Conference Summary: MLA Applied Technologies & Trends Workshop

On Friday, May 10, I had the pleasure of presenting at MLA Applied Technologies & Trends Workshop, If you caught my show before, at Library Tech Conference, you may notice some similarities. The presentation I gave at MLA is updated with a lot more content  and recent revisions as well as I even have a checklist put together that I PDFed for people to use that I promised to have for people back in March.

Since I was one of the last persons to present, below are my notes on the other presentations I attended along with links as appropriate.

Keynote: Good For Whom? 

By Matthew Reidsma / Grand Valley State University

Why are decisions made for design not carried over to digital tools? Meaning, why do we apply strict questions to physical items but not to digital ones.

  • Functional: How does it function?
  • Behavioral: How do behaviors change?
  • How to do it?
    • This is where most people stop.
    • These are internal questions, that we ask ourselves on everything.
  • “The library world has been fa too gullible, far too willing to regard any technical advance as a service advance.”  – Jonathan D. Lauer & Steve McKinzie
  • Human: How does this affect human experience?
    • Need to think more about the person who comes into our library, less about what we’re doing about them.
    • How do people FEEL?
      • How you treat people is more apt than what you did or will do. For example, if you treat a customer nicely, they will tell maybe 1 or 2 people. If you treat them badly, they will tell, on the average, nine people about their experience.
  • “User experience isn’t about expert intuition, it’s about expert listening.” – Whitney Hess
  • External questions: How to find how these technologies  are going to affect not just people, but work flows, and technologies themselves.
    • Adding the human element
  • A way forward: Ditching the label maker
    • Prioritize users over process
    • We could be reactionary (train industry of people to undo the work of crappy vendors) or say to the vendors, “Makes this easy to use.”  Demand it to be easy to use.
  • Prioritize users over processes

Resources/sites mentioned

Session: Cloud & Mobile Computing 4 Your LIbrary Resources & Services

By Michael Samson / Wayne State University

  • All the Google products, all the time
  • Chromebox / Chromebook instead of using vendor specific hardware
  • Hardware: Android (Nexus 4, 7, 10)
  • Tools / apps / gadgets
    • Creating custom search engine for faculty for their interests
    • Ability to share content via Google drive (presentations, documents)
    • Cloud is the new mainframe
  • Creating an entire workflow of tools in the Google cloud

Session: Sharing Technology Skills with Patrons and Colleagues

By Scott Skowronek / Lansing Community College

  • Uneven distribution of technology skills across staff and faculty
  • Creation of Tech Guides
    • 4 student staff per semester
    • Empowered to seek out and assist
    • Customer service focused
    • Roving support
    • Employee traits & Responsibilities
      • Keep the interactions time short (15 minutes) and then escalate
      • Know the GRCC core systems
      • Record each interaction (to identify peak times and keeps statics)
    • Training
      • Identify the “Big 3” technical problems and train the guides on these first. Example:
        • Blackboard problems
        • Forgotten passwords
        • Attaching files to emails
      • Find the technology pain points
        • Ex: Printer jams
      • Work with staff strengths
      • Collaborative training
        • Using iPads with Google docs to  train and track problems, seamless synching and updating
      • Encourage guides to Google for problems
    • Logistics
      • One tech guide on shift at a time
      • 3 hour shifts
      • Tech guide iPad
      • Peak hours
    • Pitfalls
      • Morale issues
      • Patron problems and problem patrons
      • Shift switching and absences
      • Staff technology ability
  • TechSnippets
    • Presentations that contain 10-15 minutes of content, open to faculty/staff
    • Maybe schedule 15 minutes  for discussion after
    • Schedule midday – more people on campus, this is when departments break for lunch, etc
    • Discuss single technology or a cluster of similar
      • Dropbox (Google Drive, iCloud)
    • Discuss singular concepts
    • Feed them!
      • Get a $100 convention oven, make cookies!
      • Use cookies to lure them into your lair
    • Marketing
      • Multiple channels
      • Multiple reminders
      • LibCal for sign-up and contact
      • Target a specific audience
  • Resources for ideas for Tech Snippets

Session: What to put on that new TV in the lobby

By David Hytien & Britain Woodman / University of Michigan

  • Content
    • Creative Commons content
      • Youtube. Vimeo, etc
      • From NASA, NOOA, White House, Internet Archive, Flickr
    • Content from various places like the above, plus student content, staff content, and public content available on campus, found content
    • RSS feeds
  • Logo
    • Recommend size is 1080×1920
    • Transparent
    • Should be png or gif as they are lossless
  • Videos
    • Create in iMovie, drop movies and logo just created
  • Resources



Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: May 11, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.


Dear Internet,


Cunning Tales from a Systems Librarian


  • things to do in leelanau county when you’re dead

The Lisa Chronicles



The Woman Who Died A Lot: A Thursday Next Novel  (#7) (Amazon | Local Library | GoodReads)
By Jasper Fforde

I’ve been purposefully making time to read every day, even for 5 minutes, so that I can get back in the habit again. I know depression and other factors have been a huge influence on my attitudes towards things, so it’s even more important I make and keep habits to keep myself inline.

I started this title months ago, and in the last week have made great strides (a hundred pages!) in getting it finished. But I am finding that depression or not, this title seems to have less of the pizazz that was so prominent in the previous novels in the series. The plot seems to center around someone is trying to kill the real Thursday, and others near her, and replace her with day clones. We know it’s probably Goliath (so we’re lead to believe…), but what is the real reason?

Thursday is also named Chief Librarian of Swindon, and one thing I’ll give Fforde many hat tips for is how he captures the essence of librarianship without making Thursday come off as being cartoonish or stereotyped.


  • Rectify
    Sundance is now throwing its hat into the ring by starting to produce original series content. Produced by the same people who give us Breaking Bad, Rectify follows the story of Daniel Holden, a man who may have been unjustly accused of rape and murder of his girlfriend at the age of 18. 19 years later, he’s freed from prison based on new DNA evidence that shows his potential innocence. TheHusband and I found out about the show after the first episodes ran so we ended up mainlining them in toot suite order. Verdict? Show borders on excellence, and this opinion by me surprises myself because slowness in television land has never been something that caught my eye. One critic said it makes Mad Men look like a pulp action thriller in comparison, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Rectify is deep character study of not just Daniel, but his family, friends, and others around him. There is some moments of implausibility  where it seems the writers are trying too damn hard to showcase the difference between 1994 and 2013, but those moments are few and far between. Watching Daniel struggle not only with coming to terms with the fact he never really grew up (he’s a man’s body but an 18 year olds brain) but also the intersection of past versus present, which is more compelling over whether or not Daniel is the killer.
  • Justified
    Will Ava go to jail? Will Raylan and Winona get back together before the baby is born? Is Raylan going bad, or has he always been bad? Will Boyd save his woman and the world? WHY DO I LOVE BOYD SO MUCH? I love this show far too much and now that the fourth season has ended, there is a loss in my heart.

Weekly watching: DaVinci’s DemonsMad MenNurse JackieThe BorgiasVeepDoctor WhoGame of Thrones,  The Vampire Diaries, ElementaryThe Americans.


What have you read/watched/listened to this week?


This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2011, 2011

Librarians as Doctor Who: A Wrap Up of C2E2

Dear Internet,

A coulpe of weeks ago, after many months of planning, myself and nearly a dozen of my closest friends met up in Chicago to hook up for C2E2 to present on best practices, programming, and more for graphic novels in libraries, have karaoke good times, and other fun shenanigans.

Overall, as a conference, C2E2 rocks the fuck out of all the other conferences I usually attend. The registration price is super inexpensive, it’s close by, we get work with great people like Toby who acted as our liaison to ALA, we get to meet new people from the Internet, and we get to have a lot of fun while doing our jobs. THIS Is what makes being a librarian awesome. From a comics and pop culture experience,  I also love C2E2 because everything is easily accessible, the guests are approachable, and the panels are excellent. This conference is a win-win situation all around. And the city itself ain’t too shabby either.

The cherry on cake this year? Several of us cosplayed as Doctor Who.

CMMRB Doctor Who
L-R: 11 (Kristin), 4 (Julie), 10 (Carolyn), Donna Noble (Sarah), Rose (Val), Captain Jack (Beth), 9 (me)

Hilights from C2E2, including vines and more:


Credits: Me (Instgram, Vine), Kristin (Instagram, Vine), Val (Instagram, Vine), Carolyn (InstagramTumblr), Beth (Instagram), Julie (Instagram), and Rob (Instagram, Vine).


This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003, 2012