Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photographic MLA

Excellent signage...

Epic conference tshirt

Electronic Resources "Dinner with Colleagues" where I met another hockey-playing librarian!

Friday, October 14, 2011


  • Andy McCracken and Terese Sonnak
  • Andy is a geocaching specialist, Terese is a public librarian
  • use a gsp to find stashes of stuff
  • basically: someone hides something, marks it with a gps, then registers the cache on a Web site...people can look up caches close to where they live / where they will be, and go find it
  • gpses are not always super accurate, so challenge to find caches
  • geocaching peeps call non-geocacheres muggles!
  • traditional caches are stored in a container, with a log book
  • containers can be micro, small, regular or large
  • multi caches: in stages, like a treasure hunt...first cache is a clue to the next one
  • puzzle caches: go to the cache's web page to solve a puzzle
  • event caches: special events
  • virtual caches: can't hide something, no container, but need to bring back some evidence (eg name of sculptor of a statue), and email that back
  • earth caches: eg Goosebery Falls...usually related to geology
  • what you can find in a cache: log book, pencil, swag, coins, travel bugs
  • swag = Stuff We All Get!!! (who knew?!)
  • kids like to trade swag in and out (evenly)
  • interesting way to explore an area
  • "dnf" = did not find
  • qr codes are starting to show up in geocahes
  • after you find a cache, log it on the cache's web site (also if you did not find it)
  • there's an app from for smartphones
  • caches in libraries: generally multi-stage or puzzles
  • need to put a container outside with a hint in it
  • the cache could be a book "hidden" in the stacks...they used a weeded book and disguised it as "Encyclopedia of Geocaching" ...created a Dewey lesson to help people find it...nifty idea
  • lots of different examples...could have clues inside the library and the cache outside
  • The British Library is even doing it!
  • why hide a cache in a library?: point out a new location / teach new users how to use the library / bring back users who haven't been in recently / because it's fun
  • people of all ages geocache...very family-friendly...non-disruptive (cachers like to be stealthy)
  • can look at to see logs of library caches

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things in a flash: Latest 2.0 Tools

QR codes:
  • Jenny Sippel
  • todo: see if I can find stats on smart phone use in TBay/NWO/Ont/Canada
  • todo: see if I can get stats on how many times our qr code was scanned (and/or look at stats for that (app) page on our site)
  • qr codes in opac records to get call number...nifty! See if any III libs are doing it possible? Ask/search listserv
  • use url shorteners (to both get a cleaner code and to get data (todo: look at and
  • in can add "+" at end of url to collect data (and "qr") to generate a qr code
  • include url with qr codes for equitable access
Katie Polley: Apps (GetGlue and Instagram)
  • Get Glue: check in to anything (books, movies etc) and links to twitter (and other sites) Gamified: gives you virtual (plus irl) stickers if you check in to a lot of things. nice! Check it out.
  • also lets you rate things...and then you get suggestions of similar (readers advisory tool - ish)
  • you can follow people and they can follow interaction
  • Instagram: only for iPhone (for now) photosharing service...some editing available
Megan Kocher, Uni of Mn: Evernote and Wunderlist
  • staying organized across platforms (and devices)
  • compulsive list maker: yeah!
  • both live in the cloud + have desktop clients + apps (all synced)
  • check them out...what would be the advantage over google docs?
  • in Wunderlist can make lists and add tasks, then tick them off!
  • you can share lists with others (do they also need an account?)
  • Evernote works searchable (nifty) can also collect things which are not text (eg audio notes, web site clips)...can tag notebooks
John Daniels (Minneapolis Community and Technical College): Google APIs
  • application programming interfaces
  • allow programs to talk to each other
  • visualisation api: takes data and makes it look pretty
  • need html code, and a data source (can use google spreadsheets)
  • there is a lot of documentation available
  • resulting charts are accessible by screen-readers
  • there is an api playground (part of documentation)
  • cons: time and complexity
  • use for: simple erm (electronic resource management)...makes info from a spreadsheet look nice
  • Featured books: scan isbns of new books in to spread sheet, and uses google (world cat, google books) to make a nice new book display (with covers, links etc)
Collaborating in the Cloud: Google Apps and PBworks
Amanda Mills
  • use google apps for collaboration
  • can create a google group (look in to google groups for FB coach sched...easier than "sharing" a doc?)
  • need all peeps to have gmail to make a group...but JRo and LL some research and consider/discuss
  • google sites: free Web site creation, also integration with google docs
  • look up Minnesota Library Futurists
  • PBWorks: version + costs for enhanced version...used on a campus w a Library 101 class (group work)
  • (aside: check out polleverywhere (lots of tweets about it!...can we use during our FB EI session?)
Jen Strauman: geolocation tools
  • foursquare, gowalla, fb places
  • google places, yelp, urbanspoon (more about finding a place)
  • gamification again!
  • earn ponits, get badges, "Mayor"
  • todo: look at foursquare and claim our lib locations

eBooks: What's all the excitement about

  • panel of 5 from public, academic, consortium
  • Hennepin County has had OverDrive for only about a year (wow!)...we are ahead of that curve!
  • interesting how one of the panelist is not a fan of ebooks! What about "it's the content not the container?"!!!
  • recent Pew report 12 percent of adults in the US have eBook readers so still big digital divide
  • "paper will be a luxury niche"...nice thought!
  • good point: we also have to look at our own communities (not just big Pew-like studies)...quandry: how DO we do that in TBay?...demand for "how to download" classes still big + ebook circ going up
  • question about how publishers decided to publish an ebook or not...they are in transition too...not carved in stone
  • St. Paul pub lib has made physical changes to their libs in view of becoming more digital -- lib of the future (todo: email conveyner of this panel re what those changes look like)

Engagement through games: Reaching library users through playful ways

  • Scott Nicholson (super peppy presenter) (from MIT) his book!
  • de-briefing is important (applying what you did to irl)
  • libs are about SERVICES not stuff...the stuff supports the service
  • gamING = service (games = stuff)
  • the oldest chess club in the USA (still going) is in a library (in San Fran)
  • "gamification" is big (eg 4Square)
  • gaming=fab for storytime grads...what comes next? shared experience for kids and parents
  • the "magic circle" is a nifty idea: ie when you sit down w peeps to play a game, different rules (than in usual life) apply (eg maybe it's ok to lie and not be nice)
  • gaming literacy: levels, badges etc
  • (Scott's Web site)
  • will post notes about the RPG (role playing game) we tried
  • *debrief* so important to learn from each other after a shared experience

Everyone is a Library Advocate

  • Margie Schuster, Hennepin County Library
  • Ginny Heinrich, Macalester College
  • notes are online here (will be updated)
  • something to ponder: recent Toast magazine article re everyone needs an "elevator pitch"...and talk about what you DO, not your job title (which is usually meaningless to peeps outside your org. So think about a 20 second description...focus on what problems you solve.
  • need to empower all lib staff to feel like library advocates
  • advocacy = building relationships and sharing stories
  • stories about what the power of information can be
  • get back to basics: people have to know about you (ie what the lib is all about) before you can connect w them
  • pub lib = the place to help the peeps become INFORMED...informed citizens and informed consumers
  • show people that the lib is the place to ask questions
  • Civics 101: all lib staff need to know how the lib fits in with local politics (re board / how it fits with City admin etc) + when you meet a politician (or whoever...) out there in the real world, you can chat intelligently...I wonder if this is part of TBPL orientation, at any level (chat with YW about this)...all staff should know the lib's priorities
  • use your "advocacy moments" when someone asks where you work
  • fab idea to invite politicians to Library see our fab work in action
  • interesting approach to tell stories about what would happen if there were NO libraries
  • another phrase / description for "advocacy" is "speak out"
  • (*love* how Minnesotians say "hockey"!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Professional Social Media: Beyond the Buzz

  • Brian Huffman (Law librarian) and Megan Kocher (works at academic science library)
  • slides are here
  • handout is here
  • goals of social networking: connect, share, expand networks
  • check out slide w links to evaluate/monitor your online presence
  • to do: spend more time on LinkedIN...look for resume creation link...(pdf)...also add some more content (slideshare link for eg)
  • to do: spend some more time on Google+...flush out my profile, connect with more people
  • to do: look at Hootsuite closely...use for monitoring twitter for eg.
  • also tweetdeck and
  • interactions and conversations are key
  • check out "Doing social media so it matters" book
  • to do: claim our lib locations on FourSquare...would add to info from app use to get an idea of how many of our peeps are using smartphones / are interested in mobile services...and add a link to our airpac, app page ...consider "specials" for Mayor / frequent visitors etc (eg. tbpl swag)...can also leave tips

Social Media @ the Library

  • Virginia "Ginny" Erbe, Communications, Rochester Public Library
  • ppt is online here
  • twitter: #mnlib11 @ginerbe
  • question to ask in case she doesn't cover it: do you report the use of your social web presences? We recently started to, as it's significant interaction / use (Facebook monthly active users, twitter followers, blog visits, flickr pic views etc...) answer: does send to supervisor, not sure beyond that!
  • todo: follow Rochester Public Library on twitter
  • todo: compare our monthly page views with RPL's (in presi page 7)
  • todo: start to track click throughs re how many people click on links posted on fb (see how many page views we get for links posted on fb)
  • todo: look at tweetfeed : works with rss feeds (eg from e*vents calendar)
  • todo: look at foursquare and at least claim our locations
  • tip for QR codes: shorten url first (using bitly or which results in a cleaner code