Professional Development

During October 2012...

Lauren P. at Fall ALA Joint Boards Meeting

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 11:35 am

Not unlike many of us, I spent two days last week in meetings. The difference? That these were 8 hours meetings held over Friday and Saturday. And they were in Chicago.

Last Annual conference the LITA Board of Directors voted to add me to the executive committee (ExCo) of LITA. The executive committee meets two additional times per year, once virtually, and once physically, beyond the Annual and Midwinter meetings. This was the physical meeting.

All the ALA Divisions used this opportunity to coordinate their physical October meetings. I learned that most divisions have ExCos, though a small minority (notably PLA) bring in their entire board. It was a nice chance to see colleagues from ACRL and “big” ALA. It was also nice to meet people involved in divisions in which I haven’t been active. (Lauren C.–I met several of your ALCTS colleagues!)

President-Elects came up the day before for an orientation and introduction to their role. Then, on Friday, bright and early, we had a joint breakfast and then went to our respective board meetings. We met in our small groups for the morning session, had a group lunch, then a joint meeting of all boards in the afternoon. The next day we met in our small groups again.

The small group meetings, where I participated in LITA ExCo, were really informative. I often feel like I have a pretty good understanding of ALA, all things considered. Between my involvement in two divisions, Emerging Leaders, and Council, I have a sense of divisions and of “big” ALA and how they work together. This was the first time I’d had the view of ALA as comprised of all the divisions, and it was a helpful framework.

LITA ExCo not only functions as the executive committee, but also as the Forum Steering Committee (in which I was proud to be a colleague of Susan’s and Hu’s!) and the Budget Review Committee. All of the discussions around these three roles was really interesting to me, but I will spare you details. (If you like governance as much as I do, or you are interested in LITA, let me know and I’m happy to chat!) Notably, I found it easier to get active involvement from everyone in such a small group. It was also easy to see how leadership transitions between presidents as LITA’s ExCo consists of the outgoing, current, and vice presidents, the LITA Councilor, the at-large member (me), and the executive director.

The Joint meeting of the boards was particularly familiar as it was an exercise in Appreciative Inquiry! It definitely had been an adapted version from what we did, but it was a really interesting exercise in creating a list of what ALA does really well and can build on.

As always, if you have particular interest in ALA or LITA, I’m always happy to chat about it!

Leslie at SEMLA 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 11:26 am

This year’s meeting of the Southeast Music Library Association was held at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, where we had beautiful weather and a number of interesting presentations.

Digitization Projects

We heard an update on Vanderbilt’s Global Music Archive, which has to date focused on East African music. Now they’re working on an Appalachian Dulcimer Archive (dulcimerarchive.omeka.net/), featuring “pre-revival” (pre-1940) instruments. For software, they selected Omeka (which I understand we’re investigating for our own special collections). Features of Omeka that they liked, for purposes of the dulcimer project, included its ability to handle multiple format types (visual, audio, etc.); to create new types, metadata, and tags for aspects unique to dulcimers; the plug-in for user-created data; and they plan to investigate the “Exhibits” plug-in. Also important for this project was the geographical aspect (i.e., interactive maps). They’re still troubleshooting things like the cropping of the photos of the instruments (can’t get enough in the picture), but pretty impressive results so far!

Closer to home, one of the library world’s best-kept secrets is UNCG’s cello music collection, the world’s largest, built on the personal libraries of prominent cellists, including scores with their performance annotations. In an effort to market the collection more effectively, the library is embarking on a project to digitize the collection, including images of the annotated scores, album covers, and video interviews with the donors. They’re using ContentDM for the platform, and Dublin Core for the encoding scheme, adding notes fields from the MARC records. They’ve so far done this for one donor, Bernard Greenhouse, formerly of the Beaux Arts Trio.

Copyright Instruction

One colleague related her struggle to impress the principle of intellectual property on her students. Her most successful solution: inviting one of her music faculty, a composer and performer, to speak first-hand on the needs of those who make their living writing and recording. Actually, this prof starts off with a story about his family’s vacation cabin: it happens to be adjacent to a state park, and the family has often arrived to find park visitors camping out on the premises. This usually rouses an indignant reaction from the students (“that’s so wrong!”) — making a neat segue into talking about the personal investment that goes into creating new art.

International

In an adventure somewhat analogous to Lynn’s in China, Laura Gayle Green of Florida State University was invited to help build a library collection for the music school of Mahidol University in Thailand. She brought back lots of wonderful pictures of the country, and notes on the culture. For one thing, students are often hesitant to ask questions, assuming people will think they have not been educated properly. Laura realized that her first challenge would be building the trust needed to reassure students that they can seek help without fear of being judged. Audio streaming was new to music students in this part of the world. Shoes are removed before entering homes, temples, and libraries — a reflection of the reverence in which libraries are traditionally held (and a novel way to take door counts!). The university’s goal of integrating American models of instruction with local customs is an ongoing challenge.

 

 

 

Engaging and Supporting the Wake Forest Student, Part 2: First Generation College and High-Need Students

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 11:15 pm

Kaeley, Lauren Pressley and I attended the second session in the series, Engaging and Supporting the Wake Forest Student: Pedagogical Approaches for Success. This one focused on first generation college and high needs students. It is of special interest to me because I was a first generation student myself, many years ago. This session followed the format of the first one, in that the situation was framed by facts and profiles of the current student body, followed by additional information on the group being studied, and then helpful pedagogical tips to address needs.

Tom Benza, Associate Director of Financial Aids, shared with us detailed facts about financial aid at Wake Forest. I wrote down only a few of the highlights. Total annual cost of undergraduate attendance at Wake Forest is $58,310. Wow. 40% of the student body gets financial aid; 61% of students coming from North Carolina get aid. $41,949 is the average package to students in North Carolina. A shocking $35,070 is the average debt from last year’s graduating class. Tom explained how need is determined from a family’s income. For instance, all students are expected to contribute $2400 toward their education from working. There is particular stress on middle income families ($100-150K), which are expected to provide $20,000-30,000 as a family contribution. ZSR was thanked publicly for hiring so many work study students, but still there are 70 students on the work study wait list at any given time. That is why it is so important for us to hire and retain work study students.

Nate French described the Magnolia Scholars Program, which he directs. There are 500 first generation students at Wake Forest (whom he affectionately calls “First in the Forest”). They are chosen after the students have enrolled, from a group that has been identified with high risk factors (less than $40,000 income, big family, weak high school, pressure from home). The program is deliberately designed to avoid a visible cohort, in order to avoid stigma. Over the last 4 years, Magnolia Scholars have been getting .1 to .2 higher GPA than the control group, are comfortable academically, do not have binge drinking problems, but are less interested in going abroad.

Then Catherine Ross got to the meat of the workshop by describing pedagogical techniques to help these first generation students succeed. As with the previous session, she pointed out how universal design principles are at work. What works for first generation students will also work for all students. She talked about motivation and meta-cognition, meaning, the more students engage, the better their chances for success. Catherine gave practical steps to help students, including giving early and ample feedback, using self-assessment, assigning a plan of work as a first assignment, helping students engage in self-correcting techniques, etc.

This proved to be another very helpful and practical session to understand the students that we encounter here at Wake Forest. The next session is Thursday, November 15 at 11:00 am. The focus is on International students, a constituency of particular interest to us at ZSR this year. Sign up at PDC if you are interested.

ARL Fall Forum: Library Workforce for 21st Century Research Libraries

Sunday, October 14, 2012 11:16 pm

I like to attend the Fall Forum of the Association of Research Libraries because they let non-ARL libraries attend and I can catch up with my ARL friends and see what they are up to. This year, the focus was on the library workforce of the future, which is of high interest to me. Those of you who have been here awhile know that when a vacancy occurs at ZSR, as often as not we tend to fill it with a different kind of position. In this way, we have created positions for a Scholarly Communication Librarian, and Systems Analyst, and Digital Initiatives Librarian, to name only a few. It turns out this is what progressive research libraries are doing also, so I was interested in hearing their perspective. These library systems are much larger than ours. The median ARL library system has 242 positions, while the three libraries at WFU have less than half of that. I will highlight only the presentations that I liked best. The website will soon have slides for all the presenters, if anyone is interested.

The first presentation I will highlight was from Tito Sierra, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but formerly of NC State. He did a research study on how research libraries are staffing for the future by examining 444 job announcements for ARL libraries for one full year. He followed up with questionnaires to determine if the positions were new, modified or existing. He learned that over half of all jobs advertised by ARL libraries in 2011 were newly created positions or had significantly redefined roles. Two thirds of Functional Specialist positions were newly created or redefined. The most dramatic moment was when he showed two word clouds. In the one created from jobs with existing roles, the largest words were Collections, Studies and Research. In the one created from jobs with new roles, the single word DIGITAL dominated all other words.

The second presentation of note was from John Seely Brown, a fairly famous person whom Wikipedia describes as “a researcher who specializes in organizational studies with a particular bent towards the organizational implications of computer-supported activities.” He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Southern California and co-chair of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation, but previously worked at Xerox for ten years. He said that the future will be determined not by technology, but by social practice. We are about to leave a long-standing S curve of relative stability in infrastructure (cars, roads, planes, etc) for a permanent big shift to the digital world. The half life of a given skill is constantly shrinking, now down to maybe 5 years. This is why it is so important to be constantly training and retraining the work force. Higher education will be too slow. Ways of creating, working and learning must all be re-framed, which is hard. The single AHA! moment for me was when he talked about the “competency trap.” When an organization gets really, really good at something, it becomes harder for them to see new patterns and the people involved do not respond to logic when it is pointed out to them. It takes personally experienced emotion and a new, lived narrative to break out of the competency trap. Immediate examples came to my mind, and I’m sure everyone can think of their own. We need to be very careful that ZSR does not become one of them. Not to mention the liberal arts college model of higher education! Then he went up a notch and talked about Change 2.0 being a meta-narrative, with the vision and role being compelling and strategically ambiguous (everyone loved that phrase). It is ambiguous because that leaves room to make it compelling at a personal level. So the meta-narrative might be to be the best person (or library) you can be – and what that specifically means is left to the individual situation. In the Q&A, he was asked about the uncertainty in higher education today. He said that in following higher education for 30 years, he had never seen such fear and confusion as in the last six months. Presidents and governing boards are in MOOCmania. They realize the old game is up but don’t know what to do next (think UVA last summer). He said traditionally that 80% of the revenue in research universities comes from 20% of the courses and it is that 20% which MOOCs are disrupting. The perfect storm is taking shape and people are in a panic.

Overall, it struck me that our insistence on professional development, bringing new ideas in as well as sharing our ideas out, will serve us well in this period of intense change. If you can stand the ambiguity, it is good to value disruptions, rather than avoid them.

Onward.

A Trip to the Tattoo Archive

Friday, October 12, 2012 4:27 pm

Last evening, Vicki, Craig, and I joined other local archivists at theTattoo Archive on Fourth Street downtown. The event was sponsored by theSociety of North Carolina Archivists and coordinated by Dianne Johnson from Carpenter Library.

 

I have seen this storefront many times, but have never taken the time to go inside. I must say, I was very impressed with the space, the collection, the owner/archivist C.W. Eldridge, and his wife, the Book Mistress collection of books.

Volume One.

Volume One.

 

The space is beautiful and the materials are arranged on the walls like an art gallery. I highly recommend stepping inside and taking a look at the collection of pictures, flash (that is what the hand drawn tattoos mounted on the wall are called), artifacts, books, and other materials. You can also get a tattoo from Mr. Eldridge. He knows his stuff!

Don’t Forget Them: Documenting Underserved and Underrepresented Groups in the Archives

Friday, October 12, 2012 12:38 pm

Last week I attended the South Carolina Archival Association’s Fall Meeting. The topic was “Thinking Outside the Archival Box: Expanding our Reach to Underserved and Underrepresented Groups” which fit perfectly with the initiative that we here at the WFU Archives are beginning*. The conference was held in the Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina. It was built in 2010, connecting to the Thomas Cooper library, the main undergraduate library. It was a great facility for the meeting, with a large conference room at the back and the main collections housed on either side of a large reading room (Rare Books on one side, Political Collections on the other). There are large spaces in front of each collection area that are full of display cases where they show memorabilia, photos and books.

SC Political Collections exhibit area

SC Political Collections exhibit area

SC Political Collections displays

SC Political Collections displays

 

USC just recently acquired over 1200 Hemingway items which they added to their existing materials, making it the most complete collection of his published works. What an incredible collection and exhibit! USC’s Hemingway Collection

Hemingway exhibit information

Hemingway exhibit information

Many unique Hemingway materials!

Many unique Hemingway materials!

Once we were settled in the meeting area, our session began with Christopher Judge, who is the Assistant Director of the Native American Studies department at USC-Lancaster. The program began in 2003 when Dr. Tom Blumer donated his collection of research to the USC-L library. In the collection are his “papers, archives, and artifacts, all dealing with the Catawba Indians. The T.J. Blumer Catawba Research Collection contains a wide variety of materials created and collected by the donor over a 40-year period as he conducted his research on the Catawba and other Native American peoples, with a focus on the pottery of the Catawba Indians. These materials form the single largest documentary collection of materials about the Catawba in existence. The collection also provides the best existing documentation on the life, work, techniques, and products of the Catawba potters, artists who have maintained a continuous tradition stretching back hundreds, if not thousands, of years”. (Native American Studies Program). Building on this core collection, the school developed the Native American Studies department which includes an archaeologist (Judge), a folklorist/oral historian, art instructor/curator of the pottery collection, archivist, and an English instructor/Catawba linguist. They work closely with the Native American people of the area to make sure they are accurately sharing the NA culture and heritage with the students in the program as well as the community.

 

Brent Burgin, director of the NA archives then told us that there are over 40,000 Native American people currently living in South Carolina, but their history and culture is hardly known at all, and what is known many times is myth. He shared about how he and the other members of the department have worked and continue to work hard to gain the trust of the NA people in the area. He said he felt very awkward and nervous about approaching them to talk about starting other collections for the archives because he didn’t want them to feel patronized. They have such a long history of persecution that he understood why they didn’t trust “outside” people who seem to want to work with them but may have ulterior motives. After he got past his “Amero-centricity” he realized that he needed to just be himself, and show that he is sincere about wanting to document and preserve the NA history with the help of the local tribes. Burgin said that he and all of the faculty have worked to gain the trust of the local people over the years, and they have a strong relationship on both sides now. He stated that identity, accountability and advocacy are the most important things for him and the other faculty to remember as they work with the NA people.

* The archive is “Switzerland” when it comes to political issues of the tribes; they include all information and don’t take sides on issues

*They always get the Catawbas’ approval before making presentations or conducting programs to make sure they are representing the people correctly

*They continue to maintain the trust between the archives and NA people, by sharing the rich history and working with the tribe members to help them with questions or research they may be doing

 

We then heard from Ed Madden, Henry Fulmer and Jeffery Makala about the LGBTQ and AIDS/HIV Collections at the main campus. Madden, an associate professor of English and the director of undergraduate studies in the Women and Gender studies program, shared about his experiences using LGBTQ collections in his research on gender theory and Irish cultural studies. He discussed how difficult some items were to find, and that being able to study the originals was much preferable to using a digitized version at times. Because of his extensive research over the years, he has become a sort of archivist himself, helping to bring various donations to the LGBTQ collection at the South Caroliniana Library. He noted that very little has been done to intentionally document experiences of LGBTQ people in the US, and that for a long time it was seen unimportant or inappropriate to do so. Thankfully that idea is changing…

 

Henry Fulmer, curator of manuscripts at the South Caroliniana Library, discussed the GLBTQ collection itself, and how it has evolved over the years. They began the collection in 1970, and it documents the people, events and organizations connected to GLBTQ efforts and activities throughout the state of South Carolina. Jim Blanton, Harriet Hancock, Santi Thompson, Harlan Greene, DiAna DiAna, and Patricia Volker are just a few of the people who have donated their papers to the collection as well as groups such as the AIDS Benefit Council, Alliance for Full Acceptance and the Affirm Organization.

 

Jeffery Makala then told us about the HIV/AIDS collection, which he has helped to build from scratch. It started by documenting the first 10 years of the AIDS epidemic in America and continued to grow and widen its coverage. Originally focused on South Carolina materials, the collection now includes rare and unique materials from all over. For example, it now houses the only complete run of The Advocate in SC, many originals of a magazine called RFD, APA publications and high school teacher guides. It also includes 1700 monographs, 20-30 runs of different periodicals and a variety of realia such as buttons, ribbons, badges and shirts.

 

All of these efforts to document groups that have been historically un- or under-represented demonstrate large-scale programs and support of them. It was heartening and encouraging to hear about the development of these collections and to see that there is now a concerted effort to preserve the history of these people. Since ZSR operates on a smaller scale than USC, it might seem that there aren’t a lot of “take-aways” for me from this conference. But truly the bottom line is the same for us as for them as for any institution: you must establish and maintain trust between you and the group that has been unrepresented or ignored. If an archives is making a sincere effort to be inclusive and represent the many groups of its institution or area, the groups in turn should be able see that their collections will be protected and maintained in a place that will represent all of its donors in a professional way. These things can be done in any archives of any size, and I am happy to say that we are launching such an effort here this month. (*See Documenting Diversity for more info on our kickoff )! Learning from other institutions who have already moved ahead with this kind of project is the best way to plan our approach. We can see what has worked well for these groups and incorporate the same type of efforts and activities here, tailored to WFU. We look forward to growing our University Archives with all groups who are part of the school’s history.

A Triangle Road Trip

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 3:23 pm

Last Friday, Joy, Kyle, and Lauren took a trip to the Triangle to visit with instruction librarians at NCSU, Duke, and UNC-Ch. It was a great day for us, and we really enjoyed getting to know our colleagues doing similar work from across the state.
DH Hill Library Duke Chapel House Undergrad Library at UNC-CH

Perhaps the most striking thing about the visits is the diversity of approaches each institution took, rooted in their own community culture and needs. NCSU is doing amazing, cutting edge work with active learning and technology enhanced teaching. Duke has clearly integrated itself into the larger institutional mission of giving all undergraduate students experience doing research with faculty. UNC-CH is redefining what it means to work with first year students and with instructors as they plan their assignments.

We’re all facing scalability issues, and issues of how to balance increased teaching loads with all the other things librarians are asked to do. And we’re all happy to share the things we’re doing to try to help others benefit from our work.

It really was an excellent day and we found a lot of information that will help us in our own strategic planning refresh. If you have interest in chatting about it, stop by the instruction cave! And if you want to see what these other libraries are up to, check out the slideshow!

Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:06 pm

The Joint Conference of Librarians of Color was held in Kansas City September 19 -23. This conference brings together Native American, Hispanic, African American, Chinese American and Asia Pacific Librarians. This is the second such gathering for the group. The first one was held in Dallas back in 2006. I didn’t hear any official numbers, but I’d guess around 600 or so librarians were there. I am sure our friends over at UNC-G won the prize for most in attendance, with twenty-two students and six librarians on the roster. We had a splendid welcoming at the Kansas City Public Library which featured cultural cuisine and entertainment representative of each of the ethnic groups celebrated at the conference. The library was very attractive and most welcoming with lots of really cool stuff. This vault turned into a film viewing studio and an outdoor chess set available for patron use were just a few of the more noteworthy happenings.

The opening speaker was Sonia Manzano of Sesame Street, where she continues to portray Maria since the 1970′s. She spoke of family and community and how it has influenced every book as well as many of the Sesame Street episodes she wrote. And yes she still has such great looks. I was really disappointed when my pre-conference on writing diversity action plans turned out to be nothing more than a review of the leadership principles found in appreciative inquiry and organizational development. Not to worry though, diversity in some form was the primary topic of the conference. By then end of the week, I felt like I had heard the same message over and over again. I also believed that most of the recommendations given to those in attendance, were the same ones to benefit the most from others hearing and applying the message. However, one of my strongest beliefs is that each time you hear a varying form of the somewhat similar message, the more it reinforces the underlying principle of the message. Here’s a summary of the sessions I attended or shall I say a few takeaways.

Diversity is a commitment to recognizing and appreciating the variety of characteristics that make individuals unique in an atmosphere that promotes and celebrates individual and collective achievement. All are empowered when we have an inclusive organization that recognizes, yet values those differences. If libraries are to continue being indispensable organizations on their campuses and within their communities, their staff must reflect the communities they serve. Libraries must provide quality services and collections to their increasingly diverse constituencies.

Deep diversity is not all about the numbers. It’s all about value and respect. Diversity thinking has gone from tolerating to celebrating. Traditional recruitment efforts alone are not enough. Librarian residency programs can aid, but also can do much to damage if everyone on board has not fully brought in to the value of why this is a necessary tool. Setting and communicating clear expectations for all parties is essential to a successful program. It’s about retaining. How well has your new hire adjusted to the community? Is the library the only place in your community that is welcoming? How honest and upfront were you concerning the organization you recruited for?

Who we are, how we think, interact and learn is shaped by our own experiences. What our lives have held inform how we react to any given situation. The more we, as a person or as a collective organization, know about each others experiences, the more we can relate to and understand each other. The more effective our communication with each other becomes and the more our sensitivity is enhanced within any situation or conversation.

An emotionally healthy workplace is positive, nurturing, caring and respectful. A healthy workplace has vitality, integrity, tolerance, appreciation, latitude and empowerment. Over one million absences within the workplace each year are stress related. Other signs of workplace stress are poor concentration, repeated respiratory infections, fatigue and the general I just don’t feel well.

Jamaal Joseph the closing speaker, author of Panther Baby, was most inspiring. His story of how a Black Panthers organizational leader armed him with his first set of books, with lessons he learned in prison, to his triumph ascension to the faculty at Columbia University, left the audience in tears. He charged us as Librarians to arm our communities with the knowledge and support our youth need to be successful at life. He asked that we make a personal commitment to ending institutional slavery (prisons) to our nations “black and hispanic boys.” This was the best conference closing message Librarians of color could have ever hoped for. JCLC was a wonderful celebration of cultures, a celebration of librarians of color, a sharing of our stories and yes a gathering at the waters. I sincerely welcome the opportunity for further discussion on any of my conference takeaways.- Wanda

Quick visit to WSSU Archives

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 1:58 pm

Yesterday, Vicki and I had the opportunity to visit the Winston Salem State University Archives and the archivist Tom Flynn. Although a smaller collection than WFU’s and with only Tom as a full time employee, WSSU is doing some great new things to promote their archives to the campus and beyond. The hallway leading down to the Archives is not exactly on a busy path for students, but they have taken some measures to get their materials outside or to entice people in.

A new exhibit case has recently been added to the hallway outside of the Archives. Tom has chosen sports memorabilia and photographs to showcase materials that may interest students.

Large monitor for slideshow

Large monitor for slideshow

The hallway dead ends into the Archives where a large monitor displays a slideshow of the evolution of the WSSU campus. In addition to the digital display, another case holds memorabilia and artifacts from the Archives holdings. Tom showed us some of the archival collections that have been processed, but he also showed us some of the funny things that can be found in their Archives. We all have them:)

Michelle Obama doll.

Michelle Obama doll.

One final similarity between WSSU and WFU was the “go to” names they have permanently in their digitization rooms. Look carefully at the board below.

Kevin and Erick immortalized.

Kevin and Erick immortalized.

Thanks to Tom for hosting our visit!

LITA Nationa Forum 2012, Concurrent Sessions

Sunday, October 7, 2012 9:48 am

Members of the LITA Forum Planning Committee also serve as moderators for the concurrent sessions. I chose to moderate the sessions that had not been claimed by other members of the planning committee, rather than choosing based on topic. This has served me well as I’ve found myself in some great sessions I probably would not have chosen on my own! I’ve described my top three sessions below:

Persona Most Grata: Invoking the User from Data to Design; Alexa Pearce, Nadaleen Tempelman-Kluit

This presentation focused on the use of personas, an idea I’ve heard about at several conferences, but what made this presentation different was the extensive use of data to create those personas. In most examples I’ve seen, the personas represented faculty, staff, student and graduate student users, but these librarians gather data from chat transcripts and looked at users across variable such as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and research or process oriented and graphed the data along an x and y axis, then made a persona around the results of each quadrant. These personas became shorthand at the library for various types of users. The advantage being that there was data behind these personas that backed up that perspective.

Digital screenmedia: Merging technologies, unifying content, May Chang, Michael Blake

This was the surprise presentation for me. It dealt with how to manage digital information screens in your library. ECU was doing the same thing we do now, updating a Powerpoint presentation, but now they use XIBO for digital signage. It allows for a web interface, has the ability for items to expire and leave the presentation automatically, and is open source! May Chang also discussed the best practices for these types of signs, telling the group that any screen within reach of the user needs to be a touch screen and any screen that is not a touch screen needs to be up high so user are not tempted to touch. Additional suggestions included minimizing the amount of text on a screen, showing slides for only ten seconds at a time and including other informative content besides events to avoid over-commercialization.

Data-driven design decisions for discovery interfaces, Erin White

Erin is always a crowd favorite, and even though her panel of three became a presentation of one, she rose to the occasion and gave a great program on using data (such as tracking “hotspots” on the screen) to make major design decision regarding discovery systems. One side discussion that came up was release dates. They released a new interface in December, much to the horror of their users. This was due to setbacks that caused a summer release to get pushed forward multiple times. Something that occasionally unavoidable.

LITA 2012 was a very productive conference for me. In addition to serving on the planning committee, I had the opportunity to moderate and hear many great sessions and facilitate three networking dinners! All in all, a successful trip! I owe Susan Smith a big thanks for letting me serve on her planning committee! Thanks, Susan!

 


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