Friday, October 26, 2007

WLA 2007: Conference Wrap-Up

As a follow-up to MATS' blog coverage of the 2007 WLA Conference, presenters' handouts and PowerPoints are starting to show up at the WLA conference web site.

If more presentation materials are found elsewhere, we'll link to them here; if you know of some, please send us the links by adding a comment to this post.

We had a great time "blogging the con", and hope to round up more MATSians to blog the WAPL Conference next spring!

Thanks to Amanda, Nanette, Beth and Pete for all the bloggy goodness!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

WLA 2007: What's Toxic in Your Neighborhood?

"It is exciting to have a real crisis on your hands, when you have spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment." - Margaret Thatcher on the Falklands campaign, 1982

I work at a federal depository library with a collection of over 1.5 million technical reports of research funded by the EPA, DOD, DOE, DOT, NASA and other government agencies; I attended this session to learn how to better use our resources and serve our patrons. I also have a background in conservation biology, so this topic was right up my alley.

Michael Watkins, Head of Government Documents at UW-Oshkosh's Polk Library, did a great job of connecting what could be seen as 'dry data' to his own personal history as a child growing up in Oshkosh, as well as local, national and world history. He also shared a keen understanding of the many interacting and competing interests that come into play when addressing environmental issues, including jobs and economics, human and non-human health, property rights, recreation and tourism, and the future.

Historical context:

  • 1959 - Wisconsin cranberry crop abandoned or seized, due to pesticide scare
  • 1984 - Union Carbide in Bhopal India - 5,000 people killed from release of methyl isocyanate
  • 1984 - Similar release at sister plant in West Virginia
  • 1986 - "Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know" Act - requires reporting of presence of certain regulated chemicals, as well as accidental releases into the environment
  • 1990 - Pollution Prevention Act - strengthened requirements
  • 2007 - EPA budget shifts, half of EPA regional libraries closed, cutting back on programs like TRI


Watkins demonstrated using LandView 6 software to access online data sources, and search for data on air pollutants, hazardous waste sites, and toxic releases by geographic location (zip code or city/state) or company (current or defunct), down to city block level . LandView is the result of a cooperative effort by the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

In Madison, the LandView 6 DVDs are held at the Madison Public Library's main downtown branch, or the Wisconsin Historical Society library. The software is in the public domain, so it "can be copied, used and distributed freely without the requirement for royalty payments or further permissions."

Watkins asks us to watch out for any changes in data access over time. In an era of EPA library closings and document losses, our legal "right to know" may do us little good, if the data just isn't there anymore.

Friday, October 19, 2007

WLA 2007: The 411 on Mashups

The 411 on Mashups
a presentation by Julie Fricke, Reference and Web Resource Librarian, Seeley G Mudd Library, Lawrence University

Julie's bookmarks that include links for her presentation:

a mashup gets info from more than one source

the first mashups were primarily using maps
photo and social is where the most growth is happening in the last 6 months

why are mashups a big deal?
  • easy to use
  • easy to find
  • easy to manipulate
How do I make a mashup?
  • add this app -- Facebook apps; iGoogle
  • clone -- Yahoo Pipes
  • program

WLA 2007: The 411 on Mashups

Presented by Julie Fricke, Reference and Web Resource Librarian, Lawrence University.

Mashups are applications that use more than one source to create something new. Mapping mashups are about 32% of what's out there right now, but photo and news mashups are becoming more popular. Check the Programmable Web for more info.

Mashups are:
  • easy to use
  • easy to find
  • easy to manipulate
  • the future of web stuff
How do I make one?
  • add this app (point & click - like iGoogle's widgets, Facebook apps)
  • clone (yahoo pipes is an example)
  • program (server side - Google API for example)
Implications for libraries:
  • Intellectual property: know when you can use the data or site, so you're not violating copyright; make sure you know when it's okay to remix
  • Copyright: check for Creative Commons licenses
  • Provenance: pay attention to the origin of the info and authority
  • Scale and dependency: can you get support for using the mashup?
  • Keeping up!
More info is available at wlamash on, the Programmable Web (link above), and Julie's presentation will be available online soon on the conference web site. Look at dapper and datamashups for help with creating quick and easy mashups. Can't wait to dabble!

WLA 2007: Tracing Your Ancestors Through Genealogy Tips and Tricks

Tracing Your Ancestors Through Genealogy Tips and Tricks
a presentation by John Leonard Berg, Coordinator of Public Services, Karrmann Library, UW-Platteville

begin with some proof that you're in the right place, headed down the right family line
starting with an obituary to find clues

Why did people immigrate from Europe in the 1850's?
  • religious freedom
  • military service; "Sons of the Soil" were expected to serve in the military
  • industrialization
  • taxation
  • economic stagnation
  • population growth
  • unstable political situations
  • inheritance laws -- in some areas only the oldest son could inherit land, so siblings would need to marry into another family or live on as a kind of servant to the eldest; in some cases the land could not be "parceled out" to divide among the children
  • "American letters"; people who emigrated to America wrote to those still in Europe; if someone had already made the journey it provided some motivation
  • solicitation -- businesses needed manpower to work on railroads, in the factories & homestead land (the Homestead Act opened up prairies to become farmable land)
  • boys and men might leave for the new land, and the girls and women might have stayed behind to care for parents
Those leaving Germany might have traveled overland (perhaps by train) to the river-side city of Bremen/Bremerhaven where they would board ships headed out on the North Sea

The Gallery of the Seven Million is endeavoring to collect the seven million stories of those who left from the port of Bremerhaven
"Bremerhaven's New Emigration Museum: A Look at Germany's Ellis Island",1518,369776,00.html

New Orleans in the 1850's was a better port of entry than New York, because you could stay on the water to continue traveling up the Mississippi to the Midwest (where land was opening up to farming and homesteading)

if you're having trouble tracking your ancestors in the years following their arrival in America, check the ship's passenger list to see if you can track other people who traveled from Germany with them (perhaps they settled in the same area as your ancestors)

WLA 2007:

The first I learned of this new C-SPAN-like broadcasting network was from the WLA conference brochure's directory of exhibitors, two days ago: "WisconsinEye is a statewide public affairs network providing independent, nonpartisan coverage of community and civic life, beginning with gavel-to-gavel coverage of state government in Madison."

Then Thursday morning, Bonnie Shucha at WisBlawg passed along an announcement of the partnership between WisconsinEye and BadgerNet, the state's network of "voice, data, and video services to state agencies, local governments, UW campuses, technical colleges, private colleges and universities, public and private K-12 schools, and libraries."

When I made it into the exhibit hall for the first time late Thursday afternoon, it was my intention to seek out the WisconsinEye booth and find out a bit more about this venture. I found Chris Long, President & CEO, ready to talk, with a back-drop of streaming news playing on both their website and a television, and maps of cable and BadgerNet coverage areas within the state.

Chris is a former C-SPAN staffer, who was pursuing a PhD in Mass Communications at the UW-Madison when the opportunity to lead WisconsinEye came up last year. The idea for the network originated over ten years ago, within state government. After some initial research into existing models, it was determined that such a network should properly be established as a non-profit, with no state funding or state-funded staff, unlike other systems across the country.

Anyone in the world can watch the fascinating machinations of the Wisconsin legislative, judicial, and executive branches at Cable subscribers can currently tune in for free to Channel 200 (Charter) or 163 (Time Warner), although the long-term financing plan is to sell broadcast rights to these companies - and they may need to hear your voice as a subscriber to be convinced of the value of WisconsinEye, so speak up and get involved, if you like what you see.

As a sample of their intended "civic life" coverage, you can also go to their website to catch recorded author talks from the Wisconsin Book Festival!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

WLA 2007: Non-Profit Marketing: What I Should Know about Marketing That My Mother Wouldn't Tell Me

At every conference, I seek out those sessions related to assessment, quality improvement, and promotion, because I'm the marketing coordinator for my library, and I serve on the campus-wide library marketing committee for the UW-Madison. I've also been toying with the idea of pursuing an MBA at some point, with a focus on marketing. Sometimes, I come away thinking "I could have taught that," but this time I definitely came away with new concepts.

I love it when non-librarians are invited to present at library conferences, because we really can benefit from others' expertise and perspectives. "Non-Profit Marketing" was presented by Don McCartney, a Senior Lecturer of Business Administation at UW-Green Bay, who has some experience working with libraries on marketing issues.

"Marketing is manipulative... in a good way!"

McCartney started out by asking the question, "How many of you have seen an ad?" - of course, that meant everyone in the room. He followed with, "And how many of you have bought everything you've ever seen advertised?" - clearly, no one does this. His conclusion is that yes, advertising is manipulative, but clearly it doesn't force us to do things that we don't want to do. And if it facilitates something good, like using the library, then that's a good kind of manipulation!

In order to bring together libraries and their potential users, both the library and the user must be able to communicate - after all, you can't utilize a service to meet a need if you don't know that service exists, or if you don't know you can get that service from the library. That's where marketing comes in.

"So... what is the value of libraries?" Attendees replied:
  • They're free (McCartney: yeah, but a lot of things are free and I may or may not value them)
  • They provide access to information
  • Librarians provide help to find/get information
  • We provide programming to children and adults - for literacy, enrichment, education, pleasure, fun

McCartney pointed out that one danger of the "virtual library" is that without a social aspect, how much affinity can a user develop for you? I'd posit that one solution is to build social networking technologies into your online space, to allow for personalization to each user's interests, interactivity with library staff, and development of communities.

Discussing market segmentation, McCartney suggested that it's also possible to oversegment, which leads to redundancy and increased costs. And the #1 market segment that you should be concerned with, he said, are your internal clients - your employees.

Keep records of who uses which resources and services, and then *use that information.* The "80/20 rule" says that 80% of your time is spent on 20% of your users, and 80% of your 'profits' are derived from 20% of your users. With limited staff time and money, you should prioritize those market segments that are your primary users. This doesn't address the issue of expanding one's overall market - but Jill Stover's presentation on "Taking the Non out of Non-User" is a perfect complement to McCartney's session. I'm also not yet clear on how to translate 'profits' for a state university library which receives its collection funds from the overall UW-Madison budget, and its overhead funds (facilities, staff) from the College of Engineering.

A 1995 study published in the Journal of Marketing, concerning social identification and its correlation with museum membership, provided McCartney an opportunity to introduce a good number of important marketing terms, including: identification, social identity, self-concept, and organization. Other terms he helpfully defined: publics, awareness, latent readiness, and triggering.

This study provided a number of insights into why members felt a strong sense of "belonging" to a museum, that can help us to understand (mainly, public) library users:

  • The perception of prestige (not the same as elitism)
  • Tenure of membership (the longer you're a member, the closer you feel to the institution)
  • Correlation between expectations of membership, and reality
  • Frequency of contact (all kinds)

Participation in other, similar organizations, decreased the overall sense of identification. And, the more highly educated members were, the more organizations they tended to participate in. That was one piece of bad news.

McCartney suggested that library mission statements are an important means by which to promote the intangible values that are so important to a sense of belonging. These statements should be visible to staff on a daily basis, and also shared with users. Say, "This is why we exist, this is why we're here."

Another study concluded that only 7% of the population will ever become actively engaged in non-profit organizations - and so many organizations are competing for the same small group of members (and source of funds). This was another piece of bad news.

Knowledge of what's at stake without your members' support can build association with your organization. You need to remind your members why they got involved, tell them why they're important to you, and thank them. Because you want to be one of the organizations that they stick with over the years.

WLA 2007: Taking the "Non" Out of Non-User

Jill StoverPresented by Jill S. Stover, Undergraduate Services Coordinator, Virginia Commonwealth University. Check out her blog at

The first step is to decide what it is you want people to do. Examine and/or develop your:
  • mission and value statement and objectives
  • strategic plan
  • goals
  • behaviors (what you want to see)
Use SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats).

See Hennepin County Library's Framework for the Future [pdf].

See Ansoff Growth Matrix. (She emphasized using this matrix, so be sure to take a look!)

After deciding what behaviors you want to see, decide who you want to reach. Look for holes in services provided in your community and target that market to fill the need.

Once you've decided who to target, watch people who are already doing the thing you want to promote. Talk to them to find out what their unmet needs are, so you can meet them and attract non-users. Have your users be ambassadors to your non-users to help bring them in.

AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) tips:
  • Attention: be passionate, be different (find your niche), be relevant (people really want to be inspired, so try to be inspiring)
  • Interest: benefits matter (stuff doesn't), people matter (keep up with changes/trends in values), connections matter (networking)
  • Desire & Action: give out gold stars, think two steps ahead, make risk your friend, keep the door open, ask 2 questions: how did you find out about us? and would you recommend us to a friend? (can help you develop future strategies, helps you know what's working and what isn't)
Question from audience: I have no budget for marketing, what should I do?
Stover's answer: It's more about people and connections than needing money to do things. (This is the main thing I'll take away from this session! Focus on making connections.) Seek out other agencies or institutions to create partnerships and fill needs.

Question from audience: What's your one big idea for libraries?
Stover's answer: Finding ways to fill the current needs of people who want to create original content for the web. Can we become the place they come to create and post? Can we provide the equipment, software, and trainers?

Audience members mentioned doing things like writing a weekly or monthly column for their local newspaper to become known as a local expert. Another idea was sending out library info in their community's utility or cable bills (at no cost). Target groups by going to the agencies that support them.

Stover's PowerPoint slides are available online, and the final slide has a list of resources to explore. Be sure to take a look at what's listed there and add her blog (link above) to your RSS reader - she's an excellent resource on marketing in libraries!

WLA 2007: UW-Madison Libraries/Google Partnership

UW-Madison Libraries/Google Partnership
a presentation by Ed Van Gemert, Deputy Director, General Library System, UW-Madison; and Irene Zimmerman, Head, Cataloging Department and Google Project Manager, UW-Madison
GBS allows you to search the full text of books, if the item is pre-1923

The books in GBS come primarily from 2 sources:
  1. publishers
  2. libraries
Once you've searched GBS and found a book, you can...
  • browse books online under full view, limited preview, or snippet view (if item is post-1923; in copyright)
  • search within the book
  • find similar titles
  • buy the book or request it through interlibrary loan
  • download public-domain books
digitization of books is achieved through non-destructive scanning

online items are not preservation quality; it's all about discovery & access to materials

Wisconsin's involvement:
  • UW-Madison initiated discussions in early 2006
  • established partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society
  • contract agreement negotiations from May-Oct 2006
  • developed "Statement on Principles and Values"
  • the agreement stipulates a university digital copy of each file, including items that are still in copyright
  • primary focus areas: Federal government documents, state government documents, historic documents, patent info
  • additional books from the genealogy collection from Wisconsin Historical Society, and theses & dissertations
  • the first shipment of books was sent to Google 3 Apr 2007; materials from several libraries are shipped to Google every 4 weeks
Google paid for all the costs of preparation, shipping, and digitization

shared digital repository among CIC libraries (Michigan, Indiana, et. al.)

Project Planning: a project management team was appointed, based on advice from a Google liaison

Determined criteria for inclusion based on size, format, and condition of book

the book's temporary location in MadCat indicates it's checked out

Upcoming issue --how to get links to the digitized book into the book's bibliographic record in MadCat

the more of a book a publisher shows, the more copies of books it sells

WLA 2007: The New Media Ecology

The New Media Ecology: How the Growth of the Internet and Cell Phones Have Changed the Way People Deal with Each Other, Receive Information, and Create and Share Media
a presentation by Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, Washington D.C.

Five hallmarks of the new digital ecosystem:
  1. media and gadgets are ubiquitous in everyday life
  2. the internet -- especially broadband --is at the center of the revolution
  3. new gadgets allow people to enjoy media, gather info, and carry on communication anywhere; wireless; mobile devices; the Internet is part of everyday life; no sense of being "online"
  4. ordinary citizens have a chance to be publishers, movie-makers, artists, song creators, and storytellers
  5. different people use these technologies in different ways
MySpace and Facebook ="dashboards for social life"

19% of online young adults have created an avatar that interacts with others online
9% of all adult internet users have done this

A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users :
  • omnivores - they have the most gadgets and services, which they use voraciously to participate and express themselves online, and do a range of Web 2.0 activities
  • connectors - they connect to people and manage digital content using internet-connected technology
  • lackluster veterans - they have all the gadgets, but they aren't nearly as happy with it as groups 1 and 2; more bothered about the number of interruptions in their life from being connected
  • productivity enhancers - willing to use tech in their job, but not in the rest of their lives
  • mobile centrics - have a decent array of gadgetry and fully embrace all that their phone can do; "absence presence"
  • connected but hassled - they're connected, but they really don't like it; find connectivity intrusive and a burden
  • inexperienced experimenters - occasionally take advantage of interactivity, the gadgets they have they really like; go with the flow
  • light but satisfied - they have some tech, but it doesn't play a central role in their daily lives
  • indifferents - proudly anti-technology; find technology annoying
  • off the network - have neihter cell phones nor internet access; off the grid
Take the typology "Where Do I Fit?" quiz at

large low-tech crowd - 49%
small technophile group - 8%

"this is the age of amateur experts"

what does all this connectivity do to us?
  • it changes our relationship to information
  • it changes our relationship to each other
Life changes in 10 important ways:
  1. volume of information grows -- the "long tail" expands
  2. velocity of information increases -- "smart mobs" emerge; people learn stuff more quickly through RSS, social networks; instantaneous conversation; word of mouth is a more powerful way to transmit information than mass media
  3. venues of intersecting with information and people multiply -- place-shifting and time-shifting occurs; "absent presence" occurs
  4. venturing for information changes -- search strategies and search expectations spread in the Google era; librarians get fewer queries that are much more complicated
  5. vigilance for information transforms -- attention is truncated ("continuous partial attention") and elongated ("deep dives"); multi-tasking more crazily
  6. valence (relevance) of information improves -- the "daily me" is the customized version of the daily newspaper (RSS feeds, iGoogle, email alerts, etc.); the "daily us" (Facebook groups)
  7. vetting of info becomes more "social" -- credibility tests change as people ping their social networks
  8. viewing of info is dis-aggregated and becomes more "horizontal" -- new reading strategies emerge as coping mechanisms; people scan the abstracts but don't do deep reading as much (a headline-reader)
  9. voting on and ventilating about info proliferates -- tagging, rating, and commenting on material is enabled -- collective intelligence emerges
  10. inVention of info and the visibility of new creators is enabled -- the read/write Web 2.0 is about participation
Action items:
  • think of yourself and your library as a news node for information and interaction -- find a way to be a part of peoples' social networks
  • think of yourself as an information hub -- an aggregator and a linker to others who have useful information
  • embrace channels of information that feed each other, interact, and blur
  • experiment with Web 2.0 applications
  • listen to your youngest employees, the "digital natives" who can translate for and teach older "digital immigrants"
  • monitor the pushback against technology as a time sink and interruption enabler; become participants in new conversations about etiquette and social norms in the digital age
  • become confident in what you already know about how to meet people's reference and entertainment (enlightenment) needs

WLA 2007: The New Media Ecology

Presented by Lee Rainie, Director of Pew Internet Project. This session is being heavily blogged, so I'm going to share things that stood out to me vs. a blow-by-blow of the presentation.

Some numbers:
  • 93% of teens (ages 12-17) use the Internet
  • 88% of college students (cs) own cell phones
  • 81% of cs own digital cameras
  • 63% of cs own MP3 players
  • 55% of online teens have created social network profiles - 2/3 of them have taken steps to limit the kinds of information shared in their profiles
  • 20% of online adults have social network profiles
  • 39% of online teens share their own creations online (artwork, photos, stories or videos - twice the level of adults)
  • 33% of online teens have created or worked on web pages or blogs for others (13% of online adults do this)
  • 33% of college students blog and regularly post - 54% read blogs (for adults: 12% have a blog and 35% read them)
  • about 1 in 5 YAs have created an avatar that interacts with others online (9% of adults have done this)
Use of social network profiles (for teens):
  • 82% send private messages to a friend within the social networking system
  • 33% wink, poke, or give kudos to friends
  • 84% post messages to a friend's wall or page
It's becoming increasingly difficult to tell if you're on a website or a blog, so the numbers relating to blog use might actually be much higher.

Content creation and participation are important to young people! Youth might be surprised when their future employer or admissions counselor, etc. find the content they have created. Most employers are checking for online presence before hiring someone - what have they written, shared, and created and do we want what to hire them after viewing their content?

Different people use technology different ways. Look at the PEW Report on user typology. And take the quiz to see where you fit. Fascinating stuff! (Rainie mentioned that the data for the report on user typology was gathered through a phone survey, with special effort made to reach cell phone users. The online version was added after the fact to make it easier for additional people to take the quiz.)

Take a look at the Pew Report on Libraries and the Digital Divide.

Life changes in 10 important ways with new media:
  • volume of info grows - "long tail" expands (easier to find obscure things)
  • velocity of info increases - "smart mobs" emerge (we learn things more quickly)
  • venues of intersecting info and people multiply
  • venturing for info changes - changing search habits/strategies
  • vigilance for info transforms - attention is truncated and elongated (age of amateur experts)
  • valence (relevance) of info improves - "Daily Me" and "Daily Us" gets made
  • vetting of info becomes more "social" - credibility tests change as people ping their social networks
  • viewing of info is disaggregated and becomes more "horizontal" - new reading strategies emerge as coping mechanisms (Allen Renear, UI- Champaign-Urbana)
  • voting on and ventilating about info proliferates (tagging, rating, commenting)
  • inVention of info and the visibility or new creators is enabled - the read/write Web 2.0 world is about participation
Rainie's action items:
  • think of yourself as a news node for information and interaction
  • think of yourself as a possible social network node for people looking for "friendsters"
  • think of yourself a an information hub - an aggregator and a linker to others who have useful, interesting material
  • embrace multi-modal multi-plexity in media (channels of info feed each other, interact, and blur)
  • listen to your youngest employees (the digital natives)
  • experiment with Web 2.0
  • monitor the pushback against technology as a time sink and interruption enabler - be participants!
  • be confident in what you already know about how to meet people's reference and entertainment (enlightenment) needs
Hey, Rainie, this is for you: "A fast-paced, informative session from a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker! I feel like this was just the tip of the iceberg, like there's so much more we could learn from Mr. Rainie if we only had more time. Can't wait to hear him speak again some time." :)

WLA 2007: Those Who Can, Teach: Becoming a More Effective "One Shot" Trainer (and Explainer)

Those Who Can, Teach: Becoming a More Effective "One Shot" Trainer (and Explainer)
a presentation by Michele Besant, Director, School of Library and Information Studies Library, UW-Madison; Carrie Nelson, Associate Academic Librarian, UW-Madison; Pamela O’Donnell, Academic Librarian, UW-Madison

Outline of today's presentation:
  • Strategies / tips
  • Collective wisdom (sharing)
  • Debriefing / critique
  • Exit with a renewed passion for teaching

Michele's main message:
  • less is more (honestly) -- try not to overwhelm learners with too much information
  • value your teaching -- believe that what you have to convey has value to learners
  • it's all about the story -- narratives help you make a connection with learners
  • have fun! -- if you're having fun, your learners might have fun too
Carrie's concerns: feelings and how they affect our teaching
  • reading from a script -- try to break from your script to keep things fresh
  • giving up control -- try to get comfortable about feeling uncomfortable
  • embrace the weirdness -- enjoy the unexpected and unscripted
Pamela's premise:
  • what's in a name (a lot!) -- take time to learn each learner's name
  • analogies work -- Google is like a very happy dog (retriever); find a way for learners to assimilate new information; something memorable
  • fake it -- fake it 'til you make it; if you don't feel "up" about training
  • be funny -- it helps make librarians more approachable and engaging
Wisdom of crowds -- tips from the audience:
  • this isn't brain surgery; no one will die if you make a mistake
  • an active learning experience
  • commitment to your audience will transcend any technical challenge
  • teaching to different levels of knowledge in a group session
  • clear demos followed by hands-on practice
  • a person has to hear a thing 3 times before remembering it; say it different ways
  • be prepared; know your stuff, but be ready for seats-of-the pants stuff
  • be willing to not have all the answers; turn it back to the group for answers
  • help relax your students so they're open to learning new things
  • help learners make a connection to what you're trying to teach
Michelle: "If you want to learn something, teach it to other people"

find out about your learners, so you can tailor your presentation to their needs

how to learn patience with people who really don't get it -- understand he/she is a person who has a need and/or problem

let go of the expectation that an entire class of learners will reach the same level at the end of the learning session

PowerPoint slides on a handout, with room for learners to take notes

Seeing red

It was a little like herding cats, but eventually we all stood together long enough to smile for the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries photo shoot in the Regency Suites atrium Wednesday afternoon.

Hey, the t-shirts were free, we librarians know a good marketing strategy when we see one and, well, it was happy hour.

Tasha explains Library 2.0 for you

  • Menasha Public Library Director Tasha Saecker's Wednesday afternoon presentation, Library 2.0: The Movement Explained, was one of those lively, inspiring conference events that make you walk out thinking to yourself, "I'm sure glad I caught that one!"

    She was incredibly engaging and very persuasive in her promotion of this new, customer-oriented approach to library services. The term is a spinoff of Web 2.0, the subject of another breakout session at this conference and, as Tasha explains it, "simply means making your library space - both physical and virtual - more interactive, collaborative, and driven by community needs."

    Library 2.0 represents a dramatic departure from the way some of us have traditionally done library service, which explains why we may be reluctant to embrace it, she said. But ultimately, it offers perhaps the best opportunity for librarians to attract more users and make our libraries the community hubs they are meant to be.

    Simply defined, Library 2.0 is two-way communication between libraries and the communities they serve. "It's a way of inviting input from the public ... and a lot of us aren't all that used to doing that." It requires flexibility, transparency, openness, decentralized control and participation from all sectors. Common tools include blogs, wikis, instant messaging, email, mashups, social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and interactive websites. But she stressed that Library 2.0 goes deeper than new technologies.

    "It's more about the theory and philosophy and approach that you take with your staff, your patrons and your community," she said. "You can do it even if you're not a techno-geek."

    You're still living in the Library 1.0 world if you:
  • believe that rules rule (i.e. you find yourself saying "no" to patrons a lot)
  • take pride in creating parameters for users (such as "no cell phones in the library")
  • see librarians as the experts
  • see the library as an "institution" rather than a provider of services
  • use technology reluctantly and see it as anti-library
  • assume that patrons know nothing

Essential elements of Library 2.0, on the other hand, include:

  • User-centered, not library- or librarian-centered service

  • Socially rich physical and virtual spaces.

  • Communal approaches

  • Egalitarian attitudes and behaviors

  • More acceptance of non-textual content

  • Trust between librarians and the public and between management and staff
She discussed the concept of radical trust, which she said forces acceptance and tolerance. She challenged us to reach out and try to "radically trust" our most irritating, cringe-inducing patrons, hard as that may be. Chances are those people will surprise us, and they may just have the most useful suggestions.

One way to encourage skeptical or reluctant library employees to embrace change is to provide them ample access to technology, and to provide time for them to play with it. Menasha Public Library employees are encouraged to blog and IM each other to communicate, and all are invited to publish on the library's website.

To those who say they just don't have time to experiment with Library 2.0 or learn new technological tools, Tasha says that's only acceptable if you don't care about serving your patrons. We have to meet them where they are, she said, and right now they are already all over the web, leaving some of us behind.

"We promote lifelong learning for our patrons, and we must embrace it as well."

After the session Ms. Seacker consented to a brief interview, which I've posted below. If the video doesn't work, that's either because Google Video's publishing time delay is still in place or (more likely) I missed a step in my uploading process.

Some of us need more time to play than others.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WLA 2007: Library Conference Planning 101: Backs to the WAAL

As a newbie to the WAAL 2008 planning committee, I couldn't believe my luck. An entire session on planning the WAAL conference, by members of last year's committee!

I was so impressed by these folks - they put a lot of good energy and work into coordinating a successful conference, and they clearly had fun doing it. Oh, and not only that, but they put that same amount of energy and fun into this session. They even brought a basket of candy for attendees, and gave out door prizes! Wow.

They had tons of practical tips and words of wisdom to share:
  • Committee member pins and t-shirts ("It will be okay... I promise") helped establish team camaraderie
  • Get to know your conference site staff, and show appreciation
  • In-house program booklet is a lot of work and versioning can be difficult, but saves money
  • Conference headquarters room for committee members is helpful
  • Most program applications will come within a few hours of the deadline
  • Very difficult to estimate attendance at a given session
  • Whoever sends out the initial email will receive all kinds of communications, because there's no central "planning committee email address" and nobody knows who is on the planning committee and what their areas of responsibility are
  • Flexibility is key - there will be cancellations and problems
  • Be sure you have permission to use copyrighted images
  • If graphics are done in-house, need to be professional about service, and not try to "own" your artwork; there will be multiple iterations until finalized
  • Have entire committee look at program booklet to check for ommissions/errors
  • You can turn a regular "school"-type folder into a nice conference folder with nice conference graphic sticker on cover
  • On-site registration desk staff benefit from "ready reference" materials detailing who is doing what, where and when; maps of technology set-ups, conference center, surrounding area, etc.
  • Local Chamber of Commerce may provide "goodie bags" of information, coupons, etc.
  • Speaker forms: limit # of words for session description, ask if they can provide a Powerpoint file, ask if they would be okay with videotaping of their session
  • Food: shoot for breaking even, although making money here can subsidize other parts of conference
  • Ask local staff for costs of everything, including tablecloths, staffing, gratuity, etc.
  • Ask if you can bring in outside food, or caterers
  • Request specific foods; chefs can usually handle this - menu is just default
  • Lots of positive remarks about providing bottled water, although expensive ($1.50 each)
  • Attendees staying on site want to be entertained, but you can't please everybody
  • Local planning committee member should float around and handle issues as they arise
While I came out of the session more informed, I was also anxious about not having accomplished as much by October of this year, as they had at this time last year...

WAAL 2008 will be held April 15-18, 2008 in Manitowoc. It's affordable, fun, and relevant! Confirmed guest speakers: Gary Price (, Matt Goldner (OCLC), and Rochelle Pennington (WI author). Hope to see you there!

WLA 2007: David Maraniss keynote

I discovered as I was about to blog my first event of the conference that a) my laptop battery is dead, so I need to keep it plugged in to type; and b) wireless access is password-protected in the conference rooms. I couldn't do anything about the former situation, but was happily able to get the login info from conference center staff later in the day.

I've missed all of David Maraniss' speaking engagements in Madison since *They Marched into Sunlight* was published, so I was pleased to see that he'd be the keynote speaker at this year's WLA conference. He didn't disappoint!

On libraries and his family... "My dad always said his church was the public library."

On a writer's life... "50% is boring - you have to sit in a chair and write. The other half is exciting!"

Maraniss recounted his visits to about a dozen formal libraries and archives, plus informal collections held by individuals, in the course of conducting research for his books on Bill Clinton, Vince Lombardi, Roberto Clemente, the 1960 Olympics, and the October 1967 anti-war protest and Vietnam War battle which are the focus of *They Marched into Sunlight*.

This is a man who understands the value of preserving access to historical materials. In particular, he lauded recently-retired James Danky of the Wisconsin Historical Society, for his invaluable collection of local/alternative press newspapers. As a grad student, I was lucky to have Danky speak in my classes about the importance of libraries collecting locally-produced publications, especially the controversial ones.

The role of both in-person visits and serendipity in the research process came up several times, as Maraniss mentioned a trip to Arkansas where he met Bill Clinton's great-aunt, who happened to possess the personal effects of Clinton's grandmother, including the letters he'd written her over the years; an interview with a lawyer who had secretly maintained the only records of the legal case related to Roberto Clemente's fatal air crash; and a visit to a meeting room in Rome which had just undergone a renovation entailing the removal of wallcoverings that revealed Fascist-era murals, that would have surrounded the 1960 Olympic planning committee. I do wonder about the future of such serendipitous discoveries and contextual understandings, in the digital age.

When asked what in libraries he has found to be most useful, and what has been lacking, he replied, "Not many criticisms... Just want them to stay open and have the money they need to keep doing what they’re doing."

I bought four copies of *They Marched into Sunlight* and had them signed :)

WLA 2007: Real World RSS: Developing a Current Awareness Service for Your Patrons

Real World RSS: Developing a Current Awareness Service for Your Patrons
a presentation by Rebecca Holz, Health Sciences Librarian, Ebling Library, UW-Madison; Stephen Johnson, Health Sciences Librarian, Ebling Library, UW-Madison; and Andrew Osmond, Health Sciences Librarian, Ebling Library, UW-Madison

~ This slides for this presentation are available at ~

Why might RSS be the answer for a current awareness service?
  • flexible
  • scalable
  • portable
Providing RSS feeds of the tables of contents of journals of interest to faculty; some of which are available full text because Ebling subscribes to the e-journal

iGoogle and Google Reader as the aggregators of choice

Methods of communication used by the staff for this project:
  • intranet used as a communication tool for staff working on the project (agenda, minutes, report of activities)
  • staff blog also used to communicate progress (both of the above create transparency for the project's progress)
  • decided to meet once a week for no more than an hour
  • set up a wiki to manage the project
Phase 0 -- is this project practical? have others already done something similar we can replicate?

Phase 1
create categories for each journal

Phase 2
Develop bundled OPML packages (an easy way to export all the feeds into a feedreader/newsfeed aggregator)
How to Import OPML

OPML means users can import...
  • RSS feeds of all journal on a subject
  • RSS feeds of onl the top journals in a subject

Phase 3
Develop a shopping-cart-like application; however, the ROI on the programming didn't make it feasible or practical

Phase 4
Develop instructional and promotional plans
Get the word out; show how it can be valuable to faculty and staff

The future:
  • more local integration into the library's web site
  • expansion to news, podcasts
  • integrated article retrieval, citation management, and proxy issues
  • maintenance issues; missing feeds
  • formalized approach to sharing
  • continued evaluation

WLA 2007: Web 2.0

Keith Schroeder

Presented by Keith Schroeder, who also gave a great session on podcasting before this one.

What is Web 2.0?
  • RSS
  • wikis
  • new programming tools: AJAX, API
  • blogs
  • recommender function
  • personalized alerts
  • folksonomies
  • social networking
  • IM
  • ways to connect people and encourage collaboration
For a good video, see Web 2.0 on youtube.

Sites to try:
  • Bloglines (RSS reader)
  • (social bookmarking - see the presenter's bookmarks at )
  • Doodle (polls)
  • Skype (voice over IP - Schroeder suggested using this to connect with authors: if you have a computer, projector and webcam, and the author has a webcam, you could project your web session with the author for a distance ed/program - good idea!)
  • zamzar (file conversion)
  • Firefox (web browser - tabbed browsing, loads of extensions to customize it the way you want it)
  • zoho (free MS Office-like products)
  • meebo (instant messaging)
  • slideshare (slide sharing... doh!)
  • writeboard (similar to a wiki, but more like a whiteboard)
  • CalendarHub (shared calendars)
Check out this Top 10 Tools Lists for Learning.

What can you do with these tools?
  • move your support system to a message board
  • use them for products that can help you not to repeat yourself (create podcasts)
  • move your intranet to a wiki
  • find out who your passionate users are
  • create wikis on specialized topics
  • use TeacherTube or Google video (not as much junk on those sites & Google video uses a review process before posting anything) to share instructional materials
Why do we need to pay attention to this?
  • It's not going away!
  • focus on what you CAN do
  • instead of just saying NO - work with staff, patrons, etc. to see how you can help them
  • you need to embrace what you can and work with people to make the best of Web 2.0 work
  • it's what's best for patrons
The sites shared were pretty mainstream, so I didn't feel like I heard many new things. However! I will definitely be checking out his Web 2.0 links, because there's lots of stuff there I haven't come across before. He also recommended going to Go2Web20 for a comprehensive list of Web 2.0 tools to try. And, last but not least, Schroeder has created a list of all of the things presented in his talk, along with the PowerPoint, available on his web site. Fun ahead!

WLA 2007: Podcasting as a Library Tool

This session was presented by Keith Schroeder, Library Media Specialist for the Howard-Suamico School District. He has collected a wealth of links to sites about podcasting, including the PowerPoint from his presentation, so be sure to take a look at that, too.

What is a podcast? The speaker shared some basic podcast features:
  • content - audio or video - created for an audience to listen to how and when they want
  • multimedia files that are distributed over the Internet
  • files that can be played on a computer or a portable device
  • files that are distributed through an RSS feed
  • podcasts are compatible for Mac or PC users
Why should we use podcasts?
  • library news updates
  • content learning
  • distance learning
  • interviewing
  • self-paced learning
  • lectures and teaching - playback
He shared several model library sites. Be sure to take a look at these sites, because these libraries are doing really cool things!
Schroeder highlighted the need to educate staff and/or students about safety:
Copyright issues also need to be considered. What is acceptable to use? Ask for permission to know for sure. See also: EFF Bloggers' FAQ. A good question came up: If we want to do podcasts of a storytime session, aren't there copyright issues to consider? Shroeder has had good luck contacting publishers for permission to record readings of books and recommends trying that. Nothing lost, nothing gained!

Equipment needed to create a podcast:
  • good microphone
  • computer
  • editing software - Schroeder recommends using Audacity, a free audio recorder and editor available online at (Mac users can use Garageband, which is also very nice.)
  • music (see
  • recordable mp3 player/digital voice recorder
  • online services to host your podcast - a blog (Schroeder likes Podomatic.)
How to make a podcast:
  • record an audio file
  • edit your audio and add music if you wish (see
  • convert the file to an mp3 format
  • upload the file to a web server
  • create an RSS feed (FeedBurner, for example)
  • listen to and share your podcast
Schroeder gave a demo of Audacity that truly proved how easy it is to use - made me want to download it right away and give it a go myself! There are tutorials available for Audacity if you want to learn more about how to use it.

This was a practical, how-to session - the speaker did a good job of showing how easy podcasts are to create. I would have liked more time to explore some of the library sites to see what's out there and get ideas for what to do, but it's easy enough to do that later, and it's no fault of the presenter that the wireless Internet connection was being problematic.

Stuart Stotts

Lutie Stearns and Her Library Legacy
Stuart Stotts, Storyteller
Wednesday afternoon

Collecting some links while we're waiting to start...

Lutie -- born in Mass. in 1876. Moved to Milwaukee. Was left-handed, punished for it and developed a severe stutter that stayed with her her whole life. Became a teacher: her first day she walked into a room with 72 kids -- and one book.

Went to Milw. Public every Thursday to collect books for use in class. Eventually MPL hired her as a school library liaision.
Got involved in WLA and gave a talk about how every child deserves books. Despite stuttering over nearly every word, she received a standing ovation.
Met Frank Hutchins and found common cause. Melvil Dewey gave a talk in 1894 (or so) about traveling libraries in NY. Lutie and Frank thought this was a great idea.
They went to Senator Stout from Menomonie; together they worked for legislation to create traveling libraries in the state. Got a bunch together and sent them out to places around Dunn County. Lutie and Frank oversaw the project (she was on loan from MPL).
She was eventually hired by the Free Library Commission. Placed libraries in post offices, schools, stores, private homes...

From the brochure (1897): "It is after all, not the few great libraries, but the thousand small ones that may do the most for people."

Worked there 1896-1914, traveling around northern Wisconsin delivering books...amazing...

Eventually, she basically blanketed the state with traveling libraries. Afterwards she traveled the country for about 20 years doing lectures and promoting social justice.
Spent her last years in Milwaukee. Died in December 1943 at 77.

SS: There should be a scholarly monograph about Lutie Stearns -- but that isn't what he was writing. He was writing to communicate Lutie's spirit and dedication.
Comments and questions:
This should be in the library school curriculum.
How long did the boxes stay in one place? It varied -- 6 months sometimes.
How did they take care of the books? Sen. Stout wrote a pamphlet about clean books...

Bloggin' the Board

Well, I'm a little slow out of the blocks here, but...

The WLA Board traditionally meets Tuesday before the conference. Tonight's meeting starts with dinner and a friendly circle of personal updates: visits to children, found cats, forgotten tractor shirts, fashion plans (Jim T. will be wearing overalls next year), lawn and garden adventures, visits to the book festival and Ashland, Lily started kindergarten (watch out Nick)....

Rousing applause for Terrie and all the conference committee. Many thanks for all their hard work. Program sponsorship by NEWIL, FVLC, and WPA. Everyone promised to have a good time.

I won't try to take minutes of the meeting, but you should know that the Association seems to be in good hands. I'm always impressed by the amount of stuff that gets done by the WLA Board -- while they're having a good time. And it's all about the Good Time...

WLA 2007: Putting Library Services Where Our Users Live and Work: Future of the OPAC

Putting Library Services Where Our Users Live and Work: Future of the OPAC
a presentation by Matt Goldner, Executive Director, Cooperative Collection Services, Columbus, OH
  • Market trend and user behavior / expectations
  • Leveraging library resources
  • "A Brief History of"
Marketing Trend #1:
Changing distribution model -- Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers, Google scholar

Marketing Trend #2:
Changing nature of "content" -- Web 2.0, the wisdom of crowds, social networking

Marketing Trend #3:
Changing user expectations:
  • users expect customized information -- iGoogle
  • personally programmed devices
  • collaborating at a distance
How do users see libraries in this changing environment?
Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources

The good news:
  • libraries are used and viewed favorably as an information source
  • what students value:
  • collections: authoritative content
  • services: research assistance
  • community: the library as a place
The bad news:
  • people think of libraries as just being about books
How can we summarize the cause and effect of this rapidly changing info marketplace and it relation to libraries?:

Then: users built their workflow around the library
Now: the library must build its service around the user workflow

Then: resources were scarce and attention was abundant
Now: attention is scarce and resources are abundant

How do we deliver out value -- collections, services and community...
to the user
on their network
at their point of need

How do we get into our users workflow?
user workflows -- not products or services -- should be the focal point
users care about the "jobs" they need to complete, not about products
solutions that users need will vary by task and change over time

How does this apply to the library?
We have to figure out how we can aggregate services around users:
discover resources, services, expertise
deliver needed items to users, where they are
share & collaborate expertise, recommendations, experiences

Benefits of web technologies to libraries:
exposes library collections and resources
utilizes existing delivery systems to seamless provide delivery options to suers
delivers needed items to users -- wherever they are
contribute and share in the search experience

How do we need to change our thinking and behavior?

A brief history of
bring the library to the user through the web (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.)
launch of as a destination site
creation of downloadable search box to place a WorldCat search on any web service at point of need

WorldCat Local
users have the same search expectations at the library
built and maintained on
elevates holdings of the library through relevancy ranking; local holdings rise to the top of the search results
configured to interoperate with existing local systems (ILS, library-provided resources, resource sharing services)
delivers access to WorldCat database local collections (30 million article citations, ebooks, etc.)
University of Washington the first pilot site of WorldCat Local
figures out the appropriate mode of delivery of items to the customer (item on shelf, button to place a local hold, place an I.L.L. request, etc.); seamlessly passes the item through the best mode of getting the item without trying to explain the rigamarole to the customer

social networking capability created in WorldCat through creation of lists

WLA 2007: Free shirts! But just one....

Please be courteous!

Rick Krumwiede, WLAF President, poses for a picture with the cool, and did I say FREE, t-shirts promoting the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries. What I really want to know is... who was hogging the shirts and taking more than one?! :)

WLA 2007: Applying Survey Methodology in the Real World

Applying Survey Methodology in the Real World
a presentation by Thomas Walker, Associate Dean, UW-Milwaukee, SOIS

Introduction to surveys:
  1. What are they?
  2. How to plan a survey
  3. How to collect data
  4. Sampling
  5. Questionnaires
I. What are surveys?
  • a formalized method of gathering info about a group of people through a sample
  • a carefully chosen sample can be used to project results to a larger population
Surveys are not...
  • collected from 100% of a population
  • collected entirely from a self-selected group
  • collected from a group just because that "sample" is easy to get data from
Data gathered systematically:
  • standardized procedures
  • not data from individuals -- should be anonymous
  • data should form a composite profile of the whole
Library surveys:
  • usually to assist in the planning process
  • assess community needs
  • assess community perceptions of...
  • - what libraries are
  • - what libraries should be
Surveys and methods of collection:
  • telephone
  • mail
  • in-person at the library or other location
  • web site or email
  • while methods of data collection can be used to describe the type of survey, methods should not be the main reason a sample is chosen
II. Planning a survey
  1. Development
  2. Pre-test
  3. Final draft of plan and survey
  4. Implementation
  5. Coding
  6. Analysis and reporting
  • define budget, staffing, and time
  • define outcomes
  • broadly define population and sample
  • draft data collection method
Pre-test -- allows you to try things out; a dry run
  • more clearly define population and sample
  • refine questionnaire
  • pre-tests(s) of revised questionnaire
  • evaluate pre-tests(s) and contine or pre-test again
Final draft of plan and survey:
  • finalize population and sample
  • prpare final questionnaire
  • organize logistics of implementation -- will the survey be distributed at a service desk; given to every 10th person, etc.
  • select sample
  • evaluate validity of data -- remove invalid responses and otherwise clean up
  • prepare data for analysis (code)
  • prepare data sets and subsets
  • analyze data
Final reporting
  • contextualize data in pre-established framework of survey plan
  • prepare report
Two crucial tasks:
  1. questionnaire design
  2. sampling
V. Questionnaires:
  • define:
  • - what kind of information is required?
  • - from whom do you need data?
  • write questions at a 5th grade level; keep things simple & direct
  • break down complex problems into very simple ones
  • create clear simple questions
The questionnaire:
  • may be self-administered or done by an interviewer
  • should be introduced to let the respondent know what the purpose is, who will analyze it, and whether the results will be made public
  • should conclude by expressing appreciation
  • should be designed at a 5th grade reading level
  • statements assuring confidentiality are desirable and may be required
  • inform respondents that thier responses are voluntary and that their anonymity is assured
  • if children are involved in any way, extra precautions must be taken
Clear, simple questions
  • scales may be useful ("on a scale of 1-5...")
  • multiple choices may be clear, if all possible choices have been anticipated
  • open-ended questions can yield rich data, but are difficult to analyze or quantify
  • questions should be pre-ested
  • special terms should be defined (acronyms like OPAC, jargon, etc.)
IV. How to sample
  • define overall population
  • determine ways to accurately sample that population
Examples of samples -- public library service populations subgroups:
  • users
  • non-users
  • children in school
  • visually impaired
Sample size:
  • there is not one magic formula for determining sample size
  • factors:
  • - degree of exactitude needed
  • - budget available
  • - staff time
  • - ease of administration of survey
Sample may be small
  • if well-chosen, a sample may be just a small percent of the whole population
  • it's better to spend one's time focusing on the design of a survey and the sampling of a population than to blanket a larger percent of a population
Confidence level
  • expressed as a percentage for how frequently the true percentage of a population would answer the question
  • the number of percentage points
  • it is most common to express confidence more fully by including both the confidence level and the interval
Sample size calculator:
"You can use it to determine how many people you need to interview in order to get results that reflect the target population as precisely as needed. You can also find the level of precision you have in an existing sample."

Finding sample surveys
  • same time by replicating other surveys
  • published articles for similar institutions or types of surveys, some of which may even include a copy of the original survey instrument
The Rodski Survey:

WLA 2007: Green Bay Press Gazette

Library conference draws 1,000 to KI Convention Center
The Green Bay Press Gazette
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Monday, October 15, 2007

MATS Blogging the 2007 WLA Conference

The MATS blogging team is at it again! Like we did at the WLA 2006 Conference, 1 regular WLA blogger & 3 guest bloggers will be posting their notes about WLA Conference happenings here on the WLA blog.

The bloggers are...
Blogging the conference on their own blogs are these good folk:
Look for their write-ups & photos of WLA happenings here all this week!

We'll also be linking to presenters' PowerPoint presentations & handouts, posts about the WLA Conference seen on other blogs, and Flickr photos with the tag "WLA2007".

Friday, October 12, 2007

Three WLA Foundation Scholarships Awarded October 4

"It is an incredible feeling to give someone their very first library card," proclaimed Tracy Jordan in her winning 2007 Sally Davis Scholarship Application. The WLA Foundation Scholarships Committee is proud to recognize Tracy Jordan (UW-Madison SLIS), Christi Barten (UW-Milwaukee MLIS), the recipient of the $1,200 Vida Stanton Scholarship and Frances Veit (UW-Madison SLIS), recipient of the Library Education Scholarship of $1,100. The Committee reviewed over 50 applications. Please join them in congratulating these emerging professionals!

For more details about these scholarships, visit

Friday, October 05, 2007

Highsmith Inc. contributes more than $12,000 to Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries

“With the support of Highsmith, the Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries continues to be the much needed voice for all Wisconsin libraries,” said Rick Krumwiede, WLA Foundation President. “By centralizing promotional activities at the state level, the Campaign merchandise from Highsmith will benefit all Wisconsin Libraries, including those with limited resources.” He continues, “and this gift couldn’t be timelier, as we prepare to distribute over 2000 t-shirts, pencils, posters, and bookmarks at this month’s Annual WLA Conference.”

Since 1956, Highsmith has proudly endorsed libraries and library institutions. Their contribution to the Campaign includes cash and an in-kind contribution of merchandise featuring the campaign theme and logo. To read the full news release, visit