Pictures for Presentations

Pinterest in Libraries

Like many of you I have been experimenting with Pinterest. I like looking at the pictures that you’re all sharing, but how can it help me in my work? I started a group (send me your username if you want an invite to post to it) called Pictures for Presentations where we can share pictures to make our presentations more interesting. I used this group when I created my slides for Training on Koha for KohaCon12 and I think it worked out pretty well. The focus was on me and what I was saying instead of having everyone reading the slides behind me (which can be boring).

Let me know if you want to share pictures for presentations via the comments or any of the other social networks I’m on.

What should I be reading?

I’m sure (if anyone is still reading this site) that you’ve noticed that I haven’t been writing recently. I had a rough patch there for a couple years with my health and surgeries and writing a book and traveling all over the world … but things are finally settled and I’m ready to get back in to the swing of things!

My hip replacement in September was the best thing I could have done! I’m without pain and able to act my age finally! After that I was promoted at work which has allowed me to cut down on travel. And finally, a couple weeks ago I sent the final edited version of the galley for The Accidental Systems Librarian 2d to Information Today.

So, now I must admit that I am a bit out of touch and need help from you all to know what blogs I should be subscribed to. What should I be reading on the web to keep up with current technology and technology issues in libraries? Share your favorites with me in the comments. I have cleared out my Google Reader and am ready to start repopulating it.

Learn about Open Source from Me and Infopeople

Open Source Logo

I will be teaching a course for Infopeople in May all about open source software in libraries!

With the growing popularity of applications like Koha, Evergreen, Open Office, and Ubuntu, the library community is abuzz about open source software. Open source usually refers to an application whose source code is made available for use, change, or improvement in a public, collaborative manner. More than just programming, open source is about following a philosophy of free distribution and access. The open source world and the library world live by the same principles.

  • What does open source mean to you and your library? The benefits are immediately evident:
  • More flexibility and freedom than using software purchased with license restrictions
  • More affordable options than other alternatives on the market
  • The ability to provide exceptional service with ever-decreasing budgets

This course will introduce you to what open source is, how easy it is to implement, and how to evaluate open source software options. You’ll be able to separate the facts from misconceptions and come away with a toolbox of over 60 open source applications that you can start using right away at your library.

Register soon to learn all about how you can use open source in your library.

Free Open Source Webinars

I am teaching the following workshops for ByWater Solutions and you’re all welcome to join in – for FREE!

Open Source in Libraries: Freedom and Community

Librarians have adopted a culture of helplessness and workarounds when it comes to our software. Open source software is a way to get freed from these chains. But open source is about more than just software, it’s about community and a philosophy of freedom. This session will give librarians the facts about open source software by introducing them to what open source is and what it means for libraries.

Join us online for one of our first two lessons (space is limited so register early).

February 16, 2012 at 10am-11:30am EST
Register Online:

March 13, 2012 at 2pm-3:30pm EST
Register Online:

Read the full press release.

Looking for Excellent Library Support Stories

I found this call for participation that I thought would be of interest to many of you. Please share your excellent training stories so that others can learn from what you’ve done.

We are looking for higher education libraries, particularly in the US, UK and in Scandinavia, which are delivering exceptionally good and/or innovative support services to research and teaching staff.

If you think your academic library is doing well in supporting research and teaching faculty, we want to hear from you! Your library could be featured as an example of good practice helping the academic library community

  • to promote and develop novels ways to strengthen its relations with academic departments;
  • to enhance the marketing and profiling of library services for this constituency;
  • to maximise its value to research and teaching staff; and
  • to demonstrate that value within and beyond the institution.

If you would like to be considered as one of our eight case studies, to be undertaken during January to March 2012, or would like more information, please contact us.

WordPress CE at SLA2011

This year at SLA I’ll be teaching librarians how to use WordPress (an open source content management system). If you’re in the Philadelphia area and/or attending SLA this year, consider joining me for “Designing Library Websites with WordPress.”

Date: Saturday, 11 June 2011
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Level: Introductory
Instructor: Nicole Engard

Description: Content management systems are making it easy for libraries to create their own websites with little or no web programming skills. Of the three popular open source content management systems, WordPress has become extremely popular in libraries. This workshop will walk librarians through the basics of using WordPress as a content management system. Attendees will learn how to use WordPress to design their complete website, from the pages to the events calendar to the optional blog. Each student will have their own WordPress install set up on the instructor’s servers before the workshop and will continue to have access to it for at least a month after the conference. Attendees will need to bring a laptop to use during the session.

Note: This workshop is appropriate for any SLA webmaster who will be participating in Operation Vitality and is unfamiliar with WordPress.

This CE is cosponsored by the IT Division of SLA.

Ticket Information:

  • SLA Member: $199.00
  • SLA Student Member: $99.00
  • Non-Member: $299.00

Register at

If you are already registered for the conference, you can modify your registration to add CEs. You may register for a continuing education workshop without registering for the entire conference.

Open Source Web Conferencing Options

One open source tool that I use regularly is DimDim. It was the application we used at work and through the SLA for hosting web based meetings. Recently it was announced that DimDim is being sold and when you look at their SourceForge page you see that they haven’t released a new open source version since 2009. So the question becomes, “now what?”

I did some searching today to see what options were out there. There is still WebHuddle which I knew about already but didn’t like as much as DimDim and then there’s a tool I didn’t know about until today – BigBlueButton.

From their site:

BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system built on over fourteen open source components to create an integrated solution that runs on mac, unix, or PC computers. In the true sense of open source, we invite you to try out and participate in our project.

Sounds like the perfect alternative!! It doesn’t look like there is a hosted option, so you’d have to install it on your own web servers, but once you do that you have an open source web conferencing application which will allow you to share your screen, slides, video (webcam), text chat and voice over ip. I’m going to look further into BigBlueButton, but I thought I’d mention it to you all in case anyone else was out there searching like I was.

Learn Open Source in a Day Long Camp

In March I’m doing a day long camp for NyLink on open source software in libraries. If you’re in the area make sure you sign up because space is limited.

The library community is abuzz about open source software. Open source usually refers to an application whose source code is made available for use or modification as users see fit. Make sense? Probably not! Would it help if you knew that open source is not just about programming, but about following a philosophy?

Still confused? Not surprising. What will open source mean to our libraries? More flexibility and freedom than software purchased with license restrictions. This is an important path for libraries to consider. Why open source? Because both the open source community and the library world live by the same rules and principles.

In this one-day camp, Nicole Engard will give you the facts and dispel myths about open source. After an intro to open source, attendees will share their stories and experiences. Nicole will be on hand to answer questions; show possible tools and how libraries are using them; and to facilitate the day. Bring your laptops to experiment and try out new technologies!


  • Define open source and be able to answer basic questions the nature of open source and its uses

  • List open source applications for the library, home and office
  • Compare open source applications to traditional proprietary options
  • Discuss examples & experiences from other libraries

Available Classes

  • A 1 day(s) Conference at Nylink 3rd fl. Training Facility Rm. on: 03/08 (9:00 AM-4:00 PM ET)

I hope to see some of you there!!

Two Preconferences at CIL2011

The program is out and I’ll be giving two pre-conference sessions at Computers in Libraries 2011 in Washington, D.C. Make sure you register early!!

  • W7 – Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data
    Sunday, March 20, 2011 :: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Nicole C. Engard, Director of Open Source Education, ByWater Solutions
    Brian Herzog, Head of Reference, Chelmsford Public Library

    This workshop explains what mashups are, how they can be used, and shares examples from libraries around the world. In the first half of this workshop, attendees will learn about some of the tools they can use to mash up library data with content from the web to reach more patrons. Examples include using maps to enhance library data, using Flickr for digital collections, and creating library websites with data from several information sources. After learning the basics and seeing examples from other libraries around the world, attendees will have a chance to create a website pulling data from several sources on the web. After attending this talk, librarians will be able to define what a mashup is and identify mashups on library sites and the web; find tools and APIs to gather data for their own library sites; and pull data from other sites into a website

  • W15 – Practical Open Source Software for Libraries
    Sunday, March 20, 2011 :: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
    Nicole C. Engard, Director of Open Source Education, ByWater Solutions

    The commonly accepted definition of open source software is software that is distributed with human readable source code in order to allow the user freedom to run, review, alter, enhance, and modify the code for any purpose. But open source is about so much more than just the code behind the software, it’s about community, collaboration, and innovation. The library community is abuzz about open source software, but many librarians have no idea what open source software actually is or what it means to use the software and participate in the community around open source. This workshop provides the 101 for using open sources in libraries: What will open source mean to our libraries? Why would I choose source? How do I get started? Do I need more staff? Will the transition be hard? Are there open source applications for my library? Engard provides facts, dispels myths, emphasizes what open source means for libraries, and shares a toolbox of at least 50 freely available open source products to use in your library. Includes demos, discussions, and more.

Registration is available online at

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