From Jim Weikum, Arrowhead Library System and 2014 Chair of the MLA Legislative Committee
Minnesota Library Legislative Day has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in St. Paul. Additional details will be made available as that date draws closers, but one notable change from previous years is that our base of operations for the day will be Room 400N in the State Office Building rather than in Library at the Minnesota Judicial Center. Accessing the Judicial Center through the tunnels is would be challenging as a a result of increased security measures.
SELCO staff will book appointments with the legislators from the SELCO/SELS region. Everyone is free to join the office visits on Legislative Day. In addition we are developing information packets for each legislator and will arrange carpooling to the Capitol on March 5.
Route 613 (Jerome's route) is running late by at least 2 hours today. I have been in contact with Alliance and they will be to your library as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
A few of our member libraries have experienced some problems with both Citrix and WebReporter after upgrading to Internet Explorer 11. Whenever a browser has a new version on the market, it can cause problems for users to use some of their regular websites due to compatibility issues between the versions of HTML and other coding languages and the browser itself. These problems can usually be fixed by switching to Compatibility Mode in Internet Explorer. Here is how you do so:
- Open Internet Explorer 11.
- Go to Tools > Internet Options.
- Under the General tab make sure the check box for Delete browsing history on exit, is unchecked.
- Click OK to exit Internet Options.
- Next click on Tools, Compatibility View Settings. Add "selco.info" to the list and uncheck both the boxes below that, so the configuration looks like this:
- Click Close, then close Internet Explorer 11 and re-open it.
- Go back into Citrix (automation2.selco.info), then go into Horizon again. You should be able to open it without prompting you to Save or Open the file.
The MnLINK gateway will be down Thursday night November 21 at 9:00 PM to allow for a software update. It is expected to be back up by 8:00 AM on Friday November 22. A note has also been placed at the top ot the MnLINK website for patrons to see.
Brad Haugen is the media specialist for Lourdes High School and was awarded a scholarship from SELS to attend the 16th American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, November 14-17, 2013.
I enjoy a good buffet as much as the next person, but I must admit I am probably not the best at taking full advantage of them. When I get in line for a smorgasbord, I immediately hone in on the one or two things I know I like and gorge on them - rather than taking the opportunity to sample the wide variety of offerings.
The majority of the learning opportunities at the AASL conference are presented in a very buffet-like format. Starting Friday morning and running through Saturday afternoon, attendees were provide a list of over 70 options offered in concurrent sessions. There were seven available time slots for these sessions, meaning each time you had to select one of the 10 to attend. The downside to this, obviously, is that sometimes there was more than one class you really wanted to attend. However, there is a way that I (and possibly you as well) can see some of those sessions (this is something I will talk about in my next post). Anyhow, I tried to map out the classes I wanted to attend before leaving for Hartford. Here are my highlights:
"Everybody Has a Laptop, So Why Do We Need a School Librarian?" was a session in which three ladies whose schools had just moved to a 1-to-1 environment have managed to make their positions in the faculty even more important. They talked about how they, as librarians, took on a much larger role in staff/professional development endeavors, but also shared how - despite the definite change in their environment/role - they still held strong and fast to their driving principle: connecting kids with books. They discussed something they try to do at the start of each year where they bring all the freshmen in at the start of the year and have them peruse a wide variety of books. While the kids are sampling, they (there are 3 full-time librarians in their building, which helps) actually pull each kid aside and have a little mini interview with them about their reading habits. I thought this was a pretty cool idea for fostering a meaningful relationship with the kids at the start of their careers at the school.
Janae Kinkin is a librarian at Weber State University in Utah and she has long struggled with incoming freshmen not having the necessary digital literacy skills needed in college-level academics. She also is in a state which has seen the school library profession ravaged by budget cuts. Through the help of some grants, she has created an online tutorial to help middle and high school teachers and/or librarians teach the necessary digital literacy skills. The site () is free and available to anyone who wants to use it. The current version presents the information in a graphic novel format that kids can use, but the initial version is still available and breaks the lessons into PowerPoints which can be downloaded and even altered to fit your particular lessons. If you are looking for help in teaching digital literacy to your students - this is definitely worth checking out.
Ironically, one of the concurrent sessions I was most looking forward to (Creating a Dynamic STEM Collection in Your Library) was cancelled. However, the second choice in that timeslot turned out to be one of the most interesting and thought-provoking sessions I attended. Dr. David Loertscher is a professor at Cal-State Poly and has developed an educational environment known as "the learning commons" which he says can (and should) be created in both the physical and virtual worlds. I have to admit, this session was pretty deep and I still haven't completely wrapped my head around all of it. There is a pretty good article in the October 2013 issue of ("Doing the Legwork, Building the Foundation, and Setting the Stage for Meaningful Transition from Traditional Library to Learning Commons") that can also help set the stage for you.
Other sessions I attended included one on MakerSpaces in the library and developing a writing center. My brain is still swimming from all that I have taken in, but if you would like information on ANY of the things I experienced over the weekend - please don't hesitate to shoot me an email (email@example.com) and I would be happy to share with you further. I will also try and put together another post here soon in which I can give you information about how you can possibly access a lot of the information presented at the conference.
I hope I am home before you read this, but the storms in Chicago appear to be wreaking havoc on flight schedules right now. Fingers crossed:)
Brad Haugen is the media specialist for Lourdes High School and was awarded a scholarship from SELS to attend the 16th American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, November 14-17, 2013.
No easing in to my first national conference experience as Day 1 began with registration at 7:30 with the first "pre-conference" session at 8. Considering my flight into Hartford did not touch down until a little after midnight local time, I must admit my eyes were not as bright as usual, nor was my tail as bushy as it could have been.
However, my mental fatigue was quickly wiped away as I witnessed a wonderful presentation entitled "A Library in Every Pocket: Virtualizing Your Library for Mobile Learning." Michelle Luhtala, Shannon Miller and Gwyneth Jones are ladies I have followed very closely the past couple of years via Twitter and RSS feeds and are definitely innovative school librarians at all three levels. They were joined by Brenda Boyer and Tiffany Whitehead. All five took the packed conference room through their respective libraries' stories and highlighted the many different things that each of them do to make their libraries more accessible in the technologically driven world.
I must admit that less than an hour into the session I began to feel a bit overwhelmed as the ladies rattled off SO many different web tools (Symbaloo, Scoop.it, ComicLife, MentorMob...). Just as I was starting to think that there would be no way I could ever get my library to the level that these ladies have achieved, probably the most important thing I could have learned all weekend came to me. I don't remember which of the five actually said it, but one of them remarked how they were actually jealous of what the others were doing. Then it hit me: even though each of these librarians were doing such amazing things, none of them were doing ALL of them. The whole point of this experience is not to find that one ideal plan for a library (one does not exist), but rather to see as much of what is out there as you can and choose any and all you would like to focus on yourself. This would prove to be invaluable as the conference went on.
Following this opening session - I attended a special presentation intended for first-time conference attendees. Considering the large ballroom was standing room only, I did not feel too out of place as an AASL newbie. Aside from the logistical/housekeeping information, the prevailing message from the veterans was: pace yourself. Again, invaluable advice.
Tony Wagner delivered the opening general session address. Mr. Wagner is an Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the majority of his speech was about the changing landscape of education and how technology has transformed our society - particularly our youth and how they learned. I found his speech to be interesting and relevant - although a few of did joke how it was ironic he never did utter the word "librarian" is his speech.
After a quick (but much needed) nap back at the hotel, I wrapped up my first day at the Independent School Section Reception held at the Marriott. It was nice to mingle with other private school librarians to talk about some of the different situations we encounter. While men are definitely in the minority at this conference, I actually was able to find a fellow wrestling coach at this event!
All in all, Day one was a great experience - and definitely got me fired up for the rest of the weekend.
The MnLINK gateway will be down tonight, Wednesday November 13 at 9:00 PM to allow for a software update. It is expected to be back up later in the morning on Thursday November 14. A note has also been placed at the top ot the MnLINK website for patrons to see.
Navigating in today's technology world is filled with perils of virus infections, malware, and even identity theft. But how do you protect yourself from these kinds of dangers, and even more importantly how do you protect your patrons? There is a thin line in the library world from helping a patron to becoming geek squad, and this is so very true when it comes to this kind of security. So let's take a look at some good, basic practices that you can use to help you, your family, and even your patrons.
Let's start by looking at computers, one of the most common areas this battle is fought. Computers are awesome, but in today's world they can be infected with viruses. Viruses infect your computer and try to hide and run in the background, so they can pass on their infections to other systems. Malware is another type of problem today, but unlike viruses Malware installs and throws ads and other unwanted information at you, even fake virus warnings. But an even more real threat is called Ransomware, Ransomware when installed on your system will take it over and require you to pay them to release your system and data. But what are some basic things you can do on your computer to help protect against this? First off keep your system updated, making sure it has the most current updates is one of the primary ways to prevent against infection. But also keep your plugins updated, such as Java, Adobe Flash, Reader, etc. A lot of malware and viruses will try to infect your plugins. Another very important piece to this is to backup your data. If your computer does get hit with something and needs to be wiped, having a backup of your data can save you a lot of time and hassle. Keeping it on an external hard drive, or even backing it up to the cloud with something like CrashPlan can go a long way. Make sure to run Antivirus and Antimalware scans to keep your system clean. And the biggest thing you can do is, use some common sense. Don't go to websites or click on links you are unsure of. You are the best antivirus you have.
Security doesn't stop at just computers anymore. Mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, contain a ton of personal data. And losing such a device, or having one stolen, can be a very real threat indeed. The first line of defense is to make sure you have PIN number or password set on your device. And while this can be annoying, it can also save you a lot of heartache if the device becomes lost or stolen as it will prevent others from accessing the data on your device. The devices are evolving beyond just a PIN number for security as well. Apple iOS devices can take advantage of a feature called Find My iPhone which lets you remotely track, locate, and lock the device if it becomes lost. You can even send a message to the device, or wipe it remotely if needed. There is also a feature to email you once the device is back online so you can remotely wipe it if needed. Android also has similar features through several security apps, and even a built in feature that mimics Find My iPhone called the Android Device Manager. A lot of times I get asking if viruses are a risk for mobile devices, and the truth is they are. The Android operating system is much more open than Apple, so running an anitivirus software such as Lookout Security, AVG, Avast, or Norton is a good idea. With its more locked down environment, such things do not exist in the Apple world, but you should still be wary of certain websites and emails. And much like a computer, backing up your device goes a long way. For Apple iOS devices this can be done through iTunes, or directly to the iCloud. On Android devices there are a ton of apps that will help you, such as Lookout Security, MyBackup Pro, and Missing Sync. But if your devices does become lost or stolen, don't panic. Try to remotely track or lock your devices. If it is a cell phone, contact your carrier and report the device stolen. And change your password, if they were able to gain access to your device, changing your online passwords will go a long ways to keeping them locked out of your accounts. And of course, keep the serial number for your device, you may need to use it to claim your device if it is recovered.
Passwords are an important part of securing your devices and online accounts, and hackers know this. Brute force password attacks are becoming more and more common as hackers get better at guessing your password. So let's take a look at some practices that you can use to make yourself a difficult target. When creating a password, long passwords are still your best bet. Make sure to use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. While all this can be a lot to remember, using passphrases instead of just a password can help simplify remembering long and complicated passwords. For example you could take the phrase "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and turn it into a password such as, #tHeli0n5le3ps2N!ght. Of course with all the different accounts we all have in today's world, using a password manager can go a long way to keeping all of this in check. They can even generate passwords, so you won't have to keep coming up with new passwords and you can setup your accounts so none of your passwords are the same. Two of my favorite passwords managers are Lastpass and KeePass. Lastpass is an online password manager than can sync across all your devices, and even fill in your information on your websites so you literally do not have to know what your passwords are. Of course a lot of people are reluctant to go this route as it is online and could be hacked. But they have had a good reputation and have several other security measures in place to prevent such a thing from happening. But if you want something more in your control and local, KeePass is the way to go. KeePass keeps all your passwords in an encrypted database on your computer, with no online access. However you still have to copy / paste passwords when going to websites. But using a password manager to keep your passwords different across your accounts is a good idea and prevents what I like to call "The Domino Effect" from happening. This happens if you use the same email and password across all your accounts, and let's face it people like to do that to keep things simple. But if one of your accounts gets hacked, that means ALL your accounts are now hack-able. A lot of services have also started using Two Factor Authentication, this means that in addition to knowing your username and password, you also have to have your cell phone to get a code in order to login to your accounts. This way if the hacker does have your username and password, they would still need your cell phone in order to gain access to your account. Google, Evernote, Dropbox, Lastpass, and many more have two factor authentication. And while it is an extra step, I think it is worth the protection, after all it is about making yourself a difficult target.
Security issues with email is one we are all too familiar with. Getting that email from the Nigerian prince who is your long lost cousin and wants to share millions of dollars with you, is and oldie but a goodie when it comes to email scams. These kinds of scams are called Phishing. It is when hackers send out emails asking for personal information, or asking you to click on a link so they can gain access to your data and email account. But this kind of behavior isn't tied down to just email anymore, Social Networking, such as Facebook, as seen its shares of "click on this link" scams to hijack your account. But again a lot of the same practices I have talked about can be applied here as well. For example, change your password regularly, or even randomize it with a password manager. Use Two Factor Authentication to add in an extra level of protection. Setup a separate email account as a recovery email, and don't share it with anyone. So if someone does try to reset your accounts password they won't get the new password.
One of the most important things on the front line of your computer's defenses is your browser. You can get a virus by clicking on the wrong link, or even going to a legitimate site with the wrong kind of advertisement on it. A great example of this is the Post Bulletin, about a year I had many computers get infected by people who had visited their website. Like most websites they sell ad space on their site and pull the ads in from a third party source. One of the ads was actually malware, and infected any computer that visited the site. Remember, it only takes one line of website code from an infected website to get your computer. While all that is scary, like everything else, there are things you can do to make yourself a more difficult target. Use more than one web browser. There are sites that I still need to use Internet Explorer for, but I also use Firefox and Chrome as well. Know the settings of your browser, take a look at them, especially your network / proxy settings. That way if you do get infected you can take a look and see if they were tampered with. Try to use HTTPS instead of HTTP in the browser line as much as possible, especially with sites you login with. This helps to secure and encrypt the page. And as with computers, keep your browser and plugins updated. If you use Firefox or Chrome there are even more options available to you in the form of browser plugins. HTTPS Everywhere is a great plugin for Firefox and Chrome that will always force HTTPS on websites that you visit. Adblock Plus is another great plugin I cannot stress enough. This plugin will block ads from loading on websites, and while that makes the sites less annoying, it also makes them safer. But as always, the best line of defense is you, be careful what you click on and where you go online.
When you are out and about, be careful when using public wireless hot spots. Make sure they place you are at does provide wireless and verify the wireless name. You never know if someone is sharing their connection to monitor your traffic. Also, if a wireless hotspot has a password, that adds a level of encryption that does prevent some (but not all) forms of tracking software. As libraries that is something to consider too when providing access to free wireless. Encrypting your wireless connection with a password will help protect your patrons, even if you share out the password as it will encrypt each connection. But this must also be weighed against the extra work of having to help patrons enter the password to get on the network. This may or may not be a good use of staff time. And in a lot of cases, places that offer free wireless do say use at your own risk.
As I said earlier, libraries are at the forefront of the technology battle, whether they want to be or not. Patrons are coming to the library for help with their devices, and setting up their accounts. Keeping security in the back of your mind, and following some basic good practices can go along way to helping you protect your patrons and your library. For more information, please feel free to look at the User Security presentation I did for MLA 2013 located at, http://bit.ly/191pDkB.
Tyler Irvin, Technology Support Librarian
To keep appraised of the details in the eBook world, you might want to check out this article about how MELSA (the Twin Cities' version of SELCO) is working with 3M. They are also working with a combined pool of titles but want to have the benefit of localized content that doesn't sit stagnant when not in use.
Posted on behalf of Megan Seeland, SELCO Scholarship recipient, Red Wing Public Library
Hi, my name is Megan, and I’m a librarian. A children’s and teen services librarian who dabbles in reference librarianship, and I love it!
I’m not new to libraries (well, let’s be honest, I started as a shelving page at 14 and have zero other skills - I can’t even waitress!) but I’m new to Minnesota this was my first official BIG conference, so I was super stoked to be headed to St. Cloud for MLA 2013 (thanks to the super awesome generosity of SELCO – thanks, guys, for awarding me a scholarship that gave me the opportunity for a ton of really great professional development!).
I haven’t experienced two days so jam-packed with information since library school. There’s no way I could cover everything I learned and thought about, so I want to talk about just a few sessions that really sparked my imagination! And sent me home with frantically scribbled notes all over every scrap of paper I could get my hands on (thank goodness for online evals, because I totally used the backs of those forms to take notes on, when my own supplies ran short pretty early in the day!).
As a children’s and teen services librarian who has recently been reintroduced to the children’s part of librarianship, I made sure to fill my days with sessions on story times, summer reading, and children’s and teen lit!
Arts & Creativity for Children @ Your Library
The first session on Thursday morning after the keynote, this one was presented by Leah Hughes of the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center. As someone who loves to make, appreciate, and share art, I am always looking for new ways to integrate art into programs for kids. We do a ton of arts and crafts stuff during summer reading at Red Wing too, so I am also always on the prowl for new ideas! I can’t wait to try out Harry Pottery with clay or Model Magic with my tween book club – I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Harry’s birthday in July! – and the idea for DIY blocks made by the teens for the toddlers and preschoolers was phenomenal. As a librarian with an active group of teens who love to help, this is going to be perfect for one of their winter meetings. I also strongly believe the library should be a family destination, which means lots of opportunities for creativity, and I love the idea of the teens creating something for the little guys that will in turn give them opportunities to be creative!
And, a great piece of advice from Leah for librarians struggling to redirect those parents who just can’t stop themselves from doing their child’s craft for them? Redirect them and give them a job, so they’re creating too.
Summer Reading for Families: A Chorus of Innovative Ideas to Expand Summer Reading
Families in the library? Check! Families in the library all the time for summer reading? Check! Ways to make summer reading fun for the whole family? Yes, please!
This sessions was awesome! The librarians that presented all had a ton of great ideas to add a new layer to traditional summer reading – family activities. My favorite? Absolutely Gnorman the Gnome. Hilarious, and fun! Each week, families hunt for Gnorman in different store fronts, then head to the library when they’ve found him. What a great way to integrate the library seamlessly into the fabric of the community – and get families outside walking together. I can’t wait to try this one out in downtown Red Wing. Family reading banners tracking books and library programs participated in, bumper stickers (Follow Our Family to the Library! How cool is that?!), and some great passive programs (life size Scrabble, anyone?) are all ideas I’m totally going to steal, erm, borrow, for our library.
Can’t Feel the Beat: Learn to Tap Your Feet & Introduce Music Into Storytime
This was far and away my favorite session of conference! As a proud band geek, I LOVE music, all of it, and I love using new, funky tunes in story time – who doesn’t love babies rocking out to big band swing?! I learned how to play the piano before I could read and my clarinet and I marched through high school and for the U for four years… but I never really thought I could use that experience in story times. Wrong! Jodi Edstrom of the Carver County Library brought a whole story time orchestra along, and I have never had so much fun! Well, except for performing the Mound of Sound with the marching band, but that’s something else entirely. But seriously, how fun is a clatterpillar? And fruit shakers! We absolutely need more jingle bells, and the Remo drums are amazing. Jodi also had a lot of great ideas for integrating very simple music concepts and theory into story times – notes and animals, instruments and sounds. With all these great tips and ideas, plus the idea of a preschool dance party that’s been rattling around in my head since earlier this fall, I can’t help but get excited to plan some new music-based story times this spring.
Also, I think I need to learn how to play the ukulele.
Graphics: The Musical!
This session was a tough call between Unshelved’s primer on how to ban a book and the graphic novels, but really, anything billed as The Musical is a win. Pretty much irresistible. Plus, I LOVE book talks. And book talks for one of my favorite formats? Yes, please! The Ultimate X-Men sucked me in a long time ago, and I’ve never looked back. One of my big goals here at Red Wing is to get people coming here from all over southeastern Minnesota just for the sheer awesomeness of our graphic novel and manga collection.
Marcus Lowry and Amy Boese of the Ramsey County Library were awesome – entertaining, musically fabulous, and chock full of suggestions for great reads for kids, teens and adults. The first thing I did when I got back to work? Throw everything into my B&T cart that we didn’t already own!
Passive Programs Pronto! CYP Subunit Business Meeting
This was apparently the first year where the CYP business meeting including content – and I really, really hope it’s a tradition that continues! Book Spine Poetry, the return of the Fortune Teller, Book Bombs, a Poe-Tree (which has been very popular in the story well!), and the best repurposed weeded books EVER – Censored Poetry and Guess the Shredded Book/Manga (I’m sure it had a much cleverer name, but I can’t find that scrap of paper at the moment…). Love!
So, in conclusion (my high school English teacher would never allow me to submit anything with a conclusion – thanks, Ms. Carr!), is MLA worth it? All that driving, all those new people, figuring out where to sit at lunch, losing two days of valuable program prep time at work, having your brain almost short out because it’s being bombarded by an overwhelming amount of knowledge and enthusiasm for books, reading, libraries, programming, and information literacy? YES!!
The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, has teamed up with Candlewick Press to offer the "Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved" Grant, which provides $3,000 to assist a library outreach to underserved populations. Grants are due December 1, 2013 and winners announced at the 2014 ALA Midwinter, January 24-28, 2014, in Philadelphia.
From the website:
The ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved" Grant was formed in honor of Newbery Medalist and Geisel Honoree author Kate DiCamillo, and the themes represented in her books. The award consists of a $3,000 grant to assist a library in conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations through a new program or an expansion of work already being done.
The ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee will select the winner of this award based on an application process. Special population children may include those who have learning or physical differences, those who speak English as a second language, those who are in a non-traditional school environment, those who live in foster care settings, those who are in the juvenile justice system, those who live in gay and lesbian families, those who have teen parents, and those who need accommodation service to meet their needs. The winner of this award will be announced at ALA's Midwinter Meeting.
Application forms, instructions, and additional information can be found at the Grant's website.
Nancy Vaillancourt received one of two SELCO 2013 ARSL Conference Scholarships. Nancy is the Branch Manager for the Blooming Prairie Branch Library.
Nancy finishes her blog post with some thoughts on additional sessions from ARSL 2013.
I am a Man by Joe Starita
Starita is a journalist who loves to find a good story. He found one in the experience of Standing Bear, a Ponca tribal chief. After being relocated by the government from South Dakota to Oklahoma, Standing Bear wanted to bury his son in their ancestral land in South Dakota. They were stopped along the way, and eventually went to court to fight for the right to return to their lands for the burial. At the conclusion of the trial, much to the credit of Standing Bear himself, the judge acknowledged that Native Americans had legal rights, a first for any court in the United States. Starita was a masterful storyteller and I plan to read his book I am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice.
Reader’s Advisory on the Run with Carolyn Petersen
So you don’t have time to read every book in the library? How can you recommend a book if you haven’t read it? Websites such as Goodreads, Amazon, and Novelist were recommended to use to find series, exporting lists to Excel, and networking with teens. Fantasticfiction.com was also widely praised. Other sources of book ideas are the New York Times bestseller list which is based on the number of books being sold. Publisher’s Weekly lists the books recently published.
A bookmark was distributed that showed month by month when book awards are announced. The presenter suggested that these awards be put on your monthly reminders so you can stay up to date with the top choices in various genres. Look at the web pages of other libraries; many have a brief synopsis of popular books.
Carolyn Peterson had some practical tips on how to read a book by its cover.
- Examine what is depicted on the front – what style? How much skin? (Can tell you if the book is a bodice ripper or a bonnet ripper.) Is the author’s name larger than the title? If so, a well established author.
- On the back cover are there author recommendations? If only from a publisher, this is probably a debut book.
- Blurb---any other hints?
Take 5 minutes to read a few pages from the beginning, middle, and end to see if you like the style and if there is some continuity. Caution: only do this with a book you are not planning to read.
Craig Johnson, Creator of the Longmire novels
I felt like a real city girl this week, or at least a Midwestern girl. Since the rodeo was going on in town, there were people everywhere with their cowboy hats and boots on. We went for a walk and saw the pens for the animals, as well as huge RVs that had trailers behind them for horses. So when I walked into the ballroom for our lunch, it was not too much of a surprise to see a man at the head table wearing a cowboy hat and boots.
I had recently requested some Craig Johnson books for a patron, but have never read them myself. There is now a TV series on A&E network based on the Longmire books. Since Lou Diamond Phillips is a character on the show, I may need to see what the show is like.
Johnson was very entertaining, telling of his beginning attempts at becoming a successful author (over ten years on the first book). Now the world he created has taken on a life of its own, to the point that a waitress argued with him that the county in Montana where the books take place is real, not fictional as he claimed.
Tech Tools Get-er Done for Free with Kieran Hixon
During this session information on free techie tools was given. The best thing to do is to go to the websitehttp://bit.ly/2013arsl. This has links to the tools and instructions on using them. The information was a bit overwhelming since so much was shared!
I need to go through each of the suggested tools, try them out, and see if they are ones that will work for me, staff, and the public. There are a few that kids would especially enjoy using, like Voki in which you can choose a cartoon head to speak what you have typed in. There are choices for characters and accents. (We liked the British one.)
I would like to try using Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) a program that allows you to edit digital and audio material. This one is not on the list but was mentioned in the program as one that was very helpful.
Creative commons is one that I have used since the conference introduced me to it. This allows you to find images that are not copyrighted and can be used as needed.
Edmodo is a suggestion for parents of younger children or homeschoolers. It is similar to Facebook as a social media, but the group is limited to those who sign up together.
Take a look at the list – there is a lot of information waiting to be discovered!
Build Library Awareness by Engaging Your Community with Jennifer Powell
This program’s title was changed in the handouts to Geek the Library. I was introduced to the Geek the Library campaign while visiting Columbus, Indiana. I did not know it as a national campaign supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There was a booth in the vendor area, and I had signed up for the program the day before for the Blooming Prairie Branch Library.
What is it? It is a promotional campaign that uses the word geek as a verb with the meaning, what do you have a passion about? While some adults may balk at being called geeks, younger people have taken to the campaign enthusiastically.
The Geek campaign builds brand awareness and highlights the total value of the library. It encourages internal advocates, such as staff and volunteers, to spread the message of the library. It builds excitement in the community, showing the library as a vibrant force.
We are planning to implement the Geek the Library program in January 2014, continuing for the calendar year. Supplies have begun arriving, all provided by OCLC at no cost. There is a consultant helping each library with their own individual needs.
The Power of One with Judy Calhoun and Anna Bates
The presenters began with an interesting fact from 2006: one in three librarians in the world works in a one person library. While our library has one fulltime person, and two part time workers, it is often that only one person is at work in the library.
So what does an individual need to work alone in a library? According to Judith Siess, “the main requirements include being flexible and creative; having a bias toward service, sharing, coalition-building, and idealism; being resourceful; finding enjoyment in working alone; being able to manage time, think analytically, and see the big picture; being naturally curious; and having good recall. Also required are good written and oral communication skills, good organizational skills, self-confidence, a sense of humor, patience, and a high tolerance to frustration.” Sounds just a bit intimidating! The presenters broke these ideas down into the following areas:
Time management: try the TF30 tool. Make a list for what you are going to accomplish Today, by Friday, and by the end of the month.
Duplicate yourself by using volunteers. Train them to do things that you don’t have time to accomplish, but that need to be done. Using the website Order in the Library is a fun way to teach volunteers how to put items in order.
Ask for help. Organizations in your town may be willing to offer volunteers or cash for special events. Other librarians are great sources of ideas; joining professional organizations can lead to new connections and resources.
Mind control. Use all means available to publicize your library and its programs. Make your library relevant to the entire community. Access free tools such as social media, newspaper press releases, and others to get the word out.
In conclusion, the ladies discussed ten traits that librarians share with superheros:
- Superheroes never give up.
- Superheroes always get the job done.
- Superheroes are the best at what they do.
- Superheroes have a purpose that is crystal clear.
- Superheroes are NOT flawless.
- Superheroes do not seek glory.
- Superheroes help others.
- Superheroes can do it by themselves, but are more powerful in teams.
- Superheroes’ true strength comes from their character.
- Superheroes accomplish huge feats.
I love this – I plan to make a poster of this to have at my desk.
Thank you to SELCO for providing me this opportunity to attend the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference. It was a terrific learning experience. Now that I am back in my small library, I have greater appreciation for the support that is given to libraries in the State of Minnesota, SELCO, Steele County, and in Blooming Prairie. I am proud to be part of this system and happy to be of service to many people.
"The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is now accepting applications for mini-grants intended to prepare libraries to incorporate Día into their existing programs throughout the entire year. Mini-grants will be used to initiate a Día Family Book Club Program in libraries. Up to 12 mini-grants will be awarded at $5,000 each.
Intended as an expansion of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día), the mini-grants will be awarded to libraries that demonstrate a need to better address the diverse backgrounds within their communities."
Deadline for applications is November 30, 2013. For more information click HERE.
Posted on behalf of Art Tiff, SELCO Scholarship recipient, Kasson Public Library
Well it was another very successful and rewarding MLA 2013 conference. A couple of great things happened to me while attending Thursday and Friday! Number one: Yes that was me that lost my very valuable and antique LG cell phone on Friday! You can laugh but sometimes the older people can’t handle younger people’s newer technologies! I was just thankful that I was in a conference with very honest and wonderful Librarians. Some wonderful person found my cell phone and turned it in. Number two: I met some wonderful people and attended a couple of great conference sessions. Oh, forgot there was a third item of interest and that was the wonderful SELCO van ride to and from the MLA Conference.
One very good session was “Rock’n Roll with Soul for Library Friends.” A couple of key things to make your Friends of the Library successful would be: 1) Anything you do make sure you let everyone know; 2) publicize everything your group does. 3) You need communication between the Library Director and the Friends of the Library. Your Friends need to keep engaged with activities. As a Friends group, you need to keep searching for volunteers and keep active, don’t let your group and your community forget what is happening and happening at the Library, post signs and announcements on what your group has done in the past and what is going to be done in the future. One big item of interest is, “Listen to supporters!” With each member you have, try to assign them to a task to keep them interested in Friends. If you are looking for new members, try contacting your Library Board, library book clubs, and check with Library staff on most active patrons of the Library. Another couple of good recruiting ways is to ask for ideas or changes from patrons, Welcome the prospective new members, and make sure your Friend’s group has Bylaws in place. Have in place a checklist of activities to do, as a member of Friends and when new members or even current members can check off the projects they would like to assist with. One way to get the word out about your Friend’s group is through your local newspaper and on the local cable channel in your town.
One other very good session was a session titled; “Use Security” by a gentleman from SELCO! The presenter started out with “We are targets!” Meaning, that we as public libraries, we are always in evolved in the world of hacking but the use of viruses, malware and ransomware. We, as Librarians, must make sure that all our computers are updated at all times. Another way is to update your plug-ins, backup your data, and run antivirus scans often. For mobile devices, Apple and Android offer Antivirus for their devices. The presenter talked about Lost or Stolen devices. Don’t panic (Ya right!), lock device, contact carrier, if device is lost, and make sure you keep your serial number, of device; in a safe place because if the police contact you, you will have evidence proving it is your lost item. One more important item of interest is to change your passwords often. Make your passwords longer and make sure you include several special characters within the code. The most important suggestion was, “Trust No-one”, when it comes to receiving emails or messages!
One more very good session was titled: “Administration of Community Living: Adult Service and Programming for Aging Populations. A stat that the session began with was that by 2020, 75% of the population will be adults and of that percent, 35% will be over 65 years of age. Survey your community and find those who need things that your library can offer. Doing outreach programs to seniors that are home bound, in Nursing Homes, and even those that come to the library, will benefit you and your staff. Make it a point to seek out ways to provide outreach to those in need. The outreach programs you provide will be rewarded in many ways. Be sure to present to the public how your outreach program works and provide valued information to newspapers, radio, and TV. Make sure that the information you publish is current, reliable, and accurate.
Posted on behalf of Chris Beckman, SELCO Scholarship recipient, Rochester Public Library
Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services Annual Conference held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “Let the Good Times Roll!” was the theme of this year’s conference with 200 attendees from around the country.
I want to first thank SELCO for the grant approval to attend the annual conference. This gathering is considered somewhat unique in the fact that they are only staff working in the Bookmobile or other outreach services that provide library materials to patrons outside of the brick and mortar walls.
While at the conference, there were 6 keynote speakers from the state of Louisiana. Mayor of Baton Rouge, Melvin “kip” Holden, state Librarian, Rebecca Hamilton, director of East Baton Rouge Library-Spencer Watts, local entrepreneur, John Snow, director of LSU FACES laboratory, Mary Manhein, Lieutenant Governor, Jay Dardenne.
During this year’s conference there were several sessions to attend to get insight into different ways libraries perform outreach to their patrons in other parts of the country:
“Tech on the Go” using a LSTA grant to purchase about 30 I-Pads to travel around to assisted living centers, daycare centers, and other organizations to teach operation and online access, using e-books, to members of weld county, Colorado.
“Shop and Stop” They stress being able to read by 3rd grade otherwise kids really start getting behind the rest of the way. They incorporate a series of lockers located in a shopping mall where patrons can pick up holds and also use as a book drop location.
“Reading on a Grade Level” This library converted their bookmobile to strictly pre-school based only carrying that specific age level of books. They also had a majority of them face out. The bookmobile has scheduled stops at various pre-schools not open to the public during these times. The books are theme based with no Dewey system.
“First year with a New Bookmobile” The bookmobile librarian presents all of the trials and tribulations of design, purchase and build of their new bookmobile in Lincoln, Nebraska.
“Small Start-Big Business” the librarians presented a session about focusing more on the quality of the books rather than quantity. The theme was learning 8 rhymes by 8 yrs. old. The city is located in South Carolina with a very high poverty level making getting books to kids almost a necessary link to building a good reading foundation.
Posted on behalf of Leslie Davila, SELCO Scholarship recipient, Chatfield Public Library
I was lucky enough to get a scholarship from SELCO to attend the 2013 Minnesota Library Association Conference. I feel like I am still coming down off an information overload, but I got a lot of great ideas out of the conference.
I attended several sessions that really stood out to me. The first one I attended was called “Arts and Creativity @ Your Library: Best Practices” and it was presented by Leah Hughes. Hughes is a fine artist and works in schools, libraries, and community centers all over the state. Her session was focused on what creativity is and how to foster it. Hughes described why the arts are important and how they can affect kids culturally, individually, and academically. Creative arts can help reach kids who are not currently being reached and can help challenge kids who are already “successful”. She also described what creativity is-- an original, high quality, genuinely significant idea or product. I enjoyed this session and it reiterated some thoughts and ideas I already had and helped solidify the fact that the arts impact kids in a positive way.
Another of the sessions I attended was all about Family Reading Programs. One library system in Minnesota decided to give Family Reading a trial run this past summer and through this session, they shared some of their results and ideas. The main purpose of family reading was to get the whole family involved with coming into the library. One of the presenters shared her thoughts on how modeling reading is important--if the parents don’t place importance on reading or read for pleasure themselves, their kids might not feel it is important, either. Many great activity ideas were shared, such as family reading book bags, game ideas, and community involvement. The libraries involved all did their programs in the summer, but I think this would be a great event to do in mid-winter when everyone is sick of doing the same old things indoors!
The third session I got a lot out of was one on getting reluctant teen readers to get reading! Three presenters shared multiple perspectives--we listened to an author, a librarian, and a book editor. Author Patrick Jones discussed the reasons why kids are reluctant readers, which kids tend to be reluctant readers, and what type of books would appeal to them in particular. Some of the aspects that we looked at were the use of real-life cover images, plenty of white-space, easier sentence structure, and lots of dialogue. Shannon Melham from Anoka County Library shared ideas on how to display books to grab attention--front covers facing out, lots of props, mixing fiction and non-fiction--so that kids don’t have to search as hard for the perfect book. Anna Cavollo, an editor for Lerner Publishing shared some of the great series they have created for reluctant readers in particular. I was enthralled by this talk and came away with some new title and series ideas that I would love to try out.
I am so appreciative that I got the opportunity to go to this conference. All in all, I’d say it was time well spent!
Posted on behalf of Tara Johnson, SELCO Scholarship recipient, Lanesboro Public Library
MLA Day 1
The conference opened with keynote speaker, NPR Librarian, Kee Malesky in conversation with Sasha Aslanian. , Kee shared how NPR’s libraries have evolved over her career. Plus stories of her reference adventures. My take-away, “turn to the experts when possible,” when you need to know how much water is in the great lakes system!
I focused on MLA’s “conference within in a conference” by attending the Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation break-out sessions. An interesting new field of practice is emerging (50+ library services) that aims to meet the diverse interests and needs of the Baby Boomers and other active older adults who constitute an increasing proportion of our population.
Presented by Diantha D. Schull, author of 50+ Library Services: Innovation in Action and former president of Libraries for the Future. Ms. Schull challenged us by stating, “76 million Boomers are reaching 50+ years,” how are libraries engaging this diverse population?
Keeping our minds sharp with games and simple exercises! The panel discussed the four pillars of brain health, and shared more than “20 suggestions for Maintaining your brain!” They listed games to sharpen your motor, number, spatial and word skills. And exercises as: write your name with your non-dominant hand, read upside down, and recite the months of the year in alphabetical order. Try this at home!
This was a new experience as I was a moderator for this session. It was fun to have a little extra time with the panelists as they prepared for the session. I learned about a great resource, “Senior Linkage” and how libraries can partner with other entities to address the 50+ generations life concerns of , health housing and financial security. An interesting sidebar on evaluations programming: how significant is the experience? Something to remember when we get caught up in the “numbers game.”
MLA Day 2
My second day at MLA continued with the interesting things that are happening in 50+ library services.
Maura O’Malley, co-founder and president/CEO of Lifetime Arts, Inc. Ms. O’Malley shared numerous illustrations how using the arts, like dancing, painting, writing, opened doors for seniors to connect and engage socially, continue active learning and perhaps pursue an encore career! Rocking chairs and LP are not all that 50+ library patrons need from libraries.
Joyce Yukawa, Associate Professor, St. Catherine University MLIS Program
How can we engage boomers? ASK them!!!
Next I attended the session a group that is a voice for the frontline in library services across Minnesota. Please search for and “like” Small and Rural Libraries Round Table (SRLRT) on Face Book! I am looking for good things to happen with this group!
Unshelved (aka Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes) A great and humorous look at the reference and/or circulation desk patrons we interact with daily!
Many thanks to SELCO for the scholarship to attend The 2013 MLA conference! I have so many good ideas and resources to Rock my Library!
Posted on behalf of Dawn Johnson, Director, Spring Grove Public Library
I opened my day of conference at Reading Our History: Historical Fiction & Nonfiction, presented by Sarah Nagle (Carver Co Librarian) and SELCOs own Donovan Lambright. I love historical fiction, but my passion pales in the light of Sarah's enthusiasm. It was a fast paces over view that stimulated interest in some new authors for me.
The next session that I attended was Finding the Fires that Burn Within: A Community-Based Framework for Developing Older Adult Services. Joyce Yukawa (Associate Professor, St. Catherine University MLIS Program) is obviously comfortable in front of a classroom, and extremely knowledgeable n this field. She offered options, examples, and inspiration to those of us who are serving older adults in greater numbers each day.
The lunchtime keynote speakers were the the Unshelved comic duo of Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes. They delivered a light hearted view on handling difficult patrons and enjoying the journey. After lunch, I attended the final session of the 2013 conference, The Illuminating Wisdom of Hildegard von Bingen with author May Sharratt. An OUTSTANDING conclusion to the day and conference! As I mentioned earlier, I love historical fiction. Mary Sharratt had a firm grasp on the wheel as we navigated milestones of Hildegard's life in just under an hour, I ran up to purchase the book as soon as the moderator closed the session, I started reading it that night!
Before the closing keynote and presentation, MLA President, Kristen Mastel awarded me the Minnesota Library Certificate, which had earned me this passage to MLA. Thank you SELCO, for this conference as well as providing me with the valuable educational opportunities and mentoring that culminated to make this certificate possible.
Posted on behalf of Stephanie Silvers, Director, Harmony Public Library
Friday, October 11, 2013
I attended the "Reading Our History: Historical Fiction and Nonfiction" workshop presented by Donovan Lambright, SELCO and Sarah Nagle, Carver County Library. Donovan talked about the books written about the Civil War in the U.S. He did a super job. This was a shortened version of the earlier workshop held at SELCO. Sarah talked about historical books on 17th century up to World War 1. Across the country, readers are looking back to the past to make sense of the present and shape the future.
The second workshop I attended this day was "A Rock Band Needs a Roadie: Using Guide on the Side for Tutorials" presented by Jennifer Hootman and Matt Lee from Minitex. They talked about Guide on the Side and how it is used.
Lunch was served while we listened to a very informative and funny presentation on how to deal with the tough customers. The presenters were Unshelved (aka Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes). The title was "Surviving the Public: Customer Service the Unshelved Way.
Posted on behalf of Stephanie Silvers, Director, Harmony Public Library
Thursday, October 10, 2013.
The day started with an informative talk from a National Public Radio Librarian and author Kee Malesky called "All Facts Considered".
I then attended the workshop entitled "Arts and Creativity for Children @ your library: best practices by Leah Hughes. For many pubic libraries, arts and crafts are a mainstay of youth programming. Ms. Hughes talked about planning age-appropriate and meaningful arts activities for children. She highlighted some of the programs she has done. She emphasized not to criticize any of the work of the children as it can really hurt their confidence.
The second workshop I attended was called "Summer Reading Programs for Families" where the presenters talked about their experiences and activities this past summer for their first SRP for families.
The third workshop was called "Cloud Technology" with Mike Flores and Tyler Irvin. They did a wonderful job talking about Google drive, Enterprise and Google apps.
With this year’s conference tossing us a change-up with two days instead of our normal three, Day 2 was another early start. Morning brought the Appy Hour Breakfast where folks could view snapshots of various apps which could prove useful and/or fun for them for the future.
My first session was called Reading Our History and featured SELCO’s own Donovan Lambright and Sarah Nagle from the Carver County Library. Splitting the session, first Donovan presented a well-rounded and insightful list of Civil War books spanning the gamut from political histories to campaign narratives to graphic novels. It was easy to tell that this time period is a passion of his as he was able to speak not only about the book but the background surrounding the author and to whom he would recommend it. Sarah’s half gave a breadth of suggestions for those who love historical fiction. She did well in provided one to two examples in each area, but not only in types (sagas, thrillers, etc.) but also in smaller categories (time-slip, “biofiction”, 1920s, Asia, etc.). Between the two speakers, I imagine the audience left with quite the list of new things to read.
Graphics: The Musical! was the second session I attended. Presented by Marcus Lowry and Amy Boese of Ramsey County, they bounced back and forth describing some of their favorite graphic novels of the day. Incorporating music, sometimes just in the background and on more than one occasion an original tune to describe the book, it was an energetic session which gave a wide swath of graphic novels types to choose from broken down by ages. They also provided a good resource list which would definitely help if you’re the one doing the graphics selecting in your library.
Though now living in Rochester, I will always carry a fondness for small and rural libraries in my heart hence my decision to attend the SRLRT (Small & Rural Libraries Round Table) meeting. With the removal of fees to belong to a Round Table the attendance was quadruple the amount of last year and there’s a collective thought that we need to be moving forward. A new chair was selected and a small Communications Committee was formed by region so that we can distribute information amongst all of Minnesota. Hopefully from this, new and great things will be accomplished.
Lunchtime brought the second big keynote of the conference, the gentleman behind the library comic strip Unshelved, Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes. Entitled “Surviving the Public: Customer Service the Unshelved Way”, their talk was lighthearted and insightful, much like their work and gave some great real life examples of situations that they’ve handled and how some of those have become great comic strips.
The final session I attended was done by a gentleman who had attended 22 book clubs in 30 days. That’s right, 22 different book clubs in 30 days. Allen Verbrugge of the James J. Hill Library had recently been tasked with setting up a business book club for his library and being a fan of the “immersion” technique of learning he thought that sitting in on as many book clubs and observing how they’re run, what works/what doesn’t, etc. would be an excellent way to learn all he needed to know about running his own. He did state that he didn’t read all of the books, but he did learn a great deal about the different types of moderators, whether the goal of the club was educational or social, how to select and who does the selecting, as well as what he wanted to bring to the table at his own club. He provided a lot of great points about setting up and running a successful book club.
The final keynote of the day was by Erin McKean, a lexicographer for Wordnik.com who helped her audience redefine what a “book” was. That it was not just “something to look at”. A book can be art, sculpture, repurposed, a book-shaped object, a representation of one’s self, inspiration, a discovery tool, a linguistic tool, and so much more. Erin walked the group through great examples of how a book has been defined over time and how we still today may struggle to say truly what a book is. In fact a better statement may be to state what a book means versus what it is – as most folks will go directly to the literal translation versus how it’s defined for them. It was a great ending to the conference.
There was a lot packed into two days into St. Cloud but there was definitely something for everyone. Hopefully next year in Mankato the two-day format will go just as well!
Posted on behalf of Dawn Johnson, Director, Spring Grove Public Library
Thursday at MLA was jam-packed with educational options. I chose to start my experience by jumping on the techie track with Things in a Flash: 40 in 60 iPad Apps & Tips. LeAnn Suchy Program Manager for Metronet was fabulous!, she is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and focused. I want an iPad now so that I can explore all 40 of the apps she showcased and more! The second session that I chose was Summer Reading for Families: A Chorus of Innovative Ideas to Expand Summer Reading. The take away message here is to create a family focused reading program that will stimulate adult role modeling. It was thought provoking and well presented. Rock Your World! Insightful Discussion with Artists and Library Performances was the last session of the my day. It was presented and performed by the G. L. Berg staff & talent. It was a fun, yet highly professional troop of artists whose performances are used extensively throughout the state library systems. I would dearly love to see some of these performers made available to us with Legacy funds. I capped off my day with Judy Webster from Harmony, at the After-Party: Battle of the Bands Trivia Night a fun event for meeting other library professions in an interactive environment.
Thank for for making this continued learning experience available to me,
On the second day of MLA I moderated a session for 501c3 Questions and Answers. Despite the fact that this may not be the most exciting topic at the conference, it is still a very important one. Charlie Ravine discussed the process it takes to become a 501c3, as well as some of the other non profit statuses. What was also interesting was to hear how 501c3 organizations have to watch how much political lobbying they do, which is 20% of their yearly expenditure. Anymore and they could risk losing their 501c3 non profit status. They also cannot support any political candidate. What was also very interesting was to hear how it may take the IRS a year to respond to a 501c3 request, and in the meantime non profit organizations can use Fiscal Sponsors to accept donations on their behalf until they can get their 501c3 status. Of course this could be problematic if you don't set clear terms when you work with the Fiscal Sponsor. Of course with the Government Shutdown, this will probably impact the turn around time for the IRS and could increase the time it takes for them to respond to 501c3 status requests, but that has yet to be seen.
I was also impressed with the lunch keynote, creators of the popular library comic Unshelved, Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes, talked to us about how to deal with difficult people in the library. This session was extremely funny, but also useful. Even though I don't work on a reference desk, I do notice when I am in the library the kinds of things the library staff have to deal with. It has always impressed me what they deal with on the front lines, and I always try to look for ways that I can use technology to make this better for them.
We had to leave early to get back in time, so this brought MLA 2013 to an end for me. Another great conference, with so many good topics it was hard to keep up with them.
This morning I started off with the State Library Update which I figured might have some merit with all the personnel changes that are going on. Jen did mention that while they pull a lot of statistics from public libraries, the combined stats haven't historically been communicated well. For example, there are 360 libraries in Minnesota which served 26 million people last year. The majority of the session was actually a recap of their regular duties such as administering the RLBSS formula, the state library reports, Legacy, LSTA, etc. One of the questions asked concerned using LSTA funds for staff training. The response was it is acceptable if it can be demonstrated there Will be a benefit to the end-user which (though vaguely alluded to) I believe means patrons.
I moderated the second session of the day with Kelli Gochenaur's eBooks, eBooks, and More eBooks which as it turns out was more a sales pitch for EBSCO eBooks. EBSCO does offer archived eBooks for the possibility of the service ending on their side or if the client leaves. The collection itself is heavy on academic and nonfiction titles. Their sales model is very unusual in that titles can be purchased for one, three, or unlimited users, either individually or by batch of titles.
Sadly because I volunteered at the registration booth I missed part of the meal/luncheon speaker as I had to forage for myself. It was a presentation on customer service by the writers of Unshelved. There was an interesting point brought forth: all the automated processes that librarians have put in place take care of the good, responsible patrons but the other portion of the population ignore them completely and go right for the desk. There was also a discussion of policy and rules; how basically they are there for protection but shouldn't impede service and allow discretion.
My final breakout session was Framework for Career Development: Succession Planning in Libraries. It was not what I expected at all. It was all about a study on jobs and their progression. I thought it would be more on preparing a job position for a person's departure; procedures, policies, training, etc.
The final keynote session was about repurposed books. There are basic ways to repurpose books such as making a a teepee or a Christmas tree. There are also more inventive meanings such as paintings of a bookshelf filled with one's favorite titles. Cit was more a general, feel-good session than a heavy intellectual one which works for a closing keynote.
The latest Delivery Count was done on Monday & Tuesday, August 26-27, 2013 and 2581 items passed through SELCO Delivery. Compared to the Delivery Count done in August 2012 of 2958, this shows that Delivery decreased in August by 12.7%. This time around we found that the number of items from all types of libraries on Delivery in August (public, academic, special, and a handful of schools) were down anywhere from 11-33%. Not sure what this decrease shows, if anything, but outside of this year, the number of items in August Delivery Counts has stayed nearly steady, hovering in the 2700-2900 item range.
The next Delivery Count will occur on Monday, November 25-26, 2013. For more information regarding Delivery, please click on the Delivery "tab" on the ILL & Delivery page.
Wow, a few too many projects going on at SELCO and I realized that I wasn't quite finished with my ARSL report. OK, so here's the final post from me on the conference!
Friday, the second full day of the conference, found me truly enjoying two author presentations. In the morning keynote, author Nebraska author Joe Starita talked about his book "I Am a Man." The book is about Chief Standing Bear, leader of the Ponca Tribe in the 1870s. The Tribe's home was (and still to this day) in Northeastern Nebraska, near where the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers meet. The Chief's story is fairly simple yet had a profound effect on the recognition of Native Americans as people with many of the "same Constitutional privileges as the more fortunate white race." In early 1879, the Chief set out on a 600-mile journey from Northern Oklahoma ("Indian Territory" at that time) where the Tribe had been forcefully moved back to the homeland to bury his only son. Along the way, the Chief ended up being arrested and ended up in the historic trial that resulted in the recognition of Native Americans as people. Starita is a wonderful author and engaging speaker.
The lunchtime keynote was from author Craig Johnson, who has written a series of books with Walt Longmire, the fictional Wyoming sheriff, upon whom the A&E network's Longmire show is based. Johnson is a transplant to Ucross, Wyoming (Population: 25), having been born and raised in Connecticut. Johnson was engaging and really loves librarians! He noted that he has probably been to every public library in Wyoming of recent and his only payment is a six-pack (or larger) of Ranier Beer. This is the beer of choice for Walt Longmire.
My other favorite session from Friday was one done by Valerie Haverhals entitled "Hitting it Out of the Park." Haverhals is the director of the Hawarden Public Library located in Northwest Iowa. She is a baseball fan and used this as her theme to talk about how to keep your library newsworthy by focusing on advocacy. She couldn't stress enough the importance of partnering with a variety of groups in your community, from business to civic to families. She noted that public speaking was her weakness, which tickled me a little as she did an excellent job of presenting.
On Saturday, the highlight was a presentation from Sally Gardner Reed, Executive Director of United for Libraries. The organization is a division of the American Library Association that combines former Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) into a single division. The mission of United for Libraries is to support citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fund-raise for all types of libraries. Reed is a former public librarian, most recently from Norfolk, Virginia. I have a connection to Sally as her father Charlie was the College Librarian for Hastings College when I started there in 1989 and was my first library boss when I was a work study student for the Library. Sally was brief with her remarks but encouraged libraries to be advocates and to utilize the strength found in their friends and trustees.
Saturday also saw the end of a very successful conference in Omaha which sold out completely! A video teaser was offered for the 2014 conference, which will be held in Tacoma, Washington, September 4-6. Mark your calendars and watch the ARSL website for more information.
Tyler Irvin, Technology Support Librarian
MLA's Annual Conference began this morning in St. Cloud. The opening session featured a conversation between Kee Malesky and Sasha Aslanian. Aslanian serves as a librarian for NPR and was brought into the position through a "cataloging emergency," a phrase that I have often joked about. Apparently materials were stacking up in their studios without a librarian and it had previously been a standard to get it filed within a day of broadcast. Some of the reference questions she's received are just bizarre: "What program was I listening to that led me to this project?" and "What bands contained siblings?" While Aslanian has had many of the same issues as other librarians, NPR apparently has more respect for the profession as the librarians there are in constant use and are spread throughout the building to be available wherever needed.
The first breakout session I attended as Things in a Flash: 40 in 60 iPad Apps & Tips with LeAnn Suchy, also known as the iPad Goddess. It started out with the basics of the home button, sleep/wake button, screenshots. The first interesting thing I learned was that a keyboard can be split by pulling it apart making it easier to hunt and peck with thumbs. One of the tips that took me a while to figure it was how blue dots represent an app that's new or updated since the last time that it's been updated. A rarely used on mentioned is how the volume button can be used to snap a picture when the camera's open. Some of the apps where fascinating. Sphere 360 provides 360 degree views of various locations around the world. CamMe can be used to take selfies from a distance by using a hand motion.
I moderated the second session of the day for Ruth Dukelow's presentation Who Wrote the (e)Book of Love? - Legal Issues in Self-Publishing eBooks. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was more the legal issues for the author and I was hoping to get something out of it for the library perspective for managing/creating a local eContent collection. For the authors, however, there are pros and cons. While it provides greater control of content, rights, etc. it will lack the mass benefits for cover art, legal support, editing, and marketing. Of course one of the big concerns for publishing is copyright, making sure as the author, all material is originally created or public domain.
I spent part of the lunch period talking to the vendors we utilize. I got the latest updates from SirsiDynix, 3M, and OverDrive and kept them appraised to our situation at SELCO. Nothing shocking from any of that. It is always a bit awkward doing the vendor hall at a such a conference as I don't work at a public, school, or academic library so there's really little of pertinence to me. Following a lengthy break, I had my presentation with Mike on Cloud technology on libraries. It went fairly well if there were only a dozen people in attendance.
The final session of the day was the MLA business meeting. As it was my first time attending it, I had no means to compare it. One interesting change is there will no longer be a $5 fee for section or round table membership. There was also great discussion on the proposed Legislative Platform which appears to be a smaller but similar one to that used last year. It looks for funding for library building improvement and telecommunication equality. Several people expressed disappointment that nothing concerning eBook prices was included; honestly, I don't see it being a state issue and would appropriately be put on the national (or international) level.
The morning started off with a conversation between keynote speaker Kee Malesky, the NPR Librarian and author of All Facts Considered, and Sasha Aslanian, an MPR Reporter. Sasha ran Kee through a set of questions about how she came to be the NPR Librarian, what her typical work day was like and some of the things she worked on. It was then opened up for audience questions. It was fun to learn that the NPR librarians, in their new building, are now imbedded amongst the reporters stationed in D.C. but they assist others who are stationed across the world; that she has a favorite reference question of "How much water is in the Great Lakes system?" (The answer's 6.25 quadrillion gallons by the way); and that as much as we may envy her position she also envies all of ours.
My first session was called Social Justice for All and was a panel/large group discussion between social workers and librarians as to how we can better align our services so that we're able to have a "whole person" approach to our services. In the larger group conversation it was surprising to learn that there's no dedicated training out there being provided to librarians who may end up being front line support for individuals with mental illness or are homeless. There have been some strides in various larger libraries who have a dedicated Outreach program but for the most part it could be a bit hit or miss as to experience and comfort levels. It was great to see how much could be done if and when those connections with the right services can be obtained.
My second session was attending the Summer Reading for Families, which I was actually surprised to hear wasn't a large component of the regular Summer Reading Programs. I guess that I was factoring in that it would be. Libraries in the Traverse de Sioux system took it upon themselves to add that component to their summer reading and found that it was a great way to have parents model the reading behavior and engage families as a whole both with the library but also with reading and how to discuss a book. Lots of ideas were exchanged about practical pieces (marketing, incentives, activities, etc.).
The exhibits hall featured a lot of great contributors to our library world, those who help to make what it is that we do a bit easier at times. There was also the annual Silent Auction which displayed a lot of great items to bid on, the proceeds of which all go back to the Minnesota Library Foundation to help to fund things like the MLA Institute for Leadership Excellence (MILE) program among others.
I had to miss the third session due to prepping for the big social event for the night. The Minnesota Multitypes brought in a professional trivia group for a Battle of the Bands trivia night complete with a Mexican feast, door prizes, and a chance for those in attendance to show off their knowledge and recall skills. Well attended it made for a energetic cap to the evening with their even being an impromptu librarian dance party during a scoring session.
From a 7:00a start for registration to the 9:00p close of Battle of the Bands, it truly was a "Rock Around the Clock" kind of day!
I had so much fun at MLA today! It started with a wonderful keynote with Kee Malesky from the National Public Library libraries and Sasha Aslanian a reporter from Minnesota Public Radio. This was a very unique keynote, in that Kee & Sasha pretty much a conversational interview. I was very impressed with the variety of tasks Kee has done with NPR . She has helped research everything from how to contact the scientific station in Antarctica to finding out how to pronounce a Hungarian Nobel Prize winner by calling the London Hungarian Embassy. I loved hearing that Kee has a couple of books that are a result of the research she has done over the years and I look forward to reading them soon!
I presented at 2 of the 3 sessions today and I really enjoyed it. I helped organize & lead the brainstorming game for "New to the Game". We took the tv game show Let's Make a Deal and modified it slightly. I am very happy with how it went and I really liked how we grabbed people out of the audience by asking for items like a non-smart phone and pleasure reading.
The second two sessions of today were all about reading and the Reader's Advisory Round Table. I attended the 50 in 60 bookblast for fiction and presented at the nonfiction bookblast. If you are interested in seeing what books were featured in these sessions, here are the handouts:
Today was great and I look forward to more fun tomorrow!
Today I attended a great session, Things in a Flash, 40 in 60 iPad Apps & Tricks. What I really liked about this session was that it was a great introduction for people who are new to the iPad. LeAnn Suchy, the presenter, did a great job of covering a lot of Tips, which mostly involved walking people through some of the basic gestures and uses of the iPad. She did a great job covering some of the new iOS 7 features, such as the Control Center, and closing apps by swiping up. There was even a feature she showed us that I didn't know, where you can setup automatic updates through the iTunes & App Store.
LeAnn also went on to review several great, free apps. Most of the ones I saw were camera related. One specific app that I really liked is called Sphere 360, which allows you to choose a picture from its menu, then you can move your iPad around and it will move the picture so it looks like you are standing there. A very cool app that I intend to download and use.
Unfortunately my day was pretty busy with my own presentations, User Security and Cloud Technology, so I was not able to attend a lot of other sessions. I think both of my sessions went well, and there were a couple of people who got really excited about some of the things presented. That always makes the work of presenting worthwhile.
The Minnesota Library Association 2013 annual conference is off to a great start. The day started with a keynote session featuring Key Malesky, head librarian at National Public Radio (NPR). Key had a lot of interesting things to say; for example, musing on the differences between a Google search and true research. NPR is engaged in a long-term project to digitize and make available their entire archive of news and music. Presently, content is available back to 2008. Ultimately, the online archive will go all the way back to 1971.
From there, I heard Nancy Sims, aka "The Copyright Librarian", present on Fair Use and the role of libraries in advocating for patrons. Nancy is the Copyright Program Librarian at the University of Minnesota. She is also a lawyer, though she is quick to point out that she is not YOUR lawyer.
Nancy covered some familiar ground, quickly sketching out how the Fair Use doctrine works. It is deliberately vague, leaving lots of room for flexibility in defining what behaviors do not constitue infringement of copyrighted content. Unfortunately, this very flexibility often leads to overly restrictive self-policing by institions eager to avoid any risk of running afoul of copyright law. The end result is citizens failing to take advantage of clearly-defined exceptions to copyright restrictions that they are legally entitled to use.
Nancy challenged us as librarians to more actively advocate on behalf of our patrons when it comes to copyright and fair use. Content creators have plenty of groups with deep pockets working on their behalf to narrow the definition of Fair Use. Our society works best when such groups have opposing groups to push against; the resulting creative tension usually results in the most practical compromises. Today, the balance is leaning in favor of the content creators. Who better to provide the counterbalancing force (in favor of a more broad definition of Fair Use) than libraries and schools?
The morning rounded out with a presentation by our very own Mike Flores, SELCO User Technology Manager, about user security online. Mike observed that patrons are looking to libraries to help setting up and operating a wide array of computing devices, many of them mobile. Providing such support can be tricky; it's a fine line between providing timely advice and forever owning every problem a patron suffers with a device. Mike shared some basic information that any library professional can use to walk this line along with some practical tips to avoid getting into trouble.