April 26th, 2011 Brian Herzog
Every 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.
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.
Tags: information technology section, its, libraries, Library, mobile, nela, nela-its, nelaits, nelaits11, new england library association, qr codes, smartphone, smartphones, workshop
June 16th, 2009 Brian Herzog
A quick recap of my experiment to both twitter and blog the CMS Day workshop last week: I didn't like it.
And interestingly, while catching up with rss that night, I read Librarian by Day very nicely summing up everything I didn't like about it.
Blogging a conference is how I take notes for myself during the sessions - I don't know if it's helpful to anyone else, but it is to me, and I put it out there just in case someone else is curious. But twittering a conference ultimately felt like a series of inside jokes that only people at the conference would get.
Don't get me wrong - the conference was great, which is why I was trying to share it. So perhaps it is my lack of tweet skills, but it didn't seem that 140 characters, without the context of the conference, is very helpful (other than a laugh or two).
I'm still new to this, so forgive me if this observation has already been made: it occurred to me that twittering is the metadata of life. I can describe the conference or what I'm doing at any random moment, but it's still just a description of something else. Metadata absolutely serves a purpose, but when it comes to conferences, maybe the most useful tweets are those that point to resources available elsewhere (or that are humorous one-liners).
Or, perhaps more likely, I'm just doing it wrong.
Tags: blogging, conference, Conferences, libraries, Library, nela, nela-its, nelaits, public, twitter, twittering, workshop
June 12th, 2009 Brian Herzog
Today's workshop is all about CMS - why use them, and what's available. I'll try to provide useful notes - also follow #nelaits09 and/or #nelaitson Twitter.
CMS Day: Building a Better Website with Content Management Systems
Drupal, Joomla, Plone, and WordPress
June 12th, 2009, Portsmouth (NH) Public Library
Keynote: Jessamyn West - Website 2.0!
--Slides & Links
- Old style web maintenance: people give content to one person who updates the site (bottleneck) - relies on ftp and requires expertise
- New style (with CMS): everyone can update all the time - quicker and more efficient, and doesn't require heavy-duty tech skills
Your website doesn't need to be special and unique, just useful to your patrons. Timesavers like CMS software, and good ideas that other libraries are already doing, are your friends. You can include a calendar, catalog, links and databases, programs, "about us" and local history, contact info - every has these things, and you can too.
Static v. Dynamic content (the C in CMS): dynamic content means websites are built on the fly by pulling information from multiple places
What is a CMS (content management system)
- creation of content - lets the right people do it
- management - easier to get info out (and remove it when old)
- distribution - send out (or bring in) via rss
- publishing - much easier, and more standards compliant
- discovery - you learn, everyone learns
All cms share similar tools: themes, calendars, rss feeds, blogs, uploading images/files - don't get too hung up on these. All have online demos/versions to try out. There are also user communities that offer development and support.
Paige Eaton Davis, Minuteman Library Network
- Using Drupal for staff intanet
- Goals was to facilitate communication (which staff wanted), web 2.0 features (rss, comments, etc), calendar, printer-friendly versions (because it will be a source of documentation for member libraries)
- Why Drupal? free, open-source, large community support, robust and room to grow
- Install was kind of techy, so not completely smooth and flawless - but they managed with little knowledge + documentation
- "Drupal is a very elegant and yet very hairy beast"
Getting it going:
- Drupal Core contains a lot of core functions (do not hack core modules)
- Also lots of contributed modules to extend capabilities - two good ones: Content Construction Kit (CCK - lets you define different kinds of content types [blog post, calendar event, etc]) and Views (allows tweaking of content output). Others in use are Calendar, Minutes module, Signup, Interest Groups
- One challenge with Drupal is learning its terminology
- Great thing is that menus are dropdown and easy to universally manage from one location
- Themes: use standard, customized, or borrow one http://themegarden.org/drupal6
- Lots of support online, plus O'Reilly books, Library Technology Report
Kate Sheehan, Dairen Public Library
- Kate's not a coder - has used WordPress, but now specializes in content
- Lots of thought when into architecture of Drupal site - used it to pull all sorts of library content (static pages, multiple blogs, etc) together into one place and organize it logically and usefully
- Staff did struggle with terminology until they got away from using blog terminology
- Community: patrons can contribute to website and catalog (using sopac, which is a Drupal module) - anyone can create an account to participate
- Using tags to specify age range/reading levels for kids, which helps both patrons and staff
- Website has content pulled in from other sources (flickr, et. al.) so policies had to be reviewed on licensing, citing and the technical how-to aspects - they try to use a lot of photos to make things more interesting
- Found that using Google calendar for events was easier than Drupal module
Randy Robertshaw - Tyngsborough Public Library
- Chose Joomla because it is very easy to learn and has a low learning curve
- Randy is only librarian in his library, so he does all the maintenance himself
- View website as real electronic branch - staff contributing to it is same as creating book displays or answering questions in the library
- When considering Joomla, only look for v1.5-native components
- Lots of for-pay modules, which can be $5-20, and are professional looking right out of the box, instead of spending time reinventing the wheel - http://extensions.joomla.org and http://joomlacode.org
- Prefers Google calendar to events module - uses rss to feed events to homepage. Others are JcalPro and Eventlist - but prefers "outsourcing" tools like gcalendar and flickr (using iframe) to embed content back into library website
- Joomla allows multiple themes, so children's site can look different from adult portion
- One plugin is a PDF indexer - lots of others - some simple, some complex
- Content can be timed, so it will automatically go up and come off - is also archived to use later use, and stats show on each post on the backend
- Remove copyrights for programs
- Review the reviews of extensions before you choose them
- Stay away from "beta" software (no release schedule)
- Make sure to cache your website so you're not hitting the database every time
- Is CMS search engine friendly? Always a problem with dynamic content
- Security and backup of CMS and website and content
- Use distributed content lets you share the work among staff but make things easy and centralized for patrons
- Always keep an eye on development - Joomla is available now, but things always change
Rick Levine - C/W MARS
"Home on the Web" [pdf] project uses LSTA grant to enable small MA public libraries that currently have no website (or were part of the local government website). Goals were kept simple and cheap - single template, promote databases & local programs, forms-capable, "harvestable" calendar (for down-the-road state-wide zip code based calendar).
The Plinket program offers a lot features, and creating library websites is quick. The time investment comes in creating content - which is where time should be spent.
Backend input forms, content types, and management is very simple - does provide security levels to control what people can do and what html code they can use.
Examples: Bolton Public Library and East Brookfield Public Library and Thayer Memorial Library (uses fanciest features in iframes)
Theresa Maturevich, Beverly (MA) Public Library
Chose WordPress because it was free, NOBLE offered some support, staff had some knowledge of it, large community base (easy to search for answers online), lots of free themes and plug-ins and widgets, easy to customize.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org - wp.com is hosted and has limitations, whereas wp.org is downloaded and installed on your server. .org offers more features and control, but you're responsible for backups and maintenance
Don't need a lot of tech background, but some html helps. It's easy to modify page templates to customize or use different theme for kid's page. WP lets you use hierarchy (using Parent and Child) to make website look like web pages and less bloggy.
Can use multiple blogs (news, events, book reviews, etc) and keep them separate. Posts can be automatically posted (but not deleted), and they use comment moderation to check before they go live - and people do expect answers.
Tags: 2009, cms, content management, libraries, Library, nela, nelaits, nelaits09, nelib, public, spring, workshop
June 11th, 2009 Brian Herzog
I'm going to be at a CMS workshop Friday (sponsored by NELA-ITS), and I was planning on blogging the workshop like last year. I also got the idea that this might be a good opportunity for me to try Twitter, too.
So if you're curious, follow me at http://www.twitter.com/herzogbr - I've never done this before, so I make no promises. And hash tags: do I just make it up myself? If so, then I declare
And here's my nerd note for the day: so what does a librarian do to get ready to use Twitter? Why, research it, of course.
May 19th, 2009 Brian Herzog
I'm a member of the IT section of the New England Library Association, and we're holding a workshop on popular CMS software. If you're thinking about redesigning or updating your website, or would are just curious about what CMS' are and what they can do, then this workshop is for you.
CMS Day! Build a better website with Content Management Systems: Drupal, Joomla, Plone, & WordPress
Keynote by Jessamyn West
Date: Friday, June 12, 2009
Location: Portsmouth Public Library, Portsmouth, NH (directions)
Cost: NELA members - $50; Non-members - $60
Registration Fee includes lunch & a NELA USB hub!
Secure online registration & downloadable mail-in registration [pdf] are both available at http://www.nelib.org/its/conference. Registration Closes Monday June 8.
10:00 a.m. - Registration & Coffee & Library Tours
10:30 a.m. - Keynote: CMS options - Jessamyn West
12 noon - Lunch (provided!) and Library Tours
12:45 p.m. - Librarians share their real-life CMS experiences:
--Drupal - Darien (CT) PL (darienlibrary.org) & Paige Eaton Davis, Minuteman Network
--Joomla - Randy Robertshaw, Tyngsborough PL (tynglib.org)
--Plone - Rick Levine & CMRLS Librarians
--WordPress - Theresa Maturevich, Beverly (MA) PL (beverlypubliclibrary.org)
3:30 p.m. -Wrap-Up!
Keynote by Jessamyn West
Jessamyn West is a community technology librarian. She lives in rural Vermont where assists tiny libraries with their technology planning and implementation. Her favorite color is orange. Jessamyn maintains an online presence at: librarian.net and jessamyn.info
NELA Program Refund Policy: A full refund shall be granted provided that the registered attendee has contacted the authorized representative of ITS responsible for taking registrations, at least ten (10) business days in advance of the program. In the event that notice is given less than ten days, a refund is not granted, however, they may send a substitute to the program.
For more information, please contact Scott Kehoe at 978-762-4433 x16 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: cms, content management, drupal, information technology, it, its, jessamyn, jessamynwest, joomla, jwest, libraries, Library, nela, nela-its, plome, program, Programs, public, tech, Technology, web design, website, Websites, wordpress, workshop, workshops
June 12th, 2008 Brian Herzog
Library-Wide IT Proficiency Workshop
New England Library Association, Information Technology Section
June 12, 2008 - Bryant University, RI
Gary McCone & Grace Sines
I'm writing today from the NELA-ITS Spring 2008 workshop. The handouts are available below, so I'll just be annotating with a few points throughout the day, and also trying to add pictures to flickr.
Here are the handouts, that were provided to all attendees on a flash drive:
Overview of the National Agriculture Library, and the services they offer. Being a national library, they are a resource for everyone, so check them out.
Library-Wide IT Proficiencies
- Why are IT proficiencies important? It's important to get IT support right the first time with the end-user, so front-line staff need to feel comfortable in both doing the support and managing expectations (we cannot "fix the internet").
- Keys to success Enable non-IT staff, excellent communications, understand end-users (needs, vocabulary and skills), know where knowledge or information lies within the organization, don't get stressed - we're all working towards the same goal
- Get to know your users Know their generation, but get past stereotypes - teach based on how different generations learn
- Expect things to change Technology will change, staff and users needs and skills will change - must expect change and be flexible to accommodate it
- Listen to end-users Meet with end-users in a non-threatening way to learn directly from them what they need (although it might be delicate, focus on what is wrong, because no one is happy with IT), and work to get ongoing feedback
Roadmap to creating an IT-Savvy Library Staff
- Technology Core Competencies Abilities, knowledge and skill required to do the job - can be itemized based on areas or tasks, such as "printer & copier," "operating system," "email," etc.
- Types Can be task-based (skill: refill printer paper) or descriptive (knowledge: know how to surf the internet)
- Get involvement from everyone Everyone should be involved in defining them and what is needed to achieve them (management, professional staff, front-line staff, etc)
- Plan implementation Everyone knows what's happening and what to expect, and how competencies can be met
- Why have them? Promote customer service, increase motivation, address fear/threats of technology or people with limited skills (and don't be afraid of providing incentives and praise)
- IT Liaison Program Designate one person from each department to be the lead liaison with the IT department - hopefully someone interested in IT, to be the first point of contact
- Ideas for training Experts in the library leading sessions, creating fact sheets (your own knowledge base), online training/webinars (free and fee), weekly tips. mentoring programs, regional trainers, keep track of what library staff don't know (FAQs)
- Topics for training Evolving technologies, real-world issues (spam, phishing, flash drives, etc), tour the library website, Google labs, digital rights management, RSS, media formats (flash, audio, interactivity, etc), hardware petting zoo (new gadgets, gizmos and games)
Tags: competencies, conference, information technology section, it, its new england library association, its08, nela-its, Proficiencies, spring08, staff, tech, workshop