Internet Librarian 2007 has debunked the myth that you have to be a techie to attend; there’s something for everyone! And as you’ll see from the gems highlighted in this Weekly Tip, you needn’t attend the conference to benefit. This group (organizers, presenters, and attendees) is committed to using social software tools of all kinds to get the word out. They’ve made many of the presentations available on the web and have shared comprehensive session notes in blog posts.
The IL2007 Wiki directs folks to slideshare (a free tool for sharing presentations) where many of the presenters have posted their slides. The sessions have good clear titles to get you to those sessions that have tips, resources, and links for exploring and implementing tools that help us better serve our communities. In the near future, Information Today (the conference organizers) will be sharing additional resources and presentations like they have in previous years.
The conference is probably the largest gathering of librarian bloggers, many who have posted notes on sessions. This labor of love demonstrates not only their stellar note-taking skills, but their commitment to using tools to connect us with this valuable information. Browse all the blog posts tagged with IL2007 on either Technorati or WordPress or take a look at the list of bloggers at IL2007 as listed on the InfoToday Blog. Just to give you a sense of what’s available, here are a few of the presentations posted on the web, some paired with notes from bloggers:
Online Outreach: 2.0 Marketing Strategies for Libraries with Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton-Jan. See the notes from The Shifted Librarian and InfoToday Blog.
Going Where Our Patrons are Online with Meredith Farkas.
Assessing Patron Needs for Information Literacy in Public Libraries with Adina Lerner (Santa Monica PL), Alan D’Souza (San Francisco PL), and Carol Bean (BeanWorks). See the notes from The Shifted Librarian.
And one more prize-winning note-taker to visit: Librarian Like Me. Jami Haskell did a great job capturing the opening keynote presentation from Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet & American Life Project and day two keynote from Joe Janes on “Reference as we know it is gone…and it’s not coming back.”
Do you have a story you would like to share about Internet Librarian? Email WebJunction.
Now that I am fully recovered from spending the afternoon trapped in the Monterey Peninsula Airport, forced to watch the same sensationalized news stories repeated every 15 minutes at maximum volume, I found some time to reflect on my experience at Internet Librarian. I think what I like best about this conference is that it seems to be a meeting ground for a cross-section of progressive librarians who share a similar sense of whimsy, a knack for creativity and a willingness to play – particularly when it comes to information discovery.
I attended two sessions this week that captured this spirit of discovery through play – Erica Reynolds‘s presentation on library website redesign, Lessons from 4000 years of art and Jenny Levine‘s talk on Games, Learning & Libraries.
Inspired by a visit to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO, Erica saw how the way we experience art in a museum can inform the way we present information on the web. Having recently led the complete revamping of the Johnson County Public Library site (which is definitely worth a peek), Erica drew parallels from her experience at the museum and came up with twelve lessons for guiding designs that are both “prestigious and playful” (Lesson #12). The library’s new website features a collection of striking photos taken by teens in the community, a need a story? search box and a tab labeled “surprise!” Some of the other lessons that stand out are:
Lesson 2: Be bold. Be dynamic. Be human
Lesson 3: When you paint to sell, you paint people
Lesson 4: Enliven your collection through reorganization and presentation
Lesson 8: We like surprises. And anticipating the surprise is even more delicious.
Lesson 9: A good guide enhances the experience exponentially
In a similar vein, Jenny’s presentation on gaming in libraries challenged the audience to think about where we draw the line between learning and play – and if this distinction really matters. Games like Dance Dance Revolution and World of Warcraft teach pattern recognition, build literacy and strategy skills, and are a great teaser for bringing more young patrons through the doors to interact with each other. When thinking about offering gaming services in the library Jenny suggests considering the value that games can bring. By presenting information in a fun and appealing way and fostering social connections among patrons and staff, games can improve how people see the library – as a place that entices you to come in and discover something new. And you might even have fun doing it.
I just returned from my first Internet Librarian conference where I had a number of lovely chats over coffee and meals with new library friends. I really enjoyed these conversations, as they served as a great way to reflect on all the rich conference sessions and to brainstorm a bit together. This question came up a number of times and so on behalf of my new friends, I thought I’d make it a “Question of the Week“: After exploring new social software tools (and seeing how they can help you better serve your community) how do you go about getting buy-in from your managers, colleagues and communities? How do you advocate for social software tools?
How are you answering the questions: Why should we have a blog? Why should we have a staff wiki? What proof do you have that it’s worth our time?
I took a look around WJ to see where this question has come up and so here are a few places to get your juices flowing:
Social Software discussions
Steve Campion’s recent article addresses convincing the right people.
Wouldn’t it be great to hear particularly from directors and other decision makers about what convinced them that these tools can help libraries? Looking forward to your tips and talking points…my friends thank you!
This week at Internet Librarian I saw two great presentations on the future of mobile devices and their potential applications for reaching library patrons at the point of need. We walked away with some leads on style guides for mobile devices and some ideas to share on how to quickly create a presence on the mobile web. Expect in the near future to see some of this content on WebJunction get legs. Or maybe wheels.
But the area of discussion that we did not get a chance to dive into was how can mobile devices be used to better connect with patrons who are visually or hearing impaired or who have language or cultural barriers? By virtue of these devices being always with their owners and mobile; and able to send and receive, integrate, translate, transform or relate audio, video, text and pictures, they may provide a whole new level of outreach.
What are your ideas or experiences with using mobile devices, specifically to serve these populations? Join the discussion in the Emerging Technologies Forum!
Perhaps from eating a too-big breakfast yesterday morning, I found myself getting a little sleepy near the end of an excellent session on the use of Web 2.0 tools in a business setting. I thought about going back to my room for a nap, but I decided it was way too nice outside; so I rented a bicycle from the shop across the street and hit the seaside trail. It was a great decision: I got to smell the sea air and watch the surf, see lots of shore birds, and do some thinking about what I have been experiencing here at my first trip to Internet Librarian.
On my way back to town, I hit a point on the trail where a huge semi was blocking the path as it was struggling to turn up a narrow curving road. It didn’t look like it was going to get out of the way anytime soon, and another bicyclist in front of me was impatiently waiting. I was settling in for the wait as well, when something caught my eye and I turned to see another cyclist heading up the trail behind me. But instead of stopping, he veered off on a side path that I hadn’t noticed. It took him straight through the pedestrian crosswalk, he cruised across and landed on the other side of the truck–never skipping a beat. That was a great solution, so I followed his lead and was back in gear in no time.
As I cruised along the rest of the way, I thought about what a neat example of a social interaction that was. I am a newcomer to Monterey–a “newbie”–but because I went where I could observe the locals, I learned how to get from Point A to Point B more effectively. And, likewise, that confident bicyclist was riding on a path that tourists often frequent, and so he has put himself in a great position to teach by example.
Perhaps you can see where I’m headed with this. The frequently heard mantra here at Internet Librarian and elsewhere is that librarians must put themselves and their library where their patrons/community are. But can we extend this thinking to how we interact with our peers in the library community? Are those with expertise with a particular tool or who know a solution to an oft-faced problem putting themselves in the place where “newbies” can learn from them? And are those who are unfamiliar with a topic interacting and observing those who they think might have answers?
You may have heard the phrase that Burning Man made famous: No spectators, only participants. This is a powerful message for the social networking world, especially when we know that “lurkers” or consumers of information far outweigh the contributors. As I sat and listened to so many presenters this week, I was struck by their common passion for sharing knowledge. Many of these folks are presenting because they are excited by what they accomplished and they would love to see others have a similar experience. Because WebJunction is powered by its users who grow the site by contributing content, I would love to see everyone in Libraryland get involved on WebJunction in some way. But I had to get honest with myself: If I am going to encourage others to become participants, I must walk that walk as well. I kicked off my commitment to Participation by going to karaoke last night and singing in front of a large crowd of coworkers and strangers. And you know what? It was a blast.
As a first time IL attendee, the conference experience for me has been all about making connections. And that has happened in more ways than one. Yes, there are the mental connections – I’ve had the opportunity to meet with librarians in the
So let’s go back a second to Helene’s presentation – it was actually both Helene and Meredith Farkas, of 5 Weeks to a Social Library fame. Meredith repeatedly mentioned the idea of “paying it forward” when it comes to learning from one another. So I want to quickly pay tribute to that – and hopefully make some connections for others. Helene talked about the importance of thinking of ourselves less as “experts” that have to know EVERYTHING (because we all know how do-able that is) to becoming “guides” – people who can exhibit and explain points of interest. The difference being the ability to create a level of engagement that allows us to learn as well as empowering our learners. Here are Helene Blowers Five Tips for Becoming a Discovery Guide:
It’s been a conference whirlwind for me lately…in addition to Internet Librarian, I’ve also been at state conferences in MN & IL these last 3 weeks.
At each conference, I’ve heard about countless new ideas and technologies to explore. Needless to say, my notes listing things to follow up on are *long.* But, rather than feeling overwhelmed, I’m going to take the advice I’ve heard twice in the last two weeks (both in Minnesota & Monterey): do it for 10-15 minutes a day.
Helene mentioned during her presentation yesterday that she spends the last 15 minutes of her workday checking out new things she’s come across on the web. The folks I spoke with in Minnesota use this strategy to catch up on library blogs, find an answer to a problem using WebJunction, or they go through a portion of a self-paced online course.
So, here’s the beginning of my list of web sites to check out when I get back to my desk…check them out with me, or create a list of your own.
Whew! What a whirlwind! Libraryman and I had a great time with our program yesterday (thoroughly documented, so I won’t go into it, other than to say…) We’ve heard from a number of people that they liked what we talked about! Yay. Community building is really behind so many of the tools and best practices at place here; it was really rewarding to start the day off with a conversation about ‘why’ and ‘how’ we do social networking (online and off). IL has a great audience and it’s a lot of fun to be here and share ideas and projects with everyone.
Otherwise, IL2007 has also been fabulous – I’ve had a great time connecting with people that I haven’t seen for a while, as well as spending time with people that I know online better than I do in person. I always take a chunk of breakfast/lunch/dinner slots while I’m here at this conference to talk in person specifically with people that I’ve known or met online over the year before – it’s fun! This year I’ve met with Amanada, Jennifer, Josh, David, Robin, and a few others that I’ve maybe seen around before but really became ‘friends’ with in the last several months – either through facebook, twitter, or the WJ. Not to mention the folks that I know well, but don’t see very often – great connecting with these folks as well. Heck, even the people I see every day, I end up having inspirational conversations with. It’s such a wonderful source of new energy and innovation to get away from daily activities – get out there and talk to people (even the same people!) in a new context. THANK YOU to OCLC and WebJunction for making this an important part of our roles in the cooperative; it really makes a huge difference! “I love my online community” (and it gets bigger all the time) is the only thing I have to say about that!
One project I’m working on now (also with libraryman, and with cindi trainor (current WJ member spotlight) and michael sauers (traveling librarian)) that I’m super excited about is a series of interviews with “veteran” library professionals – the innovators of earlier times – that we can publish as primary resources (oral histories) and excerpt as a popular series, beginning sometime next year. It’s the most exciting project that I’m currently involved in, really, and it’s great to be here with colleagues – gathering new ideas (and names) for those interviews. Stay tuned for more info … I think there will be a lot of ways the WJ community can get involved in this project once it takes off.
I’ve also been encouraging anyone who’s interested in working in the social networking, community building, or learning areas to check out our open positions right now (on OCLC’s career site). See something you like? Please apply. Three positions are currently open in the Community area; we’d love to hear from you!
Back to conferencing …
Oh Internet Librarian, you are the best! Actually the people that are here and the things they are doing and talking about are the best (and let’s face it, Monterey doesn’t hurt either). For the majority of folks reading this though, Monterey is a long way off. Happily we’re trying to share the experience of being here this year as best we can. Along those lines, some pretty spiffy photos have started to show up already (check the WebJunction flickr photo stream or do search on flickr for the tag IL2007 to see more). Here are a couple WJ related shots that might be fun to take a peek at:
Last night Jenny Levine, Aaron Schmidt, and myself (Michael Porter) co-hosted an open gaming event/flickr and/or twitter meet-up, which was a total blast. It felt great to be able to say: “this even brought to you in partnership with ALA, WebJunction and ITI“. Collaboration abounds! As does some gaming night competition. Here are the two Guitar Hero competition winners David Free and Michael Sauers proudly standing in the project’s glare with their fabulous prizes:
*Just a side note, this event was held right after Jenny and Aaron’s “Gaming in Libraries” pre-conference which was SO worth the time and money. Gamer and non-gamer librarian alike are encouraged to seek out this type of content and these two speakers in particular to understand the importance and value of gaming in Libraryland. The connections are surprising and VERY real. Thanks Jenny and Aaron for your excellent work!*
While those are fine shots, in my mind there is already stiff competition for fave IL2007 photo between these to pics:
What’s your vote?
For now, it’s back to the conference sessions and the wonderful people here at this years’ Internet Librarian conference. I’ll look for you here or online!
Good news, Monterey – WJ is coming to town! Check us out (no, really – you can check out our IL profiles): Chrystie, Michael, Rachel, Sharon, Jennifer, Laura, Dave & Zola will be attending this year’s Internet Librarian conference and sharing our experiences here on BlogJunction. I know we’re all really excited – for lots of different reasons. On Monday, Chrystie & Michael are presenting Blending In: Librarians in the Networked Community. Those two are seasoned IL veterans so they’ll be catching up with friends and hosting fun events like “Open gaming with Guitar Hero, DDR, and Wii” (co-hosted by ALA & WJ’s Jenny Levine, Aaron Schmidt, and Michael Porter in the Colton Room 1, 4:30-7:30pm on Sunday) followed up by an evening of Twittering and Flickring around the town, and Tuesday at 9pm people are meeting at the Portola Plaza lobby to head out for a night of karaoke!
Others of us fall squarely into the “IL newbie” camp – so we’ll be bringing you updates and lessons learned from that perspective, as well. There’s a lot of really great conference sessions and we’re looking forward to connecting with attendees and presenters.
So if you’re joining us virtually, let us know what you’d like to learn from the conference and we’ll do our best to be IL conduits! And if you’re there, we hope you to see you!