I heard my soul singing …

leavesI heard my soul singing behind a leaf, plucked the leaf, but then I heard it singing behind a veil. I tore the veil, but then I heard it singing behind a wall. I broke the wall, and I heard my soul singing against me. I built up the wall, mended the curtain, but I could not put back the leaf. I held it in my hand and I heard my soul singing mightily against me. This is what it’s like to study without a friend.

Leonard Cohen, Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs


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5 Tips for Lifelong Learning

Noticed this last night while paging through a magazine (Success, August 2009), and thought I’d pass it along.

1) Seek out a mentor – look for someone who exemplifies the lifestyle that you admire and wish to emulate and plan to adapt some of his or her strategies for success.

2) Accept constructive criticism – When someone offers you a suggestion for improvement or reveals holes in your plans, don’t get defensive. Evaluate the input and be grateful for the alternate point of view.

3) Enroll in continuing education – Whether building skills for your industry or your hobby, taking a class can broaden your mind, help prepare you for new endeavors and remind you that you don’t know it all.

4) Join a community -Find a community of people who represent your direction and goals. Join their regular meetings and forums.

5) Ask questions – Even if you’re the boss, don’t be afraid to admit that you still have some things to learn.

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Reading Seattle: The City in Prose, Wide Awake, Chasing Daylight & Chief Seattle

I’ve been reading a few things lately. Two books from Erwin McManus that are great. Wide Awake and Chasing Daylight both are most reads for anyone who wants to pull away the veil and live life as it were intended. Then there is this other book that I happened upon,  Reading Seattle: The City in Prose.

In Reading Seattle: The City in Prose’s first essay, “Northwest Gateway: The Story of the Port of Seattle,” Archie Binns quotes a speech made Chief Seattle. Parts of the speech really made me reflect upon just how arrogant we, as white believers of God, are. The Chief speaks to his people and the white nation that offered a treaty,

“Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine. He folds his strong and protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads his infant son — but He has forsaken His red children — if they really are his. … The white man’s God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common heavenly father He must be partial — for He came to his paleface children. We never saw Him. He gave you laws but He had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No, we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.”

“Your religion was written upon tables of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. … Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors– the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems; and it is written in the hearts of our people.”

“Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander way beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them being.”

It is hard for me to read those words and even though they are from years gone by … I sense that they are still true in some form today. I don’t think one has to go to far from the axis of evil (i.e., our current conflict) to sense similarities. Our arrogance in having a belief in the truth, the answers or, as some prefer, the way, does cloud our perspective on belief. Always striving to maintain the truth muddies the significance and most importantly the humility of believing. I’m not sure what is more important, but I do sense that when I read the translated words of Chief Seattle’s speech that we represent an arrogance that is sadly unsettling. I observe the same arrogance in many of our churches and places of worship. Is such a sadness about our arrogance a good thing as we desire to develop the soul and spirit towards redemption and restoration?

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PNLA Presentation: Growing Innovation in Your Library …

As we made our way across the great northwest we stopped off at Post Falls, Idaho to join the Pacific Northwest Library Association’s Conference. I had a great opportunity to talk with 20 or so librarians from throughout the northwest.

Here is the presentation at Slideshare –

Part 1:http://www.slideshare.net/mgullett/pnla-creat-comm-1-presentation/

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PLCMC’s 2008 Technology Summit: Digital Youth Wired for Action

For three years the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County has held Technology Summits every year in the spring/summer. In fact, the first Tech Summit featured the wonderful insights of Mr. Michael Stephens (www.tametheweb.com), and the emergence of Learning 2.0 (23 Things). PLCMC’s Learning 2.0 and the Tech Summits were the original creations of Ms. Helene Blowers (www.librarybytes.com).

The second Tech Summit featured Mr. Stephen Abram (http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/) and the Second Life Library Project (http://infoisland.org/) of Ms. Lori Bell.

This year’s summit is being headlined by Ms. Anastasia Goodstein. Anastasia is the author of Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online and the blog Ypulse.com. She is a frequent writer and speaker about youth/teens and media/technology. We are looking forward to a day of inspiration and practical application. In the following information you will find more details about the day’s events and how you might attend and participate.

Don’t miss the 2008 Technology Summit: Digital Youth Wired for Action

Brought to you by the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County


The 2008 Technology Summit “Digital Youth Wired for Action” is a high-impact conference designed to inspire new learning and creativity in library staff, educators and others from around the region interested in youth development and learning. The day will be filled with practical tips and methods to help integrate new technologies into the programs and services you offer to children and teens.

The event’s keynote speaker will be Anastasia Goodstein. Goodstein is the author of Totally Wired: what teens and tweens are really doing online. Her blog, YPulse, is a leading media, technology and youth development information source, and School Library Journal recently published Goodstein’s article What Would Madison Avenue Do? Marketing to Teens.

Tickets to this exciting event are just $20 per person. Purchase tickets online through the library’s partnering agency, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (www.plcmc.org/programs/techsummit.asp), or call 704-973-2828. (Note: a $5 handling fee will be added to all Internet and telephone orders.)


8:30–9:00 AM: Registration for Morning Session
9:00 AM: Morning Session: A focus on Teen Services
12:15 – 1:45 PM: Break for lunch (Maps of nearby dining choices will be provided.)
1:45–2:15 PM: Registration for Afternoon Session
2:15-5:00 PM: Afternoon Session: A focus on Children’s Services


ImaginOn, 300 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
First time visiting ImaginOn? Visit the ImaginOn web site for directions, map and underground parking information.

A live audio stream of Anastasia’s presentations will be available on Second Life at Alliance Library’s InfoIsland Open Air Auditorium (103, 117, 33). For more information, contact Kelly Czarnecki at kczarnecki@plcmc.org or IM BlueWings Hayek in Second Life.

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Changes, transitions, faith and being a risk-taker …

In an effort to grow and challenge ourselves in new ways my family and I have decided to take a real leap of faith and move to Seattle, WA. We have always wanted to live in the northwest and decided that this is a good a time as any to make such a move. It comes at a time when we are both seeking new opportunities and learning. In preparing for this we put our house on the market three weeks ago, and it is now under contract which states that we need to be out of it by July 21. I honestly had not intended for it to happen this fast, but it has and we need to move. I have been and will continue to look for employment opportunities, at libraries and museums in the Seattle area. My objective is to find something close to what I have been doing as the Emerging Technology Manager at PLCMC.

In coming to PLCMC two years ago from the Bloomington Public Library and on the heals of being named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker, I wanted to be able to work in and understand a large, more innovative and creative library system. Over the past two years I have been able to work with some amazing people and accomplish some pretty great things (ET News v. 2 issue 2) . I am so thankful for PLCMC and the opportunities that I have been given here. I especially want to thank all of the folks at ImaginOn and Main Library. I’ve never worked with a more professional, bright and dedicated staff than the folks in Virtual Village.

Lastly, some may look at this move and say that is crazy, risky, stupid, etc. He is flying without a parachute or a net. Yes, I agree to some extent that doing this is a bit risky, but sometimes in life we need to do things a bit different by trusting and have some faith that things will work out. Library culture isn’t typically a place that handles risk well, but on the other hand that is the nature of a library (a stable place and space). It is just that risk and challenge is what tends to make things new and sometimes great. it makes us stretch as individuals and as institutions. I feel that living such a risk in my own life then helps me to more fully understand how that process really plays out in many other facets of an organization. I hope that makes sense.

That said, I will be seeking any and all opportunities in the Seattle area that help me grow, learn and discover new possibilities as a contributor in creating experiences for people and communities that enhance and sustain their lives (and ultimately their stories).

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Learning Opportunities and Conferences to Attend …

In a recent email conversation with colleagues we’ve been kicking around various conferences and learning opportunities out there that we would love to attend. These would be things that are outside of the typical library oriented professional opportunities.

So far we have come up with:

Good Experience Live (GEL) Conference (http://www.gelconference.com/)
Consumer Electronics Show (http://www.cesweb.org/)
South by Southwest (http://www.sxsw.com/)
YPulse’s Mashups (http://mashup.ypulse.com/)
Sandbox Summit (http://www.sandboxsummit.org/)
TED (http://www.ted.com/index.php/pages/view/id/7)
E3 (http://www.e3expo.com/)
Penny Arcade Expo (http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/)
PopTech (http://www.poptech.org/video/)

Please send us any additional selections that we could add.


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