Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself – Vol. 1

Robot
Art from Cécile Graat

This post is for all the tech librarian caterpillars dreaming of one day becoming empowered tech butterflies. The internet is full to the brim with tools and resources for aiding in your transformation (and your job search). In each installment of Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself – TYBYWY, pronounced tie-buy-why – I’ll curate a small selection of free courses, webinars, and other tools you can use to learn and master technologies.  I’ll also spotlight a presentation opportunity so that you can consider putting yourself out there- it’s a big, beautiful community and we all learn through collaboration.

MOOC of the Week -

Allow me to suggest you enroll in The Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends, a MOOC offered by the School of Information at San Jose State University through Canvas. Taking a Futurist approach to technology assessment, Sue Alman, PhD offers participants an opportunity to learn “the planning skills that are needed, the issues that are involved, and the current trends as we explore the potential impact of technological innovations.”

Sounds good to this would-be Futurist!

Worthwhile Webinars –

I live in the great state of Texas, so it is with some pride that I recommend the recurring series, Tech Tools with Tine, from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.  If you’re like me, you like your tech talks in manageable bite-size pieces. This is just your style.

September 19th, 9-10 AM EST – Tech Tools with Tine: 1 Hour of Google Drive

September 26th, 9-10 AM EST – Tech Tools with Tine: 1 Hour of MailChimp

October 3rd, 9-10 AM EST – Tech Tools with Tine: 1 Hour of Curation with Pinterest and Tumblr

Show Off Your Stuff –

The deadline to submit a proposal to the 2015 Library Technology Conference at Macalester College in beautiful St. Paul is September 22nd. Maybe that tight timeline is just the motivation you’ve been looking for!

What’s up, Tiger Lily? -

Are you a tech caterpillar or a tech butterfly? Do you have any cool free webinars or opportunities you’d like to share? Write me all about it in the comments.

LITA Scholarships in Library and Information Science

CHICAGO — The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association, is pleased to announce that applications are being accepted for three Scholarships:

LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship (sponsored by Baker & Taylor)

LITA/LSSI Minority Scholarship (sponsored by Library Systems and Services, LLC)

LITA/OCLC Minority Scholarship (sponsored by Online Computer Library Center)

The scholarships are designed to encourage the entry of qualified persons into the library technology field.  The committees seek those who plan to follow a career in library and information technology, who demonstrate potential leadership, who hold a strong commitment to the use of automated systems in libraries and, for the minority scholarships, those who are qualified members of a principal minority group (American Indian or Alaskan native, Asian or Pacific Islander, African-American or Hispanic).

Candidates should illustrate their qualifications for the scholarships with a statement indicating the nature of their library experience, letters of reference and a personal statement of the applicant’s view of what he or she can bring to the profession, with particular emphasis on experiences that indicate potential for leadership and commitment to library automation.  Economic need is considered when all other criteria are equal.  Winners must have been accepted to an ALA recognized MLS Program.

You can apply for LITA scholarships through the single online application hosted by the ALA Scholarship Program. The ALA Scholarship Application Database will open Sept. 15.

References, transcripts and other documents must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2015 for consideration.  All materials should be submitted to American Library Association, Scholarship Clearinghouse, c/o Human Resource Development & Recruitment, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL  60611-2795.  If you have questions about a LITA Scholarships please email the LITA Office at vedmonds@ala.org.

The winners will be announced at the LITA President’s Program at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

LITA/Library Hi Tech Award Nominations Sought

Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award, which is given each year to an individual or institution for outstanding achievement in educating the profession about cutting edge technology through communication in continuing education within the field of library and information technology. Sponsored by the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and Library Hi Tech, the award includes a citation of merit and a $1,000 stipend provided by Emerald Group Publishing Limited, publishers of Library Hi Tech. The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2014.

The award, given to either a living individual or an institution, may recognize a single seminal work or a body of work created during or continuing into the five years immediately preceding the award year. The body of work need not be limited to published texts, but can include course plans or actual courses and/or non-print publications such as visual media. Awards are intended to recognize living persons rather than to honor the deceased; therefore, awards are not made posthumously. More information and a list of previous winners can be found at http://www.ala.org/lita/awards/hitech in the Awards and Scholarships section.

Currently serving officers and elected officials of LITA, members of the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award Committee, and employees and their immediate family of Emerald Group Publishing are ineligible.

Nominations must include the name(s) of the recipient(s), basis for nomination, and references to the body of work.  Electronic submissions are preferred, but print submissions may also be sent to the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award Committee chair:

Holly Yu
University Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90032-4226.
hyu3@calstatela.edu

The award will be presented at the LITA President’s Program during the 2015 Annual Conference of the American Library Association in San Francisco.

About Emerald

Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company manages a portfolio of more than 290 journals and over 2,350 books and book series volumes. It also provides an extensive range of value-added products, resources and services to support its customers’ needs. Emerald is a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation. It also works in close collaboration with a number of organizations and associations worldwide.  www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com

About LITA

Established in 1966, LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of almost 3,000 system librarians, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. For more information, visit www.lita.org , or contact the LITA office at 800-545-2433, ext. 4268; or e-mail: lita@ala.org.

For further information, contact Mary Taylor at LITA, 312-280-4267.

Nominations Sought for Prestigious Kilgour Research Award

Nominations are invited for the 2015 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, sponsored by OCLC, Inc. and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2014.

The Kilgour Research Award recognizes research relevant to the development of information technologies, in particular research showing promise of having a positive and substantive impact on any aspect of the publication, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information or how information and data are manipulated and managed. The Kilgour award consists of $2,000 cash, an award citation and an expense paid trip (airfare and two nights lodging) to the ALA Annual Conference.

Nominations will be accepted from any member of the American Library Association. Nominating letters must address how the research is relevant to libraries; is creative in its design or methodology; builds on existing research or enhances potential for future exploration; and/or solves an important current problem in the delivery of information resources. A curriculum vita and a copy of several seminal publications by the nominee must be included. Preference will be given to completed research over work in progress. More information and a list of previous winners can be found at

http://www.ala.org/lita/awards/kilgour

Currently-serving officers and elected officials of LITA, members of the Kilgour Award Committee and OCLC employees and their immediate family members are ineligible.

Send nominations by December 31, 2014, to the Award jury chair:

Tao Zhang
Purdue University Libraries
504 W State St
West Lafayette, IN 47907-4221
or zhan.1022@purdue.edu

The Kilgour Research Award will be presented at the LITA President’s Program on June 29th during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.

About LITA

LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership including systems librarians, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. For more information, visit www.lita.org, or contact the LITA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4268; or e-mail: lita@ala.org

For further information, contact Mary Taylor at LITA, 312-280-4267.

LITA/Ex Libris Seeking LIS Student Authors

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to offer an award for the best unpublished manuscript submitted by a student or students enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program. Sponsored by LITA and Ex Libris, the award consists of $1,000, publication in LITA’s refereed journal, Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), and a certificate. The deadline for submission of the manuscript is February 28, 2015.

The purpose of the award is to recognize superior student writing and to enhance the professional development of students. The manuscript can be written on any aspect of libraries and information technology. Examples include digital libraries, metadata, authorization and authentication, electronic journals and electronic publishing, telecommunications, distributed systems and networks, computer security, intellectual property rights, technical standards, desktop applications, online catalogs and bibliographic systems, universal access to technology, library consortia and others.

At the time the unpublished manuscript is submitted, the applicant must be enrolled in an ALA-accredited program in library and information studies at the masters or PhD level.

To be eligible, applicants must follow the detailed guidelines and fill out the application form at:

http://www.ala.org/lita/sites/ala.org.lita/files/content/involve/committees/exlibris/ExLibrisAwardApplication.pdf

Send the signed, completed forms by February 27, 2015 to the Award Committee Chair,

Sandra Barclay
Kennesaw State University
1200 Chastain Rd NW MD# 0009
Kennesaw, GA 30144-5827.

Submit the manuscript to Sandra electronically at

sbarclay@kennesaw.edu

by February 28, 2015.

The award will be presented at the LITA President’s Program during the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

About Ex Libris??

Ex Libris is a leading provider of automation solutions for academic libraries. Offering the only comprehensive product suite for electronic, digital, and print materials, Ex Libris provides efficient, user-friendly products that serve the needs of libraries today and will facilitate their transition into the future. Ex Libris maintains an impressive customer base consisting of thousands of sites in more than 80 countries on six continents. For more information about Ex Libris Group visit www.exlibrisgroup.com.

About LITA

Established in 1966, LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership including systems librarians, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. For more information, visit www.lita.org, or contact the LITA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4268; or e-mail: lita@ala.org

For further information, please contact Mary Taylor at LITA, 312-280-4267.

Jobs in Information Technology: September 17

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

Assistant University Archivist for Public Service, Princeton University/Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton, NJ

Coordinator, Digital Library Service, Florida Virtual Campus, Gainesville, FL

Database and Metadata Management Coordinator, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Field Engineer Implementation Consultant, EnvisionWare, Inc, San Diego, CA

Implementation Consultant, EnvisionWare,  Inc,  Duluth, GA

Metadata Manager, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oak, CA

Project Analyst, User Experience,  Sage Publications, Thousand Oak, CA

Systems Librarian, Colgate University,  Hamilton, NY

Sr. UNIX Systems Administrator, University Libraries, Virginia Tech Blacksburg,  VI

Technology Development Librarian, Wichita State University Libraries, Wichita, KS

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

Browser Developer Tools

Despite what the name may imply, browser developer tools are not only useful for developers. Anyone who works with the web (and if you are reading this blog, that probably means you) can find value in browser developer tools because they use the browser, the tool we all use to access the riches of the web, to deconstruct the information that makes up the core of our online experience. A user who has a solid grasp on how to use their browser’s developer tools can see lots of incredibly useful things, such as:

  • Dynamic views of a page’s HTML elements & data
  • CSS rules being applied to any given element
  • The effects of new user-supplied CSS rules
  • Margin & padding boundaries around elements
  • External files being loaded by a page (CSS & JS)
  • JavaScript errors, right down to the line number
  • The speed with which JavaScript files are loaded
  • An interactive JavaScript console (great for learning!)

The first step in understanding your browser’s developer tools is knowing that they exist. If you can only get to this step, you are far ahead of most people. Every browser has its own set of embedded developer tools, whether you are using Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, or Opera. There’s no special developer version of the browser to install or any add-ons or extensions to download, and it doesn’t matter if you are on Windows, Mac or Linux. If a computer has a browser, it already has developer tools baked in.

The next step on the journey is learning how to use them. All browser developer tools are pretty similar, so skills gained in one browser translate well to others. Unfortunately the minor differences are substantial enough to make a universal tutorial impossible. If you have a favorite browser, learn how to activate the various developer tools, what each one can do, how to use them effectively, and how to call them with their own specific keyboard shortcut (learning to activate a specific tool with a keyboard shortcut is the key to making them a part of your workflow). Once you have a solid understanding of the developer tools in your favorite browser, branch out and learn the developer tools for other browsers as well. After you have learned one, learning others is easy. By learning different sets of developer tools you will find that some are better at certain tasks than others. For instance, (in my opinion) Firefox is best-in-class when dealing with CSS issues, but Chrome takes first place in JavaScript utilities.

Firefox 3D view
Google search results using Firefox’s 3D view mode, which shows a web page’s nested elements as stacks of colored blocks. This is incredibly helpful for debugging CSS issues.

Another great reason to learn developer tools for different browsers has to do with the way browsers work. When most people think of web programming, they think of the server side versions of files because this is where the work is done. While it’s true that server side development is important, browsers are the real stars of the show. When a user requests a web page, the server sends back a tidy package of HTML, CSS and JavaScript that the browser must turn into a visual representation of that information. Think of it like a Lego kit; every kid buys the same Lego kit from the store which has all the parts and instructions in a handy portable package, but it’s up to the individual to actually make something out of it and often the final product varies slightly from person to person.  Browsers are the same way, they all put the HTML, CSS and JavaScript together in a slightly different way to render a slightly different web page (this causes endless headaches for developers struggling to make a consistent user experience across browsers). Browser developer tools give us an insight into both the code that the browser receives and the way that the individual browser is putting the web page together. If a page looks a bit different in Internet Explorer than it does in Chrome, we can use each browser’s respective developer tools to peek into the rendering process and see what’s going on in an effort to minimize these differences.

Now that you know browser developer tools exist and why they are so helpful, the only thing left to do is learn them. Teaching you to actually use browser developer tools is out of the scope of this post since it depends on what browser you use and what your needs are, but if you start playing around with them I promise you will find something useful almost immediately. If you are a web developer and you aren’t already using them, prepare for your life to get a lot easier. If you aren’t a developer but work with web pages extensively, prepare for your understanding of how a web page works to grow considerably (and as a result, for your life to get a lot easier). I’m always surprised at how few people are aware that these tools even exist (and what happens when someone stumbles upon them without knowing what they are), but someone with a solid grasp of browser developer tools can expose a problem with a single keyboard shortcut, even on someone else’s workstation. A person who can leverage these tools to figure out problems no one else can often acquires the mystical aura of an internet wizard with secret magic powers to their relatively mortal coworkers. Become that person with browser developer tools.

Lita Updates

This is one of our periodic messages sent to all LITA members. This update includes news you can use from the LITA Blog:

  • LITA Kitchen Table Conversations
  • Student Opportunities at the LITA Forum
  • Hotel room reservations deadline for the Forum
  • LITA Blog Writers

LITA Kitchen Table Conversations – Starts Online this Friday, September 19

This is taken from the LITA Blog and was posted by Rachel Vacek, LITA President:

Voice Your Ideas On LITA’s Strategic Goals

As mentioned in a previous post, LITA is beginning a series of informal discussions to let members voice their thoughts about the current strategic goals of LITA. These “kitchen table talks” will be lead by President Rachel Vacek and Vice-President Thomas Dowling.

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

When

  • ONLINE: Friday, September 19, 2014, 1:30-2:30 pm EDT
  • ONLINE: Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 12:00-1:00 pm EDT
  • IN-PERSON: Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:45-9:00 pm MDT at the LITA Forum in Albuquerque, NM

How to join the online conversations

On the day and time of the online events, join in on the conversation in this Google Hangout.

We look forward to the conversations!”

Student Opportunities at the Forum

This is taken from the LITA Blog:

2014 LITA Forum Student Registration Rate Available

LITA is offering a special student registration rate to the 2014 LITA Forum for a limited number of graduate students enrolled in ALA accredited programs. The Forum will be held November 5-8, 2014 at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM. Learn more about the Forum here.

In exchange for a discounted registration, students will assist the LITA organizers and the Forum presenters with on-site operations. This year’s theme is “Transformation: From Node to Network.” 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 National Forum, Thursday noon through Saturday noon. This does not include the pre-conferences on Thursday and Friday. You will be assigned a variety of duties, but you will be able to attend the Forum programs, which include 3 keynote sessions, 30 concurrent sessions, and a dozen poster presentations.

The special 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 get this rate you must apply and be accepted per below.

To apply for the student registration rate, please provide the following information:

  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 2014 LITA Forum

Please send this information no later than September 30, 2014 to lita@ala.org, with 2014 LITA Forum Student Registration Request in the subject line.

Those selected for the student rate will be notified no later than October 3, 2014.

Hotel room reservations deadline for the Forum

For those of you going to the Forum in Albuquerque, November 5-8, 2014, please note: the deadline for getting a hotel room at the Forum rate is October14, 2014. The Forum will be held at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM. Learn more about the Forum here.

LITA Blog Writers

In early August, Brianna Marshall posted to the Blog a call for regular contributors interested in writing for the LITA Blog. Last Tuesday, September 9th, Brianna announced the names and brief biographies of “the writers whose posts you’ll be reading in the coming months.” Today the Technology Skills and Your Resume/CV item was posted under the “Original Content” category.

I encourage you to connect with LITA by:

  1. Exploring our web site.
  2. Subscribing to LITA-L email discussion list.
  3. Visiting the LITA blog and LITA Division page on ALA Connect.
  4. Connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Reaching out to the LITA leadership at any time.

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

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

All the best,

Mary

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

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

Technology Skills and Your Resume/CV

As I thought about what I wanted to write for my first LITA post, I really wasn’t sure until inspiration struck as I procrastinated by scrolling down my Facebook feed. I had been tagged in a status written by a library student who felt unsure of how she was displaying her tech skills on her CV. She asked for opinions. Was it even relevant to put a tech section on her CV if she wasn’t applying for a digital library job? If she already mentioned tech skills in a cover letter, did they need to be put on a CV, too?

The thread got a lot of different responses, some aligning with my thoughts on the subject and others that befuddled me. Why, for instance, was someone suggesting that you should only list tech skills you got in the classroom and not those you picked up on the job? Why did people seem to think that if you were writing a cover letter you should list your tech skills there and not on a CV?

Today, I thought I would share a few brief thoughts on how I list tech skills on my professional documents and how that connects to how I talk about them in a cover letter. Keep in mind that I am an academic librarian with a job in digital libraries, so the usefulness of my perspective beyond this specific area may be limited. And just to clarify, I recognize that everyone has different opinions on content, formatting, and length of professional documents. Just check out one of the myriad library resources for job hunters. It’s a good thing to have varying perspectives, actually, and I welcome all the opinions out there, whether they agree or disagree with my take on the subject.

What I Do

Why would I write a paragraph about it when I can just show you? This is how the tech section of my resume and CV looks now (very similar to when I applied for jobs in late 2013/early 2014).

  • Coding – HTML5, CSS
  • Digital Collection/Content Management – Drupal, Omeka
  • Digitization Software  – Epson Scan, Silverfast
  • Document Design – Adobe Creative Suite 5, Microsoft Office 2010 suite
  • Markup Languages & Standards – EAD, MODS, RDF, TEI, XML
  • Operating Systems – Mac OS X, Windows, UNIX
  • Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, podcasting, wikis
  • Repository Software DSpace, Fedora
  • Other – ArcGIS, Neatline

This section is listed under the header “Technology” and does not include bullet points (used in this post for formatting reasons). Check out my entire CV to see how this section fits in with the rest of my content.

Conveying my tech skills in this way provides a quick way for a potential employer to understand the different software I know. It doesn’t provide a lot of usable information since there’s no indication of my skill level or familiarity with these tools. I consider this section of my CV a catch-all for my tech knowledge, but it’s up to my cover letter to educate the reader about my depth of understanding on specific tools relevant to the job description. I don’t include any tools here that I wouldn’t be able to easily answer, “So tell me how you have used ___ in the past?”

I have tinkered around with this section more times than I can count over the past few years.  Even now, writing this blog post, I’m looking at it and thinking, “Is that really relevant to me anymore?” I haven’t looked at other people’s CVs in a long time, and though those might be good to reference in this post, let’s be real: it’s a gloomy Friday afternoon as I type this and I just can’t bring myself to do a quick search.

My laziness aside, I’m particularly interested in how different types of info professionals, from archivists to public, academic, and special librarians, convey their tech skills in professional documents. So many jobs in libraries involve working with technology. I would think you’d be hard-pressed to find a new job that doesn’t involve tech in some way. So is there a way to standardize how we convey this type of information, or are our jobs so diverse that there’s really no way to do so?

I’m curious: How do you highlight your technology skills on professional documents like a resume or CV? Tell me in the comments!

2014 LITA Forum Student Registration Rate Available

forum2014cactusLITA is offering a special student registration rate to the 2014 LITA National Forum for a limited number of graduate students enrolled in ALA accredited programs.   The Forum will be held November 5-8, 2014 at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, NM.  Learn more about the Forum here.

In exchange for a discounted registration, students will assist the LITA organizers and the Forum presenters with on-site operations.  This year’s theme is “Transformation: From Node to Network.”  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 National Forum, Thursday noon through Saturday noon.  This does not include the pre-conferences on Thursday and Friday.  You will be assigned a variety of duties, but you will be able to attend the Forum programs, which include 3 keynote sessions, 30 concurrent sessions, and a dozen poster presentations.

The special 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 get this rate you must apply and be accepted per below.

To apply for the student registration rate, please provide the following information:

  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 2014 LITA Forum

Please send this information no later than September 30, 2014 to lita@ala.org, with 2014 LITA Forum Student Registration Request in the subject line.

Those selected for the student rate will be notified no later than October 3, 2014.

The Library and Information Technology Association