Deepening the Conversation

thinking about questions of authority, technology, learning, and 2.0 in academic libraries


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IL2011 Cybertour: Web 2.0 Resources andTools #IL2011

I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting on the Cybertour at Internet Librarian next month. It’s a fantastic conference, with the best location (I really miss the ocean!). If you’ve never been, I’d recommend adding it to your list of must-do conferences.  Really. How often do the tech experimenters and the public service folks get to sit down together and drive the conversation?  It’s not just me, either — here’s a list of reasons to attend.

I’ll be talking about:

Web 2.0 Resources & Tools

Hear about one tech librarian’s cool tool picks as she shares her experimentation and thoughts on their possible use in libraries.  She has been playing with tools for easily creating tutorials, with “mother blogs” using Posterious, and getting deep into sharing and bundling features for info dissemination on Google Reader.  Hear her tips and opinions!

I’d love to hear your suggestions and ideas — are they easy tutorial tools you love, or want to know more about? Have you played with a new tool for information dissemination but want to get me to dig deeper into it? Leave a comment, let me know; I’ll be working on this presentation next week.


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Leadership Discussion Group forms submitted

I am so pleased with how many people supported the creation of a Leadership discussion group within ACRL. The petition has been submitted, and the ACRL Board will discuss it next month at their meeting. I’ll let folks know what I hear!

In case you’re interested, here’s what I submitted to the Board, in addition to the text on the petition itself (now closed)

Developing and supporting Leadership in Academic libraries is an area of strategic importance for ACRL, but is a community gap that ACRL does not structurally fill at this time. Academic libraries pose different paths, challenges and opportunities for leadership and management than other types of libraries, and these qualities deserve the focused attention that an ACRL group can afford. There are sections within ACRL with leadership/management committees; the existence of these can be read to support a need for a leadership forum for all types of groups within ACRL. Acquiring 58 signatures in 24 hours on the Petition to create a Leadership Discussion group within ACRL also speaks to the demand.

While ‘management’ frequently refers to a position with authority, ‘leadership’ refers to a set of skills, abilities, and actions that can be exercised by people in any job category within an academic library. Leadership skills are desirable in working with peers, as well as with people in different employment categories, regardless of whether they fall laterally or above or below a leader on an org chart. Leadership skills are also essential in working within professional organizations at committee level as well as working within the overarching organizational structures; ACRL’s (laudable) movement towards virtual meetings complicates communication and community building, and multiplies the need for developing leadership abilities in ACRL members.

There is a special need for ACRL to focus on leadership skills: academic libraries staffs are frequently (and uniquely) constituted of faculty and civil service members. These categories of colleagues cannot be managed in the most common sense, as the structures of those categories lack many incentive and disincentive options. ‘Managing’ faculty and civil service requires leadership skills, and addressing the needs of ACRL members in organizations with these populations can best be accomplished in undiluted conversations and fora.


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LLAMA webinar on Academic libraries

Owning and communicating the value of academic libraries is a major initiative in ACRL right now (see the Oakleaf report).  It looks like LLAMA is also taking an interest in the topic.

I’ve just received an email about a LLAMA webinar pertinent to academic libraries. It’s a webcast of a session LLAMA held at ALA NOLA, “Return on Investment in a Tough Economy: Defining the Value of the Academic Library”.

This webinar will highlight two projects to help academic libraries apply return on investment (ROI) principles to demonstrate their value and impact on users and justify the expense during challenging economic times. Presenters Jon Cawthorne and Irene Herold will explain the application of Triple (people, planet and profit) Bottom Line Accounting (TBLA) to ROI.

The webinar will be held Wednesday, September 14, 2011, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Central Time.

Fees: LLAMA member: $49
Non-LLAMA member $59
Register online at  http://tinyurl.com/3zhtecm

ROI isn’t something I know much about, and I’m not sure if I’ll attend this. If you attended at ALA, or plan on attending this webinar, let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the LLAMA session, and how it intersects with ACRL’s Values report (perhaps as a guest blogger?)

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