Springing the Numbers

At the onset of April, we posted Infopeople’s busy and rich offerings for the month. And, wow, library staff got busy, too, and signed up, signed in, and signified a grand scale of engagement! Here’s a scan of how all that busy busy busy quantified:

  • Online courses that opened in April have 137 participants engaged.
  • Free webinars broadcast in April met with a combined audience of 707 viewers of the live events, and their archives were tapped 966 additional times!
  • Online independent learning series continued to draw new registrants, and currently have a combined total of 49 independent learners working through these service focus areas.

And here are the numbers we see in our social media presence:

  • As April drew to an end, @infotweets has 714 followers on Twitter, and received three to five notices a day of retweeting or favoriting by library leaders, staff and library staff development fans of posts we tweeted.
  • Infopeople’s Facebook page collected four new friends, bringing the total there to 414. We share our own events as well as compelling library world stories there, with our posts in April earning 134 Likes and/ Shares.
  • With the news that Google+ is likely on its way out, Infopeople is refocusing energy from that venue to Tumblr. An update on that will appear here soon.

Moving the Infoblog back to WordPress has made it much more discoverable. April’s podcasts and written posts on the blog saw 700 visitors beside all of you who subscribe directly or catch blog posting alerts on Twitter or Facebook.

With all that for April, there is no laurel resting now that May has bloomed. Upcoming this month are four new online courses, for which you can still register; at least five new free webinars; and ongoing opportunities to dive into our three currently open online independent learning series (Teaser: we’ve got another couple of those, on very different topics, in the works, planning for debut before the end of summer). In addition to all that, two of three limited enrollment sessions of an onground course opportunity, Mentoring: Challenge and Support in Equal Measures, are slated for May (with the third iteration in June).

So count yourself in and spring into some accessible professional development!

Archive for How to Organize and Run a Successful Human Library

Infopeople hosted a fascinating webinar today (Apr 30, 2014) on How to Organize and Run a Successful Human Library. Unfortunately the Infopeople website chose the minutes leading up to the start of the webinar to go down (Murphy’s Law, anyone?). So some folks may have not been able to get into the webinar in a timely fashion. We apologize for the inconvenience, but are happy to say that the webinar archive is up and ready for viewing.

Please not that this webinar had lots of really helpful handouts that can also be found at the above link. Enjoy!

Get Your Training on in April!

Infopeople’s April Training Calendar offers libraries and library staff of all types a goldmine of possibilities. Noting that the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics for us library folk concludes “We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession,” taking responsibility to participate in one or more of these hits the spot. Bonus points for the curious who see this treasure trove as the answer to your wish list:

With California already being one of the first states to get involved in the Edge Initiative, exploring new methods and best practices you can apply for enhanced community connections gets a boost from the online course, Community and Civic Engagement: The Library’s Role as Connector, which opens April 8. Instructor Jane Salisbury, of Portland’s Multnomah County Library, brings years of experience and insight on reaching adults in the library community. Jane supervises Library Outreach, with services that target, among other populations, older adults and members of the disabled community.

Another online course opening April 8, Redesigning Library Spaces on a Shoestring: High Impact at Low Cost, gives participants access to instructor Ruth Barefoot‘s space planning, marketing, and architectural expertise and her experience as manager of San Jose Public Library’s initiative, the San Jose Way. Ruth’s reconceptualization of how to improve library space for today’s library service users can be simple if dramatic. A favorite tip I heard from her some years ago, when she was speaking of how to untangle overcrowded library space without great cost, is elegantly simple: take everything out of the space and then restore only those things that are necessary and useful, putting them back into the branch shell according to their importance and where they are optimal for library users.

A third online course opening in April will be taught by the ever popular Infopeople instructor Cheryl Gould. All Work Is Team Work, which opens April 22, carries Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC), an indication that it addresses the learning needs of non-degreed staff who want to demonstrate quality skills in library service provision.

The noon time, and always archived, Infopeople webinar schedule has got to be the best free training smorgasbord in town. On April 2, Laura Solomon, whose previous Infopeople webinars have skillfully and substantively broached such concerns as “Fine-tuning Facebook for Libraries” and “Absolutely Free (and Practically Unknown) Online Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed,” takes up Writing a Social Media Policy for Your Library.  No matter your library type, you gotta be sure your library gets this info!

Toby Greenwalt, who co-hosted the wowsome Spark Talks crowd at PLA in Indianapolis earlier this month, will explain why and how we need to Embrace the Evolution: Adapting Reference Service to New Technology,  on April 23. This preso is gonna show us that reference services can be designed for today’s user.

Kelli Ham, a health librarian at UCLA who has much to share–and has shared much–with Infopeople webinar participants, returns on April 16, with From Baby to Preschooler: Early Childhood Health Resources. Infopeople hosts an ELF 2.0 webinar, on April 10, Foundations of Early Childhood Development: It’s All about Relationships, with with John Hornstein of the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, and Sacramento Public Library Director Rivkah Sass.

And speaking of matters of health and wellness, Infopeople’s independent online learning series, which give participants the opportunity to dive deep in a focused area with a facilitator but no assignments and a two-month access period to explore, include a newly updated Affordable Care Act @ Your Public Library.  The reboot goes beyond healthcare insurance enrollment to address the information and community strategies identified by California’s healthcare policy makers and practitioners as most important for 2014 and 2015.

Phew! That’s a whole lot of possibilities to get your development on! Looking forward to seeing you in one of those “theres.”

Now, that’s a packed goodie hour!

Library community members recognize Joan Frye Williams as a deep and fluent source of observations and analyses of where and how library services are going, from nascent development through their stages of emerging best practices. The free webinar she provided through Infopeople today, Life After Desk: Implementing the New Service Models, offered those of us in the “live” audience more than a handful of ideas already in practice, with good reasons on offer as to why and how to bring them to our home libraries.  Of course, not everyone can get to a webinar at its scheduled time, so another shout out is in order that, as with all Infopeople webinars, the recording, as well as the slides and even the text chat by those who could attend the presentation, wil be available for any-time review in archived form (The slide sets are already there, with the rest to come later this week).

There are take aways here for both public and academic libraries, for staff concerned with reference staff locations and for those interested in the integration of makerspaces–and maker activities–as well as traditional information services.  Among the issues that lit up the chat among the audience are:

  • How to identify library staff as such when we aren’t behind desks
  • How to organize library space so that it makes sense to users interested in locating the types of services they need with a minimum of confusion that requires staff handoff between designated departments
  • How to deal with staff who won’t engage in new approaches, such as roving

We were treated to glimpses of attainable models, including a “Library Idea Box” in which makerspace meets art display space.  We heard research-based evidence for giving library users more comfort by working with them side by side instead of face to face.  We were reminded that “excellence is defined by user experience” rather than by staff decisions of what is convenient from our side of things.

While waiting for the archives to get fully loaded, you can get further ideas–or whet your interest even more!–by checking the Twitter hashtag #ifpafterdesk. This hour was so packed that going through it all more than a time or two is bound to create sparks that can lead to action!

Online enrollment process walk through webinar Thursday

The California Health Benefit Exchange, the administrative office providing Affordable Care Act health insurance enrollment through Covered California, announced earlier today a free webinar for those who want a preview of the online enrollment process. Public library staff throughout the state who expect to have any role in supplying community members with technology through which online enrollment can be made should register to attend the 90-minute webinar, scheduled for 10 am, on Thursday, September 26 (day after tomorrow).

Here’s the announcement emailed to those on the Covered California email list:

On-Line Application Demonstration

September 26, 2013 at 10:00am pdt

 A demonstration of the on-line application that will be implemented on October 1, 2013.

 More information on how to call-in and view the webinar demonstration will be forthcoming.

 Webinar Link:

 https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1023010

 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

As with other California Health Benefit Exchange webinars, this one will be recorded and archived for future viewing. You can find previous ones under the Stakeholders tab on the Exchange homepage. Thursday’s webinar will demonstrate the tested Covered California interface to be opened to the public on Tuesday, October 1.

If your library has planned to provide quick access to the Covered California site from the library’s page, you can also take the time now to install the official buttons used to link back to that site from outside it.

If you know you work with staff who have little information about the marketplace as yet, be sure they see the Covered California Fact Sheet. Also be sure to become familiar with the information supplied in the Fact Sheet of Changes Coming to Health Care in 2014, which goes beyond enrollment and health insurance to enumerate new consumer rights and mandated business practices.