People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Virtual Wandering Librarian: 24-Hour Pickup Lockers and More

As I continue my virtual wandering, I stumbled upon a neat service offered by Pickerington Public Library in Ohio; 24-Hour pickup lockers. Library customers can make online request to have their materials placed into 1 of 2 locker locations to be picked up at a later date. The library also offers both curbside pickup and printing services. We applaud Pickerington for being creative and continuing to provide service in these trying times.

Virtual Wandering Librarian: Pima County Public Library Pandemic Assistance Page

While on my virtual wanderings I came across Pima County Public Library’s pandemic assistance page. Easy to see at the top of their menu, I delved in and found some very useful resources for residents of Pima County, Arizona. Pima County Public Library is doing what any good library should be doing; providing and disseminating much needed information in this current pandemic. On their Pandemic Assistance Page, I found resources on applying for rent & utility emergency assistance, where to find free wifi in Arizona, etc. Bravo Pima County Public Library, keep up the great work!

Complete the 2020 Census before the September 30th

In light of the pandemic, the Census Bureau has extended the deadline to complete the 2020 Census to September 30. The United States Constitution requires a count every 10 years of every person who is residing in the U.S. Completing the Census assist the government in making decisions about how and where to spend more than $800 billion each year for programs and services that communities rely on; including libraries. Take the Census now.

Virtual Wandering Librarian: Overdue Fine Elimination @ Chicago Public Library

When covid-19 forced libraries across the US to shut down, my family was preoccupied with staying home and safe. My overdue books was the last thing on my mind. As summer came and we started leaving our home again, I realized that I still had books I had borrowed from the Chicago Public Library 6 months earlier.

Luckily, the previous autumn, Chicago Public Library’s new policy called for the elimination of fines on overdue items. In the 6 months we stayed in, Chicago Public Library automatically renewed my checkout items.

Now that libraries are open with limited service I can return old material and checkout new books without worrying about a hefty bill for overdue items.

Virtual Wandering Librarian: Anythink Libraries

Our first post of the virtual wandering librarian series.

We first virtually came across Anythink Libraries via their squiggly logo, then visited Anythink Libraries in Colorado a few years ago. I still remember their party bus that took a bunch of us librarians from the convention center to one of their library locations for their open house. When asked about the bus, they simply said we’re a different kind of library.

I was impressed with a lot of things with Anythink Libraries. The main thing is that they have the word “hospitality” in their mission statement. The only other library that we know that has “hospitality” in their mission statement is Darien Library. Both Anythink Libraries and Darien Library have lived up to their hospitality statement because we certainly feel welcomed whenever we’ve visited.

Anythink Libraries has been providing a much needed service during this pandemic called Print + Mail where you can email the library whatever documents you need printed, they’ll print and mail them for you. Many people may have computers, tablets, phones, etc. to access the internet, but many people do not have printers at home and with the libraries closed, there are limited options to get something printed.

They’ve designed some eye-catching visual signage about 6 feet distancing and mask wearing that is relatable to the communities that they serve.

Virtual Wandering Librarian

Strange changing times. Given the pandemic, we’re not visiting libraries in-person for our Wandering Librarian series. We have adapted and would like to present our Virtual Wandering Librarian series. Stay tuned!

Anti-Asian Racism is Nothing New

I gave a 5-minute talk as part of a SLA virtual roundtable on social justice yesterday. Below you’ll find a list of resources that both informed and inspired my talk as well as a transcript of my talk (edited for clarity and for inclusion of images and links).


I’m gonna start off with a story.

I went to the doctor in February and was given a mask at the front desk. At the end of my visit, my doctor said to me “You heard about what happened a few days ago, right? When you leave the office, please take off your mask so you don’t bring attention to yourself.”

My doctor was referring to the recent incident where a woman wearing a mask was attacked by a man at the Grand St subway station in Chinatown who called her “diseased”.

Even before COVID-19, many Asians would wear masks to protect themselves from things like the freezing cold weather in winter and pollen that seems to be everywhere in spring.

When the SARS epidemic hit East Asia in 2002/2003, it led to a massive adoption of face masks as personal anti-viral protection. Since then, masks have been widely used by many Asians as both a health/medical strategy and civic duty.

So when COVID-19 hit, there was no question. Definitely mask up.

In January, people here in the US were mailing masks to family and friends in East Asia. Shortly after, quickly switching gears as the virus was made its way to the US, family and friends in East Asia were mailing masks to people in the US.

At the same time, knowing and understanding the importance of masks, local Asian American business owners and non-profit groups donated thousands of masks to a few hospitals in Queens.

In the US, many people are still adapting to mask wearing. It has been about 10 weeks since Americans were advised to wear them. Prior to that, wearing a mask when healthy has become discouraged to the point of being socially unacceptable.

Prior to COVID-19, it was a social stigma to wear a mask and during this coronavirus pandemic, at the least at the start of it, it seemed like it was dangerous to wear a mask if you’re Asian.

It is understandable that masks are seen differently depending on your cultural backgrounds and habits, but it is critical that mask wearing behavior is understood and people shouldn’t be targeted because they’re wearing a mask.

Of course, unfortunately, we know that it’s not just simply wearing a mask that makes you a target.

In March, the FBI released a statement saying “Hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease…endangering Asian American communities”.

And it did.

There have been numerous reports of anti-Asian incidents. And those are just the ones that are reported. Family and friends have been sharing their experiences and stories as well.

Unfortunately Asian discrimination is nothing new.

The Chinese Exclusion Act was an immigration law passed in 1882 that prevented Chinese laborers from immigrating to the US. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first immigration law that excluded an entire group based on ethnicity. It also excluded Chinese immigrants from eligibility for US citizenship.

Uncle Sam kicks out the Chinaman” is an 1886 poster ad that refers to both the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and to the “George Dee Magic Washer,” which the machine’s manufacturers hoped would displace Chinese laundry operators. | Wiki Commons

Before Brown v. Board of Education, there was Tape v Hurley (1885), a landmark court case in the California Supreme Court in which the Court found the exclusion of a Chinese American student from public school based on their ancestry unlawful. When Joseph and Mary Tape tried to enroll their oldest daughter, Mamie at an all-white school in September 1884, Principal Hurley refused to admit her, referring to the existing school board policy against admitting Chinese children. They filed a lawsuit on behalf of their daughter against both Hurley and the San Francisco Board of Ed, and they won. However, local school board policy still kept Chinese children from attending the city’s white schools.

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Joseph, Emily, Mamie, Frank & Mary Tape circa 1884–85 | Wiki Commons

Citizenship right by birth in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court ruling. Wong Kim Ark, who was born in San Francisco in 1873, had been denied re-entry to the US after a trip abroad, under the Chinese Exclusion Act. He challenged the government’s refusal to recognize his citizenship, and the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, holding that the citizenship language in the Fourteenth Amendment covered the circumstances of his birth (born citizen) and could not be affected by an act of Congress.

An 1894 notarized statement by witnesses attesting to the identity of Wong Kim Ark. A photograph of Wong is affixed to the statement. Department of Justice. Immigration and Naturalization Service. San Francisco District Office. | Wiki Commons

During World War II, it was the policy of the U.S. government that Japanese Americans would be relocated and incarcerated in concentration camps. About 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of who lived on the Pacific Coast, were scattered across the country.

Japanese Americans in front of poster with internment orders. | Wiki Commons

And now present day –

  • Coronavirus is being called the Chinese virus along with comments like “These people eat strange things.” Mad cow disease affected those that ate infected beef, yet no one calls it the British virus.
  • Wuhan had 76-days of very strict quarantine and when their reopening was announced in the news, an influential coworker made a remark “Oh great, we’re gonna have another wave.” Are we saying Wuhan should be locked down til the end of time?
  • Many Asians are getting verbally and physically assaulted and harassed during this pandemic. It’s stressful enough with COVID-19, now Asians have to worry about being targeted as well.

Nothing has really changed.

A good friend and I were talking about this stuff and she said she was protesting racism and discrimination in college and now 40 years later, she’s seeing and fighting the same issues.

So what can we do? A few takeaways –

  • Be more culturally aware, culturally competent, and culturally sensitive.
    This includes becoming more aware of your own culture and biases.
  • Advocate and push for more diverse collections and resources.
    There is a lack of diversity in our library collections. While working on making databases remotely accessible during this pandemic, we noticed that when searching the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “Asian American” does not exist, even though the term is from the 1970’s so it is not a new term.
  • Learn your history, not just the textbook version.
    Renee Tajima-Peña, the lead producer of the 5-part PBS series Asian Americans (just aired last month) shares the importance of learning your racial history with a story from 6th grade. When she was giving a presentation to her class about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, her teacher called her a liar, questioned her account of her mother’s and grandmother’s experiences, and said “Well, they fabricated the whole thing. This could never happen in America.” As a 6th grader, she was thinking “I was so mad. I just knew at that point that this history really matters because my teacher’s trying to shut me up about it.”

Asian Americans – CAAM Home

Asian Americans – PBS Series | Center for Asian American Media

And lastly, speaking of mad.

W. Kamau Bell, an American stand-up comic and television host, recently wrote a essay telling everyone he’s got enough room and energy to be mad at a lot of things and those things don’t conflict with each other. The point of the article was to counter the criticism that he got on social media for defending Asian Americans against coronavirus-related racism when there was so much racism against Blacks. He said: “Being against racism means being against racism. And it means being against racism when it isn’t convenient, or easy, or fun, or even when the person you are trying to help doesn’t consider you one of their people, or one of their allies, or doesn’t even see you at all.”

Racism is still racism even if racism against Asians isn’t making the front page.


RESOURCES

Our masked future – Wearing a mask all the time affects how we interact with each other. But how?
https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/6/8/21279725/masks-face-psychology

Coronavirus and Racism in America, with W. Kamau Bell
https://www.pbs.org/video/coronavirus-and-racism-in-america-with-w-kamau-bell-gfpzhq/

PBS ‘Asian Americans’ Producer On Why Learning Racial History Matters More Than Ever
https://www.npr.org/local/309/2020/06/01/866847245/p-b-s-asian-americans-producer-on-why-learning-racial-history-matters-more-than-ever 

Black lives matter. Thoughts and wishes from one small business. https://pearlriver.com/blogs/blog/black-lives-matter-thoughts-and-wishes-from-one-small-business  

Me and Bruce Lee would like to have a word with you. Being against racism means being against racism.
https://medium.com/@wkamaubell/me-and-bruce-lee-would-like-to-have-a-word-with-you-bfc1727216eb 

From UX Study to UX Service: Using People-Centered Research Methods to Improve the Public Library Experience

You may have noticed that we have not been posting regularly…we have spent the past year working on an article and have finally completed it. Here it is, hot off the press!

From UX Study to UX Service: Using People-Centered Research Methods to Improve the Public Library Experience

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to our readers.  While it’s been a great year we’re looking forward to a new year and a new decade with you.

 

Bathroom Blogfest 2019 Wrap Up

Toilet Paper CartoonWe’ve reached the end of the roll. From “Where’s the bathroom?” to bathrooms with that extra touch of hospitality, we hope you enjoyed reading Bathroom Blogfest 2019 as much as we enjoyed writing it.

View all Bathroom Blogfest posts.

Bathroom Blogfest: Bathrooms with Hospitality

It’s nice when bathrooms go the extra mile with hospitality. Here are pictures of two bathrooms that feel homey and welcoming.

 

Bathroom Blogfest: Soap Dispensers

What do you think about the location of the soap dispenser? Is the trash bin right underneath the dispenser to catch the soap drips?

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Bathroom Blogfest: The Sink’s Not Working

The sink’s not working I thought to myself. I know how a sink works. I then noticed the sign on the the mirror. “To activate water place hands close to faucet stem.” I never thought I would need instructions to wash my hands at a sink.

Note: Picture taken after hand washing 🙂
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Bathroom Blogfest: Where’s the Bathroom?

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“Where’s the bathroom?”

A commonly asked question especially when time is of the essence.

Trying to track down someone who may know the answer to that question can also be a common task.

In this food hall, there is a bright and pretty visible toilet icon indicating where the bathroom is.

There was no need to ask “Where’s the bathroom?”

Thanks for a good bathroom user experience (UX)!

Bathroom Blogfest 2019

We’re back from a summer hiatus and just in time for Bathroom Blogfest 2019!

What is Bathroom Blogfest?

bathroom toiletThroughout the week, we’ll talk about the user experience of bathrooms. That’s right, bathrooms. We all use ’em. Some are your usual bathrooms, some are cool, and some are just downright confusing. This is our 8th year participating in Bathroom Blogfest. Please share your bathroom stories with us.

“During the annual Bathroom Blogfest, bloggers from around the globe write about the importance of bathrooms in the customer experience. Their posts come from a wide range of perspectives that include sociology, marketing, research, psychology, environmental, customer experience, and user-experience design.”

Read all Bathroom Blogfest posts.

Just In Time for Summer Reading: Book Vending Machines

jetblue-soar-reading

There’s an app for that. Well, in the world of vending machines, there’s a vending machine for that. Snacks, drinks, shaving kits, batteries, band-aids, and now books.

Just in time for summer reading, JetBlue placed a few vending machines stocked with children’s books throughout the NYC metro area this month as part of its Soar with Reading initiative (they’ve done this with other cities like Detroit and San Francisco). The vending machines are placed in neighborhoods where access to children’s books is limited. Read more over at AMNY and Vending Times (who knew there was a one-stop shop where you can find out about things vending). We’re curious to see and test out the usability of Jetblue’s book vending machines.

Happy vending and (summer) reading! 

Wandering Librarian: The Newberry

Now settled into my new home, I’ve taken to wandering the libraries of the Second City. You can’t come here without visiting the Newberry Library; Chicago’s independent research library. Open since 1887, the Newberry’s impressive collection is open and free to the public. Unfortunately, I wandered in on a day the stacks were close. I did, however, get the chance to talk with one of the curators. I learned that Mr. Newberry’s original collection was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire, including an original draft of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Even with the loss of the original collection, the Newberry’s holdings of 1.6 million books, 600,000 maps, 1 million postcards and 5 million pages of manuscripts still boggle the mind. All of this is searchable with their online catalog.

The library also has a gallery where they exhibit a rotation of items from their stacks. In fact, I enjoyed their Melville: Finding America at Sea exhibit displaying their impressive collection of Melville’s works in honor of the 200th anniversary of Melville’s birth.

If you ever find yourself in the Second City, please fit it time for the Newberry Library.

Wandering Librarian: Biblioteca Armando Olivares y Archivo Histórico UG

Wandering through Guanajuato City, I of course had to visit a library. Located in Central Mexico, Guanajuato is an incredibly beautiful and incredibly old silver mining town that was designated a World Heritage Site in 1988. It’s no surprise that I was blown away by the majesty of the University of Guanajuato’s library and archive. Tucked in the back of a little plaza, the Biblioteca Armando Olivares and Archivo Historico’s unassuming facade belies the breathtaking library inside. I had the opportunity to have a chat with the head librarian.

This is what I garnered from his broken English and my broken Spanish:

  • the library houses about 16,000 books and materials
  • they have an OPAC making their collection searchable online
  • they collection materials related to Guanajuato City, the Univerisity & some of its famous residents
  • they are open to the public and no special credential is needed to enter
  • the oldest item in the collection is a manuscript from 1495!

I could have stayed there all day exploring. Unfortunately, my impatient 4-year old wanted out and back into the Mexican sun.

Wandering Librarian: Woodstock Library

A few months ago, I took a trip upstate NY and was walking around the town of Woodstock and stumbled across Woodstock Library; a friendly and small town library packed with reading glasses, a seed lending library, a red-eyed dragon named Fireball, and more. I enjoyed my visit. Check out the photo slideshow below.

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Monthly Method Spotlight: SMART Project Management

SMART Project Management

What & Why?: We talk a lot on our blog and in our presentations & workshops about setting SMART goals as part of your career strategy –

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time-bound

smart goals

In preparing for our November webinar on project management for librarians, we learned that the “A” in the popular and well-known SMART criteria acronym could also stand for assignable (from The November 1981 issue of Management Review containing a paper by George T. Doran), which is an important aspect to remember for good project management. When it comes to project management, you need to make sure that the project tasks are SMART including being assignable to members of the project team.

How: As project tasks are developed, ask yourself and the project team the following questions based on the SMART criteria if these tasks are:

Specific – what exactly is the task at hand?
Measurable – how do we know if the task is completed successfully or if we’re making progress?
Assignable – is this task assignable? Who can this task be assigned to? Which team member would it make sense to assign it to?
Relevant – is this task relevant to the project or relevant to the current phase of the project?
Time-bound – when is this task due or when does this task need to be completed by in order to ensure timely project completion or project success?

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.

 

Wandering Librarian: 1st post of the new year

Continuing our popular series about our wandering, this is a delayed post from this summer’s wandering in Europe. This time I was in Leiden, Netherlands. No, I did not visit Bibliotheca Thysiana, the only surviving 17th-century public library in the Netherlands or the Leiden University Library which manages the largest collections worldwide on Indonesia and the Caribbean.

Embarrassingly, my family was seeking shelter from a sudden rainstorm and ducked into the closes library; BplusC Bibliotheek Nieuwstraat (Library and Centre for Art and Culture). While my family went to the children’s area, I toured the library and noticed many similarities with American public libraries; SISO classification system which is very similar to Dewey’s system, a wide array of public programs, event spaces, self-check out system, coffee shop, etc. However, there were many firsts for me also; a fully equipped music studio complete with guitars, grand piano and drums, a printer system that accepts credit card payments, and a Plextalk devices – digital talking book players that have been especially designed for the print disabled.

Disconcertingly, in a conversation with a staff member I also learned that they share the same woes as American public libraries; mainly less & less public funding. In fact, BplusC is a paid membership for adults.

All in all a nice library experience even if it was by happenstance.

 

 

Top 10 Posts of 2018

It’s a New Year. What’s Your Career Strategy?

Looking to work on your library career strategy in the new year?

Check out this recommended list of LIS career books of 2018.

Two books that we contributed to, “Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Moving to Another Type of Library” and “Career Q&A: A Librarian’s Real-Life, Practical Guide to Managing a Successful Career” are on the list.

career-transitions.jpgcareer-q-a

SLA Project Management Webinar – From Idea to Implementation

We presented “From Idea to Implementation: A Project Management Case Study for Book a Librarian” as part of a project management webinar series for librarians from the Special Libraries Association (SLA).

See our webinar slides.

project management cycle

For more ideas and methods for your project management needs, check out our Monthly Method Spotlight Series.

If you attended the webinar, we would like your feedback; share your thoughts via comments.

Upcoming Webinar – Project Management for Information Professionals

sla logoJoin us on Thursday, November 29 at 2-3PM EST for “Applying Project Management to the Real World (Library)” as part of Special Libraries Association’s three-part webinar series – Project Management for Today’s Information Professional. For more info and to register.

Bathroom Blogfest 2018 Wrap Up

Toilet Paper CartoonFrom communal bathroom sinks to bathroom (kangaroo) pouches, we hope you enjoyed reading Bathroom Blogfest 2018 as much as we enjoyed writing it.

View all Bathroom Blogfest posts.

Update 11/20/18: a good friend and blog follower just shared this article with us (thanks Barbara!) “Oh, The Places You’ll Go: Toilet Signs Try to Help“. It was a very interesting read. What do you think about these toilet signs? Have you seen similar ones? Also, did you know that World Toilet Day is November 19?

Bathroom Blogfest: Communal Bathroom Sink

I’ve been seeing more and more bathrooms with communal sinks. I like it; it speeds up the bathroom line since you’re not taking up the toilet when you’re washing your hands and also once you wash your hands, you don’t have to worry about touching the (maybe not so clean) door handle. What do you think?

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Bathroom Blogfest: The Pouch

On a recent trip, I noticed this inside an airport bathroom stall. Most likely inspired by our kangaroo friends in Australia, The Pouch is “clean and secure storage” while you’re using the bathroom. Comes in handy for small items like your wallet, phone, etc.

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Bathroom Blogfest: Dryer and Sink In One

During a recent visit to Philly, I was in the National Constitution Center and noticed a blue signage label on the sink in the bathroom while I was washing my hands. It says “Place hands below to dry. Wait for air to activate.” Turns out it’s a dryer and sink in one. Wash and dry your hands in one place, although I found it initially confusing. Has anyone else seen this or something similar?

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Bathroom Blogfest 2018

It’s Bathroom Blogfest 2018!

What is Bathroom Blogfest?

bathroom toiletThroughout the week, we’ll talk about the user experience of bathrooms. That’s right, bathrooms. We all use ’em. Some are your usual bathrooms, some are cool, and some are just downright confusing. This is our 8th year participating in Bathroom Blogfest. Please share your bathroom stories with us.

“During the annual Bathroom Blogfest, bloggers from around the globe write about the importance of bathrooms in the customer experience. Their posts come from a wide range of perspectives that include sociology, marketing, research, psychology, environmental, customer experience, and user-experience design.”

Read all Bathroom Blogfest posts.

Free NYC-Based CUNY TechWorks User Experience (UX) Program

For those in the NYC metro area, Kingsborough Community College (with a beautiful beachside campus in Brooklyn, NY) is offering a tuition-free user experience training program via CUNY TechWorks. Interested? More info and check out the upcoming info session for the Fall semester.

Wandering Librarian: George Baritiu Children’s Library

Next up on my wanderings through Europe; the city of Brasov in the Transylvania region of Romania. Much to my disappointment no vampire library exists. Even Bran Castle AKA ‘Dracula’s Castle’ was devoid of a vampire library. My consolation prize is the George Baritiu Children’s Library.

After wandering around & passing the entrance several times I finally found the building. This modest building offers very basic library services; books & computers. On a summer morning it was quiet. Staff informed me that in the summer they offer kindergarten classes and that it would soon be packed. When I inquired about a YA section I was told that the children’s library is for kids 0-18yrs old.

What really impressed me was the children’s jungle gym and toy library. This is the first time I have ever encountered an indoor jungle gym or toy library in a library. Yes, they actually had an indoor jungle gym for the kids. The toy library is exactly what it sound like. A shelving unit against the wall was packed with toys and board games for varying ages to play with and borrow. unfortunately you’ll have to take my word for this because I was not permitted to take photos.

Wandering Librarian: Carturesti Carusel in Romania

While on a 2 week trip to Europe, my first stop was a bookstore at the recommendation of our taxi driver. Truthfully I was disappointed that the taxi driver recommended a bookstore when I specifically asked him about libraries. However, once I stepped into Carturesti Carusel, I wasn’t so disappointed. Set in Old Town Bucharest, Carturesti Carusel, a monument turned bookstore offers an experience with no comparison.

Beyond the sheer majesty of the building, wandering around and perusing the over 10,000 books or just enjoying the beauty of the inside was a great experience for my entire family. Not a bad first stop for this wandering librarian.

Designing My Life: Good Time Journal

If you’ve been following along, I’ve decided to design my life following Burnett & Evans book.

After creating my Health/Work/Play/Love Dashboard  and Building My Compass, I next created my Good Time Journal.

 

Over a period of 3 weeks I kept a daily log of my activities. Admittedly I did the haggard-stay-at-home-mom-to-kids-under-4 version; whenever I can remember and/or have time.

Next came time for a reflection of my logs. I looked for trends in my log and attempted to get more specific about what does or does not engage me.

I used the suggested AEIOU method to help with the reflection part.

A: Activities – structured/unstructured, leader/participant, what was I actually doing?

E: Environment- inside/outside, what kind of place was it? how did it make me feel?

I: Interactions – with people/machines, informal/formal, new/familiar

U: Users- who else was I with? what role did  they play in my experience?

Career Strategy Tip – Prepare for An Uncertain Future By Second-Skilling

We recently read an interesting article titled “Could Singapore hold the secret to preparing workers for an uncertain future?” on ideas.ted.com.

We talk about learning new skills and refreshing existing skills as part of one’s career strategy on our blog, in our presentations and workshops, etc.

skills-icons

This article talks about second-skilling. “In today’s economy, second-skilling — developing your skills in a sector other than the one you work in — is necessary for career resiliency; it gives you options and flexibility. That second skill can either complement the skills you’re already using in your current job, or offer a completely alternative path.”

Incorporate second-skilling as part of your career strategy. What would you second-skill in?

Designing My Life: Building My Compass

If you’ve been following along, I’ve decided to design my life following Burnett & Evans book.

After creating my Health/Work/Play/Love Dashboard I moved to the next step; Building My Compass.

The authors ask that you reflect on your workview and your lifeview. In 30 mins I typed up an essay (<250 words) defining my values, perspectives and ‘matters of ultimate concern’ around my workview and lifeview.

This exercise helps to build coherency and connects who I am, what I believe in and what I am doing. These go beyond the day to day wishes of what your ideal work and life would look like.

 

 

Monthly Method Spotlight: Story Share & Compare

Story Share & Compare

What & Why:  Story sharing is a way for team members to get up-to-date on what other team members saw and heard in the field. This method also allows those listening to draw out anything significant or meaningful from the experience that the person may have initially overlooked.

How: Air out all of the stories and observations that stuck out to you about what you saw and heard during fieldwork. Each member of the group should tell their story and share notes while other members write down quotes, surprises, and other interesting bits. Use post-it notes and limit it to one significant item per post-it note.

Tips: Combine with other methods discussed in our previous posts like Fly on the Wall and Foreign Correspondents.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.

Wandering Librarian: The Book Trader

I was wandering around in Philly and came across a bookstore called The Book Trader. With books stacked from almost ceiling to floor, it was an overwhelming (so many books) yet interesting browsing experience. Also, you can’t go wrong with Mickey and Minnie in the kids’ section.

 

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May 14th Event Recap: Asian American Librarians and Library Services

As contributors to the newest and first book on this topic: Asian American Librarians and Library Services: Activism, Collaborations and Strategies, we (along with a couple of fellow Pratt alums and others) were a part of a panel at Pratt last week There were lots of interesting discussions as well as those I can totally relate nods, laughs, stories, and perspectives shared. Check out the write-up in American Libraries.

We talked a bit about our chapter titled Going Beyond the Bamboo Ceiling: Issues and Challenges for Asian Pacific American Patrons and Librarians.

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Wandering Librarian: A Little Library in Philly

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I was in Philly recently and came across A Little Library. It’s interesting to see the different little libraries (how they’re set up, what the library is made out of, and of course, what kind of books there are).

In this case, there are two separate little libraries: one is for children’s books and the other is for non-children’s books. A little house was made for the children’s books and a newspaper dispenser is being used for the other books.

It’s good to see that books are made easily accessible in many communities and neighborhoods via the little libraries.

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Monthly Method Spotlight: MoSCoW Prioritization

MoSCoW Prioritization

What & Why:  There can be a lot of features/requirements when it comes to project ideas and projects, also many with short timelines and quick turnaround times. How do you prioritize them? One way to prioritize when managing projects is to use the MoSCow method.

M – MUST HAVE:
Features/Requirements that are non-negotiable for the success of the project.

S – SHOULD HAVE:
High-priority requirements/features that are not critical to launch but are considered important and of a high value.

C – COULD HAVE:
Features/requirements that are desirable but not necessary. May be removed or pushed to future stage of development if project completion timeline is at risk.

W – WOULD LIKE TO HAVE BUT WON’T HAVE (AT THIS TIME): Features/requirements that will not be implemented in a current release but may be included in a future stage of development. Such requirements usually do not affect the project success.

priority-scrabble

How: Request input from your project team and stakeholders using the method. Use a combination of other methods such as dot-voting. This method can also be used in your personal life; anything from making a major purchase like a house or a car (what features are a must have, etc.) to cooking a meal (what ingredients are a must have, what can be skipped, etc.)

We cover the MoSCoW method and other project management methods in our getting started in project management workshop for librarians

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.

Gathering Feedback: What is the Purpose of Your Visit Today?

I visited the Mutter Museum during my recent trip to Philly and I noticed the museum’s fun and simple way of gathering feedback via the use of the visitor tag.

Directions: drop your visitor tag into one of the four lab flasks below and let us know: Why did you come to the museum today?
IMG_20180324_144252753

Flasks: Class trip/group trip, On a date, Visiting Philadelphia/bucket list, and None of the above.
IMG_20180324_144245114

It’s a simple and easy way of getting feedback, especially in this increasingly survey-fatigued world. It’s also a way to collect and reuse/recycle the visitor tags.

One suggestion: empty the “Visiting Philadelphia” flask (in this case) since it seems pretty full and may affect/influence future responses (i.e. visitors may drop it in another flask because the one they would select is full).

Upcoming Event: May 14th Event on Asian Americans and Libraries

As we mentioned recently, Asian Americans and Libraries: Activism, Collaboration and Strategies for the 21st Century was recently published.

Join us for an upcoming event on May 14th – a round table of Pratt alums (including yours truly) who are contributors to the newest and first book on this topic on how librarians and libraries are engaging with diverse Asian Pacific American communities today.

Support the Asian Pacific American Community: Librarians on Diversity, Inclusivity and Civic Engagement

Date: Monday, May 14, 2018
Time: 5:30PM-7PM
Location: Pratt Manhattan located at 144 W 14th St (ROOM 213)

Free event, RSVP required

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, join us for this exciting round table to hear from Pratt alums who are contributors to the newest and first book on this topic: Asian American Librarians and Library Services: Activism, Collaborations and Strategies on how librarians and libraries are engaging with diverse Asian Pacific American communities today.

Through a series of collaborative and community engagements, speakers will share their experiences in creating inclusive environments in the profession, and how they are diversifying the resources and services to support the growing Asian Pacific American communities in NYC and beyond. Come learn more about the different career experiences of Pratt alums and their views of the field today.

Speakers:
Lisa Chow, People Interact Consultancy and Brooklyn Public Library (Pratt Alum)
Michelle Lee, New York Public Library (Pratt Alum)
Sandra Sajonas, People Interact Consultancy (Pratt Alum)
Miriam Tuliao, Penguin Random House (Pratt Alum)
Arlene Yu, New York Public Library (Pratt Alum)
Janet Clarke, Stony Brook University Libraries
Ray Pun, California State University, Fresno

RSVP for the event

Meanwhile, check out the book and our chapter – Going Beyond the Bamboo Ceiling: Issues and Challenges for Asian Pacific American Patrons and Librarians.

Wandering Librarian: Revisiting the Little Island Library

5 years ago while on a trip to Culebra, PR I stopped in to see their tiny library housed in 2 shipping containers. I stopped in again while on vacation  recently to see how the library is after 2 hurricanes passed through the Caribbean last fall.

I’m told by volunteer staff that the library was one of the first places opened after the hurricane. 6 months post hurricanes the library is in full swing. Patrons were inside on the computers or outside making use of the free wifi. My family went to the main shipping container to the children’s area to play with the toys & games, pick out books & enjoy the air conditioner. The other container houses the movie theater. I was impressed that their movie line contains all recent movies. Considering the space constraints, I was also impressed by the breadth of the collection. Though a little out of date on the nonfiction titles, the fiction titles are surprisingly recent titles. The volunteer informed me that they have another shipping container that houses books that they rotate through the collection.

All, in all, 5 years later I am still amazed by this little island library. Even more so once I saw how quickly they were up and running after a natural disaster.

Wandering Librarian: Book Nook at Reading Terminal Market

I was in Philly recently and made my usual stop at the Reading Terminal Market. In addition to a  few new restaurants & shops since the last time I was there, I noticed that there is a children’s reading corner called Book Nook, a partnership between Reading Terminal Market and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

There are a few Book Nook rules (such as take a book, leave a book) and a Book Nook storytime schedule (1st and 3rd Wednesday morning of each month). It’s good to see that libraries are finding ways of going beyond their buildings’ walls to provide library resources and services. Reminds me of Darien’s Library stash of books at the nearby MetroNorth train station; why not take a book to read on the train.

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Monthly Method Spotlight: Value Proposition

Value Proposition 

What & Why: A value proposition is a short, concise description of a service and why it’s valuable. It helps a team to narrow down and come to a consensus of what you are aiming for with a design.

How: Early in the process, reducing the process to answer what it is, who it’s for, where/when it will be used etc. can help to simplify designs.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.

Wandering Librarian: HPL @ the Children’s Museum of Houston

While on a trip to Houston I was pleasantly surprised to find a library at the Children’s Museum of Houston. The Parent Resource Library is a satellite of the Houston Public Library system that serves America’s 4th most populous city.

Stepping inside to get a moment of quiet from the madhouse of a children’s museum on a rainy Saturday, the library was small but contained essentials such as computers, a small collection & thematic bags of books for loan. While my look into the HPL system was brief and tiny, I am impressed by their outreach efforts & services to the diverse city of Houston.

Just some examples:

  • laptops & tablets available for loan
  • mobile wifi hotspots available for loan
  • 4 express libraries
  • mobile express libraries
  • 31 neighborhood libraries
  • 4 regional libraries
  • 3 special collection libraries

 

Save the Date: May 14th Event on Asian Americans and Libraries

As we mentioned a couple of months ago, Asian Americans and Libraries: Activism, Collaboration and Strategies for the 21st Century was recently published.

Save the date for an upcoming event on May 14th – a round table of Pratt alums (including yours truly) who are contributors to the newest and first book on this topic on how librarians and libraries are engaging with diverse Asian Pacific American communities today.

SAVE THE DATE

Support the Asian Pacific American Community: Librarians on Diversity, Inclusivity and Civic Engagement

Date: Monday, May 14, 2018
Time: 5:30PM-7PM
Location: Pratt Manhattan located at 144 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
6th Floor, School of Information

RSVP for the event

May 14th APA Event

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, join us for this exciting round table to hear from Pratt alums who are contributors to the newest and first book on this topic: Asian American Librarians and Library Services: Activism, Collaborations and Strategies on how librarians and libraries are engaging with diverse Asian Pacific American communities today.

Through a series of collaborative and community engagements, speakers will share their experiences in creating inclusive environments in the profession, and how they are diversifying the resources and services to support the growing Asian Pacific American communities in NYC and beyond. Come learn more about the different career experiences of Pratt alums and their views of the field today.

Speakers:
Lisa Chow, People Interact Consultancy and Brooklyn Public Library (Pratt Alum)
Michelle Lee, New York Public Library (Pratt Alum)
Sandra Sajonas, People Interact Consultancy (Pratt Alum)
Miriam Tuliao, Penguin Random House (Pratt Alum)
Arlene Yu, New York Public Library (Pratt Alum)
Janet Clarke, Stony Brook University Libraries
Ray Pun, California State University, Fresno

RSVP for the event

Meanwhile, check out the book and our chapter – Going Beyond the Bamboo Ceiling: Issues and Challenges for Asian Pacific American Patrons and Librarians.

Standing Status Meetings

Standing-MeetingPart of our work is helping organizations improve organizational effectiveness and performance. We were recently asked how to improve team communication. We’ve shared tips on how to run effective meetings (we’re big on walk & talk meetings).

We recommended trying 10-15 minute standing check-in meetings with your team. During these standing status meetings, team members would check in with each other (i.e. what are you working on, what issues are you running into, what resources do you need, etc.).

Have you tried standing meetings? How did they work out?

Read more on Wikipedia about stand-up meetings.

Designing My Life: Health/Work/Play/Love Dashboard

As mentioned in previous posts, I’m designing my life with the help of Burnett & Evans’ book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life.

For my first activity I completed my dashboard to gauge where I currently am in my life.

After completing my dashboard I could definitely see some areas I can work on. It’s also important to point out “gravity problems”. These are areas that cannot be changed, i.e. weather, the fact that I have 2 young kids. These are issues that won’t change but that I can be creative with working around.