“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:
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:
Last summer we reported the results of our survey of WebJunction members about their use of 10 types of online tools and resources. This spring we surveyed our membership again with a similar question, but this time separating professional use from personal use. We also updated the tool list, adding mobile apps, chat and IM, video- and photo-sharing sites, online games, and discussion forums. This year, we had 1,039 responses, in contrast to the ~575 last year. But the makeup of the respondents are similar: 70% are from public libraries, and all have registered as WebJunction members.
For the tools we surveyed last year, we see little change. The most significant shift was in social networking: in 2010, 35% reported using Facebook, Twitter or similar on a daily basis, and 30% never used it–in either a professional or personal setting. This year, 46% use social networks daily in their personal life and only 19% report never using them. Professional use of social networks lags behind personal use, but the gains are still noteworthy, as only 28% of respondents report never using social networks for work. By the way, we are hosting presentations about use of social media in the library in two free webinars this month: get the details from the WebJunction webinar calendar.
Meanwhile, email discussion lists continue to be as popular as they have been for years, with 50% of respondents using them daily (and one-quarter report daily use even in their personal lives). These are long-established, tight-knit, semi-private communities that fill our in-boxes with tips and advice, success and horror stories, rants, jokes, and calls to action. Despite their definite 1.0 clunkiness, they are still useful and used . The discussion forum, however, which could be considered the Listserv’s web-dwelling cousin, seems to be fading fast, with only 6% of respondents reporting daily use in professional life (9% in personal life), and one-third stating they never use discussions (nearly one half never use them in their personal life).
The low level of use of RSS among library staff is (to me) surprising, with roughly half of respondents stating that they never use RSS. Because this tool seems like a practical and easy and efficient way to stay tapped into updated information and news on topics of interest published on the web, and because use of RSS among the general public is reportedly much higher, we are spotlighting a simple overview of this tool on WebJunction with the hopes that more library staff will give it a try.
Here are the full results from the 2011 survey question:
Our fellow staffer Michael Porter (aka Libraryman) has been spending his off hours working slavishly with David Lee King on a project they call Library 101. We know Michael as an unrepentent cheerleader of libraries and librarians who can convince anyone to get up and dance and sing for the cause (and have fun while doing it!). Well, their project debuted just a few days ago, with quite a splash. The project website includes a collection of more than 20 essays from thought leaders in the field, an extensive list of resources (101, actually) on “need to know” technology, and last but not least, a 7-minute song and video featuring Michael, David, and a huge cast of characters from libraries around the globe. Around the office, we all have the chorus “101 our parts make a sum that will be the key to what is to come. 101’s how we get the job done! Evolve and make your Library 101!” totally stuck in our heads.
Michael and David are hoping that you will help build the project by adding your comments to the essays, to answer the question, What do you think librarians need to know to succeed?
The recent WebJunction Digital Reference Summit (full archive and related resources) included a presentation by Alison Miller about the rise of text message reference services. At the beginning of the session we polled participants and discovered that just 17% of the nearly 200 in attendance were providing text reference services, but that’s sure to change.
Alison provided a wealth of data to illustrate the current trends in mobile reference services and referenced the nearly 100 libraries offering SMS (text) reference service listed on the Library Success Wiki. There were a handful of questions raised during the webinar about whether or not the 160-character limit allows for an adequate reference exhange or if it only serves to provide quick answers to quick queries.
There are multiple responses to these questions in the recent Library Journal article by Ellyssa Kroski which asks, Text Message Reference: Is It Effective? In the article, Ellyssa references interviews with a half a dozen or so academic reference librarians and presents their answer as a resounding YES! She summarized:
- The 160-character limit does not seem to be an impediment; librarians simply send multiple messages or ask patrons to call or come into the library for further help with more complex questions.
- Libraries are receiving a wide variety of questions via text messaging such as troubleshooting, directional, circulation, and reference queries, with some libraries receiving between 50-90 questions per month via patrons’ mobile devices.
- And it doesn’t seem to matter that the reference interview may take multiple text exchanges, according to these librarians—the content and quality of the answers is more important than the medium of delivery.
Whether or not your library is providing text message reference, I think the verdict is clear. The libraries who remain technologically nimble in our changing times are where their users are.
A search for “digital branch” on your favorite search engine proves that David Lee King is one of those responsible for inserting the term into our library lexicon and into the job titles of some of today’s most innovative library leaders. He’s the author of the recently published edition of Library Technology Reports focusing on the topic and also the presenter of our next WebJunction webinar.
Join us on September 15 for Building the Digital Branch: Guidelines to Transform Your Website for the 21st Century, a webinar brought to you in special collaboration with ALA TechSource and WebJunction-Kansas.
David will present on the process his web team used at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (KS) to transform their outdated website into a 21st century digital branch. He’ll address the differences between a website and a digital branch, and describe the redesign process – everything from the introductory planning stages of overhauling their website to the process of actually “doing stuff” at the new digital branch.
This month’s WebJunction focus is on Social Networking & Web Tools and includes 3 webinars to add to your staff learning calendar:
June 10, 2:00 Eastern: Technology Stewardship @ Your Library
Join presenter Nancy White co-author of the forthcoming book Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities, (with Etienne Wenger and John E. Smith) for this free webinar. Nancy is recognized internationally for her research exploring online communities today, and in her work as a technology steward, designer and builder of online interaction spaces. In this webinar, Nancy will focus on librarians as community technology stewards. She will offer practical steps for you to begin to understand your community, assess the technology needs of your community, and how to select, configure, and support the online technologies your community uses.
June 16, 2:00 Eastern: Social Learning with Libraries on WebJunction
For the past six years, library staff have been using tools at WebJunction.org to connect with each other and build new skills for their work in libraries. Meanwhile, the dramatic growth of web-based technology has changed patron expectations of libraries, which means library staff have new needs as well. Join Chrystie Hill, community director at WebJunction, as she describes how WebJunction.org has evolved alongside these trends, to become an integrated ‘learning community’ that’s open, affordable, and always on. Chrystie will also present broader trends in learning and training, demonstrate how our members are using online tools to support their staff or their own professional development, and discuss with you how to shape the future of staff training and library services.
June 30, 2:00 Eastern: Bringing Web 2.0 into Academic Libraries
When the goal is to be “where they are, when they need us,” what does that require at a university library in 2009? As students, staff and faculty move their lives online, university libraries must choose whether to move with them or get left behind. But where is the value in a university library when Google is the new ready reference desk and the libraries’ resources are increasingly digitized? How does a library remain relevant in a socially networked academic world? From their perspective as, respectively, virtual reference and e-learning librarians, Amanda Clay Powers (Mississippi State Univ. Libraries) and Ellen Hampton (Baylor Univ. Libraries) will discuss how libraries can readjust and move their most important resources online—their people. By using social networks and other web-based technologies, libraries can become a value-added member of their community— both online and in person. By using these new tools, librarians can once again hover by their reference stacks with an offer to help that’s just a click away.
And while you’ve got your calendar up, add this one too: Crouching Tigers, Reading Dragons: Creating a Reading Challenge Program. On July 7, join guest presenters from Seattle and British Columbia as they share their experiences and expertise with the Global Reading Challenge/Reading Link Challenge, a program that encourages team building, reading for retention, and cooperation between school and public libraries. Using a “quiz bowl” format, the program has successfully challenged teams of young readers across the country for over a decade. The presenters will demonstrate how the program can fit into your library’s programming, regardless of size or budget; and how it can be done in one building, between public libraries and public schools, or across state or international borders. The program emphasizes books that reflect a diversity of backgrounds, and encourages 4th and 5th grade students of all reading abilities to engage in the “sport” of reading. Guest Presenters: Mary Palmer, Global Reading Challenge Coordinator, The Seattle Public Library (WA) and Ada Con, Diversity Services & Programming Coordinator, Fraser Valley Regional Library (BC).
The My WebJunction Page may just be my favorite feature on the freshly relaunched WJ site. It is powerful, it is unique to Libraryland and it was designed and created specifically for us as library professionals. Plus, as you can see in video below, it’s just pretty cool! Who knew library staff would ever be able to do this in our own unique profession specific network, built just for US? Follow the link to the page hosting the video on WebJunction or just click the play button below to see why the My WebJunction Page has me all jazzed. Then log-in, make some connections and friends and watch what happens. If you haven’t discovered YOUR My WebJunction Page, we’re hoping you’ll be eager to start using it after you see this:
I also wanted to take a second to personally thank every single one of you that have tried the site out during its first week. We have seen huge amounts of activity this week and are so happy to see folks diving in. We are also very pleased to get your feedback as well. Most things are working well on the site, but please know that we are working very hard to respond to and address any question, concerns and bugs that have come up. And we thank you very much for your patience in those instances. This is truly a library community resource and you telling us what you think, how to make it better and what you would like to see in the future will be what helps make that future happen. So please keep contacting us, keep kicking the tires and continue to dive in. See you on Your, Mine and OUR “My WebJunction”!
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.
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…)
One of the key things we learned with Learning 2.0 is that the best learning, the learning that sticks, spreads, and becomes viral is the learning that happens outside of the classroom. Think about your own job. How much of what you know was learned in a classroom? If you’re like most people you learned on the job–from a co-worker, from observation, from experience. We know that most learning takes place outside the four walls of a classroom, yet we seem to spend most of our time preparing for the training that goes on inside a classroom.
I hope you will join me next week for a free webinar hosted by WebJunction called Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library. During this hour we’ll explore the differences between training and learning, discover why learning is important, and I’ll share with you some tips for transforming your library from a training organization to a learning organization.
- Lori Reed, Training Specialist for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County
Read more about Lori on her website, www.librarytrainer.com.
To find out more about this webinar and how to register, visit the WebJunction Learning Webinar page.
I can’t believe it’s time again for the Question of the Week. Where do the days go?
This time we’re highlighting an issue near and dear to my heart as a borderline problem patron—online fine/fee payment options. True confession: we’ve got four high-powered library users in the family and well, we pay a lot of late fees.
Let me say I don’t begrudge the fines at all. In fact, I wish I could take care of them more quickly and conveniently—such as when I’m reserving and renewing materials online. That’s why I was so happy to see WebJunction member mckeogh bring up what I consider a very Library 2.0 topic:
“I was wondering if any library has instituted a system that allows patrons to pay their fees (i.e. overdue fees) online. Has anyone done this? If so, what have been the challenges? What system, software do you use?”
The Dangerous Ideas* session presented at PLA on Friday morning should be on the agenda for every library conference. It started a conversation that speaks to the survival and the vitality of libraries as they evolve into the future.
As Darwin discovered, it’s not necessarily the swiftest or strongest or largest species that survive; it is those most adaptable to change. The dangerous ideas conversation is all about adaptation and change. It begins with the question “What if …?”
(This is just a sampling of the provocative questions raised.)
Half of the “what ifs” above came from the audience as a result of the refreshing level of interactivity. (What if all conference sessions stimulated participation from the audience?) Questioning assumptions is contagious and uncomfortable. There was anxiety and reaction mixed with excitement. In the atmosphere of brainstorming “unthinkable thoughts,” the point is to confront the discomfort, find the opportunities, and then move forward with actions.
One audience member suggested that the next PLA (2010) should be totally focused on “what if?” Someone else said we can’t wait that long—that the next PLA should be one grand discussion of the results of two years of action.
Catch the fever at whatiflibs.wetpaint.com.
*Presenters: Deirdre Routt/Omaha PL, Stacey Aldrich/California State Library, Brian Auger/Howard County Library, Amy de Groff/Howard County Library, Rivkah Sass/Omaha PL
Make sure you swing over to our latest Member Spotlight. This month we’re learning a bit about Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran, the Community Information Librarian with SELCO — a regional multi-type library consortium in Rochester, Minnesota.
Like most WebJunction members, Mary Beth has her hands full. In this case, her SELCO responsibilities have her working with 119 academic, public, special, and school libraries across S.E. Minnesota on continuing education, ILL, advocacy, grant writing, and marketing/public relations. (more…)
Resolution #10. Build Staff Camaraderie
“Camaraderie” defined by Merriam-Websters Online Dictionary is “a spirit of friendly good-fellowship”. When power fails, computers crash, and the lights go dim, the human element still works, and camaraderie is the circuit along which knowledge will continue to travel.
To develop that among the variety of age groups and intellects that work in a library is no easy task. Sharing two things, food and humor, are excellent methods to develop this. Food I’ll leave to individual tastes (pardon the pun) but relevant humor can be trickier to find.
Castles’ del.icio.us resources include Unshelved, from Overduemedia.com (saved by 108 members), has hundreds of funny cartoon strips about librarianship. Librarians have unique opportunities to observe the human condition, and have a good laugh over it. Unshelved does that without being mean. Today’s page has a photo sent in by a fan with a great librarian quote on her T-shirt, “Will work for books”. Love it!
I would imagine there have to be more strips like this. Feel free to comment if you know of any others!
This brings me to a final point about the del.icio.us collection software. Unlike the Librarything various display options, del.icio.us only offers chronological sequencing at this point in time. The last link you put in is the first link the visitor will see. I edited mine in chapter sequence, and found that the first chapters are at the back of the list! I’d forgotten the Unshelved link, and put it in after I added an introduction link. Unshelved appears as my first link!
You could use an introduction link like I have just below the Unshelved link. It doesn’t offer much writing space, but it compensates for the fact that the site doesn’t offer as many descriptive capabilities as the Librarything profiles do. An introductory link can help visitors use your collection better.
Plan if you want your links in specific order. I could delete my current intro link, and reenter it so it would be the top one. However it’s more useful to demonstrate this concept for this blog the way it is now.
A new book also takes a interesting look working in a library. The title says it “all”: Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert. If you and your staff ever feel inundated by the public, especially middle-schoolers, this book is for you. It was published after Castles Against Ignorance so I couldn’t use it in my book. One book I do mention is the Whole Library Handbook 4 by George M. Eberhart, which is a great compilation of library facts and trivia. This resource has grown the most since I put my books resources online; it now has 160 members sharing it, up from 45 last summer!
Another outlet and way to build up your understanding of staff issues is to join listservs or monitor blogs like this one. Librarything has a very active web site with chat areas as well as message boards for specialized groups. And who has the largest group on Librarything? Librarians! Librarians who librarything has over 3700 members. They have a very well put together page. I’m enjoying reading the “Books that just never seem to be returned” thread.
To summarize, here are my 10 ways to make your library great in 2008, using the Web 2.0 tips and tricks in this blog and in my presentation:
1. Use Technology
2. Continuously Train
3. Polish your Comportment
4. Reduce Clutter
5. Handle Noise
6. Handle Conflict
7. Have a Plan
8. Develop Partnerships
9. Create Great Programming
10. Build Staff Camaraderie
Remember, you are not working in a warehouse, or an assembly line, or a bar.
You are librarians, who preserve and help propel our civilization forward!
I hope this has been helpful. Please leave comments or get back to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck on your resolutions. Here’s to a great 2008!
-Ed Rossman, Interim Branch Manager for the Bertram Woods branch of the Shaker Heights Public Library and author of Castles Against Ignorance: How to Make Libraries Great Educational Environments
Click here to access an archive of Ed’s webinar and a PDF of the slides he used.
Resolution #9. Create Great Programming
What’s great programming without great marketing? A resolution is basically a goal, and to reach the goal you need “action plans”. A programming goal needs specific steps to reach it as well, and that includes marketing!
As mentioned earlier, the Ohio Library Council, thanks to financial support from the Drew Carey Fund, has developed an online training resource, entitled “Marketing the Library.” It’s comprised of six self-paced training modules, and it includes links to marketing resources, examples, quizzes and exercises. Planning, products and promotion are all covered in this free, comprehensive training program.
In my Librarything resources the library program tag has 8 books, 6 library specific and all of those dealing with children and youth. My favorite is Toddle on over : developing infant & toddler literature programs by Robin Works Davis. The one with the most members sharing (15 as of today) is Outstanding Library Service to Children: Putting the Core Competencies to Work by Rosanne Cerny.
In my del.icio.us resources tagged with “programs” I used the example of the IMLS Youth Initiative, as a way of capturing more members. Iml.gov currently has 151 members sharing it (up from 130 in August). The IMLS Youth Initiative has none, zero, but it’s still a great resource for ideas and funding!
So, rather than have a link shared by no one, I put the top level domain name in as the link, and the real url in the notes section, which shows directly under the title. I’m hoping that in seeing “saved by 151 members”, people stop to take a second look at a resource in what might be a cluttered screen for them.
Having the proper page title and URL below it, will aid in finding the resource, after a user clicks and gets to the main home page for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. They may be momentarily confused. Once again, the full url (http://www.imls.gov/about/youth.shtm) had way fewer hits, 0, than http://www.imls.gov so I used the one with the most members sharing, but it’s a resource-rich page about helping youth learn.
To me, the ends of sharing funding sources and programming ideas justifies the means of a temporary misdirection. Feel free to leave comments on this!
I have bounced this idea off other people I know, and no one argues with me. Support networks are essential to making good decisions, creating good ideas, and adding elbow grease to carry off complex programming events.
And that leads me to our final resolution, #10…Build Camaraderie!
-Ed Rossman, Interim Branch Manager for the Bertram Woods branch of the Shaker Heights Public Library and author of Castles Against Ignorance: How to Make Libraries Great Educational Environments
Click here to access an archive of Ed’s webinar and a PDF of the slides he used.