rural

Notes from the back room of a small rural library: this I believe

I was driving to work one day, down the miles of dirt road, listening to an audio book version of the This I Believe. This I Believe is a radio program of the personal philosophies of folks the what they believe to be true. (Hmm.., you say, I thought this was a tech blog. I'll get there..never fear, but I warn you this will be a looooong train.)

No trees were harmed in the making of this conference

For those of you who have never visited (or heard of) a virtual conference, let me set the scene:  hundreds of librarians huddle in front of PCs in their homes and small libraries across Iowa on a particularly freezing January day with coffee in hand.  All are about to take part in a conference, without going anywhere.  Keynoters Sarah Houghton-Jan and George Needham bookend the day while breakout sessions, poster sessions and even a virtual exhibit hall give every attendee the full conference experience – all without travel, or cost. 

empty pockets? go to an online conference!

Conferences are expensive to run and to attend, and those costs keep many of us at home, wishing we had the funds to travel away from our desks. But with new technologies cropping up daily, low-cost alternatives are surfacing that make learning from the experts a little easier on the pocketbook.

It's like a juke box that dispenses books!

Loren MccRory, Director of the Yuba County Library in Marysville, CA, is a frequent contributor to the MaintainIT Project. She has shared her experiences in the Cookbooks, she was highlighted in a Library Spotlight, and she guest blogs for the project.

Go west to the ARSL conference!

Well, I'm certain many folks will be going west to the Association for Rural and Small Libraries conference--I'll be driving a bit eastward, but I love the pioneering spirit, the trailblazing moxie that "go west!" evokes.

More stories about gaming

A couple stories have captured my attention recently since Chris' last post on gaming...

First off, the Verizon Foundation announced recently that they made a grant to ALA for a research effort to determine the link between gaming, library attendance, and literacy in libraries. Included in this grant is a "gaming model for the nation's 9,000 public libraries" developed by "experts"--I'm curious to learn what this will look like!

Wish list 2.0

Libraries have been quite successful using wish lists to expose their needs. When a community member sees something tangible they can donate, such as a printer or a bookshelf, they often feel motivated to help out. This is not a new idea. At the Rural Library Sustainability Workshop, libraries shared stories of televisions, paint, art supplies, and other commodities community members donated.