Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kankakee Public Library's blogs

Slightly more than two years ago, I had a chance to visit Kankakee Public Library when I made a personal trip to Chicago. I have fond memories of the library tour. I remember the discussions with Cindy (Director of the Kankakee Public Library), Steve (the Assistant Director) and Camille (Youth Services Supervisor).

Hence, about two weeks earlier, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from a Ms. Allison Beasley, Head of Adult Services at Kankakee PL:
At the Kankakee Public Library, we’ve started some exciting new things that we’d like to share with all of you. Also, check out our new webpage logo :)

New RSS feeds/Blogs
She Said/He Said (Admin Blog) Director Cindy Fuerst and Assistant Director Steve Bertrand duke it out - discussing and debating the issues facing today’s public libraries.

Library Musings (Staff Blog) The opinions expressed on this blog are not necessarily the those of the Kankakee Public Library, its board, or the City of Kankakee. Now you want to read it, don’t you? :)

Kankakee Public Library News - KPL events, book discussions, closings and well…news.

Podcasts, Vodcasts & Streaming Media
You can download our new podcasts & vodcasts onto your iPod or MP3 player, or listen to them on our website as streaming media. We are launching our first ever vodcast (video cast). These are produced and edited entirely by KPL staff, even the music!

Flickr - Pictures of authors and speaker events, programs, and a fair share of embarrassing staff photos (don’t forget – Flickr is an RSS feed, too!)

I am particularly impressed by the seemingly holistic manner in which Kankakee PL has offered their blogs.

The one by their directors (the Admin blog) discuss serious issues, which is balanced by the more informal tone of the Staff blog; their podcasts (I liked their Teen Poetry Slam event, and the talk by comic-book artist Don Kramer); their flickr page -- all complimenting the more "traditional" and still relevant 'corporate' website of their library.

Reading Cindy's post, I get a better sense why they are doing all this.

I most enjoyed the Staff Blog -- Allison's confession, the photography bug that hit their reference team, yet another confession -- this time about Sweet Valley, or as (seemingly) plain as the Head of Circulation's background.

The pictures on some their events gave me a better idea what activities they've organised -- like this and this on "Grossology" (supplemented by this post that elaborated on why they organised something like that. Very cool idea, and something I'd bring back to my colleagues for consideration. Thanks!)

In this earlier blog post, I mentioned how Kankakee PL gave me the impression that they were motivated and enthusiastic about what they do. Judging from their blogs, the podcasts and flickr pictures of their events, it's even clearer just how much they've remained motivated and committed to their community.

Kankakee PL, 5 Nov 2004I managed to dig up this photo taken on 5th Nov 2004, with Camille, Cindy and Steve (and the Kankakee PL Lion, which the Kankakee PL folks were really proud of).

When we last met, blogs was probably not at the top of our minds. I bet if I met them again, (with Vicki and particularly Steve, I suspect) we'd be talking a lot more about blogs and social media and their implications for library services.

To the Kankakee PL folks -- subscribed, subscribed, subscribed, subscribed! :)

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  1. Anonymous11:47 pm

    Hi Ivan,
    Thank you for your kind words about KPL. What I remember most about your visit to Kankakee was how similar your vision for the libraries of Singapore was to our vision for the Kankakee library. It is a really is a small world! We would love to have you back!
    Cindy Fuerst
    Director Kanakeee Public Libraries

  2. Anonymous5:39 am

    How exciting that someone in Singapore is thinking of me and my Sweet Valley confession and my Flickr abilities! Thanks for such a sweet blog entry! Vicki


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