My newest video for WebJunction is out! This time around, I provide a succinct explanation of how competencies can be useful to you and your library. It fits nicely with WebJunction’s Competencies website (you should check it out sometime).
social media | emerging trends | libraries
Recently, I’ve been working on a video project (a not-for-work video project). And it’s been fun. And a little irritating at times, too.
Glad you asked! Because lighting has been a struggle, among other things. I’m creating these videos in my basement, and started out using some umbrella lights and my trusty Sanyo Xacti HD1A video camera.
And in the process, I’ve discovered that I have A LOT to learn about lighting. And sound. And scripting (because I generally have a hard time winging it). And because my trusty Sanyo Xacti video camera has started to act up (whack! There, it’s fixed).
But guess what? Instead of giving up, I decided to experiment a bit and improve my skills. The pic accompanying this post is just that – it’s me in action, playing with a new backdrop and a couple of new lights, and figuring out how to use the white balance on my video camera (as in hey, what’s this thing do?).
I’ve discovered that a little experimentation goes a long way to improving what I saw as problems. Color problems? Fixed. Weird lighting problems? Getting better. Audio irritations? I fixed those, too. Camera problems? (Whack, whack! Fixed again – ok, more improvements needed there, I think).
These days, most of us are NOT experts. Sometimes, we have to wing it. And we have choices when presented with one of those “oh-shoot-I’m-no-expert” projects:
Want to improve something? You HAVE to start. You HAVE to keep on doing it, purposefully experimenting during the process, and learning from those experiences. Simple to say, much harder to do.
That’s all for now (whack. whack, whack, whack. Whew!).
Notes from a talk I attended …
Speakers: Lisa Carlucci Thomas (Digital Services Librarian), Southern Connecticut State University, Karen Sobel (Web Librarian), and Nina McHale (Reference & Instruction Librarian) – both at the University of Colorado at Denver
Gen X and Tech – Nina
Ha – quote – “I have shoes older than you.”
Generalizations work sometimes, sometimes not so much. ie – there are 20-something digital novices and 80-year old tech gurus.
Defines Gen X at early-mid 1960s to early 1980s. That’s me – born in 1966.
Growing up (along) with technology:
gen x librarians developed technology skills as needed – computers entered our lives during our educations
1970 – mean income, $10,001 – “Kitchen Computer,” $10,600
1984-1993 – computer access doubled for Gen Xers.
Gen X – between two worlds:
typewriters and word processors
card catalogs and opals
print and electronic
DOS and Windows
Analog and Digital
Traditional and Social
VHS and DDR
Landline and Cell Phone
Parallels in personal lives:
there has always been a generation in the middle – but tech adds a new dimension.
Attitudes toward tech:
we’re proficient with it
accepting of change and desire to improve systems
more likely to bank, shop, and look for health info online – connecting traditional institutions and new modes of communication
Gen X at Work – Karen
Sandwich Generation at work
Good mix of generations, income brackets, and levels of information at the university
She works on bridging the gap in the classroom.
different generations want to know different things.
make sure to personalize the instruction
Gen X skills in the library:
Gen X is bridging the gap – we started out analog, ended up digital. So we can help older people that are just starting out learning the “new stuff” – cause we’ve been there too
“I like technology, but I’m not an addict” – we have a better balance than older and younger generations
What does it mean to say “I’m not a computer person?” – But â€¦ they still have a phoneâ€¦
Many Gen X librarians lean in tech-related taskforces, digitization projects, training programs
Gen X and Leadership – Lisa
Never before – 4 generations int he workplace
Gen X – rising into management positions (that’s me too)
Gen X is the smallest entry wave of managers in leadership roles right nowâ€¦
Difference – Gen X is loyal to the profession – not to the institution.
Require personal/professional life balance
self-driven and self-motivated
promote innovation, mediate change, mentor people towards that change
Mentioned BIGWIG as a good example of gen x librarians working towards change
Sweet – mentioned mine and Michael Porter’s Library 101 project as something trying to give back to the profession – thanks!
Interesting – are we the self-centered skeptical slackers the media once portrayed us as? Not so much. Instead, we are independent, innovative individuals – who are becoming proficient leaders in our fields.
Sometimes, I get these types of questions:
“I’m learning about social media tools, and a patron saw I was online and asked me a question … but I wasn’t at work! What should I do?”
“I was at work, and a friend saw I was online in Facebook and started asking me about the party last night. What should I do?”
Here’s my take. I’d love for you to add to the discussion!
First, for the patron/after-hours question. There are a few different ways to deal with this:
How about the friend-contacting-you-at-work thing? For starters, I’d say chatting with a friend while at work is perfectly fine (as long as you’re getting your work done). You’re learning the tool with someone you trust. That’s a great way to gain new skills.
What if that staff member is spending too much time in Facebook? Think about your work phone for a sec. In most jobs, it’s fine to get an occasional call from a friend. But if you’re spending 5 hours a day on the phone with that friend, then it’s a problem. And it’s not a problem with the phone – it’s a behavioral issue that the employer needs to deal with. Same thing with Facebook. Deal with the problem (spending too much time talking to friends while at work) – not the symptom (phone/Facebook).
While I’m on the topic, a related question that I’m also asked is this: “Should I set up separate work and personal accounts in social networks, or set up one for everything?”
I’m not convinced the question is completely warranted anymore. Some social networks have made this issue pretty easy to figure out without worrying too much about personal/work-related stuff. For example, Facebook has two types of accounts – personal profiles nad organizational Pages. If you set up an organizational library Page, and you set up a personal profile that’s you, the two don’t really cross over.
There is one kinda tricky part to Facebook Pages. To set up a Facebook Page, you use your personal profile. That organizational Page is connected to, or owned by, whoever originally sets up the Page. This is important to think through! Do you create a “library david” profile, then create the Page (which sorta goes against Facebook’s policy – one profile per person)? Or do you use your real personal profile to set up the page? I know more than one librarian who has gotten another job, moved out of state … and still technically “owns” the Facebook Page from the old job. That can get weird fast!
There’s also one slightly tricky part with Twitter, too. My library has a library Twitter account. And I have my personal Twitter account. Easy enough. I also do a lot of “listening” via Twitter searches for my library. So, when someone asks a question or says something about the library – even if they don’t use the proper @topekalibrary to do it – I see that comment. I usually reply to them using my @davidleeking account. What do you think – is that ok, or should I use the @topekalibrary account? Not sure.
S0 – what do you do? Do you find it easy or hard to separate your work life from your personal life online? Let me know – and share what you do!
Kansas librarians, pay attention! You might be interested in 23 Things Kansas, a 23 Things program for our state.
What is a 23 Things program? From the 23 Things Kansas website, it’s “a fun way to learn about and practice with online tools for community, sharing and productivity.”
And it’s a pretty cool thing – for January-April, you learn about many emerging web-based tools – some familiar, some not quite so familiar. Each week focuses on one thing – for example, the week I’m facilitating is all about web-based video. So that week, we will play with sites like YouTube and Vimeo, search for videos in video search engines, and some of us will even create videos and upload them to the web. And then some.