Posts about Technology

“You did that with PowerPoint?!” Making fun and informative videos with simple, everyday tools

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
“Lightning Talk”

Speaker: Allison Long, Ipas

In this session, Allison Long demonstrated how anyone can use PowerPoint and other easy-to-use tools to create fun and informative videos for results dissemination, library services promotion, or anything else their heart desires.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:


Reports can often become tl;dr (too long; didn’t read)

Why use video?

  • “Video has quickly become one of the most impactful ways to speak to an audience.”
  • Research indicates that we absorb video content 60,000 times faster than if read.

Pro tips for creating great videos:

  • Keep it visual – less text, more images, use animations and transitions
  • Keep it short – 4 minutes or less
  • Make it pretty!
  • Free online tools: Piktochart, Jing (free program that allows you to cut images and make videos to insert into presentation, similar to Snippet)
  • Tools within PowerPoint: Insert/SmartArt; format painter/double click on format painter keeps format painter on; Arrange tools/selection pane, bring forward
    Transitions tab/crush/origami/page turn, etc. Pick one or two to use.
  • Make you PowerPoint presentation into movie: first record timings, then record audio, then save it as a movie.
  • View as a slide show, then record slide show (you can do one slide at a time). Insert audio (Google “royalty free music,” or use Set to “Play in background.”
    Make it into video (Fille ->Export -> make into video -> use MP4 format).  You can use Windows Movie Maker to format the video, which produces the correct size for YouTube, mobile viewing , etc.

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Using Zotero for Managing Citations (and, optionally, your life)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
“Lightning Talk”

Speaker: Elana Broch, Princeton University

“I’ve come to embrace Zotero as a great bibliographic citation manager. It’s free and works on both Macs and PCs. You can sync across machines, save PDFs of full text, and photos. Its write-and-cite capability is very user friendly.”

Elana Broch offered a demonstration of Zotero and discussed many of the features that make it a usable and worthwhile citation management program for students and information professionals.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:


Click here to view a PDF of Ms. Broch’s handout

Some additional key points about Zotero:

  • At Princeton and other libraries, Zotero talks to the library and databases
  • Many people are moving from EndNote to Zotero
  • It is easy to transfer data from one citation system to Zotero
  • Zotero is open source, and is free
  • See costs of institutional storage plans here
  • Users can download photos, add notes

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Libraries Can Lead: Using SharePoint 2013

Monday, March 29, 2016
“Lightning Talk”

Speaker: LiMin Fields, PAI

This short demonstration of PAI’s intranet portal included a quick tour of the PAI homepage, professional development resource page, and the shared organizational calendar.  The portal was developed to support staff internal information needs and influence organizational behavior by documenting and communicating key business processes, policies and standards.

Many thanks to Liz Nugent for sharing her notes, below:



  • PAI’s intranet is referred to as their “Portal”
  • It was deliberately kept simple in design, and the staff’s most-used items were put up first
  • PAI’s Board has their own portal
  • The Portal is used as a work tool and tracker (e.g. finance forms), includes the Smartsheet (excel-like online tool used for strategic planning, etc.), and allows resource sharing
  • It was built between January and November 2014, and was launched in December 2014
  • It is maintained in-house with occasional vendor support
  • Everything on the Portal should have value added, be up to date, and cross-organizational
  • It includes links to everything the organization needs and uses; it is meant to be a one-stop shop
  • It also includes a staff directory, bios & birthdays, staff travel information , non-work Tips/Asks, new employee page, HR handbook and policies, Admin ZenDesk, PAI jargon, Email Web access, Egnite online file share, IT ZenDesk, and an archive of PAI pubs

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Toward knowledge access for all: Brewster Kahle and the Internet Archive

Internet Archive logoPrior to attending the 2012 APLIC Conference, I was only partly aware of Brewster Kahle and his work with the Internet Archive Project (IAP). I knew that he was the person behind one of my favorite resources on the Web: the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. I’ve used this valuable tool for both work and leisure when seeking out historic website pages now missing from the Web. But while listening to his presentation at the conference, I soon realized that the Wayback Machine is just a tiny part of his vision.

What I wasn’t fully aware of is Brewster’s infectious passion for the idea of “universal access to all knowledge.” The no-frills Internet Archive website belies this passion. Don’t get me wrong; I understand why the website is text-heavy and light on design (quicker load-time and less distraction from the content). I just never took the time to poke around on the site and read more about the Archive’s mission, and I felt bad about that in retrospect. After hearing Brewster speak, though, I suspect he would care less about whether people know why the Internet Archive exists and more about if they know it exists at all. Certainly its underpinning philosophy drives the project, but end users don’t need to dwell on that to benefit. The important thing is that people know this amazing resource is available online and free of charge.

I think it’s safe to say that all librarians support the idea of facilitating access to information. That is essentially our job description in a nutshell. But Brewster’s take on it is different from the traditional librarian-as-intercessor model. Placing an entire library online, freely accessible to the public, minimizes this traditional role of a librarian. It gets at the heart of what seems to be a shift in the roles we as librarians play in modern information discovery. These days we are at a crossroads in librarianship: should we continue to provide access to print materials for on-site patrons or do we move toward shuttering our physical doors and fully embracing digital collections as the libraries of the future, opening them up online to the world?

In his presentation, Brewster made the case that the cost of digitizing a library’s collection is the same as the cost of constructing a building to house that collection. And yet a digital collection can be made available to an exponentially larger audience. To this end, Brewster is asking libraries to digitize their collections and send the files to be included in his digital library. The University of Toronto has already donated 250,000 scanned books! For books still under copyright, online patrons can check them out from the Ebook and Texts Archive on (a copyrighted book can only be checked out by one user at a time, just like in a traditional library). However, those books in the public domain don’t require a check-out process and can be enjoyed simultaneously by multiple users.

How each library decides to move through the crossroads will vary. Some libraries are indeed closing their doors and devoting all their attention to online services. Patron demand can dictate this in certain cases. However, I think that for the majority of libraries, a compromise is the more likely route. Traditional libraries can still keep their doors open to meet the needs of walk-in patrons, but they can also reach a wider global audience by turning over digital copies of their collections to the IAP. The Project will even loan out its state-of-the-art scanning equipment to help achieve this goal. Together we can help build the biggest online library in the world. It seems like a win-win situation, with everyone benefiting from increased access to information. Why shouldn’t we have the best of both print and digital worlds?

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Conference keynoter Kahle thinks big

Lori Delaney points us to a New York Times article featuring the titanic vision of Brewster Kahle. One interesting quote : “A lot of libraries are doing some pretty drastic weeding. . . .”

You’ll have the opportunity to hear Mr. Kahle and ask questions pertinent to your own operations at the APLIC 45th Annual Conference.

See you in SF !

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Twitter citations ? MLA’s got your back

Alexis Madrigal over at The Atlantic reports that MLA has come up with a standard form for citing tweets. Maybe not mission-central, but nice to know. . . .

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Single Search: The Quest for the Holy Grail

While it is abundantly clear users want a single, Google-like search interface to the diverse digital information that a cultural institution such as a library provides, it is not yet clear what the optimal approach to providing such integrated searching is. For example, what’s best: a single system such as an ILS, harvesting metadata from multiple systems to a central repository, federated searching of multiple systems, or a centralized search index of multiple systems? Should the employed system be open source or commercial? This concise report presents a summary of the discussions of a working group of nine single-search implementers that was facilitated by OCLC Research about this increasing important topic.

Prescott, Leah, and Ricky Erway. Single Search: The Quest for the Holy Grail. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research, 2011.

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Mixed uptake of social media among public health specialists

Public health organizations are starting to use social media. Some specialists say they hold untapped potential for public health.  In the WHO Bulletin, November 2011, p.784ff

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Social Media: A guide for researchers

Claims to provide the information needed to make an informed decision about using social media and select from the vast range of tools that are available.  One of the most important things that researchers do is to find, use and disseminate information, and social media offers a range of tools which can facilitate this. The guide discusses the use of social media for research and academic purposes and will not be examining the many other uses that social media is put to across society.

Social media can change the way in which you undertake research, and can also open up new forms of communication and dissemination. It has the power to enable researchers to engage in a wide range of dissemination in a highly efficient way.

Available online PDF [48p.] at:

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Understanding how Twitter is used to spread scientific messages


Understanding How Twitter is Used to Widely Spread Scientific Messages (8 pages; PDF)

by: Julie Letierce and Alexandre Passant and John Breslin and Stefan Decker

From the Abstract:

According to a survey we recently conducted, Twitter was ranked in the top three services used by Semantic Web researchers to spread information. In order to understand how Twitter is practically used for spreading scientific messages, we captured tweets containing the official hashtags of three conferences and studied (1) the type of content that researchers are more likely to tweet, (2) how they do it, and finally (3) if their tweets can reach other communities — in addition to their own. In addition, we also conducted some interviews to complete our understanding of researchers’ motivation to use Twitter during conferences.



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