12 Sep 2014

Four librarian webinars in September

Check out the following upcoming webinars. Topics covered include audience research methods to inform website redesign efforts, library self-service software (not limited to self-issuing technology), a talk on 25+ free tech tools in support of patron engagement and digital literacy skills development and, finally, a discussion around the issue of library censorship (banned books).

Redesigning Your Website: Know Your Audience: Five Low-Budget, High-Impact Research Methods
Tuesday, 16th September, 6pm – 6:45pm (GMT) (Provided by Systems Alliance) 
It's critical to make informed decisions about content, navigation, and design when creating or redesigning your website. Through a user-centred design approach, you can better understand who your visitors are, how they perceive your organization, and how they interact with your website.

What do site visitors need? What are the key messages that drive them to take action? What are their abilities and limitations? These questions are best answered by going directly to the source: Your audience.

This webinar will explain how a small investment in audience research can provide the insight you need to improve your visitors’ experience. How can you get to know your audience?

The webinar will cover the following audience research methods:
• User Personas
• Focus Groups and Interviews
• Card Sorts
• Usability Testing
• Surveys

Library Self-Service Software and Devices 
Thursday, 18th September, 7pm – 8pm (GMT) (Provided by the ALA) 
Self-service library technology is everywhere nowadays, from machines that can scan and sort books automatically to self-checkout stations and book vending machines, allowing patrons to access library materials and services without a personal interaction.

This session will discuss how this technology can best serve the library’s users as well as its staff. Our panel of experts will tackle questions such as:
• How can self-service devices and technology most effectively work for you and your library?
• How does this technology change the nature of how you interact with your patrons?
• If you’ve got a limited budget, which type of machines should you look at to meet your needs?

Taming Tech Tools for Libraries 
Thursday, 18th September, 7pm – 8pm (GMT) (Provided by WebJunction) 
Join this webinar to explore a toolbox of 25+ free tech tools that you can use to help your library better serve patron needs and to work smarter. With so many new tech tools popping up everywhere, we are all working on a wild frontier of possibilities. But how do you know which tools are worth “taming” to help you provide better library services? In this webinar, tech-tamer Kieran Hixon will unpack a toolbox of 25+ free tech tools that can help your library better engage with patrons and build digital literacy skills. From completing daily tasks to growing advocacy efforts, these web based tools can help you work smarter.

Banned Books Regional Issues 2014 
Wednesday, 24th September, 5pm – 6pm (GMT) (Provided by the ALA)
In 2013, there were 307 reported requests for books to be removed from America’s libraries, potentially putting those volumes out of reach of students, readers, and learners of all types. While every corner of the map faces unique issues related to library censorship, these issues also catalyze passionate freedom-to-read advocates dedicated to getting these books back on library shelves.

In this one-hour webinar, we will “travel” from London, to South Carolina, to Texas, to California, to talk with three activists about the problems they face and their efforts to un-ban books.
• London, UK: Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, will start us off by discussing issues faced outside of the U.S. and how Index chooses to respond.
• Charleston, South Carolina: We will then travel to Charleston -- where the graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel has been a flashpoint in a university funding controversy -- to hear from Shelia Harrell-Roye, a committee member from Charleston Friends of the Library. With the 2014 Banned Books Week focus on graphic novels, Harrell-Roye will discuss what her group has been doing to support this critically acclaimed book.
• Houston, Texas: From Charleston, we will move to Houston to hear from Tony Diaz, author, radio host, and leader of El Librotraficante. Diaz is a champion for banned books and for ethnic studies textbooks in both Arizona and Texas.

This banned books journey will end in Thousand Oaks, California, where a representative from SAGE (the webinar sponsor) will take your questions for these three defenders of the freedom to read.

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