All posts by Michael

Thanks Alaska Library Association!

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Thanks to the Alaska Library Association for the invitation and warm welcome to Juneau last week. I was honored to keynote the conference and spend time with the incredibly dedicated Alaskan librarians.

I was also able to break away for the afternoon and hike around the Mendenhall Glacier. It was stunning!

Slide downloads:

Smaller Download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/stephensalaskakeynote2.27.15Small.pdf (30MB)

BIG download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/stephensalaskakeynote2.27.15.pdf (300MB – why does Keynote create such huge PDFs?)

On encouraging the heart…

On encouraging the heart…. This is important as we move into a more emotionally rich, experience-based world. Our networks enable us to extend the heart across cyberspace. User-centered planning, engaging and exciting creativity-focused spaces, and opportunities to follow one’s curiosity wherever it may lead are all part of the heart of libraries. The library should encourage the heart.

The Hyperlinked Library word cloud by Fall 2014 #hyperlib student Sandy Chauvin.

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Thanks Ontario Library Association

I am back from three great days in Toronto. Thanks to all at the Ontario Library Conference for such a wonderful conference experience. It was nice to see friends and colleagues and talk with the librarians from all over Ontario.

My slides are from the two presentations are here:

January 29: Hyperlinked Learning Experiences at Libraries: MOOCs & Beyondhttps://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/StephensLearningOLA2015.pdf

January 30: MOOCs for Librarians: Key Takeaways from Two Large Scale Professional Development Courseshttps://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/MOOCsStephensOLA2015.pdf

Internet Librarian International 2015 Call for Speakers

Dynamic disruption: transforming the library
Submissions deadline 15 April 2015

Val Skelton
Programme Director
Katherine Allen 
Conference Director

Information Today invites you to submit your presentation ideas for this year’s Internet Librarian International (ILI) – the fast-growing innovation and technology conference that attracts hundreds of global library and information professionals each year.

We are seeking innovative case studies and discussions on the ideas, strategies and practical implementations that are helping you make a difference to your organisations, clients and communities.

ILI is all about the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience and this year we will also be exploring the ‘big questions’ which challenge libraries and information professionals – who are we, and what are we for?

Which new technologies, services and business models are the most appropriate now, and where should we focus our attentions next? What changes can we make to ensure our communities thrive? How do we deliver ‘constant innovation’? How can we meet the often unexpressed needs of our customers?

We are also looking for your ideas for the X-Track – an informal space for hands-on interactive activities.

The full Call for Speakers is available here

As always, we welcome contributions from all types of libraries and info pros – public, academic, government, national or commercial – as well as those working outside a ‘traditional’ library setting.

This year’s Call for Speakers has 6 main categories:

  • Innovative technologies, tools and apps 
  • Latest developments in search and discovery 
  • Cutting edge services – new structures, new roles, new ideas 
  • Transforming engagement – new ways to influence 
  • Innovations in content – creation, collaboration, copyright and co-operation 
  • X-Track experiences and ideas 
  • PLUS workshops 

But this is just a summary of our focus; read more detail and suggestions here.

We’re looking for a range of presentation formats, including:

  • 30-minute scene-setting themed papers
  • 15-minute case study presentations
  • X-Track experiences and volunteers
  • Workshop leaders
  • Panellists

The submissions deadline is 10 April 2015, but don’t delay your submission until then.
Now’s the time to share your expertise, and be a part of this influential and forward-thinking event –
 Submit today.

Upcoming Presentations Winter 2015

January 29: Hyperlinked Learning Experiences at Libraries: MOOCs & Beyond. Ontario Library Association, Toronto, Ontario.

January 30: MOOCs for Librarians: Key Takeaways from Two Large Scale Professional Development Courses, Ontario Library Association, Toronto, Ontario.

February 27, 2015: Keynote – Learning Everywhere: Transformative Power of Hyperlinked Libraries, Alaska Library Association Conference, Juneau, Alaska.

 

Cosplay, Comics and Geek Culture in Libraries Site

Don’t miss this new venture from Ellyssa Kroski and a great group of writers. It’s a great way to explore some of the ways libraries are reaching out to fan communities of all kinds.

http://ccgclibraries.com

Welcome to Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries! This is an exciting time for geeks of all kinds to be involved with libraries as today’s savvy libraries have begun to embrace new ways to engage library patrons such as fandom events, comic book and graphic novel collections, comic cons, cosplay events, and more. 

The intersection of these interests with libraries is a perfect match as libraries are striving to develop entertaining and educational new programs and services that will appeal to not only children but young adults as well as “kids at heart” of all ages. And these new programs and resources fit well with the interests of cosplayers who can utilize the equipment in library makerspaces such as 3D printers and sewing machines to create many of their props and costume pieces, as well as comics fans who can come to the library to read comics and graphic novel collections, video and board game enthusiasts who attend library gaming events, and geeks of all types who are drawn to “nerd nights”, Dr. Who marathons, and Harry Potter socials, etc.

Office Hours: It’s About Time

And my last column of 2014 – for got to post!

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/11/opinion/michael-stephens/its-about-time-office-hours/

Have you said this in a meeting or a discussion with a colleague? Has this rolled off the tongue when confronted with an unexpected change, a new technology, or another initiative?

Many of us are stretched to our limits. I applaud the folks I meet who have absorbed more and more duties as staffing patterns have changed. Just recently, at a meeting of the Council of State Library Agencies in the Northeast in Cape May, NJ, I dined with librarians who were wearing many hats in their evolving institutions and working hard to meet the needs of the agencies they serve.

However, I bristle when I hear the “no time” response, because sometimes I think it’s an excuse. It’s a catch-all phrase to sidestep learning something new, improving processes, or making a needed but oh-so-scary change. It leads me to ask a question in response: What do you actually make time for?

Click through to read the comments – some heated discussion ensued!

Office Hours: Actions and Answers

My new column is up at Library Journal:

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/01/opinion/michael-stephens/actions-and-answers-office-hours/

The attitudes or reflective action, highlighted in an article by Grant and Zeichner (2001), includes open-­mindedness, responsibility, and wholeheartedness. All are important and resonate deeply with me and my philosophy of what librarianship should be about. Approaching something with a sense of wholeheartedness means we are all in all the time, not just when it’s convenient. It means bucking the status quo to do the right thing at the right moment. It means owning our actions as ­professionals.

I am most excited about this evolution of who we are and what we do on the ground and in the trenches. The most important problems and challenges will be solved by the folks meeting them head-on everyday via reflective action. Some of the projects and innovations we’ve seen recently add to a promising vision for the future.

Click the link to read the whole piece.

Michael Casey on Harwood Institute’s Innovators Lab for Libraries

Don’t miss Michael Casey’s piece at LJ:

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/01/shows-events/inside-the-harwood-institutes-innovators-lab-for-libraries/

The idea of asking people about their aspirations (“what kind of community do you want to live in?”) consumed much of the first day of training. Students participated in exercises designed to help them better understand the powerful responses that result from simply asking somebody about their dreams for the community. These conversations help the library focus outward and better understand the rhythms of the local community, gaining a wealth of public knowledge for the library.

In one of the first exercises, students broke off into small groups to examine the “stages of community life,” seeking to identify what stage of change each local community is in at the moment. This would influence the library’s course of action, as some stages are more amenable than others to major efforts for change. Librarians can then tailor their actions appropriately. Interestingly, determining this is not done through surveying but via conversations. A lot of discussion resulted from this community self-examination, and students frequently determined that different parts of their communities were in different stages of “community life.”

THANK YOU & HAPPY NEW YEAR from TTW

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As 2014 comes to a close, I’m reflecting on my experiences this year speaking and traveling to work with librarians and information professionals all over the world. A heartfelt THANK YOU to the folks who invited me to speak or attended my talks, to the good people who chatted at receptions and after presentations, and to all who taught me so much about what’s happening in our world.

I’m thrilled to have visited these places this year: Philadelphia, Santa Barbara, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Denver. Chatham-Kent, Vancouver, Tampa, Los Angeles, Limerick, Ireland, Lyon, France, West Virginia, Virginia and New York. I am even more excited about the folks I met in these place. I learned so much – Thank you!

For Spring 2015 – I’m looking forward to seeing library folk in Ontario, Alaska and Connecticut.