Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘professional development

ACRL 2013 Conference

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ACRLlogo

I’ll be at the Association of College & Research Libraries 2013 Conference Wednesday through Saturday (April 10-13). Thought I’d share my tentative schedule here in case anyone wants to catch up before/during/after a session. I have lunches and Friday night dinner open if people wanna meet up! Comment, text me, tweet or DM @edorney to get in touch.

I’m presenting with some of the other Lead Pipe Editorial Board members on Thursday at 3 PM about #diylib culture. We’d love to hear your thoughts before the panel session so we can incorporate a variety of perspectives. Check out our recent editorial for all the details. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 10

8 PM – Battle Decks! – Imagine, Improvise, Inflict: Get Inspired or Die Trying

Thursday, April 11

8 AM – Building a Dream Team: Library Personas in the 21st Century Library

9 AM – Meeting with Lead Pipe Editorial Board members

10:30 AM – Library Publishing and Undergraduate Education: Strategies for Collaboration

1 PM – Hacking the Learner Experience: techniques and strategies for connecting with your instructional ecosystem

2 PM – Poster Session

3 PM – From the Periphery into the Mainstream: Library DIY culture(s) and the academy

4:20 PM – Henry Rollins Keynote

Dinner with Lead Pipe Editorial Board members

Friday, April 12

9:30 AM – Poster Session

11 AM – Contributed Papers: “The Mother of all LibGuides”: Applying Principles of Communication and Network Theory in LibGuide Design/Hidden Patterns of LibGuides Usage: Another Facet of Usability/The Unobtrusive “Usability Test”: Creating Measurable Goals to Evaluate a Website

1:30 PM – The Art of Problem Discovery

2:30 PM – Poster Session

4 PM – “Love your library”: building goodwill from the inside out and the outside in

8 PM – All Conference Reception

I’ll probably be blogging at some point since this is my first time attending ACRL. Anything you’re looking forward to?

Written by Erin Dorney

April 7, 2013 at 12:18 AM

These are things that are happening

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globe

March

On March 12th (2 PM EST) I’ll be co-presenting “Stealth Librarianship: Creating Meaningful Connections Through User Experience, Outreach, and Liaising” with Kiyomi Deards and Bohyun Kim. We’ll be talking about relationship-building and how user experience research, outreach, and stealth librarianship can be used to create meaningful connections within the campus community. The class size is limited to 60 participants, so register now! And let us know if there is anything specific you’d like to see us cover.

April

I’ll be in Indianapolis from April 10-13 for the ACRL 2013 Conference. It’s my first ACRL and my first trip to Indiana. On the 11th I’ll be presenting on a panel with some my fellow Lead Pipe editors:

From the Periphery into the Mainstream: Library DIY culture(s) and the academy – In October 2008, In the Library with the Lead Pipe published its first article. Additionally, numerous groups have been hosting unconferences, infiltrating SXSW, and more. The culmination of do-it-yourself (DIY) activities points to a growing DIY culture that is permeating academic libraries. Find out from some of these DIYers what DIY library culture has inspired in academe, and how these innovative enterprises tie into our scholarship, instruction, and advocacy.

May

I was invited to present a session for academic librarians at the Pennsylvania Library Association Lehigh Valley Chapter Spring Workshop on May 23rd at Muhlenberg College. I’m trying something a little different (modeled on a session I saw Aaron Schmidt and Amanda Etches do in November 2011) and will be bringing in some students to discuss the library:

A Crevice or a Chasm? Investigating the Disparities Between Experience and Expectation – How wide is the gap between what students expect from the library and what they experience? Hear from four current college students about why, when, and how they use (or don’t use) the library. Audience members will have the opportunity to pose their own questions to the panel following this facilitated conversation.

June

My first conference abroad! A joint proposal I submitted with two colleagues was accepted for presentation at the 5th International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries being held in Rome June 4-7 at “La Sapienza” University. Does anyone have international travel tips for me? I’ve never been outside the US, so this is big & awesome news!

One Website to Rule Them All: Meeting the Needs of Students, Faculty, and Librarians – Most academic library websites have three main audiences: students, faculty, and librarians. While there are additional audiences (including non-users, community members, staff, and parents), these three groups spend the most amount of time on our sites. Libraries risk losing credibility and customers if these three main audiences do not have a good experience on the site. While each of these groups has a different set of needs and expectations, many academic libraries do not have the freedom, time, or skill set to develop a distinctive website for each user group. Our challenge, therefore, is to create a single website that meets the needs of each of our individual user groups without sacrificing continuity of design, quality of information, or consistency of navigation for one group over another. This presentation will highlight the opportunities and challenges of building an academic library website for students, faculty, and librarians. Each speaker will address one audience and will highlight various qualitative measurements which attendees can recreate at their home institutions in order to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of their websites to make targeted improvements.

How is your spring looking? Anything you’re looking forward to? If you’ll be at any of these events, make sure to say hello!

Image CC BY-SA 2.0 courtesy of fsse8info on Flickr

Written by Erin Dorney

January 14, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Help us speak at SXSWi 2013!

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sxsw logo

This year I submitted two core conversation proposals for SXSW Interactive. Acceptance at this conference is extremely competitive—over 3,200 speaking proposals were submitted for 2013, more than ever before. This is where I need your help! Public voting accounts for 30% of the decision-making process regarding which proposals are selected (40% of the process is the SXSW Advisory Board and 30% is based on the input of SXSW staff).

Anyone who creates an account on the SXSW Panel Picker is eligible to vote on the ideas they believe are most appropriate for the 2013 event (even if you don’t plan on attending). It’s a simple process that will only take a few minutes of your time. If either (or both) of my topics sound intriguing to you, I would love your support! It would be a dream come true to present at SXSW—I’ve never been to Texas, y’all!

Voting is open now through August 31st. Thanks in advance for your help! And if you’re a librar* aficionado, check out and vote for the other library, archives, and museum-related proposals (follow #sxswLAM on Twitter for details).

Proposal 1: Seriously Good Writing on the Web w/ @frierson re: @libraryleadpipe

Everyone’s got opinions. How do you make sure yours don’t stink? Join our core conversation for an engaging discussion about how to ensure your writing is taken seriously on the web. Team members from the award-winning blog In the Library with the Lead Pipe will facilitate and share tips on new, nimble, proactive forms of digital publishing which borrow editing practices from academia but add an idea-centric, action-oriented approach to content. Help us define a new genre of publication that leverages seriously good writing while at the same time encouraging commentary, discussion, and participation.

  1. How can I ensure my writing is taken seriously on the Internet?
  2. How do I structure an editorial/peer-review process?
  3. How can I get people to volunteer to create content for free?
  4. How can I maintain an action-oriented approach to long-form, scholarly writing?
  5. How do we define this new genre of publication?

Proposal 2: The SXSW Statements: Your Email is Killing Us w/ @lcsarin

Email drive you batty? “Reply All” make you want to scream? Lots of people have tried writing email manifestos and bills of rights, but the problem remains. It’s time for the thought leaders at SXSW to stand up and say NO MORE. At this participatory session attendees will create an collaborative digital public declaration that takes a stand against clumsy communicators. Once designed, this crowd-sourced manifesto will be shared around the globe, in the hopes that we can enjoy a little less work and a lot more play. Let your voice be heard!

  1. What are the “new rules” of email in the digital age?
  2. What does an effective email look like?
  3. What are the rules for “reply all”?
  4. How can I manage my inbox without having a mental breakdown?
  5. How can I teach my friends/colleagues/boss about proper use of email (without pissing them off)?

Written by Erin Dorney

August 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

How to attend a virtual conference

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computer on a desk

With the 2012 ALA Virtual Conference right around the corner, I’m sharing some tips for attending online conferences and webinars. Below are things I’ve learned while completing an online master’s degree, presenting content virtually, and organizing/attending the ACRL virtual conference back in 2011:

1. Clear your schedule.

Multitasking is a fabulous thing, but it’s easy to slip into mindlessness during a virtual conference, particularly if the slide deck is less than scintillating. Don’t double book yourself to be on-call or monitoring emails during the time you’ve set aside to learn a new skill. Chances are you or your institution paid quite a bit of money for this opportunity and it’s important that you engage actively with the presenters, audience, and content. Lock your office door, block out time on your calendar, and force quit Outlook. It’s time to learn.

2. Get yourself a rocking headset.

There’s nothing more attractive than a earphone/microphone combo unit. I jest, but honestly, if there is any kind of audience/presenter interaction planned, you’re going to want something more than your built-ins. Most online conferences allow audience members to chat/IM with the presenters or moderators in order to ask questions. Only a few sessions I’ve attended have allowed people to actually speak to one another and usually these were smaller, more intimate events. I can only imagine what kind of nightmare would occur if hundreds of attendees tried to speak over one another. If you’re attending a virtual conference from work, wearing headphones sends a non-verbal message that you are busy. If attending a virtual conference from home, I’ve found that wearing headphones helps me concentrate on the session instead of wandering off to wash the dishes or organize my colored pencils.

3. Forage for noms.

Having some delicious snacks can help you stay focused on the task at hand: learning. Plus, carefully selected, healthy foods can give you a quick energy boost when staring at a screen just… becomes… too… boring… zzzz. I recommend coffee (it’s one of my main food groups), fruit or veggies like green peppers, apples, or carrots (just make sure your mic is muted!), and little bit of trail mix with raisins, nuts, and chocolate.

4. Cue up conference hashtag.

We all know and love tabs and multiple windows, right? Use them to open the webinar software and Twitter simultaneously so that you can monitor off-site mentions. Most events will have a designated #hashtag and this can be a great resource. You can connect with other attendees to build your network. Sometimes people will live-tweet the webinar and non-attendees will chime in with their own thoughts and questions. Presenters will often interact via the hashtag pre-event to drum up excitement and curiosity. And if you blog about the virtual conference, be sure to tag your post to maximize reach.

5. Take breaks.

It’s really, really tough to sit for an extended period of time and maintain focus while looking at a screen and hearing a disembodied voice. I recommend taking a few breaks throughout the day. Some virtual conferences have these built in as transition time. What I’d love to see is a virtual conference that incorporates some sitting/standing/stretching exercise techniques for attendees to go through during the down time (ALA, go!). This leads right into my last tip, which is…

6. Find out if the sessions will be recorded.

Attendees often have access to recorded sessions for a certain period of time after the event. This allows you to take breaks when you need them while still getting the most out of the virtual conference. Another thing you can do if you have access to recorded sessions for an extended period of time is pace them out. For example, if you had access to 9 recorded sessions, you could watch one session a week for 3 months. You could learn a new skill from a new presenter each week!

I also encourage you to check out Jo Alcock’s Ten Tips for Presenting a Webinar, if only to get a feel for what it’s like on the opposite side of the screen. So, what other advice do you have for attending a virtual conference? Feel free to share in the comments!

Image CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 courtesy of Pörrö

Written by Erin Dorney

July 9, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Women Who Tech TeleSummit 2012

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Women-who-Tech

I first heard about the Women Who Tech TeleSummit back in 2010, after reading a blog post by librarian Bobbi Newman. I have been trying to expand my professional development to areas outside of librarianship, so this affordable ($20!) and accessible virtual conference seemed like just the ticket. And I was not disappointment.

Mostly, I attended the sessions relating to startup culture. Half the time, I had no idea what was going on. Awesome! That almost never happens at library conferences. But it was really neat because I was so intrigued by the things I didn’t understand. I feel like I’ve been exposed to an entirely new vocabulary and I’m definitely going to be investigating some of the speakers’ recommended resources. As someone who dreams about owning her own business someday (there, I said it), it was inspiring to hear from this dynamic, creative, tech-focused group of women. It was also interesting to listen to the discussion with my ears bent library-wards… à la Brian Mathews’ recent “Think Like a Startup” whitepaper. Lots of possibilities for applying these principles within higher education and librarianship.

I definitely recommend attending the 2013 Women Who Tech TeleSummit if you can! Below are my notes. Do you have any thoughts on startup culture or how it might be applied in your field?

Funding Your Own Startup
Amy Errett (Maveron Capital), Amanda Steinberg (DailyWorth), Joanne Wilson (Investor) & moderated by Pemo Theodore (EZebis)

  • Can you have an idea funded? It’s difficult – you need proof of concept to gain traction. Business is 1% idea, 99% execution.
  • You usually have to give something for crowd-funding models (not equity, but a product) so it might not work for something like an online media company. Music, arts, consumer products have been successful there (i.e. Kickstarter).
  • CircleUp just launched 6 weeks ago. Depends on the amount of money you want to raise, but at least crowd-funding gives people options.
  • Understand the character, values of the people who are investing with you. You will live with them for a long time. Investments go through cycles of good and bad.
  • Entrepreneurs often don’t think they have the luxury of being picky about investors, particularly in the early stages when they are just excited to be funded.
  • Focus on revenue to have negotiating power. Quality of business model and financial model are very important. Investors have their own agendas.
  • (Steinberg recently got a $2 million investment) Now looking at ways to segment her audience at DailyWorth (daily email about money geared to women), launching CreateWorth, hiring more people. Bridge between financial services and women.
  • Required reading on start up culture/entrepreneurship?

Harnessing Your Power
Elisa Camahort Page (BlogHer), Lynne Johnson, Susan Mernit (Oakland Local) & moderated by Jill Foster (LiveYourTalk)

Professional purpose & one critical decision that has shaped you as a leader?

  • Journalism background, technologist, critical cultural thinker. Wants to bring those things together in her profession. Shape young people, is overjoyed to see them surpass her. Critical decision: To start blogging in 2000/2001, lead to her being seen as a leader on and offline (Johnson).
  • “hyperlocal site” Oakland Local. Critical decision: thinking about non-traditional career paths, what work would utilize her strengths and be rewarding to her? (Mernit)
  • Creating opportunities for women. Critical decision: took a job in an industry she knew nothing about, was confident about succeeding or failing, then moving on to something else (Page)
  • What does asserting your power mean within the industry you’re working in? Context/culture matters. Know what battles to pick. I will always pick the battle for the customer, for the user. Back down when it will truly demoralize your staff.
  • Learn to understand group dynamics and how to harness that power for the greater good. Confidence is very important for a leader. Taking risks enables self-confidence, absolutely.
  • Engage others, bring them in on the conversation, listen to their ideas.
  • Women competing with other women? You’re often competing to be the token woman, so it’s understandable. But that’s not a solution.
  • Be strategic & display assets that you have that the rest of the group doesn’t.
  • As a new manager, how would you form relationships with existing employees? It’s difficult in a corporate environment, people below you may have interviewed for the job. In a small company, things are flatter and it’s easier to assimilate into the culture.
  • Ask questions as often as you make statements.
  • Practice public speaking – presentation means a lot in leadership. Find mentors. Reach out and help others.
  • Make time for yourself, don’t make yourself the last person on the list. Be willing to go around obstacles instead of over them. Don’t stay in a place where you’re stalled.
  • “Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does allow freedom.”

Agile Development and Failing Fast
Sarah Allen (Blazing Cloud, Mightyverse, RailsBridge), Shaherose Charania (Women 2.0, Founder Labs), Tara Hunt (Buyosphere) & moderated by Jen Consalvo (Tech Cocktail, Thankfulfor)

  • Agile Manifesto – 2001. Emphasis on working together nimbly. Refined & primarily adopted by the engineering side of software. Promoted on business side through lean startup movement.
  • Idea generation, validation, prototype. Cutting out the fat – what can I build today, quickly, at a low cost to test my assumptions? Lean startup – getting data from customer, making iterative changes (small changes each day), designing your product in real time with your customers (early adopters who are OK with a fuzzy product and will give you feedback).
  • Minimum viable product (MVP)? When should a product be pushed out? Different viable products for a beta customer vs general population.
  • Do you want press or do you want polished product? Get feedback from more than just your friends & supporters. Test with your target audience. How will you define your market? Early MVP can be the smallest unit of work that you can use to test your key assumptions. Doesn’t promise more than you can deliver. Release a tiny product with A feature, not the all the features.
  • Failing fast? Take customer data and your vision and merge them. No one is 100% right (you or the customer).
  • It’s a challenge to not be afraid of failure. Things we can prove vs things we believe. Assumption might not be completely wrong, but we need to know more about it.
  • Is this failing fast culture killing creativity? What are we measuring as failure? What are the metrics? “pitch deck” Failing fast versus succeeding slowly.
  • Agile practices – balancing art vs science? Unique to your team, the vision for your startup & their appetite for risk. Startups are creating something from nothing, isn’t that what artists do?
  • The Starfish and the Spider, by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom
  • Find tools that work for your team. It’s about communication and collaboration.
  • Don’t take funding for as long as possible. Be independent. Allows you to tweak, think about things differently.
  • ⅔ of new startup ideas right now are not new, they are mashups, derivatives. Not that those aren’t important.
  • “Creative Fridays” – stretch your mind in a different way for a few hours.
  • Intellectually give yourself permission to do stuff that seems completely unrelated on a regular basis. Something that seems fruitless to keep your mind alive.
  • Have a personal board of advisors during this time. A startup can be chaotic and lonely.
  • Write down what you think the vision of your product is, what your key assumptions are and how you intend to test those assumptions.

Written by Erin Dorney

May 31, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Computers in Libraries 2012

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cherry blossoms

On Tuesday I’m headed to Washington DC for the 2012 Computers in Libraries conference (also known as CiL, hashtag #cildc). It’s my first time but I have heard great things from past attendees. Really looking forward to my first conference since early December! I’ll definitely be hitting up @jill_hw for my SU iSchool wristband (any other SU grads out there who are attending?).

Presentation

I’m presenting “Redesigning Reference Models” with two of my Millersville colleagues on Friday, March 23 from 10:30-11:15am. We’ll be talking about how our renovation project gave us the opportunity to rethink how we provide research help to the campus community, particularly without a centralized physical reference desk. Check out our teaser video and collaborative Google Doc to learn more. We’re encouraging everyone to use the hashtag #undesk for our session so we can keep track of the conversations.

Blogging

I’ll be blogging, but I’m not sure exactly when due to informal TableCons, LobbyCons, FireCons and BarCons that I’ve been assured will crop up. Live-blogging sessions, nightly recaps, post-conference highlights…anything is possible. There is a list of other CiL bloggers and the conference blog is a pretty nice resource too.

If you want to eat/chat/etc, hit me up on Twitter @libscenester. There are just a few days left to apply for our open Learning Design Librarian position, so if you want to discuss the job at all, hit me up in DC. Hope to see you there!

where credit is due:
Hand-drawn Post Layout via pugly pixel | CC BY-NC 2.0 Cherry Blossom by design_energy | Denne Fuchoor Font via dafont

Written by Erin Dorney

March 19, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Goals for 2012

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I don’t typically do a lot of goal setting, but there are some key things I want to accomplish in 2012 so I thought I’d post them here. If nothing else, it might help me stay accountable now that these have been released beyond my mind’s eye:

  • Read more for pleasure (35+ books)
  • Learn Drupal or die trying (okay, that may be a little extreme…)
  • Successfully defend my MA thesis & graduate from West Chester University
  • Complete Five Wishes/living will and collate all paperwork relating to benefits/insurance in case of an emergency
  • Pay off my remaining student loan and save $10,000
  • Apply for promotion & tenure

And some guiding principles:

  • Go outside
  • Do good work
  • Ideate
  • Help others

What are your goals for 2012? Do you separate personal/professional goals or lump them all together?

Image by http://dryicons.com

Written by Erin Dorney

January 4, 2012 at 6:07 PM