Whew! What a great conference. Chicago was beautiful, the conference logistics worked really well, and I have so much to share! The following are some broad trends. I will be able to go into more detail in future posts.
- Furniture - the connectivity in furniture keeps getting better and better. Modular units of seating and tables that can be reconfigured (moved) with ease and including power and usb ports on everything. Collaboration set-ups for up to six people (with power and usb) and neat one-click share features. Wow. Ergonomic seating for adults and children, allowing for squirming and proper back alignment. Adjustable (with a touch of a button) height circulation desk for people who want to either stand or sit at circulation or for those with special needs at the circulation desk.
- Vendor representatives were pretty tough. Not a lot of willingness to negotiate anything. This was not just my experience but that of others I spoke with at the conference. None of us were 'big fish' though.
- As a whole, we don't seem to be accepting the Outcome-Based Evaluation model. Still. Hmmm.
- As a whole, we do seem to be partnering and collaborating with all kinds of libraries and organizations beyond libraries, and finding that all sorts of these relationships provide better services to our customers even if we didn't specifically plan it.
- STEM topics were ubiquitous, probably encouraged by next summer's Collaborative Summer Library Program, which has a STEM theme.
Some things remain the same. Librarians want to share their experiences, what they've tried, what worked, what didn't work very well. Thousands of libraries are trying new and experimental things. If you don't want to be the first, that's O.K. But their experiences are available to you through an e-mail conversation or telephone call. You should be excited and invigorated about some part of your library work. I know that I am!
Libraries have long recognized the need to support the visually impaired, in addition to supporting those with other physical challenges. Large print collections have been the standard although with e-readers' ability to enlarge most file types, this now seems to be the preferred format because it opens up the possibility of many more authors and works. As many libraries have found, however, navigating the e-reader and e-book landscape by owning a group of e-readers is anything but straightforward. And you're still only offering a fraction of your total collection to the visually impaired customer. Enter OrCam. A small camera attaches to your glasses, which is connected to a wearable computer. It reads printed text (among other things) and then provides the information "...through a bone conduction ear piece." (from the website linked above) Now, everything in your library will be readable by the person using this device. You can find some sponsorship for that right?
Markoff, John. "Device from Israeli start-up gives the visually impaired a way to read." New York Times, Tuesday, June 4, 2013.
On June 14, 2013, SWON Libraries' Executive Board elected your officers for fiscal year 2013-2014. Thanks for agreeing to serve!
Dave Anderson - President (re-elected)
Joe Kneuven - Vice-President
Jennifer Spillman - Treasurer
Angela Smith - Secretary
Looking forward to a great year!
Each year, SWON Libraries' Executive Board, reads and discusses a book. We met June 14th and wrapped up our thoughts on Our iceberg is melting: changing and succeeding under any conditions by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber. Naturally, the Board members had different 'takeaways' from the book based on their individual experiences and environments.
There are a lot of impressive things about Elder High School. On a recent tour, I was amazed at the quality and level of work on display by the students. From the "LEGO Elder" (see photo), to the Nationally recognized artists/students (see Murphy '13 and Tiernan '15 To Receive National Scholastic Art Awards at Carnegie Hall), to the artistic output of the AP Computer Science class (algorithm images), creativity and hard work were on display everywhere.
Mary Ploehs, the librarian at Elder, is proud that the library is used by the entire community. It's a very flexible place!