Michigan Librarians gather in Kalamazoo
October 22-24, 2008
Though I had some obligations at work, so I was traveling back and forth between downtown and campus, I still feel I got to attend all but one session that I wanted to see. If you have time to read only one thing, read about the last session I attended – I think that was the most important one for me.
Slammin Around the World
Nice presentation by five public librarians of books and films that introduce us to different parts of the world. One presenter talked about graphic novels, one about films, one about “intellectual books,” and the other two had general fiction books that addressed different parts of the world – the kind of books I really like. I will check to make sure we have all the books and films they have on their list. I should also make a guide listing these books, and include ones like this that I have read, maybe other librarians could contribute. This would make the list personal and not overwhelmingly long.
The Psychology of Influence and Persuasion
Dan Norris – keynote speaker
This was an interesting look at how small things make a huge difference in how people perceive things, commit to them, etc. The applications to library work were a bit tentative, but still there. Here’s what I got out of it:
- Don’t say “it was nothing” or “no problem” when someone thanks you for your help. At least say “thank you”, or even something like “I’m sure you would have done if for me.”
- Maybe hand out something after an interaction like at the desk. (People like gifts that are personal and unexpected.)
- When trying to convince others about a project – give stats on other libraries doing this.
- Gain trust by subtly showing authority –“over the last 10 years I have seen…”
- Get commitment by asking people – and have them commit in a public arena.
- Let people know if there is a budget cut coming up, so can prepare to help.
- Ask people what the library meant to them when they were growing up.
- Frame it cooperatively: “here’s how we support you in the community,” “here’s how we can work together.”
Tech Tools for Reference: A Public and Academic Library Perspective
Holly Hibner from Salem-South Lyon District Library and Christine Tobias from MSU introduced a wide variety of tools for use in our daily work.
The Michigan Evergreen Project – Michigan’s First Open Source Group Catalog
With presenters from MLC and the Grand Rapids Public library, they described a new open source
Web Presence of Instructional Materials
Two librarians from
Re-visioning the Reference Collection
Last, but definitely not least, and I would say the most important ideas I took home from the conference, was