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Preview: LIPs Common Concerns

LIPs Common Concerns

'Library & Information Professionals (LIPs) Common Concerns' blog addresses issues of Common Concerns to the Library and Information Community

Updated: 2018-03-06T13:37:15.648-08:00




May I thank you for your interest in this blog. I have however decided to rename it CybrarianofNote. The content and the focus is still the same.

Thank you for your understanding

Free Online Courses


One of the quickest ways of enhancing professional practices via the Internet is by running self-taught free online short courses. But you may wonder how could one get such courses? Very simple...
  1. Visit and enjoy free lectures - but there is the problem of bandwidth for professionals in the third world. Search through Google, there are about 558,000
  2. Visit any social bookmarks. My favourite is Check out some of the ones I got. How? I visited Conducted a search using the following keywords: free online courses. That is it!
  3. You could also try out Google search on the same keywords. The result is huge! (122,000,000)
  4. Here is another search results (99,000,000) using the following keywords: Free OR open courses
  5. Any other trick?

List of Hottest Keeping-up Professional Sites


Keeping up with professional news is not an easy task, but there are many sites out there providing all kinds of information that are of value to professional librarians. Please find a list of some of the hottest I have found to be very useful in recent years. The list will continue to grow with time:Resourceshelf * RSS * Updates by Email * Unsubscribe * ContactGreat source for current publications. "A daily newsletter with resources of interest to information professionals, educators and journalists." Librarian in Black * About * RSS Updates by Email * Presentations * ContactGreat source for conference reports and discovery of new resources. iLibrarian * About * RSS * ContactGood source for discovery of new tools. "News and resources on Library 2.0 and the information revolution." Library Stuff * About * RSS * Contact & Presentations"The library weblog dedicated to resources for keeping current and professional development" Librarians Matter * About * RSS * Presentations * Updates by Email * ContactLots of videos of tutorials and downloadable conference reports. Blog for Library Technology * About * RSS"Food for thought for library technologists" The Other Librarian * About * RSSNice place to glean the new toolsACRLog * About * RSS * Updates"Blogging by and for Academic and Research Librarians"beSpacific * About * RSS * Updates by Email"Accurate, Focused Law and Technology News"Digital Reference * RSS * Bookmarks"News and views on chat reference, IM reference, email reference, VoIP reference, video reference, SMS reference, phone reference, roving reference, and face-to-face reference."Information Wants To Be Free * About * RSS * Presentations * Contact"A librarian, writer and tech geek reflecting on the profession and the tools we use to serve our patrons"Open Access News * About * RSS * Updates by Email * Articles * BlogrollNews from the open access movementDavil Lee King * About * RSS * Updates by Email * Presentations * Bookmarks"social web - emerging trends - libraries"[...]



In developing countries, one of the major challenges confronting Library and Information Professionals (LIPs) is the low bandwidth. Sometime you want to do a simple search and you just discovered that the Internet connection is vey low. I have discovered over time that some websites and search engines have portable sites specifically meant for mobile platforms. The most fascinating ones listed below.

For instance, if you want a quick Facebook page, try Facebook Lite or mobile. Seach engines like Google mobile and Clusty are examples of effective search engines on the go.
  1. All-in-one encyclopedia, manuals and dictionaries
  3. Bing
  4. Great for viewing results in stripped down format
  5. CNET
  6. CNN
  7. Facebook Mobile
  8. Facebook Lite
  9. Flickr
  10. Google Books Read free public domain books
  11. Google News Access personalized news for Ghana, India, Ireland, Italia, Kenya, México, Namibia, Nederland, New Zealand, Nigeria..
  12. Google Images
  13. Google Reader RSS Reader
  14. Google Web
  16. Making of America Books
  17. Netvibes RSS Reader
  18. Technorati Search the blogs
  19. USA Today
  20. Yahoo Mobile (including Yahoo Mail) Right click on the list and open in a new window. Let me know how useful you have found it.

10 FREE Google's Custom Search Engines for Librarians


This is one of the most useful combo for searching Google CSE. Click here to have a feel of it.

I discovered these 10 useful CSEs:

  1. ALA-RUSA Best Free Reference Web Sites : "This is a search engine of the web sites included in the 1999-2006 annual lists issued by the Mars Best of Free Reference Web Sites Committee of the Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of ALA to recognize outstanding reference sites on the World Wide Web."
  2. Librarian's E-Library: "Selected resources on Libraries and Librarianship from the American Library Association (ALA) Library and a growing list of volunteers." Created by ALA Library since Nov 22, 2006
  3. Intergovernmental Organization Search Engine: "This is a search engine for students, faculty, researchers, and officials who are doing research in intergovernmental organization topics. The IGO Search searches across hundreds of IGO websites, enabling users to research topics such as active IGOs working on HIV/AIDS in Uganda."
  4. Theological Journals Search: "Search over 340 religion journals related to scripture studies, systematic theology, practical ministries,..."
  5. eBooks Search: "Find eBooks on the net."
  6. Business Research Search Engine: "A collection of the most credible, substantive, timely, and insightful business research related sites and blogs. ..."
  7. Google Video, Movie, Documentaries, Television, Radio and Sound Search: "This Custom Google Search Programme seeks in internationaal audio-visual heritage websites comprising film, video, ..."
  8. Sub-Saharan African Governments: "This is a search engine of web sites from Sub-Saharan African governments. It is limited to government sites at the national level, and does not include sites from state governments, political parties, or non-governmental organizations. For best results, search using the official language(s) of the country you are interested in."
  9. Data Mining Search Engine: "Search engine with a focus on data mining topics, news, forums, blogs and any website related to data mining."
  10. Tool help for learning designers: "Find help about tools to use in learning activities"

Samuel Eyitayo

Profitable Google Search Part 2


Have you ever been asked for topics you are not farmiliar with? That is common with all Reference Librarians. In such cases, one needs to do a little bit resarch on that subect but digging for answers to the request. Tools that are available to us as Reference Librarians are Dictionaries, Encyclopedia,... These are also available online. In fact using Google can be a lot faster depending on the subject area. Use 'define:' with the keyword. Google willgive glossary definitions of the word. Try it out

Profitable Google Searches Part 1 - Digital Library


Getting what you want out of Google may be a problem. In the next few postings I will show you some of the searhes I came up with while answering some questions as a Reference Specialist. Please enjoy it.

The first is targetted at LIPs who urgently need to gather some resources on Digital Library (337,000). Click on this link and learn from the search terms I used.

Did you like what you saw? Please let me know.

Finding Tutorials That You Need Part 1


I am writing this piece from the venue of the Nigerian Library Association (NLA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and National Conference holding in Kaduna.

One of the side-issues I noted in my notebook was the need for continuing education of professional librarians. In fact, a lady came up almost in tears asking colleagues to help in getting a space in the Nigerian Open University. She was actually responding to one of the presenters who challenged professionals not to be satisfied being "a local champion, but a global champion."

This, again fired my interest in finding out more places where Library and Information Professionals (LIPs) could go online and find FREE tutorials. Then, I ask myself, where is the natural place to start searching for such information. Your guess is as good as mine - Google! Then, I remembered I read an article sometime ago that suggested that one way to start is to get on some of the social bookmarks like

So, what I did was to go to and do a simple search for tutorials. Then... you have list of resources in front of you that many people have discovered and stored for future use. You may want to narrow your search down to a particular area e.g. Google, Podcasting ... From here, all you need to do is to click and go.

I have to get off now. I have a session to catch up with. Watch out for part two.

Conversion to PDF: Quick Ways To Get it Done


By the nature of my work as a Webmaster in an International organization, my duty includes posting of documents in pdf formats. The easiest way to do this is simply to buy Adobe Acrobat Professional and it will be done. However, this was not available at this time. And I needed to post the document fast. How did I get over it without paying a kobo.

The first thing I did was a google search. But I was not sure what search terms I should use. Should I just key in terms like pdf and Microsoft doc or what? Eventually, I came up with this

pdf conversion free

Click here to see what I got...

The second thing I did through Google was to do another restrictive search to - a social bookmark pdf conversion

See what I got...

On the other hand you may have to get to and do a search for pdf conversion

See what I got...

In summary, I have found the following website useful in the order:

Another great way I discovered is the use of Google Document and Spreadsheet.

From, select from the drop-down menu under . Click on Document

Upload the document you are trying to convert to pdf and click on File >> Save as pdf.

Let me know whether thiis is useful to you.

Getting Help on Microsoft Productivity Software


The other day I was bogged down with Microsoft Word. You mean, you too you are having difficulties in getting the best out of MsWord? I was trying to do Mail-merge. That feature that allows you to mass-mail personalized letters to contacts. I got round it. Not only that, I also learnt how to better search for tutorials.

Let me show ou quickly what I did?
  1. I discovered that Universities in developed countries especially U.S. routinely post tutorials on software on their websites which include MsWord.
  2. I also recognized that with Google, you could limit your search to university websites only by simply adding site:edu to the keywords
  3. More importantly, Google also allow for search for synonyms of words. The one that was of value to me then was tutorials. So, in order to capture other web sites with keywords like HELP, TIPS, TRICKS, GUIDE ... I simply used the searched for synonyms of TUTORIALS by adding this ~ with the keyword i.e. ~tutorials
  4. I decided to to focus on MsWord 2003. I typed in the full name and the edition together as a phrase i.e. "Microsoft word 2003". In most search Engines you must use "..." in order to search for the exact phrase.
  5. Finally, I also needed to specify Mail Merge because that was the area of interest.
  6. The final search terms used in Google looked more like this
    "Microsoft Word 2003" ~tutorials site:edu "Mail merge"
  7. I got what I wanted.
  8. Try searching for tutorials on MsPowerPoint
You may click here for a comprehensive search on Google tutorials

10 Ways to Simplify your life


I read this wonderful clips from http:/ I was fascinated by the simplicity of the list or what is refered to as commandments. Please read and learn from it. clipped from ririanproject.comI. You shall find work that is fun.II. You shall laugh on a daily basis.III. You shall sell the box sitting in your living room.IV. You shall break your addiction to the news and go on a “news fast.”V. You shall get in the habit of taking daily “silence breaks.”VI. You shall clean up your act.VII. You shall turn off your technology.VIII. You shall be spontaneous.IX. You shall set a bedtime and stick to it.X. You shall learn what is “enough.” [...]

How to Handle Your Confussion About ICT in the Libraries


As a Trainer, I have seen many LIPs so confused about ICT as regards their work. The answer is not far-fetched. Please read this article titled: Advice to a slightly less experienced geek librarian @ A number of points are listed for you there. Please try it and let us hear from you.

Could Librarians in Developing Countries Go on Strike?


Yes! we can go on strike if colectively decided to do so for best of all reasons. But, will there be any impact in the society?

This thought came to mind when I began to see the Academics, Oil workers and Medical practitioners in Nigeria calling their members to proceed on an indefinte strike to press home their demands.

The government in most cases have negotiated with many of these professionals in the past. In some cases, their needs were met and in other cases they suffered great loss.

The concern here is: Are Library and Information Professionals so valued to the point that if they should proceed on any strike, will there be any nogitiation with the authorities? If not, why?

Let me here from you ...

Will Librarians and Libraries Still Be Important?


I invite you to please take your time to read this write-up titled: 33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians are Still Extremely Important by Will Sherman @

Cooperative Publishing in Developing Countries: Nigerian Librarians Join The Trail


Publishing is the bed-rock of library services. Without it, Library and Information Professionals (LIPs) would be jobless. Publishing as we know it is not limited to books, but include all other media. But the beauty of publishing is when the final product is accessible to the target audience. Authors of such great works have either done it alone or cooperated with others. This is a common practice in developed countries and some developing countries particularly in librarianship. Nigerian LIPs recently have joined the trail in cooperative publishing. On the NLA ONLINE FORUM, we read about two of such viz Management of Cybercafé and Current Issues on ICT. We await the products of these noble ventures.
Recently, I came across this collaborative or cooperative publishing and I was inspired by what I saw and read. The title is  SPECIAL LIBRARIES MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK: THE BASICS @  "The 'chapters' were written by students in CLIS 724 (Special Libraries and Information Centers) at the University of South Carolina College of Library and Information Science over the period 1999-2004." Students? Why can't the LIPs venture to do this online as well over a period. I have looked through the contents and I think we have a lot to learn from the Handbook. What do you think?



For those who are still in the dark as to how to make the best use of Google in their daily jobs, Google has put out this Newsletter to do just that. Since its inception, I have benefitted from this Newsletter. I invite you to visit this page and sign-up for the Newsletter immediately @ You would very glad you did.

A to Z Yahoo! shortcuts


A to Z Yahoo! shortcuts: " The always instructive Steve Rubel has written up a list of Yahoo! search shortcuts in alphabetical order. Yahoo! has had quite a few search shortcuts out for a while now, but these particular ones are from the little-publicized Yahoo! Open Search Shortcuts, where you can create your very own search tweaks, not only for Yahoo!, but for any search engine or site that your little web searchin' heart desires. Pretty slick. — Wendy Boswell Essential Yahoo Search Shortcuts from A to Z [MicroPersuasion] "

FREE Electronic Journal: "Rebuilding and Resilience: Five Years After 9/11"


This journal examines how the United States has rebounded and how the international community has rebuilt and come together to condemn terrorism in the five years since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Highlights include articles about the rebuilding of the area around the World Trade Center, U.S. government efforts to facilitate travel to the United States, an interfaith roundtable, planned 9/11 memorials, and how survivors are rebuilding their lives.

The English version may be viewed at

IFLA/WSIS Libraries Success Stories Database


According to the site this database is setup "within the framework of its activities for WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) and ... to contribute to the ongoing and long term presence of libraries in the world, IFLA has set up a database that aims to showcase the value of libraries to society as a whole." The contents of the database of Library’s achievements and projects are categorized into the following:  ·        Libraries as access point ·        Libraries as ICT learning centres ·        Libraries for continuing education ·        Libraries for specific needs ·        Libraries for cultural heritage This database is however not restricted to projects developed in one institution alone. "On the contrary, the strength of libraries in the world today is to cooperate and network on all levels, local, regional, national and international." I did a search on the database for Africa only to find two entries from Senegal. Where are we not putting success stories in Africa especially Nigeria.[...]

Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki


According to the site, "This wiki was created to be a one-stop-shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians. All over the world, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one outside of their library knows about. There are lots of great blogs out there sharing information about the profession, but there is no one place where all of this information is collected and organized. " LIPs are invited to make their contribution to the development of this wiki. Please visit the site, learn and make your contribution to the development of this great resource @

Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki


According to the site, "This wiki was created to be a one-stop-shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians. All over the world, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one outside of their library knows about. There are lots of great blogs out there sharing information about the profession, but there is no one place where all of this information is collected and organized. " LIPs are invited to make their contribution to the development of this wiki. Please visit the site, learn and make your contribution to the development of this great resource @

Skills for the 21st Century Librarian - A must Read for LIPs


I read this thought provoking  article and I felt all librarians must read it. Please visit the blog "Information Wants To Be Free" @     Some Basic Tech competencies listed include: ·        Ability to embrace change ·        Comfort in the online medium ·        Ability to troubleshoot new technologies ·        Ability to easily learn new technologies ·        Ability to keep up with new ideas in technology and librarianship (enthusiasm for learning): “…Five years ago, few people were talking about blogs and IM in libraries, but now so many libraries are using these tools to provide services to patrons. We need to be able to keep up with what’s new in technology and what libraries are (or could be) doing with it. And we need to be able to keep up in the shortest time possible because we are busy. Try and take some time out of your busy schedule to keep up, whether you are reading the professional literature, browsing blogs, or attending a Webcast.”   Higher Level Competencies: ·        Project management skills ·        Ability to question and evaluate library services ·        Ability to evaluate the needs of all stakeholders ·        Vision to translate traditional library services into the online medium ·         Critical of technologies and ability to compare technologies: ·        Ability to sell ideas/library services o       What library schools can do: “Library schools should definitely teach students how to sell library services and new ideas to different stakeholders.”    [...]

Librarian - Just a Title?


I read this interesting write-up on the subject matter @ According to the blogger, "You don't have to have an MLS to be a librarian. The MLS doesn't teach passion, empathy, user focused skills, or provide experience. Some library science schools don't even teach you how to perform research well. " Is this not true?

Further s/he asked "how does one become a librarian, even without that piece of paper? Well, experience helps. A lot. Who would you rather be doing important research for you, one that could mean getting or not getting a multi-million dollar client (and don't tell me that this doesn't happen, because it has happened to me many many times)". S/he compared a 25 year veteran of library who owns his own company, networks like crazy, and can walk circles around other library managers and researchers and a fresh graduate of the best library school in the country who has never stepped into a real library and concluded that "I'd even take that 25 year non MLS library veteran with passion for the work than an MLS librarian with 25 years experience who has no...well...UMPH!" Is this not also true?

It is safe, if you care that having a piece of paper that proves that you can write papers and take tests will not have any place if quality experience is not presentThe paper qualification is great and should be a requirement in my own view. In fact, it is a starting point. However, I do not agree with the conclusion of this master piece that we must not stick to the principle of an "MLS is required". Within the context of developing nations, we are not missing out such people if they are present.

Other File Storage and Transfer Websites You Could Use.


It occurred to me that many of us do not know what other storage facilities are available on the 'Net. Particularly with the increasing use of digital camera, you will surely need these storage sites to keep and share your photos as well as files. These are few of them in addition to the ESNIPS and YOU SEND IT listed in

YOU SEND IT: Storage Tool for You!!!


Seriously, when you think of sending big files up to 1GB, you know very well that YAHOO and GMAIL do not allow up to this amount. Why can't you take a trip and try this one out