Authors’ notes: This post is co-authored by Kelly Sattler, Head of Web Services, Michigan State University. It is part one of a two-part series on IT centralization and academic libraries.This post will define IT centralization and talk about what to expect when a centralization initiative begins. Part two, coming in January, will address how to respond to centralization and what to expect in the longer term. Image free from pixabay. As university budgets continue to be squeezed by increasing costs and decreasing funding, university administrators scour the campus to find ways to make operations more efficient. IT is a frequent target for these exercises, as it is both ubiquitous and expensive. Often, initiatives to centralize IT functions and personnel are undertaken in order to coordinate and standardize services and equipment, theoretically increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Because academic libraries are IT-intensive, centralization can have a significant impact on library staff…
Getting your color on: maybe there’s some truth to the trend
Coloring was never my thing, even as a young child, the amount of decision required in coloring was actually stressful to me. Hence my skepticism of this zen adult coloring trend. I purchased a book and selected coloring tools about a year ago, coloring bits and pieces here and there but not really getting it. Until now. While reading an article about the psychology behind adult coloring, I found this quote to be exceptionally interesting: The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress. -Gloria Martinez Ayala [quoted in Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It…
I’m a Librarian. Of tech, not books.
When someone finds out I’m a librarian, they automatically think I know everything there is to know about, well, books. The thing is, I don’t. I got into libraries because of the technology. My career in libraries started with the take off, a supposed library replacement, of ebooks. Factor in the Google “scare” and librar*s were going to be done forever. Librar*s were frantic to debunk that they were no longer going to be useful, insert perfect time and opportunity to join libraries and technology. I am a Systems Librarian and the most common and loaded question I get from non-librarians is (in 2 parts), “What does that mean? and What do you do?” Usually this resorts to a very simple response: I maintain the system the library sits on, the one that gives you access to the collection from your computer in the comfort of your home. This tool,…
“Settling for a Job” and “Upward Mobility”: Today’s Career Paths for Librarians
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…
The Internet of Things
Intel announced in January that they are developing a new chip called Curie that will be the size of a button and it is bound to push The Internet of Things (IoT) forward quickly. The IoT is a concept where everyday items (refrigerators, clothes, cars, kitchen devices, etc.) will be connected to the internet. The first time I heard of IoT was in the 2014 Horizon Report for K-12. Yes, I’m a little slow sometimes… There is also a new book out that was shared with me by one of the fellow LITA Bloggers, Erik Sandall, by David Rose titled Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things. If you want an interesting read on this topic I recommend checking it out (a little library humor). When I first heard of IoT, I thought it was really interesting, but wasn’t sure how quickly it would fully arrive….
Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself – Vol. 4
What a year it’s been, TYBYWYers! Last month, I talked about gratitude. This month, I’m focusing on the future. Let’s put a pretty bow on 2014 and take a peek at all the shiny opportunities 2015 has to offer. I promise I won’t tell your mom you looked at your presents. If this is your first time stumbling upon this monthly feature of the LITA Blog, Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself is a curated assortment of online education opportunities for aspiring library technologists at all levels of experience. I focus on webinars, MOOCs, and other free/low cost options for learning, growing, and increasing tech proficiency. I’m glad you’re here! Monthly MOOCs This coming year, you may have made a few tech education resolutions, and I’m going to help you keep them! If you want to learn to code, the University of Michigan’s Programming for Everybody is a great place…
LITA Top Tech Trends Annual Program Evaluation
The LITA TTT Committee welcomed an estimated 600+ attendees to the panel session Sunday afternoon in New Orleans. A hearty thanks goes out to each panelist for their insights and willingness to participate in sharing their knowledge: Lorcan Dempsey, Clifford Lynch, Nina McHale, Monique Szendze, and Jennifer Wright. The program evaluation form is available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VW6CCMF and we welcome your thoughts to help inform tweaks or changes that may help with future programs.
LITA Top Technology Trends
This is going to have to be more of an experiential post than a factual one, I’m afraid… I attended the Top Tech Trends session and it held my attention throughout the whole thing – everything did. From the larger than life images of Karen Coombs and Sarah Houghton-Jan on one screen that flanked the live panel to the scrolling meebo chat room on the other screen, there was a lot to pay attention to! Karen and Sarah have already written up their trends on this very blog, so I see no point in duplicating their efforts – they can say it much better than I can anyway!
Top Tech Trends 2008
Thanks to the efforts of all involved, we were able to get a very clean soundboard recording of this year’s Top Tech Trends program. Hope that everyone enjoys the recording, and comment and let us know what you think! Without feedback, we can’t tell if you like it or hate it. 🙂
Virtual Karen's Top Tech Trends
Sarah Houghton-Jan (see her summary and trends) and I participated in Top Tech Trends virtually this past Sunday. It was a blast. I had a little easier time hearing than Sarah, although hearing myself speak was slightly disconcerting. I really enjoyed talking with people in the back channel Meebo chat room. Though some people pointed out that that was distracting from the panelist present in person. APIs Galore Let’s be realistic APIs have hit their stride on the web at large. In libraries they are starting to come into their own as well. However, our focus in libraries has thus far been on bibliographic data. This isn’t the only data of value out there. Libraries need to think about how to use APIs to get digital objects like photos and videos in and out of web-based media service providers like Flickr and Blip.tv . If we do this we will…