Saturday, June 23, 2012

ALA 2012 #alaleftbehind

It seems like every librarian in America is in California right now attending ALA 2012. I am more than jealous and feeling left out! I would love to be a part of all the buzz. I'm especially bummed to miss out on hearing author John Irving speak. He is one of my all time favorites. OK, here is a little confession... "I hate to fly." That does make it a little easier to take, since Ohio to California would have been airplane torture. I've got some other opportunities this year to collaborate with the library cool kids. I am incredibly excited to be a part of the OLC Fall Conference: Widen the Lens. In the meantime, I am following the tweets, which are adding momentum to my already pumped up energy about the future of libraries. Thank you to all my fellow Twitter addicts. Keep up the great tweets!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

User Experience in, 10 years and beyond.

Yesterday I attended a Webinar about the Future of the Library User Experience presented by the Urban Libraries Council. The presenter was Nate Bolt. He had some good insights.

Though his presentation focused mostly on the future of an online experience, the reaction panelists talked a bit about contributions from the public services side, so there was a blend. Interestingly, there was a poll question asked about who is responsible for user experience in an organization. It was difficult to answer with just once choice, because really the user experience is dependent on all facets of the organization working together with a common vision.

Everything I'm reading pretty much matches up with what was presented. The future of experience will be that services are easier to use, easier to share, easier to customize and easier to integrate into other things people are already using. It can take libraries awhile to catch up, but we are getting there.

A few points really stood out:

  • Logic does not equal intuition.

  • This idea is not traditionally part of the thinking of librarians. The entire structure of a library depends on logic. Librarians are thinking, "How do we teach our customers to use the system?," and customers are thinking, "Why isn't someone making this system easier to use?" Nate says that by necessity libraries will need to move away from system and logic and move toward intuitive experience.

    You will know you are doing something innovative when...

  • It has been done before in a more rudimentary way.

  • It upsets people. Anyone heard anything lately about some cheese being moved?

  • It can be hard to get buy-in.

  • Finally, Nate reminded all of us (library or not) that the best way to create a user experience is to observe your users and then act based on their behavior instead of what they are saying or what you are thinking they want.

    That may be a new way of thinking, but I believe it is certainly a good one.

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    Talking about Twitter. Yes...again!

    This blog has been silent. I cite three reasons: the holidays, launching a new IM service at my library, and I have been saying what I needed to say on Twitter. Recently, though, something happened that needs a longer explanation. I am always amazed by the incredible impact of making connections. Here is my Twitter story...

    I had just left an awesome manager's meeting where we celebrated all the success of 2008 and got excited about all the possibility in 2009. I went back to my office and sent out a tweet about the meeting. I instantly received a direct message on Twitter from Faye Thompson that said, "Are you @ CML downtown? There is a tweet-up going on in the 3rd floor Board Room right now - coworking session/collaboration." That was an invite I would not pass up.

    I headed up to the Board Room to meet the nicest people who were part of a group called cbusjelly. What is a Jelly you ask? (Don't worry. I didn't know either.) A Jelly is a co-working group.

    I introduced myself. They asked me about the library projects I had tweeted about. I got to brag on the library, but they didn't need any convincing. This group was well versed in the resources of the library, and they were using them. They all had their laptops and were using the wireless connection. They were reserving books online. They were job searching. They were using the library space to network and collaborate. I was impressed and grateful to connect with other people living and working in my city. The bonus was they were library customers too.

    I knew I had a captive audience. One of my projects for 2009 is to deliver Web 2.0 training. What that means hasn't really been completely defined. I threw it out there. "If you didn't already know how to use these tools, what would you want from the library to help you to learn?" They had great insight about what, how and why. As a project manager, I never want to think I know it all about what a project should be. If I'm not asking my customer, I am missing a valuable piece. Sure, there are formal ways to collect that data, but I have to tell you...this conversation just energized me, because it was a real connection.

    I have continued to connect with more people in Columbus linking from those I have already met and discovering this larger community called Columbus Tech Life. I look forward to attending an event and meeting some of these people in person too. In the meantime, I'm getting to know them on Twitter, making virtual connections and building my network. Now you understand why my recent Facebook status said, "I am basking in the joy of Twitter."

    Friday, December 5, 2008

    Why Twitter?

    I'm finding out not everyone is Twitter convinced.

    I recently heard someone say, "If you have something to say to someone, just pick up a phone." I say, that better be one heck of a conference call. My followers/following only range around the 100 mark, so my reach is still relatively small. Still, every time I send out a tweet, I am potentially sharing information, seeking information or starting a conversation with over 100 people.

    Then, I hear, "I don't have time for that." I say, how can you not make time to stay informed and be involved in the conversation? I have the knowledge and insight of over 100 people being delivered directly to me.

    There are tools that make Twitter easy to use. If you feel like you don't have the time to follow hundreds of people, find 10 that really interest you and start small. I bet it won't take long before you realize that every time you add someone new to your follow list, you have just expanded your circle of influence and the circle that influences you.

    Still not convinced? I was prompted to write this after reading this article. It applies to lawyers using Twitter, but has relevance for others too. Need more? Even this writer, who isn't in love with it, understands the value in using Twitter.

    Why do/don't you Twitter?

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008

    10 Random Things about the Type A Librarian

    1. I have an organization sickness. I just love to organize things. Even my junk drawer has dividers in it. However, like the episode of Friends when Monica's secret closet is discovered, I do have one place where chaos prevails. It is my basement. If you go down there, we may never find you again.
    2. I went to the same school from K-12 (Canal Winchester.) I moved back to my hometown 7 years ago and now my daughter goes to school there. My sister is a teacher there too.
    3. My husband and I both love high school football. Rain, snow, crisp Fall air....No matter the weather, you will find us in the stands under the lights on Friday night. My husband's cousin is a coach for the Mentor, Ohio, Cardinals, so we follow their season too.
    4. I met my husband as a freshman in college. I was dating his roommate, and he was dating mine. We spent so much time talking about what he could do for Becky and what I could do for Chad, that we just dropped them and started dating each other. We have now been together for 20 years.
    5. In high school, college and early married years, I worked at Bob Evans. I have worked at 6 different locations, including the original Bob Evans in Rio Grande, Ohio. And yes, I did serve coffee to Mr. Bob Evans himself and his wife Jewel.
    6. As a teen, my crush was Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains. I recorded every single episode on VHS, and if you look hard enough in that basement, I think I might still have them.
    7. I don't speed. I almost always run my car right at the speed limit or about 5 miles over. Those mini-van moms in the school zone pretty much hate me. It says 20!
    8. My favorite food is chicken. I could eat it every day. It doesn't matter how it is prepared, grilled, fried, bbq'd, roasted, I love it! My family says to me all the time, "Are we having chicken again?"
    9. I can't wait for every November when they start playing the Christmas music. I could listen to it all year long. About the time you are saying, "If I hear Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree one more time, I'm going to strangle someone," I am saying "Play it again!"
    10. I have always wanted to live in a log cabin in the woods, and one day, I will.

    Thing #23-10 things about 23 things

    Learn and Play has been so much fun. I am extremely grateful for the following things about the 23 things:
    1. The support of the organization to create, promote and celebrate this adventure.
    2. The efforts of the Organizational Development and Digitial Services staff. You really made a difference!
    3. The extra time to complete everything. I know I wouldn't have made it without it.
    4. The enthusiasm of so many staff embracing and using these technologies. Before Learn and Play, there were a small group of staff who were talking about 2.0 technology, but so many unconvinced of the value or without the motivation to figure it out. Learn and Play has changed the library culture for the better.
    5. Every single person who said, "I can't," but then figured out "Yes, I can."
    6. The opportunity to allow myself time to try out things I might never have tried.
    7. The knowledge gained that will help me with my projects, my staff's goals and customer needs.
    8. That I am making my final check mark. You know how we Type A's love our lists. Even more, we love completing a list.
    9. Flash drives. (Send it on over!)
    10. Cool prizes. (Pick me, Pick me!)

    Thanks for joining me in the 23 things adventure. I'm looking forward to the next part of the journey.