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Summary, October Core e-Forum, “Regarding Library Database Cleanup”

Thank you all for an engaging start to the “Regarding Database Cleanup” e-Forum. We concluded with 134 messages from 70 contributors!  However, there were issues with the delay in or non-delivery of messages half-way through the first day, so we plan to continue this discussion at a later date, tentatively early-December 2020. Any emails posted to the list are viewable at the list archives: https://lists.ala.org/sympa/info/alcts-eforum The e-forum participants included librarians from public, academic, and special libraries across the United States as well as Canada, Great Britain, Bermuda, Thailand, and Egypt.  Their ILS/LSPs included (in alphabetical order) Aleph, Alma, Auto-Graphics’ Verso, Axiell’s Book-It, BookSystems by Atrium, EOS.web, Evergreen, Horizon, Koha, Polaris, Sierra, Symphony, TLC, Voyager, and WMS.  The most frequently mentioned ILS was Symphony. The most common database errors that our participants mentioned were primarily those identified in bibliographic data: typographical errors, overlaying brief records, handling or removing missing, lost, or…Continue Reading

Summary, September Core e-Forum, “From Reactive to Proactive: Tech Today and Post COVID”

Close-up view of young woman working on her project while drafting her idea on notebook in comfortable workspace

On Day 1, the first question, “What successes or challenges have you experienced with pivoting library services during your COVID response?” garnered quite a bit of response.  Libraries commented about leveraging electronic forms built in Excel to decrease item tracing and handling.  Others commented on using tools such as QR codes on public printers to provide touch-free usage.  There were several remarks related to challenges around supplying equipment needed for staff to work from home, and realigning technology and assets to allow for this.  Of course, stress around the multiple unknowns still weighs heavily on people, and long range projects like facilities construction have been impacted.  Question 2, “What has been your biggest challenge that you solved by applying technology during this time? Is this a new technological solution, or did you expand an existing solution to meet current needs?” resulted in a discussion around challenges with new online meeting…Continue Reading

Gender and Library Technology

This article is from our guest blog contributor, Dr. Sharon Whitfield, Electronic Resources and User Access Librarian at Rider University. Designing library databases and websites that work for diverse populations is essential to ensuring equity in information literacy. Unfortunately, how differing genders interact with online information resources and the possibility of gender biases in their development has received almost no attention in the library technology community. Yet, there is research to support that there are significant gender differences in the use of library technology. Kim (2010) reports that gender differences may cause potential disparity in the benefits of using library website resources. Kim (2010) finds that female library users seek out resources that are easy to use, while male library users seek out resources that allow them to reach their research goal. Taylor and Dalal (2017) report gender differences in information literacy where males are more “confident” in their information…Continue Reading