OLITA Annual General Meeting 2012

OLITA AGM at the Ontario Library Association Superconference 2012

Please join us at the OLITA Annual General Meeting this Friday February 3, 5:15 pm, in room #204 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to meet your new council, your fellow OLITA members and to get down to the serious business of the OLITA AGM:


1. Call to Order and welcome
2. Approval of the Agenda
3. Adoption/approval of Minutes from the last AGM
4. Treasurers Report
5. Annual Report (the year in review, key accomplishments, etc)
6. New Business (i.e. resolutions)
7. Introduction of the new council and year ahead
8. OLITA Award for Technological Innovation
9. Other business

OLITA Award for Technological Innovation 2012

Congratulations to the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL), this year’s winner of the OLITA Award for Technological Innovation for the Scholars GeoPortal project.

Scholars GeoPortal is a geospatial data discovery tool that offers search, preview, and download functionality for a growing selection of datasets licensed by Ontario university libraries, covering such topics as land use, transportation networks, census boundaries, points of interest (such as schools, airports, and golf courses), orthophotography, and more.

The OLITA Award Ceremony and Reception will be held on Friday February 3, 5:15 pm, in room #204 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Please celebrate with us!

OLA Super Conference 2012 Call for Convenors

OLA Super Conference 2012 is quickly approaching, and OLITA is looking for convenors for its program. Convening is a great way to get involved with Super Conference and to meet people with similar interests and experiences. We welcome participation from people in all stages of their careers: from current students to people who may be presenting a session themselves!

The duties of a convenor include the following:

  • Contact the speaker(s) and confirm their AV requirements
  • Draft a short biography of the speaker(s) and use this to introduce the speaker(s) at the session
  • Meet the speaker(s) at the Speakers’ Lounge 15 minutes before the session
  • Get help in the event of technical problems
  • Make sure that, in the case of a panel, all panelists get equal air time
  • Monitor the length of the session for the speaker(s)
  • Pick up evaluation forms at the end of the session

The full list of OLITA sessions is as follows:

314     Thursday     9:05 AM     QR Codes: Linking Virtual and Real Worlds

315     Thursday     9:05 AM     Digital preservation in academic libraries: recent Canadian initiatives

316     Thursday     9:05 AM     Let’s talk security in the digital age!

414     Thursday     10:40 AM   Meet your makers!: maker culture for librarians

415     Thursday     10:40 AM   Making Your Web Site Accessible: AODA Compliance

416     Thursday     10:40 AM   A digital scholarship centre? What is that!?

611     Thursday     3:45 PM     User Needs Assessment & Usability: Planning to Analysis

612     Thursday     3:45 PM     Using Evernote for Personal and Professional Document Management

613     Thursday     3:45 PM     Strategic Social Media Engagement for Libraries

614     Thursday     3:45 PM     Library Architecture Mobile App

1014     Friday        9:05 AM   Bending Parameters: Will a College/Library ILS Partnership work for you?

1015     Friday        9:05 AM   OCUL’s Geospatial Portal In Action

1016     Friday        9:05 AM   Telling Island Stories: Connecting Community Collections

1212     Friday        2:10 PM   Digital Preservation Our Way: OCUL’s Trusted Digital Repository

1213     Friday        2:10 PM   Trends in Academic Content for Mobile Devices

1214     Friday        2:10 PM   Strengthen Internal Communication by Sharepoint Intranet

1215     Friday        2:10 PM   Simplifying Public Computing with Thin Clients & More

1309     Friday       3:45 PM   iDevices At The Northern Ontario School of Medicine

1310     Friday       3:45 PM   Synergies’ Last Mile (for Canadian journals and libraries)

1311     Friday        3:45 PM   Building a Collaborative Open Citation Database and Research Tool

If you are willing to be a convenor, please contact the planners and let us know what sessions you’re interested in. Please note that session convenors do not receive a discount on admission to the Super Conference, but convenors’ names and institutions appear in the final OLA Super Conference program. Thank you for your support!

Steve Marks

Elizabeth Goldman

OLITA Digital Odyssey 2011 Conference Report by Jennifer Borkowski

After attending this year’s Digital Odyssey, the phrase “WWRD, What Would Ranganathan Do?” has sprung to my mind.  Although I don’t expect to see this phrase on a bracelet or bumper sticker anytime soon, I’ll explain my train of thought.

Since their inception in 1931, S. R. Ranganathan’s “Five Laws of Library Science” have comprised the core of library values.

The second law, “Every reader his or her book” proposes that every member of a community should have access to the books or materials they require.  The third law, “Every book its reader” is closely connected to the second, proposing that each library item will have groups of individuals that find its contents useful.

By extension, the overarching concept of this year’s Digital Odyssey could be captured by: “Every reader his or her e-reading device.”  This is because no single device can satisfy the desires of all users, but the iPad, the Kindle, the Sony Reader, Kobo or Nook all boast various features and facilitate accessibility in differing ways.  Regardless of imperfect e-book technology, libraries must continue connecting users with the resources they find useful, thereby upholding the Second and Third Laws of Library and Information Science.

Digital Odyssey made a strong point:  librarians cannot dismiss e-books as a trend.  OLITA is currently lending e-reading devices to libraries so that they may experiment with how to lend these devices to their patrons.  School librarians have noted that e-book collections have increased access and encouraged better citation practice.  Students do not face the imposing fines that can discourage future library use when loaning e-books because they simply disappear off the computer after the loan period.

The key frustration cited by public librarians was the lack of ease that users experience when downloading e-books from OverDrive.  The range of titles is currently unimpressive and titles are not compatible with the proprietary nature of the Kindle.  However, this year’s Odyssey drew attention to other e-book repositories.  Although venom has been directed at the OverDrive distributor, many publishers currently do not sell e-books to libraries at all.  Any future e-book discussions must address the publishing industry’s concerns of a nebulous future.

Finally, Digital Odyssey encouraged librarians not to fear the terminology of copyright or fair dealing and its myriad of implications for e-content circulation.  Librarians must recognize that copyright is a special expertise, not only restricted to the legal or risk management professions.  Instead of allowing the media to inundate us with piracy critiques, librarians can read everything available on the subject of copyright to better educate their patrons.

In the realm of the 21st Century Library, Ranganathan would remind the world that the library is a growing organism; this is the Fifth Law of Library Science.  Libraries need to accommodate e-books and evolve to suit the needs of new and existing patrons.  WWRD may not be on a t-shirt, but I keep Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science on a card in my wallet.

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his or her book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. The library is a growing organism.

OLITA Digital Odyssey 2011 Conference Report by Candy Yip

E-Book (R)evolution and the Future of Libraries

This was my first time as a convenor in a conference. I was excited when I was notified of the opportunity to attend, especially when I heard that the topic is very interesting – Digital Odyssey: E-Book (R)evolution. I immediately thought: How does e-book affect library users? And what will libraries be in the future?

I was pleasantly intrigued by the keynote speaker session, “Why Libraries Exist: Transitioning from Print to E-Books”, presented by Eric Hellman. Mr. Hellman described the development of electronic books and its standard, namely “EPUB3”. As e-books are becoming more popular, he raised some questions, “If ‘books’ are obsolete, do we need libraries?” This is a good question. He continued, “Why do libraries exist anyway? What’s the role of society?” All these questions inspired me to think and re-evaluate the role of library – its past, present, and the future……and my future as well as someone who is really passionate about working in the field.  While I was contemplating all these queries and faithfully believed that libraries still have missions and are valuable, I heard Mr. Hellman saying that  libraries are still important and necessary in any society and in many different ways. I was filled with joy. With e-book readers as the preferred platform for books, he said libraries are now experiencing a transitional period where they have to prioritize their people, places, and community. He suggested the competitors of libraries are café or coffee shops in terms of space; while libraries are not short of people resources as they provide training and programs. The relationship between libraries and communities, however, are reciprocal – libraries offer collection and information technology resources to communities, while communities contribute as they bring to libraries archival information and grass-root publishing. I am glad to hear that libraries do survive and continue to be essential. Long live the libraries, yeah!

Another session that inspired me is the presentation and panel discussion of “The Popularity of E-Book Readers and the Implications for Canadian Libraries”. It is interesting to know that academic library users do not think about using e-books, probably due to issues such as interoperability, internet connectivity, and print capability. Through the panel discussion, I was able to identify the differences of various e-book readers and what factors to consider before purchasing. I think these are very useful tips for myself and for libraries considering of starting any e-book project.

After the conference, I think I would love the opportunity to try out leading an e-book through a lending program and provide training to my patrons. I would bear in mind that the perceptions of library users on e-books could be different in different types of libraries, and that no single device will work for all types of users. I think needs assessment, training, and advocacy are all critical to the success of an e-book reader loan program. I also appreciated the opportunity to attend the Digital Odyssey 2011 Conference as it kept me abreast of libraries’ innovative initiatives on e-books and offered me a chance to exchange ideas and network with professionals in the field.

OLITA Digital Odyssey 2011 Conference Report by Chris Young

Should libraries transition from print to eBook? This was the key question I hoped to have answered at this year’s Digital Odyssey: eBook (r)evolution. In his keynote speech Eric Hellman suggested that the current trend in the publishing industry is gradually shifting from print to eBook – which currently accounts for 10% of all publishing sales. eBooks could potentially be more profitable for publishers since creating another digital copy costs next to nothing financially when compared to the vast resources it takes to reproduce books in print. But although the purchase of eBooks is currently cheaper than print books for libraries, eBooks require eReaders to access their content. Not every patron owns an eReader and libraries would have to purchase dozens of eReaders to circulate their eBook collections. With the current rate of development in eReader technology, libraries would probably have to replace their eReaders every few years or so. The financial cost for developing eBook collections for libraries is relatively unknown and risky.

So what direction should libraries take in regard to their collections? Hellman argued that libraries need to update their missions from primarily lending materials and building collections to delivering value to their space, patrons, and the communities they serve to compete with emerging community centres such as Starbucks. Libraries resources could be spent developing space for patrons to study, socialize, and even drink coffee from a library’s own coffee shop! Instead of collection development and cataloguing, librarians could be running workshops and educating their patrons on how to use the vast resources available to them via the internet. A library could even expand their reach in their local community by hosting social and cultural events. These are all ideas libraries should be thinking about in addressing the needs of their patrons and their community.

But why can’t libraries have it all! There is incredible value in the development and maintenance of a collection for libraries and eBooks have given libraries the opportunity to develop their own Library of Alexandria. Even the etymology of library comes from the French and Latin words librairie and librarium meaning ‘collection of books’ and ‘chest of books’ respectively. For a library to own every edition of every book published in print would be a ridiculous concept to realize, but the development of online digital repositories such as the Internet Archive has allowed libraries to access millions of books for free that were previously untouchable. Moreover, libraries could expand and develop new collections that would have been financially inconceivable before. For example, I recently purchased an iPad 2 and downloaded the Marvel and DC comics apps. I was able to purchase the No.1 edition of Batman (published in 1940) for a mere $1.99; in comparison, this edition is currently estimated at over $100,000 in print. eBooks have given us the opportunity to explore new territory and develop information systems and repositories that can reach communities beyond our geographical neighbourhoods.

It was encouraging to see Oakville Public Library and the Follett School Library taking big strides in developing their own eBook and eReader collections during the Thunder Talks. Hopefully other libraries will be considering the same and sharing their experiences at future Digital Odyssey’s!

OLITA Digital Odyssey 2011 Conference Report by Julie Walker

What an interesting day the Ebook Revolution was! As the day’s events continued to unfold I found that I  was learning more about the eBook/ eReader technology and all that it had to offer, but by the end of the day I also  came away feeling a little sad and started to wonder if this era of reading would  impede social inclusion and continue to part the digital divide. I was quite amazed, as the main room began to fill with people, at the amount of netbooks and iPads that started to emerge, and so they should, we are after all information professionals, but when talking to a high school librarian about the continuing cutbacks for funding school libraries, the idea of eBooks and eReaders seemed, for her at least, as a farfetched idea as putting those kids on a day trip to the moon. It was further brought to my attention that the eReader was more for the (lets say) “older” adult as tweens, teens and young adults prefer devices that have multiple apps. This statement I would have to say is quite true as my own fourteen year old daughter after using my Kindle asked “Is that it? I thought it would do more!”But trying to read anything other than a text message on a phone is as much of a joke as settling down to a good book on the computer; it’s uncomfortable and just not practical. Which really only leaves one option for the high school kids and that is reading their ebooks on a tablet because a tablet has all the bangs and whistles. Even the Scholars Portal presentation alluded that university students were not interested in the Kindle or Kobo as a reading device. Therefore, as library collections continue to expand their eBook section, is there going to be a pressure not just for the high school and university students on keeping up with constant emerging technologies but on the purse strings of the parents as it is inevitable that they are the ones that are going to have to fork out for these devices. Which brings me back to the digital divide, it seems that eBooks for the younger generation would be selective, at least until the price of the tablet devices drops significantly.

It was refreshing, however, to witness the great service that Oakville Public Library has incorporated by purchasing the twenty eReaders to go with their eBooks, and what a great opportunity in somewhat closing this divide by allowing their patrons to take the readers home with them to try. It is obviously working,  as they have over eight hundred holds for the eReaders and is probably something that all libraries should consider, even if not to loan out then to at least borrow within the library walls.  My own Graduate Resource Center offers this service offering a selection of devices including the iPad 2 for loan. It would be interesting to find out what generation is taking out the eReaders at the Oakville Public Library and do those people intend to buy their own device in the future.

Digital Odyssey 2011: Program and Registration available

The preliminary program for Digital Odyssey 2011: Ebook (R)Evolution is now available.


Digital Odyssey 2011 Ebook (R)Evolution: Friday, June 10, 2011 9:00am – 4:30pm

Ryerson University – Oakham House. (map).


(Update May 20: Registration is now close)

Preliminary Program

8:00 AM: Registration, Continental breakfast

9:00 AM: Welcome: Krista Godfrey, OLITA President

9:10 AM: Keynote – Eric Hellman: Why Libraries Exist: Transitioning from Print to eBooks

10:15 AM: Break

10:30 AM: Concurrent Sessions

  • Training your staff on eBooks – Megan Garza
  • The popularity of eBook readers and the Implications for Canadian Libraries – Crystal Rose + eReader Panel

11:30 AM: Lunch

12:00 PM: OLA AGM

1:00 PM: Thunder Talks

  • CULC eBook requirement update – Michael Ciccone
  • Lending eReaders – Cynthia Perry, Oakville Public.
  • OLITA Lending Library – David Fiander
  • Follett School Library Project

2:00pm-3:00pm: Concurrent Sessions

  • Scholars Portal Update – Kate Davis
  • TBD

2:00pm-4:00pm: Workshop

  • Creating ePub documents Workshop – Diane Bedard & Walter Lewis (Max 30 participants)

3:00pm-3:30pm: Break

3:30pm-4:30pm: Concurrent Sessions

  • Google books library shelf – Art Rhyno
  • DRM and Copyright Issues – Sam Trosow

4:30pm: Final Remarks

5:00 pm: Reception

The reception takes place at “The 3 Brewers“.

Updates will be available on the conference website.

Questions or concerns? Please email Michelle Arbuckle, OLA (marbuckle@accessola.com)

Save the Date: Digital Odyssey 2011

Please join us at Digital Odyssey 2011: Ebook (R)evolution for a day of discussion and discovery.

Ebooks continue to be a major topic in the library world – we’ll hear speakers from throughout the library and publishing fields to explore and discuss the challenges and solutions presented by this developing format.

Please save the date – registration will be open soon!
Friday, June 10, 2011
Hosted at Ryerson University.