Thursday, June 28, 2007

Traveling traveling

So now that everyone else is finally home from ALA, I am still on the road. I left DC on Monday and have since been in Wichita, Kansas; Huntsville, Alabama and Minneapolis, Minnesota. (with airport stopovers in St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee and Dallas, Texas...) We fly to Chicago, Illinois tonight.

Have I signed up for a new position as a Quality Assurance tester for the airline industry?
Not quite, but it's starting to feel like it! We're actually working on the creative concept possibilities for the library advocacy marketing program we're working on, and testing them with consumers in focus groups.

We've heard a lot of inspiring reflections and ideas from these consumers. At this point, ideas seem to be around a combination of thoughts about what your libraries are like now, what people's perceptions of others of what your libraries are like now, what the other infrastructure elements are like in your town (police, schools, fire) and what's been going on in the local media.

For one community, the idea of upgrading your library with newer buildings and materials is really appealing. In another, the libraries are perceived to be already beautiful and the notion is that "they must have enough money, they built a new building last year."

All very very interesting. People DO CARE about what's going on in their libraries in their towns and neighborhoods. But sometimes the caring only comes out, once you ask them if they care.

I WILL post my notes and photos from the Symposium and other associated OCLC at ALA it was AWESOME to see so many people in person at the Blog Salon!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

i'm @ ur blog salon

the blog salon always brings new friends, new conversation, and new innovations to my work in libraries. i am so proud to be working with you all in libraryland - to create change in our profession and enhance the experiences of our patrons and communities. yes. i feel lucky to be here and be a part of this.

Posts from the Blog Salon

As always...thoughts brought to you from the OCLC Blog Salon 2007, in revelers' own words:

First post of the night. Stay tuned. (tinfoil+raccoon)
Beer is better on the West coast. (eclectic librarian)

Great party, all - next time save the name tags so you have a big old list of all the bloggers who came and drank your beer (Erica, the un-cool librarian -

How about I just save this and then it will not lock? Everyone else, save after adding, Thanks. The room is bigger and we are still packed in and do you want to know why? Bloggers are awesome. Tonight, I have talked about kids, merging a reference desk and circ desk, managing ALA programs, and people's lives. Where else can I do that (with drinks?) - Cheers and thanks OCLC, Michelle Boule (Jane)

Thanks for one L of a party! (

OCLC Rocks! Thanks for making my first ALA conference a great one!

Thanks all! A great time, as always! (photos coming soon, or on Flickr...)

Blog Salon starts in 11 minutes...or so, room 176

Hey bloggers. The blog salon is queued up and almost ready to start.
We have a BIGGER ROOM this year, so expect to have a bit more breathing and elbow room this year. The veggies are coming in, the pretzels and chips are ready and the beverages are abundant.

The Blog Salon is in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1st floor in room 176. Otherwise known as the Congressional Suite! Come hang out for a blog salon congress!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Starts in half an hour!

See you there...with paper in hand. Apparently because the hotel designers did not think you'd need internet access, they also did not think you'd need to plug in. I saw absolutely ZERO power outlets, although I didn't case the joint completely.

FYI, and sorry about this...

OCLC Symposium: Privacy in a Networked World

The actual title is "Is the Library Open?" and it promises to be a very engaging session, as always. What I discovered, upon making my arrival in the room, is that there is no Internet. No wired, no wireless, no mobile phone (except Verizon), and no blackberry service. I had small heart palpitations, we checked with the hotel and it's physically not possible. A connection was not to be had, for any price. Wanted to warn you now. Plan to post will I.

So we will be very private at this Symposium! It is being held from 1:30 to 4:30 at the Grand Hyatt Washington, Independence Ballroom A. Which you get to by going to going to the Metro Center stop on the blue line, walking in the front door and taking 3 escalators down. So we are down somewhere close to the earth's mantle or something! But deep enough that wifi signals are not getting through.

The speakers are eager to hear what you have to say, and I know they've got the clickers set up for audience feedback again. Seems like I always leave with my head stuffed full of new ideas!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

BIGWIG is cool

If you haven't heard about it, BIGWIG is ALA's blog / wiki / social networking interest group and they're doing a pretty cool program at the conference this year - bringing content and presentations to the web like never before. Yay! I just blogged about it over here and so I won't go on and on, but OCLC's very own Michael Porter (aka libraryman) just did one of the presentations (about the facebook developers platform) which you'll find hosted on WebJunction, here.

Thanks to Michelle (wanderingeyre) and others for putting this together. I'm excited to participate in the conversation on Saturday (1.30-2.30, Renaissance, Mayflower Rm), but also very, very happy to see this type of content reaching beyond the conference and onto the web in a dynamic, participatory way. Nice work!

Monday, June 18, 2007

WorldCat Lists now has list-making functionality! I have been excited to see this feature go in--and now it is available. I did a quick list search for "book" and it looks like 47 lists have already been created since Friday. And judging from the titles and descriptions, people are finding lots of creative ways to use lists. Awesome! I feel like it's like my own personal cataloging ability, powered by WorldCat. I will resist the urge (for now) to go through my entire bookshelf.

A few additional creative uses I'd thought about:
  • I could see bookclubs or reading groups using the list functionality to keep track of what they've already read, and to solicit potential new titles from the members.
  • For the academicians among us, you could load up the required readings from a syllabus into a WorldCat list--students could see at a glance which editions/articles were available at the library, what was checked out already, available as an eBook, etc.
  • Maybe a family could track their library-movie-watching together, through a WorldCat list. Or a teen could post out the coolest sounds s/he has heard from the library's eclectic music collection...
I am sure other people have more ideas, too. How do YOU think you'll use WorldCat lists?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

When in Washington on Tuesday...

If you're going to ALA and you'll still be in town on Tuesday (unfortunately, I will not be...), the ALA Washington office has organized the opportunity for Library Day on the Hill. Now before you start envisioning Jack and Jill fetching a pail of water, this sounds like a great way to join forces with other librarians in your region and make your voice heard.

At the very least, it is a chance to remind your national elected official that you indeed have a voice. Here's the PDF letter you can use to invite your elected official to go to the Gold Room, see the bookmobiles or--this seems pretty cool--have their own READ poster made. Now if you could work a deal, where your elected official would ALSO provide a copy of their unique READ poster for your library...what a better way to give them a spotlight in your library, with constituents, and help remind them of why your library is so important and needs their support.

Speaking of library support, I just saw the LJXpress about the House Subcommittee slashing LSTA and IMLS funds. Not exactly a rosy outlook. But at least you'll have something to talk about, when you're on the Hill.

Serious game-playing and privacy

A quick shout out to Wandering Eyre for the Chronicle mention on gaming and libraries. Whoo-Hoo!

Speaking of serious game-playing, now that OCLC is seriously researching privacy, it seems like I can't turn around without seeing an article on privacy or hearing a radio report on a new threat. Danny Sullivan was on NPR's Marketplace tonight, talking about our relative lack of privacy in the Web world. (The Privacy International report sparked a lot of the talk, I'm sure. Matt's response.)

And thinking about privacy in the Web world leads me to thinking about privacy in libraries. One of the tenets we've been talking about with the advocacy research we're doing, is how U.S. libraries are seen (at least in some consumers' eyes) as a democratic institution, a part of the fabric of life as ingrained as voting and representative government. (Motherhood and apple pie? Death and taxes?) I started to wonder about how private our political lives are--and/or how much they should be. Certainly my vote is private (at least until I slap on a candidate sticker) and perhaps my IRS return is semi-private. What else is? What is not? Why and why not? And how did library records get mixed up in the middle of it?

These are questions that I have no idea if they'll be addressed in the privacy report or not. But I can tell you that once your consciousness is raised about it, privacy concerns are everywhere. My shredder is busy.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Trendwatching for June

The latest issue of Trendwatching is out, and it 's all about how you can have an impact in your community by staying well-rooted. From the blurb, "(This) brings us to the (STILL) MADE HERE trend: the comeback of all things local, all things with a sense of place, and how they're surfacing in a world dominated by globalization."

If you haven't subscribed yet to this newsletter, you really ought to consider signing up. It's free, it's informative, and it has a wealth of information from around the globe about how civilians (that is, non-library workers) are responding to the networked world. This is news you can use, if you're willing to do a little mental translation from the retail environment to the library world.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Well-spent time

Nice tidbit of a story from Lisa Belkin on the NYT's list of most e-mailed stories:
"Time Wasted? Perhaps It's Well Spent."

If you, too, wish you could have accomplished more with your 8 hours on the job, then read this article.