Friday, October 24, 2008

Check out our gadgets!

See our new gadgets on the right side of the screen? There are 2 customized Google searches: The ALA Best of Reference gadget searches only sites that ALA has designated as quality free reference sites, while the Librarian's E-Library searches ALA's selected resources on libraries and librarians. Try them out! We can also create our own customized Google search if we are feeling really ambitious some day...

Living Library hits US

I first blogged about the "Living Library" event that was held in the U.K. back in May of this year. Library Journal just posted to an article about the Living Library concept being carried out in U.S. Public Libraries. Living Library events allow a patron to "check out" a person for a half hour chat about more or less whatever they want. The "book" (i.e. person being checked out) is someone of interest (a relative term, I know) that the patron would want to get to know more about. Hmm, the way I'm describing this it sounds like a dating service. Wrong message. For example, the "books" at recent events included an ex-gang member, an activist for homelessness, a nudist, a person of Oaxacan (a group in Mexico) background, and so on. The idea is for the patrons to expose themselves to someone outside their comfort zone or normal range of contact and pursue a conversation that opens their minds to new ideas. Personally, I loved this idea when I first read about it, and am excited to see that there has been 1 successful event and another in the works in our litigious society! Does anyone else think this could be a really interesting program to offer our college community?