My flight’s delayed until 2:20 (I’ve been here since 8:00 am) so I thought I’d blog a few things I’ve been wanting to mention but just haven’t had the time to write a substantial blog post about:
Sarah Houghton-Jan’s amazing Library Technology Report, Technology Competencies and Training for Libraries. Well, I can only assume it’s great (not that I’m angling for a review copy or anything… ok, I am) because of the description I read and because it’s by Sarah whom I trust completely when it comes to this topic. Not nearly enough has been written on this, and it’s nice to see something longer than article-length coming out on tech competencies.
According to the description, Sarah covers —
* how to use descriptions of technology competencies so they will enhance your staff members’ technology knowledge, improve their self-confidence and individual morale levels, help staff provide better service, and transform your library into an institution that continously promotes lifetime learning for every staff member;
* a look at the purpose and background of describing competencies;
* a review of the process of creating descriptions and a look at various types and structures of lists of competencies as well as sample competencies; and
* the implementation process, including assessment and best practices for technology training.
“This work,” summarizes Houghton-Jan, “is an attempt to fill the gap in knowledge about documenting technology competencies with overall guiding principles, examples of successful projects, and project-management guidelines for those embarking upon such a project in their libraries.”
I definitely look forward to reading it, even if I have to wait until it’s in Academic Search Premiere.
Another person I think is the bee’s knees, Michael Porter, has come up with the coolest library-related Flickr group EVER: The 365 Library Days Project.
Here’s Michael’s description:
Let’s get as many libraries as we can to sign up for and actively participate in a customized, library friendly version of the 365 project. That would mean that if you decide to participate, you would commit to downloading at least 365 pictures from in, around or about the library you work in, for and/or with. Uploading a picture every day for 365 days in this case wouldn’t be practical for most folks, but committing to 365 images in a year could be done fairly easily. It could also have HUGE value for your library.
Just imagine what a valuable historic document you could create for your library with this project! And while you’re at it, at the end of your year commitment, you could contact your local newspaper and tell them about the project, where they could do a story and print selected pictures that you took over the year. Such a substantive advocacy project! It would demonstrate in very real ways, ways that get lost to many people in your community, that you and your library are doing important work every day of the year!
I love this idea and I hope lots of libraries — public especially — consider taking part. What a great marketing vehicle for your library and a great historical document you would be creating!!! I love the idea of inviting patrons to participate, maybe even creating some sort of contest or event!
I want to applaud my friend Michael McGrorty for standing up to the extremely unfair (and likely unlawful) hiring practices of a library he has applied to multiple times. I think it’s so cool that he is shedding light on this process; I myself would never have the guts or wherewithal to do it. It doesn’t hurt that he used to be an investigator for the Department of Labor. Good luck with your fight, Michael, hopefully it will lead to a healthy dose of sunlight being shined on hiring practices in libraries in general.
Looks like we might even leave Burlington a little bit earlier than expected. Amazing! Hope springs eternal.