Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

This is Important

“…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’.

Lippincott’s Net Generation Students & Libraries

Lippincott notes:

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.

Pondering the ROI


Aaron and I presented a workshop Tuesday devoted to implementing a plan for new technologies in libraries. We discussed planning, seeing the big picture, various nuances of some hot tech and the ROI on technologies in libraries.

Be aware: not only do you have to buy the tech and implment, you have to staff, create policy, promte and train to get it going!

Future Minded (Updated)

Aaron 2
Taking a break after teaching a Tech Planning workshop at CIL, Aaron Schmidt catches up on some Texting.

Congrats to my chum Aaron Schmidt on his inclusion in the 2005 Library Journal Movers & Shakers lineup as a Reference Visionary.

Aaron gets it: “Schmidt wants to help librarians understand the environment within which libraries must compete, including the commercial web. If we understand what our users get from those realms, and apply those lessons, libraries will have a future.”

And now I’m pondering Aaron and realizing he exemplifies the future librarians who will be running the show in 30 years! Forward thinking, not afraid of change and ready to take on the world… Rock On!

Don’t miss his “Dead Tech” talk tonight at Computers in Libraries!