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Archive | Internet Librarian

Accelerating Your Market Input: Creating Positive Outcomes: The Thursday Keynote

Jane Dysart and Susan Schramm

Jane Dysart, Program Chair (L) and Susan Schramm

Susan Schramm, Founder and Principal, Go To Market Impact (a consulting firm helping organizations in times of change), is not a librarian, but she is a very zealous promoter and supporter of libraries. She believes that libraries will be catalysts for transforming smart communities. Change is going on, and there is a gap that libraries can fill.

Smart Communities

A smart community  has an infrastructure that allows its residents to be connected, so that information is gathered and available to be connected to create efficiencies.They are a way to  flourish and are based on data. A city has a personality; a smart city is one you like to hang out with. Smart social services might take information from silos and start to create open data models so they can share transformations and identify trends. Smart parks or airports are components of smart cities.

Work to do

We used to talk about “how” or “if”; now we talk about “when”. The human capital of the community makes it come to life. What are the jobs that need to be filled that we don’t have the skills for? What about the issue of ethics? They are built into the infrastructure. We need to deal with decisions that are based on lack of information.

Libraries' role

Some of the challenges are opportunities for libraries to insert themselves into the discussion. Upskilling

Some of the less common areas are being tackled. How do we raise our impact?

Roles for libraries

Top challenges (every organization has these).

Top Challenges

Terms:

Terms

Lessons learned:

  1. Clarify our value proposition: Why are we doing something? Why us? How you provide something makes you different. Why now? Creates urgency. What is your customer’s urgency? Do not launch a program without asking why now.
  2. Target our audiences: Do a stakeholder map. Who wants to solve the problem? All of your stakeholders can be investors and can be asked to carry your message. Choose them wisely.
  3. Help customers “buy”: Customers are very knowledgeable about problems they want to solve. They don’t want to be sold to. Create a customer experience journey map; it’s the fastest way to figure out where they are getting stuck. Brainstorm commonly asked questions and those that are difficult; then brainstorm answers. The result is consistency and confidence.
  4. Ask the hard questions; have courage. Decide what to stop doing, not because you think so, but because there is analysis that everybody can understand. Partnering is important, but not just with friends. What are you going to do as a leader?

Transformations in our cities call for the library to have a role. Think about expertise in your team that can be used to solve problems. What is your next step? 

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Are Librarians Smarter Than a Machine?: The Wednesday Evening Session

Wednesday Evening Panel

Wednesday Evening Panel: (L-R) Stephen Abram (Chair), Ryan Hess, David Lee King, Amy Affelt, Gary Price, Susan Considine

The always popular evening session this year featured a panel of information professionals and several voice-activated devices plus a robot. Panelists on this session were Steven Abram (Chair), Ryan Hess, Dan Lou (not shown in photo), David Lee King, Amy Affelt, Gary Price, and Sue Considine.

Each panelist presented a short opinion on the devices, and then the audience was given the opportunity to interact with them and form their opinions. After that, audience participants reported on their experiences. The panelists huddled to determine prize winners; six prizes were given including two Alexa Dots, two Google Homes, and two copies of Peter Morville’s book Planning for Everything,

Questions to be answered included: How do we make sure that people learn how to use these devices? How do they fit into the Internet of Things trend? Are the devices smarter than librarians and will they replace them? Here are the panelists’ opinions:

David Lee King: When these things work really well, they will be easy for your grandmother to use. Not everything is quite that simple yet. Some things don’t work really well. Others work well—except when you don’t want them to (David was frequently interrupted by the Alexa on the speakers’ table).

Sue Considine: From a reference perspective, she is not convinced these devices are a substitute for the type of reference we do. Most people coming into a public library want to talk to a person.

Gary Price: We have a vocabulary issue with these things. (See his bibliography.) There are many privacy issues.

Amy Affelt: When she gets a good answer, she is surprised and delighted, but she has grave concerns. Now, we are being tracked without interacting with the device. What happens to a generation of kids using these devices for their homework? We still have a chance to teach young kids about quality news. What if the devices are dispensing fake news? The recordings can be used in a court. Who is storing the conversations? Are they ever deleted? We are giving up a lot in exchange for convenience.

Ryan and Dan: The No.1 cause of anxiety with these devices is that they will work. Before the robots take our jobs, we want the public to know how cute they are (they showed Dewey, a robot).

Members of the audience tried several of the devices with greatly mixed results. They generally agreed with the panelists that the devices are good for ready reference and facts, but they cannot process empathy and feelings, so they are not good for many reference questions. The reference transaction is a social interaction; we may lose the opportunity to provide that social connection. Sources are important; how are going to find them? We need to look at how to train these things to be useful. The knowledge resides in us; the future of these devices has a lot to do with what is in our brains.

Here are photos of the devices:

Dan Lou With Dewey the Robot

Dan Lou With Dewey the Robot

 

Dewey the Robot

Dewey the Robot

 

Google Home

Google Home

 

Alexa Dot

Alexa Dot

Peter Morville's Book

Peter Morville’s Book

 

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Bibliometrics, Planning, and Shooting for the Stars

Jill Konieczko

Jill Konieczko

Jill Konieczko, Deputy Director, NASA Goddard Library, and Library Services Division Director, Zimmerman Associates, Inc., provides library services under contract to the NASA Goddard Library. NASA Goddard has about 10,000 employees doing research and concentrating on earth science, astrophysics, and planetary science. Its library is the 2016 FEDLINK Large Library of the Year. Here are some statistics on the library:

Goddard Library

Strategic planning in 2018: Information Services wanted to build on its success with ad hoc research requests such as identification of researchers’ publications, etc. and decided to develop a bibliometric service. Several staff were interested in bibliometrics and had attended training sessions, so logs of past requests were used to identify users who would be interested, and a business proposal was developed. An ORCID registration drive was conducted, and two “How to Get Published” workshops were offered. Marketing was done by items in a daily e-mail newsletter, flyers in buildings, and marquee signs.

Library staff members educated themselves through MOOCs, webinars, continuing education sessions at conferences, and self-paced learning.

Tools:

  • Excel was used for data cleaning;
  • OpenRefine makes data pretty;
  • Venngage generates infographics and promotional materials.
  • VOSviewer open source software that is used for constructing and visualizing bibliometric networks.
  • Sci2 can clean, analyze data, and visualize a variety of data formats.
  • Gephi is OSS software for network visualization and analysis.
  • Tableau is flexible in sources it can accept and visualize data and create dashboards.

The Maryland SLA chapter’s site is very useful for background information.

Their first request for a bibliometric project was to identify 30 people under consideration to be appointed AGU Fellows.

Project request

They were surprised at how much time it took to clean up the data. Then they ran the analysis and prepared for the launch of the program. Unfortunately the project could not be launched  because their government contract didn’t include approval for the program.

Lessons learned

Recovery

Put knowledge to work

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Search 8.0: Vocal, Graphical, and the Rise of AI

Greg Notess

Greg Notess

Greg Notess, Faculty and Graduate Student Librarian, Montana State University (now retired) and Author, Search Engine Showdown, discussed the changing nature of search. We are seeing a change in how we start and run searches. We used to have text frequency; now we have our devices with us all the time, and they are tracking where we are and what we are looking for. With the rise of graphical and audio abilities, we can search in very different ways.

Audio input

Image searching: We have had image capabilities for a long time, and now we can start a search by talking to our device or looking for images.  A lot of searching is for shopping; Tin Eye is a reverse image search system to find images on line.  Image matching allows one to use an image and find other places where it has been used. Google Photos is for small devices, and Google Assistant is available in many places. AR and AI are being incorporated into image matching capabilities. Google Lens can extract text from image and use it to run a search (for example, extract an email address from a business card and add it to your contacts or choose something from an image to shop for).

Voice searching:

Smart speaker usage

Smart speakers (Alexa, Echo, etc.) will have a large effect. Apple’s HomePod claims to have better sound. Baidu (the Chinese search system) has several advanced capabilities. Using the popIn Aladdin, in the library world, you can read a book. 

AR, AI, and the Future: AI is everywhere in search.AI everywhereGoogle knows where you are from your phone and can then give you results from a search. AR allows viewing of products in context,

Viewing in context

library impacts

The usability varies: see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvT_gqs5ETk.

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It’s All About Story

Susan Considine and Ben Bizzle

Susan Considine and Ben Bizzle

Ben Bizzle, CEO, LibraryMarket, said he is scared to read to people in public. But he has a script and read part of a story which will  appear in a chapter of a book, It’s All About the Story, that he and Susan Considine are co-authoring. The story is about a homeless man who came to the library every day and shared his life story: what it was like growing up, adulthood, how he became homeless, then acquired a deep love of reading, and how the library has impacted him. It allowed him to maintain his dignity and know his value as a human being. Libraries do change lives, and they saved his.

Sue Considine, Former Executive Director, Fayetteville (NY) Public Library (FPL), asked the audience to think about their stories of how information made a meaningful difference in their lives. Libraries are the one place in the community where are everyone is equal and supported. They level the playing field and provide a place of belonging, providing acceptance in the community. Many libraries now have makerspaces, and the power of making is social. Even though there are many disadvantages, we persist and stay in the profession. For example, when FPL put out a call for sewers, they were overwhelmed with volunteers who taught others to sew. By learning to sew, some of the participants’ lives were transformed. For example, one senior citizen spent most of her time sewing alone in her kitchen. When she came to FPL and joined the sewing group, she found new friends and became an active member of the community.

Many people on the fringes of the community use the library as a place to interact with other people.  The change in their lives can be amazing.

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Digitizing and Archiving

Susie Kopecky

Susie Kopecky

Susie Kopecky, Librarian at Allan Hancock College (AHC, the only California community college named for an individual) in Santa Maria, CA, described how a family’s archive was processed at AHC. The library at the college is the location of the Hancock Family Estate Archives (HFEA) containing materials relating to the life of Captain G. Allan Hancock (1875-1965), founder of AHC.

Who was George Alan Hancock

When Hancock’s wife died, his materials were distributed to various organizations, including AHC. The library’s collection is small and includes:

Library collection

Previous librarians had prepared the items for data entry and separated them into 3 classes:

Classifying

Some materials had suffered significant water damage and raised questions about long-term preservation. Metadata was created manually and entered into an MS Access database. Leaders on the project included former librarians, and retired volunteers.

Workflow

Workflow

The library got scanning equipment in 2014 and has begun digitizing the collection. They spent $6,000 for equipment. Challenges:

Challenges

Next steps and issues?

  • Hosting: Airtable
  • How to set up the data to be freely accessible: ArchiveSpace?
  • Scanning and time
  • Safety: hazards of old nitrate films
  • Funding and getting grants
  • Collaboration
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