Showing posts from November, 2013

Newspaper articles on DCL and me

Yikes, I never recorded the two articles that came out on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in the Denver Post. I should do that before I forget.

The first, "Ebooks at libraries: Douglas County director delivers a novel approach," by Claire Martin, was on the front page, (below the fold).  And of course, it gives me credit for a system that owes as much or more to Monique Sendze, our IT director, and Rochelle Logan, who oversees our publisher relations and technical services, and many other folks who work at Douglas County Libraries.

The second was "Longtime innovative library head retires," by Clayton Woullard, on page 4P of Castle Rock's Yourhub insert.

Notes and writing programs

I do a lot of writing. Often, I just make notes - article or project ideas, for instance. But sometimes, they have more business-critical implications: a speaking engagement, with full scope notes and travel arrangements, for example. Other times, I'm sketching out a longer piece of writing.

I have complicated my life with gadgets, of course: an iPad, an Android phone, an Android tablet, a laptop that dual-boots Windows 7 (which is how it came) and Ubuntu (which I prefer). So I never know which gadget I'll have in hand when a new idea comes to me, or I want to work on something I started on another gadget.
Dropbox is a help. I can stash docs, spreadsheets, and presentations there for use by several programs. Google Drive can be handy (although I find myself drifting away from it). But I've noticed a distinct preference for a few characteristics in my software tools lately:
* clean, open, minimal UI, very simple formatting. * one or two panes - structure on the left, detail…

Google and privacy

I use an Android phone and an Android tablet. There are a fair number of updates through the week to various apps. I appreciate that Google Play store tells me what's changed when I choose an update.

I was surprised to see that Google Maps wanted access to my "personal information." "New: Read your contacts. Allows the app to read data about your contacts stored on your phone, including the frequency with which you've called, emailed, or communicated in other ways with specific individuals. This permission allows apps to save your contact data, and malicious apps may share contact data without your knowledge." A map application wants to know how often I phone or email somebody? Why? So it can preload their addresses as maps for my convenience? Really?
Now this new change has spread to Twitter, Dropbox, and Hangouts. It's all in the name, I'm sure, of Big Data. Gee, who are the people at the Internet nexuses?
So I've been skipping these updates, …

From DCL to Director

A few weeks ago, one of our staff committees (the Project Initiative Experience, or PIE) put together a lunch panel discussion. The setup was this: several of the people who used to work for us went on to become directors. They were (in chronological order): Claudine Perrault (who went from the manager of our Lone Tree Library to director of Estes Park's public library), Pam Nissler (who was director before she came to us, of the Bemis Library in Littleton, then worked at Arapahoe, then came to us, now runs Jefferson County's public libraries), Bob Pasicznyuk (who went from our IT director to the director of the Cedar Rapids, IA public library), and Dorothy Hargrove (who had the unique distinction of running our Highlands Ranch Library TWICE, and now runs the Englewood Public Library). At the last minute, Pam had to cancel, although she followed up with some responses to a set of questions I posed (as moderator).

Those questions were:
1.      As you reflect on your time at DCL…

Greeley Public Library

On my way to a meeting this evening with the Eaton Public Library (which is doing a building expansion with architect Roger Thorp) I stopped by the library I used to head. Back then (1987-1990) it was the Greeley Public Library. Now it's the Lincoln Park Branch of the High Plains Library District. 
And my, it is beautiful. My warm congratulations to the staff and leadership who stepped in after I left, and have made of the branch a bright, inviting, bustling, and modern library. I like to think that I got it started on that path. 
But I would also like to thank MY predecessor, Miss Esther Fromm, who served (if memory can be relied upon, which of course it can't) some 40 years as library administrator. She was so gracious to me. I radically departed from so many of her priorities and directions. But she was unfailingly kind to me, complimentary and courteous. This, I remember thinking, is how one should transition from being director: proud of one's legacy, but accepting that…

Martha Johnson and Sensible Leadership

I was interviewed recently by Martha Johnson, who says on her website:

Welcome to a place for sensible leaders.  Let's stop the drama, the grandstanding, and the power games. We need to be sensible. How can you not love that?

Arizona Library Association 2013

The Arizona Library Association invited me to be its keynote speaker for the 2013 conference. My topic was "Change That Matters." First, let me thank Tom Wilding, then-Chair of AzLA, for his early conversations with me, and his kind transportation (with his partner) from the airport to the conference site. Second, let me thank Rene Tanner, who not only escorted me to a local community theater production of the Music Man, but ran (with others) a truly awesome conference. 
My keynote focused on three things: 
1. The organizational changes that rippled from Douglas County Libraries' RFID/self-check/automated materials handling to our adoption of "community reference" or "embedded librarianship" to a far more community-focused organization at all levels;
2. The business problems of ebooks (such as high-priced leases for commercial content just as new, cheaper, and far more interesting streams of content were emerging); and
3. Approaches to managing organ…

Job listing: Douglas County Libraries Director

Salary:$10,923.47 - $16,388.67 Monthly Job Type:    Full Time – Exempt (40 hours) Location:    Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO Department: Administration
A visionary, entrepreneurial Library Director and leader exits. A new chapter begins. Maybe YOU will be the leader to take Douglas County Libraries to the next level!
Douglas County Libraries has a great opportunity for a new Library Director. Located just south of Denver in beautiful Douglas County, our independent library district is funded by a 4.0 mill levy approved by Douglas County voters in 1996. We are an innovative, technologically advanced, fiscally responsible and financially stable, dynamic organization with more than 300 employees, 1,500 volunteers and seven library branch locations. We are regularly ranked by the Library Journal as one of the top public libraries of our size in the United States, serving a population of between 250,000 and 500,000 people. We offer daily story times, award-winning programming, and a…