ETIG Library Camp: Jason Hammond

Jason Hammond: Lackadaisical Anarchy!

Organization Development Specialist: training, planning, developing opportunities…

With a few anecdotes, Jason raises the idea that the level of openness, trust, and comfort that people have with public transparency — specifically with blogging and social participation online — is evolving.  His plan: to discuss what he’s doing with emerging technology, and what public libraries are doing with emerging technology.  They are not the same thing, because of that evolving level of trust and interest.

Comparisons between Jason, and Regina Public Library:

  • Web Site: Jason has a blog hosted on his own domain; RPL has a static HTML website, .pdf newsletter, possibly moving to a CMS and a Virtual Services Manager.
  • Intranet: Jason uses LogMeIn; RPL has Sphider open-source PHP search engine with no remote log-in.
  • Message Board: Jason has none beyond blog comments; RPL uses free service called
  • Traffic Analysis: Jason counts blog stats and uses Google Analytics; RPL uses and blog stats, but is minimal.
  • Blogging:  Jason has blogged since 2006; RPL has multiple internal and external blogs fed by broad group of library stakeholders.
  • Wikis: Jason uses as needed; RPL has internal and external wikis for subject guides and staff management.
  • RSS: Jason has it on every post; RPL only has it on blog and wiki content.
  • Instant messaging: Jason has accounts on every service; reference services uses Meebo.
  • Podcasts:  Jason has one regularly maintained audio file; RPL has regular podcasts.
  • Flickr:  Jason’s is mostly pics of his kid; RPL has local history, and albums for every branch and some services.
  • YouTube:  Jason’s is clips of the kid, again; RPL has two “test” videos from over a year ago (from their Home Lottery; OMG what a concept!)
  • Delicious: Jason uses it as a dumping ground/external memory; RPL has a delicious account for local history research.
  • Twitter: Jason updates once a month or so; RPL has no Twitter presence.
  • Facebook:  Jason has 638 friends; RPL has 676 friends.
  • MySpace:  Jason has an unused account; there is no RPL presence.
  • Slideshare:  Jason has four presentations up with thousands of views; RPL has an account that is unused.
  • Scribd: Jason has some things there; RPL is not yet using.
  • Mashups: Jason has gotten a copyright challenge for use of a Loretta Lynn song; RPL has been using some Google mashup features.
  • Gaming:  Jason has lost his edge, since his son is now his entertainment; RPL has a Wii for use in the branches, but no games for loan.
  • Mobile services:  Jason has an emergency cell phone; RPL has a mobile version of the website for core services.
  • Downloadable books: Jason’s Sony MP3 player won’t work with a Mac; RPL is launching Overdrive in July.
  • Wireless:  Jason has it at home, locked; RPL has wireless with no log-in required.
  • (Ack! I was listening and fell behind!)

So! Emerging Technology runs the gamut in public libraries, from libraries doing things that individuals might consider “old” to examples like RPL that do a bit of everything, testing and trying and exploring.  Innovation is often based on “better to ask forgiveness” models, and the need to meet patrons where they are in order to not miss the swath of young people that are at the edge of library vision.  Much emerging technology is antithetical to traditional organizational practice, so it’s a challenge to integrate it into our operations — that culture of trust and transparency has to be built.

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