Who’s NextGen?

Dale Prince, who I blogged about a few days ago, e-mailed this question and I responded:

Dale asks: Hey, do you consider yourself to be a Next Gen librarian? The criteria seems to be Gen X or Gen Y. Coupland, I believe, puts people born between 60 and 72 in Gen X. I tend to agree with that assessment since the 60s and 70s are not watershed times for me. The eighties were my defining moments, I think. What about you?

I have wrestled with this. I will be 39 in a few weeks. Sometimes I think I’m over the Next Gen Librarian Hill…sometimes not. Then again, is it an age thing at all? Maybe it’s a state of mind…

Rachel Singer Gordon writes:” A personal relationship with new technology allows NextGen librarians to think of new possibilities and of countless small creative options in a way the big-name trendsetters can’t. It’s one thing to read about it, to think about it, but it’s another to live with it and watch our friends use it.”

I like to think I use technology in a personal way and I have a pronounced technolust gene. But I also try to see the big picture for libraries when adding tech stuff.

Hmmmm….

Big on Blogging at Indiana Library Federation Meeting

Yesterday I was scheduled to speak at the Indiana Library Federation statewide conference. My talk was called “Big on Blogging” and what FUN it was! We had a packed room, with folks standing in the back. What that said to me is Indiana librarians are very curious about the blogging phenomenon!!!

We talked about blogs as external communication, internal communication and “keeping current” tools. We discussed setting up blog software, who writes for library blogs, where to place them on the library’s Web site and all kinds of other issues. One person asked how to wrench control of his library’s web site from the techie people!

I showed them LISNews and they were very interested in such a clearinghouse of all things library-related.

By the end I was evangelizing a little bit (as is my way) — Make sure your library has a strong message, that you communicate it with every tool at your disposal, and that you focus on the future and USERS. It’s all about our users, right? Blogs fir in perfectly there.

Here’s my presentation.

AND DON’T MISS:

PeterScott’s Index of Library Blogs!

Or this one! (from LISNews)

Thanks to Dawn Matthews, Head of Reference at SJCPL, for coordinatiing the session and introducing me!

Visiting ThommyFord

While in the greater Chicagoland area, after my Dominican lecture, I zipped down to Western Springs, IL and dropped in on Aaron at Thomas Ford Memorial Library.

NICE library. Friendly folks. Cool Technology… or shall I say, they have some sexy wifi and an official library IM presence. Well done.

Aaron and I go to chat about libraries and conferences over dinner with his wife Kate. We had a great time at CIL this year and I hope we are all together for IL this year as well.

Here’s a gallery….

(Oh..and I got to meet Mao!)

Dominican Talk Part II

Yesterday, I drove back into Chicago to Dominican University to speak at Prof. Bill Crowley’s Public Libraries class. What fun! What great students. We had three hours of engaging discussion about technology in public libraries from OPACS to RFID and back again through blogs, RSS and building tech-spaces.

One of the women in the class mentioned libraries wanting to have the sexy technology because it was cool. Oh yes! Technolust! What a great way to describe it: sexy. RFID is sexy. WiFi is rather sexy. Federated searching? SEXY!

I was impressed with the student’s questions – one about copyright stopped me in my tracks with its deepness: Who will win in the copyright wars? The technology makers, the people, the libraries, the content providers? Another shared that her 11 year old daughter is using IM and loving it. A large buddy list, she reported, is a symbol of status….

Lunch beforehand with Prof. Crowley was darn cool as well. We talked libraries, my future PhD endeavor and what it’s like in the academic world.

Here’s my presentation. Take a look at the screenshot of Aaron and I sharing the document via IM for him to give it a once over.

Dominican is lovely… I hope to go back again soon!

That Federated Searching is hot right now…

And yes, Hansel is too..

But really, I just chatted with one of our IT staff who was at the big Innovative Users Group meeting this week and she raved about Metasearch, iii’s version of federated searching, which pullss all of a libraries resources into one place when searched. I like that idea.

One of the big concepts I took away from CIL this year was that it is all about PEOPLE (Thanks Steve Abram!) and if we are to serve our users we should give em one stop shopping for all the stuff we buy. How much does your library spend on leased databases? How much use is there? Instead of doing backflips to get people into our sites and onto a “leased DBs” page…maybe it should be right up front…

Notes from a Gay Librarian

I met Dale in my pre-conference workshop and he joined us for the big bloggers dinner at CIL. Take a look at his blog:

http://gaylibrarian.blogspot.com/

His frank “Heart of Darkness” piece about a conference trip to Nashville and the Opryland Hotel is a hoot. Describing the “opening of the exhibits reception” he writes:

“They would be a lot less tense about these things if their organization, like all good librarian organizations do, knew that free booze (even if it is cheap-assed Sutter Home) makes for a pleasanter conference. Vendors like free booze, too, I might add.”

Taming the Public Computer in Miami

I grabbed this from LISNews (I think) days ago and forgot to post it:

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/broward_county/8289061.htm?1c

I work the reference desk and I know what it’s like when all of your terminals are full. I’ve seen arguments, scary situations and downright nastiness over access to the Internet. I’m all about access but as the article states it needs to be fair access… not the same folks for 8 hours everyday.

What I wrestle with is the game players and chatters who tie up machines when other folks may want to research reports or personal matters. I know it’s none of my business, but sometimes I feel 5 people having 2 hours each of Yahoo! Games is a waste or resources…

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens