Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

New Article: Evaluating library and IT staff responses to disruption and change in higher education

Academic 15: Evaluating library and IT staff responses to disruption and change in higher education
by Michael Stephens, David Wedaman, Ellen Freeman, Alison Hicks, Gail Matthews–DeNatale, Diane Wahl, and Lisa Spiro.
First Monday, Volume 19, Number 5 – 5 May 2014
http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4635/3878
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v19i5.

Academic 15 (A15), an interview–based research project, explores the perceptions of university library and information technology (IT) staff related to the challenges impacting higher education as a result of technological advances. Faced with disruption on many fronts, academic library and IT staff have adapted and adopted a number of tools and processes to cope with accelerating change. This includes seeking out collaborative partnerships, working within financial constraints, discovering alternate funding sources, and experimenting with new roles in the evolving model of higher education. This paper presents findings to guide the future design and implementation of resilient support systems for library, educational technology, and IT staff.

 

#hyperlibMOOC: Thanks Distance Library Services Conference!

dlscGreetings from Denver! I’m here to present this paper from our #hyperlibMOOC research:

Stephens, M. & Jones, K. M. L.  (2014, April). “Emerging Roles: Key Insights from Librarians in a Massive Open Online Course” proceedings of 16th Distance Library Services Conference, Denver, April 2014.

The slides are here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/StephensJonesDistanceLibraryServicesConf.pdf

Other Resources:

Lessons from #hyperlibMOOC: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/04/opinion/michael-stephens/lessons-from-hyperlibmooc-office-hours/

A Genius Idea?: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/03/opinion/michael-stephens/a-genius-idea-office-hours/

Learning Everywhere: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/04/opinion/michael-stephens/learning-everywhere-office-hours/

Learning to Learn: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/06/opinion/michael-stephens/learning-to-learn-office-hours/

Infinite Learning: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/10/opinion/michael-stephens/infinite-learning-office-hours/

#hyperlibMOOC Research: http://tametheweb.com/hyperlibmooc-research/

News: Outside the Lines

Outsideoutside the lines launches september 2014

Weeklong Celebration Gets Communities Thinking of Libraries 

in a Whole New Way

DENVER–April 14, 2014–Inspired by the urgent need to shift perceptions of libraries, a group of Colorado library marketers and directors have developed a bold, new campaign that reintroduces libraries to their communities and gets people thinking – and talking – about these organizations in a whole new way. Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration, Sept. 14-20, 2014, demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries.

Organizations of all types can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign during the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014, that:

  • Gets people thinking – and talking – about libraries in a different way
  • Showcases the library out in the community as well as in the library
  • Highlights how the library is relevant to people’s lives
  • Represents the organization’s local community
  • Is active versus passive – gets people engaged
  • Is extraordinary and unexpected
  • Most importantly, is fun!

Libraries can sign up to participate at getoutsidethelines.org. They can also see a list of participating libraries and view videos that provide creative inspiration. To date, 40 libraries from across the U.S. and Canada have signed up to participate and will announce their Outside the Lines activities in the coming months.

The purpose of Outside the Lines is to reintroduce libraries to local communities by helping people understand how libraries have changed into dynamic centers for engagement, helping libraries better understand how to market themselves and share their stories, and providing a venue for libraries to work together to demonstrate their creativity and innovation.

ABOUT OUTSIDE THE LINES

Outside the Lines is an R-Squared initiative designed by Colorado library marketers and directors that gets libraries “walking the walk” – taking action to show our communities how important libraries are and how they’ve changed.

This celebration takes many of the concepts discussed at RSquared, The Risk & Reward Conference, such as creativity, customer curiosity, culture, community and creative spaces, and puts them into action where they count – in our local communities. Learn more at getoutsidethelines.org.

###

 

 

Contact:

Amber DeBerry, 303-688-7641

adeberry@dclibraries.org

or

Stacie Ledden, 303-405-3286

sledden@anythinklibraries.org

 

 

Really? No Place for Collaboration at the Library

exetersignsVia Pam the Librarian:

http://pamlibrarian.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/kicked-out-of-the-library/

Last week I went to the Exeter Public Library with a colleague to work on a project for our high school. We needed Internet access, a table to spread our documents out on, an outlet to plug-in our devices, a spot away from the distractions of our school, and a buzzing atmosphere where we would feel inspired to create new ideas for our project. What better place than the local library?

We arrived to a very still and silent library. Two women behind the main desk looked at us as we walked in and went back to work. Patrons were sitting in chairs reading newspapers. There were some available study carrels in the corners. No group tables near outlets.

We tried the second floor. We were faced with several empty chairs and study carrels and signs that say “no talking.” There was an empty “meeting room” with no table and no chairs. Another meeting room was locked.

Because it was 10 a.m. we went into the Teen room (which is located directly behind the Reference desk.) The room is empty because it is a Friday and all of the teens in town are in school. We sat at a booth with an outlet and spread out our documents. As soon as we started working we were interrupted by a staff member who said that we are not allowed to work in there because we would intimidate the teens. I jokingly suggested that the fact that we are high school teachers/librarians could gain us access to this empty room. The librarian did not think it was funny and asked us to leave. I asked her for a suggestion of a location where we could work together at a table near an outlet. She said there are outlets all over the walls but could think of no table near an outlet. She recommended we try the second floor and I said that we will need to talk about our project. She reminded us we are not allowed to talk on the second floor.

We packed up and spent the day at Me & Ollie’s cafe where we sat on couches around a coffee table near an outlet surrounded by the buzz of the cafe. A young woman was reading a book next to us. An older man was typing hurriedly on his laptop on the other side. People were having meetings, drinking coffee, and getting business done. We were welcomed by the staff. They made us tea. And we got our work done.

This is unfortunate. I get that maybe adults shouldn’t be in the teen area without a teen, but maybe an exception could be made? And maybe some space for working together should be in the works soon. I did check out the library’s web site and Facebook. Looks like they had mini golf last year in the library! Maybe someone from the library should comment. Maybe it was just an off day?

I would suggest a “kindness audit” of signage though. :-)

Quiet

New San Rafael Library Web Site

Sarah Houghton writes:

http://librarianinblack.net/librarianinblack/2014/03/new-san-rafael-public-library-website.html

I’m pleased to announce that last week we launched a new website for San Rafael Public Library athttp://srpubliclibrary.org. The site was designed by Influx with their Prefab library website service. We are very happy with it!

websitescreenshot

Our library is relatively small and we don’t have the time or staff brain bandwidth or expertise to design, maintain, troubleshoot, and host a website. We were happy to hire Influx to do this work for us. For very little money a whole lot of pressure and stress has been relieved from our collective library brain.

So far, we’ve gotten some really fabulous feedback from library users, stakeholders, and city government officials.  Take a look, let us know what you think, and check out Influx if you’re looking for a quick, customizable (and yet still ready out-of-the box) website solution!

This is an impressive redesign. If you are looking for a Web refries, take a look at Influx and their Prefab library website service.

Survey: Preparing our Users for Digital Life Beyond the Institution

Brian Kelly (Cetis, University of Bolton) and I are carrying out a survey to support a contribution for the LILAC 2014 information literacy conference.

The aim of the survey is to identify institutional policies and practices to support use of Cloud services by staff and researchers as well as current institutional policies and practices for staff and researchers before they leave their host institution (e.g. due to redundancy, retirement or to take up a new post) who wish to continue to make use of IT services and digital resources.

The findings will be published in a poster on “Preparing our Users for Digital Life Beyond the Institution” to presented at the LILAC 2014 conference.

The survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/lilac14-cloud-literacy – we would really appreciate it if you could take the time to fill it in.

For further information see Brian’s blog post: Preparing our Users for Digital Life Beyond the Institution: http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/preparing-our-users-for-digital-life-beyond-the-institution/

Many thanks,

Jenny Evans – Maths and Physics Librarian – Central Library | South Kensington Campus | Imperial College London

Note: Cloud services can be defined as ‘web-based software’ hosted in ‘the cloud’ (on web servers outside your institution).

TLCover

News: Download “The Transparent Library” e-book here!

TLCoverI am very happy to share that over the past few weeks Michael Casey and I have edited together all of the Library Journal “Transparent Library” columns into an e-book that we are making available for FREE to readers of TTW.

Here’s the description:

The “Transparent Library” gathers 29 columns from Michael Casey and Michael Stephens. Originally published in Library Journal from 2007 – 2009, the column explored concepts related to transparency, management, engaging communities, social media, strategic planning and constant change. The e-book includes supplemental essays and columns, and includes a new conversation “The Transparent Library Revisited.”

We’ve wanted to assemble the “Transparent Library” columns for some time. Including a few extra pieces from my “Office Hours” columns – including a piece called “The Transparent Library School”  – and Michael’s post from Tame the Web concerning participatory service, we believe this collected group of essays offers insights, conversation starters, and roadmaps for improving the openness of an information organization. Thank you for downloading. Please share far and wide.

By structuring the transparent library for constant and purposeful change we reduce the negative impact that change has on both the staff and user. Incorporating change into the organization through creative teams and open lines of communication allows the transparent library to add new tools, respond to changing community needs, and move ahead with new initiatives without shaking up the foundation.

PDF Version: TheTransparentLibrary2

Kindle Version: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/The%2BTransparent%2BLibrary.mobi

transparent

Are you my mentor? Twitter & Mentoring – A TTW Guest Post by Abigail Willemse

Are you my mentor? An exploration of the intersection of Twitter & mentoring relationships.

In the real world mentors are usually organic relationships without specific titles, goals, or responsibilities. Mentors are simply experienced people you get to know and look to for advice, informally and organically. They’re people you go to coffee with, people you ask for guidance, and people you call when there’s a big decision to make. (Barr, 2013, para. 14)

Ideas about mentors and mentoring have changed a lot over the years, particularly with the advent of social media. As an avid Twitter user, I was curious as to how mentoring relationships may be formed and cultivated on this medium. I personally had experienced a lot of support, encouragement, and inspiration from other library and information professionals on Twitter and was keen to find out if this was the case for other people.

My research used a variety of methodologies, including a literature review and some qualitative questions, to explore this topic. Responses were received from fourteen librarians from Australia and New Zealand, and the results were then grouped thematically.

Five overall themes emerged which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Hung up on mentoring?
    There are a lot of different concepts of mentoring out there ranging from the more traditional concept of a hierarchical relationship of a student & teacher, to a more informal concept as described by Barr (2013). The participants’ responses indicated a spectrum of viewpoints of this concept.

  2. A rose by any other name…
    There are a variety of other terms such as PLN (Personal Learning Network), e-mentoring, and networking, that also describe the support and mutual encourage you may receive on Twitter. However, I feel that while relationships on Twitter are not always defined and announced as such, mentoring definitely features as part of active participation in my PLN through Twitter. It involves giving and receiving guidance, advice, support and expertise in a whole range of professional and personal issues.

  3. We’re all in this together!
    Twitter allows for an ‘flatter playing field’ (as described by one participant) in which peers can learn from and share with one another.

  4. Have you got a minute?
    Hurt (2013) recommends “mentoring moments” as formal mentoring relationship may stifle a good relationship. Instead of feeling you have to commit to a full-on relationship; what about just taking a moment to talk, find out where the other person is at, and offer input in that moment when they need it? It’s a lot like Twitter where you can ask for help or “crowd source” and often within minutes (once you have a bigger network) someone will give you a helpful answer or link.

  5. Twitter + other platforms.
    Twitter is a really useful place to find contacts and experts in the industry; it’s great for small bite-sized conversations, but longer more in-depth conversations are better to take place on other platforms such as email or blogs, or even face-to-face. Twitter is a really useful tool in breaking the ice; finding something in common with other people and experts and spending some time with them helps facilitate relationships & communication in other media as well. One participant noted that:

    Ideally a mentoring relationship could operate across multiple spaces, changing whenever the needs of the people in the relationship change. Ultimately, yes, I think Twitter can provide a good platform for conducting a mentoring relationship, with the proviso that it can move to other platforms or formats as necessary.

You can read my full research published in the New Zealand Library and Information Management Journal (NZLIMJ) here:

Willemse, A. J. (2014). Librarians using social media: The role of Twitter in forming and cultivating mentoring relationships. NZLIMJ, 53(3). http://www.lianza.org.nz/resources/lianza-publications/nzlimj-e-journal/librarians-using-social-media-role-twitter-forming-an

 

Sharon Cornwall_Abigail Willemse_01Oct2012_0003m-compressed-just-AbigailAbigail is a young and enthusiastic information professional hailing from New Zealand, currently employed as Electronic Resources Librarian at Wintec. She has worked in a variety of libraries & on a number of projects, including co-leading ANZ 23 Mobile Things. Her interests include social media, mentoring, new information professionals, and promoting all things library at every opportunity. You can find her on Twitter @ajwillemse91 or blogging at www.octopuslibrarian.wordpress.com

References

Barr, C. (2013, February 25). How to find a mentor [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinktraffic.net/how-to-find-a-mentor

Hurt, K. (2013, April 30). Mentoring moments: Just in time support [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://letsgrowleaders.com/2013/04/30/mentoring_moments/

 

Embracing Creativity and Play at CityLibraries Townsville

Warren Cheetham writes:

I am very proud of this, because it’s taken a cultural change of about five years to allow something like this video to be produced.

How so?

Digital storytelling is relatively cheap and easy to do, using the tools that most people carry with them each day – tablets, digital cameras and smart phones. Encouraging staff to take time to play with those devices at work has taken a lot of encouragement and support. It was seen as something outside of the ‘real job’ and the idea of taking work time to play seemed a bit wrong.
The second part of the journey involves the wider organisation understanding the opportunities social media can offer, to engage with our community, and not just communicate one way, in a formal, corporate voice using media releases.

In a world where 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, the production of this video might not seem too significant, but for me, it represents the end of old ideas and methods, and the releasing of staff to embrace play and show creativity in their daily work.

And don’t miss this post about Makerspace “rules:’ http://stainedglasswaterfall.blogspot.com/2013/09/make-good-things-make-things-good-our.html