Category Archives: News & Noteworthy

Jobs in Information Technology: September 10

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

Associate Director of Library Technology and Digital Initiatives Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

Emerging Technologies Librarian, University of Maryland, Baltimore – Health Sciences and Human Services Library
Baltimore, MD

Geosciences and Maps Librarian, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Librarian, The Westport Library, Westport, CT

Programmer Analyst I, University Library – Texas State University, San Marcos, TX

Web Developer and User Interface Specialist,University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

LITA Midwinter Institutes

Registration for LITA’s Midwinter Institutes opened today with ALA’s joint registration! Whether you’ll be attending Midwinter or are just looking for a great one day continuing education event in the Chicago/Midwest area, we hope you’ll join us.

When? All workshops will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015, from 8:30-4:00

Cost for LITA Members: $235  (ALA $350 / Non-ALA $380)
(If you are a member of LITA use special code LITA2015 to receive the price of $235.)

Workshops Descriptions:

Developing mobile apps to support field research
Instructor: Wayne Johnston, University of Guelph Library

Researchers in most disciplines do some form of field research. Too often they collect data on paper which is not only inefficient but vulnerable to date loss. Surveys and other data collection instruments can easily be created as mobile apps with the resulting data stored on the campus server and immediately available for analysis. The apps also enable added functionality like improved data validity through use of authority files and capturing GPS coordinates. This support to field research represents a new way for academic libraries to connect with researchers within the context of a broader research date management strategy.

Introduction to Practical Programming
Instructor: Elizabeth Wickes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This workshop will introduce foundational programming skills using the Python programming language. There will be three sections to this workshop: a brief historical review of computing and programming languages (with a focus on where Python fits in), hands on practice with installation and the basics of the language, followed by a review of information resources essential for computing education and reference. This workshop will prepare participants to write their own programs, jump into programming education materials, and provide essential experience and background for the evaluation of computing reference materials and library program development. Participants from all backgrounds with no programming experience are encouraged to attend.

From Lost to Found: How user Testing Can Improve the User Experience of Your Library Website
Instructors: Kate Lawrence, EBSCO Information Services; Deirdre Costello, EBSCO Information Services; Robert Newell, University of Houston

When two user researchers from EBSCO set out to study the digital lives of college students, they had no idea the surprises in store for them. The online behaviors of “digital natives” were fascinating: from students using Google to find their library’s website, to what research terms and phrases students consider another language altogether: “library-ese.” Attendees of this workshop will learn how to conduct usability testing, and participate in a live testing exercise via usertesting.com. Participants will leave the session with the knowledge and confidence to conduct user testing that will yield actionable and meaningful insights about their audience.

 

More details about these workshops will be coming in interviews with the instructors in October! If you have a question you’d like to ask the instructors, please contact LITA Education Chair Abigail Goben at [firstnamelastname]@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

2014 LITA Forum: early bird rates available through Sept. 15

Don’t miss your chance to save up to $50 on registration for the 2014 LITA Forum “From Node to Network” to be held Nov. 5-8, 2014 at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque N.M.

Don’t forget to book your room at the Hotel Albuquerque by Oct. 14, 2014 to guarantee the LITA room rate.

This year’s Forum will feature three keynote speakers

  • AnnMarie Thomas, Engineering Professor, University of St. Thomas
  • Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Research and Chief Strategist
  • Kortney Ryan Ziegler, Founder Trans*h4ck.

More than 30 concurrent colleague inspired sessions and a dozen poster sessions will provide a wealth of practical information on a wide range of topics.

Networking opportunities, a major advantage of a smaller conference, are an important part of the Forum. Take advantage of the Thursday evening reception and sponsor showcase, the Friday networking dinners or Kitchen Table Conversations, plus meals and breaks throughout the Forum to get to know LITA leaders, Forum speakers, sponsors, and peers.

This year two preconference workshops will also be offered.

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

Linked Open Data (LOD) provides an expressive and extensible mechanism for sharing information (metadata) about all the materials research libraries make available. In this workshop the presenters will introduce the principles and practices of creating and consuming Linked Open Data via a series of examples from sources relevant to libraries. They will provide an introduction to the technologies, tools, and types of data typically involved in creating and working with Linked Open Data and the semantic web. The preconference will also address the challenges of data quality, interoperability, authoritativeness, privacy, and other issues accompanying the adoption of new technologies as these apply to making use of Linked Open Data.

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

What can be more fun than learning Python? Learning Python by hacking on library data! In this workshop, you’ll learn Python basics by reading files, looking at MARC (yes MARC), building data structures, and analyzing library data (those logs aren’t going to appreciate themselves). By the end, you will have set up your Python environment, installed some useful packages, and learned how to write simple programs that you can use to impress your colleagues back at work.

2014 LITA Forums sponsors include EBSCO, Springshare, @mire, Innovative and OCLC.

Visit the LITA website for more information.

Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) members are information technology professionals dedicated to educating, serving, and reaching out to the entire library and information community.   LITA is a division of the American Library Association.

LITA and the LITA Forum fully support the Statement of Appropriate Conduct at ALA Conferences

LITA Updates

This is one of our periodic messages sent to all LITA members. This update includes information about:

  • LITA Forum Opportunities
  • New LITA Guides available

LITA Forum in Albuquerque

Two workshops, three keynotes, 30 plus concurrent sessions, poster sessions, and, multiple networking opportunities promise to deliver opportunities to you.

The two preconference workshops begin on Wednesday, November 5, 1:00-5:00pm and run through Thursday, November 6, 8am to noon.

1) Learn Python by Playing with Library Data with Francis Kayiwa. Learn the basics on how to set up your Python environment, install useful packages, and, write programs.

2) LinkedData 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 with Dean Krafft and Jon Corson-Rikert from Cornell University Library.

The three keynote speakers are:

AnnMarie Thomas, Engineering Professor at the University of St. Thomas. AnnMarie is the director of the UST Design Laboratory. Dr. Thomas co-founded, and co-directs the University of St. Thomas Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education. She served as the Founding Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative. AnnMarie has also worked on robotics design, creation, and propulsion.

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Research and Chief Strategist, oversees the research division and participates in planning at OCLC. Lorcan has policy, research and service development experience, mostly in the area of networked information and digital libraries.

Kortney Ryan Ziegler, Founder of Trans*h4ck, is an award winning artist, writer, and the first person to hold the PhD of African American Studies from Northwestern University. Trans*H4CK is the only tech event of its kind that spotlights trans* created technology, trans* entrepreneurs and trans* led startups.

Networking opportunities

All Forum sessions are in a single hotel which facilitates networking opportunities. These include a first night reception, two nights of networking dinners (gather on site and then move off site to various restaurants), all conference meals on site (breakfasts, lunch) and lengthy breaks. Not to mention conversations in the hotel hallways and elevators. The first night reception launches the Sponsor Showcase where participants will have ample opportunities to meet with representatives from EBSCO, Springshare, and, @MIRE both that evening and the next day. Our thanks go to all the Forum sponsors including Innovative and OCLC. Rachel Vacek, LITA President, and, Thomas Dowling, LITA President-elect, have plans to lead two networking dinners focused on LITA specific Kitchen Conversations. LITA and the LITA Forum fully support the Statement of Appropriate Conduct at ALA Conferences

Hope to see you in Albuquerque!

New LITA Guides

Two LITA Guides were published this summer. The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know, Kenneth Varnum, editor and contributor, and, Using Massive Digital Libraries by Andrew Weiss with Ryan James.

The Top Technologies guide is focused on the impact a technology could have on staff, services, and patrons. An expert on each emerging technology talks about the technology within the near-term future of three to five years. In the introduction, Ken Varnum says, “Each chapter includes a thorough description of a particular technology: what it is, where it came from, and why it matters. We will look at early adopters or prototypes for the technology to see how it could be used more broadly. And then, having described a trajectory, we will paint a picture of how the library of the not-so-distant future could be changed by adopting and embracing that particular technology.”

Using Massive Digital Libraries examines “what Ryan James and (Andrew Weiss) in previous studies have together defined as massive digital libraries (MDLs). … A massive digital library is a collection of organized information large enough to rival the size of the world’s largest bricks-and-mortar libraries in terms of book collections. The examples examined in this book range from hundreds of thousands of books to tens of millions. This basic definition … is a starting point for discussion. As the book progresses this definition is refined further to make it more usable and relevant. This book will introduce more characteristics of MDLs and examine how they affect the current traditional library.”

I encourage you to connect with LITA by:

  1. Exploring our web site.
  2. Subscribing to LITA-L email discussion list. E-mail to sympa@ala.org with the subject line “subscribe lita-l”.
  3. Visiting the LITA blog and LITA Division page on ALA Connect.
  4. Connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Reaching out to the LITA leadership at any time.

Please note: the Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) journal is available to you and to the entire profession. ITAL features high-quality articles that undergo rigorous peer-review as well as case studies, commentary, and information about topics and trends of interest to the LITA community and beyond. Be sure to sign up for notifications when new issues are posted (March, June, September, and December).

If you have any questions or wish to discuss any of these items, please do let me know.

All the best,

Mary

Mary Taylor, Executive Director
Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)
50 E. Huron, Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433 x4267
312-280-4267 (direct line)
312-280-3257 (fax)
mtaylor (at) ala.org
www.lita.org

Join us in Albuquerque, November 5-8, 2014 for the LITA Forum. The theme is “Transformation: From Node to Network”

Jobs in Information Technology: September 3

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

Audiovisual Archivist, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Business Librarian, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

IT Quality Assurance Analyst, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO

Reference and Instruction Librarian, Penn State Altoona campus, The Pennsylvania State University Libraries, Altoona, PA

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

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!