My Computers in Libraries 2012 Presentations

As usual, I had a great time at Computers in Libraries 2012 (#CILDC). I learned some interesting things, and met some really cool people too.

I also gave a few presentations (ok – five presentations). Here are a couple of my slidedecks and some notes people took during the presentations, so you can get a feel for my sessions. Enjoy!

1. Seven Essential Elements to an Awesome Library Website

Nicole Engard took some pretty thorough notes! This slidedeck made the main page of Slideshare, in the Featured and the Top Pro Content sections!).

2. Digital Hangouts: Reaching Outside the Building

Digital Hangouts: Reaching Outside the Building

View more presentations from David King
This slidedeck also made the main page of Slideshare, in the Top Pro Content section. Sweet!
3. The Next Big Thing – an interactive panel (Jill Hurst-Wahl’s notes).

4. Benchmark Study – Library Spending and Priorities 2012 (another panel – notes from Joanna’s Conference Reports blog).

5. Let’s Make Video! (a preconference workshop with Michael Porter. Notes from the Montana BTOP Technology Training blog).

Social Media as Place

My last post about those billboards reminded me about the difference between a library’s normal forms of content (books, DVDs, music CDs, etc) and social media.

What’s that difference?

  • Content – a book, a video, etc – is something you DO. You read a book, you watch a movie.
  • Social Media is a place you visit in order to DO. You visit Facebook in order to share something with your mom.

Think of social media as a crowded room in a pretty social setting. A bar, a party, hanging out with friends, etc. You go there to talk, to share, to listen. It’s a place you visit so that you can do something.

There are a couple of cool intersections though. Things like this:

  • Go to Twitter (a place) to talk (something to do) about a book that everyone’s reading (content).
  • Visiting the library (a place) to use the computer to access Facebook to reconnect with a friend (something to do).

So librarians … use your mad powers of social media to connect with your customers to talk about your content. Then see what happens.

image by Bigstock

Content Creation, Media Labs, and Hackerspaces

Skokie Public Library's Digital Media Lab

I’ve been thinking about content creation and libraries lately. Right now, we collect content – hence our shelves of stuff. Yes, we do many other things too. But if you look at our buildings, they have been, by and large, designed for collections of stuff – for collecting content.

Some libraries are changing that focus (or at least adding on to it) by enabling customers to create their own content in a variety of ways … and it’s pretty interesting stuff!

I’ll lump what I’m seeing into three loose categories:

  • Digital Media Labs
  • Hackerspaces
  • Coworking spaces

Digital Media Labs: These spaces have content creation tools that allow customers to create and share video, music, photography, and design projects. Customers have access to computers with editing software, cameras, camcorders, microphones, and musical keyboards.

The best examples I’ve seen of this so far are Skokie Public Library’s Digital Media Lab and Chicago Public Library’s YouMedia project. Skokie’s lab has a greenscreen wall for video projects; Youmedia includes a small recording studio space.

Hackerspaces: “A hackerspace … is a location where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, or digital or electronic art (but also in many other realms) can meet, socialise and/or collaborate … hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things” (from Wikipedia).

Basically, hackerspaces tend to be public spaces with tools – 3D printers, drill presses, etc. And people make stuff there. Who’s doing this? Well, Allen County Public Library and Fayetteville Free Library are, for starters.

Coworking Spaces: Coworking is a pretty simple concept. Independent workers, freelancers, small business owners, etc. gather in a shared space to share ideas, team up on projects, and get some work done in a more social setting. It’s an alternative to meeting at home or a local coffee shop.

Libraries have unofficially done this for years (how many of you have heard of a patron who runs his/her business from the library? I’ll bet some of you have). But some libraries are going a step or two further by embedding librarians in these spaces, or even offering coworking spaces as part of their services. Meg Knodl, a librarian at Hennepin County Library, is doing this – here’s an article on what Meg is doing. Helsinki City Library has created some coworking spaces – read more about it here.

For more info, check out these articles:

Question – is your library doing something like this? If so, let me know in the comments!

Photo by Skokie Public Library

Library Podcasts you Might Find Useful

earbudsBobbi Newman at Librarian By Day just introduced me to two new librarian-focused podcasts. Thanks, Bobbi – I’ll have to take a listen!

I thought it might be useful to make a list of librarian-related podcasts, because there are a goodly handful of them at the moment, and they are all pretty useful.

These aren’t podcasts done by local libraries, for their local customers. Instead, these podcasts are all focused on us librarians.

And I’m using “podcast” loosely in my list – it includes audio-only podcasts, call-in live shows (that then turn into downloadable audio podcasts after the fact), and video shows.

List of Librarian Podcasts (the first two swiped from Bobbi’s post):

  • Whatever Mathers: Creative conversations with host Amy Mather and a revolving cast of surprise guests.
  • Circulating Ideas: the Librarian Interview Podcast: Interviews with librarians.
  • NCompass Live, from the Nebraska Library Commission: focus on library trends.
  • This Week in Libraries: Eric and Jaap from the Netherlands host a weekly video show with a bunch of interesting guests, usually talking about the future of libraries. Definitely international in scope.
  • T is for Training: call-in live show/podcast focused on training
  • Games in Libraries: A podcast about Games, Gaming, and Gamers in Libraries (sporadic at the moment)
  • Adventures in Library Instruction: A monthly podcast by and for library information literacy instructors and teaching librarians. The show includes features, interviews and discussion about teaching in libraries.
  • LibPunk: Live call-in show/podcast focused on hot topics in libraryland

Additions from the comments (some other really cool-sounding podcasts):

So – what am I missing in this list? Know of any other podcasts focused on the library/information professional industry? Let’s list them here. And make sure to listen/watch/call-in – give them a try, and see if you get something out of them!

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!