Previous Hot Topics Discussion Group Topics

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Midwinter 2010 Hot Topics DG:  Analytics and Statistics: Improving Library Services through Google Analytics and Other Tools

Our Midwinter 2010 discussion in Boston focused on the use Google Analytics or other web analytics tools to analyze patterns of user behavior on library websites, and improve services based on the data.  Two experts shared their knowledge, insights and views on the topic. 


   Midwinter 2009 Hot Topics DG: Can You Open This For Me? using and Understanding Open Sources Tools

See a lot of free things online and not sure if they would work for your library? Our panel of speakers will introduce you to some of today’s hottest open source tools and offer practical advice on how to implement them at your library. Saturday, January 24 from 10:30AM - 12:00PM in Korbel Ballroom 3B, Colorado Convention Center.


   ALA Annual 2007 Hot Topics DG Topic: Libraries2Go: Library Services for Handhelds

What do PDAs, iPods, and cell phones have in common? They're small, they're everywhere, and all of your patrons have at least one of them. Handheld devices represent a critical vehicle for libraries to communicate with their patrons, but they also provide unique challenges and require special treatment when it comes to delivering library services through them.


Come join us for an informative session on delivering library services to the next generation of communication tools. This session will provide a foundation in mobile devices and kick-start your thinking about how your own libraries might distribute services to your patrons' little devices. This session is designed for librarians and library staff of all skill levels and will feature demonstrations of different mobile technologies, services for them, challenges to developing content for handhelds, implementation strategies, and assessment of those services.

  • When? Saturday, June 23, 2007, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
  • Where? JW Marriott, Salon IV
  • Presentations:
    • Bradley Faust, Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services, Ball State University will present The Mobile Computing Project at Ball State University Libraries."
    • Markus Wust, NCSU Libraries Fellow in Digital Library Initiatives/Special Collections, North Carolina State University will present "MobilLIB: A Library Service for Generation 'Mobile' at North Carolina State University."
    • Michelle Jacobs, Instruction Librarian, University of California, Merced will present "The Library in your Pocket."


Chair: Mark Dehmlow, Electronic Services Librarian, Notre Dame University
Co-Chair: Nancy Cunningham, Associate Director, Refence and Instruction, University of South Florida
Secretary: Leah Dodd, Visiting Digital Resources and Reference Librarian 


ALA Midwinter 2007 Topic: Not Your Dad's Interface: the Next Evolution in OPAC's and Search Engines 

Exciting new technologies are changing the look and feel of today's OPACs and search engines with visual interfaces and features that enhance the user experience. RUSA's MARS Hot Topics Discussion Group has joined with MARS Products and Services to present a dynamic panel of three speakers who will discuss their experience with new OPAC interfaces such as Endeca, visual interfaces such as Aquabrowser, and what the usability implications are for these new graphic interfaces. Question and discussion session to follow.



Session Review: A review of the session can be found on page 6 of Cognotes from Sunday, January 21, 2007.


Chair: Mark Dehmlow, Electronic Services Librarian, Notre Dame University
Co-Chair: Nancy Cunningham, Associate Director, Refence and Instruction, University of South Florida

Chair of MARS Products & Services: Marina Salcedo 

   ALA Annual 2006 Hot Topics DG Topic: Expanding the Library: Integrating Library Services into Course Management Systems, Portals, and Beyond


In a rapidly evolving information space where libraries are competing with free commercial entities to provide core services, delivering library resources at the point of patron need has never been more crucial.


Please join us as we explore how to drive library resources right to our users’ point of need through integration with course management systems such as Blackboard and WebCT. Our panel of 5 librarians will talk about the ways in which they have integrated library resources with online CMSs, covering topics from planning the integration of resources and developing relationships with CMS managers to implementing content integration and library tutorials within course management systems. Question and discussion session to follow.

Chair:Matthew Bejune, Digital Reference Services Coordinator, Purdue University
Mark Dehmlow, Electronic Services Librarian, Notre Dame University

ALA Midwinter 2006 Hot Topics DG Topic: Integrating Electronic Reference Resources into the Library

  • When? Saturday, January 21, 2006, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
  • Where? Marriott Rivercenter Hotel (abbreviated MAR in the conference literature) in Salon I
  • Presentations:
  • Session Review:
    • A review of the session can be found on page 3 of Cognotes from Sunday, January 22, 2006.

Chair:   Matthew Bejune, Digital Reference Services Coordinator, Purdue University
Mark Dehmlow, Electronic Services Librarian, Notre Dame University

   ALA Annual 2005 Hot Topics DG Topic: Metasearch and the cutting edge! What are libraries doing to extend basic metasearch services? 

Chair: Carole Pilkinton, Electronic Resources Librarian, University of Notre Dame
Co-Chair: Matthew Bejune, Digital Reference Services Coordinator, Purdue University

ALA Midwinter 2005 DG Topic: Metasearch: What It Is, What It Could Be, and How Standards Can Help Us Get There!

  • Co-sponsored by the NISO Metasearch Initiative Committee - NISO Metasearch Wiki
  • When? Saturday January 15, 11-12:30 p.m.
  • Where? Westin Hotel, Staffordshire Room
  • Presentations: 

Chair: Carole Pilkinton, Electronic Resources Librarian, University of Notre Dame
Co-Chair: Matthew Bejune, Digital Reference Services Coordinator, Purdue University

   ALA Annual 2004 DG Topic: Outsourcing MARC records for electronic journals holdings -- the ultimate access solution?

  • When? Saturday, June 26 11:30-12:30 p.m.
  • Where? Orlando Convention Center 312C
  • Presentations:
  • Toni Katz, Asst. Director, Technical Services at Colby College. Responsible for bringing up the SerialsSolutions MARC Records service at Colby.
  • Marvin Pollard, UIAS (Unified Information Access System) Project Manager, Cal State System, reporting to the Office of Chancellor. Marvin is an early implementor of the SFX MarcIt Service.
    PowerPoint Presentation, MARCit! Service

Chair: José Aguiñaga 
Co-Chair: Carole Pilkinton

ALA Annual 2003 DG Topic: Electronic Resources: What is the purpose/role of the library website? How is your library dealing with decision-making for electronic resources?

  • When? Saturday, January 10 11:30-12:30 p.m.
  • Where? Courtyard Marriott, Bankers Room

Chair: José Aguiñaga

   ALA Midwinter 2003 DG Topic: Metalib and SFX-Enhancing access to electronic reosurces

  • When? Saturday, January 25, 11:30-12:30 p.m.
  • Presenters: Rich Bennett, University of Florida, Ed Tallent, Boston College and Mark Dehmlow of the University of Notre Dame.

Chair: Mary Mintz

   ALA Midwinter 2002 DG Topic: Pitfalls, pratfalls, and positive potential of personalizable library websites in delivering customized content to your core constituencies

  • When? Saturday, January 19, 11:30-12:30 p.m.
  • Where? Fairmont Hotel, Explorer's Room

The discussion will be informed by Bill Mayer and Walt Crawford.

  • Bill Mayer, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, George Washington University. Bill was a key developer of myALADIN for the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC).
  • Walt Crawford, Senior Analyst, Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RLG). Walt is a seasoned library automation professional and award-winning commentator on library technology issues.

Suggested reading: Information Technology & Libraries 19(4) December 2000. Special Issue: User-Customizable Library Portals. Eric Lease Morgan, Guest Editor

Chair: George Porter
Co-Chair: Mary Mintz

   ALA Annual 2001 DG Topic: Silver Bullet? OpenURL and Link Servers (SFX, Openly Jake) Take Aim at the "Appropriate Copy" Problem.

  • Librarians and library users have been wishing for simple access from bibliographic indexes to the text of the articles since the first index rolled off a printing press. CD-ROMs and web-based databases were major advances in providing powerful reference services, but have generally fallen short by failing to point to all copies of the full text available to a library user at a particular site, i.e., the "appropriate copy" problem. OpenURL and link servers may be the wish come true. Join Margery Tibbetts, California Digital Library, and Eric Hellman, Openly Informatics, to discuss the potential offered by these new technologies. George Porter, Caltech Library System, will demonstrate SFX, a production system based on OpenURL and link server technology.
  • Forum Summary
  • Handout Including links to slide presentations

Chair: Linda Keiter 
Vice-Chair: George Porter

ALA Midwinter 2001 DG Topic: "One More Cup of Coffee…": After-Hours Reference Service Using Web Chat and Contact Center Technologies.

  • When? Saturday, January 13, 2001, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Where? Renaissance Washington Hotel, Renaissance B
  • Complete Forum Summary

Chair: Linda Keiter
Co-Chair: George Porter

   ALA Annual 2000 DG Topic: "askjake": Aggregator Content Revealed!

  • When?Saturday, July 8, 2000 11:30 - 12:30
  • Forum Summary
  • Jake Local Customizations
  • Managing Aggregator Database Content: A Bibliography
    • PCC Standing Committee on Automation (SCA). "Task Group on Journals in Aggregator Databases," Final Report , January 2000.
    • Karen Calhoun and Bill Kara, Aggregation or Aggravation? Optimizing Access to Full-Text Journals, ALCTS Online Newsletter, 11(1), Spring 2000.
    • Carole A Kiehl and Edward H. Summers,"Comprehensive access to periodicals: a database solution," Library Collections, Acquisitions & Technical Services 24 (2000) 33-44.
    • John McDonald and Jimmy Ghaphery, "Do we have this in full-text? Providing access to content in full-text agggregated databases," Against the Grain, 12(2), 28-30.

Chair: Carole Richter Pilkinton 
Vice-Chair: Linda Keiter

ALA Midwinter 2000 DG Topic:Coordinating/Integrating Electronic Resources Gateways and OPACS

  • When? January 16, 2000, 9:30-11:00 a.m., ALA Midwinter (San Antonio, TX)
  • Forum Summary
  • Forum Handout including URLs for outstanding gateway examples

Chair: Carole Richter Pilkinton 
Vice-Chair: Linda Keiter

   ALA Annual 1999 DG Topic:Electronic Resources Gateways: Why & How?

Chair: Carole Richter Pilkinton
Chair: Ellen Bosman

Electronic Database Statistics: Apples, Oranges and Kumquats!

Co-Chair: Carole Richter Pilkinton
Co-Chair: Ellen Bosman