Saturday, July 11, 2009

ALA2009 - Preconference

PLA @ ALA: Building Communities through Innovative Applications of Technology - July 10, 2009

Here are selected links and my short list of futher tips/ideas to pursue for each presentation. See the complete presentations on, ALA Presentations Page or the PLA Page when uploaded for information.

Presentation 1:
Using Videos to Build Community in Your Library by Melissa Kiser, Information Technology Librarian, Allen County Public Library

"What's Happening" videos on YouTube: Short, quick videos taken through the library and community connecting community, library events, and library collections in friendly, personable ways.


1. Create a bookletters with top ten most popular books each week.
2. Follow people from your community on Twitter by finding them on Twellow.
3. Host a Tweetup with library followers.
4. Create a video "How to Print" and load it on the library computer desktops.
5. Check out GT system (gaming)
6. Searchable database of area artists (example from Allen County:
7. Create podcasts describing gallery exhibits for people to download and take a self-guided tour. 8. On library blogs, post events such as holiday closings of community agencies, community events, parking alerts, etc.
9. Use Google Analytics to determine website statistics.
10. Investigate WorldCat Local Quick Start.
11. Consider the success of innovative programs and services as not just a measure of statistical output (hits, visits, etc.) but also the qualitative library/patron benefits.

Presentation 2:
John Blyberg, Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience, Darien Library, CT.

Check out his presentations:

Visit the Darien Library website and explore!

Open source integration of ILS and OPAC - creating one dynamic website that takes the burden of experience off the patron instead of forcing the patron to navigate between the OPAC and ILS. Creates engaging patron experience. I want to learn more.

Presentation 3: Social Networking and Libraries
Meg Canada, Senior Librarian, Hennepin County Library

Presentation available here:

Meg started out her presentation with a plug for


1. Connect with interactive marketing associations.
2. Check out
3. Important for social marketing to have one voice.
4. Create a social media strategy (see presentation).
5. Check out Air Force's blog response chart (see presentation).
6. Monitor what people are saying about you/your organization. Examples (more in presentation): (searches comments)
7. Consider guidelines regarding tags, releases, pictures in sensitive areas of the building.
8. Use "insights" in Facebook for stats.
9. Ask questions and post memes in Facebook to engage patrons in conversations.
10. Patrons send in pictures for Hennepin's Bookspace page:
11. LinkedIn!
12 Investigate
13. Webcams!

Presentation 4:
Sandy Farmer, Houston Public Library

Sandy stressed that libraries need to react to the surge in downloadable technology and focus on create culturally literate children (which includes diverse electronic life). Her presentation shared a lot of programming and gaming spaces information.

Idea highlights:

1. Open gaming systems - have players check games out from the circulating shelves.
2. Assign controllers to consoles to save start-up time.
3. Pokemon gym program.
4. Webkins/Club Penguin programs.

We finished this thought provoking day with an appreciative inquiry exercise led by moderator Aaron Schmidt of the DC Public Library. The concept that resonated with me as I left the conference was the need for all of us to "Think It Forward."

We work so hard to meet the needs of patrons today and tomorrow, we don't give ourselves the freedom or the time to imagine how we can meet their needs months and years into the future. Preparing ourselves to help patrons when they encounter the future is vital to our continued relevancy in their lives.

On that note, Aaron shared that the DC Public Library has rolled out an iPhone app. We already knew this (at my library), but what we didn't know was that is was open source and that a BlackBerry App is in the works. He went on to stress the need for a focus on mobile devices as their use continues to skyrocket.

Very motivational program!

Ironically, I wanted to Tweet about these topics throughout the presentation. However, I spent the whole day off the grid since there was no local WiFi for my iPod Touch. I've since recovered from the tech withdrawal, although maybe not from my buyer's remorse. :-)

No comments: