By Ahniwa | December 5th, 2012 | Permalink | Comments Off
This season of giving is a good time to reflect on inclusion, particularly how libraries reach out to underserved communities with their services. For libraries, outreach is about reaching out to those who don’t know how awesome the library is—to non-users and people with special needs that could be addressed by library services. In a renewed look at library outreach, we consider the what, why, who and how of outreach, with examples of three innovative programs. Read more »
Library staff across the country are establishing strong partnerships with their local workforce agencies in order to meet the needs of their communities. At the federal level, these partnerships are proving just as strong. Last week, the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) briefed Washington policy makers about their partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The briefing included a panel of state and local library and workforce officials who had powerful stories to tell about how they meet the needs of job seekers by working together. You can read more about the briefing and find resources to strengthen your local level partnerships at UpNext: The IMLS Blog.
By SharonS | April 17th, 2012 | Permalink | Comments Off
A guest post by Donci Bardash
Montana State Library and the BTOP project are excited to be able to offer WebJunction Montana.
What is WebJunction Montana?
WebJunction is a learning community designed exclusively for libraries. Through WebJunction, Montana library staff will have direct access to technology training offered by the Montana State Library. Due to the fact that our funding for this project is one-time-only and limited in scope, initial WebJunction Montana content and resources will focus on technology-related subjects that assist library staff in supporting their public access computers. Library staff will also be able to access training and informational materials from numerous BTOP community partners including the Supreme Court of Montana Self-Help Law Program, the Montana Department of Labor & Industry and more.
Managed by the BTOP Technology Trainer, Jennifer Birnel, WebJunction Montana will include resources identified in our published Public Computer Center Learning Targets. These learning targets are Montana-specific, and include topics ranging from basic computer set-up, to more advanced network management topics such as filtering, to accessing e-government resources such as Montana legal forms. If a patron needs assistance locating information on tenants’ rights, your library staff will know how to efficiently and accurately assist her.
Many of the tools you will find here are created locally by subject matter experts from Montana State Library, public libraries, and community partners across the state. The targets are thoughtfully organized by a person’s role within their library, ranging from trustee to network administrator.
Finally, librarians who become “premier” Montana sponsored members can enroll in WebJunction’s online, self-paced courses on a wide range of subjects impacting Montana libraries.
WebJunction Montana is a sharing community; the content is not limited to what is posted by State Library staff. We welcome and encourage our members to participate by posting comments, training resources, handouts, helpful links, and sample workshop curricula. The usefulness and value of WebJunction Montana will be in great part, dependent upon your participation.
Read more about WJ-Montana on WebJunction.org.
By blg3 | March 6th, 2012 | Permalink | Comments Off
The challenge to increase broadband connections and adoption is an action call to the entire nation. It has been likened to other large scale projects—the electrification project of the 1920s or President Kennedy’s quest to send a man to the moon in the 1960s. In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama urged the country to embark on “connecting every part of America to the digital age.” Later in the year, FCC Chairman Genachowski announced the sweeping Connect2Compete initiative to increase broadband connectivity and Internet access across the nation. The data show that nearly one-third of US households lack broadband access. The whole community of the United States needs to own the challenge and understand that the nation is stronger when every citizen is digitally empowered.
In Tuesday’s webinar, It Takes a Community to Bridge the Digital Divide, we heard the perspectives of three key “communities”—libraries, public administrators, and community non-profits. They each have a role to play in the implementation of the digital inclusion vision.
Mary Chute, deputy director for libraries at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), identified digital inclusion as a major policy area in the same way that transportation and highways are. IMLS is in the process of defining a Framework for Building Digital Communities, which defines the vision, the principles, goals and strategies that will help community leaders take action to foster digital inclusion.
Ron Carlee, chief operating officer, International City/County Management Association (ICMA), has been deeply involved in the development of the Framework guidelines, bringing the public administration perspective to the planning table. Ron acknowledged that digital inclusion is a large and complex challenge, that “no entity can do this alone, but any entity can be the catalyst.” He described the development process as a road map and a product of the best thinking by people from all over the country and from many different sectors.
David Keyes, community technology program manager, City of Seattle, added a more detailed layer from the perspective of a large city and a statewide community technology non-profit organization. At the ground level of implementation, David said that people get the concept but don’t necessarily know what steps to take to get there. Fostering collaboration and partnerships is one important strategy for building capacity and focusing the energy of the numerous organizations already in existence to help the disadvantaged.
An hour is so often too short. Although some participant questions were answered related to funding and the unique needs of rural communities, we ran out of time. If you have any responses to the following questions, please add your comments to this post.
- What specific examples or case studies can you provide about digital inclusion projects, including what has not worked?
[The WebJunction/ICMA/TechSoup project will be creating a repository of digital inclusion resources and case studies. Watch for an announcement in the next month or so.]
- Is anyone tracking or mapping digital literacy programs systematically throughout the US?
Visit the archive page to:
- Listen to the 1-hour presentation.
- View the slides, closed caption transcript, and chat log.
- Get links to data sources, funding resources, community tools and more information shared by presenters and participants (an engaged community in action!).
By Kendra | March 1st, 2012 | Permalink | Comments Off
Are you heading to the PLA conference later this month?
As you plan your schedule, please note that the Edge coalition will host an update session on the development of public access technology benchmarks to help libraries improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of computer and Internet services (read our December post to learn more about this work). This forum will give you an opportunity to ask questions and provide input on the “beta” benchmarks – the first version that will be tested in the coming months – as well as the tools that libraries will need to use the benchmarks.
The informational session will take place on Saturday, March 17th at 10:15 a.m. in Room 116 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
We hope to see you there, and safe travels to Philadelphia!
By blg3 | February 29th, 2012 | Permalink | Comments Off
“the newspaper is 4% success rate to land a job, if that is all they want to use, they are killing themselves on more opportunity” —webinar chat comment
When Twitter first appeared on the virtual scene in 2006, I thought it was utterly frivolous and inanely obsessed with what someone ate for breakfast. It turned out that I was so wrong. Last week’s webinar on Twitter for Job Seekers further illuminated the substantial uses that have evolved wielding the power of the Twitter tool.
The webinar divided neatly into two segments:
- In the first half, Andrea Snyder focused on how a library can use Twitter to amplify the job and career services they provide;
- In the second half, Brooke Roegge focused on how users can find jobs through Twitter.
Andrea Snyder, manager of the Job & Career Information Center at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, has made active use of @JobCenter_Pratt Twitter stream to share job-seeker news, events and resources that the library has to offer. The tweets reach people on a different level, getting the word out to those who don’t often come in to the physical library. Andrea thinks the Twitter presence promotes her library as more of a person than an organization. She also makes the keen observation that the library’s use of Twitter is as much about listening as it is about broadcasting. She follows job-related hashtags (#jobs, #careers, #libs4jobs) to stay tuned in to the Twittersphere.
Brooke Roegge, digital information specialist at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (@PositivelyMN), revealed that thousands of job opportunities are posted on Twitter every day. Third-party Twitter job search tools have contracts with big employers, like Kaiser-Permanente, Starbucks, Wendy’s, the list goes on. Brooke described a number of strategies and tools job seekers can use to search for jobs and target their searches to specific industries and geographic locations. There are even smartphone apps for on-the-go job seekers.
Listen to the archive to:
- Hear more from Andrea about tools for tracking tweets, managing your tweeting time, and promoting your Twitter feed;
- Get the details from Brooke about Twitter job search tools;
- Read the chat log, in which the audience was actively engaged, sharing tools, insights, and answering each other’s questions.
Two things stood out from today’s webinar on E-Reader Policies and Procedures for Libraries:
- The practical details of e-readers and e-books in libraries are multitudinous, generating an unprecedented number of granular questions from the audience;
- A crowd (nearly 700) of library staff are their own best resource and have answers to a multitude of questions drawn from their collective experience.
In fact the guiding mantra in both David Newyear’s and Ming Heraty’s presentations was to avoid reinventing the wheel. With their own implementations of e-reader lending at their libraries sprouting from others who had already taken the plunge, they pay it forward with lots of why/what/how information.
Why start an e-reader lending program in the first place? It’s part of being a forward-thinking library that introduces patrons to new technology, or in the case of Ming’s community, keeping up with early adopter patrons in a “gadget-friendly community.”
Once the objective is clear and the administration is on board, the “what” and “how” questions flow in. David and Ming covered a lot of ground about what devices they chose, what content sources they used, what training they provided for staff, how they developed policies and user agreements, how they managed accounts on multiple devices. The presentation is so dense with information, it is worth an hour of your time to watch it.
The concurrent side chat is an explosion of knowledge-sharing in its own right—a revelation of the complexities of this e-reader lending venture. If WebJunction had a prize for most intense webinar question-and-answer chat dialog, this one would be a winner.
Relive it all through the archived resources:
- Watch the entire archived recording (yes, it includes the active chat).
- Peruse the chat log only.
- Find resources for policy examples, device guidelines, ebook providers, and a source for protective cases for devices.
- Robyn Truslow from the Calvert Library (MD) adds her experience to the mix in a guest blog post.
In conjunction with this week’s webinar, Developing and Maintaining E-Reader Policies and Procedures for Libraries, we asked Robyn Truslow, Public Relations Coordinator at the Calvert Library in Prince Frederick, Maryland, to share a post with their approach to managing policies and procedures for circulating e-readers, including keeping up with changes and needed revisions to the processes.
Thank you Robyn!
The short answer is to create a small team that includes someone on the front line and someone who really knows the ins and outs of the devices and meet regularly to tweak as needed.
Let’s be honest…once you commit to a certain ereader to circulate, you sort of get stuck with that particular device. The Kindle and NOOKcolor were the two hottest ereaders when we got our grant so that’s what we bought. It would be too complicated to add each new hot device as it was introduced. Nor are there many libraries that can afford to add devices as they come out. MANY man-hours went into the processing of the first set of 72 devices…we are not anxious to add more even though we recognize that those particularly devices are hardly cutting edge anymore. So, stuck with the Kindle and NOOKcolor, the process of purchasing books and processing the devices for circulation doesn’t really change.
However, ebooks are still coming out for them so I guess we need to keep adding to them…or do we? So many people are getting their own devices now that it might make little sense to commit money to putting ebooks on OUR device rather than ebooks that customers can put on THEIR device. This internal debate has left us sort of just waiting on this issue. We had actually pre-ordered some titles when the devices first started circulating and it was a bit of a pain to get those titles loaded when they finally came out. Each ereader has an average of 100 titles on it already so do we really need more?
Our biggest policy/procedure is our User Agreement. Though some grumbled, we asked staff to read the whole thing to customers at each checkout. There is a good bit of training info in the agreement and possibly some off-putting “Do NOTs” but we felt it important to protect the devices. We also knew that new situations would arise that might require tweaking of the user agreement and therefore the NEW information would need to be communicated to a customer that may have checked out a device before the change. For instance, we have decided that we need to ask that customers not use/store the device in an environment with tobacco smoke. We also realized, 12 broken cables later, the need to train customers how to plug and unplug the device.
We have 12 differently themed sets of ereaders and at this point, two of the sets no longer regularly have holds on them. Perhaps it’s time to weed a few copies from each of those sets and make a new set for 2011-2012 bestsellers? Easy enough…we just create a new Barnes & Noble account, deregister a few of the less popular devices and re-register with the new account. OK, we’ll also have to change the barcode and property label and add a new record. And then there are software updates…do we pull the devices so we can run the update?
You don’t want a big team discussing these issues, just two or three people that have front-line and technical knowledge and the capacity to move forward with any decisions.
By Jennifer | January 27th, 2012 | Permalink | Comments Off
Perhaps it was the initial threat of cancellation that made my ALA Midwinter experience so endearing. Regardless, it brought about a renewed love for libraries and for all the amazing work of librarians, ALA members and staff, and for the organizations that support and sustain that work. Wearing more “hats” than ever, I traveled through the conference with others committed to showcasing and sustaining rural libraries, public access technology, workforce development efforts, youth literature, and equity of access for all! The weekend was a poignant reminder of just how grateful I am to be in a profession committed to ensuring universal and equitable access to public resources and services. I’m sending this conference report/love letter out to all who share this commitment, but especially to those of you who were back at your libraries doing the great work you do so well!
Directly from the airport, I joined attendees at the OCLC Americas Regional Council Symposium unfortunately too late to hear keynote Sara Lacy (recordings now available for all speakers at symposium) but glad to have heard OCLC’s Cathy De Rosa, share a preview of librarian perception data collected in a recent OCLC Membership Survey (See Public Libraries Snapshot of the data). Thanks to Jamie LaRue for highlighting from his notes some of the very interesting librarian perspectives on their library priorities, how they stay connected, and where they think OCLC should focus efforts. With WebJunction webinars near and dear to my heart, I was particularly pleased to see confirmation of my gut feeling that library staff are more often using webinars to stay up to date and to connect with others. Of the public library responses, 43% of library directors, 50% of managers, and 52% of librarians use webinars to support their ongoing learning and development. We’ll be sure to let you know when the full results of the survey are released.
Day two began with a visit to the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) Advisory Committee meeting. I was very excited to hear from other committees that work with the OLOS office and especially looking forward to the upcoming release of a new toolkit focused on adult literacy. I also learned about an ALA grant project with Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Dream Starts @ your Library project, which has enabled libraries around the country to develop and implement programs engaging English language learners in their communities.
Later that morning, I led the ALA Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee (RNTLOAK) meeting where we shared an update on the distribution and promotion of the recently updated Small but Powerful Toolkit for Winning Support for your Rural Library revised in collaboration with OLOS, RNTLOAK and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL). If you haven’t yet explored the toolkit and want to learn more, check out last month’s webinar. We also talked about our committee’s ALA Annual plans and are very excited to be co-sponsoring two programs in Anaheim with OLOS, ARSL and the American Indian Library Association (AILA). The two programs will explore Advocacy and Fundraising for your Rural or Tribal Library and Building and Sustaining Strategic Plans and Partnerships in your Rural or Tribal Community. And thank you to Stephen Matthews, our committee’s ALA Executive Board Liaison, for sharing the opportunity made available by Annual Conference planners for attendees to present or facilitate outside of traditional program presentations. Learn more and submit a proposal for a Conversation Starter or Ignite Session before February 19.
Following a lovely Saturday lunch with Texas librarians (at Cindi’s Deli, where I ate lunch on Sunday too! mmm), I attended a forum and group discussion on the Edge Initiative, a national effort to introduce benchmarks for high quality public access technology in libraries. The session included a “sneak peek” at a draft of the benchmarks and some insightful and engaged table discussions. Thanks to PLA’s Mary Hirsch and TechSoup’s Sarah Washburn who both provide a summary of their table’s discussions. WebJunction’s Kendra Morgan shared a bit about our involvement in the initiative in December and we’ll keep you posted on next steps!
Project Compass staff wrapped up the day with a state library focus group to share year-two outcomes of Project Compass and to get input on one final event we’re planning for the spring: a national convening of librarians focused on responding to economic impact on communities, supporting 21st century skills development and building sustainable partnerships. We’ll have more details very soon!
The OCLC Update Breakfast was, as always, very informative, even to this OCLC staffer! I just have to share one cool project from the OCLC Research folks, the WorldCat Identities Network, a new way to visually explore the interconnectivity and relationships between WorldCat Identities.
The climax of my love letter comes with Sunday afternoon’s Small but Powerful Forum, which brought together a small but powerful group of attendees representing state libraries, regional trainers, rural librarians, and my good friends from TechSoup for Libraries, to hear from Dr. Robert Martin about UNT’s powerful PEARL project, Tina Hager about her powerful Texas rural library collaborations with community partners and more on the Small but Powerful Toolkit for Winning Support for your Rural Library. But if you know me at all, you know the table discussions, world cafe-style, are always my favorite part of a conference. The all-too-short time to brainstorm the “core qualities of rural leadership” was a good start, but we’ll have to keep the conversation alive!
Early Monday morning, I felt honored to be invited to join in the great Midwinter tradition, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at this year’s Sunrise Celebration, Honoring a Legacy that Still Inspires. On behalf of RNTLOAK and ARSL, I was invited to join many other association, committee and round table leadership in a presentation of quotes from King’s legacy, inspirational speakers, and always my favorite, some singing! I touched base with folks who are co-chairing this fall’s 2012 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) in Kansas City. I attended the first ever JCLC conference in Dallas, and similar to the ARSL conference, it is an intimate but powerful gathering, with a focus on exploring issues of diversity in libraries.
And since I was up at that hour, I was lucky enough to attend the Youth Media Awards, the “Oscars” of libraryland. You may not know that I came to libraries as a children’s bookseller with my first ever library job as a children’s services substitute. It was a real treat to sit amongst the thousands of youth librarians gathered for the exciting event, knowing they’ve probably read most all of the books and have already done the work of getting the outstanding books into the hands of readers. You can watch the webcast of the event or videos of the winning authors and illustrators. I have enormous respect for all who bring these works of literary and visual art into being and for the committees who award them the recognition they deserve.
I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures this time round, but I do recommend browsing the ALAMW12 pool on Flickr to catch a glimpse of the love in the air.
As Louie Schwartzberg says, “we protect what we fall in love with” and so, may we continue to protect what we love, including our libraries.
I admit it. I’m not the most patient person in the world. I want to be. I would have made it my New Year’s resolution but that would have meant waiting 12 months to see if I could pull it off. One of the ways my impatience manifests itself is that I get… well, impatient with people when I hear the same thing from different people over and over. They, of course, don’t know that I’ve heard the same thing from other people, but I still feel like a snarky 13 year old, “Really? Ugh. That is sooo last week.” The most recent ‘repeat sentiment’ has come up when I tell people about my job. You see where this is going right? I know you get the same thing. The very earnest question in a somewhat conspiratorial tone, “So, do you think we really need libraries? I mean, with everything online, do you think there is really a place for libraries in the future?” Really? Are people still asking this question? Ugh.
But people are still asking this question. And this concerns me because I’ve been hearing this question since I started library school in 2003. To be clear, I’m not worried that after hearing this same question for almost ten years I’m going to lose it and unleash my 13 year old snarky self (although, that is a valid concern). I’m worried that we are still not doing enough to articulate our current value to our communities. Which is strange because I feel like every where I look, there are reports of the dramatic increase in library use—especially since the economic recession.
At WebJunction, we’ve just published Project Compass Lights a Path to Workforce Recovery. This is the year two report for the IMLS funded project working with library staff across the country to develop programs and services to assist the un(der)-employed. Here’s what I find exciting about the year two report: it gives me the talking points I need to respond to the ridiculous “do we still need libraries?” question without sounding like a big jerk. It helps me articulate the conscience shift library staff are making toward helping their patrons develop 21st century skills. As one Project Compass participant stated, “The discussion of 21st century skills reminded me that current job seekers need to develop not only specific technological skills but a whole new mind-set which is more open to constant change, learning and creative problem solving.” The report also speaks to the number of library staff across the country who are committed to preparing their communities for the needs of the 21st century. Almost 2000 library staff attended a Project Compass in-person workshop and over 300 staff attended the online workshops. There were over 16,000 views of the discussion topics for those online workshops—that’s about 16,000 times that library staff have looked to increase their skills and develop creative solutions to support the economic health of their community! At the same time that we see that there is a national movement of library staff taking purposeful steps to support their communities, the report also details some of the innovative approaches library staff are taking, how they are changing people’s lives and why they are critical. One Project Compass participant stated, “A recent laid-off employee came in and had no idea of how to use the laptop to complete her paperwork. She was almost in tears when she found out it all had to be done over the Internet. After spending some time and explaining how the laptop works and the info she was going to need she felt better. Now every two weeks she comes in and acts like a pro on it and has even helped others on how to use the e-gov computer.”
As I bring up these points to answer the dreaded question, I can see the light bulb go off. So I’m going to keep talking about Project Compass, our innovative workforce resources, and how libraries are positioning themselves as economic beacons in their communities until I don’t have to hear that (!#@%ing) question anymore. I don’t think I could ever get tired of hearing in an earnest, conspiratorial tone, “Libraries? You know, I think they’re totally invaluable in this day & age.”
Tuesday’s webinar on Organizational Storytelling for Librarians answered two burning questions about the topic: why the library should use storytelling and what makes a good story.
[Photo: Pawnee Story Bundle, courtesy of Kansas Historical Society]
First, the why.
“If you don’t tell your story first, someone else will.”
When you write your own story, you share your vision and select the elements that convey the vision most vividly. If you let someone else control the narrative, it will probably not be the picture you want to paint about your organization.
“Touch the heart to facilitate change.”
Facts, figures and dry logic don’t convince people to change. We all have “confirmation bias,” but stories can penetrate those entrenched beliefs.
“Stories are sticky.”
The brain is “neurologically organized to remember narratives” better than statistics and bullet lists. Even more so if the story engages the emotions of the audience.
“Stories build community.”
The concept of belonging to a community is powerful for people. When the library tells stories about its role in the community, it strengthens the ties among its members.
What makes a good story?
Most of us are not naturally gifted or trained as professional storytellers. Presenters Kate Marek and Chris Rippel both provided sound and reassuring advice for developing your ability to relate an effective story without formal training.
Kate outlined 7 basic ingredients for creating a good story:
- Be authentic; speak from the heart; be yourself.
- Use broad strokes; be accurate but not bogged down in detail.
- Consider your audience and your goals.
- Be brief; beware of TMI (too much information).
- Be consistent.
- Listen to others and to other stories.
Chris analyzed some of the key characteristics of story that draw us in and compel us to listen. I recommend reading his full article on How to tell library stories. Some elements that may be surprising include:
- In a library story, the main character is the community member, with the library and staff as secondary characters. So it is not just a description of the good service provided by the library; it’s a story of change and a restoration of balance for the protagonist.
- A good story can be as short as 6-8 sentences. A “springboard story” presents a very short but evocative situation in order to lead in to longer discussion about an issue.
- There are situations for which a story does not need an ending. When the library is enlisting support for a new project or seeking funding, it is an effective strategy to engage the audience in the drama of the effort, asking them to participate in the positive resolution of the “heroic struggle.”
There’s much more to this story. To watch the entire webinar and connect to related resources, go to:
Organizational Storytelling for Librarians: Using Stories for Leadership, Community, and Advocacy
By Jennifer | January 9th, 2012 | Permalink | Comments Off
It’s hard to believe we’re packing for travel to Dallas next week! We hope to see you at some of these Midwinter events where you’re sure to find WebJunctioneers:
OCLC Americas Regional Council Annual Member Meeting and Symposium
Friday, January 20, 12:00-5:00 pm
Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom EFG
Open to all! Join your OCLC member colleagues for a fast-paced, informative afternoon. We’ll start with a light lunch at noon. After a brief welcome from ARC Chair William Maes, you’ll hear a dynamic keynote presentation from author and TechCrunch Senior Editor Sarah Lacy, who will speak on “Mining the Fault Lines: Big Collaboration on a Richter Web Scale,” with Q&A to follow. Barbara Preece, ARC Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, will give a membership update, followed by roundtable discussions. Then, OCLC senior managers will share membership survey results and present on the Cost Sharing Models Task Force’s recommendations. The afternoon concludes with a social reception with the OCLC Board of Trustees, OCLC senior managers and Americas Regional Council Ambassadors.
Register now »
ALA Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee (an open meeting)
Saturday, January 21, 10:30 am-12:00 pm in room D169
The ALA Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds (RNTLOAK) reviews issues and challenges facing rural, native and tribal libraries of all kinds, collaborates with ARSL and other ALA units addressing the needs of rural communities and serves as an advocate for and partner with libraries serving rural, tribal and native populations. All are invited to join this open committee meeting to discuss current initiatives and ongoing activities. There are opportunities for non-committee members to become involved in working groups and your input is encouraged and welcomed!
Add to your conference scheduler »
The Power of Cooperation at Webscale: OCLC’s Strategy for Public Libraries
Saturday, January 21, 10:30 am-12:00 pm in room C155
What is Webscale and how can it help public libraries? If you interested in finding out how OCLC is working with libraries to create a shared future through the power of Webscale and OCLC’s WorldShare services, which include the OCLC WorldShare Platform that facilitates app-sharing, data sharing and collaboration across the library community, please join us for this session.
Cathy de Rosa, OCLC Vice President, will discuss our future strategy and how it relates to what is important to public libraries. You will learn how OCLC’s WorldShare strategy can help your library to be more efficient so that your staff can spend more time serving your community. At the session, you will also receive a copy of OCLC’s latest report, Libraries at Webscale.
Register now »
Update on the Edge Initiative
Saturday, January 21, 1:30-3:30 pm in room A130/131
Join the Edge coalition for an update on the development of public access technology benchmarks that will help you strengthen the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of public access technology services in your libraries.
The Edge update will take place on Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Dallas Convention Center, Room A130/131. This forum will provide an overview of Edge, share early feedback from the field, and provide opportunities to give input on the beta benchmarks (the first version which will be pilot tested in the coming months) and the tools libraries will need to utilize the benchmarks.
More information »
OCLC Update Breakfast
Sunday, January 22, 7:00–8:00 am
Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Ballroom EFG
Join OCLC and members for breakfast and an update on OCLC activities from Jay Jordan, President and CEO. Then, share roundtable conversation with colleagues who share your interests, hosted by OCLC staff.
Register now »
Small But Powerful Forum
Sunday, January 22, 1:30-3:30 pm in room A308
Join rural library leaders in a conversation about advocacy, leadership and the newly revised “Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library,” at a special forum during the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Sponsored by the ALA Committee on Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, the Small but Powerful Forum for Winning Big Support for your Rural Library will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 22 in room A308 of the Dallas Convention Center.
The forum promises to be a powerful and practical discussion for those committed to building and sustaining support for rural libraries. To maximize time and takeaways, the session will employ the World Café method of hosting large group dialogue, including presentations from rural library leaders and an opportunity for attendees to break into small group rounds covering a range of specialized rural library advocacy and leadership topics. At the conclusion of the session, attendees will share their insights and lessons learned with the larger group.
Featured presenters will include Jennifer Peterson, chair, ALA Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee; Tina Hager, retired library director (Texas); and Dr. Robert S. Martin, professor emeritus in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University and PEARL (Promoting & Enhancing the Advancement of Rural Libraries) team member.
More information »
Add to your conference scheduler »
By blg3 | January 3rd, 2012 | Permalink | Comments Off
The days are getting noticeably longer in the Northwest, a welcome return of the light after a long period of leaving for and returning from work in the dark. It is also the time when a year’s worth of data comes to light as a reflection of what was accomplished in the previous twelve months. Although January 1st is an arbitrary blip in the continuum of busy activity, it is illuminating to look back and bask a bit.
WebJunction shines because of the participation and contributions from the library community. Whether you’re a registered member, a webinar attendee, a social networked follower or a visitor to the site, you a part of the numbers that add up to another busy and successful year.
- 341,123 unique visitors came to the website to view 2,991,000 pages.
- 11,587 people joined as new members in 2011, and 3,455 subscribed to Crossroads e-newsletter.
- 7376 people attended one or more of the 32 webinars we hosted plus the August online conference on Trends in Library Training and Learning 2011. Registration and attendance for the 2-day conference was the highest ever for a live WebJunction event.
- 4,993 members enrolled in 16,836 courses, and completed 7,277 of them.
- Library staff used TechAtlas to inventory 16,594 new computers.
- Plus, there are now 2, 270 followers of WebJunction’s Twitter feed, where we posted 1,937 tweets of news and information about libraries.
- 1276 Facebook users are hanging out with us at Facebook.com/WebJunctionNews.
- There’s been a lot of conversation on our LinkedIn WebJunction group, where 1954 members engage each other on a variety of current topics; there’s even a sub-group with 364 members focusing on Social Media use in libraries.
- Project Compass focused its second year of effort on helping public library staff augment their services to the unemployed, delivering 54 full-day, in-person workshops to 1,242 frontline staff in 11 of the highest unemployment states; 38 workshops or presentations in other states reached 703 staff; and 339 from 22 states people participated in two online workshops.
One participant summed up her workshop experience: “I have been in the workforce for 32 years and have been to various seminars. This by far was the best and most helpful one I’ve attended.”
As the online learning place for library staff, we strive to offer quality courses and current content. We happily share the credit with all of you who have contributed your knowledge to enhance the body of information housed on WebJunction.
- We did some weeding and trimming in our course catalog to keep it relevant and findable.
- 550 new documents were published by WebJunction staff, our partners, and members of the WebJunction community. Highlights from our partners include:
- Our 32 webinar topics covered a wide range of topics, including:
- The Entrepreneurial Librarian – Running the business of your library
- Cataloging as Collaborative Librarianship
- Developing Online Patron Tutorials
- Putting the Public Back in Public Libraries: Community-Led Libraries
- Creating a Web Presence for Every Library
- Teaming Up with Teens @ Your Library
- And many more
- The Workforce Resources community of practice grew so big, we had to divide it into sub-topics. For the second year in a row, this was the most visited topic page on WebJunction.
As budgets tighten and the world gets flatter, it becomes ever more important to form new partnerships and solidify existing ones. At WebJunction, we value these relationships highly.
- Texas became our newest state library agency partner this year. We look forward to welcoming more partners in the coming year.
- We had a very successful collaboration with the ALA Learning Round Table to plan, promote, host and present the online conference.
- Other programming partnerships included ALA TechSource, YALSA and ARSL.
Perhaps the most significant and exciting growth around our office is the WebJunction kids.
We celebrated the one-year birthday of Veronica Rose Hill Briggs. We welcomed the arrival of Shepard Russell (Gesinger) Turnbull and Coco Marie Maddison. We await the imminent arrival of TBD (Van Noord) Peterson. And we continue to enjoy the adventures of Loren and Clara Peterson.
By blg3 | December 21st, 2011 | Permalink | Comments Off
John Emerson, graphic designer, writer and programmer from New York City, did an excellent job of talking about Data Visualization for Advocacy in clear, concise and graphically engaging terms.
Data visualization is a fancy way to say pictures with words and numbers. It is a graphic approach that makes relationships easier to see at a glance and makes the stories behind the data more memorable. The Colorado BTOP poster at right is an example of this “picture superiority effect” (more fancy terminology). It conveys attention-grabbing statistics with a graphical layout that is readily digestible in its simplicity and color. You easily “get the picture.”
But really, “the purpose of visualization is insight, not pictures.” (quotation from Ben Shneiderman) Which brings in the advocacy piece. Emerson takes the idea a step further, saying that the purpose is insight that leads to change, with change in the world being the ultimate goal of advocacy. Based on the premise that “you get 5 minutes with a legislator” to convey your message, he emphasized the critical importance of planning your visualization carefully, being clear about your goals, and knowing what your audience cares about—“what keeps them up at night.” With some thoughtful mapping, you’re better equipped to make decisions about how to design to your audience and what to emphasize.
Emerson offered plenty of practical design tips. We all have an internalized visual literacy with which we respond intuitively to graphic metaphors: big things are more important, happy is up, lines are paths. These abstractions, which we grasp without thinking, are the essential building blocks of effective data visualization. Trim to the essence and avoid excess detail.
Don’t just take it from me. Watch the archived recording and get the full picture from Emerson. The archive page also has many links to tools (like 10 Awesome Free Tools To Make Infographics), sources of inspiration, books, data sources, and some resources added by webinar attendees.
By blg3 | December 14th, 2011 | Permalink | Comments Off
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“Size does not matter. Quality matters” (Susan Hill Pieper)
As an introduction to the revised edition of the popular “Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library,” this one-hour webinar was indeed “Small But Powerful.” It packed a punch of great insights and ideas that will help small libraries stay strong, relevant, and vital to the communities they serve.
Jennifer Peterson, community manager at WebJunction, ARSL board member and chair of ALA Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee, kicked it off with suggestions for “amplifying the value” of libraries every day and everywhere through the use of technology tools and data resources. Reach beyond the library walls with cool tools like digital frame slide shows, social “satellite” sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), library calculators, and videos of non-library people expressing what they value about the library.
Susan Hill Pieper, director of the Paulding County Carnegie Library (OH), shifted the presentation into high gear with her no-nonsense advice and first-hand experiences that have built a community of patrons who “cannot imagine life without the public library” and will rally enthusiastically to support it. Counseling that “your library must show excellent service consistently” in order to garner ardent support, Susan discussed a host of strategies and tips for sustaining a “modern library”—no matter how small—and for broadcasting its value loud and clear. She urges libraries to be willing and ready to adopt new technologies but to examine them for relevance and meaning to each community. The audience appreciated her example of scrutinizing “self check-out” for its detraction from the one-on-one interactions that may be the soul of the rural community library.
Marci Merola, director of the ALA Office for Library Advocacy, wrapped up the session with a quick tour of the substantial aggregation of resources that ALA has amassed on behalf of library advocacy efforts. Their Advocacy University is a potent collection to get you amplifying your library’s value on multiple fronts.
This is just an appetizer for the full meal of possibilities. Go to the webinar archive page for:
- Link to the Small But Powerful Guide (it’s free to download or you can order print copies)
- The archived recording of the webinar
- The webinar chat log (lots of ideas shared and questions answered in the sidestream)
- Links to related resources