Category Archives: Library 2.0/Web 2.0

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Circulating Ideas: The Michaels!

ideasHonored to be interviewed with Michael Casey for an episode of “Circulating Ideas” by Steve Thomas.

http://www.circulatingideas.com/2014/01/episode-36-michael-stephens-and-michael.html

photo by Cindi Trainor

Dr. Michael Stephens is an Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. His research focuses on use of emerging technologies in libraries and technology learning programs. He currently writes the monthly column “Office Hours” in Library Journal exploring issues, ideas and emerging trends in library and information science education. Stephens has spoken about emerging technologies, innovation, and libraries to national and international audiences. He is fascinated by library buildings and virtual spaces that center around users, participation, creating content, and encouraging the heart. Michael’s Tame the Web blog is here: http://tametheweb.com.

Michael Casey is currently the Information Technology Director for the Gwinnett County Public Library in metropolitan Atlanta. Named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in March 2007, he co-authored (with Laura SavastinukLibrary 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service and is a contributor to Library 2.0 and Beyond. He and Michael Stephens co-authored a monthly column in Library Journal titled “The Transparent Library“. He has written and spoken extensively on the subject of modern library services. Michael holds an MLS from Southern Connecticut State, an MA in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University, and a BA from Duquesne University. His family, friends, travel and hobbies can all be seen in his photos on Flickr.

Eat Your Heart Out, Hollywood, I’m a Librarian! (by TTW Contributor Dr. Troy Swanson)

Last week, a poet was in my office. We had planned a poetry reading, but she was pitching me a new idea focusing on a book she was writing about her birth father. Before that, a geography faculty member was describing a lecture about how hedgehogs can be used to explain key concepts in geography. Before that, I was at our marketing department proofing publicity for our upcoming One Book series. Before that, I was in a meeting about training staff members to run our HD cameras.

When I was in library school, no one told me that one of my primary jobs would be producer, but lately I’ve been feeling like a mini-mogul. Eat your heart out, hollywood! Our library is one of the hottest venues around (on campus) for public events partly because we have a nice facility and partly because we help record and distribute events. Over the years, I’ve “produced” over 100 cultural events in our library that have included invited speakers, our faculty members, community members, and students.

Of course, public events in libraries are nothing new. Most libraries offer a range of programming that engages and even challenges local communities to think in new ways. One difference that I increasingly notice as someone who offers programming is the focus on capturing events for distribution. This is one reason why faculty and student groups come to me. They know that I will at least make an audio recording of their event which I will post online and put in iTunes. This is very popular on a community college (commuter) campus where a vast majority of students have jobs and families. Most faculty members feel that it is unfair to require students to attend lectures outside of class time, but they feel just fine about requiring students to listen to an event as their schedule permits.

Recently, I’ve been noting a more conscious effort on my part and the part of speakers to mold presentations for distribution. We are taking pains to ensure that presentations look good on video or come across well on audio. The recording of programs has changed from a nice, residual bonus to co-equal with the live event. The live event is molded to meet the needs of the virtual event that will be available at a later date.

When planning for a program, I consider the following:

  • Content: The subject matter remains king. Topics should be timely. I don’t fear controversy, but I also keep in my mind the my reputation and the library’s reputation are tied to our events.
  • Audience: As we plan events, it is my job to keep our audience in mind. When we invite outside researchers or writers to speak, I have to remind them that this is not a seminar for graduate students. I also have to remind them that this is not aimed at 7th graders. Speakers sometimes need guidance in finding the appropriate approach for first and second year college students. Additionally, I try to help aim events at particular classes so that programs can fit in with topics covered in the curriculum.
  • Format: The format shapes the content as much as audience. The length of the program and the type of event (lecture, discussion, panel, etc) dictates what content will be covered and how the content will be approached.
  • Budget: Since I don’t have much of a budget, most of my speakers donate their time. But, I am able to provide a small travel stipend for some outside speakers. The rest of the budget goes toward publicity. As an event schedule unfolds, one eye should watch the budget.
  • Publicity & Marketing: There is no audience without publicity. We create posters, send emails, write blogs posts, and send out press releases. I also go out of my way to find faculty members with classes who may attend.
  • Production: Making the event happen is a matter of logistics. Chairs, podium, projectors, computers, sound systems, cameras, microphones, presenters, and audience all have to come together at the same time in the same place. I generally plan events a semester (or more) in advance to ensure that there is time for promotion and managing the logistics. After the event, video, MP3s, powerpoints, and digital images all have to come together in a timely fashion. I anticipate 1.5 hours of work to produce a podcast following an event, and significantly longer time for anything with video (3-5 hours).
  • Distribution: After the event, I spend time emailing links to podcasts and videos to people who will have interest. I post links to social media, and we catalog events in our collection.

I definitely try to use our public programming and my role as producer to fulfill R. David Lankes’ conceptualization of librarians as “Publisher of Community,”

“I foresee the day in the near future when librarians spend the majority of their time working with community members and community organizations making their content accessible: where acquisitions is a matter of production, not purchasing. The future of libraries (and librarians) is in becoming publishers of the community.” (The Atlas of New Librarianship, p. 67)

If you are interested in some of our past events, here is a link to our event podcast:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=205224162

-Post by Troy Swanson, Tame the Web Contributor

Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair & Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the author of the upcoming book, Managing Social Media in Libraries. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.

Taming Technolust: Ten Steps for Planning in a 2.0 World (Full Text)

Stephens, M. (2008). Taming technolust: Ten steps for planning in a 2.0 world. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 47, 4, 314-317.

Note: This article was originally published in RUSQ and on the RUSQ Blog. Permission has been granted to share it here as well. I’ll be using it for a workshop next week at the 11th Southern African Online Information Meeting, Sandton, South Africa.

Back in 2004 when I started writing and speaking about technology planning, I urged librarians to be mindful of letting a desire for flashy, sexy technology outweigh conscious, carefully planned implementations. Over the years, I’ve returned to the topic of wise planning and technolust on my blog and in various publications. Simply, technolust is “an irrational love for new technology combined with unrealistic expectations for the solutions it brings.”(Stephens, 2004)

While the emerging technologies of 2004 seem quaint when seen through the lense of 2008, the issue of technolust remains.  Call it a 2.0 world, the age of social networking, or whatever you’d like, but now more than ever librarians are finding themselves in a position to make decisions about new and emerging tech – when everything is in beta and “nimble organizations” are the words of the day.

A fact: new technologies will not save your library. New tech cannot be the center of your mission as an institution. I’m still taken aback when I hear of libraries spending money for technologies without careful planning, an environmental scan of the current

landscape,and a complete road map for training, roll out, buy in and evaluation. When the latest technology hits, are you keen to add it to your library, boosting the coolness factor? For example, buying every  librarian on your staff an iPhone as a way to improve reference services is probably not going to be a wise solution. You may have some happy librarians, but that type of technolust does not well serve the organization.

I believe these days we’re dealing with a lot more than just lust. Consider the following other states, if you will:

Technostress:  New tools and web sites come at us daily, easily creating a feeling of unease or anxiety about how much technology we can take on or even understand. How do we keep up? How do we stay in the know, when it seems that those cutting edge libraries we always hear about are launching yet another social tool or widget on their blog-based, RSS-equipped, Meebo’d to the hilt Web site? This anxiety can lead to poor decision making and knee-jerk reactions. It might also lead to multiple irons in the 2.0 fire at one time, spearheaded by individuals and departments all over your library. Which, in turn, leads to more stress.  More stress aggravates bad decisions for technology which means more Technostress…well, you get the idea.

Technodivorce: It’s hard to admit we’ve made a mistake – especially in our profession. The culture of perfect in many libraries at times prevents us from cutting the cord on projects that just aren’t working. Did they really work to begin with? Many things: that IM service for young adults, the reader’s advisory wiki, RSS feeds sometimes just die on the vine from lack of use, promotion or upkeep. Found a few months later, a dead library blog speaks volumes about project management and buy in at all levels of the organization.  Who is watching this?  Maybe potential new hires who are now running for the hills.

Technoshame: The librarian who steps up after one of my presentations and whispers “I don’t know anything about this stuff and have no idea how to begin…” might be experiencing a bit of embarrassment. The world is moving just too fast. Fear not! And feel no shame. It’s never too late to kickstart an institutional learning program or learn on your own. See the tips below for more.

Technophobia: This librarian is frozen with fear about new tech.  Often the reaction is to oppose vigorously. In the right position, this person can infect a good portion of the organization. Tech projects stand still until any light of day vanishes. Is it really the technology or is it rapid change that causes the fear? Sometimes I think it’s more a fear of the open, transparent times we’re moving into more than blog software or a wiki for planning the new branch or department.

This begs the question then: How do we plan in this shiny new world when anyone in your library can create a library blog at a free hosting site, develop an online presence at sites such as Flickr or Facebook for the library or launch the institution’s own social network with a few mouse clicks? Submitted for your approval, Ten Steps for the 2.0 Technology Plan:

#1 Let go of control. ACRL offered this as a means of examining the evolving roles of academic libraries: “the culture of libraries and their staff must proceed beyond a mindset primarily of ownership and control to one that seeks to provide service and guidance in more useful ways, helping users find and use information that may be available through a range of providers, including libraries themselves, in electronic format.” I believe it extends farther – to all types of libraries and way beyond the “electronic format” only. The culture of perfect is based on control. Is your library guided by a department or an individual who holds the reigns too tightly? Often times, it’s the marketing department that feels the need to control the library’s story – in an age where the message has long since passed to the people. PR speak, filtered voices and stifled projects lead down the wrong path for open libraries. Think of all the staff, all their enthusiasm, and all their creativity being set aside because none of it was in a pre-arranged marketing plan. Or it’s the IT department holding tight to any technology initiatives. I’ve heard this statement more than a few times: “IT doesn’t allow that.”  Balance is key here: all departments need to come to the table. No one area or agency can control planning and implementation. This leads to the idea of the Emerging Technology Committee: a team made up of stakeholders from all over the organization. Techno-planning is best done in open, collaborative space where everyone has a voice and can share their expertise.

#2 Let “beta” be your friend. Let your users help you work out the bugs of that new service. Admit openly that whatever you are planning is new and there may be a few kinks. Share plans and prototypes. Be sure to interact and reply/respond. Make changes accordingly. This goes for technology projects as well as other new initiatives that might not be solely tech-based. Michelle Boule explored this at ALA TechSource blog, stating: “Building beta is more about flexibility and allowing the participants—not the creators—to redefine the meaning of the service. Planning beta is about allowing for failure, success, and change.” Technolust does not survive when users are cooperating to build the service. Maybe instead of system-wide RFID, your library users might be better served with laptops or other devices for checkout. Tap into your user base to plan effectively.

#3 Be Transparent. Communicate and make decisions via open meetings and weblogs. Michael Casey and I advocate for transparent libraries based on open communication, a true learning organization structure and responding quickly and honestly to emerging opportunities. “Transparency—putting our cards on the table—allows us to learn and grow, and it lets our community see us for all we are, including our vulnerabilities.” (“The Open Door Director”) This is incredibly important for management and administration. You are the ones that need to set the standard for open communication within your institution – walk the walk and talk the talk. I’m reminded of a talk I did at a larger, well-known library system, where five minutes in, the director stood up and slipped out the back door. The staff took me out for drinks the night before and one said “We hope she stays to hear you. We can’t do anything without her approval and everything we put out on the web is vetted through three departments.”

Pilots and prototypes are great if they are just that. Don’t call it a pilot project if it’s already a done deal: signed contracts, “behind the scenes” decisions to go forward or a “this is the way it’s going to be” attitude will crush any sense of collaborative planning and exploration for the library. It’s a slippery slope to losing good people to other institutions.

#4 Explore emerging tools.Try various paths or tools to find the best fit. Don’t just say “we must have a library blog because Michael says so”, or “an article in American Libraries says many other libraries are doing great things with a blog.” Your purposes may be better served with other technologies or tools. Prototype new sites and services and ask for and respond to feedback. Try out a blog or wiki on a limited basis. Learn from your successes and failures. Tech decisions cannot be made in a vacuum. What failed a year ago offers a learning opportunity and might help you make a better plan today.

#5 Spot trends and make them opportunities. Scan the horizon for how technology is changing our world. What does it mean for your AV area if iTunes and Apple are offering downloaded rental movies? What does it mean for your reference desk if thriving online answer sites are helping your students? What does it mean when Starbucks or Panera Bread becomes the wifi hangout in town for folks looking for access? Read outside the field – be voracious with Wired, Fast Company, etc. Monitor some tech and culture blogs. Read responses to such technologies as Amazon’s Kindle and ponder if it’s a fit for your users and your mission. Being a successful trendspotter is one of the most important traits of the 21st Century librarian. Be aware, for example, that thriving, helpful virtual communities, open source software platforms and a growing irritation with what ILS and database vendors provide libraries could converge into a sea change for projects like Koha and Evergreen. Who know how close we are to that tipping point – but trendspotting librarians will be far ahead of the game.

#6 Offer Opportunities for Inclusive Learning. One of the first steps of successful planning is learning the landscape. We can’t deny the unparalleled success of the Learning 2.0 model of staff education as a means to inform and engage all levels of staff. Created by Helene Blowers at the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County in the summer of 2006, the system has been replicated all over the world. It works when staff are encouraged to explore and learn on their own and communicate that learning via blogs. Such a program will not fly if managers and administrators don’t support it or participate as well. Middle managers: please realize that you set the tone for your department or silence it. You can make it or break it when it comes to participation in training or planning activities. One librarian recently told me that Learning 2.0 failed for her because her manager saw no use for it. Library administrators: even more rests on your shoulders. The staff know if you don’t care about emerging technologies and the opportunities they bring or if you don’t see the value in learning new things. Set the stage with your own participation. Mess up and learn from it. Be the poster child for the change you want for your institution. Also, create a physical and virtual sandbox for staff to play with the technologies and tools that figure into your plan. Hands-on experience equals an understanding a path toward buy in.

#7 Overthink and Die! Don’t get hung up on preparation and first steps. Planning in this shiny new world needs to happen faster than ever before – without losing quality. How do we do this? We gather evidence from our professional literature, the  library blogosphere and other librarians. We ask our colleagues “How’s that vendor treating you.” Spending valuable time coming up with witty acronyms and writing FAQs anticipating any and every thing that might happen can kill a project.

#8 Plan to plan. Instead of willy nilly emerging technology projects, plan to plan. Create timelines and audit progress. This takes project management skills, something LIS educators (like me) should be teaching in depth!  We need expertise in bringing projects to completetion. Your “Digital Strategies Librarian” or “Director of Innovation and User Experience” should have impeccable management skills and be able to see the big picture. How do you find that person if you don’t have one? Evaluate current jobs and duties of your library staff. What can be done to streamline workflows and free up hours for new duties and new titles.  Find who is suitable, then, guide projects and people well. Have effective meetings with action items and follow up. I spent more time in meetings when I became a manager in my former job than practically anything else.  Planning projects focuses creativity.  Meandering meetings sap creativity.

#9 Create a mission statement for everything. A mission statement and vision of your tech implementation will help guide development, roll-out and evaluation. For your tech plan, create an overarching mission and vision. Are you well-funded and well-staffed? One goal might be to experiment with emerging tech — testing the waters if you will. Tighter budget? Limited staff? Create your mission with that in mind: our institution may move a bit slower, (could it be faster?), but the decisions will be wise and based on evidence from what those folks out at the cutting edge of our marketplace are doing.

#10 Evaluate your service. This is the next step in all the 2.0 talk. Sure, we’ve rolled out the library blog, IM reference service, wiki and more but the final part of the anti-technolust, on-the-money technology plan is a detailed, ongoing means to gauge the use and return on investment for these new technologies. This will be the next wave of discussion you’ll probably be hearing by the time you read this. How do we track use? How do we prove the usefulness of the virtual branch and digital librarian to governing bodies, boards, trustees and those who make the funding decisions? For this, we need new models of tracking statistics and gathering stories. In my mind, the return on investment for many of the emerging technologies will be proven with qualitative data such as positive stories from users and an increased amount of participation via commenting and content creation.

We have a great opportunity to harness emerging technologies and create engaging and useful services, deeply connected to the core mission and values of librarianship. Balancing technolust in this shiny new world and planning mindfully and openly can certainly lead to success. I wish all the libraries on this road much success! Please keep us informed as it goes!

References:

Technoplans Vs. Technolust  http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2004/11/ljarchives/technoplans-vs-technolust/

The Open Door Director   http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2007/07/ljarchives/the-transparent-library-the-open-door-director/

Building a Better Beta http://www.alatechsource.org/blog/2006/09/building-a-better-beta.html

Changing Roles http://tametheweb.com/2007/03/a_messy_future_changing_roles.html

Enriching the library experience: an idea

GetGlue and LibraryThing got me thinking about how we could make the library an even neater place if we could somehow integrate these services into what we do.  Imagine going into a library and heading for the catalog.  You start your search and because of LibraryThing you can read other library members thoughts on that item.  The stack map then will help you locate what you’re looking for.  Imagine if we took that a step further and GetGlue made a product called GetGlue for Libraries.  Members could opt in to the program and check in to what they’re checking out at the library.  Library stickers could be unlocked and shared.  Even better yet, the conversation and recommendation part of GetGlue could make the entire library experience even more social and community driven.  

Now you’re not just borrowing stuff, but you’re talking about it with your community as well.

To read the full post, please visit http://justinthelibrarian.com/2012/02/29/enriching-the-library-experience-an-idea/

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor

 

Web 2.0 & Libraries Parts 1 & 2 Available Free on Hyperlinked Library Site

I am happy to announce the full text of both of my ALA Library Technology Reports are available now at the new TTW companion site The Hyperlinked Library.

The rest of the site is currently under construction, but for now you’ll find:

Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software (2006) – http://thehyperlinkedlibrary.org/libtechreport1/

Web 2.0 & Libraries: Trends & Technologies (2007) – http://thehyperlinkedlibrary.org/libtechreport2/

Special thanks to my SJSU SLIS grad assistant Patrick Siebold who worked very hard the past few weeks inputting the content. I know the examples from ’06 and ’07 may seem out of date and quaint in some ways, but I’m very proud of the framework we used for the works back then. Conversations, Community, Connections, Collaborations – all those great C words Jenny Levine and I used throughout our early social software roadshows in 2005 & 2006 provide a useful context for looking at Web 2.0. I hope these works are still useful to some of you. Comments are open for adding more to the chapters and I plan on doing some types of updating as time permits.

The site will also serve my course Web sites and other items related to my teaching. 

Revisiting Participatory Service in Trying Times – a TTW Guest Post by Michael Casey

Note from Michael : I am honored to have written over two years of The Transparent Library with Michael Casey. I am pleased he took me up on an offer to do a guest post about participatory service for the Salzburg Global Seminar week. I asked him to explore where we’ve come from 2005 and where we are headed. This was the topic of a blog he started in 2005 and a book he co-authored in 2007. But the world has changed a great deal since 2005. Perhaps the biggest change has been that of the economy derailing many initiatives and services in public libraries. In the end, however, I think you will see that Michael still has a lot of optimism regarding the strong future of public libraries, especially those that embrace a participatory service model.

 

Participatory library services have come a long way over the past six years. You don’t have to look far to see libraries participating in social media outlets, interacting with their community through blogs and SMS, and polling their users with online surveying tools. Entire industries have grown up around the idea of the participatory library, just take a look at Springshare.

We see many great examples of public libraries using services like Facebook to reach out to, and engage, their community. The New York Public Library has almost 42,000 Facebook fans, Hennepin almost 6,000. Many other libraries around the world have created a presence on Facebook.

But in those two examples, as in so many other library Facebook pages, you see some interaction between the library and the individual library user, but most of what you see is one-way. Most library Facebook pages are used for announcements and events notification, not true communication.

Yet this is just one example. Take a look at the Blogging Libraries Wiki and click through to a few library blogs. Many of them are no longer active. Others are gone and the URL simply redirects to the library’s homepage. And when was the last time your local library sent you a survey link that asked you for your ideas? For many of you, the answer is either “never” or “not for a few years”.

Over the past six years we’ve seen and heard a lot of push-back regarding the use of new social tools in the library. One quote that comes to mind is from 2007, “Right now people are enamored of blogs and wikis and Facebook and this sort of thing.  But that’s this year’s set of technology.  Five years from now we’ll be talking about a whole different set of things.

Ironically, the world still uses those same tools today. The only difference is that in late 2007 there were 50 million active Facebook users, today there are over 800 million.

So with this huge audience available to us, why haven’t we made greater use of the tools at hand? Why haven’t we moved beyond the idea of just talking to our community to actually engaging them? Or, to quote Tim O’Reilly, “How do we get beyond the idea that participation means “public input” (shaking the vending machine to get more or better services out of it), and over to the idea that it means government building frameworks that enable people to build new services of their own?

The participatory library is open and transparent, and it communicates with its community through many mechanisms. The participatory library engages and queries its entire community and seeks to integrate them into the structure of change. The community should be involved in the brainstorming for new ideas and services, they should play a role in planning for those services, and they should definitely be involved in the evaluation and review process.

These are not new ideas. I put them to paper in my 2007 book. Some critics of that book argued that libraries have been doing these things for ages. I wish I could say I agree.

The economic downturn has created very difficult times for libraries in this country. We’ve seen many public libraries struggling to stay open and remain relevant in their community. Many libraries have had to reduce hours and lay-off staff. Some have reached out to their communities, not only for short-term help in raising badly needed cash, but also for long-term help with planning.

The importance of this participation cannot be overstated, especially in these difficult economic times. Taxpayers are more and more reluctant to part with any percentage of their diminishing paychecks. Getting them to participate, at any level, will go a long way towards gaining their buy-in.

With limited resources, public libraries need to struggle for every dollar, and with limited tax revenue, funding agencies will part reluctantly with every dollar. It’s up to the library to be heard, to get its community of supporters to be heard. When faced with the question of who to cut, those funding agencies must know that a cut to the local public library can not be done quietly Public libraries are a core and critical resource in the community, and public library supporters are vocal and they vote.

Take a look around your library. Is there someone in charge of your social networking presence? Better yet, do you have a group of librarians charged with reaching out on Facebook and Twitter and, soon perhaps , Google+? You take reference questions over the phone and via text, why not through those other social outlets? And how are you involving those Facebook fans in your library’s planning process? Are you asking them to participate?

Your library’s blog may be shuttered for good reason — maybe your Facebook page has far more readers. Or, perhaps your blog went dormant simply because you didn’t assign someone (or some group) with the responsibility to keep it going. Whatever the case, spend a little bit of time reexamining all of the ways you’re reaching out to your community and reallocate resources in order to most efficiently talk to, and talk with, that community.

There are far more tools available to us today than there were in 2005. And our communities have grown over these past six years. Kids and adults of all ages are now far more involved and engaged through social networking outlets. The ideas of participation and transparency are no longer new — many in our community now expect these things as a standard part of organizational operations. By taking advantage of those available tools you may find that renewed efforts by your library are met with much greater success today than ever before.

It’s far from the end for public libraries. It’s easy, in these tough times, to only listen to the naysayers and prognosticators of doom, to only hear those in our community calling for the elimination of libraries. But limited tax revenues, the Internet, and eBooks are not burying the public library. Limited tax revenues will force us to become more efficient, the Internet is part of our future, and eBooks are simply another delivery vehicle. We control this future, and we can make it a successful one by making full use of the tools at hand.

 

This post is a reflection/response to questions posed at the Salzburg Global Seminar program Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture, exploring the challenges, solutions and potential for participatory services within libraries and museums.

Special Thanks to the Salzburg Global Seminar  and IMLS for the invitation to participate in this event.

 

Next Week: Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture – Salzburg Global Institute

Next week I’ll be taking part in the Salzburg Global Institute program Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture:

http://www.salzburgglobal.org/current/sessions.cfm?IDSpecial_Event=2961

As key stewards of our culture and heritage, libraries and museums have traditionally enjoyed, and to a great extent still do enjoy, a unique role and special responsibility within societies around the world. But as economic disruptions and rapid technological innovation have brought about dramatic societal changes, libraries and museums, too, are being forced to revisit and rethink their own roles and responsibilities within these changing societies. The 21st century indeed poses perplexing challenges, but at the same time offers intriguing new opportunities for libraries and museums. It is a critical moment for leaders within libraries and museums to reflect creatively and strategically about the role and place of their institutions in an era of participatory culture and to recognize and seize the opportunity for reorientation and reinvention.

One of my roles will be that of blogger for the sessions and discussions. I will be posting here at TTW often throughout the four day institute. I’ll also be taking part in a panel discussion on emerging technologies and participatory culture.

I’ve been teaching Participatory Service in Libraries for a few years now – utilizing Michael Casey & Laura Savastinuk’s Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service  as well as other excellent resources and it amazes me to see how many of the ideas and philosophies of participatory service are integrated into libraries. To prepare for next week,  I thought I’d ask TTW readers to share their thoughts about participatory culture and libraries in 2011. Please comment below – or consider submitting a guest post to TTW – I’ll review any submission folks might send for possible publication at TTW  (excluding those weird spammy emails I get from time to time from 100 great online whatevers). Email me at mstephens7 (at) mac.com

Thanks to the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C. and the Salzburg Global Seminar for inviting me to participate in this event.

This post is a reflection/response to questions posed at the Salzburg Global Seminar program Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture, exploring the challenges, solutions and potential for participatory services within libraries and museums.

Special Thanks to the Salzburg Global Seminar for the invitation to participate in this event.

Supercharge your CPD: 23 Things for Professional Development – A TTW Guest Post by Maria Giovanna De Simone

What is it?

23 Things for Professional Development, also known as cpd23, is a self-directed, self-paced, inclusive, practical and free online programme open to librarians and information professionals at all stages of their career, in any type of role, any sector, and from any part of the world.  It encourages information professionals to explore and discover social media ‘Things’, including Twitter, RSS feeds and file-sharing, as well as other ‘traditional’ CPD routes, such as gaining qualifications, presenting skills and getting published.  Participants will be asked to assess how each Thing can assist them in their professional development, and then to blog about each Thing and share their thoughts, views and expertise.  The programme is completely informal and no prior knowledge or experience is expected or assumed.

What will I have to do?

Each week, details about one or more of the Things will be posted on the central cpd23 blog (http://cpd23.blogspot.com).  We’ll then invite you to explore the Thing in question – and don’t worry, we’ll provide lots of guidance and support – and then to record your response on your own personal blog.  Please don’t worry if you haven’t already got a blog as we’ll cover that in Thing 1, but feel free to use an existing blog if you’ve got one.  We’ll ask you to register your blog with us as part of Thing 2, just so we know that you’re taking part and can say hello!  And we’ll list all the participants-about 280 so far, from all over the world, and rising all the time-on a Delicious page and in an RSS bundle so you can find other people taking part.  We think each Thing will take about an hour to complete, so there’s no major time commitment involved.  There are also plenty of ‘catch-up’ weeks built in, and you can complete the course at your own pace.

What will I gain from it?

23 Things for Professional Development is a great way to supercharge your CPD, no matter what stage of your career you’re at, what role you have, or how professionally involved you already are.  It aims to assist participants to explore their own professional development and to reflect on it.  We hope that it will enable participants to learn about the different ways to enhance their careers and to equip them with the tools, skills, knowledge and confidence to boost, underline or kickstart their CPD.  We also hope that it’ll be a lot of fun and a brilliant opportunity to meet and get connected to other information professionals, as well as an incentive and an excuse to think about-and talk to others about-your career advancement.

I’ve done a 23 Things programme before.  What’s different about cpd23?

The 23 Things framework is tried, tested and trusted, and there have been lots of other programmes.   If you’ve already done one, that’s great!  We still think there’s a lot to gain from taking part in cpd23, and you’ll have a headstart because you know what to expect.  With cpd23, we’ve used the existing framework, but given it a bit of a twist, and it differs in two ways.  First, unlike other programmes, it’s not just about social media, but includes plenty of offline Things too, and some of the social media Things which we’ve included might be different from those used by other programmes.  Second, it’s got a different focus: it isn’t about whether or how you could integrate each Thing into your working life, but about how you could use it for your professional development.  Cpd23 is a little more personal and more reflective than other programmes.

How do I join in?

23 Things for Professional Development starts officially on 20th June, 2011 and it runs until October.  To join in, just visit the central cpd23 blog and get started!  The list of Things is already available online, as well as plenty of other information.  On 20th June we’ll post some guidance and instructions about how to set up and register your blog.  And if, at any time, you’ve got any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact the team either by leaving a comment on our blog, or by tweeting us @cpd23.  Please use the hashtag #cpd23 so we can see how you’re getting on.

Anything else?

One last thing is that while we will offer you as much support and guidance as we can, nothing at all can beat the face-to-face support of your colleagues, so encourage them to take part too. So spread the cpd23 message!

Acknowledgements

Our 23 Things for Professional Development programme was inspired by 23 Things Cambridge, and is based on the original 23 Things programme at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006.

 

Maria Giovanna De Simone, Information Assistant, Careers Service Library, Cambridge, UK,  is one of the  CPD23 organising team members.

Yes you can! 2011 @ OPPL

Yes you can! 2011, originally uploaded by Oak Park Public Library.

Oak Park Public Library writes: Yes you can eat at the Library! Beginning today, June 1, 2011, we will allow food in all 3 facilities. We made this change because we think it will improve the library experience of many of our customers, including parents with young children, kids and teens who visit after school, and people who use the Library for extended periods of time. There …are some limitations, including: no eating in the Silent Reading Room or Storytime Room or while using our computers. We expect this new policy to be successful, but we will monitor it and revise as necessary.

More at www.oppl.org/about/news.htm#052011

Have You Found Us Yet?

Ellen Forsyth writes:

The Melbourne Museum wants to make it really easy for you to connect with them online. They have signs around the museum prompting you to connect with the via facebook, twitter, Flickr, YouTube or Foursquare. They also had signed advertising their free wifi. They also have a free ipad app Please touch the exhibit.

I like the way they prompt and do not assume that you know where to find them online.