Vote for Gina Millsap for ALA President!

Here’s the newest video from Gina Millsap, ALA presidential candidate, talking about why she’s running for ALA president, and what she plans to focus on.

Watch the video, and please vote – voting starts in 11 days! Also, please read Gina’s Why I’m running statement on her website, and check out her growing Endorsements page (and fill out the endorsements form yourself if you plan to vote for Gina!).

You might also check out the Guide to the 2012 ALA Elections, too.

Disclosures – Yes, I’m an ALA member. Yes, Gina’s my boss (well, technically speaking, my bosses’ boss). No, she didn’t ask me to post anything to my blog, or to vote for her for that matter – she’s cool that way. I’m voting for her because I think she’d make a great ALA president. And yes, I will probably post a couple more Vote for Gina blog posts in the next couple of weeks – stay tuned!

Vote for Gina Millsap for ALA President

vote for Gina

Gina Millsap is my library’s Executive Director. She’s also running for ALA President!

Interested in finding out more about Gina and what she’ll do as ALA president? Read about that here and here.

You can also connect with her in these places:

You can also show support for Gina and her ALA campaign by displaying this image on your website or blog and link to her website (I’m using it on my blog!):

vote for Gina

So – are you an ALA member? Voting is a little over a month away. Vote for Gina!

LibraryLab is up – check it out!

boing boing logoHave you heard about LibraryLab? The first LibraryLab post is up at Boing Boing.

What’s LibraryLab? From Boing Boing – “This is the first post from the fine folks of the American Library Association, which recently launched a member interest group called Library Boing Boing. They will be posting now and again as LibraryLab.”

The goal with LibraryLab is simple:

“[LibraryLab is] a collaboration between ALA and the fabulously amazing Boing Boing folks to highlight all of the great new things libraries are doing. The most visible result will be regular posts about those great new things on the Boing Boing site itself.

On the other hand, Library Boing Boing: The Group has its own goals to help happy mutants in local communities connect with their happy mutant librarians to do good, work together on our shared interests, and make the world more better.” (from the ALA Marginalia blog).

Make sure to read more about the interesting ALA interest group here and make sure to subscribe to LibraryLab and Boing Boing too!

Changing Face of Privacy

I’m leading a webinar on Facebook tomorrow, and because of that, I’ve been thinking a lot about changes I’m seeing in online privacy.

So, as librarians, we historically have been defenders of our patrons’ right to privacy. It’s in our Code of Ethics: “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.”

On the opposite end of that are some pretty hip social media companies, like Google Plus and Facebook. Those two companies seem to have an unstated goal of making our world open and transparent … or at least, as open and transparent as we want to be.

Facebook does this by setting default privacy settings to Public. Google Plus does this (at least for now) by requiring us to use our real names on accounts.

Interestingly enough, some of our library tools are pushing for openness in different ways, too. Here are two examples of that:

  • Many of us are familiar with the Overdrive/Amazon deal. Amazon knows what your patrons have checked out, because they send them an offer to buy the ebook 3 days before it’s due. Amazon is, in essence, using what us librarians consider private info that we would never share, to sell ebooks to our patrons. It’s actually a handy thing to do… but flies in the face of our privacy ethics.
  • My library is in the process of moving to Polaris for our ILS/Library catalog. One really cool feature we’ll be getting is public lists. As a patron, I will be able to keep a list of books that I’ve read … and make that public, embed it on my blog, etc, via an RSS feed. It’s an opt-in feature, but still… very public, and very different from what us libraries have traditionally done.

This brings up quite a few questions in my mind:

  • Are libraries ready for opt-in/opt-out transparency?
  • Are we ready to check TOS agreements to catch and discuss things like that with vendors?
  • Some of us are bound by local or state laws on privacy. Are we ready to have discussions about those laws?
  • At the ALA level … are we ready to start discussing potential changes to our code of ethics and other privacy-driven discussions at a national level?
  • Are you ready to protect your own level of privacy
  • Are you ready to learn privacy settings in each online tool, and teach these to your customers?
So – what do you think? And how is your library addressing privacy issues online? I want to know!

Facebook in the Library – an ALA Techsource Webinar

ala tachsourceWanted to make sure you know about this – on November 2, I’ll be leading an ALA Techsource webinar on Facebook. It’s titled Facebook in the Library: Enhancing Services and Engaging Users.

And here’s the blurb about it:

Around 154 million Americans—51 percent of the population—are now using Facebook, according to a recent study by Edison Research. How effectively are you using this direct, free means of communication to reach out to your library’s patrons and users? Digital branch and social networking innovator David Lee King will share what he’s learned from years of experience and experiments with the Topeka and Shawnee County’s Facebook page. He will answer your questions and share time-saving tips on getting the most out of using Facebook.

Topics include:

  • Fundamentals for setting up and managing your Facebook page
  • The difference between a personal Facebook profile and an organizational Facebook page
  • Planning content for your library Facebook page
  • How to engage the library’s Facebook fans
  • How to market your library through a Facebook page

You’ll need to register for this event, but it should be a good one if you are interested in expanding your library’s Facebook presence!