Sony e-book reader

Due out in the next few weeks ... Sony e-Book Reader at $350

I like the leather-look? portfolio covers in lots of colors.

And with the free $50 worth of Sony ebook from the Sony iTunes store, I hope this new option doesn't go the way of iPods with library e-book content suppliers in it's "unlibrary-friendliness".

[fingers crossed]

Fab Friday Salute

Yup it's Friday again and you know what that means... it's time for a salute. This week with the final exercises to Learning 2.0 being unveiled, it seems appropriate to recognize two individuals who's most excellent contributions to L2 I couldn't have done with out.

When pulling together this program earlier this summer I realized that I couldn't do it all -- especially when it came to developing online tutorials. And that's when Lori Reed and Mary Kyle jump in and volunteered to assist me. Both the tutorials they created on 7 and 1/2 Habits and NetLibrary are exceptional and knowing that they made time to pull these together on their off hours make this salute all more special.


Thank you Lori and Mary (BTW: you both have great blogs to boot!) Your tutorial contributions to the Learning 2.0 program are top notch!!!!!

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Learning 2.0 goes down under :)

Yarra Plenty Online Learning

"Welcome to YPRL’s Online Learning 2.0. Congratulations on choosing to jump on board the Bullet Train that is Web 2.0. We hope you and your colleagues will enjoy the ride and gain many new skills along the way."

Wow! How cool!!!

All my best to our Aussie friends -- be sure to have fun and enjoy the ride!

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On Ignorance & Insult (& yes, there’s even a lesson)

Have you ever sat through a presentation that looked like it might be brilliant, only to stare in silence while the presenter displayed his ignorance? Tonight was such a night when two guest speakers at our Board Mtg came to supposedly share with us the magic the found when they visited the National Singapore Library.

In looking over the National Library Board website, it’s easy to see that our speakers were not the greatest press agents… for from my perspective the really innovative stuff that the Lee Kong Chain Reference Library offered completely sailed right over them. At one point I almost rose from my seat and walked to the door when this moronic staged dialog was exchanged:

Presenter 1 to Presenter 2 (John): “John, if you had a reference question about such-n-such, what would you do?”
John: “Well I'd probably look at the library's databases, or Google it or if I was in the library, I’d ask a librarian.”
Presenter 1: “That’s great. But did you know that at the Singapore Library you can email your question to a librarian and they’ll answer it within 24 hours???

Yup, ignorance (and in this case insult too) about existing library services is something that all libraries face. But clearly this individual was way out of his element.

Needless to say, I took very little away from the whole presentation. Even the photos they selected (stacks of books and a large display unit with small digital screens) to show provided little in the way of inspiration.

In contrary, as I look around the website -- see this animated image I found ---->>>, I see much more to inspire. Its too bad the messengers were so ill-informed, for I do think there is much we could have learned.

The only saving grace in the 20 minute dearth was this one diagram (I found it again within the "NLB 2010 presentation) they shared from the National Library Board 2010 vision. (this actually looks like a good report that I'll have to read later)

I totally love this three element vision of libraries as collaborative, individual and social learning spaces. Unfortunately our speakers couldn’t even articulate this well. But even so, I was happy to see it because it was the only thing that made the whole painful presentation worth it. :)

On a final note, I’m sure the presenters had the greatest of intentions, but unfortunately they blundered badly because they did not do their homework.

So you may wonder what is the lesson here that I eluded to in my title… it’s this. If these members of our public felt that this message they delivered tonight was earth-shattering, inspirational and innovative, then we as a library system have a long way to go ... not in delivering new services, but just in making them aware of the ones we already do so well!!

Nuff said – study the diagram. It’s brilliant!!! I just wish I could have jumped up there and explained it, because obviously the speakers didn’t have any depth of knowledge about libraries to put the bigger picture together.


Googley Management & Risk Taking

Just food for thought ...

I just finished reading the cover story of Fortune’s Oct issue, Chaos by Design, which explores Google’s unconventional, edgy, and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants management style. The article paints a pretty good picture of a company who’s success has been built on a model of cliff jumping and “winging it”. But what struck me most in this interesting read was Larry Page’s approach to taking risks...

Take the case of Sheryl Sandberg, a 37-year-old vice president whose fiefdom includes the company's automated advertising system. Sandberg recently committed an error that cost Google several million dollars -- "Bad decision, moved too quickly, no controls in place, wasted some money," is all she'll say about it -- and when she realized the magnitude of her mistake, she walked across the street to inform Larry Page, Google's co-founder and unofficial thought leader. "God, I feel really bad about this," Sandberg told Page, who accepted her apology. But as she turned to leave, Page said something that surprised her. "I'm so glad you made this mistake," he said. "Because I want to run a company where we are moving too quickly and doing too much, not being too cautious and doing too little. If we don't have any of these mistakes, we're just not taking enough risk."

Risk taking is something that libraries struggle with constantly. And rightly so. A large part of this is due to the fact that we are very conscious of being good stewards of our community’s investment. But sometimes we can go overboard with this intention to the point that we stagnate ourselves in paralyzation. I now I'm not the first to make this observation, but I agree there's correlation between risk taking and innovation.

Calculating risk and building business cases are just two of the new skills that I believe every library manager needs, especially these days so we can rapidly respond to new customer demands and constant changes. But how does one develop these skills if you’re allowed little or no room to make errors? I don't have the answers, but I think it's an important conversation.

Anyway, although I'm not completely ready myself for the full-frontal “Googley” approach to innovation, I do appreciate Page’s positive spin on allowing for (and encouraging) management mistakes... for it's a mindset that I think one could learn from.

A very interesting article.


The Stereotypical Librarian

PLCMC staff member and MLIS student JP Morgan has launched an interesting blog for a library school assignment called the Stereotypical Librarian. Here she asks the question...

“What is your view of the stereotypical librarian? If you work
in a library setting how are you like or unlike that view?”

Take a look at the site and if you’re willing to participate post a comment. It’s interesting to read how the stereotype is different for different people -- even within the library setting. :)

PS: I sent JP my contribution this afternoon. It's not up there up, but hopefully should be soon. :)



Last Monday I did my first Digital Scrapbooking show-n-tell workshop for the public at University City demonstrating a technique I’ve learned through trial and error over the last 6 years using PowerPoint. Yup! I scrapbook my kids, like most mommy-photographer-types! :)

Anyway, what I love about PP is the remarkable stuff you can do with ungrouping clipart, modifying shapes, textures and color, and working with the all the options on the drawing and picture tool bars. Honestly between PP and Photoshop Elements, I’ve never needed anything more, but when I saw this site on Tech Crunch, I just knew I had found another site to feed my digital scrapbooking addiction. Scrapblog.

The site's still in beta invite, but look at the screen shots … can’t you easily see this as a great addition to your technology training workshops?

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On Community & Niches ...

“Have you created an online community? Is it so restricted that the flow of ideas between users is affected? It shouldn’t just be about the library connecting with the patron. It should be about connecting your patron with their niche community.

There’s been a lot of great reads that have stumbled into my RSS feeds recently. Several of them have been from my own Library’s staff (more on this later), but this one comes from Garrett Hungerford over at Library Zen. Read the full post, Community vs. Contact Card -- He makes some excellent observations.

Have just finished Chris Anderson's The Long Tail (another excellent read), I can fully appreciate the idea of helping users in niche markets connect together. And, as I've found myself repeating often lately, "Libraries aren't about US. They should be are all about THEM" (the community), these thoughts from Garrett really resonate!


Status Skills - the new Lexus?

Thanks to Matt Gullet (great new blog BTW) for forwarding this TrendWatching piece on Status Skills.

"In economies that increasingly depend on (and thus value) creative thinking and acting, well-known status symbols tied to owning and consuming goods and services will find worthy competition from 'STATUS SKILLS': those skills that consumers are mastering to make the most of those same goods and services, bringing them status by being good at something, and the story telling that comes with it."

I know I just talked about empowering the user the other day, but this article on recognizing your customer's needs for "status skills" really hits the nail on the head.

Libraries already naturally help facilitate knowledge learning (the foundation for the development of all status skills), but we can always do more. This article makes me ponder the possibilities and wonder ... What new services can libraries develop that will further empower users to create and master their own knowledge domain?

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Fab Friday Salute

For this Friday’s Salute, I want to send my thanks and gratitude out to all the members of PLCMC's senior staff who are taking part in Learning 2.0 challenge. Not only is nearly every member of the Library Services Leadership Group participating, but even our Assistant Director is blogging too! :)

Anyway, this Friday’s Salute goes out to an exceptional team of individuals that I work with almost daily. Your support and leadership for this endeavor is not only appreciated, but it's one the key reasons that this program has blossomed.

Thanks again… and for those of you that are a few weeks behind, don’t worry? It’s not the pace that’s important … it’s the learning and support.

Here’s a list of salutes. It’s a partial list for the moment, since I haven’t heard the OK from all yet. You’ll notice some have joined the trend of posting under a screenname, and why not? It's part of the fun! :)

listed in no particular order…

I hope to update this list later after I hear from everyone!

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A must see video …

Take a view at this gem (posted on YouTube) over at Tame the Web. What great way to celebrate a library's greatest asset – staff!!!

PS: The outakes are great too!


Learning 2.0 – Steal this idea update

When Michael Stephens blogged about “stealing this idea” over a month ago, he wasn’t kidding. :) For those of you that have been following the Learning 2.0 project, I’m happy to report that L2 fever is spreading, not only here at PLCMC but also worldwide.*

In the past few weeks I’ve been contacted by at least a dozen different library systems who are planning (or are at least looking at) duplicating this discovery program. - yeah!! I had planned (and still do) to share a “lessons learned” post at the end of program, but given that I’m already getting lots of inquiries for tips and advice, I thought I’d share at least a few thoughts that have already cemented. Here they are in no particular order …

  • Design the program to accommodate late bloomers - Although it was by design that I built in two weeks on the front end for staff to jump on board before really diving into the exercises, the bulk of the PLCMC staff participants didn’t jump on board until week 4 and 5. Even this week (#7) I still had eight new staff members register. At this point in the program I’m am definitely glad I added three weeks onto the end. This has not only given busy staff a bit breathing room to catch-up, but it’s also allowed those late bloomers time to observe the L2 pool for awhile before jumping in.

  • Use 1.0 (.75) methods to continually communicate. Most participants have 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. Your need to use technologies that they are already comfortable with in order to continually reach them.

  • Allow participants to blog anonymously. This makes it more comfortable for staff to jump on board. And I have been told by many staff that this element has also made it more entertaining … trying to figure who is who is half the fun! I, of course, have access to the intranet Tracking Log that participants use to track their progress, but even I can’t keep up with 300 + screen names. :)

  • Encourage staff to participate together. I have been amazed by some of the stories I am hearing of staffs coming together to encourage and support each other with all this learning. At one branch, staff from the Information desk are covering the Circulation desk for a few hours each week, just so circulation staff can go back on the PCs and do an hour of “play.” At another small branch, the whole team is doing it together and at a very large branch a staff member recently told me that it was the first time in her year there that she had seen staff “cross training” across departments (Circ, children’s & information) and doing something together. It’s so wonderful to hear about these unexpected outcomes … which makes me believe that L2 is much more than just learning, it also about creating community.

Anyway… there’s more lessons learned to come. But these are the initial ones and above all “just encourage staff to discover and have fun!”

In case you’re curious. Registered staff participants are up to 311. Of these I would estimate currently that 250 are active. Yes, the bill for the MP3 players may hit the budget’s limit. But with the learning, ideas and community that it's helping to build this investment is so small compared to the benefits.

Again I can't thank Charles Brown, Director and Carol Myers, Asst. Director, enough for supporting this endeavor. This program is producing so many positive outcomes that I'm wondering what we can possibly do as an encore. :)

BTW: I'm also pleased to share that our Asst Director and every member of the library's leadership group is blogging and participating too! :)

* Among several other library systems here in the US that have contacted me, the Yarra Plenty Regional Library Library in Melbourne, Australia is also inviting staff to participate in their own Learning 2.0.

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Library 2.0 jobs ...

Fast Company just added a slide show of Web 2.0 jobs

The one that interested me the most was User Experience Strategist. Doesn’t that sound like a great Library 2.0 job... transforming the library and information experience for users -- :)

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On control & empowerment ...

Lately it seems that a week doesn’t go by where I don't find myself in some discussion with a colleague over the topic of leadership vs. management. Part of the reason for this is two recent initiatives our library has launched to help provide management training for staff and to "build the bench" as part of succession planning. But the other part is that I think with all the changes happening today in society and with user expectations, there is great need to shift our libraries to a new model of service which more fully empowers the user.

For me this shift is analogous to the management vs. leadership question that I have been talking about with several staff members. And in looking at library services I think you can transform the question several different ways…

  • Are our services designed control? Or to empower the user with options?
  • Are our services designed to manage processes? Or provide our users with a rewarding experience?
  • Are our facilities built to contain the user’s use of areas? Or provide users with flexibility and options to collaborate and multitask?
  • Are our collections built on a formula to fill shelf space? Or designed to keep our shelves empty and ideas and thoughts circulating within our communities?

The bottom to all these questions seems to come down to the distinction between the foundations of management and leadership. Management for the most part is based upon the principle of control (managing people, managing processes, etc). Leadership on the other hand is based upon the principle of “guidance” and empowering others.

It’s hard to select one over the other for you need both management (control of well managed processes) and leadership (guidance and the means to empower) to build and provide excellent library services. Therefore it's not a choice that needs to made, it's a balancing act. And as libraries continue to transform and evolve, the goal should not be to weight the scales evenly, but rather to ensure that we favor the side that empowers the user as much as we can - without falling over. :)

PS: Thanks Michael Stephens for your excellent reply to my thoughts last week. You Rock! I hope this post sheds some more light on my thoughts about control vs. empowerment. and, if you’re thinking at all that I can be a semantics freak, you’re right! Just ask anyone from PLCMC’s management team that was involved in developing our library's mission statement and they'll tell you I was among the adamant supporters for having the verb be in the active tense (empowering vs. empowers). :)

PLCMC: Expanding minds, empowering individuals, enriching the community

PS: I bet you can guess which is my favorite “e” in our mission statement? :)


Filed under ... [shakes head]

This stumbled into my Bloglines this evening and although I hesitate to even highlight these archaic rantings I did laugh out loud after hearing my husband’s response to this passage ..

I heard lots of talk about how we need to do things to entertain kids, but, the question is "what is a public library?" Is it really a community meeting place? No, the town hall is.

Should it be a place to enjoy a book and a coffee? God no, do that at Barnes and Nobles.

A library is a place that the government provides to store media and information for public use.

“No. That’s what Google is!”

Anyway, as I said before I hestitated with great reservations in even posting this here since the writer obviously ... (rest of comment editted for censors). But it is sad to think that libraries have staff that actually do still think this way. No wonder some libraries continually fight an uphill battle.

Blog Backs

I've been watching this trend of linking user content/opinions with traditional media for awhile now ... and every once in a while I find a surprise for myself. My blog's currently listed first in the Blog Back feature on the USN&WR site.

I often wonder if people notice this blending now or if they will be able to distinguish the difference as it meshes more in the future? Right or wrong, it's a great opportunity for librarians to take notice and figure out how their information role may be changing as journalism, like all buiness models affected by the new web, transforms itself. What are your thoughts?

BTW: There's my latest post circled in green ...

PS: I just noticed the Shifted Librarian is currently listed in Blog Back too! Read Jenny's post, it's excellent!

Fab Friday Salute

Technology and training in libraries seem to go hand in hand with users always wanting more of both! Developing and offering fresh technology programs for library users can often be difficult, especially for busy staff. And for this reason and others, it's why today’s salute stand outs.

Despite losing a staff position last year due to structural reorganization, the Information Services staff at Morrison Regional have done an outstanding job in keeping their technology training offerings fresh. Here’s a listing of new offerings for this month:

  • Create Your Own Web Page with MySpace
  • Flickr Basics
  • RSS Basics
  • Selling Your Stuff on Ebay
  • Wireless@Your Library

All of these look great! And offer our users a great alternative to just the basics of email, Internet searching and Word.

Thank you MOR team especially William Nation, Howard Milstead, Melanie Wood, Ed McDonald, and Charles Di Perna. You guys rock! and prove that our staff are indeed our "greatest asset". :)

PS: Got a recommendation for Fab Friday Salute for a member of PLCMC's staff? Just shoot me an email. There's lots of future Fridays to go around. :)

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Learning 2.0 Wow!!

These past 6 weeks of Learning 2.0 have kept my evenings fully occupied between 9pm and 11. With 303 registered users the ol’ Bloglines account averages about 80-120 new reads each night. I’ll be honest and tell you that most I just skim, but every once in a while a participant blogs something that just makes me smile and say, "Yes!"

This week one of the exercises asked participants to read a few perspectives from the recent OCLC Next Space newsletter and add their thoughts. There’s been lots of thoughtful posts that I have read tonight but this one from Ekat really stood out …
“What does Learning 2.0 mean to me? To me it's a great opportunity for libraries to grow and be up to date with the new technologies that are constantly emerging. When I first started working for the library as an assistant, I honestly thought that all I would be doing is checking books in and out to people and other tasks related to books. I had no idea how much new technologies and just the internet in general would impact the way we do things. I have to admit it can all be overwhelming at times. I mean I work at a library but I hardly ever get any questions about books! So times are definitely changing and that means we have to change the way we do things too. I just finished reading all of the different perspectives on Library 2.0 and they were all interesting and made a lot of good points. The one that really stood out for me was "Away from the Icebergs". In "Away from the Icebergs" I could see the point Rick Anderson was making about the "come to us" model of library service. We do need to explore different ways of bringing some our services to library patrons. It really does make things easier for our patrons and it does encourage them to use our services if they would rather do so from home or from work.”

Now this is exactly what Learning 2.0 is all about!!! Thanks Ekat for making my night!

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MySpace makes news ... again

This week's edition on USN&WR (By the way this is the only magazine our household gets ... not because we subscribe to it ... but because my MIL thinks its a good Xmas gift and perhaps a way for my hubby and I to stay "politically literate") Anyway I won't digress, but I will say that the weekly mag makes for a good morning read while I wait for the coffee to brew.

This week's cover story is a MySpace story titled "Decoding MySpace: What Parents need to know about MySpace" and although the article's title might lead you to believe that it takes the scare tactic, it's emphasis is on parents having conversations (a novel idea, no?) with their kids about MySpace and internet saftey and getting involved. This may be be fine advice for parents who care or for homes that have internet access. But I think we've all seen plenty of teens in our libraries who don't have either ...

"If we lock these sites out of the schools, adults are turning their backs on kids and making them deal with these issues on their own"

Nuff said. Read the full article and then help educate someone else.

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1st look at the "iPod killr" ...

Via TechCrunch today, I finally caught a glimpse of the Microsoft's iPod killer Zune. What's interesting about this MP3 competitor is that wireless is being built in so in addition to to downloading and playing tunes, you have instant portable social sharing tool.

"The Zune has 802.11 networking built in and you can send a song to your friend for three days or three plays, which ever comes first."

Hmmm... looks good and I like the bigger screen, but my first question is ... will it play Recorded Books downloadable audiobooks? I would think so being that it's a product of the MS shop. So my second question is ... at 30mb, does it beat the price of a video iPod?

Image coutesty of Crunchgear


SC Tech Express

The hour and half drive down to Columbia, SC was well worth it (even in the rain) to hear the dynamic threesome known as Abrams, Levine & Stephens (sounds like a law firm doesn’t it?) speak at the SC State Library’s Tech Express.

As expected these three really got you thinking and you could tell the room of 300+ was energized by all the nodding heads, comments and eye speak. Although I had my laptop with me and there was wireless (Yippee!), I opted not to blog the event live and instead just sit back and listen.

My scribbles on the back on the handout were few, but there was one thing Stephen Abrams said early on that stuck with me …

“Libraries are transformational, NOT transactional!”

This simple sentence says it all ... Libraries aren’t about processes, checkouts or references stats. They’re merely about providing users with an empowering experience.

My other mental notes from today include:
  • a comment that Jenny made about an upcoming ALA initiative to promote education on DOPA. Since I haven’t seen announcement yet, I won’t blog the project yet. But I will say this “Kudos to ALA. The idea is brilliant!”
  • “Librarian 2.0 controls Technolust” This quote was a part of Michael Stephens excellent presentation and although I very much agree with what he says about not just doing technology for sake of just doing something new, I found myself a little bothered by the word choice. Why? because the word “control” emulates the very “thing” that Library 2.0 isn’t. I know, I know … it ‘s only words right? But when you have so many librarians who are preconditioned to “control”, it’s hard to break the pattern. Personally, I love the word “empower” because that’s what I think Library 2.0 is really all about. But in the framework of Michael’s very valid point, I just can’t seem to come up with a better suggested substitution. Perhaps this is the positive balance to this point … Librarian 2.0 harnesses tools that empower users.
  • I thought I saw Jenny take picture with her cell phone of me talking with the SC State Library Director, Patti Butcher, but in looking at that photos tagged TechExpress2006 from today, I didn’t see any of Jenny’s uploaded yet (found it - Yup! I knew it), but I did find this one grabbed by Michael Casey

The comment bubble is my addition, not Michael's (mocked up in Bubblr). Anyway … a GREAT day of thought provoking dialogue and conversations. Thank you Patti and Deborah!!!

Looking for more? The team from SCPL did a great job blogging all the presentations. and Curtis Roger's even posted YouTube videos - cool!

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Google joins banned book campaign

Leave it to Google ALA to find a way to align themselves with libraries Google .

“For 25 years, libraries and bookstores nationwide have been celebrating the freedom to read during Banned Books Week… Now Google has joined the party. At , you can use Google Book Search to explore some of the best novels of the 20th century which have been challenged or banned. And while libraries and bookstores around the country celebrate the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week with special readings, displays, and more, you just might end up with a visit to your local library or bookstore and an old favorite or a new banned book in hand.”

The site provides browsing access to 42 challenged titles.

Hats off to Leslie Burger (who's the guest author for the blog post on Google) for finding a way to "play" with the big guys! :)

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2996 is an amazing tribute project honoring the victims of 9/11. Although I was a bit late to learn about and join in this moving project, it’s inspiring to see and read the impact …

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

See the list of those honored and participants here. RIP

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Library Innovation: Mashup Winners Announced

Congratulations to John Blyberg and the Alliance Library System (Lori Bell & team) for their excellent entries in Talis' Mashing Up the Library competition and in helping libraries move further. I took a look at all the entries a few weeks ago and must say I was impressed. There were a lot of great ideas among the entries so to have these two ideas standout as winners says a lot.

John's entry was a neat little Go-go Google gadget that intergrates library information info (items checked out, holds list, nbew additions,etc) into Google's personalized home page.

The Second Life Library entry, of course, acknowledges the great work that the staff at the Alliance Library System are doing with Second Life.

Here are the all the entries for Talis' Mashing Up the Library competition ... and even though they didn't recieve the top prize, there lots of winner ideas in here too!

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Charlotte's #10

Acording to this month's Forbes feature, Charlotte's among the top ten of America's Most Wired Cities. Here's the figures that put us there:

Overall = 10
Broadband Adoption = 19% (% of home internet users with high-speed connection)
Access Options = 3 (# of companies providing broadband options)
Wi-Fi Hotspots = 14 (# of public wifi hotspots per capita)

I wonder if that last figure includes all the library's newest hotspots? :)

PS: In case you're wondering... Atlanta was 1st.

Fab Friday Salute

Somehow Fridays seem to come around a lot quicker these days. It must mean I’m busy or perhaps it’s just a perception of age. Anyway… this Friday’s Salute goes out to Martin House, Info. Services Manager at Main Library, for his leadership and work with the Gaming Zone and all the staff members who are assisting with this effort.

This year, PLCMC was fortunate enough to receive a nice size grant from the State Library to expand our gaming programming for adults. Martin headed up writing this grant and now for his efforts has more on his plate than he’s ever known-- isn't that always the case? :) Presents, in the form of new Alienware laptops, arrived just this past week and I, for one, can't wait to see one in action. :)

Anyway, the gaming grant program is exciting and provides PLCMC with the ability to easily expand gaming all over the system. Congratulations Martin and team! This development is truly exciting!!!

Photo credit: M. House

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School libraries of the future ?

Thanks to a colleague here at PLCMC, this interesting post about schools of the future and libraries crossed my path ...
"..what makes this school so different from the rest?

For one, each student has been given a smart-card-accessible locker, a Gateway-branded tablet PC, free access to wireless Internet at school, and broadband access at home. Instead of having a library, the school has the Interactive Learning Center. Stored in a database, books can be updated and modified to stay in sync with the latest information. This also means that information can easily be imported into the classroom, giving students an abundance of different viewpoints on specific topics. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard that can communicate directly with students' laptops, making group-wide activities much easier."

Wow! How's that for fast-forward?

BTW: This article was posted on an internal blog that we are using here at PLCMC for a planning project on the furture of Information Services. And since I can't reference the blog here (it's behind a firewall), I can share my comments that I posted ...

I think this concept may be something that we see more and more of. The idea that a library is a "physical space" is a perception that people seem to have a hard idea getting beyond. And as more and more content becomes portable -- obviously this is how the furture school project sees it -- libraries will need to reinvent themselves more as virtual services that can be accessible anywhere.

What are your thoughts? Are libraries positioned well enough to move beyond any current perceptions of being only a "physical space" that our users may have?

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The E, I or R question?

Well, I left the poll up here for nearly two weeks hoping that as more folks wayed in, there would be some concensus. But as you can see, the results are pratically dead even...

I suppose you could draw all sorts of conclusions from these results, but since I'm no expert I'd rather not conjecture. What I will share with you are my thoughts to this question... and as colleagues will tell you, I'm not shy on stating my opinion.

To me the basket that holds the greatest promise is two fold ...

  • If I view "longevity and future" from a pure usage and numbers perspective, then Recreation clearly holds all the eggs.

  • But if I had to answer this question for the Library's funding source, then I'd throw all my eggs in the Education basket.

Information as a standalone entity in my mind is not even in the picture. It's a service area that's already receeding and will soon become standard access on every type of communciation device.. .. Smart phones, blackberries, IM reference bots. In fact, the race to stay the leader in the information game was lost with inventition of Internet.

I will agree, as the poll shows, that libraries need to have their eggs scattered in all three baskets. But evenly? I'm not convinced. In looking at the future, I believe we need to weight our services more towards the liesure and educational scales and realize that providing "information services" is not a value in itself. But rather information is more a product of serving the other two.


SJL, podcasts and other distractions.

If I’m scare around here this week, it’s for good reason. 1) I’m trying to finish up on the final three “things” for the Learning 2.0 program (Yup! even in week 5, I’m still writing the exercises) and 2) my oldest dd is turning 7 this week and in a moment of temporary parental insanity I agreed to a teddybear/make-up sleepover party for 7 little urchins somethings. :)

Ok, time to get back on topic ... In my travels tonight, I was thrilled to see that latest issue of SLJ is now online featuring not only a short piece about Learning 2.0 (BTW: were up to 288 registered staff participants) but also a 7 minute podcast about the program. :)

Over the course of the L2 program -- BTW: It's L2 hump week. We're half way through the program -- I've collected a few quotes from participants blogs. These are among my favorites ...

Here we are today communicating en mass. Communication is the hottest learning skill there is.”

"Technology is allowing us to embark on some exciting new projects and reach our users in profoundly different ways than 5-10 years ago. It is truly a great time to be working in public libraries"

"The past two weeks at work I have witnessed our staff coming together for a common goal, teaching each other and learning more than most of us expected through that process. Yes, we are definitely having fun and I think we have reached a point where we can finally say, "There's no more FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) at MPK!"

"Learn technology that will help at work? entice with cool prizes? PLCMC is on to something man! ...seriously, this is pretty cool"

Anyway, I’m off to put the final touches on “thing 21” … wish me luck in surviving the birthday hoopla.

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Google Book Search.... NOT

MoBuzz TV offers a great review of Google’s new Book Search from the library perspective... Karina’s right, it’s not the Public Library catalog! Check out the second story here.

"Amazing how the world's greatest search giant still can't beat
the public library"

Hmm... Does PLA need a vblog spokesmodel?

BTW: GeekBrief.TV is also a great vblog.

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Week 4 Recap

It's been a rainy week here thanks to Ernesto, and although Charlotte missed falling into his path, there's been a hurricane of activity this week over at Learning 2.0 (see Recap).

PS: Have a great long weekend all!

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Another NetFlix model twist

I've been reasearching and brainstorming some potential NetFlix models with a few staff over the last few days and then this Wired story, NetFlix Presents, hit my RSS reader:

"You know, Netflix. In the last seven years, the company has amassed 5 million subscribers and now mails 7 million DVD rentals each week. ... But that's only one side of Netflix. The company also has quietly become the exclusive distributor of more than 100 indie films, and it's even starting to produce original movies."

Which made me ponder... there may be a greater need to figure out a good NetFlix/Library ( or similar like) model. For if this new development flourishes, our ILL requests could be flooded with requests for NetFlix films from non-NetFlix users! OK, I know ... it's a stretch and not likely. But it does make you think about the impact that this delivery service (and now production service) has made on future current customer expectations?


Fab Friday Salute

Those of you that have been following my blog for awhile know that I like to use Fridays to send out a salute to a member(s) of our staff who is continually helping PLCMC move forward. Our library system is fortunate to have a lot of forward-thinking staff among our ranks so its not unusual that great ideas pop up continually. Anyway ... what I'm trying to get around to saying is that innovation and forward thinking ideas don't always have to involve the use of some new technology. They can be simple (yet ground breaking) ideas too! So with this in mind ... I'm breaking out of my "technology box" a bit today and saluting an idea that doesn't involve technology - 12:15 @ Main

12:15 @ Main is a new programming venture here at the Main Library that takes programming out from behind the walls of our meeting rooms and places it smack dab in the middle of Main Library out on the floor. Library users can simply pull up a chair and sit down and listen to interesting 30-45 minute presentation or just stand and watch for a few minutes. What I love about this programming approach is that we aren't hiding one of our strongest assets behind a wall (or even an open door). The guest speaker and programming space is just there out in the open and library users can wandered by, sit down if they want and participate.

In looking at September's line-up, the programs run the gamut from Producing Documentaries for Television (Guest speaker is an award winning filmmaker) to Protecting against Home invasion (guest speaker is Police Officer Starnes) and according to Sam Shapiro, Popular Library at ML, here are some of the best attended programs since the series inception in May:

  • May 12th: THE MOURNER'S BENCH (the Margaret Garner Story)---a "one-person theatrical event" performed by Alicia Williams. This performance was tied to Charlotte Opera's performance of the opera MARGARET GARNER, which was based on Toni Morrison's novel BELOVED. .

  • June 1st: YOGA FOR BEGINNERS----certified yoga instructor Carolyn Klimas demonstrated yoga exercises that could be performed in the office or home. .

  • June 14th: AMERICAN PIE: MY SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT PIZZA-----Peter Reihnhart, Johnson & Wales instructor and author, discussed various methods of baking and preparing pizzas, and where he has eaten the best pizzas in the world.

  • June 21st: JUNGIAN DREAM INTERPRETATION----Dr. Tyas, author and psychiatrist, discussed how to interpret your dreams, and how to recognize "symbols" in your dreams.

  • July 27th: BOMBAY DREAMS-----Members of the Broadway touring company of BOMBAY DREAMS discussed what it is like to tour with a Broadway show, how "Bollywood" musicals are structured, the various plotlines and popular songs, etc. ** Noye: Highest attended program - 68 :)

  • August 21st: SISTERS-IN CRIME----A panel of eight award-winning, best-selling authors discussed what defines a "Southern mystery", their personal experiences writing and publishing mysery and crime novels, etc.

So here's my Fab Friday Salute to colleagues Susan Herzog , Senior Library Manager of Main, for being the catalyst for this great idea, Sam Shapiro, for organizing it, Tony Talent, SCO Children's Manager for promoting the idea first and to all the MOMs (Managers of Main) and staff that support this great endeavor. Well done !

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