ALA Midwinter 2007: It can be confusing!

ALA Midwinter was a big conference – one that had many meetings in many different hotels. To the right is a video of me trying (almost unsuccessfully) to get to a program at the conference. I was confused – the hotel the program was held at, as far as I could tell, didn’t have any signs. As in, any signs providing the name of the hotel! Once I got to the program, it was great.

And that sort of summed up my first ALA Midwinter experience. Looking back, it was a good conference. But for us first timers, it can also be highly confusing! What was confusing?

  • The conference session listing didn’t really say much, and there were lots of them. Someone told me to get the full session info, I’d need to go to each division website to read about the sessions. Yikes!
  • Obviously hotel signage could have been better (not ALA’s fault)
  • I didn’t realize these weren’t sessions but were rather “discussions.”
  • Some “discussions” really were discussions, while some were really normal sessions with speakers and then a longer q & a time at the end.
  • What if you want to get involved with ALA or a division chapter more (as in jjoining a committee). How do you do that?
  • Are all meetings open to everyone? Council sessions? I don’t know, cause there was no place to read about it.

So – just my experience… I’m sure it’ll improve with experience!

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ALA Midwinter 2007: Digital Gaming in Library Instruction

I attended the ACRL Instruction Section Current Issue Digest and Discussion Forum on digital gaming in library instruction. It was pretty interesting – here are my notes, mainly on comments and questions I found interesting, in fairly random order (with two wicked cool ideas that came up, too):

  • You could use Second Life as a platform to create a game
  • Sight and hearing disabled students – can you meet ADA requirements with games?
  • someone mentioned partnering with computer science departments to develop games
  • Wicked Cool Idea #1: Someone is incorporating gaming language into classes – what a cool idea! They use “power ups” – they frame the the instruction session into a storyline, and use powerups (ie., boolean and, or, and not searches) when the powerups are needed.
  • Someone mentioned the simulation games the military uses (in defense of if games work or not for instruction)
  • Cold Stone Creamery uses a game during their initial employee training
  • Someone mentioned the game Neverwinter Nights – it has an add-on that allows you to build customized modules. You could build a “find stuff in the library” type of game. You can even design the conversations in this game.
  • Wicked Cool Idea #2: Someone uses Guess the Google in their instruction classes (it’s a guess what keyword is used to find what’s displayed on the screen). She has students yell out responses, it gets students into it, and it leads to discussion on keyword and phrase searching – in a much more fun way!
  • Money and time were mentioned alot.
  • Jenny Levine’s LTR on gaming was mentioned.
  • One funny thing (to me) was discussed a little, too. I heard “is it in the literature?” and “is there empirical research of the educational impact… ” of educational gaming. Someone else mentioned they didn’t want to do it if it falls flat (I assume, in the literature again). I wasn’t feeling terribly brave that day, so I didn’t speak up … but I thought about saying this: “if you wait for “Empirical Research” and for games to appear in “The Literature,” you will be followers. The cool stuff isn’t created by following, but by innovating.

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ALA Midwinter 2007: Raising the Next-Gen Resource Sharing Librarian

Mary Hollerich, Audrey Huff, Michael Porter, and Michael Stephens spoke.

Mary Hollerich (National Library of Medicine):

  • Spoke a little about kids today: different learning styles, tech savvy, collaborative, thriving on change, multitaskers, learning resource sharing on the job
  • Resource sharing is more than just ILL: blurred boundaries with ILL, circulation, and acquisitions
  • Expanded concept of resource sharing: lots of cooperation – in reference, collection development, cataloging, even storage facilities…
  • Grad school wishlist: target audience: future managers of resource sharing products and services
  • keepin it real: internships, assistantships, practicums
  • She’d love to see online continuing education courses (hmm – SHE could do them using OPAL!)
  • Also use listservs, blogs and wikis for discussion
  • She’d also like to see a mentoring type program that pairs a “newbie” with a more experienced practitioner

Audrey Huff (Northwestern University School of Law):

A Next-Gen LIS graduate is:

  • comfortable with technology and change
  • a user of resources
  • pro user and pro access
  • aware of the professional forums available
  • has collaborative experience – can work with teams

She took lots of reference classes, but there were no classes on access services (no ILL, circ, resource sharing classes) – where are the classes/issues relevant to resource sharing?

Her advice:

  • do internships (become a practitioner as soon as possible)
  • look at the literature

On the job: she’s looking for info – what works, how to use stats, how to understand patron expectations, understanding resource-sharing platforms and systems, etc… (me – all the stuff library school doesn’t teach!)

Michael Porter (WebJunction):

  • The title on his powerpoint is “Gimme Gimme Gimme” – cool
  • Libraries are two things: content and community

step 1: break down barriers

  • institutional barriers
  • personal fears… another type of barriers

step 2: show your true colors (went from black and white slide to a color slide – nice)

  • sometimes hard to think about the “me” in “gimme” – it’s ok to think about ourselves – we want the same things

step 3: effectively use me…

  • me is our users
  • me is You, too!
  • We can be librarians, and we can also be users…
  • Lots of people here use Netflix – wow!
  • Move from calling it ILL to calling it Fulfillment (that’s inserting a more customer service, corporate mentality into the library)
  • Give me what I want
  • be there for me when I want you – be available when needed
  • give me my stuff the way I want it – content not container idea
  • Be where the user is
  • prove your importance to ME!
  • Let ME do it myself! Unmediated ILL…

Michael Stephens (Dominican University):

Pondering the future…

  • Cool new librarian titles
  • Immersive Learning Librarian (the gaming librarian – wow)
  • “we are looking for a librarian 2.0 in preparation for a library 2.0 world” – from a job ad
  • Nextgen Librarian – at Wayne State University….
  • talked about how the world has changed via web 2.0 stuff
  • Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything … looks like a good book
  • showed lots of examples of what libraries are doing to reach out in new ways
  • “the trendspotting librarian” – we need to understand what’s coming next
  • use wired, etc to trendspot – ads, articles
  • the adaptive librarian: education flexible professionals, you have to be flexible
  • the experience librarian – coolness.
  • Experience – Lunds grocery store is reserving community rooms…
  • the sharing librarian – we need to be open, decentralized, etc…
  • we need to: learn to learn, adapt to change, etc…

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Michael, david and DDR

Michael Porter and I decided to test out DDR, which was set up at ALA’s Techsource booth at the ALA Midwinter meeting just held in Seattle, WA. As you can see from the video, we had a good time!

Michael Porter and I decided to test out DDR, which was set up at ALA’s Techsource booth at the ALA Midwinter meeting just held in Seattle, WA. As you can see from the video, we had a good time!

Update: forgot to add – Beth Hoffman of the Adventures in Library School blog shot the video for me (I can’t dance, but I REALLY can’t dance and take shoot video at the same time!). Thanks Beth!

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ALA Midwinter 2007: OCLC Social Networking Panel

These are notes from the session I participated in…

Lisa (need to find her last name!):

  • They created I-Go, a library toolbar. Quicklinks to library resources. The search on the toolbar searches lots of stuff (ie., library resources). Cool. It DOESN’T search Google.
  • MySpace: – cool URL. They have chosen to not actively recruit friends. They repost info into the myspace blog. Have a federated search tool embedded within their myspace page. Also have a link to add this search tool thingie onto your myspace page. Cool. And they allow the search to show results without proxy – then you have to enter username etc to actually get articles
  • Facebook: David Ward is their Facebook profile… had to use a name. And then plastered their real library name on the page, so it appears in searches.
  • Facebook flyers: displays as an ad to their UI network. $10 a day.
  • Second Life: are starting to work with this via the CyberCity infoisland thing.

I spoke next (Jenny took good notes)…

Jenny Levine:

  • ALA is exploring creating online community for members.
  • Not sure why she posts to flickr, other than it’s fun.
  • Has a friend that keeps friends updated with Facebook.
  • Joined the Facebook group “when I was your age, Pluto was a planet”
  • “social retailing” – HD monitor that feeds out of the dressing room, so friends can see what you’re trying on… and help you decide what looks good on you.
  • Twitter – text message your status… why do this?
  • Yahoo groups as an example of online community – her example is a very active group.
  • Ways to interact: use ebsco’s rss feed, other library feeds… they can display on the yahoo groups page! That way you support the group and go where the users are… cool idea!

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