UGame ULearn: Michael Stephens

Michael Stephens talkingMichael Stephens spoke last, and gave an inspiring talk on change and libraries. Again, my random notes and tweets:

let our core values guide everything we do.

encourage the heart – satisfy their curiosity, encourage users, etc

Showing examples of good vs bad practices.

A “do not move the furniture” sign vs an academic library giving over the 1st floor to the students – putting in chairs and tables, and saying ‘ move them anywhere you want … and then watching what the students do with it, and plan new areas of the library around how the students move stuff around. Nice.

What gets in our way?

  • institutional culture – “we’ve always done it this way” that type of mindset
  • embedded staff – the staff that has hunkered down, it’s their stuff…
  • silos of knowledge – what if they leave?
  • outdated methods…
  • organizational structure
  • barriers and rules
  • mindset …

technolust – wanting tech because it’s sexy. Don’t do that – do it because it helps your mission

Guides, not gatekeepers. what we should be doing.

augmented reality – we need to be the ones adding content to physical spaces via augmented reality.

“A whole new mind” – Daniel Pink – a book to read

learning 2.0 – after going through a learning 2.0 program, there’s more confidence in libraries, new users, more awareness, etc. It will change your staff – new ways of thinking and working. They feel more included, confident.

confidence, use of new technologies, etc…

self-directed exploration.

non users – how do we find them?

find them, talk to them, GO to them. Ask them.

put the library everywhere – in the palm of your hand, in a beautiful building, etc.

Break down barriers – ex – your policy manual Can you change it, simplify it?

Develop your personal learning network – reading tweets, following blogs, etc – important to always be learning.

balance is key. Twitter will be there tomorrow. It’s ok to take a break, balance life.

Zigzag bridge

  • Sign with it – walk a bit, stop, then turn. Every time you turn, you change your point of view, your experience, etc.
  • “evil spirits” can’t follow you, because they fear change.

And one tweet:

if you’re not having fun, something is off. @mstephens7 #ugul10 9:38 AM Apr 1st via web

23 Things Kansas starting soon!

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.

Want to find out more? Go visit the website … and don’t forget to register!

The 24th Thing

I’ve been enjoying reading Chris Brogan’s blog recently, and his post titled The Target is Not the Weapon made me think. Here are some quotes:

“In social media, the tools aren’t the same thing as reaching a goal. If you’re a marketer looking to use these tools, then make the first goal to learn how the community moves, listen to its ebbs and flows, and then make the next goal to try starting conversations.”


“If you’re seeking to hit a target, is the goal to use a dart or an arrow or a bullet, or is it to improve your accuracy, or is it simply to hit the bullseye? The answer is C, even though A and B are part of the equation.”

Now apply that to libraries. Say a library wants to start a blog. Is the goal to have five posts a week, to have a cool blog, to learn how to blog, or even to share what’s happening at the library? Those are all ok goals… but they’re LITTLE goals. How about these goals:

  • connect with your community in a real way
  • connect with a new, online user base
  • start real conversations with patrons
  • become an active community resource (sorta like your physical library)
  • once you’ve connected… figure out how best to meet these patron’s special needs.

Remember Helene Blowers’ Learning 2.0 / 23 Things? Maybe your 24th thing should be this: figure out what your real target is, and how these emerging tools and trends work into that equation.