ALA Annual 2016, Orlando

Greetings from sunny Orlando! I’ve been practically nonstop jetting between conference sessions—there are more than enough intriguing sessions to choose from, and the Orlando Convention Center is huge! The first session I attended was Expanding Your Assessment Toolbox: Creative Assessment Design for the Novice Instruction Librarian, presented by SUNY Geneseo’s Brandon West and the University of Rochester’s Michelle Costello and Kimberly Hoffman. They talked about their own instructional assessment practices, and shifted towards a discussion of applying the ACRL framework to assessment. The conceptual nature of the ACRL framework appealed to most of us within the context of information literacy instruction, but the discussion portion revealed that many found it difficult to assess any learning outcomes of teaching to the framework.

The next session I attended was a panel discussion moderated by Marshall Breeding  on Executive Perspectives: A Strategic View of the Library Technology Industry. The panel featured five library technology representatives: Sam Brooks from EBSCO, Skip Prichard from OCLC, Jim Tallman from Innovative, Sebastian Hammer from Index Data, and Matti Shem-Tov from Ex Libris. One of the key discussion topics was the general trend of moving away from monolithic library software providers in libraries towards a more modular licensing plan and institutional interoperability. There was some discussion about the fact that this trend might actually be reversing: even though libraries are purchasing and using many different software products from many different vendors, the increasing consolidation in the industry means that even though libraries may be licensing individual components through different sub-companies, they’re really still working with only one or two major conglomerates.

a slide from BPL’s presentation featuring my own BKLYN Incubator grant funded garden program series!

I made sure to catch my Brooklyn Public colleagues Nick, Ames, and Kerwin present From the Ground Up: Building a Community-Based Project Competition for Staff at All Levels, about the BKLYN Incubator series of mini-grants to encourage a culture of innovation and staff participation in strategic planning.

I also attended a panel called A Library App: Driving a Better Customer Experience & the Metrics That Matter, presented by Duncan Smith from NoveList, Kimberly Matthews from Miami Dade Public Library, and Gary Green from Kalamazoo Public Library. Kim gave a great overview of creating a culture of innovation and described how she carries out strategic planning for Miami Dade. She also talked about supporting vendors who support library best practices, and how she drives vendors by making the library’s best interests their best interests (in R&D, sales, etc.). Gary discussed the challenges of developing software in an environment that isn’t always able to attract and retain the best software developers, and he also gave an overview of Kalamazoo’s experiences with the Boopsie app.

LITA Top Tech Trends panel

On Sunday, I attended the LITA Top Tech Trends panel—always a great session, but I was especially excited to see Laura’s perspective on trends in library technology. I also popped over to see Laura’s poster on Stony Brook University’s library renovation; it’s amazing that she was able to oversee the library’s total renovation in just ONE year!

The last session I attended was another one about strategic planning and design. In Improve Services and Create Value: Using Data to Guide Your Library€’s Strategic Planning Process, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Richard Mott from Jacksonville Public Library discussed how they use data to drive their strategic planning process.

I managed to squeeze in time for a little R&R!