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April 2015: Free CE and Training Options Online

2015 March 31
by Christina Manz

Here’s our monthly reminder of free training on the web. Confirm date and time when you pre-register, or follow the links for archive information. Webinars listed in Central Time.

Wednesday April 1, 2015
Transform Teaching and Learning with Digital Tools (AASL)
Students and teachers can have varying levels of engagement with technology in the classroom and library. Mobile technology adds new dimension to this experience. At what level is this technology being used to enhance student learning, and at what level is it being used to truly transform education? In this webinar, participants will explore selected mobile apps from the past two years of AASL Best Apps for Teaching & Learning and learn how to inspire and engage students with mobile technology.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Tuesday April 7, 2015
Take Research Farther with Twayne’s Authors and Scribner Writers in eBook Format (TexShare)
LuAnn Harrison Implementation and Training Specialist-Gale Cengage Learning will conduct a one hour session on Twayne’s Authors and Scribner Writers in ebook format. The ebooks a part of Gale’s award winning Gale Virtual Reference Library. The session will focus on the content provided in this Resource and look at real world application for its use in the Library. Attending this webinar will earn you 1 hour of Continuing Education Credit.
Time: 9-10:00 a.m.

Digital Age Management and Leadership: Five Critical Steps to Integrating Digital Age Techniques into the Workplace (TLA)
Managing and leading in library and information settings today requires: different techniques to address change in general; techniques for identifying change specific to organizations and workers; timing considerations for faster moving work and umbrella organization settings; using contemporary visuals for illustrating issues; finding unique data for articulating value; and, persuasive content to match techniques to target populations. This one-hour webinar offers specific ideas and techniques for managers and leaders as well as a handout with extensive web links of content and examples.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Youth Announcements: Ready for Summer Reads (Booklist)
Join Booklist for this free, hour-long webinar where representatives from Albert Whitman & Company, Tommy Nelson, and Zonderkids will share titles perfect for your younger patrons and the long, warm days of summer. Moderated by Booklist’s Books for Youth Acting editor Keir Graff.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Breaking Barriers: How Academic Librarians Can Communicate More Effectively with Faculty (LJ)
Every aspect of the higher education ecosystem is changing—from libraries, to faculty, to administration, to publishers. Breaking down the barriers between these groups will inform a more collaborative partnership focused on managing change together. Through engagement with both librarians and faculty, some key themes appear to be emerging, such as a need for on-campus task forces, a realignment of the library’s role as resource center, and the increased responsibility of librarians to advise faculty on matters, such as copyright and various publication processes. Understanding these developments will allow librarians and faculty to communicate more effectively with each other and collectively achieve their institution’s mission.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

You Did the Assessment. Now What?: Reviewing Results and Getting Ready for Action Planning (EDGE)
You’ve done the assessment and now you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work making technology services better in your community. Let us help you understand your results from the detailed Assessment and Peer Comparison reports and prioritize for creating a realistic Action Plan.
Time: 3-4:00 p.m.

Wednesday April 8, 2015
Every Hero Has A Story: Summer Reading Program 2015 (NCompass Live)
Sally Snyder, Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services at the Nebraska Library Commission, will give brief book talks of new titles pertaining to the 2015 Summer Reading Program themes: Every Hero Has A Story (children’s theme) and Unmask! (teen theme).
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

Do It Yourself Home Improvement and Small Engine Repair (TexShare)
Search within the Home Improvement Reference Center to find full-text content from leading home improvement magazines. Explore images not found anywhere else online and videos of popular home repair projects. Topics covered include remodeling, electrical work, plumbing, wood projects and more. Also, learn about the Small Engine Reference Center, which holds user-friendly repair guides for all types of small engines.
Time: 11-12:00 p.m.

12 Ways to More Effective Marketing (WebJunction)
Marketing in libraries is often an afterthought rather than a priority embedded in planning. But times are changing! Community members now have more choices for books, information, entertainment and assistance. Don’t let your library become invisible due to perceived lack of time, money or marketing savvy. Jamie will help you think differently to achieve the basics of effective marketing without a ton of money or staff. From promotional videos to eye-catching emails, you’ll learn about marketing techniques and tools available to even the smallest of libraries. Discover simple ways to gain attention and increase attendance.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Makerspaces: Curating, Creating, Collaboration
(TSLAC)
A Makerspace is a place for curation, design, collaboration, creation, and evaluation. In education, Makerspaces need to have clear goals, ties to the curriculum, student led events, and a place for students to take initiative. This webinar will be presented by elementary librarians Nancy Jo Lambert of Frisco ISD, Chair-Elect of the Texas Library Association’s Children’s Round Table, and Shawna Ford of Weatherford ISD, both popular presenters at TCEA and TLA. In this webinar, Nancy Jo and Shawna will walk participants through the process of initiating a Makerspace with both no-tech and high-tech resources. They will also discuss the ways in which each of them have created times and places for students to participate in Makerspace activities.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Thursday April 9, 2015
The Present and Future of E-Books (AL Live)
Our expert panel will discuss the ever-changing world of e-Books. While e-Books are no longer a new part of library services, the nature of library services in this area is rapidly changing. You’ll learn about what’s new, what’s changing, and how to serve your patrons effectively.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

The Brand Idea: The Secret to Managing Your Values-Based Brand (TechSoup)
How can you more effectively manage your brand to achieve your mission? Nathalie Laidler-Kylander and Julia Shepard Stenzel, authors of The Brand IDEA: Managing Nonprofit Brands with Integrity, Democracy, and Affinity will discuss their framework for nonprofit brand management. They will describe the strategic role a brand can play in achieving mission impact, supporting collaboration, and strengthening organizational cohesion. Their research draws on interviews with over 70 organizations and offers a new way of understanding and managing your brand. Event suited for libraries and other nonprofit organizations.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Agents: The Gateway to Author Engagement at Your Library and Beyond! (Booklist)
Join Booklist and New Leaf Literary & Media agents for an hour-long, free webinar that will discuss the role of a literary agent, as well as describing how librarians, teachers, and booksellers can work directly with agents to forge relationships between authors and readers. Panelists will share examples of working with their YA authors, including Veronica Roth, Victoria Aveyard, Kody Keplinger, and Leigh Bardugo, and explain how they’ve connected with schools, libraries, and bookstores to coordinate events, panels, special mailings, social media interaction, and more.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

The New HeritageQuest Online, Powered by Ancestry ProQuest (TexShare)
Did you know that HeritageQuest Online is now powered by Ancestry.com? Join us for our New HeritageQuest Online powered by Ancestry.com What’s New webinar! One of our talented ProQuest Training & Consulting Partners will walk you through all of the exciting changes. This course covers the new search pages for the Census, Books, Revolutionary War, and Freedman’s Bank collections, new content, new Interactive Image Viewer and save/print/email tools, and the new Research Aids and Maps features. You will also see how to access support, help pages, and the new LibGuide.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

The Best of the AASL Best Websites for Teaching & Learning (AASL)
Come and check out a session on the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning with Heather Moorefield-Lang. She has handpicked a selection of great sites just for librarians. In this presentation she will discuss sites, how they can be used, examples from the field as well as look for new ideas and suggestions. Come and learn about some new technology and have fun chatting about sites.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Friday April 10, 2015
Summer Reading Programs for Adults (Infopeople)
Participants in Adult Summer Reading Programs have families who also participate, are looking for ways to stay active and involved, become library advocates, and VOTE for Library funding. Now that you know why you should have a program, join Santa Clara City Library Librarian, Morgan Pershing and Simi Valley Public Library Director, Heather Cousin, as they share the nuts and bolts of creating a successful Adult Summer Reading Program at your library.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Monday April 13, 2015    
The New HeritageQuest Online, Powered by Ancestry ProQuest (TexShare)
Did you know that HeritageQuest Online is now powered by Ancestry.com? Join us for our New HeritageQuest Online powered by Ancestry.com What’s New webinar! One of our talented ProQuest Training & Consulting Partners will walk you through all of the exciting changes. This course covers the new search pages for the Census, Books, Revolutionary War, and Freedman’s Bank collections, new content, new Interactive Image Viewer and save/print/email tools, and the new Research Aids and Maps features. You will also see how to access support, help pages, and the new LibGuide.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Tuesday April 14, 2015
Look to the Stars: New SF/Fantasy for Your Library (Booklist)
Join us for this free, hour-long webinar where representatives from ChiZine, Samhain Publishing, and Tor Teen will share excellent science fiction and fantasy titles for that sought-after section of the public library collection. With these new books, even the most all-consuming SF reader will find at least temporary satiation.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

You Did the Assessment. Now What?: Reviewing Results and Getting Ready for Action Planning (EDGE)
You’ve done the assessment and now you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work making technology services better in your community. Let us help you understand your results from the detailed Assessment and Peer Comparison reports and prioritize for creating a realistic Action Plan.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

What’s New in Children’s Literature: 2015 Update (Infopeople)
Discover the new books that you can offer to children who use your library! Hear about books published in late 2014 and Spring 2015 that will be popular with children ages 0-12. These include board books, picture books, easy readers, transitional fiction, genre fiction for middle grades, graphic novels, poetry, nonfiction, and more. Hear about books that will appeal to the “reluctant reader,” and books that will have popularity with a wide audience of children.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Wednesday April 15, 2015
Brave New World of Tech – An Exploration of Space, Drones, AI & Other Cool Stuff (LJ)
During this presentation Dr. Chris Marker will discuss hot topics in science, engineering and technology. Dr. Marker will also demonstrate how the Inspec database drives research and innovation through its depth and breadth of content and ease of access. He will show how, through careful selection and categorization of relevant information, Inspec allows researchers to drill down and retrieve specific information quickly and efficiently; plus showcase why the Inspec database has been the research tool of choice of the world’s leading universities, companies and government agencies.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

What We’ve Learned: Tips & Tricks for Webinars That Deliver The Goods (NCompass Live)
Staff of the Nebraska Library Commission have either attended, produced, or delivered more than 500 webinars in the past decade and they’d like to encourage others to try out this communications platform. In this episode, NLC staff Christa Burns, Laura Johnson, and Michael Sauers will share many of the lessons they’ve learned over the years about how to produce, host, and deliver successful webinars.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

Augmented Reality in the Classroom (AASL)
Learn how to create fun an engaging lessons for your students with augmented reality! Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. Learn how you can create interactive experiences for your students by unlocking or creating layers of digital information on top of the physical world that can be viewed through an Android or iOS device. This session includes how to implement augmented reality in all content areas.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Thursday April 16, 2015
Are Tablets Just Toys? How to Get Work Done (and Be Green!) with Mobile Devices (TechSoup)
Many of us have used tablets, iPads, or other mobile devices for fun and leisure, and surely there’s an app to organize all of our tablet’s games and media. But how many of us are using them at work, as more than just Internet-enabled toys? Join TechSoup’s Jim Lynch and mobile solutions VP at CDI Glenn Collins to learn how tablets and mobile devices can be leveraged to help you work smarter – and greener – this Earth Day month and year-round.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Books for Your LGBTQ Audience (LJ)
Join Bold Strokes Books and Riptide Publishing to hear about trends and the latest titles for patrons interested in LGBTQ materials. Romance, erotica, mystery, and fantasy: these publishers will cover the spectrum of hot upcoming titles for LGBTQ readers from YA to adult, allowing you to stock your shelves with don’t-miss titles that patrons will clamor for. You’ll also hear more about Library Journal’s recent coverage for the community as well.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Tuesday April 21, 2015
The Community Connector: Referring Social Services at the Library (TechSoup and WebJunction)
Every day, patrons enter libraries around the country with questions about health, housing, employment, counseling and other essential human services. And libraries are there to make these crucial connections for them. Many libraries are now exploring ways to expand their role as connector to community social services through resources such as webpages, mobile apps, and databases. These services might refer somebody to a free meal, legal assistance, support groups, and much more. Join us to hear examples of how referral services and resources have augmented the social services connections that contribute to community vitality.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Let’s Hear It for Middle-Grade (Booklist)
Tune in for the latest in middle-grade reading from Annick Press, Bloomsbury, Disney Book Group, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. In this free, hour-long program moderated by Booklist Associate Editor Sarah Hunter, representatives from each publisher will share their up-and-coming titles exclusively for the middle-grade set.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Financial Education Resources for Library Staff (FDLP)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is working to provide libraries with financial education resources, program ideas, marketing materials, training, and more. The goal of the effort is to make libraries the go-to source for financial information and education in every community. The CFPB worked closely with nine public libraries to build strategies that could be implemented in any library. Learn more about this innovative national initiative and how you can participate.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Reaching Out: Creating Meaningful Library Services for Patrons Experiencing Homelessness (CSL)
Libraries across the state are developing services, policies, and procedures to ensure individuals, families and unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness in their communities have access the information and services they need to stay connected. Please join us for this interactive session on library partnerships and services for the patrons experiencing homelessness. Come prepared to engage in a lively discussion, ask your burning questions, and share your experiences!
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

What’s New in Young Adult Literature 2015 Update (Infopeople)
The world of young adult literature is a dynamic one that has become one of the most vibrant areas of publishing. Each publishing season brings a plethora of new titles, new forms, and new formats, many of which require new methods of evaluation. Keeping up with these changes and the 5,000 + new titles flooding the market annually can be a full-time job. This webinar will help you identify new trends and the best new titles for your collections.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Wednesday April 22, 2015
Explore Wearable Technologies and Book Connections for Youth (NCompass Live)
This NCompass Live focuses on “wearable tech” projects for youth in your library. Ann O’Connor, J.D., Instructional Designer from Nebraska 4-H will be presenting wearable tech youth project ideas for libraries. She’s selected a fiction and a non-fiction book for each of these age-groups, grades K-5, middle school and high school. She’ll suggest wearable tech projects that can be done with each book. Ann will share information on where to purchase the hardware for the wearable tech projects she highlights in today’s webinar.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

Turn on a Dime: Changing Your Library on a Limited Budget (AASL)
This three-part interactive workshop will equip librarians with inventive strategies for enhancing their library’s atmosphere at minimal to no cost. Participants will leave the session with extensive resources including a sample grant proposal, a list of grant-writing tips, a list of student program suggestions, a study hall expectations handout, an aiding application with skills inventory, and most importantly an inspired outlook for turning their libraries into places where students feel welcome and excited to learn.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Thursday April 23, 2015
How to Find Free (and Legal to Use) Images and Media Online (TechSoup)
If your organization is like many, you sometimes find it difficult to capture high-quality images for use on your website, in presentations, and in your collateral materials. Perhaps you have video clips and also struggle to source background music that doesn’t get removed by YouTube for copyright infringement. We’re here to help! In this free, hour-long webinar join TechSoup’s Jim Lynch and Creative Commons’ project manager Jane Park to learn the where to source free images and music for your nonprofit or public library. We’ll also help you better understand the different ways to license your own creative media.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Friday April 24, 2015
Tech Tools with Tine: 1 Hour of Social Media, Part 1: Needs Analysis (TSLAC)
In our Tech Tools with Tine series, trainer Tine Walczyk typically tackles a single online tool for one hour. For this spring 2015 series, we’re doing something a little different. For the first three webinars, Tine will put her focus on a different aspect of social media use by libraries. In this week’s webinar, she’ll be presenting part 1: Needs Analysis. Topics discussed include when to use which tools, conducting user surveys, meeting your patrons where they live online, and thinking through your purpose for using social media.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

Tuesday April 28, 2015     
Killer Crime Fiction for Mystery Month (Booklist)
Murder and mayhem are coming soon—are you ready? Booklist’s sixth annual Mystery Month is coming this May! Join us as we kick things off with our ever-popular mystery webinar, hosted by Booklist Online Editor Keir Graff. Representatives from HarperCollins, Pegasus Books, Penguin Random House, Severn House, and Soho Crime will help you prepare as they share the most exciting titles from their new and forthcoming lists. Visit The Booklist Reader to find out how you and your library can join the fun.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

The New HeritageQuest Online, Powered by Ancestry ProQuest (TexShare)
Did you know that HeritageQuest Online is now powered by Ancestry.com? Join us for our New HeritageQuest Online powered by Ancestry.com What’s New webinar! One of our talented ProQuest Training & Consulting Partners will walk you through all of the exciting changes. This course covers the new search pages for the Census, Books, Revolutionary War, and Freedman’s Bank collections, new content, new Interactive Image Viewer and save/print/email tools, and the new Research Aids and Maps features. You will also see how to access support, help pages, and the new LibGuide.
Time: 4-5:00 p.m.

Wednesday April 29, 2015
Tech Talk with Michael Sauers (NCompass Live)
In this monthly feature of NCompass Live, the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Michael Sauers, will discuss the tech news of the month and share new and exciting tech for your library. There will also be plenty of time in each episode for you to ask your tech questions. So, bring your questions with you, or send them in ahead of time, and Michael will have your answers.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

I.T.’s a hit!

2015 March 31
by Henry Stokes

ycdi_buttonWe are just getting started with our first round of brand-new, free, hands-on face-to-face workshops specifically designed for small/rural public libraries on the subject of basic library networking skills (called “You Can Do I.T.!”), visiting the first 8 of 15 locations all around Texas…

…And I.T.’s a hit!

“This is the best training I’ve ever attended.”

At each of the first two workshops we conducted (the first in Columbus, the second in Llano), this was the feedback we received.

And I can personally testify, the trainer we have for you, Carson Block, is AMAZING – not to be missed. This kind of training, at this caliber, from a nationally-recognized leader in the field, does not come around very often.

So come on out and see what I.T.’s all about.

We’re likely bringing this workshop to a location near your library. Learn when you can see Carson, and register to attend, at the You Can Do I.T.! info page.

Coming up soon:

  • 4/1/2015 : Andrews (Andrews County Library)
  • 4/2/2015 : Rocksprings (Claud H Gilmer Memorial Library)
  • 4/20/2015 : Saginaw (John Ed Keeter Public Library)
  • 4/21/2015 : Canton (Van Zandt County Public Library)
  • 4/23/2015 : Alpine (Alpine Public Library)

Here are photos of our recent workshop hosted at the wonderful Llano Library (Thanks to Tommi Myers for the pic):

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And to give you a feel for Carson’s skills, here’s a video of his TEDx Talk on libraries a couple years back:

Cracking the Code: The Texas State Library and Archives Commission Will Host a Webinar on Coding for Kids

2015 March 31
by Christine McNew

Cracking the Code – Coding in the Library

Wed, May 19, 2015,  2:00–3:00 PM CST

Join us for a webinar to look at FREE resources for teaching K-12 computer programming via your library. The best part? You need zero coding experience to participate! All you need is a willingness to have fun, let your patrons be the experts, and to provide time for kids to get excited about designing their own programs. Perhaps you have heard about Hour of Code? Well the hour for coding in your library is now! Don’t miss out!

The webinar will be presented by Leah Mann, Library Media Specialist at Killian Middle School in Lewisville ISD. Lea has fourteen years experience as an educator, including eight as a school librarian. She has a passion for providing opportunities for students to explore in a variety of ways and is excited to be a part this dynamic season for libraries. Leah  has presented on a variety of topics at TLA, TCEA, SXSWedu, and ESC Region XI and is excited to have recently added coding to the mix, and to present her first webinar.

Click to register for Cracking the Code – Coding in the Library

 

What’s Going On with Edge?

2015 March 31
by Jennifer Peters

We’re well into the second year of the Edge Initiative! This update is intended to answer some questions you might have about the status of the program over the next year.

  • Many Edge completers have received messages from the Edge Initiative about a new subscription program. You are not required to purchase an individual license to continue to access your assessment results, or to take the assessment for the first time. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is purchasing a statewide license so that this assessment will remain free to all accredited public libraries in Texas for another year.
  • The Edge folks have developed a webinar titled, “You Did the Assessment: Now What?” Here’s the description:

    You’ve done the Assessment, and now you’re ready to roll up your sleeves to work on making technology services better in your community. Let us help you understand your results from the detailed Assessment and Peer Comparison reports and prioritize for creating a realistic Action Plan.

    This webinar will be offered twice in the upcoming weeks: once on April 7 at 4-5EST(3-4CST), and again on April 14 at 2-3ET (1-2CST). You can register for the webinar here.   (My apologies to those who remember me saying that there were no Edge webinars planned for these dates–I learned about them after they were announced.)

  • The Edge Initiative has been making changes to their online system so that completers can retake the assessment and compare their results to their first assessment. This is tentatively scheduled to open on May 1, 2015. They’ve also added hundreds of new resources, templates and tools to help address your library’s individual needs. If you haven’t already looked at the Peer Comparison reports, for example, where you can compare your results to libraries serving similar sized populations, do take a look.
  • If you haven’t taken the assessment yet, you haven’t missed the boat! You can take it at any time. Simply visit the Library Edge website and request an account.
  • At this point the Texas State Library and Archives Commission does not anticipate offering another round of reimbursement grants for Edge completers. Over one hundred libraries participated in the second round of this grant program, which closed in early March.

Don’t hesitate to contact Jennifer Peters at jpeters@tsl.texas.gov if you have questions. The Edge Initiative Support staff is also very responsive if you have technical questions about accessing your account at support@libraryedge.org.

Free CE and Training This Week – March 30 – April 3

2015 March 29
by Christina Manz

Here’s a weekly reminder of free training on the web. Confirm date and time when you pre-register, or follow the links for archive information. Webinars listed in Central Time. See the full monthly listing, and check the calendar to see what’s happening today.

Wednesday April 1, 2015

How to Kill Your Book Club (Or Never Be Asked Back Again) (NCompass Live)
On this April 1st, we take a light-hearted look at the many ways you can bring your book group to a grinding halt or never be invited again. Enjoy our tips, tricks, and techniques for book club doom! Join Vicki Wood, Library Youth Services Supervisor at Lincoln City Libraries, Ceri Daniels, former librarian at Cline Williams and Doane College, and Lisa Kelly, Nebraska Library Commission – as they present lessons learned (and wish they hadn’t learned) from leading book groups.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own: Information Access and Civil Discourse in the Digital Age (Georgia Carterette)
In this webinar, Brandy Horne will outline different factors that can influence, and even hinder, our ability to access information in a digital environment, and she’ll discuss how the information we do access can ultimately impact our ability to engage in civil discourse. Finally, addressing some possibly conflicting directives from ALA documents, such as the Core Values of Librarianship and the Code of Ethics, we’ll look at how libraries might strike a balance between showing patrons how to find the information they need and helping them to find the information they want.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Transform Teaching and Learning with Digital Tools (AASL)
Students and teachers can have varying levels of engagement with technology in the classroom and library. Mobile technology adds new dimension to this experience. At what level is this technology being used to enhance student learning, and at what level is it being used to truly transform education? In this webinar, participants will explore selected mobile apps from the past two years of AASL Best Apps for Teaching & Learning and learn how to inspire and engage students with mobile technology.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Thursday April 2, 2015
ProQuest – TexShare Online Training (TSLAC)
Did you know that HeritageQuest Online is now powered by Ancestry.com? Join us for our New HeritageQuest Online powered by Ancestry.com What’s New webinar! One of our talented ProQuest Training & Consulting Partners will walk you through all of the exciting changes. This course covers the new search pages for the Census, Books, Revolutionary War, and Freedman’s Bank collections, new content, new Interactive Image Viewer and save/print/email tools, and the new Research Aids and Maps features. You will also see how to access support, help pages, and the new LibGuide.
Time: 12:30-1:30 p.m.

 

Opportunity to Spotlight Your Adult Literacy Programming!

2015 March 26
by Jennifer Peters

Is your library doing innovative and exciting adult literacy programming? Consider presenting a session at the 2015 Literacy Texas Conference, to be held August 3-5 in San Marcos, TX.  There were several well-attended presentations by librarians at last year’s conference, which was attended by several hundred people. This is also a great opportunity to network and build relationships with nonprofit literacy leaders from around the state. Click to access the workshop presentation application and to learn more about the conference.

SXSW Interactive 2015: Future Perfected, part 2

2015 March 25
by Henry Stokes

sxsw-interactive-logo As I posted in part 1 of my wrap-up of the 2015 South-by-Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference, there was much exploration of what the world will be like in the post-smartphone era.   So what’s the next evolutionary step beyond our beloved handheld mini-computers?

According to the designers at Frogdesign, who presented a session at SXSWi, we may be using wearable drones just 15 years from now.

That’s right: wearable drones.

Why drones? Well, they’re the next logical leap forward. Current drone technology actually inherited a lot of its tech from smartphones (its cameras, gyroscopes, etc.).  They’ve even been nicknamed, “flying smartphones.”  Current drones do a lot of the same things as their grounded, flightless precursors: capturing protests, helping their users take selfies (or “dronies”), and even projecting interfaces on surfaces. Check out this video showing a prototype for Antonymous Wandering Interface (AWI) if you want to see the latter in action:

Drones are special because, unlike smartphones, smart-glasses, watches, or other wearable tech, they can go out and perform physical tasks for you.  That’s pretty handy. Imagine a near future when people will have their own personal drones, ones that integrate directly into their lives (in other words,  are wearable).

Frogdesign brainstormed a number of  ideas for what this could look like and shared four conceptual prototypes at SXSWi:

1) Pollution detector mask, called “Breathe”

“Breathe is a wearable drone that protects against air pollution in the city. This oval-shaped drone is made from a flexible plastic ‘lung’ and contains a small propeller at its base for both flight and air intake. It gently rests on its owner’s shoulder while monitoring the level of air pollution nearby. When levels become too polluted, the drone launches from the shoulder to supply fresh, filtered air by hovering several inches in front of its owner’s mouth.”

 2) Navigation guide, called “Flare”

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“Flare is a wearable drone that assists with navigation in the city. This compass-inspired drone is made of glass and metal that clicks into an acrylic palm strap. The owner instructs the drone where to go via voice control and launches the drone with a quick flick of the wrist. After launching, the glass illuminates and rotates within the metal ring. The drone guides its owner through the city by flying several meters ahead until they reach their destination.”

3) Flying umbrella, called “Parasol”

“Parasol is a wearable drone that shields against weather in the city. This drone takes on a compact, cylindrical form and is made of gold as if it were a highly fashionable piece of jewelry. The drone hooks onto a belt or necklace and uses onboard humidity sensors and a thermometer to signal the exact moment it needs to protect against solar rays, rain or snow. After launching, the drone’s propellers spread into a large disk, adjusting its position to continuously shield off the elements.”

4) Rock climbing game, called “Scout”

“Scout is a wearable drone that facilitates exercise and play in the city. This drone is a highly durable sphere with a rugged rubber case, and it snaps into a magnetized clip that doubles as a health monitor. Once thrown into the air, Scout’s propellers expand and it quickly becomes a fast-paced rock climbing game. The drone projects an interactive interface onto the cliff face and maps out a route that challenges the user’s endurance and pace.”

——–

It’s fun to imagine what these personal drones will be like.  Beyond the above visualizations from Frogdesign, I can see them being used to return or pick up loaned materials from the local library (a “drone-loan”?). Perhaps a library-owned drone will greet visitors as they arrive and project a catalog interface on the wall for patrons to interact with.  When a particular material is selected, the drone will then navigate the patron to the desired resource or service area.  Or perhaps it doesn’t have to be library-owned; one’s trusty personal drone could simply download the appropriate abilities upon immediately entering (flying onto) library property, and then take on the task of being a newly-minted, personal library assistant.

One wearable drone that’s actually going to be on the market soon is Nixie, a bracelet that can turn into a flying camera drone. It’s perfect for taking dronies.  (you know, I really hope that term doesn’t catch on.)


What’s beyond wearables?

Forget your physical objects and devices; we won’t always need them. Take Biyo, for example – a product that lets you make purchases with your hand. It identifies you by recognizing the unique veins in your palm.  And it’s not just veins – there other biometrics (blood flow measuring, EKG patterns, e.g.) being looked at that can be used to authenticate your identity. You can forget passwords in the future (and not accidentally). I saw a number of sessions at SXSWi discussing the ‘Death of the Password’.   Like we expect to do with smartphones, we’ll be moving to a post-password world.  Futurists predict we’ll stop using letter and number combinations altogether – they’re far too insecure and difficult for users to recall.

 

So how will we prove our identity and credentials? Two types discussed at SXSWi were:

1) Embeddables – We might embed microchips under the skin that can be scanned.  The most mind-blowing possibility I heard about was a chip placed within the brain that would enable to us simply think of a specific memory,  one known only to us, and that this mere recollection would activate the  log-in and passcode to authenticate us.

2) Ingestibles – Imagine swallowing a daily I.D. pill at work to allow you access to company resources or taking a daily WiFi pill to bypass the security on the network.  These ingested devices would enable one to avoid chip-embedding surgery and they’ll eventually leave the body, taking their identifying powers with them.  They’re great if you only want to provide temporary access to a resource.


 

Of course, this is all just the tip of the iceberg.  And there are numerous ramifications to these technologies still to be worked out, with analysis and discussion (as one finds at the SXSWi conference) just getting started.  What does it mean for privacy and the dangers of identity hacking?  With Big Data and the Internet of Things (see part 1) – in which all the objects in our lives are collecting, sharing, and broadcasting data about us – many questions and concerns are being raised, chief among them being who will own this data, and how will it be used?

In this future world that is just within our reach and getting closer, digital literacy becomes absolutely essential. And who is in the key position to provide digital literacy to the community now and in the future?  The Library.

Time for New Tech Tools with Tine

2015 March 25
by Henry Stokes

Tech Tools with Tine webinars are back! In each 1 hour webinar, library technology consultant and trainer Tine Walczyk discusses a different technology topic or tool.

Starting April 24 , we’ve got five more in the series covering the following topics:

 

Social Media, part 1: Needs Analysis
Friday, April 24
10 AM to 11 AM CST
Tine’s offering a 3 part series on different aspects of social media use by libraries. Topics discussed in part 1 include when to use which tools, conducting user surveys, meeting your patrons where they live online, and thinking through your purpose for using social media.

Social Media, part 2: Marketing Strategy
Friday, May 1
10 AM to 11 AM CST
Tine’s offering a 3 part series on different aspects of social media use by libraries. Topics discussed in part 2 include outreach best practices, scheduling of information releases, and marketing coordination – both for creating the message and distributing it.

Social Media, part 3: Engaging Patrons
Friday, May 8
10 AM to 11 AM CST
Tine’s offering a 3 part series on different aspects of social media use by libraries. Topics discussed in part 3 include examples of what libraries are doing with social media, developing support parameters, and recommendations on how to get patrons involved and engaged..

Online Fundraising
Friday, May 22
10 AM to 11 AM CST
Tine will take a look at some of the fundraising campaign and donation tools available, as well as strategies for raising funds for current projects, building a funding pool for the future, and encouraging donor retention.

Arduino
Friday, May 29
10 AM to 11 AM CST
Arduino are mail-order kits for building digital and interactive devices. Find out what it is, what it can be used for, how to get it, and receive some basic instruction on how to program with it! Come away with the tools to complete your first project and learn about the community to keep your knowledge building.

Register now to reserve your spot:

https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/workshops/webinars/techtools.html

SXSW Interactive 2015: Future Perfected, part 1

2015 March 24
by Henry Stokes

sxsw-interactive-logo I recently attended the 2015  South-by-Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference, and perhaps the biggest take-away I got from the 5 days worth of informative panels and sessions was a focus on making the long-desired (previously pipe-) dreams of the future become a reality sooner rather than later.

When I’ve attended in the past, there seemed to be more of an emphasis on the present: What was the newest, most exciting thing happening right now?  Which trendy app with the most buzz can I download to my smartphone and get in on the ground floor of the Next Big Thing?  New social media tools such as Twitter were first launched here, after all.  But this year, I noticed SXSWi had its eyes less on what is in our hands now and more on what is just out of our reach. It’s become the world’s best think-tank for discussing, planning, and preparing for the future that we’ve all been pining for since our youth – one filled with robots, flying / self-driving cars, and virtual reality.

It’s a future that’s right around the corner in fact – and libraries will need to be ready.

Smartphone Shmartphone.

I heard more than once that we have entered the “post-smartphone era” – a strange thing to hear since smartphones are more popular than ever. But for the forward-thinkers at SXSWi, they are mere objects in our hands that have to be lugged around everywhere – limited (and limiting) personal devices that have little integration into our life.  Instead, there’s a desire to have everything around us be smart – not just our phones, and to have them be woven seamlessly into our day-to-day existence. The way to achieve this is to make them wearable.  Wearable Technology is going to be the next big step beyond the smartphone, and the large number of sessions discussing the topic at SXSWi is a testament to that fact.  The conference itself fell just a week after Apple made its big announcement revealing their new Apple Watch.

Beyond wearability, there’s also a desire to have the objects in our lives be responsive to our needs (that’s where the “smart” comes in to play). Nicknamed the “Internet of Things”, this is the idea that the world we inhabit will be more fully interconnected. For example, a smart home might know to turn the lights on when you enter a room, or the refrigerator will alert you that your milk is expired. The gentleman in front of me in line for our conference badges was actually working on making a smart gas tank for the home – one that could alert you if there was a dangerous leak.  Your things will know they’re broken and will tell you so.  And they will know you personally – your habits and preferences – so they can respond predictively to what you want them to do.

So how does that work?

Sensors, Sensors Everywhere.

It’s all about sensors, which will be built into everything. And with huge amounts of data now capable of being stored in the Cloud and transmitted via broadband, there will be a whole world of interconnected data from multiple sources swirling all around us.  Numerous sessions at SXSWi set about discussing the implications of “Big Data”.

To illustrate what this might look like, here are two areas of our lives that could be dramatically affected by Big Data and the Internet of Things…

1)      Emergency response

Radar_speed_sign_-_close-up_-_under_limitHere’s an early, proto-version of the smart object: your friendly neighborhood speed radar sign. These receive data from the sensor in the road or camera and then provide you, the driver, immediate feedback on you and your fellow drivers’ current speeds. And it works – use of these signs cuts down  speeding dramatically.  In one SXSWi session I attended, the idea was proposed: what if you made these signs even smarter? What if it collected data from all the cars, took in data about current weather and traffic patterns, and provided you a recommended speed based on the immediate situation?

Have you heard of Shotspotter? These already exist in some neighborhoods: microphones placed in high crime areas can recognize gunshots within 10 feet and immediately alert police so they can investigate.
For the future, imagine the roads themselves telling pedestrians that a crime event is occurring nearby and to steer clear, with prominent impromptu road signage automatically generated to direct traffic. The responders themselves could have smart glasses that use facial recognition software to identify individuals, and have personal tracking set up on their person. Too stressed to handle the event? A supervisor can read the signs and pull the officer from the situation. How about crowdsourcing emergency assistance? The people in your neighborhood with CPR skills could be alerted immediately if their services are needed near their location. Actually, this one already exists. Check out the app PulsePoint.

2)      Genealogy

1A big topic of interest for library patrons since time immemorial, I predict it’s about to become even bigger with Big Data.  Crowdsourcing and Internet collaboration has allowed more people to figure out their ancestry and connect to each than ever before.  It’s predicted that in twenty years, we will have put together one single giant family tree, with every human being on it.  Imagine if you could look at a stranger on the street and immediately be alerted that they are your fourth cousin, twice removed.  This could definitely get children more excited about history (Albert Einstein is actually Cousin Albert) and might even (fingers crossed) improve human relations the world over – hey, we’re all part of the same family, and the data coming in proves it!

 

…to be continued.

Licensing Electronic Resources (Chapter Six of Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries)

2015 March 24
by Holly Gordon

ycdi_buttonThis week we will continue with the 7th blog reviewing the LITA guide Technology for Small and One-Person Libraries, which the State Library sent to public libraries serving populations under 25,000. This book has great information about many aspects of technology in libraries.

Chapters 5 and 6 discuss issues with Electronic Resources, so I asked Russlene Waukechon, the TexShare Database Coordinator to review these chapters for us — Thanks Russlene!

In Chapter Six we go a little deeper into dealing with electronic resources and discuss licensing e-resources discussing agreements and negotiations. Sound like fun? Let’s start.

Before the era of e-resources libraries purchased physical resources but with the advent of electronic resources libraries subscribe to or lease electronic resources and that’s a key difference. If you decide you want to subscribe to an electronic resource you’ll be dealing with an electronic license and leasing it either directly from the publisher or from a content aggregator such as EBSCO or ProQuest. Just like with any legal transaction you’ll want to read the license and understand what you are purchasing.

This chapter provides a great checklist for your use which is taken from a work I have used many times, Lesley Ellen Harris’s Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians. This book is available for you to checkout out through TSLAC’s Library Science Collection.  Another great resource is ALA’s online e-course available here: “Copyright & Electronic Resource Management” by Lesley Ellen Harris.

The rest of the Chapter 6 discusses negotiations and alternatives to signing a lengthy license by opting to use a SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding). Fortunately, as a TexShare member library these tasks are taken care of for you! That’s one of the benefits of TexShare membership; we handle all of the purchasing, licensing and negotiations for the electronic resources found in the core TexShare menu and in the TexSelect optional resources.

We’re always here to help with any questions you have about electronic resources. You can reach us at: databases@tsl.texas.gov

Check out these other technology resources:
You Can Do I.T.: Basic Network Technology Training workshops
Subscribe to the new You Can Do I.T. email list here