Tag Archives: Librarian

Librarians Around The City (by TTW contributor Justin Hoenke)

On a recent break from work at my library, I walked down to the local cafe to get my daily summer iced tea and lemonade.  On my walk back to the library, I noticed a couple looking at a large map of Portland, ME.  They looked like they were trying to find something but couldn’t figure out where to go.  I stepped in and said, “Is there something I can help you find?  I live downtown and I’m also a librarian.  It’s part of my job to help people find what they need.”

In the end, I helped the couple find what they were looking for and we went our separate ways.  It got me thinking about roving reference and how well it could possibly work OUTSIDE of the library.  Imagine a few librarians roaming around downtown, helping people find what they were looking for, recommending great local businesses and restaurants, and handing out informational pamphlets that helped folks discover new things around the city?  An idea like this may work best in a smaller town or one that had a tourist population, but theoretically it could work anywhere as well.  Perhaps a great partnership opportunity for libraries and downtown districts could (such as this one: http://www.portlandmaine.com/) make the project even better.  It would allow two organizations to share resources and people and give a new and exciting spin to librarians connecting people to the community.

Care to chime in on the discussion at Branch?  Visit here: http://on.branch.com/UbwweJ

For more information on embedded librarians, check out these two great posts from Michael that give some history on the topic:

Two Librarians Attempt to Knock Down Walls
The Transparent Library: Dear Library Directors

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

Librarian Identity (by TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke)

Early in my career, I made the mistake of mentioning in one of my one of my presentations that I was one of those librarians that didn’t read a lot but somehow got into libraries.  Since then, I don’t think I’ve been able to live that down.  To some, I’ve become “ that teen librarian  who doesn’t read” and to some extent I think that’s hurt me.  I was wrong in saying that I don’t read.  In fact, I read quite a bit:

  • I read the most on my phone (news, gaming, music, sports, RSS feeds)
  • I play video games, all of which either require at least some reading
  • I read two stories to my son every night
  • I currently have one book I am reading on my Kindle

My statement that “I don’t read” was said to grab audience attention.  Maybe it did that at the time, but as I look back at the ramifications of my statement and I wish I hadn’t said that at all.  People now ask me “how can you be an effective teen librarian if you don’t read?”.  The statement that “I don’t read” has also been questioned when it comes to my advocacy for video gaming as literacy.  Saying that “I don’t read” has diluted my message that gaming can be an effective form of literacy.  Why would someone want to listen to someone talk about how much reading is in video games when that someone is also saying “I don’t read” in the same sentence?

This has got me thinking about librarian identity and how we always have to be mindful of what we say and how we present ourselves.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve focused on creating an identity for yourself over a few years because, like the “I don’t read” example above, those little moments can really shape your identity.  Taking the road which shocks someone may get someone’s attention, but is that the kind of attention that you want to remain focused on you?

Recommended reading:
Professionalism Matters in Job Search by Michael Stephens
Piling On on the web by Stephen Abram

Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

German-American Gaming League (by TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke)

I had the honor of helping unveil the German-American Gaming League while I was in Hamburg last month for the Bibliothekartag Library Conference.  If you’re interested in the league, please visit this link for more information (please note: the page is in German, so have Google Translate handy!)

What is the German-American gaming league?

In the gaming league take people from Germany and the United States in an open competition against each other. Here are several computer games such as Wii bowling and playing Mario Kart.

Why did the German-American gaming league?

We believe that gaming will have a major impact on the culture and knowledge in the future. With this and many other projects we want to prepare cultural and educational institutions at that future. We would also like to develop an international network on the topic of gaming. Our colleagues in the United States are already implementing for many years a gaming league. There is even a National Gaming Day.We now want to expand this league to Germany, thus ensuring a sustainable and interdisciplinary networking.

Furthermore, we want to network with this project, the institutions with gamers.

Where are the competitions?

The competitions are held in participating libraries, museums and archives.

What is the cost to attend the gaming league?

Participation in the gaming league is for both the players and for the institutions in which the competitions take place absolutely free.

Who can play?

The gaming league is open to every person who has the desire to join in playing video games. There is no age restriction.

What games are played?

There are only played games with no age restriction. We begin in the first season with Wii bowling and Mario Kart. More games will follow.

When will the gaming league, and how long a season?

The Gaming League was officially launched in the Library Conference 2012 in Hamburg. This means that from now on, they can enter institutions. The gaming events in Germany are said to have taken place up to 30.11.2012, ie on 01.12.2012, we want to present the German champion, then travel to the finals in the United States. The next round will begin in June 2013.

Important: The registration period ends on July 20, 2012 , and we start with 20 institutions – first come, first play, first :-)

Who makes the gaming league?

The Gaming League is a cooperative project of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, the association Zukunftswerkstatt culture and knowledge eV and libraries and gaming lovers from Germany and the United States.

Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

Please consider supporting the Young Writers & Leaders Film

The Young Writers and Leaders film is part of a Telling Room programSonya Tomlinson, David Meiklejohn, and 15 Portland, Maine area teens (all of whom use my teen library everyday!). Simply stated, the film tells the stories of the teens and their involvement in the Telling Room program and their lives in Portland, ME.

Their goal is to take their film and the fifteen teen participants on a trip to Boston and  spend the day in the city visiting a sister writing center, pairing up with Boston-area young writers, and holding a screening of the film in a  film house that holds 250 people followed by a Q&A with the Young Writers and Leaders students.

Over the past two years, I’ve come to know a lot of these teens one on one from my time with them in the library.  As I sit and write this, I see Ali sitting in a study room in front of me listening to music and working on something even though it’s spring break this week.  Just this morning, I met up with Chrispo and gave him a drum set that I had sitting around collecting dust in my storage unit.  He’s been wanting to play drums for years now and used to use garbage cans at the open mic events we held in the teen library in 2010.  I remember having many talks with Edna at the teen service desk just one year ago about her librarian-ish obsession to categorize, archive, and color code all of her homework in a specific brand of Office Depot three ring binders.  These teens have come a long way in the two years that I’ve known them and now they’re getting a chance to tell their story and take it on the road to another community.

Please consider supporting this project by visiting their Kickstarter page here.

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor

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

 

Double Jump looks at “Libraries and Gaming”

Double Jump is Michigan’s only local game show. Each episode host Dan Hartley explores gaming as a legitimate and mainstream form of art and entertainment. We’ll explore the various facets of the medium itself with experts and designers, as well as games’ impact on Michigan industries. Independent and local developers also have a voice here as well as any industries and educational facilities tied to them.

Libraries are one of our nation’s oldest institutions, and gaming one of our newest. What happens with these two disparate worlds meet? In the first segment of “Libraries and Gaming”, Double Jump looks at LCC’s game room and University of Michigan’s open videogame archive talking to librarians about the future of libraries and gaming’s place in it.

For more info on Double Jump:
www.lcc.edu/tv/shows/doublejump
fb.com/LCCTVDoubleJump
@LCCTVDoubleJump
lcctvdoublejump.blogspot.com

How awesome, and this is just the sneak peak.  I’ll be keeping my eye on this series as they dive into the world of Libraries and Gaming and I’ll make sure to share here at TTW.

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor


Make Music at the Library

THE BACKSTORY
I wanted the teens using my library to do something creative this summer.  I’ve recently grown weary of having programs for the sake of programs, so with this mindset I reached out to the amazing Sonya Tomlinson aka Sontiago to help unlock the amazing creativity of the teens here in Portland.   Sonya’s an amazing hip hop artist based here in Portland who has already done some amazing work with teens in our community (click that link, please), so it was a no-brainer to have her be the person running this event.

We met over lunch at Kamasouptra and we came up with a simple idea: get beats, teach teens about music, hip hop, and writing, and let them make music.

THE PLAN IN ACTION
Sonya put out the word to those in the hip hop community that we were looking for beats for the program.  She got a number of beats back from some great producers.  Our teens then listened to those beats and selected the two which they wanted to work on over the next few weeks.

Beat #3 is by Josh Thelin, who goes by Thelin.  He works at Gateway Mastering here in Portland. He is the producer in the duo, Trails.

Beat #4 is by Nate Shupe, who goes by Shupe.   He hosts hip-hop open-mic night every Wednesday night at The Big Easy on Market Street. He is also aproducer/rapper in the group, Sandbag.

THE NEXT THREE WEEKS
Over the next 3 weeks, the teens hunkered down with Sontiago in the library and worked on adding to the music.  The teens (with Sontiago’s guidance) mapped out where the verse, chorus, and bridges would be in the song.  They took the instrumental tracks and transformed them into their own pieces of art.  By the end of the third week, all of the teens parts had been written and recorded.  The final step was mixing the tracks and blending the teens vocals together to create something truly moving.  Between the work done by the producers, the teens, and Sontiago, this was a true collaborative project that took place in the public library.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
I wrote about the Make Music at the Library over at my personal blog while the program was going on.  You can read those posts here.

Here’s a video playlist taken from the four weeks the teens spent working on the tracks:

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor

TEDxPrincetonlibrary: Andromeda Yelton “How to Build 5 Libraries in One Month”

Here’s Andromeda Yelton‘s TEDx talk from this past June at Princeton Public Library in New Jersey.  In 6 minutes and 31 seconds, Andromeda talks about how her and a gang of librarians (see below) earned enough money to build a library in India and then raise enough for 100 extra books, a newspaper subscription, and then, to top it all off, 4 bo0kmobiles in Africa.  All of this, might I add, was done through Twitter/Blogging/Social Media.

I was lucky enough to be part of the gang of librarians I mentioned above.  Much love to the work of Andromeda, Ned Potter, and Jan Holmquist on the awesome Buy India A Library Project.

You can read about the BUY INDIA A LIBRARY project here.

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor

On ALA Emerging Leaders (the conclusion)

Team JBot (Justin Hoenke, Rafia Mirza, Jeannie Chen, Anne Krakow, Susan Jennings)

Phew…time flies.  It’s been six months since my first post on being an Emerging Leader and now that I’ve “emerged”, what have I learned?  Here goes.

THE PROJECT AND THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION

To view the full report from our project, click here.

As a project, our group was tasked with surveying librarians about “how web 2.0 should ALA go with ALA.org”.  Before we jumped in, our first goal was setting up communication.  Be it ALA Connect, Google Talk, or even a simple email, as an Emerging Leader you learn to embrace any form of communication.  And you also learn how to communicate…

Working virtually is no easy task.  Things can get confusing pretty quickly.  The approach of the JBots was to create a never-ending open dialog.  For this to work, we all brought open minds to the table.  Five equal partners who share the same goal.  Sounds great, but did it work?  Yes.

Having had a long discussion on communication at the beginning saved us a lot of hassle as we dug deeper into our project.  When our project got derailed for a moment, we didn’t panic.  We talked and made it through.

DESTROYING THE STEREOTYPE

Over the past six months, I’ve heard just about every stereotype that one could dream up of about the Emerging Leaders project. It is an elite group.  It is nothing but busy work for ALA.  It’s all about the connections you make. Say what you want, but having gone through the project I will say this: it is all about the experience.

The Emerging Leaders program gives us a chance to grow both as a person and as a librarian.  Life has its ups and downs, and so did our project.  However, I’m not going to dwell on those or bore you with the details.  Everything I said in my original post on this topic still rings true.  I feel much more confident about moving forward as the teen librarian in my community as well as a professional within the greater scope of ALA.

Those stereotypes we talked about above?  They’re nothing but chains holding us back.  Let’s destroy them and grow.

WE ARE FAMILY

Cue that Sister Sledge song while you read this section.

Randomly tossed together at the beginning of the project, our little group (which we dubbed “JBots”) grew into a little family.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Families are FULL of weird stuff.  But as I said above, let’s destroy that stereotype and look forward.  Families are units with a common goal who share a common love for each other.  I think that’s the way my group evolved.

All of our group interactions, decisions, and final output were the product of working together as a family.  Emerging Leaders groups grow from nothing into something that you will keep for the rest of your life.  You gain friends who will be with you every step of the way.  These friends will not forget about the little things.  They’ll be there with a simple “great job” or “thank you” just when you need it.  They’ll be there to share ideas and challenge you to be a leader EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  Good stuff.

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

—–

Info on the 2011 ALA Emerging Leaders program can be found here

Click here to read “On ALA Emerging Leaders“, which talks about my experience as I began the ALA Emerging Leaders program.

(as a companion  piece to this post, might I recommend this wonderful post by @charbooth)