NCSLA Technology Roundtable

I attended the North Carolina Special Library Association’s (NCSLA) Technology Roundtable on Friday, September 17, 2010 at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Research Triangle Park (RTP).

There were 8 tables to choose from during 4 sessions.

I first chose to sit down and listen to what Cory Lown from North Carolina State University (NCSU) had to say about Visualizing data using a variety of Google tools.

Digital Technologies Development Librarian

Cory Lown: NCSU's Digital Technologies Development Librarian

We talked about what type of chart/graph to use in what kind of situation. Sometimes plain text or prose works best, other times a tree diagram is what is called for.

I next sat down with Orion Pozo who is the Collection Manager for Engineering at NCSU. He laid out for us his social networking strategy to more effectively reach out to engineering faculty and staff at his university. He explained how he creates blog posts that tie in with the articles being published by his faculty. He then send these posts to facebook where he is able to request ‘friendship’ of the authors of the articles. Thus providing them with an easy way to see other bits of information he posts and encouraging them to communicate directly with him.

He also send this information to twitter where he publishes anything that might be relevant or interesting to his followers. He uses a URL shortener with click through stats for all of his links. This way he is able to see immediately the impact he is having. He gives this talk in many venues and explains the positive impact he is having but none of the other collection managers at his institution have thus far followed his lead.

We had a short break. NCSLA provided cookies and drinks.

EPA stairway

After the break I sat at a table with a sign that said ‘Collaboration Tools’. This sounded promising, and I got to sit next to Stephanie Willen Brown. The presenter unfortunately couldn’t be there and a coworker sat in for her. She did a fine job of rescuing the presentation, and we talked about different online conferencing tools and how they could be used in Distance Learning situations and for collaboration with peers. At the end of this talk we discussed Instant Messaging (IM) chat and Stephanie told me about another table at the session where they were explaining libraryhelp, a chat client for libraries to use, provided through NCLive. I could immediately tell that I should go to that session next and forgo taking a tour of the lEPA library.

At the next table Jill explained the history of libraryhelp and how it works in conjunction with NCKnows (24 hour chat) I got some good ideas about how we could start using the service and how to integrate it into my own library’s web page. I also learned about another networking opportunity on October 7th that would be a great place to meet other librarians and learn about what they are doing

I got to look at a variety of electronic reading devices at the end, and I even showed off my own. It is great when you get to touch buttons and see how screens look up close when you get the opportunity.

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