Darlene Fichter
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Phone: 306-966-7209
Fax: 306-966-6040
Email:darlene.fichter@usask.ca

Main Library
University of Saskatchewan
3 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 5A4



New and Upcoming Presentations



Presentation Archive

2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995


2006 Presentations

New Technology: Blogs, Wikis, IM, and more - November 15, 2006, Lansing, MI

MLC's Special Program Series for 2006-2007 addresses questions about our changing users and environment. What kinds of innovation should we consider in the services we offer? How do we meet our patrons where they are? What is the role of the library as a place and as an online meeting spot? In this second Special Program, our speakers will address the overall picture of technology's effect on libraries and how some innovative libraries are using IM, wikis, and blogs to reach users and to communicate with others in the library field.

PowerPoint Slides (10 MB) | PDF (3.6 MB)

Internet Librarian - October 23-25, 2006

Web Managers Academy: Survival Guide for Library Web Site Redesigns - October 22, 2006

Darlene Fichter, Data Library Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan
Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University
Jeff Wisniewski, Web Services Librarian, University of Pittsburgh
Marshall Breeding, Director, Innovative Technologies and Research, Vanderbilt University

Does your library Web site need a redesign? What are the signs? Where do you start? One place to begin is by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your current site. Learn how to use Web site analytic tools to discover how the current site is used. Pick up new usability methods that can help you test proposed revisions early so that the new design doesn’t just “look” better, but also “works better” for the users. See how other libraries are using content management systems, database-driven content, federated search, and OpenURL resolvers to provide customized and personalized content for users. Explore how social software applications including blogs, wikis, tagging and RSS fit in the mix. Pack your toolbox and take home tips, tools, checklists, and new design techniques that you can immediately put to use. Learn about common pitfalls and success factors for library redesigns. Topics will include:

  • Redesign process
  • Practical project management
  • Web content management systems
  • Usability and ethnographic methods: affinity mapping, photo reports, and map diaries

Session D104 — Cool Tools and Mashups for Webmasters - Monday October 23 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Darlene Fichter, Data Library Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan
Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University


[ Slides (PDF) ]
Hop on board and look at some great tools and mashups that can help make your Web site shine and delight your visitors. Our experts and popular speakers are back with a whole new roster of free or inexpensive tools that can help you promote your Web site better, increase user participation, track online usage, get started with mashup developer toolkits, and more. Some of these tools don’t require any programming know-how whatsoever. Pack your toolbox with inexpensive (or free) Web tools to put to use on your site.

Session A201 — What’s a Mashup & Why Would I Want One? Tuesday October 24, 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Darlene Fichter, Data Library Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan


[ Slides (PDF) ]
A “mashup” mixes content from independent sources to create something new. Many mashups are simple to create and require little technical know-how, allowing Webmasters of all sorts to put on their creative thinking cap. Jump on board and take a tour of interesting mashups, including library mashups, and explore the opportunities for libraries and how to remix library and other content to create new and innovative services. Take away tools that you can use to build mashups, for users or yourself, and recommended sites to learn more.

Saskatchewan Library Association - May 4-6, 2006 - Regina, SK

Web Sites That Work for Users: Designing with Scent in Mind - Sat. May 6, 1:30 - 2:45

PowerPoint Slides | Handout: Web Site Critique: Scent Enablers and Blockers

Your library works hard at providing great content and access to resources on your web site, but will your visitors find it? Learn how you can help your users find the information that they need by designing with "information scent" in mind. Participate in this interactive session and analyze how well some sites use trigger words. Spot how other site block scent. Take away ideas to make sure that your efforts in creating a great site pay off by having your users find what they need.

Special Library Assocation - May 17, 2006

Always Fresh - Fast Content for Your Web Site and Users (webcast)

The Education Institute - April 18, 2006

Wikis and Libraries: A Winning Combination (webcast) [ PowerPoint Slides ]

More and more libraries are turning to wikis to help teams collaborate and share knowledge. The flexible, self-organizing nature of wikis and their ease of use make them an ideal bottom-up approach for sharing knowledge rather than a top-down content management system. Pop open a wiki and learn about its features and capabilities. Take a tour of some wikis used just by library staff and at some libraries that have added wikis to their public sites. Sometimes wikis and Weblogs are seen as an either/or proposition. Not so. Each has its place and can help foster collaboration and sharing. Find out more about wikis, how some organizations have successfully used them, and how Weblogs and wikis fit into your collaboration toolbox.

Computers in Libraries - March 22-24, 2006 - Washington DC

March 21, 2006 - Web Managers Academy: Building Next-Generation Library Web Sites (workshop) with Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University; Jeff Wisniewski, Web Services Librarian, University of Pittsburgh; Marshall Breeding, Director, Innovative Technologies and Research, Vanderbilt University

Cool Tools Update for Webmasters with Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian, Northwestern University
[ PowerPoint Slides ]

Wednesday Evening Session: Digi TechForum: Looking at Dead & Emerging Technologies with Moderator D. Scott Brandt,Technology Training Librarian, Purdue University Libraries, and fellow panelists Amanda Etches-Johnson, Reference Librarian, McMaster University; Aaron Schmidt, Thomas Ford Memorial Library; Marshall Breeding, Research, Vanderbilt University
[ PowerPoint Slides ] Updated

Ontario Library Association Superconference - February 3, 2006 - Toronto, ON

Wikis, Blogs and RSS For Operational Communications

[ PowerPoint Slides ]
More Resources: Wikis in Libraries

Social + Bookmarking: Combining Tools and People to Create New Services
[ PowerPoint Slides ]

Special Library Assocation - January 25, 2006

Fostering Online Collaboration Using Wikis (webcast)

The Education Institute - Online Course - January 19 - Feb 17, 2006

Writing for the Wired World: Creating On-Line Content that Works


2005 Presentations

KMWorld & Intranets Conference San Jose, CA, November 15-17, 2005

Technology Tuesday Teleconferences - Education Institute

Designing for Scent: Why Stinky Sites Work by Darlene Fichter, Nov 8th

Enterprise Collaboration: Weblogs & Wikis - November 14, 2005

Weblogs (blogs) and wikis are being viewed today as easy, "lightweight" content management solutions. Weblogs and wikis are more than just an easy way to publish, empowering knowledge workers to share information, make connections, and network across the organizational teams and silos. Many organizations are turning to these new technologies to jump-start their KM and information solutions inside the firewall. This workshop discusses how Weblogs and wikis can be used by organizations to facilitate knowledge exchange and discovery. It provides examples from a number of different organizations about how to use them effectively and provides guidelines for getting started.

Internet Librarian October 24-26, 2005 Monterey CA

Organizational Weblogs: Opportunities, Strategies, Tools - 1/2 day workshop - Saturday October 22

Presenters: Darlene Fichter & Michael Stephens, Technology Librarian, St. Joseph County Public Library

Many libraries are experimenting with Weblogs for marketing, staff development, knowledge sharing, and news. Hear about some of the ways Weblogs have benefited large and small libraries. Learn about Weblog software choices and features to look for when choosing blogging software. Discuss features such as RSS syndication, comments, permalinks, and editorial roles. Pick up some practical do"s and don'ts of blog publishing. Keep on top of this new software and its applications by listening to our experts who share real-world case studies. Stay ahead of your users who are creating Weblogs at a furious pace and consider how your library can offer better services to Webloggers in the community who want to link and comment on information in library"s storehouses of licensed content.

Web Managers Academy: Building Next-Generation Library Web Sites - FULL DAY Sunday, October 23

You've done usability testing, you've done some redesign, but you still need to make your site more responsive to your customer's needs. Come and learn about the latest trends and techniques to create more customer/patronfriendly Web sites. Leave with a clear understanding of what federated searching and OpenURL resolvers are and how both can improve your Web site; how to enable publishing of customized and personalized content; and the latest in good design and usability research and practice. Topics include:

  • Maximizing the ROI for a library's Web site
  • Web content management systems
  • Designing with Web standards: CSS and XHTML
  • Usability research update
  • New tools such as federated search, link resolvers, and Web services

Presenters: Darlene Fichter, Frank Cervone, Jeff Wisniewski, Marshall Breeding

The session provides opportunities for discussions and sharing expertise with other attendees. Taught by experienced experts, this workshop is a good, 1-day crash course for Web development managers wanting to move to the next level.

Moderator: Track C: Web Design & Development - Monday, October 24

This series of talks focuses on new tools, best practices, and strategies for creating effective Web sites. Join Webmasters from many different organizations who share their knowledge and experience.

Self Discovery: Federated Search Engines & Subject Pages - Monday, October 24

Numerous usability studies demonstrate that library Web site visitors have difficulty locating and retrieving articles. The speakers describe two different approaches that work hand in hand for helping users locate relevant materials. Cervone shares recent results about the best placement of federated search boxes, display of search results, and design decisions in creating topical groups. Find out what works and what doesn't. Fichter describes the results of a series of tests looking at the effective design of browsable library subject pages. Through a rapid cycle of testing, design changes, and retesting, subject pages were adapted and changed based on user behavior. Both discuss challenges and lessons learned.

Presenters: Frank Cervone & Darlene Fichter

[ Slides ] Supporting Self Discovery: Designing Effective Subject Pages

Web Wizard's Cool Tools - Monday, October 24

New tools help library Webmasters get their jobs done faster, easier and better than ever before! Experienced Webmasters share their top picks from the past year covering the gamut of hosted applications, server side scripts, multimedia, and other desktop tools. They highlight tools for people who are just starting out as well as some advanced applications for Webmasters who like to dig their teeth into a bit of code. The audience is invited to join in and ask panelists for ideas as well as share their own picks.

Presenters: Darlene Fichter, Frank Cervone, Jeff Wisniewski, Marshall Breeding, Greg Notess

[ Slides ] - Tools suggested by Darlene>

For tools mentioned by all presenters see Steve Lawson's blog

Fostering Collaboration with Wikis and Weblogs - Wedenesday, October 26

More and more organizations are turning to wikis to help teams collaborate and share knowledge. The flexible, self-organizing nature of wikis and their ease of use make them an ideal bottom-up approach for sharing knowledge rather than a top-down content management system. Sometimes wikis and Weblogs are seen as an either/or proposition. Not so. Each has its place and can help foster collaboration and sharing. Find out more about wikis, how some organizations have successfully used them, and how Weblogs and wikis fit into your collaboration toolbox.

[ Slides ]

Canadian Library Association Conference Calgary AB June 16, 2005

Blogging & RSS: Applications & Technology

This session starts with a solid grounding in the technology and applications of Web logs.  It uses real world examples from a variety of libraries to illustrate applications and best practices in the information community.  It discusses the tools and software necessary to get started, some advanced tools, like RSS (Really Simple Syndication), to improve production and delivery for Web logs/blogs, and highlights tips and tricks from experienced practitioners.

Speakers: Darlene Fichter, Data Library Co-ordinator, University of Saskatchewan

Stephen Cohen, Assistant Librarian, Rivkin Radler LLP

Randy Reichardt, Information Services Librarian (Engineering), Science & Technology, University of Alberta

Aaron Schmidt, Reference Librarian, Thomas Ford Memorial Public Library

Presentation Links

SLA Virtual Learning Series

Part I Weblogs: Opportunities for Special Libraries - May 11, 2005 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET

What is a weblog and how could this tool be used by your library? More and more libraries are using blogs to help market programs and services from publishing online newsletters, library construction news, and links to new resources. Others are using weblogs to publish their web site or parts of a web site taking advantage of the light weight content management tools for business processes on the library's intranet.

Find out the basics of how a weblog works and how easy it is to set up a new weblog. Take a tour of some library weblogs to see dozens of different ways that libraries are using weblogs to serve their customers better. Explore how some organizations are using weblogs as part of marketing, new information services, and guerilla knowledge management efforts.

Attend this web seminar to find out whether weblogs are the right tool to help you produce instant content for your web site, market libraries and/or library services, or foster knowledge exchange, collaboration and discovery.

Part II: How to Start a Weblog: Tools, Tips and Techniques May 25, 2005 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm ET

What should you consider when you're planning a new weblog? Take time to think about the purpose, scope, editorial style, and weblog brand. Consider what technical skills, subject knowledge, and writing skills might be needed? Identify weblog features that you might need such as topics, search, daily archives, permanent links, etc.

Weblog software ranges from the very simple to feature-rich loaded with functions and add-on modules. Learn about weblog features and build your own list of requirements. Setting up a weblog in a corporate environment usually means taking into account some special requirements for security, permissions, and promotion. Find out key questions to ask when selecting weblog software. Examine the features offered by some commercial, low cost and free blogging packages.

This seminar will help choose weblog software that best suits your needs and key points to consider when getting your weblog off to a good start. Darlene Fichter will share insights gained from starting several weblogs. She'll point out some common pitfalls to avoid and tips on integrating blogging into regular workflow.

Collaboration in the e-Workplace. Paris - La Défense, France 1-2 June 2005

Harnessing the Collective Power of Weblogs

Hear why companies are turning to weblogs to foster collaboration, and how weblog tools like trackback, ping, and RSS can add power to your weblog initiatives.

SLA Western Canada Chapter - May 18, 2005

Always Fresh: Fast Content For Your Users: RSS and Potential Applications [ Slides PDF ]

Darlene will give us an introduction to RSS (rich site summary/RDF site summary/really simple syndication). Darlene will show how information professionals can offer new services and build applications with RSS feeds.

Resources

RSS and Webfeeds: A Field Guide for Librarians - a PowerPoint presentation by Teri Vogel, Science Librarian, San Diego

Pharmaceutical and Health Division Spring 2005 Meeting - April 3-5, 2005

RSS and Potential Applications - April 5

[ Slides PDF ]

How can libraries make use of RSS feeds to create new products and services? Learn about RSS feeds and how it can help you and your users.

Computers in Libraries 2005 - March 16-18, 2005

Web Managers Academy: Building Next-Generation Library Web Sites
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Full Day)

You've done usability testing, you've done some redesign, but you still need to make your site more responsive to your customer's needs. Come and learn about the latest trends and techniques to create more customer/patron-friendly Web sites. Leave with a clear understanding of what federated searching and OpenURL resolvers are and how both can improve your Web site; how to enable publishing of customized and personalized content; and the latest in good design and usability research and practice.

Presenters:

  • Darlene Fichter, Data Library Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan
  • Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University
  • Jeff Wisniewski, Web Services Librarian, University of Pittsburgh
  • Marshall Breeding, Library Technology Officer, Vanderbilt University

Topics include:

  • Maximizing the return on investment for a library's Web site
  • Web content management systems
  • Designing with Web standards: CSS and XHTML
  • Usability research update
  • New tools such as federated search. link resolvers, and Web services

The session provides opportunities for discussions and sharing expertise with other attendees. Taught by experienced experts, this workshop is a good, 1-day crash course for Web development managers wanting to move to the next level.

Track B: Web Design & Development - March 16

Building next-generation library Web sites that provide timely, relevant information for library users is challenging and exciting. Discover new tools, techniques and technologies that can help you develop better Web sites. Learn about the latest approaches, research findings, and case studies describing the development of leading-edge library Web sites. Expert Web managers and developers talk about how to harness the latest technology tools and implement best practices for content integration, access, and usability.

Organized and moderated by Darlene Fichter, University of Saskatchewan

Designing User Interfaces for Federated Search Engines and Subject Pages March 16th [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Presenters:

  • J. Michael Visser, Product Manager, Digital Asset Management Products, Endeavor Information Systems
  • Darlene Fichter, Data Library Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan

Visser describes the process and benefits of working collaboratively with libraries on interface design for federated search. Listening to and watching students work provides the feedback necessary to make a particular interface the best it can be. Usability testing has helped prove the value federated searching provides to students, and has identified areas for improving the user experience. Fichter shares initial results of testing subject portal pages and describes the results from a series of usability studies looking at the effective design of library subject pages. Through a rapid cycle of testing, design changes, and retesting, subject pages were adapted and changed based on user behavior. Learn about some of the difficulties faced by participants in using the designs and the challenges faced in creating an effective interface for subject pages.

Ontario Library Association Super Conference - February 3 - 5, 2005

Always Fresh: Fast Content For Library Web Site with Really Simple Syndication (RSS) [ Slides PDF ]

Keeping a library web site up to date with fresh content is a challenge for any webmaster. Learn how to publish, merge and format RSS feeds into instant web content. Discover how libraries have made specialized pages featuring article titles of new journal issues, new library acquisitions, book and movie reviews, and much more. Take away a list of sites that allow anyone to simply cut, paste and publish RSS content to their site in seconds. For the technologically daring, find out about free scripts to install that allow you to "shake and bake" your own combos. Dive in now and offer new services that auto-magically refresh and keep your audience coming back for more!

Designing for Scent: Why Stinky Sites Work [ Slides PDF ]

Researchers at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) have found that humans find information on the Web by following the "scent" of information just like blood hounds on the hunt for their prey. Learn about how to write so that your site has a strong scent and draws people towards the information they need. Find out about using trigger words, building strong, sweet smelling trails, and how to avoid common pitfalls of writing that leads users astray or that cause them to lose the scent. Take home tips and techniques to make your site "stinky" and quickly spot areas to improve.

Teaching Development Seminar - University of Lethbridge - January 25, 2005

Creating Effective Instructional Materials for the Web - Videoconference

Creating instructional materials for the Web demands a unique blend of software knowledge and publication skills. In many cases, too much time is spent on the technical aspects with an accompanying blind faith that the content, transferred from earlier print formats, will take care of itself. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness of online user behaviour often impedes the effective use of instructional materials.

Darlene Fichter will refer to usability studies to reveal how students actually learn online and what the implications are for developing microcontent, menus, layout, and writing style.

This lecture is part of a complete session entitled Information Literacy in a Liberal Education: Delivery Options.

OLA Education Institute

The Blogging Explosion -- Libraries & Weblogs
[ Teleconference ] - January 18, 2005

Writing for the Wired World: Creating Online Content That Works
[Online Course ]

Writing for a different medium, like the Web, can be challenging. Find out what usability studies reveal about how people actually read online and what the implications are for developing microcontent, menus, layout, and writing style. Filled with examples, tips, and tricks, this interactive online course is a must for library web site content developers and webmasters who want to improve their sites.

WHEN: Online @ your desktop, 6 weeks starting January 10, 2005


2004 Presentations

Internet Librarian - November 15-17, Monterey, CA

Next-Generation Library Web Sites - November 13th 1/2 Day Workshop

Co-presenter: Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian, Northwestern University

You'’ve done usability testing, you’ve done some redesign, but you still need to make your site more responsive to your customer’s needs. Come and learn about the latest trends and techniques to create more “customer/patron-friendly” Web sites. Leave with a clear understanding of what federated searching and OpenURL resolvers are and how both can improve your Web site; how to enable publishing of customized and personalized content; and the latest in good design and usability research and practice.

Web Managers Academy - November 14th Full Day Workshop

Moderator and Presenter

Web development is challenging. A range of technical and management skills are required to develop a great Web site. No matter what type of library or information service you manage and support, this full-day workshop provides a good foundation in these areas:

  • Developing or redesigning a site
  • Key checkpoints in a Web project life cycle
  • Developing a solid and sustainable site architecture
  • Demystifying Web site standards and jargon
  • Solid tips for creating usable Web designs

This information-packed full-day seminar hits the high points of strategic and practical milestones in the planning process for Web development. Learn about new and popular tools and technologies and examine Web standards, design considerations, and usability. Look at the mechanics common to all Web sites, plus user testing, visual design, and cool new tools. Taught by experienced experts, this workshop is a good, 1-day crash course for Web development managers at all levels.

Research Tools: Turning Search into Research - [ PowerPoint ]

Panelist with Marydee Ojala, Editor, ONLINE Magazine, Sebastian Gard, Product Marketing Manager, Onfolio

With 91 percent of wired Americans regularly going online to do research, it is clear that millions of people today are embracing the power and scope of the Internet. However, for most, finding the information is only half the battle—making that information useful is a key next step. This session explores the current Internet landscape with respect to using new technologies for managing Web resources to maximize organizational and sharing capabilities for research purposes. Berrey looks at new categories of research tools, how to maximize productivity by using the right research tools, and trends in Web research in 2005. Fichter shares new Web applications/social bookmarking services such as Furl, Spurl, Frassle, Feedmelinks, and de.licio.us, while Ojala discusses desktop tools: Pluck, AskSam, ContentSaver, NetSnippets, Surfbot, and kee<p>oint.

Track B: Web Design & Development - November 15

Organized and moderated by Darlene Fichter, University of Saskatchewan

This series of talks focuses on new tools, best practices, and strategies for creating effective Web sites. Join Webmasters from many different organizations who share their knowledge and experience.

Usability Research Update [ PowerPoint ]

This session provides a look at key usability research findings and scientific studies in the past year. Capitalize on these findings and incorporate their results into your development to create better-designed Web sites, applications, and interactive tools. Our usability expert peppers her talk with study examples of library home pages, navigational systems, subject pages, subject portals, and live reference services. Up-to-the-minute tips and suggestions from an expert who reviews more resources than anyone we know! Take away lots of ideas for productivity tools, free information resources, and cool search strategies.

Cool Tools Update for Library Web Sites [ PowerPoint ]

Co-presenter Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian, Northwestern University

Hop on board and look at some great tools to make a Webmaster’s life simpler. What new open source or low-cost tools could be used on your library Web site? Come to this action-packed session and learn what’s new, useful, and critical for having an outstanding Web site. Pack your toolbox with inexpensive (or free) Web tools to put to use when you return.

More cool tools links and presentations

Hawaii Library Conference - October 23 & 24, 2004

Technology - Bringing Power to the Information Pipeline [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Technology is changing the way information is exchanged in today’s society. Libraries are key players in this new information exchange opening the doors to the electronic storehouses of the world to our users. Jumpstart your learning about new technologies and join Darlene in a tour of some new technologies that we need to take seriously. From the smallest to the largest library, inexpensive technologies like Weblogs, RSS, and Instant Messaging are powering library programs and services. Take a peek at digital library projects by public, academic, non-profit and tribal (First Nation) libraries that are making unique materials and collections available to anyone, anywhere. Find out how metasearch products and link resolvers help build “smarter” interfaces for our users and why you need these tools to keeping adding power to your pipeline.

Using Weblogs to Spread the Word About Libraries [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Libraries are treasure troves of information, but how many of our users know even half of what we offer? Weblogs can be a dynamite way to reach out to our users and market our libraries’ programs and services. Find out what weblogs are, how quick they are to setup, and see examples of libraries worldwide using weblogs to promote their libraries. Be prepared to be amazed as you see all the ways large and small libraries have put weblogs to use to serve their users better.

KMWorld/Intranets 2004 - October 26-28, Santa Clara, CA

Blogging for Knowledge Exchange

Blogging is being viewed today as an easy, "lightweight" content management solution. Weblogs are more than just an easy way to publish. They empower knowledge workers to share information, make connections and network across the organizational teams and silos. Many organizations are turning to Weblogs to jump start their KM and information solutions inside the firewall. This workshop discusses how Weblogs can be used by organizations to facilitate knowledge exchange and discovery. It provides examples from a number of different organizations about how to use Weblogs effectively and provides guidelines for getting started.

Using Weblogs in the Workplace New - Articles, Resources and Software

Lethbridge University Library Seminar - Lethbridge - Sept. 29, 2004

Delivering Information Literacy Online

Writing for the Web: Creating Effective Instructional Pages

Weblogs in Higher Education: What You Need to Get Started - Academic Impressions Web Conference - October 5, 2004

Co-presenter: Frank Cervone

More and more faculty are combining web sites and online discussions with classroom teaching. University staff and administrators are looking for fast and easy ways to publish new content, invite comments and facilitate networking. Both of these groups are turning to weblogs as a solution.

Learn about weblog software choices and features such as RSS syndication, comments, permalinks, editorial roles, and administrative issues.

Emerging Trends and Technologies - what do they mean to libraries? -Council of Federal Libraries - Ottawa - Sept 22, 2004

Divining the Future: Delivering Library Services in a Wired World

How is technology changing libraries and how knowledge workers access, store, search and use information? Which new technologies are on the horizon that we should pay attention to right now? Darlene will zero in a few key technologies, such as federated searching, link revolvers and open source software. Librarians have to be nimble and savvy in evaluating these types of technologies. We need to be quick to seize opportunities that can add real value and deliver better services to users while avoiding fads and hype.

Metadata Standards for Digital Libraries [ PowerPoint Slides ]


- Locations: Regina / Saskatoon - Sept. 23/24, 2004

Co-presenter: Frank Cervone

Sponsored by the Saskatchewan Library Association and Saskatchewan Multitype Library Board

This half-day workshop brings you up to speed with the new formats and terminology for digital library projects. It focuses on the practical applications of TEI, EAD, RDF, XHTML, Dublin Core, METS, MODS and OAI. Find out what each standard is and isn’t and how each relates to the digital library environment. Learn about XML markup, DTDs, schemas, namespaces, and style sheets. Find out how libraries are working together to build interoperable digital library collections. You will learn to recognize the names of different standards that are being used in the digital library environment and will understand the syntax and rules for encoding them. This workshop will enhance your understanding of the digital library environment and the challenges and opportunities for interoperability.

Special Libraries Network - Saskatoon - June 17, 2004

Weblogs - Opportunities for Special Libraries

How can special libraries use weblogs to market the library and offer new services for their users? Take a tour of some library weblogs and take a look at some tools available.

SLA Conference 2004

Federated Searching and Open URL - June 6, 2004 - Presented with Frank Cervone 8:00 – 12:00

Federated searching, or searching many information bases at once, is the next generation in library services. Participants will learn what federated searching is, what's available today, what is involved in implementing a federated search service, its impact on the library, and how the Open URL standard and other linking initiatives relate to these new services.

Blogging for Information and Knowledge Exchange - June 6, 2004 1:00 – 5:00 - Presented with Frank Cervone

This workshop covers the fundamentals - what blogs are and how you can use them, what features to look for in a blogging toolkit, the do's and don'ts of blog publishing, how blogs can make publishing and managing Web content easier, and how to establish a blog "brand."

MOLO Regional Library Systems - Ohio - May 25, 2004 Videoconference

Using Weblogs to Promote Library Services: It's Easier Than You Think

What is a blog and how could this tool be used by your library? More and more libraries are using blogs to help market programs and services from publishing online newsletters, library construction news, links or new resources, and even areas for book discussion groups. Blogging software is free or inexpensive and easy to learn. Attend this videoconference to find out how blogs can help you produce instant content for your web site and market libraries and library services. This session will covers different types of blogs, popular free and low cost blogging services, as well as hot new software packages for blogging. It will offer advice and tips on getting started.

SLA Virtual Learning Series for 2004

Web Design & Usability: Tips, Techniques & Best Practices - May 19, 2004 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Building a successful library site is becoming a mission-critical application. How do you know that your library site works and is easy to use? This seminar provides usability tests and techniques that assist with "user-focused" design. It is peppered with real life examples of testing of library navigation systems, virtual reference services, and subject portals. Take home tips, exercises, examples and guidelines for carrying out your own testing and making your site better for users.

Related Links: Usability

2003 Presentations

Computers in Libraries - Washington, DC - March 10-12, 2004

Coordinator and Speaker Web Managers Academy Full Day - March 9. Presenter: User Testing

See description from Internet Librarian 2003

Web Design & Development Track, Moderator

Great library Web sites don't happen by accident. The speakers in this track talk about what it takes to design, manage, assess, and evaluate library Web sites. Hear from library Webmasters who are people- and technology-savvy to find out how to keep pace with new user demands and opportunities for improvement.

TechForum 2004: Looking at Dead & Emerging Technologies - March 10 [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Firmly in the knowledge age, organizations and communities are striving to become learning organizations and centers, and librarians are even more critical to the transfer of knowledge in these learning environments. Our popular dead technology session focuses this year on those technologies that will, and will not, allow us to transfer knowledge to our clients in easy, cost-effective, and relevant ways. This session features some new views as well as some of our long-term Computers in Libraries experts, pioneers, and practitioners. Come and hear our panel's predictions of future-challenged technologies as they praise and condemn available and emerging technologies.

Cool Tools Update for Library Web Sites - March 10 [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Hop on board and look at some great client and server side tools to make a Webmaster's life simpler. What new open-source or low-cost tools could be used on your library Web site? Come to this action-packed session and learn what's new, useful, and critical for having an outstanding Web site.

More Cool Tools

Why Web Forms Stink and What You Can Do About It - March 10 [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Talking to Web site users reveals that everyone has a horror story about a Web survey, request form, or online purchase gone awry. How well do Web forms on your library Web site work? Webmasters complain that visitors don't read the form directions, but is poor form design at fault? Learn about the 10 do's and don'ts of form design and take home practical tips to make your site better.

Articles and Sites on Web Forms

Cybertour - Blog Basics [ PowerPoint Slides ]

  Related Links: Blogging Basics

Intranet Academy Full Day - Presenter: User Experience March 13

See description from Internet Librarian 2003

New Web Standards Workshop 1/2 day workshop with Frank Cervone - March 13

This intensive half-day workshop brings you up to speed with the new formats and terminology you need to know to implement digital library projects. It focuses on the practical applications of TEI, EAD, RDF, xHTML, Dublin Core, METS, MODS, and OAI. Find out what each standard is and isn't and how each relates to the larger digital library environment. Learn about XML markup, DTDs, schemas, namespaces, and style sheets. Hear case studies and examples of how libraries are working together to build interoperable digital library collections. Obtain a good understanding of developing standards, especially XML, that are useful in creating digital libraries.

Next Generation Library Web Sites 1/2 day workshop with Frank Cervone - March 13

You've done usability testing, you've done some redesign, but you still need to make your site more responsive to your patron's needs. Come to this workshop to learn about the latest trends and techniques to create more "patron friendly" Web sites. When you leave this workshop you'll understand what federated searching is, how to enable boutique content and packaging content at the individual level, as well as learn about the latest in good design and usability.

SERIES: Website Usability: Tips, Techniques & Testing - Academic Impressions February - February/March 2004

Overview:

University and college web sites have become mission critical tools for communicating and delivering services to students, faculty, staff, donors, and prospective students. Having an ineffective site is costly: prospective students choose another college, donors look elsewhere, and administrative and technical staff spend hours answering routine inquiries that could be answered via the web.

Web sites need to anticipate the user's expectations and choose appropriate design elements that make it easy to find and use information. Designing the perfect home page, effective navigation, organization and structure for a web site is a challenging process. How do you know that your site works and is easy to use? What works best? There is a mountain of research studies about web site usability and effectiveness. Don't spend your time inventing a new wheel; learn from these studies. Pick up best practices and techniques that you can use to ensure you have "user-focused" and effective site design. Avoid the pitfalls of designing for what users say they like by watching what they actually do.

This series will provide information and strategies for designing effective web sites based on findings from usability studies and research into user behavior. Learn how to apply this research to the design, organization, layout and creation of content and interactive services on your own web site. The topics covered in the series will focus on the usability and credibility of your home page, creating compelling and effective content for pages in your site, and how to create out usability tests of your site to identify and correct problems.

Learn techniques and methods for optimizing your university or college site to achieve your business goals and the user's goals. Hear about real life examples of testing of higher education web sites.

This web conference series will bring you and your staff a wealth of practical information that can be put to use immediately. It will stimulate discussion and planning for new web projects. Best of all, you can see and hear the expert advice at a place and time convenient to you.

Home Page Usability

Your home page has tremendous reach and impact. The web site can create first and lasting impressions of your college or university and/or help to reinforce real word experiences with your institution. The web site and the home page need to perform well and communicate the purpose of the site in a succinct fashion. In a matter of seconds visitors will decide your credibility and trustworthiness. They'll decide whether your site looks "useful" and "usable". Will it help them achieve their goals? For the online user convenience is paramount. What are the essential elements of a homepage? What should be given priority and what should be minimized?

Take away guidelines and best practices from gleaned form research into web site credibility, home page usability, navigational systems, and information architecture to help you make your home page more effective.

Usability Beyond the Home Page: Writing for the Wired World

Users complain that web sites are hard to use they're poorly organized, hard to read and that it's simply impossible to find what they need. Many of these problems are directly related to how people read online and how we create page content. Attend this session for find out how writing for the Web differs from writing for print media. The Web not only has unique capabilities, such as hypertext, but also unique requirements. User expectations and behaviors must also be considered. Find out what research studies reveal about how people actually read online, and what the implications are for developing content, layout, and writing style for sub pages. Train your eye to spot trouble areas on your site. Practice critiquing sample university and College web pages. This interactive session will use polls, hands-on exercises and page critiques to help you develop new skills for wired writing. Filled with examples from testing higher education web sites, tips, and tricks, this session will show you how to improve your site, whether you're a content creator, or the site's webmaster.

Usability Testing: What You Need to Get Started

Almost every university, department and research group has a web site. How well does it work? How do you know? Usability testing is a technique for ensuring that people can carry out the intended activities on your web site efficiently, effectively and satisfactorily. Many usability techniques are relatively simple and easy to carry out in-house. Usability testing is a way to validate your design decisions by seeing whether people can successfully use your site.

This session will introduce two techniques and how to use them: cognitive walkthrough and task-based testing. Discover how different webmasters are applying usability testing to ferret out their web site's strengths and weaknesses. Learn how to carry out usability tests and analyze the results so that you can make your site easier to use. Avoid the pitfalls of designing for what users say they like by watching what they actually do.

Take home tips, exercises, examples and guidelines for carrying out your own testing and making your site better for users.

Ontario Library Association Super Conference - Toronto ON

Words Matter: Writing for the Web - Session January 30 [ PowerPoint Slides ]

How is writing for the Web different than writing for print media? Find out what usability studies reveal about how people actually read online, and what the implications are for developing microcontent, menus, layout, and writing style. Train your eye to spot trouble areas on your site. Practice critiquing sample library Web pages. Filled with examples from testing library web sites, tips, and tricks, this session will show you how to improve your library site, whether you're an author, or the library webmaster.

Reading Cyber Tracks: Analyzing Log Files and Search Logs - January 29 [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Looking at a site redesign or just tweaking an area to improve the user experience? Log files are a rich information source for finding out what users actually do on your site. What path do they follow? When do they search and for what? Log and search log file analysis can point out site problems, issues and successes. Learn how to harvest the nuggets of gold from your log files to improve your site.


2003 Presentations

Internet Librarian - Monterey CA - November 2-5, 2003

Organizer and Moderator. Track B — Web Design & Development: Tools, Standards, & Processes - November 3

Library users are getting smarter, faster, and better at using the Web. Library Webmasters are keeping pace by harnessing the latest tools and Web standards from XML, SOAP, RSS, Web services, Open Source applications, and portal toolkits to develop sophisticated Web sites. Join our speakers as they share their thought-provoking ideas, experiences, best practices, and tools to help make your job as a Web developer easier.

Coordinator for Web Managers Academy Full Day - November 2; Presenter: User Testing

Web development is challenging. A range of technical and management skills are required to develop a great Web site. No matter what type of library or information service you manage and support, this full-day workshop provides a good foundation in:

  • How to develop or redesign a site.
  • Key checkpoints in a Web project life cycle.
  • How to develop a solid and sustainable site architecture.
  • How to demystify Web site standards and jargon.
  • Solid tips for creating usable Web designs.

This information-packed full-day seminar hits the high points of strategic and practical milestones in the planning process for Web development. Learn about new and popular tools and technologies and examine Web architecture, design considerations, and usability. Look at the mechanics common to all Web sites, plus user testing, visual design, and cool new tools. Taught by experienced experts, this workshop is a good, 1-day crash course for Web development managers at all levels.

Cool Tools Update, Part 1: Client and Web-Based Tools [ PowerPoint Slides 2003 ] - November 3. Cool Tools 2002

Fichter brings more great tools to make Web development easier and library Web sites better. She provides a whirlwind tour of tools to create graphics and buttons, easy-to-use subject directories, quizzes, nifty usage reports and surveys, plug-and-play “free” content, and more! Pack your toolbox with inexpensive (or free) Web tools to put to use when you return.

The Blogging Explosion—Libraries & Weblogs [ PowerPoint Slides ] - November 4

This session discusses the state of the art of blogging: how blogs can produce instant content for your Web site, market libraries and library services, and provide technology for knowledge exchange within your own organization. It covers different types of blogs, popular free and low-cost blogging services, as well as new software packages for blogging. Our expert highlights new blog features and add-ons for creating dynamic resource sites.

Bright Ideas for the Web [ PowerPoint Slides ] - November 4

This panel of Webmasters looks at how libraries are utilizing XML content from Google, Amazon, and other sites to create new services. The session covers the toolkits and free programs available to integrate content, touring some applications on library and other sites. Come learn about some cool cut and paste, easy to implement applications and services.

CyberTour - Blogging Tools [ PowerPoint Slides ] - November 5

Intranets and KMWorld - Santa Clara CA - October 14-16, 2003

Organizer and moderator Track D — Design & Usability - October 15

Visual design, information architecture, interaction design, content and tools all contribute to the overall experience that the user has when they visit an intranet. Designing an intranet that works well for employees who may be around the world performing diverse sets of tasks is a challenge. Learn about different user assessment and usability testing techniques that can keep the users front and center in your intranet design efforts. Find out how to develop your intranet and handle change while staying up 24x7.

Intranet Professionals Academy - October 13 - - Presentation: Web Design and User Experience

Whether you're an intranet professional just starting out or one who is already delivering products and services on the intranet, this experience-packed day provides an excellent opportunity to further your knowledge about intranets. Learn about the current thinking and developments that make a difference in information and knowledge transfer in your organization and speak with expert practitioners and colleagues. The Intranet Professionals Academy covers:

  • Intranets and portals as instruments of information and knowledge exchange
  • Designing the ultimate end-user experience
  • Intranet and portal technologies: What is hot and what's not
  • Managing content for best results
  • Information architecture, search, and taxonomy
  • People, portals, and intranets: expectations and realities

Usability for Intranets - October 13 - 1/2 Day Workshop with Frank Cervone

Usability testing is one of the hottest topics around, but is Internet usability the same as intranet usability? Do you want to make your site more usable, but you don't know where to start or simply haven't found the time? Come to this workshop to learn the answers to these questions. Gather practical tips that you can put to use immediately and inexpensively by exploring and experiencing usability testing techniques specifically for intranets.

Actionable Information: Tools & Techniques to Help Design Effective Intranets [ PowerPoint Slides ] - October 15 - Presented with Frank Cervone

Frank Cervone and Darlene Fichter will describe how they have used heuristic evaluation in practical redevelopment situations to save time and money. Heuristic evaluation is a technique that can be used to weed out usability problems with an intranet upfront, before usability testing with users begins.

Blogging for KM & Competitive Intelligence - October 16 [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Web logs, or blogs, are being used for many things these day. Blogs are a natural vehicle for knowledge exchange, storytelling, and fostering online communities. They offer unique viewpoints and an incubator for new ideas. Darlene Fichter focuses on KM applications of blogging, while Arik Johnson focuses on their application in competitive intelligence—a low-cost, flexible, and customizable tool for collecting, analyzing, packaging, and delivering current awareness and early warning of market activities by customers, competitors, suppliers, and other forces affecting the future of an organization.

Intracom 1 - Montreal PQ - October 1-3, 2003

Making Intranets Usable: Usability Testing Techniques That Save Time and Money - Workshop

Ministry of Education - Denmark - April 2003

  • User Experience
  • Writing for the Wired World

IT Girls 1 - Opening Speaker - Saskatoon SK - May 12, 2003

Computers in Libraries 2003, Washington, DC March 12-14, 2003

Web Managers Academy Preconference Workshop. Moderator and Speaker - Darlene Fichter

Web development is challenging. It requires a range of technical and management skills to develop a great Web site. No matter what type of library or information service you manage and support, this full-day workshop provides a good foundation in:

  • How to develop or redesign a site.
  • Key checkpoints in a Web project life cycle.
  • How to develop a solid and sustainable site architecture.
  • Demystifying Web site standards and jargon.
  • Solid tips for creating usable Web designs.

Offered for the first time, this information-packed full-day seminar hits the high points of strategic and practical milestones in the planning process for Web development. Learn about new and popular tools and technologies and examine Web architecture, design considerations, and usability. Look at the mechanics common to all Web sites, plus user testing, visual design, and cool new tools. Taught by experienced experts, this workshop is a good, 1-day crash course for all levels of Web development managers.

Track D: Web Design & Technologies March 12 - Organized and moderated by Darlene Fichter

Small-Scale Usability Testing: Evolution Not Revolution [ PowerPoint Slides ] - March 12

Is the idea of embarking on a major usability study daunting? How will you find the time to carry it out, let alone make all the revisions? Don’t despair. Hear how to perform small incremental tests to improve the usability of a Web site. Learn about techniques and see some results from tests of a health sciences library Web site. Get tips about how to foster a culture of continuous assessment.

Technology & Knowledge Forum: A Look at Dead & Emerging Technologies [ PowerPoint Slides ] - March 12 Wednesday Evening Session

Firmly in the knowledge age, organizations and communities are striving to become learning organizations and centers, and librarians are even more critical to the transfer of knowledge in these learning environments. Our popular dead technology” session focuses this year on those technologies that will, and will not, allow us to transfer knowledge to our clients in easy, cost-effective, and relevant ways.

Track D: Web Applications & Libraries March 14 - Organized and moderated by Darlene Fichter

The Blogging Explosion - Libraries and Weblogs [ PowerPoint Slides ] - March 14

Blogs are a goldmine for "emergent information" on the web. Not only have libraries and librarians have started to mine this information, but many have joined the blogging community and become creators of innovative weblogs. This session discusses how blogs can help you produce instant content for your web site and market libraries and library services. It covers different types of blogs, popular free and low cost blogging services, as well as hot new software packages for blogging. Our expert highlights new blog features and add-ons that help you create a dynamic resource sites.

Intranet Professionals Academy - Full Day. Speaker.

Whether you'’re an information professional just starting out or one who is already delivering products and services on the intranet, this experience packed day provides an excellent opportunity to learn about intranets. Learn about the current thinking and developments that make a difference in information and knowledge transfer in your organization and speak with expert practitioners and colleagues. This first-ever Intranet Professionals Academy covers:

  • Intranets and portals as instruments of information and knowledge exchange
  • People and intranets and expectations and realities
  • Designing the ultimate end-user experience
  • Intranet and portal technologies: What is hot and what’s not
  • Managing content for best results
  • Information architecture, search and taxonomy
  • Intranets and portals for the end-user

Technology Futures: Enhancing Library Workflow with IT - 1/2 Day Workshop with Frank Cervone

You’ve harnessed the Web for your library users, but have you exploited technology to support day-to-day library activities? This workshop focuses on innovative technologies to enhance workflow and improve productivity for library staff and to deliver valued-added services to your user. Explore Open-Source Toolkits and applications you can develop in-house, including:

  • Prospero for ILL
  • SiteSearch and other Web database solutions
  • Inventory management, room, and equipment scheduling
  • Fedora for digital repositories
  • Citation Manager, an open-source citation manager
  • PMachine for knowledge exchange and best practices
  • PHPWebsite for sharing intranet content
  • MOSST (Modular Online Software for Self-Paced Tutorials)

Internet Librarian International 2003, Birmingham, UK March 25-27, 2003

Standards Primer for Digital Libraries - 1/2 Day Workshop with Frank Cervone

This half-day workshop brings you up to speed with the new formats and terminology for digital library projects. It focuses on the practical applications of TEI, EAD, RDF, xHTML, Dublin Core, METS, MODS, and OAI. Find out what each standard is and isn’t and how each relates to the digital library environment. Learn about XML markup, DTDs, schemas, namespaces, and style sheets. Find out how libraries are working together to build interoperable digital library collections. You will learn to recognize the names of different standards that are being used in the digital library environment and will understand the syntax and rules for encoding them. This workshop will enhance your understanding of the digital library environment and the challenges and opportunities for interoperability.

Managing Web Development Projects - 1/2 Day Workshop with Frank Cervone

Leading a project is a challenging task. Many of us do not have formal project management training and have picked up techniques wherever we could. This workshop discusses how to plan and carry out your project. Learn about the art and technique of setting clear project requirements, defining critical paths, selecting development methodology, leading diverse project teams, creating project documentation, and enabling reporting and communication.

Authoring Web Sites in xHTML [ PowerPoint Slides ] - March 25

What is xHTML and why should you use it? What are the major differences between HTML and xHTML? Learn about software packages that let you author in xHTML. Find out about tools that help you convert existing sites and xHTML validators. Take home a list of useful resource sites that will help you get started using xHTML.

Blogging [ PowerPoint ]

Blogging software is morphing from use for personal journals into content management systems and collaborative communities. When you decide to set up a blog, you have dozens of choices. Does your blog need to be remotely hosted or installed locally? What features and services matter? Get up to speed with blogging software basics. Discover exciting add-ons and innovative features. And learn how your library can find and use these highly personal, but often informative, resources as reference tools, as well.

100th Annual Conference of Ontario Library Association, Toronto, Ontario, February 1, 2003

"Come On! Give Me Ten": What Users Really Want and Really Do on Library Web Sites [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Building a successful library site is becoming a mission-critical application as library services and resources become digital. How do you know that your library site works and is easy to use? Learn about various usability tests and techniques that will help you have a "user-focused" design. Avoid the pitfalls of designing for what users say they like by watching what they actually do. This session will be peppered with real life examples of testing of library navigation systems, virtual reference services, and consortium sites.

2002 Presentations

Library Teleconference - College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL December 6, 2002

Introducing Effective Web Design: A Fresh Look

Today's Web sites need to offer more than just access to online catalogs and databases. Web sites need to anticipate the user's expectations with design elements that make it easy to find and use information. Organizations, especially libraries, need to take a fresh look at their Web sites in light of usability and accessibility issues.

Internet Librarian, Palm Springs, CA November 4-6, 2002

Writing for the Web - November 4, 2002 [ Promoting Writing - PowerPoint Slides & Resources Sites ]

How is writing for the Web different than writing for print media? The Web not only has unique capabilities, such as hypertext, but also unique requirements. User expectations must also be considered. Web writing varies with its purpose, whether it is for promotion, bibliographic instruction, or information sharing. What does it have in common with print writing for these same purposes?

Catherine Wells Dimenstein, a professional writer and author of five novels, outlines the do's and don'ts for successful Web writing.

Darlene Fichter, a Web developer and "Intranet Librarian" columnist for ONLINE magazine, looks at classic mistakes with microcontent on library sites and talks about strategies for getting library staff to be Web-savvy writers.

Webmasters Roundtable: Tools, Standards & Usability - November 4, 2002 [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Other Panelists:
Greg Notess, Reference Librarian, Montana State University
Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University

Looking for hot tips, cool solutions, and exciting new ways to deal with Web design and usability? This lively panel of experts shares tips, tools, and practical advice for designing, managing, and maintaining Web sites.

The Underpinnings: Usability Requirements for Virtual Services - November 5, 2002

The enabling technology and the technology skills of the librarians are critical to the success of virtual services. Darlene Fichter discusses the results of a usability study of a live reference application, illustrating how the wording and placement of live reference buttons impact patrons' recognition, use, and awareness.

Should you use a graphic or text link? What words have the greatest recognition? Does placement next to search boxes or search results increase usage? Fichter not only asks the questions—she offers some thought-provoking answers.

Blogging for Knowledge Exchange - November 5, 2002 [ PowerPoint Slides and Resources ]

Tired of hearing about blogs and think that they're irrelevant to intranets? Take a second look. Blogs are more than vanity presses filled with self-important hype. Blogs are a natural vehicle for knowledge exchange, story telling and fostering online communities.

Blogs offer unique viewpoints and an incubator for new ideas. Consider how blogging might be a useful adjunct for your intranet whether it's for fostering the exchange of ideas or as a marketing venue or a tool for news delivery.

Web Managers Academy - November 3, 2002 [Full Day]

Moderator: Darlene Fichter, Data Coordinator, University of Saskatchewan

Faculty

  • Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University
  • Peter Morville, President, Semantic Studios
  • Marshall Breeding, Library Technology Officer, Vanderbilt University
  • Jeff Wisniewski, Web Services Librarian, University of Pittsburgh

Web development is challenging. It requires a range of technical and management skills to develop a great Web site. No matter what type of library or information service you manage and support, this full-day workshop provides a good foundation in:

  • How to develop or redesign a site
  • Key checkpoints in a Web project life cycle
  • How to develop a solid and sustainable site architecture
  • Demystifying Web site standards and jargon
  • Solid tips for creating usable Web designs

Offered for the first time, this information-packed briefing hits the high points of strategic and practical milestones in the planning process for Web development. Learn about new and popular tools and technologies, and examine Web architecture, design considerations, and usability. Look at the mechanics common to all Web sites, plus user testing, visual design, and cool new tools.

Taught by experienced experts, this workshop is a good, 1-day crash course for all levels of Web development managers.

Writing for the Wired World - November 7, 2002

Writing for a different medium, like the Web, can be challenging. Find out what usability studies reveal about how people actually read online and what the implications are for developing microcontent, menus, layout, and writing style.

Train your eye to spot trouble areas on your site. Practice critiquing and revising sample library Web pages.

Learn strategies for sharing best practices for microcontent development with your Web site authors. Filled with examples, tips, and tricks, this interactive half-day workshop is a must for content developers and library Webmasters who want to improve their sites.

1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

Web Redesigns: Factors for Success - November 7, 2002

Does your library Web site need a redesign? What are the signs? Where do you start? Begin by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of your current site.

Learn how to test proposed revisions early so that the new design doesn't just "look" better, but also "works better" for the users. Gain experience with task-based testing by participating in the practice test.

Pack your toolbox and take home tips, checklists, and tests that you can immediately put to use. Learn about common pitfalls and success factors for library redesigns.

1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

KMWorld & Intranet, San Jose, CA October 29-31, 2002

Making Intranets Usable: Testing & Improving

Do you want to make your site more usable but don't know where to start or simply haven't found the time? This workshop gives you a jump-start on usability by exploring and demonstrating usability testing techniques that you can immediately and inexpensively put into practice.

It discusses on cognitive walk-throughs and task based testing, as well as when to use these and other tests. It provides an opportunity to learn hands on techniques for making your intranet more usable.

1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone, AUL for Information Technology, Northwestern University.

Writing for a Web Environment - Intranets October 30, 2002 [ PowerPoint Slides and Resources ]

Often intranet Web teams focus all their time and effort on the main page and navigation. These are important without a doubt, but so is microcontent and the thousands of subpages.

What does the research show about how users view Web pages and how they use microcontent? As intranet Webmasters, how can we encourage better Web writing and microcontent development? This session addresses some solid strategies for writing in a Web environment.

Internet Librarian International- London, England March 18-20, 2002

Usability Testing and Evaluation Methods for Library Web Sites

Darlene Fichter & Frank Cervone, AUL for Information Technology, Northwestern University

Are you developing a new Web service or site? Are you redesigning? Do you want to make sure your site works and is easy for users to use? Learn about usability tests that you can carry out as you develop new prototypes to make sure your designs meet user needs.

Get hands-on practice with conducting a task based usability test. Take home tips, exercises, examples and guidelines for carrying out your own testing and making your site better for users.

The Secret to Successful IT Project Management

Darlene Fichter & Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University

Leading a project is a challenging task. Many of us never received formal project management training and have picked up techniques wherever we could. This workshop discusses how to plan and carry out your project to ensure its success.

Learn about the art and technique of setting clear project requirements, preparing budget and cost estimates, defining critical paths, selecting development methodology, leading diverse project teams, creating project documentation, and enabling reporting and communication.

Online Learning Courseware: Web Based Technologies [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Darlene Fichter & Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University

With growing demand for IT and information literacy programs, libraries are turning to courseware to develop and implement training programs.

Learn about four popular Web course management systems:

  • WebCT,
  • BlackBoard, eCollege.

What are their strengths, weaknesses and potential? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each system? Find out how you can use these tools to effectively deliver library educational programs.

Writing for the Wired World [ PowerPoint Slides ]

This session discusses why the Web changes the way you should write, suggests some proven techniques that work when communicating on the Web, and looks at the implications for content development and presentation. Filled with examples, tips and tricks, this session is a must for library Web site content developers.

Usability Testing: What You Need to Get Started [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Building a successful library site is becoming a mission-critical application as library services and resources become digital. How do you know that your library site works and is easy to use?

Learn about various usability tests and techniques that will help you have a “user-focused” design. Avoid the pitfalls of designing for what users say they like by watching what they actually do.

Digital Libraries, Digital Communities: Case Studies: Organic Digital Library: Aboriginal Studies [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Usability & Accessibility: Designing Sites That Work Well

Organized and moderated by Darlene Fichter

Almost every library has a Web site. How well does it work? How can libraries build better sites and improve existing sites?

Learn about what usability testing is and discover how different libraries are using usability testing to help build better sites. Learn about what users want and don’t want in a Web site.

Take home ideas for tests and techniques to use on your own projects. Some of these sessions may surprise you and challenge you to think differently.

Computers in Libraries Washington, DC March 13-15, 2002

Usability Testing & Evaluation Methods for Library Web Sites

Are you developing a new service, intranet area or Web site? Are you redesigning? Do you want to make sure your site works and is easy to use? Learn about usability tests that you can carry out to develop early designs and refine the site. Learn about evaluation techniques. Try out task-based testing. Take home tips, exercises, examples and guidelines for carrying out your own testing and making your site better for users.

1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

Web Redesigns: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Is it time to strike a committee and start to redesign? Learn how to construct a workable model for a redesign and a useful methodology to follow. Get ideas, guidelines and tips on when to change to toolkits and software for developing your site. Hear what tools are popular and most effective. Develop a redesign plan and carry it out from start to finish. Learn about common pitfalls and success factors.

1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

Writing for the Wired World [ PowerPoint Slides ]

This session discusses why the Web changes the way you should write, suggests some proven techniques that work when communicating on the Web, and looks at the implications for content development and presentation. Filled with examples, tips and tricks, this session is a must for library Web site content developers.

Webwizards' Symposium: Tips from the Top

This panel of top Web designers and developers shares their key tips and secrets of success for producing easy-to-use, sticky, content-rich sites.

Panelist with Frank Cervone, Assistant University Librarian for Information Technology, Northwestern University, Greg Notess, Reference Librarian, Montana State University-Bozeman Library & Creator of Search Engine Showdown, Gary Price, Co-Author of The Invisible Web, Creator of Price’s List of Lists & Direct Search

Technology & Knowledge Forum: A look at Dead & Emerging Technologies - Wednesday Evening Session

Firmly in the knowledge age, organizations and communities are striving to become learning organizations and centers, and librarians are even more critical to the transfer of knowledge in these learning environments. Our popular “dead technology” session focuses this year on those technologies that will, and will not, allow us to transfer knowledge to our clients in easy, cost-effective, and relevant ways. This session features some new views as well as some of our long-term Computers in Libraries experts, pioneers, and practitioners. Come and hear our panel’s predictions of future-challenged technologies as they praise and condemn available and emerging technologies.

Moderator: D. Scott Brandt, Purdue University
Panelists: Lisa Peterson, Senior Intranet Developer, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Nancy Nelson, Library Director, Berkeley College, Stephen Abram, IHS Micromedia Limited, Darlene Fichter

Usability Testing and Studies

Track is organized and moderated by Darlene Fichter.

Almost every library has a Web site. How well does it work? How can libraries build better sites and improve existing sites? Discover how different libraries are applying usability testing techniques to serve their users better. Learn about what users want and don’t want in a Web site. Take home information and ideas for tests and techniques to use. Some of these sessions may surprise you and challenge you to think differently.

Web Information Providers Group, University of Saskatchewan, February 20, 2002

Usability Testing on a Shoestring [ Powerpoint Slides ]

Almost every department or research group has a web site. How well does it work? How do you know? Discover how different webmasters are applying task based usability testing to ferret out their web site's strengths and weaknesses. Learn how to carry out usability tests and analyze the results so that you can make your site easier to use.

SLA - Western Canadian Chapter - January 23, 2002

WWW: Writing For The Wired World [ PowerPoint Slides ] | Resources on Writing about the Web and Usability

Writing for the wired world can be challenging. Learn about some proven techniques for communicating on the Web. Find out what usability studies tell us about how people actually read online and the implications for developing content, navigation and style. Filled with examples, tips and tricks, this session is a must for Web content developers.

SPSS Workshop - University of Saskatchewan, January 29, 2002.

Presented a section on data files in SPSS syntax workshop

2001 Presentations

Workshop for Go For I.T. Girls 1 - University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, December 14, 2001

ACCOLEDS Data Workshop, Edmonton, AB December 6, 2001.

CANSIM II - A Multiplicity of Access

IABC - International Association of Business Communicators 1 - Saskatoon Chapter, Saskatoon, SK November 28, 2001

Writing for the Wired World

Workshop - University of Saskatchewan, October 24, 2001

Presented a section on data files in SPSS Syntax Workshop

KMWorld, Santa Clara October 29 - November 1, 2001

XML, CM & KM [ Powerpoint Slides ]

Presented with Frank Cervone.

XML and KM: Powering Information and Retrieval for the Semantic Web

1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

What You Need to Know About Managing a Knowledge Management, or Web Project

1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

Internet Librarian 2001, Pasadena, CA November 6-8, 2001

A Librarian’s Primer on XML and Other "MLs": Coping with the New Acronym Jungle as a Librarian Content Manager - 1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

Evidence Based Redesigns: Usability Testing and Evaluation Methods - 1/2 Day Workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

Webmasters’ Roundtable: Accessibility, CGI, & More - Panelist with Roy Tennant, Greg Notess, Terry Brainerd Chadwick, Walt Howe

Track on Usability and Interface Design - Organized and moderated

Usability Testing and Library Sites — Doing It In-House or with an External Consultant

Intracom 1 September 26-28, 2001 Montreal, Quebec

The New Web Alphabet - HTML, XHTML AND XML - What to use, and when

International Panel: "What would speed up intranet development and adoption in your organization?" - Michel Cartier, Martin White, Michel Germain, Guy de Walef, Elton Billings

Netspeed 2001, 1 Edmonton, AB October 11-13, 2001

Usability - Evidence Based Web Redesigns [Powerpoint Slides ]

How do you know what works for users? What tests, tasks and techniques can you use to make sure that your new user interface will work? Is it enough to ask the staff their opinion on the new site or run a focus group? Learn about some of the task-based testing and some of the other tests used in developing TAL Online site.

Infotoday 2001, New York, May 18, 2001.

Designing Usable Sites - Keep Your on Your Users. Full day workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

Intranets 2001, 1 Santa Clara April 29 - May 2, 2001.

Usability Testing on a Shoestring

Project Management

Cluetrain Manifesto. Presented with Peter Morville

Minnesota Association of Law Libraries, Minneapolis, May 2, 2001.

"Clued in to Direct Your Future"

Internet Librarian International[PDF],London, England March 26-28, 2001.

A Librarian’s Primer on XML and other ML's - Coping as a Librarian Content Manager - Full day workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

Designing Usable Library Sites - Keep Your on Your Users - Half day workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

WWW: Writing for the Wired World

Redesigns and Usability - best practices - Presented with Frank Cervone.

Computers in Libraries 2001, Washington DC March 14-16, 2001.

A Librarian’s Primer on XML and other ML's - Coping as a Librarian Content Manager- 1/2 day workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone & Roy Tennant

Designing Usable Library Sites - Keep Your on Your Users - Full day workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone.

XML Trends An Overview of XML Today - Panelist on Why Training Fails moderated by Scott Brandt

Online Learning and Courseware - Presented with Frank Cervone

2000 Presentations

NetSpeed, 1 Calgary, AB September 28-30, 2000 -

Authenticating Users - Challenges for Libraries [ Slides ]

Keep Your Eye on Your Users - Designing Usable Web Sites [ Slides ]

Online World,1 San Diego, CA September 2000

Workshop: Creating Dynamic Content: Adding a Database to Your Site

E-Clinic - Database Management for Links

What's XML got to do with it? Documents, the Web and Information Retrieval?

Workshop: Designing Usable Sites [ Slides and notes ]

Intranets 2000 1 - San Jose CA Feb 25-March 1, 2000

Dishing Up Content--Do Your Customers Count?

Good content is a cornerstone of any intranet. How do you evaluate content? What metrics should you use? What content is being used and what is being overlooked? What are the implications? Learn about a variety of tools and techniques to measure content use on your intranet.

How to Lighten Your Web Maintenance Workload: Tricks and Techniques from Successful Webmasters

How can you fight the rot on your intranet before it takes hold? What can you do upstream with the site architecture and authoring workflow? How can you automate midstream with scripts, link checkers, and site tools? Learn how to apply tools such as search engines and logs to clean up your intranet and how you can harness metadata to help out with Web maintenance chores.

Saskatchewan Library Association Conference, May 5-6, 2000

Saskatchewan News Index - A Multitype Library Project [ Powerpoint Slides ]

Saskatchewan Women Entrepreneur's Conference 1 - Saskatoon, SK. May 5&6, 2000.

E-Commerce - Costs and Benefits

What's in a Good Web Site

Online World 1 - San Diego, CA September 2000

Workshop: Creating Dynamic Content: Adding a Database to Your Site

E-Clinic - Database Management for Links [ Slides and notes ]

What's XML got to do with it? Documents, the Web and Information Retrieval?

Workshop: Designing Usable Sites

Internet Librarian 1 - Monterey, CA November 2000

Keep Your Eye on Your Users: Designing Usable Library Sites. 1/2 day workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone

Webmasters Roundtable

Ready, Set, Go! Be a Multimedia Content Manager or Producer

Clued In: What We Need to Know to Direct Our Future

Primer on XML and other“ML's:” — Coping with the New Acronym Jungle as a Librarian Content Manager. 1/2 day workshop. Presented with Frank Cervone - [ Slides and notes ]

1999 Presentations

University of Saskatchewan, December 10, 1999

Data Library Update [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Data Liberation Initiative, Regina, December 2, 1999

An Update of DLI Services since the 1997 DLI Workshops [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Keynote Talk: IT Works Pre-conference. Saskatoon, November 30, 1999

Divining the Future: Visions for Community Networking [ PowerPoint Slides ]

How can communities make the best use of their "networks" and CAP sites. Is the technology the "end" or the "means"? What should we be focusing on in 1999? What are some of the challenges and as well as some of the opportunities? Do we have a role or are community networks dead?

Internet Librarian '99 San Diego, CA, November 1999

Untangling the Web: Web Management for the Non-Technical Manager/Librarian - 1/2 day workshop.

What should the libraries’ Web site be doing? Who is in charge? What is the purpose? This half-day workshop is aimed at non-technical librarians who are involved in Web planning and content development. Primary discussion include: goal definition/objectives/audiences for your Web site; the context in which to place Web planning; how to measure the success of your Web site — are hits enough?; and planning tools to use after the course.

Webwizard’s Roundtable

Designers of library Web sites share their experiences and knowledge in this discussion of key components of successful Web sites. This lively panel of experts touches on a range of topics with specific emphasis on the lessons they have learned from designing, managing and maintaining Web sites.

Online World 1 Chicago, IL - September 1999

Saskatchewan CUPE Library Workers, Regina, SK. September, 18, 1999

Divining the Future: Library Workers and Information Technology [ PowerPoint Slides ]

How is technology changing libraries? Are libraries still relevant and is our technology keeping pace with the rate of change? What do some of the winning companies do and what can libraries learn from them - Amazon, the Gap, etc.? Are libraries still "bricks and mortar" or are we virtualizing services? What is the impact for jobs and skills on library work force.

Intranets 1, San Francisco, CA, April 25-28, 1999.

What You Need to Know About Converting Legacy Data for Your Intranet. 1/2 day workshop. Presented with Karl Fast

Today's web site is tomorrow's legacy system. Yesterdays' proprietary database is today's conversion nightmare. What are some things you should think about when migrating data? What are some tools and techniques?

Taming the Web Maintenance Monster: Strategies to Lighten the Site Maintenance Work Load. 1/2 day workshop. Presented with Karl Fast

Drowning in web maintenace chores? Trying to stay afloat as users demand more and more features but just keeping today's site afloat is taking all your time? How can you streamline your work? How can you create an authoring environment where author, users and scripts do the work for you?

Metadata in Theory & Practice at Intranets'99

Metadata is the hot topic of 1999 for corporate intranets as corporate workers seek to harness the "knowledge" in their online repositories of data. What is metadata? Where does it fit into intranets? What is the role of machines and humans? What are some of the great myths of metadata, ie. Librarians catalogued everything, right?

User Interface Design Tools and Tips for Everyone

U of S April 1999

Incorporating Multimedia into Web Based Courses

1998 Presentations

Internet Librarian 1998, Monterey, CA, November 1-5, 1998.

XML: A New eXtreme Sport or a Solution to Metadata Nightmare [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Cervone explores the use of Dublin Core as a method for classifying Web-hosted information, the current state of the Dublin Core implementation, its relationship to MARC format, its place among emerging technologies (such as XML) and shows practical examples of its implementation. Fichter addresses a major complaint about HTML, its inability to layout a page exactly, by discussing what XML can do for libraries and librarians that HTML and SGML isn't doing. She will cover tools that work with XML and give examples of how XML will be a very powerful tool for metadata in the area of Web and document management.

Incorporating Multimedia into Web Based Library Instruction Courses [ PowerPoint Slides ]

Once we have some background and case studies to provide a conceptual understanding for distance education, we focus on specific Internet technologies being used in new ways to further promote and enhance distance learning. First we review the possibility and practicability of using the important element of audio in distance learning courseware. Then we look as the very latest trend in multi-media, "New Media," and how it can influence and be incorporated into distance learning opportunities.

Computers in Libraries 1998, Crystal City, VA, March 1-5, 1998.

Archiving Digital Resources at [ PowerPoint Slides ]

The actual cost of digitizing collections can vary widely from project to project and our knowledge of the costs for digital projects is still developing. We need to consider not only the cost of the initial conversion but also the cost of long term archiving and access issues. The goals and purposes of digitizing the collection often determine what future migrations may be required.

Great Plains Free-Net Annual General Meeting, March 9, 1998

Too Late, Too Soon or Just a Fad - Free-Nets in 1998

1997 Presentations

Internet Librarian, Monterey, California, November 16-20, 1997.

Digital Archiving [ PowerPoint Slides ]

The actual cost of digitizing collections can vary widely from project to project and our knowledge of the costs for digital projects is still developing. We need to consider not only the cost of the initial conversion but also the cost of long term archiving and access issues. The goals and purposes of digitizing the collection often determine what future migrations may be required.

Transforming Roles for Academic PowerPoint Slides ]

Speakers with perspectives from the public, academic, corporate, vendor and entrepreneurial sectors discuss the transformations they've experienced, the impact of technology on these roles, the roles they now play and where they see these roles headed. They will look at the adaptation of old skills and blending with new ones. For the librarian entrepreneur, what is involved in breaking down the barriers and myths about librarians and their role with information technologies? What does it take to step beyond the library walls to start a company capitalizing on the latest technologies? This presentation will also include key findings of Ms. Corcoran's research for The Intranet Guidebook such as how successful leaders in the organizations she's studied distribute roles and responsibilities across multiple organizations.

Digital Knowledge II: Building Electronic Space for Consumer Health Information, Toronto, ON, October 20 & October 21, 1997.

Community Networks and Health Information Providers

[ Power Point Slides ]

Computers in Libraries, Arlington, VA March 1997.

Web Based OPACS 1/2 day workshop [ Slides ]

This half day workshop shows how a library can create its own web-based catalog, given a bit of programming on the server side. It illustrates some of the off-the-shelf products available as well as some creative webCATS designed by librarians. Issues also addressed include ease of maintenance, updating, amount of technical support, and remote support.

Web Based OPACs: A Competitive Look at the Current Interfaces, Moderator

Panel: Representatives of Suppliers of Web-based Interfaces This session features live demonstrations from selected suppliers of Web-based interfaces to library OPACs. Products from selected vendors will be put through their paces to show their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Prepare to Be Morphed [ Slides ]

It's an understatement to say that technological changes are influencing the way libraries and librarians are functioning. Our roles, our responsibilities, all must change...morph! Are you ready? These speakers will examine some of the changing identities of today's professional librarian from their perspectives as information professionals within corporate, government and academic environments -- Dare to be Morphed!

Saskatoon Teacher's Institute, Saskatoon SK, February 1997

Jobs of the Future: Internet and The Web

1996 Presentations

Council of Federal Libraries, Ottawa, November 1996

Electronic Publishing and Libraries -- What's the Connection? [ Slides ]

Government on the Web, Ottawa, November 1996

Doing Digital Content [ Slides ]

Saskatchewan Library Association Conference, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, May 1996

Little Town that could: Libraries and Community Networks

1995 Presentations

U of S Libraries

U of S Electronic Resources October 1995 [ Slides ]

Usearch2 Goals and Design Principles [ Slides ]

International Association of Business Communicators, October 1995

General Internet Overview [ Slides ]

Presentations on behalf of Northern Lights Internet Solutions Ltd.

  • Intracom - Montreal, QC (September 2003)
  • IT Girls Saskatoon, SK (May 2003)
  • Intracom - Montreal PQ (September 2002)
  • Internet Librarian 2001 Pasadena CA (November 2001)
  • Netspeed 2001 Edmonton AB (September 2001)
  • Intracom - Montreal, PQ (September 2001)
  • Go For I.T., Girls - University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK (December 14, 2001)
  • Intranets - Santa Clara, CA (April 2001)
  • Minnesota Association of Law Librarians - Minneapolis, MN, (April 2001)
  • Internet Librarian 2000 Monterey, CA (November 7-9, 2000)
  • NetSpeed 2000 - Calgary AB (September 28-30, 2000)
  • Online World, San Diego, CA (September 2000)
  • Saskatchewan Women Entrepreneur's Conference. Saskatoon, SK (May 2000)
  • WOOL - Women's Online Conference. Saskatoon, SK (May 2000)
  • University of Saskatchewan, Computer Science RAPID Discussion Series. Saskatoon, SK (2000)
  • Intranets 2000. San Jose (Feb 25-March 1, 2000)
  • Keynote: Talk: CUPE Library Workers Conference. Regina, SK (September 19, 1999)
  • Online World 1999. Chicago, IL (September 1999)
  • Intranets 1999. San Francisco, CA (February 1999)
  • Great Plains Free-Net. Regina, SK (1998)
  • University of Saskatchewan Extension Division. Saskatoon, SK (1999)
  • Provincial Association of Transition Houses in Saskatchewan. Echo Valley, SK (1998)
  • Saskwomen. Regina, SK (1998)
  • Saskatoon Home Based Business Association. Saskatoon, SK (1998)
  • Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada, Saskatoon, SK (1997)
  • Saskatchewan Association of Community Networks. Estevan, SK (1997)
  • Saskatchewan Publishers Group. Saskatoon, SK (1997)
  • Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon, SK (1997)
  • Government on the Net Conference. Ottawa, ON (1996)