01 September 2005

Issue Intro: Back Into the "Ordinary"

In Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird, following a tumultuous summer where an innocent man, Tom Robinson, is tried and sentenced to death, then shot while trying to escape fearing no possibility of appeal, school started that autumn, and life slipped back into the ordinary. So it is for many students in storm-ravaged southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, who now try to piece their lives together, after the destruction Hurricane Katrina left in her wake.

In this issue of BiblioTech, we examine what one library is doing to share what it can, and learn about library recovery efforts following another disaster in the southeastern European nation of Bosnia-Herzogovina.

We then drill into the world of incredible techno tools designed to simplify your school and private life, with little effort and at no cost (that really work). Next, we lighten things up a bit with one library student's stirring account of life in the fast lane guiding power librarians at the UA summer Library Institute. Finally, we get an excellent primer on what to expect at the October Symposium Presenter's Workshop courtesy of our own Dr. Malone.

None of these accounts would have been possible without the priceless contributions of your fellow students, already living life "on the fly." Thank you Bambi, Christina, Bruce, Jennifer, and also Dr. Malone. You inspire us! Thank you to Monica, co-Editor extraordinaire, with whom I alternate editorship, for her invaluable, and often witty comments and suggestions for fine-tuning.

In the next issue of BiblioTech, more cool technology, librarianship in the sultanate of Oman, and more, all in the capable hands of Monica, who will be taking the reigns next time. Signing off for now .....

Nancy Bronte-Matheny

Editor's Note: Hurricane Rita making landfall at southeast Texas, as this issue of BiblioTech is published.

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All I Needed to Know to be a Great Librarian, I Learned from a Child.

by Bambi L. Mansfield

Hurricane Katrina has stunned the nation, and caused many to become numb to the horror and tragedy of events. As a librarian I have always prided myself in being one who disseminates knowledge, who provides information and entertainment to those who seek. So many individual’s lives and freedoms have been taken or altered by a force of nature. What could I possibly distribute to those affected that would make a difference? What do library professionals have to offer?

My thoughts rambled and my heart felt heavy… Leave it to the inspiration of a seven year old boy whose ideals have not yet been affected by life’s experiences to bring a sense of humble reality to light. At dinner my son and I were discussing the devastation that individual people were facing in Mississippi, Alabama and New Orleans. Dakotah expressed that it was wonderful for victims of the hurricane to receive the necessities but, that what they really needed at a time of crisis was a friend.

After an elaborate discussion of how lonely it must be for the people affected by this disaster he concluded by saying, “Mom, If you are lonely a book can be a good friend. What people need is a book so that they can be somewhere else for a few minutes. What they need is to giggle.”

His words struck home, through books information professionals can create an opportunity for hope, education and a chance to lighten an otherwise dark moment. Within 24 hours this incredible seven year old has been able to affect many, refreshed my professional views as he has gathered donations of 5000 plus new books that are headed to some of the designated shelters housing the people affected by hurricane Katrina.

Let him be an inspiration to all of us, a book can be so much more than a source of information; a book can be a good friend.

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Destruction of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Archives

by Christina Stephenson

“A Nation that forgets its past has no future”
Winston Churchill

Throughout the history of Bosnia, the archives of the country collected and protected the manuscripts and documents of the region. Unfortunately, in 1992 the archives and libraries were systematically attacked with incendiary grenades from the Serbians in their brutal quest to “cleanse” the region of all non-Serbians and evidence of their lives and history. Many one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable manuscripts were forever lost. Nearly every original source document and manuscript in the country was destroyed and the recorded history and legacy of an entire populace was effectively erased from existence.

In the National Archives alone, some 155,000 rare books and manuscripts were lost. The Oriental Institute lost one of the worlds finest collections of middle-eastern manuscripts. This collection consisted of over 5,263 manuscripts and over 7,000 Ottoman government documents. There are sad, but inspiring stories of librarians attempting to save what little they could from the destruction. On August 25, 1992, the night the National Library and Archive was bombed, 32 year old librarian Aida Buturovic went immediately to the library to rescue what materials from special collections could be reached. After being able to salvage a handful of items from the inferno, she was killed by a shell blast while returning home.

Considering all of the destroyed archives in Bosnia, the loss is staggering, and yet heroic efforts are currently underway to rebuild and reform as much of the collection as possible. While nearly all of the original documents in the country are lost forever, microfiche and other facsimiles made for scholars around the world exist for some of the material. These are being sought out and painstakingly copied. In a fortunate event, some 300 manuscripts were on loan to other institutions around the world, and are expected to be returned to National Archives when they are safely rebuilt. The efforts are slow going, but bit by bit the history of the Bosnian people is being recovered and restored to the people.


  • Abid, Abdelaziz (2003), UNESCO, Library Development and the World Summit on the Information Society, World Library and Information Congress: 69th IFLA General Conference and Council, August 1-9, 2003, Berlin.
    Asian Classics Input Project, http://asianclassics.org, last accessed June 15, 2005.
  • Carroll, James (1994), Saving the Soul of Sarajevo, The Boston Globe, October 25, 1994.
  • Riedlmayer, Andras (1993). A Brief History of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Harvard University, http://www.kakarigi.net/manu/briefhis.htm, last accessed July 30, 2005.
  • Riedlmayer, Andras (2002). Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-1996: A Post-War Survey of Selected Municipalities, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Riedlmayer, Andras (1993). Fighting the Destruction of Memory, Harvard University, http://www.kakarigi.net/manu/ingather.htm, last accessed July 31, 2005.
  • Riedlmayer, Andras (1995). Libraries are NOT for Burning: International Librarianship and the Recovery of the Destroyed Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 61st IFLA General Conference.
  • Sarajevo Library Photo (2003), http://www.nytimes.com/specials/bosnia/gallery/sa_library.jpg, last accessed August 3, 2005
  • Schork, Kurt (1992). Jewel of the City Destroyed by Fire, the London Times, August 27, 1992.
  • Shimmon, Ross (2003). The Blue Shield: the Cultural Red Cross?, World Library and Information Congress: 69th IFLA General Conference and Council, July 31 – August 1, 2003.
  • Sweet, Kimberly (1999). Volumes of Hope, College Report, University of Chicago.

(photo: Sarajevo Library Photo courtesy New York Times, 2003)

How to cite this document:

Stephenson, C. A. (2005). Destruction of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Archives. BiblioTech, 3(1). Retrieved [insert date here], from: http://www.sir.arizona.edu/lso/bibliotech/2005sep_vol3_no1/christina1.htm

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SchoolTools I: Virtual Private Networking at the University of Arizona

by Bruce Fulton

You can’t get through a program like SIRLS without knowing how to use the major software applications. Word processing, spreadsheets, HTML editors and other productivity programs are all part of a toolkit that gets you through the next paper or project and finally on to your degree. These and a handful of others are the workhorses you can’t be without.

Software isn’t cheap, of course, so when you come across a freebie that does something really useful, it’s a find indeed. And when it makes working on your next paper or project just a bit easier and more efficient, so much the better. In this and the next few columns, we’re going to take a look at some of the most overlooked time savers available. They’re all free, easy, and guaranteed to save you time and effort.

This time, we’ll talk about the U of A VPN. The VPN client software is a must have for anyone who connects from off campus, although few people know about it or what it really does. It might sound complicated, but the application is easy to install and use. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and when you load the client into memory while connected to your own internet service provider, it fools other systems into thinking a request is coming from the U of A, not your local ISP. If you’re not sure why you would want to do that, just think about entering your CAT card number every time you need to pull a paper from E-Reserves or search one of the library databases.

Normally, you need to enter your identification when you connect from off-campus to use services and products that are restricted to students, faculty and staff. You may have noticed that if you connect from on-campus, however, the systems that validate users recognize that the request is coming from inside the University. This will bypass the login and take you straight to the resource. Because the VPN software effectively routes your connection as if you were on campus, you get the same kind of validation off-campus as on. So, no more CAT card entry and logon or access failures when your session changes or you open up a new window.

Other Benefits

The VPN client carries with it a few other benefits that may not seem as obvious. First, you may have tried the new Google Scholar or similar services that search academic databases and electronic journals (see http://scholar.google.com and give it a spin). These services get you the citation, but if you’re connecting from home, you many not be able to get past the login for the journal or database. Without the VPN, you’d have to copy down the citation and go through the Library using your cat card to retrieve it. With the VPN loaded, if the University has a subscription you’ll often go straight to the article! It will also permit you to connect directly with subscribed reference services without having to go through the library access point.

Second, the VPN client can work with your regular Email program like Outlook or Eudora to permit you to send email using your email.arizona.edu address. Outlook, for example, lets you configure multiple Email accounts and select which of them you want to use for any particular message you send. If you’ve tried to set up your school email account using one of these programs and the campus ingoing and outgoing mail servers, you’ve probably noticed that while you can receive Email just fine, outgoing replies or new messages that try to use the outgoing mail server won’t go through. That’s because outgoing mail servers are configured to prohibit what is called mail relay – connecting through one ISP and trying to use the outgoing mail servers of another.

Shutting off mail relay cuts down on spam, but it makes sending messages through outside services difficult. As you might imagine by now, though, if the VPN client is connected, the U of A mail servers will see you as being authenticated on their system and your messages will be sent if you select your U of A account as the return address.

This can be a real help when you’re traveling, by the way. If you are in a hotel with high speed broadband, you may have noticed the same outgoing mail problem – your own ISP won’t relay messages you try to send from an outside connection. You can use the webmail functions provided by your ISP of course, but these aren’t as flexible or easy to use. You can, however, load the VPN client and send messages through your university email account and avoid the relay issue altogether.

Use VPN with other Citation Services

Finally, the VPN client makes working with RefWorks much, much easier. RefWorks is a bibliographic tool that’s free for student use and it just might give you your life back when working on all those SIRLS projects that need a bibliography and citations. But that’s the subject of our next column!

In the meantime the VPN client is easy to install and easy to run. You can get it at https://sitelicense.arizona.edu/vpn/. Basically, you will just download the package and take the default installation options. There are some links to installation and troubleshooting tips that look a little confusing, but the product is supported by campus computing, so if you have any problems, just give them a call.

To use it once installed, just run the program after you connect to your own ISP and before you need to log on to a university resource or service. You’ll enter your UA NetID and password just once, and then it’s good until you close the connection. You’re not restricted just to University resources, of course – your browser and email will still work over the internet as usual, while allowing you to bypass the University logons. When you’re done, click on Disconnect either from the VPN program screen or the system tray icon and you’re good to go.

Happy computing!

(photos: VPN dialer, courtesy of University of Arizona, 2005)

How to cite this document:

Fulton, B. D. (2005). School tools, part I: Virtual Private Networking at the University of Arizona. BiblioTech, 3(1). Retrieved [insert date here], from: http://www.sir.arizona.edu/lso/bibliotech/2005sep_vol3_no1/fulton1.htm

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Summer Fun at Library Institute

by Jennifer Young

This past summer I traveled to Tucson from Mesa, Arizona and stayed in Pima dorm for a week where four classmates and I trekked all over UofA campus. We laughed, we joked, we sometimes consulted maps, and all of this with some thirty-five wearied and weathered librarians in tow. That’s right, I was a student guide at Library Institute!

Library Institute is an event sponsored by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records and hosted by SIRLS at University of Arizona to provide aspiring and current library directors the opportunity to engage in professional development activities and network with each other. The librarians all traveled to UofA from small towns in rural Arizona where they manage public libraries. My job as a student guide entailed assisting the librarians with checking in and moving in and out of the dorm, escorting librarians and presenters to and from various events, lunches, and dinners, participating in events and general socializing.

Now, I know you’re thinking this sounds like a lot of work, but I can honestly say it was well worth it to meet this group of fabulous and inspiring librarians and speakers! Most notably, we were motivated by Mary Bushing, a dynamic library consultant and educator, who woke us all up after lunch when she dared to ask the question in her presentation “Why do libraries charge late fees? Why not get rid of them? Seriously folks!!!”

Linda Holman Bentley of the Phoenix Public Library made a convert out of me, and many others, I suspect, with her completely entertaining and convincing presentation “The Need to Weed” – not only am I an advocate of weeding in libraries now, but I was inspired to (gasp!) weed my own beloved collection of books. Agnes Griffen, a Library Consultant and all-around purveyor of common sense, shared with us her vast wisdom about working with library boards and ‘Friends of the Library’ groups, striking home for the librarians and opening my eyes about the trials and tribulations of the administrative side of libraries. Our very own Jana Bradley encouraged the audience, presenting on the benefits of joining national and local library associations and of pursuing continuing education for personal and professional gain.

In addition to the obvious benefits of gleaning all of this new wisdom from such prominent speakers and the librarians themselves, I got to hang out with some great classmates whom I’d been in classes with online but had never ‘met’ before, ride around in a golf cart all over campus, although sometimes hanging on for dear life, I might add, enjoy the most fantastic and beautiful food I’ve ever seen in my life all week long (for free!), and get paid a stipend of $500.00 for doing it all.

Although I can’t say the week went perfectly…there was that fire alarm at the dorm on the first night at 2am!, a minor ‘detour’ through construction to a presentation at an obscure building across campus (or as I liked to call it “an unofficial campus tour”) which some guests didn’t exactly appreciate, and of course, the heat…I learned a lot and had a blast doing it, and I definitely would do it all again!!

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Top 10 Tips for Conference Presentations

by Cheryl Knott-Malone, Ph.D.

Many librarians and other information professionals share their research and insights by making presentations at conferences. Even those who rarely present at conferences, however, make presentations as part of the job interview process and as part of their job responsibilities. In general, following these top ten tips can help you make effective presentations.

1. Prepare and practice your presentation well in advance of the actual presentation.

2. Visit the room where you will be speaking beforehand.

3. Stay within the time allotted for your presentation.

4. If you are the last speaker scheduled in a conference session, be ready to cut your presentation down to the highlights to keep the session on time.

5. Use visual aids to help your audience understand your points.

6. Use visual aids as your notes so you do not have to read from a paper.

7. Wear something comfortable yet professional with no distracting features or accessories.

8. Make eye contact with individual audience members.

9. When presenting, read your audience's body language to know if you need to change the topic, the volume of your voice, or the pace of your presentation.

10. If you feel nervous, pause to gaze out at audience members and remind yourself that they are there because they want to hear what you have to say. Then take a breath and start saying it.

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