When we all contribute

In thinking about our Library 2.5 session at NECC, Feed, Tag, Research: Remixing for Library 2.5, I’m realizing one of the best parts of it was the ensemble. (In fact, most of the sessions I participated in were ensembles and it’s exciting to see the collaboration at work.)  I’ve posted a challenge at the end of this post for tech coordinators and librarians–so more of us can collaborate.

Even though I was part of the panel, I got to experience the excitement of listening to so many other great professionals share their passion for what they do, and it was a great learning experience just listening to Diane Cordell, Cathy Nelson, Joyce Valenza, Judy O’Connell and Anita Beaman and seeing Kim Cofino’s presentation as well.

You come away from conferences both invigorated and humbled, because no matter what you know, you have so much to learn and from so many unexpected places, too.

Joyce as always challenged us to communicate with vendors what we need–she worries that databases are still too difficult to access, and wants vendors to create web 2.0 types of widgets that we can embed on our library websites or that students can embed on their own iGoogle pages, so that databases are at their fingertips–great point!

Diane’s slides were so beautifully done and she shared much wisdom about seeking through reference interviews to understand your customers/teachers/students and provide gentle scaffolding to support them. Cathy shared her insights about speaking to others outside the echo chamber and the importance of attending/presenting at conferences outside of the library field, like grade specific conferences and subject area conferences and administrative conferences, where we need to partner with the other professionals we work with in our buildings.

My area was how we can better partner with our administrators by seeking out their mission and vision and trying to support that, always keeping in mind that our role is keeping students first, not just the library program itself.

Anita shared some really creative ways that you can use web 2.0 tools to embed the “love of reading” onto your library website, and how to better connect print and the web. And Judy shared the global nature of our work and reminded us that students aren’t even digital natives anymore, they are just digital.

I’m featuring Kim’s video here since we ran out of time in the presentation and I’d like it to be shared. I regret that we didn’t show it first so that we could honor her incredible work and leadership in combining information literacy and library services to form a 21st century team at her school.

Kim Cofino presentation

If you weren’t able to watch the whole presentation live via Ustream but would like to know more about it, you can find the video and the links to all of our slides and resources on our wiki site. (The sound of the Ustream is missing in a little part of it, but comes back, by the way.)

After the session, Susanna Garza of Region 20 in San Antonio remarked to me that she also wished we’d been able to spend time talking about how to build better bridges between the tech departments and libraries. Kim’s presentation speaks to how their school has rethought that. I think that Susanna’s comment is an excellent suggestion, and am thinking it would actually be really exciting to hold some sort of online “discussion” with a panel of librarians and IT/tech staff to talk about how they can understand one another better. Anyone game for that?

Thanks also to Jenny Luca for encouraging us to share our presentation globally, and to Derrall Garrison for ustreaming it. Your help is much appreciated!

4 thoughts on “When we all contribute

  1. That discussion sounds very interesting. I am the Tech Director for PENNCREST School District in PA (we are rebuilding our district website, but school wesites are http://schools.penncrest.org ). We have been working with our librarians to help them to see their changing role in education. We block as little as necessary and encourage the use of collaborative tools- our 7-12 students all have GoogleApps accounts and staff is coming on board with working collaboratively with students. Would love to be involved somehow in this conversation. Connie

  2. Carolyn,

    It was lovely to finally meet you face to face after all the mentoring you’ve done for me.

    If I can add to the conversation, I’d love to be a part of it.


  3. There is a major issue with students of all ages accessing databases over their computers and even over library computers. I’m currently enrolled in college, and the database search engine only searches the school library’s internal database. I have not yet found any links or searches that link to outside databases from other schools, who are rich in content particular to all sorts of subjects.
    Since I am a foreign language education major, a lot of my researched material comes from outside my school’s own database, because my school is not widely recognized for its foreign language resources. I have to search nearly twice as hard, clicking on link after link, and having many trials and errors, due to the lack of availability of a search engine’s accuracy and precision. I believe at my school, the library’s been responsible for maintaining its internet databases, and doesn’t request outside help.

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