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