ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

ALA Conference – Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 July 3, 2007

Filed under: ALA 2007,Conferences — ellie @ 6:02 pm
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I simply could not get myself out of bed in time, so I’m sorry I missed:

Closing Session Featuring Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor is the author of more than a dozen books, including Lake Wobegon Days, The Book of Guys, Love Me and Homegrown Democrat. He is also the creator, host and writer of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer’s Almanac heard on public radio stations across the country. He was born in Anoka, MN in 1942 and graduated from the University of Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter, and has two grandsons. He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters. 2006 marked the release of the film, A Prairie Home Companion as well as the independent bookstore that Garrison opened in St. Paul, Common Good Books.

But I did get to explore the vendor hall a little further and run into Jenny Levine again. I again declined the Wii, though this time the line was too long anyway. But my issue is this – when I was growing up we made fun of people who moved the controller when they played. I like to sit and push the buttons, all this moving around is unnatural. (Though the new Harry Potter game where the controller is your wand is enticing.) This time we wound up in one of those “oh remember” conversations that’s basically just a list of old video games. I’ve found my generation falls into that pattern when discussing cartoons incredibly often. And in fact that’s exactly what my friend and I did as we walked away from the booth.

I picked up plenty of catalogs and a few of you have gotten some that I picked up with you in mind.

After lunch I was lucky enough to get a personal tour through the Library of Congress. I took a few notes, mostly in the map room, and lots of pictures. Sadly, only with my cellphone’s camera, but you can view the gallery if you’re so inclined.

The map department has over 5 million maps. They’ve just acquired the Martin Waldseemuller 1507 world map – “America’s birth certificate” – the first map to say America. They have a very impressive map copier/scanner and their storage runs a whole city block. They get 70,000 new maps a year and handle 16,000 reference questions just in the map department. The majority come from the internet. They have an internal circulation of 50,000 items.

I got to see a map in George Washington’s hand that was his working map of his property at Mt. Vernon from 1760-1799. I learned that globes used to always come in pairs – a celestial and a terrestrial. I got to see the underground book conveyor belts.

I also learned that the police monitor all the cases and if the humidity level is off there is a beeper team of conservators that get called in.

I entered one of the galleries and saw a sign that said “turn ON your phones”. They offer an audio cell phone tour and provide an 800 number for you to call for the tour.


ALA Conference – Monday, June 25th, 2007

Filed under: ALA 2007,Conferences — ellie @ 5:40 pm
Tags: ,

I started Monday morning with:

See it, Hear it, Touch it: How Do Learning Styles Affect Virtual Reference Service? (RUSA MARS)
Track: User Services, Reference & Outreach; Reference Services
The learning styles of people using virtual reference services-including librarians-result in a variety of expectations and experiences. People have different types of communication preferences. For some, that means IM; others like the ability to browse live pages with the librarian. Technology continues to provide an increasing variety of tools that in turn allow tailored approaches that can emphasize audible, visual or kinesthetic senses. Experts will explore the options and recommend solutions. Speaker: Eileen Abels, Associate Professor, iSchool, Drexel University, Philadelphia

I was pleased to find out that one of my favorite professors from library school (Lynn Westbrook) was speaking at one of the events I had already planned on attending. The session was set up as a series of questions answered primarily by one of the three speakers and then opened up to the other two, with audience questions added to the mix as it proceeded. Here again I didn’t keep track of who was speaking at any given moment, but the panelists were Eileen Abels, Associate Professor, Drexel University; Marie Radford, Associate Professor, Rutgers; and Lynn Westbrook, Assistant Professor, University of Texas. I have a handout from this session that includes a suggested reading list, related websites, and a chart with information seeking behaviors broken down by generation (including traditionals, boomers, x-ers, and millenials). Handouts and the PowerPoint are available at the Virtual Reference Committee website (scroll down).

Question: What do we know about users’ communication and learning styles that is important for guiding decisions about library services?


  • The heavy virtual reference users are the millenial generation.
    • They prefer heavy personalization and customization.
    • They would rather do it themselves.
    • They are practical, results oriented.
    • They worship Google.
  • So provide a variety of services.
  • What you should do:
    • Appeal to their desire to save time.
    • Say what you can do, not what you can’t.
    • Be very positive.
    • Don’t be afraid to refer.
    • Build personal relationships, show you’re not a robot (avoid programed/scripted responses).
    • Again – -> offer a variety of services.
  • See handout for different styles by generation.

Question: How do the communication styles of librarians influence the provision of virtual reference services?


  • If you offer a variety of reference services you make them all do all. (Again referred to learning styles by generation.)
  • Hands on training allows librarians to decide what styles they like best.
  • IPL found reference librarians were just Googling.
  • Also found that librarians found that VR was the 2nd most personal form of reference after face to face.
  • In VR we feel we lost our physical authority and responsibility, but don’t worry about it. Getting the users’ needs met is what shows our authority and responsibility.
    • So using lol, lowercase, etc. is like smiling at the desk. Warm, inviting…
    • That’s our nervouseness and we need to realize that.
    • They’ll trust us when we do it. (Provide the needed info, not just use the slang.)

Question: What threatens or supports the users’ sense of self-efficacy in an exchange?


  • Self efficacy is not just how they see themselves, but also tools and process.
  • Supports:
    • Open questions – within reason – engages them, makes them active
    • Ask them if they have keywords that have been useful
    • Ask about relevance criteria (but don’t use that phrasing)
    • Differentiated choices
    • Clarity of purpose, role, relationship
    • Acknowledgment of domain knowledge, preferences, requirements
  • Barriers
    • Focus on tool/process, not problem
    • Rush to closure
    • Poor reciprocation of self disclosure
    • Hiding clay feet
    • Jargon – reference service – they think of references in a paper
  • Don’t be afraid to refer.
  • Switch to email from IM if complex.
  • Don’t have to feel rushed, but be sure to give feedback, e.g. “searching…”

Question: What might be problematic or supportive in what librarians are doing?


  • Set positive tone from the beginning
  • Don’t push too many scripts – users have relational needs
  • Develop personal relationship
  • Treat all users alike
  • Know what to expect
  • Lists of what to expect and how librarians treat them
  • Your positive approach will limit problematic behavior
  • Teach users how to use VR, set expectations
  • We forge the future of IM one by one
  • Look at your library website and make sure your services are easy to find (all of them) (contact us, chat now)
  • Let users see what you’re doing – “in order to help you” “to choose resources” can i ask you if (you’re a student)

Question: Screen names


  • very positive
  • Younger users like it when you use their name back.
  • Advocates – yes use names – concerned librarians can use a psuedonym
  • Allow for follow up – give them a way to do that

Question: What’s the best way to ask clarifying question?


  • I can take you down this path or this, which would be more useful to you?
  • Frame it so it’s a quick answer for them.
  • Accuracy is increased by clarifying.
  • “Have I answered your question completely?”
  • Send something and ask “Is this getting at what you want?”
  • Sometimes we’re projecting impatience. They saw only 2% impatient.

Question: How do we train staff?


  • Practice
  • Mirroring behavior
  • Have librarians go be a customer (in chat) can be anywhere – at a car company, cable company.
    • They’ll see what it’s like to be a patron.
    • Empowering – they could have done that better.
  • The younger they are, the more screens they have open – multitasking plummets short term memory – so don’t get frustrated if you have to repeat or remind.

Question: How do users’ and librarians’ expectations influence virtual reference transactions? (especially when those expectations may be established through use of Google, Wikipedia, IM, and social networks)



  • Net resources influences
    • seamless fluid connections
    • consistency in language, perspective, tool
    • choices in process, product, media
    • expect flexibility, control, choice
  • Net communication pattern influences
    • blurring task and social purposes
    • unclear on narrative structure of discourse
    • privacy and control
  • we’re used to a very narrative approach, not the way they approach/function
  • they are bad at judging whether they have a quick question
  • encourages use of self help pages

Question: What are some of the learning opportunities available for students and professionals to gain the needed skills to provide virtual reference services? How do these opportunities reflect the importance of communication and learning styles?


Learning opportunities

  • LIS programs
  • VR consortium training
  • vendor training
  • professional association training
  • IPL provides web based reference training
    • IMLS grant, they’ll be doing more

VR we have the lone ranger approach

  • Suggest double teaming – be in office together
    • Learn best with others
    • Pairing older and younger for both to learn

Think of it as a staged effort, many stages

  • Building something, not launching the Queen Mary
  • Cooperative culture of growth, not you’re trained and you’re out there
  • Changing minds of admin

The time to promote phone reference is now! Cell phones are everywhere. When you’re doing instruction say, “OK, I’m going to ask you to do something no one here has ever done – take out your cell phone and turn it on.” Then give them the phone number for the reference desk, then the library hours.

Here there was a good slide on the communication preferences of young users.

We were encouraged to try something different.

  • Illinois is doing it all from one desk successfully.
  • Make poster with three points on it of what a librarian can do for you.
  • Build personal relationships.

Question: How to convince admin/other librarians?


  • Have/get data
    • Do a user study – “This is what users want”
    • Compare with peers (libraries you want to be like)
    • Get feedback on service
  • Have a plan
  • Send out positive survey questions/answers monthly
  • One speaker said she doesn’t think you can force librarians to offer VR and expect good service, but you do need to expose all your librarians and have them work together.
    • Shadowing

Question: What questions is it perceived ‘okay’ for librarians to ask about during the VR exchange? What questions is it okay for users to ask?


  • I’m ok, you’re ok
  • Trying to protect each others’ face
  • Good slide (slide #31)
  • Sign instead of reference say “search engine”
  • Let people know scripts are scripts
  • “I appreciate you’re goofing around, I’m here when you have a real question.”
    • Setting tone

Another blogger took notes over at Some Librarian.

Sorry I missed:

Once Upon a Furl in a Podcast Long Ago: Using New Technologies to Support Library Instruction (ACRL WSS)
Track: User Services, Reference & Outreach; Information Literacy
Librarians are teaching to the Net Generation. Students are growing up in a world of technology. Ever wonder how to creatively use new technologies in the classroom? Not quite sure what a blog, Podcast, RSS feed, or social bookmark is? Or how you could use these to teach? Joan Lippincott, Associate Director of Coalition for Networked Information, will give an overview of emerging technologies and library instruction. Also, hear how one LIS professor, an expert in gender and information technology, is teaching future librarians how to use these tools in the classroom. See examples and get tips from an instructional services librarian and a women’s studies librarian on how to integrate such tools into your instruction. Speakers: Joan Lippincott, Associate Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information; Kathy Burnett, Associate Professor, Information Studies, Florida State University; Kathryn Shaughnessy, Instructional Services Librarian, St. John’s University, Queens; Heather Tompkins, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Carlton College

Wiking the Blog and Walking the Dog – Social Software, Virtual Reality, and Authority Everywhere (PLA LD)
Track: Digital Information & Technologies
Innovators from within the library world present creative and practical initiatives that show how libraries can participate in the dynamic emergence of web-based information services. If you are looking for ideas as to how your library can embrace technologies offered by the likes of Wikis, Blogs, Web 2.0, Second-Life, Podcasting, Flickr, You Tube, and My Space, then this is the program for you. Traditional forms of publishing, research, and recreational information will be challenged and expanded, as will traditional notions of information authority. Presenters will show how library participation in these contemporary online forums via social software is becoming as common and as easy as walking the dog.
Speakers: Helen Blowers, Public Services Technology Director, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg Cnty., N.C.; Meredith Farkas, Distance Learning Librarian, Norwich University, Vt.; John Blyberg, Systems Administrator, Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library; Lori Bell, Director of Innovation, Alliance Library System, Ill.

After lunch I snuck a little late into:

Serving Transgendered Patrons (ALA GLBTRT)
Track: User Services, Reference & Outreach; Outreach to Target Populations
The information needs of transpeople in general have frequently been overlooked. Often folded into Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual services, libraries have seldom discussed the unique interests and needs of this growing population. This presentation establishes some baseline cultural competencies and provides guidance on locating basic Transgendered information resources. Included is a pathfinder and bibliography for resources selected for their relevance and accuracy.

I have some great resources from this session and I’d be happy to answer any questions. Electronic version of most of the handouts are available on John Otto’s website.

John explained that the language is constantly shifting. Commonly transgendered is used as an umbrella term. Originally it was a distinction between those choosing not to opt for surgery (transgendered) and those taking hormones and surgically altering their bodies, though not necessarily their genitals (transexual).

Nothing is standardized, but here are some terms: FTM, F2M, transman, man, male pronounsSee which pronouns they prefer. The steps are completely individual. There is no one model.

Sexual orientation of transmen is as varied as the general population.

John also pointed out that the terms heterosexual and homosexual make a statement about both parties. He proposed the terms androphile and gynophile. (While the friends I discussed this with weren’t a fan of those specific terms, we did agree that it’s an interesting concept to only define by the attraction rather than by a statement of self and an attraction.)

Some people find that hormones change who you’re attracted to. No studies to give clearcut statistics, but but roughly 30-40% of trans are gay or bisexual. Many weren’t attracted to men before. It’s hard to predict how hormones will affect you. Many of these men were never in the LGBT community. F2M who had been attracted to men and remain so find themselves in the LGBT community for the first time, dealing with issues they never had to deal with.

The literature is almost only talking about lesbians and gay men. Use your critical thinking skills and question does this pertain to trans?


  • personal as political
  • LGB is a declaration of who you are
  • Trans – can undermine transition
    • people think oh, you’re not really a man, you’re a woman
    • physical safety of not being out
    • this is personal medical info – we don’t share without permission
    • also, this wasn’t said, but while LGB is a declaration of who you are, trans could be seen as a declaration of who you were
  • When you’re doing surveys ask yourself does gender need to be included as a question? If it’s not necessary, don’t include it.

Primary info needs of FTM:

  • medical
  • legal and political
  • emotional/support issues
  • respect/confidentiality

How can you make such a huge decision without information on all the effects?


  • take hormones or not
  • surgery – variety of options, not just “the surgery”
  • locating medical care providers
  • respect in patient provider relationship
  • wpath.org
    • established standards of care
    • some doctors use them as hurdles, others as guidelines
    • some critisize standards, he thinks they’re good.


  • name change – court order stays online, also must be posted in a public place for 30 days (often try to look for really small local paper, may need help locating)
  • government voting record online – includes gender
  • identity documents and records – driver’s license, social security card, passports, birth certificate, school records, bank accounts, contracts, child custody
    • each has own rules
    • some vary by state or county
  • gender marker different than name
  • selective service – federal rules – men must register between 18-26 – If they don’t they can’t get a government job (e.g. post office) or financial aid for school. All tied in to social security number.
  • discrimination – workplace, bathroom issues, marriage
  • every single card in your wallet, everything that comes in the mail
  • there are legal centers that deal with issues at the case level and at the policy level
  • lots of docs on the Human Rights Campaign website – http://www.hrc.org/
    • they will send out copies of many of their pamphlets
    • also available as pdf on website

Emotional support

  • finding support groups
  • relationship issues
  • info sharing – docs, therepists
  • “passing” tips
  • LG have more opportunities to know you’re not the only person in the world, but also finding people to talk to
  • awkward to kind of go through adolescence again – like passing tips
  • What will I look like?
    • Book – Body Alchemy: Transexual Portraits – Loren Cameron
    • one person criticized this book for not showing enough variety of types of bodies – said it was a good book, but shouldn’t be your only one.


  • real ID act
    • impacting immigrants and trans people particularly hard
  • assault issues
  • locating resources
    • google – search terms – FTM + health, legal, support, personal
  • yahoo groups – groups.yahoo.com
    • search term FTM
    • often in adult listings
  • information literacy, netiquette


  • shortage of materials
  • MTF focus in general trans resources
  • see GLBTRT trans bib
  • LC subject headings
  • problem using transgender as a search term results are often LGBT
  • http://www.jotto.info
    • paper
    • taskforce podcast on aging – won’t be up long
    • FTM resources – pathfinder (handout)
    • book list

Barriers making libraries not safe

  • staff training
  • gendered restrooms (add a family restroom if possibly, helps more than one group)

Sorry I missed:

Cultural Competence: Bridging the Gap Between What We Say and What We Do (AFL REFORMA/ALA EMIERT)
Track: Administration & Leadership
Speakers will address REFORMA President Roxana Benavides’ theme for 2006-2007: “Bridging the Gaps”, by looking at cultural competence as an integral part of service delivery, workforce equity and leadership development. Ghada K. Elturk (Outreach Librarian of the City of Boulder Public Library) will explain why diversity, service, and communication are ineffective without cultural competence. Paula M. Smith (Asst. Librarian, Penn State Abington) will address cultural competence as an organizational development and measurement tool. Camila Alire (Dean Emeritus, Univ. of New Mexico and Colorado State University), and José Aponte (Library Director, San Diego County Library) will outline how and why cultural competence is a vital component of communication and leadership in a global and multicultural environment. Discussion will be facilitated by Roxana Benavides and Sandra Rios Balderrama. Speakers: Ghada K. Elturk; Jose Aponte; Camila Alire

Survey Fatigue? An Rx for Avoiding the Problem (LAMA MAES)
Track: Administration & Leadership; Assessment
Survey fatigue is a commonly acknowledged problem of immediate interest to “surveyors” and “surveyed” alike. This program will provide practical strategies and techniques to reduce the phenomenon by suggesting ways to improve surveys when their use is mandated and by describing alternative approaches for evaluating existing programs and services, providing meaningful assessment, and developing assessment-based planning efforts. Panelists will also discuss how to convince library staff, upper-level administrators, and supervisory agencies to accept these approaches.Speakers: Wendy Starkweather, Director, Public Services Division, University of Nevada,Las Vegas; Keith Lance, Director, Library Research Service, Colorado Department of Education; Steve Hiller, Director, Director of Assessment & Planning, University of Washington Libraries; Meg Scharf, Associate Director for Public Services, University of Central Florida Libraries


ALA Conference – Sunday, June 24th, 2007 July 2, 2007

Filed under: ALA 2007,Conferences — ellie @ 10:54 pm
Tags: ,

Sunday morning I was up bright and early to the RUSA-MARS all committee meeting. The MARS chair described MARS as the intersection of technology and people – both patrons and librarians. I thought there might be some form of presentation, but it really was just committee business meetings. That was fine though. As they pointed out, an all committee meeting allows visitors to check out multiple committees. I sat in with the Virtual Reference committee (a joint committee with RSS) and joined in their discussions. It was a nice group, and well organized. The Virtual Reference committee has two subcommittees and a committee listserv. Of particular note is the Virtual Reference Adventure a self paced VR tutorial with notes for trainers. (ACC Staff Development and IM teams – we should take a look through this.) The prior training program was Anytime Anywhere Answers. There is a book available in the ALA store and an associated web site. The creator encouraged cherry picking from both programs. One issue left for next time was the plans for the revision of the Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services.

Sorry I missed:

It’s Showtime for Instruction Librarians: The Making of Short Films for Marketing and Instruction (ALA LIRT)
Noah Wyle may be The Librarian, but he’s not the only one who can make a movie! Join us as librarians from Valdosta State University and Indiana University South Bend present their experiences as creators and directors of library instruction “videos.” They will also discuss the collaboration with faculty, students, and the community that is essential in the making of these short films. Speakers: Apryl Price, Valdosta State Univ., Odum Library; Yolanda Hood, Assistant Professor, Valdosta State Univ., Odum Library; Deborah VanPetten Reference Librarian, Reference Librarian, Valdosta State Univ., Odum Library; Emily Rogers, Assistant Professor, Valdosta State Univ., Odum Library; Nancy Colborn, Associate Librarian, Indiana University; Vincci Kwong, Indiana University

Next up I was off to:

Harnessing the Hive: Social Networks and Libraries (RUSA MARS)
Social networking such as YouTube, the Facebook, flickr, cell texting, and podcasting are second nature to youth, who integrate these technologies into daily life in unexpected ways. Bibliofiles tag and share their favorite books on LibraryThing, while librarians communicate using blogs and wikis such as Library Success. Our experienced panel will discuss this rapidly growing phenomenon and present examples of innovative outreach and reference services that utilize social software such as tagging, blogging and wikis to reach online users. Speakers: Matthew Bejune, Digital Reference Services Coordinator, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; Meredith Farkas, Distance Learning Librarian, Norwich University, Northfield, VT; Tim Spalding, Founder and Developer, LibraryThing, Portland, MN

I kept going back and forth on whether I was going to attend this session. I had been trying to avoid the sessions with too many buzzwords that I didn’t think were really going to cover anything new. That first sentence really turned me off, but then I saw Tim Spalding at the bottom and I was sold. I’m infatuated with the concept of LibraryThing. I don’t actually use LibraryThing with any regularity, but I did put in some of my cookbooks and craft books to show my weaving guild what we could do with the service if we chose to use it to catalog our weaving library. If you’re unfamiliar with LibraryThing, feel free to take a look through my library.

Matthew Bejune started us off with 25 perspectives on social networking. (There’s also a follow up – part II). He shared the results of his research into social networking software in libraries. One of the ways he collected data was through the archives of listservs (digref, web4lib, and libref-L). He found 35 libraries at that time, but is sure there are far more now. (Including us!) He broke the results into four types: library with other libraries; staff with self; library with patrons; patrons with self. He found most examples fell into the first two categories, to work professionally with ourselves. While his study focused on wikis, he believes the results would hold true for other types of social networks (IM, blogs, etc.).

He gave examples of St. Joe’s Public Library in Indiana, which made its subject guides a wiki (editable only by librarians), and The Biz Wiki at Ohio University where patrons are allowed to contribute.

He suggested four questions to ponder:

  • Where are the wikis used in categories three and four? What’s stopping us?
  • How might we enable users to build/modify library information? (risky, uncomfortable, change in thinking)
  • In what ways will libraries next utilize wikis and other social networking technology?
  • How long before your library implements some form of social networking?

More information, including his slides and more examples of how libraries are using wikis, is available at his wiki. He encourages you to add your library to the examples.

Next up was Meredith Farkas. She talked about knowledge management. All organizations want to make the best use of institutional knowledge. All librarians have different areas of expertise. Patrons have lots of knowledge that would be useful to other patrons. And yet we’re terrible at collecting this knowledge.

How do we collect info?

  • one on one conversations
  • staff meetings
  • scraps of paper on the ref desk
  • IM
  • email
  • blogs

Meredith talked about adding amazon.com functionality to the catalog by collecting knowledge from our patrons:

  • users who checked out also checked out (scraping identifying info)
  • user tags
  • lists allow users to do readers advisory
  • allow comments in the catalog

She gave the example of Rocwiki – a guide to Rochester, created by locals. Sense of created community.

Another example: PennTags – videogames and violence bibliography – Bibliography created by a student researcher. PennTags is limited access to current UPenn students, faculty and staff, so I do wonder – does that bibliography go away when the student graduates?

Collecting institutional knowledge, wikis as intranet

  • share policy and procedures
  • basic info
  • knowledge about reference resources, assignments, sources in subject area
  • like having all your colleagues with you at the desk when you have a question

She pointed out that it can take time to build knowledge management behavior into the organizational workflow. You have to get buy-in and provide real/formal trainings. See Meredith’s presentations wiki for more info.

Last up was Tim Spalding from LibraryThing. (Tim also presented at the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase.) He explained that in traditional social networking sites users are linked by friends. In LibraryThing they are linked by shared books, library data and tags. It’s social cataloging.

He talked about learning as a conversation. You move from books of facts to form your own arguments -> journals (complexity) -> conferences -> knowledge as conversation. The card catalog is not the conversation, it’s like an encyclopedia – facts, directional. LibraryThing is catalog as conversation.

He posted the full text of his introduction at the LibraryThing blog. I believe he used live examples rather than slides, so you’ll forgive me for not finding them all, but feel free to play around with LibraryThing to illustrate the examples.

He showed an author page – included author photo, links, variations of name (like an authority file).

He showed how you can combine works. xISBN v. ThingISBN and said that FRBR people say that LibraryThing and OCLC are both doing pretty well.

He showed us the cooking tag as an example. You could see cooking, related tags, and related LC subjects (cookery – so very intuitive, no?). He also used chicklit and cyberpunk as examples, saying these were not in OCLC. However he was corrected by some very indignant catalogers at the end of the presentation.

He said that recommendations are different on LibraryThing than Amazon because it’s not about what’s hot or what’s selling now, but pushes people into the stacks because it’s what people own and love.

Another example was the subject headings for Tales of the City in LC vs. LibraryThing. He said that tags can get at identity and perspective.

OCLC Subjects:

  • City and town life — Fiction.
  • Humorous fiction.
  • San Francisco (Calif.) — Fiction.

Here’s the tag cloud at LibraryThing:


Another example was Darwin’s Black Box. In OCLC it is cataloged as evolutionary biology. In library thing it’s intelligent design.

He also talked about some of the problem with tags. The Diary of Anne Frank could be tagged with antisemitic tags. It hasn’t been (more on that later), but it has been tagged with the fairly useless “historyish”. He said that it washes out statistically, but only if you have a lot of tags. He went on to show how PennTags had been hijacked with pfdoctype_newspapers_articles_&_reviews as the most popular tag. LibraryThing adds more tags every day than PennTags has total.

He showed that WWII hierarchy is harder to get in tags (though he’s working on a solution). And that the tag “leather” mixes leather working, books that are bound in leather, and erotica.

Another problem with tagging is who is doing the tagging. The #1 result for “Ireland”? Angela’s Ashes. Probably not the result the Irish would want.

He showed how Flickr does clusters to disambiguate. Look at the cluster for bows to see how they distinguish between Christmas ornaments, boats, etc.

LibraryThing is working on a Tag Mash feature so that you can combine tags such as: France + WWII + fiction, or chicklit + Greece.

The Danbury Library in CT is currently using LibraryThing with its catalog. Read about it at LibraryThing and do a search yourself. Added functionality includes other editions and translations, related books, and of course, tags. Tim pointed out that this works with any OPAC and the advantage is that it has a lot of information – all of LibraryThing not just a few participants.

I’m very excited about allowing some of these social networking features into the catalog. I am looking forward to our Encore demo later this month. But Tim’s presentation made me realize that Encore might not be enough – if no one tags anything, tags won’t be very useful. At the same time, I want to be able to tag things – especially if they are relevant to a particular assignment. So when it was time for audience questions I asked whether LibraryThing for Libraries would allow patrons to add tags. That is not a current priority and he suggested using list features to mark things that would be good for a particular assignment. This also ties in to something he mentioned later in the Q&A section – that LibraryThing users can only tag books they own. There is more of an incentive “not to write on your own bathroom wall.” (This is why Anne Frank’s diary hasn’t been tagged with antisemitic comments, likewise for politicians, etc.) I still want to combine the massive data of LibraryThing with the localized access of PennTags. Cut to the vendor hall where I asked the Encore people whether there was talk of combining data for more functionality and they said they’re in talks with LibraryThing.

OK, back to the Q&A. Tim also said that there may be a need for some moderation but not so much that users don’t have control. WorldCat has very few reviews because there are so many hoops to jump through.

There was also a plug from the audience for using del.icio.us in the library.

You can read another blogger’s take on the session at Tracking Changes/Changing Tracks.

Sorry I missed:

Build-a-Librarian: Build-a-Librarian: Training Issues and Continuing Education for the Reference Staff (RUSA -RSS)
The RUSA/RSS Reference Services in Small and Medium-Sized Research Libraries Discussion Group is sponsoring a session on the training and continuing education of reference personnel. The training of recent library school graduates and other newly hired (or new to reference work) personnel will be discussed within the context of overall library staff training and continuing education. There are unique challenges in training reference personnel in small and medium-sized libraries, and we will be discussing libraries’ training and continuing education programs and sharing experiences in integrating new staff members into reference service.

Swap & Shop-Celebrate PR! (LAMA PRMS)
A showcase of PR materials (event promotions, newsletters, calendars, reading clubs and so much more); including winners of the “Best of Show” competition. Attendees can pick up free samples of promotional materials from libraries of all sizes and types across the country (and beyond). The “PR Docs” will be available for consultation and discussion of the “PR Makeovers”-professionally redesigned examples of how to improve publicity materials. Speakers: Troy Rumpf, Chair, LAMA PRMS Swap & Shop Committee; Sherrill Smith, Chair, LAMA PRMS John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards Committee; Peggy Barber, Library Communication Strategies; Linda Wallace, Library Communication Strategies

After lunch at Spy City Cafe (surprisingly good veggie lasagna for a museum cafe) I went to:

Crossing the K-12/College Divide: Practical Tips for Collaboration (AASL/ACRL)
Track: Administration & Leadership; New Models for Collaboration
Speakers involved in collaborative K-12/college partnerships will provide practical tips about initiating such relationships and discuss their project’s goals and objectives, planning process, student activities, resources, and evaluation. Participants will then engage in table discussions and develop their own plans for pursuing a relationship with a local school or college to strengthen the teaching of information literacy. Documents from the Toolkit for K-12 Collaboration will be introduced.

I have to say it was not very engaging. They explained that we were supposed to get a toolkit, but that it was not ready yet. The first part of the program discussed dual enrollment – high school students taking classes at their high school, but getting college credit for them. The speaker holds workshops for adjunct faculty. She hones in on the English department in particular because they are doing research. She focuses on outreach, goes to their summer workshops, and follows up with letters, phone calls and, email. She likes to use a pre-session worksheet to get students to the library website before they get to the class. She does the instruction in person, covering the basics: location, login, search strategies, and she stresses followup – phone, email, and virtual.

She showed a conference software called Elluminate which she used in a pilot program, but decided it would be better used as a follow up. At about this point I realized I had lost my sweater and quietly dipped out to call the Spy City Cafe and check the lost and found.

The presentation slides are available at Rio Salado College’s website (pdf).

Sorry I missed:

Training Showcase: Best Practices for Continuing Library Education (ALA CLENERT)
The Training Showcase is a poster session type of program celebrating innovative continuing education, staff development, training initiatives and programs in all types of libraries across the country. Come meet this unique group of trainers, staff development coordinators, and librarians who are sharing the exceptional staff learning opportunities they developed. Periodic door prizes drawings will be held throughout the program.

After giving my sweater up as a goner I decided to wander the vendors. I stopped by the Google booth and found out that ALA has made library gadgets for Google Gadgets and I was reminded about Google’s SMS service – text your query to googl. I met Jenny Levine at the TechSource booth, (though I declined to play the Wii) and I was tickled to see that the Vegetarian Resource Group had a booth.

Then I was off to the

Third Annual Bookcart Drill Team World Championship
The Third Annual Bookcart Drill Team World Championship will take place during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The event is always a good time!

I can’t believe there were only four teams. There were way more at TLA. They also need to work on some stadium seating so we can see. I loved Texas’ Rosie the Riveter theme!

Sorry I missed:

Blogs & Related Technologies Panel (ACRL LPSS)
Presenters, chosen through competitive peer-review, will discuss their original research, expertise, and/or best practices about blogs and related technologies.

After the bookcart drill team competition I met up with some friends from high school and library school and we headed over to the:

It’s a great opportunity to network with friends and colleagues, and to meet new ones. The social is open to everyone, and non-members are always welcome. Join us at DC’s premiere GLBT Country/Western bar. We’ll have bars 1, 2, and 4 (including the dance floor). Appetizers and desserts will be served. The bar will be open, and we did promise that our members would buy at least $450 in drinks! The owner is very excited to have us so look forward to a really great time.

There was a nice sized group and I pulled out my notebook more than once. I had another recommendation to use a del.icio.us account for the reference desk. And my favorite – a suggestion to use part part of our Second Life island to allow people to try out code.


ALA Conference – Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Filed under: ALA 2007,Conferences — ellie @ 5:46 pm
Tags: ,

First up:

Auditorium Speaker Series Featuring Ken Burns

Ken BurnsKen Burns has been making documentary films for more than thirty years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burn’s films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” Burns’s films are among the most watched on public television, including The Civil War, which had audience of 40 million during its premiere in September 1990, and the critically acclaimed JAZZ (2001) and Baseball (1994). Burns’s next film, The War, which is co-produced and co-directed by his long-time colleague Lynn Novick, will air on PBS in September, 2007. The War is a seven-episode series that tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of nearly 40 men and women from four quintessentially American towns. The series explores the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history — worldwide catastrophe that touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America—and demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives. Burns was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1953. He graduated from Hampshire College Amherst, Massachusetts in 1975 and went on to be one of the cofounders of Florentine Films. Sponsored by PBS

I have to admit I have a little crush on Ken Burns. Crush might not be the right term. It’s more that I wish I were him. kenburns(My first plan when heading off to library school was to become a researcher for documentaries and historical films.) I can’t believe he’s been making documentaries for 30 years, the man barely looks 30. He was an engaging speaker if a bit rehearsed/reading a script rather than informal/off the cuff. He introduced the clips saying that with each of his productions he tries to ask “who are we?” And the clips were brilliant of course. My one complaint is that it was way too early in the morning to close people into a room and turn off the lights, no matter how engaging the clips are. I swung by the publisher’s booth afterwards, but he was too popular for me to bother waiting in line. I snapped a quick picture with my phone. (I remembered to pack my camera, but didn’t remember to take it out of my suitcase the whole time.)

Then I was off to:

We Have the Data, Now What? Putting Your Collection Assessment Data to Work (RUSA CODES)
Track: Collection Management & Technical Services; Collection Development
Collection assessment initiatives can consume vast amounts of resources, time, and energy; hence, library administrators should seek to produce tangible results with the data they collect. Many libraries gather assessment data, but drop the ball when it comes to analysis and the use of data to inform significant collection management decisions. The goal of this panel discussion is to highlight successful projects that have made use of collection assessment data in significant and innovative ways. Speaker: Shirley Baker, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology & Dean of University Libraries, Washington University in St. Louis

The facilitator was glad to see so many of us turn out, joking that “Web 2.0 is down the hall you know?” He echoed a sentiment that I have, “I can blog with the best of them, but I need advice on managing my collection.” Unfortunately the advice did not turn out to be very relevant for me personally. It was geared more towards large research universities, including retention issues such as when to send items to off site storage and issues with scholarly journals that have already been dealt with at my library. I was hoping for more information on using data for selection rather than retention.

Shirley Baker talked about collection assessment in terms of what a director finds useful. She wants the broad strokes, directors are impatient and have short attention spans (her words, not mine). There was talk of OCLC software and the statistic that 37% of all works are held by only one library. Rarity is common. Using the OCLC software she found that about 700,000 works not at her university are freely available at Google. 170,000 works at her university will be free at Google, so she may move those print copies to the annex. Her university has 27,000 unique volumes. 16,000 are dissertations. 11,000 are public domain. This lead her to new goals in her preservation project – digitization of the 11,000 unique public domain items rather than the million books the library owns. She also stressed the importance of separating the interesting data from the meaningful data.

Karen Neurohr discussed comparing her print journals to JStor in terms of freeing up library shelving and measuring her current shelving use to present statistics when asking for funding. 86% fullness of your shelves is considered complete working capacity. Libraries should be planning for additional space when they reach 75%. This impacts 5 and 10 year plans. Through her study of the fullness of her shelves she was able to move higher on the list and able to get additional funding.

Betty Galbraith discussed journal use statistics. Around this point I was thinking about trying to skip out and catch some of ACRL 101, but I had picked a seat where there was no way out without walking in front of the projector. Lesson learned – sit where you can leave no matter how much you think you’re going to love the presentation. Betty talked about using the journal data: when considering cancellation – if it is high cost and low use, or just low use; to evaluate for subscription changes; to make binding decisions; to make format decisions; and to decide about storage or disposal. She reminded us that use statistics don’t tell you everything. Do you get special editions in your online version? What about letters to the editors, ads, etc? What are the archival rights? The science faculty wants numbers to back decisions so the data is worth it.

Sorry I missed:

ACRL 101: Learn the ins and outs of your association at Annual Conference
Join us at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., to discover how to fully use the member benefits of ACRL. ACRL staff, new members, and your colleagues will be holding two ACRL 101 meetings for new members and first-time attendees.

When the session ended I was off to my first (and possibly last) vendor luncheon. The food was fine, but certainly nothing special. It was interesting to learn that EBSCO is coming out with a new product geared specifically towards community colleges, but they really need to change their pitch language. “We’re going after small publishers” makes me think you’re out to destroy them, not make more resources available in your databases. Yikes.

After lunch I went to one of my favorite sessions of the whole conference.

Gaming, Information Literacy and the College Student (ACRL CJCLS)
Track: User Services, Reference & Outreach; Information Literacy
Can the skill acquired through mastery of video games be applied to students attempting to conquer a maze of library databases and research? How have video games shaped the way students learn and process information and how can we use that understanding of these students in libraries? Learn how the gaming elements of urgency, complexity, learning by trial-and-error, active learning, experiential learning, and problem-based learning inform our goal of producing information literate students. Speakers: George M. Needham, Vice President, Member Services, OCLC; Paul James Gee, Tashia Morgridge Professor of Reading, University of Wisconsin-Madison

There’s an article about this presentation on Inside Higher Ed. (Note to self – no more reading the comments on inside higher ed. Those people can get mean and it’s depressing.) I know the word gaming can bring up a lot of animosity. I was interested in going for the fun factor and because we’re revamping the Info Game and I thought this would be a good tie in. This session was NOT about setting up a Play Station in your public library. It was very much about how games have successfully applied learning theory and how we need to learn from them.

The session was super popular, I had to sit on the floor (and stand at points to see the slides and take notes).

Paul James Gee has three books out on games and learning. He explained that the literacy gap is still there, but that there is now also a digital writers gap. Who can produce digital media? We talk about the digital divide and make progress in providing equal access to resources, but it’s not enough to have the equipment, you also need to have the scaffolding to learn the skills to use and create with that equipment.

One of my favorite examples – he showed a Yu-Gi-Oh! card and explained that popular culture has incredibly complex specialist language. He said that the card he was showing us had 3 straight conditionals in a row, which is (again) incredibly complex linguistically. And these 7 year olds understand it and use it. But our high schoolers are having trouble understanding their history or science textbooks. What are we doing wrong? And how can we fix it?

He also said that the manuals don’t help before trying the game. The manual is also full of specialist language. You jump in and play, then check the manual. After you’ve played some, the manual suddenly becomes lucid. It now has situated meaning. What had looked complicated now makes sense.

I’ll interrupt myself at this point because I saw comments on the article about this session where people were saying gamers absolutely read manuals and get angry at newbies who ask them stupid questions. The acronym RTFM (read the f* manual) was thrown around. I think this is missing the point. It’s not that you shouldn’t read the manual or that the manual is completely useless. It’s that, when playing games, most people don’t read the manual BEFORE fooling around in the game. It is so full of specialist language that it is confusing, but the manual makes much more sense after there is some background to relate it to, which is obtained by jumping in to the game and fooling around. Back to the session.

In information literacy instruction we are constantly asking the students to read long complicated explanations before they have the situational knowledge to relate it to. People don’t understand through extractions. Comprehension comes from being able to relate ideas to actions. Video games involve a theory of learning. They are complex. They take hundreds of hours to play. People pay $50-$60 (or a monthly fee) for something that is long, hard, complex and demanding.

Video games incorporate good learning principles:

  • lower the consequences of failure. If you’re not free to explore you won’t take risks. This was one of my other favorite examples – He talked about playing Tomb Raider and missing a jump – but by missing the jump he got a coin and found another area to explore.
  • performance before competence
  • players high on agency tree (have control over actions)
  • order problems well
  • cycles of challenge, consolidations, and new challenge (expertise and leveling)
  • stay within but at the outer edge of the players’ regime of … “flow”
  • encourage players to think about systems and relationships, not just isolated events, facts, skills
  • give verbal information “just in time” – when players need it and can use it – or “on demand” – when players ask
  • situate (show) give images for words
  • learning is embodied and affective (emotion)
  • recruit smart tools, distributed knowledge, and cross-functional teams

He talked about how cross-functional teams are the bane of the business world, but made into entertainment in World of Warcraft (and other similar games). They have expertise – each member must be different and excellent (one person stands away from the fighting and heals the others, one person runs into the fray to attract most of the enemies, one person picks off enemies from a distance, etc.), but also understand the function of each member so that they can replace others if necessary.

Another proposition is that no one learns anything new unless they take on a new identity. Identity iswhere emotional attachment comes. There are two ways to do this – make a compelling person (e.g. Lara Croft – confident, strong, smart, sassy to authority figures) or a blank slate.

He said that the old view of intelligences is to be fast and efficient, but now we should be encouraging people to explore options and rethink goals. Encourage a modding attitude. (Modding is changing the game itself rather than just playing it.) An example is a Tony Hawk video game where you are encouraged not to just play the game, but to design your own skate parks. This creates empathy for a complex system and helps people learn to write in a digital world. We love to read to kids – let’s love to play games with them too.

Next up was George Needham. He pointed out that there was going to be a lot of overlap between the two presentations. He asked us to consider what librarians can learn from gamers – a new way of developing, sharing, and extending knowledge. He talked about the 2003 environmental scan showing users preferring self-service and collaboration. Gamers are highly wired and it is a change in the way people see, change, and seek info.

Needham did a mock environmental scan for his grandfather to show analogies. His grandfather loved gadgets. He grew up with many advances – model T, television, moon landing. He was shaped by the world he grew up in: assassinations, rapid change in technology, unstable finances… Sound familiar?

The first computer game taught how to use computers. Nintendo existed since the 1800s when it made cards. Many people are playing games and they’re not all teenagers in their mom’s basement.

He went into an overview of the theory of digital natives and digital immigrants. That today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently than before. They perceive the world differently. Digital natives have never known a world that wasn’t digital. They don’t understand the other world. To immigrants it will always be a second language, we’ll always have an accent. (I’ll make the same argument here that I have before – my dad would object to being called an immigrant, he helped write the language. I think there are some flaws in adopting this immigrant/native line whole hog, but that it still makes some valid and important points.) We want to go from A to B to C but that’s not how it goes anymore.

  • linear processing v. parallel processing
  • linear thinking v. random access
  • conventional speed v. twitch speed
  • text v. audio/pictorial
  • process v. payoff
  • reality v. fantasy

Gamers are the heroes of their games. The game world is a logical and human friendly place. It’s natural to move between tasks. From this they’ve come to conclusions such as:

  • life should be fun
  • there are multiple paths to “victory”
  • victory is possible
  • failure along the way is not only an option, it is to be expected
  • leaders can’t be trusted, they see troops as expendable

Surgeons who play video games were faster and made less mistakes.

Gamers compete, collaborate, and create.

We think about information as what we have and gather, but we shy away from letting them contribute. We should rethink how we deliver service.

  • multiple paths to the good stuff
  • many formats, platforms
    • people learn in different ways
    • preferences
  • consider the non-print learner

The librarian as the information priest is as dead as Elvis. He asked us to stop making the library like church – not in the sense of quiet, but of reverence and authority, exclusivity and ritualitzation. (James Cowgill has a good explanation in the comments.)

  • Ask “What can the user contribute?”
  • Rethink where we serve. This includes the physical layouts of libraries, classrooms, school buildings. Information is ubiquitous, we need to be ubiquitous.
  • Online services are journeys and markers, not destinations. Librarians like to search, users like to find.
  • 24/7/365 is barely enough
  • privacy in the gamer world (and lack thereof)

Some insights from the gamer world

  • short cuts, not training. on time, on demand. “Let me show you a shortcut” rather than framing as education (e.g. – not “let me show you how to do this”)
  • risk taking and trial and error are ok. ready fire aim
  • expertise is more important than titles or credentials. arthritis in your knee? you trust your neighbor and coworker who had it more than national foundation or doctor. 14 year old girl helping librarian learn to play mmorpg
  • constant feedback – both for users and staff. annual review is not enough

How do we apply this?

  • Play an online game once in a while.
  • Offer services on IM, use text messaging, be where they need you when they need you.
  • Throw a LAN party.
  • Bring digital natives into your planning process.
  • Respect non-print learning. Learning happens in many ways, respect them all.
  • Steal the best ideas that are already out there – Jenny Levine’s Gaming and Libraries: Intersection of Services

His grandson will be in the college class of 2017. His Beloit college mindset list:

  • doesn’t know world trade center
  • doesn’t understand concept of film
  • phones have always been cell
  • google was always a verb
  • advanced anime worlds

Don’t create institutions for last generation, but for the next.

It was then open for discussion and my notes don’t say who was talking, but the ideas were:

  • many countries want everyone to read, but less want everyone to write
  • access alone does not provide equity. have to produce learning system, scaffolding
  • pro-sumer (v. consumer) – worth through production
  • 3 straight conditionals – complex logical prose
  • movement called serious games – no point in doing skill and drill
  • talking about moving a learning technique, not games specifically
  • need to supply 24/7 learning
  • learning community
  • technology is not good or bad, it’s what you do with it
  • can be reflective about it
  • average age of gamer is 30, not just teenage boys
  • go to where users are to let them know about your service
  • offer skills to users, not just tools
  • we’re a very either/or community, should bring it all together

George posted on Inside Higher Ed that he would send a copy of his slides if you send him an email. If anyone at ACC wants a copy, I can forward it on.

Next up I went to the Virtual Reference Discussion Group.

RUSA -MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Group
Come join librarians from academic, public, school and other library types to discuss virtual reference services such as chat, IM and email in an informal setting.

The theme was Fixing it Up. Each table had a facilitator and some stock questions, but we also guided ourselves with topics we were interested in. It was very much a random morphing discussion, so I’ll stick to sharing the bullet points from my notes here:

  • Need a head for a service
  • Shared Google doc spreadsheet for keeping track of staffing
  • IM – identity that you maintain
  • listserv – Digref
  • Meebo patron links aren’t clickable
  • one group uses libstats
  • privacy policy link on homepage
  • use IM to send patrons to subject specialist
  • service of convenience, not necessarily about speed
  • it’s ok to offer to get back
  • RUSA mainpage has link to training materials
  • patrons are comfortable in IM
  • cobrowsing not important to patrons
  • goes with idea of not moving the mouse for them at the desk
  • answer question v. teach
  • could liveperson add trillian functionality?
  • skype
  • myspace/facebook pages

My overall feeling was that we came up with a lot of question and things we wish vendors did, but not so many solutions. I went because I was particularly interested in chat v. IM, but I’m feeling more and more like it should be both/and, rather than either/or.

Edit – Our table’s facilitator sent out a follow up email that included:

  1. The main digital reference listserv — Dig_Ref Archive at– http://digref.org/archive/
    To subscribe, email– Send an email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU, and in the email body type: SUBSCRIBE DIG_REF your name
  2. RUSA training help for Virtual Reference
    Virtual Reference Adventure (training tutorial)–http://cs.ala.org/ra/vr_adventure/
    Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services– http://www.ala.org/ala/rusa/rusaprotools/referenceguide/virtrefguidelines.htm
  3. American University’s IM Reference Service Best Practices
    These are attached, and also available on our Google Group–http://groups.google.com/group/IMbestpractices

ACC Librarians, let me know if you’d like a copy of the pdf. IM group – there’s a lot worth looking over here.

Sorry I missed:

Electronic Resources: Training that Works (RUSA MARS)
Track: User Services, Reference & Outreach; Best Practices
As libraries offer more and more online databases to their patrons, how do we insure that librarians are trained to use and instruct patrons in their use? Our panel members will describe their staff training programs and answer questions from the audience. Attendees are encouraged to share samples of their own training materials at our Swap & Shop. Speakers: Marty Onieal, Adult Services Coordinator, Broward County Library; Margaret Mohundro, Director of INSPIRE, INCOLSA; Howard Trace, INSPIRE librarian, INCOLSA

Learning When There’s No Time (or Money to Learn) (ALA CLENERT)
Track: Human Resources & Staff Development; Staff Training
Are you running out of ideas for ways to keep your staff current, up-to-date, and informed when time and money are limited? If you’re experiencing shrinking budgets, information overload, complex technologies and fast-paced change, you’re not alone. Don’t be frustrated! Instead, meet your training challenge with excitement, a fresh perspective and a renewed purpose.

Information Seeking Behavior from Childhood through College (ALA LRRT)
Track: Research
Faculty members will present the results of their research into information seeking behavior across the age spectrum, from childhood to the “Tween” years and on through college students’ mental models of information organization and their affect on academic information seeking behavior. Presented in sequence from youngest to oldest, we can attempt to discern patterns in the evolution of this behavior and glimpse how childhood information seeking habits impact upon this same behavior in college students. Speakers: Lynn McKechnie, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario; Beverly Cleary, Visiting Professor, University of Washington – Information School; Melissa Gross, Associate Professor, Florida State University – College of Information; Karen E. Fisher, Professor & Chair, University of Washington – Information School; Lynn Westbrook, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin – School of Information

Utilizing Learning Theory in Online Environments (AASL)
Track: Digital Information & Technologies
This program will show how use of learning theories and their accompanying strategies can help provide targeted, personalized service to library users in online environments. Librarians who provide virtual Q/A, perform IM reference, use blogs or forums, or who want to teach in 3-D virtual worlds like Second Life will learn how to differentiate instruction in these online environments to maximize user knowledge, understanding, and independence.

Transforming Your Library, and Your Library’s Future, with Technology (ALA GOVERNANCE)
Track: Transformation & Innovations
Technology can transform your library and its services, as it is transforming the lives of your patrons. From do-it-now technology improvements to next-generation implementations, from software to SOPACs, from in-your-face competition to over-the-horizon transformations, three accomplished experts will instruct, enlighten and challenge you to use technology to make your library more relevant to your patrons — today and tomorrow. Speakers: Alan Kirk Gray, co-Chair, Darien (CT) Library; John Blyberg, co-Chair, Ann Arbor District Library, MI; Lori Ayre, The Galecia Group; Casey Bisson, Plymouth State University, NY; Roy Tennant, California Digital Library – Attendee writeup at Librarian Like Me.


ALA Conference – Friday, June 22nd, 2007 June 28, 2007

Filed under: ALA 2007,Conferences — ellie @ 11:45 pm
Tags: ,

Welcome to my ALA 2007 Annual Conference experience – day 1. This was pretty much arrival and settle in time. My plane landed around 4pm, so I was sorry that I missed the Emerging Leaders poster session and the various introductory events. But I was sure to make it to the:

World Premiere of “The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians Through Film”
Friday, June 22, 2007, 8:00 pm
Doors open at 7:30 pm with a red-carpet walk.
The film premiere will begin at 8:00 pm.
Washington Convention Center Hall D

This is a no-charge event, however attendees must have a conference or exhibits badge, or be the guest of a person with a badge. Black Tie optional.

The Hollywood Librarian is the first full-length film to focus on the work and lives of librarians in the entertaining and appealing context of American movies. American film contains hundreds of examples of librarians and libraries on screen — some positive, some negative, some laughable and some dead wrong. Dozens of interviews of real librarians will be interwoven with movie clips of cinematic librarians and serve as transitions between the themes of censorship, intellectual freedom, children and librarians, pay equity and funding issues, and the value of reading. Join us for the premiere of this film! Click here to view the film’s trailer.

I arrived a little late from being held up at dinner, so I missed the very beginning. Overall I have to agree with this review. My undergrad was in film and the odd pacing and topic jumping was a disappointment, but I did fall for the heartwarming stories towards the end. It was fine, I just wish it had been great. Also, lesson learned – in library land “black tie optional” is heavy on the optional.

Sorry I missed:

Conference 101 (ALA NMRT)
Come and learn the best tips and techniques for “doing” Annual Conference from experts in NMRT, the New Members Round Table. If this is your first conference, this is a don’t miss opportunity to orient yourself to the programs, exhibits and meetings that are right for you.

Edit – Read more about the Hollywood Librarian at the PLA blog.