10 Things Android Does Better Than iPhone OS, from Gizmodo.  I knew all 10, but as an Android owner and user, I was bound to ;)

I honestly must say, there is nothing that anyone has shown me about the iPhone or its apps that has made me think “Oh gosh, if only I had that instead!”  Android’s apps, games, OS, functionality, display, user input, and options are so much superior to the iPhone in my mind.

I’m very happy I made the choice I did.  I currently have an HTC Eris, and HTC makes kick-butt phones.  I recommend their phones highly.  If you’re worrying about delving into smart-phone-land, are debating between iPhone or Android, or are even an iPhone user who is thinking of making the switch, I have two words: DO IT.

Looking for someone to hire to do computer programming? Try Freelancer.com. You’d be amazed how cheap it is to do what we in libraries think is so hard.  I put in a couple of samples to see what it would cost, and was amazed that people came back with super low bids, much less than I thought it would cost us to do it in-house.

These are experts, and they work quickly and efficiently.  Hire someone to create an iPhone app, or an Android app.  Or maybe make a customized database to track staff training.  Or perhaps to set up a Drupal theme for your new website.  And hey, if you do have coding skills–this is a great place to look for piecemeal work when and how you choose.  Nice!

Take a moment for yourself.  Breathe.  Make something.

Exercise your creativity by creating a canvas of universes, black holes, & comets with Flame, a gorgeous image generator that you control.  Colors, opacity, width, focus…  You can make really pretty stuff.  See myo wn creation below :)

flame

A great article for current or budding bloggers and other online authors: “Bloggers: 7 questions to ask before hitting ‘Publish’” by Kevin Martineau.

via @10000Words on Twitter

SharePoint is the devil.  Apparently Jakob Nielsen has some concerns as well, but he seems to like it more than I do.  Does SharePoint Destroy Intranet Design? If anyone is interested in SharePoint horror stories, give me a ring. ;)

via@NNgroup on Twitter

It’s here!  Part 4 in the series on photography best practices that Cindi Trainor has been doing.  Part 4 is titled Take Pictures, Tell Stories: Part 4: Fun with Photos at Library Events.  Go back and see parts 1-3 as well.

Google Editions is on its way, a cloud bookstore in direct competition with Amazon and Apple.  So far, there is no explicit model for libraries to use, but Google insiders say that it might be in the works.  Library Journal does a nice job of covering the story.  I can’t wait.  More competition, especially in a freemium model, is just what publishing needs to give it a shot in the arm and cut out the middle man.  Boo-yah.

AudioPal: Free text to speech and voice recording/emailing tool that you can use via the phone.  Nice!

via @Philbradley on Twitter

Tomorrow I talk about planning & running a library’s social media presence at the online all-day Innovation for Libraries in the 21st Century Conference, put on by the Alliance Library System and LearningTimes. Many awesome presenters will be speaking too, so take a look at the schedule!  There are even multiple tracks, so you can pick and choose to attend what works best for you.

You can still register & learn more about the full conference program on the conference website.  Hope to see many of you there!

A week ago, I did a poll on Twitter for library staff using the tool Twtpoll.  Please respond to the poll if you have not yet done so.

I asked one simple question: “Why do you continue to work in libraries?”  Here are the results.  We had 92 respondents as of today and the poll is still open so it may go up and the results may change.  But here’s what it looks like today.  People could select more than once choice, so the total is over 100%.

  • 67% – Belief in the library’s mission in society
  • 64% – Love the work itself
  • 32% – Good work environment
  • 26% – Love the customers
  • 23% – Love my co-workers
  • 15% – Good pay/benefits
  • 9% – Fear that I’m not qualified for anything else
  • 9% – Other
  • 7% – Convenience (e.g. job close to home)
  • 4% – Laziness (changing jobs is too hard)
  • 3% – Holding on a little longer to get vested/get better retirement benefits

UPDATE: WE NOW HAVE MANY MORE RESPONDENTS, SO THE RESULTS ARE SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT.  SEE THE UPDATED RESULTS AS OF 6/9/2010.  LAZINESS & “HOLDING ON FOR RETIREMENT” WENT UP A BIT ;)

  • 68% – Belief in the library’s mission in society
  • 62% – Love the work itself
  • 32% – Good work environment
  • 26% – Love the customers
  • 24% – Love my co-workers
  • 15% – Good pay/benefits
  • 9% – Fear that I’m not qualified for anything else
  • 8% – Other
  • 7% – Convenience (e.g. job close to home)
  • 7% – Laziness (changing jobs is too hard)
  • 6% – Holding on a little longer to get vested/get better retirement benefits

While I had sincerely hoped that belief in the library’s mission would rank first, it’s interesting to me that love for customers (which is the library’s mission) only came in with 26%. And we apparently love the customers more than we love our co-workers ;)

I wasn’t surprised by the low ranking of the ‘good pay & benefits’ option, but I did think that the ‘fear’ and ‘holding on til I’m retired’ questions would have come in higher.  Then again, this was a poll on Twitter (& I sent it out via Facebook as well).  I don’t think that a representative sampling of our near-retirement-age library staff are on Twitter & Facebook.

In all honesty, for me personally, I still work in libraries due to a combination of ‘belief in the library’s mission in society’ and ‘fear that I’m not qualified for anything else’ (which may be why I thought that would come in higher).

The thought of moving out of libraries after my impending probable lay-off in July is both exhilarating and scary.  Exhilarating at the possibility of making much better wages and benefits in private industry or non-profits with my skill set and willingness to work long hours.  Scary because I really like libraries and I want to work in them longer.  I want to contribute to the great equalizer in our society.   I want to better people’s lives in a non-profit environment.  And also scary because maybe private industry doesn’t have a role for a tech-savvy project manager, information architect, and writer.  In some ways, I think about moving into consulting full time — speaking and writing my days away, but the thought of not having stable income or health insurance scares the devil out of me.  But in the end, I just like libraries too much to leave.  And maybe that’s the case for most of us.  What we do is admirable in my book.  We make differences in people’s lives, and that’s something that I think we should all be proud of at the end of the day.

Talking with co-workers my age, there seems to be a common thread — we feel that we deserve/want better pay & benefits, but don’t want to leave libraries for ethical and security reasons.  So, what’s a librarian to do?  Hang tight and hope to goodness that we don’t keep bleeding jobs in our field?  Pray that in five years we don’t have a critical librarian shortage as those who left the field today aren’t willing to come back to replace all the soon-to-be-retirees?  Hope that we make up some of the concessions and losses in our salaries and benefits over the last few years (our management union is losing 7 1/2% + no wage increases for 3 years).  That’s a 20% reduction in standard of living between now (which isn’t so hot to begin with) and 2013.  Plead with lawmakers to reinstate library hours and funding?  Rebuild the “new library” in a different way to accommodate the far smaller staff and make the library what we want it to be, instead of what it has been?  Or do we jump ship?  Do we flee the sinking vessel in favor of better financial and lifestyle rewards?

I sincerely hope that most of us will stay.  But realistically, I think that libraries will be losing many quality library employees to other industries better positioned to reward them.  If we do have a comeback as a field, we’re going to have to figure out what we can offer these ex-patriots to motivate them to come back when we need them.