Master Speaker Jonathan Reichental

On Sunday, during the coming weekend’s 114th California Library Association conference, you get an extra hour sleep (we revert to “standard” time from daylight saving) and the opportunity to hear master speaker Dr. Jonathan Reichental, at 2 pm. Dr. Reichental brings to California librarians that enriching mix of public and private experience, from the world of business and from that of government. In the tradition of CLA master speakers, this is the opportunity not only to hear about  innovative and inspired outlooks but also to experience how to deliver a message to a large group and keep everyone focused and engaged in hearing it.

Dr. Reichental’s presentation begins just after the exhibit hall closes for the conference. That means you can attend his talk and get your fill of exhibit discoveries beforehand.

So put together your Sunday schedule now, starting with that extra hour of sleep, visiting the exhibits (if you start at Booth 314, you can collect a treasure hunt map to help you focus on where else to go there), and remembering to come learn from a master speaker as well.

Why Being Disconnected — and the Library — Matter

In the past week, two important assessments of how many Americans continue to be left out of the technology enabled information loop, and why that matters, have surfaced online.  In her address to the Kansas University School of Journalism Diversity Summit, librarian Jessamyn West shared hard hitting statistics about the number of Americans living Without a Net, what that means for their economic health, social security and other life needs, and why the public library plays a role in bridging this still enormous digital divide. West has pared the presentation down to 12 minutes, and you owe 34% of Americans that much time to attend to the video.

How much time and energy you then spend responding to Jessamyn’s data and analysis may be further informed by this second stark message from ground level and contemporary America. Doug Levitt, journalist turned singer/songwriter/storyteller, spent the last six years or so traveling the United States by Greyhound bus.  That’s the only available means of transport available to many who live out of sight and out of mind of the America that has developed a technical acuity and reliance on cell phones, smart phones, social media, and the Internet. His project, The Greyhound Diaries, intends he says, to give a voice to those who are “left out of the national narrative” because they not only can’t access that online flow of information and discussion, but because their voices are missing from that flow.

The possibilities these two messages present to public libraries are vast, and approachable.  How can we we help the voiceless get “home” to America?


Listen up: Master speakers coming to CLA!

Hurrah for Infopeople’s now seven-year tradition of bringing cutting edge ideas to conference, in the form of Master Speakers! This year the schedule provides two great midday opportunities to hear fresh ideas presented right from the innovators.

On Saturday, schedule yourself to be in the Exhibits Hall from 12:30-2pm to hear Nancy Duarte share best practices in business communication. She knows of what she speaks, and can help us all understand it, too, as she is the 2008 Communicator of the Year and a TED Fellow committee member.

On Sunday, same time, same place, David Hutchens, “organizational storyteller,” continues the theme of communication, with emphasis on leadership ethics.

The best part about getting yourself there in person to hear these Master Speakers is that you get to hear just how a great communicator can craft the message to suit both its content and his or her audience.

And given the tools with which we have to work while tightening our institutional and personal belts, training with a master communicator is worth every bit of our time and attention. See you there!

Library 2.0 Ning

Library 2.0 Ning is my favorite social network because it promotes serendipitous searching among people who have the same profession as well as an interest in web 2.0 in common.
I invite you to join this group of intriguing people from all over the world and add me to your friends list; see my profile.
Also, if you are a fan of serendipitous searching, check out Steve Nelson’s BananaSlug, which was designed to promote serendipitous surfing.
“Directed Google searches return pages most relevant to your search term, based on the pages’ popularity on the Web. You may never see some of the pages way down the list that are relevant or interesting, but off the beaten path.”
Here’s an example using BananaSlug. I tried “learning 2.0” and chose the Great Ideas category. The random word was time. While I found a number of the library programs with which I was familiar, the search brought me others I wouldn’t have ever found by using typical search terms…e.g. a blog entry from Training Day.

Learning from TED

The TED Conference mixes Technology, Entertainment and Design. The 2007 event was March 7-10 in Monterey and its focus was Icons, Geniuses and Mavericks.
As the San Francisco Chronicle put it, “Imagine going to school and learning how to tie your shoe correctly one moment and studying the rise of obesity the next. Then you might hear a 14-year-old piano virtuoso perform and improvise a piece on the spot, followed by a talk on global warming. They are just some of the presentations that the 1,000 or so invitation-only attendees have been treated to each year at the four-day Ted Conference.”
You can listen to the fascinating talks, both audio and video, online or on your iPod FREE through iTunes. Examples of those featured are plyaright/actor Anne Deavere-Smith, Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, and rock star/activist Bono.
If you found TED 2007 intriguing, be sure to check out The Big Questions to be answered at TED 2008, February 27 – March 1, 2008 at the Monterey Conference Center.