Alternative Discovery Options: DCPL mobileapps

Chris Tonjes (IT Director/CIO) and William McClendon (Enterprise Architect) of the District of Columbia Public Library were the presenters of this session. They have a good team that have been doing some very innovative things. They even blog about some of the stuff they do and other interesting information at the DCPL Labs Amino site. I’ve been following it for a while and have found it very informative. They were the first library in the country with an iPhone app and it is pretty slick. The theme of their presentation was about developing that app and the strategies involved. I was impressed by their knowledge and skills. Parts of their presentation were a bit too technical for me so I’ll try to write what I understand.

On with the notes:

It is not the time to retrench and not offer new things because of budget cuts. It is time to experiment with new tech and try the things that may make our services better. (amen!)

They are allowed to experiment and fail. A lot of the things they try don’t see the light of day but they get to try. Their boss encourages it. Their experiments are small and not publicized. I really like the “labs” idea and really would like to have something similar.

Goals for their mobile/iPhone app

  • Wanted to integrate their content with the iPhone interface and iTunes app store
  • Leverage their code with many other new things

The platform will become more agnostic soon as they develop new versions. They used the lessons they learned building their iPhone app to expand their mobile offerings and will begin applying those lessons as they move forward. A new version of the app will have a library barcode in it for scanning. It will also take payments via iTunes. Make and change holds, update account. They are working on BlackBerry and Android versions too.

They chose to design the iPhone app instead of a general mobile site because an app is:

  • WebServices driven
    • Built once, usable for all implementations
    • ILS system, version, platform, and patch agnostic
      • no need to need to update whenever there is a change in the ILS
      • it doesn’t matter what ILS they use (they can change and it won’t affect the app)
    • Implementation did not disrupt ILS, staff, patrons, or IT!
  • Apps are platform OS specific, utilize unique features
    • you get all the cool features of the platform
  • App store based delivery, 100% smartphone OS vendor support
  • Webservices are ILS specific, but Apps are NOT
    • port Webservices to alternate ILS, transparent to ALL consumers •
  • Insulates back-office changes from end-user
  • Full library branding and marketability
  • SOA enabled to other entities
    • govt., university, schools, parks and rec.

There was a lot to this session that I missed. I’m hoping someone took some very good notes. I feel that this is an area worthy of significant investigation.

This was my last session of CIL2010 and I have to admit that I was exhausted and looking forward to going home and seeing my family. I apologize for my shallow notes. Luckily one of our web developers was in attendance and was able to take good notes.

What’s Hot in RSS

Steven Cohen is the senior librarian at Law Library Management but I am more familiar with him through the site he runs called Library Stuff. I’ve been subscribing to his RSS feed for a few years and find it very helpful in helping me keep current in library trends. I was really torn between attending this session and attending the session on Mobile Tips and Practices. I’m glad I attended this one because I was able to learn some new things. He was a very entertaining speaker and if it weren’t for some technological difficulties I think his presentations would have been one of my favorites. He spent the bulk of this session going over some of the RSS tips and tricks he uses. He has created quite an arsenal of RSS tricks. Luckily, he posted most of his links and things he mentioned in his presentation on his site. I’m glad he did. I’ll be referring to it for a while to see what I can use. I highly encourage you to take a look at it.

So, on to some notes:

Is RSS dead because of Twitter or Facebook? He thinks not. RSS is still a very useful tool and it can really help us stay up-to-date with lots of different fields of interest.

He loves Google and Google reader. I use Google reader and like it a lot also. I don’t subscribe to nearly as many feeds as he does but I’m ok with that.

  • Google reader will check for updates for sites that doesn’t have an rss feed.
    • You can put anything in there now.
  • Check the ‘send to’ button-can send to many different platforms like twitter.

He showed a way to get the iPhone view to show up as a side bar in Firefox. I have adopted this to work in Opera. I think this will come in handy.

Fliptop looks like something I may be interested in. I’ll check it out soon.

The YouTube custom feed he demonstrated works pretty well. I have adjusted it to look for anything Henrico. It’s mostly real estate listings but there are some other things also. This could be very entertaining.

I also set up a custom feed for mentions of Henrico County in the New York Times he mentioned. We will see what happens with that.

I have to admit that I did cut out a bit early so I could see some of the other session…apologies Steven…please forgive me. I didn’t take notes on that other session because I had to stand out in the hall…oh well. Luckily one of our web designers attended the entire session!

Persuasion, Influence, and Innovative Ideas

Rebecca Jones of Dysart Jones was the speaker for this session. I enjoyed another session by her on Tuesday and was looking forward to this one. She didn’t disappoint. I’m always happy when a presenter shares his/her slides online. It makes things so much easier. I can concentrate on my notes and not worry about trying to remember all the bullet points. So I’ve included her slides below. I do recommend going to the actual slideshare site because she has also included her talking points in the notes field of the slides. Even better!

Holli Henslee has posted her notes from this presentation also.

How do you position your ideas so people want to listen to you?

Any idea that you think is new is change for those involved. People don’t like change unless there is something in it for them.

Group = people brought together to work (people you have to find the the things that are in it for them)

Yay Sayers and Nay Sayers

Why are some naysayers?

  • Don’t see what’s in it for them
  • Fear

For the small percentage of people that don’t want to change we should just leave them behind(?!)

Influence is built on:

  • Competencies
  • Influence
  • Clarity
  • Relationships

Influencing others starts with ourselves

  • We have to see ourselves as influencers (people look for people with confidence and know their stuff)
  • Must be clear on what we want to see happen
  • Must learn new approaches

We are all leaders in our on way. Influence is different than power. Power is fleeting.

Influencers are:

  • Passionate
  • Informed
  • Well-connected
  • Talkers
  • Experts In a specific domain
  • Early adopters
    • build relationships with other early adopters
  • Opinion leaders
  • Knowledgeable of the issues
  • Viewed as trustworthy
  • Use knowledge and connections to help others.

Influence without authority

  • Assumptions (try to see everyone as an ally)
  • Clarity (what is the goal/objective)
  • Diagnosis (undestand the other person’s situation)
  • Currencies (what is important for the other person)
  • Relationships (develop and deal with them)
  • Influence (give and take)


  • Knowing what they want
  • Get your idea in front of a small group
  • Forming, molding and building a snowball
  • Following the network
  • One idea, one ally, one conversation, one meeting at a time (!)


  • Know your strenghts and weaknesses
  • Work to your strengths
  • Keep the orgizational perspective

Influencing Skills

  • Get to know people and what they do and keep in touch
  • Build trust
  • Know the language of the people you are working with

You can’t antagonize and influence at the same time. Likeabikity is good.


  • What are you willing to commit?
    • Be clear on what you want.
  • How much are you willing to work and spend your time on the project?


  • Involving ( building)
  • Inquiring (listening)
  • Leading (engage)
  • Proposing (presenting)

Principles that increase persuasiveness

  • Reciprocity
  • Authority
  • Commitment/consistency
  • Scarcity
  • Liking
  • Social proof

Definitely a good presentation. Lots to digest and build on. This is going to be a VERY long process…

Mobile Literacy: Competencies for Mobile Tech

Joe Murphy – Yale

This session was about the need for librarians to develop a deeper knowledge of mobile technologies. I enjoyed Murphy’s take on the issue and I agree with home on just about everything he discussed. I only wish he had more time to explain things better. A forty five minute session is just long enough to get to the very basics. He has posted his presentation for viewing later.

Holly Hibner has posted her notes.

He is proposing a set of skills for our community. Mobile skills.

Mobile literate librarian is fluent with mobile technology and its impacts on libraries.

He published a paper last year on the evolving framework of social networking competencies for librarians.

Mobile literacy is quickly becoming a life literacy. It is a skill our patrons and staff are learning and we should be able to help lead them in best practices. Some of those literacies are:

  • Familiarity with mobile technologies (as trends/tools)
  • Aware of the impact of mobile tech (impacts expectations culture)
  • Know what and how: applications for the library (adapt librarian skills, learn for the future)

Mobile literacy

  • Being aware of the impact of mobile tech
    • more important than simply using gadgets
  • Gaining familiraty with mobile techs (is important)
  • Service application and skills

Knowing the technologies

  • creating a baseline of technology terminology
  • aware of trend: including scope and stats
  • familiar with major techs (current techs)

This years top techs

  • Location based (foursquaregowalla etc)
  • QR codes (there are brief description here if you are interested in downloading a QR reader click here)
  • Augmented reality (ReadWriteWeb has a good description of what it is)

Be willing to try and learn

  • Have to learn how to manage our privacy with technology
  • That’s a life skill we all need to learn and be able to teach others


  • Info literacy
  • Info engagement
  • Expectations
  • Physical library
  • Roles of librarians

We need to try to understand new norms

  • Privacy vs Sharing
  • Interpersonal relations – such as using phone to take notes in meetings or bringing information to the reference desk via phone instead of paper
  • Revisit policies about mobile technologies in the library
    • Police the behavior not the technology

Applying the services/skills

  • How to make others (administration) comfortable with new techs and the methods involved with them?
  • Flexibity
    • How do we plan for the new tech?
    • What aspects do we investigate and pursue?
    • Time is limited
  • Who is going to do this?
    • We need not just resources
    • Need to prioritize
  • Let people learn the new tech in a comfortable environment.

Let’s make sure we do grow and grow together.

It’s hard and takes time to learn but there is no replacement for experience.

One of my fellow conference attendees was able to sit down with Murphy after this session. He put the quick interview up on YouTube. Enjoy.

Wednesday Keynote

Ken Haycock director of the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University was the speaker for Wednesday’s keynote. He is very knowledgeable and has had a long and productive career. There is a lot I can learn from him. I really enjoyed his presentation and am glad that it is posted online for everyone to view. It is broken into two halves. The first half had some audio problems. The second half seems ok.

Here are other’s notes:

My notes are below. They really are very brief. I recommend you take an hour and watch the videos.

If you don’t promote yourself you’re doomed to defend yourself. What to promote?

Public libraries suffer from the curse of high satisfaction. People don’t complain – we’re doing a good job but we don’t get more money because no one complains. Brute force promotion doesn’t work so doubling our efforts won’t work.

As long as the library employee smiles people are happy with bad service.

Death by opportunity. We can go in so many directions that it’s hard to decide which opportunities to take. What are the payoffs for the different opportunities?

Leadership is a process of social influence no matter your position in an organization. Influence is confused with power but they are different. There are different kinds of power. We are interested in the kind of power that attracts.

Trust is important. Trust is related to consistency.

Self confidence is a key factor in leadership.

Informal mentoring is way more efficient than formal ones. Create a ‘board of directors’ of your life. They don’t have to know.


  • Character
  • Competence
  • Confidence
  • Credibility
  • Congruence/Consistency

Advocacy defined

  • Public relations is not advocacy. It is important but it’s is all about us.
  • Marketing is getting closer to advocacy. Learning about the public etc.

His definition of advocacy: Planned deliberate sustained effort to develop and support incrementally over time.

We need to create relationships with decision makers. Takes time.

Advocacy rules

  • Respect
  • Connecting agendas
  • Recognizing that people do things for their reasons not ours
    • Advocacy is like banking. You can’t make a withdrawl without making some deposits. How do we contribute to the organization’s agenda?

Universal principles

  • Reciprocation (feel obliged to return favors)
  • Authority (look to experts)
  • Commitment/consistency (with commitments of value)
  • Scarcity (less available more we want it)
  • Liking (more we like more we want to say yes)
  • Social proof (what others are doing)

What is the percentage of the organization’s budget? Not the dollar ammount the percentage.

It’s good to have sponsers in the organization that will help and support us.


  • Relationship – have to develop even if we don’t like the person
  • Intended approach
  • Desired results
  • Context-for the issue, individual and organization

Return On Time Invested (ROTI)

  • Need to really think about how we are spending our time.
  • We can’t afford to be perfectionists
  • What do we spend our time on?
  • Is it important?
  • Are we locating our time wisely?


  • Flexible
  • Observable
  • Courageous
  • Useful
  • Supportive

In God we trust. Everyone else , give us data.

Focus on the plan

  • On the relationship
  • On the approach
  • On the context

A mediocre plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

Lack of faith in ourselves is the biggest obstacle.


  • Not my job
  • Lack of competence
  • Talking is not influencing
  • Missed the last two

NO WHINING! We are prone to vicitimization. There is no energy to it. We are prone conflict avoidance. The issues remain and fester.

Create resources on a few key areas

  • Connectors
  • Mavens
  • Salespeople
  • Do not do what you think is right
  • Missed the last two

Bringing it all together

  • Building influence
  • Using evidence
  • Connecting agendas
  • Assessing time
  • Assessing costs
  • Leveraging resources
  • Measuring results