#CILDC wrapup and index of notes

I had a very good time at the 2014 Computers in Libraries conference, learned a lot, and had a lot of great conversations with colleagues. I blogged throughout the conference, and thought an aggregate index of links to each of my session notes would be very helpful.

Others blogged throughout the conferences — lists of those people can be found:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Next year’s conference (the 30th one!) is March 23-25, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Stop Being Generic: On Demand & On Target

Julian Aiken, Access Services Librarian, Yale Law Library

Becoming more like Amazon Prime/Netflix (but for free)

On-Demand services: Scanning, Collecting, Delivering.

  1. Scan on demand: way to get print into users’ hands, not just digital; print collections opened up; remote access to local print collection; ready access to print holdings would be very valuable to off-site students and staff. Illiad used to manage this. Getting word out not difficult — 1,000 students. Electronic signage, orientation sessions, emails. Feedback was tremendously positive. Unsolicited feedback. People loved it.
  2. Deliver on demand: accessing other libraries’ collection isn’t always straightforward. No other academic libraries were doing delivery on demand, except for remote online students or homebound. Illiad used to manage this in ILL dept. Shipping costs only additional cost. Direct existing staff into a better service for the students.
  3. Collect on demand: Kind of patron-driven acquisitions. Patrons don’t directly request purchase; instead, patrons analyze requests made through ILL, and decide whether or not to purchase. Trends through ILL and off-site requests. No precise formula, repeat requests are good indicator of interest in a title. Faculty member ILL requests are handled immediately; 90 percent of faculty ILL requests are purchased, instead of ILLed. Developed without any extra funding; redone budgets to meet patron needs. Careful analysis and dynamic response to patron requests make the library more proactive to patron needs.
  4. “Many thanks! You are super responsive, often thinking of student needs before we even anticipate them.” –unsolicited student response

I left this session earlier to take care of some work business. 


Hackers in the Library!

Sarah Shujah, Science Libraries, York University
Gabby Resch, Ph.D Student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, iSchool, Faculty of Information

“Hosting a hackathon (or hackfest) in the library provides opportunities for discussing and developing new approaches to research, engaging students (and others) to explore critical information literacy issues, fostering iterative and collaborative opening practices, and encouraging the use of open source/open access techniques.” –Research Position

Libraries can build hackfests…we’ve always used new technologies, engaged people with it, and build community.

Critical Making: “the process of making is as important as the results” — Critical Making: Conceptual and Material Studies in Technology and Social Law, The information society, 27(4)

Hackers — stereotype: hoodies, headphones, hunched over, poking holes in databases, doing nefarious things. Are they bored lockpickers? Tinkers, lifehackers, parent hackers, can openers, and then share what they do. Lifehacker

Quality of hacker culture is the collaborative aspect.


  • Why are hackfests and hackathons relevant to libraries?
  • Why should libraries participate in (or develop) hackathons when they are already common in so-called “maker culture”
  • What specific internal tools can the library leverage to create unique hackathons?

Role of libraries

  • There is an increased need to discuss the political role of technology and the technological mediation of our everyday lives — as well as resultant anxiety produced by it — something libraries well-suited to address. To facilitate, to address.


  • Critical thinking via critical making
  • knowledge exchange
  • innovation and research
  • experiential education
  • open access

Tips, Ideas, and Suggestions

  1. Establish dedicated space — but not necessarily a “maker space” — facilitate return visits and mentorship from within the library community [a floor, a corner, middle of floor]
  2. Build relationships with faculty and staff — not just engineering, science, computing, art; encourage mentors to be available long-term, not just during the hackathon
  3. Build upon the history of libraries and the library’s connection to broad social and culture issues/needs — encourage engaged citizenship; collaborative and social knowledge sharing — open source ideas. Post information and code on github or hackfest website.
  4. Create an agenda that fosters critical literacies — not just digital literacy — projects aims and themes should focus on digital AND material engagement. Think about impact website or app might have on community. Think about theme of event. Using collections in the library. Book display prior to Hackfest of relevant books. Let participants know that books are available to help people learn to code, also why information should be shared online. Cory Doctorow. Using your collections is important

How to Put all Into Practice

Steacie Library Dungeon Hackfest 2014 [promo video]

  • critical making agenda — process not as much end-product focus
  • collaborative focus (non-competitive)
  • Mentorship from the university community on site and on-going
  • Incorporation of collections
  • More information
  • Theme: Culture and Technology in a Mobile World — create entrepreneurial app about anything
  • 2-day event
  • Breakout sessions: librarians helped participants research existing apps — also, how does your app impact society.
  • Ex., a couple of groups wanted to help other students know where group study areas were available based on wireless connections (privacy/surveillance issues)
  • Ex., social media: help peers know what their friends were doing (privacy as well) — adding, opt-out option.

High school classrooms, museum participatory workshops, coding for kids, getting participants to reimagine outrageous ways to do things. Flappy birds IRL (gummy worm in one hand, and high-fiving each other to close the circuit). MaKey-MaKey kits,

Designed a way for Mesopotamia exhibit visitors to design a Mesopotamian structure in 15 minutes on an iPad and then 3D print and build a city over 4 weeks. People began creating other objects not necessarily applicable/historically accurate. Embodied interaction. And attitudes that challenge institutional authority. Why should we challenge the authority of these books or objects?

Hacking the Body: DIY Prosthetics

  • Use of novel technologies and physical computing — wearables; microcontrollers
  • Multiple sites simultaneously: video-linked
  • Art meets science vs STEM
  • FOcus on process, not product
  • Like JoCo Library’s 3D printed robohand
  • Using body as spectacle, social norms

Closing thoughts

  • Hackathons are about more than just kills development, digital literacy, or citizen science
  • Foster critical thinking and engagement with topical sissues
  • Visit our website for media, tips, and ideas
  • It’s about public engagement in science

Audience Questions

  • Discomfort with maker movement: it’s great to get kids to blink lights, but there has to be more than just blinking the light and encouraging the four pillars of STEM education. Maker movement hasn’t been good of emphasizing critical side of information literacy. Where’s the plastic coming from? What happens when we buy new products? What’s the impact of putting a 3D printer in a school?
  • What’s maker culture exactly? Is it white-male, mid20s-30s. Is it intergenerationl? Is it class based?

Keynote: Hacking Library Spaces: Lessons From Tactical Urbanism

Mike Lydon, Principal, The Street Plans Collaborative and & Author, Tactical Urbanism

@MikeLydon @StreetPlans

Street Plans based in Miami and Brooklyn: methodology to hack the city. Do a lot of bike and pedestrian planning. Urban design. Policy development. Education and training. Placemaking.

Share Knowledge + Advocate for Better Cities — firm publishes and shares work online

His work was inspired by open streets… Seeing challenge in people not being willing to go to public meetings. Became involved in advocacy for biking, and involved in open streets: streets used for walking, biking, dancing, etc., and Bike Miami Days — changed how he thought about sharing ideas, inspiring people, advocating.

At same time, NYC was hacking its streets: Temporary “Pilot” Plazas — temporary paint, movable planters, different public spaces, projects in the streets. Giving streets back to people to hang out, eat, etc. “As inexpensive hacks, tactical interventions producing great affects, we here at FASLANYC greatly admire them, esp because they are no longer….” –Brian Davis

Cities becoming more participatory — leading to longterm change in policy and physical changes. Tactical Urbainsim and Tactical Urbanism2 — streetplans.org — Blew up — was shared widely by thousands.

Method for sharing — putting ideas online — brought this idea to a global stage. Downloaded around the world in many countries.

Tactical urbanism become a global movement owned by no one, that can involve anyone, and that is intended to improve the lives of everyone.

Tactical Urbanism: city, org and/or citizen-led approach to neighborhood building using short term, low-cost, and scalable interventions intended to catalyze long-term change.

Yarn bombing: DIY? Yes. Hacking? Maybe. Tactical? No.

It’s not just…hipsters. It’s for neighborhoods. Getting all generations to come out and make change together. Newsboards, Little Free Libraries, creating places that are communal in our neighborhoods.

Tactics & Tacticians–Movement from Unsanctioned to Sanctioned. People just going out and doing things without permission.

Three Overlapping Trends: The Great Recession & Shifting Demographics & The Internet as a Tool for Building the Civic Economy

The Great Inversion and the future of the American City

Growing Frustration: Roadblocks at Every Turn, as people are moving back into the city. Amenities not there that people like. Laws, ordinances, and rules that are blocking things from happening. Guerilla

City vs Citizens and the Widening Gap Between What we Have and What We Want — Guerrilla crosswalk painter. Tension between citizens and city leaders.

Guerrilla stripers add bike lanes…

But this isn’t a new idea. Boxes on the river in Paris, pop up in the morning and become stands. Help activate the river. Took 500 years for this to be sanctioned.

Food trucks vs real restaurants. Play streets concept. Portable Parks in 1970 in San Francisco. Zoo animals at a temporary park on an off ramp by a freeway.

Strategy without Tactics: Midtown Plan (1969). Transform Broadway street… But nothing ever happened with the plan. Until 2009: Times Square closed to traffic, just for the weekend. Set up lawn chairs (for $10 from hardware stores). People sat down and started using the chairs. 2010: Times Square put paint on ground, tables and chairs, and measure the impact. Economy exploded and became a much safer street.

Times Square Lights Up City’s Economy, Study Finds

Pedestrian traffic increased; sales increased. Safer streets.

Now, Times Square reinventing itself permanently:

Mayor Bloomberg Cuts Ribbon on First Phase of Permanent Times Square Reconstruction

Idea: Build, (project) Measure (data), Learn (ideas) cycle; try something, learn from failures and build on it. Ideas come from Lean Startup

We need strategy and tactics: …it is about getting it right for now and at the same time being tactical and strategic about later….and about disturbing the order of things in the interests of change. –Nabeel Hamdi, author of about the art of practice and the limits of planning in cities.


1. Citizens unsanctioned citizen action

DIY crosswalk; “Dear crosswalk vigilante — thank you! made my day”

Guerrilla crosswalk turns into total overhaul of New Haven intersection — this guy showed leadership in his community and was elected to city council!

Walk [Your city] — few people were walking in a walkable neighborhood. Signs to make people walk in the community. City council had him take the signs down and then voted to make them

Good projects go to scale and spread.

2. Municipality/Organization: Public Involvement Through Collaborative Demonstration

Students: Pop-up Rockwell — two way bike path. Learned that bike traffic increased. People went to different businesses, we’re going to just try this, pilot, got buy-in and permission. Failure was also involved — most valuable. Some of the intersection design wasn’t as strong as it should be. Realized the flaws in 1 week, and integrated those findings into the permanent infrastructure.

Coalition: Park-Making in Miami, FL — parking lot overtaken with temporary materials and changed it into a park, with a coalition of groups. Became a very active space for a week. Changed the conversation for

3. Municipality/Developer: Phase 0 Implementation

Project in Brooklyn, near Manhattan Bridge: retail sales up 172% vs 18% across Brooklyn. Food truck pod; and outdoor plaza in a parking lot. Project will be made permanent, and will be expanding. Political will and support built using temporary first.

City + BID + Artists — murals to replace ugly paint.

Hired by cities AND agitators 🙂


1. Working from the Outside In: Hamilton, Ontario

2. Enhancing Public Involvement – Somerville, MA

  • Too much surface parking; neighborhood needed to grow, but not up
  • Davis Square Streetscape Plan (2012)
  • People didn’t want change; showed up at the meeting in protest
  • Go test the Streetscape Plan into the planning process using tactical urbanism
  • Somerville Design presents 3-day pop-up plaza and make a parking lot into a plaza.
  • Very active space — street performers, musicians.
  • Comment box
  • Space active long into the night. People sitting on the asphalt just hanging out.
  • Brought a lot of people to the table for the planning process.
  • “Make this plaza permanent”
  • People were shown the possibilities
  • City is moving to test out a food truck, tables and chairs and incrementally bring space change about.

3. “Phase 0” Implementation — Penrith, Australia

  • underutilized section of asphalt — street
  • transform the space into a park — not much traffic on that street
  • laid out the process for this to happen; convinced city council to go along with this.
  • City committed $40,000 to try the park idea out and then if successful, would make it permanent
  • workshopped ideas; people into 3 teams with 10,000 to spend; 10,000 left to integrate the 3 teams together
  • Sketched to scale where things would go.
  • Kit of parks — materials to be used — and prices figured out.
  • Space sketched out
  • City excited — and within a month of the workshop, the space was transformed. Fence opened up. Much more welcoming environment.
  • Collaboration across government; an iterative process…
  • Businesses started to put out pots and plants.

This all reminds me of these projects:

What does this have to do with libraries?

  • Search “Library” in Google Images — stereotypes of what people think of libraries. But it’s not what libraries are about. People aren’t understanding the role libraries can place in communities as third places.
  • Salt Lake City Public Library — programming in retail spaces…
  • Open up library spaces
  • Streets and public services
  • “I think of the city not as opposite to the Internet, but as absolutely like it. In a sense, it is the original Internet, the original hyperlink since cities are places in which random connections, rather than linear order, often determines what will happen.” –Paul Goldberger, 2001
  • He’s become aware of projects because of web tools and the Internet
  • “If the city is the original internet, then the library is its server”
  • Tactical information delivery

5 Ideas for Libraries

  1. Embed Tactical Urbanism into information delivery process
  2. pilot test public engagement ideas/tools
  3. focus on placemaking, improve the interface between library, city, and citizen
  4. use existing initiatives + Find Multipliers
  5. Scale Down to Scale Up — start small, make impact, then project further.

Building High-Performing Teams

A Community Grows — Cornell University Library

Jennifer Colt, User Experience Designer, Cornell University Library
Melissa Wallace, Web Designer, Cornell University Library
Mary Beth Martini-Lyons, Co-ordinator of Web Design, Cornell University Library

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what make a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. -Vince Lombardi

Very little crossover between IT & libraries. Very linear processes…..

Old patterns don’t need to determine future behavior….

Robert Johnson, Manager of Information and Technology Services, Emma S. Clark Memorial Library and Suffolk County Library Association

Personal communication missing. No feedback… Perspective, too.

Reality check. Taking deep breath. Stopping and determining priorities.

Team building

  • you are allowed to be wrong
  • you are allowed to be right
  • You should stand up and lead. If you can’t find a leader — it may be you.

Team builders…

  • Recognize the skill set and talents of themselves and their colleagues. Bring in folks from other depts
  • Display confidence and take responsibility for their decisions (right or wrong)
  • Build an external network of people
  • Are ready to take the idea or leadership somewhere else

Ellen Druda, Digital Coordinator, Internet Services, Half Hollow Hills Community Library

Lots of differences between IT staff and librarians (stereotyped, maybe, but there is some truth). We need to work together.

A novel idea! \ IT staff work info desk \ learning on both sides.  #cildc via @dblduchess –@darnlibrarian