Dr. O'Connor at UNT sends it to the doc students.
My interviews have offered me more insight into this problem. I've been to libraries that were passionate about user-centered innovation and were looking at how every bleeding edge technology could be used to improve services to patrons. These libraries tried to stay just ahead of their patrons and anticipate their needs rather than being reactive to patron demands. I've been to libraries that weren't particularly tech-forward, but that were at least trying to keep up with their patrons. The librarians there may not have known what RSS was, but they were willing to learn if it could help their patrons. Then there were the libraries where change seemed to be a dirty word. For every question I asked (have you thought about wifi?, what do you think about your current web presence?, etc.) there was an excuse for why they haven't kept up. And while I obviously didn't call them on it in a job interview, these excuses sounded pretty hollow to me. Obviously not every library's service population is super tech-savvy, but at some of the libraries, I've felt a palpable disinterest in learning new things and trying new things. It's the we've always done it this way and it's worked fine so far so why rock the boat mentality. Unfortunately, they don't seem to realize that their service population has changed right under their noses, and with that change comes new requirements to meet patrons' needs.
This is absolutely incredible and most telling. While interviewing, Meredith has encountered all sorts of libraries. Read that bit again -- and read Meredith's blog -- and honestly answer this question: what type of library is yours? What type do you want your library to be? Not sure how to answer? Try this on for size:
I worked in a library where the front-end of the ILS was completely outmoded and unusable by patrons, but it was not changed because the back-end was comfortable and familiar to the staff.
In chat lingo that merits an OMG! But stuff like this happens: We've always had this ILS. We always see ID before anyone uses a computer. We can't have IM on our Public PCS -- people might use it! Those kids can't play that game in here. Why does anyone want a book on iPod? Why would a librarian want to BLOG - it takes too much time???
We have always had the pencil sharpener on the right side of the desk. :-)
Okay..I must stop quoting this, but one more:
I feel for librarians who are full of ideas for improving services to patrons but are stymied at every turn by either their colleagues or the powers that be. I think it is probably the biggest problem libraries have in retaining young/new librarians (with pay being a close second). And more than losing passionate, tech-savvy new-ish librarians, these libraries are alienating entire generations of potential library users - people who believe that libraries are dinosaurs of the pre-digital era, because those are the only libraries they've known.
It breaks my heart to get email from a young librarian that is already disillusioned in their job because of narrow views, colleagues refusing to shift, micro-management and what I perceive to be an unwillingness to dive in and take a chance with new services, new ideas and new technologies. There's this beautiful space in the middle - it's not all tech and it's not all tradition and the "way we have always done it." It's collaboration. It's learning from each other. It's what we did during our debrief last week - all levels and years of experience staff meeting to discuss learning and change.
There is much food for thought here and it is right up TTW's alley. More soon... and I can't wait to meet Meredith at ALA. Oh, have you seen her ALA Wiki? ALA should fall at her feet for such innovation.
And give this a read through as well: http://webjunction.lishost.org/?p=5
I also read an opinion piece on page 30 of the April issue of American Libraries. In "Eeewww! My Patron Tried to Pick Me Up", Susan Braxton, a science reference librarian at Illinois State's Milner Library, recounts a session of recreational chatting (the what-are-you-wearing variety) initiated by a patron. Braxton also discusses how to prepare for this inevitable type of conversation as you dabble in IM.
Just posted a pic with the tag NEASIST. Here's the URL for the feed for those that may wantb to subscribe for the next few days:
Here's the flickr page for the tag:
I configured flickr to take any image from my Treo and add the tag automatically.
Anyone around to test three way video chat? I'm aching to try it!
my iChat name: mstephens7mac
Thanks Bibliotheke! Please click through and read the article, which includes this:
The Fairfax County Public Library system is a large library system in Northern Virginia, a suburb of Washington DC. Leaders of the Fairfax Public Libraries think it's a good idea to distribute downloadable audio books to the public in Windows Media format. These digital rights managed (DRM) files will not play on Macintosh computers, GNU/Linux computers or iPods. Taxpayer funds are being used to purchase these audio books.
Listen to the song! "I much prefer MP3.." :-)
Displaying entries from today's TTW posts....
WOW! I just installed Tiger for Mac and it is cool... more to come...
One wonders for whom these hapless souls blog. Why do they chose to they expose their unremarkable opinions, sententious drivel and unedifying private lives to the potential gaze of total strangers? What prompts this particular kind of digital exhibitionism? The present generation of bloggers seems to imagine that such crassly egotistical behavior is socially acceptable and that time-honored editorial and filtering functions have no place in cyberspace. Undoubtedly, these are the same individuals who believe that the free-for-all, communitarian approach of Wikipedia is the way forward. Librarians, of course, know better.
What blows me away here is even as I read this, one of the things on my plate is a two-day consulting gig at the Purdue University Libraries to further explore internal and external blogging with them. Their Dean of Libraries, James Mullins, gets it!
Karen just posted this: http://freerangelibrarian.com/archives/042805/blaise_cronin_gorma.php. Please give it a look.
And FML just posted: http://www.familymanlibrarian.com/?p=882
And this from one of my favorite blogs: http://www.mchron.net/site/edublog.php?id=P3166
Nice post about Jybe from Stephen, who alerted me that my Trackback is not working. :-(
Behold: the flickrverse
WOWZA. Suddenly I want to study flickr and all of its implications!
This afternoon was totally cool! There have been three big conferences recently so we had a group "debrief" for staff who attendded and other interested staff. Our Staff Development Librarian could not be here today so she asked me to facillitate. We had 15 folks who had attended either PLA Symposium, Computers in Libraries or the Indiana Library Federation State meeting.
We began by going around the room, with each participant sharing top trends/learning/issues/thoughts from their conference. I wrote them on the whiteboard. By the end we had 25 different points.
Equity of Access- The digital divide
Info/Tech literacy for patrons
Serving ALL of our users
User-Centered Services and Planning
Colaboration Staff and Users
IM- Internal Communication
How do we serve millenials
How do we work with millenials
RSS and Push- as they want it
Tons of inviting space and study rooms
PEW Internet studies as tool
Training offered from vendors and Indiana legal services
Tablet PCs and Roving Ref
Games and Gamers (How do we serve them)
Making decisions for managers
Look at Normative Data and Stories
Making the library discoverable
Examining and sharing our roots and core values
Emergent literacy and skills
Examine Web Statistics
Wikis- How can we use them?
Then I asked the crowd to vote for their top 5. Those were listed -- and 5 became 6!! -- and we did some brainstorming of those. I must say it was HOT times 3!
Our Top Six:
User Centered Services and Discovery
Millenials and Gamers
From this, we are putting together a document for sharing with the staff and for looking at action items. The cool thing is many of these things are being discussed at the admin level as well as in departments. Check out the Top 6... this was totally a collaborative effort. How does it jive with your library?
Marianne took the photos and Sarah and Maire transcripted the session!
At the Chronicle:
(Gorman's in there too... do with that what you will...)
Last night, I was almost in bed and I stopped to check a couple of things on the Mac. Suddenly I had 4 IMs even with an away message. I just told folks I was off to bed and we'd talk today. Balance. Breathe. Nice.
Intriguing article in the Indy Star:
The IMCCPL is changing as the new Main Library is renovated. Changes include more best sellers, more libraries open on Sundays (and the elimination of overtime pay for Sundays) and changes to the way the librarians do their jobs:
Librarians themselves will morph:
• A clerical worker with a college degree will answer reference questions -- basically taking over the role for which a librarian went to college to get a master's degree.
• Librarians with expertise in a particular field no longer will order books for their area.
• Users will do more self-service.
Wow. This intrigues me. It spotlights what is happening in many libraries across the country: budget constraints, services changing, and "transitions."But what intrigues me more is Dr. Danny Callison's open letter to the author that has been posted on many of the Indiana Librarian's lists. I e-mailed him and he said I could quote him here:
Although IMCPL faces what we understand to be very difficult financial decisions, a dramatic shift away from professionals in key management, subject expertise and service positions can result in deterioration of public services regardless of how efficient support staff may be. The expectations for professional librarians today have increased in these areas:
Evaluation of services so that needs of specific groups in the community can be identified and addressed.
Development and coordination of outreach services so that the most effective means can be used to get resources to special groups such as the elderly, the disabled, and others who may be underserved for meeting their information needs.
Advancing full civic engagement so that the public library, including its departments and branches, becomes more collaborative with other community organizations to address the information needs for all local citizens and organizations – whether nonprofit or for profit.
Taking steps that encourage philanthropic efforts for fund-raising and grant-writing that help to improve services and reduce the tax burden.
Creation of special programs in cooperation with the public schools, community organizations for adults and other agencies so that information can be presented by experts at community library locations around the county.
Instructional sessions, conducted by knowledgeable library professionals, in the methods to search new electronic information databases and how to make wise information selection and use decisions. The Information Age demands that all citizens, young to elderly, become wise information consumers and professional librarians, as teachers of information literacy, can help achieve this goal.
The IMCPL director and her excellent staff face some very difficult decisions. Perhaps choices have been made and there is no turning back. Perhaps the quality of public services will be monitored so that meaningful information education and delivery will not be lost in this new community structure we all look forward to using. It is our hope that a high quality staff of professionals will be part of the future showcase as well as the structure itself.
Daniel Callison, Professor
Executive Associate Dean
Jean Preer, Associate Professor
Marilyn Irwin, Associate Professor
School of Library and Information Science – Indianapolis
Well put! User-centered...that local flavor...and info literacy for all. There's a lot to be considered with the article and Dr. Callison's reply. This is a good dialogue to entertain: where is your library at on the continuum of change? Have you transitioned? Are you transparent? Are you User-centered?
My name is Cynthia Wilson. I received my Masters Degree in library science from Clarion University and I am a photographer. I have been looking for librarians and library school students in the United States who would be willing to get their picture taken, and answer a short interview for a book that I am working on, titled “I am a Librarian!”
Cynthia took my picture one sweltering day in Orlando last June with my beloved PowerBook. Here's the image, which is one of many on display at the University of West Florida, Fort Walton Beach campus library for National Library Week 2005:http://www.iamalibrarian.com/gal2.html
I cannot wait for this one. It's going to be blogged, flickr'ed, podcasted, de.licio.us'ed and maybe even wiki'ed! Check out the fledging blog and maybe subscribe to the feed if you can't be there in person.
Thanks to Beatrice who rocks setting this stuff up!
I apoligize if this made the rounds back in March -- maybe because I was at CIL I totally missed it! But this is intriguing. I wonder what their numbers are? How the librarians feel about it? And what the student perception of the library might be because of this innovative service?
Take a look at their info page for the service:
CNN piece about a study out of the UK that finds folks are too distracted by email, messaging, etc. Bit that resonated the most with me:
"Companies should encourage a more balanced and appropriate way of working."
Heck yeah! I need to ponder the implications here of the IQ stuff, but here's another vote for balance in our library and information lives. Handle only the information you are comfortable with and know when to unplug.
With that, dear readers, I am UNPLUGGING for the weekend.
I am loving this!
A respondent says:
"Kudos to linking to the Instant Messaging deifition in the Wikipedia from the Library's website. It's nice to know that UNLV's librarians are up-to-date on things such as the Wikipedia. The idea of Instant Messaging for help sounds wonderful. If it isn't a nuisance and is setup that a librarian at the help desk runs AIM in the background as she/he helps in-person patrons and then additionally helps online patrons, this could become a successful way to reach and help students."
Read all about it...http://blog.uwinnipeg.ca/schwagbag/archives/2005/04/imers_not_digit_1.html
Thanks FGL for such a nice bit to ponder this am.
Are you reading this most cool Front Line Blog?
And guess what? Your library sounds the same way if you tell patrons (of any age) that they can't IM from your library because that's not a valid use of your public computers. You're basically telling people that their choice of communication channel isn't allowed and that they should go elsewhere because you won't be serving them today.
We meet with Brian again today: our Staff development Librarian, our Web developer and yours truly for another demo. The implications for training intrigue me. Here I've set up a session to run through a PPT on the Reference Interview.
Please be careful and take care of yourselves! I have been wrestling with a neck injury probably aggravated by too much laptop-ing since the fall and it's a tad disheartening. I heart my laptop but I am super careful using it now.
I've had an ongoing dialog with Brian at Jybe and today (Sunday) he asked me to take a look at Jybe 2.0 with him. Amidst my parsing of XML and pondering a paper on iPodder, Brian and I spent about 30 minutes looking at the new plug in and discussing how librarians might use Jybe to co-browse with users or each other (I see a big future for training and staff development this way- I could conduct a brief tutorial on a databse from my desk with a librarian at a branch! Our most cool staff dev librarian at SJCPL gets it too!).
An intuitive Create Session that features a Notify button so you can invite folks to your jybe session via email.
An asterisk appears next to each user's name in the chat interface to signify their browser is still loading the page - it disappears when the page is loaded.
Scrolling capability for cobrowsers
Uploadable presentations -- PPT, XLS, DOC, etc -- with super fact refresh rates ( I was able to upload "21st Century Libraries" from my Mac, click through some slides and then surf right over to KCPL to illustrate a point!)
Jybe does not support uploading images yet, but we were able to get into a gallery so I could show him a picture of the boys.
We surfed over to SJCPL and got into the catalog, where Brian searched for a book with me. We were also able to get into a database, search, click on a PDF and download it to both machines!
Finally, we trotted over to wikipedia and edited an entry TOGETHER. We couldn't type at the same time -- like Aaron and I do with Sub Etha Edit on our Macs -- but how cool is that? Collaborative real time blogging and wiki anyone?
Brian says 2.0 will be ready sometime this week so keep an eye out for it and test it yourself. I am intrigued as usual by something that seems so simple to use that could make the VR folks sit up and take notice. Some questions for libraries pondering a Jybe-based VR service: will your users download a plug-in? Can we make it easy for them to do so? Can we use Jybe in-house for development and training?
I'm pondering Sherri's words: "the 'embedded' service concept: provide help for people where and when they use it most." Is Jybe imbedded enough or can it made to be so users will automatically have it or not think twice about adding on to their systems.
Update: Jybe 2.0 is out!
I just did a second read through and this article may turn out to be a touchstone for futurists and library planners as well as signifying service directions a public library needs to look at very seriously to remain viable with a goodly part of the population. Consider this:
"It is impossible to resist imagining a library built on gamer principles, where patrons decide which materials and services are offered and which are not. All discussions of the library's future direction would be open, with full transcripts digitized, searchable, and part of the permanent record. Mechanisms would be put in place so that patrons are welcomed as new users but encouraged to participate in decision-making and, eventually, contribute their own materials. Library users would be linked to their relevant social networks through a variety of tools."
We've been hearing this song for years: user-centered planning and transparency!
For a generation raised with the Internet, instantaneous access to both information and the social networks for which that information is relevant is the norm. Earlier generations see instant messenging (or even cell phones) as a distraction, wondering how anyone can get work done with them. For the current generation, the opposite seems to be true: it's hard to imagine getting any work done without those tools.
While we await Tiger, this is most cool for system upkeep:
Wow! The Library supporter posts some learning objectives, a reference to a cool Neal Schuman title, AND a PPT of a presentation up called "Defusing the Angry Patron" on the blog today. I have been reading this blog all week and had it in my "to be blogged" folder. There's some good stuff here.
Talk about "ready to go content!" Thanks Library Supporter!
Christina writes about the IM Training Module:
Good stuff-- however, I don't see where you reinforce good reference interview behaviors. I've seen staff who are very good at conducting f2f reference completely forget everything when they start VR, and I would expect the same from IM. Even in the transcripts I've seen from libraries doing IM reference I haven't seen probing and follow up questions as much as I would like. You can still be informal and "cool" and make sure you have the right question.
How do you know that you're above the 55%?
Very true! The Reference Interview is incredibly important no matter what medium you do your reference work in. I taught a series of workshops in 2003 called "The Reference Interview in the 21st Century" and the Handout version of the PPT slides are here.
I need to look at this -- it's been a few months. Maybe we need another component for this Module on Reference interviewing. (striking isn't it, how this training has GROWN since this discussion began...)
Take a minute or three and visit Karen's survey! She reports: "I have been informed LII would like to get a good response from the bloggier side of librarianship."
One of my favorite blogs is Technobiblio. Here's a great IM-related post from Chris:
I had a sit down last week with a librarian working closely on an IM Reference project. I asked what kind of IM interactions they get at their library. She had this list, which may be similar to what other libraries have encountered as they begin projects like this.
* Kids seeing if someone is actually "there"
* A few questions of the "Are you hot?" variety
* A lot of informational questions about the library: hours, etc
* Some gosh darn spiffy* reference questions
I think it's important for training to understand we may get a few questions like the first couple. It does not mean that all IM is all about "What are you wearing?" but that we can handle those as well:
Response: "A sensible shirt and trousers, but the more important question is , can I help you with a question about the library today?"
Reinventing Libraries: People, Place and Purpose
This was the first of three workshops co-taught with Sharon and Dan Wiseman of Wiseman Consulting. We began the day with some ground rules -- one conversation, suffering is optional, etc -- and then Sharon presented some groundwork on the roots and traditions of libraries, librarians and our collective history. Sharon noted it's amazing how many libraries started as Ladies' Libraries back in the day.
Then we worked through these questions:
What is happening in Libraries (down the street and around the block)
What is true and not true about Libraries (Our roots, traditions, and assumptions)
How do we design libraries for a changing world
Where must we change
What actions can or should I take
I did my "Trends for 21st Century Libraries" talk, based in part on the OCLC Pattern Recgnotion Report. The group had some great questions. I touched a bit on Technology, but most of that will be in Part 3.
The afternoon was sopent with Dan presenting the "Sacred Cow Round Up" -- and this is where it got very interesting!
SACRED COW ROUND-UP
What are aspects of our profession or institution that we need to look at? What are some really new ways of looking at these aspects of library service? What is absolutely essential?
We placed flip chart pages labeled with the "Sacred Cows," including Board Relations, Publicity, Financing and Technology, all around the room and the folks broke into groups to go around and brainstorm at each one. They would write what they thought on each one. This was absolutely incredible! The air of collaboration in the room was tangible.
The group then identified by voting with a dot or a line the most important bits on each one. Then, the folks were told to stand by the "Sacred Cow" they were most passionate about. Is that cool or what? If you are passionate about something, I think you may be in a better spot to create change. Nice!
We concluded by discussing Best Practices for each of the items that received the most votes and debriefed.
Steve Martin, from INCOLSA, has posted pictures:
The Workshop in Action: http://www.khswildkats.com/pictures/pictures.asp?id=IMI200504Class
I am really looking forward to getting back together with this forward-thinking group of Indiana Librarians. Have I mentioned here that Indiana Librarians Rock?
Sherri also has a post about playlists and music, and I downloaded the article she pointed to for my growing collection of social software citations. Hot! Anyway, here are my musical links:
Michael's iTunes Library: Allows you to see some of my favorites, guilty pleasures and clicks through to ITMS!
Via an email from Stephen Abram: (Thanks!)
Now it's still very early, and the survey has only been up for 2 days (20 responses so far), but I'm noticing a peculiar trend in the responses: 90% of respondents currently use IM, and 90% have never used the UNLV Chat Reference service. The next question asks "if the service were offered, would you use Instant Messaging to ask a librarian for research help?" Again, 90% responded 'yes.'
This is good stuff to ponder. Sherri does mention the VR service has not been promoted too much, which happens a lot. But her point speaks volumes: maybe IM is better because it supports " the 'embedded' service concept: provide help for people where and when they use it most." Yup... I'd be looking very closely at the ROI of that VR service...
"IM is looking better and better all the time."
IMAOLScreenName.ppt: A Handout for getting ScreenNames
This says a lot to me about the crossover between LIS blogging and reporting here in library land. In fact, the genesis was the original post at engadget about South Huntington's iPod Shuffles!
Thanks to Joe and Ken at South Huntington PL for talking to me about their ground-breaking sevice! Thanks to Brian Kenney at LJ for being so cool about my fascination with iPods in Libraries. Keep watching folks, I think more and more libraries will find cool ways to integrate iPods into their services. You may be amazed!
The group organizing the day has set up a flickr account. Take a look. I think it will be most active on May 3rd and will be one of many tools the group uses to share what's happening at the presentations.
This really gets me going! I can't wait!
This is TTW's 500th entry since March 2004! To give it some substance:
Three Things that are HOT right now:
Libraries that get the balance between technology, space and people and plan accordingly to meet the needs of all who seek information.
Librarians who experiment with new techie stuff and report to the LIS Blogosphere how it goes. (That's a big piece of what a learning community is all about)
Technologies that are used as tools, not like carnival attractions in our organizations!
I was sad to realize PLA and CIL are scheduled for the same time next year! I just got a mailing from PLA and went to enter the dates in iCal - and OH!
I know plans are made for such big conferences years in advance... but this is too bad for folks that might want to attend both!
This is an important one...one to ponder...
But it's not just about giving people what they want. Leadership is about creating a vision that you can share with the board, with elected officials and business people, with the library's clients, and most of all, with the library staff. (One of our side discussions during this meeting was about the importance of not blaming the staff for not being willing to change. If the leaders cannot explain the change and provide a reason for it, the problem lies not with the staff, but with their leaders.)
Thus, the importance of staff buy-in for projects, initiatives and change (with technology or otherwise). Pardon me, but adminstrators must be able to make the case for changes and COMMUNICATE them. We discussed this during the "Reinventing Libraries" workshop. One director told me he wanted to be as open and honest with his staff as possible, would ask them to change with him and would stand up for each and everyone of them and "take the blame" if something didn't work out. Nice.
Am I a broken record? In our planning meetings, are we asking the right questions? How does it serve our users? How does it improve services? Are we sending the right message to the staff ij the right ways?
Watch blogs like "It's All Good" -- this is good stuff and cannot be ignored.
An e-mail this am from Chris Kupec:
"I'm going to an OverDrive demo today. I'll ask the rep what she thinks of
iPodlounge: Apple takes lead in flash market, continues domination
During its second quarter conference call with press and analysts, Apple
revealed that the iPod shuffle was the No. 1 selling flash-based MP3 player
worldwide in February with 43 percent market share. The iPod shuffle is
expected to be the top-selling flash player in the coming months, but NPD
Techworld (which calculates the sales numbers) has not yet released reports
Apple’s iTunes Music Store remains the clear leader in online music sales
with a share of 70-75 percent, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The company
said over 350 million songs have now been purchased and downloaded from
In addition, Apple’s share of the worldwide hard drive-based MP3 player
market stands at over 90 percent. With Apple’s quick takeover of the flash
market, the company now accounts for more than 70 percent of all MP3 players
Apple also said that Hewlett Packard’s share of the iPod market dropped
last quarter to only 3 percent of iPod sales.
UPDATE: Chris also sent this article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49774-2005Apr13.html?referrer=emailarticle concerning some of those libraries that have realized their download services DO NOT WORK ON IPODS!
Chris is doing some cool stuff with iTunes at his library. This post includes a letter to Audible. His points:
The details need to be addressed carefully, but it boils down to this:
1. We want to offer digital audiobooks to our patrons.
2. We do not want to circulate any devices. The patrons must provide their own.
3. We want the patrons to come into the library, and have the staff load patron devices.
4. We want the library to own the files locally, on a local storage device, e.g., when our Internet service is slow, we do not want to hinder the patron from checking out an audiobook.
5. We want to support iPods. WMA-based services can't offer this. Audible offers the greatest range of supported hardware and has the advantage over any other service in this regard.
6. We want to be able to circulate multiple copies easily and affordably.
The thread I see here is that this library really wants to be user-centered, including those users that own iPods... And, hmmm, didn't the new Business 2.0 (which I read cover to cover) report that Apple is selling iPods at a "rate of about 40 per minute." Chris - keep us informed when you hear back from Audible!
"What's Next for Apple?"
By Paul Sloan, Paul Kaihla
March 23, 2005
Last week I did some IM Training for some new and seasoned staff who will be working at SJCPL Service areas that use IM (Reference and AV) to answer questions. It was a good exercise and now I see more clearly how to set up this type of training. I wanted them to get screenames first, then chat with each other and then tackle some exercises. I did all the things a good trainer should do: checked my equipment, tested the computers and preppeed the room and handouts.
What I didn't count on was having issue with logging in to iChat (we were on Macs, thank you very much) with a new screename. I tested it on a random training room computer and it worked for me. In the class - it didn't. No one could log in.
How I will do it differently: Next time, I want all 20 macs pre-configured with iChat and Fire (a multi client chat app for OS X) and each to have a pre-configured screen name: SJCPLTrain1, SJCPLTrain2, SJCPLTrain3, etc.
That way, we don't spend the time signing up and logging in. I want to save that for other training times, maybe as Advanced IM. Along with the IM Reference initiative here, we have a thriving community of IMing staff who communicate and work better because of this software. It does my heart good, I said to my Assistant Director this afternoon, to meet with our Staff Development Librarian and hear her plans to mount an IM directory on the intranet and encourage staff to IM her.
Anyway, here are my training documents. Maybe some of you can use them.
PPT file used as a handout for IM Training. CUSTOMIZE to your library and your IM Client
Trainer's Outline & Objectives
Sample questions. Give to half of your students
Sample questions. Give to other half of your students
UPDATE: IMAOLScreenName.ppt: A Handout for getting ScreeNames
From colleague and workshop participant Stephen Boggs, who is director of New Carlisle Public Library in New Carlisle, IN (at the far west reaches of my county), we get a report of what he's doing at his library since the "Reinventing Libraries Workshop" This rocks my world.
So far I have set-up three additional IM accounts for the library. Information about or screen names is posted on our main web page @ www.ncpl.info
The accounts were fairly easy to establish, though I have switched to a program called PSI to handle all three accounts instead of managing three different IM programs at once. I'm hoping that kids/adults will see that we are trying to be as approchable as possible, especially since it simply takes just a few clicks to ask a question. I am also going to try to have the staff sign up for IM accounts for quickie questions and general communication instead of using the intercom or waiting for an e-mail reply. It's easy to do, but people don't care to "have their cheese moved," so I need to remember to be patient and supportive when introducing things like this to the staff.
I have also started a blog. It is located at http://ncplinfo.blogspot.com/ The cool thing about it is that I can just use my normal e-mail to post to it. Some ask why do both a blog and a website? Simple. They are two different things. The blog is strictly a list and nothing more, whereas the website is much more structured. I must admit that as I was browsing some library related blogs I was quite put off by what the ALA President had to say about bloggers in general.
Rock On Stephen! I hope the internal IM initiative goes well. Two key words for introducing staff to new technologies: patient and supportive. Some staff will take to it like ducks to the pond, some staff will fight anything that's new, and some staff fall in between. I'm pondering buy-in a lot these days... it's important for success in libraries for sure!
Kelli Staley writes about the IM experience at Lansing PL, and shares some cool stuff about how it all works:
How does our staff like this setup?
They like the the separate names. The Teen Dept. librarian said she gets a lot of young adult reader's advisory inquiries which our Reference desk would be unable to answer. Her IM traffic seems to pick up after she booktalks at the high school. Students will remember parts of what she said, and then inquire about the title.
It also helps to get an idea of the age of the patron right off the bat. Adult Reference said they do get some inquiries that are obviously a middle school or perhaps high school student but most of the reference materials they use for class projects are housed in the adult collection anyway, and IMs are usually a follow-up to a class visit to the library.
I reserved a name for adult readers advisory (our 4th public desk), but as of yet I haven't been able to get them excited enough to try it!
I love that Booktalks increase IM questions. That type of promotion will build up the service.
I'm sad though that the Adult Reader's Advisory folks aren't excited about IM. What might get them into having IM at their desk? Stats might bore them. A mandate from admin would turn them off. Hmm..could some anecdotal evidence -- stories if you will -- get them to buy in? (This isn't new -- I'm channeling Durrance and Abram here folks!)
We recently had an IM:
[17:46] Patron: Hello
[17:46] Patron: Is anyone here?
[17:47] AskSJCPL: Hi. May we help you?
[17:47] Patron: Are you a robot?
[17:48] AskSJCPL: We are live librarians.
No, not that one, but how about this:
[11:27] IM User: Hello I am a student from (a local college) and i have a question for you about one of your books
[11:28] AskSJCPL: sure, go ahead.
[11:28] IM User: I had looked through a book that my friend had taken out from your library titled (cool book by a cool author)
[11:28] IM User: I would like to use one of his ideas for a project but I do not have the bibliographic information
[11:29] IM User: could you by any chance get that for me, I do not have time to come to the library myself
[11:30] AskSJCPL: Okay. What sort of info do you need?
[11:31] AskSJCPL: Author, date of publication, publisher?
[11:32] AskSJCPL: (Bib info given)
[11:32] AskSJCPL: it's 64 pages long
[11:34] AskSJCPL: are you still there?
[11:34] IM User: yes
[11:34] IM User: that is perfect
[11:35] IM User: thanks you very much
[11:35] AskSJCPL: you're welcome, have a nice day!
[11:35] IM User: thanks u too!!
I might make the point that by serving the patron's need at their point of need via the method that was the best for them at the time, the library is providing some darn good service. I'm curious, readers, what other IM stories might we share? Comment here if you'd like.
Kelli also made a nice comment in response to Jenny's comment: "I agree with Jenny...the catalog should be the main source for this info, but we all know that many of our patrons are intimidated by the catalog or lack the searching techniques to find what they want. Just as our patrons learn our catalog interfaces, an upgrade can make them feel as if they're at square one again.
If the IM inquiry about a film, cd or audiobook is what it's going to take to pull them back into the library (especially if they've been gone a while) then we stand a chance at promoting all the other wonderful services & programs they are missing out on! It's all about getting those independent tech saavy patrons back in the door so we can show them it's NOT all on the internet!"
I hear you and I agree!
Hey - now you can tell if the SJCPL IM Reference service is online or not! We were inspired by Lansing!
U.S. shipments of MP3 players will grow 35% to 18.2 million in 2005 and maintain a compound annual growth rate of over 10% through 2010, reaching an installed base of 56.1 million by then, up from 16.2 million in 2004. MP3 players will reach critical mass this year, fueling demand for digital music services and stores.
And fueling demand by library users for digital content for their players! The MacMerc tidbit concludes with this:
Mostly due to the iPod's success, JupiterResearch has raised its near-term forecast, but projects that flash-based player shipments will surpass those of hard-drive models in 2007.
More, bigger shuffles? Huge capacity cards? Hmmm...
Here's an updated page for the talk I'm doing in May!
"Optimizing your Technology: Sharing your TechnoLust and Knowing When to Quit"
Is it okay I always talk about lust? :-)
This is in the works for the library's Sights & Sounds department! Direct IM capability to find out if music, movies or audiobooks are available. I'll be training a bit with the staff before they go live.
I was tickled to see we are on the right track when I saw Jenny's post about Lansing Public Library and their multiple screen names. "Kelli wrote, “Our library is on 2 levels, so we have separate screen names for different age groups. AskLPLAdult, AskLPLTeen, AskLPLYouth (we're on Yahoo & AOL).” She went on to note that a few weeks ago, they received IMs from students in Florida and Ohio. Those two requests are from students who couldn’t IM their local library. Can your students IM yours?"
Can your patrons IM your service desks? Can your librarians IM each other across the boundaries of distance (Floors? Miles?)?
Podscope: Welcome Podcasters!
Podscope is the Internet's first spoken-word search engine for audio and video podcasts. If you would like to extend the the audience of your podcast by making it searchable please provide us with an RSS link below.
Hmmm... I would me more inclined to embrace podcasting completely if I could search for content.
Nice post at Weblogs in Higher Edcucation. Ken writes about discussing weblogs with a friend who sticks mainly with newspapers, journals, columnists, etc.
I found myself saying that bloggers were performing a different function than columnists. Sure, once in awhile bloggers carry out a direct act of reporting or research that could just as well have been done by a journalist. I think bloggers are processing issues and facts, passing ideas around, turning them over and over, nudging them, extending their reach, recontextualizing them, and otherwise living with ideas and information and drawing them out into wider communities to test them and to see how they hold up.
That's where I see the "Innovator & Commentator" LIS Weblogs thriving: as an engaging method of creating ideas, passing them between the bloggers and developing them as part of a community. Look, for example, at the coverage of IM in Libraries and how much discussion is occuring here, at walking paper, Librarian in Black, etc.
Thanks everyone for the nice wishes as TTW turned 2! And THANKS to Karen for singing. It's on my iPod playlist!
I'm intrigued by this:
Two more viewpoints on podcasting... I agree with points in both. Take a look.
Great day in Kokomo, I learned so much! I'll post about it soon, but I'm tired now... Thanks to Sharon, Dan, Steve and Ida for a great day -- and thanks to the folks who attended!
Here's a set at flickr:http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/sets/215227/
Here's my PPT: Trends for 21st Century Libraries
I made GOOD TIME -- with an hour to spare so I'm at Panera looking at my materials.
I am on my way to Kokomo, Indiana for the first of three workshops "Reinventing Libraries." I'm co-presenting with Sharon and Dan Wiseman.
"...we all know libraries are changing. The library workforce is changing and the nature of the job is changing. The more librarians know the lingo of the new tech world of fee-for-service models instead of you-bought-it-you-own-it models of yore, the better we will be able to advocate for our patrons to provide the best service for them and the best return for their investment in us. You don’t have to live on IM to understand why IM might be a good alternative to 24/7 ref. You don’t have to check your email 100 times a day to know why email is a good way to increase patron contact options. You don’t have to podcast to understand why podcasts are an interesting and homegrown alternative to increasingly centralized and depersonalized audio content.
In the same way we don’t all have to be graphic novel fans to select them and realize their value for our patrons, we don’t all have to become cyborgs to realize the value of technology to our patrons, and the way technology can change lives, whether people access it in libraries or not. I’ll be presenting a lot of ideas librarians should, in my opinion, be learning about not as a way to say “Hey dork, if you don’t know about this you’re falling behind!” or even “All libraries should have this!” but as a way to say “When the time comes for you to decide if your library needs this, and that time will come, here are the things you’ll need to help you make that decision.” Smart librarians make smart choices and I’d like to help all of you get smart, no foolin’."
Word of the day: resonate. This resonates deeply with me. the first paragraph is all about being "in the know." When I write about those meetings that take place in libraries where people talk tech someone needs to be in the know! That doesn't mean you all have to be geeks BUT I want knowledgable people around my meeting room table. The second paragraphs dances with one of my favorite terms: technolust! "All libraries should have this! Uh, guess what? No, they shouldn't. All libraries should use the tools of technology to meet their mission and fulfill their users needs. Just sayin'.
Is it my connection via Comcast or what? I cannot get to flickr! I am having photo withdrawl....
I spent some time last night updating my main pages. Take a look. There may be some weirdness as I work out the glitches.
Schmidt & Stephens 2005:
Once again, Pew jumps right into the Hot Tech fray. Download the report, read it and ponder how you might server your users with audio content. Wouldn't you like your library to be included on the iPods and other players in your town?
The Wikipedia entry on podcasting distinguishes this medium from traditional internet radio because it allows consumers increased flexibility in listening to audio content and because delivery of podcasts can be automated. Before podcasting, internet radio listeners had to tune in to scheduled programs or retroactively search for individual broadcasts to download. Podcasts offer the unique feature of being delivered automatically to subscribers. Once a copy is stored on the listener's computer or portable music player, podcasts can be “time-shifted,” or played at any time.
Today is the two year anniversary of Tame the Web. Inspired to start blogging by Steven Cohen in March 2003, TTW went live via the iBlog software on April 1, 2003 from the Panera Bread in Mishawaka, Indiana via my laptop. Here's that first incarnation. And here are ten things I've learned in 2 years of being a Blogging Librarian:
Ethics and Guidelines Count
Ask Karen, she gets it more than any LIS Blogger I know. Not only are we writing and thinking about libraries but we are promoting ourselves, our jobs and the profession. Next time I bump into Michael Gorman, I'll ask him to not only take a look at TTW but at Free Range Librarian, and Walking Paper, and Dave's Blog and say "Look at these articulate, thoughtful folks who mind their Ps and Qs and work so hard to improve library services." What ethics do you blog by? What guidelines for your work do you use?
Your Blog = Your Presence (and spell stuff right please)
Typos plague us all. I'm the first to admit it: when I get a little excited and write furiously (with bad wrists, a bad neck and my patented 2 finger method), I make mistakes. I appreciate the IM or e-mail from a colleague that says "Hey you have a typo in that post about iPods at South Huntington." We all need editors.
Don't be sloppy. Take a look at that hasty post and FIX IT. Our blogs represent us -- our professionalism and our interest in LIS. If you put your blog on your resume or CV, it darn well better be well-written and focused. This is a big part of your presence. First thing I would do with a resume that cited a blog is to take a look! (and then Google the person too!)
The LIS Blogosphere is a Thriving Virtual Community
Howard Rheingold's The Virtual Community, published in 1993, defined the Internet as an interconnected computer network utilizing Computer-mediated Communication (CMC) to link people all over the globe in open discussions. He defined "virtual community" as “social aggregators that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace.”
Researchers Henri and Pudelko also argued that all virtual communities are learning communities by applying definitions cited from the work of Wenger who studied social learning theory within communities of practice in the physical world. Expanding on his work and utilizing their typology, Henri and Pudelko define three principal components of social interaction and information exchange within online communities: the goal of the community, the methods of creating the group, and the evolution of the community over time. They also defined descriptors for each component of virtual communities. I think the LIS Blogosphere fits very nicely under their heading of "Community of Practice"
Stems from an existing, real community of practice
Professional practice development through sharing knowledge among members
Appropriation of new practices and development of involvement
Sounds like a lot of what goes on between LISNews, the Shifted Librarian and all of the other LIS Blogs I keep track of.
Much has also been written about the strength of virtual communities in the real world as well as the aforementioned evolution of the community. Never before had it become so clear when many folks in the LIS Blogosphere crossed over into the real world in one place: Computers in Libraries 2005. It was fascinating to meet people I knew via their online presence and interact with them. There was much discussion, merriment, drama, knowledge exchange, learning, and hootin' and hollerin' - just like we all lived in the same town or belonged to the same extended family. We may not always agree..we may not always get along...but what a thriving group of folks. It did my heart good to meet bloggers like Chad and Michael Pate and chat with them in the hotel bar.
Libraries should be Blogging
At my talk on "Optimizing Technology in Libraries" -- absolutely hands down one of my favorites to present - I made a point that one way to create staff buy-in is to blog about a project. From 6 rows back, an audience member said (rather sternly) : "BLOGGING takes time! Who has time to do that?" I must admit I lost a little steam with that and realized our work is nowhere near done as "blogvangelists." (Thanks Will)
Blogs serve a purpose in libraries. The software -- simply a Content Management System (CMS) of sorts -- takes care of the dirty work and let's us focus on CONTENT. What could be more wonderful than that. Sometimes I think the name has a bad wrap. Maybe at CIL I could have said "Let your staff and public know by implementing a CMS and posting to it regularly."
Jenny turned me on to a great term: transparency. That's letting the public know what the library is doing, how we do it and what it means for our users. This is hot stuff. Here's where blogging libraries can really fly: telling stories to their users about their services, programs and everything else we do. AND IT'S EASY!
Look at what libraries are doing with blogs! It's incredible. As LIS Bloggers, we can sell that message and improve services internally and externally.
Librarians Want to Learn and Share
How wonderful is it that we can particpate in communities of practice and exchange ideas and share our best tips. I think one reason LIS Blogging thrives is because we like to see what other folks are doing. We like to stay in touch and informed. We share. This is not corporate cut-throat politics here... it's give and take. Nice.
Look at the resources at WebJunction, the Blended Librarian and LISNews! Lordy but we have some help in what we do. Look at what Aaron does with tech, or what Chris is doing in his library, or David with his Listen Up! blog or the wisdom of The Shifted Librarian.
This stuff isn't copyrighted folks (but there may be a creative Commons license!). Use it! I was so tickled at CIL 2005 to give our training workshop participants a CD with eight ready-to-go technology training classes they could take home. Same goes for blog stuff. Print a post, pass it out at a meeting, use it as a discussion piece. Then blog about it.
Blogging can be a Muse, a Catharsis, an Outlet and a Pure Document of Life
Nardi and friends did some great research and found these four motivations for blogging: blogging to document life experience: “…log your being," blogging as commentary such as a conference or a product, blogging as catharsis allowing writers to protest, shout, explore personal issues, and grief and finally, blogging as muse: “Thinking with computers."
Blog posts found here have been the genesis of presentations and articles. All in all, they document my professional/academic life since April 2003. This blog and the LIS Blogosphere has also influenced my research interests and what may become my dissertation. If..when..I'm in the classroom, I'll be talking about the years that blogging changed libraries! Wow.
Librarians Can Tell Good Stories
I'm all about Joan Durrance's How Libraries and Librarians Help. It addresses how we need to tell our libraries' and our users' stories to better market libraries and keep us relevant. Durrance talks about statistics versus stories and how stories bring that human element to the library.
I think librarians like to tell stories, not only in storytime, but in blogging. We blog stories about technology, the reference desk and support services.
Remember Librarians Gone Wild? Remember the Male Librarian Centerfold? The front line anonymous library blogger is a rare breed these days, it seems to me. I do miss them. Glad to see Ref is still grunting. I'm glad we have The Feel Good Librarian!
Anyone can have a Voice from Anywhere
In the LIS Blogosphere, there's room for loads of voices. I like that part as well. I like the fact that someone in a tiny little library in Podunk, USA who serves 500 people can blog about his or her experiences and add it to the mix. Think of the blogs you read - probably a pretty diverse group of folks from many backgrounds, locales and states of mind. Yes, a lot of us write about technology but still there's a lot of variety from the hardest of the hard coders to softest of the soft skills people person.
Cite Your Sources (Always)
Just sayin'... see below.
Blogging Librarians Make a Difference
How else would so much information move so quickly to folks tuned in and turned on to RSS or bloglines. The Gorman thing exploded in the LIS Blogosphere. Blogs like RFID in Libraries offer news and a whole lot more. I'd go there first and spend some time before even thinking about it!!
What does the future hold then for the blogging librarian? Could we sway ALA elections? Yes. I'll never vote again until I know where each candidate stands on new tech trends in libraries, thank you very much. Could we save a library from closing? Maybe if our posts were picked up by the bigger blogs and media. Can we help librarians and libraries thrive, remain relevant and meet users on their own turf? I hope so.
Henri, F., & Pudelko, B. (2003). Understanding and analyzing activity and learning in virtual communities. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (19), 474-487.
Nardi, B., Schiano, D., Gumbrecht, M., & Swartz, L. (2004). Why we blog. Communications of the ACM, 47 (12), 41-46.
Rheingold, H. (1993). The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. New York: HarperPerennial.
I've proofed this twice. Just want to thank all the bloggers that have touched me, supported me and given advice. You know who you are, you dear souls! Rock On!
The audio blog from Georgia Perimeter College Libraries that david free has been working on. WOW: two libraries of note launching audio casts so close together... The world spins folks. Is your library ready?
(Via IM w/Steven)
Libraries could use part of their home page to highcell phones, send simple text-message queries to library catalogs or databases, or check library hours via text messaging. Such services might be particularly valuable for students who live off campus. How will we conceive and design these new services?
Net Gen Info Services include:
Use students on teams that design new services and environments
Integrate services into course management systems
Explore services for mobile devices
Represent services and instruction visually and in multimedia modes
Focus on partnership models
Emphasize how to evaluate information resources
Emphasize information policy issues
Lippincott's piece is aimed at academic settings but guess what? These same insights and service directions fit for public libraries and school media centers too. Is your information policy up to date for new methods of delivery and inquiry, Public Librarian? Does your School Media Center offer collaborative blogging for various research assignments, School Librarian?
Download this one and give it a read.
Take a look:
Aaron offers Teen Audio Reviews. Well done! I've written about what David Free is doing and what Chris is planning, but here's a great example of not only audio content syndicated BUT a public Library involving users in the development of the Web presence.
Hey! That's Aaron! I think he has the most famous forehead in library land today!
Imagine recording studio-quality audio using your iPod and a regular-old microphone. Or sitting on the commuter train, playing Othello, Pong, Tetris or Asteroids. All this and more is possible when you install Linux on your 3rd generation or earlier iPod. Best of all, one soft-reset and you’re back in Apple’s iPod operating system, listening to your tunes.
There are probably a lot of older iPods out there and with prices falling for new models, here's a great use for them. Linux on the iPod!
he installation process is very straightforward. Plug your iPod in and make sure it’s mounted on your desktop. If you can’t see yours, open iTunes and select iTunes: Preferences: iPod. Select the Enable Disk Use option and click OK. Now you can run the installer. Once the installation is complete, unmount your iPod by ejecting it through iTunes or by dragging its icon to the Trash. Disconnect it and reboot your iPod by holding down the Menu and Play buttons. Once you see the Apple logo, press and hold the Back button. The smiling face of Tux (the emblematic penguin and Linux mascot) should greet you, followed by a rapid series of scrolling text. In a few seconds, the new interface should appear. Known as podzilla, this looks very much like the iPod’s familiar interface, but includes new options.
What can you do with an iPod running Linix?
Record Audio: On the move podcasts anyone? Conference reports? Library user interviews?
View Images: Wowza..not snazzy full color like iPod Photo but useful.
Play Games: More, better games...
You can switch between Linux and the Apple iPOd OS easily as well. The iPod Linux project is open source, which means new features are always in the pipe and anyone with sufficient programming background can help. For details, go to www.ipodlinux.org. The developers also maintain a blog (www.ipodlinux.org/blog) with news and updates.