Sunday, March 25, 2012
--Pam Sandlian-Smith presented this fantastic and very moving presentation about the amazing turnaround of the Adams County Library District in Colorado. She explained how Anythink is not just a program for change, but an actual mindset. It is upbeat, positive and fun. Ms Sandlian-Smith is an exceptional motivational speaker and I feel ready to leave and change all of the Libraries in Cordova!!
(That was my journal entry immediately after the program)
--Now upon reflection....I am still motivated by the interest that her programs have gathered and the changes that she and her staff were able to put forth in her community. But with that said, I have a bit of a different opinion now that I have had time to reflect on the entire concept. I think that some of the ideas are great, but as a whole, I think that the entire project turns the libraries into a interactive children's museum. I like using some of the ideas, but we already have Barnes and Nobles and Boarders and I hate to see libraries turn so commercial.
Everyone is Creative
Ms. Sandlian-Smith was the presenter of this fun and interactive program. The motto of the presentation is that everyone can do this and that we are all creative in our own right. After we were given the tools, we were to form a group and create our own hand-on experience zone, and then present it to the group. We used the Zone plan outlines that we were given and it was a loud, fun, and interesting experience. Once again, I must say that I feel that a lot of what she is trying to so with the Anythink program is better served in a museum setting, but this was an interesting way to get the patrons involved in the learning and library experience.
President's Program: Marketing That Makes a Difference
A few minutes to absorb all of the information from the previous hour with Ms. Sumerall at the Building Clout in a tough climate program was enough of a break before we jumped into Marketing That Makes a Difference, also with Ms. Sumerall. It was a natural segway and a necessary expansion on the information from the previous hour. If nothing else was gained from this presentation, the 10 things that hold true for Libraries to be vital to the community was needed information. Coming up with a communication plan and mapping how and what the tools are that will be used during that process was enlightening. Excellent information to return to a small community with and a needed resource for beginning to form a plan of funding for community libraries.
Seated at my table during the luncheon were Claudia Lively and Judy Ferguson, both known in the North Star Borough. Claudia’s local claim to fame is her acting ability and stellar performances in several dramatic productions. Her first picture book, co-authored with her sister Holly, was recently self-published. Judy Ferguson also is self-published so we had an interesting discussion on the difficulty of getting published and the pros and cons of not working with an agent as well as their separate journeys taken through the self-publishing route. I believe Judy's publisher is in an eastern European country!
I think many AkLA members are surprised that the North Star Borough (and interior Alaska) has so many authors of note.
I was so busy making certain the authors were seated and taken care of that I did not take notes on Sneed Collard’s presentation. I do remember that he has had many varied experiences beyond writing, particularly in the world of science. It was also comforting to hear how he has instilled the love of reading in his son and how they both talk about what they are reading.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I always order the nominees for the Pacific Northwest Library Association's Young Reader's Choice Awards, but I have never introduced this contest to our students. After attending Sara Saxton's sectional, I believe I will!
Students, teachers, parents and librarians in the Pacific Northwest ~ Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana and Washington may nominate books for this award. Fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, animae and manga that are 3 years old are eligible (no sequels). The deadline for nominations to the state YRCA representitive is Feb. 1 of each year.'
After the finalists have been chosen by the representitives, a ballot is ready for voting. Only students may vote between March 15 and April 15. The winners are announced in April, just in time for your spring orders! Sara stated that Alaska has not had much participation, and encouraged us to have our students participate. There is a wiggio set up for a discussion group for title nominations.
What impressed me the most about this presentation was watching the presenters collaborate with the LiveBinder product in the restaurant the morning of the session as they prepared. Any product that easy to work with in a collaborative setting, which can in turn be used for the presentation is worth investigating! While they did cover a lot of ground, maybe even too much for those of us wanting to look at the products on the computers they invited us to bring along, with the information housed in the LiveBinder it is gathered together nicely and easy to revisit.
As for other favorites from the presentation I latched onto BeFunky.com because it doesn’t require setting up an account or having an email, which will be so handy for our students. I also took the plunge and set up an Edmodo account. Now I need to get busy and give it a good trial run! And I want to look into the LiveScribe smart pens.....when I have a minute!!
In the session Ebooks Legalese, UAA librarian Jodee Kuden, gave a concise rundown of the multitude of different ways of acquiring digital content ranging from subscriptions to databases to the purchase of access to ebooks. She mentioned the different formats of audio and text ebooks with the possibility of buying individual titles or packages of titles, which are sometimes more economical. Discussed was the need to understand whether you as the buyer are hosting the content yourself or more likely linking to a vendor or publishers platform. In that case it is important to look at whether you are paying for annual access to the content or site or perpetual access and what does that mean if the vendor or publisher goes out of business or is acquired by another company. It is very important to look at the licensing agreements, which can and should be negotiated.
The unfortunate news is that there is still no standardization of formats either in the ebooks or the ereader platforms. She mentioned a few of the different approaches publishers are trying such as HarperCollins limiting books to 26 checkouts before requiring the purchase of a new copy.
Jodee mentioned Trisha Davis of the Ohio State University Libraries as a resource on licensing information as well as a post by Rick Anderson on what he calls the “Seven License Terms of Death.” His advise, while a little old (2006) still seems sound to me and might be well worth looking into. Jodee mentioned that among other things he recommends changing the jurisdiction of the license to be according to the rules of your own state and no others.
With the current continual upheaval in the ebook world I foresee the need for sessions similar to this at each and every conference to some time to come.
Monday, March 12, 2012
This is the line-up for the 2013 High School Battle of the Books!
A group of high school librarians from around the state choose the books shown above from a list of 30 determined by recommendations from students, teachers and librarians. These recommended books were checked for availablity, popularity, reading level and other official BOTB guidelines. Librarians volunteered to write questions which will be organized for next year's battle.
- Old ideas: Books and periodicals, shhh, homework and schoolwork, interaction of people and information.
- New ideas: Community connections, open doors and unlimited imagination, curiosity and empowerment.
- The spaces needed to be built around these new concepts, not the old ones.
- Design for people in the space, not the books.
- They call themselves an experience library, want people to feel welcome and at home.
- The library system was renamed Anythink.
- Bookstore like, fireplaces, and LEED certification—all of these were requirements for their library buildings.
- Information desks are now smaller and called perches.
- Library assistants are called concierges.
- There are tree houses in the children’s section.
- There are zones for children to wander around and touch and play in different areas.
- They want to make people want to live in the library.
- It is an indoor/outdoor library.
- They call their bookmobile Anythink in Motion.
- Changing the building is easy. Changing the culture is harder.
- They had to change the culture of the staff, and rebrand themselves.
- They believe they are the heart and soul of the community because they help people find the information that creates that spark.
- The technology staff aren’t hired for skills, but rather personality and spirit of service, and teamwork ethic. Then they train them.
- Qualities they want from their employees: understanding compassionate, self starter, strong work ethic, flexible and can change, communicator, problem solver, emotionally mature, continuous learner, innovator, leader, responsible and honest.
- Wranglers (shelvers)—part product placement, part inventory control, part display technician.
- Concierge (front line staff)--part customer service, part tech assistance, part product promotion— refluff displays so they look fresh and great.
- Guide—part customer education, part reference advocate, part event planning.
- Hospitality exists when you believe the other person is on your side.
- We’re in a people profession.
- Doesn’t have a quiet library because people need to collaborate. Shhh is a four letter word!
- Got rid of Dewey used BISAC (bookstore standard). This is also used by Maricopa Co. Public Library.
- It's like Dewey, but instead of having numbers on the spine you have words.
- Transitioned in one year while opening branches and renovating.
- BISAC is a mapping system.
- Spiders crawl and find different pages and makes a schedule to revisit the page.
- Crawl rate—5 years ago was 4-5 weeks, sometimes less, now pages are crawled at least weekly, many times more frequently.
- Google and Bing have proprietary crawlers, other search engines are covers of these two.
- When you search for things like Olympics or presidential campaign, they assume you mean this year.
- Evergreen—when the time doesn’t matter like recipes, etc.
- If you want to search for past Olympic years you need to be specific.Your prior searches are tied into your current searches. Bing goes 90 days back, Google now tied into all your accounts forever.
- Your prior searches heavily influence your results. Everyone gets different results from each other.Flash cookies will reinstall cookies, even if you think you erased them. More about that tomorrow.
- Algorithm changes: freshness, your prior searches, your accounts.
- Bing also indexes your information on MSN, Facebook, and Hotmail.
- Google indexes all of their 64 services (Gmail, Picasa, Blogger, YouTube, etc). If you’re logged into any of their services while you’re searching it will influence it.
- IP address and location are very strong influences in your search too.
- "And" is part of the search if it part of the search term, ie: Johnson and Associates.
- "Or" is trouble, for example or means Oregon, it no longer matters if you capitalize it.
- Search engines now make synonyms like dining for restaurants.
- Synonymization is a formal process where they are coming up with lists aof synonyms and incorporating them into their search process.
- "The" is now a search term. WHO vs The Who.
- Hyphens are treated differently like part time, part-time and part –time.
- Put $ in search term if you want prices.
- + not used in google anymore because they are using it for google+ + used to mean use this word like it is, no synonyms, keep this spelling.
- “ “ weren’t useful for a while, but they are useful again.
- Put quotes around a word that is misspelled, like “dimond”.
- Put quotes around a common name like “business fasteners inc”.
- Google Verbatim is like searching in the old days.
- Things Google will do for you: math equations, unit conversions, time, weather, sunrise and sunset, package tracking, flight tracking (airline code and flight code), movie listing (title and zipcode).
- Site: is a good search term for searching on certain type of sites or domains. Don’t use the insite search bar, just use google and site: (name) + term.
- Filetype: doc, ppt, etc.
- Will HTML5 affect search results? It’s like flash. It is mobile friendly, multimedia friendly. We'll find out!
- People can get extremely different results depending on their known political viewpoints, for instance on an issue like abortion.
- If you put in negative search terms like bankruptcy, foreclosure, health problems, unsafe hobies, hate sites, and that goes into your search history and is sold. This can influence things like buying insurance online!
- Anti personalization search engines: 1. Duck duck go uses bing, can change location to world wide. 2. Ixquick and StartPage are worlds most private search engine, encrypts searches, no IP recorded, view through proxy. IxQuick is both engines, StartPage is Google only.
- The definition of a mystery is that they are deliberately trying to solve a problem.
- In most adult mysteries a murder is involved. Not so in children’s mysteries.
- Need active engagement of main character.
- There are often red herrings or dead ends.
- Two major elements in mysteries are character and plot. The plot is king!
- A whodunit or quest is straightforward—piece together clues.
- A mystery-suspense is when bigger events take over the characters investigation.
- Types of mysteries: treasure hunting, murder, theft and crime, espionage, family secrets, forensics, scientific, historical, disappearance.
- Types of sleuths: police, social workers, scientists, military, reporters, enthusiasts, spies.
- Traits of the sleuth: curious, persistent, quirky, think outside the box, flawed, humorous, specialized knowledge, smart.
- If your characters aren’t working out right it’s because you haven’t done enough research. James Joyce says: "A writer should know how much change his character has in his pocket.
- Collard gave two good exercise handouts on outlining your main character, and interviewing your antagonist. I have copies if anyone wants them.
For those of us who believe we are not creative, she gives this advice: there are no original ideas, ideas come from looking at something or thinking about something and asking, "What if?"
Her staff has turned these "what ifs" into experience zones, which rotate and change. In an experience zone, patrons can;
1. Read, Think, Do
2. Interact on their own terms
3. Learn anything, Create something
4. Be creative & Ask questions
5. Play, Have FUN!
6 .Interact "hands on"
To design an Experience Zone Plan you need:
6. Maintenance plan
7. Evaluation - how did it go?
Ideas can be as simple as having a tub of legos on a table (my high school students love these!) or more complicated, like a hair braiding station.
Why do we need marketing? Patience outlined it:
1) Libraries are not only game in town!
2) Competition /internet, ebooks, book stores
3) Marketing is necessary for new services to validate these services
3) Marketing helps libraries remain relevant by increasing usage of library
Marketing can help the library adapt to changing times by demonstrating VALUE to the community. In my case, that would be finding ways of gently (and perhaps more overtly) reminding students and staff of the library programs and services they can get from us.
Patience also cited the idea that librarians often assume they know what their patrons want/need; marketing research can help us learn more about these needs and wants. But this really is making me examine my own professional situation and makes me wonder whether I am guilty of making assumptions about what my students and staff need and want from the library. Hmmmm...this session certainly made me more cognizant of that possibility!
The presentation described two kinds of marketing: the Classic Approach using four steps: Research, plan, communicate and evaluate; and the Guerrilla Marketing Approach: 7 sentences to a marketing plan - What to do, When it will happen, How to achieve it, Who will do it, How much will it cost, and How success will be measured. I like the seven sentences - just seems more do-able to me, realistic and relatively straightforward. And maybe I just like the idea of being a library guerrilla.
One main takeaway for me was the idea that before the year 2000 (and that was only 12 years ago!!!), libraries did not have the kind of competition from the Internet and full-service bookstores that now exists. Since then, libraries have had to advocate and fight for their place in the world. I got my MLS degree in 1999 - no wonder it feels like I've been advocating, advocating, advocating ever since. It's an exciting time to be in the library business!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
- Symbaloo - store favorite websites (make it easy for kids in classroom to go to web choices)
- Evernote - storage and editable
- Libescribe - pen/paper
- Prezi - use instead of powerpoint
- i-nigma (or other barcode creator) goo.gl (go to details for QR code) - create a scavenger hunt with classroom ipods
- Tagxedo - word clouds
- Storybird - for younger kids
- Zoobird - 3D and more fun
- Jing - capture images for use in Word
- BeFunky - cartoonize photos (create graphic novels)
Thinking about things we're grateful for can actually change our brains.
What is stress? It is a physiological response to a perception of a lack of control over an adverse situation, person, or event.
Top stressors for Americans...finances, health, employment
Cortisol...good in low doses. "Uh-Oh" Too much damages our brain. Lowers our immune system. Makes us more emotional.
Adrenaline..."Yikes!" Should be low during regular, daily routine.
Serotonin...Makes us feel content and calm. "Ahh..." Music with 60 beats or less. Calm exercise, food, sunshine, friendships, art. Lack of serotonin causes depression. Feel-good chemicals.
Dopamine...Music with 90 beats or more. Intense exercise. Chocolate. Love. Sex. Conquering our enemies (sports). Bullying. Violent video games. Addictions (alcohol, nicotine or other drugs).
Stress response is designed for emergencies. Moderate anxiety produces optimal performance. As stress increases, performance initially rises and then declines. Alert! Stress response (cortisol) Distress (cortisol and adrenaline
1. The UPS Guy...Hippocampus...the memory maker ...can find short term memories...can track important long term memories...forgets things that don't matter...chronic stress makes the hippocampus smaller in size...fully developed at about age 2
2. Palace Guard....Amygdala...the emotional center...protects us and keeps us out of danger...creates emotional memories...fully developed at birth...becomes overactive with chronic stress...part of the brain that rules a child's brain.
3. Brooklyn Bridge...corpus callosum...connects the two hemispheres of the brain...women can multitask (toggle between activities) more easily than men...facilitates integration of right and left hemisphere functions...
4. Learning to drive...Frontal Lobes...Executive system of the brain...a work in progress until we are 25...control judgement, insight, impulse control, understanding the consequences of our behaviors, organization, time orientation, reading social cues, goal achievement, learning from mistakes. Knowing that children are still developing this part of the brain can help in dealing with them and the choices they make.
Social reorganization (social stress) is bad for our brains. We need a sense of stability and home.
What we can do about stress...Neurogenesis is the birth of new brain cells. Enhanced by: exercise, complex environments, new learning, nutrition, low stress. Reduced by: distress, inactivity, boredom, depression, poor nutrition. After 35, your brain no longer produces more neurons than die off. We have to work to produce more neurons. Provide outlets for ourselves. Increase predictability and control in our environment. Encourage social supports. Giving has only pros, no cons.
Action plan for me...I can stop staying up late at night. I can start meditating, stretching, walking or doing yoga daily. If you want to learn, review the new info 24 hours, 3 days, 7 days later.