Upcoming Online Workshops

An Introduction to E-Readers for Libraries

In this four hour class taught in two, two hour increments on consecutive days, participants will first examine the history of e-text and free sources for e-content as well as digital rights management. Next we’ll examine the variety of e-readers on the market today as well as the pros and cons of each. On the second day we will discuss ideas for circulating and programming with e-readers and look at examples of libraries with successful e-reader programs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the basics of digital rights management.
  • Be familiar with at least three resources for free e-content.
  • Be able to recognize a Barnes and Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle as well as discuss the pros and cons of each.
  • Know what needs to be considered in planning to circulate or plan a program with e-readers.

Lyrasis, Tuesday, January 24 and Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10am-12noon EST

Register here: http://www.lyrasis.org/Classes%20and%20Events/Catalog/A/An%20Introduction%20to%20EReaders%20for%20Libraries%20Live%20Online.aspx


Cultivating a Culture of Learning in Your Library

How much time does your library spend on “training?” Statistics show that most learning takes place on the job or with a coworker, yet as trainers we spend an inordinate amount of time preparing for and delivering classroom training. In this webinar you will learn why you need to get your staff out of the classroom and instead focus on creating a culture of learning in your library. We explore:

  • The differences between training and learning
  • The benefits to libraries for creating a culture of learning
  • The key elements of a learning organization
  • Tips for creating a culture of learning in any size library

NEFLIN, Tuesday, January 26, 2012 10am – 11:30am EST

Register here: http://neflin.actevapsn.com/view_my_events.php

Free for NEFLIN members. Anyone outside of Florida should contact register@neflin.org for fees and registration procedures.


Building a Personal Learning Solution

Learning never stops and no one person can know it all, do it all, or learn it all! Get help fast, when you need it, by calling on experts in your personal learning network. Take advantage of additional opportunities to learn from your network of peers, with tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. By the end of the session, participants will develop an action plan for creating their own personal learning solutions.

In this session, participants will be able to:

  • Crowdsource answers to questions big and small from your personal learning network
  • Employ tips from learning professionals to stave off burnout and information overload
  • Create their own personal online learning environments
  • Develop strategies for cultivating and using learning networks

LibraryLinkNJ, Tuesday, January 31, 2012 3-4pm EST

Register here: http://librarylinknj.org/content/building-personal-learning-solution

Free for New Jersey library staff.

Workplace Learning & Leadership News

As Paul Signorelli wrote a few weeks ago, “It’s a book!” After two years of research, interviews, and writing, Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Nonprofit Trainers is available.

Paul and I worked with an amazing group of contributors who volunteered countless hours letting us interview them about best (and worst) practices in leadership in training.

An excerpt of the book is in the May/June 2011 issue of American Libraries.

My son says learning is the key to happiness!

A few weeks ago the Adventures in Library Instruction Podcast team, Jason, Anna, and Rachel, discussed the book and how it applies to academic librarians on episode 26 of . It was fascinating to listen to their take on it and especially to hear the “aha” moments they had on the show. Jason was also one of the people interviewed for the book.

Paul and I will be signing copies at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on Friday evening at the exhibits opening in the ALA Editions booth. We’ll also be at the Learning Round Table Training Showcase on Sunday from 1:30-3:30 where you will have a chance to win a copy of the book in the raffle along with other fabulous prizes. The Training Showcase is something you don’t want to miss if you are involved in any type of library training.

If you are at ALA please stop by and say hi!

10 Tips for Surviving Budget Cuts and Layoffs

It’s that time of the year when many local and state governments as well as nonprofits and libraries go through the budget period for the upcoming fiscal year. As we continue through the Great Recession many workers find themselves on the chopping block. While layoffs are never easy, they seem worse for employees who work for local governments, schools, libraries, and nonprofits. Many of those employees see their job as more of a calling than a career which makes the possibility of a loss of job feel like a loss of self.

Save New Jersey Libraries by Nancy Dowd

I speak from experience on all sides of the layoff experience. It’s never pleasant, but you can get through it!  Here are ten tips to help anyone survive impending layoffs.

  1. Don’t take it personally. This is the most important tip. While it may feel personal if you’ve been notified your job may or will be eliminated, it’s really not. It’s a business decision and comes down to a matter of cash available versus cash needed to run the organization. If your personal income were suddenly cut, you’d have to adjust and find things to cut from your bottom line like cable, cell phones, or dining out. While many organization have already scaled back in previous years, the only thing left to cut back is staff. It’s so hard to remember this in the midst of the moment, but the more you can remember that this is a business decision and not a personal one, the better off you will be.
  2. If something is stressful to you, stop. For me watching the local government meetings is like sport. I love to yell at the TV and throw things when one of the County Commissioners says something I don’t agree with. However, last year (and again this year) when it was my job on the line, I had to stop watching the meetings. It caused unnecessary stress and I knew if something important happened, I’d hear about it the next day. I also had to stop reading comments on local news sites. The comments incite me and only reflect the opinions of the few people with nothing better to do than comment anonymously all day.
  3. Channel your energy and anger into something constructive and positive. Last year I created SaveLibraries.org as a way to help all libraries going through budget cuts. Advocacy helped me get through a horrible time because I was focusing on parts of my life that I do have control over. This year, I’m focusing more on my family and spending time being active and engaged with my children.
  4. Take care of yourself. Sleep, eat, and exercise. It’s easy to fall into the vicious cycle of depression: sleep too much or too little + eat junk food + limit activity = feel like crap. Just like the flight attendant tells you on the plane, you have to take care of yourself first. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress.
  5. Talk to someone. Many organizations provide EAP service. EAP, employee assistance program, is a confidential service that employers pay for. You have access, at no cost to you, to counselors who can help with stress, anxiety, family problems, financial problems, or just about any problem you can think of. I’ve seen EAP counselors a number of times and they have always been very helpful. It is much more healthy for you (and your organization) for you to vent to an EAP counselor rather than your coworkers.
  6. Have a plan B. If you don’t have one, start making one. Is your resume up to date? Are you on LinkedIn? Have you asked colleagues for LinkedIn recommendations? Post your resume to job boards. Be proactive. Think about how your skills and abilities might transfer to a corporate or other non-profit environment.
  7. Before posting to Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, see if your organization has a social media policy and be sure to follow it. No matter where you work, it is a small world and you do not want to burn bridges. Additionally future employers are watching your Tweets and no one wants to hire someone who complains about a current employer. One of the reasons that I do not post about my situation is that we have a fantastic Marketing & Communications Department. We have a social media person on staff. We have a communications plan with key messages. Through my work, my name has become associated with my employer, and no matter how many disclaimers I post on Twitter, Facebook, or my website, my posts and comments become a reflection on my employer. It’s not that I would have anything bad to say. It’s that I don’t want to muddy the waters for our communications team. They have a strategy and it’s in the Library’s best interest (as well as my own) to let them handle communications about our organization.
  8. Focus on the task at hand and your core mission to the organization. Many libraries and nonprofits will notify staff months or weeks in advance of a layoff or potential layoff. I’ve heard people describe this as cruel but I can assure you it’s not meant to be. Notifications like this give you time to plan and make arrangements and adjustments to your lifestyle. The downside is it gives you a lot of time to think. One of my most difficult challenges last year at this time, was focusing on my job in the midst of the emotional turmoil within and surrounding me. Every day I had to remind myself that I am here to help our staff grow and develop professionally. When I focused on my core mission, it made it much easier to get work done each day.
  9. Think practical. Start making plans in advance. If you are on prescription medications, order 90 day supplies if your insurance allows it. Find out what your unemployment benefits will be. Most states have an online calculator that will tell you how much you will receive and for how long. Shop around for health insurance. COBRA rates are outrageous. You may do better with an individual policy that covers only catastrophic events like hospitalization. Adjust your withholding for state and federal taxes to the maximum level. If you are paid out for vacation time, this allows you to keep more of the money. As a last resort consider taking out a loan on your 401K before your last day. If you don’t pay the loan back within 60 days of termination, it will be taxed as an early withdrawal which means taxes plus a 10% penalty. If you are the sole provider for a family, this may be a necessary option.
  10. Don’t panic! Your job is only one facet of your life. Many people have found being laid off a liberating experience. This is your chance to try something new if you want or to move somewhere different. This is actually how I came to work in libraries. Laid off from a corporate job, I wanted to work for an organization where I could give back to the community. Had that layoff not happened, I would definitely be in a different place today! As Tom Hanks character says in the movie Castaway, “You never know what the tide may bring in.” I also highly recommend reading the book Start Where You Are by Chris Gardner for inspiration.

Life and Learning…Journey or Destination?

Last week I graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. After 21 years of higher education (on and off), I felt a tremendous relief at being finally done (at least with this part of my education).

My family and I made the 5 hour drive to Greenville, North Carolina to the ECU campus. As a distance ed student, I had not only never set foot on campus but had to look on a map to see where the campus was. The drive there gave me lots of time to reflect on my college (and life) experience–in between the kids asking “are we there yet?”

The next day at the graduation ceremony I lined up with the sea of 20-something year olds and walked across the stage to get my degree. I chuckled to myself when those who walked before me discovered that instead of their college degree they were actually holding an invitation to join the ECU Alumni Association. Welcome to the real world!

As I went back to my seat, I thought I would feel something…more…satisfied…accomplished. I didn’t. Instead, I suddenly realized that the important part had already happened–the journey. I felt satisfied when I received my final grades. I felt accomplished when I created a marketing plan for the ALA Learning Round Table for my PR strategies course. I felt excited when I interviewed Katherine Ramsland about the literary works of Anne Rice. I realize now that all of the joy and excitement came from the actual learning not the ceremony.

Still, I’m glad that my children got to watch me walk across the stage. Well actually just one of my children. My youngest thought it would be more fun to run barefoot, up and down the halls singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

This got me to think about parenting. Being a parent to two young children is not easy. But everyone tells me that it’s over before you know it. I remind myself daily that parenting is about the journey–good and bad.

There are so many analogies where this is true and so many cliches that I won’t repeat any of them expect to say this: The next time you find yourself completely stressed out or overwhelmed, stop and take a deep breath, and remind yourself that life, like learning, is about the journey not the destination.


The Facebook Balance – Work/Personal

Facebook has emerged as one of the top communication tools of our time. Connect with friends, family, coworkers, old friends from college and high school. But how do you manage the challenge of balancing personal information with a network that contains professional colleagues?

Facebook by Massimo Barbieri

For my capstone project at East Carolina University I am conducting research on best practices and current trends on using Facebook for work and personal use.

Please help me by completing this short survey on how you use Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/fbsurveylr

This survey is completely anonymous but I am looking for statements that can be attributed back to a source. If you would like to be interviewed for this project please contact me ASAP at lori@lorireed.com. Look for the final report to be published here in April.