Animoto Book Trailer

Here’s the Book Trailer I made using Animoto today in my LIS724 class.  I decided to do it on “And Then Things Fall Apart” by Arlaina Tibensky because she is coming to Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville August 4th.  I created the images using PowerPoint after watching this awesome tutorial.

Have you used Animoto in your Library? How so? Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share? I’m always looking for new “hacks!”




A Librarian’s Worth

Just sharing an interesting infographic by!

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A Librarian's Worth Around the World  | Infographic |

Do you agree with this? Do you think we are worth more? What was your favorite statistic? I really liked the image of reference questions being stretched from New York to Alaska. That’s a lot of questions!

I often wonder how people truly perceive the role of a Librarian in society. Do they view us as valuable? Do we make ourselves appear valuable?

Sometimes I think we do a great job of proving our worth. Take the Radical Reference Librarians for example, a group of volunteer librarians who provide “professional research support, education and access to information” in situations like presidential elections, conferences and book fairs. They work in a collaborative virtual setting and arm themselves with the skills to provide free, unbiased information in settings where the facts matter.

Other times, I think we can make a really bad name for ourselves, and propel some of those negative stereotypes. For example, this sign just really bothers me: Library Cell Phone Sign

I mean COME ON! It’s 2011. Sure cell phones can be annoying sometimes when the ringer is turned up to max volume in the middle of a program or storytime, but cell phones can also be really valuable tools in the library. Especially if they are used for learning and interaction. It’s fine to have rules and guidelines, but “forbidding” things just makes us seem mean and unapproachable and in turn, not as valuable.

How different would your service model look if you answered each reference question in such a way that would prove your value? How much more would you give to the patron in terms of help and assistance if your value was in question and your job was on the line every time you helped someone? It’s definitely something to strive for when we work with our public so that librarians aren’t just “there,” but are an important part of an informed society that is desperately and infinitely needed.

Try something new for 30 days

Lululemon merchandise bag

I was really inspired by Matt Cutt’s Ted Talk “Try something new for 30 days” where we learn that 30 days is a great starting point to either add new habits (biking to work, exercising, etc) or remove habits (biting nails, smoking, etc).  It is also a great way to test something out that you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too afraid to try.  With that in mind, I’ve decided that I really want to try this “30 Day Challenge,” but I’m not exactly sure what I want to do. Thus, I’ve created a wall on and I’m hoping that all of you can help me come up with ideas by sharing your own.  While you are at it, feel free to borrow the ideas on the wall and try them out for yourself!  I’ve started the wall myself by posting some ideas that were in the video, as well as things I have already done, but I’m looking for that one idea that just stands out and screams “try me for 30 days, do it, do it, do it!!!”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Wall Wisher, it’s really easy!

  1. Click on this link to access the wall–>
  2. Double click on the space to create a sticky note
  3. Type in your name (if you wish) in the header, and then your idea in the body
  4. Add a link to an article, website, video or image in the footer
  5. You’re done!

If you do add something, feel free to let me know by writing a comment in this blog.

Can’t wait to see what ideas pop up!



Elevator Speech

A blog post from Librarian Unafraid really got me thinking this morning about my “elevator speech.” You know, the one you give to people when they ask youElevator Buttons why you are studying to get your MLIS, or why you are/want to be a librarian. Here’s the original article, and below is the elevator speech I brainstormed this morning.  I deffinately think it is a work in progress, but it was fun to try and put into words why I choose this career path.  What about you?  What would your elevator speech be?  Do you have any suggestions for mine?  Feel free to share yours in the comment section below!


Elevator Speech

Question: What made you want to go to school to become a librarian?

Answer: I’ve always been drawn to the public library. In fact any time I move, the first thing I do is get a library card! It’s the best way to instantly feel like you are a part of your community. Plus, who doesn’t love taking advantage of free resources and materials? When I decided to go back to school for my master’s, I realized that I could make a career out of my passion for the public library by studying the profession. My classes are so much more than the Dewey Decimal System and reading books. I’m learning about integrating technology into a community, how to plan and promote programs, how to develop working relationships with key community members and advocate for grant money. Every day is something different and exciting, and I love the fact that I have now become an advocate for the preservation of the Library. My degree is giving me skills that are applicable in a wide variety of circumstances and I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision.

Promotional Flyer

Here is an example of the promotional flyer I am working on for my LIS724 class.  For this assignment, we were to apply the principles of the book “The Non-Designer’s Design Book” by Robin Williams, to a simple promotional 8×11″ poster using Microsoft Word.  Here is what I came up with:

mennella_a_Flyer_July 13

Blog Recomendations

For my LIS 724 class (Media Services and Production), we have been asked to discuss 3 blogs that we enjoy following, or find helpful in our professional development.  Below are my contenders.

Top 3 Library Blogs I Enjoy Following

Stephen’s Lighthouse

Stephen Abram does a great job of pointing his subscribers to relevant content on the web that focuses on trends in libraries and information technology.  I especially enjoy the infographics that he shares, such as this one about why people follow brands.  Stephen also posts many of the slides to presentations or seminars that he gives around the country.  Check out this one on cooperative library strategies.  Stephen updates his blog frequently and multiple times per day, so there is always a multitude of interesting information to sort through.  I have retweeted and recently Google+ed many of his links so far because I find them interesting, quick to read and relevant to our profession.

Librarian by Day

This blog is written by Bobbi L. Newman who talks about digital literacy, the digital divide and using digital technology in the Library.  Bobbi also focuses a lot of her personal research on Transliteracy and the role librarians play in understanding, nurturing and providing for a transliterate society.  One of my favorite features of this blog is when Bobbi recaps her personal favorite “Top 10 Links” that she shared on Twitter for the week.  This is a good way for me to understand major topics and trends that affected “libraryworld” for the week to make sure that I am staying up to date on current issues of the profession.

David Lee King

David Lee King focus on emerging trends in the library setting. He isn’t afraid to try new technology and then blog about it so we can see what worked and didn’t work, like when he described his attempt at giving a PowerPoint presentation with his iPad.  He also does a great job of reviewing conferences he attends and/or pulling out key pieces of information from lectures, presentations or articles/books he is reading.  One other thing I find particularly appealing about David Lee King is his professional informality.  The blog posts are easy to read/skim quickly while being incredibly informative.  He also seems like a very approachable person to contact with questions or comments as he provides numerous ways to connect with him via the internet like e-mail and even skype!

What are your favorite librarian/technology blogs to follow?

Social Reading and Libraries

Because we have evolved into a culture that shares everything from our current thoughts and feelings, to our specific location, reading and writing have become collaborative, communal activities, increasing people’s engagement with information and conveying it across several different mediums both on and offline. Social reading is a natural extension of the type of reading we have been doing since the early days of campfire stories, however, these previously “casual conversations” about books are now being moved to the online space where it has the infinite possibility to blossom into something richer (Esposito, 2010).

This essay seeks to define, describe, demonstrate, discuss and determine the future of social reading.  The essay will begin by offering explanations and examples of social reading, it will move on to discuss the various forms of social reading (traditional book clubs, online book clubs, social media platforms for books, and eBook reading) before concluding with personal observations made during my journey exploring social reading in its various forms.  The last section of the essay will discuss of the role libraries should play as facilitators of this phenomenon before offering predications, suggestions and final thoughts on the current and future trends of social reading.  What will hopefully manifest in this easy is the observation that social reading is not a new concept, but one that has been redesigned by the advantages and availability of Web 2.0 tools and concepts.