Library News

New Title in the LITA Guide Series Available Now

LITA Blog - Tue, 2018-03-06 16:24

The LITA Guide to No- or Low-Cost Technology Tools for Libraries, by Breanne A. Kirsch

This exciting new title provides a practical guide on how to find and use technology tools for a variety of purposes in libraries and, more broadly, in education. Each topic showcases two technology tools in detail, discusses additional tools and provides examples of how librarians or educators are using them in libraries and schools.

Tools covered include:

  • Video creation tools: PowToon and Animaker.
  • Screencasts tools: Jing and Screencast-O-Matic.
  • Collaboration tools: Padlet and Lino It.
  • Assessment tools: Quizizz and Kahoot.

Breanne’s writing purpose:

“I hope that this book will help novice and tech-savvy librarians in all types of libraries learn about technology tools that will help them improve library services and resources. The tools highlighted throughout the book are user friendly and usually have a free version. I explain each tool in enough detail to help the novice and share examples of the tool being used in libraries. The scope of the book is broad enough that educators will also find the technology tools discussed to be helpful, but it is written for academic, public, and school librarians and will assist them in creating better online resources and services for patrons. This book will empower librarians of all types to adopt new low-cost tech tools for practical, everyday use.”

Breanne Kirsch is Public Services Librarian and Coordinator of Emerging Technologies at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She was recognized as an emerging leader in 2011 by the American Library Association and founded the LITA Game Making Interest Group. Breanne is a past Chair of the LITA Imagineering Interest Group and currently serves on the LITA Publications Committee. Discover more on her Amazon page.

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

LITA Board Issues Statement Against the Ballot Measure and in Favor of the MLIS-Preferred for Next ALA Executive Director

LITA Blog - Tue, 2018-03-06 10:09

As ALA and LITA members prepared for the opening of the 2018 Election on March 12, the LITA Board discussed the issue of whether the MLIS should be required or preferred for the ALA Executive Director position and issued a statement supporting the ALA Council’s vote to make the MLIS preferred.

The full statement is available on the LITA website.

“LITA itself underwent an executive director search in 2015. Our job posting used ‘preferred,’ not ‘required,’ language for the MLS; the same is true of other ALA divisions which have recently hired executive directors. Our candidate pool included excellent candidates from both library backgrounds and association management backgrounds. Ultimately we were delighted to be able to hire an MLS-holder, but having candidates from varied perspectives both increased our ability to hire the best available talent and helped our search committee to clarify what it truly valued. The LITA Board values the judgment of the previous ALA Executive Director Search Committee and wants the next search committee to have the broadest possible candidate pool to work from. We have complete faith they will identify a candidate who represents both association management excellence and dedication to library values. As always, we encourage you to participate in ALA elections, and we hope this information from the LITA board helps you make a decision.”

 

Categories: Library News

How to Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends for Libraries

David Lee King - Tue, 2018-03-06 09:30

My new Library Technology Report is out! It’s titled How to Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends for Libraries. It focuses on how to monitor emerging technology trends and how to incorporate those trends into your library when it makes sense.

Here’s the description:

Technology has changed the face of libraries and is continuing to change how we work and how we deliver services to our library customers. This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 54, no. 2), “How to Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends for Libraries,” focuses on personal strategies you can follow to keep up with emerging technology trends and provides you with suggestions for how you can incorporate these trends into your library. Author David Lee King, Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, explores four major areas in this report: why you should stay on top of technology trends, the trend watchers you should follow and how to follow them, practical ways to incorporate new technology trends into your library, and how to prepare for and know when not to pursue current trends. The goal of this issue of Library Technology Reports is to help you become better prepared for technology changes now and in the future.

Want to buy it? Here’s the link. Hope you find it useful!

Categories: Library News

Call for Panelists LITA Top Trends Program, 2018 ALA Annual

LITA Blog - Mon, 2018-03-05 15:05

We are currently seeking 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.

Deadline is March 31, 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

Call For Blog Writers!

LITA Blog - Mon, 2018-03-05 10:34

Dear Colleagues,

The LITA Blog invites applications for new authors! We are recruiting writers from all types and sizes of libraries to share their knowledge as part of this amazing group. For additional information about the blog, please go to: http://litablog.org/.

Please indicate your interest and fill out the following form by March 9th: https://goo.gl/forms/20iOhDnzRq6knqgG2.

John Klima and Cinthya Ippoliti (co-editors)

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: February 28, 2018

LITA Blog - Wed, 2018-02-28 12:44

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

Cleveland Public Library, Library Systems and Applications Specialist, Cleveland, OH

Library of the University of California, Davis, Electronic Resources Librarian, Davis, CA

Harford County Public Library, Librarian – Children’s Services – Aberdeen or Bel Air, Aberdeen or Bel Air, MD

Harford County Public Library, Assistant Branch Manager I – Havre De Grace, Havre De Grace, MD

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

Categories: Library News

LITA, ALCTS, and LLAMA document on small division collaboration

LITA Blog - Fri, 2018-02-23 16:22

Hi, LITAns.

I’m sharing with you a document on small division collaboration (LITA, LLAMA, and ALCTS) which I encourage you all to read carefully. I am also interested in any thoughts, questions, feelings, or ideas that you may have. 

The context for this document is that, as you may know, LITA, ALA, and membership associations generally have been experiencing declining membership for some time. The resulting budgetary deficits make it difficult for us to sustain services. The Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Executive Directors of LITA, LLAMA, and ALCTS have been discussing our shared challenges in this arena, and imagining how we could reduce duplication and build on our strengths were we to work together, whether through formal collaboration or potentially merging our divisions.

All three division Boards discussed this document on Monday afternoon at Midwinter, and we decided it is worth considering further. The division leadership, myself included, will be regrouping on February 28 to update each other on our Board meetings and discuss next steps.

I want to emphasize that nothing has been decided; this document is only the beginning of a discussion. We will be planning a process and timeline for gathering information and other next steps. This will include an open and public dialogue with you, our members, with numerous opportunities for you to participate across a variety of channels.

I expect you (like us!) have a range of feelings on this topic. I know for a fact that any direction we take will be substantially improved by your creativity and insight. You are welcome to discuss this topic here on LITAblog, as well as privately with me, Executive Director Jenny Levine, or President-Elect Bohyun Kim. You may also submit an anonymous question for the Board as a whole; responses will be collated and addressed here on LITAblog. I look forward to your responses.

On behalf of the LITA Board,

Andromeda Yelton

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

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

My Slides from #VALA2018

David Lee King - Tue, 2018-02-20 09:30

Last week, I was in Melbourne, Australia at VALA 2018 – an awesome library conference. I was one of the keynote speakers, and participated in a panel discussion as well. Great time!

Here are my slides. Michelle McLean attended, and blogged my talk (thanks!). So either just click through my slides to get a feel for what I was talking about, or click through and read Michelle’s blog post to find out what I was talking about (and to see what else happened at the conference).

Thanks for reading!

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

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