Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library

Last month I gave my very first webinar, Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library, for WebJunction. There were over a hundred participants, and I have been asked to give an encore presentation. How cool is that! If you are free I’d love to have you join in and contribute your thoughts about learning in libraries.

Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library
August 5, 11:00 AM Pacific/2:00 PM Eastern

Lori Reed will show how to create a culture of learning in your library. This is an encore presentation. Join us for a free hour-long webinar focused on helping library managers, trainers and front-line staff succeed with online learning. Please register for the webinar and you will be sent instructions for joining and preparing your computer.

ALA Part VI: WebJunction and MaintainIT Project

WebJunction Member Advisory-Advisory Breakfast

Monday morning started with a WebJunction member advisory-advisory breakfast. Participants included library staff who have collaborated with WebJunction previously and represented a variety of library sizes and types. It was a small group and allowed for informal discussion and brainstorming about how a member advisory committee should function.

WebJunction Members Advisory, Advisory Breakfast

Keeping Your Computers Up and Running — We Can Help!

The afternoon session I attended was “Keeping Your Computers Up and Running — We Can Help!” Speakers were Diane Neal, North Carolina Central University, Jennifer Peterson, WebJunction, and Brenda Hough, MaintainIT Project. You’ll be hearing a lot more from me on this subject in the months to come as I begin hosting MaintainIT Project webinars in the Southeast.

Later in the afternoon I took a walk around the exhibit hall again, ran into lots of biblioblogosphere friends, then headed back to my hotel to pack. I had a 10pm flight out of LAX and had hoped to sleep during the 5-hour flight home. Instead I was seated between some loud, intoxicated people who insisted on talking the entire flight home.

6am arrival in Charlotte and interestingly enough on the shuttle from the airport to the parking lot all 3 passengers were returning from ALA. The orange totes can probably be spotted from up in the air! But it was a nice way to find colleagues.

ALA Part IV: A Busy Saturday

The Stacks
Saturday after the Empowerment Breakfast I headed over to the vendor exhibits cleverly called “The Stacks” and arranged in Dewey order from 000s to 900s. I’ve heard that ALA Annual has the largest gathering of vendors in the world. If that’s not true it sure felt like it!

If you were there for the ribbon cutting and initial opening this is what you saw:


Exhibits Open uploaded by ALA

Luckily I waited a few hours and the crowds had gotten much smaller:

The Stacks uploaded by debrickb

Being an ALA first-timer the exhibit hall was slightly overwhelming. My advice to other first timers is to tear out the exhibit hall map ahead of time, go through the list of vendors and choose who you want to see, then highlight the vendors on the map so you can plan your time (and walking) accordingly.

I noticed that there seem to be two kinds of conference goers–those who want to collect as much stuff as possible and those who want to collect as little as possible. I was somewhere in the middle and only collected what is relevant to me. But there were a few with rolling carts overflowing with freebies. Conveniently there is an on site UPS facility where you can roll your cart over, package, and ship your items back to your library.

I ran into Meredith Farkas and her husband Adam in the exhibit hall. I can’t say it enough, but this is the great thing about the biblioblogosphere, even though I had never met Meredith before, it was like running into an old friend. She’s even nicer in person. 🙂

WebJunction Library 2.0 Café
Saturday afternoon I attended and hosted a table at the WebJunction Library 2.0 Café. The idea behind this comes from the World Café Model which is that we have as much (if not more) to learn from our participants as they do from us. Tables around the room were draped in flip chart paper with colored markers. Each table had a host to facilitate the discussion and every 10-minutes the participants changed tables. The question discussed was: How can your library apply 2.0 concepts and tools in a relevant way to engage your community?


Photos uploaded by the MaintainIT Project

We had some amazing discussions at each table. Now the really cool thing was that in addition to our participants in the room we had virtual participants from around the country as well. My good friend (who I’ve also never met in person) Stephanie Zimmerman, Training Coordinator for the Library System of Lancaster County (PA) hosted a virtual table using Wimba Classroom. There was even a webcam and microphone set up so Stephanie and the other virtual participants could see and hear the room in Anaheim.

WebJunction Library 2.0 Cafe

You can read some the ideas participants came up with during the session and join in the conversation about using 2.0 concepts to engage our communities over at the WebJunction Wiki. Feel free to join in the discussion!

ACRL Poster Session Learning Virtually: Online Professional Development for Library Workers with Tight Budgets and Full Schedules
Immediately after the Library 2.0 session I went to set up for the ACRL Poster Session Learning Virtually: Online Professional Development for Library Workers with Tight Budgets and Full Schedules. If you’ve never been to a poster session it is a lot like a science fair. There are literally huge posters that each participant has carefully designed, had printed, and transported to the convention center. Each participant is available to talk about the information being presented.
ACRL Poster Session on Distance Learning

This is a great time to meet and network with colleagues from around the country with similar interests as you.


Academic Library 2.0: Self-Paced Guided Training for Faculty and Staff by Colleen S. Harris, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


Next Generation Professional Development: Survival of the Twittest. Using Social Networking Tools to Learn and Stay Current by Cindi Trainor, Eastern Kentucy University; Jezmynne Westcott, The Claremont Colleges

My Display -
…and my display LOL @ the Library (Live Online Learning @ PLCMC)

Saturday night staff from my library were treated to dinner by our director at Mr. Stox restaurant. The food was amazing and the atmosphere though formal was very relaxing.

As you can see it was a busy day (as they all were) which is why I did not get any blogging done during the actual conference.

Cultivating a Culture of Learning in Libraries Archive

If you missed Tuesday’s WebJunction webinar, you can view it here, and you can join in on the follow-up discussion over at BlogJunction.

Thank You and Lessons Learned: Cultivating a Culture of Learning in Libraries

Wow thank you to everyone who attended the webinar today on learning at WebJunction. Emily is working on uploading the archive which will include video and audio as well as a copy of the PowerPoint slides. I’m working on writing a post for BlogJunction summarizing some of the ideas and answering all of the questions that were asked. Feel free to email me if you have more questions.

In the spirit of learning I have to share with you what it was like today from behind the scenes.

First, it takes a lot of time to prepare for a webinar. Luckily I knew that in advance from reading Michele Martin’s post about her first webinar. In a face to face session you can wing it and adjust your content based on audience reaction. Online it’s a little different.

Second, you have to rehearse. I rarely rehearse for face to face training, but because online learning is so different it is essential to rehearse and ensure that your presentation is in synch with the technology.

Third, as Douglas Adam’s says, “Don’t Panic!” It does not matter how many times you rehearse, how well you know the material, or how fast your Internet access is. Stuff happens.

I delivered today’s webinar from home where I thought I would have faster Internet access and less distractions. I had two computers set up, one as a presenter, one as a participant so I could see both sides of the presentation. I dialed in on a land-line rather than rely on VoIP. I wore a headset so I could talk and walk around to keep my energy up. I was prepared!

But stuff happens anyway. Within the first minute my headset speaker fell off the headset. Then about 5 or 10 minutes into the webinar I asked everyone to answer a question in chat, “In one word what is the difference between training and learning?” I waited patiently for responses. None. I asked the question again. Empty chat box. I panicked and thought, “Wow no one is interested in this topic.” Little did I know that the answers were flying by on the screen.

From that point on I was pretty much flying blind. Thank goodness for Emily and her skills as a producer. I think she knew before I even said anything that something was wrong on my end technically. For some reason both my computers lost their connection to the WebJunction classroom. Rather than make a fuss about it, I just relied on the printed out copy of the slides. (Thank goodness I’m not 100% green yet.)

During all of this my cat decided to make an offering to me by puking a hairball at my feet. I’m surprised no one heard him. 🙂

Then the call got dropped. I didn’t even know that happened on land lines. Maybe it was the cat and he really wanted to tell me something. Like I said though, stuff happens.

It’s funny now looking back at it all. Think about it. How many things do we try to control or force? Some things are beyond your control.

Lesson Learned: You have to be flexible and able to adapt. You never know when the unexpected is going to happen and when it does you have two choices, panic or roll with it. Sometimes it’s probably a little of both. The key is knowing when to sweat (ideally do it before you have an audience) and never letting them see you sweat (which I hope I succeeded in doing today).

Again thank you to everyone who came today to hear my ideas about learning and libraries. Stay tuned to BlogJunction for some follow up discussions later this week.