Working on #bigproject

I apologize for the lack of updates. I was at the Polaris Users Group conference the first week of October then on vacation for five days. At work I am doing misc. small projects like processing what feels like dozens of videos. Then at home I am working on my #bigproject.

My project is writing The Comparative Guide to WordPress in Libraries: A LITA Guide. It is due to the editor in early January 2013. Currently I am writing mini-essays out of twenty surveys that were sent back to me about each WordPress project that I chose. I was optimistic that I could write two essays a night, but I am coming home from work extra tired as of late. I think it is the lack of routine due to the flood. While I have finally moved back to the basement UX office, there is still much to catch up on.

My Interview with Not Safe 4 Libraries

Thanks, Michael Schofield for the chat! We spoke on the phone for about 90 minutes last week discussing what I do as a UX librarian, how I found my job, a bit about the future of libraries (I mostly rattled off a list of things that I’ve read elsewhere since it’s all a giant melting pot in my head now), and I revealed what my #bigproject is.

Check out the podcast interview!

Note: I’m taking the Nicole Kidman and Johnny Depp approach and not listening to this for now. AKA I’m too embarrassed.

Polaris Users Group 2012 Meeting

I was sent to the 11th annual Polaris Users Group (PUG) meeting in Syracuse, NY this past week. Everyone was friendly and I spent a lot of time with the Head of Materials Management from my library. However, many of the sessions were not particularly relevant for our needs since we do not use Polaris’ PowerPac. Instead we use SOPAC, an open source PAC.

The best sessions were from the keystone speaker, Garry Golden (presentation slides). He de-empathized the importance of ebooks. Instead he wanted to challenge libraries to focus on the lifelong learner. He asked how do we guide patrons through stages of learning new tasks. Is it through some gamificiation with badges, extra privileges as they complete lessons, or what? He also suggested that we get involved with online learning opportunities like Khan Academy.

The other showstopping session for me was Library Advocacy 101. Paula Laurita (Athena-Limestone Public Library) discussed being absolutely “shameless” in her pursuit of bringing attention to her library with the local and state elected officials. She befriended their secretaries, sends them targeted mailings for programs they would be interested in, and invite them to luncheons to learn about the library. She also provides stationary for patrons to write their comments to the officials when they come to the desk and the library mails them on the patron’s behalf.

I also spent quite a bit of time discussing SOPAC thanks to a comment I made on Twitter about all the PowerPac stuff. It was an unexpected side journey for me to speak about SOPAC to a room of developers and at various lunch tables. The other topic I was able to speak about was our Library’s experiences with the 3M Cloud Library. We are marketing heavily to commuters right now and our two digital books collections (3M and OverDrive) are in the thick of our promotions.