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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