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 www.overdrive.com/learningcenter

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.