Sunday, February 2, 2014

ALA Midwinter 2014 Day 4

Monday and the temperature is beautiful today -- although predicted to plummet for tomorrow! 

Started the day by attending a discussion session on the Affordable Healthcare Act.  This was a small group with representatives from state libraries, state library association, public libraries and school libraries.  We had an informal discussion on what has been happening with the roll out of the ACA and libraries.  While one public librarian had indicated they had braced for a large push -- the reality was it didn't impact library workflow.  In fact they had posted a large banner "Affordable Care Act" behind the circulation desk and frequently got the question "What is this?"  State libraries and library associations indicated various approaches to the ACA rollout, with primary themes being -- 1) it is up to the individual library in regard to their approach; 2) libraries are providing access not assistance; 3) in many communities, the library is the only access to high speed Internet.

Then it was off to Makerspaces Camp because another session I was going to attend was cancelled!  Made a spin bot, a flashing circuit, and watched my colleague Erica try on Google Glasses and get very excited!

Listened to my colleague Gina Persichini as she answered questions prior to Executive Council elections.  Gina won!  Go Gina!

Attended the Rev Up and Wrap Up session with James McBride, author of Good Lord Bird.  This was a wonderful way to end the conference.  James with three other colleagues provided great jazz music intertwined with the story telling of Good Lord Bird.  The group had the attendees rockin and rollin!

At the end of the day -- went to Library Camp.  Great discussion points on what was our aha! moments.  For several of us it was the Rev Up and Wrap Up session.  For many of the new librarians, it was the awesomeness of the entire event -- so much to absorb, so little time.  All in all -- regardless of the weather, another fine learning, networking opportunity!

ALA Midwinter 2014 - Day 3

It's Sunday morning and another day at Midwinter.  I started with day by attending the YALSA Badging session by Linda Braun.  The key point from this presentation was that "the Badge" is the last piece.  There are a lot behind the scenes items to cover to get to "the Badge."  The YALSA series is debuting and can be accessed at -- for more information about the process and badging in general go to  There are currently 3 badges sequences ready for testing:
Next on the day's agenda for me was a discussion session with other state library colleagues.  Hot topics we discussed included Common Core Standards, Digital Inclusion Survey, FCC pilot project money, Makerspaces and EDGE. 

I did get to try the Google Glasses -- and it is pretty cool.  I just happen to have the correct shaped glasses that they fit nicely over -- tap on the left side of the ear stem and speak OK GLASS when it appears on the screen in the upper right hand corner, select an action and speak -- TAKE PHOTO -- and there you go -- the easiest picture taking I ever experienced.  Then you can share by speaking -- SEND (contact name) and off it goes!  to scroll the menu lightly swipe from front to back or back to front for all the options.  When you are not using it the little screen goes to sleep.  Very little interference with vision otherwise.  More at -- although $1500 is a bit steep for me!  I'll wait!

Next was "Is there a MOOC in your future?"  Although I have participated in a MOOC, was interested in hearing the discussion.  Take aways include.  1)  MOOCs are Messy!  There are no standards and no single story which describes the learner or learning environment.  Some people come only to see what it is like, some come to gain a specific piece of information  - then leave, and some complete the process.  2)  Leaner has to be self-directed, interested in exploring topics and earning credentials. 3)  Quick MOOCs at is a tool focusing on a single unit of instruction created by David Loertscher to facilitate the creation of learning MOOCs.  There is a $10 per MOOC -- if you wish to create a MOOC using this tool, contact David for more information.

Attended the Lyrasis Reception -- great music and good conversation.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

ALA Midwinter 2014 Day 2

Another cold and snowy day in the City of Brotherly Love!  Some highlights of the day include:
1.  NSA session for highlights see ...
2.  Will need to stop by the Google Glass display to try a pair .. Just to see what all the talk is about.
3.  Spent some time at another Edge session facilitated by Lyrasis.  Gained some great insight into  how ICfL can support public libraries who wish to participate in the assessment process during 2014. The benefits of Edge is that is provides valuable data and insight for State Libraries in regard to training and support needs of public libraries.  It also provides a local focus, starts conversations, and creates a common vocabulary.  Pennsylvania provided 10 workshops to get all libraries on the same page as to the process, answering questions and redirecting fears.  The beauty of the tool is that is provides a snapshot of where the library is at a point in time.  Edge is tailored around technology, however community partnerships are key
4.  Reaching Outward session once again focused on the Harwood tools.  March 6 is the deadline to apply for the OTC Public Innovators.  Learn more at
5.  Digital Badging.  While I didn't learn much about how to creat a digital badge system, I did learn about the diplomatic Reception Rooms in the US State Department.  They are working with the Smithsonian, National Parks Service and ALA to create a quest series in diplomacy.  This series will be featured in an online web conference to be held on February 12.  While a Badge is an image gained for completing a learning quest, not all badges are created equal.  Quality badges contain the following data: Name, Description, Criteria, Issuer, Evidence, Date issued, Standards,Tags.  For registration and more information go to,,,

Rounded out the day at the ALA-APA Fundraising Reception.  Enjoyed the music by Ian Lashbrook's brother and even Ian got in on the act!  Nice.

Friday, January 24, 2014

ALA Midwinter 2014 - Philadelphia

While the weather outside is chilly...the information is warmly and freely flowing inside the Philadelphia Convention Center.   Today my colleague Sue and I participated in the training session for the Smart Investing @ Your Library grantees.  We are looking forward to hitting the ground running in March.  ICfL's pilot project will focus on enhancing the financial literacy for staff in 12 south central Idaho libraries which in turn the financial literacy outreach efforts of those libraries will be supported for one year following the training in their individual communities.

In Cognotes today two highlights.  There is free content on public awareness available for librarians to use.  Content targets teens, parents and kids, seniors, job seekers and many others.   Content is available under the Creative Commons license that allows libraries to repurpose content in either online or offline formats.  Check it out at

The website was launched with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York with additional support from the Disney Book Group.

ALA with assistance from Innovative Interfaces is sponsoring th 2014 ALA Leadership Institute for 40 mid career librarians in August 2014.  Led by ALA Past President Maureen Sullivan and ACRL Content Strategist Kathryn Deiss, the Institute will help future leaders develop and practice their leadership skills in areas critical to the future of the libraries they lead.

Last year, Natalie Nation, branch Diector at Silverstone Branch of Meridian Library District, participated in the Institute and has rave reviews of her experience.  "It has given me the confidence to take on new challenges that I would have never considered prior to the Institute."   Natalie used the 1st time conference attendee grant to defray costs of attending.  Details and guidelines for applying can be found at