Blog Posts by gina.persichini

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LITA Top Technology Trends (ALA Annual 2006)

I headed early to the Top Trends session as I remember it being packed in previous years. This year is no different. I’m sitting in a room with about 500 people, all of whom are waiting to learn more about technology: What works? What doesn’t? And, what can we expect from the future?

An interesting tidbit about this event is the lack of power—electrical power, that is. The laptops in the room abound, but I sit as one of 4 lucky individuals grouped around a power outlet. I’m not sure if I should be concerned that the technology meeting found itself in a room with few power outlets; or if I should be jealous of all the people in the room with handheld devices that have extensive battery life.

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What Makes a Project Work (ALA Conference Program)

Program Attended: What Makes a Project Work (Trading Spaces: How to change the world in a hurry with the money you have right now)

Presenters: Karen Hyman, South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative
Kathi Peiffer, New Jersey State Library
Kathy Schalk-Greene, Mount Laurel Public Library (NJ)
Joan Bernstein, Mount Laurel Public Library (NJ)

I heard about this project from my colleagues who attended the PLA conference on Boston earlier this year. Trading Spaces was a joint project between the New Jersey State Library, the South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative (SJRLC) and the Mount Laurel Public Library. Each organization identified some funds to devote to the project with a goal to “change the staff culture and customer experience in a library through use of retail merchandising practices.” The project was to be scalable and replicable so that it could be replicated in other libraries of either smaller or larger size. Other libraries could learn from the experiences of the Mt Laurel Public Library and choose to implement just small pieces of it in their own library to make an impact for customers.

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ALA Annual 2006 - Day 1

Following, over the next couple days, will be a series of posts actually written DURING the ALA Conference. Due to technical issues relating to a tempermental wireless network card in my laptop, these are being posted after my return to Boise.

Friday, June 23rd

It’s my first day at the 2006 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. I arrived on in the late afternoon in time to swing by the convention center to pick up my badge (and accompanying tote bag) and run to a nearby hotel to attend the WebJunction reception. No reception is complete without a few words from the sponsor. At this event, WJ was promoting the Rural Library Sustainability project. Idaho will be participating in that project in the near future. It was good to hear about the successes of other states and I look forward to Idaho’s participation.

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ALA Annual 2006 - A morning of meetings

Saturday, June 24th

My hotel is just 2 blocks from the convention center (and about 6 blocks from the shuttle buses – it’s a big convention center). I headed out early to catch a shuttle bus to the location of my first meeting. At 7am, it was already uncomfortably humid outside. I was already feeling smug about remembering my comfortable walking shoes and lightweight clothes. By 5pm, neither of these would bring me any comfort, I might as well enjoy it now.

My first meeting was the Membership and Planning Committee of ASCLA/ICAN. ASCLA is the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies. It’s a sort of catch-all Division of ALA for people who work in/with state libraries, networks and consortia, and independent library consultants. Plus, it has a section for those who work with people with disabilities. The ICAN section of ASCLA is for Interlibrary Cooperation and Networking. These are the consortia folks. The membership and planning committee has been working on some materials (print and online) to provide more information about the benefits of ICAN membership and to explain more about what it is the section does. The print publication is about ready to, well, go to print. The online piece has some work ahead of it.

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Opening General Session

The Opening General Session is a huge event in a huge auditorium with a huge amount of people. Yes, huge. There is something comforting, however, about sitting in a room with thousands of seats and finding yourself suddenly sitting next to a librarian friend from your home town. This, I believe, is the power of electricity. Literally. We were both looking to sit in a place that would allow us to plug in our laptops… battery power can only last so long at one of these events.

The General Session began with a short film that highlighted some ALA successes in the past year. We learned about the partnerships ALA has undertaken with the @ your library program. The film included footage of how ALA contributed to the disaster relief in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

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MySpace, Social Networking & Safety

Thanks to Sarah Houghton, the Librarian In Black, for pointing to a nice resource to learn more about MySpace at How Stuff Works.

Learn How MySpace Works and read about safety issues.

For even more on MySpace, read what Stephen Abram has to say in his new article “How Can MySpace Inform Library Portal Development?

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The User is Not Broken … Read this

Karen Schneider at Free Range Librarian posted a very thought-provoking piece that we all need to read. Go read “The Users is Not Broken.”

Just a small taste of what you will read:

You cannot change the user, but you can transform the user experience to meet the user.

Meet people where they are–not where you want them to be.

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What belongs in a Core Genealogy Collection?

George G. Morgan, noted author and trainer in the genealogy world, has made his bibliography of genealogy materials available online to the public through his company, Aha! Seminars. Get more information about it at his “Along Those Lines” blog.

From the site:

“The books, magazines, and software products shown on this page represent the best available materials in their respective subject areas. For the individual researcher, you may want to consider purchasing titles to build your personal genealogy reference collection. Genealogy librarians will want to consider the addition of these titles to their library’s collection as they will complement such larger collections as the DAR Patriot Index, Germans to America, William Filby’s landmark series, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, and other individual volumes and series.”

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Megatokyo Poster at ALA

A friend just showed me the Megtokyo Poster at the ALA eStore.

It’s an ALA poster that just might get the attention of the teens in your area. The panel of teens that spoke at the Southwest ILA Spring Regional Conference on April 8th mentioned Megatokyo as a popular title they enjoy.