As 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
So you didn’t go to Internet Librarian? That’s Ok. The best thing about internet Librarian is that everyone is so… Internety. All of the awesome stuff that happened throughout the conference was digitally shared via all kinds of avenues. Instead of making you scour the interwebs for all of this stuff, I’ve created the following roundup of online postings, tweets, blogs, etc… That you should check out from the conference.
The first thing you should check out is Librarian in Black’s live-blogging series of conference sessions. If you don’t know of Sarah, first climb out from under the rock then read her posts here. This is probably the most complete series of blog posts about the conference on the web. Every single one of the sessions that she attended were summarized in pretty great detail. It’s almost as good as being there.
Stephen Abram posted the slides and some extra information about the Teen preconference Session on his blog Stephen’s Lighthouse. I had a great time presenting with a fantastic panel of librarians and IT folks at this preconference. Everyone had some amazing ideas and great information!
The most controversial session was the Wednesday Morning Keynote with Roy Tennant and Steve Coffman. I won’t go into all the controversy, but it was fairly entertaining and the good stuff from the session was summed up on the infotoday blog.
Justin Hoenke listed a bunch of the great tweets coming out of Internet librarian on his blog. This is a great compilation of the awesome things that were talked about throughout the conference. You won’t have to rely on the twitter search and LONG string RTs and replies etc… This is just the cream of the crop.
Of course, if you want to see EVERYTHING that happened at the conference that was important, its pretty easy to perform a search on the ever present twitter but you should remember that there was some confusion about what hashtag to use, so be sure to search both #il2012 and the official hashtag #internetlibrarian. I feel like less people were tweeting this conference than last year, but there was still a lot of really interesting discussions that went on there.
In fact, one of the key takeaways on the twitter backchannel of the conference was that people need to stop using QR Codes in libraries. I thought this was funny because when people post about QR Codes, I always snarkely post this back. However, I have nothing on the snarkyness of the Librarian in Black, and in fact, her tweet was the most retweeted and responded to tweets at IL.
Just as a cool sidenote to twitter, info today posted this graphic on their Facebook page that graphically shows people’s tweets! Very cool.
I am excited to see Storify get some great use at this conference. This was one of the best uses of Storify that I can think of since Lisa Carlucci’s coverage of the Great Library Roadshow. In this Stori, Cecily pieces together a great online discussion of the transformative power of libraries.
Jason Griffey created an amazing device called the Library Box and Polly-Alida Farrington built one for just $30. She brought it to IL and had everyone take a picture with it. You can see just how small and manageable the device is. In fact, we talked about it at the Speed Technology Dating program and some of it’s possible uses inside librarians or tabling at community events.
While there aren’t many posted just yet, there are probably going to be a large amount of slide decks being posted to Slideshare. I could only find a few, but hopefully people will tag their decks with either #il2012 or #internetlibrarian and we can find them all.
If you posted something about Internet Librarian that you would like to share, please feel free to link it below in the comments!
These are the slides from our presentation at Internet Librarian 2012. Toby Greenwalt, Jeremy Snell, and Patrick Sweeney compiled a list of 30 new kinds of technology that can be easily and cheaply implemented in your library.
Since I’ve been banned from Facebook because someone marked me as spam for sending out too many invitations to library parties. I’m going to defend myself a little bit here.
I’ve been thinking more and more about partying as a professional activity so the next few posts that I do are going to be about how partying Makes It Happen. This post is going to be about communities of Librarians.
We desperately need a more closely knit library community. One of the best things I’ve learned from JP, Allen, and the ALA Think Tank is that if you want to build a community, you have to party. Partying builds social connections, strengthens our relationships, allows us to get to know each other without a Robert’s Rules Agenda, and because partying is a positive activity, it allows us to come together in a way that meetings about budget cuts or trainings just can’t.
So, here are all the reasons we need to party to build our local communities of librarians.
The world works on Social Connections
As I get older and watch the world around me I’ve come to the realization that the only reason that some people get ahead and others don’t is because of their social connections. If you look at people who are considered great and take a step back from the person, you’ll quickly see all the people around them that help them to make it happen. Nearly everyone, from politicians, to business owners, to movie stars got their start because of the people around them. If we want to get our start and get ahead as a profession, we need connections. No man is an island, Entire of itself.
I’ve been involved in a bunch of mentorship organizations for libraries and usually it’s extremely difficult to be a mentor when we live hundreds or thousands of miles apart and never met. If you want to be a mentor or if you want a mentor, getting involved in a community is a great way to do that. In fact, all of my mentors have been people that I’ve partied with at conferences, gotten to know, and been a part of my community of professionals.
Did you know that other, more successful, professional groups who are vying for tax money have very organized local communities? The police, for example, when general fund money is being discussed, have a large group of people that they can call on locally to go to city council meetings, run from a script, and help advocate for the money. We are much more powerful in large numbers and we desperately need those numbers.
Celebrate your Profession
While this is more about the party than the community, I want to point out that having a large group of local professionals that you are friends with, that you can text or email or call when you’re feeling down about what’s going on in our profession, is so extremely helpful! I have a quite a few librarians that I can get a hold of at anytime if I want someone to help me celebrate all the amazing things we do for our citizens.
Have you ever run out of ideas? Don’t feel bad, that happens. But how do you get new ideas? Well, if you have a community of professionals around you, it’s easy to find out what they’re doing and get some inspiration. We are all surrounded by so many great librarians and we hardly ever get the opportunity to see what the people working in the library down the street are doing. Having a community of professionals around you that are part of other organizations really helps!
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and we look at our own organizations through the lens of the employee who has been there for so long that we forget about the excitement. Getting out with a community of people who work in other organizations might get you to find ways to energize your own library, or it might make you realize that yours isn’t so bad after all. Either way, that’s a win!
One of my biggest frustrations in our profession is that we don’t collaborate enough across our organizations. For example, Cheryl Lee is a fantastic librarian who does some amazing work at a library about 2 miles away and I really want to work with her to do something awesome (I don’t know what yet). The only reason that I know that she does awesome stuff is because she is part of our small but growing local library community. If we had a better and closer community, we could potentially do more together, share costs, and just generally be more awesome.
Ok, so… I’m still working on my response to my last post and I’ll have it out for you on Tuesday. In the meantime, here is something a little more unexpected. This is my all Keanu Reeves presentation on how to successfully network in the profession at conferences. I had way too much fun making this.
So, I thought I had a good idea once. No, it wasn’t a jump to conclusions mat, it was a library CREATING content for their webpage. We talk a lot about libraries allowing users to create content, or re-purposing libraries as a space for our patrons to create, make, innovate, and as hacker spaces. But what about the librarians themselves creating informative content? I thought I was on to something awesome!
I started with this thought when I came across some amazing YouTube videos. There was the one about the best way to tie your shoes, how to properly peel a banana, and most importantly about how to open a bottle of wine without a proper opener. It occurred to me that the library should be creating these videos that are informational and educational and present creative solutions to real everyday problems in our patron’s lives.
Wow! I was really on to something. I was totally going to come up with something awesome that hadn’t been done before. This is totally going to help our patrons in a great way! They would use this, they would enjoy this, they would use our information in their day to day lives! I thought about presenting my idea to director, going for some kind of grant, using the patrons for video ideas (or even to create the videos), and eventually presenting my idea at conferences, writing articles, blogs etc… I realized that Fame, fortune, money, alcohol fueled parties with rock gods and movie stars, and houses on the Riviera!! It would all be mine AT LAST!! (Because that’s why I got into librarianship in the first place) But then…
I saw this EFFING brilliant site posted to the ALA Think Tank page by Kyle Denlinger.
I guess it’s all been done. Kuddos to you Kimbel Library… Kudos.
Alright team, here it is in all its glory! The ALA Think Tank’s Party Hard Guide to ALA Midwinter 2012. Each of these links to an event in Facebook because they are not all on the official conference scheduler and they are not all Official Conference events. Some of these are just meetups and good times put together by folks who want to meet and network. The events that don’t have a link are only in the conference scheduler and for some reason the links don’t work in the scheduler. But if you want to try, here is a link to take you to all the Official Social Events at ALA.
I have a strong belief that these social events are becoming more and more important. We trade ideas, talk, celebrate our profession, network and meet people, and freely brainstorm amazing new ideas. I can’t tell you how many things have come to my career by simply talking and interacting with librarians in these social events. I have so many stories about some of the things that have happened through these events that I won’t share the details of them here, but know that most of the things I talk about on this blog were helped in some great way by the people I’ve met. So I’m not asking you, I’m telling you (especially newcomers to the field) take the time to socialize and meet everyone you can! With that in mind, here is my current list of networking and meeting opportunities at ALA Midwinter 2012.
The Amazing Erica Findley even made a map! Check it out.
I’m sure there are far more being put together that I don’t know about. If you know of one, feel free to leave a comment below, email me, reach me on twitter, or Facebook, and let me know! I’ll add them to the master list.
I’ve been thinking about the issue of providing access to materials for the hard of sight while balancing those needs with those of the Library and the community. This stemmed from a bunch of comments on the ALA Council Listerv, some in person, and one or two on my blog. The issue is pretty serious, especially since the National Society for the Blind is threatening to sue any library that starts a Nook lending library. I have a couple of thoughts on this whole problem and of course I have some solutions that I’d love to hear your thoughts on.
First of all, let me make this one clear – On many forums I have read that libraries should offer Kindles instead of Nooks. This argument is brought up because some of the Kindle Content and the device itself at least has some features to help the sight impaired. However, this is NOT going to happen. I have a lot of issues with both Kindles and Amazon and some of their practices. They also will not work with libraries in any kind of meaningful way. They continuously change their terms of agreement and if you get one representative to give you the go ahead, you still run the risk of another saying no AFTER you buy all the Kindles. Of course Buffy Hamilton lays it all out here too. I have read way too many horrible library stories against both Amazon and Kindle to use those.
Updated – *I am having people comment that Kindles are NOT print disabled friendly, my paragraph above was in response to messages that people have sent me that said that they were and that therefore we should provide Kindles instead of Nooks. Either way, it’s not a viable solution*
There was a comment on my blog that we force Barnes and Noble to make the device navigable for the blind. I would love this to happen, however I have a doubt that it’s going to happen anytime soon, or soon enough, but I would love people to keep the pressure up so please keep that fight going!
One of my most basic (and least favorite) solutions is that most libraries offer access to the same content through a multitude of other systems that work for the sight impaired. Some of the ones that I can think of are, CD audio books, Playaways, and downloadable audio books on computers and other MP3 devices. If the same content is made available in audio version, would this be a way to ensure that we are properly serving the needs of the Hard of Sight Community? This question admittedly comes out of ignorance, and I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on this specifically.
In California we also have an amazing library that we can get a wide range of materials from for our patrons. The California State Library loans braille, cassette and digital talking books, magazines and playback equipment to Californians unable to read conventional print. I know that this solution may not be the same as the Nooks, but I think people will be able to get the resources a lot faster than they would a Nook since the waitlist for most Nook devices is crazy if Sacramento Public Library is any indication of its success.
Here is my real thought for a solution though. We could offer materials via something like an Ipod Nano. They would hold a high amount of material just like a Nook, but in audio format. If I’m reading these reports right, then I think this would be a very legitimate solution. But really, I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on this before we go out and buy them.
The library (and me), love serving all people in our community and we really strive to do just that. We are navigating a new environment and I would love to hear people’s legitimate solutions before we start running around suing each other. We are here to help each other learn and grow and we can do that together by crowdsourcing some solutions. Help me come up with some solutions team.
This is the post where I defend our library’s decision to Loan Nooks and make the argument that we should drop eBook circulation altogether. I know there are a bunch of reasons why people are going to argue that we shouldn’t check out eReaders and not to Drop Overdrive so I’m going to handle each of the ones that I have encountered here. (Later I’m going to argue for all the reasons why this solves all of our problems with eBooks)
We didn’t check out VCR’s why should we check out Nooks?
First, I would make the argument that maybe we should have. Then I’m going to ignore that statement, not defend it, and move on to my real argument. We check out books. The thing that we are checking though really, is not the book itself. We aren’t in the business of giving people access to cardboard and paper, that’s just the container for the information inside and it’s a container filled with information that we are checking out to our patrons. In the same way, the Nook is the container for the information in the digital age. Pre-Loaded Nooks are just a book with plastic and metal as the container instead of paper and cardboard. In contrast, a DVD Player, VCR, TV, Game Console, have no content within the devices. A pre-loaded eReader does though.
I hate eReaders, make them check out a book!
Strangely, I’ve heard this the most. We need to realize that information comes in many forms, some we love, some we hate. Personally I’m not a fan of eReaders either. But that’s not really my job. I’m not here to force people to have the same warm fuzzy experiences I had when I was child, I’m here to provide a service to my community. Specifically, I’m here to allow people to have access to information to help them become the people that they have the power to become. If they want to do it with information contained in an eReader format, that’s what I’m gonna give’em.
Nooks require a computer to upload books from Overdrive
Temporary access to digital books through a clunky program is a bad, horrible model of librarianship and luckily it’s only our first try. We can do better, and we can provide digital content through the circulation of eReaders instead of providing access through a horrible circulation model governed by publishers and a shaky (at best) product. We won’t even need Overdrive and our patron’s won’t need a computer if we just circulate pre-loaded eReaders.
People won’t come to the Library to get eReaderss
Well… I think they will. If they can check out every book on Lizards in the entire library system for their science project with one check-out, or every mystery novel written in the last ten years, or ALL of the current New York Times bestsellers with one trip to the library, then I think they will do it. Also, it solved a problem that the publishers recently whined about on a recent New York Times Article – “Ms. Hirschhorn says the reason publishers didn’t worry about lost sales from library lending of print books is that buying a book is easier — no return trip is needed to the bookstore.” Problem solved.
Anyway, those are the big four arguments that I have heard against circulating eReaders at a library. But I am 93.4% convinced that this is the model that we need to follow in the digital age. If you want hard statistical evidence of its success rate, get on the waitlist for a Nook at Sacramento Public Library. The wait for those is as long as my… Well, It’s long.