What should we do now???

I want to start a student advisory group to advise me on what students think is important for the library. Since I’ve been here, we have adjusted the hours to go with the ebb and flow of the semester, added 24/7 for the first floor right before finals, designated some quiet study zones, adjusted the food and drink policy, redesigned our website to make it more interactive, made more electronic materials available, and began Midnight Munchies, to name a few changes. We have also created a presence in Second Life and now have a MySpace page. What else should we be doing? If you want to spend about 1-2 hours per month meeting with me and fellow students about what the library can do or should look at doing, please let me know. I’d like to start meeting in September so please let me know ASAP. I know there HAVE to be some students who have opinions and ideas for solutions. I want you to tell me those ideas and opinions. You can send me email (barbara@bradley.edu or bgalik@gmail.com), call me (677-2830), IM me through gmail or MSN, or contact me in SL (Puglet Dancer). Just get in touch!

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Straight to the desktop

While you were away the librarians were very busy, as usual, looking for ways to stretch our budget and to provide more resources the way YOU want them–online and right to your desktop. We made a lot of progress on that this year and will be flipping the great majority of our paper titles to electronic so you can access them from anywhere. Some of this won’t take affect til the end of the year, but it is coming and it is great news.

Even better news is that we have canceled the last of our microform subscriptions and will be getting those electronically as well. We will still have some older titles only in microform but we are slowly phasing out our collection and will be relying more heavily on electronic. The funds that were used to cover these will be diverted to cover the cost of the electronic titles.

You will be happy to know as well that we now have Science and Nature available. While these are so basic to many areas of study at Bradley, we have been hesitant to add as they are very expensive and we did not have the money. By flipping to electronic and canceling microforms, we were able to divert funds to cover these titles.

Why, you may ask, was this not done sooner? Well for a variety of reasons including cost, availability, and resistance to change. I think everybody, students and faculty, are all on the same page now and we can finish our move in the direction of electronic access to many, if not most, of our critical resources.

MySpace/Bradley Library

Yes, the library now has a MySpace page, thanks to Todd Spires, our intrepid Conan the Librarian. Come be our friend! You can ask questions here, tell us what you think, and just stay in touch. We will be adding and changing it as we go along plus sending out info. Once my personal page has more on it, I’ll post that here. But, if you want to watch me TRY to develop a half way decent page, my niece says you just have to search my name. Go figure! LOL

Second Life at the Cullom-Davis Library

One of the big projects I have been working on is to create a presence for Bradley University and especially the library on Second Life.  For the uninitiated, Second Life, or SL as it is known to the residents, is a MUVE (multi user virtual environment) where all the objects, buildings, clothes, land–everything that exists in SL are created by the residents.  First, let me provide a little background on the library and SL.  I began hearing about SL in April 2005 when I would ride to meetings of the Alliance Library System (ALS) Board of Directors with the staff.  The Director of Innovation was very excited about this new virtual world and, I must admit, I could not wrap my mind around it.  I kept listening, though, as she talked about the possibilities for education and for libraries in this virtual world, I became fascinated with the possibilities.  On 10 August 2005, I chose my avatar and was “born” in SL as Puglet Dancer.  It took me quite a while to get up the courage to get off Help Island where the noobs (new residents of SL) learn how to move around, change appearance, create and move objects, and other useful skills.  I was teleported off Help Island to Info Island in late August and have been learning about SL ever since.

What is Info Island, you may wonder.  Info Island was created by ALS under the guidance of Lorelei Junot, aka Lori Bell, Director of Innovation at ALS, and is a place to find information.  We began in April creating Info Island and as of 12 February, we now have 14 islands or sims dedicated to libraries, museums and education. 

In September I formed a Second Life Task Force, comprised of Denise Johnson (Takver Twin), Skip Burhans (Polaris Lyon), Al Quiros (Watsnu Pussycat) and Chuck Frey to build a presence for Bradley in SL.  We were very lucky that Al has been in SL for over and year and is an experienced builder.  He built the Cullom-Davis Library in SL and is our primary architect.  Chuck is our ideas and digitizing man while the rest of us roam SL, answering questions and helping noobs find their way.

We are planning a grand opening of the what we call the Bradley campus on Info Island II on 28 February.  If you are a resident of SL, please contact one of us so we can add you to the Bradley University group.  I am planning it give you more information about SL in future posts.  I hope to talk a little about every aspect of it and would like to focus my direction on your interests.  Let me know what you’d like to know about and I will add that to the list.  If you have comments, questions or concerns, please let me know that as well.