Libraries & Transliteracy & Red Shoes

So what exactly do red high heel shoes have to do with transliteracy and libraries?  Well other than they were worn by the lovely Bobbi Newman, Digital Branch Manager of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, who presented with a passion about this subject – well nothing I guess.  But they got your attention!

Bobbi Newman, Buffy Hamilton and Matt Hamliton hoped they got everyone’s attention regarding this very important subject of being literate across platforms, across media (hey, even Lee Rainie Monday’s keynote speaker talked about it).  No longer is the library’s role to make sure people can read but that they can use a computer, digital camera, iPad, mp3 player, cell phone, and much, much more.

More and more people are turning to libraries for help in regards to technology and we as librarians and educators need to be ready for this.

My tweets from this great and important session (unfortunately either the wifi gave up or Twhirl did because when Buffy got up to talk about transliteracy in schools I tried switching to tweeting via my mobile phone – no luck.)

Flickr pics from the session.

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CIL 2010 Ninja Style

It’s that time of year again.  The cherry blossoms are out, the boys of summer are playing again and Computers in Libraries comes to Crystal City, VA.  My favorite conference of year and originally I thought I wouldn’t be able to attend.  Last minute I found out I was able to attend.

This is CIL’s 25th anniversary – so what do you get a conference on it’s silver anniversary?  Well, sorry Jane and Rebecca that I didn’t pick you up something but I got myself a gorgeous silver cuff bracelet right before attending.  But I digress.  I love how some things never change – like Lew Rainie of Pew Research Center’s Internet American Life Project was this morning’s keynote speaker.  Another familiar face was Sarah Houghton-Jan, she  along with Amanda Etches-Johnson and John Blyberg presented a great session on Tips for Fast Tech Project Implementation.  They had a hashtag, #CILninjas and encouraged the audience to tweet while the stream was posted live on a screen in the room.  I loved seeing others notes (and to be honest a bit of narcissism too when I saw my tweets up there) which included notes, retweets (fun to see my retweets show up from friends who weren’t attending or who were in another session) and questions for the panel.

Check out the hashtags for some great tips – I know I’ll be taking a lot of their ninja style back with me to work.

My notes that didn’t make it onto Twitter.

Flickr pics from Ninja talk.

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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

Help Me To Help You

Psychic Spell Breaker
Image by Metrix X via Flickr

Folks seem to have a lot of faith in the IT department. Not only can we fix anything we can do but we do so because we are psychic. Just takes a laying on of hands or a mere mention “it doesn’t work” and we know everything required to solve your issue. There have been numerous jokes, YouTube videos and the like making fun of the “stupid” other person (be it an employee or customer). I don’t like to poke fun at other people’s expense but there is a grain of truth in there somewhere. Let me shed some light on things from the other side. You want help –

You want help – so help me to help you.

Bad example:

Dear IT,

I can’t access _____.

This is the equivalent of saying “I can’t see the blue sky.” There could be many reasons why you can’t see the blue sky. Are your eyes closed? Are you looking up? Is it day time? Is it cloudy? Is something blocking your view?

Good Example:

Dear IT,

I can’t access _____. I tried to do this and then this and when I finally did this I wasn’t able to access ____.

Using the same analogy again. This lets IT know that your eyes are open, you are looking up, it is daytime but alas you are still unable to see the blue sky. This gives us a starting point, a reference. It let’s us know what you did up to the point where you had a problem.

I don’t expect everyone to understand every piece of technology that crosses their path. But I do expect people to tell me more than it just isn’t working. Try helping someone without knowing what they did or where they started. Not every person starts from the same point (e.g. I might type in a URL, someone else might have it already bookmarked and a third might do a Google search to find the URL).

I know folks get frustrated, I do too with technology sometimes (but that is usually due to my expectations – expectations just set you up for disappointment). I want things to work properly as well. But often I’ve found that user error (too fast clicking, not waiting for something to load, using the wrong software to do the job, etc.) gets in the way.

So just breathe, try again and when you still can’t get what you want – document all the steps you took up until the problem occurred. It will help me to help you and hopefully get you back on the road to what you were doing – sooner!

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Mobile Tips, Research and Practices

103_0560Mobile Usability: Tips, Research, & Practices

Jim Hahn, Michael Sauers, Christa Burns

Michael up first

Things people don’t realize what they can do with their mobile phones. Believe it or not everyone doesn’t have a iPhone.

Christa has old fashioned cell phone a lot of users have it – Google SMS – send them a question they will answer back as a text message Google’s web site is wrong – take off the 3 or E

SMS via email – have patrons send you a text message but it goes to your email address – send you ref. question you can answer back – limit to 160 characters (20 more than Twitter),  other companies will send follow up messages so they get more than 160 charc. but depends on cell phone carrier, they texted but you received email.

Michael next – smart phone w/web browser of varying quality, make sure you have unlimited data plan, can text Amazon now – can pull up and confirm if book is cheaper at the store you are in or Amazon and order it if it is,  LibraryThing mobile – if you are in bookstore login and search your own collection to see if you own it, mobile wikipedia – full article reformatted, easy navigation so you don’t have to scroll – can jump, eBuddy – lite messenger – way to IM on smart phone, Google Maps – home screen you can have a Google Search bar – including street view of Google Maps (too cool) – driving public transit or walking views (wow love that), Barcode generators online – outputs jpeg – and you have a copy of your Border’s card, library card (self checkout), grocery, no longer have to worry when they wear out or rub off.

Jim is up – Mobile Informatics  ut oh he interacts with teens we adults scare him (not really).

Dual boot iPods – has Linux on it.  Cool!

What if…

What if?

A new wiki was born out of a presentation given at PLA by Rivkah Sass, Deirdre Routt, Brian Auger, Amy de Groff, Stacey Aldrich. What If Libraries… stems from the presentation Dangerous Ideas What If Libraries… and ask some rather thought provoking and (probably for some) scary questions.

My hats off to those 4 that got us thinking and questioning the status quo. I love it when people question the norm, think for themselves and don’t just “cut the end of the roast off because Grandmother always did it that way”.

Some of my favorite posts have been:

  • What if we required library staff to have technology expertise?
  • What if we dumped the MLS?
  • What if we stopped making excuses and accepted responsibility? (one of my posts)
  • What if we accepted open source software…

So What If… you shared some of your what if’s with me?