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Obstacle or Opportunity - It's Your Choice

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Pam MacKellar's slide show for her 3/30/09 presentation "Obstacle or Opportunity - It's Your Choice!" at Computers in Libraries Conference 2009.

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Obstacle or Opportunity - It's Your Choice

  1. 1. Pamela MacKellar March 30, 2009 Computers in Libraries www.accidentallibrarian.com/CIL09 It’s Your Choice
  2. 2. <ul><li>Librarian with >25 years experience in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tribal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>special </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>school and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>post secondary technical school libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Author </li></ul><ul><li>Idea person, creative, like to try new things, enjoy taking risks, usually see possibilities, attracted to technology from the start … </li></ul>
  3. 3. Acoustic data coupler modem
  4. 4. <ul><li>Basics of libraries and librarianship </li></ul><ul><li>Know your library’s/organization’s mission </li></ul><ul><li>Know your community’s information needs </li></ul><ul><li>Planning, planning, planning </li></ul><ul><li>Design goals to meet community needs </li></ul><ul><li>Know where your library is going </li></ul><ul><li>Funding library projects with grants </li></ul><ul><li>Remove “barrier thinking” </li></ul>Spread the word about:
  5. 5. Write a book!
  6. 6. <ul><li>We are just a small library in a little village </li></ul><ul><li>Our budget is too small/We don’t have enough $$$ </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t have enough staff </li></ul><ul><li>We are disadvantaged and underprivileged </li></ul><ul><li>I’m not a technology expert </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t know enough about technology </li></ul><ul><li>Technology can’t improve on the services we already offer </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have the time to learn about technology </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have the time to keep up with new technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Our last needs assessment indicated no community needs relating to technology </li></ul><ul><li>The IT Department/person won’t let us </li></ul><ul><li>Our computers are too old </li></ul><ul><li>The network is out of date </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t have the right hardware or software </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not a good time for new ideas when the economy is in such bad shape </li></ul><ul><li>My director isn’t interested </li></ul><ul><li>We have other purchases that are more important </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>We don’t have the expertise </li></ul><ul><li>We already tried that and it didn’t work </li></ul><ul><li>We already have too much work to do </li></ul><ul><li>I’m the only one who cares about new ideas in my library </li></ul><ul><li>There’s too much bureaucracy here to get that done </li></ul><ul><li>Our customers are happy with things just the way they are </li></ul><ul><li>I’m happy with things just the way they are </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t like taking risks here </li></ul><ul><li>If there are no guarantees that it will work, we won’t take any chances </li></ul><ul><li>It will never happen </li></ul><ul><li>They don’t pay me enough </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not my job </li></ul><ul><li>There is no room for failure </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve always managed fine with things the way they are </li></ul><ul><li>Now is not a good time to start a new project </li></ul><ul><li>First we need to do research, a feasibility study and gather data </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe some other time </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t know where to start </li></ul><ul><li>I’m too old for this </li></ul><ul><li>I’ll get back to you on that </li></ul><ul><li>I’m not sticking MY neck out for this idea </li></ul><ul><li>If it doesn’t work I’ll be a laughing stock or they’ll run me out of town </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>We become less productive </li></ul><ul><li>We are less excited about new ideas </li></ul><ul><li>We become discouraged </li></ul><ul><li>We disengage at work </li></ul><ul><li>We go through the motions </li></ul><ul><li>Things start to atrophy </li></ul><ul><li>Environment around us becomes negative </li></ul><ul><li>Valuable staff members quit </li></ul><ul><li>Customers are turned away </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Discouraged, unexcited, unproductive, bored, disengaged, negative library staff </li></ul><ul><li>Negative signage </li></ul><ul><li>Outdated, neglected and forgotten web pages, wikis and MySpace pages </li></ul><ul><li>Technology that doesn’t work </li></ul><ul><li>Obstacle-driven organization </li></ul>
  10. 14. <ul><li>Reality is ever-changing </li></ul><ul><li>If something is a reality now it doesn’t mean it is always going to be a reality </li></ul><ul><li>How we frame or perceive reality is our choice </li></ul><ul><li>We can flip a negative into a positive </li></ul>
  11. 15. <ul><li>When you see mostly </li></ul><ul><li>and you remind yourself and others about them </li></ul><ul><li>over and over, </li></ul><ul><li>day in and day out, </li></ul><ul><li>year in and year out, </li></ul><ul><li>eventually … </li></ul>obstacles and barriers
  12. 16. They become your reality.
  13. 17. <ul><li>Since you create your own reality </li></ul><ul><li>Why not choose to focus on opportunities? </li></ul>
  14. 18. <ul><li>Aztec Public Library Aztec, NM </li></ul>Librarians Seizing Opportunities
  15. 20. Aztec Public Library Aztec, NM <ul><li>Digital Media Arts Program </li></ul><ul><li>Fulfills need in community </li></ul><ul><li>Goal and purpose driven </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by multiple sources </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple partners involved </li></ul><ul><li>New “library paradigm” model for community </li></ul>
  16. 21. <ul><li>“Small town” thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Breaking out of “libraries don’t do that” paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of support from some town leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of support from some library board members </li></ul>
  17. 22. <ul><li>Stay committed </li></ul><ul><li>Think big </li></ul><ul><li>Strive for a purpose or goal </li></ul><ul><li>Stay in your power </li></ul><ul><li>Keep trying </li></ul><ul><li>Be fearless </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t listen to criticism </li></ul><ul><li>Just jump into it </li></ul><ul><li>Believe in yourself </li></ul>
  18. 23. <ul><li>Martha Liebert, Martha Liebert Public Library, Bernalillo, NM </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities: </li></ul><ul><li>book donations from community </li></ul><ul><li>$500 from the town </li></ul><ul><li>Local lumber company funded materials for shelves </li></ul><ul><li>Carpenters from public schools built the shelves </li></ul><ul><li>Members of VFW painted the shelves </li></ul><ul><li>What it took: </li></ul><ul><li>Mission and Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Dedication </li></ul><ul><li>Personal commitment </li></ul>
  19. 24. Librarians Choosing Opportunities Summary <ul><li>First have a plan, vision and mission </li></ul><ul><li>Know your library’s goals </li></ul><ul><li>Know your community’s needs </li></ul><ul><li>Be brave </li></ul><ul><li>Believe in yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Go for it! </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to it </li></ul>
  20. 25. What You Can Do Now
  21. 26. <ul><li>Evaluate your own outlook </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Decide to change </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a guiding principle </li></ul><ul><li>Take action </li></ul>
  22. 27. <ul><li>Use available test tools: </li></ul><ul><li>Learned Optimism Test from Dr. Martin Seligman’s book </li></ul><ul><li>Optimistic Movement Optimism Test </li></ul><ul><li>Human Mind Project Optimism/Pessimism Test </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality & Health Optimism Test </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology Today Optimism/Pessimism Test </li></ul><ul><li>Links at www.accidentallibrarian.com/CIL09 </li></ul>
  23. 28. <ul><li>What negative thoughts about your work situation go through your mind regularly? </li></ul><ul><li>What thoughts about your work situation must you face to turn your attitude around? </li></ul><ul><li>Write down one attitude you want to adjust or thought pattern you want to redirect. </li></ul><ul><li>What resources do you need? </li></ul>
  24. 29. <ul><li>Our outlook is the result of choices we make </li></ul><ul><li>Your outlook or attitude is not permanent </li></ul><ul><li>You can choose to change </li></ul><ul><li>You cannot change someone else </li></ul><ul><li>People can change only if they want to change </li></ul>“You and I are infinite choice-makers” Deepak Chopra
  25. 30. <ul><li>Know where you are going </li></ul><ul><li>Write a statement of purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Change is fun when you know what you are aiming for </li></ul>
  26. 31. <ul><li>Do something to support your guiding principle every day </li></ul><ul><li>Do something out of your comfort range </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage others </li></ul><ul><li>Believe in yourself </li></ul>
  27. 33. <ul><li>Use technology as a tool to help you meet an identified need in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Do something that will make a difference in the lives of people </li></ul><ul><li>Use free technology tools </li></ul><ul><li>Take free webinars, tutorials or read </li></ul><ul><li>Try something easy </li></ul><ul><li>Do something that doesn’t require lots of time and staff </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun </li></ul><ul><li>Be flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Loosen up, it doesn’t have to be perfect </li></ul><ul><li>Spread the word about your successes </li></ul>
  28. 34. <ul><li>MaintainIT Project </li></ul><ul><li>WebJunction </li></ul><ul><li>TechSoup </li></ul><ul><li>Polaris Library Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Library Open Source Webinars (nominal fee) </li></ul><ul><li>SirsiDynix Institute archive </li></ul><ul><li>100 Free Library 2.0 Webinars and Tutorials </li></ul><ul><li>State Library Agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Read </li></ul>
  29. 35. <ul><li>American Recovery and Reinvestment Act </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/wo/woissues/washfunding/fedfund/arra101.cfm </li></ul><ul><li>FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill </li></ul><ul><li>contains $171.5 million for the Grants to State Library Agencies program within the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) </li></ul><ul><li>an increase of more than  $10 million over last year </li></ul><ul><li>Library Grants Blog </li></ul><ul><li>librarygrants.blogspot.com </li></ul>
  30. 36. <ul><li>Good luck! </li></ul><ul><li>Pam MacKellar </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www.accidentallibrarian.com/CIL09 </li></ul>

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