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four habits of highly effective… libraries

I read a worthwhile article yesterday about a few habits that could make it easier for library staff to work together more effectively. It was a timely article, as earlier this week I chatted with one of our library technology committees about L2.0 training for staff, how our natural human responses to change might effect the process, and what we can do to ease transitions.

I’m not a librarian and I’ve never played one on TV. I’m a technology coordinator. I work with librarians. I also work with other people who are not librarians. It takes all of us to bring our libraries to life and to bring life into our libraries. So I always read these “librarian” articles from a universal “we” perspective. And that’s how I read Todd Gilman’s “Four Habits of Highly Effective Librarians.” Change happens through all of us; it does not rest solely on the shoulders of the staff we call “librarians.” We can all ease our way through change with if we practice the habits that Gilman recommends:

  • Openness. Listen to each other, even if new ideas seem challenging at first.
  • Responsiveness. Act on what we’ve heard. Experiment with new ideas.
  • Collaboration. Let’s work together! We can use 2.0 tools like blogs, wikis, and social networking to connect and share our work and resources.
  • Communication. Keep it open, ongoing, and timely. We all appreciate being kept in the loop.

Now that I have David Bowie’s “Changes” going through my head, let’s flash back to 2003 and enjoy a video.


27 May 2007 Posted by | change, libraries, library 2.0, progress | Leave a comment

2.0 humor

Go to gapingvoid.com… now!I haven’t a clue how I got here, but I spent the sunrise poking around Hugh MacLeod’s gapingvoid blog. MacLeod is a marketing strategist who takes a Web 2.0 approach to winemaking at a South African vineyard. He also works with Microsoft on the Blue Monster cartoon series.

I had a few good laughs with MacLeod’s “cartoons drawn on the back of business cards.” There’s some great 2.0 humor here (and enough discussion about implementation and change to make me look like I’m working productively).

Hmmm… those blogcards could be fun…

22 May 2007 Posted by | play, sites we like, web 2.0 | Leave a comment

I love freeware!

I’m home with the stomach flu today. Inbetween ginger ales, naps, and visits to the porcelain parlor, I checked out today’s feed from the folks at FreeMacWare.com. I love freeware… especially Mac freeware. Don’t screw up that nose or roll those eyes at the “Mac” reference… today’s gem is available for Windows, too.

If you haven’t already checked out Scratch, it’s worth a look. Scratch makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art and share creations on the Web. It was designed to help users ages ages 8+ develop 21st century learning skills. A Support page includes online video tutorials, help screens, and FAQs; a downloadable reference guide, getting started doc, and “scratch cards” for learning new code.

Scratch is available gratis from the “Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.” You’ll need to register to get to the download link. No biggie. I got by with only an email address.

So? What do you want to Scratch today?

18 May 2007 Posted by | freeware, learning, software, tools | Leave a comment

Pew Internet quiz: what’s your type?

I’m still catching up on my email from vacation. One of the goodies I found was the Pew Internet report, A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users, and an accompanying quiz to help me figure out my technology type. I’m an omnivore! According to Pew, omnivores make up 8 percent of the American public and “use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones.” We’re “highly engaged with video online and digital content” and creative participants in cyberspace.

Go ahead… take the quiz and tell us your type!

15 May 2007 Posted by | internet, research | 17 Comments

Illinois “day of unity”

In a press release issued on May 8, the Illinois Library Association‘s Public Policy Committee announced a “Day of Unity” on Monday, May 14. The ILA is encouraging libraries throughout the state to demonstrate opposition to House Bill 1727, the mandatory public and school library Internet filter legislation, by taking some constructive and creative action:

  • Speak up to our legislators. Call, write, fax, do it all.
  • Turn of the Internet and explain to patrons what will happen if HB1727 becomes law.
  • Install a demonstration filter and show patrons how it blocks access to legitimate information.
  • Crank up existing filters to their highest settings so patrons can experience the effects of full-blown filtering.

If you live in Illinois, contact your state legislators and tell them that HB1727 should not be passed. Even if you don’t live in Illinois, please support our intellectual freedom and share your thoughts with our state officials!

10 May 2007 Posted by | computers in libraries, legislation, libraries, sad realities | Leave a comment