Everything Zen

Thanks to Marianne Lenox and the MLxperience for pointing me to Kim Cofino’s blog and recent post, “Less is more — making your presentations zen-tastic!” and link to the Flickr group, Great quotes about learning and change.

Speaking of learning and change, I’ll be finishing my full-time gig with MaintainIT at the end of March and am going to be doing freelance consulting and teaching for a while. I’ll be staying in KC, but am trying to think big and broad as I imagine what this next stage of professional life will look like. Completing a book for Information Today and finishing my dissertation are at the top of the to-do list, but there’s room for more (there’s need for more to make this financially viable and to keep life interesting). As I approach these changes, I am thinking about a post from one of my favorite blogs, which really resonates with me. Hmmm… I’ll keep you posted.


Measure for Measure

I’m preparing for tomorrow’s MaintainIT Book Club discussion. This month we’re talking about the “Evaluations and Metrics” chapter from Planning for Success. I’m dorkishly excited about the topic and the discussion. One of the resources listed in the Cookbook chapter is E-Metrics, which provides free tutorials to help librarians learn how to gather and use statistics and measures in the library.

Trainers may be interested in knowing there are a few tutorials on the E-Metrics site that are specifically related to training, including:

Resources for Trainers

Duct Tape: a light side and a dark side, and it binds the galaxy together

I delivered a presentation yesterday at the Calif Lib Assoc annual conference, “Not on Oprah’s List” — all about  the MaintainIT Technology Book Club discussions we have been hosting. It made me even more excited about a book club approach to technology learning, so I’m going to be seeking out examples of technology-related things that others are doing with book clubs, too.

Reading through blogs this morning, Betha’s post on CE Buzz led me to Ellie’s post on In the Library with the Leadpipe (love the blog name!), which discusses a book by Chip Heath called Made to Stick. It’s a book I have not read, but have heard others refer to. Ellie takes the material and points out what is relevant for library instruction. It’s a great post and in it she says, “I hope that I’ve inspired you to pick up a copy of Made to Stick, read through it yourself and look for ways to apply some of the ideas it explains.” Mission accomplished, Ellie – I’m requesting it now.

Library staff development, Resources for Trainers

Tech Static

I want to help spread the word about the all new resource, Tech Static. Stephanie did such a nice job writing about it over on the MaintainIT blog that I’m just going to copy and share that here.


Re-posted from: http://maintainitproject.org/blog/the-tech-static

The Tech Static, a new collection development resource for technology titles, published its inaugural issue today. Included in this first issue was an announcement regarding the new MaintainIT Cookbook, Joy of Computing – Planning for Success. Hooray!

The amazing Rachel Singer Gordon, The Tech Static’s creator, was the columnist forLibrary Journal’s “Computer Media” review column since 2002, until the column was recently discontinued. This left a large gap in library literature: no other librarian-targeted publication currently reviews computer books on a regular basis. To fill that gap, Singer Gordon created The Tech Static, a new resource for librarians focusing on reviewing technology-related books.

The Tech Static assists librarians with technology-related collection development. To this end, it contains:

  • Reviews of current computer books
  • Reviews of technology-related titles targeted at librarians
  • Collection development articles (weeding, “must-haves,” balancing a computer book collection)
  • Prepublication alerts
  • Publisher press releases
  • DVD and ebook reviews
  • Announcements
  • … and more!

“I’m pleased to continue providing — and expanding on! — coverage of technology titles,” said Singer Gordon. “Anyone involved with collection development in this area is invited to subscribe to this new free resource.” The Tech Static is available online at www.thetechstatic.com; readers can also subscribe via RSS or email.

The Tech Static is also currently seeking writers for technology-related collection development articles.

Contact Rachel Singer Gordon with any questions or comments at rachel@thetechstatic.com.

Library staff development, Patron Training, Train the trainer opportunities

In the Club

Talking technology

It has been a long time since I belonged to a living, breathing, get together and eat chocolate and talk literature kind of book club. I’d like to be part of one again someday, but for now, non-work time needs to be focused on dissertation — writing it, defending it; too many y-e-a-r-s of life have been about it; ready to be done.

I do get to be regularly involved with a different sort of book club, however.  Every month I participate in a technology book club discussion for MaintainIT. We choose a chapter from one of the MaintainIT Cookbooks and then gather online to discuss it.

I like it as a technology learning format. In the fall of 2003, I published an article in Computers in Libraries magazine called, “Everything you need to know about training you learned in summer reading programs”. I had observed the organization and collaboration and energy that happened around summer reading programs (in large libraries and in small) and wished, Why can’t we do that with technology training?

A lot has happened in the years in between then and now. I love the creativity and innovation happening, with interesting, large-scale technology training programs and smaller efforts, too. One of the very best examples is the influential Learning 2.0 program aka “23 Things”. Helene Blowers has discussed the similarities between 23 Things and summer reading program. Lori Reed wisely pointed out to me that technology book clubs really are like the 23 Things style learning activities. As she said, “the ideal technology training session would always consist of self study followed by an in-person session where learners have the opportunity to ask questions and get a deeper understanding of the technology.”

At NEKLS, we started an online book discussion related to technology titles, too. There are so many possibilities, I think. If you’re doing some sort of technology book club, I’d love to hear about it (in the comments or email me please)!

Trainers will be talking about this idea of using book clubs for technology learning in next week’s MaintainIT train-the-trainer webinar. Sign-up if you would like to join the discussion (it’s free).

And if you’re going to be at the California Library Association conference in San Jose next week, I’ll be presenting on this topic there, too (“Not on Oprah’s List: The MaintainIT Project’s Technology Book Clubs”). Stop by and say ‘hi’!

Resources for Trainers, Tools for trainers, Train the trainer opportunities

That was fun!

For trainers
For trainers

MaintainIT hosts monthly webinars for trainers. We talk about MaintainIT resources and share ideas for using them in training.  Today’s session was really fun (recording here) — lots of great people there, chatting about what makes online training work. There were people at the session attending their first ever online event and others who have presented online many times. One of the things I was most impressed with was everyone’s focus on the user… on the attendee experience. I know it might seem obvious, but when I was researching online presentations, most of the information I found focused on fonts and graphics and really specific details about how to make the presentation look. Great info and important stuff, but secondary.

Resources for Trainers, Train the trainer opportunities

MaintainIT webinar for trainers

Providing resources for trainers
Providing resources for trainers

It seems to me that people who provide technology training crave opportunities to talk to other trainers. We love to hear what others are doing, to share ideas, to see examples of activities and training resources. I look at the popularity of the Google group Lori Reed recently created for trainers. I think about the excitement and sense of belonging I felt when I first discovered CLENE. Talking training with other trainers…maybe I’m a geek, but I just think it’s fun.

I’m pretty excited about the train-the-trainer webinars we’re going to be doing at MPOW. As MaintainIT’s Library Training Specialist, I provide training, but I also work to get the word out to other trainers about the project. Check out some of the training resources we’ve put on our website: a postcard, handouts, flyers, recipe cards…. More things are being added regularly.

I’m also going to be hosting free monthly webinars for trainers. If you’re interested in learning more about using MaintainIT resources in the training you provide, please attend the August 6th train-the-trainer MaintainIT webinar. It will be one-hour long and will feature training ideas and examples and discussion.

More information and the registration form are available here: https://cc.readytalk.com/registration/1ou1tvbc10sp0/1kei5rllmsfyu.

Active Learning

From the screen to the brain

Jean Montgomery, with the Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation (MI), shared a new website with me, created by the Michigan Coop directors to disseminate information about library training opportunities in the state. As I was looking at the first two training announcements, I noticed they both are virtual (or potentially virtual). It got me thinking about training in an online environment.

Continue reading “From the screen to the brain”