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Five Weeks to a Social Library October 26, 2006

Posted by nanette in Uncategorized.
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Yet another thing that happened in that April-to-October period where I posted absolutely nothing: I submitted a proposal for Five Weeks to a Social Library (for the blogging track) and it was accepted. Woo hoo! I feel like one of the cool kids now!

The planning committee is looking for course participants. I’ve promoted this in all kinds of different places–the Synergy e-mail list, my library system’s weekly newspaper–and now here. There’s a great lineup of speakers and the content should be phenomenal–and it’s free! What more could you ask for? Applications are due on December 1st.

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Internet Librarian, etc. October 20, 2006

Posted by nanette in Uncategorized.
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So the last post on this poor, neglected weblog was written on April 26–almost six months ago. And it was about Internet Librarian, which I will be attending, um, starting this weekend. Craploads of stuff has happened since then, but apparently, none of it was interesting enough to write about.

And now I’m updating this blog so I can avoid tinkering with my PowerPoint presentation any further. Heck, I did call number checks to avoid tinkering with my PowerPoint presentation any further. I hate doing call number checks, so that’s saying a lot, I suppose.

The presentation is called “Perfuming a Skunk, or, There’s More than One Way to Skin an Online Catalog.” It is about how we tried to add a “skin” to our online catalog and why it just didn’t happen. I have not practiced it yet. I need to do that. Tim thinks it is going to rock. So if you are one of the attendees who is still working on their schedule, please consider attending. Yeah, I know it’s at the same time as the Second Life presentation, but your online catalog certainly deserves as much attention as your busty online avatar/altar ego/whatever. (I’m a Second Life skeptic. I feel like it’s one of those things we’ll be laughing at five years from now. I’m sure someone will be waiting for me at IL to seize my “trendy techie librarian cred card” at the door.)

I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to actually blog the conference, but I may put the blog up on the IL2006 wiki just in case. I’m going to try and remember the digital camera, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll remember to take pictures with it.

As a means of keeping myself from descending into “hide in my hotel room and watch One Tree Hill DVDs” mode (seriously, I did that at the CODI conference last year, although I think that’s acceptable since NOBODY at that conference wants to talk about ANYTHING other than Horizon, and after a long day of listening to Horizon-related sessions, that gets a bit, uh, dull), I signed up for a couple of dinearounds. My dislike of seafood is keeping me away from the blogging dinearound, so I’m going to “learning and training” and “digital strategies for the future.” Whee.

I’ll also be at the Five Weeks to a Social Library meetup on Monday (is it on Monday? I hope so) night. It’s like being invited out to party with the cool kids. (I will try not to pass out on the front lawn or barf on the couch or otherwise embarrass myself.) I’m presenting a webcast on blogging as part of the course, and I am very excited about that.

In other tech-related news, our new library website has launched, and it looks great. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do, but we’re going to continue adding enhancements, including a wiki featuring information for local businesses. I think that people around the library are becoming more willing to embrace new technologies, which is positive.

Also, I am trying to put together a preconference about social software for libraries for next year’s Illinois Library Association conference, which is in October 2007 in Springfield. So if you’re in Illinois (or near enough to Illinois that you’d be willing to come out here and present for nothing or close to nothing), leave me a comment or e-mail me. We’ll talk.

Well, it’s about time… April 10, 2006

Posted by nanette in Uncategorized.
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…that something was posted here other than Tim's daily del.icio.us links, which, interesting though they are for Tim, are not very exciting content for a weblog.

My name is Nanette, and I am a public librarian in the same community where Tim is an academic librarian. I managed to wheedle my way into an invite to write for the YALT Blog during one of our (all-too-frequent) conversations about libraries and technology. My main interests are public libraries and technology, especially making tech more accessible for our users (including staff). I'm actively involved in several professional organizations, including the oft-maligned ALA (as well as three of its divisions–ALCTS, LAMA, and PLA–and one roundtable, NMRT) and the Illinois Library Association. I'm also an alum of the Illinois State Library's Synergy leadership program (class of '05) and a board member for my library school's alumni association.

Though I am not nearly the technology expert that Tim is, I'm learning. I've been doing a lot of minor tech-type stuff at work over the last several months as part of my library's major web site redesign, including a bunch of research into how to improve online catalogs to make them more usable and intuitive. This led to a proposal for a session at the 2006 Internet Librarian conference, which I'm hoping will be a practical, "how to fix your library's online catalog" session for public librarians. Nobody needs to be told that the majority of online catalogs stink. A-duh! Most of us agree on that at this point, and continually repeating that fact only serves to frustrate us further! And it seems like vendors–for reasons that are beyond my grasp–don't have much of an impetus to make them better or more innovative, which is why I advocate taking matters into your own hands, listening to your users and your staff, and doing what you can to make your nasty, fugly, difficult-for-mortals-to-use online catalog into something better.

This summer, I'm taking a Javascript class at the local community college, and Tim and I are going to learn Ruby. (Tim will probably learn it much faster than I will, seeing as how he knows forty computer languages already. Okay, so I exaggerate…he only knows ten or twelve.) I want to go from being a library tech person who only talks the talk to being a library tech person who can both talk the talk AND walk the walk. So much of what you'll see here from my end will be my baby steps towards that goal. I don't know what you'll get from Tim, aside from his daily del.icio.us links.