Worst Library Survey Ever

I don’t know if you heard about the plight of Kentucky Libraries. In case you haven’t, basically the ‘any tax is a bad tax’ organizations started a lawsuit to roll back library funding across most of the state to funding levels from anywhere between 10-30 years ago. In almost all areas this will devastate the state’s libraries. As part of… well… As part of whatever it is that they’re doing in KY to open up a discussion about this, they made this survey to determine the need for libraries most horribly titled;

ARE PUBLIC LIBRARIES STILL VALID IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

There are some real gems of a question in this survey that show the agenda or ignorance of whoever made it. My favorite is number 9 that only allows you to give ONE answer-

9. What purpose do you see libraries holding in the future?

  • A place to borrow traditional books.
  • A place to borrow digital media.
  • A place for community members and families to come together and share new experiences.
  • A place that hosts computers and technology for those who don’t have access for educational or job-search purposes.
  • I don’t think libraries will be relevant in the future.
  • So even if you don’t want to take it, just looking at the questions will help you see what libraries are up against in KY and also across the country.

    You can bet this survey spurred by the any tax is a bad tax organizations is being passed around those online forums across the country and being filled out by just about every one of them with an agenda. If you’d like to take it and restore balance to the force, here it is.

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NKYForumLibraries

    This war in Kentucky is going to gear up to be one of the biggest fights in librarianship in years. If the libraries lose the lawsuit, there are going to be dozens of ballot measures to regain funding across the state and we need to be armed to fund those fights. If you want to know what else you can do to help, here are a couple of suggestions.

    EveryLibrary is watching the outcome of this debate in KY very closely and we are getting ready to take action as soon as an action becomes clear. So, you can sign-up to continue to get information about what EveryLibrary is doing here or, even better, you can support EveryLibrary with your contributions here.

    The best thing you can do is actually attend the meeting in Campbell County Kentucky to show the relevance of libraries in the 21st century. Libraries and Librarians NEED to have a voice at this forum. We need you to attend!

    Otherwise, you can share this survey or this blog post with your library supporters to ensure that the voice of librarianship gets heard over the grumblings of the anti-tax crowd.

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    Speaking at Your Library Event

    speakingAs a library subject-specialist, I can speak on a variety of topics for your library school, association and library system. Throughout my career I have been a featured speaker and keynoter for staff development days, in-services, conference programs, and pre-conference workshops. As a library manager I have the ability to relate to the workplace challenges and professional development goals of library staff, trustees, and friends. If you are looking for fresh and engaging presentation topics and styles, I have been providing these skills to libraries for the last 6 years.

    I have been a frequent speaker, presenter, and workshop leader at library conferences around the country as well as a participant in the Great Library Roadshow. My conference presentations are focused on supporting your conference theme with stories and data that are inspirational, motivating, and actionable for your attendees. I address individual outcomes as well as organizational engagement with relevant content to address your unique library community.

    My areas of Expertise and Experience;
    • Innovative technology
    • Program development
    • Library partnerships and collaborations
    • Collection development
    • Creative fundraising
    • Library management
    • Teen librarianship
    • School librarianship
    • Professional development and networking

    I also speak on behalf of EveryLibrary on the following;
    • Library elections and campaigns
    • Politics and libraries
    • Best practices in library advocacy
    • GOTV and info only campaigns
    • Campaign bootcamps, trainings, and workshops

    Please contact me directly for information about honorarium and travel expenses as well as my availability. Please note that if you choose me as your library conference keynote speaker or workshop leader, an additional conference program presentation or panel elsewhere during the session day is included, if desired.

    Previous Speaking Engagements
    Future of Libraries Conference 2010– Building Social Media Capital
    Internet Librarian 2010 – The Library eBranch: More Than Just a Website
    Internet Librarian 2012, California Library Association 2012 – Speed Technology Dating
    Internet Librarian 2012, Computers in Libraries 2013 – Teen Library Users: Engaging the Next Generation
    Library 2.0 – Making it Happen: Take Action
    Computers in Libraries 2013 – Ask IT (Honest Answers from your IT Department)
    ALA MW 2013 – Leading your Career: Stand Out and Be Outstanding
    ALA Annual 2012 – Professional Networking
    New Jersey Library Association – Me, We (a workshop on collaboration and innovation in libraries)
    Public Library Association 2012 – Engaging Customers in an Online Environment
    Public Library Association – What makes A Collection? Redefining Libraries through their collections.

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    The big list of things everyone should do at #ala2013

    Once again, we have the obligatory blog post about what you need to do at this year’s ALA Annual Conference. If you want more information you can check out the official ALATT party list from Lauren Bradley and my partner Jp Porcaro already put together his list of things to do at ALA so check that out too.

    You should also just come and party with me and JP all over this town. We’re gonna have a really great time like we always do. We’re also doing tons of interviews with awesome librarians (again, like we always do) so come out and hang out with us!

    I’m excited about this year because we have the return of some great programs and events that started last year and we have some longer running programs and events that just keep getting better! So, if you’re wondering what you should absolutely go do at the conference, here they are!

      Thursday (Night)

    ALA Think Tank Thursday Night Meetup
    8pm-?
    Citizen Bar 364 W Erie St
    For all you early birds who Made It Happen and want to start out the conference with the party, this is your opportunity to come and party with the folks of the ALA Think Tank. Basically, it’s our bi-annual face-to-face meeting at the conference where we can have some drinks without having to post them to the FB page.

      Friday

    EveryLibrary Board Meeting
    9am-11am
    8 S. Michigan, Suite 2010
    This is the bi-annual public meeting of the first and only national political action committee for libraries. One of the biggest and most important things to happen to effect library funding and campaigning on behalf of libraries. Come hear what we’re working on across the country for libraries at the ballot box.

    Emerging Leaders Poster Session
    3-4pm
    McCormick Place Convention Center S405
    Come and see the outstanding projects that the future leaders of our profession have been working on all year. You’re sure to see something great!

    ALA Dance Party
    10pm-?
    311 W Chicago Ave
    There’s something else going on at this time, but this is the big party that happens every year! But as JP says- “the lifeguard librarian hooked us up with an hour of complimentary vodka at this one sooooo you decide which dance party to attend”

      Saturday

    Daylight hours: Interviews.
    From JP’s list of things to do – “please find me at any point at this conference and get a business card. i’ll be scheduling times for people to come up to where i’m staying and do a video interview with me and/or sweeney. we’re doing a sorta documentary on making-it-happen in/around libraries. we wanna interview only the young folks. we probably aren’t even gonna ASK anyone without a tumblr since they old, lol.”

    Ignite ALA
    Every afternoon Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 11:30-12 JP and I are hosting the Ignite sessions at ALA. These are great five minute presentations that will inspire and engage you.

    ALATT For Council Shwarma Meeting
    1-2:30
    Oasis Cafe 21 N Wabash Ave Ste 11
    Join us to celebrate or commiserate the election of Caucus members Erica Findley, Mel Gooch, Martin Garnar, and Coral Sheldon-Hess to Council, Kate Kosturski to two other ALA offices, and commiserate over everything else.

    Stand out and Be outstanding Convo Starter
    4-4:45
    McCormick Place Convention Center S102d
    This is the highest voted session of the conversation starters!

    What does it mean to lead and be recognized as a leader in the library profession? And what exactly is a rockstar librarian, anyway?

    This session will spark an exchange of ideas about what it means to stand out- and be outstanding- in the library field. A panel of motivated librarians who have participated in California’s Eureka! Leadership Program and/or the ALA Emerging Leaders Program will share their innovative paths to leadership, including strategies for being a leader in any position, taking risks, and balancing personal and professional priorities.

    8th Annual ALA Tweetup
    7:30-9:30
    Elephant & Castle 185 N. Wabash Ave, Chicago
    These tweetups have been going on 8 years? Man… I remember my first tweetup. This is your chance to meet your twitter friends IRL.

    Tumblr Meetup (set phasers to internet)
    I don’t have the details on this one but its 7-9pm somewhere in Chicago. Its where the cool kids are or so I’m told.

    ALA2013 After Hours – Local 22 – EveryLibrary and Librarian Wardrobe Party
    9pm-2am
    Blue Frog’s Local 22, 22 E Hubbard
    Bigger and better than a no-show celebrity rap party bar fight, ALATT After Hours is THE place to meet, greet, and strut your stuff at #ala2013. Hosted by Librarian Wardrobe and EveryLibrary on Saturday June 29th from 9pm – 2am at the Blue Frog’s “Local 22″ at 22 E. Hubbard St. Chicago, IL 60611. Bring some cash and help fund political action for libraries. Bring your sass and show off your best dressed for fun and prizes.

      Sunday

    ALA Council
    8:30-11
    Come and visit me at ALA Council. I’ll be real bored and want to talk to someone. But, if you come, I’ll probably ask you to run for council too. I won’t be there until 10 this day because of the meeting listed below

    ALA LibraryLab Meeting
    8:30-10:00
    Join the ALA LibraryLab Member Interest Group business meeting to learn how you can get involved in any of our projects. Find out more about us at http://connect.ala.org/librarylab.

    Ignite Sessions
    Every afternoon Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 11:30-12 JP and I are hosting the Ignite sessions at ALA. These are great five minute presentations that will inspire and engage you.

    LITA Happy Hour
    5:30-8
    Fado Irish Pub, 100 West Grand Avenue
    Please join the LITA Membership Development Committee and members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks

    GLBTRT Social
    6-8pm
    Ann Sather 909 W Belmont Ave
    Come mix with the membership of the GLBT Round Table. $5.00 recommended donation accepted at the door.

    BiblioFollies
    8-10
    The Backroom 1007 N Rush St,
    This is the event that made the California Library Conference worth attending. The burlesque dancers are amazing and… Not to give it away… One girl does this thing with a book scanner… You gotta come!

      Monday

    ALA Council
    8:30-11
    Come and visit me at ALA Council. I’ll be real bored and want to talk to someone. But, if you come, I’ll probably ask you to run for council too.

    Daylight hours: Interviews.
    From JP’s list of things to do – “please find me at any point at this conference and get a business card. i’ll be scheduling times for people to come up to where i’m staying and do a video interview with me and/or sweeney. we’re doing a sorta documentary on making-it-happen in/around libraries. we wanna interview only the young folks. we probably aren’t even gonna ASK anyone without a tumblr since they old, lol.”

    Ignite Sessions
    Every afternoon Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 11:30-12 JP and I are hosting the Ignite sessions at ALA. These are great five minute presentations that will inspire and engage you.

    ALA Battledecks
    5:30-7
    McCormick Place Convention Center N229
    Who will reign supreme in the 4th Battledecks competition at ALA annual? This year we will feature two rounds by having the first ever tournament of champions precede the regular battle. Who will become the Grand Pooba of Battledecks by winning the tournament of champions? Who will come out on top during the battle and win fame and glory? This is truly going to be a highlight of your conference experience as these courageous individuals compete for the honor of being crowned the next champs of the deck.

    Que(e)ry: Leather Bound in Chicago
    9pm-?
    Subterranean 2011 W. North Ave
    The NYC-based Que(e)ry is Chicago-bound for the American Library Association Annual Conference, and the library is open late for this dance party for queer librarians and those who love them, co-hosted by Chances Dances. Que(e)ry will feature DJs from Chances Dances, along with queer go-go dancers and a Librarian Realness Contest, with a live performance by Chicago-based queer rapper Big Dipper. Proceeds will benefit the Leather Archives and Museum and the Critical Fierceness Grant.

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    How to Never, Not Ever, be A Rockstar Librarian

    There has been a lot of discussion about being a rockstar librarian and what that means in the blogosphere. Mostly, I’ve read that its something to dread and to avoid. In that case, I wanted to give you this list of things to avoid if you don’t want to be considered a rockstar librarian by anyone.

    Are you a librarian?
    First of all, you need to realize that being a librarian is the best job in the world. Good for you. You’re helping people, you’re building communities, you’re doing things to help people get through rough times and prosperous times. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. And anyway, just being a librarian won’t get you rockstar status, but it will get you halfway there so this is the first thing you need to avoid. If you quit your job right now, you can just stop reading this blog because you’ve already won the battle.

    What gender are you?
    One of the biggest indicators of your rockstar status (according many of the blogs/comments I’ve read) is your gender. You should check this first. If you have some kind of gender assignment and you are a librarian, you are probably a rockstar. You should also check to see if you don’t, if its ambiguous, if it’s in the process of changing, or you have any kind of gender identity or nonidentity. Basically, if you’ve ever thought about your gender or anyone else’s in any way, shape, or form, you might be a rockstar librarian. So be sure to never, ever, have any genderish thoughts.

    What Race are you?
    After your gender you need to check your race. Where do your parents come from? Do they come from some landmass on the face of the planet earth? If that is the case, then you need to be sure you hide that as deep as possible. People will judge you on your race and your gender (and possibly on your sexual preference or religion or socio-economic status or political beliefs or color and style of your t-shirt or your tattoo). Basically, if you’re human then you could get in trouble. So let’s just scratch these last two and save some time and just say that you should just pretend to be some kind of animal. Maybe a dog or a hippo or something. Just never pretend to be a cat. Cats are a dead give-away. Never try to be a cat.

    Do you do things?
    When you go to work, do you actually perform any work? Do you do storytimes, or outreach, or programs, or services, or basically any of the things that you are paid to do while you are at work? Well, you might be a rockstar librarian. Sorry. You could always try working for the DMV.

    Are you excited about what you do?
    This is where people just begin to get themselves into real trouble. Some librarians get all passionate and excited about what they’re doing. That’s ridiculous. You absolutely can’t do that if you don’t want to be a rockstar librarian. What you need to do is sit quietly in your cubicle and be angry about what other people are doing. Unless you get good at being angry. In which case you could become a rockstar librarian for your passionate hatred and anger. For example, The Annoyed Librarian. Maybe, if you don’t want to be a rockstar librarian, you should just sit in your cubicle and think about Unicorns or squirrels in the most non-librarianish way possible. Just don’t think about cats. Once again, cats are always a dead give-away. Never think about cats.

    Do you talk about what you do?
    Here’s where it really breaks down. After being a librarian, your gender(ish), your racish, and doing the things you’re paid to do, you might want to consider not talking about what you’re doing if you want to avoid being considered a rockstar. Please, whatever you do… If, for some wild reason, you do something that you’re excited about and passionate about for the love of god… Don’t share it! I really mean it. Don’t share anything with anyone. In fact, if you go out into your community don’t tell anyone that you’re a librarian or that you work at the library. That’s how rumors get started.

    Also, don’t answer the phone or questions at the reference desk.

    Get off Social Media
    Completely disconnect. I mean everything. Don’t answer email, get off twitter, facebook, youtube, and even myspace and G+. If you talk to someone somewhere about libraries, someone might get wild the impression that you care and then they’ll start talking to you. Or even worse… about you. Getting talked about is even worse than talking about what you’re excited about in your profession. You can’t control what people are saying about you. They might be saying you like your job or something. That can only lead you astray.

    Don’t go to conferences
    I mean ok, this is a dead give-away. If you’ve ever gone to a conference of any kind that has any kind of remote or obscure connection to libraries, you’re messing up. But here’s the kicker, librarianship encompasses so many aspects of modern life that just about any conference will have some kind connection to your job. Its best to just sit at home and watch TV on your off time. Although, even here you have to be careful not to watch Doctor Who or Game of Thrones. Only librarians watch Doctor Who or Game of Thrones (at least according to my twitter feed).

    Don’t google anything.
    If someone asks you a question, use Bing. Nobody uses Bing. Nobody will believe you’re a rockstar or even a librarian if you use Bing.

    Do you do things outside of work?
    Here’s the problem… Librarians have hobbies. All kinds of hobbies. If you have a hobby or craft or activity that you do outside of work, you run the risk of wanting to talk about it. If you talk about something like that, you run the risk of having friends who might talk about you and maybe even mention that you’re a librarian and we already discussed where that would lead. Even worse! If, for example, you’re passionate about something like beading you might decide to run a beading program for teens. This will be the death of you. Never have a hobby or, as previously mentioned, do anything at work or outside of work and try to avoid being human.

    Ok, clearly this is satire. Basically, everyone just chill out and enjoy your job and relax with the labeling of everyone around you. Do your job, love your job. Its the best and most important fucking job in the world.

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    Teaching My City to Build Us a Bookbike

    So this is my latest project and I’m really excited about it. Excited enough to blog! Which is something I haven’t done very often the last couple of months. But, anyway… We are going to be building a book bike for my library and I’m far more excited about our process for building it, than the actual bike itself. Let me tell you all the details.

    1) Genesis
    I’ve seen a bunch of book bikes in other library systems and they seemed like a really amazing idea. I was especially excited because in the community of one of the branches that I manage it would work out perfectly. You see, our bookmobile is too big to get down some of our streets, our community is only 3-4 square miles large, and its really really flat. There are also about a dozen charter schools in the area and small places that only need something for an hour or so and not long enough to necessitate an entire visit from the book mobile. There are also a bunch of small fairs and festivals and parades that happen in the area that the bookmobile is unavailable for. The bookBike would be perfect.

    2) 99 Problems but a Boobike Ain’t one

    I had been trying to find someone to build us one for a while but ran into some problems. I called quite a few custom bike builders and never heard back and from others I got some outrageous prices. There are a bunch of custom, kind of fun digital things I want to incorporate into the bike like Jason Griffey’s Library Box, wifi, usb ports, solar panels to power it all, and a bunch of other ideas. Because of all of that, and the complexity of the project, I kinda just put it on hold for a while.

    3) Solutions are Always Good
    A couple of months ago, I went on a tour of Techshop San Jose organized by Paul Sims and Ann Awakuni and then I organized a tour for just my library system. At our tour I met the manager of the shop and one of my staff started talking to him about a bunch of different projects (secret projects that I’ll tell you about later). We started talking about the BookBike idea. The manager said something to the effect of building it there. That discussion led to an idea of having our community come and build the bike! Two of my staff members were so enthused about this whole thing that they went and took some metal working and welding classes and are now the real leaders behind this project.

    4) The Moderately Well Thought-Out Plan
    We thought, what if we taught the community members to build the bookbike? Tech Shop has all of the tools, another organization unofficially (I’ll tell you who when its official) has said they’d be interested in donating materials, and we’d just need to pay for short memberships and classes from Tech Shop to cover their expenses. By doing this, the community members would learn to weld, solder, work with lasers, and learn a bunch of other skills and tools and we’d get a bookbike for free! It was a win, win, win!

    5)The Execution of a Fail and a Win
    Here’s where there is a slight fail and a slight win. About two months ago we put together some flyers, about two weeks ago we sent out a bunch of press releases, it was on our website, on our social media, we used the #maykermonday program as a kickoff point, we talked to a bunch of people, and just about everything else we could think of.

    Well, only one person showed up. But it turns out that he was an architecture major, recent grad, and his thesis project was designing a library! He seems to be really excited about the project and we have three staff of mine, plus two of techshop, and he wants to get a couple of his buddies involved. In the end, I think this will be a really great project for our library and we’ve already thought of some other ways we can make some future ones even bigger and better! I’ll let you know how it goes.

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    30 Awesome things I’ve done for #30awesome (June 30th)

    Photo credit: John Lamasney

    So, I can’t let my last blog entry to go without my own example of self-promotion. There are links to most of the stuff for more information, otherwise there is a summary of what I’ve done below the title. So, here are 30 Things I’ve Done that I’m proud of for #30awesome.

    1) Elementary School Volunteer Team

    My first job was as an elementary school librarian. To this day, this was the best job I have ever had (except for the pay of course). While working at this library, I created a volunteer team of students who ordered my books, shelved my materials, helped with storytimes, and did many other things. This was the start of my ideas around the importance of community member involvement in libraries and collection development. (more on that later)

    2) Co-Chair of ALASC

    While in Library school I was the co-chair of the Student Chapter of the American Library Association. This was a fun job where I blogged about the work that we were doing, helped organize social events, and first got involved in ALA.

    3) Associated Students Award for Social Media Campaign

    As Co-Chair, I created our social media presence online. This was back in the days of Myspace and youtube dominance on social media. We even won an award for my work on our social media.

    4) Coordinated the Opening of a Library

    After working as an elementary school librarian, I got job coordinating the opening of a 40 thousand square foot, joint use facility. This was an amazing experience where I got to hire my own staff and create my own policies and procedures for not only a library, but the beginnings of a library system. There was only one library previously and this library made two and therefore a library system lacking all of the procedures and policies that a library system needs. It was great fun and long hours.

    5) Innovative collection development strategy

    While creating this library, we had to fill it with materials and books that we didn’t have. Because we didn’t know what books to order for a library so large, we opened with a modest collection and allowed the community to decide what books filled it. Each staff member (and some volunteers) were taught how to order books and if anyone asked for anything, we simply ordered it immediately. So, the library was filled with the community’s books!

    6) Volunteer Program

    At this same library I developed a volunteer program that boasted over 150 volunteers with over 1200 hours of volunteer time each month. It was the only way we could maintain a library and while it was successful, I have some pretty mixed emotions on it.

    7) Started a Teen Advisory Committee

    At this same library, I created a group of teens who advised the library on the kinds of things that teens wanted from their library. Not much to say here, there are lots of examples.

    8) Redesigned a workroom

    At my current library, our workroom needed a redesign badly. It was poorly organized and the workflow was terrible. All the staff gave input and the aides especially assisted in creating the final plan. It was a fun process!

    9) Built a Library website

    I built a library’s website. Pre-Drupal. It sucked, but we did it and it worked for what it needed to do. I probably won’t ever do that again.

    10) One of the first 6 folks in the original ALA Think Tank.

    One day JP Porcarro called me and asked if I wanted to stay at this house for ALA. I said yes and I have been there ever since and eventually springing out of this house came the online version of the ALATT.

    11) Seed Libraries

    We have a seed library to help combat the food desert that is the East Palo Alto Community.

    12) Nooks

    We check out eReaders because fuck eBooks.

    13) EveryLibrary

    I am a board member of the nation’s first and only Political Action Committee for libraries. Its an amazing experience and I’m learning a ton of great things about American Politics and how it really works.

    14) The Story Sailboat

    This is a library and literacy advocacy campaign by sailboat in the San Francisco Bay funded by a kickstarter project. We deliver books to communities through book seeding after the Urban Libraries Unite model and other guerilla advocacy techniques.

    15) The Great Librarian Write-Out

    So far we have given away $1,050 to two people who write about libraries in non-library in-print publications.

    16) Librarian’s Maker CookBook

    The Librarian’s Maker Cookbook is a google doc that any librarian can contribute maker program ideas to and learn from.

    17) MaykerMondays

    This is the nationwide program that’s happening in May to get librarians to promote their Maker Programs and share them with other librarians in social media using the hashtag #maykermonday. In retrospect, I would have called it #maykermonth

    18) Bay Area Librarians

    One of the first geographical library pages on Facebook created to help librarians interact with each other online. It was created before FB changed the way Pages work, if I did it now, I’d create a group and not a page.

    19) Meetups and Socials

    Out of this page came a bunch of great meetups and socials in the bay area that are getting librarians to grow their social networks and meet and create some great stuff together.

    20 ) Emerging Leaders

    I was in Emerging leaders for ALA. It was fun, you should do it too. Not for the projects, but for the people you’ll meet.

    21) Eureka! Leadership Program

    This is basically the same as Emerging Leaders, but it was a lot more powerful for me personally. I spent a lot more time with CA Librarians and had some great times.

    22) Guitar Libraries

    The Eureka Leadership Program allowed me to create a guitar library. Now our library circulates guitars and folks get free private guitar lessons when they check them our for 8 weeks. Its rad.

    23) ALA Council

    I’m on ALA Council… Again. I’m not sure if this is a brag or a complaint yet. Even after the last three years.

    24) Great Librarian Roadshow

    Lisa Carlucci, Josh hadro, and myself had an amazing opportunity to travel the east coast of the United States and visit libraries in order to show off all of the amazing things that they were doing. We had a fantastic time doing it and all of our videos and information are still available on the Library Journal Website.

    25) Zombie Month

    Our library had a month dedicated to Zombies in October. Basically it was public safety information that was framed around the context of zombies to get our kids interested. We had huge turnouts for programs that, I believe, would have not gotten as many kids involved.

    26) Social Media Plan

    I created our library system’s social media policy. I don’t have a whole lot to say about that, if you want to see it, I’m more than happy to share it.

    27) Lots of Presentations

    I present at conferences… A lot. I recommend that all librarians do this. Its very good for your own confidence and self-promotion. Get out there and MIH!

    28) Mural Arts Project

    At our library, I collaborated with the Mural Arts Project to create large graffiti murals across our back wall that says our library system’s vision statement. It was a great collaboration with an amazing organization.

    29) CLA Conference Committee

    I’m currently working on the California Library Association’s Conference Committee. If this year’s conference sucks… It’s probably my fault. If it’s great, give Derek Wolfgram full credit.

    30) ALA Flash Mob
    At ALA in New Orleans I organized a flash mob to get people excited about libraries. It was a lot of fun dancing and singing in the rain. We had a really great time.

    You are more than welcome to steal anything I’ve done. If you have any questions or want to learn more, I’m always around to give you more info. If you want me to speak on any of these subjects, I’d be more than glad to! (except social media, I won’t talk about social media anymore, you should just be doing that already). But the real point is that you should start talking about what you’re doing.

    Bonus- I also made this store to raise money for library advocacy projects.
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    Shamelessly Self-Promote Yourself #30awesome

    Sometimes I feel like librarianship is one of the weirder professions. Not for all the reasons that you’re probably thinking of, but because of the part of our professional culture that has a kind of disdain for success. Its not hard to point instances of this out. If you look (and you don’t have to look too far) there are a bunch of blog posts that basically just hate on how successful other people are. There are a bunch of people in ALATT who hate on people’s project’s when they get too successful (“OMG, if I have too see this video of ___ library one more time,” etc…). Or, you can just look at people’s reaction to Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers award, or the way people comment when you promote your awesome stuff. My big fear is that this is causing professionals to keep from promoting their awesome stuff for fear of appearing too successful and getting that hater backlash.

    This is why I love this #30awesome project. You all are doing rad things and you need to talk about them… Shamelessly. This is the best fucking profession in the world, tell people about it.

    Let me just mention my experiences real quick… I ran a contest called the Great Librarian Write-Out where the winner would get $800 for writing about libraries and librarianship in a non-library and in-print forum. I only had 4 legitimate entries after a year. I’ve only had 6 in total after two years. Also, Librarians have a direct line to one of the world’s largest online blogs (boingboing.net) where we can write articles about the amazing stuff that libraries and librarians are doing. The great stuff that you are doing!! We’ve had 23 articles when we should have had a hundred. What is up with this? Am I wrong? Do we not fear shamelessly promoting ourselves and I’m totally mistaken?

    Even if I’m completely wrong about the culture of our profession, you are all doing awesome things and you need to promote it far more than you do already. Because the deal is, that by promoting yourselves and your work as a librarian to the world (and to the profession) you are actually helping librarianship as a whole. This is largely due to the fact that according the PEW Internet Research Center and OCLC the number one most effective technique for building library support is creating a relationship with your community as a librarian. Even if you disagree with that, you still help the profession with you self-promotion because we will all learn about the awesome things you’re doing and get better at our jobs.

    So, while I completely support this #30awesome project, I really hope that it is the the spark of a fire of the shameless promotion of librarians, libraries, and everything that we do. Now, go out and tell people that you’re awesome and why.

    Library advocacy 3

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