Government websites you should know

Have you ever looked for health-related information on the web? Most people do, either for their own health or for someone they love. Government information often does not appear on the first page of search results. Therefore, few people think of it or know where to look for it. is an award-winning site for the general public dedicated to prevention and wellness. … Continue reading

Raucous good times at the library

I hope the stereotype of a librarian as a frumpy woman with no friends and a fetish for quiet had a decent burial long ago. Librarians are very creative people who enjoy having fun as much as anyone else. A few years ago, I presented some videos of library book cart drill teams! You might find similar shenanigans at a parade. Some librarian conferences have regular drill team competitions. But what about singing, dancing, running, riding book carts, and even laughing aloud in the library itself? At the reference desk and circulation desk! Even in the stacks!! Librarians do all … Continue reading

John F. Kennedy Library & Museum

As part of the 50th anniversary remembrance of the assassination of President Kennedy, it seems good to pay particular attention to the JFK Library. Like all modern presidential libraries, it was constructed with private funds and then maintained and operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Franklin D. Roosevelt established the first one. The Presidential Libraries Act of 1955 encouraged subsequent Presidents to do the same, even though at the time the President’s papers were still considered private property. And so on September 20, 1961, less than a year into his administration, Kennedy began consultation with the Archivist of … Continue reading

Library robots

Libraries have always been at the forefront of adopting new technology, but their innovations usually have something to do with organizing and retrieving information. The online library catalog is a good example. Now some libraries are borrowing technology from manufacturing: robots that shelve and retrieve physical books. It may come as a surprise to some people that printed books are still such a big deal to academic libraries. After all, much of formerly huge reference collections has been replaced by online databases. Long runs of many important journals and other periodicals are likewise available as full text online. Ebooks have … Continue reading

Presenting library book cart drill teams (!?!)

A couple of months ago I posted some videos of librarians doing parodies of popular songs. In the process of looking for them, I found some that featured library book cart drill teams. That’s right. Beginning in 2004, the American Library Association and DEMCO, one of the major library vendors, have sponsored a Book Cart Drill Team competition. Teams of librarians choreograph routines that involve pushing or pulling library book carts to music. The idea has caught on! Enjoy. The Cart Wheels (Des Plaines Public Library) rehearse for the 2007 Fourth of July parade in Des Plaines, Illinois. 2011 California … Continue reading