LITA Blog Library and Information Technology Association 2016-02-05T14:51:56Z http://litablog.org/feed/atom/ http://litablog.org/wp-content/uploads/litaverybig1-5484916e_site_icon-32x32.png John Klima <![CDATA[Quid Pro Quo: Librarians and Vendors]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7246 2016-02-05T14:51:56Z 2016-02-05T13:00:00Z 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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Jenny Levine <![CDATA[2016 Election Slate]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8586 2016-02-04T20:06:47Z 2016-02-04T20:06:47Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Call for Proposals, LITA education webinars and web courses]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8574 2016-02-03T21:28:47Z 2016-02-03T21:28:47Z 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.

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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: February 3, 2016]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8571 2016-02-03T20:48:37Z 2016-02-03T20:48:37Z 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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Jorge Perez <![CDATA[Self-Publishing, Authorpreneurs & Libraries]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8386 2016-02-02T13:41:38Z 2016-02-02T13:41:38Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: January 27, 2016]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8530 2016-01-27T21:37:20Z 2016-01-27T19:42:08Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Intro to Youth Coding Programs, a LITA webinar]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8522 2016-01-26T22:12:01Z 2016-01-27T14:00:45Z 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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Bill Dueber http://robotlibrarian.billdueber.com/ <![CDATA[There’s a Reason There’s a Specialized Degree]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8515 2016-01-27T18:56:50Z 2016-01-25T20:33:58Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Which Test for Which Data, a new LITA web course]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8510 2016-01-25T16:25:13Z 2016-01-25T16:25:13Z 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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Jacob Shelby http://jacobshelby.org <![CDATA[A Linked Data Journey: Survey of Publishing Strategies]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8501 2016-01-22T17:11:08Z 2016-01-22T17:11:08Z Continue reading A Linked Data Journey: Survey of Publishing Strategies]]>

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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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: January 20, 2016]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8497 2016-01-21T15:54:53Z 2016-01-21T15:53:28Z 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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Leanne Mobley <![CDATA[6 Design Resources for Librarians]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8448 2016-01-20T02:09:50Z 2016-01-20T11:00:13Z 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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Stephanie Piccino <![CDATA[Express Your Shelf]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8439 2016-01-15T19:39:29Z 2016-01-18T14:00:34Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: January 13, 2016]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8383 2016-01-13T20:22:07Z 2016-01-13T20:22:07Z 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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Lindsay Cronk http://lindsaythelibrarian.com <![CDATA[Brave New Workplace: Your Homegrown CRM]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8366 2016-01-12T15:26:11Z 2016-01-11T12:02:13Z 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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Cinthya Ippoliti <![CDATA[Flexing your instructional muscles: using technology to extend your reach beyond the classroom]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8340 2016-01-08T17:53:18Z 2016-01-08T17:53:18Z 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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Jacob Shelby http://jacobshelby.org <![CDATA[A Linked Data Journey: Interview with Julie Hardesty]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8244 2016-01-06T16:10:33Z 2016-01-07T14:00:21Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: January 6, 2016]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8355 2016-01-07T00:38:10Z 2016-01-07T00:38:10Z 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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Marlon Hernandez http://www.mr-hernandez.com <![CDATA[3D Printer Handyman’s Toolbox]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7249 2016-01-06T04:50:13Z 2016-01-06T13:00:00Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[LITA Spring Online Learning Opportunities]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8310 2016-01-05T16:13:39Z 2016-01-05T16:13:39Z 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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Mike Cendejas <![CDATA[KonMari in Web Librarianship]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8324 2016-01-05T04:04:22Z 2016-01-05T04:02:33Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: December 30, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8278 2015-12-30T19:40:18Z 2015-12-30T19:40:18Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[LITA at ALA Midwinter – Boston]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8274 2015-12-29T16:56:52Z 2015-12-29T16:56:52Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: December 23, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8270 2015-12-23T21:19:49Z 2015-12-23T21:19:49Z 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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Andromeda Yelton http://andromedayelton.com <![CDATA[Register for “Makerspaces: Inspiration and Action” at ALA Midwinter]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8095 2015-12-29T16:47:41Z 2015-12-17T20:52:27Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: December 16, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8259 2015-12-16T21:53:33Z 2015-12-16T21:53:33Z 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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Brianna Marshall <![CDATA[An Interview With LITA Emerging Leader Melissa Stoner]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8247 2015-12-16T20:31:17Z 2015-12-16T20:30:37Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: December 9, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8232 2015-12-09T22:52:05Z 2015-12-09T22:52:05Z 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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Brianna Marshall <![CDATA[LITA Bloggers Reflect on LITA Forum 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8153 2015-12-01T19:55:55Z 2015-12-07T13:00:33Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: December 3, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8222 2015-12-04T04:19:13Z 2015-12-03T16:47:03Z 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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Stephanie Piccino <![CDATA[Quick, Clear, Concise: Communicating Effectively]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8217 2015-12-02T14:32:15Z 2015-12-02T16:00:04Z 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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Brianna Marshall <![CDATA[October + November Library Tech Roundup]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7408 2015-12-01T19:38:51Z 2015-11-30T14:00:00Z 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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Lindsay Cronk http://lindsaythelibrarian.com <![CDATA[Brave New Workplace: Text Mining]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7902 2015-12-21T22:32:52Z 2015-11-25T14:00:00Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: November 24, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8140 2015-11-24T20:56:39Z 2015-11-24T20:56:39Z 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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Jacob Shelby http://jacobshelby.org <![CDATA[A Linked Data Journey: Interview with Allison Jai O’Dell]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8093 2015-11-20T01:32:33Z 2015-11-20T14:00:51Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: November 18, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8115 2015-11-18T20:45:41Z 2015-11-18T20:45:41Z 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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Leo Stezano <![CDATA[Agile Development: Building an Agile Culture]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7509 2015-11-12T18:57:57Z 2015-11-16T14:00:00Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: November 11, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8088 2015-11-12T03:42:06Z 2015-11-12T03:42:06Z 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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Jenny Levine <![CDATA[I’m Jenny Levine, and This Is How I Work]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8063 2015-11-10T17:08:09Z 2015-11-10T17:08:09Z 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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Nimisha Bhat <![CDATA[“Settling for a Job” and “Upward Mobility”: Today’s Career Paths for Librarians]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7506 2015-11-20T23:46:42Z 2015-11-09T14:00:00Z 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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Jorge Perez <![CDATA[Follow Up Post to: Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8045 2015-11-07T09:02:02Z 2015-11-05T14:48:03Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: November 4, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8041 2015-11-04T19:53:19Z 2015-11-04T19:53:19Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Double Robotics fun at LITA Forum]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8034 2015-11-04T19:54:11Z 2015-11-03T21:13:52Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Get Social and Create Activities at the 2015 LITA Forum]]> http://litablog.org/?p=8025 2015-11-03T19:11:03Z 2015-11-02T21:05:40Z 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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Jacob Shelby http://jacobshelby.org <![CDATA[A Linked Data Journey: Proof of Concept]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7503 2015-11-02T18:04:36Z 2015-11-02T16:54:00Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: October 28, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7988 2015-10-29T18:27:36Z 2015-10-29T18:27:36Z 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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Stephanie Piccino <![CDATA[Passively Asking for Input: Museum Exhibits and Information Retention]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7709 2015-10-29T10:40:22Z 2015-10-28T14:00:48Z 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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Brianna Marshall <![CDATA[Editorial Response to “Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?”]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7942 2015-10-26T14:34:51Z 2015-10-26T14:34:51Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know – 2, a LITA webinar]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7924 2015-10-23T17:44:31Z 2015-10-26T13:00:04Z 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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Jorge Perez <![CDATA[Is Technology Bringing in More Skillful Male Librarians?]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7917 2015-10-23T20:49:14Z 2015-10-23T14:59:01Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: October 21, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7914 2015-10-21T19:20:50Z 2015-10-21T19:20:50Z 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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David Kwasny <![CDATA[Interacting with Patrons Through Their Mobile Devices :: NFC Tags]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7497 2015-10-19T16:36:12Z 2015-10-19T05:00:00Z 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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Lindsay Cronk http://lindsaythelibrarian.com <![CDATA[Brave New Workplace: Start with a Survey]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7496 2015-11-24T16:14:35Z 2015-10-16T14:00:00Z 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: October 14, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7892 2015-10-14T18:45:07Z 2015-10-14T18:45:07Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: October 14, 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:

Library Division Coordinator Digital Services / IT Support, Marion Public Library, Marion, IA

Head, The Office of Scholarly Communications, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Web Services and Digital Environments Librarian, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA

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

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Cinthya Ippoliti <![CDATA[Gimme a B! Gimme an A! Gimme a D! Gimme a G! Gimme an E! Gimme an S! What’s That Spell? Learning!]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7495 2015-10-01T19:05:49Z 2015-10-14T14:00:00Z Continue reading Gimme a B! Gimme an A! Gimme a D! Gimme a G! Gimme an E! Gimme an S! What’s That Spell? Learning!]]> The Chronicle of Higher Education recently released an entire report on credentialing. The Educause Learning Initiative has published several articles on the subject. Similarly, ACRL held a forum in September to discuss its role in a growing national conversation about badges and credentials.

So what are they and how can you begin the conversation at your own institution? Credentials refer to a general body of certifications that are typically awarded outside of traditional degree programs. They include continuing education credits, certificates of achievements, and more recently, digital badges.

More specifically, badges are digital tokens that appear as icons or logos on a web page or other online venue. Awarded by institutions, organizations, groups, or even individuals, badges signify accomplishments such as completion of a project, mastery of a skill, or marks of experience. Learners fulfill the issuer-specific criteria to earn the badge by attending classes, passing a quiz or exam, or completing other appropriate activities. The grantor then verifies that the criteria for completion or mastery have been met and awards the badge.

But there are several issues that need to be taken into consideration when thinking about a credentialing program:

1. What is the institutional context for the badges-is there one?

If no one other than the library has interest in awarding badges, that might prove problematic as students might not see the value in having a library badge, nor would it have much transferability. If on the other hand several units on campus work together to create a broader credentialing program, that might prove to incentivize the institution to lend support behind the program and offer some type of endorsement which increases the credentials’ validity.

You would then be able to collaborate with the other areas on campus to create a systematic and holistic program that would clearly delineate what competencies and skills are included, how they will be assessed and validated, how the badges will be awarded and how they would be displayed.

2. How are these credentials recognized beyond the institution?

This is a difficult question because as the literature listed above mentions, there is no widely accepted standard for how badges are administered, valued, and synthesized into the academic record of a student. That problem becomes compounded when these certifications make their way to employers who are trying to discern their validity and accuracy. Is a badge from one institution for the same skill set just as good as from another? The answer will depend on the outcomes and methods used in determining whether or not someone has achieved mastery of the skills in question.

3. Does badging really engage students in the learning process?

This too, varies by student. Some thrive on the intrinsic motivation badges provide as a way to gain increasing knowledge and skills and try to increase their chances of achieving either added academic or professional success, others simply want to earn the badge if it involves receiving a prize, or added points in a course. It will be important for any institution thinking of offering these credentials to balance these two elements and make sure that both are well represented within the program.

In the end, credentialing and badges are still new territory in higher education. Some institutions have fully embraced this model and have created both the infrastructure as well as the conceptual framework for supporting this type of learning. Others are still grappling with some of the issues discussed above. No matter at what stage of credentialing your institution finds itself, starting the conversation is the first step in taking the plunge into credentialing and digital badges.

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[The 2015 LITA Forum includes 3 amazing Keynotes]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7881 2015-10-27T15:04:35Z 2015-10-13T13:00:36Z Continue reading The 2015 LITA Forum includes 3 amazing Keynotes]]> lita_forum15_badge_125x300The 2015 LITA Forum
Minneapolis, MN
November 12-15, 2015

Registration is now open!

Join your LITA and LLAMA colleagues in Minneapolis, November 12-15, 2015 for the 2015 LITA Forum

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

Welchman_SpeakingLISA WELCHMAN

President of Digital Governance Solutions at ActiveStandards. In a 20-year career, Lisa Welchman has paved the way in the discipline of digital governance, helping organizations stabilize their complex, multi-stakeholder digital operations. Lisa’s focus centers on understanding and interpreting how the advent and prolific growth of digital impacts organizations, as well as the maturation of digital as a distinct vocational discipline in the enterprise. Her book Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design was published in February of 2015 by Rosenfeld Media.

MatienzoheadshotMX A. MATIENZO

Mx A. Matienzo is the Director of Technology for the Digital Public Library of America, and focuses on promoting and establishing digital library interoperability at an international scale. Prior to joining DPLA, Matienzo worked as an archivist and technologist specializing in born-digital materials and metadata management, at institutions including the Yale University Library, The New York Public Library, and the American Institute of Physics. Matienzo received a MSI from the University of Michigan School of Information and a BA in Philosophy from the College of Wooster, and was awarded Emerging Leader Award of the Society of American Archivists in 2012.

carsonblockheadshotCARSON BLOCK

Carson Block Consulting Inc. Carson Block has led, managed, and supported library technology efforts for more than 20 years. He has been called “a geek who speaks English” and enjoys acting as a bridge between the worlds of librarians and hard-core technologists. He has a passion to de-mystify technology for the uninitiated, and to help IT professionals understand and support the goals of libraries. As a consultant, Carson is often brought in to help solve complex institutional issues and to help align the library’s public service mission with its technology efforts to serve the needs of patrons and staff.

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 2 preconferences, 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. Registration is limited in order to preserve the important networking advantages of a smaller conference. 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, OCLC, Innovative, BiblioCommons, Springshare, A 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Digital Privacy Toolkit for Librarians, a LITA webinar]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7878 2015-10-08T20:38:20Z 2015-10-08T20:38:20Z Continue reading Digital Privacy Toolkit for Librarians, a LITA webinar]]> Attend this important new LITA webinar:

Toolkit_Icon_MediumDigital Privacy Toolkit for Librarians

Tuesday October 20, 2015
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

This 90 minute webinar will include a discussion and demonstration of practical tools for online privacy that can be implemented in library PC environments or taught to patrons in classes/one-on-one tech sessions, including browsers for privacy and anonymity, tools for secure deletion of cookies, cache, and internet history, tools to prevent online tracking, and encryption for online communications.

Attendees will:

Alison’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/

Alison Macrina

alisonmacrinaIs a librarian, privacy rights activist, and the founder and director of the Library Freedom Project, an initiative which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries by teaching librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms. Alison is passionate about connecting surveillance issues to larger global struggles for justice, demystifying privacy and security technologies for ordinary users, and resisting an internet controlled by a handful of intelligence agencies and giant multinational corporations. When she’s not doing any of that, she’s reading.

Register for the Webinar

Full details
Can’t make the date but still ant 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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: October 7, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7870 2015-10-07T18:18:33Z 2015-10-07T18:18:33Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: October 7, 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 Special Collections, Williams College, Williamstown, MA

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

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Leo Stezano <![CDATA[Agile Development: Sprint Retrospective]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7492 2015-10-07T15:36:26Z 2015-10-07T14:00:00Z Continue reading Agile Development: Sprint Retrospective]]> 800px-BIS-Sprint-Final-24-06-13-05

In my last two posts I’ve discussed how to carry out sprint review and sprint planning meetings. This month we’ll look at the final component of the sprint boundary process, the sprint retrospective, which is where the team analyzes its inner workings.

Objective

The sprint retrospective is an opportunity for the development team to review their performance over the previous sprint, identify strengths and weaknesses, and modify processes to increase productivity and well-being.

Timing

The retrospective should take place near the end of the iteration. It usually follows the sprint review, and can be held immediately following, but some sort of boundary should be established (take a short break, change the room, etc.) to make it clear that these are two very different meetings with very different purposes. The length of the meeting will change from sprint to sprint; budget as much time as you think you will need to fully explore team performance. If there isn’t much of substance to discuss, you can always end the meeting early and gain hero status within the team.

Participants

This is the most intimate gathering of the three we have looked at so far. No one other than the core iteration team should be present. Select stakeholders (Product Owner, department managers) may be included for some part of the meeting in order to gather feedback on specific issues, but at its core the retrospective should be limited to the people who performed the work during the iteration. Peripheral stakeholders and authority figures can dampen the effectiveness of this meeting.

Meeting Agenda

The “traditional” retrospective agenda consists of a quantitative review of team iteration metrics, followed by each team member answering the following 3 three questions to encourage dialogue:

  • What went right?
  • What went wrong?
  • What can be improved?

That’s as good a place to start as any, but your retrospective’s format should adapt to your team. Such a tightly-formatted agenda may cause some teams to fall into rote, uninspired contribution (“here, let me give you one of each and be done”), while more free-flowing conversations can fail to surface critical issues or avenues for improvement. You will want to provide enough structure to provoke meaningful exchanges, but not so much that it suppresses them. You know your team better than anyone else, so it’s up to you to identify the format that fits best.

The point of the meeting is to get your team into a comfortable critique space where everyone is comfortable sharing their thoughts on how to make the development process as efficient and effective as possible. Team members should avoid playing the blame game, but shouldn’t be afraid to point out behavior that detracts from team performance.

Of the three sprint boundary meetings, the retrospective is the hardest one to facilitate: it has the largest qualitative component, and it explores sensitive subjects like team dynamics and team member feelings. This is the meeting that will test a scrum master’s interpersonal and leadership skills the most, but it is also the one that will have the biggest impact on the development environment. When the user stories are flying fast and furious and time is at a premium, it’s easy to think of the retrospective as a luxury that the team may not be able to afford; however, it is crucial for every development team to set aside enough time to thoroughly analyze their own performance and identify the best potential avenues for meaningful and lasting change.

If you want to learn more about sprint retrospective meetings, you can check out the following resources:

I’ll be back next month to discuss how to build an agile organizational culture.

What strategies do you use to make your retrospectives fruitful? How do you encourage team members to be both forthright in their evaluations and open to criticism? How do you keep retrospectives from becoming exercises in finger-pointing and face-saving?

BIS-Sprint-Final-24-06-13-05” image By Birkenkrahe (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[LITA Forum Student Registration Rate Available]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7865 2016-02-01T15:58:49Z 2015-10-06T20:28:12Z Continue reading LITA Forum Student Registration Rate Available]]> 2015 LITA Forumlita_forum15_badge_125x300
Minneapolis, MN
November 12-15, 2015

STUDENT REGISTRATION RATE AVAILABLE

LITA is offering a special student registration rate to the 2015 LITA Forum to a limited number of graduate students enrolled in ALA-accredited programs. The Forum will be held November 12-15, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in Minneapolis, MN. To learn more about the Forum, visit www.litaforum.org .

In exchange for the discounted registration, students will assist the LITA organizers and the Forum presenters with the on-site operations for the Forum. We are anticipating an attendance of 300+ decision makers and implementers of new information technologies in libraries.

The selected students will be expected to attend the full LITA Forum, Friday noon through Sunday noon, but attending during the pre-conferences on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning is not required. They will be assigned a variety of duties, but will be able to attend the Forum programs, which include 3 keynote sessions, approximately 50 concurrent sessions, and 15 poster presentations, as well as many opportunities for social engagement.

The student rate is $180 – half the regular registration rate for LITA members. This rate includes a Friday night reception at the hotel, continental breakfasts, and Saturday lunch.

To apply for the student registration rate, please use and submit this form:

http://goo.gl/forms/s2Krx5sEDN

You will be asked to provide the following:

1) Complete contact information including email address,
2) The name of the school you are attending, and
3) 150 word (or less) statement on why you want to attend the LITA Forum

Please complete and submit this form no later than October 17, 2015.

Those selected for the student rate will be notified no later than October 23, 2015.

Check this link for Why Attend?

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Great Library UX Ideas published at Weave]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7854 2015-10-02T15:28:54Z 2015-10-02T15:28:54Z Continue reading Great Library UX Ideas published at Weave]]> weavelogoAnnounced today by Matthew Reidsma of Grand Valley State University and Editor-in-Chief of Weave, the Journal Of Library User Experience, the publication of the submissions of the winner and first two runners-up for the 2015 Great Library UX Ideas Under $100.

In June 2015, the LITA’s President, Rachel Vacek, Program Planning Team partnered with Weave to hold a contest for great, affordable UX ideas for libraries. The winner won some fabulous prizes, but the committee had trouble choosing just one of the entries they received for recognition. Therefore they choose a winner and first two runners-up for the 2015 Great Library UX Ideas Under $100.

Congratualations to all the winners:

  • Conny Liegl, Designer for Web, Graphics and UX Robert E. Kennedy Library at California Polytechnic State University
  • Rebecca Blakiston, User Experience Librarian, University of Arizona Libraries
  • Shoshana Mayden, Content Strategist, University of Arizona Libraries
  • Nattawan Wood, Administrative Associate, University of Arizona Libraries
  • Aungelique Rodriguez, Library Communications Student Assistant, University of Arizona Libraries
  • Beau Smith, Usability Testing Student Assistant, University of Arizona Libraries
  • Tao Zhang, Digital User Experience Specialist, Purdue University Libraries
  • Marlen Promann, Graduate Research Assistant, Purdue University Libraries

Weave’s primary purpose is to provide a forum where practitioners of UX in libraries (wherever they are, whatever their job title is) can have discussions that increase and extend our understanding of UX principles and research. This is our primary aim: to improve the practice of UX in libraries, and in the process, to help libraries be better, more relevant, more useful, more accessible places.

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

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John Klima <![CDATA[Managing iPads – The Volume Purchase Program]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7490 2015-10-02T15:16:58Z 2015-10-02T14:00:00Z Continue reading Managing iPads – The Volume Purchase Program]]> Photo (c) John Klima
Photo (c) John Klima

This is part 2 in a series of managing iPads in the library. Part 1 (about the physical process of maintaining devices) was posted back in August. Part 3 (how to manage the software aspect of your devices) will come out next month.

If you’re going to offer iPad services to your patrons—either as a part of programming/instruction or as items they can check out and take home—you’re going to want some way to get apps in bulk. If you’re only looking at free apps then you’ll want to wait for the next post where I talk about how to get apps onto devices. But if you’re going to use pay apps (which is really what you want to do, right?) then read on.

You could set up each iPad individually and add a credit card/gift card to each one and buy apps as you needed them. That might not be too onerous if you’re managing a handful of devices. What if you have more than 20? What if you have hundreds? Then you’ll want a different solution.

Thankfully Apple has a solution called the Volume Purchase Program (VPP). You’ll notice there are two links on that page: one for Education and one for Business. If you’re an academic or school library you can probably use the Education link (you might need to work with some in your finance department to get things set up). If you’re at a public library, like I am, you’ll have to use the Business link. If you’re not sure which you should use Apple defines institutions eligible for the Education program as:

Any K-12 institution or district or any accredited, degree-granting higher institution in the U.S. may apply to participate.

If you qualify for the Education VPP you’ll get discounts on app purchases (typically in volumes of 20 or more) and you’ll also be able to purchase books for classrooms through the iBooks store. Apple has a wonderful guide on how the VPP program works for education. A Business VPP account doesn’t get the discounts that an Education account does but it can still be used to buy apps in bulk and buy books from the iBooks store.

The process of creating the account is roughly the same for either the Education or Business VPP. First, you need to verify that you are authorized to enroll your institution in a VPP account. In my case this involved using a verified email address and then accepting terms and conditions on behalf of my library. It’s more complicated for an Education VPP account and you can read the details on the link above. The Business VPP account has a fairly comprehensive faq for any questions not covered in this post.

After that you create a special Apple id that works as an administrator of the VPP account. This id will only be used to purchase apps/books through the VPP. You can have as many administrators as you want, but I find having only one or two works best so that can better manage how the VPP account is used. I find having too many people working on the same thing ends up with people inadvertently working against each other.

Quick note: if you are a Business VPP user, you cannot set yourself up as tax exempt (assuming you are a tax-exempt institution). All is not lost, however. You can submit your email receipts to Apple to be reimbursed for taxes after you send them your paperwork showing that you are a tax-exempt institution. The process, despite being an extra step, works pretty well. I email my claims to Apple and we get a check for the taxes within a few weeks.

The whole process of creating a VPP account is pretty straightforward*. It makes the whole process of managing multiple iPads/iPhones a lot easier so it’s worth doing. All that’s left at this point is getting your purchased apps onto the devices.

When you buy apps in bulk you’re given a list of redemption codes to download. I use Apple’s Configurator to deploy apps and manage devices. With the release of iOS9 Apple is rolling out Mobile Device Management and I’ll address both of those in the next post. Honestly the VPP is one of the easier pieces of managing multiple iPads but it’s a step you need to take.

Jump in the comments if you have follow-up questions!

* If you run into any problems, contact Apple support. They are super helpful and will get you the answers you need.

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: September 30, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7849 2015-10-02T17:22:19Z 2015-09-30T19:04:33Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: September 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:

Reference and Research Specialist, WilmerHale, Boston, MA

Lead Developer, Requisition # 1500793, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

IT Technology Specialist, Mead Public Library, Sheboygan, WI

Director of Library Systems, University Library, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

Collection Development and Digital Resource Management Librarian, Penn State University Libraries, Hershey Campus, Hershey, PA

Reference and Instruction Librarian, Penn State University Libraries, Brandywine Campus, Philadelphia, PA

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

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Creative Commons Crash Course, a LITA webinar]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7813 2015-09-28T17:00:35Z 2015-09-30T14:00:27Z Continue reading Creative Commons Crash Course, a LITA webinar]]> Attend this interesting and useful LITA webinar:

cc.logo.largeCreative Commons Crash Course

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

Since the first versions were released in 2002, Creative Commons licenses have become an important part of the copyright landscape, particularly for organizations that are interested in freely sharing information and materials. Participants in this 90 minute webinar will learn about the current Creative Commons licenses and how they relate to copyright law.

This webinar will follow up on Carli Spina’s highly popular Ignite Session at the 2015 ALA Mid Winter conference. Carli will explain how to find materials that are Creative Commons-licensed, how to appropriately use such items and how to apply Creative Commons licenses to newly created materials. It will also include demonstrations of some important tools that make use of Creative Commons-licensed media. This program will be useful for librarians interested in instituting a Creative Commons licensing policy at their institutions, as well as those who are interested in finding free media for use in library materials.

Carli Spina

CarliSpinaHeadshot2Is the Emerging Technologies and Research Librarian at the Harvard Law School Library. There she is responsible for teaching research and technology classes, as well as working on technology projects and creating online learning objects. She has presented both online and in-person on copyright and technology topics. Carli also offers copyright training and assistance to patrons and staff and maintains a guide to finding and understanding Creative Commons and public domain materials. Prior to becoming a librarian, she worked as an attorney at an international law firm. You can find more information about her work, publications, and presentations at carlispina.com.

Register for the Webinar

Full details
Can’t make the date but still ant 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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Nimisha Bhat <![CDATA[To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Scholarly Engagement and Twitter]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7489 2015-10-08T15:43:20Z 2015-09-30T14:00:00Z Continue reading To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Scholarly Engagement and Twitter]]> by Colleen Simon, via Flickr
by Colleen Simon, via Flickr

I’ve been thinking a lot about scholarly engagement on Twitter lately, especially after reading Bonnie Stewart‘s latest blog post, “The morning after we all became social media gurus.” Based on her research and writing for her thesis, she weighs exactly what we as academic librarians and LIS professionals are getting out of digital scholarly engagement and how we measure that influence in terms of metrics. I’d like to unpack this topic a bit and open it up to a wider reader discussion in the comments section, after the jump!

Debating the merits of networked scholarship via Twitter is a topic that has been bouncing around in journal articles and blog posts for the past 8 years or so. But as notions of scholarly publication and information dissemination change, it’s worth returning to this topic in order to assess how our presence as academic librarians and LIS professionals is changing as well. Addressing social media training in her blog post, Stewart poses the question, “Are the workshops helping…or just making people feel pressured to Do Another Thing in a profession currently swamped by exhortations to do, show, and justify?” I am both a lizard person Millennial and early-career librarian, so navigating through Twitter is easy for me, but not in the sense of establishing myself professionally. I feel that I’ve only just gotten the hang of professional information dissemination, and am learning more every day about how what we as information specialists tweet out reaches others in our community and what we get back from that.

But how do we understand and frame the practical benefits of digital and networked scholarship through Twitter specifically? The amount of times a single tweet is cited? How many followers, retweets, or favorites a professional has?

The pros of using Twitter as a form of scholarly networking are very clear to me – being able to contribute to the conversation in one’s field, creating new professional connections, and having an open venue in which to speak on scholarly matters – to name a few.

But the more tangential aspects are where it gets a lot grayer for me. How do we view ownership of tweets and replies to tweets? Does the citation of a viral tweet hold as much weight as a citation to an article published in a scholarly journal? How do we weigh the importance of scholarly tweets when we sometimes have to parse them out between the pictures of our pets being adorable? (I mean personally I see them as being equally important.)

This is all to say that if and/or when Twitter and other social media venues become a default environment for digital scholarship, should there be more of an effort to incorporate social media and networked scholarship as the norm that all “successful” LIS professionals should be doing, or is this just another signifier of the DIY-style of skill-building that librarianship is experiencing today as Erin Leach has written in her blog post? Should academic institutions be providing more workshops to train and guide professionals to use Twitter as professional development? What is the mark of a truly connected scholar and information specialist? I have a lot of questions.

I’ll round out my post with a quote from Jesse Stommel from his presentation New-form scholarship and the public digital humanities: “It isn’t that a single tweet constitutes scholarship, although in rare cases one might, but rather that Twitter and participatory media more broadly disperses the locus of scholarship, making the work less about scholarly products and more about community presence and engagement.” Community presence and engagement are such important factors in how I see academic librarians, LIS professionals, and information specialists using Twitter and connecting in the field.

So to open this up to you the readers, how do you measure your digital identity as a scholar or professional? How much weight do you give to digital networked scholarship? 

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Lindsay Cronk http://lindsaythelibrarian.com <![CDATA[It’s a Brave New Workplace]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7838 2015-09-29T22:10:25Z 2015-09-29T20:08:52Z Continue reading It’s a Brave New Workplace]]> LITA Blog Readers, I’ve got a new job. For the past month I’ve been getting my sea legs at the University of Houston’s M.D. Anderson Library. As CORC (Coordinator of Online Resources and Collections), my job is supporting data-driven collection decisions and processes. I know, it’s way cool.

MD Anderson Library, University of Houston
M.D. Anderson – Ain’t she a beaut?

I have come to realize that the most challenging aspect of adapting to a new workplace may well be learning new technologies and  adjusting to familiar technologies used in slightly different ways. I’m text mining my own notes for clues and asking a ton of questions, but switching from Trello to Basecamp has been rough.

No, let’s be honest, the most challenging thing has been  navigating the throngs of undergrads on a crowded campus. Before working remotely for years, I worked at small nonprofits, graduated from a teeny, tiny liberal arts college, and grew up in a not-big Midwestern town. You may notice a theme.

No worries, I’m doing fine. The tech is with me.

In upcoming installments of Brave New Workplace I’ll share methods for organization, prioritization, acculturation, and technology adaptation in a new workplace. While I’ll focus on library technologies and applications, I’ll also be turning a tech-focused approach to workplace culture questions. Spoiler alert: I’m going to encourage you to build your own CRM for your coworkers and their technology habits. Be prepared.

And stay tuned! Brave New Workplace will return on October 16th.

 

 

 

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Teaching Patrons About Privacy, a LITA webinar]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7809 2015-09-28T15:42:31Z 2015-09-28T18:00:14Z Continue reading Teaching Patrons About Privacy, a LITA webinar]]> Attend this important new LITA webinar:

macrinalockTeaching Patrons about Privacy in a World of Pervasive Surveillance: Lessons from the Library Freedom Project

Tuesday October 6, 2015
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Central Time
Register Online, page arranged by session date (login required)

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA and FBI dragnet surveillance, Alison Macrina started the Library Freedom Project as a way to teach other librarians about surveillance, privacy rights, and technology tools that protect privacy. In this 90 minute webinar, she’ll talk about the landscape of surveillance, the work of the LFP, and some strategies you can use to protect yourself and your patrons online. Administrators, instructors, librarians and library staff of all shapes and sizes will learn about the important work of the Library Freedom Project and how they can help their patrons.

Alison’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/

Alison Macrina

alisonmacrinaIs a librarian, privacy rights activist, and the founder and director of the Library Freedom Project, an initiative which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries by teaching librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms. Alison is passionate about connecting surveillance issues to larger global struggles for justice, demystifying privacy and security technologies for ordinary users, and resisting an internet controlled by a handful of intelligence agencies and giant multinational corporations. When she’s not doing any of that, she’s reading.

Register for the Webinar

Full details
Can’t make the date but still ant 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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Michael Rodriguez http://shelverscove.wordpress.com/ <![CDATA[Triaging Technologies]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7488 2015-09-23T14:55:46Z 2015-09-28T14:00:00Z Continue reading Triaging Technologies]]> Ambulance photo
Flickr/Etienne Valois, CC BY NC ND

I manage digital services and resources at a small academic library with minimal financial and human resources available. For almost a year, I served as solo librarian for fixing and optimizing the library website, library services platform, electronic resources, workflows, documentation, and other elements of technology management vital to back-end operations and front-end services. Coping with practical limitations and a vast array of responsibilities, I resorted to triage. In triage management, the primary consideration is return on investment (ROI) – how stakeholder benefits measure against time and resources expended to realize those benefits.

Condition Black: The technology must be replaced or phased out because it is dysfunctional and impossible to fix. Into this category fell our website, built with the clunky and unusable Microsoft SharePoint; our laptops running Windows XP and too old to upgrade to a more current operating system; and our technology lending service, for which we had no funds to upgrade the dated technologies on offer. Down the road we might write this last item into the budget or solicit donations from the community, but at the time, the patient was DOA.

Condition Blue: The technology is current, optimal for user needs, and can be left essentially to run itself while library technology managers focus on more urgent priorities. Into this category fell the recently upgraded hardware at one of our campus libraries, as well as LibCal, a study room booking system with faultless performance.

Condition Green: The situation requires monitoring but not immediate intervention, not until higher-order priorities have been addressed. This was the situation with OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS). This LSP offers only limited functionality—scandalously to my mind, subscribers still have to pull many reports via FTP. But the platform is cheap and handles the core functions of circulation, cataloging, and interlibrary loan perfectly. For us, WMS was low-priority.

Condition Yellow: The situation needs to be salvaged and the system sustained, but it is still not quite the top priority. In this category fell the OCLC knowledge base and WorldCat discovery layer, which in Hodges University’s instance experiences incessant link resolution issues and requires constant monitoring and frequent repair tickets to OCLC. A screwy discovery layer impacts users’ ability to access resources as well as creating a frustrating user experience. BUT I decided not to prioritize knowledge base optimization because the methodology was already in place for triaging the crisis. For years my colleagues had been steering students directly toward subject databases in lieu of WorldCat.

Condition Red: The system is in dire need of improvement – this is Priority 1. Into this category fell the library’s content management system, LibGuides. My first priority on taking over web services was to upgrade LibGuides to Version 2, which offers responsive design and superior features, and then to integrate the entire library website within this new-and-improved CMS. I would also argue that internal customer service falls into this category – staff must documentation, training, and other support to do their work well before they can exceed expectations for external customer service. These are the critical priorities.

A few additional points.

1. Library technologists must revisit traige placements periodically and reassess as needed. Movement is the goal – from conditions Red to Blue.

2. Library technologists must eschew using triage as a stopgap measure. Triage is vital to long-range planning in terms of budget allocation, project management, and other responsibilities. Triage is planning.

3. Where each priority is placed in a triage system is contingent on local needs and circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all generalization.

How do you use triage at your library? Is it a useful approach?

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Whitni Watkins http://nimblelibrarian.com <![CDATA[Understanding Creative Commons Licensing]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7487 2015-09-28T17:14:35Z 2015-09-25T14:00:00Z Continue reading Understanding Creative Commons Licensing]]> creative commons visual on openess of creative commons licenses. Creative Commons (CC) is a public copyright license. What does this mean? It means it allows for free distribution of work that would otherwise be under copyright, providing open access to users. Creative Commons licensing provides both gratis OA licensing and libre OA  licensing (terms coined by Peter Suber). Gratis OA is free to use, libre OA is free to use and free to modify.

How does CC licensing benefit the artist? Well, it allows more flexibility with what they can allow others to do with their work. How does it benefit the user? As a user, you are protected from copyright infringement, as long as you follow the CC license conditions.

CC licenses: in a nutshell with examples


BY – attribution | SA – share alike | NC – non-commercial | ND – no derivs

CC0 – creative commons zero license means this work is in the public domain and you can do whatever you want with it. No attribution is required. This is the easiest license to work with. (example of a CC0 license: Unsplash)

BY – This license means that you can do as you wish with the work but only as long as you provide attribution for the original creator. Works with this type of license can be expanded on and used for commercial use, if the user wishes, as long as attribution is given to the original creator. (example of a CC-BY license: Figshare ; data sets at Figshare are CC0; PLOS)

BY-SA – This license is an attribution licenses and share alike license meaning that all new works based on the original work will carry the same license. (example of a CC-BY-SA license: Arduino)

BY-NC – this license is another attribution license but the user does not have to retain the same licensing terms as the original work. The catch, the user must be using the work non-commercially. (example of a BY-NC license: Ely Ivy from the Free Music Archive)nudecelebvideo

BY-ND – This license means the work can be shared, commercially or non-commercially, but without change to the original work and attribution/credit must be given. (example of a BY-ND license: Free Software Foundation)

BY-NC-SA – This license combines the share alike and the non-commercial with an attribution requirement. Meaning, the work can be used (with attribution/credit) only if for non-commercial use and any and all new works retain the same BY-NC-SA license. (example of a CC BY-NC-SA: Nursing Clio see footer or MITOpenCourseWare)

BY-NC-ND – This license combines the non-commercial and non-derivative licenses with an attribution requirement. Meaning, you can only use works with this license with attribution/credit for non-commercial use and they cannot be changed from the original work. (example of a BY-NC-ND license: Ted Talk Videos)

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[LITA Forum early bird rates end soon]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7777 2015-10-27T15:18:30Z 2015-09-24T14:00:07Z Continue reading LITA Forum early bird rates end soon]]>

LITA and LLAMA Members

There’s still time to register for the 2015 LITA Forum at the early bird rate and save $50
Minneapolis, MN
November 12-15, 2015

lita_forum15_header

 


LITA Forum early bird rates end September 30, 2015
Register Now!

Join us in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis for the 2015 LITA Forum, a three-day education and networking event featuring 2 preconferences, 3 keynote sessions, more than 55 concurrent sessions and 15 poster presentations. This year including content and planning collaboration with LLAMA.

Why attend the LITA Forum

Check out the report from Melissa Johnson. It details her experience as an attendee, a volunteer, and a presenter. This year, she’s on the planning committee and attending. Melissa says most people don’t know is how action-packed and seriously awesome this years LITA Forum is going to be. Register now to receive the LITA and LLAMA members early bird discount:

  • LITA and LLAMA member early bird rate: $340
  • LITA and LLAMA member regular rate: $390

The LITA Forum is a gathering for technology-minded information professionals, where you can meet with your colleagues involved in new and leading edge technologies in the library and information technology field. Attendees can take advantage of the informal Friday evening reception, networking dinners and other social opportunities to get to know colleagues and speakers and experience the important networking advantages of a smaller conference.

Keynote Speakers:

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

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

Comments from past attendees:

“Best conference I’ve been to in terms of practical, usable ideas that I can implement at my library.”
“I get so inspired by the presentations and conversations with colleagues who are dealing with the same sorts of issues that I am.”
“After LITA I return to my institution excited to implement solutions I find here.”
“This is always the most informative conference! It inspires me to develop new programs and plan initiatives.”

Forum Sponsors:

EBSCO, Ex Libris, Optimal Workshop, OCLC, InnovativeBiblioCommons, Springshare, A Book ApartRosenfeld 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

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Brianna Marshall <![CDATA[September Library Tech Roundup]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7407 2015-09-24T23:45:34Z 2015-09-24T14:00:00Z Continue reading September Library Tech Roundup]]>
Image courtesy of Flickr user kalexanderson (CC BY).

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.


Cinthya I.

I’m mixing things up this month and have been reading a lot on…


John K.

Hopefully this isn’t all stuff you’ve all seen already:


Whitni Watkins

These are all over the place as I’ve been bouncing back and forth between multiple interests I’ve been finger dipping in.

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: September 23, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7775 2015-09-23T18:39:29Z 2015-09-23T18:39:29Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: September 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:

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

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

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Jacob Shelby http://jacobshelby.org <![CDATA[A Linked Data Journey: Introduction]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7486 2015-09-23T14:37:46Z 2015-09-23T14:00:00Z Continue reading A Linked Data Journey: Introduction]]>

alt text
retrieved from Wikipedia, created by Anja Jentzsch and Richard Cyganiak

Introduction

Linked data. It’s one of the hottest topics in the library community. But what is it really? What does it look like? How will it help? In this series I will seek to demystify the concept and present practical examples and use-cases. Some of the topics I will touch on are:

  • The basics
  • Tools for implementing linked data
  • Interviews with linked data practitioners
  • What can you do to prepare?

In this part one of the series I will give a brief explanation of linked data; then I will attempt to capture your interest by highlighting how linked data can enhance a variety of library services, including cataloging, digital libraries, scholarly data, and reference.

What is Linked Data?

I’m not going to go into the technical detail of linked data, as that isn’t the purpose of this post. If you’re interested in specifics, please, please contact me.

At its core, linked data is an idea. It’s a way of explicitly linking “things” together, particularly on the web. As Tim Berners-Lee put it:

The Semantic Web isn’t just about putting data on the web. It is about making links, so that a person or machine can explore the web of data. With linked data, when you have some of it, you can find other, related, data.

Resource Description Framework is a framework for realizing linked data. It does so by employing triples, which are fundamentally simple (though RDF can become insanely complex), and by uniquely identifying “things” via URIs/URLs when possible. Here is a quick example:

Jacob Shelby schema:worksFor Iowa State University

Behind each of those three “things” is a URL. Graph-wise this comes out to be:

alt text
courtesy of W3C’s RDF Validator

This is the basic principle behind linked data. In practice there are a variety of machine-readable languages that are able to employ the RDF model, among them are XML, JSON-LD, TTL, and N-Triples. I won’t go into any specifics, but I encourage you to explore these if you are technologically curious.

What will it be able to do for you?

So, the whole idea of linked data is fine and dandy. But what can it do for you?  Why even bother with it? I am now going to toss around some ways linked data will be able to enhance library services. Linked data isn’t at full capacity yet, but it is rapidly becoming flesh and bone. The more the library community “buys into” linked data and prepares for it, the quicker and more powerful linked data will become. Anywho, here we go.

I should clarify that all of these examples conform to the concept of linked open data. There is such a thing as linked “closed” (private) data.

Cataloging

Right now the traditional cataloging world is full of metadata with textual values (strings) and closed, siloed databases. With linked data it can become a world full of uniquely-identified resources (things) and openly available data.

With linked data catalogers will be able to link to linked data vocabularies (there are already a plethora of linked data vocabularies out there, including the Library of Congress authorities and the Getty vocabularies). For users this will add clarification to personal names and subject headings. For catalogers this will eliminate the need for locally updating authorities when a name/label changes. It will also help alleviate the redundant duplication of data.

Digital Libraries

The “things instead of strings” concept noted above rings true for non-MARC metadata for digital libraries. Digital library staff will be able to link to semantic vocabularies.

Another interesting prospect is that institutions will be able to link metadata to other institutions’ metadata. Why would you do this? Maybe another institution has a digital resource that is closely related with one of yours. Linked data allows this to be done without having to upload another institution’s metadata into a local database; it also allows for metadata provenance to be kept intact (linked data explicitly points back to the resource being described).

Scholarly Data

Linked data will help scholarly data practitioners more easily keep works and data connected to researchers. This can be done by pointing to a researcher’s ORCID ID or VIVO ID as the “creator”. It will also be possible to pull in researcher profile information from linked data services (I believe VIVO is one; I’m not sure about ORCID).

Reference

Two words: semantic LibGuides. With linked data, reference librarians would be able to pull in data from other linked data sources such as Wikipedia (actually, DBpedia). This would allow for automatic updates when the source content changes, keeping information up-to-date with little effort on the librarian’s part.

To take this idea to the extreme: what about a consortial LibGuide knowledge base? Institutions could create, share, and reuse LibGuide data that is openly and freely available. The knowledge base would be maintained and developed by the library community, for the public. I recently came across an institution’s LibGuides that are provided via a vendor. To gain access to the LibGuides you had to log in because of vendor restrictions. How lame is that?

Conclusion

Maybe I’m be a little too capricious, but given time, I believe these are all possible. I look forward to continuing this journey in future posts. If you have any questions, ideas, or corrections, feel free to leave them in a comment or contact me directly. Until next time!

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Personal Digital Archiving – a new LITA web course]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7723 2015-09-28T15:27:23Z 2015-09-22T17:23:18Z Continue reading Personal Digital Archiving – a new LITA web course]]> digitalorganizingCheck out the latest LITA web course:
Personal Digital Archiving for Librarians

Instructor: Melody Condron, Resource Management Coordinator at the University of Houston Libraries.

Offered: October 6 – November 11, 2015
A Moodle based web course with asynchronous weekly content lessons, tutorials, assignments, and group discussion.

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

Most of us are leading very digital lives. Bank statements, interaction with friends, and photos of your dog are all digital. Even as librarians who value preservation, few of us organize our digital personal lives, let alone back it up or make plans for it. Participants in this 4 week online class will learn how to organize and manage their digital selves. Further, as librarians participants can use what they learn to advocate for better personal data management in others. ‘Train-the-trainer’ resources will be available so that librarians can share these tools and practices with students and patrons in their own libraries after taking this course.

Takeaways:

At the end of this course, participants will:

  • Know best practices for handling all of their digital “stuff” with minimum effort
  • Know how to save posts and data from social media sites
  • Understand the basics of file organization, naming, and backup
  • Have a plan for managing & organizing the backlog of existing personal digital material in their lives (including photographs, documents, and correspondence)
  • Be prepared to handle new documents, photos, and other digital material for ongoing access
  • Have the resources to teach others how to better manage their digital lives

Here’s the Course Page

melodycondronMelody Condron is the Resource Management Coordinator at the University of Houston Libraries. She is responsible for file loading and quality control for the library database (basically she organizes and fixes records for a living). At home, she is the family archivist and recently completed a 20,000+ family photo digitization project. She is also the Chair of the LITA Membership Development Committee (2015-2016).

Dates:

October 6 – November 11, 2015

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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Stephanie Piccino <![CDATA[Putting Pen to Paper]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7484 2015-09-05T13:18:43Z 2015-09-18T14:00:00Z Continue reading Putting Pen to Paper]]> Back in January, The Atlantic ran an article on a new device being used at the Cooper Hewitt design museum in New York City. This device allows museum visitors to become curators of their own collections, saving information about exhibits to their own special account they can access via computer after they leave. This device is called a pen; Robinson Meyer, the article’s author, likens it to a “gray plastic crayon the size of a turkey baster”. I think it’s more like a magic wand.

description of how the Cooper Hewitt pen can interact with museum exhibits
Courtesy of the Cooper Hewitt Museum website

Not only can you use the pen to save information you think is cool, you can also interact with the museum at large: in the Immersion Room, for example, you can draw a design with your pen and watch it spring to life on the walls around you. In the Process Lab, you use the pen to solve real-life design problems. As Meyer puts it, “The pen does something that countless companies, organizations, archives, and libraries are trying to do: It bridges the digital and the physical.”

The mention of libraries struck me: how could something like the Cooper Hewitt pen be used in your average public library?

The first thing that came to my mind was RFID. In my library, we use RFID to tag and label our materials. There are currently RFID “wands” that, when waved over stacks, can help staff locate books they thought were missing.

But let’s turn that around: give the patron the wand – rather, the pen – and program in a subject they’re looking for…say, do-it-yourself dog grooming. As the patron wanders, the pen is talking with the stacks via RFID asking where those materials would be. Soon the pen vibrates and a small LED light shines on the materials. Eureka!

Or, just as the Cooper Hewitt allows visitors to build their own virtual collection online, we can have patrons build their own virtual libraries. Using the same RFID scanning technology as before, patrons can link items to their library card number that they’ve already borrowed or maybe want to view in the future. It could be a system similar to Goodreads (or maybe even link it to Goodreads itself) or it could be a personal website that only the user – not the library – has access to.

What are some ways you might be able to use this tech in your library system?

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: September 16, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7703 2015-09-16T14:52:50Z 2015-09-16T14:52:50Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: September 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:

Digital Technologies, Bridgepoint Education – Ashford University, San Diego, CA

E-Learning Librarian, Olin Library – Use Job ID 31577, Washington University, St Louis, MO

Archivist/Program Manager, History Associates Incorporated, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Program Officer for Federal Documents and Collections, HathiTrust, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Program Officer for Shared Print Initiatives, HathiTrust, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Director of Services and Operations, HathiTrust, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Learning Commons Coordinator, Forsyth Library, Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS

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

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Lauren Hays <![CDATA[My Capacity: What Can I Do and What Can I Do Well?]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7483 2015-09-15T22:04:05Z 2015-09-16T14:00:00Z Continue reading My Capacity: What Can I Do and What Can I Do Well?]]> I like to take on a lot of projects. I love seeing projects come to fruition, and I want to provide the best possible services for my campus community. I think the work we do as librarians is important work.  As I’ve taken on more responsibilities in my current job though I’ve learned I can’t do everything.  I have had to reevaluate the number of things I can accomplish and projects I can support.

Photo by  Darren Tunnicliff.  Published under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.
Photo by
Darren Tunnicliff. Published under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.

Libraries come in all different shapes and sizes. I happen to work at a small library. We are a small staff—3 professional librarians including the director, 2 full-time staff, 1 part-time staff member, and around 10 student workers. I think we do amazing things at my place of employment, but I know we can’t do everything. I would love to be able to do some of the projects I see staff at larger universities working on, but I am learning that I have to be strategic about my projects. Time is a limited resource and I need to use my time wisely to support the campus in the best way possible.

This has been especially true for tech projects. The maintenance, updating, and support needed for technology can be a challenge. Now don’t get me wrong, I love tech and my library does great things with technology, but I have also had to be more strategic as I recognize my capacity does have limits. So with new projects I’ve been asking myself:

  • How does this align with our strategic plan? (I’ve always asked this with new projects, but it is always good to remember)
  • What are top campus community needs?
  • What is the estimated time commitment for a specific project?
  • Can I support this long term?

Some projects are so important that you are going to work on the project no matter what your answers are to these questions. There are also some projects that are not even worth the little bit of capacity they would require.  Figuring out where to focus time and what will be the most beneficial for your community is challenging, but worth it.

How do you decide priorities and time commitments?

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Jorge Perez <![CDATA[Creating High-Quality Online Video Tutorials]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7636 2015-09-09T15:08:43Z 2015-09-14T11:00:22Z Continue reading Creating High-Quality Online Video Tutorials]]> Lately it seems all I do all day is create informational or educational video tutorials on various topics for my library.  The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Medical Library at Florida International University in Miami, FL has perfected a system.  First, a group of three librarians write and edit a script on a topic.  In the past we have done multiple videos on American Medical Association (AMA) and American Psychological Association (APA) citation styles, Evidence-Based Medicine research to support a course, and other titles on basic library services and resources. After a script has been finalized, we record the audio.  We have one librarian who has become “the voice of the library,” one simple method to brand the library.  After that, I go ahead and coordinate the visuals – a mixture of PowerPoint slides, visual effects and screen video shots.  We use Camtasia to edit our videos and produce and upload them to our fiumedlib YouTube Channel.  Below are some thoughts and notes to consider if starting your own collection of online video tutorials for your organization.

Zoom In
As my past photography teacher declared, rather than zoom in with a telephoto lens walk towards your subject.  You as the photographer should reposition yourself to get the best shot.  The same holds true for screen shots.  If recording from your browser, it is good practice to use your zoom feature when recording your footage to get the sharpest footage.  If using Chrome, click on the customize and control (three-bar icon) on the top right of the browser window and you will see the option to zoom in or out.  Keep in mind that the look of the video also is dependent on the viewers monitor screen resolution and other factors – so sometimes you have to let it go.  The screen shots below show one recorded in 100% and another in 175%.  This small change affected the clarity of the footage.

image_perez1recorded at 100%

image_perez2recorded at 175%

Write a Script and Record Audio First – (then add Visuals)
Most people multi-task by recording the voice over, their video and audio at the same time.  I have found that this creates multiple mistakes and the need to record multiple takes.  Preparation steps help projects run smoothly.

Brand Your Library
The team brands our library by having the same beginning title slide with our logo and the ending slide with contact email with the same background music clip.  In addition, we try to use a common look and feel throughout the video lesson to further cement that these are from the same library. As mentioned before, we use the same narrator for our videos.

PowerPoint Slides
I cringe at the thought of seeing a PowerPoint slide with a header and a list of bullet points.  PowerPoint is not necessarily bad, I just like to promote using the software in a creative manner by approaching each slide as a canvas.  I steer clear from templates and following the usual “business” organization of a slide.

image_perez3

Check out the current videos our department has created and let me know if you have any questions at jorperez@fiu.edu

Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Medical Library You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_DLYn2F2Q4AACsicEh9BSA

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[LITA Fall Online Continuing Education]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7677 2016-01-04T20:26:16Z 2015-09-11T13:00:15Z Continue reading LITA Fall Online Continuing Education]]> Immediate Registration Available Now for any of 4 webinars, or the web course

Check out all of the empowering learning opportunities at the line up page, with registration details and links on each of the sessions pages.

The offerings include 4 fast paced one shot webinars:


macrinalockTeaching Patrons about Privacy in a World of Pervasive Surveillance: Lessons from the Library Freedom Project, with Alison Macrina

Offered: October 6, 2015, 1:30 pm Central Time
In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA and FBI dragnet surveillance, Alison Macrina started the Library Freedom Project as a way to teach other librarians about surveillance, privacy rights, and technology tools that protect privacy. In this 90 minute webinar, she’ll talk about the landscape of surveillance, the work of the LFP, and some strategies you can use to protect yourself and your patrons online.

cc.logo.largeCreative Commons Crash Course, with Carli Spina
Offered: October 7, 2015, 1:30 pm Central Time
Since the first versions were released in 2002, Creative Commons licenses have become an important part of the copyright landscape, particularly for organizations that are interested in freely sharing information and materials. Participants in this 90 minute webinar will learn about the current Creative Commons licenses and how they relate to copyright law. This webinar will follow up on Carli Spina’s highly popular Ignite Session at the 2015 ALA Mid Winter conference.

Toolkit_Icon_MediumDigital Privacy Toolkit for Librarians, with Alison Macrina
Offered: October 20, 2015
This 90 minute webinar will include a discussion and demonstration of practical tools for online privacy that can be implemented in library PC environments or taught to patrons in classes/one-on-one tech sessions, including browsers for privacy and anonymity, tools for secure deletion of cookies, cache, and internet history, tools to prevent online tracking, and encryption for online communications.

Varnum300pebTop Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know – 2, with Steven Bowers, A.J. Million, Elliot Polak and Ken Varnum
Offered: November 2, 2015, 1:00 pm Central Time
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 fast paced hour long webinar, join the authors of three chapters as they talk about their technologies and what they mean for libraries. Those chapters covered will be

  • Impetus to Innovate: Convergence and Library Trends, with A.J. Million
  • The Future of Cloud-Based Library Systems with Elliot Polak & Steven Bowers
  • Library Discovery: From Ponds to Streams with Ken Varnum

Plus the 4 week deep dive web course:

digitalorganizingPersonal Digital Archiving for Librarians, with Melody Condron
Offered: October 6 – November 3, 2015
Most of us are leading very digital lives. Bank statements, interaction with friends, and photos of your dog are all digital. Even as librarians who value preservation, few of us organize our digital personal lives, let alone back it up or make plans for it. Participants in this 4 week online class will learn how to organize and manage their digital selves. Further, as librarians participants can use what they learn to advocate for better personal data management in others. “Train-the-trainer” resources will be available so that librarians can share these tools and practices with students and patrons in their own libraries after taking this course.

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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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: September 9, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7673 2015-09-10T01:36:45Z 2015-09-10T01:36:45Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: September 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:

Emerging Technologies Librarian, Marquette University Libraries, Milwaukee, WI

Head of the Physics Library, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Director of Digital Strategies, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

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

 

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David Kwasny <![CDATA[Interacting with Patrons Through Their Mobile Devices :: Image Scanning]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7480 2015-09-10T14:19:35Z 2015-09-09T05:00:00Z Continue reading Interacting with Patrons Through Their Mobile Devices :: Image Scanning]]> QR codes are not a new technology. Their recent adoption and widespread usage has even led the technology into a pervasive state, mostly due to their misuse. However, I want to address QR codes in this series — because I believe the technology is brilliant. I enjoy the potential of its concept, and what has recently developed from the technology in the form of Augmented Reality codes.

Originally developed in 1994 by Denso Wave Incorporated, the Quick Reference Code was devised to increase the scan-ability and data storage capacity of the standard linear barcode.

2dvs1d

Today, they are most often seen in advertising. Their modern pervasiveness is understandable as an inexpensive, easily produced, versatile method of transmitting information. However, their effectiveness as a mode of relaying information is reliant on their method of use. The QR code needs to provide a direct extension of the information in its proximity, and not be an ambiguous entity.

One method of accomplishing the direct association is to brand your QR codes, and take advantage of their ability to error correct.

branded QR codes

By taking the extra effort to develop branded QR codes, a higher level of interest may correspond with usage. But, never rely on assumptions; one of the greatest benefits of using QR codes is their ability to be easily tracked with google analytics. If you are going to put forth the effort to develop them, you might as well be able to quantify their effectiveness.

Their purpose is a direct call to action, a bridge to transport users to supplemental information immediately. This functionality should be used advantageously.

  • Provide users with a helpline
  • Establish a vCalendar for an event or send them to a Facebook event page
  • Send them to a Dropbox they can obtain important documents
  • Supply them with contact information or a direct email address
  • Provide one to your Digital Library App
  • Make one for each of your Social Media accounts

There are several ways to use QR codes in an effective manner. Using them appropriately as a relay, or extension, of anticipated information should reassure your users to continue to use them.

The future of image scanning

Although, many have been dismissive about the QR code as a technology, it has initiated the field of image scanning codes. It’s evolution from QR to image triggers has removed the stigma of ugliness associated image codes. Any picture can now be a trigger to interact with, and the prospects of this technology are extraordinary.

A recent example of image scanning technology has been exhibited in the recent publication of Modern Polaxis, an interactive comic book. The creators utilize image triggers throughout the comic to access Flash media, through their published application, to incorporating animation and sound functionality. The ability to overlay these two media functions creates a level of interaction that is exciting to discover. It has even led to the new media form of AR Tattoos.

This same technology has been made more readily available for users to develop on using the app Aurasma, and has already been brought into the classroom.

Aurasma allows users to link real world environments with correlated digital content to develop a dynamic digital experience. Because the technology utilizes Flash, it allows developers to overlay menu options, audio, video, or just addition imagery or animation. It is a technology I hope to see more of in the future.

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Cinthya Ippoliti <![CDATA[3D Printing Partnerships: Tales Of Collaboration, Prototyping, And Just Plain Panic]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7478 2015-08-31T14:46:34Z 2015-09-04T14:00:00Z Continue reading 3D Printing Partnerships: Tales Of Collaboration, Prototyping, And Just Plain Panic]]>  

Capture2

*Photo taken from Flickr w/Attribution CC License: http://bit.ly/1UnoxIN

Many institutions have seen the rise of makerspaces within their libraries, but it’s still difficult to get a sense of how embedded they truly are within the academic fabric of their campuses and how they contribute to student learning. Libraries have undergone significant changes in the last five years, shifting from repositories to learning spaces, from places to experiences. It is within these new directions that the makerspace movement has risen to the forefront and begun to pave the way for truly transformative thinking and doing. Educause defines a makerspace as “a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build” (ELI 2013). These types of spaces are being embraced by the arts as well as the sciences and are quickly being adopted by the academic community because “much of the value of a makerspace lies in its informal character and its appeal to the spirit of invention” as students take control of their own learning (ELI 2013).

Nowhere is this spirit more alive than in entrepreneurship where creativity and innovation are the norm. The Oklahoma State University Library recently established a formal partnership with the School of Entrepreneurship to embed 3D printing into two pilot sections of its EEE 3023 course with the idea that if successful, all sections of this course would include a making component that could involve more advanced equipment down the road. Students in this class work in teams to develop an original product from idea, to design, to marketing. The library provides training on coordination of the design process, use of the equipment, and technical assistance for each team. In addition, this partnership includes outreach activities such as featuring the printers at entrepreneurship career fairs, startup weekends and poster pitch sessions. We have not yet started working with the classes, so much of this will likely change as we learn from our mistakes and apply what worked well to future iterations of this project.

This is all well and good, but how did we arrive at this stage of the process? The library first approached the School of Entrepreneurship with an idea for collaboration, but as we discovered, simply saying we wanted to partner would not be enough. We didn’t have a clear idea in mind, and the discussions ended without a concrete action plan. Fast forward to the summer, when the library was approached and asked about something that had been mentioned in the meeting-a makerspace. Were we interested in splitting the cost and pilot a project with a course? The answer was a resounding yes.

We quickly met several times to discuss exactly what we meant by “makerspace”, and we decided that 3D printing would be a good place to start. We drafted an outline that consisted of the equipment needed, which consisted of three Makerbot Replicator 5th generation printers and one larger Z18 along with the accompanying accessories and warranties. This information was gathered based on the collective experiences of the group along, with a few quick website searches to establish what other institutions were doing.

Next, we turned our attention to discussing the curriculum. While creating learning outcomes for making is certainly part of the equation, we had a very short time frame to get this done, so we opted for two sets of workshops for students with homework in between culminating in a certification to enable them to work on their product. The first workshop will walk them through using Blender to create an original design at a basic level, the second is designed to have them try out the printers themselves. In between workshops, they will watch videos and have access to a book to help them learn as they go. The certification at the end will consist of each team coming in and printing something (small) on their own after which they will be cleared to work on their own products. Drop-in assistance as well as consultation assistance will also be available, and we are determining the best way to queue requests as they come in knowing that we might have jobs printing over night, while others may come in at the very last minute.

Although as mentioned, we have just started on this project, we’ve learned several valuable lessons already that are worth sharing-they may sound obvious, but are still important to highlight:

  1. Be flexible! Nothing spells disaster like a rigid plan that cannot be changed at the last minute. We wanted a website for the project, we didn’t have time to create one. We had to wait until we received the printers to train ourselves on how they worked so that we can turn around and train the students. We are adapting as we go!
  2. Start small. Even two sections are proving to be a challenge with 40+ students all descending on a small space with limited printers. We hope they won’t come to blows, but we may have to play referee as much as consultant. There are well over 30 sections of this course that will present a much bigger challenge should we decide to incorporate this model into all of them.
  3. Have a plan in place, even if you end up changing it. We are now realizing that there are three main components to this collaboration all of which need a point person and support structure: tech support, curriculum, and outreach. There are 4 separate departments in the library (Research and Learning Services, Access Services, Communications, and IT) who are working together to make this a successful experience for all involved, not to mention our external partners.

Oh yes, and there’s the nagging thought at the end of each day-please, please, let this work. Fingers crossed!

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Brianna Marshall <![CDATA[Get Involved in the National Digital Platform for Libraries]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7617 2015-09-02T20:49:40Z 2015-09-03T13:00:28Z Continue reading Get Involved in the National Digital Platform for Libraries]]> Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Emily Reynolds and Trevor Owens.

Recently IMLS has increased its focus on funding digital library projects through the lens of our National Digital Platform strategic priority area. The National Digital Platform is the combination of software applications, social and technical infrastructure, and staff expertise that provides library content and services to all users in the U.S… in other words, it’s the work many LITA members are already doing!

Participants at IMLS Focus: The National Digital Platform
Participants at IMLS Focus: The National Digital Platform

As libraries increasingly use digital infrastructure to provide access to digital content and resources, there are more and more opportunities for collaboration around the tools and services that they use to meet their users’ needs. It is possible for each library in the country to leverage and benefit from the work of other libraries in shared digital services, systems, and infrastructure. We’re looking at ways to maximize the impact of our funds by encouraging collaboration, interoperability, and staff training. We are excited to have this chance to engage with and invite participation from the librarians involved in LITA in helping to develop and sustain this national digital platform for libraries.

National Digital Platform convening report
National Digital Platform convening report

Earlier this year, IMLS held a meeting at the DC Public Library to convene stakeholders from across the country to identify opportunities and gaps in existing digital library infrastructure nationwide. Recordings of those sessions are now available online, as is a summary report published by OCLC Research. Key themes include:

 

Engaging, Mobilizing and Connecting Communities

  • Engaging users in national digital platform projects through crowdsourcing and other approaches
  • Establishing radical and systematic collaborations across sectors of the library, archives, and museum communities, as well as with other allied institutions
  • Championing diversity and inclusion by ensuring that the national digital platform serves and represents a wide range of communities

Establishing and Refining Tools and Infrastructure

  • Leveraging linked open data to connect content across institutions and amplify impact
  • Focusing on documentation and system interoperability across digital library software projects
  • Researching and developing tools and services that leverage computational methods to increase accessibility and scale practice across individual projects

Cultivating the Digital Library Workforce

  • Shifting to continuous professional learning as part of library professional practice
  • Focusing on hands-on training to develop computational literacy in formal library education programs
  • Educating librarians and archivists to meet the emerging digital needs of libraries and archives, including cross-training in technical and other skills

We’re looking to support these areas of work with the IMLS grant programs available to library applicants.

IMLS Funding Opportunities

IMLS has three major competitive grant programs for libraries, and we encourage the submission of proposals related to the National Digital Platform priority to all three. Those programs are:

  • National Leadership Grants for Libraries (NLG): The NLG program is specifically focused on supporting our two strategic priorities, the National Digital Platform and Learning in Libraries. The most competitive proposals will advance some area of library practice on a national scale, with new tools, research findings, alliances, or similar outcomes. The NLG program makes awards up to $2,000,000, with funds available for both project and planning grants.
  • Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21): The LB21 program supports professional development, graduate education and continuing education for librarians and archivists. The LB21 program makes awards up to $500,000, and like NLG supports planning as well as project grants.
  • Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries: Sparks! grants support the development, testing, and evaluation of promising new tools, products, services, and practices. They often balance broad potential impact with an element of risk or innovation. The Sparks! program makes awards up to $25,000.

These programs can fund a wide range of activities. NLG and LB21 grants support projects, research, planning, and national forums (where grantees can hold meetings to gather stakeholders around a particular topic). The LB21 program also has a specific category for supporting early career LIS faculty research.

Application Process and Deadlines

Over the past year, IMLS piloted an exciting new model for our grant application process, which this year will be in place for both the NLG and LB21 programs. Rather than requiring a full application from every applicant, only a two-page preliminary proposal is due at the deadline. After a first round of peer review, a small subset of applicants will be invited to submit full proposals, and will have the benefit of the peer reviewers’ comments to assist in constructing the proposal. The full proposals will be reviewed by a second panel of peer reviewers before funding decisions are made. The Sparks! program goes through a single round of peer review, and requires the submission of a full proposal from all applicants.

The LB21 and NLG programs will both have a preliminary proposal application deadline on October 1, 2015, as well as an additional application deadline in February, 2016.

Are you considering applying for an IMLS grant for your digital library project? Do you want to discuss which program might be the best fit for your proposal? We’re always happy to chat, and love hearing your project ideas, so please email us at ereynolds@imls.gov (Emily) and tjowens@imls.gov (Trevor).

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: September 2, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7613 2015-09-02T19:39:28Z 2015-09-02T19:39:28Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: September 2, 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 Librarian, Science Library and Director of Scholarly Communications, Princeton University, Princeton,NJ

Sales Representative, Backstage Library Works, Midwest Region

Analyst Programmer III, Oregon State University Libraries & Press, Corvallis, OR

Web Product Manager and Usability Specialist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Interlibrary Loan/Reference Librarian, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA

Health Sciences Librarian, Asst or Assoc Professor, SIU Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL

University Archivist, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

 

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

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Bryan Brown <![CDATA[The Case for Open Tools in Pedagogy]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7477 2015-09-01T14:17:44Z 2015-09-02T14:00:00Z Continue reading The Case for Open Tools in Pedagogy]]> Academic libraries support certain software by virtue of what they have available on their public computers, what their librarians are trained to use, and what instruction sessions they offer. Sometimes libraries don’t have a choice in the software they are tasked with supporting, but often they do. If the goal of the software support is to simply help students achieve success in the short term, then any software that the library already has a license for is fair game. If the goal is to teach them a tool they can rely on anywhere, then libraries must consider the impact of choosing open tools over commercial ones.

Suppose we have a student, we’ll call them “Student A”, who wants to learn about citation management. They see a workshop on EndNote, a popular piece of citation management software, and they decide to attend. Student A becomes enamored with EndNote and continues to grow their skills with it throughout their undergraduate career. Upon graduating, Student A gets hired and is expected to keep up with the latest research in their field, but suddenly they no longer have access to EndNote through their university’s subscription. They can either pay for an individual license, or choose a new piece of citation management software (losing all of their hard earned EndNote-specific skills in the process).

Now let’s imagine Student B who also wants to learn about citation management software but ends up going to a workshop promoting Zotero, an open source alternative to EndNote. Similar to Student A, Student B continues to use Zotero throughout their undergraduate career, slowly mastering it. Since Zotero requires no license to use, Student B continues to use Zotero after graduating, allowing the skills that served them as a student to continue to do so as a professional.

Which one of these scenarios do you think is more helpful to the student in the long run? By teaching our students to use tools that they will lose access to once outside of the university system, we are essentially handing them a ticking time bomb that will explode as they transition from student to professional, which happens to be one of the most vulnerable and stressful periods in one’s life. Any academic library that cares about the continuing success of their students once they graduate should definitely take a look at their list of current supported software and ask themselves, “Am I teaching a tool or a time bomb?”

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Brianna Marshall <![CDATA[August Library Tech Roundup]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7406 2015-08-27T13:27:45Z 2015-08-27T13:00:00Z Continue reading August Library Tech Roundup]]> LITA_MIT
image courtesy of Flickr user cdevers (CC BY NC ND)

Each month, the LITA bloggers will 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.

Here are some of the things that caught my eye this month, mostly related to digital scholarship.


John K.


Jacob S.

  • I’m thankful for Shawn Averkamp’s Python library for interacting with ContentDM (CDM), including a Python class for editing CDM metadata via their Catcher, making it much less of a pain batch editing CDM metadata records.
  • I recently watched an ALA webinar where Allison Jai O’Dell presented on TemaTres, a platform for publishing linked data controlled vocabularies.

Nimisha B.

There have been a lot of great publications and discussions in the realm of Critlib lately concerning cataloging and library discovery. Here are some, and a few other things of note:


Michael R.

  • Adobe Flash’s days seem numbered as Google Chrome will stop displaying Flash adverts by default, following Firefox’s lead. With any luck, Java will soon follow Flash into the dustbin of history.
  • NPR picked up the story of DIY tractor repairs running afoul of the DMCA. The U.S. Copyright Office is considering a DMCA exemption for vehicle repair; a decision is scheduled for October.
  • Media autoplay violates user control and choice. Video of a fatal, tragic Virginia shooting has been playing automatically in people’s feeds. Ads on autoplay are annoying, but this…!

Cinthya I.

These are a bit all over the map, but interesting nonetheless!


Bill D.

I’m all about using data in libraries, and a few things really caught my eye this month.


David K.


Whitni W.


Marlon H.

  • Ever since I read an ACRL piece about library adventures with Raspberry Pi, I’ve wanted to build my own as a terminal for catalog searches and as an self checkout machine. Adafruit user Ruizbrothers‘ example of how to Build an All-In-One Desktop using the latest version of Raspberry Pi might just what I need to finally get that project rolling.
  • With summer session over (and with it my MSIS, yay!) I am finally getting around to planning my upgrade from Windows 8.1 to 10. Lifehacker’s Alan Henry, provides quite a few good reasons to opt for a Clean Install over the standard upgrade option. With more and more of my programs conveniently located just a quick download away and a wide array of cloud solutions safeguarding my data, I think I found my weekend project.

Share the most interesting library tech resource you found this August in the comments!

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: August 26, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7568 2015-09-02T19:36:02Z 2015-08-26T16:06:34Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: August 26, 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:

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

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John Klima <![CDATA[iPads in the Library]]> http://litablog.org/?p=6700 2015-08-25T17:09:04Z 2015-08-25T17:00:00Z Continue reading iPads in the Library]]> Charging cart filled with ipads

Getting Started/Setting Things Up

Several years ago we added twenty iPad 2s to use in our children’s and teen programming. They have a variety of apps on them ranging from early literacy and math apps to Garage Band and iMovie to Minecraft and Clash of Clans*. Ten of the iPads are geared towards younger kids and ten are slanted towards teen interests.

Not surprisingly, the iPads were very popular when we first acquired them. We treated app selection as an extension of our collection development policy. Both the Children’s and Adult Services departments have a staff iPad they can use to try out apps before adding them to the programming iPads.

We bought a cart from Spectrum Industries (a WI-based company; we also have several laptop carts from them) so that we had a place to house and charge the devices. The cart has space for forty iPads/tablets total. We use an Apple MacBook and the Configurator app to handle updating the iPads and adding content to them. We created a Volume Purchase Program account in order to buy multiple copies of apps and then get reimbursed for taxes after the fact. The VPP does not allow for tax exempt status but the process of receiving refunds is pretty seamless.

The back of our iPad cart showing power plugs and USB ports.

The only ‘bothersome’ part of updating the iPads is switching the cable from the power plug to the USB ports (see above) and then making sure that all the iPads have their power cables plugged firmly into them to make a solid connection. Once I’d done it a few times it became less awkward. The MacBook needs to be plugged into the wall or it won’t have enough power for the iPads. It also works best running on an ethernet connection versus WiFi for downloading content.

It takes a little effort to set up the Conifgurator** but once you have it done, all you need to do is plug the USB into the MacBook, launch the Configurator, and the iPads get updated in about ten to fifteen minutes even if there’s an iOS update.

Maintaining the Service/Adjusting to Our Changing Environment

Everything was great. Patrons loved the iPads. They were easy to maintain. They were getting used.

Then the school district got a grant and gave every student, K-12, their own iPad.

They rolled them out starting with the high school students and eventually down through the Kindergartners. The iPads are the students’ responsibility. They use them for homework and note-taking. Starting in third grade they get to take them home over the summer.

Suddenly our iPads weren’t so interesting any more. Not only that, but our computer usage plummeted. Now that our students had their own Internet-capable device they didn’t need our computers any more. They do need our WiFi and not surprisingly those numbers went up.

There are restrictions for the students. For example, younger students can’t put games on their iPads. And while older students have fewer restrictions, they don’t tend to put pay apps on their iPads. That means we have things on our iPads that the students couldn’t or didn’t have.

I started meeting with the person at the school district in charge of the program a couple times a year. We talk about technology we’re implementing at our respective workplaces and figure out what we can do to supplement and help each other. I’ll unpack this in a future post and talk about creating local technology partnerships.

Recently I formed a technology committee consisting of staff from every department in the library. One of the things we’ll be addressing is the iPads. We want to make sure that they’re being used. Also, it won’t be too long and they will be out-of-date and we’ll have to decide if we’re replacing them and whether we’d just recycle the old devices or repurpose them (as OPACs potentially?).

We don’t circulate iPads but I’d certainly be open to that idea. How many of you have iPads/tablets in your library? What hurdles have you faced?


* This is a list of what apps are on the iPads as of August 2015. Pay apps are marked with a $:

  • Children’s iPads (10): ABC Alphabet Phonics, Air Hockey Gold, Bub – Wider, Bunny Fun $, Cliffed: Norm’s World XL, Dizzypad HD, Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App! $, Easy-Bake Treats, eliasMATCH $, Escape – Norm’s World XL, Fairway Solitaire HD, Fashion Math, Go Away, Big Green Monster! $, Hickory Dickory Dock, Jetpack Joyride, Make It Pop $, Mango Languages, Minecraft – Pocket Edition $, Moo, Baa, La La La! $, My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day $, NFL Kicker 13, Offroad Legends Sahara, OverDrive, PewPew, PITFALL!, PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit! $, Punch Quest, Skee-Ball HD Free, Sound Shaker $, Spot the Dot $, The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss $, Waterslide Express
  • Teen iPads (10): Air Hockey Gold, Bad Flapping Dragon, Bub – Wider, Can You Escape, Clash of Clans, Cliffed: Norm’s World XL, Codea $, Cut the Rope Free, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Dizzypad HD, Easy-Bake Treats, Escape – Norm’s World XL, Fairway Solitaire HD, Fashion Math, Fruit Ninja Free, GarageBand $, iMovie $, Jetpack Joyride, Mango Languages, Minecraft – Pocket Edition $, NFL Kicker 13, Ninja Saga, Offroad Legends Sahara, OverDrive, PewPew, PITFALL!, Punch Quest, Restaurant Town, Skee-Ball HD Free, Stupid Zombies Free, Temple Run, Waterslide Express, Zombies vs. Ninja

** It’s complicated but worth spelling out so I’m working on a follow-up post to explain the process of creating a VPP account and getting the Configurator set up the way you want it.

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: August 19, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7545 2015-08-19T18:57:15Z 2015-08-19T18:57:15Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: August 19, 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:

Coal and Coke Heritage Center Archivist, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, Fayette Campus, Uniontown, PA

Head, Library Systems, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Program Director, Resource Acquisitions and Discovery, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Director, Library Technology and Digital Strategies, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Chair, Libraries Information Technology, University of Florida/George A. Smathers Libraries, Gainesville, FL

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

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Attend the 2015 LITA Forum]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7462 2015-08-18T20:29:20Z 2015-08-19T12:00:53Z Continue reading Attend the 2015 LITA Forum]]> lita_forum15_header
Don’t Miss the 2015 LITA Forum
Minneapolis, MN
November 12-15, 2015

Registration is Now Open!

Join us in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis for the 2015 LITA Forum, a three-day education and networking event featuring 2 preconferences, 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. Registration is limited in order to preserve the important networking advantages of a smaller conference. Attendees take advantage of the informal Friday evening reception, networking dinners and other social opportunities to get to know colleagues and speakers.

Keynote Speakers:

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

The Preconference Workshops:

  • So You Want to Make a Makerspace: Strategic Leadership to support the Integration of new and disruptive technologies into Libraries: Practical Tips, Tricks, Strategies, and Solutions for bringing making, fabrication and content creation to your library.
  • Beyond Web Page Analytics: Using Google tools to assess searcher behavior across web properties.

Comments from past attendees:

“Best conference I’ve been to in terms of practical, usable ideas that I can implement at my library.”
“I get so inspired by the presentations and conversations with colleagues who are dealing with the same sorts of issues that I am.”
“After LITA I return to my institution excited to implement solutions I find here.”
“This is always the most informative conference! It inspires me to develop new programs and plan initiatives.”

Forum Sponsors:

EBSCO, Ex Libris, Optimal Workshop, OCLC, Innovative, BiblioCommons, Springshare, A Book Apart and Rosenfeld Media.

Get all the details, register and book a hotel room at the 2015 Forum Web site.

See you in Minneapolis.

LITA logo

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David Kwasny <![CDATA[Interacting with Patrons Through Their Mobile Devices]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7253 2015-09-18T15:08:44Z 2015-08-18T13:00:00Z Continue reading Interacting with Patrons Through Their Mobile Devices]]> Mobile technologies, specifically smartphones, have become a peripheral appendage to our everyday experience. We often see individuals oblivious to current surroundings exhibiting dedicated attention to their mobile devices. This behavior is often viewed in a negative light; however, with the level of global media engagement people are able to achieve with these devices, it can be hard to blame them. The ability to participate in social media, sending quick messages to friends, listen to music, watch videos, surfing the web, fact check information, or even read a great book, is all right in your hand.

When attempting to interact with patrons through technology, utilizing their familiarity with their mobile device can help to achieve a more positive experience. This is when “Let’s build an app” is often reverberated. Although that is a great idea, it is a complex development process and there are a number of ways to achieve interactive experiences without the development of a new mobile application.

Over the course of the next several blog posts, I will be discussing various methods of interacting with patrons mobile devices to enhance their experiences through the use of QR codes, NFC (Near Field Communication) tags, and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) Beacons. Each of these technologies allow for a different experience, and have areas where they excel and falter, but when incorporating each technology appropriately they can create a comprehensive interactive experience to enhance information seeking.

Interacting with Patrons Through Their Mobile Devices :: Image Scanning

 

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Whitni Watkins http://nimblelibrarian.com <![CDATA[A Couple of Not Totally Useless Things You Can Do on the Command Line [written for beginners]]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7260 2015-08-18T20:02:41Z 2015-08-17T15:00:00Z Continue reading A Couple of Not Totally Useless Things You Can Do on the Command Line [written for beginners]]]> As a librarian who has been very engaged in the movement to demystify programming, I’ve really focused on teaching and sharing tools that users can use in daily life, as that has been the most common question I get when teaching, “When will I use this?” This post has been heavily influenced by my work in teaching programming to the non-programmer and teaching something that can be applied beyond the classroom.

With the start of school on the cusp (and for some already come and gone) I wanted to throw something not totally useless out there for you to tuck away to use on a rainy day or now if you’d like.

These have been written in mind that you may have some, experience with the command line but very little. I apologize for those more experience users if this is a bit dense in explanation.

I’ve ran these successfully on both MacOS X Yosemite and Linux-Ubuntu. This is my first attempt at providing documentation on something like this, so please feel free to critique it.

If you are a Windows user, I recommend downloading Console2 [http://sourceforge.net/projects/console/], which is a terminal-emulator that will allow you similar access to the commands used in Linux and MacOS X

For this documentation anything following the $ is what you will type into your command prompt. The $ denotes a new command to be entered on a new line, some commands wrap, but do not hit enter until you’ve type the entire command. For the most part, you can copy and paste the command directly into the terminal, but make sure you make the necessary changes.

Use Find and Exiftool to gather & organize all of your pictures by creation date into folders by year and month


This will walk you through full install of Perl, Exiftool, directory creation and processing of files. Exiftool is a really handy tool for reading, writing and editing metadata in a significant range of file types, so it is a really great tool to have in general.

First you’ll need to install Perl and exiftool. There is a high possibility that your computer will already have Perl installed, but in the case that it doesn’t you will need to install it.

To check to see if you have Perl installed use this command:

$ perl –v

If it is installed, you will get information on the version of Perl you have installed and you can skip the next command.

If it is not installed you will need to install it.

$ curl –L http://xrl.us/installperlosx | bash

Installing exiftool For full Perl distribution, download the Image-ExifTool distribution from http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/index.html to your desktop (if you do not specify where to download it, then cut & paste the download from the downloads folder to your Desktop) and then in your terminal run the following.  **You will be using sudo on one command, please be VERY careful with this as it can do some major damage if not used properly.**

$ cd ~/Desktop
$ tar -xzf Image-ExifTool-9.99.tar.gz
$ cd Image-ExifTool-9.99
$ sudo cp -r exiftool lib /usr/local/bin
$ [PASSWORD]

Don’t want to use the terminal to install this? Go to http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/index.html and download the version you need and install it as a normal package.

Anytime you want to run exiftool, you call it up by typing exiftool into the command line.

Now we need to make the folder to compile all the images we want to sort into one place.

$ cd Documents
$ mkdir “newfoldername”
$ pwd
$ cd ~

Replace “newfoldername” with the name of the folder you want to create and use.

pwd will give you the directory pathway for Documents/newfoldername you will need in the next few commands so make note of it, copy it or write it down.

We are going to find all of the JPG files on your computer and put them into that folder you just created. The tilde (~) denotes home directory which will search your entire computer; if you have all of your photos in another directory you can use the pathway for that instead.

This command will find in your computer all files with extensions .JPG and .jpg and copy them to the new specified folder retaining the original files & their modification information. It is important to compile them in one folder so you can run exiftool much more quickly.

$ cd ~
$ find ~ -iname ‘*.jpg’ -print -exec cp –pr ‘{}’ Documents/newfoldername \;

If you want to search other file types like .png, then replace the JPG with png.

If you need to be case sensitive on the extension, remove the i from –iname.

Replace “Documents/newfoldername” with the pathway to directory you just created (noted from pwd command)

Using Exiftool to organize all the files into folders by year and month using this line of command.

$ exiftool ‘-Directory<CreateDate’ –d
$ Documents/newfoldername/%y/%y%m –r Documents/newfoldername

Replace both instances of Documents/newfoldername directory with the directory you created.

Use Exiftool to sort all of your files by create date and then into folders by year and month


If you just want to copy and sort all of your files into folders, not specifying file types run this command instead.

$ Exiftool –o . ‘-Directory<CreateDate’ –d Documents/createfolder/%y/%y%m –r ~

This will search the entire root directory, and any file types that can be copied will be copied and organized by creation date in the folder you specify.

Keep in mind that Exiftool is not limited to moving only image files so you can play around with this as you want.

Send a text message from your command line with this script:


$ curl http://textbelt.com/text -d number=########## -d “message= your text message goes here”

Where the ########## is your 10 digit number and your message goes after the message= and closed with a “

If you are going to send notifications to your phone often you can add it as a quick command:

$ SendText () { curl http://textbelt.com/text -d number=########## -d “message=$*”;echo message sent; }

Now anytime you want to send a text to that number input into the command line:

$ SendText your message goes here

You can also run this as a module or a standalone server, see GitHub source here: https://github.com/whitni/textbelt

This can be used to send notifications to your phone when running a program. Currently, I just use it to send the grocery list to myself, cause you know there is an app for that.

Here is a write up of an example of something you might want to receive text notifications on: http://adambuchanan.me/post/29018724579/fun-with-textbelt-public-sms-api

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Jacob Shelby http://jacobshelby.org <![CDATA[Taming the Beast: A Case for Task-Driven Projects]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7259 2015-08-18T20:03:00Z 2015-08-14T13:00:00Z Continue reading Taming the Beast: A Case for Task-Driven Projects]]>

alt text

Have you ever been assigned to a project? If so, you know that they can be daunting, sometimes overwhelming creatures that seem challenging to overcome. Where do you begin? What next? Before you know it you’re lost in the jungle with no clear way out. So, how do you tame the beast? How do you get through a project without getting lost along the way? In this post I’ll be making a case for tasks.

Paving the way through the jungle

Tasks are the real, tangible steps taken to accomplish a goal, in this case, a project. Together, they build the roadmap that helps you get from point A to point Z. So, how do you come up with tasks for a large, sometimes abstract project? First, you need to understand what the end goal is. Second, you need to understand where you are currently at. Then you start plotting the tasks. Begin with high-level, somewhat tangible tasks (I sometimes call these objectives). From there, break down each of those tasks into smaller, more refined tasks. Continue that process until you feel you have a solid map to begin with.

Many times tasks are evolutionary. You come across something you didn’t expect, or one of your tasks falls through. Just keep plotting forward towards the end goal. Below is a real-world example from a project I’m currently working on.

The real-world example

I began employment at Iowa State University (ISU) back in June. A month into the job I met with my fellow amazing metadata librarian, Kelly Thompson, to be assigned my first legit metadata project. She tells me that she’d like for me to analyze ISU’s digital collection metadata for data cleanup purposes and to come up with a core set of metadata fields to use for all of the digital collections with the end goal of contributing to consortia like the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

So there I was with my first big-boy project. How was I supposed to tackle this project when I had very limited knowledge of ISU’s digital asset management system (an OCLC-hosted ContentDM instance), in addition to the fact that I had no in-depth understanding of their metadata model? Luckily, my task-driven instincts kicked in. First, I needed to figure out the end goal: prepare ISU’s digital collection metadata for outside sharing through OAI and DPLA. Then, I needed to understand my current standing: ground zero. From there, I began paving the way.

alt text

The initial tasks I came up with, seen on the sticky note above, gave me enough fuel to get the engine running. Eventually some of these tasks fizzled, while others have exploded into multi-step mini-projects. I’m almost two months in now, and the project has grown exponentially. But I am not stressed out, because I have tasks to keep me grounded.

Concluding thoughts

Reflecting on the project thus far, I do have a couple of thoughts and tips. I have the files for this project organized in a hierarchical folder structure, which helps me keep related files neatly together. They are divided into categories like “Data dictionary”, “Metadata fields to be cleaned”, and “Data cleanup workflows”.  As you can see from my sticky note, my tasks are not as organized. For future projects I would like to arrange my tasks to reflect how I’ve organized my folders/files to better pair the two. This would make the tasks easier for me to keep track of. It would also increase clarity when I meet with colleagues to discuss a project.

One recommendation I would make is to flesh out your tasks and plan ahead as much as you can before the project begins. The more you can prepare beforehand the easier it will be to keep the beast tamed. I have been on past projects where the group did very little preparation beforehand, and it showed. It was very difficult to get the project going and to keep everybody on the same page.

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: August 12, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7395 2015-08-12T13:48:06Z 2015-08-12T13:48:06Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: August 12, 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:

Data Analyst – Alzheimer, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago Illinois

Digital Production Librarian #12852, Boston College, Boston, MA

Digital Collections and Preservation Librarian #12853, Boston College, Boston, MA

Health Sciences Liaison Librarian, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, University Park, PA

Reference and Instruction Librarian, Worthington Scranton Campus, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, Dunmore, PA

University Library: Metadata Cataloging Librarian (Job 7662), Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA

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

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Leanne Mobley <![CDATA[Required Reading]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7258 2015-08-12T21:46:16Z 2015-08-12T13:00:00Z Continue reading Required Reading]]> Stop what you’re doing and pick up a copy of Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age. Douglas Rushkoff’s 21st century call to arms ought to be required reading for librarians (not just those with the word digital in their job title). This is a quick read with big impact and it deserves more than a skim.

geareye-01
Gear Eyes Girl by Anna Sher from the Noun Project

This book caught me at the perfect moment as I’ve just taken on a new role as Scholarly Technologies Librarian for Indiana University, where one of my main job duties will be technology training for staff. I’m in the brainstorming stages now, but I think I’ve already zeroed in on the real challenge. Learning styles and technical abilities aside, one of the biggest obstacles to teaching technology is our attitude toward the technology itself. In terms of programming in particular, Rushkoff writes, “We are intimidated by the whole notion of programming, seeing it as a chore for mathematically inclined menials than a language through which we can re-create the world on our own terms.”

I’ve witnessed this first hand and been guilty of it myself. For starters, no matter how many times I use Codeacademy or Treehouse, learning a programming language is an incredibly daunting task. It’s a whole new world that can be slightly terrifying. And shouldn’t these things be left to the elite group of nerds who already know how to program anyway? But this is a dangerous and defeatist way of thinking, for as Rushkoff points out, “The irony here is that computers are frightfully easy to learn. Programming is immensely powerful but it is really no big deal to learn.” The issue isn’t that programming is impossible, intimidation and reluctance are the real hurdles.

computerprogrammer
Computer Programmer by Thinkful from the Noun Project

Teaching technology in the library becomes less about the tool itself, than about our attitude and willingness to learn something that isn’t spelled out in our job descriptions. So how do we overcome this mindset? I can’t say for certain, but I suspect there has to be an element of excitement, an understanding that interacting with technology on a deeper level empowers us. Instead of starting with how things work, we can’t move on until we’ve answered the question, “why bother?”

Reading Program or Be Programmed has motivated me and reminded me that books and ideas can be great motivators for librarians. Seems pretty obvious, but somehow we overlook this. I look forward to incorporating big picture ideas like those presented by Rushkoff into training. Until we’re excited or curious, we’re not ready to learn. So before we start teaching, let’s start there.

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Lauren Hays <![CDATA[If You Build It They Might Not Come]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7256 2015-08-11T17:55:01Z 2015-08-07T13:00:00Z Continue reading If You Build It They Might Not Come]]> I’ve felt lately that I am trying to row upstream when getting faculty and students to use our research guides. They have great content, we discuss them in instruction sessions, and we prominently feature them on our webpage. In spite of this though they are not used nearly as much as I think they should be.

.Licensed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 by Side Wages
Licensed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 by Side Wages

This summer, I spent time brainstorming ways to market the guides to increase usage and it hit me that maybe I’m going about the process all wrong. I’m trying to promote a resource to students that is outside the typical resources they use. Our students use the university’s learning management system, Moodle, extensively. It is the way they access courses and communicate with their professors and fellow classmates.

We have integrated links in Moodle directly to the library, but based on our Google Analytics students go directly from the library homepage to the databases. They don’t frequently traffic other parts of the website. So instead of rowing upstream, what if we start using Moodle? I’m still brainstorming what this could look like but here are a few ideas:

  • Enroll students in a library course (I’ve seen this done, but I’m not sure it is the best fit for my institution)
  • Create lessons and pages in Moodle that faculty can import into their own courses
  • Work more closely with the instructional design team to include library resources in the courses

How do you use the LMS to encourage student use of the library?

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: August 5, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7382 2015-08-05T18:51:23Z 2015-08-05T18:51:23Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: August 5, 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:

Manager, Information Technology, Timberland Regional Library, Olympia, WA

Vice President – Digital Services, Backstage Library Works, Bethlehem, PA

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

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Jorge Perez <![CDATA[Learning through WordClouds: Visualizing LITA Jobs Data]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7370 2015-08-05T13:13:05Z 2015-08-05T13:11:17Z Continue reading Learning through WordClouds: Visualizing LITA Jobs Data]]> I am in no way attempting to create an evidenced-based scholarly study on employment movements.  This is an attempt to satisfy my recent fascination with data visualization and curiosity to use them to inspire discussion.  On August 4, 2015, sometime in the morning, I took data from the employment opportunities advertised on the LITA Job site in order to see some trends.  The jobs are posted under the regions Northeastern, Southern, Midwestern, and Western Regions; none posted outside of the United States at the time of my mini-experiment.  This information may be helpful to current job seekers or folks currently employed who may be interested in areas to venture out or compliment their current repertoire. I hope these visualizations will conjure some discussion or ideas.  Out of the sixty-seven total ads listed, 34 were from universities, 14 from colleges, 9 from public libraries, and 10 from other libraries such as vendors or special libraries.

LITA Employment Advertisement Data Chart
Organization/Library-type employment post percentage – university, college, public, and other

Job Titles
As librarians, we master the art of keyword searching but sometimes we may struggle with finding those specific words that can bring back that needed information.  This may happen with job searching.  Library, librarian and technology as keywords can only take you so far.  In the past, when looking for employment, I felt I may be unaware of exciting jobs out there due to not knowing the magic terms.

wordcloud of advertised job titles
wordcloud of advertised job titles minus the word librarian, library, and university

After visualizing the job titles on the list, I discovered I like reading the more obscure words rarely used.  These terms are a helpful way to understand duties, but also motivate you.  Take for instance the enticing words included on some; emerging, collaborator, integrated, initiative, or innovation. I especially love the job title Data and Visualization Librarian, posted by Dartmouth College Library.

Duties and Required/ Preferred Qualifications
Out of the 67 current posts, 44 positions had this information readily available, 23 were filled, a broken link, or the link provided lead to the homepage or job search page of the organization.

Wordcloud of duties, and required/preferred qualifications
Wordcloud of duties, and required/preferred qualifications

After you get passed the usual words that pop out, there may be knowledge from the smaller, more obscure words.  For programmers, the usual contenders were CSS (cascading style sheets), Java, XSL (EXtensible Stylesheet Language), APIs (Application programming interface), and RDF (Resource Description Framework).  I was not aware of MVC.  It seems that ASP.NET MVC is a Microsoft web and app creation tool.  Microsoft has wonderful tutorials at http://www.asp.net/mvc .    Another learning experience came from a somewhat prominent acronym – RIS. RIS is a standardized tagging system used to effectively interchange citation information between platforms.  XML’s XPath and D3 were also new to me. Some areas to possibly develop your skills are in RDA (Resource Description & Access) and 3D software and printing.

This small exercise gave me, not only a small snippet of employment information to be aware of, but gave me more respect towards the use of word clouds.

Word Cloud Web Tools:
Wordle: http://www.wordle.net/
Word Cloud Generator: https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud
WordSift: http://www.wordsift.com/
TagCrowd: http://tagcrowd.com/

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Mark Beatty <![CDATA[Jobs in Information Technology: July 29, 2015]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7362 2015-07-29T19:06:34Z 2015-07-29T19:06:34Z Continue reading Jobs in Information Technology: July 29, 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:

Digital Services Coordinator, Metropolitan New York Library Council, New York, NY

Senior Library Applications Developer, Brown University, Providence, RI

Associate University Librarian for Digital Technologies, Brown University, Providence, RI

Information Designer for Digital Scholarly Publications, Brown University, Providence, RI

Science and Engineering Librarian, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, University Park, PA

Information Sciences and Business Liaison Librarian, Pennsylvania State University Libraries, University Park, PA

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

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Cinthya Ippoliti <![CDATA[Creating Campus-wide Technology Partnerships: Mission Impossible?]]> http://litablog.org/?p=7251 2015-08-18T20:03:20Z 2015-07-27T13:00:00Z Continue reading Creating Campus-wide Technology Partnerships: Mission Impossible?]]> Libraries have undergone significant changes in the last five years, shifting from repositories to learning spaces, from places to experiences. Much of this is due to our growing relationships with our IT, instructional technology, and research colleagues as the lines between technology and library-related work become continually more blurred.

But it’s not always easy to establish these types of partnerships, especially if there haven’t been any connections to build on. So how can you approach outreach to your IT campus departments and individuals?

There are typically two types of partnerships that you can initiate:

1. There is a program already established, and you would like the library to be involved where it wasn’t involved before

2. You are proposing something completely new

All you have to do is convince the coordinator or director of the project or department that having the library become a part of that initiative is a good thing especially if they don’t think you have anything to offer. Easier said than done, right? But what happens if that person is not responding to your painstakingly crafted email? If the person is a director or chair, chances are they have an assistant who is much more willing to communicate with you and can often make headway where you can’t.

Ask if you can attend a departmental meeting or if they can help you set up a meeting with the person who can help things move forward. Picking up the phone doesn’t hurt either-if someone is in their office, they might, just might, be inclined to talk with you as opposed to ignoring the email you sent them days ago which is by now buried under an avalanche of other emails and will be duly ignored.

Always try to send an agenda ahead of time so they know what you’re thinking-that additional time might just be the thing they need to be able to consider your ideas instead of having to come up with something on the spot. Plus, if you’re nervous, that will serve as your discussion blueprint and can prevent you from rambling or going off into tangents-remember, the person in front of you has many other things to think about, and like it or not, you have to make good use of their time!

After the meeting, along with your thank you, be sure to remind them of the action items that were discussed-that way when you contact others within the department to move forward with your initiative they are not wondering what’s going on and why you’re bugging them. Also asking who might be the best person to help with whatever action items you identify will help you avoid pestering the director later-there’s nothing worse than getting the green light then having to backtrack or delay because you forgot to ask them who to work with! From there on out, creating a system for communicating regularly with all those involved in moving forward is your priority. Make sure everyone who needs to be at the table receives an invitation and understands why they are there. Clarify who is in charge and what the expectations of the work are. Assume that they know nothing and the only thing their supervisor or colleague has said is that they will be working with the library on a project.

You might also have to think outside the proverbial IT box when it comes to building partnerships. For example, creating a new Makerspace might not start with IT, but rather with a department who is interested in incorporating it into their curriculum. Of course IT will become part of the equation at some point, but that unit might not be the best way to approach creating this type of space and an academic department would be willing to help split the cost because their students are getting the benefits.

Finally, IT nowadays comes in many forms and where you once thought the campus supercomputing center has nothing to do with your work, finding out exactly what their mission is and what they do, could come in handy. For example, you might discover that they can provide storage for large data sets and they could use some help to spread the word to faculty about this. Bingo! You’ve just identified an opportunity for those in the library who are involved in this type of work to collaborate on a shared communication plan where you can introduce what the library is doing to help faculty with their data management plans and the center can help store that same data.

Bottom line, technology partnerships are vital if libraries are going to expand their reach and become even more integrated into the academic fabric of their institutions. But making those connections isn’t always easy, especially because some units might not see the immediate benefits of such collaborations. Getting to the table is often the hardest step in the process, but keeping these simple things in mind will (hopefully) smooth the way:

1. Look at all possible partners, not just the obvious IT connections

2. Be willing to try different modes of outreach if your preferred method isn’t having success

3. Be prepared to demonstrate what the library can bring to the table and follow through

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