professional news and thank yous

future - digital divide images

This title sounds fancy but mostly I needed to play catch-up and this seems like the best way to do that. Hi. In the past month I’ve done two public speaking type things that went well and some other stuff. I’ve been remiss in sharing them in a timely fashion. So now I’m sharing them in a list fashion.

  • I went to Mississippi for the MLA Conference which was a great time. I led a facilitated discussion pre=conference which is the first real time I’ve done something like that. You can read the slides here: The Digital Divide and You which includes input from the discussion part of the afternoon. I stuck around for the conference and was very glad I did. I put some photos up here. Thank you MLA, the Mississippi Library Commission and especially MLA President Amanda Clay Powers for showing me a good time.
  • VLA hosted a table at VT’s first annual ComicCon. This was a hugely fun event and terrific for library outreach. We had free stickers and reading lists, a display of banned graphic novels and people could get their photos taken in our “Vermont Comic Reader’s License” booth which netted a ton of delightful photographs (more on facebook). We also sponsored one of the special guests — Dave Newell, Mr. McFeely from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood) and he did storytime at the booth with puppets. I staffed the table one of the days. Such a good time. Huge shout-outs to other planners: Helen Linda, Sam Maskell and Hannah Tracy.
  • Another MLA! This time the Massachusetts Small Libraries Conference (also the “first annual”) and I was the keynote speaker talking about how to Future-proof libraries. A combination of talking about what the challenges and unique positions small and rural libraries are in as well as some ways to nudge people towards getting interested in the online world. Notes and slides here. Big thanks to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners & the Massachusetts Library System.
  • I started writing for The Open Standard, Mozilla’s new online-writing thing. My first article, After Some Victories, the Time Has Come to Legally Define ‘Fair Use’, has been up for a while now. I’d love to know what you think.
  • Also I’m not sure if I was explicit in my “I’m moving on” post about MetaFilter but I’m still at least somewhat looking for work. I love Open Library and my local teaching but I’ve got a few more hours in my schedule and would be happy to do some more speaking, some consulting or some writing. I have a one-pager website that summarizes my skillset. Feel free to pass it along to people.

I gave a really quick “How to do an elevator speech” talk after lunch at MLA (the one in MA, not the one in MS) and it was really fun. All librarians should practice their elevator speeches. Here’s my one slide from that talk. You can probably get the gist of it.

how do to an elevator speech in one slide

little pieces of things that might interest you

A few links that have been keeping me from inbox zero for the past few weeks.

  • “…the increased popularity of the Internet in America has not been correlated with an overall increase in reported sexual offenses; overall sexual offenses against children have gone steadily down in the last 18 years” Note: this does not say “oh the internet is safe!” It just says that the internet getting more popular doesn’t correlate with sexual offenses against children. More from the Research Advisory Board of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force
  • Speaking of Berkman people, I’ll be hanging out in the Boston area over the turkey weekend and likely going to this event that Saturday. Anyone in the area should consider going, it looks like fun.
  • Evergreen is gaining traction as an ILS that works even for big/complicated systems. The Traverse Area just went live with their Evergreen implementation. Doesn’t that look nice? More about Michigan’s open source ILS project.
  • I’ve been reading more lately. I read Cory Doctorow’s book Content (my review) and think it should be required reading for librarians or anyone else in the various digital content industries. If you’d like a copy, you can read it for free online, or if you’re a librarian or a teacher, you can request a donated copy from the website. I already gave mine away.
  • FCC broadband bill passed. This might help Farmer Bob [my generic term for the people over on this side of the digital divide] get broadband.
  • Pew Report “When Technology Fails” (and even really great technology sometimes does). The results will likely not surprise the librarians. “15% of tech users were unable to fix their devices” and “48% felt discouraged with the amount of effort needed to fix the problem.”

W00T! Nothing exploded! Another Evergreen migration.

Congrats to Evette Atkin and the other superstars from the Michigan Library Consortium for getting the Branch District Library up and running on Evergreen without mishap. They give their own shoutout to Equinox for being great to work with. Yays all around.

The Michigan Library Consortium (MLC) is thrilled to announce that Branch District Library is our first Michigan Evergreen library to migrate to the open-source Evergreen software. Their new catalog is part of Michigan Evergreen, Michigan’s open-source ILS project. Migrations for the remaining Michigan Evergreen pilot libraries are scheduled for this fall.

[maintainIT]

Teaching Tech – a talk for the Michigan Library Consortium

I gave a talk this afternoon for a one day workshop given by the Michigan Library Consortium about teaching technology in libraries. It was a keynote-ish talk so more “big picture” talking and less “this is how we do it.”

To that end, I did a new-from-the-ground-up talk about technology instruction and even wrote out notes for all of my slides so people who weren’t there could maybe follow along later. As anyone who has seen me speak knows, I tend to extemporanize (sp?) quite a bit so while the bones of the talk are in the notes, I also told a lot of stories about the libraries I work in and waved my hands around a lot. You can see the notes and a mov or pdf of the slides here: Teaching Tech in Libraries: what are we doing?

I’m still trying to find a good way to put slideware talks online without having to re-give the talk and toss it into Slideshare. Big thanks to all the folks from Michigan for being such a great audience and Twitterfolks for giving me some good advice. (go be Flickr friends with Kevin to see more (admittedly, not that fascinating) photos of this event)

Michigan Library Consortium

Hi. I gave a talk today about blogs at the Michigan Library Consortium’s special Program The Library Rebooted. You’d think there wasn’t much left to be said about blogs, but I found a way. It was an interesting day since I was also presenting with Meredith who talked about wikis, Aaron who talked about IM and Darlene who talked about social software. Big fun day and the tippy tail end of my long US tour. I’m going to dinner with librarians tonight, flying out tomorrow, staying with my sister and then taking the long peaceful bus back up to Vermont on Friday. Fifteen days, six beds, five talks, six cities, ten plane rides and one bag + laptop. Except for the lousy “we sort of misplaced your luggage” interlude last night, it’s been a really nice time.

My short talk Blah Blah Blogs: Why They Matter for You and Your Library is online in the normal place. update: Kathy, the well-rounded librarian has blogged my talk.

on the road for the next few weeks

I’ll be doing a lot of work-related travelling over the next few weeks. I encourage anyone who will be at any of these conferences to stop by and say hello.

  • Wisconsin Library Association – I’ll be doing a digital divide talk and a tech tips talk this Friday. Possibly the best conference ever, according to one blog. It’s at a weird resort-like place. I will be met at the airport by someone in a safari get-up.
  • Hawaii Library Association – Hawaii is the only US state I’ve never been to. The second to last one on my list, Alaska, I crossed off in 1997 sometime. I’ll be discussing high tech on a shoestring, and tech support tips for reference librarians on the 11th of November.
  • Michigan Library Consortium – a workshop with Aaron Schmidt and Meredith Farkas about blogs, wikis and IM. I’ll be doing the blogs part on the 15th.

Yeah, it’s a lot of travelling. I even got a new haircut. After this I’m settling down and hunkering down for the winter and focusing on writing and planning for 2007.