ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

TLA Conference – Taming Library Monsters:. Library Thing and Library Elf April 17, 2008

These monsters aren’t so scary when you understand what they can do for you and your patrons. Hear experiences from new and veteran users of these frighteningly good online library services.
Barbara Glassford Johnson, technical services manager and systems administrator, Bedford Public Library; Ellie Collier, reference librarian, Austin Community College, and Jesse Paul Ephraim, youth services librarian, Southlake Public Library.

Thanks so much to everyone who came to this session! I hope you found it useful. I forgot to mention it in my presentation, but if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here or email me at ecollier@austincc.edu. My slides, handout, and delicious links are available on the presentations page.

You can follow this link to download Barbara Johnson’s PowerPoint slides.

Like all of the Net Fair events, this one was recorded. When I find out more about the availability of that audio I’ll add it here.


TLA Conference – SPLAT – Simple, Practical Library Applications of Web 2.0 Technologies

Filed under: Conferences,TLA 2008 — ellie @ 3:50 am
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See examples of simple, practical uses of Web 2.0 technologies that you can implement in your library easily with limited tech skills.
Ellie Collier, reference librarian, Austin Community College.

Thanks so much to everyone who came to this session! I hope you found it useful. I forgot to mention it in my presentation, but if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here or email me at ecollier@austincc.edu. The slides, handout, and delicious links are available on the presentations page.

Like all of the Net Fair events, this one was recorded. When I find out more about the availability of that audio I’ll add it here.


TLA Conference – Net Fair – Keeping Up with Technology: Top Trends

Filed under: Conferences,TLA 2008 — ellie @ 3:46 am
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This is the fourth year that we have examined the top library technology trends in the nation as well as Texas specifically. Learn what these top trends are and how they might impact your library in the near and distant future.
Richard Wayne, president, Strategic Information Management Services.

AKA Top Technology Trends for Texas (T4) Libraries.

Like all of the Net Fair events, this one was recorded. When I find out more about the availability of that audio I’ll add it here.

This presentation was by Richard Wayne from the UT Southwestern Medical Library. Richard manages the technology there and also does consulting, mainly with strategic planning and technology. He has posted his slides online since TLA is trying to go green. He also provided a handout for a related effort he’s working on with Lou Wetherbee – Information Darwinianism.

A bit of history – this is the 4th year in a row for T4. It’s sponsored by the Automation and Technology Round Table (ATRT). It has an accompanying article in the Texas library Journal which usually runs before conference, but this year it will run after. There will be elaboration in the article on all of the trends. The survey was systematic – not scientific. He read blogs, goes to conferences and seminars, reads literature and comes up with a list of trends – about 30. He uses his coworkers as guinea pigs to weed it down then uses Survey Monkey – a web based survey instrument – to analyze the results.

144 people answered survey. They self-identified their technical knowledge as 29%=high, 6%=low and 65%=medium. Library type – public=50%, academic=26%, school=19% and other/special=5%. Size of library correlates to staff and financial resources.

He went over them in order starting with the highest rated.

Trend #1 = Downloadable or streaming media – ebooks, videos, podcasts, lectures

We’re looking at a September 2007-August 2008 time frame when talking about these trends. There may be some overlap between them, but we’re getting an overview. Broad brush strokes are important.

They provide streaming audio for CE credits at his medical library. The Denver Public Library uses podcasts for storytelling. He polled the audience for how many used this trend and got just a few hands.

Trend #2 = Social Software – blogs, wikis, IM, Facebook, MySpace, Meebo, Twitter

IM hasn’t seen big use at his library. They’re going to try a widget. They have several blogs. Just a few hands for audience libraries with blogs. They are getting a moderate amount of feedback from blogs at his library. Many clients at the medical school are remote only, so it has been helpful.

Trend #3 = Open source ILS – Evergreen, Koha, VuFind

The first two have huge lines at their booths. The source code is freely available. Libraries are starting to modify these systems. He wrote an article comparing these two systems in Computers in Libraries. Vufind isn’t an ILS, more like search aggregator, also open source. It pulls data from disparate sources to one search result screen for the patrons. Getting popular also. Library OPAC meets Web 2.0.

Trend #4 – Information Commons

A few hands went up in the audience for libraries that currently had information commons, all academic. Info Commons combine computers, services, comfort. More than a bank of computers. a combo of services and comfort, a focal point for people coming in to the library.

Trend #5 = Gaming

A patron attraction? A lot of controversy about this. There are many interesting articles. Gaming sessions to get kids into the library, then encourage them to read, one way to get them in the library. [Editorial aside here – I’m against the whole idea of “let’s lure them in with games so we can trick them into reading.” Games of all varieties provide plenty of educational, recreational and entertainment benefits all on their own: teamwork, coordination, cognition, fine motor skills, problem solving, community building, even reading, and the list goes on. Have you ever really looked at how complex pokemon really is? OK, back to the recap.]

Trend #6 = Technolust

Don’t we really need to have some self-control? Shouldn’t technology add value? There should be a reason for it, not just to have the technology.

Trend #7 = MARC’s Death Knell

Embrace XML or such. LOC working group on the future of bibliographic control. A heated topic. People rethinking the longterm value of other data formats in the context of library information and data. Will be a long and controversial battle.

Trend #8 = Risk Tolerance

It’s OK to try things and even fail. Libraries are fairly traditional places that make sure they have every i dotted and t crossed before they introduce things. But we’re seeing from some successful commercial tools the idea of perpetual beta. We need to challenge the status quo, to be willing to take some risks and try some things in the library world.

Trend #9 (tie) = Mashups

Combining data from more than one source into an integrated tool. iGoogle, Yahoo! pipes. There are a large number of library pipes. Don’t need advanced skills. End user can create one in a few minutes.

Trend #9 (tie) = SUSHI – standardized usage statistics harvesting initiative

It’s Important to understand the usage of our electronic resources. What can we cut, add, change? No one in the audience had heard of SUSHI.

The remaining trends were:

  • kindle
  • iphone
  • open, shared databases such as freebase (I’m sorry – but who named that and do they not know of or not care about it’s more obvious drug related meaning?)
  • software as a service of SaaS
  • perpetual beta – it’s ok to release products before they are perfect
  • WorldCat Identities

Write in trends:

  • cloud architecture?
  • collaboration – regional circulation centers
  • distance learning
  • electronic resource management (ERM)
  • faceted browsing
  • federated searching
  • filtering
  • google – improved scholar and biomedical searching
  • improving lives with technology
  • Open ID
  • patron access programs?
  • physical reference collection – the death of
  • RFID
  • roving staff technology such as laptops
  • staff competency standards
  • staff excited about technology
  • staff technology training
  • upgrade issues – cost, challenges, personnel…

TLA Conference – Getting the Most Out of TLA: Your Guide to Active Involvement

Filed under: Conferences,TLA 2008 — ellie @ 2:08 am
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New to TLA? Want to jump-start your career? Learn how active involvement in TLA has enhanced the professional and personal goals of TLA presidents, TALL Texans, and even a Librarian of the Year. Join us for light refreshments and a chance to find out what opportunities are available to you.
Gretchen McCord Hoffmann, attorney, Wong Cabello (Austin); Eva D. Poole, director of libraries, Denton Public Library; Dede M. Rios, director, Bruce A. Garrett Medical Library (San Antonio); Jack Strawn, librarian, O’Connor High School, Northside ISD (San Antonio); Tine A. Walczyk, manager of continuing education & consulting, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

I started off my morning with a wonderful complementary breakfast from the West End hotel and headed over to the convention center. After a breezy check-in I went to Getting the Most Out of TLA: Your Guide to Active Involvement. This was hosted by the New Members Round Table (NMRT). Deirdre McDonald (the current chair) explained that the NMRT chair term lasts for one year. She encouraged those of us just getting started in Texas Libraries, whether we’re new to libraries or just new to Texas, to get started being active participants in TLA. Professional organizations are the most fun when you get to do things in them. She said that everyone on this panel has personally inspired her. She encouraged us to just start talking to people – introduce yourself and start talking. She also said that she learned leadership skills from participating in the round table.

First up was Eva Poole, the director of the Denton Public Library. She proclaimed herself a TLA evangelist and said she was going to talk about how TLA has helped her. She had three main things to share – “most rewarding, long lasting, positive.” She was new to public libraries and joined TALL Texans. She told us that the networking that you form here lasts your entire career. TLA also provides you with ongoing continuing education. TLA is there for you, get involved and let it help you.

Jack Strawn, librarian at O’Connor High School in San Antonio, was up next. He was originally a band director, then a teacher, then he and his wife quit teaching English and went to library school together. At first TLA was overwhelming, they felt like deer in headlights. Then he got a call and was on a committee (Lone Star). He said TLA is one big happening. It just happened. He’s been so blessed to be involved in TLA. He was the 2005 librarian of the year. He said that it was so humbling to think a group like TLA would believe in him. The more you give the more you get back. The more involved you are the more you grow professionally. “It will change your life. It totally changed mine.”

Dede Rios, director of the Bruce A. Garrett Medical Library in San Antonio, explained that she was a relatively new librarian, a 2004 grad. She had been in the medical field for 17 years. She loves to plan things, participate, volunteer, so it’s been easy for her to get involved. TLA likes fresh ideas, whatever you have to offer they are happy. She found attending meetings to be helpful. “Whatever you put in you’ll get out.” She also encouraged us to approach people with your questions.

Tine Walczyk is the manager of continuing education and consulting at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin. She said she’s only there because of TLA. She has gained so much. She formed connections with everyone on the local arrangements committee. It was an immediate bonding experience. She has made some of the best friends and colleagues at TLA. She was out of state and could fully appreciate what a strong association TLA is. It’s one of the largest library associations in the US – ALA, PLA, then TLA. She stayed active in TLA even when she left the state. She got into TALL Texans – which focuses on library leadership and allows you to learn the structure of TLA and how you can participate. From that she wound up at the Texas state library. When she was a kid the library is where she went to escape so she is so happy if she can do anything to give back to this profession. She hopes it can be as meaningful for us.

Deirdre McDonald told us that there are lots of opportunities for funding and that people are more likely to give you funds if you are committed. One of the way to do that is to get involved.

After the panelists there was a Q&A and then awards followed by mingling with some other representatives from other round tables, but I had to dash off to my next session.