Named one of 50 influential Movers and Shakers

Last month Library Journal announced their annual cohort of Movers and Shakers, and I was super excited to be among the group of 50 people selected from more than 225 nominations received from throughout the country. It’s awesome company to keep.

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Dude with guitar

Where public education meets private funding: Reflections on SXSWedu

I loved attending SXSWedu 2014. It was well organized, and the different topic tracks were up my alley: design thinking, achievement gap, technology and many more. But perhaps most importantly, there was a lot of energy – shall we call it – flowing between the educators and the technologists. It was exciting to be somewhere with a little bit of tension in the air. That tension means that people are actively engaged in figuring tough things out.

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Photo of handout from design thinking workshop at Stanford's

What I learned at

This summer (yes, I’m just writing about it now) I attended An Introduction to Design Thinking at Stanford’s I’m not new to design thinking, but to be a good design thinker, you have to approach the problem as though you’re new every time. So, starting from square one is very good practice, especially when the professional world is often insisting on expertise and quick turnaround.

Here’s what I learned at this summer: Continue reading

Photo of Michael at Maker Faire

A new role in academic libraries: communications and public programs

I am responsible for communications and public programs at an academic library, and my librarian friends say this is an unusual position. I’m glad to be one of the first, but I hope I’m not alone in this role for long. (Are others out there? If so, please let me know!)

It’s a fabulous role to play, making memorable programs and shining a light on the library. This role is one way that our library addresses the prevalent question:

How do we show the campus and community we are a valuable partner?

The showing not telling is a very important distinction.

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Strategically leveraging new social media for libraries: Entering with intent

By now, thankfully, there is a lot of information out there about how to use social media. Check out what Andy Burkhardt has to say in Getting Started With Social Media For Your Library and what Nancy Dowd has to say in Social Media: Libraries are Posting, but is Anyone Listening?

We know we want to focus on building interactive communities with real conversation and feedback.

Vine and Soundcloud

Now, what about the new kids in town?

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UVA Library communications director Charlotte Morford on the value of being an outsider

The internet introduced me to Charlotte Morford via a design blog.

One of my first charges after I arrived at the library was to put together the annual publication. In my research, I discovered the amazing University of Virginia Library annual reports. Have you seen them? They’re gorgeous and informative and inspired.

Charlotte is the Director of Communications at the University of Virginia Library and among many other things, hired the design firm Design Army to produce the publications. Luckily, she’s been very kind in sharing her experiences with me, and now, with you.

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Inclusivity: Notes and quotes from a killer conference

Last week I was at the 99U Conference in New York City, which is about making ideas happen. We all know that conferences often fail to bring it, which then brings out the cynic in me or worse, a serious case of the existential angsts. So while optimistic, I wondered what would be delivered. Would I feel amongst my people? Would I come away feeling clear about what steps I wanted to take next? Would I have a good time?

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