Friday, October 24, 2008

Genius use of Flickr at Cambridge Libraries

Check out this awesome use of flickr by Cambridge Libraries in Ontario. Each book in the photo has been annotated with a link to the item in their catalog! Imagine, any library could do this to showcase their new arrivals, special program displays, etc. Highlighting this on the library's website would be a great way to advertise and build community. The library could encourage patrons to comment on the photo and become contacts in flickr. Genius, genius, genius! I am continuously amazed by the creativity of librarians!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AARP Goes Viral Video

Web2.0 marketing techniques are really booming these days. Check out AARP's Viral Video campaign that is storming the Internet right now encouraging all of us to vote on 11/4/08. Go ahead, give it a try... (Don't let the entry shot scare you away, this is definitely rated G)

AARP 08 Video
Enter your name to see who can bring real change to Washington.
First Name:
Last Name:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

JOCO Library Staff Day Video

What an impressive Staff Day Video from Johnson County Library in Overland Park KS. This must be a great place to work! Congratulations on great strategic plans and wonderful video editing :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Middleburgh Library is so 2.0

I love seeing libraries use the full potential of Web2.0. Middleburgh Library in New York is a prime example. They are using a Blogger blog as their home page. They used slide to create a virtual tour and they have created a New Books widget using AdaptiveBlue's Widget Gallery. They created a site using Google Pages (looks like you have to use Google Sites from now on) for their Online Research and other links on the top right of their site. Their Teen Lounge and Kid's Corner links are separate blogs with styles for those audiences. Each of those blogs have tons of cool Web2.0-ey stuff. Their Instant Help link brings you to a Meebo widget for live chatting - love it! I bet they have spent very little to no money on all of this. It's visually so appealing and easy to navigate. What a shining example!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How did I end up in libraryland?

That is a good question! Lori Reed tagged me for the "how I became a librarian" meme. It started from superstarchivist's friendfeed comment-turned-meme.

The first thing you need to know... I am NOT a librarian. I am a technology trainer who works for a Library System as their Training Coordinator. However, after doing this for almost 5 years, I find I really am developing a passion for libraries and librarians. I was tossing around the idea of an MLIS, but then I started having kids (working on the 2nd one right now - 16 weeks in...), so that plan is on hold right now. Plus, I still can't decide between an MLIS or a Masters in Training & Development.

Here's the strange trip I've taken to land here:

I grew up in a small western Pennsylvania town called, Indiana. From about the age of 6, my goal was to become the next Jacques Cousteau - the amazing marine biologist. Of course, I would be Jacqueline Cousteau. So, all throughout school, I took as many science and math courses as I could and did quite well. I even had the opportunity between my Jr and Sr year of high school to go on a Marine Biology Quest. I won a scholarship to go to Andros Island in the Bahamas (no, it's not Nassau or Grand Bahama, this is an island with NO touristy extras and hotels, but some cabins and research facilities and the bare minimums of comfort). There I got to explore the world's third largest barrier reef and see in person all of the beauty I yearned to see for years from books and TV shows.

Not growing up with a lot of money, I chose a great state school here in Pennsylvania; Millersville University. They have a very good Marine Biology program. So at 18 I traveled all the way across the state to beautiful Lancaster County to begin my quest to become a great scientist. Unfortunately, college science and math are a LOT HARDER than high school science and math and I found that I could not do well in those classes and party at the same time. Go figure. Being young and naive, instead of putting a stop to partying and buckling down, I decided I wasn't smart enough to be a marine biologist and was left to ponder what the heck I was going to be now! My only other love was Spanish and I in no way wanted to be a teacher (isn't THAT ironic). Someone told me that there is a big need for bilingual Social Workers. Ahhh, save the world and become a Social Worker, sounds like a plan.

So I graduated in May of 1991 with a BA in Social Work and Spanish. I really enjoyed my Social Work classes and learned so much from the major. I worked as an SSI Claims Representative for the Social Security Administration until the end of 1998. I found I was pushing beaurocratic papers more than doing true Social Work here, but come on, it was a Federal Government job - great salary, great benefits, how could I possibly leave. To this day I have still not matched the salary I had there when I left. The great part about this job is that here I was, this young college kid and hardly any of the people I worked with had ever used a PC. It was here that I found a love for all things software. I had used computers just a bit in college to write papers, but nothing more than that. I used their computer labs, never had my own computer. When I started my job with SSA, we used terminal computers connected to a Main Frame - you know, the black screens with the green letters. We had 2 PCs in the whole office with Windows 3.something or other. About a year after I started, we moved to a LAN/WAN environment and everyone was shocked by the huge change. I had a knack of picking up software rather quickly and became the go-to person when people had questions or needed help. When the paper forms became incorporated into a software program, I was sent away to be trained and bring that training back to the staff in my office. Well, that did it! After that first time teaching software to my coworkers, I knew that's what I wanted to do as a career.

So, I enrolled in the Computer Information Systems Associate Degree program at Harrisburg Area Community College while still at SSA. I always say I went to school backwards; got the BA, then went for an Associates. I decided at the end of 1998 to take a grass-roots Social Work job just to be sure I didn't fit in that field while at HACC. I worked about a year for a wonderful agency, Tabor Community Services, as an In-Home Intensive Program Counselor helping the homeless to learn how to get a job, establish a residence, and learn to use a budget. I realized I was not cut out to be a Social Worker during that year.

At the end of 1999, I was still at HACC, and was hired by Lancaster County Domestic Relations as their Assistant Systems Administrator. My job was to create training manuals and train all of the new staff when they started and all staff on any changes to the software used. I really enjoyed the work, but felt it was time to leave government work by the end of that year. I also got married in October of 1999 :-) to my wonderful husband, Bill.

Thanks to, I got a job with Spectra Marketing in January of 2000. Here I trained retailers and manufacturers across the country in the consumer packaged goods industry to use geodemographic marketing software. I truly enjoyed this job and got to see so much of the country. But my husband and I bought our first home in April of 2003 and by the end of the year, I didn't want to be flying and away so much.

In December of 2003, I saw an add for a Training Coordinator at LSLC. Sounded interesting, but I was hesitant as I had no background in libraries. I knew immediately during the interview that I had found a gem of a job. Here was the joining of all of my skills. I'm still at social worker at heart, I want to help people. But private industry just wasn't a fit for me. I was back in the non-profit world and found a true love for libraries. Luckily, I was hired in January of 2004.

As soon as I started this job, I began delving into the world of the Social Web. Here I was, a trainer with no library background, being told to create a training program for all of the staff and volunteers of the member libraries and the system employees. There were no other local trainers to go to for help, I was the sole trainer working within the IT department of the system. First, I had to learn Millennium (the ILS) inside and out. I joined the Innovative Users Group and began begging and borrowing all I could through people I met on the listserv. Then, I found WebJunction through a Google search. What a gold mine! I started following people through their blogs, then learned how to subscribe through RSS, and well, the rest is history. All along the way I have shared whatever I have developed, because so many have and continue to share with me. That is the beauty of Web2.0 - SHARING!

My husband and I received a most wonderful gift on 1/5/07 with the birth of our daughter, Xia. We were told we could not have children, so this has been quite the turn of events. Thank goodness I work for libraries and have access to so much information. How fortunate that it would happen after we bought the house and I stopped traveling. That's what I call providence. We found out this summer that Xia will be having a sibling around 3/30/09. Wow, two miracles; what do doctors know?

So, that's my LONG story. If you're still reading, bless you. I think my story proves that you should NEVER settle for a job you are not completely happy with. I just kept job hopping until I landed here and I LOVE my job. I really enjoy working with librarians and bringing them further along their careers with technology is quite the rewarding experience.

As for tagging others in this meme, by now, most of the people I follow have been already tagged. However, I did some workshops recently and there are now a bunch of new blogging librarians in my state. So, I tag... lubrarian, Sharon, Kelley, Jan and Beth.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Guide to Online Video for Nonprofit Professionals

See3 does a nice job of explaining how nonprofits can use online video in their Guide to Online Video. Their description: " This 7-part introduction is designed to get you thinking about online video, and to get you started on the path toward becoming a more web-centric organization." It's worth the watch. You can start by watching episode one:

1. The World We Live In from See3 Communications on Vimeo.