Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Once again I feel the need to start a post with the "can't believe it's been so long" apology. Each year I begin with great intentions which seem to fall apart pretty quickly. Perhaps there is something to be said for consistency? Since the last post, I attended ALA - overwhelming even when not combined with the Las Vegas environment (which included 108-degree temps one day, when the monorail stopped running and I needed to walk back to the hotel - I was sure I'd just dry up on the sidewalk and disappear!). Interesting sessions and author speeches, some fun meet-ups with friends made for a good experience. Will I go again? I think the regional, smaller conferences have more to offer so I'll focus on those. In the fall I presented a session on Strategic Planning at the ASLD/PLD conference. I had just completed a planning exercise with Belgrade Community Library that went so well we wanted to share. It outlines a streamlined process for smaller libraries that can make it easier for them to achieve useful results without the overwhelming time and effort investment that is often a deterrent to even beginning the process. I'd like to submit this as a proposal to other conferences in the future (MPLA, ARSL, PNLA). The State Library has developed a pilot program for GoToMeeting, giving an account to every public library in the state. We're curious to see how it gets used and hope to be able to continue it in future years. I spent October setting up accounts, and we've been offering trainings for people to become familiar with the software. Jo flick and I will present a session at MLA in April to help promote it as well as get ideas on usage. Next month is the Offline conference in Billings. Always a fun time. My big project now is promoting the DiscoverIT search tool, showing public libraries how it can be customized to be more useful to their patrons. Three online training sessions are set for this winter, demonstrating its use and showing options, then I'll move on to the actual customization process in later training. We've been promoting this for quite some time but still don't see everyone using it to the fullest. I probably should schedule reminders on my calendar to encourage more posting - that might be helpful!

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