The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) is offering
three different preconference workshops at ALA Midwinter plus a three-week
web course on geographic information system (GIS) that starts Jan. 12,
Here’s the lineup of LITA preconference workshops at ALA Midwinter 2015:
From Lost to Found: How User Testing Can Improve the User Experience of
Your Library Website
Instructors: Kate Lawrence, EBSCO Information Services; Deirdre Costello,
EBSCO Information Services; Robert Newell, University of Houston
When two user researchers from EBSCO set out to study the digital lives of
college students, they had no idea the surprises in store for them. The
online behaviors of “digital natives” were fascinating: from students
using Google to find their library’s website, to which research terms and
phrases students consider another language altogether: “library-ese.”
Attendees of this workshop will learn how to conduct usability testing and
participate in a live testing exercise via usertesting.com. Participants
will leave the session with the knowledge and confidence to conduct user
testing that will yield actionable and meaningful insights about their
Developing Mobile Apps to Support Field Research
Instructor: Wayne Johnston, University of Guelph Library
Researchers in most disciplines do some form of field research. Too often
they collect data on paper, which is not only inefficient but vulnerable
to data loss. Surveys and other data collection instruments can easily be
created as mobile apps with the resulting data stored on the campus server
and immediately available for analysis. The apps also enable added
functionality like improved data validity through use of authority files
and capturing GPS coordinates. This support to field research represents a
new way for academic libraries to connect with researchers within the
context of a broader research data management strategy.
Introduction to Practical Programming
Instructor: Elizabeth Wickes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This workshop will introduce foundational programming skills using the
Python programming language. There will be three sections to this
workshop: a brief historical review of computing and programming languages
(with a focus on where Python fits in), hands-on practice with
installation and the basics of the language, followed by a review of
information resources essential for computing education and reference.
This workshop will prepare participants to write their own programs, jump
into programming education materials, and provide essential experience and
background for the evaluation of computing reference materials and library
program development. Participants from all backgrounds with no programming
experience are encouraged to attend.
For more information about Midwinter Workshops, go to:
All workshops will be held on Friday, January 30, 2015, from 8:30-4:00 at
McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
The cost of each workshop is $235 for LITA members, $350 for ALA members,
and $380 for non-ALA members.
LITA members should use the promotional code LITA2015 during online
registration to receive the member discount.
If you haven’t registered for ALA Midwinter yet, start the registration
process at the ALA conference website: http://alamw15.ala.org.
If you’ve already registered for Midwinter, you can add a workshop
(Ticketed Event) using the unique link in your email confirmation.
Please contact the LITA Office, http://www.ala.org/lita/about/contact, if
you have any registration questions.
Getting Started with GIS is a three-week online course modeled on Eva
Dodsworth’s LITA Guide of the same name. The course provides an
introduction to GIS (Geographic Information System) technology and library
uses of GIS. Through hands-on exercises, discussions, and recorded
lectures, students will acquire skills in using GIS software programs,
social mapping tools, map making, digitizing, and researching for
geospatial data. The course provides introductory GIS skills that will
prove beneficial in any library or information resource position.
Instructor: Eva Dodsworth, the Geospatial Data Services Librarian at the
University of Waterloo and an online part-time GIS instructor at a number
of library school programs in North America.
The course runs January 12 – February 9, 2015, with asynchronous weekly
lectures, tutorials, assignments, and group discussion. There will be one
80-minute lecture to view each week, along with two tutorials and one
assignment that will take 1-3 hours to complete, depending on the student.
Moodle login info will be sent to registrants the week prior to the start
Web course costs: LITA member $135, ALA member $195, non-member $260.
Register online, page arranged by session date (login required)
No previous mapping or GIS experience is necessary. Some of the mapping
applications covered include:
• Introduction to Cartography and Map Making
• Online Maps
• Google Earth
• KML and GIS files
• ArcGIS Online and Story Mapping
• Brief introduction to desktop GIS software
For questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312)
280-4268 or Mark Beatty, [log in to unmask]
Programs and Marketing Specialist
50 East Huron
Chicago, IL 60611
[log in to unmask]