SCELC eResource Hackfest

Justine Withers, Electronic and Continuing Resources Catalog Librarian, attended the SCELC (Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium) Hackfest 2018. USF, as a member of SCELC, is able to receive a lower negotiated rate on purchases and subscriptions of electronic resources.

As reported by Justine, “The Hackfest brings electronic resources and systems librarians together for three days of brainstorming and tinkering to solve or improve common tasks. They use the word ‘hackfest’ with hesitation and work hard to encourage anyone who works with electronic resources to come, whatever their level of ‘hacker, programmer, techie’ skills. The benefits were obvious this year. Different skills and experiences uncovered questions that might have gone otherwise unanswered, hidden under assumptions and limited perspectives.”

“This year, the teams coalesced around the desire to follow through on all the ideas that come up at these events. One team designed an online repository that all consortium members can contribute to. The other teams drafted guides and tutorials with wide appeal (we hope!). After three years of great projects, we will finally have a central place to share them and enable more collaboration throughout the year.”

If you would like more general information about SCELC’s eResource Hackfest, check out the link here.

For anyone interested in planning a future Hackfest, SCELC provides a very detailed guide here¬†, based on previous years’ experience.

Libraries and Technology

Anders Lyon, the Stacks Coordinator at Gleeson Library, attended the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Forum in Denver, November 9th-12th, 2017. LITA is a division of the American Library Association and this year’s annual conference focused on the intersection of libraries and technology. The topics covered data management, analytics, digital initiatives and user experience.

Of particular interest to Anders were sessions focused on user experience (UX). UX includes the library’s web environment as well as physical space. The focus of these sessions were methods of gathering user experience data which would be used in future project improvements/redesigns.

For example, in one presentation a mobile kiosk called the UX Cafe was set up in high traffic areas. Patrons were offered coffee and granola bars to participate in a brief study. For more on UX resources and blogs, check out UX for the Masses.

Anders noted that while Gleeson Library solicits feedback from the university community, establishing something similar to the UX Cafe here would formalize the process and increase the frequency of data collection. He proffered an example of a study where users would be asked to find a resource from the library’s digital collections. Administrators of the study would take notes as users describe the process of finding the resource. The results would be used to identify areas in need of improvement and to implement changes to the library’s online environment.