Quick Links to LibTech 2010 Write-Ups

Last week I had the privilege to attend and present at the 4th Annual Library Technology Conference at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, on March 17-18!  Check out write-ups of the following sessions right here on Librarian in a Banana Suit:

Twitter Cheat Sheet

Totally psyched to have my Twitter Cheat Sheet ready to go for next week’s Library Technology Conference at Macalester College! So psyched, in fact, that I’m making it available to you, right here, right now. (Just click here for the pdf.)


Basic grammar:

@username = reply / mention
“@bananasuit Nice bananasuit!”

d username = direct (private) tweet
“d bananasuit Want to meet up and go bananasuit shopping?”

RT @username = retweet what someone else said
“RT @bananasuit 5% of Americans now own bananasuits”

#keyword = hashtag
“I think I’m ready to take the plunge and get a #bananasuit”

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Library Technology Conference 2010

My colleague (& partner in crime) and I are currently putting the final touches on the workshop we’ve been preparing for the Library Technology Conference at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, in little over a week.  We’re giving a 90 minute hands-on workshop called “Second Life and Twitter for Librarians: Virtual Tools for Building Local and Global Networks.” Angela will be speaking about Second Life,and I will be speaking about Twitter.

I’m excited, but also pretty nervous!

I’m really looking forward to visiting Macalester, which is where I earned my undergraduate degree.  Sad, though, that my most favorite professors have all already retired or moved on to other Universities.  It really wasn’t that long ago, guys!

Anyway, I will surely be posting more about the conference before, during and after the fact.  Next Wednesday March 10, SLIS is hosting a dry-run of our workshop at noon in the U of I Main Library Computer Lab 3092, with cookies!

(click here to see more links for LibTech 2010)

Fabulous Ways for Librarians to Use Twitter


Clive Thompson from Wired Magazine — one of my favorite techno-journalists — writes that tools like Twitter can help us develop a “sixth sense” about the people in our networks.  All those seemingly mundane facts like “having homemade bagel & lox for breakfast!” and “reading Vonnegut during flight delay…” can add up to give us a picture of what’s happening in the lives of those around us.  As librarians, we can use Twitter to help our communities develop a sixth sense about who we are and what we offer, and we can also use it to develop our own sixth sense that will help us tune into the wants and needs of our communities, too.  For instance, if you see a lot of chatter in your network about the recent PBS documentary Copyright Criminals, you can schedule a showing at your library and then send a tweet about the event to all your Twitter followers!

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ICPL Technology Petting Zoo 12/11/09

The Iowa City Public Library put on a fantastic Technology Petting Zoo today!  ICPL’s Emerging Technology Committee offered an inservice session to expose library staff to new gadgets, including the Sony eReader, Overdrive eAudio, iTouch, the CanoScan Scanner, and eeePC.  I presented on Flip Video, which I’ve used with ICPL teens in Teen Tech Zone to help them produce their own YouTube videos.  You can check out my Flip Video presentation notes below, or you can click here to download the pdf.

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“Understanding Open Source”; ILA Annual Conference 2009

Karen Schneider gave a lovely pragmatic talk on understanding open source at the Iowa Library Association 2009 Annual Conference (which was a welcome change from the sometimes cult-ish “Open Source is good, Open Source will solve all your problems” rhetoric).  I hope to be able to link to her slides on slideshare as soon as I can find them, but here it is in a nutshell:

I. What is open source?
Schneider started out with a definition of open source from Wikipedia (I love it when librarians aren’t afraid to use Wikipedia!):  “Open source software generally allows anyone to make a new version of the software, port it to new operating systems and processor architectures, share it with others or market it.”  She pointed out that sometimes you don’t even know when you’re using open source:  Audacity, WordPress, Firefox, and lots of in-flight movies are just a few examples of open source software in action.

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“Waxing & Waning”; ILA Annual Conference 2009

Karen Schneider wore deer boots and turtlenecks circa 1975, and claims she can still be spotted wearing them to this day.  She learned what “going commando” means only recently.  She is also known as the free range librarian, a co-moderator of the PUBLIB public librarian discussion list, an Air Force vet, the newly appointed library director at Holy Names University, a published food writer and a beer home-brewer.

Schneider was also the keynote speaker for Friday morning’s session of the Iowa Library Association ’09 Annual Conference, where she gave her talk, “Waxing and Waning: Tech Trends for the Library Landscape.”  You can check out the slides from her talk here (via slideshare):

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“Collective Advocacy” & Open Access; ILA Annual Conference 2009

Jennifer McLennan, Director of Communications at SPARC, and Faye Chadwell, Associate University Librarian at Oregon State University, came to the Iowa Library Association 2009 Annual Conference to talk about libraries and Open Access in their talk, “Collective Advocacy: Engaging Librarians in the Open Access Movement.”

As McLennan explained, SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition) is “an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.”  Basically, SPARC takes advantage of the amazing opportunities created by the Internet to advance the conduct of research and scholarship!

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“On-the-fly Tech Support”; ILA Annual Conference 2009

Bunny Ears

(some good advice from Jessamyn West: “put bunny ears on your headphones so no one will steal them”)

It was so much fun to hear Jessamyn West, one of my all-time favorite library bloggers, give her talk on On-the-fly Tech Support at the 2009 Iowa Library Association Annual Conference in Des Moines.  Being the awesome techie librarian that she is, she has already made all of her notes and slides available on the internet, so all I have to do is tell you about how fun she was.

So way  back in 1997, Salon.com wrote up a neat feature called “Are We Ready for the Library of the Future?“, explaining that librarians have become “the general public’s last-resort providers of tech support.”  Yet twelve years later, lots of librarians still don’t have a clue how to troubleshoot.  Never fear librarians, Jessamyn West to the rescue!  Here are some key pointers for the on-the-fly tech support librarian:

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“Close Encounters With Digital Citizens”; ILA Annual Conference 2009

So these are some things I overheard librarians saying about Lee Rainie, founding director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, at the 2009 Iowa Library Association Annual Conference:

“He just keeps throwing data at you and it’s awesome!”
“He talks so fast and I love him!”
“Lee Rainie is my new boyfriend!”

Lee Rainie: Iowa Librarians have a crush on you.  I hope you don’t think that’s weird.

In his talk “Close Encounters With Digital Citizens,” Rainie mostly threw a lot of data at us about how teenagers use the internet.  He gave a similar talk in January, and those slides are available here (via slideshare):

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