Library News

Look at this 36 year old – A TTW guest post by Megan Price

Tame the Web - Thu, 2018-02-22 17:58

I remember being 30.  I remember living off of all that kinetic energy, willing myself to do difficult things just because they were difficult, and putting myself in uncomfortable situations solely because they were uncomfortable. I approached both simple tasks and high-caliber challenges with the same vigor and enthusiasm, and I pushed myself hard to grow, learn, and experience as much as possible. I wasn’t ready to die – I was brave, naive, and also, a bit intense.

In attempting to recover the same drive and energy of my 20s and early 30s, I realized the injustices and inequalities of society I could previously count on to motivate and inspire me to action didn’t have the same internal effect, nor did they produce the same external responses.  I was having to work harder and more frenetically to achieve the same level of intensity about my work that had once been so easy to access. At first this was a difficult truth to accept, and I felt confused, tired, and burned out.

The desire to feel enthusiasm for my work is what initially pushed me to take a professional leave, but I ended up learning more during this time than just what my next area of focus would be.  I took the entirety of my sabbatical year to reengage with the world, moving abroad, learning another language, taking the time to read, research, and travel, all which helped me clarify the next iteration of my career.

This past spring I was asked by a close friend, “What things would you want from your work, if supporting your family and basic necessities were not issues to be considered?”  Such an excellent question:

Quiet.

Because I am introverted I easily work independently on projects and tasks.  I pride myself on not needing to be told what to do each step of the way, I just get it done.  Surprisingly, I also very much enjoy being a part of team and working on common goals together.  I listen well, so I can see and hear other people’s perspectives and the angle they’re coming from, and it feels good when there’s connection and synergy within a group, which comes from either well-planned team-making, or luck.  In larger groups, I prefer protocols and organized processes of communication (see Critical Friends Group), because I’m not good with competing to be heard. Protocols and systems help me relax about process, and focus on the problem or project in front of me.

Service.

The last 17 years of my career I spent developing programs that serve teenagers in incarcerated facilities and similar environments, and in doing this work, I was utterly devoted to improving services to support them.  Doing the best work I could informed every decision I made, and everything, from process to program, was created and functioned with their best interest in mind.  I am proud of the work I did, and I know I created or helped to create useful and irreplaceable services that supported their growth, and enabled them to have access to more options and services.  I want to continue to serve and support, and I am now turning my focus toward the support of communities via culture, art, and artists.

Joy.

Humor is the best.  I have a decent sense of humor, which leans toward the dry side.  Once my supervisor, a colleague and I were laughing so hard in the midst of a crisis that we were crying, and then we went on a few moments later to successfully work to save lives.  We often worked together, and our work was tough, but it was also joyful.  Not only do I want my work bring me joy, primarily its results should bring joy, directly or indirectly, to others.

Order.

I am an organized person, but I am not obnoxious about it; it’s how I go about understanding and learning something new.  I also enjoy taking what at first appears to be a complex or overwhelming situation and streamlining it into productivity.  I love that.  Really.  The potential available in each new-to-me situation is invigorating.

Connection.

I strive to live my life authentically and to connect and find commonalities where, at first, there appear to be none.  I enjoy connecting ideas, people, and institutions together to make sense and solve problems. I seek to understand people, their cultures and experiences, so I do that actively, immersing myself, asking questions, experiencing.  During a recent visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, I was struck by how an artwork can change in meaning and presentation, based on random factors like space, time, and the audience’s movement through the space in which the art is housed.  I saw how culture has the power to transform and uplift a community from the inside out, and how the democratic process of collaboration between government, non-profit, and community can organically build prosperity and cohesion.

So why the picture of Casey Neistat?  Well, to start, he’s sharp.  He’s energizing, entertaining, and a he’s a talented artist.  My personal motto is, “Art Saves Me,” because it has and does.  I am indebted to art and artists for inspiring me, bringing me both joy, and an increased awareness of the world.  Casey is one of those artists.  Though I probably won’t be achieving successes at the rate he currently moves through his life, I subscribe to his above suggestion that my next career goal should be “bigger and more ambitious” than those I have had in the past.  I have a renewed confidence and commitment to move in a new direction.  I’m no longer 30, but I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

Hailing from the great state of California, Megan is mid-degree in SJSU’s MLIS. Her program focus has been special librarianship and she hopes to integrate her love of art, technology, and cultural exploration into a future, information-related position. In her spare moments, she loves walking around cities, visiting museums, generally being outdoors, and learning about people and places. She blogs at www.mmeprice.org.

 

 

 

 

References

 

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: February 21, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-02-21 14:35

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

AIM Law Firm Library, Law Library Technical Assistant, Atlanta, GA

Georgia State University, Health Informationist, Atlanta, GA

California Historical Society, Special Collections Metadata and Systems Librarian, San Francisco, CA

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

Categories: Library News

Meet Your Candidates for the 2018 LITA Election

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-02-21 12:05

The LITA Board is pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the 2018 spring election.

Vice-President/President-Elect Jason Griffey
Affiliate Fellow
Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

 

David Lee King
Digital Services Director
Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

 

Emily Morton-Owens
Assistant University Librarian for Digital Library Development and Systems
University of Pennsylvania Libraries

 

Director-at-Large (2 elected for 3-year terms) Galen Charlton
Infrastructure and Added Services Manager
Equinox Open Library Initiative

 

Tabatha Farney
Director of Web Services and Emerging Technologies
University of Colorado Colorado Springs

 

Kelly Sattler
Head of Web Services
Michigan State University Libraries

 

Berika S. Williams
Emerging Technologies and Web Librarian
Tufts University

 

 

The 2018 election will run March 12-April 4, and results will be announced on April 11. We encourage all LITA members to help shape the future of the organization by voting in the election.

The Board thanks the LITA Nominating Committee for all of their work: S.G. Ranti Junus (Chair), Marshall E. Breeding, and Hong Ma. Thank you to the candidates for agreeing to serve.

Categories: Library News

HTTPS: It’s Way Past Time-A guest post from TJ Lamanna

LITA Blog - Fri, 2018-02-16 12:18

Brace for impact. Well, maybe not impact, but phone calls and emails to be sure. Google announced that in July 2018 they will be flagging all non-HTTPS sites as insecure, which means your patrons are going to get a warning whenever they try to access your site. And for roughly 90% of public U.S. libraries, this is going to be the case. That’s right, according to my latest statistics only 1620 out of 16221 public libraries in the U.S. use HTTPS for their websites (catalogs are a beast of a different color). U.S. libraries are trailing tremendously on the national average, and for a group that lauds themselves as bastions of privacy, we need to do better. For instance, the graphics below show the average for Alexa’s list of most popular websites [Fig. 1]. I use SSLLabs reports both to look at trends and run audits, you can do so yourself at SSLLabs.com. There you can audit your server, browser, or use Pulse to check out current trends and see how we’re stacking up.

Another great source of information is Let’s Encrypt’s Stat page [Fig. 2] which gives clear and accurate trend information, not just for the U.S. but globally. There has been a massive uptick in certs since Janurary of last year, with the U.S. going from about 50% to close to 80%! And this is compared to U.S. libraries hovering under 10%. There is no clear reason why this is, and it’s something easily remedied. I’m hoping this post and upcoming articles and webinars will help boost those numbers. The bulk of my information on https protocols in U.S. public libraries comes from librarytechnology.org, so please, go there and check out your library. If your information is not accurate, please let me know so we can update it and get a better reflection!

The question is, why now? Why is Google pushing this now? Well, Roger Montti lays it out fantastically in his article Google Engineer Lists 4 Powerful Reasons Why Sites Should Upgrade to HTTPS, but to summarize, he lists four main reasons:

  • HTTPS is Not Just About Google – this standard aims to benefit everyone, and it’s not Google that started it, but their push, since they are a massive company has brought it more to the forefront, but groups have been pushing it since 1994 when Netscape start creating the SSL protocol (they are now the Mozilla Foundation).
  • HTTPS Enables a Trouble Free Internet – I want to be clear, it enables, but in no way guarantees a trouble free internet, but it does help. A lot. This standard lays a foundation that even better security can be built on.
  • HTTPS Enables Browser Service Workers – as more and more apps are developed we rely more on API’s to help keep the internet moving, and this needs explicitly safe protocols. With more information being transmitted, these protocols are essential.
  • The Internet Should Be Safe – This may seem intuitive, but it’s a foundational principle to the internet. You should feel safe and secure when you use the internet, and HTTPS goes a long way to both help secure the internet and build the public trust.

So, if you don’t want your staff spending all their time assuring patrons that your site is secure (and if you’re not using HTTPS, you’ll be lying to them), now is the time to make the switch. And honestly, it’s pretty easy. If your site is hosted by your state library, contact them immediately and ask them to enable HTTPS for your site! There might be some hiccups with what we called mixed media, which are URL’s that point to unsecure sites that are embedded on your page, but that’s far better than sending everything as clear text! If you’re hosting your own site, it’s a little trickier than just picking up the phone, but not that much more difficult. I cannot recommend enough the good people at Let’s Encrypt and the amazing work they do. Most hosting sites make it easy (and almost all are free) to enable HTTPS for your site. I personally use Heroku for a lot of light-weight and quick-deploy sites and it’s just the click of a button to do it. If you’re hosting in-house let your I.T. staff know they need to get on this immediately.

Implementing an SSL certificate isn’t difficult and I can recommend Mike Robinson’s posts on implementing certs on Library OPACs and API Servers, which can be found here and here. I understand that this can be quite daunting, especially if you haven’t done something like this before, but there are organizations and walkthroughs that can get even those most novice of web admins going quickly and easily.

Most libraries don’t seem to be hosting their own sites, which adds an additional layer of difficulty (or ease depending on who’s hosting it). For instance, if your township administrates your site, they will most likely be adding a certificate, just make sure they add one for the library domain! They’ll most likely want to keep the township sites information secure, especially if they solicit questions from the community. If you’re hosted, and paid a vendor to create your site you should contact them and let them know you want an SSL certificate added to your domain. If you do it in house, but aren’t confident in your ability to add it yourself, Let’s Encrypt is a valuable tool I cannot recommend highly enough.

This post isn’t meant to be alarmist, but forewarned is forearmed, and I’m not going to delve into the details on how to deploy it, but I’m always happy to chat and give you a hand if you want. You can find me on Twitter @paraVestibulum or email me: professionalirritant@riseup.net

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: February 14, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-02-14 12:31

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

Cornell University Library, Preservation Applications Programmer – Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY

Lansing Community College, Library Technologist, Lansing, MI

Minnesota State University, Mankato, Electronic Access and Discovery Librarian, Mankato, MN

Georgia State University, Department Head of Technical Services, Atlanta, GA

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Software Developer, Los Alamos, NM

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

Categories: Library News

How soon is now – A TTW guest post by Megan Price

Tame the Web - Mon, 2018-02-12 17:56

When you say it’s gonna happen ‘now’ well, when exactly do you mean? See I’ve already waited too long, and all my hope is gone.” -Morrissey

When I began a draft of this blog post, it was going to be about the five trends found in the IFLA Trend Report, which I thought would be interesting to tackle because they are interesting trends.  However, I got side-tracked thinking about the ideas produced from the 2015 article, “What Technology Will Look Like In Five Years,” by Diomedes Kastanis.  I want to add to Kastinas’ thoughts about how the ownership of things will change as we move to more of a shared economy, expanding from our current state of apartment, car, bike sharing, to the sharing of those and other items differently than we do now.  My first thoughts are that yes, sharing will change, but I also believe we will eventually arrive at a place where we don’t need to own many things at all.  To get to this level of minimalism, and to make even greater progress as a people, we must begin to look past the thing, idea, widget, or service being innovated, and look at the larger picture of what it is we are trying to achieve by creating it.  I agree with Kastanis, things will change, but more than just tech itself – the way we process information and consume will change.

When innovation is approached myopically, as the creation of a singular thing, the focus is on the object and not on people.  The effect will be greater and have more impact if the innovation focuses on the feeling that is trying to be achieved through the creation of the object.  If the innovation seeks to answer the question, “What does it mean holistically to have ‘work life balance,’ a ‘fulfilling career,’ a ‘happy home life’ or to ‘live life authentically?’”  then we are meeting a need for those things people have expressed that they want.  A time saving app offers the promise of ease, but offers only convenience; it doesn’t get to the heart of the desire – it’s an immediate and a temporary fix.  To wit, a thermostat isn’t going to make anyone happy as a singular entity, but a Powerwall that simultaneously helps the environment, saves money, improves energy efficiency, and opens up opportunities and space to think about helping other people get along too can fulfill the purpose of providing power, and also touches on a deeper need for authentic living. Once the essence of the underlying goals is defined, building the supports and technology needed to achieve them can happen in a more deliberate way.  Tasks like “improving the human condition” require that we break things down into manageable pieces, but the end must first be clearly defined before we can move toward it.  Having larger, more humanist or altruistic goals in mind during the creation process is what will help us move forward, and move us toward a focus on people.

As an example, we can apply this holistic view to further innovations in the realm of Virtual Reality (VR).  The goal of VR is to have a specific experience when that experience would just not be possible. (Aside:  How will we come to refer to our current reality as opposed to a virtual one?  Analog reality?  Natural reality?  Born reality?)  As Kastanis states, for VR to be effective, our experience with the environment needs to be as unimpeded as possible.   Our movement between the two states (this reality and virtual) will need to be fluid so that reality-natives can adjust to this new way of being, or it will always feel separate.  VR-natives won’t need these supports.  However, at the foundation, it is not solely the VR technology, or having a VR experience for the sake of having an experience that we want (though that might be cool for entertainment purposes), what we want from the experience, again, is something much larger.  Developers must aim for the desired feeling to drive this revolution – the VR we want is holodeck VR.  For example, if I live across the country from my parents, and I want to be with them at the holidays, then what I want is that feeling of connection – the feeling of Thanksgiving Day, the comfort of the couch, the smell of the food, the laughter of children, good conversation – all the things that make home “home.”  Since it’s the feeling we really want, talking on Skype won’t cut it.  Virtual versions can work for some things, like having a virtual Barack Obama show up at your community fundraiser for impeachment funds, but a virtual mom can’t hug you, and virtual food cannot be eaten, not yet anyway.  And it’s not the individual items we’re looking for, so we shouldn’t try to just replicate them in another way.  We want the integrated feeling of home.  We need to believe we are home, and that is a much harder task to accomplish.

Applying this concept to library spaces, we can already see that libraries have changed to accommodate clients’ needs.  What do patrons want?  We have asked our communities, and they have told us.  Libraries have had to adjust their way of thinking to appeal more broadly to the patron, and have done this to varying degrees of success.  As an example, Anythink Libraries have considered what it means to provide a space of community – what community is and what it feels like – a true participatory space.  I am almost positive that they succeeded because they did not think, “Let’s do [insert example of cool service they provide]” but that they examined their ideals, which manifested as core values, and then built something that supported those values.  The feeling was what drove the creation.  Other non-profit organizations, if they stay true to their mission, can change the world in this way, as their entire focus is to provide a service to those who need it, and not for monetary gain.  It’s not enough to build a participatory space for the sake of doing it, we must first know why we are doing it, and what we hope to achieve by doing so.  If we succeed in doing this across all aspects of our community, it’s quite possible that technology could bring us back full circle to what it means to be human.

Hailing from the great state of California, Megan is mid-degree in SJSU’s MLIS. Her program focus has been special librarianship and she hopes to integrate her love of art, technology, and cultural exploration into a future, information-related position. In her spare moments, she loves walking around cities, visiting museums, generally being outdoors, and learning about people and places. She blogs at www.mmeprice.org.

 

 

 

 

References

 

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: February 7, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-02-07 15:03

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

Dayton Metro Library, Technology Development Manager, Dayton, OH

Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Systems Librarian, Geneva, NY

MIT Libraries, Head of Digital Library Engineering, Cambridge, MA

Medical University of South Carolina, Director for Digital Strategies and Innovation, Charleston, SC

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

Categories: Library News

#LITAchat – LITA Membership Benefits

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-02-07 10:17

Interested in joining LITA or already a member and want a refresher on LITA membership benefits?

Join members of the Membership Development Committee and other LITA members on Friday, February 23, 1:00-2:00pm EST on Twitter to discuss and ask questions about LITA membership.

To participate, launch your favorite Twitter mobile app or web browser and search for the #LITAchat hashtag and select “Latest” to follow along and reply to questions asked by moderator or other participants. When replying to discussion or asking questions, add or incorporate the hashtag #LITAchat.

See you there!

Categories: Library News

The Long Tail – A TTW Guest Post by Cheryl May

Tame the Web - Mon, 2018-02-05 20:38

Have you ever considered whether you are a Long Tail consumer?  Are you right now scratching your head and picturing this?

No, not this long tail

Well I will be honest.  Before reading Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service by Casey and Savastinuk (2007), the picture above is what came to my mind.  Casey and Savastinuk (2007) described how this Long Tail idea could be applied to libraries:

The idea of the Long Tail is based on one primary reality that is true for any physical library building: Shelf space is limited. As a result, we can only keep what is most in demand by our users. By only keeping what is most desired, we are choosing not to house less popular titles that appeal to a broader spectrum of readers. The untapped masses desire more esoteric titles, but, when looked at in whole, the demand for these titles is greater than the demand for hit titles. (Casey and Savastinuk, 2007, p. 16)

Casey and Savastinuk (2007) go on to dedicate a significant portion of Chapter 5: Participatory Services and the Long Tail to services libraries provide attempting to reach this so called Long Tail.  But I felt something was missing around the Long Tail in libraries because an entire chapter only discussing interlibrary loan, and library blogs with comments enabled did not seem to be a new way of thinking in my mind. With multiple references to Chris Anderson’s (2006) The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More I had to know more about the Long Tail.

So what is this Long Tail you speak of?

In short, the Long Tail is a shortened up name for a statistical long tail distribution – for Anderson (2006), the shape that follows the initial high demand of “hit” products and describes the small volume of individual niche items that are sold, but the small demand of those niche items that continues when people are able to obtain the items.  The Long Tail starts to show up in our searching and shopping habits now that we’re online and the options can be limitless when we’re not attached to shelving space.  It looks like this:

Anderson (2006) helped the reader comprehend the Long Tail by providing several examples.  The one that most clearly defined the Long Tail theory to me was that of Rhapsody.  Please keep in mind we are talking about the Internet in the mid-2000’s!  Rhapsody was an online music marketplace (picture iTunes) that provided people with the ability to purchase the “hits” but also had a substantial back catalogue of old hits, B-sides, and non-mainstream music genres.  Anderson’s (2006) research of the data found that while the “hits” provided about 75% of their revenue, 25% was coming from the purchases in the Long Tail.  While Anderson’s (2006) work primarily focused on the online shopping world (he also discusses Amazon, Netflix, and Google frequently), as I discussed above with Casey and Savastinuk’s (2007) Library 2.0 work, this distribution model can be applied to a number of services within the library to benefit both us and the users.Live Sex Cams

Playing with the Long Tail

We’ve already discussed interlibrary loan and library blogs as a having the ability to engage with the Long Tail, but there are several other opportunities for libraries to explore the Long Tail concept, as more and more of our services are online, do not require much if any valuable shelf space, and most importantly can be found without formal structures that physical book stacks rely on:

“… the Web obviously isn’t predicated on individuals. It’s a web. It’s about the connections. And on the World Wide Web, the connections are hyperlinks. It’s not just documents that get hyperlinked in the new world of the Web. People do. Organizations do. The Web, in the form of a corporate intranet, puts everyone in touch with every piece of information and with everyone else inside the organization and beyond.” (Weinberger, 2001, Hyperlinks section, para. 9)

Databases

Several library online systems are including the ability to search beyond what our own library subscribes to.  Exploring digital interlibrary loan document delivery systems (such as RapidILL) can mitigate the impact to users on research down time.  Providing our users with the most complete picture of the information available on any given subject is fundamentally what we’re about.  Access to information for all.  If we don’t have the budget to buy everything, with a reallocation of funds to document delivery, we can still provide it and make it available.

Peer 2 Peer

Academic and public libraries are providing more and more spaces for collaboration and learning.  By providing the “hits” for our users in our instruction and training, but then providing the opportunity for peers to learn from their peers on more niche topics, libraries can engage with the Long Tail.  Logistically, libraries cannot provide every type of instruction our users may need.  The idea of Repair Cafes is an exact example of this type of Peer 2 Peer learning that libraries are facilitating, but leaning on the niche to provide.  Repair Cafes provide users the opportunity to learn how to fix broken items in their home from other library users and community resources (Cantrell, 2017).  By engaging resources outside of the library, libraries can provide services to more users in the Long Tail.

LibGuides and Library “Pedias”

LibGuides are most often used by academic libraries to provide subject matter guidance and they are usually created by the library on the “hit” topics.  But if we want to engage our Long Tail user needs, exploring how less popular topics, but ones that have relevance to a niche group of users performing very specific research on a hard to understand topic, could be really interesting to explore opening up for creation and modification by our community.  This idea comes from the success of Wikipedia and is briefly discussed in Anderson’s (2006) work.  While there are the “hit” Wikipedia pages, there are also niche Wikipedia pages (like the Long Tail’s for example).  The niche ones are just as important for one person needing that information to start some research as the big “hit” ones are for the masses (just for fun, check out the always changing weekly Top 25 Wikipedia pages!).  Libraries exploring creating library-pedias can provide access to information with very little overhead and zero shelf space.

Institutional Repositories

The idea of an institutional repository engaging the Long Tail came to me after I attended a presentation by Dr. Pamela Bleisch this week.  Bleisch (2017) discussed how the low barrier to our student research via our open access digital scholarship DigitalCommons@CalPoly platform is providing people all over the world with research that directly impacts them.  Specifically, Bleisch (2017) referenced a senior project about a bicycle powered maize grinder that has already had 33 downloads and counting since being published on August 10, 2017.  This research is directly helping people in Malawi with food insecurity and is certainly a Long Tail candidate, with access made possible through a system that provides the “hits” and the niche needs.  The activity showing the breadth of scholarship downloaded demonstrates how our library is engaging with the Long Tail:

DigitalCommons@CalPoly Digital Readership Map

Good old Search

One way the California State University Library 23 campus system is serving the Long Tail is through the recent implementation of the ExLibris Primo search function they’ve branded OneSearch.  The OneSearch function searches the collections of all 23 campuses to produce results of all physical resources available to users all over the system (Walker, 2017).  Users can initiate an interlibrary loan request for materials at another campus using CSU+ (Walker, 2017).  This provides access to many more resources than a user may have available to them at their campus.  Library consortias are just one way we can begin expanding into the Long Tail, but another could be through providing users with the WorldCat search.  This search expands their Long Tail beyond their own library and to the entire world of participating libraries.

The future of the Long Tail in libraries

The ideas above are just a start to what libraries can begin exploring to provide more information to their Long Tail users.  As Anderson (2006) proposes

“Every one of us – no matter how mainstream we might think we are – actually goes super-niche in some part of our lives” (p. 184).

Libraries should explore the niches to determine how best to serve all users in non-mainstream ways.

There is a whole world of information out there and libraries exploring the Long Tail opportunities are on the right path for their users.


Cheryl May is the Director of Access, Operations, and Administrative Services at the Robert E. Kennedy Library at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a graduate student at San Jose State University in the School of Information.  She lives in Baywood Park, CA with her husband, son, and numerous pets.  In her free time she reads anything she can get her hands on, hikes around SLO County, and gets crafty.  She is also passionate about health and wellness, and is a certified Les Mills BodyPump and BodyCombat group fitness instructor whom eats a plant-based diet.

 

References

Anderson, C. (2006). The long tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more. New York, NY: Hyperion.

Bleisch, P. (2017, September 14). Future of Institutional Repositories: Service, Content, Research Support. [Presentation]. Robert E. Kennedy Library, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Information Today, Inc..

Cantrell, M. (2017, September 1). Libraries and the art of everything maintenance: Hosting repair events reduces waste, brings in new patrons. American Libraries48, 12-14. Retrieved from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2017/09/01/libraries-everything-maintenance-repair-cafe/

Walker, D. (2017, June 13). OneSearch: The new CSU library discovery system. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://libraries.calstate.edu/onesearch-the-new-csu-library-discovery-system/

Weinberger, D. (2001). The hyperlinked organization. The cluetrain manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.cluetrain.com/book/hyperorg.html

Categories: Library News

Looking for Something to Read?

LITA Blog - Mon, 2018-02-05 08:00

LITA publishes a quarterly, open-access and peer-reviewed journal called Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL). As a regular blogger for LITA, I was embarrassed to admit that I was not familiar with this publication when I recently met with Ken Varnum, the new editor. LITA and ITAL are both devoted to exploring the intersection between technology and libraries, everything from digital preservation to vendor relations. The journal is written by and for library technologists and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018.

Not only is it available online, but several archival issues dating back to the 1960s are also available. Back in those days, the journal was known as the Journal of Library Automation (from 1968-1981), until 1982 when the name changed. In 2012, it switched from a print-only subscription publication to an online, open-access journal. Articles such as the 1972 “Regional Numerical Union Catalog on Computer Output Microfiche” provide a fascinating glimpse of historical issues within librarianship from the early days of storing bibliographic data on cards to issues of digital storage that are still very relevant today. Common threads running through all of the articles reflect core values of librarianship: improving the user experience, increasing access to information by using the latest technology, in a way that is the most cost-effective to the library. More recent articles look at the process of developing user-friendly mobile apps and “digital collections entrances.” Free, available digitally, and very relevant- these are articles that anyone working in libraries can benefit from.

ITAL content extends beyond feature articles. Authors can submit tutorials, letters to the editor, and brief communications related to a specific research topic or technical conclusion. The Editorial Board reviews submissions for readability, value to readers, and contribution to the profession. LITA blog readers interested in submitting to the journal can find an overview of the process and a submission preparation checklist here. Another way to get involved is to consider joining the editorial board. Due to terms expiring, the board will have several vacancies starting in July and is particularly looking for technologists in public and special libraries. A call for volunteers will be distributed later this winter.

Looking to get involved? Have questions or ideas for ITAL? Contact the editor, Ken Varnum, at varnum@umich.edu

Categories: Library News

New and Upcoming 2018 LITA Guides

LITA Blog - Fri, 2018-02-02 13:58

Here are 5 recent and upcoming exciting titles on library technology. The LITA Guide Series books from Rowman and Littlefield publishers, contain practical, up to date, how-to information, and are usually under 100 pages. Proposals for new titles can be submitted to the Acquisitions editor using this link.

LITA members receive a 20% discount on all the titles. To get that discount, use promotion code RLLITA20 when ordering from the Rowman and Littlefield LITA Guide Series web site.

Here are the current new LITA Guide Series titles:

    

The LITA Guide to No- or Low-Cost Technology Tools for Libraries
Breanne A. Kirsch (February 2018)

Big Data Shocks: An Introduction to Big Data for Librarians and Information Professionals
Andrew Weiss (March 2018)

The Savvy Academic Librarian’s Guide to Technological Innovation: Moving Beyond the Wow Factor
Cinthya Ippoliti (June 2018)

The LITA Guide to Augmented Reality in Libraries
Edited by Christine Elliott, Marie Rose, and Jolanda-Pieta von Arnhem (June 2018)

Digital Curation Projects Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide for Libraries, Archives, and Museums
Carmen Cowick (July 2018)

LITA publications help to fulfill its mission to educate, serve and reach out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology.

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: January 31, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-01-31 14:57

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

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Associate Director, Library Computing and Technology (Lib. II or III), Baltimore, MD

Clemson University, Learning Technologies Librarian, Clemson, SC

City of Santa Clarita, City Librarian, Santa Clarita, CA

University of Rhode Island, Assistant Professor, Data Science, University of Rhode Island (URI) Harrington School of Communication and Media, Kingston, RI

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

Categories: Library News

Creative Confidence Book Review – A TTW guest post by Dana Lema

Tame the Web - Mon, 2018-01-29 19:41

When you ask my father to draw a picture of a dog, you get this:

Image Credit: Joseph Lema, Jr.

When you ask me to draw a picture of a dog, you get something like this:

Image Credit: Dana Lema

My dad is an artist and art instructor by profession and a semi-professional guitar player as a hobby. My mother was a practiced pianist and seamstress while working as an attorney. My sister can master any type of dance. I can sing, but play no musical instruments. I cannot sew and my dance moves, while enthusiastic, wouldn’t be considered skillful or graceful.  The joy of being part of a family of very talented and creative people is you get to celebrate their accomplishments. The downside is I’ve spent my entire life comparing myself to them and convincing myself I am not a creative person – that I somehow didn’t inherit those genes or gifts.

In their book Creative Confidence, brothers David M. Kelley and Tom Kelley (2013), reach out to people like me who struggle to recognize and nurture their creativity. The book addresses what they call the “creative myth” – that creativity is an inherited, fixed trait. To boost creative confidence, they re-frame the way we think about creativity – “it is a natural and human ability within all of us.” They also highlight the importance of creativity in all types of personal and professional settings and provide exercises to get those creative juices flowing.

Creative Confidence presents examples of the wonder that occurs at the intersection of creative thinking, empathy for users of products and services, and technical skill. One example was of an individual who implemented an improved MRI machine design. Upon observing, however, that a young child needed to be sedated because they were terrified of the machine, he set about the task of doing another re-design to make it less frightening to children. A serendipitous moment of empathetic understanding resulted in fewer children requiring sedation for a standard MRI. In fact, some children had such a great experience they wanted to go through the machine again.

Photo credit: Anthony Conti
Creative Commons Attribution: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/legalcode

Throughout the book, the term “delight the customer” or “delight the user” was emphasized in relation to creative, user focused design. This focus on how creativity can have important impact in our world helps readers realize that nurturing and encouraging creativity isn’t a selfish pursuit – it is vital to bringing about positive change.

The ideas and suggestions in this book resonated deeply with me especially after completing the foundational readings for the Hyperlinked Library course taught by Professor Michael Stephens at San Jose State University School of Information. In those readings, the recurring theme I noticed for an evolving library is that of constant, purposeful change (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007). In Creative Confidence, the authors also encourage the practice of allowing staff to champion and roll out creative changes with a less than perfect version with the understanding it can be adjusted and improved as feedback is received. This “Fail Faster, Fail Smarter” practice, as pointed out by Matthews (2012) will be vital if libraries hope to grow, evolve, gain user input and better match their needs. Kelley & Kelley (2013), present the convincing argument that this type of innovation will only take place when individual creativity is nurtured in a supportive environment.

In his blog post entitled, Library as Civic Square – Hyperlinked Libraries (2017), @will1 shared a report from the Aspen Institute written after a 2015 Leadership Roundtable in Library Innovation. In the report, they discussed a library’s potential to “transform communities.” Three action areas were developed by the group with the intent that, “each focus on libraries embracing technology as a means of anticipating and addressing community needs.” (Aspen Institute, 2015).

As we have seen with recent national incidents like Charlottesville and impacts such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma, a communities’ needs are constantly changing and can change in the blink of an eye. Fearless creativity partnered with empathetic connection will be the mechanism through which libraries can anticipate and meet those ever-changing needs with user centered design solutions.

Dana V. Lema is a candidate for graduation in the MLIS program at the School of Information Science at San José State University. She currently works as a student assistant for the San José State University Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in the Special Collections & Archives Department. and is a volunteer tutor for the Partners in Reading Adult Literacy Program offered by the San José Public Library system. Dana enjoys singing, geocaching, reading, travel and exploring the wonders of the Bay Area with her husband.

 

 

 

 

References

Aspen Institute. (2015). Executive Summary. [Web page posting]. Retrieved from http://csreports.aspeninstitute.org/Dialogue-on-Public-Libraries/2015/report/details/0152/Libraries-2015

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. London: Facet Publishing.

Kelley, T. & Kelley, D. (2013). Creative confidence. Unleashing the creative potential within us all. New York: Random House

Mathews, B. (2012, April). Think like a startup. Retrieved from https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/18649/Think%20like%20a%20STARTUP.pdf?sequence=1

San Jose State University School of Information (2017). Home Page. [Web page]. Retrieved from http://ischool.sjsu.edu/

Tame the Web. (2017). About Michael Stephens. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://tametheweb.com/about-michael-stephens/

Will. (2017). Library as civic square – hyperlinked libraries. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/hyperwill/2017/09/10/library-as-civic-square-hyperlinked-libraries/

 

Categories: Library News

Call for submissions for the LITA / Ex Libris Student Writing Award

LITA Blog - Fri, 2018-01-26 17:41

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to offer an award for the best unpublished manuscript submitted by a student or students enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program. Sponsored by LITA and Ex Libris, the award consists of $1,000, publication in LITA’s refereed journal, Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), and a certificate. The deadline for submission of the manuscript is February 28, 2018.

The purpose of the award is to recognize superior student writing and to enhance the professional development of students. The manuscript can be written on any aspect of libraries and information technology. Examples include digital libraries, metadata, authorization and authentication, electronic journals and publishing, open source software, distributed systems and networks, computer security, intellectual property rights, technical standards, online catalogs, and universal access to technology.

To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled in an ALA-accredited program in library and information studies at the masters or PhD level, follow the detailed guidelines, and fill out the application form (PDF). Submission guidelines are available at: http://www.ala.org/lita/involve/committees/exlibris/guidelines. Send the signed, completed forms electronically no later than February 28, 2018, to the Award Committee Chair, Eric Phetteplace at phette23@gmail.com.

The award will be presented at the LITA President’s Program during the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: January 24, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-01-24 15:54

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

Boston College, Senior Research Librarian/Bibliographer, Chestnut Hill, MA

California Digital Library of the University of California, Discovery and Delivery Director, Oakland, CA

Brazosport College, Librarian – Reference and Outreach, Lake Jackson, TX

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

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: January 17, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-01-17 14:25

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

City of El Segundo, Library Services Director, El Segundo, CA

New York University, Division of Libraries, Metadata Librarian, New York, NY

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

Categories: Library News

#LITAchat – LITA at ALA Midwinter 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-01-17 12:37

Attending the 2018 ALA Midwinter conference? Curious about what LITA is up to?

Join us on Friday, January 26, 1:00-2:00pm EST on Twitter to discuss and ask questions about the LITA events, activities, and more happening at this year’s 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, CO, February 9-13.

To participate, launch your favorite Twitter mobile app or web browser and search for the #LITAchat hashtag and select “Latest” to follow along and reply to questions asked by moderator or other participants. When replying to discussion or asking questions, add or incorporate the hashtags #alamw18 and #litachat.

See you there!

Categories: Library News

Resources: Adopt or Adapt for Sirsi Dynix Connections Summit

Tame the Web - Wed, 2018-01-17 10:55

Thanks to all the fine folk that attended my keynote this morning at the Sirsi Dynix Connections Summit!

Download the slides here.

Selected Library Journal “Office Hours” columns cited:

Resources to Inspire:

Exploration Items:

Categories: Library News

This is Jeopardy! Or, How Do People Actually Get On That Show?

LITA Blog - Thu, 2018-01-11 15:55

This past November, American Libraries published a delightful article on librarians that have appeared on the iconic game show Jeopardy! It turns out one of our active LITA members also recently appeared on the show. Here’s her story…

By Joanna Messer Kimmitt

On Wednesday, October 18th, one of my lifelong dreams will come true: I’ll be a contestant on Jeopardy!

It takes several steps to get onto the show: first, you must pass an online exam, but you don’t really learn the results unless you make it to the next stage: the invitation to audition. This step is completed in person, comprising a timed, written test, playing a mock game with other aspiring players in front of a few dozen other auditionees, and chatting amiably in a brief interview, all while being filmed. If you make it through this gauntlet, you go into “the pool”, where you remain eligible for a call to be on the show for up to 18 months. Over the course of one year of testing and eligibility, around 30,000 people take the first test, around 1500 to 1600 people audition in person, and around 400 make it onto the show each season.

For me, the timeline was relatively quick. I tested online in October 2016, auditioned in January 2017, and thanks to my SoCal address, I ended up as a local alternate in February. Through luck of the draw, I was the leftover contestant that day. I didn’t tape then, but was asked back directly to the show for the August 3rd recording session, which airs from October 16th to October 20th.

The call is early – 7:30am – and the day’s twelve potential contestants take turns with makeup artists while the production team covers paperwork, runs through those interview stories one-on-one, and pumps up the contestants to have a good time. Once you’re in, you’re sequestered. There’s no visiting with family or friends who accompanied you to the taping and no cellphones or internet access allowed. You do have time to chat with your fellow contestants, who are all whip smart, funny, and generally just as excited as you are to get to be on this show. There’s also no time to be nervous or worried: you roll through the briefing onto the stage for a quick run-down on how the podiums work (watch your elbows for the automated dividers that come up for Final Jeopardy!), how to buzz in properly (there’s a light around the big game board that you don’t see at home that tells you when you can ring in safely), and under no circumstances are you to write on the screen with ANYTHING but that stylus!

Next, it’s time for your Hometown Howdy, the commercial blurb that airs on the local TV station for your home media market. Since I’d done it before when I almost-but-not-quite made it on the air in February, I knew they were looking for maximum cheese. My friends and family tell me that I definitely delivered.

Immediately before they let in the live studio audience for seating, contestants run through two quick dress rehearsal games to get out any final nerves, test the equipment for the stage crew, and practice standing on the risers behind the podiums without falling off.

Then it’s back to the dressing room, where the first group is drawn. They get a touch-up on makeup, the rest of the contestant group sits down in a special section of the audience, and it’s off to the races! There are three games filmed before the lunch break, then the final two are filmed. The contestants have the option to stay and watch the rest of the day if they’re defeated, but most choose to leave if it’s later on in the filming cycle. The adrenaline crash is pretty huge, and some people may need the space to let out their mixed feelings. If you win, you are whisked back to the dressing room for a quick change, a touch-up again, and back out to the champion’s podium to play again.

You may be asking, when do contestants meet Alex? Well, it happens exactly twice, and both times, the interactions are entirely on film and broadcast in (nearly) their entirety within the show. To put all of those collusion rumors around the recent streak of Austin Rogers to rest, the interview halfway through the first round and the hand-shaking at the end of the game are the only times that Alex and the contestants meet or speak with one another; there is no “backstage” where the answer-giver and the question-providers could possibly mingle. Nor do the contestants ever get to do more than wave “hello” to the writers for the show. Jeopardy! is very careful to keep its two halves very separated. The energy and enthusiasm of the contestant team – Glenn, Maggie, Corina, Lori, and Ryan – is genuine, and when your appearance is complete, you feel as though you have joined a very special family of Jeopardy! alumni.

Once you’ve been a contestant on Jeopardy!, you can never be on the show again. The only exception is if you do well enough to be asked back to the Tournament of Champions. While gag rules prohibit me from saying more about how I did, I can say that the entire experience lived up to the hype I had built around it since I was a child, playing along in my living room and dreaming of the chance to respond in the form of a question.

Categories: Library News

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