Upcoming webinars in March!

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Infopeople has a busy Spring schedule of webinars coming up in March. Topics range from immigration resources to crisis communication – basically something for everybody! All webinars start at noon Pacific and last for one hour. Oh, and they’re free!

Here is the complete list for March:

If you miss these (or any) live events, you can always find the archive on Infopeople’s archived webinars page.

Free Online Learning Opportunities for Children’s Librarians

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Infopeople is committed to providing high quality, practical library training. Each month we host free one-hour webinars, covering a wide range of topics. You can either attend a “live” online webinar as it is being delivered or you can view a recording later.

In this post, we highlight a sextet of recent webinar recordings for children’s librarians.

I. Successful Programming for Babies and Toddlers

Presenters: Kendra Jones, Children’s Librarian & Brooke Newberry, Early Literacy Librarian

II. Promoting Creativity in Childhood – Moving from Why? to How? An ELF 2.0 Webinar

Presenter: Erica Fortescue, Associate Director, Innovative Learning, Center for Childhood Creativity

III. Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age

Presenter: Jason Boog, author of Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age

IV. Pop-Up Storytimes

Presenter: Cheryl Lee, Library Branch Manager

V. Sensory-Enhanced Storytimes

Presenters: Laura Baldassari-Hackstaff, Youth Librarian, & Laura Olson, Youth Services Librarian

VI. Creating Baby Spaces in Public Libraries: Designing for Success

Presenter: Bridget Alexander, founder of Art Beast Children’s Studio and director of Tubman House

Twitter as a professional development tool, q&a

A few hours ago, we hosted a webinar on Using Twitter for Professional Development–right up to the moment when the interwebs decided to shut down. Happily, Infopeople’s planful staff had been collecting accruing questions over the previous 52 minutes and Adobe did not erase them when it made like a newspaper and folded. So, here’s a belated series of responses, an expression of thanks for your patience, and a really truly unintended extra plug to consider the webinar’s encouragement to go Twitter.

Sarah asked: What if you don’t have a smartphone? How easy is it to use?

Francisca: In fact, one of Twitter’s strengths for those who really want to access it any time anywhere is that it works just fine on a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. It is platform agnostic. Some Twitter apps, including TweetDeck, provide nice shortcuts, but any accessing and communicating on Twitter via any internet-connecting equipment with a screen is serviceable and simple.

Sarah:  Do you check Twitter like you might check Facebook throughout the day?

Francisca: This comes under the topics of both time budgeting and responsible professional behavior. As with any social media venue (including Facebook), how often you’re accessing it at work can dilute the time you are assigned to spend doing other duties. A good rule of thumb for many professionals is to align your Twitter catch up time with your email or phone message time: when you start your day, perhaps at lunch, last thing before calling the workday over. This can be tweeked, of course, if you have planned with coworkers to participate in a live-Tweeted event (such as an author interview, a conference program you are attending virtually, etc.) at a specific time…just as you might have scheduled your real time attendance at this afternoon’s webinar.

Darlene: Do you have your staff create twitter accounts using their work information so it can be used for professional development?

Francisca: Great question for Twitter, Darlene, and hope you put it out there and report on your findings! We are responsible for keeping up on professional development, and our workplaces should be supportive–as noted in Tenet 8 of the ALA Code of Ethics.  You as an individual should not expect that all professional development will come to you via your employer–and your employer does have reason to make your accessvto professional development opportunities possible. Of course, if you are expected to use Twitter to speqk there on behalf of your organization, then the account used should be workplace information based.

Sarah: What are the negative implications of just having one Twitter account and not one private and one public?

Francisca: We touched on this just as the big webinar ending crash arrived. Quick recap: if you are really a confirmed Twitter user in your social/family life, you probably want to be careful to keep your professional Twitteratti from overlistening to the exchange you might be having that is, well, personal….asking your son to report in since it’s now 2 am and he was expected home with your car at midnight, etc. Of course, judicious use of direct messaging can address this matter, too, and there are lots of Twitter authorities who swear it’s better to have just one Twitter account and keep your singular persona scrubbed and professional-enough.

Sandra: Is @infotweets in Spanish?

Francisca: I would love such a volunteer to identify him/herself!

Tracey: Do you have a preference for URL shortener? Does one create shorter URLs than another?

Francisca: I go back and forth between bit.ly and tinyURL…for no inarguable reason. Many sites will present you with pre-shrunk URLs ready-made for tweeting. A word of caution on shrinking what you want people to open: if the original URL isn’t 50 yards long, by tweeting it in full you give your audience the welcome opportunity to see the provenance of the link before clicking on it. Good hygiene reduces viruses, we all know.

Angela: Is there any library that uses Twitter to communicate among its staff to keep them current on library info?

Francisca: Here’s another question to take to Twitter and ask broadly. I’d like to hear, too, Angela, what kind of info you have in mind that would best be transmitted by the library to its own staff via this method?

And here’s that URL shrinker post I promised: 5 URL Shorteners, which also discusses why shortening may not be exactly what you want to do all the time.

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.”

Infopeople rolls out staff help on Affordable Care Act

Today at noon, Infopeople presented a well attended webinar to kick off efforts to bring California library staff information about the Affordable Care Act and and assistance in identifying the role of public libraries in the enrollment process scheduled to open on 1 October. If you weren’t able to attend the webinar live, be assured that, like all Infopeople webinars, it will be archived shortly for your access. Be sure to download the speakers’ PowerPoint slides and the two-page document of Resources for Libraries collected to date.

Three speakers addressed the webinar topic of Get Covered @ the Library: Affordable Care Act Resources for Libraries: Oakland Public librarian Barbara Bibel gave an outline of how the health insurance marketplace fits into the 2010 Affordable Care Act rollout; UC Los Angeles librarian Kelli Ham presented the organizing principles and details of the health insurance exchange as well as great resources for staff to access and use; and Covered California’s Diane Stanton was on hand to respond to questions specific to the California health insurance exchange.

High on the list of important take-aways from the hour are clear steps libraries need to be taking now:

  • Make an inventory of resources – staff, computers, time for training
  • Decide types and levels of service
  • Maintain neutrality; act as information providers, not insurance experts or advisors
  • Become knowledgeable about appropriate resources and services

And for library administrators as well as supervisors in information/reference, IT and other specific services: “communicate with staff; ongoing communication between management and staff is key” to any library functioning well during this initial enrollment period.

In the next few days, look for Infopeople’s announcement of free, online independent learning about the Affordable Care Act and the public library connection. A series of six modules will go deeper into the context and content of the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance exchange for individuals and families, the Small Business Health Insurance Options Program, Medi-Cal changes, educating your community about health care and health insurance, and planning programs and partnerships around enrollment.

There will also be future webinars, posters and bookmarks to help alert your library users to enrollment and where to find authoritative information on the Affordable Care Act, and other resources you may need in order to assist your community during this initial enrollment period.

Stay tuned!