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One New Thing
Monday, May 09, 2005
Just an update: you'll have noticed posts being a bit sporadic of late. I'm going to take a short break from the blog, and work out where all my time has gone. I'll be back in a week or two!
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Some new things:

I’ve thought a few times in the past week – as I point to the same service point in the library over and over again – that robots in some libraries simply for directional purposes would be a very cool idea. Googling “robots in libraries” finds a link to Robots get bookish in libraries which I’m sure most librarians have heard about by now: robots that can go and find a book in the stacks. But really, for now I’d be happy with one that can have all the major locations in the library programmed into it so it can lead people directly to where they want to go. I’m a little concerned about the time when people decide it is too much effort to actually locate the book on the shelf and pick it up unassisted (although for patrons with a disability, that would be a wonderful service to be able to provide).

Another thought I had was that it seems to be quite unnerving for new undergraduate students to try and determine if they are using an article from a “scholarly” journal. Perhaps there are ways in which to manage a student’s expectations of what researching an assignment is going to involve? Maybe we can show them how a librarian finds a relevant journal article in an appropriate database and check that it is from a scholarly publication in a few minutes at the desk, or even in a 1-hr class, but I get the impression some students expect that once you have found one article, all others are just as easy to find.
How about producing appropriately-themed bumper stickers for O-Week: “Research takes time!”? (You see why I am writing a blog, not bumper stickers.)

I spent some time today learning how to write more in-depth queries in SQL, with the helpful support of DbaSupport.com and some nice co-workers (thank you, to all the nice co-workers who have been answering my SQL queries…er, questions!) The way tables are joined makes much more sense to me these days, so I’m starting to look at what data is available in the database and how I can string it together to make some of the daily administrative things I do a bit easier.

And an end-of-week link (for last week I think!): Librarian in Black pointed out that Amazon.com has a Free Music Downloads page. Nice!