Efficient Librarian In-Person Workshops and Webinars Announced for Early 2023

This year I will be back on the road doing in-person classes in New Orleans and across Florida, along with several virtual offerings.

Most of the trainings listed below are sponsored by a Florida Library Cooperative and are free of charge to Florida library staff. Non-Florida library staff may register for a reasonable fee. The January 29th session is part of the LibLearnX Conference and is free of charge to registered attendees.

If you are interested in having a workshop in your area, please reach out to me at efficientlibrarian@gmail.com. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming workshop.

From Inbox to Completion: The Secrets to Successful Workflow
January 25, 2023, 2-3 pm (EST)
Webinar
Sponsored by SWFLN

Finding Your Leadership Pathway
January 29, 2023, 1 pm – 4 pm (CST)
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
LibLearnX Conference – New Orleans, LA

The Efficient Librarian
February 3, 2023, 9 am – 12:30 pm (EST)
Palm Beach County Library System – Hagen Ranch Road Branch
Sponsored by SEFLIN

Finding Your Leadership Pathway
March 3, 2023, 9 am – 12:30 pm (EST)
Palm Beach County Library System – West Boca Branch
Sponsored by SEFLIN

Managing Employee Performance: A Simple Formula for Talking with Staff
March 6, 2023, 2-3 pm (EST)
Webinar
Sponsored by SWFLN

Finding Your Leadership Pathway
March 7, 2023, 1 pm – 4:00 pm (EST)
NEFLIN HQ – Orange Park, FL
Sponsored by NEFLIN

The Efficient Librarian
March 9, 2023, 9 am – 12:30 pm (EST)
Leroy Collins, Leon County Library – Tallahassee
Sponsored by PLAN

Overcoming the Email Avalanche: Three Steps to an Empty Inbox
May 9, 2023, 2-3 pm (EST)
Webinar
Sponsored by SWFLN 

12 Grand Challenges

What is the future of Local Government?

This past weekend fifty-one delegates from across the country came together in Omaha to shape that future. The event was the Local Government 2030 National Convening. With a purpose to discern the lessons from the future, the group worked over two days to find ways to break down silos and create the groundwork for change. I was honored to serve as a Super Delegate to help guide the work and keep everyone thinking big and bold.

A starting point for the Convening was provided by the National Academy of Public Administration. As a way to set out the problems facing government and inspire answers, they devised the Twelve Grand Challenges in Public Administration. These challenges are part of an agenda for change. As the Academy states on its website:

As the world moves quickly from the industrial age into the information age, new challenges have arisen and demands on government have increased. But the public sector has often been in a reactive mode—struggling to adapt to a rapidly evolving international, economic, social, technological, and cultural environment. Over the next decade, all sectors of society must work together to address the critical issues of protecting and advancing democracy, strengthening social and economic development, ensuring environmental sustainability, and managing technological changes. And governments at all levels must improve their operations so that they can tackle problems in new ways and earn the public’s trust.

Each of the twelve challenges focuses on a specific goal. For example, one of challenges is to “Modernize and Reinvigorate the Public Service.”

Federal, state, and local governments deliver vitally important services to the American people each and every day. If it is an important need, public agencies at one or more levels of government are likely to have an important role in meeting it.

Learn about all the Twelve Grand Challenges in Public Administration and more about the Local Government 2030 National Convening through the links provided.

Director’s Dialogue – A Public Libraries Podcast

The PLA Leadership Development Committee is always looking for ways to bring value to library workers across the profession. Earlier this year, the committee developed an idea to do a podcast series where current Public Library Directors would have a casual conversation about their work and offer insights into the profession. This led to the creation of a new Public Libraries podcast special edition episode called Director’s Dialogue.

The inaugural episode featured me and Kent Oliver, who recently retired as chief executive of the Nashville Public Library. Future episodes will aim to provide a diverse cross section of library leaders from both large and small systems.

The description for the twenty-minute episode was as follows:

From leadership and management matters to current public library hot topics to strategic planning, capital projects, collection development, program planning, and so much more, the Directors Dialogue episodes aim to share ideas, best practices, and lessons learned.

Both are also members of the PLA Leadership Development Committee and the idea for the Library Directors Conversation series came out of their committee discussions.

Listen online or through your favorite podcast app and watch for more episodes later this year.

Recording of Tiago Forte Interview

Last week I had the honor of interviewing Tiago Forte about his new book, Building a Second Brain. In a sixty-minute Zoom interview with audience Q&A, we touched on a wide range of aspects around digital note taking and how it compliments a GTD practice. A link to the recording can be found on the Palm Beach County Library System web site.

Below is a selection of the questions I asked Tiago:

  • Briefly share how you became interested in the power of digital notes?
  • Explain the concept of CODE and how it applies to digital note taking.
  • What are the four principles of PARA and do they contribute to designing a Second Brain?
  • What are the best practices around processing digital notes for discoverability?
  • The book highlights how notes can be applied over many different projects. To that end, please explain what is meant by an intermediate packet.
  • What are the biggest mistakes people make when taking digital notes and how can they be avoided?
  • What prompted you to share your publishing journey through your blog?
  • Share a book recommendation (fiction or non-fiction) other than your own.

Stay tuned to the end of the interview where I subject Tiago to a fun game based on the podcast, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

Interview with Tiago Forte

In less than two weeks I will interview Tiago Forte, the leading expert in how to manage your digital notes and use them for greater recall and creativity. See the details below if you want to join the Zoom interview. Feel free to share with others:

Meet the Author: Tiago Forte
Thursday, Jul 14, 2:00 pm EST

Workplace productivity expert and author Tiago Forte discusses his newest book, “Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential,” in conversation with Library Director Doug Crane. (60 min.) Presented by Community Engagement.

Preregister through this link.

This event is hosted by the Palm Beach County Library System. Hope to see you there.

Building a Second Brain Now Released

After many years of anticipation, Tiago Forte has released his book, Building a Second Brain. It is the distillation of the ideas and exercises originating from his signature course of the same name. Here is how Tiago introduces the book on his web site:

What if you made use of the ideas, wisdom, and resources available to you online instead of stockpiling and hoarding information with no end in sight? 

What if you knew with total confidence that you could find the information you need when you need it instead of wasting time looking for notes you swore you’d saved? 

What if you could leverage technology to think better, clear your mind, and get more done instead of letting it disrupt you with constant notifications and demands? 

All this and more is possible with a Second Brain – a trusted place outside your head where you can collect and organize your most important ideas and insights and use them to do your best work.

As part of his promotional tour, the Palm Beach County Library System is honored to host Tiago for a virtual meet the author session on July 14, 2 pm EST. Preregister to receive the Zoom link.

Congratulations Tiago on this great achievement!

Unite Against Book Bans

Across the country attacks on the freedom to read have multiplied. While there have always been attempts to remove books from library shelves, this time the movement is more organized and widespread. Most of the targeted items are children’s material covering LQBTQIA+ information and race relations, such as Black Lives Matter.

The American Library Association stands at the forefront to protect the right to read. For years they have tracked book challenges and compiled the top ten list of targeted titles. With the threat rising, they recently started a campaign called Unite Against Book Bans. The site contains the results of a nationwide poll that clearly shows book banners are a minority.

On both sides of the aisle, large majorities of voters and parents oppose book bans. 71% of voters oppose efforts to remove books from public libraries. 67% of voters oppose efforts to remove books from school libraries. And yet, attempts to ban books from libraries are rising at an unprecedented level across the country. The American Library Association reported more than 729 attempted bans of 1,597 individual books in 2021 alone.

Join the campaign to preserve the right to read and fight book bans. It is as simple as signing up through the ALA’s campaign page. The web site also includes an action kit and ways your organization can partner with the movement.

Don’t let a small minority ban books from our library shelves. Join the cause and unite against book bans.

Interview with Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada

I had the honor of interviewing incoming ALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. The interview is available to read at Public Libraries Online.

Working out of her home base as the Adult Services Assistant Manager at the Palos Verdes Library District in Southern California, Lessa has been deeply involved with ALA for many years. Given the huge responsibilities and time commitment, I asked what inspired her to run for ALA President.

The idea of becoming President stuck in my mind because when I was in Emerging Leaders, my group said I was going to be ALA president someday although I’m not sure I agreed then. When I was on the Executive Board and started doing work for the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) it was a labor of love, and a lot of work. I saw how much I cared about the Association, but it also showed me how much others cared about it too. I saw the difference that ALA made not only in personal lives, but in libraries and other Associations across the country. When I was finishing my executive board term, and SCOE was coming to an end, it was right when the pandemic hit. Calls for nominations for ALA president were being solicited. I wasn’t finished with this work and wanted to continue to completion to see those changes. I don’t want to just drop it into someone else’s lap. I want to take responsibility and help the management and cultural changes going on in ALA, and as a society as a whole. That’s how I got here today.

Later in our conversation, she shared her list of the most important issues facing libraries today.

I think our biggest issues include ensuring that ALA continues its mission to preserve and strengthen library services through technical assistance, professional development, and direct funding for libraries and library practitioners. What that looks like on a practical level is how we support library workers right now. We’ve gone through a lot of trauma, regardless of the type of library you’ve worked in. As library workers and as people, figuring out what that support and advocacy for library workers looks like is one of the biggest issues. ALA can utilize its 501c6 arm, the ALA-Allied Professional Association, to carry out this mission. As ALA, one of the biggest issues right now is also supporting those who are facing intellectual freedom challenges. We must work against those challenges with a concerted effort. ALA recently launched Unite Against Book Bans, and is rolling out tool kits. We’re seeing support from our Office for Intellectual Freedom helping those on the front lines. Finally, there’s lots of different ways that folks can use their skills, time, and dollars. I think it’s important to remind folks of the value of ALA membership and how it affects libraries across the nation.

Read the rest of the interview to learn about her Presidential plans, the value of an ALA membership, and what she believes are the biggest opportunities for libraries of all types.

Thank you to Public Libraries Online for posting the conversation.

Libraries Can Really Change the Future – Interview with Susan Benton

In February I had the honor of sitting down with Susan Benton, President/CEO of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC). Susan is retiring this summer after thirteen years of service at ULC. Before she left, I wanted to learn more about her tenure at ULC and her thoughts on the challenges facing, and future of, public libraries. The full conversation is posted at Public Libraries Online. Here is an excerpt from that interview.

DC: How has ULC changed under your leadership both internally and also in terms of its relationship with members?

Susan Benton

SB: When I first joined ULC, we had a very small staff and were located in Chicago. We made the move in 2014 to Washington D.C. which was important for us. While some thought ULC moved to Washington to lobby on Capitol Hill, we moved to D.C. so that we could be closer to allied organizations that are important to libraries. The work that ULC is doing to transform the lives of people in our cities and counties requires us to work with organizations here in Washington D.C., such as the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, the Council of the Great City Schools, the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities and others. They are truly sister organizations with very similar missions to ULC. We now connect with them to extend our work. The move helped us take a stronger position for urban libraries. We are constantly in conversations with colleagues in the public sector and private sector so that we can educate others about the essential contributions of libraries to all aspects of life. 

Read the rest of the article on the Public Libraries Online web site.