nothing to share but my own experience, thoughts, assumptions and interntions.

Well, it's is nice to feel yourself a history.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weekend in the village

This weekend I spent in the village near the lake Okunkul, Chelyabinsk region.
I just want to share wonderful feelings and photos.
here are the photos

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fulbright programme

Fulbright programme offers teachers, scientistc, library and museum workers to goto USA on a probation period. I am going to be an applicant. Wish me luck.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Information services : Part 2

In Part 1, devoted to essential principles of information services (IS), I made an attempt to consider the IS organization taking into account different users’ needs and library resources. Today’s meditation will be devoted to principles, a library should follow. Here are they are:
visuality and obviousness

Strange as it may seem, but all the above mentioned principles are true for education. That is any teacher or tutor should follow them in her/his work. Really, a teacher (librarian) communicates with students (patrons), explains or informs something, ask and answer different questions. In this case the main either librarian’s or teacher’s purpose is to provide some information to students or patrons, help them to get some skills.
The differentiation principle is based on individual psychological features, that distinguish one person from another and are related to successful implementing of this or that activity. With reference to libraries this may mean the following: every patron is unique, all patrons are different! For someone you will have to spell out chapter and verse how to search OPAC, for one patron it will be enough to demonstrate once the foundations of information retrieval; someone get information on the air, for another you’ll have to explain once and again; some patrons prefer to read a printed book, another – its e-version, someone is an IT-guru, someone cannot tell word from excel. A librarian must find out all these little nuances, and suggest the most efficient search strategy. This is where we need the dialogue principle, that implies equality in patron-librarian communication. So the patrons are not only allowed to ask questions, but also to give some advice or to suggest an idea. The librarians may not only answer questions, but to advise a particular information resources, clear up patron’s needs and interests, specify the inquiry, find out whether the recommended information was useful, and so on. Why not to make a compliment or wish good luck at exams. :)
So that the patron could find the information himself or to better understand librarian’s explanations, so that a patron has a complete image of search strategies – the design of collections, catalogues, library web-site must be visually and intuitively understandable.
The systematic principle is based on the following. First, all types of IS in a library must constitute a single system of interconnected and interrelated elements. If your library provides ILL, it is great when a link to ILL form is placed in a corporate OPAC, so that a patron could easily get a book from another library. And second, if you are going to introduce a new service, be sure to think everything over and consider all pros and cons. And don’t give up immediately as something goes wrong. Try to organize your services as easy and comfortable to use and don’t leave your patrons all alone in the great ocean of information. If you provide wireless access to the internet for you patrons – there should be a person to help to “tune up” a laptop, if your library subscribes to different databases, there should be a person to help patrons to search information there.
And so on, and so forth... I think each of you can give your own examples.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Join us!

Join us at library 2.0 community on
Lots of interesting people to chat, ideas to share and information to learn!
I'm already there

Monday, April 23, 2007

To or not to be...or Reference desks are in danger

I don't know what made me think so, but it seemed to me that all the problems, that Russian librarians have been facing recently, had already been solved by our western colleagues. But, to my sincere surprise, it not absolutely true. most of the thing we worry about, are still actual abroad.
For example, my elder colleagues are completely upset that the amount of the reference questions asked, falls every year. And what upsets them much more - most of the questions have nothing to do with real reference, the questions are - "Where can I make copies?", "How long can I work on PC?". Questions like "Where can I find this book?" or "Do you have this books in the library?" are very seldom.
We have to answer lots of questions on computers and information retrieval, but still the questions are simple to the limit "How to save files?", "How to switch languages?", "How to spell "yandex" or "google"?"
It's become a great pleasure to me to tell a rare student how to search and work with databases that our library has access to.
What am I driving at? At the problem that was outlined in the article "Are Reference Desks Dying Out", and raise a hot discussion at The Ubiquitous Librarian and walking paper. And also (Thanks to Kathy DeMey) aroused a nice talk on DIG_REF list.
The main issue is the following: Do our patrons still need face to face communication with librarians or they are completely virtualized.
My IMHO is - A virtual reference desk will not (in the nearest future) replace a real in person communication with our patrons. And all information services should supplement each other, not replace. May be we just need to think over the reference desk construction and to get rid of cumbersome tables or desks made of wood or metal, that to a greater extent separate us (reference librarians) from our patrons.
Lets get closer to them! :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Information Services : Part 1.

A little earlier I posted a link to my presentation called "New forms of information service". I think it is high time to discuss two issues: what information services are and how libraries with different levels of technical equipment can organise them So, basically information services consist of 3 main points, and libraries should
1. Provide information services to the patrons
2. Provide access to information
3. Satisfy patrons' needs in information
Libraries should form the amount of services and resources considering different patrons' needs. The whole variety of patrons' needs can be generally divided into three main groups. Now let's try to think how can we develop service realisation and information access to meet patrons' needs.

THE FIRST NEED - open access to different kinds of information in different forms and on different media.
In other words, a patron may need textbooks, reference works, dissertations, reviews, biographies, etc. in different languages and publication date. They may need a printed original or a digital copy, they may want to watch a screen version of a book or listen to some audiobooks. A library must provide not only the resource itself, but an opportunity to read, watch, listen or study it. So, if a library possesses a nice collection of e-books or e-journals, to work with them there should be computers for patrons. If a library has audiobooks - it must have a couple of mp3-players or, at least, earphones. And so on...

THE SECOND NEED - means to convert information from on format to another.
It means that a user might need to digitilize a traditional printed resource. This can be executed at least in three ways - to scan, to photo, or to type on PC. So to cope with this task a library should have a good scanner, prosumer's digital camera and, of course, PCs for users to type their research works or other assignments.
And, on the contrary, a user might need to print a text or image - so, libraries need printers. I can't but mention photocopying, saving information on various portable data media, though they have already become a must in all libraries.

THE THIRD NEED - our patrons wherever they are want their questions to answered 24/7.
The first thing that comes to my mind regarding this issue is virtual reference, but not every library can find resources to manage such a great project. So I suggest more simple variants. Telephone reference - with great amounts of mobile phones and respectfully low call costs - this service will be in great demand. The patron doesn't need to go to the library to learn its working hours or to find out if the book she needs is in the library. She or he can call. A lot of problems can be solved this way.
If a library has its own website or a webpage - all the information may and must be published there, so that users that got used to search all kind of information via don't feel lost and helpless.
And for that category of patrons that doesn't like to use phones or computers, a library can make a kind of booklets, where all addresses, phone numbers, working hours and services should be noted.

.... to be continued

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Library Instruction 2.0

I ve recently found a very nice wiki presentation Library Instruction 2.0: Free Online Tools for Teaching With Technology on how to make classes in library instruction more usable for students. I think, I ll try some technologies for my classes on Information literacy next year.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I've promised to share my presentation on New forms of information services.
You can view it here (3 Mb, in Russian).
Comments will be posted later

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Upcoming Presentations

09/04 - Forms of information service in libraries.
Topics to discuss: virtual reference and blogs, and, if I have time - RSS and wiki-technologies
16/04 - Information Internet resources for libraries: bibliographic and full-text databases.

Abstracts will be published

Monday, March 26, 2007

Exploring PDA

I continue to get birthday presents. This time from my husband. And now I am a happy owner of an Acer n311. Nice toy. Very smart, and very small. I have had little time to explore it thoroughly, but I like the options, I am using now - an mp3-player.

Think when I play around a little more - I'll prepare a more complete review on it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I am published

One of the presents from the University for my 25th B-day was a publication of my article, devoted to basic things on information literacy that in brief was touched upon in my blog. The article was published this month in our local university newspaper.
Now I'm awaiting publication of another article on web evaluation.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Virtual reference services : ideas for meditation

When i started to write an article on such an outdated topic for US or European libraries, but still very actual and hot - for Russia, I would never supposed that lots of ordinary and unnecessary for the first sight issues would occur, for example:
  • are chat and IM equal services regarding virtual reference (VR), or 2 separate things one must clearly distinguish:
  • can an Internet-conferences be used as VR tool and in what way;
  • can self-help reference be regarded as VR and why;
  • what are the advantages and disadvantages of co-browsing, web-push and escorting;
  • what are the benefits of VR for patrons, libraries and universities

And - the most important - what is virtual reference in my own perception.

If you have some thought on these issues - I'm waiting for your e-mails, IMs and comments.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I've just updated my blog. Thanks to Brian Gray, though he doesn't know about me at all.
Why him, and why thanks - it was his blog, that I first saw meebo.
And voila - you can leave your comments or ask a question interactively.

Wireless Access in Libraries: myths and library reality. Part 1

An article about unauthorised wifi use and John Blyberg's opinion suggested me a thought to write about how wifi works at our library, that no above mentioned situation might occur.
I will not say much about what wifi is and how it works, as there is much information on the web (e.g. here). Wifi was developed to be used for mobile computing devices, such as laptops, in LANs, but is now increasingly used for more services, including Internet and VoIP phone access, gaming, and basic connectivity of consumer electronics such as televisions and DVD players, or digital cameras (Wikipedia).

So, on September 19, 2006 a wifi access point was installed in our library. Here are some peculiarities, that somehow can protect library from unauthorised wifi use:
1. A user must register him/herself and his/her laptop (PDA, smart phone, etc.) For registration user's name and devise MAC-address are needed, so that our system administrator always knows who, when and what for uses wireless Internet. It wasn't our idea, but "what if someone sends an abuse letter to our president from the library?", said security center - we had to obey and complicate our patrons' and admin's life.
2. The wifi coverage is limited to our reading hall and some adjacent rooms. That's why it is impossible to use wifi when the library is closed.
3. According to the library rules, our patrons can search information in the Internet only for their research papers or studies. Using e-mail or IM services, download audio or video files is forbidden. Proxy-server accomplishes intermediate filtration, so it is unlikely that wifi users do something wrong or violate the rules.
4. But in spite of all above mentioned restrictions users with laptops are mobile and independent. Independent not only from different wires, they don't have to wait for a free PC, they can work with software they got used to, they have no problems with saving information, they can also search not only free Internet resources, but all the databases (EBSCO, JSTOR, etc.) our library is subscribed to.

Since September 2006, 36 patrons have been registered as wifi-users, and they have used this service for about 70 times.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Untraditional Information Search

That is the title for a book exhibition that my elder colleagues arranged this morning. For the first time bibliographic resources are propagated this way. The main idea was to show our patrons another type of information retrieval - traditional for us, bibliographers, but unusual for present-day information consumers.
It looks nice, passing by the patrons slow down, but none of them had stopped to take a book and to look through it. Isn't it interesting, I wonder... Or, maybe our patrons are afraid of unknown words like "bibliography"... Who knows....


Let me reintroduce myself. Library Bat. Nice to meet you.
Perhaps, you have already got used to the title "University Library". A very good one, but under that title one should feel responsibility to shed light not only one's own thoughts and findings, but on the problems of university libraries as a whole. I cannot cope with this task alone. So I made up my mind to rename my blog according to the issues I am going to discuss here.

Friday, March 2, 2007

More words on self-education

I was asked to write an article for our university newspaper. The task was to inform our patrons about some interesting and useful web resources, that our faculty and students might use in their work. It is rather simple, you know. 10 minutes for Internet surfing, 5 minutes to write some words about the resource, and in half an hour the article is ready. And everyone is happy.
But I decided not to lighten our patrons' information search, as it is much easier to use ready references. Instead the article is devoted to some basic information literacy skills (see post). Lets see, will it be helpful or not.
Now I'm dealing with problems of evaluating information, found on the web. It is a very serious issue, as web is full of information of contradictory quality. If you have any thoughts and findings on this topic - you are welcome.
The next post here will be devoted to evaluating web information.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Introduction to Information Literacy

In my humble opinion this is a better title for a course that traditionally is called "Bibliography". Of course many of my Russian colleagues will ask - "WHY"? The answer is rather simple. Usually this course contains not only the rules of bibliographical description, but the students are also taught some practical things on using library catalogues (card and e-catalogues), searching Internet and subscribed databases.
Lots of information for my lecture I've taken from the site, devoted to Information Literacy.
We've discussed the definitions of IL, the skills (or competencies) that are required to be information literate.

CILIP says that
Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.

This definition implies several skills. We believe that the skills (or competencies) that are required to be information literate require an understanding of:
a need for information
the resources available
how to find information
the need to evaluate results
how to work with or exploit results
ethics and responsibility of use
how to communicate or share your findings
how to manage your findings.

The next lecture will be devoted to bibliographical description. My task as a lecturer and as a librarian to explain my students this difficult topic in such a way, that they understand everything. If you have some teaching experience on this topic - please, tell.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Playing with LibraryThing

Today I decided to spend "15 minutes" on LibraryThing - a nice tool to make a virtual catalogue of you own library. I ll start with books I have in English (cause there are few of them), and if i like the process - I'll catalogue the whole library.
To start is surprisingly simple - you don't need to register. It's great! I, like most users don't like to fill in long web-forms.
To find and add a book is easy too. The Thing allow you to search Amazon, Abebook, Alibris and many other resources.
The first book I've chosen for search is The Lord of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien and I even found the book in that very cover I have at home.
And I also found out that 5,934 members have the book in their library, and there are only 13 books more popular (I wonder what :)
Now I'm thinking of finding the full text and attaching it to MyLibrary.

Hmmmm..... I"ve just found out that I cannot automatically add books in Russian unless I type the information myself... and if I make up my mind to do it, I don't know when the work will be done :(

Monday, February 12, 2007

Learning 2.0 for russian librarians

15 Minutes a Day: A Personal Learning Management Strategy by Stephen Abram made me think over a program Learning 2.0 for my colleagues and myself.
The problem is that the sources advised by Steven to explore and play with are in English. Hope there should be some similar things, blogs or live journals for example, in the runet. If I find any I will sure tell here about my impressions. And maybe post some "Learning 2.0 for Russian librarians".

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Russian version of this blog

Today I'm glad to present the Russian version of this blog. I hope it will not differ much from the English version.
To see the Russian version see the link in the upper-left part of the page.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Plans for the future

My scientific adviser was surprised, when I told her about my initiative of creating a blog, and wondered why it is in English. The only reason - I want to practice the language i haven't spoken for a long time (since I graduated 2 and a half years ago) and used my knowledge for reading and listening.
So we decided (if it is possible) to make a Russian version of this blog. And I think sooner or later I will realize this rather good idea.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Conception of Virtual Reference Service in the University Library

Coming back from the seminar "Creation and developing virtual reference services in a modern library" held in Moscow, I suggested an idea of creating such service at our library. The one thing to do was to carry out a survey of our users, the preliminary results of which are presented in my previous post.
The next thing - was to bring together everything I've read and learnt from the experience of other libraries and present board of directors the conception of VRS with reference to our library.
To do that I (and any library, that decided to provide such service) was to answer some questions.
1. What type of VR to choose?
  • e-mail
  • web-forms
  • IM
  • e-conference
  • or something else?
2. What will be the working hours?
  • 24/7
  • during the working hours of the library (or the Reference department)
  • during particular hours or days
3. Who will answer the patrons' questions?
  • several reference librarians
  • the whole Reference Department
  • the staff of the other library departments
  • the staff and the faculty of the University
  • all above mentioned
4. What resources to use?
  • Internet resources only
  • only the Library collections (print and digital)
  • the collections of the other city libraries
  • available resources of the libraries in other cities and countries
  • all the possible variations
5. To whom provide the service?
  • the patrons of the Library only
  • only the University students, faculty and staff
  • only the citizens of our city and region
  • for all comers
6. Will the service be free of charge and if not, how to get the payment?
7. Shall we register our users and what information do we need for registration?
8. Do we need an archive of the reference made, will it be available to our patrons or only for the staff?
9. What will be the deadline for providing the answer?
10. Shall we answer questions in other languages?
11. Shall we limit the subject of the questions?
And many other important things that must be considered, if we want to make this service helpful for our patrons.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Preliminare results of the survey "Virtual reference services in the library"

I have been studying the problem of Virtual reference for about 2 years, and came to a conclusion, that our library need this type of services. My boss said - you are welcome - do it if you want.
So, to learn our students', staff and faculty's opinion we started a poll.

Yesterday I received some results and decided to compare the answers of 110 students (55 internal students and 55 external students).

Here they are

How often you need to get information without coming to the library?

  • 24 internal and 15 external students need such help very often
  • 26 internal and 33 external - sometimes
  • 5 internal and 7 external don't have such need at all

If you have a question, what will be easier for you to do?

  • 9 internal and 13 external students have chosen to write an e-mail
  • 9 internal and 11 external preferred to fill in a web-form
  • 12 internal and 11 external have chosen IM
  • 11 internal and 20 external will use a telephone
  • 28 internal and 16 external will come to the library to ask the question at the reference desk

What kind of information do you usually need?

  • 45 internal and 42 external students want to know whether there is a particular book or a journal in the library
  • 12 internal and 14 external students are interested how to search the Internet
  • 18 internal and 35 external students want to know about different aspects of the library activities, such as:
  • working hours (5 and 10 students correspondingly)
  • services (7 and 8 students)
  • resources (6 and 9 students)
  • library rules (8 external students)

Would you prefer to get a concrete answer?

  • 40 internal and 47 external students prefer to get a concrete answer
  • 15 internal and 6 external students prefer to get a consultation on search
  • 2 external students prefer to get both - an answer and a consultation

Do you know, what the virtual reference is?

  • 32 internal and 35 external students answered "YES"

Have you ever used virtual reference services?

  • 39 internal and 42 external students have no experience with virtual reference
  • 12 internal and 10 external students used such service, provided by libraries
  • 4 internal and 4 external students used such service, provided by organisations

Do you think our library needs this type of service?

  • 38 internal and 41 external students think, that our library should have virtual reference services
  • 17 internal and 14 external students said, they don't know.

The fact that nobody answered "NO" for this question was predictable, but nevertheless - very pleasant.

The survey continues - so the complete results and analysis will be posted here later.

Friday, February 2, 2007

It's high time to get started

for the last week i've been studing different blogs.
I must admit that i've learnet lots of interesting ang useful information,
so it made me feel it is high time for me to become a part of a world library community and to share my own thoughts and findings.