Best Names for Non-Internet Librarian…10.31.08

31 10 2008

This is from a post [] on choosing a “retronym” for non-internet librarians

“…A retronym is the revision of a word or phrase necessitated due to technological advances… 

Information Today’s President and CEO Tom Hogan announced the winner of the contest this year as he presented the list of finalists in reverse David Letterman style.

10. Shelf pointer librarian
9. Analog librarian
8. Legacy librarian
7. Librarian unplugged
6. 3×5 librarian
5. Internot librarian
4. Retrobrarian
3. (Insert the name of your supervisor here) librarian
2. Wallenda librarian (flying high without the net)
1. Librarian 1.0 - the winning entry!”

Google Search Results to Include Scanned Documents…10.31.08

31 10 2008

TechCrunch [] reported today:

Google has announced that it will now begin including scanned documents in its search results – a feat that requires an immense amount of processing power and advanced image recognition technology. Unlike standard text documents, scanned files don’t contain any text data that Google’s spiders can index. Instead, Google has employed Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, converting photos of words into digital text files.

In the past Google would attempt to index these image files as well as possible, but could typically search only file titles and nearby metadata – not the contents of the documents. From now on Google searches will include the text within these scanned images in normal search results. When you encounter a scanned document you’ll be able to view it in its original form as a PDF, or as a converted text file (click “View As HTML”).

Such technology has existed for quite a while, but accuracy has always been an issue – and the fact that Google is doing it on such massive scale makes it a very impressive accomplishment. It also opens the doors to much more thorough searching, especially for content that is often found in printed documents (like academic papers)…”

Rex Libris–”The Kick-Ass Librarain”–Suspends Publication…10.30.08

30 10 2008

I just learned today that Rex Libris, the popular library and librarian themed comic written by James Turner, has published its last issue.  You can read the official press release and/or visit the offical website of Rex Libris here:

If I was going to “dress-up” for Halloween, I’d go as our hero Rex Libris.


Solo Special Librarian Job Assessment and Review…10.30.08

30 10 2008

After reading the “Knowledge Management in Real Time” post by The Embedded Librarian [] I guess I’m not crazy and not the only one struggling against a job that is not clearly defined enough for the average, obsessive/compulsive organizational mania of a library/information professional slugging it out in the special library trenches as a solo librarian. Four initial differences with me are that I am older, less bold, less likely to pull up my librarian job stakes for any perceived “greener pastures”, and getting more than a few minutes with management at one time on something other than an emergency job-related issue seems unlikely in the foreseeable future.  Anyway, here is an excerpt from Eileen Boswell’s post–more comments at a more convenient time:

“Flying solo? No documentation from your predecessor? Wondering if this job is for you? I know how you feel and I know what you can do about it. As a very structured thinker in a very unstructured job, I have a choice to make: do I love this place enough to continue when it is such an agitating challenge to my intolerance for ambiguity? (If I’m honest with myself, how much ambiguity do I really want to tolerate?) Do I want to commit to this place and these people long enough to make a semblance of order out of seeming chaos? Wouldn’t my organizational skills be put to better user if I were a cog in a wheel somewhere managing metadata or creating MARC records all day? These were the questions I started asking myself after six months flying solo, as my MLS neared completion, and as job after structured job flew by on every list-serve I belong to. I took this job to get ‘experience’ in information management while I work toward my MLS. And if experience is really what you get when you don’t get what you want, then I’m getting it.

I have worked for five organizations since graduating from college and there never seems to be enough structure for me. This is what drew me to library and information science: STRUCTURE! ORGANIZATION! STANDARDS! The thought of taking a course called Organization of Informationmade my mouth water. Shortly after I began my MLS, I left a job working on No Child Left Behind. To my surprise, I had several offers (evidently there was a dearth of library students with other master’s degrees in the marketplace). I turned down a highly structured and predictable copyright job to come here because I had such a strong instinct that I would love the people here–and not love the other guys–and I was absolutely right. (In fact the ‘other guys’ were even going to pay my tuition, but somehow weren’t going to allow me to have a schedule flexible enough to take classes.) I *knew* this job would be unstructured and that I would not have a master librarian to learn from…”

Innovation in Libraries…10.30.08

30 10 2008

Here are some tips for Innovation in Libaries from Jason Hyatt :

How To Get Approval to Attend SLA Conference…10.30.08

30 10 2008

Kristin Foldvik wrote a good post [] on arguments to management to allow SLA conference attendance:

“Here are a few of the great reasons that you can use to convince him/her that attending the SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO is a smart investment:

  1. Costing less than other industry conferences, and offering more than 250 sessions, panels and keynotes, SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO is by far the best value for your money.
  2. SLA is the premier organization for information professionals. As the conference of the year, its your best chance to learn about best practices, network to find solutions to information service challenges, and get hands-on technology training.
  3. SLA’s conference speakers are the top industry experts. Pick the brains of the information professional communitys foremost experts. Get answers to your specific questions and exclusive insight into the technologies you use every day.
  4. Education helps professionals work smarter with today’s smaller budgets, fewer resources and looming deadlines. Attending the 2009 SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO is the most cost-effective way to get the professional development you need.
  5. Investing in employees education is the best way to reward top employees, keep morale high, drive innovation and show that the company is committed to the growth of its valuable team members.
  6. The INFO-EXPO is *the* place to meet with vendors, learn about new technologies, and comparison shop for information products and services.

Some things attendees from the 2008 SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO said when asked if they would refer a business associate:

  • A great experience with many learning and networking opportunities.
  • Attending SLA is valuable in identifying trends in the info industry, networking with other professionals, continuing education opportunities, discovering new vendors, hearing top notch speakers…
  • Continuing education classes are excellent, conference programming session are very good. Its a great opportunity to look at/evaluate products, meet vendors and ask questions, network with colleagues…
  • Essential for professional development in a rapidly changing field.
  • Excellent conference programming and pre-conference workshops; great keynote speakers; many opportunities for networking; great array of exhibitors; many amenities such as the wireless lounge [and] computer access….. Excellent value for money.
  • Excellent for keeping current with trends
  • Good variety of topics covered, as well as in-depth coverage of future technological trends, hands-on workshops, focused pre-con classes, strong exhibitor hall….”

“The Future of Library Education and the 2.0 Organization” Presentation…10.30.08

30 10 2008

Meredith Farkas of Information Wants to Be Free posted her very interesting presentation [] from Iceland titled “The Future of Library Education and the 2.0 Organization“:

“…During the panel discussion, talk quickly turned to the importance of practical experience in the LIS curriculum; how library schools that don’t require students to take a practicum are doing a serious disservice to their students. Librarians don’t get a lot of training in this profession; managers expect to hire people who have a clear understanding of how libraries work and how to do the various pieces of their job. If your only knowledge of libraries is academic, you will have a steep learning curve (if you get the job at all in a market where experienced librarians are competing for entry-level positions). Also, what you learn in library school is so much more relevant and meaningful if you already had some experience in a library setting. Some of the LIS students bravely (since two of the panelists were Icelandic LIS faculty) stood up and discussed how useless they felt much of their library school curriculum was and how much they wanted more practical experience to be a part of the required curriculum. You go girls! One of the faculty members seemed to agree that more practical experience should be integrated into the curriculum, while the other seemed mostly to want to defend the current curriculum. It was interesting to see her negative reaction to the notion that the curriculum was out-of-touch with the current realities of the profession, especially since the conference was all about how we have to change to meet the changing needs of patrons and change the education system to train librarians who can do that.

While that tension between academia and those in practice was clearly in evidence at this conference, I think it goes far beyond Iceland. When more than 50% of people who’ve graduated in the past 5 years (and answered my survey) stated that their LIS curriculum did not prepare them for their professional work, I think we have a real disconnect between what is taught and what is needed. I love that San Jose State University’s LIS program has formed advisory boards on various topics that consist of people outside of academia. I’m on a technology advisory board which suggests topics that they should consider teaching in future semesters. That way, they are aware of what skills the profession needs right now and they don’t develop tunnel vision. I’d imagine that there’s a danger of faculty only proposing topics that are within their research interest or that they’d like to teach, leading to a curriculum that may not be designed well to meet the current and future needs of the profession. Getting advice from people who are connected to emerging technologies and to what is happening in the profession makes great sense and I’m surprised that more schools aren’t doing this. A PhD doesn’t mean you have all the answers. Just as academic research should inform practice, practice should inform academia…”

You can see the slides from her talk here: Librarian 2.0 

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: lis_educationlibraryschool)

Slide 1: Librarian 2.0 The future of library education and the 2.0 organization Meredith Farkas Norwich University

Slide 2: What is the purpose of LIS education?

Slide 3: “The mission of the LIS Program is to educate individuals for careers as librarians and information specialists and to undertake instruction, research and service programs that meet current and emerging library, information and technology needs.” -University of Hawaii, Manoa

Slide 4: So, how are we doing?

Slide 5: Do you feel your LIS curriculum prepared you for your work in libraries? Yes No 60 45 30 15 0 This question was asked of librarians who graduated from 1998-2008

Slide 6: “One of the big indicators on library education was that I felt I had to take an MPA to get the required skills to do work in a public library.”

Slide 7: What topic do you think should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that wasn’t in your program? Management Web 2.0/Emerging Tech Instruction Web design/Programming Conflict Mgmt/Customer Service Project Management Hands-on Tech/Troubleshooting Marketing Assessment Futuring/Keeping Up 0 7.5 15.0 22.5 30.0

Slide 8: “I think there should have been more emphasis on library instruction and teaching … The majority of my day-to-day library work is related to instruction and I’m basically going on my instinct.”

Slide 9: What topic do you think should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that wasn’t in your program? Management Web 2.0/Emerging Tech Instruction Web design/Programming Conflict Mgmt/Customer Service Project Management Hands-on Tech/Troubleshooting Marketing Assessment Futuring/Keeping Up 0 7.5 15.0 22.5 30.0

Slide 10: “Customer service. Everyone comes into the field being smart, excited at the thought of uncovering information, loving books, etc. But too few professionals come in wanting to help people. I think MLS students need the ability to see the library through their patrons’ eyes rather than through a librarian’s eyes.”

Slide 11: What topic do you think should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that wasn’t in your program? Management Web 2.0/Emerging Tech Instruction Web design/Programming Conflict Mgmt/Customer Service Project Management Hands-on Tech/Troubleshooting Marketing Assessment Futuring/Keeping Up 0 7.5 15.0 22.5 30.0

Slide 12: “I think the more serious threat to our profession is the poor job we’ve been doing in the last decade or so about getting our message out.”

Slide 13: What topic do you think should be taught as part of the LIS curriculum that wasn’t in your program? Management Web 2.0/Emerging Tech Instruction Web design/Programming Conflict Mgmt/Customer Service Project Management Hands-on Tech/Troubleshooting Marketing Assessment Futuring/Keeping Up 0 7.5 15.0 22.5 30.0

Slide 14: Being a Librarian in a 2.0 World

Slide 15: So what is library 2.0?

Slide 16: Web 1.0: Democratized Access to Information

Slide 17: Web 2.0: Democratized Participation

Slide 18: Revolutionary or evolutionary?

Slide 19: What is different now?

Slide 20: Technology has enabled us to do so much more

Slide 21: but we’re no longer the only game in town.

Slide 22: Library 2.0 is a state of mind •Working to meet changing user needs •Trusting our users (radical trust) •Getting rid of the culture of perfect •Aware of emerging technologies and opportunities •Looking outside of the library world for applications, opportunities, inspiration

Slide 23: Skills of Librarians 2.0

Slide 24: Understand their users

Slide 25: Keep Up

Slide 26: Aren’t afraid of taking risks

Slide 27: Are Agile

Slide 28: Question Everything

Slide 29: Able to look at new technologies and services with a critical eye

Slide 30: Don’t give up easily

Slide 31: Market Ideas and Communicate Effectively

Slide 32: Build their Networks

Slide 33: Create Partnerships

Slide 34: If this is what librarians need to be successful, shouldn’t they be taught in library school?

Slide 35: What skills and competencies are most important for librarians to have today? Technology Skills Customer Service Skills Openness to Change/Flexibility Commitment to Continuous Learning Curiosity/Creativity/Innovative Management Skills Teaching Skills Search Skills Marketing Skills 0 12.5 25.0 37.5 50.0

Slide 36: “It’s not so much specific skills as a way of looking at things, a lack of fearfulness about trying different tools… For me, it’s just as important, if not more, to have the librarian mindset as to have the individual skills.”

Slide 37: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills • Customer service • Technology skills skills/people skills • Management skills • Openness to change/ flexibility • Teaching skills • Commitment to • Search skills continuous learning • Marketing skills • Curiosity, creativity, innovative spirit

Slide 38: How do you teach the “soft skills?” • Integrate them into already existing classes. • Make it clear that these are critical skills for success in the profession. • Methods for teaching soft skills • hands-on activities • role-playing • case study analysis

Slide 39: You can’t cover everything in a 36 – 43 credit-hour program.

Slide 40: “I answered yes because the internship required by my program is what was most useful by far. So it was not really the academic part of the program that prepared me but that practical part.”

Slide 41: “We will never attract innovators to the profession if we don’t offer them the sort of work environment where they can satisfy their need for experimentation and creativity.”

Slide 42: Thanks! AIM: librarianmer Slides available at

Slide 43: Photo Credits • Digitage Web 2.0 by ocean.flynn • Library 2.0 Meme Map 178568449/ by Gerard Bierens • Gold Coast Marathon 018 tk_five_0/680775822/ by Michael Dawes • Dewey or don’t we? 1500054745/ By scampion • Self Portrait with Glass 45097561@N00/439046462/ By Jacob Whitaker • RISK #2 by Bjornar • Don’t Give Up by K0P • IMG_2016.JPG by stevenjude • sunny day by jessamyn

Google “Copyright Accord” Means “Millions More Books Available Online”…10.29.08

29 10 2008

The announcement yesterday by google Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement [] has important implications for libraries and publishing which will be far-reaching for a long time to come:

“NEW YORK, NY (October 28, 2008) – The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search. The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of the AAP’s membership. The class action is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The agreement promises to benefit readers and researchers, and enhance the ability of authors and publishers to distribute their content in digital form, by significantly expanding online access to works through Google Book Search, an ambitious effort to make millions of books searchable via the Web. The agreement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright owners, provides an efficient means for them to control how their intellectual property is accessed online and enables them to receive compensation for online access to their works.

If approved by the court, the agreement would provide:

  • More Access to Out-of-Print Books – Generating greater exposure for millions of in-copyright works, including hard-to-find out-of-print books, by enabling readers in the U.S. to search these works and preview them online;
  • Additional Ways to Purchase Copyrighted Books – Building off publishers’ and authors’ current efforts and further expanding the electronic market for copyrighted books in the U.S., by offering users the ability to purchase online access to many in-copyright books;
  • Institutional Subscriptions to Millions of Books Online – Offering a means for U.S. colleges, universities and other organizations to obtain subscriptions for online access to collections from some of the world’s most renowned libraries;
  • Free Access From U.S. Libraries – Providing free, full-text, online viewing of millions of out-of-print books at designated computers in U.S. public and university libraries; and
  • Compensation to Authors and Publishers and Control Over Access to Their Works – Distributing payments earned from online access provided by Google and, prospectively, from similar programs that may be established by other providers, through a newly created independent, not-for-profit Book Rights Registry that will also locate rightsholders, collect and maintain accurate rightsholder information, and provide a way for rightsholders to request inclusion in or exclusion from the project…”

Post-Grad Program Consideration-School of Library and Information Science at San José State University…10.29.08

29 10 2008

Mmmmmmmmmmmm…this sounds like it would be worthwhile checking out: 

“…Join panelist Ken Haycock, professor and director of the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University, and faculty, alumni and students to learn about the many advantages of obtaining or advancing your degree with the SJSU SLIS distance learning program. Distance learning offers the flexibility needed to work advanced coursework into an already busy schedule, and SJSU SLIS faculty and alumni from around the world are recognized as leaders in the fields of library and information science.

Attend the webcast and discover how San Jose State SLIS can prepare you for a career in not only the library of today, but also for the library of tomorrow.

Topics will include:
The Distance Learning Advantage
How to Succeed in the 2.0 Library World
Being Virtual Without Being Invisible

Webcast panelists:Ken Haycock – Director, San Jose State SLIS
Ken Haycock is professor and director of the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University. He has been president of several national and international professional associations and is past president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education. Dr. Haycock has worked in most library environments, as library media coordinator for a major city school district, CEO of a regional public library system, manager of special libraries and on the review teams for university and college libraries and museums.

Debbie Faires – Lecturer, Assistant Director for Distance Learning, San Jose State SLIS
Debbie Faires earned her MLIS at San José State University in 2001. Since that time she has worked at SLIS as a faculty member and in the areas of Web administration and support for faculty and students in the online environment. She has also been an instructor in the Library and Information Technology program at Diablo Valley College. She was recognized as 2007-2008 Lecturer of the Year for the College of Applied Sciences and Arts and she frequently presents sessions on effective use of technology in online learning.

Kelly Gordon – San Jose State SLIS Student
Kelly Gordon is a student in the San Jose State SLIS program. She recently co-authored “Fresh Perspectives on Reference Work in Second Life” in the Summer 2008 issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly. Last summer she completed a data curation internship working jointly with librarians from Cornell University’s Alfred R. Mann Library and researchers at the Cornell Biological Field Station. She is currently working as a reference assistant at University of California, Berkeley’s Bioscience Library, developing an online tutorial to teach introductory biology students about finding information in the life sciences. Kelly will graduate with an MLIS from SJSU in May 2009.

Rob Boyd – San Jose State SLIS Alumni
Robert Boyd is a manager in the Information Technology department at Santa Clara University and has recently added the title of AUL for Technology Applications in the University Library. Since 1997, Rob has helped support the Oracle/PeopleSoft implementation focusing on the Campus Solutions modules. In addition, Rob helps supervise the library system as well as digital initiatives. After earning a JD from the Santa Clara University School of Law, he completed the Executive MLIS program at San José State University and holds a master’s degree from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.

The inaugural showing of San Jose State SLIS – ‘Conveniently located everywhere’ is on Nov. 12, 2008 at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, and will be available from the webcast archive for one year following the initial webcast. Register here

November FREE Webinars from WebJunction…10.29.08

29 10 2008

Here is a list of November’s FREE webinars available through WebJunction []:

“…Branding Libraries and Their Services

We are surrounded by brands in our world—visual representations of a manufactured good or some service that allows a customer/user/patron to quickly identify the product/service. If someone says, “Golden arches,” you immediately think of a certain fast food restaurant. Any business or service can brand itself, for marketing and publicity purposes. But what is a brand? How are they created? What benefits do brands offer? What are the challenges facing a branding project? Can libraries effectively brand themselves and their services? If so, how? Join Michael Leach as he answers these and other questions, while providing a solid framework and background on what brands are and how they work.

Register here:

Go Team! Quick Tips to Help You Build a Technology Team in Your Library (MaintainIT)

Join MaintainIT’s Brenda Hough as she interviews Michelle Foster for “Go Team! Quick Tips to help you build a technology team in your library”. Michelle is IT Manager for the Boone County Public Library in Kentucky. This fast-paced and interactive session will introduce the idea of technology teams and libraries. Hear what Michelle has done, share your experiences, and think about what you might want to do in the future. Take 30 minutes out of your day to learn from the experiences of others and get something started. This is a part of the MaintainIT Cookbook webinar series where contributors to the Cookbooks share their insights, their secrets, and what you can do to get started with projects like theirs.

Register here:

24/7 Librarianship: Reaching Patrons With Digital Tutorials

Join guest speaker Marcia Dority Baker of Schmid Law Library, University of Nebraska College of Law as she explains how libraries can use digital tutorials to reach customers around the clock. She will discuss how digital tutorials can support learning and instruction as well as provide access to information and educational resources to customers when the doors of the library are closed.

We will explore: what is a digital tutorial, how libraries can use digital tutorials, help brain-storm ideas on how all types of libraries could be creative with limited budget and staff resources, and include tips on free video software librarians could use to get started.

Register here:

Rural Webinar: Your Library’s Role in Your Community

WebJunction and The Association for Rural and Small Libraries presents a free hour-long webinar focused on a topic important to the work of sustaining Rural and Small libraries. This session completes our 2008 focus on trustees and boards. Jim Connor and Pat Fisher will focus on assessing your library’s role in your community—and how to move from the fringe to the bulls-eye.

Register here:

Why Public Libraries Close

Join Dr. Christie Koontz, of Florida State University, for an one-hour webinar where she will discuss Why Public Libraries Close, a report she co-authored based on the first systematic nationwide study on the impact of public library closures and facility location. Using staff interviews and demographics analysis using geographic information systems (GIS), the study analyzed impact on library users and potential markets. Koontz will discuss national trends identified during the period of the study as well as guidelines developed that provide recommendations for libraries to prevent closure, measure impact on patrons, and where new library facilities should be opened.

Register here:…”

Sharepoint for Libraries Presentations…10.28.08

28 10 2008

The Librarian in Black [] posted the following presentations about Sharepoint for Libraries at Internet Librarian 2008.  Our IT Dept. uses Sharepoint but not for library resource management but I would like to find out more about it’s capabilities and applications.  This may be a good starting point since the IT personnel are not too helpful.

“Shannon Staley and I presented a session at Internet Librarian on using SharePoint: SharePoint for Libraries: Streamlining Your Intranet Management.  Usually I post these as PDFs, but this was requested from me in advance by a few people intact as a PowerPoint.  It is sizable (just over 2MB), so the download will take a while.  The SharePoint cheat sheets we use here at the San Jose Public Library & San Jose State University Library are also posted below.  Finally, this is included in the presentation but bears repeating: the online training (short video clips) that we use are from CBT Clips and we’re pretty happy with them.

“Open Source” Growing Importance Recognized…10.28.08

28 10 2008

The Centered Librarian points out some good discussion [] on the obviously growing importance and influence of “open source”:

“Gartner confirms the growing importance of open source software stating, ‘…by 2012, more than 90 per cent of enterprises will use open source in direct or embedded forms’. Open source promoters dispute the Gartner claims as too conservative. Promoters also feel Gartner has drastically underestimated the pervasiveness of open source. A discussion of the Gartner report can be found here.

The Standish Group, with no apparent irony, released a $1,000 per copy report this week that names open source software as the utlimate in disruptive technology. It states, ‘…if open-source products and services were calculated at commercial prices, open source as a whole would be equivalent to the largest software company in the world, with revenues exceeding the combined income of Microsoft, Oracle and Computer Associates.’ If you don’t have $1,000 to pony up for the report, you can read about it here.”

Influencers on Social Media Sites Study…10.27.08

27 10 2008

Stephen Abram’s post on Stehpen’s Lighthouse this weekend [] about influencers on social media sites is interesting:

Study: Influencers are Alive and Well on Social Media Sites


The fact that 10% of users create 90% of user-generated content on any given social media site has become a standard trope in discussions around social media. Because of this gap between mainstream users and the enthusiasts who contribute frequently and tend to dominate the discussion, many companies have decided that participating in online communities is not worth their time, as these companies assume that it doesn’t allow them to reach their average consumer. According to a recent study by Rubicon Consulting, however, they do so at their own peril, as these active users are also the most likely to influence their peers’ buying decisions.’

Full report is here:

Online Communities and Their Impact on Business: Ignore at Your Peril …”

Making Better Presentations…10.27.08

27 10 2008 had a good post yesterday [] on making presentations which I thought I would post here for posterity: 

You may have a great idea bouncing around in your head. It may be something that could revolutionize the company that you work for, or even change your own career. But if you can’t find a way to get that idea out and in front of others, you and it will be forever stuck. The key is to have the ability and the courage to get up in front of a room—full of your friends, your peers or your bosses—and tell them what you know. Once you are able to speak your passion, you can pass it along to others and begin to make a difference.

Perhaps you are just plagued by shyness, like I was way back in the seventh grade, when everyone was getting called to the front of the classroom for the spelling bee. Gulp! That was my worst nightmare! But as I grew up, I learned more and more ways to speak effectively. These days, I speak all over the world many times a week. But getting there wasn’t easy. Today, I’ll share with you some of the ways you can work on your own to become a dynamite presenter

Strength in numbers: When you are first starting out learning to present, you’ll find great feedback by joining a speaking club. It may sound old-fashioned, but a place like Toastmasters or a professional group like the National Speaker’s Association can help you hear from the best and get feedback and ideas on how you can be more effective.

Get involved: If you are in a club, you will be around people with common interests. That comfort level with your audience and your topic will put you in the state of comfort you need to be in with all presentations. The sooner we can pretend we are just talking to a bunch of our peers, the better. Years ago, one of my mentors actually suggested that when I present a seminar, I imagine we are all just hangin’ out in my living room and I am just telling stories about what I know.

Record yourself: Nothing quite humbles you like seeing yourself on video or hearing yourself recorded. Go ahead and practice your presentation. Only when you have something you are comfortable sharing, bring someone else into the screening. Let them watch you, and press pause every five minutes or so. Resist the temptation to press pause each time you see something good or bad. Instead, go for a predetermined amount of time, and then discuss the feedback that is general about what you both saw. For an audio recording, download it to an iPod so you can listen to yourself on the way to your presentation and work out any kinks you may hear.

Read: What are other presenters in your field reading/recommending? Find out what is hot, and what is not. I ask people for the one book that stands out in their mind as having the greatest impact on their development, learning, and training. If you are presenting on a specific industry, catch up with one of their journals. Also, magazines like Professional Speaker and Business Traveler are wonderful sources for new ideas and suggestions. The thing I like about magazines is they arrive monthly, I read them when I have time, and I only commit to reading at least one (and sometimes only one) article in the whole issue.

Build and maintain a weblog: You get a chance to work on your writing, express you passion and your thoughts. Knowing there is someone (even a friend or family member) interested in what I am writing makes me want to get out there and write some more. It’s an exercise in consistency.

Watch a terrible presenter: There are some brilliant people out there who cannot present. To see someone who obviously knows their topic get in front and not hold an audience is more than disappointing, sometimes it is painful. Someone who continues to stand up and not look for ways to grow, learn, expand, and evolve—well, I want to watch them. There is bound to be something I will take away.

Set a goal: Start every day with a goal. Do you want to knock everyone’s socks off with a great speech? Say it to yourself and think about the steps between your first choices in the morning to the afterglow following a great presentation. Line yourself up for success…”


26 10 2008

Here is an interesting post from Beyond the Reference Desk blog [] so you can check out “Visuwords”:

“This is a neat little tool that I came across while doing some research today. From the Visuwords website:

Visuwords™ online graphical dictionary — Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.

Enter words into the search box to look them up or double-click a node to expand the tree. Click and drag the background to pan around and use the mouse wheel to zoom. Hover over nodes to see the definition and click and drag individual nodes to move them around to help clarify connections.

It’s a free to use tool, and a great product for students, teachers, writers, and librarians alike. 

Here is a screen shot for my search of pedagogy:

Here is a zoomed-in shot, providing a better idea of how the results look:

I’m definitely going to point this out to students. I think it’s a neat way to assist with brainstorming those keywords. Plus, the dictionary feature when you hover over a word or phrase is pretty nifty!…” Website Redesigned…10.24.08

24 10 2008

This is part of a “press release” from “”:

Villa Park, IL — Visitors to will notice a new look and feel today as the newly-redesigned site launches. The redesign brings in line with current web standards and adds new content and features. Note that old links willl be broken; please update your links and bookmarks.

Highlights of the redesign include:

  • Better integration of the forum and other interactive site features.
  • Job ads that, as always, are free to both job seekers and employers.
  • New content on education and career development, including information on MLIS scholarships as well as on funding conference attendance and other CE opportunities.
  • A more standards-compliant and accessible design.
  • A new logo designed by Wendy Koff, Librarian and Web Designer.
  • Updated links to outside resources; all links were checked manually in October 2008.
  • Improved organization — information for both job seekers and employers is now easier to find.
  • Opportunities for sponsorship — relevant organizations can easily reach an audience of librarians and info pros.

“I’m excited to launch the new and improved to better serve librarians, library workers, and info pros at all stages of their careers,” says webmaster Rachel Singer Gordon. “Stay tuned for more additions and improvements soon!”

Love the new logo? Grab yourself a t-shirt at the new Cafepress store. Find a job on Join theFlickr group, upload your photo, and you could see yourself featured on the site. (Don’t have a Flickr account? Email your photo and story to offers:

Social Neworking Beginning to Be Recognized as Valid Work Tool…10.24.08

24 10 2008

There is a good article geared towards scientists titled “Social Networking Grows Up” by Lucas Laursen which is worth a read.  Below is an excerpt that librarians can relate to, at least I can-especially the first paragraph.

My experience with the attitude and perception of recent management–and even our IT Department–regarding social software is similar to my past executive administrative experience in the 1990′s when we moved from a mini-mainframe computer system to a LAN and I sought additional funding to acquire the newly released Windows 95 operating system software.  Board members of our non-profit organization questioned why I was recommending the purchase of software for employees “to play games” on computers. Anyway, take a look:

Have you ever minimized your Facebook browser window when your supervisor walked past your desk, afraid you might appear unprofessional? Social-networking guilt may soon be a thing of the past as a new breed of social networking sites for scientists clamor to be the next great timesaver in the lab–for you and your supervisor. These science-specific, Web-based networks combine handy library and document-sharing tools with a social twist. Such sites permit scientists to ‘help out each other with protocols, discuss topics, prepare for scientific meetings, maybe even show off your research a little bit,’says social network user Erika Gyengesi, a neuroscience postdoc at Yale University…

The convenience of the information available on social networks may outweigh the risks…

Although the research tools are handy, the real appeal of science-specific social networking sites comes mostly from the social dimension: Scientists want to feel connected to their peers. Wilkinson points out that the sites offer ‘a way of making you feel like you’re part of a community and [the opportunity] to link to other people who have similar interests.’

You can read the whole article here:

Libraries and Autism Video Training…10.24.08

24 10 2008

This is an exceprt from a LIS News posting today [] that can be helpful to all librarians and library service advocates:

The Scotch Plains Public Library (NJ) and the Fanwood Memorial Library (NJ) produced a customer service training video to help library staff serve individuals with autism and their families more effectively. The video focuses on what you need to know about autism spectrum disorder and empowers the viewer with specific techniques to offer more inclusive and comprehensive customer service when interacting with this growing and underserved population. Nationally, autism affects one in every 150 individuals, and in New Jersey, as many as one in ninety-four…

As the project evolved, it became clear a website would be the best way to share and disseminate the depth and variety of valuable information and tools that were created. Libraries and other organizations are encouraged to explore the site (, watch the video and make free use of the support resources. The video was posted to YouTube and has already begun to generate national and international attention from both libraries and individuals in the autism community. As one parent who responded to the online survey said, ‘It was about time that the community got involved in such an important topic. We need the support. I took my son to the library a couple times when he was 3, right before his diagnosis, since then I never took him back because people used to stare at us when he was acting up. My son is now 8 and after I found out about your web site, I took him back last week. Thank you for the great info and support!’…

For more information about this project and to receive a free “Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected” decal for your library, please contact the libraries at”

Press Contact:
Meg Kolaya, Director, Scotch Plains Public Library
908.322.5007 x202
Dan Weiss, Director, Fanwood Memorial Library

Special Librarian Positions Featured in U.S.News and World Report…10.23.08

23 10 2008

Here is an exert from U.S. News and World Report about Special Librarian positions posted on LIS News:

US News And World Report: Librarian: Not just any librarian—a special librarian. Special librarians work for companies, government agencies, nonprofits, universities, or museums, rather than for the general public. There are plenty of opportunities for people to focus on specialties. Janice Lachance, chief executive of the Special Libraries Association, says ‘it’s absolutely a perfect fit’ for people who are politically inclined, as leaders at nongovernmental organizations, think tanks, or government agencies rely on well-sourced, ‘top level information.’ Librarians can follow specific passions for policy or politics into jobs at places like AARP, which employs 13 association members. Most have a master’s in library or information science, but the jobs pay: A 2008 association survey found the average salary of its members was $71,812.”


Understanding “Databases”…10.23.08

23 10 2008

Ryan Deschamps (“The Other Librarian”) posted [] an interesting discussion on librarians and their understanding of the term “database” which I find will be useful to many.  Anyway, I want to read it again thoroughly a couple of times.  He makes some important distinctions and clarifications that are important.

The “User-Centered Library” at Internet Librarian 2008…10.22.08

22 10 2008

There are so many good conferences and professional development opportunities of which I will never be able to attend.  I’m glad attendees, however, share what their experiences.  Here is a good post from Internet Librarian 2008 from Sarah Houghton-Jan []  :

“Internet Librarian 2008: Crafting the User-Centered Library
Cliff Landis

Why do we want to provide Web 2.0 services to our users – find things designed by the users, not design things ourselves for the users.  The planning approach often includes jumping through too many hoops, a committee approach that kills new ideas,

Cliff showed a video called the Association Professionals Through the Ages that humorously demonstrates the way ideas are killed through over-analysis.  I recommend that all libraries show this clip to their staff and then, from that point on, actually say to their staff (when they act this way) – ‘you’re idea-killing – stop!’  Cliff says that instead of over planning, we should try something new, assess it, and then reflect on the outcome.  Try things.  Be fast – if you can try, assess, and reflect within three months you can come back with some kind of data that will show if it needs changing or not.  Be patient – you’re not going to get something right on the first try.  It’s OK.  Do not over-plan.  We like to think of ever possibility, every eventuality, every possibly horrible thing that will happen.  Assess how well something has worked through measurements.  Write assessment into our plans.  Get your users’ feedback and use it.  Write a three-minute plan.  Who is coordinating?  What are we trying out?  When will it be completed?  and How will we know it is successful?  Think back to our most amazing user experiences – what made it amazing?  Emulate those experiences in our own libraries and work. 

How do we do assessment?  Surveys are really cheap and easy to do.  SurveyMonkey is free. LimeServer is more powerful but requires server installation.  Focus groups are a great way to gather data quickly – you only need a few people and a few questions but you need to get someone else to moderate to make sure you aren’t affecting the results.  Check out UseIt.comfor info.  User observations are very helpful.  You can use Camtasia Studio, Captivate, or ClickHeat to see how users are using your computers.  Hook up Camtasia or Captivate and a microphone to record them, and ask them to do tasks.  ClickHeat (which I love) shows where most user click-activity happens on your web pages.  If you are sitting at a service point, close your email and listen and talk to your users to get more info on what’s working and what isn’t.  People love to tell you what they think.

How do you draw people into the library?  Have something good to offer in the first place – people love the library but they love their precious time more.  Get out of the library and reach out to users who are using non-library services instead.  Ask people for their opinions, show genuine interest.  Embrace the power of selling out (just a little bit).  By doing a tiny bit of advertising you can often get free stuff (flash drives, iPod Shuffles, etc.).  Cliff said ‘as long as the vendors have us bent over and are taking all of our money away from our budgets, we should get as much as we can from them – get swag at conferences and give it away as free thank-yous.’  Right-o, says the Sarah.

How do you get the Boss’s buy-in?  Give both numbers and stories.  Read The Practice of Social Reasearch by Earl R. Babbie for ways to get good measurable information.  Cliff also says ‘go ahead and do it half-assed.’  Don’t plan forever – get the raw data and let that inform your progress instead of theoretical planning on the part of librarians.  Our users are the center of our universe, but we are not the center of theirs.  You have to be willing to do the work – to step in and get your work going in the direction you want it to be.  If someone comes up with an idea, let them run with it.  If people see enthusiasm and a successful project, others will eventually jump in and enjoy participating instead of being forced to earlier on.  Evolution will take care of the bad ideas.  That’s fine – if the project is broken, just let it die.  Don’t be a naysayer and don’t let someone else be a naysayer.”

“Cloud Librarians”…10.21.08

21 10 2008

Good posting from Michael Stephens on “Cloud Librarians” []:

“Don’t miss ‘Stranger Than We Know’ by Jason griffey in the new LJ: (emphasis mine for HOTness)

So how do librarians interact with this level of mobile, always on, information space? The most important thing we can do is to ensure that when the technology matures, we are ready to deliver content to it. Our role as information portals will not decline—it will simply shift focus from books on shelves and computers on desks to on-time mobile delivery of both holdings and services. Reference will be communitywide and no longer limited to either location (reference desk) or to service (IM, email, etc). It will be person to person in real time. Libraries’ role as localized community archives will shift away from protecting physical items and toward being stewards of the digital data tied to those items in the coming information cloud, ensuring that our collections are connected to the services in the online world that provide the most value for our users. Our collections will be more and more digitized and available, with copyright holders allowing localized sharing founded on location-based authentication. If you are X miles away from a given library, you should be able to browse its collections from your mobile, potentially checking out a piece of information that the library has in its archives and holding onto it, moving on to another localized collection as you walk around a city.

This new world will be a radical shift for libraries. Library buildings won’t go away; we will still have a lot of materials that are worth caring for. Buildings will move more fully into their current dual nature, that of warehouse and gathering place, while our services and our content will live in the cloud, away from any physical place. The idea that one must go to a physical place in order to get services will slowly erode. The information that we seek to share and the services that we seek to provide will have to be fluid enough to be available in many forms.”

FREE LC Cataloging Courses…10.21.08

21 10 2008

Planet Catalog posted  [] the following information about FREE cataloging and metadata training programs available from the Library of Congress:

“Last year I mentioned how much I’d learned taking the cataloging and metadata training programs developed by the Library of Congress. Well, now the training materials for these workshops are free via the Cataloging and Distribution Service (CDS)! Here’s a list of what’s available:

Cataloging Skills (CCT)

* Basic Creation of Name and Title Authorities
* Basic Subject Cataloging Using LCSH
* Fundamentals of Series Authorities
* Fundamentals of Library of Congress Classification

The Digital Library Environment (Cat21)

* Digital Project Planning & Management Basics
* Metadata and Digital Library Development
* Metadata Standards and Applications
* Principles of Controlled Vocabulary and Thesaurus Design
* Rules and Tools for Cataloging Internet Resources

Continuing Resources (SCCTP)

* Advanced Serials Cataloging
* Basic Serials Cataloging
* Electronic Serials Cataloging
* Integrating Resources Cataloging
* Serials Holdings”

New Report: RSS Adoption May Be Peaking…10.21.08

21 10 2008

Steve Rubel posted [] on Micro Persuasion the following from Forrester Research on the status of RSS:

“Forrester Research today published a new report on the state of RSS. In short, while there are bright spots, it does not paint the picture of a technology that’s going mainstream anytime soon.

On a positive note, the resarch entitled What’s Holding RSS Back?, says that nearly half of marketers have moved to add feeds to their web sites. Further, RSS adoption among consumers is at 11% up from just 2% of users three years ago. RSS feeds usage is more dominant among men.

Here’s the kicker, though. That might be all she wrote for RSS’ growth track.

According to the research, of the 89% of those who don’t use feeds only 17% say they’re interested in using them. In fact Forrester spends much of the report helping marketers better explain the benefits of RSS to their customers. ‘Unless marketers make a move to hook them — and try to convert their apathetic counterparts — RSS will never be more than a niche technology,’ the analysts (who include Jeremiah Owyang) wrote.

…while feed adoption may have crested the idea of online opt-in communications is just getting going. The Facebook newsfeed, Twitter and Friendfeed are perfect examples of opt-in vehichles that bring content you care about to you. In each case, you’re total in control. You can unsubscribe from individuals or groups and tailor the stream so that what you want finds you.RSS is only one form of opt-in communications. The potential is bigger when you look more broadly to social networking. This larger promise still holds and as the technologies become more invisible the newsfeed could even one day subsume RSS.”

“The Futurist” Top 10 Forecasts…10.21.08

21 10 2008

Here are the interesting new top 10 forecasts for the future from “The Futurist”: 

1. Everything you say and do will be recorded by 2030.

2. Bioviolence will become a greater threat as the technology becomes more accessible.

3. The car’s days as king of the road may soon be over.

4. Careers, and the college majors for preparing for them, are becoming more specialized.

5. There may not be world law in the foreseeable future, but the world’s legal systems will be networked.

6. Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it’s acquired. [Bummer!]

7. The race for biomedical and genetic enhancement will-in the twenty-first century-be what the space race was in the previous century.

8. Urbanization will hit 60% by 2030.

9. The Middle East will become more secular while religious influence in China will grow.

10. Access to electricity will reach 83% of the world by 2030.


Syracuse University to Study Training a “New Breed of Information Professional”…10.21.08

21 10 2008

A Central New York Business Journal article reported:

“A team at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies will spend the next two years researching and developing training for a new breed of informational professional.

The team includes Associate Dean for Research Jeff Stanton, Dean Elizabeth Liddy, SU Chief Information Officer Paul Gandel, and professors Derrick Cogburn, R. David Lankes, and Megan Oakleaf. The group won a $244,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Office of CyberInfrastructure for their work.

The group will use the money to explore a type of emerging professional who can work on the specific computing and information demands present in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Research and work in those areas is naturally becoming more dependent on large amounts of information and complex computing systems that allow researchers to work with data in new ways and collaborate across long distances, Stanton says.

“The NSF is acutely aware of this because they fund so much scientific research,” he says. “They’ve come to realize that deep expertise in information management is crucial for the success for these scientific projects.”

The information demands of science research or engineering work are unique, Stanton adds. It helps if the information professionals in those areas have some knowledge or understanding of the science they’re supporting.

So the NSF grant will be used to research exactly that type of information professional and develop curriculum for them. The team is recruiting five master’s level students who will be the first test cases for the new instruction.

The students will also complete internships in scientific laboratories or other research settings, Stanton says. In addition to training the students, the team will also research their experiences and learn as much as they can about how information professionals work in science settings.

The project will eventually lead to a certificate of advanced study and possibly a degree program down the line, Stanton says. The project will last for two years.

One of the challenges the project will help overcome is the disconnect between researchers and information professionals, Cogburn says. While scientists may be experts in their fields of study, they don’t necessarily understand how to manage complex networks or computer systems.

We needed a new kind of person,’ Cogburn says. ‘We needed someone either with a science background or with an appreciation of the science and the ability to get up to speed quickly on the science and what the researchers are doing. Then they need to be able to marry that with information and communication skills.

‘There’s a unique skill set required to do that.’…”

Read the whole article here:[tt_news]=9061&tx_ttnews[backPid]=1&cHash=892ad35d6e

Ideas from Bridging Worlds 2008 Conference…10.20.08

20 10 2008

Kathyrn Greenhill posted the following [] today as a recap of/take-away from of the Bridging Worlds 2008 conference which seem to be universally true:

“Here are some ideas I came home with:

  • 1. We need to share – our data and our co-operative efforts.
  • 2. Standards – data storage, web application, metadata – are vitally important to our work. We need to know what applies in our area and work to ensure they are developed sensibly and used well.
  • 3. The GLAM sector – Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums – is converging. Libraries play an essential role in preserving, collating and providing access to these collections.
  • 4. We can stop debating and trying to find definitions of Library 2.0 now. A participative, user-focused, web-enabled, Open and Transparent library can exist; whatever we want to call it. It does exist in places and we need the technical and visionary skills to facilitate it if our profession can survive.
  • 5. The physical library can be a Third Place- somewhere that is not home, not work, but a gathering place where citizens feel pride of ownership and ‘at home’.
  • 6. The online library is often a Second Place. Users come to our resources after they have first tried google, and they need more depth or organisation..
  • 7. Not everyone is using Web 2.0 tools – it varies a lot within library staff and library user populations.
  • 8. Unintended consequences often happen when we use Web 2.0 tools – many of them full of benefits for which we did not plan.
  • 9. Digital preservation is an essential service to our community. Sometimes it is easier and cheaper in staff time to just save everything in a domain, rather than be selective.
  • 10. True leaders of libraries are humble, down to earth and have grasped the implications of global and technological changes. (Naming names – Penny Carnaby (National Library of New Zealand) and Dr N Varaprasad (National Library Board Singapore) – both extremely impressive and very human and nice).
  • 11. Sometimes the best move is for the librarian to step back and allow users to interact with our data and each other via widgets and re-purposed library spaces.
  • 12. What practical means are we taking to ensure that if google, flickr or youtube collapsed tomorrow our archives and services are isolated from this?
  • 14. Play can be incorporated to enhance a serious enterprises, like the SMARTlab’s style of teaching PhD students (including a facility shaped like a pirate ship) or a conference presentation where you aim to mention as many animal legs as possible and SMASH the competition. …”

Click University Competitive Intelligence Certificates…10.20.08

20 10 2008

Click University offers an interesting and useful “Competitive Intelligence Certificates Program” []:

“…The Programs

The Certificate in Competitive Intelligence for LIS Professionals is aimed at LIS professionals who are interested in transitioning into the intelligence function. The curriculum is designed to develop the competencies for holistic intelligence practice, from serving as an intelligence team member to managing the intelligence function within an organization.

The Certificate in Copetitive Intelligence Function is designed for LIS professionals who wish to more effectively support research and information & knowledge services for intelligence effort or an intellignce function. The curriculum covers general CI knowledge, as well as the specific requirements for the LIS function within intelligence.

The Dual Certificate: Competitive Intelligence and the Intelligence Information Function accommodates LIS professions who whis to take the most comprehensive approach toward their intelligence professional development. This certificate combines course for both certificate programs, eliminating duplications and redundancies.

An Important Note: While the primary goal in developing these programs is to allow SLA members to earn one or more certificates, each of these courses has inherent value and any course may be taken à la carte.

Certificates Program Value Points

  1. Gain the essential theoretical and practical understanding, techniques, skills, and tools to launch or enhance your competitive intelligence practices and to apply immediately and effectively to benefit your organization.
  2. Acquire the necessary depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding, and experience to start generating effective intelligence, gain credibility, and benefit your intelligence users.
  3. Benefit from a flexible program that a) suits your particular professional goals and interests and b) offers instruction and delivery that allow you to balance your professional development with your work, lifestyle, and other requirements.
  4. Engage in live lectures, live and online discussions, selected readings, and exercises that build and reinforce your intelligence knowledge and skills.
  5. Enjoy dynamic and experienced instruction, an extensive curriculum, quality training material, and high value that is the hallmark of SLA’s professional development programs and Knowledge inForm’s intelligence training.

This program will take a blended learning approach by presenting course modules that offer a combination of knowledge-based training content, as well hands-on training, as appropriate. Knowledge-based training is offered online via the Click University website. Live/Hands-on training consists of traditional on-site workshops. These will be offered for topics that require live exercises and other instructional methods that benefit from live instruction and participation. These live training sessions are designed for maximum convenience: sessions will be conducted at the SLA Annual Conferences or coordinated as regional events and programs….”

John Blyberg Interview About His SOPAC Software…10.20.08

20 10 2008

LIS News [] reported:

“If you don’t know about the Social OPAC application suite–an open source social discovery platform for bibliographic data, you’re really missing out. SOPAC (Social Online Public Access Catalog) is a Drupal module that provides true integration of your library catalog system with the power of the Drupal content management system while allowing users to tag, rate, and review your holdings. User input is then incorporated into the discovery index so that SOPAC becomes a truly community-driven catalog system.
Talked With John about SOPAC, and how it’s used. (note: the recording got a bit messy, our voices end up overlapping towards the end of the recording).
Some of the other features of SOPAC include:
* Faceted browsing
* Ajax-empowered interface with native jQuery support
* 100% customizable interface via the Drupal template system
* Ability to remove search limiters
* Saved searches
* Integrated renewals, holds placement, and fine payment
* Ability to customize the user experience via the administrative control panel
* Ability to create custom functionality via a Drupal sub-module”

Library Journal Article “Library PR 2.0″ from Library Journal…10.20.08

20 10 2008

Here is a good reminder on Libraries keeping up with the times by Michael Casey & Michael Stephens from Library Journal []:

“…Not all libraries have embraced this world. Just as some IT departments block new tools because of unfounded security fears, some library PR departments are holding out from using these new 2.0 tools. We’ve heard from librarians who tell us they are blocked by a PR person—often acting on orders from above—who will not allow multiple voices, direct customer engagement/feedback, or any type of library message that hasn’t been vetted.

It’s nice to think that you can control the outflow of information and discussion, but the truth is, you can’t. Those days are gone. Staffers talk to customers, and customers talk to customers. It’s no longer possible to control a solitary message from one central location.

As our followers on Twitter reminded us, the grapevine can be a good thing. “Even stories told to friends and family carry weight,” one observed. In fact, libraries have internal and external grapevines. How can we use both to the benefit of all? One thing we know for sure: trying to silence the grapevine hurts the organization.

The mechanisms for PR 2.0 are varied and sometimes overwhelming. PR maven Brian Solis’s ‘Conversation Prism’ identifies 22 different channels of social tools where discussions take place and stories are told. We strongly advocate that library staff participate in these discussions, answering both the easy questions and the hard ones, as well.

Remember, if you don’t participate in the story, it will be told without you. Consider the not entirely positive reviews of the central library in Minneapolis on the popular review site ‘The library itself is spectacular,’ one library user wrote on July 2, 2008. ‘The librarians are kind of surly. Hate the fact that they’re closed Sunday and Monday.’

Why hasn’t a nonsurly library employee responded? Not only should librarians monitor these conversations, we should respond in such cases with thanks for the positive reviews and ‘how can we do better’ to the negative ones.

With this important sea change in mind, we offer some guidelines for your library’s marketing 2.0 program.

PR-speak stinks. Happy-time press releases and spin that lack a human feel will not go as far as an honest announcement. If you’ve tried something and it hasn’t gone well, tell your users. If you’ve had great success, do the same.

Anticipate the questions and answer them. Explain new services or respond to breaking news stories, then ask users what else they’d like to know.

Monitor and participate in the conversation about and around your library via the social tools featured in the Prism. Staff at all levels should be actively involved in telling the library’s story. Ad hoc marketing committees can spring up easily to promote the next big thing at the library.

Think about your library brand. What is it? How can you tell the story of your brand with your users? How can they add to the brand? Deirdre Breakenridge’s book PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences (FT Press) offers a primer that we’ve drawn on here.

In fact, our users should be part of the library’s brand. The Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH, does a wonderful job of putting staffers’ faces on the library’s homepage. The Vancouver Public Library, BC, puts patrons on its homepage, touting the library’s benefits.

Beyond that, it’s time for all libraries to feature user photos, recommendations, and more front and center on their web sites, in the catalog, and in all of the library’s marketing efforts.”

©2008 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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