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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.

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.

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.

Make Your Library Sustainable

Posted in Learn Something, Services - Consulting, Trendspotting on April 29, 2011 by Carrie
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Read the notes compiled from people who attended the District Library Center Leadership Workshop sponsored by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries using LSTA funds.
You can read them by downloading this document: Sustainable Library Workshop Notes
Or…here is the simple full text of its contents right here in this blog post.


The Sustainable Library
The main focus of the workshop was presentations and activities under the title “The Sustainable Library” by the team of George Needham and Joan Frye Williams. You can learn more about them and see great presentations and samples of their work at: http://www.georgeandjoan.com/

Below is a long list of highlights from the notes attendees took at the workshop in no particular order. The workshop was full of nuggets of wisdom and great talking points that we can apply NOW:

Service Ideas
1) Idea for Youth Services: In Charleston, when at least four children appear in the library, they do a spontaneous storytime.
2) Ask: Does a reference librarian in your community curate and contribute to the Wikipedia entry for your town or for your library?
3) Make it fun! Idea: Library card signup happy hour could include singing staff or dancing elves.
4) What important life situations are your customers facing? Imagine the context that people use library service in. Can your library develop services to address predictable life situations? Can you package and present library services to meet “Expecting a new baby” or “Making your first thanksgiving dinner” or “Getting married?” Think of ways that people in these situations can use the library. And it’s not just about books and lists of information. Imagine how it changes their lives.
5) Promote brain insurance: Health and senior wellness are big topics.
6) How are your services designed to help groups? (Or are they focused only on individuals?)
7) Idea: Can your library establish a fund to pay the fines/fees accrued by kids who may be considered at-risk? Think about ways you can appeal to one part of the community to support the rest.
8) Would your library consider offering “charge spots” for mobile devices like airports do? Why? Do you still ban cell phones? Why? Behavior problems are not device problems.
9) Action step to take: Get rid of clutter at desks where customers are served.
10) Enrich your point of view. Your relationship to reading is not the same as your customers. Explore custom customer service options like 3 books for 10 weeks instead of 10 books for 3 weeks. Are popular books just for fast readers? (Note: Academics have been giving semester long loan periods to faculty for a long time.) Consider developing customized services. Our circulation models are based on old paper based methods. We could consider having a borrower type that is the AVID READER plan (lots of books for fewer weeks) or the SAVORING READER plan (fewer books, more time) or the VIDEO PLAN, etc.
11) Great Program Idea: Sponsor a Candidate School (for political office) at your library. http://www.topekachamber.org/s/indexp.cfm?aid=248
12) 85% of what people find in a library is through browsing. Only 15% of customers are searching for a specific item. Customers are shopping, not retrieving. We need to make browsing easy and fun. Consider pulling together islands in topical areas that pull together all formats on one topic. Signage for areas needs to include pictures of how materials create results for civilians. Don’t just say “gardening”; show a picture of a happy family gardening together.
13) Circulation staff’s job is to move materials, not guard them.
14) Libraries need to know what the percentage of repeat business is at your library. When people get a card, do they come back?
15) The most approachable person in the library is someone shelving books. EVERYONE in the library needs to be ready to talk to people and assist them. Consider having everyone taking Nancy Pearl’s Booktalking course.
16) Most of our customer service questions such as Can I Help You or Did you find everything you need today? Imply some kind of judgment from the library. If the customer didn’t find what they were looking for, they have to ADMIT that they need help. The best question to ask is “What can we do for you today”
17) Use social networking effectively. Don’t just post your own updates, instead contribute content/input to other community organization pages. Activity idea: Post a list of subject relevant resources on the Facebook page of 5 community organizations next week. See how many new “friends” your library will get when you contribute and interact. Post on the local comments of the newspaper a list of books and online resources that will help inform those making comments.

Limited Resources
18) Don’t do More with Less. Do different with less.
19) Don’t spend time on things that aren’t visible to your stakeholders and customers.
20) The answer is not rationing. Just get used to this situation.
21) Are you thinking about trimming underperforming outlets? Be careful and approach each situation individually. Weigh criteria for minimum standards. Politics and differentiating between a library and a reading room may come into play. Remember that many see the library as the sign of life in the community—it’s about local identity. Nostalgia shapes expectations. Let community needs be the drive.
22) Libraries can’t afford to spend time and money on things people can’t see. 80% of what catalogers traditionally do don’t really have anything to do with find-ability. Only do what a civilian can spot from 20 paces away. Either stop doing it, or change what you are doing to make it show.
23) What services could you consider stopping and what would be the result? (Could you buy a $50 DVD player for the 10 customers who still use VHS?)
24) Radical thought: If you can’t convince people to use your databases, don’t spend money on them. Lesson: Don’t purchase things you want your customers to want, purchase things your customers want to use.
25) In an age of increasingly limited resources, we need to think about whether the work or services can be designed by professionals, but delivered by civilians. Perfection can’t be the goal for service delivery.
26) Don’t ask for a donation. Ask for an investment.
27) Move forward…together: Eliminate redundancies and share what’s there to make it bigger and sustainable.
28) Efficiency: Designed by PROFESSIONALS but carried out by SOMEONE ELSE You are either “at the table” or “on the menu.”
29) Explore alternate financial models. Now is the time. Everything is on the table. Some of these include:
a) Cooperative – subscription basis or is a hybrid possible
b) Public Broadcasting – members pay – some services free for all, charge for premium services; Can a service be scaled without additional cost?
c) Museum – pay each time you visit, or become member for higher price but have more access.
d) ROI – we’ll do what we can for $xx and no more.
e) Privatization – outsource library management. You should know what it would cost in your community to do this, because the question may be asked
f) Independent Tax District – probably not legal in Pennsylvania.
g) Note: Workshop leaders are not recommending any of these, but you must know the answers to these suggested models should the question be raised. Don’t assume that something wouldn’t be considered.

Strategic Planning
30) Libraries aren’t the only organizations that are discussing sustainability. Local and state governments are also experiencing this problem.
31) We need to be sure about the role of our 19th century institution in the 21st century.
32) Traditionally, we’ve talked about libraries in a vacuum. We need to tie our conversations about libraries back to what the community cares about. We need to be about what ‘sustains’ the community.
33) Mission statements aren’t really that important. Most mission statements are fine. They just shouldn’t prevent you from doing something that you want to do.
34) Libraries are in the business of making you smarter.
35) Libraries are not in the content business. They are in the transformation business, making individuals and communities stronger.
36) Just being Free isn’t enough; time and convenience are important. Information is everywhere. Help people save time.
37) Fire Department has changed from “fires only” to the rescue business (changing business/service model concept) We’re not JUST in the book business. We are in the MAKING YOU SMART business.
38) Always assess your services from a positive point of view. What are we good at? What do we do well? And, then build from there.
39) Your organization will get the results you reward.
40) Our communities care more about the benefits the library provides than about the library itself.
41) There is a limited value to library-conducted surveys. Instead, just ask your reference librarians for help to gather community data. How do they handle customers asking for information about your local community? Have you asked for help and input?
42) Demographics are not destiny. You need to know what they are, but you also need to know what people want…what their dreams are. You will be more credible to the community and funders if you use other people’s data to talk about the need for services. Most library surveys are self-aggrandizing or just really poorly done. Use data from the United Way, YWCA, news agencies, chambers, planning commissions, etc.
43) Use the data that is already available in many reporting functions of your ILS. Explore how people really use the materials you give them and customize privileges.
44) If you ask most people what they want for their community, they might say, I want my kids to care about learning. I want my daughter to have opportunities I never had. I want to do something fun with my family that doesn’t cost $100. You need to know what your community says…why they live there, what makes the community distinctive, what the community’s greatest assets are.
45) Public libraries should know where they are and reflect the best of the community. The best libraries can say that they used to be in the library business, now they are in the [city name] business.
46) Libraries need to recognize that we don’t really offer all things to all people. We’ve already made choices. Libraries need to stop rationing the services people do want (think timed computers) and stop paying for things people don’t want (like databases?). We continue to think if we just marketed the services well, people would use them.

Policy Development
47) Most, if not all, of our circulation policies imply that people are guilty unless proven innocent. The courts don’t even do that. Always presume innocence. Why do we say “CLAIMED returned”? We should believe people unless proven otherwise, and just deal with the small minority who are out to scam the library. Howard County Library has a policy that you always act as if the customer is innocent until there is proof that they are guilty.
48) Ask your staff what things do we have to keep explaining over and over again. Or, every time staff have to say NO to something, ask them to write it down and give it to management. These policies or services are candidates for change.
49) Anytime something new is proposed, people will always have a list of ‘classic’ objections. Consider posting a list of these in your meeting and stipulating that all of these are true. See list at: http://www.georgeandjoan.com/samples/ASCLA.pdf. If people say, we tried that in xxxx, and it didn’t work because xxxx, then say well how can we make sure that doesn’t happen again.
50) Treat exceptions as exceptions. Don’t what-if too much.
51) Exercise: Have your staff document the times they say “no” to a patron and why – as a planning tool. Don’t assume getting the books back is more important than getting the people back.

Customer Service
52) Position your organization so people believe you are sustaining them and your organization will be sustainable.
53) For staff who may be over-protective or police-like: You don’t own the collection—the whole community does. Libraries serve the people, not policies and procedures. Cynicism about customers is bad for sustainability. Presume innocence; trust your community of users.
54) Libraries are about tools, not rules!
55) Try to look at your library with fresh eyes. What could a tourist learn about your community by visiting your library? What is obvious?
56) Have a civilian walk through the library with you while you SHUT UP and listen to what they observe/experience (i.e. What the HECK is microfiche?)
57) Human Resources thought: If you removed the word “library” from your job postings for customer service staff, would you attract different people?
58) “LEFT TURN” Where do you get your milk? The greatest supermarket or the place where you do not need to make the left turn? (convenience)
59) Spend time observing a first time user of your facility. (Or, try getting a group/board/friends to use the Customer Service Walkabout exercise at another location and then try it at your library: http://www.georgeandjoan.com/samples/tools.html )

60) You don’t have to like everything about an organization to be allies/partners, you just have to agree on something and know what it is. (Will community members outside your profession attend your retirement party?)

61) Staff members find their self worth in the value of knowledge/mastery of a skill. Help them understand changes to services with sensitivity. When you stop doing something you’ve done for years, it can be difficult. All services have lifecycles. Manage phase-outs effectively.
62) Some things/services/information are past their “use by” date.
63) 5 crows were sitting on a fence. 3 of them decided to leave. How many were left? (argh!) All 5, they only decided, they just didn’t do it yet. Take action. Doing nothing is a choice. Start with something and Fail Fast!
64) EBooks as enriching the experience (embedded links to historical information, for example).

Libraries and Relevance
65) The real debate isn’t electronic vs. print. It’s reading or not reading. A book is a medium to read.
66) People have a choice whether to visit the library or not. We need to entice them…not educate them about what we are.
67) In buildings, think about library lighting for stacks, for table areas, PC’s, and for new devices like eBooks that face the ceiling.
68) Help people think of a visit to the library as a gift. Romance it a little.
69) Libraries represent their own communities on the web. Encourage local content creation and sharing (uploading)!
70) eBooks won’t replace books. One medium doesn’t replace another. Forms and formats replace another.

Being Political
71) Political Sustainability is not a taboo subject. Be political; it isn’t optional. Quit keeping them separate. Align with channels of power and go into political conversations to cultivate investors. Use the force—go with it!
72) You need an elevator QUESTION not an elevator SPEECH. Ask the right questions to your community leaders and stakeholders:
a) What are your big issues?
b) What do you see as the greatest assets in the community?
c) What do you wish you knew more about? What resources do you use when you try to solve problems?
d) Who else should we talk to?

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

More events

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.

    ebooks are here!

    Posted in Resources - Online Resources, Trendspotting on December 22, 2010 by Carrie
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    Thanks to Dauphin County Library System for purchasing ebook content to add to the Capital Area Library District Digital Media site.

    Now, in addition to downloadable audiobooks to listen to, customers can also download ebooks to read on computers, netbooks, tablets, ipads or some of the popular ebook readers like Nooks and Sony Reader. (Sorry, not for Kindles at this time.)

    Here are some quick highlights:
    -Customers are encouraged to checkout and download and use audiobooks and ebooks on their home computers.
    -To use the system, customers also have to download something (OverDrive Media Console, Adobe Digital Editions for books, or a device specific application) that helps with the digital licensing and transferring to portable devices.
    -Customers are limited to 3 items checked out per library barcode at a time.
    -Customers can pick their loan period for the items from 7 days or 14 days.
    -If customers have questions or problems, listen to their concerns, but let them know that we may not have exact answers. First direct them to the help documents on the left hand side of the digital media site. If they don’t find help there, use the “Suggestion Box” link to send a support request directly to someone who might be able to help or feel free to have them email or call the district consultant directly.

    In the time period of 12/17/2010 to right now at this moment of posting on 12/22/2010, 85 items in epub format have been checked out from our collection.

    Ask if you have questions!

    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.

    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.

    Share this with your teen readers

    Posted in Just for Fun, Resources - Online Resources, Services - Youth Services, Services - Youth Services - Teens, Technology, Trendspotting on June 09, 2010 by Carrie
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    Are there lots of patrons on the waiting list for the latest Stephanie Meyer novella: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (in the Twilight Saga) at your library?

    Did you know that it is also available FREE online for people to read on their screen for a limited time at: http://breetannerbook.libredigital.com/index.html

    I wonder how many will read it on a computer screen or mobile device with a capable internet browser in this format.

    Will the fact that it is available right now, free to all who have an internet browser mean that your library buys less copies of it?

    Do you have a method for getting information about ebooks to your readers? Could you add a temporary catalog record directing users who want it while it’s brand new to the website to read the digital copy?

    Note that it says this: Please keep in mind that you can only read the book here – you won’t be able to download it to your e-reader or phone. And you can’t print it out.

    Want to learn about audio download services?

    Posted in Resources - Online Resources, Trendspotting on May 18, 2010 by Carrie
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    Check out the chart that compares services:Library Journal article about downloadable audio.

    PLA Virtual Conference Summary

    Posted in Learn Something, Site, Technology, Trendspotting on May 06, 2010 by Carrie
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    Below are the highlights from the PLA Virtual Conference session by session that were shared by participants after each session in the evaluation form.
    Some minor editing was done to remove some duplicate ideas, but the majority of the notes are in the words of attendees who participated in the virtual conference together.

    Shortcuts to Greatness: Or Ten Things That Great Libraries Know and Maybe You Don’t
    1) Interesting examples of things other libraries are doing to reach out to and involve the community.
    2) Examples of visions statements that were interesting (I thought most of them were more like tag lines than vision statements).
    3) I enjoyed reading the qualities of a leader – these slides could be interesting in the assessment of leadership within an organization. I also enjoyed the slides on job descriptions. different approach!
    1. Connect to customers–affection, respect, heartfelt connection.
    2. Look cool–facilities, website, people
    3. Humor important.
    -awesome handouts from this powerpoint.
    -shake it up.
    -look at vision!

    Books: The Top 5 of the Top 5
    Different classification of new books
    1. New authors.
    2. Trends in books.
    3. Share your favorite books with patrons. Read widely and become very familiar with collection.

    Advanced Black Belt Librarians: The Top Ten Security Issues in Public Libraries
    -Try a periodic review at staff meetings on how to handle security issues.
    -Try 30-30-30 as a way to increase awareness: for 30 days every 30 minutes, stop for 30 seconds and observe what’s going on in the library. When staff try this, it will raise their level of awareness of what is going on around them.
    -Enforce rules based on customer behavior rather than customer appearance.
    -It’s about communication not confrontation.
    -Use a clip board for potential problems, security incident report, problem log.
    -Staff should not enforce rules based on appearance. They should enforce rules based on behavior!
    -keep procedures simple and hold people accountable to follow them.
    -hire and train the right staff for the right public positions.
    -bad guys will find the shortcomings in your policies.
    -staff is paid to think: let them use common sense to handle the situation when they can.
    -The conflict that often exists between policy and common sense.
    -Consistency of policy and enforcement is important.
    -Front line staff fear problems of their bend the rules if even for a practical exception.
    -Have CLEAR procedures to go with the policies
    -Keep a security log/incident sheet
    -Use walkarounds as a deterrent.
    -Constant awareness is necessary, especially with reduced staff
    -Documentation can help catch problems before they happen
    -Keep rules SIMPLE.
    -Spin rules positively on signs

    Adrift or Right on Target: Perspectives on Floating Collections
    -Peer Driven Quality Improvement Team (PDQI) made the project work.
    -Biggest benefit: Fewer copies needed because holds were directed to the audience who needed them.
    -How you set up your ILS is key to getting delivery benefits. How is location considered in the holds queue?
    -small collections of “no holds” items is okay. What would be wrong with a No-Holds policy on the NEW items for 3 months? That way those people with an immediate need to have the item could buy it at the bookstore and donate it to us?
    -It should be a priority for new ILS selection that the system can differentiate between items with a hold list and items that are simply a delivery selection. -Systemwide uniform weeding policies are important!
    -All collection management decisions are important in floating collections for long-term success.
    -Can rules be set up to allow “floating” only to certain branches?
    -Could upcounty float just to upcounty and downcounty float just to downcounty on collections like DVDs or things that package differently?
    -”Weeding Branch” concept!
    -A greater way to loan books and save on budget
    -Specific Webreporter report assists in weeding and moving materials.
    -Floating collections results in greater circulation of fewer copies.
    -Libraries created a grid that helped determine the number of copies purchased and where they start.
    -Still depend on library staff for unique library needs.

    Cracking the Code: Beyond Dewey: Words Vs. Numbers
    Forcing patrons to translate what is in their mind into Dewey is bad customer service.
    Bookshelves should be on wheels!
    Libraries using Words vs. Dewey numbers are more popular materials based
    WorkThink Grid concept, translating BISAC to unique spine labeling
    Libraries using Words for classification are doing so in conjunction with a physical move to a ‘community center’ design.
    Signage/displays is the key to finding materials. Word-based systems can work. Need a user map.
    Molly Moyer: Retired Bookseller/Librarian: Dewey is predictable, familiar, and “easy” for librarians. Bookstores arrange things very differently.
    Focus on shelving, display, furniture, signage (fonts that are readable up close and far away and words that users use), and collection.
    1. map of the library w/ the various sections labeled
    2. put as few barriers as possible between book and patron
    3. Shore’s point of library as a ‘third place’
    - images on signage (numbers scare patrons)
    - shelving by subject using WordThink

    S.Y.A.S.S. Save Your After School Sanity
    1. Vetting workshop presenters wasn’t done very well with this session. 2. There are still a lot of librarians out there who are perpetuating the stereotypical librarian. 3. Only one presenter had any truly sensible things to say on this panel, and she read everything. This was a really poor presentation.
    1. some people don’t really like or understand teens 2. there seems to be a lack of creativity in looking at this issue 3. negative attitudes are going to beget negative behavior
    -The presenters are scared of teens. -There are many bad ideas. -Sure, sometimes there are problems with behavior, but patrolling with a billy club won’t solve them.

    Marketing as Conversation: How to Interact with Your Community Through Your Website
    - Taking pictures of community events and posting on Flikr. – Library service is really all about connecting with people and building relationships.
    You have a great chance of success if you can get everyone “on the bus”. Create an environment to facilitate conversation – places where patrons can comment, make suggestions, etc Combine social networking tools to feed off of each other – facebook ties into flickr ties into twitter ties into a blog, etc.
    1.flickr can be an amazing tool for capturing both the library and the community and starting online conversations 2. twitter has more uses for the library than I initialy thought. I have an account;need to explore this more in general 3. for me it would be important to “leave space for others” since I tend to like to be the eager beaver librarian who tries to provide all the answers…let it be a conversation, a sharing
    How to use social media to get out in the community, be engaged, listening and participating to market services. The need to continue to manage your organization’s online identity. Getting staff to understand that talking with customers via online social media tools is as necessary as talking with people on the phone or in person.
    Ask now widget embedded link to a librarian/website. Post building expansion photos on Flickr This stuff takes time.

    Inside the Author’s Studio-Seaman interviews Roach
    Mary Roach is hilarious!! I’m definitely going to read her next book. She presents her information in a fun and engaging way.
    The author is funny. The library has many of her books.
    1. learned about Mary Roach and her books 2. her books help take intimidation out of science 3. someone actually has a job title: Curator of Cosmic Dust

    LITA’s Top Technology Trends
    Will be difficult for libraries to provide e-content due to publishers, copyright and cost.
    Individuals can purchase econtent cheaper than libraries.
    Lawsuits in the 80′s for libraries to checkout videos started the content wars.
    Augmented reality was a new term for me.
    Use QR codes to provide addtional content to your patrons.
    The iPad will change the face of the eBook industry.
    Libraries = Content + Community
    Learned what augmented reality
    Started thinking about new aspects of digital divide
    Libraries can circulate physical formats of digital content.

    Cross-Over Readers Advisory
    New Readers’ Advisory Handbook – new title Types of books that appeal to teen boys What aspects of teen books appeal to adults
    1. learned a lot more about epic fantasy, a genre that I’m interested in and needed to learn more about 2. overall list of book suggestions very helpful 3. I want to read more epic fantasy.
    -Books with the Prince award are great cross-overs for adults. -Try a teen/adult reading group for something different. -Teen readers know when you are talking down to them. -Alex Awards for good reading lists for Teens -Try Sci Fi or Fantasy for reluctant readers. It can bring together various age groups.

    If You Didn’t Work Here Would You Come Here?
    1. after hours important for drawing in people
    2. e-mail list, blogs, social networking crucial
    3. quality programming w/ that liberal arts twist…I liked many of Crosby’s ideas
    -20-30 somethings are an important demographic that the library system needs to do more to attract.
    -We can take better advantage of modern existing technologies like facebook and twitter to prmote the library among this demographic. Find out what programs would bring this group to the library. Existing book discussion groups are not addressing all demographics.
    -Many great ideas for “out of the box” programming
    -”Make yourself a missionary for the library”
    -Market to group you want to attract Feedback on Twitter After hours are important
    -Alcohol and after hours are two key components to attracting 20-30′somethings.
    -20-30′somethings are an important demographic for civic support, they pay taxes and vote
    -Use Google Alerts to keep track of social networking hits about you
    -Ladies night out at the library (making candles, soaps, beauty products), library block parties, art shows, literary speed dating, Green environment resource campaign. These types of events help to join together people interested in specific topics to help form mini-communities for your library.
    -Multonamah County uses a “Giant Library Card” in their advertisements/media for good photo opportunities.
    -Program Idea: Meet the Past: Have people dress up as historical figures and have someone do interviews. Partner with public television topical areas.
    -Offer after hours events, hosted by the library, not always in the library. Staff can plan and promote the event. Local press will cover innovative programs (like dating!) hosted at the library.
    -Make yourself a missionary for your library everywhere you go. Marketing from the staff word of mouth makes all the difference.
    -Get your staff liking your library Facebook posts and resharing it on their own personal pages.

    ereader and elistener resources

    Posted in Learn Something, Resources - Online Resources, Trendspotting on April 22, 2010 by Carrie
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    When customers ask you about the different ereaders, this site is a resource to direct them to for explanation of ereaders and some comparisons of features: ereaderresource.com Check out the basics for an overview.
    Also please remember that anything with a screen with text or pictures can be used as a reader. Those popular apple products, mobile phones, netbooks, laptops, desktop computers, and even television (hooked up to your computer) can be a reader for content produced in digital format. Those may not give the “reading” experience or have the awesome e-ink, bookmarking, note-taking, portability, or size features, but there is a way to read the content if you have a computer and access to the internet.

    As of the day of this posting, the public libraries in the three county Capital Area Library District do not offer any commercial service for downloading print ebook content to the popular e-readers, however, full text versions of many novels and works of reference and nonfiction are available online through Netlibrary, one of the resources in POWERlibrary. If you have your library card handy, login to see what is available: ebooks from Netlibrary

    Library customers do have access to a public library sponsored collection of downloadable audiobooks at http://capitalarealibrary.lib.overdrive.com/

    The OverDrive service just released an app for the iphone so users can skip the download to their personal computer and just download direct to their iphone. Let me know if you like it. App store: Overdrive
    There is a mobile version of the site for those with other smart phone operating systems.

    Digital media is changing the way content is provided in all parts of the industry. What should libraries do about it?

    Comments always welcome; suggested solutions to meet short and long term needs will be applauded.

    Use online presentations to start discussions in your library

    Posted in General, Learn Something, Resources, Technology, Trendspotting on March 18, 2010 by Carrie
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    Check these out. Share them with staff.
    What do you agree or disagree with from R. David Lankes presentations?
    Link to R. David Lankes presentations online

    Start a conversation. This space is available.

    A library inside the ipad?

    Posted in Carrie's Musings, Trendspotting on March 08, 2010 by Carrie
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    Libraries are defined by their content. What is content worth? What form should your public library provide it in?

    Check out this interesting post: craigmod.com

    ebook speculation is everywhere

    Posted in Resources - Online Resources, Trendspotting on February 06, 2010 by Carrie
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    What will the impact of ebooks be on reading?
    Here’s one way to think: Publishing and Books in 10 years
    Here’s another: Killing bookstores?
    Evolution of the book: Link to a fun timeline history

    What do you think?

    Ibooks, ebooks, and a bigger vision?

    Posted in Technology, Trendspotting on February 02, 2010 by Carrie
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    Check out R. David Lankes thoughts on ebooks: Why Apple should talk to librarians about ibooks

    Digital books are text in a portable format with some fun little extra features, but can librarians find a way to use the technology and expand the conversation?

    A great quote from the blog post: “Libraries are about knowledge and facilitation, not artifacts and stuff.”

    What do you think?

    Technology Essentials 2010: Day 2

    Posted in Events - Conferences, Events - Training, Technology, Trendspotting on January 26, 2010 by Carrie
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    Event Date: February 10, 2010

    More events

    Sign up to attend a Technology Conference ONLINE courtesy of WebJunction.
    It’s FREE!

    If you are interested in watching any part of this in a group facilitated session, please post a comment below or send an email to your district consultant.