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.


Project Management


Margot Hanson, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, California Maritime Academy
Annis Lee Adams, E-Resources & Reference Librarian, Golden Gate University
Andrew Tweet, Librarian, William Jessup University
Kevin Pischke, Library Director & Director of the Learning Commons, William Jessup University

Projects, projects, projects! How do libraries manage, keep track of progress, and collaborate on projects? This talk provides a few different looks at current project management practices in a variety of libraries. Speakers focus on project management software options, and share some tips on selecting and implementing appropriate project management software to fit a library’s needs. They report on findings from a survey of libraries currently using project management software or other tools to track projects. Survey results show a snapshot of which platforms libraries are currently using, and what types of library projects are a good fit for project management software. Presenters share standards and best practices from the project management industry and frame their analysis using these principles.

Tech Tools for Engaging Communities


Sarah Bonato, Reference/Collection Development Librarian, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
John Shoesmith, Outreach Librarian, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

This session covers technology for connecting in new ways to your immediate library community and also reaching out to new and unknown communities. It discusses a process that can be adapted for any library, including a rare book library and a health sciences library. Hear from an outreach librarian who uses new strategies, services, and tools to allow the library to live beyond its bookshelves for more active promotion. The CAMH Library is actively engaging users outside of the library using web development tools and techniques including audio/video software such as GarageBand and iMovie, Web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, and Vine, and content management software such as Drupal. Barriers, challenges, pitfalls, and timelines for launching new projects using emerging technologies for the user experience are shared, including listening to your userbase and working with your corporate structure.

Usability Testing: On Board & on a Shoestring


Sara O’Donnell, User Experience Reference Librarian and Webmaster, University of Northern Colorado Libraries
Jodie Borgerding, Instruction & Liaison Librarian, Webster University Library

Usability testing is one of the most effective ways for libraries to connect with their user base while assessing and improving their online presence. At its best, usability testing is a highly collaborative process. The feedback, support, and time your colleagues contribute is key to even one round of successful testing, to say nothing of ongoing iterative testing. But how do you secure stake- holder buy-in and demonstrate that usability testing is a valuable undertaking? O’Donnell explores this question and offers practical guidance and strategies for implementing usability testing. The second presentation discusses how Webster University Library’s web committee decided to conduct usability testing on their current website design to plan for a possible future redesign. After reviewing various testing models, they felt that observational task analysis would be the most cost-effective yet efficient model for a first round of testing. Hear how they utilized Adobe Connect to record and capture participants’ actions, the pros and cons to using Adobe Connect for usability testing, and preliminary results of their findings. Future plans and lessons learned from usability testing are discussed by both speakers.


Using Web Analytics for Site Improvement


Amy Vecchione, Assistant Professor/Digital Access Librarian, Head Digital Access Team, Digital Access, Boise State University Idaho Library Associaton
Margot Hanson, Instruction & Outreach Librarian, California Maritime Academy
Annis Lee Adams, E-Resources & Reference Librarian, Golden Gate University

Vecchione shares the experience of the Web and Mobile Team at BSU Library using Google Analytics to help determine the usability and functionality of their website in addition to user testing. They used exit capture events through Google Analytics to see which parts of their website were used and how much. They were able to see a better flow and determine what web users value on their site. The Golden Gate University librarians embarked on a project to analyze four data sources to improve the user experience of their library website. They determined what objective data to use for web content analysis. Hear their results!


Super Searcher Secrets


Mary Ellen Bates, Principal, Bates Information Services, Inc.

This popular annual favorite features our super searcher who continues to surprise and impress with new strategies, techniques, and tips for getting the most out of web research. The host of Searchers Academy (where even more secrets are shared) provides an up-to-the minute and jam-packed-with-valuable-tools-and-tips talk that’s always a hit!


The New State of Search: Google, Discovery, & Apps


Greg Notess, Reference Team Leader, Montana State University

Search is changing. Google’s increased emphasis on its Knowledge Graph and predictive search along with hardware hopes is moving search in new directions at the same time that library databases are consolidating into discovery platforms and next-generation integrated library systems. Meanwhile, the diversity of devices and the proliferation of apps are leading to more and more different ways to search it all. Come hear the latest in how the search ecosystem is rapidly changing at all levels: from input to the results display and alternate forms of delivery.

Clarifying Copyright for the Classroom Teacher


Phyllis R. Snipes, Associate Professor, School Library Media, University of West Georgia

Are your fellow teachers still struggling with copyright and fair use issues? In this session, Snipes presents a variety of Web 2.0 tools created to explain and clarify copyright guidelines for classroom teachers. Tools are ready-made for use in K–12 in-services or professional development sessions. Web 2.0 tools used for developing instructional products on copyright issues include weebly, prezi, glogster, comic life, and others. Several “copyright creations” will be shared along with links to each.

Embedded Librarianship With Google Docs


Zoe P Midler, Teacher-Librarian, Flagstaff Academy

Want to learn how to kick-start collaboration, virtually share your information environment expertise, and create added value within your learning community via Google Docs? Midler presents a gallery of real-world examples that demonstrate how librarians can harness the power of Google Docs as a vehicle for embedding information- environment and research-strategy expertise at the point of need and as a collaboration and reflection platform.

And find even more excellent Internet Librarian presentations here!