LITA Blog http://litablog.org Library and Information Technology Association Thu, 05 May 2016 16:45:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://litablog.org/wp-content/uploads/litaverybig1-5484916e_site_icon-32x32.png LITA Blog http://litablog.org 32 32 Congratulate 2016 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award Winner Tanya Johnson http://litablog.org/2016/05/congratulate-2016-litaex-libris-student-writing-award-winner-tanya-johnson/ http://litablog.org/2016/05/congratulate-2016-litaex-libris-student-writing-award-winner-tanya-johnson/#respond Thu, 05 May 2016 16:45:26 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8976 Continue reading Congratulate 2016 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award Winner Tanya Johnson]]> Picture of Tanya JohnsonTanya Johnson has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Student Writing Award sponsored by Ex Libris Group and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) for her paper titled “Let’s Get Virtual: An Examination of Best Practices to Provide Public Access to Digital Versions of Three-Dimensional Objects.” Johnson is a MLIS candidate at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information.

“Tanya Johnson’s paper on best practices for providing public access to digital versions of three-dimensional objects stood out to the selection committee due to her clear writing and practical, informative content. We are delighted to grant Tanya the 2016 LITA/ExLibris Award,” said Brianna Marshall, the Chair of this year’s selection committee.

The LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award recognizes outstanding writing on a topic in the area of libraries and information technology by a student or students enrolled in an ALA-accredited library and information studies graduate program. The winning manuscript will be published in Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), LITA’s open access, peer reviewed journal, and the winner will receive $1,000 and a certificate of merit.

The Award will be presented LITA Awards Ceremony & President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, Orlando, on Sunday, June 26, 2016.

The members of the 2016 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award Committee are: Brianna Marshall (Chair); Rebecca Rose (Vice-Chair); Sandra Barclay (Past-Chairperson); Julia Bauder; Elizabeth McKinstry; Phillip Joseph Suda; and Olga Karanikos (Ex Libris Liaison).

About Ex Libris

Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is a leading global provider of cloud-based solutions for higher education. Offering SaaS products for the management and discovery of the full spectrum of library and scholarly materials, as well as mobile campus solutions driving student engagement and success, Ex Libris serves thousands of customers in 90 countries. For more information about Ex Libris, see our website, and join us on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

About LITA

Established in 1966, the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of nearly 2,700 systems librarians, library technologists, library administrators, library schools, vendors, and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. LITA is a division of the American Library Association. Follow us on our Blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

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Jobs in Information Technology: May 4, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/05/jobs-in-information-technology-may-4-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/05/jobs-in-information-technology-may-4-2016/#respond Wed, 04 May 2016 18:54:35 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8974 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: May 4, 2016]]> 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

University of Nevada Las Vegas, Web Developer [16148], Las Vegas, NV

University of Nevada Las Vegas, Digital Library Developer [16160], Las Vegas, NV

City of Long Beach, Manager of Automated Services Bureau – Department of Library Services, Long Beach, CA

Brown University, Library Systems Analyst (REQ123753), Providence, RI

Macquarie Capital, Document Management, New York, NY

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

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Learn the latest on Privacy Tools http://litablog.org/2016/05/learn-the-latest-on-privacy-tools/ http://litablog.org/2016/05/learn-the-latest-on-privacy-tools/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 18:39:23 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8961 Continue reading Learn the latest on Privacy Tools]]> 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 the LITA up to the minute privacy concerns webinars and pre-conference featuring experts in the field on these important and timely topics.

Here’s the line up:

Here’s the details:

Email as a postcard by Tom Schoot from Noun ProjectEmail is a postcard: how to make it more secure with free software and encryption.
Thursday May 26, 2016, webinar, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Central Time
Alison Macrina, Director of the Library Freedom Project
Nima Fatemi, Chief Technologist of Library Freedom Project

Email 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 onion
TOR onion

Tor-ify Your Library: How to use this privacy-enhancing technology to keep your patrons’ data safe
Tuesday May 31, 2016, webinar, 1:00 – 2:00 pm Central Time
Alison Macrina, Director of the Library Freedom Project
Nima Fatemi, Chief Technologist of Library Freedom Project

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.

alison macrina
Alison Macrina
nima fatemi
Nima Fatemi

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/

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

ALA Annual 2016 badgeDigital Privacy and Security: Keeping You And Your Library Safe and Secure In A Post-Snowden World.
Friday June 24, 2016, LITA ALA Annual pre-conference, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Jessamyn West, Library Technologist at Open Library
Blake Carver, LYRASIS 

jessamyn west headshot
Jessamyn West
Blake Carver
Blake Carver

Learn strategies on how to make you, your librarians and your patrons more secure & private in a world of ubiquitous digital surveillance and criminal hacking. Jessamyn and Blake will teach tools that keep your data safe inside of the library and out – how to secure your library network environment, website, and public PCs, as well as tools and tips you can teach to patrons in computer classes and one-on-one tech sessions. We’ll tackle security myths, passwords, tracking, malware, and more, covering a range of tools from basic to advanced, making this session ideal for any library staff.

Registration Information

Register for the 2016 ALA Annual Conference and Discover Ticketed Events

Costs:

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

Questions or Comments?

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

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Transmission #3 http://litablog.org/2016/05/transmission-3/ http://litablog.org/2016/05/transmission-3/#respond Tue, 03 May 2016 14:43:14 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8959

In our third episode of Begin Transmission, we’re lucky enough to sit down with none other than Cinthya Ippoliti. Cinthya is a LITA Blogger and Associate Dean for Research and Learning Services at Oklahoma State University. Enjoy her library tech wisdom and perspectives in this short interview.

Begin Transmission will return May 15, 2016.

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LITA ALA Annual Precon: Technology Tools and Transforming Librarianship http://litablog.org/2016/05/lita-ala-annual-precon-technology-tools-and-transforming-librarianship/ http://litablog.org/2016/05/lita-ala-annual-precon-technology-tools-and-transforming-librarianship/#respond Mon, 02 May 2016 20:19:22 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8953 Continue reading LITA ALA Annual Precon: Technology Tools and Transforming Librarianship]]> Sign up for this fun, informative, and hands on ALA Annual pre-conference

ALA Annual 2016 badgeTechnology Tools and Transforming Librarianship
Friday June 24, 2016, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
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

Register for ALA Annual and Discover Ticketed Events

Technology envelops every aspect of librarianship, so it is important to keep up with new technology tools and find ways to use them to improve services and better help patrons. This hands-on, interactive preconference will teach six to eight technology tools in detail and show attendees the resources to find out about 50 free technology tools that can be used in all libraries. There will be plenty of time for exploration of the tools, so please BYOD! You may also want to bring headphones or earbuds.

Lola Bradley Breanne Kirsch Jonathan Kirsch Rod Franco Thomas Lide

Lola Bradley is a Public Services Librarian at the University of South Carolina Upstate Library. Her professional interests include instructional design, educational technology, and information literacy for all ages.

Breanne Kirsch is a Public Services Librarian at the University of South Carolina Upstate Library. She is the Coordinator of Emerging Technologies at Upstate and the founder and current Co-Chair of LITA’s Game Making Interest Group.

Jonathan Kirsch is the Head Librarian at the Pacolet Library Branch of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries. His professional interests include emerging technology, digital collections, e-books, publishing, and programming for libraries.

Rod Franco is a Librarian at Richland Library, Columbia South Carolina. Technology has always been at the forefront of any of his library related endeavors.

Thomas Lide is the Learning Engagement Librarian at Richland Library, Columbia South Carolina.  He helps to pave a parallel path of learning for community members and colleagues.

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
  • Islandora for Managers: Open Source Digital Repository Training

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.

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2016 LITA Election Results http://litablog.org/2016/04/2016-lita-election-results/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/2016-lita-election-results/#respond Fri, 29 Apr 2016 18:41:30 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8944 Please join us in congratulating our newly elected LITA officers:

View ALA election results on the ALA website.

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2016 LITA Forum – Call for Proposals, Deadline Extended http://litablog.org/2016/04/2016-lita-forum-call-for-proposals-deadline-extended/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/2016-lita-forum-call-for-proposals-deadline-extended/#respond Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:25:11 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8937 Continue reading 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

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Jobs in Information Technology: April 27, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/04/jobs-in-information-technology-april-27-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/jobs-in-information-technology-april-27-2016/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 19:51:49 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8934 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: April 27, 2016]]> 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

Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, Assistant Director of Digital Initiatives and Technical Services, Hempstead, NY

Yale University, Head of Technology, STARS ID: 36655BR, New Haven, CT

Swarthmore College, Digital Collections Librarian, Swarthmore, PA

Western Washington University / Western Libraries, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services, Bellingham, WA

University of Arkansas, Associate Dean of Libraries (Director for Resource Management Services), Fayetteville, AR

University of Georgia, Digital Archivist, Athens, GA

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

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LITA ALA Annual Precon: Islandora for Managers http://litablog.org/2016/04/lita-ala-annual-precon-islandora-for-managers/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/lita-ala-annual-precon-islandora-for-managers/#respond Mon, 25 Apr 2016 16:44:24 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8927 Continue reading 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.

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Jobs in Information Technology: April 20, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/04/jobs-in-information-technology-april-20-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/jobs-in-information-technology-april-20-2016/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:49:02 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8924 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: April 20, 2016]]> 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

McDaniel College, Information Literacy Coordinator, Westminster,MD

Georgetown University, Head,Digital Services Unit, Washington, DC

University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries, Analyst/Programmer (Web Applications Programmer), Rochester, NY

Princeton University Library, Associate Professional Specialist/Central Asian Numismatic, Princeton, NJ

Yale University, Discovery Metadata Librarian, STARS ID: 36641BR, New Haven, CT

Yale University, Operating Systems Programmer, Enterprise Systems, STARS ID: 36159BR, New Haven, CT

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

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Transmission #2 http://litablog.org/2016/04/transmission-2/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/transmission-2/#respond Mon, 18 Apr 2016 16:27:45 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8921 Welcome back to Begin Transmission, the biweekly vlog interview series. Joining me for today’s discussion is none other than Brianna Marshall, our fearless leader here at the LITA Blog. Remember to follow her on Twitter @notsosternlib.

 

Begin Transmission will return May 2nd! Stay tuned.

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A Linked Data Journey: Beyond the Honeymoon Phase http://litablog.org/2016/04/a-linked-data-journey-beyond-the-honeymoon-phase/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/a-linked-data-journey-beyond-the-honeymoon-phase/#respond Fri, 15 Apr 2016 18:16:28 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8913 Continue reading 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. I have been dreaming of the day when we could just link our data together across repositories, meaning we wouldn’t need to ingest external data into our local repositories. This would relieve the duplication challenges we currently face. Well, we’re going to have to wait a little longer. While there are mechanisms out there that could tackle the problem of data duplication, they are unreliable. For example, with SPARQL you can run what is called a “federated query”. A federated query queries multiple SPARQL endpoints, which presents the potential of de-duplicating data by accessing the data from its original source. However, I’ve been told by linked data practitioners that public SPARQL endpoints are delicate and can crash when too much stress is exerted on them. Public SPARQL endpoints and federated querying are great for individuals doing research and small-scale querying; not-so-much for robust, large-scale data access. For now, best practice is still to ingest external data into local repositories.

Moving forward

Over the past few years I have dedicated a fair amount of research time developing my knowledge of linked data. During this time I have formed some thoughts for moving forward with linked data in the LAM community. These thoughts are my own and should be compared to others’ opinions and recommendations.

Consortia-level data models. Being able to fuse vocabularies together for resource description is amazing. However, it brings a new level of complexity to data sharing. One institution might use DC:title, DC:date, and schema:creator. Another institution might use schema:name (DC: title equivalent), DC:date, and DC:creator. Even though both institutions are pulling from the same vocabularies, they’re using different terms. This poses a problem when trying to aggregate data from both institutions. I still see consortia such as the Open Archives Initiative forming their own requirements for data sharing. This can be seen now in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and Europeana data models (here and here, respectively).

LD best practices. Linked data in the LAM community is in the “wild west” stages of development. We’re experimenting, researching, presenting primers to RDF, etc. However, RDF and linked data has been around for a while (a public draft of RDF was presented in 1997, seen here). As such, the larger linked data and semantic web community has formed established best practices for creating RDF data models and linked data. In order to seamlessly integrate into the larger community we will need to adopt and adhere to these best practices.

Linked Open Data. Linked data is not inherently “open”, meaning data providers have to make the effort to put the “open” in Linked Open Data. To maximize linked data, and to follow the “open” movement in libraries, I feel there needs to be an emphasis on data providers publishing completely open and accessible data, regardless of format and publishing strategy.

Conclusion

Linked data is the future of data in the LAM community. It’s not perfect, but it is an upgrade to existing technologies and will help the LAM community promote open and shared data.

I hope you enjoyed this series. I encourage you to venture forward; start experimenting with linked data if you haven’t. There are plenty of resources out there on the topic. As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts, and please feel free to reach out to me in the comments below or through twitter. Until next time.

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LITA ALA Annual Precon: Digital Privacy http://litablog.org/2016/04/lita-ala-annual-precon-digital-privacy/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/lita-ala-annual-precon-digital-privacy/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 16:47:17 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8908 Continue reading LITA ALA Annual Precon: Digital Privacy]]> Don’t miss these amazing speakers at this important LITA preconference to the ALA Annual 2016 conference in Orlando FL.

ala annual conference 16 badgeDigital Privacy and Security: Keeping You And Your Library Safe and Secure In A Post-Snowden World
Friday June 24, 2016, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Presenters: Blake Carver, LYRASIS and Jessamyn West, Library Technologist at Open Library

Register for ALA Annual and Discover Ticketed Events

Learn strategies on how to make you, your librarians and your patrons more secure & private in a world of ubiquitous digital surveillance and criminal hacking. We’ll teach tools that keep your data safe inside of the library and out — how to secure your library network environment, website, and public PCs, as well as tools and tips you can teach to patrons in computer classes and one-on-one tech sessions. We’ll tackle security myths, passwords, tracking, malware, and more, covering a range of tools from basic to advanced, making this session ideal for any library staff.

jwestupdatedheadshot
Jessamyn West

Jessamyn West is a librarian and technologist living in rural Vermont. She studies and writes about the digital divide and solves technology problems for schools and libraries. Jessamyn has been speaking on the intersection of libraries, technology and politics since 2003. Check out her long running professional blog Librarian.net.

Jessamyn has given presentations, workshops, keynotes and all-day sessions on technology and library topics across North America and Australia. She has been speaking and writing on the intersection of libraries and technology for over a decade. A few of her favorite topics include: Copyright and fair use; Free culture and creative commons; and the Digital divide. She is the author of Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide, and has written the Practical Technology column for Computers in Libraries magazine since 2008.

See more information about Jessamyn at: http://jessamyn.info

Blake Carver
Blake Carver

Blake Carver is the guy behind LISNews, LISWire & LISHost. Blake was one of the first librarian bloggers (he created LISNews in 1999) and is a member of Library Journal’s first Movers & Shakers cohort. He has worked as a web librarian, a college instructor, and a programmer at a startup. He is currently the Senior Systems Administrator for LYRASIS Technology Services where he manages the servers and infrastructure that support their products and services.

Blake has presented widely at professional conferences talking about open source systems, Drupal, WordPress and IT Security For Libraries.

See more information about Blake at: http://eblake.com/

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

  • Islandora for Managers: Open Source Digital Repository Training
  • 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.

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Jobs in Information Technology: April 13, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/04/jobs-in-information-technology-april-13-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/jobs-in-information-technology-april-13-2016/#respond Wed, 13 Apr 2016 18:58:54 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8906 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: April 13, 2016]]> 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

Qualcomm, Inc., Content Integration Librarian, San Diego, CA

Multnomah County Library, Front End Drupal Web Developer, Portland, OR

City of Virginia Beach Library Department, Librarian I/Web Specialist #7509, Virginia Beach, VA

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

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Creating a Technology Needs Pyramid http://litablog.org/2016/04/creating-a-technology-needs-pyramid/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/creating-a-technology-needs-pyramid/#respond Wed, 13 Apr 2016 12:00:51 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8866 Continue reading 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

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Top Strategies to Win that Technology Grant: Part 1 http://litablog.org/2016/04/techgrantspt1/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/techgrantspt1/#respond Fri, 08 Apr 2016 12:00:40 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8861 Continue reading 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.

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Jobs in Information Technology: April 6, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/04/jobs-in-information-technology-april-6-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/jobs-in-information-technology-april-6-2016/#respond Wed, 06 Apr 2016 18:38:47 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8858 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: April 6, 2016]]> 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

Santa Clara County Library District, Virtual Library Manager, Campbell, CA

Mendocino County Library, Librarian II, Ukiah, CA

The Ohio State University Libraries, Assistant / Associate Director for Information Technology, Columbus, OH

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

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Begin Transmission #1 http://litablog.org/2016/04/begin-transmission-1/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/begin-transmission-1/#respond Mon, 04 Apr 2016 14:00:09 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8844 Continue reading 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.

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Look who’s talking: Conducting a needs assessment project to inform your service design http://litablog.org/2016/04/look-whos-talking-conducting-a-needs-assessment-project-to-inform-your-service-design/ http://litablog.org/2016/04/look-whos-talking-conducting-a-needs-assessment-project-to-inform-your-service-design/#respond Fri, 01 Apr 2016 18:11:24 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8826 Continue reading 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?

  • Getting started

If you want to publish or share your results, get Institutional Review Board (IRB) clearance first. This is a pain, and it often falls in the Exempt category, but because there are people involved in your research project, it’s best to get the green light from the IRB board so you don’t have to worry about it later. This will entail filling out forms describing your project, how you will collect and manage the data, and how you will ensure compliance with human subject research protocol such as confidentiality. Prior to submitting something to IRB, the principal investigator will have to complete CITI training or something similar to verify his/her understanding of the processes involved.

  • Let me count the wayssurvey

 

Decide how you want to conduct your needs assessment. Each methodology has its pros and cons. I mentioned surveys are always popular and they tend to yield high numbers. But the drawback is that you cannot ask for clarification, participants have a limited number of choices (especially if you have a lot of multiple choice questions), and you have to design your questions very carefully so that they are clear, and are asking what you really need to know, otherwise the results could be skewed or meaningless, or both.

Interviews are great if you want to gather qualitative data and don’t mind reaching smaller numbers, but having more in-depth information might be more useful for your purposes. As with surveys, IRB will require that you have a clear script in place and that you ask the same questions every time so you will need to make sure you have this information ahead of time. Sending teams of two to each interview might be helpful so that you have two sets of note-takers who can catch different things and can cover for each other if something unexpected comes up. If you plan to record a conversation, this will need additional clearance from IRB and you will have to make sure you have a clear process in place for starting and stopping the recording and letting participants know they are going to be recorded or taped.

Another option is to conduct focus groups. This can also take various forms, groupeverything from asking questions, to leading participants through a design process as part of a design thinking activity, or simply asking for feedback in reaction to a prototype of some sort. You will have to make sure you recruit a representative group, have a location, a clearly established process, and a way to guide the conversation as it unfolds in addition to capturing what was said.

A final alternative is to conduct ethnographic and participatory research. Instead of simply asking a question, you are letting your audience tell you what they want or expect for a specific service. In other words, they are taking an active part in the design process itself. Nancy Fried Foster is an expert in this area, and I highly recommend looking at her work if you’re interested in this methodology. Having participants draw a picture of their “ideal” space or service can lead to some fun conversations!

  • Who’s on first

Who will conduct the assessment? This may be everyone in a specific unit or department, a handful of people, or even just one person. Your methodology will influence the number of data collectors needed. You will also want to think about any training the group will undertake as part of these activities. Especially if you’re collecting data in a more qualitative format, you will want to ensure that everyone is doing this in as uniform a fashion as possible and you may need several training sessions to prepare.

  • The right stuff

Have all your materials ready ahead of time, especially if they involve asking specific questions, or having participants walk through a set of prescribed activities. Make sure you have instructions clearly spelled out and provide handouts for anything that requires a deeper explanation.

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  • Getting Organized

Schedules are tough to organize even for internal meetings, let alone with others on campus, so having a form where participants can designate their preferred time or fill in one of their own is much easier than playing email ping-pong in nailing down a date and time.

  • Marketing is key

We found out the hard way that one approach is not always ideal. We sent out a mass email to faculty only to receive two responses. When liaisons sent out the same exact message, we saw an immediate increase in numbers. Make sure you explain the purpose of the research and make it as easy to indicate willingness to participate as possible. The source of the message counts as well-an email from a generic library account may not garner much attention, but a forwarded message from a department head might do the trick.

  • Data analysis and dissemination

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I won’t get too much into the weeds of how to analyze the data you collect, except to say that you will need to set aside ample time for this activity. Once the results are compiled and you have your action items identified, make sure you share the results back with the participants so that you can show them the product of their involvement no matter how small. This will go a long way towards ensuring that they will actually use the bright, shiny new services you create based on their input.

  • Follow-through

Whatever you do, make sure you do something! There’s nothing worse than collecting valuable (hopefully) information only to have it sitting dormant for months on end because this wasn’t high on someone’s priority list. Make sure you have the commitment and resources you need before you begin the project so that you can implement the ideas that emerge as a result in a timely manner.

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Yes, You Can Video! Repeat! http://litablog.org/2016/03/yes-you-can-video-repeat/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/yes-you-can-video-repeat/#respond Thu, 31 Mar 2016 15:41:05 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8836 Continue reading Yes, You Can Video! Repeat!]]> Don’t miss this repeat of the highly popular how-to guide for creating high-impact instructional videos without tearing your hair out.

smvideoclapperTuesday April 12, 2016
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Central Time
Register now for this webinar

This LITA Webinar promises a fun time learning how to create instructional videos.

Have you ever wanted to create an engaging and educational instructional video, but felt like you didn’t have the time, ability, or technology? Are you perplexed by all the moving parts that go into creating an effective tutorial? In this session, Anne Burke and Andreas Orphanides will help to demystify the process, breaking it down into easy-to-follow steps, and provide a variety of technical approaches suited to a range of skill sets. They will cover choosing and scoping your topic, scripting and storyboarding, producing the video, and getting it online. They will also address common pitfalls at each stage.

Join

anneburke
Anne Burke

Anne Burke
Undergraduate Instruction & Outreach Librarian
North Carolina State University Libraries

and

andreasorphanides
Andreas Orphanides

Andreas Orphanides
Librarian for Digital Technologies and Learning
North Carolina State University Libraries

Then register for the webinar

videobuttonsFull details

Can’t make the date but still want to join in? Registered participants will have access to the recorded webinar.

Cost:

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

Registration Information

Register Online page arranged by session date (login required)
OR
Mail or fax form to ALA Registration
OR
Call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5
OR
email registration@ala.org

Questions or Comments?

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

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Jobs in Information Technology: March 30, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-30-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-30-2016/#respond Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:14:12 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8831 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: March 30, 2016]]> 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:

Yale University, Archivist – Metadata Specialist, ID 36555BR, New Haven, CT

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

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LITA Top Tech Trends Panel at ALA Annual 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/03/lita-top-tech-trends-panel-at-ala-annual-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/lita-top-tech-trends-panel-at-ala-annual-2016/#respond Wed, 30 Mar 2016 15:00:09 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8821 Continue reading LITA Top Tech Trends Panel at ALA Annual 2016]]> LITA50_logo_vertical_webHelp LITA celebrate the kick off to its 50th year by participating or nominating a Top Tech Trends panelist.

Submit your nomination here.

The LITA Top Technology Trends Committee is currently seeking nominations for panelists to participate in their popular panel discussion session at ALA Annual 2016. We are looking for a diverse panel of speakers ready to offer insights into a range of technology topics impacting libraries today and into the future.

Have someone you’d love to hear share their thoughts about current and future trends in technology? Want to share your own thoughts on some tech topics? Let us know what you or your nominee have to offer to the discussion!

For more details and a chance to nominate yourself or someone else, visit this site.

Nominations are due by April 15th, 2016.

Spread the Word!!!

Emily Clasper
Suffolk Cooperative Library System
LITA Top Tech Trends Committee Chair
emily@suffolknet.org

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2016 LITA Forum – Call for Proposals http://litablog.org/2016/03/2016-lita-forum-call-for-proposals/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/2016-lita-forum-call-for-proposals/#comments Tue, 29 Mar 2016 15:38:50 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8816 Continue reading 2016 LITA Forum – Call for Proposals]]> 160328-lita-forum-web-badges-125x300The 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 Submission deadline is Friday April 29, 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 website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Universal Design for Libraries and Librarians, an important LITA web course http://litablog.org/2016/03/universal-design-for-libraries-and-librarians-an-important-lita-web-course/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/universal-design-for-libraries-and-librarians-an-important-lita-web-course/#respond Mon, 28 Mar 2016 19:01:10 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8812 Continue reading Universal Design for Libraries and Librarians, an important LITA web course]]> UDidlogoConsider this important new LITA web course:
Universal Design for Libraries and Librarians

Instructors: Jessica Olin, Director of the Library, Robert H. Parker Library, Wesley College; and Holly Mabry, Digital Services Librarian, Gardner-Webb University
Starting August 1, 2016
Registration is now open.

A Moodle based web course with asynchronous weekly content lessons, tutorials, assignments, and groups discussion.

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Universal Design is the idea of designing products, places, and experiences to make them accessible to as broad a spectrum of people as possible, without requiring special modifications or adaptations. This course will present an overview of universal design as a historical movement, as a philosophy, and as an applicable set of tools. Students will learn about the diversity of experiences and capabilities that people have, including disabilities (e.g. physical, learning, cognitive, resulting from age and/or accident), cultural backgrounds, and other abilities. The class will also give students the opportunity to redesign specific products or environments to make them more universally accessible and usable.

Takeaways

By the end of this class, students will be able to…

  • Articulate the ethical, philosophical, and practical aspects of Universal Design as a method and movement – both in general and as it relates to their specific work and life circumstances
  • Demonstrate the specific pedagogical, ethical, and customer service benefits of using Universal Design principles to develop and recreate library spaces and services in order to make them more broadly accessible
  • Integrate the ideals and practicalities of Universal Design into library spaces and services via a continuous critique and evaluation cycle

Here’s the Course Page

Jessica Olin

jessicaolinheadshot
Jessica Olin

Is the Director of the Library, Robert H. Parker Library, Wesley College. Ms. Olin received her MLIS from Simmons College in 2003 and an MAEd, with a concentration in Adult Education, from Touro University International. Her first position in higher education was at Landmark College, a college that is specifically geared to meeting the unique needs of people with learning differences. While at Landmark, Ms. Olin learned about the ethical, theoretical, and practical aspects of universal design. She has since taught an undergraduate course for both the education and the entrepreneurship departments at Hiram College on the subject.

Holly Mabry

hollymabry
Holly Mabry

Holly Mabry received her MLIS from UNC-Greensboro in 2009. She is currently the Digital Services Librarian at Gardner-Webb University where she manages the university’s institutional repository, and teaches the library’s for-credit online research skills course. She also works for an international virtual reference service called Chatstaff. Since finishing her MLIS, she has done several presentations at local and national library conferences on implementing universal design in libraries with a focus on accessibility for patrons with disabilities.

Dates:

August 1 – September 9, 2016

Costs:

  • LITA Member: $135
  • ALA Member: $195
  • Non-member: $260

Technical Requirements:

Moodle login info will be sent to registrants the week prior to the start date. The Moodle-developed course site will include weekly new content lessons and is composed of self-paced modules with facilitated interaction led by the instructor. Students regularly use the forum and chat room functions to facilitate their class participation. The course web site will be open for 1 week prior to the start date for students to have access to Moodle instructions and set their browser correctly. The course site will remain open for 90 days after the end date for students to refer back to course material.

Registration Information:

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)
OR
Mail or fax form to ALA Registration
OR
call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5
OR
email registration@ala.org

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

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Jobs in Information Technology: March 23, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-23-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-23-2016/#respond Thu, 24 Mar 2016 00:57:50 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8810 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: March 23, 2016]]> 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:

Yale University, Senior Systems Librarian / Technical Lead, ID 36160BR, New Haven, CT

Misericordia University, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, Dallas, PA

University of Arkansas, Accessioning and Processing Archivist, Fayetteville, AR

University of the Pacific, Information and Educational Technology Services (IETS) Director, Stockton, CA

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

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Jobs in Information Technology: March 16, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-16-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-16-2016/#respond Wed, 16 Mar 2016 20:46:36 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8806 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: March 16, 2016]]> 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:

Findaway, K-12 Independent Account Manager, Solon, OH

Grenzebach Glier and Associates, Knowledge Resources Associate, Chicago, IL

Mississippi College Library, Electronic Resources Librarian, Clinton, MS

Ela Area Public Library, Assistant Director of Discovery and Technology, Lake Zurich, IL

Loveland Public Library, Library Technology Manager, Loveland, CO

Yale University, Data Support Specialist, ID 36136BR, New Haven, CT

Haddonfield Public Library, Library Director, Haddonfield, NJ

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

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LITA and ALA 2016 elections now open http://litablog.org/2016/03/lita-and-ala-2016-elections-now-open/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/lita-and-ala-2016-elections-now-open/#respond Wed, 16 Mar 2016 16:18:59 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8801 Continue reading LITA and ALA 2016 elections now open]]> 2016 Election LITA homepage graphic - medium

Help shape the future of LITA by voting and then staying in touch with your elected officials to make your voice heard.

The 2016 election will be open March 15 – April 22, and results will be announced on April 29. For the 2016 election, eligible members will be sent their voting credentials via email between March 15-18, 2016.  If you have not as yet received your voting email, you can initiate the process at this ALA Elections Page.

Use the 2016 ALA Council Candidate Sorter to filter by division, round table, ethnic caucus, library type, geography, and participation in the Spectrum Scholars and Emerging Leaders programs.

Candidates for LITA Vice-President/President-Elect

David Lee King

Andromeda Yelton

Candidates for LITA Directors-at-large (two elected for three year terms)

Breanne Kirsch

Topher Lawton

Holbrook Sample

Evviva Weinraub

Candidates for LITA Councilor

Aaron Dobbs

Debra Shapiro

LITA Members Running for ALA President

Christine Lind Hage

LITA Members Running for ALA Council

Robert Banks

Ana Elisa de Campos Salles

Mario M. Gonzalez

Mel Gooch

Jennifer Rushton Jamison

Chulin Meng

Kathryn Miller

Scott Piepenburg

Lauren Pressley

Colby Mariva Riggs

Edward L. Sanchez

Jules Shore


LITA Nominating Committee:

Michelle Frisque, Chair
Galen Charlton
Dale Poulter

For questions about your membership status for voting, please contact ALA’s Member and Customer Service (MaCS) at 1-800-545-2433, press 5 (International members should call +1-312-944-6780) or customerservice@ala.org. Visit the ALA Election page for more information about this year’s vote and to view candidates running for ALA offices.

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Another upcoming LITA web course and webinar, register now! http://litablog.org/2016/03/another-upcoming-lita-web-course-and-webinar-register-now/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/another-upcoming-lita-web-course-and-webinar-register-now/#respond Tue, 15 Mar 2016 14:00:08 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8794 Continue reading Another upcoming LITA web course and webinar, register now!]]> Register now for the next great LITA continuing education web course and webinar offerings.

Don’t miss out on this repeat of last springs sold out LITA webinar:

Yes, You Can Video: A how-to guide for creating high-impact instructional videos without tearing your hair outsmvideoclapper
Presenters: Anne Burke, Undergraduate Instruction & Outreach Librarian, North Carolina State University Libraries; and Andreas Orphanides, Librarian for Digital Technologies and Learning, North Carolina State University Libraries
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Have you ever wanted to create an engaging and educational instructional video, but felt like you didn’t have the time, ability, or technology? Are you perplexed by all the moving parts that go into creating an effective tutorial? In this 90 minute session, Anne Burke and Andreas Orphanides will help to demystify the process, breaking it down into easy-to-follow steps, and provide a variety of technical approaches suited to a range of skill sets. They will cover choosing and scoping your topic, scripting and storyboarding, producing the video, and getting it online. They will also address common pitfalls at each stage. This webinar is for anyone wanting to learn more about making effective videos.

Details here and Registration here.

Make the investment in deeper learning with this web course:

UDidlogoUniversal Design for Libraries and Librarians
Instructors: Jessica Olin, Director of the Library, Robert H. Parker Library, Wesley College; and Holly Mabry, Digital Services Librarian, Gardner-Webb University.
August 1 – September 9, 2016

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Universal Design is the idea of designing products, places, and experiences to make them accessible to as broad a spectrum of people as possible, without requiring special modifications or adaptations. This course will present an overview of universal design as a historical movement, as a philosophy, and as an applicable set of tools. Students will learn about the diversity of experiences and capabilities that people have, including disabilities (e.g. physical, learning, cognitive, resulting from age and/or accident), cultural backgrounds, and other abilities. The class will also give students the opportunity to redesign specific products or environments to make them more universally accessible and usable. By the end of this class, students will be able to…

  • Articulate the ethical, philosophical, and practical aspects of Universal Design as a method and movement – both in general and as it relates to their specific work and life circumstances
  • Demonstrate the specific pedagogical, ethical, and customer service benefits of using Universal Design principles to develop and recreate library spaces and services in order to make them more broadly accessible
  • Integrate the ideals and practicalities of Universal Design into library spaces and services via a continuous critique and evaluation cycle

Details here and Registration here.

And don’t miss the other upcoming LITA continuing education offerings by checking the Online Learning web page.

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

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Article Discussion on Schema.org http://litablog.org/2016/03/articlediscussionschemaorg/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/articlediscussionschemaorg/#respond Mon, 14 Mar 2016 17:17:03 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8783 Continue reading Article Discussion on Schema.org]]>
Dark Mountain conversation A conversation begins on the Dark Mountain. (6988)
Image courtesy of Tony Hall under a CC BY-ND 2.0 license

Article Discussion

A month ago I came across an interesting article titled “Schema.org: Evolution of Structured Data on the Web”. In the article, R. V. Guha (Google), Ban Brickley (Google), and Steve MacBeth (Microsoft) talked about Schema.org, the history of Schema.org and other structured data on the Web, design decisions, extending the core Schema.org vocabulary, and related efforts to Schema.org. Much of the article revolved around the design decisions and implementation of Schema.org by “The Big Search Engines” (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc).

Schema.org, first and foremost, is a set of vocabularies, or, a data model, just like Dublin Core and Bibframe. So, in that regard, we as information publishers can use the Schema.org vocabularies in whatever way we like. However, from what I can gather from the article, The Big Search Engines’ implementation of Schema.org has implications on how we publish our data on the Web . For instance, given this quote:

Many models such as Linked Data have globally unique URIs for every entity as a core architectural principle. Unfortunately, coordinating entity references with other sites for the tens of thousands of entities about which a site may have information is much too difficult for most sites. Instead, Schema.org insists on unique URIs for only the very small number of terms provided by Schema.org. Publishers are encouraged to add as much extra description to each entity as possible so that consumers of the data can use this description to do entity reconciliation. While this puts a substantial additional burden on applications consuming data from multiple websites, it eases the burden on webmasters significantly.

I can only assume that the Big Engines do not index all URI entities. It is expected that the publisher uses Schema.org class and property URIs, and optionally points to URLs as seen in this example, but does not use URIs for entities. Here’s a visual graph based on the previous example:

Schema.org example visual graph

The area of concern to us Linked Data practitioners is the big question mark in the middle. Without a URI we cannot link to this entity. The lack of URIs in this example are not significant. However, when we begin to think about complex description (e.g. describing books, authors, and relationships among them), the lack of URIs makes it really hard to make connections and to produce meaningful, linked data.

Given the structured data examples by Google and the context of this article, I will also assume that the Big Engines only index Schema.org vocabularies (if anybody knows otherwise please correct me). This means that if you embed Dublin Core or Bibframe vocabularies in Web pages, they won’t be indexed.

Implications

After reading and interpreting the article, I have come up with the following thoughts that I feel will affect how we employ Linked Data:

  • We will need to publish our data in two ways: as Linked Data and as Big Engine-compliant data
  • No matter which vocabulary/vocabularies we use in publishing Linked Data, we will need to convert the metadata to Schema.org vocabularies when embedding data into Web pages for the Big Engines to crawl
  • Before embedding our data into Web pages for the Big Engines to crawl, we will need to simplify our data by removing URIs from entities

I don’t know if that last bullet point would be necessary. That might be something that the Big Engines do as part of their crawling.

Conclusion

I want to say that none of the thoughts I mentioned above were explicitly stated in the article, they are simply my interpretations. As such, I want your input. How do you interpret the article? How do you see this affecting the future of Linked Data? As always, please feel free to add comments and questions below.

Until next time!

?
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LITA Updates, March 11, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/03/lita-updates-march-11-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/lita-updates-march-11-2016/#respond Fri, 11 Mar 2016 19:35:19 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8773 Continue reading LITA Updates, March 11, 2016]]> In this issue of LITA Updates

  • Hello from Your New Executive Director, Jenny Levine
  • 2016 Election runs March 15 – April 22
  • LITA at ALA Annual (Hear Dr. Safiya Noble Speak at our President’s Program)
  • Meet LITA Emerging Leader Melissa Stoner
  • Current Online Learning Opportunities
  • New #LITAchats on Twitter

SAVE THE DATE: This year’s LITA Forum will be November 17-20 in Fort Worth, Texas! More information coming soon.

jenny levine - small
Jenny Levine

Hello from Your New Executive Director

Just a quick wave to introduce myself as the still-feeling-very-new Executive Director of LITA. I started in August and while I’m still learning the ins and outs of our community, my favorite things are feedback and suggestions. If you have either of these, please don’t hesitate to contact me in whatever way works best for you.

jlevine@ala.org; w: 312-280-4267; m/sms: 708-955-4967
Hangouts: shiftedlibrarian; Twitter: @shifted
Read my How I Work post on LITA Blog
she/her/hers

2016 Election LITA homepage graphic - medium

Watch your email next week for your ballot, and help shape the future of LITA by voting in the 2016 election. Online voting will be open March 15 – April 22, with results announced on April 29. Find out more about the LITA and ALA elections on our website.

Candidates for LITA Offices

ALA Candidates who are LITA members

  • Presidential candidate
    • Christine Lind Hage
  • Council candidates
    • Robert Banks
    • Ana Elisa de Campos Salles
    • Mario M. Gonzalez
    • Mel Gooch
    • Jennifer Rushton Jamison
    • Chulin Meng
    • Kathryn Miller
    • Scott Piepenburg
    • Lauren Pressley
    • Colby Mariva Riggs
    • Edward L. Sanchez
    • Jules Shore

alaac16 banner 2

We’re excited to announce that Dr. Safiya Noble is our 2016 President’s Program speaker. We also have three practical preconferences at Annual covering Digital Privacy and Security, Islandora for Managers, and Technology Tools and Transforming Librarianship, plus 20 programs including the always valuable Top Tech Trends program.

Learn more about all of the LITA happenings at Annual 2016 (early bird registration for the conference closes at noon Central Time on Tuesday, March 16th).

Meet LITA Emerging Leader Melissa Stoner

Melissa Stoner
Melissa Stoner

Have you met Melissa Stoner yet? If not, this is a great time to read her interview on LITA Blog because she’s our 2016 Emerging Leader.

Melissa works at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with the Lied Library Digital Collections, where she is the Workflow Manager for the Nevada Digital Newspaper Project. “I am Navajo and lived in Shiprock, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation until I was 24…. I hope that in some way my being an Emerging Leader could inspire others from a similar background.”

Melissa is working with three other Emerging Leaders to develop an archiving program for the Map and Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT). Her project, along with the others from this year’s cohort, will be presented at a Poster Session at the ALA Annual Conference on Friday, June 24, in Orlando, FL.

Current Online Learning Opportunities

The Why and How of HTTPS for Libraries (webinar)
Presenter: Jacob Hoffman-Andrews
Offered: March 14, 2016

Yes, You Can Video: A how-to guide for creating high-impact instructional videos without tearing your hair out (repeat) (webinar)
Presenters: Anne Burke and Andreas Orphanides
Offered: April 12, 2016

Universal Design for Libraries and Librarians (online course)
Presenters: Jessica Olin and Holly Mabry
Offered: August 1 – September 9, 2016

We’ll be adding more spring opportunities on our website.

Newest LITA Guide

Digitizing Flat Media - smallDigitizing Flat Media: Principles and Practices
by Joy M. Perrin

LITA members can use code RLLITA20 to receive a 20% discount.

New #LITAchats on Twitter

The Membership Development Committee has started hosting tech topic tweet-ups using #LITAchat and hosted by LITA experts, IGs, and Committees. The online chats will happen on the last Friday of each month around lunch time. Keep an eye on @ALA_LITA for announcements of future topics or search #LITAchat to see previous chats & topics.

Recent Posts on the LITA Blog

I’m a Librarian. Of tech, not books.
“Looking back, I wonder what would I have wanted to know before going into Systems, and most importantly, would it have changed my decision to do so, or rather, to stay? So what is it to be a Systems Librarian?…”

Google Cardboard
“The low cost, minimal learning curve, and interactivity of Cardboard make it the perfect tool to engage your library patrons.”

10 iPhone Tricks Every Librarian Should Know
“We can’t be expected to know everything about every device, but it’s always good to have a few tools ready at our disposal. Here are some handy tricks to keep at the ready if anyone comes at you with an iPhone and demands service.”

Thanks for reading, and please contact me anytime with questions, suggestions, or concerns.

Jenny Levine
Executive Director
Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)

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“Any Questions?”: Hands-on Search Strategies in the Classroom http://litablog.org/2016/03/any-questions-hands-on-search-strategies-in-the-classroom/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/any-questions-hands-on-search-strategies-in-the-classroom/#respond Thu, 10 Mar 2016 14:00:09 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8764 Continue reading “Any Questions?”: Hands-on Search Strategies in the Classroom]]> 06_PowerPoint
Michael Scott, The Office.

Part of my job includes instruction at my small art school library, and while I only just recently took teaching on for the first time, I’m sure that every instruction librarian regardless of experience can agree that one of the biggest difficulties to face is assessing whether or not students are connecting to what you are saying. There’s only so much pizzazz you can put into your powerpoint and time you can spend talking at your students.

My least favorite part comes at the end of my session, when I ask “Any questions?” and my students just stare blankly at me and I can only hope that what I said resonated with at least one of them.

Being at a small library means that we don’t have large-scale instruction strategies. It’s a very DIY environment, where we work out our ideas and see what works and above all, try and try again. I’m fortunate in that way, that I have the space and leverage to experiment and grow. But it can also be like grasping out for something in the dark – you don’t know if something is there, but you’re going to try and find it anyway.

We also do not have the space for things like a computer lab. Instruction sessions are usually limited to one-shot classes in the back of our library, where we do our spiel in front of a projector. Our faculty usually don’t have enough time allotted in their syllabi to bring us in as embedded librarians, so we have to take advantage of this time as much as we can and hope that we’ve provided enough information to send our students on their way to do their own research.

Lately though, my fellow instruction librarian and I were approached by one of our more enthusiastic faculty members who wanted to devote an entire class to have us come in and lead a hands-on session for research. With an assignment in mind, we instructed all students to have their laptops on hand with them – all students here are required to own a laptop for their schoolwork. After leading a discussion on scholarly sources and Boolean operators, we guided the class through different databases and search strategies. It was absolutely refreshing to be there in person with the students as they searched, exploring new databases for the first time, and learning how to mind map. The professor, my fellow instruction librarian, and I made ourselves available to walk around and answer questions, helping students refine their search terms. It was new for a lot of students who are used to turning directly to open-web sources first before they venture into library resources, as so many studies will tell you. Trying to shift a student’s perspective from a Google-centric view of searching (where you only stick to the first two pages of relevant results that have been tailored to your past search history) to that of a library database (where you might find the best result on page 11) is a challenge, but it’s something that could possibly be addressed with more hands-on research sessions in the classroom like the one we led.

“Why can’t all of our classes be like this?” we mused together after the session came to an end.

This may be a very regular occurrence at other institutions, but it was a breakthrough for us and it really got us thinking about how to improve our information literacy strategy. With the right technology and time, we could be improving our students’ research capabilities in every class.

Following this classroom session, that professor reached out to the library and our Vice Provost with a brilliant idea to conduct a brown bag workshop for all of our faculty to show these findings and advocate for the library to be integrated into more class syllabi. We would give a demo of the library services we could provide, have iPads and laptops available for faculty to follow along with our research instruction, and provide an open dialogue for instructors to voice their observations on student research & writing at the institution with the hopes that we can address challenges with our sessions while tailoring them to individual subjects of study.

Having faculty and administration advocate for you is one of the most helpful ways for your library’s instruction program to be given the time and attention it needs. We hope that this will give our infolit strategic plan new life and improve our school’s writing and research capabilities overall.

I will be following up with the outcomes of this workshop in the months to come. But until then….any questions?

How has your library used technologies & resources in and outside of classrooms to help teach library instruction? Do you have any success stories?

 

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Jobs in Information Technology: March 9, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-9-2016/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-9-2016/#respond Wed, 09 Mar 2016 19:34:30 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8768 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: March 9, 2016]]> 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:

Colorado State University Libraries, Data Management Specialist, Fort Collins, CO

City of Alexandria Library, Emerging Technologies Manager, Alexandria, VA

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

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The Why and How of HTTPS for Libraries, a LITA webinar http://litablog.org/2016/03/the-why-and-how-of-https-for-libraries-a-lita-webinar/ http://litablog.org/2016/03/the-why-and-how-of-https-for-libraries-a-lita-webinar/#respond Mon, 07 Mar 2016 18:00:20 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8757 Continue reading The Why and How of HTTPS for Libraries, a LITA webinar]]> Attend this LITA webinar for the latest ideas in library web site security and privacy:

The Why and How of HTTPS for Libraries

Monday March 14, 2016
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

As more of our library browsing occurs over the Internet, the only way to continue to preserve patron privacy is to make sure that the library catalog and database traffic that travels between a web browser and a server remains encrypted. This one hour webinar will discuss how encrypted websites work, and demonstrate exciting tools from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that make it easy to encrypt library websites by default.

Additional preliminary course materials:

Takeaways

  • Understand what HTTPS accomplishes
  • Learn the common obstacles to HTTPS deployment
  • Be able to make a strong case for HTTPS at your own library

Presenter:

Jacob Hoffman-Andrews pictureJacob Hoffman-Andrews, Electronic Frontier Foundation. Jacob works on Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Encrypt the Web initiative, trying to bring secure, private communication to every web site and every person who uses that site. His main project at the moment is Let’s Encrypt, the free and automated certificate authority that will dramatically lower the barrier to entry for organizations that want to deploy HTTPS to make their web sites more secure. Jacob also works on EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere browser extension, which helps people visit the secure versions of web sites whenever available. Previously, he worked at Twitter on deploying HTTPS by default across their entire site, and before that he worked on maps, transit, and web page speed at Google. Jacob has written a blog post on the topic of libraries and HTTPS (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/05/what-every-librarian-needs-know-about-https), as well as many others on the broader topic of HTTPS. He has also presented on the topic at the Digital Rights in Libraries conference.

Register for the Webinar and Full details

Can’t make the date but still want to join in? Registered participants will have access to the recorded webinar.

Cost:

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

And don’t miss more upcoming LITA spring continuing education offerings:

Webinar:

Yes You Can Video, with Anne Burke, and Andreas Orphanides
Offered: Tuesday April 12, 2016, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Central Time

Web course:

Universal Design for Libraries and Librarians, with Jessica Olin, and Holly Mabry
Starting Monday August 1, 2016, running for 6 weeks

Registration Information:

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)
OR
Mail or fax form to ALA Registration
OR
call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5
OR
email registration@ala.org

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

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Jobs in Information Technology: March 2, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/03/jobs-in-information-technology-march-2-2016/ Thu, 03 Mar 2016 14:00:18 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8746 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: March 2, 2016]]> 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:

Penn State University Libraries, Digital Scholarship Research Coordinator, University Park, PA

Loyola Notre Dame Library, Digital Services Coordinator, Baltimore, MD

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

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3 Exciting LITA Preconferences at ALA Annual, Orlando FL http://litablog.org/2016/03/3-exciting-lita-preconferences-at-ala-annual-orlando-fl/ Wed, 02 Mar 2016 20:49:48 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8732 Continue reading 3 Exciting LITA Preconferences at ALA Annual, Orlando FL]]> LITA50_logo_vertical_webHelp LITA kick off its year of 50th anniversary celebrations.

By attending any one of three exciting new preconferences at ALA Annual in Orlando FL. They will all be held on:

Friday, June 24 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

For more information and registration, check out the LITA at ALA Annual conference web page

Digital Privacy and Security: Keeping You and Your Library Safe and Secure in a Post-Snowden World

Presenters: Blake Carver, LYRASIS and Jessamyn West, Library Technologist at Open Library

Learn strategies on how to make you, your librarians and your patrons more secure & private in a world of ubiquitous digital surveillance and criminal hacking. We’ll teach tools that keep your data safe inside of the library and out — how to secure your library network environment, website, and public PCs, as well as tools and tips you can teach to patrons in computer classes and one-on-one tech sessions. We’ll tackle security myths, passwords, tracking, malware, and more, covering a range of tools from basic to advanced, making this session ideal for any library staff.

Blake Carver
Blake Carver
Jessamyn West

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

Islandora is an OAIS adherent and open source digital repository framework. It combines the Drupal CMS and Fedora Commons repository software, together with additional open source applications, the framework delivers a wide range of functionality out of the box. The proposed workshop will provide an overview of Islandora, it’s community of users, and allow users to test drive a full Islandora installation using local virtual machines or the online Islandora sandbox.

Erin Tripp
Erin Tripp
Stephen Perkins
Stephen Perkins

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

Technology envelops every aspect of librarianship, so it is important to keep up with new technology tools and find ways to use them to improve services and better help patrons. This hands-on, interactive preconference will teach six to eight technology tools in detail and show attendees the resources to find out about 50 free technology tools that can be used in all libraries. There will be plenty of time for exploration of the tools, so please BYOD! You may also want to bring headphones or earbuds.

Lola Bradley
Lola Bradley
Breanne Kirsch
Breanne Kirsch
Jonathan Kirsch
Jonathan Kirsch
Rod Franco
Rod Franco
Thomas Lide
Thomas Lide

And be sure to attend the LITA President’s Program featuring Dr. Safiya Noble

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

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.

Safiya Noble
Safiya Noble

More Information and Registration

Check out the LITA at ALA Annual conference web page.

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I’m a Librarian. Of tech, not books. http://litablog.org/2016/02/im-a-librarian-of-tech-not-books/ http://litablog.org/2016/02/im-a-librarian-of-tech-not-books/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2016 03:38:01 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8721 Continue reading I’m a Librarian. Of tech, not books.]]> Image from http://www.systemslibrarian.co.za/
Image from http://www.systemslibrarian.co.za/

When someone finds out I’m a librarian, they automatically think I know everything there is to know about, well, books. The thing is, I don’t. I got into libraries because of the technology. My career in libraries started with the take off, a supposed library replacement, of ebooks. Factor in the Google “scare” and librar*s  were going to be done forever. Librar*s were frantic to debunk that they were no longer going to be useful, insert perfect time and opportunity to join libraries and technology.

I am a Systems Librarian and the most common and loaded question I get from non-librarians is (in 2 parts), “What does that mean? and What do you do?” Usually this resorts to a very simple response:
I maintain the system the library sits on, the one that gives you access to the collection from your computer in the comfort of your home. This tool, that lets you view the collection online and borrow books and access databases and all sorts of resources from your pajamas, my job is to make sure that keeps running the way we need it to so you have the access you want.
My response aims to give a physical picture about a technical thing. There is so much we do as systems librarians that if I were to get in-deep with what I do, we’d be there for a while. Between you and I, I don’t care to talk *that* much, but maybe I should.

There’s a lot more to being a Systems Librarian, much of which is unspoken and you don’t know about it until you’re in the throws of being a systems librarian. There was a Twitter conversation prompted when a Twitter’er asked for recommendations on things to teach or include in on the job training for someone who is interested in library systems. It got me thinking, because I knew little to nothing about being a Systems Librarian and just happened upon it (Systems Librarianship) because the job description sounded really interesting and I was already a little bit qualified. It also allowed me to build a skill set that provided me a gateway out of libraries if and when the time arrived. Looking back, I wonder what would I have wanted to know before going into Systems, and most importantly, would it have changed my decision to do so, or rather, to stay? So what is it to be a Systems Librarian?

The unique breed: A Systems Librarian:

  • makes sure users can virtually access a comprehensive list of the library’s collection
  • makes sure library staff can continue to maintain that ever-growing collection
  • makes sure that when things in the library system break, everything possible is done to repair it
  • needs to be able to accurately assess the problem presented by the frantic library staff member that cannot log into their ILS account
  • needs to be approachable while still being the person that may often say no
  • is an imperfect person that maintains an imperfect system so that multiple departments doing multiple tasks can do their daily work.
  • must combine the principles of librarianship with the abilities of computing technology
  • must be able to communicate the concerns and needs of the library to IT and communicate the concerns and needs of IT to the library

Things I would have wanted to know about Systems Librarianship: When you’re interested but naive about what it takes.

  • You need to be able to see the big and small pictures at once and how every piece fits into the puzzle
  • Systems Librarianship requires you to communicate, often and on difficult to explain topics. Take time to master this. You will be doing a lot of it and you want everyone involved to understand, because all parties will most likely be affected by the decision.
  • You don’t actually get to sit behind a computer all day every day just doing your thing.
  • You are the person to bridge the gap between IT and librarians. Take the time to understand the inner workings of both groups, especially as they relate to the library.
  • You’ll be expected to communicate between IT staff and Library staff why their request, no matter the intention, will or will not work AND if it will work, but would make things worse – why.
  • You will have a new problem to tackle almost every day. This is what makes the job so great
  • You need to understand the tasks of every department in the library. Take the time to get to know the staff of those departments as well – it will give insight to how people work.
  • You need to be able to say no to a request that should not or cannot be done, yes even to administration.
  • No one really knows all you do, so it’s important to take the time to explain your process when the time calls for it.
  • You’ll most likely inherit a system setup that is confusing at best. It’s your job to keep it going, make it better even.
  • You’ll be expected to make the “magic” happen, so you’ll need to be able to explain why things take time and don’t appear like a rabbit out of a hat.
  • You’ll benefit greatly from being open about how the system works and how one department’s requests can dramatically, or not so dramatically, affect another part of the system.
  • Be honest when you give timelines. If you think the job will take 2 weeks, give yourself 3.
  • You will spend a lot of time working with vendors. Don’t take their word for  “it,” whatever “it” happens to be.
  • This is important– you’re not alone. Ask questions on the email lists, chat groups, Twitter, etc..
  • You will be tempted to work on that problem after work, schedule time after work to work on it but do not let it take over your life, make sure you find your home/work life balance.

Being a systems librarian is hard work. It’s not always an appreciated job but it’s necessary and in the end, knowing everything I do,  I’d choose it again. Being a tech librarian is awesome and you don’t have to know everything about books to be good at it. I finally accepted this after months of ridicule from my trivia team for “failing” at librarianship because I didn’t know the answer to that obscure book reference from an author 65 years ago.

Also, those lists are not, by any means, complete — I’m curious, what would you add?


Possibly of interest, a bit dated (2011) but a comprehensive list of posts on systems librarianship: https://librarianmandikaye.wordpress.com/systems-librarian/

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Vote for Us! DH Awards 2015 http://litablog.org/2016/02/vote-for-us-dh-awards-2015/ Thu, 25 Feb 2016 22:12:31 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8711 Continue reading Vote for Us! DH Awards 2015]]> We’re honored that the LITA blog has been nominated by the Digital Humanities Awards in the category “Best DH Blog Post or Series of Posts“. Though the DH Awards don’t point to any specific posts as the basis for their nomination, we’re guessing it’s because of posts like Grace Thomas’ post on using Omeka in digital library services, Bryan Brown’s post musing on what librarianship means, Lindsay Cronk’s exploration of text mining tools, or Nimisha Bhat’s post on scholarly engagement and Twitter. And that’s hardly scratching the surface of the awesome content we strive to produce for LITA blog readers!

We would love to have your vote! But hurry, since voting closes on Saturday, February 26. Vote for LITA blog on the DH Awards form.

Thanks, as always, for reading the LITA blog! As a reminder, if you’re looking for a place to share writing on a library technology topic (including digital humanities!), just let us know.

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Google Cardboard http://litablog.org/2016/02/google-cardboard/ http://litablog.org/2016/02/google-cardboard/#comments Thu, 25 Feb 2016 21:33:21 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8664 Continue reading Google Cardboard]]> IMG_20160223_164012Google Cardboard is getting a lot of press these days. It’s infiltrated fashion shows and classrooms and it’s coming for your Coke can. More importantly, it’s the next big thing for libraries. If you’re new to Cardboard, it’s essentially housing made of cardboard that turns your phone into a virtual reality (VR) viewer. The idea is simple, but the experience is nothing short of magical. I’ve been experimenting with my viewer for almost a year and the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Similar products include Oculus Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR, but they come with a hefty price tag. A Cardboard viewer, on the other hand, will run you about $10 or less; Google even provides the blueprints if you want to create your own from scratch. The low cost, minimal learning curve, and interactivity of Cardboard make it the perfect tool to engage your library patrons.

Here are five ways to start using Cardboard in your library:

1. Get crafty.
Before the VR experience begins, you’ve got a real DIY opportunity on your hands. Bust out the hot glue gun and invite your patrons to decorate your viewers, or better yet, liven up your next staff meeting with a craft session.

IMG_20160222_184919

2. Create a virtual tour of your library system.
At Indiana University we have over 19 branch libraries and I’ve yet to hoof it to each one. We’re currently creating a tour of these libraries using Google’s photo spheres. We hope that the novelty of a VR tour will entice students to participate and the experience will expand their knowledge of the Libraries’ massive collections and resources.

Wells Library

3. Organize a field trip.
Google is now piloting their Expeditions Pioneer Program that creates virtual field trips for schools. The program is invitation only, but it’s easy to create your own program using Google Street View. Why not enhance your school visits with a trip around the world? How about an armchair travel program for adults?

4. Expand your 3D printing services.
You might not have the resources to reprint every design that comes through your library, but why not preserve it on the web? With Sketchfab you can view 3D objects directly in your web browser. Ask your patrons if you can upload their designs to Sketchfab and create a collection for your library. Place a Cardboard viewer next to your 3D printer to showcase their designs.

5. Host a VR Game Night.
I’ll admit that the number of decent Cardboard apps is limited, especially when it comes to games. That said, I’ve had good luck with Lamper VR Firefly Rescue, Titans of Space, and DinoTrek. These apps are all free from the Play Store and easy to play, but be warned, if you get motion sickness these apps will probably do a number on you.

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Jobs in Information Technology: February 24, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/02/jobs-in-information-technology-february-24-2016/ Wed, 24 Feb 2016 21:04:34 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8696 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: February 24, 2016]]> 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:

Acquisitions and Resource Management Librarian, American University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Computercraft Corporation, Online Content Specialist/Journal Manager, Bethesda,MD

SIU Edwardsville, Metadata Librarian, Asst or Assoc Professor, Edwardsville, IL

DePaul University, Information Technology Librarian, Chicago, IL

Oak Park Public Library, Network Administrator, Oak Park, IL

Sonoma State University, Scholarly Communications and Science Librarian, Rohnert Park. CA

Mendocino County Library, Branch Librarian, Fort Bragg, CA

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

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The next LITA web course and webinar, register now! http://litablog.org/2016/02/the-next-lita-web-course-and-webinar-register-now/ Mon, 22 Feb 2016 17:48:14 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8658 Continue reading The next LITA web course and webinar, register now!]]> There’s still time to register for the next great LITA continuing education web course or webinar offerings.

Check out this infomative and fast paced new LITA webinar:

ScratchcatHow Your Public Library Can Inspire the Next Tech Billionaire: an Intro to Youth Coding Programs

Presenters: Kelly Smith, Crystle Martin and Justin Hoenke
Thursday March 3, 2016
Noon – 1:00 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Kids, tweens, teens and their parents are increasingly interested in computer programming education, and they are looking to public and school libraries as a host for the informal learning process that is most effective for learning to code. This webinar will share lessons learned through youth coding programs at libraries all over the U.S. We will discuss tools and technologies, strategies for promoting and running the program, and recommendations for additional resources. An excellent webinar for youth and teen services librarians, staff, volunteers and general public with an interest in tween/teen/adult services.

Details here and Registration here.

Or make the investment in learning with this web course:

wtwdgraphic2Which Test for Which Data: Statistics at the Reference Desk

Instructor: Rachel Williams
Starting Monday February 29, 2016, running for 4 weeks
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

This web course is designed to help librarians faced with statistical questions at the reference desk. Whether assisting a student reading through papers or guiding them when they brightly ask “Can I run a t-test on this?”, librarians will feel more confident facing statistical questions. This course will be ideal for library professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge of statistical methods in order to provide assistance to students who may use basic statistics in their courses or research. Students taking the course should have a general understanding of mean, median, and mode.

Details here and Registration here

And don’t miss the other upcoming LITA spring continuing education offerings:

Webinars:

The Why and How of HTTPS for Libraries, with Jacob Hoffman-Andrews
Offered: Monday March 14, 2016, 1:00 pm Central Time

Yes You Can Video, with Anne Burke, and Andreas Orphanides
Offered: Tuesday April 12, 2016, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Central Time

Web course:

Universal Design for Libraries and Librarians, with Jessica Olin, and Holly Mabry
Starting Monday April 11, 2016, running for 6 weeks

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

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10 iPhone Tricks Every Librarian Should Know http://litablog.org/2016/02/10-iphone-tricks-every-librarian-should-know/ http://litablog.org/2016/02/10-iphone-tricks-every-librarian-should-know/#comments Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:00:10 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8580 Continue reading 10 iPhone Tricks Every Librarian Should Know]]> We as librarians deal with questions every day. These days, questions tend to be about devices. We can’t be expected to know everything about every device, but it’s always good to have a few tools ready at our disposal. Here are some handy tricks to keep at the ready if anyone comes at you with an iPhone and demands service.

  • Use your headphones as a camera shutter – It’s not a selfie stick (thank god) but it’s one way to trigger a remote shutter on your camera. Simply plug in the earbuds that came with your iPhone and use the volume buttons to snap away.
two hands holding an iPhone demonstrating how to turn the phone off
How to turn off an iPhone may be the simplest question you get. (Courtesy Apple)
    • Check which apps use the most battery – Some apps eat battery like it’s candy. Go into  Settings >General > Battery > Battery Usage and find out which ones do the most damage so you can turn them off.
  • …and take up the most space – If space is at a premium, go into settings > general > storage and icloud usage > manage storage. Tap the app to delete it if it’s taking up too much space and you don’t use it.
  • Use Search to find apps and stuff faster – I’m surprised how often people (myself included) don’t use this feature: swipe left from your home screen to pull up a search box. Then type in the app (or contact or music file or book or…) you’re looking for.
  • Bundle apps in folders – And once you find that app, group it with others that have a similar purpose by pressing on the app icon until it vibrates and dragging it toward another app. iOS will give the group a name (“Productivity” or “Entertainment”) but you can always change it.
  • Hard vs soft resets – It is so important to learn the differences between these two. Doing a soft reset is where you press an iPhone’s power and home buttons at the same time until the screen goes blank. A hard reset is a full factory reset, which wipes everything off your phone. A soft reset will fix 90% of most problems. If you have to do a hard reset, make sure you backup the device on a computer first.
  • Clear browser history, cookies in Safari – You know how you can clear your browser history and your cookies on your computer, and it can improve your web browsing? You can do the same thing with an iPhone. Go into Settings > Safari and click on “Clear History and Cookies”.
    • Find a lost phone’s owner – Show of hands: how many times have you found a lost iPhone by a computer? If it has Siri, you can simply ask “Whose phone is this?” and she will tell you.
    • Recover recently deleted photos (If you deleted a photo that you want to get back, open up your photos app, click on “All Photos” and then go to “Albums.” You will notice that there is an album called “Recently Deleted.” Within that album is all of the photos that you have deleted within the last 30 days.)
  • Search in the “settings” menu – Forget how to change a wallpaper? Or maybe want to reset screen timeout? Type what you’re looking for in the search in settings to find what you need.

Do you have any other iPhone tools librarians need to know? Add them in the comments!

(Sources: 1, 2, 3, picture)

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Jobs in Information Technology: February 17, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/02/jobs-in-information-technology-february-17-2016/ Wed, 17 Feb 2016 20:08:37 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8651 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: February 17, 2016]]> 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:

Library Systems and Services, Educational Services Librarian, Redding, CA

Harford County Public Library, Vacancy #16-21, Specialist IV – ILS, Belcamp, MD

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

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Level Up – Gamification for Promotion in the Academic Library http://litablog.org/2016/02/level-up-gamification-for-promotion-in-the-academic-library/ http://litablog.org/2016/02/level-up-gamification-for-promotion-in-the-academic-library/#comments Mon, 15 Feb 2016 15:59:54 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8642 Continue reading Level Up – Gamification for Promotion in the Academic Library]]> Kirby courtesy of Torzk
Kirby courtesy of Torzk

Let me tell you the truth- I didn’t begin to play games until my late twenties. In my youth, I resisted the siren call of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. As an adult, I studiously avoided Playstation and XBox. When the Wii came out, I caved. I am very glad I did, because finding games in my twenties proved to be a tremendous stress reducer, community builder, and creative outlet. I cannot imagine completing my MLIS while working full-time and planning my wedding without Super Smash Bros.

It was a time in my life when I really needed to punch something.

In case you are wondering, I specialize as Kirby and I am a crusher. Beyond video games, I like board games (mainly cooperative ones, like Pandemic) and trivia. Lately, I have also been toying with getting into Dungeons & Dragons because what I really need is more hobbies.

More to the point – This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about the value of gamification or my interest in it on the LITA Blog, but this is a first for me in that I am offering gamification as a tool towards a specific professional goal, namely promotion in the academic library.

A quick note- gamification doesn’t necessarily require technology, though I do recommend apps for this process. In writing this blog post, my key aim is to offer academic librarians looking for a natural starting place to apply gamification in their professional lives a recommended way to do so.

superbetter
SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal

In the course of pursuing promotion in an academic library or seeking professional development opportunities in the workplace, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, isolated, and even paralyzed. What if, instead of binging on Girl Scout cookies and listening to sad Radiohead (this may just be me), we chose to work gamefully? What if we framed promotion as a mission for an epic win, with quests, battles, and rewards along the way?

In her book, SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver, and more Resilient — Powered by the Science of Games (phew), Jane McGonigal boldly posits, “Work ethic is not a moral virtue that can be cultivated simply by wanting to be a better person. It’s actually a biochemical condition that can be fostered, purposefully, through activity that increases dopamine levels in the brain.”

She goes on to provide seven rules for implementing her SuperBetter method which are:

  • Challenge yourself.
  • Collect and activate power-ups.
  • Find and battle bad guys.
  • Seek out and complete quests.
  • Recruit allies.
  • Adopt a secret identity.
  • Go for the epic win.

Gamification is still something most of us are figuring out how to incorporate into library programming and services; however, I can think of no better way to begin to understand gamification as a learning theory than to apply it towards your work. Seeing how gamification can help you structure the steps it takes to be promoted in your library will offer inspiration. In the process, you will naturally think of ways to apply gamification to instruction, collection engagement, and other library outreach.

Think of the promotion process through the lens of SuperBetter’s rules. Quests might include identifying and contacting collaborators (allies) for your research project or a coach/mentor for your promotion process. You might make a spreadsheet of conferences you want to present at in the next two or three years. Is there a particularly impressive journal where you would like to publish? That’s a fine quest.

Make sure that as you complete these quests, all part of your effort for the eventual “epic win,” you track your efforts. The road to promotion is one that requires a well-rounded portfolio of activities, and gamifying each will keep you on track. Remember that each quest you complete provides you with a power-up, leaving you with more professional clout and experience, extending your network and leaving you SuperBetter. The quest is its own reward.

Habit RPG
Habit RPG – I am a Level 10 Mage with a Panda Companion!

One tool I have found tremendously helpful for framing my own quests towards my promotion is Habit RPG, an app I have mentioned in previous posts. With Habit RPG, I can put all my quests and daily tasks in an already gamified context where I earn fancy armor and other gear for my avatar. SuperBetter has an app component which also looks great. Whether or not you are interested in investigating an app, I would encourage you to read SuperBetter, which is an excellent starting place for thinking about gamification and provides plenty of example and starter quests. Not a reader? No problem. Jane McGonigal has a Ted Talk which sums up the ideas very neatly.

Ultimately, the road to tenure can feel lonely. The solo nature of the pursuit means that no one’s experience is exactly the same. However, by approaching the process through gamification, you can put the joy back into the job. Get questing, and let me know your thoughts on gamifying promotion.

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No Time, No Money, No Problem! Getting Your Research Data Services Program Off The Ground http://litablog.org/2016/02/no-time-no-money-no-problem-getting-your-research-data-services-program-off-the-ground/ http://litablog.org/2016/02/no-time-no-money-no-problem-getting-your-research-data-services-program-off-the-ground/#comments Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:39:09 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8613 Continue reading No Time, No Money, No Problem! Getting Your Research Data Services Program Off The Ground]]> If you’re like most of us, you’ve been watching the proliferation of data or research data services spread like weeds at institutions big and small and in staggering permutations. To begin with, let’s establish a working definition (or at least MY working definition) of data services. To me, they comprise a wide swath of programming and infrastructure related to all things data: management, storage, curation, discoverability, use, visualization, and access with a dash of impact and a pinch of attribution. And by data I mean anything that is textual, numeric, visual…you get the point.

This is a good thing-so many models to choose from! Now your library wants to start a program-this is a bad thing! If you’re also like most of us, you really don’t have the luxury of hiring more people or adding yet another duty under the “Other duties as assigned” category of your job description. But your mission is clear, and you have to “make it work” in the immortal words of Tim Gunn.

Here are a few lessons I learned as the Oklahoma State University Library (OSU) began to explore these issues.

  1. Something needs to go away

The first step is to decide who will be responsible for providing these services. If you’re a liaison, or in charge of one, most likely this will fall into your area of responsibility if you don’t have a data specialist or a dedicated department to oversee the work. Liaison models have shifted dramatically over the last few years to replace what we think of as “traditional” activities such as collection development and reference with a more nebulous set of “outreach” services like these which can encompass everything from assisting faculty with data management plans to helping them find storage solutions for their data. Chances are this is not the first time the issue has come up, and your library has already been involved in discussing how to make this shift to integrating new service models into your workflows. The bottom line to this part of the discussion is that you cannot add something like this without minimizing something else, and that’s one way that you can accommodate this type of initiative without having to hire an entirely new set of employees. Is it ideal? Definitely not. But it might also help you to identify true library and institutional priorities surrounding these issues so that if the opportunity does arise you will be in a much better position to make the case for additional hires and/or resources.

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How you approach this challenge will also likely depend on your position. If you’re simply being asked to take on a new role, you may not have much control of the process outside of your own actions. If you are a department head or administrator, again, this task will fall to you.

  • You will need to know where you are going with these services and how you will scale them, and you’ll want to chart out how you will get there. This also will require planning and thinking strategically about who needs to be at the table and what each of their roles are in the process. Having a clear direction or vision for the “how” is as important as the “what”.
  • Test out to see who is willing to help you or not-the answer will become evident very quickly. But just as it’s true that you will not be able to please everyone, it’s also true that you don’t need everyone on board to make things happen. Think about the minimum number of people or what positions you will need to establish success and what that means. This is true of both internal as well as external collaborators.
  • If you encounter barriers, try to determine if they are technical or adaptive. Is it something that can be changed by a new policy or process or is it more related to personnel or something else? Knowing what the issue is will (obviously) help you get that much closer to solving it. If you do run into fear of change and resistance, this is where your managerial skills will come into play. Focus on learning about people’s reluctance rather than “fixing” the issues right away. Services such as these take time to fully develop, and unless someone is already a specialist in this field, chances are you will face a lot of anxiety. Explain the need for these types of services and focus on the big picture and providing solutions, not creating more problems.
  • Give the work back to those who will be responsible for doing it by orchestrating a process that engages them in addressing the challenge, understanding the issues, and searching for answers rather than giving them a finished product. This will require you to relinquish some of the control and see where things takes you.
  • Finally, training is a huge component of the equation. You will need a lot of it, often, and in as many formats as possible and may require you to work with other campus partners to come in and do some of the training. If people are not comfortable with these concepts, they have to have at least a working knowledge of what they are and, more importantly, why they are useful to faculty and students. Then you can work on a great referral network to folks who have the specialized expertise needed for the next step. Don’t think that your liaisons need to know how to do it all, nor can they, but they better know who can.

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2. Create partnerships

I know I sound like a broken record about this issue, but this cannot be stressed enough. At OSU, we’ve been lucky to establish partnerships with our High Performance Computing Center and our University Center for Proposal Development. We didn’t have a magic solution for how we accomplished this. We set up meetings with the respective directors and explained what we wanted to do and what we saw their role could be in the endeavor.

During these conversations, we realized that we had many similar goals and were struggling with the same issues: a lack of a centralized set of services and resources for faculty, lack of training opportunities for things they could do themselves, and a general lack of knowledge about support services that were already in existence.

We began to meet regularly, and developed a three-pronged approach that is currently in the pilot stages:

a. Web presence. If you have a web presence, you can add the URL to flyers and other marketing materials, create a calendar of events with registration, link to your institutional repository, and schedule appointments with liaisons and other experts. The domino effect at its finest.

b. Workshops and consultations. Just…pick…a…date/time. Do it. Then advertise it like crazy. Don’t worry about perfect times because there aren’t any. Offer some in the mornings, some in the afternoons, on different days, and see what works best. Make descriptions easy to understand and registration equally simple, and you’re maximizing the chances that someone will attend.

c. Cheap(ish) resources. If your library can afford to subscribe to tools like Altmetric, try it out. Otherwise make sure that whomever is offering services is well versed in the capabilities of your institutional repository and other tools like Web of Science that help faculty determine the impact of their research. One of our liaisons had a question from a faculty member about finding the h-index for his publications in Web of Science. Within minutes he created a simple screenshot step by step walkthrough of how to do this and shared it with the other liaisons who then sent it to their faculty. A few more minutes later, and those faculty were interested in it too.

Capture23. You have to start somewhere

Start small, grow in time. This is also something I find myself repeating over and over. As mentioned above, we aren’t doing anything more than taking a few small steps towards a very uncertain direction. We hope the assessment measures we’re establishing to benchmark our “successes” will give us enough information to help us scale up what’s working and re-design what’s not.

In addition, we’re doing a targeted needs assessment with select faculty and interviewing them about their data needs to see what other patterns we might uncover that we might be overlooking.

In closing, I want to encourage all of those who are in a similar situation and help you realize that you don’t need time, money, or resources (ok, maybe a little) but that it can be done if you stop trying to create a perfect-world model, and instead work with what you have because it might just be enough.

*Images taken from Pixabay

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Things to Tell My Newbie Self http://litablog.org/2016/02/things-to-tell-my-newbie-self/ http://litablog.org/2016/02/things-to-tell-my-newbie-self/#comments Thu, 11 Feb 2016 10:45:54 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8599 Continue reading Things to Tell My Newbie Self]]> I’m a noob. by simplebitsdan, on Flickr

 

Depending on the day of the week, I don’t really know what I am. Am I a librarian, who has a strong interest in tech? Or am I a techie who happens to work in the Library field? What I have come to realize is that it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is that I am, I enjoy it, so I should focus on that.

Now, it took me about 5 years to come to that realization. But when I did, I immediately thought “I wish I could go back in time and tell myself about this!”

This got me to thinking: “What other things would I want to tell myself throughout my early career in libraries and library technology?” Shortly after asking myself this, an old friend of mine, who is a budding future librarian, asked me something along similar lines. So, here it is: the top 4 things that I would tell my younger self given the opportunity.

  1. The vast majority of your job will not be anything you learned in grad school (and that’s okay!)
    I remember my first quarter at UCLA, walking into the largest lecture hall I’d ever been in (it wasn’t really that big, I had just gone to a small college for my undergraduate studies) and being shocked with how “high level” the lectures were, wrestling with such existential questions as “What is documentation?” (it’s antelopes, by the way). I instantly thought back to all of the librarians I had come to know throughout my life and was suddenly much, much more impressed with them, assuming that all of these philosophical thoughts about information and documentation were constantly swirling around their heads too.

    Flash forward to today, and students at my university were seeing “reached maximum virtual host limit” as they tried to access the library databases. “Thanks a lot, SAGE,” I muttered to myself while bumping up the MaxVirtualHost limit yet again. “The things they don’t tell you about in school,” I thought to myself.

    I know, I know. It’s a pretty common refrain among practicing librarians that most of what they do on a day-to-day basis is informed more so by experience than by education. I certainly don’t see this as a problem though. It’s never a bad thing to know more about something than less. Sure, you may never catalog a single item in your life post-grad school, but because you took that course you probably have a ton of respect for people who live for cataloging. And who knows, the little bit of knowledge you happened to have held on to may prove useful to you or someone else coming up through the ranks.

  2. Keep in touch with your classmates — then keep building your network
    This is one I certainly could have done a better job on. I got to know some of my classmates during my degree program, but I was commuting from about 80 miles away, so I missed out on a lot of social gatherings. That being said, I owe an incredible amount of gratitude to those I did manage to keep up with, as they have proven to be constant sources of support, advice, and (perhaps most importantly) job leads.

    Building your network may require you to take a closer look at social media if that’s something you’ve been avoiding. You don’t have to let it take over your life, by any means, but I would recommend at least having a LinkedIn account (especially if you’re on the job hunt). If you’re in a tech role, roll the die with Twitter for a little while. I never really “got” Twitter at first, but the way in which the tech industry seems to have pretty much adopted it as a primary means to share knowledge has totally changed the way I look at it. There’s another hugely important way to build your network as well:

  3. Go to conferences (and do not skip the dine-arounds)
    I couldn’t decide whether or not to include this one, simply because many people don’t have much of a choice as to whether they can attend conferences or not ($). I would recommend to do whatever it takes to get to one — and try to find one that’s more along the lines of the area of librarianship you’re interested in. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve enjoyed the ALA Annual Conferences I’ve attended, and while they are certainly high on the “amount of free books” scale, the programs tend to be directed toward a broader audience than I would prefer. So, if you can only make it to one, get the biggest bang for your buck! If you’re interested in library technology, you have quite a few options (ER&L, Code4Lib, Internet Librarian, Computers in Libraries, and of course LITA Forum, among others).

    Also, go to the dine-arounds. I’m totally guilty of ignoring those for my first three years of conference going. The thought of meeting up with people I didn’t know, to go to a restaurant I’d never heard of, to talk about who-knows-what and then awkwardly split a bill pretty much sounded like my nightmare. What you’ll find out, though, is that even though you don’t know the people you’re dining with, you know them. They are you. You are them. It’s almost magical. You will have found “your people”. Go!

  4. Impostor syndrome is real and everyone has it (so stop worrying)
    Impostor syndrome, for those who may not be familiar with the term, basically means you’re constantly afraid of being found out as a fraud. David Walsh wrote a blog post that looks at this from a coder’s perspective and it pretty much hits the nail on the head for me. Having self-taught myself almost all of my tech skills, I always felt like my skills weren’t real. Real developers don’t have to Google things. Real programmers are fluent in JavaScript, C#, Ruby, and Python. For me, this stretched into librarianship as well. Real librarians publish in peer-reviewed journals and speak at conferences. Real librarians are featured in American Libraries and appear on trading cards. All of these were ideas I put into my own head.

    I was talking to a software developer friend of mine recently, and he was asking me what I was interested in learning over the next year. I told him I wanted to get better at JavaScript, learn Node.js, get comfortable with MVC frameworks, learn Ruby (on Rails), start using GitHub, get better at responsive web design, and, if I have time, learn about ASP.NET Single Page Applications and AngularJS. He said I was crazy. It still exists in my head, though: “if I want to be a real “whatever the heck I am”, I should know these things”. Obviously, this isn’t true. Ambition is a good thing, but left unchecked it can wreak havoc on your psyche. Just remember, no matter what, you are real. True, you may never know everything about everything, but neither will anyone else. Enjoy your own journey, and remember to have fun.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’d love to hear what other bits of advice other practicing librarians have for their younger selves!

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Jobs in Information Technology: February 10, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/02/jobs-in-information-technology-february-10-2016/ Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:07:10 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8627 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: February 10, 2016]]> 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:

Penn State University Libraries, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Knowledge Commons, University Park, PA

Penn State University Libraries, Diversity Residency Librarian Program, University Park, PA

Brown University, Senior Library Applications Developer, Providence, RI

Reaching Across Illinois Library System, Systems Supervisor, Burr Ridge, IL

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

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Hack Your Calendars? Using Them for More Than Just Appointments http://litablog.org/2016/02/hack-your-calendars-using-them-for-more-than-just-appointments/ Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7504 Continue reading Hack Your Calendars? Using Them for More Than Just Appointments]]> As librari*s one thing we know, and usually know well, is how to do more with less, or at least without any increase. With this mindset, even the most mundane tools can take on multiple roles. For example, our Calendars

I had a boss near the beginning of my professional career who leveraged their calendar in ways I’d never thought to: as a log for tracking projects, personal ticketing system, and the usual meeting/appointment scheduling. It stuck with me; a handful of years later and I still use that same process.

When I interviewed for my now current job, I was asked how I prioritize and manage what I have to do. My response: with my calendar. I don’t have meetings every hour of every day but I do have a lot of tasks to do and things I’m working on, and having a running log of this is useful, as well as scheduling out blocks of time to actually get my work done.

Using a tool that was designed to organize days and then developed for individual use or network use (sharing of information). Personal calendars kept separate from work calendars, and all used for documenting appointments on our schedules. Why not use them for more than that? Calendar software is designed to intake a reasonable amount of information, customize it as you will.

Things that a Calendar offers that makes this easy

  • Free text Subject/Location fields
  • Start & End times
  • Category options (you decide!) — if you wear multiple hats or are working for multiple teams, this can be incredibly useful
  • Free text Notes field
  • Privacy options

Using a Calendar this way allows you to link together in one point an array of information — people associated with a project, a URL to a google doc, organize based on the hat you’re wearing, document time spent on projects — really helpful for annual reviews. My personal favorite use is noting what you did with a specific project (or problem), this works well when you need a ticketing system setup but just for your personal projects/problems/etc. Things break, it’s my current job to fix them and keep them from breaking (as often) in the future — when I spend 4 hours fixing something, I note it on my calendar and use the notes portion to log running issues, how they were solved, etc.

Using my calendar this way accomplished a handful of things, aside from traditional use:

  • Gave me a decent log for time spent on projects
  • Made my annual review 100% easier
  • Forced me to become more aware of what I was spending my time on
  • Helped me set aside the necessary time needed to work on certain tasks
  • Ward off unnecessary meetings (because Calendar was busy)

If you’re concerned about privacy — check here {link to setting Outlook Calendar privacy} and here {link to setting Google Calendar privacy} for how to manage the privacy settings on Outlook and/or Google.

I challenge you for a week to use your calendar in this fashion, as your own personal work log.

Many thanks to @archivalistic @griffey  @timtomch @slmcdanold @collingsruth @metageeky @sharon_bailey @infosecsherpa @gmcharlt @amyrbrown @redgirl13 for sharing their responses.

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Quid Pro Quo: Librarians and Vendors http://litablog.org/2016/02/quid-pro-quo-librarians-and-vendors/ http://litablog.org/2016/02/quid-pro-quo-librarians-and-vendors/#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7246 Continue reading Quid Pro Quo: Librarians and Vendors]]> I joked with a colleague recently that I need to get over my issue with vendors giving me sales pitches during phone calls and meetings. We had a good laugh since a major responsibility of my job as Assistant Director is to meet with vendors and learn about products that will enhance the patron experience at my library. As the point of contact I’m going to be the person the vendor calls and I’m going to be the person to whom the vendor pitches stuff.

The point was that sometimes it would be nice to have a quiet day so you could get back to the other vendors who have contacted you or maybe actually implement some of the tech you acquired from a vendor—he says as he looks wistfully at a pile of equipment in his office that should out in the public’s hands.

Just last month my fellow blogger Bill Dueber talked about the importance of negotiating with vendors in his post “There’s a Reason There’s a Specialized Degree.” Because I work hand in hand with vendors on an almost daily basis there’s a number of things I try to do to hold up my end of the bargain. There’s an article from 2010 on LIS Careers that talks about the Librarian/Vendor relationship. While not everything is relevant, it does have some good information in it (some of which I’ve pulled into this post).

  • Pay bills on time
  • Reply to calls/emails in a timely manner
  • Be clear about timelines
  • Say no if the answer’s no
  • Be congenial

I find it helps if I think of the vendors as my patrons. How would I treat a member of the public? Would I wait weeks before answering a reference question that came in via email? We’re all busy so not responding the same day to a vendor is probably ok but going more than a day or two is not a good idea. If I don’t want the vendor emailing me every other day I need to communicate. And if things are really busy or something’s come up I need to be clear with the vendor that I won’t be able to look at a new product until next week or second quarter, whichever the case may be.

I can’t speak for other libraries, but our board approves bills so we basically do a big swath of payments once a month. The more time it takes me to sign off on a bill and hand it over to finance, the longer it’ll take for that bill to get processed. Trust me, the last thing you want is for your computer reservation license to expire so you end up scrambling fifteen minutes before you open the doors trying to get a new license installed.

If I’m doing my part, then there are some things I expect in return from vendors (this list will look similar):

  • Send bills in a timely manner
  • Don’t send email/call every other day
  • Take no for an answer
  • Don’t trash competitors

It’s very frustrating to me when a vendor keeps pushing a product after I’ve said no. I know the vendor’s job is to find customers but sometimes it can be beneficial to lay off the sales pitch and save it for another visit. Only once have I actually had to interrupt a vendor several times during a phone call to tell them that I no longer will be doing business with them and do not want them to call me any more.

It’s one thing to say that your product does something no one else’s does or to claim that your product works better than a competitor. That’s business. But I’ve sat in vendor demos where the person spent so much time trashing another company that I had no idea what their product did. Also, sometimes I use similar products from different companies because they’re different and I can reach more patrons with a wider variety of services. This is particularly true with technology. We provide desktops, laptops, and WiFi for our customers because different people like to use different types of computers. It’s not always economically feasible to provide such a variety for every service, but we try to do it when we can.

I also have a number of things I’ll put on a wish list for vendors.

  • Look over meeting agendas and minutes
  • Check our website for services we’re offering
  • Provide a demo that you can leave behind
  • Try to not show up unannounced; at least call first

It shocks me when vendors ask what our budget is on a project, especially something for which we’ve done an RFP. This might pertain more to public libraries, but everything we do is public record. You can find the budget meetings on the city website and see exactly how much was approved. That attention to detail goes a long way towards showing me how you’ll handle our relationship.

Maybe we use iPads in our programming. Maybe we just replaced our selfchecks. Perhaps we already have a 3D printer. Maybe the head of our children’s department took part in an iLead program with the focus on helping parents pick early literacy apps for their children. Our website is, for all intents and purposes, an ever-changing document. As such, we make every effort to keep our services up to date and tout what our staff is doing. This can help you frame your sales pitch to us. You might not want to downplay iPads when we’ve been having success with them.

Where technology’s concerned, being able to leave a demo device with me is huge. It’s not always possible, but any amount of time I get where I can see how it would fit into our workflow helps us say yes or no. Sometimes I have a question that only comes up because I’ve spent some time using a device.

If you’re seeing a customer in Milwaukee, my library is not that far away and it makes sense that you can drop in and see how things are going. Totally fine. If you can, call first. The number of times I’ve missed a vendor because I didn’t know they were coming are more numerous than I’d like. But I can’t be available if I don’t know I should.

I get it. Companies are getting bigger through acquisitions, people’s sales areas are changing, the volume of customers goes up and up, and there’s still the same number of hours in the day. But there are vendors who do the things I mention above, and they’ll get my attention first.

What are some of the things you would like to see vendors do?

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2016 Election Slate http://litablog.org/2016/02/2016-election-slate/ Thu, 04 Feb 2016 20:06:47 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8586 Continue reading 2016 Election Slate]]> The LITA Board is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for the 2016 spring election:

Candidates for Vice-President/President-Elect

Candidates for Director-at-Large, 2 elected for a 3-year term

Candidates for LITA Councilor, 1 elected for a 3-year term

View bios and statements for more information about the candidates. Voting in the 2016 ALA election will begin on March 25 and close on April 22. Election results will be announced on April 29. Note that eligible members will be sent their voting credentials via email over a three-day period, March 15-18. Check the main ALA website for information about the general ALA election.

The slate was recommended by the LITA Nominating Committee: Michelle Frisque (Chair), Galen Charlton, and Dale Poulter. The Board thanks the Nominating Committee for all of their work. Be sure to thank the candidates for agreeing to serve and the Nominating Committee for developing the slate. Best wishes to all.

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Call for Proposals, LITA education webinars and web courses http://litablog.org/2016/02/call-for-proposals-lita-education-webinars-and-web-courses/ Wed, 03 Feb 2016 21:28:47 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8574 Continue reading Call for Proposals, LITA education webinars and web courses]]> What library technology topic are you passionate about?
Have something to teach?

The Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Education Committee invites you to share your expertise with a national audience! For years, LITA has offered online learning programs on technology-related topics of interest to LITA Members and wider American Library Association audience.

We deliberately seek and strongly encourage submissions from underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, and the LGBT community

Submit a proposal by February 29th to teach a webinar, webinar series, or online course for Summer/Fall 2016.

All topics related to the intersection of technology and libraries are welcomed. Possible topics include:

  • helpkeyboardResearch Data ManagementCC by www.gotcredit.com
  • Supporting Digital Scholarship
  • Technology and Kids or Teens
  • Managing Technical Projects
  • Creating/Supporting Library Makerspaces, or other Creative/Production Spaces
  • Data-Informed Librarianship
  • Diversity and Technology
  • Accessibility Issues and Library Technology
  • Technology in Special Libraries
  • Ethics of Library Technology (e.g., Privacy Concerns, Social Justice Implications)
  • Library/Learning Management System Integrations
  • Technocentric Library Spaces
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Intro to… GitHub, Productivity Tools, Visualization/Data Analysis, etc.

Instructors receive a $500 honorarium for an online course or $100-150 for webinars, split among instructors. For more information, access the online submission form. Check out our list of current and past course offerings to see what topics have been covered recently. We’re looking forward to a slate of compelling and useful online education programs this year!

LITA Education Committee.

Questions or Comments?

For questions or comments related to teaching for LITA, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

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Jobs in Information Technology: February 3, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/02/jobs-in-information-technology-february-3-2016/ Wed, 03 Feb 2016 20:48:37 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8571 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: February 3, 2016]]> 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:

City of Sierra Madre, Library Services Director, Sierra Madre, CA

Concordia College, Systems and Web Services Librarian, Moorhead, MN

Depaul University Library, Digital Services Coordinator, Chicago, IL

Loyola / Notre Dame Library, Digital Services Coordinator, Baltimore, MD

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Metadata Librarian, Washington, DC

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

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Self-Publishing, Authorpreneurs & Libraries http://litablog.org/2016/02/selfpublishing/ http://litablog.org/2016/02/selfpublishing/#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2016 13:41:38 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8386 Continue reading Self-Publishing, Authorpreneurs & Libraries]]>

“Self-publishing represents the future of literature.  Its willingness to experiment, it’s greater speed to market, it’s quicker communication with the audience, its greater rewards and creative control for creators, its increasing popularity all augur for the continued expansion of self-publishing and its place as the likely wellspring for our best new works” (LaRue, 2014, para. 13).

The self-publishing movement is alive and well in public libraries across the nation, especially within the fiction genre. In a recent American Libraries magazine article, “Solving the Self-Published Puzzle,” Langraf lists several public libraries acquiring self-published books to develop their collections with local authors and with works of regional interest.

I think of how this movement will grow among other types of library communities, and most importantly, how self-publishing technology has made it possible for all of us to publish and access high-quality digital and print resources. Will academic librarians assist teaching faculty to publish their own digital textbooks? Will creative writing classes add an eBook publishing component into their curriculum?  Will special library collections, archives, or museums use these online platforms to create wonderful monographs or documents of archived material that will reach a greater audience?  The possibilities are endless.

What was most interesting to me while reading the American Libraries piece is that libraries are including independent publishing advice and guidance workshops in their makerspace areas.  The freedom of becoming a self-published author comes with a to-do-list: cover illustrations, ebook format conversion (EPUB, MOBI, etc.), online editing, metadata, price and royalties, contracts, and creation of website and social media outlets for marketing purposes.  These are a few of the many things to think about.  Much needs to be learned and librarians can become proficient in these areas in order to create their own creative projects or assist patrons in self-publishing.  It is refreshing to see that an author can trespass the gatekeepers of publishing to get their project published and that our profession can make this phenomenon more accessible to our communities.

We can convert writers into authorpreneurs, a term I recently discovered (McCartney, 2015).  The speed of publishing is awesome – no waiting.  A project can appeal to a particular audience not accessible through traditional routes of publishing. If the author is interested, indie writers have platforms to get picked up by renowned publishing houses and agents.  Traditional authors may also make a plunge into self-publishing.  The attraction for librarians is that the published books can be distributed through platforms like Overdrive currently being used by libraries.  In addition, eBook publishing sites make it possible for users to view their item on several mobile devices through apps or eReaders.  The file type conversions to become readable in all devices are done by many of the organizations listed below.

I have recently become fascinated by the self-publishing movement and plan to write more about the ongoing developments.  I have yet to read my first self-published book and plan to do so soon.  For now, I leave you with some resources that may help you begin thinking about how to use self-publishing to serve your communities and create innovative ways to expand your library services.

Resources

bookworks
BookWorks
The Self Publishers Association
https://www.bookworks.com/


52novels
52 Novels: 
https://www.52novels.com/

Amazon Resources:
createspace
CreateSpace:

https://www.createspace.com/
Tools and services that help you complete your book and make it available to millions of potential readers

kdp
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

https://kdp.amazon.com/

kdpdselect
KDP EDU: https://kdp.amazon.com/edu
Textbook publishing

KDP Kids: https://kdp.amazon.com/kids
Children Books

and many more genres…

ibooks
Apple iBookstore

http://www.apple.com/ibooks/

applepages
Apple Pages

http://www.apple.com/mac/pages/

nookpress
Barnes & Nobles Nook Press

https://www.nookpress.com/

BookBaby-logo1BookBaby: https://www.bookbaby.com/

bookdesigner
The Book Designer: 
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/

bowker
Bowker: http://www.bowker.com/

calibre
Calibre: 
http://calibre-ebook.com/

ebookarchitects
EBook Architects: 
http://ebookarchitects.com/

inscribe_digital
Inscribe Digital: 
http://www.inscribedigital.com

jutoh
Jutoh: 
http://www.jutoh.com/

kobo_writinglife
Kobo Writing Life: 
https://www.kobo.com/writinglife

ingramspark
Ingram Spark: 
https://www.ingramspark.com/

leanpub
Leanpub: 
https://leanpub.com/

lulu
Lulu: 
https://www.lulu.com/

pressbooks
PressBooks: 
http://pressbooks.com/

gutenbergpress
Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press: 
http://self.gutenberg.org/

iconscribd
Scribd: 
https://www.scribd.com

scrivener
Scrivner: 
https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

sigil
Sigil: 
https://code.google.com/p/sigil/

smashwords
Smashwords: 
https://www.smashwords.com/

wattpad
Wattpad: 
https://www.wattpad.com/

Indie Title Reviews
Libraries struggle with indie market collection development.  It is not readily available in the usual book review sources heavily used for mainstream titles– so the librarian is left to search within blogs and other social media outlets to learn of new worthy titles for purchase.  Please find a list of self-publishing collection development resources for libraries/readers below.biblioboard
Biblioboard: 
https://www.biblioboard.com/

ebooksareforever
eBooksAreForever: 
http://ebooksareforever.com/

goodreads
GoodReads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/

indie
Indie Reader: 
http://indiereader.com/

pwselect
PW Select: 
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/

Selfe
Self-e: http://self-e.libraryjournal.com/

spr
SelfPublishing Review: 
http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/

References

Friedman, J. (2015). Helping indie authors succeed: What inde authors need to know about the library market. Publishers Weekly, 262(39), 52.

Gross, A. (2015). Digital winners in the bay area. Publishers Weekly, 262(24), 18-20.

Landgraf, G. (October 30, 2015). Solving the self-published puzzle. American Libraries Magazine. Retrieved from http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2015/10/30/solving-the-self-published-puzzle/

LaRue, J. (2015). From maker to mission. Library Journal, 140(16), 41.

LaRue, J. (2014). The next wave of tech change. Library Journal, 139(16), 47.

McCartney, J. (2015). A look ahead to self-publishing in 2015. Publishers Weekly, 262(3), 36-38.

Peltier-Davis, C. A. (2015). The cybrarian’s web 2: An a-z guide to free social media tools, apps, and other resources. Medford, NJ: Information Today.

Palmer, A. (2014). What every Indie author needs to know about e-books. Publishers Weekly, 261(7), 52-54.

Quint, B. (2015). So you want to be published. Information Today, 32(2), 17.

Scardilli, B. (2015). Public libraries embrace self-publishing services. Information Today, 32(5), 1-26.

Staley, L. (2015). Leading self-publishing efforts in communities. American Libraries, 46(1/2), 18-19.

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Jobs in Information Technology: January 27, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/01/jobs-in-information-technology-january-27-2016/ Wed, 27 Jan 2016 19:42:08 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8530 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: January 27, 2016]]> 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:

SIU Edwardsville, Electronic Resources Librarian, Asst or Assoc Professor, Edwardsville, IL

Olin College of Engineering, Community and Digital Services Librarian, Needham, MA

Great Neck Library, Information Technology Director, Great Neck, NY

Art Institute of Chicago, Senior Application Developer for Collections, Chicago, IL

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

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Intro to Youth Coding Programs, a LITA webinar http://litablog.org/2016/01/intro-to-youth-coding-programs-a-lita-webinar/ Wed, 27 Jan 2016 14:00:45 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8522 Continue reading Intro to Youth Coding Programs, a LITA webinar]]> ScratchcatAttend this informative and fast paced new LITA webinar:

How Your Public Library Can Inspire the Next Tech Billionaire: an Intro to Youth Coding Programs

Thursday March 3, 2016
noon – 1:00 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date
(login required)

Kids, tweens, teens and their parents are increasingly interested in computer programming education, and they are looking to public and school libraries as a host for the informal learning process that is most effective for learning to code. This webinar will share lessons learned through youth coding programs at libraries all over the U.S. We will discuss tools and technologies, strategies for promoting and running the program, and recommendations for additional resources. An excellent webinar for youth and teen services librarians, staff, volunteers and general public with an interest in tween/teen/adult services.

Takeaways

  • Inspire attendees about kids and coding, and convince them that the library is key to the effort.
  • Provide the tools, resources and information necessary for attendees to launch a computer coding program at their library.
  • Cultivate a community of coding program facilitators that can share ideas and experiences in order to improve over time.

Presenters:

Kelly Smith spent hundreds of hours volunteering at the local public library before realizing that kids beyond Mesa, Arizona could benefit from an intro to computer programming. With a fellow volunteer, he founded Prenda – a learning technology company with the vision of millions of kids learning to code at libraries all over the country. By day, he designs products for a California technology company. Kelly has been hooked on computer programming since his days as a graduate student at MIT.

Crystle Martin is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at the University of California, Irvine. She explores youth and connected learning in online and library settings and is currently researching implementation of Scratch in underserved community libraries, to explore new pathways to STEM interests for youth. Her 2014 book, titled “Voyage Across a Constellation of Information: Information Literacy in Interest-Driven Learning Communities,” reveals new models for understanding information literacy in the 21st century through a study of information practices among dedicated players of World of Warcraft. Crystle holds a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in Digital Media, with a minor in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison; serves on the Board of Directors for the Young Adult Library Services Association; and holds an MLIS from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI.

Justin Hoenke is a human being who has worked in youth services all over the United States and is currently the Executive Director of the Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Before that, he was Coordinator of Teen Services at the Chattanooga Public Library in Chattanooga, TN where Justin created The 2nd Floor, a 14,000 square foot space for ages 0-18 into a destination that brings together learning, fun, the act of creating and making, and library service. Justin is a member of the 2010 American Library Association Emerging Leaders class and was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2013. His professional interests include public libraries as community centers, working with kids, tweens, and teens, library management, video games, and creative spaces. Follow Justin on Twitter at @justinlibrarian and read his blog at http://www.justinthelibrarian.com.

kellysmithheadshotMartin_Headshothoenkeheadshot

Register for the Webinar

Full details
Can’t make the date but still want to join in? Registered participants will have access to the recorded webinar.

Cost:

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

Registration Information:

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)
OR
Mail or fax form to ALA Registration
OR
call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5
OR
email registration@ala.org

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty,mbeatty@ala.org

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There’s a Reason There’s a Specialized Degree http://litablog.org/2016/01/theres-a-reason-theres-a-specialized-degree/ http://litablog.org/2016/01/theres-a-reason-theres-a-specialized-degree/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2016 20:33:58 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8515 Continue reading There’s a Reason There’s a Specialized Degree]]> I think it can be easy to look around a library — especially a smooth-running one — and forget that the work that gets done there ranges from the merely difficult to the incredibly complex. This isn’t the sort of stuff just anyone can do, no matter how well-meaning and interested they might be, which is why there are specialized degree programs designed to turn out inventive and effective experts.

I’m talking, of course, about the accountants. And computer programmers. And instructional designers. And usability experts.

And, oh, yeah, the librarians.

A double standard?

There’s a temptation among librarians (and programmers too, of course, and an awful lot of professors) to think that the world consists of two types of work:

  1. Stuff only we can do, and
  2. Everything else

If I were to head off to a library school for a semester and take a single course on cataloging, my colleagues would be understandably worried about dropping me next to the ILS with a stack of new books. A single group project looking broadly at research methodologies doesn’t qualify me for … well, for anything, inside the library or not.

But I often see librarians with only half a semester of programming, or a survey course on usability testing (never mind actual UX), or experience in a group project where they got stuck with the title Project Manager take on (or, often, be thrust into) actual professional roles to do those things.

The unspoken, de facto standard seems to be, “We can teach a librarian to do anything, but we can’t or won’t teach anyone else to do Real Librarian work.”

Subject-matter expertise is not overall expertise

I’m lucky enough to work in a ginormous academic library, where we’re not afraid to hire specialists when warranted. And yet, even here, there persists the curious belief that librarians can and often should do just about everything.

This leads me to what I believe is a Truth That Must Be Spoken:

A committee of four interested and well-meaning librarians is not equivalent to a trained expert with actual education and experience.

There’s a reason most disciplines separate out the “subject-matter expert” (SME) from the other work. Instructional Designers are trained to do analysis, study users and measure outcomes, and work with a SME to incorporate their knowledge into a useful instructional product. The world at large differentiates between web design, content management, and quality assurance. And the first time you work with a real project manager, you’ll come to the stark realization that you’ve never before worked with a real project manager, because the experience is transformative.

Knowing the content and culture makes you a necessary part of a complete intervention. It doesn’t make you the only necessary part.

A question of value

“But Bill,” you’re saying after doing a quick check to see what my name is, “we don’t have the money to hire experts in everything, and besides, we’re dedicated to growing those sorts of expertise within the library profession.”

I’m not against that — who could be against that? But I do worry that it exemplifies an attitude that the value the library really offers is essentially embodied in the sorts of things librarians have been doing for a century or more — things that only librarians can do — and everything else that happens in a library adds notable but ultimately marginal value to the patrons.

That’s not true. The website, the instructional and outreach activities, increasingly complicated management, and (the big one these days) contract negotiation with vendors are all hugely important to the library, and arguably have a much bigger impact on the patrons as a group than, say, face-to-face reference work, or original cataloging. I know our digital environment is used orders of magnitude more than our physical plant, up to and including the actual librarians. Not all users are (or should be) valued equally, but when the zeros start stacking up like that, you should at least take a hard look at where your resources are being spent compared to where your patrons are deriving most of the value.

It’s great if you can get a librarian with the skills needed to excel at these “other” things. But when you put a near-novice in charge of something, you’re implicitly saying two things:

  1. This isn’t all that important to do well or quickly, which you can tell because we put you, a novice, in charge of it, and
  2. The work you were doing before isn’t that important, because we’re willing to pay you to try to learn all this stuff on-the-job instead of whatever you were doing before.

If there’s an eyes-wide-open assessment of the needs of the institution and they decide in favor of internal training, then that’s great. What I’m railing against is starting a project/program/whatever with the implicit attitude that the “library part” is specialized and hard, and that we don’t really care if everything else is done well, agilely, and quickly, because it’s essentially window dressing.

What to do?

Unfortunately, librarianship is, as a discipline, constantly under attack by people looking for a simple way to cut costs. I worry this has the unfortunate side effect of causing librarians as a culture to close ranks. One way this manifests itself is by many institutions requiring an MLS for just about any job in the library. I don’t think that’s in anyone’s interest.

Are you better off hiring another librarian, or a programmer? Should you move someone off their duties to do system administration (almost certainly badly), or should you cut something else and outsource it? Do you have any idea at all if your instructional interventions have lasting impact? If not, maybe it’s time to hire someone to help you find out.

The days when the quality of a library’s services depended almost exclusively on the librarians and the collection are behind us. It takes a complex, heterogenous set of knowledge and expertise to provide the best service you can for as many patrons as you can. And maybe, just maybe, the best way to gather those skills is to hire some non-librarians and take advantage of what they know.

Librarians deserve to be valued for their expertise, education, and experience. So does everyone else.

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Which Test for Which Data, a new LITA web course http://litablog.org/2016/01/which-test-for-which-data-a-new-lita-web-course/ http://litablog.org/2016/01/which-test-for-which-data-a-new-lita-web-course/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:25:13 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8510 Continue reading Which Test for Which Data, a new LITA web course]]> wtwdgraphic2Here’s the first web course in the LITA spring 2016 offerings:
Which Test for Which Data: Statistics at the Reference Desk

Instructor: Rachel Williams, PhD student in the School of Library and Information Studies at UW-Madison

Offered: February 29 – March 31, 2016
A Moodle based web course with asynchronous weekly content lessons, tutorials, assignments, and group discussion.

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

This web course is designed to help librarians faced with statistical questions at the reference desk. Whether assisting a student reading through papers or guiding them when they brightly ask “Can I run a t-test on this?”, librarians will feel more confident facing statistical questions. This course will be ideal for library professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge of statistical methods in order to provide assistance to students who may use basic statistics in their courses or research. Students taking the course should have a general understanding of mean, median, and mode.

Takeaways:

  • Develop knowledge related to statistical concepts, including basic information on what the goals of statistical tests are and which kinds of data scales are associated with each, with a focus on t-tests, correlations, and chi-square tests.
  • Explore different kinds of statistical tests and increase ability to discern between the utility of different types of statistical tests and why one may be more appropriate than another.
  • Increase literacy in evaluating and describing statistical research that uses t-tests, correlations, and chi-square tests.
  • Improve confidence in answering questions about statistical tests in a reference setting, including explaining tests and results and assisting users in determining which statistical tests are appropriate for a dataset. Helping others analyze graphical representations of statistics.

Here’s the Course Page

RachelWilliamsRachel Williams is a PhD student in the School of Library and Information Studies at UW-Madison. Rachel has several years of experience in public and academic libraries and is passionate about research design and methods. She has also taught courses at SLIS on database design, metadata, and social media in information agencies. Rachel’s research explores the constraints and collaborations public libraries operate within to facilitate access to health information and services for the homeless.

Dates:

February 29 – March 31, 2016

Costs:

  • LITA Member: $135
  • ALA Member: $195
  • Non-member: $260

Technical Requirements:

Moodle login info will be sent to registrants the week prior to the start date. The Moodle-developed course site will include weekly new content lessons and is composed of self-paced modules with facilitated interaction led by the instructor. Students regularly use the forum and chat room functions to facilitate their class participation. The course web site will be open for 1 week prior to the start date for students to have access to Moodle instructions and set their browser correctly. The course site will remain open for 90 days after the end date for students to refer back to course material.

Registration Information:

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)
OR
Mail or fax form to ALA Registration
OR
call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5
OR
email registration@ala.org

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

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A Linked Data Journey: Survey of Publishing Strategies http://litablog.org/2016/01/a-linked-data-journey-survey-of-publishing-strategies/ Fri, 22 Jan 2016 17:11:08 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8501 Continue reading A Linked Data Journey: Survey of Publishing Strategies]]>

surveyor_002

Image Courtesy of Shelly under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Introduction

Happy Friday everyone! This is part five of my Linked Data Series. You can find the previous posts by going to my author page. Last week I was fortunate enough to attend Mashcat 2016 in Boston. It was a wonderful one-day conference. We had some very interesting conversations aimed at breaking down communication barriers in libraries (archives and museums), and I was able to meet some fantastic professionals (and students).

In addition to attending, I also presented a talk titled Finding Aid-LD: Implementing Linked Data in a Finding Aid Environment (slides). During the presentation I identified various Linked Data publishing strategies that are currently being implemented. I thought this would be a neat topic to post here as well, so today I’m going to give you the deets on Linked Data publishing strategies.

Survey of Publishing Strategies

Note that these strategies are not mutually exclusive. You can combine these strategies for any particular solution.

Data Dump

Details
A data dump is a zipped file or set of files that contain the complete dataset of a provider.

Use-case
Somebody wants to download a provider’s full dataset for research, reuse, etc.

Examples

Subject Pages

Details
A subject page is a document or set of documents that contain all the data about a resource. Subject pages are very similar to traditional metadata records. Common practice is to use content negotiation so that when you go to a URI, the URI will redirect to a human-readable or machine-readable document based on the HTTP ACCEPT header. A newer and increasingly popular practice is to embed RDFa into HTML documents. Google and the other big search engines index RDFa and other types of embedded metadata. RDFa is becoming an added layer to content negotiation, and in many cases an alternative altogether.

Use-case
A person wants to dereference a resource URI and discover new knowledge by browsing through resource links.

Examples

Triplestores and SPARQL Endpoints

Details
Triplestores are databases for storing RDF triples/data. SPARQL is a query language for RDF and most commonly accesses RDF data through triplestores. SPARQL can run very complex, semantic queries on RDF and can infer new knowledge based on the complex queries. A SPARQL endpoint is a server access point that you go to to run queries on a triplestore.

Use-cases
A researcher wants to run complex, semantic querying of the data. A reference librarian needs to perform a complex query during a reference session.

Examples

Software

Triple Pattern Fragments

Details
A relatively new strategy is through Triple Pattern Fragments (TPF). TPF aims to be an efficient solution for querying RDF data (you can read more about what I mean here). TPF breaks queries down into triple patterns (subject predicate object). Example:

Give me all the resources whose birthName is “Christopher Frank Carandini Lee”.
?subject <http://dbpedia.org/ontology/birthName> "Christopher Frank Carandini Lee"

Software
There are currently two types of TPF software: TPF servers and TPF clients. The server runs simple triple pattern queries as shown above. The client uses triple pattern queries to run complex, SPARQL-like queries. According to their website, TPF clients have lower server cost and higher availability when compared to SPARQL endpoints, which means that the former might be a good alternative to the latter. The only caveat is that a TPF client uses more bandwidth and has a higher client cost.

Linked Data API

Details
A Linked Data API is an effort to transform complex RDF data into simple RESTful APIs. The only such software that I’ve found is aptly named Linked Data API. According to the documentation, Linked Data API is an API layer that sits on top of a SPARQL endpoint. It can generate documents (subject pages) and run “sophisticated queries” (though, I don’t think they can be as complex as SPARQL queries). I’ll confess that this strategy is the one I’m least knowledgeable about, so please feel free to delve into the documentation.

Conclusion

I hope this gives you a good idea of the plethora of ways to publish Linked Data. If you know of any others please list them in the comments. As always, I invite you to post questions and comments below or send them to me via email. Thanks for reading!

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Jobs in Information Technology: January 20, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/01/jobs-in-information-technology-january-21-2016/ Thu, 21 Jan 2016 15:53:28 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8497 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: January 20, 2016]]> 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:

Whatcom County Library System, Online Experience Coordinator, Bellingham, WA

California State University, Sacramento, Head of Library Information Systems, Sacramento, CA

Penn State University Libraries, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Special Collections Cataloging Librarian, University Park, PA

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

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6 Design Resources for Librarians http://litablog.org/2016/01/6-design-resources-for-librarians/ http://litablog.org/2016/01/6-design-resources-for-librarians/#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:00:13 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8448 Continue reading 6 Design Resources for Librarians]]> handjiveThere’s one little bullet point at the end of my job description that reads: Participate in curation of digital displays, and use social media tools and outlets for promotion of library resources, collections, and services. I love graphic design and take every opportunity to flex my Photoshop muscles, but I know that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. Whether it’s in your job description or not, at some point you’ll find yourself designing a research poster, slide deck, workshop flyer, social media banner, or book display. When the time comes, here’s a list of resources that are guaranteed to help conquer design anxiety.

COLOR
Creating a color palette is not my strong suit, so I rely on the web to find inspiration. My favorite site right now is the Swiss Style Color Picker. It’s quality over quantity, so you won’t find a ton of options, but the presentation is flawless and interactive too. Click on your color of choice and it automatically copies the hexadecimal code to your clipboard.Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.37.10 PMICONS
Icons are the new clipart! The Noun Project is a massive collection of graphics that you can use for free if you properly attribute the designer. You can download an image file or vector graphic; which means you can scale it up or down without losing quality.Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.41.54 PM

INSPIRATION
Do I need to say it? Pinterest is perfect for this kind of thing. Whenever I start a project, the first thing I do is create a Pinterest board to find a general direction for my design. If you simply browse through the Graphic Design category, you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration.Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 5.42.15 PMFONTS
There are plenty of places to find free fonts online, but I’m partial to DaFont. It’s easy to browse their categories (sans serif, calligraphy, typewriter, etc.) and you can enter your own custom text to preview multiple typefaces at once. Biko and Angelface are my current favorites.Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 7.37.46 PMSHAPES
Designing with simple shapes can be very effective. Philographics: Big Ideas in Simple Shapes by Genis Carreras is a perfect example of what’s possible when you pair up, duplicate, and overlap shapes. The result can be stronger than an image and easier to manipulate.downloadIMAGES
Just in case you missed all the commotion, the New York Public Library just released a whole heap of public domain images on their Digital Collections site. If you’ve ever tried to play by the rules when using images you find online, you know it’s an uphill battle. Not to worry, there’s plenty of gems here. And just when you think it can’t get any sweeter; they’ve even curated a collection with designers in mind.cropped

And sometimes I use all of these resources in tandem. Case in point, the collage I used to kick off this post was created using “Clark, Madeline” from the NYPL Digital Collections, “MERS#3, Seoul Metropolitan Library” from Flickr user Tai-Jan Huang, and “Book” by David Marioni from the Noun Project.

Where do you find design inspiration?

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Express Your Shelf http://litablog.org/2016/01/express-your-shelf/ http://litablog.org/2016/01/express-your-shelf/#comments Mon, 18 Jan 2016 14:00:34 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8439 Continue reading Express Your Shelf]]> This won’t be the first time I ever admit this, nor will it be the last, but boy am I out of touch.

I’m more than familiar with the term “selfie”, which is when you take a photo of yourself. Heck, my profile pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and even here on LITA Blog are selfies. As much as I try to put myself above the selfie fray, I find myself smack in the middle of it. (I vehemently refuse to get a selfie stick, though. Just…no.)

But I’d never heard of this “shelfie” phenomenon. Well, I have, but apparently there’s more than one definition. I had to go to Urban Dictionary, that proving ground for my “get off my yard”-ness, to learn it’s a picture of your bookshelf, apparently coined by author Rick Riordan. But I was under the impression that a shelfie is where you take a picture of yourself with a book over your face. Like so:

woman reading with a picture of the cover aligned with her own face
Promo poster for bookstore Mint Vinetu

But apparently that’s called “book face”, so I’m still wrong.

Also, I just found out there’s an app called Shelfie, which lets you take a picture of your bookshelf and matches your books with free or low-cost digital version (an e-ternative, if you will).

All along, you see, I thought a shelfie was when you took a picture of yourself with your favorite book in front of your bookshelf (because selfie + shelf = selfie?), but it’s just of your bookshelf, not you. Apparently I’m vainer than I thought.

Here’s my version of a shelfie:

Blog post author Stephanie posing in front of science fiction bookshelf with a book in front of her face
I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

Regardless, it’s a cool idea to share our books with our friends, to find out what each other is reading, or just to show off how cool our bookshelves look (and believe me, I’m jealous of a few of you). There are other ways to be social about your books – Goodreads and Library Thing come to mind – but this is a unique way to do it if you don’t use either one.

What does your shelfie look like?

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Jobs in Information Technology: January 13, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/01/jobs-in-information-technology-january-13-2016/ Wed, 13 Jan 2016 20:22:07 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8383 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: January 13, 2016]]> 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:

Princeton University Library, Librarian for Reference & Research Services and Gender & Sexuality Studies – Requisition #160001, Princeton, NJ

Colorado State University Libraries, Data Management Specialist, Fort Collins, CO

Western Washington University, Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons, Bellingham, WA

City of Phoenix, Library Department, Librarian II, Phoenix, AZ

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

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Brave New Workplace: Your Homegrown CRM http://litablog.org/2016/01/brave-new-workplace-your-homegrown-crm/ Mon, 11 Jan 2016 12:02:13 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8366 Continue reading Brave New Workplace: Your Homegrown CRM]]> CRM
A CRM empowers you to find connections between your users/patrons.

What is a CRM? For starters, an excellent starting point for this installment of Brave New Workplace, a multi-part LITA blog series on using tech tools to ease your entry into a new position. A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management database, a record management system comprised of different record levels from individual to organization, with entries and fields for interactions and transactions and notes. CRMs provide essential business intelligence to a company, nonprofit, or even (you guessed it) library.

As a new hire, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you receive at first. A CRM can help you organize information by contact, associating workflows, projects, committee information, research interests and more with the relevant colleague. By categorizing and tagging colleagues, you can identify overlaps of interest and synergies.

CRMs are used for a variety of purposes, including communications automation and e-commerce. For our purposes, I suggest treating it as an repository resource, where your contacts and their research interests, collection needs, important emails and documents, and personal notes can be organized and stored. You can also use it to export reports and gauge your own performance. This is a powerful tool to have when you come on-board at a library, and when you organize your thoughts around your workplace relationships, you may find it easier to identify collaborators in interdepartmental efforts.

Example: When you meet a new librarian from Wake Forest at a conference, you can tie their individual record to that institution, and when they accept a position at UNC, you can record that move in your CRM while still having the history of what came before.

Many CRMs are designed with large-scale enterprise in mind- unless your library or department is looking to adopt a system, you’ll want to steer clear of these solutions which were designed with multiple data entrants and a system administrator in mind. It’s also important to remember that because CRMs are designed for a sales environment, some of the terminology (including customers) may seem at first glance inappropriate. Don’t let the standard terminology deter you from taking advantage of a powerful tool.

capsule
Capsule CRM

For myself, and for you, I’d suggest a single-user cloud-based CRM. You have a few options to choose from, many designed with social media integration in mind. I have been using Capsule since I began work at the University of Houston. It’s mobile friendly- always handy in meetings with vendors or when traveling at conferences.

You could also consider Radium, Humin, or ZOHO CRM. Pick what strikes your fancy! Be aware that as with all “free” options on the internet, it may eventually move to a paid model.

Capsule has easy options for importing CSV files of contacts, which I exported from both my Outlook email and my LinkedIn contacts. In addition, individual records can be entered by hand. As a general rule, I’d suggest a big upload of your contacts to start, with individual entry as an ongoing means of managing and cleaning your database.

Contact Search
Search and Find by Any Text Entry

Think of a CRM as a complement to any collaborative organizational project management tools you may use. A CRM can allow you to save important emails, notes, and project information to individual contact records.

calendar and tasks
Tasks in my CRM

Perhaps the greatest benefit of the CRM is the ease with which I can attach vendor contacts to a central vendor account. Essentially, being able to have all my Ebsco contacts in an Ebsco folder, with their titles and my notes, is the gift that keeps on giving.

Ebsco
Ebsco Account Record in my CRM

Another benefit of Capsule is that it is free for up to two “users,” which means that I can share access to my vendor contacts through a general login. This gives others the opportunity benefit from the CRM, and makes the CRM additionally functional as a sort of shared rolodex.

The more time you spend within your CRM, the more you’ll be able to tweak its functions and categories to make them useful. If you let a CRM languish, its information will soon become out-of-date. Remember, your data is only as good as your data management!

Here we are at the end of my Brave New Workplace series, and I hardly know how to end it. It’s been an awesome experience learning and hearing from all of you, LITA Blog readers. As we all continue to grow and learn in our respective workplaces, I hope to update and return to this series with ongoing suggestions. Thank you for your support! Tech on!

 

 

 

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Flexing your instructional muscles: using technology to extend your reach beyond the classroom http://litablog.org/2016/01/flexing-your-instructional-muscles-using-technology-to-extend-your-reach-beyond-the-classroom/ http://litablog.org/2016/01/flexing-your-instructional-muscles-using-technology-to-extend-your-reach-beyond-the-classroom/#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2016 17:53:18 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8340 Continue reading Flexing your instructional muscles: using technology to extend your reach beyond the classroom]]> We’re in the midst of re-thinking our entire Information Literacy curriculum, and I’ve been waxing philosophical on the role technology will play into this new and uncharted land. The new Framework for Information Literacy has thrown the instructional library world into a tizzy. We are all grappling with everything from understanding the threshold concepts themselves to determining how to best teach them. We’ve done this all along of course with the previous Standards for Information Literacy, but there’s something about this new incarnation that seems to perplex and challenge at the same time.

university-105709__180

For me, the biggest revelation was the idea that we could no longer rely on the traditional 50 minute one-shot to cover all of these concepts in one fell swoop. But wait, you might say, we never did that before either! That may be true, but there was something comforting and decidedly familiar in that set of neatly laid out outcomes that one could follow almost like a recipe to make one feel as though it could be accomplished in one sitting and more importantly, the students would be able to learn it. I’m the first to admit that it was easy for me to fall into this pattern and I was so focused on making that one interaction perfect, that I didn’t really think much about what happened before or after it.

And perhaps it’s purely a placebo effect at play here, but the framework turned on a light bulb for me that had previously remained unlit. Of course you cannot cover everything there is to know about Information Literacy in one session! Readers might be tearing their hair out right now and yelling at the screen that this a very obvious observation. And perhaps it is, but it’s helped me to realize how important the role technology plays in all of this to help us think beyond the one shot.

There’s been a ton of discussion about the benefits of the flipped classroom before students even see you so that you can dispense with the more mundane elements and cover the good stuff in class. But what happens after that? What if you don’t have a chance to assess that class or ever talk to those students again? What I’m really talking about is the post instruction flip. With this model, you still retain the one-shot format (because it’s still very much part of our instructional reality), but the conceptual underpinnings of the framework can now be stretched out across the entire semester and the online content can help you maintain a presence and still deliver the needed information.

Challenges and Opportunities

Two major obstacles might present themselves in your minds at this point: the willingness of the faculty to let your virtual presence linger and a lack of resources. As I think I’ve mentioned in other posts, piloting is often the key to success. Work with a few faculty who you know will be willing to let you post or send additional learning objects after the session with their students is over and who will ensure that they take it seriously by making it an actual part of the assignment. Modular objects work well for this reason and can cover both more abstract ideas as well as more point and click type skills. Assessment will also be crucial here and if you can compare the results of students who had access to this online content to those who didn’t, that will help you scale up this model especially if the scores show a positive difference. A final component to overcoming this first issue is that of integration with the course. This is where you will have to decide what needs to go online and at what point, how it should be accessed, and all the surrounding logistics. This will require collaboration, ongoing discussion, and some tailoring of content depending on the assignment and the pace of the course. This whole idea is especially important if you don’t have a large staff on hand and you want to concentrate your efforts to those very important in-person interactions and let the virtual content help with the rest.

What if you don’t have an unlimited amount of money and staff time to create an amazing tutorial? There are free tools out there that don’t require too much of a learning curve-for example, Blendspace allows you to drag and drop content from other sources in the form of tiles that can be mixed and matched. In addition to the built in quiz option, there’s a feature that allows students to tell you if they understood the content or not and provides yet another opportunity for you to provide feedback and clarification.

Blubbr TV is a trivia-type tool that allows you to append questions to video clips. Although it’s meant to foster team-based competition, it’s an easy way to assess comprehension of basic concepts. So if a student had watched a video on Boolean operators, you wouldn’t need to include that as part of your assessment, because you would already know how he/she did and could address issues much more quickly and directly.

education-614155__180

I do want to make a side point here, so please bear with me. The idea is not so much that you are using these tools to help you assess student learning-there are many ways to do that which don’t require technology and many that do, but rather that you are using these resources to help you provide additional support for students as they’re going through the entire process not simply at an arbitrary point in time chosen by the faculty member because it works with the schedule. Too often we feel compelled to create an entire tutorial that covers everything and we get overwhelmed with the details and the potential cost either in staff time or software, but with this model you’re not trying to recreate the one-shot online, rather enrich and broaden it.

A final tip is to get to know your campus instructional technologist and/or designer. He/she can help point you in the right direction, whether it’s about a new tool you might not have seen before or simply a pedagogical approach to maximize the benefit of your online resources. More and more I find myself turning to this field for inspiration and ideas and am finding applications for instructional tools and activities I didn’t consider before simply by looking outside the library.

Conclusion

Now that I’ve thoroughly vexed you with my musings, it was all to say that technology is going to become even more important as we continue to explore the complexities of the framework and delve into its intricate layers. Using online tools will not always alleviate our time and staffing issues, but it should help us to continue working with students well beyond the time we see them and hopefully it will provide, perhaps ironically, greater individualized interaction at the point of need, and help us realize that the one-shot is not the end, but rather just the beginning.

*Images taken from Pixabay

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A Linked Data Journey: Interview with Julie Hardesty http://litablog.org/2016/01/a-linked-data-journey-interview-with-julie-hardesty/ http://litablog.org/2016/01/a-linked-data-journey-interview-with-julie-hardesty/#comments Thu, 07 Jan 2016 14:00:21 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8244 Continue reading A Linked Data Journey: Interview with Julie Hardesty]]> conversation_003

Image Courtesy of Marcin Wichary under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Introduction

This is part four of my Linked Data Series. You can find the previous posts in my author feed. I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Are you ready for some more Linked Data goodness? Last semester I had the pleasure of interviewing Julie Hardesty, metadata extraordinaire (and analyst) at Indiana University, about Hydra, the Hydra Metadata Interest Group, and Linked Data. Below is a bio and a transcript of the interview.

Bio:

Julie Hardesty is the Metadata Analyst at Indiana University Libraries. She manages metadata creation and use for digital library services and projects. She is reachable at jlhardes@iu.edu.

The Interview

Can you tell us a little about the Hydra platform?

Sure and thanks for inviting me to answer questions for the LITA Blog about Hydra and Linked Data! Hydra is a technology stack that involves several pieces of software – a Blacklight search interface with a Ruby on Rails framework and Apache Solr index working on top of the Fedora Commons digital repository system. Hydra is also referred to when talking about the open source community that works to develop this software into different packages (called “Hydra Heads”) that can be used for management, search, and discovery of different types of digital objects. Examples of Hydra Heads that have come out of the Hydra Project so far include Avalon Media System for time-based media and Sufia for institutional repository-style collections.

What is the Hydra Metadata Interest Group and your current role in the group?

The Hydra Metadata Interest Group is a group within the Hydra Project that is aiming to provide metadata recommendations and best practices for Hydra Heads and Hydra implementations so that every place implementing Hydra can do things the same way using the same ontologies and working with similar base properties for defining and describing digital objects. I am the new facilitator for the group and try to keep the different working groups focused on deliverables and responding to the needs of the Hydra developer community. Previous to me, Karen Estlund from Penn State University served as facilitator. She was instrumental in organizing this group and the working groups that produced the recommendations we have so far for technical metadata and rights metadata. In the near-ish future, I am hoping we’ll see a recommendation for baseline descriptive metadata and a recommendation for referring to segments within a digitized file, regardless of format.

What is the group’s charge and/or purpose? What does the group hope to achieve?

The Hydra Metadata Interest Group is interested in working together on base metadata recommendations, as a possible next step of the successful community data modeling, Portland Common Data Model. The larger goals of the Metadata Interest Group are to identify models that may help Hydra newcomers and further interoperability among Hydra projects. The scope of this group will concentrate primarily on using Fedora 4. The group is ambitiously interested in best practices and helping with technical, structural, descriptive, and rights metadata, as well as Linked Data Platform (LDP) implementation issues.

The hope is to make recommendations for technical, rights, descriptive, and structural metadata such that the Hydra software developed by the community uses these best practices as a guide for different Hydra Heads and their implementations.

Can you speak about how Hydra currently leverages linked data technologies?

This is where keeping pace with the work happening in the open source community is critical and sometimes difficult to do if you are not an active developer. What I understand is that Fedora 4 implements the W3C’s Linked Data Platform specification and uses the Portland Common Data Model (PCDM) for structuring digital objects and relationships between them (examples include items in a collection, pages in a book, tracks on a CD). This means there are RDF statements that are completely made of URIs (subject, predicate, and object) that describe how digital objects relate to each other (things like objects that contain other objects; objects that are members of other objects; objects ordered in a particular way within other objects). This is Linked Data, although at this point I think I see it as more internal Linked Data. The latest development work from the Hydra community is using those relationships through the external triple store to send commands to Fedora for managing digital objects through a Hydra interface. There is an FAQ on Hydra and the Portland Common Data Model that is being kept current with these efforts. One outcome would be digital objects that can be shared at least between Hydra applications.

For descriptive metadata, my understanding is that Hydra is not quite leveraging Linked Data… yet. If URIs are used in RDF statements that are stored in Fedora, Hydra software is currently still working through the issue of translating that URI to show the appropriate label in the end user interface, unless that label is also stored within the triple store. That is actually a focus of one of the metadata working groups, the Applied Linked Data Working Group.

What are some future, anticipated capabilities regarding Hydra and linked data?

That capability I was just referring to is one thing I think everyone hopes happens soon. Once URIs can be stored for all parts of a statement, such as “this photograph has creator Charles W. Cushman,” and Charles W. Cushman only needs to be represented in the Fedora triple store as a URI but can show in the Hydra end-user interface as “Charles W. Cushman” – that might spawn some unicorns and rainbows.

Another major effort in the works is implementing PCDM in Hydra. Implementation work is happening right now on the Sufia Hydra Head with a base implementation called Curation Concerns being incorporated into the main Hydra software stack as its own Ruby gem. This involves Fedora 4’s understanding of PCDM classes and properties on objects (and implementing Linked Data Platform and ordering ontologies in addition to the new PCDM ontology). Hydra then has to offer interfaces so that digital objects can be organized and managed in relation to each other using this new data model. It’s pretty incredible to see an open source community working through all of these complicated issues and creating new possibilities for digital object management.

What challenges has the Hydra Metadata Interest Group faced concerning linked data?

We have an interest in making use of Linked Data principles as much as possible since that makes our digital collections that much more available and useful to the Internet world. Our recommendations are based around various RDF ontologies due to Fedora 4’s capabilities to handle RDF. The work happening in the Hydra Descriptive Metadata Working Group to define a baseline descriptive metadata set and the ontologies used there will be the most likely to want Linked Data URIs used as much as possible for those statements. It’s not an easy task to agree on a baseline set of descriptive metadata for various digital object types but there is precedence in both the Europeana Data Model and the DPLA Application Profile. I would expect we’ll follow along similar lines but it is a process to both reach consensus and have something that developers can use.

Do you have any advice for those interested in linked data?

I am more involved in the world of RDF than in the world of Linked Data at this point. Using RDF like we do in Hydra does not mean we are creating Linked Data. I think Linked Data comes as a next step after working in RDF. I am coming from a metadata world heavily involved in XML and XML schemas so to me this isn’t about getting started with Linked Data, it’s about understanding how to transition from XML to Linked Data (by way of RDF). I watch for reports on creating Linked Data and, more importantly, transitioning to Linked Data from current metadata standards and formats. Conferences such as Code4Lib (coming up in March 2016 in Philadelphia), Open Repositories (in Dublin, Ireland in June 2016) and the Digital Library Federation Forum (in Milwaukee in November 2016) are having a lot of discussion about this sort of work.

Is there anything we can do locally to prepare for linked data?

Recommended steps I have gleaned so far include cleaning the metadata you have now – syncing up names of people, places, and subjects so they are spelled and named the same across records; adding authority URIs whenever possible, this makes transformation to RDF with URIs easier later; and considering the data model you will move to when describing things using RDF. If you are using XML schemas right now, there isn’t necessarily a 1:1 relationship between XML schemas and RDF ontologies so it might require introducing multiple RDF ontologies and creating a local namespace for descriptions that involve information that is unique to your institution (you become the authority). Lastly, keep in mind the difference between Linked Data and Linked Open Data and be sure if you are getting into publishing Linked Data sets that you are making them available for reuse and aggregation – it’s the entire point of the Web of Data that was imagined by Tim Berners-Lee when he first discussed Linked Data and RDF (http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/LinkedData.html).

Conclusion

A big thank you to Julie for sharing her experiences and knowledge. She provided a plethora of resources during the interview, so go forth and explore! As always, please feel free to leave a comment or contact Julie/me privately. Until next time!

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Jobs in Information Technology: January 6, 2016 http://litablog.org/2016/01/jobs-in-information-technology-january-6-2016/ Thu, 07 Jan 2016 00:38:10 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8355 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: January 6, 2016]]> 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:

Cadence Group, Metadata and Systems Librarian, Greenbelt, MD

California State University, Fullerton, Systems Librarian, Fullerton, CA

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Manager, Library & Information Management Services, Ardmore, OK

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

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3D Printer Handyman’s Toolbox http://litablog.org/2016/01/3d-printer-handymans-toolbox/ Wed, 06 Jan 2016 13:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7249 Continue reading 3D Printer Handyman’s Toolbox]]> On this site, we have discussed how 3D Printers can enhance various aspects of your library’s programming and how to create important partnerships for implementation. Indeed, 3D Printers can improve the library experience for all involved. However, what happens when that printer comes to a screeching/beeping halt? After two years of maintaining our printers, Makerbot Replicator 2 and Tinkerine Ditto Pro, and thanks to the kind donations of library patrons, I have assembled a toolbox that has eased daily maintenance and disassembly.

The post is broken up into sections covering tools for the following aspects:

Each section also looks at pricing for these tools and alternatives.

Tools for: Plate

THE TAPE

Not all of us can afford to wait for flexible platforms and we must make do with laying down some painter’s tape to ease the object removal. At first we would use standard-sized tape which would require about 8 strips to fully cover either platform. A few months ago someone graciously donated a roll of 3M ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape Superwide Roll that has made it just a two strip process:Tape

As you can see, the Superwide covers the majority of the Makerbot plate and a single strip of regular sized painter’s tape finishes the job.

Layout is also important. We place the thinner strip at the forefront where both printers clear their extruders before starting a print job. This allows us to replace the highly-used section of the platform at near daily intervals while the larger portion is only replaced when there is significant wear. This is also a cost saving measure as the Superwide variety can be nearly $50 per roll, and minimizing its replacement is vital. Utilizing this method allows me to stretch two rolls for four months, despite the printers actively printing out 3-4 jobs per day. If you are tight for funds, there is also 3DXTech’s XL Blue Painters Tape worth considering, which is half the price but with mixed reviews.

THE SCRAPER

Both of our printers use PLA 1.75MM filament and while that does give some Scrapersflexibility in removing items from the platform, it can still be a pain to remove flat thin objects. Paint scraper to the rescue! At first we tried a cheap plastic scraper set (the red ones) but their edges were too soft. Upgrading to a metal 1.5 inch scraper provided much better results. While it does have a tendency to damage the tape, thus reducing the re-usability of said tape, it provided enough strength to wedge a gap in mere seconds. As for pricing, metal 1.5 inch scrapers can be found for less than $5.

Tools for: Fine Tuning Prints

For print jobs that required a bit of polish, we turned to three trusty friends: scissors, X-ACTO knife, and sandpaper.

Fine_Tuning

The small scissor allows you to cut through thin pieces, such as supports or excess filament. The X-ACTO knife is called in for situations like stubborn raft pieces. Finally, the sandpaper can smooth out imperfections. Combined, all three will give your print a much finer look and prevent broken nails. Additionally, all of these pieces are easy to come by and should be no more than a few dollars each.

Tools for: Gripping

PincersThese tools are recommended for any situation that requires a delicate and firm grip. For the most part this occurs when small bits of filament are left in and around the extruder. In these situations we use a wide range of tweezers and pincers. These tools are easily found in any craft store or online. We found the flat head tweezers to provide the best grip on filament. Once again, these tools are quite affordable at around $3-5 each. Pick up one for now and add to your collection as required.

 

Tools for: Disassembly

The web will likely have an abundance of video and text resources on how to fix the exact issue for your printer. Avoid the temptation of these “quick fixes” first and check your manufacturer’s support site. I found quite a few answers to our Makerbot2 problems on their excellent support site. However, you should also be aware that the day will come when you will need to disassemble the magical device.

For the most part, 3D Printers come with everything you need. What they can lack are clear instructions on how to disassemble, let alone what tools you need, and even such great resources as ifixit.com fail to cover this vital maintenance aspect. It should be noted that the following tools are only needed if your warranty is already void. Some provider’s warranties will not even let you disassemble simple housing areas. Read those warranty guidelines that might be conveniently located in the bottom of the now discarded box, or on their support sites. All clear?

SCREWDRIVERS – Phillips & Flathead

Alright, so the first thing you want to purchase is a screwdriver set that contains Screwdriver_Seta variety of bit sizes. This allows you to tackle devices whose manufacturer decided that a different size was required for the shell, extruder, panels, board, and warning label. Again, you should really read any and all support documentation before attempting to use these tools. Our aptly named Precision Screwdriver Set, which covers 1.0mm through 3.0mm, has opened up a few areas on the machines. Just do a quick search on Amazon and find a set that fits your budget and needs, such as the $7 Herco HE826 Precision Screwdriver Set or $5 for the Stanley 66-039 6-Piece Set.

SCREWDRIVERS – Hex

We also ran into areas, namely the extruder, which required a screwdriver with hex bits. BitsFor these advanced areas (did I mention you should really read those support documents?) we turned to the 54 Bit Driver Kit from iFixit.com’s store. This set also includes a flexible driver that made it easy to work with in the printer’s cramped areas.

The set is perfect for 3D Printers as it also contains flathead and Phillips bits of all sizes. It can easily cover the majority of your disassembly needs. At $25 it is definitely the pricier of the three sets but I highly recommend it due to the quality of the tools and the diverse sizes.

Final Cost

After all that, you are probably asking yourself: “how much is this going to cost me?” Let me break it down for you in a handy table.

RECOMMENDED TOOLBOX

Item

Cost

3M ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape Superwide Roll

$50

Metal 1.5 inch Scraper

$5

Small Scissor

$5

X-Acto #2 Knife

$6

Flat Tweezer

$5

54 Bit Driver Kit

$25

 

$96

ALTERNATIVE TOOLBOX

Item

Cost

3DXTech’s XL Blue Painters Tape

$25

Metal 1.5 inch Scraper

$5

Small Scissor

$5

X-Acto #2 Knife

$6

Flat Tweezer

$5

Stanley 66-039 6-Piece Screwdriver Set

$6

 

$52

The contents and size of your 3D Printer Toolbox will come down to your needs and the model you use. I am allowed some freedom in dissembling our printers to fix small issues, like filament jams, and the high use of our machines means I am changing out the plate tape every few hours. Both of these requirements are reflected in the higher quality (and thus higher priced) emphasis of the plate and disassembly sections. You might find that your printer needs finer tweezers to reach certain areas and for other functions. A 3D Printer is a massive financial and time investment, so remember to save some funds to ease your interaction with them.

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LITA Spring Online Learning Opportunities http://litablog.org/2016/01/lita-spring-online-learning-opportunities/ Tue, 05 Jan 2016 16:13:39 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8310 Continue reading LITA Spring Online Learning Opportunities]]> Registration is Now Open, for any of 3 webinars and 2 web courses. Check out the great line up.

Webinars are one time sessions lasting 60 to 90 minutes.

ScratchcatHow Your Public Library Can Inspire the Next Tech Billionaire: an Intro to Youth Coding Programs, with Kelly Smith, Crystle Martin, and Justin Hoenke
Offered: Thursday March 3, 2016, Noon Central Time
Kids, tweens, teens and their parents are increasingly interested in computer programming education, and they are looking to public and school libraries as a host for the informal learning process that is most effective for learning to code. This webinar will share lessons learned through youth coding programs at libraries all over the U.S. We will discuss tools and technologies, strategies for promoting and running the program, and recommendations for additional resources.

https-everywhere2The Why and How of HTTPS for Libraries, with Jacob Hoffman-Andrews
Offered: Monday March 14, 2016, 1:00 pm Central Time
As more of our library browsing occurs over the Internet, the only way to continue to preserve patron privacy is to make sure that the library catalog and database traffic that travels between a web browser and a server remains encrypted. This webinar will discuss how encrypted websites work, and demonstrate exciting tools from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that make it easy to encrypt library websites by default.

smvideoclapperYes You Can Video, with Anne Burke, and Andreas Orphanides
Offered: Tuesday April 12, 2016, 1:00 pm Central Time
Have you ever wanted to create an engaging and educational instructional video, but felt like you didn’t have the time, ability, or technology? Are you perplexed by all the moving parts that go into creating an effective tutorial? This webinar will help to demystify the process, breaking it down into easy-to-follow steps, and provide a variety of technical approaches suited to a range of skill sets. They will cover choosing and scoping your topic, scripting and storyboarding, producing the video, and getting it online. They will also address common pitfalls at each stage.

Web Courses use a multiple week asynchronous format.

wtwdgraphic2Which Test for Which Data: Statistics at the Reference Desk, with Rachel Williams
Starting Monday February 29, 2016, running for 4 weeks
This web course is designed to help librarians faced with statistical questions at the reference desk. Whether assisting a student reading through papers or guiding them when they brightly ask “Can I run a t-test on this?”, librarians will feel more confident facing statistical questions.

UDidlogoUniversal Design for Libraries and Librarians, with Jessica Olin, and Holly Mabry
Starting Monday April 11, 2016, running for 6 weeks
Universal Design is the idea of designing products, places, and experiences to make them accessible to as broad a spectrum of people as possible, without requiring special modifications or adaptations. This course will present an overview of universal design as a historical movement, as a philosophy, and as an applicable set of tools.

Sign up for any and all of these great sessions today.

Questions or Comments?

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

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KonMari in Web Librarianship http://litablog.org/2016/01/konmari-in-web-librarianship/ http://litablog.org/2016/01/konmari-in-web-librarianship/#comments Tue, 05 Jan 2016 04:02:33 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8324 Continue reading KonMari in Web Librarianship]]> Over the winter break, I had the pleasure of listening to the audio book version of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. In this book, the author explains in detail her method of tidying up (which she calls KonMari). I highly recommend you read the book in its entirety to gain a fuller understanding of what the KonMari method entails, but in short:

  • Gather everything you own that falls into a specific category
  • Touch each item individually. Hold it, feel it, connect with it
  • Ask yourself, “Does this item spark joy within me?”
  • If it doesn’t spark joy, ask, “is it useful or necessary?”
  • Lastly, if the item doesn’t spark joy, and it isn’t useful, discard it. Also, as you discard it, thank it for fulfilling its purpose, whatever it may have been.
  • Do this category by category until your life is only filled with those things that spark joy.

As I listened to this book, I started to make some connections between the techniques being described and how they could apply to my life as a web services librarian. In this post, I’ll point out a few of the random connections it sparked for me, and perhaps others will be encouraged to do something similar, or even apply KonMari in other areas of librarianship — I’d love to hear what others have to say!

Content Auditing

The first thing that stuck out to me about this method is how similar it felt to performing a content audit. Content auditing is an important step in developing an overall content strategy — I’d recommend taking a look at Margot Bloomstein’s article, “The Case for Content Strategy — Motown Style” for a pretty practical overview of content strategy and content auditing. Any information architect, or information worker in general, would be remiss to skip the step of documenting all existing content prior to structuring or restructuring any sort of website or *ahem* LibGuides system. I think that LibGuides (or any of the LibApps, really) would be a great candidate to begin experimenting with content auditing and discarding things. Applying the question “Does it spark joy?” actually becomes a really interesting question, because not only should you be considering it from your own perspective, but also that of the user. This quickly dives into a question of user experience. The oft-spoken about epidemic of “LibGuides Gone Wild” could be at least somewhat tamed if you were to apply this question to your guides. Obviously, you may not always be in a position to be able to act on the discarding of guides without buy-in, but maybe this can provide you with yet another language to describe the benefits of focusing on users.

Conference Notes

One type of item that Kondo discusses is seminar notes, which, based on her description, aligns pretty much 100% with the notes we all take when we are at conferences. When I first started attending library conferences at the beginning of my career (about 5 years ago), I would shun taking notes on a computer, insisting that handwriting my notes would result in more effective notes because I would have to be more particular about what nuggets of knowledge I would jot down. In reality, all I would end up with was a sore hand, and I would actually miss out on quite a bit of what the speaker was saying. As I progressed, I would eventually resort to using an iPad along with OneNote, so that I could easily tap out whatever notes I wanted, as well as take pictures of relevant slides and include them along with my notes. This, I believed, was the perfect solution. But, what exactly was it the perfect solution for? It was the perfect solution to make sure I could provide an adequate write-up / conference recap to my co-workers to prove that I actually did learn something and that it was worth the investment. That’s pretty much it. Of course, in my own mind I would think “Oh, these are great! I can go back to these notes later and re-ingest the information and it will be available next time I need it!”. But, I can count on zero hands how many times I actually did that. One of the things that Kondo says about these sorts of events is that the benefit and purpose of them is in the moment — not the notes. You should fully invest yourself in the here and now during the event, because the experience of the event is the purpose. Also, the best way to honor the event is not to have copious notes — but to apply what you’ve learned immediately. This portion of the book pretty much spoke to me directly, because I’m 100% guilty of worrying too much about proving the greatness of professional development opportunities rather than experiencing the greatness.

Code Comments

While the last example I used can pretty much apply to any librarian who attends conferences, this example of where I can apply KonMari is pretty particular to those who have to code at some level. I think I may be more guilty of this than the average person, but the amount of stuff I have commented out (instead of deleting altogether) is atrocious. When I’m developing, I have a (bad) habit of commenting chunks of code that are no longer needed after being replaced by new code. Why do I do this? For the number one reason on Kondo’s list of excuses that people have when discarding things: “I might need it someday!”. In the words of Kondo herself, “someday never comes”. There are bits of code that have probably been commented out instead of deleted for a good 3 years at this point — I think it’s time to go ahead and delete them. Of course, there are good uses for comments, but for the sake of your own sanity (and the sanity of the person who will come after you, see your code and think, “wut?”) use them for their intended purpose, which is to help you (and others) understand your code. Don’t just use it as a safety net, like I have been. I’m even guilty of having older versions of EZproxy stanzas commented out in the config file. Why on Earth would those ever be useful? What makes me even worse is that we have pretty extensive version control, so I could very easily revert to or compare with earlier versions. You can even thank your totally unnecessary comments as you delete them, because they did ultimately serve a purpose — they taught you that you really can simply trust yourself (and your version control).

Well, that’s it for now — three ways of applying KonMari to Web Services Librarianship. I would love to hear of other ways librarians apply these principles to what they do!

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Jobs in Information Technology: December 30, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/12/jobs-in-information-technology-december-30-2015/ Wed, 30 Dec 2015 19:40:18 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8278 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: December 30, 2015]]> 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:

Minnesota State University, Mankato, Systems Librarian, Assistant Professor, Mankato, MN

Multnomah County Library, IT Public Computing Solutions Engineer, Portland, OR

Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative, Automation Systems Librarian, Mankato,MN

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

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LITA at ALA Midwinter – Boston http://litablog.org/2015/12/lita-at-ala-midwinter-boston/ Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:56:52 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8274 Continue reading LITA at ALA Midwinter – Boston]]> MW16_logo_RGB500x597If you’re going to ALA Midwinter in Boston, don’t miss these excellent LITA activities.  Click the links for more information.  And check out the entire:

LITA at ALA Midwinter schedule

Friday, January 8, 2016, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

LITA “Makerspaces: Inspiration and Action” tour at Midwinter!

How do you feel about 40,000 square feet full of laser cutters, acetylene torches, screen presses, and sewing machines? Or community-based STEAM programming for kids? Or lightsabers? If these sound great to you

Register Now

Saturday, January 9, 2016, 10:30 am to 11:30 am, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center – 104 BC

All Committees, and all Interest Groups, meetings

This is where and when all the face to face meetings happen.  If you want to become involved in working with LITA, show up, volunteer, meet your colleagues, express your interests, share your skills.

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 10:30 am to 11:30 am, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center – 253 A

Top Technology Trends Discussion Session

Part of the ALA News You Can Use series this is LITA’s premier program on changes and advances in technology. Top Technology Trends features our ongoing roundtable discussion about trends and advances in library technology by a panel of LITA technology experts and thought leaders. The panelists for this session include:

  • Moderator: Lisa Bunker, Pima County Public Library
  • Jason Griffey, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
  • Jim Hahn, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Jamie Hollier, Anneal, Inc. and Commerce Kitchen
  • Alex Lent, Millis Public Library
  • Thomas Padilla, Michigan State University
  • Rong Tang, Simmons College
  • Ken Varnum, University of Michigan

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm, Seaport Hotel, Room Harborview 2

LITA Open House

LITA Open House is an opportunity for current and prospective members to talk with Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) leaders, committee chairs, and interest group participants. Share information, encourage involvement in LITA activities, and help attendees build professional connections.

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, MIJA Cantina & Tequila Bar Quincy Market – 1 Faneuil Hall Marketplace – Boston, MA

LITA Happy Hour

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. Map the location.

Monday, January 11, 2016, 8:30 am to 10:00 am, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center – 104 BC

LITA Town Meeting

Join your fellow LITA members for breakfast and a discussion led by President-elect Aimee Fifarek, about LITA’s strategic path. We will focus on how LITA’s goals–collaboration and networking; education and sharing of expertise; advocacy; and infrastructure–help our organization serve you and the broader library community. This Town Meeting will help us turn those goals into plans that will guide LITA going forward.

 

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to LITA at ALA Midwinter Boston, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

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Jobs in Information Technology: December 23, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/12/jobs-in-information-technology-december-23-2015/ Wed, 23 Dec 2015 21:19:49 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8270 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: December 23, 2015]]> 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:

University of Georgia, Digital Projects Librarian/Archivist, Athens, GA

Mendocino County Library, Librarian I, Ukiah,CA

Dartmouth College, Data and Visualization Librarian, Hanover, NH

AbbVie, Research Information Scientist – Content Management (Systems Librarian), Chicago,IL

MCCCD/Glendale Community College, Librarian, Glendale, AZ

Lee County Library System, Senior Librarian, Digital Services Manager, Fort Myers, FL

NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, Data Jedi (Research Information Scientist), Brooklyn,NY

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

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Register for “Makerspaces: Inspiration and Action” at ALA Midwinter http://litablog.org/2015/12/register-for-makerspaces-inspiration-and-action-at-ala-midwinter/ Thu, 17 Dec 2015 20:52:27 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8095 Continue reading Register for “Makerspaces: Inspiration and Action” at ALA Midwinter]]> How do you feel about 40,000 square feet full of laser cutters, acetylene torches, screen presses, and sewing machines? Or community-based STEAM programming for kids? Or lightsabers?

If these sound great, you should register for the LITA “Makerspaces: Inspiration and Action” tour at Midwinter! We’ll whisk you off to Somerville for tours, nuts and bolts information on running makerspace programs for kids and adults, Q&A, and hands-on activities at two great makerspaces.

a rainbow of paint cans, a sewing mannequin, a paint-covered shoe
A workspace at Artisan’s. (“HoaT2012: Boston, July-2012” by Mitch Altman; https://www.flickr.com/photos/maltman23/7641851700/ ; CC BY-SA)

Artisan’s Asylum is one of the country’s premier makerspaces. In addition to the laser cutters, sewing machines, and numerous other tools, they rent workspaces to artists, offer a diverse and extensive set of public classes, and are familiar with the growing importance of makerspaces to librarians.

adorable child in Riddler costume in front of a soldering station
My kid made her fabulous Halloween costume at Parts & Crafts this year and I am definitely not at all biased. (Photo by the author.)

Parts & Crafts is a neighborhood gem: a makerspace for kids that runs camp, afterschool, weekend, and homeschooling programs. With a knowledgeable staff, a great collection of STEAM supplies, and a philosophy of supporting self-directed creativity and learning, they do work that’s instantly applicable to libraries everywhere. We’ll tour their spaces, learn the nuts and bolts of maker programming for kids and adults, and maybe even build some lightsabers.

workbench with miscellaneous tools
What tools can you use? (“Parts and Crafts, kids makerspace” by Nick Normal; https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicknormal/16441241633/; CC BY-NC-ND)

Parts & Crafts is also home to the Somerville Tool Library (as seen on BoingBoing). Want to circulate bike tools or belt sanders, hedge trimmers or hand trucks? They’ll be on hand to tell you how they do it.

I’ll be there; I hope you will be, too! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/makerspaces-inspiration-and-action-registration-19968887480″Register today.

metal dragonfly on a red shelf
Let’s all fly to Boston! (Untitled photograph by Clarence Risher; https://www.flickr.com/photos/sparr0/6871774914/in/album-72157629681164147/; CC BY-SA)
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Jobs in Information Technology: December 16, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/12/jobs-in-information-technology-december-16-2015/ Wed, 16 Dec 2015 21:53:33 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8259 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: December 16, 2015]]> 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:

University of Texas Libraries, Senior Software Developer/Analyst, Austin, TX

Cadence Group, Metadata and Systems Librarian, Greenbelt, MD

Sales Representative, Southern Tier, Backstage Library Works, City to be determined, TX

 

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

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An Interview With LITA Emerging Leader Melissa Stoner http://litablog.org/2015/12/an-interview-with-emerging-leader-melissa-stoner/ Wed, 16 Dec 2015 20:30:37 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8247 Continue reading An Interview With LITA Emerging Leader Melissa Stoner]]> Melissa Stoner image

Tell us about your library job. What do you love about it?

I work at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Lied Library Digital Collections. I am the Workflow Manager for the Nevada Digital Newspaper Project, part of the National Historic Newspaper Project, a joint effort between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities. I have been a part of the Digital Collections team for a couple of years. Every year I learn something new about the work I am doing. I love my job because of the people I work with. I also love that I have the freedom to observe different aspects of the digitization process for many of our collections. At times I assist with managing the metadata of the different collections. We are currently utilizing TemaTres Controlled Vocabulary server to manage, publish, and share the ontologies and taxonomies we use in our collections. I am also learning more about linked data.

Where do you see yourself going from here, career-wise?

I really enjoy being a project manager and working in academic institutions. I like the idea of making photographs and other historical items digitally accessible to students, faculty, and the community. I think it would be great working for an academic institution where I am allowed to manage and create digital collections, whether with an institutional repository or within a special collections library.

Why did you apply to be an Emerging Leader? What are you most excited about?

I applied because I’ve been very fortunate to have a fantastic mentor in my supervisor, Cory Lampert. She took me on as a volunteer intern and then helped me get hired as the Digital Projects Manager at Nevada State College with an IMLS grant funded oral history project.  Then she brought me back for the newspaper project. From this experience, I’ve learned the value of working with true collaborators. I’m excited to build on this experience on the national level as an Emerging Leader.

I am Navajo and lived in Shiprock, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation until I was 24. Like many others, I moved away because of a lack of job opportunities. I hope that in some way my being an Emerging Leader could inspire others from a similar background.

What are your favorite things to do when you’re not working?

I like thrift store shopping, gaming, traveling, photographing abandoned buildings, and going to dinner with friends — but not cooking!

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Jobs in Information Technology: December 9, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/12/jobs-in-information-technology-december-9-2015/ Wed, 09 Dec 2015 22:52:05 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8232 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: December 9, 2015]]> 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:

Business and Public Administration Liaison Librarian, Penn State University Libraries, Harrisburg Campus, Harrisburg, PA

Assistant Professor – Instruction and Foundational Experience Librarian, Colorado State University Libraries, Fort Collins, CO

Assistant Professor – Online Education and Liaison Librarian, Colorado State University Libraries, Fort Collins, CO

Sales Representative, Northern Tier, Backstage Library Works, City to be determined, IL

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

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LITA Bloggers Reflect on LITA Forum 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/12/lita-forum-2015/ http://litablog.org/2015/12/lita-forum-2015/#comments Mon, 07 Dec 2015 13:00:33 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8153 Continue reading LITA Bloggers Reflect on LITA Forum 2015]]> LITA bloggers, L-R: Whitni, Lindsay, Brianna, Bill, Michael, Jacob
LITA bloggers, L-R: Whitni, Lindsay, Brianna, Bill, Michael, Jacob

Connections – Michael Rodriguez

Several LITA bloggers, including myself, attended our first-ever LITA Forum in November 2015. For me, the Forum was a phenomenal experience. I had a great time presenting on OCLC products, open access integration, and technology triage, with positive, insightful audience questions and feedback. The sessions were excellent, the hotel was amazing, the Minneapolis location was perfect, but best of all, LITA was a superb networking conference. With about 300 attendees, it was small enough for us to meet everyone, but large enough to offer diverse perspectives. I got to meet dozens of people, including LITA bloggers Bill, Jacob, and Whitni, whom I knew via LITA or via Twitter but had never met IRL. I got to reenergize old comradeships with Lindsay and Brianna and finally meet the hard-working LITA staff, Mark Beatty and Jenny Levine. I formed an astonishing number of new connections over breakfast, lunch, dinner, and water coolers. Our connections were warm and revitalizing and will be with us lifelong. Thanks, LITA!

To Name – Jacob Shelby

LITA Forum 2015 was my first professional library conference to attend, and I will say that it was an amazing experience. The conference was just the right size! I was fortunate to meet some awesome, like-minded people who inspired me at the conference, and who continue to inspire me in my daily work. There were so many great sessions that it was a real challenge choosing which ones to go to! My particular favorite (if I had to choose only one) was Mark Matienzo’s keynote: To Hell With Good Intentions: Linked Data, Community and the Power to Name. As a metadata and cataloging professional, I thought it was enlightening to think about how we “name” communities and to consider how we can give the power to name and tell stories back to the communities. In all, I made connections with some wonderful professionals and picked up some great ideas to bring back to my library. Thanks for an awesome experience, LITA!

Game On – Lindsay Cronk

A conference is an investment for many of us, and so we always look for ROI. We fret about costs and logistics. We expect to be stimulated by and learn from speakers and presentations. We hope for networking opportunities. At LITA Forum, my expectations and hopes were met and exceeded. Then I got to go to Game Night. What better way to reward a conferenced-out brain than with a few rounds of Love Letter and a full game of Flash Point? I had a terrific time talking shop and then just playing around with fellow librarians and library tech folks. It reminded me that play and discovery are always touted as critical instructional tools. At this point I’m going to level a good-natured accusation- LITA Forum gamified my conference experience, and I loved it. I hope you’ll come out and play next year, LITA Blog readers!

No, get YOUR grub on! – Whitni Watkins

As someone on the planning committee for LITA Forum, I spent a decent amount of time doing my civic duty and making sure things were in place. After a couple of years of conference heavy attending, I learned that you cannot do it all and come out on top. I was selective this year, I attended a few sessions that peaked my interest and spent a few hours discussing a project I was working on in the Poster session. I’ve learned that conferences are best for networking, for finding people with the same passion to help you hack things in the library (and not so library) world. My fondest memory of this year’s LITA forum was the passionate discussion we had during one of our networking dinners on the hierarchy in libraries, how we can break it, and why it is important to do so. Also, afterwards meeting up as LITA Bloggers and hanging out with each other IRL. A great group of people behind the screen, happy to be a part of it.

Did you attend this year’s LITA Forum? What was your experience like?

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Jobs in Information Technology: December 3, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/12/jobs-in-information-technology-december-3-2015/ Thu, 03 Dec 2015 16:47:03 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8222 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: December 3, 2015]]> 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:

Acquisitions & E-Resources Librarian, DePaul University Library, Chicago, ILDownload Movies Online. Download and Enjoy Latest Movies 2015

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

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Quick, Clear, Concise: Communicating Effectively http://litablog.org/2015/12/quick-clear-concise-communicating-effectively/ http://litablog.org/2015/12/quick-clear-concise-communicating-effectively/#comments Wed, 02 Dec 2015 16:00:04 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8217 Continue reading Quick, Clear, Concise: Communicating Effectively]]> Recently I read an article that discussed digital signage at the San Jose State University library. The concerns raised by librarian Laurel Eby are very valid, especially if you don’t have any background in graphic design. Questions about content, slide duration, number of slides, and even branding are big questions that can impact how effectively your message gets across.

Many, many jokes have been made about how short our attention spans are lately. (Ooh, look – a kitty!) But when you’re designing things that are meant to get – and, hopefully, keep – a person’s attention, there is a seed of truth behind the joke…and you can’t ignore it. Because if you ignore that, then your patrons will ignore you.

When I studied television production, we were told about the “elevator pitch”. If you’re not familiar, imagine you’re in an elevator with a famous director – let’s say Steven Spielberg. You just so happen to have The Best Idea Ever for a movie (about a plucky young librarian who blogs in her spare time?) but you only have until he gets off the elevator to thoroughly describe your story. You have to talk, and you have to talk fast. What do you tell him?

Now translate that into some digital signage. Your patrons are just as busy as Mr. Spielberg and have just as much time to listen to your spiel about your next library event (so basically, none). You’ve got to reach out to them, and you have to do it fast. How do you go about it?

You can take another tip from the television world when you figure out how to answer that question: You’ve got to make it clear, you’ve got to make it quick, and you’ve got to make it concise. Here’s how:

Make it quick: Okay, so we’ve got to get the patrons’ attention. Since we can’t stand on corners yelling about our events, we need to think about what gets our attention – and the answer is imagery. Use vivid, fun colors and, if possible, include a photo (or two) of your event. Make it something that forces people to look – don’t use blurry, dull photos and keep clip art to a minimum.

Make it clear: So now we’ve got the patron, what are we going to tell them? Simply slapping an event name and a date on your signage will generate more questions than answers. Elaborate where you need to – we’re meeting in Room A of the B Branch Library. Give a one-sentence description of the event with active language. Most importantly, make sure your text is as legible as your idea: there are a lot of beautiful script typefaces out there, but if your patrons can’t read them, they’re not worth the pixels they’re made out of.

Make it concise: Journalists operate with these questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Answer at least three of those questions (typically what, where, and when) and you’re golden. Remember your one-sentence description? That’s all you get. You can maybe squeeze a second one in there if you’re determined. But Keep It Simple, Silly. There’s a reason that acronym exists.

Here’s an example of a digital sign I made for our “Talk Like a Pirate Day”. It gives just enough information to tell what’s going on, yet it still invites the patron to come ask about it if they have more time.

An example of a digital sign advertising a "Talk like a Pirate Day" event at our library. It shows an example of quick, clear, and concise design.
Our “Talk Like a Pirate Day” signage. All the stamps and fonts were found for free online.

Is this hard? You bet it is. You don’t have to go all-out Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for your new story-time signage, but you don’t have to make it “Jeopardy!”-dull either. It takes a lot of practice and you’ll learn a lot from your mistakes. Look at other digital ads – the rotating banners on many library pages are an excellent example of what you could do with digital signage. Keep your eyes open for design inspiration, digital and analog, and your ears open for patron feedback. Even if you couldn’t PowerPoint your way out of a paper bag, you can design effective digital signage.

So tell Mr. Spielberg about your awesome new storytime. Who knows – he might make an awesome movie out of it!

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October + November Library Tech Roundup http://litablog.org/2015/11/octnov-library-tech-roundup/ Mon, 30 Nov 2015 14:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7408 Continue reading October + November Library Tech Roundup]]> Image courtesy of Flickr user byronv2 (CC BY NC)
Image courtesy of Flickr user byronv2 (CC BY NC)

Each month, the LITA bloggers share selected library tech links, resources, and ideas that resonated with us. Enjoy – and don’t hesitate to tell us what piqued your interest recently in the comments section!


Brianna M.

I shared my openness story on The Winnower, an open access online scholarly publishing platform.

An open letter to PLoS regarding libraries’ role in data curation, compiled by a group of data librarians.

Two takes on data management threshold concepts: from Jake Carlson and from Kristin Briney.

My superb assistant Cameron created data comics to celebrate Halloween and they’re too good not to share.

Cinthya I.

I only have one link to share, but it’s pretty awesome. POP (Prototype on Paper) is a program that lets you create a simulated app without having to know how to code. Simply upload an image file and you can create clickable screens to walk through how the app might work once it would be fully functional. Great for innovation, entrepreneurship, and general pitch sessions!

Michael R.

I am in a post-holiday rush period, so I will just take this opportunity to encourage everyone to review the presentations and handouts from the 2015 LITA Forum, available open access on the forum wiki. There’s some truly great material on there (including three presentations from yours truly).

Always useful is Marshall Breeding’s Library Technology site. For electronic resources and systems librarians, it really is a fantastic resource for keeping up with the latest trends, mergers, and changes in library electronic subscriptions and vendors.

Bill D.

I’ve been heavily into thinking about APIs and how to build them lately, with a focus on how to design/document any API endpoint you might build.

For the backend, the most common way to build things is in a RESTful way using something like Grape for ruby, but I’m giving a serious look at the just-one-endpoint-and-specify-everything approach used in Facebook’s GraphQL. The older and dumber I get, the more I appreciate strict type systems…

What should an API return? These days, the answer is “JSON”, but that’s not very specific. I’m taking a look at json-schema to see if it fits in with how I work.

Desining a good API is hard. There are several competing(?) ways to specify (and simultaneously document) an API you’re designing. The most interesting are API Blueprint, based around extentions to markdown; Swagger (now the Open API Initiative), which provides not only specification and design but code generation, a documentaiton UI, and a host of other things; and RAML, the RESTful API Modeling Language with its own set of tools and libraries. The good news is that one need not be locked in; a quick search shows several tools to convert from one to the other.

Looking to consume http-based APIs? The Postman Chrome extension gives a great interface to mess around with API calls.

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. A robots.txt file tells robots how to behave when crawling your site; An apis.json file specifies what APIs are available on a given machine (and, if found, will be automatically added to the clearinghouse at APIs.io)

Finally, having nothing to do with APIs: Markdown Here is a browser extention that allows you to write markdown anywhere there’s a rich-text editor. I use it for GMail and a wide variety of other sites,
and wonder how I used to live without it.


Whitni W. 

In my new position, I support a lot of  free open source software (FOSS) and have been interested in to different takes on why FOSS and what it takes to support it. One article I enjoyed is about what motivates people’s work on open source software and why they continue to work on it.

Another topic I’ve been looking more into is anonymity on the web and handing online harassment. J. Nathan Matias, a PhD student at MIT put together a really helpful resource about understanding online harassment. “A New Starting Point for Understanding Online Harassment

and one last link for interested parties. I get a lot of questions about best practices for using a carousel on a website. I for one do not care for them and would rather direct someone not to use one, however it’s sometimes hard to explain this and Jared Smith put together a simple site that perfectly handles the No’s on web carousels. “Should I use a Carousel?” 

John K.

Ned Potter gives you an alternative for creating a quick website if you need to make something for a conference or a project or a webinar. That way you don’t have to do a whole domain registration, hosting space, etc. but you get something nice-looking. (via his Library Marketing Toolkit website)

David Lee King offer some suggestions on ways you can use Instagram to drive checkouts. David takes a post he read about hacking Instagram to drive sales and applies it to the library world.

And finally Library Data Visualization gives you a way to quickly check where the highest circulation rates for public libraries are in your state. Or you could look at the whole country. The resource was created by the Connecticut State Library and it uses information from the a 2013 IMLS survey. I’m not sure how useful this is but it’s fun to play with.

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Brave New Workplace: Text Mining http://litablog.org/2015/11/brave-new-workplace-text-mining/ http://litablog.org/2015/11/brave-new-workplace-text-mining/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7902 Continue reading Brave New Workplace: Text Mining]]> augustinefeature_large
Text Mining Visualization from McGill University

Hi there, future text miners. Before we head down the coal shoot together, I’ll begin by saying this, and I hope it will reassure you- no matter your level of expertise, your experience in writing code or conducting data analysis, you can find an online tool to help you text mine.

The internet is a wild and beautiful place sometimes.

But before we go there, you may be wondering- what’s this Brave New Workplace business all about? Brave New Workplace is my monthly discussion of tech tools and skill sets which can help you adapt and know a new workplace. In our previous two installments I’ve discussed my own techniques and approaches to learning about your coworkers’ needs and common goals. Today I’m going to talk about text mining the results of your survey, but also text mining generally.

Now three months into my new position, I have found that text mining my survey results was only the first step to developing additional awareness of where I could best apply my expertise to library needs and goals. I went so far as to text mine three years of eresource Help Desk tickets and five years of meeting notes. All of it was fun, helpful, and revealing.

Text mining can assist you in information gathering in a variety of ways, but I tend to think it’s helpful to keep in mind the big three.

1. Seeing the big picture (clustering)
2. Finding answers to very specific questions (question answering)
3. Hypothesis generation (concept linkages)

For the purpose of this post, I will focus on tools for clustering your data set. As with any data project, I encourage you to categorize your inputs and vigorously review and pre-process your data. Exclude documents or texts that do not pertain to the subject of your inquiry. You want your data set to be big and deep, not big and shallow.

I will divide my tool suggestions into two categories: beginner and intermediate. For my beginners just getting started, you will not need to use any programming language, but for intermediate, you will.

Beginner

word cloud
I know, you’ve seen a million word clouds.

Start yourself off easy and use WordClouds.com. This simple site will make you a pretty word cloud,  and also provide you with a comprehensive word frequencies list. Those frequencies are concept clusters, and you can begin to see trends and needs in your new coworkers and your workplace goals. This is a pretty cool, and VERY user friendly way to get started text mining.

WordClouds eliminates frequently used words, like articles, and gets you to the meat of your texts. You can copy paste text or upload text files. You can also scan a site URL for text, which is what I’ve elected to do as an example here, examining my library’s home page. The best output of WordClouds is not the word cloud. It’s the easily exportable list of frequently occurring words.

info.lib.uh word frequencies
WordCloud Frequency List

To be honest, I often use this WordClouds’ function in advance of getting into other data tools. It can be a way to better figure out categories of needs, a great first data mining step which requires almost zero effort. With your frequencies list in hand you can do some immediate (and perhaps more useful) data visualization in a simple tool of your choice, for instance Excel.

 

Excel
Excel Graphs for Visualization

 

Intermediate Tools

Depending on your preferred programming language, many options are available to you. While I have traditionally worked in SPSS for data analysis, I have recently been working in R. The good news about R versus SPSS- R is free and there’s a ton of community collaboration. If you have a question (I often do) it’s easy to find an answer.

Getting started in R with text mining is simple. You’ll need to install the packages necessary if you are text mining for the first time.

textmining packages

Then save your text files in a folder titled: “texts,” and load those in R. Once in, you’ll need to pre-process your text to remove common words and punctuation.  This guide is excellent in taking you through the steps to process your data and analyze it.

Just like our WordClouds, you can use R to discover term frequencies and visualize them. Beyond this, working in R or SPSS or Python can allow you to cluster terms further. You can find relationships between words and examine those relationships within a dendrogram or by k-means. These will allow you to see the relationships between clusters of terms.website dendrogram

Ultimately, the more you text mine, the more familiar you will become with the tools and analysis valuable in approaching a specific text dataset. Get out there and text mine, kids. It’s a great way to acculturate to a new workplace or just learn more about what’s happening in your library.

Now that we’ve text mined the results of our survey, it’s time to move onto building a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) for keeping our collaborators and projects straight. Come back for Brave New Workplace: Your Homegrown CRM on January 11th.

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Jobs in Information Technology: November 24, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/11/jobs-in-information-technology-november-24-2015/ Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:56:39 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8140 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: November 24, 2015]]> 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:

Tenure-track – STEM Librarian, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA

Web Services Librarian, Meridian Library District, Meridian, ID

Information Technology & Virtual Services (ITVS) Officer, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, CO

Systems & Discovery Services Librarian, Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN

Systems Administrator, University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System, Madison, WI

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

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A Linked Data Journey: Interview with Allison Jai O’Dell http://litablog.org/2015/11/a-linked-data-journey-interview-with-allison-jai-odell/ http://litablog.org/2015/11/a-linked-data-journey-interview-with-allison-jai-odell/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:00:51 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8093 Continue reading A Linked Data Journey: Interview with Allison Jai O’Dell]]> quoteBubbles_001
Image Courtesy of AJC under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Introduction

This is part three of my Linked Data Series. You can find the previous posts in my author feed. I’ve decided to spice things up a bit and let you hear from some library professionals who are actually implementing and discussing Linked Data in their libraries. These interviews were conducted via email and are transcripts of the actual interviews, with very minor editorial revisions. This first interview is with Allison Jai O’Dell.

Bio:

Allison Jai O’Dell is Metadata Librarian and Associate University Librarian at the University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries. She is on the editorial teams of the RBMS Controlled Vocabularies and the ARLIS/NA Artists’ Books Thesaurus – and is working to publish both as enriched, five-star linked datasets. Learn more about her from her website.

The Interview

Can you give a brief description of TemaTres?

TemaTres is a free, open-source content management system for knowledge organization systems (KOS) – such as library thesauri, taxonomies, ontologies, glossaries, and controlled vocabulary lists.

Can you list some key features of TemaTres?

TemaTres runs on a Web-server, and requires only PHP, MySQL, HTML, and CSS. TemaTres is quick to install, and easy to customize. (Gosh, I sound like a salesperson! But it really is simple.)

TemaTres is a cloud-based solution for multiple parties to build and access a KOS. Out-of-the-box, it provides a back-end administration and editing interface, as well as a front-end user interface for searching and browsing the KOS. Back-end users can have varying privileges to add, edit, or suggest concepts – which is great for collaborative projects.

TemaTres makes it easy to publish Linked Data. Concepts are assigned URIs, and the data is available in SKOS and JSON-LD formats (in addition to other formats, such as Dublin Core and MADS). Relationships can be established not only within a KOS (where reciprocal relationships are automatically inferred), but also to external Web resources. That is, TemaTres makes it easy to publish five-star Linked Data.

How have you used TemaTres in your institution? Can you give an example?

I have used TemaTres on several thesaurus projects to streamline collaborative workflows and publish (linked) data. For example, at the University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries, we are using TemaTres to develop, publish, access, and apply local controlled vocabularies and ontologies. I am particularly excited to collaborate with Suzan Alteri, curator of the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, to develop an ontology of paratextual features. Because our special collections are so unique, we find need to extend the concepts available in major library thesauri. With SKOS under the hood, TemaTres makes that possible.

What challenges have you faced in implementing TemaTres?

With TemaTres and SKOS, we now have the ability to create relationships between thesauri. This is a new frontier – external links have not previously been a part of thesaurus production workflows or thesaurus data. So, now we are busy linking legacy data, and revamping our processes and policies to create more interoperability. It is a lot of work, but the end result – the ability to extend major thesauri at the local or granular level – is tremendously powerful.

How do you see TemaTres and similar linked data vocabulary systems helping in the future?

The plethora of controlled vocabulary and ontology editors on the market allow us to publish not only metadata, but the organizational structures that underlie our metadata. This is powerful stuff for interoperability and knowledge-building. Why wait on the future? Get started now!

What do you think institutions can do locally to prepare for linked data?

There are two answers to this question. One is about preparing our data. Linked data relies on URIs and relationships. The more URIs and relationships we can squeeze into our data, the better it will perform as linked data. Jean Godby and Karen Smith-Yoshimura give some great advice on prepping MARC data for conversion to Linked Data. Relationships – that is, predicates in the RDF triple – can be sourced from relationship designators and field tags in MARC data. So, Jean and Karen advise us to add relationship designators and use granular field tagging.

The second answer is about preparing our staff. In the upcoming volume 34 of Advances in Library Administration and Organization (ALAO), I discuss training, recruitment, and workflow design to prepare staff for linked data. Library catalog theory (especially our tradition of authority control), metadata skillsets (to encode, transform, query, clean, publish, expose, and preserve data), and current organizational trends (towards distributed resource description and centralized metadata management) provide a solid basis for working with linked data.

Librarians tend to focus on nitty-gritty details – hey, it’s our job! But, as we prepare for linked data, and especially as we plan for training, let’s try not to lose the forest for the trees. Effective training keeps big picture concepts in sight, and relates each lesson to the overall vision. In the ALAO chapter, I discuss a strategy to teach conceptual change, inspire creativity, and enable problem-solving with linked data technologies. This is done by highlighting frustrations with MARC data and its applications, then presenting both the simplicity and rewards of the linked data concept.

Do you have any advice for those interested in linked data?

Do not simply publish linked data – consume it! Having a user’s perspective will make you a better data publisher. Try this exercise: Take a linked data set, and imagine some questions you might pose of the information. Then, try to construct SPARQL queries to answer your questions. What challenges do you face? And how would you change the dataset to ameliorate those challenges? Use these insights to publish more awesome data!

Conclusion

I want to thank Allison for participating in this wonderful interview. I encourage you to check out TemaTres and to think about how you can begin implementing Linked Data in your libraries. Stay tuned for the next interview!

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Jobs in Information Technology: November 18, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/11/jobs-in-information-technology-november-18-2015/ Wed, 18 Nov 2015 20:45:41 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8115 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: November 18, 2015]]> 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:

Programmer, University of Colorado Denver- Auraria Library, Denver, CO

Head of Digital Library Services, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Discovery Services Librarian, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

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

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Agile Development: Building an Agile Culture http://litablog.org/2015/11/agile-development-building-an-agile-culture/ http://litablog.org/2015/11/agile-development-building-an-agile-culture/#comments Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7509 Continue reading Agile Development: Building an Agile Culture]]> 2000px-Scrum_process.svg

Over the last few months I have described various components of Agile development. This time around I want to talk about building an Agile culture. Agile is more than just a codified process; it is a development approach, a philosophy, one that stresses flexibility and communication. In order for a development team to successfully implement Agile the organization must embrace and practice the appropriate culture. In this post will to briefly discuss several tips that will help develop Agile development.

The Right People

It all starts here: as with pretty much any undertaking, you need the right people in place, which is not necessarily the same as saying the best people. Agile development necessitates a specific set of skills that are not intrinsically related to coding mastery: flexibility, teamwork, and ability to take responsibility for a project’s ultimate success are all extremely important. Once the team is formed, management should work to bring team members closer together and create the right environment for information sharing and investment.

Encourage Open Communication

Because of Agile’s quick pace and flexibility, and the lack of overarching structures and processes, open communication is crucial. A team must develop communication pathways and support structures so that all team members are aware of where the project stands at any one moment (the daily scrum is a great example of this). More important, however, is to convince the team to open up and conscientiously share progress individual progress, key roadblocks, and concerns about the path of development. Likewise, management must be proactive about sharing project goals and business objectives with the team. An Agile team is always looking for the most efficient way to deliver results, and the more information they receive about the motivation and goals that lie behind a project the better. Agile managers must actively encourage a culture that says “we’re all in this together, and together we will find the solution to the problem.” Silos are Agile’s kryptonite.

Empower the Team

Agile only works when everyone on the team feels responsible for the success of the project, and management must do its part by encouraging team members to take ownership of the results of their work, and trusting them to do so. Make sure everyone on the team understands the ultimate organizational need, assign specific roles to each team member, and then allow team members to find their own ways to meet the stated goals. Too often in development there is a basic disconnect between the people who understand the business needs and those who have the technical know-how to make them happen. Everyone on the team needs to understand what makes for a successful project, so that wasted effort is minimized.

Reward the Right Behaviors

Too often in development organizations, management metrics are out of alignment with process goals. Hours worked are a popular metric teams use to evaluate members, although often proxies like hours spent at the office, or time spent logged into the system, are used. With Agile, the focus should be on results. As long as a team meets the stated goals of a project, the less time spent working on the solution, the better. Remember, the key is efficiency, and developing software that solves the problem at hand with as few bells and whistles as possible. If a team is consistently beating it’s time estimates by a significant margin, it can recalibrate their estimation procedures. Spending all night at the office working on a piece of code is not a badge of honor, but a failure of the planning process.

Be Patient

Full adoption of Agile takes time. You cannot expect a team to change it’s fundamental philosophy overnight. The key is to keep working at it, taking small steps towards the right environment and rewarding progress. Above all, management needs to be transparent about why it considers this change important. A full transition can take years of incremental improvement. Above all, be conscious that the steady state for your team will likely not look exactly like the theoretical ideal. Agile is adaptable and each organization should create the process that works best for its own needs.

If you want to learn more about building an Agile culture, check out the following resources:

In your experience, how long does it take for a team to fully convert to the Agile way? What is the biggest roadblock to adoption? How is the process initiated and who monitors and controls progress?

“Scrum process” image By Lakeworks (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Jobs in Information Technology: November 11, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/11/jobs-in-information-technology-november-11-2015/ Thu, 12 Nov 2015 03:42:06 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8088 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: November 11, 2015]]> 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 of Processing, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Information Services Team Lead/Librarian (NASA), Cadence Group, Greenbelt, MD

Head of Collection Management, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Head of Graduate and Undergraduate Services, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

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

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I’m Jenny Levine, and This Is How I Work http://litablog.org/2015/11/im-jenny-levine-and-this-is-how-i-work/ Tue, 10 Nov 2015 17:08:09 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8063 Continue reading I’m Jenny Levine, and This Is How I Work]]> (Format shamelessly stolen from LifeHacker)

Jenny Levine
Jenny Levine

Location: Chicago, IL
Current gig: Hey LITA members, I’M YOUR NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR!
One word that best describes how you work: Collaboratively
Current mobile device: Samsung Galaxy S6 (I love customizing the heck out of my phone so that it works really well for me) .
Current computer: At work, I have a standard HP desktop PC, but at home I use an Asus Zenbook.

What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
I’m constantly trying new tools and cobbling together new routines for optimal productivity, but right now my goto apps are LastPass for password management across all of my devices, PushBullet for sharing links and files across devices, and Zite for helping me find a wide selection of links to read.

Picture of my workspace
My workspace

What’s your workplace setup like?
At work, I love my adjustable standing desk. I wanted to paint my office walls with whiteboard paint, but that hasn’t worked out well for other ALA units so I’m looking forward to getting an 8’ x 4’ whiteboard. I like organizing my thoughts visually on big spaces. At home, I pretty much sit on the couch with my laptop.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?
Work-life balance is really important. You can’t be your best at home or work if you’re not getting what you need from both. Life really is too short to spend your time doing things you don’t want to do (some clichés are clichés for a reason).

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I’m constantly tinkering with new tools to find the ideal workflow, but I haven’t hit on the perfect one yet. Earlier this year I read “Work Simply” by Carson Tate, which explains the four productivity styles she’s identified. She then makes recommendations about workflows and tools based on your productivity style. Unfortunately, I came out equally across all four styles, which I think explains why some of the standard routines like Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero don’t work for me. Traditionally I’ve been a Post-It Notes type of person, but I’ve been trying to save trees by moving that workflow into Trello. It’s working well for me tracking projects long-term, but I just can’t seem to escape the paper Post-It Note with my “must do today” list, and now I’m learning to accept that thanks to Tate’s book. I’m also experimenting with WorkLife to manage meeting agendas.

Ella, the world’s greatest dog

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
I couldn’t do without my wireless headphones, because I listen to a lot of podcasts while I’m walking the world’s best dog, Ella. I also don’t feel right if I’m not wearing my Fitbit. Gotta get my 11,000 steps in each day.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?
At a macro level, I’m good at identifying trends and connecting them to libraries. At a more granular level, I’m really good at making connections between things and people so that they’re able to do, learn, share, and implement more together. These are things I’m really looking forward to doing for LITA. I want to meet all of our members so that I can connect them, learn from them, and help them do great things together.

What do you listen to while you work?
Almost anything. I subscribe to Rdio in part because you can easily see every single new album they add each week. I tend to browse that list and just listen to whichever ones have interesting cover art or names. When I really need to concentrate on something, I tend to go for classical music. I’m intrigued by Coffitivity.

What are you currently reading?
I recently finished a series of mind-blowing science fiction, “Blindsight” by Peter Watts followed by “Seveneves” by Neal Stephenson. I loved them both (although I wish “Seveneves” had a proper ending), as well as the first two books of Cixin Liu’s Three-Body trilogy (I’m anxiously awaiting the translation of the third book). I also just finished “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande, which I recommend everyone read.

After reading all of these, though, I’m ready to curl up in the corner now and wait for the end of humanity. I may need to read a Little Golden book next, but I just started “Ancillary Mercy” by Ann Leckie.

How do you recharge?
In general, walking the dog is my zen time, but I’m also prone to watching tv. I don’t have email notifications set up on my computers, phones, or tablet, and I’m very deliberate about how I use technology so that I feel a sense of control over it. I’ve also learned that at least once a year I have to go on vacation and completely unplug to restore some of that balance. I love technology, but I also love doing without it sometimes.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When I graduated from my college, I didn’t want to go into the field I’d majored in (broadcast news), so I was trying to figure out what to do with my life instead. I had a little money from one of my grandmothers, so I decided to open a bookstore because I had loved working in one in high school. My Mom sat me down and told me about this place called “Border’s Bookstore” that was opening down the street and why I wouldn’t be opening my own bookstore. Instead, she suggested I go to library school. Best advice ever.

I’m passionate about….
Accessibility, collaboration, inclusivity, diversity, efficiency, transparency, communication. Everything can be improved, and we can build new things – how do we do that together? If we could build a 21st century organization from scratch, how would it be different? These are all areas I want to work on within LITA.

The future’s so bright…
I’m excited to be the new Executive Director of LITA, especially this week because it’s LITA Forum time (sing that to yourself in your best MC Hammer voice). I can’t believe it, but this will be my first ever LITA Forum, so in addition to being really happy I’m also kind of nervous. If you see me at Forum, please wave, say hi, or even better tell me what your vision is for LITA.

If you won’t be at Forum, I’d still love to hear from you. I went for the Director job because I believe that LITA has a bright future ahead and a lot of important work to do. We need to get going on changing the world, so share your thoughts and join in. There are a lot of places you can find LITA, but you can also contact me pretty much anywhere: email (jlevine at ala dot org), Facebook, Hangouts (shiftedlibrarian), Snapchat (shiftedlib), and Twitter for starters.

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“Settling for a Job” and “Upward Mobility”: Today’s Career Paths for Librarians http://litablog.org/2015/11/settling-for-a-job-and-upward-mobility-todays-career-paths-for-librarians/ http://litablog.org/2015/11/settling-for-a-job-and-upward-mobility-todays-career-paths-for-librarians/#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2015 14:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7506 Continue reading “Settling for a Job” and “Upward Mobility”: Today’s Career Paths for Librarians]]> The Jeffersons, 1975.
The Jeffersons, 1975.

I very recently shifted positions from a large academic research library to a small art school library, and during my transition the phrases “settling for a job” and “upward mobility” were said to me quite a bit. Both of these phrases set me personally on edge, and it got me thinking about today’s career paths for librarians and how they view their own trajectory.

At my last job, I was a small cog in a very well-oiled machine. It was not a librarian position and because I was in such a big institution I did not have a large variety of responsibilities. Librarian positions there were traditionally tenure-track, though it was clear that Technical Services was already on the path to eliminating Librarian titled positions and removing MLIS/MLS degrees from the required qualifications of position descriptions. A recent post from In the Library With the Lead Pipe addressed the realities of professional impact on the career trajectory of academic librarians today:

While good advice is readily available for most librarians looking to advance “primary” responsibilities like teaching, collection development, and support for access services, advice on the subject of scholarship—a key requirement of many academic librarian positions—remains relatively neglected by LIS programs across the country. Newly hired librarians are therefore often surprised by the realities of their long term performance expectations, and can especially struggle to find evidence of their “impact” on the larger LIS profession or field of research over time. These professional realizations prompt librarians to ask what it means to be impactful in the larger world of libraries. Is a poster at a national conference more or less impactful than a presentation at a regional one? Where can one find guidance on how to focus one’s efforts for greatest impact? Finally, who decides what impact is for librarians, and how does one go about becoming a decision-maker?

Though my last job taught me a great deal about management and scholarly publication, I accepted my current position at a small art school library because of my desire to take on a role that required me to wear a lot of different hats taking care of cataloging, helping with circulation and reference, and dabbling in student library programming. While this appeals to me greatly because of how multi-faceted my job can be, I often received negative opinions from colleagues at my last institution prior to my transition. It couldn’t be a very good position if I was doing cataloging and reference, they’d say. The unsolicited advice I was given was “don’t settle for a job. Really think about your career trajectory so that your resume makes sense to future employers.”

This sentiment really made me uncomfortable. The fact that someone would imply that the job I was taking was inferior to my institution at the time and that the only reasonable explanation was that I was “settling” was offensive. Isn’t a career trajectory something that should really only concern the individual accepting those positions? Librarianship is such a multi-faceted and diverse field, is there really such a thing as a career trajectory that “makes sense?” Is there one clear path for everyone that is meant to lead to “upward mobility?”

Should we all be viewing professional impact in librarianship the same way? My last professional environment heavily stressed implementing new (but inexpensive) technologies that would enhance library discovery and bibliographic control. My current environment is much more holistic in that it encapsulates information literacy, high-quality reference, and really just making the library a more welcoming place for students to be in.

So how do we determine the altmetrics of our career trajectory? Is there a right and a wrong way, and does this change from early-career to mid-career librarianship? In a DIY age where a lot of us are teaching ourselves skills we know to be highly desired on the fly, how do these factors contribute to our view of the impact we have on the field?

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Follow Up Post to: Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians? http://litablog.org/2015/11/follow-up-post-to-is-technology-bringing-in-more-skillful-male-librarians/ http://litablog.org/2015/11/follow-up-post-to-is-technology-bringing-in-more-skillful-male-librarians/#comments Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:48:03 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8045 Continue reading Follow Up Post to: Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?]]> My main motive for my recent post was to generate discussion on the topic of stereotypes of male librarians, technology, and our profession.  It can get lonely as a writer when you do not have exchange with readers.  It was not meant to be an opinion piece.  I wanted to move away from posting on a technology review or share something I tried at my library.  I wanted to present information I found while reading.  These negative views of our profession are alive and well in our society – to not write about it is to sweep it under the rug.

It may be an exploration of my own experience.  I live it every day.  I am a 40 year old male librarian who fits the stereotype and all these stereotypical elements point to someone who is less than.  When I tell someone that I am a librarian, I get the “you must read a lot” comment which insinuates that my job is not that important if I am leisurely reading passively. Or that librarianship is a “women’s profession” and not worthy of respect.  Or I could not make it in a more stressful, rigorous career environment, cell_phone_spyingso librarianship became my default.  Being a librarian was my first choice and I continue to love this profession.  Only recently have I seen a shift in reactions, since I work at a College of Medicine.  Since medicine has a higher reputation, I get some more respect and aww.   I am a father and married to my lovely wife, and I hold the opinion that our sexuality is fluid and not a box you can check off.  I do not follow or play sports.  I am not a manly man.  I love to read and consider myself scholarly.  I wear thick plastic glasses on purpose and did before the fad and will continue after the fad fades.  I am categorized as brown or colored in some parts of the nation.  All these elements make me less than in society’s eyes.

These are elements that affect the way we are perceived, affecting our salaries, seat at tables, and, most importantly, the level of respect our profession receives from the outside world.

_________

I do recommend reading this month’s ALA article in  American Libraries magazine, The Stereotype Stereotype: Our Obsession with Librarian Representation,  that goes into the topic further at http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2015/10/30/the-stereotype-stereotype/ 

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Jobs in Information Technology: November 4, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/11/jobs-in-information-technology-november-4-2015/ Wed, 04 Nov 2015 19:53:19 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8041 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: November 4, 2015]]> 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:

Serials Librarian, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Head, Technology Systems and Support Services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Vice President for Libraries & Information Technology Services, CUNY Queens College, Flushing, NY

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

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Double Robotics fun at LITA Forum http://litablog.org/2015/11/double-robotics-fun-at-lita-forum/ Tue, 03 Nov 2015 21:13:52 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8034 Continue reading Double Robotics fun at LITA Forum]]> lita_forum15_badge_125x300Attention Forum registrants and procrastinators!

Register for the 2015 LITA Forum in Minneapolis, MN by November 10th and be entered in a drawing to test-drive a telepresence robot provided by Forum sponsor, Double Robotics!

15 lucky winners will have the opportunity to try out networking and navigating the keynote presentations or concurrent sessions with a robot double. So if you haven’t already, take 5 minutes and register already.

Double Robotics Logo wide

 

 

Also, accommodations are still available at the Forum hotel, the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, but they’re going fast.

Are you the planning type? Design your Forum experience ahead of time by signing up for Forum events and activities on the Forum Wiki.

Forum Sponsors:

EBSCO, Ex Libris, Optimal Workshop, OCLCInnovativeBiblioCommons, Springshare, SirsiDynixA Book ApartRosenfeld Media and Double Robotics.

See you in Minneapolis!

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Get Social and Create Activities at the 2015 LITA Forum http://litablog.org/2015/11/get-social-and-create-activities-at-the-2015-lita-forum/ Mon, 02 Nov 2015 21:05:40 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=8025 Continue reading Get Social and Create Activities at the 2015 LITA Forum]]> lita_forum15_badge_125x300The 2015 LITA Forum Online Registration ends Sunday November 8th at 11:59 pm.
Minneapolis, MN
November 12-15, 2015

Register Now!

Join your LITA and LLAMA colleagues in Minneapolis, November 12-15, 2015 for the 2015 LITA Forum. On site registration will be available at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, where there are still some hotel rooms available at the conference discount rate.

This year get social and create activities at the 2015 LITA Forum

There will be many ways to get involved and “play” with your colleagues. The Forum wiki is the primary tool for additional activities, join in the listed fun and create your own activities for others to join you. You could:

  • go bowling
  • take a skywalk walk
  • suggest game night games
  • stay up late at a disco
  • get up early for yoga

The Networking dinners, on both Friday and Satuday evenings, are always popular and offer a wide variety of experiences. You can choose by leader, or by colleagues or by restaurant

The Forum UnCommons room will be an always open multi-purpose area to gather, meet, share, interact, and explore together. Activities can be planned using the Forum wiki or ad hoc and spur of the moment. The room will have meeting tables with power and a theater seating area with a screen and projector. Space to do whatever meets your and your colleagues needs for collaboration, learning and fun.

Be sure to try the Forum’s Virtual Uncommons room on Slack, read up and sign up here.

Plus there will be all the usual Forum social interaction opportunities like the Friday evening Sponsor reception, Breaks, and the end of the day Saturday Poster session and Lightning Talks.

This year’s Forum has three amazing keynotes you won’t want to miss:

Lisa Welchman, President of Digital Governance Solutions at ActiveStandards.
Mx A. Matienzo, Director of Technology for the Digital Public Library of America.
Carson Block, Carson Block Consulting Inc.

Don’t forget the Preconference Workshop

“Beyond Web Page Analytics: Using Google tools to assess searcher behavior across web properties”.
With presenters: Robert L. Nunez, Head of Collection Services, Kenosha Public Library, Kenosha, WI and Keven Riggle, Systems Librarian & Webmaster, Marquette University Libraries

Full Details

The 2015 LITA Forum is a three-day education and networking event featuring a preconference, 3 keynote sessions, more than 55 concurrent sessions and 15 poster presentations. This year including content and planning collaboration with LLAMA. It’s the 18th annual gathering of the highly regarded LITA Forum for technology-minded information professionals. Meet with your colleagues involved in new and leading edge technologies in the library and information technology field. Attendees take advantage of the informal Friday evening reception, networking dinners and other social opportunities to get to know colleagues and speakers.

Forum Sponsors:

EBSCO, Ex Libris, Optimal Workshop, OCLCInnovative, BiblioCommons, Springshare, SirsiDynixA Book Apart, Rosenfeld Media and Double Robotics.

Get all the details, register and book a hotel room at the 2015 Forum Web site.

See you in Minneapolis.

LITA logo

LLAMALogo

 

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A Linked Data Journey: Proof of Concept http://litablog.org/2015/11/linked-data-journey-proof-of-concept/ http://litablog.org/2015/11/linked-data-journey-proof-of-concept/#comments Mon, 02 Nov 2015 16:54:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7503 Continue reading A Linked Data Journey: Proof of Concept]]>

alt text
Courtesy of Alex Berger under a CC BY-NC 2.0 license

Introduction

This is part two of my Linked Data Series. You can find the first post here. Linked Data is still a very abstract concept to many. My goal in this series is to demystify the notion. To that end I thought “wouldn’t it be cool to put Linked Data to practice, to build a proof-of-concept record”, so I did. I decided to create a Linked Data catalog record, because I wanted to write something relatively quickly, though I later found out that even writing a simple catalog record in Linked Data was going to be more effort than I anticipated.

About the Record

Link to display record: link
Link to visual graph of record: link
Link to code: link

First, here’s a link to the display record. It might take a second to load, as it is pulling in a bit of data. At first glance it doesn’t seem to be anything special. It just looks like a normal HTML display. However, under the hood there’s a lot of Linked Data magic going on. Almost all of the data you see on the page, including text values and links, are coming from RDF files (RDF is a framework for representing Linked Data. I’ll go into more detail on RDF in a future post). There’s actually multiple levels of Linked Data in the record. The first level of data is coming from an RDF file I wrote to represent the resource, in this case the book Moby-Dick. The second level of data, labels such as Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 and any data nested under more info, is coming from third party resources that I am linking to in my RDF file. For example, Creator and Subject labels are being pulled from the Library of Congress’ Linked Data Service.

Since all of the data is being pulled from online resources (using PHP), there is no duplication of data that we currently see in traditional catalogs. One big advantage to this is that when one of the linked-to sources updates its metadata, that metadata is automatically updated on the page I created!

In case this still seems foreign to you, I would recommend taking a look at  a visual graph representation of the record. All of the little bubbles represent RDF resources that I am linking to. Clicking on one of the bubbles will expand that resource and will show other metadata about the linked-to resource. This is what Linked Data is about!

Here’s a screenshot example of the visual graph:
alt text

Challenges

There are a few challenges that I ran into during this adventure. First, I had to write a fair amount of PHP code to pull in the Linked Data from RDF files. I will admit that I’m a novice PHP coder, so this is most likely due to my limited knowledge of PHP and the EasyRDF PHP library that is being used. I challenge any coders out there to hack at my code and provide a cleaner solution! Here’s a link to the code (hosted on GitHub).

The second challenge is that in order to pull in third party Linked Data, I had to familiarize myself with each source’s data model (ex. Dublin Core, MADS). Almost every source’s metadata that I linked to had its own model, which reminds me of tales about the early days of library XML metadata before interoperability standards were designed. We need more interoperability in the Linked Data world! The third challenge is the main caveat of Linked Data: dependency on stable URLs. If any of the sources I link to decide to remove a URL or alter a domain without providing a URL redirection, that data is unreachable. Linked Data adds more power to metadata, but with great power… In all seriousness, stable URLs are needed in order for the Web of Data to become a reality.

All of these challenges are things developers and metadata professionals will need to face, not necessarily the catalogers, reference librarians, and archivists.

Conclusion

I hope this proof-of-concept example helped demystify Linked Data (at least to a small extent). If you have any questions or want to talk about the code, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will continue my efforts in future posts. Up next in my series will be a few interviews with librarians in various aspects of digital libraries who are working on or with Linked Data. Until next time!

 

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Jobs in Information Technology: October 28, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/10/jobs-in-information-technology-october-28-2015/ Thu, 29 Oct 2015 18:27:36 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7988 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: October 28, 2015]]> 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:

Enterprise Content Management Specialist I/II, County of Tulare, Visalia, CA

Developer (Ingest and Operations), Digital Public Library of America, Boston (or Remote), MA

Life & Allied Health Sciences Librarian, #9213, The University of Akron, Akron, OH

Collection Management Librarian, #9218, The University of Akron, Akron, OH

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

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Passively Asking for Input: Museum Exhibits and Information Retention http://litablog.org/2015/10/passively-asking-for-input-museum-exhibits-and-information-retention/ http://litablog.org/2015/10/passively-asking-for-input-museum-exhibits-and-information-retention/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 14:00:48 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7709 Continue reading Passively Asking for Input: Museum Exhibits and Information Retention]]> One of my main research interests is in user experience design; specifically, how people see and remember information. Certain aspects of “seeing” information are passive; that is, we see something without needing to do anything. This is akin to seeing a “Return Materials Here” sign over a book drop: you see this area fills a function that you need, but other than looking for it and finding it, you don’t have to do much else. But how much of this do we actually acknowledge, little less remember?

Countless times I’ve seen patrons fly past signs that tell them exactly where they need to find a certain book or when our library opens. It’s information they need but for some reason they haven’t gotten. So how can we make this more efficient?

I visited the Boston Museum of Science recently and participated in their Hall of Human Life exhibit. Now, anyone can participate in an exhibit, especially in a science museum: turn the crank to watch water flow! Push a button to light up the circulatory system! Touch a starfish! I’ll call this “active passivity”: you’re participating but you’re doing so at a bare minimum. What little information you’re receiving may or may not stick.nudecelebvideo

A young boy looks at images of feet on a screen
Who knew feet could be so interesting? (Photo courtesy of the Museum of Science, Boston)

The Hall of Human Life is different because it necessitates your input. You must give it data for the exhibit to be effective. For instance, I had to see how easily distracted I was by selecting whether I saw more red dots or blue dots while other images flashed across the screen. I had to position a virtual module on the International Space Station with only two joysticks to see how blue light affects productivity. I even had to take off my shoes and walk across a platform so I could measure the arch of my foot. All of my data is then compared with two hundred other museum-goers who gave their time and data based on my age, my sex, and other myriad factors such as how much time I spent sleeping the night before and whether or not I played video games.

But that’s not all of it. In order to do these things, you must wear a wristband with a barcode and a number on it. This stores your data and feeds it to each exhibit as well as keeps track of the data the exhibits give back to you. This way, you can see from home how many calories you burn while walking and how well you recognize faces out of a group.

Thus, in order for people to remember a bit of information, they need to experience it as much as possible. That’s all well and good for a science museum exhibit, but how would that work in a library, where almost all of our information is passively given? We need to take some things into consideration:

  • The exhibit didn’t require participation, it invited it – I could’ve ignored the exhibit and kept on walking, but it was hard: there were bright colors, big pictures, lights, and sounds. It got your attention without demanding it. Since we humans love bright lights and pretty colors, the exhibit is asking us to come see what the fuss is about.
  • The exhibit was accessible – I don’t necessarily mean ADA-type accessibility here (although it fit that, too). As I said before, the exhibit hall was bright and welcoming. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, each station had a visual aide demonstrating what the exhibit was, how to participate, and how your results matched up. It directed you to look at different axes on a graph, for instance, and if it wanted to show you something in particular, it would highlight it. This made it easy for anyone of any age to come and play and – gasp – learn.
  • The exhibit prompted you for your input – Not only did it prompt you to participate, it would ask you questions: “Does the data we’ve collected match what we thought we’d get?” “Do you think age, sex, or experience will affect on the results?” “Were your predicitons right?” The exhibits asked you to make decisions before, during, and after the activity, and it encouraged reflection.

You’re probably saying to yourself that as library staff we do try to invite participation, to be accessible, and ask for input. But it’s not as effective as it should – or could – be. It’s not feasible for all library systems to get touch screens and interactive devices (yet), but we can mould our information to require less active passivity and more action. Using bright colors, welcoming imagery, and memorable, punchy explanations is a start. Some libraries already have interactive kiosks but they may not offer a video guide to using it. Adding more lighting and windows can make a space more lively and inspire more focus in our patrons.

There’s still a lot more to learn about visual communication and how humans process and store information, and I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers. But these are the questions I’m starting to ask and starting to research, and by the looks of things, it’s not just libraries and museums that are doing the same.

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Editorial Response to “Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?” http://litablog.org/2015/10/editorial-response-to-is-technology-bringing-in-more-skillful-male-librarians/ http://litablog.org/2015/10/editorial-response-to-is-technology-bringing-in-more-skillful-male-librarians/#comments Mon, 26 Oct 2015 14:34:51 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7942 Continue reading Editorial Response to “Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?”]]> Hi LITA members (and beyond):

My name is Brianna Marshall and I am the editor of the LITA blog. Last week, the post “Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?” by Jorge Perez was published on the blog. The post has understandably sparked considerable discussion on Twitter. Jorge has indicated an interest in writing a follow up post to clarify his viewpoints vs. the viewpoints expressed by the authors he cited, so I won’t speak for him beyond saying that I believe his intentions were to highlight issues around the stereotyping of male librarians. In his communications with me, he indicated that the provocative title and brevity was intended to spark a conversation with blog readers, not to be flippant about the issues. Again, I will let him provide clarification on the content of the post itself.

As I looked at the conversation on Twitter, I noticed a number of comments that implied that the viewpoints, quality, and tone of this post was endorsed by LITA as an organization. There have also been comments questioning who would allow something like the post to be published. As blog editor, I want provide greater transparency on how the blog has worked under my direction. I wholeheartedly welcome ideas to improve this process.

The LITA blog has a revolving team of regular writers who volunteer to contribute a new post once every 1-1.5 months, depending on how full the schedule is and how many regular writers we have at a given time. I provide a blog content and style guide to reference, as well as encouragement to ask for opinions and feedback from the team through our shared listserv. (I’ve added a link to the content and style guide to the LITA blog about page, if it is of interest.) While I work directly with guest writers who publish on the blog, it is not manageable for me to review or oversee all posts by regular writers. Peer feedback prior to publication is solicited at the author’s discretion; it is encouraged but not required or enforced. Ultimately, as a blog that tries to produce and publish new content multiple times per week, additional oversight has not been sustainable. A level of trust and knowledge that a post may go through that elicits negative reactions is, in my opinion, just part of the trade-off. However, the conversation around this post has sparked a renewed discussion among the LITA blog writers about our review processes and whether there are additional measures to help support each other in producing high-quality writing. As blog editor my critique of the post is not the content but rather that the author’s ideas are not fully developed, leading to a rushed post that at first read seems like Jorge is putting forth ideas that he is, I believe, instead critiquing.

It would deeply sadden me to have the efforts of a really incredible group of writers in the LITA community overshadowed by negative reactions to this blog post. I know I am often impressed by the writers’ thoughtful posts on a diverse array of topics. While as the blog editor I regret that the topic that brought about this conversation is an unclear post about a controversial issue, it’s great to be part of an engaged library tech community and I welcome any feedback to help us make improvements. In particular, I invite you to apply to be a blog writer during the next call for writers, and in the meantime to propose a guest post. We would love to feature your ideas!

Lastly, I appreciate Galen Charlton for his thoughtful response, everyone who has contributed to the LITA listserv thread, and for the tweets that sparked this conversation.

Brianna, LITA Blog Editor

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Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know – 2, a LITA webinar http://litablog.org/2015/10/top-technologies-every-librarian-needs-to-know-2-a-lita-webinar/ http://litablog.org/2015/10/top-technologies-every-librarian-needs-to-know-2-a-lita-webinar/#comments Mon, 26 Oct 2015 13:00:04 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7924 Continue reading Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know – 2, a LITA webinar]]> Attend this informative and fast paced new LITA webinar:

Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know – 2

Varnum300pebMonday November 2, 2015
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

We’re all awash in technological innovation. It can be a challenge to know what new tools are likely to have staying power ­­and what that might mean for libraries. The 2014 LITA Guide, Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know, highlights a selected set of technologies that are just starting to emerge and describes how libraries might adapt them in the next few years. In this 60 minute webinar, join the authors of three chapters from the book as they talk about their technologies and what they mean for libraries. Those chapters covered will be:

Impetus to Innovate: Convergence and Library Trends
Presenter: A.J. Million
This presentation does not try and predict the future, but it does provide a framework to understand trends that relate to digital media.

The Future of Cloud-Based Library Systems
Presenters: Elliot Polak & Steven Bowers
The “cloud” has come to mean a shared hardware environment with an optional software component. In libraries, cloud computing technology can reduce the costs and human capital associated with maintaining a 24/7 Integrated Library System while facilitating an up­time that is costly to attain in­ house.

Library Discovery: From Ponds to Streams
Presenter: Ken Varnum
Libraries, and libraries’ perceptions of the patrons’ needs, have led to the creation and acquisition of “web­scale” discovery services. These new services seek to amalgamate all the online content a library might provide into one bucket.

Review of The 2014 LITA Guide, Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know
”Contains excellent advice about defining the library’s context, goals, needs, and abilities as a means of discerning which technologies to adopt … introduces a panoply of emergent technologies in libraries by providing a fascinating snapshot of where we are now and of where we might be in three to five years.” — Technical Services Quarterly

Presenters:

Steven Bowers is the director of the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET), at Wayne State University. He also co-teaches a course on Integrated Library Systems for the Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science, with his colleague Elliot Polak. Bowers was featured in the 2008 edition of the Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers.

A.J. Million is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (SISLT) at the University of Missouri, where he teaches digital media and Web development to librarians and educators. He has written journal articles that appeared in Cataloging and Classification Quarterly, the Journal of Library Administration, and OCLC Systems and Services. His dissertation examines website infrastructure in state government agencies.

Elliot Polak is the Assistant Library Director for Discovery and Innovation at Wayne State University. Prior to joining Wayne State Elliot spent three years at Norwich University serving as the Head of Library Technology responsible for evaluating, maintaining, and implementing systems at Kreitzberg Library.

Ken Varnum is the Web Systems Manager at the University of Michigan Library. Ken’s research and professional interests include discovery systems, content management, and user-generated content. He wrote “Drupal in Libraries” (2012) and edited “The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know” (2014).

toptech2guys

Register for the Webinar

Full details
Can’t make the date but still want to join in? Registered participants will have access to the recorded webinar.

Cost:

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

Registration Information:

Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)
OR
Mail or fax form to ALA Registration
OR
call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5
OR
email registration@ala.org

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

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Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians? http://litablog.org/2015/10/is-technology-bringing-in-more-skillful-male-librarians/ http://litablog.org/2015/10/is-technology-bringing-in-more-skillful-male-librarians/#comments Fri, 23 Oct 2015 14:59:01 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7917 Continue reading Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?]]> Yes the title of this blog post is sensational.  After reading Chapter 7 from Hicks’ 2014 book titled Technology and Professional Identity of Librarians, I was appalled to read that the few male librarians in our profession are negatively stereotyped into being unable to handle a real career and the male dominated technology field infers that more skillful males will join the profession in the future.  There is a proven concept that the competitive environment of technology is male dominated.  If this is true, then will more males join librarianship since it is becoming more tech-based?  There are a lot of things that are terrible about all this – males have tough stereotypes to overcome and there is a misconception that technology is the omen that will bring in more capable male librarians to the field.  I am going home early to sit at home, cry, read a scholarly book, and drink my tea with my pinkie sticking out – thank you very much.

What do male and female librarians think about technology and gender in our profession?  Comments please…

Male Librarian Stereotypes

All information on this post comes from Chapter 7 Technology, Gender, and Professional Identity:
Hicks, D. (2014). Technology and professional identity of librarians: The making of the cybrarian. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Further Reading on the topic of gender and librarianship visit – Chapter 4 That’s Women’s Work: Pink Collar Professions, Gender, and the Librarian Stereotype:
Pagowsky, N., & Rigby, M. E. (2014). The librarian stereotype: Deconstructing perceptions and presentations of information work. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

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Jobs in Information Technology: October 21, 2015 http://litablog.org/2015/10/jobs-in-information-technology-october-21-2015/ Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:20:50 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7914 Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: October 21, 2015]]> 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:

Web Developer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Assistant Director – Library Information Technology Services, Kansas State University Libraries, Manhattan, KS

Digital Library Developer, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Assistant Professor – Information Literacy and User Services Librarian, Queensborough Community College, Bayside, NY

Instructor or Assistant Professor – Web Services/Digital Content Librarian, Queensborough Community College, Bayside, NY

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

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Interacting with Patrons Through Their Mobile Devices :: NFC Tags http://litablog.org/2015/10/interacting-with-patrons-through-their-mobile-devices-nfc-tags/ http://litablog.org/2015/10/interacting-with-patrons-through-their-mobile-devices-nfc-tags/#comments Mon, 19 Oct 2015 05:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7497 Continue reading Interacting with Patrons Through Their Mobile Devices :: NFC Tags]]> Wireless — this term evokes an array of feelings in technologists today. Even though the definition of the term is relatively simple, there are numerous protocols, standards, and methods that have been developed to perform wireless interactions. For example, by now, many of you have heard of the mobile applications, such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet, similarly, you might have a transit pass or badge for your gym or work. With a wave of your device or pass a scanner processes a “contactless transactions”. The tap-and-go experience of these technologies often utilize Near Field Communication, or NFC.

NFC is a set of standards that allows devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, an effective distance of 4 cm.  A direct transmissions of specific information, separate from the openi-nfc-1-paiement[1] ended Wi-Fi access and seemingly limitless information resources it provides.

NFC tags are used to send a resource, or a specific set of data, directly to a patron’s mobile device to improve their information seeking experience. By utilizing this technology, Libraries have the ability to perform data exchanges with patron mobile devices without scanning a QR-code, or pairing devices (as required by Bluetooth) providing a less complex experience.

There are many useful tasks you can program these tags to perform. One example would be to set a tag to update a patron’s mobile calendar with an event your library is having. These tags have the ability to be programmed with date, time, location, and an alarm information to remind the patron of the event, which is substantially more effective than a QR codes ability to connect a patron with a destination. Another useful method of using this technology would be to program a set of NFC keychains for the library staff to have on hand programmed to allow Wi-Fi access, no more password requests or questions about access, just a simple tap of the NFC keychain. The ability to execute preset instructions, beyond just a URL for the mobile device, differentiates NFC tags from QR codes. Many NFC tag users also find them more appealing visually, because they can be placed into posters or other advertisement materials without visually altering the design.

The use of this technology has been anticipated in libraries for several years now. However, there is a one minor issue with implementing NFC tags, Apple only supports the use of this technology for Apple Pay. Apple devices do not currently support the use of NFC for any other transaction, even though the technology is available on their devices. Hopefully, in the future Apple will make NFC unrestrained on their devices, and this technology and it will become more widely utilized. 

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Brave New Workplace: Start with a Survey http://litablog.org/2015/10/brave-new-workplace-start-with-a-survey/ Fri, 16 Oct 2015 14:00:00 +0000 http://litablog.org/?p=7496 Continue reading Brave New Workplace: Start with a Survey]]> Brave New Workplace is an ongoing exploration of tech applications that can help new employees acculturate. While this series is aimed at empowering recent hires, managers could modify some of these suggestions in order to speed the acclimation process as well. In today’s first installment, I’ll discuss developing and administering a workplace survey as a tool for developing relationships and assessing needs.

Plan: Survey Your New Workplace

Tool: Google Forms

Next Steps: Text Mining and CRM creation

Starting a new job can be a daunting proposition, and in the first few weeks on the job information gathering is often priority number one. Learning about your workplace and your coworkers is the key to making a successful start.

Developing a survey can speed your workplace acclimation. All the benefits of surveys generally- a standard set of questions, a functionally sized test group- translate well to developing workplace relationships and getting to know the systems in place.

A few disclaimers here: I am in no way suggest sending out a mass email to new coworkers on your first day asking them to fill out a survey. Such an approach may appear alienating, and disrupts the natural social process of starting your new job. When I speak of survey as a method here, I mean rather that insuring that you consistently ask a set group of questions in the standard language. Your delivery method should be appropriate to your workplace.

For my own use and organization, I created a simple Google Form. Rather than distributing the form via email, I simply asked the questions at the natural points in my orientation/get-to-know you meetings with members of my department and other department contacts. Before I began this process, I reached out to my supervisor to discuss my methodology, rationale, and proposed questions. With her feedback, I refined my questions, and incorporated them into my conversations with my new coworkers.

My basic set of 5 questions was as follows:

  • How do you prefer to communicate about work
    1. Meeting/In-Person
      1. informal
      2. formal
    2. Email
    3. Phone
    4. LYNC Chat
    5. Other
  • Do you have any electronic resources you would love to get?

**Follow – up : What is it, and why don’t we have it?

  • Describe your average work day.
  • How would you describe the culture and workplace environment?
  • How can I assist you?

My pretty form looks like this:

CORC Front

While in my introductory meetings I would go with the natural flow of conversation, I would also insure that these questions got answered, usually just interspersing them at the right time. As a result, I wound up with a book full of notes that looked like this.

hand written notes

And then I took the answers and put them into my Google Form, which created a nicely organized spreadsheet that looks like this.

Result
Names disguised.

Much more manageable. This spreadsheet served as the basis of my text mining plan for assessing opportunities and needs.

I’ll talk you through it and show you the ropes in the next installment of Brave New Workplace, coming November 25th!

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