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Embed 'Em Where the Action Is: Watering Holes

Every week, I have the opportunity--often the opportunities--to provide on-the-spot reference services at a local coffee shop. Among other morning caffeine inhalers on hand as I make use of my own most portable electronics, some shyly ask about the rudiments of choosing and/or using specific creation-enabled tools (iPad, smartphone) . Others ask for help altering the settings on their ereaders. Another kind of query relies on my ability to connect them to online resources when they've been stumped by their own efforts to find the very specific information they'd like to uncover.

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2012 Trends Every Librarian Needs to Know

Thanks to the California State Library's Rush Brandis, many of us received this presentation in email form today. The story told by these new figures, and suggested applications for creating a responsive information future, include an array encompassing health, education and much more besides commerce and entertainment.

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Apps for Librarian Productivity

Caveat! This post isn't intended as technical review, but one busy librarian's experience!

A few days ago, I received another in a growing line of requests for a list of iPad apps that I find most useful in my workaday life. While the list does, of course, go through the necessary evolution that is part of contemporary tech, maybe sharing a current snapshot list here is in order.

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Dan Pink and Improv Skills

Dan Pink is coming out with a new book on December 31, 2012.  It’s called, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.  To "sell”, for him, includes much of what we do all day which is convince, persuade and motivate people to do what we want or need them to do.

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Mental Models of Community Engagement Hold Us Back

My colleague Gail Griffith and I did a preconference at ALA called Mental Model Busting.  One of the mental models we explored was community engagement.  As you might guess, people’s mental models of community engagement were all over the map.  Not that there was disagreement, just wildly different assumptions about what is meant by “community engagement”.  The flipcharted responses revealed that to some it was partnering, for others it was identifying community.  For some it was having the whole community read the same book, for others it was letting the community see our value and for oth

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Which Kind of Customer Service Do You Mean

Today I attended Laurie Brown’s ALA webinar on customer service.  I do a lot of customer service training, and I wanted to hear how others approach the topic.  And here’s what occurred to me:

Almost 300 people paid to attend the webinar, which tells me there’s a lot of interest in “customer service.”  But what is it people really want to know?  What happened in the webinar parallels my experience with clients who want in-person customer service training: there seem to be two distinct areas where people want help.

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