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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Internet Librarian 2010: fail! Learn! Share!

Sarah houghton-Jan, Kim Silk, Beth Gallaway, Andrew Shuping, Margaret Hazel, Jeff Scott,

6 presenters, 1 winner of suckitude. panel discussing library initiative failures.

Beth Galloway. Failed at game design. Cartoon nNetwork has game creation area online. Required fast connection and lots of computer memory. Week two is game design called scratch. Correspondence to highlight stringent systerequirements, scratch needed to be downloaded. Computers reset with deep freeze, new it person on vacation, deep freeze ran right before game design program. Offered low-tech icebreakers and a powerpoint presentation. Talk to IT person directly was lesson learned, as well as having laptops available in case desktops fail. Flexibility and stretching low-tech and no tech elements like game design via index cards. Week two on scratch, teenagers like to make shooting games. Librarian didn't know how to make a shooting game, only collecting. Jumping and shooting involves animation and gravity. Had two hours, dozen kids, different levels of difficulty. Needed to spell out kind of game would be making. Lack of communication, delays, not delivering what users actually wanted.

Margaret Hazel: Eugene, OR. Town of 150,000. City manager wanted to consolidate websites to one portal, publicly funded money. City manager, city public info team didn't know anything about websites in charge of project, city info services who were internally focused, ci. Web coordinators with no. Power and lots of responsibility. Involved librarian. And ils manager. The project failed, but some felt it didn't. Bought portal project, didn't go down often, but did it measure up? You couldn't find anything. Search engine terrible, design was busy, no public involvement until after project was done and public hated it, and city staff didn't use the website. No scope set, no governance team, no review of resources to support complex product, people creating content had no authority. No training for future learning budget and organizational relationships shot by end of project. Directive from top with no input. Live in 2005, there was never a debrief. Now in the process of buying a new portal because this one was sunsetted by Oracle. Personal failures included trying to take on all responsibility for the library, playing Atlas, no staff buy-in because they weren't involved, and passion for doing it right made it feel like a failure. Personal failure for ranting and crying during a meeting felt like it set back her credibility. Don't sell self Horton, organize what you say and back it up with data, take risks,

Jeff Scott - 2004, acting director for public library working on clipboard system. Capital improvement project. Decided to go with open source product to auto boot people after x minutes. Three months on project developing and installing. Lasted five minutes. Until it slowed and stopped machines. Deputy city manager killed the project right there. Lessons learned: didn't ask right questions about the project, no successes, no formal rfp porcess, no other places had implemented successfully. Get details and be specific. Bookmachine project, discovered not 100k but 140k, and then ndiscoved other users had issues with the technology. Who implemented? What happened? Did they like it? Gathernodust.blogspot.com

Andrew Shuping: Learning commons failure. Library liked idea of learning commons, buzzword, popular. Summer 2009. Made interlibrary loan, emerging tech, and commons lib. No money, no building, no space, no overarching goal. Admin. Without clear concept of learning commons, after the fact feedback. No one could agree what a learning commons was. No clear reporting or organization lines. Too much change at one time. Staff turnover created issues with staffing in the middle of the project. Started July with classes beginning august 24th. No clear communication, reporting or organization. People hung up on tradition. Difficult to talk to partners because trying to meet with stakeholders individually. Having an idea and calling it that doesn't make it reality. Need definition, vision alone doesn't get things done.

Kim Silk: academic research at u of Toronto. Less bureaucracy than larger places. Geoprosperity discussion, boss said we have three or four terabytes of data and i don't know where anything is. So Kim has been trying to solve this. Purchased server with six tb and room for more. In data, docs, excel, raw data, gis shape files, maps video, audio, stats programs, etc. Tried data repository, dspace, confluence, blogs, share point, mediawiki. They have share point, not happy with it. Good for docs and Microsoft, but she is in Mac, Linux, pc. iT team is mandated Microsoft house. Has a Linux box off craigslist, but can never be public facing. Problem because has researchers Locally and around the world and can't acquire that data. Need to be able to get researchers their data in a secure manner. Supportive manager with a background in info systems and geography.

sandra Stewart: Sharepoint fail. Coming from a manager position, not an IT position. 2007, san jose public library has relationship wih san Jose state u. Not one but two large bureaucracies, two libraries, two different missions, etc. End of 2007, share point so folks could collaborate without attachments in email. Requires a lot of backend support, very expensive. Difficult to get staff going with learning share point. When got okay to use share point (was not part of pilot rollout) in nov 2008, forced staff to use share point by taking away their paper calendars. She was a bully. Put items on paper calendar into share point. Two years later, some staff still do. Not know how to use share point. Always let early adopters in first since they are your cheerleaders and can get people excited. Training is essential, can't stop training, there were three sets of training in beginning, and then only online. People need in person training. Must require they use it, cant give them an alternative or they will use alternative. What can everyone do? Their timecard! Once they use it, recognize it as a tool, even for all of it's faults.

Who sucked worst? Margaret wins at failing!

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