Friday, October 02, 2009

Accessible Website Design

  • part of RecreationAble accessible recreation forum
  • with Tom Pugliese of Publiese Media, and also newly appointed Executive Director of the Independent Living Resource Centre (Tom worked on our Web site Accessibility Audit, in late 2007)
  • focused on the *why* more than the *how*, and offered some practical "how" tips as well
  • see the "HowTo" section of the WebAim site
My notes:
  • remember that your "content" (ie the WORDS) are part of the accessibility so ensure everyone is using plain language...we still need to figure out how to say "Virtual Collection" in plain language
  • think about the AMOUNT of info on our web we really need EVERYTHING?
  • plan to launch/implement/keep current a Web Site Style Guide when new site is ensure all staff (old and new) are on the same page wrt formatting / alt tags for images etc. example (good tips re links and uniform use of common terms)
  • consider adding an "Accessibility" page on new site (as per Ind. Living Res Centre...their site has one)...which describes the accessibility features

Friday, September 18, 2009

Using Social Media to Save Your Marketing Dollars with Amber MacArthur

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre hosted this amazing event on Wed. September 16th, 2009 at the Valhalla Inn.

I used to watch Amber on TechTV with Leo Leporte, and listen to her podcasts regularly. She is a font of social media info...a ROCK STAR!!!

Amber's ABCs of social media:

  • A: Authenticity...admit your mistakes (eg. PizzaPizza CEO's apology video)
  • B: Bravery...try new things...invent and innovate
  • C: Consistency...practice power friending...internally and's a long term plan and consistency yields results
  • tell a story
  • use multimedia (eg. YouTube videos)
  • encourage comments (including your own!) one wants to be the first to comment
  • power-friend
  • free content in iTunes podcast CommandN TV...share your passion
  • ask your community to help you create content / local experts / keeners re photog/video
  • idea TODO: for 2010 DBase of the Month a short podcast intro (or even a video using SweetPea!!!) to a tutorial (play with new screencapture software)...get Ref staff / patrons to podcast/talk/video them re how a database helped them answer a question / solve a problem (eg HA!!!)
TODO: some sites to check out:...MAKE TIME!!!...5 mins a day...
  • more popular than email!!!
  • TODO: email Amber re FB url/page with tips for fan page admins...esp re tool to pull in flickr pics and more...use FriendFeed too (also page / utility to download and save (ie backup) FB info
  • Best practices:
  1. grow from the inside out (ie get staff hooked / 23 things etc...)
  2. seed the community (be the first to comment and others will follow)
  3. integrate all your feeds
  4. promote your presence
  • this is the FUTURE!
  • Twitter growing at an amazing pace
  • Zappos Shoes is hot on Twitter -- TODO: follow them! also look up Tony Zappos -- fab CEO who encourages staff to use social medial (google him re "case studies)
  • use hash tags
  • post pics on Twitter (can you link to flickr?) TODO: find out!
  • recommends "Flip" video camera (one button!...TODO: consider)
  • leverage LOCAL social media celebrities and use them!!!
  • don't be AFRAID!!!!
  • new accessibility guidelines = close captioning *** (or at least provide transcript...good best-practice for all tutorials) (TODO: find out what AODA says)
  • Best Practices:
  1. keep it short (1 - 3 minutes)
  2. use easy technology
  3. share them everywhere
  4. brand your videos (ie with your logo)
  • build your own (eg. ning...DIY soical network)
  • mobile: friending on the go
  • podcasting: mini web-i-sodes
  • power friend bloggers
  • video: shoot yourself!

General Tips / Ideas
  • no one likes to be the first to leave a comment so start the conversation yourself
  • moderate comments, but do so loosely
  • add your FB/Twitter etc urls to your email signatures TODO: this!...+ "follow us" / "be a fan"...+ do a fab Your Library Does Not End Here and put it here (and/or a simple "follow us on..." "be a fan"...poster...)
  • TODO: consider flickr photo contest (or video)? share your memories of MJLB (ie old building)...or even a blog or twitter or use FB ...and #mjlb??? or #tbpl for broader use? (chat it up with consultant / TT wrt communication plan)
  • get buy-in from the top (+ involvement)...this is VIP
  • TODO

fave Amber quote: "I'm kind of an internet hippie"

Monday, April 06, 2009


Innovative Staff Presentations...

  • III just finished a big project in Sasketchewan -- 295 locations
  • now offering SMS text messaging -- for patron alerts (TODO: look in to wrt teen services -- if it's a one-time cost, possible candidate for new funding?)
  • Encore...recent growth..."did you mean?...reveal your metadata...can integrate electronic resources, program registration, federated search, digital content
  • (TODO: ask Barb H / look in to compare Content Cafe vs. Syndetics...Mary mentioned Content Cafe wrt Encore)
  • Did you mean?...more than a spellcheck...contexual to database...can handle multiple errors
  • look at Scottsdale AZ's opac and WebSite...rock stars! (like Westerville)
  • WebBridge now = Exlore...part of Encore integration..."Explore" your staff selected internet links...are pulled up based on search...pulling all resources in to context
  • Encore Reporter...very slick stats "dashboard", reminiscent of GoogleAnalytics...hopefully iii will develop something similar for Millennium/WebPacPro
  • R09 update...two phases...smaller bundles...Millie is built on *old* architecture and is being moved to a more modern one
  • web services for "My Library Card" / portal on Web site -- TODO: learn more about this
  • SMS text messaging for notifications...TODO explore this wrt MofC funding aimed at teens...good fit?
  • R09 phase 1 will include AirPac enhancements -- ie. an iPhone interface (TODO: ask Barbara if we can use the "Air PAC" graphic on our Web site for it on CSDirect?)
Paul Hamilton (UWO ILS Adminstrator): Encore @ UWO
  • (todo: ask for his ppt...check wiki)
  • talked about the stuff iii didn't tell, how to implement encore in conjucntion with the "classic cataloge" the moment in a transition zone
  • UWO has "Research Pro Select" product which links to their WebFeat installation
  • built an internal system for staff to record any issues / problems...including a help page, with a video demo...very slick
  • Encore is currently available as an option on the UWO library opac (button "try our beta catalogue search) here (direct link to encore)
Tim from Brock re ERM (link to ppt)

  • a ton of work to get their thousands of ejournal titles in to the database...very academic-centric
  • TODO: look at the Directory of Open Access Journals and see if it would be useful for our patrons to have a link to it
Mike C. from Cambridge re adding an auto-complete feature (SO fab!)...presentation here
  • blogged about it on his blog here
  • check it out in Cambridge's staging opac here
  • to quote Mike: "This implementation is not ready for primetime yet but certainly looks promising!"...
  • TODO: keep an eye on it...add it to our Staging port and test...
  • "MinChars" in code = minimum # of characters you need to type before the list pops up
  • lists generated from associated index in your database
Anna from LPL
  • added subject headings (to 690 field) starting with "We recommend..." kick up a notch old skewl lists (on paper and web sites) of "If you like.... Try...."
  • also adding links of pdfs of the actual lists to the bib records ...for eg. check out Jodi Piccout, "Change of Heart" ...that is the only one they have done, so far!
  • look up subject search "We recommend..." in their opac to see how fab /'s a link
  • would also show up in a keyword search for the author or genre
Graham from Ryerson
  • pecha kucha on single sign on...very academic oriented...allows students to sign on to My Library Card with another un/pw (eg. student number)
  • objective = happy patrons
  • also mentioned could link to other signins for eg.
Sally from Ryerson
  • pecha kucha on mobile cats -- Ryerson has air pac (with their logo...todo: see if we can get ours added -- look at WebOptions...maybe wait for new logo?...make a new logo idea/reminder file)
Tour of Ryerson's Learning Commons...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Building Bridges to Business in Barrie

  • slides are here
  • have a dedicated biz lib position (created in 2002)
  • librarians as info brokers
  • read papers to become familiar with local biz issues
  • economic downturn = library upturn
  • outreach for inreach...go out so they'll come in
  • talk about BENEFITS of your library, not features
  • have a tag line/elevator talk..."this is YOUR tax dollars at work" "best deal in town"...might as well come and use it
  • connect with other biz libs
  • subscribe to the "Dear Reader" biz book club (good idea to promo on our biz page!!)
  • net orking and netWEAVING

Creative Librarian/Creative Library

  • anything worth doing is worth doing badly
  • "Institutions" are not creative, people are
  • libs need to reinvent themselves continuously to be creative
  • keep things fresh for the peeps
  • "dare to dream creatively and dare to live your dreams"...start from dreams
  • "in dreams begin responsibility" Yeates
  • dreams define you...self-actualization
  • committee meetings are enemy #1 to creativity!!!
  • ...try a creative exercise / short concert / something different to spark creativity
  • energy to motivate comes from anger...that status quo isn't working...a call to action
  • hope and change = Obama-esque
  • strive to have an annual dream...what is my dream for 09 PP?
  • look for upcoming article by Stan using our dreams
  • give people the ingredients to create / place etc.
  • need to nurture your creativity...use it or lose it idea...but never loose it entirely...need to use it though

Michael Enright Keynote

  • always interesting to SEE radio peronsality irl
  • "infomania" is everywhere
  • impossible to process all the info...we're digitizing ourselves to distraction

Successful Projects 101 with Sam Kalb

  • slides are online here (yeah, finally!!!)
  • good basic practices
  • projects are about change...and empowering staff (by their involvement / outside "regular" work)
  • poor planning is often the cause of unsuccessful projects
  • communication is key throughout the process
  • "The Art of Project Management" by S.Berkun recommended...check it out...also "Project Management Journal"...and

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday morning Planary with Michael Bloom

  • Michael Bloom of the Conference Board of Canada
  • basically a statistical version of Richard Florida's message!
  • "Valuing Canada's Creative Economy"
  • a new look at culture...the value of art/culture...economic/social/aesthetic
  • creativity leads to innovation
  • creative chain: creation/production/manufacturing/distribution/support
  • economic footprint of the creative economy
  • 3 elements: direct impact/indirect impact/induced impact....totals about 7.4% of GDP
  • "prosumerism" = consumer as producer...desire to participate / interactive experiences...user-led content
  • issues of intellectual property and copyright...
  • talent/creation/innovation/technology/collaboration
  • need links between: tech/content/creativity/business acumen/production/consumption

Richard Florida Keynote

  • new economy = creativity
  • economic development = human development
  • we need to nurture creativity
  • stoke the creative furnace withing ALL staff
  • "squelchers" = people who squash creativity..."we already tried that" "we've always done it this way"...etc.
  • his web site

Distrupting the Library Transporter Beam with Mark Leggott

  • Mark's blog
  • University Librarian at UPEI
  • "if science can transport matter why do we still need the MARC record?"
  • we need to *really* change
  • a la Calvin and Hobbes' transmogrifer -- freedom to one and keep it in my office as a reminder
  • upei has totally gone open source...evergreen
  • check out Marshall Breeding's 2008 ils survey...negative comments outweigh positive by a LOT...ils-es are not effective...
  • black box vs. open box
  • the main reason upei went open source was to encourage a new culture that is open / new / transmogrified!!!
  • Innisville Public Library (small,!) went OS ILS
  • switch to osils forces you to change your workflow, even if you don't need to
  • check out DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals
  • open mind + open world = open access
  • traditional approach is not good enough
  • @ upei used reserach funding / funded positions to help with univ.-wide open source and collaborative frameworks...expanding to steward all kinds of resarch data...expanding the role of the library on campus
  • lib involved to share their expertise with meta data / data stewardship etc. PLUS get in on big research funding...think about how pub lib can do this in the community....
  • VRE = Virtual Research Environment...supports local research collaboration
  • "Island Lives"...digitized local papers / involved in editing and tagging...building community around digital collecitons
  • the goal is the common good
  • WorldCat is becoming a black box,not an open box
  • embrace innovation
  • build a true library commons
  • walk the walk
  • be more radical and protecting of the public good
  • get in touch with your inner Potato Head!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What they tell us: Listening to your residents with Pat Cavill and Wendy Newman

  • slides are online here
  • the input of your community is critical to a library's survival
  • tools:
  • surveys
  • interviews
  • preferred futuring
  • focus groups
  • "finding out what people need, then changing, if necessary, to meet those needs"
  • helps libs remain relevant and responsive
  • never assume! it's arrogant and dangerous
  • Rule #1: don't ask if you're not prepared to act (or at least re-think)
  • use surveys when:
  • stats and measures are required
  • find out what people need; their beliefs, preferences, satisfaction rates
  • surveys must be well designed and tested
  • disadvantages of surveys:
  • random sample difficult
  • poor design or analysis = misleading results
  • "preferred futuring:
  • vision for 10 years hence...about saying what you want, not fortune-telling
  • Focus Groups:
  • powerful research tool
  • explore peeps feelings about issues
  • 6 - 12 people ideal
  • not statistically valid, but has "face validity"
  • participants should be "opinion leaders" whenever possible
  • participants should be homogeneous
  • kinds of questions:...determine your objectives...what do you need to know?...who is most likely to give you the info?
  • more hours and better parking are *always* on top of wish lists!!!
  • report back to participants on a regular basis...
  • identify usable quotes for your advocacy work
  • link to online presentation (not online yet...)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A few neat things...

  • pedometers were given out in the confefrence bags -- goal is for all attendees to collectively walk across Canada...have mine ready to go for tomorrow
  • One Book Once Conference...I finished The Book of Negroes on the flight here (thankfully it was delayed an hour, so I could finish it!) and am looking forward to getting my "I read the book" sticker and chatting with people about it
  • First Nations Public Libraries...debuted a series of PSAs for TV re supporting FNPLs...does FWFN have a public library?
  • bumped in to Corinne Simons who used to work for TBPL back in the 80s! I remember her training me on circ...says HI to everyone who remembers her!!!
  • almost 4,500 wee!
  • "The Book of Negroes" title was changed to "Someone Knows my Name" for the US market
  • chatted with a publishers rep and the new tall skinny pbk format is being printed because of demand from the discount retail WalMart etc. like them like that...I guess they can squeeze more on to the, although they don't fit on our pbk spinners, they do stand out and will likely be "hot"

Opening Plenary: Cynthia Nikitin on the Place of Libraries in Changing Times

  • libraries are good at change / doing more with less
  • need to become public spaces / destinations
  • have a big role in community building
  • are about serving needs, not *just* eye-catching buildings
  • PPS (check out Cynthia's non-profit organization
  • William Whyte = mentor of pps...has written a few books...check them out
  • a not-so-nice physical building will disappear if the stuff going on inside is fab
  • start with your community and place and work on solutions together...don't start with the solution...use a storied/organic approach as opposed to a structured / bureaucratic approach
  • ensure your buildings have "active edges"...if people hang around outside, give them somewhere to sit
  • cooperate with local transit so bus stops right at front door (Wave and MJ good...CPark and Brodie need improvement)
  • co-program with other outdoor activities close by
  • "library square" idea
  • access + linkages
  • if you focus on creating a PLACE then you do everything else differently
  • contemplation: I wonder if you can apply the same principles to the Virtual Library?...hmmm...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

OLA SuperConference 2009...The Day Before

  • tying up loose ends in preparation for early morning departure tomorrow
  • links to session handouts may be found here (I'll link to specific ones I attend as I go along)
  • looking forward to reconnecting with people, and meeting new colleagues, as well as my first official duty as OPLA Councilor -- attending the OPLA AGM
  • stay tuned for daily updates!