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Become Market Ready!

Mary, Amy and Yvonne at ALA Chicago 2009-Workshop Girls

I have just returned from vacation and I am back to my desk and my emails, but I keep thinking about the energy, excitement and participation at our Become Market Ready! workshop at ALA in DC.  Even though it was 8:30 AM in the morning, the vibe in the air was electric with curiosity. Mary and I are decidedly not morning people and were dreading the fact that we were placed in the 8AM workshop slot. There was so much interaction, Mary and I felt like we were not leading the workshop, but facilitating it!  Everyone was asking questions and generating ideas, there was laughter and activity; but what really caught my sleepy eye was that with all levels of experience in the room, there was support and respect amongst all of us and I thank all of you who participated in that workshop.

So I have to tell you about what happened right afterwards.  I was in the bathroom, because my Venti Americano had done its job, and a participant stopped me to tell me that the workshop was both “valuable and entertaining.”

“Thank you,” I said, “we had fun too.”

Mary and I look forward to facelifting this workshop many more times and if you want us to come to your organization write to Mary @ marye@fearless-future.com

Mary and the ATL

peach
Mary will be presenting with her wonderful and supportive colleagues Maureen O’Brien Dermott (Dickinson College Library) and Katherine Furlong (Lafayette College Library) at the 1st ever Access Services Conference at Georgia Tech Global Learning Center, Atlanta, GA on 11/12/09 at 2:30–3:20 PM

Here is some info on their talk:

You are not alone: managing change in user/access services with compassion and commitment.

In this panel presentation three managers of Access Services share the triumphs, disappointments and the “down right uncomfortable” work of transforming a user/access services department. Changes in the user/access service areas are inevitable; systems change and improve, vendors change, production numbers increase or decrease and technology dictates changes in work flow. How can we learn from each other instead of feeling as if we are in this all alone? How can we strive to create respectful workplaces while also asking employees to change when they are comfortable with the current state of their unit? We will discuss how to conduct a gap analysis to identify areas that need improvement, system analysis to aid in the sometimes-contentious abandonment of legacy services, and the most important component of change leadership –how to communicate clearly and effectively with staff so that are informed, educated and feel that they are fundamental in the success of the transformation.

Mary is very interested in respectful and compassion management practices, you can read more about this in her chapter Guidelines for knowing and showing : from good to great bosses in Staff development strategies that work! : stories and strategies from new librarians

The two faces of annual reports

AU Library Annual Report 2006Annual reports are notoriously hard to compile, but are they worth the outcome?

This year is the second year American University Library has chosen to dive in and make a public annual report. The first year was a trying task juggling the politics and the pain. The second year went a little more smoothly, but was still a huge nightmare (more politics and different pain).

Sounds like more trouble than it’s worth right?
You would think so, but with the right annual report and the right audience, it can be a beautiful thing.

The motivation for producing an annual report is to communicate the core values and worth of the organization to the public. Another great reason is fundraising- annual reports, especially “trophy annual reports” are great fodder for making the institution look grand and worthy of donations.

The design for this annual report was inspired by a botanic field guide, incorporating images from AU Library’s special collections. The style was chosen to fit in with the nature theme that all of AU Library’s administrative level brochures carry.

I’ve attached the PDF of the annual report to this post for review.

Attachment:
American University Library Annual Report 2005-2006

You are infected with… HUMANS!!!

This video was pulled from Three Legged Legs via Drawn!. When I saw this I was struck by how, a campaign framed in this way, would be infinitely more effective than the advertising that PETA puts out, which is odd since Three Legged Legs isn’t trying to change the world, they are just showing off their amazing animation skills.

That’s the problem with non profits in general – they get so bogged-down with changing the world that their message gets lost because of their own self-importance. Shoving images of butchered lambs into the hands of people who are enjoying their morning Starbucks (à la PETA) is alienating the people they are trying to influence; however, a simple re-framing that connects to the audience would work wonders.

This video communicates the same core message just in a way that is much more accessible to everyone.