On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, I returned to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and to my office in Hunt Library on the fourth floor of the Student Union. I had last been in the library on Friday, April 3, 2020. At the time, we thought we might be out of the building for only a few weeks. It turned out to be about 14 months.Continue reading Back to the Library
If you are a librarian into social media, you may have seen Bookface Friday posts. If not, I’ll briefly explain what a “bookface” is. A bookface is a photograph of a book jacket—usually the front cover but not always—lined up with a background in real life. Often the cover is a person’s face, but it could also be any body part. Sometimes they are not humans at all but rather animals, bookshelves, food, plants, and landscapes. We once used an airplane.
Bookface Friday was reportedly started in August 2014 by Morgan Holzer at the New York Public Library. Soon after, other librarians started posting their own images and the trend took off. They are usually posted to Instagram and Twitter on Fridays, thus the hashtag #BookfaceFriday.
Hunt Library where I work has been making bookfaces since 2016. They are created by our Social Media Team of which I am a member. Since 2018, I have appeared in four of these and worked behind the scenes on several others. They are fun to create.Continue reading Bookface Friday
Google Featured Snippet
As you may have seen elsewhere on my website, I created and maintain a library technology website called Library Technology Launchpad. On that site I write about various topics relevant to librarians such as websites, online resources, open access, and others. My most popular series is the Basics and Resources Series. In this collection of articles, I have covered topics such as APIs, Discovery Services, Linked Data, OAI-PMH, proxy servers, and more.
While searching for some sources for an article posted today, I was pleasantly surprised to see my own work as a featured result. I entered the search terms “library discovery services” (without the quotes) into Google and got back a screen of search results. There at the top as the “featured snippet” was a description from, and link to, my Library Technology Launchpad website.
So from a search that resulted in 324 million results, Google selected my article as the top source for the topic. In order to see whether Google was basing this ranking on my searching or browsing history, I asked a colleague to perform the same search. She confirmed that she also got my website as the featured snippet.
Anyone who posts articles to the Web hopes to get listed on the first or second page of Google search results. Although I’ve frequently found posts or pages from my Library of Motoring website high in Google results, this is the first time that I have had, to my knowledge, an article featured on Google. That it is a professional library article makes it more satisfying. Hopefully this inclusion indicates a high search ranking for my Library Technology Launchpad site as a whole.
Ask a Tech Librarian
For the Florida Library Association Conference 2017 I again wanted to present a practical session on library technology. Rather than presenting alone, I proposed a panel presentation to get a broader view. My co-presenter for last year’s Code For Every Librarian session, Cheryl Wolfe, quickly joined the panel and then we recruited two more technical librarians. The final panel consisted of:
James M. Day, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Cheryl Wolfe, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library
Guy Cicinelli, Florida Gulf Coast University
Jessica Zairo, ByWater Solutions
What Exactly Does a Librarian Do?
When people learn that I’m a librarian, they often ask, “What exactly does a librarian do?” I usually begin my explanation with a disclaimer such as, “Well, I’m not a typical librarian in that I don’t work behind a Reference Desk and help people find information” which is what they already knew librarians do from personal observation. Of course, they want to know what we do when we’re sitting in our offices. Some people do think we read books all day. I go on to explain that I’m an Electronic Services Librarian—which hardly helps clarify my explanation—who handles most of the IT functions of the library. I tell them I administer the library’s website, staff intranet, online library catalog, third-party library services, and access to all of our research databases. If they still seem interested, I’ll explain the functions of some other types of (non-reference) librarians such as acquisition, cataloging, scholarly communications, and special librarians. Even though I work next door to these types of librarians, I still can’t tell you everything they do on a daily basis. Continue reading What Exactly Does a Librarian Do?
Work Projects Completed 2015-2016
Staff at Embry-Riddle just completed annual performance reviews. For the year from March 2015 through March 2016 I had three major projects, all completed before their respective deadlines.
Hunt Library Website Redesign and Launch
Last year I completed the planning, analysis, and requirements for the new Hunt Library website. This year I began the development of the site organization and building of the site pages and content. I worked with the university’s Web Team to develop features of the content management system for library hours and news. Once the design was completed, I worked with the library’s Assessment Team to assess the usability of the website which resulted in some small but important improvements. The Hunt Library website launched on time with little disruption to our online services.
See the current Hunt Library website at https://huntlibrary.erau.edu. Continue reading Work Projects Completed 2015-2016
Code For Every Librarian
On June 12, 2015 I gave a short presentation titled Code Every Librarian Should Know at the NEFLIN Library Technology Conference 2015. For the Florida Library Association Conference 2016 I decided to submit a proposal for a longer version of that talk and possibly another on library intranet best practices. Then last Fall I was contacted by Cheryl Wolfe, Web Services Administrator, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library about collaborating with her on a presentation. I told her about my two ideas and she liked the one teaching code. She renamed the presentation to a friendlier-sounding Code For Every Librarian and our proposal was accepted!
Library Technology Launchpad Relaunched
Today I relaunched my Library Technology Launchpad website. I moved it from WordPress.com to my own host and gave the site a redesign. The previous version ran from 2011 to 2013 with social media updates continuing through 2014.
View the website at libtechlaunchpad.com. Continue reading Library Technology Launchpad Relaunched
The Library as Publishing House Chapter Published
Last year I submitted a proposal for a chapter to a book on the 21st-century academic library. My subject was institutional repositories and how libraries were now functioning as publishing houses by providing a platform for digital journal publishing.
“The academic library takes on the new role as institutional publishing house using institutional repository services to manage journal publishing and conference planning. Librarians must know the journal publishing workflow including online article submission, peer-review, editing, publishing, dissemination, and marketing. To manage conference planning functions, librarians need to understand event functions such as presentation submission, program scheduling, registration and third-party payment systems, proceedings publishing, and marketing.
Librarians at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University launched an institutional repository not only to showcase intellectual output, but to digitally publish new and existing journals and centrally manage professional conferences for university faculty and students.” Continue reading The Library as Publishing House Chapter Published
Customizing LibAnswers to Create a Recommended Websites Service
When we learned that the university’s ColdFusion server was getting old and the IT department wanted to decommission it, I began “Project Abandon ColdFusion” to migrate all of our home-grown ColdFusion applications to other services. The last of these services was our “Recommended Websites” service.
I searched many options. The service needed to be free, easy to use and maintain, and preferably something the library was already using. This led me to LibAnswers and its FAQ groups. With a bit of customization, it could be made to function as a Recommended Websites service. So with some advice and help from Kelly Robinson, the site structure and layout was built. Research librarians on the Recommended Websites Committee entered in website names and descriptions and assigned topics and keywords.
The new Recommended Websites service launched on August 20, 2015. Continue reading Customizing LibAnswers to Create a Recommended Websites Service