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

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.

A Linked Data Journey: Beyond the Honeymoon Phase

rustyLinks_002

Image courtesy of Grant MacDonald under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license.

 Introduction

I feel that this series is becoming a little long in the tooth. As such, this will be my last post in the series. This series will be aggregated under the following tag: linked data journey.

After spending a good amount of time playing with RDF technologies, reading authoritative literature, and engaging with other linked data professionals and enthusiasts, I have come to the conclusion that linked data, as with any other technology, isn’t perfect. The honeymoon phase is over! In this post I hope to present a high-level, pragmatic assessment of linked data. I will begin by detailing the main strengths of RDF technologies. Next I will note some of the primary challenges that come with RDF. Finally, I will give my thoughts on how the Library/Archives/Museum (LAM) community should move forward to make Linked Open Data a reality in our environment.

Strengths

Modularity. Modularity is a huge advantage RDF modeling has over modeling in other technologies such as XML, relational databases, etc. First, you’re not bound to a single vocabulary, such as Dublin Core, meaning you can describe a single resource using multiple descriptive standards (Dublin Core, MODS, Bibframe). Second, you can extend existing vocabularies. Maybe Dublin Core is perfect for your needs, except you need a more specific “date”. Well, you can create a more specific “date” term and assign it as a sub-property of DC:date. Third, you can say anything about anything: RDF is self-describing. This means that not only can you describe resources, you can describe existing and new vocabularies, as well as create complex versioning data for vocabularies and controlled terms (see this ASIST webinar). Finally, with SPARQL and reasoning, you can perform metadata cross-walking from one vocabulary to another without the need for technologies such as XSLT. Of course, this approach has its limits (e.g. you can’t cross-walk a broader term to a specific term).

Linking. Linking data is the biggest selling point of RDF. The ability to link data is great for the LAM community, because we’re able to link our respective institutions’ data together without the need for cross-referencing. Eventually, when there’s enough linked data in the LAM community, it will be a way for us to link our data together across institutions, forming a web of knowledge.

Challenges

Identifiers. Unique Resource Identifiers (URIs) are double-edged swords when it comes to RDF. URIs help us uniquely identify every resource we describe, making it possible to link resources together. They also make it much less complicated to aggregate data from multiple data providers. However, creating a URI for every resource and maintaining stables URIs (which I think will be a requirement if we’re going to pull this off) can be cumbersome for a data provider, as well as rather costly.

Duplication. Continue reading A Linked Data Journey: Beyond the Honeymoon Phase

Creating a Technology Needs Pyramid

Technology Training in Libraries” by Sarah Houghton has become my bible. It was published as part of LITA’s Tech Set series back in 2010 and acts as a no-nonsense guide to technology training for librarians. Before I started my current position, implementing a technology training model seemed easy enough, but I’ve found that there are many layers, including (but certainly not limited to) things like curriculum development, scheduling, learning styles, generational differences, staff buy-in, and assessment. It’s a prickly pear and one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a professional librarian.

After several months of training attempts I took a step back after finding inspiration in the bible. In her chapter on planning, Houghton discusses the idea of developing a Technology Needs Pyramid similar to the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs (originally proposed by Aaron Schmidt on the Walking Paper blog). Necessary skills and competencies make up the base and more idealistic areas of interest are at the top. Most of my research has pointed me towards creating a list of competencies, but the pyramid was much more appealing to a visual thinker like me.

In order to construct a pyramid for the Reference Services department, we held a brainstorming session where I asked my co-workers what they feel they need to know to work at the reference desk, followed by what they want to learn. At Houghton’s suggestion, I also bribed them with treats. The results were a mix of topics (things like data visualization and digital mapping) paired with specific software (Outlook, Excel, Photoshop).brainstorm

Once we had a list I created four levels for our pyramid. “Need to Know” is at the bottom and “Want to Learn” is at the top, with a mix of both in between. I hope that this pyramid will act as a guideline for our department, but more than anything it will act as a guide for me going forward. I’ve already printed it and pinned it to my bulletin board as a friendly daily reminder of what my department needs and what they’re curious about. While I’d like to recommend the Technology Needs Pyramid to everyone, I don’t have the results just yet! I look forward to sharing our progress as we rework our technology plan. In the meantime I can tell you that whether it’s a list, graphic, or narrative; collecting (and demanding) feedback from your colleagues is vital. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth the cost of a dozen donuts.Digital Scholarship Lab-01

Top Strategies to Win that Technology Grant: Part 1

Do you remember the time when you needed to write your first research paper in MLA or APA format?  The long list of guidelines, including properly formed in-text citations and a References or Works Cited page, seemed like learning a new language.  The same holds true when approaching an RFP (Request for Proposal) and writing a grant proposal.  Unfortunately with grants, most of us are in the dark without guidance.  I am here to say, don’t give up.

Get Familiar with the Grant Writing Process and Terms
Take free online courses, such as the ones offered by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Grants and Proposal Writing course (Note: you do not have to be a medical librarian to take advantage of this free course) or WebJunction’s archived webinar – Winning Library Grants presented by Stephanie Gerding. Read a few books from the American Library Association (ALA).  Browse the list below.  This is a sure way to begin to demystify the topic.

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Change the Free Money, Shopping Spree Thinking
I have failed at grant writing many times because I started writing a list of “toys” I wanted.  I would begin browsing stores online and pictured awesome technology I wanted.  Surely my patrons would enjoy them too.  I never thought, will my patrons need this technology?  Will they use it?  As MacKellar & Gerding state in their books, funders want to help people.  Learning about the community you serve is step one before you start your shopping list or even writing your grant proposal.

Write Your Proposal in Non-Expert, Jargon-Free, Lay Language
Some professionals may have the tendency, as they excitedly share their project, to go into tech vocabulary.  This is a sure way to lose some of the grant planning or awarding committee members who may not be familiar with tech terms or a particular area of technology.  Be mindful of the words you use to explain your technology needs.  The main goal of a proposal is to make all parties feel included and a part of the game plan.

Start Small and Form Partnerships
To remove the daunting feeling you may have of writing a proposal, find community partners or colleagues that can assist in making the process enjoyable.  For example, a library can participate in grant proposals spawned by others. What better way to represent our profession than to become the researcher for a grant group.  Research is our secret weapon.  The master researcher for the grant may add some items that help fund library equipment, staff, or materials in support of the project request.  It may not be a grant proposal from the library, but a component may help the library in support of that initiative.  Another idea is to divide the grant proposal process into sections or phases among staff members.  As you know, each of us have strengths that fit into a phase of a grant proposal.  Tap into those strengths and divide the work needed to get that funding.

Create SMART Outcomes and Objectives
Ensure that outcomes and objectives are SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.  How will you know if the project is succeeding or has been a success?  Also, it is helpful to see how your technology grant request correlates with your library’s and/or institution’s technology plan.

Grants are a great way to receive recognition from peers, administration, and the community you serve.  For those in academia, this is a wonderful way to grow as a professional, add to your curriculum vitae and collect evidence towards a future promotion.  It can even become enjoyable.  Once you mastered writing MLA or APA papers, didn’t you want to write more papers?  Come to think of it, forget about my research paper and grant writing analogy.

Find future posts on technology grant writing tips on our LITA blog.

Begin Transmission #1

Welcome to the new LITA Vlog series, Begin Transmission. Every two weeks your host (that’s me) will sit down with a guest to talk about libraries, tech, the state of the profession, and their thoughts on LITA.

Begin Transmission will provide another channel for you to learn from your fellow LITA members. I hope you’ll enjoy this first episode, featuring LITA Blogger Marlon Hernandez. When he’s not writing seriously interesting posts for the blog, he’s working for NASA Jet Propulsion Lab. He has a truly unique perspective on the profession.

Look for our next transmission dropping here on the LITA Blog on Monday, April 18th.

Look who’s talking: Conducting a needs assessment project to inform your service design

If you can’t tell, I’m on a research data services kick of late, mostly because we’re in the throes of trying to define our service model and move some of our initiatives forward all while building new partnerships.

What I didn’t mention in my previous post is all the lead-up work we’re doing to lay the groundwork for those awesome services I discussed. And there is quite a bit to do in that regard, so I thought it would be helpful to provide some tips on what you can do to set the stage for a successful launch of these types of services. Here goes!

If you have a specific population/audience in mind for your services, getting feedback from them is essential. This can take many forms, although we tend to rely on the tried and true (and often dreaded survey). Which is great if you want to collect a high amount of data that may or may not lead to follow-up questions. But what if you want to do something a little different?

Continue reading Look who’s talking: Conducting a needs assessment project to inform your service design