Kansas public library service model is threatened

This post is in response to advocacy efforts in the Kansas library community, opposing HB 2719. A hearing for this bill is scheduled for Monday, March 14, 2016. Please IMMEDIATELY contact the House Taxation Committee members and your local representative, asking them to oppose this bill. HB 2719 will end Kansas public library service as we now know it. #ksleg

Full disclosure: I am an employee of a Kansas regional library system. These thoughts are my own and not my employer’s. I am not advocating for my job. I am advocating for the citizens of Kansas who deserve maintaining equity and efficient public library service by keeping current funding models and practices in place, and oppose HB2719 as a result. 

Kansas has always leaned conservative. But it’s been common sense conservatism until recently. We’re a small urban/rural split state. Communities large & small take great pride in their public schools, public libraries, community health, and great public roads.

Kansas had figured out how to do much within its communities w modest tax dollar investments over the years in public services.

But now, in the name of low/no tax dollars at all levels of government, legislation keeps getting introduced & (at times) later passed that threatens communities.

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A big next step…

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” –Ecc. 3:1

I’ve been sitting on some big news of possible major life changes for the last several weeks, and it became real last Monday with an email notification. Today, I received the official, “sign and agree to this” letter, and it’s time to spill the beans on social media:


I’ve been accepted to the Ph.D. program in Information Science & Technology at Syracuse University for Fall 2016 admittance, which means I’m moving to New York in early August. I am incredibly sad to be leaving NEKLS and the Kansas library community, especially after spending the first nine years of my library career here.

But, the Kansas library community has inspired me to take this next step in my career. In fact, the work and research that I hope to be doing is FOR this very special and dear-to-my-heart library community. Although research paths do change, right now I am planning to focus my studies and research on learning how to show the impact of small and rural libraries and librarians upon their communities (did you know 80.5% of public libraries are considered small and rural?). I am already hoping the Kansas library community can factor largely into this research and outcomes.

There are many great faculty and students at Syracuse, including the MLS program director, Jill Hurst-Wahl, who kindly sent me the “Expect More” button last summer that I laid on top of my acceptance letter in the above photo. I’ve carried that button around for months as a reminder, to expect more of libraries and of myself. That button was a nice reminder last fall as I wrestled with the question of what was next in my career.

Many people have asked me, “Why Syracuse?”; I also had to address that question in my application. Syracuse is a great school with a great reputation (although, my college basketball allegiances won’t be swayed!) and the iSchool’s PhD program has a multi-disciplinary approach, which is attractive to me.

But the biggest answer to “Why Syracuse?” is because of Dr. R. David Lankes. His theory of new librarianship, “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities” is an important frame of reference for the future of the library profession. I look forward to studying with him and other faculty at the iSchool and University.

My time in Kansas, for now, is coming to an end in six months. It’s going to be hard to leave family, friends, colleagues, and this very special library community. But I will be leaving to continue to work for you all, and, as much as I hate Wizard of Oz jokes, “There IS no place like home.”


Internet Librarian 2015, Summary

I attended my first Internet Librarian conference this year (which surprised a lot of people, but I have tended to go to the Computers in Libraries conference). I blogged the whole conference — the sessions I attended — and those notes are listed at the bottom of this post, if you only want to jump to them.

Footprints on the Beach…one of my favorite poems.
octopus to use
Still can’t believe I captured this photo at the aquarium of the octopus!

The Monterey, CA location was incredible — it was my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean, and experiencing the climate beside it. That environment didn’t disappoint. I took in the Monterey Bay Aquarium over two days (wow!), walked along Cannery Row each morning and a small beach nearby, and ate some great food Continue reading “Internet Librarian 2015, Summary”

Data Visualization Tools & Techniques Workshop

Greg Nottes, workshop presenter

Workshop Resources

Tools — extracts perfect info and meaning, doesn’t exist 🙂

Not here to necessarily talk about big data, but focus on data to communicate and tell a story; Understanding it. Then looking for errors. Or asking question about anomalies.

Why use different types of viz tools?

Word clouds — frequency of words are visually represented. tagul.com (?) not right…..
Great for decoration — but not powerful.

How do you get meaning from data? Pull different viewpoints
Word cloud vs this viewpoint — not much can be told at a glance with this one; tells those who are invested in the data what’s going on, but not those outside the audience.

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Privacy Frameworks & Tools

Adventures in Privacy Literacy — Kate Roberts & Erin Berman, San José Public Library

Big Picture Question: How might we empower people to make informed decisions about online privacy issues? Came out of Knight Foundation challenge

  • Lots of online data privacy issues & needs going on
  • Need for being privacy literate; patrons asking about this issue
  • Shift from Fear-based to fun & education

Received Knight Prototype Fund — rapidly iterate and create prototype (Luma Institute training)

  • Their beginning research found that learning about online privacy can be scary, overwhelming (way too many results–where to get started), and boring (droll, dry, no interactivity, no personalization, one-size-fits-all)
  • Yet people are thinking about their privacy
    • 93% of adults that being in control of who can get info about them is impt
    • 69% of adults say they are not confident that records of their activity maintained by online sites..
    • Pew reports on online privacy

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