November 13, 2012

Not Your Ordinary Librarian

New book alert!

"Not Your Ordinary Librarian: Debunking the Popular Perceptions of Librarians" by Ashanti White is now available!  Ms. White took a longer historical view of the image of librarians in pop culture (unlike my book, which only looked at examples from the Internet Age) and picked up many of the classic stereotypes (such as Marian the Librarian, and It's a Wonderful Life).
Librarians have long struggled to combat some of the negative stereotypes about their image and profession, but to do so effectively it’s necessary to look at these perceptions in a historical context.
 Take a look! (My copy's on order now!)

November 6, 2012

IL2012: Web-Based Initiatives

Project Management for Web Based Initiatives, with David Jank and Kelly Coulter

Jank reviewed his white paper "Managing Online Initiatives in Libraries and Information Centers: An Empirical Review and Conceptual Taxonomy."

Kelly Coulter did a great job with her Prezi of the same title, "Project Management for Web Based Initiatives."  Biggest takeaway here: is it a project, or a task?

note to self: learn how to use Prezi!

IL2012: Speed Tech Dating

(What a great session - all kinds of new tools to try out!!)

Speed Technology Dating! with Patrick Sweeney, Toby Greenwalt, and Jeremy Snell

Trello - good for collaboration, multiple todo lists, shared task lists, etc

Logmein - for remote system access

LibraryBox - portable private digital distribution

The Kid Should See This - tumblr, typically sci, tech, art but other things as well. Nice curated portal for interesting kid tidbits.

AirVideo - love this one, I use it all the time at work

EveryBlock - neighborhood info and message board

Tackk - time-limited online flyer type tool - on-the-fly creation - this is a fail for this presentation (said the presenter) - is now, multi user dj room

NextDoor - similar to everyblock except it allows you to set your own neighborhood boundaries, and is n more cities as well - feedback, invites, chats, teach, bookmarks, etc

Sphero - a robotic ball controlled by your smartphone - discovery tool for kids - like pandora but for art

Snaggy -  paste images straight to the web

LiquidSpace - find a place to have a meeting near you

Noon Pacific - email discovery tool of weekly playlists from top music blogs - great quick tool for grabbing a special character, copies to your clipboard and you can paste it anywhere
Oyster - iPhone app to read books on yr phone

The Noun Project - online professionally designed icons for free/CC use - no more clip art!

Sifteo cubes - interactive, intelligent play

Raspberry pi

Patch - local focused news

ShowMe - iPad app - draw, talk, ,it'll capture your drawing and what you're saying and then you an post it

MakeyMakey - similar to raspberry pi , a tiny learning circuits and programming device - everyone at a glance of what's going on in congress

Lightt - iPhone app, instagram  for video - payment processing site, like indiegogo or kickstarter but a much lower rate.

EveryLibrary - superPAC for libraries - huge movement for libraries. Assns can get items to the ballot but cannot do anything more - this can do campaigning, marketing, etc on behalf of libraries across the nation

LoudSauce - social ad buying platform

IL2012: Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead Archive: Socially Constructed Online

What a fantastic presentation - of a fantastic project! The folks at the UCSC libraries got a 2-year IMLS grant to set up the Grateful Dead Online Archive. They used the archive materials they had at hand already, then opened it up to community input. They were sent posters, tickets, envelopes that had been drawn on, Tshirts, all kinds of material related to the Dead, and the library team set up collection development processes, taxonomies, copyright management, and everything else that goes into an online archive. Impressive!!! 

Press Release: UC Santa Cruz launches the Grateful Dead Online Archive

IL2012: IT Collaboration

Kick-Starting IT Collaboration, with Helene Blowers, Michael Porter, and Carson Block

Michael Porter
  • Discussion of it stereotypes and how it's changed
  • Keep the mission of the library in the focus
  • Don't hyper focus on your things, you exclude others
  • Think about adding another layer of communication
  • Empathy
  • Emotional intelligence

Helene Blowers
Ongoing communication with your customers

IT strategy:
  • Learn the culture of your group
  • Watch how you're communicating - up, down, or to the peers. Things that work with the peer group won't work up the chain
  • Think visuals, not just words

It's not about how much you know, but how you can demonstrate your value to the team - without overwhelming them with how much you know!

Carson Block
Do you understand your library's real mission in the community?

Is your language inclusive or exclusive?

IL2012: Transforming Roles

Transforming Roles: What Do You Want to Be? Tuesday Evening Session

I didn't take notes during this session, as I was late to it after the Drupal Dine-around and ended up just listening to and enjoying the panel discussion. Who do you want to be? What do you want to be? Where do you want to be? Great input from all the panelists, and the Twitter conversation going on around it was fantastic!

IL2012: UX & Accessibility

UX & Accessibility, by Frank Cervone

had to get his slides later, couldn't see them from seat in session.

Need to think about the totality of the experience, not just one part of it. Keep it simple and intuitive!

Check out

Lots of the regular usability tips - fonts manageable, watch color collisions, alt tags for images, avoid "click here" - (death to click here!!)

There are several assistive technology checkers for web pages - Drupal gets good rankings for accessibility but check the sites anyway. - great collection of usability resources!!

PDFs are a real a problem for accessibility... eep.

IL2012: Libraries Transformed

Libraries Transformed, by Lee Rainie

Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project report -

Pew Internet caught by the Onion! Ha!

Data to take back and prove that things are changing and we have to change to meet it.

88% US adults use Internet, 66% have at home.

Biggest change of this is the increase of creators - social networking, photos, videos, ratings and rankings, tags, comments, twitter, blogger... All of those are creations.

Blogging as blogging is decreasing because more people are logging it now on social networking sites and don't call it blogging anymore.

89% of US adults and just under 80% of teenagers have mobile phones.

We are starting to see more than one device per person.

Social networking by 59% of US adults!

Social media is the new neighborhood.

Tablets are on the rise, now one third of adults own at least one device (tablet, ebook reader) - but people are doing different things on smartphones than on their tablets/ereaders. - Big project to study the changing roles of libraries, funded by gates foundation. Full reports that the above tidbits are from can be found here.

IL2012: Big Data

From Overload to "Big Data", by Amy Affelt

Modified Garner's 3V to 5V characteristics of big data:
  • Volume
  • Velocity
  • Variety
  • Verification
  • Value
The data is big, but the new uses for it and the insights gained from it are even bigger.

Hadoop, Splunk

Examples of big data apps. Interesting but also require buy-in from users to get the data.

  • Choose which data to track and use
  • Cross correlate between sources
  • Set the context
  • Create deliverables
  • Tell a data driven story with cool visuals

IL2012: Drupal Nuggets

Drupal Nuggets: Themes, Modules, and Users, by:

Anne Platoff, UC Santa Barbara librarian
Ian Lessing, UC Santa Barbara programmer
Dillon Moore, Wilfred Laurier Univ
Joelle Rosen Queens Borough Public Lib

Full paper from UCSB for leveraging Drupal capabilities on the conference web site.

IT look over UCSB sites - used press flow variant for speed, some caching mechanisms, mem cache, boost module

Definitely check out memcache - keeps all the same things I local cache versus a new call to the server each time.  Also boost module, which caches the entire page on the server side - they found it sped up their Drupal delivery noticeably.

Moore - node herding! Heh. Theme and layout modules.

Really need to learn how to master context and panels and views - the creator of panels is also the creator of views, and learning one helps a lot with the other -

Display suite module allows you to take over some of the markup definitions for different displays.  It kind of replaces editing of the template files directly, but with more granularity.

Queens library redesign - users said bring back the old site! How to deal with that when you know you're providing a better site?

Each presenter but the last talked about caching as a way to speed things up.

IL2012: Uber Analytics

Web Analytics: Using Evidence for Improvement, by David Dahl and Ryan Hess

Customizing Google Analytics

Can be used to track activities across multiple sites....could be useful for new web stats?

Must tweak the analytics code to identify all the subdomains as being part of the main domain, but it can be tricky to keep them distinct -

Five principles of design

Audience question: Where's a good place for help in customizing Google analytics? Speaker: We used a book (can't remember right now) but also did several Google searches for analytics and tweaking.

Crazy Egg - click analytics

Lots of intro and teasers but no in-depth how to information. Need to check into this, though, for the stats reports - or something similar -

IL2012: Google Search Secrets

Google Search Secrets: 50 Tips! by Greg Notess

Some similar tips as MEB - personalization, location, etc.

Limit by site, limit by title (intitle: or allintitle:)

Can limit Google image search by size or by usage rights (CC) - can also search ON an image! Either upload or by URL, via Google image search, to find other locations with that image. Can be used to identify!

Google Advanced Search is very useful, but also hard to find. If you see a gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen, you can click on that to find the "Advanced Search" option. But the gear isn't always there, so bookmark the following websites:
Metrics are useful for journal citation research...

Web authorship programs?

Trends, insights have been combined

Do not use + as part of the Google search term now - it searches Google circles

Rankpanel - trying to demystify search parameters

il2012: Super Searcher Tips

MEB never ceases to amaze - within 5 minutes of the start of her session, I had learned something new!

Super Searcher Secrets, by Mary Ellen Bates

Google - their algorithms change based on more than just terms - speed of typing, length of time on page, order of words, all of that! I had no idea. Try each search x3 and reorder words for different search results.

Use ~word for more synonyms, use Verbatim filter to avoid all synonyms

Can block certain domains if logged into chrome - like and! Check into this.... for manually blocking in other browsers

Blekko has petty powerful slash tags for filtering, combining, etc.

Twitter - you can search limited by local area! example: Whales near:Monterey within:15mi

Private searching - and - totally anonymous, unlinked to your identity, location, computer, etc

Can search LinkedIn and limit to zip code and within radius. Can see what companies are hiring the most in a particular area.

Check out NoodleTools - "Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need"

IL2012: Transforming Knowledge

Now that two weeks have passed, which is about a week and a half longer than I planned on, I need to get my thoughts and notes down about this year's Internet Librarian conference. As always, Jane and the ITI folks did a smashing job!

These may not be much use to someone who wasn't there; they're more my notes to myself about things to remember, things to check out, and other "stuff like that". If you do find it useful, fantastic!

There's also a Fusion Table of all the tweets from the conference

Day One: Monday, October 22

Transforming Knowledge in the Age of the Net, by David Weinberger.

Digitization is networked - so much more than just taking a digital picture of the text

Library as platform
- unifying framework
- take social networking seriously

Knowledge networking: We've accepted the inherent limitations of the form of knowledge  (books) - we have to filter the medium, and that has shaped the nature of knowledge itself

Knowledge is that which has settled. It's also a series of stops. Ask a questions, get an answer, move on.

Knowledge now lives in the networks - not the nodes, but the network itself.

We are no longer locked into the rectangle of knowledge dissemination - book, newspaper - we now can get all kinds of info from far outside that box.

Peer review isn't scalable

The net exposes a long hidden truth: we don't agree about anything.

One other limitation: knowledge until now has been within a single classification. No longer!

We are getting better at disagreeing about things.

Software developers now live in the fastest most efficient and effective learning environment ever
- humility and generosity. Admit they can't do it, toss it out for others to see, copy, and use.
- The power of iteration. Public learning.

Echo chamber effect.

Must continue to teach appreciating differences.

Reddit example (made me laugh!)

Back to library as platform:  Range of services is paramount.

Metadata is what we know, data is what were looking for - use the metadata as a lever to get out the data. Everything is now a lever!

Suggested changes to Ranganathan's Five Laws:  every book its network.

November 2, 2012

The Rise of Women in Tech

"It’s time for the old adage that women neither like nor do well in math and science be put to rest …"

Amen to that! The folks at MBA-Online have put together another great infographic showing how this is changing, the impact it's having both in the workplace and in our wallets, and a few facts I didn't realize - like how the wage gap is 7% narrower for women in STEM fields.

As a woman in a STEM field - that of astronomical construction - I am heartened every day when I look around at our optical engineer (a woman), our enclosure engineer (a woman), or our thermal engineer (another woman), or talk with the mail system administrator (yep, you guessed it), or interact with any of the solar astrophysicists I talk to weekly (you got it). I feel very, very lucky to work in a project that has pretty much thrown the "typical" attitude out the window.

I can also see the significant change in organizational approach when I walk down the hallways of our sister organization, and compare the astronomers who've joined us in the last 10 years with the tenured astronomer batch - there are distinct gender and racial gaps. I'm so happy to see that change happening!

Be sure to check out the entire graphic