Library News

LITA Webinars Coming Soon!

LITA Blog - Mon, 2018-04-09 12:32

Check out the line up and get details on all the upcoming LITA continuing education offerings. Here’s a listing of the session titles coming up first. Click through to see details and to register.

The Privacy in Libraries LITA webinar series of 4 more webinars, continues with:

Wrangling Library Patron DataWednesday April 11, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Central Time
Presenter: Becky Yoose

And the series will continue on with:

Adopting Encryption Technologies
Wednesday April 25, 2018, Noon – 1:30 pm Central Time
Presenter: Matt Beckstrom

Register now to get the full series discounts or for any single series webinar.

Don’t miss your chance to attend the repeat of this popular LITA webinar.

Introduction to Schema.org and JSON-LD – repeat
Presenter: Jacob Shelby
Offered: April 18, 2018

Stay Safe From Ransomware, Hackers & Snoops by working on your IT Security

IT Security and Privacy in Libraries
Presenter: Blake Carver
Offered: May 1, 2018

Discover additional upcoming LITA webinars and web courses

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

 

Categories: Library News

Congratulations to Richard P. Smiraglia, winner of the 2018 LITA/OCLC Kilgour Research Award

LITA Blog - Fri, 2018-04-06 13:43

Richard P. Smiraglia has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, sponsored by OCLC and the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA). Dr. Smiraglia is a Professor in the Knowledge Organization Research Group of the iSchool at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a Visiting Professor for 2016-2017 at DANS – Data Archives and Networked Services (a Division of the Royal Netherlands Academy of the Arts and Sciences) and Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Knowledge Organization. He has also been on the faculties of the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long Island University (1992-2009), the School of Library Service at Columbia University (1986-1992) and was Music Catalog Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1974-1986).

The Kilgour Award honors research relevant to the development of information technologies, especially work which 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 are manipulated and managed. The winner receives $2,000, a citation, and travel expenses to attend the LITA Awards Ceremony & President’s Program at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For over forty years, Professor Smiraglia has earned national and international recognition for his research and contributions in many significant areas, including bibliographic control, metadata, knowledge organization and especially in the areas of non-print and musical works. Smiraglia’s curriculum vitae enumerates over twenty-five monographs, over one-hundred scholarly and scientific research articles, as well as published reports, refereed presentations, doctoral advising, successful grantsmanship, and more which demonstrate his worthiness to be presented this distinguished award.

The Award Committee noted Professor Smiraglia’s many significant contributions. His most distinguished works are on the theory of instantiation and the growth of science in knowledge organization. His influential book, The Nature of a Work: Implications for the Organization of Knowledge (Scarecrow Press, 2001), has been invaluable in the era of data management, as instantiation (or “versioning”) is considered to be pressing importance to open data, data publication, and data reuse. Additionally, his service, since 2004, as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Knowledge Organization, is commendable. He has nurtured the science of the organization of knowledge, leading this journal of the International Society for Knowledge Organization to become the primary source for disseminating research in both applied and theoretical knowledge organization and knowledge organization systems.

When notified that he had been selected, Smiraglia expressed, “I am humbled to receive this recognition by my peers and honored to be associated with the transformative legacy of Fred Kilgour.”

Members of the 2018 Kilgour Award Committee are Colby Riggs (Chair), Aimee Fifarek, Tabatha Farney, Amber Seely, Kyle W. Willis and Roy Tennant (OCLC Liaison).

Thank you to OCLC for sponsoring this award.

Categories: Library News

Save the Date: LITA AvramCamp 2018

LITA Blog - Thu, 2018-04-05 12:32

Save the date for this exciting, popular and affordable LITA/PLA preconference at the upcoming ALA Annual conference in New Orleans, LA.

AvramCamp 2018
Friday June 22, 2018, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Check the conference scheduler for locations when posted

Want to connect with female-identifying technology professionals who want to make change in their lives and professions for the better? Join others in the field to discuss the challenges, joy, and lessons learned at AvramCamp, LITA’s AdaCamp-inspired event. This one-day LITA preconference will allow female-identifying individuals employed in various technological industries an opportunity to connect with others in the field and to collectively examine barriers to success.

This day will follow the unconference model, empowering attendees to determine event themes and topics. AvramCamp will start the day with an engaging overview of imposter syndrome, the feeling that you aren’t actually qualified for the work you are doing and will be discovered as a fraud. Participants will then have the opportunity to propose lightning rounds and session proposals on a variety of topics such as salary negotiation, creating and maintaining inclusive workplaces, and becoming leaders in the technology field. Watch for more program details in the coming weeks!

Find out more about AdaCamp and the Ada Initiative.

Still undecided? Read ALA Emerging Leader Aisha Conner-Gaten’s report on her experiences at AvramCamp 2017!

You can add AvramCamp during the regular conference registration process or choose the preconference only. At the registration site complete your personal and demographic information. Choose Single Session, and continue on to choose the AvramCamp and complete your registration.

This event is co-sponsored by LITA and PLA.

  

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: April 4, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-04-04 14:58

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 Cincinnati Libraries, Content Analyst, Cincinnati, OH

SANDOW, Material Research Specialist, Miami, FL

SANDOW, Material Research Specialist, New York, NY

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Research Specialist, New York. NY

Vantage Technology Consulting Group, Strategic Consultant – Data and IT Systems, Boston, MA

Vantage Technology Consulting Group, Strategic Consultant – Data and IT Systems, Los Angeles, CA

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

Categories: Library News

Call for Panelists Extended, LITA Top Technology Trends Program, 2018 ALA Annual

LITA Blog - Mon, 2018-04-02 14:52

The deadline has been extended to April 8, 2018 for nominations for panelists for the 2018 ALA Annual Conference LITA Top Tech Trends program in New Orleans, LA!  You may nominate yourself or someone you know who would be a great addition to the panel of speakers.

Submit your nominations at https://goo.gl/forms/eND5Z4uzfb2n9WZN2

The next LITA Top Tech Trends Program will be held at ALA Annual in New Orleans, LA, on Sunday, June 24, 2018. During the program, a moderator and several panelists will each discuss trends impacting libraries. LITA encourages participation from underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, and LGBTQA+. We also value diverse perspectives on the panel from different types of libraries and individuals who can bring a fresh voice on technology trends impacting libraries.

New Extended Deadline is April 8th, 2018.

The LITA Top Tech Trends Committee will review each submission and select panelists based on their proposed trends, experience, and overall balance to the panel. Submission Guidelines can be found at  http://docs.lita.org/committees/top-technology-trends/panel-submission-guidelines/.

For more information about the Top Tech Trends program, please visit http://www.ala.org/lita/ttt.

Categories: Library News

Wrangling Library Patron Data – up next in the LITA Privacy in Libraries webinar series

LITA Blog - Fri, 2018-03-30 12:45

The Privacy in Libraries LITA webinar series, continues with:

Wrangling Library Patron Data
Wednesday April 11, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Central Time
Presenter: Becky Yoose

Register now to get the full series discounts.

Or Register for this single webinar.

  • Learn what Personally Identifiable Information [PII] is and where it can live in your organization (and beyond)
  • Analyze your organization’s data lifecycle in the context of the Library Privacy Checklists, including:
    • Collection – what, where, how much, when, and why
    • Storage and Retention – what data to keep for how long based on organizational needs
    • Access – who has access to what, including physical hardware and database
    • Reporting – what level of data should be used/published for internal and external reports
    • Deletion – making sure that your data is gone, and not living on in unexpected places
  • Gain a basic understanding of de-identification and anonymization strategies and how they fit into the data lifecycle

Get the details on the LITA Privacy in Libraries series web page and register for the single webinar or the series.

Here’s the rest of the upcoming series line up:

  • Adopting Encryption Technologies, April 25, 2018
    with Matt Beckstrom
  • Analytics and Assessment: Privacy vs. Surveillance, May 9, 2018
    with T.J. Lamanna and Eric Hellman
  • Take Back Research Privacy, May 23, 2018
    with Sam Kome

Discover additional upcoming LITA webinars and web courses

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

LITA, LLAMA, ALCTS collaboration FAQ: Post #2

LITA Blog - Fri, 2018-03-30 11:40

On February 23, I posted for discussion a proposal on a closer formal relationship between LITA, LLAMA, and ALCTS. That included an anonymous feedback form where you can ask questions, express feelings, et cetera. I will be collating and answering these questions every few weeks here on LITAblog (so please keep asking!).

Since last time, I’ve gotten one question:

It seems that there is the possibility of quite a bit of overlap between LITA and ALCTS so a merger of those two divisions could be justified. What seems very ad hoc is the inclusion of LLAMA in this – what is the logical connection in terms of subject matter? If LLAMA by itself is unsustainable, perhaps it should be shut down/abolished.

Great question! One of the things I’ve been surprised to discover as LITA president is that a very high percentage of our members have titles like “Director”, “Associate University Librarian”, or “Head of Library Technology”; these are people who either are LLAMA members already, or who would get a clear benefit from having access to part of LLAMA people and programs as part of the dues they’re already paying. In fact, a quarter of LITA members are also LLAMA members.

Members at these career stages and LITA leadership have had an ongoing discussion as to how LITA can work better for them. Many of them don’t want to leave LITA, because it’s their emotional home within ALA, but they also find LITA’s programming is less relevant to their professional duties as they advance in their careers. A LITA/LLAMA merger immediately addresses this problem.

There are also LITA members who are not in supervisory roles, but who see that as a goal or at least possibility for their careers, and who benefit from being able to explore leadership and management topics. And from the other side, there are LLAMA members who find themselves managing technologists or technology projects for the first time, and who want networking and professional development to support that. Every time we propose programs or publications on technology project management, we find people respond enthusiastically.

Finally, as I’ve learned more about LLAMA through this process, I’ve found that they’re a thoughtful, innovative group of people who work well with LITA members. LLAMA has already undergone a significant reorganization process to make themselves a more open, nimble organization; their new structure works well with LITA’s culture, and they’re ahead of us on some of these organizational questions. And in terms of financial sustainability, they’re in the same ballpark as LITA; stronger on some things, weaker on others, but nowhere near needing to be shut down.

Overall, adding LLAMA to the LITA/ALCTS mix makes all three of us stronger in my view, because LLAMA acts as a keystone – anchoring an organization that could provide a home for technology and technical services librarians across their entire career lifecycle.

It turns out if you ask the internet for a picture of a llama engaged in some kind of technology or technical services related work, you actually get one. Thanks, @chodacki, for this comma llama. https://twitter.com/chodacki/status/974144097765044229

Categories: Library News

Apply to be the next LITA Educational Programming Acquisitions Editor

LITA Blog - Thu, 2018-03-29 11:55

Are you jazzed up about educational programming? If growing LITA’s educational programming sound like something in your wheelhouse, we encourage you to apply to be LITA’s Educational Programming Acquisitions Editor!

The Editor will be responsible for developing and expanding topics for LITA’s educational programming, including coordinating webinars and online courses.

The Editor holds a 3-year appointment with an option for one renewal for a maximum of 2 terms through this same full selection process. The initial appointment will begin on July 1, 2018, and will continue through the end of June 2021.

This position comes with a $1500 annual stipend.

Visit the full posting for more information on how to apply.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday, April 22, 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: March 28, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-03-28 13:24

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

Yale University, Director of Resource Discovery Services, New Haven, CT

St. Lawrence University, Discovery Services Librarian, Canton, NY

Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, ILS Administrator, Youngstown, OH

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

Categories: Library News

Upcoming professional development classes and webinars

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-03-28 12:35

Upcoming webinars!

Privacy in Libraries, a LITA webinar series
Offered: April 11, 2018 – May 23, 2018

IT Security and Privacy in Libraries
Offered: May 1, 2018

Register here!

For questions or comments please contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

We’re repeating Schema.org and JSON-LD – the popular LITA webinar

LITA Blog - Tue, 2018-03-27 15:28

Don’t miss your chance to attend the repeat of this popular LITA webinar.
Sign up Now for

Introduction to Schema.org and JSON-LD
Instructor: Jacob Shelby, Metadata Technologies Librarian, North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries
Wednesday April 18, 2018, Noon – 1:30 pm Central time

Web search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo are integral to making information more discoverable on the open web. How can you expose data about your organization, its services, people, collections, and other information in a way that is meaningful to these search engines? This session will provide an introduction to both Schema.org and the JSON-LD data format. You’ll learn how to leverage Schema.org and semantic markup to achieve enhanced discovery of information on the open web.

Register here, courses are listed by date.

Topics include an in-depth look at the Schema.org vocabulary, a brief overview of semantic markup with a focus on JSON-LD, and use-cases of these technologies. By the end of the session, you will have an opportunity to apply these technologies through a structured exercise. The session will conclude with resources and guidance for next steps.

View details and Register here.

Discover upcoming LITA webinars and web courses

Privacy in Libraries, a LITA webinar series
Offered: April 11, 2018 – May 23, 2018

IT Security and Privacy in Libraries
Offered: May 1, 2018

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

Join the ITAL Editorial Board

LITA Blog - Mon, 2018-03-26 15:57

Information Technology and Libraries [ITAL] is LITA’s quarterly, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. If you are a LITA member who is interested in furthering the scholarly record for library technology and have a background in information technology in academic, public, or other libraries, apply for this opportunity to serve on the ITAL Editorial Board.

As ITAL marks its 50th anniversary, the ITAL Editorial Board has a critical role to play in building the foundation for the journal’s next 50 years. Find details on the application.

Duties. In addition to reviewing 1-2 submissions a month, members are expected to participate in monthly online ITAL Board meetings. Attendance at ALA Annual and Midwinter is not required. A term of service is two years (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2020); an individual may serve up to two consecutive terms.

More Information. See the Information Technologies and Libraries website or the ITAL Editorial Board committee page on the LITA website. Still have questions? Please contact Ken Varnum, Editor or any current member of the Editorial Board.

How to Apply. Complete your application, which includes a brief statement of interest by April 15, 2018. Please include a description of how you could enhance the board’s diversity, on any dimension you feel is important.

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to LITA publications, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: March 21, 2018

LITA Blog - Thu, 2018-03-22 10:54

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

Pratt Institute, Library Media Resources Coordinator, Brooklyn, NY

Barry University, Director, Library Services, Miami Shores, FL

Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Indiana University School of Medicine, Emerging Technologies Librarian, Indianapolis, IN

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

Categories: Library News

March 2018 ITAL Issue Published

LITA Blog - Thu, 2018-03-22 10:00

The March 2018 issue (volume 37, number 1) of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) has been published and may be read at:

https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ital/index

This issue marks the journal’s 50th anniversary. The table of contents and brief abstracts of reviewed articles are below.

Ken Varnum
Editor

“Academic Libraries on Social Media: Finding the Students and the Information They Want”
Heather Howard, Sarah Huber, Lisa Carter, and Elizabeth Moore

https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.10160

Although most libraries today participate in some form of social media, few take the time to learn how they might use this medium more effectively to meet the needs and interests of their users. This study by Purdue University Libraries offers an instructive example of how to apply user research to the development of an effective social media strategy. This article will be of interest to librarians looking to gain a better understanding of the social media habits of college students or improve communication with their users.

“Accessible, Dynamic Web Content Using Instagram”
Jaci Wilkinson

https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.10230

Using social media to reach a library’s communities has traditionally focused on using Twitter and Facebook to engage patrons. In this article, the authors discuss how they developed an interface to push content from their archives and special collections to Instagram. This article is especially interesting as it focuses on a number of issues: developing the API, designing for accessibility, and taking advantage of evolving social media trends.

“Trope or Trap? Role-Playing Narratives and Length in Instructional Video”
Amanda S. Clossen

https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.10046

This article, detailing the results of a large-scale survey, provides a solid and useful addition to the literature on how best to create instructional videos. A must read for instructional-video-creating librarians!

“Identifying Emerging Relationships in Healthcare Domain Journals via Citation Network Analysis”
Kuo-Chung Chu, Hsin-Ke Lu, and Wen-I Liu

https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.9595

Ever wonder how the articles in a particular research domain connect to one another, or how those connections might evolve over time? Eager to help researchers quickly and visually identify key articles within a particular research domain? Incorporating data mining techniques for co-citation analysis, Chu, Liu, and Lu offer a tantalizing glimpse – a study that builds an automated web-based citation analysis system presenting an automated system that can do both.

“Digitization of Textual Documents Using PDF/A”
Yan Han and Xueheng Wan

https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.9878

This article provides a technical yet practical explanation of the value of using the open PDF/A file format for the long-term preservation of digital content, and will appeal to staff in any type of library responsible for determining preferred file formats for future discovery and access.

Editorial Content

Submit Your Ideas
for contributions to ITAL to Ken Varnum, editor, at varnum@umich.edu with your proposal. Current formats are generally

  • Articles – original research or comprehensive and in-depth analyses, in the 3000-5000 word range.
  • Communications – brief research reports, technical findings, and case studies, in the 1000-3000 word range.

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to LITA publications, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

Supporting Peter Hepburn for ALA President

Tame the Web - Thu, 2018-03-15 12:09

Greetings to all members of the American Library Association. I received my ballot and I am happy to cast a vote for Peter Hepburn for ALA President. I have known Peter for over ten years. His work with libraries and participation in our association is strong. His experience within ALA over the years on council, the Executive Board, and various divisions is a solid foundation for the role of president.

Sustainability is the centerpiece of his presidential campaign, something members of ALA cannot ignore. His platform includes:

  • A Model for Sustainability
  • Organizational Stability
  • Continued Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

For more about Peter, please visit his site. 

 

 

Categories: Library News

I’m on Sabbatical! Or “Why So Quiet?”

Tame the Web - Tue, 2018-03-06 15:09

Greetings all – I realized I never posted about this. In Fall 2016, I applied for a sabbatical with the university to work on a research project contingent on my tenure and promotion decision. I received tenure and promotion in may 2017 and the sabbatical was awarded to me for Spring Semester 2018. Because of this, I do not have teaching responsibilities this semester. Here’s a bit about the project:

The aim of the project is to pursue scholarship related to the professional learning experiences of public librarians in Australia via a research partnership with the University of Southern Queensland and the Australian Library and Information Association. This will include qualitative research exploring the learning experiences of librarians. During sabbatical leave in spring 2018, I will begin to address the apparent gap in the literature noted above through the collection of at least 20 open-ended, semi-structured interviews with public librarians across Australia and a mix of regional, rural and metropolitan areas. This will occur in partnership Helen Partridge, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Scholarly Information and Learning Services) at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia and Kate Davis, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland. The project builds upon the two year study Partridge leads aimed at establishing a framework for the education of the information professions in Australia.  The primary data collection techniques would be in-depth interviews using the method of Narrative Inquiry.

We will be launching a survey for Australian public library staff soon and I will be working on the interviews this spring. This summer, I will be visiting Australia to continue the research project and to keynote the Asia-Pacific Library & Information Conference.

More will follow but I wanted to share. Best regards to all.

Categories: 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

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

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

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