Posts in: 2004s

Helping users find help

There’s been a few comments that seemed to say that patrons need only ask a reference librarian if they don’t know how to do research. I’ll save most of my responses to that for a future post. I do want to address the problem that some patrons do not know what services are available to them. Some may even presume that the library doesn’t offer them. I have had multiple amazed callers when I tell them they can do this or that. "I can request books from other libraries? For free!!!" or "You mean I can access these resources from home?" Some of these may seem common sense, but for those who aren’t used to having such services it may not be. This is especially true for academic libraries that may have patrons from smaller towns where the library couldn’t offer such things. I still remember when my old library got it’s first computer. Online catalog? Forget it. I’m in my early twenties, so I’m sure patrons older than me might even have more extreme experiences.

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Reading Recommendation Site

Recently a post over at TechnoBiblio about using a web site to generate reading interest. I've been recently messing around with using the API as I've been meaning to learn more xml and xsl. One of the mockup's I did was pulling in Amazon book sales data and then linking the results to local catalog searches. Unfortunately my library doesn't carry some of the books and there's no easy way for me to check the backend.

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