ILEAD USA: A leadership immersion program for librarians

ileadlogoI’m glad to be getting back to my blog! Where did the fall go?

It’s the cold/flu/stomach bug season here, and I have three young children. Enough said. Thankfully, we’re healthy for the moment!

I’m writing today to share a new and very exciting project (and one that AmaLat Consulting is helping to coordinate). The New York State Library has opened up registration for ILEAD USA, a FREE leadership immersion program for all types of librarians in New York State. The deadline to put a team together and apply is January 25, 2015.

Here is some info from the website:

During 2015, the New York State Library, in partnership with the New York Library Association and the Mid-York Library System, is collaborating with state library agencies from Illinois, Delaware, Maine, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin to implement ILEAD USA – a nationwide leadership immersion program utilizing web technologies, expanding library staff’s leadership skills and their ability to use participatory technology. Participants work in teams to address an identified community need and will be assisted by mentors/instructors in developing a successful project.

See http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/ilead/index.html for more details and the online application.

Also to note, we are looking for team mentors and instructors. See the above link for those applications as well, or feel free to contact me.

This is a truly unique opportunity for librarians to work together to meet community needs in new and innovative ways. It is also a program that has been well-received and very successful in other states.

I invite you to check it out!

Thank you!

As I mentioned earlier this month, I conducted a Basic Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Workshop in Utica last week, sponsored by the New York State Library.  I want to thank the Mid York Library System for hosting and all of the participants.

We had a terrific group – all came ready to work and share! As a trainer, I love a talkative group. We learned so much from each other and many had great suggestions for others’ projects.

Nice job, everyone! Best wishes on your OBE endeavors. It was a pleasure!

Flipped on Assessment program at NYLA

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to this year’s New York Library Association (NYLA) Conference. It’s always a good time – lots of networking and learning opportunities!

I thought I’d share info about an evaluation-related course being offered:

Flipped on Assessment
November 5, 2014
Saratoga Springs, NY

Program description:

Assessment meets active learning. Following our introductory keynote speakers and panel discussion, facilitators will lead an active learning class organized around needs assessment, developing outcomes/logic model (including exercises), and next steps. How do you determine what to assess? How do you create outcomes? Then what–i.e., what do you do with this information and how do you present it to communicate your value and impact?

Sounds like a great one! Check out the following link for more info:

http://clrc.org/events/flipped-on-assessment-a-nyla-pre-conference-event

Far from dying

The following article popped up on the NYLINE listserv yesterday, and I was reminded of a conversation:

Not Your Mother’s Library:
How Columbus, Ohio, is building community spaces for the 21st century

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/10/not-your-mothers-library/381119

Years ago when I was in the midst of my information science coursework, I attended a family reunion. An older uncle (a well-educated, family man) shared with me that he had heard I was entering the library field. He said: Libraries are great. It’s just too bad they’re dying in this computer age…that librarians are a dying profession.

I was shocked! He thought I was taking a full course load and working two jobs just to get into a dying profession…? So I proceeded to tell him all about the reinvention of libraries – of libraries as thriving community centers, cutting-edge information technology hubs, and trusted institutions of lifelong learning. I was determined to rid his mind of that old stereotypical image of rows and rows of dusty stacks and Shhhh! signs. It turns out my uncle hadn’t been to his local public library in twenty or so years, and he promised me that he would visit soon.

Unfortunately, I’ve encountered these false beliefs and old, outdated memories of libraries on multiple occasions since. Why do we need libraries if we now have computers, the Internet, and Google? Do people really use libraries anymore?

Kudos to The Atlantic. It’s very helpful when mainstream articles like the one above spread the word about today’s AMAZING (and far from dying!) libraries.

Tip: Keep focus on the target audience

TargetAudience1From time to time, I hope to use this blog to share evaluation tips, tricks, and lessons learned. As a trainer since 2005, I’ve had the opportunity to identify the common mistakes participants make when learning Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE). Unfortunately, a misstep when writing outcomes and developing a logic model can take you in the wrong direction and lead to ineffective planning and evaluation (and let’s face it – lots of frustration!).

So here we go…

Today’s tip is a basic one, but incredibly important. A key element of OBE is that it is target audience-focused. What does that mean? Well, in order to use OBE to evaluate a program or service, the program or service must aim to change the target audience in some way. For example, the program intends to change the audience’s attitude, knowledge, skills, behavior, etc.

So let’s say, for instance, you are offering an introductory workshop for seniors on blogging. One possible outcome: Seniors set up, customize, and post to their own blogs. Notice that the focus is solely on the audience and their skills and behavior. Notice that the outcome is NOT about what the library or organization is doing.

I’ve seen several training participants get tripped up here. They’ll tell me all about their great program and what it is the library will be offering. But they’re not telling me anything about the impact they aim to achieve.

Remember: OBE is all about measuring the impact your programs and services have on the target audience.

October is Health Literacy Month

Did you know October is Health Literacy Month?

According to the Department of Health & Human Services

Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions and services needed to prevent or treat illness.

As both a librarian and registered nurse, the provision of consumer health information in libraries has always been of special interest to me. Libraries are key in supporting and encouraging improved health literacy in our communities. I invite you to check out the Health Literacy Month website for resources to help you plan related programs and events (to note, access to some costs a small fee). Screen shot below.

HealthLiteracyMonth

Evaluation training in Utica, NY

FreeTraining1Attention New York librarians:

When was the last time you had uninterrupted time (hours!) dedicated to planning a library program – from assessment through evaluation? Maybe…never, right?

Well, I’m pleased to announce that I will be conducting a Basic Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Workshop at the Mid-York Library System in Utica on October 16th and 17th, sponsored by the New York State Library. Participants will learn how to write measurable, relevant outcomes (think IMPACT!) and develop complete logic models for selected projects. Discussion will include real-world application of OBE in many types of libraries. The training is also FREE with lunch provided.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/obe/workshop.htm

New website!

Welcome to my brand new (and still in progress!) website. Thank you for stopping by. I’ve designed a new, more descriptive banner for AmaLat Consulting, added a bio, and of course, a blog!

I am most excited about the blog as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for some time. As a consultant, I come across many useful resources and innovative projects. I wanted a place to share them, as well as the things I’ve been up to.

Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions. I would love to hear from you.