Friday, October 31, 2008

my little push

since it's very hard to speak of PLAY at MPOW and since we are not quite ready for transparancy... (our staff blog is private, we don't twitter for work, use event pictures online etc) I have started a little tradition called friday fifteen, where I point the staff (using an email message)towards a fun 2.0 typey thing.
I try never to have it be about their day to day work but always to have it relate to something we could be doing, and I try to always have it be a fun thing.

here is an example

Subject: [Dept_lib] friday fifteen (halloween edition)

watch this

Note a few things (since the video is less than 3 minutes):

-Jessamyn West is cool.
There is no questioning that, Google her and find out.
-Banking is a hot topic.
Jessamyn wonders at the number of hits that a banking tag got her little you tube video.
What do you think about tags?
-Richard Brautigan is a funny writer, too bad none of his stuff is checked out...

-You meet the weirdest people while waiting in (or waiting on) a line.


"Our job is not to convince people they need libraries. It is to convince libraries they need people."
-Nancy Dowd, The M Word Blog.


Subject: [Dept_lib] friday fifteen
-read this in 1 minute,
-look it up for 4 minutes,
-then really think about it for 10 more minutes…

It’s not like we don’t have the potential to exploit this idea around here!

(cut from the Librarian In Black Blog, reporting on a Future of Libraries Conference session)

“Innovations in Reaching Older Adults” by Richard Bray, Alameda County Library
He covered the popularity of wii gaming with seniors. The Pleasanton Library has a video online showing seniors playing the wii at the library. Gaming for seniors has really taken off in the last year, particularly at the senior centers or VA facilities. Games that offer physical or mental exercise are very popular. Libraries can and should take the lead as community brain fitness centers. This will help us attract boomers. He did caution against the hype of many brain fitness products. The Alameda County Library expanded its support for services for older adults. Each branch has a services for older adults coordinator. They have a committee that meets and creates programs and staff training. The classes for the public are all first given to branch staff. They average 45 people per senior-geared program. The library coordinates all of its senior work with the local senior centers. He also recommends doing a library training for each speaker or present at the library. They learn, give a better presentation, and then continue to promote the library's services in the future. His library developed a key program for seniors: Aging and Spirituality.

"The market is astonishingly quick at responding to what consumers do (and incredibly slow at reacting to what we say)." -Seth Godin

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

call for help; or we want macs

I need assistance regarding support for mac deployment in public library.

As part of a branch expansion, we are planning a room dedicated to "multi-generational interactive technology"
What we envision there are a few "pods" of multimedia creation. We want to set up a podcast/music creating editing station, a movie making/editing station and a game creating/playing station.
What better tools to put there than macs? Remember we have a number of PCs available and will continue to offer those...

Now in the past, we have had help adding services thru private donors, dedicated organizations and either special prizes or funds made available thru grants. I'm afraid money is not my 1st line of expertise and I would much appreciate if anyone can help point me in the direction of potential sources or help.

1-I am waiting to hear back from the local mac user group here in the area.
2-I have looked into apple discount program but it only seem to apply to k12/higher ed institutions.
3-I already read on an apple support list that I should talk to the good folks at St-Joseph ;) which I will.
I am also thinking of contacting some local music studios to see if they would want to partner at least on the audio effort.

Does anyone out there know of any other potential contacts I should make?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

geek2.0 in a management1.0 organization

since this is my personal blog, I have the luxury to express many ideas that MPOW doesn't necessarily endorse. since this is my personal blog I also run the risk of getting myself in some trouble if i expose MPOW too much, or if I shine an unflattering light on it. I have done it before, I will do it again, and I don't really need high tech tools like a blog to get there, if you know me you know that.

the upcoming series is probably going to set new records in risk, exposure and all around trouble making but also, a new twist, of outreach, compromise and all around goodwill on my part.

for the last few years I have attentively listened to pioneers, champions and leaders in all things library 2.0 and done my best to both emulate them, and spread the innovation gospel all around, all the time, to all who would listen and many who didn't want to.

It has improved my work, my workplace and hopefully the services we deliver to the community. But it has been INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING as well.
It is frustrating mostly because many many people mean to help but don't, want to support it but won't, say they will get out of your way but don't. It is frustrating because management still tend to think of technology as a separate department instead of an intricate part of every departments, therefore, often sees technology innovation efforts as expandable. The first thing we stop, to save time/money/stress etc. It was very disruptive anyways, right?

I see other organizations thrive, innovate, expand their horizon and deliver extraordinary value to their customers. I think: "Man, they are so lucky that everyone is on board!"

...then I realized, there is an AL in every workplace.

...then I saw this great article in HBR on "the new volunteers" referring to content contributors.

...then I read that Helene Blower said at IL2008: "...know what is important to your management and administration and cater to that..."

so I decided to attempt to design 2.0 ventures from the point of view of our local management. cater to what I know is important to them...

right now, the easy one will be presenting cost saving projects.
that is the first obvious place where geek2.0 and management1.0 meet.

that will also be where I may be able to get open content creation added and given the same value as all the rest of the volunteer hours!

there is a lot of stuff to reconcile here, there is an incredibly wide gap to fill on topics like transparency and play... but I will do my best to approach all this from a new angle and discover new grounds to cover at the same time.

Please do not misunderstand me, I love my director1.0. I have a lot of respect for her. she is dedicated to this library's success, loves the staff and the community and is a very open minded person. But she is also a very "proven-traditional-management-style-and-traditional-library-services-equals-guaranteed-success" kind of woman. She is incredibly uncomfortable with the concept of PLAY. I think she mostly sees transparency as unreasonable sharing of the burden she has agreed to be responsible for. She feels responsible for all of us professionally. She is very good at what she does, and in these times of budget cuts and layoff talks, she obviously strive to deliver high quality services and keep staff focused on service delivery and customer care. I know she is just like much of the management in libraries today. Time to stop trying to make her something she is not and instead, start to bridge that gap between what she sees as success, and what I see as success.

So I'll take potential innovations one at a time, I'll lay out what the real life obstacles to it are (that be the risky part), and then I'll attempt to design new angles and approaches to implement them.

It should be fun, wish me luck.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Neil Gaiman Video Tour

via BoingBoing...

It's true, Neil Gaiman is not only a talented writer, but also a spectacular READER.
He posts videorecordings of chapter readings of "The Graveyard Book", all readings are from his book tour.

Now, how wonderful a journey, from the author's mind to the page, to the reader's eyes and mind... back to the author's lips to the reader's ears, and eyes again and on and on, via the web.

I am also putting an 856 in the marc record of our OPAC and will be praying for serendipity... (but why not also, add a special Halloween feature of the title on our library's website...)

...even Techdirt picked it up!

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