Honored as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker this week, I’ve most certainly been reminded of all of the incredible people who have influenced me in my library journey. While I can’t possibly list and thank *everyone* who I’ve learned with, worked with or been mentored by, I can take this opportunity to urge you recognize how you yourself inspire those around you, whether or not you define it as “moving & shaking.”
Many years ago (nod here to my first mentor at St. Olaf), I was urged to read a book that taught me the importance of “learning how to learn.” Since then I have used Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner’s 1969 book, Teaching as a Subversive Activity, to illustrate how we, libraries and librarians, are very subversive in our ways. We provide for our communities, an environment nurtured by collaborative and continuous learning and yet rarely are we *formally* recognized as teachers. You likely mentor your patrons, colleagues or friends, but rarely do you acknowledge yourself as their mentor. And I’m intrigued by the subversive interrelationship of mentoring and leadership and how so often leadership is developed unbeknownst to the leader. Take it from me, you may or may not accept it, but you are likely a leader in the work you do!
When crises emerge, when gaps are found, and when opportunities arise, members of the library community are called on to lead the conversation, to facilitate the information sharing and to model the learning. Whether library director or patron, student page or new board member, we are all agents of what I call “leadership as a subversive activity.”
So as you move through your work, I encourage you to reflect regularly on how you subversively “move & shake” your communities, and recognize how you teach, lead and mentor those around you. And begin now nominate those in the library community who should *overtly* be recognized as a 2012 Mover & Shaker!
I want to extend a special thanks to those who nominated me for this award and also to those who urged, “You should go to library school!” Their mentorship ultimately led me to this amazing job. Thank you *everyone* for the work you do and for the role you play as stewards of this WebJunction community!
Free 30-minute webinar series on three Tuesday afternoons in August: 17th, 24th, 31st
Communities across the country are pursuing a burgeoning strategy known as economic gardening, which works to stimulate the development of small business with the goal of growing a healthy, community-scale economy. Libraries can be key players in supporting and facilitating their success. This Libraries and Economic Development webinar series will expand your thinking about the powerful connection. Your host for the series is Shelley Walchak, a mover-and-shaker with the official title of Library Community Programs Senior Consultant at the Colorado State Library.
Webinar 1: How to Make Your Library Entrepreneur-Friendly
Tuesday, Aug 17, 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific
Christine Hamilton-Pennell literally wrote the book. She is an articulate proponent of libraries’ support for local entrepreneurs. Learn specific steps your library can take to connect with and support its local business community. If you’re at all intrigued by the concept of economic gardening, this webinar is a must-see. Hamilton-Pennell introduces the strategies and lays the groundwork for their practical application, which will be covered in the following two webinars.
Webinar 2: Turning Your Databases into Business for Your Customers
Tuesday, Aug 24, 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific
Your library may already have the tools at hand (or close by) to help stimulate economic development in your community and you don’t have to be a trained business reference librarian to use them. Presenters Terry Zarsky and Kathleen Rainwater will give a guided tour through the best databases for small business information.
Webinar 3: Going to Your Customer – Outreach and Strategic Partnerships
Tuesday, Aug 31, 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific
How do you let the business community know that your library is primed and ready to help? Presenters Suzanne Kaller and Colbe Galston will talk about how to get the word out to Chambers of Commerce, small business development centers, community groups and government entities.
For more information and to access archives and registration:
We’re pleased to announce that another state has joined the WebJunction partner community. The WebJunction-Florida catalog was launched earlier this month, and a press release announcing our partnership with the State Library and Archives of Florida was issued today. From the press release:
This partnership takes advantage of WebJunction’s Custom Catalog service, designed to maximize the customization and reach of training through a centralized training catalog with streamlined registration for all users. All WebJunction-Florida participants will be able to access courses, regardless of geographic location or library size. Additionally, as a part of the Custom Catalog, WebJunction-Florida will be able to add unique, Florida-specific courses to the extensive course offerings from WebJunction that form the foundation of the catalog.
“The State Library and Archives of Florida is thrilled to offer the online learning resources of WebJunction to libraries throughout Florida,” said Judith Ring, State Librarian of Florida. “WebJunction-Florida will provide convenient, valuable professional training for library staff to better serve the citizens of this state.”
The WebJunction-Florida site is available now at http://fl.webjunction.org. So, if you work in a library in Florida, don’t delay! Update your WebJunction account today and request to be affiliated with the Florida community. You’ll find this option on the “My Affiliations” tab when you edit your account.
UPDATE: Register for the upcoming May 18 webinar with the research team!
If you work in a library, you’ve experienced it first-hand: people need libraries for Internet access. And now there’s data to prove it! Last year we blogged about the WebJunction group: Does your PAC have IMPACT? and we’re thrilled to share news of their completed research.
The new report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, is based on the first, large-scale study of who uses public computers and Internet access in public libraries, the ways library patrons use this free technology service, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. This powerful research was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Nearly one-third of Americans age 14 or older – roughly 77 million people – used a public library computer or wireless network to access the Internet in the past year.
Low-income adults are more likely to rely on the public library as their sole access to computers and the Internet than any other income group. Overall, 44 percent of people living below the federal poverty line used computers and the Internet at their public libraries.
Americans across all age groups reported they used library computers and Internet access. Teenagers are the most active users. Half of the nation’s 14- to 18-year-olds reported that they used a library computer during the past year, typically to do school homework.
The use of library technology had significant impact in four critical areas: employment, education, health, and making community connections. In the last 12 months:
The report’s findings (over 200 pages worth!) are based on nearly 50,000 surveys – including 3,176 from a national telephone survey and 44,881 web survey responses – from patrons of more than 400 public libraries across the country.
And for those of you on the front line, you can stand behind those number to show that YES, your hard work supporting public access computing in libraries does have a *huge* impact!
You may have seen the buzz about our newest WebJunction Partners…perhaps you’ve even visited their sites. If not, I’m pleased to share the news that library staff in three additional states: Missouri, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania now have access to courses, articles, discussions and a state-specific professional network that will keep their skills up-to-date and help their libraries stay relevant to current user needs.
If you’re part of the library community in one of these states, update your WebJunction account today and request to be affiliated with your state’s WebJunction site on the “My Affiliations” tab as you edit your account.
The Secretary of Agriculture announced in a 1/26/10 press release that the department has designated $100 million in USDA Rural Development Community Facilities funding for public libraries. The program will provide educational opportunities and improve public services in rural communities.
For more information on the program and how to apply, see the USDA Rural Development fact sheet.
Applications are handled by USDA Rural Development field offices. To reach the USDA Rural Development contact for a specific state, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ – adding the two-letter initial of the state to the end of the URL.
Heads should turn and take notice when 10 institutions are awarded the nation’s highest honor for outstanding museum and library service. Thanks to the bloggers at BlogJunction Illinois for the great write up featuring Illinois’ own Gail Borden Public Library. I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with Denise Raleigh, the library’s director of marketing, development and communications and the force behind the StoryTubes project, a collaborative effort with partner libraries and publishers across the country.
The Gail Borden Public Library is the heart and hub of exciting activities in Elgin, Illinois. Its motto, “Learning is a Journey…Start It Here,” has been the inspiration behind many activities, including the Dr. Torres Library Card Challenge, a month-long program that resulted in 8,000 new library cards for local kids; the A Tapestry of Freedom project, which encouraged residents – especially foreign-born patrons – to share their stories of struggle and triumph with fellow Elgin citizens; and the GIANTS: African Dinosaurs and SPACE: Dare to Dream programs that brought to the library prehistoric visitors and objects from far flung galaxies. With all of the fantastic programs and events at the Gail Borden Public Library, community members ask just one question: “What next!”
The full cast of winners are as diverse as the nation’s cultural landscape: small and large, urban and rural. They have one thing in common: they have developed innovative ways to serve their communities.
Winners of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service are:
Nominations for the 2010 award are due on February 16. Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase your library’s award winning community service!
Longtime member Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran is known throughout the WebJunction community for her commitment to creating libraries that best serve patron information needs. I was pleased to see this KAAL news story showcasing her newest project, the University of Minnesota Rochester Library and Information Commons. Be sure to watch the video (right panel of the news story) to catch a glimpse of Mary Beth and to hear her articulate how libraries are changing in this virtual age. Way to go, Mary Beth!
Are you or your WebJunction friends making the news? Please, do tell!
Thanks to our TechSoup for Libraries friends for sharing news of this great opportunity!
Submit your library’s digital story during TechSoup Global’s Digital Storytelling Challenge open now through October 16th. What a great opportunity to showcase all the great work your library is doing, win prizes and end up with a great PR piece to use in ongoing advocacy efforts!
Tell your library’s story in a 5-panel image story on Flickr or a 60 second YouTube video or GoldMail audio-visual message. You’ll be in the running to win one of the many fabulous prizes including a FlipVideo camera, Adobe software, mp3 players and more!
“But wait, I’ve never made a video before. And I have no photo skills.”
“I don’t know if we have the time–or the budget–to do it.”
The good news is that digital storytelling doesn’t have to be expensive. They’ve listed a number of free and low cost tools you can use to create your story.
“Help! I’m trying to work on my digital story and I’m running into difficulty.”
Never fear–the expert hosts from the Digital Storytelling webinars will be available in the TechSoup forums during the Challenge, so don’t be shy about posting any questions you have.
I’m bringing story back! How do I submit it?
Visit the Challenge page for instructions on how to submit your story! While you’re there, you can see additional details about the Challenge guidelines, judging, and prizes.
How to Stay Informed and Contact :
Stay tuned on the event website, register to receive email announcements, and follow the action on Twitter #tsdigs. If you would like to get in touch directly feel free to contact the TechSoup Team: email@example.com. They’re eager to help!
Just like the library computer software this course talks about, our online courses often need updating too. All of our learning providers work hard to keep their courses up to date. And so in our spare minutes here (We probably have about as many of those as you do), we have also been updating some of our own WebJunction courses that have been on extended vacation over the past several months because they were beginning to show their age.
This week, we are re-releasing a really useful one for those of you out there who have been thrust into a technology support and planning role for your library. The course: Updating and Upgrading Library Computer Software, walks you through the process of evaluating patron or staff needs with costs, time and hidden drawbacks involved in updating a given piece of software on a public or staff computer. It provides a framework for coming to the right decision for your specific situation, whether you are working with free plugins, paid-for applications, or even operating systems.
You’ll take away some valuable tools that should immediately help with your library’s technology planning and PAC software maintenance efforts, including some handy checklists of questions to ask for different software situations.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As always, if you are a member of one of our WebJunction Partners, chances are you have free or discounted access to this course through their catalog. In that case, instead of using the links above, go first to the Partner site, then to the Courses tab and will find this course listed under Technology (general) > Public Access Computing.
Sarah Washburn’s post on The September Project blog reminded me that it’s time find out what libraries are doing this year to celebrate our various freedoms and especially our freedom to read. In addition to the September Project libraries, check out some of the other ways you can raise awareness about Banned Books Week, September 26-October 3:
Share about your Banned Books Week celebrations below in comments or in this discussion on WebJunction or consider posting your materials related to banned books or resources for responding to challenges to library materials in the Intellectual Freedom topic area.
In September of 2007, the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) was a new organization. Having just separated from Clarion University because of the impending retirement of Professor Bernard Vavrek, and the university’s subsequent decision to discontinue the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, ARSL’s 12-member board was meeting that fall for the first time. According to Patty Hector, 2008-2009 ARSL board president, “We were fairly overwhelmed by the massive amount of activity that needed to be addressed and decisions that needed to be made in a very short period of time.”
About this same time, WebJunction approached ARSL with the offer to use follow-on funding from the Gates Foundation’s Rural Sustainability Project. The idea was to support ARSL’s website on WebJunction.org, and make WebJunction tools available to the ARSL board at no charge. The board accepted the offer of support as they helped the association get off the ground. Since then, ARSL has been using the webjunction.org/arsl page as their primary home page, along with ARSL BCR pages that allow memberships and conference registrations to happen as a link to that page.
I’ve worked closely with the team who managed our Rural Library Sustainability project since its inception, and served on ARSL’s board as an ex-officio member since February. In my time with ARSL’s board I’ve had a unique opportunity to observe an exciting time in the history of their organization’s development. Every member of the ARSL board has made great strides in developing an organization that’s truly poised and responsive to the rural and small library members they serve. It has been a great pleasure to get to know the ARSL board members and to be a small part of this work.
Two years later, ARSL is no longer a new organization. They have many things well-established now and are looking to step out into new directions. One of their areas of focus over the coming year is to look for ways to define their unique identity, and to be more responsive to their members. One way they plan to do this is to launch an all new, independent website. The vision for this site is that it be a dynamic space that captures ARSL’s personality and mission in a way that is appealing and relevant their members. Elements of this website, including the new ARSL logo, were unveiled at their annual conference this weekend.
Please visit their new website at http://www.arsl.info.
We are very excited about this development for ARSL and look forward to seeing the new site evolve. We also look forward to finding new ways to partner with ARSL in the coming year, as we each strive towards a common mission of working together to meet the needs in small and rural libraries. Co-sponsoring webinar programs is one idea, but there are so many other possibilities.
WebJunction will continue our focus on public access computing support for rural and small libraries. We’ll publish our Rural Update with news and announcements of special interest to those working in small and rural libraries. We’ll also keep you posted when we have rural-focused programs, webinars, or new content posted to the site. WebJunction will remain a great resource for people to find and connect with one another to support whatever you’re working on in your library. If you have ideas for topics, programs, or other things you might need, as always, please let us know.
There’s a new group on WebJunction created by and for UAE School Librarians. The group’s creator describes it as a “resource and information sharing group for school librarians working in English medium schools in the United Arab Emirates.” Welcome to all the UAE librarians…19 of you became WJ members in June!
And with UAE in the group spotlight, what better time to share some exciting news about WebJunction staffer, Zola Maddison. She has accepted an offer to serve as the Coordinator of the Learning Enhancement Center at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. While all in the WebJunction family, members, partners and staff, will miss her greatly, we’re excited for this new chapter in Zola’s career and we know that she’ll remain an active member on the site! Zola has this to share:
As many of you know, I’ve been interested in global libraries for a long time. While I can’t remember a time I didn’t have the travel bug, I think this cross-section of interests really grew from my experiences as a foreign exchange student in Indonesia during Suharto’s regime. That was where I first saw information access as a means of political power (and if you’re ever having a hard time falling asleep, you can read my article on the topic). While I was in “library school,” I concurrently completed a certificate in International Development, Policy and Management. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work with libraries across the US, Canada, South Africa and Guatemala.
I am incredibly excited about this opportunity, but am equally sad to leave my WebJunction family. I hope you’ll keep me connected through WebJunction (zmaddison).
Zola joined WebJunction about two years ago as a Special Projects Coordinator and quickly moved into her current role as a Partner Services Consultant. She has been working with our State Library partners since November 2007 has led efforts to showcase our partners as thought leaders in the e-learning and online community space.
Throughout her time here, Zola’s interest in working with international libraries has also been apparent as she presented at the IFLA conference in South Africa, received sponsorship for the ALA Emerging Leaders program from the International Relations Round Table, and onboarded WebJunction’s first international partner, BC Libraries.
If you’re attending ALA, be sure to stop and congratulate her, and know that we won’t let her stray far from the WebJunction fold! I’ve already got her on my list of prospective webinar presenters…I see a session on international librarianship coming soon!
I feel like I’ve spent much of the winter and spring planting competency seeds and I’m finally seeing the seedlings push up the soil and greet the light of day. So here’s what’s growing in the WebJunction competency garden …
Competency Index for the Library Field is a compilation of competency statements that address a broad spectrum of library practice and service. We aggregated and de-duped twelve leading competency sets from the field and then subjected them to a vigorous review by subject matter expert practitioners. We invite you to download the resulting publication and remix and reinvent it in whatever way best serves your library’s size, structure, and personnel development needs.
We have integrated a fourth set of competencies from the Index with the WebJunction catalog—The Personal/Interpersonal competencies. Also referred to as soft skills, foundational or behavioral competencies, they apply to most job roles and form the underpinning of effective and stellar practice and service. Start on the Competencies tab of the WebJunction Courses page and discover connections to courses and resources aligned with specific skills and knowledge statements. You can also explore learning opportunities related to library management, core technology, and systems & IT.
The results are in from the two competency evaluations WebJunction conducted in March and April. We asked respondents from across the field to evaluate themselves on a selection of skills and knowledge statements for library management and technology. Read the summaries and look for the detailed results in the PDF attached to each summary.
We’re rounding out the alphabet of member contributions posted to WebJunction this year, in celebration of our 6th anniversary. Please take the time to recognize these valuable and practical contributions from your library colleagues, and remember to post your own resources, templates, cases studies, etc. This simple activity is what solves problems, improves our skills, and moves the library field forward. Here’s to another year of online collaboration!