Professional Development

Zotero day 2

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 2:49 pm

Day 2 at the Zotero workshop

We began the second day talking about how to get the word out about Zotero to different areas of our universities. We started talking about the Zotero community & how we can use it for support, both as users and as developers. We talked about how to use the forums on their website for troubleshooting, and sharing ideas.

The next topic we covered included the documentation that not only Zotero has on its’ website but also how other universities have done their own documentation. Examples were shown of different types of documentation such as something really basic such as the University of California at Berkeley up to the 14 page user guide at University of Michigan. I was very happy to see that the ZSR technology wiki on Zotero was listed as one of the best of the 1 page documentation. People at the workshop really liked the fact that the icons on the examples were circled so they can be easily seen. George Mason’s library page was also discussed because it used LibGuides for their example. After lunch we talked about how each library can do their own documentation to tailor it to the users. All the videos on the Zotero site can be used for documentation, which would work well with our Toolkit feature.

Another topic we discussed in the afternoon was how to convince the decision makers to use Zotero as a replacement for other bibliographic programs. There were two lists that were looked at: The first is from the Zotero people: the 10 reasons your institution should adopt Zotero http://www.zotero.org/blog/2009/03/

Educause also has 7 things you should know about Zotero that can be found here http://www.zotero.org/support/adopt . Both of these can be used in presentations to IT people & others to teach them of the benefits of adding Zotero to the campus computers.

Next discussion was about how to spread the word about Zotero. Some of the issues covered were how to partner with other departments on campus (writing center, the teaching & learning center for example) and how faculty can integrate Zotero in their teaching.

The rest of the afternoon was left for discussions about how to customize Zotero to individual campuses through CSL styles among others. We were shown how to go in to change the code so that MLA & APA among others can be changed for each campus. We also talked about the underlying technology, translators & metadata standards (things that Eric & Kevin would understand).

It ended with a discussion on where Zotero is going both with the new upgrade, but also with future upgrades. One change will be with their webpage. It will be changed to look more like igoogle where information can be customized. RSS feeds for groups, new plugins, ability for more social networking, and many others were talked about. They will start work in the fall on a project with the Internet Archive on collecting data on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

On the whole I thought the workshop was a great learning experience & once the new upgrade is released, then I hope to do a presentation on the new features for the library.

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