Sunday, December 4, 2011

MD eBook Summit review

Sue Vazakas from JHU posted this review of the eBook summit on their learning journal blog. And if you wish to practice your twitter searching, search for the hashtag #mdebook Thanks

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Staying Safe with Rosanne Torpey

Rosanne Torpey was an excellent presenter and I found her program very useful for circulation.
We need to be proactive before reactive. This helped me to recognize everyday stressors and to take a deep breath in stressful situations.
Know when to speak and when to listen. (Biggy for me so my husband tells me)
Demonstrate appropriate response if a person has weapons.
I recommended Rosanne to my daughter to give to her supervisor for a workshop.

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's New in Young Adult Literature and How to Use it in Your Program

On Wednesday Nov. 2 Lesley Mason and I attended the What's New in Young Adult Literature and How to Use it in Your Program. These wonderful seminars are sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Research (BER) and some of you have perhaps attended one at some point. Patti Tjomsland was the speaker - she's one of the best for middle and high school. She knows the material well and goes through new books of all kinds and subjects, Award Winners, Promoting Books, Reading, and Discussions, Activities for Any Novel, and Internet Resources. There are copies of many of them displayed around the room. There is always a handbook of these books with many others listed. I put the handbook in the Professional Collection available for checkout. This one has not yet been processed but there are some earlier ones in the collection. The next seminar info - which I think will be elementary books and will be done by Peggy Sharpe who is also excellent- I will send the info to you. Contact me if more information is needed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I attended the October 24, 2011 workshop on "Staying safe in a changing work environment" presented by Rosanne Torpey at the LaVale Library. She gave an incredible amount of information to the attendees but the 3 hour workshop passed quickly because of her sense of humor and background stories. Some of the things that impressed me the most from the workshop included the idea that we all need to look at other perspectives on the same problem to help re-frame it into an opportunity by finding another angle - "don't stop at the first "right" answer". It was also eye opening to have the 5 stages of the aggressive cycle explained, from the triggering stage where you have an opportunity to defuse the situation through the crisis stage where you cannot talk/reason with the individual all the way to the post-crisis stage where the individual is calm and can again be reasoned with. Rosanne also emphasized how important nonverbal cues are in de-escalating or defusing possible unsafe confrontations from the way you stand to the look on your face.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Staying Safe with Rosanne Torpey

When I signed up for this workshop (Staying Safe in a Changing Work Environment, Oct. 25 in Clear Spring), I thought this was going to be just another self-defense, working with/around the emotionally or substance unbalanced. Just checking off more CEU's. I was totally WRONG. It was not "just another" workshop; this was one of the most rewarding trainings I have attended, and I would urge anyone who has not participated in one of Ms. Torpey's presentations to jump on the next opportunity that presents itself. Yes, we did learn to recognize impending crisis situations, and techniques and approaches to de-escalate them. The main difference was the clarity with which the material was presented and the sense of empowerment to trust one's individual abilities, creativity, and approaches when dealing with difficult persons, whether patrons or co-workers. Quite invigorating. Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Polaris Users Group Conference Pt1

September 29-October 1st
Carrie P

I had the opportunity at the end of September to attend the Polaris Users Group (PUG) conference in Dallas, TX. Day one was dedicated to Polaris Staff updating the 300 or so attendees on new bits and pieces that are in development for future releases. Day two was for presentations from the user group.

General tidbits from Day 1
  • Polaris is working with Muse Global on a federated search product
  • Work is underway to make the upgrade process faster and shorter
  • Receipt footers can be customized at the branch level - so everyone can advertise their own programs on their printed receipts - pretty cool.
  • The 4.1 mobile PAC will support enriched content (book covers etc.)
  • In 4.1 we will be able to pick the fields that we want displayed on search results
  • We will be able to do a checkout limit (if we choose to) on associated items. Example - limit of 5 movies which could be any combination of DVD and Blu-ray discs
  • The acquisitions module will be able to split the FY - duplicate the current year and roll over the new FY
The 2 most interesting things were:
  1. Regarding RDA - Polaris is waiting to see what happens with efforts to replace marc. It's all well and good to be ready, but until the "container" that is marc is changed, the new data fields won't be as meaningful as they could be...this was good to hear. I've been excited about RDA and Maria keeps telling me that it doesn't make sense with marc, but I needed to hear it again, in a bigger room. ;-)
  2. The system requirements for 4.1 will be the same as for 4.0 (we will likely go live on 4.0 and then do an upgrade to 4.1 within the first 6 months or so). However, version 4.2 which is slated for January 2013, will not work with Windows XP. Another good excuse to upgrade computers!

Staying Safe ina Changing Work Environment

Presenter: Master Nurse, Rosanne Torpey
Date: 25 October 2011
Location: Clear Spring Library

Summary: Although the "role-playing" scenarios presented in this session were based in our work environment, the library, the content of this fast-moving three hour workshop dealt with staying safe in a changing world.

We learned skills necessary to manage difficult situations; being pro-active, not reactive. Without being cognizant of our response, we can sometimes escalate a problem. We were taught verbal and non-verbal intervention skills to use. We learned the importance of shaking up our old thinking patterns and to see the situation from a different perspective. In summary, we should project to others that we care...great customer service advice.

The workshop ended with our playing a game which visually demonstrated that within our daily tasks, fragile situations may arise in which we may have to use our skills to de-escalate.

I recommend this life skills workshop to all.

Stay safe

Several things that I thought were helpful- 1. aggressive cycle and when you can talk to a person, 2. appropriate body language 3. applying techniques outside the workplace. It is hard to be kind when facing a threatening situation, but planning ahead and staying calm are essential. Now HOW DO YOU STAY CALM and not take things personally. That's what I need to practice!
No matter where the situation, we do not know what the other person has been going through.Usually problem patrons bring their problems with them and we are sitting targets because we are available and they figure that we have been trained to be nice to them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Staying Safe in a Changing Work Environment

I attended the "Staying Safe in a Changing Work Environment on October 24th at the LaVale Branch in Allegany County. I found the speaker to be very informative and interesting. She gave us examples of day to day stressors that might crop up and affect the safety of the workplace. She explained how and when to talk and when not to talk when a patron is in the aggressive cycle. She gave us great tips on how to be in the safe negotiated zone - how to stand and have good eye contact, no staring or glaring. Overall, this was a very important workshop for people working in customer service. I highly recommend it!

Staying safe workshop

I attended the "Staying Safe in a changing work environment" workshop at Clear Spring library today. I found the instructor to be very informative as well as entertaining. We were taught about various behaviors that could be caused by everyday stressors and how to effectively defuse the situation before it became a crisis. I found the information given to be helpful for me not only at work, but in my everyday life.

Pop!Tech 2011 (part one)

Before I start gushing about my experience at Pop!Tech last week, I think it might be best to let you know about the Pop!Tech website and if you have time, I'd like to encourage you to spend some time viewing some of the videos of the presentations.

Don't have time to spend on the website? That's fine, too! Here's a brief blub about what Pop!Tech is: Pop!Tech (the organization) is "...a community of innovators working together to expand the edge of change." Then logic tells us at the Pop!Tech conference is a gathering of about 500 curious minds who all come together in Camden, Maine to expose themselves to the brilliant ideas and work and progress the aforementioned innovators are creating and to get a peek at what the edge of change actually looks like.

You can view all of the videos from the conference on the Pop!Tech site so, I'm not going to go into specifics about each of the presenters but I will share with you my top ten a-ha moments. This post will have five and then I'll have another five in my next post.

A-Ha #10: If the world is re-balancing, so too are libraries and our balance - our scale - has more than two pans. In fact, it probably looks more like a mobile with at least four arms: the library itself, the users, the funders, and the technology.

A-Ha #9: Poverty is not due to a lack of resources but to a lack of distribution. What does this mean for the info-poor and/or the illiterate (and when I say illiterate I mean it in other ways besides being able to read and write, like being computer/technologically literate)? As libraries are we really doing the best we can with disseminating information - within and without? Might this become an even bigger role for libraries in the future? I predict that yes, we will need to work harder and more creatively with distributing information in the future - staying with the most main-stream ways will not be sufficient because if the info-poor had access to those avenues then they wouldn't be info-poor in the first place, would they?

A-Ha #8: We need to start considering how we can reverse the journey our library ancestors first set out on so many years ago. I believe their primary objective is no longer the primary objective of libraries today. The world they were living in is not the same world we are living in today. Libraries mean something different now than they did a couple hundred years ago. Just because we're a part of a long wagon train doesn't mean we can't steer our own horse in a different direction.

A-Ha #7: I believe a strong library future is one where the consumer/client/patron is at the center of the library both as a provider and receiver of library goods and services. Think of the idea of crowd sourcing standard library-staff functions like shelving, cataloging, teaching classes and web design. Think about it - when you go to a book store, Barnes and Noble, whatever, and you see a book out of place or a DVD out of place on the shelf, do you just leave it there or do you put it where it will most likely be found - in its proper place? I put it in the right place. Imagine if our library patrons experience the same feeling when they were browsing our collections.

A-Ha #6: We need to harmonize our usage policies across all types of libraries. What this means is that all libraries, no matter what kind (academic, public, school, etc), share the same vision of utilization among all customers/clients/patrons. If I can check out a library book at library A for 30 days then I know I can check out a library book at library B for 30 days also. If I can renew an item 2 times at library B then I know I can renew an item 2 times at library A and library C. Does that make sense?

Stay tuned...bigger and better a-ha!s to come later in the week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cyberbullying Workshop

For the most part, the information given in this workshop has already been covered by previous talks. Much of it centered around facebook and its privacy settings which were relatively new that day. However, given the rate facebook changes its settings the information would only be relevant for a brief amount of time. Again, facebook and its settings was something I was already familiar with. I did like how she suggested when talking to teens using terms such as "digital world vs physical world" as opposed to "virtual world vs real world." Also given were some good resources. My favorite is This is MTVs a thin line campaign site that gives knowledge, empowers the teen and helps them identify and stop digital abuse.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Giving a Fish a Bath

I found Heather Higgins presentation "Giving a Fish a Bath" rally interesting. It sure gave me a better insight into how the young adult brains works (or don't work). I am now looking forward to my 2 youngest grandchildren reaching the ripe old age of 25 and having developed frontal lobes. I made sure that I told my daughter about this program. She now knows there is hope for the future. Adults often wonder why intelligent teens make such bizzare or bad decisions, and now we have an explantation. It is interesting that even though the teenage brain is not wired the same as adults the same things can have a relaxing and calming effect on them. A nice walk, music, etc. Being a teen is very difficult and now I have a tool that helps me to better understand them.

Giving a Fish a Bath

“Why you telling me this?” was the first words out of my 12 year olds mouth! Just like Heather Higgins said a teenager would react-“What’s it got to do with me?” The evening after attending the "Giving a Fish a Bath" workshop, I briefly shared with my three teenage sons the topic of the teen brain. Upon hearing the overview of the adolescent brain, and without hesitation, all three boys immediately agreed that they now have an excellent excuse for their sometimes wacky behavior! Being informed with information like this helps us as individuals, as families, as volunteers in the schools, and as assistants working in public places as well as other situations. Understanding why a teen behaves as she does helps us to support her at home, at school, and at the library. My group found The Survival Game to be challenging-it was difficult to come up with good decisions and solutions as adults. How hard it must be to do so with a confused adolescent brain. I think I could use a whole morning of working through the challenging scenarios that teens may experience. Coming up with socially acceptable responses and reactions is difficult to do without losing face.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cyber Bullying

I learned that any information put on the Internet is never truly deleted. To let teens know that if you put something on line when you a mad and change your mind later, that you may not be able to delete it completely. To let them know not to give information like address, phone. What you do today, may not be what you want seen in five to ten years from now.

cyber Bullying

Giving a Fish a Bath

I do so love the title, don't you, lol...engaging, passionate presentation by Heather Higgins at the Clear Spring Branch - neuroscience is offering a fresh perspective on why teens are not reaching adulthood with the mindset & skills for success. Some info learned: the old way of thinking was that little brains grew into big brains. New way of thinking: brains have predictable periods of high vulnerability (0-5 and 12-18)and are very vulnerable to stress. I also learned that less sleep means less "encoding" the ability to remember and turn short term memory into long term. (I think that affects Moms too!)I thought it was interesting too that teens for the most part can not read a person's emotions like we adults can and did you know that video games give feedback every 3 seconds? Instant gratification - no wonder my boys love them!

Understanding why a teen behaves as he does, goes a long way into supporting & serving them in a library setting (and living with them!)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Giving a Fish a Bath

I attended the "Giving a Fish a Bath" workshop at the WMTIG meeting on Sept. 12. and learned some interesting facts about the teenage brain and why teens act the way they do. It was interesting to learn that adolescence lasts much longer now than it did half a century ago, mostly due to the environment and changes in technology. The presenter, Heather Higgins, told us that the brain, on average, isn't finished developing until age 24. Since I am 25, I found it quite astounding that I didn't completely mature until just last year! I also learned that teens often act with knee-jerk reactions because their brain isn't developed enough to think about logical, thoughtful reactions to situations. Instead they react with emotion and that's why they seem so moody. This was quite a lesson for me and I hope I am able to use the information in 20 years when I have teenagers of my own.

Giving a Fish a Bath

I attended the September TIG meeting at Cool Springs and came away with new knowledge about the teenage brain. The speaker, Heather Higgins from the Upside Down Organization, was very informative, and presented the material in a way I could understand easily. The topic was fascinating. I wish I had known how the teenage mind works when my four children were teenagers. She explained to us about the brain chemicals that are released by stress, cortisol and adrenalin, and gave us various way to reduce these chemicals. Now when I start to feel stressed, I take a walk in the sunshine or listen to some relaxing music. These simple things can help everyone!
I hope I can take some of her ideas and use them in dealing with teens who come into my library and at least understand the teens' behavior better. Their frontal lobes won't be done developing until the teens reach their mid twenties. The teenage brain does not work like a miniature adult brain!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cyber Bullying

I attended the Cyber Bullying class led by Liz Sundermann. The first thing we learned is that for teens, the physical world vs. the digital world is the same thing. We also learned that once you post information online, you can't take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, you have little control over older versions that may exist on other's computers and circulate online. Many examples of things not to do were given. Think before you post.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Giving a Fish a Bath

This workshop, presented 9/12/11 by Heather Higgins from the Upside Down Organization, was very engaging and informative. While I had attended a lecture on brain development several years ago, it was interesting to see how knowledge of brain developed has increased. I'm not really surprised that the length of Adolescence is increasing- starting earlier and lasting longer. Hopefully, I am better prepared to work with the teens in my community. Now, I just need to figure-out how to get them to the library!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I attended the workshop on Cyber-bullying by Liz Sundermann, teen specialist at Enoch Pratt. I found the workshop very interesting. She gave links for both teens and librarians on several topics having to do with cyberbullying. We discussed quite a few scenarios involving teens and cyberbulling. I passed on to my teen the safety measures she mentioned. Such as NEVER share your password or post your phone number or address. I feel better able to discuss the topic with our teen patrons.

You Can Judge A Book By Its Cover

This is the second time I have attended this workshop. Back in the fall of 2007, when I was taking LATI, Mr. Gannon presented this workshop at a branch in Baltimore County. When I saw that he was going to present it again, I signed up immediately. I found it to be both
informative and entertaining. "Reading is fundamental" states Mr. Gannon. Key points to ask customers when doing reader's advisory are: What was the last good book you read? and What did you like about it? Mr. Gannon demonstrated how to look at a book cover and determine the type of genre. For example, he could tell whether the book is a cozy or hard-boiled mystery.
We divided into three groups and completed exercises to help reinforce the key points of his presentation. It was a great workshop!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I attended the cyber-bullying workshop on 22September 2011 given by Liz Sundermann, Teen Specialist of Pratt and SLRC. A lot is heard in the media about the toll cyber-bullying is taking on many age groups in our population. There were instances discussed from pre-teens to adults. A town was referenced where gossip was rampant on a site for local concerns and information. This was taken from a NY Times article. On the Today Show this morning was a story how residents were impacted by malicious gossip posted on the site. It was interesting to have such timely connections.
The workshop is enhanced by the participants' own experiences.

You Can Judge a Book by its Cover

What a great workshop - Mr. Gannon was so funny and clever, the time seemed to pass too quickly. I learned several valuable tips in providing reader's advisory: 1. As a librarian, you must read and try different genres to provide good reader's advisory to your patrons, and you should use the reader's advisory resources you have on hand, mainly other staff members who are familiar with genres which you do not read. 2. Prepare yourself for reader's advisory by reading professional journals, like "Booklist", "Kirkus", "Library Journal", and "Publisher's Weekly". Mr. Gannon also recommended checking out "Entertainment Weekly" and "People Magazine", for their book reviews. Since they are popular magazines, many people read the reviews and request the books. 3. Always ask - what did you read last and most importantly, why did you like it? 4. Never believe the customer! Their information is not always accurate. Mr. Gannon also reviewed different genre book covers with us,so that we could look for clues about the content of the books to help us with our recommendations. In addition, he provided an article about Nonfiction Reader's Advisory which I think will be helpful. I would like to attend another workshop with Mr. Gannon as the trainer - maybe a nonfiction reader's advisory? He provided the information in such a delightful way in this workshop, it will be easy to remember.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You Can Judge a Book By Its Cover

I attended the workshop You Can Judge a Book By Its Cover presented by Michael Gannon and was rewarded with new skills and entertained to boot! He taught us some tips to help us help patrons find books to read. There is no way a librarian can read every book in the library (despite what some patrons may think). We learned how to advise patrons to find books when the genre is one we may not be familiar with.
The first question to ask a patron is 'What did you read lately that you liked, and what did you like about it?' From there the patron can be advised on other books that may have a similar theme, characters or settings. If we don't ask the right questions, it will be harder to assist a patron in finding a match. Of course, since we are a library and not a bookstore, patrons can take home many books for free! No risk to them!
Mr. Gannon showed us how to look at a book cover and determine what genre it might be. He went over romances, mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, and general fiction. I learned the subtle differences that a genre may have to distinguish between cozy and graphic subjects.
I enjoyed the slide show that was presented. I wonder why our library doesn't carry the book that he talked about called 'The Nympho Librarian'! Mr Gannon used humor and let us interact with scenarios he constructed to help us learn how to help patrons find books to read. He is a great presenter and I was glad to have attended this workshop.

You Can Judge a Book By Its Cover

Yesterday afternoon, Michael Gannon from Prince Georges County Library, presented a fun and informative program called You can Judge a Book by Its Cover. Mr. Gannon began the program by saying something that I thought was really great: "If reference is the science of librarianship, reader's advisory is the art."

The workshop provided tips for helping library patrons to find a good book to read when we find ourselves out of our element. For instance, we might like to read science fiction, but Gannon pointed out that by using the cover art and clues on the jacket, we can recommend books that our customers will like.

Additionally, four key points were mentioned:
1. Reading is fundamental--read one of what you don't usually read for familiarity
2. Read professional reviews
3. Ask the customer, "What is the last good book you read and why did you like it?"
4. Realize that customers will get it wrong, so be prepared to read between the lines when details are provided.

Overall, what made the workshop delightful was Mr. Gannon himself, whose sense of humor peppered the presentation to leave us energized and informed.

Can Judge a Book by its Cover

Michael Gannon's workshop on How to Judge a book by its cover was wonderful. He gave this presentation at a LATI workshop and I loved it then. He had us laughing and the time just flew by. He wanted us to remember 4 rules when helping a patron with readers advisory.
1. Reading is Fundamental- ( you have to read some of the books- don't try to fake it)
2. Professional Reading - ( Look in BookList and Kirkus Reviews for write ups- also become familiar with the book reviews in People and Entertainment Weekly- these are the books patrons will be asking about)
3. 64,000 Question- What was the last good book you read and why did you like it?- ( Simple question but it will tell you what kind of books they like)
4. Never believe the customer or patron- ( they will never remember the title or author right and you will have to become part detective to come to the correct answer.)
We also learned many hints as to what a cover can tell you- Nuns are always cozy mysteries and blood and bones on cover will most certainly be a gruesome thriller.
I never realized how much information could be obtained by just looking closer at the cover. Wonderful workshop and I hightly recommend this to anyone - pure learning enjoyment!

You can judge a book by its cover

I attended Michael Gannon's workshop on Reader's advisory yesterday afternoon at the LaVale Library. First, this is the most fun I have ever had at a workshop! Michael has the 10 of us laughing for the entire 2 hours. This was the first time that I realized how many clues you can actually get from the cover of a book. He told us what to look for on the cover to get an idea of the genre of the book. For example, bloody knives will be hard core mysteries. Michael also suggested that we read outside our comfort zone occasionally so we can have an understanding of what a romance or science fiction book is all about. He also suggested we remember to ask 2 important questions when a customer asks for our help in finding a book: "What is the last book that you read?" and "What did you like about it?". I think the thing that I will remember most, as simple as it sounds in hindsight, is - popular, bestselling authors, the ones that the customer refers to when they say "I've read everything", have their names on the cover in larger letters than the title of the book. Aha!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Giving a Fish a Bath: the Untold Story of the Adolescent Mind

This was a very enjoyable and engaging training session. It was fascinating to learn how the brain develops throughout adolescence so that we can better understand and serve our adolescent patrons.

The highlights of this presentation were the ideas that adolescence is lasting longer as far as brain development is concerned (as late as age 25) and that this period in life is one of two high periods of vulnerability to the brain—the other period being from birth to age five.

Hormones and brain development changes are proliferating during the teen years and it is the responsibility of adults to guide teenagers toward healthy means of satisfying their needs. For example, exercise, music, and positive social connections are much healthier ways of increasing serotonin and dopamine than using illegal drugs.

The following strategies were offered as methods for guiding teens toward healthy behaviors: teach teens about their unique brains, understand that their behavior should not be taken personally—it’s just adolescence, help teens discover sense and meaning in the behaviors you would like for them to use, adopt the language of the brain, teach empathy and build strong communication skills, give teens opportunities to practice real-world skills (how to avoid peer pressure, etc.), and remind teens to remember the fundamentals—exercise, nutrition, sleep, and coping skills.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cyber-bullying workshop

I attended the cyber-bullying workshop today. One of my favorite things I learned was to use the terms "virtual world" and "physical world" instead of "real world". Teens tend to tune you out when you try to talk to them about the real world, since they are convinced you, as an adult, have no idea what goes on in the real world. We received information about facebook privacy settings and resources for texting safety tips. It was helpful to someone like me who has 2 teens of my own.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Truth About Social Learning

I just attended a one hour webinar on the truth about social learning presented by Jane Bozarth, Ph.D., (@JaneBozarth on Twitter) and provided by the Training Magazine Network. They do great things for free and would encourage you to set up a free account so you can take advantage of their resources too.

Here are the 3 most poignant take-aways:

Most learning happens socially; we just don't realize it until it's not there.
What this means is that those informal water-cooler chats, those discussions you have in the car on the long rides on I-68 and I-70, and those beer- or wine-fueled happy hour talks you enjoy with your colleagues is where the majority of learning occurs. Why is this? Because it's natural. It's organic. It's human nature. But too often, or so some may have the impression, these types of social conversations are frowned upon as a waste of company time. According to the research (references to follow), these conversations are extremely valuable to the growth and social health of the library/business/school/etc and its talent (meaning us -the employees).

If we force social learning, it'll stop or it'll go under the radar.
So, you read this post and you do some research on your own and you think, wow! Everyone should be doing this especially Colleague X who doesn't talk to anyone. Stop right there. Forcing someone to engage in social learning endeavors (i.e. mandatory water cooler chats) will not have the desired effect. Basically, if folks aren't already talking, chances aren't they aren't ever going to. This rings true with the opposite situation - you notice one day what great ideas come from a long drive home from a meeting and so you decide to make every Thursday afternoon Go-For-An-Idea-Ride time and you force your staff or colleagues into taking mandated hour-long drives in the hopes of mimicking that one experience you had. Ain't gonna happen. Moral of the story: let it be, let it become, and don't impose any structure onto it.

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) are just tools that help take the social learning to a bigger level.
Just because you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc account and you have 5,000 friends, 3,000 followers, and 7,654 connections, it doesn't mean you're learning socially. It's not how big your social media network is, it's how you use it and how regularly you use it. How often have you posted a problem to your social media networks to get your friends to help you out? Have you used social media to help answer a patron's reference question when you were struggling? I used Facebook on Monday to find a new home for my dog and I did it in a matter of minutes. Minutes. You've heard of out-sourcing, right? Now start thinking about crowd-sourcing. I like to think of the idea of using social media to enhance social learning as the notion of crowd-sourced problem solving, or crowd-sourced perspective getting.

References for today's webinar can be found at:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Microsoft Word

This was an excellent introduction to the new microsoft word. Not only was there a fairly straight run through of the software but the instructor gave us many tips and tricks to make it easier to use. Probably the most important take away was the binder with all the lessons. This will be very useful when navigating this program.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Introduction to MS Word 2010 Parts 1&2

I have been introduced to a new meaning for ribbon; not the same as a ribbon in the old typewriters! Also I have learned what a show/hide is and how useful it is when composing a composition. MS Word 2010 is a great help for undergraduates and post-graduates when completing assignments that require written responses, or for anyone writing a letter, resume, etc. From this class I have learned skills that will be useful to assist patrons in fine tuning documents/compositions if they request my help.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Microsoft basics

I took the two classes on Microsoft basics. I have been using Microsoft 7 and 10 for sometime. I was self-taught and thought the class may introduce some features of which I was unaware. This proved to be the case. I also learned alternative ways of doing things has proven easier and more direct. The instructor was knowledgable and easy to follow. I highly recommend this class.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Microsoft 1 & 2

Great class! I really learned a good deal of information at the class. I do not have Microsoft on my home computer, but found that I can use the same functions learned in the class. I have a word pad on my personal computer.
It was good to learn how to set the tabs, it used to drive me nuts trying to set them. We also learned a number of ways to copy & paste. And those function keys, they actually do have a function! Anyway, I would highly recommend this class for anyone who is either a newby or experienced with Microsoft Word.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Handheld Librarian Online Conference

On July 27th and 28th I attended the Handheld Librarian Online Conference. Contrary to popular belief, this conference did not encourage hand-holding at all but rather it focused on handheld (aka mobile) technologies and how we can be using them to our libraries' advantages.

The first interesting workshop I attended was called, Reading Tectonics with Katie Dunneback and she presented a well-rounded overview of the impact ebooks have had on publishing as well as on libraries. Here are some juicy tidbits:
  • Who reads ebooks = reverse bell curve. This means you either don't read them at all or you read them all the time. There is little middle ground right now.
  • There's been a tremendous rise in self-published titles. Does this put a new spin on being able to judge a book by its publisher?
  • Learning how to work with ebooks is a two-pronged staff: one one prong we have the technology side and on the other prong we have the customer service side. My two cents: essentially all staff need to be trainers themselves in order to provide good customer service when working with these technologies. They need to be able to tailor their help with each customer because each one is going to be coming to them with different levels of experience and comfort. Having one "this is how we do it" spiel for ebooks is not going to be good enough.
Another session I attended that was noteworth was, Getting the most out of your 140 characters; essentially this was all about working efficiently and effectively with Twitter. I have to say, it rekindled my Twitter interest. I had taken a hiatus there for a while but after attending this session I had some new things to try out. Here are some more juicy tidbits:
  • Become a student of Twitter. If you want to see how it works and how it works well and who uses it well you gotta study, study, study.
  • Follow more people than you think you should. I'm not sure I'm sold on the value of this yet but then again, maybe I'm following the wrong people.
  • Follow locally. For example, I did a search on Hagerstown and have started following a few more people and businesses who are from the area. I've since added folks and businesses from Allegany county and Garrett county too!
  • Follow celebrities. I'm not sure I'm sold on the value of this either because there are few celebs I'm even interested in but, the presenter says you can learn from them on how to craft good tweets. Yes, there is an art to effective tweeting!
  • Participate in hashtag trends like A Day in the Life of a Librarian #libday7
If you're on twitter feel free to follow me and I'll return the favor. You can find me under jzamostny.

Monday, August 8, 2011

MLS semester #1

Things I learned my first semester of online MLS classes at Clarion University of Pennsylvania - Fall, 2010:

  • Do not start with Classification and Cataloging!
  • Don't get too discouraged after you struggle through learning about DDS and LCC to find out it's all being replaced by a new system - RDA.
  • Text books are still very expensive and if you're lucky, you may find some used ones. Now you can also sell them back to the book store or online.
  • Get support from current class mates, work mates who have also attended MLS classes and join the SIG group. (These resources become invaluable when you do your paper on Mary B!)
  • Join professional associations like MLA and ALA. They offer great resources and affordable reduced student rates.
  • Be kind to yourself and don't forget about your family.
  • Do your best and accept that perfection is an illusion!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Digipalooza report

Digipalooza is the bi-annual ebook conference hosted by Overdrive. This year it was in Cleveland, Ohio. A lot of time was spent showing us how to market ebooks and make them more popular with our patrons. ACLS ebooks come from the Maryland digital library consortium and a WMRL advantage program. For titles we get from the consortium, anyone in Maryland can place a hold and get it. For Advantage titles, only users from Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties can access those.

Overdrive will roll out their WIN program in the next 6 months. Overdrive WIN catalog is a universal ebook catalog. Overdrive’s goal is to make libraries the connecting point for all ebook content.

You can opt-in or opt-out of Overdrive WIN. If you opt-in, you can choose to have it search all available ebook titles or just your own or some middle of the road. If a patron want it now (WIN) they can purchase the ebook from an affiliate link off WIN then library gets a cut. WIN is a series of updates.

The biggest part is Downloading Overdrive/Library content to the Amazon Kindle.

· All current books are kindle compatible

· All Kindle apps are also supported

· Will benefit from whisper net sync technology

· No extra logins

· Checkout takes patron to amazon site after title selection on library/overdrive site

· Overdrive has Increased capacity for simultaneous access on overdrive website

  • Completely new help resource center with sharable links
Other improvements coming with WIN

  • Patron driven acquisitions –“Recommend to library”
  • Enhanced searching
  • Bisac subject heading
  • Market place skins
  • Format consolidation -buy once and have it in multiple formats
  • Multiple cart support -drag and drop
  • Advantage reporting
  • Advanced download standing order plans
  • Use Smart list to order
  • Innovation in browsing
  • Format options. –“Format Wizard” coming soon
  • Kindle library lending
  • Ebooks samples rolling out now
  • Improved user interface and accessibility
  • Quick search
  • new Help site

Patron Driven Acquisitions – “Recommend to Library”
Can automatically create lists of patron recommendations or can automatically purchase after set number of patron requests for a title. The Library sets budget.

Format Consolidation- we buy the eBook and our patrons can get it in the format they want it in. JV thinks they will do on the fly conversion for patrons. (no more buying a epub and a pdf version, we buy 1 copy and it gets converted for partons)

It shaping up to be a busy fall so my advice is get comfortable with overdrive and downloading content asap.

In September, the Kindle support starts and in October Pottermore comes out.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Marketing as a Team Sport

In late June and early July five WASH staff members attended an Infopeople four week, on- line course on marketing called "Marketing as a Team Sport". While the title concerned marketing much of the focus was on customer service. It was recommended to compare Starbucks customer service philosophy to our library's customer service principals and policies. Starbucks has a written philosophy and a "green apron book" carried by all staff that has standards for customer service. These standards include; surprise and delight, embrace resistance, everything matters and make it your own (which includes coffee lore and wisdom and customer care). These empower employees to provide customers "an uplifting experience that enriches peoples' daily lives." I think we do this in our libraries but it is not always made so clear. We were encouraged to write a customer service philosophy and have customer service principals as well as policies and procedures to ensure that all staff knew the customer service expectations of our library. Also included were modules on turning customers into champions (this emphasized the power of word of mouth marketing: womm), mobilizing your team and the importance of branding). Gave our staff a lot of food for thought and a way to proceed in our customer service training. Libraries to look at include West Palm Beach Florida, Queens Public and the Edmonton Public Library in Canada.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Drupal - The next BIG thing!

So what is Drupal, you say? Drupal is an open source content management platform powering millions of websites and applications. It’s built, used, and supported by an active and diverse community of people around the world. In "non-geek speak" that means - "it's a tool that we use to build websites"!

Last week I attended a class in Front End Development of Drupal as well as Capital Camp DC, which was a conference with about 275+ techies who learned all things Drupal!

3 things I learned:
- Drupal has some of the coolest websites out there and it's fairly simple to use. Here are some of the sites across the world, including many of our government websites: | |
- The White House uses the American public to help with its site as "contributors"! It's about "open-government" and Drupal is an "open-source" product where everyone contributes to the product.
- Because Drupal has a large community of contributing developers, the content continues to get robust with each module. Anytime the module needs to be fixed, many developers help to fix it so that it will work for everyone. A great example of how everyone contributes to the success of the product. It doesn't belong to any one person, it belongs to all of us.

1 thing I squared away:
- Drupal is the way to go for a Content Management Systems. I've always been kind of scared of open-source because you have to rely on documentation from other developers. But after attending the conference, I realized that everyone is willing to help. It's not about one person, it's about the overall success of Drupal. I connected with a few people and all of them are ready to dive in and help me to make it happen. Yay!!

Things I need to work on:
- Getting Drupal 7 installed and working on our server. I currently have Drupal 6 running on our server, but it's always been something that I struggled figuring out. Turns out that's what they fixed in 7 so now the new version is easy, peazy! Or so, that's what it looks like. They demo'd putting a site up for a Book store in 20 minutes with images, a checkout and navigation.

I can do this, I really can do this! :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

ALA New Orleans

ALA 2011, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, was a pretty exciting event in my career as a librarian. Not only did I get to eat some really amazing food (I see that food seems to be a popular topic when it comes to discussing this year's ALA), but I got to meet smart, funny, interesting, innovative library people from all around the world. By "library people", I mean people who work for libraries, sell things to libraries, design things for libraries, or just plain love libraries. Not everyone there was a librarian, but everyone had something to share about the libraries of the future. Because I haven't totally had enough time to process my experience in a full write-up, I'll just dish out some quick observations:
  • I met Nancy Pearl!!! Nancy Pearl, people!!! She's like the rockstar of library world!!! I met her first at her book signing, though sadly I did not win her autographed copy of Book Lust to Go. I met her a second time when she facilitated the session I attended called "Libraries and Bookstores: Strange Bedfellows" where library and bookstore leaders discussed joint partnerships in several communities that have benefited both industries.
  • Librarians can go anywhere and do anything! I met a lot of really great librarians who work in some truly unexpected places; from a librarian who worked for (her job was to make up those handy dandy categories that you use for finding items when you're shopping online) to a Canadian librarian who traveled around with rural Native tribes studying how local library services are utilized by tribal populations. There really are opportunities for librarians in every industry.
  • It's true, I do not like crawfish.
  • Library technology is a very exciting industry, similar in many ways to designing things for space or time travel. The technology, the machinery, and the innovation that takes place make our jobs easier and sleeker, but also helps us to remain relevant in people's daily lives by addressing their technological and social needs. From book vending machines (think Redbox with books) to mobile access libraries to machines that turn pages for you to chairs that look like they are straight out of the Death Star, library technology is full of the wild and wonderful. Even my husband was amazed by some of the high-tech stuff when he was wandering around the exhibit hall on his own.
  • Bourbon Street smells terrible, but not terrible enough to keep the crowds away.
  • How many times have patrons made comments about how difficult it is to find things because we don't organize our shelves like Barnes & Noble? There is a new way of cataloging called the C3 system that combines the best of bookstore classification systems with a more updated version of call numbers that make it faster and easier for patrons and staff to find items on their shelves. The Markham Public Library in Canada has debuted the system to great success and the patrons seem happy too. Hearing about innovations like these definitely makes you stop to think about how many systems are being used today that are really obsolete.
  • The social media wave is definitely washing over libraries everywhere. Most of the Q & A sessions were conducted via Twitter!! Librarians discussed the pros and cons of staff marketing via Facebook and MySpace. Sessions presenters always included links to where to where they could be found online. The conversations almost always continued after every session, not only in the rooms or in the hallways, but online! Everyone was tweeting! The ALA tag #ALA11 was even briefly trending on Twitter. That's what happens when you put 11,000 librarians in a building together and let them use smart phones!
  • Food will never taste as good again...
I did and saw (and ate) so much, that this little synopsis barely does my experiences justice, but I can definitely say that being in the company of so many enthusiastic and innovative library people makes me very optimistic and excited for the future of our profession. I would like to thank everyone in the Allegany County Library System who made it possible for me to have this opportunity including the administration and my coworkers and substitutes who covered my shifts, as well as Western Maryland Regional Library for funding staff development opportunities like this one. If any of you ever get the chance, it truly is something worth experiencing.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Big & Easy Learning in NOLA (ALA)

I attended the Annual Conference of the American Library Association in New Orleans (6/23-6/27) and aside from learning about the *best* places to eat in the Big Easy I also learned the following lessons:

1. If you're given a 2hr slot to present a program be sure to fill that 2hr slot. I attended a program that was supposed to be on the unmined potential of ebooks but the presenter only had 20 minutes worth of material. She would have liked for the remainder of the time to be spent on walking folks through the installation process of a freely available ebook-creator software but no one was told to bring laptops so, we left at 8:22AM only to hunt down a more fulfilling program. The ebook creator wasn't all that great and I know of better ones so, I'm not even going to mention it here.

2. There's no such thing as over-communicating. Not to be confused with TMI (too much information) which can be a cause for concern in any work environment, communicating broadly and in a timely manner (to the point of repeating to some degree) can be a good thing and a sign of a healthy team. One way to practice good over communication skills is to have daily 10 minute huddles (or 5 minutes of genius as they are sometimes called). Do these at a set time every day with whoever is available and do it standing up. What to share during these huddles - whatever you got going on that day or recap what happened the previous day. Just share, share, share. Be sure to jot down some notes and post them in a central location for everyone to see - esp. if they weren't able to attend the huddle.

3. Venting, although cathartic, is not productive. Be a good listener but help the ventee to move forward with a solution. Or if you're the person venting try to be aware of the fact that you are venting and ask a colleague for help with solving the solution if you feel stuck. You don't have to go it alone.

4. When delivering a conference program accept in advance that there will be plugged and unplugged learners. The challenge is catering to them both!

5. Information literacy instructors in academic libraries and public trainers in public libraries are two birds of a feather that have been disguising themselves to look different from each other. They need to join forces instead of drawing their lines deeper in the sand. I'm working on putting together a conference program on this very topic. We'll see how it goes. If you're interested in co-presenting with me just give me a shout!

6. Can't afford to bring a big name presenter physically to your library? Try to convince them to Skype their presentation. Be sure to set up a room on your end that has a reliable and high speed internet connection and a web cam so that the presenter can see the attendees when they ask questions.

7. We should strive to humbitious (humbly ambitious).

8. Have writer's block or a brainstorming block? Start throwing out your worst ideas ever and it'll get the wheels turning again, not to mention some great ideas!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting the Library Job You Want! Secrets from Library Leaders

Getting the Library Job You Want! Secrets from Library Leaders
Sponsored by: Student Interest Group (SIG) and MLA
MLA/DLA Annual Conference
Friday, May 6, 2011
Written by: Amanda Bena, Allegany County Library System

This year at the annual Maryland Library Association/Delware Library Association conference in Ocean City, Maryland, the Student Interest Group sponsored a session "Getting the Library Job You Want! Secrets from Library Leaders" featuring a panel of experts in a Q & A style format to get some answers about the hiring process for students and library school graduates. Darrell Batson, Director of the Frederick County Public Libraries; Dr. Lucy Holman, Director of the Langsdale Library at the University of Baltimore; and Terri Schell, Senior Administrator in Human Resources at the Harford County Public Library all provided a broad range of expertise and advice for those of us searching for that perfect library position.

Because our panelists came from a variety of libraries and backgrounds, what they had to say was rich in detail and perspective. Much of the advice is also applicable to those working outside the realm of librarianship with general tips for crafting resumes and strategies for interviewing well. Some common themes started appearing early on in the discussion which might be helpful to summarize here. If you're interested in a question by question summary, please visit the Student Interest Group page on the MLA website here: and click on "Program Notes".

  • Experience is key. Get it however you can. Whether it's an internship, an externship, volunteerism, or actual paid employment, experience is what will get you in the door and prove to employers that you can do the job.
  • Craft your story. MLS's are a dime a dozen these days, so while it's important to acknowledge that you do indeed have the professional training necessary to perform the duties, it's just as important to focus on the skills, experiences, and specializations that make you unique. Employers want to know who you are, so make sure that your story is clearly visible on your application materials.
  • Bring something to the table. Employers want to know what you can do for their organization, so be prepared to showcase your special skills and unique abilities with specific examples of how you can be of value to them. Were you a teacher in a past life? Took a summer marketing seminar? Use those experiences to offer a perspective or a specialty that they may not have even known they wanted.
  • Embrace change. It's not secret that the role of the librarian is drastically different from what it was twenty years ago. New generations of librarians are making leaps and bounds into areas often thought to be outside the realm of librarianship. Employers are looking for candidates who can adapt in a fast-paced and constantly changing arena. Yet, adaptation is not just about surviving, it's also about thriving, especially in times of economic uncertainty. Show your willingness to innovate and create. Demonstrate your initiative and resolve. Be open. Be flexible.
  • Use common sense. Whether it's knowing when not to answer the phone, or understanding that the refreshments are for everyone, not just you, use your head and remain professional in all situations, whether in person or not. The real interview process begins with the first contact between you and the organization, so treat everyone with respect and put your best face forward at all times.
  • Be honest. Remember, you'll have to work with these people every day, so it won't take long for them to figure out that you don't actually speak fluent Finnish, or that you aren't really interested in young adult services. Use what you have to showcase your best self, but don't embellish with experiences or attributes that you don't have.
  • Find the right fit. The organization wants you to be happy just as much as you do, so do your research before applying to make sure that it's the kind of place where you can see yourself growing professionally. Check out their website. Read their mission statement. If it's not the right organizational culture, acknowledge that and move on. You don't want to begin a new job fighting against the cultural current. There are many different types of libraries and many different types of organizational cultures out there. You'll know when you find the right one.
  • The 3 T's: tailor, transfer, and translate. Tailor your resume and cover letter to reflect the values and mission of the organization to which you're applying. Read the job ad carefully and make your own skill-set transfer to the specific job. Translate your experiences and activities, even if they are outside the library realm, to reflect the your value as an employee and your commitment to the profession.
  • Choose early and choose wisely. As a library school student, it is imperative that you consider your professional goals early. Choose your coursework based on what kind of librarian you want to be  and what kind of library  you want to work for. Follow that path, as it's built to support you and your goals. Don't try to hope that you fit in anywhere.
  • Experience is experience is experience. Use what you have and what you know. Even if your current repertoire of experience seems unrelated to the library profession, chances are it's not. Make it work for you. Libraries are constantly changing and the demands of the profession often require skill-sets not found in library school programs. Outside experience is valuable, gives you a different perspective, and makes you more interesting to an organization if you can relate it to the profession.
  • Remain relevant. Show you commitment to the profession by keeping up with library trends, joining professional organizations, attending trainings and workshops, and getting involved in projects. Use current terminology. Stay up to date on emerging technologies, even if you don't use them, read up on them. Know what's going on.
  • Be passionate! Love what you do. If you are excited about the job and the possibilities of working in an organization, that passion will translate into your interview. Employers are looking for candidates  who are excited about the future of libraries, so let your passion show.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Naomi's MLA Conference Notes

MLA Conference I had a good two days - attending and looking and participating in sessions. Some notes on my favorite sessions: The Library of the Future:The Indispendsable Library - we saw photos of contemporary libraries, shared innovated policies and practices that can help your library demonstrate its value to your funders and community members. DLDS State Update - This presentation includes information about the Library Services and Technology Act and new iniatives, Information on the County Capital Grant Program, and Information about the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Legislative Update: Get Educated on Library Legislation and Issues - Be an informed advocate! Attendees left with a greater understanding of legislation and issues impacting libraries and the advocacy needs of libraries. The TIG (Teen Interest Group) Meeting was a 'look back" at the history of, and discussion about the future. There were other sights and sounds that were interesting to me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Adventures at MLA!

It was my first adventure to the MLA Conference in Ocean City. This year’s theme was “Heaven in 2011”. The weather was wonderful, so it was a bit heavenly! Lol! :)

3 Things I learned :
  • You can make something from anything! – Session “Just the Facts” – the title had absolutely nothing that would make you think that we would be making crafts, but that’s what we did. We made a book from 2 sheets of scrapbooking paper and a rubber band! It looked pretty fancy and yet so simple. Yes, it was the highlight for me because aside from LOVING code, I’m a crafty kind of person so I love to be creative. Let’s just say that this little project may end up being an innovative addition to a gift one day!

  • PowerPoint really is for everyone! – Session “PowerPoint doesn’t have to suck” – I think the best thing that I learned is that Flickr is a great resource for “Creative Commons” images. The search feature on Flickr makes it easy to find great images.

  • A site called “Lifehacker” really is a good site! – Session “Keep it Simple Stupid” – this was a great session with a lot of great sites for virtually every need.

1 thing I squared away:
  • Most of what we do here at libraries is because of the creative thinking and resolve that so many have that allows us to do more with less. We all have budget constraints, staffing issues, etc., but we manage to do the best that we can with what we have. There are a ton of “free” resources available and we make the best of what we can get our hands on. Coming from a corporate environment where I was used to buying everything, I realize that just as much can be done, if not more, by using “open source” products. There are really a lot of great developers out there who are more than willing to share their knowledge for a small fee. It’s amazing to see all of the library websites and catalog systems that have implemented “open source” products to build great things!

Things I need to work on:
  • Finding and utilizing more “open source” resources. There are tons out there, but now with the resources that I picked up from MLA, I’ll be able to research what’s out there. Lifehacker has a wealth of information. WOW! It’s like a playground where I say “ooohhh, ahhhh” just reading through some of the neat stuff out there. Best “bookmark” that I’ve done in a while!

My first adventure at MLA was a great experience. Definitely worth the trip and the bonus weather was the icing on the cake! Can't wait for MLA 2012!

Friday, April 15, 2011

SLRC Conference April 6, 2011

I attended the welcomes, keynote speaker and good snack times and a session about Programming in the Library. But the best parts for me were: The Teen Reader's Advisory presentation by that staff and the on-screen book covers. Liz Sundermann was up-to-date and thorough with comments and discussion. There was audience participation. The other excellent session for me was the Storytelling For Non-Storytellers session. There was a focus on traditional storytelling techniques as well as techniques using flannel boards, cut and tell, draw and tell, and the use of props. I also spent time in the Children's and in the Teen areas. There's always something new to see and things to ask about. I wish that more staff would take advantage of these in-service opportunities. We do offer them rides, etc. but maybe we should do more. Almost all activities are at a distance for Western Maryland staffs so I know that it is difficult - and the weather always has to be considered.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jeff Ridgeway and I attended one day of the three day 2011 SoMIRAC (State of Maryland International Reading Association Council) Conference on March 30. This is probably the best conference of any that I attend. Remember that the school systems have Reading Teachers as well as all of the other staffs who would be interested and participate in it - so it is a large conference. We attended sessions that include "You Mean a Real Person Wrote That?'' Itwas about bringing authors to your workplace. The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Danny Brassell, talked bout "Waking Up Your Lazy Readers." He was excellent and the info would apply to public libraries as well as to schools. We also heard the Featured Author, Jay Asher, talk about his fiction book "Thirteen Reasons Why." (good for about 12 - 18 year olds.) He has other books in process. The Featured Speaker for afternoon was Sneed Collard, 111. Every one of his books is fantastic in text and pictures. He was great and we left on a "high." Other time was spent at the many vender booths and interaction with persons we know. The Swan Meadow School in Garrett County was able to get him for a visit to their (Amish/Mennonite) school. I notified the public libraries early on about taking some of their groups to hear him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Developing Online Patron Tutorials

I attended this webinar because I thought I could create some quick tutorials on how to use Whilbr. It is a quirky program and we've created lots of work arounds. I think it needs a how to search tutorial, how to use zoomify etc.

The program suggested a number of software solutions from relatively cheap - Snagit - to wondrous - Captivate.

I realized that since I would be creating small tutorials, the question of hosting doesn't apply, but for a e-Learning package like Captivate then that question would need to be considered. What was also discussed was sticking with software families - a screen capture software program written by the same company as your video producer. And I know I should look at San Francisco Public Library's process for creating their tutorials.


Unrelated, somewhat. I now understand why Julie has a small white board by her desk. Who needs Captivate when you have a white board, some artistic talent and a camera?

Friday, March 25, 2011

CIL: 23 Things and Counting

Staff Member: Julie Zamostny
Event: Computers in Libraries
Location: Washington, DC
Date: March 23, 2011

Program Description: When the Kansas library community participated in a statewide 23 Things program in 2010, it opened up a new way to look at learning virtually, especially for encouraging librarians to continue their learning after the structured program's end. through their Passport to Learning, Braum and Hickey show how to enrich the virtual learning experience. Burns looks at how 23 Things has evolved, its strenghts, its challenges and the "what's next."

Click on the images to view a larger version.

CIL: Avatars & Facebook for Learning

Staff Member: Julie Zamostny
Event: Computers in Libraries (CIL)
Date: March 23, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

Program description: Hear the experiences of a public library using Second Life and an academic library using Facebook to manage courses and engage learners. Paterek discusses how a public library uses different locations and avatars in 3D simulation to facilitate learning and provides examples of virtual classrooms using PowerPoint presentations, live simulations, chat, computer voice applications, and virtual reality. Czech went to the students at Wayne State University with a Facebook group to manage a Productive Tools course.

Click the images to view a larger version.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Miniature Horses @ Your Library?!

Training: ADA Update: Revised Regulations for Disability Accommodations for the Public
Date Attended: February 16, 2011
Staff Member: Tracy Carroll
Training Format: Webinar

Some of the newly revised American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations take effect on March 14, 2011, and more are in the works. The webinar reviewed the upcoming changes and provided links and material for libraries to review. The notes with links are provided in this document - ADA Update.

3 Things I learned:
- While dogs are the most common service animals for people with disabilities, a miniature horse also qualifies as a service dog! Who knew! Don't be surprised if you see a miniature horse service animal @ your library! Dogs are the only animals recognized by the ADA, but miniature horses must also be recognized as a service animal if the size and weight can be accommodated. Localities may have different laws that recognize other animals, so always check local ordinances to see what qualifies as a service animal.
- The new standard for shelving in "new buildings" is now 48 inches, it was previously 54 inches. That standard goes into effect next year for buildings that are renovated or started after March 15, 2012.
- Didn't know that you couldn't ask the patron the nature of their disability or if the service animal is certified. Service animals don't need to be certified because they can be self-taught by the individual for their needs.

1 Thing I squared away:
- There are several sites that can check websites for compatibility for screen readers and the current resource that I use to check our websites for compatibility is one of the best ones available - WAVE.

Something I need to work on:
- Finding ways to modify "open source" code to make sure it compatible if I use it. Much of the "open source" code (which is free code that web developers post), works great but doesn't always comply with formatting for screen compatibility.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Change Anything: New Science of Personal Success

Training: Change Anything: New Science of Personal Success [webinar]
Date attended: Jan. 19, 2011 @ 1PM
Staff member: Julie Zamostny
Provided for free by Training Magazine Network
You can watch the recorded webinar by creating a free account!

Visit to start creating your own personal success.

Three Things I Learned:

One Thing I Squared Away:

Some Things I Still Need to Investigate and/or Work On: