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This is Jeopardy! Or, How Do People Actually Get On That Show?

Thu, 2018-01-11 15:55

This past November, American Libraries published a delightful article on librarians that have appeared on the iconic game show Jeopardy! It turns out one of our active LITA members also recently appeared on the show. Here’s her story…

On Wednesday, October 18th, one of my lifelong dreams will come true: I’ll be a contestant on Jeopardy!

It takes several steps to get onto the show: first, you must pass an online exam, but you don’t really learn the results unless you make it to the next stage: the invitation to audition. This step is completed in person, comprising a timed, written test, playing a mock game with other aspiring players in front of a few dozen other auditionees, and chatting amiably in a brief interview, all while being filmed. If you make it through this gauntlet, you go into “the pool”, where you remain eligible for a call to be on the show for up to 18 months. Over the course of one year of testing and eligibility, around 30,000 people take the first test, around 1500 to 1600 people audition in person, and around 400 make it onto the show each season.

For me, the timeline was relatively quick. I tested online in October 2016, auditioned in January 2017, and thanks to my SoCal address, I ended up as a local alternate in February. Through luck of the draw, I was the leftover contestant that day. I didn’t tape then, but was asked back directly to the show for the August 3rd recording session, which airs from October 16th to October 20th.

The call is early – 7:30am – and the day’s twelve potential contestants take turns with makeup artists while the production team covers paperwork, runs through those interview stories one-on-one, and pumps up the contestants to have a good time. Once you’re in, you’re sequestered. There’s no visiting with family or friends who accompanied you to the taping and no cellphones or internet access allowed. You do have time to chat with your fellow contestants, who are all whip smart, funny, and generally just as excited as you are to get to be on this show. There’s also no time to be nervous or worried: you roll through the briefing onto the stage for a quick run-down on how the podiums work (watch your elbows for the automated dividers that come up for Final Jeopardy!), how to buzz in properly (there’s a light around the big game board that you don’t see at home that tells you when you can ring in safely), and under no circumstances are you to write on the screen with ANYTHING but that stylus!

Next, it’s time for your Hometown Howdy, the commercial blurb that airs on the local TV station for your home media market. Since I’d done it before when I almost-but-not-quite made it on the air in February, I knew they were looking for maximum cheese. My friends and family tell me that I definitely delivered.

Immediately before they let in the live studio audience for seating, contestants run through two quick dress rehearsal games to get out any final nerves, test the equipment for the stage crew, and practice standing on the risers behind the podiums without falling off.

Then it’s back to the dressing room, where the first group is drawn. They get a touch-up on makeup, the rest of the contestant group sits down in a special section of the audience, and it’s off to the races! There are three games filmed before the lunch break, then the final two are filmed. The contestants have the option to stay and watch the rest of the day if they’re defeated, but most choose to leave if it’s later on in the filming cycle. The adrenaline crash is pretty huge, and some people may need the space to let out their mixed feelings. If you win, you are whisked back to the dressing room for a quick change, a touch-up again, and back out to the champion’s podium to play again.

You may be asking, when do contestants meet Alex? Well, it happens exactly twice, and both times, the interactions are entirely on film and broadcast in (nearly) their entirety within the show. To put all of those collusion rumors around the recent streak of Austin Rogers to rest, the interview halfway through the first round and the hand-shaking at the end of the game are the only times that Alex and the contestants meet or speak with one another; there is no “backstage” where the answer-giver and the question-providers could possibly mingle. Nor do the contestants ever get to do more than wave “hello” to the writers for the show. Jeopardy! is very careful to keep its two halves very separated. The energy and enthusiasm of the contestant team – Glenn, Maggie, Corina, Lori, and Ryan – is genuine, and when your appearance is complete, you feel as though you have joined a very special family of Jeopardy! alumni.

Once you’ve been a contestant on Jeopardy!, you can never be on the show again. The only exception is if you do well enough to be asked back to the Tournament of Champions. While gag rules prohibit me from saying more about how I did, I can say that the entire experience lived up to the hype I had built around it since I was a child, playing along in my living room and dreaming of the chance to respond in the form of a question.

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: January 10, 2018

Wed, 2018-01-10 15:09

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

University of Arkansas, Assistant Head of Special Collections, Fayetteville, AR

West Chester University, Electronic Resources Librarian, West Chester, PA

Miami University Libraries, Web Services Librarian, Oxford, OH

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: January 3, 2018

Wed, 2018-01-03 15:12

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

New York University, KARMS Metadata Production & Management Supervisor, New York, NY

University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries, Desktop Support Specialist, Rochester, NY

Town and Country Public Library District, Library Director, Elburn, IL

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Categories: Library News

December 2017 ITAL Issue Published

Wed, 2018-01-03 11:10

The December issue (volume 36, number 4) of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL) is now available at:

https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ital/index.

The December 2017 issue Reviewed Articles and Communications

“Mobile Website Use and Advanced Researchers: Understanding Library Users at a University Marine Sciences Branch Campus”
Mary J. Markland, Hannah Gascho Rempel, and Laurie Bridges

https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v36i4.9953

This exploratory study examined the use of the Oregon State University Library’s  website via mobile devices by advanced researchers at an off-campus branch location. Branch campus affiliated faculty, staff, and graduate students were invited to participate in a survey to determine what their research behaviors are via mobile devices including frequency of mobile library website use and the tasks they were attempting to complete. Findings showed that while these advanced researchers do periodically use the library’s website via mobile devices, mobile devices are not the primary mode of searching for articles and books or for reading scholarly sources. Mobile devices are most frequently used for viewing the library website when these advanced researchers are at home or in transit. Results of this survey will be used to address knowledge gaps around library resources and research tools and to generate more ways to study advanced researchers’ use of library services via mobile devices.

“Metadata Provenance and Vulnerability”
Timothy Robert Hart and Denise de Vries

https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v36i4.10146

The preservation of digital objects has become an urgent task in recent years as it has been realised that digital media have a short life span. The pace of technological change makes accessing these media more and more difficult. Digital preservation is accomplished by two main methods, migration and emulation. Migration has been proven to be a lossy method for many types of digital objects. Emulation is much more complex; however, it allows preserved digital objects to be rendered in their original format, which is especially important for complex types such as those made up of multiple dynamic files. Both methods rely on good metadata in order to maintain change history or construct an accurate representation of the required system environment. In this paper, we present our findings that show the vulnerability of metadata and how easily they can be lost and corrupted by everyday use. Furthermore, this paper aspires to raise awareness and to emphasise the necessity of caution and expertise when handling digital data by highlighting the importance of provenance metadata.

“Everyone’s Invited: A Website Usability Study Involving Multiple Library Stakeholders”
Elena Azadbakht, John Blair, and Lisa Jones

https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v36i4.9959

This article describes a usability study of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries’ website conducted in early 2016. The study involved six participants from each of four key user groups – undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and library employees – and consisted of six typical library search tasks such as finding a book and an article on a topic, locating a journal by title, and looking up hours of operation. Library employees and graduate students completed the study’s tasks most successfully, whereas undergraduate students performed fairly simple searches and relied on the Libraries’ discovery tool, Primo. The study’s results identified several problematic features that impacted each user group, including library employees. This increased internal buy-in for usability-related changes in a later website redesign.

Editorial Content

Submit Your Ideas
for contributions to ITAL to Ken Varnum, editor, at varnum@umich.edu with your proposal. Current formats are generally

  • Articles – original research or comprehensive and in-depth analyses, in the 3000-5000 word range.
  • Communications – brief research reports, technical findings, and case studies, in the 1000-3000 word range.

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to LITA publications, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

LITA Welcomes Two Emerging Leaders

Wed, 2017-12-20 12:24

ALA’s Emerging Leaders program enables newer library workers to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. LITA is thrilled to sponsor these two excellent emerging leaders.

Aisha Conner-Gaten, intersectional librarian, activist, and tech enthusiast working at the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Aisha is interested in emerging technologies, issues of equity and access in the library, and the role of librarians as social justice accomplices. Aisha’s experiences in activism mirror her leadership philosophy; showing what is possible by doing and then empowering others to do the same. She takes inspiration from an Alice Walker quote that she has used to guide her work: “Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”

Samantha Quiñon, Assistant Director and Head of Research & Instruction at Lesley University Libraries in Cambridge (MA).

Samantha was the 2016-17 co-chair of ALA’s New Member Round Table Student and Student Chapter Outreach Committee and an ACRL 2017 Teaching with Technology Immersion Program alumna. She recently led her library’s website reconstruction project using agile software development methodology and has given several individual and panel presentations at regional conferences on learning experience design for websites and critical pedagogy. Samantha takes inspiration from the words of Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

LITA is sponsoring two Emerging Leaders for 2018 thanks to donations from LITA members and supporters in celebration of our 50th anniversary. We look forward to learning more about these outstanding emerging leaders and the projects they will work on in upcoming LITA blog interviews.

Questions or Comments?

For any questions or comments related to LITA participation in the ALA Emerging Leaders program, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Jenny Levine, jlevine@ala.org, or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

Reminder: LITA Award Nominations Close December 31

Tue, 2017-12-19 16:49

Nominations for all three of LITA’s awards are open through December 31, 2017. Each one honors innovative library technology work and includes a monetary award in addition to a plaque or citation.

Submit a Nomination for the Prestigious Kilgour Technology Research Award
The Kilgour Research Award recognizes research relevant to the development of information technologies, in particular research showing promise of having a positive and substantive impact on any aspect of the publication, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information or how information and data are manipulated and managed. The winner receives $2,000 cash, an award citation, and an expense-paid trip (airfare and two nights lodging) to the 2018 ALA Annual Conference. Submit your nomination today.

Sponsored by OCLC.

LIS Students: Apply for the LITA/Ex Libris Writing Award
The award recognizes superior student writing and is intended to enhance the professional development of students. The manuscript can be written on any aspect of libraries and information technology. Examples include, but are not limited to, digital libraries, metadata, authorization and authentication, electronic journals and electronic publishing, open source software, distributed systems and networks, computer security, intellectual property rights, technical standards, desktop applications, online catalogs and bibliographic systems, universal access to technology, and library consortia. the award consists of $1,000, publication in LITA’s refereed journal, Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), and a certificate.

To be eligible, applicants must follow the detailed guidelines and fill out the application form (PDF). Send the signed, completed forms electronically no later than February 28, 2018, to the Award Committee Chair, Eric Phetteplace, at phette23@gmail.com.

Sponsored by Ex Libris.

Apply for the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Cutting Edge Tech Education
The award, given to either a living individual or an institution, may recognize a single seminal work or a body of work created during or continuing into the five years immediately preceding the award year. The body of work need not be limited to published texts but can include course plans or actual courses and/or non-print publications such as visual media. Awards are intended to recognize living persons rather than to honor the deceased; therefore, awards are not made posthumously. The award includes a citation of merit and a $1,000 stipend. Submit your nomination today.

Sponsored by Emerald Group Publishing.

Categories: Library News

Apply for the LITA Conference Buddy Program for 2018 ALA Midwinter

Wed, 2017-12-13 14:59

Applications are now open for LITA’s Conference Buddy program for ALA Midwinter 2018. The program is designed to make conference attendance more approachable, foster inclusion, and build connections. Inspired by the GLBTRT Buddy Program, we hope that this program will help us to foster stronger relationships among LITA members who attend conferences and also make attendance more enjoyable and rewarding for everyone who participates.

For more information or to apply, see the Conference Buddy website: http://www.ala.org/lita/buddyprogram

To participate in the program as either a new or experienced conference attendee, get details and complete the sign up form by January 15, 2018.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at LITAConferenceBuddy@gmail.com

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: December 13, 2017

Wed, 2017-12-13 14:41

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Harford County Public Library, Director, Information Technology, Belcamp, MD

Queensborough Community College (CUNY), Instructor or Assistant Professor – Public Services and Assessment Librarian, Bayside, NY

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: December 6, 2017

Wed, 2017-12-06 16:11

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

University of Calgary, Vice Provost, Libraries and Cultural Resources, Calgary, AB, Canada

Mott Community College, Electronic Resources Librarian, Flint, MI

The Eastman School of Music – University of Rochester, Library Technology Analyst/Engineer -204736, Rochester, NY

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Categories: Library News

Interview with Ken Varnum

Mon, 2017-12-04 13:13

Ken Varnum, editor of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), kindly agreed to meet with me last month when he was in Denver for the 2017 LITA forum. We discussed his early exposure to technology, what he reads for fun, and his vision for the future of ITAL. Below is the interview in its entirety and a copy of the transcript can be found here.

Tell me a little about your background. What did you study in school? Have you always been interested in technology?

“Technology has been a thread through my interests since middle school when I learned BASIC and wrote highly simplistic games on my Atari 800. At Grinnell College, I received a dual degree in history and Russian language, with a lot of political science thrown in (probably a minor had Grinnell offered one). My interest was in Cold War relations and arms control. After a few years working in DC in that area, I went to the University of Michigan to get a Master’s in Russian area studies. By that time, the Soviet Union was no more and the U.S. was in a recession, so I went to library school for a second Master’s degree in Library Studies. This was fortuitous because my first year in that program was the year that HTTP and the graphical web browser were born. While I graduated with a concentration in archival studies, it was the Web and digital technologies that seized my interest and steered my career from then on through a series of jobs leading to my current one, coincidentally at the University of Michigan Library.”

Why were you interested in becoming editor of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL)? What appeals to you about the journal?

“Another running thread through my career has been writing and editing. At my first post-college job I was the production editor of the organization’s quarterly journal. In more recent years, I have written extensively for publication and edited several books, as well as served on several editorial boards (the Code4Lib Journal, a book on discovery systems, and ITAL itself). The opportunity to collaborate with authors to bring together multiple disparate articles or chapters into a cohesive whole is a rare one, and a great deal of fun. When the ITAL editor position became open, it struck me as a fantastic opportunity to marry my avocations interests in editing with my vocational interests in library technology.”

The ALA press release announcing your appointment specifically mentioned your “vision for the future” of ITAL, which resonated with the search committee. Can you share some of your vision with LITA blog readers?

“I view ITAL as an integral part of LITA: it has the potential to showcase the talents and achievements of the library technologists who belong to the organization and provide a platform to highlight the critical importance of technology in library (and cultural memory organizations more broadly). A LITA Task Force created a set of personas to describe LITA’s current and potential membership. ITAL, as a journal, has the potential to provide value to all of those archetypical user groups, while focusing the core readership and authorship. In particular, I am eager to explore areas of overlap between LITA and several closely affiliated ALA divisions — PLA and ACRL in particular, but really all of them. At a time when LITA is looking to expand its reach and influence, ITAL can and should be part of that.

From a more practical standpoint, I would like the editorial board to become an activist one: its members should not only provide the excellent peer review and guidance to authors to maintain the high quality of what we publish, but at the same time can be active representatives of the journal, seeking new content and creating relationships with prospective authors to help them think constructively about writing an article. LITA has a large membership, and the board should help the journal reflect the diversity of our organizational membership and affiliated interests.”

You have written extensively on the intersection of technology and libraries. What is some technology that you think is most helpful or relevant in librarianship today?

“I’m very excited about the triad of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. I’m honestly not sure exactly what will come of them, in the library setting in particular or in society in general, but I think the possibilities for radical new ways of thinking about the ways libraries provide access to their collections and expertise are incredibly exciting.

I also think we’ve just started to explore what “discovery” can do. Especially in academic campus settings, where the library has the potential to understand a great deal about students, faculty, and their immediate learning/research contexts.”

How do you stay current on new technology?

“Blogs — yes, I still read my RSS feeds in Feedly, though I think that dates me as an Internet dinosaur. Twitter is helpful, as are conferences like LITA Forum. I’m involved in various groups like NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative and Tracking Link Origins, as well as the Summon Product Working Group — those are also helpful for learning what others, both in the U.S. and beyond — are doing.”

Are you working on any research projects right now, or are there any on the horizon?

“For me, research projects and my job have always had significant overlap. My big project at the moment (and it’s been a very long moment, to be honest) is our discovery-to-delivery system. So, over the past few years, my research and thinking has been closely aligned with that. I am also working on and interested in user analytics and the associated concerns.”

In an alternate universe where you did not become a librarian, what would you be?

My first attempt at a career was in U.S.-Soviet relations, diplomacy, and arms control. I was stymied first by the (apparent) end of the Cold War in the early 1990s and a simultaneous recession, where the international relations component be had been temporarily resolved and there was a glut of people on the market with experience and education in the area. So library school — the best place for a liberal arts graduate to land — beckoned. If the Gorbachev years hadn’t happened, and we had a straight line from Andropov to Putin, I imagine I would be in the Foreign Service at this point.

Are you a reader? Fiction or Non-Fiction?

“I am a reader, a mix of fiction and nonfiction, though about 75-25 in favor of fiction at the moment. Science Fiction has always been my favorite, but I also like thrillers and alternative history. In nonfiction, I tend to read Cold War histories and books on cosmology.” 

You are heavily involved on several committees, working groups, and boards. You also write and present extensively- how do you re-charge? Any interesting hobbies?

“Keeping busy with family activities is my main non-professional activity. I have two boys (elementary and middle school), and evenings and weekends are generally busy with their activities. I read, binge-watch (is it bingeing if it’s an episode a night rather than a series a night?) shows on streaming services.”

 

Categories: Library News

Digital Lives and Makerspaces – LITA Webinars

Mon, 2017-12-04 11:39

There’s still time to sign up for LITA’s last two Fall 2017 webinars.

December 6, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Central time

Diversity, Inclusion, and Empowerment in Library Makerspaces
Instructors: Sharona Ginsberg, Learning Technologies Librarian, SUNY Oswego and Lauren Di Monte, Data & Research Impact Librarian, University of Rochester

Register here, courses are listed by date.

     

One oft-overlooked aspect of making and makerspaces is its potential for empowerment, especially among populations that are otherwise marginalized or underrepresented. This 90 minute webinar will discuss why making is important for these populations, and what libraries can do to ensure their makerspaces are safe spaces of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

View details and Register here.

December 12, 2017, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Central time

Digital Life Decoded: A user-centered approach to cyber-security and privacy
Instructors: Hannah Rainey, Libraries Fellow; Sonoe Nakasone, Lead Librarian for Metadata Technologies; and Will Cross, Director, Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center, all at North Carolina State University.

Register here, courses are listed by date.

        

The current technological and political landscapes have re-ignited conversations and concerns around digital security, privacy, and media literacy. Staff at NCSU developed a project branded as “Digital Life Decoded,” and grounded in substantial user research done in the spring of 2017 that identified three specific issues students were concerned about:

  • Hacking of personal information
  • Consent for use of information
  • Understanding how their information would be shared

View details and Register here.

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: November 29, 2017

Wed, 2017-11-29 16:50

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Dayton Metro Library, Web Developer, Dayton, OH

University of Oregon Libraries, Director, Library Technology Services, Eugene, OR

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Categories: Library News

Double Your Impact to Build A More Inclusive LITA

Tue, 2017-11-28 19:03

Last year we ran our first ever campaigns specifically to raise money to sponsor more diversity in LITA leadership through an additional ALA Emerging Leader, 11 participants in our first AvramCamp for female-identifying individuals, and 6 new attendees at the LITA Forum.

This year, we’re asking you to help continue this investment in future library IT leaders by contributing to #GiveLITA. Even better, this year any amount you donate will be automatically be matched so that you double your impact. Together, we can sponsor twice the number of scholarship recipients to support a continued focus on diversity in library technology positions.

Every LITA Board and staff member has donated, because we believe so strongly in this goal. Donate today to work with us invest in a more inclusive future for our profession.

Categories: Library News

Get Your Digital Life Decoded – a LITA webinar

Tue, 2017-11-28 13:48

Sign up Now for

Digital Life Decoded: A user-centered approach to cyber-security and privacy
Instructors: Hannah Rainey, Libraries Fellow; Sonoe Nakasone, Lead Librarian for Metadata Technologies; and Will Cross, Director, Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center, all at North Carolina State University.
December 12, 2017, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Central time

        

The current technological and political landscapes have re-ignited conversations and concerns around digital security, privacy, and media literacy. Staff at NCSU developed a project branded as “Digital Life Decoded,” and grounded in substantial user research done in the spring of 2017 that identified three specific issues students were concerned about:

  • Hacking of personal information
  • Consent for use of information
  • Understanding how their information would be shared

Register here, courses are listed by date.

This 90 minute webinar will cover the process of development, including user research methods and project management. The bulk of the session will be spent walking through the 3 interactive activities from the pop-up programs developed. In addition to sharing methods and lesson learned, this webinar aims heighten the conversation about our professional and personal roles in leading cyber-security and privacy.

View details and Register here.

Discover upcoming LITA webinars and web courses

Diversity, Inclusion, and Empowerment in Library Makerspaces
Offered: December 6, 2017

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: November 22, 2017

Wed, 2017-11-22 13:09

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

University at Albany, State University of New York, Web Developer/Designer, Albany, NY

Yale University, Data Librarian, New Haven, CT

University of Denver, Information Technologies Librarian, Denver, CO

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Categories: Library News

Hear How We’re All Makers – a LITA webinar

Fri, 2017-11-17 10:53

Sign up Now for

Diversity, Inclusion, and Empowerment in Library Makerspaces
Instructors: Sharona Ginsberg, Learning Technologies Librarian, SUNY Oswego and Lauren Di Monte, Data & Research Impact Librarian, University of Rochester
December 6, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Central time

     

One oft-overlooked aspect of making and makerspaces is its potential for empowerment, especially among populations that are otherwise marginalized or underrepresented. This 90 minute webinar will discuss why making is important for these populations, and what libraries can do to ensure their makerspaces are safe spaces of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Register here, courses are listed by date. The presenters will each speak from their respective institutional contexts, but they will also provide specific tips and actions librarians can take, regardless of institutional type or budget. The presentation will address issues of accessibility in the sense of eliminating barriers for those with disabilities, and will address inclusion in terms of physical ability, neurodiversity, age, race and ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and community status (i.e. student, faculty, etc.).

View details and Register here.

Discover upcoming LITA webinars and web courses

Digital Life Decoded: A user-centered approach to cyber-security and privacy
Offered: December 12, 2017

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: November 8, 2017

Wed, 2017-11-08 17:41

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Sonoma County Library, DIGITAL LITERACY SPECIALIST – CENTRAL LIBRARY 40 HOURS PER WEEK – FULL TIME, Santa Rosa, CA

Sonoma County Library, LIBRARIAN I or II, CHILDREN’S SERVICES – CLOVERDALE 40 HOURS PER WEEK – FULL TIME, Santa Rosa, CA

Sonoma County Library, LIBRARIAN I or II, CHILDREN’S SERVICES – ROSELAND 20 HOURS PER WEEK – PART TIME, Santa Rosa, CA

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Categories: Library News

Spotlight Series: Rebecca McGuire

Mon, 2017-11-06 10:02

Allow me to introduce Rebecca McGuire, Visiting Instructional Tech Specialist at Mortenson Center for International Library Programs.  A division of the University of Illinois Library, the Mortenson Center, provides leadership and technology guidance to libraries throughout the world.  Rebecca shares information about this unique role, her favorite tech blogs, and predictions about the future of libraries. A full transcript of the interview can be found here.

  1. What is your background?

“After getting a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Affairs, I spent a year teaching ESL students in a middle school. I loved teaching, but wanted to do it in a more informal environment, so I decided to get a Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois. I also decided to pursue a certificate in Community Informatics, which really opened my eyes to how important access, understanding, and application of technology is to both personal and community development.”

  1. What were some of your early library jobs and how did they prepare you for your current position?

 Rebecca was able to explore and become comfortable with hardware and software, while troubleshooting for the University of Illinois iSchool Tech Help Desk and teaching classes at the Instructional Technology Design Office at the iSchool. “I learned that you don’t necessarily need to be a technology genius or have a Computer Science degree to work with technology in a library setting; you just need to be able to solve problems, find answers, think critically, communicate clearly, and collaborate with people with varying levels of expertise. Also, patience is so important!”

  1. Tell me about your responsibilities as Visiting Instructional Technology Specialist at Mortenson Center for International Library Programs.

 “The Mortenson Center for International Library programs is a small unit within the University of Illinois Library. We’re involved in a variety of projects around the world, and we primarily work with international partners to provide capacity building, professional development programs, and training for librarians from outside of the United States.   My main responsibility is working on a grant-funded project developing an interactive and adaptable Library Leadership Training toolkit for librarians around the world [Strengthening Innovative Library Leaders or SILL]. This foundational 2-day training focuses on Leadership Styles, Communication, Innovation, and Planning. It’s meant to be delivered to public or community library workers at any level. The goal is that this training curriculum is easy to administer, translatable, adaptable to local contexts, and freely available online, even in places with low-bandwidth and limited technology access.”

Rebecca’s Equipment

  1. What does a typical day look like?

 “When I’m working abroad, my days usually consist of trainings, where I help to facilitate the program and also video record the training. When I’m in my office at the University of Illinois, I work on editing videos and photos, creating and editing training materials, building the training toolkit website, and collaborating with training partners. I also coordinate other educational programs and events for the Mortenson Center and design promotional materials.”

  1. Tell me about libraries 10 years from now- what do they look like and what services do they offer?

 “Libraries will always be places where the community can access and learn how to utilize free resources, including print and online materials, computers, and additional technology they need. Now, libraries are becoming places to not only access, but also create content with maker spaces, video and audio studios, new technology, and educational workshops. I also appreciate the trend of libraries serving as community and student collaborative spaces, where all community members are able to work together on projects that are important to them. I also think libraries will continue to leave their physical buildings and grow to meet their community, throughout city busses, parks, community centers, and beyond.”

  1. What was the best advice you received while in school or early in your career?

“Someone gave me the advice to check out current job postings that interested me, then tailor my classes and volunteer experiences to match with the required skills for the jobs I wanted. This really helped me to narrow my focus and ensure that I was learning everything I needed to for a library career that I wanted.”

  1. How do you stay current on new technology?

“I get to help out in the Media Commons of the University of Illinois Undergraduate Library every week, which includes a video studio, audio booth, and multimedia workstations. They always have new emerging technology in the office that they’re testing, so I get to try new technology that can be applied to library settings, like VR. I also love using Lynda.com if I want to explore a program that’s new to me more in depth. In addition, I try to stay current on instructional technology trends by reading blogs and websites such as:

  1. Share technology that you can’t live or couldn’t do your job without.

“WordPress (for our training toolkit website), my Lumix GH4 and Lumix LX100 cameras and various audio recorders to capture trainings, and Canva.com to create polished promotional materials for the Mortenson Center. I also use the Adobe Creative Suite often, especially PremierePro, Lightroom and Illustrator. Also Facebook, because it’s a great way to communicate and stay in touch with librarians I’ve worked with around the world.”

 I’m excited to announce that the next interview will be with Ken Varnum, new editor of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL). Ken will be a speaker at the 2017 LITA Forum in Denver, and has kindly agreed to meet with me to discuss his vision for the future of ITAL, his favorite library technologies, and his early career ambitions in U.S./Soviet relations.

Categories: Library News

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