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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Top 10 Hits from Monterey Bay - A wrap-up of Internet Librarian 2007

P.S. That's me in the picture above - well, me and hundreds of other people. I'm standing where the purple arrow is pointing. Hiding by the enormous potted plant. I found a chair soon afterwards, but walked in while someone was talking and thought it more polite to wait for a quiet moment.

10) Be sensitive - Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Not “cries at sad movies” sensitive, but aware of and empathetic to your library patrons. Recognize that for every gadget-loving geek who expects you to have the newest thing, there’s another patron who thinks that even his cell phone is an irritant - and yet another patron who does not have a cell phone, does not have a computer, and is quite satisfied living that way.

9) Be honest - from Sarah Houghton-Jan, Senior Librarian for Digital Futures, San Jose Public Library.(How's THAT for a job title?)
If a Web guru type like Sarah can admit, in all seriousness, that Second Life is a bandwidth-hogger (that’s just for you, Roberta), the Queen Bee of system requirement demanders, and quite possibly a time-waster, then why on earth are you considering it @ your library? Sometimes the next big thing is already yesterday's news or is too big for the average person to grasp very tightly.

8) Be rebellious - from Jeff Wisniewski, University of Pittsburgh.
Figure out which Web site design rules can be broken and then break them, the sooner the better. Look beyond libraries to find the spark of inspiration for designing your Web services. Play with the kids down the block - they might have a new game to teach you.

7) Be surprising - from Erica Reynolds, Johnson County Library Web Content Manager. It is in your power to make your library’s Web services as fun, interesting and unusual as your collections. Get it right and you, too, can refer to your library Web site as “sexy.” Find your inspiration outside of your own four walls - go on a scavenger hunt for inspiration.

6) Be grateful - Librarians from Waco-McLennan County Library, TX. During the exhibit hall reception I introduced myself to two librarians from Waco, Texas, by saying I was from the suburbs of Chicago. I also stated that they’d probably never heard of Des Plaines or the other towns in the area. With big smiles, they informed me that being a librarian in Illinois was their “idea of heaven,” because Illinois libraries have tremendous support from their governments and communities. Some librarians aren’t so lucky and are struggling to serve large populations while understaffed and underfunded. We’ve had a public library in Des Plaines for 100 years because our residents make it so, plain and simple, and I should never take that for granted.

5) Be amiable - Sarah Long, Judy Hoffman, and Debbie Baaske from NSLS, Karen Kleckner from Deerfield Public Library, Teri Hennes from Glencoe Public Library, Mary Auckland from the UK, the man who runs LeBlanc Gallery, my Monterey cab driver...

The journey is shorter and sweeter with a new friend.
Stop talking for awhile and listen to what your colleagues and even strangers have to say - you’re guaranteed to learn something. Being respectful keeps the conversation friendly even when it’s challenging. The person next to you is more interesting than your salad. You might have more in common with your cabbie than you think.

4) Be a storyteller - Jaap, Erik, Edo and Geert and the Shanachie Tour, Otto Schulz from Fannie Mae. Share your stories. Let your library be a place where others can share their stories. Listen to the stories, celebrate each other, celebrate what is good and noble about human experience. Laugh while you work. Sing a song while standing in the great outdoors. Dream big and then make the dreams come true. Play. Be wowed by your kids. Be wowed by beautiful and innovative libraries. Be wowed when people use amazing technology to tell their stories in vivid and life-changing ways.

3) Be yourself - Karen Coombs and Michelle Boule, University of Houston Libraries. Sometimes, just loving what you do and letting it show is half the battle. Presenting your research and projects at a prestigious conference is a career milestone. Presenting it with all your giggling and enthusiasm intact, replete with cries of “You guys rock!” means you have the good sense to know it’s all about enjoying the ride. You guys rock, too.

2) Be willing to admit you’re wrong - Megan Fox from Simmons College Library. Like many librarians and more introspective types, I dislike telephones and mobile phones in particular. Nevertheless, Fox reminded a roomful of us that 3 billion people in the U.S. own and use cell phones - 3 times as many as there are computer owners and Internet users. Wow. So rather than shushing the phone-o-philes, let’s get them on our side by providing reliable and appealing information sources they can access via the mobile phone.

1) Just be. Sea lions, gulls, otters, jellies, sand and shore, mountain and fertile valley, Monterey Bay, California. Figure out what keeps you alive and makes you happy and then just let it be.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen,

    What a great list of "be's"! It's a top 10 list for living.



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