Category Archives: Uncategorized

Libraries find ways to serve their communities during Hurricane Sandy


Libraries of all types found ways to help their communities as they weathered Hurricane Sandy themselves.  Some of the obvious solutions included:

  • providing a warm and dry place to take shelter,
  • distributing food and warm beverages,
  • acting as distribution centers for emergency supplies,
  • setting up charging stations for essential electronic devices,
  • creating “tech petting zoos” to occupy children of all ages,
  • supplying entertainment in the form of books, videos, audiotapes, and e-books,
  • hosting additional children’s programs to occupy them while schools were closed,
  • acting as “hoteling stations” to provide an office away from their workplace for displaced business people,
  • providing information resources and workspace for students.

Even libraries without power found ways to serve their patrons.  According to the Harborfields Public Library’s Facebook page, even though the library itself was closed, patrons were welcome to come use the “outdoor library” comprising of tables, outlets, wifi and, of course, books.

One of the more creative solutions was the Brooklyn Public Library’s bookmobile distribution of supplies to residents in Coney Island and Red Hook in Brooklyn.  Their community outreach included a children’s book “The Great Storm and Flood Recovery” by the Mentor Research Institute, in both English and Spanish, to help children cope with the effect of the hurricane and its damage on their homes, families and their own lives.

A resourceful library advocate, Kathy Dempsey of Libraries Are Essential, assembled and staffed a makeshift library at one of the Medford, New Jersey local shelters.  She made available a variety of material ranging from science textbooks, romance novels, poetry and children’s books to magazines and holiday gift catalogs for families who took shelter at the Chairville Elementary School in Medford.  In Kathy’s words,

While this little makeshift library was not an official part of the operation… the reading material helped displaced, worried residents pass the time: libraries FTW, again!


For current status of libraries in New Jersey, check:  Hurricane Sandy’s Effect on NJ Libraries

For disaster recovery assistance in New York City, check:  Hurricane Sandy Recovery Information

Ways to donate funds to help New Jersey and New York libraries affected by Hurricane Sandy are found at:
Helping United States Libraries After Disasters – American Library Association
Library Disaster Relief Fund – New York Library Association

Rebuilding New Jersey’s Libraries – New Jersey Library Association

Additional media stories on how libraries were affected by Hurricane Sandy:
New York City Libraries Relatively Unscathed; New Jersey Still Taking Stock – Library Journal

Libraries Weather the Superstorm – American Libraries
We’re in this Together, Helping After Sandy – The ‘M’ Word – Marketing Libraries
Needham Residents Without Power Invited to Charge at Library, Shower at YMCA – Needham Patch
Posts Tagged “Hurricane Sandy” – NY Public Library Tumblr
Libraries Respond to Hurricane Sandy, Offering Refuge, WiFi, and Services to Needy Communities – School Library Journal
Hurricane Sandy: Somerset County libraries open as warming, recharging and information spots –
Brooklyn Public Library Bookmobiles Help with Hurricane Sandy Relief – Galleycat
A Little Storm Shelter Library – BoingBoing

Originally posted by myself on Wolper Information Services’ insight&outlook

PIE-J: A recipe for improved metadata about electronic journals

**UPDATE:  Deadline for public comment has been extended to July 18**

The purpose of PIE-J (Presentation and Identification of E-Journals) as a recommended practice is to encourage unification of how e-journals are described and identified in places like publishers’ websites, databases, and citations, as well as making e-journals more easily discoverable by standardizing the presentation of information like historical titles and accurate ISSNs by format.

The process of creating an official standard or recommended practice is a lengthy one.  It begins with proposing a problem and getting approval by the NISO (National Information Standards Organization) Business Information Topic Committee to become a working group, followed by months, or even years, of meetings, research, writing, and re-writing.  Once a working group is confident in the solidity of their proposal for a standard/recommended practice, they put a draft out for public comment.  Currently, the PIE-J working group has a draft up for review and public comment until July 5, 2012.

PIE-J working group formed back in December of 2010, and was charged:

To develop a Recommended Practice that will provide guidance on the presentation and identification of e-journals, particularly in the areas of title presentation and bibliographic history, accurate use of the ISSN, and citation practice, that will assist publishers, platform providers, abstracting and indexing services, knowledgebase providers, aggregators, and other concerned parties in facilitating online discovery, identification, and access for the publications. 

During the past two years, members of the working group have produced several publications explaining their mission, progress, and hopes for an outcome, which can be found on the PIE-J Workroom, along with the current draft recommended practice and comment form.

As summarized in the draft, the recommended guidelines resulting from the working group’s research are as follows:

  • Retention of title and citation information under which articles were originally published.
  • Display of title histories, including information relating to title changes and related metadata.
  • Display of correct ISSN for different formats and for changed titles.
  • Retention and display of vital publication information across the history of a journal, including publisher names; clear numbering and dates; editors, editorial boards and sponsoring organizations; and frequency of publication.
  • Graphic design and inclusion of information that allows easy access to all content.
  • Special considerations for retroactive digitization.

For more information or to offer your comments on the draft, please visit the PIE-J Workroom or join the interest group mailing list.

[Originally posted by myself on insight & outlook 6/20/12]

Bib`li*oth”e*ca*ry\, n. [L. bibliothecarius: cf. F. biblioth[‘e]caire.] A librarian. [Obs.]

Why “bibliothecary”?  According to‘s definition, the term is obsolete, but I was drawn to the antiquated lexeme.  Perhaps it is because I keep reading how the roles of libraries and librarians are obsolescent.

My fellow librarians and I know that is not the case and are reinventing services, and insighting discussion about our profession and what we can offer our communities – be they the general public, scholars, historians, or corporate employees.  My librarian colleagues and I are information managers and liaisons, not book-keepers.  We facilitate learning and expansion of the mind in this technological renaissance, where access to information is almost ubiquitous.

We will continue to be relevant and ever present, though our skills, job descriptions, and places of employment evolve.

Hello World!

Yes, cheesy I know, but I never know how to introduce myself and with the internet’s 20 year anniversary last week I thought it was apropos.

So, I’m Rebecca and I’ll be writing this blog.  I’ve made several attempts at blogging before – none successful, mostly because I didn’t keep up with it – so I’ll see how this goes.  I realized recently the key to gaining followers is to advertise your blog, which may seem obvious to some, but in my naivety I assumed people would just find me.

My purpose here, is to try and become more involved with the library and information science (LIS) industry, establish a dialog about articles and topics that I find interesting, and work on my own professional development.  I don’t intend, at this time, to simply post links to relevant articles, but do so often on my Twitter feed @rml_msis.