Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Evaluating, Recommending and Justifying 2.0 tools

Presenter: Marydee Ojala, Editor, ONLINE magazine

New technologies include all things 2.0, social networking/software/media.

Each social tool has a use, but not all need to be used by your organization, necessarily. Use common sense. Not everyone has to follow the cool kid on the block, but, social and 2.0 are real. They are the future and they are evolving.

Does your management appreciate the power of social?
Does your staff?
Do you?

Social media are becoming more traditional methods of communication; meanwhile, traditional media becoming more social themselves.

Current Challenge: our professional and personal lives are blending because of the use of these tools.

Benefits of Social in a Business Setting
Evaluating products, services, technologies
Recommending them for internal use
Justifying your recommendation

Why add Social Tools?
Customer expectation
Marketing yourself, your department
Product promotion
Transmitting information, sharing knowledge
Learning others' expertise
Reputation management
Back channel at conferences, meetings

These tools get us outside our comfort zone.
This isn't just a library decision.
Opportunity to join a larger organization.
They position the library- and information professionals-as tech experts.
Put info pros at the center of decision making for entire organization.

New technology should solve a problem, not provide a solution to a problem your organization does not have.

Does the tech work as advertised?
Will it survive?
Who provides tech support?
Who owns the data?

These aren't trivial concerns. You need to know the difference and be able to explain the difference. Don't brand people Luddites. Anticipate objections and be prepared to reply. Do background research for their discipline, their world view. Ground your case in the realities of your situation, your organization. Timing is important.

One common objection--This social stuff just wastes time--however, if a deadline is missed, it doesn't matter if it was missed due to Twitter or to plain incompetence. A missed deadline is a management/personnel issue.

Getting management buy-in
Don't surprise them.
Don't complicate their lives.
Prove management skills, vision of organization as an organic whole.
Communication is key.
Stress value of research function


Presenters: Steve Lawson, Stephen Francoeur, John Blyberg, Kathryn Greenhill

Kathryn: Methodology

Barcamp, open spaces meeting, libcamp, bibcamp, mashed library are all terms for unconferences.

Recommended reading: Open Space Technology

Methodology of Unconferences
Turn up on day and talk about what the group wants (sometimes that means more structure, not less; depends on group)
Whoever comes are the right people
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
Whenever it starts is the right time (conversation goes on as long as needed)
When it’s over, it’s over

Law of Two Feet: every individual has two feet, and must be prepared to use them. Responsibility for a successful outcome in any Open Space Event resides with exactly one person -- each participant. Individuals can make a difference and must make a difference. If that is not true in a given situation, they, and they alone, must take responsibility to use their two feet, and move to a new place where they can make a difference. This departure need not be made in anger or hostility, but only after honoring the people involved and the space they occupy. By word or gesture, indicate that you have nothing further to contribute, wish them well, and go and do something useful.

For more, read Dave Winer's post What is an unconference?

Steve: Planning

For unconferences, as with a party, you pick the location, bring the refreshments, invite a bunch of people, invite specific people, but you can’t/don’t plan what each person says.

General unconferences are not about specific library settings.

Casual, but how casual?
What will you keep from traditional conferences?
Keynotes (It can give a basis or establish a theme; this can be good or bad)

Select the time and place
Everyday is a bad day for somebody
How many will attend?

Use social software to organize.
Unconferences share a wiki-ethos in terms of participation.
Establish a wiki with details about when/where; seed the wiki.

Supplies, meeting space, etc
Free as in someone else is paying—partner when possible.
Borrow from your own institution.

Consider amenities and grace notes
Takeaways, gifts, schwag

Stephen: Real world examples

Library Camp NYC
Provided notebook printed with logo to participants (200 at $4 each)

Asked for topic ideas, received 160, merged/combined (via open discussion) into 28 slots.

Use the above moderated method to organize OR...
consider posting a blank grid on a wall and individuals fill-in to present.

Once it is set up, participants run the unconference themselves.
Organizers simply then focus on food and WiFi.

John: Real world experience

Organized 6 unconferences, all different topics.
Most recently--responsibilities of librarians in the future, responsibilities of librarians to the future

Unconferences are agile to address emerging needs.

To be successful, feel free to diverge from outlined model above. Some structure may be important, be ready to activate a topic, if participation is not there.

Unconferences will not replace traditional conferences, but they are a great way to inject intelligent thought into work.

Unconferences can be exhausting (in a good way) when participants are fully engaged.

New strategies for digital natives

Presenter: Helene Blowers, Library Bytes, Director of Digital Strategy at Columbus Metro Library

Slides here

Digital natives = born after 1980

Web 1.0: find, access and chase information
Web 2.0: connect, engage, share and create information

Access and engagement have always been their reality.
Their digital identities are the same as in-person (...though they may use avatars to test the waters of emerging technologies.)

The Kid who made Obama, social media article from current issue Fast Company

Libraries can teach communities to stop chasing information and how to get information to come to them (via RSS, online alerts, etc). Libraries provide spaces and places to create.

Check out: Digitalnative.org

9 realities of digital natives
Info Quality

Top 5 social networks (Jan 09): Facebook, MySpace, Flixter, Twitter, LinkedIn

Book recommendation: Ren Gen

93% of Teens are online
2/3rds of online teens create content like photos, posts and remixed content

In the new environment, information quality shifts from authoritative control to collaborative control with an increase in social responsibility. Study which appeared in Nature found that Britannica has the same average number of mistakes as Wikipedia. Britannica has since added a wiki element recognizing the importance of collaborative control.

According to an OCLC survey, individuals learn about electronic information sources from friends 61% of the time, from librarians 8% of the time.

There are no barriers.
The playing field is leveled.
Access is universal.
Connection is ubiquitous.
It’s all about me.
= opportunity

Library without walls: Meeting place of and for the People!

Keynote: Paul Holdengraber, NYPL, Director of Public Programs, Live from the NYPL

Bio: studied Law and Philosophy, then Comparative Literature. Fellow at Getty. LA Institute of Art. NYPL.

Universe is made of stories, not of atoms

Museums and libraries should not be mausoleums.
These organizations can be imposing, but...one should feel small in the face of that much knowledge.

Libraries should empower the public.

Make libraries less formidable, more sexy.

There are 52 million items in the collection, but [my programs] are supposed to bring them out and make people desire them.

NYPL director recruited Holdengraber: I want you to oxygenate the library

Make this library irresistible.
Change things.
Focus on transforming and molding.
Belief in communicating and experiencing.
Be addicted to friction. (Program strategy: Bring two people together for discussion. Seeing them makes you revisit their work.)

Digression is the sunshine of narrative.

What happens when learning--a private act—occurs in a public space?

The important thing is to begin.

Library programming: average age of participants was 63. Goal was to make it 36.

After initial programs, NYPL director was skeptical--At the library, we have never done this.

Interested in the afterlife of the art and the conversation. How does it continue to have a life?

Future of libraries
How might libraries be able to help us focus in an age of speed and constant information? Libraries can present new discoveries, serve as a place of opportunity and as a haven.

Our jobs are hospitality.
Programs are a different way of opening the door.
Libraries = home and homepage
Libraries = Facebook and face-to-face

Monday, March 30, 2009

Continued Online Community Engagement

This session was a series of related presentations.

Continued Community Engagement: Keeping up the connection – Rebecca Ranallo from Cuyahoga County Public Library

Over 1,000 employees, 28 branches, Union organization/change difficult
Marketing vs. IT/Webteam vs. Staff

Control what you can
Branch (Message over and over again)
Public Website
Opportunities for practice
Best practices online
Content management system/staff work with webtools (200+ people add content)

Let go when you can
What is tied to your brand?
What needs to be a systemwide project? (Preserving systemwide message, train staff so they can provide content)
Where can you let go?

Trust staff
Give guidelines (example: protocols for use of library Flickr page, Branch twitter pages)
Provide opportunities to learn

Engage a community
We trust staff to engage our customers
Transfer that trust
Rhetoric in action (examples: Their LibraryThing local page, a Facebook page with info about an upcoming proposed local levy)

Honestly assess performance
Find right person for job
Accept that it will take time
Accept that there will be mistakes
It is a learning experience

Social Media monitoring: Clyde Miles, Chief Strategist, Optiem

What are your marketing objectives for social media?
Brand buzz, reputation buzz, programming and PR…
Google alerts
BackType (monitor comments, conversation)
YackTrack (social comments)
BoardTracker (search discussion boards)
Twitter and Twitter search
FriendFeed (aggregator)
Flock (Browser with imbedded monitoring of social network tools)
…and more sophisticated tools like SM2

Continuum of Engagement--Jennifer Peterson, Community Programs Manager, WebJunction and Susan Colon, Teen Services Librarian, Princeton Public Library

Civic engagement = Pull open the circle

Digital stewardship. Help the public navigate it, then hand it over to them
It is the public’s library

Levels of participation

Presenters recommended Technology for communities

What does community want?
Put together mission statement for partnerships and projects

Build a team.
Library staff -->
Interested community members -->

Obstacle or opportunity: It's your choice!

Presenter: Pamela MacKeller, The Accidental Librarian
Slides here

Librarians can spread the word about...
Basics of libraries and librarianship
Your library’s mission
Your community’s information needs
Planning, planning, planning
Mission/Vision/Goals/Action steps (When new tech or other ideas come up, you’ll know which will help you meet your goals)
Designing goals to meet needs
Where the library is going
Funding projects with grants
Removing barrier thinking

What happens when we see mostly obstacles
Disengage at work
Staff become negative
Valuable members quit
Customers are turned away
Negative marketing starts (lists of what you can’t do in the library)
Neglected or forgotten webpages/wikis/mySpace
Technology doesn’t work
Obstacle-drive organization
Discouraged, disengaged, unproductive, negative staff

How we frame or perceive reality is our choice; we can flip negative into positive.

Since you can create your own reality, why not choose to focus on opportunities.

Presenter shared examples of librarians working to create opportunities
Fulfills community needs
Goal/purpose driven
Multiple partnerships
Multiple funding streams
Break out of the librarians don’t do that paradigm

Challenges: lack of support from town leaders or board members, small town thinking,

Overcoming barriers
Stay committed
Think big
Strive for a purpose or goal
Stay in your power
Keep trying
Be fearless
Don't listen to criticism
Just jump into it
Believe in yourself

Choose opportunities
First have plan, vision, mission
Know library’s goals
Know community’s goals
Be brave
Believe in yourself
Go for it
Stick to it

Five steps to changing your mind

1.Evaluate your own outlook

2.Identify the problem
What negative thoughts about work go through mind regularly?
Which must you face to change your attitude?
Write down one attitude to readjust or pattern to change?
What resources do I need to change?

3.Decide to change
Outlook is the result of the choices we make
Your outlook or attitude is not permanent
You can choose to change
You cannot change someone else
People can change only if they want to change

4.Develop a guiding principle
Know where you’re going
Write statement of purpose
Change is fun when you know what you’re aiming for

5.Take action
Do something to support your guiding principle everyday
Do something out of your comfort range
Encourage others
Believe in yourself
Change negative vocabulary
Set yourself up for success (use tech to meet a community need, do something that will make a difference, use free tech tools, take free webinars, read, try something easy, have fun, do something that doesn't require lots of time or staff, be flexible, loosen up, spread the word about your successes)

Building Communities: Wikis and Ning

Using wikis to manage student employees (or staff or volunteers): Heather Moss and Jennifer Fitch UMBC

Uses and benefits of their wiki
Created page within wiki for each staff member to track tasks/accomplishments; helpful when review time comes

Meets various learning styles

No longer necessary to update information in duplicate places (like email, shared drives, message boards, intranet) to get information out to staff

Enables dynamic documents that are hyperlinked and easily update-able

Saves staff time by consolidating training docs and procedures in a central location

Many wikis are flexible, easy to use with WYSIWYG editors

Nings: Susan Geiger, Moreau Catholic HS, and Karen Huffman, National Geographic Society

Susan Geiger, LibraryGrants

Nings are social networks that are often topic-oriented.

Infinitely customizable
Easy to add multimedia content
Can be invitation only
Enables commenting
One login will bring up posts to all the Nings you belong to

Ning is cloud tech; not hosted on your own servers

Good venue for threaded content with embedded multimedia content

Examples: Teacher Librarian Ning, Ning in Education, Learning Community at MCHS, Bay Area Independent School Librarians, Roselle Public Library Network

Karen Huffman, National Geographic, Web 2.0 Integrator/Consultant

Social network: Facebook vs. Ning

Examples: National Geographic Collectors Corner, Mistake Bank (anti-“best practices”), Blanketing DC with Love, Ning in Education

Personalize the experience: Importance of Play

IGoogle gadget & Facebook application to market initiatives

Benefits of Ning
Various security/contributor options
60 design templates
Add external widgets
Cross application integration
Personalized homepages for each person

Building and sustaining communities

Vision and goals
Community drivers and feeders

Also, community drivers and feeders
Engage participants, personalize experiences, What’s in it for me?
Trust and shared ideals

More info can be found here.

Building Community Partnerships: 25 ideas in 40 minutes

Presenter: Kathy Dempsey, The M Word: Marketing Libraries

1. Join the Chamber of Commerce or Speakers Bureau.

2. Join the Lions Club, Jaycees, etc to meet people/join/benefit from community projects.

3. Partner with grocery stores to hold story times there, put in a book drop or branch.

4. Have events in a nearby shopping mall to attract people who may not come to your location.

5.Find groups with similar values or missions.

6. Identify target markets that could use your help, such as assistants of college deans, secretaries of CEOs, aides of govt officials, city/county commissioners, sports coaches, etc.

7. Work out trade deals with small business owners for in-kind services.

8. Seek out IT experts that might trade their services for yours. These could include owners of computer-repair services, companies that build websites, people who sell things on eBay.

9. Contact college professors to see if they would create student projects that are actual work for you. Marketing classes can create marketing plans and promo materials for you; design classes can create logos for you to choose from.

10. Join with scout troops or other youth organizations to offer them service projects that benefit the library.

11. Form an alliance with video game stores, skateboard shops or arcades. See if the management will help you promote teen reading by giving coupons or game tokens to kids who read X number of books from your library.

12. Work with school gaming clubs to get gaming events ramped up in your library.

13. Trade training with anyone who has skills that your staff needs and vice-versa.

14. Instigate meetings with office assistants and liaisons of government officials to ask what their information needs are, and then to explain that filling those needs is part of your library's mission.

15. Contact organizations like AARP to get access to their members and to deliver services through a group they already know and trust.

16. Work with senior citizens centers to give them meaningful projects that also help the library.

17. Get involved in local politics so the politicians and their staff members can get to know a real-life, modern day librarian. Create opportunities to interact with them and to discuss your daily working situation.

18. Offer your research services to lower-level govt officials. Keep abreast of the work or topics that are coming up and proactively offer your help.

19. Make allies of the whole community. Invite every single person to become a book sponsor! You make a list of hundreds of books you'd like to have and their prices.

20. Help reporters fill the voids when they need news and make sure they know that you can do just-in-time research when they're on deadline.

21. Form casual advisory boards of people from target audiences that you want to build awareness with. They will probably be glad you asked for their opinions, plus you get buy-in with people when they're part of decision-making processes. Teen advisory boards are very common, but what about an Adult advisory board or a board that targets mothers/Latinos/young professionals, etc. Ask them questions about the types of programs they would like to see, when it is best for their schedules to attend programs. Instead of throwing money away on useless programs, bring them in on ideas to create buy-in early.

22. Build your social networks on sites like Facebook. Once you have a fan base, you have a ready-made group of folks to go to when you need voices or votes.

23. Work with parents to help them understand what librarians can do for their kids. Treat them as partners in the processes of learning, reading and researching to win their support.

24. Build alliances now with K-12 teachers to help with your summer reading programs.

25. Form relationships with consultants! Look for local consultants, especially small proprietorships, that specialize in things you could use help with--finances, marketing, advertising, image/branding, space planning, etc. Chances are these people need access to information and help with research when working for other clients.

I wanna be 2.0, too!: Web Services for Underfunded Libraries

Ten Laws of web services for underfunded libraries presentation by Sarah Houghton-Jan, Librarian in Black. Slides available here.

1. Talk to your customers

Email, IM, Chat, VOIP (Skype), Texting, Video Chat

Doing it right? UNLV’s IM service

Hint: Add the chat widget to your no results found page or wherever people get mad when visiting your webpage; if not chat, then at least add your contact info.

Text (SMS)- Cell phones and SMS very popular; offer circulation and reference via SMS; use pay option, not hack options (see Mosio)

2. Interact with customers

Welcome comments on everything
Respond like a human being
Hint: offer online bookclubs with a mix of staff and customers; use Google groups or Library Thing

Use blogs for recommended materials
One post = one review
Encourage full staff participation
Offer a template with tags and categories
Enable comments

Doing it right? AADL (effective use of tags) and MADReads

3. Be engaged

Engagedpatrons.org offers free and low cost 2.0 options for libraries. Run by Glenn Peterson of HCL. They provide events calendars, Google mashups, etc.
Example: Monterey PL

4. Be social

Be present where users are
Be real
Be reliable and continuously new
Don’t be fake, don’t speak institutional, be genuine
Example: Hennepin’s Facebook page
Facebook Adverts: According to presenter, $10 = 5,000 ads in your geographic area.

5. Use multimedia

Photos, images, podcasts, videocasts, games

Example: Westmont PL used Flickr for marketing faceouts and links to catalog

Example: San Jose PL’s TeensReach (contest voting via comments)

Exploit image generators like generator blog, image generator, or image chef.

Podcasting—needs: people who can talk/sing (free), digital mic (cheap), Audacity (free), blog (free)

Videocasting—needs: people who aren’t camera shy (free), digital video camera, Avidemux, blog (free)

6. Offer treatsies

People like shiny objects, ask them what they want, then find them some

Example: catalogs that allow adjusting size of text, link to comments, subject links, etc.

Teen staff at Nashville PL created avatars (scroll down) and answered Who are we? questions.

7. Exploit the free

TinyPic, Wordpress, Bravenet, OpenPhoto, GIMP, SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, Webmonkey, PollDaddy, Dzone, StatCounter, ImageAfter, Google (groups, docs, calendar, translate)

...and the almost free...like Techsoup who offer public libraries access to software at very discounted rates.

8. Respect customers

You never know when you’re lunch.
Expect the best, not the worst (don’t make rule for one person who curses in the comments).
Treat customers with respect--regardless of age.

9. Offer users choices

Choices for contacting us.
Choices for how we can contact them.
Choices for how they find things online.
Choices for what they find online. (content and format)

Mashups = choices. People are mashing up your library’s content, why not advertise that? see LibraryElf and LibX

Good catalog = choices
Can’t change ILS? Use an overlay.
Several pay options like Library Thing for libraries, etc.
An open source option is VuFind.

10. Keep going!

Try new things.
Push administrators (stress the 24/7 nature of web services, minimal staffing and cheap costs, highest return on investment in the library)
Rejoice in failures...it means you’re pushing boundaries!

Friending Libraries: The Nodes in People's Social Networks

CIL 2009 conference keynote by Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project

Cloud = content that does not live on your computer; rather, it lives on servers elsewhere (Hotmail, Flickr, etc)

2008 = 75% of adults use the internet; 53% use cloud

Ecosystem changes
-Volume, variety and velocity of information increases
-Times and places to experience media enlarge (watching movies on the bus with video ipod)
-People's vigilance for information expands (become an expert quickly)
-People's vigilance for information contracts (need to set up filters)
-Immersive qualities of media are more compelling
-Relevance of information improves (get The Daily Me with Google filters, etc.)
-Number of voices explodes and become more findable
-Voting and ventilating are enabled
-Social networks are more vivid

Once institutions/organizations/libraries create a web presence(s)—not simply creating a web page---they can be nodes on social networks. This is the way real people, really work; libraries can become sense-makers on social networks.

The Pew Internet’s new report The Mobile Difference examined assets, actions and attitudes with regard to technology.

The 9 user types and how libraries can help each of them

Digital Collaborator 8%
(Early adopters and influencers)
Be a place they can jack into the grid
Be a place to collaborate and share
Get their coaching and feedback on library collections and services

Ambivalent Networkers 7%
(They feel obligated to participate because that is the expectation of their networks)
Be a sanctuary where they can be offline
Offer gaming haven
Provide conversation about online etiquette
Help them navigate information overload

Media Movers 7%
(community-oriented; not into blogging, rather video/photo share)
Help find outlets to share content
Teach to curate and save content

Roving Nodes 9%
(could not give up their cell phone; too busy to create content; group tends to skew female; think: soccer moms)
Help them use tech to be more efficient
Teach them to use tech to manage lists
Offer tips and strategies to avoid overload

Mobile Newbies 8%
(new cell phone users; less interested in the internet)
Offer How-to
Coach and mentor
Offer tech access and support
Offer pathways to the wonders of the web; sites with politics, news and health are a revelation

[Types below are stationary media users; mobility is not an issue]

Desktop Vets 13%
(internet-veterans; think: middle-aged office workers)
Offer reliable internet access
Offer self-check machines since this group is largely self-sufficient
Offer some content creation classes

Drifting Surfers 14%
Don’t force technology on them
This group appreciates your traditional services
Offer some tech support classes on gadgetry

Information Encumbered 10%
(feel burdened by technology)
Don’t force technology on them
Help them navigate
Offer sanctuary

Tech Indifferent 10%
See no benefit in technology
Offer Tech Basic 101 classes

Remaining respondents were classified as Off the Network 14%
(they see no lifestyle improvements through technology)
Continue offering traditional services
Offer community activities

Five pathways for libraries
Pathway to problem-solving information (library as aggregator)
Pathway to personal enrichment
Pathway to entertainment
Pathway to new kinds of social networks (…built around people, institutions and media)
Pathway to the wisdom of crowds (…so you can fill your library’s own future here)