Archive for July, 2007

23 Learning 2.0 Things from PLCMC

The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in North Carolina came up with a neat-o incentive program for its staff called Learning 2.0, “a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 Things.” Other library systems all over the country are adapting this program left and right. So what are these magical 23 Things, you wonder? Peruse the list here!

The Head of Public Services at my library wanted me to check into these 23 Things and see if we could someday manage a similar program. After returning from the ALA Annual Conference newly inspired and a little bit dreamy (in a good way!), she added a few original Things to the list for me to explore (like Federated Searching and

Here are the Things I already dabble in and feel pretty good about:

  • Thing 3: Setting up my own blog and posting to it.
  • Thing 7: Creating a blog post about anything technology related.
  • Thing 8: Utilizing RSS feeds and setting up a Bloglines newsreader account (though I never, ever check it since I just check the ones here on Kick Butt Librarian.)
  • Thing 9: Locating a few useful library related blogs and news/feeds (again, I’ve compiled my current faves here on my blog).
  • Thing 14: Exploring Technorati and learning how tags work with blog posts.
  • Thing 16: Learning about wikis and discovering some innovative ways that libraries are using them (I can’t say enough about the Webster Public Library’s wiki, the Children’s Series Binder!)
  • Thing 20: Messing around with YouTube (though I need to explore some other video uploading sites.)
  • Thing 22: Browsing NetLibrary (available at my library) and downloading audiobooks.

I’ll now be playing around a bit more with this 2.0 stuff and will post any interesting discoveries on my blog. I’m sure by the time this procrastinator finishes, 21 of the 23 Things will be obsolete, and brand new Thing One and brand new Thing Two will be vying to join the list.


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Now I Can Eat, Sleep, and Breathe!

I just got back from throwing a humungoid Harry Potter party at the library. We’ve been preparing for weeks, and none of us knew quite what to expect. Would we get 50 kids? Hundreds? All said and done, we ended up with over 400 guests of all ages for the two hour party!

We used the entire children’s floor for the party, since we figured we wouldn’t be able to contain the whole thing in one room. Mastermind Lisa (with the help of some crafty volunteers) decorated the Children’s Program Room like a Quidditch Field, and we played an ongoing game of Harry Potter Scene It in there, up on the big screen. Out in the library, we set the ambiance with one of the Harry Potter movie soundtracks and created our own Diagon Alley. At Ollivander’s, kids made their own tasty magic wands out of pretzels, icing, and sprinkles. At Honeydukes, guests tasted Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and guessed how many beans were in a jar (the winner took them home, of course!) At Dervish & Banges, kids created secret messages simply using paper, pencils, water, and some magic. We set up an area for the little ones at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where they could dress up and color a magical creature. Finally, we had some of our student storytellers from our upcoming Frisco Storytelling Festival read the first chapter aloud in Hogwart’s Library.

Everyone eagerly entered our raffle; we gave out 5 copies of the new book (big shout out to Jennifer’s man Jerry for those!), plus 16 other cool Harry Potter related prizes we were able to scrounge up. We also awarded prizes to the three guests with the best costumes—though it was sure hard to choose!

We had our very own Hermione (Michelle from the adult staff, we salute you!) and a huge, walking (well, hobbling) Sorting Hat. Unfortunately, the chicken wire used in the costume gouged up the skin of the brave teen volunteers who wore it. I’m hoping I made it up to them (at least slightly) with the glow-in-the-dark Harry Potter posters I tried to buy their silence with.

So overall, things went exceptionally well! All of the staff and volunteers involved were amazing, and the guests were enthusiastic, polite, and so appreciative. But I won’t lie—I’m also happy it’s over. I can now eat, sleep, and breathe a little more calmly. Phew!

Photos hopefully to come…

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Conan the Librarian

Thanks again for the fodder, Dave!

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Told You Librarians Were Cool…

A group of hipster librarians was just featured in the NY Times—and in the Fashion & Style section, at that! Check out the article A Hipper Crowd of Shushers right here. (Thanks to my friend Dave, son of a hard-core librariman, for sending me the link.)

Just one question—does watching reruns of Sabrina the Teenage Witch all Sunday morning negate any coolness I may have attained? At least it’s the college years…

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One Big Happy Storytime Family

Here we are before a particularly pirate-y toddler storytime—Lisa, Miss Susie, Mo, and myself. We’re fairly certain the kids are only in it for our adorable and sharp-witted puppets, but hey, it works for us!

One Big Happy Storytime Family

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Online Book Trading

OK, I haven’t done this myself, but I read about it in my fave magazine, BUST, and I may just have to try it. Book-swapping websites have been popping up all over the cyber-world, saving bibliophiles from shelling out cash for a good read and from finding the shelf-space to house miles of already-read gems.

Here’s how they work (generally speaking):

You register online for FREE and list all the books you’re ready to part with. When another bookworm requests one, you mail it and pay the postage, earning credit to request a book for yourself. Either order a book that is immediately ready for a new home, or add those super popular titles to a wish list and have them sent when they’re available.

Intrigued by this “Duh, why didn’t I think of that” service? Check out these BUST recommended websites:

Happy reading!

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