Triaging Technologies

I manage digital services and resources at a small academic library with minimal financial and human resources available. For almost a year, I served as solo librarian for fixing and optimizing the library website, library services platform, electronic resources, workflows, documentation, and other elements of technology management vital to back-end operations and front-end services. Coping with practical limitations and a vast array of […]

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Negotiate!

I’m going to say it: Librarians are rarely effective negotiators. Way too often we pay full prices for mediocre resources without demur. Why? First of all, most librarians are introverts and/or peaceable sorts who dislike confrontation. Second, we are unlikely to get bonuses or promotions when we save our organizations money, so there goes most […]

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Tips for Managing Electronic Resources

Last fall, I unexpectedly took on the electronic resources management (ERM) role at my university. Consequently, I had to teach myself–on the fly–how to manage 130+ electronic resources, along with a budget of several hundred thousand dollars. My initial six months focused on finances, licensing, and workflows rather than access, discoverability, or other key issues. So here are some […]

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Job Opening: LITA Executive Director

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial, forward-thinking Executive Director. This is a fulfilling and challenging job that affords national impact on library technologists. As the successful candidate, you will be not only organized, financially savvy, and responsive, but also comfortable with technological change, project management, […]

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Making LibGuides Into Library Websites

Welcome to Part 2 of my two-part series introducing LibGuides CMS for use as a website. Read Part 1 (with comments from Springshare!). This companion piece was released March 27. Why LibGuides? We can design surprisingly good websites with LibGuides 2.0 CMS. WordPress and Drupal are free and open source, but Springshare, the maker of LibGuides, also delivers reliable hosting and support for two grand a year. […]

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Librarians: We Open Access

In his February 11 post, my fellow LITA blogger Bryan Brown interrogated the definitions of librarianship. He concluded that librarianship amounts to a “set of shared values and duties to our communities,” nicely summarized in the ALA’s Core Values of Librarianship. These core values are access, confidentiality / privacy, democracy, diversity, education and lifelong learning, intellectual freedom, preservation, the […]

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To Infinity (Well, LibGuides 2.0) And Beyond

Part 1 of my two-part series introducing LibGuides CMS for use as a library website. Also read Part 2: Making LibGuides Into Library Websites (March 27). LibGuides is a content management system distributed by Springshare and used by approximately 4800 libraries worldwide to curate and annotate resources online. Generally librarians use it to compile subject guides, but more and more […]

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Are QR Codes Dead Yet?

Flipping through a recent issue of a tech-centric trade publication that shall not be named, I was startled to see that ads on the inside flap and the back cover both featured big QR codes. Why was I startled? Because techies, including many librarians, have been proclaiming the death of the QR code for years. Yet QR codes cling to life, […]

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Free Web Tools for Top-Notch Presentations

Visually appealing and energizing slideshows are the lifeblood of conference presentations. But using animated PowerPoints or zooming Prezis to dizzy audiences delivers little more appeal than packing slides with text on a low-contrast background. Key to winning hearts and minds are visual flair AND minimalism, humor, and innovative use of technology. Memes Delightfully whimsical, memes  are a fantastic ice-breaker and laugh-inducer. My […]

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Doing Web Accessibility

Physical library spaces are designed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hence the wide aisles, low checkout stations, and ramps. In contrast, alt tag awareness is low and web accessibility not a priority for most librarians. Yet for visually or otherwise impaired users, an improperly coded website can be like wandering into a maze and hitting a brick wall of […]

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