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Williamsburg Regional Library Staff Day Presentation

I put the slides on Google after two uploads to failed abysmally.  (My talk was also greatly enriched by two slides I stole, one from Andrew Pace and the other from Darlene Fichter. Thanks 😉  )

This was a great experience. I haven’t done a pure “2.0” talk in over a year, which meant I was forced to rethink the whole topic, and part of the pleasure of this talk was that the library wasn’t at a cold start; they have a blog, Blogging for a Good Book, that is an impressive effort (and a good read, too!). That allowed me to spend more time talking about tying services into strategic plans, sustainability, marketing, new services, measurement, and new technologies that might or might not catch on. One phrase I repeated as often as I could came from Jeremy Frumkin: “one click to find, one click to get.”

I broke my 2.0 technologies into 2.0 Classic, Catalog 2.0, 2.0 Nouveau, and 2.0 Dubious. Some highlights of my talk included the collection by the Assumption College for Sisters (go, sisters, go!); the 30-second QandANJ commercial (one of the very few library videos on YouTube focused on users); TwitterLit, Debra Hamel’s book-focused Twitter feed; Kankakee Public Library’s front-page-linked blogs and feeds; and the display of the Williamsburg network on Facebook (part of my “find your users and learn more about them” discussion, which also featured Technorati, Feedburner, and Google Blog Search).

For a demonstration of virtual reference with Meebo-Me, Skokie Public Library came through magnificently. The crowd was visibly impressed, and the live interaction made my talk much fresher. Thanks, Toby and team!

(I became controversial while showing Danbury’s catalog, when I said LibraryThing for Libraries “kicked Novelist‘s butt” — I didn’t know several librarians there contribute to Novelist. That was a fun couple of minutes! My take on Novelist is that it was a great thing once upon a time — at least if you exclusively read fiction — but it has been OBT’d, that is, Overcome By Technology. Still, I encouraged the people who felt differently to write about Novelist versus LibraryThing. A thoughtful, spirited comparison of the two services would be useful.)

The structure of the event was interesting. I spoke for an hour, then the staff broke into small groups and designed 2.0 services, then I skimmed the reports, discussed common themes, and spoke again. I finished early, and that puzzled me; much later I realized I rushed through the staff service designs because I was worried about time… yet we really had plenty of time to discuss them, especially if I had ginned up the presence of mind to turn my laptop into an ad-hoc smartboard and key in some take-aways from the worksheets. I’d do this again, but find a way to get the suggestions “informated” — perhaps have each session have a “secretary” who keyed ideas into a wiki so we could review and discuss them collectively.

I was such a pampered speaker… Genevieve, my “handler” (and one-time Wonewok roommate) took time from her manic staff-day-prep schedule and scooped me up from the Richmond airport, drove me along lovely canopy backroads, squired me through the libraries in her system, indulged me with wonderful seafood (best she-crab soup I’ve ever had, and she made sure the waiter offered me sherry), put me up in a nice, quiet hotel, ensured that the technology was exactly what I needed, let me relax in a bookstore for an hour, treated me to a pile of magazines, and got me back to the airport safe and sound. Thanks, WRL!

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