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When i started to write an article on such an outdated topic for US or European libraries, but still very actual and hot - for Russia, I would never supposed that lots of ordinary and unnecessary for the first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.