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Make Your Library Great in 08 February 16, 2008

Posted by sharynheili in Libraries and Librarians.
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As it turns out, there are very simple ways to make you library grr-r-r-eat!  But you knew that already didn’t you?  Here are some ideas from a WebJunction Webinar by Edmund Rossman III, “10 Ways to Make Your Library Great in 2008–via Web 2.0” 1/16/2008)

  1. Use Technology
  2. Continuously Train
  3. Polish your Comportment
  4. Reduce Clutter
  5. Handle Noise
  6. Handle Conflict
  7. Have a Plan
  8. Develop Partnerships
  9. Create Great Programming
  10. Build Staff Camaraderie

See the complete webinar slides at WebJunction.

Sharyn Heili

Technology Predictions–2008 January 2, 2008

Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.
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Predictions for 2008 abound.  These technology predictions from Tim Bajarin (Creative Strategies),  PC Magazine,  are worth sharing.  Here they are:

  • Smartphones Get Smarter
  • Flash-based Laptops Arrive
  • Introduction of the “Basic PC”
  • Social Networks Are Targeted by Botnets 
  • Smartphones Become Targets for Viruses and Identity Theft
  • Social Networks Catch On with Corporate Users
  • Little Screens Get Video
  • Corporate IT and Users Demand Green PCs
  • Apple Will Gain Significant New Market Share
  • Technology Spending Could SlowDown

See his complete post at PC Magazine; also at PC Magazine see Lance Ulanoff’s year end review and guesses for 2008 here .  How will these trends affect libraries?   Are we ready? 

 Sharyn Heili

Collaborative Team-Building December 4, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Collaboration, Teams.
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Team Blot

The following is based on an article in the November 2007 issue of the Harvard Business Review, “Ways to Build Collaborative Teams” by Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erickson who reported on research involving members of 55 teams; team size was 4–183 people.   

Eight Factors That Lead to Successful Team Collaboration

  1. Invest in signature relationship practices–provide collaborative spaces with floor plans favoring collaboration.
  2. Model collaborative behavior– where collaboration is demonstrated well at the top, teams collaborate well.
  3. Create a gift culture–mentor and coach informally; help build networks.
  4. Ensure requisite skills–positive impact on collboration where HR teaches conflict resolution, relationship-building,  and communication skills.
  5. Support sense of community–people are more comfortable reaching out and sharing knowledge where community is felt. 
  6. Assign task and relationship-oriented team leaders–both are keys to successfully leading a team.
  7. Build on heritage relationships–have a few people on teams who know each other.
  8. Understand role clarity and task ambigity–collaboration increases when team members’ roles are defined sharply, and latitude is given on task completion.

Sharyn Heili

Playing Saves Lives and Libraries November 1, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.
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San Diego Wildfires

I heard a story on NPR, Morning Edition on how San Diego radio station KPBS used technology to help residents cope with the recent wild fires. While they were forced off the air because of the fire, they used Google’s “My Map” to create a virtual map of Southern California to inform people where shelters were, what areas burned, what roads were closed, and the like. They also used set up a Twitter account to send text messages with updates and posted photos on Flickr.

Where did they learn to do this? In their free time, by playing with the technology “to find the best places to golf and to get a drink” on Google Maps their managing editor said. So they were ready to use it in important and creative ways when they could not broadcast.

How important it is to play and learn, even if you only have 15 minutes a day. And learn; be a life-long learner. Be committed to learning. Don’t accept excuses, not even your own.

We may not have lives to help save in this critical time frame, but we have libraries to save and customers to serve, keep, and grow. How can we use Google Maps, Twitter, and other Web 2.0 technology? How are we? Are we ready?

See a sample of station KPBS’s map here.

Sharyn Heili

Traits of Valuable Employees September 4, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Employees.
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Labor Day weekend is a good time to reflect on the characteristics that strong employees share, or what makes them valuable to their library or business. An article by Christine Harkness, retired business owner and author of the book, “Don’t Just Stand There, You Have a Business to Run”, listed these traits which she found to be in the strongest employees:

  • Admits to and seeks help with problems
  • Cares about others
  • Communicates and listens
  • Develops a sense of trust among members
  • Gives compliments and support to others
  • Is able to have fun and laugh together
  • Respects the privacy of others
  • Spends time talking and sharing
  • Takes turns with chores and responsibilities
  • Talks with all members equally
  • Inherent sense of right and wrong
  • Respect for others

Do we have some of these, all of these? Are we valuable to our libraries or businesses? Good reminders and food for thought and improvement.

Chrisitne Harkness’ column titled, “Employees Our Most Valuable Resource”, appeared in the Appleton Post Cresent on September 1. She is a counselor with SCORE.

Sharyn Heili

Libraries and Librarians–A Glimpse Into the Future???? August 22, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Future, Libraries and Librarians.

Libraries in 2010

Watch this video. It’s a scary (and funny) reminder of what could happen if we stay stuck in the past and do not continue learning and leading.

Snaryn Heili

WilsWorld Conference 2007–Snippets July 27, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in WilsWorld.
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Andrew Pace From keynote speaker,  Andrew Pace (NCSU):Andrew PaceAndrew Pace
2.0 is all about better, faster, cheaper–better Internet, better interfaces.  Yet libraries failed to notice that even though the sky wasn’t falling,  it was changing color all around us.  Libraries need to “get on the bus or get off at the next stop” NOW.

Library 2.0

  • Do good better–online catalog, semantic web
  • Give people what they want–self check-out, personalized service, better spaces
  • Be where the user is–RSS, MySpace, instant messaging, SecondLife,FaceBook
  • Make it more efficient–Self check-in, RFID, mass digitization, RDF, FAST(Faceted Access to Subjet Terms),
  • Rinse and Repeat

See Pace’s complete presentation and others at his website.  This presentation and others from the Conference are also at the WilsWorld Conference website

Sharyn Heili

Yes to Cookies in the Library July 20, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.
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No Cookies in the Library – Classic Sesame Street

You can eat all the cookies you want in the Library today Cookie Monster, and drink milk, and read and listen to books and download music, and, and, and…  

Enjoy!   Sharyn Heili

Goals: Wisdom from Fortune Cookies July 9, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Fortune Cookie Wisdom, goals.
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What today’s fortune cookie has to say about goals:

A goal is a dream with a deadline

Sharyn Heili

Creative Thinking: Better Solo Than in Teams July 8, 2007

Posted by sharynheili in Creativity, Teams.

CreativityCreativityCreativity CartoonCreativity Cartoon

Recent research from the University of Indiana demonstrated that groups or teams came up with far less creative ideas together than when alone.   The University studied consumer choice involving a brand of soft drinks.   They asked individuals to come up with alternative brands after showing them one brand.  Alone the inidviduals came up with far more choices than when in a group.   

Do meetings make us dumber,  as the headline to the MSNBC suggests, or does our creative thinking really diminish when we are in team meetings?  Are we less effective trying to solve problems “thinking outside the box” in groups than alone? 

More research will likely give us the answers.   It will be interesting to watch, especially since businesses and libraries have been forming teams and touting their effectiveness.

I know that my best creative thinking comes while I’m driving in the car alone or in the shower, obviously very alone.  

Sharyn Heili