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Dad. Dude. Librarian
Welcome to my corner of the web.
It may be dusty and less than tidy but it's mine.


Friday Reads - Nothing Edition

2 min read

It's been a busy couple of weeks. We are finally going to offer eBooks to our public via OverDrive beginning next week. It only took 18 months from 'Yes we want it' to 'It's ready to go'. That took a little too long for my liking but it was above my pay grade and I wasn't involved.

Now that a launch is imminent I have become intimately involved with the process. I have visited (or will visit soon) all of our libraries in an effort to raise the staff's comfort level with OverDrive. It's supplemental to the training they provided. I think/hope it has helped the people who have come to the sessions I've hosted.

I've learned a lot about how this service will work and hopefully will be ready to fulfill part of my new responsibility (support for staff and public for OD). I'm not really looking forward to this new aspect of my job but someone has to do it. I'm not the only person doing the support. We've got people at each library who should be able to handle easy questions so hopefully I will only get the tough ones. We will see. Wish us luck.

One thing I like about visiting all of our libraries is seeing everyone. I like just about everyone in my library system so getting out and visiting the branches is always fun. I get to hang out with people I rarely get to see and I enjoy that. I also get mileage reimbursement so that takes the edge off driving all over the county.

Do I have anything for you to read this week? Since I missed last week I should but honestly I've been so busy with OverDrive (and other stuff) that I haven't had much chance to read and process anything. My Google Reader is overflowing and I know there have been lots of really interesting things going on. I just haven't sat still for the last two weeks and I probably won't for the next few weeks either. Plus I'm totally hooked on the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin so when I do get a chance to relax I'm reading that. Maybe next week...


Tree of Knowledge

1 min read

The "tree of knowledge" in our computer lab. When lit we are teaching classes and illuminating the darkness.'s fake.


Week 10- Tags/Social Bookmarking

2 min read


I'm a fan.  We set up a delicious account for the branch right before the move from IN to TW.  It was a way for us to access our favorites while we were during the time we were closed and traveling about the county helping out at other branches.  We've kept the account 'fairly' active although I don't update it as much as I'd like.  We try to keep it small and link to portals instead of specific pages within a site.  The thought is: "We're librarians, we can find the information, just give us the search screen."  It seems to work.

We experimented with the bundeling option but decided we liked the tag cloud better than a more organized list.  For us it just works better.  The reason is because our tags are broad descriptors and we don't use that many of them.

I think using a site like delicious would be a great way to create pathfinders/annotated bibliographies of websites for our patrons.  It could be used in addition to the list of sites we post on our main site.  It's flexible and can be kept up-to-date by staff at each branch.  Each branch can make their delicious account relevant to their community.  I know that some people may say, "Why put my favorites on line?  I can access them on the computer at work."  That's fair.  But I don't think reference has to stop at the door of the library.  If we do a good job of creating an online locally themed delicious account it will be something the community will use often.  It could be one of the first places people go for an organized roster of local information.  The library is the perfect for this. We know our community, we know good sources, we can organize.


Week 9 - Social Networking

2 min read

For week 9 in our training we discussed Social Networking sites.  What is there really to add?  I've had a Facebook profile for a while now and at first I really enjoyed logging on and trying to find old friends that I've lost touch with.  Then I got swamped with requests from people I haven't even thought about in 15 years!  I had no idea I was so popular.  

Seriously, I think Facebook and other networking sites are a good way to reconnect with people.  Once success I've had with Facebook is that I've gotten to know my cousin and his wife much better.  I rarely had a reason to keep in touch with them before and now I realize that we have much more in common than I thought.   

I don't participate in it as much now because I just don't feel like checking in.  I'll post things every so often just so the people I'm 'friends' with don't think I've fallen off the planet.

Social networks aren't for know who you are.  I think there is a certain level of effort you have to make to enjoy them.  You can't just set up an account and leave it alone.  If you really want to enjoy the network you have to be willing to put in some time and try to connect with the people out there.  

Do I see a way libraries can use Facebook?  I think so but it isn't an easy thing to do...well.  What would be the benefit of setting up a social network profile?  What could our users get from there that they can't get from our website?  A good example of a library Facebook page is the Topeka & Shawnee County Libray.  (They haven't updated it in a few weeks though)  Roanoke City library is doing a good job of using their Facebook page to advertise upcoming events and highlight them once they are done.  Hurray Roanoke!

Do I like social networking sites?  Yes.  Do I think my library should use them?  I don't know.


Common Craft does it again

1 min read

Another quality instructional video by the people at Common Craft.

I am totally going to use this the next time I teach the Introduction to the Internet class!


Thanks to iLibrarian for pointing to this.


Week 7 - Wikis

1 min read

For collaboration it doesn't get much easier.  We've been using a wiki at work for a while.  We have used it to post all of the lesson plans and accompanying files for all of our computer classes.  (I actually added some filesand updated some others this morning...woohoo!)  There are many other things we are dong with our internal wiki.  It's a great way to share stuff.

After working with our staff wiki and pbwiki I am really impressed by how easy pbwiki is.

The uses for a wiki in library land are many and it really depends on what you need to do.

I wish wikis were around when I was in school.


Evaluating, Recommending & Justifying 2.0 Tools

3 min read

Marydee Ojala was the presenter at this wildly popular session.  There were no empty seats and people were standing in the back for this one!  I guess that means it’s something that a lot of people want to have strategies for. 

She discussed many different things and I know I missed a lot when taking my notes.  Luckily,  her presentation can be accessed here. 

The session began by highlighting what she planned going to discuss:

  • New Technologies
  • Evaluating, Recommending and Justifying
  • Building a business case for the new tools

2.0 = empowerment, sharing, communicating

  •  Social median & networking are interchangeable

Magazines & papers are adding things to their websites that won’t show up in archival versions (reporter’s blogs, comments on articles etc)

Social media as research (missed some of this)

  • Realtime & more

Does management really appreciate the power of social?

Does Staff?

Do you?

Personal use vs professional

  • Keep your personal life out of your worklife


  • Would you ‘SuperPoke’ your boss?
  • Post something derogatory about a coworker/customer on any social media?

Social in a business setting

  • Guidelines not that different from technology before

Why add social tools?

  • Customer expectations
  • Marketing the organization
  • Product promotion (OPAC, new materials)
  • Transmitting/sharing information
  • Learning from others
  • Reputation management


  • Get outside your comfort zone
  • It isn’t just a library decision
  • Opportunity to join a larger conversation


  • What problem does it solve?
    • Should solve problems not produce them
    • What’s the problem?
    • What’s the best solution?
    • What’s the best product?
      • How well does it solve the problem?
      • Does it work as advertised
      • Will it survive?
      • Is there tech support?  Is it good?
      • Who owns the data?
  • Common Objections
    • Social is a waste of time
    • Invasion of privacy
    • Opens us up to security violations
    • Could give away secrets
    • Just a fad…get over it

The objections are NOT trivial

  • Don’t be quick to label people ‘luddites’
  • Some are real & serious concerns
    • Got to come up with real/serious reasons you want ___ tool

Try using the phrase “Yes…and” instead of “Yes…but” when discussing objections. 

Counter Arguments

  • Need to be constructed with understanding that the objections are valid
  • What are the technical ramifications?

Who are the stakeholders in implementing new technologies?

  • IT (can be either enthusiastic or paranoid)
  • Sales & Marketing
  • HR (concerned about employee privacy)
  • Strategic Planning
  • Top Management

All the stakeholders have a different worldview.

Making the Business Case

  • Align with goals
  • How do decisions get made?
  • Build a case based on outcomes
  • Anecdotes vs. statistics (depends on your audience)
  • Tailor your arguments
  • Your timing can be very important
  • Understand the internal decision making process

Money implications

  • Free stuff costs – staff time, training, upkeep etc.


  • Know your audience
    • How do they want information delivered?
  • Start with benefits
  • Problems = Solutions

There are some things you may be able to do with out having to get ‘approval’ from management.  If you try this make sure they know about it. 

How do you measure success?

Have a good reason to want this new thing…just because it is cool does not cut it!

NO Tinselware!!!!

Other notes can be found at these sites:

Library Trainer

The Analog Divide

David Lee King



View From Desk

1 min read


View From Desk

Originally uploaded by mwphillips75

This is my post for week 6 - Photos.

I must admit that I am a big fan of photo sharing sites. I been using Flickr for a few months now and really enjoy the flexibility it offers. I can upload pictures from my computer and my phone. I can limit who I want to see my pictures. I can even post to my blog right from there too (I'm doing that now).

I also use twitpic to share pictures via twitter and momentile to share pictures (although I'm still unsure what purpose that site has, it's still kinda neat).

Let's face it, people like pictures. People like to take pictures, look at pictures and share pictures. Sites like flickr serve this need for people very well. I will probably continue to use flickr (or a similar site) for many years to come because I have a lot of pictures to take.


Twouble with Twitters

1 min read

I saw this video at travelinlibrarian.  Since we were talking about Twitter a few weeks ago I think it is appropriate.  




Week 5 - Podcasting

2 min read


Podcasting is something I have limited experience with.  My wife and I have set up some podcasts for our kids in iTunes (mostly They Might Be Giants Friday Night Podcasts for kids, some Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer).  I have listened to some very interesting lectures on the SirsiDynix Institute site and have viewed some interesting lectures by R. David Lankes.  I have enjoyed them all and one day maybe I'll make my own but for now I'm happy to just watch.

I think the library could use this to really extend the reach of our programs and storytimes.   Because library events are generally only happen once the people who are unable to attend miss them.  By recording and making these events available online more people will be able to see them.  

Don't we want people to see the things we do?  

Many people who have completed this section of the training have very good ideas that would make great library podcasts.  I'm all for anything that gets our library out there and showcases the talented people that work here. 

There are many public  libraries doing podcasts now (here's a list).  Can we?  Please?