Prep for the NCLA Conference with Two Free Webinars

The NCLA Technology & Trends Roundtable is pleased to announce TWO webinars to enhance your NCLA 2019 Conference experience.

Both webinars are free and open to all, but do require registration.

We’ll send out access links the evening before each webinar. Recordings will be available afterward.

Conference Prep, Part 1: Level Up Your NCLA Cred With Sched!

August 14th at 2 PM

For this conference, NCLA is using an online platform for the conference schedule called, SCHED. Julie Raynor, Readers’ Services Supervisor at High Point Public Library will provide tips and trips on how to navigate and use SCHED to connect with colleagues before and during Conference.

Register by 5 PM on August 13th.

Conference Prep, Part 2: Poster Presentations & Design

September 19th at 2 PM

Congratulations on getting a poster accepted for a conference! Designing a poster that pops can often be the difference between folks stopping to talk to you or not. Join Amanda Glenn-Bradley, User Engagement Librarian & CrAFT Studio Coordinator at UNC Asheville for a breakdown of the basics of poster designing and discover how to make the best poster ever!

Register by 5 PM on September 18th.


Please contact Chad Haefele ( or Julie Raynor (

TNT 2019 Conference Offerings

The 63rd NCLA Biennial Conference is just around the corner, and TNT has a great line up of events! See the details below or visit the NCLA Conference schedule for all events.


Libraries: Spaces for Everyone – Web Accessibility Basics and Beyond

  • Tuesday, October 15
  • 1:30-4:30 PM
  • Ardmore 2, Embassy Suites

This will be an interactive workshop that allows attendees to learn about digital accessibility guidelines, laws, and practices and gain hands-on experience putting these into practice with their own platforms. We will also work to build empathy and better understanding of how our work can impact our users with accessibility needs and concerns. We will walk through the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), review how to use various tools and methods to audit a website, and provide time to work with colleagues or other workshop attendees on your websites and online tools. In addition, we will look at how accessibility can affect subscribed electronic resources, focusing on steps you can take to be aware of accessibility before you purchase a resource and methods you can employ to work with vendors after a resource is purchased.

Concurrent Sessions

Libraries: Spaces to Teach and Troubleshoot Technology

  • Wednesday, October 16
  • 2:30-3:20 PM
  • Winston 3A

This interactive session focuses on the idea that technology support and teaching could become an integral dimension of reference and adult services work. The session starts with mini-talks of 10 minutes in which the three panelists each discuss their work related to this topic: Lenstra discusses results from a year-long community informatics study of tech support at adult services desks at three public libraries. House discusses building collaborations with campus Information Technology Services (ITS) such that ITS becomes embedded in every library space across the community college. Williams discusses the Library “Senior Geek Squad,” which exists to help older adults become familiar and comfortable with various types of technology and to become active users of their digital devices, with sessions both held at the library and off-site in the community.

The session will then transition into an interactive discussion of the perils and possibilities associated with bringing technology support and teaching into reference and adult services work. This session will prepare you to embed tech support and instruction into your library’s reference and information services.

TNT’s Library Tech Resource Networking Meetup

  • Thursday, October 17
  • 11:00-11:50 AM
  • Salem 1B

The purpose of this session is for attendees to connect with fellow librarians and leave with knowledge about TNT’s Library Tech Resource List. This list provides a tech support network that everyone can use for tech advice and guidance. The session is open to everyone, but specifically to Early Career librarians and Students who want to learn from librarians who have manage technology day-to-day in their libraries. This session is also an opportunity to learn more about TNT’s Library Tech Resource List and how to participate, both as a “tech expert” and as a “tech learner”.

The format for this session is new, so it will be setup in “conversation stations” where “tech experts” who are included in the Library Tech Resource List will be available (at tech issue tables) and attendees will be invited to rotate among them and meet face-to-face. This format is reminiscent of the “speed dating” concept and very similar to the “Speed Interviewing” sessions that have been offered at previous conferences, just more focused and less about “speed”. The hope is that both “tech experts” and “tech learners” will leave with new contacts to reach out to as the need arises.

Tech Tools Lightning Talks from TNT

  • Thursday, October 17
  • 1:30-2:20 PM
  • Salem 3A

In this fast-paced lightning round, presenters from a variety of libraries will show off their tech tool or service of choice. Each panelist will have 5-10 minutes to demonstrate their pick in a practical, lively session.

Presenters will be recruited by the TNT board closer to the conference dates. Depending on response, we’ll accept 4-6 speakers.

TNT Business Meeting

  • Thursday, October 17
  • 4:30-5:50 PM
  • Re-Charge Space, Winston 2

In this meeting we will:

  • Hold the final election of the 2019-2021 Executive Committee Officers
  • Hear from the Outgoing and Incoming Chairs about the TNT’s accomplishments and goals going forward
  • Answer any questions from TNT members and potential members
  • Solicit feedback about new events/programs, etc. for the next Biennium

This meeting is open to all current and past members and any potential members.

Re-Charge Space

Co-sponsored with New Members Roundtable
  • Wednesday, October 16 to Friday, October 18
  • All Day
  • Winston 2

Are you looking for a quiet space to catch up on emails, re-connect with former co-workers and library school friends? Then the NCLA Re-Charge Space is for you! This space will be open to you for the majority of the conference and will be setup for informal conversations and time to “get away” from the conference hubbub. There will be plenty of round tables and chairs, extra outlets, and two charging towers to help you stay connected with the world outside the conference. Tech & Trends will be holding their “Library Tech Resource Networking Meetup” session and NMRT will setup a Career Center for resume review and interview help in the Re-Charge Space. This space is being sponsored by TNT and NMRT.

Save the Date: Emerging Technology Trends for Libraries

Technology has changed the face of libraries and is continuing to change how we work and how we deliver services to customers. This workshop introduces emerging technology trends, and how those trends are re-shaping library services. Examples of how to incorporate these emerging trends into libraries are provided.

Attendees will leave knowing what trends to look for, the difference between a technology trend and a fad, and will have new ideas on how their library can respond to emerging technology.

About the Presenter:

David Lee King

David Lee King is the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website management, digital experience, and social media, and has been published in many library-related journals. David is a Library Journal Mover and Shaker. His newest book is Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections. David blogs at

Register on the State Library’s Train Station:

Registration opens on Monday, April 1, 2019.

May 21st: Cumberland County PL, Fayetteville

The library is located at 300 Maiden Lane, Fayetteville, NC 28301

Register for Fayetteville

May 22nd: High Point Museum (HP Library), High Point

The museum is located at 1859 E. Lexington Ave., High Point, NC

Register for High Point

May 23rd: Pack Memorial Library, Asheville

The library is located at 67 Haywood St., Asheville, NC

Register for Asheville

The library is located at 67 Haywood St., Asheville, NC 28801  (

These workshops will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with time included to eat lunch on your own. There is no charge to attend these events. (We are no longer allowed to provide lunches or snacks at workshops, so please bring any snacks or liquids you may need with you.)

TNT will be able to offer .6 CEUs for workshop attendees.

If you have questions, feel free to contact Julie Raynor at: or 336.883.3093.

This project is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-18-0034-18). 

Free Friday: Getting Organized with Zotero

I’m teaching an undergraduate IS course for this first time this semester that essentially boils down to a semester long version of a library one-shot course. It’s a librarian’s dream come true!

In amongst the information literacy skills that I’m trying to impart to these growing minds, I’ve included a class focused on managing all of this information that they’ll soon be finding through the library’s website. Cut to Zotero, a free citation management tool that also happens to be open source.

Example of Zotero Standalone on a Mac

The first step to setup Zotero is twofold: download the Standalone client and install the browser extension. Visit the download page for all of the pertinent links and information about getting started. The Zotero site even adjusts the download buttons to your specific operating system and browser for ease of use.

Once you’ve installed the Zotero Standalone and the browser extension, you can begin importing citations right away. Using the browser extension, you can save websites, articles, videos, and more. The image below shows what the Zotero icon looks like when saving a web page. It changes depending on the content that it finds in your browser.

Example of the Zotero browser extension button

Importing content from the web will include PDF files and other related information as available. Free accounts have up to 300MB of storage, but there are premium options available if you need more that are quite affordable.

Zotero purchase storage prices

You have a few options regarding how to organize your Zotero library: collections (read: folders), tags, and saved searches. Any item can be added to as many collections as you like. It will also remain in your main Zotero library, in case need to remove it from a specific collection.

Zotero will automatically be added to Microsoft Word, if you use it as your word processor, making citing a breeze. It also integrates with other word processors like OpenOffice. Since it’s an open source tool, many different citation styles have been added including MLA’s 8th version.

In addition to these standard citation manager abilities, Zotero also works well for collaborative projects. You can set up groups and sync items to the Zotero servers. For more details and information about Zotero’s features, check out the Quick Start guide.

-Sarah Arnold, Director, TNT Roundtable

Come back Friday, September 16 for our next installment of Free Fridays!

Free Friday: Messaging Made Easy

Imagine a world with fewer emails flying into your inbox each day — Slack can help with that! Slack is a free (with premium options) instant messaging tool that does so much more.

Slack breaks team messaging into Channels, that can be public or private, and direct messages for one-on-one communication. Each Channel can be focused on a single topic or project. Once that project or topic is no longer relevant, the Channel can be archived. But don’t worry, you still have the ability to search your entire archive using the built-in search functionality which indexes all public messages and files.

Slack interface

Within your messages, you have the ability to blend other tools such as Google Drive, Trello, Jira, and many more. Add in the ability to drag-drop files for sharing and you’re set. And for those who need a little fun during the work day, there are plenty of add-ons like Giphy:

Gif of Giphy

One caveat for the free version of Slack is the limitations put on the number of apps you can integrate and the number of messages that it archives. You can integrate 10 apps in the free version. And it will only archive up to 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages. You are also limited to only 5GB of document storage. It’s not all bad news though!

Slack provides mobile and desktop apps for both Windows and Apple products, so you can be connected to your team 24/7 if you want. If you prefer a nice work/life balance, there are Do Not Disturb options that can be set for specific times for yourself or your entire team.

If you’re not quite convinced that you need Slack in your life or don’t have colleagues willing to take the plunge, you can try out some fun library-related channels focused on user experience in libraries or that old library favorite, LibGuides.

Sarah Arnold, Director, TNT RoundTable

Come back next Friday, August 12th for our next installment of Free Fridays!

Free Friday: Improving your Website with Optimal Workshop

Nowadays users are demanding more and more out of their online experiences. They develop certain expectations of what they can be d̶o̶ online based on their use of commercial websites and search engines. These experiences and expectations from users are a driving force behind library’s assessing and improving their websites and online tools. Users are our bread and butter in library land. Even if your library hasn’t dipped its toe in the user experience (UX) waters yet, you should be thinking about it.

But how do you get started?

Collecting input directly from your users whether through in-person interviews, online surveys, or usability testing is the best option for getting started. While the first method for interviewing users in-person can be difficult to organize when you’re first getting started, the next 2 methods are easily accomplished using Optimal Workshop.

While not 100% free, this suite of tools is too good to pass up when it comes to quick and easy online usability testing. There is a free plan available that provides access to the tools with some limitations. You are limited to 10 responses per study, which still provides you with enough feedback from users to be able to tell where their pain points are and why.

Optimal Workshop provides “a suite of usability tools that help improve your website navigation, define information architecture, understand first-clicks, and more” according to their website. There are 3 main tools that I want to highlight: Treejack, OptimalSort, and Chalkmark.

Treejack will help you identify where your users are getting lost on your site and why using tree testing. Tree testing helps assess the findability of content on your site by removing all visual queues. After using this tool, you will easily improve the information architecture of your site, which will allow users to navigate your content much easier.

The next tool is one of my personal favorites because it saves so much time and effort. OptimalSort is an online card sorting tool that shows you how your users would group different types of content on your website. Results can be reported in a similarity matrix providing a visual look into how users grouped your content.

Chalkmark provides insight into where your users are looking on a particular webpage using first click testing. Using a screenshot of the page, you can ask users where they would click to perform a specific task. This tool generates heat maps and density grids to illustrate how many users clicked on certain areas of the screenshot.

In addition to using these robust tools, you are able to create short surveys before and after that allow you to gather demographic and related information from your users. These results give you greater insight into what different sections of your users are doing on your site and what they think about it.

At UNC-Chapel Hill, we have been using Optimal Workshop’s premium version for a couple of years now and have no complaints. We’re able to quickly assess different parts of our site and even used these tools to update our top navigation and assess it after going live. Overall, the reports and information gathered from Optimal Workshop allow you to create a fuller picture of how users interact with your website, which can aid you when meeting with stakeholders or making decisions on updates to your site.

-Sarah Arnold, Director, TNT Roundtable

Come back Friday, July 15 for our next installment of Free Fridays!