or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk


Upcoming Workshop: Mobilize Your Patrons

   April 26th, 2011 Brian Herzog

NELA: New England Library AssociationEvery spring, the IT Section of the New England Library Association hosts a workshop on some aspect of technology in libraries (past workshops rocked). I'm actually one of the presenters at this year's workshop, along with far more interesting people, and the topic is:

Mobilize Your Patrons: Library Services in a Hand-Held World

2011 ITS Spring Event
New England Library Association - Information Technology Section

When Friday, June 17, 2011, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Where Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston MA 01505 (directions)

Registration (includes lunch!)

  • NELA members - $50
  • Non-members - $65
  • Library school students & unemployed librarians - $35

Registration closes Friday June 3th. Space is limited.

Agenda

9:00 AM Registration

9:30 AM Keynote - Megan K. Fox, the Director of Knowledge Management and IT, Jobs for the Future

Libraries on the Go: Trends in Mobile Tools and Applications
Current hardware and new technologies are making hand-held computers essential for on-the-go users. Fox highlights the latest development in applications for mobile and hand-held tools and how these can and are being utilized by libraries and information seekers of all kinds.

11:15 AM - Jessamyn West, a technologist living in rural Vermont studying the digital divide and solving technology problems for schools and libraries

The Mayor of Everywhere Using Social Tools to be More Places at Once
Web 2.0 tools are uncomplicated to use and freely available online, and they have been making it easy and even enjoyable to remix, share, and repurpose content. The added new dimension of ubiquitous mobile computing is providing more opportunities for libraries to reach patrons and for patrons to interact with librarians. This presentation will address trends in Web 2.0 and social technology.

12:30 PM Lunch (included in registration)

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM Panel presentation/discussion on practical library applications

  • Brian Herzog: Making your Library Mobile-Friendly
    Tools and techniques to create a useful resource for your mobile patrons
  • Bonnie Roalsen & Ryan Livergood: Talking Walls & Augmented Realities
    Using QR codes to extend your library’s services and programs, engage your communities and construct mobile knowledge networks
  • Christine Drew: Enabling Mobile Academic Library Users
    Accessing student’s technology-use, deploying a mobile site, dabbling with QR codes

3:30 PM The End

It should be a great day. For my part, I'm basically going to go through the steps I took to make a mobile site for my library, and also mention a few other mobile options for libraries.

Whether you're considering maybe possibly thinking about doing something in the mobile world, or looking for new ways to interact with the mobile patrons you're already serving, there should be something for everyone at this workshop - I hope to see you there.



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More Fun With Barcodes

   February 10th, 2011 Brian Herzog

Example BarcodeIn the course of looking at scanning digital barcodes, I also ran across some resources for making print barcodes.

Since most libraries rely rather heavily on barcodes, this might be news to no one but me - but I still had fun with it. Did you know there are lots of websites that let you type in numbers to create free custom barcodes? The internet thinks of everything.

My two favorite are:

All of the websites I played with will generate a barcode image that can be saved, printed, etc. Some also had the Web 2.0 embed function, which is useful for embedding in a page meant to be displayed on a mobile phone.

But being able to generate and print custom barcodes is what I liked - perfect for those library patrons who have memorized their library card number over the years, but lost their physical card. Now, instead of having to give them a new card with a new number, we can just print a new barcode for their old number, put it on a new library card with tape or a barcode protector, and they are back in business.

Not to mention, of course, the endless possibilities for using QR codes in libraries.

Another fun thing - barcodes aren't just for numbers:

Example of longer barcode


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