Posted tagged ‘workshops’

The Future of Meetings

August 11, 2009

Today I went out east for the first MLA tech services section meeting of the term.  It was a fairly productive meeting, despite being at a slight stand still due to the recession.  Mostly it’s becoming evident that barely any libraries in the state have a professional development budget at the moment.  So, we’re looking at an immediate future of scaled back conferences, online meetings, and a possible workshop on how to run online workshops (we were sort of joking that we should bring in a speaker and have them teach from behind a curtain for that one).

Something is definitely being lost by making these movies.  I know of at least one co-worker who admits to not getting much out of online lessons, and I know she’s hardly alone.  But we’re gradually reaching the point where traditional learners are going to be left in the dust, and I’m not sure there’s anything that can be done to avert that.

Now in slightly cheerier news, I just have to share that thanks to a friend I’ve got a random Twitter appearance over on Macworld.  The Tweet in question, is of course from a conversation about killing zombies (although of late they have given way to to unicorns and pandas).

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Twitter Talk Recap

July 17, 2009

Last night’s talk was a learning experience for me.  I’ve taught a few techie workshops at my library now, and in all the previous instances the attendees came to the class without a great deal of prior knowledge of the subject matter.  Yesterday that was changed up in some very refreshing ways.

First I only had a class of 2.  Seven had signed up, but I was opposite a major thunderstorm and an event downtown.  Both of the people who did show were mostly unfamiliar with twitter, but clearly displayed a knowledge of other social networks on the Internet.  These two elements pretty much caused me to throw my agenda out the window and instead teach according to the flow of the conversation.

I had some really observant questions that I hadn’t prepared for (but should have), the best kind.  For example, once they saw Twitter, one of the people instantly identified that it had no clear revenue stream.  I also got to go off on a fairly long tangent on the difference between Twitter and the status updates in Facebook.  

It’s always nice to have a class that just gets it.

Twitter Talk

July 16, 2009

Once again I have cleverly scheduled one of my computer workshops opposite Third Thursdays here in Pittsfield.  But that’s OK because people have signed up anyway, we’re actually on track for this to be my largest workshop to date.  Very exciting.

But there are still a few seats left.  So people of Pittsfield, the forecast tomorrow is calling for rain, you don’t want to be outside for that.  Instead, come to the Berkshire Athenaeum at 6 p.m. and learn all about Twitter, the hottest site on the internets.

And for any Twitterers out there, I’ll be giving a live demo.  So follow me between 6 and 7 and contribute to the conversation.

Target Audiences

May 13, 2009

Busy day today, I got to run two events, a web 2.0 workshop in the morning and then a video game program in the afternoon.  Both went great, with decent turnouts and some very engaged participants.  I particularly liked when our DDR free play turned into an impromptu dance party.

However, the one thing that is becoming aparent is we’re struggling a bit with our varied demographics.  My workshop was attended by a mix of staff and patrons, with somewhat differing levels of comfort with the material.  I’ve been planning my sessions for novices, but I have frequently had to rework things on the fly when they have turned into staff trainings or master classes.  Next week I’m running an evening talk on video games for the library, and have no idea what to expect.

Which brings me to today’s video game program.  We had attendees ranging from about 8 to 18, which made at least one parent a bit nervous about their child.  Now we’ve been trying to keep these programs fairly open, particularly as we’re struggling to have the time to properly devote to these sorts of programs.  We can’t afford to devote the staff time to running more than one of these programs a month, so we’ve opted to leaving them fairly open in order to maximize our audience on those occasions.  But the wide age range does make things a bit awkward sometimes.

Introduction to Web 2.0

April 24, 2009

My latestest workshop offering is ready to go for tomorrow morning, and I still have no idea how it’s going to go.  I’m envivsioning this one as a brief state of the internet for the still unininitiated, but I’m still not quite sure on how to make it as brief as I would like.

I’m pretty much looking at trying to fit blogs, wikis (and wikipedia vs. Britannica), myspace, facebook, linkedin, digg, second life, flickr, youtube, technorati, delicious, memes, l33t speak, and lol cats into a single hour.  I’m hoping that this’ll serve to get people interested in then attending workshops dedicated to those various services.  Or this could just turn into an overly ambitious failure.  I’m hoping it’ll at least prove interesting for people.

Remaining Stationary

March 18, 2009

One of the less noticed effects of the current recession on libraries has been the cutting of educational benefits.  Our consortia has been amazing at offering varous continuing education workshops for member libraries, but they’re having to cut back on what they can offer.  This is partly due to their own budget situation, but also fewer and fewer people have been able to get our of their libraries to attend.

This is tragic, but it’s also something that’s incredibly hard to campaign for.  Our services have to come first, as is only right, but it’s still a problem when one of the best means of improving those services is taken away.  And beyond that, we are a part of a community of libraries, and attending various events outside of our own buildings is the best means of networking with others in that community.

Everyone loses, but normally no one knows that there’s anything wrong.

The Long Weekend

February 17, 2009

I really hate coming back to work after a holiday weekend.  The day’s over and I still feel jetlagged.  And it didn’t help that today proved to be pretty eventful.

I got to start by running my first workshop on LibraryThing, which I loved.  I managed to get a nice mix of staff and patrons for it who seemed to be pretty engaged by the material.  I particularly like that the group really did seem to grasp the site’s potential, I even got to go off on a tangent on the OSC project.

Then while cleaning up the consortia’s server died.  Meanwhile, we were swamped with an extra day’s worth of patrons and deliveries.  Oh and pretty sizeably number of our desk staff were out sick.  And to top it off we had a planning committee meeting scheduled too.

Tomorrow, another meeting.  God I’m tired.