A Well Connected Lineup at The Digital Shift

School Library Journal and Library Journal presented The Digital Shift on October 14, our sixth annual virtual conference examining the challenges and opportunities that the digital landscape presents for libraries and their communities. Archived content will be available.
TDS2015_LandingHeaderOn October 14, Library Journal and School Library Journal will present The Digital Shift, their sixth annual virtual conference examining the challenges and opportunities that the ever-changing digital landscape presents for libraries and their communities. This year’s theme, “Libraries Connecting Communities,” will bring together a variety of speakers and panelists to discuss the tools, services, and strategies today’s libraries need to stay connected—to users, students, stakeholders, and each other. Registration is free, and it promises to be an exciting day-long event—check out the presentations and poster sessions, and follow along on Twitter at #TDS15. Below are some sessions of note, and links to some of last year’s highlights.


Opening keynote speaker John Palfrey—head of school at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA; Knight Foundation trustee chair; director of the Data + Society Research Institute; and president of the board of directors of the Digital Public Library of America—will set the stage for a day of rethinking how to connect. His new book BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google (Basic Books) is a call to action for libraries to take a new look at the old ways they network. Denise Jacobs, whose presentation closes the conference, is a speaker, author, and the founder and chief creativity evangelist of The Creative Dose, a creativity and innovation collective. She is also the founder of Rawk the Web, an initiative devoted to increasing diversity in tech. Jacobs, who has been working in web design and development since 1997, is interested in approaches to productivity and flow, and will surely send Digital Shift participants back to their libraries inspired, energized, and ready to connect.


Track One of the conference, Creation, Curation, and Connection offers a range of issues and ideas. Bonnie Tijerina, founder of ER&L (Electronic Resources and Libraries) and a 2010 LJ Mover & Shaker, moderates Always Watched: How being surveilled online impacts us all and what librarians can do about it, a panel discussion about surveillance and privacy in the library—what librarians need to know, and how they can help patrons navigate a brave new information world. Innovation abounds as well: The librarians at a private school in Maine discuss Berwick Academy’s Innovation Center: how they transformed a Pre-K­–12 library into a state-of-the-art learning center and ways in which other schools could follow their model. In the Minecraft is Mindcraft session, Connecticut librarians John Blyberg (LJ 2006 Mover & Shaker) and Jaina Shaw talk about their participation in Fairfield County Minecraft Server experiment. And PROGRAMming at the Library, with Arlington Heights, IL, Memorial Library’s Trixie Dantis and Alice Son, looks at the ways that youth library programs can incorporate coding for all, from novice to expert skill levels.


Track Two, Outreach and Engagement, demonstrates tangible ways that libraries can leverage partnerships. In Engaging and Empowering Parents as Teachers two Oak Park, IL, librarians—Anne Bensfield, children’s services librarian at the Oak Park Public Library, and Kathryn Rolfes, teacher librarian at Horace Mann Elementary School, talk about their collaboration on a Tech Night parent workshop. Kyle Denlinger (LJ 2014 Mover & Shaker), eLearning librarian at Wake Forest University, and Rebecca Hyman, reference and outreach librarian at the State Library of North Carolina’s Government and Heritage Library, discuss partnering on RootsMOOC: Cultivating Collaboration, Learning, and Opportunity in a Massive Open Online Genealogy Course—an IMLS grant–funded project that enrolled more than 3,800 learners. Communications can happen on all kinds of platforms, including Google Hangouts, and in You’re On Air! Using Google Hangouts to Connect Libraries and Librarians, librarians Barbara Alvarez and Gwyneth Stupar of the Barrington Area Library, IL, explain how they turned a hangout into a conference venue. Janessa Hall, who has maintained a strong social media presence for the Ferguson Municipal Library, MO—LJ’s 2015 Library of the Year—talks about Community Empowerment in Times of Crisis.


Track Three, Fast Learning, offers ten-minute presentations on a variety of tech topics. These include Tablet Engaged Active Minds, which describes programming for seniors with memory loss; Delivering Library Content to Airport Travelers, on the partnership forged by San Antonio Public Library’s Ignacio Albarracin (LJ 2015 Mover & Shaker) to supply two digital kiosks at the San Antonio International Airport; and the story of the partnership between Arizona State University (ASU) Libraries, the ASU American Indian Studies Department, and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation on Digitization, Access, and Context for Carlos Montezuma’s Wassaja Newsletter. There will also be looks at gamification (Global Library Games Across Land and Sea); digital signage (Whizz! Bang! Pow!); and Using the School Library as a Platform for Civic Engagement. EBSCO will present on its platform PlumX and Institutional Repository (IR): Integration and Impact at Georgia Southern University, and OverDrive on Rockingham County Schools: Using OverDrive to Share Resources District Wide. In addition to the wide range of speakers and panels, Poster Sessions on Demand will be available from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. These presentations from Digital Shift Platinum and Gold Sponsors offer a collection of information on products, services, and solutions.


Last year’s event (#TDS14), with the theme “Libraries at the Center,” provided a wealth of inspiration from some of the most forward-thinking minds in the profession. Some high points included keynoter Anil Dash—blogger, entrepreneur, and cofounder and CEO of ThinkUp—who rallied librarians to demand a web for the people. Kelvin Watson, then VP of digital strategy and services and recently promoted to chief innovation and technology officer for the Queens Library, NY, described how after superstorm Sandy, the library system managed to turn a generous corporate donation into an innovative new platform for tablet computers, enabling a tech lending program that has since continued to grow. There was plenty for educators, too. Two Pasadena (CA) Public Library youth services librarians, Jennifer Driscoll and Ann Marie Hurtado, supplied an abundance of programming directions and tips during their exhibit, Appvisory: Curating and Providing Access to Educational Apps in the Children’s Library. In a tag-team presentation about connected learning, academics Nicole Mirra and Antero Garcia described civic engagement, social responsibility, citizenship, and shared purpose as key components to this approach to education. Their talk, Creating a Collective Culture of Education: Classroom/Library Partnerships that Support Students’ Academic and Civic Learning, emphasized that relationships among people, not the “shiny digital devices” that enhance their communication, are at the heart of this concept. Check out the TDS14 archives, where you can read the full articles about these and other presentations.

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