Professional Development

In the '2010 ALA Annual' Category...

Carolyn at ALA Annual 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 11:58 pm

Although the weather was hot and sweltering in DC during ALA, I still had a great time attending informative sessions on cataloging and metadata, going to socials, catching up with friends, and hanging out with Susan and Erik. I was one of the five who rode up and back in the library’s new van.

After dropping off our luggage in our hotel room, Susan, Erik and I walked to the convention center to pick up our conference materials. I tagged along with Susan and Erik to the LITA Happy Hour, the first of two socials that Friday evening. Following social number one, we all three then headed to the Capital City Brewing Company where the Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) librarians were having their social.

On Saturday, I attended a session, “Converging Metadata Standards in Cultural Institutions: Apples and Oranges” where librarians from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Smithsonian discussed digital projects that their institutions have created. Daniele Plumer, Coordinator of the Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative (THDI), discussed the necessity of educating metadata specialists who work in various institutions (i.e. libraries, archives, museums, state and local government agencies) on content standards, encoding syntaxes, project management and digital library systems and applications. In preparation of the THDI, Amigos Library Services held a series of workshops in five locations across the state as well as online. Some observations from this project by Ms. Plumer included most libraries chose Dublin Core instead of MARC as a metadata scheme, LC subject headings is the most commonly used controlled vocabulary, and overall metadata decisions are driven largely by the design of existing digital asset management systems. Ching-Hsien Wang spoke about the creation of a one-stop discovery center for the 4.6 million records and 445,000 images of the Smithsonian’s museum, archives, library and research holdings and collections. Ms. Wang described this database as a conjoined collaboration, not an individual silo of information. The database has various vocabulary features, facet types from controlled vocabularies, and sharing capability with social media options.

Next, I attended the Copy Cataloging Interest Group’s program where two librarians from the University of Colorado at Boulder described how they developed and implemented a FRBR and FRAD training program for all of their libraries’ professional and copy catalogers. Participants read the entire FRBR document, and at monthly cataloging meetings, discussed the readings and participated in group exercises to reinforce concepts learned. A blog was created for questions and comments on the readings. My last meeting of the day was the ALCTS CCS Recruitment and Mentoring Committee of which I am a member. We are looking into using Google Forms to create a questionnaire for interested mentor and mentee participants in the area of cataloging. Mentors and mentees will be paired based on the the information we collect.

“Cataloging and Beyond: the Year of Cataloging Research” was my first session on Sunday. It was a panel discussion and the room was packed and many were sitting on the floor in the back of the room, including myself. Panelists, one of which was Jane Greenburg, Erik’s Ph.D. advisor, discussed how the data catalogers create provides various areas of research for catalogers to explore. Catalogers’ research can impact and assist in making decisions about cataloging data and catalog design. Are we able and how can we measure usefulness? Per Ms. Greenburg, there are three areas that need researching: automatic metadata generation, creator or author generated metadata, and metadata theory.

Following this session, I attended another panel discussion on the “Strategic Future of Print Collections in Research Libraries.” Print on demand, the impact of scanning on physical books, and preservation were discussed in this session. My final meeting for this ALA was attending the Anthropology Librarians Discussion Group. I always learn much from attending this session. Topics included print and online bibliographic tools for Africa for which I collected several useful handouts that were distributed. It was proposed to request the ANSS Committee develop a list of core academic library journals for anthropology.

Sunday was also a day for catching up with friends. Lauren C. and I had lunch with a graduate school classmate who is the business and economics reference librarian at Clemson. As mentioned in one of Susan’s posts, she, Erik and I had a lovely dinner with Waits and Christian.

It’s been awhile since I attended a conference with both Susan and Erik. Hanging out with them at conferences, I am assured of three things occurring: exploring the sites of the city, exercising (i.e. a lot of walking around) and having fun.

The Future of Cataloging – Steve at ALA

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 1:49 pm

It’s not often that you go to a conference and have a major realization about the need to re-organize how you do your work and how your library functions, but I did at this year’s ALA. Through the course of several sessions on RDA, the new cataloging code that is slated to replace AACR2, I came to realize that we very much need to implement and maintain authority control at ZSR. This is not easy to say, as it will necessarily involve some expense and a great deal of time and effort, but without proper authority control of our bibliographic database, our catalog will suffer an ever-diminishing quality of service, frustrating patrons and hindering our efficiency.

You may ask, what is authority control? It’s the process whereby catalogers guarantee that the access points (authors, subjects, titles) in a bibliographic record use the proper or authorized form. Subject headings change, authors may have the same or similar names, and without controlling the vocabulary used, users can be confused, retrieving the wrong author or not retrieving all of the works on a given subject.

Here at ZSR we have historically had no authority maintenance to speak of. Our catalog records were sent out to a company to have the authorities cleaned up some time shortly before I started working here, and I started working here eight years ago this month. I have long thought that it was a problem that we have no authority control system, however, it did not seem to be a crisis. However, that was until RDA came along.

RDA (or Resource Description and Access) is, as you probably know by now, the new cataloging code that is supposed to replace AACR2. AACR2 focuses on the forms of items cataloged, whether the item is a book, a computer file, an audio recording, etc. The description gives you plenty of information about the item, the number of pages, the publisher, etc. If you do not have authority control (as we don’t), you may have a book with a similar title to another book, but you can distinguish it by saying, the book I need has 327 pages, with 8 pages of color prints, it’s 23 cm. high and it was published by Statler & Waldorf in 1998. In RDA, the focus is on points of access and in identifying works. Say you have a novel (a work) that has been published as a print book, as an audio book, and as an electronic book (by three different publishers on three different platforms). With RDA, you want to create a record to identify the work, the novel as an abstract concept, not the specific physical (or electronic) form that the novel takes. It’s not as easy to resort to the physical description (as with AACR2), because there may be no physical entity to describe at all. In that case, who wrote the book, the exact title of the book, and the subjects of the book become of paramount importance for identifying a work. RDA essentially cannot function without proper authority control (I had realized this fact during the course of the presentations I attended, but on my last day, a speaker’s first conclusion about preparing for RDA was “Increase authority control.”).

RDA is still being implemented, and the Library of Congress is currently undergoing a test to decide by March 2011 if they will adopt RDA. However, that test period seems a mere formality. There appears to be considerable momentum for the adoption of RDA, and I believe it will be adopted, even if many catalogers do have reservations about it. We may have another year to two-years before the momentum will force us to move to RDA, but in the meantime, I believe we need to get some sort of authority control system in place.

The advantages of authority control will be felt almost immediately in our catalog. The use of facets in VuFind will be far more efficient if the underlying data in the subject headings is in proper order. Also, as we move to implement WakeSpace, which will make us in essence publishers of material, we will need to make sure that we have our authors properly identified and distinguished from others (we need to make sure that our David Smith is the one we’ve got listed as opposed to another David Smith). Also, should we ever attempt to harvest the works of our university authors in an automated way to place them in WakeSpace, we will need to make sure that we are identifying the proper authors. The only way to do that is through authority control.

This issue will require some research and study before we can move forward with implementing authority control and maintenance. We will need some training for our current catalogers (definitely including me), we will need to have our current database’s authorities “cleaned up,” and we will have to institute a way to maintain our authorities, possibly including the hiring of new staff. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be cheap, but if our catalog is to function in an acceptable manner, I think it’s absolutely necessary.

Needless to say, I’ll be happy to talk about this with anyone who wants to.

Derrik at ALA 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010 4:00 pm

This was my first ALA Annual. As I prepared for the conference, I was amazed (and a little disconcerted) at the amount of relevant programming. Every slot seemed to have multiple programs that looked good; one time slot had at least 6 programs of interest. Plus I knew I needed time to visit the vendor exhibits. This was bound to be a good conference.

Three of the sessions I attended dealt specifically with e-resources:

  • Sue Polanka of Wright State Univ. spoke about e-book formats and freeing e-books from DRM. She recommended that librarians urge e-book publishers to use the ePUB standard. Polanka also talked somewhat about electronic textbooks and problems such as ADA compliance and increased demand for bandwidth.
  • In another session, four presenters spoke about usage statistics. One common theme was the need for more content providers to use the COUNTER standard. One speaker described how her library had used usage statistics to communicate value to the university administration, comparing their ScienceDirect payment to what it would have cost to pay for individual downloads.
  • Another presentation dealt specifically with measuring e-book usage, and featured my former department chair, Tom Wright of BYU. He noted that the apparent low use of e-books seems to parallel print; about 50% of print books purchased by his library from 2000 to 2010 have never circulated. BYU is currently working on devising a way to integrate patron-driven acquisition with an approval profile, an intriguing idea which an audience member from Univ. of Iowa said had worked fairly well for them.

I also saw a demo of Notre Dame’s new ERM system, CORAL, which I originally saw last February at the ER&L Conference. CORAL is a fairly simple, open-source system for managing e-resource licenses and acquisitions. The libraries at Stanford and at Duke’s Medical Center have recently implemented CORAL, and Emma Cryer at Duke said that she is “a big fan.” She said it took their programmer an hour to get it set up! I’ll definitely be taking a closer look.

As I said, I knew I would need to spend time in the exhibit hall. What I didn’t anticipate was how productive that time would be; as Susan put it, I had work to do! In my first half-hour visit to the exhibits, I discovered a new full-text Latin American periodicals database. Then a Saturday afternoon program got out early so I spent another half hour in the exhibit hall and learned about a new web-scale discovery product called Deep Web (or something like that), which I’ll be following up on soon. In other visits to the exhibit hall I checked up on upcoming platform changes to ProQuest, SpringerLink, and Wiley Journals, I told Alexander Street Press that we wanted a la carte purchasing &/or customized collections (they’re coming), and spent some time talking with ebrary about their proprietary reader and their web-based reader.

Finally, I’ll add my voice to Lauren’s comment about the iPad with 3G. The instant-on feature is great; if I’d had to wait for it to boot up, I’m not sure I would have used it at all, at least not for taking notes. And the 3G access was important since very few of the places I went had free wi-fi access. Very nice tool; thank you to those responsible!

Lauren C. At ALA Annual 2010: iPad, e-books, video experiments

Monday, July 5, 2010 1:49 pm

The iPad with 3G is an amazing productivity tool at a conference! Quick intros from Barry and JP were extremely helpful in getting me started — thanks, guys! The 3G was absolutely key, because wifi in the convention center was spotty and the added mobility created opportunities. For example, I showed info to a new committee member on the Gale shuttle bus, which I wouldn’t have done with my ThinkPad.

Most of my conference was spent in governance meetings, either with the ALCTS Acquisitions Section committees or with the transition to being on the ALCTS Board. Topics the Board will grapple with during my term as section chair: meeting at Midwinter (or not), shifting more ALCTS publications to electronic instead of print, developing more continuing education webinars, “reshaping” the ALCTS organizational structure, and possibly changing the meeting schedule so that a person could possibly attend all meetings organized by a given section.

I squeezed in a few other events around my Vice-Chair duties and here are three highlights:

  • JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) is a brilliant concept. This peer-reviewed journal is the brain-child of a man with a PhD in stem cell biology, Moshe Pritsker, CEO, Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder of JoVE. As a grad student, Pritsker was unable to successfully replicate a published experiment by following complex written steps, so grant money had to be used to send him from the US to Edinburgh, UK to see the experiment performed. Because of this experience, Pritsker started a journal that not only publishes the steps but also has the video. According to Pritsker, JoVE had to be a journal, not videos on YouTube, to be successful: authors are motivated to publish in the framework that fits current tenure and recognition processes, and scientists turn to journals for their info. JoVe started as an open access journal but had to go to a subscription model to continue. It is the only video journal indexed in PubMed. Derrik, Carol and I are trying to figure out how we could get this innovative journal since several faculty have already expressed interest.
  • Interest in patron-driven acquisitions of e-books using EBL and eBrary seems to be on the rise. Nancy Gibbs, of Duke University, reported out on a test and someone from Rice University in the audience said they are testing right now too, but on a smaller scale than Duke. I also just found a conference report on a blog for a session I couldn’t attend: http://www.libraries.wright.edu/noshelfrequired/?p=1118
  • I spent some time at the Spacesaver booth working on storage planning jointly with Paul Rittelmeyer from University of Virgina (UVA) and the sales rep. UVA is replacing static shelving with the mobile shelving (Xtend) from Spacesaver; UVA’s project is running about 8 months behind ours, but there was utility in exchanging questions. For example, I learned that we need to communicate shelf “elevation” planning data to Spacesaver now — in other words we need to let the company know the heights of our books so they can hang the shelves to fit our collection size.

An Archivist at ALA Annual 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010 9:48 am

After completing my project as a 2009 Emerging Leader (updating the wiki and resources of the Joint Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums, also known as CALM) I was nominated to join the Emerging Leaders subcommittee, which is a big reason why I participated in ALA Annual 2010.

On Friday, June 25, I attended the 2010 Emerging Leader poster session, which included excellent reports from this year’s EL cohort. Final projects have been posted to ALAConnect. The 2010 EL group assigned to CALM created a podcast that included an interview with the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero. After the poster session, I joined the hush of librarians that waited patiently for the Exhibit Hall to open.

On Saturday, June 26, a session entitled “Developing a Sustainable Digitization Workflow” was canceled, so I wandered over to the professional poster sessions and discovered a relevant and interesting poster by Melanie Griffin and Barbara Lewis of the University of South Florida’s Special & Digital Collections department. Entitled “Transforming Special Collections: A (Lib) Guide to Innovation,” the poster detailed the department’s creative use of LibGuides to create special collections guides that unify digital objects and EAD into one interactive interface. Here is an example of a guide to graphic arts materials, with a specific collection tab selected. Their MARC (via Fedora) and EAD (via Archon) is displayed in LibGuide boxes using script created by their systems librarian. Perhaps the most interesting result of the experimental project is that statistics show higher hits to collections that were displayed as LibGuides. I am in touch with Melanie and Barbara, who continue their project and are working to create a new stylesheet for their EAD as well.

After lunch, I attended the Emerging Leaders summit, which was a discussion led by current and past Emerging Leaders to reflect on the process and experience of the EL program. I gathered feedback to bring to the EL subcommittee meeting. On Sunday, June 27, I participated in the EL subcommittee meeting (my first experience with ALA committee work). We discussed the EL mentor experience and project development, as well as assessment and managing expectations from both the EL and mentor/sponsor perspective.

After lunch with Atlas Systems regarding the Aeon archives management program, I attended the LITA Top Tech Trends forum. This was my first time at TTT, which Erik explores in greater detail in an earlier post. Cindi Trainor brought up a topic that I thought I would hear only at an archivists’ gathering: after declaring the end of the era of physical copy scarcity, she asked “what will the future scarce commodities be” in libraries. Of course, my ears heard “what will future special collections and archives be?” For the first time, I started thinking that as an archivist, I should be part of LITA.

Top Tech Trends – LITA / ALA

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:12 am

Sunday afternoon found many WFUers at the LITA top tech trends panel. If you want the full session, notes from it, or the twitter feed, hit the LITA live blog of the event.

There were lots of interesting ideas – the impact of the ipad on future client technologies, the impending adoption of e-readers and the impact that cheap e-book readers will have on the market, the importance of cloud computing, and the need to incorporate social/community features into your sites were just a few.

From my perspective, the panel included two really provocative ideas. First – the idea that libraries are positioned to no longer be the best place to access, aggregate, or preserve content. The panel introduced the concept that the problem of physical copy scarcity is almost over and that libraries, while optimized for print storage and preservation, are not necessarily the best environments for the digital analogues of these tasks. This idea recurred a few times, notably as the panel at turns indicated that libraries should embrace and be concerned with outsourcing. Almost sequentially, one panelst indicated that outsourcing IT to the cloud would free up staff to take on more patron-centric roles, while another indicated that most patrons are/will interacting with the library in a digital environment, freeing up public service staff to focus on more IT aspects. Of course, technical services was not left out of the ‘what does outsourcing mean’ discussion.

As anyone on the tech team who has been working on a little cloud computing project over the last year can tell you, it is easy to outsource hardware and software but very difficult to outsource expertise. I expect that as libraries grapple with the issues behind content access, core values, and efficiency this discussion will continue to be relevant.

The second really provocative idea came as a comparison to the current situation in the Gulf. “How will we handle our first information disaster?” one panellist asked. She suggested that an emerging role of libraries is to serve as a ‘strategic information reserve.’ We have seen some examples of technologies that support these ideas already – from LOCKSS to DuraSpace. I thought it was interesting however that the question, as it was phrased to me indicated the real problem – that each of these focused reserves may not be complete enough in a large scale disaster. In particular I thought that this question was nearly the answers that came out of the above issue.

Continuing ALA for Wanda

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 9:03 am

With two very long days of board meetings and conference planning behind me, I settled down to center my attention on two different tracks held during the conference; assessment and staff development. The assessment sessions were sponsored by the Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation Section of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). The assessment first “Myth Busting: Using Data to Challenge Assumptions” showcased speakers from different libraries who used data to challenge their assumptions. Of particular interest was the one case-study which explored the notion that library patrons are the primary offenders for incorrectly re-shelving books? Data generated from this specific study showed a parallel between checked-in dates and inventory dates. The study actually revealed a very close proximity to the checked-in date and the inventory date. The home grown inventory system used also calculated the distance the item was away from its’ correctly shelved location. This and other findings led the librarians to rethink student training, as well as the number of back to back hours students were assigned to re-shelve books. Unlike the other studies this one was not captured on the LLAMA webpage.

“Assessment for the Rest of Us: Informal Techniques You Can Use,” turned out to be a very fast paced program that featured presenters in a speed date style of information sharing on the select techniques used. Among those shared were: listening groups, unobtrusive user observation, let them try it before you buy it, why don’t you use my chat reference, poster surveys, chatting with patrons, community users in an academic library, flip video cameras and mapping student use of the library. Each presenter gave just enough information to give the audience an idea of the technique used. In conclusion they each agreed that informal assessment in many forms can be useful in decision making and could lead to creating a culture of assessment throughout the library.

The third session entitled “And the Survey says..! Strengthening Services through Surveying,”featured Karen Neurohr of Oklahoma State University who gave a brief comparison of features in LibQUAL versus LibQUAL light. She reminded the audience that “customers define service quality.” Market your survey! Ask students what prizes would appeal to them. Think carefully about and include early in discussions all the departments on campus that should be included in the survey process; institutional research, marketing department, finance and accounting and the institutional review board.

Debbie Moss of the Orange County Library System, Orlando, Florida spoke from the public library angle using Counting Opinions (CO). We here at ZSR can attest that CO is possibly a better option for public more so than private.

Both speakers stressed the need to be inclusive, deciding what areas are important for your library’s success and seeking help if necessary to understand the data generated from any survey tool used.

The second series was sponsored by ALA’s Learning Round Table (LEARNRT). The first event was a “Training Showcase: Best Practices in Training, Staff Development and Library Continuing Education.” Our own ACE Scholar intern, Krishawna Brown helped me navigate the maze at the convention center to finally find the poster sessions. The majority of the presenters were training consultants advertising their businesses; lots of customer services training experts. A few were more were in line with what I wanted to see; examples from libraries that had planned successful staff development days.

In search of more, I chose to attend another LEARNRT discussion on staff development. This session was hosted by Sharon Morris, Director of Library Development & Innovation, Colorado State Library, Denver. Session topics included tips for planning, getting everyone to buy-in to continued learning, keeping training energized, how much to require, the need to connect training to the strategic plan of the library and also how to get new ideas accepted by administration.

Our BCALA annual meeting which is held on Sunday night featured Dr. Dolen Perkins-Valdez. Valdez is the author of “Wench” a fictional work based on a popular vacation destination in Xenia, Ohio for southern slaveholders and their enslaved mistresses. Valdez says:

I took this forgotten historical note and sketched in a fictional account of what it would have been like to be an enslaved woman traveling to this free state each summer. Why wouldn’t the women try to escape? What kinds of emotional attachments did they have with these men?

The BCALA Literary Awards are given on Monday night during annual. Of the seven award winners, five came and read from their works. I thought each award winner had a truly amazing story surrounding the book they wrote. Each one was a delight to hear. Of the ones I’ll list below, Adriane Lentz-Smith, Assistant Professor of History at Duke University is one I wish WFU could lure away to here. She recently finished her first book, published by Harvard University Press, about black soldiers in World War I and the strong tie between manhood and fitness for government and citizenship rights. At Duke, Lentz-Smith teaches African-American history, modern U.S. history and topics pertaining to U.S. encounters with the world. She also taught a seminar on the nation and Jim Crow, exploring how the rise of racial segregation as a political and social program might be connected to American expansion overseas.

Here’s a list of winner and category:

Fiction- Pamela Samuels Young’s Buying Time

NonfictionGwen Ifill Breakthrough

First Novelist - K.C. Marshall, My Sister’s Veil

Fiction Honor Books – Colson Whitehead, Sag Harbor

Allen Ballard, Carried by Six

Nonfiction Honor Books – Adriane Lentz-Smith, Freedom Struggles

Outstanding Publishing Citation-Henry Louis Gates, Jr., In Search of Our Roots

Today I am heading to meet other North Carolina Library representatives traveling up for the Library Advocacy Day which will this year replace National Library Legislative Day. Library advocates from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. will meet at the Upper Senate Park. As a first time attendee to this event, i am not sure what to expect.

Sunday at ALA for Susan

Sunday, June 27, 2010 10:19 pm

Today has been a busy day with a variety of interesting activities that made for a different than usual conference experience.

Lyrasis Award Winners

This morning I started the day off at an awards breakfast where Kevin was presented with his award from Lyrasis as a Next Gen librarian. I was expecting a big impersonal affair, but it turned out to be a very cozy event held in a hotel suite. There were about a dozen people present – Lyrasis staff, members from the Lyrasis Board and the awardees and their guests. Each recipient received a fine looking memento that was an engraved curved plexiglass design. After the ceremony, we all had ample opportunity to chat with each other and learn more about each person who received an award.

From there I headed to the convention center to attend a talk by Dave Isay, the founder of Story Corps. If you are not familiar with the stories, which you may have heard on NPR, it is a 7 year old program with a mission to “provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives.” There have been 30,000 stories recorded from 60,000 people. Each interview is recorded on 2 CD’s, one that is given to the interviewee and one that is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Story Corps has partnered with the NPR and libraries across the country. Mobile recording booths travel across the country collecting interviews. Over 99% of the participants agree to make their stories public. Isley was an eloquent speaker and played snippets of the interview throughout the presentation. He said that part of the power of the recordings is that they are different from yourself and allow you to walk in someone else’s footprints. What the interview facilitators believe is that people are basically good and they are collecting the wisdom of humanity. My interest in hearing about this program is that WFDD has asked ZSR Library to provide a local archive of the interviews recorded in Winston-Salem last year. Their current model of access is to transmit brief excerpts of interviews, with the full interviews being made available through a trip to the library. We are working with Story Corps to allow access on a wider basis.

Story Corp's Founder Dave Isay

Dave Isay

Erik and I had a lunch meeting with the editor and board members from the Journal of Web Librarianship, along with Stacy Stanislaw from Routledge, the journal’s publisher. Erik is a regular columnist and I am a board member. The publisher shared publication statistics with us, including a subscription analysis, online journal usage and the top ten dowloaded articles through early 2010 (our article on using Facebook was #6!).

It was a LITA afternoon, with the annual Top Tech Trends session (blogged live), followed by the LITA awards reception.

The grand finale of the day came when Erik, Carolyn and I met up with Waits and Christian for dinner. They’ve moved to Washington, DC recently and got in touch with us when Waits found out from Wanda that we’d all be at ALA. It was wonderful to visit with them and Waits said to tell everyone in the library hello!

Tomorrow morning, we’ll pick Kevin up from his hotel and head back south. It’s been a good conference this time around, but it will be good to get back home!

Twitter, mobile tech, conferences and communication

Sunday, June 27, 2010 10:55 am

In my days as a thrift store junkie I had an unproven theory about the ability to predict social, economic and fashion trends by shopping at a thrift store. I noticed then that it was common to find multiple identical but otherwise unique items that had been donated to the thrift store at the same time ( for a while I owned several gaggia espresso makers that I obtained this way).

I had a similar experience at this conference seeing the use of Twitter, mobile tech, and structured conference tags and hearing from different people on how this is a good case study of the utility of the abstracted action of SMS.

Tweets

Not only we’re people using Twitter to document, seek information, ask questions and critique content they were doing it in a lot of different ways and with some different goals. More than once I overheard or participated in a conversation about how this specific use was a good example of how technologies can be purposed and combined in ways that support unexpected actions.

More Cloud Computing, Some Screencasting and EBSCO for Lunch!

Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:45 pm

I’m doing the abbreviated version of ALA. I arrived late Friday night and leave early Sunday evening, but I’m making the most out of a fast weekend! I was fortunate to be one of Erik’s “Lightning Round” presenters at his marathon Cloud Computing session. Turnout was amazing, Erik did an amazing job keeping things moving, and Susan diligently shot video of the session (and we all helped drag in extra chairs for people!) Since my portion of the “Lightning Round” was at 9:15AM, I attended the 8AM panel discussion that served as an excellent introduction to those new at Cloud Computing. The 15 minute panel presentations kept the session moving, as did the 5 minute lightning round presentations.

I followed up this session with a trip to the ALA Store and saw Susan’s book! (She got an entire shelf!) Next I went to the exhibit hall and stopped at the ALA SCVNGR table where I learned about an iPhone/Android/text app similar to FourSquare that allowed participants to be part of a “scavenger hunt” that involved stopping at booths, taking and posting pictures a even some QR Codes! Speaking of QR codes, Alexander Street Press had a QR code they were handing out for a free playlist of music for the 4th of July holiday! Once I scanned the code, my iPhone (still the old one, haven’t been able to get my hands on an iPhone 4 yet!) I was taken to a website with the playlist and links to stream the music. Alexander Street Press also offers free classical music downloads every month. I only had a half hour on the exhibit floor before my next session, so I plan to go back tomorrow to see all the vendors.

Susan\'s Book at the ALA Store

The next session, “The (Screen) Casting Couch: Tips and Tricks to Effectively Use Screencasting Tools for Library Instruction” gave a good overview of slidecasting, screencasting and common craft videos. One librarian even used Jing to create video answers on the fly to reference questions, considering these “one-time” use videos easier than using text to answer some questions. I thought this was an interesting proposition.

For lunch I attended the EBSCO Luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel about a block from the convention center. EBSCO focused primarily on their Discovery solution and on their recent acquisition of NetLibrary and their future plans for those e-book and audiobooks.

I’m excited to hear Toni Morrison later this afternoon/evening and Marlo Thomas tomorrow morning. (I loved “Free to Be, You and Me”) Once I’m checked out of the hotel tomorrow I’ll attend a few more sessions and cover the exhibit hall before taking the Metro back to DCA at 5. See you all Monday!


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