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  • valarie907 9:23 pm on December 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hyperlib, labels   

    terminology for library peeps 

    Since beginning SLIS classes, I’ve become curious about the labels librarians use for people who use the library or its services.  When the issue came up again this semester, I set up an informal poll to get some feedback.  I appreciate everyone who shared it, voted and left comments!  You may view it online, but here is a summary of the results.

    It would have been ideal to ask people using libraries as @infointuitive suggested, rather than library students and professionals, but I didn’t have access to that kind of audience.  So I decided to include background information in the poll to get an idea of who took the poll, even though it meant shortening the options and allowing voters to choose more than one answer.  As of December 11st, 494 votes were cast from unique IP addresses.

    What should we call people who go to the library and/or take advantage of library services?  (494 voters)

    customers 70 votes 11 %*
    members 39 votes 6 %
    patrons 312 votes 49 %
    users 166 votes 26 %
    visitors 32 votes 5 %
    other (please leave a comment) 13 votes 2 %

    above percentages calculated with total: 

    I go to the library and/or take advantage of library services. 147 votes 30 %
    I work in a library/information institution. 280 votes 57 %
    I am a library/information student. 65 vote 13 %

    above percentages calculated with total: 


    *Percentages are rounded.

    The 51 comments included these terms:  Client, informed, learner, community, shareholder, student, friends, faculty, elders, specific grade levels (i.e. 5th grader, freshman)  guest, people, specific target audience (i.e. graduate students, legal researchers, consultants), readers, and researchers.

    I appreciated the comments that reflected that the labels we use are contextual.  Terminology we use may depend on; the institutional or community tradition; the type of library we are in; to whom we are speaking, both inside and outside our institutions; specific library activities and services; and how we intend to relate to the individuals and identifiable groups in our community.

    Does It Matter?  Yes, it’s an old conversation with no clear solution for all, but my concern centers on what the label used means to our communities and less with what it means to librarians because labels are powerful.  Ultimately, I don’t want to exclude anyone because they don’t identify with the terminology I am using.  So, I will take my cue from others in the field and choose my terminology according to the context while keeping in mind who I am talking to and who I am talking about.

    Yes, you can still weigh in…and, no, I won’t call them peeps.  *smile*

    Thank You!




    Digitalist:  What do you call the people who use your library?  (2010)  http://www.digitalist.info/2010/11/26/what-do-you-call-the-people-who-use-your-library/

    Hack Library School:  The Name Game  (2011)  http://hacklibschool.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/the-name-game/

    Jack’s:  Let’s Reconsider Our “Users” http://jacks.tumblr.com/post/33785796042/lets-reconsider-our-users

    Library Hat:  What Do Libraries Call Users, and What Do Library Users Think of Themselves in relation to Libraries?  (2012)  http://www.bohyunkim.net/blog/archives/1885

    Library Journal Back Talk: Patron or Customer (and why)?  (2007)  http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6457205.html

    On My Mind: Library Patrons, Customers, Users, Oh My: What We Call “Patrons” is Important.  (2012)  The Information Activist Librarian:  http://informationactivist.com/2012/10/10/on-my-mind-library-patrons-customers-users-oh-my-what-we-call-patrons-is-important/

    Stephens Lighthouse:  What to Call Library User Communities  (2008)  http://stephenslighthouse.com/2008/07/26/what-to-call-library-user-communities/

    Sullivan Free Library’s Blog:  What do you call people who use the library?  (2010)  http://sullivanfreelibrary.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/what-do-you-call-people-who-use-the-library/

  • valarie907 11:54 pm on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hyperlib   

    goodbye…no, not really… 


    Dear Hyperlinked Library Classmates,

    My heart and my mind are full of all of the valuable lessons learned together.  I’m glad to have learned them while still in SLIS because it has solidified the values in librarianship that I hold dear.  I look forward to strengthening them in my remaining classes.  They include:

    • inclusive
    • social
    • participatory
    • playful
    • transliterate
    • always learning
    • user-centered
    • community driven
    • transparent
    • thoughtful
    • brave
    • trend-setting
    • unpretentious
    • human
    • adaptable
    • open


    I didn’t mention technology; because I’ve determined through this class, experience in an educational setting, and personal principle that “technology” is merely the evolution of the wheel and therefore a tool to accomplish an objective…should these tools disappear, as they tend to, I will still uphold my library values.  I shall focus on fluency as I continue to develop my PLN, even as I try to figure out the strangeness it often presents.

    I especially appreciate the generous heart and spirit of our teacher.  I’ve always felt that transparency was a weakness (yes, I wear my heart on my sleeve) and I appreciate the value Dr. Stephens has given it in the institutional culture.  I appreciate the balance between concepts and applications offered by Michael and all of you throughout this class.

    One unexpected experience was blogging…publicly.  It was wonderful to see how each of you approached it with creativity and personality.  I’ve learned how important timing and consistency are, to keep it short (tl;dr!), not to promise posts not yet drafted (JCLC 2 & 3 stories still in the works *blush*), to make a checklist so I don’t leave something out (like tags).  Thanks for being a forgiving audience!  I appreciate that Michael is providing a community so that we may continue to develop our voice, share, inform, inspire and interact with each other and the rest of the world.

    I’m delighted to join a profession with creative, intelligent, compassionate and enthusiastic fellow librarians.  One of my favorite things about the SJSU SLIS online degree is meeting people from all over the world who are in different walks of life.  Each of us brings a diverse background, set of skills and experience that enhances our learning experience.  Thank you for sharing and for teaching me.

    So, the class is coming to a close, but I’m amazed at how small the library community is and I hope to stay connected and that we can meet someday.  I wish everyone the best in their endeavors and aspirations.  May you all be blessed with life satisfaction!



  • valarie907 1:07 am on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hyperlib   

    hyperlib virtual symposium: libraries build community 

    It was hard to choose a topic for our final assignment because we covered so many wonderful and important topics throughout the semester about how librarians can invite meaningful participation in their libraries.  I finally settled on a topic related to my director’s brief about integrating interactive features into library websites and my content book report on “Communities” by Peter Block.  I’m fascinated with the various and creative ways libraries support and contribute to their communities and the significance impact they have (or should have) on community development.  So I decided to create a presentation about how libraries build community.

    While nearly all the examples are from public libraries, this should not discourage other types of libraries from engaging their respective communities to:

    • serve & help
    • share & curate
    • celebrate & affirm
    • teach & care
    • create & innovate
    • grow & preserve
    • include everyone
    • step outside their comfort zones
    • offer free classes
    • use local experts
    • reflect community values
    • support community development
    • protect intellectual freedom

    You may view the Google presentation *here.  Please feel free to leave comments.  Thank you!

    *edit The correct link is: Libraries Build Community

    • Pamela Hawks 1:26 pm on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I watched your whole presentation on my iphone — isn’t that so hyperlinked of me?! All I can say is… what an amazing presentation. You provide so much useful and in-depth information and present it in such an inviting way (and all this with two sick kids!!) Thank you for taking the time to work on such a useful project. I will definitely use this as a reference going forward!

      • Valarie 10:23 pm on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        So glad it worked on your iphone, and that you liked it, Pam. It was super fun to search for examples…I have more, but it was getting too long!

        Both boys made it to school today…one goes to state competition this weekend, so I hope he’s on the mend.

    • Judi E 4:37 pm on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Ok, that’s the best commercial for libraries I’ve seen yet! You should forward that to ALA. What a great resource and a fabulous promotion, Valerie! (Thanks for providing us with the link – I didn’t want to miss your prez!)

      • Valarie 10:28 pm on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        What a nice thing to say, Judi! Thanks for your encouragement! I’ll post it to the ALA Think Tank Facebook group for starters. …and I think I’ll do a version of this for an Ignite style session at ATALM next June, but for tribal information institutions.

    • Robin Dearborn 8:07 pm on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Valarie, I loved your presentation. Each slide was interesting and informative. You offered so much to think about in a concise and powerful way. Thanks, Robin

      • Valarie 10:32 pm on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Super glad you enjoyed it Robin! It was amazing to see how libraries are working their values into what they do. It was also fun to squeak 3 Alaska examples (2 from my own community library museum!) into it. =]

    • Beth Morrill 1:04 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You had so many cool examples! I really liked your presentation. Definitely share it.

      • Valarie 9:00 am on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Beth! I’m pretty passionate about this topic, and viewing some other tumblr’s inspired me to give it a go on this theme. I set it up so others can post to it too. Check it out here: http://librariesbuildcommunity.tumblr.com/

    • Peter Bromberg 8:43 am on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I just watched your presentation (it was linked from ALATT group on Facebook). Very nice! Thanks so much for sharing and for the dose of inspiration 🙂

      • Valarie 9:15 am on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Peter! So glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to search for examples and heartwarming to find so many!

    • Jade T.M. 9:50 pm on December 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I really enjoyed your symposium! All the examples you shared of libraries serving and connecting with users and communities were great! From social media, to the non-traditional collections (like tools – how cool!), to the gardens and community events…to the Mobile Express “lab on wheels” and the Drive-up window (talk about ways to make services more convenient!)… your examples really showed ways libraries can reach out to users. Great job!

      • Valarie 12:22 am on December 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Jade! I really enjoyed seeing how libraries are putting the concepts we learned into action…and nontraditional collections are simply awesome!

  • valarie907 9:51 am on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hyperlib, networking, SLIS students   

    networking with QR 

    Thank goodness I made business cards as advised to before I went to ALA 2011 in New Orleans.  I was told they were handy for networking.  Netwhat?  I’ll be honest and say I pshawed the idea.  Me?  Network?  Right.  I’m as reserved as I am private, so, even I wasn’t prepared for my enthusiasm to meet and talk to people who shared a mutual passion.  The cards came in handy.  Since then, I’ve attended a few conferences and have exchanged many business cards.  It’s a challenge to place the card to the person and conversation, so I devised a system to note the conference, date, keywords or description on the cards for later reference.  It also occurred to me that I might be hard to remember.

    Last year, after receiving a message on Twitter, I took a look at the sender’s profile and followed an URL to their about.me page.  Wow, I was impressed!  It was a simple, attractive and informative online business card.  It also included a photo of the person, making it much more personal.  Since then, I made my own about.me page and recommend other students to do so because it’s easy to customize and update.  The next time I order cards, I’ll add the URL to it, but it isn’t going to happen any time soon.  After hearing my son talk about using QR codes at school, I decided to make one to put on the my card.

    It was cheap and easy.  I made the QR with a free generator.  There are many to choose from, but QRStuff.com lets you adjust the colors, and GoQR.me lets you adjust the size.  I used a template for 3 x 11 (1” x 2 5/8”) address labels and copy and pasted two codes to a label, centered them and then copied them into the rest of the labels.  After printing, I cut the sheet into strips and placed them on my cards.


  • valarie907 12:03 am on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hyperlib, privacy, ,   

    social media for the private person 

    Social media reveals a lot about a person and it is important for people to be aware of when, where, how, why and who they interact with online and what sort of digital information is shared, collected and stored about themselves and their activities.  Geospatial or geolocation technology is a growing piece of our everyday interaction with technology, intentionally and unintentionally, and it is on the rise.

    I’m a private person, so I probably wouldn’t use an app like FourSquare.  In fact, I remove location tags from my Facebook profile since Facebook does not allow users to just turn off Google Maps.  A place and time stamp can be intrusive, and potentially unsafe if it reveals too much information, enabling people to be victimized.  If law enforcement can use metadata in photos and information collected from social media, so can cyber stalkers and criminals.  Frankly, I don’t want that much information available to recreate my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for accountability, but it needs to be balanced with respect for people’s privacy.  Give them an inch…

    One day, a “Seen by” feature popped up on the Facebook group I created for a non-profit donation center I run.  It included names and times when members viewed a post.  This was a breach of privacy.  As a grad student I stay up late to work; how late is nobody’s business.  Nor is it my business when someone views a post.  It turns out that it is useful for groups that needed accountability (i.e. classes), but the time too?  Really?  Do people need to know what I was viewing a post at 2 am?  I’m surprised it didn’t reveal locations.

    Since then, the time stamp has been removed, but names remain.  I must confess that I take a peek on occasion even though it leaves me feeling like a nosey neighbor.  Facebook collects all kinds of information, and they mean to make a profit and in their pursuit of that profit they can turn on and turn off features for all the information they collect with little warning.

    As much as I love social media, I have other concerns about our use and dependency upon technology in addition to privacy and security:

    • Mindful Participation:  We are responsible for what we share intentionally and unintentionally, but it is a challenge to stay informed.
    • Intellectual Property Rights:  Who owns all that info about us and what we share?  It usually isn’t the user.
    • Mass Consumerism:  We continue to cultivate a culture of mass consumption…to what end?  Which leads right into:
    • Sustainability:  What about the resources used in creating and using these devices?  The slave mines, the energy and where is the waste going?  It is much more costly to throw a text book away than it is an iPad.
    • Digital Divide:  Technology has traditionally been an advantage of the elite.  How can we provide access to this potentially transformative technology to all?
    • Interpersonal Connectivity:  Are we spending too much time using our devices?
    • Addiction:  I’m embarrassed to say how many times I check [you name it], and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  I find the reward nature of social media to be a little disturbing and I find it worth asking if I control it, or if it’s controlling me.

    Now, if you excuse me, I need to check Facebook and Twitter, update my LinkedIn account, upload some pics to Flickr, see what my friends are reading on Goodreads, find Diigo again, figure out what to do with Google+ and contemplate deleting my Pinterest account…


    Chandler, K. (2012). Crowdsourcing to protect your privacy. Retrieved from http://gisweb.apsu.edu/content/crowdsourcing-protect-your-privacy

    Dwoskin, E. (2012). Keeping conflict minerals out of your cell phone. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-12/keeping-conflict-minerals-out-of-your-cell-phone

    Fakhoury, H. (2012). A picture is worth a thousand words, including your location. Retrieved from https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/04/picture-worth-thousand-words-including-your-location

    Kelly, H. (2012). Police embrace social media as crime-fighting tool. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/tech/social-media/fighting-crime-social-media/index.html

    Kopp, J. (2012) Social media risks & rewards. Retrieved from http://blog.ketchum.com/social-media-risks-rewards/

    Letham, G. (2012). Location-based apps rising in use despite privacy concerns. Retrieved from http://blog.gisuser.com/2012/04/09/location-based-apps-rising-in-use-despite-privacy-concerns/


    • Pamela Hawks 3:22 pm on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      If you haven’t seen Cory Doctorow’s Ted talk on facebook, privacy and social stimulus, you should watch it because he really gets to the “meat” of the problem as I see it:

      My fave quote from it: “facebook cashes in the precious material of our social lives and trades it for pennies”

      Thanks for bringing up ideas that we often don’t want to consider. it’s important to always be “looking over our shoulder” before we take leaps of faith into all these networks.

  • valarie907 10:12 pm on November 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , hyperlib, ,   

    school library messages 

    school library signs and posters

    school library signs and posters collage made with photocollage.net

    Since our User Experience module, I took the opportunity to take a fresh look at the signs and posters we had up around our school library.  The image above is a fair sample of them.  I was relieved that none warranted immediate removal, but I did feel that a more personal touch could be added.  Signage has a tendency to become “unseen” after some time, so fresh messages are also important.

    The messages we send to our library customers can be subtle; with signage, in our correspondence, and use of physical space.  Children are especially vulnerable to these messages because they are absorbing knowledge about how the world works through their experiences which shape their future behavior, expectations and interactions.  I’ve been trying to see the “library” brand and their experience in our school library through their eyes.  Of course there is a list of improvements that can be made, some easier and cheaper to implement than others.  Fortunately, we have been progressing in the right direction.

    Yet, sometimes the obvious shames me…such as when I asked if a student was ready to check out and he exclaimed excitedly, “We can check out magazines?!”  I felt bad as I told him, “No.”  As he walked away disappointed, I asked myself “Why don’t we check out magazines?”  This led me to the conclusion that we should absolutely check out magazines if the students want to check them out, and any objection could be countered with a solution.  My co-worker agreed and amazingly enough a stand became available that would work perfectly for our new service.  We received permission to order a set of very nice, brightly colored, magazine covers, a policy was fashioned and voila, we are checking out magazines!  In fact it’s a challenge to get them back to change out the old issues.

    children's magazines for circulation

    children’s magazines for circulation


    • Pamela Hawks 8:44 am on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Of course! Why shouldn’t magazines be checked-out? I was surprised when I started working at my library that serials could be checked out because the old model was that serials were for reading only in house. A demonstration that re-evaluation is always a needed part of any public service. Good for you in bringing about a needed change!

    • Judi 11:23 am on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You’re a mover and shaker school librarian Valerie! This is a fabulous example of “Why Not?”
      It’s sad that lack of funding prohibits some of the best children’s materials in my local library system from being checked out because they’re too fragile and too expensive to replace, so are kept in the reference section. The disappointment is on a child’s face is heart-wrenching!

      Also, terrific sign photo collage!

    • Patty Miranda 1:18 pm on November 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      First of all Valerie I would have to say I love how you used the library signage pictures. I will have to try it out in one of my blog one day.
      I have also had students ask me if they can check out magazines or paperback books. Normally I would say they have to stay in the library, but because our student body and staff consist of 750 people and I am struggling to balance everything on a 15 hour work schedule by myself I tend to give in. I don’t have the time to officially add it to the library policy. I do wish we could get new subscriptions to magazines, but there is no money at the moment for anything. I am glad that at least I was able to catalog some new books that were transferred to our school when a Kindergarten center closed down. They are titles that we desperately needed especially since Kindergarten students were now going to be using our school library.

  • valarie907 11:52 pm on October 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hyperlib, indigenous, policy   

    rules of participation 

    Policies generally govern individual behavior for the benefit of a community, and I’m counting on that value.  I am currently developing a website for Alaska Native Issues Roundtable of the Alaska Library Association called iLAMS which stands for Indigenous Libraries, Archives and Museums.  Creating a User Policy for the iLAMs website takes special consideration because of its unique audience and purpose.  This site is similar to our class site since it is also built using WordPress and BuddyPress.  It is an open format that will consist of user generated content in the home page blog and user created groups for collaborating and networking on topics.  A great deal of research and planning has been done to figure out how to build an online community and creating a friendly user policy that promotes that sense of community requires a clear sense of purpose for the site.


    The mission of this website is to provide a gathering place for Indigenous LAM institutions and workers to meet; to share our knowledge, resources, and accomplishments; to learn from each other; and to collaborate across geographical distances and boundaries to better serve the needs of our people so that we may affirm, preserve and sustain our cultures and cultural values.  Together, we are stronger.


    • Community:  Content is user generated by members through posts, comments and other documents.  Members may create and join groups to focus on specific topics and connect within other members. 
    • Inclusive:  Indigenous persons working in a library, archive or museum are welcome.  Anyone working in a library, archive or museum which serves indigenous populations, including non-native individuals, professionals, paraprofessionals and people working without the benefit of formal training are welcome.
    • Transparent:  Genuine member profiles facilitate a sense of community as we get to know each other.  Profiles include as much information as desired and may be edited.  Unique profile images (avatars) are encouraged.
    • Share:  Everyone is encouraged to share resources, best practices, solutions, and ideas so that we may become better informed and improve our abilities.  This includes training and professional development opportunities.
    • Celebrate:  Sharing news and events from our institutions and Native communities is encouraged and valued so that we may learn from each other and celebrate our successes.
    • Affirm:  Many of these goals reflect our indigenous values and this community is an extension of those values.  It serves us well to affirm, preserve, and sustain our cultures and cultural values.  When this can be accomplished together for the benefit of all, then collectively, we grow stronger and our cultures more sustainable.


    A list of rules will not encourage sharing and participation.  While I believe a user policy is important to establish clear expectations and guide new users how to use a site, I am concerned that a lengthy and technical policy will dampen the enthusiasm of a new user; especially when user content is essential.  I understand the technical language is primarily to protect the site and its affiliates, but the most important function of this user policy will be to offer guidance for user behavior without discouraging participation.  The language should be inclusive and positive and it needs to be short enough for busy people to read, yet, defined enough to inform and reduce any anxiety about how to use the website.  The very short welcome on the home page of LISNPN (LIS New Professionals Network) encourages me that a site like this can be successful without an overwhelming user policy.

    By no means is the attached document a final user policy, but it’s a good start.  If you have any suggestions, please share them!  Thank you!

    iLAMs User Guide  [pdf]


    Besides the list of resources offered for this assignment, I also used the following sites:

    Education Week: Rural EducationUser Agreement (and see “Ground Rules for Posting” on this page)

    Evolve (see the footer)

    Library 2.0Terms of Service

    LISNPN – LIS New Professionals Network (see “Welcome!” toward the bottom)

    Seward City NewsComment Policy  & Terms of Use

    Town Square 49Comment Guide

  • valarie907 2:04 am on October 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , diversity, hyperlib   

    who is the library customer? – someone different 

    Another issue important to serving our library customers is a good understanding of diversity and cultural competency in the field of librarianship.  The following is taken from an extensive paper I wrote about indigenous libraries last fall and adapted and expanded to include new information.

    Diversity and Cultural Competence

    Inclusiveness of underserved populations requires cultural competency of non-minority library professionals and workers in areas of access, services, programing, environment, and relevant collection development to name a few (Gulati, 2010; Jaeger, Subramaniam, Jones, & Bertot, 2011; Overall, 2009).  Burke’s (2007) study of Native American use of public libraries in the U.S., show that socioeconomic and geographic variables have a great influence on library usage, often indicated by the use they make of library services, such as access to technology or task related behavior rather than for enjoyment and recreation.  Cultural competence takes into account the cultural frame of reference of the library users to enhance library service to best meet the information needs of the demographics represented in the service population.

    Awareness of different cultures, identities and abilities is essential in today’s world (Gulati, 2010; Jaeger et al., 2011; Kumasi & Hill, 2011; Overall, 2009).  Jaeger et al. (2011) states that “each population has its own information needs and cultural perspectives toward information that need to be accounted for.”  Diverse groups often feel unwelcome or do not use their local libraries (Burke, 2007; Overall, 2009).  Which is not surprising since the early purpose of libraries was to assimilate and not validate indigenous identity (Mohi, 2009) and the majority of library professionals do not represent the underserved (Gulati. 2010; Jaeger et al., 2011).

    Cultural competency is no longer optional; it is required in order to provide information access to diverse populations and demands continual education of the library worker (Balderrama, 2000; Jaeger et al., 2011) which needs to begin while LIS students are in school (Kumasi & Hill, 2011).  Overall (2009) defines cultural competency as “highly developed abilities, understanding and knowledge” (p. 183) to aide in providing “equitable access” and an “equitable environment” (p. 199).  Jaeger et al. (2011) suggests preparing the profession for changing trends in demographics because “without a better representation and understanding of all diverse and underrepresented populations in terms of information, LIS scholarship is at risk of irrelevance for the majority of the population.”  Services offered without cultural awareness results in services based on the externally perceived needs rather than successful and beneficial services (Overall, 2009).

    The Alaska State Library Association sponsored the formation of the Culturally Responsive Guidelines for Alaska Public Libraries adopted in 2001 (Ongley, 2001).  These guidelines were developed by a group of Alaskan library directors and sponsored by the Alaska State Library to help public librarians examine how they respond to the specific informational, educational and cultural needs of their Alaska Native users and communities (Alaska Library Association, n.d.).  The guidelines were generated to meet the needs of the Alaskan indigenous population served by public libraries as well as other cultural groups in the areas of the library environment, services and programs, collection development, and library staff (Alaska Library Association, n.d.).  The dialog these guidelines generate nationally is of great importance to the non-indigenous librarians understanding and awareness of the indigenous population(s) they may serve.

    ACRL Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee developed the Diversity Standards:  Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries to provide a framework for academic libraries to effectively and skillfully engage their diverse communities in hopes it will encourage local application of the standards (ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee, 2012).  Cultural competence is defined as:

    “A congruent set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable a person or group to work effectively in crosscultural situations; the process by which individuals and systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each.”  (National Association of Social Workers, 2001)

    And, the eleven standards are:

    • Cultural awareness of self and others
    • Cross-cultural knowledge and skills
    • Organizational and professional values
    • Development of collections, programs, and services
    • Service delivery
    • Language diversity
    • Workforce diversity
    • Organizational dynamics
    • Cross-cultural leadership
    • Professional education and continuous learning

    The key concept in these discussions is inclusion to minimize marginalization and separation.  The development of these standards in a library specific context is significant towards practical application of best practices in librarianship.  Cultural competency standards can be adopted both internally and externally to transform the library culture in order to achieve the institutional mission and goals to the fullest extent for the benefit of the community it serves.



    ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee. (June 2012). 2012 top ten trends in academic libraries. College & Research Libraries News, 73(6), 311-320. Retrieved from http://crln.acrl.org/content/73/9/551.full.pdf+html

    Alaska Library Association. (n.d.). Culturally responsive guidelines for Alaska public libraries. Retrieved from http://www.akla.org/culturally-responsive.html

    Balderrama, S. R. (2000). This trend called diversity. Library Trends, 49(1), 194-214.

    Burke, S. (2007). The use of public libraries by Native Americans. The Library Quarterly, 77(4), pp. 429-461.

    Gulati, A. (2010). Diversity in librarianship: The United States perspective. IFLA Journal, 36(4), 288-293. doi:10.1177/0340035210388244

    Jaeger, P. T., Subramaniam, M. M., Jones, C. B., & Bertot, J. C. (2011). Diversity and LIS education: Inclusion and the age of information. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 52(3), 166-183.

    Joseph, G., Burns, K., Doyle, A., & Krebs, A. (2009). Indigenous librarianship. In Encyclopedia of library and information sciences, third edition (pp. 2330-2346) Taylor & Francis. doi:10.1081/E-ELIS3-120044735

    Kumasi, K., & Hill, R. F. (2011). Are we there yet? Results of a gap analysis to measure LIS students’ prior knowledge and actual learning of cultural competence concepts. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 52(4), 251-264.

    Mohi, J. H., & Roberts, W. D. (2009). Delivering a strategy for working with Maori, and developing responsiveness to an increasingly multicultural population: A perspective from the national library of New Zealand. IFLA Journal, 35(1), 48-58.

    National Association of Social Workers. (2001). Standards for cultural competence in social work practice. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers, 2001. http://www.socialworkers.org/practice/standards/NASWCulturalStandardsIndicators2006.pdf

    Ongley, D. (2001, November/December). Guidelines adopted for Alaska public libraries. Sharing Our Pathways, 6(5). Retrieved from http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/sop/SOPv6i5.html#adopted

    Overall, P. M. (2009). Cultural competence: A conceptual framework for library and information science professionals. The Library Quarterly, 79(2), 175-204.

    • michael 4:40 am on October 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You highlight a very important area throughout this well-crafted post: inclusion transcends the challenges of diversity. Thanks for all the resources and citations!

      • Valarie 10:40 pm on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        So glad it was pleasing! I think inclusion will become more important as diversity becomes more visible…and, it is, don’t you think?

    • michael 4:17 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      oh yes!

  • valarie907 12:06 am on October 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , hyperlib, marketing   

    who is the library customer? – marketing 

    Every library, no matter the type is concerned with serving their customers in the best way possible.  What concerns me is the homogeny that is the library customer.  I see it in the school library where I work…it is fairly easy to predict those who “go” to the library.  Yet, that homogeny simply is not representative of the demographic to which the library belongs.  This leads me to ask several questions:

    • Who is “going” to the library?
    • What are they “doing” in the library?
    • What do they “take away” from the library?
    • What sort of investment do they have in the library?
    • Who is missing and why are they missing?

    Hackley Public Library


    I am particularly fond of Kathy Dempsey’s The Cycle of True Marketing diagram because it begins with research.  Research is such an important step to understanding who our customers are as well as who we would like to be our customers.  A better understanding of our community will help us create a relevant program or service for our target group.  Here’s a shortlist of demographic variables, much of which can be answered quite easily, such as population or employment.  (Again, I’d appreciate it if you let me know if I overlooked a variable.)  Others are more challenging, to uncover unknown segments in our population, such as recreational activities or hobbies (ie. archery, belly dancing, or beer brewing clubs).

    • population
    • social structure
    • economy
    • education
    • employment (including largest employees)
    • geography and neighborhoods
    • local politics
    • groups, organizations and associations
    • recreational activities or hobbies
    • community events
    • local experts

    Our school library had a very successful morning event last week with over 80 people in attendance.  It was a pleasure to see parents, grandparents and guardians come in to read with their children over a morning snack.  Yet, I couldn’t help but notice that those who attended did so because of their high value of literacy.   What if we want to see the children who struggle to read or whose parents don’t typically show up attend our library events?  My questions took me back to seeking an understanding of the demographics of our small community and how we can use that understanding to create an event for those who we would like to see in the library.  So, it’s back to step “A” in the marketing cycle…it’s not a defeat…it’s a challenge.

    Chief of Staff of the Army Reads Seuss

    I came across this photo gallery of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries, but something bothered me about it…later, I realized that people were missing from most of the photos.  It is symbolic that humanity should be absent in order to capture the beauty of their physical space; as if the presence of people would mar it.  While I appreciate the iconic beauty of these libraries, I much prefer to see libraries filled with people and activity.  If we want to encourage visiting the physical or virtual library space, images of welcomed activity speaks volumes.

    “To serve our community, we need to know our community.”

    Vancouver’s Library Square

  • valarie907 12:00 am on October 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hyperlib, , listening, transparency   

    exposure and disclosure 

    Transparency is more than sexy…it is essential.  We are familiar with stories of exposure and scandal…Watergate, Enron and so many more.   The fear is in the exposure of secrets (right Pepsi?).  A friend told me recently that she walked away from her position as a CEO when it was mistakenly revealed that her pay was $40,000 less than her male counterparts.  Chris Taggart’s presentation “Corruption, corporate transparency and open data(2012) illustrates the high stakes of corporate transparency to prevent corruption and crime.  The purpose of transparency is to develop accountability, both within and without, resulting in deeper trust between stakeholders and an improved means of attaining mutual goals through open communication.

    Are we listening to and participating in that conversation?

    But, what if there are no “secrets”?  What place does transparency have to do in the day to day operations, of say… libraries?  When information institutions (especially public ones), supporting associations and organizations adopt the culture and value of transparency, the disparity between relationships of the stakeholders is diminished to open up channels of communication and contribution.   It may occur among internal stakeholders (admin/staff/officers) as well as external stakeholders (customers/supporters/members).  Language changes from “mine” to “ours” in order to achieve the mission of the library.

    The movement towards transparency is significant in an age of broad customer choice.  Much of the driving force behind transparency is emerging technology.  We know more, share more, and decide more, faster than ever.  The linear model of the flow of information has morphed into a dialog and the conversation flows through many channels and directions.  Social media and other means of user-generated content have empowered consumers by giving them a platform to voice their opinions and experiences about products and services.  Are we listening to and participating in that conversation?

    Visibility and accessibility are often overlooked aspects of transparency, but can be critical in achieving support.  Libraries offer a tremendous amount of resources that is continually expanding and changing, but those resources do little good if no one uses them.

    Allow me to end o a cautionary note:  Let’s not get institutional transparency confused with careless full disclosure.  While it is true that nothing can be hidden anymore, the decision to disclose information about our institutions should be thoughtfully made so that we are prepared to answer all questions, honestly.  Some activities, such as discarded books or financial records could bring up difficult questions.  Preparing for this type of full disclosure provides an opportunity for the institution to take full responsibility for their decisions, which could mean making a few tweaks here and there, upon examination.  It also means preparing to wade through the deconstructive responses to find the constructive questions so libraries can offer better services and access to information.  Isn’t that what libraries are about?

    The future demands transparency…now.


    Last year, as I explored new models for school libraries for my workplace, I was pleased to discover these excellent resources about transparency in the K-12 school library context:

    Transparency is the New Black by Gwyneth Jones (2012)

    Transparency is the new fierce by Joyce Valenza (2012)

    Transparency and trust for librarians by Doug Johnson (2011)



    Anderson, C. (2006). In praise of radical transparency. http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2006/11/in_praise_of_ra.html

    Lincoln, M. (2009). Transparency: How to become a transparent organization. http://marpr23.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/transparency-how-to-develop-a-transparent-plan-to-maximize-value-and-build-a-brand/

    Stephens, M. (2011). The transparent library: Measuring progress. http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6547089.html?industryid=47356

    Thompson, C. (2007). The see-through ceo. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.04/wired40_ceo.html


    • Judi E 8:27 am on October 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Valerie, thanks for helping us to consider the flip-side of transparency. My first reaction to your cautionary statement “Let’s not get institutional transparency confused with careless full disclosure”, is to agree. Thinking about how I would back up my belief, I’m not sure how I would define “careless” and “full disclosure”. Seems like there’s some subjectivity and gray area around those terms. It would be prudent for any organization, libraries included of course, to collectively establish their own definition and policy.
      Thanks also for sharing the valuable resources!

      • Pamela Hawks 3:09 pm on October 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        @Judi E , Yes, thanks for those links! I was lucky enough to catch Gwyneth Jones’ presentation at the Lib2.012 Conference and just knowing that there is someone like her out there doing what she is doing keeps me charged and ready for change.

    • Jesse B 2:58 pm on October 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you and Judi. I think transparency is a fact of life. But there is a difference between engaging in an honest conversation and carelessly throwing facts or ideas out there. To me, the point is to have a strong relationship with your constituents. This entails being open with them. But it also means engaging with them, discussing why things are the way they are, how you see these facts/ideas playing into the way the organization functions. Transparency is an essential piece, but it isn’t the whole conversation.

    • Abigail Bormann 8:13 pm on October 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I think your distinctions between “full disclosure” and being transparent are excellent – it’s important to remember that some library practices, like disposing of weeded books, are often something the general public finds offensive. (As if throwing away science books from the 1980s were throwing away precious tax dollars!) But I think that some of these “shameful” things we are scared to share with the public are the ones we should be considering for a different spin in transparency-mode. For instance, what if a library were to blog something like, “We recently weeded many very outdated and damaged books from our collections and are going to discard them in order to make room for our newest catalog additions. However, some of these books may be suitable for various craft projects for children – have you seen any great crafts that require old books or printed pages?” Granted, my last library was required by state law to dispose of the books and never let anyone officially have the discards, so that idea might not work for every library… but if a patron were to find out that the library was throwing out books without any context to it, wouldn’t that seem worse than if they are told up front what is happening and the reasoning behind it?
      Just a thought. 🙂

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