Friday, July 22, 2011

Reading Between the Lines

When Roy Rogers died at age 86 on July 6, 1998, he took my childhood fantasies with him.

Roy lived what he believed, which is probably why his fans established such an immediate and total bond with our hero. So many of us felt we really knew him and that he would come if we were in trouble. His face was strong and handsome, with eyes that squinted and twinkled when he smiled in that warm and reassuring way that sent shivers from my Keds to the ends of my braids.

In those days, when grownups asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” librarianship was not my first choice. Long before I began alphabetizing my Nancy Drew collection by title and lending them to my friends with the aid of a spiral bound borrowers’ register, I had something else in mind.

"I want to marry Roy Rogers."

"He's already married to Dale Evans," my exasperated father insisted. "In real life. When he isn't acting."

Unable to shake my impossible dream (this was the 1950's and such explanations could only go so far), my parents finally gave up and decided to take advantage of the situation.

"Eat your liver," my mother would say, "or you won't grow up and marry Roy Rogers. Roy loves liver!"

I knew Dale was the lady who hung around Roy in the movies and on Saturday morning television. Her pictures remained ghostly white and ignored in my coloring books.

If Dale Evans was married to Roy Rogers now, I reasoned, I could still be his wife later. After all, dangerous things were always happening in The West and Dale seemed to need an intolerable amount of rescuing. Maybe – just once – Roy wouldn’t reach the quicksand, brush fire, kidnap hideout or scene of snakebite in the nick of time.

Then it would be my turn.

There’s a reason Buttermilk keeps coming home without her, Roy. She’s happier with the guys in black. Marry me, Roy, wait for me!

I set out to master the necessary Queen of the West job skills: (cap-gun) shooting, (clothesline) rope twirling, sneaking up on things and peeking out from behind large rocks, keeping a western hat on while running in clunky boots, recognizing bad guys, and herding (plastic miniature) horses.

The horse thing was my biggest problem. Repeated requests that my father park our 1951 Chevy in the alley and install a palomino in the garage met with predictable failure. Trips to riding stables were few and far between. They only served to underline the fact that neither the simulated action of the mechanical pony at the Mayville Five and Dime nor any amount of spirited bouncing on my spring horse came anywhere close to preparing me to someday handle Trigger.

Dale Evans Rogers died on February 7, 2001 at age 88, riding into the sunset to meet Roy who had been waiting for her along the happy heavenly trails.

All my plotting aside, this remarkable woman was ahead of her time as a positive role model for a generation of would be cowgirls. We learned about friendship, self-reliance, faith, loyalty and true partnership from watching Dale; that a woman could be as gutsy, smart and strong in or out of the saddle as any man wearing a white hat.

In the couple’s autobiography, Happy Trails; Our Life Story, Dale Evans Rogers wrote, “Little girls dream fantastic things. When I was young, I used to…dream that Tom Mix would marry me. Old Tom was the greatest movie cowboy of his day—so handsome and tall in his glittering silver saddle….I was quite certain he would wait for me to grow up, and that he would never change. I was going to make him mine. We would have six children together, then gallop our horses through the sagebrush and the world would be as sweet as could be.”

Dale’s dream about raising a house full of kids and riding the trails with a handsome cowboy hero really did come true. The boisterous adopted and blended Rogers family was multicultural forty years before the concept became a buzzword. The couple’s inspirational story contains values built on American bedrock.

In a sense, they adopted us all.

Recommended books:

Cowboy Princess: Life with My Parents Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (Cheryle Rogers-Barnett, Taylor Trade Publishing, 2003)

Roy Rogers: King of the Cowboys (Georgia Morris and Mark Pollard, Collins Publishers, 1994)

Happy Trails: A Pictorial Celebration of the Life and Times of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (Howard Kazanjian and Chris Enss, TwoDot, 2005)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

OverDrive Training Month Registration Begins for September

Training Month 2011 – Registration Now Open!
Register now for OverDrive’s Training Month 2011 … a perfect opportunity to learn what’s new for your OverDrive service, plus get a refresher on the basics. This program is free to staff members of OverDrive partners. No travel is required … all you need is a computer (with headphones or speakers) to attend.

Our core courses will be available as anytime recordings, plus two new ‘hot topic’ courses will be presented live starting September 12th.

Live courses…
  eBook Explosion! Tools to help you meet the challenge.

 2011 OverDrive Experience: Sleek, simple … smarter, faster.

You can register at our newly revamped Training Center, now called OverDrive Central: Online Learning Center. Register on behalf of a group or as an individual on the Registration page.

OverDrive Central is divided into four areas…
View Now: Need training right away? View our core courses at your convenience … plus pause, stop and fast forward to suit your learning style.

Register: Register here for live courses hosted by our Training team. These sessions focus on hot topics and are open to staff members from OverDrive partners.

Resources: Spread the word about your OverDrive service through promotional and educational materials. All materials are free to our library and school partners.

Networking: Have questions, comments, or feedback? Connect with us and other partners through Facebook, Twitter, and our blog. For more specific questions, you can email us directly.

Prizes (really great prizes!) will be awarded to winners of our Download Discovery raffle, a trivia contest comprised of questions from each session. Each time you attend a course (live or recorded) you’ll have another chance to enter.

Questions: For questions about Training Month 2011, please read our FAQs.

Whether you’re a repeat participant, or this will be your first year … you’re sure to learn something new at OverDrive’s Training Month 2011. We look forward to meeting with you!

Follow the action of Training Month 2011 on Twitter with the #ODtraining hashtag.
(Cassie Renner, training associate at OverDrive, July 21, 2011)

Seeking Synchronicity - New OCLC Report on Virtual Reference

A new membership report from OCLC Research, in partnership with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Seeking Synchronicity distills more than five years of virtual reference (VR) research into a readable summary that features memorable quotes that vividly illustrate very specific and actionable suggestions. Taken from a multi-phase research project that included focus group interviews, surveys, transcript analysis, and phone interviews, with VR librarians, users, and non-users, these findings are meant to help practitioners develop and sustain VR services and systems. The report asserts that the "R" in "VR" needs to emphasize virtual "Relationships" as well as "Reference".

 Among the topics addressed are:
 •The exaggerated death of ready reference

•The importance of query clarification in VR

•Ways to boost accuracy and build better interpersonal relationships in VR

•What can be learned from VR transcripts

•How convenience is the "hook" that draws users into VR services

•Generational differences in how people perceive reference interactions and determine success

•The need for more and better marketing

 The report is based on a multi-year study funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS); Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and OCLC. A rich resource for further exploration of this important topic, it includes valuable statistics, lists of references, additional readings, and specific recommendations for what libraries and librarians can do to move VR forward in local environments.

Today's students, scholars and citizens are not just looking to libraries for answers to specific questions—they want partners and guides in a life long information-seeking journey. By transforming VR services into relationship-building opportunities, libraries can leverage the positive feelings people have for libraries in a crowded online space where the biggest players often don't have the unique experience and specific strengths that librarians offer.
(American Libraries Direct, July 20, 2011)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Great Book Giveway!

The Great Book Giveaway …and you’re invited!

• Host: Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

• Phone: 608-224-5380

• When: Thursday, July 28 at 1:00 PM to Friday, August 12 at 4:30 PM

• Where: Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning, 2109 S. Stoughton Road,  Madison, WI 53716

You are invited to visit Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning to select materials for inclusion in your library’s collection at no cost to you.

We are reducing the size of our physical collection as we refocus our mission to emphasize cost effective services and programs that meet the evolving needs of Wisconsin residents.

Authorized representatives of all publicly funded libraries in Wisconsin are invited (Monday - Friday) to 2109 South Stoughton Road from Thursday, July 28th through Friday, August 12 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Materials being distributed include books, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, LP records, hard-bound serials, and more. Libraries are encouraged to come prepared to transfer items personally. Small collections may be shipped through the South Central Delivery Service, but we do not want to overburden delivery with major shipments.

Please let us know by Tuesday, July 26 if you plan to send representatives. Please contact Patricia Stutz at or 608-224-5380 to schedule an appointment.

The content of our collection can be viewed in WISCAT. Our collection is heavily weighted to non-fiction subjects and much of the collection is more than 5 years old. Feel free to print a pick list to make the most of your time here.

Because our collection is considered state property, certain terms and conditions apply to dispersal. Items selected from our collection cannot be resold through library book sales, nor can they be offered to single non-profit organizations, private libraries or private citizens. Details on appropriate use of materials selected from the collection will be forwarded to you upon your acceptance of our invitation.

Our collection includes an extensive collection of SAMS Photofacts. If any library is interested in acquiring this collection please let us know immediately.

If you have questions about the process, please contact Martha Berninger, Director, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning, 608-224-6161.
We look forward to seeing you!
(WISPUBLIB, July 20, 2011)

Friday, July 8, 2011

E-Books: The New Normal - Virtual Summit

In 2010, Library Journal and School Library Journal brought you our inaugural Virtual Summit on ebooks and the library market, Ebooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point. More than 2,000 participants from the library community joined us for this day-long virtual event to discuss how ebooks are shaping the future of libraries.

This year, we go one step beyond to bring you Ebooks: The New Normal. This one-day virtual conference will bring together public, academic and school librarians (K-12), vendors, publishers, and industry experts to address how libraries are leveraging the ebook opportunity to improve service and reach more users than ever before. The event offers something for everyone, from building an ebook strategy and collection to mastering the transition and even how to market ebooks to patrons.

• Forward-thinking presentations and panel discussions on the evolving concept of the book in a digital world

• Presentations focusing on current best practices for library ebook collections in libraries of all types

• Relevant research on ebook penetration and adoption by libraries and millions of library users
• Virtual vendor booths, live chats, vendor presentations, informative take aways, and prizes

• Unlimited access to the archived content for 3 months

Featuring individually focused tracks for the public, academic and school (K–12) library segments, with expert panelists and speakers including:

Lawrence Block, internationally renowned bestselling author

Robin Bradford, Fiction Collection Development Librarian, Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library

Eli Neiburger, Associate Director, IT and Production, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

Robin Nesbitt, Technical Services Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library

Joseph Sanchez, Instructional Design Librarian, University of Colorado Denver

Joyce Valenza, author, Power Tools, Power Research Tools and Power Tools Recharged

For more information visit