Computers in Libraries 2012

Later this week I’ll be speaking at Computers in Libraries, which is always one of my favorite libraryland conferences. My colleague Emily King and I are giving a brief ‘cybertour’ session on “Learning with gadget collections” from 2:00-2:15 on Wednesday.

We’ll talk a bit about how we manage the library’s staff collection of ipads, kindles, etc and share results of a staff survey about their use. Stop by! I’m not exactly sure where we’ll be, but last year the cybertours were on the exhibit floor off to the left. Come say hi!

Panel on using virtual focus groups at ALA 2011

As co-chair of LITA’s Distance Learning Interest Group, I’m really excited to point out the panel session we’re running at ALA this year!

Using Virtual Focus Groups in Distance Learning & Online Environments
Monday, 6/27 from 1:30-3:30
Morial Convention Center, Rm 333
ALA Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA

We have a great panel lined up, all of whom have practical experience running virtual focus groups. And that’s including (if conference center wi-fi permits) one presenting remotely – we’ll try and practice what we preach 🙂

Depending on how bold I feel on the day of, I may try to ustream the whole panel via my phone. I’ll be sure and post the link on this site if we do.

Here’s the program in the conference scheduler:

More details are after the cut. Note that the last 15 minutes are reserved for the brief annual DLIG meeting. Hope to see you there!
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Upcoming presentation: Computers in Libraries 2011

I’m very excited to be presenting briefly at Computers in Libraries in DC next week! Come see me at 4:30 on Monday, 3/21. I’m not quite sure where I’ll be, but I’m part of the Cybertour series of quick presentations. Here’s my slides in advance, though they probably make more sense if you hear my talking that goes with them:

LILRC Presentation

Last week I had the opportunity to talk with the friendly folks at the Long Island Library Resources Council about mobile web development for libraries. I had a ton of fun, and the group had some great questions! Thanks everyone!

My slides are embedded here, and the original powerpoint file is available at

(note that the animations don’t work on Slideshare)


A couple notes on where I’ll be at ALA 2010 this week:

First, I’m presenting on ALCTS’ Mobile Catalog Interfaces panel:
Saturday 6/26/10 10:30 am-12:00 noon

I’ll be going over our mobile catalog interface, a bit about the design process, pointing out some new features, and hoping for great questions.

Second, I’m co-chair of LITA’s Distance Learning Interest Group. We’re co-sponsoring a program with ACRL’s Distance Learning Section:
Open Access: A Conversation
Saturday, 6/26/10 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Washington Convention Center
Room WCC-144A-C

Third, for the DLIG annual meeting we’re trying something a little different. Instead of having a giant room reserved for a standard roundtable discussion for a block of time, we’ve reserved some space in the Networking Uncommons:
Networking Uncommons space
Sunday, 6/27 9:30-10AM

The Uncommons is a space on level 1, concourse A, near the exhibits. There’s tables, a projector, and plenty of power strips. We have no specific agenda. Just show up, hang out, and mingle! It’ll be morning, so feel free to view it as a warmup for the day – bring coffee and ideas. We have the 9:30-10AM Uncommons slot on Sunday the 27th.

Hope to see you there! If anyone wants to meet up during the conference, the best way to get ahold of me is a message on twitter. I’ll be around from Friday – Sunday, leaving Monday morning and trying not to melt.

Educause ELI Online Spring Focus Session

Today I presented briefly on mobile site-related things as part of Educause’s Online Spring Focus Session on mobile learning. Someone asked for my slides, so here they are! My previous slides from Handheld Librarian expand on a lot of what’s here.

Today’s slides, on slideshare:

(A couple of images got scrambled in the process of uploading to SlideShare, but all the content is intact)

Handheld Librarian & Mobile stats

I’ll be speaking later today as part of the Handheld Librarian II online conference. My Powerpoint slides are already online here, but I wanted to note some things I’ll be talking about that didn’t make it into the slides:

First, while there’s many other available frameworks than just the two I talk about, I do want to specifically point out the MIT Mobile Web project. The folks over at NCSU have done a great job implementing it with their library’s mobile site. They’re talking about it in a session right after mine, so I won’t be covering it in too much detail. MIT’s code is fairly robust, but also much more complex to get set up and running than iUI or Jason Clark’s work.

Second, some interesting stats. From two separate reports, both with data about December 2009. Looking at them side by side:

-Apple has 25.9% of the US smartphone market share (in devices sold), but iPhones also make up 54% of US mobile web traffic.

-Android has just 5.2% of the US smartphone market share (in devices sold), but makes up 27% of US mobile web traffic.

-Blackberries have an astonishing 41.6% of the US smartphone market share (in devices sold), but make up just 10% of US mobile web traffic.

There’s an important lesson here to keep in mind when choosing which devices to support with a mobile website. At first glance, looking at Blackberries’ market share alone, they seem to be the platform to support – it’ll get the most users in, right? Not when they use just 10% of all mobile web traffic! The heaviest users, the people we should be targeting now with our services, are on Android and iPhone. By supporting their combined 31.1% market share of devices with our our mobile sites, we’re available for 81% of mobile web traffic. That’s a pretty solid return on investment. I’m not surprised by these results, but it’s always nice to have numbers to back up intuition.

This isn’t to say that blackberries should be ignored – they’re just not the best target audience for a pilot program.

Low Effort, High Impact Mobile Web Development

A little over a week ago I presented on “Low Effort, High Impact Mobile Web Development” at the Triangle Research Library Network’s annual meeting. I had a lot of fun putting it together and presenting, particularly because I got to highlight the really cool iUI framework. iUI is a nifty set of CSS and javascript files that do the heavy lifting of coding a website designed for an iphone. You get snappy animations and a nice emulation of standard iPhone navigational elements from writing little more than standard HTML list tags.

My other favorite thing about iUI is that it degrades pretty nicely into a format that’s more generic and not tailored to an iPhone – simply by removing the CSS and javascript links. So any mobile device can use it, and we don’t have to duplicate development efforts!

We’ll be using iUI to launch a mobile site for the library pretty soon, hopefully before the fall semester kicks in. I’m not sure how valuable my presentation slides are without my accompanying narration, but here it is just in case:

Games4Learning: Alternate Reality Games

Last Friday I gave a presentation as part of UNC’s wonderful Games4Learning initiative on Alternate Reality Games (ARGs). I think these games have a huge potential to be used as a teaching tool for both social issues and information literacy. I’ll be writing more about this topic in coming days & weeks, but for now here’s my slides:

They may not entirely make sense without my narration, but I wanted to get them linked. I’ll try to give some context in upcoming posts.