Computers In Libraries 2014: Day 3

CIL14_SpeakMary Reports:
The theme of hacking the library continued with the keynote speaker for the third and final day of the conference.  The speaker was Mike Lydon of Street Plans,  a consulting company whose expertise is in urban planning,  especially improving spaces for bicycle paths  as well as other community and neighborhood efforts to make their spaces better,  more people oriented.   Lyndon is not a librarian,  and freely admitted to having little knowledge of what librarians do.   What he brought to the conference,  with great enthusiasm and numerous examples,  was a commitment to making things better,  to work within communities,  preferably grassroots organizations.   His message to librarians is to be  part of making communities better.   He quoted a saying that cities are the original Internet and that if cities are the Internet,  libraries are the server.
Crystal’s report:

Attended a couple of really good sessions today. Most were imparting information at warp speed and I began depending more and more on the slide presentations loaded onto the CIL site. We are being told that these are not available to non-conference viewers, so we promise to spend time in future posts to more fully explore many of the resources those slides impart.

That being said, there were two sessions I particularly want to discuss.

Dealing with Data: From Research to Visualization
This session had two separate speakers. Cheryl Ann Peltier from Nova Southeastern discussed free (mostly) tools for every step along the research process. Her slides listed a number of alternative tools.
Her number one choices included:
Google Scholar to identify the research problem, Zotero for reviewing the research literature, Many Eyes for conceptualizing / planning, Evernote for data /information collection and DeDoose (not free) for both data analysis and quality control.

The second half of this session was on the topic of data visualization by Christopher Belter from LAC Group at NOAA Central Library. Chris said to be patient with the data visualization process: it takes time and trial and error to achieve a representation that effectively imparts your message. He warned that generally up to 70% of his time was spent on wrangling data, not the actual visualization. The key to keep in mind is to figure out the story you need your data to tell. Chris showed us how the same set of data could impart different messages with different data visualization methods.

Tip:  Chris said he had heard very good things about the Data Visualization MOOC from Indiana University for people who would like more information on this topic.

Hack the Online Classroom! Inject the Library!
This session was also a combination of two speaker groups.
Elliott Smith talked about his project using edX Edge. This was not a platform used at Georgia Tech, so it was somewhat difficult to follow.  He discussed his experience of using edX Edge to shift from a paper-based process to an online platform.

The other two speakers, Alicia Virtue (Santa Rosa Junior College) and Eric Frierson (EBSCO) talked about using the EDS API to make reading lists on course management systems interact seamlessly with library resources. I found this very cool!  Mary also had a session discussing this exciting possibility. Check out her session review for more info.
My favorite session of the day was Integrating Content into Course and Management Tools.   Athena Hoeppner and Shea Silverman from the University of Central Florida (UCF has one of my favorite ever library Web sites) and Adam Traub of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) presented on their respective Library components into Course or learning management systems.
Silverman spoke from UCF.   Each of the systems had features I really liked,  and there may be some cross fertilization with each taking ideas from the other and perhaps offering their systems open source.   My favorite feature of the UCF system was that faculty can go into the page for their course,  search EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS)  from within the page,  and with one click of a button add a link to a licensed resource to their course page.   What I didn’t like was that the library information was generic – did not offer,  for example,  a link to the information to the subject liaison for that discipline.  The EDS search works via the EBSCOhost API.   Their library-to-course system will work for any LMS that uses LTI.
Rat’s system does offer custom pages,  and presents a page with a Summon search box at the top,  a link to a subject or course guide under that,  reserves information under that,  and the librarian profile box from LibGuides on the right.   My place of work has been considering how to integrate library resources into Sakai for a few years and hasn’t quite gotten there yet,  so this was all very useful information.

Crystal and I had our presentation,  Rethinking and Retooling Academic Research,  during the last session of the last day of the conference.   Therefore we were not expecting many people,  thinking everyone had left to catch a plane,  train,  or automobile.   We were gratified by the number of people who came and who then stayed.  Our message was received very well, and we were thrilled with the feedback.

We appreciate that the Computers in Libraries conference gave us this chance to present our ideas that you have been seeing as a reader of the blog.   It has been a great conference,  and there were some presentations we plan to discuss in more depth at a later point in time.
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