ABQLA Conference Report Back

It’s been a very busy academic year, and I hadn’t been able to make regular blog posts. I do want to mention the ABQLA conference I attended earlier in May. 

This past May, I was able to present at the l’Association des bibliothécaires du Québec – Quebec Library Association (ABQLA) 85th annual conference, held at the Loyola campus of Concordia University. I presented on my work making the City Tech Library website more accessible using the WAVE tool. 

ABQLA President Julian Taylor started the conference of by recognizing that the Loyola campus was on First Nation ground. I was surprised to hear this reverence given and was quite pleased that it was said. Maybe the states could follow such an example? 

The Emergence of the Chief.
The Emergence of the Chief.

I was impressed by many of the speakers of the conference. Cynthia Orozco opened the keynote, explaining her work on LIS microaggressions. She explained her personal journey as a librarian as well as the many of the hardships that librarian people of color experience throughout the creation of the LIS microaggression zine. She also provided many strategies that librarians can employ to empower themselves, their institution, their patrons, and their communities. Her must see presentation was enlightening and inspiring.

Michelle Maloney of the University of the Pacific gave an excellent talk about her experience working with first-generation students. She discussed how her library worked closely with their writing center to prepare incoming freshman.

Amy Jo Mitchell and Kristine Nowak gave an excellent talk about a custom library classification system for a LGBTQ center in my home state of Kentucky. Located in Lexington, the center has a library, and Nowak and Mitchell discussed how the Library of Congress classification system needs an update on LGBTQ subject headings. The headings are outdated and the Pride Community Services Organization needed a system that was more flexible for it’s patrons.

The library at the Pride Resource Community Services Organization in Lexington, KY.
The library at the Pride Community Services Organization in Lexington, Ky.

The last session I attended was an organization update on ABQLA. I found it fascinating how the Canadian library groups work independently from one another after the dissolution of the Canada Library Association. I also learned that Fair Dealing is the terminology used instead of Fair Use.

Fair Dealing in Canada

The ending keynote was presented by Marcelle Kosman, Co-host of the Podcast, Witch Please. She discussed her doctoral research into women Canadian sci-fi writers, and how a lot of those works were republished and modeled from American pulp fiction magazines. As a sci-fi reader, I found her end note fascinating. 

Kosman's explained that early Canadian women sci-fi writers used white-supremacy in a number of stories, which comparable to young Dumbledore's flirtation with fascism. 
Kosman’s explained that early Canadian women sci-fi writers used white-supremacy in a number of stories, which comparable to young Dumbledore’s flirtation with fascism. 

Presentations for the City Tech Poster Session and CUNY IT Conference

Last week I gave two presentations. The first was at the annual City Tech Poster session with my colleague, Prof. Nora Almeida. Our poster examined the learning modalities of students and their design preferences in LibGuides. Using a variety of evaluation methods including paper prototypes, a cognitive walk through, advanced scribbling techniques, and interviews, we developed a LibGuide template to be used on all of our research guides.

I also had a panel presentation with Robin Davis of John Jay College, Mark Eaton of Kingsborough Community College, and Stephen Klein of the CUNY Graduate Center at last week’s CUNY IT Conference. We discussed how we have used (mostly) free and open source technologies to make our library resources accessible to our communities. You can see our presentation here.

CUNY IT Conference Presentation 2015

Photo by Robin Davis
Photo by Robin Davis


  I presented at the CUNY IT Conference this past Thursday, December 3rd. My presentation examined the history of the Ursula C. Schwerin’s library’s website. I discussed our migration from our shared server to City Tech’s own CIS (Computer Information Services) based server to our final migration to the cloud. I also discussed the use of responsive design and usability test to enhance the website. Continue reading “CUNY IT Conference Presentation 2015”

Usability testing, the CUNY IT Conference, and code4Lib Journal

The last week has been a whirlwind. I’ve begun the second round of usability testing for the library website. I presented first round results at this past year’s ACRL conference. I’m really interested in seeing how the changes I’ve made to the site are effecting students. The hardest part about  testing is scheduling. Thankfully, I was able to acquire research time to conduct testing with students.

In the future, I would like to test the library website using emotional measuring instruments. Craig MacDonald suggested I use the Affect Grid. I had a chance to talk to him after our presentations at the Metro UX SIG last week. I would like to also to test this against our CUNY-wide Primo discovery tool, OneSearch, to see if finding information is frustrating or rewarding for students.

I also had a presentation accepted on the development of the library website for the upcoming CUNY IT Conference. I’m very excited about this opportunity, where I’ll be talking about web developing using Bootstrap and using cloud-based services.

Lastly, a new issue of code4lib Journal is now out. The theme is data, and there are some great articles in this issue!


Urban Library Journal, code4lib 2016 Conference, and the Metro UX SIG

Just a few quick updates:

There is a new issue of Urban Library Journal available, containing select proceedings from this past year’s LACUNY Institute that focused on privacy in libraries. It was also my first time editing an issue on my own.

The code4Lib 2016 Conference Website is now up and running. Take a look here. This year’s conference will be held in Philadelphia. I’m very excited about serving on the conference’s Website Group. It was great picking up on jekyll.js.

Lastly, I’m going to be speaking at the METRO Library Council’s User Experience User Group on October 14th! I’ll be discussing my book,  Usability and the Mobile Web. I’m looking forward to sharing my work with the folks at METRO!

Bootstrap and the New Twenty Fifteen

Today, I had the opportunity to teach other librarians on how to use the Bootstrap framework. It was a workshop sponsored by the LACUNY Emerging Tech Committee. It was well-received, and I was happy I could discuss what I think is one of the best web development tools out there. Here is the presentation and handout I used.

Ironically, I used Bootstrap for this blog site for a long time, but now I’m experimenting with the new WordPress theme, Twenty Fifteen. It’s as minimalist as Bootstrap and also responsive. That is not to say that Bootstrap isn’t a good framework, but it’s always a good idea to expand your web toolbox!

LACUNY Professional Development Travel Grant

I was recently awarded a LACUNY Professional Development Travel Grant for my travel to LITA Forum this year!

I am thankful for such a great opportunity to help my travel funds to the conference this year. I’ll make a blog post about my writeup about the conference and include slides for my presentation on mobile usability on the City Tech website.

Below is my application essay: Continue reading “LACUNY Professional Development Travel Grant”