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About Me

Melissa Kiser
Information Technology Librarian
Allen County Public Library

office: (260) 421-1292
cell: (260) 494-4089
email: mkiser at acpl.info

I am the IT Librarian for ACPL. I serve as a liaison between IT Services and the rest of the ACPL staff, bringing library services to ACPL’s customers through various uses of technology, serving on the Digital Collaborative, training, and other duties as they arise.

Recently, I attended the first meeting of a new committee I had joined. I was so impressed by the way our leader started us off. He said that in workgroups/ teams, there are various roles and it is important to identify who fills each role in order to have a successful team. The roles are:

leaders/coordinators/facilitators
detailers
finishers
moral boosters
visionaries

Hearing this made me instantly feel more at ease on this committee, because I know very well which of these I naturally fall into. I am a detailer and a finisher. I like to get down to the nitty-gritty of the actual work that needs to be done, and I like to finish things up to tie up loose ends. I thought it was interesting how Sean described finishers: they are the people who finish up the work when everybody else is done and tired of the project. A person is needed to finish the job and may have to depend on the morale booster to get the motivation to do the finishing.

Although I have come up with ideas and I have gotten creative and even been a leader, I do not think of myself as either a visionary or a leader. I’ve often felt a sort of failure for not being better in these roles, especially when I started going to the ACPL management team meetings. I never felt quite comfortable with planning out goals and objectives, writing our mission statement or even thinking about it. I always enjoyed just getting my “hands dirty” in the work of librarianship with patrons, books or other aspects of operations. Sitting in management meetings where people are doing the important work of policy-making and other stuff, frankly, bored me; and I felt that it must have been because I just wasn’t smart enough to come up with any original ideas.

Having seen a different philosophy of groups and teams, I now feel that I understand my own talents better and I have let myself off the hook for not being something I’m not really meant to be anyway.

I don’t ever want to say I can never be a leader or a visionary, but I will enjoy the challenges that I face as a detailer and a finisher. There will be plenty ahead!

Allen County Public Library, Information Technology Services
Information Technology Librarian

  • Liaison between IT Services and the rest of the ACPL staff
  • Standing member of the Digital Collaborative, a work group that makes recommendations to the web designer
  • Creator of training tools to educate ACPL staff about various technologies
  • Helpdesk analyst
  • Serve on new technology implementation teams, such as Pay-4-Print and Self-Checkout
  • Investigate new technology for possible use at ACPL by staff and/or patrons
  • Assist IT Services manager with planning ACPL-hosted speakers and conferences
  • Present at conferences on ACPL’s use of technology

Projects

  • Helped plan ACPL Library Camp, ACPL’s first day-long unconference featuring a major speaker, breakout sessions and other events
  • Participated in Pay-4-Print planning and implementation in 13 branches and five departments of the main library
  • Self-checkout planning team
  • Created The Reading Room reader’s advisory blog
  • Helped plan Laptop Lab equipment needs

Presentations

“Google: the Whole Caboodle”, at ILF District 3 Conference, May 11, 2010

Indiana Online Users Group Fall Conference, November 13, 2009

ILF Annual Conference, October 19, 2009

Anythink Libraries (Colorado) TechFest 2009, October 12, 2009

Libraries as Microcelebrities from ACPL Library Camp, August 25, 2009.

Using Screenr to Create Instructional Videos from ACPL Library Camp, August 25, 2009.

Using Videos to Build Community in Your Library from the PLA Preconference “Building Communities through Innovative Applications of Technology”, presented Friday, July 10, 2009.

Social Networking in Libraries from Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference, November 2008

Why I Love Twitter from ACPL Library Camp, August 2008

Education

  • University of Kentucky, Master of Library Science, 1988
  • University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Arts, Education, 1987

Work Experience

  • Allen County Public Library, Grabill and Harlan Branches
    Grabill Branch Manager, Apr 2005 – Feb 2008
  • Oversight of day-to-day operations of branch
  • Manager of a busy, medium-sized branch of ACPL
    • Direct supervision of six employees
    • Reference and patron assistance
    • Circulation of materials and troubleshooting
    • Collection development
    • Grabill Branch blog editor
  • Harlan Branch Manager, Jun 1995 – Apr 2005
    • Managed a small library in rural Allen County, Indiana
    • Supervision of two part-time branch assistants
    • Circulation, limited reference, and reader’s advisory service
    • Collection development and general patron assistance
  • Louisville Free Public Library, Children’s Librarian, Louisville, Kentucky, 1989-1993
  • University of Kentucky, Education Library, Graduate Assistant, Lexington, Kentucky, 1987
  • Lexington Public Library, Page, Technical Services Clerk, Children’s Assistant, Lexington, Kentucky, 1982-1987

Interests

  • Active member of St. Jude Catholic Church
  • Community theater
  • Hiking, canoeing, camping
  • Fitness & nutrition
  • Cooking
  • Web 2.0 applications
  • Nonfiction reading
  • Using the public library for relaxation and fun
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