Occupational Therapy for LawLibrarians: 2010 LLOPS Workshop

By , May 13, 2010 4:51 pm

by Brenna Louzin

The LLOPS PDC has once again wowed me with their creativity, seamless planning, and relevance, mix of cerebral and “in-your’s-face” topics. The 2010 seminar, held Thursday, April 29 at the US Courthouse, opened with Kevin O’Keefe of Real Lawyers Have Blogs fame. O’Keefe, CEO of LexBlog, Inc., delivered an engaging talk that might have been a chat in a coffeehouse.  He emphasized the importance of establishing, feeding and sustaining the human side of relationships when using electronic social media technologies. Of course, the fact that he dressed in blue jeans and cowboy boots also supported his down-home message. How refreshing to hear a lawyer say that while it is professionally important to use Twitter, to know how to create and maintain fresh and well-researched blogs, it is vital to listen, to “engage” and to teach others. Sound like good advice for law librarians?

Jason Preston, New Media Manager/Social Strategist at the Parnassus Group, delivered a fast-paced talk filled with practical issues to consider when deploying social media tools. Jason suggested we consider the goal of our blog, selecting appropriate blogging tools for the job (WordPress was one favorite), that we start “thinking in streams of information”, and perhaps take a serious look at adding more collaboration tools in our workplaces. Facebook and Twitter are obviously two of the most used items in his social media toolbox. In closing, he noted the following cool sites for research: Tweetdeck, Tweepsearch, Searchtastic and Techmeme.

Elaine Jennerich, Director of Organization Development & Training, University of Washington Libraries, led us in thoughtful discussion and useful exercises on the topic of recognition in the workplace. I especially appreciated her emphasis on creative and low or no-cost ways to thank staff for a job well done.

Our last speaker, Renee Smith Nyberg, from New Lens Consulting, did anything but put the afternoon audience to sleep. Instead, she moved us into an interactive program entitled, “What’s On Your Plate? Managing Change at Work.” Renee turned our attention to the dinner plates each of us had selected during morning registration. Before the workshop began, we were asked to explain why we had selected our plate.  Then, during the afternoon session, we were issued a real blow by Renee. Assisted by Elaine and the Professional Development Committee, Renee informed us that we had to destroy the plates! Out came the hammers, safety glasses, pillowcases and outrage, china fragments, disbelief, and a great discussion about c-h-a-n-g-e. This program segment offered all (willing) participants the opportunity for catharsis and some nice occupational therapy time! Moreover, if you want to do a further mash-up (pardon the pun) to summarize the day’s activities, look at “Twitter Mosaic” -social networking + managing in a changing world.

Thank you to the LLOPS Grants Committee for selecting me as a 2010 Professional Development Workshop grant recipient. I will never look at a mosaic again without thinking about this dynamic program!

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