Friday, October 29, 2010

TEDx and Libraries: A Perfect Partnership for Community Engagement @ PaLA

The fabulous librarians of NJ strike again... Peter Bromberg (Assistant Director, Princeton Public), Janie Hermann (Program Coordinator at Princeton Public) and John LeMasney (Manager of Technology Training at Rider University)

TED=Technology, Education, Design. TED talks are described as the talk of your life and TED has become a global classroom of smart people who are changing the world

3 things I learned
1. TEDx is an independently organized TED event
2. TEDx is completely scalable. You can do it with all videos of TED talks or with live speakers and videos - TED requires that TEDx events contain 25% TED talks on video. You can show one video and host a discussion or do a full-day event like NJ did
3. TEDx speakers have to be video-taped and uploaded. No TED speakers are paid. The organization gives out free licenses that don't expire, but you must apply and follow extensive guidelines designed to maintain the spirit and intent of TED.

1 thing I squared away
Yes, indeed TED talks on Leadership would make an excellent topic for a Library Management Division meeting (or a staff day, or department meeting)

Something I need to work on
Start small and integrate into a LMD meeting or a department meeting. Who would I want to work with on a larger event???

60 Gadgets in 60 seconds at PaLA

This program was exactly what the title promised, there were 60 slides of gadgets in about an hour in a host of categories: home, office, pets, travel, kitchen, etc... Contrary to my expectations, the gadgets were not necessarily applicable to Library Land and no parallels were drawn from the technology that was being highlighted to the future of libraries and customer expectations. Oh well, something to ponder for another day!

Some of the cool things that were highlighted:

Sensource - thermal imaging door counter tracks in and out, data is available wirelessly

Steel series shift - gaming keyboard has interchangeable keysets and even adjusts its shape

Interactive LCD projector
turns any surface into a collaborative smart board

scratch and scroll mouse pad

Taxco phone - $70 phone, no contract, all you need is a sim card, has all the bells and whistles -- text or call me in x minutes - gets you out of sketchy dates or boring meetings

laptop kitchen stand - for viewing recipes in the kitchen without fear of slopping on your keyboard

RDA for Beginners at PaLA

I was really impressed with the 3 presenters from the PA State Library. They are one of the RDA test libraries and did a very good job of explaining how RDA is different and where the testing process is now.

3 things i learned
1. A good way to explain the biggest difference between RDA and AACR2 is that RDA provides more access to the people who affected the item being cataloged. Instead of just the author and illustrator, for a graphic novel you will also see the series editor, the colorist, the letterer, some other editor whose role I didn't catch -- ah the complex world of comic books! In short, everyone who had influence on the item gets mentioned in the record in a meaningful way.
2. RDA will take more time (see #1) at least at first, but it will definitely make records more search-able
3. testing ends at midnight on December 31, 2010. We may know by ALA annual in New Orleans whether RDA is being adopted.

Building Organizational Resiliency to Stress

This workshop with Andrew Sanderbeck (who has presented at MLA in the past) was excellent. He is very engaging. He knows libraries. He knows leadership and management and how to play well with others.

3 things I learned
1. Celebrate successes -- if your organization does something good - celebrate it. Dessert is stressed spelled backwards after all...
2. Improve communication -- even when information isn't available (and I thought this was key) be as timely as possible in delivering info and say you don't know when you don't know the answer. Create a sense of trust when it comes to communication. Make it friendly and efficient -- which means fewer emails and more conversations. Andrew's email rule is that if it is more than 2 paragraphs, it isn't appropriate for an email.
3. Talk with staff about issues regarding scheduling and work rules -- everyone needs to have clear expectations -- make those clear and work together on how to 'make it happen'

1 thing I squared away
I've known this, but Andrew make it a quick sound bite -- Get your mind off the problem and onto the solution.

My aha moment or something I need to work on/research
Stress points are the places that we are stuck. This applies to individuals and organizations. Where is the organization stuck? Where am I stuck? A good question to ask when we are stressed by change is, "How will this change benefit you?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Future-Proofing Your Libraries: Planning to Enable Your Library to Respond to the Needs of Today and Still Remain Relevant in the Future

This was a program presented by Randy Hudson of Hayes Large Architects

3 Things I Learned:

1. Shopping has colonized the world - patrons want solitude and social interaction in the same place, preferably with food oriented retail opportunities (especially for students and Mom's with fussy hungry children)
2. Library as a place to make things - create things (art and design programs)
3. Touch screens increase usage - what if the library catalog was as easy to use and interactive and VISUAL as the MTO screen at Sheetz?!

1 Thing I Squared Away
Patrons in general and younger users in particular want a good space to work/study/collaborate in and they want self-check but they also want help to be available if it is needed. "alone but not lonely" spaces

Something I need to work on or explore more:
U Penn has video software and equipment for practice interviewing - you can watch yourself and get feedback (from a librarian?)

1 Odd Thing in my notes:
The 70's were bad economically, but great for music. Be a punk rock librarian (loud, cheap, fast, fun and fearless) I don't think that this was an actual learning objective but I think we could work with it

President's Program and Public Library Division Breakfast at PaLA

The highlight for me of the President's program at PaLA here in Lancaster, was that Margie Stern introduced Brad Rutter Jeopardy champ to us, but she also introduced the audience to him, which I found charming and really smart.

The Public Library Division breakfast gave me a chance to preview Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All! I won't spoil your fun, come to MLA in May and you can hear her for yourself on Thursday evening. :) Best part of that event was having Venditta point out Susan Pannebaker, who is with the Commonwealth Libraries - PA's DLDS. We had a nice conversation even though it turns out she couldn't tell me much about the PALS program except that they help pay for it. ;-)

Thoughts from PaLA: Take one

I'm in Lancaster, PA at the Pennsylvania Library Association Conference observing and gathering good ideas to bring back to Maryland for MLA where I will have the pleasure of being the conference director in 2012.

Marylanders spotted/chatted-up: John Vendittta, former associate director of WMRL, Bob Baldwin, director of Allegany Community College, and Laura Greenlee who used to work in adult reference and is now at the head librarian in Greencastle.

Conference 101

3 Things I Learned
1. Start on time and proceed as though the room is packed, even if there are only 10 people there
2. PA has a new member reception -- what if we have a non-member reception and use it as a way to recruit new members? I think that might be an idea that is best not thought too hard about...but the idea of not inviting non-members to the party seemed wrong, if non-members can't see why the association is fun and worthwhile, why would they join?
3.Since PA has a much longer conference, every meal is not booked at the hotel and accompanied by a speaker -- they do dine-outs, some with speakers/authors and others with interest groups at area restaurants.

Great side benefit-- Had a chance to talk with Paula Gilbert, their conference chair and hawker of PA illustrator raffle tickets, Rob Lesher, their 1st VP, and Glenn Miller their exec director.

Something that I Squared Away - my AHA! Moment:
PA also does a raffle for vendor prizes, but instead of giving everyone one ticket in their registration packet the way we do in MD, they give tickets to the vendors who can give them out to people who stop and talk to them. It's another way of encouraging interaction with the vendors which is rather brilliant. In MD we collect stamps from the vendors, that can be entered for a prize, but I like the raffle tickets, it's pretty straight forward.

Something I need to learn more about:
PA has something called PALS - Pennsylvania Academy for Leadership Studies - track down the chair of that program, Tina Hertel and see what can be learned and turned into a MLA pre-conference

Monday, October 18, 2010

MASL (Md Assoc of School Librarians) Annual Conference

I attended the best MASL conference on October 14 and 15 - because I need an on-going connection with the schools and to be knowledgeable of the kinds of activities to which we can make a connection. The theme was " The Future is in Your Hands." Jamie McKenzie, International known Writer/Publisher, Speaker, Trainer, Technology Specialist. After opening with "why do I need a librarian or books?" he launched into what we are doing and how - he went to the Internet and what we are using there and how are we using it and with whom. We can become the experts in choosing really good things by clarifying, thinking, problem solving, redefining what we do and and how well we do it. It is also time to educate key decision makers about our roles. He was very thorough and left us with many challenges.

I think that he would make a good staff training day presenter here at WCFL or at a tri-county day. Naomi Butler