Wednesday, December 17, 2008
and Physically Handicapped (WRLBPH) announced today that Meredith Wittmann has been
named Regional Librarian. She will begin her new duties on January 5, 2009.
Wittmann, a native Milwaukeean who grew up in Cudahy, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Library and Information Science. She came to MPL in June 2007 from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) library. Wittmann has been the outreach librarian for WRLBPH since March 2008.
Wittmann replaces Marsha Valance, who retires from WRLBPH and MPL after 19 years of service on December 30.
Under a contract with the State Department of Public Instruction, MPL administers the WRLBPH, which provides services statewide to those who are blind, visually impaired or physically challenged to hold a book. WRLBPH services are free and require a doctor’s certification.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Poler is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at Wisconsin, which first offered matching scholarships to Spectrum recipients in its graduate program in library and information studies in 1998. Wisconsin has supported past scholars in varying ways including: tuition wavers, conference support, special campus support and recognition as Spectrum scholars in the university’s publications.
Poler is a Mole Lake Sokaogon Ojibwe tribal member, who grew up in a small Anishinaabe community in northeastern Wisconsin’s Forest County. He graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in History. Poler hopes to combine an interest in academic librarianship with American Indian history and language––specifically in the service of Wisconsin’s various American Indian communities. He hopes to build skills to facilitate the communities’ ability to use information sources.
Wisconsin’s School of Library and Information Studies matching funds provide Spectrum Scholars with adequate financial assistance to pursue and finish their studies. Its effort to attract Spectrum Scholars demonstrates the importance of diversity as a value to the university.
For more information about the Spectrum Scholarship program, go to http://ala.org/spectrum/. More information about UW-Madison SLIS can be found at http://www.slis.wisc.edu/.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Conference proposal forms can be found on the 2009 WAPL Conference Site and should be sent to Mary Dunn (email@example.com).
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Thanks for all who competed for ending my (and many others) 2008 WLA conference on a fun note.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I encourage those who haven't read the Beginnings Report to do so because there is so much more detail in that report than I could provide this is blog report on the session. I will provide you with the basics and some of the reactions in the session.
Vision for the Future of Wisconsin Libraries
Wisconsin libraries sustain educational development and economic prosperity by:
- offering rich opportunities for individual development
- teaching literacies to succeed in today's knowledge-based economy
- serving as the "anchor store" for community development
- preserving our cultural heritage
- Access to educational, informational, health, economic and workforce development resources that strengthen families and communities as well as the "bottom line";
- 21st century literacies and lifelong learning across all populations, cultural groups and economic strata;
- Libraries of all types as information and problem solving centers of every community;
- Universal and free access to information to help close the digital divide;
- Librarians who are passionate and engaged deeply with their communities;
- Partnerships in sharing resources and information across communities;
- Librarians who are politically aware and involved - in touch with stakeholders and constituents, advocating to policy makers.
- One card - any library
- Robust Bandwidth
- Libraries as "anchor store"
- Universal literacies in all forms
- Embedded librarians
- Strategic communication
- Professional Development
The One Card - any library direction was favorable received though there was a concern about smaller libraries not losing their identity if there was just one card design. There where a few other issues about implementation of this, but we were reminded that this is what we want to achieve in the future, that it is something to work towards, and it is understood that it won't happen over night. One participant likened it to having a Visa card for different banks, but accepted and processed worldwide.
The strategic direction regarding libraries as anchor stores was also talked about in some length, with one participant suggesting that it should be "the library is the heart of the community." Someone else suggested that anchor store can also mean that the library is a place where information is housed and not necessarily about selling things.
It was nice to see so many people, from different libraries and years of experience, giving their input and reaction. As one person noted she was renewed knowing so many cared about the future. Again, I encourage you to read the full report for yourself and to share any comments you may have on the COLAND Visioning Summit blog at http://blog.uwgb.edu/coland.
The UW Libraries digital collection is comprised of 16 different collections, 35,000 objects that include photos (slides, prints, negatives), maps and text (yearbooks, monographs, manuscripts).
Strategies in Collection Building:
- Single source collections
- an entire collection is converted
- works better with small collections
- Selected by format
- such as all maps or all photos
- tip: if you are digitizing photos you might not to do everyone of them if there are photos that very similar
- because this way makes sense it is often the chosen method
- Hybrid projects
- item are selected from several source collections
- multiple formats integrated into one collection
- this method is most popular with the user because it is based on a topic
- overcomes geographic and time boundaries
- allows for access to rare collections
- enables access to inaccessible formats such as film negatives
- New ways of interaction with digital objects
- full text searching
- enhanced viewing
- Preservation reformatting
- reduction in handling of fragile or rare materials
- preserving the content of deteriorating analog formats
- Provide an intellectual framework
- geographic location
- Expand intellectual control
- provide description of visual resources
- assign subject terms
- gather related images by categories
- offer new pathways in resource discovery
- Bring together disperse materials
- Integrate multiple formats
- provided a description of the item
- point to related resources
- Is digitization just a conversion process?
- Provide new sources for humanities scholarship
- Bring together disperse materials
- Expand intellectual control and enable findability
- Explore the potential of digital libraries
- Address the information seeking behavior and learning styles of a digital generation
- Create a new model for assisting and engaging users
- Digital libraries tend to decontextualize information
- Design of digital library systems
- Balance between authority and user-oriented environment
- Acceptance of users' active role and input
- Collaboration with teachers, faculty, and subject experts
Peggy was very kind to provide WLA with a PDF of her handout, so if you were unable to attend the session you can find a good deal of the information she presented to us online at: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/conferences/2008/postconf/documents/BARBER_Marketing_TeamSport_11.6.08.pdf
I will just provide a few of the added tips that she gave to those in attendance.
One of the key items that was talked about in the session was the communication plan. This plan should be a couple of page long and should plan for no more than a year out. The plan should consist of the following:
- how does the communication plan relate to the strategic plan?
- the dream, this can just be one big goal
- should measurable/doable. Again start with a one year plan so that you can achieve your goal.
- Positioning statement
- this is your unique selling proposition, for example "our library combine big city service with small town friendliness. This is the point where you can begin to develop your brand.
- Key message
- what is the most important thing you want people to know about your library?
- Target audiences
- who needs to hear the message?
- make sure that entire staff can talk about the message
- Communication strategies
- How will you deliver the message to your audiences?
- don't wait for the year to end, evaluate as you go.
- the entire staff should participate in this step as well
Bill started off reviewing what an ERMs (Electronic Resource Managment Systems) is and they can do for you:
- Provide contact information when a product is down.
- Help you keep track of what e-resources will be up for renewal.
- Help you to forecast e-resources expenditures for the next year.
- Provide you with cost over time for a product
Access ERM will allow you to:
- Retrieve information by
- vendor /contacts
- database /cost history
- alternate access
- problems with the database
- Reports for
- renewals for a date range
- year to year price comparison
- payments for the e-resource
- database uses for a fiscal year
Music was provided by the fabulous Mississippi Blue -- the talented David Polodna and Mike Obmascher playing great tunes of their own plus covers of some old favorites. I especially enjoyed hearing "Pocahontas," an old Neil Young song that no one remembers except me and Mississippi Blue.
Thanks to the Foundation, the sponsors of the event, and all the fun folks who played.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
This, standing room only, session was a started off my the moderator Anna Lewis who asked the panel to share how participants ended up in the leadership roles they are in today and what the best piece of advice they were given. While their career paths are interesting, all English majors turned librarians, I won't take space here for that, but rather share the advice they were given.
- Appear to be judicious regardless of how you feel.
- Do a twice daily walk around the building.
- Say "It will be ok."
- Listen to staff more than you talk.
- Lead by example.
- Believe in the good, that people are doing their very best.
- Hire good people.
- Learn to let go - Use the 80/20 rule. Do the 20% that you can't give up, delegate the rest.
- Get involved in the community.
- Be authentic and passionate about your work.
- Try to figure out what the root of the fear is and work on that.
- Bring your enthusiasm to the issue and it will help others deal with the change.
- Remind those at the opposite ends of change that they need to be understand of those at the other end. If someone is pushing for change they should be reminded that some people don't change at the same pace. If someone is fighting change remind them that there are some that have a desire to try something new and different.
- Be clear and upfront about change.
- Offer continuing education opportunities.
- A function of leadership is to "sell" change.
- Get involved in your community where you can work as a colleague of some of your board members. It takes time, but it build good will.
- Find out what your supervisor is interested in and feed them research and information. Make yourself valuable.
- Make sure that you are seeing the bigger picture.
- Don't ever let them be surprised by something.
- Attitude and enthusiasm, skills can be taught.
- Is this the job the person really wants to do or is it just a job?
- With each opening look for ways to reorganize and change tasks for people. Tap their skills and strengths.
The session was about how we can all work across generations. We need to start with the idea that while we have the generational boxes:
- Veterans (1922-45)
- Boomers (1946-64)
- Generation X (1965-78)
- Millennials (1979-2000)
Generational issues are touchy issues, but are important to talk about because they:
- can lead to conflict
- intersect our changing profession
- affect succession planning
Rachel pointed out that we have a changing profession and that we should make sure that we innovate or we are at risk of fading away. Relating the example of Polaroid, not changing when digital photography started to loom on the horizon leading to their downfall, Rachel suggested that we consider flattened management structures (participatory management) and that we should sit down with various levels of people in our organizations (especially newer people) to see what they think about how we could be doing things differently.
With our changing profession and the fact that 58% of librarians will turn 65 by 2019, we need to start thinking about succession planning. We don't know when this 58% will retire, but it will happen in a wave and we need to start planning. We need to think about it when we are hiring staff and we need to think about it in the retention of our current staff. Many comments that Rachel received in her survey was that NexGens were leaving their positions because they feel that their talents aren't valued and that their knowledge is discounted.
So how do you do it? How do you keep these talented people? Create a healthy workplace for ALL staff, encourage people to work together, and get input from multiple groups. One of the most basic answers is something that we have been taught as young child "Treat others as you want them to treat you." If you treat people well they are more likely to stay. Consider vertical teams for projects. If you create opportunities for people to work together then people are exposed to the strengths of each other and it creates opportunities for people to lead.
The session was concluded with the idea that each librarian, new or experiences, old or young, brings valuable experiences, perspectives and skills to the organization. Something that we should all remember.
Additional selected resources:
For Further Reading
- Bennis, Warren G. and Robert J. Thomas. Geeks & Geezers: How Era, Values, and Defining Moments Shape Leaders. Boston: HBS, 2002.
- Gordon, Rachel Singer. The Accidental Library Manager. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc. 2005.
- ---. The NextGen Librarian's Survival Guide. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., 2006.
- Young, Arthur, Peter Hernon, and Ronald Powell. "What Will Gen Next Need to Lead?" American Libraries May 2004: 32-5.
- Young, Arthur and Steve Casburn. "Gen X Bites Back. American Libraries Sept. 2004: 43-5.
Richard Pifer said about genealogy info at WHS, "Start with the premise that yep, we have it."
Range of resources available at the WHS -- a paper trail of cradle to grave records created about people:
- Births: registrations, baptismal records, announcement in newspapers
- Childhood records: school records, attendance records from rural schoolhouses, school census
- Marriage records: newspaper announcements
- Property records - deeds (most are in the county Register of Deeds office)
- Tax records - assessment rolls & tax rolls for 19th & 20th century
- Divorce records - through the Circuit Court case files (date range varies on the county which provides the records)
- Prison records
- Naturalization records - 19th century to 1980's
- Death registration, church burial records, newspaper obituary, probate records, wills, probate case files
- local histories
- newspapers - huge collection, perhaps 2nd only to the Library of Congress; largest Native American newspaper collection in the country; largest African American newspaper collection in the country
- personal papers
- organization records
- personal correspondence
- birds-eye maps of before & after the fire
- Harper's Weekly newspaper articles about the fire
- photos (also available online)
- genealogical information is geographically based
- local history information is geographically based
- combine place names with type of record
- Use Madcat to search for surname + the word family as a way to search for info; a "sloppy" search like this will bring up lots of records, but Rick says "specificity is the enemy of finding what you want"
- Wisconsin Genealogy Index
- links to Madcat and ARcat
Go to the guided search and start plugging in words; put in a placename (as a phrase) + type of record
ArCat (Archives Catalog)
Some finding aids or registers are available online; it's a volume-level listing of what's in a collection; tells you what's in a collection volume by volume and box by box
- Wisconsin Magazine of History available full text online
- Dictionary of Wisconsin History links to Google Maps, has biographical info
You can navigate through title changes, within the bibliographic record
Virtually everything found in ArCat can be transported closer to you or your patron at a local Area Research Center (ARC), except for photographs and maps
Map collection = paper-based card catalog is the only way to find out what's in the collection
Photo collection useful for local history, 45,000 images online, entire set of Wisconsin birds-eye photos
WHS is a partner with Google Books
- the vast majority of WHS' family histories has been digitized
- MadCat will eventually be linking to the Google Books digitized version of the book
- copyright date affects whether the book is available full text, or snippet view
Surveys are instruments to gather data for empirical analysis.
Some questionnaires can accidentally turn into "fishing expeditions", and ask too many questions.
There are three crucial tasks:
- sampling the population
- determining the medium - f2f 1 to 1, in groups, written form
- designing the questionnaire
- more cost effective than interviews, especially with large sample sizes or large regions
- most cost effective medium for large numbers of questions
- can be easier to analyze, depending on the construction of the questions; some aspects can be automated (#2 pencil)
- are a familiar medium
- can reduce bias associated with oral questionnaires
- can be less instusive than oral surveys (more anonymous)
- lower response rates (equals lower confidence levels)
- questions are usually very focused -- no elaborations are possible ("well yes, but ..." qualified answers aren't possible)
- no visual cues (no body language observable by interviewer)
- hard to know who's fillig it out
- may not be suited to certain populations (jargon, reading level issues, language, etc.)
- what kind of info is required?
- from whom do you need data?
- Break down complex problems into very simple ones
- should be introduced to let the respondent know what the purpose of the survey is, who will analyze it, and whether the results will be made public
- should conclude by expressing appreciation
- should be designed at a relatively early reading level
- seek truth on sensitive issues by using a clinical, anonymous distance
- gain the confidence of the subject
- do not lead in one direction or another
"Are you satisfied with the hours and facilities of the library?"
If choices are provided, ensure they include all possibilities.
"Which of the following services do you use? -ILL - Reference -YA"
Offer mutually-exclusive choices; don't provide choices that overlap
- group questions logically
- establish a logical flow within a group
- possible characteristics: general to specific; positives versus negatives; time sequence
- Some large-scale studies may benefit from the validation of data by means of question repetition
- Most of the time, surveys we do aren't this large
"How satisfied are you with DPL's provision of access to large-scale bibliographic databases?"
Does not suggest an answer; doesn't lead the person to an answer
Avoid jargon and acronyms
Should not be tied to other questions; avoid especially in written questionnaires
Adhere to the Rule of 5
- Likert scale 1 - 5
- True / false
- Multiple choice
- Likert scale
- easy to answer
- easy to code
- responses are uniform
- success of closed quesitons depends on the quality of the questions
- Likert scale
- spectrum between two poles
- sentence completion
- word association
- more flexible
- richer data (hard to analyze)
- may lead to other variables (other questions you want to ask in a future questionnaire)
- hard to code/analyze
- statements assuring confidentiality are desirable and may be required
- inform respondents that thier responses are voluntary and their anonymity is assured
- if children are involved in any way, extra precautions must be taken
- don't start with sensitive questions
- lead logically and unthreateningly to sensitive questions
- request demographic data at the end
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Cheryl gave a good report of the attendance for the conference and some of the interesting things that will be going on. Conference committee members will be wearing green wristbands; keep an eye out for one if you have questions.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
On Tuesday, October 7, one of the three 2008 Presidential debates between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. This debate will be a town hall format moderated by Tom Brokaw. The moderator will call on members of the audience as well as select questions submitted online. You can make a difference!
For more information, contact John Warren Stewig, Director, Center for Children's Literature, Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha, WI 53140, (262)-552-5480.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
A federal program, Open World was set up in 1999 as a Russian-U.S. exchange pilot program administered by the Library of Congress. Since then, Congress has expanded Open World to operate in all countries. McCormick first got involved with Open World in 2003 when he was in Fairmont, MN. In 2004, he hosted a group of librarians, including a woman who became his wife in 2006! On July 30, 2008, Bryan won an award as an Outstanding Wisconsin Host.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Here in Wisconsin, the Department of Revenue is working with public libraries and systems to significantly reduce filing of paper tax forms by encouraging online filings at public access computers. Paul mentions that the Department of Workforce Development may be open to working with libraries on a redesigned jobs website and job assistance resources.
Read the full posting at Retiring Guy's Digest.
Read the transcript of the full report by WUWM-FM.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
The public-use data file is available at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2008348
For information about obtaining a restricted-use data license to use the 2006 ALS restricted-use data: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/licenses.asp .
For more information about this survey, please go to the Library Statistics Program home page at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/libraries/.
The DLTCL Electronic Newsletter
Volume 10, Number 38 - July 17, 2008
Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Among the findings from the report:
--Library funding support is only marginally related to library visitation
--Perceptions of librarians are an important predictor of library funding support
--Voters who see the library as a 'transformational' force as opposed to an 'informational' source are more likely to increase taxes in its support
--The report suggests that targeting marketing messages to the right segments of the voting public is key to driving increased support for U.S. public libraries.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Larry Loizzo, President of Lab Safety Supply, said his company plans to build upon the strong Highsmith brand as part of their specialty catalog group.
For many years, Highsmith has supported ALA and state library association initiatives, including programs of the WLA and WLA Foundation. Highsmith sponsors the WLA/Highsmith Award at WLA's annual Awards & Honors banquet, providing $1,000 to a library who has developed an innovative service. In 2007, Highsmith became a Leadership Partner of the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries, a program of the WLA Foundation, and provided cash and in-kind contributions totalling more than $12,000.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Public libraries throughout southern Wisconsin were affected by the record rainfall and consequential flooding this month. The following is a non-exhaustive summary of some of the libraries damaged or affected by the flooding.
In Columbia County:
-- The Columbus Public Library had flooding in its basement that did not damage the children’s collection. The library has served as an information and resource point for flooding in the community, including distribution of water test kits, FEMA information, sandbag availability, even buckets for cleanup.
-- The Angie W. Cox Public Library in Pardeeville had both flood waters and sewage backup in the basement that closed the building temporarily.
In Crawford County:
-- The Gays Mills Public Library, having avoided last August's floods, sustained damage to its floor from flood waters. It is closed until flood damage can be repaired.
In Grant County:
-- The new Potosi Branch of Lancaster's Schreiner Memorial Library sustained considerable flood damage to the building and collection. The facility is closed indefinitely.
In Richland County:
-- The Viola Public Library was surrounded by floodwaters, but was not damaged. Some library materials at the post office were damaged from flooding there.
In Sauk County:
-- The LaValle Public Library sustained substantial damage to both the collection and building. When it will reopen is unknown.
-- The North Freedom Public Library was closed for lack of access but sustained little damage.
-- The Kraemer Library & Community Center in Plain sustained flood damage and is currently closed for repairs and carpet replacement.
-- Reedsburg Public Library was closed temporarily because of encroaching waters but opened to provide Internet service to the community when the telephone utility was flooded and no other Internet was available with the exception of the TEACH subsidized lines to the library.
-- The Rock Springs Public Library had flooding that damaged some of the collection on lower shelves. Portions of the collection were relocated and the library is still closed.
Wisconsin flood recovery and other emergency information can be obtained from
http://emergencymanagement.wi.gov/ as well as the following American Library Association site:
Two authors were chosen for their body of work as Notable Wisconsin Authors. Larry Watson is the author of multiple fiction titles, including White Crosses, Montana 1948, and Orchard. Also honored is Edward Heth, whose best known works include My Life on Earth and Wisconsin Country Cookbook and Journal.
2008 Outstanding Achievement awards for 2007 titles include the following ten titles by Wisconsin authors. They are:
John Gurda, "Cream City Chronicles: Stories of Milwaukee’s Past"
Douglas Jacobson, "Night of Flames"
Jesse Lee Kercheval, "The Alice Stories"
Martha Kimes, "Ivy Briefs: True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student"
Thomas Maltman, "Night Birds"
Gregg Mitman, "Breathing Space: how Allergies Shape our Lives and Landscapes"
Benjamin Percy, "Refresh, Refresh: Stories"
Jeremy Scahill, "Blackwater: the Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army"
Susan Vreeland, "Luncheon of the Boating Party"
Larry Watson, "Sundown, Yellow Moon: a Novel"
2008 Outstanding Achievement in Poetry awards for 2007 titles include the following five titles:
Robin Chapman, "The Dreamer who Counted the Dead"
Anne-Marie Cusac, "Silkie: Poetry"
Andrea Potos, "Yaya’s Cloth"
Shoshauna Shy, "What the Postcard Didn’t Say"
William Stobb, "Nervous Systems"
The 2008 Literary Awards Committee members are: Ellen Jepson and Edell Schaefer (co-chairs), Jean Anderson, Susan Belsky, Molly Canary, Caroline Haskin, Brian Kopetsky, Deb Shapiro, and Deb Strelka.
Public, academic, school or special libraries and librarians are all eligible and encouraged to apply for this award. Nominees should be members of the Wisconsin Library Association but need not be members of the Outreach Services Round Table. The amount of the award is $500. The award will be presented during the Award Ceremony at the WLA Annual Conference in November. For more about the award or an application (due August 1) go to http://www.wla.lib.wi.us//osrt/deUsabel.htm.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The committee also named seven titles as exemplary of Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Literature:
"The Silenced" by James DeVita
"The Perfect Nest" by Catherine Friend
"The OK Book" illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
"Babies Can’t Eat Kimchee!" Written and illustrated by Susan L. Roth
"Terrible Storm" illustrated by S.D. Schindler
"Circle the Truth" by Pat Schmatz
"Keeping Corner" by Kashmira Sheth
The Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla award is given annually for excellence in children’s literature to a book by a book creator with Wisconsin ties. The award is named for Elizabeth Burr, who made outstanding and important contributions to library services for young people during her 27 years of service in Wisconsin, and Worzalla Publishing Company, which funds the award through a grant to the WLA Foundation.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
A related article in Governing, "Revolution in the Stacks," discusses how some libraries are becoming places to create content, not just find content, as part of the Web 2.0 revolution. They refer to libraries that have turned their Web sites into blogs (like our very own Menasha Public!) and turned to retailers for best practices on arrangement of materials (bye, bye Dewey) and added services that position the library as the "third place."
What are you doing to create the "third place" in your community - whether that be an academic institution, small town or corporation?
Monday, May 19, 2008
National Library Legislative Day, May 13 and 14, 2008 - Wisconsin delegation
Why is it important to visit Washington and tell our federal elected officials about libraries? Because we are the ones with the information they need to make informed choices about upcoming legislation. Librarians, trustees, and Friends are not paid commercial lobbyists. We are not making money by “walking the halls of Congress” and speaking up for libraries. We represent satisfied patrons who also don’t benefit monetarily from libraries. We represent patrons who vote, and who want their Congressperson and Senator to vote in favor of library legislation. We are passionate about the importance of libraries. By making a trip to visit our elected officials on their home turf we underscore that importance to a high degree.
The American Library Association does a terrific job of preparing the delegation. A briefing was held on Monday for all the first-timers. On Tuesday, all-day briefings were held. We heard from Emily Sheketoff, ALA Washington office Executive Director, on the hot topics. This talk was especially timely, including up-to-the-minute updates on library issues. We heard from Congressional staffers, lobbyists, and the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters before lunch. The delegation met together at lunch to discuss the issues and plan our Congressional visits.
After lunch, we heard from Lisa Graves, the Deputy Director for the Center for National Security Studies, on National Security Letters and FISA reform. Two breakout sessions came next: either John Windhausen Jr., Esq. Telepoly Consulting, on Internet & Telecommunications, or Nathan Brown, Esq., Ropes & Gray, on E-Government, along with ALA staff. After a break, we heard from Jonathan Band, Esq., on copyright. ALA always does a great job of bringing in the movers and shakers, the folks who created the legislation and have testified before Congress.
We received handouts on all the topics. ALA prepares packets for all the delegates and their federal legislators, and the Department of Public Instruction prepares packets also, including state information such as E-rate discounts and LSTA grants received, by Congressional district. This year DPI included the report just released on the Economic Benefits of Public Libraries. ALA’s packets contained issue papers on all the topics important to libraries: FY2009 Appropriations; a sheet on Wisconsin’s LSTA funding; School Libraries (No Child Left Behind/the SKILLS Act); the 3rd edition of the Research Foundation Paper, “School Libraries Work!”; E-Government, Open Government, and Federal Depository Library Issues; Telecommunications and Broadband; E-rate and Universal Service Fund; Copyright; Privacy, National Security Letters & FISA Reform; a page on Economic Benefits of Libraries; and a sheet on Library Facts for Legislators. Find these handouts on ALA’s NLLD website here:
Bob Hafeman begins his four-year term next year as the Wisconsin Federal Relations Advocate so attended his first FLAN meeting – ALA’s Federal Library Advocacy Network. Each state has a FLAN coordinator who helps establish a network of library advocates. I work with WLA and WEMTA, as well as posting ALA’s legislative alerts to the statewide listservs.
The delegation met for dinner at Jaleo’s, a Spanish tapas restaurant within walking distance of the hotel, and everyone sampled several different delicious dishes.
Wednesday was the day of the visits. Bob Hafeman had contacted the legislators to set up the appointments, informing them of which members of the delegation were from their home districts. Sometimes there is nobody from the home district, but we visit anyway. We wear comfortable shoes and clothing, prepared for rain, heat, cold, and the security measures to enter the federal buildings. This year was the longest line I could remember. None of our delegation was stopped except for those with replaced knees.
A quick lunch was eaten in the basement of the Longworth Building, in a cafeteria with insufficient seating for the numbers of people trying to eat.
We continued our visits in the afternoon, personalizing library issues with our own stories as we met with knowledgeable legislative aides. We saw Congresswoman Gwen Moore in the hallway outside her office, and one of our delegation got to sit in her Congressman’s office at his own desk!
Finding the correct location of the Congressperson’s office often meant we walked past familiar Committees (Dennis Quaid was testifying at one hearing) and world-renowned office-holders, including all the Senators now running for the Presidency. It is truly a humbling experience, knowing that we citizens have open access to all those elected officials who are answerable to us voters.
During our visits, one of us filled out an evaluation form on each legislator for the top library issues. These evaluations are turned into ALA for their followup.
ALA holds a reception for the attendees with terrific food and wine after the visits; several of us were able to attend, although some of us had early flights home.
I have uploaded pictures onto Flickr (search under National Library Legislative Day 2008).
Start thinking now about visiting your Congressperson and Senators next year; NLLD 2009 will be held Monday and Tuesday May 11th and 12th, 2009. The American Library Association’s Washington office starts sending messages to the Wisconsin Federal Relations Advocate in the late fall. Book your hotel room and flight by January for the best price. You’ll be glad you did!
Jessica MacPhail, WLA Federal Relations Advocate
Friday, May 02, 2008
The list includes postings here, as well as on Tasha's Sites & Soundbytes, Michael's Notes from a Library Administrator, and Nichole's Auxiliary Storage.
Thanks to WLA, to WAPL, and to MATS for encouraging blogging!
He started his speech with his early connections to libraries, and his love of reading books. As a faltering high school student, a teacher got him started again on reading books like Mutiny on the Bounty so he got a degree in English as well as Physical Education. He actually wanted to teach more than coach. For the last 15 of his 40 years of coaching he felt a great deal of pressure, and the only way he could survive was to lock himself in a room with a good book.
When he retired, the first thing he did was get a new card. He got hooked on Cormac McCarthy among others. He really enjoys reading both fiction and non-fiction like Doris Kearns Goodwin, and McCullough's 1776. He finds parallels in history and his coaching style. Instead of focusing on winning, he (and George Washington) focused on "not losing" as the tactic.
He then spent time talking about his experiences coaching. He noted that Rhonda did not give his win/loss record. He noted that his role was to re-build basketball programs. He was hired on the heels of someone getting fired.
He closed with a letter written to him by his granddaughter. The letter from a 4-year old, asked him to try to be happy. A month after getting the letter, he announced his retirement. He had enjoyed the good times and lived through the bad times.
Dick graduated from Ripon College. Classmates include Harrison Ford and Al Jarreau.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Overview of the process Milwaukee PL went through to create their MySpace presence:
Milwaukee PL MySpace time line:
Initial idea pitched
Info gathering stage
Addressed safety concerns
Creation of test site [at this stage, one needed to be a friend of Milwaukee PL MySpace in order to see the beta design]
The MySpace page went through many, many design changes
Presentation to the Milwaukee PL Administrative Team
More info gathering
Asked other library systems who had a MySpace presence; asked about who controls site content at their libraries
Consulted with the city attorney
October 18, 2007:
Presentation made to the library board
Demonstrated how the MySpace page connects with the library’s mission and vision
MySpace page went “live” at http://www.myspace.com/milwaukeepubliclibrary
Tips on setting up your own library's MySpace page:
Teen online safety / DOPA
Content control – Milwaukee PL has set it so comments made by others require approval before they appear on the MySpace page
Ask other libraries how they're handling these issues
Favorite features of a MySpace page:
- MPL lists all library teen events there, with links to the library’s web site
- Amanda seeks out YA authors to “friend” on the library’s web site, so kids can start a conversation directly with authors via MySpace pages
They're working to get more teen-generated content posted on the MySpace page
Before you create a MySpace page for your library…
- Have a clear purpose in mind
- Think about who your audience will be
- Decide who will be responsible for monitoring content
- Decide who will be responsible for handling any issues regarding the MySpace page
- How will you decide if what you’re doing is worth it?
- Decide who you will choose to friend
MPL doesn’t seek out teens to friend
You don’t have to accept every friend request
- There are lots of free MySpace editor layout generators available free online; copy & paste the code
- When determining the color scheme, teen input is crucial
- Teen advisory boards are great for finding kids to be involved
- Look at other libraries’ MySpace pages for ideas
Denver PL created an avatar to represent their institution
For schools attended, MPL lists all Milwaukee area schools, so their MySpace page can more easily be found by alumni
Getting the word out:
- Don’t expect teens to be searching for you – do your best to be found
- Bookmarks put in books written by authors who are friended by the MPL MySpace page (wow -- great idea!)
- Highlight the MySpace page on the library’s web site
- Get comfortable with it; wade in; get your feet wet; create a personal page for yourself to try it out; if you’re solidly on board, it will be easier to convince others to try it
- Keep swimming: once you know your way around; be ready to explain what you’re doing and why
- Dive in: you’re familiar with the waters; don’t be afraid to try the next big think if you think it’ll have a positive application for your library
The first presenter was Anna Palmer from the library school at UW-Madison. There are still three courses which require physical presence on campus. The electives can be done online. Courses are available before or after starting the program. If you register as a "special student" the cost is half the regular price.
The school offers continuing education courses including courses for the Library Director Certification Program. CED credits are cheaper and are graded on a pass/fail basis. They use the same software for CE and online courses. They use Desire to Learn (D2L) which is branded with Learn Wisconsin.
Anna demonstrated with a course called "Core Elements of Children's Services." [I have a close friend who has taught using D2L, and I have seen both the student and instructor side.] It is asynchronous teaching with assignments and deadlines. It is web based and very intuitive. There is technology support for both students and instructors. There is a phone help desk from 6 am to 1 am. It does require 56K connection, Windows 98 or better.
The University offers "Education to Go" classes are skill specific. Cost is $85, and there are about 75 courses offered. All are 6 weeks long and the start once a month. They are offered through an outside vendor. They do have interactive elements and some of the structure is similar to the D2L structure. It does have a final exam which is required to receive credits for the course.
Bob Bocher talked about the tools which DPI provides. Bob did not appear in pajamas (since he wears none). The product the state uses is from Sonic Fpundry called MediaSite. The tool synchronizes the view with the sound. It is real time, and it is archival. The site has about 15 presentations included on the site. It requires a specialized PC and camera to produce programs. The PC includes the software. It takes some time to train staff to do the technology issues to schedule and connect, plus uploading PowerPoint. It is helpful to have two people: one to present and one to run the hardware.
Bob showed a demonstration of an erate training program. The state has a license, and hosts them on their own site. For many other customers the vendor hosts the program. The program is not as flexible. There is no chat or other interactivity.
John DeBacher showed WebJunction. He particularly plugged the Rural Sustainability aspect of the project. It does require speakers/headphones and a microphone is good. (South Central found inexpensive ones for about $5.) John then logged into an archived presentation. He also whistled the theme from Jeopardy while it loaded. He then showed the courses section of the website. The state counts these opportunities as continuing education for certification purposes.
Jean Anderson from South Central Library System talked about OPAL. They have a site license for 50 people, but can ask Tom Peters for more space, and there is an auditorium which can host large crowds. She showed it on the large screen, including some input from staff back in Madison at the SCLS office.
Obstacles and disadvantages include distractions of the home environment, lack of interaction with peers that occurs at real conferences.
Anna Palmer, Outreach Specialist UW-SLIS - 3 options for online CE via SLIS website
- Graduate level courses - many electives classes are online, though three core courses still need to be taken in Madison - students can enroll as special students and try grad level classes online
- Continuing education - there are 7 or 8 classes each semester, 2 or 3 for director certification, 4 or 5 on a variety of electives - these are much cheaper than grad level classes, and are graded pass/fail -- she demonstrated "Core Elements of Children's Services" class using "Desire to Learn" software - weekly assignments, communication from instructor, and discussion section, similar to a threaded listserv or discussion board. Courses structured on a week by week basis. People are surprised how interactive the experience is and how well they get to know people. She has never had an instance where a student dropped because the software was difficult; she provides support as needed, as do instructors. Requires Windows 98, 56K connection, Internet Explorer recommended
- Education to Go: specific online technology skills class, $85, outside vendor 70 or 80 classes to choose from, six weeks long, begin monthly. Interactive with instructor, includes discussion area, final exam.
- web-based multimedia training & presentation
- synchronizes AV & graphics
- real time & archival options
- need MediaSite PC & camera
- set-up takes 2 hours of initial training
- demo available online
- people can send questions to instructor - but not real chat
- users can speed up or slow down presentation
- not as interactive as OPAL, mutiple windows for video & slides
- started with early Gates PC rollout -- libraries needed instruction
- OCLC provided as form for information exchange
- did major renovation last year, but so much content that navigation or finding content can be difficult
- Association of Rural & Small Libraries has moved their content to WebJunction
- Webinars -- soundbytes, one hour blocks usually eligible for CE: might want to register in advance -- they send email reminders, instructions for joining are online.
- Many archived webinars, particularly related to themes of rural library sustainability
- Many courses offered, initially all technology related, then added other library related themes & workshops plus other third-party and state-developed courses -- need credit card to purchase
- SCLS using OPAL since 2006, provides CE programs to member libraries
- Features include interactive real time audio chat
- Moderator can lock microphone to prevent disruptions, others can "raise hand" or send chat comment -- it can be as interactive as you want.
- SCLS has room for 50 people, but can get larger space if needed. There is also an OPAL auditorium for very large programs.
- OPAL has lots of programs available to anyone, and archives programs
- Many programs accessible from your desk for an hour of your time.
- Can upload PowerPoint and give show slides with narration -- presenters need second person to monitor chat
- Presenter sometimes has to go on faith or ask for feedback to know that listeners have not gone away -- can conduct spot polls with option to publish results
- CCBC presents programs with OPAL -- recorded programs can include Flash movie
Where is your library going? A strategic plan is a road map for the library. Planning is to prepare to do, and there is not enough money to do everything. The planning process helps to set priorities so that wise choices can be made. It is important to plan, but it should be done quickly so that you can get on with the doing.
Planning is about change. Keep the planning process short so you can do. The process as envisioned by PLA, needs to be community based. Three assumptions:
- Excellence must be defined locally.
- Excellence is possible for all libraries of all sizes
- Excellence is a moving target.
- Community Based Planning
- Library Service Priorities
- Measures for Success
- Managing Change
It is a good idea to have an outside facilitator who can be neutral, has specialized training and skills and will come with a cost. You will want a committee with community members. You will probably want to be sure that there are the movers and shakers in the community represented. It should broadly represent the demographics of the community. Committee meets only 2 times (and have the dates set when asking).
The first meeting is longer, and has the group define the Community Vision, the condidtions, needs, which needs the library can address, and select preliminary service responses.
The staff and board input looks at the needs as developed by the community group. There are specific roles for the staff and board.
At Committee Meeting 2, you review service responses, review the input, select final service responses, prioritize service responses, and finally (and most importantly) thank them. It is important to have food at both events. The first meeting could be a whole day, and the second should be about a half day.
The new PLA process spends more time discussing managing change. There is a method for "taking the temperature" of the organization. It is important to have the distinction between values and service responses. The library mission needs to be written and often takes phrases from the service responses. Communication is critical, and when change is happening it is especially important to communicate or even "over communicate."
Cheryl went through the rest of her handouts. Some key final thoughts:
- the mission should be short enough that staff and board can say it
- there should be few enough service responses that staff and board can say them all
- the document should be a page (maybe a tri-fold)
Implementing for Results is forthcoming. Which are all part of the Results series published by ALA.
At the end you should have a plan that is short, is relevant, and shows that you are spending your tax dollars wisely. The Library will be at the heart of the community.
Meg Shriver Appleton PL on organizing
- There were some key choices for the Fox Cities Community Read
- this was the 3rd year of community read in Appleton, and the 2d as a multi-library effort
- the most effective thing was partnering w/other libraries, bookstores & community groups
- selected a title in partnership with other libraries and organizations
- brought in the author to speak as the culminating
- have used the community read to focus on an issue
- APL buys hundreds of copies, using foundation funds
- form partnerships
- Multiple libraries(Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Kimberly-Little Chute, Kaukauna, UW-Fox) - allows choice of venues, cross-over by patrons - provides greater pool of funds from libraries
- Bookstores are good synergy for PR & sales, and can sometimes provide more economical access to author tours
- Businesses offer other partnership possibilities, such as catering for author reception, bus promotion
- select a title using wide representation to get community investment - last year the library partnered with newspaper, schools and bookstores to have a community vote on title -- this requires a lot of staff involvement to provide coordination, but it was popular and will likely do again
- take opportunity to discuss common issues --
- in 2008 Alice Hoffman was part of a larger book festival, creating lots of excitement, more partnerships and coss marketing opportunities
- in 2007 Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich was foundation of Project Promise in partnership with community nonprofits and the media
- in 2005 Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson became foundation of community discussion about teen sexual assault, including a partnership with lots of schools, churches, community groups
- select book that allows for an author visit: it creates a pinnacle of the process, gives people the chance to discuss with the author
- use the ALA publication on planning a community read
- Hesitate to do this!
- we're already starting process for next year
- marketing alone doesn't do it, the community read needs the expertise of librarians
- once author is selected, need to get word out, use available opportunities
- in planning process for 2007,
- brainstormed 30 titles from a broad-based selection group
- the group culled these down to five
- the local newspaper got enthusiastic pushing a vote
- vote nearly selected British author, wound up with Barbara Ehrenreich, who was initially too expensive
- the library made a proposal to Community Health Action Team of ThedaCare for funding -- they underwrote a large piece of the cost, but asked us to include other Fox Cities libraries
- having larger base, larger team created more marketing opportunities
- the community read grew into Project Promise, ongoing coalition effort to deal with poverty issues
- important to establish good working relationship with local press [examples presented of press coverage in local media]
- giant replica of book covers, t-shirts with cover for staff, are godd devices
- need to identify goals for libraries, potential audience
- increases library exposure and profile, with corollary benefits
- most ever spent was $900
- only pick Wisconsin authors -- available & affordable
- 1st book was Population 485
- in a small community, don't need big committee, not a lot of issues and politics, whole library staff can read the title -- and should
- Michael Perry's photo motivated people to read -- women liked his looks, men liked that he wore flannel
- bought copies of book for all firefighters & EMT
- timetable for the read: unveil book in December, give people until March to read, then author appears
- this is hard, hard work: you need to talk to every patron and try to persuade them to read the book -- can be exhausting, but is effective
- the staff first agrees on the book, because every staff person needs to read and promote
- nonfiction is more marketable to men, who often hesitate to read fiction
- library system support & graphic arts are key to holding down cost of PR materials
- buys 10-15 copies, minimal processing
- talk it up everywhere -- meetings, service clubs, posters in grocery stores
- get high school English teachers to give kids extra credit for reading the book
- pick your date carefully in a small town: one basketball game can put you out of business
- fortunate to have benefactor who underwrites programs, asks bank to pay for ads
- hardest thing is to choose the book
- for the first book, met with literacy council, Hispanic council; book had to be in paperback, large print, audiobook, and in Spanish
- for first book, had radio interview rather than author appearance
- for second book, did baseball book to coincide with Miller Park opening --had contest to find errors in Shoeless Joe
- for third book, Fist Stick Knife Gun -- community supported ideas for nonviolent conflict resolution, encourage kids to express concerns
- for fourth book, tried for theme, got Holocaust survivor Motherland
- fifth book, Nickel & Dimed, support from business & social service agencies
- Seed Folks - partnership with gardeners
- in each case, there are natural coalitions to build around the title -- communities of interest
- structure of choosing books is loose, depending on who shows up, only current criteria are
- must be in paperback
- must be "discussionable"
- they buy 25 copies
- have experimented used BookCrossing for distribution of some copies