or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk




Bloggers Wanted for NELA 2008 Annual Conference

   October 14th, 2008 Brian Herzog

NELA 2008 conference logoThe New England Library Association's 2008 Annual Conference starts this weekend, Oct. 19-21st. This year's conference is in Manchester, NH, and there is still time to register if you'd like to attend.

To supplement the conference sessions for people who can't attend, there will be a conference blog again this year. Last year, volunteers posted notes from the sessions they attended, and there were so many positive comments that NELA is doing it again. The blog is sponsored by Plymouth Rocket and is available at http://nelib.wordpress.com.

If you are interested in being a conference blogger, please contact Kathy Lussier at klussier@semls.org with questions or to sign up. Here's a bit of an overview:

What do you need to be a conference blogger?

  • Bloggers need some degree of writing ability and must feel comfortable posting with an online form (posting to a blog is as easy as sending an e-mail)
  • You do not need your own blog, since NELA will be hosting the conference blog
  • Bloggers can post about conference sessions, meetings or events. You can post notes from a session or write about what you took away from the session. We do ask that you commit to a minimum of two posts for each day you are blogging
  • If you aren't a blogger, but prefer taking photos, we have also created a NELA group on Flickr where you can post your conference snapshots. The group is available at http://flickr.com/groups/nela

Even if you aren't going to blog, please do check it out and let us know what you think. The goal is to make this blog as useful as possible, and all comments and suggestions are appreciated.

And if you're going, I hope you enjoy the conference. It's always a great place to network with librarians, learning about what's happening in the library world (such as Work Like A Patron Day), or attend a panel discussion (such as Library 2.0 For You).

I'll be there, and if you see me, please say hi.



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Library 2.0 For You

   September 18th, 2008 Brian Herzog

NELA 2008 conference logoIn my last post, I mentioned that at this year's NELA annual conference, I will be part of a panel called "Library 2.0 For You." A few people asked me about it, so here's what it is and how it came to be:

The description from the NELA conference program [pdf]:

Flickr isn't just a bird, delicious isn't just your NELA luncheon, and WordPress isn't a new kitchen gadget. Find out what these things are and how these popular Web 2.0 applications (and more!) are being used in real-world libraries. L24U offers a panel of three experienced Massachusetts librarians: Paige Eaton Davis from the Minuteman Library Network, Brian Herzog from the Chelmsford Public Library, and Elizabeth Thomsen of NOBLE. They share their expertise with applying Web 2.0 technologies to help promote your library's resources, programs, and materials. The program sponsor is ITS whose business meeting is included in the program.

Sounds great, huh? This program came about because there seemed to be a need for almost a how-to session for Library 2.0 tools. Lots of programs at past conferences and seminars were either general overviews of this technology, or very rah-rah Library 2.0 cheerleading. Which were great, because they raised awareness and interest, and got people excited about exploring these tools.

However, when people left the conference, they knew they were interested but didn't know where to begin. So in L24U, we're hoping to show a few examples of what can be done with a few Library 2.0 tools (using actual working examples from libraries), and explain what the steps were to implement these tools.

It won't be hands-on training, but attendees will hopefully leave the session with an understanding of how to put these tools to work for them as soon as they get back to their libraries.

That's the plan, at any rate. Even if we just end up answering peoples' questions, it should still be interesting (that is, once I get past my fear of public speaking). So if you're going to NELA 2008, look for this program on Monday at 1pm.



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Upcoming Workshop: Library-Wide IT Proficiencies

   May 1st, 2008 Brian Herzog

Unshelved Comic StripToday I'm peddling a workshop that a committee on which I serve is holding in June. The committee is the Information Technology Section of the New England Library Association, and it'll be fun, and interesting. Check it out:

"Library-Wide IT Proficiencies"
The workshop is focused on teaching technology self-sufficiency, so library staff in every department can feel comfortable handling common technology issues. Using a "train the trainer" format, the presenters will emphasize sharing the practical knowledge and skills IT staff may take for granted. The goal is to reduce the fear factor many library staff have when dealing with common technology, from changing printer cartridges to navigating the network.

Date: Thursday, June 12, 2008
Location: Bryant University, Smithfield, RI (Directions to BU's Bryant Center)
Cost: NELA Members - $55 Non-members - $65

Program Schedule
8:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 12:00 Part I: Proficiency, IT Staff and End Users
12:00 - 12:45 Buffet Lunch
12:45 - 3:00 Part II: Roadmap to Creating an IT-Savvy Library Staff
3:00 Questions and Program Wrap-Up

Each workshop attendee will receive a flash drive containing all presentation materials and handouts!

To Register
Secure online registration & downloadable mail-in registration [pdf] are both available at http://www.nelib.org/its/conference.

More About The Workshop
IT staff must be able to assist in maintaining a library-wide level of competence and confidence not only in using current IT resources, but also in learning new ways of working smarter. The workshop begins with the basic elements of end user education to promote departmental self-sufficiency and moves on to the higher level of assisting librarians with cutting edge technology awareness and use. Participants will receive tools, techniques and many ideas on ways to increase the IT proficiency of all library staff.

About The Presenters
Gary K. McCone and Grace R. Sines work in the Information Systems department of the National Agricultural Library. As Associate Director, Gary is responsible for the development, maintenance and quality Assurance of computer systems and NAL databases, and has significant experience in providing consultation for the establishment of libraries in developing countries. Grace, Deputy Associate Director for Information technology, has over 20 years of experience in managing information technology services, and has authored numerous Federal policies and procedures concerning the implementation and operation of information systems.

For more information, please contact Rick Taplin, ITS Chair at ITS@nelib.org or call 508-655-8008, x201.



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NELA2007 – Tuesday Recap

   October 16th, 2007 Brian Herzog

Speaking to an Empty RoomMy second day at NELA2007 (Tuesday, the last day of the conference), was a quick one. I just went to two morning sessions, and then left after lunch (I had to come home to pack for my trip tomorrow morning to Omaha).

I blogged both sessions today, and posted them on the NELA2007 blog. They were:

Also, I posted some photographs of the Publick House. I really liked that place.

Right, now I need to go unpack, repack, and whatever else I can fit in before my flight.

annual conference, conference, libraries, library, nela, nela2007, public libraries, public library, publick house, scriblio



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NELA2007 – Monday Recap

   October 15th, 2007 Brian Herzog

NELA Conference tableToday was a fun day. The wireless was spotty all day (luckily, my awesome hotel, the Publick House, has better wireless connectivity), but the sessions were good.

Here's what I went to:

I'm sorry for any spelling or other mistakes you find in the posts - I've never live blogged before, and it's hard. Especially when you only type with four fingers.

Also check out some conference photographs. I'll upload some pictures of my room tomorrow, too - it really must be the best place in town to stay.

Okay, now I'm off to meet librarians for dinner, and then we're going to see the showing of The Hollywood Librarian. More tomorrow.

conference, libraries, library, nela, nela2007, public libraries, public library, publick house



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Trips to NELA and Omaha

   October 11th, 2007 Brian Herzog

Next week is going to be a busy week for me - I have two back-to-back trips planned.

NELA2007NELA Annual Conference
On Monday and Tuesday I'll be in Sturbridge, MA, for the New England Library Association's 2007 annual conference. I went last year (session notes) and of course had a great time.

This year I'm also attending as an official conference blogger. A group of us will be posting notes from (hopefully all) the sessions to the NELA2007 blog, so add the feed to your reader to catch all the action.

There's also a flickr pool, for those of you who like looking and photos of librarians.

ReferenceUSA logoReferenceUSA Conference
On Wednesday and Thursday, I'll be in Omaha, NE, participating in a conference held by ReferenceUSA. They invited about 20 librarians from across the country to come and meet with their product development team. I think we'll be talking about how their database is currently used by libraries, and what new avenues they could pursue to improve delivering their content to our patrons.

That should be a fun trip. I even have friends in Omaha, but they chose that particular week to fly to Japan. Sheesh.

It'll be an active week, and if you can't reach me, this is why. But if you happen to see me anywhere along the way, please come up and say hi.

libraries, library, nela, nela2007, public libraries, public library, referenceusa



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