Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rettig for ALA President

I have previously noted my endorsement of Jim Rettig for ALA President. I received the test email from the ALA election company, so you know that the ballot blast will be soon. The email said over a 48 hour period beginning on March 15.

I was reading through my aggregated blog feeds and was pleased to find that Michael Stephens has endorsed Jim. He says some great things, including transcribing some of Jim's answer on Library 2.0 and ALA. He has also noted that Jim has been blogging since last summer at The Twilight Librarian.

More will follow.

Google Reader? I think NOT

I've been reading through my Bloglines subscriptions about folks who are in love with Google Reader. I exported my list from Bloglines, and imported it into Google Reader.

Here is where my problem is, and it seems to be the way that Google, and many other web services work, that it assumes that I always want to see the newest item first. Well, maybe I am too concrete-sequential, or anal-retentive, or obsessive-compulsive, but, here is a news flash folks: I don't want to read that way! I want to be able to logically follow a thread and have the OLDEST ITEM FIRST!

To do this in Google Reader, as best I can tell, you have to change the settings for each feed. With the number of feeds I have, that just is not happening.

Bottom line: Google Reader needs to become more Web 2.0 before they will capture me. I'll note that I harbor some resentment over being forced into switching to "new Blogger" and creating a "Google Account" (like I need another account on the web!).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Web 2.0 NOT available from all web services

I wanted to cancel my service with Rhapsody. Among other things I felt snookered by the sign-up process and lack of notice that I was shifting from free to fee. I went to the web site. Could I cancel there? N-O!! The only way to cancel is to call. The email said call time waiting averaged under two minutes. NOT. It was almost 10 minutes before I was connected to a call center (offshore somewhere I am guessing). What a pain.

Do not use Rhapsody if you can help it. Getting out is a pain!!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Words are important

The Library here is part of a shared cataloging system. This week's update included this interesting paragraph on a cataloging issue;

Pigs is a children's heading that we don't use. We use the LC heading Swine, with |vJuvenile fiction (or |vJuvenile literature) after it. All the pigs have been eradicated from the database; please help in keeping them out.

I laughed out loud when I got to the last sentence because I had a mental image of building a fence to keep the pigs out.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Our next ALA President? [Post 200!]

I haven't mentioned much about the ALA Presidential Campaign this year. It is the first time I have been in a position where I felt I could actively campaign for a candidate. For my first seven years on ALA Council I was the Connecticut Chapter Councilor, and I felt that an important part of my role was to promote ALA, and get information from all the candidates to my constituents, the librarians of Connecticut. For the past three years I was on the ALA Executive Board. Since the winner of the election would join me on that body, if I actively campaigned for the person who did not win, I was concerned that might affect the working relationship needed to get the best results for ALA.

This year is different, and I am actively supporting Jim Rettig for President. I will do a later post with more reasons to support Jim, but his post about pending state legislation on Twilight Librarian (his personal blog) demonstrates his thoughtful and articulate nature as well as his willingness to speak up. I believe he will be a truly GREAT ALA President.

In a final personal note, this is the 200th post on this blog. Who would have thought that I would have gotten this far. Thanks to Rochelle and Jessamyn who both helped me get started.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Organizational Wellness Audit - Scary (and is it Library 2.0?)

At the all staff meeting this morning, I introduced Richard Fields who will be conducting a special project for the Library over the next month or so. Dick works for the Eau Claire School District and over the past several years has conducted over 30 "organizational wellness audits" for schools and other organizations.

The audit is a intended to look at the organization's culture, communication and decision-making processes, and learning. It will look at what is working in the organization. Dick has a group of folks who will individually interview each of the library staff as well as Library Board members and some focus groups of the Friends.

In late March there will be another all staff meeting to report what the "auditors" heard from the staff, and after staff have an opportunity to react to what has been heard, I will get a report on what currently works and where there are opportunities to change.

In a way, it is putting my radical trust into play. I am trusting this staff, which I do not know very well, to not only tell the truth about what currently works and doesn't, but to give me the opportunity to change the organization. Not only that, but I know that a number of them (and a number of my Board members) read this blog.

It will be an interesting process, and I am both excited about the possibility and scared about the prospect. I have, over the years, learned that the collective knowledge and vision of a staff is so often correct, that I am willing to trust this group of relative strangers with a great deal of my future with this staff.

A great deal of the conversation about Library 2.0 is about members of the public (we call them "customers" here) having an ability to influence what the library does. I have to believe that empowering staff is a critical part as well. That's why I'm labelling this with "Library 2.0." A part of the reason I took this job is that the staff interview panel not only included a 'Desk Clerk' but also a Library Page. How many Library Directors have been interviewed by a group that included a Library Page? My guess is not many. At the same time, one of my meetings today was with the other public library directors in the county. It was a revelation about the role that this library plays in the County and the region. I have been underestimating that role.

Reports will follow, but probably not for a month or more.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chief Happiness Officer

I love the title of this blog Chief Happiness Officer. I am pretty sure that I previously linked to a post about why the customer is always right is sometimes wrong. (Actually, he contends, always wrong for staff morale).

Monday, February 12, 2007

March of the Librarians

Larry Romans posted this link on the ALA Council electronic discussion list. It took a while to load, but it is wonderful! Enjoy!!

For those not familiar, if you click on the arrow, it will start downloading and playing. If you click elsewhere, it will take you to the original YouTube web site where I snagged this.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Superbowl Ad

I did not pay close attention this year. However, one ad has raised a fair amount of discussion in my family. My niece Amanda linked to it from her Myspace account. Her father committed suicide two years ago January. My sister Meg has become active with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention which is asking GM to pull the ad. Please help.

Some of you may remember my absence for a day at Midwinter in Boston. That was when I went to the funeral.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Blurbing a New Book

I was recently asked to write a blurb for Library 2.0: A Guide to Participatory Library Service by Michael Casey and Laura Savastinuk. It will be published by Information Today in April.

The copy I received as a "reader's copy" was real, honest-to-God proof pages. They were not bound as I was used to from the copies which used to come to the various libraries I have worked at, but a loose batch of pages. I worked my way through the book, but it was more difficult to deal with than I expected for a more than 100 page document.

I hope the book does well, and am incredibly flattered that I was asked to write something for the cover.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Snow and Cold

Today it warmed up! Yes, it warmed up enough to snow (again). As I walked from my car to the Y to swim, the snow squeaked under foot. As I left, the tires also squeaked as I turned the wheel. It reminded me of the book Smilla's Sense of Snow written by Peter Hoeg. The book is set in Denmark and Greenland. In it Smilla notes that the Inuit of Greenland have something like seventeen different words for the different kinds of snow. Today I really believed it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Famous for a Day

Saturday morning's Leader-Telegram (the Eau Claire daily paper) includes a story about me and the Library's new "Big Penny Campaign."

It is slightly scary to pick up the paper and see a color photo of yourself on the front page! On the other hand, it is good for the Library.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Cold (redux)

It is cold.....the front page of yesterday's local paper noted that several events have been cancelled because of the severe cold. The predicted high temp here today is -2! When I got up this morning it was -5, and in the past hour and a half, it has dropped 2 degrees (according to the Weather Channel) and the web version has the temp two degrees colder!

I haven't been out yet, but soon I will begin my errands. It is Saturday, and there are certain things which take time and have to be done.