Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Your Mother Was Right

"If all the other kids jumped off the bridge, would you do it too?"

Did your mother use this one on you as mine did on me? I've been thinking about this in terms of implementing new technologies or new management schemes into an organization. Just 'cause all the "cool kids" are implementing KM or RSS across the organization (as random examples), does that mean you have to as well?

Before we hoist any change upon others in our organizations, it behooves us managers to take a big step back and ask ourselves, "does this make sense for my organization?" Every organization is unique. Perhaps only parts of a planned change are appropriate. Or perhaps the change isn't necessary at all.

Part of the challenge is determining what is appropriate for YOUR organization. We can only really know what has happened in the past with our organizations. It is difficult to determine what is happening right now, and what will happen in the future that will make our determinations about the changes correct. And then when we make those changes, they will cause a change in the organization themselves.

So, all I'm saying is keep your eyes and ears open and don't just go setting up a blog 'cause it's what all the cool organizations are doing.

You've got to remember what your mother taught you and think for yourself!

Tame The Web: The People Formerly Known as the Audience

Some fantastic thoughts on addressing "user-centric content creation" in our libraries by Michael Stephens over at Tame the Web: Libraries and Technology: The People Formerly Known as the Audience.

An excerpt:

Let's involve users in creating content for the library and maybe even give them a venue and space to store stuff at the library server.

Let's incorporate video production as well -- for the library and for users to create their own stuff -- and be aware of the power of iTunes and YouTube to change the way content is ditributed.

Let's blog our stuff, with human voices, and write accordingly to pull in comments and conversation... this builds community.

Finally, this bit: Let's not wait too long...look at how quickly all of this came up on a handful of years. we don't have time to convene teams that meet for months on end...

He is talking in the public library context, but definitely we should be thinking about this in terms of special or private libraries as well. And the key is nimbleness here. If we decide to wait on things for two years to see "how it works out" at the other organization, chances are something else will come along and things will change again.

With the caveat of my last post in mind (only make changes if they are appropriate for your organization), I say "go for it!". - The Tao of Law Librarianship - The Truth About Blogging

I'm happy to report my latest column on, The Truth About Blogging was published a few days ago. I've veered away from the interview type article on this one, drawing from my own observations. I figure if it is labelled a "column" that I can editorialize a little rather than backing up all facts with a quote or reference.

Future columns I am considering are in the areas of change management (which I haven't yet addressed) and knowledge management (which I have). If you have other suggestions I'd love to hear them.

I had a request a while back to interview library directors in various organizations to find out how they got to where they are. I think that is a fabulous idea and am still working out how best to accomplish that. If you are library director who would like to be interviewed, or would like to suggest someone, do let me know. You can reach me at .

Thanks go to Sabrina Pacifici for editing and posting all the content in LLRX single-handedly, especially when she is always extremely busy! She is a pleasure to work with. I know she would love to receive some feedback, especially any positive vibes. And if you have a presentation, favourite blog post, or article you have written which you would like to submit, I encourage you to contact one of us.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Book Buying Moratorium For the Soul

I've had to put my foot down...with myself. No more book buying! That is, no buying books in case someone might want them. We are still trying to process everything that I ordered last November. I'm now limiting myself, with perhaps a few exceptions, to new editions and books requested by others in the firm. And loose leaf I am only purchasing in extreme cases since we are having a time keeping up with all those filings. Unfortunately I won't get that same "kick" I get when someone asks for something and we already have it, but so be it.

I felt kind of bad (well, maybe not really) when a publisher rep called me up today asking to drop by and have me order all the great new things coming out in the next quarter. I declined, saying I would just order things one at a time as we need them.

But, this seemed to be a good step towards getting my office and my workflow back into order. Instead of a 90 minute meeting in which I order things which will come and clog up my office in 3 weeks time (not to mention invoices), I now have 90 minutes towards clearing up some of this backlog.

It's a good thing. Right?

More Cartoons - welcome to libraryland

I generated a few more cartoons with the Strip Generator.

Here are the links:

Help! I need something about monkeys! Fast!

So a man walks into the library... [gak! just noticed the typo!]

Who called this meeting?

and the original:

Hi! Can I help you?

If you wish to print these out, I suggest landscape and small margins.

The strip generator does leave something to be desired. For example, once you start something you have to finish it. You can't go back to edit, so I can't fix my typo that I just noticed after several days. Also, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to copy the strips off the service and reuse them elsewhere. I could probably do a screen capture and then crop and save into Flickr or the like, but that doesn't seem quite adequate. Finally, I can't print them out without getting a lot of the additional admin sections of the screen. Okay, not to mention the whole site is in two languages at least and there are no instructions.

Now that I've given you all the "down" sides to it, I challenge you to give it a shot and see what fun it really is! I love looking at others' cartoons (most of which are violent unfortunately) but there is such a creativity there.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Day of Firsts: Podcast Recording and Comic Strip!

I'm very excited about my first recording (that I did myself!) which has been incorporated into this week's episode of Check This Out! I discuss the KM conference last week, giving a run down of the sessions and what I took away with me.

And here is my first comic strip from the strip generator. I called it "welcome to libraryland". It's not particularly funny but it was my first attempt. I encourage you to try your own and post the links here!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

One Step Closer to Podcasting

Usually when I participate in the Check This Out! podcast as "Canadian correspondent", Jim Milles calls me up using Skype (internet based phone call service or VOiP)and he records us from his end. We have also experimented with both of us speaking using Skype. This weekend Jim gave me the assignment of recording my bit on my end, and then emailing the MP3 file to him. He knew I already have an iRiver capable of recording, and even an external microphone, so the only thing left to do was read the manual and figure out how to record.

So, after playing with a few of the settings I believe I have managed it. I recorded 15 minutes (probaby too long!) which has made a 14 MB file. I've emailed it to him and hope it makes it to him.

The subject of my talk was the Ark Group KM conference I attended. Mostly it is a brief summary of the sessions, highlights of things I learned, and a wee bit of my own commentary. I hope it works out!

What next? It's only a matter of time before I get the video thing working....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Video in the Law Firm

This was something I originally wrote in an email to Jim Milles since I know he has started experimenting with video, and I decided to share it with everyone--

I must say, this past week a couple of things have got me even more jazzed about video. First was the brief interview Rocketboom did with Robert Scoble about his leaving Microsoft. He mentioned that their videotaping people around the office was pretty popular. Of course, a lightbulb went off in my head that that would be a terrific way of getting people to know one another in my office. Then at this KM conference some of the professional development people talked about capturing professional development sessions on video, and one person even suggested having experienced lawyers talk about discrete aspects of their work so associates can view the video before embarking on a certain aspect of work. An even further aspect would be a part of a "retrospective" after a project is completed, asking a client a number of questions on video as a wrap-up to the project. Then it could be "sliced and diced" down and re-edited to have various clients talking about one topic for internal review. So many possibilities... Now I am anxious to get a video camera and start playing!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Webcom Toronto 2006

Webcom Toronto 2006 - November 7 - 9, 2006. Billed as an "International Conference on Interactive Communications and Information Technologies". It looks to be something Jane Dysart is working on. Not a lot of information on the site yet, but it is supposed to be conferences in 45 countries running concurrently and somehow linked. Cool.

Website redesign: Dysart & Jones Associates

I quite like the look of Dysart & Jones Associates newly updated website. Clean and uncluttered, but still fresh looking. I've always liked that they have the blog on their home page--continuous new content.

KM: Cultivating a Knowledge Sharing Culture

This week I attended the Ark conference on KM in Toronto. Yesterday I participated in a panel, along with Mary Saulig and Stephanie Grenier, on the role of librarians in KM. We had Joshua Fireman of ii3 moderate the session and we largely organized it as a conversation based on a few questions. I think it went quite well, and I was pleased with feedback I received throughout the rest of the conference.

This morning I live-blogged one session called Cultivating a Knowledge Sharing Culture on blog Slaw.

That is the last of my big professional commitments for a little while (well, until I attend AALL and make an appearance at the NE2007 reception being put on by ALLAGNY and ALLUNY). Hopefully my blogging will become a little more regular for the next while.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Internet Librarian International 2006

Hi everyone! It has been far too long since I have blogged anything. Life has gotten in the way!

Anyway, I just had a notice that the Internet Librarian International 2006 conference programme will be published this week. ILI2006 takes place in London October 16-17th.

From the notice:

This year's dual themes for Internet Librarian International - discovering new resources and demystifying new technology - reflect the concerns of information professionals worldwide.

Opening with a Keynote about the knowledge glut and how it affects librarians and information managers, this year’s Internet Librarian International concentrates on practical applications for internet technologies. Speakers explain how they implement new technologies, adopt Library 2.0 techniques, employ management skills, collaborate with colleagues and bring information to remote areas.

Through a range of panel discussions, master classes, formal speeches and networking opportunities, Internet Librarian International provides a unique educational opportunity for all those who need to find new resources and understand new technology.

This conference, and the Internet Librarian conference held in Monterey, always sound fabulous. I can't wait to see the full programme. Reading programmes for me is a bit like reading cookbooks. I may not actually cook something up, but it is certainly fun to dream...