Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)

Chanitra Bishop, Editor

Upcoming programs & spirited discussion forums from the Emerging Technologies section!
The Emerging Technologies Section (ETS) is happy to be part of the inaugural “Deep Dive” sessions planned for the midwinter conference in Boston. The session “We are all user experience librarians: Creating change from the trenches” is co-sponsored by ETS’ UX Design committee, ETS’ Professional Development committee, and RSS’ Education and Professional Development for Reference Committee. The workshop will be a mix of discussion, individual presentations, panel presentations, and interactive experiences. The workshop will focus on user testing and understanding your users and will be beneficial for participants with no or limited experience in user testing and with limited budgets.

[EVENT CODE: DIVE4 – Saturday, January 9th 1:00 – 4:15pm. For information about how to register for this ticketed event see http://2016.alamidwinter.org/ticketedevents”]

ETS committees are hosting some spirited discussions:

Optimizing the web for reference: Best practices for usability, accessibility, and responsiveness
User-friendliness of library services is an important consideration in the development of a library’s web presence. As the format and delivery of reference continue to change to accommodate user expectations and behavior, the library’s home page has become an extension of the institution’s in-person public services. In addition, an increase in distance education courses and online programs has contributed to the fact that a large number of users experience the library almost exclusively online. This poses questions regarding the usability, accessibility, and responsiveness of web reference services.

In this discussion group, we will feature panelists from institutions which have innovated their approach to web reference (email, chat, FAQs, etc.) and/or conducted usability studies on how their users get answers through their library’s web portal. The audience will benefit by: 1. an overview of current trends regarding reference services on the web, such as user-responsive chat, and new developments in accessibility; 2. a review of the literature regarding best practices for conducting web usability of library service pages; 3. Case studies and tips from panelists. This discussion is hosted by the Management of Electronic Reference Services (MERS) Committee of the Emerging Technologies Section (ETS) of RUSA. [Saturday, January 9th 1:00 – 2:30pm, BCEC (Convention Center) 258B]

Pay No Attention to the Librarian Behind the Curtain: Virtual Reference and Privacy in Libraries
Join the ETS Hot Topics Discussion group for an exploration of virtual reference and the role of privacy. While chat services give patrons another layer of anonymity, libraries are still exploring new ways to ensure their patrons’ privacy. Anonymous Internet browsing through TOR is at the forefront of the Library Freedom Project, but what does that mean for your library? Join us to discuss how digital tools promote and protect patron privacy with guest speaker Alison Macrina from the Library Freedom Project. [Sunday, January 10th 1:00 – 2:30pm, SEAPORT Plaza Ballroom C]

Transitions from traditional OPACs to discovery systems: how has this had impact on use and instruction – This session will provide the opportunity to discuss both advantages and drawbacks to working with a discovery system as opposed to a traditional OPAC and the impact discovery systems have had on instruction and research. [Sunday, January 10th 3:00 – 4:00pm, BCEC (Convention Center) 205B]