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The Influence of Technology

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The first time I heard someone talk about the struggle to prepare students for careers and jobs that don’t currently exist, I could only imagine some sort of futuristic science fiction type of world. But now I realize that this has already happened in my life. The methods I use to contribute to the MaintainIT project were not possible in the early 90’s when I was in library school--webinars, blog postings, and downloadable books. But really, the skills I focused on in my formal education: writing, research, and librarianship are still the foundation of my work today. However, it made me start thinking about how technology affects libraries and librarians today.

Web 2.0... for your patrons!

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An interesting thread on publib last week covered a discussion around web 2.0 and how it's used in libraries. I think Sara Weissman from the Morris County Library (NJ) said it best when she mused, "What are the patrons getting out of any/all of this?" Sara continued, "the most effective channels to/for our patrons, to date, are an events listserv (995 subscribers, no postage!) and electronic reference via good-ole web form/e-mail."

Techies and Non-techies: We know we need each other!

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I have to admit, after listening to the Aug. 13th 30-Minute MaintainIT Webinar, the Gershwin song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" kept going through my mind. No, not because I wanted to break up with MaintainIT (we have such a great relationship!), but because of the title, "I say tomayto, you say tomahto: Communicating with techies and non-techies: Can’t we all just get along?"

Why you should let your teen patrons design the library's MySpace profile

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk with Cara Sawyer from the Cherryfield Free Public Library, a small independent library in Maine. Cara informed me that she recently decided to replace their little-used web site with a MySpace page, and she enlisted the teens that use the library’s two public access computers to help her set it up and maintain it.

Stop flipping burgers and come to the library!

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This spring, I had the pleasure of attending a regional conference in Colorado, sponsored by the Colorado Consortium of Libraries (CLiC). I met so many inspiring, creative, and hard-working librarians. Most everyone in attendance worked in a rural library, and everyone had much to share. One session I attended was about open source, which featured Judy Van Acker, Kieran Hixon, and Jesse Weaver, from the John C. Fremont Library District in Florence, CO.

Learning as I go: thoughts on migrating to Koha (take two)

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Remember how I was a library director the last time I blogged about Koha? Life was so much simpler then. Koha migration from the administrative side is full of "opportunities for creative problem solving," like figuring out how to keep track of decisions, discussions, questions, bugs, problems, perks, and quirks related to the catalog and the migration process.

WEBINAR tomorrow and NEW content!

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When a computer breaks down, do you have problems communicating your issue to a techie? When you're trying to convey a technology concept to an end user, do you struggle to make clear your point? Do you feel sometimes like techies and non-techies speak diifferent languages?

"W00T! Nothing exploded!"

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Nothing like a big sigh of relief and an accompanying yelp of unfettered joy about a job well done--a deployment with zero explosions--as expressed by Evette Atkin, Systems Librarian for the Michigan Evergreen project at the Michigan Library Consortuim (MLC). Kudos to the Branch District Library for being MLC's first member library to migrate to Evergreen.

This Wednesday, "I say tomayto, you say tomahto..."

Faithful followers of content on the MaintainIT site may have noticed a shiny new chapter now available on the Cookbooks page. It's a sneak peek at the forthcoming Cookbook - a chapter on Communicating with Techies and Non-Techies. And it's here just in time to complement the 30-minute webinar we're hosting over at WebJunction on Wednesday.

Webinars for Trainers: One that was and one that will be

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Thank you to everyone who attended this month's train-the-trainer webinar! We discussed ideas for using MaintainIT resources in training. I highlighted resources that are available, talked about examples of trainings that are taking place, and asked the participants for ideas, too.

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