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Learning and Teaching by Pattern Recognition

There is no longer any credible argument that a range of tech skills aren't  important to 21st century literacy. Yet one worry/concern/unhappiness I often hear from public library staff is frustration with trying to teach folks how to navigate various databases and distinguish the user's perceptions of databases from the World Wide Web. Maybe reviewing what we know about our own--and users' --abilities to recognize patterns can lower that threshold of angst. Pattern recognition is something we do all the time:

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How Do Off Duty Discussions Influence Your Library Practice?

Over the weekend, I spent a couple hours in discussion with three lawyers, one practicing, one retired from an academic career, and a third disillusioned and in the throes of considering other vocational options. At some point, the talk turned to classification--within library systems of materials and, in hyper-contrast (?), by the Nazis of populations--and the question was floated: are you a lumper or a splitter?

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Learning and Teaching by Pattern Recognition

There is no longer any credible argument that a range of tech skills aren't  important to 21st century literacy. Yet one worry/concern/unhappiness I often hear from public library staff is frustration with trying to teach folks how to navigate various databases and distinguish the user's perceptions of databases from the World Wide Web. Maybe reviewing what we know about our own--and users' --abilities to recognize patterns can lower that threshold of angst.

Pattern recognition is something we do all the time:

[more]

New Year's Resolutions @ My Library

Once upon a time, when public library collections revolved around the paper of books and magazines and the vinyl of locking CD and video cases, the midwinter high school break was nigh and all of the teen workers employed at my public library wanted to schedule extra hours of work. One of the reasons we had created and maintained this worker classification was to give adult staff more awareness of how teens saw the library as a working environment, and another, of course, was to expose the teens to the library as a working environment.

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Just Do It

Keeping your community on the move and engaged can't happen if you stick to the planning stages of whatever strategic changes you know are necessary to keep development a reality. Yes, careful planning is important; but there comes a point when "careful" gives way to a kind of scrupulosity that means "stalling." You and/or the library staff may simply be stalled out by fear, rather than by a need for more helpful information or insights.

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Mountaintop Experiences

Next week, Infopeople is sending a few California librarians to a new and unusual library conference. "R-Squared" (Risk x Reward) promises an exciting "mountaintop experience," both in that cheesy life-changing sense and also in a completely literal sense, as we'll be spending a few breathless days in Telluride, Colorado, at close to 10,000 feet. We've received advisory emails about drinking extra water, toning down weekend exercise goals, and coming with open minds.

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