10 Awesome Presentations from Computers in Libraries 2014

Information Today’s excellent Computers in Libraries conference took place in Washington DC last week and featured top-notch presentations by librarian on the cutting-edge of technology.  If you didn’t get a chance to attend you’ll want to check out these great presentations by talented info pros!

1.) Rock Your Library’s Content With WordPress


Chad Haefele, Emerging Technologies Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill
Chad Boeninger, Head of Reference & Business Librarian, Ohio University

This session looks at the strengths, scalability, and flexibility of WordPress for library applications. Haefele describes how UNC Libraries selected and implemented WordPress as a content management system for their large university library website. Take a look at the power, ease of use, and customization offered by WordPress as well as tips on supporting a complex site.With years of experience using WordPress to power his business blog, a website designed to help business researchers at his institution, Boeninger demonstrates why he prefers WordPress as an alternative to commercial applications such as Libguides and showcases plugins, taxonomies, and techniques for organizing and promoting library research guide content.


2.) Re-Imagining the Library Website Experience


Kim Vassiliadis, Head, User Experience, UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries
Chad Haefele, Emerging Technologies Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill
Emily King, Coordinator of E-Learning Services, User Experience Department, University Library, UNC
Kelly Coulter, Vitual Services Manager, Richland Library

Think redesigning your website is a big task? Imagine tackling 30,000 hand coded web pages. The UNC team did just that, striking out to create a user-focused, visually stimulating website built using responsive design. They share insights into taking the UNC library’s web presence to the next level and describe how they analyzed their web presence, conducted usability testing, redesigned content, made design decisions, and developed a content management strategy. Coulter describes Richland Library’s quest to create the ideal library user experience. Transforming Richland’s library site from a portal that sends library users off to different vendor platforms, Coulter shares how it is improving fragmented experience by offering library patrons an integrated user experience via custom modules in Drupal. Learn about the pieces of the integration puzzle and lessons learned as a new library user experience is crafted.

3.) Tools & Idea Blitz: Steal for Your Website!

Chad Mairn, Information Services Librarian, St. Petersburg College (Presentation Link)
Jenny Brandon, Web Designer/Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries (Presentation Link)
Rick Bearden, Automation Librarian, Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education, Ferris State University (Presentation Link)
Emily R Mitchell, Librarian / Webmaster, SUNY Oswego
Amy Deschenes, Systems & Web Applications Librarian, Beatley Library, Simmons College (Additional Presentation Link)

This session looks at some new and sometimes overlooked ways of enhancing the library’s web presence and shares new tools, design themes, and applications. Mairn shows how you can revolutionize mobile phones with your floorplan. He describes how places like libraries or campuses can work with Google to get their physical space mapped for indoor guidance with Google Indoor Maps.When someone zooms in on your library building on Google Maps, floorplans automatically appear. In your library, users would have point-by-point navigation via their Android smartphone or tablet (soon on iOS devices too) to reference desks, study rooms, computer labs, etc. Brandon looks at theming in Drupal and illustrates the steps, from the selection of a base theme to those involved in setting up a subtheme, using HTML/CSS to design multiple layouts. MSU Libraries’ chose the Omega base theme, the second-most-installed theme for Drupal CMS. Working with this theme, MUS Libraries’ web team created a responsive design for their academic library website. Bearden and Mitchell describe some of the hurdles they faced to keep their library website accessible, including a battle with Google.With the pace of tech change and job mobility, the old paradigm of solving problems by knowing who to ask is shifting to knowing what to ask. Find out what to ask when you’re faced with ensuring accessibility of link resolvers, authentication systems, proxy services, and other systems essential to libraries. Sharpen up your skills (and your mind) to help keep your library site accessible. Deschenes looks at custom development of a new tool for sharing information about Simmons College library collections and services with patrons and stakeholders. Many libraries are focusing on measurement and assessment and Deschenes used Zoho Creator as a statistics management tool to share library data. She illustrates a lightweight, dynamic online dashboard built to visualize data stored in a Google spreadsheet using Sheetsee.js. Not only will you have a chance to see the dashboard, you’ll get the steps to create one for your library.



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