Monthly Archives: March 2012

Your Library Website Sucks and It’s Your Fault

Library catalogs were originally built by experts for experts and that doesn’t work for non-experts (patrons). Teach carpentry, not how to use the hammer – we are teaching how to use the hammer (the catalog being the hammer). Start with Why Do We Have A Website? Libraries add friction, we need to reduce the amount of friction involved in the process of getting our information out.

Who is your website for, anyway? Not librarians – 100% of your patrons (more than come through the door, more than the public services staff support).
User experience design is expert listening, not expert intuition
* User Research
* Feedback Loop (complete every one – make it really easy to get to you and respond – keep a spreadsheet of every feature request w/email address so that when something gets done you can let folks know)
* Usability Test – all the time (monthly at Grand Valley)
* Web Analytics – Google Analytics or Reinvigorate for heat map
Suggestion to follow @UXYoda on Twitter
You know what they need – now do that, and only that.
Work on the website is 90% political
* Bad library websites are a symptom (of a non-user focused library cultural)
Road House – Dalton’s (as played by Patrick Swayze) 3 tips for improving your organization
* Never underestimate your opponents – expect the unexpected
* Take it outside — never start anything inside unless it’s absolutely necessary
* Be nice
Be patient, understand the culture, get everyone to participate, test and iterate – don’t redesign, strategic compromise, ask forgiveness, eternal vigilance, be consistent, write concisely and clearly,
Matthew showed the iterative changes made over 5 months that became a redesign
Rocket Surgery made easy – Steve Krug

Keynote Thursday – Larry Johnson, Horizon Report

Horizon Report – sets priorities for tech planning in learning organizations

Began as an internal environmental scan, grew to a publication for public for Higher Ed, K12 Ed and Museums – they plan to add libraries to that list within 18 months. Tech Outlooks for regional areas (Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, UK, Central Europe, Africa, etc.) come out periodically.
Horizon Navigator – every bit of data, articles, projects and every thing they learned is available in this database, open to the public. Now they have HZ News – iPad app – 10 most interesting articles of the week – not free, not available on Android yet.
The Future of Education Retreat
10 Megatrends – collaborative, work where people want to, Internet is global mobile network, tech we use is increasingly cloud-based and delivered over utility networks, opennes is moving from a trend to a value.
Reflections – the Horizon Project at 10
Our strategic thinking is based on a world that no longer exists
* The network connects us (from radio onward)
* The network changes us
* The network helps us
* The network is us
* The network is everywhere
* The network is invisible

iPad Optimization for the Library

Sorry – I’m too busy lazy to get the links for all this, but you are smart folks – Google it! **Notations of 2 asterisks are just ones that I plan to get (or have gotten since the presentation).
Lots of iPads in the room…
Observations – The iPad becomes personal, what works for us won’t work for you, half a million apps and growing
Tips and Tricks
 Double tapping the home key brings up recent programs
Foreign language equiv on keyboard (press and hold)
Screen cap – home key + on/off button (quickly)
Browser Control – adding frequently visited sites, xmarks or other bookmarking tools, google search app
Readers
iAnnotate for reading PDFs
Ebooks as apps – how do we make enhanced books available to our patrons
News – keeping up
Instapaper (Read Later)
Feeddler RSS feed
**Zite – free application as of 2/15/2012 – personalize your news by thumbs up/thumbs down on articles and it learns your preferences. Sources include newspapers, blogs, ejournals
Recording/Notetaking
Penultimate – reads handwriting
Evernote – can read Penultimate handwriting
**Notability – records audio while taking notes, can go to section of notes and listen to audio being recorded during that time
TagPad – interview software -
Screencasting
Educreations –  free
**Explain Everything – not free, easy and favorite
Managing your files and your time
Dropbox
QuickOffice
CloudOn
**PhotoTransfer App
Reminders (use to remind where files are – Evernote, Notability, iAnnotate, etc.)
Fun stuff
SoundHound
TuneIn
IMDb
TED Talks
Scrabble, Netflix, xfinity, hulu, zumocast (stream from computer to iPad)
Diigo browser (used to be iChromy – free and flash friendly)
Discovr new apps
Wonderlist – list making app for all sorts of devices
Skitch for iPad
touch mouse

Opening Keynote: Fight for the Future

Opening Keynote by Andrew McLaughlin

Vice-Pres at Tumblr and former Vice-CTO in Obama’s administration
Tech Policy, why it matters to the work we do, why it’s so important for us.
1992- $5,000,000 for a Terabyte, 2011 – $89
Loudcloud in 2000 – 150,000 a month, AWS in 2011 – 1500 a month
End to End principle – any point on the network can reach any other point
Kickstarter – more support for arts than National Arts Foundation this year (disruptive tech)
Most disruptive text he mentions require/rely on crowdsourcing of some sort
Charts showing Egypt’s ability to shut down communications/internet/mobile phone networks – governments can artifically concentrate the distributed networks of the Internet for surveillance and control
Compared problems in Gov (couldn’t install Skype on WH computer during Haiti earthquake, had to bring in laptop against regulation) with similar issues in public sector libraries – locking up tech inhibits action.
Hot spots in policy for librarians:
Connectivity – broadband, spectrum, municipal wifi
Open Internet – net neutrality, wireless, competition (or the lack thereof), SOPA/PIPA
Copyright & the Regulation of Creativity – copyright office modernization, open access to research papers, orphan works

LibTech Conference

Just a warning – I’m going through my notes and posting selected conference sessions here, so after months of inactivity, it’s gonna get busy. For about a day, then I’ll go back to being inactive, I promise…