Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Next Series Starts in Spring 2010

We plan on running the next Library Open Solutions Webinars series in Spring of 2010. We will once again concentrate on Open Source and other technical approaches that integrate into open technical environments to solve library problems in cost and staff effective ways.
So please save the dates:
March 11
March 18
April 1
April 8
April 15
April 22
Those are all Thursdays and the sessions will occur in the afternoons at 2:00 - 3:00pm Central Time.

In the past we've had great speakers cover topics such as: SOPAC, Bitnami sandboxes, WordPress as a CMS, Mobile Applications, Library Thing for Libraries and Library toolbars.

We of course have ideas on what we'd like to offer this coming spring, and are actively using the suggestions you gave us in the series evaluations.

But we want to also take this opportunity to hear from you, our attendees, what topics or speakers would you like to hear about in the upcoming webinar series. Simply zip me an email, Mark Beatty
mbeatty@wils.wisc.edu , or comment to this post. Speak up now to let us know what you want.

As the Spring 2010 series develops we'll stay in touch.

Thanks and later,


Monday, May 4, 2009

Take Our Spring Series Survey

If you attended any of the Spring series webinars, or if you want to submit your ideas for future webinars, then please take our survey.

Library Open Solutions Webinars Survey Spring 2009


Monday, April 13, 2009

Library Toolbars with Jen Holman and Anne Zarinnia

Thursday April 16th, 2009, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, Central Time

Join us for this sure to be interesting last session in this Spring 2009 series of Webinars.

Browser integrated library toolbars enable users to access library data and services from anywhere on the web. We’ll explain why you might want to try a toolbar, show features of two different toolbars - LibX and Conduit - and show you how to create your own toolbar.

Information on LibX can be found at:

Information on Conduit can be found at:

Jen Holman is Periodicals Librarian at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Murphy Library. She currently serves as the library’s web team leader and enjoys learning about and developing new tools that expand the reach of library services.

Anne Zarinnia is an Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She teaches Reference, Cataloging, Virtual Libraries and Advanced Design, and looks for strategies to engage students with information.

Register now for this latest webinar that's sure to be a lively and interesting session. Go to:

The recordings of the Fall 2008 series and this current Spring 2009 series are still available and can be registered for and viewed by you and your institution colleagues at any time up to a year after the session date. See the series blog for information on past webinars by speakers such as:
John Blyberg, Mark Beatty, Karen Coombs, Cindy Cunningham, Jenny Schmidt, Ingrid Lebolt, Jen Holman, Anne Zarinnia, Casey Bisson, Evette Atkin, Cary Gordon, Tasha Saecker, Darci Hanning, and Katie Rose

When you've got a need for that library technology fix over the summer, why not come to Madison for the Shorts and Hawaiian Shirt conference: WiLSWorld. Beer, Brats and WiFI, by the UW-Madison Union Terrace, by the Lake. Featuring keynoters Joan Frye Williams and Karen Schneider. We'll run our next webinar series in Fall 2009. Look for announcements about all these events and check the WiLS web site at:

Monday, April 6, 2009

LibraryThing for Libraries with Jenny Schmidt and Ingrid Lebolt

Thursday April 9th, 2009, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, Central Time

LibraryThing for Libraries (LTFL) is a for-fee service that allows libraries to enrich their web catalogs with 2.0 features using data from the public LibraryThing database of 30 million records. We'll explain how LTFL works and detail the process of implementing LTFL features into your library's catalog (Web Opac). LTFL features work with all major ILS vendors including some open source products. Implementation requires little technical know-how and the result is a more user-friendly catalog experience for patrons. Learn more about adding tags, recommendations, reviews, and ratings for print materials in your catalog. We'll also touch on some newer features available from LTFL including book covers and blog widgets.

Information on LibraryThing for Libraries can be found at:

Jenny Schmidt works as the Staff Support Librarian for the SWITCH Library Consortium office located within the Cardinal Stritch University library in Milwaukee (WI). SWITCH, a consortium of eight academic libraries,
operates an integrated library automation system with a shared catalog, oversees an inter-campus delivery service, and provides staff training for its members.

Ingrid Lebolt is the User Advocate at Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Illinois. Ingrid Lebolt’s Specialties include Video blogging to enhance website content and LibraryThing for Libraries implementation.

Register now for this latest webinar that's sure to be a lively and interesting session. Go to:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

See LTFL in Action

List of LTFL Members
* 109 libraries have 'catalog' package implemented
* 25 libs have the 'review' package installed

Some libs implement both packages and hand pick which features they want (up to 6 total). Academic libraries may not be as into reviews and ratings as public libs (but not necessarily).

A couple to look at:
Seattle PL (Horizon)
Includes catalog features and ratings/reviews. There are two ways to access the reviews on the left.. one consists of a neat-o red/black image.

NOTE: For the most part, LTFL features keep patrons in your catalog or, in the case of tags and the "similar books" feature, patrons are linked to other titles in your own catalog. However, some libraries set up their reviews to go back to the LibraryThing site. (See the above Seattle PL example with the LT chiclet image near the bottom left).

Mount Laurel (Horizon)
Includes Reviews, Rating and Catalog features
NOTE: Some libraries let anyone create an account and add ratings/reviews..others allow only library patrons to add reviews/ratings. Reviews also come from LT members. Those coming from patrons/public via the catalog are monitored by library staff before they go up.

SWITCH Library Consortium Catalog (Innovative)
Includes catalog features and limited book covers

How LTFL Works

What do you get as a LTFL member?
LTFL offers two enhancement packages (Catalog and Reviews) with different installations. The Reviews package came out more recently at the end of 2008.

LTFL Configuration involves two parts
PART 1. THINGS DONE ONCE (get an account, read installation wiki page for your ILS, turn on/configure 2.0 features in LTFL, add small amount of code to your catalog/html page).

PART 2. PERIODICALLY UPLOAD RECORDS TO LTFL & CHECK STATS. To maintain the features in your catalog, you'll need to periodically export catalog records with a 10 or 13 ISBN from your ILS and upload them as a batch (text files) to your LTFL results.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mobile Applications

Thursday April 2nd, 2009, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, Central Time

At this webinar we'll be talking about libraries and mobile, why it's important, why OCLC decided to explore a mobile option. Cindy will touch on some other mobile efforts by other libraries, too. It seems fitting for OCLC's role to figure out a solution that benefits all libraries by putting WC.org online. Cindy will talk about how the pilot has gone, what they've learned--going mobile is ALOT more than just getting the information onto a small screen!--and where they're going next.

Information on Worldcat Mobile can be found at:

Cindy Cunningham, Director of Partner Programs for OCLC since January 2007, works with non-library companies and entities to develop partnerships that benefit the OCLC cooperative. Before that she worked for Corbis.com, Amazon.com, and at the University of Washington Libraries, Kitsap Regional Library and at the Library of Congress. She lives in Seattle, WA.

Monday, March 23, 2009

WordPress as a CMS

Thursday March 26th, 2009, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, Central Time

Download the slides as a PDF here

Karen A. Coombs serves as the Head of Web Services at the University of Houston Libraries. Her duties include development and maintenance of the libraries’ web site and virtual presence for 35,000 plus students, faculty and staff. She has presented at many national conferences including ALA Annual, LITA Forum, and Internet Librarian; she has written articles for Computers in Libraries, Library Journal, Library Hi Tech, and Journal of Academic Librarianship. With Jason Griffey , she is the co-author of the book Library Blogging. She is past-chair of the LITA Special Interest Group for Blogs, Wikis and interactive media, a member of the LITA Top Technology Trends panel, and the author of the Library Web Chic weblog.

Do you have a small library or association website that needs to be managed and most of your content contributors know little or no HTML? Think a full fledged content management system like Joomla or Drupal is too much to take on? Then Wordpress as a CMS might be for you.

Wordpress is on open source blogging tool, used by libraries, associations and other organizations to run their blogs. However, it also includes functionality such as Pages, Links, and Media Management, which make it capable of supporting small to mid-sized websites. By adding plugins, Wordpress can be extended to support the content on most library websites:
  • News
  • Events
  • Database Lists
  • Book Reviews
Unlike many CMSs, Wordpress has a low learning curve, which enables library staff to easily contribute and maintain contente. Additionally, extending its functionality via plugins is simple. Come to this session and learn the tools, tips and tricks to creating a library website using Wordpress.

Relevant Resources:

  • http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/
  • http://www.templatesbrowser.com/wordpress-themes
Libraries Using Wordpress as a CMS

Monday, March 16, 2009

BitNami Sandboxes with Mark Beatty

Thursday March 19th, 2009, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, Central Time

So you want to try out an open source system like Drupal or WordPress, but don't know where to start and you're worried both about your level of technical knowledge as well as what might happen to anything else running on your network and PC? BitNami Stacks to the rescue!
What is a BitNami Stack?


A BitNami Stack is an easy to install package of software that includes everything you need to run the primary application. BitNami Stacks are completely self-contained and they won't interfere with any other software installed on your system, so everything you're already running will continue to work normally. BitNami stacks are easy to install, multiplatform, and open source. BitNami makes installing wikis, blogs, CRM systems a simple and enjoyable process. Popular stacks include: Drupal, Joomla, MediaWiki, WordPress, Coppermine, and Moodle as well as many others.

Mark Beatty knows next to nothing about Linux or PHP or even MySQL and still managed to create useful sandboxes for WiLS to try out Drupal and WordPress. If he can do, you can bet you can too. When Mark is not pretending to know what he's doing with open source solutions he's busy training librarians on how to do new things and wrangling the virtual reference consortium, AskAway. Some how or other enough folks voted for him to be a recent President of LITA, go figure.

Register now for this sure to be lively and interesting session. Go to:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Social OPAC with John Blyberg

Thursday March 12th, 2009, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, Central Time

John Blyberg is the Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience at theDarien Library in Connecticut. He was formerly the System Administrator and Lead Developer for the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) in Michigan. John was named a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker,” took first prize in Talis’ “Mashing-up the Library” competition, and speaks nationally and internationally about libraries, user experience, innovation, and technology. He has written for Library Journal, American Libraries, and several other trade journals and has contributed chapters to several published books. He also blogs at:


SOPAC (Social Online Public Access Catalog) is a next-generation catalog system as a Drupal module that provides true integration of your library catalog system with the power of the Drupal content management system while allowing users to tag, rate, and review your holdings. User input is then incorporated into the discovery index so that SOPAC becomes a truly community-driven catalog system. Other features include:

• Faceted browsing
• Ajax-empowered interface with native jQuery support
• 100% customizable interface via the Drupal template system
• Ability to remove search limiters
• Saved searches
• Integrated renewals, holds placement, and fine payment
• Ability to customize the user experience via the administrative control panel
• Ability to create custom functionality via a Drupal sub-module


Register now for this sure to be lively and interesting session. Go to:


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring Series Kicks Off

New Spring Series, New Name
We've just about finalized the line up for upcoming Spring 2009 series of Webinars. We also have a new series name. We think it better reflects the range of topics we cover in our webinars. The new name is:
Library Open Solutions Webinars

Sign up now, mark your calendars and pick your favorite topics for this series of weekly webinars offering fun and informative stuff good for libraries. Here's the line-up that's filling out with more great speakers everyday:

3/12 SOPAC - John Blyberg
3/19 Creating Open Source Sandboxes with BitNami - Mark Beatty
3/26 Wordpress as a CMS - Karen Coombs
4/2 Mobile Applications for Libraries - Cindy Cunningham
4/9 LibraryThing for Libraries - Jenny Schmidt and Ingrid Lebolt
4/16 Library Toolbars - Jen Holman and Anne Zarinnia
all sessions are Thursdays, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Central Time

Register now for individual webinars at $25 each, or for the whole series at the bargain rate of $100 for 6, at:

You can keep up on the latest series information and comments from speakers at our series blog:


Library Open Source Webinars Registration and Attendance Details

Each one hour Webinar will present about 45 minutes of content including live web demonstrations, leaving some time in the hour for questions and discussions. Participants use an internet enabled computer to view the content and a phone line to hear and talk. Long distance is via an 800 number. Speaker phones with mute buttons are a good thing for groups.

Register for individual webinars, $25 each, or for the whole series, at the bargain rate of $100 for 6, at:
Upon registration you will receive an email with the log in information for your selected session(s), as well as log in information to access the webinar recordings. Recordings will be available for up at a year and can be registered for and viewed the same as the live sessions.

Registration fees are per site. This approach allows us to share the programming across more participants using fewer "lines". Registrants from the same library site should plan on sharing and using a single log in line saving your library money and saving WiLS resources to provide the Webinars to more libraries. Your log in allows you to share the webinar by "crowding around a PC" or projecting to a screen for a group. It also allows you to share the recording log on at your site. Again speaker phones with mute buttons are a very good thing for groups.

If you have any questions about the Webinar series don't hesitate to contact me at:
mbeatty@wils.wisc.edu, or phone 608.265.5179

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Spring Series, New Name

We've just about finalized the line up for upcoming Spring 2009 series of Webinars. You might have also noticed that we have a new series name.  We hope it better reflects the range of topics we covered in our webinars.  The new name is:

We think we've put together quite a good series and hope you'll enjoy them too.  See the initial line up in the block on the left. The deal is the same as last fall.  To offset expenses for the webinar system we are charging $25 per registration. Single registrations can be used for a whole library, as long as you view the session together using one web connection and one phone connection.  This is in large part a way of allowing us to provide webinars to more people using less webinar resources.  If you want to project it and use a speaker phone we think that's a good idea and the shared experience with your colleagues will make the webinars even better. 
In addition each webinar registration gets you access to the recording of that session. Recordings are accessible at any time, for groups or individuals, and will be available for up to a year after the live presentation.  

You can register for individual webinars at $25 each or for the entire series for $100.  That's like getting 2 webinars for free.  You can also register for a recording after the live presentation or for the whole series after it starts and you will receive the codes to access the recordings.

If you have any questions about the webinar series don't hesitate to contact me at:
mbeatty@wils.wisc.edu or phone 608.265.5719