Rhode Island Library Association Conference

I had the opportunity of visiting the Ocean State on Friday to present at the RILA annual conference. Rhode Island library folk are really fun to talk to and have a lot of great ideas. One of the highlights for me were the invited speakers on Friday. They were three folks from the Occupy Wall Street People’s Library and talked about how the library space in Zuccotti park was seen as a place of dialogue and public discourse. They also exhorted us to occupy our own libraries and create those opportunities for public discourse around the really big issues that are facing us as a country.

It was a fun conference and there were a lot of thought provoking questions after my session. I’ve posted the slides below:



Library Technology Conference Presentation and Roundup

I attended the Library Technology Conference this past week in St. Paul, MN. I’ve heard it’s an answer to Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian being on the coasts and the need for a library tech conference in the Midwest. It did not disappoint. Not only did I get to travel back to the state where I grew up and was able to play golf the weather was so nice, it was also one of the better organized and useful conferences I’ve attended.

I presented on using Mobile Phone Polling to increase student engagement in the classroom. The session was a lot of fun and I always get new ideas from talking to audience members.

In addition to presenting I attended a lot of awesome sessions. Some of my highlight’s of the conference include:

I would recommend this conference to anyone interested in library tech. The keynotes were really inspiring, especially the one from Larry Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium. I will definitely keep this on my radar for future conferences.


Fun, Thoughtful Technology In The Classroom

My colleague Sarah and I presented again this week at a VLA conference on using technology in the classroom to engage students. It was a great conference and I love getting together with other librarians from around the state. People are doing such interesting things, and I always come back with ideas.

Our presentation was about using technology in the classroom, specifically videos from YouTube and mobile polling via PollEverywhere. We have a lot of fun integrating these technologies, but we also realize they can be overused or used haphazardly.

In our information literacy sessions, we teach using the inquiry method. In designing our sessions then, we use technology as a jumping off point that allows students to start asking questions and struggling with real world situations. Technology isn’t the point of our sessions. Instead we use it in a way that sparks discussion and engagement that goes past the tech and into the minds of our students. Here are the slides from our presentation: