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6/26/2007

$75 for a session or $199 for the series ... ???

This announcement fell into my email today and for some reason I'm really having mixed feelings about it...

PUSHING IT FORWARD: TAKING YOUR LIBRARY TO THE NEXT LEVEL!
Our technology series can give you the edge you need. The Orange County Library System is a recognized leader in information technology. Grab lunch (or breakfast!), login and join colleagues from around the country for presentations by OCLS staff, discussion and idea sharing online. RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY! $75 per session or $199 for entire series


Why? It's not because OCLS has launched their own webinar series for staff -- OCLS really should indeed do this and share their successes, because they are seriously doing some awesome stuff with e-learning and online training. -- but because in the greater spirit of collaboration and sharing among peers they are charging a hefty (at least for most smaller libraries) sum for it.

PLCMC has been called an innovator too! But we've never charged our peers for information and knowledge sharing from our own staff. In fact, I personally have given persmission to over 100 libraries to use, alter and modify Learning 2.0 anyway they want to (& my library has never even received a dime).

I know I don't normally use this blog to take a stance on something that's not supportive. But come on OCLS! You're a grat library system that is doing some outstanding stuff. Why not offer your webinar series for free (or at least very min. costs) to the library community and then really Stand Out?

7 comments:

Jessamyn said...

Agreed, I think that is more than a little weird.

Amy J. Kearns, MLIS said...

I just got that too and I too really noticed those prices - at least they could make it a very minimal amount but even then....!?

I wonder what platform they use - like a WebX or a HorizonWimba? I wonder if they charge as a way to try to justify the expense of a platform like that?

Meredith said...

Can't say I disagree, especially since I assume they are offering this through the OPAL software (they're a member) and it's not all that expensive to become a member. It just feels weird for a library to be doing something like this for a profit, especially at such high prices that clearly would cover more than the cost of the technology infrastructure. Didn't the Johnson County Library System in KS offer a ton of free online webinars for librarians through OPAL? That's the way to do something like this.

Sigh...

Iris said...

and we truly appreciate you sharing Learning 2.0 with us...!!

K.G. Schneider said...

I'd feel very cautious about paying for a presentation touted this way: "Learn how interactivities in a digital library environment are designed, developed and integrated within the system and how they help in creating a conducive environment for the patrons."

What the tarnation does that even mean? It bodes poorly...

Andy G. said...

While I also agree that charging for this type of learning experience to peers makes me uncomfortable, Florida libraries are in a world of trouble right now. Property tax initiatives are being passed by the State that will greatly curtail library funding. Here in the Sunshine State, we are trying to discover revenue streams over closing buildings. I'll tell you, it hurts. From Orange County's website:
http://www.ocls.info/impact.asp

K.G. Schneider said...

I should underscore that my key discomfort with this is not whether they are charging but that a) I hadn't previously recognized them as a leader in this area and b) the jargon is a turnoff.

Florida libraries are indeed in trouble, and if they're charging because of that, it's an interesting news angle. I don't know, honestly, that $75 a head is going to dig them out of where they are going, but they could be under a mandate to keep new training initiatives revenue-neutral.

I volunteer to give them a free dejargonization consult and help them present this training more effectively.