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March 10, 2010

TweetChat with Executive Director Pat Losinski Recap On Tuesday, March 9, 2010 from 6 to 8 p.m., Columbus Metropolitan Library Executive Director Pat Losinski answered questions live via Twitter. The following is a recap of questions he answered and received. During the TweetChat, we used the hashtag #AskPat to collect and respond to questions. Q1: What book are you reading? A1: I’m reading Here Comes Everyone(body) by Clay Sharkey. But I just picked up a new reserve today as well. Q2: What do you think about the Kindle? A2: Great reading device; terrific features. Promotes more reading (and listening) – always a good thing! Q3: Why were your hours cut so drastically? A3: We had a DRASTIC budget cut ($8 million) so we had to cut staff hours and pay for staff. Less staff=less hours. Q4: What creative methods has your library employed 2 meet budgetary needs in the era of decreased/eliminated funding? A4: We’ve tried to be really smart with deploying technology. Self checkout, automated computer reservations, etc. Q5: Nice to see Pat Losinski, Exec Dir Columbus Metro. Library, answer questions on Twitter. A5: Hi Lorcan. Sorry I must miss your program in Portland. Thanks for the invite – hope to comment on the blog. Q6: What do you think will be the next “big” change for libraries? A6: I think it will involve how (and “if”) we deliver greater amounts of e-content to our customers-Kindle checkout? Q7: This is a bit off topic, but do you have any advice for those of us graduating with an MLS and on our job hunt? A7: Get ANY library experience. It gives your resume content and people contacts – both critical to landing a job! A7: (additional response to questions) – Experience includes internships and volunteer work. I did both in the early 1980’s (also high unemployment). Q8: Thank you, looking forward to real world, worked at @GViewLibrary & @rulibrary in Chicago want to return to CBus soon! A8: I was a library director in the Chicago suburbs (Gurnee); they have great libraries there!

Q9: (Pat posted a question) – Customers – do you tend to use one branch or multiple branches – and why? A9: My faves are Whetstone (it’s nearby and the staff are awesome) and Main (because it’s gigantic and a huge treat) A9: I usually use one branch because it’s closest to my house. A9: the people are always helpful and nice, it’s a comfortable environment, almost an extension of my living room! A9: (Pat followed up to above comment) – Perfect! That’s what we try to achieve. Thanks. A9: I go to the same branch all the time (Reynoldsburg). I know the layout, the people, and it is convenient to home. A9: I mostly use the main branch because I like to browse and explore. Although I do drop books off at the King Ave. location. A9: I definitely focus on the close branch – Northwest, but I “branch out” sometimes if I’m in the area or for events. Q10: How has social media changed the way libraries do business? What do you see the role of SoMe in the future of libraries? A10: It has started to change how we do business. Customers want to share their reading lists – less concerned about privacy. A10: (additional follow up to question) – SoMe will continue to gain influence in libraries. We will be in “partnerships” with our customers; we have to rethink a few things. Q11: Do you foresee someday that the website as we know it will be a thing of the past? More informal communication? A11: Whew! Good question. Honestly, I can’t foresee that day today. Seems like organizations will always have a site. Q12: What do you think about all the customers using foursquare to check in when they visit the library? A12: I’m not too familiar with 4square. Seems like a good idea though and the library gets mentioned more so I am in favor. Q13: Are libraries evolving into community independent learning centers? A13: I think we are in some respects. Homework help, job help and other self-directed learning is growing everyday. Q14: How popular is your live-chat librarian service? I work KnowItNow afterdark & have referred some COL patrons. A14: I don’t have the stats but it is used by customers all the time. I used it last week and it was a great way to get service. A14: (additional follow up to question) – 17,000 questions answered in 2009 and 7,000 in the first 2.5 months in 2010. Q15: The patrons I pointed it out to (referring to the live chat) hadn’t noticed it. I think it’s a great service myself. A15: (Pat responded with a question) – Do you have any ideas on how we could more effectively point traditional customers to this service?

A15: (customer’s response) might be just a simple issue of larger graphics. I do like the ASK IT, maybe just resize. Re-position on page. Q16: Also love staff picks at libraries. Wish was updated. A16: Thanks; we will investigate. In the meantime, check out – Q17: Any chance of embedding the chat box directly on the homepage for chat reference? Instead of under ASK IT? A17: We are always developing the web page. We have considered this and may again in the future; thanks. Q18: Hopefully, maybe expanding hours back soon? Kids really miss library being open A18: We had $8 million trimmed by the state this year; our local levy will be on the ballot Nov. 2. Best chance to restore! Additional comments: Thank you so much for this live chat! It was a great idea. Nice chatting with you, I’m working KnowItNow right now. Hey, there is a really great #tweetchat going on right now with @columbuslibrary Director Patrick Losinski using #AskPat. Very Cool. @columbuslibrary excellent! Got My Vote! You guys doing a great job! Love that Hilliard branch!!!!! Great Staff!!!!!

TweetChat Recap with Pat Losinski