Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CALCON09 Session Notes: Presentation - Matt Hamilton of Boulder Public Library

Matt Hamilton - Cloud Computing... Web-Scale... Oh my! Will OCLC Eat Me?

OCLC wants to get all libraries across the us on a the same server system to make things easily accessible. e.g. it's easier for google to add a server to their conglomorate, as opposed to a single library adding a complete system for the same effect.

Spending a lot of money trying to reconcile disparate forms of data. Cloud computing can be done on a local level, but mainly global. We want to have open data standards. For the use of soa, to wrap these pieces of data in metadata, so that it is easily recognizable.

Cloud Computing can be compared to a lump of clay or playdoh; break off a small piece, do your thing. If you need a larger piece, break that off. When you're done, put it back in larger lump so that it's readily available for the next project.

Nick Carr - "The Big Switch", book

Cloud computing is instantly scalable. You expand, and just pay for what you use. In the future, we hope to only pay for the variable costs.

Amazon has web services (AWS). Securely bridge your IT infrastructure to the AWS cloud. Cloud sites, cloud files, cloud servers. Koha ils system, LibraryThing, already using amazon's services.

OCLC = Facebook, We and our catalogue/data = Lil Green Patch

OCLC Web-Scale Management Services
cataloging and aurthority control
worldcat local
worldcat local quick start (free if you already have a subscription to another oclc product)
inventory control (circ, license management, acquisitions, reporting/business intelligence)

CALCON09 Session Notes I: Keynote - Lee Raine of the Pew Institute

Lee Raine - New Information Ecology
Friday, 20 Nov 09 - Opening Keynote

Talked about Twitter

"Tweckle" - to abuse a speaker only to twitter followers

46% adults use internet
5% get broadband @ home
50% use cell
0% connect wirelessly
= slow stationary connections built around my computer

77-79% adults use Internet
63% get broadband @ home
85% use cell
54-56% connect wirelessly
2/3 of all use cloud
=fast mobile connections built around outside servers and storage

47% adults own laptops - up from 30% in '06

How digital tech has changed things for your patrons and their networking behaviour

  • Variety of information and sources of information grow
  • Velocity of information increases and smart mobs emerge (Howard Rheingold, Clay Shirky)
  • Venues of intersecting with information and people multiply and the availability of information expands to all hours of the day and all places we are (nielsen company)
  • People's Vigilance for information changes in two directions 1. attention is truncated (Linda Stone) 2. attention is elongated (Andrew Keen; Terry Fisher) (Andrew Keen: The Cult of the Amateur - book)
  • The Vibrance and immersive qualitites of media environments makes them more compelling places to hang out and interact - metaverse roadmap project 1. virtual worlds, 2. mirror worlds. 3. augmented reality (most vitality right now)
  • Valence (relevance) of information improves - search and customization
  • The Voice of information democratizes and the visibility of new creators is enhanced. Identitiy and privacy change

31% of adult internet users have rated a person product or service online

social networks become more vivid and meaningful. Media-making is part of social networking. 'Networked Individualism' takes hold. Barry Wellman

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Virtual Meeting for Colorado Association of Libraries

CAL SLIG will be holding a meeting at its new Second Life location on Etopia Prime Island next Tuesday, 8 September at 8pm. We will be discussing future events/meetings/programs, as well as what needs to be done in preparation for the CAL Annual Conference.

After the meeting, the owner of the Etopia Islands (who happens to reside in Boulder in RL!) will be giving us a tour of the islands and a bit of history and the purpose of this vibrant, green sustainable community.

So, put on your avatar, and come join the fun at CAL's Sustainable Living Library! SLurl: (Note: Log into Second Life before using the SLurl).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

MPL is Moving!

It has been hectic at my library, to say the least, for the last couple of months. Construction of our new library has been wrapping up, and we've been in this whirlwind of excitement; final touches such as organizing the new coffee station, ordering a parking sign for hybrid cars, deciding where artwork is to be hung, and realizing that the drop-down screen in the meeting room was not installed, have been up and forefront in all our minds.

It's Really Happening!

What we kinda forgot is that we're really moving! And I have a feeling that it won't feel very real until next week, when our current location has closed.

Our last day is the 6th of June, which makes me very happy to be the head staff person on Saturdays. We are hoping to have patrons, volunteers, and staff members to stop into the library to say goodbye and to remember the good times we've had in the building.

Saturday is also our last day of 'life as we know it'. The three weeks that we will be closed are already planned out and packed full of transitional duties. We will be moving all the items over, of course; we'll also be re-arranging furniture, organizing new workflows, and adjusting to all the change.

The 'Transition Team'

For this, we've created a 'Transitional Plan' of sorts. The first week we will be packing up, and formulating further plans for any new things that arise. The second week will kick off with a Community Moving Party - including our District's people in the process (and also giving them a 'sneak peek' of the new building).

For most of the staff, the rest of the second week will be a frenzy of deciding what to put where; for me personally, I will be learning our new technology infrastructure, installing new hardware and software, and creating new systems. My position, with regards to individual workstations, will essentially double.

During this week, we will also be conducting personal interviews with all staff members, essentially gathering information on any ideas they may have, as well as documenting any concerns or struggles that they may have with the moving process. The 'Transition Team', the Director and two staff members, will review these interviews and respond to staff individually.

The last week of the closure will focus on training and settling in. We will be going over any new procedures that will be created as a result of being in a brand-spanking-new building.

Mancos Public Library will reopen at it's new location on Tuesday, 30 June.

It Doesn't End Here

And, according to our conversations with other librarians that have moved to new libraries, the hecticness and insanity that accompanies any building project will not end that Tuesday; it will just change to a different level. We'll all be discovering all the changes that come along with anything 'new'.

So, the 'Transition Team' will not disband the moment of opening. We will be talking with staff throughout the first year, or as long as it takes, and responding to any fear or anxiety that may come along with working in a new place.

We're hoping that by creating a dedicated team for the transition will revitalize the staff and help them to know that they are valued members of our overall MPL team.

How have your libraries handled transition?

Photo: Staff and Family Signature Beam
Credit: Jack Stuart, Jaynes Corporation

Friday, May 29, 2009

Virtual Program Streamed Live into Real Life

I am excited to say that CAL's Sustainable Living Library, located in the virtual world Second Life, is hosting a green workshop on Photovoltaics - and I'll be able to extend this great program to MPL patrons!

The workshop will focus on the basics of solar electricity and how it applies to reversing the damage done to our environment due to human activity. The presenter, Phil Friedman of Solar Energy International (SEI), has been working in the solar electricity field for years, and is currently an online instructor for SEI.

You can find out more information about the program on the Sustainable Living Library's blog here.

While attending the program, helping with any technical difficulties, and answering questions about CAL's Second Life Library, I will also be streaming the program live to the Mancos Public Library's patrons in Real Life.

This is a perfect example of the benefits that virtual worlds have to offer. To learn about the ins and outs of Photovoltaics from a respected green industry worker and instructor, we won't have to drive the 350 miles to Denver - we'll be able to enjoy and learn in our small, rural area.

Photo: Patrons in CAL's Sustainable Living Library in Second Life
Credit: Plautia Corvale

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tech Tuesdays - Personalization and Connections

For about six months or so, I've been spending one hour a week with patrons and their technology questions. Technology Office Hour, a one-on-one session, was developed in an effort to customize, streamline, and personalize the learning process. In the past, I had struggled with some computer classes, and how to 'deliver' information that was well-paced, personal, and relevant to each individual. Classes were small, and attended by such a variety of ages and ability; it seemed that no matter how I described the session content, the attendees were so disparate that I wondered if I was really helping them as much as I was able.

The Power of Personalization

One thing that all my students have in common is the desire to learn through doing. Many times classes evolved into purely question and answer sessions, and I realized the value of a question that is answered specifically - seeing someone's eyes light up with understanding and excitement always won out over any doubts I may have had over class format.

The Beginning

During a normal workweek, part of what I do is answer 'short' questions from patrons. While I was able to help most of the time, there were many times that I wished I could just drop what I was doing, and devote more time to what they needed.

I discussed this feeling with my Director, Patsy Smith, and she gave me the go-ahead to 'set up shop' at our special use computer, and start giving weekly, personalized, one-on-one sessions. Patrons were then able to come in and ask any computer or Internet question, and I would do my best to help.

Not knowing what to expect, I did no publicizing, except for a notice in our weekly paper and word of mouth. I expected patrons to come in on a first-come-first-served basis, but it quickly evolved into people calling ahead for reservations.

Recently, I have expanded the program to two 45 minute sessions per week, and am booked on average about two weeks in advance.

It Works Both Ways

The benefit really is in the personal attention I give and receive from my students. I've found that they are less intimidated by the computer when I sit next to them and interact as we go. I've had a huge range of questions and abilities walk through the door; some are hardly familiar with the mouse, and most of the session consists of gently reminding them how many times they are to click on something and general navigation. Others that have questions about specific websites or software have been the most fun for me, as oftentimes I am hearing about a product that I was unaware of in the past.

But both types are teaching me as well. I am beginning to sense what types of learning styles people have, as well as how hard or lightly I need to push students to learn more.


I know that I will continue to learn and to be challenged by my students. It is truly enjoyable to see someone 'get it'; but this has evolved into something deeper. While I am still able show my passion for technology and helping people, my students have opened up to me, and can reveal their passions as well. Learning, sharing experiences, connecting with each other's excitement - it doesn't get any better.

Photo: Thank you, Perfecto Insecto.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Embracing Facebook, Or, How I Learned to Love the Bomb

I've been thinking a lot lately about the Internet and mobile computing. Many declaim the fact that we are turning into a society of people that are always on, always connected. A Facebook friend recently mentioned that he had been thinking about new generations of people that would grow up this way; he wondered what that would be like, how it would change their lives to be always in touch with everyone. All.the.time. Forever.

And this thought is mentioned other places, as well. In a recent article, NY Times columnist Peggy Orenstein writes about "Growing up on Facebook", and the way that this first generation of kids 'growing up on Facebook' is changing the way people become adults. There are no hidden secrets in this process; kids now won't have a time of anonymity to become who they will be in the future. But won't it be so interesting to find out how much more people can become when they have the ability to communicate easily?

Communication = Connectedness

Isn't that the point of life? It's not how much money we have, not the fame or status we have, not the sheer numbers of virtual friends we have, but the quality of our communication and the deep connections that we make.

You can't make deep connections on the Internet, right? Ha! What did people do in the age before trains, jet planes? What did they do before they could travel and see their friends and acquaintances face-to-face on a regular basis? They wrote. Long, long letters. They wrote about their thoughts, their feelings, their politics - but they also wrote about the banal, trivial things of everyday life. How the weather was that morning. How little Johnny skinned his knee and needed a lot of comforting before he calmed down.

The only thing different about our communication today is the instantaneousness of it all. We no longer need the lengthy, one sided monologue of old-time communication.

The Quality of Communication

Shouldn't we always be listening? This is what the Internet, and therefore, places such as Facebook or Twitter allow you to do. Yes, we may not need to know that you've just ordered a pizza, or that you're bored and can't find anything to do.

Get over it. That's not really what these places are about.

You learn to skim; you laugh a bit, then move to the next. But when you learn the value of comments, whether it be on a blog post or on a twitter update, or commenting on someone's Facebook status - this is where the value begins.

I'm better at writing. I always have been. School was wonderful for me - I soaked up all that knowledge - but it was the inbetween times where I was frequently miserable. The times outside of the structure, where we met with each other, on the playground, at our lockers, waiting for the bell to ring for class to start. Adolescence can be a terrible thing; it can turn a happy-go-lucky book reading nerd into a self-conscious, painfully shy, feeling like you're going to die if anyone notices you, book reading nerd. I luckily made it through, and emerged into my life-shaping twenties. I started to become the person I always really was.

Then Came the Internet

Back in the mid-nineties, I joined my first RP community. I had friends all over the globe - Australia, England, and of course, from various United states. All of these fun, intelligent, quirky people found their voices on the Internet. And I started listening.

Almost 10 years later, along comes Facebook. I started slow. Found some professional connections, local connections. Then I found a friend from High School. Mind you, I didn't go to my 10 year reunion; why would I? I hated those people. But this Facebooking, this new way of communicating, slowly and invidiously invaded my 'new life'. I continued the listening that I had learned through roleplaying. And I learned to comment. Weeks, and then months passed, and I was commenting like mad. I was communicating. And all of a sudden, I realized that I love all these people!!

What the Internet Really Means

Living is all about the communication, the relationships. The interwebz allow you to do that - constantly.

You can be frivolous or sarcastic. You can have a blast. But you can also find help and advice. You can reach out. You can help others.

People talk about information overload; what they forget to say is that you can stop. Take a breather. Facebook will be there when you get back. The times that we are with others only makes the alone time more delicious.

The detractors of social media may not take the time to understand it, and that is a shame. What is this world if it weren't for the connections we make here?

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things About Me Meme

I was tagged with the Meme on Facebook, but I may as well share it here, too!

That 25 Thingie Thingie Share

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. (Unless you don't really want to.)

1. Just to get it out of the way, I'm a Google Apps whore. Obviously not in the literal sense of the word; at least I don't think that I've compromised any of my principles to use Google... Or, have I?

2. Until I got my iPod for Christmas, I never really understood the whole iPod silhouette dancing commercial.

3. Even though I haven't had an iPod before, I have not bought a physical CD in the last 5 years. iTunes works just as well on a computer, and the ability to purchase one song at a time instead of a whole album is incredible. I'm also slowly turning all of my old music into digital format.

4. I am a Bookworm. Always have been, always will be.

5. I love living in a small town. I walk to work, the grocery store, the barber, the post office. If I have to get in a car for anything, I get mildly disgruntled.

6. My family has earned "The Best Family in the World" award. A more loving group of people I could never hope to encounter in my wildest dreams. And hey, all people are dysfunctional, so get over it already.

7. I believe that eating organic and living healthily should be a right, not a privilege.

8. Probably the only thing I miss about not living close to a city are the CONCERTS. I've been going to huge venues to see bands since elementary school. I've seen Madonna three times; slept in line overnight to get a friend Def Leppard tickets (no, not for myself!), traveled around the midwest for as many Grateful Dead shows as I could (I even got 2nd row once, and have the pictures to prove it!), rocked to Jimmy in the VIP section, got into a 5 car pile up on the way to Lollapalooza, and still managed to make it in time for Pearl Jam, danced to Squirrel Nut Zippers in Denver on the night my husband and I got together, got backstage passes to see Widespread Panic in Berkeley, and even got to meet Chris Isaak after a show in Boulder. Currently unsurpassed concert highlight: jumping up and down for two hours straight at an Ozzy Osbourne show (best concert ever!).

9. I have the two greatest kids in the universe. No. Really. And I'm enjoying every moment of it. Learning to take several deep breaths in a day can be a good thing.

10. My favorite Star Trek captain is Jean Luc-Picard.

11. I don't like to follow rules; however, I don't especially like to break the law.

12. My two favorite punctuation symbols are the comma, and the semi-colon; I admire the writing style of Jane Austen for exactly that reason, as she could write entire paragraphs, indeed, entire series of paragraphs without using a period, except where grammatically correct.

13. I love to dye swaths of my hair blue or pink. Purple is a color I've been considering recently, although I have heard that it fades to an icky sorta silver color. Hmmm, that could be fun.

14. My totally anal, "line-everything-up-in-perfect-order and don't let anyone touch it" side constantly wars with my "oh my god, I totally hate cleaning, and what's a few dust bunnies anyway?" side. It. is. a. constant. battle.

15. During 4th grade, I completely and absolutely missed the point of career week. On a recently rediscovered school paper, when answering the question of, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" - I wrote down "a vegetarian".

16. I mark time as B.W.2. and G.T.T.E. (Before Web2.0 and Getting to Total Efficiency).

17. Growing up with the Jetsons and Star Trek definitely left its mark. Sometimes, when I hear of a new invention, or advance in science, I think, "Hey, didn't we already have that?".

18. I have a passion for leisurely eating, cooking, and wine. Nothing too complicated, because my kitchen motto is: "I love to cook with wine; sometimes I even put it in the food". Was so happy to finally find this on a magnet, and I still believe that it was custom made for me without my knowledge.

19. I, Avatar: a true believer in the personalization of the avatar, I am an advocate for learning, enjoyment, and socialization in virtual worlds of any kind.

20. Two books have recently helped to change my life for the better: Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston and Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. Karen has taught me the value of unobstructed spaces and how clutter can affect your everyday life. As recommended in the book, I have now given away 80% of my clothes. Remaining clutter zones: basement and garage. Tom points out a very simple truth: Why struggle so hard to improve the things we may have no talent for? By working on our strengths, and partnering with others that have the strengths of our weaknesses, we can go much further.

21. I have voted in every single presidential election since I was 18. Before Obama, I have never felt such a strong connection to a candidate. Yes, We Can! However, I also realize that the president can only do so much - the country is run by Congress, too. Please keep the spirit alive by keeping up on the issues and writing to your Senator or Congressperson. Once again, Yes, We Can!!

22. This has always been my favorite number. Also, 2, 4, and 11. Sensing a theme here?

23. Four years ago I stumbled into the perfect career. Like many 'librarians', I never thought of working in a library before. I also have the position best suited to my strengths and tastes. As Technology Manager, I am able to combine my love for books, learning, and technology of all kinds. It gives me chills to think of the library, and how I narrowly almost missed my calling. Once my children are in school, I will be going back to school for my Masters in Library and Information Science.

24. A long-term goal of mine is to get to a financial position where I can travel more with my family. I was lucky enough to have parents that placed an emphasis on travel and broadening horizons by experiencing different cultures. I want my kids to have the same, while also being lucky enough to reside in a small town.

25. I can play Fur Elise (by memory) on the piano, and the first two pages of Moonlight Sonata (with music). Wow, Beethoven had a wide reach. I love how he wrote tiny notes in the sidebars for lesser pianists than himself. Wish I had the drive to practice more, and maybe someday I will. The piano is a very personal thing for me, so don't ask me to play for you. It. won't. happen.

26. I just can't stop at 25 things. Please refer to #11.

27. I hate shopping, specifically clothes shopping. I spend way to much time picking and choosing; by the time I get to the dressing room I usually talk myself out of buying anything.

28. I've had way too much coffee this morning. Time to stop and get ready for a beautiful day. I love life!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Creating Balance

I've taken a bit of a hiatus - a withdrawal into my homelife, if you will. My kids are growing up too fast already, and it is a bit scary that almost everything seems to be moving faster on a daily basis. Learning to take a deep breath and put things in perspective is a good thing.

Once I gain passion for something, I am all over it. My two biggest passions are my family, and my work; creating a balance for both without feeling guilty is one of my aims for '09. Another goal is me. Sounds a bit strange, but I truly forget to take some "alone" time - I've realized that the only time when I am alone is on the walk to work. And I only live two blocks from the library.

While at work, I'll be striving to be more effective, and while at home, I've created a schedule to work less. I'll let you know how my "me" time all shakes out. Suggestions welcome.