Just Toodling Around with Library Displays

August 7, 2010

I don’t think that “toodling” is a word, but it is what I am doing to keep my blog alive.  This afternoon we are working on our displays.  The diabetes display has everything we have on the subject checked out – including the cook books.  Pamela just put up a John Grisham display.  She is going to do an “Author of the Day” display and refresh it frequently.  I did a horse stories display in the kids area while Vonne is gone.  Her display has all checked out.  I pulled out Jude’s old display signs so we can reuse them this year.  Jude, you may be retired, but your work still lives on.

All the Fort Worth Library managers were issued scanners to use.  I found some old bibliographies of Jude’s that I will scan to my homedrive.  It is so much easier than typing them all.  We have a few of  Thelma Stone’s “If You Like … Then You Will Like” bibliographies she did in the 1980s and 1990s that are still valid.  They had a lot more alike authors than Novelist does.  I will scan them in, too.   Thelma was Fort Worth’s answer to Nancy Pearl.  You could call her with a plot and Thelma would tell you the title and author.  She was amazing.

Speaking of Nancy Pearl, I ran across a staff bulletin from Tulsa City-County Library with the announcement of Nancy’s hiring by Craig Buthold, complete with a photo of Nancy.  This would have been around 1987.

Blogging Again

March 30, 2010

It’s been months since I have blogged. Spring is here and the wildflowers are creeping north towards Fort Worth. 1040 forms and booklets are in our display racks. The Wedgwood staff are busy changing over to new DVD and CD security cases. I didn’t wear a jacket or sweater to work today. Patrons are wearing shorts and flip flops in the library.

We have two good programs scheduled for April. Sheran Keyton is presenting The White House According to Ms. Brown on Tuesday, April 6 at 4:30 pm.  It will be “an educational journey through generations of United  States presidents.  Ms. Brown and her sidekick give first hand accounts of the events that changed history.”  Should be a romp.

On April 14, the Log Cabin Village is presenting our preschool storytime.  The kids are in for a real old-fashioned treat.  I will probably enjoy it more than they.

Thing 24 – Command Spanish

August 31, 2009

NTRLS gave me a scholarship to study Survival Spanish for Library Personnel as an online course through Command Spanish, Inc.  The course was a challenge because my modem sits on the floor and even with the volume turned up, I could barely hear it.  My headphones didn’t stretch from the floor to my ears without bending over.  If Wedgwood stays open, I am definitely getting Tony to move my modem off the floor!

I recommend the course to anyone who knows some basic Spanish and who needs to learn “library Spanish.”  It was a combination of aural and visual so I could listen and read.  I looked forward to each lesson and I learned some new, useful phrases.  Gracias, NTRLS, por la oportunidad.

Thing 23

August 8, 2009

busHow We Spent Our Summer Vacation

During the summer of 2009, I journeyed online through the North Texas Libraries 23 Things with 12 of my co-workers.  What an incredible four month-long adventure!  My co-workers are the staff of the Wedgwood Branch of the Fort Worth Library: Marion, Vidya, Jude, Joanie, Hope, Alexis, Doug, Michael, Brandi, Anita, Laurie, Iryna and Payal.   We are librarians, library assistants, customer service reps and pages.  Together we explored the unfamiliar territory of Social Networking.  Picture us all on a bus with Marion as the driver, clueless as to where she is taking everyone, but shifting into gear and stepping on the gas.  Vidya is the navigator.  She has been down the road but hasn’t explored all the byways.  Joanie is the co-navigator, helping to hold the map.  The rest are hanging out of the windows with cameras and computers, ready to capture the sites and flavors and experiences of this new world.

We all started out “on the bus” by making blogs, helping each other to get started, to have fun, and to keep it up.  Vidya soon steered us into weekly 23 Things meetings where we recounted our successes, gave each other advice and encouragement, plotted our side trips and reviewed our itinerary.  Our learning was intergenerational as the younger staff were able to teach us older folks the things they know that had us bewildered.  Mid-way along the trip, Marion went to a “gift shop” and bought everyone an online address book to help us keep track of all our new websites, usernames, passwords and notes.

We broke into small groups for sight-seeing tours as not everyone wanted to do the same Thing at the same time.  We all agreed to meet back at the bus by September 1.  Iryna was first to finish.  The rest of us are straggling in, but we will all finish on time.  The certificates we receive will go into our scrapbooks as the culmination of our learning experience.

The Wedgwood Branch staff would like to heartily thank the North Texas Library Partners staff for setting up our trip.  We learned so much, bonded together in a new way, grew technologically and professionally, and gained a technological confidence that some of us never expected to have and will retain forever.

Woo hoo! What a trip!  A good time was had by all.

Thing 22

August 8, 2009

How can social networking be used by libraries?  If I were in library school, I could write a paper on this subject.

Technology with staff:  Since people have several ways of learning, social networking allows us to train staff visually, aurally, and by touch to use whatever learning method a person needs.  Use podcasting or YouTube to teach new techniques, to explain shelving to pages and volunteers, to engage staff rather than to disconnect them.  Use GoogleDocs to share and update documents in real time.  Prepare staff for promotions by creatively using Facebook, Twitter, etc. to present a good image and to show off your skills to prospective employers or your current employer.  Keep up with trends without having to wait for LJ to come in the mail.  Open the technology box to keep the staff who will be employeed at the library in the years to come.

Technology with patrons:  Inform, educate and excite patrons with Twitter, Facebook, podcasts, webcasts, Flickr, YouTube.  Make the library the creative place to hang out and to volunteer.  Increase outreach with a zero online budget.  The 24/7 library is now a reality.  Make people want to be there.

Thing 17

August 8, 2009

I had to bring my laptop to work to access LibWorm on wifi as the City of Fort Worth blocks us from accessing that site.  It did require registration to read the postings for which I searched.  But registration has its perks.  I really like My Clippings and being able to file articles there.  I like being able to email, although the article I emailed myself hasn’t arrived, yet.  Also, My River of News and My Favorite Feeds are available.

If one regularly reads LibWorm, then it would be easier to keep up with the latest library issues as they are posted by date.  It is a good place to keep up with social networking trends in libraries and out.  “Flickr Gets a Searchlift” was interesting and went into My Clippings so I can peruse it later.

Searching was somewhat unsatisfactory.  “Branch library closing” resulted in two resumes from librarians who have been laid off and are job searching.  I clicked on public libraries as a subject heading, which is where I got the latest updates, but couldn’t figure out how to or if I can search within the subject.

The articles were interesting.  I saw English, French and Spanish.  There were ads for jobs from Australia.  This seems to be a good place for libraries to post their job openings.  They would get responses from people who know how to keep up with trends.  All in all, this is a site worth keeping up with via wifi.

Thing 19

August 7, 2009

Google Docs has some practical applications.  It is a good way to collaborate on documents among people who work in a variety of buildings.  The page just has a crisper look than Word or Excel but it basically works the same way so is easy to figure out.  It moves effortlessly through cyberspace on email.  (Good example of a sentence to pad a report, or in this case, a paragraph.)  I did a spreadsheet and emailed it to myself, then changed the document so I know that it works and how it works.  Sending the invitation to myself was easy.  I could have invited my dog.  Shadow has her own email.  Lilly, are you reading this?

Other uses: patrons who buy used computers who find they don’t have access to Word or Excel, etc.  People who buy small computers who need more than Wordpad.  People who find themselves working away from their home or office computers who need access to their files.  At TLA.  The power goes out at home and you have to use the public library computer.  At Best Western’s wifi.  At Starbucks.  When you are working with someone who wouldn’t have access to shared documents without Google Docs.

It is user friendly, handy, convenient, and probably not the most secure way to store your sensitive documents.

Thing 21

August 7, 2009

Some people are just aural.  They learn best by hearing.  Podcasts are perfect for them.  Training new pages, teaching new techniques, training volunteers can be done by podcasts.  Library Success has a podcasting tutorial.  Equipment seems to be minimal.  It should be a natural extension for users of MP3s and such.   Could they be produced in different languages for simple library instruction?  My library has a variety of international users.  Language-friendly explanations of what they library is and has for them would speed up the relationship.

Online podcasts varied.  Pierce County (Seattle) has teen-friendly podcasts and film reviews.  Booktalks Quick & Simple is that, but it’s topics seem so sad: child abuse – fiction, drug abuse – fiction, geared towards the K-12 listener.  She does have adventure titles.  This might be a good site for reader’s advisory, especially for non-youth librarians who don’t keep up with all the new authors (me).

Thing 20

August 7, 2009

Everybody loves YouTube because there is something for everybody to love.  Libraryland needs to jump on this big time as a free and cheap promotional media.  I love TV commercials and pay more attention to them than I do to most programming.  They have 30 seconds to creatively get your attention and get to the point.  YouTube can do this for libraries and we get to make up the message.  This would be a good way to get volunteers engaged.

Plano Library has a good series on their library, including technical services.  The Metropolitan Library System serving Oklahoma County has the winners of their “I Can’t Believe I Filmed This” teen videos posted.  What a good way to get more teens involved in their program next year.  Post librarians reading children’s stories, giving book talks, showing how to use the PACs, find books on the shelves, preview programs.  Cheap to make!  Free to present!!  Patrons are already viewing YouTube, make them proud of their library!

Thing 16

August 5, 2009

At laaast, my loove haas coome alooong….  An easy online program to catalog my personal library!!  I have a couple of software programs at home to list my needlework and sewing books, but entry is tedious.  I just love being able to type in a title and find the edition I own, see how many other users have the same book, add my own subject headings and edit when needed.  One doesn’t have just a catalog list of one’s library, but an interactive tool to see who owns the same and similar things.  It’s a social network materials catalog.  I didn’t check to see if media is available.  Hmmm.   I can hardly wait to get home and work on this!  LibraryThing, I love you!

LibraryThing For Libraries is available by subscription.  For small libraries with small budgets and no cataloger, this would probably be adequate and would be better than no catalog or in house cataloging by a non-librarian.  Either LT or LTFL would be good for church or club libraries.

LT is not just a good web site, it is an organization with staff, goals, planning, new features, blogs, archives, sub categories, bulletin board-type questions and answers, group reads, etc.  This is a site that needs to be explored.  I couldn’t find ThingLang.  Thingology had archives and blogs that were easily accessible.