Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Summit 2013 Update

The Summit 2013 #makeithappen Team had our 2nd meeting on Monday, February 25th from 1pm-3pm at the Grantsville Library. I wanted to share with you what we accomplished.

The #makeithappen Team is:
  • Georgie Dawson
  • Melissa Foltz 
  • Chris McGee
  • Aliceana Onley
  • Susie Poper
  • Connie Savage
  • Regina Spiker
  • Julie Zamostny

The Team Hopes & Concerns:
The team started the meeting by sharing their hopes and concerns about the Summit process and the event itself. 
  • We hope the event will be received as a success by all parties
  • We hope we're able to embrace the "anything's possible" mindset but at the same time narrow down and focus the day around the theme of innovation and imagination
  • We're concerned about addressing our colleagues' concerns regarding having the event at FSU. We're excited about it so, how do we convey that excitement to others?
  • We hope we're able to create the day so that everyone can leave the summit saying they have one (1) thing that they can practically apply at their jobs in the library
  •  We are concerned that the blog isn't the best way for the team to communicate with each other so, Julie will post to the blog on the team's behalf while the team will continue to communicate with each other via email.
  • We hope we are able to provide an experience that is meaningful to everyone regardless of the role played in the library

 Summit Schedule:

Please do not arrive before 9:30am - that's when breakfast will be available and the team will have everything ready for the day.

Learning Objectives for Summit 2013:
The team is creating an online survey to ask you, the library staff in Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties to tell us what you want to be able to do by the time you leave FSU on November 11th. So, start thinking about all those practical skills you wish you had or could polish up. We'll be sending the survey on March 13th

Since the team knows many colleagues in the counties who have artistic abilities, we thought it would be fun to hold a logo contest and to invite all artists of all kinds to submit your logo for the summit. The only guidelines are that it needs to convey these two points:

1. The regional nature of the event (encompasses all 3 counties plus WMRL)
2. The theme of Innovation Meets Imagination

The aforementioned survey will also ask you to tell the team whether or not you'd take advantage of group transportation (i.e. a rental van) if the team can provide one. We'll also be asking if you'd be willing to drive group transportation (such as a rental van) if there is a need. The Team cannot be group transportation drivers as we'll be on-site a couple hours before the event begins.

Aramark is the company with whom FSU contracts with to provide their catering services. I'll be contacting them this week to find out when the team can meet to decide upon the breakfast and lunch menus. We are aware of folks who enjoy a vegetarian lifestyle so we will definitely be providing vegetarian options however, if you are vegan or have other dietary requirements/concerns, please let one of us know ASAP so we may do our best to accommodate your needs as well.

Our next team meeting is on April 22nd at 1pm. Location is TBD.

Making the Connection

Posted on behalf of Suzanne Bonser, Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County.

“I really enjoyed Julie Gaver and her insight into connecting with our patrons on a personal level.  It was especially reinforcing to my own personal philosophy that patrons come to our libraries for more than just checking out materials; they want to know that they are important as people!  I have shared some of this information with the circ staff to help them connect with people on a more personal level as well.”

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Thanks to Maurice Coleman and his T is for Training Podcast on Friday, I learned about Coursera (www.coursera.org) which is a catalog of free MOOCs (massively open online courses).

These are several-week-long, asynchronous courses taught by professors at universities all across the world – mostly U.S. but there are several international universities represented.

I spent some time browsing around in their catalog and found some courses that might be of interest to those of us in library-land:
And my favorite, A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Making the Connection"

This is the third workshop of Julie Gaver's that I have attended.  She is a great motivator.  Her workshops are high energy with lots of hands on practice.  As previously stated by other participants, it is difficult to look someone in the eye and feel comfortable.  But she was spot on saying that this technique helps to show that the patrons matter and are noticed.  I have made a conscious effort to begin making eye contact with our patrons.  I hope the more I try this, the easier it will become.  I also agree with her that this is the first step in achieving excellent customer service.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Making connections to build stronger relationships

Public library staff from Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties made connections with each other with the help of Julie Gaver on February 19th at the LaVale Library.

Workshop Details

Making the connection: Strategies for building better customer relationships
Presenter: Julie Gaver

From the website:
"This fun and highly interactive session provides attendees with opportunities to increase their comfort and confidence for networking, establish rapport with others, enhance their listening and conversational skills, and understand good social etiquette."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Summit 2013 will be held at...

Date: November 11, 2013
Time: TBD
Theme: Innovation meets Imagination.

The #makeithappen Team will be meeting on Feb. 25th to work out more details which we’ll share on the Learning Journal Blog.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Julie Zamostny & the Summit 2013 #makeithappen Team

Georgie Dawson, Melissa Foltz, Chris McGee, Aliceana Onley, Susie Poper, Connie Savage, Regina Spiker

Monday, February 11, 2013

Summit 2013: HCC as potential location

By: Susie Poper, WMRL
Is your facility available on Nov. 11, 2013?Yes our facility is available on November 11, 2013

Can your facility accommodate 150 people? Including bathrooms (mostly women) and parking.
We can accommodate 150 people in the Career Program Building rooms 210, 212 and 214. Here is link to the floor plan for the building: http://www.hagerstowncc.edu/sites/default/files/documents/09-cpb-second-floor-map.pdf  This floor also has men’s and women’s restrooms with about 8 stalls. Parking is available in LOT F. Please click to see campus map: http://www.hagerstowncc.edu/sites/default/files/documents/1301-hcc-campus-map.pdf

What types of meeting spaces do you have? Are they flexible – can accommodate all 150 but also small groups of 40? How many rooms are available?
As you can see from the floor plan, rooms 210, 212 and 214 have movable walls between them which allow for a large group. If you need break out session, I would suggest reserving the rooms across the hallway, CPB 211 and 213 to be set up for breakout sessions. These room accommodate about 50 people each.

What type of dining options are available on site? Both in terms of actual food/beverage but also seating/eating.
We have an onsite caterer, Food for Thoughts that could provide breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages. Participants could dine in the classrooms or use the Valley Eatery which is open to students and staff on that day.

Does your facility have wifi access? Hardwired internet access?
HCC has wifi in the Conference Center. Our presenter podiums have computers with internet access and are connected to the LCD projector.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Summit: Potential Presenter

Received a suggestion for a presenter the other day and thought I'd throw it into the mix of potential Summit presenters.

Sylvia Lafair
The Creative Edge: Unleashing Innovation

Friday, February 1, 2013

Digital Book World 2013

I was able to attend the Digital Book World 2013 (DBW13) conference on  January 16 and 17, 2013 thanks to a grant from MSDE/DLDS   The conference was attended by over 1000 constituents of the “book” trade (including 2 librarians and myself.)    

2012 was the year publishers defined the gap in their business plan as not having a direct way to reach book buyers.   They were seeing the emergence of Amazon as the dominant sales venue, ebook sales saw triple digit increases,  and Borders folded 800 book stores.    At the 2012 Tools of Change conference the audience was told that big data was the path to success.   From the presentations and conversations at the DBW13 conference, it seems that the publishers have invested in staff and mechanisms that allow them to collect and analyze the data about book buyers. 

The publishers were confident that they could “sense” their customers using the data they collect.    Using their large warehouses of data, the publishers predicted that in 2013 they will be able to “find” customers for future purchase based on past purchases.   They will transition from marketing new material based on the author and shift their marketing dollars toward people who have bought this type of material before. 

The challenge publishers face is called “discoverabilty.”  How do buyers find books to buy?  With Amazon capturing a vast majority of book purchases online and the finding that people go online when they know what they want, how can publishers get their books in front of buyers?  The current pattern is that book buyers go into bricks and mortar books stores (and I would add libraries)  browse for what they want, and then go home and order it online.  They call this “showrooming.”    At this point there is no good online equivalent of “showrooming.”  (only 10% of book discovery comes from online marketing, the majority is word of mouth.)

Publishers are planning for a future in the US with no large national book store chains.  They do foresee selling books in every retail outlet in some form (kind of like RedBox at the grocery store).   With the declining amount of shelf space to showroom books, they will compensate with better metadata and social media marketing.    Publishers will drive online discoverability with enhanced and expanded “keywords” that will put a book in front of the online searcher.  They will also target “people who bought this book” in social media in the hopes that they “like” or “Share” the post with their friends. 

Another strategy to drive discoverability is “price innovation.”    In short, they will experiment with Kindle Daily Deals and the exposure that brings as a book rises up the Amazon best seller list.  For example, If you drop the price of a book to 99 cents for 24 hours, the amount of sales during that time period will drive it up the Amazon best seller list.   And on the Amazon Best Seller list, the book will be displayed for every amazon book search. 

The good news is that as ebook fiction sales helped to stabilize the publishers, they are now more willing to experiment with non-fiction and illustrated (children’s) ebooks.  The rise of the tablet over the dedicated ereader device is also driving this experimentation. 

As for libraries, I have always thought our online catalogs to find library materials could be better, and I hope that the strides publishers make toward online discoverability can be applied to our catalogs and that we can also find tools to import their improved metadata into our MARC records.