Ok icontemplate, I'm in. A bit of verse that Stevie eventually turned into a song about the AIDS crisis:
And walking through the room together
In suspended animation
No one saw us go - No one said goodbye
And from my heart I leave behind
And that you find the answers to your questions
And that life will once more be a celebration
And that you will be touched by an angel
Library consultant Richard Dougherty detailed the 5 requirements of offering digital reference in the May 2002 issue of American Libraries. They include:
• Acquiring the Technology
• Training staff
• Creating policy
These five gems could be applied to any technology planning in a library setting. You can't do one part and not do the other or you are setting your service up to fail. An untrained staff? No promotion? Forget about it!
This semester ahs been great! We have covered a lot of applications and online tools for library students AND spent some time talking about libraries, technology and the future. I wish every single one of them the best success through their program!
There are 3 big assignments in L401, all gathered and presented as an online portfolio. Here are links to their work.
My new PB 17" is on its way! It left Shanghai this morning....
I have mixed emotions for sure but I am now the "proud" owner of a Sony VAIO laptop that meets the UNT Tech specs for our PCs. What a learning curve! I've used Apples and Macs since I was at IU in the 80s... and now...
It's good to be biplatform!
Thanks to the ladies of the cohort who gave me good advice and nudges!!
PS: To offset my guilt, I ordered a decked out PB 17" to replace my older one!
Here's what I've gathered in the year or so I've been connected:
IM with colleagues works! I have planned conference presentations with some good library folks, cried on a dear colleague's virtual shoulder when things seemed opretty dark, discussed my upcoming dive back into academia with numerous IM library pals, scheduled training and meetings with my SJCPL colleagues -- all VIA IM!
IM is great for a quick shout out -- better than e-mail really... "Hey did you see Jenny's post about THIS?" will always get me clicking to see what cool thing is coming up next.
Libraries can use IM as a means of virtual reference. Small investment..big results. There are libraries that do this! Aaron is! I'm changing the article I'm working on to highlight this stuff instead of Virtual reference -- which, according too many good folks, is DEAD or should be!
And in general, it's darn cool too be connected this way and hear from friends and family from all over the US in this "in the moment" way.
I do agree libraries and businesses will have to develop an IM policy to insure consistency of communication and some protocols. Note, I said libraries will have too... because I believe libraries should take this new HOT thing VERY seriously!
I realized I hadn't said much of late about my beginning the UNT PhD program. Here's where things are:
The cohort consists of ten people: 9 ladies and me. :-) Typical for the library world, yes?
We are receiving a budgetary allotment for broadband access at home and a laptop. We received tech specs that outline how the laptop should be configured. I'm totally ready to upgrade my PowerBook but I heard that at UNT the SLIS faculty prefers students use PCs. I am waiting to chat with the director of the program down there to see if my Mac, running OS 10.3 will be compatible. I think it should be.
We will meet in Denton, TX on Friday June 11 for our first weekend of class. Here's what our typical weekend schedule will be:
Friday, 3:00pm to 9:00pm;
Saturday, 8:00am to 6:00pm;
Sunday, 9:00am to 3:00pm.
The hotel -- a brand new Hampton Inn -- has a classroom built in -- fully wireless. Nice.
I'm still trying to figure out some of the details and what I should be doing... more will come clear soon.
Watch this category for my contunuing news of moving toward a PhD!
1. Always be prepared. Arm yourself with multiple digital versions of your presentation, a USB storage device, a cable for your laptop to attach it to ANY projector you may encounter and a back up plan if any or all technological links in the presentation chain fail. Could you do the material cold from your notes and handout?
2. If presenting in a track, try to be present for the other speakers. It’s respectful, can be useful in augmenting your talk on the fly with other ideas and examples (i.e. “This morning Person X discussed blogging and using blogs internally for libraries, here's my take on that…”) and it provides a cohesiveness that track-based schedules perpetuate.
3.Share! If co-presenting or presenting with another person on two topics in one session, be mindful of the time frame and make sure folks get to ask questions of both parties – especially if you go second.
4. Have fun!Don’t hide behind a piece of paper reading or stand so straight and stiff that you look uncomfortable. The audience is just folks --library folks -- and we're a pretty encouraging group of people.
5. Know your stuff, yes, but don’t mind or falter if someone asks a question you cannot answer. There is nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know.” Someone else might or you can chat after the talk.
6. Be mindful of acronyms. Define, even if you think everyone in the place knows what you are talking about. At ILF, I off-handedly mentioned RFID and plowed right on with my talk. Afterward, a nice lady came up and said: “ I have a stupid question: what’s RFID?”
7.There are no stupid questions.
8.Deliver a clear message. If you are explaining some technology, do your best to put it in everyone's terms or help them understand it with analogies, etc. A presenter who can present technology-laden topics to people without putting them off with techno-babble is a good presenter indeed.
9. Humor works, but not at the expense of anyone – our users, our colleagues, ourselves. (Well, a little humor about ourselves is good: “I’m a librarian, I can’t go anywhere without handouts…”)
10. Don’t think: “I could never speak at such-and-such conference.” If you have something good to say – look for ways to say it! InfoToday conferences, ALA, PLA, state meetings, local meetings – look around! Get involved! Propose!
BONUS Remember: It's not ME ME ME... it's "what can we talk about and learn that will help our library users get to information better, faster and in a way they will recognize the great value of libraries?"
And Internet-connected computers are clearly bringing more people into libraries.
Don't miss today's NYT article "Libraries Wired, and Reborn" By Steve Lohr. Lohr explores how libraries, the gates Foundation, and access have helped turn around public libraries. It renewed interest. It gave people a chance to learn and unserstand the online world. How cool!
I love this line, which could be about anywhere public library:
For the library, supplying patrons with access to the Internet and the Web has become central to its mission, an updating of its long tradition of providing information free to the public.
A library in rural Louisiana is highlighted and it's fascinating. The last line is a quote from Mary Cosper LeBouef, Head Librarian, that to me speaks, pardon the pun, volumes:
In Houma, Mrs. LeBoeuf walked through the bustling new library as mothers with toddlers gathered for story time, the staff stocked shelves with books, and people of all ages sat at clusters of flat-panel PC's. Computers and the Internet are changing libraries irrevocably, she said.
"Books are never going away, but the future of libraries is much more as community centers," Mrs. LeBoeuf observed. "I worked here for 22 years and never thought we'd have something like this."
I'm sayin! The future of libraries is all about access and space. It's about building spaces that welcome folks and give them access to stuff that makes them want to stay awhile. It's about planning for our users and the future.
Tame the Web Kudos to Steve Lohr, Mrs. LeBouef and all the folks at the Gates Foundation
Steven points to this article about blogs in corporations and it's a good one:
He urges us to apply it to library blog environments. I agree. Note:
"10. Develop an organizational content strategy now
Email, blogs, wikis, Web, voice mail, faxes, newsletters, advertising, PR. No wonder it is so hard for organizations to speak with the consistent voice that is so critical for branding. An organizational content strategy can ensure consistency, vibrancy and value for employees, customers, suppliers and others."
WOW! Does your library blog exsist in its own vacuum? It shouldn't. Library Web sites, blogs, fliers, cards, letterhead, everything should carry the same message and same voice. Guidelines for writing for the Web will help your blogging staff to be consistent and still satisfy their creative urges. I love Joe's posts at the SJCPL Lifeline... He has his own voice but still maintains the goals of the Web site and out marketing plan.
Do you have any experiences with planning for technology in your libraries? Writing the big technology plan? How about issues of "technolust?" I'm writng an article and need some input. You can be anonymous if you choose! Email me at mstephens7 (at) mac.com...
Check out Aaron's post at WP about IM and some young ladies at his library. I'm watching his IM the Library service closely... intrigued...
And, do older online folks IM? Technobiblio's post about the Silver Tsunami leads me to believe they probably do. IMing grandkids across the country. And what about the folks that have bought Web cams for grandma or grandma so they can see the kids?
CJ at Technobiblio writes about our older users and a study from The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. "While we often talk about the younger generation and how their expectations will/are changing how libraries provide services, remember that there is also a large base of users who, once they get online, are just as enthusiastic about technology as the younger generation."
Well said and I wholeheartedly agree! We teach a "Senior Seminar" Internet series at SJCPL and it is POPULAR!
Dale Prince, who I blogged about a few days ago, e-mailed this question and I responded:
Dale asks: Hey, do you consider yourself to be a Next Gen librarian? The criteria seems to be Gen X or Gen Y. Coupland, I believe, puts people born between 60 and 72 in Gen X. I tend to agree with that assessment since the 60s and 70s are not watershed times for me. The eighties were my defining moments, I think. What about you?
I have wrestled with this. I will be 39 in a few weeks. Sometimes I think I'm over the Next Gen Librarian Hill...sometimes not. Then again, is it an age thing at all? Maybe it's a state of mind...
Rachel Singer Gordon writes:" A personal relationship with new technology allows NextGen librarians to think of new possibilities and of countless small creative options in a way the big-name trendsetters can't. It's one thing to read about it, to think about it, but it's another to live with it and watch our friends use it."
I like to think I use technology in a personal way and I have a pronounced technolust gene. But I also try to see the big picture for libraries when adding tech stuff.
Yesterday I was scheduled to speak at the Indiana Library Federation statewide conference. My talk was called "Big on Blogging" and what FUN it was! We had a packed room, with folks standing in the back. What that said to me is Indiana librarians are very curious about the blogging phenomenon!!!
We talked about blogs as external communication, internal communication and "keeping current" tools. We discussed setting up blog software, who writes for library blogs, where to place them on the library's Web site and all kinds of other issues. One person asked how to wrench control of his library's web site from the techie people!
I showed them LISNews and they were very interested in such a clearinghouse of all things library-related.
By the end I was evangelizing a little bit (as is my way) -- Make sure your library has a strong message, that you communicate it with every tool at your disposal, and that you focus on the future and USERS. It's all about our users, right? Blogs fir in perfectly there.
AND DON'T MISS:
Or this one! (from LISNews)
Thanks to Dawn Matthews, Head of Reference at SJCPL, for coordinatiing the session and introducing me!
Caught your IMs after you had logged off. Watch for me and let's discuss!
While in the greater Chicagoland area, after my Dominican lecture, I zipped down to Western Springs, IL and dropped in on Aaron at Thomas Ford Memorial Library.
NICE library. Friendly folks. Cool Technology... or shall I say, they have some sexy wifi and an official library IM presence. Well done.
Aaron and I go to chat about libraries and conferences over dinner with his wife Kate. We had a great time at CIL this year and I hope we are all together for IL this year as well.
(Oh..and I got to meet Mao!)
Yesterday, I drove back into Chicago to Dominican University to speak at Prof. Bill Crowley's Public Libraries class. What fun! What great students. We had three hours of engaging discussion about technology in public libraries from OPACS to RFID and back again through blogs, RSS and building tech-spaces.
One of the women in the class mentioned libraries wanting to have the sexy technology because it was cool. Oh yes! Technolust! What a great way to describe it: sexy. RFID is sexy. WiFi is rather sexy. Federated searching? SEXY!
I was impressed with the student's questions - one about copyright stopped me in my tracks with its deepness: Who will win in the copyright wars? The technology makers, the people, the libraries, the content providers? Another shared that her 11 year old daughter is using IM and loving it. A large buddy list, she reported, is a symbol of status....
Lunch beforehand with Prof. Crowley was darn cool as well. We talked libraries, my future PhD endeavor and what it's like in the academic world.
Dominican is lovely... I hope to go back again soon!
And yes, Hansel is too..
But really, I just chatted with one of our IT staff who was at the big Innovative Users Group meeting this week and she raved about Metasearch, iii's version of federated searching, which pullss all of a libraries resources into one place when searched. I like that idea.
One of the big concepts I took away from CIL this year was that it is all about PEOPLE (Thanks Steve Abram!) and if we are to serve our users we should give em one stop shopping for all the stuff we buy. How much does your library spend on leased databases? How much use is there? Instead of doing backflips to get people into our sites and onto a "leased DBs" page...maybe it should be right up front...
I met Dale in my pre-conference workshop and he joined us for the big bloggers dinner at CIL. Take a look at his blog:
His frank "Heart of Darkness" piece about a conference trip to Nashville and the Opryland Hotel is a hoot. Describing the "opening of the exhibits reception" he writes:
"They would be a lot less tense about these things if their organization, like all good librarian organizations do, knew that free booze (even if it is cheap-assed Sutter Home) makes for a pleasanter conference. Vendors like free booze, too, I might add."
I grabbed this from LISNews (I think) days ago and forgot to post it:
I work the reference desk and I know what it's like when all of your terminals are full. I've seen arguments, scary situations and downright nastiness over access to the Internet. I'm all about access but as the article states it needs to be fair access... not the same folks for 8 hours everyday.
What I wrestle with is the game players and chatters who tie up machines when other folks may want to research reports or personal matters. I know it's none of my business, but sometimes I feel 5 people having 2 hours each of Yahoo! Games is a waste or resources...
Did you miss this one? Or maybe it's time to re-read it... it's a gem:
This one rocks my world too:
"Librarianship, as an industry, rewards competence with boredom and money rather than enjoyable tasks.."
I blogged this before but it deserves a close re-read. Gordon gets it!
She writes: "In order to keep up with constant change, our profession has the responsibility for integrating the contributions and perspectives of younger librarians into the field. The best way to start is by adopting their perspectives on and comfort with a variety of technological advances."
IM anyone? Unwired PDAs anyone? Walking Paper anyone?
I know this isn't library-related, but:
I've started adoption proceedings...
Will only be available for 7 days...
Library communicates with blogs
Web logs easy to update, viewed via Internet
By ANNIE BASINSKI Tribune Staff Writer
This morning in the South Bend Tribune, SJCPL received some nice press in the form of an article about our blog, which last week underwent a change from two seperate blogs to one BIG one!
"Blogs ranging from personal to political are turning up everywhere on the Internet -- from Howard Dean's presidential campaign blog to Newsweek's "MarthaWatch." Michael Stephens, head of networked resources development and training at the St. Joseph County Public Library, started "blogging" last year after he learned about blogs, or Web logs, at a computer and library conference. He had visited blogs for his own personal use and decided to introduce his library to them.
"Blog was the buzz word at the conference," he said. "People are using blogs to keep library information current and to promote library material." Like Web sites, blogs communicate information via the Internet. Blogs also often display links to other Web sites and have dated postings -- sometimes with commentary -- similar to journal entries written by the blogs' authors.
One difference between blogs and conventional Web sites is that blogs can be updated more easily through blog publishing software, so information can be changed faster and more frequently.
Web logs allow bloggers to communicate instantly by using software programs such as iBlog, which powers SJCPL's blogs.
"It really is an efficient way to deliver content because the programming is done automatically," Stephens said.
Last May, St. Joseph County Public Library added a Book Blog and Sights and Sounds Blog to its Web site.
The blogs, created and maintained by bloggers Joseph Sipocz, head of collection development, and Julie Hill, head of sights and sounds, list titles of best sellers, newly ordered books, DVDs, videotapes and CDs and provide commentary on recent library acquisitions.
"A blog has a diarylike feel and is usually in reverse chronological order," said Stephens.
The library's blogs include summaries of books and media and have links to reviews and authors' and artists' Web sites. Links to photos, excerpts and other media can also be found on the blogs....."
Take a look at the SJCPL Lifeline: All the News that's Fit to Blog. I was inspired by KPL Librarian David King at CIL who said our users don't want to go to different places for content. The new SJCPL blog will include all the Book Blog stuff, the AV info and much much more.
We have also moved on from iBlog -- which gave out on me at CIL -- and into Movable Type! We also moved to a directiory at LISHOst.org from a .mac account.
CNN reports this am the Google announced yesterday a new Web mail service.
I have taught Yahoo Mail for years at my library and on other training/consulting jobs. I'm interested to see how Google stacks up. I can already tell, I may switch. Why? The Google name - be all end all for searching for most folks (I know...I know...) carries a lot of good connotations for me.
"But analysts said that Google -- whose technology is behind nearly four out of every five Web searches -- could shake up the free e-mail market."
The public uses Google big time. In this day of one stop shopping (one of my favorite terms for Web portals), folks may get a big kick out of having their e-mail at the search site. OH MY! The light just shines through -- Google has become a portal! Search, directory, discussions, catalogs, proiducts, local info and now MAIL... Was this discussed in a Google session I didn't make it to at CIL?
"Yahoo dominates the niche, with 52.6 million unique users per month in the United States, according to a February survey by online research firm comScore Media Metrix. Hotmail is next, with 45.4 million users. AOL has 40.2 million paying users.
To finance the service, Google will display advertising links tied to the topics discussed within the e-mails. For instance, an e-mail inquiring about an upcoming concert might include an ad from a ticket agency."
Sounds good - except my only concern is the perception that e-mail messages are read by someone to determine what ads get placed in what messages.
Trainers: be aware... and be ready to fold this new option into your e-mail classes.
UPDATE: I picked up on some of the commentary about GMail and the whole thing about the Google bots reading mail to determine what ad goes where -- especially Karen's post at FRL and I agree -- we have a ways to go with this sort of system. And Karen, I'm all for a big ole letstalkcommonsenseinthedigitalenvironmentfest... let me know where the gathering is and I'm there with the proverbial bells on. I love the idea of Google offering mail...just not this way!
I haven't got to post about this yet but on March 17th I was a guest speaker at Professor Bill Cowley's class on Organizational Communication in Libraries at Dominican University GSLIS in River Forest, Ill.
(In my opinion, Dominican ROCKS! The staff I met, students, everyone was were friendly and energetic. The campus is beautiful. And I know some GSLIS grads who are pretty excellent librarians!)
My topic was using to technology to communicate in libraries. I covered e-mail, delivering a library's message vis Web sites, the internal Web presence (Intranets), Instant Messaging, chat-based services, blogging, RSS and future innovations. What fun it was to discuss this stuff with students deep in their Masters studies.
This day came two days after the phone call from Texas about the PhD program so I got to tell Professor Crowley about it and over dinner we had a wonderful discussion about library education.
I'll be back at Dominican on April 12 to speak to another of Prof. Crowley's classes. This time it's Technology in Public Libraries.
Internet Librarian 2004:
Starring Info Pros in Content, Context, & Communities
Monterey, CA November 15-17, 2004
Call for Speakers
The Internet is our backbone and it continues to provide us with opportunities to streamline our operations, improve and enhance our customer relationships, develop new applications, and more. Keeping up with the new tools and techniques is always a challenge but Internet Librarian 2004 definitely meets that challenge. With the theme, Starring Info Pros in Content, Context & Communities, the conference provides attendees with many opportunities to meet and hear from leading edge information professionals in all types of environments -- stars of the information industry who are organizing and managing digital content in creative ways, setting the context for excellence in information utilization in their organizations, building strong collaborative communities using new technologies, and more.
Information Today Inc., a key provider of technology conferences for over twenty years, is pleased to announce the 8th annual Internet Librarian the ONLY conference for information professionals who are using, developing, and embracing Internet, Intranet, Extranet and Web-based strategies in their roles as information architects and navigators, webmasters and web managers, content evaluators and developers, taxonomists, searchers, community builders, trainers, guides, and more. This comprehensive conference and exhibition offers a wide-ranging program designed to meet the needs of librarians, information managers, systems professionals, researchers, content managers and information specialists.
Internet Librarian 2004 caters to all interests and all levels of knowledge with four simultaneous tracks plus many workshop and networking opportunities. This year’s tracks encompass such topics as: Managing Content & Knowledge Assets, Web Tools, Intranets & Portals, eLearning & Training, Case Studies of Internet and Intranet Librarians, Web Development & Management, Digitizing Resources, Distance Learning & Instruction, Streaming Multimedia, Digital Libraries, Content Management and more. Speakers are knowledgeable, authoritative and focus on practical applications, new tools and techniques, case studies as well as technical and managerial issues. Please consider sending us a proposal. For more topics ideas, check out our web site, www.infotoday.com/il2004.
If you would like to participate in Internet Librarian 2004 as a speaker or workshop leader, please complete the submission form at:
or contact the Program Chair at the email address listed below as soon as possible (April 26,2004 at the very latest). Include the following brief details of your proposed presentation: title, abstract, a few sentences of biographical information that relate to the topic, and full contact information (title, address, e-mail, phone & fax). All abstracts will be reviewed by the Organizing/Review Committee and notification regarding acceptance will be made in the summer.
Jane I. Dysart, Program Chair
Dysart & Jones Associates
Scott Brandt, Purdue University Libraries
Darlene Fichter, University of Saskatchewan
Richard Geiger, San Francisco Chronicle
Richard Hulser, Amgen
Micki McIntrye, UMDNJ HealthyNJ Librarian
Marydee Ojala, Editor, Online Magazine
Barbara Quint, Editor-in-Chief, Searcher
Donna Scheeder, Congressional Research Service
Michael Stephens, St. Joseph County Public Library
To receive the registration and program brochure, or exhibit information please contact:
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055
I am still finishing up all the CIL stuff I wanted to post. Losing access to my blog in DC totally through me off and I think in some ways I am still catching up.
Here is a hearty group that fell in together for a late dinner after the Wednesday evening session. Captured by Jude Lewandowski: L-R Michael, Greg, Bob, Aaron and John, St Mary's archivist and SJCPL Geneologist.