News & Noteworthy

LITA Updates

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

  • LITA Forum Opportunities
  • New LITA Guides available

LITA Forum in Albuquerque

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

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

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

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

The three keynote speakers are:

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

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

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

Networking opportunities

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

Hope to see you in Albuquerque!

New LITA Guides

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

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

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

I encourage you to connect with LITA by:

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

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

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

All the best,


Mary 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)

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