All posts by abigailgoben

Midwinter Workshop Highlight: Meet the Programming Presenter!

We asked our LITA Midwinter Workshop Presenters to tell us a little more about themselves and what to expect from their workshops in January. This week, we’re hearing from Elizabeth Wickes, who will be presenting the workshop:

Introduction to Practical Programming
(For registration details, please see the bottom of this blog post)

LITA: We’ve seen your formal bio but can you tell us a little more about you?

ElizabethI once wrote an entire Python program just so I could have a legitimate reason to say “for skittle in skittles.”  Attendees will meet this program during the workshop.  I can also fix pretty much anything with hot glue. 

LITA: Who is your target audience for this workshop?

Elizabeth: This workshop speaks to the librarian or library student who is curious about programming and wants to explore it within a very library-centric context.  So many of the existing books and resources on programming are for people with extensive math backgrounds. This workshop will present the core concepts and basic workflows with a humanities voice. 

LITA: How much experience with programming do attendees need to succeed in the workshop?

ElizabethAny amount is helpful, but nothing is required.  I’ll be presenting the topics from the ground up, presuming that folks have never seen any code before.

LITA: If your workshop was a character from the Marvel or Harry Potter universe, which would it be, and why?

ElizabethI would say Snape, if I had to pick a character.  But hear me out! The topic might seem moody and unapproachable, but on the inside just wants to love!  Also, programming is really like potions class, where you are combining lots of little pieces very precisely to somehow produce something shiny and beautiful.  My final argument: Alan Rickman.

LITA: Name one concrete thing your attendees will be able to take back to their libraries after participating in your workshop.

Elizabeth: Attendees will leave the workshop with a greater understanding of assessment strategies for material selection and a solid structure on which to build as a self-taught programmer.

LITA: What kind of gadgets/software do your attendees need to bring?

ElizabethParticipants should bring a laptop (not a tablet) with an operating system they are comfortable using.  Macs are easiest to set up but any current computer will work.

LITA: Respond to this scenario: You’re stuck on a desert island. A box washes ashore. As you pry off the lid and peer inside, you begin to dance and sing, totally euphoric. What’s in the box?

ElizabethPerhaps I’m singing because the box brought me a singing voice.  But seriously, I’d be super excited to get sunscreen in that situation.

More information about Midwinter Workshops. 

Registration Information:
LITA members get one third off the cost of Mid-Winter workshops. Use the discount promotional code:  LITA2015 during online registration to automatically receive your member discount.  Start the process at the ALA web sites:
Conference web site:
Registration start page:
LITA Workshops registration descriptions:
When you start the registration process and BEFORE you choose the workshop, you will encounter the Personal Information page.  On that page there is a field to enter the discount promotional code:  LITA2015
As in the example below.  If you do so, then when you get to the workshops choosing page the discount prices, of $235, are automatically displayed and entered.  The discounted total will be reflected in the Balance Due line on the payment page.
preconference
Please contact the LITA Office if you have any registration questions.

Midwinter Workshop Highlight: Meet the UX Presenters!

We asked our LITA Midwinter Workshop Presenters to tell us a little more about themselves and what to expect from their workshops in January. This week, we’re hearing from Kate Lawrence, Deirdre Costello, and Robert Newell, who will be presenting the workshop:

From Lost to Found: How User Testing Can Improve the User Experience of Your Library Website
(For registration details, please see the bottom of this blog post)

LITA: We’ve seen your formal bios but can you tell us a little more about you?

Kate: If I didn’t work as a user researcher, I would be a professional backgammon player or cake decorator (I am a magician with fondant!). Or both.

Deirdre: I’m horse crazy!

Robert: In a past life I was a professional actor. If you pay really really close attention (like, don’t blink), you might spot me in a few episodes of Friday Night Lights or Prison Break.

LITA: User Testing is a big area. Who is your target audience for this workshop?

Presenters: This is a perfect workshop for people who want to learn user testing in a supportive environment. We will teach people how to test their websites in the real world – we understand that time and other resources are limited. This is for anyone who wants to know what it’s like for patrons to try accessing their library’s resources through their website.

LITA: How much experience with UX do attendees need to succeed in the workshop?

Presenters: Experience isn’t required, but an understanding of the general UX field and goals is useful. Attendees are encouraged to come with a potential usability study topic in mind. From Robert: “You just need to be able to put your social scientist hat on and look at user testing as an informal (and fun!) psychology experiment.”

LITA: If your workshop was a character from the Marvel or Harry Potter universe, which would it be, and why?

Kate: Having just read the Harry Potter series with my two kids, I can say that our workshop will inspire like Dumbledore, give you a chuckle like those naughty Weasley twins, teach you like the astute Minerva McGonagle would, and leave you smiling with satisfaction just like the brilliant Hermione Grainger.

Deirdre: Either Hermione or Jean Grey (pre-Phoenix, obviously). In either case, someone others turn to for advice and guidance, but who truly guide rather than doing it for you.

Robert: I’m gonna say Mystique. Mystique can literally put herself in someone else’s shoes (human or Mutant). When we conduct usability testing, we’re directly observing what it’s like to be in the user’s shoes and we’re seeing things from their perspective.

LITA: Name one concrete thing your attendees will be able to take back to their libraries after participating in your workshop.

Kate: The knowledge about how to conduct a user test on their library site, a coupon for a free test from usertesting.com, and support and encouragement from a team of experienced researchers.

Deirdre: The skills to plan, recruit for and execute small-sample usability tests. The ability to communicate the findings for those tests in a way that will advocate for their users.

Robert: The ability to validate your ideas about your website with direct, reliable user feedback. Whenever you think, “This might work, but would it make sense to our users?” You’ll have the skills and tools to go find out.

LITA: What kind of gadgets/software do your attendees need to bring?

Presenters: Whatever note taking method you prefer; a laptop or mobile device to follow along is recommending but isn’t required. Kate recommends “A laptop. A pen and paper. A positive, can-do attitude!”

LITA: Respond to this scenario: You’re stuck on a desert island. A box washes ashore. As you pry off the lid and peer inside, you begin to dance and sing, totally euphoric. What’s in the box?

Kate: I’m assuming my family is on the island with me, and in that case – I want that box to contain Hershey’s hugs, the white chocolate kisses with milk chocolate swirls. I’m obsessed!

Deirdre: Hostess Orange Cupcakes.

Robert: A gallon of Coppertone Oil Free Faces SPF 50+ Sunscreen. I’m sorry but I’m fair skinned with a ton of freckles and a desert island scenario just screams melanoma to me.

Thank you to Kate, Deirdre, and Robert for giving us this interview! We’re looking forward to their UX Workshop at Midwinter in Chicago. We’ll hear from our other workshop presenters in the coming weeks!

More information about Midwinter Workshops. 

Registration Information:
LITA members get one third off the cost of Mid-Winter workshops. Use the discount promotional code:  LITA2015 during online registration to automatically receive your member discount.  Start the process at the ALA web sites:
Conference web site:
Registration start page:
LITA Workshops registration descriptions:
When you start the registration process and BEFORE you choose the workshop, you will encounter the Personal Information page.  On that page there is a field to enter the discount promotional code:  LITA2015
As in the example below.  If you do so, then when you get to the workshops choosing page the discount prices, of $235, are automatically displayed and entered.  The discounted total will be reflected in the Balance Due line on the payment page.
preconference
Please contact the LITA Office if you have any registration questions.

LITA Midwinter Institutes

Registration for LITA’s Midwinter Institutes opened today with ALA’s joint registration! Whether you’ll be attending Midwinter or are just looking for a great one day continuing education event in the Chicago/Midwest area, we hope you’ll join us.

When? All workshops will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015, from 8:30-4:00

Cost for LITA Members: $235  (ALA $350 / Non-ALA $380)
(If you are a member of LITA use special code LITA2015 to receive the price of $235.)

Workshops Descriptions:

Developing mobile apps to support field research
Instructor: Wayne Johnston, University of Guelph Library

Researchers in most disciplines do some form of field research. Too often they collect data on paper which is not only inefficient but vulnerable to date loss. Surveys and other data collection instruments can easily be created as mobile apps with the resulting data stored on the campus server and immediately available for analysis. The apps also enable added functionality like improved data validity through use of authority files and capturing GPS coordinates. This support to field research represents a new way for academic libraries to connect with researchers within the context of a broader research date management strategy.

Introduction to Practical Programming
Instructor: Elizabeth Wickes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This workshop will introduce foundational programming skills using the Python programming language. There will be three sections to this workshop: a brief historical review of computing and programming languages (with a focus on where Python fits in), hands on practice with installation and the basics of the language, followed by a review of information resources essential for computing education and reference. This workshop will prepare participants to write their own programs, jump into programming education materials, and provide essential experience and background for the evaluation of computing reference materials and library program development. Participants from all backgrounds with no programming experience are encouraged to attend.

From Lost to Found: How user Testing Can Improve the User Experience of Your Library Website
Instructors: Kate Lawrence, EBSCO Information Services; Deirdre Costello, EBSCO Information Services; Robert Newell, University of Houston

When two user researchers from EBSCO set out to study the digital lives of college students, they had no idea the surprises in store for them. The online behaviors of “digital natives” were fascinating: from students using Google to find their library’s website, to what research terms and phrases students consider another language altogether: “library-ese.” Attendees of this workshop will learn how to conduct usability testing, and participate in a live testing exercise via usertesting.com. Participants will leave the session with the knowledge and confidence to conduct user testing that will yield actionable and meaningful insights about their audience.

 

More details about these workshops will be coming in interviews with the instructors in October! If you have a question you’d like to ask the instructors, please contact LITA Education Chair Abigail Goben at [firstnamelastname]@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Call for Proposals: Midwinter 2015 Workshops (Chicago, IL January 2015)

The LITA Education Committee is now accepting innovative and creative proposals for workshops to be presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago in January. We’re looking for interactive full day workshops on technology in libraries–use of, new ideas for, and trends.

*When/Where is the Conference?*
2015 ALA Midwinter Conference; January 30-February 3, 2015, Chicago, IL
Workshops will be presented on Friday, January 30.

*What kind of topics are we looking for? *
We’re looking for workshops that offer a deeper dive into subjects and provide hands on experience with technology currently being used and emerging in libraries.

Workshops and Preconferences offered recently included:
Strategic Social Media: Creating Library Community Online
Level Up Web: Modern Web Development and Management Practices for Libraries
Managing Data: Tools for Plans and Data Scrubbing
Practical Linked Data with Open Source
Web Therapy
Building Web Applications with HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript: An Introduction to HTML5

*When are proposals due? *
August 4, 2014

*How I do submit a proposal? *
Fill out this form
Program descriptions should be 75 words or less.

*When will I have an answer? *
The committee will be reviewing proposals after August 4, final decisions will be made before September.

*Do I have to be a member of ALA/LITA/an IG/a committee?*
No! We welcome proposals from anyone who feels they have something to offer regarding library technology. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide financial support for speakers. If you are submitting a proposal on behalf of an IG, please let us know!

*Got another question?*
Please feel free to email Abigail Goben, LITA Education Chair, at  (abigailgoben@gmail.com) or find me on twitter @hedgielib and the committee will figure it out.

LITA Lightning Rounds at ALA Annual

We are pleased to present our Lightning Presentation talks for ALA Annual in Chicago. Please join us at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday in room S102a at the Convention Center!

Andrew Youngkin from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine will talk about “Exploring mHealth devices for health technology instruction.” Andrew will share observations & assessment of several mHealth devices such as the FitBit One, Jawbone Up bracelet, and iHealth Blood Pressure cuff and discuss how these devices will be incorporated into future technology outreach and instruction.

Peter Murray from LYRASIS will talk about “Host Your Own Virtual Lightning Talks using Google Hangout.” It’s a lightning talk about hosting lightning talks. He will discuss how the coordinator of the Code4Lib Virtual Lightning Talks uses Google Hangouts-On-Air to enable presenters and viewers from around the world to share their experience and knowledge and share tips and tricks.

Mike Robinson from the University of Alaska Anchorage will discuss how to do “DIY digital signage.”He will share how to use a $60-80 minicomputer, a TV, and blogging software to create inexpensive digital signage.

Amy Neeser from the University of Minnesota Libraries will discuss “Personal Archiving: Helping Users Manage Digital Materials for Long-term Access.” She will talk about how teaching students how to manage their digital photos today will translate into skills that will help them manage their class notes and research data tomorrow.

Tao Zhang & Ilana Barnes from Purdue University Libraries will discuss “Building Better Help Before We Build It: User Characteristics and Preferences’ Effect on Library Help Website Design.” They still discuss how the conducted a questionnaire survey to measure user characteristics including perceived competence, work avoidance, and task orientation based on psychological scales and user experience research. Based on the survey data, they are constructing a statistical model to examine the relationship between user characteristics and user rankings of help design guidelines as well as help website features. The ranked design guidelines will be used as a basis to evaluate several existing library help systems and identify any gap of user needs based on their help seeking behavior pattern.

Caitlin Shanley of University of Pennsylvania Libraries will discuss “iPads in the Classroom: 5 Lessons Learned in 5 Minutes.” The Weigle Information Commons at Penn Libraries loans iPads for use in the classroom or for class projects. Hear about five lessons learned about mobile device management, deploying apps and settings, advising faculty on iPad assignments, and more.

Frederick Zarndt, Chair of the IFLA Newspapers Section, Joanna DiPasquale, Digital Projects Librarian at Vassar College Libraries and Alyssa Pacy, Archivist at Cambridge Public Library will discuss “SEO for digital librarians: Improving search engine visibility of library digital newspaper collections.” They will briefly view current search engine rankings and results of library digital newspaper collections. They describe simple methods to increase the visibility of these collections by leveraging their primary marketing tool, the collection itself, and show the before and after results of applying these methods to 2 digital newspaper collections.

Call for Proposals: LITA Lightning Rounds at ALA Annual

Will you be at ALA in a few weeks? Do you have a great new technology idea that you’d like to share? LITA Program Planning Committee is accepting proposals for Lightning Presentations at ALA.

Please complete this form by May 8 at midnight to be considered.

This program, coordinated by Katie Miller, will be held Saturday, June 29 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Presentations should be 5-7 minutes

Introduction to Python: Join Us in Chicago for a LITA Preconference

Are you ready to start coding? Have you made your ALA Annual travel plans yet?

The Library Code Year Interest Group (a joint ALCTS and LITA Interest Group) will be offering a full-day pre-conference workshop on Python before this year’s ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Attendees will learn the basics of the Python programming language with ample opportunities for hands-on, project-based practice. Using a curriculum based on the one developed by the Boston Python Workshop, we will teach attendees the syntax and key features of Python while providing them with an opportunity to work through practice exercises. During the second half of the day, attendees will have the opportunity to complete a short project in Python to use the skills they have learned. Experienced teaching staff will be on hand to provide support and feedback throughout the workshop.

While we’ll cover a lot of ground, this workshop does not assume any prior programming experience. We will provide a supportive environment and explain everything you need to know through a mix of lecture, self-paced hands-on exercises, and projects. By the end of the day, attendees will be ready to tackle new projects and will have ideas about how they can integrate Python into their work going forward. Whether you have never written a program in your life or you already have experience in other languages and want to add Python to your repertoire, this workshop will be perfect for you! Come to learn a new skills and to meet like-minded individuals in a fun, welcoming setting. While Division members get a discount, you need not be a Division member to attend; we’d love to see all kinds of library staff represented! If you have any questions about the workshop, please feel free to contact Carli Spina (cspina@law.harvard.edu) for additional information. Registration and Cost Information

Please note: Attendees will be asked to bring a laptop with them to the workshop and will need to set up a Python development environment on that computer in advance. The teaching staff will offer support throughout this process, including step-by-step instructions and virtual office hours. Depending on your experience level, this may take anywhere from half an hour to a few hours.

Can’t make it to Chicago for ALA this summer? Want to start learning today? Find out other library coding projects and educational opportunities in the Library Journal Digital Shift’s post Cracking the Code: Librarians Acquiring Essential Coding Skills

LITA Call for Proposals: ALA Annual 2013

The LITA Program Planning Committee is now accepting innovative and creative proposals for the 2013 Annual American Library Association Conference. We’re looking for full day pre-conferences and 90 minute conference presentations on technology in libraries–use of, new ideas for, and trends. Last year we received 95 proposals and we’re excited about all of your new ideas to share with us.

Changes from last year!!

  • Due to changes announced in June by the ALA Conference Committee – DS comments, all divisions are limited to accepting 20 programs each next summer.
  • All programs will be 90 minutes, located in the convention center, and will be recorded.
  • All proposal submissions will need to choose a Conference Track. Please see Appendix A in the Roadmap here (http://connect.ala.org/node/178761) for more details.
  • Vendors wishing to submit a proposal should partner with a library representative who is using the product. The library/librarian should submit the proposal.

*When/Where is the Conference?*
2013 Annual ALA Conference, Chicago, IL: June 27-July 2, 2013

*What kind of topics are we looking for? *
We’re looking for programs that can scale to other libraries, inspire technological change and adoption, or go above and beyond the every day.

Successful topics in the past have included Data Management Services, Responsive Web Design, and Homegrown Technology Tools.

*When are proposals due? *
August 24, 2012

*How I do submit a proposal? *
Fill out this form
Program descriptions should be 75 words or less.

*When will I have an answer? *
The committee will be reviewing proposals after August 24, final decisions will be made in September.

*Do I have to be a member of ALA/LITA/an IG/a committee?*
No! We welcome proposals from anyone who feels they have something to offer regarding library technology. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide financial support for speakers. Because of the limited number of programs, LITA IGs and Committees will receive preference where two equally well written programs are submitted. Presenters may be asked to combine programs or work with an IG/Committee where similar topics have been proposed.

*Got another question?*
Please feel free to email me (abigailgoben@gmail.com) and the group will figure it out.

Call for Technology Programs for ALA2012

The LITA Program Planning Committee is now accepting proposals for the 2012 Annual American Library Association Conference. We’re looking for full day pre-conferences, and half day and two hour conference presentations on use of, new ideas for, and technology trends in libraries. Think about the technology success or failure you’re recently had, or the topic you think we haven’t had covered and put together a proposal.

When/Where is the Conference?
2012 Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA: June 21–26, 2012

What kind of topics are we looking for?
Anything relating to libraries and technology! (That narrows it down, right?) A few ideas might include: Comparing two or three library tools (LibGuides vs Google Pages), (Un)Successful Implementation of a New Technology, From the Trenches of an ILS Migration, Technology for Marketing, Marketing Technology, Managing Technology, Project Management, How to Quickly Build a Web App that looks Decent, Managing People and Technology, Supporting Continuing Ed for Technology, Video Creation and Editing, Including/Leveraging Users, Tech Tools for Data Management, etc etc etc. Please keep an eye on the LITA Listserv for a poll for more ideas soon!

When are proposals due?
August 5, 2011

How I do submit?
Fill out this form

When will I have an answer?
The committee will be reviewing proposals in August, final decisions will be made in September

Do I have to be a member of ALA/LITA/an IG/a committee?
No! We welcome proposals from anyone who feels they have something to offer regarding library technology. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide financial support for speakers.

Got another question?
Please feel free to email me (abigailgoben@gmail.com) and the group will figure it out.