Sharing new ideas, resources, knowledge and technology to keep abreast of new development in reference service field

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Resources at the Worcester Law Library

Worcester Law Library
184 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Telephone (508) 831-2525
Hours 8:00-4:30 Monday through Friday

"Ask a Librarian" - from their homepage you can take advantage of the online chat reference service Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 and Wednesday: 5:00-7:00.

Legal questions can often be difficult and sometimes impossible to answer when library budgets do not allow us to purchase the necessary resources. The Trial Court Law Library here in Worcester has those resources. Patrons throughout Massachusetts can access those materials by walking into the library, calling, emailing, or making use of 24/7 online chat. If you choose to visit the library you will find five floors of easy to access materials and the staff to help.

The library has 11 public access computers, a typewriter, copy machines, and they are wireless. If you bring your own laptop you have the additional advantage of being able to print or email the materials to yourself. Through the Lexis and Westlaw databases you can find state and federal primary laws, the Lexis Mass Practice legal series, case law, family law, Mass Continuing Legal Education Series, primary law from other states, and NOLO online. Unfortunately, the Westlaw and Lexis databases do not have remote access.

Anyone who lives in the state of Massachusetts can obtain a library card, borrow a wide range of materials, and have access to the MLIN database. The loan period is two weeks and you can renew for another two weeks (primary sources are limited to overnight loans). Through their catalog you can also request books and other materials from affiliate libraries. If you are not comfortable using an online database you will find that all of the Massachusetts database materials are backed up in print.

You may find that the answers to your questions are available from their website. If you link to "Massachusetts Law About" the librarians have compiled a long list of frequently requested topics. Once you choose a topic you will find links to the appropriate Massachusetts laws, guidelines, regulations, executive orders, federal laws, federal regulations, and other web sources. The second great advantage is the link to legal forms, unique guidelines on where to file those forms, special applications, and other useful information. The librarians have also compiled a list of frequently asked legal questions that provide the answer and source materials.

The fifth floor of the library has three conference rooms that are available to the public. Two of the conference rooms hold 14 people and the third is suitable for 8 people. In addition, they also have a multi-media room, with a smart board, and long tables that accommodate laptops. The multi-media room holds from 27 to 35 people and is also available for booking. They ask that you try to book any of these rooms at least one month in advance. The only disadvantage is that availability is restricted to the hours of 8am and 4:15pm.

The Trial Court Law Library is a valuable resource that should not be overlooked.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Audiobooks with eBook included

I recently stumbled upon an audiobook edition of “Robinson Crusoe” that had a little “Includes eBook” banner on the cover. As this was something new to me I put the disc in the computer and sure enough a PDF file of the entire book opened up, including a how-to-use-this-book page. I got kind of excited about this feature thinking about all the possibilities.
It had been in the back of my mind to try and find out more about items like this when I saw that Tantor Audio, the producer of this version of “Robinson Crusoe,” had a booth at the recent NELA conference. So I visited the booth and told the rep how much I liked this new product and he handed me a catalog of Audio&eBook Classics with over 200 titles that they produce in this double format. On reviewing the catalog I saw that the PDF file is compatible with eReaders as well as PCs. He also gave me a copy of “David Copperfield” labeled “iPod Ready.” In this case the audiobook is encoded in MP3 format and is said to work with all MP3 players- although it will only play on CD and DVD players or computers that can play MP3 formatted discs. I believe that includes most equipment from the last few years.
The next step was to ascertain the best way to find items like this in CWMARS. If you know you want a classic title with the full audiobook and text the best way to find what’s out there is to start with an Advanced Keyword search and put in e-book as a keyword and choose or from the dropdown and put in ebook as a second keyword. Then choose Spoken CD as your Material Type and search in All Central MA Libraries. There are a few ringers in there, but some good hits. To see a slightly different batch of materials, try doing a similar search but put in PDF as your keyword.
Titles in this format really increase flexibility. Take it with you on your laptop or eReader. Increase the font size and read along while searching for specific words and characters. Or you can simply put it in your car’s CD player and listen as you drive to work!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Alliance Library System and LearningTimes Offer Handheld Librarian 2!

More people than 2000 people attended the first ever Handheld Librarian Conference in July 2009 which featured a wide array of collaboration, learning and networking activities focused on Mobile Library Services! The Handheld Librarian 2 will continue the dialog with a 2-day online conference scheduled for February 17-18, 2010 and is now accepting registrations at The program -- sponsored by Alliance Library System, and LearningTimes -- will include a series of wonderful keynote and featured speakers collection of available resources, discussions boards, and access to the recording of all live events for one year after the conference. More people than ever are using mobile devices for a wide variety of purposes including communication, internet access, text messaging, and entertainment. It is important that libraries provide mobile services as handheld use increases.
The conference will feature three exciting keynote talks:
· Joan K. Lippincott from the Coalition for Networked Information speaking about “Mobilizing Libraries for Today’s Students”
· Joe Murphy from Yale University speaking about “This is Now: The Mobile Library”
· Tom Peters of TAP Information Services, addressing “Morphing with Mobile”
Registration for the conference is $69 per individual or $119 for a group. LIS students can register for $29. LIS students need to contact Lori Bell, Alliance Library System, at for a coupon code to register for the $29.
“With the avalanche of new mobile devices and applications, the Handheld Librarian 2 online conference will be a golden opportunity for library land to cost effectively learn how to reach a whole new audience,” said Kitty Pope, ALS Executive Director.
The Handheld Librarian II will also include the real-life experiences of libraries and information professionals. We are now soliciting presentation proposals highlighting current, evolving and future issues in mobile library services. To submit a proposal for the conference, go to Proposals are due November 15 and you will be notified by January 1, 2010 if your proposal has been accepted.
For more information on the conference, go to the conference site at If you have questions, please contact John Walber at LearningTimes at or Lori Bell at Alliance Library System at

Thursday, October 15, 2009 to answer some concerns

Are you or your patrons concerned about the flu and its many variations -- H1N1, Bird, or seasonal? Your one-stop access to critical and reputable information is the web site

This site, managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has pulled together all the information from the White House, CDC, Homeland security, and the Department of Education, that you and your patrons need to answer any and all questions about the flu.

Whether it is a parents asking, a business person, or a caregiver, there are sections here for everyone, from flu symptoms to guidelines for small businesses, of what to do for the flu and in a pandemic.

Links to the state and local information are also available, such as the State’s Pandemic Plan. (MA: )
The only organization missing from this site is libraries and the specifics as to what libraries could do. However, guidelines as to what libraries across the commonwealth need to do, and prepare in case of a pandemic, are usually part of each community’s planning preparedness.

With webcasts, blogs, and all the 2.0 connections, you will be able to give your patrons this important health information whichever way they would like it.

The site is also available in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Addendum: if you would like to get materials to distribute to your patrons, go to Protecting, Preparing, and Caring - for Yourself and Others . There you’ll find order forms. You can also download and print many of the other fact sheets. Note the variety of languages available.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Learning for Life...L4L

For anyone who isn't entirely clear on a recent development in school libraries it is hoped that the following information will provide a good picture:
National Plan for Implementation of Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs
This implementation plan was created to support states, school systems, and individual schools preparing to implement the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs.

The plan will also increase awareness and understanding of the learning standards and guidelines and create a committed group of stakeholders with a shared voice.
Events NEW!
L4L State Coordinators
Download the Document
Get Involved!
For questions about the implementation plan, please contact Jennifer Habley, Manager, Programs and Affiliate Relations, or at (800) 545-2433 x 4383.

AASL’s Learning 4 Life
By Rocco Staino -- School Library Journal, 7/10/2008

Perhaps the title “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner” wasn’t sexy enough. But the committee in charge of implementing the American Association of School Librarians’ new learning standards have chosen a catchier nickname: Learning 4 Life.

The announcement was unveiled at the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference in Anaheim, CA, last week by Susan Ballard, chair of the committee and director of library media, and technology services at New Hampshire’s Londonderry School District.
Standards for the 21st-Century Learner was unveiled in October during the AASL conference in Reno, NV. What exactly are they? They outline "what a student has to know and be able to do, and what a library media program has to look like for the student to achieve that," says Julie Walker, AASL's executive director.

Ballard explains that in order for school librarians to promote the standards to other teachers, administrators, and the broader education community, a new marketing and branding initiative was necessary.

Learning 4 Life was selected as the subtitle for the standards, and the words “learning” and “life” were selected because the standards include skills that are necessary for children to become information literate and productive members of our society, says AASL. The number 4 was purposely selected to represent the four areas identified in the standards, as well as the four subtopics in each area.

AASL, a division of ALA, will also consider including ALA’s longstanding advocacy slogan “@ your library” to the standards’ subtitle making it Leaning 4 Life @ your library.

Project Laundry List - The Right to Dry

Using clotheslines and air-drying your clothes saves money and reduces your carbon footprint. Also, your clothes will last many seasons. Dryers use 10-15% of domestic energy in the U.S.

Clothing care symbol guide [electronic resource] /produced by the Federal Trade Commission as part of Project CLEAN.

Mendelson, Cheryl
Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens C.1999, 2005

This splendid guide to textile care will help you gain new skills.

Friday, October 09, 2009

RUSA Genealogy Workshop in Boston January 15th

As you know, the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting will be held Jan. 15-19 in Boston. On Friday the 15th, RUSA will host an all-day genealogy workshop at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. In addition to presenting basic genealogy research techniques, New England-specific resources will also be presented. The event includes lunch, sponsored by ProQuest, and a tour of the beautiful NEHGS facility.

All of the event details are located here:

This event would be perfect for any patrons who are seriously invested in researching their family history in New England ......

Important note: you do not have to register for the Midwinter Meeting in order to attend this genealogy event, and you do not have to be a member! Registration instructions are at

Liz F. Markel, M.A.
The American Library Association // 50 E. Huron Street // Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433 // p. 312-280-4398 // f. 312-280-5273 // e.
Find our divisions online at &

Handouts for "Real-Time Digital Reference: Chat and Beyond"

Handouts for "Real-Time Digital Reference: Chat and Beyond" are available online at

Thursday, October 08, 2009

CALL FOR PROPOSALS! Handheld Librarian II Online Conference – February 17 and 18, 2010!

THEME: Alliance Library System and LearningTimes invite librarians, library staff, vendors, graduate students, and developers to submit proposals for programs related to the topic of mobile library services for the online conference. Proposals are due November 1, 2009.

TOPICS: The Handheld Librarian II conference will feature interactive, live online sessions and links to recorded events following the conference. We are interested in a broad range of submissions that highlight current, evolving and future issues in mobile library services. These include but are not limited to the following themes:
· Ebooks and audiobooks
· Managing mobile content: eBooks, Journals, video and more
· Mobilizing the library: web presence, OPACs, databases and other electronic resources
· Promoting mobile services and using mobile devices to promote traditional library services
· Information security on mobile devices
· Access to and licensing of databases on mobile devices
· Mobile products and services in the medical library
· Text Message reference service
· Vendor development
· iPhone applications

PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS: This conference accepts proposals for presentations delivered in several online formats:
· A featured 45 minute presentation
· Panel discussion with others (10 minutes of presentation)
· Virtual Roundtable discussions on selected topics
· Virtual poster presentation
Submit proposals by November 1 to:
You will be notified by December 15 if your proposal has been accepted.

· Conduct an online session using Adobe Connect
· Provide a photo, bio and program description for the conference website by December 31, 2009
· Respond to questions from attendees
· Attend an online 30-60 minute training on Adobe Connect prior to the conference
Thank you for considering a submission for conference participation. If you have questions, please contact:
· Lori Bell, Alliance Library System,
· John Walber, LearningTimes,
· Tom Peters, TAP Information Services,

This inexpensive reference book will come in handy when those cyber-savvy students begin their college search via the Internet. It lists a ton of useful websites related to college education. It alerts you to pages you should bookmark as a favorite, and provides warnings about sites with heavy graphics.

The booklet starts with web resources on how to gather information about colleges, and goes on to list links for college rankings, campus tours, financial aid, scholarships and E-campus bookstores. There is also a section on standardized tests, online applications, online schools, essays and interviews. It even lists sites on campus safety, college news, and distance education. This book would be a useful tool to those Internet savvy students who spend a lot of time online.

Check out at the Worcester Public Library!
ISBN: 9781575091273 (pbk.)
Cost: $12.00

CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608