Still reeling after my busiest ALA ever. I suppose it’s possible that each year seems busier than the last, but I will ask you to remind me not to over commit next year . With 5 ppt presentations saved on my trusty WJ flashdrive (2 of them shorter, but still!), I wound my way through the week to a final panel presentation on Monday afternoon. I was privileged to present Keeping Your Computers Up and Running—We Can Help! with Dr Diane Neal from the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University and Brenda Hough from MaintainIT.
Along with our LITA hosts (Thanks to Irmgarde and Paul!) we prepared to present a range of information, beginning with Diane who provided thorough and practical pc, printer, network and Internet troubleshooting tips, and an excellent primer for how to communicate with IT support when you can’t fix it yourself. Next Brenda gave an excellent overview of MaintainIT project and provided an opportunity for people to break off into smaller discussions (you know I liked that part!) about successes and challenges. She mentioned that their upcoming webinar is going to be co-presented by a teenager who helped develop the library’s PC reservation system! Then I finished with an overview of some of the great tech tools and best practices to come out of WebJunction, including TechAtlas and some of the brainstorms and action planning tools from the Rural Library Sustainability Project. My overall message was about how we need to stop reinventing the wheel and to bring unlikely collaborators into the work of technology planning and maintenance. I reminisced about when technology in the library involved signing patrons up to use the one branch PC to type resumes, in the day when the 3 typewriters in the neighboring carrels were still far more popular. Now our jobs are driven by technology inside and outside of the library, and we need to be accountable to our communities as stewards of that technology. We need to “pull open the circle” and recognize those in our library staff, our trustees, and our broader communities who have a role to play in keeping our computers up and running.
I have to say that the collaborative experience of developing and presenting with this panel, as with the 2.0 Cafe, made me feel even more excited to come back home and continue the work of getting ready to launch the next WJ platform. I can’t wait to pull open the circle of WJ!
The 2008 Member Awards went to 5 outstanding WebJunction members this year. All were nominated by their colleagues (multiple nominations for each!) in the WJ Member Survey, awarded based on their contributions to WebJunction and to their commitment to building the community of resources, learning and discussions on WJ and their role as advocates and mentors. This is the 3rd year we have given the awards.
Three of the awards were presented at Friday’s Member Reception. Award winners include Michele Leininger, Stephanie Gerding and Stephanie Race. All three have been actively involved in a number of WebJunction projects both online and f2f.
Stephanie Gerding is a nationally renowned consultant, librarian, author, and trainer from Arizona. She was Arizona’s Spanish Language Outreach Coordinator, Rural Library Sustainability Coordinator/Trainer, host of last year’s ALA Rural Café, WJ contributor, and truly committed collaborator.
Michele Leininger is the Continuing Education Consultant at the State Library of Iowa, Iowa Community Partner Team Lead, Coordinator/Trainer for Rural Library Sustainability Project. She has served as a mentor to all the State Community Partner Team Leads.
Stephanie Race is Assistant Director, NEFLIN (Northeast Florida Library Information Network), Florida’s Rural Library Sustainability Coordinator and Trainer, super WJ Advocate, and committed blogger of WJ resources and events on NEFLIN’s Blah, Blah, Blah Blog.
Two additional awards were presented on Saturday night at the joint Spanish Language Outreach Program and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries reception. Carla Lehn, from Library and Development Services at the California State Library, was recognized for her work with ARSL and with Rural libraries across the country. Elena Tscherny from the DC Public Library was nominated by peers and awarded for her work with the Spanish Language Outreach project and with REFORMA.
Our Diversity Fair Scholarship winners Miguel Vicente and Katie Cunningham presented their amazing outreach programs at yesterday’s OLOS Diversity Fair. Miguel served as a trainer for the Spanish Language Outreach Program and Katie participated in a workshop in her area. Both were selected to attend ALA and present posters at the Diversity Fair based on the successful outreach programs that have implemented for their Spanish-speaking communities. If you are interested in learning more about Miguel’s work at the Athens Regional Library in Georgia, view the webinar archive of the SLO June webinar. For more information about Katie’s outreach efforts at the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio, check our case study about her project.
I had an excellent day at ALA, meeting and interacting with hordes of great librarians. A highlight was the Library 2.0 Café where we enjoyed a fruitful experience melding our Anaheim World Café session with a live Wimba webinar. None of our worries about the hotel internet connection materialized, allowing the technology to slip into the background while we concentrated on the conversation at hand. Stay tuned for a link to the session archive and a more indepth post from Jen.
Though the lack of technical glitches was probably my biggest victory of the day, the most fun I had was during Jen, Jim, and my impromptu boa and fan giveaway. What started as a way to lighten our load while shuffling conference materials to the exhibit floor quickly turned into a mini meet-and-greet. The boas didn’t get many takers from the sweaty crowd waiting for shuttle, but the fans were well received by ALA attendees (as well as the area cabbies).
The experience also brought home a concept we discussed at the Café session today: 2.0 doesn’t have to be complex. In a world of tight library budgets, improvisation has its place, too.
For example, take the goal of keeping cool in this LA heat. Sure, we could strive to develop a lightweight, solar-powered, personal air conditioning unit. And maybe with unlimited resources and a couple years of time we might even succeed. Or, we could just staple some tongue depressors to cardstock and start down the the path to cooling right now.
The showcase cooling system may someday have its day in the sun. But for now the low-budget fans are meeting the need.
Originally uploaded by Library Journal. (I’m not sure why it won’t play from our blog, but if you click the link, you’ll get there. Fixed!)
Hey, check it out this delightful convergence!
LJ filmed me talking about twitter and put me on their flickr stream and then their website #ALA2008 conference coverage.
Helene Blowers showed it to me over dinner from her mobile phone.
I’m posting it here from my flickr account, using the blog this function.
All this talk about twitter and twitter itself never came into play as it came back round. Ain’t the 2.0 conference thing grand?
A quick a reminder about tonight‘s WebJunction member reception (5-8pm in the Marriott Anaheim Grand Ballroom). For me, this will be the real kickoff for ALA. I’ve walked around a bit in the Anaheim heat and scoped out the orange bags, but tonight is my first opportunity to put names to the faces of the WebJunction community. I can’t wait to meet a bunch of our members; if you see a tall guy with a brand-new haircut come say hello!
Though we won’t be lighting off fireworks of our own, you can probably catch some right outside just after the event (I shot these from a freeway overpass just down the road on the way back from dinner). Hopefully the fire metaphor will end there. We expect the reception to be packed with all of our friends and colleagues from libraryland and don’t want any over-capacity warnings from the fire marshal.
I look forward to seeing you tonight!
update: reception moved to the larger Ballroom E. More space=no fire marshal worries!
update 2: Photos here
If it wasn’t fantastic enough to have dinner with her, Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran is a panel presenter at Friday’s ALA 2008 OCLC Symposium. I recommended her for the panel because of her great mashup work in Minnesota, bringing state legislators into advocacy efforts linking them to libraries in their districts (and READ posters with their own pictures, delivered to their offices!). I’m hoping she talks about her new job tomorrow…basically building an academic library from scratch (truly!). Over dinner she shared her ideas about how we might be engaging WJ members moving forward but more on all that later.
I’ll fill you in on the symposium tomorrow. See you there or at other WJ @ ALA events.
Stay tuned for a full review of the session (complete with summaries of the flipchart notes, AND video), but in the meantime, there’s an archive to the virtual portion of the session: 2.0 Cafe Archive and some good stuff collecting in the 2.0 Cafe wiki. Thanks to all for your participation and don’t forget, keep the conversation alive!
Excited about the great social interaction and learning that occurs when 30,000 librarians get together, but disappointed you’ll miss out because because you can’t attend ALA this year? WebJunction hopes to ease some of your pain by presenting our Library 2.0 Café program live via Wimba Classroom.
You can bet that the WJ team will blog, Twitter, and flickr as much ALA as humanly possible. And though the turnaround time on these sharing technologies has become faster, they are still essentially asynchronous in nature. Their speed, volume, and content richness can almost help you feel there, but watching (and interacting) as events unfold live is even better.
That’s why we are looking forward to physical/virtual blending of our 2.0 Café program, an unconference-style, facilitated, shared conversation based on the World Café model. Produced in conjunction with MaintainIT, this particular event is an opportunity to take a practical look at all the “cool,” high-potential tools we’ve all been seeing this year and together develop ways to utilize those tools to help us engage our communities.
At the Anaheim portion (Sheraton Park Hotel, Palm Ballroom, Saturday 6/28 1:30-3:30, Pacific), attendees will be grouped around café tables covered in poster paper, with markers at the ready. Participants In the Wimba Classroom will have the Wimba whiteboard and chat. Table hosts in both locations will help keep the conversation moving and engaging. A glossary and café menu are provided, along with best practices that encourage participants to: (more…)
As PLA 2008 was so much fun, we decided to pack up a bunch of WebJunction staff and head on down to Anaheim for ALA Annual next month.
I’m personally excited as this will be my first ever Annual, so I’m doing an informal crash course on tips for first timers (if you have any, please post a comment!). And our entire team is excited because this will be the first time we’ll showcase live demo sneak peeks of the new WebJunction, launching later this summer.
There are a range of places we’ll be, showing off the new site or just hanging out with everyone, and we’d love to invite you to join us.
For a (mostly) complete list of WebJunction events, and to let us know you’re coming, visit the OCLC registration page.
WebJunction Member Reception – Yes, it’s back! With a packed house and overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Reception at PLA (photos here), we had to do it again. The Reception is a great way to unwind from a long day of conference activities and meet other members of the WebJunction community. Marilyn Mason and Jay Jordan will stop by to say a few words, and the food and drinks will flow!
Friday June 27, 5-8pm; Marriott Anaheim, Grand Ballroom Salon A-D
In the Exhibit Hall - There’s lots of time available for the exhibit hall, so please stop by and chat up the WebJunction team. It’s a great place to get a demo of what’s coming in the new WebJunction site as well.
Saturday – Monday, 9am-5pm and Tuesday 9am-1pm; OCLC Booth
Sneak Peek Suite – Want to learn more and perhaps get a closer look at our future site? Stop by the OCLC Blue Suite Sunday afternoon to hang out and chat up our team while looking through a demo or two.
Sunday June 29th, 1:30-5:30pm, Marriott Anaheim, OCLC Blue Suite (visit the OCLC Information Booth in the Exhibit Hall for directions)
I’ll stop there and let others blog about other sessions, events, and happenings – including the Library 2.0 Roundtable, Spanish Language Outreach activities, OCLC Blog Salon (how could we skip this?), and more. Watch this space, and we’ll see you in Anaheim.