Jan 19

Foursquare, Libraries, and Librarians

About a dozen attendees at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston used a location based social network from foursquare (launched in March 2009). In some ways, it felt like the first time Twitter reached the ALA scene a couple of years ago. Pushing the boundaries and testing new technologies is one of the things I enjoy. More importantly, I enjoy discovering new ways to engage with my customers.

Foursquare is a combination of Twitter, gaming, and Yelp (in fact, Yelp launched it’s own similar product while in Boston). Users “checkin” at venues using text messaging, web site, FoursquareX desktop application, iPhone, or Droid app. Continue reading

Jan 11

Participation in American Library Association

I just received my American Library Association (ALA) membership card in the mail. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a member for 17 years.

ALA Membership Card

As the Midwinter Meeting approaches, it is a good time to reflect on membership and the Association. In all the years of membership, I have attended almost all the Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting events and it has kept me engaged and involved in my profession. I have been able to contribute to our Association and profession and, in return, I have a solid network of librarians to call upon and an organization that supports and advocates for the work that we do.

It took about 7-10 years of participation before I found a groove in the business of the Association. That may seem like a long time, but it took that long to find my calling and direction with my own professional goals. I started as a high school (technology) librarian and therefore was involved with AASL, initially serving on several committees, and LITA. In 2001, I switched to community colleges to joined ACRL and the Community and Junior College Libraries Section (CJCLS). It was a good landing and in the last nine years have served on many organizational committees and taken on several leadership roles, primarily within ACRL but also in ALA level committees. Continue reading

Dec 16

Where are we going with social software?

On my drive from Ojai to Fresno last night I listened to the recent Library 2.0 Gang episode on Social Software in Libraries. A great conversation well worth the 45-minutes.

Further, this week I’ve been setting up a WordPressMU and BuddyPress installation at classes | kenleyneufeld to be used for online instruction and my new course on Social Networking and Social Software.

First the “ouch” from the library gang. The realization that not enough assessment of our social services has taken place in the library environment. There has been anecdotal success but nothing concrete has been reported. In the past several years I’ve simply thrown stuff up to see what stuck and seemed a functional service. It’s worked reasonably well but as a Library Director I see a greater need for assessment. Assessment is Goal #1 in the coming year.

Continue reading

Nov 25

Being a Library Director: What’s it all about?

My philosophy is the more you are outside the library, the better it is for the library.

Being a library director isn’t always what it may seem to others. For me it has been one of the most rewarding positions, but it moves way beyond work in the library. If you have any interest in this type of role, and I hope you are, I’ll share my experiences from my current position in a California community college.

The Environment

Santa Barbara City College is a community college located in the central coast region of California. We have the equivalent to just under 8k full time students (which comes to slightly over 20k students). Roughly 10% of our students enroll in online classes. The library has experienced a significant transformation in the last four years and has become one of the key places on campus where students congregate. We have increased library visits by 80% and roughly a quarter of the students are in the library on a daily basis. Online services have increased along with the physical changes in the library. In the library, we talk, we share, we learn, we grow. Continue reading

Oct 29

Mobile Blogging

Today I downloaded the new WordPress 2 app for the iPhone. This blog entry was created on my iPhone. The app is super easy and functional.

During the past few months I’ve been doing my mobile blogging using Posterous and autoposting some entries over here on misc.joy. What I’ve liked about Posterous is the ease. Send an email. That’s it!

Now with this new WordPress app I have another option for mobile blogging.

If you have a WordPress blog and an iPhone, give the app a spin. If not, check out Posterous.