ALA 2011

ALA Conference Highlights
June 24 – 28, 2011—Ian

8th Annual Training Showcase – sponsored by the Learning Round Table
• 17 participants were on hand to meet visitors, talking about training programs offered by or within their organizations
• Exhibitors/participants included:
o ALA publishing courses and workshops
o Amigos Library Services – online instruction skills
o Cleveland Heights P.L. – developing an online orientation for new trustees
o Colorado State University - competencies for tech trainers
o King County Library System – eBook training
o University of North Texas – succession planning
o WebJunction – libraries leading workforce recovery

Graphic Novels: Bridging Generations, Bridging Cultures
• A panel talked about how graphic novels can help bring a better understanding of indigenous peoples and serve to develop literacy amongst indigenous peoples
• Speakers talked about how oral folklore is being captured and preserved in the form of graphic novels
• Also discussed how video gaming supports literacy
• Emphasized the need to have native literature and works by local tribes in high school libraries – citing Boomfield NM as a good example

MBA for Librarians Series: Statistics
• Speaker talked about a benchmarking study at Cornell University library comparing circulation and transaction data amongst university libraries
• Conclusion: too many service points; traditional measures are declining therefore have to develop new measures; need to record database usage
• Also undertook an online user survey asking participants to indicate extent to which “library resources and services contributed to your academic success”; concluded students and faculty happy with collections, staff, programs and instructors; study space; community space; virtual services
• Cornell is subsequently developing a new model: the “virtual library” which has no physical collection, no service point, no building – however, remains a need for librarians to provide assistance – 24/7
• Also a demand for 24/7 study space within library building
• Cornell is maintaining collection budget, but is consolidating library service points

MBA for Librarians Series: Marketing: Management fro Today and Tomorrow
Speaker: Ernest A. DiMattia Jr. President, CEO Ferguson P.L. Stamford, Connecticut (and Adjunct Professor Pratt Institute and Simmons College)
• Marketing is all important to the library’s success – need to have someone who has “marketing” in their job description – develop a plan, a focus, consumer relations
• Marketing = 3 processes: creating, communicating, delivery
• Managing relationships with stakeholders is critical – it earns your library respect in your community – effective community relationships eliminates the need to sell because people will want your product knowing the value of your services – this is effective marketing
• Marketing is a combination of Art & Science. Creativity and communication are both art forms; science is the product, the service, and delivery
• Marketing is driven by need. Need is the key. What do people in your community need? Need to measure need – part of evaluation process
• Marketing parts
o Advertising
o Advocacy – word of mouth marketing
o Branding – establish familiarity with product and service (do you have the right brand?)
o Promotion
o Public Relations
o Publicity
o Selling – transferring the service to the consumer
• 4 “Ps”:
o Product
o Place (virtual or in person)
o Promotion (how do you increase popularity of product?)
o Price (what is the value of the product to consumer?)
• DiMattia’s feeling – services we give away “free” or not valued by consumer; suggestion is to charge for programs, for example - $15 to hear an author
• Need to promote the product through awareness building and persuade usage by relating product to consumer
• Best marketers put the consumer at the heart of marketing; go to them – what do they want and need?
• Evaluate your programs and services – do they meet community need? How? ROI?
• Embrace new media – fliers are not good enough in promoting services/programs
• Find places in community that will distribute info. for you
• Sample marketing plans:; anythink
• Key is to get staff out there – get them out from behind the desk; this is critical – meet people in community “Feet on the Street” – your staff have to be in the community selling the service, not sitting behind the desk waiting for the customers to come to them, and they should be on the floor greeting people suggesting items they may want to borrow – this is called selling

From Website to eBranch: San Mateo County Library
• Former website: no user interaction; no future vision
• Totally redeveloped using Drupal open source (Drupal CMS 2.1 – latest release)
• Developed SOPAC – social online public access catalogue
• SOPAC feature – saves your searches
• Single user sign-on – never need to add library card # after initial setup
• Can freeze holds while on vacation, etc.
• Can get top Google books
• Drawbacks of SOPAC – current user group is small – updates aren’t instant (they are hourly)
• Benefits: allowed putting off RDA; content integration; can add customization; able to response to user feedback
• Public love e-branch because: clear look and layout; user-friendly; allows multi-contributors; almost-simple sign-on interface; blog allows staff to communicate with contributors; events
• Translated into two other languages: Spanish; Chinese
• Carousels for books, music, e-books, movies, kids, teens, monthly promotions …
• Engages staff – 1 or more people in each of the 12 branches is trained to help maintain; 112 staff worked on website, including pages
• Lessons learned:
o Content entry takes a long time
o Be realistic about content updates: start small and then add
o Problems tough to fix: write help text and FAQ based on how site works not how you would like it to work (for staff)
o Events – use custom design – Drupal module; gave staff guidelines for events – e.g. use same info for same program repeated at different branches
• IT Dept. is setting up a content change teaching system
• Ann Arbor uses email
• Community driven – searchable tags and reviews – tags easily used to create lists
• Users can place holds and place items in book bag (shopping cart)
• Allows users to rate and review holdings
• Advanced search – lots of options – staff want to be able to add author and title i.e. search via two boxes
• Harvest – won’t work out of box – requires tweaking – need to customize
• Have done public and staff surveys + response
• Movie trailers are next; then social media and apps
Contact Patrick Sweeney with questions;

Embracing the Changes: Diversity and Global Vision in a Digital Age
Presenter: Betty Turock, Rutgers University & Past President ALA
• Information delivery is changing – propelled by technological change
• Equity and Intellectual Freedom are new issues – work to minimize worldwide disparity – access to information is a universal service
• Mobile connectivity – ALA Brief: “There’s an App for That”
• Challenge – maintaining level of connectivity to maintain standard of service
• Libraries have a new role in helping job seekers
• Diversity can be a cause for celebration, innovation and adaption
• Provide access to government services – problem is government websites are written for people who have higher education, those who are literate
• Discussion of US legislation affecting access to information

MBA for Librarians Series: Organizational Development
Presenter: Marie Jones, East Tennessee State University
• Description – demystify organizational development to create a more effective organization through cultural change and long-term planning
• Collaboration is key to effective organizational change – get everyone’s input into decision; get key people on your team; give them ownership in order to buy-in
• Presenter paired participants who exchanged personal work challenges, offering solutions to their partners
Best Website Help Students, Creativity, Enjoy Learning
• Technology is an integral part of school life
• Top 25 websites for teaching and learning:
o Spicynodes – tool for managing and organizing
o Digital Stroytelling – PicLit (create 3D popup books); Zooburst ;
o You Are What You Read – share favourite books and build relationships
o Dipity – content collaboration ;
o Edistorm – virtual sticky notes;
To find top 25 sites visit:

Diversity: Navigating the Changing Landscape of Our Communities
• Population of US becoming more and more diverse yet 83.9% of working librarians are Caucasian
• Libraries do not adequately represent snapshot of their communities
• Need to actively recruit more diversity into profession

Riding the Digital Trail: Creating Book Trailers for 21st century Students
Naomi Bates, “Texas High School Library Media Specialist of the Year”
• Demonstrated use of digital trailers to introduce students to book plots in a visual and active way – engage students enticing them to read the book
• Trailers are included on catalogue – presents trailers at book talks as well

Add trailer to collaborative sites:


Considering Libraries from a Public Policy & Bottom Line Perspective
Presenter: Paul Courant, Director of Libraries University of Michigan
• Evaluated libraries as producers of values – both economic and cultural – they support both economic growth and public enlightenment
• Key to libraries’ survival is demand “
• Libraries should strive to be loved”
• A challenge: people like to use libraries but don’t like to pay for them
• Suggestion: libraries should consider consortia buying to save money
• Consider moving to eBooks which take up no space and cost less – give up the comfort and familiarity of physical books; eBooks don’t require staff handling
• Concluding Message: “Save money where you can … we owe it to our funders”

Reference & User Services Association – President’s Program

• Speakers talked about serving their communities in times of economic hardship- outreach services; provide services to unemployed where they hangout – eg Laundromats, grocery stores, government employment offices
• Develop a clear message and target specific groups
• Don’t have messy graphics on website or promotional materials and not too many words – always include logo on publicity
• Use social media to involve young users – they want to be seen – interview them and put them on your website
• Don’t over-promise – do what you can

The Business of Social Media
• Three social media advocates/librarians (including Stephen Abram) talked about why libraries should embrace social media and mobile technologies to engage users
• Libraries should utilize network applications to engage business people
• Social media tools are a way to connect, share, increase visibility, build community and loyalty
• Use Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
• Social media makes you “real” to users – show you are a member of the community
• When developing/implementing use of social media, have a plan, start small and build on success – do it well and be prepared before launching

President’s Program: Sue Gardner – Wikipedia Past Present
Sue Gardner Executive Director Wikimedia Foundation (that operates Wikipedia and nine other free “knowledge wikis”) – formally head of (internet platform for Canada’s CBC)

• Under her leadership CBC experienced large audience surge with introduction of multimedia technologies including podcasting, breaking news alerts, live event blogging and other forms of user interaction
• Since joining Wikipedia she has introduced initiatives which have matured Wikipedia, its long-tern sustainability, participation and content quality
• 400 million people use Wikipedia every month; published in 273 languages – 5th most used website in world
• No money spent on advertising – not government sponsored – it’s free; major funding comes from annual fundraising campaign; 100,000 editors (worldwide) work for free – there are safeguards to ensure contributors are not self-serving called page-patrolling and real life monitoring
• Gardner said she wants librarians to use Wikipedia saying librarians can make Wikipedia better
• Mobile technology is a challenge for Wikipedia which is computer-based – cautious about living in an app world rather than internet and is optimistic that the now 10 year old company has a long future

2011 Library Building Awards
• Annual award recipients’ presentations & award citations
o 5 libraries and architects received awards
 Arkansas Studies Institute
 Thompson Memorial Library, Ohio State University
 Harmon Branch, Phoenix Public Library
 Mattapan Branch, Boston Public Library
 King Abdullah University of Science & Technology Library

• Over 900 exhibitors (publishers, furnishings, technology, jewellery and clothing, ALA bookstore)
• Size = 9 football fields
• A number of “Pavilions” bringing together like services:
o Assistive technology
o DVDs
o Gaming
o Graphic Novels
o Green Initiatives
o Illustrators
o International Publishers
o Library Schools
o Technology
o University Presses
o ALA Processional/Membership
• 4 stages offering demos and talks
o What’s Cooking – cooking demos with displays from latest cookbooks
o Live @ Your Library – author readings
o The PopTop Stage – Mystery, Romance, Technology and Travel author readings
o Graphic Novel/Gaming – talks by authors, illustrators and creators
• Poster sessions
o Individual libraries shared graphic representations of current research, programs or creative solutions to library problems.

Holzman Moss Bottino Architects, New York (invitation offered by partner Nestor Bottino on his recent tour of the Whitby Central Library)

• Opportunity to talk to a number of library architects and librarians who have opened new buildings

• Talked to librarians from across US discussing many topics: programs and services, budgets, buildings, new opportunities and challenges

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