Top Technologies Webinar – Dec. 2, 2014

Don’t miss the Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know Webinar with Presenters: Brigitte Bell, Steven Bowers, Terry Cottrell, Elliot Polak and Ken Varnum

Offered: December 2, 2014
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time

See the full course description with registration information here.
or
Register Now Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Varnum300pebWe’re all awash in technological innovation. It can be a challenge to know what new tools are likely to have staying power — and what that might mean for libraries. The recently published Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know highlights a selected set of technologies that are just starting to emerge and describes how libraries might adapt them in the next few years.

In this webinar, join the authors of three chapters from the book as they talk about their technologies and what they mean for libraries.

Hands-Free Augmented Reality: Impacting the Library Future
Presenters: Brigitte Bell & Terry Cottrell

Based on the recent surge of interest in head-mounted augmented reality devices such as the 3D gaming console Oculus Rift and Google’s Glass project, it seems reasonable to expect that the implementation of hands-free augmented reality technology will become common practice in libraries within the next 3-5 years.

The Future of Cloud-Based Library Systems
Presenters: Elliot Polak & Steven Bowers

In libraries, cloud computing technology can reduce the costs and human capital associated with maintaining a 24/7 Integrated Library System while facilitating an up-time that is costly to attain in-house. Cloud-Based Integrated Library Systems can leverage a shared system environment, allowing libraries to share metadata records and other system resources while maintaining independent local information allowing for reducing redundant workflows and yielding efficiencies for cataloging/metadata and acquisitions departments.

Library Discovery: From Ponds to Streams
Presenter: Ken Varnum

Rather than exploring focused ponds of specialized databases, researchers now swim in oceans of information. What is needed is neither ponds (too small in our interdisciplinary world) or oceans (too broad and deep for most needs), but streams — dynamic, context-aware subsets of the whole, tailored to the researcher’s short- or long-term interests.

Webinar Fees are:

LITA Member: $39
Non-Member: $99
Group: $190

Register Online now to join us what is sure to be an excellent and informative webinar.

Top Tech Trends: Call For Panelists

What technology are you watching on the horizon? Have you seen brilliant ideas that need exposing? Do you really like sharing with your LITA colleagues?

The LITA Top Tech Trends Committee is trying a new process this year and issuing a Call for Panelists. Answer the short questionnaire by 12/10 to be considered. Fresh faces and diverse panelists are especially encouraged to respond. Past presentations can be viewed at http://www.ala.org/lita/ttt.

Here’s the link:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JH6qJItEAtQS_ChCcFKpS9xqPsFEUz52wQxwieBMC9w/viewform

If you have additional questions check with Emily Morton-Owens, Chair of the Top Tech Trends committee: emily.morton.owens@gmail.com

5 Tech Tools to be Thankful For

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’d like to give thanks for 5 tech tools that make life as a librarian much easier.

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Google Drive
On any given day I work on at least 6 different computers and tablets. That means I need instant access to my documents wherever I go and without cloud storage I’d be lost. While there are plenty of other free file hosting services, I like Drive the most because it offers 15GB of free storage and it’s incredibly easy to use. When I’m working with patrons who already have a Gmail account, setting up Drive is just a click away.

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Libib
I dabbled in Goodreads for a bit, but I must say, Libib has won me over. Libib lets you catalog your personal library and share your favorite media with others. While it doesn’t handle images quite as well as Goodreads, I much prefer Libib’s sleek and modern interface. Instead of cataloging books that I own, I’m currently using Libib to create a list of my favorite children’s books to recommend to patrons.

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Hopscotch
Hopscotch is my favorite iOS app right now. With Hopscotch, you can learn the fundamentals of coding through play. The app is marketed towards kids, but I think the bubbly characters and lighthearted nature appeals to adults too. I’m using Hopscotch in an upcoming adult program at the library to show that coding can be quirky and fun. If you want to use Hopscotch at your library, check out their resources for teachers. They’ve got fantastic ready made lesson plans for the taking.

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Adobe Illustrator
My love affair with Photoshop started many years ago, but as I’ve gotten older, Illustrator and I have become a much better match. I use Illustrator to create flyers, posters, and templates for computer class handouts. The best thing about Illustrator is that it’s designed for working with vector graphics. That means I can easily translate a design for a 6-inch bookmark into a 6-foot poster without losing image quality.

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Twitter
Twitter is hands-down my social network of choice. My account is purely for library-related stuff and I know I can count on Twitter to pick me up and get me inspired when I’m running out of steam. Thanks to all the libraries and librarians who keep me going!

What tech tools are you thankful for? Please share in the comments!

Jobs in Information Technology: November 19

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

Assistant Director of Digital Strategies, Houston Public Library Houston, TX

Director of Library Technology,  Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI

Information Technology Manager,  Library System of Lancaster County,  Lancaster, PA

Information Technology Technical Associate: User Interface Designer,  Milner Library,  Illinois State University,  Normal,  IL

IT Operations Specialist,  Gwinnett County Public Library,  Lawrenceville, GA

Library Creative learning Spaces Coordinator,  Multnomah County Library,  Portland, OR

Web Manager , UC San Diego Library, San Diego,  CA

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

Cataloging Board Games

Since September, I have been immersed in the world of games and learning.  I co-wrote a successful grant application to create a library-based Center for Games and Learning.

IMLS

The project is being  funded through a Sparks Ignition! Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

One of our first challenges has been to decide how to catalog the games.  I located this presentation on SlideShare.  We have decided to catalog the games as Three Dimensional Objects (Artifact) and use the following MARC fields:

  • MARC 245  Title Statement
  • MARC 260  Publication, Distribution, Etc.
  • MARC 300  Physical Description
  • MARC 500  General Note
  • MARC 508  Creation/Production Credits
  • MARC 520  Summary, Etc.
  • MARC 521  Target Audience
  • MARC 650  Topical Term
  • MARC 655  Index Term—Genre/Form

There are many other fields that we could use, but we decided to keep it as simple as possible.  We decided not to interfile the games and instead, create a separate collection for the Center for Games and Learning.  Due to this, we will not be assigning a Library of Congress Classification to them, but will instead by shelving the games in alphabetical order.  We also created a material type of “board games.”

For the Center for Games and Learning we are also working on a website that will be live in the next few months.  The project is still in its infancy and I will be sharing more about this project in upcoming blog posts.

Do any LITA blog readers have board games in your libraries? If, so what MARC fields do you use to catalog the games?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Learning Opportunities with LITA

LITA has multiple learning opportunities available over the next several months.  Hot topics to keep your brain warm over the winter.

Re-Drawing the Map Series

Presenters: Mita Williams and Cecily Walker
Offered: November 18, 2014, December 9, 2014, and January 6, 2015
All: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time

Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know

Presenters: Brigitte Bell, Steven Bowers, Terry Cottrell, Elliot Polak and Ken Varnum,
Offered: December 2, 2014
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time

Getting Started with GIS

Instructor: Eva Dodsworth, University of Waterloo
Offered: January 12 – February 9, 2015

For details and registration check out the fuller descriptions below and follow the links to their full web pages

Re-Drawing the Map Series

redrawmapthumbJoin LITA Education and instructors Mita Williams and Cecily Walker in “Re-drawing the Map”–a webinar series! Pick and choose your favorite topic.  Can’t make all the dates but still want the latest information? Registered participants will have access to the recorded webinars.

Here’s the individual sessions.

 Web Mapping: moving from maps on the web to maps of the web
Tuesday Nov. 18, 2014
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time
Instructor: Mita Williams
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Get an introduction to web mapping tools and learn about the stories they can help you to tell!

OpenStreetMaps: Trust the map that anyone can change
Tuesday December 9, 2014,
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time
Instructor: Mita Williams

Ever had a map send you the wrong way and wished you could change it?  Learn how to add your local knowledge to the “Wikipedia of Maps.”

Coding maps with Leaflet.js
Tuesday January 6, 2015,
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time
Instructor: Cecily Walker

Ready to make your own maps and go beyond a directory of locations? Add photos and text to your maps with Cecily as you learn to use the Leaflet JavaScript library.

Register Online page arranged by session date (login required)

Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know

Varnum300pebWe’re all awash in technological innovation. It can be a challenge to know what new tools are likely to have staying power — and what that might mean for libraries. The recently published Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know highlights a selected set of technologies that are just starting to emerge and describes how libraries might adapt them in the next few years.

In this webinar, join the authors of three chapters as they talk about their technologies and what they mean for libraries.
December 2, 2014
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time

Hands-Free Augmented Reality: Impacting the Library Future
Presenters: Brigitte Bell & Terry Cottrell

The Future of Cloud-Based Library Systems
Presenters: Elliot Polak & Steven Bowers

Library Discovery: From Ponds to Streams
Presenter: Ken Varnum

Register Online page arranged by session date (login required)

Getting Started with GIS

Layout 1Getting Started with GIS is a three week course modeled on Eva Dodsworth’s LITA Guide of the same name. The course provides an introduction to GIS technology and GIS in libraries. Through hands on exercises, discussions and recorded lectures, students will acquire skills in using GIS software programs, social mapping tools, map making, digitizing, and researching for geospatial data. This three week course provides introductory GIS skills that will prove beneficial in any library or information resource position.

No previous mapping or GIS experience is necessary. Some of the mapping applications covered include:

  • Introduction to Cartography and Map Making
  • Online Maps
  • Google Earth
  • KML and GIS files
  • ArcGIS Online and Story Mapping
  • Brief introduction to desktop GIS software

Instructor: Eva Dodsworth, University of Waterloo
Offered: January 12 – February 9, 2015

Register Online page arranged by session date (login required)

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org.

Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself – Vol. 3

Thank You Robot
Robot by MiKaArt.

The holidays are upon us, LITA Blog readers.  As we all wind down end of year tasks and prepare for our own celebrations, this final installment of Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself for 2014 is my way of saying thanks. Thanksgiving is maybe my favorite holiday- I love the way in which it is casual, hangout-focused, and food-intensive- but I also love the tone of gratitude that colors it. So, let me express how grateful I am for all of you, reading this blog and supporting our efforts. Thank you for being there.

For the uninitiated, Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself (TYBYWY) is a monthly selection of free webinars, classes, and other education opportunities for the aspiring technologist and the total newbie alike.

The Monthly MOOC

If, like so many of us, you’re intrigued by use of gamification in content design and delivery, Coursera’s perennially popular MOOC on the subject is open starting January 26th. Make your New Year’s resolution to educate yourself on this powerful outreach method. It’s particularly interesting from a training/instructional design perspective.

Worthwhile Webinars

OpenCon has posted its 2014 Webcast Round-Up, and the resources there are excellent if you are trying to learn more about Open Access.

I know that I’ve mentioned them in past post, but Library Journal’s Webcast series has been stepping up its game recently. These programs are on my docket, and you should consider attending too:

November 14th (Yes, TODAY) – Data, Assessment, and Participatory Design: Rethinking Information Literacy, Spaces, and Services in Two Academic Libraries

November 18th – Common x 3 (Public, Academic, School): Designing next generation gathering and learning spaces for libraries of every type

November 20th – Library UX: Unique Programs and Services for an Engaged Community | Lead the Change

Two Cool Gigs: 

Interested in in pursuing a career in media archives and social justice? Consider this paid internship in Democracy Now!’s Archives. Application deadline 11/15.

Another option, NPR’s Library Archives has a paid internship. Get on it and apply by 11/21!

Tech On, TYBYWYers-

Happy Thanksgiving! TYBYWY will return 12/12. As always, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Leave a message here or catch me on Twitter, @linds_bot.

 

Digital Curation Tools I Want to Learn

When I first started my job as Digital Curation Coordinator in June, I didn’t quite know what I would be doing. Then I started figuring it out.  As I’ve gotten settled, I’ve realized that I want to be more proactive in identifying tools and platforms that the researchers I’m working with are using so that I can connect with their experience more easily.

However, the truth is that I find it hard to know what tools I should focus on. What usually happens when I learn about a new tool is a cursory read through the documentation… I familiarize myself well enough to share in a few sentences what it does, but most of the time I don’t become incredibly familiar. There are just soooo many tools out there. It’s daunting.

Knowing my tendencies, I decided it would be a good challenge for me to dig deeper into three areas where I am more ignorant than I’d like to be.

Data analysis programs R, SPSS, & SAS

I don’t know a lot about data analysis but I think it will be critical in terms of how well I can understand researchers. Of the three, I’m most familiar with SPSS already and I’ll probably devote the most time to learning R (perhaps through this data science MOOC, which fellow LITA blog writer Bryan pointed out). With SAS, I’m mostly interested in learning how it differs from the others rather than delving too deep.

Metadata editors Colectica & Morpho

Why these two? It’s pretty arbitrary, I guess: I learned about them in a recent ecology data management workshop I was presenting at. As is often the case, I learned a lot from the other presenters! A big part of my job is figuring out how to help researchers manage their data – and a big barrier to that is the painstaking work of creating metadata.

Digital forensics tool BitCurator

I was lucky enough to be able to attend a two-day workshop at my institution, so I have played around with this in the past. BitCurator is an impressive suite of tools that I’m convinced I need to find a use case to explore further. This is a perfect example of a tool I know decently already – but I really want to know better, especially since I already have people bringing me obsolete media and asking what I can do about it.

What tools do you want to learn? And for anyone who helps researchers with data management in some capacity, what additional tools do you recommend I look into?

Jobs in Information Technology: November 12

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

Archivist for Collection Management, University of North Carolina -Charlotte, Charlotte,  NC

Deputy Director – Digital Services, Meridian Library District,  Meridian,  ID

Librarian – E-Learning, College of Southern Nevada,  Las Vegas, NV

 

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

 

Why Learn Unix? My Two Cents

There’s an conversation shaping up on the Code4Lib email list with the title “Why Learn Unix?”, and this is a wonderful question to ask. A lot of technical library jobs are asking for UNIX experience and as a result a lot of library schools are injecting bits and pieces of it into their courses, but without a proper understanding of the why of Unix, the how might just go in one ear and out the other. When I was learning about Unix in library school, it was in the context of an introductory course to library IT.  I needed no convincing, I fell in love almost immediately and cemented my future as a command line junkie. Others in the course were not so easily impressed, and never received a satisfactory answer to the question of “Why Learn Unix?” other than a terse “Because It’s Required”. Without a solid understanding of a technology’s use, it’s nearly impossible to maintain motivation to learn it. This is especially true of something as archaic and intimidating as the Unix command line interface that looks like something out of an early 90’s hacker movie. Those who don’t know Unix get along just fine, so what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that Unix is the 800 lb. gorilla of the IT world. While desktops and laptops are usually a pretty even split between Windows and Mac, the server world is almost entirely Unix (either Linux or BSD, both of which are UNIX variants). If you work in a reasonably technical position, you have probably had to log in to one of these Unix servers before to do something. If you are in library school and looking to get a tech oriented library job after graduating, this WILL happen to you, maybe even before you graduate (a good 50% of my student worker jobs were the result of knowing Unix). As libraries move away from vendor software and externally hosted systems towards Open Source software, Unix use is only going to increase because pretty much all Open Source software is designed to run on Linux (which is itself Open Source software). The road to an Open Source future for libraries is paved with LIS graduates who know their way around a command line.

So let’s assume that I’ve convinced you to learn Unix. What now? The first step on the journey is deciding how much Unix you want to learn. Unix is deep enough that one can spend a great deal of time getting lost in its complexities (not to say that this wouldn’t be time well spent). The most important initial steps of any foray into the world of Unix should start with how to log in to the system (which can vary a lot depending on whether you are using Windows or Mac, and what Unix system you are trying to log in to). Once you have that under control, learn the basic commands for navigating around the system, copying and deleting files, and checking the built-in manual (University of Illinois has a great cheat sheet).

How to learn Unix as opposed to why is a completely separate conversation with just as many strong opinions, but I will say that learning Unix requires more courage than intelligence. The reason most people actively avoid using Unix is because it is so different from the point-and-click world they are used to, but once you get the basics under your belt you may find that you prefer it. There are a lot of things that are much easier to do via command line (once you know how), and if you get really good at it you can even chain commands together into a script that can automatically perform complex actions that might take hours (or days, or weeks, or years) to do by hand. This scriptability is where Unix systems really shine, but by no means do you have to dive in this deep to find value in learning Unix. If you take the time to learn the basics, there will come a time when that knowledge pays off. Who knows, it might even change the direction of your career path.

Do you have any questions or opinions about the need for librarians to learn Unix? Are you struggling with learning Unix and want to air your grievances? Are you a wizard who wants to point out the inaccurate parts of my post? Let me know in the comments!

The Library and Information Technology Association