24 hours

Within the last 24 hours I’ve …

  • chatted via Googletalk with a distant colleague in Amsterdam who is running 5 simultaneous L2.0 programs.
  • Coordinated a date for a Skypecast interview for a library journal in Netherlands.
  • Connected via FaceBook chat (yes, FB has chat now) with a librarian (and an awesome aussie host) from Melbourne, Australia
  • and recorded a podcast via VoIP with a library director located just a few hours away in the Chicago area.

What amazes me about this is not only the various communication channels that I migrate in and out of during the day, it’s that these new channels instantaneous remove the distance that only a half dozen years ago would have prevented me from ever even having the thought of making a connection with someone I had never met across the globe.

Granted two of the above connections I have actually had the opportunity to meet in person. But what’s interesting is that in each case I had a connection online first before I ever met them in person.

I know that is normal for people who have earned by birth the moniker “digital native.” But for me, who technically was born in the last year of the boom (and I might add still remembers rotary phones, 8 track tapes & b&w tvs) this realization that the world has grown so small at times can be … well … how do I say this …

... inspiring!

OhioNet Talk

It’s been just at a week since I spoke at the OhioNet board annual planning meeting, so I have to apologize to those in attendance at the delay in getting the slides from my talk posted.

Slideshare has been up and down this past week and my internet access sketchy. Fortunately both seemed to have worked out their kinks. :)


L3 Leadership

In the last 48 hours, I’ve read through this 34 page leadership manifesto, The L3 Leadership "State of Being", twice. (It’s an easy read, trust me) Why? Because as a new department director for a new-to-me large library system I’m still working to develop and adapt my leadership style to a new environment, new community and a new set of colleagues - all 700+ of them :).

What I like about this manifesto is the three part emphasis on “leading self” first, followed by “leading with others” next. And as the manifest maintains, once you’re effective in these two leadership disciplines, you will be more effective in “leading others.”

Specifically among the many good thoughts in this document, this one on “leading self” struck a cord with me:

"Here are four important keys to L1, Leading Self. We refer to them as the Four P’s of Self-Leadership: Purpose, Performance, Planning and Problem Solving.

Let’s take them one at a time:

Purpose: Knowing what is important to you and where you are going.

Performance: Understanding how you (You, Inc.) are currently performing in all departments of work and life.

Planning: Mapping out a direction to improve, maintain, and lead all areas of work and life.

Problem Solving: Using your resources and skills to make needed changes in your life and work."

Those that know me well, probably aren’t surprise to see the “P” alliteration. All I can say is that at least they weren’t “Es” :)

NTS: Work on the P’s to support the my learning journey on the all “new” things listed in paragraph one. :)

CSMC, libraries and the new digital divide ...

Last night I attended my first meeting of the Columbus Social Media CafĂ©. Since arriving in Columbus In January, I’ve been trying to get to one of these social gatherings, but somehow every month some prior travel commitment got in the way.

Last night was different and although the group was smaller then the previous meet-ups (a 20 degree drop in temp during the afternoon didn’t help either) the conversation, ideas and sharing were great. Two mommy bloggers, who sat in front of me, stood out (perhaps because I started back in 2001 as a mommy blogger myself) along with the entertaining gal who is a self-proclaimed “beer wench” aka beer blogger, among the many not-for-profit bloggers and media enthusiasts in the groups and it occurred to me that this is a great space for libraries to be actively involved in as we strive to create and support a “thriving community where wisdom and knowledge prevails.”

Helping customers become more tech savvy seems like a natural fit for libraries especially as we face a new era of digital divide. It seems funny to say this, but it’s true. The original use of the term “digital divide” related to having access to the internet and digital information channels - clearly libraries have, and still do, served their communities in this capacity well. The “new digital divide” on the other hand refers to the ability to utilize technology and the new information channels smartly. In essence, I see it as this ...

Slide from one of my recent presentations

I see an educational role for libraries in every one of these, don't you?

PS: If you're in the Columbus area, be sure to join us for the next Social Media Cafe, June 24th. Location TBA soon on the blog.

PPS: and if you're into beer, check out The Beer Wench :)


Just a thought resurfaced ...

I fell into an interesting thread over at David King’s blog this evening that made me reflect on a conversation I had with library colleagues last week. What David so excellently illustrates is the time it often takes for an idea to travel through a channel and reach the critical mass between online publishing tools like blogs and the traditional press such as peer-reviewed journals.

Don’t get me wrong, both in my mind have their benefits (and drawbacks). But in today's highly connected society where information (and the knowledge created by having it)is time sensitive, soft information (coupled with the ability to know how to validate it) has become a highly desirable commodity.

In looking back through my posts here on LibraryBytes, I can see that I’ve offered up some thoughts in this area on several occasions. But I think my best thoughts were summed up here.

“But with information these days being more time sensitive then ever and online networks providing the conduit to transform tiny social grapevines into full-fledged vineyards for mass media consumption, the need to figure out the means to authenticate and validate soft information will become more important than ever.

Just because the source of the information comes from a user generated blog or a wiki doesn’t necessarily mean it should automatically discredited. It merely means that a different set of skills and criteria need to be applied in order to validate it."

Read the full post if you're interested in the rest of my rant.

On a personal note, it’s funny to look back on posts you’ve written over two years and realize that your opinions haven’t changed. Most of the time, I find when I look back on a idea or posted thought that I wrote nearly two years that my opinion has grown or been morphed a bit by the rapid changes in society, technology and/or the digital space. But in this case, it hasn’t … :(


Congrats William & Natalie

For the most part I try to keep this blog focused on libraries, trends, innovation and learning. But every once in a while something personal (like the email I received from two old PLCMC colleagues yesterday) hits that I just have to get it out. This post is one of them …

“In other news Natalie and I got married a couple of weeks ago. The mayor performed the ceremony and said "By the power vested in me by the City of Boise and the Boise Public Library, I now pronounce you..." which really cracked us both up.”

Wow! ...

Congrats William & Natalie Nation!

PS: I don't remember the 'future of reference' project having this as an deliverable... but I'll I can say is that I'm personally pleased to see this as one of the results of scope creep. :)


The Essence of Change

Just discovered this great little slide show about Fundamental Change on Slideshare and had to share ...

A reminder from a dead poet ...

About two weeks ago my husband sent me this quote via email with the subject line "I think they're talking about CML & you here" ...

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. -- Henry David Thoreau

Since joining CML in January I've learned tons about this "new-to-me" library system - but most importantly I've learned that time, talent, triumphs, and this year's 100 + tactical plan stands still for no one, and nothing :). In fact there's so much good stuff going on all over this system (Homework Help Centers, pro-active reference, etc) and we're soooo busy pushing forward with new things (2020 Vision Plan, Tactical Plan, etc) that we often forget to stop and recognize all the success were having. :)

I know CML is not the only library out there that operates in this type of environment of exceptional excel ...

... but I guess sometimes it takes an outsider (like my hubby) and a dead poet to remind you that even though it can seem overwhelming at time, you're still on the right track. :)


Design Principle #1: No reading allowed

“Don’t design your website for readers” has been a credo of mine for awhile. And in working for a library, based upon books, I realize that this can sound a bit sacrilegious.

The truth is that on the web, people just don’t read. They look for visual clues first and then search for content and navigation based upon screen layout and conventional design norms. At best, users will scan a landing page for second or two before moving on and if your lucky, something visually will catch their attention and give them pause to actually read and absorb a message.

Jakob Neilsen (aka the Usability guru) has recently released a new report that updates his studies on webpage visits and reading that helps confirm this...

“On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”

It’s not amazing to see this trend hasn’t changed much since Neilsen’s original study in 1997. Plain and simple, people don’t read websites. They scan.


A nice surprise

I love little surprises … and today brought one of them. In scanning through recent images uploaded by my “Flickr friends”, I discovered a whole new set of photos showcasing CML’s greatest asset – our staff.

PS: Can't wait to see some of these new ones incorporated into the CML site - especially that one of Todd. :)


The big “C” word has been in my mind a lot these days. Not “c” as in “change”. Nor “c” as in “community”, “collaboration” or “creativity” – though I have found myself using all of these words a lot lately – but rather “C” as in “Curiosity” So in reading Paul William’s recent post on The Ultimate Business Advantage I couldn’t help but smile. A curious mind is indeed one of the best attributes to have...

“Curiosity leads people to seek new, better ways of doing things.

Curiosity forces people to accept failure as a learning experience.

Curiosity keeps pushing people to ask "why" beyond that first easy answer.

Curiosity is never being satisfied with the "best practices" of someone else. ”

I agree with Paul. It is a huge business advantage. But I also think it’s much more than an edge. It’s an elixir to knowledge, wisdom & most importantly... staying young. :)

Related post: Passion Quilt Meme


Indexed thoughts

I’m a big fan of Jessica Hagy’s index cards. Here are few that I think speak to some of the underlying principles behind the ability to innovate, lead, and create change.

What's that you've found:

You've got to try:

Change is Constant:

Who's the call girl?

Locked in the Library:

Follow her blog here.


Digital Experience Manager @ CML

I’ve been without Internet access at home since last Thursday -- moving into a new home does that -- so I haven’t been able to share this exciting announcement until now...

There’s a new opportunity at CML for someone with great skills, who wants to work with a great team at a great library in a great and emerging area of emphasis – Digital Experience. Have I overused that adjective enough for you? :)

Digital Experience Manager:

“Under the general direction of the Director of Digital Strategy (that’s me) , the Digital Experience Manager plans, administers, coordinates and drives all aspects of the digital customer experience including customer engagement, usability testing, design, content creation and service delivery. With a high level of independence and accountability, the position oversees the design and development process for the library's websites and coordinates digital services efforts system-wide working closely with Information Technology, Community Relations', and Development and Public Services' staff to ensure the library's development process and services are customer-centric.”

More information and online application.

PS: Did I mention how "great" an opportunity I thought this was. Heck, if I wasn't already employed by CML already as Digital Strategy Director, I'd be tempted to apply for it myself. :)


Social Media Report

Universal McCann, an international social media communications firm, has just released their 3rd Wave report comparing the growth and use of social media tools across the globe.

What’s interesting to see is how far the US is adoption-wise compared to many other countries. But in looking at countries like Korea and Netherlands, who’s adoption rate was both much higher and earlier than the US, it’s easy to see that G3 broadband makes a huge difference.

“Social media – and blogs in particular – are becoming a more important part of global media consumption for internet users than some traditional media channels.

Globally 73% of internet users are reading blogs with 48% including these consumer-generated content in their weekly media diet.

While not markets are as developed, in each of the 29 countries surveyed social media is becoming a key constituent of global media consumption.”

Catch the highlights from the study in this slideshare, Wave .3


Updated Hard Times

I can’t remember how I stumbled across this, but it was about a week or so ago.

Anyway, this interesting short historical/ cultural comparison -- it's hard to call it a book, but that's how its laid out online -- takes a look at life, innovation and ideas in the context of the digital age. The graphics are interesting to read and interpret. I grabbed this small thought from page 7:

An intriguing way to present ideas and data. If you used this for a group/book discussion I think it would be interesting.

Note: Matt Mason, author of the new book The Pirate’s Dilemma, is a contributor on this “six authors, six stories, six weeks” project and apparently it was inspired by the Dicken’s classic by the same title.