Casual Conversations

Found via Beyond the Job:

A new series of free online OPAL ( events is about to get underway. As the series name implies, these "Casual Conversations" will be one-hour informal conversations with librarians. Everyone in the world is welcome to participate. There is no need to register. Just show up online, listen, text chat, and talk if you want.

Watch for more information about these upcoming Casual Conversations:

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007: Meredith Farkas
Friday, Jan. 18, 2008: Curtis Rogers
Friday, Feb. 8, 2008: Lori Bell
Friday, Feb. 15, 2008: Michelle Boule
Friday, March 28, 2008: Marshall Breeding
Friday, April 11, 2008: Jenny Levine
Friday, May 16, 2008: Stephen Abram
Friday, June 6, 2008: Michael Stephens

Learn more at Beyond the Job or on the OPAL Calendar.

More on Google Presentations

I mentioned how nifty Google Presentations was a couple of weeks ago, but last night I found a flaw. I was on a conference call with a few colleagues who I’ll be presenting with later this month and we were using this tool to edit our presentation. One of the people on the phone wanted to send us a link so he posted it in the chat window attached to the presentation when you’re playing it – but we couldn’t click or copy this link. In the end we had to type it out the old fashioned way – but that seems like a bit of a downside if you’re using this tool to host a webinar of sorts.

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Free Webcast: Understanding Users

There is a SirsiDynix Institute that sounds pretty interesting on the 2nd of October. I have an appointment in the AM, so I probably won’t be able to attend :( , but you can:

At the Elbow: Understanding Users’ Perception of Process and Effort
Presented by: Ulla de Stricker "”Consultant, de Stricker Associates
Date : Oct 02, 2007
Start Time : 11 a.m. Eastern

A key step in designing any user oriented service is recognizing the fact that people are careful investors of their time. When clients perceive a process to be too lengthy or cumbersome in relation to the benefit it produces, they will generally ignore it or seek an easier or faster alternative. Therefore, it is essential that we “sit at their elbows” to gain a detailed understanding of the activities they perform in their work and how they experience “us” (or not!). Whether we are constructing intranets or supporting research, we need to know when and where we ought to “pop up” to make them an offer they can’t refuse – because it meets an immediate requirement, because it is effortless, and because the investment of time pays off for them.

I’ve heard Ulla give another webcast in the past and it was well worth the listen. I’ll be waiting for the archived podcast to be posted!

Writing for the Library Profession

Sirsi is having a webinar in July with a focus on publishing for library professionals.  I’ve been very pleased with previous SirsiDynix Institutes, so if you’re interested in learning about publishing for your profession, make the time to attend.

Writing for the Library Profession

Date : Jul 10, 2007
Start Time : 11 a.m. Eastern
Length : 01:00:00

Do you want to inform and influence your colleagues?  Do you have a story to tell?  Have you done something innovative that delighted your users?  We don’t have a paucity of ideas and innovation in libraryland, we do have a problem with diffusion.   We need to share our ideas and experiences more.   From blog postings, to periodical and newsletter articles to website content and even to books library staff are increasingly being asked to write.  With the dynamic and rapid change happening in our sector, we have an increasing obligation to share our knowledge and experiences.  It’s an exciting time to be in libraries.

Registration is free – but you do have to register in order to attend.

David Weinberger on OPAL

I found this on the OPAL list of events today (which hasn’t had much of interest to me lately) and wanted to make sure you didn’t all miss it!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time,
1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 6:00 p.m. GMT

Interview with David Weinberger, Author of Everything is Miscellaneous

David Weinberger will be discussing his new book, Everything is Miscellaneous, in which he explores how the new principles of disorder are remaking society, culture, education, business, media, politics, and–perhaps most importantly–libraries. This is the book that Karen Schneider described in the ALA TechSource Blog as “…dangerous. [It] takes all the precious ideas we are taught as librarians and throws them out the window.” The dedication of the book, by the way, is “To the librarians.” Weinberger, one of the co-authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto, is a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and holds a doctorate in philosophy.

Sponsor: TAP Information Services

Wish I was there!

Over at LibrarianInBlack there is a summary of Stephen Abram’s Keynote at CLA 2006. There is so much I want to quote! I wish I was there!

Stephen talked about anegnosis–that we don’t want to admit that things are changing, a resistance to new knowledge. He talked about the fact that we need to focus on the overall user experience with our online resources. Our comfort with the catalog doesn’t matter. The users’ comfort does matter. ….

He quoted Karen Schneider’s famous line: “The user is not broken.” We are trying to turn our users into little librarians. We should not market “information literacy” — we are calling users illiterate before they come to us for help. That does not begin that person’s experience in a good way. Over 40% of online users create their own content for the web. They are online. Where are we?

The talk goes on about how libraries need to be out there mixing with the public where they are – and right now that’s on the Internet. I’m actually reading some interesting articles for class on this – hopefully I’ll get a minute to share my thoughts with you all.

For now, hear more from Stephen Abram in today’s SirsiDynix Webinar:

25 Technologies in 50 Minutes
Nov 14, 2006 – 11am – 12pm
Lots of technologies are due consideration for our library portals. Which would be on your top 25 list? We can’t do it all at once but we should be trying more than a few out to learn about them. Stephen Abram, SirsiDynix’s Vice President of Innovation lists a technology application every 120 seconds in this roller coaster ride of what’s out there in LibraryLand and which one’s are worth playing with and seeing if they’ll be useful to your library and your community of users.

I’ll be logged in at Jenkins Law Library along with my colleagues and a few visitors from the Greater Philadelphia Law Library Association (GPLLA).

Conflict Management

I just attended an amazing webinar hosted by the SirsiDynix Institute on Library Conflict Management. The presenter was Pat Wagner of Pattern Research – amazing speaker – website could use some work (sorry Pat).

This was the first webinar I had attended with 400 people in it! We did some surveys at the beginning to see what we were there and most of the people were there to learn how to improve their library’s culture. Pat started by explaining the difference between healthy and unhealthy conflict and then went into the 3 part cure and the 10 symptoms of unhealthy conflict. They are:

  1. Bitterness
    these people are stuck in the past and hold grudges. The cure is to leave your job and look for something else – but remember to leave your bitterness behind you
  2. Stopped Learning
    You all know where I stand on this one – never stop learning!! This is the kind of person who exempts themselves from classes and has no new goals. The cure? Update their job description to include required education and make them accountable for their actions.
  3. Stopped Contributing
    This goes hand in hand with #2 – This person only wants to do rote work and doesn’t seek out new tasks. How do you know if you’re this type of person? Can you write an entire resume out of what you have accomplished in your job over the last 3 to 5 years? The cure? Same as #2.
  4. Emotional Chaos
    This person is going through some sort of personal crisis (family, drugs, grief, etc) and everyone finds themselves walking on eggshells around that person. The cure – leave or at least don’t let them supervise others. This person is going to take their personal lives out on others (I know I’ve seen and lived through it).
  5. Values Violated
    This person has been asked to lie or witness a lie and asked not to say anything about it. This person may also feel that the libraries values have changed in a way they aren’t comfortable with. The cure? Change things, endure, or leave.
  6. Health Issues
    This person has aches and pains, can’t seem to get over the common cold – and there is nothing medically wrong with them. These symptoms are caused by stress. The cure? Provide limits and stress management training.
  7. Codependence
    This person is the rescuer, the mom figure, believes “this place will fall apart” without them. The cure? Flee, Flee, Flee – this is not a healthy environment for you – start over and change your role.
  8. Loss of Respect
    This person has developed a “benign contempt” for the people they work with, they no longer respect their colleagues or supervisors. They will make complaints to strangers about their work environment. The cure? Find a new job – why work where you don’t respect those around you?
  9. Career Inheritance
    This person got their job (or expects a promotion) due to longevity and spends their time waiting instead of working. The cure? Create a career plan for yourself with deadlines, if you’re not meeting those deadlines, it’s time to move on.
  10. No Consequences
    No one in this work place is ever fired or disciplined, no one is praised or rewarded, there are no evaluations or accountability. The cure? Change all of those things! Promote responsibility in the work place.

WOW! What a great list! And a great presentation watch the archives for the podcast and materials if you weren’t able to attend, because like I said, Pat is a great speaker and she didn’t lose my attention even once!

All Day Event

So this morning I got into work to find that I couldn’t open any of the files on our Intranet! Uh Oh!! The problem is that I get to work at 7:30am and the IT staff doesn’t arrive until 9am or later. So I twiddled my thumbs and read some blog posts. Turns out that one of the hard drives died – on our NEW server!! Anyway, when I left work the machine was still dead.

But the day wasn’t all bad. I spent the rest of the day in the Alliance Library System Online Innovation Institute Library 2.0 Extravaganza! Michael Stephens gave 4 great webinars on new technologies and how libraries can take advantage of them. I had to go in and out of the room, but we have 10 people from area libraries come and watch the webinar with us – so that was great!

I will put a link up to the presentations and podcasts once they’re available.

Great Webinar

Today I attended Weblogs & Libraries: Communication, Conversation, and the Blog People presented by Michael Stephens. Even though I got in late (there was a class in the room we were using) and had to leave early (for my own blog presentation) I was glad I attended. I can’t wait for the archived file to show up so that I can hear the parts I missed.