Monthly Archives: April 2010

Too much to ask?

I ordered a spiffy new phone, and a delivery was attempted by FedEx this afternoon.  Since no one was home, they left a door tag that said that we could either wait to have it delivered Monday (when no one will be home….because we work, people….) or we could go to the FedEx center near our airport to pick it up.

They mention that it will be there after 5:00, so I decided I would ask DH if he would stop by on the way home from work. First, though, I wanted to make sure it was OK for him to pick it up, or if they needed me.

I decided I would give them a call to find out.

There is no phone number on the door tag, save the 800 number for FedEx. It’s one of those answering system from hell systems, with a robot posing as a person trying to understand your responses. (Shockingly, it doesn’t understand expletives. I think if you’re designing a system like that, it should not only understand expletives but should send you directly to a real person the first time they hear one.)

Unsuccessful in trying to get Robot Woman to understand me, I gave up on that tack, and tried to look it up on their website.  No phone number listed.  I called information.  THEY have no phone number listed.  (What the hell?)

I then decided to call one of the other local FedEx locations.  Surely they would have the phone number, right?  Not.

Who are these guys, that they don’t have a listed phone????

DH is heading there after work to pick up the package, armed with the door tag number.  They had better not give him any trouble because believe me, I’m in no mood.  They really do not want to deal with me right now.

So the big question is: why on earth would a business make itself completely unavailable to customers?

The parallel question for libraries is: is it impossible to find your phone number or other contact information?  Now, ‘fess up; I’ve been on a few library websites where there is no contact information.  I’d really like to know the director’s name, at the very least.

Please, oh please don’t make me go through one of those automated answering things to get to you.  I don’t know what department I want – and I shouldn’t have to work that hard, dammit.  Have a person answer the phone and help me.

Is that really too much to ask?

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The New Normal: New Collaborations within the Library and Beyond

Andrea Koeppe, Marianne Hageman, Diane Knights, Karen Brunner, Eric Kallas; University of St. Thomas

Andrea: Business reference librarian.

Collaborations are nothing new

  • the information commons model uniting libraries with computing
  • wikis and blogs to share information with each other
  • embedded librarians working with faculty members

This is what we all so – this is normal.

Is that all there is?

Other types of collaboration – the new normal

  • partnerships between librarians and technology specialists; updated reference guides that are web-based and dynamic
  • partnerships between reference and circulation departments
  • partnerships between the library and other departments on campus

UST librarians working to extend out to other areas of campus and to people that might not reach out to the library.

Why collaborate?

  • improve access to library resources
  • provide better service to patrons when and where they need it
  • increase visibility of library resources outside of the library

Marianne: reference librarian

Libraries get good stuff for their users. Increasingly resources are electronic.

Collaboration on resources: identification, acquisition, implementation, product review and maintenance. … so that students can find the good stuff.

Subject guides are now a mix of print and online resources.  Becoming more useful and dynamic.  Can sort by subject. Can search the content of the guides.  RSS feed for the blog posts.

More 2.0-style guides – Ohio University uses Wikis.  UST looking towards LibGuides.

What about reference sources? As things move online, what should we be recommending? And how to make students aware of resources other than Google and Wikipedia?

Focus on background sources

  • starting points for research
  • basic packages (Blackwell, Oxford, Gale)
  • catalogers create records for titles in basic packages
  • electronic resource creates links for titles
  • subject librarians identify key resources in their disciplines

UST has an encyclopedias and dictionaries page with resources by subject.

Examples: Marquette has a reference source page with a section on “why use these?”

We know students look for things on their own; what else do we do to help them find the good stuff?  Try to make things findable on our library pages.  “Get it” button. IM chat. Federated search. Tabbed search box.

Diane: librarian in charge of circulation and part of reference.

Circ and ref collaboration

  • question tracking
  • IM
  • just in time
  • captivate

Reaches out to students to teach.

Question tracker

  • using Sharepoint to monitor questions. This could be accomplished in excel or something similar
  • each person at all service points in all libraries, students included, is expected to record questions
  • this may help us decide future training, staffing, and hours for service points

Built form to gather the information: title of transaction, question type, time spent, question format (walkup, email, etc.), question, answer.  Still working out whether they need to fill out all the areas for each transactions.

Allows all to see the questions that come in. Is altering how they respond to student workers, staffing. See when a trend of similar questions is coming to the service points.

Instant messaging:

Ref staff and circ staff monitor IM throughout the day and evening – until 2:00 a.m.  Questions are coming in more frequently and are more complex.  Letting it grow naturally.

Karen: late-night supervisor. IM took off when they put widgets on database pages.

Just-in-time:

Learning outside the classroom, building small training components into the building rather than taking them to the classroom.

“Wanna know how to find “stuff” in the library? Need a break from studying? Join Karen, out late night staffer, for an information training session on how to find and use resources.”  Picture of Karen with an arrow and message that says “If you have a question, find this lady.”   On white board at entrance to library.

Also advertises on Facebook.

Up to staff member as to what the theme of the session will be. She tends to do more general topics. Turnout varies. When people do show up, treats are much appreciated. Unless it’s relevant to the student at that exact moment, they don’t care. It’s important to plant the seed that the librarians are there to help them.  Because of photo, students know who to look for when they need help.

Captivate tutorials

  • always accessible
  • some duplication with just in time
  • ex: how to request a book, how to place an ILL request.  Aims past novice users

Captivate: worked with reference to hear what were most common reference questions.  When refworks new interface is up, will probably do a captivate for this.

Eric: mobile reference program

Quoting Keith Richards; wonders how much more interesting library school would have been with Keith Richards as a classmate.

Librarians with laptops go to remote locations and help with reference. Homecoming, football games. More success was with UST career center.

With career center, had weekly scheduled sessions. Subject specific – company research. Promoted on CC website; CC staff refers patrons.

Provides reference services for students, faculty, and staff. Uses a laptop with WiFi, an identification sign, and supplemental library materials.

Promotion in campus media, library website, collaborative websites, treats, and attention-getting signs.

Collaboration with career center inspired them to go to business center to promote, and in turn the business center is sending people to the library.

Info to start program:  http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/spec285web.pdf

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Getting Students’ Bodies and Ideas into Libraries

David Silver, Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of San Francisco

Loving the season here in Minnesota.

Works closely with library at USF: Gleeson Library.

A great library is a library that has at least one spot that is your own.

Polling the librarians re: book displays.  Gleeson currently has a book display called Good Food: grow it, cook it, eat it.  Broadened the topic, from gardening to cookbooks.  Nutrition and food. Food and culture.  As a result, reaches more communities and their interests.  Also has a bibliography available.

Good displays should do 3 things:

  1. Highlights the collections of the libraries.
  2. Brings students into the library.
  3. Students get something – they can leave with a book or a bibliography.

Second exhibit: Get Graphic. Showed the diverse and extensive selection of graphic novels at the library. Didn’t shy away from controversial issues.  Had a suggestion box to expand the collection.

Assigned his students to view the display.  Photograph.  Take notes. Check out a graphic novel. Read the novel and incorporate into a blog post.  Some of the student interviewed the librarians.

One student’s blog post generated a number of comments, including the librarian, who noted the graphic novels the student had suggested and told him the library would order them. When the students found out that their blog posts were changing the library’s collection, they were jazzed.

Realized that it was just the 3 things, but that there was a 4th – students have to give something.  Bloggers love comments. What happens when students start giving their ideas to the library?

The 2008 election was huge in San Francisco. Students couldn’t stop talking about the election: Obama vs. McCain and Prop. 8.  Noted how the media was directing our attention.  All the theories they were studying in class were coming alive.  Students felt that the majority of Americans were being distracted; decided to start transforming USF.  Created materials to educate students, faculty, and staff.

Didn’t want just handouts. Wanted something 3-dimensional. Where? The library – it’s the center of campus. asked the librarian, and of course he agreed.

Started building an election exhibit. Students worked in groups. Built 3-dimensional displays and presented in the library to the other students. Very different to present in a public space.  Presented to fellow students and others that would wander into the space. “Students teaching students.”

Some students took quotes of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin and created a display.  (Showed Palin as a pit bull because of her quote.) Librarians asked to keep the exhibit for a while until the elections were over. Students agreed.

The one controversy was the picture of Palin as a pit bull.  The comment said “You should take down Sarah Palin: it’s prejudicial.” Students said that’s what the public sphere is for – creates dialog. What bothered him was that they misspelled “environment.”  “This is the library; your standards should be higher.” The students felt that if you were presenting in a library, it should be correct.

Learned 2 things from the project.

  1. Students did double the amount of work because their fellow students and friends would see it.  The stakes, quality, and labor all went up.  (Oops, has 3 things. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.)
  2. Students were bringing their friends to the library to see the exhibit.
  3. It became the most dynamic space for the election. A  number of events were held on campus.  College Democrats.  College Republicans. (“They still have a few republicans on campus in San Francisco – like four.”)

Started reducing the time the students had to share their work with the classroom, and instead has them share in the library.

Every semester has the Davis Forum – have a small class with a fairly large budget for speakers and trips.  Did Digital Literacy. What’s literacy in our times? Librarians know what a literacy is.  Our undergrads may not know, and their sense of literacy is profoundly interesting and confused.

What makes someone literate? Read everything to come up with different kinds of literacy. Had class during National Library Week.  Created a reading fort. Got old book covers and built a fort in the middle of the library.  Had books on digital literacy, handouts. Fort tragically fell.  (Awwwws from crowd.) Was rebuilt.

Students could not walk past it without looking at it. Even when it fell, it garnered comments. Got students to stop for a moment or two. Students would look through the books on digital literacy, choose a book, and go into the fort and read.  The students seemed to need a reading fort to take a moment to just sit and read.

New exhibit that doesn’t exist yet, but will on April 30th. Teaching a class on green media – making media about making food. Students learn how to bake bread, and then blog about teaching others how to bake bread.  Learning to cook different foods, how to plant food, how to weed, what grows regionally, etc.  Then the students make media about their experiences. An entire generation of student are alienated from food, and where it comes from.  The students are sucking in information like crazy.

Second day of class, went to the library. Wanted the students to know two librarians – physically meeting them and getting to know them.  [An aside that the professors need to attend the library sessions with the students.  Applause from the audience.]

The day they planted their plot, they visited the library and visited the area with cookbooks, gardening. (TX section.) Horrible space physically. Photo of all the students crammed into this small area.  One student commented, “Why am I buying all these cookbooks?? They’re all here!”

What they do in class is eat – every four weeks has a project: breakfast, lunch, dinner. With one, had to cook a seasonal meal. With lunch, demanded they use at least one ingredient from their plot.  Students are learning that recipes are a fine art.  Learning cooking terms: blanch, knead.

Final assignment was to create a library exhibit: meal that ties to your culture, and has got to be “the greatest exhibit ever seen in Gleeson Library.” Students went to the library to brainstorm. Took about 5 minutes to do nothing – student found it rather difficult. But the student got to really “know” the space. One student decided they needed a dinner table, set for a meal. Idea snowballed.  All the place settings different – since all the students are different people from different cultures, all the settings should be different.  Incorporating world map, with yarn connecting meal to the country of the food.

Students really wanted their fellow students to walk away with something.  Initially wanted to sell fresh food. Decided on recipes. “We don’t want students just to know about food, we want to teach them that they can make their own food.”

So many different ways to make library exhibits.  Key points:

  1. Highlight library collections
  2. Get students into the libraries
  3. Students need to get something, walk away with something
  4. Students need to give to the library, contribute their ideas.  When they contribute ideas, it goes from being The Library to My Library.

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The benefits of misbehaving.

I was a bad houseguest.

DBF and I were staying with her sister, Eileen, who has taken up painting.  She’s really good.  And I openly admired a painting hanging in the house, telling her if she was missing the painting, don’t look in my suitcase.

Well, the woman gave it to me.  Really.  I felt awful…..and uncouth….but I accepted it anyway.  I love it.

See what I mean?  It’s gorgeous.  (My photo doesn’t do it justice.) Warm and colorful and soothing and lush.  Makes me want to go to that place and revel in the beauty.

Eileen also does pet portraits, and they’re amazing.  I actually asked if one of them was a photograph, it was so real.  (I’m such a bad art enthusiast.)  But they were swell.

She doesn’t have a web site yet, but if you’re interested in contacting her and seeing some of her stuff, you can email her.

Tell her the bad houseguest sent you.

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Tea Party

While I was in Washington D.C. last week for Computers in Libraries, I met up with DBF and her sister, Eileen.  DBF had flown in from a conference in Las Vegas, and we rented a car and drove to Eileen’s place in Baltimore.  Spent a lovely afternoon on the deck (until the wasps drove us in) and had a lovely dinner.  Great conversation, beautiful place, terrific food.

The next day, we became revolutionaries.  We went to the Tea Party on the Mall.

It was a delightful experience.  People were there from all walks of life.  Truckers.  The country club set. Vietnam vets riding Harleys. Chubby middle-aged women. Babies. Dogs. And, yes, people of color.

As DBF said, it had the feeling of a 4th of July fireworks in your small town.  Except this was bigger than most small towns – they estimate that between 40,000 and 50,000 people were there.  It was amazing to watch the crowd grow.

There has been some bad press about the Tea Parties, and frankly, I was a bit nervous about what we would encounter.  There was no need.  There was no nastiness, no racism, no vulgarity (save the one coached by Lord Monckton….but that’s another story.  And was hilarious.)  People were open and friendly and curious about everyone that attended.  I met people from all over: Georgia, Tennessee, New York, California, Vermont, Iowa, Kentucky.  All of them told me that they had come for the express purpose of attending the rally.

It was interesting to listen for what resonated with the crowd….and what didn’t.  What did?  Respect and support the military. Support the Constitution. Lower our taxes. Get the government out of our business. All of those got big rounds of applause.  The rest of the stuff, the fringe pet subjects of various speakers, got polite golf claps.

I’m glad I went.  I feel like I was part of something big, something fundamentally patriotic.

And for those of you that haven’t attended one of these in your town, I’d urge you to go.  You might be surprised at what you find.

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Virtual learning and training: from classrooms to communities

Meredith Farkas, Head, Instructional Initiatives, Norwich University
Got her library degree online.  Found that her teachers had been teaching face-to-face and thought they could take their notes, quizzes, etc. from their in person classes and put them online.  Boring. There’s so much more to class than quizzes. Found her online learning experience very frustrating.
Web 2.0 ideas for the classroom
age of participation.
the wisdom of crowds
social constructivism – everyone is a teacher and learner
Teaches a course in Web 2.0 for San Jose State.  Told them she would prefer not to use the course management system.  Used Drupal. Liked the ability to have multiple blogs, so each student would have their own blog in the classroom. Has course calendar, readings, etc.  But the core is the conversation between the students and herself.
Why blogs?  It’s a familiar medium.  Great communication with students. Builds student sense of ownership over the medium. Fantastic for community-building. Biggest and best thing is that it encourages reflective learning.
It’s great for writing in public.  In other classes the students are writing for the professor; in her class, they’re writing for their classmates and the general world, too.  Everyone is a teacher and learner.
Blogs can…
  • promote critical and reflective thinking
  • enable collaboration and knowledge-sharing
  • create an informal environment for student discussion and community-building
  • encourage dialogue and debate
  • encourage students to teach as well as learn and co-construct their learning experience
Joan Petit, Portland State University
Blogging at the American University in Cairo
Worked at university for two years.  US accredited institution.  Mostly Egyptians.  English is 2nd or 3rd language. High schools didn’t have research papers, so no critical thinking skills taught.  Was a challenge for the required information literacy class.  They had never been to a library.
Class originally designed to maximize student learning and minimize librarian time.  Unified curriculum. Used WebCT. Every week there was a powerpoint that the instructor would read through. Final research project.  On average, saw a 20% increase from pre-test to post-test.
Set about changing the course.  Switched the course management system into a wiki. Made the class a lot easier to pass – wanted the focus to be on really learning the skills.  Implemented blogging. Was a turbulent time for the school – moved to a new campus in the desert.  Wanted the students to have the sense of writing for a real audience.  Assigned topics.  Weekly units, but gave time in class. Scaled down the final project and made it a blog entry.  The trouble with blogging in Egypt, speech is very oppressed.  There is no free speech; if you write something bad about the President, you would be arrested.  Students had to be aware of the fact that what they were writing could be read by others.
It was a near-disaster. The technology was overwhelming for people at first. WordPress was difficult for a number of the librarians. The librarians were having to do more work, and had to jump into technology they weren’t familiar with. Claimed the students didn’t like it at all.  Asked the students – they loved it. They loved publishing their thoughts on the web.  Once they got that feedback, there was no way they could back off from blogging.
Learned some lessons. Looking good on paper isn’t enough. Take advantage of key moments – crisis=opportunity. Own your disasters. Define success. The most exciting technology isn’t always the best for users.  Ill-considered ideas hastily implemented can be a great success.  If this had gone before a committee, they wouldn’t have done it.

Virtual learning and training: from classrooms to communities
Meredith Farkas, Head, Instructional Initiatives, Norwich University
Got her library degree online.  Found that her teachers had been teaching face-to-face and thought they could take their notes, quizzes, etc. from their in person classes and put them online.  Boring. There’s so much more to class than quizzes. Found her online learning experience very frustrating.
Web 2.0 ideas for the classroomage of participation. the wisdom of crowdssocial constructivism – everyone is a teacher and learner
Teaches a course in Web 2.0 for San Jose State.  Told them she would prefer not to use the course management system.  Used Drupal. Liked the ability to have multiple blogs, so each student would have their own blog in the classroom. Has course calendar, readings, etc.  But the core is the conversation between the students and herself.
Why blogs?  It’s a familiar medium.  Great communication with students. Builds student sense of ownership over the medium. Fantastic for community-building. Biggest and best thing is that it encourages reflective learning. It’s great for writing in public.  In other classes the students are writing for the professor; in her class, they’re writing for their classmates and the general world, too.  Everyone is a teacher and learner.
Blogs can…promote critical and reflective thinkingenable collaboration and knowledge-sharingcreate an informal environment for student discussion and community-buildingencourage dialogue and debateencourage students to teach as well as learn and co-construct their learning experience

Joan Petit, Portland State UniversityBlogging at the American University in Cairo
Worked at university for two years.  US accredited institution.  Mostly Egyptians.  English is 2nd or 3rd language. High schools didn’t have research papers, so no critical thinking skills taught.  Was a challenge for the required information literacy class.  They had never been to a library.
Class originally designed to maximize student learning and minimize librarian time.  Unified curriculum. Used WebCT. Every week there was a powerpoint that the instructor would read through. Final research project.  On average, saw a 20% increase from pre-test to post-test.
Set about changing the course.  Switched the course management system into a wiki. Made the class a lot easier to pass – wanted the focus to be on really learning the skills.  Implemented blogging. Was a turbulent time for the school – moved to a new campus in the desert.  Wanted the students to have the sense of writing for a real audience.  Assigned topics.  Weekly units, but gave time in class. Scaled down the final project and made it a blog entry.  The trouble with blogging in Egypt, speech is very oppressed.  There is no free speech; if you write something bad about the President, you would be arrested.  Students had to be aware of the fact that what they were writing could be read by others.
It was a near-disaster. The technology was overwhelming for people at first. WordPress was difficult for a number of the librarians. The librarians were having to do more work, and had to jump into technology they weren’t familiar with. Claimed the students didn’t like it at all.  Asked the students – they loved it. They loved publishing their thoughts on the web.  Once they got that feedback, there was no way they could back off from blogging.
Learned some lessons. Looking good on paper isn’t enough. Take advantage of key moments – crisis=opportunity. Own your disasters. Define success. The most exciting technology isn’t always the best for users.  Ill-considered ideas hastily implemented can be a great success.  If this had gone before a committee, they wouldn’t have done it.

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Training in the cloud

Training in the cloud, or mobile labs
Delores Rondinella (Technology Training Coordinator, Stark County District Library) talks about how far her library has come, from clunky old equipment to a new training program. Had to create a master plan for curriculum development for the library.  Began with the basics.  Added equipment as need arose. Gave equipment dual purpose.  Each year purchased a new piece of equipment.  Used refurbished equipment if possible.  Developed a maintenance schedule. Maintenance must become a priority.
Training in the cloud, or 30 things in 20 minutes
Bobbi Newman (Digital Branch Manager, Chattahoochee Valley Library System) and Maurice Coleman (Technical Trainer, Hartford County Md. Public Library)
Scheduling
– 30 boxes – online calendar space
– doodle – group scheduling space
Curriculum Development
– wikispaces – have a team work on one document, for example
– delicious – social bookmarking site
– mindmapping – for people that tend to think in pictures
Resource sharing
– custom start pages – pageflakes, netvibes
– feed my inbox – put rss feed into your email and it will email you with a new post
– blogs
File sharing
– slideshare
– dropbox – install on computer and synch across multiple machines; can also make public to share
– box.net – put files
– drop.io
Communication
– twitter
– friendfeed – social aggregator
Anytime class space (asynchronous)
– ning – create private social network
– jing
Live class space (synchronous)
– skype
– tinychat
– dimdim
Evaluation
– poll everywhere
– online surveys (survey monkey, zoomerang)
Archiving
– slideshare
– audacity
– wink
– ustream
Google and Zoho.  Bobbi liking Google, Maurice liking Zoho.
Asks the audience for applications they use that weren’t mentioned.  Many people calling out different sites – will be linked in the google docs.

Training in the cloud, or mobile labs
Delores Rondinella (Technology Training Coordinator, Stark County District Library) talks about how far her library has come, from clunky old equipment to a new training program. Had to create a master plan for curriculum development for the library.  Began with the basics.  Added equipment as need arose. Gave equipment dual purpose.  Each year purchased a new piece of equipment.  Used refurbished equipment if possible.  Developed a maintenance schedule. Maintenance must become a priority.
Training in the cloud, or 30 things in 20 minutesBobbi Newman (Digital Branch Manager, Chattahoochee Valley Library System) and Maurice Coleman (Technical Trainer, Hartford County Md. Public Library)http://sites.google.com/site/traininginthecloud/Scheduling – 30 boxes – online calendar space – doodle – group scheduling spaceCurriculum Development – wikispaces – have a team work on one document, for example – delicious – social bookmarking site – mindmapping – for people that tend to think in picturesResource sharing – custom start pages – pageflakes, netvibes – feed my inbox – put rss feed into your email and it will email you with a new post – blogs File sharing – slideshare – dropbox – install on computer and synch across multiple machines; can also make public to share – box.net – put files – drop.ioCommunication – twitter – friendfeed – social aggregatorAnytime class space (asynchronous) – ning – create private social network – jingLive class space (synchronous) – skype – tinychat – dimdimEvaluation – poll everywhere – online surveys (survey monkey, zoomerang)Archiving – slideshare – audacity – wink – ustream
Google and Zoho.  Bobbi liking Google, Maurice liking Zoho.
Asks the audience for applications they use that weren’t mentioned.  Many people calling out different sites – will be linked in the google docs.

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Conversations

Conversations with the Archivist of the United States
David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
Interviewed by Paul Holdengraber, Director, Public Programs, New York PL
10th Archivist of the US.  Former Director of the NYPL.  Blog – AOTIS: Collector in Chief.
Funny riff on the meaning of aotis. David comments, “Are we going to get to the meat of this?”
D: Great deal of misunderstanding about what the Archivist does.  Most people think he’s part of the LoC.  Not so. responsible for the records of the US Government. Provide oversight and advice to agencies. Presidential libraries are part of the National Archives. Is an independent agency.
P: You have 44 facilities?  You had 45 in the NYPL.  Bit of a demotion.
(Paul’s hilarious. Lots of laughter.)
D: 150 days into the job – steep learning curve.  Trying to get a sense of the staff and their needs. Annual employee survey; archives rank second to last in employee satisfaction.  Finds very disturbing and wants to change.
P: How significant is it for the archivist to be a librarian?
D: I’m the highest ranking librarian in the administration. (applause) Of course, I’m the only librarian.
P: Why is it important that the archivist be a librarian? And why do you think Obama chose you?
D: Sitting in my office and my assistant came in and said “The White House is on the phone.” He had been considered for the IMLS position, so wasn’t too surprised. Was told he was being considered for archivist. Was very suprised by that.
Convinced to come to Washington to have a bigger conversation about the job. Became convinced that he could make a difference. “The President called from Saudi Arabia, and he wants you to be the Archivist of the United States.”
P: The administration has charged you with the National Declassification Center, with 400million pages that need to be declassified over the next four years.  How are you going to go about doing that? And the other initiative is the Open Government initiative. Tell us about that.
D: The Open Government initiative is for agencies to be more transparent, built by the agencies themselves. It unleashed a set of competencies and talents in the agencies that hadn’t been used before.  A large part of that is social networking.  Controversial – to create citizen archivists.
At the end of December, the President issued another Executive Order around declassification. There is an enormous backlog of information that needs to be declassified.  Only criterion by which it can remain classified is national security.  Currently 2400 classification guides.  Needs to be consolidated.
P: So Obama picks you and you’re excited to come to be the archivist.  What kind of influence does the administration have over the archives?
D: The reason I’m so excited about the open government is that you can’t have open government without good records.  Need good records management. Records need to be migrated through various technologies. When IT systems are developed in the agencies, it must be with records management in mind, not as an afterthought.
One of his heroes is Robert Connor, 1st archivist of US. Convinced agencies to deposit records in archives.  Agencies are now creating their own digital archives.  My job is to digest all that stuff.  Need to corral the records being created in electronic form.  I’ll let you know how that works.
P: Quotes Keith Rogers of the Rolling Stones. “The public library is a great equalizer.” You’re trying to oxygenate the archives.  Tell us about that.
D: Oh, Lord.  For years, I heard about oxygenate.  (laughter)
For 50% of New Yorkers, the library is the only place to access the internet. All of the social programs were very important. Now trying to find ways to open up the archives in ways that they’ve never been opened up before.
We have a robust education and exhibit program, the website is being blown up and redesigned as we speak with lots of content with the K-12 audience in mind.  Creating a program on the Civil War. Getting kids excited about the records is a way to teach history but also citizenship.
We have lots of tours, kids standing in line to see the Declaration of Independence. They have wonderful questions about the documents.
P: You didn’t quite answer the question about how influential Obama might be.  Have you met him?
D: No.  It’s nice having a boss down the street but not in my face. (much laughter)
P: While the government was closed, you spent some time with staff.
D: Who knew it was so easy to close the government? 4 and a half days we were shut down. I learned how dedicated the staff is.  Our sidewalks were better cleared than anyone else’s. I also read the detail of the Lockheed contract. Spoke with the guards about what they were guarding.  Discovered that the guards had never had a tour of the archives.  We’re arranging that now.
P: You gave a talk entitled “Losing our Memory” and you said we need to save better and preserve more, and not the other way around.
D: We’re not saving, and that’s a problem, especially with electronic records.
Federal electronic mail is still not recognized as a record.
P: You’ve expressed concern about digitizing legacies, especially Ancestry.com.
D: It’s become an industry standard that these large commercial digitization projects have developed language that locks up content for a time.  For Ancestry, it’s 5 years.  These are public records. I’m concerned about locking them up for periods of time. I recognize the value and the investment that commercial vendors are bringing to the project, but it bothers me to lock it up.  We’re coming up on our contract with Ancestry, and we’ll have to decide how we’re going to deal with that.
I do a lot online. I’m a big reader. There’s something aesthetic about print on page that has not been replaced electronically. I get a lot of information online. But when I’m reading, I need the print.
P: One of your favorite writers is Nicholson Baker.  Please talk about him and the struggle to preserve him.  Wrote “Discarding.”
D: I was opening Duke’s remote storage facility and I invited Nicholson Baker to speak.  Librarians were circling the wagon against him, because of his criticism of the profession.  He had rescued the physical newspapers from some libraries, had established himself as a newspaper librarian and had stored them in New Hampshire.
Two years later, Baker gave the collection to Duke.  It’s heavily used, especially by undergraduates in their history class.
P: What are you reading now?
D: This is embarrassing.  “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.”  (Huge laughter and applause.)  Bought it at an airport book store.  The kid at the counter tells him, “You know, this is all true.”  (Even bigger laugh on that one.)
Also just finished a book about Walt Whitman and Mrs. Whitman.
P: What is your greatest burden?  What keeps you up at night?
D: It’s the electronic records.
P: Your greatest joy?
D: A balance between getting to know the staff and the job itself.  My jaw just drops sometimes.
P: To the librarians here today, what recommendation do you make to them?  What should they pay attention to most?
D: Push your supervisors.  Get your ideas out there.  The guys at the top need to be pushed.
P: Who do you look to?
D: One of my best hires is a guy named Josh Greenburg.  I learned so much from him.
P: You have said that the only next job for you is the Vatican.
D: People have really misinterpreted that. People have asked, “Why would you want to go to the Vatican Library?”  I’m not talkin’ about the library.
Delightful interview!

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Twitter

Michael Sauers, Nebraska Library Commission

Twitter id – msauers

Has twitter up on screen, refreshing to see new tweets for #cil2010.

Is the only person tweeting for the Nebraska Library Commission.  Feed a lot of his content through twitter.  LibraryThing, blog posts, digg, foursquare.  (Earned the overshare badge in foursquare yesterday.)

Almost all the room is on twitter.  Michael wonders why we’re here.

Question about feeding different applications into twitter – how to do? Foursquare is built in.  Uses twitterfeed to feed blog posts to facebook and twitter.  Delicious bookmarks can post to twitter, as does digg.

Question as to what a library would put on twitter? Events, new books. He suggests to ask the patrons.  Audience member tweets new books, dvds, projects. Another tweets programming, uses facebook twitter feed so cross-posts.  Another posts seminars and is careful to add hashtags.

HootSuite is a service that allows for multiple twitter feeds – can post to as many as you check.  Can also give permissions to others to post to accounts. Has an analytic that gives you stats on the feeds.

You can set up lists of the people you follow on twitter, and you can group them.  You can make the lists public, so you can group them and share.

The Hy-Vee Meat department has a twitter feed.  Audience member – local ice cream truck has a twitter feed, and tweets its location.  Anyone have a bookmobile?

Question from a self-proclaimed skeptic – who cares?  How has this benefited the NLC? He finds that twitter is useful as a broadcast of information he thinks his followers might be interested in. Also, can “query the hive” – ask the group a question.

Tweet to his account – Baltimore’s @prattlibrary is a great example of how libraries can use Twitter to great benefit.

Why 140 characters or less?  Originally designed for text messaging, which is 160 characters.  Your user id can be 20 characters, so the limit on a message would be 140.

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Google Wave

Bob Keith, Technologist, New Jersey State Library

Rebecca Jones, Managing Partner, Dysart & Jones Associates

Rebecca has the room do the wave, to get started.  Tweet her at rebeccajonesgal re: CIL2011.

Checked room re: Google Buzz.  Virtually no one using. Decided to do a panel on Wave last year.  Did a room check on wave users – rather few.

We’re always trying out new things and we need to be trying new things, and they tend to morph into other things.  Who knows what wave might end up becoming?

Wave took a risk in launching a product that was really in an alpha state.

Queried the audience on how many tried Wave and gave up.  Lots of hands.  Rebecca had to jump back into wave in preparation for this session.

It’s a sandbox we can learn in.

Bob: Wave for this session.  Search in wave for with:public tag:cil2010.

Wave video on “what is google wave?”  [Video very slow – had to shut Google Wave in order to make the video run properly, because Wave was using too much power. Much laughter at that.]

Google wave vs. email

  • real-time
  • extensibility
  • hosted
  • playback
  • easier file sharing

As he’s talking, people (including me) are chatting on the wave.  Kinda cool.

You can play Zork in wave.  (No idea what he’s talking about, but a few audience members were thrilled to hear this.)

Recommends using Chrome for Wave.

Gadgets: Google making as an open-source protocol.

Robots: automated participants in a wave. They can do anything a user can do. Most often used to respond to user unput and either alter unput or access information from outside sources based on input.  Demonstrates the zork game as an example.

What’s it good for?

  • to-do list or work log
  • event planner
  • meeting notes
  • project management

Question about archiving a project if using for project management.  Bob suggests not trusting at this point. There might be a document you create – once it’s done, the only way to save is to copy and paste it out.

Enhancements:

  • access permissions
  • extensions menu
  • email notifications
  • wave is still in preview so things are changing all the time!

Issues

  • low adoption due to wave being invite only.
  • wave can be slow at times
  • not easy to export or print waves
  • unable to remove participants from waves

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