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Location: New Castle, Indiana

Monday, March 06, 2006

Conference Thoughts

I'm sure I'll have more to post later, but I thought I'd post a few post-conference thoughts.

One of my favorite parts of the Executive Conference is the final wrap-up session. This is where we talk about what we're taking away from the conference. It's a good time to reflect and nail down new ideas and concepts. It seems as if a lot of libraries and administrators are being held hostage by their IT department. There were a few who kept saying things like the IT department won't let me use IM (or whatever the technology might be.) And I thought 'who's the boss, here?' And basically, that's what Stephen Abrams said.

Another concern was how to convince the library board to let them use all these neat things like blogs, wikis, IM, etc. It reminded me of the recent blog workshop I did at my library. It was great! It was a small group of adults who really wanted to learn more about this new technology that they'd been hearing about. How better to convince them of the uses than to show them.

One other thing I have been thinking about is that the Executive Conference should be for more than just library directors and administrators. They have such great, inspiring speakers that I think the "techies" should sit in on some of the sessions too. I keep wondering how to inspire my new Systems Supervisor to love the library. I've been debating with myself about whether or not he should love the library. I mean, I think everyone should love the library, but we don't all have to be librarians. But, I really want him to understand how Systems fits in with the library vision as more than just tech support. These connections with our customers are so important. And, using Web 2.0 applications is going to become critical for us.

I was struck by a comment today by a comment one of the librarians made. He was telling a story about when another library director was asked about her vision for her library. She responded by saying that she wanted her library to be the best in the world. Quite a big vision. But how do you know that your library is the best in the world? The answer for them was when their public loved them. That's what I want our library to be for my community. A library that people love. We have an incredible new building. But, do we have the service to go along with it? I think we have a way to go. I want the people who work at the library to love it too. In turn, their love of the library would spill over to the people we serve. It's all about service. I wish I could make my staff understand that. It's all about service - person-to-person, in the building and virtually.

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