T is for Training Meme

Our illustrious leader, Maurice Coleman aka baldgeekinmd, challenged the cast of regulars on the podcast T is for Training to answer these 27 questions.  We had to limit our answers to one sentence.  So here are the questions with my answers bolded.

1.) Your One Sentence Bio

Coordinator Software Support and Training for Howard County Library, social web aficionado, budding photographer.

2.) Do you blog? If yes, how did you come up with your blog name?

Yes.  A variation on the name of my blog from Maryland’s 23 Things.

3.) What is your professional background?

Jacquelynn of all trades, mistress of some regarding work in the library (Circ[past], ILL [past], IT and training [current]).

4.) What training do you do? staff? patrons? types of classes?

Yes, yes and technology/social web based classes for both.

5.) What training do you think is most important to libraries right now

Technology based training – anything from social web to word processing to apps for mobile phones.

6.) Where do you get your training?

Pick it up where I can.

7.) How do you keep up?

TisforTraining podcast, Twitter (trainers group), blogs and RSS feeds – especially from the cast of regulars (they rock)!

8.) What do you think are the biggest challenges libraries are facing right now?

Funding and getting the respect they deserve as part of the education process within the community.

9.) What are biggest challenges for trainers?

The students, seriously you can teach almost anything but if the person is resistant….well.

10.) What exciting things are you doing training wise?

Nothing really other than using Jeopardy as a way to access if the class got it – they have fun and so do I.

11.) What do you wish were you doing?

List is too long to put here.

12.) What would you do with a badger?

Release it to the wild or give it to a wildlife sanctuary.

13.) What’s your favorite food?

Food!  Literally I love all kinds and they are my favs (but big on carbs and sweets unfortunately).

14.) If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you want to have with you?

My cell phone because it would keep me connected to the world (assuming that I’d have coverage there).

15.)  Do you know what happens when a grasshopper kicks all the seeds out of a pickle?

Umm, it curls up inside and goes to sleep???

16.) Post it notes or the back of your hand?

Big Post-It note fan here.

17.) Windows or Mac?

LINUX!

18.) Talk about one training moment you’d like to forget?

My Twitter class for the public when within 10 mins of starting 2 people left which rattled me for the rest of the class.

19.) What’s your take on handshakes?

Firm has to be firm because wimpy just doesn’t do.

20.) Global warming: yes or no

Sadly, yes although if you judge by this winter you wouldn’t know it.

21.) How did you get into this line of work?

See blog post for how I got started in library biz – I feel into the role of training and discovered was good at it and people enjoyed/learned from my classes.

22.) Why is the best part of your job?

That I honestly learn something new every day!

23.) Why should someone else follow in your shoes?

Because they love to help people, love that ah-ha moment and love to learn themselves.

24.) Sushi or hamburger?

Sushi, definitely.

25.) LSW or ALA?

LSW without a doubt.

26.) What one person in the world do you want to have lunch with and why?

Hmm, would have to be some of the brains that work at Google because they are innovative and rate a high cool factor ;)

27.) What cell phone do you have and why?

MyTouch 3G (running on open source Android OS) because I love to stay connected and informed.

My fellow T is for Training folks and their answers to the questions:

Nicole Engard – The T is for Training Challenge

Polly-Alida Farrington – The T is for Training Challenge

Bobbi Newman – T is for Training Meme

Alison Miller – A T is for Training Challenge

Maurice Coleman’s Getting to Know All About Me Post

Betha Getsche - I Like Sushi & Libraries

Laura Botts – “C is for Challenge” at “T is for Training”

Heather Braum – T is for Training Challenge Meme

Jill Hurst-Wahl – Me. Coffee. Morning.

Pete Bromberg’s 23 things (minus 3): A getting to know ya post

Stephanie Zimmerman – A Get to Know Me Meme from TIFT

Marianne Lenox – 27 Questions (Supplemental Pictorial Essay)

Paul Signorelli – Paul’s Getting to Know Me Post

Lauren Pressley – 23 Questions with Lauren Pressley

Buffy Hamilton – 27 Questions with Buffy Hamilton

Jay Turner – 20 Questions for Just that Guy

Julie Strange – T is for Training Questionapalooza v 1.1

Angela Paterek – Getting to Know Me

Why Libraries Rock

3835642932_1981254635In order to raise awareness not only of the plight of the Louisville Free Public Library but libraries everywhere I decided to participate in the Blogathon that Andy Woodworth got started.

So why are libraries awesome or rock or kick butt?   All libraries rock because they allow free access to all information (be it print, audio, visual or world wide webable).   We do a lot more than that but since each library focuses on different aspects of their community I thought I’d blog about why MY library rocks!

My library rocks starting at the top and it works it’s way down through every staff member.

  • Our Library Board is very supportive of what we do and sees that our mission & vision stays current and provides our customer base with what they expect.
  • Our Executive Director and CEO has seen that we are not only aligned with  but synonymous with education.  Education is the corner stone of what we do.  We educate all the time – whether it is a story time class, book promotion, or customer service staff helping a customer log into their account.  Each interaction is based in educating, in training.  This is just one of the many initiatives she has implemented since coming to Howard County.
  • Our Public Relations department that produces an outstanding newsletter every quarter that highlights our classes, events, and seminars.  They have created the Howard County Library brand and oversee everything from our flyers, to our signs, to our social web presence making sure  we are consistently presenting the correct image and wording.
  • Our Information Technology department which not only supports over 300 computers (and more coming)  for our public to use (using a Linux operating system which allows us to save our tax payers money while providing a stable, secure environment on which to work) but also the staff desktops (in Linux, Mac and Windows).  We also maintain the web site, catalogs, and databases so our customers may  self-direct their education.
  • Our Children’s & Teen Curriculum – what can I say about all the wonderful classes our children’s services provide?  I’ve been privy to many (taking photos or just walking by) – the amount of energy, time, thought and fun (while learning) that goes into these classes is second to none.  These instructors really have  a calling and put our youngest customers on the path to lifelong learning.  The teen events are no less spectacular.  Making purses from old jeans,  “Hogwarts Summer School” to celebrate the latest Harry Potter movie, Duct Tape flip-flops and gaming nights give our teens a safe environment to socialize, learn and interact.
  • Our Events and Seminars – the learning and fun isn’t just for our children and teens.  Author visits, book club discussions, classes on technology, health, finances or travel and recreation are just some of the great offerings our adult customers can enjoy.
  • Our Passport facility.  Our East Columbia Branch is now an official Passport Acceptance Facility.  Another great service for our customers.  They can use all the wonders of the library while applying for their passports.
  • Community Education and Partnerships.  No library is an island, we are very  much a part of the community.  Our partnerships – Howard County Public School system, Howard Community College, Lincoln Technical Institute, Leadership Howard County, Choose Civility, Horizon Foundation, Howard County Autism Society, Lazarus Foundation – (PCs4Kids), HC DrugFree, Inc., Girl Scouts, Ubuntu Maryland Local Community Team – are just some of the ways we are out in the community interacting, engaging, and educating our customers.
  • Our Collection.   It’s not just the outstanding materials our selectors purchase but the hard working individuals that catalog, process and circulate these materials so that our customers can get what they want when they want it (whether it’s an in house visit or via our web site and catalogs).
  • Our Customer Service.  We pride ourselves on not only meeting but exceeding our customer’s ideas of what good customer service looks like.  This comes in all shapes and forms – from helping someone at our Information or Customer Services desks, to recommended a book/dvd/cd/or event via our blog Highly Recommended, to answering a customer’s concern via email, to talking to a teen who just needs someone to listen – we believe in going that extra step, that extra degree.

There are many more aspects and departments that I didn’t mention.  They too help to give our customers what they want or support our staff so they can give our customer what they need.  We need ALL the parts of this well oiled machine to make our library rock and to rank first in the nation among great public libraries according to Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings 2008.

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Twitter About Friendfeed So Facebook Can Flickr YouTube aka CIL2009 presentation

Now that I’ve had a chance to decompress, find my notes and get some email dealt with I thought I’d post about my presentation at CIL2009.  I had the sincere pleasure of working with not only two talented professionals but two people I now consider good friends – Michael Sauers and Bobbi Newman.   Our presentation dealt with training both staff and customers in regards to the wild, wonderful world of Web 2.0.  More portion of the trilogy dealt with training the customer.

Here are a few links I promised I’d share with people – hope these help you to educate your customers about Web 2.0.

Presentations:

My portion of the presentation

Entire presentation (including Michael and Bobbi’s slides)

My presentation for the public (customers) on Web 2.0 overview

Handouts:

Overview of Web 2.0 class

Photo/video sharing class

Music sharing class

Social Networking class

Community Partnerships – We Are All In This Together

103_0474Building Community Partnerships: 25 ideas in 40 minutes given by Kathy Dempsey, Editor of Marketing Library Services Newsletter. 2nd live blog attempt so pardon the spelling and grammatical errors.

what makes sense for public may not make sense for government, special – pick what will work for your particular library needs

don’t rely on just money alone – trade for inkind services

join local chamber of commerce, lion’s club, make contact – someone who knows you is less likely to slash your budget

partner with grocery stores – story times love it – book drops – open small branches in the grocery store – not an extra trip to go to the library – they need food

annual book sale at local mall – empty stores gave them spaces for the books

mall was happy because it brought more shoppers in

find groups that are in similar situation – other groups – historical society – what you do someone else is doing it – partner instead of compete

are you targeting support staff? assist to dean? when they need info for bosses they come to you and have some influence with those hire up – same with county commissioners – they are looking to do better work for their bosses

trade deals with small business – local flower shop in kind donations – flowers w/publicity – it is small but building a relationship with another person and business

IT experts – they are busy – want to run ideas or bounce off ideas – or maybe trade some services for personal or library’s needs – do work for you exchange research for them

college professors – even if not academic library – assign class projects that are work for the library – need a new logo – or branding campaign, – helps the teachers as well – helps them not give the same thing year after year – gives the student a real world assignment

scout troups – boy/girls – work to do for badges, build bookshelves, garden, physical tasks that could become an assignment for a group like that – takes heat off troup leader to come up with it all

form alliances with video game stores – grab teens, see what you can trade – give kids credit or coupons – for X number of books they read in Summer Reading Game, gives you more street cred, gaming club at schools – partner with the ones already in the schools – helps both you and the other gaming club to not be afraid you are working togethr ( you may have more space – meeting rooms)

trade training with other trainers – in between conferences do something more local – don’t over look your local experts – anyone who has skills that your staff or customers want – trade inkind – don’t be afraid to ask to trade services

meetings with liaisons w/government officials – get to know the staff members – gives you and in for the legislators – they will ask their aide , put a human face on the library a lot of what partnerships are about

AARP need a lot of information – go to trusted sources – become a trusted source – let local AARP to have meetings in libraries – get on their agenda to help promote yourselves, they think of other groups first – get in there and make sure they think of libraries as well

Choose your influencers – your message will get spread easier

have conversation with them – ask them first

Senior Citizen centers ask them for something in return – volunteers, to do storytimes, help other people, do inventory, writing grant applications

Getting involved w/local politics and staff members – as regular citizen join political action groups, even just the city planners, they have a lot to say about your budget – get to know you as a real person not just a building – never under estimate the power of personal relationships

offering research services to government officials – roads, new intersections – if you know what is going on in the community – offer your services for traffic accidents stats for ___ to help you write your plan

Make alliance with everyone in the community – want to join and do something that matters – don’t always have thousands of dollars but even just 10 will help, sponsor trees (like the angel trees at Christmas) – spell it out for them make it easier

birthday party – book plate – donated then story time around that story – got to feel special – for just $10 that would live in the library for the future

Reporters – they need happy stories – ESPECIALLY NOW – local reporters know you are available not just your press releases – need a quick last min. picture – senior at computer, kid happy w/book, it fills space and put some happiness into the news, offer to write columns about what is going on at the library – you can do research for them too (reporter on deadline – fact checking)

causal advisory boards – get buy ins, best way to make programs/classes instead of guessing is talk to them – never any reason to guess – ask them – don’t make it a formal advisory board – drop ins – you want us to do something for you – what is it? what are the best hours, what interests you? then let them go out into the community they (libraries) are here to serve us – feel ownership and personal relationship with you – parent story time adv. board – what time is best? what craft? do you want to be parental advisor for story time – doesn’t have to be staff time let them work with you (may know other parents and draw in others) building advocates and saving money on glue!

SOCIAL NETWORKS – David Lee King’s blog post – who should you friend and why should you friend others than just other libraries – how to friend people on Facebook – don’t just toss it out there – give them a reason to join you – have a reason to have a page

Parents – are partners – not just sit here for an hour after school – tell them what you have and what the library can be to them as a family or to their children – education

tell as many people the most basic things – what you think they already know – they have no idea

building alliances with k-12 – talk to school teachers, what are the kids working on, what are their plans for the fall- what can we do to help them? conversation – more recognition, align w/education – makes a difference. Howard County Library is considered part of the education budget because our Executive Director and CEO Valerie J. Gross firmly believes that what we do is education and just as important as what the schools do. By aligning ourselves with the schools we have a different budget and more respect in the community.

Consultants – reciprocal relationships where you work for each other – they need information

Approach people – don’t ask like your asking for a favor – we are as valuable as any business out there – start with someone you know or comfortable with – if you know someone from other events start there – role play with colleagues to get comfortable – have a starting line in mind – be the human face of the library – spoof official sponsorships everyone has an “official sponsor” these days – talk to people all the time – on trains, in lines – have some documented facts in your back pocket – use the facts that have already been gathered for you – start at the end and build backwards – what do you want the outcome to be.

Ignorance Is Anything But Bliss

My iGoogle home page greeted me with an article on Slashdot that couldn’t be ignored.   When Teachers Are Obstacles to Linux in Education article is based on the Blog of helios.   As I read the blog and comments I just sit there with my jaw open.  But then I got to thinking about it.  This is a sad but true reality.  Most people who use computers for personal use don’t know the first thing about them.   Odd thing is most people have come to expect things like Blue Screen of Death, having to reboot after every update (which come more and more frequently), slow to operate, expensive software options, a native browser that doesn’t properly handle poorly coded web sites, viruses and malware directly written for a specific operating system to exploit it’s weaknesses – why oh, why should this be acceptable?

People just want it to work.  They don’t want to be “burdened” (I prefer to say enlightened) with learning a bit about the machine they so naively trust to be secure.  Problem is accepting the aforementioned “issues” as the norm is reminds me of the quote from “The Matrix”  It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. I hope that Mr. Starks is able to educate not only this teacher but many others as well.   Linux is the definitely the blue pill – take it and free not only your mind but your operating system.


Digg!

I’ve Failed as an Educator

As a trainer and someone who believes in spreading information not disinformation, I still struggle to educate friends, family and co-workers. Educate, how? Educating them in regards to urban legends, BCCing, so called “friend” survey, etc.

Why do people immediately believe anything that appears in their Inbox as 100% gospel truth and take offense when I try pointing them down the path of truth and light? How do you convince someone that addressing an email to everyone in your address book who don’t know each other is not the best practice? Why do people who call you friend insist on “bullying you” into filling out a survey by saying you are the person to least fill it out? Most importantly am I the only person who seems to be bothered by any of this?

I’ve tried over the years each time someone forwards me an urban legend to counter it with the truth usually sending them a URL from Snopes. I will continue but it is definitely discouraging when people continue to fail to learn to question those emails that seem just a little too good to be true.

Email isn’t a new form of communicating by any means, yet I still know people who don’t understand that it is considered poor form to send email to multiple recipients that don’t know each other or have each other’s email addresses. I will continue to try to educate them about viruses and how they go directly to the address book, take an address and then proceed to send the virus email out in the name of that person (who didn’t send it in reality).

Friendship surveys or whatever you want to call them are far from that. You know the ones that ask you questions that although maybe slightly humorous don’t really reveal anything about your friend. They almost always end in a passive/aggressive way “____ is least likely to respond”. *sigh* I’ve tried ignoring them but someone people seem to get offended if I don’t respond.

I feel like a failure. So how do I educate these people? I guess the old saying “you only control 2 things in life – you and your actions” still holds true. I can only do my part and if they believe it, learn from it or not is totally up to them. I just hope they all understand that my attempt at trying to educate them comes from wanting the best for them.

Let My Software Go!

Okay, so I’m not Moses (ala Ten Commandments). But I am proud to announce that the Howard County Library is taking part in Software Freedom Day. What I find heartening is the big name sponsors involved in this movement such as Ubuntu, Google, and Sun Microsystems. I’m proud to say that partners include Free Software Foundation as well One Laptop Per Child.

If you want to be part of the global celebration and education of why transparent and sustainable technologies are now more important than ever – join the Maryland Ubuntu Local Community Team, Howard County Library IT staff members, and others for a day of free software, presentations, and fun.

This fun and educational event will take place at our Miller Branch on Saturday September 20 from 10am until 4pm.

This is also posted at the Howard County Library’s blog “Open Source – Library Life on the Bleeding Edge”

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