December 2, 2021
Watch recordings of the MD Tech Connect 2021 Keynote and Sessions
9 – 10 a.m.: Opening Keynote; Chris Freeland
Empowering Libraries, Embracing Change
Opening Keynote Resource Guide (PDF)
Libraries are dynamic organizations that play a crucial societal role in providing access to information and preserving that information over time. Unfortunately that role is under threat from a number of sources: budget reductions, exorbitant licensing fees, and the inability for libraries to own (not lease) digital content. In this session, Chris Freeland, Director of the Open Libraries program at the Internet Archive, will cover how existing library practices like interlibrary loan & controlled digital lending empower libraries to reach their patrons where they’re learning—online—and the new efforts helping libraries take control of their digital futures.
Chris Freeland is the Director of Open Libraries at the Internet Archive, working in support of the organization’s mission to provide “Universal access to all knowledge.” Before joining the Internet Archive Chris was an Associate University Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis, managing Washington University Libraries’ digital initiatives and related services. He holds an M.S. in Biological Sciences from Eastern Illinois University and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from University of Missouri-Columbia. His research explores the intersections of science and technology in a cultural heritage context, having published and presented on a variety of topics relating to the use of new media and emerging technologies in libraries and museums.
10:15 – 11:15 a.m.: Session One
Cyber Readiness Fundamentals for Libraries; Marion Lewis
This session will focus on cyber risk and how to manage this risk by becoming cyber ready. A foundation of the Core Four (passwords, software updates, phishing, and USB use) is a good place to start and is the crux of the Cyber Readiness Program. We will discuss steps anyone can take to be more secure and how that relates to the security of your business and supply chain.
Marion is the Director of Outreach and Analytics at the Cyber Readiness Institute. She is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and previously worked for a technology consulting firm in Dallas. In addition to a strong academic background in public policy and technology, Marion brings private consulting and business experience.
Teaching Through a Pandemic: Tech and Teaching Strategies That Will Stay With Us; Christine Hurley, Christy Haggerty, Jane Yoder
Teaching Through a Pandemic Slides (PDF)
Three Washington County Public Schools library media specialists and technology coordinators share the technology and teaching strategies that they learned on the fly throughout the pandemic that will stick with them as we transition back to a more traditional model of school librarianship.
Christy Hagerty is a library media specialist at South Hagerstown High School in Hagerstown, Maryland. This is her 4th year with WCPS; she has been a librarian for 22 years and holds an MLS from U of Maryland College Park. Christine Hurley is the library media specialist at Boonsboro Middle School in Boonsboro, Maryland. This is her 18th year with WCPS, and her 14th as a public school librarian. She was the Washington County Teacher of the Year in 2020-21 and a finalist for Maryland State Teacher of the Year. Jane Yoder is a library media specialist at Smithsburg High School in Smithsburg, Maryland. This is her second year as a library media specialist for WCPS. She holds a Master of Library Science degree from McDaniel University.
The Future of Overdrive; Nick Kopera, Maria Fesz, Bart Kalnay
Learn about what’s next for Overdrive, including accessibility updates for Libby and how public libraries can partner with schools to share their collections with the Sora app.
Nick has been supporting Public Libraries at OverDrive since July 2018. He spent the past 15 years in Customer Service, Marketing, and Sales, primarily in the healthcare industry. Nick is an English major and is excited to be working with public libraries and talking about books again. His grandmother was a lifelong librarian in his hometown of Buffalo, NY. Nick’s favorite subjects are always changing but recently has enjoyed thrillers, humor (especially on audiobooks,) and literary fiction. He has been an Overdrive user for some time and primarily reads with Libby on his iPad. Maria Fesz has been working as a Content Specialist with OverDrive for 3 years. She currently works with states in the midwest and atlantic coastal area, North Carolina included! Prior to OverDrive, Maria worked as a librarian in both public and academic libraries in Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia. She received her MLIS from The University of Pittsburgh, and her undergrad is in Music Performance from the University of Mount Union. Maria tries to read a little bit of everything, but left to her own devices, she’ll gravitate towards fantasy, romance, and science fiction. When she’s not in reading mode, Maria likes to play tennis, watch baseball, play cello, and laze around with her hound dog, Olive.
So You Want To Start a Library Podcast… Now What?; Kelsey Hughes, Hannah Erickson, Hawa Jalloh, Heather Jackson, Ella Alonso
So You Want to Start a Podcast Slides (PDF)
So You Want to Start a Podcast Resources (PDF)
Everyone started a podcast during the pandemic – including PGCMLS! Learn how we iterated the idea, created a distinct voice, developed a workflow, and marketed it, all while meeting mostly virtually, and take away some tips for how you can do it too.
Kelsey Hughes is a Librarian III at the South Bowie Branch of Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. She’s passionate about all things teen, programming, and tech. Hannah Erickson is a Librarian I at the Hyattsville Branch of Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. She’s an adult services specialist, lover of all things sci-fi and fantasy, and esoteric reference question guru. Heather Jackson is the West Area Manager for Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. She’s a children’s librarian at heart and is committed to immigrant and refugee services and community development. Hawa Jalloh is a Library Associate II at Glenarden Branch Library. She’s currently an MLIS student at University of Maryland, College Park and an avid bookstagrammer @Hawa.Reads. Ella Alonso is a Library Associate II at the Laurel Branch Library. You can find her at the library crafting highly detailed miniature dinosaur dioramas, planning dynamic children’s programs and serving as a researcher extraordinaire.
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Session Two
Introduction to Google Ad Grants; Peter Velikonja
Learn more about how libraries can leverage the Google Ad Grant program (which provides up to $10,000 worth of Google Ads per month to approved nonprofit organizations) to maximize visibility online. Hosted by Koios, an organization with years of experience assisting libraries in boosting awareness of their resources through Google Ads.
About Peter Velikonja: PhD Princeton University, over twenty years professional software development including Big Data and online advertising experience. Trained classical musician. Worked the stacks at Northwestern University Music Library 40 years ago and can still find Beethoven at ML410.B.
Expanding the Learning Environment with Virtual Field Trips; Faith Ward
Explanding the Learning Environment Slides (PDF)
Even though the School Library was not open normally during the 2020.2021 school year, the students still engaged in deep learning and thinking, as Librarian, Faith Ward looked beyond the library walls for enriching experiences. Tapping into resources within our community and beyond, the Middle School Library provided unique virtual field trip experiences for the students that enriched their learning and enhanced their engagement.
Faith Ward is in her sixth year as the Middle School Librarian and Technology Teacher at Gilman School in Baltimore. She has also taught and managed online courses for the Johns Hopkins University Center For Talented youth since 2013.
Addressing Ableism in Technology; John Owen, Jerry Price
Addressing Ableism in Technology Slides (PDF)
The session will raise awareness of what ableism is and how its assumptions impact the blind and print disabled community. The session will look at how to present and interact online with blind and print disabled patrons in an inclusive way, address the attitude of “you can’t use this technology because you have a disability”, and discuss disparity in technology access for people with disabilities.
Jerry Price serves as the Assistive Technology Program Coordinator for the Maryland State LBPD. He teaches one-on-one classes on using accessibility features on computers, tablets and smart phones, and hosts the monthly Technology User Group. John Owen serves as the Director of the Maryland State LBPD.
Ready, Set, Learn! Opportunities and Resources from WebJunction; Kendra Morgan
WebJunction provides a range of library-specific, online, and on-demand courses and webinars to help meet your continuing education needs. Whether you are looking to pick up a new skill, or to find inspiration for a new idea, these resources can help you take the first, or next step. With the support of the Maryland State Library, all of the content, webinars and courses are free, and you’ll find topics ranging from customer service to organizational management to space planning. Join this session for a tour of WebJunction and to hear about these flexible and dynamic learning opportunities!
Kendra’s primary responsibilities are the delivery and management of WebJunction’s core continuing education services for state and public libraries.
Technology and Hosting Hybrid Programs; Rohini Gupta, Jill Hutchison, Kevin Middleton, Robyn Truslow
Technology and Hosting Hybrid Programs Slides (PDF)
Technology and Hosting Hybrid Programs Resources (PDF)
When our libraries closed, we connected with our communities online when we couldn’t meet them face-to-face. Now, some in our communities are ready to come back in-person, while others still prefer these online interactions. Even in a post COVID-19 world, there may be those who prefer the flexibility and accessibility of virtual options, rather than purely face-to-face sessions. Libraries must adapt to these competing needs and many are now turning to hybrid programs, with some participants in the room and others online. The panelists will discuss their experiences with hybrid programming and the technology that can help make these events available to a wide range of individuals.
12:30 – 1 p.m.: Lunch Break
12:45 – 1:45 p.m.: Mid-day Networking
Grab this opportunity to meet new colleagues during our lunch break. In a “speed dating” type atmosphere, you will be randomly assigned to a small group to meet and socialize. Groups will be shuffled every 5 minutes.
1:45 – 2:45 p.m.: Session Three
Making Connections: Tableau, OrangeBoy, Data Warehousing, and Beyond; Yana Demireva, Colin Khem, Jennifer Tobin, Jordan Combs
This session will feature a panel discussion on how library systems can integrate library technologies and data to foster informed decision-making, anticipate challenges, and serve community needs. The session will highlight new developments in connecting Tableau with your ILS, Savannah/OrangeBoy, Communico, and others, as well as data warehousing; look at what’s next for Maryland’s data landscape; and explore how using the data we collect can help us meet and anticipate community needs.
Building a Diverse Community with Movie Discussion Programs; Andy Wolverton, Darnice Jasper
How can libraries use virtual movie discussions to engage with diverse audiences and help build community? Andy Wolverton and Darnice Jasper, cohosts of the Anne Arundel County Public Library System’s Great Movies program will talk about how they have brought together people from 26 states and five foreign countries. We’ll also show you how library staff can reach a wide (and global) audience without being movie experts.
Andy Wolverton has been a librarian at the Severna Park Library in the Anne Arundel County Library system for the past 13 years. He has presented all types of library programs including a monthly book club for the past 10 years and a movie discussion group since 2016. Darnice Jasper is the manager of Maryland City at Russett Library in Anne Arundel County Public Library System (MD). She has worked in libraries for over 15 years, and when she isn’t solving problems or troubleshooting tech, she loves listening to audiobooks, watching movies, and dreaming about beach vacations.
What’s Worth Keeping? Transitioning Back to the Library After Distance and Hybrid Learning; Lindsey Weaver, Kim Johnson
What’s Worth Keeping Slides (PDF)
The 2020 – 2021 school year forced school librarians and teachers to be creative in new ways. We developed strategies to respond to a crisis situation. However, many of these strategies could be better for students, teachers, and our libraries. In this session we’ll discuss what’s worth keeping and how to incorporate ideas from last year to this year’s practices.
Kim Johnson is the librarian at Westminster High School in Carroll County Public Schools. Lindsey Weaver is the librarian at West Frederick Middle School in Frederick County Public Schools. She also serves as the President of the Maryland Association of School Librarians.
Drone Delivery of Library Books and “Accidental Advocacy;” Kelly Passek, Yoojin Rhee
Every community has something that makes it unique, and with a little outreach, that uniqueness can be used to bring huge benefits to our students. Learn how Montgomery County (VA) Public Schools became the first in the world to use drones to deliver library books to students and how as a result of our drone delivery system, I got started on a path of ‘accidental advocacy’ to support all School Libraries! Learn what actions you can take to promote your School Library for the benefit of your students!
Kelly is the Librarian at Blacksburg Middle School in Blacksburg, VA and the Secondary Lead Librarian for Montgomery County (VA) Public Schools. She serves as the Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Virginia Association of School Librarians.
3 – 4 p.m.: Closing Keynote; Beth Ziesenis
How to be Visible in a Virtual World
Even before the pandemic started a worldwide work-from-home revolution, professionals were struggling to make connections. You’re not alone in your virtual world. There are millions of people around the globe who also have to find ways to make connections when they don’t see each other every day. Join Beth Z, Your Nerdy Best Friend, for an hour of tips on how to be more human with technology. In this course you’ll learn tech tips to…
- Craft emails and other communications that get attention.
- Get your team members on the same page.
- Assure people that you’re listening and following through.
- Show colleagues, clients and connections your appreciation and gratitude.
- Improve your online meetings to up engagement and professionalism.