Monthly Archives: October 2009

Not in Monterey Blues

I’m not at Internet Librarian this year.  I miss it.

Actually, what I’m missing is the opportunity to network with the librarians that really are the movers and shakers in the community.  Just chatting with these folks usually leads to all sorts of inspirational projects and opens up possibilities that were not even on the radar before your conversation.

I looked at the conference schedule, and I must say that I didn’t find much that seemed to pertain to my current position in an academic library.  I took a look at the Computers in Libraries schedule, and there seemed to be more there that I would find useful, and so I will probably heading to Washington in spring.

But I must say, I miss Monterey.

For those of you taking part, wave to the sea lions for me.  And thank you for blogging and tweeting about the conference!

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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, Me and mine

Best practices in creating online tutorials

Matt Lee, Minitex.

Side note – packed room, with people sitting on the floor.  Very loud presentation next door, making a bit difficult to hear in ours.

Show of hands in the room – few had already created online tutorials, most were planning to do so in the near future.

The purpose of a tutorial is to teach your library user something, and should be narrowly focused on that library user.

Near-term possible need for online education, given the H1N1 issues.

Different types of online tutorials.  Online courses – typically occurs over a period of days or months, contains homework, etc.  HTML tutorials – very interactive, based on student clicking.  Video tutorials – also called screencasts.  Navigation is much more linear, and typically relies less on user participation.

Effectiveness of online tutorials.  Ideal for teaching tasks, teaching fact-based topics, providing introductory knowledge, allowing participants to move at their own pace, reaching a large group of “unherdable” participants.  Immediately responsive to a user’s needs, encourage multiple learning styles.

Best practices for online tutorials.  6 goals: be clear about audience, be clear about outcomes, be clear about content, encourage interaction, employ varied design, be a  resource beyond the tutorial.

Audience – focus content, consider the participant’s point of view, effectively describe and market the created product.

Outcomes – define scope, assert practicality.

Content – plan ahead of time, build structure, make structure transparent to participants, provide access.  Probably the most important is the planning.  Suggestion to break presentation into chapters, so that a user can access the particular part of the presentation they particularly are interested in learning.

Interaction – engage multiple learning styles, promote active learning.  http://tinyurl.com/RRF2009

Researchers explored video vs. HTML tutorials; found that users learned more through video tutorial and that the interactivity was a detriment.

Design – engage participants, use the visual medium to its full potential.  Break up a tutorial and make it visually engaging. Be creative about the visual presentation – will make it more dynamic.  Zoom in, float words, switch up what the screen looks like.

Resource – encourage follow-up, reinforce tutorial content.  Link out to chat window, provide contact information.

Examples of online tutorials.

Minitex series: 2.0 tools in 2.0 minutes.  (Clever title.)  Showed lovely tutorial on Zoho.

Music in background of tutorial from opsound.org.

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Marketing

Reeling in your users: marketing an academic library
Marketing program’s public relations class decided to take the library on as their project
for the semester.  Chose team within the library to spearhead the initiative.  Wanted people
that were interested, had an outgoing personality, that can work well together, and had a
variety of skills.  Formed marketing committee.
Chose specific goal for the year, rather than an overreaching project.  Goal was to create
an awareness campaign of library services targeted at first-year students and new faculty.
Concordia has a 4-day orientation program; library wondered if there was something the
library could do.  Didn’t want to just go in and talk to them.  Students listen to their
peers; college has upperclassmen as mentors.  Asked the mentors to give the freshmen a tour
of the library and reminded them to take it seriously.  Gave the mentors ideas of what to
talk about, but also asked them to make it personal. General introductory tour.
Reference librarians at the end of the tour give the students a booklet and a pen.  Do a lot
of teaching in the first year program.
For new faculty, spoke during orientation, and also gave each new faculty member $500 to
spend in the library on new books for the collection.  Some took advantage, some did not.
Handed out cameras and asked to look at the library with new eyes, and show problem areas.
(Showed some of the photos, with before and after.)  Sign at reference desk, “Please
Disturb!”
Creating a Brand
Worked with public relations class, who came up with a few logos.  Didn’t choose logos, but
started them thinking.  Went back to library and looked at space; have a mural created by
David Hetland. Part of the mural includes books; that panel has become the library’s brand.
Decided wanted to use more of the mural, so had photos taken and now use photos in their
publications. Brochures, bookmarks, library guidebook, posters, computer wallpaper.  The
computer wallpaper is rotated monthly, so students are regularly seeing something new.
Have a library newsletter, tip cards, READ posters, College archives bulletin board, created
video.
To draw in more users, made an effort to plan an event every month for the library.  Have
invited a few authors to speak in the library and to different classes. “Pay it forward”
campaign – State Bank and Trust gave each employee $1000 to use in any way to benefit the
community.  The library was given money to buy items for the collection. Wanted to continue
the “paying it forward” concept; chose family whose little girl had been in an accident and
needed money for expenses.  The library did a fund-raiser using student artwork – patrons
would vote with money for their favorite piece of art.  It was wildly popular.  People sent
money from all over the country.  Had hoped to raise $1000.  Raised $1700.
This year, the money will be raised for a college student that was in a traffic accident,
and is recovering.  The library has contacted the family about having the “pay it forward”
fundraiser for her.
(What a cool idea is that???)
Many interesting events held at the library, through various departments – poetry, speech,
pottery.
Still struggle with the best way to communication with students and faculty.

Reeling in your users: marketing an academic library

Marketing program’s public relations class decided to take the library on as their project for the semester.  Chose team within the library to spearhead the initiative.  Wanted people that were interested, had an outgoing personality, that can work well together, and had a variety of skills.  Formed marketing committee.

Chose specific goal for the year, rather than an overreaching project.  Goal was to create an awareness campaign of library services targeted at first-year students and new faculty.  Concordia has a 4-day orientation program; library wondered if there was something the library could do.  Didn’t want to just go in and talk to them.  Students listen to their peers; college has upperclassmen as mentors.  Asked the mentors to give the freshmen a tour of the library and reminded them to take it seriously.  Gave the mentors ideas of what to talk about, but also asked them to make it personal. General introductory tour.  Reference librarians at the end of the tour give the students a booklet and a pen.

Do a lot of teaching in the first year program. For new faculty, spoke during orientation, and also gave each new faculty member $500 to spend in the library on new books for the collection.  Some took advantage, some did not.

Handed out cameras and asked to look at the library with new eyes, and show problem areas. (Showed some of the photos, with before and after.)  Sign at reference desk, “Please Disturb!”

Creating a Brand

Worked with public relations class, who came up with a few logos.  Didn’t choose logos, but started them thinking.  Went back to library and looked at space; have a mural created by David Hetland. Part of the mural includes books; that panel has become the library’s brand.  Decided wanted to use more of the mural, so had photos taken and now use photos in their publications. Brochures, bookmarks, library guidebook, posters, computer wallpaper.  The computer wallpaper is rotated monthly, so students are regularly seeing something new.

Have a library newsletter, tip cards, READ posters, College archives bulletin board, created video.

To draw in more users, made an effort to plan an event every month for the library.  Have invited a few authors to speak in the library and to different classes. “Pay it forward” campaign – State Bank and Trust gave each employee $1000 to use in any way to benefit the community.  The library was given money to buy items for the collection. Wanted to continue the “paying it forward” concept; chose family whose little girl had been in an accident and needed money for expenses.  The library did a fund-raiser using student artwork – patrons would vote with money for their favorite piece of art.  It was wildly popular.  People sent money from all over the country.  Had hoped to raise $1000.  Raised $1700.

This year, the money will be raised for a college student that was in a traffic accident, and is recovering.  The library has contacted the family about having the “pay it forward” fundraiser for her.  (What a cool idea is that???)

Many interesting events held at the library, through various departments – poetry, speech, pottery.

Still struggle with the best way to communication with students and faculty.

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Library collaboration

Karen Hogan, Quatrefoil Library, St. Paul.
Collaboration between community and academic libraries.
Def: to work jointly with others…
Quatrefoil was a novel by James Barr, written in 1950.  Founder said it was the “only book he had read that didn’t have the gay character commit suicide at the end.”
GLBT lending library, about 20 years old.  FOunders had a small personal collection, but wanted to find more.  Loaned their books to friends, decided to make the arrangement formal and incorporated as a library in 1984-5.  Volunteer run.  Wanted to create a safe space for people; not a political organization.  Rapidly outgrew their original space.
Worked at retail book store, volunteered at Quatrefoil, and ultimately got a paraprofessional position at Augsburg College.  Along the way, learned more about libraries and how they work; how items should be cataloged, collection development policies, etc.
Took her new skills and applied them to Quatrefoil’s library.  Collaborating with UM for archival storage.
International conference for GLBT libraries and archivists. Enjoyed being with other librarians, discussing and comparing notes. Was recruited to St. Catherine’s library program and is now a student.
Finds a talented pool of potential volunteers amongst her fellow students and library school asociates. Worked with catalogers from the library program to catalog a number of the items in the Quatrefoil Library.  Students in reference class came to library to create pathfinders. Student in database searching class researched access to GLBT database.
Working with Augsburg and St. Kate’s on sessions at Quatrefoil, introducing the GLBT database and bibliographic instruction.
Would now like to research interlibrary loan, a bookmobile, library 2.0 projects. Is on Library Thing for their books. Has a Facebook page.  Has a Twitter account, but “doesn’t have time to tweet.”  (Laughs on that one.)
Question about collaborating with groups; suggestion is to attend their meetings – you go to them.  Get to know one person in each group and find out what they need.

Karen Hogan, Quatrefoil Library, St. Paul.

Collaboration between community and academic libraries.

Def: to work jointly with others…

Quatrefoil was a novel by James Barr, written in 1950.  Founder said it was the “only book he had read that didn’t have the gay character commit suicide at the end.”

GLBT lending library, about 20 years old.  FOunders had a small personal collection, but wanted to find more.  Loaned their books to friends, decided to make the arrangement formal and incorporated as a library in 1984-5.  Volunteer run.  Wanted to create a safe space for people; not a political organization.  Rapidly outgrew their original space.

Worked at retail book store, volunteered at Quatrefoil, and ultimately got a paraprofessional position at Augsburg College.  Along the way, learned more about libraries and how they work; how items should be cataloged, collection development policies, etc.

Took her new skills and applied them to Quatrefoil’s library.  Collaborating with UM for archival storage.

International conference for GLBT libraries and archivists. Enjoyed being with other librarians, discussing and comparing notes. Was recruited to St. Catherine’s library program and is now a student.

Finds a talented pool of potential volunteers amongst her fellow students and library school asociates. Worked with catalogers from the library program to catalog a number of the items in the Quatrefoil Library.  Students in reference class came to library to create pathfinders. Student in database searching class researched access to GLBT database.

Working with Augsburg and St. Kate’s on sessions at Quatrefoil, introducing the GLBT database and bibliographic instruction.

Would now like to research interlibrary loan, a bookmobile, library 2.0 projects. Is on Library Thing for their books. Has a Facebook page.  Has a Twitter account, but “doesn’t have time to tweet.”  (Laughs on that one.)

Question about collaborating with groups; suggestion is to attend their meetings – you go to them.  Get to know one person in each group and find out what they need.

http://www.quatrefoillibrary.org

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Tales of the Road: Highway 61

Keynote address: Cathy Wurzer.  Host of “Morning Edition”, Minnesota Public Radio.

Book, and documentary for Minnesota Public television.

6-year road trip visiting places in Minnesota.  The highway actually goes from northern Minnesota all the way to New Orleans.  Won two Emmys for the documentary.  Picked up some souveniers along the way:

Pottery from Moose Lake, MN.  The pottery is supposedly made by Namaji Indians – which as it turns out, is not a tribe at all.  Wally and Dorothy Walstrom are of the original owners, and now live in Duluth.  Dorothy painted all the pots, and then told the story of how she painted those pots.

Bottle of Bub’s Beer.  At Winona County Historical Society meeting, and asked about Sugarloaf Brewery in Winona and Bub’s Beer.  Was told it’s pronounced “boob’s!”

Holds up hunk of Hwy 61, sent by listener.

Calls the trip the “roadtrip of a lifetime.”  Life-changing experience.  Motivated by the American Guide series of books, written in the 1930’s by the WPA.  First tour she opened the book to was of Highway 61. Goes through some of the most beautiful scenery in Minnesota, from the north shore to the southeast.

Shows clip of the documentary…lovely footage and interesting history.  Talked about the Sheldon Theater in Red Wing and its ghost, and the apple orchards in LaCrescent.

The book has been out for a year now; different experience for a broadcaster.  Was approached by the publisher to write a companion piece for the documentary: “Sure!  How hard could it be?”  (Big laughs on that one.)  Was touched when the book was published – as a broadcaster, her work is transient.  “But a book – a book?  That lasts.”

Has enjoyed the book signings and readings across the state.  Met a number of interesting people, author and poet JoAnn Hart among them.

Has gathered so many stories, is planning to do a part 2, and solicits stories from the audience.  Part 3 will be a documentary taking the road all the way down to   New Orleans.  Stories can be sent to talesoftheroad.net.

Encourages everyone to get their own stories down, and those of our families.

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Conference time

I’m off tomorrow to the Minnesota Library Association conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  If you’re following along on Twitter, the hashtag is #mla2009.

I have mixed feelings about conferences.  I enjoy networking with colleagues, and tend to find that the conversations outside of presentations are the most productive part of most conferences.  I go to presentations with great anticipation, hoping to learn something that I can take back and use in real life.  Sometimes that happens, sometimes not.

We’ll see what the MLA conference brings.  I’ll be blogging while I’m there, so if you’re interested, stay tuned.

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Library joke of the day

So God calls a meeting, and to this meeting he invites Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern classification (he’s the guy who gave out all the latin names we had to memorize in biology), Melvil Dewey, and Penny a rural library director who had just passed away the week before.

God says, “Well I’ve done it. I’ve called the rapture and brought up all the souls from Earth for judgement. In fact they’re all behind that door over there. The problem is, when I came up with this plan there were a lot fewer people on Earth – like two – and you folks have been busy. There are now a couple billion souls in that room and I need some help in sorting the saved from the damned.”

“No problem,” says Linnaeus who stride confidently through the door.

An hour goes by, then two, then 5. Finally at 7 hours Linnaeus crawls back out of the door. His cloths are torn and he is clearly shaken.

“I couldn’t do it.” He says. “I was doing OK until I came upon a goth Japanese teenager and I ran out of Latin. It can’t be done.”

“I’m on it,” says Dewey who strides confidently through the door.

An hour goes by, then two, then three. Finally, 8 hours later Dewey crawls out of the door covered in sweat.

“It can’t be done! I had all the Christian denominations all sorted out, then I ran into a Jewish family and a couple of Muslims and I ran out of numbers.”

Upon hearing this, Penny turns on her heels, marches through the door, and one minute later walks back out “Done,” she says.

“That’s great,” says God. “But how did you do it?”

“I just asked everyone who had ever voted to increase library funding to raise their hands and told the rest they could go to hell.”

Thanks to Virtual Dave for the laugh!

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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, Miscellaneous