Quarterly Update

Carol Schuetz, editor

Emerging Technologies Section (ETS)


Geoffrey Morse, Editor

From the ETS Chair

ETS: Looking Ahead

The 2017-2018 ETS year is going to be a busy one, and we are keen to get started! Our focus this year will be on making sure every member has an opportunity to be involved, so look for new opportunities for online conversation about all things technology and public services. Not an ETS member yet? Log in at www.ala.org to add any section to your RUSA membership for free! If you’re already part of ETS, make sure to join the ETS-L listserv to stay up-to-date and join in the conversation.

This year we’re also working on organizational changes that will both align our section with new RUSA structures while making sure every volunteer team has a clear purpose and pathway to success. Learn more about our proposed changes or catch up with the recording of our Virtual Town Hall from June. Interested in volunteering? We still have a few openings on our Management of Electronic Resources and Services team, as well as on a task force working on a fabulous social event in New Orleans next summer! Contact Beth Boatright if you’re interested.

Check out other updates below, including nominations opportunities and a recap of our ALA Annual activities and award winner.

Beth Boatright
Chair, ALA/RUSA Emerging Technology Section

Call for nominations: ETS elected positions

The ETS Nominations Committee will soon be preparing a slate of candidates for the coming election cycle (to be voted on in Spring 2018). We would like to solicit your suggestions for

  • Vice-chair/Chair-elect: A three-year commitment in total
  • Member at Large / RUSA Board Representative: Serves a 3 year term.
  • Secretary: Serves a two-year term.

Interested? More information, including position descriptions, timelines and how to nominate (or self-nominate) is available online at: http://www.rusaupdate.org/2017/08/call-for-nominations-for-ets-elected-positions-open-through-august-13/


This year we recognized Stephanie Graves with the 2017 ETS Achievement Recognition Award. This award is given annually to recognize excellence in service to ETS. Stephanie has been an active member of ETS for many years, starting in 2005 and serving on numerous committees. She has contributed her time and expertise in a variety of increasingly important roles, including the following elected positions within the section’s Executive Committee: Member-at-Large (2010-2013), Vice-Chair, Chair and Past Chair (2013-2016).

Programs at ALA

ETS sponsored a number events in Chicago including:

  • The intentional library: creating a better user experience with service design and design thinking

240 attendees stopped by to hear a panel of four designers and librarians discuss their work within the growing field of human centered design. Julka Almquist (independent designer and researcher) started the session with a broad overview on the process and mindset of design thinking. Her presentation was followed by Juliana Culbert (UX designer, Columbia College), who spoke about UX and helping others within organizations get on board. The final presenters were Joe Marquez and Annie Downey (librarians, Reed College), who spoke about service design and the importance of holistic libraries.

  • Technologies That Enhance the First Year Experience

The Services for Systems and Discovery Committee sponsored this program which focused on innovative uses of technology that are enhancing the first year experience. David Sharp from Carleton University described how a pilot program in collaboration with the Engineering department has grown into a multi disciplinary program that supports a growing collection of hardware and peripherals that students can use to enhance their academic development. Michelle Bishop from SUNY Oswego described collaboration with the English department to introduce students to digital creation tools. In this program students created group blogs that reflected their thoughts on potential college challenges. This program helped students develop the abilities to apply critical thinking, use online media responsibly and gain experience with software and best practices. Sarah LeMire from Texas A&M described the development of an outreach video as a means to effectively reach 12,000 first year students in a relatively short period of time. Also described was a “selfie guided tour” project that got new students familiar with the library, and the development of an augmented reality application that will engage students and create an unmediated library tour. About 65 people attended this session that was co-sponsored by Library H3lp.

  • ETS Hot Topics: Fake News, Alternative Facts, and Clickbait: Fighting For Truth in a World of Misinformation

About 25 people attended this session run by Hot Topics committee chair Catherine Damiani that consisted of both small group discussions and a larger discussion among all attendees. Padlet was used to collect thoughts and comments. This proved to be a vigorous discussion on these pertinent topics that was beneficial to all attendees.

  • Happy Hour

The annual RUSA ETS/RSS Happy hour was held Saturday June 24 from 6 – 7:30pm at Bar Louie underneath the Hotel Chicago. Sponsors were Plunkett and Civic Technologies. About 25 attendees enjoyed good food and meeting with their colleagues.