December 13, 2011

Reading Rooster Recommends December 13 2011

From Hanukkah, to Kwanzaa, to Christmas - the Reading Rooster recommends some noteworthy children's book titles.

Today I gave this presentation at our State Library's "How to be a Dynamic Presenter" workshop.  Enjoy!

December 12, 2011

USC SLIS Hooding Ceremony Address

Today I gave the hooding ceremony address for the USC School of Library and Information Science. Here's the speech! Enjoy :-)

December 2011 USC/SLIS Hooding Ceremony Speech

Welcome family, friends, faculty, and staff, and congratulations to all those being hooded and to all of those who are graduating from the USC School of Library and Information Science.

According to the US Census S.1501 Educational Attainment table for the Nation from 2005-2009, the percent of population age 25 and over holding a graduate or professional degree was 10.1%. 

When I narrowed my search to South Carolina, the percent went down to 8.2.  That certainly puts you into a unique category and you should all give yourselves a big round of applause for your accomplishments!

The only requirement I was given for this speech was to keep it brief. So I thought I would send you off with these thoughts I have on the American Library Association’s Librarian’s code of ethics. Now you’re thinking, “oh how boring is this going to be” but let me assure you, these are the guiding principles you will find yourselves referring to throughout your career and they will come in handy in many situations. 

According to the American Library Association’s web site, “The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.”  HOWEVER, I have a few little stories to tell that go along with some of these Codes to help put them into context.  I don’t have a story for each one, but I do think that each one provides a special lesson.

1.                 We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

When I worked at the Charleston County Public Library, a patron called the reference desk and asked to have The Bridges of Marion County and The Penguin Brief put on hold for her.  Knowing it was The Bridges of Madison County and The Pelican Brief, I just told her I’d be happy to. 

Lesson one: be nice to your users.

2.                 We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.

I have sat in on book selection meetings for a number of years, and many times, titles get thrown around, and, depending on the review being good, we’d purchase the book in question for the collection.  Some of you will unfortunately have to deal with book challenges from parents.  But, we have to keep in mind the community of users we serve and serve everyone who is a part of that community. There may be a book title you personally don’t like but you may still need to add it to your collection.

Lesson two: be open-minded

3.                 We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

Lesson three: don’t be nosey or talk about your patron’s requests to other patrons.

4.                 We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.

Lesson four: when it comes to copyright questions, use common sense if you have it, if you don’t, ask someone who does.

5.                 We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.

Lesson five is The Law of Two Feet: If you find yourself neither learning nor contributing, it is your responsibility to respectfully use your own two feet to find some place you are learning or contributing.

6.                 We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.

Lesson six: don’t sell your library’s books on eBay.  You’ll get arrested.

7.                 We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

Lesson 7:  your users have the right to receive unbiased information to make personal and professional decisions. You want to avoid imposing your personal beliefs on the information your users seek.

8.                 We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

Lesson 8: continue to learn and most of all in this fast paced world of mobile computing and apps, keep up!

Each of you has gone through a lot to get to this stage in your academic career and it could not have happened without your instructors, professors, and staff of the USC School of Library and Information Science who have helped you every step along the way. I’d like for the faculty and staff to stand now and be recognized.

Thank you for listening and for most of you not falling asleep.  I wish each of you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.

December 01, 2011

Reading Rooster Recommends December 1 2011

Reading Rooster recommends some great Christmas books and also recommends to parents to give the best gift for a child - a library card.

November 30, 2011

The Lion's Roar - Consumer Health Information

If you're looking for some helpful, user-friendly, and authoritative consumer health information web sites, be sure to watch this episode of The Lion's Roar.

November 21, 2011

October 12, 2011

County Clerks to Council Training Program

We had a very small group today but I think we accomplished a lot!  They all seemed very interested in how they could communicate better with their communities.  Here is what we came up with and below is my presentation.

Web resources

  1. SC Assn of Counties
  2. National Assn of Counties
  3. SC State Government Legislation
  4.  MuniCode - Municipal Codes (County Ordinances)
  5. Just Google it!
  6. Local Media web sites (some are subscription) – be sure to check with your local library to see if they subscribe.

Using Social Media Group Exercise

1.       How to get more involved.
1.       carve out time to do it
2.       posting in several different places
3.       opening up of the organization (its just not playing on the internet)
4.       difficult to get involved when social media blocked
2.       How to make social media more effective.
1.       deal with HR/individuals when abusing social media
2.       keeping it updated
3.       reaching a different group of people
1.       hitting maybe younger people
2.       doing more random a search for information
3.       more socially active

3.       What are your next steps?
1.       need to get more involved with Facebook page
2.       do more research
3.       see what other folks are doing

October 11, 2011

The Lion's Roar - DISCUS-US History/Native Americans

If you're looking for information and resources about Native Americans, the US History in Context database that is a part of DISCUS, South Carolina's Virtual Library, is a great place to start! Watch this brief training video about how to search it.

September 15, 2011

I had a great time today at the SC Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Institute held at the Newberry Firehouse Conference Center in Newberry SC.

Using social media to reach the public
View more presentations from Curtis Rogers

Near the end of the presentation, I have attendees work in groups to discuss these three points. Here are some of their responses:

  • How to get more involved in social media
a.      Actually use Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
b.      Recruit volunteers to monitor social media accounts to be able to answer questions other people post that staff may not have time to get to
c.       Council and Mayor do not allow Facebook (in my opinion, this is an impediment to progress on many levels of communication and only tends to hurt the image of the community)
d.      Having social media outlets shows a great move towards transparency.
e.      Allows you to provide updates and information to your community members.
  • How to make social media more effective
a.      Put out more financial information (transparency)
b.      Have the mayor do a video update on YouTube on that community
c.       Have specific pages for various parts of the community such as Farmer’s Market, Fire Dept, etc.
d.      Highlight new businesses in the community
e.      Post all public notices on social media
f.        Provides current and accurate information
g.      Makes local government accountable
  • Next steps to get more involved
a.      Actually USE it!
b.      Post more links to other things in the community
c.       Get YouTube account – post videos that are like commercials for the community
d.      Use to post information about your community

I was really surprised at the few communities that are not allowed to even use social media.  Unfortunately this is so short sighted and hinders communication within the community.  However, it was great to hear from the folks that are using social media, especially Facebook pages, in their communities to get the word out about what they are doing and to engage their communities in what they do.

September 01, 2011

The Lion's Roar - Grandfamily Resources

Watch this episode of the State Library's Lion's Roar to learn more about the Grandfamily Resource Centers project.

August 31, 2011

Reading Rooster Recommends August 31 2011

Watch this episode of the Reading Rooster Recommends on the State Library's YouTube Channel to find out about some great monkey books.

August 25, 2011

SC Association of Countywide Elected Executives

Today I had a really fun time working with the great folks of the SCACEE!

I presented at their annual conference and training week in Charleston, SC. They all had lots of great comments, questions, and learned from one another. Here is my presentation and the results of our learning exercises.

Learning Exercise Results

SCACEE – August 25, 2011

Think about Social Media, the communities you serve, and your office workflow.

Groups answered three questions:

How to get more involved.

How to make social media more effective.

What are your next steps?


Encourage county council to add Facebook and YouTube

Encourage other divisions to make a FB page

Create FB page for department

Communicate better with constituents

Social Media helps PR

Utilize County TV channel – advertise FB/social media – make presentations

Talk to IT person and county council to get more involved

Use social media for discussing trends and crime issues

Promote community awareness programs

Provide general information about each department

Testing use of iPads in the field/Test new technology and see how it helps streamline workflow processes

Use county GIS department to plot delinquent taxes

Social Media helps with general PR

Useful tools and web sites

SCACEE – August 25, 2011

LexisNexis -

Richland County’s web site (child support information) for financial/budgeting information

SC Dept of Archives and History

Bank web sites

SC court administration

Five star SC Assn of Counties

SC Department of Revenue

Legislation online

Secretary of state’s web site

SCDMV web site

Google maps to zero in on an address

Funeral home web sites obits

Local newspapers

DNR – forms (block delinquent boat taxes)

County government web sites

ROCIC – crime info center

NCIC – crime info/stats

SC BAR web site

Westlaw for cases

Spillman criminal info

SC Tax Office for PI work

USPS zip code look up!input.action

Social Security index of deaths

State ethics web site (file ethics reports)

NAMUS missing/unidentified persons index

Sex offender registry

Voter registration

Webdeath – DHEC web site (death certificates)

CMS – court mgt system

ReachSC – escapees notification system