Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Petting Zoo Handouts!

Thanks to Heidi McCann for providing handouts and links to the products they showcased at the MLA Petting Zoo!




http://www.qwizdom.com/ (The Q4 specifically)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Library Leadership Follow-up: On Negotiation

This session was designed as a follow-up Session for those who attended the 2007 Library Leadership Institute. The Facilitator was Maureen Sullivan msull317@aol.com

Maureen Sullivan began saying "everyday we are negotiating". Her easy style, as a
negotiator, was developed during many years serving as the Director of Library Personnel Services at the Yale University Library and prior to that, she worked with the Association of Research Libraries in Washington, D.C. She is on the faculty of the annual ACRL/Harvard
Leadership Institute and is a professor of practice in the new Ph.D./Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions program at Simmons College.

Sullivan provided an excellent handout, which is summarized below and kept an audience attentive during the last session of the day. A skilled facilitator, this session was obviously the short version of other presentations that she does on this subject, but she engaged the participants in role playing, discussion, group activities, and even took a "cookie" break!

These notes are mainly from her handout with some added comments:


  • Let others know your interests
  • Explore interests that are compatible, and those that are not
  • Identify conflicting needs and interests
  • Parties commit to fulfilling the resulting agreement
  • Find a resolution that is mutually satisfying to different parties
    Agree on how to work together (For example, we are going to agree to listen to each other)
  • Use the "pregnant pause" as a way to illicite a responses from those who are quiet participaters.
Sullivan added that "Compromise is short of true collaboration". In true collaboration, the needs of all are satisfied, and may result in the end product being greater than what was anticipated.

During the session participants were paired to discuss the following: A situation in the recent past in which you were negotiating for something of importance. What was your goal? How did it turn out? How satisfied were you with the result?

It was interesting to watch the pairs as they used good listening skills:
Making eye contact
Nodding heads
Vocalizing encouraging words to each other
Asking open ended questions
As the conversations continued, voices became a little louder, gestures became more frequent, as people expressed real life situations that were important to them

Sullivan suggested that back in the library when you are getting ready to negotiate, look to a colleague to help you in the planning process. You take on the role of the difficult position.

She suggested these skills to develop for effective negotion
  • Be mindful of your tone of voice
  • Ask questions (use your neutral question asking experience as a Library professional)
  • Start by stepping back and asking questions.
    Continue to spend more of your time listening

Suggested was an article for further reading by Peter Drucker: Managing Yourself (some people learn by listening, others by reading, others in other visual ways)

Comments from participants:
"When negotiating with "bull-headed" people, the result is often disappointing."
An example shared was deciding on a lease when a couple was looking to buy a car.

More suggestions:
  • Invite people to think and take time for reflection
    Consider a BATNA - Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement if no perfect solution can be reached
  • Establish assertive/responsive approach.
  • Recognize parties as equals (sometime you need to give up the typical hierarchy of administration)
  • Helps to be tentative (Let me hear where you want to go)
  • Use language as neutral as possible (be specific; avoid generalizations
  • We want to have an opportunity to "lay our cards on the tables"
  • Be sure to "Wrap up". Ex: This is what we agreed to.
Stages of Negotiation
I. Analysis
Identify your interests and needs
A lot can be accomplished by using the phrase: "Help me to understand."
"I didn't mean to put you on the spot."
Confidence comes from practice.

Two book recommendations from Sullivan were: Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman. These books tell us how emotions can get in the way and be channelled. Be aware of emotions and manage them. Remind yourself that you need to know what you want to happen:Be clear with your answer to: "What result do you want to see?

What you would like to have the person to do, offer it as an invitation.
Elements of Principled Negotiation
Separate the people from the issue of problem
Focus on interests, not positions
Generate a wide variety of possibilities before deciding what to do
Insist that the result be based on some objective

Skills for effective Negotiation
  • Take time to build and maintain a climate supportive communication
  • Ask questions
  • Listen with attention and an open mind whenever others speak
  • Seek to understand
  • Pay attention to nonverbal cures
  • Be sensitive to the other's communication preferences and respond accordingly

"In real negotiation, we share information. Union negotion is today not negoation because they hold back."

General guidelines:
Be prepared for the negotiation
  • Remember that each of us perceives the world differently
  • Never box yourself or another person in a corner
  • Use your creativity and imagination
  • Learn the power of silence
  • Never give up something for nothing
  • Make it easy for the other party to agree
  • Set deadlines and outline steps to be taken (Example: "Let's take a break and come back to my office. If you don't come back, I will come back to you.")
  • Anticipate "no agreement" and be prepared for it
  • Be aware and manage your behavior
  • Adapt when you can.
  • Practice "assertive responsive" communication
  • Assert your views, needs, and interests and respond effectively to those expressed by other party

Interesting statement from Sullivan: "It's only been in the last five years that I have started to see staffs in libraries as a team, really focused on service to the constituency."

This observation seemed extremely important. Seems that libraries need to work as teams more than they did in the past, since it is less likely to have departments doing individual tasks.

Sullivan recommended that "Behavior that happens outside of the group is harmful to the team and should be addressed. Outside conversation against the team is behavior that is harmful to the group. "

Sometimes we just "accept that we disagree" but sometimes we need to understandthe underlying causes of disagreement.

Conflict and How to Deal Constructively with it:

  • Negotiating often involves conflict
  • Recognize that conflict is inevitable
  • Conflict and disagreement can be a creative force.

Steps to Constructive Resolution of Conflict:

1. Focus on the issue, not the personalities.

2. Avoid blaming and pointing fingers.

3. Manage your emotions.

4. Use empathy to understand the other party's position.

5. Take the time required to work through the issue.

Thoughts from Sullivan: "We need more play in our libraries."

"Pose the question in your library: What are we here together to do?"

"In a team, the synergy, becomes a way of working together."

"Collaborative comes out of the meaning of co-labor, working together."

"Where am I spending my time, where are you putting your effort?"

"We have a basic need to connect to other humans."

The group took some time to consider what they want to negotiate in the future.

Final thoughts:

There needs to be a place to communicate.

"Email can ruin your day." It is important to use it as a tool for facts and try to avoid emotion.

Face to face conversation is important.

If we do use email. Stop, read, and edit.

Ex: "Reference upstairs and Children's Room upstairs sharing the computer facilities is an important issue." This is a situation with which many can identify and perhaps negotiate.

This was a very valuable session and an important skill for library leaders, but the also provided a good list of suggestions for librarians, useful in many situations.

It's "Cheers" with Books..

But oh so much more!!
How many library seminars have you been to that begin with a Beachball Game?

The answer is likely to be "none" unless you attended Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum's speech "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Library" about their delightful comic strip "Unshelved"

Even if you missed the talk, don't miss the strip which is published daily at www.unshelved.com.

It pokes gentle fun at how the realities of library work do not always reflect what people think we do all day and will help keep you smiling after that difficult patron has left the building.

Free Resources for Libraries from PBS Kids

What a wonderful program! Through a number of studies, the good people at PBS (WGBH here in the Boston area) have found that libraries are extremely effective community conveners.

(Well, we could have told them that!)

To that end, they have packed their website (pbskids.org) with wonderful outreach tools availabel free of charge to libraries. And we're not just talking about s few Arthur coloring sheets. They offer wonderful instructional curriculum ideas and support materials such as activity guides and event ideas. PBS is deeply committed to extending the value of their programming into the community and it shows. Mary Hegarty, representing the Community Outreach program at WGBH made her mission and the passion that drives it more than clear.

Especially in these times of deep budget cuts and lack of funding, it is nice to know that we have a place to turn to help us buffer our Children's Programming with some wonderful materials for kids and parents alike.

Definitely take the time to check out what they have to offer. And get involved too; PBS is always looking for focus groups and librarian input!!

MLA Paralibrarian Section Annual Meeting and Breakfast

The PARA Breakfast was sadly rather poorly attended. I think that this is a section of MLA that many paralibrarians do not know enough about. Many many library workers do not have their advanced MLS--not from lack of skills or knowledge but often for reasons such as time, money or lack of easy access to an Information Sciences Program. But our libraries DEPEND on the PARAs!!
The Para Section offers some wonderful networking and career development opportunities--Get involved!

Friday, May 9, 2008

To I-pods and Beyond.

This talk was presented by Joseph Wilk, who is a teen services librarian in the Carnegie library in Pittsburg.

To start he notes two important things for librarians to remember about teens. For teens music is social. To teens, music is loud.

He started with a video presentation interviews with teens.

Teens listen to music on electronic medium now. Mostly it’s on computers, I-Pods or MP3 players. The teens talked about when they listened to music. The answers were various, but they did say when they were traveling and when they were on the computer mostly.

Kids also seem to listen to a lot of different kinds of music everything from Cake to Wagner. A lot of the kids interviewed seem to have a variety of tastes. One girl even talked about getting music from her dad (who gets bootlegs). Music sources include friends, blogs, message boards, online stores, my space, social music, concerts, video games, and soundtracks to video games.

The teens described music as meaning everything from “A way to relax” to “A huge part of my life.”

Teens also take an active role in promoting or critiquing music by talking online and writing reviews on blogs and message boards.

Joseph gave a quick and easy overview of what an MP3 is. I’m not the most tech savvy person, but I did at least get the gist of what is involved.

The challenge for libraries is to build MP3 Collections. CD’s are on the way out, and libraries need to stay current to stay relevant.

Why have an MP3 collection? Teens are listening to MP3’s, they aren’t using CD’s. The format is on a steady down climb. Teens also own MP3 players, and no longer own CD players. They are also less expensive, averaging $10 for an album Vs $14 for a CD.
They don’t get damaged, and don’t need to be replaced. The music fits on the hard drive of a computer, instead of taking up shelf space. MP3’s don’t need to be processed, and don’t need to have things like stickers on them. You can get the newest music right away, not having to wait for shipping.

There are free creative commons licensed music from places like www.archive.org/details/netlables. This is an online resource where you can download free music which is not copy written, to use in any way you like.

Libraries get nervous about MP3’s because of many reasons:

Compatibility is a huge issue, as embedded security issues with copy written downloadable music that can make it difficult to use, and sometimes causes problems on certain kinds of players and computers. Also, Mac to PC use is problematic.

Services change all the time. What is used now, subscription-based service may be obsolete very soon.

Libraries want to know how to pay for these services? How do we catalog this information? We almost have to invent a whole new way to catalog these files.

Will we have the ability to let patrons access MP3s? Can they get them in multiple points in a library? Can they get them in all branches?

Copyright law is tricky as well. Section 109 doesn’t apply. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act also prevents many libraries from using MP3’s.

I-Tunes are a great solution to many of these problems. It offers a flexible purchase options, flexible terms of sale, and a great selection of music.

When a library starts using I-Pods in your library, you want to have a waiver. This covers a lot of legal issues and protects the library.

He also took us through the visuals of the I-tunes webpage. Even for libraries that aren’t using I-Tunes, you can use it to preview music and get familiar with what the teens at your library are listening to.

This is the one section of the presentation that really peeked my interest. I joke that if you’re listening to patrons talk and you don’t know any of the bands, you’re old. If that’s true, I need a rocking chair and knitting needles. This seems like a great idea to hear what teens are listening too, and maybe get out of the habit of listening only to your own kind of music.

Social Digital Music

Teens want to find new music and share it. They bond over music. There is a copyright pitfall though, the digital performance rights in sound recording act of 1995. This is something a library has to be familiar with.

Some sources of online music include:

Last.fm (The social music revolution). It matches what you have in your I-Pod to other music that might appeal to you, and social networking functions based on your choices.
It provided the listener with information about what is actually being listened to by users. Joseph took us through a very detailed examination of the last.fm page, to show us how to use it, and what it can do.

MOG is another, which calls itself “My Space for Music Lovers” That is mostly a social networking and blogging about music. They have celebrity musicians that write blogs and recommend music. Mog-O-Matic will index music and keeps track of what you play.
They also allow you to use music on your blog as a sort of soundtrack.

There are others, doing some research around will lead you to some. Or you can e-mail Joseph and ask for recommendations or his great handouts on the subject at wilkj@carnegielibrary.org.

(Thanks for the e-mail correction Joseph!)

-Sarah "The Dyslexic Libararian" Hodge-Wetherbe, Springfield Public Library

Open Source in Your Library Friday, May 9 3:15p - 4:30p

Open Source in Your Library Friday, May 9 3:15p - 4:30p
Stephen Spohn: Consultant for Information Access and Service Assessmentspohn@nelinet.net508-597-1937 (Direct Dial)508-597-1987 (Direct Fax)

Stephen’s interes is More learning technologies and productivity. He is formerly from U MD and Harrisburg Univeristy

Copy left
http://Creativecommons.org : a way for people to selfpublish and allow certain rights and restrictions.

TYPICAL OPEN SOURCE ENVIRONMENT linux operating system, apache web server, PHP, MySql

REASONS TO USE OPEN SOURCE (He uses Moodle, Wikis and Blogs)
Active user/developer communities
Decent Documentation
Bug fixing and troubleshooting
Lower pricetag

He integrated Moodle LMS (learning management system) with Active directory for single signon so there’s no extra username and password.. Moodle will be used at NELINET for classes.

Apache powers around half all web servers
Linux grows in importance
Even the new Mac OS was built on top of BSD


System Configuration and open source: Commercial stuff just looks flashier and more user friendly

Remember, most of our first ILSs were started as non-commercial projects at large institutions. Commercial ILSs have become stagnant.
It’s now time to take them back

Eprints – http://www.eprints.org/ simple design, widely used Britain. For Digital Repositories
DSpace – http://www.dspace.org/ an open-source platform for accessing, managing, and preserving scholarly works. Developed by MIT Libraries and HP Labs, used in MBL/WHOI digitization projects
Fedora - http://fedoraproject.org/ Red Hat Most flexible
Koha – MassCat, Vermont and CT

Open office http://openoffice.org
HTML-kit http://www.chami.com/html-kit/ instead of Dreamweaver (a full-featured free editor for HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and other text files. Over 400 plugins are available for it, including HTML Tidy for creating standards -compliant web pages. HTML-Kit has been downloaded by millions of developers)

Thin client public workstations based on GNU/Linux http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client
http://www.edubuntu.org/ Edubuntu (a thin client) is aimed at classroom use, and future versions of Edubuntu will expand to other educational usage, such as university use.

IT staffing and expertise needed to:
· Install and update software
· Modify software, installing modifications created by users
· Integrating the software with existing systems.
But the user community can contribute to the development

Hosting options

DSpace Evergreen Harvester2 Koha Zoom Moodle MediaWiki TDNet WordPress

Reject the status quo
Make real contributions to the profession and society
Today’s open source will shape tomorrow’s commercial products


Open Source in Your Library

Speaker: Stephen Spohn, Consultant for Information Access and Service Assessment Nelinet

Stephen began by asking the question "What is Open Source". He defined open source as defining a software where code is freely available with a freedom to distribute software and modify source code. Open source uses the concept of "copyleft", which is essentially an inversion of typical copyright ideals. Copyleft dictates that open source software can be freely changed as long as it remains perpetually open source.

Steve mentioned some of the open source licensing organizations:

He mentioned the fact that Creative Commons licensing is convenient in that it spells out all of the terms of the license in "human-accessible" terms, versus the typical legalese of commercial software licensing.

Open source software is usually free of cost, but, as Steve pointed out, one must factor in the cost of time spent to install and maintain the software (which is usually more time consuming than commercial software).

Some of the advantages of open source can make it very beneficial to library enviornments. Steve stressed the fact that open source software should be used only if it meets a specific need in your library, rather than using it because it is merely "cool". There is a certain amount of technical know-how required to fully run the software. A lot of open source applications do have online "playgrounds", where one can try them out before taking the plunge into downloading them.

Most open source programs do have thriving user communities which function in the place of the typical user manuals that come packaged with commercial software. These are most often comprised of wikis and forums. One must make sure that the support community is active before choosing to rely on an open source program, as some programs do fail with the user market, thus rendering them effectively dead (without active support).

Steve showed us Moodle, an open source course management system for online education. Moodle is a fine example of an open source program that functions as an alternative to more common, commerical programs such as Blackboard and WebCt which effectively serve the same purpose. He suggested a few open source alternatives to common programs used in libraries:

Firefox for web browsing
HTML-Kit for web design
Linux systems for thin-client workstations

Open source modifying means that programs are constantly being tweaked and refined by an active community of users. These users create patches, fixes, and add-ons which help the program to continuously grow.

Steve ended by asking us to view open source software as an opportunity. By using open source we can reject the status quo of outdated software given to us by vendors. This in turn allows us to make a real contribution to our profession and society as a whole.

Roundtable: Discussing Daniel Pink’s A Whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future.

Roundtable: Discussing Daniel Pink’s A Whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future.
BOOK: Pink, Daniel H. A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. New York: Riverhead Books, 2005.
DVD: Pink, Daniel H. A Whole New Mind Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. [United States]: Better Life Media, 2006.
Page 49 graphic shows civilization moving toward the conceptual age.
Agricultural age (farmers)
Industrial age (factory workers)
Information Age (knowledge workers)
Conceptual age (creators & empathizers)

The new paradigm for how we think and use the internet was developed by Gary Gygax
who created Dungeons and Dragons. E.g. Amazon comes up with Hello, Helen! -- from D&D

Pink challenges the reader to describe what we do as librarians?
Would the patron understand

Section on play. P191 GM is in the ART business, the US Military is in the GAME business.
What is the library business? The HELP business the CHANGE business, the PERSONAL ASSISTANCE business. we are Connection, we are Facilitators

From the book Learning and Memory, about how animals learn. Squirrels sequence & association. Elephants have long term internal memory.
Hudmon, Andrew. Learning and Memory. Gray matter. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2006.
Librarians facilitate different learning styles.

One horse owning librarian digs, shovels and deposits. Librarianship is like that: Shoveling shit; performing a service and giving it or depositing us. Not our business to determine what happens to the shit we shovel.

There is a part in our right brain that helps us to make a spiritual connection, making a difference in what you do, which gives purpose and satisfaction to a person’s professional or personal life. There’s a purpose in life; there are activities to which we are drawn which help us fulfill our personal mission or connect us to our destiny.

What kind of a book is this? It’s a Business/Economic book?
The economy of the future = Technology will migrate to India and China.
High concept-High touch economy, the arts, emphathy etc. will form the US economy of the future.

Example: Nursing: integrating empathy into the curriculum. Cultural competence.


· Nice matters. Librarians and libraries need to be welcoming. Libraries should be a democrative, free open to all place where patrons experience mutual respect. Rude librarians are not appropriate.
· Libraries as spaces need to be adapted to accommodate group work, collaboration, cooperation, group learning, discussing.

· Gaming and creative activities such as multimedia use and production need to be part of knowledge use and creation.

· Libraries need to be not just responsive to, but proactive concerning, the needs of the local or target community.

· Seating should be comfortable.

· Libraries need also to be a quiet haven for creative thinking or study or “spiritual refreshment” . The UMass library with its landscaping and gardens - a good idea. Presence of plants and growing things is “spiritually refreshing”. Human beings need personal space.

· Libraries should engage the individual. Blogs, IM, interactivity, responsiveness in every way is part of this.

· Libraries should engage the individuals in groups and communities. Discussions/Lectures, Focus Groups, Group projects, exhibits, music/drama/arts.

One problem mentioned. Some libraries have evolved into quiet spaces and noisy spaces. Adults and kids. Kids need quiet? They invade the adult space. Adults complain.

Ideas for empowering library clients
http://www.goodreads.com/ http://www.librarything.com/


To iPods and Beyond

Joseph Wilk, Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh

How do teens find music they listen to? How do they interact with music? How is music part of their social life? Where do they learn about new music? What services should the public library have to serve teen music interests?

The Carnegie Public Library asked 6 teens these questions and discovered that most teens listen to music on MP3 players. CD sales are on a 7 year decline and MP3 sales are up 54%. Why do librarians need to know this? To provide teens with music the way they listen to it, MP3 collections are going to be vital to library collections (if they aren't already now).

MP3 collections are money, time, and space saving. They are digital files and fit on a hard drive. You can download music while it's popular rather than getting this month's popular song 3 months from now. With an MP3 collection, there are no scratched CDs or crushed jewel cases to replace.

Providing access to MP3 files does have challenges. System compatibility (Mac / PC), Digital Rights Management, and copyright all pose challenges to libraries developing MP3 collections.

There is a solution with iTunes. The South Huntington Public Library in New York set up an iTunes download and lending program. The iTunes license extends the ability to lend music in a way that libraries can use. Through iTunes, users can come to the library and see music that the library has downloaded and select songs to download to their personal iPods. Songs can "circulate" for a designated period of time. Users come back with their iPods and songs are "checked in" by plugging their iPods in and deleting the song from their iPod.

Teens are also using social digital music sites to discover and share music. Social music sites can track songs that are listened to most, allow users to recommend music to friends, and browse friends music libraries. There are various social digital music websites including LastFM, ILike, Finetune, MOG, and MySpace Music.

YA librarians can use music and social digital music sites to build communities and connections with their teen populations. There are a lot of options beyond CDs that librarians should be paying attention to.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Library

A long, long time ago (at least 4 months), I was bumming around the site of the best web comic strip ever and I saw on their calendar that the creators were planning a trip out to Massachusetts to give a talk. I clicked on the pretty blue hypertext to find out where they would be speaking and discovered a broken link. I tried it again the next day and a few days later and then I thought (in that discouraged and somewhat angry tone), well fine, if they don't care enough to keep their links active, I don't care enough to find out where they're speaking. Then a few more days went by and I changed my mind, emailed the creators and got back a very nice email saying "oops!" They cleared up that they would be speaking at the Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference in Falmouth, MA in May. From that day on I had one mission: to get to the MLA Annual Conference in Falmouth in May. Well, today my desires were satisfied when I sat in Ballroom One of the Seacrest Resort and Conference Center and heard Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum talk about their comic strip, Unshelved.

The session began by satisfying what I guess has been a longtime dream of Gene's, to hit a beach ball around a conference center ballroom. After a bit, a couple of hits in the face and a brief conversation with Bill, they began their session.

Unshelved is a web comic strip about a library in the fictional town of Mallville. It centers around Dewey, the young, male teen-services library (on whom I have a rather significant crush), the rest of the Mallville Library staff and of course, the crazy patrons. Check out the Primer on the website to find out who's who.

Gene and Bill kept us laughing throughout their entire presentation. They introduced the staff, told about the history of the strip, explained where the idea and the current story lines come from (many from reader's stories) and hit on topics that are way closer to home than many of the librarians in the audience would like to think about on a day away from the library, and somehow, way funnier when told in pen and paper.

They not only made the audience laugh, but made us feel right at home with them. They practically begged for our stories and were friendly and personable when signing book. After the session a fellow school librarian turned to me and said, "This was the best session I've attended all conference. Thank you for dragging me!"

Oh, and they have a new book coming out, check it out here!

-Sarah C.

Round Table: Director Essentials

Facilitated by Margaret Cardello from the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System

This group discussed the Director Essentials website that is being developed by the state regional library systems for library directors. Director Essentials is a 2-year LSTA grant. The site is intended to help directors from all types of libraries--public, academic, school, and special--navigate the Massachusetts system.

During the next 2 years, the project team will be looking at what content already exists and what content needs to be created for the website. On May 20th, there will be a meeting at the Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston for library directors who have been in their positions for 2 years or less. This meeting will start a dialogue with new librarians about what they need to know to do their jobs effectively.

Everyone in the group had great ideas for what content could be on the website and how the website could function. One great idea was to make the site a wiki so that directors can add information as they find it and so that information can be hyperlinked.

Some ideas about content include:

  • an organizational chart of all types of libraries in Massachusetts and who is tied to who

  • a directory of which libraries use what software, calendar programs, ILS

  • information on budgets

  • statistics about libraries in Massachusetts that directors can access quickly to take to town boards, trustees, etc.

  • ideas for times of crisis--budgets, staffing

  • examples of different policies

  • best practices

  • managing relationships with boards, library trustees, friends of the library, staff, and patrons (or a director's second marriage--the library)

  • ideas for keeping up with the profession and knowing what's on the horizon

  • strategic planning.

Lights, Camera, Action ... Direct!!

Navigating the rushing waters flowing through the director's office can be a daunting task for any director in Massachusetts. For a new library director it can be particularly difficult. Just figuring out all the acronymns (CMRLS, MLN, MMRLS, C/WMARS, MBLC) of regions and networks and institutions of the Commonwealth can boggle a mind ... but keeping up with deadlines, learning who the colleagues and administrators are, figuring out the complicated interactions, making the connections between the library and town departments, and STILL doing the director's job can confuse even the hardiest in our field. (Not to speak of the challenges facing a librarian moving to Massachusetts from out of state, such as making one's way through a rotary or in and out of Logan Airport.)

Margaret Cardello of the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System and a cooperative effort of most of the Massachusetts Library regions were awarded an LSTA grant to develop a Director's Essentials website. An advisory committee has been meeting for the last six months and the project is lifting off the ground with a Director's Boot Camp at Tower Hill in West Boylston on May 20th. Currently, the advisory group is gathering the information that will make a new Massachusetts director's job easier.

The Roundtable was a great mixing of ideas, personal narrative, suggestions and information. Some of the suggestions for the Directors' Essential sites may include listservs, wikis and a decision tree approach to the FAQ-driven knowledge base. So many directors are reinventing the wheel; information should be available in a consistent format between libraries so that new directors can spend less time searching for information that can be easy to locate. Directors need to be 'directed' to resources that are in place in print and in people.

One of the hurdles is that directors are filling positions in many areas: public, academic and special libraries; how many of those administrative tasks are the same and how many are different? How do we address the needs of directors of libraries of all types? Another hurdle is that changes in the field (in technology, in budgeting, in collections) are rapid and library directors already on the job are struggling to keep up; those coming in need to know which changes have occurred and which are occurring.

The talk was lively and personal in this roundtable. Everyone attending contributed and lots of wonderful ideas and laughter circulated. One of Margaret's many, many strengths as Assistant Administrator of the Central Region is that she always welcomes participation and open flow of conversation.

Often one becomes an 'accidental manager' (as described in Rachel Singer Gordon's book, the Accidental Library Manager) for many reasons. One is not necessarily prepared for the job of library director - managing a staff and board of library trustees, communicating with a town, adhering to standards and certification and relating to community groups such as a Friends of the Library group. A Massachusetts directorship can be even more complicated with the deadlines imposed by our towns and the Commonwealth.

Just Don't Call Them Seniors

The Facts
implications for libraries
What do we know about this age gr0up
- Looking for options for work -learning- engagement - to do something important for society. The current model is characterized by library lack of aability to make distinction between frail elderly and the active seniors.

There is an attitudinal change.
- In the 50's we don't want to be associated with senior centers.

2.5 college courses are specific for this age group

The trend is going faster than our changes.

Why Libraries?
already support enggement & learning
every aspect should be rethought to gear to this group

-Cognitive SOftware Industry - log on to exercises for your brain
- One Day University 0 EXPENSIVE
- learning in retirement institutes- EXPENSIVE-teachers teaching people

Mass Lib are well positioned for this age group.

National Initiative to support lifelong learning, support productive aging
helps libr focus on this age groups
- leadership development
-instittute for fellows
- best practices dissemination

43 fellows in 23 states
trained libr from AZ, PA,NY,MA DE

- community converstions
dvisory councils
workkshops- clubs
collection development
connections to non profits
physical & visual space

Libraries have the potential to make the process of reimagining, re-visioning and raising consciousness possible. People need to rethink what they can become. Mary Catherine Bateson

Lifelong Access at the
Reading library
Practical application - The library experience Older citrizens
- to adapt tradition
- adopt new services
Active bodies,active minds w/YMCA
free open swim- became a yearly event with exhibitors with free stuff

Identifying the need
-info gathering mode - elder services dept- YMCA- focus groups 55 nd over- surveys
seniors wanted
not volunteer clearinghouse
they wanted social opportunity.
INFO gathering
practical programming
field trips'
discussion series
col & mentoring opportunies
books & coffee

Branding - Live Wires, Boomers and beyond.
a book and film discussion series, speakers and coffee hour series

Discovering whats next.
with Carol Greenfield
Topics included
am Coffee and more ( social before & after) with local authors
- A Lawyer - legal issues for boomers & beyond
- downsizing, genealogy,Elderhostel,Nutritionist, local authors, patient advocacy, scams, ID theft, faith

PM Live wire presents-
-facilitator to lead discussion to talk about issues - less work for staff
physical limitations, family issues.
Movie = "Nobodys Fool"
documentary - Alzheimers
Calendar Girls
The Boynton Beach Club
Life coach for discussion

Book discussions
empty nest

Authors, field trips - with pot luck supper

requested funding- Friends/ local lions club

The social aspect is so important to connect with others. To meet others, they bring others.

5. dont call over 50 seniors
4 do you homework
3 show aa good time
2 food is popular
1 its not really rocket science

Kate - New Haven Ct
runs volunteer center in NH to get them placed i
Partnered with Jim - 50 + transition center

- Most people will elect to postpone old age and work to live longer. People are reinventing themselves throughout their lives.

over 50's are
Challenging the old concepts.

Specific area in the library. - for younger, older adults
- developed a mailing list
--never put in attachment - put in context of the email
--mini meals for right after work.
Partnering - very important AARP will advertise & partner for you.(3mths ahead)

Silver Tsunami - the wave of 50 + who will take over pcs etc

Civic engagement - Tom Freedman

Lunch hour book discussionsss - within the city, bring a lunch
Bringing services to the library - set up a transition center
eg: people can speak with, ask a lawyer, can get passport, someone from social security to ask questions.
library is an esier place for people to come to.

( This Program makes me want to think sbout my future career in my library, I want to look into this- Excellent program, very well put together. great topic -


combination of ideas tied to a theme.



A Whole New Mind

A round table discussion of Daniel Pink's book A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future facilitated by Katie Baxter.

Katie started the session late - on purpose, she said - in order to give people some down time to relax, reflect and take a break before starting the discussion, noting that attending a conference and being required to move from session to session with little time in between is similar to what our students routinely experience in school.

We began by looking at the grapic on p. 49 showing our movement into the Conceptual Age where the idea becomes dominant.

Pink asks us as workers to describe what our business is in imaginative terms. Katie asked the group to describe their work as librarians from the perspective of right brainers. Some of the replies:

  • make the library work for users

  • provide free psychological help

  • connector, facilitator

  • deliverer of curriculum frameworks - literacy - reading and information literacy

Katie pushed the group to not think sequentially as left-brainers. If we're going to survive as part of the movement out of information age into the realm of creativity - how can we get beyond describing ourselves in ordered, sequential terms? More responses:

  • connecting to possibility

  • there to make people's lives better

  • developing life-long learners so students can adapt for all the different jobs they will have to do, to know their future is learning and relearning

  • we're in the change business

  • providing enlightenment - getting students to think critically

  • empowerers - guiding learners, and being guided and empowered ourselves in the process by this interaction

  • a quest with magic keys - something like Merlin - giving learners the key - reminding them of where the key is

  • knowledge navigators

  • learning by leading

  • guide, mediator or facilitator through the Information Age/Cognitive Epoch

  • journey

One of the six senses Pink defines as integral to the Conceptual Age is Empathy. (Others are Design, Story, Symphony, Play and Meaning.)

Are we perceived by our users as empathetic? How about the librarian action figure? Why did we embrace it? Because of the irony of it or because it's true?

Is empathy different from warm and fuzzy?

Where are we as supporters of the quest? How are we going to redesign our spaces to articulate what we really do?

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Library

Speakers: Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum

Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum are the creators of Unshelved, a comic strip about the various absurdities that take place on a daily basis in libraries.
After a rousing game of hit-the-beachball, Michael Colford introduced Bill and Gene. Bill spoke first, referring to himself as "the civillian" and Gene as "the Librarian". He next called for volunteers (with the incentive of free books) for an exercise called the "Unshelved Library Simulator". Audience volunteers were selected to represent an array of library regulars, from crying babies to drunk homeless people to bickering husbands and wives. Bill next had the rest of the audience stomp (to represent foot traffic) and tap their fingers (to represent typing). After a few cacophonous moments, the Powerpoint presentation flashed a giant "SSSSHHHHHH!" on the screen, quickly quieting the clamor, thus recreating the comic strip above.
Bill described Unshelved in Hollywood pitch form as Cheers with books. According to Bill, he acted as the filter to weed out Gene's library related "in jokes", until he himself began to get the "in jokes".
They next went on to describe the cast of characters that populate Unshelved. The main protagonist, Dewey, is a cynical youth services librarian. Bill described him as a mixture of himself and Gene, carrying character traits of both. Colleen, the reference librarian, is from a "kinder, gentler era" of librarianship, one which Gene refers to as the "bibliolithic era". She, of course, is the technology librarian. Mel is the branch manager, who introduces a new policy every week, only to have it fail by the end of the week. Tamara is the children's librarian, who functions as the idealist to Dewey's hard cynic. Buddy is a man in a beaver suit (not a monkey, contrary to poular belief), who came about when Bill and Gene tried to imagine the worst summer reading program they could. They came up with a beaver, matched with the phrase "Chew on a Good Book". Ned, a patron obsessed with civil liberties, wanders around the library naked. Merv, a young adult patron, loves everything about the library but the books. The Cataloger was a difficult character for Bill and Gene to create, yet they were spurred on by countless letters from catalogers who felt underrepresented. They finally settled on a mysterious character who gets all of her work done, yet no one ever sees her do anything but knit.
Bill and Gene initially tried to put book recommendations into the strip but couldn't find a way to make it seem natural. They finally began to create a weekly, full-color strip in which the characters act out the plot of the featured book. This gives the creators a way to actively promote books they feel deserve exposure to their audience.
Another problem faced early on was how to deal with the lack of homeless characters, considering their ubiquitous presence in many libraries. Bill eventually created Lambert, a homeless man who lives in the library ceiling (this was based on a true story from a library near Gene's own). Lambert is a tall, skinny man wearing lots of clothing who eventually leaves his home in the library to live underneath a freeway overpass instead (apparently it is quieter there).
Bill and Gene stressed the overall theme of their presentation as "You are not alone". Unshelved shows us a reflection of our own everyday reality, in turn allowing us to feel more of a sense of community amongst our colleagues and other libraries.

The Prizewinners from Hudson, MA

Debbie Backman, Children’s Librarian and Melissa Caissie, interlibrary loan librarian from the Hudson Public Library incorporated the important goals of the Hudson Public Library into their One Book, One Community project. Some of these were to reach new patrons across the community including those in three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and two catholic schools, one senior center, two over-55 housing communities and everyone else. One of the unique techniques that the Hudson Public Library used was to incorporate books on more than one reading level and to schedule most of the programs during the traditional summer reading calendar.

The author of The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, Terry Ryan, died in May before their program began but two other siblings in the Ryan household were invited to attend a program to speak. Other programs were a Penny Pincher shopping talk and a Hannaford shopping spree. All aspects of the program fit in well with Terry Ryan's at-home-mom, cookies-and-milk, traditional family lifestyle.

The books on younger patrons' reading lists included children's books about bugs, including The Bugliest Bug (and a visit by the illustrator, Scott Nash) and programs included performances by Bugworks. Debbie and Melissa enlisted the support of the school librarians and were able to convince them to include the Westing Game on summer reading lists.

The Hudson Public Library will continue their One Book, One Community program again this year ... at another time besides summer reading!

Round Table Discussion: What's Next for Reference?

Round Table Discussion: What's Next for Reference?

Facilitator: Donna Maturi, Head of Reference and Information Services, Peabody Institute Library, Danvers

Friday, May 9 1:45-3:00

The round table is something of an open forum. All in attendance gathered to discuss the status and future of reference. Is reference dead? How do we manage this new digital and physical space?

The first question was asked: Is anyone getting rid of their reference desk? One librarian commented on the increase of instruction at their public library, necessitating the reference desk as central to the instruction/learning experience.

One librarian said she was getting rid of the reference desk, or at least creating a roving reference desk since in her opinion it is no longer necessary to have a static reference desk. The librarian also stated that since the advent of wireless internet access, it is no longer necessary to work from a computer behind the desk.

Another librarian stated that her library was exploring information portals, similar to what is in place at Borders Book Stores. A colleague thought this was a good idea; it gives librarians an opportunity to take the retail approach of "Are you finding everything you need?"

Another librarian wondered if public libraries are making an effort to incorporate the reference desk into a computer lab type setting, since it sounds like the natural transition.

Donna asked if reference collections are growing, if there is a budget freeze, or if the collection is not growing from a lack of ready-reference questions. This begs another question about assessment, which has become a touchy issue, especially at academic libraries. Assessment at the academic level has budgetary implications, both for staffing and collections.

There was some discussion about the role of the full-time reference librarian. Does a reference librarian have to take on other duties as part of their job because of the diminishing use of reference services? Many positions are described as reference and another position, i.e., reference/YA librarian, or reference/ILL librarian. Is this problematic for the future of reference services?

The question quickly changed to an argument for preserving reference services as a necessary part of library operations, especially with a focus on quality against the proliferation of quantity based information available on Google.

Librarians discussed ways to attract patrons by doing some kind of database show-and-tell, or as part of general library celebrations. There is some concern about learning new databases and marketing them to the public, especially with the cost for a small public library; however, there is still a need to be current and make information access more efficient.

The greatest theme among librarians present at the round table is how to deal with decreased traffic with the library's needs to expand information options to patrons. There is a huge concern that the reference desk--and the reference librarian--are a diminishing idea. With the increase in electronic services, how do libraries reconcile electronic literacy through databases and other library services with diminishing use.

There is still an incredible sense of optimism that reference services will not go anywhere. The question is how do we project our services in the future. Many librarians are ready for the change, and eager to be relevant and embrace change and technology.

There was some discussion about eReference and the importance of electronic reference. There was some discussion about the increasing electronic presence of librarians in the future, eliminating the physical face-to-face contact in the equation. The general consensus is that reference is undergoing some changes. It is just a matter of wait and see, yet embrace whatever changes may come based on demand and the changing frontier in services and collection.

There is a real opportunity for reference staff to transition properly by building a constituency of support to make sure that reference librarians and their services do not become defensive. Instead, the theme is for reference services to become progressive and try test runs. One librarian suggested embracing change to explore new ideas such as blogs and wikis. Like any profession, changes are bound to take place, but reference librarians are in a position to make the change more easily.

Whole Brain, Open Mind: Co-Constructing Through Digital Reference for Today’s Students

Whole Brain, Open Mind: Co-Constructing Through Digital Reference for Today’s Students
Friday, May 9 11:00a - 12:15p

Dr. Lesley Farmer, Prof, Califormia State University, Long Beach. Member of the ALA Literacy Assembly. Author of: You Go, Girl: Girls and Technology (in press); The Human side of reference and information service, Digital inclusion, Teens and your library.

Who are our students?
State of information literacy
Reference as conversation

Girls are more sensitive to sound; girls tend to cross hemispheres seem to be better @ re;atopmsjo[bs

The teen brain - not just hormones
Emotionally volatile
NOT risk averse. Taking risks is part of maturing. Males = more risk behavior, Females=need encouragement to take emotional risks
Reactive to strees
Vulnerable to peer pressure
Focus is on short term payoffs, not long term consequences of behavior
Likely to overlook alternative courses of action

Concepts >>and right brain behavior
Function >> design
Argument >>story
Focus >>symphony
Logic >>empathy
Seriousness >>play
Accumulation >>meaning

Characteristics of millennials
· Gadget savvy but Information clueless. They’re not building logical connections in their information gathering, necessarily
· They value convenience and mobility
· They are quirky in their learning behavior like working together with others and also independently. Much of their information comes from friends
· There is a disconnect between academic information literacy and personal information literacy - Personally, they’re into finding gamesites, cheatsheets.

Contrast between Y, Net, Millennial Students and Boomers
Students are comfortable in simulations, game/fantasy situations - Boomers are not
Students socialize online Boomers in person
Students love multimedia immersion Boomers read books/articles
Students want to Get to the product Boomers are process oriented

Learning gap – Difficulties experienced by Students
· Confuse article with journal; keywork with subject
· Experience inertia: going beyond Google and Wikipedia can be daunting.
· Have trouble teasing out subjects and concepts; thinking of keyword synonyms
· Sometimes find it difficult to choose a topic and focus in on it. If topic yields little after 2 minutes at the computer, they’ll prepare to jump to another topic.
· Have difficulty evaluating the information they find
· Tend to be passive learner, perform for what they figure the teacher wants, wait for instructions. OVER TESTING and No Child Left Behind has reinforced this behavior.
· Have a tough time with the minutia of constructing a citation.
· Have difficulty identifying key concepts; what was the most important information found in this or that resource

Information seeking behavior of a student - Steps
1. Ask someone
2. Google for info, not use database. This has got to be quick, so I can get back to my real life.
3. Build on past success or past experiences rather than strategize information gathering. So hard to think about identifying and combining concepts.
4. Focus on the end product (the paper) rather than the meaning/context/implications of the topic (the learning)

· Tend to gather information, not evaluate it critically. Unable to rank importance, quality or relevance of information found.
· They are not persistent. They are easily confused, don’t want to go after information step by step, give up easily.

What kinds of websites convey the most info to teens?
· Layout “the look” is very important
· Typeface needs to be easy to read/scan quickly
· Clicks to get to the info need to be minimized
· Pictures used well
· Interactive experience - At one glance the teen needs to see how to use the page

Teen truisms
· Wikipedia is king
· Google finds everything
· Newspapers are boring, go online
· Social networking sites are good for doing your homework
· Email is for old paper. IM, twitter and texting is it.
· If it’s not on the home page, it isn’t worthwhile
· “Good enough” is good enough
· Free is good
· Downloading is ok as long as you’re not selling it
· Cut and paste is a great strategy
· Cheatsheets can save your bacon
· You can get the webpage that works for a class assignment from a smart buddy

What is reference service to a teen?
· Last resort, safety net in case I can’t find anything
· Resource based, not process based
· Fact based. The quick fix.
· The smart librarian will show you a trick that works

A source teens will love:
Pimp Your Page Free Layouts, Backgrounds & Glitter Profile. 100% Free. Download Now! MySpace.coolfetti.com

Recommendations for adults working with teens:
· Speaker recommends this: http://brownbrain.wikispaces.com/ for helping teens learn about their developing brain.
· Help students to channel their risk taking into intellectual efforts
· Encourage taking thinking breaks when stressed

Recommendations for Librarians working with teens
· Get their feedback on library website designs. Make it easy and convenient
· Keep directions simple. Emphasize BETTER information skills, not Harder work.
· Provide cheatsheets and/or BE their cheatsheet
· Teach web evaluation skills : entertain them:
· The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Website evaluati on source http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalcrit.html http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/evalexpl.html
· RYT bogus sites: http://www.malepregnancy.com/science/ and others from http://www.rythospital.com/about/
· Northwest Tree Octopus http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/
· Encourage students to revise their search strategies. Ask them to question and reflect on each step of the strategy.
· Library of Congress Questionpoint as a source. http://www.questionpoint.org/ Factsheet for librarians http://www.loc.gov/rr/digiref/QP_best_practices.pdf
· Use Meebo IM
· Don’t do their work for them


Free Resources for libraries from PBS Kids!

The presenters were Mary Haggerty from WGBH Boston, the local PBS station, and Holly Cachimuel also from WGBH.

Several children’s series were talked about, with the audience calling for the shows their patrons want to see. Several of my own favorite series were included.

Arthur: The Animated Series was first. In case you’re not familiar with kids lit, Arthur is a show based on a series of kids books about an aardvark and his friends. A new set of episodes will be premiering this fall, with the emphasis on health, exercise and environmentalism. Lance Armstrong will be in an episode this fall. There is also a emphasis on the idea of kids taking charge and making a difference. There are resources for librarians on the PBS Kids website.

Arthur also has a big push to get out information about Asthma. They had a Boston Public library call in story (Kids called a pre-recorded Arthur book read by the voice actor for Buster, about asthma.)

Between the Lions was next. This is in fact my personal favorite PBS program on today. This show is about a pride of lions that live in a library. They read classic books, and have new stories and segments about vocabulary and words. The best part is as the book is read out loud, and animated, the words of the book are on the bottom of the screen and each letter lights up as they are read, like a Karaoke track. The resource material for the show on the website ties into literature directly.

There will be a new Electric Company Series, but before that is ready they’ll be making the original Electric Company episodes will be available online and on I-Pod technology, to test kids ability to use new technology.

Curious George is the animated adaptation of the Margaret and H.A Rey’s children’s books. This show’s focus is science and engineering, as George is always taking things apart and trying to find out how they work. Much of the educational materials for this show have to do with science. A Curious George packet will be sent to libraries all over the country in the fall, with ideas of how to use the books and show to promote science and discovery.

They have an open call for librarians to join WGBH as partners to develop their outreach and to review their shows. The WGBH website has the information on this outreach.

Martha Speaks is based on the Martha books by by Susan Meddaugh. Two programs based on this series is the idea of getting older kids to read to younger ones, and also bringing therapy dogs into schools to be read to. Martha Speaks the animated series will premier in the fall. It emphasizes the idea of words as being important, having the power to change everything, and give people the ability to do anything.

Fetch with Ruff Ruffman is a combination of animation and live action. A team of kids is given a challenge to get kids to think, explore, and experiment. It’s a show that promotes thinking and working together. Its aimed for kids from 6-10 years old. They are promoting libraries and museums to set up experiment labs to promote the themes on Fetch.

Design Squad is aimed for 9-12 year old. The central players are a diverse group of boys and girls that promote the idea of engineering as something that is cool, and something that is for girls and for minority kids as well. It promotes problem solving, and also the idea that failure is something you want to teach you. If you don’t fail, you can’t learn. It also promotes the idea of being in a group, and working together. Compromise, and sharing are huge themes. It’s described as “Educational Reality TV”.

Peep and the Big Wide World is a show for preschoolers. It supports the idea of curiosity and ask questions. Thinking and exploring is valued, and also making sure kids know they can and should ask questions. Several episodes are streamed on the website, and there are many lesson plans to tie into this on the website.

You can check out WGBH at http://www.wgbh.org/
PBS Kids can be found at www.PBSKids.org

Whole Brain, Open Mind: Co-Constructing Through Digital Reference for Today's Students

Dr. Lesley Farmer, California State University

Teens' Information-Seeking Behavior

  • ask someone
  • go to the net (unaware of online databases)
  • build on past experiences/success
  • unsophisticated use of search strategies (keywords evade them,; forget Boolean)
  • look at end - not at means or context
  • not deeply critical
  • not persistent; easily confused
  • different sense of time

Choosing Web Sites According to Teens

  • layout makes a difference
  • typeface should be readable
  • minimize the number of clicks to get to the info
    content is more important than fancy looks
  • pictures are good
  • interactivity is valued

YA Internet Truisms

  • Wikipedia is king
  • Google is awesome
  • Want news? Go online
  • Social networking is good for homework
  • IM>email / Email is so yesterday - it's for old people and teachers
  • If it's not on the front page, it probably isn't worthwhile anyway
  • "Good enough" is good enough
  • Free is good
  • Downloading is OK as long as you're not selling it
  • I get scared sometimes, but I can take care of myself

What is Reference Service to a Teen?

  • A last resort
  • A safety net
  • Linked to schoolwork
  • Resource based
  • Fact based
  • Unfriendly

What Teens Want

  • Friendly atmosphere, be it face-to-face or online
  • Close collaboration between classroom teacher and librarian
  • Guidance
  • Selected web sites
  • Make it easy and convenient "Just the facts..." (tips sheets, "cheat sheets")

Co-constructing with Teen Brains

  • Make them aware of their brains and how they work
  • Have teens research brains (http://brownbrain.wikispaces.com)
  • Channel risk-taking behaviors into intellectual efforts
    Encourage thinking breaks when stressed

Using the Whole New Mind

  • Check out teens’ reading, including online, for content AND FORM
  • Check out online cartoons & anime/manga
  • Play games, including with teens
  • Translate gaming into info lit terms
  • Cross the left brain/right brain lines

Start Where Teens Are

  • Go for convenience
  • Keep it simple
  • Emphasize “Work better, not harder”
  • Provide Internet “cheat sheets”
  • BE their cheat sheet
  • Incorporate interactivity into library info web sites
  • Really do teach web evaluation skills
  • Get teen input about good web sites
  • Encourage students to revise their search strategies

Practice Reflective Learning: I-Search Projects

  • Document all work
  • Question and reflect ALL along the way
  • Have benchmarks
  • Be willing to backtrack/redirect efforts
  • Go beyond the first resource/site
  • Share good resources and processes

Final Thoughts

  • Get to know them and their world
  • Show you care – and can be trusted
  • Be respectful
  • Be responsive
  • Be sensitive
  • Avoid making assumptions
  • Use language they understand, avoid jargon
  • Know the curriculum and/or assignments
  • Don’t do their Work
  • Act as a coach or partner rather than a sage
  • Take advantage of learning moments

Posted by Kathy Lowe

Academic Libraries have Friends (and Donors!) 5/8/08

Academic Libraries have Friends (and Donors!) 5/8/08
Emily S. Silverman, Director of Library Development and Communication, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ms. Silverman described the morale of the staff of UMASS during the massive budget cuts five years ago. Collections were negatively affected. The outside of the library was drab and uninviting. The staff complained. The director of the library discouraged whining so the staff knew something had to change. The director created a “Friends Group” to help raise much needed funds. One thing that impressed me about Ms. Silverman’s presentation was that she kept on referring to the library staff as winners. She said that in order to get money, the staff had to undergo an attitude change and see themselves as winners not whiners. Marketing materials developed by the library had to look professional. The newsletters and annual report have many pictures. The first funded project was the library’s courtyard. The project served as a foundation to showcase the new direction in donor development.

The library went through a number of changes. The library moved to an information commons model. Library use doubled as a result. The library became a hub of activity so it became easy to market to donors. Alumni classes began to donate money toward gardens and maintenance of the gardens.

Silverman suggested asking potential donors how they feel about the library. She recommended exploring who the library users are by utilizing assessment tools like surveys, focus groups, and observational studies. The library then demonstrated to the campus that they listened by documenting the improvements based on the feedback in the marketing material.

Part of her job is to promote the library to reunion classes. She works with retired faculty to develop personal libraries. She enlists library deputies (reference, special collections librarians) to advocate for the library. Silverman hosts a donor appreciation event.

Two successful approaches: a “second ask” program where student works call donors of the college and ask them to contribute to the library. The library has a line on the tuition bill requesting donations for the library at $100 a pop.

The director of the library also gave a presentation and spoke of the importance of donor stewardship. He stressed thanking the donors for their contribution. He solicited library staff to call and thank donors. He also spoke about developing a formal program for donations. The “Library Friends” initiative is good but the library needed to set up the infrastructure for a library development/advancement office which is separate from the existing college advancement office. The director spoke of a Director’s Council where important members of the community are asked to join and are required to donate a minimum of $1000 and enlist others to donate. That is how they got $600,000 worth of free software from Microsoft.

This presentation was impressive. I was completely unaware that a state library could set up a development department. Throughout the presentation, I kept on seeing potentional $ signs and imagined the possibilities at my library.

Millie Gonzalez
Reference and Electronic Resources Librarian
Framingham State College

Whole Brain, Open Mind: CO-Constructing through Digital Reference for Today's Students

Presenter: Dr. Leslie Farmer, Cal State, Long Beach

Author of the new book Teen Girl and Technology being published by ALA

Agenda of the Session:
  1. Who are our students?
  2. The state of literacy
  3. Reference as conversation

Developing Brian
At age 12, new white matter has moved from back to front, things are changing inside the brain which makes teenagers act the way they do (there's a scientific reason for it!)

Impact of the teenage brain:
  • Behaviors resultant of the changes in a teen's brain:
  • impulsive
  • aggressive
  • emotionally volatile
  • likely to take risks
  • reactive to stress
  • vulnerable to peer pressure
  • prone to focus on and overestimate short-term payoffs and underplay longer term consequences of what they do
  • likely to overlook alternative courses of actions

A Whole New Mind For a Whole New Age: Concept and Right Brain
Function > DESIGN
Argument > STORY
Seriousness > PLAY
Accumulation > MEANING

The millenials (children born 2000+) are getting older and things are different for them than they have been before...
Now, children are gadget-savvy, but information-clueless. They are growing up with the technology and it is second nature to them. Because of this, there is a large disconnect between school information literacy and personal information literacy. In their personal lives, students use cell phones, email, IM, when they get to school teachers say no to those things. Because of this, education is changing.

Biggest College Freshman Learning Gap: Finding Information!
  • Going beyond Wikipedi and Google
  • Finding books: LC vs. Dewey
  • Determining kinds of sources
  • Knowing about the different kids of sources (databases, scholarly journals, etc.)
  • Use of key words
  • Citing sources (correctly)
and libraries are scary!!!

New Literacies:
Technology Literacy, Information Literacy, Media Creativity, Global Literacy, Literacy with Responsibility

How we go about finding information and the information-seeking behavior of teens is different. They will probably start by asking someone, going to the internet (not the database), think about what they already know and trying to connect it to what they're doing, forgetting everything they've ever learned about keyword searching and searching with anything they can think of, thinking shallowly, about what they need to do to be done and get back to "real life" and getting easily confused.

Teens choose websites first by how they look and are laid out and less by the authority and content.

They know what they know (and here's what they know):
  • Wikipedia is where it's at
  • Google rocks
  • Newspapers start with www.
  • Email takes too long - IM's the way to go (instant gratification!)
  • "Good enough" is good enough
  • Everything on the web is fair game as long as you're not selling it
  • I get it and don't need help
  • I will go to the reference desk only if it is the end of the world and the paper is due in 6-12 hours (because librarians are mean and stodgey)
What do they want?
Well, definitely by creating a friendly variety, connections between the classroom teacher and the librarian (students trust their teachers and tend to trust those people their teacher's respect as well), us to tell them what to do and what websites to go to, for it to just be easy.

  • Where does the brain come into play?Make sure they know they have brains and know how they work
  • Have them research their brains (to see how they work)
  • Let them take breaks when they get stressed out
  • Help focus their risky business into intellectual pursuits
Now it's time to go to where they're at...
keep it simple, emphasize work better, not harder, BE their cheat sheet, make your library interactive (websites, blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc.), teach them to evaluate websites, encourage them, provide online tutorials, it might be time for online reference (IM!), make the library available 24/7 - they need us after we're closed, think of yourself as their coach/partner, be respectful, responsible, sensitive, get to know them, interact with them and don't make assumptions.
-Sarah C.

Not Your Mother's ILL: Rethinking Resource Sharing

Who's rethinking resource sharing?

Barbara Preece, Executive Director, Boston Consortium, Inc.

Michael Colford

Evan D. Simpson

Susan Applegate

and others...

Current trends in Interlibrary Loan:
World Cat Local replacing InReach
  • ILLIAD being used
  • Instead of Interlibrary Loan, vendor to supply what patrons want
  • Digital Library Federation (diglib.org)
  • Vendors are supporting this sharing circulation code to increase Interlibrary Loan
  • New applications are being added (Patron holds; Patron self check-out)

    Google Scholar and others

    Policies and Cultural Issues
    User Need
Let my materials go!
Still discussions going on about whether materials should circulate beyond the owning library. Access vs. Ownership issues still cropping up but people need to let it go.

Floating collections
Purchase on demad & give to requester; Bookswim.com
Direct delivery to patrons from lending library
No due dates, no overdues

Issues need to be listed and categorized to deal with some typical resistance:
"That's just the way we have done it!"
'How does that effect my workflow?"

Statewide study of delivery is beginning
New ways to delivery
Using the postal service
Scan-on-Demand - items out of copyright and "orphaned works" -> scan -> send
(orphaned works are still in copyright, but out of print, and released from publisher)
Send patrons the link to already scanned books (American Libraries)
Offer patron option to purchase

Boston hopes to expand beyond the OCLC requests.
Local patrons are not served by these services

Other issues:
Electronic Resource Management
How do we tap into the resources?
How do we resist creating silos?
How can we find out what has been digitized?
How can we bring all the people who are involved in these systems (vendor databases, libraries, other collections) together?
Patrons are using new things to bring them to resources

Rethinking Resource Sharing, Northeast Chapter being formed!
This ILL, New England Chapter, hopes to serve as a "think tank" for service
-Small working group to plan (10 to 12 people) - BLC Initiative
-A day long symposium on resource sharing in the fall, perhaps at NELA
-Who should attend:
- Collection Development

-Policies need to be developed

"Your patrons are Our patrons" - "Interlibrary Loan is a popular library service, so we (librarians) should make it less restrictive to keep libraries more relevant.

Be sure to find out more about:
Scanning Center at BPL
10 cents a page and archive
Adept scribers that will scan


Free Resources for Libraries from PBS Kids!

Mary Haggerty, Outreach Director, WGBH Boston
Holly Cachimuel, Outreach Coordinator and Educational Outreach, WGBH Boston

From the Educational Outreach Department. They work very closely with librarians in focus groups to develop their programs and resources. If you are interested, they are looking for librarians to work with them in focus groups, field test resources, and review resources and activities.

They create kids series and resources for parents, teachers, and kids. We discussed Arthur, Between the Lions, Curious George, Martha Speaks, Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, Design Squad, Peep and the Big Wide World. All of these shows have great websites with resources for parents, teachers, and librarians. Go to the PBS Kids website to find websites for each show and the accompanying activities and resources.

Arthur's upcoming season will have a theme of environmentalism and health. Episodes will encourage kids and families to ride bikes, eat healthy, exercise, and discuss how to manage asthma and allergies. Lance Armstrong will guest voice a bunny character on the new season.

Librarians can go to http://pbskids.org/arthur to find reading suggestions, activities, and party ideas that accompany Arthur themes and episodes.

Between the Lions is designed to help children learn to read and has been shown to increase children's early literacy learning. Parents, teachers, and librarians can find information about the show's educational philosophy, activities, read aloud ideas, and ideas for integrating the show into reading curriculum at the Between the Lions website.

In addition to children's shows, PBS also has a couple of adult programs with library-related initiatives. One of them, We Shall Remain, from American Experience, will premier in April 2009 and will be a series of 5 documentaries focused on Native American history. Series involves Native filmmakers, librarians, and authors. They were advised by Loriene Roy, new ALA president, in the development of the series and library initiatives. All public libraries will receive We Shall Remain kits this fall.

For those of you from the 70s and 80s generation, Electric Company is coming back! Woo-hoo! WNET from New York will produce the new show.

The Technology of Inclusion on a Shoestring

The Technology of Inclusion on a Shoestring

Mary-Anne Parker O'Toole, Director of Information Management/Librarian, Institute for Human Centered Design, Adaptive Environments;

Linda Stetson, Director, Millis Public Library

Mary-Anne has long been interested in the technology of inclusion. Another word for technology is tools, especially for people with disabilities. Tools help extend human capabilities.

When considering tools for your library, ask: Who are your users? What do they need/want to be able to do? It is also important to identify resources for funding, especially in-house funding, community resources, and other potential partnerships.

The changing demographics dictate disabling conditions to consider for appropriating tools for the library. the baby boomers recall issues of arthritis, macular degeneration, diabetes, and heart disease.

Demographics are also changing among children. There are fewer children born with physical disabilities. there are, however, many more children with cognitive issues, such as ADHD, or autism(s). There are also issues with deteriorating vision or hearing.

The old definition of disability includes "Blind, Deaf, Physically disabled, or Cognitively impaired." The new definition of disability is "based on the intersection of the person and the environment(s), Social, Built/Natural, Communication, Information." This is based on the WHO and UN standards of disabilities. Social includes attitudinal variables; built includes physical barriers; communication includes barriers of signs and signage.

Linda was first interested in disabilities when her husband became paralyzed from the waist down and attended library school in Indiana on a scholarship to study disability services.

Linda discussed the tools for visual impairment. Low tech devices can include such things as magnifying glasses, copy machines that can enlarge copies to make type larger, and portable bright task lights. Low tech tools also include duel print-braille text books to enable blind and non-blind patrons to read together. Even Playboy in braille was discussed as an enhancement feature for patrons who truly want to read the magazine for the articles :)

Computers can also compensate for visual, cognitive, physical, or hearing issues/impairments. Some simple approaches to enhancing service for visual impairment include making a text on the screen larger, or the text on a document bigger. A librarian can also record a voice over, or make the browser talk. Mary-Ann gave a demo on Audacity, a tool for incorporating voice-overs. Audacity is a free tool (open source software), downloadable from the web. Linda also made a pitch for EASI, an initiative from the University of Rochester, which is a provider of online training for online training on accessible information technology for persons with disabilities. Other tools include a talking browser can be done through a firefox add on called Fire Vox. Magpie is also another resource that offers free software to caption videos, as does Overstream. Even YouTube is introducing captioning options. Any computer in the library can be enhanced.

Linda and Mary-Ann promote other easy enhancements throughout the library. Software can compensate for visual, cognitive, physical, hearing and sensory impairments. Cognitive adjustments/enhancements can be made through a proliferation of icons and sybols, plain language writing, color coding things on both website and in the library, such as color coded stripes on the floor of the hospital, and even computers that are set to read out loud. Even a kurzweil machine is helpful, available at many libraries, that can scan a document to enhance the print, or read it aloud.

For hearing impairments, pencil and paper works quite well, Mary-Ann explains; however, Linda cautions that for a person who was born without hearing writing may not be as intelligible as you might think. Sometimes putting sign language into print is difficult. Mary-Ann explains that Sorensen makes a video conferencing phone that allows the deaf to sign to each other. Captioned video can be effective, as is captioning video. The deaf have embraced video blogging, or VLOGS, and captioning capabilities. Jared Evans, something of a deaf tech pioneer, has put up vlogs specifically for hearing impaired online.

It is also important to consider sensory impairments, and consider quiet spaces for the library. Try to have a space that eliminates flashing screens. Also, consider the color of the walls and furnishings. Sensory considerations might include items such as chimes and water for both ambiance and audible cues.

It is important to remember that utilities for persons with disabilities are available on the cheap through open source software, especially for libraries on a tight budget--and what library isn't on a tight budget? Many of the tools mentioned above are available for free online. be sure to check the web for resources before you fork over big bucks. Just be sure to consider the value of these tools and resources for your patrons--a diverse and thriving group!

Collective Brains Building a Community for Learning

Katie Baxter, Library director of Noble and Greenough School in Dedham Ma.
Other experts present:
Judith Anne Sykes, Author of Brain Friendly Libraries
Dr. Leslie Farmer, California State University

Are you wondering why teenagers do the things that they do? Well, simply put their minds are much different than adult minds. Of course we know that their minds are still developing. But this moment in time is so unique because we can study how the brain works. This understanding allows us as educators and librarians to react to their actions in appropriate ways. And to design our lessons in order to meet the needs of our students.

The sessions began with some group sharing. This helped to invigorate our brains and begin thinking about the teens we serve.
We were then asked to write one word on a brightly colored piece of paper that represents what working with teens means to us.

Some answers: knowledge, understanding, behavior, learning, mindfulness, empathy, change.

Then we were directed to set up our learning space. Chairs were moved and energy was heightened. This not only allowed us to share better but increased our energy level (which has been waning on the last day of our conference).

The point of these exercises was to understand that students (and all people) need a change in routine to keep them from becoming bored and to re-energize learning.

Research shows that teens are social and need collaboration in order to learn.

Key concepts:
They experience increasing input of information
They need hands-on activities to learn
They need feed back from many different sources
We need to reduce threat and increase comfort level
We need to involve students in decisions about their space
We need to make content interdisciplinary and inquiry based
We need to meet all learning styles
We must account for emotions

Students are pushed and pulled through out their school day. As librarian were have a unique opportunity to create a safe social space where students can work with their peers and access necessary information for their education. It rests on our shoulders to make both students and administration happy.

How might you handle finding a student using computer time to play hangman? When you ask what he is doing. The answer may be learning about words. Challenge that. Ask if they know the origin of the word they just guessed. If they don't show them where to find that information.

The main point of this first session was to build an awareness about the differences between teens brains and adult brains. And to stress our responsibilities to work with students appropriately.

Some helpful websites:

Caine and Caine

Eric Chudler and Brain Awareness Week

Ken Wesson