Thoughts on Gil Yehuda’s presentation. This was my favorite presentation, and the one I found the most useful. I’ll be able to incorporate so much of this into my classes. The talk was called “How Job Seekers Can Leverage Blogs” but this is applicable to anyone who blogs or who wants to use blogging as an information gathering tool.

The Social Media Landscape

  • LinkedIn: Destination/static. It’s where people end up. Passive
  • Twitter: Airport runway/constant traffic.Active
  • Facebook: Someplace between a destination and an activity.  Both passive and active.
  • Blogs: Overall landscape. Leverage the other three.

How to Measure Online Relevance

  • Presence: Where are you found? What’s your URL? Where do you participate?
  • Contribution: What do you share? What value do you add?
  • Reputation: What do others say about you? How do you behave? What are you known for?
  • Personality: How have you responded?

5 Levels of Blogging Engagement — This was perhaps the best bit of information I got. Blogging broken down into 5 easy steps. This can also serve as a road map to finding specific information and people on the Internet.

  1. Awareness: See who’s out there. Google “$topic blogs” and see what comes up
  2. Accumulation: Collect and manage info. Use an aggrigator/reader (Google Reader, Bloglines) to manage all the blogs you’re reading.
  3. Participation: Comment on posts. Ask questions. Be relevant. Engage in the discussion.
  4. Authorship: Write your own blog. Also, encourage others to comment and participate.
  5. Integration: Add your blog to your other social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on). Don’t create islands of information. Your information is too valuable to stand alone.

The neat thing about this  is that people can participate at any level, and at multiple levels on different topics. I read lots and lots of foodie blogs, but I don’t write or comment, so for those I’m at level 1. For Information Literacy I’m at a 5.

What Blogs to Read–This is the second best piece of info. A few weeks ago I worked with students on how to search for blogs on specific topics for a PR class. I had a hard time putting my thoughts into words for them. This makes it so clear. Of course, you still have to go and find these sites, but this gives you an easy to follow checklist on what to find (or what’s still missing)

  1. Thought leaders/ industry movers and shakers
  2. Industry/trade/professional associations
  3. Vendors
  4. Community Sites

Thoughts on talks by Dan Schwabel and Sheryl Victor Levy.

Best Practice:  Transparency, Authenticity, Visibility,  Value

  • Transparency: Be open and up front about who you are and what your qualifications are. Use your real name.
  • Authenticity: Let your personality show through.
  • Visibility: Join groups, comment on other blogs. Your content is too valuable to be only in one place.
  • Value: Find a niche and specialize. Don’t just post links, add commentary. Become a resource.

Your numbers are valuable. Lots of contacts = lots of leverage.

For LinkedIn (or any other social networking site) you should fill in your profile 100%, and post a photo. A good photo, a professional head shot.  Ask for recommendations, and join groups.

Other things that were said: be careful, work hard, build relationships.

Really, social networking is no different from face to face networking.  In fact, this reminds me a lot of the advice being given out a college orientation. Be yourself, go meet a lot of friends, get involved…. It’s actually good advice for life in general.  It just needs to be reiterated and rephrased for an online context. And be rephrased so that it works for job seekers and professionals rather than wide-eyed college freshmen.

By that I mean bookless.

Today’s Boston Globe ran a story on the Ashburnham, MA prep school

“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. “This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451’ [the 1953 Ray Bradbury novel in which books are banned]. We’re not discouraging students from reading. We see this as a natural way to shape emerging trends and optimize technology.’’

We were faced with this decision two years ago, when our library had to close fur structural reasons and we were without access to our books for many months. It was difficult for faculty and students to do their research, but it was doable through ILL and some online databases. But most things aren’t online.  In general it’s better for the sciences than it is for the humanities, and more and more current humanities research is being published or available online. Research in the sciences is published in journal articles and papers, but in the humanities the main form of scholarly publishing is still the monograph.  I don’t see HUP or Oxford rushing to offer e-versions of their latest publications.

By going completely digital the students at Cushing are loosing the ability to browse the stacks, which is an important way of gathering information. When my students are stuck in their research I send them to the stacks to browse;  maybe a title will catch their eye and it will jump-start their research.  Cushing Academy’s students won’t have that luxury.  Also, their future colleges and universities will have libraries full of books. They’ll have to be re-introduced to paper-based research then.

I hope the school has thought through what will happen with power outages (will they be able to charge all those battery powered devices), service failures/gaffes (Amazon vs. George Orwell, July 2009), and the excuses the students will give out (a virus ate my homework).

It will be interesting to see how this transition works. I hope the Globe (or someone) does a follow-up.

I went to the Personal Branding Summit on August 28, 2009. It was organized by Dan Schwabel, author of Me 2.0:  Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.  He gave a biographical talk of how he created and leveraged his personal brand to get the job he wanted.  Gil Yehuda and Sheryl Victor Levy were co-presenters.  The thrust of this summit was really about job hunting, and using your personal brand to find a job. I was here for another reason. I wanted to find something teachable that I could bring back for use with my Communications students. I got some good ideas, some that I can integrate into the classroom, others that I can use with my LibGuide on Social Media.

Twitter tag of the day #bostonbranding

Dan Schwabel: Person branding is “how we market ourselves to other people.” Sounds innocuous enough, but I can’t help but think that we are turning ourselves into commodities to be traded like oil or corn. I’m simultaneously looking at this as an academic and as a practitioner. Which is even more meta as I’m publishing my thoughts on a blog.

I’m also thinking about what I learned in history in college. One of Professor Kaeuper’s favorite themes was “the widening social pyramid.” In ancient times, the only people that were Important were kings and other rulers. They’re the only  ones we know anything about, because they’re the only ones who left written records. As time goes on, and more people own property and can write, we learn more about people at lower social classes. We learn about warrior classes (knights and soldiers) and landowners and merchants, and based on what we write today, future historians can learn about the daily life of 13 year old kids. This concept has always stuck with me, and it seems particularly relevant to social networking. How do we sort through all the information and find out what is truly relevant and useful? Who really is “important” in this place and time? Do people realize that what they write on the Internet is permanent and will follow them everywhere (great for future historians, bad for job hunters)?

So, we’re all free agents and the personal brand isn’t just for sports celebrities.

Thankfully they’ve already licensed a librarian action figure.


SSC Library hosted the first NOBLE Information Literacy Roundtable on June 10. I orgnized it, and despite my nerves leading up to it, I think it went well.  About 15 people attended and we talked for 2 hours about information literacy and how we do it at our institutions. Since this was our first meeting, and there was no real agenda, I adapted a techinique we practiced at Immesion last summer. I divided the group into two smaller cohorts and had each of them brainstorm for 15 minutes the challenges they have with teaching information literacy.



 Group 1 Challenges:

  • No Assignment
  • Faculty lack of engagement
  • space
  • equipment
  • surly students
  • interesting
  • outreach
  • marketing
  • computing w/ internet
  • teaching to different levels
  • time
  • assessment
  • relevant
  • monotony
  • Systematic approach(lack of)
  • troublesome assignment
  • faculty curveballs
  • Repeat students



Group 2 challenges

  • Not interactive enough
  • lack fo student input
  • Repeat studetnts
  • lack of good assessment
  • information overload for the students (after 20 minutes)
  • lack of communication with/from faculty
  • library interfaces are clunky
  • lack of classroom resources
  • teacher burnout
  • faculty not incorporating skills into class
  • I.L. not built in to missionof the college
  • Changing interfaces
  • time to learn and implement new tech
  • departments territorial
  • faculty teaching their own version of I.L.

Then I had them switch sides and spend another 15 minutes brainstorming solutions to the other group’s challenges.

Soultions for Group 1


  • For “No Assignment” the solutions were Form, Reminders, Ask about skills, 1 on 1 appointments if assignment doesn’t require research.
  • For “Time” the solutions were Shorter Sessions, More targeted
  • For “Assessment” the solutions were Assessment form, Clickers, Are we answering “Learning”?
  • For “Surly Students” the solutions were Food rewards,  Challenges
  • For “Monotony” the solutiosn were Video clips, Multimedia, Clickers, Interactions, involve students

 Solutions for Group 2


  • For “Repeat Students” the solutions were Quiz, Demonstration  of competency, and something I can’t make out 🙂
  • For “I.L. not built in to mission of college” the solutions were C0llatboration with faculty, dean, director.


The discussion that followed focused a lot on assessment, and the difference between satisfaction surveys and learning outcomes. It’s easy to find out how satisfied your patrons are, but it’s difficult to see if learning has taken place. Especially if you only have 50 minutes with your students.

Clickers garnered a lot of interest. We just love new toys. Clickers have been a topic of conversation recently, but it was really good to sit down and talk with someone who’s using them, what she likes and doesn’t like, how they can be integrated into a 50 minute session without sacrificing any lesson time.

We ended with some of us sharing something that we do well, soemthing that works in our classrooms. I got one new trick to try out, which is have the students vote  on the topic that the class will search. It will work out best in my Freshmen Comp. classes, where everyone is all over the place. If I list three topics and have students vote on them, that might give them more ownership of the material. We’ll see. I’ll try it out in the fall.

All in all, the day went well.  Hopefully we’ll have another one in the fall.

At yesterday’s NOBLE Tech Expo, Elizabeth Thomsen demonstrated Wordle, and my thought immediately went to teaching. That would be a great tool for choosing a topic, which is something my students struggle with.  With wordle, you can enter a block of text–I just tried it, you can enter the entirety of a Shakespeare play- and it will generate a word map, visually ranking each word by relevance. I decided to try it with The Tempest, my favorite Shakespeare play (because a little Will  never hurt anyone). I just copied the text of the play from Project Gutenberg and pasted it into the text box in Wordle.


As you can see, Prospero  occured the most often, with thou, thy, Stephano, Ariel, now, and Miranda all running a close second. Even with the “exclude common English words” limiter set, this doesn’t exactly work out well. Next,  I decided to go with just Prospero’s Epilogue  (“Now my charms are all o’er thrown”) and it worked a little better.


Ignoring  now, must and let, pardon’d is the most used word. If a student was struggling to understand the passage,  this is an easy, visual way to see that the epilogue is about pardon. But that doesn’t get at the multiple levels of meaning in the epilogue.

Here’s one of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.  This is even worse than the Shakespeare ones.  Mr. is the most popular word,  followed closely by now and one. Jane and Rochester are prominent, too.


I really like the idea of Wordle-style word maps for teaching information literacy, but this program doesn’t work. It may leave out  the big three  of “a, an, the”  but it lets in so many more common words like Mr., now, one and go.  It’s a good idea, but I need to tweak it.  I’ll try and find other similar programs, or I’ll go to pen and paper.

Get the word out: Marketing your library


BBC Audiobooks America

Simplify & Maximize Community’s perception of library


Why market? Funding

2500-3500+ marketing messages a day

Talk directly to community

Internal & External marketing

Library support comes from beliefs, not demographics. Via OCLC “From awareness to Funding” study.

  • Belief in value of library.
  • Almost no correlation between library visitation and library support.

ACT NOW! (despite financial crisis)

  • Receptivity
  • Scrutiny

Idea sheet

  • Be specific
  • list benefits
  • Delegate!!!!

Who is your target market/who are you trying to reach?

You can’t do everything all at once. Stay focused on particular group/demographic

How to datamine patrons

  • Understand what they want, not what you think they want.
  • Really, just ask them.
  • Yes, you will get the choir and the vocal complainers, but you need to ask them.

Bathrooms are under-utilized when it comes to signage & marketing.

  • Captive audience.
  • Dentists put signage on ceilings.


  • Classes, databases, etc.

Co-op marketing

  • Partnering w/ other companies or orgs on marketing goals.
  • Reduces $$
  • Enhances resources
  • Create stronger image

IF you don’t have the budget, use somebody else’s

Use ALA’s “@ your library” campaign.

Mid-Hudson library system –>1500+ pages of marketing ideas

Get local businesses to offer discounts if patrons show library card. Chicago suburb.

Rules for Co-op marketing

  1. Follow your money –>Right of shopper–speak to business owners when you’re spending money in their store
  2. Co-op marketing partnership must be mutually beneficial
  3. Thank them until it hurts

Coordinate with pre-existing events/avoid pre-existing conflicts.

Think of website as the front of the building

Digital picture frames on circ desk. Slide Show

Maybe use as screensavers, also campus TV

easy to change info.

One time cost.

Ask vendors to create displays for their products


Email tags

Have .sig file promote new programs.

Some Marketing Ideas

Ugly Duckling Library

  • Projects Car Wash Co-op w./ librayr card
  • Recipes for omlets, mud pie
  • Virtual maps online
  • Play up the public
  • Add public artwork (tiles, bricks, etc)

John Blybert–RILA 09

Friday 5-29-09
Darien CT library

Library Skunk works: User experience design for libraries

Darien Library: Extreme Customer Service (eXtreme)–UX (trendier, more eXtreme than UE)
Designing new building around user-centric services

Positive user/library service

Also big in web & hardware design. Organizational design.

Interaction between humans,  machines & environment
User centered design
gestalt approach to library fundamentals
Information Ecology

Planned, positive and desirable experience

Experience Economy: Selling experience: Disneyland, IKEA

Users, resources, technology, organizations

Any network is a cultural phenomenon.

3 Networks

  • Voluntary(Friends, interests, etc) ***
  • semi-voluntary(geographic, economic, social)
  • involuntary(lineage, family)

Plan and build for change and innovation.
Innovation is an asset and a resource. Requires short term resources that we don’t always want to give up.

Try/Fail/Adapt/(perhaps quit)/try

Need to do usability studies. REALLY, do those usability studies. Find out what your users want and what your users thing.

A way to tell the story of the library


Soulpac: Drupal–>web server–>opac–>LS server (Amazon basis)

Here’s the slide show and the Mindomo map for my presentation given at the 2009 Rhode Island Library Association Conference at Bryant College in Smithfield, RI.

Here’s where I’ll be writing about information literacy, research, social media, Web & Libary 2.0, copyright….

Twitter @cathy_library

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