Free copy of "With a Little Help" for libraries and schools
12/07/2010 11:43:00 AM | Author: Christa
Reposted from Cory Doctorow’s

Get a free copy (libraries, schools)

If you’re a teacher or librarian and you want a free copy of With a Little Help, send an email to, which is staffed by my awesome donations coordinator, Olga Nunes. Be sure to include your institution’s name, address, phone number, and any notes. Once Olga has vetted your request, your name and institutional address will be posted to the donations page so that potential donors can see it.

If you enjoyed the electronic edition of For the Win and you want to donate something to say thanks, go to this list and find a teacher or librarian you want to support. Buy a copy for them and one will be printed and shipped, and we’ll put a note up next to their listing saying that they’ve gotten a copy, and thank you by name. “If you don’t want to be publicly acknowledged for your generosity, let us know and we’ll keep you anonymous, otherwise we’ll thank you on the donate page.”

I’ve done this with four of my titles now, and gotten more than a thousand books into the hands of readers through your generosity. I am more grateful than words can express for this — one of my readers called it “paying your debts forward with instant gratification.” That’s a heck of a thing, isn’t it?
Links to this post
Funky Photos: Pixlr vs. Aviary
9/30/2010 09:00:00 PM | Author: Christa
I've never done much photo manipulation, except to clean up or make bad pictures look better. So, experimenting with these 2 photo image editors was new for me.

I started out with this picture.

Pretty blue eyes

This is our neighbor's cat, who likes to stalk birds and rabbits in our yard. And lounge around like she owns the place. :)

First, I used Pixlr. I tried a few of the Filters and Adjustments. I really liked the Default options that I could use to quickly see all the different things I could do to my photo. I ended up turning my pretty kitty evil.

Evil Kitty

I accomplished this look with Adjustment - Curves - Color Negative.

Then I tried Aviary. I found it more difficult to use than Pixlr. That may be because it has so many more features. I did manage to get into the Filter Layer in Peacock. I tested out a bunch of the effects and morphed my cat into this crazy thing.

Crazy Kitty

It looks like a kaleidoscope effect, but it's called Inversion.

In the end, I did like using Aviary. But, I really had to read the instructions to learn how to use it. Pixlr was much more intuitive. I could just click and play around to teach myself how it works.

These free image editors are a great resource for libraries. They're a fun, easy way to jazz up program posters and fliers - just take a plain photo, change it with an interesting effect, and watch your patrons do a double take.
Links to this post
Meet sexy shirtless men @ your library!
7/15/2010 10:32:00 AM | Author: Christa
Over the last 2 days, Old Spice has run a hugely successful Twitter/YouTube marketing campaign. How they did it is amazing. I'm worn out just reading about it!

But, before it was over, New Jersey librarian Andy Woodworth got Sexy Shirtless Old Spice Guy to give a shout out to libraries. YAY!

Links to this post
Vote early and vote often!
6/16/2010 03:35:00 PM | Author: Christa
My colleague, Michael, posed the question "How many computers are in your house?". I wanted some clarification on the question, so I created my own poll.

EDIT: Of course, after I posted and promoted this poll, I realized I didn't have Zero as a choice! So, here's a second poll you can do to give accurate responses.

New, improved poll:

Old, original poll:

Links to this post
Revisiting Flickr
5/31/2010 06:02:00 PM | Author: Christa
I posted my first picture to Flickr on October 18, 2006. As of today, I have 1,884 items in my Flickr account - mostly pictures, but a couple of videos, too. It's not a huge amount, but it's pretty respectable for a little over 3 1/2 years. So, obviously, I have found Flickr to be very useful - I use it to share what's happening in my life with family, friends and colleagues.

And, as Jeff Dawson mentioned in the WebJunction webinar,
Library Images: Engage, Inspire and Tell your Story, I've also found it to be a "great conversation starter". For me, it's about the places and conferences and events I've been to - things that I've experienced and wanted to share.

As I was watching this webinar, it reminded me about something I've started thinking about a lot lately. Libraries and marketing. Libraries' need for promotion, Promotion, PROMOTION!

Of course, libraries advertise their services. We've been doing that forever, right?

But, what new things can you do to market your library more? How can new promotion help increase recognition and use of your library? Lester Public Library has done an amazing job using Flickr as the center of their marketing program. I was very impressed with the creativity shown in the photos from the library's Flickr account. There are tons of examples that other libraries can use to tell the stories of their libraries and communities.

I thought the Library Director as Tourist set of pictures was a great example of how a library's Flickr account doesn't have to be only pictures of library events. Showing how the library, and its director, are part of the community really puts a human face on the library and makes people feel closer to the library.

Michael Porter, from WebJunction, gave some really concrete whos, hows, and whys of using Flickr at your library. Libraries are fun, interesting and engaging. Flickr is a quick and easy way to share this with your community. Be creative and share your library's story. The more you do, the more your community will notice and become personally invested with your library.

Don't forget - a picture is worth a thousand words.
Links to this post
Reposted from Cory Doctorow’s

For The WinAre you a teacher, librarian, youth worker, or someone else who could use a copy of my new young adult novel FOR THE WIN?

As I've done with my previous three books, I've set up a matchmaking service for people who need copies of my books and people who want to buy copies of my printed books as a way of paying me back for the free, downloadable versions I make available on my site.

If you work at an institution that could use a free copy, please send your details to The book launches tomorrow, and the website and free ebook editions direct potential donors to the list of institutions that need copies. Previous donation programs have resulted in hundreds of hardcovers being donated to worthy institutions by generous readers.

Please pass the word!
In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made LITTLE BROTHER an international sensation, FOR THE WIN is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation
Links to this post
Nebraska Library Snapshot Week
5/04/2010 10:24:00 AM | Author: Christa
From May 10 to May 16, 2010, librarians across Nebraska will be documenting the activities that take place in their libraries. Join them by collecting statistics, comments and photographs to provide proof of the invaluable services that Nebraska libraries provide to their communities.

Check out the Nebraska Library Snapshot Week website for more information. To contribute to the project, you can upload your photos to the Snapshot Week group on Flickr, and submit your statistics using the online form.

If you have questions about participating in Snapshot Week, contact Emily Nimsakont, NLA Webmaster.
Links to this post
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Speakers: Paul Coyne, Louise Alcorn

Paul Coyne - QR Codes

QR Codes – “Quick response” code

Need a phone with camera and QR code reader software.

Take a pic of QR code. Phone will decode QR code and present info in code.

QR code software is free.

Create your own QR code: QR Code Generator. Also free!

Bridge the gap between the physical and the digital world.

Younger students/readers use their cell phones A LOT. Many publishers tapping into this.

Libs using QR codes – directions, SMS a librarian, initiate a call to librarian, link to article - Huddersfeld Univ. Univ. of Bath – in OPAC.

Brooklyn PL – created codes for all 60 branches – addresses, contact info, etc. FREE!

Inventive Investigative curious playful.

QR codes can extend life of print content for mobile audience. Provide contextual info about the content (book, article). Engages researcher. Bridge the gab between static print world and dynamic digital world.

Users – more engaged, better informed, higher quality decisions about your services and content.

Easy to use and create

Already in play – libs, publishers, conferences.

Complementary to augmented reality.

Contact info for Paul Coyne

“Bright Ideas in Dark Times” – Louise Alcorn

Louise Alcorn

Free does not mean lesser value.

Dark times – things are bad, budgets/staff are slashed. Library use up. Not just at pub libs. At academics too. Our challenges are also opportunities. Every challenge is an opportunity for marketing. Patron: I need a job! Librarian: Look at all this stuff we have!

Creative Response:

Technology – market that you have wifi – they can come in with their own laptop to apply for jobs all day and no one will bug them. Online learning for new job duties cause co-workers have been fired. Resumes. Faxing service.

Collection Development – cooking for/with kids – cant afford to go out to eat, how to make a budget – public lib and college, audiobooks for commuters cause only job they could get is a long commute, gardening – grow own food.

Programming Ideas – resume writing, cover letter writing, more kids in childrens' programs because parents can't afford other activities anymore, fitness books – parks and rec., Mary Barnett Memorial Library – 2009 year of “Home Grown - Hand Made.”

Partnerships – rotary, parks and rec, economic dev.
Links to this post
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Speakers: David Lisa, Michael Porter, Bob Beck
World of Warcraft in Libraries presentation - Computers in Libraries 2010

David Lisa, Michael Porter & Bob Beck

David Lisa

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a social network. Made up of people playing the game. Banding together to accomplish more in game content.

Who plays WoW? All ages, groups, economies.

Why do they play? PC environment, good economic value – flat monthly fee to do as much as you want, fun.

Does it require skill to play? Not really.

Build real life skills? Leadership – to found and maintain guild. Organization, management, diplomacy – leading parties. – conference held within WoW. – The Daedalus Project – how game affects players in their real life.

“WoW as a Library Service” – Bob Beck

Inspiration – knitting group. Sit around and talk about all their projects. Same thing in WoW.

Administrative buy-in
1. Game demo – Dalaran – seeing people milling around in the streets – admin wanted to be there.
2. Location & equipment – use 10 basic Del laptops. WoW doesn’t need very high level computers.
3. Patron access questions. Use 10 day free trial. Patrons can bring in and use their own laptops.

WoW licensing - One client per PC used - ~$80/PC.

Man in military uses WoW to communicate with son back home. Aww.

Playing program – mini-raid - Lvl 1 chars. PVP – 1st person to win 3 duels, etc. RP – talk about char backgrounds.

Free Play – gets people talking, sharing.

Social programs – Meet & Greet – expected 30, 60 showed. Food. Laptops out if they want to log in. but mainly just social. How To – macros, customizing user interface, addons.

Libraries & Librarians Guild – Michael Porter

MP doesn’t like elves, fairies, trolls, etc. Went into game because needed to do research on a book – technological communities. Became intrigued with way you interacted with the game. Fascinating the way you navigate the world. Started having fun learning how to play game. Social engagement became intriguing.

Use Ventrilo to talk and be social.

Wow is a specialized web browser – you pay for access to an intranet.

Social aspect – wanted a way to connect librarians. To talk shop. Have to put real name and library in guild notes.

Libraries and Librarians of Aerie Peak

Computer History Museum - will have pics of the guild in exhibit.

Bank – contribute to the community. Develop trust – have access to more things in the bank.

Libraries = content + community. WoW is same.
Links to this post
CIL 2010: Reaching Reluctant Learners
4/19/2010 01:52:00 PM | Author: Christa
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Speakers: Jill Hurst-Wahl, Sophia Guevara, Veronica Rutter, Andrea Simyak

Andrea Simyak: Backward design

Step 1. Identify your outcome. What’s the point?

Step 2. Create an assessment. How will you know they learned it? Time frame for proficiency?

Step 3. Determine necessary skills. What are current skills of trainees?

Step 4. Create lesson plan. How will training be done? Make sure the training works in your library. Tailor to how your employees best learn. Just because something worked at another library, doesn’t mean it will work in your library. Adjust to what you staff and environment can do.

Technology Tapas
– adapted 23 things program. 25% completion rate “pretty good for a 23 things program” (NTS: what are the typical completion rates? How does ours compare?)

Step 5. Provide Instruction. Adapt and adjust as you go. Is it working? If not, change how you’re doing it.

Step 6. Administer the assessment. Trainees can demonstrate what they’ve learned. Is more training needed? More advanced training needed? Implement what they’ve learned in the library?

"Turning Fear Into Passion" – Veronica Rutter

(Ren & Stimpy! “No sir I don’t like it” horse. Hee.)

“it's your job and you have to do it” won't work to motivate.

Know your audience – find something they already find appealing and interesting. Nothing wrong with silly. Humor gets people to start thinking. Laughter kills fear.

Social networking doesn’t appeal to everyone. Threatening. Invasive.

Flickr group – “Looking Into the Past” group. Compare new thing to old thing that people know. NY Times in paper vs. online.

Make it EASY. Do it yourself, as if you’ve never done it. Write down every step. Screenshots. On directions, make a spot for them to write down user name and password. Not secure, but they will remember it and be able to use the service again.

Tangible Reward. Never underestimate the power of prizes! Something to admire on a shelf – mug, etc.

1. Utilize preexisting interests
2. Make it easy
3. Provide a reward.

“Connecting with the Boomer Learner” – Sophia Guevara
Presentation via SlideShare

Boomer – digital immigrant – have an ‘accent’ when using tech, because they didn’t grow up with it.

How to get them interested?

Tech 101 classes for those who are interested. Also offer one-on-one training for those who need more personal help.

Classes – homework before – create their own account. In class, buddy up - connect with someone else who might have same question they have.

One-on-one – offer to become a technology mentor. Be very patient and understanding.

Gather feedback. Measure impact.

Survey. Continue connecting with them after the training. Observe their evolving relationship with technology.

“Tips for Reaching Reluctant Learners” – Jill Hurst-Wahl

Reluctant learners are really reluctant users! “I don’t know why I would need to learn this. I’ll never use it.”

Using social media is like breathing. We want them to do it as if it was an expected normal activity. Just like the telephone.

Show the benefits. We tend to think about the tools, not the benefits.
  • Make it personal. How is it going to help them in their personal life.
  • Work-related reason. Get job done faster. Stay connected with co-workers better. Collaborate with others like them in the world. Expand their network with others in their field.
  • Glimmer of interest. Find anything that person is interested in.
  • Offer your services. Use your knowledge to help them out. Anytime.
  • Sneak them in the back door. Don’t tell them what they’re doing. Don’t call it “social media” if they hate social media. Call it something else. Find another term for it. Not “wordprocessing”, instead “taking notes”.
  • Work to get them breathing – to make it natural for them
Reaching Reluctant Learners
Links to this post
CIL 2010: Crafting Online Personas
4/19/2010 01:32:00 PM | Author: Christa
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Speakers: Craig Anderson & JP Porcaro

CA: So wait, anyone can see this?

It’s OK. Just control your persona.

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know

JP: only launched 4 months ago. says it's one of the higher traffic library blogs

Have a clear vision for what you want to say. To brand yourself.

Think of twitter/FB as form of professional development/contact. Everything you post builds your personal brand.

CA: learn to filter yourself. Know your audience. Don’t post anything on the internet that you wouldn’t be comfortable having on a 25 foot billboard in times square.

Craig Anderson

JP: There will be some times when something you say, not everyone will agree with. And that’s ok. Just be true to yourself and your personal brand.

Responsible Citizenship: another part of RC is showing up. Being where the people are. Being involved. Being online is another part of where we are. Librarians play a certain role in community and should be there.

How to reconcile being employed somewhere and being ourselves online? Technical subversion – just do it anyway. Its what’s happening. You should also be building your institution and institutional values. Need to work it out on a personal level.

We’re setting up for the future a new form of professional development.

Beyond Privacy Settings:
1. Your behavior online can dictate your level of personal privacy
2. Your online presence shouldn’t be taken lightly.
3. RC: version 2

Mutually Assured Embarrassment.
Links to this post
Monday, April 12, 2010
Speakers: Michael Porter & Amanda Clay Powers

MP: Improve the value of using these social tools. Attitude has changed.

Oliver Blanchard - – having a social media presence nowadays is merely the equivalent of what being listed in the yellow pages meant 10 years ago. It simply isn’t enough to be there.

Must use social media tools effectively. Jason Falls -

Create Goals. Measure objectives. Measure. Strategies. Tactics.

We don’t have the time to create a business quality ROI report. Data is more anecdotal, but still just as relevant.

YouTube – Social Media ROI: Socialnomics

ACP: Simple metrics to show every month – we did it, we got this response.

Analyze a twitter feed – Miss. State Univ. Lib guide

Facebook Insights – Page, not group. Lots of data – demographics, interactions, etc.

Rave at MSU library – lib embraced it. Took their own pics, posted them that night. Students engaged with the library from it. Lib was first ones on campus to have pics up. 10 minute study break. Sunday night. Big spike in FB stats.

New auto e-mail from FB - weekly FB activity.

No longer trying to prove that twitter/FB are a good idea. It’s a done deal. So, what is the data good for?

It’s not all about numbers, it’s about building relationships. We’ve never had this ability before – knowing what our patrons are thinking about. We need to be there, answering their questions.

Get your resources noticed – ex. US Grant papers on MSU website. Track people tweeting about it, build a picture of info being shared.

No instant answers. What can we do with this info?

Are we being retweeted? Who? Why? What gets liked? By who? Why? Who’s engaging with you?

"What are you doing that's sticky?"
What are you doing that's sticky?

Host a tweet-up at your library. Janie Hermann – increased twitter/FB activity/followers.

Feed FB stats into google analytics.

Twapper Keeper – to archive tweets, hashtags
Links to this post