My purpose in coming to this conference was to learn some new tricks for our System and for our member libraries. Here are the highlights of my first day at conference
Two speakers really wowed me Monday morning. The first was Michael Stephens from Dominican University and the author of the tametheweb.com blog. He really pushed to the audience that Web 2.0 created many offspring. Two of these offspring are Library 2.0 and Librarian 2.0. For those of us who are Librarian 2.0, we are embracing our patrons and making them the center of our planning. We are also the trendsetters and not the followers. For Library 2.0, Michael gave the following rules that all public libraries should follow:
1. LetÂs expand our brand.
2. Break down the barriers. Here he was talking about policies that prevent our users from experiencing all we have to offer in public libraries.
3. Go where the users areÂ
4. Adopt a 2.0 philosophy. We need the ideals of the masses..
5. Its about experience and play. Its okay to fun to do what we do.
6. Create a culture of trust.
The second speaker that wowed me was Helene Blowers, director of Information Technology at The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. Helene and I have a connection in the fact that we serve as board members for the MaintainIT project. It was nice to put a name with a face.
HeleneÂs library has initiated an intensive ÂtrainingÂ program for their staff called Learning 2.0. She stressed that it was not a ÂtrainingÂ program, but a learning one. Their library did nothing to assist their staff in this endeavor other than give structured exercises to learn some Web 2.0 tools. The tools they introduced to their staff included blogging, digital photos, RSS, tagging, wikis and podcasts. Each week, the staff had to learn a Web 2.0 tools. When the staff member was done with the learning, they received a MP3 player with a chance to win a brand new laptop. She called the prizes her carrots. The program had three objectives:
1. Introduce staff to new technology.
2. Encourage staff to take responsibility for their learning.
3. Reward the staff for taking the initiative to complete the exercises.
I found the new twist to CE very interesting. It put more of the responsibility of the learning in the hands of the staff so they took more ownership of their own training. I can actually envision having them come to NTRLS to teach us how they put together this innovative program so we can use it in our own libraries.
If anything, I believe I am going to explore putting together an online course for member libraries to use to help their staff learn the new Web 2.0 tools.
Monday afternoon was highlighted by a session led by Sara Houghton of the San Mateo County Library. Sara writes the Librarian in Black blog, which is one of the best on the web because of the original content she posts. Her session was by far the best of the day. She gave advice on how to reach patrons online and it was great advice. I think all libraries should follow her advice and start to reach out to their online patrons. She gave a 20 item checklist.
1. Ensure you are findable in the major search engines.
2. Make sure you are listed in the library directories.
3. List your library in Wikipedia.
4. Make sure you are listed in Wikimapia.
5. List your library events and services in local community websites and calendars.
6. Ensure that your library has a presence on local government, school and community websites.
7. Monitor local blogs, technology boards, CE boards and other forums.
8. Create a profile for your library in social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook.
9. Offer assistance via Instant Messaging.
10. List your library in free WiFi directories.
11. Check reviews olibraryr libary on social review sites.
12. List your library's blog on geography blog search engine.
13. Are your items listed in Worldcat?
14. Make sure you are on Local Google.
15. Push out newsletters via RSS and email.
16. Consider being present in Second Life and other online game environments.
17. List your staff as experts in various free expert-finding tools.
18. Make your audio and video findable.
19. Make sure you library blog is in blog search engines.
20. Subscribe to feeds to find discussions about your library.
Other highlights of the first day:
- Mystery Writer J.A. Janice gave the opening keynote. She talked about how she writes and where she gets her inspiration. Apparently, if you make her mad, you will end up in one of her books as the bad guy. Also, she sang two songs for us. A first for me.
- I received a tour of a library created in Second Life. Second Life is online simulation game where you can create an online version of yourself. This is a real library where the virtual people go ask questions of the reference desk and attend programming. Strange as it sounds, this might be one way to reach our patrons online. Fascinating stuff!!!!