October 2007

My DIWBIS final project is coming along in a rather organic way so far. I’ve continued tagging resources as they are posted in our online class environment. My intention is to review these bookmarks, refine the tagging, and add annotations before the project due date. The refining portion of this endeavor has created some uncertainty for me. When possible, I have used the poster’s own terms for tagging the bookmark. In other cases, no usable terms are associated with the link, and I am left to make a decision regarding the “aboutness” of the resource. This is often done “off the cuff.”

I am saving and organizing these resources for the purpose of discovery (and preservation but let’s save that for a later date). An assigned reading this week, Usage Patterns of Collaborative Tagging Systems, should prove useful as I begin the process of refining the tags for this purpose. The authors discuss the function that tags perform for bookmarks. If I begin to think about the way a tag will be used, it should help me tag the resource in a way that aids in its discovery. I think I’ve done this unconsciously to some extent, but the list presented in the article will allow for a more methodical approach. Of course, the list includes the resource’s “aboutness” that must be considered. The article also lists other functions that are worth consideration. For instance, “identifying what it is.” Is it an article, a blog, or video? Or, evaluating resources to determine the task involved and grouping these items accordingly. In other words, should the HTML tutorial be tagged with “web design?”

In addition to considering tags in relation to function, the authors touch upon another point that I’ve been mulling over. That is, tagging items consistently in regard to parts of speech and singular verses plural forms. Another article, from D-Lib, has some suggestions for “tidying up” tags. These include:

  • using plurals rather than singulars
  • using lower case,
  • grouping words using an underscore,
  • following tag conventions started by others and
  • adding synonyms.

Although there is some overlap, Ideant also suggests ways to ensure the value of tags in distributed classification systems.

Here’s our tag cloud now, in its pre-refinement stage. It’s a little fuzzy because I had to save the web page as an image and crop in to isolate the tag cloud…(wordpress doesn’t allow Diigo’s Javascript).



Wendy, over at Lifehacker, has many great tips for exploiting the power of the major search engines: Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AskJeeves. Some of the information is more common, but other “helpers” are more obscure. For instance, did you know that you can limit your search to specific date ranges or file types?

(Thanks, Wendy!)


I think I’ll engage in a very libraryish activity and assign an acronym to the class associated with this blog- from here on out Design and Implementation of Web-Based Information Systems will be referred to as DIWBIS (pronounced dew-biss) for the sake of simplicity. So in DIWBIS this week, we are to choose a wiki that we feel we can contribute to in a worthwhile manner. We have a few to choose from, or we may also come up with own. I’ve looked at the list, and I like the Butler WikiRef, Butler University Libraries’ Reference Wiki. Since I have been researching open access and because one of the stated functions of this wiki is the “empowering of reference users,” I would like to add an entry on an open access resource. For instance, I could add an entry on OAISTER or one on DOAJ (directory of open access journals). Free access to scholarly information is empowering. I think these resources suffer from a lack of promotion. I’d like to spread the word.


image courtesy of PLoS

The many ways to get to ALA:

EBSCO Sponsorship
This annual award consisting of $1,000 for actual reimbursed expenses is designed to allow librarians to attend the ALA’s Annual Conference. Requires writing an essay. Donated by EBSCO Subscription Services. Deadline: December 1st.

Penguin Young Readers Group Award
These awards, made possible by an annual gift from the Penguin Young Readers Group, are administered by a committee of the ALSC. They enable four children’s librarians to attend the ALA’s Annual Conference. Four librarians working directly with children in elementary, middle schools or public libraries will each receive $600. Deadline: December 3, 2007.

Thomson Financial Student Travel Award (BRASS)
$1,000 cash award given to a student enrolled in an ALA accredited master’s degree program to attend the ALA Annual Conference and a one-year membership in the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). The applicant should have demonstrated interest in a career as a business reference librarian, the award is administered by RUSA. Deadline: December 1.

Dun & Bradstreet Public Librarian Support Award
Annual award of $1,000 to support the attendance at Annual Conference of a public librarian who has performed outstanding business reference service and who requires financial assistance to attend the ALA Annual Conference, presented by the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). Deadline: December 1.

SAGE Support Staff Travel Grant
Library Support Staff Travel Grants (six to be awarded) make it possible for library support staff to attend the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference. The travel grants cover the expense of attending the conference, including airfare, three nights’ lodging, and conference registration; up to $1,000 for each recipient. Deadline: December 1.

First Step Award
A Wiley Professional Development Grant
This Wiley Professional Development Grant is intended to provide librarians new to the serials field with the opportunity to broaden their perspective and to encourage professional development in ALA Conference and participation in Serials Section activities. The $1,500, donated by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., cash award is applicable toward round trip transportation, lodging, registration fees, etc. Eligible applicants may apply more than once. Deadline: December 1.

The Demco New Leaders Travel Grant
The purpose of these grants is to enhance the professional development and improve the expertise of public librarians new to the field by making possible their attendance at major professional development activities.
This grant has been established to enable PLA Members new to the profession and who have not had the opportunity to attend a major PLA Continuing Education Event in the last five years to do so.
Eligible events include PLA Preconferences, held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conferences. A travel grant of up to $1,500 per applicant for a total not to exceed $5,000 per year and a plaque. Deadline: December 3, 2007; online submission.

3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant Application
The purpose of the 3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant is to encourage professional development and participation by new ALA members in national ALA and New Members Round Table activities. Applicants must be personal ALA/NMRT members who are working within the territorial United States. The grant will help finance attendance at the ALA Annual Conference and covers round trip airfare, lodging, conference registration fees and some incidental expenses. Deadline: December 15, 2007.

AASL Frances Henne Award
Sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, the $1,250 award recognizes a school library media specialist with five years or less experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers and administrators, to attend an AASL conference or ALA Annual Conference for the first time. Applicants must be AASL personal members. The application deadline is February 1, 2008; mailed applications only.

ACRL/DLS Haworth Press Distance Learning Librarian Conference Sponsorship Award
This conference sponsorship award honors any individual ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to the success of distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education. An Award of $1,200 to help defray the costs of travel to and participation in the ALA Annual Meeting and a citation plaque sponsored by Haworth Press is offered. Application deadline is Dec. 7, 2007.

FAFLRT Adelaide del Frate Conference Sponsorship Award
The Conference Sponsorship Award is given to a library school student who has an interest in working in a Federal Library. The student will receive an award of $1,000 for annual conference registration fee, transportation, and other expenses related to attendance at the next ALA Annual Meeting. Deadline: April (? – website not updated)

ALTA/GALE Outstanding Trustee Conference Grant
The ALTA/Gale Outstanding Trustee Conference Grant enables public library trustees to attend the ALA Annual Conference. A grant of $750 each is warded annually to two public library trustees who have demonstrated qualitative interests and efforts in supportive service of the local public library. Contact ALTA office for deadlines.

Baker and Taylor/YALSA Conference Grants
This grant is funded by the Baker and Taylor Company. The two grants of $1,000 each are awarded to librarians who work directly with young adults in a public or school library to enable them to attend the Annual Conference for the first time. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1.

Diana V. Braddom FRFDS Scholarship
The goals of the scholarship program are to offer librarians and/or staff members from all types of libraries an opportunity to learn new fundraising skills enabling them to increase funding to their libraries from public, private and corporate sources. Scholarship amount will be a $1,000 stipend towards attending the LAMA Fundraising and Financial Development Section programs at the annual ALA conference. Requires essay; deadline: December 1.

LAMA/YBP Student Writing and Development Award
The LAMA/YBP Student Writing and Development Award is given to honor the best article on a topic in the area of library administration and management written by a student enrolled in a library and information studies graduate program. The purpose of this award is to enhance the professional development of students of library and information studies through publication of the winning article in Library Administration & Management, the LAMA magazine, and enabling the award recipient to attend the ALA Annual Conference. The winning article will be published in the fall issue of Library Administration & Management. The award recipient will also receive a travel grant of up to $1,000, funded by YBP, Inc., to be used to attend the ALA Annual Conference, where he/she will be recognized at the LAMA President’s Program, the first meeting of the LAMA Board of Directors, and have the opportunity to attend other conference programs. Deadline for submitting 4-6,000 word paper is March 1.

Thanks Karen and John at ALA Marginalia!