Archive for July, 2008

Trailer: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

The first trailer to the next Harry Potter film!

July 30, 2008 at 6:22 am 2 comments

Funny Video: Diluting the creative process

Thanks to branding guru extraordinaire Tom Asacker for sharing this great video. We’re in the process developing a new QandANJ.org commercial so this piece is particularly relevant in my world today.

July 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm

All Together Now. SLJ’s 2.0 Program Begins today, July 21

Some news from Michael Stephens…

Greetings! As some of you may know I am working with School Library Journal and Brian Kenney for two months running a version of Helene Blower’s Learning 2.0 for SLJ staff and readers. Brian wants to open it up far and wide, so please pardon this shameless request for some link love or distribution in your channels to get the word out. I would like to see participants come from everywhere – the US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc etc… :-)

Brian Kenney announced it here: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/850000285/post/1860029586.html

SLJ’s 2.0 Program Begins July 21

Have you heard of 23 Things, the self-guided program for learning about 2.0 web technology? It was developed by Helene Blowers a couple of years ago at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and since then has been adopted across the country by public and school libraries, districts, and even entire states. It consists of a number of “things,” or small exercises, that you do online to expand your knowledge of the 2.0 web and social networking, from blogs and podcasts to wikis and Twitter.

For a while now (and prodded by our Technology Editor, Kathy Ishizuka) I’ve realized it would be a great idea if all of us here at SLJ went through a “23 Things” like experience. After all, we are always writing about different 2.0 applications, shouldn’t we experience them as well? Walk the walk, talk the talk, and all of that…So I resolved that we’d do it this summer.

Then I got to thinking: if we’re going to do it, why not open it up and invite everyone to join us?

So that’s what we are going to do. But Iwe’re not going it alone; we’ve asked 2.0 guru, Dominican faculty member, and season trainer Michael Stephens to join us for the ride. Beginning Monday, July 21, Michael will author a blog here on SLJ.com that will lead us through the different exercises, offer guidance, answer questions, and even provide a little hand-holding. We’re calling it “All Together Now: A 2.0 Learning Experience.”

There’s no need to sign up–just show up. Again, we’ll begin on July 21 and wrap things up in early September.

My “Gearing Up” post is here: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/290000629.html#530030053

Our work will begin the 21st of July! Starting Monday, I’ll put up a post here — the first of our “things” – with instructions to explore. The first thing is getting a blog and trying out blogging.

I’ve worked with a lot of libraries doing these programs and folks sometimes confess they are scared to dive in. These tools seem too new or hard to use. This program is designed to alleviate those worries. Work at your own pace. Work with a colleague or friend. I kid you not, this is a perfect time and a perfect place to experience these things. These rules will help:

Explore. Try things out. Don’t worry about “breaking” anything! Ask questions. There are no dumb questions. AND It’s okay to make mistakes.

The blog address for the program is: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/blog/290000629.htm


Thanks for the heads up on this Michael!

July 21, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Seeking Examples of "Programs on a Shoestring Budget"

Next month I will be giving a presentation called Implementing High Impact Programs on a Shoestring Budget for the Nevada Library Association at their Annual Conference in Las Vegas. I have many ideas to present based upon my own work at PPL and have also found some great ideas from other public libraries, but I want to make sure that I am not missing something truly fantastic that has not passed my radar.

My presentation is focusing on public library programs for adults and teens with a technology element, but I am also compiling programs that are based in the arts and humanities. Programs from academic libraries would lend a nice balance.

My concept of “shoestring” is that you either did it for free (other than staff time) or ideally spent less than $250 on the program if you are a small library serving under 30,000 people. If you are a larger library a budget limit of $500 would still be a shoestring.

I am not going to give examples in this post because I do not want to narrow anyone’s thinking on what they might submit. I am taking a fairly wide ranging view on what is considered a “program” and am truly interested to see what other creative programs on limited funds are being offered elsewhere.

Submit your great “shoestring programs” that have had a positive/high impact at your library to janieh at gmail dot com with the subject line of Shoestring Program.

If you have photos, PR materials, etc. to go along with your program that would be all the better. I will give full attribution to anyone who submits and I will share my slides online as well as create a summary post here at the Library Garden.

Oh, and it is my first time in Vegas so feel free to leave me tips on what I should see and do.

Image by Aussiegall found via FlickrCC

July 19, 2008 at 9:11 am

A Quick Poll for Libraryland

I was out with friends last night for an MNO (Mom’s Night Out) and we ended up talking about email and how much it overwhelmed us at times. I told them that although I was technically on vacation this week I still checked my email once or twice day and, except for one friend, they all thought I was nuts.

One of my friends, who is senior management at a large insurance company, shared that she checked work email daily and at home in the evenings no matter what — vacations or sickness, etc. The others are all mothers who work outside the home (just like me) but they indicated that they leave work email at work and never check from home — they are two teachers, a nurse, therapist, and a manager in a small company.

So here it is Saturday and I just logged in to check my work email and while I was reading my messages I started to wonder, how many other librarians and library workers check their email from home and when?

I used Doodle, one of my favorite “fantastic freebies“, to create a quick poll that will give us a quick snapshot type answer to the questions “Do You Check Email From Home?”. Just go to this doodle poll and check off all that apply. You can check more than one answer and you can be anonymous if you want. Also, you can leave comments and further explain your email habits. I will leave the poll up for a week or so and then summarize on the blog later this month.

July 12, 2008 at 12:43 pm 1 comment

Thoughts on Authenticity


Back in March, at PLA, I remember Karen Hyman talking about authenticity in the lastest issue of Time magazine. It intrigued me enough to cause me to look into the issue of Time and then also interlibrary loan the book, Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want by James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II.
While the book is definitely geared towards business I think there are lots of ideas that we in the library field can take and use to our advantage with our customers. Gilmore and Pine talk about why we buy what we buy and that currently, people purchase based on how well the items reflect what the person wants to say or project about themselves. Consumers will consider experience and products more real if they have a hand in creating it themselves. What it boils down to is creating an experience that is true to what you say you are.
Steven Bell echoed these sentiments at the FutureTech for Libraries Symposium in June. He explained that we are in an experience economy and that we need to be aware of the expectations that exist regarding services and technology.
So what does this all mean for libraries?  Well, let’s think about a few key questions:

  1. What expectations do users have about your services? Are they positive or negative? Do you meet those expectations, even the negative ones?
  2. Are your customers able to personalize their services? Do you offer pointed email advisories? Can they customize their experience on your library’s website?

Gilmore and Pine say “Be what you say you are by finding your very own original way for customers to experience your offering in the places you establish” (p.152). It isn’t an easy proposition. It may take lots of work to make the vision and missions of our institutions to match and exceed positive expectations that people have about libraries of all types.
Important to remember is that “What you’ve done is what you are, and what you do is who you become” (p.218).
Sounds like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Maybe that is exactly what we need to do.

July 6, 2008 at 6:32 pm 1 comment


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