Gina Millsap is Running for ALA President!

Gina Millsap, my library’s Executive Director, is a candidate for ALA president for 2013-14! Sweet!

Below is a little info about her from the ALA press release. Before that though  … I LOVE working for Gina. She really knows her stuff, she knows technology, and she knows libraries. And I think she’d make a great ALA president that would actually move the organization forward. Then again, I might be a tad bit biased, too :-)

OK … and now for the press release stuff from ALA:

“Millsap is the Chief Executive Officer of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Topeka, Kan. She is nationally known for presenting on cutting edge issues, including 21st century librarianship, process improvement, the use of market segmentation to grow and develop library services and the changes necessary for libraries to thrive in the 21st century.

Millsap has been a continuous member of ALA since 1995 serving as the 2009-2010 president of the Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA). She has served on several committees within LLAMA. She also served on ALA’s Advocacy Coordinating Group, 2007-08 and as chair of the Elizabeth J. Futas Catalyst for Change Award Jury, 2002.

She served as president of the Iowa Library Association (2002) and has held leadership positions in the Kansas Library Association (Secretary 2007-2008), the Missouri Library Association (Secretary 1985-1986), the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, the Ames (Iowa) Chamber of Commerce, and the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau. From 2004-2009, she participated in the American Bulgarian Library Exchange. She has been a Rotarian for 15 years and a United Way volunteer in both Ames and Topeka. Current community leadership includes serving on the United Way On-Grade Achievement Council and as the co-chair of Heartland Visioning, a community-wide strategic planning process for Topeka and Shawnee County.

Millsap’s honors include Library Journal Mover and Shaker (2007); Zonta Club, Topeka Chapter, honoree for International Women’s Day (2007); and the State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award (2000).

She has a B.A. in library science from the University of Missouri (1976), and an M.A. in library science also from the University of Missouri (1977).

“ALA will be relevant to all generations of librarians by making value to its members its top priority,” Millsap said. “The bottom line is – to create a 21st century library we need 21st century librarians.”

Get the rest of the press release, and info about Barbara Stripling (the other candidate) here. To be fair, Barbara sounds great, too …should be a fun election time!

Facebook for Libraries – an article in American Libraries

I have an article about Facebook for Libraries – in American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association (ALA). Here’s an excerpt:

“Today, I spent part of the day connecting with people. I complained about a silly election video, chatted with a college friend about a band, and put some finishing touches on plans for a conference taking place at the library.

I did all this through Facebook. These days, it seems like everyone has a Facebook account. Quite a few of my professional colleagues and most of my family have Facebook accounts. Nationally, I’m a bit ahead of the curve: Approximately 41% of the U.S. population has a personal Facebook profile, according to a 2010 study from Edison Research (PDF file). According to Wikipedia, 50% of those Facebook users actually log into their Facebook accounts every day. Total Facebook population? Globally, over 600 million of us currently use Facebook, MSNBC reported in January, and most of them interact every day with an average of 130 Facebook friends and acquaintances.

Think about that for a second. What library wouldn’t love to have a direct, free line to potentially 41% of your community’s ear? Keep in mind, these people could be connected to another 130 people in your community. That’s a lot of free communication!

So, stake a claim in this digital land and create a Facebook Page for your library. Here’s how to set up a Facebook account, and how to use it to connect with your community.”

Go read the rest of the article!

Upcoming Webinar – Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites

If you’re interested in building better websites, make sure to sign up for my upcoming webinar for ALA TechSource on June 8 – Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites. Just click the link to sign up!

This will be the second time I have given this webinar. If you attended the first one, never fret! There will be new content – I’m going to talk about how Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (where I work) built our current website (the redesign went live on March 1).

Here’s the blurb for the webinar:

Every library needs a presence on the web. Whether you work at a large academic library or a public library in a small town, you need to be able to deliver service and content to patrons outside  your building. David Lee King will once again present this popular workshop, taking you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly library website that will expand and enhance your library’s presence in the community.

In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to successfully plan and implement a redesign of your website
  • How to find out what patrons want from your website
  • How to use your website to interact with patrons
  • How to create strategic plans and goals for your website

Sign up NOW!

Why Just This Week?

Yay! It’s National Library Week! It’s the week libraries remind their patrons they should love a librarian. We make buttons. We remind people that a community thrives when they have a good library. We ask people to tell us their stories. We bake cakes.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with National Library Week. It gets press. It gets us librarians organized a bit for at least one week during the year. And it can be a lot of fun, too.

But I get a little miffed during this week. Some libraries pour a lot of money and planning and time and festivities into a week … that no one else really cares about. It’s just a made-up week sponsored by ALA. Sorta like National Health IT Week (ooh! That one’s coming up on September 12-16, 2011. Be there or be square!).

As I was writing this post, I received a canned email from Michael dowling, Director, Chapter Relations Office at ALA, that starts like this: “Thank you for supporting your state’s libraries during National Library Week, the perfect week to let your state legislators and governor know how important libraries are to you!”

Why is this week the perfect week? Why don’t we do this stuff the OTHER 51 weeks of the year?

What would happen if we very actively pushed the idea of libraries, of loving your librarian, of reminding our community that libraries thrive with a good library (and then backing up that claim with proof) ALL YEAR LONG?

Something to think about…

pic by vanhookc

Coming soon – Using Social Software in Library Marketing: Facebook, Twitter and More (ALA TechSource Workshop)

Some of you might be interested in attending this webinar coming up on December 1 and Decomber 8 (two part series) that Robin Hastings and I are leading.

Here’s the details (and here’s where you can register):

The popularity of social networking software—tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogs—continues to skyrocket, particular among younger populations. For libraries in the 21st century, a presence on these social networking sites is an essential part of library outreach and patron services. In this exclusive event, librarians and social software experts David Lee King and Robin Hastings will teach you about what tools you can use to engage with your patrons and the best practices for using them.

You’ll learn about:

  • Collaboration with libraries and patrons using YouTube, Flickr and Dropbox
  • Marketing your library with Facebook and Twitter
  • 4 things your library must do when signing up for any social media tool (listen, plan, respond, and opening up)
  • Time-savers and tools to use for maximizing your library’s social media reach

About the Instructors

Robin Hastings is the Information Technology Manager for the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Missouri. She manages the library’s network, websites and training classes, as well as social networking projects for the library. Recently, Robin went to England, Jamaica, California, Chicago (twice), St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri, giving presentations on Web 2.0, Learning 2.0, Library Mashups, RSS, OpenID and Web 3.0. When she’s not traveling, she spends most of her free time in front of a computer blogging at http://www.rhastings.net or writing articles, a book chapter on mashups in the library and a chapter on using Google Apps in the library, an issue of Library Technology Reports on Collaboration and a book on lifestreaming and microblogging.

David Lee King is the Digital Branch and Services Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans for, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website usability and management, digital experience planning, and managing techie staff and has been published in many library-related journals. David was named a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker” for 2008 and recently published his first book, Designing the Digital Experience. David writes the Internet Spotlight column in Public Libraries magazine with Michael Porter and maintains a blog at www.davidleeking.com.

Interested? Go register today!