Dinner in Downtown Disney (#ALA2008)

Apparently some of our dinner attendees had a difficult time finding the resturant. The dinner was schedule for Naples Restaurant in Downtown Disney. This is a space located between the Disneyland Hotel and the Disneyland entrance. Essentially a large outdoor mall to our obsessed need to constantly shop. Though I have lived in California for most of my life and have been to Disneyland quite a few times, I am still completely fascinated by this entire environment. People everywhere. Shopping. Eating. Appearing to have a good time. Did you know it cost $66 to get into one of the theme parks or $91 for both. That’s some serious money if you bring the family. Since I live in SoCal, I can buy an annual pass for $129.

Anyway, back to our dinner and off my little rant. We had 65 Community College Librarians from across the country join us for dinner. The food was excellent. The service was excellent. A good time was had for all. My hosting responsibilities end with this conference.

As the dinner ended, the evening fireworks show began. People were just sitting on the ground in Disney Plaza enjoying the show. My collegue said to me, “Is this the happiest place on earth?” I was feeling pretty happy at the moment.

OCLC Symposium – Gym of the Mind (#ALA2008)

Trying to keep a somewhat flexible schedule today even though I have three “committee” meetings to attend. With that in mind, I decided to sit in on the OCLC Symposium for a while rather than dropping in on the Forum on Education (I should be there!) and I’ll miss part of my ACRL Leadership Council.

The theme of the Symposium is “The Mashed Up Library” and it will be moderated by Andrew Pace. It’s fun to be here on the first day of conference and seeing everyone connecting with each other, meeting new friends, etc. The energy is high as we wait for 1:30. In his introduction, Pace said “mash ups are a full fledged commuting platform and on the verge of replacing the personal computer as the dominant tool.”
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ALA Executive Board Meeting (#ALA2008)

Stumbled upon the ALA Executive Board I meeting as I was looking for the LITA blog salon. Poked my head into the darkened room with board members hearing a presentation. A discussion and presentation of the new ALA site was already happening. The comment I heard was made that backend is Drupal and Jenny Levine is in charge – should “make the techies happy.”

Questions from board members:

  • login issues – has this been resolved?
  • Where is APA? Under related sites. Is that intuitive?
  • Burying Council under governance because membership doesn’t have a clear understanding of what governance mean.
  • What happened to the “Take Action” button on the current home page. Haven’t found a new location for it yet, but in discussion.
  • •    Any press release will appear on the home page, but it is possible for them to ranked.

Working on style guidelines for content managers. This is the next big phase.  Site scheduled to go live at the end of August. There are more than 90,000 files to move around into the new site.

Next report is from the Development Office.  Time to go look for Blog Salon.

Librarians Converge on Anaheim (#ALA2008)

ALA2008 Logo It is time for the Annual American Library Association convention. Our 65,000 member organization meets every June in some large city in the United States and this year we are in the home of Disneyland for ALA 2008. This year is great for me because I could drive to the convention and there isn’t a time difference. Twitter has also played a role in my pre-conference activity and excitment. Over the course of the last 18 months I’ve been using Twitter, quite a few librarians have jumped on board and become active users. What has been particularly exciting is getting to know many of these (young) librarians virtually and now possibly meeting them in person for the first time. Fun. You can track some of the conversation on Summize or my Twitter feed. If you’re a visual type person, you can track images on Flickr too.

Over the next few days I plan to blog some of the activities, which is a slight diversion from my normal posts. Here is my schedule for the weekend. Enjoy.

Web 3.0 and Semantic Web

My friend Tyler posted a social map on Twitter recently and I realized I am involved with many social tools on the web but definitely don’t have time to create one of these fancy maps. However, what I’ve have been playing with lately is Twine and social|median – two tools that deal with the semantic web. My understanding of the semantic web is that it harnesses collaborative groups and technology to analyze data to provide content intelligently. This is Web 3.0. It’s kind of like the Propaedeutic Enchiridion in Neil Stephenson’s Diamond Age. Anyway, I don’t know if we are quite there yet but some progress is being made. Twine is invite-only beta and social|median is in alpha (launched in February).

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Busylessness – Are you too Busy?

I’m exploring the joys of being busy and taking a close look at the commitments in my life. What does it mean to be busy? To have commitments? Is it possible to have to many? I’ve heard Thich Nhat Hanh talk about something called busylessness, or businesslessness, [the correct term is “businessless” invented by Master Linji – added 4/26/08] but I’m not exactly sure what that means. I think it is a word just for those of us in the West who strive all the time. Who pursue something outside of ourselves. We work so hard that sometimes we don’t allow space for openness, for rest. We don’t allow enough space for doing nothing. Let’s take my life as an example (since I’m the one writing). As I look beyond my permanent commitments of being a partner and a parent, I see myself involved with many volunteer activities. Continue reading “Busylessness – Are you too Busy?”

Moodle, Facebook, Twitter, and Teaching Online

I have just completed my third semester of teaching Information Literacy online at Santa Barbara City College. This institution had the wisdom to make information literacy a graduation requirement two years ago, thereby demonstrating its commitment to the student and the recommendations of Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. The class is 100% online, thereby exposing many students to the online environment who may not have normally enrolled. Students take the 1-unit class as credit/no-credit. This is a reflection on some of my experiments. WebCT Logo

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A Cultivated-Taste for Failure and Chaos

I don’ t normally read the Harvard Business Review, but a colleague at work brought the current issue to my attention because the cover said Reading Google’s Mind, and she knew of my fascination with innovation and with Google. The actual article is called Reverse Engineering Google’s Innovation Machine; it’s a pretty good read and fits in well with some of the ideas I’ve been exploring lately.

In the article, the model we might follow was called A Cultivated-Taste for Failure and Chaos. I love it!

Google's Innovation Ecosystem

A few weeks ago I was asked to come and speak to the marketing team of Laurel Springs School in Ojai, California because of some of the things we’ve been trying out in our library at Santa Barbara City College. I’ve taken some ideas from Google, and other successful companies, by trying to be nimble, exciting, and innovative. Of course, a library is a little different from a company but we can certainly take some queues from business. Continue reading “A Cultivated-Taste for Failure and Chaos”