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Get Connected Strategic Planning Webinar with Pat Wagner

Posted in Learn Something, PA Projects, Region, Technology, Trustees on July 28, 2013 by Carrie
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Event Date: August 14, 2013

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Register for a lunchtime webinar about Strategic Planning on August 14.

Download a flyer:  Capital Region Trustee Workshop Series_Flyer

Capital Region Workshop Registration: Meeting of the Minds: Get Connected!

Register today at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/capitalregion2013

This workshop is a series of events. Library trustees and library management staff may attend all or any you choose.

There is no charge for these workshops.

1.       Webinar 1: Ethics Wednesday, July 10, 2013 formal content from noon – 1:00p.m. (login at 11:00a.m. to learn tools of online webinars)

2.       Webinar 2: Strategic Planning Wednesday, August 14, 2013 formal content from noon – 1:00p.m. (login at 11:00a.m. to learn the tools of online webinars)

3.       Culminating Event: Meeting of the Minds Summit Friday, September 13, 2013 Registration in-person begins at 9:00a.m., Deputy Secretary/State Librarian Stacey Aldrich will make a presentation and host Q & A session from 9:30a.m.-10:30a.m. Pat Wagner will deliver a final webinar and Capital Region Consultants will facilitate networking and discussion from 10:30-12:30.

Where: You can attend the lunchtime sessions from virtually anywhere there is a computer with internet and sound. The September 13 event Summit will be at Hershey Public Library 701 Cocoa Ave in Hershey.

Who Should Attend: Trustees, Library Directors, and interested staff from PA public libraries are invited!

The Strategic Planning session is designed especially for library trustees, directors and interested staff to:

Learn the steps in creating a simple community-centered strategic plan.

-Identify 3-5 big goals based on community needs.

-Understand how to evaluate results of goals and really use your strategic plan.

-Choose and complete a follow-up exercise to apply what you have learned.

The Summit is designed especially for library directors and lead development staff to:

Get a chance to meet and hear from Stacey Aldrich, PA’s State Librarian.

-Learn from each other and the exercises that were completed from the first two webinars.

-Network with other trustees and staff.

Who is the Presenter? Pat Wagner

Pat Wagner Pat Wagner is a nationally known library consultant and trainer, working with all kinds of libraries since 1978. She has been visiting Pennsylvania since 2002, on behalf of Palinet, PALA, the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, numerous PA libraries, and state and national library groups. She presents and consults on library and public sector ethical topics, including material challenges, filtering, collection development, personnel, customer service, development and enforcement of policies and by-laws, governance, and conducting public meetings regarding volatile issues.

Who Should Attend? Library Trustees, Library Directors, interested staff.

Notes on Registration:

-Register ASAP. Registration is limited to the first 100 people to respond.

-Cost: Workshop is FREE . (This workshop is brought at no direct cost to you. This program is supported by the Institute of Musueum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.)

-Workshop will provide CE credits for trustees and staff who complete the exercises.

Note: After this series of workshops, more online trainings using Adobe Connect will also be offered.  Get connected with library success for your community!

ILL Training Videos for staff

Posted in Resources - District Loans, Services - Interlibrary Loan, Technology on February 15, 2012 by Carrie
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Check out these tutorials created especially for Cumberland County Library System staff members who use the Capital Area Library District Interlibrary Loan Resource Sharing Online Application to send requests to June.

1_ILL Training – Public Interface

2_ILL Training – Daily Tasks – The Queue

Below you will see some videos to show the new application:  (Try not to laugh!)

Demo of Login, Explanation of Queue, and the Elements of a Request (How to change a Status): ILLDemoVideo1

Searching and Account password change demo video: ILLTrainingPart2

How to Submit a Request demo video: SubmittingARequestforanItem

ILL Admin Overview:  What are all those menus?  ILLAdminOverview

For ILLAdmin: Settings menu explanation:  SettingsforILLAdmins

Training Videos for Perry County Staff Doing ILL:


Is your library ready for an ebook holiday?

Posted in Resources - Online Resources, Technology on December 20, 2011 by Carrie
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The libraries in the Capital Area Library District all have access to a huge and constantly growing collection of ebook resources that are licensed for customers to use on the OverDrive platform that our libraries share.

Be prepared to serve your customers with these ideas:

  • Encourage staff to visit OverDrive’s Online Learning Center for the latest training on your digital collection. Suggested courses for assisting patrons include Just the Basics, OverDrive Mobile and the Kindle Demo. Staff can view the recorded sessions anytime, anywhere.
  • Take a look at the latest list of compatible devices and formats in the Device Resource Center.
  • Print the eBook How-to Guide and Kindle Book How-to Guide to have on hand at the reference and circulation desks for staff to use as a resource when assisting patrons and/or distribute to interested patrons. 
  • Online Marketing Kit: Take advantage of the many resources available in the Online Marketing Kit to get the word out to patrons that the library offers eBooks and digital audiobooks for their new devices.

Our district began this collection in November of 2008 with downloadable audiobooks only.  We added ebooks in November 2010.  Here are some Fast Facts about our service: 

  • There are currently over 4,000 titles in the collection.
  • Since inception through the end of Nov. 2011, the libraries have spent $114,675.03 on content. 
  • Number of copies by general format:    Audiobook: 1,463;  eBook: 2,510; HarperCollins ebooks with limited license:  81  Maximum access Disney Collection:  780 
  • Checkouts: 47,617 Since inception (Current: 1,460)  This breaks down into audiobook: 25,819 (Current: 381); eBook: 21,798 (Current: 1,079)
  • Unique Library Patrons Checking Out Titles: 5,713 Overall (Current on Dec. 20: 873 Patrons)

What about Disney Digital Books?  For the twelve months, through Dec. 12, 2012, your library customers will have licensed access to an always available/simultaneous access collection of Disney Books.  Download, print, and share this flyer  (PSDisneyFlyer-Design) with parents, teachers, and child-caregivers who have a computer with internet.  Try Disney books with a magic pen that will read stories aloud or let kids have great interactive learning activities in Disney Online Books.

Notes from the Digital Shift Tech Summit

Posted in Technology on December 13, 2011 by Carrie
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Here are just a few notes and observations from attendees at the district shared continuing education virtual workshop: Virtual Technology Summit, Power to the Patrons: From Systems to Services:

*QR Codes – let’s start incorporating them in all of our signage if there is an associated web site.

*Game-based learning, augmented reality and gesture-based computing are all things that we need to start considering (I’m guessing most of us couldn’t even define these terms)

*BookMyne – is there any reason DCLS and CCLS aren’t using these now? We need to get on the app bandwagon if it’s really as free and easy as they say!

*Clearly a lot of libraries are taking the initiative to move forward with technology…the rest of us have to get on board. Now. Before we no longer have the opportunity to.

* If they can do it, we can do it.

* There is something small out there for every library. Find the thing you think you can implement most easily, and start with that. Go from there.

*There are a lot of valuable ways to use QR codes; try implementing them in the stacks!

*It might be possible to create our own apps; one presenter did only with a book, after taking a course in app creation.

*eBooks are likely to become more powerful players in the market–we should be trying to find ways to make Overdrive more user-friendly.

*Print on Demand may be a collection development tool worth considering.

*Boopsie was used to develop a mobile app that can be used to check out materials at the shelf.

*It is not information overload, its filter failure.

*I’m going to really give another push for self-checkout which is something we’ve been trying to convince our library we should do, but has been resisted like we were asking staff to sell their first born children.

*While I thought the seminar was informative, it was hardly discussing “new” technology initiatives. This is stuff we’ve been hearing about over and over at every conference we go to. I sort of thought we’d be getting a look at something more cutting edge, but it’s basically the same technologies we’ve been hearing about for years. Just a thought.

Virtual Technology Summit, Power to the Patrons: From Systems to Services

Posted in Events - Training, Technology on October 27, 2011 by Carrie
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Event Date: December 08, 2011

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Technology minded staff and customer service driven ideas will collide.  Plan to attend this virtual conference with us on Thursday, December 8 from 10-6.  Plan to drop in to view and discuss technology ideas in this exciting online conference: Virtual Technology Summit, Power to the Patrons: From Systems to Services.

The Capital Area Library District purchased a site license so librarians from our area can gather in one room to learn and discuss during a virtual conference.  Here’s the registration link:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TechSummitPowertoPatron

What: Virtual Tech Summit: Power to the Patron, From Systems to Services: Library Journal presents our first virtual technology summit, Power to the Patron: From Systems to Services. This full-day event will examine the technologies that empower users on the front end (what they see) and the behind-the-scenes systems that make such self-service and digital delivery possible. The day will offer a keynote presentation and panels covering what people are using, what they want, and how the self-service option helps people discover their place in the library or simplifies the library/user connection.

When: Thursday Dec. 8, 10am – 6pm EDT. The room will be open at 10a.m. for orientation, setup and local discussion. 11a.m. is the first official “presentation” of the day. Breaks occur throughout the day and discussions will be held before and after speakers/presenters. Feel free to drop in for any part you can attend that interests you for the future of your library. Here’s the program: http://www.thedigitalshift.com/events/tech-summit/program/

Where: Kline Library (in Harrisburg, PA) Need directions: Click here

Who Should Attend: If you work for a library and are interested in learning about how system technologies interact with customer needs, you can attend. The speakers are well known professionals with lots of good information and we’ll have some great local discussions. Feel free to invite someone else in your professional network of librarians to tag along with you too.

Why?: The program is full of exciting content and ideas for the future of technology used by customers in libraries of all types. Find your digital inspiration!

How much does it cost?: This virtual conference event is FREE for staff and invited guests of the Capital Area Library District. The district purchased a site license so we can fill the room. We’ll be watching it together as a group and can discuss things during breaks.

Will I get CE Credits?: Attendees can report 5 hours of CE credits for attending this day. If you can’t attend the whole day, feel free to drop by the classroom at any time to join the discussion. You’ll get CE credits for active time spent in class.

Will you feed me?: Brown Bags are encouraged; bring your own lunch or choose to bring a snack to share. At KL, there is a very small place to keep foods refrigerated for the day as needed.

For more information and to register today: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TechSummitPowertoPatron

eBook thoughts from the online conference

Posted in Resources - Online Resources, Technology, Trendspotting on October 14, 2011 by Carrie
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Soon, we’ll share links to view the archives of the recent online Ebooks conference presentations with those in our district who are interested. The group enjoyed thinking about the situation and had some good conversations too.

For now, if you missed the event and still want some knowledge, read a few of these articles.

Here are the first two responses to the evaluation from our group that had a site license:
-”Folks will come to us” no longer true. We need to go to them physically and digitally. Ebook mobile lab went into stores and restaurants to show people how to download e-books. Librarians of the future will not be curators of content but Content Collaborators.

-1. As public libraries, I think we must answer the question, “What experiences can we offer to eBook users who routinely buy books and don’t use libraries?” And do something about it, FAST! 2. We’re in a “Catch 22″ situation, we need to increase eBook use to justify the expense of selection, but we can’t increase use unless we have the books that potential customers want. Even if we implemented a “whiz-bang” promotional campaign for loaning eBooks, the result is likely to be potential patrons turned off by lack of availability of titles they want; immediately. Immediate gratification is one of the best features of eBooks. 3. The Digital Public Library of America to me seems to be a watershed concept. It feels like the early days of cooperative cataloging and OCLC, which was the start of a world of change for libraries brought on by technology. I think libraries are in a similar place with eBooks and DPLA could fill the role OCLC did in the last revolution.

We’ll continue to post more evaluation feedback. Please share your thoughts about eBooks too.

Learn to use LibGuides: 2 day workshop

Posted in Events, Events - Training, Resources - Online Resources, Technology on October 05, 2011 by Carrie
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Event Date: October 25, 2011

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This workshop is for school and public librarians. The LibGuides tool is a great way to organize library information – especially in the area of reference. It will likely be offered again in the spring. Access to software is available until September 2012 (unless PDE extends the contract.) If you would like to register for the Digital Collection Development workshop, please click on the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OctDigitalCollectionDev

This PDE/Commonwealth Libraries Professional Development Workshop will apply traditional collection development methodologies to the “curation” – selection, organization, and professional presentation – of digital content, services, and tools.

Designed for school and public librarians who work with children and teens, this workshop will focus on the application of LibGuides <http://palibraries.libguides.com/civilwar>, a media-rich, easy-to-use platform that can become your virtual library “parking lot” to present web resources, both content and tools.

Specifically, participants will learn to:

* Embrace an expanded concept of “collection” to include digital content and tools,
* Apply collection development strategies to digital resources,
* Recognize the library user as selector, collaborator, and information producer,
* Learn to use some basic types of digital tools appropriate for K-12 students,
* Create a digital guide or pathfinder with LibGuides, selecting traditional resources and digital content and web-based tools.

All trained workshop participants will receive one-year free access to LibGuides, a commercial, licensed web product, paid by PDE. Resources for this workshop—Powerpoint, handouts, and online resources—will be made available online via WebJunction. Workshop participants will be expected to download all materials from WebJunction and may need to bring a laptop with wireless access to the training in order to create a LibGuides electronic pathfinder.

Please join us at the Central Dauphin High School Library (437 Piketown Road, Harrisburg) on October 25 and 26 from 4:30pm – 7:30pm each evening. PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE FROM OUR INITIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. Feel free to pack your dinner and eat while we meet!

Trainers Carolyn Blatchley and Brenda Blackburn-Foster will teach you to use LibGuides, and you will obtain free access for your school or public library through September 2012. The workshop is designed for six hours of instruction and practice over two consecutive evenings.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries, within the Pennsylvania Department of Education, will award 6 hours of Act 48 credit to those who complete the workshop, and it will count as Continuing Education for public librarians. Participants must complete a workshop evaluation to obtain credit.

Overdrive goes live with Kindle books

Posted in Learn Something, Resources - Online Resources, Services - Reference, Technology, Trendspotting on September 23, 2011 by Carrie
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The Amazon digital connection to Overdrive is active for the Capital Area Library District Digital Media Collection.

There will be lots of information to read and understand to know the full implications of these changes. This page can be used to share local information with staff who can pass it along to customers.

Here’s a re-post of an email I received and shared with a local mailing list:

Overdrive’s Kindle connections are soon to be true for our library as well. I’ll let you know when our site and items are Kindle compatible, but no firm date has been announced yet so I don’t advise sharing it widely with customers at this time. I’ll send more information when our site is scheduled to go-live with Kindle. I’ve sent questions to our Product Support representative about when this will take place. The message below indicates within a week. Relying on Overdrive’s documentation to change before we update any local information is key. The transfer to Kindle seems to be another slightly different process that also involves the customer using their Amazon ID.

To: OverDrive Library & School Partners in the U.S.
From: Steve Potash, OverDrive CEO
Re: Launch of Kindle® Compatibility and OverDrive WIN Initiatives
Date: September 21, 2011
Dear Library Partner,
I am very pleased to announce that, as promised, Amazon Kindle® compatibility with your library’s eBook collection is here. Kindle compatibility is part of the OverDrive WIN initiative, a series of platform enhancements for your library’s Virtual Branch website. These new features are updates to your OverDrive service at no additional cost.

Team OverDrive has been hard at work with technicians at Amazon to make Kindle compatibility a valuable extension of your eBook lending service. This update allows most existing OverDrive eBooks to be read on all Kindle devices or by using free Kindle apps on iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, and other mobile devices. At launch, there will be a small number of PDF titles that are not yet available for Kindle. OverDrive and Amazon are working to reduce this number to achieve greater coverage.

Kindle Launch Plan
OverDrive will be quickly updating all U.S. public and school library partner websites to support Kindle compatibility. Many of you reading this may already have Kindle Books available for lending. We will complete this update to all our U.S. public & school library partner websites within one week.

To reflect these changes, OverDrive will update sections of your library’s Virtual Branch website including the My Help wizard, Help pages, and FAQs with new information about Kindle compatibility. Your users browsing the site will see a message that Kindle is either “Now Available” or will be “Coming Soon.”

User Experience for Kindle Book Users
All browsing, searching, and checkout of eBook titles will remain the same at your library’s Virtual Branch website. When a user checks out a Kindle Book, a “Get for Kindle” link will be presented that opens a new window (or tab) at Amazon prompting the user to login to their Amazon account. Fulfillment will occur at Amazon’s website so your user will need an Amazon account to access the library eBook in the Kindle format. No purchase or credit card is required to create an Amazon Kindle account; users only need to provide an email address.

Once signed in, the user will select which Kindle device or free Kindle app they want to deliver the title to for reading. At launch, browse, check out, and fulfillment of Kindle Books from your library can be completed from web browsers on PC and Mac, iPad, and numerous other tablet devices.

Kindle users will enjoy Whispersync technology that synchronizes notes, highlights, and last page read on the Kindle device and free Kindle apps. As with other titles from your digital collection, the eBook will expire at the end of the lending period.

Your library, with the help of OverDrive, will continue to provide technical support for most aspects of eBook lending. Once a Kindle user is directed to Amazon’s website, Amazon will provide technical support for Kindle Book related issues.

Simplified Title Display and Expanded Format Availability

For eBook collection development, in Content Reserve your selectors will now only need to purchase “eBooks”, rather than choose specific eBook formats such as EPUB, PDF, or Kindle Book. Each eBook unit selected will provide your users or students access to all available eBook formats for that title. For example, if your library purchases one eBook unit of The Help, it will be available for borrowing with Kindle, for use on PC or Mac, Smartphones, Sony® Reader, Barnes & Noble® Nook™, etc.

On your library’s Virtual Branch website, all units of eBook titles that your library has purchased in PDF or EPUB will be aggregated into a single total number of copies now including support for Kindle. For example, if your library has three total copies of The Help in any eBook format, The Help will show three copies, available for use with Kindle and all devices that support EPUB or PDF. Your user will choose the format compatible with their eReader or device.

If your library has MARC records for EPUB, PDF, or Mobipocket eBooks in your OPAC, please update the records to simply reference the eBook format.

Streamlining the eBook Experience – Eliminating Mobipocket eBooks
As part of our ongoing initiative to streamline the user experience, OverDrive has ended support for the Mobipocket eBook format which means that this format is no longer available for selection in Content Reserve. For libraries with Mobipocket eBook collections, OverDrive will replace any copies with a corresponding number of units for use with Kindle or other supported reading devices. There will be a very small number of titles that we are unable to replace with other formats. For those libraries affected, we will contact you separately with a report of these titles and issue a full content credit for amounts paid for those titles.

If your library hosts a Customer Support form, references to Mobipocket eBooks should be removed and “Kindle Book” should be added once available at your library’s Virtual Branch website.

OverDrive WIN Enhancements Coming Later This Year
Following the launch of Kindle compatibility, OverDrive will continue adding platform enhancements to streamline the user experience. We are very excited about a new navigation feature called “OverDrive GPS™” (Guided Product Selector). OverDrive GPS will be a user-friendly addition to your library’s Virtual Branch website that simplifies the product selection process by prompting users to ask what they are looking for (e.g., Read eBooks or Listen to Audiobooks) and how they want to use it (e.g., Kindle or iPod®).

Once the user’s GPS is set, all browsing and search activities will display only titles that match their settings. For example, for users who want to “Read an eBook” on “Kindle,” their Virtual Branch experience will display only eBooks that can be read on a Kindle device or with a free Kindle app. It will work the same for those who set GPS to “Listen to an audiobook” on their “iPod.”

There will be no action required by your library to take advantage of the OverDrive GPS feature. It will be added to your library’s Virtual Branch website at no additional cost. To accomplish this and other user-friendly features, OverDrive will streamline portions of your website’s pages with popular shelf carousels for Recently Added, New Releases, Most Popular, and Recently Returned collections. We will similarly provide optimized browsing features for your music, video, and “Always Available” collections for those libraries that offer these materials from OverDrive.

Team OverDrive will continue to update you regularly regarding this next wave of updates as part of WIN. Look for information about these changes, as well as new content and access models, to help make your digital collection the first stop for online readers.

Preparing for the Increased Demand in eBooks – Next Steps for Your Library

OverDrive is committed to streamlining user and staff experiences and continually enhancing the value of our partnership. We expect Kindle compatibility with your library’s eBooks will be a very positive experience. To assist you in promoting Kindle compatibility to your communities and schools, please visit the Kindle Book Compatibility Marketing Kit with print-ready promotional materials, a web graphic, and a press release.

If you have any questions, please follow OverDrive’s Digital Library Blog, Facebook, and Twitter for the most up-to-date information, or contact your library’s OverDrive Account Specialist.

We look forward to continuing this eBook journey with you!


Steve Potash
OverDrive CEO & President

Additional resources:
Amazon’s “Borrow Kindle Books from Your Local Library”

Managing eBook Demand Checklist

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Additional resources:
Amazon’s “Borrow Kindle Books from Your Local Library”

New technology for Perry County library customers is coming soon…

Posted in Carrie's Musings, Press, Services - Consulting, Technology, Trendspotting on September 11, 2011 by Carrie
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I can hardly contain the excitement.  It’s been a busy time with technology lately.  We’re excited to announce that the four libraries in Perry County are working together to share information resources with the whole community via technology.

Perry County is about to break new ground and offer an open source OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) to their customers:

  • Hosted installation of koha, an online catalog with great features that allows customers to request items for pickup at any Perry County Library and allows Perry County residents access to authenticate direct into more online resources like ebooks and downloadable audio easily.
  • Simple to update WordPress website interface for all libraries to update

Note, the sites above are still in testing and draft stages but will be releasing to the public after complettion in October.

In other technology news: The district is in the process of moving the Capital Area Library District Interlibrary Loan Online Application and the district website to new hosted servers.  The district website is an easy place to learn about what’s happening in other district libraries.   We share news and events on the front page.

Stay tuned for more updates on the new Perry County technology project that is releasing for use by the public on October 3, 2011.

Thanks to all who have helped along the way.

OverDrive Training Month Begins!

Posted in Events - Training, Learn Something, Resources - Online Resources, Resources - Professional Collection, Technology on August 08, 2011 by Carrie
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Event Date: September 12, 2011

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Check out all the possibilities for online training to learn more about the digital media collection offered to library customers in the Capital Area Library District via http://capitalarealibrary.lib.overdrive.com/

Check out an ebook today.    Do a search for ALA on the site to find ebooks from ALA Editions that are a part of the district’s Professional Collection.

Capital Region Workshop Presentations

Posted in Learn Something, PA Projects, Region, Technology, Trendspotting on May 12, 2011 by Carrie
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Thanks to all who attended the Capital Region workshop on May 6 and 7.
Community, Collaboration, Communication, e-books, and the literacy direction for PA Libraries brought us all together.

You can download fresh copies of the handouts to share with others from Pat Wagner‘s interactive session on Community/Collaboration/Communication/ right here: Pat Wagner’s handout on Community, Collaboration, and Communication

You can get a copy of John Houser’s presentation on e-books in libraries here and see the facts and figures from the Numbers Game in ebooks: download a copy.

WebJunction is for YOU!

Posted in Learn Something, Technology on April 08, 2011 by Carrie
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If you work for a PA public library and don’t use WebJunction, you are missing some great free resources.
Get signed up today.
Here’s a handy sheet of instructions to help you learn how to get connected to resources just for PA librarians: WebJunction_Instructions

Electronic Resources in Libraries, some musings

Posted in Carrie's Musings, Resources - Online Resources, Technology, Trendspotting on February 17, 2011 by Carrie
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I know some people who are in colleges in our area and around the country at lots of different levels. In my chats and discussions with many of them, library resources almost always come up. Public libraries try to provide a new layer of assistance to education and to those students using more technology in schoolwork. Do your library staff know the technology that students are using? Can we meet adult students where they already go?

Here are a few things I have learned about electronic resources from some academic and digital perspectives:

-My friend taking classes online via University of Phoenix is having a very positive experience. The online tools that are learned during the educational experience will serve a workforce that must communicate in many methods and technologies. Check out these tutorials on using their library resources there. Access to see the resources are available to current students and affiliates only, but you can also learn about their knowledge network of library information.

-My friend taking classes at HACC got the library resource tour before writing papers in a couple of his classes. HACC shows that their resources directly impact the courses and provide additional value to students: See the Guides They link exactly that a student may need to support specific courses and show their understanding of technology in education.

I was doing a “vanity-search” of various names when I was thinking about privacy when I ran across this really nice example of a press release announcing new board members to the community. Of course, when I saw the name Cleary University, I had to click further. It led me right to private educational opportunities in the Michigan area, which also seemed to include many other online certification programs and graduate programs. Considering online education, this got me to an online education site where I watched a nice demo of a project management skill improvement class.

All this reminded me how much I’d love to see public libraries open more portals to online education. Since the first time I saw it, I enjoyed the idea of this product available to public libraries, which provides access to online classes to students. It could serve as an entry point for people who need affordable and flexible options for education.

Personally, I would love to see it considered for purchase as a project for the Capital Region or Capital District to help libraries demonstrate their value to PA workforce development. I know thet cost of the resource seems daunting, but perhaps there are area employers who would want to consider a sponsorship of the service fees? (I have pricing information from a great vendor representative if it interests anyone, get in touch.) How would other librarians evaluate this resource?

Ideas and Opportunities in a Digital Age:
-More combined marketing of the “library” brand and use of e-resources: Will we create one site to post all the “online resources” available exclusively via libraries (public & academic/school) in our region or state?
-Statewide ideas are in progress for the 21st Century Literacies Platform for PA Libraries; it’s a big task, but will result in great improvements.
-Embrace technology for everyone; start with your staff and board. Encourage intelligent use of electronic tools in your own organizations. Does your library make meeting agendas and meeting notes available remotely and electronically? Can libraries help other nonprofits and local governments by modeling effective use of technologies to share community news, events, and resources?
-Establish strong specialty collections and develop staff member individual interests; then publicize referral links to local experts for collection or reference.
-Determine a plan for how your organization will decide which websites your organization will link to and which you should encourage to link to you? Do your stakeholders promote your digital resources?
-Try to engage active learners and students as volunteers and think tanks. If you know a student, can you propose a homework assignment that could be used in the classroom and apply to a real life scenario to benefit your library? Are you using interns?
-Offer more open access to public meeting spaces: Where can small study groups or project work groups meet in a neutral public place that isn’t school, work, home or a business? Obviously the answer is the public library; some libraries even offer special small group study space.
-Do you support the faculty that live in the community by buying the books they have written? Just think, the local author’s wisdom might even travel through Interlibrary Loan and delivery to make an impact on someone across the country purely because your library stocks it and shares it. If you can’t afford it, perhaps you can approach the local community member/author for a donated copy to get their support for the public library as a community resource sharing place?
-Do you own the rights to any content you can digitize? The current platform for ebooks allows for upload and sharing of local content. Ask if you are interested.
-Know about the population of learners in the community. Find student opinion surveys, learn what classes are being taken or are required in order to select the best resources.

Computers in Libraries 2011 begins

Posted in Events - Conferences, Technology, Trendspotting on February 01, 2011 by Carrie
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Event Date: March 21, 2011

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Do you want to attend Computers in Libraries?

Many library travel budgets in our region are not affording this conference, but if you have time off and some personal funds to spend and want to attend, you can express your interest here. If enough people want to fund the trip from their own dollars, we might have enough to make hotel rooms and transport more affordable.

Even if you can’t attend, take a look at all the great things happening with Computers in Libraries. Choose from topics in tracks like: Information Discovery & Search, Web Presence & Experience, Communities & Collaboration, Marketing & Measuring, Innovative Services & Programs, Next-Gen Systems & Operations, Ebook Trends & Practices, Enterprise Trends & Practices, and so much more.

Make a note or send an email if you want to attend and the district can attempt to coordinate travel if there is enough interest.

Resources on Marketing and Branding

Posted in Technology, Trendspotting on January 18, 2011 by Carrie
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You may have noticed all the excitement around the Brand Launch for the Dauphin County Library System which kicked off with a brand launch breakfast at East Shore Area Library on January 18th and continues with special events at library locations all day.

Check out the new logo, the tagline: Open for Discovery, and all the excitement built around a new website for The Library.

You can explore more and satisfy your curiousity about marketing and branding with the help of public library resources.

Items in library catalogs listed under subject heading Branding (Marketing):

  • Dauphin County Library System.
  • Cumberland County Library System
  • Hershey & Middletown
  • Items in catalog listed under subject heading Internet Marketing:

  • Dauphin County Library System
  • Cumberland County Library System
  • Hershey & Middletown
  • For those who want access to something digital, grab your library card and explore the Business/Finance/Career titles available for downloading and reading on your computer, e-reader, or other mobile device. Try to view the nonficiton ebooks by subject capitalarealibrary.lib.overdrive.com With digital books, you borrow them just like regular books until they are due to be returned and “expire.” Note: The Library can only allow one customer at a time to have access to each purchased title under the rules of digital content provision, so at times, there may be a wait list for popular items.

    Look to your library for ways to improve individual and community literacy around such important topics as health, finances, culture, technology, and basic literacy to promote a strong and satisfied community in central PA.

    Encourage the people you know to use the library explore topics of interest, to seek innovative solutions, to find creative ways to use information, to stay connected to the latest in technology, or improve personal or business finances.

    Public libraries add value to the community; you are the community.

    E-Books: Libraries at the Tipping Point Notes

    Posted in Resources - Online Resources, Technology on October 18, 2010 by Carrie
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    Did you miss attending the E-Book Summit? You can find it here: but you will need a username and password. Ask you district consultant.

    Below are notes taken and thoughts shared by many who attended the conference:

    The room that viewed the E-book summit together could not determine a shared common definition for e-book. Discussion included is it just text that is digital or is it when a formerly printed format goes digital or is it something that must be read on a specific e-book device? POWERLibrary offers many “ebooks” via the NetLibrary platform, but these do not seem to be ones our customers are asking for. Our customers do not always share our definition of ebook.

    We need to define e-books for our libraries and plan to create an information page to help answer patron questions. The library should have information about this format and our position on it that is easy to explain. (This project is currently underway by the regional e-content committee.)

    We talked about the library’s current e-audio book platform, OverDrive, and the planned expansion of that platform to include e-books to read as well as those we listen to.

    An overview of where the region is currently at in its ebook negotiations was covered with the group, knowing that nothing is certain until that group has a next meeting and a chance to develop a method of collaboration that will be effective.

    eBooks: Libraries at the Tipping Point
    Library Journal Virtual Summit: September 30, 2010

    Original Research on the Growing Importance of eBooks in Library Collections
    Presenter: Ian Singer is VP, Content & Business Development for Media Source, Inc., responsible for driving the growth and expansion of content licensing and identifying new product and business line extensions for MSI’s various business units, including leading its evolving digital strategy. Ian joined Media Source in April 2010, after serving since 2006 as Bowker’s VP, Data Services, where we was responsible for managing its flagship Books In Print data operations in addition to its .COM and Syndetics product lines.
    Survey Highlights:
    • 2/3 of public libraries have ebooks…Collection size: 1529 available on average
    • Public libraries estimate circulation will increase 36% this year.
    • Top barriers to usage: lack of awareness, device incompatibility
    • Schools and academics primarily report desktop or laptop readers as primary ebook reader.
    • Publics report portable device usage is most prominent.
    • Only 7% of libraries lend loaded devices. Most are considering doing so.
    • Public Libraries spend about 2.5% of collection development budget on ebooks. (Academics 7%)
    • 41% of public libraries use single user license model. Academics primarily use simultaneous user model.
    • Denver experimenting with ‘anything library’

    Early in the Twenty-First Century, Knowledge and Content will Underlie Everything of Value
    Presenter: Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Kurzweil is one of the leading inventors of our time and has authored six books, four of which have been national best sellers. His latest book, The Singularity Is Near, was a New York Times best seller and has been the #1 book on Amazon.com in both science and philosophy.
    • Did demonstration of blio.com, free ebook reader for windows based PC’s. Really impressive! They eventually intend to run on every platform.
    About Blio: http://www.blio.com/
    • K–NFB Reading Technology has propelled reading technology forward for the last 30 years with the invention of omnifont OCR, flatbed scanners, text-to-speech technology, and reading machines for the blind. K-NFB has now created Blio. This free application will work across platforms and presents books as they are intended: in full color, as laid out by the publisher.
    • K-NFB is a privately held company dedicated to developing cutting-edge solutions that continually revolutionize access to the printed word for all readers, from a variety of mobile and fixed platforms.
    • A joint venture between Kurzweil Technologies and the National Federation of the Blind, K-NFB is headed by CEO Ray Kurzweil, a thirty-year innovator and pioneer in assistive technologies. The National Federation of the Blind is the largest, most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States.
    • Talked about how devices will get smaller and smaller, and perhaps people will wear them in their glasses so that the text can be adjusted to the size you want.

    The Tipping Point: How eBooks Impact Libraries, Publishers & Readers
    Presenter: Eli Neiburger is a lifelong gamer and the Associate Director for IT and Production at the Ann Arbor District Library, MI. His book, Gamers… in the LIBRARY?! was published in 2007; he is currently working on Did you Reboot IT?! Inside and Beyond the Library—I.T. Culture Wars. Neiburger writes a column about gaming and library futures for Digitale Bibliotheek.
    • Very thought provoking!!!!! (and entertaining!)
    • The value of library collections is invested in the local copy.
    • If you can view it, you can save it and have it. If you can transmit it doesn’t matter where it came from
    • We need to recognize that the value of the circulating collection is going to eventually become meaningless. So, what do libraries do in the face of this reality?
    • We need to return to our roots: Libraries were created to protect access to the records of the community. We need to be involved in protecting and providing access to records about the community and by the community.
    • We need to be a platform for unique experiences and content.
    Presenter: Steve Potash is President and CEO of OverDrive, Inc., a digital media company he founded in 1986. Under his leadership, OverDrive has become a leading digital distributor for hundreds of leading publishers and content suppliers in the U.S. and abroad. OverDrive distributes over 300,000 premium eBooks, audiobooks, music, and videos to a global network of over 11,000 libraries, schools and retailers.
    • Endorses XML non-proprietary format.
    • Has Buy it Now feature which encourages patrons to buy content and donate to library.

    What Do Libraries Want? Creating the Perfect Public Library Model
    Presenter: Stacey Aldrich was appointed State Librarian of California by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on November 19, 2009 after serving as Acting State Librarian from February 2009.
    COSLA report: ebook feasibility study identified 2 big issues:
    • Content who owns? Rent? Own? Type of content
    • Access platform neutrality
    Presenter: Eva Miller is a librarian, a user experience designer and an information architect. Eva conducted this design research for COSLA while working with Pinpoint Logic, a design strategy consultancy in Portland, Oregon. She is currently on her way to new challenges at WebMD. Until then, contact her at evamiller@gmail.com
    COSLA research themes:
    • Cooperation (economies of scale, shared collection expertise, common platform)
    • Librarians need to reclaim role in selecting works from emerging authors
    • Librarians need to take advantage of explosion in do-it yourself publishing. Self published work is difficult to track or find. Libraries should be a champion this type of publishing…reflect the community, help emerging authors. Often these are life experience stories, or shared expertise. This would distinguish us from other sources of popular reading materials. Create a public library press, unsung authors tour
    • Libraries need to help communities engage in civic discourse and public policy. Libraries should foster serious discussions and leadership, especially around copyright and fair use laws.
    • Libraries should serve as laboratories for experimenting with new technologies. If we are no longer warehouses for collections, we’ll have some space for trying new ways to engage the public in a life of the mind.

    –“The top barrier to using ebooks is the lack of awareness that libraries have ebooks” – Looks as if libraries will have to aggressively market this resource.

    –“Dramatic and sizeable growth in ebooks is anticipated” – We have to seriously consider how much of our collection development budget we can or want to put in ebooks.

    –Content should be “platform neutral” and compatible with all sorts of devices. How do we create those platforms of access? I think this is a very important question.

    –“ebooks should be able to be read anywhere or on any device; it should be as easy as accessing email.” What it should be and what it currently is are two different things!

    I was somewhat intrigued by B & T’s Blio. As they described it, it is a software-based reader, not a device. The reader runs on virtually any device with an operating system, it addresses accessibility issues (for example, for the blind), and is “ideal for rendering richly-formatted material”. Blio for libraries is coming in 2011 and has Baker & Taylor connections.

    Other notes:
    Sell the fear, offer the hope.
    Customers need the information the library has.
    Who is the audience who makes time to read?
    Why do people read? To be more interesting, to be informed, to solve problems, to understand the world, to be entertained.
    Are there times when digital is preferred? When is print preferred?
    We need to measure how many people are asking for e-books. It sounds as though a few questions each month are asked at libraries, typically with people who want items for proprietary reading devices. Is the need great enough? Is directing users to free content already available enough until the market settles?

    PA Broadband Summit notes

    Posted in Carrie's Musings, Technology on October 18, 2010 by Carrie
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    PA Broadband Summit notes

    Carrie Cleary and two staff members from CCLS attended the PA Broadband Summit.

    If you’re interested, you can see handouts and presentation slides from many of the sessions right here: PA Broadband Summit presentation slides

    Here are a few of the notes I took that generated questions and ideas that could be applicable to your public library:

    There is a critical issue: How can we deliver public library resources and services that meet community needs most effectively? If we choose to deliver services via technology, people need access to technology (even the last mile) and desire to use and trust technology.

    Libraries help to deliver improved communications through the internet: how can we harness the needs of nonprofits, civic, and community clubs to help meet our mission?

    What triggers the adoption of technology? Check out the Pew studies and learn about the nation and your community: Link to Pew study.

    Now that 30% of your users don’t have a landline phone, how does that change your operations?

    Factors effecting broadband internet adoption:
    -Education level
    -Rural/non-rural (it is mostly rural people who want access and don’t always have opportunity, but PA is ahead of other states in this area)

    How will you handle customers who don’t want to use technology?
    Can we deny premium services (like some companies don’t accept job applications) unless patrons use a preferred (effective for us) method of contact?

    22% of people simply don’t use the internet directly because they don’t see a need to. How will that change with the next generation?

    If people don’t know what they don’t have, they won’t have a reason to use it. Libraries can be a big part of the push to get users online and to streamline the cost of delivering services; we can be effective partners with local government in delivering e-government services effectively.

    How does your library support digital literacy?

    How do YOU define broadband? What is the national plan? Broadband.gov

    Does the debate on net neutrality effect the services your customers want? YES.

    Fact: U.S. Broadband prices are higher than in many other countries.

    IMLS is developing protocols for libraries. What they are and when they will be announced is being decided: imls.gov

    Why should your library support greater broadband adoption?

    *A key problem with computer use in public libraries is how to deliver sound that accompanies the videos and tools online. Does your library use headphones so users can access the sound that goes with their video while they learn and browse on public access machines?

    Libraries can help to make e-government, e-learning, and information and resource delivery better and faster. With consolidation of efforts, it can be cheaper too.

    Have you ever visited savetheinternet.com or read about Net Neutrality? Net neutrality article, one of many

    Openness is important to success but we need to reward innovations and let the end user have quality of service choice.

    What effect does net neutrality have on your users who must buy devices and subscription services to best meet their needs?

    How does your organization aim to deliver content, resources, and information that work on all devices and all connections equally and let the consumer choice drive?

    What is “reasonable network management”? How would you define it in a technology plan to allow your users to access the most valuable resources most effectively?

    How can we write policies that will stimulate effective use of technology?

    What should a framework look like?
    -there is a presumption against discrimination. We won’t harm users or get in the way of private competition/innovation.
    -broadband providers and services need the freedom to innovate
    -customers should be able to understand your network management practices. There should be transparency as to your priorities for speed and reliability of service.

    Is a case by case decision made by the FCC better than a set of standards that are difficult to enforce and may cramp innovation?

    How does your technology plan address network management? What is restricted and what is advertised as uses of the productive uses of technology?
    To ensure quality of service, you have to have some level of discrimination. Which services do you offer expedited or always available access to and which are less important? How can we set clear guidelines for use of limited resources? Align your priorities.

    How can public libraries set “priorities” for use of limited technology resources? Does your internet policy officially meet the standards of CIPA? Did “The authority with responsibility for administration of the school or library provide reasonable public notice and hold at least one public hearing to address a proposed Technology Protection Measure and Internet Safety Policy.” from CIPA filtering requirements found here: see CIPA filtering requirements. When was it last reviewed?

    What is your library’s role as a consumer protection advocate? Is there an up to date customer bill of rights for your library? Should there be a district or regional bill of rights or should it be localized?

    If $1 of technology investment gives $10 of return, how can we capitalize on that?

    The critical issues in broadband adoption include:
    -People need to use and trust technology to meet information ad service needs, even in rural communities. This means that reliability, security, and speed are important.
    -Libraries can become stronger government and community partners by assisting in helping people to take advantage of community betterment through technology services.
    -Local government, state and federal government already communicate via technology. The library enable consumers to get that information through the best (cheapest/fastest) method possible.
    -Libraries can partner better with schools if they are delivering services via technology.

    How does the internet know your library?

    Posted in Carrie's Musings, Just for Fun, Resources - Online Resources, Technology, Trendspotting on August 11, 2010 by Carrie
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    Has your library been trying to serve community needs through your website? What website statistics are most important? Are users on internet explorer or firefox or another browser? Is traffic to your website coming from search engines, email messages, or direct referral?

    Libraries are great places for people to access the internet, but how does the internet and all of its search engines know your library? Have you tried to search for your library on Google, Bing, or Yahoo like some potential library users might? Do you get the results you want? Is all of the information listed complete and accurate? What does your library’s profile look like? Have you read your user reviews? How do customers find your website?

    How do local media websites list your library? Have you searched PennLive http://businessfinder.pennlive.com/PA-Harrisburg-17101?s=library

    How do users know the content on your website? Do they know you have databases and other great information? How do you get traffic to your website? Here’s one idea: http://www.google.com/grants/new/index.html

    Do you have other ideas? Please share them. There are a lot of questions.

    Regional E-Content Meeting Planned

    Posted in Collection Development, Events - Library Meetings, Events - Special Events, Region, Resources - Online Resources, Technology on August 04, 2010 by Carrie
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    Event Date: August 23, 2010

    More events

    Some demos of vendors who provide downloadable audio and books will be scheduled at Lancaster as a part of the regional project.

    For details, ask the district consultant in your district.

    How the Internet Works: An Info graphic explanation

    Posted in General, Just for Fun, Learn Something, Technology, Trendspotting on August 03, 2010 by Carrie
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    Do you ever catch yourself saying I have no idea how technology works somedays?
    Check out this awesome graphic that helps you understand: Online Schools
    Via: Online Schools

    Thanks to Stephen Abram’s Lighthouse blog for bringing it to our attention.

    And, if this post was interesting to you, dig into the information to understand library technology even deeper at webjunction. Read, discuss, and share for free. Attend $5 classes when you sign up to join the PA community. Ask your district consultant if you have questions.