Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)

Geoffrey Morse, Editor

We at the Emerging Technologies Section send our thanks to all our hard-working committee members, committee chairs, and those in elected positions who produced a great slate of programming for 2015-2016.

We’re looking forward to the coming year! Questions or suggestions? Interested in being involved? Contact our Chair, Courtney McDonald (crgreene@indiana.edu), Vice-Chair, Beth Boatright (beth.boatright@ipfw.edu) or Past Chair, Donna Scanlon (dscanlon@loc.gov).

Those who wish to be considered for a committee appointment can feel free to fill out the RUSA online volunteer form anytime; the appointment process for 2017-2018 will kick off in spring, but you can toss your hat in the ring anytime.


This year we recognized Beth Boatright with the 2016 ETS Achievement Recognition Award.  This award is given annually to recognize excellence in service to ETS.  Beth has been an active member of ETS for some time, she is a RUSA Emerging Leader, and this year she was on our panel for the program Emerging Technologies Librarians: Changing Roles for Changing Times.  Congratulations Beth!

Programs at ALA

ETS sponsored a number or programs in Orlando including:

Emerging Technologies Librarians: Changing Roles for Changing Times [Conference attendees, log in for session materials]
About 60 people attended this session where Beth Boatright (Emerging Technologies Librarian and Business Librarian, Indiana University- Purdue University, Fort Wayne),  Tara Radniecki (Engineering Librarian at University of Nevada, Reno, and author of the IFLA Study on Emerging Technology librarian roles)  and Jane Martin (Library Director, Winterhaven Public Library and their SEEDLab with a focus on  Science, Education, Exploration and Design) discussed how they stay abreast of the latest trends and new technologies.  The three speakers and ETS member Matt Terrence arranged interactive questionnaires that allowed active audience participation in the session.

Promoting Subject Specialists and Enhancing Visibility of Library Reference [Conference attendees, log in for session materials]
Over 90 people attended this session where librarians from several institutions discussed their library liaison programs and how they have enhanced visibility of their subject librarians as well as provide liaison and reference services to their constituencies. Additionally the presenters discussed how they are assessing these efforts.

Socially Acceptable: Communicating with Users Through Social Media Networks
The Hot Topics discussion group went back to their roots in this session.  Rather than having presenters, the attendees broke into groups and discussed the possible uses of various social media outlets (e.g., Yik Yak/Twitter, MeetUP) and how they might be used to communicate with our users/patrons.  After brief discussions each group reported back to the larger group.

Fact or Fiction: What Virtual Reference Training Works and What Holds Promise
Six discussion leaders provided an overview of virtual reference training that is conducted at their respective institutions. Information included who is trained, how training is conducted, and difficulties or successes that have been observed. Participants were also given the opportunity to share their own experiences and ask questions of speakers and fellow attendees.

The Library as Publisher: Emerging Service for Storytellers and Scholars [Conference attendees, log in for session materials]
On Saturday, two library innovators and RUSA’s team of Emerging Leaders shared about the projects, technologies, and resources for helping support patron publishing. The session was based on research done by the 2015 RUSA Emerging Leader team, available at bit.ly/RUSAEL15.

  • Jonah Magar discussed Michigan State University’s Espresso Book Machine, which allows for on-demand book printing. They offer design and other assistance, and the service is popular with authors and students. A grant covered the cost of the machine, the university pays for the staff, and materials costs are passed along to the patrons.
  • Sarah Lydon described the Rochester Public Library’s outreach to immigrant populations through a collaboration with StoryCorps. Equipped with recording equipment and interview prompts, Sarah gave visitors the opportunity to interview friends and relatives, recording and sharing their stories.  The program was extremely popular and led to a recurring series in the local newspaper. A portion of one touching interview can be heard in the audio of this session.

Audio and slides from the session are available in the ALA Scheduler – look for the “Assets” button. If you’d be interested in joining an interest group about library publishing services, please be in touch! If there is enough interest, we will try to get something started.

Happy Hour

Twenty one people attended the RSS/ETS happy hour in Orlando. All who attended enjoyed good conversation and the opportunity to meet other members of RSS and ETS.