Notes from AzLA: Jamie LaRue Keynote & Wrap-up

Today I offer you a guest post from AzLA attendee and ASU Librarian Linda Shackle. Thanks, Linda! She took notes on keynote speaker Jamie LaRue’s opening and closing speeches. From Linda’s notes:


Jamie LaRue

I really liked that our keynote speaker started us off on the morning of the first day and then stayed and helped us wrap up the conference on the second day.   That was a great idea (I don’t know if LaRue wanted to do that or if we asked him to do it – either way I thought it worked out great).

Another thing I liked about LaRue was that he not only gave us “theory” (the world is changing, libraries and librarians need to change, too) but actually gave us concrete examples of how his library has gone about changing staff activities/roles/responsibilities and the results of those changes.

What I copied from his keynote speech was:

  • For changes, expect more opposition to come from within than from without
  • Displays and exhibits can increase circulation
  • Librarians like to search; our clientele like to find (An oldie but a goodie that I like to keep reminding myself)
  • Find out the questions that your clientele will never tell you
  • Our greatest asset is our credibility (this was in relation to the reference work that one of their librarians had done for a community project)
  • Hates the term “embedded” – does that mean we’re still asleep?
  • Be community-centric; that’s where your power lies.
  • Be rockstar reference librarians and community leaders
  • For goals, ask what decisions  are you going to be making in the next 18-24 months
  • Recommended “Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error” by Kathyrn Schulz
    • ASU Libraries:
    • WorldCat:
    • Eric Larson (author) told Jamie that half of Larson’s current sales are in the e-book format
      (Which matches EXACTLY my collection of Larson’s works;  I have “Devil in the White City” and “Issac’s Storm” in print and “Thunderstruck” and “The Garden of Beasts” on my Nook)
    • Once people get an e-book reader, that becomes their preferred format (In my case, so true!)
    • Two-thirds of what is being published today is not in our libraries
    • His favorite quote from a customer’s book review “A decent book, not really worth reading.”
    • LaRue’s Laws of Leadership:
      • Anything is possible
      • It’s a miracle anything works (so celebrate when anything goes right)
      • Fun can change behavior
      • And last but not least …
        “Are you going to Disneyland or Boise?  If it’s Boise, you’re on the wrong bus.”


In case you missed it, Jamie LaRue posted a follow-up blog post to his speeches, including further notes on his closing address. Furthermore, Library Journal picked up on Jamie’s thoughts from AzLA and elaborated upon them in an opinion piece. (Thank you to ASU Librarian Anali Perry for spotting this!)

I’m still waiting on hearing about where presenters’ slides from AzLA will be posted online, but I’ll definitely share that information as soon as I get it.

Do you have notes from the conference? Please share them!

AzLA Conference Wrap-Up – Call for Notes!

I had a great time last week at AzLA attending sessions, chatting with poster presenters, being a poster presenter, and networking with library professionals! If you had a great time, too, I would love to have you submit your thoughts/notes on what you found most useful!

Blakiston Notes
Attendee Rebecca Blakiston from U of A Tweeted a snap of her notes (@blakistonr)

I enjoyed Jamie LaRue’s speech kicking off the AzLA conference – and tweeted my favorite parts. (You can see AzLA-related Tweets here and here). He was kind enough to attend the entire conference and offer more thoughts on libraries’ place in the e-society at Friday afternoon’s wrap-up panel.

I learned LOTS at the many panels and poster presentations – and I was delighted to be able to put faces to names when I met library professionals I had previously only emailed!

I enjoyed meeting those of you that attended the CULD meeting, and want to help you get the most out of our AzLA division. Please share your thoughts/notes/random comments, and I’ll publish them for the benefit of all CULD members. I’ll also be wrapping up my own thoughts and publishing them here!

Don’t let great ideas get away – keep the conference momentum going!

Will we see you at Fort McDowell?

The AzLA Conference begins with Pre-Conferences TOMORROW, with the bulk of programming Thursday and Friday. Will we see you at Fort McDowell?

You can print out just the schedule of programs before you go. The full conference program contains descriptions of the individual sessions.

CULD will also have its yearly business meeting Thursday at 1:10 in Conf. 102-103. Please come and get involved in the division. We’d love to hear YOUR ideas!

I’ll also be presenting my first poster Thursday morning at 10 am. My poster is all about using Twitter to promote your unique collection. Come see my poster and support me! : )

Also, don’t forget that AzLA and SIRLS are putting on a reception Thursday 5 to 7 pm at the resort pool.

See you there!

Academic Library Trends and Statistics 2012

ACRL is now selling a three-volume set of Academic Library Trends and Statistics for 2012. A few sample stats are below!

2012 Academic Library Trends and Statistics

In 2012:

  • 7.3%: Increase in spending on collection materials from 2011
  • 64.8%: Percentage of collection materials budget spent on ongoing resources (incl. subscriptions)
  • 3.7%: Increase in library expenditures for salaries and wages from 2011
  • 76% of all academic libraries reported using social media
  • Top 3 social media platforms: Facebook, blogs, and Twitter

The top three reasons for using social media:

  • promotion of library services
  • marketing of events
  • community building.

Why do the other 24% NOT use social media? Some answers can be found in ACRL Instruction Section’s Tips & Trends September issue. It can be difficult for library staff to keep up with the technology, or they may feel uncomfortable interacting with students over social media.

Have you found any of these trends applicable to your library?

Project Information Literacy

In case you haven’t heard of Project Information Literacy, they are a nonprofit that partners with University of Washington’s information school devoted to studying research habits of early adults. They have lots of really fascinating information on how college students do their research.

Check out their many useful reports, available free.

I really enjoyed their report “Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age,” so much that I created an infographic of its basic findings. Google actually ISN’T no. 1 for course-related research – course readings are. Students tend to seek information from course readings and their instructors before they approach librarians.

Check out my infographic here: How College Students Seek Information.

Happy Open Access Week!

Good morning, and Happy Open Access Week! Is your library celebrating?

Here in ASU Government Documents, I put together a modest display, complete with clever OA posters from East Carolina University and some eye-catching (and un-copyrighted, so fully re-usable) Government Documents:

Hayden Library 3rd Floor, Tempe

Also at ASU, we’ve got a thriving digital repository. Our State and Local Arizona Documents Collection alone has more than 5,300 digital docs, and we’re adding new ones everyday. (/End shameless GovDocs self-promotion).

If you’re looking for more neat-o copyright-free stuff, ASU Librarian Anali Perry recommends NASA’s Flickr account, which has AMAZING photos. If you need an OA refresher, she also has a great Library Minute video explaining Open Access:

As for special events, the University of Arizona‘s University Libraries is hosting a panel today titled “In Defense of the Book: The Future of the Scholarly Monograph.” It will be held at noon today in Special Collections.

It’s not too late to put up your own display, if you haven’t already! As I mentioned earlier, East Carolina University has some nifty graphics you can use. The official Open Access website has images and posters for free download that you can use in your display, as does ARL’s SPARC.

How is your library celebrating Open Access Week? I’d love to host your guest post, or leave a comment below!

AzLA Conference Update: Last chance for early bird registration

Register now for the 2013 AzLA Annual Conference! It’s happening November 13 – 15 at the Radisson Fort McDowell.

Conference registration AND hotel rates are going up after October 11th!

Check out the schedule of programs.

Get directions to Radisson Fort McDowell. It’s a short drive from Phoenix.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jamie LaRue, director of Douglas County Libraries headquartered in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Hope to see you there!

The One-Shot Session: ONE chance to get it right!

I saw an excellent post over at Designer Librarian on employing what she calls the Rule of One to make the most of a one-shot information literacy session.The author, Amanda Hovious, is a librarian with a background in instructional design. She blogs about applying instructional design principles to library instruction.

Amanda recommends planning your one-shot session carefully to make sure your learners get the most they can from it. She offers guidelines on offering an efficient session using the Rule of One:

  • One Learning Goal
  • One Objective Per Task
  • One Strategy Per Objective
  • One Culminating Activity

There is a  LOT of value in having a fully formed Learning Goal for each session. A goal is simple, yet hard to come up with: what do you want students to be able to do at the end of the one-shot session? One sentence is all you get. The Learning Objectives are the stepping stones to getting your students there.

See more about each bullet point over on Amanda’s blog.

Change your perspective: Make happiness a habit!

It’s easy to be unhappy! There’s so much that can get you down. And sometimes unhappiness is like a virus that’s spread through complaints.

Happiness, on the other hand, can be a choice that you make. Through a happy convergence of the blogs I read, I hereby offer you a brief overview of what makes your attitude swing one way or the other.

The becoming minimalist blog lists 9 Places Unhappy People Look for Happiness. Are YOU looking any of these places? (Spoiler: these 9 places won’t make you happier!)

In contrast, The Everyday Minimalist breaks down the key factors of happiness for you, based on a blog post from The Art of Manliness. You might be surprised to learn that happiness does not increase beyond a salary of $75k! (I know, I know, you work in a library and don’t have the problem of knowing that firsthand!)

You may also be surprised to learn the impact that your trips to and from work have on your personal happiness. You’d have to make 40% more at your job to make up for a long commute!

Of course, it should NOT surprise you that job satisfaction plays into your life satisfaction. After all, you spend half your waking hours at work or going to/coming from!

Check those posts out. Since you work in a library, you probably appreciate good research, so here’s an entry from UC Berkeley about the effects of keeping a gratitude journal on your happiness. It’s based on the work of psychologists.

The basic practice is straightforward. In many of the studies, people are simply instructed to record five things they experienced in the past week for which they’re grateful. The entries are supposed to be brief—just a single sentence—and they range from the mundane (“waking up this morning”) to the sublime (“the generosity of friends”) to the timeless (“the Rolling Stones”).

But don’t just go through the motions! You’ve got to OWN what you’re writing down. See further tips about how to get the most out of journaling over at Greater Good.

How do YOU find happiness and meaning in your life?

It’s fall! Work smarter, not harder

By now, your workload is probably hitting overtime. It’s fall! The students are back, the freshmen are lost, the instructors are in a tizzy. How do you intend to manage your workload? Don’t let it take over your life!

illustration by metagramme
Look at that beard. This dude is mellow. Are you?

The time is now to set good habits for the entire semester. If you don’t manage your work conscientiously, you are likely to fall into a pattern of inefficiency and, let’s face, despair. (cue dramatic music!)

Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done. – Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework (Medium)

Matt Steel at Medium shares his workaholic story in his post The Abundance of Slowness. He offers a philosophical reflection on a culture that values working long hours over working smart, and challenges you to change your perspective.

One quick change you can make now to reduce your daily burnout is to limiting the number of decisions you make in a day to lighten your cognitive load. Little decisions add up – and before you know it you become mentally fatigued. Routinize your day to reduce your decisions so that you can focus better on what matters.

Now that you’ve decided to commit to working smarter, here’s a 90-minute Plan for Personal Effectiveness. The secret is setting aside a block of time each morning to do NOTHING else but work on something that really matters to you. Shut off your cell, ignore the phone, and just work without distractions for a full ninety minutes.

What do you do to stay sane? Leave a comment below!