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.

When the principal says Play and Fun are important, I listen ...

Last Thursday was 'Meet the Teacher” night at my daughters new school. A welcome opportunity to meet the principal, learn about new academic initiatives and find out more about the teacher and the expectations for her class. During the first 30 minutes the principal shared with us the school's philosophy and approach for helping to prepare our children for the future and when she got to the slide about the aptitudes that were necessary for 21st century learners, I could have kicked myself for gravitating to back of the cafeteria to find an open seat.

At 70+ feet, I know the photo quality from my BB is limited. But if you look carefully you'll see that “Play and Fun” is listed near the bottom and I loved the explanation that Ms. ABC shared when she got to this point on slide. She said that how too play and make learning experiences fun are important skills for our children's future and learning early how to continually to continually experiment and tinker with both ideas and things will provide a huge advantage, especially within a world that is changing more rapidly every day.

Anyone who knows me, also knows that notion of encouraging “play” is one of personal themes ( if you can say that a person has themes )*. In fact, I think it's echoed in nearly every talk that I give. So naturally you can see why I'm sharing this image with you, even though nearly half of it is readable. :)

In case you're having difficulty reading what the other essential aptitudes are for 21st century are, here's the list:

  • Design and create
  • Communicate
  • Symphony ... ie, the ability to see the big picture
  • Empathy ... the ability to read emotions and handle relationships
  • Play and fun
  • Meaning ... relevance (ie the ability to make connections)

How do we foster these in libraries? As both a mom and administrator (currently helping my library do some 20/20 vision planning for the future), that's what has me thinking ...

On a related note, I also smiled a lot when I translated the byline on this recently published dutch interview with me. “Sta jezelf en anderen toe om te spelen” = Give yourself and others permission to play. See, it is a kind of personal theme of mine... even in the Netherlands :)

PS: Thanks Rob for sending the link. :)


CoASIS&T talk

I’m starting a marathon month of presentations tonight after taking the whole summer off from speaking engagements. In a way, I’m glad that I have six presentations stacked up over the next 16 days to do -- I take it as a good challenge -- even though it means that I’ll also be giving up numerous evenings just to prepare for them. It was not my intention to jump back into the swing of things by doing three back-to-back presentations in one week. But when I booked the first two opportunities over 6 months ago, I had no idea that I’d get so many requests locally to speak. The subject of developing social media strategies is really hot right now. And from the number of inquiries I've received, I can attest that there are lots of organizations out there trying to figure this new landscape.

Anyway, enough of September. Tonight is my first talk of the month and I’m pleased to say that my presentation is finally done (jftr. I finished it at 12:08 last night) . For those in attendance tonight at my CoASIS&T talk, thanks for joining me... and here are my slides. Hope you walked away with a few ideas on how to put some “Es” in your libraree. :)


Library Camp – Sept 16th

A little bird told me that they’re trying to break 100 ( their just under 80 participants right now) with their first Library Camp event. And with David Lee King headlining the day, I’m pretty sure that ACPL will make it.

Sept 16th, 2008
Allen County Public Library
Fort Wayne, IN

Check out the wiki for more information on this great opportunity to connect and converse with library folks in this unconference format. The pecha kucha presentations are along enough to entice me, but alas I have too many commitments on that day to attend.

If you're in the area of Fort Wayne, Ind on the 16th, I'd highly recommend taking advantage of this great opportunity.


SOPAC rocks!

For months now I’ve been seeing hints that something amazing was in the works at DPL. Today my feeds were buzzin with news and insights regarding John Blyberg’s latest unveiling – a new Darian Public Library’s new website (built on Drupal) and the SOPAC layer (a J. Blyberg original) that makes the user experience seemless between the website and catalog.

Outside of John’s big Labor Day announcement, I think Kathryn Greenhill says it well… John has indeed delivered yet another library gift wrapped in a shiny “catalogue discovery layer” for Drupal.
So, what does it do?
It will provide a discovery (search and display) layer that is independent of the Library Management System. As long as there is a connector written, it can sit over any LMS. The look can be customised to fit any theme or template used by the rest of the library website. As well as search and display of catalogue items, it allows social data like tagging, ratings and reviews.

Why should libraryland care about what is happening at Darien?
  1. The module is designed and licensed so that it can be bundled up and spread over the top of any Library Management System, with no cost for the software or license.
  2. SOPAC is a module for Drupal 6, a free Open Source content management system that has been adopted by many libraries to run their websites already.
  3. SOPAC can be themed and templated to look however the library wants.
  4. When the code is released it will be extensively documented (once the dust has settled)
  5. A community of librarians interested in Open Source is already watching the project and ready to start playing and working with it
  6. The “social” elements like tagging, reviews and ratings can be pooled and shared across library systems through the use of the Insurge software library.

Nice work John & DPL. Congrats to all!

Had enough of “paul*itics” lately …

For the most part I tend to try to keep politics out of this blog. But when I see a library system seizing an opportunity like this that doesn’t happen quite every day (or even every year), I gotta give ‘em a nod…

Check out St. Paul Public Library’s “paul*itics” blog for the inside library perspective on the convention.

Nice job SPPL!


Curiosity is key ...

From Indexed:
... especially for canines :)

Related thoughts: Curiosity & Passion quilt meme

Thing 6: Flickr Fun @ CML

So I took some looking around the 300+ participant blogs on L&P@CML tonight to see what fun folks are having and I discovered that trading cards are wildly, widllly popular followed by motivational posters.

What’s the best part about this whole experience for me is the funny little odd things that I learn about the amazing staff here at CML. For example, who’d have known that …

...Mclovin is a vanity plate on a CML staffer’s car
...There is someone who raises alpacas
...Todd had chicken parmigiana for lunch.

Yup, who da figured? especially the last one :)