LITA announces the Top Tech Trends panel at ALA Annual 2016

ALA Annual 2016 badgeKicking off LITA’s celebration year of it’s 50th year the Top Technology Trends Committee announces the panel for the highly popular session at  2016 ALA Annual in Orlando, FL.

Top Tech Trends
starts Sunday June 26, 2016, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, in the
Orange County Convention Center, Room W109B
and kicks off Sunday Afternoon with LITA.

tttvertheadsThis program features the ongoing roundtable discussion about trends and advances in library technology by a panel of LITA technology experts. The panelists will describe changes and advances in technology that they see having an impact on the library world, and suggest what libraries might do to take advantage of these trends. This year’s panelists line up is:

  • Maurice Coleman, Session Moderator, Technical Trainer, Harford County Public Library, @baldgeekinmd
  • Blake Carver, Systems Administrator, LYRASIS, @blakesterz
  • Lauren Comito, Job and Business Academy Manager, Queens Library, @librariancraftr
  • Laura Costello, Head of Research & Emerging Technologies, Stony Brook University, @lacreads
  • Carolyn Coulter, Director, PrairieCat Library Consortium, Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), @ccoulter
  • Nick Grove, Digital Services Librarian, Meridian Library District – unBound, @nickgrove15

Check out the Top Tech Trends web site for more information and panelist biographies.

Safiya Noble
Safiya Noble

Followed by the LITA Awards Presentation & LITA President’s Program with Dr. Safiya Noble
presenting: Toward an Ethic of Social Justice in Information
at 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, in the same location

Dr. Noble is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She conducts research in socio-cultural informatics; including feminist, historical and political-economic perspectives on computing platforms and software in the public interest. Her research is at the intersection of culture and technology in the design and use of applications on the Internet.

LITA50_logo_vertical_webConcluding with the LITA Happy Hour
from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
that location to be determined

This year marks a special LITA Happy Hour as we kick off the celebration of LITA’s 50th anniversary. Make sure you join the LITA Membership Development Committee and LITA members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks; cash bar. Help us cheer for 50 years of library technology.

 

The Frivolity of Making

Makerspaces have been widely embraced in public libraries and K-12 schools, but do they belong in higher education? Are makerspaces a frivolous pursuit?making

When I worked at a public library there was very little doubt about the importance of making and it felt like the entire community was ready for a makerspace. Fortunately, many of my current colleagues at Indiana University are equally as curious and enthusiastic about the maker movement, but I can’t help but notice a certain reluctance in academia towards making, playing, and having fun. From the moment I interviewed for my current position I’ve been questioned about my interest in makerspaces and more specifically, my playful nature. I’m not afraid to admit that I like to have fun, and as librarians there’s no reason why our jobs shouldn’t be fun (at least most of the time). My mom is a nurse and there are plenty of legitimate reasons why her job isn’t fun a lot of the time. But it’s not just about me or even librarians. In higher education we constantly question if it’s okay to have fun.

Things like 3D printing and digital fabrication are an easy sell in higher ed, but littleBits and LEGOs prove slightly more challenging. I recently demonstrated the MaKey MaKey, Google Cardboard, and Sphero robotic ball for 40 of my colleagues at our library’s annual “In-House Institute.” My session was called “Intro to Makerspaces” and consisted of a quick rundown of the what and why of the maker movement, followed by play time. I was surprised to see how receptive everyone was and how quickly they got out of their seats and started playing. As the excitement in the room grew, I noticed one of my colleagues sitting with a puzzled look on his face. “But, why?” he said. As in, “why are you asking me to play with toys?” A completely reasonable question to ask, especially if you’ve been working in higher ed for 40+ years.

For starters, we know that learning by doing can be very effective, but that’s only part of it. Tinkering with littleBits does not make you an electrical engineer and it’s not supposed to. Tools like these are meant to expose you to the medium and to spark ideas. Cardboard is a great introduction to virtual reality, MaKey MaKey opens up the world of electronics, and Sphero is a much friendlier intro to programming than a blank terminal window. Many of these maker-type tools are marketed towards kids, but I’m convinced that adults are the ones who really need them. We need to be reminded of how to play, tinker, and fail; actions that many of us have become completely removed from.

Making is also a great opportunity for peer-to-peer learning across disciplines. The 2015 Library Edition of the NMC Horizon Report makes a solid argument for makerspaces in libraries: “University libraries are in the unique position to offer a central, discipline-neutral space where every member of the academic community can engage in creative activities.” I refuse to believe that our music students are the only ones who can play music or that our fine arts students are the only ones who can draw. The library offers a safe and neutral zone for students to branch out from their departments and try something new.

Interacting with new technologies is another key selling point for makerspaces, and the best makerspaces are a blend of high-tech and low-tech. Our very own MILL makerspace in the School of Education has 3D printers alongside popsicle sticks and pom-poms. It’s tough to be intimidated by the laser engraver once you’ve seen a carton full of googly eyes. This type of low-stakes environment is a great way to explore new technologies and there are few instances like this in the modern academic institution.

So are makerspaces frivolous? On the surface, yes, they can be. Sometimes playing is nothing more than a mental break, but sometimes it’s a gateway to something greater. I’d argue that we owe our students opportunities to do both.

There are tons of resources about makerspaces out there, but here’s just a few of my favorites if you’re eager to learn more…

Privacy Technology Tools for You and Your Patrons

This webinar, and series, is being re-scheduled

Hear from the experts at the Library Freedom Project, Alison Macrina and Nima Fatemi, at 2 important LITA webinars coming soon.

Email is a postcard
Tor-ify Your Library

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about protecting yourself and your patrons.  You can attend either one, or attend both at a discounted rate.

Register now for either webinar

Privacy tools are a hot topic in libraries, as librarians all over the country have begun using and teaching privacy-enhancing technologies, and considering the privacy and security implications of library websites, databases, and services. Attend these up to the minute LITA privacy concerns webinars.

Here’s the details for each of the two webinars:

Email is a postcard: how to make it more secure with free software and encryption.
Alison Macrina, and Nima Fatemi

Email as a postcard by Tom Schoot from Noun ProjectEmail is neither secure nor private, and the process of fixing its problems can be mystifying, even for technical folks. In this one hour webinar, Nima and Alison from Library Freedom Project will help shine some light on email issues and the tools you can use to make this communication more confidential. They will cover the issues with email, and teach about how to use GPG to encrypt emails and keep them safe.

Tor-ify Your Library: How to use this privacy-enhancing technology to keep your patrons’ data safe
Alison Macrina, and Nima Fatemi

toronion
TOR onion

Heard about the Tor network but not sure how it applies to your library? Join Alison and Nima from the Library Freedom Project in this one hour webinar to learn about the Tor network, running the Tor browser and a Relay, and other basic services to help your patrons have enhanced browsing privacy in the library and beyond.

Presenters:

Alison Macrina, Director of the Library Freedom Project
Nima Fatemi, Chief Technologist of Library Freedom Project

Alison’s and Nima’s work for the Library Freedom Project and classes for patrons including tips on teaching patron privacy classes can be found at: https://libraryfreedomproject.org/resources/onlineprivacybasics/

alisonmacrina  nimafatemi.150x150jpg

Register now for either webinar

The two webinars are being offered as either single sessions or as a series of two webinars.

Costs:

  • LITA Member: $45
  • Non-Member: $105
  • Group: $196

To register for both webinars at a discounted rate use the “Webinar Series: Email Is a Postcard & Tor-ify Your Library” register link.

The discounted rates for both sessions:

  • LITA Member: $68
  • Non-Member: $155
  • Group: $300

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to these webinars contact LITA at (312) 280-4269 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org.

LITA Forum Assessment Task Force Survey

Dear Colleagues,

The LITA Forum Assessment Task Force wants your opinions about the impact of LITA Forum and how it fits within the library technology conference landscape. We invite everyone who works in the overlapping space between libraries and technology, whether or not you belong to LITA or have attended the LITA Forum recently (or at all), to take a short survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/litaforumassess

We anticipate this survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Participation is anonymous unless you provide your email address for potential follow-up questions. The survey closes on Friday, May 27th, 2016, so don’t delay!

We will summarize what we learn from this survey on the LITA Blog after July 1st. If you have any questions or are having problems completing the survey, please feel free to contact:

Jenny Taylor (emanuelj@uic.edu) or Ken Varnum (varnum@umich.edu).

We thank you in advance for taking the time to provide us with this important information.

Jenny Taylor
Co-Chair, LITA Forum Assessment Task Force
emanuelj@uic.edu

Ken Varnum
Co-Chair, LITA Forum Assessment Task Force
varnum@umich.edu

Top Strategies to Win that Technology Grant: Part 2

banner_part2

“Needs assessment help establish the customer as the center of the service and bring the librarian and the library staff back to what is at the core of a library service: What do the library customers need?” (Dudden, 2007, p. 90)

As mentioned in my last post, Mackellar and Gerding, authors of ALA grant funding monographs, stress the importance of conducting a needs assessment as the first step in approaching a grant proposal.  It may be painful at first, but once a thorough study has been made, the remaining grant proposal steps become easier. You become well-informed about the community you serve and identify current service gaps in your library.  Not until you know your community’s needs will you be able to justify funding. Through my readings, I discovered that this includes your non-users as well as your current users. Remember, funders want to make sure people are helped by your project and therefore a guaranteed success.

In a nutshell, a needs assessment is, “A systematic process determining discrepancies between optimal and actual performance of a service by reviewing the service needs of a customer and stakeholders and then selecting interventions that allow the service to meet those needs in the fastest, most cost-effective manner” (Dudden, 2007, p. 61).  According to Dudden, in her book Using Benchmarking, Needs Assessment, Quality Improvement, Outcome Measurement and Library Standards, there are 12 steps in conducting a needs assessment: (1) Define your purpose or question (2) Gather your team, (3) Identify stakeholders and internal and external factors, (4) Define the question (5) Determine resources available, (6) Develop a timeline (7) Define your customers (8) Gather data from identified sources, (9) Analyze the data, (10) Make a decision and a plan of action, (11) Report to administration and evaluate the needs assessment process, and (12) Repeat needs assessment in the future  to see if the gap is smaller.

As librarians, we like to research something comprehensively before we dive into a project. Researching what others have done within their needs assessment project is an awesome strategy to get acquainted with the process and garner ideas.  There are several approaches to gain information from a sample of your community via surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, community forums/town meetings, suggestion boxes, and public records.  If you bring in a technology-related project, your observation method may become a usability or user experience investigation, for example.  I learned that it is important to use multi-forms of techniques together and then combine the results to formulate trustworthy data.  I personally think that surveys are overly used, but I can live with it if used as one of many approaches in a study.  Take for instance the case back in 2011 when Penn State wanted to build a knowledge commons (Lynn, 2011).  Their project question or mission was to conduct a ten-month needs assessment in order to find out what new programming initiatives need creation and how the physical knowledge commons space should be configured in support of these endeavors.  I was amazed to read that they used seven techniques to inform their decisions: conducted site visits to other library knowledge commons, reviewed the literature on this topic, conducted student and faculty focus groups, created an online survey focusing on the physical library space and resources, created a survey exclusively for incoming freshmen, evaluated knowledge common websites from other institutions, and evaluated work spaces (circulation desk, reference desk, office space, etc.).  After each phase of the needs assessment was completed, they were able to prioritize space needs and draft a final report of their findings to administration and to the architectural firm.  One thing mentioned in this case study article is that a needs assessment has secondary effects that are essential to the process – it markets the project immensely and also invokes support from all stakeholders.  I am convinced that completing this process will get you one step closer to definite funding.

 Useful Links:
The Needs Assessment: Forum Unified Education Technology Suite
National Center for Education Statistics
https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2005/tech_suite/part_2.asp

IT Needs Assessment & Strategic Planning Surveys
Sacramento State
http://www.csus.edu/IRT/CIO/StrategicPlanning/Surveys.html

Methods for Conducting and Educational Needs Assessment
Guidelines for Cooperative Extension System Professionals
by Paul F. Cawley, University of Idaho
https://www.cals.uidaho.edu/edcomm/pdf/BUL/BUL0870.pdf

Chapter 3: Assessing Community Needs and Resources
Community Tool Box, University of Kansas
http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/assessment/assessing-community-needs-and-resources

Information Gathering Toolkit
Omni
http://www.omni.org/Media/Default/Documents/Information%20Gathering%20Toolkit.pdf

Community Needs Assessment Survey Guide
Utah State University
https://extension.usu.edu/files/uploads/surveyguide.pdf

Articles:
Assessing Faculty’s Technology Needs
by Tena B. Crew
Educause Review
http://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/12/assessing-facultys-technology-needs

Using Needs Assessment as a Holistic Means for Improving Technology Infrastructure
by Joni E. Spurlin, edited by Diana G. Oblinger
Educause Learning Initiative
https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli3012.pdf

Useful Tools
American Factfinder
U.S. Department of Commerce
http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml

Google Map Maker
https://www.google.com/mapmaker

References
Dudden, R. F. (2007). Using benchmarking, needs assessment, quality improvement, outcome measurement, and library standards: A how-to-do-it manual. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman.

Lynn, V. (2011). A knowledge commons needs assessment. College & Research Libraries News, 72(8), 464-467.

MacKellar, P. H., & Gerding, S. K. (2010). Winning grants: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians with multimedia tutorials and grant development tools. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman.

LITA events @ ALA Annual 2016

ALA Annual 2016 badgeGoing to ALA Annual? Check out all the great LITA events.

Go to the LITA at ALA Annual conference web page.

ATTEND THE LITA PRESIDENT’S PROGRAM FEATURING DR. SAFIYA NOBLE

Sunday June 26, 2016 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Safiya Noble
Safiya Noble

Dr. Noble is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. She conducts research in socio-cultural informatics; including feminist, historical and political-economic perspectives on computing platforms and software in the public interest. Her research is at the intersection of culture and technology in the design and use of applications on the Internet.

Register for ALA Annual and Discover Ticketed Events

SIGN UP FOR A PRE-CONFERENCE

Friday, June 24 from 1:00 pm – 4:00pm

Technology Tools and Transforming Librarianship
Presenters: Lola Bradley, Reference Librarian, Upstate University; Breanne Kirsch, Coordinator of Emerging Technologies, Upstate University; Jonathan Kirsch, Librarian, Spartanburg County Public Library; Rod Franco, Librarian, Richland Library; Thomas Lide, Learning Engagement Librarian, Richland Library

[Cancelled] Digital Privacy and Security: Keeping You and Your Library Safe and Secure in a Post-Snowden World
Presenters: Jessamyn West, Library Technologist at Open Library and Blake Carver, LYRASIS

[Cancelled] Islandora for Managers: Open Source Digital Repository Training
Presenters: Erin Tripp, Business Development Manager at discoverygarden inc. and Stephen Perkins, Managing Member of Infoset Digital Publishing

OTHER FEATURED LITA EVENTS INCLUDE

Top Technology Trends
Sunday June 26, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

This regular program features our ongoing roundtable discussion about trends and advances in library technology by a panel of LITA technology experts. The panelists will describe changes and advances in technology that they see having an impact on the library world, and suggest what libraries might do to take advantage of these trends. Panelists will be announced soon. More information on Top Tech Trends go to: http://ala.org/lita/ttt

Imagineering – Science Fiction/Fantasy and Information Technology: Where We Are and Where We Could Have Been
Saturday June 25, 2016, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature have a unique ability to speculate about things that have never been, but can also be predictive about things that never were. Through the lens provided by alternate history/counterfactual literature one can look at how the world might have changed if different technologies had been pursued. For examples what if instead of developing microprocessors computing depended on vacuum tubes or something fantastic like the harmonies in the resonance of crystals? Join LITA, the Imagineering Interest Group, and a panel of distinguished Science Fiction and Fantasy writers as they discuss what the craft can tell us about not only who we are today, but who, given a small set of differences, we could have been. The availability of authors can change, currently slated authors are:

  • Charlie Jane Anders — All the Birds in the Sky
  • Katherine Addison — The Goblin Emperor
  • Catheryne Valente — Radiance
  • Brian Staveley — The Providence of Fire

Open House
Friday June 24, 2016, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

LITA Open House is a great opportunity for current and prospective members to talk with Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) leaders and learn how to make connections and become more involved in LITA activities.

Happy HourLITA50_logo_vertical_web
Sunday June 26, 2016, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

This year marks a special LITA Happy Hour as we kick off the celebration of LITA’s 50th anniversary. Make sure you join the LITA Membership Development Committee and LITA members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks; cash bar. Help us cheer for 50 years of library technology.

Find all the LITA programs and meetings using the conference scheduler.

MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION

Go to the LITA at ALA Annual conference web page.

Design Thinking: One Process, Unlimited Applications

I’ve taught and written quite a bit about a favorite methodology of mine called design thinking. It applies to virtually any service design context, and it even mirrors the new Framework for Information Literacy beautifully! At OSU, we’ve used it from everything to helping us re-design our instruction program to helping us work through a recent data needs assessment project.

I’ll talk a little more about how you could use design thinking, but for those of you who might not be familiar with this process, here are the basics. Design thinking is a creative process focused on the generation of solutions stemming from end user needs and wants. This process has several stages: define, ideate, prototype, and learn. Design thinking is championed by IDEO CEO Tim Brown and is an integral part of the curriculum at the Stanford D School. Continue reading Design Thinking: One Process, Unlimited Applications

2016 LITA Forum – Call for Proposals, Deadline Extended

2016 LITA Forum badgeThe LITA Forum is a highly regarded annual event for those involved in new and leading edge technologies in the library and information technology field. Please send your proposal submissions here by May 13, 2016, and join your colleagues in Fort Worth Texas.

The 2016 LITA Forum Committee seeks proposals for the 19th Annual Forum of the Library Information and Technology Association in Fort Worth Texas, November 17-20, 2016 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.

Submit your proposal at this site

The Forum Committee welcomes proposals for full-day pre-conferences, concurrent sessions, or poster sessions related to all types of libraries: public, school, academic, government, special, and corporate. Collaborative and interactive concurrent sessions, such as panel discussions or short talks followed by open moderated discussions, are especially welcomed. We deliberately seek and strongly encourage submissions from underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, the LGBT community and people with disabilities.

The New Submission deadline is Friday May 13, 2016.

Proposals could relate to, but are not restricted to, any of the following topics:

  • Discovery, navigation, and search
  • Practical applications of linked data
  • Library spaces (virtual or physical)
  • User experience
  • Emerging technologies
  • Cybersecurity and privacy
  • Open content, software, and technologies
  • Assessment
  • Systems integration
  • Hacking the library
  • Scalability and sustainability of library services and tools
  • Consortial resource and system sharing
  • “Big Data” — work in discovery, preservation, or documentation
  • Library I.T. competencies

Proposals may cover projects, plans, ideas, or recent discoveries. We accept proposals on any aspect of library and information technology. The committee particularly invites submissions from first time presenters, library school students, and individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Vendors wishing to submit a proposal should partner with a library representative who is testing/using the product.

Presenters will submit final presentation slides and/or electronic content (video, audio, etc.) to be made available on the web site following the event. Presenters are expected to register and participate in the Forum as attendees; a discounted registration rate will be offered.

If you have any questions, contact Tammy Allgood Wolf, Forum Planning Committee Chair, at tammy.wolf@asu.edu.

Submit your proposal at this site

More information about LITA is available from the LITA websiteFacebook and Twitter. Or contact Mark Beatty, LITA Programs and Marketing Specialist at mbeatty@ala.org

[Cancelled] LITA ALA Annual Precon: Islandora for Managers

Learn about the open source digital repository, Islandora, from experts, in this afternoon of diving into the framework.

ac16badgeIslandora for Managers: Open Source Digital Repository Training
Friday June 24, 2016, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Presenters: Erin Tripp, Business Development Manager at discoverygarden inc. and Stephen Perkins, Managing Member of Infoset Digital Publishing

Register for ALA Annual and Discover Ticketed Events

This Islandora for Managers workshop will empower participants to manage digital content in an open source, standards-based, and interoperable repository framework. Islandora combines Drupal, Fedora Commons and Solr software together with additional open source applications. The framework delivers easy-to-configure tools to expose and preserve all types of digital content. The Islandora for Managers workshop will provide an overview of the Islandora software and open source community. It will also feature an interactive ‘how to’ guide for ingesting various types of content, setting permissions, metadata management, configuring discovery, managing embargoes and much more. Participants can choose to follow along using a virtual machine or an online Islandora sandbox.

Erin Tripp
Erin Tripp

Erin Tripp is currently the Business Development Manager at discoverygarden inc. Since 2011, Erin’s been involved in the Islandora project; a community supported framework of open source technologies for digital repositories. In that time, Erin’s been involved in more than 40 different Islandora projects ranging from consulting, custom development, and data migrations. Prior to coming to discoverygarden inc., Erin graduated from the University of King’s College (BJH), worked as a broadcast journalist with CTV Globemedia, and graduated from the Dalhousie University School of Information Management (MLIS) where she won the Outstanding Service Award in 2011.

Stephen Perkins
Stephen Perkins

Stephen Perkins, an official agent and consultant of discoverygarden, is Managing Member of Infoset Digital Publishing. Infoset provides content and technology solutions for institutions, publishers, and businesses. Stephen has more than 20 years experience directing small-to-medium scale IT projects, specializing in digital asset management solutions for the Humanities. He has extensive experience in architecting solutions for cultural heritage institutions, reference publishers, and documentary editing projects.

More LITA Preconferences at ALA Annual
Friday June 24, 2016, 1:00 – 4:00 pm

  • Digital Privacy and Security: Keeping You And Your Library Safe and Secure In A Post-Snowden World
  • Technology Tools and Transforming Librarianship

Cost:

LITA Member: $205
ALA Member: $270
Non Member: $335

Registration Information

Register for the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando FL

Discover Ticketed Events

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the preconference, contact LITA at (312) 280-4269 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org.