Category Archives: General information

Conference notes, ALA goings-on, and other miscellaneous items of interest to LITA members

Introduction to Python at ALA Annual (or: awesome = True #ala2013py)

On Friday of ALA 2013, the LITA/ALCTS Library Code Year Interest Group taught about 40 librarians the basics of Python programming at a LITA preconference. Chicago was so excited about this that two million people showed up to celebrate!1

Topics included installing Python; data types; if/then/else statements; for and while loops; variables; lists and dictionaries; modules; and functions. By the end of the day, students were using these concepts to write and modify their own Python programs. If you want more details, or are wondering what these terms mean, you can check out all the course materials.

We also had some lightning talks to showcase real-world applications of Python. The lightning talks were over lunch, which we were able to offer due to generous sponsorship from the Python Software Foundation and PA Farrington Associates. Thank you!

All in all, the day was a fire hose of learning, in a great way. You can read some of co-teacher Eric Phetteplace’s lessons learned, or see the whole day at our Storify. If you blogged/tweeted/Instagrammed/etc. about the event, we’d love for you to post the link here, too.

And we’re not done. Whether you were a preconference student who’s looking for next steps, or an interested observer who wants to get involved, we have ideas and questions for you!

The interest group is planning a hackathon for 2014; go join the Connect group if you want to be a part of making that happen. The Python Software Foundation has lots of local user groups you can join, and the call for proposals for PyCon just went live. And what do you think? Should we offer more courses like this, or courses that build on basic programming skills? What would help you take your next steps?

I’ll leave the summary to one of our amazing students:


1. Or maybe that was something about hockey.

Sunday Afternoon with LITA at 2013 ALA Annual!

Please mark your calendars and join us at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 30th, beginning at 1pm, for Sunday Afternoon with LITA!  We will start off the day with the LITA awards and scholarships presentation followed by our Top Tech Trends program, moderated by Lorcan Dempsey. Then join us for the LITA President’s Program with Cory Doctorow, and finally, wrap up the day with the LITA Happy Hour at 5:30 at Fado Irish Pub!

TOP TECHNOLOGY TRENDS & LITA AWARDS PRESENTATION

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm McCormick Place Convention Center S105a-c
Panelists: Char Booth, Aimee Fifarek, Sarah Houghton, Brewster Kahle, Clifford Lynch, Gary Price Moderator: Lorcan Dempsey

Presentation of LITA Awards and Scholarships will take place at 1pm, then join the Top Tech Trends panel from 1:30-2:30, for a conversation about trends and opportunities in libraries. Lorcan Dempsey will moderate the following trendsters from across library communities and areas: Char Booth, Sarah Houghton, Gary Price, Aimee Fifarek, and Clifford Lynch.

  • Follow us on twitter @toptechtrends #ala2013ttt

MORE THAN A BOOK-LINED INTERNET CAFE: LITA PRESIDENT’S PROGRAM

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm McCormick Place Convention Center S105a-c
Speaker: Cory Doctorow

LITA President Zoe Stewart-Marshall welcomes digital rights activist, science fiction writer and Boing Boing co-editor, Cory Doctorow. This lively, thought-provoking talk will look at how libraries can and do stand on the front lines of the debate over the role of free information, and free information technology in ensuring the healthy maintenance of a free society. And yes, he will talk about DRM.

LITA HAPPY HOUR

5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Fado Irish Pub, 100 West Grand Avenue (312) 836-0066

Please join the LITA Membership Development Committee and members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks; cash bar.

Sunday Afternoon with LITA at 2013 ALA Annual!

Please mark your calendars and join us at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference on Sunday, June 30th, beginning at 1pm, for Sunday Afternoon with LITA!  We will start off the day with the LITA awards and scholarships presentation followed by our Top Tech Trends program, moderated by Lorcan Dempsey. Then join us for the LITA President’s Program with Cory Doctorow, and finally, wrap up the day with the LITA Happy Hour at 5:30 at Fado Irish Pub!

TOP TECHNOLOGY TRENDS & LITA AWARDS PRESENTATION

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm McCormick Place Convention Center S105a-c
Panelists: Char Booth, Aimee Fifarek, Sarah Houghton, Brewster Kahle, Clifford Lynch, Gary Price Moderator: Lorcan Dempsey

Presentation of LITA Awards and Scholarships will take place at 1pm, then join the Top Tech Trends panel from 1:30-2:30, for a conversation about trends and opportunities in libraries. Lorcan Dempsey will moderate the following trendsters from across library communities and areas: Char Booth, Sarah Houghton, Gary Price, Aimee Fifarek, and Clifford Lynch.

  • Follow us on twitter @toptechtrends #ala2013ttt

MORE THAN A BOOK-LINED INTERNET CAFE: LITA PRESIDENT’S PROGRAM

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm McCormick Place Convention Center S105a-c
Speaker: Cory Doctorow

LITA President Zoe Stewart-Marshall welcomes digital rights activist, science fiction writer and Boing Boing co-editor, Cory Doctorow. This lively, thought-provoking talk will look at how libraries can and do stand on the front lines of the debate over the role of free information, and free information technology in ensuring the healthy maintenance of a free society. And yes, he will talk about DRM.

LITA HAPPY HOUR

5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Fado Irish Pub, 100 West Grand Avenue (312) 836-0066

Please join the LITA Membership Development Committee and members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks; cash bar.

Kevin Ford awarded 1st SemTechBiz Spotlight

The SemanticWeb.com Spotlight on Library Innovation
Update

Thank you for all the nominations we received for the first Semantic Web.com Spotlight on Innovation in Libraries.

We are pleased to announce that Kevin Ford, from the Network Development and MARC Standards Office at the Library of Congress, was selected for the Semantic Web.com Spotlight on Innovation for his work with the Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME) and his continuing work on the Library of Congress’s Linked Data Service (loc.id). In addition to being an active contributor, Kevin is responsible for the BIBFRAME website; has devised tools to view MARC records and the resulting BIBFRAME resources side-by-side; authored the first transformation code for MARC data to BIBFRAME resources; and is project manager for The Library of Congress’ Linked Data Service. Kevin also writes and presents frequently to promote BIBFRAME, ID.LOC.GOV, and educate fellow librarians on the possibilities of linked data.

Without exception, each nominee represented great work and demonstrated the power of Linked Data in library systems, making it a difficult task for the committee, and sparking some interesting discussions about future such spotlight programs.

Congratulations, Kevin, and thanks to all the other great library linked data projects nominated!

TheSemanticWeb.com Spotlight on Library Innovation team

We’d also like to remind the library community that the Semantic Technology and Business Conference is well worth experiencing. SemTechBiz brings together industry thought leaders and practitioners to explore the challenges and opportunities jointly impacting both business leaders and technologists. Conference sessions include technical talks and case studies that highlight semantic technology applications in action. The program includes tutorials and over 130 sessions and demonstrations as well as a hackathon, start-up competition, exhibit floor, and networking opportunities.

As supporters of the SemanticWeb.com Library Spotlight, LITA and OCLC members will get a 50% discount on a gold conference pass – use discount code LITA or OCLC when registering -

LITA members – http://semtechbizsf2013.semanticweb.com/?c=stsflita – discount code “lita” minus quotes

OCLC members – http://semtechbizsf2013.semanticweb.com/?c=stsfoclc – discount code “oclc” minus quotes

SemanticWeb.com Spotlight on Library Innovation

Have you been working on a linked data project for your library? Or do you know someone doing great work promoting or demonstrating the benefits of linked data for libraries? If so, consider nominating yourself or that colleague for first the SemanticWeb.com “Spotlight on Library Innovation”!

Offered by SemanticWeb.com, supported by OCLC and LITA, the Spotlight will provide a selected individual with the chance to showcase his or her work with linked data and semantic web technologies at the Semantic Technology and Business Conference 2013, June 2 – 5, in San Francisco.

If you know of someone working on an interesting project, nominate him or her for the Spotlight. Note that the project can be ongoing, but significant practical work should have been accomplished prior to March 31, 2013. The Spotlight opportunity gives one selected individual space on the conference program to give a short, lightning-style talk about their work. Travel & lodging costs during the conference will be paid by OCLC, plus a full conference pass from Semantic.Web.com.

Nominations (http://bit.ly/11K9uzJ) for the Spotlight are being accepted through May 10. Self-nominations cheerfully accepted.

Even if you do not nominate anyone, the Semantic Technology and Business Conference is well worth experiencing. SemTechBiz brings together industry thought leaders and practitioners to explore the challenges and opportunities jointly impacting both business leaders and technologists. Conference sessions include technical talks and case studies that highlight semantic technology applications in action. The program includes tutorials and over 130 sessions and demonstrations as well as a hackathon, start-up competition, exhibit floor, and networking opportunities.

As supporters of the SemanticWeb.com Library Spotlight, LITA and OCLC members will get a 50% discount on a gold conference pass – use discount code LITA or OCLC when registering -

LITA members – http://semtechbizsf2013.semanticweb.com/?c=stsflita – discount code “lita” minus quotes

OCLC members – http://semtechbizsf2013.semanticweb.com/?c=stsfoclc – discount code “oclc” minus quotes

Thanks and good luck!

Call for Proposals: LITA Lightning Rounds at ALA Annual

Will you be at ALA in a few weeks? Do you have a great new technology idea that you’d like to share? LITA Program Planning Committee is accepting proposals for Lightning Presentations at ALA.

Please complete this form by May 8 at midnight to be considered.

This program, coordinated by Katie Miller, will be held Saturday, June 29 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Presentations should be 5-7 minutes

Meet the Candidates on Circulating Ideas

CI1

Check out the newest episode of Circulating Ideas, for short interviews with most of the candidates for LITA offices in the upcoming election (I was unfortunately not able to get ahold of all candidates). I encourage everyone in LITA, and throughout ALA, to learn more about the candidates running for office. We don’t have mud-slinging smear campaigns in the library world, but the candidates do all have their own strengths and interests and will take their divisions in different directions. Other March episodes of the podcast will deal with other ALA offices / divisions, so stay tuned.

Thanks for listening and I hope everyone takes the time to vote, starting March 19!

LITA Candidate Interviews

Ever wanted to know more about the candidates running for the offices that represent you in ALA matters? Well, here’s your chance.

I’m Steve Thomas, host of Circulating Ideas, and I am going to be interviewing (nearly) everyone on the ballot for LITA positions and a fair number of other ALA positions. I’d like the input of LITA members, to find out what you want to know, what issues you think need to be addressed by your elected officials.

If you’d like to have your question considered for inclusion in the interviews, please visit here and you can up- or down-vote other questions while you’re there. While you’re in a question-asking mood, you can also visit here to ask questions of the ALA Presidential candidates.

Thanks for helping to make LITA a better-informed division!

(Also, if you’re running for office, want to be on the show and haven’t yet spoken to me, please contact me ASAP)

So, what’s the deal with committees, anyway?

Good question, and I’m glad you asked. I need your help with that.

LITA has 20 committees to which members must be appointed annually by the Vice-President. We also send representatives to twenty other committees, groups, task forces and organizations. Some terms are multi-year; some committee members can be reappointed; some chairs come from the pool of members already on the committee; some representatives serve in that capacity by virtue of their position on a committee. Some committees do a lot of work between conferences in virtual meetings, and some don’t. Some committees submit program proposals for Midwinter and Annual conference, and some don’t.

TL;DR? It’s complicated, and I need about 100 people to fill spots that are opening up. I’m going to attack it one committee at a time, so watch this space for a call to action and more information about the committee of the week (roughly).

Have you already volunteered to serve on a committee using the infamous form? GREAT! I have that information. If you have an itch to drop me a line regarding a particular job, that’s great too, do it! Do you know a new LITA member who would be a fantastic committee member? Rat them ou–I mean suggest them! I also collected a lot of photos of badges at Midwinter. If you remember me taking a photo of your badge but you haven’t yet volunteered for a particular committee, please feel free to. (NB: that form is behind a login. Use your ALA credentials. Sorry about that.)

More soon… appointments are supposed to be completed by May, so that interested volunteers can attend meetings during Annual (in person or virtual, we don’t care which!). Do note that your actual appointments begin AFTER Annual, but it’s always good to know what you’re in for.

Questions? Please ask! You can find me @cinditrainor on twitter, at cindiann at that mail from google, or using my Connect contact form.