An experiment: a VP update

I took notes as I did LITA stuff this week.  I don’t have a comprehensive Midwinter update for you, but I will be posting about various stuff from that over the next few weeks.  So, here’s what has happened since I got back from Seattle.  It strikes me that this is an awful lot of detail, so count this an experiment in radical transparency.  What do you think?

This week, I:

  • Implored the Board to share ideas for ALA office and councillor with the Nominating Committee, of which there are three LITA members: Adriene Lim, Karen G. Schneider, and Andrew Pace.
  • Passed on an idea for having LITA-member-only conference update webinars to Education, Forum, and Membership.  Thanks to Bohyun Kim for the idea for a great LITA member benefit, a category we are trying to beef up.  Education will talk about this at their next virtual meeting. (in the process, a great chat around this idea with Andromeda Yelton.)
  • Touched base with our emerging leaders team to thank them for helping at the Town Meeting and to see if they have questions.  They’d also like to coordinate with Bylaws since that committee will be updating the LITA manual–I passed that on to Dale.
  • Identified two of the three members of our nominating committee for this year (this happened in Seattle, actually).  Working on the third and will have the members to approve for the Board at the next virtual meeting (tentatively Feb 15?).

Reflecting on Committees


3D Bar Graph Meeting

Originally uploaded by lumaxart

I’ve had the privilege (no, really) over the past couple of years to serve my profession and professional association as a committee chair, committee member, and task force member. ALA Committees could use a lot more sunshine than just this blog post, and I encourage other committee members across the organization to write and share your experiences.

LITA’s Top Technology Trends is often said to be the organization’s flagship brand. As an attendee, I had no idea how it worked. Turns out it works in a way similar to other committees and interest groups who put together programming for ALA conferences. For this purpose, it functions very smoothly: there is a group of folks who decide together via various online meetings and email threads who to ask to speak and how to share the session. Top Tech has been known for pushing the envelope, trying different technologies to bring in remote speakers and audience commentary and to push out audio and video. When we have failed, we have been criticized, but we have learned from our mistakes and tried something different the next time. I look forward to being off this committee so that I can actually listen to what is being said!

Technology lessons learned:

  1. Live blogging via CoverItLive is pretty effective for sharing content and for soliciting comments and questions from those in the room and those reading or watching online. It feels redundant at the time if there are media streams, but it’s easier to refer back to and serves as a backup archive in the case where media is not saved—like this year. :(
  2. Ustream.tv is invaluable, but we have to remember to record what we’re streaming.
  3. The most effective use of the projector and screen is a rotating slideshow listing speakers’ and committee members’ names as well as the URL for the live blog, media streams and the hashtag. This helps people who drop in after the session has started.
  4. Twitter is a great tool for learning what’s not going well and for addressing it on the spot. The audio stream was great, but remote listeners were asking for video. I asked over twitter if someone in the room could stream video; two people volunteered and voila, our remote listeners could also watch (Thank you Maurice York and John Blyberg!). Several listeners kept asking who was speaking; I wrote a note to the moderator to ask the speakers to say his or her name when speaking. People observed that this year’s panel comprised all academic librarians. This was not our original intent at all, but this result has made us glad that there will be a TTT panel at this year’s PLA conference.
  5. Twitter, as mainstream as it’s become, is still not for everyone, and, as such, projecting tweets or a chat session still gets mixed reviews.
  6. General lessons learned:

  7. Good leadership is key; delegation is keyer. Just like at work, one person can’t do it all, and everyone has a contribution to make. It’s up to the chair to figure out what that is and to harness it for the good of the committee’s work and for that person as an individual.
  8. It’s ok to fail, but you’ll get criticized for it. Just keep swimming. Reminds me of an email signature I saw this week, quoting Dr. Seuss: “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” [Even better: acknowledge and learn from your mistakes!]
  9. In-person business meetings at conferences could be much improved and might be completely unneeded in many cases. Particularly for LITA, all meetings should offer remote participation opportunities. Skype in members who can’t attend; create a live blog and hash tag to push out content and pull in comments; set up a free ustream account to stream out audio or video and provide a chat room.
  10. ALA Connect is a great communication tool, but it requires setup of communities and friends. The latter could be made easier by adding a tool that checks one’s email contacts for matches.
  11. Show up; speak up; get put to work!
  12. Have you served on association committees? What has your experience been?

    image cc:by-sa lumaxart

LITA Candidates, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe… it’s election season again!  ALA members should be receiving their ballot packages next week, between March 17 and 19.  If you’re an ALA member, please remember to vote.  If you’re also a LITA member, please read on.

I’d like to offer LITA members my personal endorsement of the following candidates:

  • LITA President:  Karen Starr
    From her personal statement: “Creative change comes with long term investment, commitment, and patience. [...] I look forward to the opportunity to work with LITA’s members to collaboratively implement the vision that sustains our country’s 21st century information infrastructure.”
  • LITA Director-at-Large:  Aaron Dobbs
    From his personal statement: “In addition to guiding and encouraging improvement of LITA services, LITA Board members should be aware of national and international policy debates affecting libraries, library services and library users. Some relevant policies include: personal data (privacy, protection, aggregation, and use thereof), preservation (physical, electronic, locked, obsolete technologies), orphaned works, and wiretapping.”
  • LITA Director-at-Large: Maurice York
    From his personal statement: “Throughout my involvement with LITA, I have been a beneficiary of the openness, spontaneity, and impulse for innovation of the organization and its members. [...] I believe that LITA is positioned to represent the potential of a responsive and flexible professional organization to play an important role in shaping the profession at this critical turning point.”

LITA plays a vital role in my professional development.  It’s the home of such innovative ideas as the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase and the Top Technology Trends panels.  LITA connects me with other professionals in library technology departments and others who are interested in emerging technologies and their role in libraries.  It’s my hope that LITA will continue to lead the way with innovative technology programming, at face-to-face meetings and in the online world; it’s my opinion that the three individuals above are the best for that job.  If you’re a LITA member, please consider giving them your vote.

Thanks.

This endorsement represents my personal opinion and is in no way reflective of any committee, interest group, or other unit of LITA or ALA.

ALA TechSource Post: Virtual Participation at Midwinter

I have a new post on the TechSource blog about my recent experience in Denver:

    The TopTech Round Table has been written up very well by Library Journal bloggers Josh Hadro (Part 1  and Part 2) and Roy Tennant (also a TopTech Trendster) and at the AL inside scoop; I won’t recap here. During the weeks leading up to the conference, several TTT committee members tested the live blogging freely available from coveritlive, its twitter integration, media uploading, simple reader polls, and comment moderation. The session’s hashtag, #ttt09 was also aggregated into the LITA & BIGWIG Friendfeed room. We were nothing if not prepared. The final stroke of luck was the unwavering wireless connectivity in the room; without it, there is no way that we would have been able to upload photos and stream live video of the session.

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