Monday, November 30, 2009

Computers in Libraries: Here We Come!

In a bout of fabulous good news, I got an email from Jane Dysart today confirming a speaking gig Mary Chimato & I pitched for the Computers in Libraries 2010 conference. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 14th - we'll be presenting on Track E (Learning: Expanding our Knowledge) at 10:30am. Description of Track and of our preso slot below:

Track E - Learning: Expanding our Knowledge

It's critical for library staff and library patrons to be life-long learners, gaining new understanding and new skills. This track focuses on ways of engaging staff and users in learning activities, leveraging technologies and exciting their minds. Moderated by Jill Hurst-Wahl, Hurst Associates.


E301 Staff Development: Soft Skills, Firm Results

Janie Hermann, Program Coordinator, Princeton Public Library

Colleen Harris, Associate Head, Access & Delivery Services and Mary Chimato, Head, Access & Delivery Services, North Carolina State University Libraries

What does it take to create information fluency in library staff in an increasingly technological environment? How do we best blend the so-called "soft" skills such as teamwork, active listening, and decision-making with the "hard" technical skills expected of today's library staff when we have to train across boundaries of race, gender, age and technical agility? Hermann looks at how, despite diminishing budgets, to hold innovative Staff Development Days and offer other staff development opportunities throughout the year that actively teach technology and other important skills while engaging all staff in the learning process. Harris and Chimato discuss the managerial skills necessary for library staff who must adapt to rapidly changing technologies, and how to help your staff develop and maintain the technical skills your library needs to keep its competitive edge.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Passing Thoughts

Random thoughts with little (or no) connection to anything. because this is the internet, and I can do stuff like this.

  • I checked a Kindle (original version, not DX) out from the NCSU Libraries and took it with me to Louisville. As a booklover, I was skeptical, but it was actually quite nifty to not have to pack 14 paperbacks with me for my traveling and multiple flights. I can see checking out the Kindle when I do some traveling, but at home I found I still prefer an actual page-turny book. Still, it was a nice test drive. Not yet willing to blow a few hundred bucks on it, but I now understand the attraction better.

  • Deciding between doing what makes you happy and doing what makes you a responsible adult is difficult. Even more difficult? Debating with yourself about what makes you happy. And then trying to figure out if you're willing to take the leaps to make that happy happen... /mindboggle

  • We don't give managers enough credit. If I had known how mentally and emotionally exhausting it was to manage people, I'd've brought my old bosses cookies on a regular basis, and wouldn't have been so flip about criticizing their decisions. (Well, maybe I would have been, but I'd have added more compassion.)

  • My favorite current commercial: the Geico talking pothole commercial. "I don't HAVE a cellphone! 'Cause, I'm a pothole?" *snicker*

  • You know the old "If a tree falls in the forest..." question. But, if a library service disappears, and nobody notices it, was it a service at all? If a book is written and nobody reads it, does it count?

  • I just finished the latest degree (MFA in Writing), and start the next (MS in Technical Communication) in January 2010. I then found myself coveting the JD, and have an acceptance letter into an EdD in Higher Education Administration program. I am also noticing that I haven't really been thinking about what I'd *do* with all of these, just that I like the comfort of letters after my name. It makes it look like I know what I'm talking about.

  • I wonder if having pets helps us expand our natural compassion-reservoirs for other humans, or if the patience we exhibit with our furbabies helps us be more patient with other people. if so, I may need another dog *grin*

  • Lots of writing to do - I have four book chapters due with varying deadlines but none later than March 31, 2010, and a book contract with a finished manuscript deadline of July. And I have two poetry manuscripts I want to polish off and start sending out - one with a deadline of February and the other with a May deadline (both self-imposed).

  • Super-random: the smell of mint makes me happy. Peppermint and spearmint. It relaxes me. If you spritz me with mint, I may well fall asleep where I stand. But I'd do it with a smile on my face. (Oddly enough, the Moonlight Sonata has a similar effect on me.)

  • A month or two away from buying a new desktop. The wee little lappy just doesn't get me into the writing zone.

  • The colder it gets, the more attractive the Snuggie becomes. I would love one in a black and white moo-cow print. I adore cows. And moose. But I doubt there's a moose Snuggie in the works. I would like to break the bun-wearing librarian stereotype and become the Snuggie-wearing librarian.

  • This ends the randomness for today. I'm stretching some unused bloggy muscles *grin*

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why I Do What I Do

Because students like NCSU's Jake Goldbas write student newspaper articles like this, in the North Carolina State University student paper, The Technician.

Because when he says, "In fact, every time I have been to the library, I’ve made my life better. I don’t think I can say that about any other place I’ve been to", it means I, my staff, and my colleagues are doing it right. And it gives me the energy to come back and keep doing it.

Thanks, Jake. This is the nicest thing I've read all month *grin*.