ALA Virtual 2011: Currents of Change and Innovation

Moderator: Ann Coder, Library Services Manager, Brookhaven College

Speaker: Linda McCann, Director of Library Services, Bucks County Community College

Probably had something interesting to say, but her phone connection was so awful I tuned it out. Plus, I hate the “let me tell you useless stats about my institution” portion that for some reason people think is important to include in every presentation about something they did at their library.

In summary, they got rid of formats and collections that are no longer needed and converted the space into a popular (and apparently award winning) learning commons.

 

Speaker: Denise Repman, Dean of Library Services, Delgado Community College

Oy. Sound not much better on this one. Maybe it’s ALA’s connection? In summary: something something something new library buildings.

 

Speaker:  Theresa C. Stanley, Library Director, Pima Community College

Still crappy sound. In summary: they had to reduce their collection by 30%, so they removed duplicates and content no longer relevant to their current programs. Kept notes in a wiki and used a shared calendar to schedule the project, which is probably a good idea.

IL 2010: Adding Value – CIO Insights

speakers: Mike Ridley, Donna Scheeder, & Jim Peterson (moderated by Jane Dysart)

Ridley sees his job as leveraging information and economics to move the institution forward. Scheeder combines information management and technology to support their users. Peterson is from a small, rural library system where he manages all of the IT needs. (regarding his director: “I’m the geek, she’s the wallet.”)


Ridley

“I just want to remind you that if you think my comments are a load of crap, that’s a good thing.” Mike Ridley, referencing yesterday’s keynote about the hidden treasure of bat guano in libraries.

Information professionals have ways of thinking about how we do what we do, but our user populations have different perspectives. The tribal identities can be challenging when it comes to communicating effectively.

The information age is over. We’ve done that. But we’re still hanging on to it, even though everyone is in the information business. We need to leave that metaphor behind.

This is the age of imagination. What can we do differently? How will we change the rules to make a better world?

Open organizations are the way to go. Command and control organizations won’t get us to where we need to be in this age of imagination. We need to be able to fail. We are completely ignorant of how this will play out, and that opens doors of possibilities that wouldn’t otherwise be there.


Scheeder

It’s challenging to balance the resource needs of diverse user groups. You can add value to information by deeply understanding your users, your resources, and the level of risk that is acceptable.

There’s a big movement towards teleworking in the government. This can change your culture and the way you deliver services. Also, the proliferation of mobile devices among the users creates challenges in delivering content to them.

There’s a constant push and pull among the disciplines to get what they want.

Finally, security requirements make outside collaboration difficult. They want to be open, but they also have to protect the assets they were entrusted with.


Peterson

We all have computers, servers, and patrons, so under the hood we’re all the same.

The ability that IT has to cut power consumption costs can really help you out. Technology upgrades will increase productivity and decrease energy costs. In general, if it’s generating heat, it’s wasting electricity. Open source software can save on those costs, particularly if you have tech support that can manage it.

IT is more than just the geek you call when you have a tech problem. We’re here to help you save money.

Dysart’s questions

What’s the future of libraries?

Scheeder: The screen is the library now, so the question is where do we want the library. The library should be where people have their “dwell time.”

Ridley: The internet is going to get so big that it will disappear as a separate entity. Libraries will be everywhere, no matter what you’re doing. The danger is that libraries may disappear, so we need to think about value in that sphere.

Peterson: Libraries of the future are going to be most valuable as efficient information providers.


Tips for financing resources?

Peterson: Show a solid business model for the things you need.

Scheeder: Figure out how the thing you want to do aligns with the greater good of the organization. Identify how the user experience will improve. Think like the decision-makers and identify the economic reality of the organization.

Ridley: Prefers “participant” to “user”. Make yourself visible to everyone in your organization. Bridge the gap between tribes.

Anything else?

Peterson: If we don’t talk to our legislators then we won’t have a voice and they won’t know our needs.

Scheeder: Information professionals have the opportunity to maximize content to be finable by search engines, create taxonomy, and manage the digital lifecycle. We need to do better about preserving the digital content being created every moment.

Ridley: Go out and hire someone like Peterson. We need people who can understand technology and bridge the divide between IT and users.

IL 2010: Beyond 23 Things

presenters: Louise Alcorn, Christa Burns, and Jennifer Koerber

The 23 Things program was designed to introduce library staff to explore and discover new and emerging technologies. Many libraries have taken it and adapted it to their own organizational needs, and some are starting to experiment with doing it with users as well.

Alcorn’s first attempt at doing this was a bit of a failure, in part because her incentives weren’t strong enough, and in part because there wasn’t enough buy-in to self-motivate the participants. Nudging became nagging, which didn’t help.

NWILSA’s 13 Things is done with different instructors online. The participants were given “homework” assignments to keep everything in check. The instructors had dress rehearsals to make sure the tech worked, and it was all through the same Adobe Connect room. The participants were also given a Google Site to keep all the info together, and chat pods to discuss the side conversations that sprouted.

But, there were problems. There needed to be ongoing marketing (not nagging) that promotes each presentation/session. The participants were reluctant to get a headset with a microphone rather than just participating in the text chat. Also, due to staff constraints, they weren’t able to effectively turn the feedback into new programming.

When Nebraska Learns 2.0 ended, many of the participants commented that they were sad to see it end and wanted to do more. So, the organizers looked around to find a way to maintain it as an ongoing project.

However, they noticed that participation and new joiners dropped over time. The problem was, they promoted it initially, but didn’t continue the promotion beyond that until recently. Now, every month, at least one new participant joins and a thing gets done.

Koerber wants to bring the 23 things to the users wherever they are (home, work, library, etc.). The scalability is challenging, particularly for incentives and interaction. It can get a bit unwieldy. The program itself needs to be open-ended and self-driven.

One possible model has WordPress at its core and uses social networks (virtual and physical) to connect the participants. Promotion can be done through bookmarks, flyers, Craigslist, etc. Rather than everyone winning something, participants could be entered into monthly raffles for prizes.

Internet Librarian 2010 is just around the corner

Monterey is awesome! #il2009
from Internet Librarian 2009

I’m heading off to Internet Librarian later this week, and let me tell you, I’m pretty excited about it! There will be lots of sharing of ideas, both in sessions and later over beers. I’ll also be giving a presentation on Wednesday morning on electronic resources workflow tips & tricks, along with my colleagues Emily McElroy and Bonnie Parks. I’m not sure if I want a large audience (yikes!) or a small audience (*sad panda*), as both come with their unique panic moments.

Here are the sessions I’m planning to attend, which will likely change while I’m there, and some are double-booked, so I’ll have to make an on-the-spot decision about which to attend:

Sunday

  • Gaming & Gadgets Petting Zoo

Monday

  • Adding Value to Your Community
  • Dashboards, Data, and Decisions
  • Managing Your Library’s Online Presence
  • Next Gen Discovery Systems OR Beyond 23 Things: For Staff & for Patrons

Tuesday

  • Adding Value: CIO Insights
  • Personal Content Management
  • Failcamp OR Applying User Experience (UX) Design
  • Augmented Reality & Libraries OR Patron-Driven Ebook Acquisition
  • Videocasting, Innovating, & Creating New Ideas
  • Rip Van Winkle’s Libraries in 2510

Wednesday

  • Planning & Designing for Attention
  • Tips, Tricks, & Workflows for Managing Digital Resources <– that’s mine
  • Best Free Web Stuff for Broke Libraries
  • Digital Librarianship: Open Access & Web 2.0
  • Adding Value Through Visualization

RALC Lightening Round Micro-Conference: Afternoon Sessions

Laura Westmoreland and Donna Coghill: “Walk-In Research & Writing Clinics: A Progress Report”
More in-depth than the library service desk, but less than what they’d get at the writing center, with the option to work with a librarian or writing consultant. They do it in two hour shifts that are regularly irregular, and each shift includes one librarian and one writing consultant. Last fall, they saw over two users an hour, but they weren’t coordinating with the writing center. In the spring, they coordinated with the writing center and reduced hours, which resulted in a decrease to under two users an hour. It might be seasonal, or something else about the service that wasn’t clicking as well with the students.

Erin White: “Mobilizing your library website”
Used analytics to determine the popular pages hit by mobile users. They paid close attention to what other libraries were doing with their mobile sites to avoid reinventing the wheel (i.e. NCSU Libraries). They also included a mini feedback form at the bottom of every page of the mobile site, and the message sent includes details about the device used. The most popular pages tend to be information pages like hours, events, and computer availability.

Olivia Reinauer: “Creating SLACers: The Formation of a Student Library Advisory Committee”
In 2006, a think team put together a recommendation to create a standing library advisory committee populated by students in order to have a better idea of the needs of current students. They copied liberally from VCU’s student advisory committee to create the charge and structure. One thing that VCU that was different was actually paying the students an honorarium, so they did that, either as cash or in the form of a gift card. They meet once a month to discuss ideas gathered from colleague’s work and go through the suggestions from the suggestion box, using the students as a sounding board. They also have guest speakers come and talk about things happening in the library, which the students like because it makes them feel engaged. Some issues involve getting them to do things outside of the meetings and providing more enticing compensation.

Abiodun Solanke: “Did you find my…?: Lost and Found Issues at UR Library”
Students leave physical and electronic materials all over the library, from books and clothing to unsaved documents on public computers. When we find the items, they are happy, and of course disappointed if not found. The student activities also keep lost and found items. If the item is not financial or an ID, they take photos and display them on the lost and found cart, along with “safer” physical items like clothing and books. If the items are never claimed, we repurpose them for use locally or send them to other organizations. Before that happens, several attempts are made to locate the owners and contact them.

Carrie Ludovico: “LibGuides for Foodies”
Using LibGuides to engage with the community. The campus has a strong green emphasis, from bikes to hybrid parking to a community garden. The newest benefit is a CSA option for employees from June – September for full and half shares that are delivered on campus, and it has been more popular than the organizers expected. So, they created a LibGuide to highlight interesting and supportive resources. The most used tab is the scholarly and government resources, more than books, cookbooks, and recipes.

Betty Dickie: “Read This!”
Anything by Christopher Moore, for certain. David Maine tends to take Bible stories and rewrite them in interesting ways. A Canticle for Leibowitz – the library plays an important role. Alessandro Boffa’s You’re an Animal, Viskovitz! is small but mighty. Louise Penny has gotten good reviews for good reason – recommended for murder mystery fans who like good stories and character development.

Carol Wittig: “Boatwright Knitters”
They meet one day a week at lunch. It encourages home/work balance, improves morale, addresses the whole person beyond the job, increases cross-campus outreach, and builds bridges to reach diverse groups. You can involve the whole staff by “sponsoring a knitter” to pay for the yarn. They have a Ravelry group, a blog, and a set of Flickr photos of projects. Right now, they are a student organization, but don’t have enough student participation, so they’re working on outreach in that area. They’ve done charity projects like Knit One To Save One and caps for chemo.

Travis Smith: “The End”
There are many negative connotations about “the end,” so he wrote a poem. You’ll have to ask him for a copy.