What’s Your Big Idea? TEDWomen Inaugural Conference

TEDWomen’s inaugural conference will be held December 7-8 in Washington, DC and here is your chance to win an expense paid trip to the conference.

Tell TedWomen how you want to change the world in 500 characters or less, and you could win an all-expense paid trip to attend TEDWomen in Washington, DC December 7 & 8, 2010 and a BlackBerry© TorchTM 9800 smartphone.

Enter here: http://www.tedwomen.aol.com/contest/

p.s. Thanks to Bobbi Newman for sharing this via Twitter!

Living in the Online Cloud: The Dark Side

I rely heavily on technology for nearly all aspects of my life. Last year the power went out, and I was excited because I could still watch a movie since my netbook has great battery life (around 8 hours). I made my hot tea on the grill and was ready to curl up in front of the fire with a Netflix movie–only to realize that my wifi and router both need power. DOH!

While my last post focused on my favorite apps that have made my life easier, this post will share some of the potential pitfalls to living in the cloud.

Last week I spammed the world. Seriously. You may be one of the thousands of people who received an invite to Plaxo from me. If so I apologize. Allowing 3rd parties to harvest your personal information if one of the dangers of living in the cloud. Here’s the back story.

After years of dealing with inadequate synching between Outlook and my Blackberry, I was excited to get a Droid X which syncs wirelessly with Gmail. The problem was that I needed to merge my Outlook and Gmail contacts but didn’t want duplicates. Plaxo offered a way to synch contacts between multiple email and social networking accounts, so I signed up.

In the process of signing up however, I missed unchecking the box that said, “Invite your contacts to connect on Plaxo.” Thus Plaxo sent invites to everyone in my list of Google contacts which includes: President Obama, all of my county commissioners, the entire staff of my library, list servs, professors, friends, relatives, and even the nanny that I fired two years ago.

You might ask why all of these people are in my contacts list. I’d like to ask Google the same thing. Apparently a long time ago, Google thought it would be a good idea to add anyone you email to your contacts list. I’m fine with that but they also added anyone who emailed you or was on a CC line with you in any email. So all you people who send out funny jokes or virus warnings to friends and family members–all of your friends and family became part of my contact list.

In 2008 Google changed the way contacts are added and those random contacts became suggested contacts rather than automatically added contacts–but not before adding thousands to my contact list.

So while this was totally a case of user error, it’s something that can (and does) happen to anyone.

Gmail

Have you ever noticed when using Gmail that the ads within Gmail often relate to your email conversation? That’s no accident! Google is performing a keyword search through your emails in order to display relevant ads. While they claim not to store any of this personal information, we all know that storage happens. Earlier this year Google suspended the practice of collecting Wi-Fi information after it admitted to inadvertently collecting user data over unsecured Wi-Fi networks while photographing for Street View.

While I’m not ready to give up my Gmail account yet, I do have concerns about my privacy. I haven’t switched to another email provider because I’m not convinced that the same, or worse, privacy violations might happen. It’s not that I have any top secret email information but it’s more of the principle. I rely on Google Apps to host the email for my website and use Google Docs to hold everything from term papers to financial records. It’s a bit scary having all that info out there and scoured for information by a corporation. Yet for me, for now, the benefit to having that data available from anywhere outweighs the risks of having the data potentially harvested.

Apps

Apps, short for applications, allow you to do cool things on your phone like throw birds at pigs as well as navigate using maps and GPS. However there is some risk in downloading and installing apps.

When you install most apps you will be asked to allow that app to have access to certain information such as your address book, location via wi-fi, and state of the phone (whether you are on a call or not)

This is a screen you definitely do not want to breeze by. Look carefully at what information the app wants access to and try to determine why it might need that info. Many apps ask your your location to place targeted ads in the app. So I might see ads for a local store rather than a store in another part of the country.

One of the apps I really wanted was a wallpaper app that allows you to download cool pictures to use as a wallpaper, but that app wanted access to my SD card, contacts, and location. There is no reason for this much information to be accessed by a 3rd party for pretty pictures! See the Android PSA on Droid Ninja. Note that the same warnings apply to other smart phones as well.

Facebook

I don’t even know where to start with warnings about Facebook–maybe the obvious place–have you read the terms of using Facebook? Do you know what happens to the rights of content that you upload to Facebook? I’m not posting anything that I would want copyrighted so not a big deal to me, but if you are using a tool to import entire blog posts to Facebook as a note, I would check in to this. Then there are the privacy issues of what data friends can see and friends of friends can see. My rule of thumb–don’t post, text, email or otherwise digitally create anything you wouldn’t want published on the front page of the New York Times or your hometown newspaper. Even if you have privacy settings set to most secure there is always the chance that someone will do a screen capture and print or create an image of what you posted. Trust me! It’s happened to me.

Facebook Apps or other Browser Add Ons

Every week or so a new warning comes out about potential security holes in Facebook apps or add ons to browsers. The lastest is I hijacked a Facebook account with Firesheep. For more on Facebook and privacy, take a look at some of the posts by Bobbi Newman where she gives step-by-step instructions for updating your settings.

These are just a few of the situations I can think of where I have learned a lesson or two about protecting my privacy as well as others’ privacy. Did I miss anything you’d like to share?

Computers in Libraries 25th Annual Conference Next Week

If you are planning to attend Computers in Libraries next week, I’ll be moderating the Teaching: Technologies & Approaches track on Tuesday. Please drop by and say hello. If you can’t attend check back on this site. I will be blogging notes from the sessions here and tweeting as well.

Here’s the outstanding line up in the track!

TRACK E ● Teaching: Technologies & Approaches
Regency A/B/C/D, Ballroom Level
Speakers share their vast experience to help you select the right tools and methods for your environment and the learners involved. Moderated by Lori Reed, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

E201 ● LMS: What’s Out There & How to Decide!
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Lori Reed, Learning & Development Coordinator, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Chad Mairn, Information Services Librarian, St. Petersburg College
With so many learning management systems on the market, including the freebies and open-source, where do you start? Reed explains what to expect from an LMS and LCMS (learning content management system), what’s available — from the most popular to the unknown — selection criteria for choosing a system (including factoring in costs for open-source), and how to get buy-in from administration.

E202 ● Reaching Reluctant Learners
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Jill Hurst-Wahl, Assistant Professor of Practice, Syracuse University School of Information Studies and President, Hurst Associates, Ltd.
Sophia Guevara, Librarian, MLIS Technology Consultant
Veronica Rutter, Collection Development Librarian, New City Library
Andrea Simyak, Instruction and Funding Information Librarian, New Jersey State Library

With the U.S. President totally “connected,” and with many government forms, job applications, and college courses online, being digital is almost required. Sadly, being digital is not the norm for everyone. How do we move late adopters — both staff and library users, including professors, attorneys, or senior citizens — out of their nondigital comfort zones? This session provides tips and techniques for moving them to the online world and describes two different methods instructors used to bring technology into their libraries — structured, weekly, hands-on classes and staff members participating in Technology Tapas, a self-paced, online weekly tutorial modeled after the 23 Things program created by Helene Blowers and implemented at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. These two radically different instruction methods met the needs of their respective libraries because of the instructors’ determination to overcome the reluctance and fear of their learners.

E203 ● Training in the Cloud or Mobile Labs!
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Maurice Coleman, Technical Trainer, Harford County (Md.) Public Library, & Host, T is for Training (Library Training podcast)
Bobbi Newman, Digital Branch Manager, Chattahoochee Valley Library System
Delores Rondinella, Technology Training Coordinator, Stark County District Library
Jeffery Kreger, Emerging Technologies Systems Administrator, Stark County District Library

Talk about innovative training approaches! Newman and Coleman show how to use “The Cloud” to develop, schedule, organize, market and evaluate training for free or with very minimal expenditure. Rondinella and Kreger describe how Stark County successfully grew a mobile patron/staff training lab. Their overview includes: purchasing and maintenance of the mobile lab and its hardware, policies regarding training and server access (Coping with your IT Department), and developing an effective class curriculum for the community.

E204 ● Virtual Learning & Training: From Classrooms to Communities
2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Alison Miller, Manager, ipl2 Reference Services, Drexel University
Meredith Farkas, Head, Instructional Initiatives, Norwich University

Learning and training occurs in synchronous, asynchronous, and hybrid environments. Miller identifies which category of learner may benefit best from both the type of environment and the delivery methods used. Farkas teaches for San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science using Drupal and other social software tools in place of the traditional course management system. She discusses how she uses Web 2.0 technologies to transform the learning experience and how others can harness the power of these technologies in their own teaching.

E205 ● Instructional Technology: It’s a Team Thing
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Lynda Kellam, Data Services & Government Information Librarian;
Beth Filar Williams, Distance Education Librarian;
Amy Harris, Information Literacy and Reference Librarian;
Hannah Winkler, Libraries’ Digital Designer;
University Libraries, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

During a time of budget crises and belt tightening, new approaches to the instructional librarian role need to be invented. A team approach permits collaboration across departments and skill sets. Hear how one university has a team incorporating the skills of the information literacy librarian, distance education librarian, digital designer, and the data services librarian. This panel discusses how they support instructional technology, accomplish projects without budgetary support, and walk through their workflow for a project to demonstrate how collaboration on a shoestring can work to benefit their users.

Library Trainer is Moving to LoriReed.com

For the past two years I’ve been blogging at LibraryTrainer.com. The name fit when I started the site. It’s catchy, short, easy to remember, but in the back of my mind I’ve always been aware that I do a lot more than “just training.”

Over the past year I’ve transitioned from thinking and working about “training” to focusing more on the end result–performance and answering the question of how do we improve the services and the quality of service we provide to our customers. Sometimes training is the answer but more often it’s not. Training is only a small part of a solution in performance consulting.

I’ve also recently become the managing editor of ALA Learning, the official blog of the Learning Round Table of the American Library Association. When Peter Bromberg first asked me to take over the helm, I wondered how I would keep up with contributing to two training blogs. But I’ve found that being a part of a group blog, especially this group, is very rewarding. Seriously how can one go wrong when working with this crew? The quality and depth of content is far more than any one person could provide without making it a full time job.

So with ALA Learning under way and with performance consulting in mind, I’ve decided to take a leap of faith and move my content to LoriReed.com where I will continue to write about topics relevant to libraries about training but with a much broader focus. I’m also planning to write more about a topic very close to my heart–work/life balance and the trials and tribulations of being a working mom with a successful career. Don’t worry, I’m not about to become a mommy blogger! No tales of dirty diapers or moonsand to give you nightmares. I’m planning to focus more on the answer to the question that I get asked more than any other–how do you do it all?

There is a rumor that you can’t have it all. I disagree! You can have it all but you have to be very focused on what is you want and why. You also have to accept the fact that sometimes you can’t have it all at once. Life really is a marathon and not a sprint. I remind myself of that every day.

I hope you will follow me over to LoriReed.com. This is a great week for the transition since it is also Round 4 of the Library Day in the Life project created by Bobbi Newman. Therefore I take back the promise of no moonsand stories. You might see a few of those this week. :)

If you are a LibraryTrainer subscriber, please update your feed to: http://feeds.feedburner.com/lorireed.

If you prefer an email subscription click here.

Thanks to everyone who has followed Library Trainer for the past two years. It’s having readers like you, who provide comments and interaction from the faceblogotwittofriendfeedosphere, that make blogging a fun and satisfying endeavor.

A Day in the Life With Lori Reed – Monday

I am so glad that Bobbi Newman started this Library Day in the Life meme. I was part of the first round in 2008 and was amazed at the response I got to combining my work/home lives into my posts. I’m continuing that for this round.

6:00am

Why oh why does 6:00am seem so early. Until this month I had been getting up at 7:00am for years and years. At 6:00am it’s still dark and I don’t want to be awake. But my two kids have to be at two different schools and it takes a much longer time to get a 2-year-old dressed and ready to go in the mornings than it did when she was a baby. I fix my hair and makeup while the kids watch TV in bed. My 5-year-old son asks why I do this and I respond to look pretty. He melts my heart with his response of, “But mom you’ve been pretty for years.”

7:30am

My son and I are out the door and I take him to school. He’s in Kindergarten and it’s a teacher work day so I have to walk him inside to sign him in for the enrichment program that our school system provides for after school and teacher workdays.

8:00am

I arrive at work. Make a pot of hot tea. Open my email and immediately begin processing. During the last round of Library Day in the Life I posted about my frustration with email and Kevin Crenshaw commented about a solution. I followed up with Kevin and he offered me a free trial of his product with training and we have been in contact ever since. When I have more time I’m planning another series of posts about the training and process I went through to get my email problems under control. Kevin is a great person to follow on Twitter. His profile says that he is the father of 10 children! If anyone knows about time management, it’s someone with 10 children!

9:00am

I begin the arduous task of scheduling training for our staff for the 2010 calendar year. This takes up more hours of the day then I want to remember. There is so much that goes into planning and scheduling over 50 training sessions. For example:

  • I am lucky enough to work with a team of about 20 staff who facilitate staff training in addition to their normal jobs. Each of their individual schedules has to be taken into consideration. Who works what night? Who has days off during the week because of working a weekend? Who is taking vacation when?
  • We don’t want to schedule training when other large meetings or events are taking place. Anytime staff are out of the building it affects the ability of other staff to go to training.
  • We don’t want to schedule training on election days because many locations double as a polling place or early voting location. Parking can be an issue, and we are much busier on these days.
  • We don’t want to schedule training during summer reading because our libraries and staff are busy, busy, busy! The same goes for school holidays, teacher workdays, etc. I have a big master calendar with all of these dates written in.
  • Some training requires very large rooms. For instance, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention requires a room large enough for classroom space and physical maneuvers as well.
  • Other training requires computer labs or other specialized resources found only at certain libraries.
  • We have 23 libraries spread across a large geographic area so each class needs to have sessions offered at different libraries across the county. We wouldn’t want to have all sessions for one class in one geographic area.
  • Lastly we don’t want to have any two training sessions happen at the same time. This makes it very difficult to fill both classes and thus does not properly utilize our most valuable resource–our staff’s time.

2:00pm

Take a break from planning to call the ALA Learning Round Table President Pat Carterette. We talk about the name change for the round table and where we are in the process of getting a new logo. I share the designs I received from our graphic artist and we pick two to move forward with.

I follow up with the artist to give her feedback on the 8 logos she sent us. Tell her the final two we selected and give a few suggestions for refining them.

2:30pm

Phone call with one of our librarians who facilitates Readers Advisory training for staff. Have a discussion about how to move forward with converting this training to self-paced training. Refer her to some additional resources that may help.

3:00pm

Meet with our director of research, innovation, and strategy about implementing Web Ex as a tool for synchronous learning. Discuss the pros and cons of online training and meetings and how to balance the need for bandwidth for staff training with the need for bandwidth for our customers using the Internet in our libraries.

4:00pm

Back to scheduling training.

4:45pm

The alarm goes off on my phone. It’s my 15-minute warning to wrap things up so I can leave in time to pick my son up from school.

5:30pm

I rush out the door because I got tied up on the phone trying to reserve rooms for training. I realize that I even forgot to have lunch today. In the car I call Sandra Smith from the Denver Public Library. She is one of the people I am interviewing for the book I am coauthoring about leadership for trainers. We catch up and make plans for our next interview.

5:59pm

Rush into the school since at 6:00pm I start getting billed $1 a minute for being late. My son greets me by shouting “MOMMMEEEEEEEE” from across the room and runs to give me a hug so tight I can hardly breathe. It takes my breath away (literally) and puts a much needed smile on my face. He immediately tells me all about his field trip to ImaginOn which happens to be a library a block from where I work, and I feel a pang of guilt that I could not get away for even a few moments to say hi to him and his class while they were visiting.

6:15pm

We arrive home, and I have a massive headache. My son turns the TV on and I immediately begin unpacking my laptop so I can keep working. Now that I have most of the training scheduled I need to create a calendar we can publish for staff. Today is the deadline to have this project done and it’s my job to get this done no matter how long it takes.

7:00pm

My husband gets home with our daughter and she also screams “MOMMMEEEEEEEE” as soon as she sees me at the computer. There is no point in trying to work until I give her some attention. So I step away from the computer to spend some quality time holding her.

7:30pm

My husband tells me to go take a bath and some medicine for my headache. I do this and am thankful that he is home and feeding the kids.

8:00pm

My husband bathes the kids, reads stories to them, and puts them to bed. Again I remind myself of how lucky I am. I finish the training calendar then begin looking at what I missed today on Twitter and my other social networks. I also work on the final touches for my new site. I realize that it is Library Day in the Life Week from the trends on Twitter. I’m excited because this ties into everything I am doing this week with my own site as well as ALA Learning. But at the same time I realize that this week will also sh0w how unbalanced my life is right now. I spent less than an hour with my kids today and between my real job, social networking, and my web site I will have spent 16 hours on the computer today.

12:00am

I am still on the computer and chatting with Marianne Lenox. I realize what time it is and have to abruptly end the chat with Marianne who I hope understands. Then it’s off to bed with my mind racing about what’s left to do tomorrow.

So that’s my Monday. :) How was yours?

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