Professional Development

In the 'Conferences' Category...

ALA Annual 2014 Las Vegas – Lauren

Thursday, July 3, 2014 4:08 pm

Three segments to my post: 1) Linked Data and Semantic Web, 2) Introverts at Work, and 3) Vendors and Books and Video — read just the part that interests you!

1. Linked Data and Semantic Web (or, Advances in Search and Discovery)

Steve Kelley sparked my interest in the Semantic Web and Linked Data with reports after conferences over the past few years. Now that I’ve been appointed to the joint ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee and attended a meeting at this conference, I’ve learned more:

Google Hummingbird is a recent update to how Google searching functions, utilizing all the words in the query to provide more meaningful results instead of just word matches.

Catalogers and Tech Team take note! Work is really happening now with Linked Data. In Jason Clark’s presentation,”Schema.org in Libraries,” see the slide with links to work being done at NCSU and Duke (p. 28 of the posted PDF version).

I’m looking forward to working with Erik Mitchell and other Metadata Standards Committee members in the coming year.

2. Introverts at Work!

The current culture of working in meetings (such as brainstorming) and reaching quick decisions in groups or teams is geared towards extroverts while about 50% of the population are introverts. Introverts can be most productive and provide great solutions when given adequate time for reflection. (Extrovert and introvert were defined in the Jung and MBTI sense of energy gain/drain.) So says Jennifer Kahnweiler, the speaker for the ALCTS President’s Program and author of Quiet Influence. Another book discussing the same topic is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Many ZSRians attended this session!

3.Vendors and Books and Video

I spent a lot of time talking with vendors. Most notable was the meeting that Derrik, Jeff, and I attended with some of the publishers that are raising DDA short term loan prices. This will affect our budget, but our plan is to watch it for a bit, to develop our knowledge and determine appropriate action. It was helpful to learn more from the publishers. Some publishers are able to switch to print on demand, while others cannot because traditional print runs are cheaper than print on demand and their customers still want print. Print-driven publishers have to come up with a sustainable model to cover all of the costs, so they are experimenting with DDA pricing. DDA overall is still an experiment for publishers, while librarians already have come to think of it as being a stable and welcome method of providing resources.

Derrik and I also started conversing with Proquest about how we will manage our existing DDA program in regards to the addition of ebrary Academic Complete to NC LIVE.

“The combined bookshops of Aux Amateurs de Livres and Touzot Librarie Internationale will be called Amalivre effective July 1, 2014.”

Regarding video, Mary Beth, Jeff, Derrik and I attended a presentation by two Australian librarians from different large universities (QUT and La Trobe, with FTE in tens of thousands). They reported on their shift to streaming video with Kanopy and here are a few bullets:

  • Among drivers for change were the flipped classroom and mobile use
  • 60% of the DVD collection had less than 5 views while streaming video titles licensed through Kanopy averaged over 50 views
  • 23% and 15% (two universities) of DVDs have never been viewed once
  • 1.7 and 1.8 (two universities) times is the true cost of DVD ownership
  • They have a keyboard accessibility arrangement for the visually impaired
  • Usage is growing for PDA and non-PDA titles in Kanopy [reminds us of our experience with e-books]
  • Discovery of the streaming videos came largely through faculty embedding videos in the CMS
  • Other discovery is not good for video, so they had Proquest add a radio button option for video to Summon to help promote discovery [can we do this?]
  • They concluded that because of greater use,online video is the greater value for the money spent

 

2014 ILLiad Conference

Thursday, April 3, 2014 6:02 pm

Just to review, ILLiad is the software we use to manage interlibrary loan and ZSR Delivers requests.

Thankfully no speeding ticket this year. It was a cold, rainy trip to Virginia Beach and I opted to listen to a Scandinavian murder mystery, instead rockin’ out. (spoiler…the lady lawyer did it.)

I went to several informative sessions and enjoyed some F2F time with other librarians whom I normally only interact with over email and phone. Sharing a pint with someone makes it easier to ask them for a scan of an obscure 18th century score, or a rush loan of an international economics tome. All in the name of greasing the wheels of interlibrary commerce.

The keynote fell short, which seems to be a trend for these conferences. As you may remember, the highlight of last year’s keynote was a venn diagram. This year was no different.

My apologizes if you start singing Carly Simon (some think she was referring to James Taylor, I suspect Warren Beatty)…but I digress.

 

The best session of interest to those outside the interlibrary loan community was about assessment – how to use ILLiad to show our worth, to tell our story. The presenter compared librarians to ninjas – we swiftly move around helping other campus entities (departments, centers…) succeed. Sound familiar? The Chemistry department will have different institutional goals than the Humanities Institute. But both rely on the library for help meeting these goals. We have to be flexible, strong and everywhere at once.

One of the cool things her library is doing is using hash tags in their social media posts to highlight areas of strength and growth in the library -especially when they support overall university goals. For example:

#ZSRLearns when we contribute to cultivating students through instruction and academic enrichment

#ZSRSpaces when we initiate improvements to the living/learning environment

#ZSRExperts when librarians use their expertise to make a difference at the university level

The way we gather statistics in ILLiad and what we do with them can aid in these pursuits. At the presenter’s library, they ask students what course they will be using the interlibrary loan item for. They ask faculty if the request is for research or teaching, and if teaching for what class. This can more accurately pinpoint the areas of study that interlibrary loan supports and be especially useful for interdisciplinary courses that defy department/major (i.e. Interpreting & Translation Studies.)

This data can be shared with liaisons in the hopes of improved service and support. The presenter mentioned one conversation she had with the liaison to a department that was notorious for placing interlibrary loan article requests for items the library owned electronically. This lead to stronger education effort.

Other conference highlights included a session on creating mobile friendly web pages. This is on my G/O list for 2014. Stay tuned…..

Then there was this session covering the integration of interlibrary loan and course reserves work flows. The presenter’s situation was different but I did learn a few things of a technical nature. I was also able to make brilliant use of social media. The presenter is my counterpart at Yale. He showed this slide to explain how his boss (the head of Access Services) forced the merging of interlibrary loan and reserves staff (notice the picture of Dr. Evil.)

Now it just so happens that the aforementioned boss is a good friend of mine – a friend on Facebook. So I posted this picture to his timeline as the event was happening with the caption “Evil Architecture at Yale! THX Brad.” Lots of virtual hilarity ensued. Trust me. (then I quickly put my phone down and resumed taking notes….whew).

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca at Archival Discovery & Use Pre-Conference

Monday, March 31, 2014 5:04 pm

Last week, Chelcie Rowell and I traveled to Raleigh for the Code4Lib Pre-conference focused on archival discovery and use. I found this to be a very enjoyable and thought provoking day of discussion and idea sharing. Led by Tim Shearer from UNC Chapel Hill and Will Sexton from Duke, the format of the pre-conference was focused talks rather than presentations. The room was broken up into groups such as digitization, outreach, assessment, description, and access. I joined the description group and saw many familiar faces that I have followed professionally.

The morning session began with the provocative statement “Why I hate finding aids.” Each group discussed the pros and cons of this statement and presented their groups opinions at the end. As you may imagine, my description group *loves* finding aids and found this statement to be an insult to the very core of archival practice and foundation. Although we defended finding aids, there was discussion of lack of uniformity both within institutions as well as across archives. Bibliographic description has such a structured input, but that structure is still not established in archival description. Our group felt that although there are things wrong with finding aids including authority control, archival jargon, and access points, the archival foundation of provenance and respect des fonds leave the finding aid as a concept our only option of description as of now.

Another provocative statement made to prompt our breakout group discussions pertained to digital collections content grouped together in something like an exhibit versus within the context of a finding aid or the original order of the collection. Again, my group made up of mostly “description” archivists emphasized the need for archival context in a digital world. So many times researchers are “dropped” into a digital collection and find something “cool” but they don’t always realize that it is part of a larger, and most times, richer archival collection. We hope that with new archival software such as ArchivesSpace and linked data, digital collections will have the infrastructure and the metadata to be more closely connected with the creator and archival collection.

After Chelcie’s suggestion of a delicious lunch at a place calledBeasley’s Chicken and Honey (Go there. Seriously.) we returned to a more presentation based format. The topics included ArchivesSpace and crowdsourcing. I enjoyed the afternoon sessions with the theoretical implementation of ArchivesSpace juxtaposed with actual crowdsourcing projects, big and small. I must say, I enjoyed this pre-conference very much and found that the format was the best part. It is rare to sit at a table with colleagues you respect and who are doing amazing things in your field and just get to talk, and share stories, and brainstorm. Thank you for the opportunity!

 

Kevin at edUi 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013 10:32 am

The best conferences change you. Even before the closing session, you recognize something different about yourself, a new way of thinking perhaps or a new perspective on a project. This change is more than the catalog of new ideas and new projects that the conference generates; it’s a new way of seeing things, of making sense of your work and the world. After such a conference, you return excited, invigorated. (And, to be honest, apprehensive: how will I sustain this new way of being amid the torrent of the job?).

For me, edUi 2013 was this kind of conference. For three days, it was the realization of a single, simple idea: make small, meaningful improvements. It was an inversion really – of project and process, of productivity and creativity. And it was so familiar – in fact, I had abided by such a concept as a way to approach the glut of project requirements, feature requests, and feedback cycles. But ‘familiar’ was not ‘realized’.

Here was a simple, empowering method that provoked such welcome clarity through its limited scale and its confident optimism. Here was a way to transform glut into abundance. Anyway, that’s the short version. The long version includes much more about opportunities and strategies and tactics, about audiences and usability and prioritization, the context within which ‘small’ and ‘meaningful’ and ‘improvements’ are defined.

Of course, edUi was also about a wealth of other things:

  • content strategy
  • responsive analytics
  • best practices and bogus best practices
  • how (re)designing a screen sometimes feels like convincing an organization to change the way it works
  • how to use mobile as a lens to make everything better, regardless of platform
  • how to use data to make decisions (since data is often the language stakeholders speak)
  • and generally all things UX

Amanda at SCLA/SELA 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:18 pm

Earlier this week, I co-presented with a former colleague at the South Carolina Library Association/Southeastern Library Association joint conference in Greenville, South Carolina. My presentation was late in the day, so I had the opportunity to sit in on several interesting and relevant presentations.

Keynote Speaker ALA President-Elect Courtney Young: To open the conference, Young spoke about the current ALA presidential theme, Libraries Change Lives, and encouraged librarians to sign the Declaration for the Right to Libraries and libraries to host signing events. Young then spoke about her upcoming presidential theme, which will focus on the value of the ALA to both its members and the community at large.

Services and Spaces for Graduate Students: Data-Driven Decision Making in an Academic Library: Florida State University librarians recently underwent a large-scale ethnographic study of their non-STEM graduate student population. They modeled their study off of the Foster and Gibbons University of Rochester study, which included methods like photo diaries and charrettes. The FSU librarians also GPS tracked 10 students to see where they went throughout the day. They learned that their graduate students wanted multi-use/multi-functional spaces, room to spread out, and double monitors . Some barriers to using the library included working long hours, families, finding parking, and having cheaper/healthier food options at home. As a result of the study, they expanded their campus delivery service to graduate TAs and plan to use the findings when planning future renovations. Also, if you are curious, you can see their current grad student space, the Scholars Commons. I have a lot more notes if you are interested.

Teaching Online Library Workshops: Next, Clemson University librarians spoke about their experiences with two online instruction initiatives. First, they moved their freshman orientation sessions online (previously, they hosted over 200 orientation sessions in the library). They used VideoScribe to make some seriously awesome Youtube videos and embedded them in Blackboard. Go watch, What’s In It For Me?, an alphabetical listing of items in Clemson Libraries and come back. No, seriously, go watch, I’ll wait here. Pretty nifty, right? Second, they used their campus conference software, Adobe Connect, to host synchronous, online workshops on topics like Google searching. Attendance was less-than-stellar, but they found that after the sessions several students asked questions unrelated to the topic at hand — and this brought about interesting conversations on using conferencing software (or even Google Hangout) to host personal research sessions. We also discussed the advantages of quality over quantity in reference/instruction interactions. Sounds like they are trying some exciting things!

The Flipped Classroom: A Real Life Adventure in Engaging Students: this was our session! I co-presented with my former colleague, Margaret Fain, of Coastal Carolina University. We spoke for about 10 minutes about flipping our Information Literacy Lab credit course at Coastal — then we flipped the presentation (because, of course)! Our attendees created a flipped classroom lesson plan and then shared their lessons with the group. I’m having a SlideShare to WordPress embed fail, but if you’d like to see our slides, here they are.

Unfortunately, I had to drive to Greenville and back in a day, so I didn’t get to experience much of Greenville. That being said, from my car window, it looked really great! It seem to have a happening downtown, lots of restaurants, shops and even a park downtown with a waterfall. It has officially hopped onto my weekend-road trip list!

Rebecca at SNCA Tri-State Conference

Friday, October 25, 2013 10:46 am

 

Last week, I traveled to Furman University for the Tri-State Archivists Conference. In addition to attending sessions, I represented SNCA as the Archives Week chair and did quite a bit of promotion of this year’s Archives Week. I must say it was a very worthwhile conference and I will try to hit some highlights for you.

“All Together Now! The Archives as Collaborative Space”

Katie Nash and Patrick Rudd of Elon University discussed their collaboration to work with the Education department at Elon to require the use of primary sources in their classrooms. Kristy Merryman from NC State highlighted her wonderful work with the “Cultivating a Revolution” project and her effort to make this project accessible to K-12 teachers. The project integrated a teacher portal with lesson guides to assist teachers in utilizing the online content. Kristy emphasized that these materials were all web based and the reasoning was that when teachers are preparing and executing lesson plans, they are not traveling to the archives, they are accessing materials online. Finally, Paula Jeanette Mangiafico from Duke spoke about their efforts to make intern experiences more valuable for both the individual as well as the institution. Giving students more context, encouraging discovery and collaboration, and creating a real learning experience allows everyone to “be awesome together.” I found this session extremely helpful and encouraging! I hope to use some strategies and ideas in my work here at ZSR.

“Social Media Archiving in State Government”

Rachel Trent from the State Archives of North Carolina and Kathleen Kenney from the State Library of North Carolina presented on a very timely and interesting topic, web archiving. The efforts of the State Archives and the State Library mirror much of the work we are doing here at ZSR with ArchiveIt. They discussed challenges they have had in terms of privacy, access, and completeness. They discussed using Archive Social to more effectively gather social media content, but also the pitfalls of display. Although Archive Social captures content, the content does not look like it does when hosted by the social media sites. This is an issue to archivists when presenting how something looked to future generations. I hope to further discuss strategies with Rachel and Kathleen to more effectively capture the social media presence at WFU.

“We the People: Creating a More Perfect Archive”

Vicki and I put together this panel (along with Maureen McCormick Harlow) to discuss a variety of diversity programming in N.C. I spent my time discussing the success of SNCA’s 2012 N.C. Archives Week “Journeys to Justice: Civil Rights in NC.” The theme was chosen to allow archives across the state to showcase materials relating to a variety of civil rights issues: integration, women’s rights, LGBTQ community, Amendment One, and many others. SNCA’s role in N.C. Archives week is to help facilitate, promote, and encourage institutions across the state to plan events, hang posters, and generally get the “archival” word out. Beyond heralding the successes of last year’s N.C. Archives Week, I shamelessly promoted this year’s Archives Week “Home Grown! A Celebration of NC Food Culture & History.” I was very pleased with the response I got from archivists seeking promotional materials or sharing events they were planning for Archives Week.

Overall, I found the Tri-State conference to be a success! I enjoyed my time networking, learned a lot from archivists in the region, and promoted Archives Week 2013. Thanks to Lynn, Wanda, and Tanya for the opportunity to attend.

2013 ILLiad Conference

Thursday, April 4, 2013 4:08 pm

My 9th OCLC ILLiad conference got off to a rough start. On my way to Virginia Beach I got a speeding ticket – 76 in a 60 zone. I was NOT running late or in a hurry. I was just in the groove – new Richard Thompson on the stereo, sun roof open, southeastern Virginia lowlands wizzing by….(I don’t suppose I can submit the fine and subsequent increase in insurance premiums on the travel reimbursement form can I?)

ILLiad, in addition to being a misspelling of an epic poem, is the software package we use to handle interlibrary loan and document delivery requests. It also controls the requesting web pages. It is a complex piece of software that allows for copious amounts of customization. The ILLiad conference is a chance for 350+ users of this software to get together and show off, swap ideas and corner the software developers. It is also one of the few national conferences devoted to all things interlibrary loan. (more on that later.)

I enjoy this conference because I always learn something. Most things are very specific to ILLiad use and I won’t bore you with those. But I will share parts of my experience that might be of interest.

First, the conference came with its own smartphone app. Don’t laugh; this is a first for me. The app included my conference schedule, map of the hotel and twitter feed. The conference sponsors would push out announcements through the app to keep everyone informed. This included a message 3 days before the conference reminding me it was time to pack.

I found myself using the app mainly to follow the twitter feed. Tweeting (I think it should be called ‘twittering’) was rampant throughout the conference – a constant running commentary on presentations, poster sessions, restaurant choices, snow flurry sightings….etc. Imagine thought bubbles forming and popping constantly. I found it interesting to read what other people attending the same presentation found worth noting. Did it add to the conference experience? Yes. But it was also a distraction and I could comment on our constant need to be DOING when we should be LISTENING, but I won’t.

The keynote was by Liz Bishoff, longtime librarian turned consultant. Her talk, “Strategies for Sustainability: Resource Sharing in the Digital World” started off with a broad definition of sustainability – the capacity to endure. I like that. She then displayed this sustainability venn diagram.

I’ve never thought about sustainability in this way before. The rest of Ms. Bishoff’s talk consisted of a trip down interlibrary loan memory lane complete with requisite images of a card catalog, the NUC and an OCLC dedicated terminal. I think this was partly an educational exercise for the speaker – she admitted limited experience with interlibrary loan. While I found this part of the talk less useful, I do plan to delve deeper into this model of sustainability as it applies to libraries. Stay tuned…

One of my favorite sessions was on the current state of international interlibrary loan – “Borders without Barriers”. I see this as the last frontier of interlibrary loan. Borrowing and lending within the U.S. has gotten pretty standard and streamlined. But beyond that, it is a wilderness of customs and copyright and time zones and language. The session, while short on answers, did wet my appetite to get more involved with efforts to makes international interlibrary loan better.

The conference ended with something called an Unconference. At this point there were still about 200 people left. An organizer asked the room for topics of interest. These could be related to presentations or things not covered. I proposed privacy policies. Others topics included services to distance learners, cross-training students, database clean-up, statistical reports, scanning, troublesome faculty….about 20 in all.

Each topic was written on a table tent and placed on a table in the conference hall. Then we went to a table of interest and discussed the topic with the others there. Every 20 minutes, the organizer would prompt us to move to a different table if we wanted. This went on for 2 hours.

I learned that no one has an easy answer to the privacy issue; that many libraries of all sizes have combined their access services student work forces, and that no one is happy with their scanning situation.

A final thought on the importance of this conference as a venue for “all things interlibrary loan”. There are 2 pieces of information highlighted on the ILLiad conference name page. One is my institution’s OCLC symbol (EWF in case you were wondering.) The other is my first name. All kinds of cross institutional collaboration goes on in library land, but in interlibrary loan this happens tens of thousands of times a day. The ILLiad conference is a chance to put faces and names to OCLC symbols, hang out with kindred spirits and tell people in person how much you appreciate the support they give you every day. I really, really like that.

 

 

 

 

Charleston Conference 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:53 pm

Seeing Lauren Pressley’s picture and book cover on the screen as an example of unglue.it gave me a moment of great pride during a plenary session at this Charleston Conference. We heard that there were 1500-1600 attendees, the most ever! E-book topics were definitely a theme and “big data” was mentioned in several sessions. A session on weeding, librarywide, was useful since the day will come when our storage facility is filled to capacity. And finally, a session on the Library Journal Patron Profiles gave Sue Polanka an opportunity to share some of her own observations relative to the results.

Regarding big data, I heard the success story of Duke University post-doc Heather Piwowar, who arranged with Elsevier to do text-mining of their whole corpus. (Heather had signed the boycott, but “believes that it is useful to work together.”) The big problems with big data are getting permission (Heather was “lucky” according to other speakers) and getting delivery — large loads of data are literally being shipped around the world. The fact that Heather is a post-doc means that in two years when she moves on, she won’t have the set she worked with at Duke and that is another problem.

Still on big data, I also went to a presentation by Hilary Davis (Associate Head, Collection Management, North Carolina State University Libraries) and Barrie Hayes (Bioinformatics and Translational Science Librarian, UNC Health Sciences Library). They said that storage and discovery, followed by access, are the biggest needs with big data. (Sound familiar?) They also said that being involved outweighs the risk for the libraries. They are working with research administrators, campus IT, and many library departments to tackle those needs. While UNC Chapel Hill uses Fedora with iRods,NSCU uses DSpace, like us. Easy i.d. and ORCA are used for identities (and I hope this means something useful to Thomas). Info sessions on campus have been successful (face-to-face and broadcast, and available for replay online). A data management committee at UNC is training subject librarians in how to talk about this topic with faculty. The last presentation slide has references and they have made good use of California’s DMPTool (data management plan tool) at both institutions. They first want the library to be a “collaborative campus connector” in 5 years and would like to work across the two institutions after that.

Carol and I take a divide-and-conquer tactic at this conference for the most part, but with standing room only in the hallway for one desirable session, we both ended up at the session on the state of the e-book industry. John McDonald (Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Claremont University Consortium) and Jason Price (Interim Library Director, Claremont Colleges Library) presented a lot of data, which should eventually appear on the Charleston Conference website. They also mentioned how hard it is if you have subscription e-books to exclude them from DDA offerings. That is why in our liaison meeting yesterday I was quite interested to hear the satisfaction of having one e-book supplier and one platform mainly. I was thinking we needed to explore subscription databases of e-books again, but as I mentioned, we would have to find out if the technology obstacles we saw in the past are still a problem or not. I’m glad Carol and I both were at the session because we can discuss future directions with common understanding of the current marketplace and the growth of HathiTrust and Google Scholar.

I mentioned that I also went to a session on librarywide weeding. One speaker, Pamela Grudzien (Head, Technical Services, Central Michigan University), was in Michigan and the other, Cheri Duncan (Director of Acquisitions & Cataloging at James Madison University) was in Virginia. Both used Sustainable Collection Services, but the situation in Michigan was a consortium-level project. (You’ve heard me mention SCS and we saw a webinar. You may recall that the idea is to use computer-driven matching to identify weeding candidates — titles of a certain age that are also held by many other libraries or in a trusted repository like HathiTrust.) The consortium added a dimension to this process, because they could agree to keep 3 copies of a title among the 7 members, allowing the others to weed their copies. A little “horsetrading” took place in determining retention commitments. One of the seven members in the Michigan consortium (CMU) was in the unique position of participating without space problems yet because they had 30 miles of compact shelving installed in a major renovation 10 years ago. CMU committed to keeping 204,000 volumes and Wayne State, 86,633. Remember this is just the commitments for unique titles or one of the agreed upon 3 copies, not the numbers of the entire library collection. The Michigan speaker noted that there is as much labor with the retention commitments as with the actual weeding. They used the 583 in the MARC record to document the retention, like we are doing with the ASERL commitments we’re making. The Virginia speaker explained the entire process at JMU, which included working over a period of years, a few subjects at a time. Business was first, followed by Education and Psychology. An aggregate 87% of titles identified by SCS were weeded (with wide variation of percentage at the subject level, naturally). They felt that this method was less disruptive to patrons and avoided an overload in Technical Services.

I’m just going to mention one more session that might appeal to many of you — Sue Polanka (Head, Reference & Instruction, Wright State University Libraries) and Lisa Carlucci Thomas (Director, Design Think Do) spoke about the new Library Journal Patron Profiles. The data from Academic Patron Profiles 2012 showed some of the same types of things that we learned from LibQual, but it seemed to me that there were more granular questions that targeted things we would like to know. And it seemed that it covered more than LibQual. Lisa said that “LJ is listening” and to let them know through her if we want to make the survey instrument available to individual libraries. I noted her email address, so ask me if you want it. Some observations that Sue has made in her own library that caught my ear: the personal librarian arrangement does not work as well as the subject librarian arrangement; make sure your link resolver is built into Google Scholar; put an IM widget not only in databases, but also the 404 error page and other webpages; focus as much on second year students as first year students.

This conference is always good, but this year seemed particularly on-target for our own planning here.

 

 

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!

 

LITA National Forum 2012: A Different Perspective

Friday, October 5, 2012 5:26 pm

This is my third LITA National Forum. This past year I’ve served on the planning committee for the forum that is ably chaired by Susan Smith! Serving on the planning committee has provided me with a very different perspective. This year I’m focused on serving the attendees, posting information on the LITA blog, serving as a host for networking dinners, moderating numerous sessions, and streaming the keynote speakers on theALA/LITA Ustream channel.

Trading my reference hat for my multimedia hat has been a bit of a challenge, but I like a challenge! After successfully streaming today’s session, I was able to make some changes that will make tomorrow’s streaming video even better!

Below are the LITA National Forum 2012keynote speakers and the times of their programs! Streaming video and recordings are available athttp://www.ustream.tv/channel/lita-forum

  • Eric Hellman on Friday, Oct 5th at 1pm EDT
  • Ben Shneiderman on Saturday, Oct 6th at 9am EDT
  • Sarah Houghton on Sunday, Oct 6th at 10:30am EDT

Also, check out photos of the forum via the Flickr groupPix4LITA. More to come!

 


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2007 ACRL Baltimore
2007 ALA Annual
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