Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Publish or Perish- Not Just For Academics

No, I didn't forget that I have a blog. Yes, I will update some of the most looked at pages to make sure I have good links and stay up-to-date. But first, an update of what I've been up to.

Since I created the new layout for the Children's Area at Rapid City Public Libraries I decided to share what I learned. I thought it might make a good webinar but when I reached out to WebJunction they thought it would make a wonderful article. And they were right! My first article "iFought the iPads (and iWon)" was published online and then put in the Crossroads Newsletter.  Since I didn't feel I covered everything I learned I wrote another article, "You Shall Not Pass! Passcode Problems and Other Insights." What surprised me was when I received an e-mail from Strategic Library asking if they could reprint it in their newsletter that reaches 5,000 people. Of course I said yes, and as time got away from me I realized how many times I was published this year- 6 times. Not including the Rapid City Journal articles about Databases and one coming up this Sunday about using Pinterest for Holiday ideas. Plus, I have two book reviews.

The Programing Coordinator that I work with at RCPL has been working for the library for over 28 years. In that time she has sent numerous articles to the local newspaper. Her understanding is that sometimes the best way to market is by sharing the information yourself. Looking back on this last year, I understand what she means. Yes, we should use social media to reach out to our patrons as they wish to be contacted, however, sometimes the old ways are still good ways- newspapers, radio, TV, and also in person. Media might reach more people, but networking and building relationships is something that benefits the library for years to come. 

I'm not afraid of a quick article for the newspaper or something longer, I look forward to it! And I have a feeling I will be writing more in the future.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Dragon' a great fantasy tale- Rapid City Journal (April 6, 2014).

AT THE LIBRARY: Surprises abound at public library- Rapid City Journal (July 20, 2014).

August 2014 Board Meeting- " Staff member Sally-Adrina Taylor is digitizing library scrapbooks and photos, and has uploaded 100+ new items to the digital archive. Digitized materials include newspaper clippings, photographs, and promotional materials." 

Strategic Library- Reprint of iFought the iPads (and iWon), August 15, 2014; Issue 8.

'Some Girls Bite' a transformative novel- Rapid City Journal (October 5, 2014).

Pinterest makes holiday planning easier, fun- Rapid City Journal (November 23, 2014).

The challenges of having a superhero for a dad- Rapid City Journal (December 14, 2014).

 LIBRARY REVIEW: The stories of war- Rapid City Journal (March 22, 2015).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

iFought the iPads

I fully intended to write a blog to follow up my Kiddie Cafe, but I ended up writing an article for OCLC's WebJunction website. You can read it here: http://webjunction.org/news/webjunction/ifought-the-ipads-and-iwon.html or watch for it in their April newsletter the Crossroads. I will work on a follow up article that will share more personal tales of working with the children and parents as well as deciding apps.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If I even help one person from the frustration I felt when trying to set up an iPad on display from out of the box, it was well worth it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Appy iPads: Kiddie Café

The project I manage for months began with a desire to replace a kinderloft. To replace a much beloved, but non practical, structure with something children would enjoy just as much. I volunteered for the project because I wanted to get rid of the kinderloft and I enjoyed working on the reference floor reconfiguration. Using some of my knowledge gained from my child development degree was a nice bonus.

Although it seemed like it would be an easy project it seemed to take on a life of its own. I ended up working with vendors and companies, several different library departments, and learning to roll with changes which included complications, timing for signs and staff, budgets, and more that was unpredictable.

It took me awhile to figure out what to do for the children's area and I asked staff for their opinions. I wanted to make sure I knew what the problems we already had for the youth services area and what improvements we could easily make. One practical solution was to set up a space that was a little bit bigger just for children. And another concern was that we wanted to include a Wii station for teens, but wondered where the best place to put it would be. I learned a lot from this project especially to be patient, to seek the advice of others to gain knowledge, but in the end hard decisions must be made with the best information possible.

Although I have worked with vendors and companies before, this is first time I was able to contact and get pricing for items as a staff member working for Rapid City Public Libraries. I enjoyed picking out individual pieces and figuring out what additions we could add to excite children. Our staff was very excited to see a change but at one point there was a thought to put in large steps. The step idea had staff wonder about concerns whether or not it would be too loud, how much it would cost, or if it was even practical at all. The steps were then surely scrapped and a better idea emerged- kiddie cafe.

An idea sprang about from a co-worker's recent visit to an urgent care clinic. There at the clinic were iPads for children to use while they waited. Once this idea came together I was able to work quickly with facilities and a contractor. It was amazing to see ideas I drew on paper come to life. The finished product was even better than I imagined. Children loved the wall desk even before we put in iPads.

The next phase after getting the iPads was setting them up. I'll continue my story soon with iFought the iPads and end with stands and displays.