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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Legal Reference Books

During my recent tour of the Worcester Law Library I was introduced to a legal publication house in Massachusetts called Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. The head librarian at the law library suggested that I consider their publications for a number of reasons. In any event, I went to their homepage and took a look at their offerings.

Two of the most frequently used texts at our library concern divorce law and landlord and tenant law. One of the books that I ordered from MCLE was the Massachusetts Family Law Sourcebook & Citator, 2009. The cost was $125.

The text comes with a CD ROM, subject index, and a table of contents. The table of contents, which is also a subject guide, notes, in addition, the appropriate chapter of the Massachusetts laws, regs, or US Code. While I can't list them all here it should be noted that the text covers all aspects of family law. Some of the more popular subjects include adoption, child support, marriage, divorce, child custody, abuse, desertion, guardian, and the protection and care of children.

The text not only covers Massachusetts law and regulations it also covers federal laws, internal revenue codes, court rules, and case digests. At the back of the text the publishers have inserted the current financial Child Support Guidelines (another frequently asked question). A second insert, at the front of the text, is a list of family and probate courts and the current fees for every kind of petition and application.

MCLE has managed to compile a whole library in one source. Patrons and staff will find this an easy and straightforward resource and I would recommend this text for all public libraries.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting your tech on

If you are wanting to stay on top of current technology, here are three sites to check regularly and "get your tech on."


All Tech Considered NPR

It is also fun to send feeds of articles to your own email. This simple video explains the tricky business of setting up an RSS feed.

>Video: RSS in Plain English


I first started using Shelfari while doing research for the Worcester Public Library MySpace page. When I pinched the idea from another library's teen MySpace page, I had no idea how robust the software is. According to the "Welcome to Shelfari" email, you can:

  • Add your favorite books from the Build my Bookshelf page

  • Review and rate your books on your Shelf

  • Add your friends from the My Friends page, and

  • Join or start a group from the My Groups page

Shelfari is easy to use. When you access your "shelf," you simply search for a book by title, author, or both. You can then add the book and choose the book cover. Eventually, the bookshelf visible by the public and your friends will look like this:

Also available, when you click on a book, are P2P (peer-to-peer) reviews and a discussion list. This format is an easy way to share books among friends or market your library's collection on your website. In MySpace you can use the search function of the Apps Gallery to add the Shelfari app. Right now, our teen librarian, Rezarta, is using our Shelfari app to promote new books in our Young Adult collection. Shelfari is a flexible and usable tool. One any librarian can add to her toolbox.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Free Reference Book?

This actually is a database I find very useful. It originated in book form, if you choose to purchase that format. As you browse through the paper edition, you'll discover series that you may not know existed.
How many times have you been asked about the Twilight series and can't remember? You can give the patron a printout of the titles in the order they were written, or photocopy a page for them.
Some authors like James Patterson have multiple series, which gets really confusing.
Not to fear! Each series is listed separately in the order written.
There is also a young adult edition.
Now a patron will never read a series out of order.
That is a big deal for those who must read in an orderly fashion, and not miss a thing.

Wednesday, November 04, 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 ProgramsThis 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 CoordinatorsDownload the DocumentResourcesGet 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.

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