Travel Apps!

With ALA’s annual conference in Orlando just around the corner, travel is in the plans for many librarians and staff. Fortunately, as I live in Florida, I don’t have that far to go. But if you do, then you’re going to need some good apps.

I travel frequently and have a few of my favorite apps that I use for travel, and I’d like to share them with you:

Airline App of Choice

I personally only use two airlines so I can only speak to their particular apps, but seriously, if you have a smartphone and you aren’t using it to hold tickets or boarding passes, you’re missing out. You can also use your app to check flight times and delays, book future travel, or just to play around (one of my airline’s apps lets you send virtual postcards).

PackPoint

Even if it’s just a weekend trip, this app is great at letting you know what you should bring depending on the weather and your activities. You can adjust the lists according to your preferences as well. Though this is the free version, there is a paid version where you can save your packing lists to Evernote. (Android)

Foursquare

I only use Foursquare when I travel. It got put through its paces in Boston when I needed to find a place to eat near my location or was looking for a historic site I hadn’t been to. It also helped in giving me tips about the place: what to order, when to avoid the place, how the staff was. On top of that, it links with your Map App of Choice (Google Maps FTW!) to give you directions and contact information. It’s not Yelp, but I feel it’s more genuine. (Android)

Waze

Take it from someone who lived in Orlando: driving in that city is not fun. This is why you want Waze: it can show you directions as well as let you input traffic accidents you happen across as you drive (well, maybe after you drive). It even helps out with finding cheap gas. (Android)

Photo-Editing App of Choice

You’re no doubt going to be taking a lot of photos on your trip, so why not spice them up with some creative edits and share them? There are a plethora of photo apps out there to choose from, the most ubiquitous being Instagram (Android), but I love Hipstamatic (paid, iOS only) because you can randomize your filters and get a totally unexpected result every shot. Other apps that are fun are Pixlr (Android) (there’s a desktop version, too!) and Photoshop Express (Android)
What are some travel apps that you cannot live without? Post them in the comments or tweet them my way @LibrarianStevie!

Jobs in Information Technology: May 25, 2016

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Pacific States University(PSU), Librarian, Los Angeles, CA

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Mindful Tech, a 2 part webinar series with David Levy

Mindful Tech: Establishing a Healthier and More Effective Relationship with Our Digital Devices and Apps
Tuesdays, June 7 and 14, 2016, 1:00 – 2:30 pm Central Time
David Levy, Information School, University of Washington

Register Now for this 2 part webinar

“There is a long history of people worrying and complaining about new technologies and also putting them up on a pedestal as the answer. When the telegraph and telephone came along you had people arguing both sides—that’s not new. And you had people worrying about the explosion of books after the rise of the printing press.

What is different is for the last 100-plus years the industrialization of Western society has been devoted to a more, faster, better philosophy that has accelerated our entire economic system and squeezed out anything that is not essential.

As a society, I think we’re beginning to recognize this imbalance, and we’re in a position to ask questions like “How do we live a more balanced life in the fast world? How do we achieve adequate forms of slow practice?”

David Levy – See more at: http://tricycle.org/trikedaily/mindful-tech/#sthash.9iABezUN.dpuf

mindfultechbookDon’t miss the opportunity to participate in this well known program by David Levy, based on his recent widely reviewed and well regarded book “Mindful Tech”. The popular interactive program will include exercises and participation now re-packaged into a 2 part webinar format. Both parts will be fully recorded for participants to return to, or to work with varying schedules.

Register Now for the 2 part Mindful Tech webinar series

This two part, 90 minutes each, webinars series will introduce participants to some of the central insights of the work Levy has been doing over the past decade and more. By learning to pay attention to their immediate experience (what’s going on in their minds and bodies) while they’re online, people are able to see more clearly what’s working well for them and what isn’t, and based on these observations to develop personal guidelines that allow them to operate more effectively and healthfully. Levy will demonstrate this work by giving participants exercises they can do, both during the online program and between the sessions.

Presenter

David Levy
David Levy

David M. Levy is a professor at the Information School of the University of Washington. For more than a decade, he has been exploring, via research and teaching, how we can establish a more balanced relationship with our digital devices and apps. He has given many lectures and workshops on this topic, and in January 2016 published a book on the subject, “Mindful Tech: How to Bring Balance to Our Digital Lives” (Yale). Levy is also the author of “Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age” (rev. ed. 2016).

Additional information is available on his website at: http://dmlevy.ischool.uw.edu/

Then register for the webinar and get Full details

Can’t make the dates but still want to join in? Registered participants will have access to both parts of the recorded webinars.

Cost:

  • LITA Member: $68
  • Non-Member: $155
  • Group: $300

Registration Information

Register Online page arranged by session date (login required)
OR
Mail or fax form to ALA Registration
OR
Call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5
OR
email registration@ala.org

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the preconference, contact LITA at (312) 280-4269 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org.

LITA announces the Top Tech Trends panel at ALA Annual 2016

ALA Annual 2016 badgeKicking off LITA’s celebration year of it’s 50th year the Top Technology Trends Committee announces the panel for the highly popular session at  2016 ALA Annual in Orlando, FL.

Top Tech Trends
starts Sunday June 26, 2016, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, in the
Orange County Convention Center, Room W109B
and kicks off Sunday Afternoon with LITA.

tttvertheadsThis program features the ongoing roundtable discussion about trends and advances in library technology by a panel of LITA technology experts. The panelists will describe changes and advances in technology that they see having an impact on the library world, and suggest what libraries might do to take advantage of these trends. This year’s panelists line up is:

  • Maurice Coleman, Session Moderator, Technical Trainer, Harford County Public Library, @baldgeekinmd
  • Blake Carver, Systems Administrator, LYRASIS, @blakesterz
  • Lauren Comito, Job and Business Academy Manager, Queens Library, @librariancraftr
  • Laura Costello, Head of Research & Emerging Technologies, Stony Brook University, @lacreads
  • Carolyn Coulter, Director, PrairieCat Library Consortium, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), @ccoulter
  • Nick Grove, Digital Services Librarian, Meridian Library District – unBound, @nickgrove15

Check out the Top Tech Trends web site for more information and panelist biographies.

Safiya Noble
Safiya Noble

Followed by the LITA Awards Presentation & LITA President’s Program with Dr. Safiya Noble
presenting: Toward an Ethic of Social Justice in Information
at 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, in the same location

Dr. Noble is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She conducts research in socio-cultural informatics; including feminist, historical and political-economic perspectives on computing platforms and software in the public interest. Her research is at the intersection of culture and technology in the design and use of applications on the Internet.

LITA50_logo_vertical_webConcluding with the LITA Happy Hour
from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
that location to be determined

This year marks a special LITA Happy Hour as we kick off the celebration of LITA’s 50th anniversary. Make sure you join the LITA Membership Development Committee and LITA members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks; cash bar. Help us cheer for 50 years of library technology.

 

Getting your color on: maybe there’s some truth to the trend

Coloring was never my thing, even as a young child, the amount of decision required in coloring was actually stressful to me. Hence my skepticism of this zen adult coloring trend. How could something so stressful for me be considered a thing of “zen”. I purchased a book and selected coloring tools about a year ago, coloring bits and pieces here and there but not really getting it. Until now.

While reading an article about the psychology behind adult coloring, I found this quote to be exceptionally interesting:

The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress. -Gloria Martinez Ayala [quoted in Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress]

Color Me Stress Free by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter
A page, colored by Whitni Watkins, from Color Me Stress Free by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter

As I was coloring this particular piece [pictured to the left] I started seeing the connection the micro process of coloring has to the macro process of managing a library and/or team building. Each coloring piece has individual parts that contribute to forming the outline of full work of art. But it goes deeper than that.

For exampled, how you color and organize the individual parts can determine how beautiful or harmonious the picture can be. You have so many different color options to choose from, to incorporate into your picture, some will work better than others. For example, did you know in color theory, orange and blue is a perfect color combination? According to color theory, harmonious color combinations use any two colors opposite each other on the color wheel.” [7]  But that the combination of orange, blue and yellow is not very harmonious?

Our lack of knowledge is a significant hindrance for creating greatness, knowing your options while coloring is incredibly important. Your color selection will determine what experience one has when viewing the picture. Bland, chaotic or pleasing, each part working together, contributing to the bigger picture. “Observing the effects colors have on each other is the starting point for understanding the relativity of color. The relationship of values, saturations and the warmth or coolness of respective hues can cause noticeable differences in our perception of color.” [6]  Color combinations, that may seem unfitting to you, may actually compliment each other.  

Note that some colors will be used more frequently and have a greater presence in the final product due to the qualities that color holds but remember that even the parts that only have a small presence are crucial to bringing the picture together in the end. 

“Be sure to include those who are usually left out of such acknowledgments, such as the receptionist who handled the flood of calls after a successful public relations effort or the information- technology people who installed the complex software you used.”[2]

There may be other times where you don’t use a certain color as much as it should have and could have been used. The picture ends up fully colored and completed but not nearly as beautiful (harmonious) as it could have been. When in the coloring process, ask yourself often “‘What else do we need to consider here?’ you allow perspectives not yet considered to be put on the table and evaluated.” [2] Constant evaluation of your process will lead to a better final piece.

While coloring I also noticed that I color individual portions in a similar manner. I color triangles and squares by outlining and shading inwards. I color circular shapes in a circular motion and shading outwards. While coloring, we find our way to be the most efficient but contained (within the lines) while simultaneously coordinating well with the other parts. Important to note, that the way you found to be efficient in one area  may not work in another area and you need to adapt and be flexible and willing to try other ways. Imagine coloring a circle the way you color a square or a triangle. You can take as many shortcuts as you want to get the job done faster but you may regret them in the end. Cut carefully. 

Remember while coloring: Be flexible. Be adaptable. Be imperturbable.

You can color how ever you see fit. You can choose which colors you want, the project will get done. You can be sure there will be moments of chaos, there will be moments that lack innovation. Experiment, try new things and the more you color the better you’ll get. However, coloring isn’t for everyone, at that’s okay. 

Now, go back and read again, this time substitute the word color for manage.

Maybe there is something to be said about this trend of the adult coloring book. 


References:
1. Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/coloring-for-stress_n_5975832.html
2. Twelve Ways to Build an Effective Team http://people.rice.edu/uploadedFiles/People/TEAMS/Twelve%20Ways%20to%20Build%20an%20Effective%20Team.pdf
3. COLOURlovers: History Of The Color Wheel http://www.colourlovers.com/blog/2008/05/08/history-of-the-color-wheel
4. Smashing Magazine: Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/color-theory-for-designers-part-1-the-meaning-of-color/
5. Some Color History http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/vision/colhist.html
6. Color Matters: Basic Color Theory http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory
7. lifehacker: Learn the Basics of Color Theory to Know What Looks Good http://lifehacker.com/learn-the-basics-of-color-theory-to-know-what-looks-goo-1608972072
8. lifehacker: Color Psychology Chart http://lifehacker.com/5991303/pick-the-right-color-for-design-or-decorating-with-this-color-psychology-chart
9. Why Flexible and Adaptive Leadership is Essential http://challenge2050.ifas.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/YuklMashud.2010.AdaptiveLeadership.pdf

Jobs in Information Technology: May 18, 2016

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

University of Rhode Island, Associate Professor, Librarian (Data Services), Kingston, RI

Reaching Across Illinois Library System, Cataloging and Database Supervisor-PrairieCat, Coal Valley, IL

e-Management, Senior Librarian, Silver Spring, MD

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

The Frivolity of Making

Makerspaces have been widely embraced in public libraries and K-12 schools, but do they belong in higher education? Are makerspaces a frivolous pursuit?making

When I worked at a public library there was very little doubt about the importance of making and it felt like the entire community was ready for a makerspace. Fortunately, many of my current colleagues at Indiana University are equally as curious and enthusiastic about the maker movement, but I can’t help but notice a certain reluctance in academia towards making, playing, and having fun. From the moment I interviewed for my current position I’ve been questioned about my interest in makerspaces and more specifically, my playful nature. I’m not afraid to admit that I like to have fun, and as librarians there’s no reason why our jobs shouldn’t be fun (at least most of the time). My mom is a nurse and there are plenty of legitimate reasons why her job isn’t fun a lot of the time. But it’s not just about me or even librarians. In higher education we constantly question if it’s okay to have fun.

Things like 3D printing and digital fabrication are an easy sell in higher ed, but littleBits and LEGOs prove slightly more challenging. I recently demonstrated the MaKey MaKey, Google Cardboard, and Sphero robotic ball for 40 of my colleagues at our library’s annual “In-House Institute.” My session was called “Intro to Makerspaces” and consisted of a quick rundown of the what and why of the maker movement, followed by play time. I was surprised to see how receptive everyone was and how quickly they got out of their seats and started playing. As the excitement in the room grew, I noticed one of my colleagues sitting with a puzzled look on his face. “But, why?” he said. As in, “why are you asking me to play with toys?” A completely reasonable question to ask, especially if you’ve been working in higher ed for 40+ years.

For starters, we know that learning by doing can be very effective, but that’s only part of it. Tinkering with littleBits does not make you an electrical engineer and it’s not supposed to. Tools like these are meant to expose you to the medium and to spark ideas. Cardboard is a great introduction to virtual reality, MaKey MaKey opens up the world of electronics, and Sphero is a much friendlier intro to programming than a blank terminal window. Many of these maker-type tools are marketed towards kids, but I’m convinced that adults are the ones who really need them. We need to be reminded of how to play, tinker, and fail; actions that many of us have become completely removed from.

Making is also a great opportunity for peer-to-peer learning across disciplines. The 2015 Library Edition of the NMC Horizon Report makes a solid argument for makerspaces in libraries: “University libraries are in the unique position to offer a central, discipline-neutral space where every member of the academic community can engage in creative activities.” I refuse to believe that our music students are the only ones who can play music or that our fine arts students are the only ones who can draw. The library offers a safe and neutral zone for students to branch out from their departments and try something new.

Interacting with new technologies is another key selling point for makerspaces, and the best makerspaces are a blend of high-tech and low-tech. Our very own MILL makerspace in the School of Education has 3D printers alongside popsicle sticks and pom-poms. It’s tough to be intimidated by the laser engraver once you’ve seen a carton full of googly eyes. This type of low-stakes environment is a great way to explore new technologies and there are few instances like this in the modern academic institution.

So are makerspaces frivolous? On the surface, yes, they can be. Sometimes playing is nothing more than a mental break, but sometimes it’s a gateway to something greater. I’d argue that we owe our students opportunities to do both.

There are tons of resources about makerspaces out there, but here’s just a few of my favorites if you’re eager to learn more…

Privacy Technology Tools for You and Your Patrons

This webinar, and series, is being re-scheduled

Hear from the experts at the Library Freedom Project, Alison Macrina and Nima Fatemi, at 2 important LITA webinars coming soon.

Email is a postcard
Tor-ify Your Library

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about protecting yourself and your patrons.  You can attend either one, or attend both at a discounted rate.

Register now for either webinar

Privacy tools are a hot topic in libraries, as librarians all over the country have begun using and teaching privacy-enhancing technologies, and considering the privacy and security implications of library websites, databases, and services. Attend these up to the minute LITA privacy concerns webinars.

Here’s the details for each of the two webinars:

Email is a postcard: how to make it more secure with free software and encryption.
Alison Macrina, and Nima Fatemi

Email as a postcard by Tom Schoot from Noun ProjectEmail is neither secure nor private, and the process of fixing its problems can be mystifying, even for technical folks. In this one hour webinar, Nima and Alison from Library Freedom Project will help shine some light on email issues and the tools you can use to make this communication more confidential. They will cover the issues with email, and teach about how to use GPG to encrypt emails and keep them safe.

Tor-ify Your Library: How to use this privacy-enhancing technology to keep your patrons’ data safe
Alison Macrina, and Nima Fatemi

toronion
TOR onion

Heard about the Tor network but not sure how it applies to your library? Join Alison and Nima from the Library Freedom Project in this one hour webinar to learn about the Tor network, running the Tor browser and a Relay, and other basic services to help your patrons have enhanced browsing privacy in the library and beyond.

Presenters:

Alison Macrina, Director of the Library Freedom Project
Nima Fatemi, Chief Technologist of Library Freedom Project

Alison’s and Nima’s work for the Library Freedom Project and classes for patrons including tips on teaching patron privacy classes can be found at: https://libraryfreedomproject.org/resources/onlineprivacybasics/

alisonmacrina  nimafatemi.150x150jpg

Register now for either webinar

The two webinars are being offered as either single sessions or as a series of two webinars.

Costs:

  • LITA Member: $45
  • Non-Member: $105
  • Group: $196

To register for both webinars at a discounted rate use the “Webinar Series: Email Is a Postcard & Tor-ify Your Library” register link.

The discounted rates for both sessions:

  • LITA Member: $68
  • Non-Member: $155
  • Group: $300

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to these webinars contact LITA at (312) 280-4269 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org.

LITA Forum Assessment Task Force Survey

Dear Colleagues,

The LITA Forum Assessment Task Force wants your opinions about the impact of LITA Forum and how it fits within the library technology conference landscape. We invite everyone who works in the overlapping space between libraries and technology, whether or not you belong to LITA or have attended the LITA Forum recently (or at all), to take a short survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/litaforumassess

We anticipate this survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Participation is anonymous unless you provide your email address for potential follow-up questions. The survey closes on Friday, May 27th, 2016, so don’t delay!

We will summarize what we learn from this survey on the LITA Blog after July 1st. If you have any questions or are having problems completing the survey, please feel free to contact:

Jenny Taylor (emanuelj@uic.edu) or Ken Varnum (varnum@umich.edu).

We thank you in advance for taking the time to provide us with this important information.

Jenny Taylor
Co-Chair, LITA Forum Assessment Task Force
emanuelj@uic.edu

Ken Varnum
Co-Chair, LITA Forum Assessment Task Force
varnum@umich.edu