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I’m sitting here listening to someone try to convince a single mother who just returned to college and is here with her young daughter that she, does indeed have something to contribute to the conversation. She came with her teacher, but her teacher has not reached out to her to draw her in (or direct her to a table where she can participate. I commend her teacher for inviting her here and exposing her to this experience, but being in the room does not equal being at the table.

Fortunately, she is in capable hands. He is a facilitator/ non-profit consultant from El Paso working on the teen pregnancy issue.

With so many moving parts, how can the organizers have support mechanisms to prevent anyone from being left out?

BTW, in the time it took me to write this, a spontaneous group of three formed when an outsider pulled up his chair and suggested, “let’s form our own group!” and another gentleman joined them.

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Doing Biz with the Gov

I’m swimming in alphabet soup registering my business for federal and State of Texas contracts. My head is about to explode so I thought I’d document the process and save others from blowing a gasket.

Federal CCR Registration

  1. To do business with the federal government, you must be in the Central Contractor Registration database. Register here: https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/Default.aspx
  2. But, getting a CCR requires that you have a D-U-N-S Number, a unique nine digit identification number, for each physical location of your business. Don’t worry, it’s free. Get that number here: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/index.jsp

  3. But, before you can get a DUNS number, you have to get an EIN and the business name you enter in your DUNS application must be exactly the same as the business name on the EIN award letter you get from the IRS. To get an EIN, go here: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html

So actually, what you need to do is the last three steps in reverse!

State of Texas

Now to register as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) in Texas and get on the Comptroller’s Centralized Master Bidders List (CMBL), just download the appropriate pdf form from here complete, print and mail to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, P.O. Box 13186, Austin, TX 78711-3186. That’s pretty easy if you can answer all of the questions, like what your NIGP code is and you have $70.

So I am now in CCR with a DUNS and CAGE, and an EIN. And I’ll be a HUB on the CMBL as soon as I figure out my NIGP and drum up seventy bucks.

I think I need an aspirin!

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[Link repaired]

I just discovered this 2002 press release about a report from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. It may be old, but I had to write about it. I ove this story because it is another example of innovative library services using pack animals (in an earlier blog post, I wrote about the Book Women of Eastern Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project) AND because of the multi-media aspect of it! These Donkey Drawn Libraries are providing library services in remote communities in Zimbabwe, but they are also delivering technology powered by a solar unit installed on the roof.

Each cart is provided with a solar unit installed on the roof; a battery charged by this solar energy supplies the electric power. Audio-visual apparatus is installed in a cabinet at the back of the cart and electronic data equipment and storage facilities for battery, inverter, distilled water (for the batteries), books, music disks and records, video cassettes, etc. are installed on cabinets at both sides of the cart. The unit can also be provided with an aerial or a satellite dish.

But I also love this story because it reminds us that everyone values and deserves access to libraries, books, knowledge and information. And, while we should continue to fight for more resources for libraries, we should also remind ourselves that we humans (especially librarians!) are a creative lot and will continue to find creative ways to continue providing quality library services.

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On April 24, I will be delivering the keynote and a workshop for the Prairie Area Library Services day-long meeting outside of Chicago. A former student from my days of teaching Change Management invited me, but I seem to be struggling to put together a brief description of my talk. So I started jotting down notes and phrases as they came to me. I still don’t have the topic nailed down, but I needed a place where I would remember these ideas:

  • Libraries: Antidote to economic stress and personal distress
  • Riding the Shark: Tools for Thriving in Tough Times
  • But I Don’t Even Know How to Spell “Entrepreneurship”
  • Opportunities for Entrepreneurship
  • Libraries on the Edge
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: value of public libraries in supporting sustainable communities.
  • 2009: The Year of the Library
  • Value
  • Changing the Story
  • Writing Our Own Story
  • Pebbles in Teapots
  • Boiling, but Blooming: Taking Advantage of Tough Times or “But I Don’t Even Know How to Spell Entrepreneurship!”
  • New Metaphors for Libraries and Communities
  • When the Going Gets Tough,
  • New Roles for Libraries
  • Why Tough Times are Good News
  • Tough Times:
  • Taking Charge of Change: Thriving and ____ Through Tough Times
  • What We can Learn From Tough Times
  • Making Friends and Winning Over Enemies in Tough Times
  • Tools for Tackling Tough Times
  • Turn your thinking inside out
  • Pardon me ma’am, your metaphor is showing
  • Thinksters

Now back to figuring out what it is I REALLY want to say!

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NCDD Conference: What Can Technology Do For Us?

I recently sent an e-mail to Andy Fluke, the Technology Dude for the NCDD Conference which he posted to the NCDD web site. I was responding to an e-mail from him in which he noted that he would give Twitter a try for 30 days, but would dump it if he didn’t get 50 followers during that time. My response was to try to broaden the potential uses of technology, specifically Twitter for the upcoming conference.

With my permission, Andy posted my e-mail to the NCDD web site. I thought I’d also post it here (with a few edits) since it reflects how I’m thinking about technology these days and some of the thinking that I can offer to my clients. I’ve even expanded my thinking about Twitter as a tool which I wrote about on my Scattered Leaves Blog.

Andy,

A few thoughts and insights on how technology can knit us together leading up to, during and after the conference…

1. Standard tagging: Through standard tagging, we can easily see each other’s content uploaded on Flickr, Blogs and elsewhere. For example, last August a Texas Forums co-hosted an event with the League of Technical Voters called We Are All Actors. People took photos that they uploaded to their own site on Flick and they wrote blogs. But no matter where they posted content, they tagged it WAAA2007. So on Flickr, you can see everyone’s photos at: http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=waaa2007&m=text. You could do the same for blogs if you tag them with Technorati tags.

[author’s note: we have since implemented standard tagging for the upcoming conference as: NCDD2008]

2. Real time feedback: Twitter was used heavily at SXSW Interactive here in Austin to give real time feedback during sessions. I was there with a couple of colleagues and was able to see what they were doing and what they thought about the presentations they were attending. If I was in a session that wasn’t working for me, I could easily vote with my feet and go where something cool was happening.

(OK presenters may not like that, but we DO want to make sure everyone gets what they want from the conference, right?)

Also, you can get instant answers to questions. For example, I recently wondered (twittered, actually) about the difference between tinyurl.com and tiny.cc. within less than five minutes, I had two responses. I use twitterific so I get messages on my desktop as soon as the come in. (This is also one way I get good recipes, consumer guidance, referrals, etc.)

3. Drive traffic to blogs. I follow a very prolific blogger who writes for several blogs and a podcaster. Through the magic of microblogging (that’s what Twitter really is) I get one sentence from them along with a “tinyurl” If I’m too busy, then I can save it as a favorite.

For example:

Tom Parish tparish Posted my podcast with Dr. Nicolas Horney on “In Search of IT Agility” at EnterpriseLeadership.org http://tinyurl.com/2ukqd4

4. Lots of people prefer the microblogging of twitter. (See: http://twitter.com/Digidave/statuses/780610943) Below is snapshot of Twitterific and posting by David Cohn – someone I’ve never met, but who found me and found that we share similar interests.

5. You can send direct messages to people through twitter – much easier than e-mail AND it doesn’t clutter things up. You might think that being limited to 140 characters is a bad thing.

OH NO! It’s a VERY good thing. Twitter combines the best of e-mail and instant messaging. If people don’t have computers or can’t afford the wireless (it’s not free at the Renaissance, is it?) they can still participate with their phones – there will be plenty of people with computers on hand to sign them up.

6. Spontaneous meetings. Many of the geeks I hang out with in Austin (and elsewhere) don’t make appointments. They go to a coffee shop or bar, Twitter their location and people spontaneously show up. That’s how we all found each other at SXSW. Imagine you’ve just come from a stimulating session and want to keep talking about what you learned. You post a twitter with the topic and your location and people can join you. Think “Technologically facilitated Open Space”.

7. Mobile technology: Twitter works with cell phones – both receiving and sending. No need to be online.

[author’s note: This will be particularly useful at the conference since there is no free wifi. YIKES!! How un-Austin-like!]

8. Instant updates of changes: A speaker gets sick? You’re in a room that you thought would have a flip chart, but it doesn’t?

Post a notice. “Workshop A canceled.” or “Any flip charts not being used? I could use one in Serenade Room”

Response: “not using the one in Serendipity Room. Sending it over to you.”

Everyone tied into Twitter is empowered to contribute to the conference.

So the real power isn’t in how many people are following you, but in how many people are connected and ABLE to connect with Twitter!

I knew about the NCDD twitter NOT from an e-mail, but because Tim Bonneman twittered that he had just joined. I joined immediately. THAN I got an e-mail from Andy Fluke. But it took me 24 hours to respond and now I have to make a decision about where to file the e-mail!

E-mail and RSS feeds are just too cumbersome any more.

__________________________________
I’m not sure I’ve completely won Andy over, but I have earned the title, Director of Building Excitement about Technology and Libraries in my position on the NCDD Board!

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[I wrote this last fall, but apparently it was never published. It feels a bit dated now, but I’m posting it so that I’ll at least have the record of what I was thinking at the time! I frequently have troubles with Blogger, but have been too lazy or bus to move this blog over to WordPress.]

I recently nudged my colleague, Andy Fluke who is the technical support for the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation about working on ways to use technology to create a buzz prior to, during and following the conference. He agreed to twitter, but said he would cease if he didn’t get 50 followers in 30 days. Wrong approach! Here’s my response.

Andy,

Since I’m the “butt-kicker” in the group, let me offer a few thoughts and
insights on how technology can knit us together leading up to, during and
after the conference.

1. Standard tagging: Through standard tagging, we can easily see each
other’s content uploaded on Flickr, Blogs and elsewhere. For example, last
August a Texas Forums co-hosted an event with the League of Technical Voters
called We Are All Actors. People took photos that they uploaded to their own
site on Flick and they wrote blogs. But no matter where they posted content,
they tagged it WAAA2007. So on Flickr, you can see everyone’s photos with that tag. You could do the same for blogs if you tag them with Technorati tags.

2. Real time feedback: Twitter was used heavily at SXSW Interactive here in
Austin to give real time feedback during sessions. I was there with a couple
of colleagues and was able to see what they were doing and what they thought
about the presentations they were attending. If I was in a session that
wasn’t working for me, I could easily vote with my feet and go where
something cool was happening. (OK presenters may not like that, but we DO
want to make sure everyone gets what they want from the conference, right?)
Also, you can get instant answers to questions. For example, I recently
wondered (twittered, actually) about the difference between tinyurl.com and
tiny.cc. within less than five minutes, I had two responses. I use
twitterific so I get messages on my desktop as soon as the come in. (This is
also one way I get good recipes, consumer guidance, referrals, etc.)

3. Drive traffic to blogs. I follow a very prolific blogger who writes for
several blogs and a podcaster. Through the magic of microblogging (that’s
what Twitter really is) I get one sentence from them along with a “tinyurl”
If I’m toobusy, then I can save it as a favorite. For example this twitter from Tom Parish:
tparish Posted my podcast with Dr. Nicolas Horney on “In Search of IT
Agility” at EnterpriseLeadership.org http://tinyurl.com/2ukqd4

4. Lots of people prefer the microblogging of twitter. (See:
http://twitter.com/Digidave/statuses/780610943) Below is snapshot of
Twitterific and posting by David Cohn – someone I’ve never met, but who
found me and found that we share similar interests.

5. You can send direct messages to people through twitter – much easier than
e-mail AND it doesn’t clutter things up. You might think that being limited
to 140 characters is a bad thing. OH NO! It’s a VERY good thing. Twitter
combines the best of e-mail and instant messaging. If people don’t have
computers or can’t afford the wireless (it’s not free at the Renaissance, is
it?) they can still participate with their phones – there will be plenty of
people with computers on hand to sign them up.

6. Spontaneous meetings. Many of the geeks I hang out with in Austin (and
elsewhere) don’t make appointments. They go to a coffee shop or bar, Twitter
their location and people spontaneously show up. That’s how we all found
each other at SXSW. Imagine you’ve just come from a stimulating session and
want to keep talking about what you learned. You post a twitter with the
topic and your location and people can join you. Think “Technologically
facilitated Open Space”.

7. Mobile technology: Twitter works with cell phones – both receiving and
sending. No need to be online.

8. Instant updates of changes: A speaker gets sick? You’re in a room that
you thought would have a flip chart, but it doesn’t? Post a notice.
“Workshop A cancelled.” or “Any flip charts not being used? I could use one
in Serenade Room” Response: “not using the one in Serendipity Room. Sending
it over to you.” Everyone tied into Twitter is empowered to contribute to
the conference.

So the real power isn’t in how many people are following you, but in how
many people are connected and ABLE to connect with Twitter! I knew about the
NCDD twitter NOT from this e-mail, but because Tim Bonneman twittered that
he had just joined. I joined immediately, then I got this e-mail. But it
took me 24 hours to respond and now I have to make a decision about where to
file it! E-mail and RSS feeds are just too cumbersome any more.

Taylor

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I’m at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign for my on-campus session with students in my Civic Entrepreneurship Course in the Graduate Library and Information Sciences program.

It’s always a stressful time for me because they make such sacrifices to be here and I feel pressed to make it a very useful time. Fortunately, I have two things going for me. First, Jill (my GA for one more week) has done a great job organizing a field trip to the American Library Association Archives to research the historical roots of libraries as the university of the people and the center for civic education. Second, I have stayed in the Illini Union so often that it feels homey. It’s not my decorating style and the beds are not nearly as comfortable as my own, but it IS familiar.

Illini union

There is a really cool interactive map where you can see all of the rooms around here. Well, I guess I’ll climb under those scratchy sheets and get some sleep. After a hectic day of packing and then traveling, I don’t think I’ll have any problem sleeping. I’ve got a hectic day AND week ahead of me. If you don’t believe it, check out my calendar!

More later…

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