Web 2.0 meets Information Fluency

Update: Just discovered in my drafts from October. Sorry for the belated posting.
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For the past few weeks I’ve been actively following and enjoying Joyce Valenza’s posts on information fluency which are experts from the chapter she’s writing for Coming of Age Web 2.0. She takes the solid information literacy model and updates it brilliantly with new twists on accessing, evaluating and synthesizing ...

Good stuff and each post is well worth the read!

In the inbox

Just discovered this in my inbox:

"OEDb: Online Education Database has just named its Top 100 Education Blogs, and I'm pleased to inform you that LibraryBytes has made the list. The full list is available at here for your perusal. Congratulations!"

Neat -- Thanks OEDb!

21st Century Skills for Students Libraries

After a brief holiday hiatus, I’m back and catching up on some reading that I stock piled just before the avalanche of Santa smorgasbording events hit two weeks ago. On the top of my pile is the December 18th issue of Time magazine (btw: this was a staple in my household growing up, but now I only occasionally skim it in the stacks or read it online) with the cover story How to Bring our Schools out of the 20th Century.

The article cites findings and recommendations from the New Commission of Skills of the American Workforce’s recently released study Tough Choices or Tough Times (executive summary available in pdf) and also lists key skills for 21st century students:

  • Know more about the world
  • Think outside the box
  • Become smarter about new sources of information
  • Develop good people skills

These sound like good recommendations not only for anyone involved in educating tomorrow's work force, but for any organization that works with students - especially libraries.

So what are key skills of the 21st century librarian? In looking at the list cited here, I think these four areas of emphasis do a pretty good job of covering the gamut with “thinking outside the box” and “becoming smarter about new sources of information” drawing a tie at the top of my list.

What’s on your 21st century skills list?

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Time off for good behavior ...

Taking a few days off to enjoy the holidays with the family. Hope you are able to do the same. :)

Happy Holidays!

PS: Hope Santa rewards you for good behavior this year too! :)


Tagged (or we interrupt this regularly scheduled vacation for this??)

It’s been awhile since I’ve played tag. But since Sarah prompted me (and in the spirit of shameless indulgence) I’ll share with you…

Five Things You May Not (or care not to) Know About Me:
  1. Although I’ve lived in NC for nearly 18 years, I’m still a cheesehead at heart and spent my youth growing up in WI in a town that sat on the banks of Lake Superior and is affectionately called Souptown (think thick fog and a soupy lake effect) by the locals.

  2. Given the choice of chocolate or chedder, I’d picked cheese every time. (see I earn my home-state moniker honestly)

  3. During my youth, I was an avid swimmer and swam on two different teams at the same time. A patch on my swim jacket said “Instant swimmer, Just add water” and it was true. From the first practice session at 7 am to the last free swim of the day, I could always either be found at the Y or the university pool. These days I only swim in housework. :)

  4. I enjoy reading non-fiction almost exclusively and find that “real life” is always more interesting (and stranger) than fiction.

  5. My first car was a Ford Escort which I named Hannah. My second car was a red Nissan Sentra which I called Lucy. Now I drive a silver minivan. It doesn't have a name.

Ok, now it’s my turn to pass along the tag. But since it looks like everyone on the playground is already playing, I’m tagging YOU. So go on, you know you wanna play… What are your 5 things?

PS: Thanks Patrice for taking up the tag. I wanna here about walking to SC. :)


On Innovation & Entrepreneurship (or good stuff from Gullett)

Via Matt Gullett, this article on overcoming challenges and moving from innovation to entrepreneurship...

“They serve admirably while innovators transform their dreams into fledgling programs and steer their organizations through early growing pains. But there comes a time, albeit reluctantly, when most founders and their followers begin to understand that living from year to year does not ensure the future – and that is the moment when they begin migrating from innovation to entrepreneurship.”


“The culture of a traditional nonprofit, no matter how innovative, is vastly different from the culture of an entrepreneurial nonprofit. Entrepreneurs have a higher tolerance for risk, a greater appreciation of margins, an eagerness to compete. Traditional nonprofits distrust the capital markets, prefer collaboration to competition, and underestimate the productive capabilities of their disadvantaged employees. They watch other nonprofits become increasingly sustainable or self-sufficient, but are unwilling to emulate their practices.”

Read the full article, The single greatest challenge: Existing organizational culture is frequently the biggest obstacle for social entrepreneurs

Question: How can libraries move from innovation to entrepreneurship? And what changes need to occur in library cultures for this to happen?

PS: Thanks Matt! Interesting and thought provoking stuff.

Library Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa,

A colleague just fowarded this to me. Is it too late to add this to my library's christmas wish list? I see NYPL is getting one. Why not swing down to Charlotte on your travels and leave one at our door step too?

The Espresso from On Demand Books brews you up a copy right fresh

As an idea, on demand book printing is nothing new, and we even spotted that Bookmachine monstrosity doing the whole ATM-for-books thing back in 2004, but it looks like the concept is about to take a big step with the new "Espresso" machine from On Demand Books. The $50,000 vending machine is about to debut in somewhere between 10 and 25 libraries and bookstores in 2007, including the New York Public Library in February. The machine can produce two books simultaneously in seven minutes, a time which includes all the printing, binding and cutting involved. The machine even slaps a snazzy laminated full-color cover on its creations. Books top out at around 550 pages, and right-to-left texts are possible. Production cost is about five cents per page, which should be quite a bargain for the roughly one million public domain English works currently floating around the Internets, but we're not sure what the e xact costs will be levied by bookstores and copyright holder! s for th e other titles -- there are currently 2.5 million books available for printing by the Espresso.

Thanks Patrice for the story link. Via SciFi Tech

All my best,


PS: On second thought, I'd rather have a new user-friendly (& feature rich) library catalog instead. :)


Congratulations YOU!

“Look at 2006 through a different lens and you'll see another story, one that isn't about conflict or great men. It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.

The tool that makes this possible is the World Wide Web. Not the Web that Tim Berners-Lee hacked together (15 years ago, according to Wikipedia) as a way for scientists to share research. It's not even the overhyped dotcom Web of the late 1990s. The new Web is a very different thing. It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Silicon Valley consultants call it Web 2.0, as if it were a new version of some old software. But it's really a revolution.”

Time magazine Person of The Year: You!

What's makes this announcement even more interesting was that "you" weren't even one of the choices offered up over month ago in Time's online poll. It looks like "you" were a write-in candidate... a popular one at that! :)

Let's keep the trend going... how about Library Patron of the Year: You!

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On IT resolutions and captaining boats blindfolded ...

Thanks to Darlene Ficher for highlighting this recent Gartner Group report, CIO Resolutions 2007. There’s some excellent stuff in here about … what CIO Library Directors/ Administrators should do MORE of 2007… do LESS of … and START doing.
“Social networks, collaboration, remote working, collective intelligence and web 2.0; the range of socio-technical phenomena allowing people to interact, create value and contribute it in new ways is changing fast. This will transform the nature of business organization, labour supply, rights and responsibilities.”

Of the 10 suggested resolutions, the last one resonated with me the most…

10. Get 'hands on' with new trend-leading technologies

“Immediate priorities often prevent IT leaders from taking time to experience new trend-leading technologies for themselves. This often means they can't create the concrete business benefits that these imaginative possibilities stimulate.”

Business benefits … Imaginative possibilities? Yes, library directors / administrators need to “play” with these technologies also. For if you’re not “in-the-know”, you may be not only rowing your library’s strategic planning process against the current, but also captaining it blind-folded too!.


I hate phish

Like most people, I loath phishing scams. Most of the time I don’t pay attention to them, but after having to assist a family member with a legal/financial mess that occurred as result of one these scams, I’m more aware of these things then ever.

Today, this one landed in my email and since the hubby works for BofA, I took notice …
Dear Bank of America Customer,

Due to the recent phishing attacks targeting Bank of America we are currently launching a new security system. In order to benefit from the new facilities please follow the link below. To update your account status please AUTHENTICATE and complete the necessary steps.

Failure to authenticate your account may result in account malfunction, slow online experience or even exposure of sensible data. Please do not reply to this message. For any inquiries, contact Customer Service.

Bank of America Copyright © 2006

What gets me most about this one, is that it uses the fear of “phishing attacks” as the hook to try and get you to bite. Knowing the relative that fell for this type of scam before, she’d probably be susceptible to this type of email tactic too.

Anyway … along these lines I’m curious, have any libraries out there developed or presented workshops for library patrons on phishing scams and internet safety? If so, I wonder if you'd share materials ... for this one public service topic that libraries could surely assist with.


LCPL launches L2

Today Loudoun County Public Library launches Learning 2.0 for their staff and director Doug Henderson kicks off the program with a podcast. :)

... and they're offering great staff incentives too!

Best of luck LCPL staff and remember to make time to play !! :)

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Let the video fun begin ...

I’ve been amazed by the amount of video and audio tools that have been popping up lately and these latest finds are no exceptions:

  • SceneMaker- allows you to clip/edit online hosted videos. Just enter the source URL for the video, clip and edit with the online editor and save.

  • YouTube Quick Capture – allows you to upload videos directly from your webcam

  • YouTube Mobile – upload videos from your cellphone

    and one that I’ve played with before…

  • JumpCut – another great online editing tool that let you upload video/images from your PC, Flickr and Facebook and create short movies.

With Denver PL’s recent YouTube contest (a very kewl koncept) and some of these free tools, anyone can become an amateur Spielberg or Kubrick and best of all... have lots of fun doing it. :)


Library Management - Why it sucks?

George Needham tackles the question “Why does Library management suck?” this month over at WebJunction and offers some advice on hard questions to ask yourself when looking at hiring individuals for key management roles in your organization or thinking about jumping into management yourself:

  • Can you be honest with your governing authority?
  • Can you talk with your staff about their performance?
  • Can you share information?
  • Can you let go?

Read the full article for the details and advice.



Speaking to the Tidewater Area Library Director’s Council this morning about Web 2.0/Learning 2.0 in Williamsburg, VA was a pleasure. The conversation was enlightening. The accommodations, enjoyable. And the companionship, engaging (thanks again Elizabeth for serving as my tour guide) – Yup, there are those “e” words again.

Anyway, as added bonus to traveling to speak this great group of public library directors from the Virginia/DC area, I also had the opportunity to hear both Nancy Davenport and Jim Rettig speak on their candidacy for ALA presidency -- and I didn’t even have to attend mid-winter. :)

For those of you that were in attendance, here is a copy of my slides. I’m so thrilled to hear that as a larger organization you’re looking at continuing the conversation and launching some 2.0 learning opportunities for staff of your own. Engage, empower & evolve - Yup that’s what Librarees are all about. :)

Librarees: Encouraging Participation, Empowering Users (.pdf)


Filed under “observations in between”

Like many bloggers, I like to use this space to note items that catch my attention or offer me a frame of reference to refer back to at a later time. This is one of those posts… it’s not specifically library related. Nor does it have much to do with technology. Instead this is one of those posts that I’d file away in that empty gray area that occupies "everything in between." Read on if you like, or come back tomorrow when we'll resume our regularly scheduled broadcast. :)

Business 2.0 asked 50 CEOs, entrepreneurs and outside-the-box thinkers what advice they’d give for achieving success in 2007. As you might expect, there were lots of great thoughts from practice constructive dissatisfaction (yup, it sounded like an oxymoron to me too the first time around) to keep unlearning to stay smart (this one I really like). Anyway, there are some great thoughts here … especially the last one I highlighted (from Dunder-Miffen Paper exec. Michael Scott – aka “The Office” manager)

Read all 50 ---->Business 2.0: How to Succeed in 2007

PS: On 2nd thought, I think it's easy to see that many of these ideas can do relate to library services. But since I'm not up for a lengthy post, I'll let you draw your own conclusions. :)


Participation – it’s a powerful word

I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again… "it’ a very exciting time to be an 'information professional' ” Information is changing all around us. The channels it travels on are changing and now even the way it’s promoted by mainstream media is changing. Just last week Gannett (publishers of USAToday & 90 other newspapers) announced that they were going to start using crowdsourcing to help gather news stories and tonight I stumbled across this at the Wisconsin State Journal site -------------->

Participation is a powerful word these days. It seems users are no longer satisfied with just being consumers of information, they value participation in the creation of it too!

So here's a question, how can we make libraries and services more participatory too? Last week one staff member in the 24th Thing shared this new idea ... why not survey patrons and allow them to submit and vote on best books? Her point was that there are all these expert lists out there touting what books people like best and what they should read, so why not let library users participate in a poll that they create which becomes your library's own list of best reads?

It's a great idea and an even greater way to help promote and elevate your library as a community resource. Invite your users to participate in the creation and they feel a sense of ownership.

A year of searches

What do the terms “Danish Cartoon”, “Steve Erwin”, “Zidane head butt” and “Mermaid costumes” have in common?

They’re all top search terms used in 2006 on Yahoo.

Take a look Yahoo’s Top Searches 2006 for an interactive year in review. Note: It looks like December is not calculated yet, so there’s still time to throw off the results. :)

Emerging Tech Manager

Things are shifting a bit here at PLCMC with an energized effort to utilize the library's Virtual Village facility as a center for innovation and emerging technologies. And along with this shift, I'm pleased to share in Matt's announcement that he will be assuming new responsibilities as the Emerging Technology Manager of VV.

For those of you who don't know Matt Gullett, you can learn more from his 2006 M&S trendsetter profile. And for those that of you that do... we'll then you already know why I'm so thrilled to have him join the team.

Welcome Matt!


NetFlix, Amazon & Delivery 2.0

"future users will have access to multiple discovery experiences (ways to find the books) which are connected to multiple fulfillment services (ways to get the books) via service routers. Library holdings would be among the items being ‘discovered.’ Dempsey envisions a registry of services that would match users to their delivery options based on their location, preferences and affiliations. Calhoun sees the possibility of the library catalog providing that delivery service function. In other words, one way or another, users will eventually require multiple delivery options…multiple options for fulfilling their request."

Great article & worth a careful read.
Library Delivery 2.0: Delivering Library Materials in the Age of NetFlix

Brainfodder: Fulfillment Services? Now that's department I'd love to see in a library's org chart, wouldn't you? :)


The 24th Thing ...

It's been a busy week dominated by several staff workshops and discussions about the 24th Thing. What is the 24th Thing you ask? Well it's really whatever you want it to be. Through three engaging staff workshops this week, we discussed and explored ways to use the 23 things that staff learned about in Learning 2.0 to benefit our library's patrons and staff. The ideas generated were really awesome... everything from putting library clips on Youtube and providing podcasts of storytimes for kids (for that Fisher-Price MP3/FP3 player crowd) to offering L2 for patrons and creating a staff "facebook" on Flickr.

During the sessions we tried out a new method of capturing data by having staff members works in teams and add their thoughts about three questions to surveymonkey with their wireless laptops. It worked out well and the bonus is that it saved me from retyping all the data. Here are the results ...

In addition to capturing the results from the 24th thing discussions in a survey format, we also used the old paper and marker technique to capture words that describe libraries. Yup, you guessed it, they were "e" words to match our library's mission statement. These you can view on my Flicker gallery. :)

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Because I can't say it any better ...

head on over and read Tony's reaction to SJL's artice A Matter of (Radical) Trust:

"Though I understand that the writer of this article was coming mostly from perspective of a public school setting, my reaction was one of "did he just say what I thought he said?" ...and the sounds of a thousand balloons deflating could have been piped in as the soundtrack for the moment I read the last sentence. The writer begins his last paragraph by saying "...let me state very clearly that radical trust is just not going to work." (Once again insert a thousand balloons deflating)."

I'm just curious, did you hear balloons deflating too???

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Computer tools that support learners

Luv it! Check out this awesome page, developed by Rod Corbett, that maps out the uses for various online tools.

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Search vs. Discovery

Fortune magazine has an interesting article this month The Race to Create a smart "Google" which speaks to the notion of creating discovery options via recommendation systems rather then simply focusing on generating good search results. The article's a good read, but this particular passage caught my fancy ...

"The Web, they say, is leaving the era of search and entering one of discovery. What's the difference? Search is what you do when you're looking for something. Discovery is when something wonderful that you didn't know existed, or didn't know how to ask for, finds you."

... and it made me ponder this related thought -- that "discovery" is really one of those notions that helps set librarians apart. Those that excel at their skills know how to turn a simple homework help inquiry or a readers' advisory question into an "ah-ha" moment with sparks of brilliance. :)

On another thought (which is back to the original point of the article)... how do library catalogs currently address "discovery"? Or perhaps the better question is, how should we?


RCPL announces Tech Challenge

10 weeks... 10 missions... 10 new fun & exciting things to learn ... and a chance to win fabulous prizes too!

Richland County Public Library, Columbia SC announces their Tech Challenge. What a great initiative for any library's Emerging Technology Committee to spearhead!

RCPL's Tech Challenge - Can't wait to see what you challenges you've cooked up & hope you'll share. [hint, hint] :)

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Eye4You: Teen Second Life Library

Wanna keep up with all the latest developments and conversations going on with the development of the Teen Library on Second Life's under-18 grid? Then grab a feed to YouthTech's Eye4You Alliance blog.

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More thoughts on that "T" word ...

To some degree I feel as if I’m channeling Michael or Jenny as I’m nodding my head in agreement and saying “Yes... YES!” to a colleague’s recent comment on my blog.

“Yes! to "transparency!" This is a concept that I've been thinking much about lately. I think it is--as you note--one of the cornerstones of L2. It really has to be. By keeping our growth, functions, learning curves, you-name-it, transparent there is much less room for miscommunication, for misunderstanding--and most importantly, dishonesty. All of these things may seem so heady and abstract to be spinning out of a discussion of technology, but again I go back to the idea that technology is not the "thing itself" is what it represents, what it brings up for us as individuals or as an organization--in this case growth. A commitment to transparency says that we are growing together, creating a stronger community together.”

Thanks Tony for letting me post this gem. I couldn’t agree more! Growth is the one of best outcomes of transparency… and who couldn’t use more of that?

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Feeling sticky? It could be the peanut butter

Posts about the Peanut Butter Manifesto (an internal memo from Yahoo senior VP Brad Garlinghouse ) have been all over the internet today. But in reading it, I couldn't help but think that some of the ideas brought out in this letter sound surprising similar to some of the issues I've seen posted in biblioblogosphere that libraries also struggle with...

"We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company. We want to do everything and be everything -- to everyone. We've known this for years, talk about it incessantly, but do nothing to fundamentally address it. We are scared to be left out. We are reactive instead of charting an unwavering course. We are separated into silos that far too frequently don't talk to each other. And when we do talk, it isn't to collaborate on a clearly focused strategy, but rather to argue and fight about ownership, strategies and tactics.

We lack decisiveness. Combine a lack of focus with unclear ownership, and the result is that decisions are either not made or are made when it is already too late. Without a clear and focused vision, and without complete clarity of ownership, we lack a macro perspective to guide our decisions and visibility into who should make those decisions. We are repeatedly stymied by challenging and hairy decisions. We are held hostage by our analysis paralysis."

Wait, there's more the full text: Wall Street Journal: The ‘Peanut Butter Manifesto’

Does it feel sticky where you are?


Acquisition Battles

As the acquisition war continues --Note Yahoo just purchased (a pretty cool karaoke contest site that can offer hours of entertainment) and MyBloglog – this little timeline tool is great for keeping up with battle between the big three - Google, Yahoo & Microsoft.


Today's thoughts and inspiration ...

I took out an ink pen and circled this passage while reading the October issue of Fast Company on a recent flight home. Today I found it again online ...

"Ultimately, though, the critical skill for Scher is knowing how to stay fresh, to keep challenging herself by tapping into what she calls the "charm of ignorance." When you're feeling stale, she says, the best thing you can do to shake things up is to "look at what you've been doing for the past five years--and stop. The thing that's most to be feared is doing the same thing over and over again."

From Fast Company - Masters of Design: The Word Smith

PS: Have a I mentioned lately that I *heart* this publication. :)


Hot trends & video screens made of concrete - seriously!

Via Alane at It’s All Good last week I discovered a new list of hot trends outlined by the folks over in Denmark at Innovation Labs. This spring I had the pleasure of meeting several librarians from the Aarhus Main Library, Aarhus Denmark (who partners with IL to test out some really cool things in the library’s 3000 square foot “Transformation Lab.”) - doesn't that sound like a fun place to work play?

Anyway here’s a recap of the Ten Hottest Trends:
  1. Customermade
  2. Geo-Awareness
  3. Thing Connection
  4. Virtual Worlds
  5. Web Applications - The Next Generation
  6. Digital Product Placement
  7. Web Video
  8. Mixed Reality
  9. Expanded Search
  10. Humanitarian Technology

Also, I know I’ve said this before, but those Danes really do, do some cool stuff. Need proof? Then check out this Youtube video ( scroll down in page) of a prototype for a video screen made from concrete -- Wow! Now that’s innovation!

Customizing Learning 2.0

(or tips on De-PLCMC-izing the exercises)

Thinking of duplicating Learning 2.0 for your staff and are wondering which exercises might need a little bit of reworking to make them work for your organization better? Here's my suggestions ...

  • #5 - Flickr exercise - This exercise suggests that participates use PLCMCL2 to tag any images they upload to Flickr. To make this more relevant to your library, I'd suggest coming up with a unique tag of your own.
  • # 14 - Tagging in Technorati - ditto. Go the unique tag route so participants can see blog posts tagged by your own staff members.
  • #17 - Wiki Sand box - Since this wiki is already so heavily populated with "favorites" from PLCMC staff, I might suggest that you create your own wiki sandbox using PBwiki. It's really very easy, just give it a try.
  • #22 - Netlibrary - If your library/organization does not subscribe to this service, then I would suggest substituting this exercise for one of your own. Can't think of any? Why not have staff explore MySpace & FaceBook and see how other libraries are using these social networking sites to reach out to users.

That's it -- I think? Everything else is pretty much fully usable in its current format. So if you're thinking about doing the program for your location, let me know and once you have it developed I can add you to the list. So far I know of nearly 2 dozen libraries that are looking at or in the process of doing a Learning 2.0 program of their own, but only 2 so far have completed their development and/or launched the program:

Yarra Plenty Library System Melbourne, Australia - already launched and flying with success! :)
Missouri River Regional Library Jefferson City, MO - They're doing 29 things. Yeah for MRRL! :)

Let me know & I'll add yours :)

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Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto – The YouTube video

Check out this very cool video on YouTube created by Soren Johannessen that put Laura Cohen's recent Librarian 2.0 Manifesto to film. The manifesto itself is brilliant, the video just makes it more outstanding...

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Fab Friday Salute

Yup, it’s Friday again and this time I have two salutes. My first salute reiterates my earlier congrats to PLCMC’s Web Services team for all their hard work on the redesign of the PLCMC site. The beta site looks great! Can't wait for it to officially go live. :)

As for my second salute, this one goes out to Julie Brophy, Teen Specialist at ImaginOn.

Recently our library relaxed the internet usage policy for children under 12 so that kids can use the Internet with parental permission without a guardian being present. Like with most policy changes, this new policy was released to staff with a Q&A covering all the various questions and situations that staff members might be asked. Julie took these staff scripts and with the help of teens made a short video for staff to help cover the training...

Thanks Julie! What a creative way to repackage and deliver this information to staff regarding the change!

Hmmm... Now if only we can just repackage that Internet Agreement form in a more fun and engaging format too ... [thinking]

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One more L2 Thought ...

Opps, I just thought of one that I missed (and it's a biggie!!)

Practice transparency & enable radical trust

I think of these as being two of the cornerstones to the whole Library 2.0 movement, and in a learning environment designed to introduce staff members to these new technologies that empower library users it also means that your library needs to trust your staff and practice transparency when it comes to communcating with them. This was a huge part of the whole Learning 2.0 program and from my experience it's was a win-win for library employees and administration all around. :)

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Nine Seven Best Practices on Learning 2.0 & Two Additions

Program Note: In reviewing my earlier posting, I can't believe I left out two important best practices. Yup, I guess my withdrawal symptoms were worse then I thought. :) See list below, it's updated now.

It's been a week since the finale of Learning 2.0 and I think I've finally gotten over RSS feed withdrawal. For the last 13 weeks the participants in L2 have overloaded my Bloglines account so much so that when the program came to abrupt end last Wednesday it actually felt odd to not have 80-200 new posts to skim through each night. :)

Anyway, the good news is that my family is now relieved to have clean laundry back on regular weekly schedule and my withdrawal symptoms have ceased enough over the last few days for me to jot down some thoughts about this whole experience -- that is before I forget everything. :)

In the past few weeks I've had several libraries contact me asking for guidance in creating their own Learning 2.0 programs and while I can't say that I have all the answers, what I can offer is a list of my Best Practices or Lessons Learned from my experience. So here they are in no particular order. Note: I'll apologize in advance for this lengthy post but I don't want to cut out any thoughts that might be useful to someone else duplicating the program, so if you're interested read away ...

Learning 2.0 Thoughts & Best Practices:

  • Don't confuse learning with training - In the ideal world training and learning are linked together, but as anyone who has stood in front of a classroom and looked at sea of blank stares can tell you, this is not always true. In order for participants to learn, they must be a) engaged and b) have motivation. These were two elements that Learning 2.0 took advantage of the most. Encouraging the participants to engage in their own learning discoveries and providing motivation (via the incentives) as way to jump on board.

    The breakthrough of the program itself is that it did not involve one bit of classroom or workshop instruction nor were any handouts or cheat sheets designed to support the exercises. Instead, it was purely built upon the notion of lifelong learning and encouraging self-discovery and fun. And the biggest plus to it all was that the program itself was built using the very same free tools that it encouraged staff members to explore. :)

  • Design the program for late bloomers - One of the things that I built into the program was an extra month of discovery time at the end. This was initially done to assist staff who might run into time commitments along the way, but in retrospect it offer the greatest benefit in allowing staff to jump on board late in the program and still have ample time to complete it. Let's face it, the majority of your staff that need the exposure to the tools and technology introduced through Learning 2.0 program probably aren't your library's early adapters. Instead they're late bloomers - and valuable staff members at that. From my experience, the vast majority of the participants didn't jump into the L2 pool until the 4th, 5th and 6th weeks. In fact at week 9 & 10, I still had new staff steadily joining in at a rate of 6-8/week. Also of equal importance to adding extra time at the end, was my decision to use the first two weeks of the program to build excitement and gently reintroduce the concepts of self-discovery and lifelong learning to staff before they were encouraged to jump into the deep end.

  • Allow participants to blog anonymously – Keeping in mind that many staff members might not feel comfortable posting their thoughts openly on worldwide web (especially if they had to have their name associated with it) it's good to allow participants to jump into the 2.0 pool with a cloak of anonymity. Well over 80% of the participants chose this option and it in fact added to the fun of the program as staff tried to figure out who was who. For tracking purposes participants did have to post their progress in a log file contained on our staff intranet, but this information was not shared with other staff and was only used to track eligibility for earning incentives.

  • Use 1.0 methods to continually communicate. - Most participants kept up with the exercises either through the links provided in a weekly emails or through the staff Intranet. Don’t expect participants to use 2.0 technologies (RSS) to keep up with the program. You need to use technologies that they are already comfortable with in order to continually reach and encourage them.

  • Focus on “discovery” & offer challenges – Since many staff might not have the technical skills or equipment to “upload a picture to Flickr” or “insert a LibraryThing widget” in their blog, the basic exercises within Learning 2.0 tried to focused merely on easy discovery and offered optional challenges for those who wanted to do more. This allowed participants to explore but not feel so pressured to do the hard stuff. But even so, I gotta tell ya that most participants tried to do the challenges -- yup, this confirms it -- libraries are full of high achievers. :)

  • Encourage staff to work together – This was the singular reason, I think, for the high staff completion rate at many of our locations. At branch locations, like Steele Creek, University City and Myers Park (just to name a few) staff pulled together and paired up to make their learning and discovery process more fun. Through the learning and knowledge exchanging process, self-proclaimed tech novices became experienced discovers and Learning 2.0 tutors and in turned gained confidence in their own skills. This was a great outcome and one that would have most likely never happened in the traditional teacher/student environment -- and to think it was all from just a little bit of encouragement to have fun and play!

  • It’s not about “doing IT right” - One of the most important things that I had to keep in mind throughout the 13 weeks of the program while reviewing all the blog posts by participants was that it wasn’t about doing the exercises correctly. But rather Learning 2.0 was really more about providing staff with “exposure” to these new tools and just encouraging them to get out their comfort zone. I don't think this core idea discounts the notion that staff should also have knowledge about how to use these tools, but the first step in gaining knowledge is really exposure. Once you have a little bit of information behind you it's gives you the confidence to seek and learn more.

  • Practice transparency & enable radical trust - I think of these as being two of the cornerstones to the whole Library 2.0 movement, and in a learning environment designed to introduce staff members to these new technologies that empower library users it also means that your library needs to trust your staff and practice transparency when it comes to communicating with them. Allowing them to blog openly is a huge part of radical trust and from my experience with Learning 2.0 it's been a win-win for library employees and administration all around. :)

  • And last not but least … Continually encourage staff to “Play” - For some reason this is very hard for most librarians and staff to do and it seemed to be the learning habit cited as being “most difficult” by the majority of participants. You might chock it up to library staff having strong work ethics, but the truth is that librarians really do need to adopt a “continuous play strategy” in order to keep their skills and knowledge fresh. So encouraging “play” was very important to the program because after all, everyone learns better when they’re having fun!

As for the “two additions” noted in the title of this post, they are a “how-would-I-do-things-differently-the-next-time.” item and an observation:

  • If there was one thing I would have done a bit differently in this self-discovery program it would have been to define the blogging requirements a bit more. Over all, most of the participants (85-90 %) did use their blogs to provide meaningful posts about their discoveries, but like any initiative there were some staff that did the bare bones minimum (like just include a link to a photo or a website). In retrospect I would have defined the blogging requirement a bit more these participants... “Your discovery posts for each exercise must contain substance and provide insights into what you’ve learned. And if you don’t know how to measure “substance”, then make sure your posts are no less than 100- 125 words."

  • It seems that you can never allocate enough “time” for library staff to complete the program, for it didn't seem to matter if the participant completed the program 6 weeks ahead of time or 6 hours before the deadline, almost everyone said they would have liked more time to complete the program (even though there was extra 4 weeks of discovery time added on at the end).

    Throughout it all, I think most of the requests for additional time were in regards to having more "work time" on a daily basis to participate in the program rather then extending the length of the program, for even among the 112 that completed by the L2`early bird date of Oct 7th (3.5 weeks early) there was a trend in staff members 23rd things posts (this was the last post that asked them to reflect upon their learning and the program) that they wanted more time.

    Reflecting on this trend, I think Procrastination is one of those adult habits that are hardest to break and I have come to the conclusion that even if participants had been given a year to complete the program, it still would have not been enough. The truth is that with these web 2.0 tools “Life comes as you fast!” And if the announcement of the Invention of the Year by Time magazine this week is any indication (it’s YouTube btw) then we need to realize that continuous discovery and learning needs to be an integral part of every staff member’s day-to-day activities and not something we can just put off because it's not convenient. Being knowledgeable of trends, tools and new information channels IS a part of our business no matter what form they come in, and as general rule I think librarians need to be more proactive in forging their own learning habits and continually challenging themselves to keep up with the curve. And if there's one Web 2.0 tool that librarians should be knowledgeable of it's RSS & new aggregators, for they are a godsend at meeting this challenge. :)

Anyway, those are my thoughts – all nine of them at best. If you’ve made it to the bottom of this long and lengthy post, thanks for sticking with me. And if you’re thinking about doing a Learning 2.0 program of your own, I’ll leave you with the invitation to feel free to use the site and contact me for suggestions ( there are a few exercises that might work better if you de-PLCMC-ize them) And last but not least, think seriously about offering incentives because ... Yes, “they do work!!”

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On calling the "kettle black" ... opps I mean "literacy illiterate"

Stephen Abram says it best as only Stephen can ...
"Why do we market one of our key products and competencies under the term 'information literacy'. Is it great marketing to make your customers admit to to being illiterate in order to buy into your service? Are Beauty Salons called Ugly Repair Rooms? Is perfume called stink remover and marketed to smelly folks who must admit that in the first step of a 12 step program? Are we founding Library Illiterates Anonymous without the anonymous? So let's remember that amongst us chickens, the professionals who know the deep stuff, we can call it information literacy but for others let's find other words that meet our goals better. Let's find better marketing hooks to lure in the great unwashed information user."

I agree, keep it fun!! And I'm especially intrigued by Pimp Your Research Skills. Hmmm... I wonder, do I need to wear 4 inch heels to deliver this training? If so, I'll definitely need some good "research bling." :)

Read the full text, Information Fluency

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On telling “our story”

If I’ve heard this stated once, I’ve heard it paraphased at least a hundred times in my tenure here at PLCMC …

“People don’t know what we do because we don’t do a very good job in telling the library’s story”

And as I heard this echoed again just last week, it dawned on me ... perhaps the problem isn’t that people don’t know what libraries do; it’s that we’re too focused on trying to tell “our story" to listen to our users trying to tell “theirs”.

The “story” we should really be telling is NOT the “library’s story” but rather the “community’s (ie our users) stories” and it’s really our users (and their needs) that make libraries valuable, not us!

Yup, can you tell I’m in a reflective mood? Just don’t get me started on … :)

A library image party ...

I love discovering great ideas that intrigue me … JPG magazine.

"JPG is a magazine. It's published 6 times a year by 8020 Publishing. Check out the back issues. The photos in the magazine come from you!"

Personally I’d love to see JPG publish an issue showcasing libraries, wouldn’t you? So why not join me in suggesting the theme:)

Here’s the list of current themes. Yup I can just see it now, can't you?

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PLCMC in Beta ...

After much anticipation, I’m pleased to share in the excitement that the new PLCMC website is officially open for preview. During the month of November, we running our new site in beta and soliciting feedback from users to help us continually improve the site.

Some of you may recall that we held focus groups with library users way back in the early spring which helped us revaluate our initial designs for the new site. After several development diversions this year, including the much needed and well received online payment of fines & fees application, the new PLCMC site is finally ready for launch.

My favorite part of the home page are the photos of patrons and staff interacting and I love the fact that you can set your home page to your favorite branch and always see a smiling face of a user that loves your home location as much as you whenever you visit.

What’s next? Well in addition to adding more RSS feeds, I hope we’ll see lots of other little improvements over the coming months … Stay tuned. :)

Congrats Chuck, Ian, Paul & Curtis! You guys deserve an early Fab Friday Salute for pulling this one together so well.

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Libraries & open infosystems …

I would have loved to have been a fly on wall at the SJL’s recent Leadership Summit, but reading through Joyce Valenza’s recap of the conversation on her blog Never Ending Search is nearly just as good ...

“We are now part of an open infosystem, though we may have been trained in an era of information scarcity. Information used to be not easy to find, expensive, hard to get to. The current situation is one of information ubiquity. We make a huge mistake when we make a firewall line between approved library information and the other data students find. We lost that battle—information gathering has left the building. We can no longer say, “Don’t go there—come here instead.” Learning happens nights and weekends when we’re not looking. It is not accurate to expect that it will all take place in an area we will control.”

Read the full post of thoughts and while you’re at it, add Joyce to your newsreader too!"

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Success Stories needed ...

Are you a small or rural public library that has found some success in maintaining your library's public access PCs and/or technology services? Well, your stories are needed...

The MaintainIT Project ( is gathering stories on how libraries maintain computers and Internet services for their communities. From the information collected, the Project will create best practice guides tailored to different types of public libraries and will distribute the free guides beginning in Spring 2007.

Librarians, IT staff, and technology consultants are invited to share both challenges in keeping public computers running as well as successes and lessons learned. Stories can be submitted online at or by contacting the project at maintainit[at], or 415-633-9390 and 800-659-3579 x 390.

Until December 15, the emphasis is on gathering stories from small, rural libraries, as the first guide will be oriented towards your needs.

The MaintainIT Project is a three-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. MaintainIT is a project of TechSoup, a nonprofit serving fellow nonprofits and public libraries with technology information, resources, and product donations.

PS: I've recently joined the MaintainIT Steering Committee, so please feel free to also contact me with your stories too. The project would love to hear from you.

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L2 Finale & Video

Wow what a journey the last 3 months have been since Learning 2.0 was first kicked off for staff back in August. For me the journey has been incredible in that I've been totally amazed by the energy, enthusiasm, learning and sharing that has come from the staff participating in this program. They all have truly inspired me and I can't help but think that in many ways it's this type of "learning" experience (fun, engaging and social) that our patrons crave too! I'm not specifically talking about doing a Learning 2.0 program for patrons -- although it has been tossed around -- but rather it's the "experience" part that is important to the learning process and this transcends to the services and offerings in our physical spaces too!

Anyway... I know that some of you are curious to know how the final numbers played out. In all 362 staff members joined in this experience and created a blog (that's 67% of our 540 member staff) and 226 completed the program (which is 101 more than my original goal for this optional voluntary program) and earned the MP3 player. And among all the final thought posts (see them tagged here) only 3 staff members indicated that they didn't feel their participation was worth it - and even so, they still recieved an MP3 player. :)

I plan to sum up the lessons learned from this program over the next few days and post my thoughts so that other libraries that have either started a Learning 2.0 program or are looking at developing one can benefit from PLCMC's experience.

In closing, I just have to say that this has been perhaps the most rewarding experience of my ten years here at PLCMC so far and the icing-on-the-cake to it all has been in reading and hearing from staff how very much they appreciated the encouragement and time to just "play" and "learn."

More later ... but for now pop on over to Learning 2.0 to see my YouTube video of closing remarks. :)

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Learn ... 2.0 & the big E !!

a hillary weber original
Originally uploaded by aaron schmidt.
Thanks to Aaron Schmidt, this image showed up in my email yesterday with this comment...

"my friend hillary painted this about two years ago. after IL06, I
noticed what she wrote in the lower right corner. not only does it say
"learn" and " 2.0" but she put the letter "e" right by it."

Wow! Coincidence ? --and it's a captial E too! Or is Hillary Weber a genius? I think it may be a little of both :)

Thanks Aaron for sharing this inspiration. What a great painting!

Here's a close up of the corner.


New site ...

Yup! Here's the new site. As you can see it's a work in progress and one that I plan to work on a bit more once I have more time this weekend. In the meantime the final 24 hours of Learning 2.0 call. Staff are blogging fast & furious -- Can you say 212 blog posts fast three times? :)

Anyways I'm off to bed and will get rid of that GoDaddy ad stuff later this week (and also recover a few images that didn't migrate well)... in the meantime here's to a new home (and a shorter blog title too!)

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Fab Friday WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew there was some type of reason or karma around the fact that I neglected to post last Friday's Fab Salute and this morning I discovered just exactly why --- the Teen Read Week party at ImaginON!!!

After viewing all the Flickr photos I can only shout out a huge "WOW!" to Michele Gorman for planning and coordinating such a hugely successful event. I mean look at the photos ... 1800+ teens, lines of people around the block clammering to get into the library, jousting, dance party competion, rock wall climbing, 300+ books bundles given away, and what a fun way to celebrate Teen Read Week.

Here's just a few photos to share, but you can view the full set here.

Anyway, as I've already said, Michele Gorman, Teen Services Manager at ImaginOn was the mastermind behind this awesome event! I mean honestly, have you ever heard of 1800+ teens attending a Teen Read week event? Wow! WOW! WOW!!!!!! Just take a look at these fabulous photos -- Doesn't this look AMAZING ?!!!

Congrats to Michele, her team and all the volunteers who helped with this event -- I'll say it again ... WOW!!!

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Learning 2.0 Update

Opps! I left my flash drive at home with my Learning 2.0 slides on it from my recent talk at IL2006 but will post the .pdf from my talk this weekend. My presentation is now online at -- Yup, I couldn't resist trying out this new online storage site - 1 gb Free :)

Learning 2.0 slides - .pdf

Anyway, if you missed the talk or want a recap of what I covered, here's a few links to review:

Thanks Sarah, Meredith & David for doing such an excellent job on blogging the session. It saves me from remembering what I did and did not cover in the morning's blurr. :)

PS: It was also great to finally meet the three of you too and put a friendly face to your blogs. :)

PSS: The numbers for L2 are up - 360 blogs created, 165 MP3 players given away and still 4 days left to the big laptop drawing.:)

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Putting the "e" in Library ...

Lately I’ve found myself thinking a lot that it’s too bad that the word "library" doesn’t have an “e” in it, because the big “E” is really what libraries are all about.

I know, I know … I’ve probably lost a few you with that opening comment, but bare with me a bit, here’s why …

Have you ever noticed that all the great descriptive words/vowels that describe libraries start with an “e”? educating, empowering, expanding, entertaining, enjoying, experiencing, enriching, enlightening, evolving, etc 

In fact in my own library system, PLCMC, we have adopted a new mission statement in the last year that encompasses (Yup, there’s another great “e” word again) 3 E’s: Expanding minds, empowering individuals, enriching the community” My favorite “e” among these is the middle one “empowering” for this to me this is really the core value of what libraries are all about – empowering the individual.

I know that some libraries have capitalized on and used the “i” to create an emphasis on libraries as an information destination. But with the changing climate I think libraries are becoming less and less associated with this word which defines libraries as knowledge gathering institutions (that’s an “i” word that sounds a bit stoic, doesn’t it?) and more and more connected with words that evoke feelings of empowerment and enjoyable experiences – at least I hope that this is many libraries' goal.

So here’s to my unofficial movement to modify the spelling of the word library a bit … what do you think about “librery” or “libraree”? I know it looks strange doesn’t it? But with so many great “e” words to describe the role of libraries in their communities today I think in a fun way it just kind of makes sense. :)

Anyone want to join me?


Ms. Dewey

Wow - What a fun concept (and with attitude too!)

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The day's recap & a most pleasant ending ...

(Note: I still need to update this post with more links, but the next conference is calling, so I gotta go...)

Wow what a day… and what a pleasure to share the stage and program with Jenny Levine & Michael Stephens this am and talk about Learning 2.0 It was disappointing that Michael Casey couldn’t make the conference, but I was happy to finally meet Laura Savastinuk , the co-author of Library 2.0 book that is soon to be published.

Anyway, I spoke about Learning 2.0 and was happy to discover (& meet) some of the bibliobloggers that I have been following for awhile. Several blogged the 1st session and as usual Michael Stephens rocked !

For the majority of the day I hung around the Public Library Futures track and took in…

  • Stephen Abrams talk on Persona in Action – I’m fascinated by this concept and am really interested in the study process that goes into developing these. I myself probably best fall into the Mommy persona that he identified.

  • Sarah Houghton-Jan (aka Librarian in black) talked Online Outreach for Public Libraries and covered a 16 ways that libraries should be extending themselves virtually to make sure they’re where their customers can find them. I found the item that talked about scanning the peer reviews sites a good one. Note to self - haven’t done this in a while for PLCMC- need to!

  • David Lee King followed Sarah excellent talk with a session on Web-based Experience Planning and use several great examples of companies that focus on the “experience” The Build-a-Bear one really hit home for me, since it was just over a week ago that I took my girls to BaB for a wardrobe upgrade (I found it’s cheaper to to convinced the choopas to bring their old bear and buy one new outfit than to let them acquire a new stuffed friend that they don’t really need.) Anyway, the neat thing at BaB when you do this, is that tagged your old friend with a special pass called the VIB -Very Important Bear. Yup! clever marketing and again, it’s all about the experience. David also showed how Flickr took a system failure message and turned it into a positive fun experience for users. I really loved this one and it made me think… if we do another huge ILS upgrade that requires takes our catalog offline for a day or two again, what could we do to trun the experience into positive one for our users. … hmm… [ thinking ]

  • Lori Bell, Michael Sauers & Tom Peters spoke on Second Life and this for me had to be the most memorable session of the day. Lori is just delightful to hear speak and left the audience including myself in stitches with comments about avatars loving Info Island because they are tied of “sex and gambling”. And she’s completely right, the online pornography and gambling business does lead the way in innovative developments and Second Life isn’t an acceptation. Later in the evening I joined the SL folks (including Matt Gullet) for dinner and enjoyed lively conversation. I’m truly impressed by what the SL Info Island folks are building in both a 3D universe and partnerships with other organizations with SL.

  • Last but not least I joined in the audience for Kathyrn Deiss and Matt Gullet’s talk on developing Synergy between IT & Library Cultures and enjoyed their open discussion on building building better services. Matt put up a great slide about definitions that distinguished the differences of how different cultures define and look at their user-base. User, Patron, Customer, Public. I’ll need to get definitions again, but it was excellent point that rung home.

Wow! What a lot to pack into one day… and to top that off, I also got to meet the coordinators and presenters who will be contributing to the 5 Weeks to a Social Library program early next year. This program sounds like it’s going a be a great opportunity for libraries all over the county, since all the training materials (podcasts, screencasts) from the program will be archived and available for free.

Anyway it was long day, but a very enjoyable one and the best surprise the entire was this little find in my RSS feeds (after just giving a talk this morning about Learning 2.0 and how other libraries could use the site and duplicate it) …

The Missouri River Regional Library is doing their own Learning Library 2.0 -- 29 things, 11 weeks … Awesome! Thanks MRRL for making my day

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23 Things on 43 Things

Ok …it’s confession time. I hate to admit this, but I had almost completely forgotten that I set up the list of Learning 2.0 23 Things on the 43 Things website way back in June so that if there were folks that stumbled across from outside the PLCMC system, they would also have some type of tool to track their progress with.

Since the beginning I have been following all along on the blogs of 2 dozen or so people who did sent me an email and ask to have their blog added to list. But with 352 PLCMC blogs (about 200 seem active on any given week) on the participant list, the 43 Things list just kinda drop off my radar IYKWIM. So when I noticed an a lot of hits on the L2 site coming from 43 Things, my memory was jogged. :)

Imagine my surprise to see so much action on the 43 Things website (compete with lots of great feedback and comments about the exercises and the program) -- and it’s comments like these that really make me smile ...

And since it’s seems that I have been asked this at least a dozen times this past week, I’ll reiterate it here...

No, there are no plans to take the Learning 2.0 site & it’s 23 learning discovery exercises down. It will remain up there as long as Blogger keeps it and with luck it may even morph into more learning opportunities in the near future. :)

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Fab Friday Salute

As the Learning 2.0 program enters the 7th inning stretch over here at PLCMC, there are lots of neat and inspiring stories I hope to share once I finally recap this adventure for other libraries out there who may be looking duplicate it. And among these inspirations is fellow staff member Rosemary Lands.

Rosemary is a genealogy specialist in our North Carolina Room and as I learned at last week's All Staff Day, she has put in over 35 years of service with PLCMC making her one of the most senior (in years of service only :) ) librarians on our staff. I have always known that Rosemary was an exceptional historical researcher and after Learning 2.0 I also now know that she is an early technology adapter and life long learner as well.

Rosemary, I can't tell you how impressed I've been with with your energy, enthusiasm and willingness to just explore and learn - even after 35 years in the system :). And as I said a member of Administration last week ... "Whoever hired Rosemary Lands hired a great one!!" ... and I really meant it!

Thanks Rosemary for inspiring me. You truly set a the standard in my mind of what a lifelong learning librarian is - Thanks! :)

FYI: Rosemary's blog is Read On Carolina.

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As seen on Craig's List ...

As seen on Craig's List ... You wouldn't hire a librarian to build a skyscraper now would you?

Click for larger image

On management & leadership (Part 2)

Like most people I've often thought that Donald Trump needed to get a new stylist, but I've never faulted him for his approach to management & leadership. Here's a great slide I discovered via Checking out and checking in ...

focus on energizing people
Originally uploaded by circulating.

Post #1 on the M vs L (or Control vs Power)

And on a side note, I thought I'd share my personal favorite quote about leadership.

"A leader brings out the best in themselves by bringing out the best in others." -HBlowers

Yup, I wrote this myself nearly 20 years ago when I started my first job as a hotel rooms manager for Hyatt. I think it's funny how I've kept this thought rumbling around in my brain for so long... and yes, in case you're wondering, I'll be the first to admit that even on my good days I still find myself striving to achieve this "best."


Tech Express redux ...

I know I’ve said this before, but those folks at the SC State Library really have it going on. Today I had pleasure to meet with their talented team of staff developers/trainers to help flesh out plans for their upcoming Tech Tracks series which is a follow-up to the great Tech Express program they pulled off in September. If you’re a SC public library staff member, you definitely need to take advantage of these workshop offerings that will include RSS/Blogging, Tagging, Social Software, IM and Podcasting. So come on ... what are you waiting for? Sign up now!

Anyway, as an added bonus to my trip, I also learned that local PBS station (that taped the Tech Express event) has also posted the video that they captured of Stephen Abrams, Jenny Levine & Michael Stephen’s talks on the web – very cool! So if you missed hearing them speak the first time around, you can view it here for free!

PS: Thanks Kathy, Debra, Felicia, Julie, Amanda & Shea for a lively day of collaboration & conversation. I'm sure your Tech Tracks series will be a huge success! :)


Playing Santa Claus ...

Yeah! The first 117 MP3 players were just sent out and delivered to staff who have already completed Learning 2.0! And there's still more to give away and 18 days left!

Yup! It's a good day!!! I love playing Santa Claus. :)

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Fab Friday Salute

PLCMC 2006 Staff Day
Originally uploaded by Jessmage.
This week's salute is actually a few days late following Monday's All Staff Day at ImaginOn. If you missed the event (and there were few staff that did) there were several PLCMC photographers catching the action. Among the day's highlights was the Throw-a-pie-at-your-favorite-admistrator fundraiser for United Way with Chuck Mallas, Carol Myers & Susan Harden stepping up to the plastic mat. All in all it was great day and I think the three raised over $600 -- all for a good cause.

So with thanks I salute Chuck, Carol & Susan for stepping up to the plate plastic on this one. I for one was happy to add my "match" to the funds raised and couldn't help but think that three of you wore whipping cream well. :)


Libraries - Place & Trading Spaces

Peter Bromberg at Library Garden on the Library as Place...

"Libraries are transformative places. By our very nature we offer people a “third place” (not home, not work) where they can come to explore, imagine, think, learn, play, and reflect. Our function as a “third place” has never been more important to our continued health and relevance. If libraries are to survive and thrive we must redouble our efforts and refocus our energies to ensure that we are not only “third places" but destinations of choice."

A short a good read which offers "six things you can do today to enhance your library's status as a true "third place" in your community."

Also of interest and cited by Peter, South Jersey Regional Library's Trading Spaces: Reinventing the Library Environment


Teen Second Life Library Announced!!

It feels like this announcement has been in the works for months, so it's wonderful to be able to actually share it ...

PLCMC partners with Alliance Library system to open cultural/creative space in virtual world

Charlotte, NC - Oct. 6, 2006 - The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) and the Alliance Library System are pleased to announce a partnership to collaborate on the “Eye4You Alliance,” an island in Teen Second Life that will offer virtual library services to teens.

Teen Second Life is a 3-D, international gathering place on the Internet where teens 13-17 can make friends, play, learn and create. Teens create a digital version of themselves, called an avatar, that they use to travel around the “virtual world,” meet new people and participate in a variety of activities.

The goal of “Eye4You Alliance” is to create an interactive and informative space for young adults within the Teen Second Life virtual world and to collaborate with other educators who serve youth and are already present in Teen Second Life and in real life.

Read the full press release at

For more information, contact Teen Second Life Project Leaders Matt Gullett, mgullett (at) or Kelly Czarnecki, kczarnecki (at)

Thanks Matt & Kelly for leading this effort for our system and to Lori Bell and the Alliance Library System for partnering and supporting us. It's truly exciting to be invloved in such an exciting project.

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Fab Friday Salute

Today’s Fab Friday has a personal twist that started this summer with my daughter’s 2nd grade school supply list. The list was posted on the school website in June with the normal stuff – white glue, pencils, pink erasers & crayons – but what stopped me short was the second to last mandatory item which read (I kid NOT)... “ 1 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library card in the child’s name.”

Fast forward many weeks and two school bulletins later to last weeks principal’s message that announced that St. Patrick's had met its goal in the library card campaign -- 100% participation!

There’s one special individual that especially deserves this Fab Friday Salute for taking an idea (putting a library card in the hands of every kindergartener to 5th grader) and making it a reality. Hat’s off to Nancy Synder, children's Manager at Morrison Regional for leading the charge and making the difference. Given the huge number of children in both the CMS system and private schools in our area this effort is nothing short of monumental… but she did it!!!!! It's been all over the news for the past week and half and it's easy to see that So Much to See, So Much to do @ Library is making a huge impact!!!

Thanks Nancy & team for such a great idea!! And after seeing all the cards and applications pilled high in that news story video, I think I also need to extend a salute to all the circulation staff too that are entering them. :)

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Info Island Grand Opening in SL

On my calendar...

"The Alliance Library System and the Second Life Library/Info Island collaborative group of librarians are pleased to announce the grand opening and a host of activities planned for Second Life residents scheduled October 12-14, 2007. All events will be held in Second Life and are free to residents."

Get the full scoop here.

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