Should LITA oppose Elsevier’s new sharing policy?

It’s come to the LITA Board’s attention that the Confederation of Open Access Repositories is circulating a statement against Elsevier’s new sharing policy. (You can find that policy here.) COAR is concerned that the policy imposes long embargoes for open access content (up to 4 years); applies retroactively; and restricts author’s choice of Creative Commons license. Numerous individuals and library organizations, including ALA and ACRL, have signed on to this statement; the LITA Board is discussing doing likewise.

But we represent you, the members! So tell us what you think. Should LITA sign on?

Call for Writers

blogger meme
meme courtesy of Michael Rodriguez

The LITA blog is seeking regular contributors interested in writing easily digestible, thought-provoking blog posts that are fun to read (and hopefully to write!). The blog showcases innovative ideas and projects happening in the library technology world, so there is a lot of room for contributor creativity. Possible post formats could include interviews, how-tos, hacks, and beyond.

Any LITA member is welcome to apply. Library students and members of underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Contributors will be expected to write one post per month. Writers will also participate in peer editing and conversation with other writers – nothing too serious, just be ready to share your ideas and give feedback on others’ ideas. Writers should expect a time commitment of 1-3 hours per month.

Not ready to become a regular writer but you’d like to contribute at some point? Just indicate in your message to me that you’d like to be considered as a guest contributor instead.

To apply, send an email to briannahmarshall at gmail dot com by Friday, May 29. Please include the following information:

  • A brief bio
  • Your professional interests, including 2-3 example topics you would be interested in writing about
  • If possible, links to writing samples, professional or personal, to get a feel for your writing style

Send any and all questions my way!

Brianna Marshall, LITA blog editor

Storify of LITA’s First UX Twitter Chat

LITA’s UX Interest Group did a fantastic job moderating the first ever UX Twitter Chat on May 15th. Moderators Amanda (@godaisies) and Haley (@hayleym1218) presented some deep questions and great conversations organically grew from there. There were over 220 tweets over the 1-hour chat.

The next UX Twitter Chat will take place on Friday, May 29th, from 2-3 p.m. EDT, with moderator Bohyun (@bohyunkim). Use #litaux to participate. See this post for more info. Hope you can join us!

Here’s the Storify of the conversation from May 15th.

Events surrounding the LITA President’s Program at ALA Annual

As LITA President, one of my initiatives for my presidential year was to improve the member experience. I’ve been doing this by applying user experience concepts that I’m familiar with in my everyday job to effect change and improve the overall experience for current members and those who are on the fence about joining. The LITA member experience encompasses all aspects of a member’s interaction with the association, including its programming, educational opportunities, publications, events, and even other members. The LITA Board, Committees, and ad hoc Task Forces have been instrumental to making a positive difference in the experiences of our members.

Therefore, it was important for me to pick someone for my President’s Program at ALA Annual that is considered to be an expert on user experience (UX). Accomplished information architect and author Louis Rosenfeld and LITA President Rachel Vacek will discuss the curious world of user experience at the 2015 LITA President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, on Sunday, June 28th, 2015, from 3-4 p.m. I know that he’s excited to tackle your questions on the importance of UX research and what libraries can do to provide better experiences.

As we approach ALA Annual, I put together a fantastic team of people to help me plan not one, but TWO exciting events that lead up to the President’s Program. Here they are:

Contest: Great Library UX Ideas Under $100

Chat: UX Twitter Chat

I hope that you consider participating in these exciting opportunities to share what YOU know about UX with others in the library community, and learn from others. And I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco at my President’s Program with Lou Rosenfeld!


Rachel Vacek, and the LITA President’s Program Planning Team: Amanda Goodman, Whitni Watkins, Isabel Gonzalez-Smith, Haley Moreno, Bohyun Kim, along with additional help from our friends on the RUSA User Experience Design Committee, Lauren McKeen and Rachael Cohen

Contest: Great Library UX Ideas Under $100

In case you haven’t noticed, user experience (UX) is all the buzz in libraries lately. If you aren’t already in the thick of a UX project now, you’re likely thinking of ways to start one.

Accomplished information architect and author Lou Rosenfeld will discuss the curious world of user experience at the 2015 LITA President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, on Sunday, June 28th, 2015, from 3-4pm. He’ll tackle your questions with moderation from LITA President Rachel Vacek on the importance of UX research and what libraries can do to provide better experiences. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

As we approach ALA Annual, the LITA President’s Program Planning Team invites you to share your library’s successful UX projects through the LITA President’s Program Contest: Great Library UX Ideas Under $100. Join us as we celebrate library innovation!

Contest Description

Have you done something great to improve the physical or web user experience in your library? Were you able to complete the entire project for less than $100? Tell us about it!

Using the form below, submit a description of your UX project. Include a brief description of the problem, the project’s goals and desired outcomes, methodology or assessment, any technology utilized, the budget, what changes were implemented, and a description of how those changes improved the library users’ experience. The project can be in progress or recently completed and can be related to any aspect of library services: technology, spaces, resources, or programs – so long as it is user-centered, improved the UX, and has been or will be completed with a budget of $100 or less!

Submission Details

  • Submissions need to include a brief description of the problem, the project’s goals and desired outcomes, methodology or assessment, any technology utilized, the budget, what changes were implemented, and a description of how those changes improved the library users’ experience.
  • Librarians and library staff from all types of libraries are encouraged to participate. Projects must have occurred within a library setting.
  • Project descriptions must be 500 words or less.
  • You do not need to be a LITA member to participate in the contest.
  • Only one submission per project will be considered.
  • Projects completed prior to January, 2014 will not be considered.

To enter, complete the Contest Submission Form by May 31, 2015 by 12:00 AM CDT

Selection Process and Criteria

The LITA’s President’s Program Planning Team will select one project winner. Notable entries may receive mention on the LITA Blog or other ALA platforms. Winning submissions will be notified via email the week of June 15, 2015.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Innovation: How did you use little resources to creatively assess and solve a problem?
  • Simplicity: How easily could this project be implemented elsewhere?
  • Impact: How did your project positively affect the library users’ experience?

What the Winner(s) Will Receive

  • A personal one-year, online subscription to Library Technology Reports, a $249 value! You’ll get online access to 8 brand new issues of Library Technology Reports, all written by leading practitioners. This has been generously donated by ALA Tech Source.
  • Lunch with President Program Speaker, Lou Rosenfeld, and LITA President, Rachel Vacek on June 28th prior to the event
  • Recognition at the LITA President’s Program at ALA Annual on Sunday, June 28, 2015
  • A free e-book from Rosenfeld Media for each member of the winning team
  • Recognition on the LITA Blog
  • Publication of the winning entry in Weave, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal for Library User Experience professionals published by Michigan Publishing

Submissions Deadline

May 31, 2015, 12:00 AM CDT


For more information, contact LITA President’s Program Planning Team members Isabel Gonzalez-Smith, [email protected] or Lauren McKeen, [email protected].

ALA TechSource
Weave, the Journal of Library User Experience
Rosenfeld Media

Chat: UX Twitter Chat

Participate in LITA’s first ever UX Twitter Chat!

When will this happen?

  • Friday, May 15th, 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderators Amanda (@godaisies) and Haley (@hayleym1218)
  • Friday, May 29th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Bohyun (@bohyunkim)
  • Friday, June 12th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Whitni (@_whitni)
  • Friday, June 19th 2-3 p.m. EDT with moderator Michael (@schoeyfield)

What is the UX Twitter Chat?

Share your challenges, successes, techniques, and workflows that you have developed to improve user experience (UX) at your library. Use #litaux to participate. Additionally, you can ask questions that may be selected to be answered by proclaimed UX expert, Lou Rosenfeld during the LITA President’s Program at Annual. Submit your questions ahead of time to the moderator. The moderators will ask questions in the Q1, Q2, and Q3 format and followers will use #litaux and answer back in the A1, A2, and A3 format, as you may have see in the #libchat or #inaljchat.

When participating, be constructive. Be respectful. No attacking others. And use the hashtag #litaux.

Who’s behind this?

Weave, the Journal of Library User ExperienceThis chat is inspired by the 2015 LITA President’s Program at ALA Annual and put together by LITA President Rachel Vacek (@vacekrae), her planning team (Amanda Goodman, Whitni Watkins, Isabel Gonzalez-Smith, Haley Moreno, Bohyun Kim, Rachael Cohen, and Lauren McKeen). To make this even more awesome, they are partnering with the LITA UX Interest Group and Weave, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal for Library User Experience professionals published by Michigan Publishing.

We hope you’ll join us!

Learn to Teach Coding and Mentor Technology Newbies – in Your Library or Anywhere!

Attend a free one hour webinar to discover what learning to teach coding is all about, and then register for and attend the LITA preconference at ALA Annual. This opportunity is following up on the 2014 LITA President’s Program at ALA Annual where then LITA President Cindi Trainor Blyberg welcomed Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code.

The informational webinar is free and open to the first 100 log-ins:
Tuesday May 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm Central Time
Enter as guest. The webinar will be recorded and the link to the recording will be posted to these same resource spaces.

Register online for the ALA Annual Conference and add a LITA Preconference 

bryantBlack Girls CODE (BGC) is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and grow the number of women of color working in technology. LITA is devoted to putting on programs that promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology. Together, BCG and LITA offer this full day pre-conference workshop, designed to turn reasonably tech savvy librarians into master technology teachers. The workshop will help attendees develop effective lesson plans and design projects their students can complete successfully in their own coding workshops. The schedule will feature presentations in the morning followed by afternoon breakout workgroups, in which attendees can experiment with programming languages such as Scratch, Ruby on Rails, and more.


Kimberly Bryant, Founder and Executive Director Black Girls CODE

Lake Raymond, Program Coordinator Black Girls CODE


The Black Girl Code Vision: To increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.

Kimberly Bryant:
That, really, is the Black Girls Code mission: to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures. Imagine the impact that these curious, creative minds could have on the world with the guidance and encouragement others take for granted.



  • LITA Member $235 (coupon code: LITA2015)
  • ALA Member $350
  • Non-Member $380


To register for any of these events, you can include them with your initial conference registration or add them later using the unique link in your email confirmation. If you don’t have your registration confirmation handy, you can request a copy by emailing [email protected]. You also have the option of registering for a preconference only. To receive the LITA member pricing during the registration process on the Personal Information page enter the discount promotional code: LITA2015

Register online for the ALA Annual Conference and add a LITA Preconference
Call ALA Registration at 1-866-513-0760
Onsite registration will also be accepted in San Francisco.

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4269 or Mark Beatty, [email protected]

LITA and ALA elections close on May 1, 2015

There is still time to vote for LITA and ALA candidates. The polls will close on Friday May 1, at 11:59 pm Central Time. So make sure you cast your ballot.

electionshighlightLITA Division Candidates include:

President Candidates:

  • Aimee Fifarek
  • Nancy Colyar

Director-at-large candidates:

  • Ken Varnum
  • Susan Sharpless Smith
  • Martin Kalfatovic
  • Frank Cervone

ALA Candidates who are LITA members include:

Presidential candidate:

  • Joseph Janes

Council candidates:

  • Brett Bonfield
  • Megan Drake
  • Henry Mensch
  • Colby Mariva Riggs
  • Jules Shore
  • Eric Suess
  • Joan Weeks

ALA notified voters by email, providing them with their unique passcodes and information about how to vote online. To ensure receipt of your ballot, members should watch for emails from ALA Election Coordinator, [email protected] The subject line will be “ALA 2015 election login information below.”

To be eligible to vote, individuals must be members in good standing as of January 31, 2015. Although the election is being conducted online, there remains one exception: Members with disabilities and without internet access may obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5.

Make your voice heard and submit your choices.

A Second Collaborative Technology

In September, I wrote a post about new collaborative technology from Crestron. We installed AirMedia in our library, and we are now looking at AirTame as a possible next generation version of collaborative technology.

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 License by

It works on all mobile devices. AirMedia does this too, but the tablet features have been less than ideal.  Airtame was able to raise more money than expected and is currently working to scale its production.

My university is also considering how collaborative technologies can be used in the classroom. This type of technology will allow for enhanced group work, enhanced presentations, and the instructor being able to move around the classroom to work with different students instead of being tied to the front of the classroom.

As technology continues to move toward mobile and wearable, the ability to show a group what is on a small screen will become more important in both education and the business world.

How is your library using collaborative technology?

How can libraries support new communication methods using collaborative technology?

Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself – Volume 5

Credit to
Credit to

To paraphrase Outkast, it’s the return of the Wreckster, LITA Blog readers. It’s been months since last I typed an installment, but not for lack of enthusiasm or material.

If this is your first Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself, let me explain. TYBYWY is a curated assortment of tools and resources for aspiring library technologists at all levels of experience. I focus on webinars, MOOCs, and other free/low-cost options for learning, growing, and increasing tech proficiency. Thank you for reading!

Project Management Tools

Through the course of a recent group project, I’ve had the opportunity to explore a number or project management tools, applications, and methods. This TYBYWY is for my fellow compulsive to-do list writers. Consider it a love letter.

Level Up

I recently converted to Habit RPG. As you know, gamification is an ongoing interest of mine. Habit RPG literally gamifies your life, giving game mechanics (leveling up/hit points/rewards) to motivate you towards more productive and healthy behavior. You can build the structure of your app experience, creating your own set of dailies (daily tasks) and habits (good or bad which add or subtract points). The social element of this app can add friendly competition to a group endeavor. In terms of project management, the added incentive of creating and leveling up your character can really help you push over hurdles. You can also access and manage your Habit RPG from your mobile device and PC.

I like Habit RPG because I can integrate both my professional and personal checklists. I can remind myself that I need to get myself to yoga class even as I tackle programming logistics.

I cannot recommend this slightly unorthodox tool enough.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of


There’s a wide world of options for project collaboration out there now, with free and paid options galore. Whether you’re working with faculty on collection management or developing programming across departments, these tools which offer collaborative documents, calendars, and tasks lists can be a huge time saver. Bonus – your poor old PC won’t collapse under the weight of excessive open programs. I am working to move from a Skype + Google Docs + Outlook Calendar + SharePoint framework to a single online program.

Tool Pricing Pro Con
GitHub Free/$7 for Private Repository Active Community, simple set-up Designed/intended for developers, awkward for other projects
BaseCamp Two MonthsFree Trial/$20 a Month Intuitive as it is gorgeous Limited Features for Super Users
Trello Free Flexibility of format/visuals to represent projects and tasks Learning Curve for New Users
Apollo One Month Free/$23 a month Complete integration with outside programs (mail client/CRM/etc) Overwhelming to New Users

Of course the key to integrating any of these options is buy-in, and any technologist can tell you it’s easier said than done. However, the price is right and you’re probably ready for a consolidated online collaboration tool. Your library is too.

Tech On, TYBYWYers!

I’ll be back on May 13th with a slew of new free resources and tools. Let me know if you have any particular area, topic, or focus you would like me to explore.