Planning and building for the future

Perhaps you think your town needs a library. Or, you’ve had a library for a long while and you want to enlarge it or move it to a more accessible location. About half of the communities in the East Central Region are at various stages in exploring these questions. Some are looking for land to build on and some are looking to expand current facilities. Thus was the impetus to bring in an expert in the planning and building libraries business, Jack Poling, Managing Principal of Meyer Scherer and Rockcastle Architecture and Interior Design.

The workshop was attended by 41 library leaders that included librarians, library supporters, and city and county elected officials. Poling led a discussion on the library building process that included: identifying and establishing need; defining needs; funding campaigns; design; construction; and the post construction period. Poling’s nationally-known firm has built more than 100 libraries. He shared his experiences and offered valuable insight into the process including lessons learned. The audience asked many questions and shared experiences with each other. The attendees thanked Poling for the valuable information and expressed a desire for the Region to sponsor additional opportunities to get together and learn more about the process.

Personal Attention
Jack Poling answers a question posed to him by Dwight Haberman,
part of the committee working on getting a new library built in Isanti.

Making Connections
Participants from Princeton, Onamia and Sandstone converse about library planning issues.
It never hurts to get a little help from your friends.

Barbara Misselt, Director

Learning new technologies

My favorite thing about summer is fair season (must go back to my years as a 4-H kid). My favorite part of the fair is the food, and the world-famous Minnesota State Fair’s everything-edible-on-a-stick is just about as good as it gets. So it was not surprising that the Minnesota multitype regions chose 23 Things on a Stick as the name to promote their project for indulging in 23 library 2.0 activities.

The project is a self-guided experiential tour of interactive technologies that are part of the social computing scene. Most have potential use for enhanced interaction with our library customers. All 23 Things are based on free utilities available on the Internet. Over 1,000 library staff and board members across Minnesota signed up for the project and followed the 23 Things step by step as prescribed by the 23thingsonastick blog. Participants documented their progress on their own blogs. Those who finished all 23 things by April 16th received a flashstick as a prize.

Lots of people in ECRL signed up and have completed some of the Things (including yours truly). The program remains open for us to plod along in our own time. I have heard that there will be another round of the program and possible addition of even more Things.

6 ECRL super-achievers finished all 23 Things by April 16th and deserve congratulations. The 6 ECRL folks who have finished the 23 Things on a Stick are:
Katherine Morrow, Mille Lacs Lake
Maria Gruener, Wyoming
Penny Olson, McGregor
Robin Suhsen, Princeton
Wendy Prokosch, Mora

The real prize is the knowledge gained by everyone who has been digging into new technologies through the Things program. I’m proud of everyone who’s trying, and looking to them as ECRL’s emerging technologies leaders in our branches and communities.

The 23 Things are:
1. Setting up a blog and adding an avatar.
2. What is Web 2.0 and why should I care? Reading and writing about the perspectives.
3. Setting up an RSS aggregator account.
4. Photosharing and editing.
5. Using Flickr tools (mashups, etc.).
6. Using an online image generator.
7. Using Web 2.0 tools for library communication.
8. Sharing slide decks, photos, and presentation slides.
9. Collaborating with others with Web 2.0 tools.
10. Contributing to a wiki.
11. Tagging and using del.icio.us.
12. Social media sites and rating and recommending articles.
13. Using online productivity tools.
14. Using LibraryThing and cataloging collections.
15. Exploring online games.
16. Using Assignment Calculator and Research Project Calculator.
17. Implementing ELM productivity tools.
18. Using YouTube.
19. Producing and listing to Podcasts.
20. Participating in Facebook and MySpace.
21. Finding and joining other social networks.
22. Keeping on learning.
23. Evaluating and blogging the overall 23 Things experience.

Barbara Misselt, ECRL Director