Notes from UnALA10

These are my notes on the presentations given during the Unconference at ALA. Here is how they came into being:

As a large group (we had over 50 participants!), we brainstormed trending topics in libraries. Topics generated during this ranged from the digital divide to services in libraries. Then, each person was able to vote 5 times for the topics they found the most interesting. They were able to use their votes in whatever manner they liked, all 5 for one, spread out or not at all. The top 8 made the final list and from there, we ended up with 6 groups.

The groups then had one hour to create a 7 minutes or less presentation, in the format of their choosing. Each group presented to the larger group after one hour.

The conversations that the groups had at their tables were wonderful. It was fun to observe and listen.

Below are my notes from the presentations. Each group’s topic is in bold:

Service in libraries
trending and service in libraries
pump it yourself (as in gas) generation – older who do not use technology and do not like it
mobile reference and things online – younger generations
the people that want the things online are the people driving the trend
checkout is going to go away, that is not the word, access is the word
library as place is still a thing that matters – people still want to do that
unique programming happens in libraries and this brings in different users
children’s services are more traditional and this has not changed much
literature services on the other side of the digital divide
we still have books
Book Well – librarians trained to use books as a healing process (I was unable to find the link. I think it is in Australia?)

Web Usability, Next Gen websites
single search interfaces
requires a change in thinking from catalog vs database
need info from proprietary databases
does not always return the best resources
librarians hate it student love it – shallow searches
branding and various flavors available
high transaction costs means no availability – hard to get to resources behind closed doors
Ex. XC Extensible Catalog, Summon, Follet One Search, WorldCat Local, EBSCO Discovery service
search indexes
pushing data out
The Newberry Library – pushing geographical information out with digital collections, using local history and adding the places onto
resources are too fragmented in too many places so do we need to gather them to one place or push them out to more places

SWOT – Library Viability

Space – the library is a space in the community
Why – complacency, bureaucracy, lack of staff
Threats – poor management/leadership, areas of change/fear of change, budget/funding, lack of community awareness
Opportunities – marketing, advocacy (we do not always do well but they are things that we have to do), better operating models and standing up to publishers that are causing price problems for libraries, digital resources, community outreach

One of the participants turned their computer into a big timer to keep the groups on time. I love unconferences

You Be the Change
how do we deal with staff,colleagues and the PUBLIC that are resistance to change
asking some people to change is like a natural disaster to them and then you are dealing with the unknown
tips for dealing with change
proactive vs reactive – be thinking about the future and not what we did not what we did in the past. There will always be change victims, figure out how to work with them and how to make them feel valued
Get data to support the change
take initiative – do not wait for someone else to do it
build relationships
what are the needs of people in the org
be flexible if you are the change agent
your attitude – be positive
mentor – having a mentor in your org or not that will support you through the process
Training opportunities – synthesizing new knowledge
Time – it takes time
You be the change, you can be the change, it takes, time, effort, persistent. Sometimes you are so close to the change that you can not see it, the forest for the trees, so remember to occasionally step back and see what is going on.
Good question on when you get rid of/fire people who do not get on board with changes.. govt agencies always have malcontents, part of performance reviews
q – have a list of shared values, find the motivators for different actors in the conflict, find the contribution that individuals are making to the org especially if they are resistors
conversations are important – talking AND listening with intent

Digital Divide – avoiding the #epicfail

this group had a presentation on the computer but we have a technology fail and they are going “analog style” and using their notes
information literacy
access to technology
interpersonal interaction
online vs f2f
generations compressing in staff and users
They ask the group what their libraries have done to bridge some of the divide
checking out laptops – in the library
tried to give an 84 yr old Nook and did not like it bc of packaging, feel of books, liked buying used books
in India – costs of textbooks issue for students, small loans for students to buy books, FlatWorldKnowledge, company that makes books available for students in multiple formats
circ Kindles

Finding, Getting, and Keeping Library Jobs

be open minded about your future including looking beyond the word library and librarianship
don;t fear the job description
relocating
RSS feeds, websites, job boards, but most people get jobs through people so do that as much as possible
Getting the job
be a good presenter of yourself
network, know people, communicate with others
move out of your comfort zone – be flexible about your job
frame what you have done to get what you want, frame it for the job
interview well
Keeping the job
holding something back to avoid burnout
get a mentor, they’re awesome
politics – learn how to deal with them well
get involved with a bog project, complete small and and keep them moving forward
be versatile in what you do, do not say, “this isn’t in my job description”
awesome, they sang a song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

–Jane, has some new things to think about, thanks unala peeps!

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