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

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

E-Learning with AARP
I admit it.
I read the AARP magazine every month. Before I turned fifty, I gave the magazine to "older friends." They could use the advice...I was not of age.
I have grown older and a little wiser. The monthly issues are looking pretty good.
We even attended a national convention they sponsored in Las Vegas.
We were there for a wedding at the same time...honest.
Which leads me into the reason for posting this blog.
An article in the January/February issue featured a guide to learning on line
Some of the best and mostly free learning sites are listed.
AARP made mention of this website in the article:
Dan Colman, who directs Stanford University’s continuing studies program, sees no end to the growth of e-learning opportunities. Colman, who founded and edits Open Culture, a website that tracks free educational and cultural media on the Web, considers these materials to be an important resource for personal enrichment, not a replacement for a college education. “I think we’re entering an era where lifelong learners will have access to limitless amounts of free, noncommercial educational opportunities. Arguably, we’re already there."

76 million baby boomers may be reading The AARP Magazine.
One is never too old, or too young to take a look at it.
What I can't figure out is how my 21 year old son gets his own monthly copy!

National Financial Capability Challenge

Dear Colleague,

In December 2009, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the National Financial Capability Challenge. They said that along with getting the economy back on track and getting smarter about financial regulation, we also need to make sure all Americans – but especially our youth – get the financial education they need to help them take responsibility for their financial futures. Treasury and Education are committed to working together on this issue. The Challenge – an awards program for educators and high schools students that aims to encourage the teaching of personal finance – is our first step in a new partnership.

An earlier version of the Challenge was organized by Treasury under the previous administration, and this expanded effort builds on that success.

Our goal is to get one million high school students to take the Challenge, which includes a voluntary online exam, by April 9, 2010. To make that happen, we’ll need thousands of educators from across the country to register and get their students prepared. Two thousand educators have already signed up. It’s a good start, but we have a long way to go. We’re writing to ask for your help.

Will you please support our effort to reach out to high school teachers and leaders – and other educators working with high school students age 13-19, such as librarians, youth group leaders, and after-school program staff – to encourage them to sign up for the Challenge at by March 14?

We’re encouraging educators to take these steps:
1. View the video message from Secretary Duncan
2. Register for the Challenge by March 14th
3. Recruit their colleagues to participate (flier available here)
4. Prepare their students (using the free educator toolkit or their own resources)
5. Administer the online exam one day between March 15th and April 9th
6. Present official (printable) awards certificates to high-scoring students

All participating educators will receive personalized awards certificates, and educators in states with the highest participation rates will earn special distinction.

Please consider taking these steps as an outreach partner:
· Send a custom message directly to educators and/or people who work with them
· Contact influential individuals who could help recruit educators to participate
· Include a link to the National Financial Capability Challenge website on your own site
· Include the Challenge in your organization’s social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
· Talk about the Challenge during speaking engagements
· Create additional incentives to encourage educators to participate
· Offer instructional support to educators new to this topic (e.g. linking them with local experts)

Thank you for your support on this important issue.


Michelle Greene
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education and Financial Access
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Matthew Yale
Deputy Chief of Staff
U.S. Department of Education

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Storm clouds for school libraries...

The proposed Obama budget, as we have all read by now, has left school libraries behind. It will hurt those who need school library resources the most, something that I would have thought Obama would have been more sensitive about. The irony in this is that, in this economy, public library usage statistics have shot up as adults and families cannot purchase books and DVDs and people are using libraries and their computers for job searching, resume building, and networking. This year MLA and MSLA are advocating for libraries on March 9th at the Statehouse in Boston. It might be the most crucial Library Legislative day ever held.
More detailed information on the proposed budget can be found at this School Library Journal link:

Does your Library need the iPad?

From what I've heard, iPads could be helpful in a library environment. If you are investing in an eReader, this tablet with its touchscreen capability, ergonomically handy size, and overall legibility make the iPad a savvy choice.

According to David Pogue's First Look at the Apple iPad, in his post to The New York Times,
"The iPad as an e-book reader is a no-brainer. It’s just infinitely better-looking and more responsive than the Kindle, not to mention it has color and doesn’t require external illumination."
Its multi-functionality gives libraries new possibilities in our search for new services for our patrons. You can surf the web, expect all of the same functions you get from a laptop or desktop, and even get all of the features you would from an iPod or iPhone, and introducing, iBooks. From the get-go, you can browse the Apps store with 140,000 apps.

Here in inner-city Worcester, most of our patrons are not going to be able to afford their own iPads. We have such a clamor here for use of the Internet, I have an idea that the iPad would be popular. It is important to consider security issues, and I believe we could exercise some positive groupthink, and find a solution.

As Librarians, we need to get used to our never-ending responsibility to examine our trajectory. The web is going mobile. Getting computers and the Internet was a huge step forward, but change in the world hasn't come to a halt. We need to stop catching up and take the lead. I challenge you, today, to think about ways the technology could work, before you list the reasons why it wouldn't.

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