Moving the building library to the 21st century.

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mysmithfamily
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Postby mysmithfamily » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:04 am

I was called as a meetinghouse librarian for a short period of time. I found the calling quite frustrating because there was no standardized protocol for the calling. I was able to find some resources that helped me as I served in that calling but I'm afraid to say that now that I have been released those things that I worked so hard to institute are not being used. Let me share a few of them with you. Are you aware that the church has an account with a large office supply company that they order supplies through? There is even a person within that company (companies name escapes me) that handles all LDS orders. The librarians can call an order in for supplies including copier toner and drum which can be quite costly for a member to purchase and then wait to be reimbursed. The librarian can use the ward unit number when ordering these items and the supplies are shipped to the librarian. This was quite useful to me. I am surprised that this information isn't passed down to each new librarian that is called. You can also use the churches meetinghouse library inventory to set an inventory for each library, a sort of shopping list/inventory control if you will. You can copy and paste this information to a spreadsheet to use. It also makes finding resources for members easier. If you use it as your libraries inventory of materials you either have it or you don't. No searching or wondering if the item exists. This may or may not be helpful information to you. I found that there is little written instruction to follow as a librarian.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:27 am

mysmithfamily wrote:Are you aware that the church has an account with a large office supply company that they order supplies through? There is even a person within that company (companies name escapes me) that handles all LDS orders. The librarians can call an order in for supplies including copier toner and drum which can be quite costly for a member to purchase and then wait to be reimbursed. The librarian can use the ward unit number when ordering these items and the supplies are shipped to the librarian. This was quite useful to me.


The contact is with Staples. (It used to be under Corporate Express .) However, I'm not sure as the Librarian has the authority to order supplies without going though a member of the Bishopric. It seems unusual that the supplies would be shipped to the librarian's house rather then to the bishop's.
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todrobbins
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Postby todrobbins » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:45 am

I'd love to head/participate in a volunteer group to document a meetinghouse library catalog. It seems like every ward librarian has to reinvent the wheel when really what is needed is a standard index (like what is found in the old Church Materials Catalog) of the Church-produced materials available, or appropriate, and their numbering system explained so reference and retrieval could be improved.

I'm a current MLIS grad student at UW (Seattle) and would love to contribute my domain knowledge on the subject. I actually tried contacting someone from the Consortium of Church Libraries and Archives (http://ceslc.byu.edu/) about whether there are any resources out there for Sunday Schools/librarians in the church. No response yet.

Anyhow, let's get something going!

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todrobbins
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Postby todrobbins » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:50 am

I'd be all about a focus group for improving meetinghouse libraries and making them more relevant. It seems, in my ward at least, that people don't even know you can check materials out to use in your home! (I'm a newly called Sunday School president and I've been reading all about this in the Handbook, etc.) Anyhow, I can definitely see a forum for ward librarians on LDS Tech.

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JeffTurgeon
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Postby JeffTurgeon » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:50 am

A problem I see is actually finding material or even knowing it even exists in the library. Our library has multiple copies of the same picture in multiple locations as at one time someone divided the library into gospels. I would love to see a computer in the library and all of the materials listed in a database. If patrons could type in a simple topic search, and see a list of materials pertaining to that topic appear with its respective location in the room, more people would be more apt to use the library for more than just a copy center. The backside of the library, where patrons can't easily see, has new looking materials from the 70s that look like they've never been used.

It would be nice if the church had a standardized database program for the library that included search queries and location of material. This would allow everyone to get familiar with 1 system that they could find throughout the world in all Wards/Branches.

columbo2
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Re: Moving the building library to the 21st century.

Postby columbo2 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:32 pm

Anyone have trouble with too many cords on their TV Tray? We have a LapTop, DVD Player, Video Player, cam corder. They each have their own cords, and then there's the extension cord, HDMI to HDMI cord, AV Adapter cord, etc. Any ideas on this?

techgy
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Re: Moving the building library to the 21st century.

Postby techgy » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:44 pm

columbo2 wrote:Anyone have trouble with too many cords on their TV Tray? We have a LapTop, DVD Player, Video Player, cam corder. They each have their own cords, and then there's the extension cord, HDMI to HDMI cord, AV Adapter cord, etc. Any ideas on this?
Since each of those devices requires a power cord - not to mention the several additional cords for HDMI, etc, my solution to this conglomeration of cords is to purchase a few VELCRO straps and tie each cord into a small loop so it doesn't get in the way. The electrical cords could be strapped to the cart. The additional cords such as the HDMI, etc should be tied individually and kept away from the power cords to minimize interference.

chelsaecheverria
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Re: Moving the building library to the 21st century.

Postby chelsaecheverria » Wed May 22, 2013 4:04 pm

todd.d.robbins wrote:I'd love to head/participate in a volunteer group to document a meetinghouse library catalog. It seems like every ward librarian has to reinvent the wheel when really what is needed is a standard index (like what is found in the old Church Materials Catalog) of the Church-produced materials available, or appropriate, and their numbering system explained so reference and retrieval could be improved.

I'm a current MLIS grad student at UW (Seattle) and would love to contribute my domain knowledge on the subject. I actually tried contacting someone from the Consortium of Church Libraries and Archives (http://ceslc.byu.edu/) about whether there are any resources out there for Sunday Schools/librarians in the church. No response yet.

Anyhow, let's get something going!


I've been an agent ward librarian for about 6 months now and am a librarian by profession as well. I would LOVE to get the library materials in a digital catalog!!! I have ward members call me and ask if we have a certain DVD segment or picture in the library; it would be great for them to be able to search the library catalog online. Any other news about if we can do this or how to do it?

paulwheeler1951
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Re: Moving the building library to the 21st century.

Postby paulwheeler1951 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:55 am

I too was appalled to find that there is NO electronic database of things that should be in the ward library! Salt Lake should have a complete electronic download for every item available (now and in the past) from the distribution center.

Luckily someone in my stake had put together a spreadsheet, but it still was not searchable. I had to create separate listings for Description and other stuff. I would then print those in a two column format using Libre Office word processor. What a pain!

Since my library has been around for 25+ years, we have lots of stuff such as the old Gospel Library Kit in blue boxes. I had to scan those indexes in and OCR them to get their listing into the spreadsheet "database." It took me about 6 months, but I finally had a listing by number and description, but still no topics, categories or anything.

People now come in and ask for a particular item, and I give them the listing notebook. However, if the keywords they are looking for are not in the description, then we are sunk.

I also have the additional problem where we are supporting a Spanish ward with their own materials. As it turns out, the church will put out a video tape in English and give it the number of 53034. The Spanish version is 53034 002. This works fine if you are trying to sort by number, but then there is no way to isolate the spanish description from the English one. I ended up putting and "s" on the number for Spanish items and adding a "-" to their descriptions. This way the descriptions in Spanish end up all together in the listing.

I have written a database program using SQLlite3 to allow me to add in categories, topics, speakers, movie titles, and other stuff to the listings. This way, I can print an index for each of the above items. That would allow a teacher to look for pictures of the prophet or the temple, look for talk topics, look for a movie by title when three on a certain VHS tape, or look for talks by a particular person, etc.

I am in the process of [long pause while an idea struck me....] importing my existing spreadsheet by reading the xml file (libre office writer is nothing more than a zipped xml file). That is pretty much done, but then the pause happened and I realized I could export the spreadsheet as a csv and be 100% accurate now. So, I guess I could say that within a few hours, I wll have my 800+ item spreadsheet imported into the SQLlite3 DB. There are other tables which can be imported the same way, so I am on my way to having all of the items listed above as searchable indexes.

I would appreciate any opportunity to work with someone on this effort.

Paul

paulwheeler1951
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Re: Moving the building library to the 21st century.

Postby paulwheeler1951 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:30 am

I had some time to kill after knee surgery this summer and wrote a database program that lists the 800+ unique items in our library. This program has the ability to look up a topic and list all items related to that topic. To test the program I manually scanned through the description for each item and found 94 items for Book of Mormon. Now when I click on the Book of Mormon topic, the inventory list shows only those items.

My problem now is getting more topics cross-referenced to inventory numbers. I called and asked Salt Lake for an electronic copy of the distribution catalog, because I think there was a complete cross-reference in the back of that book. Of course, I was told "It is not available" or some other words that basically said "Not a chance."

If someone has one of those old catalogs with the cross-reference, then we could look at converting it to electronic form.

Otherwise, I and hopefully others, will have to go through every picture and video tape to determine topic(s).

The program is written in Gambas (similar to Visual Basic) and if needed I think could be converted fairly easily to VB. At this point it runs under Linux. It does have instructions for capturing VHS tapes or other media to the computer and then could have instructions for making a dvd.

Any help would be appreciated in carrying this forward. However, I feel like many on here that the problem is multi-faceted: 1) teachers do not prepare well enough, 2) librarians cannot find materials on topic "X" fast enough, 3) lack of real support from Salt Lake, and 4) declarations from stake presidents who say "that's great that you want to make the library more useful, but there is absolutely NO money for materials or equipment, and we have not idea how to do it anyway."

Paul


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