October 31, 2004

Workshops presented By Michael Stephens


The Reference Interview in the 21st Century - INCOLSA Workshops around Indiana Spring & Summer 2003

Make Learning Stick Preconference Workshop, Internet Librarian, Monterey, CA, November 2003

Make Learning Stick Pre-conference Workshop, with D. Scott Brandt, Computers
in Libraries, Washington DC, March 2004

SLS Tech Summit : Staff and User Technology Training with Robert Lewandowski, Wedenesday May 19, 2004

Make Learning Stick Pre-conference Workshop, with D. Scott Brandt, Internet Librarian, Monterey, CA, November 2004

Technology Planning: Avoiding Technolust & Technobust with Aaron Schmidt, Computers in Libraries, Washington DC, March 2005

Toolbox of Training Techniques with D. Scott Brandt, Computers in Libraries, Washington DC, March 2005

Posted by Michael at 03:17 PM

Public Presentations by Michael Stephens

Public Presentations:

Mishawaka Public Library 1998-1999

Northeast Indiana Libraries Training Sessions Summer 1998

Michiana Tax Accountants December 1998

Michiana Consultants Group 1998

Investigating INSPIRE Northeast Indiana Libraries November 1999

Michiana Tax Accountants December 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Nappanee Public Library - HTML Classes, Digital Cameras, Auctions

Bremen Public Library Technology Classes

Plymouth Public Library Technology Classes

Posted by Michael at 02:58 PM

Scholarly research: Libraries and Weblogs

Joyce just made my morning:


Ordered! I am excited about this! Today I am writing an outline for a research porposal to examine the LIS Blogosphere... this book will be an incredible help! Steven sent me an article last week by Clyde on the same topic that I've been carrying around since.

Posted by Michael at 10:43 AM

October 30, 2004

Philadelphia - Wifi City

From LISNews:


How wonderful.... I hope more and more cities fall in line as well. I want to findmyself anywhere and be connected with my PowerBook -- especially with the online classes I'm in!

A great starter is adding wifi at your library and promoting the heck out of it!

Posted by Michael at 12:26 PM

October 29, 2004

Aaron is so Wacky! IL 2004

Aaron just posted this:


Through some crazy turn of events, along with Barbara Fullerton and Sabrina Pacifici I’ll be on the closing keynote panel at internet librarian 2004. It is titled “Wacky World of Gadgets: The 70’s and Beyond!” and should be fun. I’m a bit of a gadget enthusiast, but I’m sure there are some I’ve missed. If there’s some sort of cool tool you think needs to be mentioned, just lemme know.

ROCK ON AARON! I'm there!

Posted by Michael at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

IL 2003 Gallery

Take a look to see how cool last year was!


Posted by Michael at 09:39 PM

See You In Monterey

Hope to see you there!

Here's what I'll be up to:

Sunday Nov 14th
Workshop 19
Make Learning Stick: Creating 5-Star, User-Centered Training & Instruction

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Michael Stephens, Technology Training and Web Development, St. Joseph County Public Library
D. Scott Brandt, Professor & Technology Training Librarian, Purdue University, & Columnist for Computers in Libraries

Once you have assessed and identified user needs, you’re ready to build a lesson plan or course module to guide the learning. This update of the popular workshop, “Teaching the Internet in 60 Minutes,” is taught by a dynamic duo representing both academic and public library backgrounds. It uses a building-block approach to create effective, user-centered learning that focuses on measurable outcomes. You will learn how to:
• Categorize learning objectives into five categories of performance.
• Ensure learner outcomes can be demonstrated and measured.
• Focus learning into performance steps that are complete and achievable.
• Select teaching strategies that match objectives for fun and interesting learning.
• Apply two methods to demonstrate and reinforce learning.
Illustrating with many examples from successful Internet-related modules taught in both academic and public library settings, speakers show modules on browser and e-mail management, searching, and digital reference. With theory made practical, in-class practice using these techniques, and demonstrations of real-world training/instruction, this workshop is fast-paced and highly interactive! (Can be combined with workshop 13, “Understanding Your Learners Needs,” for a complete immersion in training and instruction theories and techniques.)

Tuesday Nov. 16
Creating Internet-Savvy Patrons

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Michael Stephens, Technology Training and Web Development, St. Joseph County Public Library
Jamie Wilson, Middle School Librarian, Tower Hill School (DE)

A prerequisite for much of the training and instruction that librarians do starts with patrons who are savvy users, of computers in general and the Internet specifically. Universities and corporations may take it for granted that their students, staff, and employees have gained such experience, but it takes front-line librarians in public and school libraries to ensure skills and knowledge are taught. We’ll hear some tips on dealing with patrons with a wide variety of skills and experience, and how to deal with and respond to student perceptions of the Web.

Get ‘Em Started—Teaching Weblogs to Staff
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Steven M. Cohen, Assistant Librarian, Rivkin Radler, LLP
Michael Stephens, Technology Training and Web Development, St. Joseph County Public Library & Blogger for Tame the Web

In order to have Weblogs work in the library environment, be it corporate, academic, or even public, staff need to be trained on how to use the technology so that they can use it to best serve their clients. This session discusses methods and theories on how to best train your staff for the Weblog revolution.

Wednesday Nov. 17
Instant Messaging (IM)

1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. & 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Aaron Schmidt, Reference Librarian, Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Michael Stephens, Technology Training and Web Development, St. Joseph County Public Library, & Blogger for Tame the Web
May Chang, Web Development Librarian, NCSU Libraries
Daniel C. Mack, Humanities Librarian, Roberta Astroff, Humanities Librarian, Ashley Robinson, Gateway Librarian & Gary W. White, Head, Shreyer Business Library, Pennsylvania State University

A 2003 survey indicated that nearly 70 percent of the U.S. university Internet population used IM. This session covers research, applications, case studies, usage, workflow impact, and ethics of IM. Schmidt and Stephens look at the many uses of IM, from in-house staff communication, to the delivery of content and discussions with customers. Chang reviews IM developments in consumer grade services and open source applications, issues of security and interoperability, and IM as a productivity tool. She draws on the experience of NCSU Libraries, where an open source IM system was recently deployed for in-house communication. The Penn State team discusses models of ethical behavior for electronic communications available in libraries (IM, e-mail, virtual
reference), their effective use with various populations of library users, and how to maintain high ethical standards in all areas of interpersonal electronic communications.

More will follow...

Oh - and Steven mentioned messaging at the conference. I'm all for it! My AIM name is mstephens7mac!

Posted by Michael at 09:38 PM

Moblogging and LOVIN IT

I got bit by the moblog bug!


Watch that space or subscribe to the RSS feed to see where I am and what the heck I'm getting into! Why didn't I do this for England?

Thanks to Mr. Aaron Schmidt for his help!

Posted by Michael at 08:49 PM

October 28, 2004

Michael Stephens, Brian Kelly and Frank Cervone, Presenters, "Optimising Technology in Libraries"


Posted by Michael at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2004

London Gallery

Not only did I attend and speak at a great conference... I took 5 extra days and did some FUN tourism stuff...


Included is a trip to the London Brass Rubbing Centre and many views of St. Paul's Cathedral!

Best place for lunch? St. Martin's in the Fields Cafe in the Crypt... or Beetroot!

Posted by Michael at 07:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2004

Getting Started with Blogs

Mary Jo, one of the members of our PhD cohort, asked me for some LIS news sites and blogs that she might look at to get started as an offshoot of my presentation in class this weekend. What I thought I would do is post it here...because it might be helpful to other folks as well.

First up: don't miss LISNews as the perfect starter news clearinghouse.

Then, take a look at:


http://www.hi.is/~anne/weblogs.html (This one is rocking my world right now...)


There's an LIS blog for every interest!

These, from my link list, are faves:

Library Blogs
Karen Schneider's Free Range Librarian
The Creative Librarian
Daniel Bazac's Blog
Days and Nights of the Lipstick Librarian
The Librarian in Black
Library Stuff Blog
Open Stacks
The Shifted Librarian
Walking Paper

Take a look! Dive in!

Posted by Michael at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2004

Ten Guidelines for Developing Your Internal Blog

Steven posts about internal blogs and I totally am in on this one.

We have been using a blog like structure internally at SJCPL for a while now.

It includes nine major categories programmed by the NRDT Web Developer and Computer Specialist based on the Lasso program from Blue World software (http://www.blueworld.com/). All entries for those categories – Admin News, Personnel News, Staff news, etc – build on each other, posting in reverse chronological order just as most blogs do. Each category is assigned to certain staff via IP addresses recognized by the database system.

Secondary “blogs” are in place for each library agency to communicate internally as well as static pages devoted to content every library staff intranet should include: Personnel info, Policies and Manuals, Statistics, and a section devoted to “Working @ SJCPL.”

Usability is also a concern. The interface was developed to echo sites that were favored amongst the team (such as various blogs and news sites) and then tested with small focus groups of staff. Some groups simply were brought into the library training room and shown the site and asked to comment. Others were shown the site and asked a series of questions, such as “Locate the Request for Meeting Attendance” form, and timed while they located the information.

From the experience, here are Ten Guidelines for Developing Your Internal Blog for any type of library that wishes to create an internal communication tool.

Involve Appropriate Staff: Make sure your development team at least consults with your library PR person, the administration and various stakeholders.

Utilize Software that’s Free and Easy: Beyond programming a site internally with database apps, ponder using a program such as Movable Type that can be loaded on an internal server and used to create multiple blogs. Check out Aaron Schmidt’s work using blog software on the incredible Thomas Ford Public Library Web site at http://www.fordlibrary.org/.

Test for Usability and Staff Buy In: Try small focus groups of librarians, support staff, shelvers – anyone who uses your Intranet. They will tell you how you are doing with simple usability tests and they will be the ones to promote buy in. If staff feel involved, they’ll be more excited about the tool. Staff in an online poll conducted over two weeks chose the name of the SJCPL Intranet. The winner was the SJCPL Leaf-let, a meditation on our Web site logo.

Technical Enhancements Count: The SJCPL Leaflet – features a date and time java script on the top right corner and a small icon representing the current weather. A section called Xtras takes staff to a series of useful and fun links such as current South bend weather, a daily recipe and gas prices for Northern Indiana!

Utilize categories and Archives Effectively: Go beyond just using “Library News” and break categories out as mentioned above. Use the archiving feature of your software as well to generate archives of categories. One click might take staff to every post to the “Library Board News” category.

Breadcrumb your Navigation: make it easy for staff to find their way back out of whatever pages they surf to. Utilize the user-friendly text/link syntax found on many sites: Home ? Personnel ? Dress Code Guidelines.

PDFs and Word Documents Rule: Many times, you’ll want to share documents or downloadable forms. PDFs are great for official memos. Plain Word docs are great for forms that might be changed/edited or for meeting minutes. Make them downloadable from your pages and be sure to mark them as such.

Collaborate! One of the most dynamic parts of our Intranet is a “Selection Forum” where staff can request and recommend all materials to our head of selection and he can reply back. Using a commenting feature available in many blogs, it’s truly an online collaboration tool!

Train Staff: Do not forget this important factor. Offer classes that introduce your new Intranet site. Give staff a scavenger hunt and see how they do. Give them reasons to come back and check the news!

Promote and Celebrate:The other side of training. Staff won’t visit if they don’t know it’s there. Make it part of your library’s culture. Ponder a weekly “State of the Library Address” from administration. Highlight staff achievements. Share photos in galleries of library events!

Posted by Michael at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2004

ILI 2004 Presentations

Take a look..download!


Posted by Michael at 06:49 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2004

Back in Denton for Class! - Exploring Virtual Communities

I am relaxing in my hotel room... just set up my Airport Express and got into my aggregator to read the news.

This weekend we give presentations on our literature reviews. I am going to present on current research in information beahvior in virtual communities.

Here's the PPT if you're interested!

Posted by Michael at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2004

10 Things I Learned in London at Internet Librarian International


10 Things I Learned in London at Internet Librarian International

It's a sweet thing to drink breakfast tea in my room, lounging in my hotel dressing gown, reading the proceedings and planning for the day.

Technology training issues are the same for trainer/librarians everywhere - from issues about retention of material to support for training programs by administrators! Talking with Rob was illuminating and made me realize public librarians in the Netherlands are lucky to have him doing training!

According to Sullivan: personalization and "invisible tabs" may be the wave of the future for search engines...and after hearing Frank Cervone speak, we could say the same for library Web sites! Customization will rule!

FREE WiFi in the meeting rooms and conference areas is the way all library conferences should go!

Brian Kelly gets it! He encouraged folks to message each other with laptops or other devices and discuss our presentations while we were presenting!

Key words: convergence & collaboration! Presenting with Frank cervone and Brian Kelly was a joy! What inceredible fellows! Our panel was rather lively...with Brian playing the skeptic...

Receptions and lunches are the coolest times to chat with people: networking, marketing yourself and your library, exchanging knowledge... and at the reception you get good red wine too!

Even without PPT and notes, I still can mange to say something about technology and its place in libraries.

I've said it before, but if you can swing it, if you can afford it, send your librarians to meetings like this! Get them out and get them involved and listening. Time is short - what if the next cool thing comes from a group of librarians and not Google or MS?

No matter where we're from, we all speak the same language: libraries! In speaking, listening to others, chatting at breaks... it dawned on me: Problems I've encountered are the same for folks on the other side of the world. I spoke about surprise technology appearing on reference desks and the nods in the audience meant those folks had encountered it too!

Posted by Michael at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

Blustery! but so beautiful


Posted by Michael at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

ILI Snapshot

Photo by Rob Coers

Posted by Michael at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2004

Back in the US!

I'm back! Actually I got back late Saturday but I spent all day yesterday finalizing my literature review for SLIS 6700. I turned it in last night at 8:37pm...

Much information to go through and post! But here's a pic by Rob, the Trainer from the Netherlands. I didn't even know he snapped it. I was Congrunting Danny Sullivan and smiling because of Sullivan's take on image searching. He's a great presenter!

Posted by Michael at 05:32 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004

Practicing what I Preach

In my technology training workshop Sunday one of my points was that if you are doing a presentation you have to be ready to roll with any glitches that pop up.

Monday I got to practice what I preach. My CyberClinic was about new technologies in libraries and I created a small PPT to use. I copied it from my Mac to my JumpDrive and was good to go -- or so I thought....

In the room...with minutes before the start -- an maybe 40 folks waiting -- the PPT would not open! It would not open on another laptop as well! My Mac was in my hotel room so I had to go ahead and do it from my own storage drive -- my brain!

I had no notes because the PPT was my outline as well...so I did it. I spoke from my head! It went ok!!

Moral: always test your copied presentations when moving them with portable storage drives!!! Test them on the drives!!!

Posted by Michael at 02:55 PM | Comments (2)

Danny Sullivan's Keynote on Searching : An ILI Congrunt

Danny Sullivan
Web Search: A Look Ahead

It's no longer Google Google Google

Consolidation of Search Engines means a strong "search voice" - good for searchers

What will help an engine win the search wars?

Sullivan says it will be personalization and "invisible tabs" may be the way to win.

For example, entering "pictures of cats" in the search box yields pictures of cats in Yahoo and Ask Jeeves. Google offers a small link: "Looking for pictures? Try Images." Sullivan likened this to the search engine acting as a librarian by interacting with the searcher.

Search shortcuts also create sticky situations. Some folks get in a habit and always go to a certain site for a certain thing: "I always check the weather in Yahoo"

Personalization - like Eurekster - may work as well and may be pointing toward the future of personalized web search. Search memory on sites like A9 or Yahoo keeps track of the searches you've done.

Take a look at http://labs.google.com/personalized and http://www.snap.com/index.php

User Interface "Little Things"

Visual Searching (Grokker and Mooter)
Yahoo offering RSS

Posted by Michael at 04:57 AM | Comments (0)

Meeting Another Trainer

I posted the Stonehenge pics this weekend and I got a note from Rob Coers, an Internet trainer I've e-mailed with in the past besed in the Netherlands. He had just checked his RSS aggregator and saw my posts and realized I was in England for the conference and he was coming too!

Rob e-mailed me and said he'd look for me at the conference. We met and got to spend some time talking about training public librarians. He worked in a public library and then went out on his own to do training for librarians. How cool!

We went to dinner Monday night and discussed libraries, training librarians, blogs, RSS and the differences in our cultures.

Nice to meet you Rob!

Posted by Michael at 04:31 AM | Comments (0)

Conference Reception in the Conservatory


What a great way to end the first day of Internet Librarian International: a conference wide reception in the hotel's conservatory. I got to chat with folks from my workshop, conference goers from Lebanon, Japan, The Netherlands, the UK, etc.

Posted by Michael at 04:06 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2004

Conference Report: Workshop

I taught the half day workshop that Scott Brandt and I developed on Sunday morning for a small but most cool group of folks from Finland, South Africa, Japan and Greece!

We focused on 5 steps to make sure technology training works. The best part was the interaction with the group -- from questions to "this is how I do it" tales from particpants.

Posted by Michael at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2004

One More...


Posted by Michael at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

Greetings from Stonehenge!


We arrived at 11am Thursday morning after a most pleasnat trip over the Atlantic... why? because we upgraded to Business Class and could actually stretch out! Nice!

Friday was spent touring the Salisbury plain and Stonhenge...which was one of the places on my list of notable sites to see in my lifetime!

Now it's Saturday night-- today we visited the British Museum. I just saw some cool InfoToday folks in the lobby so things are about to start. I'm at Starbucks, connected to T-Mobile for a bit...

Here's the Stonehenge Gallery!

Posted by Michael at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 04, 2004

An American Librarian in London

I depart late Wednesday night for London and the 2004 Internet Librarian International conference. Steve is going with me and we are staying 3 extra days to take in more of the sites. Adam, Steve and I were there in 2002 and I'm so excited to get back! Watch the blog for reports from the conference!

MS, Trafalgar Square, December 2002

Posted by Michael at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2004

WebJunction Article about Techie Library Blogs

Thanks WebJunction and Bertha Gutsche


here's the Ten Things... post mentioned....

PS: I noticed too that this little piece was no way all inclusive... Take a look at my links for more library techblogs! Jenny for sure! And my buddy Aaron!

Posted by Michael at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2004

My World This Weekend


I have a literature review due October 17. I leave for England on the 6th and return on the 16th... so the next four days are devoted to writing 16-20 pages on virtual communities from the articles you see above. It is incredibly interesting and feels like some of the most challenging writing I have ever done!

Posted by Michael at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)

Is your library emotionally healthy?

Read this excellent article...and look deep within yourself and your library's culture...


This isn't really a tech article but many of the points could be applied to how your library handles technology -- or doesn't handle it!

Excerpt: These are some great questions to ask in an interview:

Describe the morale in the library.  How does the staff socialize together?

What are some of the frustrations of the professional and paraprofessional staff?      

How is information communicated in the library?

How are executive decisions made and communicated?

How do departments communicate in the library?  Are there mechanisms set up for communication across divisions and departments?

Posted by Michael at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Mobile Life Survey Results!

Via eContent: http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/ArticleReader.aspx?ArticleID=7131

AvantGo has released the results of its 2004 Mobile Lifestyle survey. The September survey of 3,260 AvantGo users, conducted entirely via PDAs and smartphones, was a self-administered survey completed over a two-week period and delivered on mobile devices via the free AvantGo service. Respondents were self-selecting. AvantGo, is a service of iAnywhere, which is a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc.

The results revealed that 85% of Pocket PC owners and 82% of Palm owners plan to stick with the same operating system with their next purchase. According to the AvantGo survey, the "top 12" features of an all-in-one dream device would be: Calendar/contact list; Easily syncs with PC; Great battery life; Email/messaging; Wi-Fi/Bluetooth; Compact size; MP3 player; Phone; Large screen; GPS locator; 20+ gigabyte memory; and Camera.

Additional findings include: Nearly two out of three respondents said they planned to purchase a regular PDA rather than one with phone capabilities; 31% said they would be purchasing a phone/PDA hybrid, while only 3% would switch to a Symbian smartphone device and 4.5% to a RIM Blackberry device; 50% of respondents reported owning Palm OS devices, 40% Pocket PC devices, and 10% reported owning other brands; Over three quarters (77%) of respondents reported purchasing their own current handheld device, while 13% received it as a gift, and 9% received it from an employer; 70% of respondents have downloaded four or more applications and 34% have downloaded 10-plus applications to their handheld device; Among respondents who download PDA and smartphone applications, 15% spend $100 or more a year, 38% spend more than $50, and 58% spend more than $25 a year; and 31% of respondents use paid location-based or travel applications such as event, restaurant and movie listings."

Posted by Michael at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)