More on Rockstars

dlk on guitarJust an update to my last post The Librarian IS the Rockstar. There’s a good bit of discussion going on in the comments to that post – go revisit, read the comments, and chime in!

There’s also some discussion going on in two other places:

Andy Woodworth wrote Shine Like a Star, Star. Nice post that fleshes out the whole promote staff idea: “But for those who don’t mind the exposure, the promotion pays in branding dividends. If you can put a human face to the library (and not a picture of a building, as is commonly done on Twitter and Facebook), then patrons can make the better connection to a person than simply identifying the place. In thinking beyond the immediate, when it comes to advocating for the library, it’s an easier emotional connection to say “Miss Jessica at the library needs you to write to your representatives” than “The library needs you to write to your representatives”. Patrons will be doing it for the people at the library, not simply the library itself. It’s that kind of identification that the library really needs; that personal connection that emphasizes that we are a people business.”

And Nancy Dowd, over at The M Word – Marketing Libraries blog, also wrote about Rock Stars. She’s a marketing director, and really knows her stuff. Here’s what she said: “The more people from my library that I can get into the newspapers, on a podium or winning an award, the happier I am.” Then, Nancy goes on to list 5 really goodreasons why this is a good thing.

So – go read the posts (and subscribe to Andy and Nancy’s blogs, if you don’t yet), then add to the discussion.

The Librarian IS the Rockstar

pic by libraryman

About a year ago, I tweeted this:

But I leave u with this to ponder: are your librarians your rockstars in your community? Should they be? If so, how do u get there? (from Twitter).

Here’s where I was going with that tweet: Awhile back, my library’s Communications Specialist said this to one of our librarians, who was worried that an article in our library newsletter focused a bit too much on her. Our Communications person said this (summary) “yep – my goal is to make YOU the rockstar, not me.”

I thought that was an insightful statement.

Our marketing person realized that one HUGE asset our library has, and therefore our community has … are our librarians. So we sometimes need to focus on our staff, rather than just on our stuff.

Why NOT “showcase” some of our fine staff a bit? We do that with all our other important, cool stuff, right? Our Harry Potter books and movies were all over some of our websites a few years ago. We make banners for important author events. We turn our “stuff” into the attraction (which makes sense – people come for our stuff).

How about this – why not create a banner showcasing, say, the librarian storytime dude that plays guitar and attracts a crowd? We’ve actually done that. In the process, instead of focusing on our “stuff” (in this case, the fact that we have storytimes), we focused on the specific staff person that did the storytime.

This also makes sense, because some people come for our stuff … AND our staff. You’ve seen this, too. More kids attending a certain person’s storytime. Patrons asking for a specific person at the reference desk. Maybe even one librarian blogger getting more hits on his/her blog posts because of their more personal writing style. People like our staff.

Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. We have amazing staff – and I’ll bet you do to. So why not showcase them a bit? Put them out into the community. Get them on the news (we do that on an afternoon news program). I know some librarians that write weekly newspaper columns.

Get out of your building. Step away from the reference desk. Call the newspaper. Start emphasizing your rockstar staff – not just your rockstar stuff.

Then see what happens.

Dealing with Email

A couple weeks ago, I was wondering how much email I received and dealt with in a day. So I counted, and here’s what I ended up with – two email accounts, one day:

Gmail account:

  • 75 emails received
  • 13 emails already in my inbox
  • What were they?
    • 7 twitter requests
    • 6 things I needed to know
    • 2 replies to something I had sent the day before
    • 7 things I had to do or respond to
    • the rest was junk I deleted (discussion list things, subscription spam, etc)

During the day, I sent out 14 emails from this account, and ended up with 1 email in my inbox.

Work email account:

  • 55 emails received
  • 12 things already in my inbox
  • What were they?
    • 9 things I needed to know
    • 2 interesting things
    • 12 helpdesk emails
    • 2 discussion list messages
    • the rest was junk I deleted

During the day, I sent out 7 emails from this account, and ended up with Zero Inbox!

Total email received = 130
Emails sent by me = 21
And I think this was a SLOW email day for me!

Of course, email wasn’t the only thing I did all day long. There were meetings. There were projects I’m working on. There was at least one call to a vendor. Etc.

The point is this – I do real work via email. I’m guessing you do too. Decisions get made, projects get additional thoughts. Things I need to see get seen. Questions get answered (or asked). It really IS my In Box.

How about you? Is email an irritation you have to deal with so you can DO your “real work” … or do you see email (and the thoughts behind those emails) as part of your “real work?”

Podcamp Topeka 2010 is in 30 Days!

Last year, my library and WIBW Studios put on Podcamp Topeka 2009, and it was a success … so guess what? We’re doing it again! Yep – Podcamp Topeka 2010 will be held on Saturday, November 6 at the library.

What’s a podcamp? Here’s our blurb about it: “PodCamp Topeka is Topeka’s annual low-cost “unconference” focused on social media, podcasting, audio and video production, and the web. Our goal? To learn about social media from social media experts, to network with fellow bloggers, podcasters & social media creators … and to have a blast!”

So – it’s a conference focused on social media, multimedia, and the emerging web. Not a library conference (though library staff can learn tons from it).

It’s an “unconference,” so instead of the traditional speaker/attendee model that most conferences have, instead it’s more of a facilitator/guided discussion model for the sessions. Each will be different, and highly interactive!

We have a great keynote speaker coming to town, too – Patrick O’Keefe. Here’s his bio – “Patrick’s the founder of the iFroggy Network, a network of websites covering various interests. He has been managing online communities since 2000 and is the author of Managing Online Forums, a practical guide to managing online social spaces. He has been responsible for the cultivation of communities like phpBBHacks.com, KarateForums.com and PhotoshopForums.com. He blogs about online community at ManagingCommunities.com, his favorite record label at BadBoyBlog.com and more at patrickokeefe.com. On Twitter, he’s @iFroggy.”

Who do we hope to attract to Podcamp Topeka? Well, YOU, for starters. If you read my blog, you’ll probably be interested in it. We ALSO hope to attract local business owners, social media users, multimedia creators, podcasters of all varieties, etc. From our regional Kansas/Missouri/Nebraska area. But yes – YOU are welcome to attend, too!

Can you tell I’m excited about it?

Facebook Page Tips

pic by laughing squid

Someone recently emailed and asked for some tips in setting up a Facebook Page. Here’s what I emailed back – feel free to add your own tips!

Facebook Page Tips:

To set up:

  • use pictures of friendly faces – not a building. People don’t want to friend buildings
  • add contact info, like phone numbers, URL, email address, IM account, twitter account, etc
  • If you have a twitter account, hook it into your facebook account
  • Put more than one person in charge of your Facebook Page. That way, you have a backup in case someone’s sick or on vacation.

Facebook Pages has “Insights” – analytics. Check those every month or so, and adapt your content accordingly. For example, 35 year old women are our Facebook Page’s main visitor type. How can we focus our content on that group? Most likely, there’s a way!

Finally, a Facebook Page isn’t something you can set up and then ignore. With the level of interaction and engagement going on, you’ll need to be actively engaged. That shouldn’t take a ton of time, though. It means doing things like sending 1-2 status updates a day, maybe doing some planning and setting some goals for the page, and replying to people’s comments, questions, and suggestions.

Hope this helps!