Sunday, June 29, 2008

ContentDM Digital Collection Showcase

All of our current ContentDM users (or prospective ones) might be interested in all the possibilities for using this application for content besides images. Today I saw how Ball State University is using it for oral histories within their Middletown Digital History Oral Collections. They outline the detailed process (including their metadata schema) on their wiki. The collection is astounding particularly in that they have managed to digitize analog interviews ranging from 1971 to 2006, and place them into an easily accessible format. I am told that the presentation will be available from the ContentDm site soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Digital Storytelling: Where Outreach, Local History, Programming and Technology Collide

I attended a really great program today at ALA on the digital story station pilot program. Two featured programs were the California of the Past program started by the California State Library, and the California Council for the Humanities' How I See It program. You may recall that we blogged about this last year, as Califa was a partner in the CCH project. It's thrilling to see communities including our own member libraries such as Orange County Public Library and South San Francisco Public Library reaching out to their communities and creating oral histories.

Mixing it up: The Mashed up Library

I attended an OCLC Symposium yesterday on the topic of using mash-ups in your library. The talk was great, but I thought the best bits of information came from David Lee King. He is the Digital Branch and Services Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. He talked about useful ways to implement meebo widgets, RSS feeds, google map mashups, and the publication of user content such as teen poetry on their site. He also talked about how your library can use Google "ego" alerts to keep track of what people are saying about your library online. It's a great way to respond to users whether they post good, bad, or incorrect information about your library. It's well worth a listen if/when OCLC posts the video on their site.....

Friday, June 27, 2008

Greetings from ALA 2008 in Anaheim!!

The exhibits haven't opened yet, but we're anticipating a good day at the booths tomorrow when we start to make our rounds. We'll let you know what we find. Until then, happy conference going to all our fellow attendees.

Thursday, June 26, 2008 Discounts

Califa and the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System (MCLS) are happy to announce a joint discount program for our members from CraftySpace, a website design and development company. has been developed by CraftySpace to bring professionally developed website services to libraries.

CraftySpace offers three options that are appropriate for libraries of varied sizes and with different budgets:

· The Subscription program is designed for small community libraries that often lack technology support or infrastructure. It is a hosted solution with a low entry cost and includes ongoing support, secure site hosting, and continuous technology upgrades.

· Larger libraries may take advantage of a Customized Site program that meets the need for a site that can be hosted on internal servers and maintained by technology staff. These websites include significant amounts of customized page graphics and features that enhance online community building.

· Custom Development projects are appropriate for very large library districts or systems that support numerous branch libraries. These websites include all of the features found in our other library programs. Additionally, they incorporate management features enabling multiple levels of administrative access. This enables management control and uniformity throughout the system, while empowering each branch with tools to address and serve their local patron communities.

All work done by CraftySpace is supported with a unique 60-Day Money Back Guarantee. If the site and support services do not meet expectations during the first 60 days following site launch, all fees are refunded.

For more information on these packages and to view sample sites, please go to the CraftySpace website at Deeper discounts are available from the prices that are listed on the site. Please note that while we will have an ongoing discount with CraftySpace, they are also offering an additional discount to all libraries who sign up before July 1.

For all questions, please email if your library is NOT an MCLS member, or contact if your library is a member of MCLS.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Califa Web Site Gets a Redesign – Launching Wednesday!

Califa is excited to announce a new and improved Web site that will replace the existing site at

In addition to a new design and brighter feel, the site will improve your ability to access the majority of Califa’s information without the need for remembering your password and login.

The site features a simple top navigation bar for finding Califa news, products, services, and reviews. Quick links along the side give you easy access to the Califa blog and MySpace page along with our master list of products. A feed of our blog also appears so you can easily and quickly keep up to date with the latest Califa news.

The information on Califa products and services has been pared down and does not contain any pricing, so we can include it on a public page. While each product listed contains an up-to-date description, you will need to contact Califa staff in order to obtain the most current pricing information.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional improvements and refinements that will help make your experience at a much better one. We look forward to your feedback when the site goes live.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bokomaten, GoLibrary, Library-a-Go-Go

No matter what name you decide to call it, Califa is very excited to be California's exclusive purchasing agent for this book (or video) lending machine that can easily extend the reach of your library services and hours to new locales.

The Contra Costa County Library unveiled the first of four installations to the public last week. This particular unit is housed at the Pittsburg BART Station, so commuters with a valid card will be able to check out and return books at their convenience. Contra Costa County Library is calling their service Library-a-Go-Go.

Yuba County Library installed their GoLibrary machine at the Wheatland Community Center. Yuba opted for a built-in unit that looks similar to an ATM and is available to the public 24/7.

Califa is capturing press information and frequently asked questions about the product. Check back at our Web site or at our GoLibrary page as we continue gathering information. We will begin taking orders for more of our member libraries beginning July 1. Contact Susan Kantor-Horning, Califa Operations Manager, if you have questions and/or want to place an order.