The Best of Internet Librarian 2013

Every year there are two amazing conferences focusing on information technology and libraries hosted by Information Today – Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian. They feature the field’s top innovators sharing their insights, recent project experiences, and practical tips. If you couldn’t make this year’s event, here are 10 stellar presentations that will catch you up:

Managing Devices & Gadgets


Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, Library Director, Palo Alto City Library
Martha Walters, Business Analyst and System Administrator, Palo Alto City Library

The Palo Alto Library provides services in the heart of Silicon Valley through five branches. As new technological tools continuously mushroom in the community it serves, the Library constantly explores and identifies tools to effectively deliver the high level of services patrons expect. Hear their experiences in developing Chromebook lending and Magazine-on-iPad programs. Learn how they keep up and decide on their Next Big Thing!


Open Source Solutions & Apps

Jim Peterson, IT Manager & Media Relations, Simpson County Library District, Franklin, KY
Steven Irving, Electronic Services Librarian, Southern Utah University
Richard Eissinger, Instructional Services Librarian, Southern Utah University

This session is all about using creative open source solutions in libraries—from libraries to afford accepting credit and debit card payments (without chargeback fees) for fines and lost items, as well as donations electronically to demonstrating Untangle, an open-source Super Friend to help you manage access to the internet for all your users. The software is free and will likely run on an old PC you have lying around. Peterson illustrates how to upgrade on your PC, gives a broad overview of Untangle’s features and capabilities, and discusses how easy it is to block bad stuff while allowing the good stuff. The second half of this session focuses on Android and iOS apps, including free apps for wireless and remote systems administration as well as others for saving time and being more efficient.

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The Future of Libraries: Searching for the Deep Field

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting at the amazing Online Information 2013 conference in London, England.  Here are my presentation slides, as well as the companion eBook that I created from my speaker notes and other research.




The Future of Libraries: Searching for the Deep Field [Kindle Edition]

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Law Librarianship in the Digital Age

I’ve got great news, my book Law Librarianship in the Digital Age has been published by Scarecrow Press! I came into the office today to see a copy waiting for me at my desk!!


The book is made up of chapters contributed by a group of incredibly talented and forward-thinking librarians. Here’s the Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables
Foreword – Jean O’Grady
Preface – Ellyssa Kroski

Part I. Major Introductory Concepts
1 Law Librarianship 2.0 – Jennifer Wertkin
2. Embedded Librarianship – Thomas J. Striepe and Mary Talley
3. Copyright in the Digital Age – Kyle K. Courtney
4. Open Access to Legal Scholarship – Cheryl Kelly Fischer and Vicki Steiner
5. User Services Analysis for Decision Making – Kim Clarke
6. Law Library Management – Camille Broussard, Ralph Monaco, and Gitelle Seer

Part II. Technologies
7. Digitization – Michelle M. Wu
8. E-books in Law Libraries – Ellyssa Kroski
9. Tablets and Mobile Device Management – William R. Mills

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The Future of MOOCs



According to the New York Times, 2012 was the year of the MOOC - a massive open online course.  These courses are usually open access and free, and although they don’t usually offer course credit for participants some do offer certifications of completion.  They can be attended by hundreds of thousands of students at the same time who interact in community forums surrounding course materials and resources.  They offer amazing opportunities for those who lack the funding to attend traditional universities, especially those in developing nations.  MOOCs have democratized learning and opened up education to the masses who may now attend and learn from quality courses at elite universities as if they were enrolled.

Born of the Open Education movement, MOOC’s have risen to remarkable levels of popularity over the past few years with offerings from such high-ranking colleges and universities as MIT, Harvard, Yale, Duke, and more.  But not everyone is sold on this new format of remote education.  In addition to their many benefits, MOOCs do pose several challenges.  The responsibility for evaluating the quality of participation and even the completion of these online courses falls squarely on the shoulders of the student.  MOOC professors, even with the aid of teaching assistants, cannot hope to provide meaningful feedback and assessment to hundreds of thousands of students taking part in these courses.  In addition to the lack of student evaluation, many people criticize the absence of face-to-face interaction with professors and other students.  There’s also the research aspect of these courses which may necessitate access to vendor databases and/or toll-access journals, although many of these courses have avoided copyright and access challenges by utilizing open access reading assignments.  Additionally, plagiarism is said to be a major issue in these courses.

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30 Library Stories You May Have Missed in October

October was chock-full of library-related articles and blog posts which were both educational and entertaining.  My two favorite resources for the month would have to be the article illustrating 37 Ways To Proudly Wear Your Love Of Books,  as well as the informative and thought-provoking article by Brian Mathews,  Seven things to think about as wearable computing emerges.  Here are all 30 of the library stories you may have missed out on last month:

  1. The future of 3D printing: What’s real, what’s coming, and what’s hype
  2. An All-in-One Guide to the Maker Culture and 3D Printing
  3. Seven things to think about as wearable computing emerges
  4. Scribd offers ebook subscription service
  5. To the Bookmobile! The Library on Wheels of Yesteryear
  6. 11 bookshelves made from repurposed items

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Interactive Timeline Visualizations in Action

Every semester in my Information Sources and Services (Intro to Reference librarianship) class, I ask students to access yearbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias to put together a timeline of the history of the city of Slonim. I usually have them compile their findings into a narrative format resulting in a 2-3 page paper. Instead, this year I demonstrated how to use some of the interactive timeline applications that I’ve written about here on iLibrarian and they exceeded my expectations, creating stellar interactive timelines from a variety of sources and formats including video files, images, historical maps, and narrative. Here are just a few examples representative of the student’s work:

Claudio Leon’s timeline using Dipity:
slonim_dipityClick image to enter timeline.


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31 Free Live Webinars for Librarians in November

November is chock-full of great opportunities for continued learning in the library field. Several of these look amazing including the webinars on the new website, responsive web design, and apptastic marketing.

  1. Tuesday Nov 12
    10:30 – 11:30 am (Eastern)
    Establishing Your Library’s Footprint in Your Community (Florida Library)
    Who’s walking through your door, who isn’t, and what can you do about it? Every community needs a library, and the library needs an active community. Being more than relevant in today’s world is a tough challenge for every library. Good News” You are not alone! Becoming the community’s “go-to” place for information and more is a daunting task! This fun and interactive webinar will start you on your way to establishing your library as the community’s first and foremost source for collaboration and information.  During Andrew Sanderbeck’s interview with Kathy, participants will learn how to:

    • Navigate their community in a productive and beneficial way using specific techniques
    • Identify potential collaborators
    • Gather the tools to help their library to become a more relevant fixture in the community
  2. Tuesday Nov 12
    2:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern)
    Teen Services Amplified! with Everyday Advocacy (YALSA)
    Investing in teen services isn’t just good for teens; it’s good for libraries and for communities. But sometimes we don’t know how to get started making the case for teen services, or we’re not sure what we can do. Fortunately, we’re not alone—we have each other and we have resources like YALSA’s Advocacy Toolkit to help us amplify our message.
  3. Tuesday Nov 12
    2:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern)
    Grace Under Pressure: Tips and Tricks to Cultivate a Positive Approach (WebJunction)
    This webinar explores stress-reduction skills and strategies to help face challenging situations that impact our personal work styles, our organizations, and the communities we serve.
    Working in a library can feel like a constant juggling act. We navigate competing demands and challenging situations on a daily basis in order to meet our mission and transform our communities. In this interactive session, discover how to handle these challenges proactively. Learn positive, practical tips, stress-reduction skills, and ideas for changing your personal work style. Learn strategies to help you face challenging situations that affect your whole organization and society-wide issues that impact the communities we serve. Feel better and be more effective at your work.
  4. Tuesday Nov 12
    3:00 – 4:00 pm (Eastern)
    The Evolution of Usage Statistics (Library Journal)
    The ability to prove library value enables institutions to maximize budget dollars, properly allocate their spend, and improve user satisfaction. We have come a long way in the types and quality of data as well as methods for collecting and analyzing that information. Join our webinar to discuss how metrics have evolved to their current state and what direction we can take with new and alternative metrics in the future. Our panelists will address their methods for measuring library value from the data they choose to evaluate, to the tools they utilize, and how they perform their analysis and utilize it in real practice.
  5. Wednesday Nov 13
    1:00 – 3:00 pm (Eastern)
    How to Navigate American FactFinder (Census Bureau)
    Gain experience in using the American FactFinder data access tool. Learn how to use the search and navigation features to access some of the Census Bureau’s programs, datasets and topics.
  6. Wednesday Nov 13
    12:00 – 1:00 pm (Eastern)
    Apptastic Marketing! (Florida Library)
    A smart phone and a few apps are all you need to put together some fun, engaging marketing tools for your library. Social media, videos, photo processing, memes and more, learn how you can use this little tool effectively. It doesn’t even have to be all on the library, apps allow you to get your community involved in marketing as well. An overview of some specific apps will be included.
  7. Wednesday Nov 13
    1:00 – 2:00 pm (Eastern)
    Implementing change: Realizing the results of collaborating in the cloud (Library Journal)
    Libraries share many common challenges: scarce resources, increased user demand and ever more complex collections, systems and workflows. To help manage these challenges, today’s cloud-based library management services are offering workflows that save time and discovery solutions that meet users’ expectations. Libraries using these services are seeing drastic reductions in the time it takes for routine tasks because of the integration in the cloud between libraries, applications, partners and data. Not only can information be shared between departments, but between libraries, improving quality and relevance as it’s enhanced along the way.
  8. Wednesday Nov 13
    1:00 – 2:00 pm (Eastern)
    What’s a Mission Statement Worth? (Nonprofit Webinars)
    Could your mission statement describe any of several other organizations that are similar to yours? Do you just haul it out once a year for your annual report and 990? If you’ve been around for many years, you’re clear about your nonprofit’s value to your community, your stakeholders and/or your cause, why bother to revisit your mission statement? The answers to these questions can make the difference between sustainable success and failure in several ways. Organizations that have a page-long mission statements and think that any effort to review it would be just empty wordsmithing may want to join us for this webinar to see what a rigorously crafted mission statement can do for marketing, fundraising, stakeholder loyalty, strategy, and managing change.
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The Future of Libraries

I will be giving the Track 3 keynote on the first day of the upcoming Online Information 2013 conference in London, England on November 19th. If you’re in the area, please come by and check it out and say hello. Here’s the abstract:

The Future of Libraries and Information Services

With more and more content going digital, many in the library world are questioning what the future holds for us in this new landscape. Libraries are faced with responding to a dramatic shift in how patrons are accessing and consuming information in this new digital age in tandem with dwindling budgets, fierce competition from other markets, and rising patron (and organisational) expectations. We used to be the only game in town, but now we share it with the likes of Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Apple. Can we compete in an instant access, on-demand world? Do we need to? Will libraries continue to serve as the connection between people, information, and technology? Or will we be the next Blockbuster or Encarta, marginalised to extinction? What do we need to do in order to survive and thrive in this ever-changing, technologically robust era?

I will also be publishing a white paper which will be a companion to and expansion of this presentation topic. Stay tuned for more details!

Four Great Reports for Tracking Technology Trends

It’s not enough anymore for libraries to adopt new technologies and practices once they’ve been out for several years. It’s vital nowadays to know what’s on the horizon so that you can plan for it in your library including training staff, building related applications, and offering new services. One of the best ways to keep up with developments in the library, information, and technology fields is to follow and read trend reports. Here are four that I keep my eye on:

Gartner’s Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies

One of the best trend reports in the field of technology is the Gartner’s Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies which comes out every year and is available for free. It consists of a report based on an image that displays upcoming technologies as they evolve from bleeding-edge innovations to more mainstream adoption. As you can see in this year’s hype cycle, many of these technologies are already being implemented by forward-thinking libraries such as big data, 3D printing, augmented reality, location intelligence, cloud computing, and more.


Horizon Report on Emerging Technology in Higher Education

This annual report is produced in 5 languages and is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. The Horizon Report strives to “identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.” Again, this year’s report indicates trends that many cutting-edge libraries are utilizing such as 3D printing, games and gamification, tablet computing, and more.


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