Support LISNews!

When I discovered LISNews, I wanted to teach everyone at SJCPL how cool it was to get all that news and info in one place. I’ve been evangelizing it for over a year… Now, we need to give back a bit! Blake needs some assistance with server costs. Read about it here and donate what you can!

Back in the day, I was the list owner for Enchanted: the Stevie Nicks Mailing list and I had to ask for donations a few times to pay for server space etc. The support was overwhelming! So I totally understand how important it is to kick in a couple of bucks to keep a good thing going!

Art of Blogging VIA Blogs in Higher ED

Run don’t walk to:

http://www.mchron.net/site/edublog.php?id=P2710 and check out Ken’s commentary and link to George Siemens’ presentation “The Art of Blogging” at http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/blogging/artofblogging14.htm

I’m presenting Friday in Indianapolis at the Indiana Online Users Group Meeting and this is great stuff to think about and discuss!

Some of Siemens’ key points:

RSS will be bigger than blogging
Not everyone is a blogger
Everyone is a potential RSS subscriber
Personal blogging and work may not always be wise

OH yes!

Power of Blogs & Content

How cool is this? I just posted that bit about our two staffers doing the program in Indianapolis. I posted it here… because I’m tickled for them and I think their topic is very important. I posted it to the SJCPL LIfeline as well. And THEN I posted it to our internal news blog! Three places… same content…(I did change the article title each time — Internal Title: “Congrats Larry and Ralph!”) shared with you all…our library users…and the staff!

Security & Crisis Prevention in Libraries by SJCPL Fellas

Congrats to Larry Bennett and Ralph Takach!! They presented a program attended by over 100 people in Indianapolis on Thursday, May 4, 2004. “Defusing Hostility and Preventing Violence in the Library and Techniques for a Safe and Secure Library, sponsored by the Indiana State Library, was a success!

The program offered librarians the chance to:

? Learn how to recognize early warning signals of anger or hostility.
? Become aware of how to handle unsettling situations involving patrons by using a variety of communication styles.
? Learn how to keep the behavior from escalating into a crisis and how to protect library staff through intervention techniques.
? Learn how to maintain composure in a stressful situation involving a patron.
? Decide when to call for security or the police.
? Learn about library building security and how to protect your building from theft and crime.

The two presenters bios & topics:

Ralph Takach, Facilities Manager, St. Joseph County Public Library, is a Certified Trainer in the ?Street Smart from 9 to 5? program designed by the Crisis Prevention Institute. He will give an overview of skills and techniques that have proven successful at the St. Joseph County Public Library.

Larry Bennett, Head of Security, St. Joseph County Public Library, was employed by the South Bend Police Department for 33 years and was the Chief of Police in South Bend for the last three of those years. He will address various methods that are used at the St. Joseph County Public Library to keep patrons and staff safe and secure.

And of course, the photos:


From left to right: Larry Bennet, Ginny Andis, Planning Consultant for the Indiana State Library, and Ralph Takach

WELL DONE FELLOWS!

10 Things A Library Can Do to Boost their Techie Stuff*

(*without breaking the bank)

(Thoughts this am, connected to Panera’s WiFi network, an iced tea, and the whole weekend stretched out before me..)

Blog! The tools are free. Blog internally and externally. Promote your stuff to your users. Promote the library to the staff. Bring out your staff’s hidden creativity. It’s time well spent.

Send out your Web content via RSS. Not everyone may know what’s up with RSS but they soon will. That little on your site says a lot!

Use IM to answer patron’s questions. The software is free! Publicize your library’s screen name and see what happens. A small investment of staff time brings your resources right to people you want to reach.

Investigate WiFi. Implementing a wifi network in most small or medium-sized libraries would not be hugely expensive. Routers etc. are reasonable… We’re talking ACCESS…that’s what libraries are all about!

Meet and greet with other tech folks and librarians in your city, county, region. Lunch with folks from the local college library and the public library offers loads of knowledge exchange for the price of the meal!

Educate the staff about all the cool new things this post is about. Do they know about blogs, RSS, and WiFi? A tech-savvy staff shows our library users how well a library system is allocating resources. “Do you have WiFi?” a patron asks. “What’s that?” should not be the reply!

Conferences are expensive but try to send some folks. Look for ways to send staff that saves money. Some provide free registration for speakers! Some library service agencies offer discounts to big conferences. Grants and scholarships are available as well.

Let your new librarians stretch their wings. New ideas and fresh perspectives about technology come from NextGen’ers…give them some tech projects and watch them thrive!

Visit Web sites like Webjunction to take advantage of all the FREE stuff they offer. Training modules, advice, best practices… oh yeah!

Read your favorite tech magazines but also the mainstream entertainment/computer/lifestyle stuff. That’s where the next big things will be discussed – What the 16 year olds are doing now is what we’ll be talking about in 5 years! (Video chat anyone? AIM SN mstephens7mac)

Kansas City is Rockin My World

I’m finishing up the first draft of my “technolust” article today. IMing with Jenny and reading over my notes, I’ve decided Kansas City is, in the words of Beck, “where it’s at.”

David King, cool IT/Web guy there just sent me this page for the KC initiative to get 100 wifi hotspots in KC, including some parks:”That’s right – KC (the city) is providing free wireless access, through this company – http://www.flashnetwork.net/hotspots/? I think the goal is to have 100 hotspots in KC. They have about 87 now (some free, some not, I think). The cool thing is that some KC parks are now wired.”

Cities, towns, burgs and villages – Please take note!

(Thanks David!)

Liz lawley on Teaching New Technologies

Nice post at Liz’s mamamusings::

http://mamamusings.net/archives/2004/05/03/teaching_new_technologies.php

I enjoy Liz’s stuff a lot. This one I particularly liked.

As a fella who someday would like to teach, this bit was interesting:

The future, I think, is to let go of the traditional approach of teaching how to do things in a specific language, and instead offer a more studio-like environment in which students are given access to resources and tools, and then work on developing a project. (We teach most of our classes in ?studio mode,? but in most cases they?re far from real studio approaches?they?re lectures with occasional hands-on exercises.) Surprisingly, it?s the students who are often most resistant to this mode of teaching?we?ve successfully conditioned them to see school as a series of core dumps, and switching gears into a more user-directed model often generates resentment and confusion rather than enthusiasm and creativity.

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens