I’d like to try this

I love my job — really!

But there are days when I’m aching to be in public service . . . . on the ground where the action is, so to speak. Today is one of those days. I get one of these great ideas, I’m just dying to try . . . . but nowhere to try it.

Take this idea. Allow each patron to request 2 items from your library via a web-friendly request form. Doesn’t matter which one, your ILS’s request form, an E-mail. Just KISS (keep it short and simple). When your library staff gets the request, get the items to the patron as fast as possible . . . mail, drive-through will-call, home delivery.

The patron can keep the items as long as they like. No threats, no punitive action. Maybe a friendly reminder of how long they’ve had it. When they return the items, give them the next 2 on their request list. Oh, yeah! did I also say the library will establish a method of keeping a request list for each patron.

Sound like a familiar service? Do you think NetFlix will mind? Can I try this, please?

Conference presentations

Another conference, my third this fall. First MLA, Minnesota Library Association. Then MEMO, Minnesota Educational Media Organization. And today, I returned from CODI, Customers of Dynix. In all 3 cases, I was fortunate to find something very inspiring – and that’s good.

Conferences are for a wide slice of an interest population. Those who attend are a wide spectrum and everything in between: much experience vs little; geek vs non-geek; management vs rank-and-file; even the willing vs the unwilling. Good conference planning offers up a broad buffet of choices to provide something for everyone.

Help us out conference presenters. In your presentation, here’s what I’d like to see in the conference program:
Title — not something cutesey, but informative
Presenters — name and accurate description/credentials

Then, when I attend a presentation, here’s what I hope for from the presenter:

  • A well-prepared presentation
  • Visuals — yes, I like PowerPoint. I have a wandering mind, it keeps me (and you) on target. But don’t read your PowerPoint. (else just tell me you’re reading your PP and you can just E-mail it to me, and I can go to something else).
  • Don’t insult me with a lot of trivial ice-breaking jokes. Do tell me a little bit about where you’re coming from.
  • Keep control of your environment. Don’t let someone drag you astray. Most times, I appreciate presenters who ask to have questions held until the end.
  • Go back to Speech 101 — (1) tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em (2) tell ’em (3)tell ’em what you told ’em