Welcome to the official blog of the NELA 2012 Annual Conference! The conference will be held October 14-16 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center in Sturbridge, MA. This year’s theme is “Librarians’ New Dawn”.

We will be reporting on programs and happenings from the conference. We are excited to be sharing ideas and experiences with colleagues from all over New England. We appreciate your thoughts and feedback. We are happy to be in Sturbridge for the 2012 conference and we look forward to seeing you there.

For more information, please visit the New England Library Association Annual Conference Page

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The Trouble with E-Books

Scott Kehoe: A few statistics to start: books sales = $27.2 billion and over $2 billion of that was for ebooks with a total of 38 million eboooks sold. eBook sales tripled from 2010 and ownership of tablets doubled between December 2011 and January 2012 in the US. 20% of Americans own an ereader or tablet and this is before the launch of this year’s new iPad, Kindles and Nooks. Despite the popularity of ebooks and ereaders, libraries still have difficulty getting content.

Big 6 Publishers:

  • Hachette. high prices
  • HarperCollins. 26 circulation limit
  • Macmillan. will not sell to libraries
  • Penguin. will not sell frontlist
  • Random House. high prices
  • Simon and Schuster. will not sell to libraries

Issues surrounding ebooks:

  • DRM. It manages loan periods and early returns, but is cumbersome and limits number of uses and types of allowable devices
  • US Dept. of Justice vs. Apple, Macmillan and Penguin. Anti-trust lawsuit to combat alleged price fixing among publishers
  • The concept of licensing content rather than owning it is eroding first sale doctrine.
  • HathiTrust just won against the Authors Guild which claimed copyright infringement
  • Proprietary hardware (DRM built into devices)
  • Proprietary software (even ePUB format. Though it’s o’pen source, it can be made proprietary by companies)
  • App/enhanced ebooks that incorporate audio, video and/or music into digital text are sold through app marketplace  Will they be available in OverDrive?

Danny Pucci: Second highest circulating branch of the Boston Public Library was their virtual branch (after Copley). BPL partnered with Internet Archive in 2007 to scan public domain books. Titles are accessible through archive.org and available in a number of formats including PDF, ePUB, and DAISY

In 2010 they started digitizing in-copyright genealogical titles and adding them to openlibrary.org which is a lending library. It uses DRM (one patron, one copy) and they are now working with other MA libraries to digitize books and other materials like maps. BPL’s lawyers think this is likely to be considered fair use, but there is always a chance that a court would determine otherwise. OpenLibrary requires an account to use.


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Maureen Sullivan Accepts Emerson Greenaway Award

NELA is proud to award ALA President Maureen Sullivan with the Emerson Greenaway Award for Distinguished Service in Librarianship. The award was presented to Sullivan at the New England Library Association’s Annual Conference banquet on Sunday, Oct. 14, by NELA Past-President Jen Alvino Leo.


Maureen, a New England native, has been recognized for her close relationship with NELA, especially for her work with the New England Library Leadership Symposium (NELLS).

“As a proud native daughter of New England (Norwich, Conn.), I am honored and very pleased to receive this award,” said Sullivan. “It has been a privilege to work with so many NELA members throughout my career, especially all of those who have participated in the New England Library Leadership Symposium.”

For more on the award, please see The American Libraries ALA News Release: ALA President Maureen Sullivan receives Greenaway Award for Distinguished Service in Librarianship

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Building the Digital Public Library of America

Building the Digital Public Library of America, 11:30-1:00

We now have the technology to create the greatest library the world has ever known, and bring it within clicking distance of virtually every person on earth – at least everyone on the Internet. The technology is available, but is the will and the funding? Robert Darnton, University Librarian at Harvard University and a founder of the Digital Public Library of America, discusses the project from the beginning to its current state.


Hearing Robert Darnton speak at NELA is one of the highlights of the conference. We are all interested in hearing about the now well publicized DPLA and what it means to libraries. We all heard about the contentious Google Book Project, and we hear about places like the Bibliotheca Alexandrina digitizing their whole collection for availability. But what about a fair and legitimate digital collection in the US?

Darnton began by talking about the role Harvard University might play in the sharing of knowledge. Should Harvard’s library be considered as a national asset? Should its wealth be shared? The history of libraries has a dark side, a history, for instance, of stealing books from private collections, or eliminating books on undesirable topics. Even the Harvard library had a system in place to keep people out of its confines.

It is not just the physical barriers but the invisible barriers that historically have kept people out of the library. Darnton, and Enlightenment scholar, reminds us of the words of our forefathers. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The field of knowledge is the common property of mankind.” It is this model of reason that Darnton cites as motivation for the DPLA.

The DPLA has an opportunity to break down these barriers that block access of knowledge to people. The project presents a great opportunity in the magnitude of Diderot’s Encyclopedia. There is a new idea of openness that is transforming the world of knowledge. Many courses are being offered for free. Darnton cites the open source software, open metadata, open course, open information highway as reasons to believe that a new age of Enlightenment is upon us, certainly a new opportunity. With the expense of journals and other subscriptions lining the coffers of the publishing industry, we are resented with a model that is no longer sustainable for libraries. A medical journal that was around $12 in the 1970s is about $1200 now. It’s one thing to talk about the model no longer suitable for us, but now Darnton says that something will be done about it.

Harvard expects to be militant about a response to the imbalance in the publishing world. One of the recent breakthroughs happened when Congress mandated the NIH to provide its publications free through open access. We are othe edge of serious work to provide open access.

Google is the most recent example of an attempt to digitize the collections of the great research libraries in the US. Unlike Google, The DPLA offers a clear blueprint for creating a shared infrastructure to serve the public good, including the sharing of information and the use of technology to enable new opportunities for knowledge where others have failed. Where other digital projects have operated in a silo, the DPLA will break down previous obstacles by offering a different set of standards, strong organization through collections and legal expertise, and experience from public and private industry.

The idea of a digital public library and the framework for implementing such an ambitious project almost seems impossible, but the framework and rationale are in place to succeed in opening the gates to knowledge. As Darnton points out, our age makes it possible for a Digital Public Library of America to succeed; it also makes it essential. The time has come. I expect that the DPLA will change the future of information sharing and systems in ways the introduction of the Internet did a couple off decades ago.

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Connecting through Social Media

Speakers: Ryan Livergood, Robbins (Arlington, MA) Library, Michael Wick, Peabody (MA) Institute Library and Ona Ridenour and Allison Babin, Beverly (MA) Public Library

Ryan Livergood: 25% of smartphone owners go online with their phone rather than their computers. There is a need to engage your library community online and establish an interactive dialogue.

Robbins Library keeps an eye on Yelp and Foursquare reviews and responds to patron comments quickly. They can use positive feedback to highlight your achievements with town/city government. Also use Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube and Flickr

Top Tips:

  • Keep it simple
  • Avoid too many cooks in the kitchen. Everyone should have an assigned task so no one person has to keep track of all social media endeavors
  • Keep track of stats (can use Hootsuite for Twitter and Facebook)
  • Content rules. Keep content interesting  and don’t let accounts founder. They habe 3-4 blog posts per week. Work shared among staff.
  • Recycle and borrow content. Retweet from other sources or send blog posts to local newspaper for publication.
  • Don’t fear worst case scenario, but if it happens be ready to respond to negative comments in a calm, professional way and keep trustees informed of situation.
  • Don’t use social media you don’t have a use for. Use what you can, but don’t feel like you have to have an account with every service.
  • Have fun. Thanksgiving video

Michael Wick: What works with social media?

It allows you to advertise services and serve patrons, but also can make your daily work easier. Investing time and money into making OverDrive tutorial videos reduced time needed to provide one on one sessions with patrons (from 1 per day to 1 per month approx.). Various services available to make videos. Wick used Camtasia Studio for a cost of $250 due to its editing features and the lack of a limit on length. Pros to making video are that staff can refer patrons to it rather than having them wait for an appointment, replying to comments and questions on YouTube video is a great way to connect with patrons. Cons are that it took 3-4 hours for each video (not including learning the software), money was needed for the e-readers and Camtasia Studio, videos need to be updated as devices and OverDrive changes, the library needs to be able to keep up with the questions posted on YouTube and there is still a need to create paper handouts.

Meetup.com is a platform where you can create a page based on a shared interest or activity and post events to which users can rsvp, and post pictures afterwards at a cost of $80 per year. There are about 11 million monthly users and 340,000 different monthly meetings. Libraries can use it to promote their programs or to identify a group whose interest aligns with a library program. They used Meetup to find a group interested in board games and offered the library as a meeting space. Not only did they have 10-20 people each month attend the event, but it also served as a chance to introduce the participants to the library. increase circulation and reference stats as these people used the library and create good PR. The downside is that it is not a traditional library service so you may need to spend time justifying it to management,  and staff running the program ending up acting as something of a party host.

Ona Ridenour and Allison Babin: Pinterest is like a visual version of Delicious. You can add images from all over the web or upload your own, add video from YouTube, add description or comments, and organize them in “boards”which are usually theme based. You can login through Facebook, Twitter, or an email address. It’s very easy to learn, quick to use and the responsibility can be shared across staff. Pinterest can be integrated into your Facebook or Twitter feeds. To alleviate copyright concerns, be sure to pin images from the source and to credit that source. You can uses services like Pinerly to get statistics.

Possible things to highlight with a Pinterest board:

  • reading lists
  • events
  • photo tours of library
  • meet the staff
  • celebrity bookworms
  • picture of the day from a digital archive collection
  • museum passes
  • e-resources
  • book trailers
  • share a board with multiple users or invite the public to upload their own photos

Pinterest etiquette

  • credit your sources
  • repin and like
  • follow others
  • be actively engaged, but don’t flood follower with pins. Use a scheduler to have them appear several at a time or plan to pin just a few every day
  • add length in description if using video
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Understanding the hype: iPads and book apps in children’s services

October 16, 2012. 10:30-11:30
Vicki Oatis from Norwalk Public Library.

2 years ago, they started using iPads in the children’s department. She will share what works and what haven’t.
Norwalk community is very diverse population. Not a lot of the community can afford their own iPads. 4 iPads for in house use- one is first generation the other 3 are ipads 2. All ipads are linked to one account but no more than 5 ipads per account. Last year those were circulated just under 400 times. They have it in the literacy stations. Loaded lots of literacy apps and book apps. This allows people to try it out. Originally they had to sign an agreement. But not any more too much paperwork but will need to bring it back because internet is not filtered. They have an table just for iPad use enough for use of 4 iPads. Parental supervision. No downloads permitted. For one hour at a time. Purchasing of apps through the book budget.
Use in story time. Best with small groups, allow children to touch and interactive with it, can use it with large groups, connect to a projector – VGA converter cable for $29.
Finding apps. Kirkus review book apps which is free on their website, AppSmitten – breaks apps down by categories, rely on patron requests, talking animal apps, recommendations from blogs and magazines
Favorite apps and uses. For story time- the going to bed book, barnyard dance, moo baa la la la, go away big green monster, sun goes to bed. For school visits- bartlebys book of buttons, Nash smasher, spot the dot. Apps for at the table- real racing, cookie doodle-you make a cookie. Temple run, fruit ninja, car racing popular game apps.
Words of warning. No easy way to delete history or clear-you can reset but then you have to reinstall all the apps. Precaution- close all open apps, open email to make sure no one is logged in, clear safari history, clear history on YouTube. Good advice- do not. Put folder titled Education because the name is too boring, best not to use folders at all.
All children deserve the opportunity to try out new technology. Help provide them with the skill sets they need to develop latest skills set.

Demonstration of some Story time book apps. Pending on the number of audience she will let kids come up and touch the screen. Barnyard dance can make animals dance. Animations and background music. The going to bed book. Nash smasher. Pat the cat. Pop out Peter rabbit. Don’t let the pigeon run. Monster at the end of this book. The three little pigs secrets of a pop up book.
For older kids. Sock puppets- create a play and can record. Reel director-make movies and shows. Alice in wonderland, the fantastic flying books of mr morris lessmore.
Games. Car racing.

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Librarians and patrons at webscale

October 16,2012. 8:30-10:00
Chris Martire from OCLC

Our future. Ray Kurzweil, American author, inventor and futurist. Predicted future of computer, tiny cameras, online education, by 2019, humans would experience 3d experience with glasses. G.co/projectglass video or link here through youtube- http://t.co/TtRJs2Se. Google is actively working on this project. These are our future patrons. Lots of data behind this project such as weather, maps, subway, businesses, etc dates. This is one persons view of the future.
What information do libraries have that we might want to push out like google project glass?
Think of global, regional, locally, and personal scale.
Extend our reach globally. Four companies google, amazon, Facebook, and apple the biggie companies.
What about libraries at webscale? Engage users in different ways that are more compelling to them. How is your library moving at the global, regional, local, or personal level. Is it through inter library loan, through databases, outreaching to the community. The big issue is privacy concerns. What is acceptable to librarians and the users.
Seth Godin. We are all weird:the myth of Mass and the End Of Compliance. We have to engage with the people who are not at the center of the market.
At a webscale we are all weird. Patros want personal and personalized service and personal touch. We expect the site to know us such as amazon recommends books when we log in.
Who’s in your library? Where do we begonour information research? Search engine 84% in 2010. Wikipedia 3% in 2010. Library web site0% in 2010. Library web site use n 2010 33%. Libraries need to work on website. Online resources are becoming more commonplace. The favorability scale is moving down.
Illinois ERIAL project http://erialproject.org. Joint project between librarians and anthropologists. 88% of college students start research with google which is 3x than anything else. Simple or keyword search box experience about 85%. Students do little evacuation. They don’t change their search strategies.
Project information literacy in washington. Http//projectinfolit.org
80% of students report difficulty in framing topic. Use safe topics. 90% use google or Wikipedia for everyday life research. 87% turn to friends or family for help and 50% to teachers.
The library brand 2010. Librarians are more valuable. 76% in 2005, 83% in 2010. % of people who have been assisted by librarians and who completely agree or that librarians add value.
Trend watcher-Kevin Kelly. Better than free:how value is generated in a free copy world. Tools of change for publishing video. 6 trends or verbs in which publishing will takes place. 1)screening – people of the book. Now it’s people of the screens such as times square. Screens are everywhere even at the gas pump. One screen for all. The move from oral to literal to now visual.

What value (services) are you offering to your people of the screen?

Check out this visual on http://www.go-gulf.com/blog/60-seconds. Things that happen on the Internet every 60 seconds.

Trend watcher Steven Berlin Johnson video. Where good ides come from. http://t.co/o14IQfND

Shared data shared infrastructure, increas visibility, collective collections, combined influence.

Libraries operating at webscale, OCLC webshare! OCLC worldcat. An opportunity to share innovation.

What killer apps could we add to a library services platform?

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Your Professional Development: Building Upon Strengths to Pursue Personal Mastery

Your Professional Development: Building Upon Strengths to Pursue Personal Mastery, 8:30-10:00

Individuals can create a personal plan for their professional development by using a strengths-based approach, starting with a careful assessment of current talents and abilities. Maureen Sullivan introduces a simplified process to make this assessment and devise a development plan based on goals and a strong commitment to achieve these goals.


Maureen began by handing out a sheet that required participants (a rather large crowd of about 50) to become more reflective about their strengths. The handout asked questions about strengths, values, personal work style and learning style. The reflective form also asked participants to be more reflective about the professional person we aspire to be. We we also asked to articulate goals for our learning development, sources of support and ways we can move forward.

I am particularly fond of Maureen’s approach. It requires that librarians become more reflective and more proactive in facilitating change, personal and perhaps institutional. I hear from colleagues and friends who look for opportunities and a chance to grow. Many, however, do not articulate a vision for what they can change, or what needs to change, to facilitate growth. The individual needs to invest in their own development.

The approach requires tough questions. Is the work a good fit? Is it meaningful? Can I achieve my goals in my current work and atmosphere? Is the support in place for me to achieve certain goals? These questions might result in uncomfortable responses, or necessitate a response to tough challenges. The questions elicit a continuous self assessment that allows individuals to move forward with confidence. In many ways, the process comes from Socrates’ statement that the in examined life is a life not worth living.

One final note about Maureen’s process is her remarkable ability to get her audience to talk. The audience, after working with a partner to discuss the answers to a series of written questions, really opened up the floor with a flood of stories. The discussion and feedback becomes an exercise in collective reflection. It recalls a quote by David Weinberger in his new book, “Too Big to Know” in which he says the smartest person in the room is the room.


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