Category Archives: Conferences & Presentations

ILI Sessions

Here’s a breakdown of sessions I’m involved in:

Workshop 2: Successful Technology Training
10:00 ? 13:00
Michael Stephens, St. Joseph County Public Library (USA)

This energetic, fast-paced workshop teaches how to plan and implement successful technology training that is centered on the user and defined by user needs. Delegates will learn three methods to analyse and define users? technology needs, a ?sure fire? test to ensure measurable outcomes and objectives,
simplified task analysis for breaking learning down into steps, a toolbox of strategies to make technology learning fun and interesting, and two approaches to demonstrate and reinforce learning. With theory made practical, demonstrations of real world training and instruction, and in-class practice using these techniques, this workshop is fun and highly interactive.

Tuesday, 12 October
Track B ? Optimising Technology in Libraries [Chalford/Dean Suite]
Moderator: Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University (USA)

This track is a special 2-hour session featuring three technology gurus talking about how to plan for and put new technologies to work in your libraries. Listen in on their high energy wavelength as they wrap up with a stimulating panel discussion that challenges librarians to expand their horizons and take on new technology projects.

Sessions B201 & B202
Optimising Technology in Libraries


Libraries, Blogs & RSS
Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University (USA)

Weblogs (blogs) are one of the hottest things on the web today, but what relevance do they have to libraries? A lot, according to Frank Cervone. Weblogs can help you learn about developments in any field, but they can also be used to reach out to patrons in new and exciting ways. Listen and learn how
new technologies, such as RSS, are used to provide new, exciting services and how they are being deployed in libraries today. You will also learn what blogs are, about blogging software, and how blogs can be used to provide more effective library services.

Beyond E-Mail! Wikis, Blogs and Social Networking Software
Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, UKOLN (UK)

We know about using the web for publishing, but several recent innovations offer richer and more interactive ways to support communications and collaboration. For young people, communications tools such as instant messaging and mobile phone technologies are widely used and even replacing e-mail. Brian Kelly will discuss new collaborative technologies, such as wikis and blogs, and the emergence of social networking software. He will describe challenges and strategies for deploying these intriguing, new collaborative tools and show examples of how they are being used in libraries today.

Technology Planning for Libraries: Avoiding Technolust & Technobust
Michael Stephens, Technology Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library (USA)

Deploying new technologies requires effective technology planning. How do we serve our users with innovative technology and still remain within our budgets? Michael Stephens discusses current hot technologies such as RFID, wifi, MP3s, DRM, federated searching and how they might fit into library technology plans. He will cover what to consider when planning new technology initiatives, including: cost, training, ROI, staffing, etc. Technolust (defined as wanting technology for the sake of technology) is a frequent pitfall for technology enthusiasts. Learn how to create a well-written technology plan that serves as a guide to help you avoid technobust!

Optimising Technology in Libraries (Panel Discussion)
Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University (USA)
Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus, UKOLN (UK)
Michael Stephens, Technology Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library (USA)

Join the three speakers in this special session for stimulating discussion of where technology for libraries is headed, which new developments they see as best bets for successful projects, and their tips on strategies, deployment, and technical problems.

2 PEAS in a POD


Goodness! What fun and we were working too. I jumped in the Blazer early this am and hightailed it to Western Springs, Il to meet Aaron to work on our blog article and our talk for Internet Librarian 2004.

We are speaking as part of a two part session on Instant Messaging and its use in library settings. I’m tickled to be doing this!

We started at Panera in LaGrange, dined at Chipotle and finished up at Aaron’s library, Thomas Ford Memorial. As we totally geeked out with our two 17″ PowerBooks — co-editing a document with Apple’s Rendezvous & SubEthaEdit, building PPT Slides and bluetoothing Apple mailboxes and other files — he said: “We are two peas in a pod with these Macs…”

Yes indeed!

(I also got to hug Mao and see his sweet wife Kate!)

Technology Training Tribunal

Join 4 Technology Trainers at Internet Librarian 2004 — Sunday November 15th after the preconferences. We’ll be hosting a Community of Interest networking session… if you train in a library setting and want to chat and ask questions or give answers — we’ll see you there.

Scheduled to lead the discussion/be on hand to chat:

Robert Lewandowski – St. Joseph County Public Library Technology Trainer
Michael Porter – LibraryMan Blog
Aaron Schmidt – walkingpaper & Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Michael Stephens – TTW Blog, SJCPL & member of the UNT IMLS PhD program

LITA Top Technology Trends: An ALA 2004 Congrunt

LITA Top Technology Trends ? An ALA Congrunt

(Note: no wifi makes it into the Ballroom of the Peabody Hotel but the Lobby upstairs offers free WiFi! I?ll post this after the session.)

Ok – The moderator said the names so quickly, said them only once and the room was so full that I never caught them in the way I should have. I will come back and edit this soon but I wanted to post it now before I leave the lobby of the Peabody! Take a look at this page of contributors at LITA’s Web site.


Eric Lease Morgan, University of Notre Dame:

Two different piles of trends: Collections & Services

E-resource management systems: MARC is not good enough to describe our collections, which are much more diverse: leased data, etc.

Open source software is one way to create tools we need to manage collections

?If the whole of the library is a book:? each page is something different ? the library?s Web site is like a Table of Contents and the library?s catalog is like the index in the back of the book. The two compliments each other.

We can create our own collections with Web Services ? OAI is an example of this technology.?

?Collections without services is like the sound of one hand clapping?

People are expecting more and more stuff from libraries. Amazon, Google & eBay set expectations.

?What has the library done for me lately??

Note from MS: I liked this point. What are librarians doing to keep people excited about coming to the library. I’m also reminded of Andrew K. Pace’s point at CIL’s Dead Tech Session that if we dumb down our public PCs in the name of “security” are we really serving our users?

Next Fellow:

Trend: Personal software that sits with the user.

Problem: The world of e-mail: ?systematic destruction? of an effective communication tool. Filters have made systems unreliable. Authentication may alleviate some.

Marshall Breeding:

Library Automation: systems are constantly changing and improving. JAVA is in use as a client-side environment, replacing Windows. If any new protocol comes out that does not support XML it?s in trouble.

Electronic Resource Management: a crisis: we need more tools to manage our resources. We spend a lot of $$$ why has this become a problem? The solution will take care of OpenURL issues, link resolving and other issues.

Open Source: ILS systems could go to Open Source. Look at the Georgia example.

MS: And run to CJ’s excellent post about it at technobiblio!

Networking: Thoughts on what to purchase: Gigabit Ethernet should be the commodity now. (Somone on the podium chimed in:.. some applause in the room…) WiFi: 802.11g is the flavor of the day.

Roy Tennant: (who had his 17? PowerBook on the podium with him and various storage devices)

Three things Roy knows: one that is true, one he hopes is true and one he wishes was true

Know: Storage: This is the year that it became a reasonable proposition for someone to have a terabyte of storage. All devices come with storage.

People are now carrying on their person now than we had on our desktops a few years ago! How will this impact libraries? Will students get their course readings downloaded onto their storage devices?

MS:Dr. O?Connor distributed readings on CDROM.

Hope: We are entering the Golden Age of Digital Libraries: We have developed common terminologies and common experience in creating digital libraries. Basic standards and protocols are emerging. We can create new collections and services.

Wish: Creation of a new bibliographic infrastructure for libraries ? ?MARC must die!? there must be deeper ways to create catalog records. For example, a digitized TOC might be shared between libraries ofr their catalogs.

Walt Crawford:

Four suggestions from Readers:

A Problem: DRM ?Digital Restrictions Management? Why is it so difficult for libraries to circulate legal MP3 files. It could be that libraries will only be able to circ BOOKS!

A Promise: Open Source access may allow huge repositories of scholarly publication, changing the model of publishing

The next two he labeled as “fads:”

Fads: ?Blogging is Catching On? and some blogs are very useful. Example: ResourceShelf.

Fads: ?RSS? ? Growing potential for agencies to deliver documents and alerting people to things they may be interested in.

Joan Frye Williams:

A PL Library?s Web Site should be like a branch. They are management and service related. Leads to a trend: the line between the tech-heads and the front-line librarians has blurred. Librarians are using technology tools to help people.

PLs should run your web site like a branch.

Migration of Info Commons idea to Teen services: to reach the people you want to reach, look at what academic libraries are doing for scholars and apply it.

Problem: Self Check and touch screens do not lend themselves to bibliographic data. Home Depot self-checks have had negative impact on the opinion of such services.

Emerging Trend: UW I School ?Information Silence and Sanctuary? ? info rich environments and what that means to humans. How to construct these environments. Layer on layer of more info and tech changes the way we move through this environment ? classic response is rejection. Maybe there are better ways to create info environments?

Things to be afraid of: biometrics. Watch out for Biometric companies that are romancing local governments ? hmmm, the library has a lot of people that could be identified via thumbprint, etc.

Final point: Kids are born into this technology-laden world. They get it. Wired into it to make sense of it all: cell phones, etc. ?well practice dude.?

Mitch Wolf:

We need to re-conceive our libraries to allow 60+ folks to help us manage resources, etc. They want to help.

Last guy:

Utility computing: outsourcing some IT work. Sometimes makes economic sense, sometimes not.

Watch: JPEG 2000 ? has interesting archival aspects and prospects of interactive manipulation.

Indiana Online Users Group Meeting

Got Questions? – Serving Up a Glass of New Technology
The Indiana Online Users Group Spring 2004 Program was yesterday at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library in Plainfield, Indiana, on the west side of Indianapolis.

Here’s the blurb for the day: “The world of library technology is constantly changing. Reading about those changes is good, but hearing how your colleagues are using new technology is better. Take advantage of this chance to ask questions and learn from others during the IOLUG Spring Program. Howard Rosenbaum of IU SLIS will give us an overview of new trends in the library world. The remainder of the day will include fellow librarians from Indiana covering a wide variety of topics. There is sure to be something to quench everyone?s thirst for more information.”

What a great day! I got to see old friends, colleagues, new friends and discuss some cool stuff happening in libraries. A highlight was introducing myself to Howard Rosenbaum, who I have heard great things about. His talk was wonderful! (I have notes I’ll post next)

I did an expanded and updated version of my blogging program from the Indiana Library Federation meeting in April.

The presentation is here.

10 Things I’ve Learned Presenting at Library Conferences

1. Always be prepared. Arm yourself with multiple digital versions of your presentation, a USB storage device, a cable for your laptop to attach it to ANY projector you may encounter and a back up plan if any or all technological links in the presentation chain fail. Could you do the material cold from your notes and handout?

2. If presenting in a track, try to be present for the other speakers. It?s respectful, can be useful in augmenting your talk on the fly with other ideas and examples (i.e. ?This morning Person X discussed blogging and using blogs internally for libraries, here’s my take on that??) and it provides a cohesiveness that track-based schedules perpetuate.

3.Share! If co-presenting or presenting with another person on two topics in one session, be mindful of the time frame and make sure folks get to ask questions of both parties ? especially if you go second.

4. Have fun!Don?t hide behind a piece of paper reading or stand so straight and stiff that you look uncomfortable. The audience is just folks –library folks — and we’re a pretty encouraging group of people.

5. Know your stuff, yes, but don?t mind or falter if someone asks a question you cannot answer. There is nothing wrong with saying ?I don?t know.? Someone else might or you can chat after the talk.

6. Be mindful of acronyms. Define, even if you think everyone in the place knows what you are talking about. At ILF, I off-handedly mentioned RFID and plowed right on with my talk. Afterward, a nice lady came up and said: ? I have a stupid question: what?s RFID??

7.There are no stupid questions.

8.Deliver a clear message. If you are explaining some technology, do your best to put it in everyone’s terms or help them understand it with analogies, etc. A presenter who can present technology-laden topics to people without putting them off with techno-babble is a good presenter indeed.

9. Humor works, but not at the expense of anyone ? our users, our colleagues, ourselves. (Well, a little humor about ourselves is good: ?I?m a librarian, I can?t go anywhere without handouts??)

10. Don?t think: ?I could never speak at such-and-such conference.? If you have something good to say ? look for ways to say it! InfoToday conferences, ALA, PLA, state meetings, local meetings ? look around! Get involved! Propose!

BONUS Remember: It’s not ME ME ME… it’s “what can we talk about and learn that will help our library users get to information better, faster and in a way they will recognize the great value of libraries?”