Category Archives: News & Noteworthy

LITA Kitchen Table Conversations

LITA is beginning a series of informal discussions to let members voice their thoughts about the current strategic goals of LITA. The first couple of these “kitchen table talks,” lead by President Rachel Vacek and Vice-President Thomas Dowling, will take place online in September and October (details to follow), and will be followed by in-person dinners at the 2014 LITA Forum in Albuquerque.

The kitchen table talks will discuss LITA’s strategic goals – collaboration and networking; education and sharing of expertise; advocacy; and infrastructure – and how meeting those goals will help LITA better serve you. The talks also align with ALA’s strategic planning process and efforts to communicate the association’s overarching goals of professional development, information policy, and advocacy.

So if you’re coming to Forum (and you really should!), come have a bowl of green chile stew with Rachel or Thomas and let your voice be heard.

Interview with LITA President, Rachel Vacek

What are your responsibilities as LITA president?

The president is the chief spokesperson for LITA and works closely with both LITA’s executive director and the board of directors in identifying and promoting information technology issues that are of interest to the association in all kinds of libraries, both nationally and internationally.

The president leads the board and executive committee meetings, and works closely with the 20-plus committees that serve the association, such as membership development, education, web coordinating, program planning, publishing, and financial advisory, to name a few.

The president also coordinates with the appointed representatives to groups and associations outside LITA, keeps the board informed, and is a proponent for advocacy of library technology issues. The president, in conjunction with the board, also determines the strategic direction for the association and is able to create task forces as needed to put initiatives in motion.

What are your goals for your presidential year?

Accomplishing impactful goals within a one-year period can be a daunting task. It becomes essential to coordinate efforts with the president-elect and past president to keep the forward momentum going. I am focusing on member experience and financial stability.

As someone who has worked in the systems and web librarianship field for years, the concept of user experience has always had special meaning for me. The ability to look at a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about being a member of LITA is especially important when examining and improving member experience.

When answering the question, “Why join LITA?” I have to evaluate the hard benefits like educational and conference discounts or being able to participate in leadership roles, as well as the softer benefits like opportunities to expand one’s network. I believe that people join LITA because they want to learn something new, help their colleagues, grow their network, and advocate for librarians working with technology.

I will work with many of LITA’s committees, primarily Membership, Education, and Publications, to:

  • Involve enthusiastic, active members who have embraced LITA’s mission and values in making new members feel welcome.
  • Recognize more frequently the outstanding contributions of LITA members.
  • Emphasize that a major benefit of joining LITA is about expanding one’s network and circle of influence, and having fun in the process!
  • Consider the goals of current and potential members. I think the best way to engage LITA members is to help them participate in meaningful and relevant activities that will further their goals and those of the profession.
  • Offer more virtual events and mentoring opportunities that help potential or new members learn more about LITA and establish connections and lifelong friendships. Being able to make these connections virtually is essential, since conference travel can sometimes be financially challenging.

The other goal I mentioned was financial stability. The LITA Financial Strategies Task Force presented a report to the board last year that is packed with timely, practical, and creative solutions for helping to address crucial challenges that all ALA divisions are facing. LITA also recently established a Financial Advisory Committee, and I believe that their work, in conjunction with the efforts of other LITA committees, are crucial to ensuring that LITA remains viable and relevant for years to come.

What are LITA’s goals?

In accordance with ALA’s goals of information policy, professional development, and advocacy, LITA’s four broad goals are:

  1. To foster collaboration and networking among LITA members.
  2. To offer education, publications, and events that inspire and enable members to improve technology integration within their libraries.
  3. To advocate for meaningful legislation, policies, and standards that positively impact the current and future capabilities of libraries that promote equitable access to information and technology.
  4. To improve LITA’s infrastructure in order to serve, educate, and create community for its members.

How will your role as LITA president benefit your own library and institution?

I work at the University of Houston Libraries in Houston, Texas. National recognition is one of the University’s priorities, and one of the Libraries’ strategic directions. Being the president of a national association is both a huge responsibility and an incredibly rewarding experience. With that comes an increase in press, interviews, and open doors, all of which are opportunities to highlight the UH Libraries and UH as outstanding organizations doing amazing things.

Also, because I have established an incredible network both within LITA and now with the leaders of the other divisions, I am able to help my colleagues make connections with others in the profession. I’ve become quite familiar with ALA’s structure and look forward to offering advice on getting involved, connecting colleagues with relevant skills and interests to appropriate groups, and being a sounding board for ideas.

What have you learned about yourself through this experience?

I’ve grown a tremendous amount in just the past year since becoming LITA’s vice-president. I realized that my previous experiences in chairing the UH Libraries’ Strategic Directions Steering Committee, being Chair of the Librarians, and leading numerous other committees, coupled with being a department head, have all prepared me for this endeavor. The experience of leading a board of directors, strategic and budgetary planning, collaborating with other divisions, and driving the organization’s vision is also preparing me for the next stage in my library career.

Jobs in Information Technology: August 20

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Information Technology Specialist, Texas Library Association, Austin, TX

User Experience Librarian, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville,  AR

Web Services Librarian, University of Alabama Libraries, Tuscaloosa, AL

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting.

Jobs in Information Technology: August 6

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Project Director, National Archive of Criminal Justice Data(NACJD), University of Michigan/ICPSR,  Ann Arbor, MI

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting.

Plan to Attend 2014 LITA Forum, Albuquerque NM, Nov. 5-8, 2014

2014 LITA Forum
Albuquerque, NM
November 5-8, 2014

Registration Now Open!

Plan now to join us in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Hotel Albuquerque for the 2014 LITA Forum, a three-day educational event that includes preconferences, general sessions, and more than 30 concurrent sessions.

Registration is limited in order to preserve the important networking advantages of a smaller conference. Take advantage of the informal Thursday evening reception and Friday evening networking dinners to get to know LITA leaders, Forum speakers, and your colleagues.

2014 LITA Forum is the 17th annual gathering of technology-minded information professionals and is a highly regarded annual event for those involved in new and leading edge technologies in the library and information technology field. Comments from past attendees:
“Best conference I’ve been to in terms of practical, usable ideas that I can implement at my library.”
“I get so inspired by the presentations and conversations with colleagues who are dealing with the same sorts of issues that I am.”
“After LITA I return to my institution excited to implement solutions I find here.”
“This is always the most informative conference! It inspires me to develop new programs and plan initiatives.”

This Year’s featured Keynote Sessions:

AnnMarie Thomas, Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, School of Engineering
Ms. Thomas co-founded, and co-directs, the University of St. Thomas Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education, and served as the Founding Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative where she worked to establish the national Maker Corps program.

Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC Vice President and Chief Strategist
Lorcan Dempsey oversees the research division and participates in planning at OCLC. Previously he worked at JISC in the UK, overseeing national information programs and services, and before that was Director of UKOLN, a national UK research and policy unit at the University of Bath.

Kortney Ryan Ziegler, Founder Trans*h4ck
Dr. Ziegler is the director of the multiple award winning documentary, STILL BLACK: a portrait of black transmen, runs the GLAAD Media Award and is also the founder of Trans*H4CK–the only tech event of its kind that spotlights trans* created technology, trans* entrepreneurs and trans* led startups.

The Preconference Workshops include:

Linked Data for Libraries: How libraries can make use of Linked Open Data to share information about library resources and to improve discovery, access, and understanding for library users
Led by: Dean B. Krafft and Jon Corson-Rikert, Cornell University Library

Learn Python by Playing with Library Data
Led by: Francis Kayiwa, Kayiwa Consulting

2014 LITA Forum sponsors include:
EBSCO
Innovative
OCLC

Visit http://www.ala.org/lita/conferences/forum/2014
for registration and additional information.

Join us in Albuquerque!

LITA Board invites you to join this meeting online – Friday, August 15, 2014

The LITA Board invites you to join this meeting online on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Central.

Summary:  I will be in the room and available 30 minutes prior to the meeting start to ensure that you can hear and see the room working properly on your equipment.

Please note:  It is strongly recommended that all attendees use headsets connected to their computers (VOIP) during an Adobe Connect session. Attendees can also use a mic with headphones or earbuds if headsets are not available. The use of computer speakers with a mic is not recommended, as it may cause echo.

Join the meeting by clicking the following link:  http://ala.adobeconnect.com/r56hz01j64s/
View the meeting agenda: http://connect.ala.org/file-manager/group/64647/081514-Board%20Meeting

If you have any questions, recommendations, or wish to discuss any of this, please leave a comment or contact the LITA office, lita (at) ala.org.

Jobs in Information Technology: July 30

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

Deputy University Librarian and Director of Library Technology, University of Georgia Libraries,  Athens, GA

Librarian (Library IT Systems),  IMF,  Washington, DC

Supervising Programmer/Analyst, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting

Jobs in Information Technology: July 23

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

Associate Dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services, and Commonwealth Campuses, Pennsylvania State University Libraries
University Park, PA

Associate Dean for Research, Collections, and Scholarly Communications, Pennsylvania State University Libraries
University Park, PA

Associate Dean for Technology, Discovery, and Digital Services, Pennsylvania State University Libraries
University Park, PA

Dean, Libraries and Educational Technologies,  James Madison University,  Harrisonburg, VA

Emerging Technologies Librarian, Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Indianapolis, IN

Senior Programmer/Analyst, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting.

Jobs in Information Technology: July 16

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.


New This Week

Head Librarian, Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus,  Pennsylvania State University,  Wilkes-Barre, PA

Library Director, Pelham Public Library, Pelham, NH

Summer Reading Regional Presenter,  Kansas Library Consultants for Youth,  Manhattan, KS

Technical Content Specialist, Computercraft Corporation, Bethesda, MD

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Libraries

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Libraries

Being found in commercial search engines, like Google, and writing indexable content have largely been on the periphery of library web development practice. In this course/workshop, we will explore the mechanics and principles of acceptable best practices for SEO, identify components that contribute to successful harvesting of library web sites and microsites, and discuss the need to make library content findable in broader online settings. Come learn why SEO is not just “snake oil” and can be an integral part of library marketing and outreach initiatives.

Topics include:

  • web analytics,
  • creating indexable content,
  • understanding search engines,
  • engineering findability,
  • the business case for SEO,
  • distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable SEO

Learning Outcomes include:

  • Understand the difference between acceptable best practices for SEO and unacceptable SEO.
  • Learn how bots create the web index for your web sites.
  • Learn how to apply the basic activities around acceptable best practices for SEO.
  • Learn how to conduct SEO keyword and topic research
  • Learn how to set up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to measure SEO success and diagnose SEO problems.
  • Know how to create a business case for SEO work in your library

Who Should Attend:

  • Web developers and System Administrators with some web management experience
  • Any librarian interested in web analytics and building findable content for the web

Instructors:

(Team teaching with Montana State University research team including:

Kenning Arlitsch, Dean of the Library; Jason Clark, Head of Library Informatics and Computing;  Patrick OBrien, Semantic Web Research Director Scott Young, Digital Initiatives Librarian

Course Level & Prerequisites

Participants should know how to use a text editor and a current standard Web Browser. Some basic knowledge of HTML will be helpful

Date(s) & Time(s)

10:30 a.m – 12:30  p.m.(CDT) each of these days:

  • July 17 – Best Practices and “Why do SEO?” intro
  • July 18 – Semantic Markup and Structured Data for SEO
  • July 21 – SEO Analytics
  • July 23 – Emerging SEO Techniques

Fee

LITA Member: $135

ALA Member: $195

Non-member: $260

How to Register

For more information, visit the web site, contact LITA at (312) 280-4269 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting  or lita@ala.org