Happy Holidays!

Afte receiving three of these this past week, there's no doubt Elf Yourself is the hottest email card around (btw there's also a Scrooge Yourself for bah humbug fans). But for this year's holiday fun, I prefer JibJab.

Now, if I could actually clone myself (like the video), I just might be able to get all my packing for the move done. :)

Have a wonderful holiday everyone !


Good Bye

Today was a difficult day ...

Good Bye

Thank you PLCMC for a wonderful twelve years!
I will miss you all ... lots


#8 most blogging city

Last week Neilsen released their annual Top Ten lists (click on pdf link for the lists) and to my surprise I just discovered that Columbus is listed among the top ten most blogging cities.

Neat! I highly doubt if my moving there will push them to #7 :) But it's nice to learn that the community has a high percentage of the population engaged in social media sites.


Digital Media Goldmine

Talk about a goldmine of reading ... The MacArthur Foundation has recently published a whole series of reports on Digital Media and Learning:

From my quick glance at few of the reports (btw: free pdfs are available for all), there's a lot of good reading here.


Totally *heart* this

Originally uploaded by illustrator_ian
I was totally bummed this week to learn that I missed Family Portrait Day @ the Library last weekend while I was in Columbus - pah!

FPD@L is a the brainchild of Tony Tallent and the result of several talented staff including Emily Little and Ian & Erin Nguyen.

Don’t you just love photos like these… and what a great holiday greetings card. :)

Shift Signs

Wow… between the recent Washington Post article* about how DC Public Library is redefining their staff compliment with “more high-tech savvy employees” who are "very comfortable with change" to the application instructions for the newly reopened Salt Lake City Public Library’s director search -- Your application “package should include a paper resume and directions to your digital presence, blog, or social networking Web site -- you can definitely see a shift is occurring.

SLCPL Director Application instructions

* Why does the press always seem to insist on writing inflamatory headlines? My sense is that with a generous 6 month severance package and the retirement incentives for those that chose the early leave package, that true story about the departure of the eight lies somewhere in between.


A Librarian's Worst Nightmare

Interesting food for thought...

"Even though Yahoo! Answers is so frequently sloppy and inaccurate, it's still the juggernaut in its field. Despite a rapid proliferation of answer-giving sites—'s recently inaugurated Askville just joined a crowded field that includes Answerbag, WikiAnswers, AnswerBank, and Ask Metafilter—Yahoo!'s is still by far the most popular. And in the question-answering game, size matters. While the others have a few clever features (like Answerbag's efforts to separate "educational" and "conversational" questions) or a more specialized community, the sheer magnitude of Yahoo!'s community gives it the upper hand...

The lesson Yahoo! Answers teaches is that, for millions of people on the Web, it's less important to get a good answer than to get someone to listen to your question in the first place."

I think those that work in public services can really relate to the last sentence. It's often not the quality of the answer that's most important to the customer; it's that someone personally took an active interest in helping them and in listening to their information needs. And that, in itself, is a very powerful thing.

Full article here, A Librarian's Worst Nightmare.

PS: Thanks Ed for the link :)

The L Formula

Personally, I've always thought of leadership as something that is inherit to individuals and really isn't one of those skills that can be learned or taught in a management class. But Steven Covey's recent post makes me think differently... sorta.* Perhaps there is a formula for leadership -- or at least a short list of essential ingredients that are common among the most effective ones.

Covey's four imperatives of leadership:

  1. The first is to inspire trust. You build relationships of trust through both your character and competence and you also extend trust to others. You show others that you believe in their capacity to live up to certain expectations, to deliver on promises, and to achieve clarity on key goals. You don’t inspire trust by micromanaging and second guessing every step people make.
  2. The second is to clarify purpose. Great leaders involve their people in the communication process to create the goals to be achieved. If people are involved in the process, they psychologically own it and you create a situation where people are on the same page about what is really important—mission, vision, values, and goals.
  3. The third is to align systems. This means that you don’t allow there to be conflict between what you say is important and what you measure. For instance, many times organizations claim that people are important but in fact the structures and systems, including accounting, make them an expense or cost center rather than an asset and the most significant resource.
  4. The fourth is the fruit of the other three—unleashed talent. When you inspire trust and share a common purpose with aligned systems, you empower people. Their talent is unleashed so that their capacity, their intelligence, their creativity, and their resourcefulness is utilized.

Think of impact of reaching item #4 - unleashing talent. I've been fortunate to see this happen and it's amazing!! If you can move your organization forward to this level, there is absolutely nothing that you can't do.

* BTW: I've always thought of leadership as a thing that is nurtured (not taught) from raw talent and instinct. Confession - even after Covey, I still do. :)

[hmm... heading off to ponder items 1,2&3 and how to incorporate these in the new job]


Me in my own words ...

Originally uploaded by Dave & Bry
Thanks Dave Pattern for the pleasant surprise. Your talent and creativity always amaze me.

PS: Take a look at the enlarged version to see the actual text from this blog - neat!

PPS: Kinda adds a new meaning to "eating my my own words" (at least a few of them, that is)

More info on how Dave did this here.


10 things I learned during my first week @ CML

  1. The staff at Columbus Metropolitan Library are terrific! Thanks to everyone for the *warm* welcome. It more than made up for Mother Nature’s chilly introduction. :)

  2. The embedded Google map on the CML site is invaluable -- I’m definitely going to be using this a lot as I get to know the branches.

  3. Everything that I need to focus on for my first few months fits on a post it note (thanks Pat). But believe me, those few items are *huge* and cover lots of ground. N2S: don’t loose that piece of paper.

  4. Rental cars don’t come with snow/ice scrappers … they should. Columbus had its first snowfall on Wed with 4 + inches of fluffy stuff followed by a nice freeze and then more snow. BTW: credit cards are a poor substitute.

  5. The growth opportunities at CML are so numerous I don’t where to begin. I can already see that I’m going to benefit and learn a lot from my new colleagues.

  6. CML’s new catalog implementation of aqua browser (to be launched next week it's now live ) is sweet – Can’t wait to see phase II.

  7. Nobody seems to leave CML once they get here. Seriously, the employment longevity among the staff is amazing. I take that as a good sign that it's a wonderful place to work. :)

  8. Columbus is extremely easy to get around in -- I didn’t get lost once -- and the streets don’t change names every 3 or 4 miles (and intersect with themselves) like they do in Charlotte. BTW: My fav in Charlotte is the intersection of Queens Rd. & Queens Rd., which is also the location for the Myers Park branch.

  9. I’m definitely going to need to buy more shoes (what woman doesn't need an excuse for this ? ) The slides and light weight styles that I can get away with in the South’s three season climate just won’t cut it here. In fact, if Mother Nature keeps up, I might even have to buy [cringe] sensible snow boots.

    And last but not least …

  10. My learning curve this past week just grew a whole lot *steeper* … but all in a good way :)

BTW: I'm heading back to Charlotte tomorrow for a few more weeks to wrap up things at PLCMC, finish getting the house ready to go on the market, and to enjoy the holidays. I'll be back at CML permanently starting January 2nd. :)

Thanks again CML for a wonderful welcome!


Teaching vs Learning

In my lessons learned from the Learning 2.0 experience, at the top of the list is "Don't confuse learning with training." Perhaps that's why I find this recent index card from Jessica Hagy so interesting.

On sentence diagrams, innovation and interesting conversations …

Of the many things I’m going to miss about leaving PLCMC, it’s having intriguing conversations and brainstorming sessions with colleagues about ways that libraries are evolving and becoming more innovative.

Oh, I know these type of conversations will happen at CML too. But Tony’s keen talent in drawing connections between foreign ideas and pulling together thoughts so clearly is something I’m definitely going to miss. All I can say is thank goodness he’s blogging. :)

Anyway, here’s a great analogy between writing and sentence diagramming & innovation and dissecting practices
“Diagramming (analyzing or dissecting) a practice or an organization or a job doesn't create any energy or vitality in it. It simply dissects it. The spirit is in the doing. Innovation is doing...

Reading Florey's book reminds me that dissecting takes away the fluid nature--the very spirit--of language, just like peeling apart the layers of a practice to "make it more innovative" stalls out innovation all together. You can't create a diagram for innovation...

Doing does.”

Tony’s so right… Innovation isn’t about diagramming processes, dissecting practices or identifying elements. It’s about taking ideas, creating action plans, teaming up with motivated colleagues, *doing*, and making magic happen.

PS: Thanks Tony for blogging this. I knew the analogy to the book (when you shared it the first time) was one that I wanted to have written down somewhere to remember. Now I don't have to. :)


Suffolk County Library Assoc. Presentation

My first visit to Long Island today to speak at the SCLA CATS annual meeting (& later in the day to the Suffolk County Library Directors) was a cold one. In fact, it was too cold to jump into the pool, let along stick my toes in the water… unless of course, it’s the web 2.0 learning pool. :)

For those in attendance – btw thanks for the warm reception (no pun intended) -- here are my slides: Jumping into the 2.0 Pool

Intro slides from Lynette Webb's Interesting Snippets Flickr set

PS: Outside of my quick trip to LI, I'm in Columbus all this week meeting staff, getting orientated, house hunting etc. It's chilly there as well... but only outside & because of Mother Nature. Inside, the reception is just as warm. I think I'm gonna love it at CML. :)


The latest in library furniture

phone book collage
Originally uploaded by teens_libraryloft
The call to send your old phone books to ImaginOn came out weeks ago and for over a month they've accumulated in the corner of the Teen Loft.

Although I'm not so sure about how comfortable they are, you got give it to the teens... it is a creative way to recycle. :)

Flickr set of the teen project here.

PS: Filed under "Just 4 Fun"