Database Byte: Naxos Music Library Jazz


First in a series of database overviews.  Designed for staff to enjoy, and/or pass on to their patrons.

Brief description:  extensive collection of jazz in streaming audio format.

Pros:

  1. Includes tracks unavailable on CD.
  2. Advanced search allows for searches by catalog number
  3. Browse function allows for serendipitous exploring
  4. Users can change sound quality to fit their connection speed
  5. Remote access with valid CLP library card

Cons:

  1. Difficult to search.  I should be able to find Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn easily in a jazz database.
  2. Contents appear to emphasize orchestras and composers over performers.
  3. Individual users can’t create playlists.  This could be a mistake in the era of iTunes, Pandora, and LastFM.
  4. Search help is minimal, and doesn’t offer suggestions for what to do if your searches aren’t working.

Suggested uses:

  1. Relaxation at home
  2. Stress relief at work
  3. Music education / appreciation for parents who homeschool
  4. Exploration for folks seeking new musical experiences

Don’t just take my word for it – try it yourself, then come back and leave a comment.  If you’re a frequent user with an alternative pov, your thoughts are welcome, too.  And if you’ve got suggestions for future reviews, I’d love to hear those as well.

More 2.0 @ CLP


I’m pleased to report that the CLP Children’s department now has its own blog, Story Pockets. Kudos to Constance W. for initiating the project, and showcasing the many wonderful things our children’s librarians do for the community. Fans of Mo Willems will enjoy the embedded video.

Have a great weekend everybody, and remember: don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!

AOL in the news


Somebody forgot to tell AOL that 2.0 means constant beta.

Thanks to Don W. for the link. Click here for the backstory (and some great comments).

And now, back to compiling database stats…

A day in the life of the Library Alchemist


9:30 a.m.:  Collaborate with a Ref. Services peer, the photocopy department, and ILL to answer a question that came in at 5 minutes to closing the night before.

 10:00 a.m.:  Take up position in the phone room.

10:10 a.m.:  Move to the main reference desk, to provide coverage for colleagues hassled by snow travel. Collborated with desk partner to find info on post-9/11 civil rights in Israel, the U.S., and Great Britain (comparative research paper assignment).

10:30 a.m.:  Move back to the phone room. Deftly juggle multiple reference questions and make notes for research/callbacks.  Includes the daily pull of the Army Registry for a regular patron.

12 p.m.:  Lunch! Read a little more in The Children of Cthulhu. Pick up new library books, including The Atrocity Archives.

1:00 p.m.:  Research and callbacks, colloborating with peers on topics as diverse as the holdings of various gov docs and the types of costumes worn at The Folies-Bergere.

2:00 p.m.: Meet with colleague to plan content for next week’s school tour/database training session.

2:30 p.m.: More research and callbacks, interspersed with e-mails and phone calls about various database renewals.

4:00 p.m.: Eat a blintz.

4:10 p.m.: Read Bloglines account and wonder how the heck to involve a 2.0 activity in today’s round.

4:15 p.m.: Decide that blogging counts, and finish reading Bloglines account, storing up interesting nuggets for further rumination/speculation.

This is typical, and doesn’t include all the things that happen on the fly, like my “What if?” and “Why not?” responses to various e-mails. Perhaps I can spend my last hour at the desk exploring the possibilties of CrossLoop, if it’s not busy in the room. We shall see.

How’s your day been? What sorts of projects are you working on?

Post-presentation tidbits


Many thanks to everyone who attended one of the two Library 2.0 sessions yesterday!  I hope this is just the beginning of a long series of conversations and innovations throughout the CLP system.  Log in to the CLP wiki and visit the “Collaboration” section to see our presentation, with live links. If you don’t know your department or branch’s wiki log-in, check with your supervisor.

I know a lot of people still have concerns about how to integrate 2.0 initiatives into our already busy workloads; I do too, some days! But I think a lot of it boils down to having a plan and setting parameters. Click here to see my Meebo presentation, which I’ve just tweaked to answer some very good questions raised at one of yesterday’s sessions. See also, as promised, the Everday 2.0 webliography, which gives examples of library learning programs, and offers tips/tools for individual learning.

 As you can tell, I’m really invested in getting a Meebo widget somewhere on our page, preferably in our catalog, like the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library just started doing.  Visit the Meebo wiki for more information on the nuts and bolts of how it works.

(frequently asked) questions


Today’s most popular question?

Why are you closed Monday?

Anybody wondering whether brick and mortar libraries were still relevant in the digital world will be relieved to hear that, in Pittsburgh, the answer is a resounding YES.  Perhaps we should’ve kept stats on that query!

 We’ve had some great conversations with people, too, about why we close for staff development day.  Most patrons are thrilled to know we want to keep learning and growing, even if they’re disappointed about our being closed.

Today’s questions also included a trip to both the science projects index and the ready-reference file, to see what makes popcorn pop.  We also had a four-person team-up on the history, synthesis and molecular structure of doxorubicin.  The latter inquiry raises a question of my own:  if the Wikipedia entry is detailed, with scholarly references, and clearly not just slapped together by some guy in his basement, should it count as a “good” source? 

Team 2.0 gives its presentation Monday, which may or may not include a live update. Stay tuned. If not, we’ll be back with more news and ruminations on Tuesday.

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