Essential tools and technologies for the library and information professional – video and slides for #AskMmIT19

MmIT hosted their annual webinar on what tools and technologies should librarians and information professionals know about in 2019. We smashed all MmIT webinar records with over 230 professionals attending over the course of the 50 minute session.webinar image

The webinar panel was chaired by Andy Tattersall who was joined by three experts to look at tools and technologies new and old as well as answer questions for the event which had the hashtag #AskMmIT19

The Panelists were Christina Harbour – Anglia Ruskin University @tinalpool Claire Beecroft – University Teacher at the University of Sheffield @beakybeecroft Luke Burton – Digital Development Manager at Newcastle City Council @biblioluke and Andy Tattersall – Information Specialist at the University of Sheffield @Andy_Tattersall

MmIT Chair Alison McNab @AlisonMcNab has created a Wakelet of the event which you can view here

Useful links from the workshop

H5P Resources
There’s a page in the documentation for Canvas:
Massachusetts Library created resource guide:
Anglia Ruskin University Library Guide
Adding images to Padlet
MmIT Resources

Affordable Futures: High-tech, low-cost Library innovations – 17TH Nov, 13.00-16.30

Affordable Futures (2)The emergence of new technologies brings opportunities for Libraries and information services to improve and add value to the services that they offer.

However, it is not always clear how this can be achieved, or whether the cost of adding value can be met. At this event you will hear about three practical, affordable, Library innovations and have the chance to try some of these technologies yourself.

Book a place:


1 – Creating low-cost VR for your Library
Antony Groves (University of Sussex Library)

For many of us, technologies such as 360 photography and Virtual Reality may seem like extravagances: what real value can they add to our library services and at what cost? The following hands-on workshop will demonstrate some of the practical applications of these technologies at the University of Sussex – from enriching our presence on Google Maps with 3600 photography, to making inaccessible parts of the campus accessible through VR. This workshop will also give attendees the chance to try creating their own low cost spherical photography and VR using Google Cardboard.


2 – Using Rasperry Pi’s in an academic Library Environment
Dr. Jon Knight (Loughborough University)

As part of a library refurbishment, Loughborough University Library were looking to increase the amount of digital signage in use. The IT team investigated the use of Raspberry Pi’s for this, and found them to be cheap to buy, have low running costs (and energy usage) and more than capable of handling the demands of most display systems. The University Library now has a large number of Pi controlled display screens around the building showing information such as group study room bookings, PC lab availability and Library/IT Services generated news and promotions. The system has also been rolled out elsewhere on campus, often replacing expensive commercial digital signage systems. This presentation provides a background to this development work, details how the Pi’s are used and managed and also provides some ideas for future uses, both within the Library and the wider campus.


3 – Making Library Makers – 2 Years in the Making…
Carlos Izsak (Education & Community Development Specialist and founder of Makercart)

Over the last couple of years we have been working with libraries helping them set up makerspaces with The Makercart: a customisable, portable, pop-up makerspace. The Makercart is designed to provide a way for organisations to support makerspace workshops and activities in a flexible and adaptable way. Some of the libraries we’ve been working with include: Guildford Library, Redbridge Central Library, Kent Library Service and the new Oxford Central Library. These libraries are in the process of setting up regular clubs/activities, most of them with a focus on children 8-13yo. We’ve helped them secure funding, trained staff and volunteers, ran events and provided advice and equipment. We’d like to share the success and challenges we’ve encountered and the direction we’re moving forward. We’ll give participants the chance to MAKE an LED card, experience making and get the chance to discuss with colleagues the role libraries can play in the maker movement.


1.00: Registration & networking lunch
1.30-1.40: Welcome by MmIT
1.40-2.25: Antony Groves – Creating low-cost VR for your Library
2.25-3.10: Jon Knight – Using Rasperry Pi’s in an academic Library Environment
3.10-3.30: Break/Networking
3.30-4.15: Carlos Izsak – Making Library Makers – 2 Years in the Making…
4.15: Questions and close


What can you learn from like, follow and share?

Social bookmarks and social sharing plugins quickly emerged as a standard feature across the web. Attached to the end of blog posts, news articles and appearing in email signatures. In fact don’t look now but if you look to your right you will see that familiar blue bird next to a @multimediaIT follow icon!

But what value can we gain from the likes, + 1 and followers we receive? How often do people click our social plugins? Should we be finding ways to encourage more activity on our social bookmarks or is it a waste of time?

We want to know our audience and what it is they want to read so that we can gauge our readership and target our material. Looking at metrics on our social plugins can show us this and help us find out not only what people are reading but what they are sharing and who that subsequently draws in.

The SocialShare report written in January this year found that “about half of the top 10,000 websites have a link to their Facebook pages from their home page, 40% link to their Twitter pages and when it comes to like buttons, Google+ is now second place to Facebook.” In response to this they found that the popularity of these social plugins is on the rise and the increased presence of Google+ on websites has resulted in a rise in popularity, in fact “the stats show that Google’s +1 is more widely used than Twitter’s share button”!

But let’s conduct our own experiment…Are you using social plugins? How big is your community? Who are you reaching? What do your readers ‘like’? What do they share? Why?

Comment below and tell us your thoughts on the value gained from social sharing.


How to Get Your Social Sharing Buttons to Stand Out, Deborah Sweeney (Jul 19, 2013)

Report: Facebook Like Button Most Used, Google +1 Button Surging, Greg Finn (Jul 8, 2011)

SocialShare Report, BrightEdge (January 2013)

A Free Web Toolkit for the Modern Library – a MMIT conference workshop promo video

Here’s a promo video for Andy Tattersall and Claire Beecroft’s ScHARR Workshop: “A free web toolkit for the modern library”. In the workshop, Andy and Claire will introduce delegates to a variety of tried and tested web 2.0 tools which offer real value to LIS professionals.

This workshop is part of the MmIT National Conference 2012: Reduced budgets? Increased impact!
Tools and technologies for an effective library and information service being held on Tuesday 17th April 2012 at the University of Sheffield.

Open Source news: FOSS4LIB launch and more

In January, LYRASIS Technology Services  launched, a website to provide guidance to the library community about free/open source software (FOSS). The site already hosts an impressive registry of open source software as well as ‘decision-making tools‘ to help when considering making the move away from proprietary software.There’s more content being added all the time and you can also sign up for an account if you’d like to contribute.

In other OSS news, the Vufind discovery software has just released version 1.3. This latest version includes enhancements such as new search plugins (Europeana search, Google Maps, visual timelines), a ‘book bag’ feature and enhanced RSS feeds.

Kyushu University Library has also announced the release of Cute.Catalog, an Advanced Discovery Service build using eXtensible Catalog. You can see it in action at:


Library news: a place to discuss the latest from the library world

Library news is a relatively new website based on the popular technology site, Hacker News (and using the same Open Source software; it’s like Hacker News but blue). It’s a place that you can post and discuss news stories, blogs and other websites of interest to the library world.

Library News was developed by the Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory. Like Hacker News (and RedditDigg etc), there’s an element of gamification. You can vote for the submitted stories or comments that you find interesting and others can vote for your submissions and comments. Popular stories float to the top and upvotes for your contributions will give you more karma points.

It’s early days yet in terms of discussion on the site but there’s a steady flow of submissions and it would be great to see this turn into a lively library community – don’t be afraid to comment as well as post.

Internet Librarian (non-International) presentations available

Sure, Internet Librarian International kicks of tomorrow but you can also catch up with what happened at the *other* conference  — most of the slides from Internet Librarian 2012 have now been posted on the InfoToday website. There are some handy case studies about using QR Codes in the stacks, developing mobile apps, (re)developing library websites, ebook licensing and plenty more.