Computers in Libraries, Day 2

CIL14_SpeakCrystal’s View of Day 2:

Every day at CIL begins with a keynote where we get to hear from notable people in the industry. Tuesday’s Keynote: Hacking strategies for library innovation by Mary Lee Kennedy, Chief Library Officer for the New York Public Library.

Kennedy focused on four basic concepts:

1. Determine what skills / services your library uniquely offers

. 2. Identify target areas of opportunity in your wheelhouse.

3. Change / pilot new ideas / assess their success and adjust

4. Have fun

Crystal’s favorite quote of this session: “Libraries are the delivery room for ideas” Thomas Jefferson

Kennedy introduced several interesting services and activities that NYPL has offered.

In an effort to make knowledge more accessible, the Iibrary’s map warp effort attempts to add more dynamic layers of value to a simple flat map:

They also have a very nice graphical knowledge mapping tool for archival data:

Crystal’s favorite special program was the idea of gathering a group of armchair scientists together to participate in one of the activities at Zooniverse: This citizen science site has been an expansion from galaxy zoo project…..Planet Hunters is part of this website. Here, the public can search astronomical data to help identify new exoplanets.  Very cool stuff for science geeks!

Crystal’s choice for top session today! Stop Being Generic: On Demand & On Target by Julian Aiken (Yale Law Library) & Chad Boeninger (Ohio University Libraries)

This is my second opportunity to hear Chad and I’m a new fan of his amazing business resource website ( blog). Yesterday I went to his WordPress session.  I didn’t blog on that session because it was more WordPress-tech. If you are interested in knowing more about that session here: /2014/04/07/rock-librarys-content-wordpress/

Julian started the session by discussing the new services now offered by Yale Law Library: Scan on demand: They offer a 24 hour turnaround for any article or book chapter.

Collect on demand: They track ILL requests and fill at least 90% of all faculty requests.

Deliver on demand: They will mail anywhere in U.S. and Canada. Not yet highly utilized so stay tuned for news on scalability of this.

Chad talked about his reference blog on business. He made a very insightful comment about a problem that students have with their research. They have significant difficulty applying the general pathfinder instruction to their specific project needs. I think this highlights a real disconnect between what the librarian thinks she is communicating and what the student can later achieve.

Chad’s answer to this disconnect is to blog any specific research question he receives showing very specific instructions on solving this research problem with library databases. He frequently makes video tutorials on the topic which he then loads to YouTube which makes it highly findable via Google, which we all know is the students’ go-to place.  Meeting our users where they are…Seems like I’ve heard that before!

Mary VIew of Day 2:
Day two is off and running – and I do mean running (or wheeling, in my case, since I am using an electric scooter) as we have events scheduled today from 7:30 am until 9:00 pm. The convention is good about scheduling breaks though, at least some of which they hope you will spend in the exhibitors hall.
The first panel I attended today, after the keynote, was Top Trends in School Libraryland: Perfect Storms or Sweet Spots? The speaker was Joyce Valenza, with whom Crystal and I did a Google Hangout recently.
Joyce illustrated that while many are in despair over the state of school libraries, there are exciting developments that are working for them now. This is a moment to hack the ways librarians serve their users, and Dr. Valenza talked about services or concepts to hack and the tools to use to hack them. She is a dynamic speaker, but needed about twice the time to get through her 300 or so slides!
She mentioned Dave Lancke’s quote that “a lack of imagination is killing libraries”, and that hackers believe that things can be better and never stop innovating. She also mentioned that students learn best when engaged. She also talked about a number of tools that sound both interesting and useful, more than I can cover, so I suggest taking a look at her slides for the full flavor of a fun as well as useful presentation. They are available from the Computers in Libraries 2014 website under Presentations.
The second session I attended today was Using the Cloud and Google Apps for Better Staff UX, by three librarians from the Gwinnett County Public Library system in metro Atlanta (Crystal’s home Library system, of which she speaks well). The three speakers were Michael Casey, Christopher Baker, and David Smith. Their system includes 15 libraries and 300 employees, and when faced with an expensive upgrade to their Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange system, investigated alternative options.

They decided to go with Google Apps for Education, they were very happy with it for several reasons, including:
(1)   Being in the cloud and on Google’ servers meant less technical support on their end

(2)   The fixed costs were much less.

(3)   Google had a good training page.

(4)   Fewer silos because the apps are in one information ecosystem which also led to

(5)   More collaborative work across the system.
In sum, they believe they wound up with a more collaborative, open, and accessible system.
The last session attended on Tuesday was by Gary Price, of INFOdocket. He was a last minute substitute for a speaker who had to cancel, and as always, gave a great presentation. He talked a lot about security and privacy issues as these seem more imperiled than ever. For example, he discussed using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) as these are encrypted. He also discussed a variety of resources in a number of categories which, while the might not be set up as educational sites do, none the less, are interesting and educational in a broader sense. He showed a price tracking site and a flight tracking site as examples. The full list of sites is available at

Stay tuned here for the exciting conclusion of the Computers In Libraries Conference tomorrow!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email