On April 22, 2016, I gave the closing keynote at the 17th Distance Librarianship Conference in Pittsburgh. This is an adaptation of my talk. You can watch the video, or just see my slides, if you prefer.
Earlier this week I gave a short talk as part of NISO’s Virtual Conference on Web Scale Discovery. They asked me to speak about the User Experience of discovery systems, and I decided to focus on something that I’ve been obsessed with over the past few years: user journeys. Specifically, I was interested in the feelings our patrons often experience when doing library research. Last month at the Midwest UX Conference I heard Seth Starner of Amway talk about the experience many customers go through using physical spaces that are not designed with them in mind. His talk pulled out Joseph Campbell’s work on myth, equating the difficult experiences we make for customers to the Hero’s Journey, and I realized that this difficulty is applicable online as well, especially in libraries.
This morning I gave the keynote at The Library Network’s Technology Forum at the Bloomfield Township Library here in Michigan. I gave a version of a talk I’ve done a few times before, but with a few tweaks and changes. While I continued to focus on rethinking how we choose our tools in libraries, I wanted to emphasize the idea that the tools we choose to sit between us and our patrons—our OPACs, link resolvers, and even databases—are stand-ins for us. When I first became a cataloger, I learned that records were surrogates for the original item, something that had to be a quality replacement for the original. Our library websites, catalogs, and sundry online tools are now surrogates for us, the flesh and blood folks who make the library run. We need to take care to choose those tools wisely so they reflect the care we put into our work.
This afternoon I gave a talk at the Library Technology Conference called “Websites are for People.” I had a great crowd for a chat about building websites that can be used by real people, with lives and goals and dreams and aspirations. I had a blast, and recorded the talk with a fancy microphone so the audio wouldn’t get all wonky. I hope it sparks some discussion.
This morning I gave a short talk at Internet Librarian International, summing up a lot of what I’ve written and spoken on for the past year about what’s wrong with library websites and what to do about it. Here’s a transcript of it, and below you’ll find the audio, video and slides. I’ve also created a reading list of things that went into my thinking while I wrote this.
A few weeks ago I gave a short talk about our version control workflow at GVSU Libraries. I thought I’d post it in case it’s useful to anyone. I’m also including a PDF of our workflow document, in case you are looking to set up your own workflow.
I gave a talk Sunday at ALA Annual on Responsive Web Design for libraries. I led off with a discussion of the basics around Responsive Design and how it can benefit your library, and then we spent the next hour walking through how to actually build a responsive site by tackling the elegant http://lollibrary.org website. The video above has a lot of throat clearing and some quiet spots where I got a bit too far away from the mic, but most of it is there.
A few weeks ago I gave a talk at the Michigan Library Association’s Applied Technology and Trends Day in Ann Arbor, MI on how to get personality into your library website, and why you want to. (Hint: Your Library is made of People!). This talk has the same title as one I gave in St. Paul a few months ago, but it’s a 93% different talk. (There are still unicorns and the Hulk.) It’s probably the talk I’m most proud of (so far), so I hope you’ll give it a look/listen. The audio is distant at times, since I felt weird standing on a stage, but it’s mostly good.
Last week I gave a talk at the Library Technology Conference in St. Paul, MN, on how to make your library website better. It was a great conference, and I had enough foresight to record my talk. The audio is a little distant at time (because I pace). Thanks to everyone who came out, and I’d love to hear what you think.