LITA President’s Program: Tag! Your IT!

You are cordially invited to the LITA President’s program, Tag! Your IT!: Online Digital Audio Collections Meet PennTags. The program will take place Sunday, June 24, 2007, 4-5 pm, following the Top Technology Trends (1-3pm) and the LITA Awards Reception (3-4pm), at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel’s East and State Rooms.

My President’s Program is an interesting mash up of two hot topics: digital libraries, in this case, digital audio libraries, and the social tagging system PennTags. Historic sound recordings are an important part of our national heritage. Digitizing historic recorded sound collections for use on the web requires extensive indexing and access points. Using social bookmarking and tagging in combination with standard subject classification and indexing terms to create folksonomies creates a rich networking of resources that greatly enhances access to the collection. Chuck Haddix (Marr Sound Archivist at the University of Missouri Kansas City) presents The Voices of World War II collection as a case study of the creation of a digital library rich in historic spoken word and music recordings and the integration of digital library records into the online catalog for enhanced access. Michael Winkler (Director of Information Technology and Digital Development of the University of Pennsylvania) discusses PennTags using the UMKC digital audio collections to illustrate how it provides increased access. PennTags is a social bookmarking system that enables the creation of personalized, shared annotated bibliographies of resources in the library catalog, licensed databases, digital libraries and other Web resources using a combination of subject headings, index terms, and personally assigned tags. PennTags is being enhanced to provide specialized capabilities for tagging sound recordings.

I hope to see you all at Sunday Afternoon with LITA on June 24!

Meet the LITA Candidates for the 2007 Elections

LITA podcastCan’t get enough of the podcasts from Midwinter? Want to know more about the folks running for various positions on the LITA Board? Podcasts of interviews with all the candidates for the LITA election will be available beginning March 15 when the ALA polls open. The podcasts will be posted here on the LITA Blog and available from the LITA Web site’s election page. Interviews are currently being recorded for 2 candidates for Vice-President/President-Elect, 2 candidates for Councilor, 8 candidates for directors-at-large. Set up feeds to your RSS aggregator or iPod to listen in to what our slate of candidates have to say!

LITA Sponsors Michelle Boule in the ALA Emerging Leaders Program

The LITA Board is pleased to announce its sponsorship of Michelle Boule to the ALA Emerging Leaders Program. LITA had a number of excellent applicants. LITA has a very bright future with such bright, rising stars.

ALA has selected 100 participants for the 2007 program. Each participant will attend leadership workshops at both ALA conferences in 2007. In addition, they will participate in an online working group between the conferences as they continue to grow as leaders.

Each participant is expected to provide 2 years of service to ALA or one of its units. The LITA Board wishes to ensure that our Emerging Leader has a meaningful leadership experience within LITA. Michelle will work closely with the LITA President and President-elect, working most closely with the President-elect for continuity, on aspects of the LITA strategic plan implementation.

Michelle Boule is indeed a LITA emerging leader. She was instrumental in starting the LITA Blog and the LITA Wiki. She currently co-chairs the BIGWIG Interest Group which focuses on Web services applications. Michelle actively participated in the ALA Library 2.0 Bootcamp. The LITA Board values Michelle’s expertise and enthusiasm and willingness to take action. Michelle has stated that she has decided to attach her star to LITA and her enthusiasm is contagious to other librarians. Michelle is a Reference Librarian at the University of Houston where she has been a member of the Strategic Directions Steering Committee and initiated staff technology training. She also participated as a program planner for two unique online learning communities–HigherEd Blog Con 2006 and “Five Weeks to a Social Library” online learning community for librarians. She is a wonderful example of what an emerging leader for ALA and LITA should be.

LITA to Sponsor an Emerging Leader

ALA President Leslie Burger has announced a new Emerging Leaders Program to prepare 100 librarians new to the profession in leadership ( LITA is very pleased to announced that it has agreed to sponsor one individual in this Program. Are you:

–a current LITA member?
–no older than 35 OR have no more than five years of post-MLS library experience?
–able to meet the obligations that Leslie outlined on the website?
–interested in the Program?

If so, please submit the following items to LITA President Bonnie Postlethwaite ( by September 15:

–A list of LITA or ALA activities (no more than five, if possible)
–Participation in state, regional or other library associations (no more than five)
–Three ways you have demonstrated leadership potential (500 words or less)

LITA sponsorship is not required for application, but it will give you preference in the selection process.

A memo from Leslie Burger clarifies the selection process as follows:

“My goal is to identify 100 Emerging Leaders who have demonstrated leadership potential, who represent the broad spectrum of diversity within our Association and profession — including ethnicity, gender, geographical location, type and size of library, professional focus area, and ALA, divisional, Chapter, or round table affiliation — and who have indicated a willingness to apply their Emerging Leaders training to a two-year term of service on a division, Chapter, round table or ALA committee, task force, working group or project team. …

Although this is a competitive application process, each division, Chapter and round table that chooses to support applicants will be guaranteed that at least one of your nominees will be accepted into the program. If your unit would like to recommend and support more than one applicant, please rank them in priority order. The selection committee will make every effort to honor your selections while still maintaining diversity and balance in the final group of Emerging Leaders.”

The individual selected for LITA support will be notified by September 22nd. Nominees must submit the full application to Leslie Burger( by the September 30th deadline.

Bonnie Postlethwaite
LITA President

In Memory

In this LITA’s 40th anniversary year, we have lost two icons to the profession who also served in LITA’s formative years as president. Henriette Avram passed away on April 22 and Frederick G. Kilgour passed on July 31. It’s hard to imagine today’s libraries without the work of these two giants of our profession. Their work was intertwined. Without the communications format of the MARC record championed by Henriette Avram, shared cataloging and OCLC, which Fred Kilgour founded, would not have been possible.

Much has been written about both of these people. However, it is fitting for LITA to recognize their special contribution to our organization which was still called the Information Science and Automation Division (ISAD) in their days. Fred Kilgour served as the eighth president for two terms in 1973-1975. Henriette Avram followed as president from 1975-1976. According to Stephen R. Salmon’s article, “LITA’s First Twenty-Five Years: A Brief History”, Kilgour, then at Yale Medical Library, was part of the group that actively worked to create the division collecting signatures for the required petition and then serving on the organizing committee. He immediately was appointed as the first editor of the new division’s journal, Journal of Library Automation (JOLA). Meanwhile, in January 1968, the Board approved the creation of 10 regional institutes “to tell the Project MARC story in technical detail to processing personnel throughout the country.” Henriette Avram was part of the team of presenters from LC and other pioneers in the implementation of MARC and the institutes attracted thousands of librarians. The regional institutes were continued through 1979 with several being offered each year. At Avram’s instigation, ALA created a committee, now known as MARBI, to review changes to the MARC format. The first meeting was held in January 1968 and had representations from ISAD, RTSD, and RSD. MARBI continues today to provide proper review of MARC changes.

If some of these things sound familiar, we have people like Kilgour and Avram to thank for setting into motion lasting structures in LITA. We still publish a journal, now called Information Technology & Libraries (ITAL); we still hold Regional Institutes on timely topics; we still are part of the structure of the MARBI committee. These are just a few examples, I’m sure, of the mark both of LITA icons made on the organization.

LITA 2.0

This past spring, I was fortunate to participate in the ALA Library2.0 Bootcamp sponsored by ALA. This was a wonderful learning opportunity and testing ground for how ALA could use Web2.0 concepts and tools to incorporate into the member experience of ALA. The group of people were about 50% ALA staff and 50% members. ALA retained The Otter Group and Kathleen Gilroy to facilitate the process. Michael Stevens and Jenny Levine served as the faculty. The group was divided into 10 teams, each with their own topic. I served on Team 9 with our own LITA Blog Guru, Michelle Boule, Mary Taylor (LITA Executive Director), and Sherry Vanyek, (ALA Director of ITTS). Our topic was Integrating Library Services Into Search Engines. We used our topic as the first to appear on the new LITA Wiki which can be found at .

There is no concensus on the use of the Library 2.0 name. The 2.0 nomenclature aside, I am excited by the concepts behind Library 2.0:

• Flexibility and nimbleness to enable rapid change
• Commitment to continuous improvement based on assessment
• Interactive and collaborative services driven by users needs
• Taking the library to the users AND making the library a destination
• Embracing radical trust
• Use of new technological tools to accomplish the above

Team 2 of the ALA Library 2.0 Bootcamp dealt with the topic of how associations can use Web 2.0 concepts and tools, Association 2.0. You can read their conclusions at . I challenge LITA members to help create a blueprint for LITA2.0 embracing the concepts above of making LITA more interactive and responsive to its members. Comment here on the blog or add your ideas to the LITA Wiki. With your input, we can take LITA to the next level.

First Days on the Job as LITA President

Bonnie Postlethwaite

The ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans was an awe-inspiring experience on many levels. I was so overwhelmed by the gratitude of the New Orleaneans who could not have done a better job of making the 16,000+ visitors comfortable. New Orleans has a huge struggle ahead as the recovery has only begun. ALA set the example to the world that we believe in the city and want to help as much as possible in its recovery. Librarians not only helped economically by coming to the city, but many donated time and energy through volunteer service. I am proud to have attended the conference and even prouder that ALA chose to keep the conference in New Orleans.

I began my LITA Presidency at the end of the day on Tuesday, June 27. I want to thank Pat Mullin for all he did in the past year as President. He has been a great mentor to me and accomplished a great deal to move LITA forward. The LITA Board recognized the many years of hard work that our outgoing Past-President, Colby Riggs, has contributed. I will personally miss her insight and good humor at the Board and Executive Committee meetings. I welcome Mark Beatty, our new Vice President. Mark has served 3 years on the Board and the past year as the Director-at-Large on the Executive Committee. Mark has wonderful ideas and I look forward to working with him. Mark and I are committed to opening up lines of communication with LITA members on the LITA blog. I hope we can entice you all to dialogue in this space and via other means. We want to hear from you.

One of the awe-inspiring events of the conference was a breakfast with former LITA presidents done in recognition of LITA’s 40th anniversary. Sixteen former presidents attended and shared stories and memories. In particular, the group remembered all of the contributions to the profession of Henriette Avram who recently passed away. What a pioneer!!! She alone was ample inspiration to us all, but it was truly a humbling experience as incoming president to be in the presence of so many LITA leaders.

Our Sunday Afternoon with LITA was a smashing success starting with a stimulating Top Tech Trends. The reception that followed celebrated LITA’s 40 years with cake and champagne. LITA awards and scholarships were presented to an exemplary group of contributors. Finally, the President’s Program, Internet Culture: What Do We Know about User Behavior?, engaged the huge audience regarding Internet usage. Thanks to Pat for putting together this fabulous program.

I want to extend my enormous appreciation to the LITA staff, Mary Taylor and Val Edmonds. They have managed to keep things running smoothly while they try to fill Rob Carlson’s position. I hope we can announce the filling of this important vacancy soon to assist with all of our programming.

I look forward to the next 12 months as LITA President. Watch this spot on the blog for frequent communications from me. I hope to hear from you as well. Afterall, LITA is all about networking.

LITA Town Meeting Summary and Action Items

The following are the suggestions that came out of the LITA Town Meeting which focused on the education goal. (Thanks to Pat Ensor and Michelle Boule for their summaries on the LITA Blog.) The following is my summary along with action items discussed at the Spring meeting of the LITA Executive Committee. Many action items are already underway.

1. A LITA Wiki — to share expertise, what people are working on, what they’re familiar with, share the knowledge of LITA members, what products they work with.
2. It was noted that attendance at regional institutes had dropped. One idea was to plan some around other organizations’ conferences.
3. Webcasting seems like a good way to go — the kind of thing where someone can pay to receive a feed and have other people view/listen to it. This would be especially good for hot topics where quickly-produced, timely coverage is needed.
4. Tap into the educational needs of public library people. If someone started a Public Library Technology IG, they could have a focus for programming, education, liaison, etc. As a follow-up note, Mary Anne Van Cura is now working on this.
5. Use the blog as a vehicle to make LITA-L conversations, announcements more permanent.
6. LITA programming at conferences should have clearer audience indicators — maybe distinctive logos.
7. LITA needs to identify programming gaps from the top down. Our programming comes from the grass roots, which is great, but it means some important topics don’t get covered.
8. LITA does well at serving the library tech world, but we need to become more nimble and effective at reaching out to the tech world — those working in library technology who are not librarians. It was noted that maybe LITA should be LEAD-A.
9. LITA needs to use many forms of communication to find out what people need in the way of educational topics and programming.
10. LITA needs to educate technology beginners as well as advanced people.
11. LITA has 2 audiences (Techies and Money Folks/Administrators) and we have to figure out how to best reach them with our resources. Within ALA, LITA is seen as being for the techies only, ALA membership includes users of technology.
12. LITA should be providing feedback to library schools about what new librarians should know about technology.
13. LITA often has a silo effect with other groups in ALA who explore technology.
14. Members have time and travel fund limitations, we need to use podcasting and online services more for people who cannot attend conferences or relevant sessions at conferences.
15. LITA can teach on the novice level. We need more training type of programming and knowledge tools.
16. More face-to-face events like Happy Hour.
17. LITA is often the membrane that transfers technology to libraries. We should act as a larger buffer that pulls more technology into the library.
18. More plugs. At conferences and National Forum—more electrical outlets and wireless.
19. Communities. LITA should form partnerships with other groups interested in technology.
20. We need ALA to give us the ability to utilize more/better online tools.

Proposed Actions

1) Assessment and Research Task Force. The Board has voted to create an Assessment & Research Task Force to systematically gather member input and data to inform strategic direction and decisions. Members of the task force are currently being appointed.
2) Education Task Force. Create a working group of the 3 committee chairs that deal most with education programming (PPC, Regional Institutes, Education) that would investigate and propose new collaborations/partnerships and models for delivery of programs and identify improvements to current programming. Susan Logue, Regional Institutes Committee Chair, will lead this working group.
a. Investigate possible collaborations with other ALA divisions, EDUCAUSE, etc.
b. Propose online delivery of education programs. (podcasting, webcasting, ALA’s WebCT)
c. Evaluate status of Regional Institutes
3) BIGWIG. Ask BIGWIG to investigate launching a LITA Wiki. The LITA Blog has been great for reporting, but not effective, yet, as a means of collecting feedback.
4) Membership Development Committee. LITA has several membership recruiting and retention opportunities. Audiences we address need to feel that we are delivering programs that meet their needs that make the membership worthwhile.
a. We are losing many members who are moving up into administrative positions to EDUCAUSE. The Assessment and Research TF could help address this issue.
b. How do we attract the non-librarian library technologists or library systems staff?
c. People who attend conferences love the informal face-to-face networking like Happy Hour.
5) PLIG. Mary Taylor has been working on encouraging the creation of a Public Library Interest Group.
6) PPC. Program Planning Committee should look at clearer articulation of the targeted audience for programs and ensuring that programs are filling gaps wherever appropriate.
7) Discussions with ALA. Several items above probably need to be addressed with discussions with ALA units to improve LITA’s voice in these areas and offer LITA’s expertise on initiatives.
a. Discuss how LITA can partner in the technology direction of the organization.
b. Emphasize the importance of technology at conferences, especially wireless.

Impressions from CNI

As the LITA Representative to the Coalition for Networked Informationn
(CNI), I had the privilege of attending the Fall 2005 (Dec. 5-6) and Spring
2006 (April 3-4) CNI meetings. CNI meetings are always professionally
invigorating. Cutting edge work is being reported on. As its name suggests,
networking is key to the success of these meetings and CNI in general. CNI
is a joint initiative of the Association of Research Libraries and EDUCAUSE
and has about 200 member institutions from higher education, publishing,
networking and telecommunications, information technology, government
agencies, foundations, museums, libraries, and library organizations. I will
not attempt in this report to summarize the presentations as they can all be
found on the CNI site. In fact, it would be impossible for me as one person
to adequately cover this meeting as there are 7-8 reporting sessions offered
in each time slot except for the keynote speakers at the beginning and end
of the conference. Instead, I would like to convey to you my overall
impressions of what is being reported and the exciting work that is going

CNI promotes the use of networked information technology to advance research
and education. I was particularly impressed at these meetings in how
proactive library leaders have been in weaving their libraries into the
institutional fabric. Research libraries are taking leading roles in the
development and implementation of institutional repositories, digital
libraries, preservation of digital objects, and development of library
spaces that optimize collaborative learning and knowledge creation. New
models of library organizational structures are cropping up to accommodate
the partnerships in learning and research. These new models show promise of
attracting a new generation of librarian who takes our traditional skills to
the next level in the processes associated with the creation, acquisition,
preservation, organization, and access to knowledge resources. We will not
attain these key positions in our institutions without rethinking what the
priorities should be and how we work. The use of anthropologists and
sociologists to research what our library users want to do is informing our
strategic direction in far more targeted ways than ever before. These are
truly exciting times.

Town Meeting Discussion on LITA Education Initiatives

LITA members attending the ALA Mid-Winter Conference in San Antonio are invited to attend the LITA Town Meeting, to be held on Monday, January 23, 2006, from 8:00 am- 10:00 am in Salon J of the Marriott Rivercenter hotel in San Antonio, TX.

Previous years’ Town Meeetings have focused on gathering input for the LITA Strategic Plan, which was approved by the LITA Board at Annual Conference 2005 in Chicago ( ).

This year’s Town Meeting will be a facilitated discussion of the first of the Strategic Plan’s objectives, “to educate.” Aaron Cohen Associates have graciously offered their services to LITA to facilitate the Town meeting. Aaron and Alex Cohen will gather input from LITA members about their visions for putting the objective’s strategies into action.

For those unable to attend the Midwinter conference or the Town Meeting, your voice is still very important. The perspective of members unable to attend conferences is critical to the success of this key strategic initiative. Using this blog-thread, we will do some advance input gathering. We will also use the blog to summarize the discussion after the conference and synthesize the feedback into an action plan.

The Strategic Plan’s first objective, to educate, reads as follows:

Objective 1: To educate

Encourage networking and opportunities for information sharing

Promote shared understanding of technologies as they relate to libraries

Develop and offer programming through opportunities such as the ALA Annual Conference, preconferences and the LITA National Forum

Develop and offer LITA Regional Institutes

Make programming content available through LITA online tools

Identify topics and authors for LITA publications

Explore innovative approaches to LITA publications

Facilitate virtual education opportunities using LITA online tools and other new technologies

Develop and publicize best practice guidelines

The first step of the facilitated discussion will be to understand the current set of services and big picture in which we operate. As such, I have summarized as a starting point, the major initiatives LITA currently supports:

· Develops and offers programming through opportunities such as the ALA Annual Conference, pre-conferences and the LITA National Forum
· Develop and offer LITA Regional Institutes
· Make programming content available through LITA online tools: IG Web pages, LITA Blog
· LITA publications: ITAL, TER, LITA Guides & Monographs
· Networking opportunities: conferences, LITA-L

Please submit your thoughts on

· What LITA should continue to do and what additional educational initiatives it should consider
· How educational programs should be delivered
· How these programs should be funded
· When and where they should be held

I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Bonnie Postlethwaite
LITA President-Elect