Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Lifelong Library Experience (L2E)

I have written an featured article on about The Lifelong Library Experience (L2E). Here is snippet:

"As we move into a new age where libraries are evolving, It is essential that the different types of libraries, school, academic and public, come together to continue to offer consistent services to our patrons throughout their lifetimes. I am calling this the Lifelong Library Experience, or L2E for short."

Check it out.

Bedford City Council Meeting

Last night, I attended the Bedford City Council meeting. As you might have heard, the City of Bedford is considering outsourcing the library management to Library Systems and Services, Inc (LSSI). dona weisman, President of the Bedford Public Library Advisory Board, made a statement against privatization. From my conversations with dona and Maria Redburn, Library Director of the Bedford Public Library, this will be the first time that LSSI has taken over an established library that is not in a dire financial crisis. dona mentioned in her statement to the City Council that LSSI would be experimenting with Bedford. dona also mentioned that City would only save .2%($100,000) of the overall City Budget if they outsourced the management of the library. dona also praised the leadership of Maria pointing out the fact that none of the Bedford Public Library staff has left since Bedford was reopened and Maria took the helm. dona related that the advisory board felt it was too risky for the library to be an experiment for LSSI, and she mentioned a fear of a degradation of services and the loss of community if LSSI succeeds in their efforts. The City Council will vote on the measure on January 9, 2007. I plan on being there.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Library Service in Nocona

Yesterday, I visited the Nocona Public Library. Nocona serves a population of 3,230 in Montague County.

The library is decorated for the holidays and is very welcoming and festive. A big children's Christmas party is planned for this Saturday - and the goodies are ready to go.

It is amazing to me to see how much rural libraries provide for their communities. The Library Director, Mary Norman and Alicia Walker, Assistant Librarian, are expanding programs to bring adults and children into the library. They have worked together this last year, to update the collection and create a welcoming atmosphere.

If you are ever in Nocona, stop in and say hello!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lessons Learned from an Infocentre Upgrade

As part of my duties here at NTRLS, I consult with our member libraries on their Integrated Library Systems (ILS). I was at the John Ed Keeter Public Library of Saginaw yesterday assisting them with their migration from Sagebrush Athena to Follett’s Infocentre. Saginaw uses Novell, which was a challenge because Novell is not my primary area of expertise. Here are some lessons learned from the experience.

1. Test, Test, Test. I encouraged Saginaw to set up a test environment before attempting to migrate their “live” system. I did this because if something goes wrong in a test environment, you can easily recover whereas if something happens when migrating a “live” system, it can be devastating.

2. Call, Call again and Call one more time. Follett’s customer service was backed up with phone calls. We called at 11:15 am when we encountered our first issue with the migration. We didn’t hear anything back until after 2 pm and this was after we called them twice more. We, of course, continued to troubleshoot the issue while we waited, but it was still frustrating to have such a poor response time.

3. Download from a faster location if available. Saginaw does not have the fastest Internet connection so I had downloaded some of the required software the night before from my house where my connection is much quicker. Despite this, I still had to spend about an hour downloading some other software. If you have access to a fast connection, I highly recommend you use it.

4. Patience, Patience and more Patience. I hate to report that we never did get it to work correctly. This was actually my second visit to the library to attempt the migration in the test environment. I wanted to try again because Follett released version 2.2 of the Infocentre product. My hope was the newer version would fix whatever was causing the connection failure. We haven’t given up. Follett has upgraded our support request to the next tier and I am going to be on the hunt for a Novell expert who might be able to give us a hand.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Economic Benefit Study Released November 29, 2006

A new study released November 29, 2006 shows that nine public library systems in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Southwest Ohio create an annual economic impact of nearly four times the amount invested in their operations. While this report covers Ohio libraries, much of the resulting information and analysis can be replicated for Texas libraries to determine economic value. The report from Levin, Driscoll & Fleeter in Columbus concludes that, using a conservative measure of value the libraries' cumulative expenditure of about $74 million returned a quantifiable direct economic benefit of $238.6 million, or $3.81 for each dollar expended in 2005. The study also recognizes that these libraries add significant value to their users and communities that cannot be assigned a dollar value including, "improved economic prospects and an enhanced quality of life."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Spanish for Librarians

NTRLS just provided the workshop "Spanish for Librarians" for library staff and volunteers. The instructor, Dr. Maryjane Dunn, the Director of Training at Command Spanish, taught two days of intensive Spanish language verbal drills and exercises. Many attendees commented they were amazed by how many phrases they were able to retain in just two days. This workshop will be repeated at a later date since there is such a demand and seating is limited. Please watch for the flyer (it is anticipated that the workshop will be held in early 2007).

To share a little bit of the knowledge learned, two phrases that we might all find helpful are:
Baje el volumen, por favor. (Lower your voice, please.)
No hablo mucho español, pero trataré de ayudar. (I don't speak much Spanish, but I will try to help.)

TALL Texans Leadership Institute

Texas Library Association is seeking candidates for the 2007 TALL Texans Leadership Institute.

The TALL Texans Institute is a week-long intensive workshop on leadership and management in the library profession. This transformational program is intended to enhance leadership skills in diverse participants. Many librarians have found that this program has changed their careers in profoundly positive ways.

Topics covered include * Improving your effectiveness as a leader * Key components for effective communication * Understanding personal power *
* Styles of influence * Process for making risky decisions * Diagnosing sources of conflict and disagreement * Negotiating skills *
* Principles and Practices of working in collaboration * Leading effective teams * Appreciative Inquiry: an innovative approach to change *
* Coaching and mentoring * Developing commitment to change * Planning your development

The seminar is taught by Maureen Sullivan and Jack Siggins.

Maureen Sullivan is on the faculty of the annual ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute and is a professor of practice in the new Ph.D./Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions program at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. She received her MLS degree from the University of Maryland.
Jack Siggins is the University Librarian the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. His career in academic and research libraries has included positions at the Library of Congress, the University of Chicago, the University of Maryland, Yale University. He is a graduate of Princeton University with a B.A. degree in Romance Languages. He also holds advanced degrees from American University and the University of Chicago.

The course will be held at Highland Lakes Camp, approximately 35 miles west of Austin within Pace Bend Park. Participants will stay in dormitory rooms on site and all meals are included in the cost of registration. TLA members are encouraged to seek financial support from their employers and TLA units to cover the costs of the workshop.

To apply for candidacy to the TALL Institute, please complete an online application form before January 2, 2007, at

Applications will be reviewed by the TLA Leadership Development Selection Subcommittee. Most participants will be required to have 5 years of professional experience, current employment in the library field, and membership in the Texas Library Association by the date that applications are reviewed (please see application instructions for details).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Job Search Site

SimplyHired, a search engine focused on employment launches Resume Post, which allows job seekers to instantly post their resumes to 5 major job boards, including Monster, Career Builder and

These two resume posting services will help you to increase your visibility among the companies hiring for the jobs you want most. Before Simply Hired, you'd have to visit different sites one by one to post your resume. And each site would require you to enter your resume in a different format. Now, with our new resume posting services, you don't need to visit a dozen different sites to get the job done. We'll submit your resume to multiple job boards at once to help you on your hunt for the ideal "new gig".

Simply Hired is a great resource for job seekers using your library's computers.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Free Subscription to Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online

In the November 20th issue of Library Hotline, Disney announces that public libraries can receive a free subscription to Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online.

"The ad-free, interactive learning program for preschoolers offers story-driven games and activities focusing on building skills in letter and number recognition, shape and color identification, and counting." (Library Hotline, 11/16/2006, p.5)

Email to receive a welcome kit.