OLA 2009

Expo 2009 - the Tradeshow

Playaway (RJ)

Playaways are pre-loaded digital audio players. There are no cassettes, no cds, just a small unit (about the size of a deck of cards) that contains an entire book. There are standard buttons on the player (play, stop, forward, back) and they automatically bookmark. Users plug in a set of earbuds to listen or an FM transmitter if they want to use it in the car. They do require AA batteries - some libraries circulate them with the batteries (that they purchase in bulk), some do not. The rep said either system works - just pick one and stick with it. Prices are similar to audiobooks on cd. Most are unabridged but some non-fiction is abridged.

Pop Packaging Inc. (RJ)

Pop Packaging produced our library bags. They had a large display wall and when I introduced myself, the rep mentioned that they always get great feedback on our design. He said they put our bag up at every tradeshow, no matter what city they're in.

Duplicom (IR)

Duplicom sells SMART interactive whiteboards. Smartboards are large, touch-controlled whiteboards that work with a projector and computer. The projector puts the computer’s desktop image onto the interactive whiteboard which acts as both a monitor and input device. You can write on the board in digital ink or use your finger to control computer applications by pointing, clicking and dragging. Smartboards work with any program loaded on the host computer. The boards can be mounted on a wall or placed on a floor stand. You can save using a USB key. The smart board is an impressive teaching/educational tool, replacing the traditional blackboard in classrooms. Business and government use smartboards for training, conducting meetings, and delivering presentations. Educators are the primary users. I suspect we’ll soon be seeing SMART Board interactive whiteboards in public library settings – great for staff and customer training.

Wednesday, January 28

Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL) pre-conference session 'Public Library Funding Models in North America' from 9 am to 4pm. (IR)

There were about 50 in attendance, primarily library CEOs and trustees.
In 1986 the Province of Ontario funded 15% of public library service. By 2005 the province’s funding had shrunk to 4%. There has not been an increase in our annual provincial “per capita” grant since 1995. In other jurisdictions in North America, the province or state has taken a much more aggressive legislative and funding position with regard to library operations. The following morning speakers talked about funding models in their provinces and states:
Wendy Newman, speaking on behalf of Punch Jackson, Executive Director, Alberta Public Library Services, Municipal Affairs, Government of Alberta
Michael Shoop, Independent Contractor, Diamond Management Consulting, British Columbia
Judith Hare, CEO, Halifax Public Libraries
Barbara Clubb, City Librarian, Ottawa PL
Lesley Boughton, State Librarian, Wyoming
Linda Murray, Director of Government and Legal Services, Ohio Library Council
Wendy Newman, Senior Fellow, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto.
Grant Pair, Assistant State Librarian for Statewide Development Programs `
State Library of North Carolina

Main messages: Advocacy is seen as a key to increasing library support. (FOPL is developing an advocacy plan. The CLA has an advocacy training plan. The U of T Faculty of Information offers an online advocacy course.) It is important to demonstrate to your funders that you are acquainted with their priorities. Show how you support their needs. Michael Shoop from BC said: “User stats make me glaze over. But what helps your cause, what resonates, is how you helped the small business owner feed his business, how you helped the needy child, how you helped the newcomer. Show how you made and make a difference. Connect the story. Have your community partners tell their stories too – how important you are to their cause.” Leslie Boughton, Wyoming State Librarian, talked about the need to identify your target markets, then getting library awareness into those markets, as well as the importance of building a relationship with your funders which will ultimately make your "ask" easier. In the afternoon session we were divided into groups and were challenged to develop our own funding model.

P001 Pre-Conference, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Black Belt Librarians, Warren Graham

see www.blackbeltlibrarians.com for more. We also have his book by the same title it is a quick, easy and entertaining read. His presentation closely followed the book. Check it out.

With 6 hours there was lots of good info here. Graham recommends the following phrase be in all rules of conduct: prohibiting any behaviour "disruptive to library use". This can cover everything from the belligerent person holding up a check out line of others while arguing a fine, to the pothead rolling on the change table. He argues that open access is not the same as unlimited, uncontrolled access. He pointed out that patrons need to take responsibility for their own behaviour; if someone is asked to leave for the day, or is banned for a period of time, what have they done to get themselves removed? He does say that yes, some people need to be banned for good. In the same way security is not someone else's problem, it is the responsibility of all staff to inform patrons of rules and expectations in order to ensure a safe and welcoming environment, and everyone //can // handle this. He provides lots of advice on approaching difficult issues, including building awareness of yourself and the environment, and advocates informing patrons of the rules, rather than enforcing them. Saying, "you may not realize how much your voice is carrying…" for example, can more effective than "you are being too loud", which may make people defensive, and escalate a situation. It has been his experience that contract security companies are less effective than in house security staff. Much of what he recommends we do. Regular roving keeps us aware of what is going on in the building and who is here. We track potential problems and incidents through our security log. Finally, hold the groans, he strongly recommends role playing. Not necessarily a half day scheduled workshop, but even between colleagues who provide feedback. OK I'm X, doing X what do you do?

Donna has done a great job at covering the seminar, so I have only a few more points to add. Warren talked about how library rules should be simple and set limitations for behavior. Any behaviour that is disruptive to the library is not allowed. He also spoke about how every patron should be treated the same regardless of appearance. He also suggested a list of daily do’s and don’ts for around the library:
1. Never work alone in the library – he suggests that a volunteer or page work with the lone staff member.
2. Less staff on desk, more awareness - desk staff should keep their desk activities to a minimum.
3. Acknowledge people’s presence in the library, especially when there is minimum staff on or when a staff member is by his/herself.
4. Have a bell on each entry door to the library, this will let staff know when someone is coming or going – which has proven to be a big deterrent.
5. The children’s area is for children, and adults with children only, if you are not accompanying a child you are not allowed in the section. It should be age specific. (Same applies to the Teen area).
6. Have locked doors on all staff areas.
7. Public washrooms – lights should stay on or automatically come on when someone enters bathroom. The switch should not be on the inside of the bathroom for the public to access. There should not be any locks on main doors to bathroom. If ceiling tiles above the toilets are moveable they should be checked monthly.
8. Have a notice that states: “all bags are subject to be searched, if you refuse, you can lose your library privileges”.

FOPL Annual General Meeting. 4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. (IR)

The usual business - approval of: agenda; 2008 minutes; Chair’s report; CEO’s report; Treasurer’s report; auditor’s report; 2009 budget; confirmation of Directors and Officers. Reports of Task Forces were presented and discussed: Advocacy; Marketing (of which I am a new member); Research & Development (of which Rhonda is a member); Guidelines & Accreditation Council; Large Urban Public Libraries Work Group; Membership Fees Review. A number of resolutions proposed by the Ottawa Public library were discussed at length. Nominations and Elections to the Board of Directors were made – I am on the 2009 board representing the Large Urban Caucus.

8:00 Opening Plenary Session, Cynthia Nikitin, VP Project for Public Spaces, Placemaking around civic institutions (DBS)

Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit urban planning and design organization, that improves parks, plazas, civic squares, transportation, markets, and public buildings to build communities. See: www.pps.org. Tons of info! Nitikin was a perfect choice for the plenary session, as she raised issues of creative communities and community building that were a recurring theme throughout the conference. She showed examples of transformations such as Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library, and PPS's recent work with the Mississauga City Centre. Some of what is happening here, our wireless access and children's programmes in the square, summer concerts and events such as the tree-lighting, are examples of what can be done. But she argues in favour of even stronger ties between the inside and outside of buildings and an even more active, peopled community space. Some ideas that came to mind as she was speaking: why isn't the farmers' market in Celebration Square? More tables, with umbrellas, would make the square more inviting. See lots of cool ideas in the photos included in her presentation at http://www.accessola2.com/superconference2009/wed/100/nikitin.ppt. There are a few less successful examples that bear an eerie resemblance to our public space, at its less than peak times. She showed the potential we have in our front yard for placemaking and community building. PPS and her presentation would certainly be relevant to the Town's Downtown Brooklin and Downtown Whitby offices, and she makes a strong case for the economic and social benefits that result from thoughtful planning and attention to public space.

Thursday, January 29

310 - Libraries Building Communities – What Works? (KJ)

Presented by: Kate Johnson and Matthew Griffis, FIMS, UWO

This session was focused on social capital which basically means beneficial social relationship where reciprocity is key.

Kate recently completed a study on how libraries are working to build social capital in communities. For her first study Kate looked at Chicago. She is now looking at libraries in London, Ontario.

According to the study, some of the ways in which libraries help to build social capital include:

  • offering programs
  • access to information and help using that information
  • meeting place/space
  • reducing social isolation
  • library as a safe place

As well, through her study in Chicago, Kate notes that library users trust their neighbours more than the general city population trusts neighbours. As well, library users have higher levels of community involvement than the general population. It is unclear whether this is a result of being in the library or whether they have all these social contacts and then come into the library as they need the information.

313: Meeting the Challenges of Migrating To a New Content Management System (EYD)

Both speakers provided an overview of their journeys from home-grown websites to websites built on content management systems (CMS’s). The challenges of migrating, along with the many decisions and methods used in their migration process were provided in detail. It was interesting to hear both the public and academic library perspective.


U of O wanted to retain the ‘University’ look and feel and provide a common set of elements along with a unique colour scheme for each library within the University.

Web development staff consists of one Systems Librarian Webmaster (liaison for U of O webmaster), one webmaster per library section, mix of coders and content providers.

U of O has been able to enhance the online experience for their students by implementing a Drupal content management system. They have been able to create comprehensive A to Z subject lists for databases and e-journals, provide medical images, library hours for 8 different services points (updated only once), topo map holdings, show common information between the different libraries. The staff intranet has also migrated to Drupal and is expected to go live in the Spring.

Drupal not only provides a very sleek front end, the back end (where the staff update pages) is very simple and easy to use (once it’s setup). The staff who provide content, simply fill in forms or views and the information is translated to the final website display. Content providers no longer have to code pages, they simply login and enter data.

The U of O undertook a website usability study. They wanted to improve navigation, get feedback from first time users as opposed to returning visitors, and increase lateral navigation between resources by name and by topic. The survey responses provided excellent feedback which helped with the redesign of the library websites. It was suggested too that surveys are more effective if you keep the questions to a minimum (3 questions about what you like, and 3 questions about what you don’t like about the website). This way you get some anecdotal notes which could be helpful.

The University did consider the Plone content management system (built on the Zope application server). Plone works well in a bilingual environment such as U of O, and is considered more secure than other CMS’s. The University settled on Drupal due to it’s large supportive user base, availability of modules, ease of use.

To conclude, U of O advised the group to be open to decentralization, use 3rd party solutions like Libguides to enhance your site, develop a web wireframe or basic visual design of the new site before you start your project, mock-up and render before going live, and make sure your content providers know what their editing and publishing roles are.


In the early days of web development at KFPL, Microsoft’s Frontpage was used. As time progressed and more was required from the website, applications such as ColdFusion were looked at. At that time too, open source applications were taking root in libraries.

Zope was the first CMS at KFPL. This CMS replaced a large amount of static pages on their original website. They were able to develop a request for purchase form and an ILLO form. By 2006, releases of new software were fewer and less frequent. Security issues started hampering the KFPL site because of the lack of updates.

KFPL began looking at other CMS options. Some of the CMS’s they looked at were
Plone (built off of Zope), Apache Lenya, Joomla!, and Drupal. With a CMS, staff can add content without having to code, they just log in and enter information like a blog.

In developing their staff intranet, they took the themes off the site, and made it as vanilla as possible. This allowed them to focus on content.

What lies beyond CMS’s? Online office suites such as Google Docs, Zoho, Thinkfree, and Adobe Buzzword.

To conclude, KFPL emphasized that you do end up supporting multiple systems because of the migration process. No one has the resources or the time to completely update all applications running in the background of a website to one lone application. There are a lot of choices out there, so just make a decision and go with it, otherwise your indecision will cripple you and you will not make any progress.

316 - C3: Replacing Dewey for Better Merchandising and Customer Service (SMc)

It was presented by members of the Markham Public Libraries. They have invented and implemented, in their newly renovated Markham Village branch, a system they call Customer Centered Classification (C3). This system replaces Dewey (you know where you can have up to 14 digits past the decimal!) with a 4 digit call number and a 3 - 5 letter cutter. I loved this idea and session.
Their argument for replacing Dewey is that it was designed in 1876 for a closed stack system. Obviously, it is not contemporary or customer friendly. They say that most people don't get Dewey and that numbers scare people. They've designed C3 to combine the best of Dewey and the best of bookstores - for instance Chapters, which are intuitive, user friendly, browse-able and comfortable for people to use.
They've (re)created 23 adult categories and 25 children's categories that do align so that finding "airplanes" in adult allows someone to go to the same place in children's, same as Dewey. Their C3 makes finding, shelving and retrieving (i.e. holds) much, much faster and easier than using Dewey. They've tested at the branch and time savings have been shown to be from 300% to even much higher. They've surveyed customers and results were extremely positive. At this time they've not decided if or how they will be sharing their innovation. The ideal time to implement a change like this is of course when opening (or reopening) a new branch… Say Brooklin?

(DBS)Certainly an interesting idea, and I can see their rational for implementing it. I agree with Suzanne, the time savings in shelving was staggering, but would need to be considered in light of the impacts at the other end, the processing, although they did say LSC will be processing according to this new system. If we can move to shorter deweys, this will be a first step in a more customer centred approach. Another consideration, learning from their experience, might be signs from the ceiling over popular areas such as cookbooks, health, sports etc…, that would be more visible than our shelf-end posters.

317 - Information is Our Business: Reaching Your Small Business Community (DN)

This session was presented by three librarians from Halton Region, although the presentation was done for the most part by a librarian from Halton Hills PL. She suggested creating a business plan and circulating it to local business groups for feedback and support, as well as working with local groups and agencies, understanding the needs of local small business, networking and marketing.

The basics were pretty familiar to me and we already do a good many of the items suggested, bearing in mind time constraints and differences between what's provided in Halton and what's provided in Whitby. However, I did take away a number of ideas:

  • perhaps a Business Advisory Group, like the TAG for teens
  • a new business brochure (something glossier than what we have now) and replace the book lists with bookmarks / pathfinders
  • blog on the business (BEST?) site (like Oakville's - http://bizlibgroup.blogspot.com/)
  • some business planning software is available on CD-ROM - will try to obtain

320 - Serving the Needs of Readers – What Does it Take? (CM)

This presentation was given by Sharron Smith, Manager of Reader’s Advisory Services at the Kitchener Public Library and three other members of the OPLA Reader’s Advisory Committee.

They discussed the knowledge and skills required to meet the RA need of today’s readers. They broke these skills down into four key competencies:
• Collection knowledge
• Reader service skills
• The reader’s advisory conversation – clarify the reader’s interests by understanding the appeal factors for that reader.
 Character
 Story
 Setting
 Language
• Reader development – help readers articulate appeal factors and lead them to resources that will assist them.

They also stressed the need to make the public aware of the RA knowledge of library staff and the ability of staff to help them find books that will interest them.
The Arrowhead Library in Minnesota has valuable advice at www.arrowheadlib.mn.us/renewal/ra.htm

Session 328 Public Libraries Delivering Digital Literacy (MP)

Who is the Web 2.0 user? The Web 2.0 user is the content creator – it is interactive. What is Library 2.0? It is using web 2.0 to reinvent & revitalize the library using tools such as blogs, wikis, etc.

Goal: to bring broadband service to rural Ontario, through government grants.

Digital government & communities are aiming to improve public sector service delivery and the quality of life for Ontarians. Studies have shown that income affects whether people are connected to the internet or not. In order to succeed with digital literacy we need to engage everyone.

Why is digital literacy important? It is a way to encourage patrons to participate by contributing to the library. They can discover and play rather than just search the catalogue. It is a way to get people back to the library, so that the library is included in their every day activities. A tool to encourage patrons to contribute is Bibliocommons. This tool brings “social networking” or “social discovery” to the OPAC’s. Through Bibliocommons - patrons can tag, discuss and create book reviews. They can also build and share personalized books lists with other patrons.

409: Building User-Centred Websites with Drupal (EYD)

The speakers from McMaster and Wilfrid Laurier provided a thorough overview of the functionality that Drupal offers library websites.


The Drupal Content Management System runs in a MySql database. It is an open source product that has a large development community behind it. Some libraries that are already using it for their website development are: U of Western, London Public Library, Laurier library, McMaster U.

Drupal comes with modules for blogs and comments, regular webpages, polls, forums, user profiles, taxonomies (or categories) for displaying information, and much more. It’s a real modular solution – you turn on and use what you want and ignore the rest. There are about 5,800 different modules in the directory.

It is helpful if you have some experience with HTML, CSS, PHP, and Server Admin when working with Drupal. At WLU, their goals were to create a website that was easier to maintain, have web-based maintenance, incorporate different functionality, and easily repurpose content to show on many pages instead of just one.

Drupal version 7 is going to be released shortly. There was a big jump between version 5 and version 6. Another big jump is expected between v.6 and v.7. It is important for the Drupal community members to test their own self-developed modules with v. 7 before it goes lives. It was recommended to stay on the version you were on, or thinking of going to and leave version 7 for a while until the modules catch up to it.

Webforms and surveys are easy to create in Drupal. CAPTCHA is included with the product. McMaster was able to drop their Survey Monkey subscription and go with the Drupal survey forms. Permissions for updating and editing by staff are very granular so that staff can be quite limited in what they can and can not get into.

Some of the different modules that will be implemented are Events/Calendar, Photo Gallery, and Taxonomy. During the development, there will be usability testing and ensuring that the sites are AODA compliant.


The McMaster site was originally created using Dreamweaver. In 2008 they decided to upgrade to the Content Management System Drupal (version 5). In version 5, McMaster is taking advantage of the CCK module (Content Construction Kit) and Views to create custom forms that staff will use to add content and edit content for the website.

McMaster is taking advantage of is the Subject Guide module. They are able to organize large amounts of data into subject and course categories and display them in an A to Z configuration. This is done with CCK and Views and kept up-to-date by staff.

Another neat module is called ‘Spotlight’. They set up theirs with an 8 second refresh. You have the option of displaying a variety of different pages – highlighting or spotlighting hot news, books, events, etc.

One last module that was deployed was FAQ Categories. This again groups areas together and also provides an ‘A to Z’ list approach that staff keep up-to-date.

At McMaster, after the public website was redesigned using Drupal, they set about to redesign their staff intranet to increase the use of blogs and wikis for project development. They used a ‘canned’ Drupal theme for the look and feel of the site so that they could dedicate more staff time to the content or ‘guts’ of the site. They use Wordpress blog. They have included popular links, a staff login, polls, recent comments, etc.
They provided a list of ‘must-have’ Drupal modules:

Pathauto (automatically generates path aliases for various kinds of content)
CCK / Views (Content Construction Kits)
Faceted Search
FCK Editor / Tiny MCE (WYSIWYG editor)
Akisment / CAPTCHA (prevents spamming)
IMCE – Upload / File management
Google Analytics
Backup and Migrate

To conclude, the group provided some dos and don’ts.

Do: Decide who is maintaining what content types, be consistent with your data, enable permissions based on what and where you want staff to go.

Have test servers. Never publish anything to the live site without testing first.

If you haven’t gone to Drupal yet, carefully consider what version to start with.

Don’t: Mess with core modules.

Use alpha release versions of modules.

Install nodes for the 1st time on the live server.

Get deterred. There is a lot of help online and in the library community.

418 - Community Development —the Keystone to Public Libraries' Relevance, Bill Irwin, FIMS UWO (DBS)

From the programme description, I was a bit worried this might be a dry academic session, though the title certainly caught me. Was I wrong! What an impassioned, hands on advocate for librarians and libraries to engage their communities! Again, the theme came up that social, cultural, educational and economic issues are not silos, but integrally linked to a community's well being. Public libraries are in a key position to take on leadership role in this area.

420 - A Duty to Inform: patron information and public libraries in Ontario (KJ)

Presented by: Jacquelyn Burkell, Associate Professor, Unversity of Western Ontario

Burkell spoke about the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) during this session and how it affects public libraries. The purpose of her talk was an attempt to help public libraries to better understand legislative requirements (MFIPPA) and hear examples of best practice, including guidelines for developing patron notices and privacy policies.

Ontario public libraries collect and store a great deal of personal information about their users, including identifying information and library records. Most public libraries in Ontario are collection and retaining more information than they need to and a random sampling of Ontario libraries shows that only 1 in 20 library systems is complying with MFIPPA.

Many libraries are collecting demographic information such as gender and age (date of birth). When this information is collected on a registration form it is all considered to be linked together and it is personal information under MFIPPA. Some libraries are also collecting and recording drivers license numbers.

The main point of the talk was to suggest that most public libraries are not in compliance with MFIPPA. What we could do as a start is to follow the part of MFIPPA that states that public libraries in Ontario must provide notice when collecting information about the authority under which we are collecting that information, the use for which we are collecting and recording this information and finally, the name, address, and phone number of a person in charge of privacy issues at the library. In order to comply with MFIPPA this must be printed on our library registration forms.

As well, a public library should also have a privacy policy and should audit their information practices including what data is collected, and why. Consider if the data is needed. Look at data retention practices. When are back ups of circulation records destroyed? Also look at access i.e. is it secure – only those who need it can use it?

When drafting a patron privacy policy contact lawyers it may be helpful to look at what the Toronto Public Library has done and to consult lawyers and public policy experts. We should also consult the Ontario Privacy Commissioner.

427 - The Public Library Filtering Debate (DN)

The CEOs of Mississauga and Cambridge debated the merits of filtering. Mississauga filters all of their computers and Cambridge none. As far as I could tell, Cambridge doesn't restrict what people can look at, so long as it's legal (as we once did). The Cambridge CEO did a straw poll of the 25 largest libraries in the country and found that two-thirds filter all or some of their PCs - more specifically, 10-15% filter all PCs, half filter children's PCs only and 75% filter their children's PCs and some of their adult PCs.

It was an interesting debate - more of an intellectual exercise than anything, but as both CEOs pointed out, it's valuable to look at the intellectual underpinnings of these things sometimes. And I feel comfortable with our own policy - I still hate filters, but see no problem with the balanced approach we've taken in software and policy.

500 - Creative Communities (DN)

Richard Florida spoke of the rise of the 'creative economy' and the need to create cities that embrace the qualities necessary for it to flourish. He believes that Toronto is an excellent example of such a community. Community resources and institutions (like libraries) are an integral part of this success.

500 - Richard Florida discussing "Creative Communities" (SMc)

He was introduced by Mayor David Miller who talked about Toronto being the busiest branch-based library system in the world, followed by Singapore. He talked about the diversity of the population and was it was nice to listen to a pro-library political figure.

Mr. Florida talked about what he calls an "economic reset" happening right now; as when the economy transformed from an agricultural focus to an industrial one. Now he says the creative sector of the economy is the one growing and the shift is moving from the industrial sector. He spoke of community institutions facilitating the creative sector and greater human development equaling greater economic development. It was an interesting concept and I enjoyed him as a presenter.

DBS This plenary was a preview of the report by the Martin Prosperity Institute, commissioned by the Ontario Government and released on February 5th. See http://martinprosperity.org/research-and-publications/publication/ontario-in-the-creative-age-project for summary and the full report. (See http://www.accessola2.com/superconference2009/thu/500/miller.mov for Miller's comments)

MP - Mr. Florida spoke about what each person has: intellect and creativity and that we need to use our “Human talent” our knowledge in order to succeed during this tough financial time. We are now moving in to a fundamentally creative time. The message: economic development equals human development. In order to succeed we must use the capabilities of each person. He also stated that we are lucky because our country’s diversity and openness gives us an economic edge. Our challenge is to make our institutions more relevant and in order to do this we need to find away to become more creative and to put our creativity to work.

600 - A Thousand Words About Our Culture, presented by Stephen Marche (SMc)

I'm afraid I didn't really enjoy his seminar very much but he still made a few interesting to me comments. He said that books have a certain power because they are perceived as the "moral authority"; something important. Unlike the internet which is fleeting. So even though the internet is superior in that it needs no paper and no shelf space, the book will not be replaced by it. As an example of ink on paper he mentioned the feeling one gets when they receive an actual letter in the mail, as opposed to an email. He's right about that!

He also mentioned the shape of books and publishers experimenting with that. For me, the idea brought to mind children's books with their pull tabs, pop-ups, die cuts, foil, glitter, fabric, glow-in-the-dark, sound chips and so on, and even just the vivid colours and illustrations. I love kids books — and no wonder kids love kids books:)

600 - A Thousand Words About Our Culture, presented by Stephen Marche (IR)

I’m with Suzanne on this one. I found Stephen Marche’s talk mildly interesting – his life in Brooklin vs. Toronto, his reception as an accomplished writer, some of his favourite books, his thoughts on avant-garde book design.

613 - Partnering for Success: Public Libraries in 2020 (KJ)

Marg Rappolt, Deputy Minister of Culture; Barbara Clubb, City Librarian and CEO of the Ottawa Public Library; Wendy Newman, Senior Fellow, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto and author of the research study; Brian Bell, Director of Online Services, Oakville Public Library; and Ken Doherty, Director of Community Services for the City of Peterborough and a former chair of the Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership.

This session was done as a panel discussion.

Marg Rappolt, Deputy Minister of Culture outlined 2008-2009 Ministry initiatives and review key program and policy activities.

Following Marg’s update, there was a panel discussion based on the Ministry's recent research study prepared by Wendy Newman on current thinking on the public library of the future and its potential application in Ontario. Barbara Clubb, City Librarian and CEO of the Ottawa Public Library was the moderator of the panel. Panel members were: Wendy Newman, Senior Fellow, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto and author of the research study; Brian Bell, Director of Online Services, Oakville Public Library; and Ken Doherty, Director of Community Services for the City of Peterborough and a former chair of the Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership. Ken Doherty seemed to be a voice for other institutions libraries, museums and archives and how they could partner and work with libraries. There seemed much emphasis in this presentation on how cultural institutions can work together and should collaborate into the future. Brian Bell was a huge advocate for Knowledge Ontario during this session.

Wendy Newman was trying to place libraries into 2020 and figure out our place in the future. She emphasized the role of public libraries in being leaders and catalysts in community-based economic development. She also speaks for a continuing role of libraries as welcoming community spaces and community places. For Newman, the library needs to continue to offer children’s and youth programs (a staple service for public libraries), but by 2020 we should also be offering more services to help government to integrate newcomer’s and to help socially marginalized peoples to access community services. As well, Wendy talked about how libraries will

Some of other topics mentioned during this session include:

- The importance of continuing support for Knowledge Ontario
- The need for a public broadband program as some other jurisdictions have developed in order to promote access to the Internet
- Continued support for community access programs
- Collaboration with other cultural institutions and with government

The report is available at: http://www.ontarioremembers.ca/english/library/Newman_study_English.pdf

807 Ministry of Culture Reception (IR)

An opportunity to network with library colleagues from across the province. The Honourable Aileen Carroll, Minister of Culture, welcomed the crowd, speaking in support of libraries.

**Faculty of Information Alumni Association Reception (KJ)
The Faculty of Information's new Dean, Seamus Ross. was in attendance as well as staff and graduates. Seamus introduced himself to alumni in attendance and said he has an open door policy. He is interested in maintaining a relationship with alumni of the program, students and with employers (and potential employers) too.

Friday, January 30

1000 - A Web of Connections: Why the Read/Write Web Changes Everything (IR)

A former teacher, New Jersey-born Will Richardson is now a consultant, busy on a global speaking circuit. Addressing his talk to teachers, he challenged his audience to think about teaching and learning. His motive is to move classrooms from boring rooms and boring pedagogy to interactive, exciting places of experiential learning – embracing every new technology. His point is – in his view - that methods of teaching haven’t changed in over 100 years. He says schools are stifling our children’s creativity and inborn thirst to learn. In short, we must begin to re-envision the basic foundations of teaching and learning in order to prepare our children for the working world. He says teachers (and parents) should embrace kids’ use of technology, recognize the web as a relevant teaching tool, and accept the realities of the 21st century. You can check out Will Richardson on YouTube as well as on his edublog at http://weblogg-ed.com.

1008 - Making the Grade: Meeting the requirements for tenure (KJ)

Sarah Coysh, Librarian, York University; Doug Suarez, Reference Librarian and Subject Specialist for Sociology and Applied Health Sciences, Brock University; Anne Kelly, Wilfrid Laurier University; Maura Matesic, Reference Librarian, York University

I attended this session to support Sarah Coysh, a colleague of mine at the University of Toronto. This session was all about the process of achieving tenure, continuing appointment or permanent positions in academic institutions. The session was conducted by Sarah who is in the process of creating a file to submit for tenure and by a number of other librarians with advice about what they had learned from their experiences of going through the tenure process. I found it quite interesting to learn about how academic librarians create a file and the things they put into their files. In fact, much of the information they put into their file and reports is quite similar to that which I prepare when putting together reports for the donor’s representatives about the digitization project here at the Whitby Public Library. I found it fascinating to learn and think about how librarians (in an academic setting) are evaluated on their jobs and found this quite interesting to think about and apply to my experience thus far in working at the Whitby Public Library.

1019 - Finding and Getting Google Book, Google Scholar and Free Tools (SB)

A detailed explanation of Google Books and Scholar was given at this presentation. See presentation at http://www.accessola2.com/superconference2009/fri/1019/belvadi.ppt

1025 - Who Are These People and Why Aren't They Using My Library? (DN)

Led by Mississauga's CEO and a guy from Environics, this session discussed the use of "geodemographic" data in library planning. Environics has a very interesting dataset that divides the population into marketing segments (similar to the stuff we see in FP Demographics, but more comprehensive). Categories include "Blue Collar Comfort," "South Asian Success" and "Gray Pride" (they do acknowledge concerns about labelling people this way and don't use the titles internally). Combining these categories with postal code information, they were able to see what segments used the library more than others and where these people lived. This would in turn enable them to try to devise strategies and programmes to appeal to groups that aren't using the system on a branch-by-branch basis. The information was gathered in collaboration with the City Parks & Rec department, which was trying to determine how to choose and market their programmes.

Another interesting statistic was the percentage use of each branch by distance from the branch. For instance, a neighbourhood branch (Cooksville) found that 80% of its borrowing came from within a 2.5 km radius of the branch (cachement area). Their Central library has a much wider cachement area, as residents come from all over the city to use the more extensive resources available there. All of this was presented in graph form. It's important to note that Mississauga charges borrowers from outside the city, so the data isn't affected by out-of-towners as it might be here.

Mississauga has a much bigger system than us in every way (branches, population and area) and a more diverse city, but it was still interesting to see how this information could be used. I wondered if we could cull data on library use by postal code from Horizon (they use Horizon as well). Privacy issues were acknowledged, but so long as we keep things on the postal code level, that shouldn't be an issue.

1029 - Making Work "Work" for Everyone (SMc)

What is the top reason people stay at their jobs? Answer: their co-workers.
What is the top reason people leave their jobs? Answer: their supervisors.

These questions are how Caitlin Williams began her session. Funny, hey? She then continued with the analogy of an orchestra. At work every person should be engaged, included and a part of the orchestra. That is how an organisation gets the most of and the best of it's people. It really rang true when she talked about it.

She made points of how people get energized in different ways, how people differ in the way they take in information and how people make decisions in different ways. Some people are more logical/head motivated and others are more feeling/heart oriented. She discussed generational differences and the benefits of diversity in the workplace. The point being that we should all try to understand where one another are coming from when we differ. I found her to be an excellent speaker.

(DBS) If you have a chance to attend one of Williams sessions, do so! She's a staple in the SuperConference pantry for good reason. Her niche is connecting the personal to the professional. For more about her and a sampling of her ideas, see http://www.drcaitlinwilliams.com/. She talked about Myers Briggs Type Indicators as an example of one tool that can help people within organizations better understand themselves and each other for the health and effectiveness of the organization. I also learned a wonderful new, example of onomatopoeia. "Squelcher"!
(Sandra M) Ms. Williams is an exceptional speaker. It was well worth it to sit in on her session. She explains that all people work differently. They think differently. It is important that within organizations that this is understood. One example that stood out for me is: when people gather for meetings; it is interesting how some stay quiet and not offer ideas or comments but rather observe and take in information while others are quite verbal. She goes on to explain that just because one stays quiet, it doesn’t mean that they have nothing to offer or not contributing to the meeting. They just have a different way of contributing. I guess they key is to understand the differences in work styles and personalities and learn to appreciate them rather than make it an issue.

+++1100 OLA's Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom Award (DBS)
Awarded to Dr. Michael Geist for his work on copyright law, advocating on the behalf of users. See http://www.michaelgeist.ca/ for more about his incredible work. His brief acceptance comments follow:

Earlier today, I received the Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom Award from the Ontario Library Association at their annual SuperConference in Toronto. The award comes for my work on copyright advocacy. As I told the conference, this award was particularly special to me. First, I grew up in Toronto and greatly benefited from the work of Les Fowlie. Second, the library community was a leader on copyright issues well before most people recognized why the issue is so important and it continues to speak forcefully for balanced copyright. Third - and most importantly - I am sometimes asked whether those arguing for fair copyright are not really only in free access. This award recognizes that it is not about free. It is about freedom.

1100 - Michael Enright (SMc)

Mr. Enright is a very good speaker and was entertaining to listen to. I didn't take much away from his discussion though. He made a point that ebooks are gaining in popularity — the best-sellers and the public domain classics (rather than anything Canadian or from the small publishers) and that is certainly a trend we're seeing.

1202 - Reaching Children Through New and Innovative Approaches. Presented by a team from TPL (SMc)

Loved this session. Lots of great ideas if you have the $$$ to implement them. Part 1, Ready for Reading is an early literacy program supported by a lovely, cohesive marketing package, plus training across the branches, plus outreach. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ayarrow/1618213660/ shows one example of how they have broken the program into segments and shows one small piece of the marketing.

Part 2 are KidsStops: literacy-rich, interactive centres for young children within two of the branches as of now. More details at http://spacing.ca/wire/2008/10/24/a-new-and-old-look-for-the-dufferinst-clair-library/ and http://kidsspace.torontopubliclibrary.ca/LOUD/Moving%20in%204.html

Some of the points made regarding Ready for Reading: a different focus for each of the 6 storytimes per session, a package for staff covering patter with the parents, training for any and all staff conducting storytimes in the program, a focus on getting parents involved, i.e. they stay for the storytime so that they can watch and learn and continue to teach their kids.

Some of the highlights of the KidsStops: 500 to 1000 square feet, with a definative threshold (they are way cool!), spinning blocks (as in the Ontario Science Centre) with rhymes and pictures on them, a rocket ship including a puppet show window and a basket of puppets for the kids to conduct their own shows, a mounted "big book" - tot-sized, computers with links to Tumblebooks (audio stories) and a Kidspace website http://kidsspace.torontopubliclibrary.ca/ with links for homework, and so on and on and on.

The best time to build a KidsStop? When you're renovating or opening. The budget? …$100,000. Disregarding the cost for a moment, these are fantastic gathering places, absolutely awesome for children. Anything we might be able to incorporate into Brooklin's new Childrens area?

1202 - Reaching Children Through New and Innovative Approaches (BSB)

I too attended this session which Suzanne has very nicely outlined. The Kidstops are
definately worth considering whenever a new library is being designed. Clicking on the
above links will tell the story. It occurs to me that we could do a modified Kidstop by using our program room at Central as a dedicated space, with early literacy aids provided for the
attendees. A drop-in time such as Saturday mornings could be considered.

1202 - Reaching Children Through New and Innovative Approaches (JA)

I echo the above sentiments. Pre-literacy awareness in the community provides the foundation for love of libraries and reading. We have an opportunity to consider the possiblilty of an interactive early years centre (on a smaller scale) for our new Brooklin Library and Community Centre. It would be very inviting and I am certain well used.

1204 - Grounding the Vision: Future Plans for Knowledge Ontario (DN)

There are many things happening with KO these days and lots of iniatives planned for 2009. One interesting thing mentioned was their plans for a next generation online catalogue - there was no mention of Bibliocommons specifically, but they mentioned "challenges on the back end" (presumably technical challenges) that would have to be resolved before moving forward with the next series of trial libraries. At present, they plan to introduce 3-5 trial libraries in May or June, with the remainder by December. Other plans include:

  • ASK On is looking at adding VOIP services
  • Our Ontario is planning a new version (2.2) with lots of 2.0 stuff like RSS, Facebook and assorted widgets. They're also working on some sort of digitised newspaper portal.
  • LearnON is working with Atomic Learning, which offers some really cool online tutorials for all sorts of software and online applications. This will apparently be available to public libraries on the Spring or Fall, after a pilot project.
  • Larger issues include the drive to secure long-term sustainable funding.

1210 - Census? Statistics? E-Stat can give you answers! (KJ)

Suzette Giles, Data Librarian; Dan Jakubek, Map and GIS Librarian, Ryerson University

This session was all about how to use E-Stat - a resource available in colleges, universities, schools (primary and secondary) and many public libraries. E-Stat provides people will free access to over 36 million series of data (CANSIM) and has a module with environmental data. The presentation was a demonstration where they asked sample reference questions and showed how to provide answers. Some of the reference questions they answered using E-stat include:

  • How does Toronto's population commute to work?
  • What proportion of Ontario's youth are smokers?
  • Which areas of Canada use the most fertilizer?
  • Where can I go to find climate change information in Canada?
  • Where are Toronto's Christmas trees grown?
  • What percentage of aboriginal children spend time "living on the land"?
  • What percentage of aboriginal peoples attended residential or industrial schools?
  • How many hours a day to children spend doing school homework outside of school hours?
  • How often do children brush their teeth? (Note: statistics can compare boys and girls in Canada of various ages to those in other countries)

I learned quite a lot of information from this session and will likely review the slides again. If you would like more information on this session please follow this link to check out the PowerPoint slides for this presentation and if you have more questions you can ask me.

1214 - Municipal Cultural Planning and the Library (RJ)

This session was presented by Gord Hume, Chair, Ontario Municipal Cultural Planning Partnership (http://www.ontariomcp.ca/pages/about-mcpp/about-mcpp), Dr Greg Baeker, Senior Consultant and Author and Murray McCabe, CEO, King Township PL. Gord is also a London City Councillor and was a member of the London PL Library Board. The discussion centered on cultural vitality as the fourth pillar of municipal governance. The other three pillars are economic prosperity, social equity and environmental sustainability.

The “Creative Cities” concept is about wealth creation, rather than wealth redistribution through taxes and it is crucial to remember that culture is NOT a frill. Often culture is defined narrowly as “the arts” but is actually a much broader concept that embraces the CRINK economy – CReative, INnovative, Knowledge.

Libraries are in a unique position to help launch creative cities initiatives – Technology + Community + Creativity + Knowledge + Resources = Ontario Public Libraries. The public libraries’ assets to the community include a reservoir of goodwill and a safe, neutral place for discussion and planning.

As the manufacturing sector continues to suffer job losses, municipalities need to look at attracting the creative class (that includes artists, doctors, researchers, innovators, etc.). This group has many choices about where to live, work, invest and raise their families and if your city doesn’t appeal to them, they will go elsewhere.

Huron County developed a cultural plan last year and the Library CEO was a key member of the steering committee: http://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/Huron%20County%20Cultural%20Plan.pdf. London developed a Creative City Task Force Report: http://www.london.ca/Committees_and_Task_Forces/PDFs/creative_city_final.pdf.

DBS—Wow, I can't summarize better than Rhonda, except to say that, again, the theme of the role of libraries and key players in community building was present again. Speakers referred to the example of London and Brantford using their downtown central libraries as drivers for revitalization. Gord Hume's book is on order.

Session # 1225 2:10 PM MMORPGs: More Than Just Games! (TG)

This session was a lot of fun as it was presented by an adorable 10 year old girl named Mary along with her mother and father. The session explained various MMORPG's (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) and how they work. Many of us are aware of a few MMORPG's such as Runescape, World of Warcraft and Webkinz. What I enjoyed about this session was that it detailed some of the less popular MMORPG's. Of course I can't actually think of the names of any of the less popular ones but essentially they deal with everything imaginable from horses to Neopets.
Often we can be judgmental when it comes to gaming within the library but this session discussed the benefits of some of these games. For example, in some games you need to make $ and one of the ways this can be done is by doing various quizzes. Through these games kids are practicing their math and language skills.
We also discussed way of incorporating MMORPG’s within libraries. I personally have renewed my interest in wanting to have a Runescape Club. The reason I have chosen Runescape is because it is the one MMORPG that we see the most here at the Whitby Library.

1226 - CBC Archives Website: Digital Content and Tools for Your Library (SB)

The presenter provided a live demonstration of the website. (http://archives.cbc.ca/) The Reference Department is continually asked by students for multimedia sources. This site is an excellent source. The files are not downloadable but can be used as live streaming. Most materials are primary sources and can be cited (tab - Cite this Clip). The website covers more than 300 subjects over a period of more than 70 years. People using this site can create a personal bookmark and save links to folders, clips and educational activities which would be accessible from any computer.

Honourable David C. Onley(DBS)

His honour spoke about his vision for accessibility in the province and the role libraries play in ensuring full access to ideas and information without barriers. As well as being a champion for people with disabilities, during his mandate, he will continue the work of his predecessor, the Hon. James Bartleman, in the aboriginal youth literacy initiative.

**Session: 1228- Friday, Feb 1, 2009 2:10 p.m. (Sandra M)

Extreme Library Makeover
“Looking through the Eyes of your Customer”
Speaker: Chad Martin – Brodart Canada**

How does a library look to the user? The purpose of this session was to discover how to showcase your library. Merchandising is the new trend. Users are becoming more sophisticated and look towards new trends in the library environment: comfort and spaciousness. Chad states that having an appealing library is a return on your investment.
Libraries are challenged by money and don’t spend it on non-essentials. The Traditional budget focuses on collections and basic services. Chad at this point shows a comparison between Traditional vs. Change. Does the traditional library model meet the patron’s needs? Where is your staff?? (Behind a desk or roving). Why should patrons come back?
Some changes he mentions we are quite familiar with: smaller info desk, displays, furniture with colour, entertainment stations, DVD previews, art exhibits, faster service, a place that is safe and special.
Library Goals: Literacy, lifelong learning, awareness civic issues, cultural awareness
• Layout (library floor plan/ display)
• People tend to drift to right
• Prime display area 5-20 steps inside to the right of the front door

Create Power Aisles:
• Major aisles leading patrons to all parts of the library
• Contains major displays
• HUB-This is the place that patrons see on the way in and on the way out: new releases, quick picks – leads them in and out

Layout: Chad suggests observing patrons and recording their paths into the library. Note traffic patterns and repeat 25-50 patrons. This will show you areas most frequently used and where major displays should go.
Displays are effective when in high traffic areas and near the front desk (300-1000 times more circ); end panels 60x more circ
Refresh: Make sure books are for every age group
Redefine- last 6-18 months (current)
Duration: seasonal, change at least once a month
Keep shelves looking full not cramped, with a mix of cover and spine out display“faces out” easier to read.
Create Excitement and Inspiration:
• Changes names –steer away from traditional library labels, like “Young Adults” “Info Desk –try names like the living room (periodical area), study zone, kids place or Dream Room (Children’s Dept), Ask Me –reference dept.
• Offer more entertainment i.e. DVD; circulate magazine,
• Vending Machines –create an income
• Wireless network

Materials Appealing
• Clean & shiny covers(book jackets, cover cleaner), replace rough jewel cases,
Different types of Displays:

• Power Merchandising Wall: multiple bay concepts, interchangeable, popular topics, themes, suitable for school age and up
• Collection stand out: similar to retailers
• Entrance: books, periodicals, media, bestsellers displays
Browseable Categories:
• New arrivals
• Fiction
• Spoken books
• Movies, music
• Children’s
• Periodicals

Other factors to consider:

Lighting: brighter, variation in brightness for different areas, lower in lounge areas, illuminates displays

• paint offers big impact, colourful accessories add interest
• produce mood: exciting, peaceful, inviting, relaxing

• attitude toward a place
• damp & moldy
• breathing dust
• grimy – uninviting
• walk off mats – keep dirt
• spot removal
• daily walk around

Café Areas: Vending machines

Teens: teen far way from children’s areas “booths” sense of privacy


Golden Rules:
-all signs designed and placed carefully
-layout, colour and design consistent

• large overhead, smaller signs (specific locations), simple directional
• remove outdated signs
• easy to read
• colour contrast – stay away from custom colour
• check shape/size
• sign terminology
• movable & replaceable

• calendar/themes/event displays
• Organize props bases on the above
• Group staff recommendations
• Increase service satisfaction
• Popular authors
• Less known authors
• If you like……
• List on websites

Check Out Line:
• Fast/efficient
• Inform/entertain displays near cko
• Upcoming events
• Displays (like candy in the grocery cko)

Patron Library Experience:
• Patrons enjoys their experience
• Activities/preview videos/listening stations CDs
• Raise funds, landscape, paint, provide & design website content, social events, book reviews, co-ordinate new displays
Since he employed for Brodart you knew he was going to get into product selling. He showed different types of displays available: gondola, cascades, media browsers, slat walls (casters –mobility), end panels, and acrylics.

1315 - Opening the Vaults to Teach History (SB)

This online presentation by Library and Archives Canada was more geared to teachers, however, the overview provided sources that can be used by librarians. The Learning Centre portal on the Library and Archives Canada website provides links to websites, tools and digitized primary sources of Canadian history (ranging from diaries, maps to recorded music). The presenter mentioned that since The National Library of Canada and Archives Canada merged, approximately (just under) 2% of the entire collection has been digitized. Just think of what is in the collection that can't be accessed online! Their main drive is to make these readily available to everyone.

1316 - Building Bridges to Business (DN)

This session was presented by two staffers from Barrie - their Business Librarian and their Manager of Fundraising, Marketing and Communication. They discussed the service BPL provides to their local business community and outlined the reasons why libraries should consider offering such services.

The presenters advocated a multi-step planning process including the following:

  • determining goals
  • identifying and researching targets (area businesses, associations, local networking groups)
  • SWOT analysis
  • creating a strategy

They went through each step in detail and there were lots of good tips. For example, building and sustaining relationships with the business community is very important. This process takes time and isn't a quick fix. Barrie's business librarian is very active in the local Chamber and in the community. In addition, identifying the challenges businesses face and outlining the ways the library can help meet these challenges is key.

The presenters also suggested that we use success stories to sell ourselves, shaping a message that will resonate with the business community. We should have an 'elevator speech' and tagline prepared, and we should always be ready to talk up the library and the services we can offer.

I picked up some good suggestions. We've already implemented some of the items suggested - we're involved with the Chamber and other business partners and we (try to) talk up the business collection with interested parties. Future possibilities - Barrie offers a couple of interesting looking business databases, including one that provides demographic information nationwide. We are occasionally asked about this sort of thing, so this might be worth looking into, possibly in cooperation with the Town. I've also received a trial for another business directory type of database (InfoCanada) - it isn't quite as comprehensive as Scott's, but covers a much wider spectrum of small businesses. Barrie also subscribes to D&B, another business directory database.

I thought about our business brochure - Barrie and the Halton Region libraries offer professional-looking glossy brochures that are very attractive . The books listed in our brochure could be replaced by a series of bookmarks displayed near the proposed business terminal.

Finally, Barrie uses a proposal form to evaluate programme suggestions. It clearly states BPL's programme guidelines and, according to the business librarian, helps weed out a lot of obviously commercial programmes proposed by the community. I passed a copy on to Lonni.

1318 - Readers' Advisory 2.0. Presented by Alexandra Yarrow, Ottawa PL (SMc)

A great presenter. A million 2.0 tools. Jotted down lots of sites; now to try them all!

1319 - Project Management: Delivering Successful Projects (KJ)

Susan Kun, Manager, Woodside Branch Library & Adult Collections, Oakville PL; Andy Will, Project Manager, GTA Farecard Project, Town of Oakville; Frances Grano, Project Manager, Town of Oakville

In this session , the Oakville Library and two project managers from the town talked about resources, templates and tools they had developed to work on municipal projects. The Town of Oakville developed PMDAG (Project Management Development Advisory Group), a group of staff from various departments including the library. Part of the mandate of PMDAG was to create a portal of templates and collaborative tools to further a project management culture so that the value of effective planned project delivery and best practices are incorporated into all project delivery scenarios. This session was focused on project management for the building of a branch of the Oakville library, but project management lite documents could be used to plan for smaller projects. For more information on this session you can check out the presentation notes.

1328 - Mentoring is BLIS at Brampton Library – New Staff Training Initiatives (RJ)

Presented by Tanya Taylor, Human Resources Advisor and Adele Kostiak, CEO, Brampton PL

Brampton PL has launched a new internal mentoring program that matches seasoned professionals with new librarians. The program is voluntary for staff new to the system or new to the position. It fosters inclusion, breaks down age barriers and for newcomers to Canada helps make the transition to Canadian workplace culture easier.

The BLIS program is an in-house library technician training program. This was developed as a retraining program for staff redeployment after RFID and self-check was introduced. BPL has partnered with the Library Technician program at Mohawk College and offers classes on-site at the library one morning per week. They chose 10 of the program courses that were most relevant to their staff training needs. If employees wish to pursue the full diploma program, the courses they take at BPL apply. Dolores Harms-Penner from Mohawk College spoke about the program and did note that all of the stars were aligned for this initiative and it is not necessarily a program that they or other Library Tech programs could offer.

Brampton is growing at an astronomical rate and the library is very busy catching up. Their succession planning involves a Manager in Training program that is competency based and gives employees the opportunity to participate in training to further their careers. The average age of BPL employees is 54 and the situation is critical as staff begin to retire. The Library wants to ensure that their staff have the skills and competencies to fill the vacated positions.

**Session: 1328 - Friday, Feb 1, 2009 3:45 p.m.(Sandra M)
“Mentoring is BLIS at Brampton Library: New Staff Training initiatives”
Speakers: Tanya Taylor, Human Resources; Adele Kostiak, CEO Brampton PL

Mentoring Connection:
Internal mentoring program – volunteer
Background – build staff
-match seasoned professionals with newcomers
-recognize staff within own organization
-breaking down age barriers
Objective:bold text
-to mentor new staff or existing staff in a new position by seasoned employees to ease transition
-program is voluntary and structure informal
-do not mandate how or when they meet
Program Processunderline text: 4 months new staff, 2 months new position
-meet typically bi-weekly ( in person/phone)
-Individual to complete evaluation and submit to HR – share feedback anonymously
Benefits:underline text
-ability to nurture success
-include recognition & ability
-assist transition to new role (mentees)
-retention, recruitment, positive moral (for organization)

BLISS: In house Lib-Tech training program
- Looking to redeploy (train) existing circulation staff to other department of the library
- Training to support information services for circulation
- Spread diversity across all levels
- Redeploy-retrain
- Identify library tech program
- Partnership with Mohawk College (customized for Brampton PL)
- 75% tuition reimbursement
- In-house class rooms
- 10 course (8 in class, 2 online)
- 36/39 hours ( 3 hours in class)
- 10 courses to be completed in 3 years
Manager training Program
Purpose: Staff retention
-competancy based, fast track management program for in-house staff
-great in decisions, leadership
-passing onto trainees, expectations of organization develop opportunites
-mentoring, coaching, classroom, project building
-4 month company based training plan
-new hires, new positions
-internal promotions
-Bi-weekly trainee report
-peer mentor
Succession Plan:
-identify staff with potential but need training for key positions
Focus: key leadership roles
Key roles: training development, succession candidate, short term & long term development
Talent Inventory Review: meet and look at possible candidates, needs of the organization
3 Core Succession:
Key position Profiles: What competencies? What level?

For more info on any of these programs:


As well as the usual annual business agenda items, award winners were acknowledged (see http://www.accessola.com/opla/bins/content_page.asp?cid=1063-2010) and a number of resolutions were presented. The resolutions covered provincial funding, literacy, electronic information and infrastructure, french language collections & services, and services to newcomer and first nations populations. All but the first resolution were passed. This issue was referred to OPLA Council to ensure that the Association works with FOPL to speak with one voice on this issue, and to ensure equity between large and small, rural and urban public libraries. See following for the full text of the resolutions: http://www.accessola.com/data/5/rec_docs/472_sc09_ResolutionsOPLA_Jan15_08.doc

Saturday, January 31

1700 - Top Technology Trends - Balanced Libraries: Books, Bytes and Web 2.0 (IR)

Three speakers: Walt Crawford. Director & Managing Editor PALINET Leadership Network; Paul Takala, Manager Electronic Services, Hamilton Public Library; and Anita Brooks-Kirkland, Information Technology Consultant, Waterloo Regional District School Board.

Walt Crawford worked in research at UC Berkeley and OCLC from 1968 – 2008. He now works for PALINET, a north-east U.S. member-owned Regional Library Network, providing classroom and online training, consortium buying discounts and OCLC services. Having published tons, he has a blog “Walt at Random”. Yet in my mind he didn’t say very much. He talked about designing and managing digital initiatives.

Paul Takala from Hamilton talked about myhamilton community portal – the one place where you can find out everything about Hamilton. An impressive source for one-stop shopping. The library was a partner in this initiative.

Anita Brooks-Kirkland, recipient of the 2009 OLA’s Larry Moore Distinguished Service Award, talked about new technologies in use in her school board – some currently in use and some planned. She also offers workshops to teachers helping bring them up to Web 2.0 speed. Anita was very busy at the conference, popping up everywhere – presenting, convening, accepting awards – all in all an impressive advocate for school and public libraries - and for new technologies. More about Anita can be found at: http://bythebrooks.pbwiki.com. She is worth listening to.

1700 - Top Technology Trends - Balanced Libraries: Books, Bytes and Web 2.0 (DN)

I've attended this session for the last few years, but I must say that I took little away from it this year. Walt Crawford mentioned some interesting points about the business models (or lack thereof) of some internet services. He notes that online advertising isn't providing a sufficient revenue stream, and it seems that in some cases, the goal seems to be A) to rake in a bunch of dough by going public or B) to become interesting enough to attract the attention of a Google or Microsoft, selling to them and making a pile of dough. Neither A or B are going to work anymore in the current climate. Makes a lot of web applications seem like a big Ponzi scheme. This isn't a new observation, but it's a nice change from all of the hype. As Ian noted, Paul Takala from Hamilton talked a lot about the myhamilton portal, although I wouldn't really call this a trend. Anita Brooks-Kirkland spoke a great deal about education in the Web 2.0 world.

A couple of interesting points - Paul mentioned the idea of Green IT. When you consider the environmental costs of disposal of electronic equipment, this is a bit of an oxymoron, but libraries can at least use hydro-efficient equipment. Hamilton is saving $10k in Hydro costs. He also predicts that open source software will become more popular. The general discussion / debate was pretty short. Points raised included the question "are tag clouds really that useful" and don't go overboard on mobile applications.

1713 - Life in the Digital Trenches (KJ)

Nick Ruest, Digital Strategies Librarian; Carl Spadoni, Director of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University Libraries

The focus of this session was on McMaster University’s Peace and War in the 20th Century digitization project (http://pw20c.mcmaster.ca/) which was created using Drupal. The ideas I picked up from this session include the fact that:

There must be a team of librarians and staff working on and supporting any digitization project.
digitization is “akin to mass photocopying” when done without digital scholarship
OurOntario is very “last century”
Digital surrogates should only be made available to institution members and the “educated public”

Spadoni warned that archives and libraries must be careful when making content available online as it is the content which libraries and archival institutions have that makes us unique. Without the content people will not visit us – this is why many institutions are no longer adding to online collections on Google Books.

Needless to say, I disagree with Spadoni and his presentation. Though, this session did help me to think about the work I am doing on the digitization project at Whitby Public Library through a critical lens.

Added note: When I attempt to visit the Peace and War site I can't access it - it seems that users must have Drupal installed to access the website - if this is in fact the case, than it may pose a problem to users of public computers.

1810 - The Luminary Library Experience: Large scale digitization at TPL (KJ)

Johanna Wellheiser, Manager, Preservation & Digitzation Services; Andrew Lofft, Department Head, Preservation & Digitization Services, Toronto PL

This presentation was focused on a unique digitization project partnership developed in 2007 by Toronto Public Library in partnership with Kirtas Technologies, Amazon.com, and Ristech. The goal of this project is to digitize and make available, both freely and for print-on-demand, 10,000 volumes of pre-Confederation Canadian imprints over the next five years. It seems from comments by Nick Ruest at McMaster that the Kirtas technology is prone to breakage of the cameras. Andrew Lofft mentioned that the Kirtas arm only works for about 10% of the books due to the condition of books, foldouts, page margins, etc. so for the majority of books pages must be manually flipped.

It seems from the examples handed around that the front cover of books and back covers and spines are not going to be the original as found online. As well, it sounds like TPL will be making a small profit from this project.

It was said during this presentation that the purpose of the project is to provide access to items in the Canadiana collection, though this access seems to be dictated by selection of books that can be printed on demand (Amazon has restrictions re: number of pages, etc.). Despite this, the technology is pretty incredible. It is my personal hope that Toronto Public Library will truly follow their principles and provide access to copies of the print on demand books for borrowing at their library as well as free online access to their patrons and to libraries across Canada and worldwide.

If you are interested to see the presentation notes click here.

Session: 1813 - Saturday, Feb 2, 2009 10:40 a.m. (Sandra M)
Do Kids really like Dora the Explorer??
Speaker: Todd Kye, Manager, Churchill Meadows Branch, Mississauga PL

How to choose children’s books that are not related to media (TV programs)?
Todd Kye uses the analogy of poutine (media tie-in) and sushi (good quality literature) and suggests that children should have the sushi but if they must a combination of both would be adequate “as long it is not tofu (dry/bland)
Good Story: book of quality-books that kids like on the inside
He goes on to explain elements of good books:
• Language that Sparkles: “Tenth good thing about Barney” or “Red is Best”
• Subtle: “Mole Sisters” or “The Party” Barbara Reid
• Narrative Techniques: trying to get across irony-dual point of view “How to loose all your friends”
• No Morals – “Captain Underpants”
• Plot –fantasy, plausible
What is appealing to kids???
• Obvious humor, crudeness “and then it happened” or “nose pickers from outer space”
• Marked thru other media –familiar with characters
• Series – easy progression from one to other – “Amber Brown”
• Not serious literature-short text “shredder man”
• Super Hero “perfect man” superhero ABC” “Atomic Man”
In conclusion:
Do we choose quality “boy or boy” Bryan Doyle
Choose the best combo of both “poutine & sushi” (high quality and high appeal)
Not Tofu “rugrats”
So we need to look further than children’s wants but what is needed and there is room for both.

1814 - Betty Blogger: A Recipe For Online Instruction (SB)

Burlington Public Library presented their design and implementation of an online instructional program to Web 2.0. Faced with teaching a large number of employees, they came up with the idea of online instruction. Employees could then complete the program at their own pace within a specified time period (prizes were offered for incentive!!). They then offered the program to the public with a moderate (as expected) success rate. Not sure if such programs would be feasible here at WPL, but, I find the idea of learning Web 2.0 online appealing! To view the presentation: http://www.accessola2.com/superconference2009/sat/1814/larsen_wettlaufer.ppt

1814 - Betty Blogger: A Recipe For Online Instruction (DN)

I don't have much to add to Susan's description. It did look like an impressive programme, although I don't think we have the staff to offer it here. Some form of their internal Web 2.0 training could be useful, perhaps as part of some sort of wider core computer competency training.

1822 Dr. Ken Haycock, Leadership 2009 (DBS)

Dr. Haycock presented an overview of influential titles in leadership, management and administration, and their relevance to the library world. Some titles we have in the collection, some I will be looking to add to the collection. Of particular interest is that the author of Good to Great, which is what we're all about, has now written a version, from the point of view of nonprofits. He didn't post his title list, but sent it in an email to attendees. If you would like a copy, please let me know and I'll pass it on.

1900 -

(DBS)The OLA President's Award for Exceptional Achievment was given to “Working Together” project. Project partners: Vancouver Public Library, Regina Public Library, Toronto Public Library and Halifax Public Libraries. We are adding the documentation of their efforts, the Community-Led Libraries Toolkit to the collection. Those who know OLA president Sam Coghlan know that Community Development is an area close to his heart, and a theme ran throughout the conference. For more about Working Together, see: http://www.librariesincommunities.ca/

Justin Trudeau – Closing Luncheon Speaker
(DBS)It is encouraging that a probable rising star in the political sphere, and thus a potential advocate for the value and potential for libraries took time during budget week to give the closing address to conference attendees. Trudeau's enthusiasm and political acumen were evident.
(Sandra M) What a treat to hear Justin Trudeau speak? His passion for literacy and his advocacy for libraries is admirable. I hope that his presence at the OLA was sincere and not for political advancement.

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