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we made a toolbar… revisited

Back in April, I lost my head at CIL2007 when Hal Kirkwood, Purdue University Instruction Coordinator, unleashed the idea of custom toolbars for libraries. He had my attention for about 15 minutes before I was off to the Conduit Web site and building a toolbar for our library (sorry Hal… and thanks for the inspiration!). Our “Toolbar Zero” looked like this:

Skokie Public Library “Toolbar Zero”

Jenn and I have been working on the toolbar since we returned from the conference. Yesterday, our LAN Masters added the new (and much improved!) Skokie Public Library Toolbar to IE7 on all of our library computers:

Skokie Public Library Toolbar

We’ll formally introduce the toolbar to staff early next week, follow with a library-wide Firefox install, and then push public promotion later this month and during September. You won’t easily find the toolbar on our Web site yet, but for a sneak peek on your own computer, jump to http://skokiepubliclibrary.mylibrarytoolbar.com and give it a try!


11 August 2007 Posted by | cil2007, computers in libraries, library 2.0, progress, tools | 1 Comment

first steps

At her CiL2007 session on Accelerated Planning, Rebecca Jones defined a stakeholder as any person who can offer a “stake of support or a stake in the heart.” I like this definition. It’s visual, easy to remember, and keeps me mindful of who needs to be first on board our library’s L.2 dreamboat as we paddle toward success.

Jenn and I had a great meeting with a few of those stakeholders this week. They are supportive, enthusiastic, and they crack a few big smiles when we explain how our project plans will benefit the library and help meet its goals for the coming year. Some of this is new to them, so Jenn and I do our best to describe things like toolbar customization, portal pages, feeds, ‘casts and… Guitar Hero!

Speaking of toolbar customization and portal pages, we’re still working on that, testing features, integrating the design with our Web site, and getting the thing ready for internal playtime later this summer. Jenn and I have run into a couple of walls between what we want the toolbar to do and what the hosting company has it programmed to do. We’ve sustained only minor forehead bruises, but we’ll get through with a few good lunches and some chocolate. And the webmistress is now on board. She knows much more than I about some of the work we need to do to make the toolbar work the way we’d like it to.

But for now, it’s a lovely Saturday in Chicago. iGoogle tells me to expect a high of 89 and maybe rain, so I’d best get on my bike real soon if I want to beat the clouds!

16 June 2007 Posted by | cil2007, computers in libraries, library 2.0, progress | Leave a comment


My brain is so jammed with stuff that I’m having a hard time getting it all out and onto the keyboard. I’ve been working on my CiL conference report and I’m ‘whelmed by all there is to summarize, highlight, propose, and… well… get excited about! Jenn and I have caught up where and when we can to share the contents of our heads, chat about all we want to do, plan lunch at Pita Inn, figure out the best way to get our director on board the L2 dreamboat, and revel in our enthusiasm for all things 2.0.

We’ve been asked to talk about our CiL adventure at tomorrow’s strategic planning meeting. Actually, we were asked by email and then confirmed in a memo before either of has had a chance to reply to the email! I haven’t even been able to write the first paragraph of my summary… how the heck am I going to talk to that group? My junior high school principal is on that committee (he’s the president of our Board of Trustees). Talk about performance anxiety!

I suppose I should get started. But first I’ll check the email, gmail, workmail, voicemail, calendar, weather, horoscope, daily dharma, feeds, facebook, ichat, twitter, and make sure my ipod is charged for the day. Y’all have a good one!

25 April 2007 Posted by | cil2007 | Leave a comment

my next career: straw whistler 2.0

Thank you to David Lee King and his blog readers for jump-starting my next career as a straw whistler. I feel like an emerging rock star!

22 April 2007 Posted by | bar tricks, cil2007 | Leave a comment

I love rock & roll…

Jenny and Aaron celebrated Tax Day with a great preconference about gaming in libraries.

Did I mention that Guitar Hero is on my upcoming birthday gift list? Red, please.

21 April 2007 Posted by | cil2007, gaming in libraries, utopianlibrary | Leave a comment