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


Highlights from nelaconf11

   October 6th, 2011 Brian Herzog

NELA2011: Navigating the New NormalAs I mentioned in the previous post, I was at the 2011 annual conference of the New England Library Association this week. Now that I've had a day back to unpack and get caught up, I thought I'd share a few of notes I wrote to myself.

Again though, be sure to check out the session slides/handouts at http://nelaconference.org and notes from attendees at the NELA conference blog.

General Interestingness

  • A great way to encourage patron interaction on Facebook is to just ask questions - What's your favorite book? What are you reading right now?
  • A fun game for online social interaction is to post part of a book or album cover, and then have people guess what it is (also give hint - new book, published 50 years ago, etc)
  • I'm not a Childrens Librarian, but I thought the idea of rethinking the "Childrens Room" as the "Family Room" was interesting. Something mentioned was providing furniture for adult-child reading/working together
  • When you create a book display, put a list of books for display on the back of the sign, so it's easy for staff to refill as the books go out
  • 21% of Americans have no internet access at home - that's double the unemployment rate, and can have just as big an impact, but there are no initiatives to address it

My To-Do List

  • Check out http://maps.nypl.org - it overlays historical maps onto Google Maps, to compare where things were/are. They may have plans to make it open source, so it could be something we could all use for our own maps
  • I was surprised to see the Delicious linkroll on our Chelmsford History site wasn't working (but those on our main library website are fine). A good time to double-check your own linkrolls just to be on the safe side
  • Plan to have a program in January on ereaders and other gadets - not a
    talk, but more like a general help/troubleshooting session, focused on accessing library materials
  • Play with Join.me for a screen-sharing tool

Easy Ways to Improve a Mobile Website (that I should have thought of on my own but didn't)

  • add link to Overdrive for ebooks
  • add link to OCLC QuestionPoint chat or other 24x7 chat reference
  • add links to Twitter/Facebook/Flickr accounts to contact page
  • hide the browser address bar on mobile sites (to save display room)

For more tips, check out #nelaconf11 tweets - many people are linking to their own blog posts, in addition to passing on ideas they heard. I hope everyone got something out of the conference - it really was a good time.



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New England Library Association 2011 Annual Conference

   October 4th, 2011 Brian Herzog

Presentation from NELA2011Today is the last day of the 2011 NELA annual conference, in Burlington, VT. I've been here since Sunday, meeting people and hearing great ideas.

There's a new NELA Conference blog this year, which a few people have been posting sessions notes to - mine are:

All the slides and other materials are available at http://nelaconference.org, and there's also lots of great Twitter chatter at #nelaconf11. All good stuff, and any time spent with New England librarians is of course a great time.



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