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.

Questions?

Please contact Chad Haefele (chaefele@email.unc.edu) or Julie Raynor (julie.raynor@highpointnc.gov).

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.

Pre-Conference

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 davidleeking.com

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  (https://goo.gl/maps/LxiVN4h3FAJ2)

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: julie.raynor@highpointnc.gov 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). 

Tech to make the most of #NCLA17: Direct Communication and Networking Aids

Today’s contributor is Julie Raynor, your 2017 Technology and Trends Chair-Elect.

When I attend conferences I usually struggle with two challenges: how to easily keep in touch with other committee members and co-workers during the conference and anything pertaining to networking.

As I was seeking out tools to use next week I came across two apps that I thought would be worth sharing: GroupMe and Namerick.

groupme logo

GroupMe is a free communication app that allows you to easily message other people who have the app and are in your group. You can also setup private chat rooms. This would be perfect for working with co-presenters and coordinating a lunch spot with your co-workers.

It’s powered by Skype, so it works on all devices, tablets, smartphones, even computers–if you’ve forgotten something “mission critical” you can send messages to your co-workers who are at the library and not attending that day. You can even send SMS messages! This would definitely have potential uses beyond the conference.

Once you download the app you can easily create a group and add group members by phone numbers or email addresses.

icon-namerick

Namerick is the type of tool that really comes in handy when knowing someone’s name and connections is vitally important. I have a really bad habit of forgetting a new person’s name almost immediately after meeting them. So, this tool was very appealing to me. Some limitations are that it only works on iPhones and it does cost $.99, but that seemed like a great value.

Namerick uses proven mnemonic techniques of association to aid in memory, especially of people’s names. It also employs repetition to enhance your memory. If memory is one of your weaknesses, this might just be the right tool for you.

At a conference where networking can lead to future career and partnership opportunities, being a successful networker is truly important.

These tools and many more are reviewed in the Sept. 7, 2015 Practical ECommerce article, “16 Mobile Apps for Networking Events” by Sig Ueland.

This post is part of a short series here on the TNT blog: Tech to make the most of the NCLA 2017 Biennial Conference. You’ll hear from TNT Board Members as well as guest authors about tech you can use as a conference presenter and participant to maximize your experience at #NCLA17. If you have an idea you’d like to contribute, email Jenny Dale at jedale2[at]uncg[dot]edu!

Free Friday: Creating visual diagrams with LucidChart

Lucidchart is a web-based diagramming software, compatible with most web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) that allows users to collaborate in real-time to create flow charts, organizational charts, mind maps, floor plans, Venn diagrams and many other diagram types.

flow_chart       floor_plans        org_chart

venn_diagram       mind_map

For all educational users (both K-12 and higher education), Lucidchart provides free premium accounts. Students and faculty can sign up individually for accounts with their .edu email address. 

Users are able to create documents from a template or create custom diagrams from scratch.  To begin, users just need to click on the “+ document” button:

lucidchart_-_create_a_new_document

In order to draw objects and lines; the user just needs to “select a shape” from the shape toolbox and drag it onto the page.  To draw a line, “click on the line connection of the shape” and drag the line to another shape.
lucidchart_-_draw_objects_and_lines

To format a line, select a line and choose a line formatting option, such as line type, style and arrow type.

Lucidchart_-_format_lines_and_arrows.png

There is also an option to insert an image, if you would like.

LucidChart also lets you import (to Visio, Gliffy, OmniGraffley, adn AWS files) and export your diagrams easily as PDF, PNG, JPEG, VDX, or SVG files. Alternatively, you can also share files and folders for real-time collaboration.

Even if I came across this tool by accident, I’m so glad that I did – as it has come in handy for several projects.  I’ve used LucidChart to create flow charts when planning online tutorials with multiple modules.  As it allows you to lay out the module step-by-step with goals, objectives, and activities. Additionally, I imagine that the flow chart would be useful in describing the project to other team members, such as programmers should you need their assistance in building the online module.  Next, I plan to use LucidChart to create a Gnatt chart to visually diagram a project timeline.

Free Friday: Canva: Online Graphic Design Platform

If you find yourself needing to create a visually appealing presentation, social media graphic, or infographic; try using Canva.  It is a free online platform that offers a wide assortment of design tools and options, as well as premium options for paying customers.

To get started, you just need to create an account using your email account.  You also have the option to log-in with your Facebook or Google Plus account; if you don’t want to create a new account.

canva_templates

Once you are logged in – Canva offers many (free & fee-based) templates for you to canva_project_typesget started with your project.  Just select your project type: presentation, infographic, social media, banner, resume, and more. Canva provides the layout, and you just use the drag & drop feature to add images, shapes, text, etc. or even upload your own images/photos to customize the graphic to fit your marketing needs.

Canva_photo_editing.png

Canva also includes photo editing features, as well as other cool tools:

  • Photo straightener: Keep your photos in line with our photo straightener tool
  • Image cropper: Crop your photos for great framing and masterful composition
  • Add text to photos: Create a narrative for any photo
  •  Speech bubble maker: Give your photos a voice with speech bubbles!
  • Give your photos a delicate fade with our transparency tool
  • Photo enhancer: Enhance your photos to save any “off” shots
  • Photo blur: Add artistry to your images with the blur slider
  • Photo vignette: Grant your pictures vintage flair with our photo vignette tool
  • Design grids: Looking for layout inspiration? Try a design grid
  • Free icons: Complement your designs with the crisp lines of our icons
  • Photo frames: Add photo frames to adorn your memories
  • Web wireframe: Begin with the basics and create a web wireframe
  • Stickers: Amp up your images with some surprise stickers
  • Badges: Build a better badge with Canva
  • Add texture: Give your designs texture and feeling from our image library

To learn more about these features, visit their web site: https://www.canva.com/features/

I like this tool, as it allows you to create professional looking graphics, without any prior experience.  Once you have completed your design project, you will have the option to save, email, or upload your graphic to your web site.  Canva also has a shared option, which allows you to be able to collaboratively work projects with your team members.

Interactive learning with Pear Deck

Our tool this week is coming a bit late (apologies, I kind of forgot about Labor Day when I decided to write last week’s post!), but I hope to make up for it with how excellent Pear Deck is!

Pear Deck is, at its heart, a slide ware program, like Power Point or Google Slides.  It is much simpler in layout and has fewer design templates that something like Power Point, but it is clean and effective.  However, what Pear Deck offers that Power Point and Google Slides do not is audience interactivity.  Think of it as a more powerful and more intuitive poll anywhere.  I began using it in my classes last semester and had numerous professors  decide to try it out in their own classes.  I also felt that it increased the participation of students who might not want to raise their hand, but were willing to submit a short answer or check a box on a multiple choice question.

So, why does this work so well and what can it do?

Pear Deck sign in pag e

This is the page you first access when you go to Pear Deck.  It uses a gmail sign in to login and completely integrates with Google Drive.  To get started, you just need to choose a google account and log in.  You will then be taken to the Teacher page, where you can design new presentations.

pear_deck_main_teacher_page

This is the main teacher page.  Here you can create a new deck or open up any of the decks you previously have used.  Slides can do a lot of different things.  Basic options include embedding an image, YouTube video, or simply writing text.  However, as shown below, there are a lot more options available:

quiz_options_peardeck

Note that the options with stars are only available to paying customers, but freely available types include your basic multiple choice slide but also free response text and number questions, which allow students to answer a question and then have their answers appear anonymously on the projected slide.  You can also embed a website in the deck so that it opens up within the slide.  This is great because if students have Pear Deck open on their phone or computer,  projecting a website slide will automatically direct students to the chosen website.  This lets students directly follow along on their computers without worrying about navigating to the right spot.

Once you have completed your deck, it is time to share it with students in your class.   This is done through selecting the start presenting button (seen above).  Once you start presenting, this screen should appear:

Pear_deck_student_join

To join, students go to the website listed, log in with their Gmail accounts, and then enter the displayed code to make sure they are getting into the right session.  As a google school, where all students have Gmail accounts, I have found this an extremely easy way for students to get into an interactive presentation.  Students understood it quickly and it proved a much cleaner and more full featured process than other interactive slide wear tools I have used.  The one downside is that this does require a google account.  If you work for a library where you can’t assume this of your students, this might be a less attractive option.  But if you do, I would highly recommend checking it out and reading reviews of it here or here.

Kate Hill, Secretary/Treasure, TNT.

Come back this Friday, September 9th for our next installment of Free Fridays!

 

Free Friday: DIY Coloring Pages with Pixlr

IMG_1774I absolutely love Pixlr, a completely web-based image editing program that you can use anywhere that has many of the functions of Photoshop and other high-end editors. Recently, I used Pixlr to create coloring book style versions of historical images from UNCG’s Digital Collections, like this one. Students are back at UNCG this week, and apparently they love coloring! Luckily for me, fabulous staff members from UNCG’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives had already created coloring book versions of historical images, but I also wanted to figure out how to do it on my own.

After much Googling and testing out of different options, I came up with a good workflow using Pixlr. In the spirit of using Pixlr, get ready for lots of pictures below!

  1. Visit Pixlr.com and choose Pixlr Editor.
    pixlr1
  2. Select Open image from computer.
    pixlr2
  3. If you’ve used Photoshop or other similar products, the workspace will look familiar to you.
    pixlr3
  4. Once you’ve opened the image you want to work with, click on the adjustment menu and select “desaturate.”
    pixlr4
  5. Now, in your layers menu on the right side of the page, right click and duplicate this background layer.
    pixlr5
  6. Next, go back to the adjustments menu and select “invert.” Your image should now look like a photo negative.
    pixlr8
  7. We’re in the home stretch now! Back on the layers menu, select the icon in the bottom left (it should say “Toggle layer settings” when you hover over it). Once you’ve clicked that, change the mode from “Normal” to “Add.”
    pixlr10
  8. Your picture now looks like a blank white canvas. Don’t worry! It’s supposed to!
    pixlr11
  9. Now, click on the Filter menu and select “Gaussian Blur.” Adjust the slider so that you get the level of detail you want.
    pixlr12pixlr13
  10. And now, you’re done! You should have an image that looks something like:
    pixlr14

For our coloring station, we provided a table, a chair, some crayons, colored pencils, and markers, and we printed the images on 11×17 paper. It’s been a hit!

IMG_1776

They like it! They really like it!

-Jenny Dale, Chair, TNT RoundTable

Come back next Friday, September 2nd, for our next installment of Free Fridays!

 

Free Friday: Leveling up and staying organized!

At  University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the new semester is upon us.  For many academic librarians, this means running here and there, teaching classes, holding consultations, fixing electronic resources when they break, and just trying to keep one’s head above water.  In honor of this crazy time of the year, and also of our upcoming webinar on the 29th of August on the organizational tools of Trello and Evernote, I am going to use this post to tell you about a to-do list and habit reinforcement site that I have found to be highly useful.

The tool I am talking about is called Habitica.  Available both in browser and also as an App for iPhone and Android systems, this tool is at its heart a way to reinforce positive habits and keep track of to-dos.  What is really genius about it is the way it keeps you motivated to stay on track.  It takes completing tasks and turns them into a simple role playing/ questing game.

This is my avatar, a level 38 rogue (look at my adorable panda mount!):

Habitica_character.PNG

You level up, gain more equipment, and collect new pets and mounts by completing the tasks you have put in your lists.  You can make as many to-do lists or habits as you want.  The most important list though is the list of “Dailies”, which are simply enough tasks that you want to perform every day.  Not performing them all hurts your health and can eventually kill your character (don’t worry, you can come back easily but you lose some levels!).  This is a fantastic way to build a daily routine.  I use it to try and make myself remember to organize my email inbox, check UNCG’s electronic resource problems email, and write for one hour.  The main interface looks like this:

habitica_main_interface

For both habits and to-dos, the longer you ignore them, the brighter red they turn.  When you complete a to-do, it vanishes, but when you complete a habit, it turns from red to green.  Dailies turn gray once they are done for the day.  To-Dos can also be given due dates or have their own mini checklists of steps attached to them.  The more steps a task has, the more experience it is worth when finally completed.

Finally, on top of all the rewards and getting to make your avatar look cool and ride pandas, you can also join a party of friends and go on quests together.  When you are questing, every time you complete a habit, to-do or daily, you deal damage to the big monster you are all fighting.  But every time you miss a daily, the monster hurts everyone in your party.  The extra peer pressure of not wanting to hurt your friends has really motivated me to complete my dailies and being able to help your friends has pushed me to complete my to-dos.

Habitica is free to use, though you can get extra equipment and prettier backgrounds if you subscribe on a monthly basis.  While I have tried many other to-do list programs before, this tool, with is combination of working as a group and getting rewards for progress, is the first that has really clicked for me.  As you enter into a new semester, I would encourage anyone interested in a better way to keep organized to try it out.