Thursday, April 10, 2014

#CILDC : Index of all Digitization 101 blog posts on the 2014 Computers in Libraries Conference

So that you can find all of the blog posts I've written for the 2014 Computers in Libraries Conference, here is a quick index:

Brainstorming session
Day 1:
Dorotea Szkolar
Day 2:

Chances of Success
Day 3:
Several people remarked about the abundance of good content in this conference. It could be that the conference theme sparked threads and presentations that were quite timely.

Thinking quickly, the themes/ideas that stood out to me were:
  • Be tactical
  • Take big risks
  • Work with your community and keep them first in your mind
  • Brainstorming can be fun and useful
  • Hack your library and your career
  • Global and local policies matter
  • Being awesome doesn't always require a lot of money
  • Introducing new tech is important, but building community is more important
I was amazed at the number of people that commented positively on my brainstorming session (Enabling Innovation), including a woman in the Dupont Circle Metro elevator on Wednesday afternoon.  I hope that people take the results of that session and use it, as well as use my slides. (If anyone wants me to reprise that presentation, let me know.)

The 2015 Computers in Libraries Conference will be March 23-25, 2015 at the Washington Hilton. This will be CIL's 30th anniversary, so I expect that the atmosphere will be special, as we look back in some ways, as well as keeping our eyes on the future. I look forward to see you there!

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

#CILDC : Community Impact: Tactics & Recognition

Description: Sweeney teaches attendees about some of the latest tools and techniques that SuperPACs use across the country to influence elections and advocate for their agendas. He shares how to use these tools and techniques to advocate for libraries, build a coalition of library supporters, market library services, and better inform the general populace about the importance of the library. Then hear from winners of the IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service for excellent service to their communities about ways they use technology to engage their communities, as well as some of their leading-edge practices. From AfterSchool Edge stations to help reduce summer learning loss in math to internet safety lessons for students, these libraries share perspectives on channeling technology to further their work as community anchors.

Session Notes

PC Sweeney - EveryLibrary - a superPAC.  They can talk directly to voters.
Successes - Santa Clara and others.  Great return on every dollar donated to a campaign.
34% would definitely vote for libraries
34% might vote for libraries
The remainder would vote no (26%)
Party affiliation doesn't matter.
Doesn't matter how many people in your community have a library card.
Library use doesn't matter.  What does matter?  The library's relationship to you/people/community.
The library is its staff....and the community thinks that everyone who works in a library is seen as a librarians.
The librarian IS the candidate.
Your library IS the campaign.

The library cannot tell people to vote yes or no.  That is illegal.

People do things for you because they perceive that you like them.

Tell stories that matter.  People don't care about statistics.  Talk about impact.
Develop your message. Control your message.  Your mission statement is your message to the public.
Build a coalition of supporters.

Keep your community engaged online.
Consider Facebook ads.  They are cost effective.
"Give me an email list long enough and a program from which to send it and I can move the world." - Archimedes (not!)

Get out of the library.  You need to be seen.

Do a door to door library card campaign.  This is a great way of teaching staff how to do canvassing (not as part of their work).

Host house parties - could be book clubs.  Again...make persona contact.
Host letter writing parties.
Develop an editorial calendar.
Do paid advertising.  Radio, TV, newspapers, movie theaters
Show up at community meetings.
Attend / create networking events (Network after work(tm))

Michele Farrell - IMLS
National Medal for Museum and Library Services
Can your library be a winner?  One of the things you get is a media campaign. You also get a StoryCorps visit.
You can leverage the National Medal.  It can help you get grants and more funding.
Anyone can nominate.  Deadline is October 15.  Application is available at

Are you working at an award winning library?  The answer may be"yes"!

Kim Fender - Received the National Medal, May 2013, Hamilton County, Ohio
We don't collect data on our users, do we?
Zip code
Branch visited
...and more

During their strategic plan, created 10 cardholder clusters.  Focused their services on three clusters.
Have a dashboard for each branch that displays who is coming in based on the clusters.
Also use the ILS to identify hot authors.  You can designate who you want to follow.  Can automatically  put a hold on your favorite authors.
They also push out information on new arrivals.
Have weekly newsletters.
They do a lot of push marketing, because they have a lot of data.  Beta library for the Savannah software.

Their data shows that people, who receive email blasts, are more active with the library.

Rethink your policies.  Are they appropriate and friendly?
New branches will not have a service desk, but will use tablets with a mobile app.

Candace Rush, Park View High School, another IMLS winner
Diversity is their strength.  52% Hispanic. 24% white.  59% eligible for federally subsidized  lunch programs.

They model the use of technology.
White technology through promethean suite.
ActiveInspire (flipcharts)
activotes and activexpressions

Use software and web-based presentation tools - video, movie, text, etc.
Use data collation software - for big question research.

Alexandria: your PVHS Information Portal
Access to the online catalogue, databases, ebooks, and more

"Mission Possible" library orientation - five missions
9th graders are divided into teams.  They learn group work.  Once a team is finished, they put together presentations on what they have found.

Digital Learning Day @ PVHS Library - setup 11 learning stations.  Done during Teen Tech Week.
Teen Tech Week Maker Spaces


#CILDC : Hacking the Librarian: Evolving Personal & Career Development - Jennifer Koerber

Description: It's old news that librarianship is changing as a profession, and we understand that library professionals need to change with it. But how? How do you learn to see yourself 5, 10, or 20 years down the line when we have no idea what's coming next spring? Learn from someone who has bootstrapped herself from a tech-nervous newbie to a code-savvy web librarian over the last 20 years, and brainstorm ways to evolve all your strengths, skills and interests into your next big thing.

Session Notes

Jennifer started with a quick overview of her career and interests.  She's not geek, but is surrounded by geeks. Osmosis is awesome.  She's a web services librarian, who is mostly self taught.

In 2006, when she looked at current MSLIS graduates, she panicked because - on paper - they were better.  Later that year, attended Internet Librarian, which reactivated her learning and jumped into the technologies of the day.

She began to advocate for a position of web services librarian and it was created in 2010, and she was awarded the position.

Jennifer -
Self taught, entirely
Need to know basis
Building on what you know
Play - push the buttons
Become comfortable with discomfort

We need to expect change.  The days of staying in the same job forever are gone.

She found the "Accidental..." Series was very helpful.  Also "What's the Alternative"

Stay informed:
Social media - friends and colleagues
Popular magazines and web sites
Gizmodo, CNet,Lifehacker, etc.
Major news sources

Technical conferences
Gaming conventions - must attend conferences 2014

You need to try to conquer your fears,whether you're afraid of technology, public speaking,etc.

You need to hack yourself as much as you need to.

You do need to be realistic:
Start with your current strengths and skills - find directions in which to grow
Do the job,push yourself - don't force yourself to be what you're not
Focus on your strengths, most passionate interests - stay aware of what else is out there

Engage all of your interests - that expanded knowledge will be useful as you do your job.  You will be more aware of the world.

"Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself."

What is your current role at work?
What do you enjoy most about it.
What are your current interests, inside and outside of work?
What skills have these interests fostered.
List at least 5 things that you've discovered during the conference.

Based on your lists, what possibilities do you see?
Pick one and list what you need to follow up on it?
Is it doable?  If not now, then in the next few years?


#CILDC : Library Hackathons: How, Why, & Impact! - Justin Grimes & Nate Hill

Description: Last year IMLS issued a challenge around its Public Library Survey data as part of the inaugural National Day of Civic Hacking, June 1–2, 2013. With 11,000 participants nationwide, the event resulted in the creation of several IMLS-related projects, as well as greater awareness of library hackathon involvement throughout the country. Whether through hosted events or participation in local challenges, a number of libraries engaged in this nationwide open data event. Presenters share lessons learned from their involvement as well as practical tips for hosting your own library hackathon. Learn how libraries can add value to these events and reach new users for transformative results.

Session Notes

What is a hackathon? Event that lasts 1-2 days to do software development.  More broadly...a tool for community organizing.

The National Day of Civic Hacking - 95 events nationwide in June 2013. IMLS made data available and asked people to come up with new ways of using that data.  People did maps, data cleaning, mobile apps, analysis.  The best thing is that IMLS got engagement with a larger community.  They got to hear what people wanted in terms of data and access.  Raised awareness of what IMLS does.

Dozens of libraries and museums participated in this day as hosts, etc.  Chattanooga participate in this.

Hackathons have intentional themes.

Chattanooga -
DPLA appfest, Nov, 2012 - ~100 people.  What tools do people need in order to do a hackathon? What does the environment need to have in it?  People need the space to self organize.
Not just your house! Be a part of the community.
You may want to participate in one first, before you host one.  It is a way of building community.  You also know better how one works and what it needs.

48 hour Launch, March 2014 - not just writing code.  Some left the event with business plans.  Others create visual designs of their ideas.

DevDev, 2013, Developing Developers for a summer camp.  50 kids. Will be done in 2014 again.

They are wonderful momentum builders.

People often make crappy apps at these events.  The true benefit is the community and what can come next.

Mozilla and NSF are investing in Chattanooga.  The Gigabit Community Fund.  Started off with something that was charette-like.

National Day of Hacking - result...are going to serve open data from the library.  Have written a grant. People can build using this data.  For example, the Chatt Crimes app.  This means that they have regular hackathons around this.

Hackathon fatigue is a real thing. Don't overdo it.  You should coordinate efforts. Build a greater community that way.

How does the library deal with people in the library after hours?  Chattanooga sees this as a priority. The staff works a lot to provide coverage.  One "problem" is that you can't regularly have beer in the library. Thankfully there is a dive bar across the street.

And things that are dangerous about Hackathons?  No. Be aware that the people who do hackathons are activists.  The biggest danger is not planning well enough.

Hackathons are 99% planning.  Establish rules and a framework.  Create a safe place, so that you will get a diverse group participating.  You need to do lots of outreach.  There are resources online that you can use to help create a safe place from other hackathons.

Libraries need staff that "get" hackathons and coding.  If you're outsourcing your software/web development, you're on the outside on this community.

Hackathons can create space for intergenerational learning.  Don't prevent that.  Staff/volunteers need to be present to ensure a safe space and good interaction.

If people have concerns with the work "hack", then call it something else.  The important thing is what you do and not what you call it.

Infrastructure needs - don't start with that, start with what the community is all about.  Find the sweet spot between their needs and what the library can offer.  You may need to use a different building.

Grimes will make slides available that contains some of the minimal needs for a hackathon.  (I suspect that the information is online somewhere.)

Addendum (4/14/2014):

Hackathon in a box,
How to run a hackathon,


#CILDC : Technologies: Marketplace Report - Marshall Breeding

Description: Libraries worldwide spend almost $2 billion/year on technology products and services and are constantly considering prudent strategic technology investments. Author of the “Automation Marketplace Industry Report” (Library Journal) since 2002, Breeding has the incredible ability to explain the current state of the industry and what we need to watch for in the future and factor into our technology decisions today.

Session Notes

Library IT industry is $1.8 billion (USD)
$790 million from companies involved in the U.S.
U.S. Revenues from libraries $495 million

Ex Libris is the largest company in the industry (number of employees).  ~4000 libraries.
innovative is growing.  1600 libraries.  Many have multiple facilities.
SirsiDynix - nearly 4000 libraries.

Including some companies is tricky, because of their breadth of services, e.g., OCLC.  The same thing is true for EBSCO.

Size of library customers can skew revenues.
There are both big and small companies in the space.
Keystone Library Systems builds systems for spoke with sight disabilities.
Open source software factors in this. Generally those companies are small.  A lot of development happens outside of those companies.

Interesting terms of M&A.  Lots more companies in this space, since it began in the 1960s. Recently, a smaller number of companies.

Consolidation is both good and bad. Libraries have fewer choices. You end upwind a company that you didn't choose.  Libraries have issues to work through.

Large development shops can create modern automation systems. There is the potential for our systems to get lots better.  We hope that software developers will the software that libraries want or need.

Personnel growth / loss among these companies. Some companies have grown since 2006.  Not all are growing.

Polaris has been the same size for  a long time.  Hard to do better things without growing.  Now acquired by Innovative.

Last year Innovative went through a transformation.  Owned by private equity firms. The CEO is a professional in the tech sphere. The workforce is growing and they are going internationally. Off-shoring some software development.  On March31, they acquired Polaris.  Polaris was a good solid company and a model for customer support that others envied. They want to scale some Polaris systems to their own products.  Polaris was already investor owned.  Both companies have products that need important improvements.  They are already talking about a next generation system.

SirsiDynix acquired EOS International.  EOS was smaller than Polaris.  Both specialize in software as a service.  (SAAS).

EBSCO - major internal consolidation. Publishing + Information Services.

ProQuest has also done internal consolidation.  Serials Solution brand has been retired.

Follett Library Systems has consolidated around K-12 schools.

Luddea - Sydney plus, inmagic (and I lost the third)

2013 was a good sales year.  New library services platforms are being adopted. This transition will take 5-10 years.  Some are available, while some are still in development.  The new genre of automation systems.

ILS products will continue to evolve and may be appropriate for some public libraries that are focused on physical collections.

Breeding's slides contain much more details.