MD Tech Connect – Going Virtual!
This year’s conference focuses on adapting library services in times of uncertainty and how libraries can reach their communities remotely. Technology-focused sessions are being scheduled to address topics such as online programming, privacy, racial inequalities, user experience, and more. Conference sessions will be scheduled over multiple months this fall with sessions being conducted on Wednesdays. As in previous years, there is no charge for this conference. The conference is open to people working in libraries in Maryland and students in Maryland library science programs.
All sessions will be recorded. If you want to view the recording, please register for the session so that you will receive the recording link.
NOTE: If you need deaf interpreter services or other special accommodations, please contact Nini Beegan, email@example.com, as soon as possible and no later than two weeks prior to the webinar.
Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library and Its New Website
Wednesday, September 30th 10 – 11 a.m.
Register for the DCDL Website Session
Join Susan Cohen of DCDL to learn about the new Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library, its digital resources through the new website, best practices in building the website, and the resources available to library staff and customers.
Breaking It Down and Putting It Back Together
Wednesday, September 30th 2 – 3 p.m.
Register for the Breaking It Down and Putting It Back Together Session
Teens benefit when they can think critically and solve problems throughout all parts of their life. Another word for this skill is Computational Thinking (CT). In this session, Carrie Sanders (Maryland State Library) and Kelsey Hughes (Prince George’s County Memorial Library System) will lead participants in creatively exploring the concepts of CT. They will also have an opportunity to discuss what computational thinking is and how it can be integrated into teen activities. A bit of content will be shared along with interactive engagement and sharing.
Creating Virtual Customer Connections with LibApps
Wednesday, October 7, 10 – 11 a.m.
Register for the Creating Virtual Customer Connections Session
Find out how Baltimore County Public Library is using LibChat and other Springshare tools to connect with our customers virtually while our library buildings are closed to the public. Cynthia Dennis and Alex Houff will cover how they created new forms, added queues, trained staff, launched a new chat service using LibChat, and designed and implemented the Virtual My Librarian (VML) service where customers or staff can easily set up one-on-one appointments. The VML service utilizes SpringShare’s LibChat/Zoom integration.
Interactive Digital Storytelling & Game Design
Wednesday, October 7, 2 – 3 p.m.
Register for the Digital Storytelling Session
In this session, John Whitfield (Baltimore County Public Library) will teach librarians how to create rich, text based adventure games using free the free online programs Google Slides and Twine. This knowledge can be used to create online programming on game design, intro to programming, and/or basic storytelling.
User Experience (UX) Evaluation and Design in the Physical World with Carson Block
Wednesday, October 14, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Register for the UX Evaluation and Design Session
The letters “U” and “X” joined together can often be mysterious to library people. We all know what a great user experience feels like, but due to the complexities fo some UX models, designing one can feel like an overwhelming task. Please join Carson for this fun and active session to learn how evaluating UX — and designing improvements for your patrons — can be as simple as jotting thoughts down on a few sticky notes.
Maximizing Reach: Anti-Racism Virtual Programming
Wednesday, October 21, 10 – 11 a.m.
Register for the Maximizing Reach Session
The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) is a national leader in virtual programming with robust equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism content. In conjunction with local and statewide partners like Joe’s Movement Emporium, Prince George’s Community College Center for Performing Arts, and the Maryland State Library, PGCMLS developed an effective model for consortium virtual programming. The July 20, 2020 Kendi event exemplified the effectiveness of this model with 19 Maryland public library co-presenters, over 226,000 live views, and 122,920 on demand views over 30 days. The program required use of multiple digital platforms to maximize access, including Zoom, OBS Studio, Crowdcast, YouTube, Eventbrite, and Communico. The program was also broadcast on PGCC-TV, a local public access station. The technical production plan included a strong contingency that proved necessary due to a key platform failure. Participants will learn how to leverage partnerships and digital platforms to expand the impact of virtual programs with limited production resources. Presenters will also discuss the unexpected technical hurdles and contractual challenges that should be anticipated with headliner virtual programs.
Collaborative Esports, Apart Yet Together
Wednesday, October 21, 2 – 3 p.m.
Register for the Collaborative Esports Session
Frederick County Public Libraries teaches teamwork and collaboration using popular esport games and gaming equipment. Esports have the ability to draw a broad cross section of individuals who may not typically frequent the library, as well as individuals whose gaming participation is limited due to cost. Esports can provide comfort to the post-COVID-19 world, in that gaming in the library is done apart, yet together. FCPL is also looking to learn from local college esports teams, who have continued to compete remotely, with the hope of facilitating virtual gaming in the future.
Tech Mentoring and Peer Learning: An Active Approach
Wednesday, October 28, 10 – 11 a.m.
Register for the Tech Mentoring and Peer Learning Session
Does your library harness the innate talent and technological ability of customers – no matter the starting point – and supply them with the courage, wisdom, and hope to grow their tech and digital literacy skills alongside their general knowledge? Although not all customers will take advantage of a library’s resources and learning opportunities, learn tips and tricks for setting the stage for individual transformation through tech mentorship from Conni Strittmatter (BCPL), Carrie Sanders (MSL), Dorothy Stoltz (Carroll County Public Library).
Creating Various Book Projects with Book Creator
Wednesday, October 28, 2 – 3 p.m.
Register for the Book Creator Session
In this session participants will engage in creating a sample book creation. The online book creator can be used for grades K-12. Charlene Saint-Jean (Prince George’s County Public Schools) will show participants how to connect reading with creativity and fun for their students while virtual. Virtual Tools used during the session include SCHOLASTIC Story STARTER. Teachers can use these tools to also create book reviews, and to compare authors or any book project. In addition, any book students create can be shared…at the teacher’s discretion. Finally participants will have an opportunity to discover the various features of Book Creator.
Keynote with Carson Block: The Future We Make Together
Wednesday, September 9th 2 – 3 p.m.
The recording and presenter resources for this session are only available for registrants
Perhaps the most important quality of a modern library is the ability to pivot — and to forge ahead with strategic, proactive moves in the midst of troubled waters. Despite the enormity, focus, and often heartbreaking scale of our current uncertainties, in truth, we never really can know what the future will bring. But all libraries – public, academic, special, rural, urban and others – have a shared purpose that is too important to fail. Using humor and compassion — and drawing on nearly 10 years as a library consultant — Carson Block will share the qualities of libraries that thrive despite the obstacles.
Carson will also share some of the results of a library user satisfaction survey (centered on technology topics) that he conducted a few months ago showing what’s working – and what needs a little more love – in library technology.
Carson Block has lead & loved library technology efforts for more than 25 years. He has served in leadership positions in ALA ASCLA, ColoradoPLA and others, and evangelizes libraries to SXSW Interactive and other tech communities. Carson is the author of Library Information Systems (with Joe Matthews; Libraries Unlimited 2019) and Managing Library Technology: A LITA Guide (Rowman & Littlefield 2017).
MD Relay – Remote Conference Captioning
Wednesday, September 16th 10 – 11 a.m.
Travis Dougherty of Telecommunications Access of Maryland – Maryland Department on Disabilities will introduce the new Remote Conference Captioning service (RCC), which is available through Maryland Relay. He will explain how RCC benefits Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, and how libraries can request RCC for their live online video meetings and webinars.
View the RCC slides
View the RCC Informational Flyer
Outdoor Programming – Facilitated Sharing Session
Wednesday, September 16th 2 – 3 p.m.
Has your library been working on providing outdoor programs for your community? Or maybe you’re early in the planning stages and need to hear more ideas and troubleshooting techniques. Conni Strittmatter of Baltimore County Public Library will facilitate this sharing session of what libraries around the state are doing with outdoor programming, how they’re tackling various hurdles, and what their needs are to make outdoor programming more of a reality.
View the Outdoor Programming slides
Carson Block: Approaches to Stakeholder Engagement
Wednesday, September 23rd 2 – 3 p.m.
The recording and presenter resources for this session are only available for registrants
Part of technology planning is knowing what library users want and need. There is often confusion, though, in wading through all of the options to gather information and make decisions that lead to the right actions. Using concepts he has developed for library leaders (via ALA’S Certified Public Library Administrator’s Management of Technology class and Texas State Library and Archive’s Library Technology Academy curriculum) Carson will introduce participants to the various modes of learning what patrons need (via data and stakeholder engagement) and a new model to distill the information simply and clearly to make actionable decisions for better library services.