Thursday, September 27, 2007

Finding your favorite book using

One of my favorite web 2.0 tools is lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world. I am proud to say that I contributed to this collaborative effort as a cataloger by creating original bibliographic records and adding these to the WorldCat database.

You can search for popular books, music CDs and videos—all of the physical items you're used to checking out from a library. You can also discover digital content, such as downloadable audiobooks, online article citations with links to their full text, as well as primary research materials, such as documents and photos of local or historic significance.

Once you search and locate the item you want, you will be taken directly to the OPAC of the library nearest you to see if the item is available.

What is really great, is the ability to add table of contents, reviews, ratings, summaries and notes to the record of your favorite book, video, CD, or audiobook.

Have fun searching! I added a link (on the navigation bar on the right). Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

RSS feed available

Today I was able to add an RSS feed to my blog (see feed icon on right). For the uninitiated, an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, as the name suggests, is a format used to syndicate content on the web. If you subscribe to an RSS feed using an RSS reader (such as Bloglines, Google Reader, or Rojo), you can, in one sitting, view new posts on my blog, or view content from all the blogs, websites, discussion lists you currently subscribe to. This is very useful if you, like me ,want/need to keep up to date with all the news in the library world.

RSS feeds are very popular, and is an example of one of the many web 2.0 tools available free of charge. Many libraries are using these feeds to syndicate content such as TOC, news alerts, new acquisitions, programs and events to their users. If you want to learn more about RSS feeds and how it can be used to improve services in libraries here is a link to a presentation by Meredith Farkas and Paul Pivas titled Free your content! RSS for Librarians. Look at it and I can guarantee that you would want to start creating RSS feeds right away!

If you want help in finding feeds such as news, blogs and podcasts Feedster is the search tool to help you. You can also visit my blogline account to view what feeds I subscribe to.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Other Caribbean Librarians are blogging!

I discovered recently that other Caribbean Librarians have created blogs and are updating these blogs frequently. Check out the two blogs I discovered by two colleagues who I know quite well. Let me know if there are more to add to my blog roll:

Caribbean Librarian

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How to get a book publish - 10 steps

Following the recent publication of the book titled Caribbean Libraries in the 21st Century: Changes, Challenges and Choices which I co-edited with my colleague Shamin Renwick, I have been receiving queries on how to get a book published. Here is a summary of the 10 steps to getting published:

1. Start with an idea. Write about:
- what you are passionate about
- work experience
- original research

2. Start by publishing electronically: Social networks (Facebook, Myspace, Ning), Blogs, Wikis, Discussion Lists- AutoCat, RefCat.

3. Find co-author/s (if work is collaborative).

4. Do your research on what has been published on your chosen topic.

5a. Find a publisher who has shown interest in your subject/topic area (self publishing is the newest effort in this direction
5b.Write a proposal following (strictly) publishers guidelines.

6. Read (and re-read) legal agreements before signing.

7. Start writing
-- Set deadlines/Write a little everyday
--Proofread (you, colleagues, family)

8. Submit manuscript to publisher.

9. Edit galley/return to publisher (x times). Contact Endorsers to write blurbs, reviews.

10. Book published (reap fame & fortune ???). Be involved in promotion & marketing (book launches, book discussions, conferences, library associations mailing lists, blogs, other media).

Here is a link to additional resources (print & online) on publishing.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Link to workshop on Caribbean Digital Libraries

I hope you have noticed that I have added a few new categories to the blog. These are:

Blogroll - links to library blogs
Careers & Professional Development - links to conferences, workshops etc.
My favorite web links
Questions & Answers- my attempt to answer questions you have posted on the blog

Please feel free to submit links which you would like to be added to any of the categories mentioned above. Or you could suggest new categories to add. I must confess that most of the web links listed, I found by accident while browsing the web.

For example, on Friday, I discovered a website with information on a workshop on Caribbean Digital Libraries hosted jointly by The National Library and Information System Authority, NALIS (Trinidad and Tobago) and UNESCO which was held on July 10-13, 2007. The workshop homepage is quite detailed and includes an overview of digital initiatives in the Caribbean , brief bios and pictures of the presenters and a link to download individual presentations. Kudos to the organizers of this event!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Top 25 Librarian bloggers

Another interesting way of learning about emerging technologies and the current trends in the library world is to read blogs devoted to libraries. Here is a link to the Online Education Database (OEDb) survey on the top blogs authored by librarians:
Top 25 Librarian Bloggers

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Advice on keeping up with the emerging technologies

We all know that the emerging technologies are great to work with, and we all know of the benefits for librarians and patrons alike. But the questions to address are: How do we start using these technologies, how do we keep up with all the changes and where do we find the time to keep up given our busy schedules?

Here is my answer:
•make a personal commitment to learn about the new technologies and stay true to it.
•take advantage of the continuing education opportunities, many of them free and available on the web (in my next post I will provide links to these resources).
•network with colleagues as they are the ones who are aware of what is available.
•my best advice is this - Take the Learning 2.0 Challenge.

The Learning 2.0 Challenge is an online self-discovery program that encourages the exploration of Web 2.0 tools and new technologies, specifically 23 Things (such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, Flickr, RSS feeds, Second Life etc.).

Many libraries have adopted the program. In fact it is one of the featured talking points at ALA and other conferences. I am currently registered for this program at my library and it has given me the opportunity to create this blog as one of the first exercise. I am endorsing this program. All librarians should try to complete it and library administrators should sanction it. Our university librarian here at ASL has given his endorsement and all staff (professional and paraprofessional are encouraged to take part in the program). There are prizes and other incentives which make participation exciting.

If you wish, I can work with you at your library (or connect you with colleagues who can help you) to kick off and complete the program. You can take the challenge individually or as a group.

Try Library 2.0 challenge it is the first step to keeping up with the changes in technology!!!

Link to the original Learning 2.0 Program:

Link to our version here at ASL:

Using Flickr to capture/recapture memories in photos

mona chapel porch
Originally uploaded by nicholaslaughlin
This is a photo I obtained from Flickr (photo sharing website). It bought back memories of my postgraduate years at UWI Mona, Jamaica. Flickr is a great site for posting photos of your library, or sharing your favorite photos with friends and family.

Try opening an account at:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Positive responses to blog & response to query on free web resources

Thank you all for the responses to the blog. They have all been positive. I will do my best to post to the blog as often as I can.

I had one question from a a colleague on access to free websites with journal articles and other resources.

My response to his query (if you know of additional websites please post a comment and include the URL):

Google scholar
Project Muse
Internet Archive

Monday, September 10, 2007

A special welcome to my Caribbean colleagues

Hello there!!

I am so pleased that you have taken time out from what is undoubtedly a very busy work schedule to read my blog. For the uninitiated, a blog is a web log which provides commentary or news on any subject of choice (food, politics, libraries, books, movies).
Most bloggers use blogs as a personal online diary. I created this blog to: reconnect with my colleagues; provide links to resources which I believe may be of value to you; and to provide a 'space' to record your thoughts.

Read more about blogs at:
You can use these two software (free shareware) Blogger and WordPress to create your own blog:
Try it, it is very easy. I created this blog using Blogger in 3 steps and it took less than 10 minutes.

Use the comment link below to send me a quick comment as soon as you read this post and let me know what information you would like me to share with you using my blog.