Library Technology at the ALA 2016 Annual Conference

ALA 2016 Annual Conference

The ALA 2016 Annual Conference is just about a month away.  The conference covers a myriad of library topics and sorting through the program sessions to find the ones focused on library technology takes effort.  Let us do the work for you.

Here is our list programs related to library technology.  You find interest groups and sessions on data and metadata, makerspaces, UX, Linked Data, ILS and LMS, websites, mobile apps, emerging technologies, and more. Committee meeting were not included.

For official descriptions, speakers, and final schedule, please check the conference Full Schedule page.

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What’s in the Library Technology Toolkit?

I got a new computer at work last week.  Before that happened I backed up my documents and configuration files.  I also made a list of my installed applications to be reinstalled on my new system.  I thought I’d post the list to show what’s in the computer toolkit of a typical Electronic Services Librarian.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016

Install Office 2016 on your PC

The standard office suite of programs.  We just got access to Office 2016 so I am testing it with our ILS (Voyager) and learning its new features to help staff when they upgrade.  I’ll also look for any new integration features with SharePoint.

Adobe Master Collection CS6

Adobe Master Collection CS6

From this suite, Dreamweaver and Photoshop get used on a regular basis. The main library website uses a content management system, but we still have some standalone sites that are built using individual HTML pages. Dreamweaver is useful for those.  Photoshop is used on an almost daily basis to edit photos, graphics for the website and social media, screenshots for instruction, library signs, and more.

Adobe Acrobat X Pro

Acrobat Acrobat Pro is used to create, edit, and convert documents to PDF. Most of the documents we upload to our institutional repository and staff intranet are in PDF form, so this tool is essential.

Notepad++

Notepad++

Sure, you can edit code in Microsoft Notepad, but I prefer Notepad++ for its added benefits.  Features include color-coded text based on syntax, collapsible code sections, code autocomplete, enhanced find and replace, and multiple files in tabs (with file history memory).

You can download Notepad++ for free.

Snagit

Snagit Markup ExampleSnagit allows you to take screenshots and capture video, then mark them up with highlighting, boxes, arrows, speech bubbles, etc.  This program is really useful for creating tutorials on using a website or piece of software.

WinSCP

WinSCP is a free FTP program.  I use WinSCP to transfer files to various webservers, download export files from our ILS, and upload bibliographic and holdings record files to vendors.  It also features a built in PuTTY terminal function to connect to and execute SSH commands on remote servers.

You can download WinSCP for free.

Prish Image Resizer

Prish Image Resizer

This simple utility installs to Windows 7 and can batch resize photos right in Windows Explorer.  Select photo(s), right-click and select Prish Resizer. The app gives a few options for photo size and location to place the resized files.  A similar feature with fewer options is included in Windows 8 and Windows 10.

You can download Prish Image Resizer for free.

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a free anti-malware program that is easy to down and install.  I run it periodically on my own computer, but also use it to find and clean up suspected malware on other staff computers.  It one of the utilities I keep on my USB drive when helping staff troubleshoot and fix issues with their computers.

You can download Malwarebytes for free.

Library Communities on Slack

Slack

You may have heard of Slack, perhaps mentioned on social media, but unless you’re a technical librarian, you’re probably not using it. Yet.  There currently are just a few librarian communities on Slack but it seems to be a welcome alternative to social media groups for the technical savvy librarians.

Slack was created to allow private teams to collaborate.  So you won’t find an index or search engine on the Slack website to find teams.  However, many coder communities have sprung up which are more open in nature.  You can use third-party sites to find them. We will maintain a list of them as they are created.

With all Slack sites, you’ll need to request access.

Slack LibUx ChannelsSlack team sites are divided into custom channels. Channels are topic threads. Each site comes with a #general and a #random channel by default.

In addition to normal textual messages, you can drag-and-drop in files, documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, and links.  You can react to others and set notifications.

Of course, Slack allows you to search the entire archives.

Slack also allows members to chat via direct messages.

The free version of Slack allows for unlimited members but a limit of 10,000 messages (with older ones disappearing from view and search).

Get the Slack app for Android and Apple devices.

Library Communities

code4lib

Even though code4lib has its own website with IRC and a wiki, much daily conversation takes place in its Slack site.  code4lib has over 500 users and 24 channels including the code4lib IRC channel.

code4lib can be found at code4lib.slack.com.
Request access at goo.gl/forms/p9Ayz93DgG.

Datalibrarians of Florida

As you can tell by the name, this Slack community is aimed at technical librarians in Florida.

Datalibrarians of Florida can be found at fladatalibs.slack.com.
Request access in the Florida Databrarians Facebook group.

LibApps

The LibApps Slack site was started recently as an alternative to the official Springshare Lounge.  It has over 150 members and 16 channels covering all Springshare apps and more.

LibApps can be found at libapps.slack.com.
Request access in the “Slack Team for LibApps” thread in the Under the Hood group in the Springshare Lounge.

LibTech

The LibTech Slack site is brand new!  It is less technical than code4lib and broader than LibUX, covering all library technology topics.  If you want to learn what Slack is about, come join this group as a founding member.  Help us reach critical mass and suggest some appropriate channels.

LibTech can be found at librarytech.slack.com.
Request access at erau.libsurveys.com/LibTech.

LibUX

The LibUX site is perhaps the most active of the library Slack communities with over 200 members discussing library user experience topics in 13 channels.

LibUX can be found at libraryux.slack.com.
Request access at libux.herokuapp.com.

Check for new additions on our Social Media Resources for Librarians page.

More Common Library Technology Acronyms

Throughout your professional library reading you probably occasionally come across esoteric library technology acronyms. It’s annoying to have to stop reading to look up their meanings.  To help prevent that, we present our list of more common library technology acronyms.

These acronyms have been added to the Library Technology Acronyms page.

AAP – Authorized Access Point, text string that names the item for a BIBFRAME Authority (bf:authorizedAccessPoint).

API – Application Program Interface, “a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building applications and providing a way to interact with online services”.

BIBFRAMEBIBFRAME – Bibliographic Framework, a new model for bibliographic description to replace MARC.

DOAJ – The Directory of Open Access Journals.

FAST – Faceted Application of Subject Terminology, a “faceted subject heading schema” by OCLC with the LOC, used as an authority file.

FOAF – Friend of a Friend, describes people and their relationships using an RDF schema.

HILCC – Hierarchical Interface to Library of Congress Classification, structured menu for LC Classification subject access on the Web.

JSON – JavaScript Object Notation, “a lightweight data-interchange format” and standard.

LCNAF – Library of Congress Name Authority File, “provides authoritative data for names of persons, organizations, events, places, and titles”.

LOD – Linked Open Data, Linked Data which is published under an open-access licence.

LSP – Library Services Platform, a term for a suite of library applications which might include an ILS, ERM, and discovery service.

MADS/RDF – Metadata Authority Description Schema in Resource Description Framework, a data model for authority records.

MFHD – Multi-Format Holdings Data, a holdings record containing location and call number (sometimes pronounced “muffhead”).

OWL – Web Ontology Language, “a Semantic Web language designed to represent rich and complex knowledge about things, groups of things, and relations between things”.

RDF – Resource Description Framework, a W3C standard for describing Web data.

REST – Representational State Transfer, the software architectural style of the Web.

SPARQL – SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language, used to retrieve Web  data in RDF format.

URI – Uniform Resource Identifier, string of characters that points to a resource (with a URL being the most popular type).

W3CW3C – World Wide Web Consortium, “an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web”.

WEMI – Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item; Group 1 entities and the foundation of the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model.

FRBR Group 1 WEMI

3D Printing Books, Papers, and Resources

My new friend and professional library colleague, Sara Gonzales, has a new book out today on 3D printers in libraries (see below), so it seemed like a good time to list some of the best books, papers, and resources on the topic.

Books

Here is a selection of the best up-to-date books to learn about deploying 3D printers in your library.

3-D Printers for Libraries by Jason Griffey

3-D Printers for LibrariesThis title is actually an issue of Library Technology Reports from ALA Tech Source.  The report covers how 3D printers work, common terminology, types of plastic, prices and specifications for printers, and staff skill requirements.  Published in 2014.

Buy from the ALA Store, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

3D Printing: A Powerful New Curriculum Tool for Your School Library by Lesley M. Cano

3D Printing: A Powerful New Curriculum Tool for Your School LibraryPart of the “Tech Tools for Learning” series.  This book is aimed at the K-12 school librarian.  “Written in non-technical language, the book introduces the technology, shows how to get started, and offers ideas for creating project-based learning models.”  Published in 2015.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

3D Printing: A Practical Guide for Librarians by Sara Russell Gonzalez and Denise Beaubien Bennett

3D Printing: A Practical Guide for LibrariansThis title is the newest volume (#22) in the “Practical Guides for Librarians” series.  The comprehensive book covers everything from writing the original proposal to selecting printers, addressing staffing issues, developing policies, and more.  Published in 2016.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Papers

Progress in the Making: An Introduction to 3D Printing and Public Policy by American Library Association

Progress in the Making: An Introduction to 3D Printing and Public PolicyThe first report from the American Library Association in the “Progress in the Making” series covering 3D printers and legal liability and concerns for library professionals.  Published in September 2014.

Access the full-text paper (PDF).

Progress in the Making: 3D Printing Policy Considerations through the Library Lens by Charlie Wapner

Progress in the Making: 3D Printing Policy Considerations through the Library LensIn this second report in the “Progress in the Making” series from the American Library Association, Wapner urges librarians to develop policies to “address the social, technological and political complexities that result from the rise of 3D printing.”  Published in January 2015.

Access the full-text paper (PDF).

Resources

Here is a selection of helpful resources on 3D printers in libraries.