Games & Gadgets!


If you are attending Computers in Libraries in Washington DC next week, you should check out Games, Gadgets, and Makerspaces on Sunday, April 26th from 5:30-7:30PM. Brian Pichman, Director of Strategic Innovation for the Evolve Project, is bringing the attendees of CIL a chance to experience all the latest and greatest in innovative technology. Come for refreshments, laughs, and a quick tutorial on how to build robots, circuits, 3D print, code, and so much more! Within minutes, you will be creating and making.

Along with Brian are several special guests: Ginger Butcher from NASA, Joshua Zimmerman from Brown Dog Gadgets, and Tod Colegrove and team from University of Nevada – Reno.

Ginger will be building NASA activities with the littleBits components. In 2014, she worked with littleBits Electronics to co-develop NASA activities to accompany their commercial Space Kit product. These activities are excellent springboards for engaging kids in science both in formal and informal education settings.

Joshua invites you to come create your own custom light up name tag courtesy of Etch your name into an acrylic blank and light it up with colorful LEDs. This simple project is just one of many hands-on electronics projects designed for young learners. Joshua will be sharing some of his other fun activities that are extremely affordable and engaging.

Tod will be showing off augmented reality through the Oculus Rift , displaying open source computer boards called, and much more! If you want to chance to experiment with some extremely high tech

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OLA Poster: Librarians Co-Teaching 1st Yrs


These librarians co-taught 1st year Pharmacy students at U of Waterloo, focusing on drug and medical information and critical thinking (click on the 1st image for a large view; click on the video below for an interview with Shannon and Kate.)

Getting to Yes on Conference Attendance!


Conference season is coming and how do you make the right choice for you? I’m adapting (sharing) this post from one entitled, How to: Sell Your Manager on Attending a Conference.

“Find the best conferences for you. It’s very tempting to attend an event because it’s in a fun location or because all the cool kids are going to be there. If money is no object, then by all means. Conferences need to produce a return on your investment. So think about what you want to learn and then start searching for the right events.

Ask the right questions. Reaching out to respected colleagues about conferences to attend could be a good idea. The important part is asking the right question, “What were your takeaways from the event?”. If you get a blank stare, that doesn’t necessarily mean the conference isn’t worth your time. But do try to find out the value of attendance.

Learning takes place in many ways. Speaking of learning, it’s important to understand how you like to learn (i.e. visual, auditory, kinesthetic). For instance, there are certain topics that I want to learn by reading a book. I would not attend a conference for those topics. But others, I want to learn differently and a conference is the perfect format.

Learning happens in many places. Yes, learning happens during educational sessions. Don’t forget that learning also takes place during networking and on the expo hall floor. And occasionally at the bar with colleagues.

You’ve done your

Continue reading Getting to Yes for Conference Attendance!

Welcome 2015! Future Events


The new year is always a time to reflect and to plan ahead. 2014 was an exciting and interesting year of events for D&J and we’re looking forward to an equally wonderful year of learning, experiencing, and sharing in 2015! We hope to connect with many of you at these venues!

January brings the annual Ontario Library Association SuperConference where Dysart & Jones will again sponsor Contributed Papers and participate in a number of sessions:

Wed Jan 28 403C Business Models for Libraries: Rebecca Jones with Scott Hargrove (CEO for Fraser Valley Library System) & Moe Hosseini-Ara (Director of Culture for the City of Markham)

Thurs Jan 29 911 Conversations with New Pros: Jane Dysart with 5 new info pros

1111 Extreme Library Makeovers: Jane Dysart with Madeleine Lefebvre & Susan Downs

February has two new events.

The Future of Libraries: Do We Have 5 Yearas to Live? hosted by the University of California Center for Library Leadership & Management in Los Angeles on February 5th & 6th. Speakers include Susan Hildreth, Director, IMLS, Greg Lucas, State Librarian for California, Steve Denning, Author, Lee Rainie, Pew, Corinne Hill, Chattanooga PL, Joe Matthews, Consultant & lots of practitioners! Check out the program.

Future Tech Strategies for Libraries is the latest iSchool Symposium from the University of Toronto. Scheduled for February 19th & 20th, this symposium focuses on the technological challenges and trends coming down the pipe for libraries. What’s coming up that may not be on your radar?

Are your

Continue reading Welcome 2015! Future Events

Inspiration & Creative Making


Creative Making brainstorming at U of T iSchool Oct 2014

Another wonderfully inspiring Creative Making symposium at the University of Toronto iSchool, including a tour of their Critical Making Lab! Last year our Creative Making event featured many practitioners from the US since it was a relatively new focus for Canadian libraries. Here were some comments from last year’s program. My epiphany that day was around the links between knowledge management and public libraries, something that had not occurred to me before. Sue Considene from Fayetteville PL talked about their FabLab and her concept of the library as a platform for all types of learning (an opinion I have long held too!). Their FabLab uses community experts to come in as a “maker or artist in residence”. This made me think of expertise location which is critical in any knowledge management program and that led me to think that public libraries really need to mine their communities for experts that might be willing to share/teach/help others create in our libraries! And also for partners to support the program in many different ways!

This year’s program featured a number of exciting makerspaces and programs in Canadian libraries. There were great presentations (thanks to all the fabulous speakers!) and discussions. Here are some of the insights from the attendees today:

* things to do when we get back: use fresh eyes to look at our existing space (one attendee had already identified a space to be repurposed!); start small with things

Continue reading Inspiration & Creative Making

Innovation Labs & Centers



Today’s Google Doodle reminded me that we’re now into the intensive fall conference and event season! A busy time as well all want to grab the latest thoughts, ideas and practices. Innovate, change or die seems to be the current philosophy. In Toronto, D&J in conjunction with the University of Toronto iSchool are hosting a Creative Making Sympsoium which is discuss makerspaces, idea and innovation labs as well as fablabs. In Monterey CA, we will be participating at Internet Librarian and the Digital Strategy Summit. At Internet Librarian, there is a whole day of sessions around the topics of innovation, makerspace & digital trends on Wed Oct 29th that Matt Hamilton will be moderating. And if you are travelling through San Francisco airport on the way to Internet Librarian, you need to check out their new innovation and collaboration space, #converge@flySFO which opened this past weekend!

“Adding a space for innovation and collaboration at an airport — especially an airport in a city where the mayor is focused on it being a hub for innovation — just made sense, said Doug Yakel, public information officer for SFO, noting that airport officials hope this space resonates with tech-savvy travelers and innovators who pass through.

The 850-square-foot space is free and equipped with tables, lounge-style chairs, power outlets, free Wi-Fi and a giant erasable white board with markers. #Converge@flySFO is located in the International Terminal — a location that allows travelers to get together without having to go through the

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Learning Strategies for Libraries


The Learning Challenges for Librarians and Library Managers: a Knowledge Cafe was the last session on the last day before the closing ceremonies of IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress in Lyon. The knowledge cafe, organized by three sections (Knowledge Management, Continuing Professional Development & Workplace Learning, Library and Research Services for Parliaments), attracted 150+ attendees who actively participated in discussing team building and team leadership, peer training, learning strategies for staff, developing and keeping up skills sets for the digital future, staff competencies, mentoring and coaching, and more. The three groups I talked with had a number of common threads:

1. Time — staff have to have permission and time to read/learn/play. In Germany staff had 2 hours/week to read and learn, somehow that went away, and they want it back! Several libraries in Sweden have recently given some staff 20% Google time — the equivalent of one day/week of complete freedom in hopes they will find something of interest for the library. They know that sometimes this happens but sometimes does not — not all good ideas or projects are successful, but the learning is still there. In several countries, Uganda and groups of special libraries had business partnerships allowing their staff to have one day exchanges for learning and renewal. They bring back their learnings and excitement and share with other staff. Some librarians in academic institutions are allowed to take freshman courses so they know what’s happening in their institutions!

2. Personal Continuous Learning & Development.

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MOOCs — we are just seeing all the wonderful opportunities! There will be lots more in our future.

Yesterday the Continuing Professional Development & Workplace Learning section of IFLA hosted a terrific program called MOOCs: Opportunities & Challenges for Libraries. Sandy Hirsh of San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science started off with a look at what academic institutions are doing with MOOCS — she had some great stats and information. I’m hoping that her slides and the others from this session will be available. ! will update this post when I have the link and if I don’t get the link I’m hoping that you will see much (and more) of this program at Computers in Libraries 2015, March 23-5 in DC. And if you have experience with MOOCs, please consider joining us at CIL — the call for speakers is still open!

Michael Stephens, also from San Jose, talked about the successful MOOC for professional development that he did for the global library community last year with 400 participants. Called the Hyperlinked Library, this MOOC was successful even if all the participants did not finish (only 15% did) — 76% said they got something out of the experience. What they liked included global networking, learning about their own learning style, renewed thinking and a fresh outlook. Michael also talked about the roles for librarians within MOOCs including learning guides, access providers, creators and learners. The participants of this MOOC continue the conversation on a Facebook

Continue reading MOOCs — There will be more!

Learning in Victoria BC with CLA!


Yes, we’ve barely finished the super Ontario Library Association SuperConference, and I haven’t even had a chance to write the several blog posts bubbling in my brain about that event!! However I wanted to point out that the Canadian Library Association annual conference program is now available online. Rebecca Jones is doing a pre-conference workshop with others on Strategy & Persuasion: Tools for Info Pros on Wed May 28. The opening of the trade show follows with a reception.

Change and change management are big topics for CLA this year. Paul Takala, Chief Librarian/CEO of Hamilton PL & John Pateman, Chief Librarian of Thunder Bay PL talk about change management on Wed May 29. For more on both, see Erik Boekestijn’s interview with each of them at OLA last week! Just click on their names and the link should be there!

On Friday, May 30, Stephen Abram is facilitating a discussion by CLA President Marie De Young and a panel of industry experts on Building Bridges to the Future — Colleagues, Collaboration, Consultation (3C’s).

I am very excited about putting together a new one day workshop for CLA on Sat May 31! Driving Change for Community Impact. Many exciting and interesting speakers including Andrew Wells, University Librarian from Australia, and Dave Pollard, former Chief Knowledge Officer & creator of process facilitation cards. Check out the full workshop program and wonderful speakers — and join us!


Happy New Year & Lots of Learning!


Happy New Year to all our friends and colleagues! The beginning of a new year is always a great time for planning, for thinking about our skills and what we might like to learn in the coming year. We’re very excited about all the events that we will be participating in this year and wanted to share some with you. We’re sure there will be more along the way!

Ontario Library Association SuperConference, Jan 29 – Feb 1

* Session 324 Positioning & Talking Points for Public Libraries — Stephen Abram (Thurs 9:05 am)

* Session 614 Conversations with New Professionals — Jane Dysart (Thurs 3:45 pm)

* Session 1028 Extreme Library Makeover: Space, Programs & More — Madeleine Lefebvre, Erik Boekesteijn & Jane Dysart (Fri 9:05 am)

* Poster Sessions — yes Dysart & Jones is sponsoring them once again — stay tuned for more!

Building Smarter Organizations, Vancouver Club, Feb 4th

Metrics & Libraries, University of Toronto iSchool Institute, March 3-4

Computers in Libraries 2014, Washington DC, April 6-10

* Workshop 3: Encouraging a Change Culture in Your Library — Rebecca Jones & Stephen Abram

The Future of Libraries: Survival Summit, Washington Hilton, Washington DC, Apr 7-8 — Rebecca Jones & Ken Haycock

The Future of Libraries, Royal York Hotel, Toronto, May 1-2 — Ken Haycock & Jane Dysart

Building Smarter Organizations, Arts & Letters Club, Toronto, May 8th

Creative Making, University of Toronto iSchool Institute, March 15-16

Canadian Library Association Annual Conference, Victoria BC, May 28-31


Continue reading Happy New Year & Lots of Learning!