Irons in the fire

In spite of some public appearances, Infopeople isn’t limiting our scope of activities to the various projects required in order to get library staff up and aware of the Affordable Care Act. Here are some other initiatives that have us busy—so that we can better help library staff with the variety of training and information needs we face:

The Infopeople website is being updated with the latest Drupal release and with an always improving interface for users. If your interest in coding and content management systems is limited, your attention to this project need not be: presentation of upcoming trainings and webinars are better displayed and the new registration interface should make it easier for would-be training participants to make their selections and go through the enrollment process.

Eureka! has been rolling along for some years now. One effect of that is a growing number of Eureka Fellow cohorts working on specific projects and celebrating reunions. You can dig into the archived webinars Fellows have provided as well–another way to harvest great library leadership info or to access when you mentor someone else in the library field.

And on the topic of webinars, tomorrow (20 August), we have a much needed and welcome one on the boards at 12 Noon, Pacific Time, when Kathy Middleton, Noelle Burch and Alison McKee address Inclusive Library Programming for People with Intellectual Disabilities. As with all Infopeople webinars (including 9 September’s Get Covered @ the Library: Affordable Care Resources for Libraries), there’s no registration fee and the session will live on the webinar archives page after production.

We also have a mostly developed–and rich–slate of online course offerings for the Fall. There are eight online courses now open for registration,  You can also use the Calendar tab on the training page to get a view into September, October and even November. Whether you’re planning your personal professional development, or formulating the training calendar for staff you manage, it’s not too soon to look ahead!


Hashtags, Library Science and Arriving Ready to Get Down to Business!

Throughout the ages, librarians have taken on the task of unmuddling attempts at communication about ideas. It seems as we all head off to San Jose for CLA 114, we’ve already got techniques for unmuddling to unmuddle.

As of now (actually as of yesterday afternoon), the really truly official hashtag for those Tweeting the conference events–and I hope that is many of you!–is #CaLibConf. Other suggestions were made–and texted, Tweeted and blogged. On a personal note, I plan on just following all three, betting on some folks as unnimble-fingered as I to want to stick with either all caps or all lower case, and that some archivally minded will absolutely have to add a numerical designation in order to breathe more easily.

Infopeople, via the energies and imaginations of those clever Eureka fellows, are going to be offering us all some Mad Library Science at Booth 314, in the exhibits. These Mad Library Scientists can get you started on planning your trail through the rest of the exhibits, too, thanks to the annual treasure map Infopeople provides.

Meanwhile another group of library scientists, at Booth 118, plan to teach conference attendees how to see the library world as a chemical experiment–or an endless array of experiemnts as local and world elements change.

So, we’re putting the science back in library science–and communicating about the conference on multiple channels. I like that, actually: scientists need community to do their best work, and their best work definitiely needs all manner of communication! Wait, that’s not “their” but “our”.

Sights to See and Goodies to Find!

Exhibits open this Friday, at 3 pm, in the San Jose Convention Center. Be sure to arrive and get your badge in time to join the excitement! CLA  exhibitors, of course, include a variety of businesses providing library-specific goods and services. But there are also nonprofits that provide essential library and library staff services year round and provide valuable presence in the exhibit hall as well.

How often, for instance, do you get the chance to walk up to representatives from California Center for the Book to see just how your new branch based discussion group can tap into their book club box program? Or get a guided hands-on experience with OCLC’s up and coming utilities?

And then, there’s the ever popular Infopeople booth ( that’s Booth#314) where each year the theme itself can help you revisualize the possibilities contained in the phrase “library staff development.” This year, the Eureka fellows have been tapped to put some of their rare and wonderful innovative talents to work in designing the booth theme. Eurekans will be staffing it as well, so be sure to come by and talk to some of the folks at California libraries’ cutting edge.

Now that’s an exhibit hall treat that won’t leave you thirsty or wondering if you could work a better deal elsewhere.

San Jose Is Right Around the Corner…

…and aren’t you glad it doesn’t involve getting to the East Coast!  By now, you’ve packed–or at least considered what to pack. Are you taking physical business cards? Some library folks have given those up for virtual ones, but if you fumble over keyboards as much as I do, you can appreciate being able to type in the relevant info from physical cards you collect when nobody’s watching the fingers fumble.

You’ve made your list of must see’s and must meet’s–the latter being the networking part and the former being the specific programs you feel the most magnetic attraction pulling on you. This year has a particularly well honed field representing best practices and innovative ideas for academic and public libraries, from Eureka! folks and old timers, and about LSTA funded efforts that have touched library communities working with ZIP Books, a Staff Innovation Fun(d), and much more. This is a schedule that has been tightened up but includes a whole lot of valuable programming to explore.

And then there are the exhibitors, the folks who make a conference of this caliber possible while still keeping registration pricing modest. This year, as you’ve probably heard, the Eureka! folks have conceived and will be staffing the Infopeople booth. First person to tweet the theme that set up shows (after the exhibit hall opens to conference attendees!) gets a prize. Be sure to use the conference Twitter hashtag (#cla2012, as it stands now).

So start humming and get ready for a busy, fulfilling weekend!

From Eureka to RSquared….

When I had the privilege of participating in the first Eureka Leadership Institute 5 years ago in San Diego, I had the notion that the experience would help me to uncover answers about the direction in which both I and California Libraries should be headed. Instead, what Eureka helped me to realize (and the RSquared Conference unequivocally reinforced) is that my focus shouldn’t be on finding answers (Hello, what? I’m a librarian, that’s what I do.) but rather on making sure I’m asking the right questions.

RSquared speaker, Nina Simon, executive director of the Art & History Museum in Santa Cruz, asked the participants of my Customer Curiosity session a great question: “What one piece of information would help you to better ignite your customers’ curiosity?” To me, this was an entirely new way of framing a very old discussion about how we can make our libraries more relevant community spaces. It also reminded me of something Joan Frye Williams, who was a Eureka mentor my year, said: “We [Libraries] are the occasion for an idea.”

The RSquared Conference was all about disrupting conventions and generating out of the box ideas. Personally, I’ve always subscribed to the theory that sometimes the best way to think outside the box is to peek into other people’s boxes. So it was invaluable to not only collect ideas from experts in compatible fields, but to be able to talk to movers and shakers from libraries all around the country (and Canada and Sweden!).

Creativity, after all, is about connection. Connecting with people and connecting ideas. I created a 90-second video to show you some of the ideas that best resonated with me from my Eureka and RSquared Conference experiences. Check it out here: