Feed aggregator

2014 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award

LITA Blog - 6 hours 6 min ago

CHICAGO — Anne R. Kenney, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University, has been named the 2014 winner of the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award. Kenney will receive a cash award and citation during the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Named in honor of one of the pioneers of library automation, the Atkinson Award recognizes an academic librarian who has made significant contributions in the area of library automation or management and has made notable improvements in library services or research.

“The nomination for Anne R. Kenney presented the committee with an extraordinary tour of innovative achievements and service to the profession,” said Lisa Carlucci Thomas, Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award committee chair and director at Design Think Do. “Anne’s leadership on significant projects, such as 2CUL, arXiv, Project Euclid and Making of America; her influential work on large-scale digitization and digital preservation standards and her global contributions in Myanmar, Cuba, China and beyond demonstrates her outstanding creativity, agility, risk-taking and collaborative spirit.”

“Anne’s peers describe her as a ‘fearless visionary,’ ‘a thoughtful, intellectual leader’ and a ‘digital library pioneer;’ noting that ‘Hugh Atkinson himself would be proud’ to call her a colleague,” continued Thomas. “Several colleagues who knew Hugh Atkinson shared examples of how ‘Anne Kenney brings Hugh’s spirit of technology-harnessing, tradition-busting leadership – with an additional dash of adventure as well.’ She inspires and generates enthusiasm for new programs and strategies and thrives to bring individuals together around a shared purpose.”

Kenney received her B.A. from Duke University, cum laude, her M.A. in History, with distinction, from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her M.A.L.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The Hugh C. Atkinson Award is jointly sponsored by four divisions of the American Library Association: the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA). The award is funded from an endowment established to honor Hugh C. Atkinson.

Donations to the endowment may be sent to Chase Ollis, ACRL, 50 East Huron St., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

For more information regarding the Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award, or a complete list of past recipients, please visit the awards section of the ACRL website.

Image credit: William Staffeld / Cornell AAP


About ACRL

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at www.acrl.org/, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


Comprised of nearly 5,000 members from across the United States and 42 countries from around the globe, ALCTS is the premier resource for information specialists in collection development, preservation, and technical services. We are the leader in the development of principles, standards, and best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving information resources in all forms.

About LITA

Established in 1966, LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of over 3,000 systems librarians, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers.  For more information, visit www.lita.org, or contact the LITA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4268; or e-mail: lita@ala.org


The mission of the Library Leadership and Management Association (www.ala.org/llama) is to encourage and nurture current and future library leaders, and to develop and promote outstanding leadership and management practices. LLAMA is a division of the American Library Association.

Categories: Library News

2014 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award

LITA Blog - 8 hours 12 min ago

CHICAGO — Brighid Mooney Gonzales, MLIS degree candidate at San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science, has been named the winner of the 2014 LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award, sponsored by Ex Libris Group and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Gonzales’s paper, titled “Linking Libraries to the Web: Linked Data and the Future of the Bibliographic Record,” describes the potential use of linked data to make library catalogs and online resources interoperable with other data across the Web.

“The members of the LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award Committee are pleased to acknowledge and honor with this award Brighid Mooney Gonzales’s thought-provoking manuscript, which addresses the benefits and challenges of linked data to libraries and library users,” said Regina Koury, chair of the committee.  “Ms. Gonzales’s manuscript elucidates the complex topic, making a strong case for libraries to continue researching the potential use of linked data.”

The LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award recognizes outstanding writing on a topic in the area of libraries and information technology by a student or students enrolled in an ALA-accredited library and information studies graduate program. The winning manuscript will be published in Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), and the winner will receive $1,000 and a certificate of merit.

The award will be presented at the LITA Awards Ceremony on Sunday, June 29, 2014 during the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

More information about the LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award is available on the LITA website.

About Ex Libris

Ex Libris is a leading provider of automation solutions for academic libraries. Offering the only comprehensive product suite for electronic, digital, and print materials, Ex Libris provides efficient, user-friendly products that serve the needs of libraries today and will facilitate their transition into the future. Ex Libris maintains an impressive customer base consisting of thousands of sites in more than 80 countries on six continents.  For more information about Ex Libris Group visit www.exlibrisgroup.com.

About LITA

Established in 1966, LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of over 3,000 systems librarians, library technologists, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers.  For more information, visit www.lita.org.

Categories: Library News

2014 Frederick G. Kilgour Award

LITA Blog - 10 hours 10 min ago

CHICAGO — The Library & Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced Michael Buckland as the 2014 winner of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology. The award, which is jointly sponsored by OCLC, is given for research relevant to the development of information technologies, especially work that shows promise of having a positive and substantive impact on any aspect(s) of the publication, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information, or the processes by which information and data is manipulated and managed. The awardee receives $2,000, a citation and travel expenses to attend the award ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, where the award will be presented on June 29, 2014.

In 2014 Dr. Michael Buckland is recognized for his outstanding educational leadership and research in Library and Information Science.  As professor of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley Dr. Buckland led research in libraries, information retrieval, translingual search, bibliographic and metadata services, the history and theory of documentation, digital libraries and the representation of cultural heritage institutions. During his time at the University of California, Dr. Buckland served as the dean of the School of Library & Information Studies at UC Berkeley (1976-84) as well as assistant vice president for library plans and policies with the UC Office of the President (1983-87).  As emeritus professor, he coordinates the long-running Friday afternoon Information Access Seminar at the School of Information.

During his career, Buckland has pioneered research in Library and Information Science issues, publishing widely in Information Science venues.  He has advised numerous doctoral students and has received support from the A.W. Mellon and Coleman Fung foundations, from the National Science Foundation, from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to advance Information Science research.  He served as president of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (1998) and was the 2012 awardee of the ASIS&T Award of Merit.

He is the author of five books, including “Emanuel Goldberg and his Knowledge Machine,”  “Redesigning Library Services,” “Library Services in Theory and ‘Context,’” “Information and Information Systems” and “Book Availability and the Library User.” He holds the distinction of being one of the most heavily cited authors in the field of Library and Information Science and his scholarship spans nearly 50 years. Buckland began his career at the Bodleian Library of Oxford University and obtained his PhD from Sheffield University with a dissertation titled Library Stock Control.  In addition to his service at The University of California, Dr. Buckland has worked at Purdue University and The University of Lancaster as well as visiting positions in Austria, Australia and Sweden.  In 1989 he won the distinction of being a Fulbright Research Scholar located at the Graz University of Technology in Austria.

Notified of the award, he said:  “It is both an honor and a pleasure to be associated with Fred Kilgour. It is an honor because he was a man to admire: a chemist, an historian, a librarian, an innovator, and a leader. It is also a personal pleasure because of the kindness he showed me when I first met him in 1971. I was a young English librarian visiting the USA. OCLC had just gone online and I went to see it. Fred decided that I should move Columbus, Ohio, and arranged a schedule of job interviews the very next day. He and Eleanor welcomed me to their home, took me out to dinner, and drove me around neighborhoods in which they thought my wife and I might want to live. The award committee could not have known how much receiving the Frederick G. Kilgour award would mean to me.”

Members of the 2013 Frederick G.  Kilgour Award committee are: Erik Mitchell, University of California, Berkeley (chair); Brett Bonfield, Collingswood Public Library (past chair); Rebecca Mugridge, SUNY, University at Albany; Kebede Wordofa, Austin Peay State University;  Tao Zhang, Purdue University; David King, LITA board liaison; and Roy Tennant, OCLC liaison.

More information about the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology (LITA / OCLC) is available on the LITA website.

About LITA

Established in 1966, LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of over 3,000 systems librarians, library technologists, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers.  For more information, visit www.lita.org.

About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. OCLC Research is one of the world’s leading centers devoted exclusively to the challenges facing libraries in a rapidly changing information environment. It works with the community to collaboratively identify problems and opportunities, prototype and test solutions, and share findings through publications, presentations and professional interactions. For more information, visit www.oclc.org/research.

Categories: Library News

2014 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award

LITA Blog - 10 hours 24 min ago

CHICAGO — Victoria Reich and David S. H. Rosenthal have been named the winners of the 2014 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology.

Emerald Group Publishing Limited and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) sponsor the award that recognizes outstanding individuals or institutions for their long-term contributions in the area of Library and Information Science technology and its application.

Reich and Rosenthal are being recognized for their collaboration to ensure the preservation of digital content through their creation and development of the LOCKSS Program. Originated in 1999, it is an “open-source, library-led digital preservation system built on the principle that ‘lots of copies keep stuff safe’.” It is the first and only system developed that allows institutions to take custody and preserve access to both purchased electronic content and locally created digital content, thus providing a mechanism to safeguard a library’s digital assets.

Of particular significance is the expansion of the original purpose of LOCKSS (to preserve and provide access to subscription electronic content) to include Private LOCKSS Networks where communities are empowered to take long-term care of the diverse range of digital materials that are important to them.  The LOCKSS technology is being deployed in creative ways through collaborative efforts of like-minded institutions that have an international span.

Victoria Reich and David Rosenthal are co-founders of the LOCKSS Program. Currently Reich is executive director of the LOCKSS Program, Stanford University Library. She received her MLS at the University of Michigan and previously held positions at Stanford University Libraries, the U.S. National Agricultural Library, the Library of Congress and the University of Michigan. Rosenthal is chief scientist for LOCKSS. He received an MA degree from Trinity College, Cambridge and a Ph.D. from Imperial College, London. He is the author of several technical publications and holds 23 patents.

More information about the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award For Outstanding Communication for Continuing Education in Library and Information Science is available on the LITA website.

The Library and Information Technology Association and Emerald, the publisher of Library Hi Tech, are pleased to present the 2014 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award to Victoria Reich and David Rosenthal for their outstanding contributions to communication in library science and technology.  The award will be presented during Sunday Afternoon with LITA on June 29, 2014, at the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

About LITA

Established in 1966, LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership including systems librarians, library administrators, library technologists, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers.  For more information about LITA go to www.lita.org, or contact the LITA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4268; or e-mail: lita@ala.org

About Emerald

Established in 1967, Emerald Group Publishing has become the world’s leading scholarly publisher of journals and books in business and management with a strong and growing presence in disciplines including library and information science, social sciences, engineering, linguistics and audiology.  In total, Emerald publishes over 700 titles, comprising 200 journals, over 300 books and more than 200 book series as well as an extensive range of online products and services.  Emerald is both COUNTER and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation. For more information about Emerald, go to www.emeraldinsight.com.

Categories: Library News

Teaching Customers to Copy your DVDs and other Nefarious Ideas

David Lee King - 13 hours 23 min ago

I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile now, and was recently reminded of it through a post on the ALA Think Tank Facebook Group (have you joined yet? Good stuff there).

The discussion at ALA Think Tank was about using copy machines to do illegal things, and someone mentioned the sign many libraries place around the copy machine, reminding customers to please not break the law when using the copy machine.

And that reminded me about this post, which is really just a question: Why don’t we teach our customers how to rip our DVDs, download our music CDs to iTunes, or copy our audiobooks to their favorite digital listening devices?

Hang with me a sec here. Parents, think about how your kids listen to music. They might not own a CD player. They listen using iTunes or Google Play (or some similar smartphone app).

How about movies? My family usually streams Netflix movies or rents from iTunes. We DO have a DVD player and use it once in awhile. If the DVD is scratched, it will skip in the player … but sometimes ripping it, dumping it into iTunes, and watching it using my AppleTV fixes that problem.

And what if we’re going on a trip, and want to watch 3-4 movies in the car? We don’t own a portable DVD player … but we DO own an iPad.

Yes, you can guess what we do.

And that relates directly back to your library, because a growing percentage of your customers listen and watch media using mobile devices.

That growing reality makes me wonder if we should teach customers how to use software tools like iTunes or Handbrake? With a disclaimer attached, just like in the days of the heavily used library copy machines – “Here’s how to use the copy machine. Just don’t do anything illegal” (knowing full well what some of those customers were doing).

What do you think? Should we:

  • Teach customers the best way to copy our library content to their favorite digital listening/viewing device (and teach them how to delete it when they’re done, too)?
  • Continue to offer easily downloaded CDs and DVDs, and just assume some customers will figure out how to burn the discs?
  • Something else entirely?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Image from slipperybrick.com

Related Posts
Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: April 23

LITA Blog - Wed, 2014-04-23 13:25

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Digital Scholarship Librarian, Middle TN State University – Walker Library,  Murfreesboro, TN

Reference Librarian, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting.

Categories: Library News

Preserving by the pint : quick seasonal canning for small spaces /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:04

    ISBN: 9780762449682
    Author: McClellan, Marisa

Categories: Library News

The collector /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:04

    ISBN: 9780399164453
    Author: Roberts, Nora

Categories: Library News

Chestnut Street /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:04

    ISBN: 9780385351867
    Author: Binchy, Maeve

Categories: Library News

An Oral History of African American Youth

The Griots of Oakland has been out in bookstores for almost six months now, but as far as I can tell, today’s review will represent its first appearance in a library review journal. Which is a coup for us, but a shame for the other journals, and also strangely fitting the subject matter: the invisibility of young African American men in American culture (unless they’ve committed a crime).

The book chronicles a project which should be the envy of libraries everywhere: an oral history/videography project conducted by members of the very culture the authors were looking to learn about.  The results are in this gorgeous and thought-provoking book. Here’s hoping it gets some more attention in the next six months.

ZUSMAN, Angela Beth. The Griots of Oakland: Voices from the African American Oral History Project. 183p. Story Bridges. Oct. 2013. Tr $59.99. ISBN 9780988763111; pap. $14.99. ISBN 978-0988763104.

Over the course of two years, several young African American men in Oakland, California, were trained in the arts of active listening, oral history, and videography. They conducted research, crafted questions, and conducted more than 100 oral-history interviews with African American boys ages 6-24. The result is a gorgeous book, specific to a time and place yet universal in interest and information. With striking, full-color photographs  and graphics, this is a book that young people will pour over, whether they are from Oakland or not. But more important than the book’s physical beauty is its challenge to  readers’ views of African American men. There are some surprising statistics, like the fact that 100% of the youth said that they planned to attend college. Other statistics are difficult, yet essential, to hear: 83% of those over 13 years old describe their life as “hard,”with only 17% saying “good.” But for those under 13 years, the statistic is almost completely flipped: 79% described their life as “good” and 21% as “hard.” As Zusman writes in the introduction, “On a deeper level [this book] is about perception itself. The media is saturated with imagery of African American men, but we wanted to learn what is true for these young men, to uncover and create a showcase for their wisdom, sincerity, hope, joy, and diversity. Sure enough, these young men blew us away. They spoke with generosity and fearlessness. They were polite, articulate, and curious. While aware of the stereotypes and perceptions of themselves, they were able to transcend them.”–Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, Juvenile Hall, CA

Categories: Library News

Novels about the One Percent

Today we have two very different novels that feature the lives of the uber-wealthy.

I love Jamie Watson’s reference to Brideshead Revisited in her starred review of The Last Enchantments. I was completely obsessed with that novel when we read it in senior year English, and I think the fact that I never fully understood the relationships, the mystery of them, was half the appeal. (That and the BBC miniseries!) The Last Enchantments shares that mysterious feel, but is set in the new millenium. The contemporary Oxford University experience will pull in young readers.

Charles Finch has a Last Enchantments tumblr page that is pretty much just a series of gorgeous photographs of Oxford. Nothing wrong with that!

Savage Girl is a thriller set in high society Manhattan during the Gilded Age. It has been compared to Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, Edith Wharton and Edgar Allan Poe–quite a heady mixture. Of course, part of the key for teen readers is the way it all begins. PW’s starred review kicks off, “The prologue of Zimmerman’s superior historical thriller will suck most readers in instantly.”

As for authenticity, Zimmerman knows her New York City history. She’s also the author of Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance, nonfiction that features the same period.

* FINCH, Charles. The Last Enchantments. 336p. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2014. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781250018717; ebk. ISBN 9781250018700.  

This novel brings to mind Brideshead Revisited or The Great Gatsby with its tale of contemporary “One percenters” in graduate school at Oxford. The narrator Will, an American in the throes of a quarterlife crisis, never feels false but can be maddening. He never wants what he has, whether it’s his longtime girlfriend whom he left behind in New York, the townie girl with whom he has a few flings, or any of the possibilities open to him at the end of college. But he also doesn’t have what he wants, namely, the even more maddening Sophie, who is in the midst of her own dysfunctional relationship. Secondary characters sparkle with intelligence and wit, and sometimes shock with their elitism and casual racism. Despite some digressions into heavy intellectual discourse, studying at Oxford is made to seem not all that different from any college—everyone gets drunk, hooks up and isn’t particularly ready for “real life” to start. Will’s melancholy realization, “I think of it sometimes, and feel sad to contemplate how it will be, this place I love so much, finished with me before I finish with it” refers literally to a character’s death, but figuratively to anything coming to an end, a thought that is likely to resonate with teens, especially intellectual, emotional ones, coming into their own sense of an ending as they go on to their next life stages.–Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, MD

ZIMMERMAN, Jean. Savage Girl. 416p. Viking. Mar. 2014. Tr $27.95. ISBN 9780670014859; ebk. ISBN 9781101616321.  

The wealthy Delegates reside solidly in the upper tier of 1875 New York City society. The family is headed by Freddy, who collects people like others collect butterflies, and his wife, Anna Maria, who dotes on her two sons, Hugo, a Harvard student, and teenaged Nicky. Their extended family includes two of Freddy’s “acquisitions”: Anna Maria’s maid, Song Tu-Li, a Chinese immigrant, and Tahktoo, a Zuni two-spirit person, physically male but considered a third gender, blending masculine and feminine natures. Freddy finds a prize in a traveling sideshow— the Savage Girl, a wild, dangerous young woman supposedly raised by wolves. He is an avid proponent of nurture over nature and believes he can transform her into a proper lady fit to be accepted into their upper-class world. Fawned over by Anna Maria, Tu-Li, and Tahktoo, she eventually becomes presentable, but something in her wild nature remains. The Savage Girl never gives up her independence and agency despite others’ belief that they control her. Hugo is alternately obsessed and frightened by her, but eventually succumbs to love, a decision that may cost him his life. The rigid societal rules of this era, especially as related to women’s behavior, provide an interesting backdrop to this story of mystery, murder, and revenge. Historical fiction fans will appreciate the immersion into the Delegates’ high-society world, and mystery fans will be intrigued by the trail of blood and mutilation that seem to follow in the Savage Girl’s wake.—Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, CA

Categories: Library News

23 Mobile Things in French

Tame the Web - Sun, 2014-04-20 10:52

It’s so cool to see how 23 Mobile Things taken off. Here’s a shout out to the good folks in France who’ve adapted the program!


Take look at all the versions here:


Categories: Library News

Your Curriculum is Not About 3D Printers or Zombies By TTW Contributor Troy Swanson

Tame the Web - Thu, 2014-04-17 11:31

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Texas Library Association Conference in San Antonio. While there, I had the opportunity to talk with Justin Hoenke (among many folks) who is also a contributor to this blog. We discussed his work at the Chattanooga Public Library and, specifically about the use of their 3D printer. Listening to him talk, it really struck me that at the basic level Justin does not really care about the 3D printer. The 3D printer is all well and good, but the thing that he is really after is the learning, the creativity, that the printer enables. Justin told me, “if libraries want to get into the maker movement, they don’t really need a 3D printer. They really just need a roll of duct tape and some raw materials to use in building” (this quote was given to me over drinks so please take it as more representative of his larger points as opposed to an exact quote). It was clear to me that Justin was not really a technologist, even if he uses technology to do his work. He gets excited about the things that people can do with the technology (even if the technology is a roll of duct tape).

This year my library received two awards for our campus-wide zombie game . We received the Proquest Innovation in Libraries Award from ACRL  and the Innovation of the Year Award from our own campus. I mention these awards partly because of a character flaw where I like to show off. But I also bring these up because our library’s zombie game is comparable to Justin’s 3D printer. We didn’t organize our game because we wanted to play a game. We did it because we wanted to organize a learning event that enriched the curriculum in a unique way that no other campus department could. We could pull together IT support and student activities while still making the event curricular giving faculty a tool to use to create assignments. Faculty members from across the curriculum created assignments so that their students could participate. This included microbiology, nursing, statistics, massage therapy, criminal justice, writing, speech, and others.

It wasn’t too long ago when it was trendy for administrators within higher education to merge the library with IT departments. Obviously, every institution has their own reasons and goals when they reorganize, but this move always concerned me a little bit. I always have felt that moving libraries outside of the academic division sort of missed what libraries are all about. Moving libraries to IT emphasizes their role as learning infrastructure and DE-emphasizes their role in learning. And I have always thought that the whole point was learning. Perhaps, David Lankes makes the best point in The Atlas of New Librarianship. He notes that librarians can no longer think simply about service communities, but that librarians must focus on the learning needs of those service communities. It’s about curriculum.

So, what’s your curriculum? Your curriculum is simply the learning needs of community. Your curriculum ties together resources, events, space, classes, technology, and other services aimed at learning. Your curriculum recasts the purpose of your library away from stuff, away from content. Your curriculum doesn’t just bring you face-to-face with your community. Your curriculum brings you face-to-face with your learners. And, most importantly, your curriculum is not about 3D printers or zombie games.

Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the author of the book,Managing Social Media in Libraries. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.

Categories: Library News

Taking Useful Notes at a Conference

David Lee King - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:00

I just came back from Computers in Libraries 2014 … with three pages of notes. I heard some useful stuff this year!

I also changed how I’m taking notes, in hopes of making them more useful. In the past, I have been known to furiously type everything I hear, plus some ideas I get during the presentation, and post those notes as a blog post.

This year, I just wrote down the stuff I found interesting, and any ideas I got while listening (well, I actually typed them in the IA Writer iPad app, but you get the idea).

Many of us do this. We take notes while at a conference or during a meeting, and then when we get back home … we don’t really do anything with those notes. Myself included.

So this year, after the conference, I arranged my notes in a more “useful” way by placing all those thoughts and ideas into loose categories, like this:

David’s Categories for Post-Conference Bliss:

  • Blog this
  • Read this
  • Think more about this
  • Do this
  • Share with someone

Get the idea? Each category is really an action, which get turned into action items on my to-do list when I get back home. For example:

  • Blog this – This blog post is an example of that. It’s an idea I had when looking at my notes. Done
  • Read this – Someone mentioned a white paper by Brian Matthews, Think like a Startup. So I downloaded it and read it. Good stuff! Done
  • Think more about this – During one of Nate Hill‘s talks, he mentioned inviting a local Linux user’s group to meet at the library and help redefine the space. I need to think more about what groups are out there in Topeka, and about being more pro-active with inviting them to do work at the library.
  • Do this – I heard Michael Casey, Christopher Baker, and David Smith talk about their Google Apps project (had dinner with them, too – fun time!). My “do this” bullet point says to set up a meeting to discuss our Exchange server options (we’re due for an upgrade this year).
  • Share this with someone – I have a “talk to my boss” item about the concept of a “startup mentality” for organizations and projects, to see if it’s 1. a good idea, 2. where our bottlenecks are, and 3. if there’s something we can do about it.

A local non-profit board that I’m on recently rearranged their meeting minutes this way, and it really works for us (I can thank my wife for having that great idea, too). For the board meeting, our categories include: Information, Decisions, Open issues, and Action Items. That simple tweak has helped us be more organized. Hopefully it will work better for me personally, too!

So – what do YOU do with all those notes, thoughts, ideas, etc when you get back from the conference? Any good ideas? Please share!

image by Dvortygirl

Related Posts
Categories: Library News

The Auschwitz escape : a novel /

New At the Library - Thu, 2014-04-17 06:07

    ISBN: 9781611062663
    Author: Rosenberg, Joel C., 1967-

Categories: Library News

The storied life of A.J. Fikry :

New At the Library - Thu, 2014-04-17 06:07

    ISBN: 9781616203214
    Author: Zevin, Gabrielle

Categories: Library News

Night diver /

New At the Library - Thu, 2014-04-17 06:07

    ISBN: 9780062132826
    Author: Lowell, Elizabeth, 1944-

Categories: Library News

The Problem with Stories about Amnesia (Solved by Robert Glancy and Jason Bourne)

Anyone who cares about narrative, movies, or both should be reading Matt Bird’s Cockeyed Caravan blog. He spends most of his time there deconstructing the narrative structure of Hollywood movies and explaining how and why movies do (and don’t) work. But while he only discusses movies (and usually big-budget Hollywood ones at that), his insights are invaluable for anyone interested in the way narrative works in any kind of fiction. I’ve cited his ideas many times over on my personal blog and in conversations with other book lovers.

For the last week or so, he’s been looking at The Bourne Identity, which, aside from the spying and car chases, has a very similar underlying structure to Robert Glancy’s Terms & Conditions, reviewed below. As I say in my review, it’s a very well-worn amnesia plot, which Matt describes much better than I did in my review:

There are lots of movies in which the hero has some form of amnesia or memory-tampering, only to discover that, in the life he can’t remember, he was actually, gasp, one of the bad guys…But don’t worry, there’s still time to do the right thing!

The problem with this plot, Matt says, is that it doesn’t make much sense. Why would someone change into a “good guy” just because he gets amnesia?

The idea that, if we could start again with a clean slate, we’d all naturally choose to be nobly heroic action figures, even it means rejecting everyone from our past life (indeed, entering into a “kill or be killed” relationship with them) seems utterly vainglorious.

The Bourne Identity solves this dilemma by reversing the order of events: rather than Bourne’s amnesia causing him to become a “good guy”, it is a mental crisis over the fact that he’s a bad guy which causes his amnesia. Interestingly, Glancy’s novel uses the exact same technique.

Of course, since the revelation of this solution to the “amnesia problem” occurs at the end of both works, we need something to keep us occupied in the meantime. Bourne offers us thrills, and Glancy offers us laughs. His idea of using a lawyer who writes terms and conditions as his protagonist is nothing short of brilliant, as it leads to endless variations on the theme of terms and conditions, and endless footnotes to clarify (or sometimes muddy) the narrator’s thoughts. I wouldn’t say this is the most teen-friendly title we’ve reviewed here–the narrator is a bit older, and spends a lot of time thinking about his job and his marriage. But the humor alone, along with the search for identity should be more than enough to appeal to literate teens.

GLANCY, Robert. Terms & Conditions. 272p. Bloomsbury USA. Apr. 2014. Tr $26. ISBN 9781620406434; ebk. ISBN 9781620406441.

Glancy takes a relatively standard-issue amnesia story–a man loses his memory; he begins to regain memory; he realizes he doesn’t like the person he was before he lost his memory; and he takes the opportunity of his amnesia to become a better person, usually through a relationship with a woman. Glancy brings his story crackling to life with his quirky sense of humor and an ingeniously designed metaphor embodied in the novel’s title. The amnesiac is Frank, a contract lawyer who specialized in making contracts unbreakable (or breakable, depending on the client) through fine print—-those “terms and conditions” that no one reads. Much of Glancy’s humor resides in his own version of terms and conditions–hilarious footnotes, many of which go on for well over a page and often directly contradict the main text. Meanwhile, Frank’s slow path back to memory revolves around the mystery of what caused the “little episode” he had just before his car accident. The solution to that mystery brings to the fore the novel’s central theme: what is it that makes a man—his actions or his intentions? Frank’s answer to that question and his path to full personhood should resonate well with teens on their path to adulthood.–Mark Flowers, John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo, CA

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: April 16

LITA Blog - Wed, 2014-04-16 13:11

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Senior Network Administrator,  Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting.

Categories: Library News

Evening stars /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-16 05:57

    ISBN: 9780778317210
    Author: Mallery, Susan

Categories: Library News
Subscribe to Valley Library Consortium aggregator