by Michelle Ralston LTLS Consultant
On Thursday morning, I attended the Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSCP) meeting. The LSSCP is an ALA-APA program that will start in 2010, but is being tested this fall. This meeting was mainly focused on advisory board decisions, and I was the only representative from the field test sites. I gave a report on where LTLS was in the process of course development. Being at the meeting gave me the opportunity to learn more about the program and watch as they developed a mission and marketing materials. Later in the week ALA approved the LSSCP.
For this ALA conference, I maintained primarily a 2.0 focus, but also attended other programs that kept in line with my interests.
One of my favorite things about ALA is the auditorium speaker series, which brings in all different types of authors. This year I went to hear Gregory Maguire and Melba Pattillo Beals.
Gregory Maguire is best known for his series that starts with Wicked. I went for enjoyment, but he talked on a topic that I think is very interesting. He talked about his writing and how he was playing with "stolen property". Maguire writes using characters from stories that everyone grew up knowing. He "steals" those characters for his own stories, and makes new classics. He is a great speaker and storyteller.
I was very fortunate to hear Melba Pattillo Beals speak. Dr. Beals was one of the 9 black students who were integrated into a white high school in Little Rock, AR. Listening to the story of her life was amazing and I was glad that her session fit into my schedule. She has authored 2 books about her experience, and I plan on reading them in the near future.
Life After 2.0
The best thing I learned from this session was that it takes time before actual 2.0 can be implemented and the reason for that is that the technology has to come to some kind of standstill before real implementation can take place. That is where we are right now. Even though there are new programs and sites coming up, the main technology is now there and is ready for us to use it. We need to remember though, that 2.0 is like a free kitten. Free to get started, but will need an investment of time from staff. This is very important for libraries to remember: Staff must have time to work on whichever 2.0 project you decide on.
This session was to help smaller libraries decide which 2.0 options they should be looking at. The most important deciding factor for libraries when looking at 2.0 options is to make sure whatever it is, it fits into your library's mission and vision. This session included examples of what was working best for smaller libraries, technologies that kept coming up: flickr, meebo chat, rss feeds, blogs, event calendars and the Amazon wish list. (The last one is a very interesting idea that the library makes a list of what they need on Amazon and then anyone can make a "donation." ) It's important to allow staff time to the 2.0 project and only try one or two projects at a time. If they don't work, don't continue them, and try something else instead.
Library and Mobile Devices
This session talks about how important it is for libraries to think about mobile devices. There are few libraries that have a mobile phone webpage or application. These are 2 services that could greatly increase usage of the library. Think of how your friend tells you of a book, you could immediately go onto the library's website or application and see if they had it and put it on hold to pick up later. No more forgetting what that book is you wanted to read. Both the libraries and the patrons would benefit from this.
Multiple Intelligence in Your Library
Everyone had different ways of learning and that is what multiple intelligences are. Some people learn by doing, seeing, hearing, writing, etc. The point of this session was that when libraries hold programs, they should consider the different intelligences. Not every program can have all 9 intelligences rolled into one, but to add several different aspects to appeal to a wider audience and will help more people benefit from the program. This is incredibly important with children's programming.
Cool Teen Programs Under $100
This program included several librarians up and talking about the programs that they held for under $100. There is a forthcoming book that has the programs talked about and many more. My 2 favorite projects were Fear Factor Food and Murder Mystery. Fear Factor Food makes a competition of eating gross combinations of food. The winner eats them all and doesn't get sick! Murder Mystery has the teens put on a small play, which then the library produces and puts on. The library can even make money off the play proceeds to put towards other teen programs. I’d jump at a chance to do either program.