The Library Information Technology Association (LITA) 2016 forum took place 17-20 November 2016 in Ft. Worth, TX. Dedicated to furthering the integration of technologies within the library and information environment, the annual LITA forum often features keynotes and presentations on a wide range of emerging technologies, data-driven library services, and resources for acquiring computing skills.
Here are five things we learned at LITA 2016:
- From keynote Cecily Walker, a reminder that every technology product we deploy has a “position” (e.g. an embedded bias or assumption about the cultural, racial, or ethnic identity of its user) that is part of the (often) non-modifiable user interface provided by its vendor. As providers of services using these technologies, we must be aware of this issue and seek to mitigate it.
- Nostalgic for the older days of Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, and early Internet Explorer? Try oldweb.today, an emulator of historic browsers that can be used to view all websites, old and new. Essential for web archivists!
- Keynote Waldo Jaquith, director of U.S. Open Data, shared his surprising story about the ways an agency’s decisions to charge for their data had ended up costing more money in lost tax revenue than was gained. Jaquith’s project to make state of Virginia data open and redistribute it in a user-friendly version, vabusinesses.org, is a story of how open data (and citizen-led projects to clean, improve, and distribute that data) can lead to a greater social good.
- Are you a user or creator of a LibGuide? Check out this call number browser widget built at Marian University library.
- And if you work with websites, or just want love making things into 3D renderings, try the TILT plugin for Firefox, which enables you to see websites in a 3D version for better comprehension of its DOM structure. Here’s a taste: