Archive for May, 2007
Lots of friendly, happy, familiar NJ librarians are here! And lots of happy, friendly and not-yet-familiar out-of-state librarians are here!
The wireless here in The Borgata seems to be great in some places and not-so-great in others, despite the promise of free wi-fi all over the hotel! Tomorrow I have to conduct a webinar from here and I have finally secured a location but now need to confirm decent Internet access (more on that later).
The first session here was already inspiring – I went to Salvador Avila’s presentation (I believe many presentations and even podcasts and information is to be made available on the Palinet site) and already, from that session, I was invited to take part in some “brainstorming” for a project – however, I had previously arranged a brainstorming lunch with Pete so I’ll have to be brought up to speed on their brainstorms later on!
There’s tons of brainpower here! I started that post this morning at 9am and couldn’t get enough good online time to justify running my battery on the laptop down, so I took hand-written notes and will post those tomorrow – it’s 12:35am! – so that is today, I guess! I would have done it earlier tonight but I was very good and attended my online class from 7-9pm!
I have already posted my first set of photos on flickr - I’m exhausted though so more from my notes tomorrow!
[Note to Pete and self - we forgot to talk specifically about CLENE!]
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone who is going at The Futures Conference Monday and Tuesday!
I’m really excited that NJ is participating in this conference. To me it is a strong indication that librarians in NJ want to be at the forefront of things as time goes by. For too long we have been playing catch-up and have been behind. Thankfully, there are many librarians who have been stepping up to get up to speed and then sharing what they know with others, but we will all need to prepare ourselves as much as possible so that libraries and library services, and librarians, will hold their places of great value and importance in their communities and to society.
Things will continue to change and progress – of that we can be sure.
I think we should all just admit that change is scary and difficult – share the fears we have and understand that just because we may be afraid of something, that doesn’t make it bad or wrong or dangerous. Admit it and talk about it. Face it head-on and in the open – help each other to deal with the anxieties and concerns it can bring. Pretending change and fear and anxiety don’t exist can result in unnecessarily overly negative reactions to new ideas and suggestions.
In fact, of course, things have already changed and we have been behind the curve. I’m so glad we’re catching up now and having a futures conference is a great way to be more forward-thinking rather than backward-looking. I’m very eager to listen, think and talk about what will be happening in the future, not just in libraries, but in all areas, and how these things will impact us as librarians.
I’m looking forward to all the conversations that will result.
The third phase of the Super Librarian campaign begins today, May 5, 2007, in conjunction with North America’s 6th Free Comic Book Day, a single day when participating comic book stores (find one near you) give away comic books for free to anyone who comes into their stores. It usually coincides with the release of a well-known superhero movie–and this year, it is Spider-Man 3 (can’t wait to see it myself later today–and yes, I got my tickets earlier this week!).
Well, as much as I am interested in seeing Spider-Man 3, I am just as interested to visit my local library as the brand-new Super Librarian comic book will be proudly given out at over 200 New Jersey libraries. Why is this important? Nancy Dowd from the NJ State Library explains the history behind it at her blog–here’s an excerpt:
“…the target audience from the general population to the tweens and teens. We had run a contest having teens write a backstory and from there two very talented librarians (David Lisa and Manny Rosca- Miracle) stepped forward to write the comic itself.The comic was drawn by a professional graphic designer. Appealing to the YA librarians just made sense. The next big step was finding a way to launch. Partnering with Diamond Comics for their Free Comic Book Day gave us a national event to join AND gave our libraries an added incentive to join up. Sure enough the new strategies worked… we have over 200 libraries signed up. Those libraries close to a comic book store are partnering with them and will hopefully create some great synergies. Those that don’t have a comic book store nearby will be getting free comics from Diamond. Everyone gets the Super Librarian comics.”
So, come on into your local library today and see what’s happening–that’s what I am going to do in an hour. Check out the graphic novel section and if you are in NJ, get a free Super Librarian comic book. Invite a tween, teen, or an interested adult to go with you. Then you have my permission to go see Spider-Man 3!
Bob Keith and I gave a new version of our Fantastic Freebies presentation on April 24th at the NJLA Spring Conference. It was our first attempt to cover 15 Freebies in fifty minutes — we usually do this as a 90 minute or 2 hour presentation. Due to schedules, Bob and I did not have time for a complete run through before going live — a little nerve wracking. We incorporated a lot more screen shots than we normally do and limited the number of live demos and the presentation came in at 47 minutes, so we even had 3 minutes for questions at the end.
Since doing this version of Fantastic Freebies we have found several more possibilities that we will use the next time around to keep it fresh, current and relevant.
Life has been in overdrive lately and I have good intentions of going back to edit the post with my CIL slides (maybe tomorrow is what I keep saying, so don’t hold your breath). My big accomplishment for the day is that it took me less than a month to find time to download and upload my CIL photos and organize them in a set on my flickr account. I took a whole lot less pictures than I normally do at conferences — I was too busy learning and having fun (which is a good thing). Thanks for the memories everyone, I had a blast.
WebJunction recently published a very thorough and detailed set of technology competencies that will be useful to libraries of all types and sizes. I have been meaning to post about this for a few weeks, but conferences and a bit of vacation time got in the way.
This is a project that I and several others have been working on with WebJunction for a few years and it is so wonderful to see it finally published and available for free download!
Congratulations to Betha Gutsche for her ability to see this project through to completion after many changes, debates, iterations and struggles. The final layout is extremely easy to read and hopefully this document will be the jumping point for many libraries to start assessing the skill levels of the staff who work with the public and need to assist patrons with computers (which should be just about everybody who works at a public desk).
On a side note, my involvement on this project was also my introduction to using a wiki for a collaborative project. The work of the original “MPAC Technology Competencies Expert Group” was done primarily through a wiki that was hosted at WebJunction. We had occasional conference calls, but most of the editing of the first drafts of this was done via the wiki and also on a discussion forum.
As I was writing this post I got curious as I was unsure about how long this project has been brewing at WJ , so I just double-checked our super-secret forum for this project and it was November 2005 that we began the discussions… wow, nearly 18 months in the making, but oh so worth the wait! Download the complete Technology Competencies for Public Access Computing in PDF and start assessing!
Speaking of technology competencies, I am still patiently awaiting the arrival of Sarah Houghton-Jan’s recently published Library Technology Report, Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries — I think it will be the perfect companion to the work done by WJ.