iCONN News

Friday, September 30, 2005

And how could I forget?

The Gin Blossoms...

And, Mona from Three Rivers...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

More Fair photos...

Fair photos

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Durham Fair - a good weekend

Every Year - Durham Fair - Hartford Courant article view: "http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=900520841&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=61652&RQT=309&VName=PQD"

So the Durham Fair is now behind us and we have the "Love your library days" Barnes & Noble Book Fair to look forward to on Dec. 2 & 3. But let's get back to Durham Fair. The fair was attended by over 220,000 people. iCONN had a booth in the commercial Exhibitors' Hall building. The booth was staffed by CT State Library personnel and volunteers from libraries around the state (thanks to our intrepid volunteers), all of whom got a chance to talk with lots of Connecticut residents, to give out iCONN literature, and to explain about the online databases available to them via iCONN. We also gave out balloons, fridge magnets, and even caramel candies. We ran out of balloons by Saturday night.

Some fun moments for me:
(1) hanging out with (and meeting for the first time, in some cases) colleagues Susan, Cecelia, Helen, the 2 Monas, and my fellow officemates (especially Steve, who is a balloon-tying master!)
(2) meeting and talking with adolescents and young adults whom I don't normally get much opportunity to talk with (after I learned from some other booth workers that - doh! - the reason they probably wanted balloons was to suck out the helium), I decided to engage with any of them who wanted a balloon... I quizzed them about iCONN and/or subjected them to a "librarian spiel"... it was sort of my Napoleon Dynamite moment... I think... not that I've actually seen the movie, but I'm guessing
(3) giving out balloons to the little ones - who were just fascinated - thrilled even - by the balloons... ah to get such joy from such a simple thing... one little girl came to our booth for a balloon - then, after I'd tied one to her wrist, she explained that she also wanted the one with the word "FREE!" on it... so I told her that I was going to do a magic trick and turned the balloon around and wallah! the word FREE! now showed on her iCONN balloon. She was suitably impressed;
(4) seeing - or should I say, listening to - the Gin Blossoms on my break on Sunday afternooon;
(5) playing "liar's poker" with Steve and our booth-mates to either side - the guy selling the "oldies" cds on one side and the couple running the pet supply distribution booth on the other side... even though I have some sort of mental block against how it's supposed to work, the good news is that I didn't lose any money
(6) can you say "fair food"? how about "the fudge booth was right across from us" - hmmm?

I also loved hearing people's reactions to iCONN - "why didn't anyone tell me about this" one older lady asked me on Friday night... "That's why we're here," I told her, "To tell people about it!" One guy who seemed a little gruff told us "the state finally got it right" when he learned about iCONN. I'd thought he might be a taxpayer who was opposed to anything that cost money, even for the greater good, but I'd underestimated the sense of civic responsibility that many people have.

I'm always surprised when I hear people say that they've never heard of iCONN if they're a teacher or school library media specialist, but I've finally realized how commonplace it is... and that’s alright, because I’m here to help spread the word! What was most surprising to me, however, was when a woman who worked in a large public library said that she’d never heard of iCONN. Granted, she told me that she didn't work the information desk and was a part-timer, explaining away her lack of familiarity with iCONN for that reason, but she worked for a decent-sized library and I would’ve thought that somehow word of resources like iCONN might be part of their employee training (or staff development).

So, you can see, not only was the Durham Fair an enjoyable experience, it was productive for an outreach coordinator!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Durham Fair

Durham Fair is this weekend, folks -starting Friday, Sept. 23 and going through Sunday, Sept. 25th! If you've signed up to staff the booth - great, we're looking forward to seeing you - and I sure hope that you're better at tying balloons than I am! This should be an exciting event with lots of outreach opportunities. If you're at the fair for recreational purposes, drop by our booth & say "hi", as well. We won't put you to work (unless you're good with balloons).

Press Releases

FYI -- The press release section of the iCONN website at http://www.iconn.org/PressRelease.aspx has been updated to include two new press releases (first two bullets):

"Another Huge Increase in Use of iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library"
"iCONN and UCONN Survey State Residents About Digital Library Awareness"

The first press release was also included in an iCONN Update package that was distributed to all legislators on September 6.

Both press releases were distributed to all CT newspapers this past week.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New Google feature sorts through blogs / Test search engine likely to undercut smaller rival sites

Blogging has - not surprisingly - gone mainstream via Google. Google purchased Blogger.com quite a while back, so this is no surprise. What's interesting about it is that it will use the RSS technology, rather than crawling the blogs as a traditional website search engine does. Whether or not it will do relevancy well yet remains to be seen...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Barnes & Noble Book Fair & Statewide Library Appreciation Days

I'll be telling you all more about this when we have a concrete implementation plan, but it looks like there will be a statewide event which partners CLA, the CLC, and the Connecticut State Library (by way of iCONN) with Barnes & Noble on December 2 & 3. (I'm offering you this sneak preview so you'll know to wait until 12/2 & 12/3 to purchase books from B&N!)

A percentage of book sales made using special vouchers on those dates will go to Connecticut libraries. CLC, CLA, and the CT State Library have been in discussions about how best to distribute the earnings from this type of statewide book fair. Because it would be a statewide event, trying to divvy up the proceeds among almost 200 libraries as individual $ amounts would create a lot of logistical problems and yield very low (& possibly inequitable) numbers for each library. Instead, the CLC and CLA have decided to pool that money and use it to enhance the iCONN program.

Since iCONN is something that all Connecticut librarians and all Connecticut residents benefit from, putting the money into this program seemed to make the most sense. I will be explaining much more about this project in the coming month, but again, save your B&N book purchases until December 2 & 3! Also, be aware that a number of promotional opportunities will be coming all CT libraries' way in conjunction with this statewide "library appeciation days" book fair at B&N locations on those dates. There are a lot of p.r. opportunities for you and your library, so keep this new project in mind as you plan press releases, newsletters, and meetings with your friends' groups.

New Jersey is conducting an event like this in their local B&N stores tomorrow and Saturday. It will be interesting to hear how they "fair"... so to speak.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Gale - Press Room - 2005 - 08 - Thomson Gales Infotrac Onefile Exceeds 10000 Periodical Mark - Home

This announcement from a month ago gives us up-to-date numbers on the number of periodicals and articles available in InfoTrac OneFile. Just remember that this number includes citations and abstracts, as well as full-text. Jane Emerson tells me that the number of full-text periodicals is more like 5,777 (still a pretty large number)! The other good news is that 40% of the periodicals added are peer-reviewed scholarly titles, enhancing the quality of the collection.

Gale - Press Room - 2005 - 08 - Thomson Gale's Infotrac Onefile Exceeds 10000 Periodical Mark: "Thomson Gale's InfoTrac OneFile Exceeds 10,000 Periodical Mark
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Aug. 2, 2005 - Thomson Gale, part of The Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC), today announced that they now offer more than 10,000 periodicals through the popular InfoTrac OneFile.
Researchers at all levels will find more than 10,000 periodicals in InfoTrac OneFile - newspapers, newswires and a collection of refereed academic journals, business publications, technology periodicals, general interest magazines as well as specialty titles in law, health care and computers.
To date in 2005, more than 300 full-text periodical titles have been added to InfoTrac OneFile. More than 40% of these titles are academic journals, increasing the number of peer-reviewed journals added to InfoTrac to more than 900 in the past year.
Included are a collection of eleven refereed titles from the Lancet Publishing Group, a collection of nine refereed titles from Indiana University Press, Blackgirl Magazine, Comparatist, Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, Harvard Review, Kennedy School Review and Sky & Telescope.
Through agreements with publishers, InfoTrac OneFile maintains its status as the largest periodical file on the market with more than 74 million articles and growing. Backfile coverage dates back to 1980.
For a complete InfoTrac OneFile title list, look at the "Find out More" section on the following webpage: http://www.gale.com/onefile.
For a tour of OneFile: http://www.gale.com/onefile/tour.htm."