Wednesday, October 31, 2007

IL2007 -- Tuesday presentations

A much better day of it today -- lots of fascinating programs and great speakers. And, to cap things off, an honest West Coast earthquake during the evening session! 5.6 on the scale, just north of San Jose. We felt a jolt, but not much more. My wishes for safety amongst those closer.

Here are today's notes.

First of all, if you can have Rebecca Jones come and speak to your senior management team about the importance of being a 2.0 organization, do it. She has an energy and a conviction about the process of being Library 2.0 that translates beautifully.

Equally engrossing, Meredith Farkas and Helene Bowers explained the ins and out of staff training via Library 2.0-type initiatives. As someone who's trying to be a part of such an initiative at my home institution, I paid close attention and got some excellent background thoughts. Now it's just time to turn it into a proposal and results.

In "I"m at Web 2.0, Are You?", Amanda Palmer of the American Bar Association outlined ways in which she enticed and supported non-tech-savvy folks into learning and applying 2.0 tools in their work. Given the potential audience for my trainings back home, this was vital information. As part of the same session, David Alsmeyer from BT Libraries went through the steps he's engaged in to reach an older, but already tech-savvy and well-educated population. After the session, I told him about my "Librarian with a Laptop" idea; it seemed to go over well.

The other speakers from today were less relevant, but interesting. Now, I must pack my bags and get a good night's sleep before tomorrow's presentation. More on this after the show!

Monday, October 29, 2007

IL2007 -- Monday presentations

Chalk it up to poor sleep or that cold I've been fighting off since last week, but focus just was not my friend at today's session. Nor was the wireless in the conference center that just kept falling off my Mac's radar. Sigh.

As a result, the notes from today are a bit spotty, but you can find them here.

Blending In: Librarians in the Networked Community with Chrystie Hill & Michael Porter
I think I thought that this would be a more in-depth look at how librarians can be an active part of online communities on an individual level, but it was more about how the library website/institution can be a part of their patron's local lives.

Putting Evidence-Based Practice to Work, Frank Cervone, Northwestern University
Glitchy network connections interrupted the beginning of this talk for me, then I realized that it just wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know about the importance of showing your work.

Information Literacy in the Public Library, Alan D'Souza & Carol Bean
I really wish I'd gotten to this panel on time, but my watch stopped working during lunch. (Not my day for technology, apparently.) The second half of the presentation was useful, discussing different ways to train tech trainers and to work with older generations.

Integrating Libraries & Communities Online, Glenn Peterson & Marilyn Turner, Hennepin County Library and John Blyberg, Darien PL
An in-depth look at Hennepin's and the present and future of the social OPAC. Good, useful stuff.

Now, I'm off to dinner and an early night. Tomorrow, more presentations. Ciao!

IL2007 - Sunday Preconferences

Hi all! It's the beginning of the first full day of the conference, and we're about to kick things off. I just wanted to post my notes from yesterday's preconference workshops.

Training Adults: Getting and Keeping Attention
Rebecca Jones
Jones discussed the role of the trainer, different learning styles and ways of engaging these styles, dealing with resistance in the training session, and other challenges. I feel like this could have been a full-day workshop and it would have been more fulfilling -- Training 101 in the morning and 201 in the afternoon. However, I did get a number of useful tidbits from it overall.

Tips for Effective Change Agents
Roy Tennant
What an astoundingly useful workshop. Tennant covered the ways that change agents can work within their organizations, the attributes of change agents, coping mechanisms, dealing with recalcitrant staff and out-of-touch administrators, and more. The best thing for me was a checklist of tech and communication skills to work on over the next year:

Build a Basic Skill Set
- Know a programming language, just enough to do the basics of anything you want to do (Perl, PHP, Python, etc)
- Know a basic indexer and/or database -- MySQL, SwishEnhance/Swishie, others?
- Have a place to work -- laptop/home machine, a server if you've got access to one

Build Communication Skills
- Summarizing and writing simply (re-read On Writing Well)
- Ability to simplify and show practical applications for technical topics
- Create diagrams & other modes of expressing visual information
- Facility with basic office software
- Ability to speak IT language, library language, administrator language and plain English or whatever the language of your key users is


Okay. First presentation is over and it's on to the next room. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A quick note regarding my InfoClutter slides

To Gwen and everyone else who's tried to click through to my Taming the Infoclutter slides since I posted about the presentation on the 18th: I botched the link for the Google Docs presentation. It's now fixed and should be accessible. Please let me know if you have any problems.

That'll teach me to not check my links. I usually do. I blame the elves.

Internet Librarian, Ahoy!

Yup, I'm in Monterey at Interent Librarian.

Just for context, I'm sitting here in my first preconference workshop on training. I'll be blogging the conference, but I'll be doing summaries and highlights of each piece rather than a explosion of non-contextual information. I'll put all my notes up on a Google Docs page later on.

More later. But now, I mindmap!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For my own record, mostly

Earlier this year, Michael Wesch (a professor at KSU) posted a video definition of Web 2.0 on YouTube: The Machine Is Us/ing Us. As a quick overview and discussion starter, it's absolutely perfect.

This year, he's done it again: Information R/evolution focuses on the change in organizational thinking and behavior moving from paper to digital media, creating a video explanation of Weinberger's Everything is Miscellaneous. I'm hoping he cleans it up as he did with the first, but right now it gets the point across.

Neat! I may have to download all of his stuff to watch and comment on while flying out to Monterey...on Saturday! Yikes!

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Home Institution in the News

It's lovely to walk into work on an unseasonably warm day and be greeted by excellent front-page coverage of my place of work:

Boston Public Library (and other libraries) move with the times. A focus on "new" programming initiatives to keep libraries relevant. Nothing genuinely new, but some good front-page publicity at any rate.

Libraries Shun Deals to Place Books on Web is a misleading title, because what they're "shunning" is the commercial deals. BPL and other libraries are choosing to go with Open Content Alliance over Google and Microsoft.

Mail Call!

And, while writing up the above, I received my complimentary T-shirt for registering as a presenter with PBWiki. That is neat in and of itself, but the T-shirt "was imprinted at Rebuild Resources, a place where men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction come to change their lives through work, hope, and courage." (from the hang tag)

Promoting a 2.0 resource and supporting socially responsible companies. Twice as much awesome and double the fun!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

InfoClutter is Tamed!

All right, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the first presentation of my "Taming the Online InfoClutter" workshop was a rousing success. Six librarians joined me for two jam-packed hours of RSS feeds, organizing schema and discussions of generational differences (computer generations, that is!). I had a lovely time and thus far all the feedback has been outstanding.

As promised, the slides for the presentation are here. I used Google Docs Presentation software and found it to be an excellent basic presentation tool. No, it doesn't have the bells and whistles of PowerPoint, but the ability to pull up my slides anywhere I can get net makes it indispensible.

Also, use the infoclutter tag over on the right there to find everything I've written on this topic. I've linked to a number of articles on optimizing your RSS reader and finding ways to cut through the noise.

Now, on to Internet Librarian and finding some way to take 2 solid hours and pare it down to 13 minutes...yikes!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More resources for InfoClutter

A great collection of articles on staying on top and organized.

Books Consulted (yes, really!)

The Personal Efficiency Program, Kerry Gleeson, 2nd ed.
Time Management for Dummies, Jeffrey J. Mayer, 2nd ed.
Take Back Your Time, Jan Jasper.
Getting Organized at Work, Dawn B. Sova, PhD with Robert Gregor.

Now that I'm up against the wire, that'll probably be it for new resources. On to the main event!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

PoliticalBase - a new take on wiki workings

Techcrunch reports that CNET founder Shelby Bonnie has a new startup: PoliticalBase. From the article:
"PoliticalBase is a structured Wiki that encourages research and debate. Users can edit most of the text but can’t change the underlying database structure. That allows the site to slice and dice data for comparison purposes (something that can’t be done with the free-for-all Wikipedia) but still gives the site’s community the ability to create and edit content."

Obviously timed for the 2008 presidential race, this would be a great resource to promote to our politically active and interested patrons. It's also a very interesting example of a seriously moderated wiki, where the content is available for editing but the underlying structure isn't. This allows the site maintainers to use stable pages for remixing information and efficiently comparing like things.

Fascinating tech development, useful resource and all-around neat idea. Let me know if you play with it and what you think, eh?

List of resources for Taming the Infoclutter

Somewhat random, but useful stuff. Also, a work in progress.

Do email and RSS just once a day: Generally useful and commonsense advice, Rule 7 & 8 are about RSS, and the comments are full of examples on how other people do it.

Firefox ticker addon: big distraction or useful tool?

Gain Insight into Your Reading Habits w/Google Reader Trends

RSS Brief

"Animal House style" it may not be, but the idea of a "Probation" folder for new feeds is neat.

If you're in a time-sensitive industry, sending your RSS feeds as an SMS message may be the ticket.

Priority vs. Content? Google Reader doesn't make you choose one.

7 Things You Should Know About RSS, from Educause.

Friday, October 5, 2007

IL2007 CyberTours list published

Here's the complete list of CyberTours at Internet Librarian 2007. (I'm down near the bottom, on Wednesday the 31st.) If you're at the conference, stop by and say Hi!

Monday, October 1, 2007

An eclectic moment

Yup, we love wading through Bloglines, we do. Here's a few of today's standouts:

So You Think You're An Expert Academic Librarian over at the ACRL blog. It's an analysis of a Harvard Business Review on 'being an expert,' as interpreted by librarians. Good for folks doing professional development/CE work.

Legal and Ethical Link Blogging": what looks to be an excellent primer on this topic.

Learn to Blow Your Own Horn, from the Performancing blog. It's targeted to bloggers, but librarians usually aren't the best at this aspect of their jobs, either.