Tuesday, September 29, 2009

End of September /early October links

Talking about "ownership," Helene Blowers has an interesting post on models of ownership as it relates to technology and devices

Academic library articles seemed to hit me a bit recently:
Jenica Rogers is the library director at SUNY-Potsdam, the alma mater of one of my brothers (and his charming wife). She has written about "who owns the [academic] library."

Involved Academic Library Administrator

Libraries of the future
I am going to link to Stephen Abram, excerpts of an interesting article on blogging in the public sector.

TechEssence has a great post of the Top 10 Things Library Administrators Should Know about Technology

There were two posts about OAI-ster (which I admit to only vaguely understanding). The first talks about OCLC taking over the UM project, the second is a slight (to my mind) clarification.

I read Dorothea Salvo for many reasons, including her cogent thoughts about the role of libraries in saving digital documents. I would characterize a recent post as being about meta-data even though she calls it "Classification."

I found a new blog --- The Banned Librarian -- interesting stuff.

On Twitter, I have been following the author of the blog "Getting Boys to Read." He has a good post about creating a vision for the library.

There have been lots of comments about the Massachusetts private school Cushing Academy and its plan to essentially disband its library. Lisa Gold and Andy from New Jersey's Burlington County Library both have interesting comments. Lisa's are titled "When I look at books..." (which is a quote from the Cushing Headmaster), and Andy's are called "Library Beyond Print."

Official ALA stuff:
PLA's Advocacy Kit is available, here is the note from the PLA blog.

They were called the "Young Turks" group to begin with, but are now Young Librarians. Participate as appropriate.
Food (always an important topic in New Orleans): Fried Chicken and Waffles?

For fun, and distraction.

Last Thursday (my birthday) I got this. (Thanks Megan)

I have written about some of my experiences with the American health care system (and won't link to them here). Karen Schneider has an insightful post about the current debate.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Next Transition -- Deja Vu

Today begins my next transition at work.

I started working at the State Library of Louisiana (SLOL) on December 1. I was hired to be a Library Consultant, and to be the State Data Coordinator (SDC). As the SDC, I got thrown right in to gathering the data for FY 2008 (in Louisiana, that is the same as the calendar year). It was fun! I had the opportunity to deal with every public library in Louisiana. The state data report has now been published.

A little more than a week ago, I was asked to take on some more responsibilities. The SLOL, like many state agencies in Louisiana [and across the country], had some budget challenges in the "new" fiscal year (for state government that is July 1 - June 30), and some positions were not funded and others lost.

One of those was the head of the Reference Department. I was asked to take on those responsibilities, in addition to my current ones of SDC and doing special projects like the Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSCP) for which SLOL is one of the pilot sites.

So, I am back to middle management. Since July 2008, I have not been a supervisor. A part of me really likes that. In a way I am back to the same kind of position that I was in beginning in October 1982, when I became Librarian III at the then Tucson Public Library. I continued as a "middle manager" through my first stint at Bridgeport Public Library (April 1983 - April 1985). After that I was "the boss" until July 2008. (That is a quarter century for those counting.)

I have not worked a public service desk since I left Wilton in December 1994. I have a lot to learn -- again. I have some new staff to work with. And, we have a chance to fill a vacancy soon, so I get to start with someone new, too.

Life is full of changes. You never know what is next. [I also believe in "Never say 'Never!'"]

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Twitter Policies

At work, I received an interesting question "from the field." The question was about whether I could identify any libraries which had "policies" about a library tweeting. So I "tweeted" about it, and posted on my Facebook page. I did not get a lot of response. I did some searching and then sent queries to the two people whose name came up most often (at least on WebJunction): David Lee King and Michael Porter.

Here is one informal answer:
It really depends on the libs goals - do they want to focus on local peeps? Do they want to friend everyone? Etc.

That was from David Lee King (Topeka Kansas PL). He has a blog, and has posted some thoughts which you may find useful:

And in another blog I found this quote:
"With that said, here is my take at a corporate Twitter policy that has the extra added benefit of being itself twitterable: Our Twitter policy: Be professional, kind, discreet, authentic. Represent us well. Remember that you can’t control it once you hit "update."http://www.gruntledemployees.com/gruntled_employees/2009/03/a-tweetable-twitter-policy.html

I found this from a link somewhere, Missouri River Regional Library has a “MySpace Guidelines” but not one for Twitter. In them they say:
  • Friends Friends are subject to approval by the administrator
  • The Library reserves the right to approve or deny friends

Here is a link: http://www.mrrl.org/admin/sections.php?pid=Web%20Guidelines&sec=45

Finally, my friend Michael Porter (MP, Libraryman) who works at OCLC had this insightful thought:
I do though think that it would be wiser for a library to have a larger institutional communication policy rather than a policy specific to an individual tool like Twitter, facebook, freindfeed, etc. Those tools will wax and wane and have shifting levels of cultural relevancy, but a larger, carefully thought out staff communication policy would address the important issues that can come up on any of these tools. Granted it could be wise to have paragraphs, or subsections dealing with peculiarities of an individual tool, but really, I don't think making one for Twitter alone is the way to go.

So, that is a really long answer. I think that what MP suggests (an institutional communication policy like the one suggested on the Gruntled Employees blog) with "Procedures" or "Guidelines" which can be written, would be a good way to go. In my note back to MP, I said: As a Library Director, I always made the distinction that *policy* was adopted by the Board and should be fairly immutable. *Procedures* are about how staff implement the board approved policies…


I found some more info thanks to the Librarian In Black. She pointed to a blog called "Lowrider Librarian" which has some good Twitter tips including:


The organization should have a clear policy that addresses:
  • Appropriate language
  • Appropriateness of links provided
  • Non-political links and tweets
Tweet with the organizational mission in mind at all times

Individual vs. organizational Twitter® usage

The tweeters should understand they are representing the organization and that their personal viewpoints should never override information provided and should never dictate information shared or re-tweeted.

Assessment: How will the ROI be assessed? What will be considered successful? What are your benchmarks and how will you reach them?

Building community

Tweet organizational related material. Retweet information you know your network will appreciate. Do not argue, flame or use derogatory language when tweeting. Stay positive and friendly. Share, share, share. Be yourself and be genuine, but always remember you are a representative of the organization. Again, look for those who your organization can collaborate with and build off one another’s work. Cross—promotional opportunities abound in the world of Twitter® .
Thanks Sarah!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


The Google settlement, from a Brit's perspective.

The CNN story and reactions:
  • This piece does not take our side, but at the same time lashes out at CNN

And Cushing Academy takes a hit:
  • Jessamyn is always one of my favorites, and as always she has some stellar links here
  • Nicholas Brisbanes notes that most likely the library staff were not consulted in an interesting piece
Three other random links:
  1. Five Most Common Mistakes Made by Nonprofit Admins on Facebook
  2. Mindset List for Librarians (parody of the Beloit College list aimed at librarians)
  3. The Gospel of Good Enough from the thoughtful Jason Griffey which talks some more (and has links) to ideas presented at ALA this summer.