Aaron @ ALA Midwinter 2010, Boston

For anyone wanting to catch up with me, here is my ALA Midwinter schedule (it’s a work in progress, I’m missing several “must attend” events which haven’t been announced (or which I’ve overlooked) but which I will attend)

The quick way to catch me is @awd on twitter or email me (yay crackberry?)

ALA Governance Events at ALA Midwinter 2010, Boston

ALA Governance (Council, Executive Board, etc.) Events for ALA Midwinter 2010 in Boston:
(updated as I learn the details)

Apparently it’s been a year or so (see previous calendar post) since I did gCal posts for ALA Governance events? I thought I’d done one for Annuals and Midwinters every time since the first one, apparently I didn’t blog them all… anyway, here y’go & enjoy!

Juxtaposition: Mobile Devices, Libraries, Public Policy

Looking for input to share on a forthcoming report

The report aims to draw from rapid spread and eventual ubiquity of mobile devices, like smartphones, e-book readers, multimedia delivery tools, looking towards the future of mobile devices from a public policy perspective with regards to libraries

  • Examine briefly the social trends and changing norms in using mobile devices
  • Examine library environment in how libraries use mobile devices
  • Goal is to explore potential benefits
    (Broadly how can mobile technologies serve library users better and get them the information they need and want?)
  • Challenges:
    • Copyright considerations and content licensing for mobile devices
    • Privacy (digital technologies can track user activities, analog books can’t) and location awareness technologies (GPS and location broadcasting services)
    • Security and bandwidth considerations for library networks (increasing mobile delivery of content, and rich multimedia content—how does this affect bandwidth planning if I want to be able to download a ebook or audiobook or film from a library to my mobile device?)
    • Access and openness issues in platforms and information standards and compatibility, DRM
  • More

What sorts of trends and/or issues do you see at the intersection of mobile devices, libraries, and existing public policy (copyright, fair use, DRM, anti-circumvention, etc.)?  What pieces of current public policy (laws, interpretations, policy decrees, etc.) support or block or run counter to user trends and/or technological abilities should an educational / informative report cover to better educate / inform legislators and policy wonks?

ALA Connect – now in gamma

Word is getting out about ALA Connect which will officially launch April 6th.  Connect is in soft-launch (or gamma) right now, so if you’ve been wanting to take a peek…

Connect is for ALA collaborative work and library-land professional networking. If you’re an ALA member, you can log in with your ALA website username & password – your Connect experience will be tailored to your ALA memberships, you’ll already be subscribed to the discussion pages for the units of which you are a member and you’ll be able to join other existing groups or create your own.  If you’re not an ALA member, you can  register on the site to participate, but you’ll need to be an ALA member to access the full functionality.

Smart Investing @ Your Library

In the course of perusing my social feeds on a day off (today), I ran across a link to an NPR story titled: “What’s New At The Library? Financial Advice“.  Having somehow missed any info on this program, most likely due to my use of the “Mark all read” feature in Bloglines after Midwinter, I asked the Council list and got loads of information.

In case you, like me, managed to miss mention of this program; here are some details and some links to more information.

ALA has partnered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority‘s (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation to produce “Smart Investing @ your library®“.  The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (IEF) provides grants to “public libraries and library networks across the country, giving millions of library patrons and their families greater access to unbiased investing information and resources”.

Smart Investing @ your library®” is jointly administered by FINRA IEF and Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

In 2008, 13 grants, totaling more than $853,000 were awarded to some great sounding programs in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Florida, California, Minnesota, Washington, Kansas, and Ohio.  

In 2009, 12 grants totaling almost $882,000 were awarded to more great sounding programs in Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, and California.

Grant recipients will use the funds to implement a variety of programs and create resources designed to increase patrons’ access to and understanding of financial information. The programs target a diverse group of patrons—among them youth, adults, seniors, families, immigrants and low-income individuals.  The libraries will use a variety of technologies and outreach strategies, including traditional classroom formats and one-on-one education. The grantees will partner with community organizations including schools, universities, community centers and local governments to expand the impact of the services and resources enabled by the grants. Library patrons will be empowered to make smart financial decisions for both long-term investing and day-to-day money matters.

Program details for Smart Investing @ your library®

This sounds like a timely initiative, I’m glad someone in my Association made this happen & wish I’d heard of it sooner (so I could brag on their efforts sooner).  Yet another reason I didn’t know to explain why I am a proud ALA member.

ALA Council Interrogatives – featuring? Me :)

Yep, I’m running for a seat on the ALA Council again this Spring.

Why would I do such a thing? I answered a few similar questions in the video above; to sum up: I’m active, I enjoy the process (which is a little scary), I am given great ideas by you, my fellow ALA members, to bring up and discuss, and I really enjoy working to improve the Association for the membership and to recognize and support the work done by various member- and staff- groups within ALA furthering the mission of our Association which really is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

ALA Membership Meetings (agenda items?)

What would you want to talk about at an ALA Membership Meeting at Midwinter 09?  The question was asked on the Council list, and I immediately thought of you.  Some suggestions were included – but what would *you* want to discuss?

Membership meetings are where the Membership gets together to “formally” tell the Council and the Association where to go (yes, occasionally “like that” but not usually)

The Committee on Membership Meetings, chaired by Stefanie Warlick, is trying to come up with a topic for the Membership Meetings at Annual Conference that will both draw members and be informative.  They’d like to get suggestions from members of Council.

Please suggest a topic of interest to you or a new slant on one of the topics they’re already considering:

1. “Value of ALA membership” – I think a major campaign is needed by ALA on this, but I’m not sure it will draw people who are at the conference; they’re more likely to know the value.

2. “ALA/library profession response to economic downturn” – this might be combined with advocacy; something like: “Grassroots Advocacy: How to Promote Libraries in Hard Times”

3. “E-Participation Update”: E-participation was what we did last year, but by annual the Task Force Report will be being debated.  Having it again may be helpful, but this wouldn’t be my first choice.

4. “Socially Responsible Investing: Can We Afford It in Hard Times?”

5. “Is ALA Too Liberal?” Although SRRT and other groups might prefer it to be “Is ALA Too Liberal or Too Conservative?” This would bring bigger crowds, I suspect.  We did something like it a couple of years ago relative to the War on Iraq.

6. “Core Competencies of Librarianship: What do library school graduates really need to know?” Just passed by the Executive Board, developed by the Presidential Task Force on Library Education. Must be approved by Council, but may be a done deal by Annual.

The meetings will also feature a “Talk to the Leaders” segment, and resolutions take precedence for the last half of the meeting.

Wanna present at ALA Annual 2009 in Chicago?

Proposals Sought for Grassroots Programs at 2009 ALA Annual Conference: Do you have a great idea for an Annual Conference program but don’t belong to a committee or other group that can plan and produce a program? As part of ALA President Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives…  See: http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/governance/officers/grassroots/grassrootsproposal.cfm

People are invited/encouraged to submit program proposals for ~10 program slots with a Feb 2009 deadline for proposals (which is an insanely short planning period for ALA Annual programs, the ‘official’ deadline for programs is something like September the year before the Conference)

The kicker, to me, is people who are not already involved within ALA groups are specifically targeted this opportunity. 

My social feeds communities are already off & running with some ideas for presenting cool stuff… you & yours (& ours, if we’re already hooked up) have a great opportunity — grab it and shake it for all it’s worth1

Budgets and resources and sanity, oh my!

I’m learning the local budgets at MPOW these days (as the guy wearing the Electronic Resources hat) and it is impressively squirrely. Without digging myself into a hole (since the library, university, state system, and state – let alone the country – are already impressively in the hole) of overly-transparent-ness: “Wow.”

Do you buy your electronic database subscriptions title by title?  Do some come in a “package?”  Do you get some via a consortium?  Do you know what your list price is for each database? Do you know how much you pay for each database “item?”  Which databases are “comes with” databases, which of these actually come free with your main subscription(s) and which have small surcharges attached?

How about your budget process? Do you get one lump sum budget with cost-centers? Do you get 2 or 3 (or more!) budgets with some things being bought wholly from one budget while others are bought with different amounts from multiple budgets?  Are we ready for one of those budgetary pots of money to disappear with the new Chancellor?  Are we ready for a possible 5% “give-back” to the State? *weep*

I was going to say “Actually it’s not as bad as all that…” but actually… well… it is.  If not worse.

Fun task #1: Report (for University Library Committee meeting) [see previous post for adventures on this front]

  • #sessions & searches (monthly, semesterly, academic yearly)
  • price per search (monthly, semesterly, academic yearly)
  • top 10 (heavily used) and bottom 10 (lightly used) databases
  • Future: map databases to departments and # of students served

Fun task #2: Identify items purchased in past few years with Performance Funds that have renewals attached and move ongoing commitments from Performance Fund to Library Budget items

Fun task #3: Budget training

Alright, enough kvetching.  I’m off to go make it happen, and I’m just the guy to do it.