Category Archives: Computers in Libraries 2008

“I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling” – Doing Something with Feedback

Library Revolution ponders “one point that kept coming up at Computers in Libraries is the importance of not asking for feedback unless you actually intend on doing something with it.”

When you ask your staff, users, and colleagues for feedback, are you prepared to do something with that feedback? Do you have a mechanism in place for handling suggestions in a productive way? Are you ready to encourage the development of the ideas offered up, constructively criticize, and put forth the effort necessary to transform raw ideas into effective, creative, and innovative efforts? How do you prove that the suggestions you’re asking for will be taken seriously… even if they involve bad 80’s dance-pop one hit wonders?

Photographers Beware??!!


Read this:

Then this:

Tony Tallent writes:

This morning I received a call from the FBI. I’m not making this up. It was a follow-up from the photo-taking-spree I conducted during Computers in Libraries in DC.  I explained (again) why one would want to take photos of signs and buildings and such to use in presentations and on blogs. I explained about “Creative Commons” that I had just presented at the conference earlier that morning with Helene Blowers and that I’d posted the images on flickr in a set called “Free Use Photos.” When the interviewer asked me what this flickr thing was and how was it spelled, I resisted the urge to say “well, it’s sort of like The Google.” This “interview” went on for about 10+ minutes. How does one answer questions like “how many pictures did you take of that building?” Which one is “that building?” “Why would you take a picture of a water outlet?” Well, it was interesting and perhaps useful to someone who wants to portray the idea of “letting go of resources.” I have a better question(s): Why did I have to have this conversation in the first place, and does this gentleman have to call every tourist in D.C. who snaps a shot of their reflection in a window or a fire hydrant or an interesting doorway?

Lori Reed extends the conversation:

Given the recent encounter Tony Tallent had with law enforcement in DC at CIL (now the FBI is involved) over the photographs he was taking of buildings and signs, I thought it might be a good time to share this post from Photojojo: Photography and the Law Know Your Rights.

A great overview of what you can and can’t take photos of and what your rights are if you are stopped by law enforcement.

You might also want to print and place a copy of The Photographer’s Rightin your camera bag.

Check! Printed! I take a lot of pictures myself and had never encountered this– I shot at least 2000 in Australia (including government buildings, etc)  with no worry. maybe next year at CIL there should be a Free Use Photos Flash Mob. :-)

More Feedback on Swift and Otter Group at CIL

My time at CIL was short so I didn’t attend much, including the feedback session for Swift. I am glad to get caught up via some excellent blogging:

Ryan Deschamps:

I think ITI got user needs right for the conference. My needs? Top of the line speakers, organized sessions with paths to help me keep things relevant. Great moderators that help both audiences and presenters feel good about the space they are speaking in. Easy access to the internet (the only miss this time around — I’m sure they’ll learn for next time though). Ways to hook up with friends (the wiki and Twitter covered this for me) for social events. An RSS Aggregator to capture the blog posts about the conference (Google Reader covered this for me). And so on. One thing I personally did not need was something to aggregate materials together. There’s a website and a wiki and a whole lot of links to tie the two together. That’s more than sufficient aggregration for me. Then I’ll go to Twitter, Facebook, my Google Reader and whatnot to cover the rest. Then friends will tell me more.

Karen Schneider:

Then again, what was the point of that session? If you have to explain what your tool is really supposed to do, then your software is broken. Stop talking and stop making excuses. If you are the developer, go fix it, and if you are the customer, check your deliverables and ask yourself if you need to choose another product — or if you need the product to begin with.

I’ve been at IA Summit 2008 since Friday, and here’s the difference. The Crowdvine software actually works (and I could see how it worked BEFORE I signed in). It allows me to connect with other attendees, view sessions, and follow the zeitgeist. I didn’t have to sign a crappy term of service. It wasn’t broken the first time I logged in. The interface is pleasingly pulled together, the fonts are not squinchy-tiny, and yes, rumors to the contrary, it “interfaces” with Facebook–and with RSS, Flickr, and other social software.

Note to self: investigate Crowdvine.

Jason Griffey:

We. Don’t. Care. We use products called things like ooVooTumblrHulu, andTwitter. Clearly names are not at the top of our list when we choose products or service. We didn’t care about the history of the product, nor even really about its intended use. The street finds its own uses. The point of Web2.0 and Library 2.0 is to provide tools.

Several people in the room commented on the fact that The Otter Group seemed not at all interested in really hearing about the problems with the product. Everything was blamed on “being beta”, or on the lawyers, or something. My take on it is that they just don’t seem to get the social web, as hard as they tried and as much history as they have in trying to make it a commercial product. They fell hard once with their ALA Bootcamp, and if possible fell even harder with Cil2008 and SWIFT.

I must also weigh in that ITI puts on some of the best conferences ever. CIL2008 was absolutely the place to be for engaged sessions, dynamic speakers, an amazing layer of social networking via Twitter, blogs, Flickr etc and time to network with new and old friends. 

CIL’s Common Message

Ruth at Utopian Library reports on CIL:

The common message at this year’s conference, at least from where I sat in each room, is this:

  • The library has a story to tell.
  • The story is about community. It’s not about the library.
  • The community and the library can engage and support each other through creative use of social software and the library’s online presence.
  • The library’s online presence and “virtual branch” rely on precious resources: money, staff, and time.
Loads of conference blogging to click through. Thanks Ruth.

The Old School & Transparency

Don’t miss Nancy Dowd’s shared presentation from CIL2008:

I was very happy to meet Nancy in person after our talk. I really appreciate what she does and her take on marketing in libraries. Her thoughts on transparency and the Old School are spot on and should be discussed.

Have you ever encountered an old school business that wants to control the message so much that the humanity, transparency and message itself gets muddled? 


What are those Michaels up to?

What are those Michaels up to? | Originally uploaded by cindiann

A personal shout out to my writing partner at LJ Mr. Michael Casey. We never get to see each other in person, so hanging out at CIL was pretty darn cool. Thanks to Cindi of the incredible photography skills as well for capturing this pic. It’s a little more artistic than the only other photo I have of Michael and I together:

ImaginON: Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County

Seriously, a big shout out to my friend for inspiring me and getting me to think so much about organizational culture, libraries and tech.

Transparency, Planning & Change: See-Through Libraries

I was honored to present yesterday at CIL2008 with Michael Casey. We had not been on the same speaking ticket since 2006 when we helped launch Helene Blower’s Learning 2.0 program at PLCMC. The CIL presentation was in tandem and titled “Transparency, Planning & Change: See-Through Libraries,” created in part from our work on the Library Journal column we co-author.

The slides are here.

We asked the group to share roadblocks. Thankfully, David Lee King blogged some of the sharing:

inability to use open source software
we’ve always done it this way
control-freak IT support
No admin priviledges
only making cosmetic changes
no time
The excessive love of process
Luddite trustees

The room was very long and narrow and we ran around a bit to make sure everyone heard questions and discussion points. I want to thank Michael for being a great co-presenter, all who attended and sat in that oddly shaped room, and especially Helene for organizing such an incredible track centered on change.

ITI’s Transparency & SWIFT

Rikhei Harris offers some outstanding commentary on ITI aligning with SWIFT for CIL:

I frequently use Creative Commons licenses for my work, and such, I grant many of the rights outlined above to anyone who can use my works. However, I am very hesitant to grant rights to commercial entities – especially such extensive rights as are outlined above. I granted Information Today, Inc. the rights to distribute papers, presentation slides, and recordings of the panel on which I will be speaking.

The difference, however, is that Information Today was very transparent in the agreement about how these items will be used. In short, they will be used to to help disseminate my work, and that of other presenters, more widely in the library community. While I expect this will bring Information Today some profit, I am satisfied because I believe that the proceedings or recordings they publish will be of value to people who work in libraries.

Unfortunately, I am not convinced that using SWIFT will bring similar benefits to librarians and other library staff – nor am I convinced of its benefit to me as a presenter and attendee of the conference.

I was glad to read this post. I have never had issue with granting ITI rights for any of the conferences I’ve done with them. They also allowed me to post all of my CIL articles on TTW after the agreed upon window. I am also very serious these days about Creative Commons and license all of my presentations that way, while steering clear of granting any rights to commercial companies. Rikhei does a fine job of detailing her views of this offering.