Category Archives: TTW Guest Posts

A Whole New Mind or Using Your Whole Mind: A TTW Guest Post by Terri Artemchik

awholenewmindA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink explores the capabilities of the brain and spirit in this conceptual age where high touch and high concept aptitudes are gaining serious ground. Emotional intelligence is becoming just as important as IQ due to abundance, outsourcing, and automation. People are now required to use both sides of their brain. L-Directed Thinking pertains to sequential, literal, functional, textual, and analytic thinking. R-Directed Thinking is simultaneous, metaphorical, aesthetic, contextual, and synthetic. No longer can we just be knowledge workers. We must be attuned to the big picture, how things work together, patterns, and above all, the synthesis and meaning of life.

Daniel Pink details six concepts, which he calls The Six Senses, that will help people survive and thrive in this adapting and often uncertain world.

The Six Senses

Design

The British Museum Whether a building, a toilet bowl cleaner, or a website, design affects our day-to-day lives. Pink describes the ideal design as beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging. Function is no longer enough. Librarians have a plethera of design issues to consider every day – interior design of the library, website design, marketing materials design, message design, and instructional design- to name a few. Library websites play a huge role in getting users to use the library resources and take advantage of librarians’ expertise. In many ways, we’re competing with Google. That’s tough competition! The more intuitive and attractive the site is, the better the experience for the library community. Pink’s Portfolio section provides useful activities you can do to increase your design palette, from keeping a design portfolio to help you stay attuned to design that works to the C-R-A-P-ify method which can come in handy when creating promotional materials for libraries.

Story

Pink expresses the concept of story perfectly with this quote, “When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact” (p. 193). Stories live at the library through books, video, and people. The reference desk is often the place where students and community members tell their stories. Listening to peoples’ stories is one of my favorite things about my job and often necessary in order to glean what they need help doing/finding/getting. “I need information on ethics,” for example, usually comes with a story. It’s a librarian’s responsibility to figure out the story.

Symphony

SymphonyThe ability to relate concepts, make patterns, and synthesize embody the symphony aptitude. Relationships are at the core of symphony. Boundary crossers, inventors, and metaphor makers are able to pull ideas together from seemingly unrelated concepts. Librarians must be boundary crossers in their profession. They are often called up to bridge the gap between faculty departments, communities, and concepts. Seeing the big picture comes into play when we think about information literacy. Yes, we want students to know how to search in databases or how to do an advanced Google search, but really, our goal is to make them independent, self-directed lifelong learners. More importantly, our goal is to inspire them to be curious about the world around them. Pink’s Celebrate Your Amateur section revels in the idea that we are all learners, forever. Marcel Wanders writes, “I am best at what I can’t do. It has become my ability to feel strong and confident in these situations. I feel free to move, to listen to my heart, to learn, to act even if that means I will make mistakes” (p. 157). It reminds me of Char Booth’s comment recently in a lecture for our TransTech course, “Stay brave and vulnerable.”

Empathy

The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is paramount in libraries and in life. It ties with the story aptitude in so many ways. Just listening to someone’s story can put you in the position of understanding their perspective. Subtle clues like facial expressions can tell you how someone is feeling- if they’re overwhelmed or confused. In teaching, it’s necessary to read people’s faces to gauge their level of engagement, their comprehension, and their annoyances. A librarian can learn to adapt their sessions based on these reactions. Empathy also comes into play when it comes to workplace relations. Learning to work collaboratively with colleagues takes openness and delicacy. Being open to your colleagues’ perspective can sometimes make all the difference in how you interact.

Play

playPlay is monumental and necessary. It adds a joyfulness and positive spirit to any learning process. Just the fact that it’s called play provides a light-hearted mindset. Introducing play into a library instruction can be freeing for students. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to research. Every topic will lead you in a different direction and having the openness of mind to follow a topic through all the tangents, nooks and crannys, and caveats should be fun – not a chore. Pink mentions laughter as one of the key elements in having a spirit of play and I am a firm believer that trying something new and knowing that you will most likely make a fool of yourself – but everyone else will too – inspires laughter and openness. On the right is an image of me trying flying trapeze last fall, and yes, it was slightly terrifying the first time. But the second and third time, pure excitement and freedom! My friends and I laughed and played during the entire experience. When teaching or learning new things, play can make all the difference in the experience of learning.

Meaning

meaningThe This Emotional Life series on PBS recently took on the topic of Happiness. It relates so well to Pink’s section on Meaning. We are all looking for the key to happiness and it comes from our social relationships – whether that’s parent/child for an infant, friends, colleagues, or partners. We want to feel fulfilled and supported in our lives. So, it seems, relationships are also the key to meaning, in addition to symphony. When a relationship is off at work, at home, in your life, it affects you. Meaning and mindfulness also go hand in hand. Simply being more mindful through labyrinths, through empathy, through perspective from gratitude, by giving yourself the permission to play and rest, dedicating your work, and re-claiming your priorities as Pink suggests, can create a framework for what you want your life to look like. At some point, it will become second nature and you’ll be living the life you seek.

Closing

As the words flow through my mind after writing this, I stop on these. Openness. Mindfulness. Vulnerability. Heart. Relationships. Empathy. Perspective. Life. Going through your life, your career, it is necessary to reflect on yourself, your relationships, your career, and your contribution to society. Even if you lead a small life, like me, you can glean little things every day that serve to enrich your life and fire up both sides of your brain.

 

References

Terri at Westminster Abbey
Terri at Westminster Abbey

Booth, C. (2011) Reflective teaching, effective learning: Instructional literacy for library educators. Chicago: American Library Association.

Pink, D. (2006). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future. New York: Riverhead Books.

Terri Rieck Artemchik is an Adjunct Librarian at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. She is currently enrolled in the Post-Master’s Degree Certificate Program at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science and received her MLIS from Dominican University in 2011. Terri’s interests include emerging technologies, digital services, information literacy, and Learning 2.0. 

Note from Michael: This is an example of the “Context Book” assignment from #hyperlib.

You are not alone in a hyperlinked world – A TTW Guest Post by Joyce Monsees

“I am “, I said

To no one there.

And no one… heard…at all… not

Even the chair.

“I am”, I cried.

“I am”, said I.

And I am lost and I can’t

Even say why.

Leavin’ me lonely still

 

(Neil Diamond, 1999)

Lost image

 

It use to be that being physically isolated meant being alone. But now, internet access allows us to be connected to the world. As information professionals, we can create thriving communities that are face to face, site to site, app to app. I am a teacher without barriers and a humanitarian aid volunteer without borders. Why can’t a librarian create such freedom?

 

I am a hyperlink. A road sign. A matchmaker. A synapse.

 

My students think that information starts and ends with me. (They are 12 and younger!) I would rather that they see me as a vessel that guides them to find the answers themselves. Weinberger tells us that people would rather find information themselves by using the Web. Fantastic! This is the goal of teachers! We want students to read directions and try on their own first before seeking help. As librarians, we should continue this encouragement of self-motivation. We shouldn’t be offended if young people don’t seek our direct assistance, we’ve been guiding them toward independence since birth!

If library patrons come to us through a database search engine that we’ve created, we’re still as useful as if they physically walked up to our desk. But now, we can reach more people, even beyond our borders, at the same time. We can be roadsigns and hyperlinks at the same time. We’re a bigger community of researchers.

Teachers can be gateways to the world, not only by teaching search techniques, but by creating student-lead web-conferences, blogs and book reviews. Our school has a news program each Monday morning completely lead by 5th and 6th graders. Our library has featured web-conferences with NOAA Hurricane Hunters and famous authors.

Students can check their progress, download worksheets and find missing assignments on Edmodo, a learning management system with a social network vibe. A chat box allows students to ask others about homework, due dates and anything else that will help them. Since the site is monitored by the school, conversation remains positive and appropriate. The students don’t just learn to communicate better, they strengthen their grade level community which enriches their relational and learning environments at school.

As a digital humanitarian, I am a hyperlink between victims of disaster and relief organizations. Their message does not end with me. It is categorized and defined, then sent to those who can help them best. Am I ever the end of the information chain? Nope. Good thing. What a heavy burden that would be! Our team talks through Skype chat while we geo-locate the tweets and posts. We aren’t alone while we face pleas for help and people describing such personal tragedies that sometimes make us cry. My fellow volunteers are in Vienna Austria, Darwin Australia, Bergen Norway, Washington DC and many other places. We use GMT time instead of our own timezones.

Check out this Hurricane Sandy Twitterbeat Map created by Kalev Leetaru. It shows the emotions felt through Twitter during Hurricane Sandy. This map is a hyperlink to the world that shows how people felt.

 

“I am”, I said… to all my communities everywhere.

photo

Joyce Monsees is an instructional assistant at a public elementary school. She teaches 3rd, 4th and 6th grade students. She is a former school librarian clerk and a City of Orange Library Trustee and she volunteers with the Standby Task Force, a digital humanitarian group who examines messages sent through social media during a global crisis then maps their exact locations and type of need to assist the United Nations or other disaster relief agency send aid. She is a student in LIBR287 The Hyperlinked Library at San Jose State University SLIS.

Learning Everywhere: OPLN – The ‘must-have’ tool for new librarians — A TTW Guest Post by Tracy Maniapoto

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reflecting on the connections I make in a digital world.  The main purpose for the reflection was to fulfil a MIS assessment on Online Personal Learning Networks [OPLN] in Dr. Michael Stephens Fall 2012 Transformative Learning & Technology Literacies class. I think that Richardson and Mancabelli’s description of an OPLN as a unique learning environment where ‘we learn what we want or need to learn using the vast resources and people online’ is fitting (2011, p.3).  This method of informal learning complements traditional learning and helps us to function better in all aspects of our daily life: at home with family and at work.

What excited me most about creating an OPLN was that I had to figure out what information I needed and where this was going to come from.  This was a personal journey that only I could take; I set the direction and the path to follow.  I also had to think about how I would curate what I found.  Organising the information into one space or place had its benefits: ease of curation, portability and accessibility spring to mind immediately.  The end result is more than simply an assessment; it is a practical tool that I can use throughout my career as an academic librarian.

Getting started

Diving head first into the ocean of information that is ‘the internet’ works for some folk, though I needed something more structured or defined to begin with.  As my OPLN was unique to me, I asked myself two questions:

  1. What are my current information needs both professionally and with my studies?
  2. With whom, what or where do I need to connect to help me address these needs?

I used the first question to form my goals statement highlighting my main information needs for both groups as below:

Professionally, in my role as a teaching librarian at a New Zealand University, it was important for me to keep informed about:

  1. Teaching methods/styles that promote information literacy
  2. Changes affecting the NZ University and academic library environment
  3. The use of social media tools within the academic library environment
  4. Professional development opportunities for librarians/information professionals
  5. Mentors and role models within the library or information  profession environment
  6. Maori information resources and Maori world view

With my studies, and particularly in relation to my research project, it was important for me to keep informed about:

  1. Trends in digital and emerging technologies both globally and within New Zealand
  2. Trends in educational learning methods and styles

In categorising my main information needs, the scope of my resources falls broadly into the following four areas:

  • Pedagogy (21st century learning, participatory learning)
  • Technologies (mobile and emerging)
  • Relationships (social media, professional development, mentorship, NZ University and library environments)
  • Themes (information literacy, M?ori-focused resources)

Having defined my resources, the next step was to start collecting relevant information.  I needed a discovery tool and, though I hadn’t quite realised at the time, I had been using one religiously for the past few months.

My discovery tool of choice: Twitter

It still amuses me, even now, that the majority of information resources that appear on my OPLN were sourced from one tool: Twitter.  Yes, Twitter.  This would be my answer to the ‘who, what, and where’ question I raised earlier.

I had created a Twitter account in 2009 and my activity between then and mid-2012 consisted of a whopping 40-ish tweets. In hindsight, my use of Twitter and my knowledge of its capabilities were pretty, well, pitiful.  In the early stages of the LIBR 281-14 programme, each student was encouraged to create a Twitter account (if they didn’t already have one) and use it as part of the class engagement. We were encouraged to share links to relevant or interesting articles, webpages, and anything else we could find.  Within two months of starting the programme, I had tweeted more times than in the previous 3 years!  I am thankful we were encouraged to use Twitter as an information discovery tool.  It wasn’t until I began putting my OPLN together that I truly understood its value in my personal learning.

What I love most about Twitter is its ability to filter information*.  On the suggestion of a work colleague I monitored twitter feeds using first, Tweetdeck, and then secondly, Hootsuite (I actually preferred the first as the interface was more to my liking even though they look similar). Once I found people to follow, and by people I mean librarians, fellow MIS students and educators, I started to get a ‘feel’ for how information is best dispersed through this platform.  For me, Twitter is like an index to the internet and is a simple way to conduct an environmental scan on a topic of interest with, dare I say it, minimal effort on my part.  Naturally, I had to read any tweets and click through links for myself to see if the information suited my needs.  The hard part though, finding the information in the first place, was done by those I followed: brilliant individuals passionate about their interests and wanting to share them with the world.

Interestingly, since using Twitter I’ve noticed it is used in more and more places.  I used it myself as an engagement tool within my presentation slides at the LIANZA 2012 Conference.  This morning I followed live ‘tweets’ from attendees at the Ascilite2012 Conference in Wellington, New Zealand (about 190km away) using the hashtag search: #ascilite2012.  When my classmates post useful links I can find these by searching #transtech.  Just moments ago I received this tweet as I was writing:

The link took me to another Ascilite2012 attendee’s collection of notes on ‘Web 2.0 Pedagogy: Mobile Social Media’ and included a number of links to related websites and educator blogs – wow!  While it would be great to attend this conference in person, Twitter is definitely my ‘next best thing’.

Going back to the point at hand – I now have my information sources.  The next step was to find a tool for curation.

My curation tool of choice: Netvibes

I tossed around the idea of two curation tools: Symbaloo and Netvibes.

I learned about Symbaloo from a classmate’s blog and I was really impressed with the look and feel it had.  I experimented with the design online and whilst the interface looked great, I already had an idea of how I wanted my OPLN to look.  In my mind it would look similar in format to Tweetdeck but would need to encapsulate all types of information, preferably as live feeds.  As luck would have it, Netvibes was mentioned in another classmate’s blog so I gave that a try.  I haven’t looked back since.

There are many of wonderful features in Netvibes.  First of all, it’s free.  Second, it provides enough functionality (for me at least) to successfully curate the types of information sources I wanted to share: websites, blogs, twitter feeds and follows (no surprises there!), videos and links to journal and newspaper articles.

Netvibes allows you to curate your own private and public dashboards and I expect my public OPLN will continually evolve around my topics of interest at any given time.  For the new librarian or information professional, the power of connected learning through the development and curation of your own OPLN is empowering.  You won’t know what you don’t know until you come across it and an OPLN can help you find things you didn’t even realise you were interested in.

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful to Dr. Michael Stephens, to my LIBR 281-14 classmates, and to the many individuals who have participated in my online personal learning network.

*IMHO educators and librarians are the best at collecting, filtering and disseminating valuable information in 140 characters or less.

References:

Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2011). Personal learning networks: Using the power of connections to transform education. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press

 Tracy Maniapoto is an Information Services Librarian at Massey University Library in Palmerston North, New Zealand and a distance student studying towards her MIS at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  Tracy’s interests include mobile technologies, academic libraries and utilising Twitter to grow her PLN!  You can follow her on Twitter @libr4ry_girl

 

Autism speaks… and we should listen – A TTW Guest Post by Pamela Hawks

Note from Michael – Pamela is a WISE student from Rutgers taking my Hyperlinked Library course. This is a companion post to Holly’s previously published post on serving the hearing impaired.

(**names have been changed for anonymity’s sake**)

 

My education began with an eye-roll.

 

The library worker standing next to me behind the circulation desk added a heavy sigh and a series of tut-tuts to the eye-roll.  The troubling cause of this facial display?  The child having a mild fit 15 feet away from us in the children’s section of the library.  ”Do you know Stephen?” she asked me, as if to sum-up the whole annoyance we librarians suffer with this one question.  “Yes, I know Stephen,” I thought to myself.  He’s autistic.

 

And that’s when it happened.  I live in a small town, and so I knew Stephen because I knew his parents.  But, I also suddenly began to notice the behavior of some of our other patrons that previously I would have written off as “difficult” or “problems” and my viewpoints changed.  I vowed I would not become like the eye-roller of my story.  But how?  I knew little to next to nothing about this extremely misunderstood segment of our population.  And then another piece of serendipity fell into my lap.  I attended a talk about under-served populations in libraries and two of the keynote speakers were Dan Weiss and Meg Kolaya.

 

Dan and Meg are two New Jersey librarians who answered the call for libraries to respond to this growing population by developing a program calledLibraries and Autism: We’re Connected.  It is an extraordinary program designed for educating librarians about patrons with autism and other developmental challenges, and how best to serve them.

 

 

But it is simply too easy to just say that we should be inclusive of everyone.  What Meg and Dan do is provide real live situations one might encounter with a patron with autism and show methods of handling behavior through interactive video presentations.  The underlying message in these videos is that “all behavior is a form of communication.”  I think that is a wonderful statement that gives librarians a stepping off point for connecting with people who have autism.  The program also gives many useful suggestions on how to develop programs for different age groups on the autism spectrum, as well as discussing how libraries can make their physical environments help patrons with autism feel safer and more comfortable.

 

One of their key points that really opened my eyes was that children with autism grow up into adults with autism.  The behavior of these adults can often be easily misconstrued since they operate in public life sans a caregiver, and adult tantrums or disruptions are not as tolerated as they are in children.  But, it is a fact that these adults are part of every community and that their numbers are rising significantly.

 

Public libraries should be at the forefront of developing strategies for making our institutions welcoming environments for them, as well as developing programs and resources to help families cope with this often overwhelming disability.  I believe that every library that develops a strategic plan should make an effort to include a goal of widening the inclusivity of their institutions in regards to members of the community who fall into the category of the developmentally challenged.

 

This short training video gives you an idea of how simple, but important learning these skills are for anyone working with the public:

 

 

 

 

As I thought about reaching our users this week, I kept returning to the problems I see with customer service models.  Check out a wonderful program from Minnesota called the Wakanheza Project (http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/ph/cp/wakanheza.htm) that teaches people how to react to others in stressful situations by treating everyone as if they were a sacred being.  It actually provides a list of methods for helping people who deal with the public create welcoming, healthy environments – a perfect place to orient library staff in customer service training.

 

 

 

Resources:

 

http://www.librariesandautism.org/

 

http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/ph/cp/wakanheza.htm

 

Pamela Hawks, who has nearly completed her MLIS from Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information, hopes to play a role in the changing landscape of transformative and innovative library service.  She lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York State with her family. 

Makerspace Lawsuits – A TTW Guest Post by Rick Thomchick

Monica Harris, a librarian from Oak Park, Illinois, recently posted a great article to the MakerSpaces and the Participatory Library group on Facebook about 3D printing and intellectual property in which Chris Anderson declared, “we’re going to get sued.”

I wryly replied with a link to a Wired article that the lawsuits had already begun. Michael Weinberg, an attorney with Public Knowledge who was interviewed for the article, characterized 3D printers as a “disruptive technology” that is raising many intellectual property issues, and Monica pointed out that 3D printers have exposed the differences between copyright and patent law.

Physical objects such as figurines, models, or Lego building bricks, are subject to patent law. And unlike copyrights, patents have a limited lifespan (20 years, sometimes more). In fact, Weinberg believes hobbyists should worry more about copying artistic patterns or designs on an object. “That violates copyright law,” claims Weinberg.

Weinberg ominously warned of the risk that Games Workshop and other toy manufacturers would lobby politicians to enact patent “reform” laws similar to SOPA. Which brings us back Chris Anderson’s proclamation of impending litigation against the Maker movement. So what’s to be done? Another member of the Facebook group shared some helpful links including the EFF’s efforts to keep 3D printing open, and a discussion of legal issues (scroll to bottom of page) on makerlibrarian.com (wow, there’s already a website for that!).

It’s not hard to envision yet another incumbent industry fighting the tides of technological change. But I can’t help but think that there is an opportunity for Games Workshop to market their own brand of 3D printers and charge for access to official design patterns, or to partner with MakerBot. Such a move could help them extend their brand, reduce their operational costs (labor, shipping, packaging, etc.) and engage their customers with the thrill of on-demand mass customization. It might sound crazy, but then again, how many libraries were using 3D printers when I first started my MLIS studies in 2009?

Reaching All Users: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patrons in the Library – A TTW Guest Post by Holly Lipschultz

For those of you who already know me, I’m profoundly deaf and wear a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. For those of you who don’t–now you know! Many don’t, particularly if I wear my hair down. I talk quite normally thanks to the cochlear implant, and I hear well enough to “pass” for hearing. However, I struggle in some situations, and people get frustrated and say, “Never mind, it wasn’t important,” or assume I’m stupid or rude.

Deafness is an invisible disability. It’s easy to remember to make sure that there are ramps and elevators for people using crutches or wheelchairs. It’s easy to be aware of the blind person navigating the library with a cane or a seeing eye dog. But it’s not so easy to be aware that someone is deaf unless they have short hair and colorful, clearly visible earmolds.

Fortunately, it is fairly easy to accommodate the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people, making them feel more welcome in the library. I can write at length on the subject, but for now, I’ll give you tips on two things: communication and accessibility of library programs and services.

Communication

First, you DON’T have to know sign language, either ASL or SEE, in order to communicate with the culturally Deaf people who communicate primarily through sign. Is it useful? Undoubtedly yes. But not every library branch has an employee that can sign. And unlike, say, finding Spanish speakers for predominately Hispanic neighborhoods, there are no “Deaf” neighborhoods to relocate these signing staff to. It probably wouldn’t be feasible to be sure to train at least one staff member at each library location to know ASL.

And besides, not every deaf person knows sign language. I didn’t learn it in any real, systematic way until I started college; my parents raised me as hearing. Many others are late-deafened (think about your grandparents) and still prefer to communicate aurally and verbally. And many others are only mildly to moderately deaf, and have had little difficulty with hearing.

So, how can you communicate with deaf people?

First, get their attention. Don’t flap around like a crazy person, or else we’ll ignore you out of embarrassment. But if you don’t have our attention, waving your hands is okay. Light touching on our arms are okay. Then start talking. Normally. Oh, please don’t try to move your lips in an exaggerated manner. It’s like trying to listen to someone who is talking while his mouth is full of marshmallows. Yelling doesn’t help either. It’s hard to understand overly loud speaking, the same way it’s hard to drink from a fountain if it’s shooting at your mouth like a fire hydrant geyser.  Just talk normally. Easy, right?

Background noise freaking sucks. I’ve heard that hearing people can somehow “pick out sounds” and focus on it even if there is some background noise. It’s a mythical concept to me. So, if it gets temporarily loud in the library, pause during the loud noises, and repeat what you said as needed. Sometimes you might repeat things two or three times, so be patient. A trick some people use after the second repetition is to rephrase the sentence. Use synonyms. Reorder the sentence. “Are you looking for a specific breed?” can become, “What dog breed are you looking for?” and it can finally help make the sentence click in our minds.

If verbal communication is exceedingly difficult, or if you’re talking to a completely deaf person, use writing tools. The traditional means of communication can be a pencil and paper, though it can be annoying to both sides. Here’s another idea: Use Word on your computer. Turn the screen around so both of you can see it. Bring up Word or Google Docs in a separate window. Type what you need to say. We’ll tell you verbally in return. Or if they are completely deaf, let them use the keyboard to type what they need to say. Turning the screen around during reference and circulation transactions helps anyway.

Other communication tips

Hopefully your library has a TTY number and if you’re more forward-looking, chat assistance. Some deaf people use a relay service when calling, so be aware of that. Though, personally, relay SUCKS anytime there is a phone tree, so please have other contact options. Be sure to provide email addresses on your library websites for reference and circulation, or have an online contact form. Some deaf people do call. I do, with great reluctance. So please be patient and ready to repeat and rephrase things.

Library Programs/Services Accessibility

Now that we’ve covered the basics of communications, can you see where some of the problem areas might be for library programs and services? How you accommodate the deaf and hard of hearing can greatly depend on the library’s budget and grant income. Here are your options, from cheapest to more expensive:

Priority seating. Save some seats near the front where us deaf and HOH folks can read the speaker’s lips. Be sure to remind the speaker to always face the audience when talking, otherwise it doesn’t help at all. Make sure we know that those seats exist.

Printed transcript. If at all possible, procure and print some copies of the transcript, speakers’ notes, etc, and have them on hand for when people ask, so they can read and follow along during the program.

Captioning for online video/audio resources. It is possible to do this yourself thanks to YouTube. If you can’t afford the staff time, post the transcript. If you can afford the time, have someone upload the transcript to YouTube’s automatic caption-fier. Then go through and correct the text, since YouTube uses a combination of your transcript and it’s voice recognition to create the caption file, and voice recognition isn’t the best. Another option is to outsource the captioning to a company for video posted elsewhere that does not have caption service. There are many companies, big and small, but here’s a couple of examples to give you an idea: VitacAmeriCaptionCaptionMax.

CART captioningCourt reporters often make a little extra money using their equipment and skill to create real-time captioning. The downside to this is that, as far as I know, it serves only one or two deaf people at a time.

Sign language interpreter. In contrast to CART captioning, sign language interpreters can help a larger group of people. Although if you do have a large group of deaf people, getting an interpreter makes more sense than the other options.

There you go! I hope this helps make reaching out to deaf and hard of hearing people less daunting.

Holly Lipschultz is a graduate student in the San José State University School of Library and Information Science and works at the University of Chicago Library.  She lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and three cats.

Unglue: Giving books to the world by crowd funding – A TTW Guest Post by Jan Holmquist

The most democratic book project I know is about to relaunch – Here is an article I wrote for the German library magazine BUB as member of the Zukunftentwicklers network – With a few corrections because a lot has happened with Unglue.it since the deadline:

What is crowd funding and what does it mean to unglue?

To unglue a book means that you buy the rights to the book and then pass them on by giving the book to the world for free to read in any e-book format and on any device – without DRM or time restrictions under a creative commons license. But you don’t do it alone. You chirp in a little and so does a lot of other people who think it is important to free the same book. This is called crowd funding. When you crowd fund (and unglue) the project you support has a deadline and the money needed must be raised before the end of this deadline or the project fails. If the money is not raised before the deadline – you don’t loose your money – because the amount you pledge is not drawn from your account unless all the money needed is raised.

The good thing about Unglue.it as I see it is that everyone is a winner. The author gets paid for his work and the world gets unlimited access to the book – What’s not to like about it? I think Unglue.it is the most democratic book project you can imagine.
The first book has already been unglued and is therefore yours too – it is “Oral Literature In Africa” by Ruth H. Finnegan – 278 world citizens participated in unglueing this book raising 7500 dollars – The e-book version is available for download from the Unglue.it website. You can go to Unglue.it to learn more and make your own pledge to give the gift of a book to the world.

Libraries, ebooks and freedom of information

In the current e-book market it is very hard for libraries to purchase and lend out ebooks to the public. This fact is making it darker times for universal access to information for the first time in decades. Lots of titles can’t be offered because the biggest publishers in the US are not working with the libraries there, and in Europe EBLIDA is doing work to get better deals here too. Booksellers say libraries are a threat to the ebook business even though research shows that libraries increase book sales – not the other way round. The current situation looks like a library nightmare. Though the focus for modern libraries shift from collections to connections it is still important that information will be more freely accessible in future – not less. There are also privacy concerns with some of the models in which libraries and we as citizens can purchase ebooks today. Booksellers can erase books from our devices (it has been done!), can spy on us to see what we read, underline and bookmark in our ebooks etc. Libraries do not own ebooks. They license them – and can’t lend them out limitlessly on most contracts.

The e-book formats are not universal and library e-book services are often hard to use limiting potential use because of technical illiteracy and difficulties.

The values behind Unglue.it contribute to another voice in the debate on the future of ebooks, libraries and access. If Unglue.it becomes a universal success the role of libraries on the e-book market will be (almost) obsolete because they will have provided all ebooks freely available for us all in every digital format without DRM and without spying on the reader etc. This is basically a very librarianish goal… – but there is still a long way to go.

Crowd funding – success and challenges

One important thing when crowd funding is that your project tells a story that is important to the possible contributors. You need to see that what you are contributing to will make a difference to someone and will be making the world a better place. This can be a tricky thing for a project like Unglue.it because everyone can agree that universal access to good books is an important issue – but what if the title does not appeal to me? Sometimes it is easier to raise a lot of money for a cause broadly known than for a work of art very few people know.
Crowd funding is not a new thing. It has been used to collect funds for helping out after natural disasters for many years and political parties are crowd funded by their members etc. Barack Obamas campaign for the presidential election 2008 was partly crowd funded like many other presidential campaigns have been. The new thing about Obamas campaign was that so many people contributed even if the amounts were small – a lot of people “owned” the campaign. These are all examples of projects that their supporters meant would make the world a better place.

Crowd funding projects – library related and beyond

In the library field successful crowd funding campaigns include Buy India a Library where 100 people from all over the world funded the building of a library connected to a school in Mysore, India including books, newspapers and wages for the staff for two years. The campaign raised more than 3000 Euros in less than two weeks and it was more funds than needed. Therefore it additionally funded four donkey drawn mobile libraries in Africa. The thought about opening a library in a world where a lot of libraries were closed appealed broadly.

The online library TV show This Week in Libraries current season is also partly crowd funded by people from all over the world who want to keep the show on the air. This Week in Libraries focuses on ideas and innovation in libraries and interviews library innovators from all over the world. The Help This Week in Libraries campaign showed that the show has a large world-wide supporter group.

A few examples of non-library related projects are singer Amanda Palmers newest album, art book and tour crowd funded via the very popular platformKickstarter.comHer campaign collected more than one million dollars before deadline.

The Uni is a reading room for public space that is also funded via Kickstarter and even though it is based in New York City there are now a new Uni in Kazakhstan too. It provides a flexible library like outdoor space for reading, showcasing learning and one of its aims is to improve public space.

Good luck with crowd funding your own future projects and with making the world a better place by crowd funding others projects and unglueing books to the world.

Jan Holmquist is a librarian working with library development in South East Denmark at Guldborgsund-bibliotekerne. He is also a global librarian, Zukunftsentwickler, blogger, Tweeter and crowd funder – member and co-founder of the Buy India a Library team and Help This Week in Libraries team.

Zombie Prom – A TTW Guest Post by Ellie Davis

Zombie Prom and Face-melting metal at your local library! Enjoy Prom like you’ve never experienced it before. Bring a can of food and join us in your Zombie worst or survivor best for an epic night at the Sweetwater County Library. All donations will go to our local Food Bank. The evening will begin with our annual Zombie Walk in which we will lurch down to the main street of town to Centennial Park where we will play a game of Zombies vs Humans, flag football style. We will re-group at the library for the Zombie Prom.

This year our music line-up is incredible. We gladly welcome Salt Lake City hard-core metal bands Breaux and Dethrone the Sovereignto our shin-dig, along with Green River favorites, A Human Medium and Picture It In Ruins. Opening the show will be a new addition to our local metal scene, Days May Come of Rock Springs.  Also photographers from Ohio Snap, Kyla Baumfalk and Shawn Huber will be taking free Prom pictures for everyone which can be retrieved from the Ohio Snap facebook page.

About Zombie Prom:

I got the idea for a Zombie Prom from a friend of mine, Jeremiah Castle, from Oregon five years ago. As soon as he mentioned it diabolical laughter began echoing through my brain (no pun intended). I had such a swirl of ideas flowing through my mind. I asked the library manager for permission to hold the event and she agreed. I began putting it together and reaching out to bands within a 200 mile radius and telling known zombie fans about it. The format for our event did not take long to evolve. I decided to make it a food drive so that we can give back to our community. Besides, zombies don’t need canned food anyway.

My friend Hannah Redden happens to be a zombie fanatic and she told me about a Zombie Walk. Again, that wicked laughter bubbled forth. I decided that we should definitely add that to the event, after all we might as well show off our costumes and chase willing people. It turns out that it is extremely fun to play zombie with hundreds of people.  Who knew? Of course we have a huge variety of zombie materials at the library, which we create a display for preceding this event.

This year promises to be the biggest event to date. I feel a little bit like Dr. Frankenstein because for the first time, all of the bands I invited to play the show agreed. This includes two well known bands from Salt Lake City, Utah, which is approximately 370 miles round trip from Green River.  The Salt Lake City bands are Breaux and Dethrone the Sovereign, both of whom opened the show for world renown metal band, The Human Abstract  and many others. Hailing from Green River are local favorites, A Human Medium along with Picture It In Ruins, who previously opened for the world famous band,  Protest the Hero. Opening our fifth annual Zombie Prom will be a band new to the metal scene, Days May Come.  For the first time we have professional photographers, Kyla Baumfalk and Shawn Huber of Ohio Snap Photography taking Prom pictures and filming the show.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to seeing just how much chaos we can create within our allotted space this year. It is bound to be memorable and I have a really good feeling about it this year. I swear I can already hear the call for braaiiinnnss…

Ellie Davis is Young Adult Librarian and Assistant Manager of Youth Services at Sweetwater County Library in Wyoming.

 

Update: Hello everyone! I just want to let you all know that our 5th annual Zombie Walk and Zombie Prom was the best one to date. We had over 200 people on the actual Zombie Walk and great fun at the park playing Zombies vs Humans. The Zombie Prom was the biggest and best metal show that we have put on thus far with a gate count of about 700. We even had people attending from as far away as Brigham City, Utah! We gathered hundreds of items of non-perishable food items for our local Food Bank. Thank you so much to everyone for their help, support and participation in the most epic Zombie Walk and Zombie Prom ever. Check out our facebook page by searching for, Sweetwater County Library System and check out the pictures. You may also view pictures on facebook if you search, Ohio Snap Photography. Thank you again!

Cycling for Libraries – A TTW Guest Post by Mace Ojala

Note from Michael: Mace’s post echoes my own thoughts about the R-Squared conference. The opportunities for learning, collaboration and engagement seemed so fresh and exciting at the conference as they did while cycling.

 Cycling for libraries – one of infinite different ways to cooperate with colleagues

A hypothesis: there are better, and more efficient ways to spend time with colleagues than to sit in an auditorium and watch powerpoints all day long.

Sounds like common sense. But when you take a look at our profession, librarianship, you will quickly notice how much time, effort, money and kerosene we spend to send our best minds to go to isolated rooms to sit still and quiet for hours and hours. One person on the stage talks about his/her work, and right after everyone has been initiated to the topic, we change to another one. We’re just funny, aren’t we!

Tacit knowledge shared by many experienced conferencegoers tells that the most fruitful stuff at conferences happens during the breaks, in the corridors and in the afterhours. This is what we call “networking”. However – for whatever reason – the endless powerpoint presentations still have to be there to justify doing what we value the most.

Me and Jukka Pennanen, together with a network of other enthusiastic libraryfolks contribute to the process of de-constructing the  conference paradigm by organizing Cycling for libraries. To put a long story short (ask me sometime), in 2011 we and 100 other  librarians and librarylovers bicycled 650 kilometers from Copenhagen to Berlin for the 100th Deutscher Bibliothekartage, and this year 600km from Vilnius to Tallinn, then to Helsinki for the IFLA WLIC  2012 conference.

At Cycling for libraries we assume each and every participant is an expert in their profession, and has something valuable to share, and also a lot of things to learn. We assume that we are all intelligent, and also physical, social, emotional and beautiful beings. A one-and-a-half week bicycle journey works as a framework for this. We design and build our unconference not to be hostile to life, but to be lifelike itself.

Such a concept seems to bring together a motivated, curious and resilient group of participants from all the nooks of libraries. Take any group of libraryfolks away from their organizations and everyday lives, and make them bicycle through countrysides and cities of foreign countries; I guarantee a temporary, global library thinktank will form. And it’s quite thrilling I must say.

Don’t get me wrong, I love traditional presentations and conferences build around them as much as the next guy. I attend them and will continue to do so. But in addition to that model, we need more ways  to learn, share and work together. A lot of new and different ways. Cycling for libraries is one of them. This won’t happen on it’s own, we must push it!

Please do what you can to help expand the horizon how we library folks think about collaboration, learning and sharing, and seek for ways to turn those highflying thoughts to practical action when we return to our libraries on that eventual Monday.

Links: 

Mace Ojala is a librarydude from Helsinki. He’s into librarianship broader than libraries, the Internet, processes, cities and other constructions, beauty, and existentialism.

Photo Credits:

1. 7808999740_b77769b446_z.jpg by menickkt@Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/61469837@N02/7808999740/in/pool-cyc4lib
2. 7689275214_bc657d8329_z.jpg by xmacex@Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xmacex/7689275214/in/pool-cyc4lib
3. 7802752654_3229ae85c3_z.jpg by cya_c@Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/59549002@N00/7802752654/in/pool-cyc4lib/

 

23 Things In Norway: A TTW Guest Post by Jannicke Røgler

You invited the participants at IFLA Helsinki to shear their experiences about 23 things. I would very much like to shear with you the experiences from Norway. I am working as a library adviser in a county library south of Oslo in Norway and have done a lot of work with 23 things.

Your research conclusions is very similar to what we see in Norway. It is mainly a personal experience that has promoted confidence and curiosity in the participants.

A Timeline:

Autumn 2006  – we were four Norwegian librarians that found the American web page of 23 things. We started talking and planning for a Norwegian version of the course.

June 2007 –  the translation and adaption was ready and we launched the page http://23tingom2null.blogspot.no/

In Denmark there is a conference called “Next library”. In June 2007 I attended the conference together with colleagues from two county libraries. We heard a talk given by Yarra Plenty in Australia explaining how they had done 23 things. One of us even got a grant to travel to Yarra Plenty to learn more. We found that the combination of e-learning and seminars would work well in our counties.

In our three counties nearly 200 attended the course. Nearly 80% finished all “the things”. The participants got a diploma and we celebrated with an unconference
http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=30391409%40N00&q=23ting&m=text

23 things started in three of the 19 counties in Norway. Since then nearly every county has held the course. It is mainly the county libraries that has hosted the course. All together nearly 1000 library employees has been through the 23 things. In a small country like Norway with only around 4000 library employees, that is quite a lot.

Since 2007 I have spent a lot of time on 23 things, as an instructor and as a speaker all over Norway. I have even been in Helsinki talking for academic librarians. I few years ago I gave a talk in London together with a librarian from the University of Tromsø at Internet Librarian International in 2008. We did a survey together that we presented.

http://www.slideshare.net/janniro/what-difference-does-it-make-presentation

I have also been training teachers at an upper secondary school in a special version of 23 things.

In 2009 I was hired by the Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority to make a special version of 23 things for the ALM sector:

http://betasuppe.abmblogg.no/

To me 23 things has meant a lot professionally. The idea behind this kind of course is great.

Jannicke Røgler is Library Adviser at Buskerud County Library, Norway