Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Collaboration Story

Here's a tale about collaboration at its best.  It all began last spring when I was honored to co-moderate #TXLChat with @yabooksandmore (Naomi Bates), @_michellecooper (Michelle Cooper), @sharrongullett (Sharon Gullett), @edneylib (Marsha Edney), @sonjaschulz (Sonja Schulz), @sandracarswell (Sandra Carswell), and myself @sue_fitz (Sue Fitzgerald).  The chat was the brainchild of Michelle and began last spring.

During one of our first chats, librarian @nikkidrobertson (Nikki Robertson) joined us to discuss branding.  It was during this chat that @TXlibraryguy (Neil Krassnoff) joined the conversation and eBooks were mentioned.  Neil was passionate to revisit the eBook experience and volunteered to present at the Dallas Library Summit at Ann Richards Elementary School in Dallas, Texas.

The week before the Summit,  I published a blog article on my successes with eBooks during the prior school year and Neil immediately emailed me asking if I was attending the Library Summit co-sponsored by Dallas ISD and Region 10 Library Services on the following Friday.  He actually remembered the chat with Nikki on #TXLChat and mentioned  this in his email.  Within 2-3 days of emailing not only was I going to the Library Summit but I was going to share my experience during Neil's presentation.  Neil designed and shared a Google presentation with me and I contributed a few notes and statistics.  We had never met face-to-face nor had we spoken on the phone but we found ourselves presenting on a topic we were both passionate about.

It was easy to find Neil upon entering the Library Summit and we quickly talked about our collaboration before @joycevalenza (Joyce Valenza's) presentation began.  With a few changes in slides and confidence that it would all work out, we agreed to meet in the room a few minutes prior of the presentation to check on the technology.

Neil began his introductions stating that we had just met for the first time that morning and yes we were ready to collaboratively present on this topic.  Truthfully, I was a little nervous since I had never blended the world of virtual collaboration into a face-to-face presentation.  The room was packed with standing room only so we knew immediately many were interested in this emerging topic of revisiting the eBook experience.  In my opinion, I feel we both brought much to think about on the subject and I hope we were able to "kick-start" some enthusiasm in the use of eBooks in school libraries.

For those who are already in an established PLN, please encourage the new librarians to join your circles.   I challenge each of you to continue to build your network and help others to establish the incredible opportunities that a PLN can provide.  Not only did I share my experiences with librarians at the Dallas Library Summit, I was able to meet new friends, put names with faces already in my network, and attend some awesome sessions with ideas to implement for this school year.  Please set some time aside on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings of the month to join the #TXLChat at 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. CST.  The first chat will start on September 10th.  I'm excited about discussing many new topics, revisiting older topics, and collaborating with my PLN.  Remember collaboration lurks behind a door, on the other end of a phone, in a blog, during a twitter chat, with every Pinterst pin, and more.  Just be prepared when it comes your way.


  1. Great job on this entry, Sue! I think Sharon Gullett @sharongullett hit the nail on the head with her observation that the discussion with EBooks is finally evolving into collection development rather than the format of the platform. It will be exciting to continue this evolution. I look forward to the continued conversations about EBooks with PLN. Wonderful job for you and Neil on the presentation.

  2. It was a good discussion with many issues to ponder.


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