Thursday, July 13, 2006


OMG I am exhausted. This week (and it's not over yet) has been so great and encouraging and exciting, but it's sure taken a lot out of me. My mind is going non stop, but my steam is running out.

The SPLAT meeting was great and I'll start blogging on there in the next day or so as well. We'll meet again tomorrow to talk more and hammer some things out. Thank goodness we're starting with coffee, though I'm thankful that at 9am it will be the latest start time we've had so far. The ICFL is really a terrific organization. I love how much time, effort, and money they're putting into the Idaho library community and the future. I've always seen my self as working at a public library, but I'm starting to wonder if I wouldn't love working at a place like the ICFL. I mean, I care so much about what's going on in the great would it be to have a job where you not only got paid to care and work towards the future, but you actually get to implement change?

Anyway, more later. Vegging now.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More fun at the Evolving Library Services for Digital Natives conference

The "Panel of Experts" at the conference was great today. Alane Wilson facilitated and Aaron Schmidt, Sarah Houghton, and Stephen Abram were "The Panel". It was entertaining and validating and worth thinking about. Again, the best part, was that vital info and ideas made it into the hands and brains of the PTB - the people who actually make the changes. I find it very encouraging that the Idaho Commision For Libaries is taking the future of libraries so seriously. It's an interesting contrast with the many librarians I meet who seem to have had their heads in the sand for the last 10-15 years. I mean really, things like IM, blogs, wikis, gaming, etc, should not be striking revelations to librarians. Aren't we supposed to be a profession that values information and wants to get it in the hands of the public? Doesn't that include new information, technologies and ways to serve? Teachers have to keep learning, why don't librarians? Seriously - this stuff should be required.

There was also a panel of 9 Millenials - which meant teens from 12-17. I was a little bothered that non of the older ones (like people my age) were in attendence, but it was still really good. Again, not too many revelations, but still some things to chew on. The thing I found most interesting personally was that most of them think the world will be worse than it is now in 10 years. Like the song says: sad, but true.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I just gotta blog!

Okay, okay, so first things first: I'm not really a librarian. I'm a wannabe. Right now I'm a lowly LA1, but soon I shall be off to grad school to change that. I am however, a very fortunate LA1 who works for a great library that is very much into the professional development of its employees.

That being said, I just got back from listening to Stephen Abram of Stephen's Lighthouse give a really inspiring presentation at the Evolving Library Services for Digital Natives conference. I'm just so jazzed. It was a direct and honest presentation that put a lot of important information in the hands of a lot of people who really needed to hear it. I must say that not much of what he said was new or news to me, but that's okay, I feel very validated in my thoughts, ideas, and readings. I did appreciate his perspective though. I loved how, after talking about differences in Millenials, new technologies, keeping libraries relevant, and how we're not competing with Google, he brought the whole thing back to what it's all really about: the patron; the user's experience and not only our part in that, but our duty (that's my perspective anyway) to focus on creating a good, satisfying one. We are in unique and wonderful positions to impact people's lives - how cool is that.

Just one of the things I'm going to have to chew on when considering the user's experience is leaving children unattended in the Children's Dept. Now, my intial reaction is "Hey! I'm not a babysitter!" but, Abram interjected some very interesting info to make me re-evaluate my position. Big picture, librarians want a smarter, better informed, healthy society. A large portion of that society who are working on becoming more educated to create better lives for themselves and their children are single mothers. Single mothers who perhaps need to leave their kids alone in the Children's Dept. to do the research for the night class they're taking. Now for that mom, leaving her kid and knowing he or she is safe is an incredible service that has real impact on her life. She walks away feeling really good about libraries and is going to support them...her children likely will too. It's not just a matter of inconvienience for us...there are saftey and disciple issues that go into the issue to, but it seems like something that could be worked around, or overcome. much are we really there for the patron? To what lengths do we go to to make the user's experience good? *chews*