Archive for August 2009

And on the theme of speaking and conferences again…

Not to pick on NSLS.info again, but I’m catching up on reading my Friday newsletters. And hurrah! I’m on today’s, which talks more about the impact of budget cuts. (That’s not a hurrah for budget cuts, but for whittling down my email.) They explain:

There are several things we have done or plan to do in order to offset the budget cuts, including not giving any staff raises this year. We will also be cutting down on food provided at staff, board, and other meetings, travel, institutional dues, public relations, paper mailings, and supplies. We’re also looking for a more economic way to handle our phone system; more calls may be forwarded to voice mail. Unfortunately, the search for our vacant Member Liaison position has been put on hold. In the area of professional development, program fees will increase and the number of “big name” presenters brought in for programs will be reduced.

I guess I’m semi- “big name” — I do have three of them, after all! But I’m thinking we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this, and am wondering what the impact on conferences, professional development funds, travel, and association membership will be as new fiscal years and budgets roll around.

Perception is key

I was catching up on email this week and saw yet another mention of a focus on the “survival” of libraries. Although the actual document they’re talking about is proactive and positive in talking about ways to transform and move forward, it re-emphasized how often we use words like “survival” and “endangered” and “uncertain” when talking about libraries and the future of our profession. When we come at it from that angle, it really does sound like we’re scrambling from survival, and not working from a position of strength. Reframing our language and our approach might help us come at these challenges from a different angle.

It also made me think about just how much perception is key, in anything. For instance: I run a resume posting service over at LISjobs.com, for which I charge $10.00 for the first six months. (The only area of the site, btw, that incurs any fees.) Reactions to there being a fee at all generally run the gamut from:

  • HOW DARE YOU GOUGE POOR JOB SEEKERS?

to

  • Is it really only $10.00? That’s so reasonable. Thank you so much for this site.

to

  • You didn’t tell me there was a fee?!

(This last, apparently, from the non-reading type of librarian.)

Same service, same fee, but incredibly different reactions. Now, I’m wondering if there’s a way to tweak the language on the page so that I get a lot more of reaction number 2 — and a lot less of reaction number one (which, I’ll admit, is more rare). I already tweaked it a while back to avoid number 3, but this oddly hasn’t worked so well.

On speaking and libraries and conferences redux

I was on the Internet Librarian conference site today and saw this under a new “Why I must go to Monterey” section.

Need help justifying your trip to IL-09?
Sometimes all it takes to get permission is using the right words.  Tell your boss why you MUST come to Monterey.  Here’s a draft memo to get your started . . .

Now, that’s interesting. Think it would work with your administrator? But I’m also wondering if this is a preemptive move, or a sign that registrations are probably down at this point — although it’s a little early yet to tell (this being an end-Oct. conference).

And on a personal note (and yes, full disclosure, I’m still affiliated with the ITI books division) — Internet Librarian is my absolute. favorite. conference. So if you think the memo would help, go for it, and I’ll see you there!

Psst… wanna buy a magazine, kid?

So LJ is for sale again. Who wants to go in with me? :)

ALA: To renew or not to renew?

Well, my ALA membership renewal came in the mail this week. I’ve been a continous member for 14 years now. Should I make it 15? Discuss. :)