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Sarah Houghton and Paul Signorelli Take on Web Analytics for Librarians

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 28, 2011 - 8:29am

CHICAGO - ALA TechSource announces a new session of the popular workshop Web Analytics for Librarians: Informing Decisions Through Web User Data with Paul Signorelli and Sarah Houghton. This workshop will take place in two parts on Jan. 12 and 26, 2012.

In order to guide purchases and appropriately distribute services and staff time, it’s essential that libraries accurately track the usage of their websites and online resources. In this two-part workshop, Sarah Houghton and Paul Signorelli will define, demystify, and explore web analytics. You will learn how to use web analytics as tools for improving your library’s information architecture, usability, marketing and communication. 

Topics include:

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Social Media Archiving with ThinkUp

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 21, 2011 - 9:01am

Way back in mid-2010, Gina Trapani (founder of Lifehacker, host of This Week in Google, all around brilliant awesome coder) announced that she was developing a piece of software then called ThinkTank, the purpose of which was to archive and analyze her twitter stream. Since Twitter doesn’t give you unlimited access to your own tweets, she wanted to ensure that she had control of her own content and could analyze it any way she wished. Now, over a year later that project is called ThinkUp, is being developed by dozens of coders and the help of Expert Labs, and is being used by the White House to analyze it’s social media presence.

ThinkUp just came out of Beta, and the 1.0 is really an amazing piece of software. It installs on your LAMP server (or on Amazon EC2) with about as much effort as a Wordpress install: unzip, upload, enter some database information, and hit go. It’s a bit more work to get the various websites feeding your database. ThinkUp currently has built-in connections for Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, but in order to connect them to your ThinkUp install you have to follow some simple directions that create a link between your install and the API in question. It’s not difficult, and if you can read and push buttons there shouldn’t be any issues. Read More »

Do You Really Own That eBook?

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on November 7, 2011 - 10:51pm

Anyone who has watched even a few minutes of one of the disturbing number of hoarding shows on television and immediately felt the urge to clean house will be familiar with the panicky feeling one's own belongings can engender. Librarians on twitter are devotees of Unclutterer and Zen Habits and nothing brings librarians together like talking about weeding. Except, perhaps for collection development. Ownership is a fraught proposition.

Librarians are familiar with the "I loved this book so much I went out and bought it" phenomenon, where readers enjoy a borrowed book enough to make the leap to ownership. Anecdotally, book sellers are now witnessing a similar phenomenon: readers who purchase the print book after enjoying it on their e-readers. The purchase of a physical object makes an intuitive sense to us that license agreements do not. Read More »

Continuing the Conversation: Facebook in the Library

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 2, 2011 - 2:35pm

We just wrapped up David Lee King’s ALA TechSource  Workshop Facebook in the Library: Enhancing Services and Engaging Users. We had some great discussion during the event--here are some more questions to discuss. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join the conversation!

Questions from Today’s Event:

  • What are key issues for deciding whether a library should have multiple Facebook pages, that is for different audiences, like children and families, or branches?
  • Do you need to reach a certain level of followers or fans before Event pages make sense?
  • What are your thoughts on offering reference service through Facebook?

The Preliminary Readings from Today’s Event: Read More »

Upholding Library Values in Your E-Book Acquisition: A Viewing/Reading List from Sarah Houghton

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 1, 2011 - 7:29am

On December 7th and 14th, Sarah Houghton will be facilitating the two-part ALA TechSource Workshop E-Books and Access: Upholding Library Values. Regardless of whether or not you plan to attend, you should check out the preliminary reading list that Sarah put together for the event. These materials underscore what Sarah will show in more detail during the workshop--that you can build a big, vibrant e-book collection for your library without violating widely-accepted library values and pricipals. You can register for the workshop on the ALA Store at both individual and group rates. Read More »

Digital Literacy in US Public Libraries

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on October 30, 2011 - 5:56pm

Excerpted from the Library Technology Reports August / September 2011 (vol. 47, no. 6) “The Transforming Public Library Infrastructure,” ALA Office for Resarch and Statistics. Chapter 6 “Digital Literacy Center Stage, Larra Clark and Marijke Visser. Learn how to use the data from from the study in a free WebJunction webinar November 1, 2011. See the archive and resources page.

While information literacy has been well defined over the past two decades in our school and academic libraries, public libraries are newer to formal instruction in this arena. For many public libraries, teaching basic computers skills—in classes or as needed—has become a requirement as critical interactions with employers and government agencies demand it from those seeking resources and opportunities and as these individuals come to the library to access such resources. With computer skill classes now a regular part of the library landscape, it is time to raise the bar and expand patrons’ digital fluency and evaluation skills. Read More »

Kindle Format 8 is On the Way

Submitted by Jason Griffey on October 25, 2011 - 7:21am

With the upcoming Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon isn’t just launching another new LCD-based tablet into the marketplace. It’s also giving us yet another ebook filetype, Kindle Format 8. This is the first departure from the longstanding Mobi filetype that Amazon has been using for its Kindle books thus far, and it looks like KF8 is being designed and implemented specifically to compete with the functionality found in the ePub format. Read More »

Continuing the Conversation: Integrating iPads and Tablet Computers into Library Services part 2

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on October 20, 2011 - 2:17pm
We just wrapped up the second session of the ALA TechSource  Workshop
Integrating iPads and Tablet Computers into Library Services with Rebecca Miller, Carolyn Meier and Heather Moorefield-Lang. We had some great discussion during the event--here are some more questions to discuss. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join the conversation!

Questions from Today’s Event: Read More »

New Offers on ALA TechSource Subscriptions

Submitted by Patrick Hogan on October 18, 2011 - 11:14am

This summer we ran a special offer of $99 for our ALA TechSource online subscription -- access to Libary Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter. We’ve extended the deadline another couple of weeks to October 31, 2011. This unprecedented offer is hard to be beat. You’ll receive 8 Library Technology Reports and 12 issues of Marshall Breeding’s Smart Libraries Newsletter, plus access to an archive. To place an order, use this form.

We’ve also lowered our prices and made online access (through MetaPress) standard for purchasers of print subscriptions. We will be making online access available to existing print subscribers during the next couple of months. For a pricing list, see Purchase Publications.

ECAR Survey Finds That Colleges Are Missing Technology Opportunities with Undergraduates

Submitted by Michelle Boule on October 17, 2011 - 9:35am

Last week, ECAR, the EDUCASE Center for Applied Research, released their most recent study on undergraduate students and technology. Some of the findings were quite astounding--a majority of the students own over a dozen technology devices--and some were common sense, like the finding that technology is not being used strategically in the academic lives of students. The report is only 35 pages, and its worth taking some time to look through. Nonetheless, here are some of the more interesting tidbits.

Students did not think their competency with core technology was sufficient and they wanted to learn more specialized technology skills.
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