The Shifted Librarian -

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* Monday, October 31, 2005
* Thursday, October 27, 2005

Where Did You Get *Your* Professional Development Today?

My Professional Development Today

“OK, back to reality. I said in my previous post that I'd really like to see blogs used for professional development but I don't believe it will happen anytime soon. I want to make it clear that I have absolutely no doubts about the power of blogging for learning. I just want it to happen sooner and realistically that probably is not going to happen. At least not soon enough for me.

But meanwhile I'm going to keep dreaming, keep learning, keep blogging, work at being a lot more disruptive and keep reading blogs till we can collectively figure out answers to bring about needed changes in education. And oh yes, thanks to Jenny, Will, Lila, Steven, Jessamyn, Michael, and others who provided my professional development today. It was great and here I am at almost 10:00 PM tonight still learning. I did the picking and it was great!” [EduBlog Insights]

And that’s why we blog.

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Presence and Accounted for

Dang – Chris DeWeese beat me to the punch and added AIM presence indicators to the Lewis & Clark Library System staff directory. Even though he’s using ASP code to run his own web service for this, I’m suuuuuuuure he’ll explain a little about it on his blog and maybe even give some suggestions for other options.  ;-)  Since LCLS Director Tina Hubert is on IM, I’ll also note that MLS Director Alice Calabrese (my boss) is on AIM as well. I wonder if there are any other ILSDOians on IM? I think Alice and Tina are setting great examples for their member libraries.

Anyway, nice job, Chris, and welcome to the blogosphere!

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* Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Observations from Internet Librarian 2005

As I get ready to head home tomorrow, here are some final thoughts on the conference. I should also note that I’ll have my presentations online by the end of the week and I’ll post links to them from my site.

There are a lot more laptops here this year. A LOT more. Finally. Several speakers noted that this was the year we were able to skip over the intro material (what is a blog) and talk about the more advanced stuff (what to do with your blog).

As usually happens, a major part of the conference for me took place in the hallways and lobbies. I met several people I’ve only known online, and it was a real pleasure. The networking at this type of event is truly incredible, and t’s almost worth it just for that.

Karen Schneider gave a great presentation about ethics, that unfortunately I wasn’t able to blog because my laptop kept crashing. Sigh. Bad technology trumped ethics. My favorite quote, though: “There is nothing more pathetic than a librarian who gets the facts wrong. Not even a New York Times reporter who gets the facts wrong.” Second favorite quote: “Librarians are the last stand between the patron and truth.” Michael Stephens turned to me during her talk and said, “I wish she could talk all morning.” I agreed.

It was interesting how ITI made sure that there was bountiful wifi available in the public library track. Kudos to them, because that’s where a great many of the bloggers were. It was a wonderful form of tangential marketing that only cost them the price of a wifi router (in this case – I’m sure they paid a pretty penny for the larger wifi network). Look at the spontaneous community that appeared online because there was wifi, especially you other conference organizers. You should be providing this, too. I’m looking squarely at you on this one, ALA and divisions. It’s difficult to blog your conferences without it, and you lose the whole conversational component online (not to mention the buzz).

I also wanted to note that ITI waives the registration fee for speakers. That’s another lesson other organizers need to learn, because you don’t have a conference without your speakers. And increasingly, speakers are bloggers (or is it that bloggers are speakers?), so preventing them from attending the rest of your conference is cutting off your nose to spite your face. I’m looking squarely at you on this one, ALA and divisions. It’s difficult to blog your conferences without access to the sessions, and you lose the whole conversational component online (not to mention the buzz).

I think the public library track that Michael Stephens organized was very successful, and I hope ITI continues it next year. It fills a need, and I’ll advertise it harder to my member libraries next year. I heard only good things about it from attendees.

An interesting thing happened at my last session with Steven Cohen. We left it very free-form, and it turned into a Q&A session, which I think the audience found valuable. I think it’s an idea conference organizers can use, and Michael and I talked about having a similar session at the end of the public library track next year. It would be pretty cool to assemble a panel of “experts” and let the audience pitch questions at them for 45 minutes, kind of a live FAQ!

I was thrilled that in her keynote, Liz Lawley made a case for the benefits of continuous partial attention and that it might actually work for some people. Finally, some validation! I so want the button that says “add us [your library] to your trusted network of humans” that she mentioned in her talk!

I really enjoyed Will Richardson’s keynote, and I’m especially intrigued by his advocacy to teach students “negotiated meaning.” Librarians are all about negotiated meaning, and I think it’s a vital role we can be aggressive in filling. It was heartbreaking to hear Will describe a scenario in which teachers and students use RSS feeds of persistent searches in Google News or Yahoo News, because he couldn’t tell them to use feeds from library resources instead. We absolutely have to change this. I had wanted to stay afterwards and ask Will how (if?) he’s working with his school’s librarians to implement all of the wonderful things he talked about, but unfortunately I had to leave as soon as the session ended. Still, I found his presentation very inspiring, and it really resonated with me in the context of millennials/gamers, shifting services, and social library services (Library 2.0).

The biggest theme I saw at the conference was the ubiquitous discussion of the emerging, two-way, interactive web. It was mentioned in lots of sessions where I hadn’t necessarily expected to hear it. As I noted in the last session today, I hope attendees are beginning to understand how this could affect libraries. In fact, I had meant to explicitly note that the failure of the Open Internet Librarian Blog and the Internet Librarian Wiki were offset by the success of Technorati and Flickr (easily my favorite), which only goes to show how important it is to have your microcontent out there (indexable), tagged, and shared. The successes wouldn’t have happened without all of those things, and that’s a big piece that is missing for libraries. Our catalogs are closed, proprietary islands, while we still force our users to come to our web sites rather than taking the information/content to them. Without blogs, RSS, social bookmarks, Flickr, and the like, we’ll stay that way, outside of this emerging Web 2.0, away from where our users are.

What came through loud and clear at this conference (titled, appropriately enough, “Shifting Worlds”) is that libraries need to continue shifting to where their users are and need to become part of their users’ online, trusted network. Nothing new for readers of this blog, but as I said in my five minutes on the tech trends panel, this is the year libraries finally started doing this and doing it well. Libraries can finally participate using free tools, we have some great models, let’s get to it.

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Blogs Vs. Wikis Presentation

This afternoon, I’ll be co-presenting a session with Steven M. Cohen (people, make sure you spell his name correctly – I’m just saying!) about blogs versus wikis. We’ll look at the Open Internet Librarian Blog and the Internet Librarian Wiki and compare what’s working and what isn’t for both types of tools. The session will be a bit improv, but here are the thoughts I plan to share:

Advantage: blog

  • Easy to post information
  • Chronological order
  • Automatic RSS feed
  • Comments can be attached to each post
  • Only blog authors can edit the content of a post

Why might the blog work? Because it gives non-bloggers a place to post thoughts and it could be easy to audioblog.
Why might the blog not work? Because bloggers already have a place to blog, and non-bloggers don’t want to blog.

Advantage: wiki

  • Anyone anywhere can contribute
  • True equalized collaboration (when accounts aren’t required)
  • Can create any order/flow to the information (sometimes chronological order doesn’t work well for the type of content)

Why might the wiki work? Because anyone at the conference or offsite could add content.
Why might the wiki not work? Because no one is sure what to put there (versus somewhere else) and wikis are still a little difficult to use (see Meredith Farkas’ advice?). Plus, they need a password to edit it, which might be too much of a barrier at this point.

Personally, I think the tool that ended up working the best in this situation was Technorati. It was the one spot everything was pulled together.

Advantage: Technorati (view the IL05 tag)

  • Automatically brought together all pieces that were posted anywhere (as long as they were tagged and the sites pinged Technorati)
  • Made it easy to find things; one-stop shopping

I would also argue that we’ve had a lot of fun and socialness with Flickr. Of course, you had to know about Flickr, have an account, and know what you could do. I wish we could have done a whole session just on Flickr.  :-P

Advantage: Flickr (view IL05 photostream)

 Technorati tags: ,

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Observations from Internet Librarian 2005

As I get ready to head home tomorrow, here are some final thoughts on the conference. I should also note that I’ll have my presentations online by the end of the week and I’ll post links to them from my site.

There are a lot more laptops here this year. A LOT more. Finally. Several speakers noted that this was the year we were able to skip over the intro material (what is a blog) and talk about the more advanced stuff (what to do with your blog).

As usually happens, a major part of the conference for me took place in the hallways and lobbies. I met several people I’ve only known online, and it was a real pleasure. The networking at this type of event is truly incredible, and t’s almost worth it just for that.

Karen Schneider gave a great presentation about ethics, that unfortunately I wasn’t able to blog because my laptop kept crashing. Sigh. Bad technology trumped ethics. My favorite quote, though: “There is nothing more pathetic than a librarian who gets the facts wrong. Not even a New York Times reporter who gets the facts wrong.” Second favorite quote: “Librarians are the last stand between the patron and truth.” Michael Stephens turned to me during her talk and said, “I wish she could talk all morning.” I agreed.

It was interesting how ITI made sure that there was bountiful wifi available in the public library track. Kudos to them, because that’s where a great many of the bloggers were. It was a wonderful form of tangential marketing that only cost them the price of a wifi router (in this case – I’m sure they paid a pretty penny for the larger wifi network). Look at the spontaneous community that appeared online because there was wifi, especially you other conference organizers. You should be providing this, too. I’m looking squarely at you on this one, ALA and divisions. It’s difficult to blog your conferences without it, and you lose the whole conversational component online (not to mention the buzz).

I also wanted to note that ITI waives the registration fee for speakers. That’s another lesson other organizers need to learn, because you don’t have a conference without your speakers. And increasingly, speakers are bloggers (or is it that bloggers are speakers?), so preventing them from attending the rest of your conference is cutting off your nose to spite your face. I’m looking squarely at you on this one, ALA and divisions. It’s difficult to blog your conferences without access to the sessions, and you lose the whole conversational component online (not to mention the buzz).

I think the public library track that Michael Stephens organized was very successful, and I hope ITI continues it next year. It fills a need, and I’ll advertise it harder to my member libraries next year. I heard only good things about it from attendees.

An interesting thing happened at my last session with Steven Cohen. We left it very free-form, and it turned into a Q&A session, which I think the audience found valuable. I think it’s an idea conference organizers can use, and Michael and I talked about having a similar session at the end of the public library track next year. It would be pretty cool to assemble a panel of “experts” and let the audience pitch questions at them for 45 minutes, kind of a live FAQ!

I was thrilled that in her keynote, Liz Lawley made a case for the benefits of continuous partial attention and that it might actually work for some people. Finally, some validation! I so want the button that says “add us [your library] to your trusted network of humans” that she mentioned in her talk!

I really enjoyed Will Richardson’s keynote, and I’m especially intrigued by his advocacy to teach students “negotiated meaning.” Librarians are all about negotiated meaning, and I think it’s a vital role we can be aggressive in filling. It was heartbreaking to hear Will describe a scenario in which teachers and students use RSS feeds of persistent searches in Google News or Yahoo News, because he couldn’t tell them to use feeds from library resources instead. We absolutely have to change this. I had wanted to stay afterwards and ask Will how (if?) he’s working with his school’s librarians to implement all of the wonderful things he talked about, but unfortunately I had to leave as soon as the session ended. Still, I found his presentation very inspiring, and it really resonated with me in the context of millennials/gamers, shifting services, and social library services (Library 2.0).

The biggest theme I saw at the conference was the ubiquitous discussion of the emerging, two-way, interactive web. It was mentioned in lots of sessions where I hadn’t necessarily expected to hear it. As I noted in the last session today, I hope attendees are beginning to understand how this could affect libraries. In fact, I had meant to explicitly note that the failure of the Open Internet Librarian Blog and the Internet Librarian Wiki were offset by the success of Technorati and Flickr (easily my favorite), which only goes to show how important it is to have your microcontent out there (indexable), tagged, and shared. The successes wouldn’t have happened without all of those things, and that’s a big piece that is missing for libraries. Our catalogs are closed, proprietary islands, while we still force our users to come to our web sites rather than taking the information/content to them. Without blogs, RSS, social bookmarks, Flickr, and the like, we’ll stay that way, outside of this emerging Web 2.0, away from where our users are.

What came through loud and clear at this conference (titled, appropriately enough, “Shifting Worlds”) is that libraries need to continue shifting to where their users are and need to become part of their users’ online, trusted network. Nothing new for readers of this blog, but as I said in my five minutes on the tech trends panel, this is the year libraries finally started doing this and doing it well. Libraries can finally participate using free tools, we have some great models, let’s get to it.

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* Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Blogs Vs. Wikis Presentation

This afternoon, I’ll be co-presenting a session with Steven M. Cohen (people, make sure you spell his name correctly – I’m just saying!) about blogs versus wikis. We’ll look at the Open Internet Librarian Blog and the Internet Librarian Wiki and compare what’s working and what isn’t for both types of tools. The session will be a bit improv, but here are the thoughts I plan to share:

Advantage: blog

  • Easy to post information
  • Chronological order
  • Automatic RSS feed
  • Comments can be attached to each post
  • Only blog authors can edit the content of a post

Why might the blog work? Because it gives non-bloggers a place to post thoughts and it could be easy to audioblog.
Why might the blog not work? Because bloggers already have a place to blog, and non-bloggers don’t want to blog.

Advantage: wiki

  • Anyone anywhere can contribute
  • True equalized collaboration (when accounts aren’t required)
  • Can create any order/flow to the information (sometimes chronological order doesn’t work well for the type of content)

Why might the wiki work? Because anyone at the conference or offsite could add content.
Why might the wiki not work? Because no one is sure what to put there (versus somewhere else) and wikis are still a little difficult to use (see Meredith Farkas’ advice?). Plus, they need a password to edit it, which might be too much of a barrier at this point.

Personally, I think the tool that ended up working the best in this situation was Technorati. It was the one spot everything was pulled together.

Advantage: Technorati (view the IL05 tag)

  • Automatically brought together all pieces that were posted anywhere (as long as they were tagged and the sites pinged Technorati)
  • Made it easy to find things; one-stop shopping

I would also argue that we’ve had a lot of fun and socialness with Flickr. Of course, you had to know about Flickr, have an account, and know what you could do. I wish we could have done a whole session just on Flickr.  :-P

Advantage: Flickr (view IL05 photostream)

 

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20051025-01: Liz Lawley's Keynote

asked how many in the audience were blogging the session – several hands; there were no hands two years ago
gave example of a conversation she overheard in the hallway in which one person said, “I just Flickred a picture of you and Stephen Abram”
it’s big when it’s happening in the hallways and not just on the podium

Technorati just indexed its 20millionth blog – an elementary school in France

Liz is going to blog her own talk – later, because she hasn’t figured out how to do it in real-time yet

loves The Long Tail
librarians have always been good at the long tail

information retrieval isn’t going to be used to replace the human touch, but to augment it
we’re circling back around; it’s not we need to teach the machines to think better, but that we need to teach humans to search better
most of the tools these days suck in terms of usability and interfaces; they’re frustrating and confusing to use
we need software that makes it easier to do hard things, but that doesn’t mean make the software dumber because the users are dumber
can’t make the users smarter, so let’s make the tools foster better use (which is hard to do)

the things that are making search better aren’t better software, but better social
searched “clay” on Google, didn’t pull up the right thing (“Clay Shirky”); the same search in Yahoo’s “My Web” shows all Shirky hits on the first results page
the social side provides “beyond information discovery”
Yahoo’s My Web does a 2–degree social search
del.icio.us isn’t about being my friend, and not everyone is equal; there are plenty of people I know quite well who I wouldn’t trust to make web-based recommendations; but they can still have my IM screen name

why can’t your library be the one I subscribe to?
shout out to La Grange Park Public Library!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
how do tools like this allow you to become a social information filter for your patrons?

most people want it to be far easier than we want it to be for them; they want you to use all of these tools for them; we like the thrill of the hunt, but most people don’t
on the other hand, they do want to know what we found because it helps them
so what if there was a button on a library’s web page that said “add the library’s del.icio.us bookmarks to your network,” except that they won’t know what that is, so what if it said something like “add the library to your trusted social networks”

what if I could filter my medical searches through my doctor’s or my local university medical staff’s bookmarks?
Yahoo’s My Web should say “filter this through people,” or even better, “filter this through people I trust”
there are no bad links when I search My Web because it’s people in my trusted network

so where is the risk? it’s very easy to close yourself off to new stuff and the serendipity of discovery; have to be careful to balance this out
that’s why people (and librarians) are so important

Liz has 1200 bookmarks in del.icio.us because she wants to share them; she would never have 1200 in her browser

tagging:
still have a ways to go, although it’s not going to go away
tagging is NOT letting you see the long tail, because good folksonomies depend on critical mass and you’ll lose the smaller pieces
nobody cares enough about that obscure government document to tag it
when building tools, can look at what people call things on del.icio.us and then use that in the tools
what happens when people start relying on these tagging tools

do I really want a majority rules approach to information retrieval?

showed the ESP game
lowest common denominator approach to naming something
surfaces interesting biases; do we want these biases to drive the tagging?
talked about a racial slur within the game as one of the risks

showed 43 Things and LifeHacker when talking about continuous partial attention
just because it’s bad for you doesn’t mean it’s bad for everybody
this is a genie that isn’t going back in the bottle

made some references to telling college students to close their laptops, look at her, and pay attention (similar to the Chronicle article!)
at what point did we decide we are owed attention? it’s a form of capital; I can’t demand your attention without giving you something in exchange; but you’re going to find a way around that
used to count the ceiling tiles, and now the bar is higher; it’s not necessarily a bad thing
if that means speakers have to work harder to engage me, that’s okay
now she doesn’t care what the students do as long as it’s not loud or disruptive, but the grades didn’t go down, they didn’t get dumber
why do we want to fight and control attention?
we don’t get to do that anymore - the technology won’t let us
so we have to find a way to be invited in and be part of that continuous partial attention
“Meet the LifeHackers” in the New York Times Magazine, which is stupidly behind their pay firewall (October 16)

research shows a 44% increase in productivity when you use a bigger screen!

there are tips, tricks, and tools for managing this continuous partial attention

pay attention to:
tagging - don’t try to make it away but do try to make it better
social bookmarking
don’t let this stuff overwhelm you - find the tools, tips, and tricks that help you get it under control
– you don’t have to be a geek or do everything; figure out the things that will help you and use them

Technorati tags: ,

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* Monday, October 24, 2005

20051024-04: Jessamyn on Social Software

new advent of web tools that is allowing us to be more social
for some of us, this is great, for others it isn’t
it’s not just about dating

I added something to Amazon that makes it a little bit more mine (not as much as I would like, but….)

“knowledge is born” when someone adds something to something else
think about what more we know because people can work together

showed Flickr
“it’s so easy every living member of my family can do it”

so what’s the big deal and why is this different than kodak.com, etc.?
– tagging (describes “aboutness”)

tagging vs. classification

defined “folksonomy” = “grassroots community classification of digital assets”

——————
then I talked
——————

some things I’d like to add, because we didn’t really have time to discuss them during the only-45–minutes presentation:

libraries can indeed use Flickr:
– Gwinnett County Public Library – http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelcasey/sets/632151/ 
– LaGrange Park Public Library – http://flickr.com/photos/tags/lagrangepark/
– Thomas Ford Memorial Library – http://www.fordlibrary.org/ (they’re redisplaying the images from Flickr on their home page)

and unfortunately, she didn’t really get to tell in depth her wonderful story about setting up her former library on Flickr and displaying the pictures on their web site via RSS

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WiFi Schmi-Fi

So I'm at the Internet Librarian conference in Monterey, California, where Information Today has wisely decided to provide free wireless for all conference attendees in the conference center (where you can reach it, anyway). Except that it wasn't working this morning. Whichever company is providing it wasn't providing it well.

So Bill from ITI brought in a wireless router and now you can access the network "Schmi-Fi," at least in the DeAnza Room where the public library track is happening today.

And happening it is. Michael Stephens has a full room of public librarians here. Whoo-hoo!!!! I think this helps point out the dearth of conference sessions and meetings for technology-oriented public librarians, especially those at small- and medium-sized libraries. I hope ITI will continue to try and fill this need.

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20051024-03: Digital Content - Circulating Audio Ebooks on iPod Shuffles

Ken and Joe from South Huntington (NY) PL – the “iPod Shuffle guys”

Ken
————
did a radio interview because of circulating the shuffles!
a suburban public library that only serves about 37,000 people; budget of about $5 million
iPod program started with a $2000 grant from a legislator

why?
- cheaper (showed a chart of the pricing structure comparing formats); 29 titles from RB saved about $500 by buying the digital versions
- use the savings to buy iPod players
– no need to replace damaged cassettes and CDs
– titles available sooner
– conserve shelf space
– are portable and can be listened to almost anywhere

Ken: Audible is increasingly not selling to libraries (boooooooooo)
Sachem PL and others having problems with Audible now
they’re telling libraries they don’t own the titles they’ve bought

why buy through iTunes – own the title
SHPL limits the number of concurrently circulating titles to the number of copies the Library owns
Apple *does* know what they’re doing and they’re okay with it; they noted it on the Apple web site!

iPurchasing
– need a credit card and an email address and then you’re good
– they store audio book files on a server and make a backup of each title

iiiCataloging
– catalog the equipment (have 20 Shuffles now, up from 6)
– titles
– have started circulating music this way, too (about 50 albums); aimed at young adults

iProcessing
– they even circulate an auxiliary input connector
– include a nice little content card with the cover of the book

Circulation
– 21 days was too long, so they switched it to 14 days
– no ILL
– $1 per day overdue fine
– no problems getting the Shuffles back, and they’ve been circulating laptops patrons can take home for the past 5 years and haven’t had any problems with them
- have a waiver form patrons sign if they’re bringing in their own iPods; this is because the content on the patron iPod gets deleted when the Library plugs the device to their computer, but now they’re getting away from that because it was a barrier; this is changing with the new video iPod - can supposedly load content from multiple computers
– circulate a user’s guide with the Shuffles

Ken gave props to their board (who understand that lets them experiment because they understand that sometimes you can fail) and their staff (for being willing to try new things)

patrons aren’t beating down the door for this, but when they’re aware of it, they love it

User survey results of 185 people (got 54 responses):
– 48% borrow audiobooks 2–3 times per month
– 26% once a week

– 48% listen in the car
– 19.3% listen on portable CD or tape players with earphones

– 39% listen to fiction
– 29% listen to new or bestsellers

– 81% had not borrowed an audiobook on iPod
- 19% yes

– 73% female
– 27% male

– 30%, 55–64 years-old
one 80–year old woman was thrilled with the program

had 35 people turn out for a program on the subject at the Library!
– middle-aged and older

What’s New?
—————
now circulating music on iPods – thinks will this take off
developing a YA collection of audiobooks and music selected by the kids themselves
doing an audio tour of their art exhibits
exploring podcasting library programs

“keeping ourselves relevant!”

audience question: are you going to circulate TV episodes?
Ken: they’re going to work on that

question: has training been an issue?
Joe: yes, but they have a staff that is not afraid to try new things, which is essential these days

question: are you going to create a separate download page for the teen collection? did you create the page listing all of the titles (the one with the book covers, etc.)?
Joe: they do have a YA link on their site where they will add the titles; not sure how the page is created, but it’s dynamically created

question: do the files on the iPod expire?
Ken: no, and they don’t delete themselves off the iPod; they manually erase them off patron iPods

question: are there other content suppliers besides Audible for iPods?
Ken: not concerned because iTunes is the biggest outlet for Audible, and it’s harder to violate copyright issues with iTunes and iPods

question: when the patron downloads to their player, do you charge $1 a day for the file if it’s checked out
Joe: yes. had a plan they would email confirmation it was deleted

question: one title, one circ rule?
Joe: yes, following what they do in the print world

question: how do you get around iTunes limitations of allowing only 5 different devices?
Joe: can authorize up to 5 machines to play the content, so they just open multiple accounts

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20051024-02: Web Trends & Innovations for Public Library Web Sites

John Blyberg, AADL
Sarah Houghton, Marin County
David King, KCPL
Glenn Peterson, Hennepin County

 David
———————
Phoenix focuses on welcoming you, subject guides
Seattle focuses on books, the catalog, “interacting and introducing;” lots of action words
New York focuses on programming, finding things

generalizations:
focus on content, customers (specific user groups), and communication (with customers)
all three sites are redesigning with web standards

Glenn
———————
how are they doing these redesigns?
70% of their reserves are coming from online
use those statistics to try and build a site that serves those needs
it’s all about “leveraging” - staff, resources, etc.
– web application software (PHP, ASP, ColdFusion, perl, etc.)
– rapid development environment (Dreamweaver, Homesite, etc.)
– reference staff for conent (web-based tools for staff)
– learn more about XML (RSS)

Sarah
——————
David and Glenn are her inspiration, but she can’t compete with them; wishes she had 3.5 staff to devote to the web site, but it’s just her and only for 5 hours per week
what can you do that you’re not already doing when you have no resources?
– use a blog (you don’t even have to call it a blog)
– use RSS feeds
– uses a team approach to the blog, each person posts on a particular day (5 people)
– put up your link lists, HTML or PDF (e.g., Da Vince Code readalikes list that they put online)
– quick searches = links that lead to prefab catalog searches (DVDs, new books, large type) - you can do that with Innovative catalogs?!?! - helloooooooo, SWAN! (examples: SFPL, San Rafael)
– simple online forms, either printable PDFs or simple HTML forms (an obituary request); need to have a way for patrons to give you feedback online
– lightweight virtual reference; IM, Jybe, SMS
  – one heavyweight reference contender has said 30% of online sessions with patrons are dropped for various reasons

John
——————
AADL uses LAMP platform with Drupal
talked about various pieces of the platform

David
——————
thinks we will see:
– more web site redesigns
– continued interaction, RSS feeds
– more ways for patrons to connect with librarians (IM, SMS)
– video
used “The Book Hive” web site as an example of how this might come together on a library web site

audience question: is there a place for personalizing the library site the way Yahoo, etc. do?
David: yes, but not many libraries have the resources to do that
Sarah: thinks we need to concentrate on getting our content out there so patrons can add it to Yahoo or wherever they already are (YES!)

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20051024-01: Will Richardson's Keynote!

The New Read/Write Web: Transforming the Classroom

Started with a picture of the Portola Hotel in Google Earth and zoomed out

The Read Only Web = 11 years old; have only been able to take/consume from the web
The Read/Write Web = 3 years old; easy to create content, too, now; can also contribute, which changes what we can do

blogging has become such a big part of his life that he sometimes refers to himself as a blogger first and an educator second
believes blogging has educational value, is an intellectual exercise

30+ million blogs
3600% increase in consumer generated video in one year!

Technorati is tracking 1.5 billion links - think about how much information that is!

Will’s 8–year old daughter does a lot of this stuff
easier to publish, easier to share
it’s not just that we can create, but that we can easily publish
creates active participation in the internet

showed Matthew Bischoff (?), a 13–year old podcaster; played some of his podcast
“podcasting from my bedroom”
when you listen, you hear excitement, audience (the podcast is for people he *doesn’t* know)
he’s teaching!

Tess Richardson – showed his daughter’s “weather recipe” book of her drawings on Flickr (what do you need to make a tornado, etc.)
520 people have read Tess’ book
now she wants to publish, she has a blog, she wants to write more
illustrates how it’s the interaction that’s important, not just the creation of content

showed a video of 3rd graders talking about pointilism
“I want to teach you about pointilism”
video is findable in Google

Entering:
“Society of authorship”
“Age of participation”
“Era of collaboration”

It’s not technology anymore - it’s not about technology
It’s about accessing and sharing information
technologies will fade into the background

changes for teachers:
old classroom – limited, proprietary resources; “pushed” learning
new classroom – extensive, open resources; “pulled” learning
   — if we have access to the information, which only 75% of American kids do

showed the linear algebra course from MIT Open Courseware
includes video lectures; can go through the entire class this way (*if* you’re self-motivated)

the entire South African High School curriculum is on a wiki!!
showed the recent changes page to show how people are working on it right now, even as we speak

“rip, mix, and learn”
show your students how to learn from this

old classroom = one teacher, time and space learning (learn physics every morning at 9:00 a.m.)
new classroom = many teachers, timeless/space-less learning (learn physics when we’re ready to learn physics)
    — not constrained by four walls

showed 43 Things
get an immediate community of learners if you add your 43 things you want to do

the best teachers aren’t the ones given to us; they’re the ones with the relevant information

old classroom = individually produced content, limited forms (text), limited audiences (teacher/class); do your work on your own for me (the teacher) who will put the grade on it; the game is to figure out what the teacher wants (margins, what to say, etc.)
new classroom = collaboratively produced content, variety of forms, variety of audiences; not just the teacher anymore

collaboration: “The Power of Us” in BusinessWeek
happening with newspapers - what happens when everyone has a printing press

Wikipedia is the poster child for all of this
it gives him hope for the future; knows you can’t trust everything on it, but the reality of it is that 98% of the time, it’s a pretty good source
the idea that 98% of the time, people from around the world can come together and collaborate to create good content
there aren’t that many people in the world that want to ruin it
“negotiated meaning” = we have to teach our kids to do this (!)
can’t just give them a textbook for much longer, or even the New York Times, and tell them it’s all right
so have to make sure our kids understand negotiating what is true, not just by reading it in text
that’s why he loves Wikipedia - there are all kinds of ongoing discussions going on in the background of Wikipedia

asked how many people have bought a Fodor’s Guide in the last year or two
why?
just use wikitravel!

“Bob the Builder Moment” = because we can!
why would we limit ourselves to text when we have blogs, wikis, audiocasts, photos, videos, digital stories, bookmarks, screencasts, feeds, and IM?
text is just the container for ideas, whereas online the value is where the ideas link to = JoHo, Loosely Joined

audience goes from one to millions; it can be done, we can keep our kids safe as they publish to the world
“don’t forget to publish your homework tonight” instead of “don’t forget to turn in your homework”

new classroom = students as readers, editors, and writers (because you don’t know what to believe anymore)
have to teach kids to not just accept the information that is handed to them
have to teach kids to be editors

RSS - showed Bloglines
Will noted that you could do persistent search feeds from Google News and Yahoo News
what Will *couldn’t* note is what his library could offer him as persistent search feeds  :-(

showed Furl
let Will do research for you!
think about having a Furl folder for every student (wow)
can see what others create - showed Flickr

old classroom = “know what” learning; memorize the formulas because there wasn’t a lot of access to them
new classroom = “know where” learning; now it matters if you can find the information (why teach the capital of Montana when they can easily find it); just have to know how to find it

showed all of the different Google services

isn’t it more important to teach our kids to find the information they need, rather than make them memorize things they might need just in case?

new classroom: network literacy; your network of online teachers; not just handed one thing and told to believe it; the knowledge resides in the network
can nagivate that network

information coming at us faster than ever before
traditional systems can’t deal with this
need more transparent, more collaborative networks
need teachers to be content and curriculum experts, but they must also become:
content creators (and need to be models for student content creators) – MySpace
— you have to understand what it’s like to publish and what it’s like to write for a wide audience
content connectors - this is how you connect to the relevant information in your life (George Siemens work)
content collaborators – based on those connections
have to be mentors to critical thinking (how to contribute to Wikipedia, etc.)
— how to take what we learn and share it and put it out there for the world
— the entire state of Kentucky bans Flickr from schools ??!!!??!!!
change agents – this stuff isn’t going anyway; it’s disruptive, yes, but it’s not going away

audience question: kids are taking tests, running to the library, blogging the answers, while other kids then go to the library to get them before taking it later that day
Will: that’s pretty creative, isn’t it? what happens when the sum of human knowledge is online; need to rethink the way we assess knowledge; make them show they know the information

audience question: how do you model good blogging behavior for them?
Will: you tell them what you’re doing, how, why; still comes down to assessment; has to be a better way for them to show us what they know

thinks the next 5–10 years are going to be very ugly for schools because they’re going to try shut all of this down but that this won’t work

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* Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hey, Kids - We're Putting on a Show!

I can finally, finally, finally announce it! After I attended the Games, Learning, and Society Conference back in June, I wrote up my impressions from it and talked about hosting a similar conference that focused on gaming and libraries. Well, I work with some pretty cool people who agreed, so we’ve put together what I think is a pretty amazing slate of speakers for the Games, Learning, and Libraries Symposium.

This will be a two-day event, taking place in Chicago on December 5–6. Speakers I can announce now include:

  • Kelly Czarnecki, Bloomington Public Library
  • Beth Gallaway, NorthEast Massachusetts Library System
  • Les Gasser, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Matt Gullett, Bloomington Public Library
  • Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • George Needham, OCLC
  • Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbor District Library
  • Constance Steinkuehler, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • and more!
  • Matt and Kelly are doing some incredible things to create community with their gaming patrons, while you already know how I feel about Eli’s incredible gaming tournaments. Beth has been pushing the envelope with the LibGaming mailing list and Game On blog and advocacy for gaming in libraries in general. Constance co-authored the seminal Library Journal article, and George has been a vocal proponent within OCLC (and externally) of gaming. Steve is going to share some of the research he’s done for the Pew Internet folks for the last six years about gamers/millennials. It’s an incredible line-up, and we have a couple of other surprises up our sleeves that I hope we’re going to be able to add.

    We’ll have speaker bios, session descriptions, and full details posted by the end of the week, but basically we’re going to address the how and why of gaming (and gamers) and libraries. If you’re at all curious about or interested in this topic, you don’t want to miss this event! In fact, if you’re not sure if you should attend, then you should, because you’re exactly who we want to be there! We’ll talk about gaming as a service, as programming, gamers and their characteristics, what librarians can learn from gamers, what you can do besides holding tournaments, and more. We’ll discuss all of this in the context of academic, public, and school libraries, all aimed at librarians who serve youth, teens, and college students. We’re even encouraging administrators to attend, too.

    Anyone from anywhere can register, although we can only take up to 220 participants. I use the term “participants,” because we want this to be interactive - lots of questions, lots of discussion, lots of brainstorming, creative thinking, sharing, and opportunities for partnerships. When you leave, we want you to have concrete ideas and suggestions for implementing whatever piece works best for you, even if that’s just creating awareness back at your institution. We’ve intentionally priced the registration fee at $115 (that’s both days and four meals!), even though we might lose some money on this because we really want to make this affordable for all librarians. We feel that strongly about the benefits of understanding the significance of gamers and gaming in libraries, as well as how we can serve these patrons through programming and other services.

    Obviously I’ll be talking about this in more depth during the next few weeks, but registration is officially open so save your spot now! If you have questions about the symposium, feel free to contact me for more details. I really hope to see you there!

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    * Monday, October 17, 2005

    Library Vendor RSS

    John Law from ProQuest was kind enough to let me recycle his Powerpoint slides that show the screenshots of their forthcoming dynamic, keyword RSS feeds. He even included example screenshots of how these feeds could be used in an academic setting (luckily, it’s not much of a stretch to adapt the concepts to other types of libraries). You can view the slides here or here (PDFs). Both are presentations I did earlier this month, with the second being the short version of the [very long] first one. More on these soon.

    These slides TOTALLY rock, and they truly help illustrate how big RSS is going to be for libraries. By the time we finally get more OPAC vendors on board (paging anyone other than Koha, Sirsi, Talis, and Innovative!), we’re going to see some truly wonderful things happen on and off library web sites.

    And luckily, I don’t think it will be long before the domino effect starts happening with database vendors, either. I’ve already heard about a second one that’s going to announce keyword feeds later this year, so now everyone is playing catch-up to ProQuest’s visionary leadership.

    Or at least, they should be.

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    * Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Good News and Bad News

    A few things I want to briefly mention, in the hope that I’ll be able to talk about them in more depth soon.

    • We (MLS) got the ListenIllinois grant, so we’ll be implementing the “One State, One Listen” program and adding OverDrive and Recorded Books titles to the group purchase starting January 1. If you’re an interested Illinois library, contact me!
       
    • We (Thomas Ford Memorial Library and MLS) didn’t get the gaming grant. I’m uncomfortable discussing online the reasons why we didn’t get it, but I did hear that it was the most controversial grant submitted and that it engendered a lot of debate. I guess that’s a good thing, but it illustrates the uphill battle we face to get librarians to recognize the value and relevancy of gaming and gamers. However, I hope to help rectify this situation with an announcement this week. Until I can say more, let me just hint that if you’re interested in gaming and gamers in academic, public, or school libraries, save December 5–6 on your calendar.
       
    • While I hope to get back to more regular blogging here, you’ll also find me posting my thoughts over on the ALA TechSource blog. I’m honored to be doing so in the company of Tom Peters, Karen G. Schneider, and Michael Stephens, along with Teresa Koltzenburg, ALA TS Editor. Unlike other biblioblogosphere blogs LIS News and the LJ Tech Blog, this one won’t be a running current awareness service. Instead, we’ll be writing about topics above the announcement level of new events, news, and technologies. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I love both of those sites), but they already do a great job of this so we don’t need another one. I think you’ll find a bit more context, brainstorming, and thinking-out-loud from us, although we’ll definitely be discussing current events, too. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the conversations we’ll be having on the TechSource blog, hopefully building on each others’ thoughts.

      I also want to note up front that I’ll be using the first paycheck from this collaborative effort to join ALA and LITA. I’ve been on the fence about this for a while now because on the one hand, I think ALA can be mired in bureaucracy and I didn’t think the “@ your library” campaign was the best meme (I wanted a more quotable “just do it” kind of slogan). However, ALA has really stepped up to fight the PATRIOT Act and take on the copyright lobby, and I was impressed by their decision to start over with the web site (the hardest part of success is failure, especially public failure). These days I’m more impressed than not by what they’re doing. I had pretty much talked myself into joining, but then GormanGate happened and I just couldn’t bring myself to be a positive statistic under such a tactless spokesperson. However, now I simply can’t resist the delicious irony of joining using the money ALA is paying me for blogging on its site. It’s too perfect. So an ALA member I will become, and maybe I’ll even modify my site badge to say “ALA Blog Person.”  ;-)

    On a side note, I want to remind Illinois librarians that Stephen Abram is keynoting the Illinois Library Association conference tomorrow morning. Don't. Miss. It. You'll regret it if you do, because everyone will be talking about his presentation. You never want to pass up an opportunity to hear Stephen speak, especially when he's in our own backyard!

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