Friday, May 30, 2008

<30 social networking game; Farmington Libraries Response

ComScore, Inc. recently reported “The number of worldwide visitors to social networking sites has grown 34 percent in the past year to 530 million, representing approximately 2 out of every 3 Internet users. MySpace and Facebook are in a tight battle for the global leadership position, each attracting more than 100 million visitors per month”.

The application of social networking tools in libraries is a critical element to 21st century success. While digital communications via Web 2.0 are new, community collaboration has always and will remain the fundamental building block for all civilizations past and future.

The important question here is: how does the library become a recognizable resource in this new electronic social venue? To answer this question, we must test our minds over the next several months and develop methods and technologies to project the libraries into social networking. The harsh fact today is that twenty-somethings use library information less than 1% of the time, while relying 99% of the time on other sources: friends, Google etc.

Natural logic leads me to conclude that this age group will continue to increase, not based solely on the passage of time, but rather by the necessity of communicating in an increasingly more digitally-centric society.

Stamford University has recognized digital social networking as a viable communications channel by developing and offering graduate MBA classes in Facebook Marketing. These changes in communications models and in basic resource findings require significant alterations from the current library model of maintaining that the only reliable information source is a vetted information source.

The library’s card catalog is competing at a great disadvantage to the optimized commercial web, and although OCLC, the global library card catalog, and Google have collaborated to include library collections into its search string; fundamental change must be invoked at the local library level to provide equal access channels to library information. The utilization of statistical logic tables, artificial intelligence models, and total integration of resources into a seamless library catalog will provide the important window necessary to give people an impetus to use the information available.

This basic structural and transformational change to information access has placed a great opportunity before us. The library must become an even more important player in the traditional physical social network within its geographic communities where people can actually meet face-to-face to continue on-line conversations. The library is the twenty-first century agora where technology groups, economic groups, and many others come together to have fun, and to review opinions to better understand topics as they develop.

With that in mind, The Farmington Libraries have pushed the tiller alee, capturing a new breeze with which to fill our sails--more programs for children and adults, a Media Lab for inter-generational use and discovery, a new look at teens, and how to engage this age group who are already adapted to these new technologies.

The current development of a high-powered learning environment that stretches the imagination and works to solve or clarify many important questions that are difficult and should be considered as follows:
(1) How to operate your new digital camera.
(2) How to convert analog materials such as VHS and audio cassettes to digital media.
(3) How to discover a place to visit and enjoy your neighbors and friends at public forums.
(4) Where to go in your neighborhood for the most current book talks, concerts, author lectures, bus trips, travel programs, and gaming.
(5) Checking the important date for the “Second Annual Taste of Farmington” or one of many other exciting opportunities in the Farmington Libraries future planning and events.

Yes, we are working very diligently to provide the services and materials in which you are interested and need. One of the major differences between Web 1.0 and web 2.0 is the social interaction and participation. In that regard, Farmington Libraries are practicing the Library 2.0 model as well……….. please let me know how we are doing and what we can do to make things better for Farmington………..

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Media Lab..... A place to remember the past with new technologies

One of the initiatives we have been developing here is the Media Lab, a place where you can edit a digital movie, convert an old analog; VHS, audio tape, 35mm film, and vinyl recordings. This is a service vision I have charted in last year’s annual report. We are on the cusp of Media Lab opening over the next several weeks ands look forward to seeing you stop by for a nostalgic make over…

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Summer is approaching and the lure of idle time

Summer is approaching and the lure of idle time, the beach, and catch-up reading is on the minds of most. In that regard, Peter Boxall’s book “1001 Books You Must Read before You Die”, NYT 5/23/08, Weekend Arts Section, is a reminder of how lists are affected by, nationality, culture, and age.
My best suggestion for great reading is to go the memories of friends, colleagues and family. This type of synthesis may be carried out in Facebook, where friends will ask, suggest, and promote various books to each other; Farmington Libraries is currently in the process of starting a bibliofacebook account for the purpose of gathering the book groups, we have over ten, and individual readers together to discuss what to read in the "CLOUD"…. I suggest, Robin Knox-Johnston’s “Robin Round the World: The single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the world…" this account of a great single-handed circumnavigation is inspiring, poetic and something I read while at sea myself, a guy's book.

I am very excited about several projects and programs that have been initiated @ Farmington Libraries over May 2008: Campus Safety Lecture for Farmington High School SeniorsThursday, June 5th9:00 a.m to 10:30 a.m.Hillary Bennett, 2007's Trinity College Violence Prevention Coordinator will lecture and discuss tips to stay safe on a college campus. She will cover personal safety issues, alcohol and drug use and sexual assault prevention. A panel of recent FHS grads will also be present for a question and answer session. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided for those who attend the lecture, and gift card door prizes will be awarded at the end.

To register for this lecture, please contact Teen Services Librarian Emily Platz at or 673-6791 or you may sign up at Ms. Ruzek's office.
This is an excused absence for all FHS graduating. Check out Teen Blog here:

Legos at the Library = Creativity The Lego Club met today and the members were astounding in their creativity!Sharing ideas and comparing notes the satisfied builders displayed their creations!
Posted by Farmington Libraries since 1901 at 4:56 PM 0 comments Links to this post
High School Students are Learning to be Authors
Students from the Health Classes at the Farmington High School met with Suzanne Maryeski to learn about the components of a good picture book. The students are planning to incorporate what they've learned in school into a picture book, about health, geared towards fourth graders.
Monday, April 7, 2008. check out children's bolg here:
Bus trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston May 20th - All Aboard!
Join us on a trip to view the groundbreaking exhibition "El Greco to Velazquez: Art During the Reign of Philip III" which examines the period 1598-1621 with masterpieces by these two giants of Spanish painting and their contemporaries. The trip is scheduled for Tues., May 20. The bus will leave the main library at 8:30 and will return about 6:30. Cost is $55 which includes the bus and admission to the museum. Guided tours are an additional $10 and audio guides are $5. Lunch is on your own in the Museum's full-service cafeteria. We will hold your reservation upon receipt of your check made out to the Farmington Library.
Posted by Farmington Libraries since 1901 at 6:33 AM 1
Read To Your Bear!
Taking advantage of the oversized blue chair at The Barney Library, these bears are modeling more than their beautifully crafted hats from story hour. These bears are a reminder to parents that reading to their children should be the most important twenty minutes of their day. By scheduling time with books, families foster bonding, encourage imaginative activity, strengthen listening and language skills and develop strong readers. Reading is important to success in school and work, opening new worlds and increasing communication.
To assist parents in this important undertaking, the library is ready to help with a selection of quality reading materials all available for check-out. By checking the books out at the library and sharing them for twenty minutes a day with their youngsters, parents will be giving their children a priceless gift. Read To Your Bear! Posted by Farmington Libraries since 1901 at 5:04 PM 0 comments
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Practice English!

The Barney Library, 71 Main Street, Farmington has been the scene for Practice English, an informal conversational group for speakers of other languages. Over the years, people from Pakistan, Turkey, India, Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Ecuador and Iran have participated. The sessions have been an excellent opportunity to meet people, learn about cultures, explore American life, and gain fluency in The English Language.
This summer, the program will be held at The Farmington Library, 6 Monteith Drive, Farmington, on Friday mornings from 10-11 a.m., from July 11-August 15. Adults are welcome to register by calling Information Services at 673-6791. All are welcome. Check out Barney blog here:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Gone Fishin'

A special 3-class Fishing Instruction Series will be led by Stan Grabowski, Chief Instructor for the DEP CARE classes. Stan is a Unionville native and a graduate of Farmington High School. He has been fishing the Farmington River his whole life. Come enjoy this unique opportunity to learn from a local expert. These classes are open to adults and children ages 9 and up. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. They are free but space is limited. Dates are Thursday May 22nd 7pm –8:15pm, Thursday May 29th 7pm—8:15pm, Wednesday June 4th7pm –8:15pm. Call 673-6791 to register.
The CARE program offers a special deal on beginner’s Spincasting Fishing Rods. - which may be ordered for $13 at the time of program registration.

Check our Blogs for forthcoming information on our exciting programming….

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Keeping Mentally Fit at the Library

NYT contributor Kate Hafner revealed a good deal of collected wisdom in her Saturday May 3rd NYT article “Exercise Your Brain, Or Else You’ll…Uh…”. The focus of the article revealed the fear middle age people experience with forgetfulness and its connotations to dementia. The general wisdom was to realize that fear, anxiety, and other psycho-traumatic events directly affect cognitive processing and are directly correlated to apparent mental dysfunction. Why am I posting this on my Blog? Because the Library has the answers to these concerns in a new program we are rolling out, “Stress Relief 1.0 Kit” these kits will contain computer games such as: Brain Age 2, MindFit and other computer based games. It is also helpful to participate in board games and read noniction materials. The Farmington Libraries are just a great place to find methods to help exercise your mind in so many ways. Keep posted.