2011 Digipalozza

One week before the start of OverDrive’s 2011 Digipalooza conference, my boss asked if I would go as a last minute replacement. I asked where it was and he told me it was in Cleveland, Ohio. When I left his office, I Googled the location. Ah, there it is. So, with this trip I got to hit a couple more milestones: first time to Ohio and the first time seeing a Great Lake.

I decided to live share the conference by taking notes in Google Docs and posting the link. Please see those notes for information regarding information about patron interest in ebooks and tech stuff. I left out the advertisements on upcoming books since the RA stuff was my coworker’s jurisdiction.

At the ALA annual meeting in June, I had set up a couple ebook sessions so I know first hand how wildly popular the topic of ebooks are for consumers. However, until I attended this conference I did not understand *why* I should care. A few things that I learned then were:

A Day Mostly at the Desk

I really should stop writing these posts immediately before bed… Here’s the Twitter summary of my day:

  • I’m looking up shuttle service for my trip to Digipalooza on Thursday. OMG the prices.
  • I’ve fleshed out my travel plans for when I arrive in Ohio. Now I’m waiting on an email about getting to this airport.
  • Yes! My first coding change of the morning was successful! Now to try editing FCKeditor’s user interface.
  • Bah, running into the same problem with files locking up when trying to upload them to the server. Trying Cyberduck now.
  • An article I helped write was published today on @hacklibschool: http://bit.ly/pfWrdV
  • Continue reading →

First Night Closing

Well, I was going to focus more on this post since it is the first day of Library Day in the Life 7, but I just received bad news that my friend’s dog will be put to sleep tomorrow. So I’m quite a bit upset since …this is hard. I know first hand how wonderful Sophie is and how much she’s loved so it’s just breaking my heart that she has to leave. Here’s a short summary of my day from the few tweets I got in:

  • Closing the computer labs down means that I got to come in at 12:30 pm instead of 9 am.
  • Yay, my sketchbooks and notecards have arrived!
  • Made the changes requested by a children’s librarian to the signs I created for their events.
  • Keeping getting an error message from Notepad++ when trying to upload edited files back to the server.
  • Trying to install a trial version of Dreamweaver till my workstation arrives. It looks like it’s failing.
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Business Advice

A friend was looking for advice on how to establish her photography business. I gave her some advice which I think is pretty universal for anyone looking to establish themselves as a professional:

Email addresses are one of the first things to watch out for in how your company looks to others. For instance, if you wanted to contact any professional and pay them good money for their services, would you be inclined to if their email address was ilovejustintimberlake@aol.?com? It’s pretty much the same concept as when applying for jobs. You want a professional email address handle like yourname@yourcompany.com (or whatever). It re-emphasis your branding of your name is a photographer.

As for money, you’re saying that any materials you use has to be free, correct? The next step after deciding your persona will be to work on your social media presence. Starting on here is step one. Have you taken yourself to Twitter? Write a blog about some basic tips or blogging about your experiences on shoots. Talk about new photography tricks you’ve learned. You’re working on building up your presence. The blog will establish you as an authoritative person on the subject in your local sphere.
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Traveling for Business Already

…well, not quite yet! The person who was suppose to be attending Digipalooza is leaving so I am her last minute replacement. Therefore a portion of my day was spent negotiating travel plans and other trip necessities. There were some things that could not be accomplished today so I will have to look to them on Monday. Other tasks involved trying to fix an attach files issue for a Drupal content type which led to me sitting upstairs in the Children’s Library for awhile while the librarian tried to explain to me more about other areas of her request. I got to see all the children and parents who joyfully ran up to the librarian. It was pretty magical. Whenever she was busy, I snuck off into the stacks to admire their older reader’s book collection.

I then headed back to my office to figure out how to use Apple’s Keynote software. My thoughts about it is that is not as intuitive to use as PowerPoint but it had some pretty impressive results which were easy to manage. I managed to get most of the hang of the software by watching a couple videos on YouTube. I am not a formally trained graphic designer so I’m unsure about the results. I sent the proofs to the appropriate person for their input. As soon as they’re approved I’ll send them up the ladder to be put into the queue. I wonder if I could share the panels I create on here…
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A Day of Meetings

Today was not terribly exciting nor did I produce much in the way of tangibles. On the other hand, I had three important meetings which gave me insight about the library’s archives, the situation with the local schools, how the picture book collection was started, new sections for the website (about : history, publications, ____ something I can’t remember), and tomorrow’s golden project to complete. That project is to transform the database listing from literally several pages of lists which are hard to navigate to a database of databases. The UX Ninja gave me some other tips on things which have been long-broken that need to be fixed.

By the time I write these posts I’m pretty tired and find it hard to write about my day since I work in such small pieces for larger projects. I am also at the “getting flooded with ideas” stage of things which are contractual trade secrets so I don’t feel like I can post about them before I do something with them.

In regards to my coworkers, I am still astonished about people who are taking a two hour (one way!) commute to work. I feel extremely fortunate to live only 15 minutes away (I’m forwarding jobs to Thomas which are about the same distance away too) from work. I enjoy talking shop and ideas with my boss. Everyone I have communicated with have been enthusiastic and willing to help me find new ways to improve services to internal and external customers. I feel very lucky to be working with such fantastic people.

CDLC Update

CDLC 2011-07-20

as of 2011-07-20

This screencap does not look like much has changed from the last post about it. However, that is deceitful since it does not reveal all the time took in trying to fix the issues with that vertical drop down menu. Namely that I want to mind the rules of good usability and have the second level drop down menu highlight completely in it’s block when hovered over. Then the other night, I gave in that I don’t know how to fix that problem and continued to make other adjustments. Somehow amidst all that, my green menu disappeared. Cue two frantic nights post-work searching for how to fix it. How did I resolve it? I went to Widgets and dragged a custom menu to the sidebar. My menu reappeared like magic. It makes no sense since that was not how I had gotten it there originally.
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Today was mostly about finishing up my video work that I started yesterday. While iMovie happily churned away on that, I spent the rest of my time writing emails, attempting to organize the UX folder before giving in and emailing a couple of models to my UX coworkers, looking at Joeyanne’s presentation on mobile technologies in libraries, learning about Polaris’ Simply Reports, and brainstorming new UX ideas via Twitter. The other big thing I did was heft the new camcorder to the auditorium to run some screen tests. I got a feel for the shutter speed (4 makes you look like a ghost and 60 appears to be default) and how to make some manual aperture adjustments.

One thing I have come to learn is the data values I have learned through working with Drupal. The Simply Reports session was just teaching us how to build successful search queries using the Polaris interface. To my pleasant surprise, this was no big deal. I got the concepts immediately since I had built similar structures into the ICL website. Another Drupal surprise was when reading about complex taxonomies and structure in my metadata class this past spring. The concepts were old hat to me since I had already been forced to think of how to organize things from ICL website.

I’m dying to list some of my project ideas on here. However, I think I will wait till they shape up into something more. So, in conclusion, who would be interested in knowing how I am organizing my workflow?

Two Day Catch-Up for Work

I’ve been feeling a little unable to do the things I’m interested in at work because of the training sessions I had to attend these past two days. The training sessions were important especially where I worked the Help Desk and got to help patrons directly. One suggestion that I am taking to heart is to try arrange a basic computer skills class for adults. When I asked my coworkers they said that it was a requested class. Fortunately, I assisted in a basic computer training class for the elderly in 2008 so I know how to manage such a class already.

I am also processing the videos that are being produced from events. I hope to have a 24 hour turn around time on them (at least when I’m there). So while I was dodging between events today, I was processing videos and writing up exact instructions and specifications on the staff wiki. I was also able to get a basic handle on the new camcorder for work. The publicity lady came over all excited hoping we could use the camera tonight which got a negative response from me. It’s a beautiful piece of work with 3 ways to do any function (which I think is probably overkill since the buttons are easy to hit as you work with it). My favorite aspects so far are that 1) There is a mode to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles 2) It records to an archival tape and compact flash at the same time.

My small tasks at the end of the day was cleaning up some wording on the website and tweeting. A prominent player of my library is leaving soon, so I noted on my Google Document (I should write about how I’m project managing myself) that I’ll need to change all the zillion places she’s listed as a contact person on the site!

I then came home and nearly fell asleep at the table.