Poem on Your Blog Day

Ok icontemplate, I’m in. A bit of verse that Stevie eventually turned into a song about the AIDS crisis:

And walking through the room together
In suspended animation
No one saw us go – No one said goodbye
And from my heart I leave behind
Great expectations
And that you find the answers to your questions
And that life will once more be a celebration
And that you will be touched by an angel

Stevie Nicks

Pondering a New Service?

Library consultant Richard Dougherty detailed the 5 requirements of offering digital reference in the May 2002 issue of American Libraries. They include:

? Staffing
? Acquiring the Technology
? Training staff
? Promotion
? Creating policy

These five gems could be applied to any technology planning in a library setting. You can’t do one part and not do the other or you are setting your service up to fail. An untrained staff? No promotion? Forget about it!

I Own a PC!

I have mixed emotions for sure but I am now the “proud” owner of a Sony VAIO laptop that meets the UNT Tech specs for our PCs. What a learning curve! I’ve used Apples and Macs since I was at IU in the 80s… and now…

It’s good to be biplatform!

Thanks to the ladies of the cohort who gave me good advice and nudges!!

PS: To offset my guilt, I ordered a decked out PB 17″ to replace my older one!

That Instant Messaging is so HOT right now

Jenny points to this…while Aaron and Chris are blogging about it as well.

Here’s what I’ve gathered in the year or so I’ve been connected:

IM with colleagues works! I have planned conference presentations with some good library folks, cried on a dear colleague’s virtual shoulder when things seemed opretty dark, discussed my upcoming dive back into academia with numerous IM library pals, scheduled training and meetings with my SJCPL colleagues — all VIA IM!

IM is great for a quick shout out — better than e-mail really… “Hey did you see Jenny’s post about THIS?” will always get me clicking to see what cool thing is coming up next.

Libraries can use IM as a means of virtual reference. Small investment..big results. There are libraries that do this! Aaron is! I’m changing the article I’m working on to highlight this stuff instead of Virtual reference — which, according too many good folks, is DEAD or should be!

And in general, it’s darn cool too be connected this way and hear from friends and family from all over the US in this “in the moment” way.

I do agree libraries and businesses will have to develop an IM policy to insure consistency of communication and some protocols. Note, I said libraries will have too… because I believe libraries should take this new HOT thing VERY seriously!

Cheers!

Update on Doctoral Program

I realized I hadn’t said much of late about my beginning the UNT PhD program. Here’s where things are:

The cohort consists of ten people: 9 ladies and me. :-) Typical for the library world, yes?

We are receiving a budgetary allotment for broadband access at home and a laptop. We received tech specs that outline how the laptop should be configured. I’m totally ready to upgrade my PowerBook but I heard that at UNT the SLIS faculty prefers students use PCs. I am waiting to chat with the director of the program down there to see if my Mac, running OS 10.3 will be compatible. I think it should be.

We will meet in Denton, TX on Friday June 11 for our first weekend of class. Here’s what our typical weekend schedule will be:

Friday, 3:00pm to 9:00pm;
Saturday, 8:00am to 6:00pm;
Sunday, 9:00am to 3:00pm.

The hotel — a brand new Hampton Inn — has a classroom built in — fully wireless. Nice.

I’m still trying to figure out some of the details and what I should be doing… more will come clear soon.

Watch this category for my contunuing news of moving toward a PhD!

10 Things I’ve Learned Presenting at Library Conferences

1. Always be prepared. Arm yourself with multiple digital versions of your presentation, a USB storage device, a cable for your laptop to attach it to ANY projector you may encounter and a back up plan if any or all technological links in the presentation chain fail. Could you do the material cold from your notes and handout?

2. If presenting in a track, try to be present for the other speakers. It?s respectful, can be useful in augmenting your talk on the fly with other ideas and examples (i.e. ?This morning Person X discussed blogging and using blogs internally for libraries, here’s my take on that??) and it provides a cohesiveness that track-based schedules perpetuate.

3.Share! If co-presenting or presenting with another person on two topics in one session, be mindful of the time frame and make sure folks get to ask questions of both parties ? especially if you go second.

4. Have fun!Don?t hide behind a piece of paper reading or stand so straight and stiff that you look uncomfortable. The audience is just folks –library folks — and we’re a pretty encouraging group of people.

5. Know your stuff, yes, but don?t mind or falter if someone asks a question you cannot answer. There is nothing wrong with saying ?I don?t know.? Someone else might or you can chat after the talk.

6. Be mindful of acronyms. Define, even if you think everyone in the place knows what you are talking about. At ILF, I off-handedly mentioned RFID and plowed right on with my talk. Afterward, a nice lady came up and said: ? I have a stupid question: what?s RFID??

7.There are no stupid questions.

8.Deliver a clear message. If you are explaining some technology, do your best to put it in everyone’s terms or help them understand it with analogies, etc. A presenter who can present technology-laden topics to people without putting them off with techno-babble is a good presenter indeed.

9. Humor works, but not at the expense of anyone ? our users, our colleagues, ourselves. (Well, a little humor about ourselves is good: ?I?m a librarian, I can?t go anywhere without handouts??)

10. Don?t think: ?I could never speak at such-and-such conference.? If you have something good to say ? look for ways to say it! InfoToday conferences, ALA, PLA, state meetings, local meetings ? look around! Get involved! Propose!

BONUS Remember: It’s not ME ME ME… it’s “what can we talk about and learn that will help our library users get to information better, faster and in a way they will recognize the great value of libraries?”

NYT Library Article

Via LISNews:

And Internet-connected computers are clearly bringing more people into libraries.

Don’t miss today’s NYT article “Libraries Wired, and Reborn” By Steve Lohr. Lohr explores how libraries, the gates Foundation, and access have helped turn around public libraries. It renewed interest. It gave people a chance to learn and unserstand the online world. How cool!

I love this line, which could be about anywhere public library:

For the library, supplying patrons with access to the Internet and the Web has become central to its mission, an updating of its long tradition of providing information free to the public.

A library in rural Louisiana is highlighted and it’s fascinating. The last line is a quote from Mary Cosper LeBouef, Head Librarian, that to me speaks, pardon the pun, volumes:

In Houma, Mrs. LeBoeuf walked through the bustling new library as mothers with toddlers gathered for story time, the staff stocked shelves with books, and people of all ages sat at clusters of flat-panel PC’s. Computers and the Internet are changing libraries irrevocably, she said.

“Books are never going away, but the future of libraries is much more as community centers,” Mrs. LeBoeuf observed. “I worked here for 22 years and never thought we’d have something like this.”

I’m sayin! The future of libraries is all about access and space. It’s about building spaces that welcome folks and give them access to stuff that makes them want to stay awhile. It’s about planning for our users and the future.

Tame the Web Kudos to Steve Lohr, Mrs. LeBouef and all the folks at the Gates Foundation

Develop an Organizational Content Strategy Now

Steven points to this article about blogs in corporations and it’s a good one:

http://www.marketingprofs.com/4/wreden5.asp

He urges us to apply it to library blog environments. I agree. Note:

“10. Develop an organizational content strategy now

Email, blogs, wikis, Web, voice mail, faxes, newsletters, advertising, PR. No wonder it is so hard for organizations to speak with the consistent voice that is so critical for branding. An organizational content strategy can ensure consistency, vibrancy and value for employees, customers, suppliers and others.”

WOW! Does your library blog exsist in its own vacuum? It shouldn’t. Library Web sites, blogs, fliers, cards, letterhead, everything should carry the same message and same voice. Guidelines for writing for the Web will help your blogging staff to be consistent and still satisfy their creative urges. I love Joe’s posts at the SJCPL Lifeline… He has his own voice but still maintains the goals of the Web site and out marketing plan.

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens