Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Texas Conference on Digital Libraries/Vireo Users Group, April 27-30, 2014

University of Texas at Austin

Place-based online data management for documenting the built environment

Josh Conrad, UT Austin

The fields of cultural resource management and historic preservation often have government agencies asking what buildings and other physical structures in a particular area are worth saving. They need to plan what needs preservation before they build new stuff.

Josh and his team go out into field and find built environment features, take pictures, and document with metadata. This data is all used to decide whether or not the building would be eligible for National Register of Historic Places. Places can be referenced by polygons on a map--usually known as "districts". But you also have features within places such as bridges. These can be connected to other features via lines.

Problem is how to represent this in a database. Josh tries to combine controlled vocabulary with free form notes. When you are out in the field, you often run into something that you haven't seen before
Local residents can provide a wealth of knowledge about unusual structures. Josh has been developing the Austin Historical Survey Wiki, a multi-layered approach to combining data contributed by experts with those contributed by the public. In addition to the wiki, his firm is developing a tablet-based web app that can allow everyone from professional historians to motivated neighbors to easily collect and view information, photos and scanned documents about the historic places in their area.

Using IR's to archive websites

Colleen Lyon and Katherine Miles, UT Austin

Many departments at UT want the library to archive blogs and twitter feeds in the DSpace IR.  Even though DSpace is not designed to archive complex items like websites, the library decided to give it a trial with a few trial departments. This project raised many interesting questions such as: what to capture in a website, how do you generate metadata, and how do you deal with the fact that websites, blogs, and feeds are constantly changing. DSpace and other IR platforms are designed for more static materials. 

It was a useful exercise, but it will not scale. They are taking raw files and uploading to DSpace and generate metadata. Very labor intensive and it loses the look and feel of a website. The tool ArchiveIt might work, but it is far too expensive to use on this scale. The library will continue to experiment with a small group of departments, but they find the prospect of continuing this daunting.

Vireo Users Group

David Reynolds and Stephanie Larrimer

I co-chair the Vireo Users Group along with Stephanie Larrimer of Texas State University. Vireo is the open-source electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) software that we use at Hopkins. The half-day session focused on the upcoming development cycle and how we would go about gathering a list of new features and prioritizing them. The software is used by both graduate schools and libraries for different reasons, so it is difficult finding a fair way to get both sides involved. While we had a list of prioritized features that was developed a couple of years ago, we decided to start over. Lots of new schools are using the software (JHU included) that did not participate in the previous round and others have had two additional years to figure out what is important. We will develop and prioritize the list this summer, and the first development sprint will start in August. The tech team will use an Agile project management approach in order to create useful updates more quickly and distribute them more often.

The other big discussion was about the connection of Vireo to ProQuest. We have been working with ProQuest to develop a method to export from Vireo and upload theses directly to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Only Texas A&M has done this so far, but they found it to be straightforward. JHU will wait until we have ETDs published in our repository this fall before doing the ProQuest upload. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Joint Maryland Library Association/Delaware Library Association Conference, May 7-9 2014, Ocean City, Maryland

Joint Maryland Library Association/Delaware Library Association Conference
May 7-9 2014
Ocean City, Maryland
Mark Cyzyk

One of the highlights of this conference for me was the poetry reading by Linda Pastan, former Poet Laureate of Maryland and current recipient of MLA's Maryland Author of the Year award, at the luncheon on Thursday. Pastan's poems, a selection featuring books and beaches, were stunningly beautiful and profound.

I presented at this conference: "Introducing Calibre and Sigil:  Two E-Book Software Packages."  It went well (I think!).

Notes below:

Wednesday, May 7
4:30 - 6:00 PM General Session: Garry Golden
"Designing a 21st Century Roadmap for the Future of Libraries"

Garry Golden: Futurist
Degreed in Future Studies
Libraries ideally poised to educate about online privacy.
Privacy data literacy
Micro-certifications.  "Badges."  Libraries supporting lifelong learning.  Broker of micro-credentials.
Badges from libraries.
Libraries helping with resumes, portfolios, online presence, technology skills building.
Word Gap, difference between families where infants/toddlers hear the most number of words in a given day and those where they hear the least.
Libraries, early childhood literacy.  Libraries can help close the Word Gap.
The Word Gap is thirty million words!
In house word monitoring -- crosses the Creepy Line!
What are the Creepy Lines that libraries might be asked to cross?
More change, lots of change.
Most of what public libraries do:  Will not go away.  Constants.
Disciplined/constrained organization --> Transformed
Placed-based experiences.
Building new libraries, SURGING.
Place matters.
Maker-Spaces, maker movement, DIY, 3D printing
Should libraries have these tools, make these tools available?
Cultivate a design-maker culture and talent pipeline
Creative aging environments
Age 55 is the peak of civic engagement.  Drops off after that.
20-somethings.  Public libraries do not have a good connection with them.  They fall into a gap between young adults and adults with kids.
How to gear collections toward them.  Events geared toward them.
Retooling local
Citizen science in the local environment.  "Project Noah"
Civicware, with open community data
Libraries as community data dashboard operators?
MOOCs for the public library audience, summer reading, parents and families, workforce training, etc.
Web as platform for behavior change, for getting better at things
SCORM, "Experience API"

[Lots of tablets and phablets.  I'm the only one here with a laptop/netbook/ultrabook!]

Thursday, May 8
9:00 - 10:00 What Do They Want, When Do They Want It: Increasing Circulation through Merchandizing and Collection Strategies
Sharon Laucher: Library Collections Coordinator, Frederick County Public Libraries

The book store model.  Dramatic circulation increase.  Displays.
The Power Wall.  Power aisles in retail shops
Power Wall of nonfiction books
Browseable items
Not tied to local library classification
BISAC -- Book Industry Standard and Communication classification system
"glades" "neighborhoods"
New items on top
Proven to increase circulation
Have a rotating seasonal section
Slat walls.  Versatile
Power bays
Lots of face-outs,  face-outs on bottoms shelves
Low tables on wheels
Stacking.  Small of stacked books with display book on top, face-out.  Patrons may take all
2-3 per stack,  by theme, by author
At least one easel or faceout on every shelf
Weeding will increase your circulation
Staggered displays on shelves.  Bring books to the edge
Fiction, multiple copies, stacking
Fiction in the BACK of the library.  The pull through your Power Aisles
"If you like [author], try [author]" posters.  Readers advisory tool
"Staff favorites"
Children's Discovery Wall -- can shelve nonfiction and fiction together based on themes
Magazines.  Promote Zinio.
Movies.  If you can do without a security system, do it.  Circulation goes up.
File non-fiction DVDs with non-fictions books.  Circulation goes up.
End panel displays
Entrance displays.  WOW factor.  Frequent change of stock on display tables.  The less signage, the better.  Let the books speak for themselves.
Impulse checkouts, at checkout station.
Renewals, allow more than 1
Carroll County allows TWENTY renewals

10:30 - 11:30 iPowered One-Shots: Tablets in Library Instruction
Kimberly Miller: Research and Instruction Librarian for Emerging Technologies, Towson University

Library instructional one shots
Library-based computer lab used for instruction.  Moveable white boards.
iPad cart.  30 iPads.  Only for use in instruction.  Locked cart.
Students and mobile devices.  Tablet ownership tripled 2011 to 2012
Tablet:  Swiss Army Knife of educational technologies
Learning must be tied to the properties of the learning device.  Otherwise, DISTRACTION ensues.
Survey of Towson librarians, Library Instruction Confidence levels.  High general levels of confidence.
Mostly "comfortable" using technologies in instruction.
BUT larger percentage feeling "uncomfortable" specifically using iPads in instruction.
Monthly teaching group.  Lesson repository.  iPads for Librarians program.
One-Shot case studies,  Calkins and Bowles-Terry [2013]; Julian [2013]
The technology promotes active learning, bolsters information literacy concepts
Activity example:  Concept mapping, live
Ability to hold instructional sessions in non-traditional settings.  Class held in the stacks.
Not tethered to the classroom.
Scavenger hunts
"Padlet" - Web app
"Go out to stacks and take a 'shelfy' of you and what you found.  Post it to your Padlet board."
Time constraints, theft, WIFI going down, battery life concerns.
Flash is a problem on Apple devices.
Some subscription databases simply do not work on iPads.

1:45 - 2:45 Everyone is a Designer
Elizabeth Eadie: Design Consultant at Wellmade Design; Senior Designer at Democratic National Committee

Decisions about how something looks, about how something functions
UX online:  Give users what they want.  Users first.
Resources, logistics, processes, policies
Place search functions high on the page
Put library hours right on front page -- get rid of button, get rid of extra Click
Show resources available now right on the homepage
Have good FAQ, have good error pages
Measure the experience
USE Google Analytics
Develop baseline data, what pages, what links are being clicked, how long they remain on the site see site in different browsers
Test for 508 compliance
Offline wayfinding in the library building, color coded
NC State live, electric Twitter feed on spiral screen in lobby!
Minimal color palettes
Parallax design:  Static background, moveable foreground
Web fonts include icons, use them
Blurred background images
Stripping out heavy content
Hamburger navigation.  Click the Hamburger Nav!
Kill the Slider
Right mix of content and design on social media
Info graphics
Countdown to milestones
Historical photos
Change cover photo on Facebook
She's showing lots of photos/screens from Johns Hopkins as examples!
Digital toolkit:
Editorial calendar, have one
Standards Guide, have one
Tone of Voice document
Focus on fewer things, do them better
Twitter -- Tweetdeck, Hootsuite management utilities
Each feed should have its own voice and standards guide
Share messages more than once
Cross-post content
Email marketing, probably not emailing enough
Make sure emails are mobile ready
Bring art into the email
Pinterest.  Some libraries using it.  NYPL, University of Louisville
Tumblr, historical photos.  Have a content strategy if using
Instagram, for promotion

3:30 - 4:30 Discovery Based Learning in Delaware Academic Libraries
Sarah Katz: Assistant Librarian, Referral and Instructional Services, University of Delaware
Michael Gutierrez: Associate Librarian, Reference and Instructional Services, University of Delaware
Paul Page: Instruction Librarian, Delaware Technical and Community College

Unassisted discovery learning:  Students left on their own.  Sink or swim
Enhanced discovery learning
If they discover it themselves, it will stick
Major problem:  Students have a wide range of pre-existing expertise in research methods, so expecting them to "discover" what you are trying to impart can be problematic.  Some will; some won't
Having faculty in the room for instruction sessions really "helps" students to focus.
Students want demonstrations, not lectures.  (But 3% DO want lectures.)
Maybe an intro session [via video?] and a discovery session?
***Guide on the Side: Open source, free.  To create online tutorials bolstering active learning.  Easy to use. To create interactive learning experiences.  From University of Arizona.
Install on server
Wilmington University using Guide on the Side in English 121 courses throughout their several Delaware campuses.
Complete quiz, get certificate.  Certificate emailed to professors, etc. 

Friday, May 9
9:30 - 10:30 Knowing Your Audience: User Centered Design Principles Applied to Library Websites
Ben Kutil: Owner, Make Things Studio; Adjunct Graphic Design Faculty, MICA

Human centered design process.  HUMANS
Focus on people.  Research, immersion in their world to understand them.  What do they do, how do they do it?
Sketches, prototypes, iterations
What do they want?
Unintended design.  Craigslist, was not purposely designed
Self design: Scratch own itch
Genius design: Use our own knowledge and experience, generalizing
Activity design: Address primary tasks rather than underlying needs
HCD's Downsides:  Heavy -- lots of time, resources, people, analysis involved.  Removes style: Sometimes the designer's style and sensibilities are lost.
Library centered design
Persona, representation of a site's target audience
Persona: name, motivations, needs, scenario
Paint a picture of who that person is
Multiple discrete personas -- stock images of faces.  Pick one for your persona -- stock names.  Pick one.  male/female, by geographic region
Tanya = Tanya the Teacher
Motivations:  "Tanya is researching material for a report" and wants to save her materials for later reference.  She wants to store them in related groups.
Scenarios:  Realistic scene, what the person brings to the Website, and how they interact
Personas:  Give life to a previously-generic population.
Google Analytics. Goal funnels, page flow diagrams
Surveys.  Qualaroo Insights -- widget, unobtrusive, place on problem page.  Survey Monkey, embedded into Website

10:40 - 11:40 Introducing Calibre and Sigil
Mark Cyzyk

"a [breathtaking] [achievement]"
"the presenter's obvious [expertise] was [astounding]"
"barely ... then ... severely [awesome!]"