or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Knowing What We Should Know

   February 17th, 2011 Brian Herzog

Computer with Question MarkJessamyn's observation on this USB keylogger thing got me thinking - without the context of that article, if I saw one of those in my library, I wouldn't have known what it was.

I would have known it shouldn't have been there, and maybe being plugged into the keyboard would have given me a clue, but I don't know.

This reminded me of a Technology Skills Library Staff Should Have list Sarah posted at ALA Learning (via). I wouldn't expect any staff to recognize a keylogger, but staff do need to be familiar enough with library equipment to recognize when something gets out of whack - printer not working right, copier making funny noises, website down, a monitor cable unplugged, or a foreign device plugged into a computer.

I like her list a lot, and am going to spend some time merging it with the idea from the Wilmington (MA) Library to break tech knowledge up into different levels to form a tech skills matrix.

Tech competencies is a topic I keep revisiting, because it is something that continually evolves - identifying keyloggers are just the latest addition.

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Past Search Terms, and the Universal Digital Library

   May 10th, 2007 Brian Herzog

Today I present two short, mostly unrelated topics that came up recently:

Topic One
I was just looking at the stats for visitors to my website this week. One statistic I find particularly interesting are the keywords people searched with that lead them to my website. I will often then perform those same searches, just to see where I rank, and what websites also rank for that keyword.

Usually, keyword searches are things like 30 search tips in 45 minutes, BPL eCards, or something else I've recently posted about. But one caught by eye - I'm happy to report that I currently make the second page of Google search matches for the phrase "library sex."

Topic Two
A post to the Maine Libraries listserv yesterday pointed to an article titled "Myth of the Universal Digital Library." It is a pretty quick read, and provides three reasons why projects like Google's book digitization will never be able to completely digitize the entirety of collected human knowledge. Not that we still couldn't benefit greatly from efforts in that direction, but the article does point out some significant roadblocks.
digitization, google, knowledge, rankings, search ranking, search terms, universal digital library

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