This year I was fortunate to attend both days of the annual NJLA Conference in Long Branch, NJ. My committee, the CUS / NJ-ACRL Technology Committee, sponsored 6 programs and gave an award (the 2011 NJLA CUS Technology Innovation Award). Following are some brief* highlights and useful links from the conference:
Tuesday May 3, 2011
Libraries and the Cloud
In this session, David Lisa and Bob Keith from the NJ State Library shared their thoughts and recommendations on libraries and the use of cloud computing. Some of their recommendations include:
- Cloud-based screencasting tools — Screenjelly and Screenr.
- Office365 — Microsoft’s answer to Google Docs.
- Storage solutions – Amazon S3, and Wuala as a more secure alternative to Dropbox. The presenters also reminded us of the 321 backup rule.
Technology Innovation Forum
In this session, the award nominees presented on their projects which I link to here:
- Sidney Silverman Library, BCC’s Sidney Mobile and QR Codes — http://www.bergen.edu/pages1/Pages/683.aspx (links to the library homepage where the QR Code and link to the mobile site can be viewed in the left navigator). As more library patrons acquire smart phones, the use of mobile tools for promoting our collections and services will grow.
- Steven’s Institute of Techology’s One Search simple solution for web searching — http://www.slideshare.net/val_forrestal/lib-tech11 (presentation on this topic) and http://theinfobabe.blogspot.com/ (actual code files). This tool is an interesting alternative to LibX. Valerie and Barbara make it very easy for you to borrow their code and create your own browser tool. It works with any browser (unlike LibX which works only with IE and Firefox).
- NJVid — http://www.njvid.net
- Fairleigh Dickinson University Library’s presentation on the successful eReader and iPad lending program
Wednesday May 4, 2011
Web & Mobile Tools for Improving Library Services
Mostly a repeat of Tuesday afternoon’s Technology Innovation Forum. One additional speaker, Mei Ling Lo, Math/Science Librarian at Rutgers, compared and contrasted Zotero and Mendeley — 2 free, web-based citation management tools that are powerful competitors to EndNote and Refworks.
Let’s Talk About Failure: Innovation, Risk and Failure
Kenley Neufeld spoke about what can learn from taking chances and sometimes failing. He suggested that a down economy is the best time to plan for the future. That we should be creative and do things that don’t cost money — take risks and be something that people don’t expect you to be. Check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yetHqWODp0 (“Life=Risk”).
Academic Luncheon – Speaker Kathy Dempsey Promote Your Value: Prove You’re Essential
I was only able to stay for part of this talk as I had to go setup for my next program. Eleanor Friedl, Maria Kocylowsky and Michele Nestory all attended this luncheon. The speaker recommended the “Accidental Librarian” series (accidental library marketer, accidental library manager, etc.). She strongly recommended that we read the “Value of Academic Libraries” report along with other reports that offer insight and tips on communicating with faculty (“Don’t talk about what the library is doing, talk about the difference that we are making”). She suggested that we look at http://www.socialmention.com to see what others are saying about us and our libraries on the Web as a first step to managing our online presence.
Social Media is not a Broadcast Medium
Kenley Neufeld again. This time he spoke about where we are going next with social media. He suggested that the growing Twitter demographic is younger, urban and non-white. To enhance our presence on social media sites, libraries need to move from posting about events, news and services to engaging in conversation. Example for an interactive blog topic — ask patrons to guess or vote for the top 5 library books borrowed. Follow his library on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/lurialibrary. Kenley suggests that video is very important and that the the library should look into hiring a marketing intern to help with video production and marketing. Email newsletters remain popular with some patrons. MailChimp offers a free newsletter solution. PostPost is a social search tool for indexing your most popular tweets. Instagram and Color are photo sharing tools. Twitter offers alerts. Facebook offers analytics — http://www.facebook.com/insights. YouTube offers analytics. Kenley was the 2nd or 3rd presenter to extol the virtures of using bit.ly as a URL shortner and a means to track statistics. I have been using bit.ly for a while and have now signed-up for my own, free, account.
RDA Under Scrutiny
Sharon Yang and Marilyn Quinn from Rider University spoke about RDA and the Semantic Web.
*I will post links to the full presentations as they become available on the NJLA Wiki.