Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Get to Know the Keynote Speakers

Joan Frye Williams
For more than 25 years, Joan Frye Williams has been a successful librarian, consultant, vendor, planner, trainer, evaluator, and user of library services. She began her career in 1975 at the California State Library. She also worked for a number of library automation vendors. Since 1996, she has been an independent consultant specializing in innovation, technology, and the service needs and preferences of non-library "civilians."
George M. Needham
Bringing years of expertise and research data to any process, George Needham excels at provocative data-driven content on the future of libraries. His experience is diverse and includes State Librarian of Michigan as well as extensive association work as the Executive Director of the Public Library Association and the Director of Member Services of the Ohio Library Association. In addition, he has worked in public libraries in Ohio and South Carolina. He is known for his wonderful delivery style, his copious publications and his landmark work at OCLC.
Kathleen de la Peña McCook
Kathleen de la Peña McCook is a distinguished university professor of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She has also been on the library school faculties of Louisiana State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She teaches courses on human rights and librarianship, public librarianship, community building, libraries as cultural heritage institutions and adult services and lifelong learning.

Schedule of Events

Transforming Texas Libraries
A Visioning Summit for Texas Libraries
December 3-4, 2007
Austin, Texas

December 3, Day 1

9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Registration
9:00 am - 11:30 am
Training Session for Facilitators and Recorders
1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
Joan Frye Williams and George Needham discuss Transforming Libraries
2:45 pm - 3:00 pm

3:00 pm - 3:30 (ish)

Idea Lab (everyone in main ballroom)

3ish pm - 6:00 pm

Group Work
6:30 pm - 8ish pm
Dinner with Kathleen de la Peña McCook (Bring Libraries to the Decision-Making Table)

December 4, Day 2

9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Group Work Continues
12:00 pm DEADLINE
All groups must submit group recommendations (by absolutely no later than 12 pm) to Technology Subcommittee, as the subcommittee must assimilate all the documents for the 1:00 pm session.
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Buffet Lunch (hotel restaurant)
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Building Consensus and Agreement on Draft Recommendations and Follow-Up Procedures

Please note that an information table will be available outside the ballroom throughout the event.

Welcome Technology Committee, Faciliators, Recorders, Blogger, and Resource People

The conference infrastructure is designed to provide maximum organization and creativity and to capture content for the new vision. Please read all about it below.

Dear All,

Thank you so much for your participation in the summit, Transforming Texas Libraries, which will take place in Austin, Dec. 3 and 4. I am attaching a draft summit schedule [blog note - this will be the next post]. Please note that we will conduct a training and briefing session for you on Monday, Dec. 3 starting at 9 am. The session will be conducted by Julie Todaro, and the summit’s general session facilitator, Lou Wetherbee, will be on hand. The training session will take place at the Austin Airport Hilton, where all summit activities will occur. For all you Austin folks, parking will validated.

The training session will cover roles, responsibilities, group planning, and technology resources, as well as the work flow during the summit. Julie Todaro will send you all an agenda for the training session as well as handout material.

Overview of the summit

The Transforming Texas Libraries summit, a two-day event to be held in Austin, Dec. 3 and 4, is a kick-off event. The Texas library community (along with representatives from outside stakeholder groups like the Texas Education Agency, the Higher Education Coordinating Board, and local governments) is undertaking a grassroots planning process. Essentially, we want to look at what libraries of all types—school, public, and academic—should be doing in the coming years. What are essential services? How can we best support education and economic development? In order to arrive at innovative and forward thinking approaches, we are relying on the voices of many veteran and new people in the education field. We are also seeking outside opinions.

The summit is designed to have participants (about 115 invited individuals) work together over the course of a couple of days to come up with some recommendations in key areas and to help us form a united vision. These recommendations will then be disseminated widely over the coming months to interested groups and the library community at large for feedback, improvement, and detail.

The summit, as the starting point for discussions and the forum to create the initial draft recommendations, will be tailored to get the best creative thought out of participants. We will have some national library leaders start the event with a provocative discussion about what libraries needs to be doing to continue being viable. These speakers are known to be provocative to our community, and we hope will get the blood pumping!

All participants will be assigned to work groups, who will then hammer out some recommendations in specific areas but then will also have the flexibility to recommend changes, needs, services, programming in other areas as well. These breakout sessions will be facilitated by members of the University of Houston Libraries.

Facilitators will be responsible for leading the discussion in the workgroups, both Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. You will work on getting the workgroups to enter into a productive and innovative discussion on the issues at hand. Facilitators will also have a role in the Tuesday afternoon session in helping make sure that the feedback from all of the groups is reported to the general assembly. Facilitators will also meet with Steering Committee members and Julie and Lou throughout the process to make sure we are all on track.

Recorders will be responsible for capturing the discussion on a laptop computer. Ed Seidenberg has developed a template (based on the questions the workgroups will be addressing) to make it easier to follow the group process. The comments being recorded on the laptops will be projected on a screen in each workgroup room, so that participants can follow the notes being taken.

All workgroups must submit their template(s) to the Technology Committee by noon on Tuesday, as the Technology Committee will assemble one document from all the groups.

There are basically six categories of issues, with each issue containing up to three questions. Each workgroup will be tasked with answering the questions in one of the six issue categories. After answering the “assigned” category, the workgroup can then answer as many of the other questions as they’d like. Recorders will all receive training on the template during the session on Monday. Each recorder will be given a flash drive, where the template will be stored. You will then, in turn, give the flash drive (with the completed templates) to the Technology Committee on Tuesday.

For now, let me provide you with a full list of the recorders, facilitators, and Technology Committee members for the six breakout workgroups.

Technology Committee

Melinda Townsel (ACC)
Chris Jowaisas (TLSAC)
Ted Wanner (TLA)
Kathy Pustejovsky (TLA)


Diane Bruxvoort (U of H)
Damon Camille (U of H)
Lee Hilyer (U of H)
Nancy Linden (U of H)
Anne Mitchell (U of H)
Mike Thompson (U of H)


Ann Mason (TLSAC)—work group recorder
Danielle Plumer (TLSAC)—work group recorder
Tine Walczyk (TLSAC)—work group recorder
Dawn Vogler (TLSAC)—work group recorder
Christine McNew (TLSAC)—work group recorder
Pam Spooner (ACC)—work group recorder
Erica McKewen —recorder for Tuesday afternoon session

Conference Blogger

Ellie Collier (ACC)

Resource People

Beverley Shirley (TLSAC)
Deborah Littrell (TSLAC)

Thanks to the University of Houston Libraries, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and Austin Community College for the incredible availability of talent! And, thanks to each of you. I will be sending the list of discussion questions to the whole participant list shortly.

All my best,
Gloria Meraz
Director of Communications
Texas Library Association

Welcome Attendees!

Fellow Transformers:

On behalf of the Visioning Task Force Steering Committee, I want to thank you for your participation in this extraordinary process. My first thought is to sing you a chorus of "together again" because, as I recall statewide library activities we have tackled over the last 20 plus years, I realize some of us have been through a number of planning processes together. One aspect that makes this venture particularly exciting (and new), however, is that our song should really be "it feels like the first time," because at least one half of our group is relatively new to the profession. And, many task force members represent affiliated organizations and stakeholder groups. So, it really will be the first time for many of us to sit down together and discuss the future of libraries!

As you may know, this visioning process is a collaborative partnership between the Texas Library Association and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. From the beginning, the motivating kernel in designing this process was to create a strong, grassroots-led effort that would involve the input of new and veteran voices both within and outside of the library community. The Steering Committee is working hard to design a framework that will help us all think broadly and will give the entire library community many opportunities to take part in this visioning process and undertake the essential work of transforming Texas libraries.

As a leader, your voice is critical in helping shape a vision and recommendations that will form the basis of broad discussion on how to ensure the vitality and visibility of libraries in the coming years. Our work represents the critical first step for statewide change.

The process is an exciting one—one that we hope will capture the minds and passion of library supporters statewide. We will be coming together virtually immediately, then in person in December, and then back to virtual work. We will be using a number of tools to do so. I am anticipating our lowest tech tool (our listserv) will soon begin providing you with recommended readings, intriguing webcasts, and as we move through the process, our own ideas for our vision and then drafts of our vision for refining and finalizing.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Austin in December and working with you throughout this process. I think all of us should reread our document as it provides us with our first introspective look with an outline of our core values, a brief overview of our issues, a general scan of the environment, a first articulation of the questions facing us, and our "call to arms."
Transforming Texas Libraries Web page at:
Julie Todaro, Chair, Transforming Texas Libraries

Transforming Texas Libraries Steering Committee
Cindy Buchanan, Director of Libraries, Alief ISD
Sharon Carr, Director of Libraries, El Paso ISD
Rhoda Goldberg, Interim Director, Harris County Public Library
Patrick Heath, Former Mayor of Boerne and Public Advocate
Judie Lutz, Librarian (retired), Hewlett-Packard
Kerry McGeath, Director, Southlake Public Library
Eva Poole, Director, Denton Public Libraries
Dana Rooks, Dean of Libraries, University of Houston
Alice Specht, Dean of Libraries, Hardin-Simmons University
Julie Todaro, Dean of Libraries, Austin Community College (Chair)

Gloria Meraz, Director of Communications, Texas Library Association (ex-officio)
Peggy Rudd, State Librarian and Director, Texas State Library and Archives Commission (ex-officio)
Edward Seidenberg, Assistant State Librarian, Texas State Library and Archives Commission (ex-officio)
Pat Smith, Executive Director, Texas Library Association (ex-officio)

Monday, November 19, 2007


Welcome to the blog for Transforming Texas Libraries. We'll be up and running shortly. In the meantime take a look at the required reading list. (Links available to the right.)