The Internet 2020

Lee Ranie, Director of the Pew & Internet Life Project, sent me an email (like I assume many people were copied on) yesterday providing a heads up about the Pew latest report on the Future of Internet III. I've only taken a my first cursory glance over the summary and predictions, but what I really thought-provoking are some of the comments shared by leading experts and futurists...

"Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. The Net will wear away institutions that have forgotten how to sound human."

"The world will get a nervous system, and that is a big deal."

"New methods of securing the true from the false will emerge. The source will become more important than the message."
"The internet is like graffiti, only it can be targeted to the right niche."

"Transportation will be refined through massive substitution of communication. The current flight to cities will be reversed."

"The greatest changes will occur in the arena of trust and human relations."

Here's a high level summary of the predictions and impact:

  • Some 77% said the mobile computing device (the smartphone) with more significant computing power will be 2020's primary global Internet-connection platform.
  • 64% favored the idea that 2020 user interfaces will offer advanced touch, talk and typing options and some added a fourth "T" - think.
  • Nearly four out of five respondents (78%) said the original Internet architecture will not be completely replaced by a next-generation 'net by 2020.
  • Three out of five respondents (60%) disagreed with the idea that legislatures, courts, the technology industry, and media companies will exercise effective intellectual property control by 2020.
  • A majority—56%—agreed that in 2020 "few lines (will) divide professional from personal time, and that's OK."
  • 56% said while Web 2.0 is bringing some people closer, social tolerance will not be heightened by our new connections
  • 45% agreed and 44% disagreed with the notion that the greater transparency of people and institutions afforded by the Internet will heighten individual integrity and forgiveness.
  • More than half (55%) agreed that many lives will be touched in 2020 by virtual worlds, mirror worlds, and augmented reality, while 45% disagreed or did not answer the question.

Oh, and if you have a prediction yourself to add, there's even a form for you to participate.

It's got me thinking ... how about you?


Moving from more to best

“Doing more with less” is a mantra that many libraries have learned to live (and some even flourish) by. But with this current financial crisis it may take more than “more” to carry us through ...


Thanks Jenn Hess for inspiring me with this twitter thought. I totally agree that creativity will be a huge asset during this coming year. How can we do “best” for less? You've got my head spinning around this thought as well.


My 24th & final for the year

My final talk for this year was yesterday and it couldn't have been a better venue or audience. The staff at Boulder Public Library seriously rock and in touring their Main library and community, it was easy to see why Tony Tallent jumped at the opportunity to become BPL's Library & Arts Director.

For me this last talk of the year was a bit of self-imposed stretching assignment. I wanted to do something for Tony's new staff that was not only playful and fun and but also steered clear of the topics of social media and technology trends -- my typical presentation forte. I think I succeeded in doing both, but I'm always open for suggestions for improvement, Here are my slides:

From a quick recap of my calendar, it looks like I did 24 different talks this year and in all of these, it looks like I only used one slide deck twice. That's a lot of talks ... and a lot of stretching.

Thanks Tony & BPL for a awesome day of PLAY!


CML Learn & Play Finale !!!

When Joy told me where we were tracking with the participant and completion rates for Learn & Play earlier this week, I was totally impressed. This morning, the drawings were held for those who finished in time for a chance at the added incentives, but in my book all 254 staff members who completed their 23 things learning journey are winners!

Here's the video of the final drawing with Pat Losinksi and the Learn & Play team. Getting to sit on the sidelines this time around and watch the enthusiasm and energy that the team contributed to this effort was a pure joy! They really brought new energy and a brilliant twist to the program.

Anyway, here's the video of the prize drawings for L&P.

Hats off to everyone who joined in this learning journey. And from what I understand there may still be a bit more in store for those who are still interested in learning more. So, hold on to your blog and keep watching Learn & Play.

PS: Here's the final stats: 494 staff blog created = 63%, 254 completed = 51.4% - w00t!!

I'm IMPRESSED, aren't' you?

10 Random Things (& my 10 things from a year ago)

A few weeks ago, I eluded in my Learn & Play video that I had put forth a challenge for CML employees (via the APLE employee newsletter) to share ten random things about themselves. Since that time, I've had several requests to reprint them. So for those that are curious, here they are:


For those who don't me yet, I'm Helene Blowers and the newest member of your executive leadership team. Having just been in Columbus now 10 months I'm still learning tons about the area, the library and all the incredible people I'm working with – that's you!

As many of you are already aware, I'm the creator of the original online learning program that CML's Learn & Play is base upon and blog at So in trying to figure out what I could share with you through the APLE newsletter, that you might not know about me, I thought I'd just try and share ten random things that you won't find elsewhere. :)

  1. I have weakness for white chocolate covered pretzels. There's something about salty and sweet together.
  2. In high school I excelled in swimming, competing on numerous teams and even swimming at the state level. Now I rarely swim … except in paperwork and housework. I'm sure many of you can relate.
  3. As a pre-teen I had crushes on David Cassidy, Scott Biao & the Bay City Rollers. I know this dates me, but oh, well…
  4. I enjoy going to concerts. The best concert I have ever attended has to be Joe Cocker. The second best is REM @ the Hamersmith Odion, London -back when Michael Stipe actually had hair. :)
  5. I've had the same green ribbon attached to my key ring for over twenty years. It's served me well. I've never lost my keys.
  6. People who treat "walking sidewalks" in busy airports like "parking lots" (and don't know how to get off to the side) are one of my few pet peeves.
  7. For some reason I'm good at remembering trivial numbers. The grocery clerks are constantly amazed by my ability to recite the barcode off the dog's 20 lb bag of food without looking – 1780042330 :)
  8. Although I hitch hiked all over England and southern Ireland during my younger days, it's not something I would do today. Nor would I encourage my daughters to do when they get older. Ah, the wisdom of age ...
  9. I've had minor brushes with fame with Barry Manilow, John Cougar Meloncamp, Patti Smyth, Jessie Helms and Lauren Becall. But my favorite bwf story has to be Jon BonJovi. Ask me some time and I'll tell you about it.
  10. I love to read with my daughters Kathryn and Jessica. We've plowed through the Magic Tree House series, Little House on the Prairie and are currently working on Prince Caspian (Naria series) and the Magic Rainbow fairy books. At 7 and 9 they are fascinated with fairies.

How's that for 10 random facts. If you're interested in the normal stuff about me, please feel free to check out

Oh, and I have one last thing. I'd like to give a huge shout out to all you that are participating in Learn & Play. I'm really enjoying watching all the participation and getting to know so many of you better through your blogs. Hey, here's thought ... how about a bonus L& P "thing"? We could call it "10 Random Things." Why not blog ten random things about you and twitter me the link (my twitter ID is hblowers) and that way I ( & others) could also get to know you better. :)


PS: Today is officially my one year anniversary. And as follow-up to this, here's the post I did after my first week titled 10 things I learned during my first week @ CML ( does anyone notice a pattern here?)

It's been an extremely fast year!


Happy Birthday Discovery Place!

My first year anniversary with CML is quickly approaching this week ( my how time goes by fast). But as I’ve learned quickly in my short 52 weeks here, my short-timer status is nothing compared to the tenure of Discovery Place - the work-horse application of the library system.

CML I believe may be the last large urban library system in the country to still run their own home-grown ILS (yes, it’s totally true) and this past week Discovery Place celebrated a major milestone - it’s 20 birthday.

Of course, there's been lots of changes and upgrades to the system since it was launched Thanksgiving weekend in 1988 and with all the exciting upgrades that the DP (Discovery Place) team is working on we're hopeful that we can make this backbone application even more valuable.

Anyway, I have feeling there's a lot of good things ahead for both me and DP. I'm still in awe that it's been a year for me already... and am mildly hopeful I'll also make it here at CML to celebrate my 20th :)

Thing 23: [insert happy dance]

Like many Learn & Play participants, I’m doing a happy dance right now realizing that I actually made it through all 23 things in the allotted time. I know that there are many CML staff out there still doing the program, so I want to lend my social media support (hmm… could this be a new meaning to the acronym “sms”) to all those pushing to the finish line these 48 hours.

For me the Learn & Play program has really be amazing to watch. As many of you already know, this discovery program was based upon a program idea that I launched nearly two years ago for another library system. But as look back on this experience with CML (this time both a participant and staff support cheerleader) I can honestly say that Team CML really turned up the volume. From day 1, Learn & play – ”I say LEARN, you say_____”the amazing team ( remember this video) behind this creative effort has launched themselves 100% into this effort. And for those of you participating in the program (hey, including me) you’ve responded with 200% !

My favorite part of Learn & Play definitely has to be the learning transformation that I’ve seen and watched from staff. Not only are you guys having fun, but I’ve heard about so amazing stories about how staff have reached customer in new ways as a result of being familiar with these tools and communication channels. Reference questions have been answered via twitter and even books have been reserved for customers via these new channels. In essence the program has not only been fun for staff and given many of you new tools, but already even these first few weeks, some of you have increased our libraries customer touch points through your efforts.

Tied for my favorite part of Learn & Play is also the videos. Gerald 2.0 & Library4Joy, you two seriously rawk! These videos capturing the experiences of our the staff participants are in fact the very best testimonials of how this discovery learning program has helped and united staff. In my own L&P video installment, I truly meant when I said that the worse part of Learn & Play is that it’s going to be over soon and after hearing from several staff who also are expressing the same, let me just say to the entire CML team ( yes, that means you, all 700+ employees) … let’s work together to ensure that our learning together never stops.

Congrats to all on completing this journey!

Image: licensed by derekrogerson under CC.

Thing 22: MOLDI (aka downloadable stuff)

I have to agree with the consensus out there that MOLDI (Mid-Ohio Library Digital Initiative) is perhaps one of the worse sounding acronyms ever. However, that being said, the content from the service more than makes up for a the sour-sounding name.

For my “moldi” experience, I chose to checkout one of the eFlicks. Of the children’s eflicks available, I learned that “Animalland“ was the most popular title downloaded from the current 140 titles available for young minds. The video come in 9 parts and is a total of an hour and nine minutes in length.

I’m downloading it right now to see what the quality is, but I'm anticipating that it is good. Will follow-up with my Siskel & Ebert soon. :)

Thing 21: Podcasts

Like a lot of CML employees right now, I’m in the middle of the last dash to get my 23 things completed by Wednesday for Learn & Play. When it comes to podcasting, I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve done of these. Back in 2006 when I first created the Learning 2.0 program, I created a podcast for each of things. They are still accessible on my Odeo channel, which is the free podcast hosting site I choose to work with. Most of my podcasts were created using Audacity, another free audio file editing program and then uploaded to Odeo.

Here’s the last podcast I did for the original Learning 2.0 and I must say that the enthusiasm I had at the time for my former POW, is two fold this time around as I see and hear about all the excitement from staff who have completed Learn & Play.

My original podcast done for thing 23:

Listen to this podcast [1:17]-->powered by ODEO

Great job CML!!!

PS: Am wondering if any of you notice a change in my accent at all since I relocated from south? If I have, I not able to notice is myself.


10 rules for crushing innovation ...

[ Note: Discovered tonight in my drafts. Although my November talk is over, I think the list is still to good not to share. Edit date shows I orginally wrote it in early Sept. ]

In November I’ll be doing a talk on innovation at OLC’s Innovative Environments conference this year. And if you read my blog often then you know that this a subject area that I am very interested in.

Thanks to Steven Bell at Designing Better Libraries for pointing to this article from University Business on “10 simple rules for crushing innovation and maintaining a culture of inertia

1. Request a formal written proposal.
2. Send the proposal to a committee.
3. Schedule meetings to discuss the concept.
4. Lose the proposal.
5. No money in the budget.
6. "Have you talked to ... about it?"
7. "We don't, haven't, won't, can't ..."
8. "Sounds exciting, but I'll need more details."
9. "Yes, but ..."
10. Quote Nancy Reagan and "just say no."

I think we’ve all witnessed some of rules these in practice, and just maybe even used some of these ourselves. Ok, I admit I’ve been guilty myself in the past of #s 1, 6 & 8. But I’ve worked hard to change # 8 from "more details" to “I’m right behind you and happy to support your leadership on the project.”

With large bureaucracies, formalizing and socializing ideas is unfortunately necessary in order to move ideas forward. It’s hard work navigating through red-tape channels, but from experience I’ve learned that if you’re persistent and demonstrate leadership (this second item I can’t stressed enough) the effort is worth it. The tape also becomes weaker the second ( and third, forth, etc …)time around.

At the Innovative Environments conference in November, I will speaking to some of these points from both the employee/idea generator and leadership perspective. It's important to understand that innovation is more then implementing great ideas. In order to get to the "doing new things" stage you have to get your ideas noticed.

Read the full article and anticipate the red-tape. Then brainstorm ways to demonstrate your 1) passion 2) vision & 3) leadership. Everyone has these qualities in some shape or form. It's just to what degree do we share them with others.

PS: And if you're in Columbus on Nov 6 & 7th, why not join me attending the Innovative Environments conference. From the line-up of speakers and guests, I'm really looking forward to it.

PPS: My talk is opposite three heavy hitters (Joe Branin, Andrew Pace & Stephen Abram) so I'm little nervous.

My Dewey Decimal Classification

[ a just for fun post]

According to this little finding aid, my dewey classification is 023 Personnel Management. TBH I find this funny and a bit scary at the same time.

Helene Blowers's Dewey Decimal Section:

023 Personnel management

000 Computer Science, Information & General Works

Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations.

What it says about you:
You are very informative and up to date. You're working on living in the here and now, not the past. You go through a lot of changes. When you make a decision you can be very sure of yourself, maybe even stubborn, but your friends appreciate your honesty and resolve.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Thanks Ridiculooogy and Rock Me Like a Librarian for posting.

Thing 20: YouTube

Ok, here’s another post to cross another Learn & Play activity off my list. I’ve been a fan and user of YT since long before (if you can call 14 months long) it was acquired by Google. Here’s a lost little video I uploaded in early 2007 that shows a collaborative art project that I created along with several dozen other strangers on

If you haven't tried out the, try it out. Collaborative art is fun!

Thing 19: CML Power Tools

For thing 19 of Learn & Play, we are encouraged to check out CML’s Power Tools page and since I’ve already blogged about power tools page before here on LibraryBytes, I’m taking the easy out on this exercise and just pointing you to my earlier post.

To date, I think I heard that 156 staff have already completed this journey, with many more trying to wrap up (as am I) before the December 6th deadline hits. For those of you still blogging and moving through your things, keep the faith. You can do it! The home stretch is almost here. Keep on learning … I'm right there with you!

Thing 18: Web 2.0 Fun

So for my 18th thing for Learn & Play, I chose the Fun Stuff category to explore. Hairmixer, listed as #2 on the this year’s’s Web 2.0 Awards, looked too much fun to pass up. Here are my results. BTW feel free to giggle :)

I think it’s safe to say that I definitely can’t pull off the Pink and Paris Hilton looks and I just don’t have the locks to maintain a Catherine Zeta Jones. Still it was fun.

Ok, only four more things to do for L&P.


Help us tell our story by telling yours

When I ran into Nancy Dowd at Internet Librarian just a month ago she mentioned that a fabulous new marketing campaign was in the works from the New Jersey State Library. She was right. Take a look for yourself...

Tell Us Your Story

Wow! I love it and can't wait to see the results.

The religion of “best practice”

Dave Ferguson left a comment on my blog yesterday that stuck such a resounding cord with me that I was motivated to flickrize it. Here’s the result:

After I did some crafting on this new image -- which you can bet will also show up in some future presentation of mine -- I stumbled across this thought-provoking post from Bailey WorkPlay:

Best Practices encourage the belief that there is just one true path.
Ever hear a consultant or industry peer tout best practices like they were written in stone and brought down from the mountain by Moses himself? They preach that all someone has to do is simply install these practices into their organization and they’ll score easy rewards. They’ll argue quite strongly that to ignore best practices is to needlessly “recreate the wheel” and waste valuable resources. It’s enough to make you feel like a sucker if you don’t immediately sign up to learn as many best practices as possible. But let’s be frank…the sucker turns out to be the blind adherent to the religion of best practices. Hopefully, this isn’t you.”

Read the full post, Tools of the Devil- Best Practices and let me know if you agree.

From an innovation standpoint, I can definitely see how blindly subscribing to “best practices” can definitely lead to the death of innovation. However, learning from "best practices" is another thing. The religion of learning I will always subscribe too!

Related thoughts: Best practice or fresh practice?


My 7 year-old's definition of community

My youngest's definition of community

Not only is it a library... it's a library online !

... with sponge bob the librarian handing out ice cream :)


Innovation: You won't find it inside the circles

I've had this index card tagged in my newsreader for over two weeks now. Just last night I revisited it and found myself pondering the “C” and how much Jessica Hagy has really hit this one on the head ... and squarely!

But it worked in the 90s!

To be honest the comments on Jessica's blog really say it best. Once you try to wrap “best practices” into the confines of standard operating procedures you kill the very nature that made them best practices to begin. Bottom line --- You can't indoctrinate something that owes its attractiveness to innovation.

Anyway, I have feeling I will be able to use this image somehow in some future presentation (yup, that's why I'm posting it here) In the meantime, I'm convinced that real opportunity in this image lies not inside any of the circles, but in the larger white space outside the spheres ... that's where you really find innovation.

Latest Cookbook from MaintainIt

The long awaited 3rd technology cookbook is finally out MaintainIT and for me, I must admit, that this cookbook is perhaps my favorite. The “Planning for Success” cookbook offers a slew of best practices for planning, building and managing computer technology in libraries. Topics include TCO ( Total cost of ownership), leasing vs buying, remote desktop applications and even a section of what to consider when evlauting and implementing social media tools in your library. Best of all, this cookbook, along with the other two, is completely FREE.

MaintainIT “Joy of Computing cookbooks:

PS: Don’t forget to check out the FREE webinars MaintainIT offers, too!

Proposals Sought for Grassroots Programs at 2009 ALA Annual Conference

For year’s I have been annoyed at the program submittal process for ALA conferences. Specifically, the provision that many ALA divisions practice that require program submissions to be “sponsored” by a committee, group or a division member. To me this policy extremely limits new voices from participating in national conferences...

Well, low and behold & I might add, a huge kudos to Jim Rettig, ALA President, for creating a new avenue for new talent to participate. This came through email today...

Proposals Sought for Grassroots Programs at 2009 ALA Annual Conference

Do you have a great idea for an Annual Conference program but don’t belong to a committee or other group that can plan and produce a program? As part of ALA President Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives, you are invited to submit a proposal for a program to take place at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference July 9-15 in Chicago.

The purpose of a Grassroots Program is:

  • To expand opportunity for participation in ALA by giving members who do not belong to committees or boards within ALA an opportunity to plan and produce a program at the Annual Conference
  • To provide programs at the Annual Conference that address very current issues by compressing to the greatest degree possible the program planning schedule
  • To enrich the variety and quality of programs at the Annual Conference.
    Proposals can be submitted by a single ALA personal member or by any group of ALA members who do not serve together on a committee or board within ALA. Proposals can address any topic of interest to ALA members. Proposals must be original; they cannot replicate a program previously presented at an ALA Annual Conference, Midwinter Meeting or national divisional conference. Proposals previously submitted to a committee, board or task force in ALA, one of its divisions or one of its round tables, cannot be resubmitted

Proposals will be judged on:
  • Relevance of the program’s topic to ALA members and the profession at large
  • Timelines
  • Knowledge of proposed speaker(s) on the topic
  • Originality – i.e., the degree to which the proposed program looks at a topic in a new and fresh way or treats a topic that has not received as much attention as it deserves, either because it is very new or due to some other factor

Proposals can address ALA’s key action areas:
  • Diversity
  • Equitable Access to Information and Library Services
  • Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession
  • Literacy
  • Organizational Excellence or other areas.

A jury will select up to 10 programs to take place during the conference. The jury will be made up of members of the student ALA chapters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UCLA as well as several members of Jim Rettig’s presidential initiatives advisory committee.

Each selected program will be listed in the program book for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference and will be noted as being part of the Grassroots Program Track as a juried program. You are also welcome to publicize your program by whatever means you would like, but please indicate that it is part of the “Grassroots Program Track.”

Each program will be allotted a $500 budget to cover speaker costs or other expenditures.

Additional information and a submission form can be found at

Deadline for submission is Feb. 6, 2009.

All I can say is ... Yay!


Too good an opportunity not to tout …

Boulder Public Library has just announced the type of leadership opportunity that makes me smile.
“The Library Innovation and Technology (LIT) Manager will be a visionary, energetic member of Boulder Public Library’s Leadership Team. The Manager will be responsible for supporting leading-edge technology and digital services into the fabric of the library’s mission and on-going activities. A strong dedication to innovation and rapid integration of services is necessary. The LIT Manager will work with all Public Library departments to maximize the resources of the public library in order to create meaningful and remarkable services, programs and experiences for internal and external customers.”

To be honest if I wasn’t totally thrilled with my move to CML this past year [don’t worry CML, I am :)] I might be tempted. But since I know that there has to be at least one person (or two) out there reading my blog who might be motivated by a fabulous opportunity like this, I just had to share. Get more information here and here.


Last Friday was a long day for me. I flew into NYs JFK, drove to Merrick, NY, found a little deli for lunch, gave a three hour (yes, three hours) talk to a great group of librarians from the Long Island Library Resources Council and then jumped back into a car to return to JFK for an 8pm flight home.

It always amazes me when my timing on my talks comes out just right. 120 slides and 3 hours – that’s a long time to talk and a lot of information to share. When I glanced at the clock upon advancing to my last slide, the hands said 3:29 – just one minute to spare :)

For those in attendance, here are my slides:

It’s Not About Us: Exploring Social Media Strategies in Libraries


Thing 17: Online Applications & Slideshare

I am a big fan of online applications and online storage. Online apps not only allow people to easily collaborate, they are the ultimate storage safety net. For me is a pseudo online app that has come to my rescue on more than one occasion. Although in the trust sense, some might not call it an online app (because you can't really create presentations slide with it) you can create slidecasts (audio slideshows) from presentations you upload.

Anyway, as I said Slideshare has come to my rescue on more then occasion. By hosting my slideshows on the web, I have access to them where ever I go – even when I forget to bring along my thumb drive.

So for my blog post about Thing 17 on CML's Learn & Play, I thought I'd highlight Slideshare. And i just noticed that they have a new widget that allows me to share all my upload presentations in a “presentation pack”

Pretty neat, hey? Just another reason to love Slideshare.

OK, I'm on the home stretch for Learn & Play, only 6 more things to blog :)


Thing 15: JFK vs Nixon (aka The Blog vs Wiki debate)

Thing 15 of the CML Learn & Play challenge asks you to comment on your findings about wikis. Here's a discovery I made tonight... who'd have thunk that JFK and Nixon actually debated the merits of Blogs vs Wikis over 40 years ago. I'm Serious... have a look :)

PS: Watching this video makes me wonder how this topic might have played out in a Obama / McCain showdown. On second thought, I think we already know. But, if your curious at all on learning about how the Obama camp successfully engaged the public through social media like blogs and wikis, MIT Technology Review had a great cover story on his campaign's use of online tools last month titled, How Obama Really Did It.

Even if your not an Obama fan, from a social media standpoint it's an interesting read.


Analyze your blog – Use at your own risk :)

Here’s a list of a few fun blog analyzers that supposedly offer up some insights into your blog and writing style. Note: I can’t validate the scientific integrity of any of these tools. I share them here for your pure amusement purposes only :)

  • Typealyzer – provides a Myers-Briggs type analysis of your blog and shows you the area of the brain that your writing style reflects most.

  • Genderanalyzer – determines what sex you write like.

  • Readability Test - Determine what grade level your blog is written at.

  • What is your blog worth - Determines your blog worth based upon Technorati ranking and advertising potential.

And just for the record, here are my results: ISTJ, Woman, High school*, $47,569

Note: The first time I did the readability test (well over a year ago) my blog reading level was “elementary school.” Guess my detention hall tutoring has paid off :)


Thing 14: Thoughts & perspectives

I have to admit, trying to follow along with CML’s Learn & Play program by blogging each of things has had its challenges. Not because of time, but rather because 90% of the exercises in the program are one’s that I created. Indeed it’s been a strange sort of challenge to be on the “learner” side of the program this time. But the L&P team has been doing such a great job at coordinating and leading the effort, I feel in way obligated to try my best to support the program by participating along with staff.

For exercise 14, participants are asked reflect on a one or two perspectives on how 2.0 is affecting libraries. In answer to this question, I offer up one simple response … just read my blog.

In fact started this blog over four years ago in an effort to keep onto of the shift I was beginning to see. Here is first post.

In looking through the archives, Feb 05 marks my first entry with mention of anything 2.0. My good friend Michael Casey coined the phrase in what seems so very long ago and I guess in web-time is was. 4 years has truly gone by fast.

Anyway, if you’re wondering at all what my perspectives are on libraries and the shift, just grab any two month’s archives at random. You’ll see it’s forever evolving. :)


The Shift: In case you haven't noticed...

... it's accelerating... and fast! This just in.

U.S. News & World Report Abandons Print for Web

Friday, November 7, 2008 11:21 AM

WASHINGTON — U.S. News & World Report, long the number three newsmagazine in the United States behind Time and Newsweek, has become the latest U.S. media outlet to abandon print for the Web.

The move to become an Internet-focused publication was announced to U.S. News employees in a memorandum on Tuesday from management of the magazine.

"We're accelerating this transformation in response to our rapid growth online where our audience is now about 7 million uniques a month and growing," U.S. News president Bill Holiber and editor Brian Kelly said in the memo.

"For all of you who have worked so hard to make this transition possible, say good-bye to Web 2.0 and welcome to Journalism 5.0," they added. ...

The shift to the Web by U.S. News comes just a week after the 100-year-old Christian Science Monitor announced plans to end its daily print edition and become the first national U.S. newspaper to become entirely Web-based.

On a side note. This announcement takes care of eliminating the only periodical that my household gets. It's been a steady gift that was renewed by my in laws for us every year at X-mas. I think originally it was my FIL's idea and attempt to influence our political views, but since both my in laws past away over a year ago and we still get the magazine, I think they must have paid our subscription out at least five years advanced.

I must admit this news saddens me a bit. Not because I'll miss the magazine in post each week ... but because I'll miss the weekly memories it triggers of my ILs (I was fortunate to have great ones, too) every time it arrives in the mail.


Election 08 - We Feel Fine

A collection of images and thoughts captured from We Feel Fine tonight.

Election 08 - We Feel Fine
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: election)

9:48 pm -- The election results aren’t final yet, but if these images and thoughts are any indication, it feel goods to exercise democracy

Encouraging Organizational Innovation

Encouraging innovation at an organizational level can be a stretch for many libraries. “How do I change the culture?” is one question I’m asked often at conferences when I speak and more often the question goes further depending upon who is asking it. From front-line employees and middle management it’s “if administration/management isn’t willing to change.” From administrators and upper managers, it’s “if our front-line managers/employees aren’t willing to change.”

The funny thing for me, is that almost every time I get this question, what I find is that the person asking it really doesn’t want to hear advice on how to change their organization through their own behavior, they want someone else to change theirs instead. This is sorta the premise for my talk tomorrow at the Innovative Environments conference which is appropriately titled “Innovation starts with “I” and, yes ... it’s totally true. Innovation starts at the individual level. Organizations that recognize this and create environments that tap into their employees individuals’ strengths can create a cascading effect that elevates innovation throughout the entire organization.

No matter where you are on the org. chart ladder, you can play a critical role in encouraging innovation in your organization. The key is that you have to be willing to work at innovation from your own organizational perspective in order to build the trust and relationships (either up, down or sideways) which in turns enables innovation to flow throughout the rest of it.

Granted, innovation works faster when all levels of the organization are working in tandem on this. But if your organization bumbling or if you find yourself asking the questions I shared in the first paragraph above, I suggest that the first is really asking yourself, "what can I begin to do now/differently to help move my organization forward?"

For those that are curious or in attendance tomorrow at the Innovative Environments conference, here are my slides.

Innovation Start with "I"
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: innovation)

PS: If your in attendance, please be sure to also stop me and say “hi”

PSS: A huge nod to Tony Tallent, who co-presented an earlier variation of this talk with me at CIL last year. Wish you could be there too!


Which comes first... the container, conduit or community?

I’ve been thinking a lot about community, containers and conduit. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard Howard Rheingold’s opening keynote at Internet Librarian two weeks ago in Monterey. Howard (Smart Mobs author) offered up a lot of great thoughts on collective action, co-creation of knowledge, and technologies as community enablers. But what surprised me most was the last few slides he ended on, or rather I should say, the final technology website he pointed us to, - a "free and open-source web service that provides teachers and learners with an integrated set of social media" tools for creating community around classroom curriculum.

As soon as Howard unveiled this new free portal (which I have to admit, does in fact look and sound like a pretty awesome set of tools for educators) my brain started spinning and I quickly tweeted this NTS.

Howard's last slides got me wondering ... why after just guiding us through a great talk about all these ideas about unstructured co-creation and self-assembling collectives, did he end by focusing/showcasing a new community “container” instead of focusing on the conduit connectors of self-forming communities? The answer in my mind is a little bit rhetorical… it’s because our definition of community is still rooted by the “container” and containers are much easier to build then connections.

Connections are made and enabled through conduit. Conduit by its definition is a “channel through which something (as a fluid) is conveyed.” It’s what enables connections to be made regardless of the container type. And, it’s really what enables online communities to form and gain momentum as connections are made across “containers” between different members’ “community containers” of choice. Therefore in trying to create online communities for libraries ( or any other organization for that matter) does it make more sense to focus our resources, time and effort on trying to create “new containers” for communities to assemble in, or does it make more sense to focus our efforts on creating “connecters” that enables community building to transcend and bridge across “container” boundries?

As you might be able to see, I’ve been fumbling around with this thought for awhile now trying to sort out something cohesive enough to post out here on blog. Although I don’t have my thoughts sorted out just yet (although I’ve made a first attempt here), I’m really curious about anyone else’s thoughts to this question … “Is a “container” required/necessary to create an online community?” and if not, “then what/where is the best way/place to start?”

Anyone got any thoughts?


Seth Godin on Great Librarians

Thanks Nancy Dowd for posting this small gem from Seth Godin's recent talk to librarians in New Jersey. This is one event that makes wish I had been in Jersey last week. :)


Innovation in Action

Jason Hyatt over at has posted a great little presentation with some tips for igniting simple innovation is libraries. Take a look …


24/7 Innovation thoughts

Good stuff from 24/7 Innovation by Stephen Shaprio:

“Innovation emerges when people are allowed to give free rein to their creative talents within a set of simple rules.“

“Innovation is about connecting the dots. Lines, not boxes. And technology's greatest power in driving innovation is connecting the various dots and boxes that exist in the business landscape, such as customers, employees, suppliers and intermediaries."

“Reactive innovation does little to differentiate a company from the competition, and just delays the sinking of the ship. Innovation must be pervasive and perpetual: everyone, everywhere, all of the time. Innovation must be seen as the key currency within the company."

Stephen Shapiro’s innovation blog


Chris Taylor on L&P

My heart smiles broadly when I see how much fun staff are having learning with Learn & Play … and this recent video from CML Deputy Director, Chris Taylor, sharing her thoughts from the administrator’s perspective makes my arteries dance too!

Please join me in giving Chris a shout out and then check out her blog, We Say Play. Oh, and don't forget to add some CML Flair from the Pieces of Flair app on Facebook.


Innovative Environments conference

Is it me, or do the week's fly by faster once school starts? It seems like ever since the last week in August, my schedule has bounced from one conference to the next. It's hard for me to believe that November will be here *already*, as in the end of this week. So the fact that OLC's Innovative Environments conference is next week, shouldn't surprise I guess... but it does!

The panel of speakers are great for this conference and I'm looking forward to being part of it. But I must say, I'm regretting my time slot as a speaker in the first break out session, because I'd love to hear the other three speakers (Joe Branin of OSU, Andrew Pace of OCLC and Stephen Abram) to myself. I hope in way they capture some of these talks on vid-cast so I can see what miss.

Anyway, if you're in Columbus area next week (Nov 5th & 6th) I believe there's still time to register for the conference. I'm really looking forward to it... and the best part is (at least for me) is that my participation doesn't require extensive travel :)


IL Presentations

Internet Librarian was a great conference this year (as usual) but what made it especially memorable for me was the fantastic job that Team CML did with their presentations.

Between all the Digital Services team members attending, we gave six talks between us. Three talks were part of Sunday’s pre-conference offerings and three were part of the regular conference schedule. :)

Pre-conference talks:

Conference track talks:

All in all another great conference. But I have to admit that this one was a bit different for me. What can I say, but... "Thanks team!"


The Pomegranate: The ultimate hand-held device or ... *

Ever imagine a hand-held device that could not only capture images and audio, but could also project video on the wall, translate your conversation on the fly into more then 50 difference languages and brew a cup of coffee to boot? Take a look at the video promo for this imaginary product. Makes me wish the Pomegranate phone was a real ... the coffee part would sure come in handy...

Here's the rest of it's capabilities in video. :)

* Hats off to the Nova Scotia board of tourism for producing such a clever and innovative marketing campaign that makes the future of convergence computing devices seem much closer.

PS: I've also vacationed in Nova Scotia and can attest ... the scenery and tourism opportunities are fabulous.


Congrats Columbus !

Staff stickers just arrived Yup, the stickers arrived just this past week...

Congratulations CML !!!

And, congratulations to the entire Columbus, OH community. This one really reflects your use and support of the library. Thanks for making the Columbus Metropolitan Library #1 again. :)

HAPLR results


Quite honestly...

... this is one of my **most** favorite things that I've ever seen a library do.


Mosiac created @ Big Huge Labs from photos of University City Regional Library's Family Portrait Day (photographer Ian Nguyen, PLCMC)

I know, I've mentioned this before on LB, but it's so good I have to highlight it again!

10 Tips about 23 Things

Finally saw the printed version today. I like the retro artwork :)

School Library Journal Article - Oct 08

Online version here.


Getting ready for IL

It never fails … I always seem to find myself a week before any major conference totally reworking all my slides and crunching to pull together some new thoughts before my flight out. I do it to myself, I know. Whenever I submit a conference talk idea 6 months or so in advance, I always draft a description for a talk that I either haven’t given before or just have a few sketchy ideas about. This way I force myself to do something new.

This year’s new talk is a twist on a subject I’ve spoken on before, innovation. But instead of tackling innovation from the wild seeds/ ideas aspect, I’m aiming to develop a full talk from the “fresh practices” perspective. If you’re attending Internet Librarian, why join me for the Innovation & Change track. I’m not only leading it off with my fresh practices talk, but also moderating the track for the full day. Here’s the track...

Tuesday, Oct 21st
B201 ◗ Innovation: From Best Practice to Fresh Practice
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Helene Blowers, Director, Digital Strategy, Columbus Metropolitan Library

B202 ◗ Fostering Creativity & Innovation in Your Staff
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Paul de Villo, Web Services Manager, Tom Kozak, Library Assistant &
Tom Cole, Librarian, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County

B203 ◗ Embedding Libraries/Librarians in Learning
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Deb Wallace, Managing Director, Baker Library Services, Knowledge & Library
Services, Harvard Business School
B204 ◗ Who Moved My Ultrafiche & 8-Tracks?
Insights for the Future
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Dan Lester, Head, Network Services, University Libraries, Boise State University

B205 ◗ Ubiquitous Computing & Libraries
4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Chris Peters, Technical Analyst, Techsoup
Michael Porter, Community Product Manager, WebJunction

In addition to I & C track, I’m also doing pre-conferences on Sunday. Project Management in Practice with CML colleague Macrina Gilliam, Digital Services Project Manager and an encore presentation with Michael Porter on Innovation through Un-marketing. Looking forward to all. :)


Learn & Play - " I say learn, you say ..."

Inspiring!! let me repeat... INSPIRING!! (that was more of shout, wasn't it? ... Good !) Wy? Because it's really the only word I can think to describe all the awesome things that I see when I take a look at the Learn & Play program and see what all the CML staff are doing.

Just read a few of the blogs from the over 400 participants and you'll see what I mean. Or, take a look at the videos created by Gerald2.0 and LibraryJoy. Here's the latest - an interview with Rock Me Like a Librarian.

There's lots more interviews and videos too. Check them all out here.

You say "Learn & Play" ... I say "INSPIRING!!"

Thanks CML!!!


IDEA2008 Recap

My brain’s still spinning from all the interactions and events from the last 48 hours… so before I forget many of the big ideas that struck me, I thought I’d recap the memorable concepts and ideas that stood out to me.

The Idea Conference put on the Information Architecture Institute has to be, hands down, the best two day conference event I’ve attended in the last three years. What made it the best, was the exposure to different thinking and different disciplines. And, given that “information architecture” is right up the MLS / MLIS degreed alley, I was surprised not to see any other library professionals attending (that is outside of Michael and I) this event. To top it off the conference was hosted at the Pritzker auditorium @ the Chicago Public Library!

Anyway… for anyone interested in attending a great conference, be sure to put IDEA2009 on your radar. I don’t know the location for next year’s event, but secretly I’m hoping for it to be some where on the east coast, so travel isn’t so far. [ x fingers ]

Anyway, here’s the high level recap of some of the ideas that caught my attention. And although many of these I kind of touch on in some of my talks, I enjoyed hearing them from another perspective …

  • David Armano = Critical Mass = Logic + Emotion (blog) >> Infinite touch points : Micro-interactions : 3 Us (usefulness, utility & ubiquity) : “Social experience is built upon micro-interactions” - - Slides, David’s blog

  • David Gray = XPlane >> Books & Browsers : “we’re still in the age of scrolls on the internet” : “Internet has done a really good job at making a huge file cabinet” – we can tag and refile things, etc: Big Opportunity is for Internet to figure out how to support creativity : interleafing -- David’s blog Hoping slides are posted soon on his Slideshare space

  • Elliot Malkin >> Eruv (I found this talk on orthodox Jewish social space fascinating) : Cemetery 2.0 : really great projects and studies at his project site Dziga

  • Jesse James Garrett = Adaptive Path >> augmented reality/data abundance/virtual indentity : Aurora concept browser videos ( watch ‘em all, lotsa great interaction concepts here) Adaptive Path blog

  • Alberto CaƱas = IHMP >>“feathers & beaks” : “knowledge is formed by concepts and propositions” : concept maps : “ The key in knowledge construction is building upon what a person already knows” : IHMC C-Map tool

  • Jason Fried = 37 Signals >> “We're always scratching our own itch. If we need it, we figure hundreds of companies do too” : “We don’t pay attention to our competition, we pay attention to customers” : plans, personas, flowcharts are "holdovers from other disciplines." : need, just, only, easy = 4 letter words that shut down innovation - SVN blog

  • Aradhana Goel = IDEO >> Social Trends / Technology Enablers / Business Trends : Crowdsourcing – leverage the power of employees : Nomadism – defined by not what you carry, but by what you leave behind : Free - $$ is being replaced by attention, reputation & network - Talk on (recorded thanks to D. Armano)

  • Bill Deroughy = Ziba >> Language of Interaction - Slides, Blog

I missed the last talk ( and half of Bill Deroughey’s – that’s why no notes) so I could catch a flight home. Am hoping to make next year’s event if possible.

Final Thought >>> Highly Recommend !!! this conference for anyone interested in “out of the design” thinking. :)

My Flickr shots : IDEA2008

Until next year …

PS: According to my stats, this is post # 777 - isn't that a lucky number or something ?


Thing #13 It’s like putting away / pulling out toys …

I’ve been a fan of for several years now and still fondly remember how liberating it felt during those first few months to be able to tag/bookmark websites without being chained to a local browser. I guess it’s still liberating in way, but it’s a norm that I have long gotten used to.

Today, whenever I do find myself promoting the use of to others I often liken it to the analogy of a “toy box.” For me is the perfect tool to tag interesting finds that you may stumble across during the day so that you can pull them out and play with them later. In essence it's my “toy box.” Where I store my toys, so that when I have 10 or 15 minutes free in my day, I don’t spend those precious few minutes searching the web for something new discover. Instead I just jump on over to and click on find that I recently tagged “PlayTime” or “MustBlogThis” and use my time to explore these finds more. :)

Try it!

Image: Slide 32 from my presentation, From Players to Guides.


Good news for Public Libraries

Harris Interactive recently released the results of their nationwide Harris Poll conducted in August. The results show some nice trends and stats. Here’s a few I found interesting …

  • Among those that have library cards, “Echo Boomers (those between 18-31) are more likely to have one over other age categories (70% versus 68-65%)” *
  • Over one-third (35%) of people with a library card have used the library 1 to 5 times in the past year and 15 percent have used it more than 25 times in the past year.
  • Almost all Americans (92%) say they view their local library as an important education resource. Seven in ten agreed their local library is a pillar of the community (72%), a community center (71%), a family destination (70%), and a cultural center (69%)

View the full report here.

* Side Note: Echo boomers? That’s a new one to me...

Reflections on Library Leadership

I so rarely look at my blog referrals these days (confession: in my early blogging days I used to look at the these daily) that I was surprised to find a post of mine referenced on the Palinet Leadership Network. Although I’m flatter greatly by the nod to some of my thoughts, I have to admit that I consider myself far from expert on leadership … I feel more like a constant student who's perhaps is just gutsy (or stupid, depending upon how you look at it) enough to post my personal motto. Either way, I find that when I stick my thoughts out here on my blog, it makes a difference – at least to me. By putting my personal statement here, it creates a stronger motivation to actually try and live by.

Anyway… my ramble about leadership does have a point, I promise. Take a look at Palinet’s Reflections of Library Leadership conversation guide. There are some great view points in here to ponder and a great list of articles and blog posts to explore this subject more. As a student, I'm really enjoying reading many of these.

PS: What a great use for wiki ... conversation guides.



I know this great wiki resource has been cited before. But in case you missed it, be sure to take a look (& bookmark) this awesome site that pulls together over 100 free web tools for librarians, school media specialist or basically just about anyone with a little curiosity to explore and learn.


“The purpose of this website is to provide a place for K-12 school library media specialists to learn a little more about web tools that can be used to improve and enhance school library media programs and services, to see examples of how they can be used, and to share success stories and creative ideas about how to use and integrate them. Hundreds of free and inexpensive web tools are available for school library media specialists to use that can make us more productive, valued, and, perhaps, more competitive.”

Personally, I really like the “Five to Test Drive” recommendations that you can find in each section... and the list of examples for both classroom and library use are really exceptional.


Thing #12 You say Tweet, I say Twitter

I’ve been using Twitter for about year now and here’s what I’ve noticed …

Twitter is …

  • very handy as a back channel conference tool. During last three conferences/ workshops I attended, the back channel was very active and engaging.

  • also handy at conferences in helping you make last minute plans with friends and colleagues. At ALA this year, I used Twitter to make lunch plans at the last minute when my schedule abruptly changed and to also get directions to vendor events.

  • a fantastic source for breaking news. Since subscribing to NBC4’s twitter feed, it has become my primary source for breaking news, especially local Columbus news.

    and finally…

  • the new election channel on Twitter… why is positively addicting. Last Friday while stuck in the airport for 6 hours ( yes 6 hours in Phily- uggh) the political fodder bombarding twitter before and during the debate was absolutely fascinating to follow. Both McCain and Obama have official twitter feeds (although I must admit that I think McCain’s was an after thought. Just take a look a the total number of tweets and followers for each and you'll see what I mean). It’s interesting to watch how both candidates are using social media channels for campaigning and even more interesting to me to see how people are reacting.

Twitter on … another post for Learn & Play down :)



I'm a fond collector of striking thoughts. Here's a few I've noted in the past week or so. I like 'em ...

“It’s not what you know, and it’s not even who you know. It’s how much knowledge you give away. Hoarding knowledge diminishes your power because it diminishes your presence,” - David Weinberger

"The brand is now to a significant degree the quality of the conversation... and the conversation IS the brand," Tom Peters

“Vision is a love affair with an idea” - Boyd Clarke & Ron Crossland, The Leader’s Voice

"In order to uncover the gold within your organization, you have to be willing to shake the pan." - David Blowers

That last one came from my husband -- who from his own experience in corporate enterprise, often comes up with gems like this. :)


Thing #10: Obama & McCain beware ...

Here’s my post for Learn & Play about online image generators. But instead of posting a static image generator, I thought I’d share this exciting news story about a new and emerging presidential candidate …

btw, icyww ... Yes, Fritz and I are related... He is my dog. :)

Create your own internet candidate sensation here.


IABC Columbus Talk

Yesterday I spent some time at OCLC conference center speaking to a great group of folks from IABC Columbus about social media strategies for businesses. The power outages we experienced earlier this week from hurricane Ike -- Yes, for those of you that may not have been aware, Ike caused major damage in central Ohio with winds speeds that measured at a category 1 level. In fact there are may still with out power (5 days now) and the clean-up is still in progress. – kept me from updating this talk completely for a non-library audience. But even so, I managed to find a few good examples of local businesses that were taking advantage of social media tools to engage their customers.

Slides: The Social Media E..E..Edge: Strategies for a 2.0 World

I know there are many other examples from Columbus area businesses and organizations that I could also highlight and since I’ll be doing this talk again (for another Columbus area group) I thought I’d give a shout out to see if you had any other suggestions of good “Columbus” examples of businesses (especially non-profits) that have successfully intergraded social media tools and strategies. COSI’s Community page and NBC4’s Twitter presence are two that I have found., But I know there are others. If you know of any other good examples, please comment


Execution Challenges

I’ve had this post on the Barriers to Strategy Execution tagged in my Bloglines account for several weeks now and every time I stumble back across it, I find myself wondering “which of these nine execution challenges are the most important to tackle first when trying to move an organization forward?”

Here's a list of the primary execution challenges, based on surveys of organizational leaders:
  1. Inability to manage change effectively or overcome internal resistance to change.
  2. Strategy conflicts with the existing organizational structure.
  3. Poor or inadequate information sharing among individuals or business units responsible for strategy execution.
  4. Unclear communication of responsibility and/or accountability for execution decisions or actions.
  5. Employees' lack of feeling of ownership of a strategy or execution plan.
  6. Lack of guidelines or a model to guide strategy execution.
  7. Lack of understanding of the role of organizational structure and design in the execution process.
  8. Inability to generate buy-in or agreement on critical execution steps or actions.
  9. Lack of incentives or inappropriate incentives to support execution objectives.

From my 15+ years in libraries, my sense is that that numbers 2 and 5 are tied in the first position followed by a rapid domino effect of all the rest. But I’m wondering what you think … What would you put at the top? Which of these do you think are the hardest for libraries to tackle?

BTW: The good news for me (at least in my current position) is that I see lots of these potential dominoes quickly dissolving. And it’s amazing for me to be part of an organization that is fueled by so much shared passion to serve our customers even better.


Know of a Mover & Shaker? Why not nominate …

Library Journal Mover & Shaker nominations are open once again and that means it’s time to give a nod to colleague or co-worker that you think is really rocking libraries and/or the profession.

“The editors of Library Journal need your help in identifying the emerging leaders in the library world. Our eighth annual Movers & Shakers supplement will profile 50-plus up-and-coming individuals from across the United States and Canada who are innovative, creative, and making a difference. From librarians to vendors to others who work in the library field, Movers & Shakers 2009 will celebrate the new professionals who are moving our libraries ahead.”

Entries can be submitted online here. :)

Things 8 & 9 : RSS & Newsreaders ( & a few favorite blogs)

Over the past three years I’ve done a lot of talking in and about web 2.0 tools and technologies, but if I had to select only one (& only one) to focus my attention on, my response would be easy … learn about RSS and setup a newsreader.

Why? Because time is valuable! Learn how to get information to travel you (via RSS ) and stop wasting your time chasing it down.

Ok, now for #9 - a list of few favorite blogs… And because I’ve been tagged with meme before, I’m just going to point you to my previous fav-five list since after a year, four of the five are still are my list. I’ll let you guess which one has dropped off (& no it’s not the obvious Charlotte-connection blog). I still follow Gorman’s blog and admire how he’s stepped up communication style in the past few months. :)



Friday I spent the day in Jacksonville talking to folks at NEFLIN's (Northeast Florida Library Information Network) annual meeting. The theme of the day was Games People Play and I was happy to deliver both a talk on 23 Things and the afternoon keynote on “Play” strategies for learning. For those in attendance, here are my slides.

Thanks NEFLIN for a great day!


Thing 7: The technology post

Ok, so I've got an hour to kill at the airport as I wait for my flight to depart, so I thought I'd write a post about “something technology” and fulfill my Learn & Play commitment.

Starbucks is my favorite place at CMH to hang out before flights and it helps that it's located kitty corner from gate B22 (USAir's designated gate for traffic in route through CLT). What makes this event any different from any other time that I've waited in Starbucks for a flight to leave, is that this time I'm traveling with a new companion, my Asus Eee PC. And from the looks I occasionally catch from the 13+ folks around me, my little compact laptop is envious for sure.

In Starbucks, all 14 available seats are currently taken up by travelers like me. They all have laptops open (Yes, all 14) and are busy typing away or reading a screen. I'm the only one with a sub-laptop and I must it admit, its both amazingly sweet and liberating to not have to carry around a separate laptop case and lug it on the plane. At 9 inches across, this laptop is smaller in size then most books I read. And best of all it fits in my purse.

My Asus Eee 901 has also introduced me to more then the benefits of size and weight. For the first time I'm using Linux as the operating system and sticking to OpenOffice apps for all my computing needs. I've used OpenOffice for years – in fact at mfpow we installed it on all staff PCs – but Linux as my primary OS is new to me. So far I'm liking it and find it extremely user friendly and intuitive. Wireless connections are breeze and it even runs my all my PowerPoint presentations. Last night I gave a talk to a group of about 30 and had no problem running my 39mb presentation on OpenOffice – even my slide transitions worked. :) The only glitch I had was display problem with some small text. But this was an LCD connection thing, not my new PC.

Anyway, I'm loving my new travel friend and am so happy to be leaving my 14” 7lb couch companion at home. I'm not abandoning my old laptop forever (the larger keyboard & storage size are still major benefits). But when traveling, I'm sticking to my new friend. Two lbs is far better then 12... and I've gotten rid of a carry on bag. :) My arms are dancing about this too!


A little personal story, that I thought I'd share...

It's funny how life drops you little gifts every now and then. Today I received one of those. Here's the story ...

Over a year ago (July 07) I was fortunate to be invited to Australia to speak at library conference and through connections I made with L2.0 also talk at the Victoria State Library in Melbourne and the New South Wales State Library in Sydney. My trip at the time also included a visit with Christine Mackenzie, the visionary CEO for Yarra Plenty Regional Library, that's helping set the pace for exploring new technologies and library services in Australia. During our visit we established a relationship that would benefit both our respective libraries well and briefly chatted about creating a staff exchange program that would allow not only amazing opportunities for our staff, but also help foster an exchange of ideas in how to improve our customer service offerings in both our libraries.

Before I left Charlotte in December, I spent great deal of time helping the Exec. Director set all pieces in place to make this exchange idea a reality. Christine and I emailed back in forth for a few weeks getting documents ready for our respective Board's approval and finally by October everything was set in place for Charles Brown to make the announcement.

I wasn't there to be part of the selection process or even to hear first hand about who had been selected. But I cheered inside all the way from my new office at CML, when I learned that Charles had opened the opportunity up for not one, but two staff to travel to Melbourne for a month long exchange with YPRL.

Unbeknownst to me, today was the day that these two staff members were scheduled to depart and as I rounded the B terminal in CLT (Charlotte Douglas airport) in route to jacksonville this afternoon, I heard two voices call out my name. Imagine my surprise to find it was two of my former colleagues.

There at gate B2 stood Mark Englebracht and Kim Whittington. “We're on our way to Melboune.” they said... Yup, it was a show-stopper moment for me. Immediately in my mind I was brought full circle on this very personal pet project I had fostered before I left PLCMC.

Leaving PLCMC was difficult decision for me last year, but I knew that my continued growth required new challenges. I couldn't have selected a better library system to begin my new journey and every day I find my that new position, and the talented people I work with, more and more rewarding.

Today was great day, for it was really wonderful to help accidentally send Mark & Kim off on their adventure. And it was equally gratifying to personally be able to see an initiative I had fostered come to life.

This month marks only my 9th month at Columbus Metropolitan Library. As I continue to learn my way around this amazing library system, I am eager to work on more staff development opportunities like these (although, perhaps not international exchanges right away) that foster unique and rewarding opportunities for staff to grow. And in my mind that's one of the most important roles of a leader.