Thursday, January 17, 2008

Death of a Patron

It was with mix emotions this week that I read the obituary of a longtime patron of our library. While we hate to admit it, we all have our favorites. Those people who are generous with their compliments, and appreciative of our efforts.... he was not one of those patrons.

I have a great staff; they excel at customer service. There are very few problems that are bumped up to me, and in the fourteen years that I have been here, there have only been two times that disgruntled patrons have appeared before our library board. He was involved in both instances.

He was intelligent, and studious, and eccentric. He was not afraid to question a policy or point out a mistake. We all took a deep breath when he came walking through our doors. He kept us on our toes. His actions helped us hone our people skills and forced us reevaluate policies and procedures, and so our library is a better library because of him.

Cindy Fuerst
Library Director

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Questions 2.0

I was browsing Michael Stephens blog "Tame the Web" today (something I advise every librarian to do) and came upon this post. He sites questions by David Armano that he recommends are posed to perspective ad/PR agency executive. Michael thinks they are good ones for Librarians as well. I thought you might be interested how we at the Kankakee Public Library do:
1. Do you read blogs. Yes Which ones? Everything from "Tame the Web" to "TVshows on DVD."
2. Do you have a personal blog? Yes What's it about? You are reading it!
3. Do you participate in at least one social network? Yes Which one? The KPL is on Flickr and has a MySpace page for Youth Services.
4. Have you ever uploaded a video online? Yes What did you use to do it? Several videos have been uploaded for our Vodcast. We also have a Kankakee promotional video.
5. What's your favorite search engine. Google Why? Uhhhhh. Everyone uses it?
6. Have you ever used an online classified service like craigslist? I haven't used Craigslist but I know that other staffers have. I have bought and sold on eBay.
7. Besides making phone calls-how else do you use your mobile phone? For throwing at walls. I'm not a big fan of cell phones. However, I'm about to buy a smart phone to replace a lost PDA.
8. Have you ever registered a domain name? Many. About a dozen for my web business and the domain name for the Library.
9. Do you use social bookmarks or tagging? I've tagged all my pictures in my personal Flickr account.
10. Do you use a feed reader of some sort? Yes Which one? Bloglines Why? Because it is easier than visiting a trillion blog sites one by one.

And here are some questions by Michael himself:
11. Have you ever watched a YouTube video? Um...more than I care to name! Have you posted one? Yes. One of your staff members posted this comedic look at libraries.
12 Have you listened to a podcast? Scores. Do you subscribe to any podcasts? Dozens (We even produce one!)
13. Have you ever edited or added an article to wikipedia? No. That we haven't done. But I am addicted to wikipedia.
14. Do you play games? Our Youth Services department has video game days. Video games? See previous. Online games? No
15. Have you ever commented on another person's blog? Yes
16. Do you own an MP3 player? Yes, I refer to it as "my right arm."
17. Have you used Flickr or another image sharing sites? You bet. The Library has an account and several staff members including myself have accounts.
18. If you were going to make a video about your library what would you focus on? We made one about our city, does that count?
19. What 2.0 tool could you teach a class about? Blogging, Social Networking, Wikis, Podcast Production (and I have done a seminar on that.)
20. What emerging technology excites you? Online Video (Stop giggling! That's not what I mean!!)
21. What type of collaboration tools have you used online? I'm not sure what that means exactly.
22. How do you communicate internally at your library? Right now I IM and email a lot. We are about to launch an internal Wiki.
23. What role if any could open source software play at your library? We are looking at open source software for our Wiki and for our blogs.
24. Does your library offer tools for content creation to patrons? No, not really.

Stephen Bertrand
Assistant Director