Organizing my thoughts for library interview…


Starting with Professor Blesh’ suggested list of topics to cover, I brainstormed with a library friend and referenced Joseph Matthews’ Technology Planning (2004) for some more ideas.  I divided my questions into different themes – I’m not sure this was entirely necessary, but I was feeling a bit disorganized, so I hoped by grouping my thoughts, it might make my questions more cogent.  I emailed the questions to Janet Cate at KFL prior to our meeting.  Needless to say, once I met with her, the conversation broadened, but I was glad to have a guide to get me started.  I’m having way more fun doing this than I EVER thought!  I’ll post them here for everyone to see.

IT Blog Library Questions for Onsite Visit to Kennebunk Free Library, Kennebunk, Maine

Basics/Description of Library and Technology:

  • Name & physical location of library and its URL?
  • Types of technology available for patron & staff use in the library? (remember the less flashy items too)
  • Types of Internet-based technology services provided to the patron throughout?
  • Personnel – who on the staff manages the technology, including website, how are they trained?
  • Check out behind the scenes and the administrative aspects of library technology not visible to patrons. How does it improve CS for patrons and make life easier for the staff?
  • MINERVA upgrade: new library cards, new tracking, staff and patron adjustment period?
  • May I take photographs?


  • Budget – how much proportionately is spent on technology, databases, CD’s, Video & DVD software? (be aware budgets are often confidential to a degree)
  • Planning for obsolescence and updating equipment
  • Who is responsible for budget/planning?

Systems in Use:

  • Specifications – what types of systems are employed; are they up-to-date?
  • Networked: are they networked – wired – wireless – patron access to wireless?
  • Internet access & type of connection (cable modem, ATM, T-1)
  • Automation: are they automated and what is the name of the system?
  • Space requirements for technology – do they have sufficient space, electrical outlets, data ports for network/Internet?
  • Furniture: what kind of furniture do they have for technology?
  • Any assistive technologies?
  • Are they paying attention to ergonomics?
  • Specific technology for children, YAs?

Library Tech Policies

  • Policies & forms associated with library technology (e.g. Acceptable Use Policy, Time limited Internet access, etc)
  • Community use – is there equipment in the library that can be used by community organizations or signed out by patrons, town meetings, etc.?
  • Circulation of hardware & software – does the library sign out equipment and software (DVD, CD, Video)?
  • Does the library have downloads of eBooks, iFlicks, MP3, books on tape?
  • Storage of hardware & software – how does the library store/shelf equipment, DVD, Video, CD, etc.?


  • Maintenance & repair – how does technology get repaired; in-house or sent out?
  • What is backup protocol?

Challenges, Strategies and Unique Offerings

  • What works? 
  • What doesn’t work: what types of technology in the library need to be revamped or rethought for optimal use by or for patrons?
  • What’s on the staff wish list – big or small?
  • Is there a unique service provided by this particular library?
  • Emerging technologies? TCP/IP throughout, P2P/peer to peer networking, RFID, voice & translation capability, XML, web services – which are worthwhile to pursue, have potential at KFL?


  • What types of security measures are taken to prevent theft of hardware or software, viruses, etc.?
  • What kinds of encryption and authentication does web service use  to improve level of security?


 Matthews, Joseph R. (2004).  Technology planning: preparing and updating a library technology plan. Libraries Unlimited, Westport, CT.


KFL Genealogy Group Meeting Saturday, October 4th, 2014


I’m a bit of a family history buff; I’ve been chasing ancestors for decades, though I admit the material is nothing you could call organized or ‘archival’. The Internet has created exponential search options; KFL has free access for patrons to a vast array of sites – for the amateur and professional genealogist, it’s quite thrilling.

A few years back I began attending monthly meetings of the KFL Genealogy Group but life found me busy Saturday mornings with another project, learning to archive a lifetime of poetry by Christine Teale Howes for the Maine Women Writers Collection.  It’s time to rejoin this group (poetry archiving continues on another day each week).  I’ve included a couple links below to wet your appetites.

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Kennebunk Free Library

112 Main Street, Kennebunk, Maine 04043

10 am – noon

Hank’s Room

Panel Discussion of Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs

No charge, no reservations needed!  

Contact info: Janet Cate: 207.985.2173


Connected Librarian Day 2.014!


    The Future of Libraries in the Digital Age

lib 2.014 advertisement

Professor Blesh offered us a link in her recent announcement – I want to share it here (Blesh, personal communication, 9.24.14).  The upcoming event is actually a pre-conference offered Tuesday, October 7th; times listed below.

While my interest doesn’t honestly lie in school librarianship, I look forward to a lot of useful information; I think it will be easily transferable to the public library or museum archive.  Signing up took all of 5 minutes, including the email verification.  I’m copying the info directly from the site called  (please copy/paste and be aware the hyperlinks below will not necessarily work from my blog post; it’s best to go directly to the conference site).  I don’t expect to participate in all of them, but I will make an attempt to try 2-3, and if all else fails, there are notes available after. 

So here is the lowdown, hope you find it useful!

Tuesday, October 7th 2014

1pm – 7pm PDT / 4pm – 10pm EDT

This year, as a Library 2.014 pre-conference event for K-12 and Teacher Librarians (and anyone else who wants to join!), we’re holding Connected Librarian Day on Tuesday, October 7th.  This is an open, online, and free event sponsored by Follett and The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers.

Read more about the 2014 Connected Librarian Day speakers below the schedule.


Use the time zone converter to make sure you don’t miss out!

Click on the hyperlinked title to join each session

(again, you may have to do activate the link from the actual website)

12:30pm PDT / 3:30pm EDT – Welcome and About the Landscape with Britten Follett, Joyce Valenza, Ross Todd & Shannon Miller

1pm PDT / 4pm EDT – Heidi Neltner on “Your Stakeholder Connected Librarian Toolkit”

In the 21st Century, there are many options for staying connected to our school library stakeholders that include technology and good old fashioned face-to-face connections.  I’ll share some low-budget – mostly free!- tech tools and strategies you can use with ease to mindfully communicate your programming and success related to stakeholder priorities.

2pm PDT / 5pm EDT – Judy O’Connell on “Leadership in a connected age: change, challenge and productive chaos”

The 21st century school library leader recognizes that without keeping an eye on the future we may be doomed to remaining a prisoner of the past. With this eye on the future, the agile leader welcomes innovation, embraces change and thrives on chaos. But what skills are necessary to survive in the future? What do you need to do today? How will this affect you and your school community? Trends in knowledge construction, participatory cultures and social networks can give us the blueprint to successful leadership in our connected age. The good news is that by preparing today we can successfully meet the challenges of our global connected future of tomorrow.

3pm PDT / 6pm EDT – Michelle Luhtala on “Flipped Learning and the Essential Tools to Get you There”

What does it take to flip your program? Not much! This session will work through ten tools that will help school librarians flip instruction and help promote self-directed learning. Tools discussed will include course management systems, library management systems, eContent Cloud collaboration tools, online voicemail services, text-based instruction, student response applications, playlist creators, screencasting, and blogs.

4pm PDT / 7pm EDT – Patrice Bryan & Darcy Coffta on “Schools’ Vortex: Innovative Library Makerspaces”

The shift from consumption-based learning to creation-based learning means many schools are transforming the library into a makerspace. Award-winning, innovative programs attest to the success of this movement. We’ll look at what’s being done and how educators teach & students learn in this model. The ways we support and advocate for the change from a quiet environment to a bustling activity center will be explored by the panel, as well as ways to highlight & share successes with other schools. The two panelists will showcase recent success in their schools where the library is now the center of action. Here, learning is student-driven & project-based, & kids are producers and sharers of information. Collaboration is key and kids learn from each other. The panelists will share before, during, & after stories of their transition, including best practices.

5pm PDT / 8pm EDT – Matthew Winner & Sherry Gick on “When Sherry Met Matthew: Finding Your Educational Soulmate and Helping Kids to Rule the World”

Kids hold the solutions to the world’s problems, but need the opportunity to rise to the challenge. We asked kids how they would change the world and then constructed a learning environment to do exactly that. What resulted not only translated to an epic win for all of the kids involved, but one of the most meaningful projects we as teachers have ever been a part of. And when the going gets tough, the tough find an incredible educational counterpart to join on the journey.

6pm PDT / 9pm EDT – Jennifer LaGarde on “Imagining Library Spaces of the Future, Today”

Simply put, if your school library is still just a place where students go to check out books, you’re doing it wrong. Today’s school libraries should be places where students engage with information, each other and learners from around the world to ask big questions, solve real problems and build new knowledge. Let’s talk about ways that you can transform the library from a place where students simply consume information, to a participatory space where they create, design, engineer and build the information of the future.

7pm PDT / 10pm EDT – Closing Comments with Britten Follett, Joyce Valenza, Ross Todd & Shannon Miller


Hardagan, Steve. (2014). Library 2.0 The future of libraries in the digital age.  Received September 27, 2014 from

Learning to Blog, 2nd attempt…


It’s always good to challenge yourself with new projects, isn’t it?  I started this process 10 days ago, saying how excited I was to be on my way to learning something technical that was beyond my normal comfort level and now I can’t retrieve it – somehow this strikes me as funny and ironic, even though I do not mean to be unmindful that this is a serious class assignment.  So be it – l shall try again quite happily.  I think it would be safe to say I am still trying to get my head around wordpress and have spent a lot of time clicking about, trying to grasp the logistics.

I have chosen the Kennebunk Free Library (KFL)  in Kennebunk, Maine for my assignment.  It is a lovely 2-story brick building in the heart of downtown Kennebunk and is genuinely a gathering place for this town of 11,000.  As in many communities, we love our libraries here in the Kennebunks, each is different and charming in their own way, and each has made the technology transition as best they can.

On the library website, you can click onto the History and Mission page ( ) which shows that the seeds of the library began in 1881 as a reading room in a nearby Unitarian church with the backing of a local pastor and committees of town women. By 1892, funds were raised, KFL had  been willed a sizeable donation and my favorite notation, “Town appropriates funds from dog tax for library use, $176”.

Last week I called Janet Cate, Assistant Director of KFL and forwarded an email request, along with my questions, asking if they had the time and staff who could show me around and answer some questions.  Within 48 hours, Janet had called back and we set up an appointment for 2 pm on Wednesday, September 17th.

Prior to meeting with Janet, I set up an account on and organized my questions for the interview.  Stay tuned for more details of our interview; it was so informative!

Kennebunk Free Library 112 Main Street Kennebunk, ME 04043 207.985.2173

Kennebunk Free Library
112 Main Street
Kennebunk, ME 04043