Wed - March 3, 2004
PLA Wrap Up
Pondering this afternoon back at my desk a week spent in the Pacific Northwest with Public Librarians from all over the country. These things I know:
* Public Librarians are a darn friendly group of folks, willing to talk shop anywhere, from the Market to the deck of a Ferry, as well as invite a colleague for breakfast!
* Buildings matter! Space! Design! We want to be the community living room..meeting place..tech place ..like the new Seattle PL. And the Cerritos PL... a WOW library.
* Technology is a tool. Don’t get involved with techno lust – don’t just buy it then figure out what to do.
* RFID is BIG and will change the way we do business yet again... but is it really and truly ready for primetime? The debate continues... many good opinions were expressed in the Tech talks, etc. Librarians are the first to want to put tags on all sorts of crazy stuff: DVD, CD, etc..
* Tech types must have been laying low... where were all the laptops? the cell phone cameras? (except this one) I did see a lot of PDAs
* Four librarians gathered for a dinner will ultimately touch on "what's HOT" (blogs, RSS, RFID) and "what's NOT" (ugly shoes, dead wood staff, poor planning)
* People ordering at Starbucks speak a language all their own, that I tried my best to adopt
* Library staff that see employees getting away at being "Dead Wood" lose respect for administration
* "Internet Sign In.." is a nationwide mantra for PLS who haven't embraced PC management software
* Anna Quindlen likes us...she really likes us...
* We need WIFI at all library conferences....
* Library dignitaries are incredibly approachable and pretty darn cool
* The digital divide is very real and it's to easy to be irked about it instead of acting
Posted at 01:59 PM Read More
Tue - March 2, 2004
PLA Seattle Photo Gallery
Submitted for your approval:
Note Libraryman and I cavorting at the Market...
AND: The Kalakala Revealed
Posted at 01:58 PM Read More
A Typical Day
I am home now... a little under the weather but still reeling with how much there was to take in at PLA. I miss the days already:
5am: Exercise at the Seattle Athletic Club (I know..I couldn't sleep...)
6am: Venti double bag Awake with room from the original Starbucks
7am: Breakfast with my SJCPL Crew at Lowell's in the Market where each day we meet more librarians!
8am: Off to the Convention Center/E-mail check/writing/blogging/
9am: Sessions, Exhibits, Networking
Lunch: A good Seattle dining experience & hopefully some quick sight-seeing... Kalakala anyone?
2pm: Sessions, Exhibits, Networking
6pm: Dinner with friends and colleagues... Thanks to Charles & Miguel at Neal Schuman for a great evening at 727!!
9pm: Almost ready for bed...watching the ferries steam by our window at the Inn at the Market
Posted at 09:44 AM Read More
From the Exhibit Floor
An afternoon spent in the exhibits yielded loads of free stuff for those who wanted to cart it home or ship it, a look at what's Hot and coming and a whole bunch of resources for public librarians to evaluate and use.
...Innovative Interfaces Inc: SJCPL's provider not only sponsored the blue bags seen on the arm of librarians all around town but they touted some new stuff as well. MILLENNIUM SILVER, "an update on the upcoming release of the Millennium software," and the intriguing WIRELESS WORKSTATION. The iii Web site says this: Millennium Silver includes significant enhancements to the cataloging, circulation and acquisitions modules. New products in Millennium Silver include the wireless workstation and online patron registration. In addition, Millennium Silver launches a suite of new products focused on Web-based and electronic information services including the Electronic Resource Management, XML Harvester, XML Server and eCommerce modules. Graham continued, “Millennium Silver continues the Innovative tradition of providing market-leading products and services demanded by today’s libraries.”
...Exhibitors: here's a hint: offer free wifi as p[art of your booth at the conferences..we'll luv ya for it!
An afternoon spent in the exhibits yielded loads of free stuff for those who wanted to cart it home or ship it, a look at what's Hot and coming and a whole bunch of resources for public librarians to evaluate and use.
BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS: Publishers and vendors were everywhere.... the sea of print materials was astounding!
DATABASES DATABASES DATABASES: I checked in with my favorites (Gale, anyone?) and chatted up some newer providers. So much full text...so little time...
Innovative Interfaces Inc: SJCPL's provider not only sponsored the blue bags seen on the arm of librarians all around town but they touted some new stuff as well. MILLENNIUM SILVER, "an update on the upcoming release of the Millennium software," and the intriguing WIRELESS WORKSTATION. The iii Web site says this: Millennium Silver includes significant enhancements to the cataloging, circulation and acquisitions modules. New products in Millennium Silver include the wireless workstation and online patron registration. In addition, Millennium Silver launches a suite of new products focused on Web-based and electronic information services including the Electronic Resource Management, XML Harvester, XML Server and eCommerce modules. Graham continued, “Millennium Silver continues the Innovative tradition of providing market-leading products and services demanded by today’s libraries.”
VTLS : RFID big name player.... intriguing...but I'm dubious until the technology has aged a bit... VTLS was also transmitting a wireless signal that I hooked to but it was protected.
Exhibitors: here's a hint: offer free wifi as p[art of your booth at the conferences..we'll luv ya for it!
Posted at 09:32 AM Read More
Thank goodness for the Local Color Cafe in the Pike Place Market. I was able to logon each morning and in the afternoon. T-Mobile through Starbucks helped as well. I was ranting RE:free wifi at PLA on the way back from the Convention Center with colleagues and was overheard by an ALA employee who said they are trying their best to provide it! HuuuRah!
Checkout Technobiblio's post re: WIFI at ALA...
Posted at 09:06 AM Read More
LibraryMan Weighs In
Michael Porter writes on conference attendance:
GO! Recharge your batteries in an excellent city. Get away from home for a week. Meet people working with the same issues you are. They call it professional development for a reason!
Indeed, Mr. Porter...indeed. The best thing about PLA for me was the networking, chatting with people I've learned with and trained with, and hearing what's on the minds of public librarians today...
Posted at 09:01 AM Read More
Sat - February 28, 2004
The Kalakala (Updated)
Lunch Hour Highlight during PLA: a mad taxi ride to Lake Union to photograph the aging ferry!
Posted at 10:10 AM Read More
PLA Moblog Finis....
Posted at 09:29 AM Read More
at the wifi cafe while writing about PLA and the state of public libraries...
"Those Librarians are great!"
I let out a "WoooHoo!"
Posted at 09:07 AM Read More
PLA: What I haven't heard bantered about
I tried to get to a load of techie related stuff and never once did I hear a speaker address Blogs or RSS and their use in public libraries. Internet Librarian had a whole track devoted to the topic of blogs!!! What's happening? My roomie and I (Joe is head of Collection Development at SJCPL) were chatting late last night: maybe the stuff that is almost old hat at the techie conferences is till making its way to PLA...
The Tech Consultants, however, detailed some stuff I hadn't heard about before -- The "Para-techies"... which I think my library and others should look at...
Posted at 08:49 AM Read More
Fri - February 27, 2004
Ethics of Leadership
While I was off with the Tech Consultants, my colleague Sue was attending a talk by Bill Grace of EthicsLeadership.org. She and Joe were fired up at this one. I think it's good to remember we are human and technology is just a tool...
She shared her notes with me:
ETHICAL LEADERSHIP AND COMMON GOOD IN AN ERA OF SECRECY AND INFORMATION CONTROL
Dr. Bill Grace
Gracious Space. Comfort. Warm. Home. Outdoors.
Two dimensions – inner life - public space
External dimension outer life... outdoors.
Look at both inner life and public life is there enough gracious space to make us feel comfortable.
Strangers feel comfortable in gracious space. There are people who we would welcome but there are people we keep at arm’s length... who do we put our arm up against in a public space.
Two duties of leadership:
Tell the truth. We are responsible for our own truth. “The duty of every citizen in a democracy is to speak the truth of love and power.”
The truth does make us afraid.
Point towards hope. Respond from a place other than fear... from hope... how do we make our world safer. “champions of liberty. Access to information. Library is a place where the future is born. Nobel prize for peace... what are we called upon for at this time? What is our best work?
Noble Civilized – homeless people calling the internet home.
Posted at 06:19 PM Read More
Ethics for librarians Closing Poem
If they dance together, something unexpected will happen. If they don't, the next world will be a lot like this one.
Bill Holm from the poem "Advice"
Posted at 06:02 PM Read More
PLA Moblog 4
Posted at 05:44 PM Read More
Seattle Newspaper LIBRARY Coverage (UPDATED)
Each day has brought another cool ibrary-related article in the Seattle press... Just now, via RSS:
AND MY FAVE:
Posted at 12:41 PM Read More
Library Technology Consultants Speak!!!
Current Issues in Technology: Ask the Technology Consultants
Susan Epstein, Diane Mayo, Jim Barrentine -- Issues in library technologies. This session opened with each speaker detailing what is happening in the library technology field
Susan has been pondering this:
Technology is a tool.
Don’t get involved with techno lust – don’t just buy it then figure out what to do
Sustainability – how do we keep our tech going?
Read planning for results
Tool to make things better – but we must stop and look at the benefits it gives us
Tech staffing – salaries, training, etc
Swamping – large database knocks out the small database when searching
XML is a Tower of Babel
Open Source – LINUX in the library
Jim has been pondering this:
PC reservations and print management systems
PC Management software
“Para-techies” – Phoenix PL Computer Service liaisons, line staff that are given training to assist in troubleshooting printer or PC problems or even tech training
Disaster recovery plans
Outsourcing computer services
RFID is brand new... they are still working out the kinks. Libraries are the first to mess with CDs, etc. Vendors are working on this to improve the situation
Diane has been pondering this: (what vendors are doing)
Former text DB systems are now GUI Web-based
Kiosks where community can interact with library from other places, Post Office, etc
Data-mining your statistics for managers and admin
E-commerce (just starting) – pay fines with credit cards (“Micro-payment business”)
Smart card interfaces – use smart card library cards to pay fines at self-check station
Full Unicode support for catalogs – how many languages is your catalog in???
Questions included a lengthy question & discussion about the problems with RFID and AV materials. Tagging CDs and DVDs with RFID. I think RFID is the hot-button issue for tech at this conference.
Posted at 12:16 PM Read More
Yesterday, two colleagues and I tried to attend different sessions and each one was so crowded, with SRO and people on the floor, that we couldn't even get in. In some rooms, they were even shooing standees out because of fire regulations. I'll look for the presentation I was aiming for on the Web...hopefully handouts too! But WOW this PLA is well-attended? Could it be.... SEATTLE?
Posted at 11:18 AM Read More
PLA Moblog 3
A taxi ride... a Kokomo IN librarian shoveling ice at Pike Place Fish and a podium waiting for a speaker, courtesy www.plapodiums.org... :-)
Posted at 11:13 AM Read More
An Open Rant about Access this AM
Okay, a bit of an open rant to the Washington State Convention Center and to PLA -- Come on people, give us FREE or low-cost WIFI in the meeting rooms and ballrooms and open spaces. Give attendees the option of signing up for "conference accounts" or the like at registration -- how cool would that be? I've seen the e-mail stations, they are nice but at least that area should be bathed in wifi access as well for those that brought their laptops. T-Mobile is available down at the front entrance and that's fine, I don't mind paying a bit when traveling but Lordy let's offer some access!
We'll return to our regular conference program now.
Posted at 11:03 AM Read More
Thu - February 26, 2004
Dinner with Colleagues
Dinner last night was great -- with colleagues from the library publishing and the print/database world. Over absolutely fabulous food at Seattle's 727 restaurant, we touched on IMing, Googling potential employees, RSS feeds, online resources, PDAs, new wave librarians who have grown up with technology and blogging. What fun! Thanks fellows!!!
Posted at 05:30 PM Read More
Notes from DEAD WOOD Session
This session intrigued me. Beyond those employees that have never want to embrace technology (yes, there are a few still out there), Ezell made some good points. Here powerPoint, filled with images of beautiful young adult faces and trendy clothes was a tad distracting! Good info though:
Dead Wood: Staff Who Won’t Work and Can’t be Fired : Charlaine Ezell, library consultant
Dead Wood staff are:
• Marginal employees – do not meet the standards of the library fully.
• No longer contributing
• No longer making a valuable contribution
• No longer producing, work slowdowns
• A person who might be in love with the past and not the newer ways of doing things
• Do not want to deal with another new idea
Keeping poor performers has blocked good employees from advancing in PLs
To the Admin:
• Your employees know who the Dead Wood is on the staff
• If you, the director, refuse to deal with deal with Dead Wood the staff will know and not respect the library’s administration
• There is no greater disrespect you can do to a person then to let them stay in a job where they are not respected or advancing.
Two types of Dead Wood:
• Benign: uninterested in the work the library is trying to accomplish
• Malignant: actively work against the library
Characteristics of Dead Wood:
• Grew into condition on the job after many months or years
• Low profile
• Redefined work to be easy
• Never early
• Never stay late
• Keep a routine..never deviate
Not always old but longterm employees
Talking to the Dead Wood (surreptitiously interviewing employees named by admin as DW!)
• Slow to verbalize
• Lateral transfers never promotions
• Claimed never to meet with their supervisors
• Or they talked to them all the time
• No job identity
• Not a lot of outside interests
• Sense of passivity
• Spoke about work “as it used to be...their peak...a long time ago.”
• “I deserve this job” (former contributions carry weight)
How some libraries have dealt with Dead Wood:
• Face problem directly and show them the door (very rare)
• Live with it. Live with them.
• Try to change them (state expectations and follow through)
• Find the good staff and concentrate on them!
• Change their job duties
• Restructure the work and the load
• Change their schedules (Unions can intervene)
• Change where they work
Posted at 05:16 PM Read More
PLA: Morning 2/26
Browsed exhibits, chatted with library-folk and spent some time connecting in the Convention Center vis T-Mobile!
Three of us attended Dead Wood and took notes on our laptops... not anther laptop was to be seen! Where are the laptop librarians?
Posted at 05:12 PM Read More
Even at PLA, I'm tech training....
Troubleshooting our WiFi at the Convention Center with Julie!
Posted at 12:52 PM Read More
Anna Quindlen's Opening Session Remarks
Librarians: We salute you!
"I lived within the cover of books."
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away.
I hate to write but I love having written.
I love writing because it’s who I am...my voice
Reading is an absolute necessity! The ultimate democratic act of the greatest democratic nation on earth.
Is the book in danger from technology? Books will not disappear...nor will magazines or newspapers.
"I believe in reading."
You are the keepers of magic...freedom..opportunity...mind..heart
Posted at 12:40 PM Read More
Karen Congrunts PLA
Nice to sit with you Karen!
Posted at 12:03 PM Read More
Comments by Bill Gates Sr.
Bill gates Sr. accepted an award from PLA for the work the Foundation has done with libraries. He spoke sincerely and eloquently about libraries and access:
Bill Gates Sr.:
At least one computer with access in every public library in America (MS choked up here...)
New intiative: insure connections for the future. Grant money will be awarded.
We have become a society of information haves and have-nots. We must keep library doors open and the connections going. We must:
1. Improve technology and provide support
2. Give librarians the right training – we are indispensible in the process
3. Keep libraries open!!!!
You shouldn’t cut libraries during hard times! A universe of information through a computer and a cable and we need to make sure they will always have them.
Posted at 12:00 PM Read More
Wed - February 25, 2004
You know you're in Seattle when
...the towel-clad man in the steam room at the Seattle Athletic Club next to you sips an iced coffee drink.
Posted at 08:37 PM Read More
From the Opening Session: Dr. Hayden President of ALA
Speaking about the state of public libraries today, Dr. Hayden President of ALA, said:
Recruitment goes hand in hand with salaries. How can we attract the best and brightest candidates for jobs? We must also have a diverse workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities. Today’s librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers!
Posted at 06:20 PM Read More
PLA Moblog 2
Shots from the opening session:
Posted at 06:10 PM Read More
PLA Moblog 1
Posted at 02:36 PM Read More
SJCPL Librarians visit SAM
This morning, three colleagues and I visited the Seattle Art Museum . They have a current exhibition of the works of Christian Marclay . It is FABULOUS! If you are in for the conference don't miss it...
The Web site says this:
A central part of the exhibition is the critically acclaimed Video Quartet (2002). This large, four-screen DVD projection joins hundreds of old Hollywood film excerpts that feature actors and musicians making sound or playing instruments. The result is both a moving visual collage and a musical composition evoking hip-hop riffs, John Cage, and appropriation art.
Video Quartet rocked my world...with bits of some of my favorite films and many others working together and in an engagingly disjointed way.
Posted at 02:23 PM Read More
Public Librarians should be UNWired
Location: Local Color (Free WiFi)
I'm IMing with Jenny and pondering her citation of Technobiblio's listing of WiFi spots around the Seattle Convention Center.
My take: Public Libraries should do everything they can to provide a computer -- a laptop -- for all of their librarians. (it's also a pretty snazzy perk in a job where there aren't bonuses and the like...) We have it GOOD at SJCPL, each manager gets a 15" Powerbook and the means to take it anywhere! I am proud of the group that is out here for PLA who brought their Macs. We need to be unwired, in our libraries for sure because you never know when an opportunity or "teaching moment" could appear with a patron or another employee. We need to use laptops at meetings as well. Our most recent managers meeting minutes were taken entirely on a laptop and then emailed to all after a bit of finessing.
We also need to be unwired at conferences like this. Seattle is ultra-tech, ultra-digital and ultra-unwired. Last night at Starbucks, I had 8 different wireless networks swirling around me (all but one was passworded). I think it looks good for the profession for we library-types to set the example that we are techie..."with it" if you will and totally blowing away the stereotypes.
I'm not saying we have to be chained to our machines and be totally geeky, but come on! (I do reserve the right to be totally geeky) At Internet Librarian, Liz Lawley chastised us about having laptops in the room and how different we seemed from "real" tech conferences, where participants were realtime blogging and IMing at meetings. We need to step it up a notch... I'm looking forward to hanging out between sessions and chatting with the UNWired librarians...
Posted at 12:19 PM Read More
Tue - February 24, 2004
What sets my Libdar off!
Last night at dinner, two fabulous ladies and a fellow were dining at the table next to Amber and I... something about their relaxed nature and casual talk set off my libdar... a few minutes later I heard:
"...going to the Gale reception..."
"At the desk we..."
Oh yeah! I can't define it but maybe it's just because I think Librarians are so darn cool... I want to seek em out and chat!
Posted at 04:55 PM Read More
Snazzy Seattle Library
MP and I drove by... the building is way cool!
Posted at 04:12 PM Read More
Starbucks: An iSight for Sore Traveller's Eyes
Posted at 04:00 PM Read More
A Day in Seattle (and introducing LibDar)
LOCATION: Local Color Cafe (FREE WIFI!)
How nice to have a day in Seattle to get situated. I started EARLY from the jetlag no doubt... at 4AM!!! I was bathed and ready to go by 5:30am. Finally, the city caught up with me at 7am and I went to breakfast at Lowell's in the Market . Two ladies were waiting with me for them to open and my librarian radar (libdar if you will) went off... "Here for the conference," I asked?
They were. We went in and chatted and I joined them for a nice breakfast. They were from Salem Public Library in Oregon and had taken Amtrak up to Seattle the day before... What fun to chat with them:
* The Salem library is an ISP!
* They have the same internet patron trials and travails we all do!
* We praised consistency of service across libraries in a system. It's hard for people to fill in when one branch does something one way and another does it differently....
This is one of my favorite things about conferences is chatting and learning from other librarians. Have a great conference ladies!
Posted at 03:34 PM Read More
A Day of Travel
Yesterday was full and rich! I was up at 4am..at the airport in South Bend at 5:30am and on a plane to Seattle via Chicago by 6:30am!
Michael Porter collected me and we zipped to the International District for an asian meal. Ho Ho Seafood , an excellent choice, offered South Beach Friendly choices and excellent flavor. I must say falling in and chatting with the LibraryMan is like communing with a kindred spirit. I am amazed at his experience and passion for our dear old public libraries . Once again we touched on our future plans, his upcoming stint on the cruise ship, the IU SLIS school and much much more. We enjoyed Milk Tea and looked for Men's Pocky in the shops. MP...you rock!
I am now in residence at the Inn at the Market, exercising at the Seattle Athletic Club and hobnobing with librarians.
Posted at 12:09 PM Read More
Sun - February 22, 2004
Next Stop... SEATTLE
Ok... worked the afternoon with Julie in Sights & Sounds and now I'm rolling home... I have a 6am flight in the am. Michael Porter is collecting me at SEATAC... I'll post from Seattle (or somewhere) tomorrow! See you in the trees!
Posted at 04:43 PM Read More
In honor of PLA...a Market Gallery
Posted at 04:05 PM Read More
A Restful Diversion... the Salish
PLA Librarians - are you stressed? ready to relax? Plan a trip up to the Salish Lodge for a spa treatment, a meal, drinks in the bar or stunning views of Snoqualmie Falls...
Posted at 01:50 PM Read More
Thu - February 19, 2004
Wireless in Seattle
Karen asked about Wireless .... and then I read Jenny's post about Google Labs:
This search string requests wifi spots in the zipcode for Seattle's downtown where many untethered library-types will find themselves next week. Pretty cool.
There's also this:
Hope to see some bloggers there connecting and writing about PLA!
(MS is tickled he could call this post anything-less in Seattle!)
Posted at 09:38 AM Read More
Tue - February 17, 2004
Hobnobing in Seattle (Travel Too!)
Yes, Libraryman, I will be visiting Seattle for PLA ! I'm looking forward to some thought-provoking sessions, a few meetings with some darn cool library folk, some con-grunting, and some hobnobing! As some of you know..I've had a long relationship with the great Northwest... Family is there... those Douglas Firs... the great Mount Rainier that sent me as a child when I first visited, one of the coolest downtowns I've visited.... (2001 Gallery ... 2003 ...)
Thanks for the travels link too MP !
Posted at 09:42 AM Read More
Mon - February 16, 2004
Blogging at PLA!
I'll use this category for my PLA congrunts, notes, happenings and photos!
See you there!
Posted at 10:01 AM Read More
Sun - December 7, 2003
See you in Seattle
I can't wait! I'll be back for the PLA Conference in February.... I'm staying at the Inn at the Market, one of my all time favorite Seattle hotels! Here's the view from their deck:
I shot this a few years back, I believe on my first stay there!
Let me know if you are a public librarian who does tech training or Web stuff coming to the conference... maybe we can have a group discussion over the obligatory Seattle coffee (Guess what? I drink TEA! )
Posted at 08:56 PM Read More