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Posts by Michael Stephens

Finding My Tribe at EDUCAUSE

Submitted by Michael Stephens on February 2, 2010 - 8:21am

“I’ve found my tribe.” Read More »


More Crystal Visions: The Blockbuster in the Sky

Submitted by Michael Stephens on December 30, 2009 - 10:25am

Random thoughts about my media consumption while waiting for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to download to my Apple TV:

It amazes me that 5 full seasons of Saturday Night Live are now available via Netflix streaming. Growing up, I’d tune in every Saturday to see if Roseanne Roseannadanna or the Coneheads were on. Now, I can check the Wikipedia article for Roseanne’s appearances and find each specific show and  the time of when the skit appeared via the Netflix player on my Mac or my Blu Ray player.

I passed a local Blockbuster today and the signs in the window proclaimed that everything was on sale, a common theme as all of the stores in my area close their doors. Fresh out of college in 1988 and still undecided about my path, I worked in a music/video store for 4 years until I found my first library job. The holidays would be crazy, with almost every movie going out. More recently, I remember the mountains of returned DVDs and VHS tapes at the Main Library every December 26th. We worked like mad to get things re-shelved. Now, via iTunes (Harry is just about ready to start playing), Netflix, and sites like Hulu, I have a boatload of choices anytime.

I’ve recently become infatuated with ABC’s Modern Family and found older episodes streaming for free on Hulu. The one or two no longer available were available on iTunes. Now, the DVR is set for the next set of new episodes, which begin in just a few days. Read More »


"Enhancing ur work": Developing your Personal Learning Network

Submitted by Michael Stephens on November 30, 2009 - 2:57pm

Last week, I visited Rutgers University's School of Communication and Information to give the 2009 fall lecture for the Beta Phi Mu, International Library and Information Studies Honor Society, Omicron Chapter. The talk centered around my model of "The Hyperlinked Library." Read More »


Predictions for Social Technologies & Libraries in 2010

Submitted by Michael Stephens on November 10, 2009 - 3:54pm

Greetings from the depths of jet lag! After five weeks Down Under working on the Learning 2.0 research project and doing presentations, I've returned to  the northern hemisphere, where a blustery fall and a 15-hour time difference has me dazed and confused. I did, however, have time to catch up on some of my feeds—including this lengthy and thought-provoking post from Jennifer Leggio at ZDNet: http://blogs.zdnet.com/feeds/?p=1893


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Engagement in the LIS Classroom and Beyond

Submitted by Michael Stephens on September 16, 2009 - 10:37am

Last month, I wrote a bit about a survey by the Department of Education on online courses and the site we've been working on for my courses at Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Key quote:

If anything, library education should be based on an understanding of the foundations of our profession with a huge serving of “learning by doing.”
Read More »


Just in Time for Back to School!

Submitted by Michael Stephens on September 1, 2009 - 12:09pm

I got wind of a recent study by the department of education through the New York Times. The headline, which seems designed to grab an educator’s attention, reads: “Learning Online May be Better,” and the article details findings that “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.”

A press release at the Department of Education includes more useful background: Read More »


The Visitors

Submitted by Michael Stephens on July 21, 2009 - 8:45am

visitors.jpgMichael & the Shanachies, July 2009

Late one February evening in 2007, I found myself sitting in my Oak Park, Illinois living room with two visitors, sharing wine and talking about libraries. It was late, I had to teach the next day, but I couldn’t say goodnight. I met the he two fellows with me­--Jaap van de Geer and Erik Boekesteijn of the DOK Library Concept Center in Delft, Holland--in London the year before. And now they were visiting Chicago area libraries videotaping gaming initiatives and gaming librarians. The wine was good--it may have been Australian--and I’m a little cloudy about how the evening played out but the one thing stayed with me. Erik said the role of the 21st Century librarian is three-fold: Read More »


Creating Zones with Heart

Submitted by Michael Stephens on June 30, 2009 - 2:59pm

Greetings from Northern Michigan! The days of summer are flying by and I’m splitting my time between trying to wear out our new Labrador Retriever Cooper and prepping for upcoming talks at ALA Annual. I’ll be presenting for LLAMA BES (that’s the Library Leadership & Management Association Buildings and Equipment Section if you’re spinning the wheel of ALA acronyms) in a program called  “Library 2.0 Buildings: Creating Zones with Heart.” 

  Read More »


Privacy, Potential & Pitfalls: Using Ning to Create Community Part Three

Submitted by Michael Stephens on May 19, 2009 - 10:37am

The past two months, I've been exploring the use of Ning by public libraries to create communities centered around reader's services. We started with a look at Lafayette Readers in Lafayette, Colorado and the online discussion forums at Lisle Library District. I was pondering the third installment when Pam Sahr, Horizon System Administrator at the Lafayette library, emailed me about Ning's changes to user logins and the implications it had for the privacy of users.

Ning's blog announced the changes to ning.com here: http://blog.ning.com/2009/03/the-new-ningcom.html Read More »

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Enjoying the Community: The Beginnings of Virtual Common Spaces at Lisle Library District

Submitted by Michael Stephens on April 7, 2009 - 12:57pm

Last month, we took a look at one library using the free DIY social networking tool Ning to create an online community. In "Exploring the Virtual Commons: Using Ning to Build a Community at Lafayette Public Library," we spoke with Pam Sahr about Lafayette readers. After that post went live, I was pleased to hear from the folks at Lisle Library District  here in Illinois. Back in January some of the staff attended a technology retreat I did for area libraries and got inspired to pursue a technology new to them - Ning. They've added links to the virtual communities via their Reader's Advisory Services page.

For Part Two of this series on creating community with free tools, I fired off some questions to the good folks at Lisle. Jen Ohzourk, Assistant Director, Adult Services, got back to me with some insights about where they are in the process of creating these new spaces.

  Read More »

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