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Library Technology Conference 2015 Highlights

LibtechconfI was fortunate to attend the 2015 Library Technology Conference, March 18-19 at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, where I watched for innovations and ideas to share with you. Here are highlights from the sessions I attended:

Libraries reported successes and challenges publishing all kinds of digital content on different platforms such as bepress, CONTENTdm, Omeka, and ResCarta. Whether you have an army of student employees or just one staff member, you have to make choices about what you can do and how much to outsource.

The Hennepin County Library shared experiences from a year of teaching patrons how to use 3D modeling software (SketchUp) and operating 3D printers at the library. Example: They have no policy banning 3D prints of guns or other controversial objects, and their elementary school age patrons would be crushed if they were not allowed to design toy bombs and tanks. Even a functional gun design, printed on a consumer-grade printer, would probably just break. Best audience moment: everyone "ooh'ed" at the mention of a patron designing custom attachments for a knitting machine.

Behind any discovery tool or federated search box, librarians are poring over usage statistics and battling a constant influx of changes to links, database subscriptions, and journal coverage.

Google Analytics can track, not only clicks on outbound links on your homepage, but also anything typed into a search form there. (Assembly required; batteries not included).

Keynote speakers Courtney Greene McDonald and Bohyun Kim advocated for libraries to use technology in user-centered, socially responsible ways. (Keynotes were recorded for anyone to view.)

Session descriptions and presentation slides for 2015 and earlier are archived for the public to explore, or you can read backwards through the conference Twitter, @LibTechConf.


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