DIY Toolbox: Library Innovation on a Shoestring

January 30, 2015 (10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

Welcome to SUNYLA’s second Midwinter Online Conference.  SUNYLA aims to keep SUNY Librarians informed of the latest tools/tricks of the trade – whether it be through a conference, committee, user group or program that we run for SUNY. This conference aims to appeal to all librarians, with topics ranging from reference tools, to data management, to marketing, and beyond.

I want to thank the members of the committee for responding to my call and for doing such a great job!

– Committee Chair and SUNYLA President Roseanne Humes
SUNYLA’s  Midwinter Online Conference Committee:

  • Michelle Eichelberger, SUNYGenesee
  • Bill Jones, SUNY Geneseo
  • Rebecca Hyams, SUNY Maritime
  • Jill Locascio, SUNY Optometry
  • Lyndsie Robinson, SUNY Oneonta



Session 1: Graphic Design for Maximum Engagement

Presenter: Meggan Frost, Paul Smith’s College

The future is a visual place. The media is dominated by image-based sharing. Carefully designed ads and brands are constantly bombarding us. Such a visually stimulated world raises important questions about visual literacy but it also asks questions about how libraries are communicating without words. What do our materials and use of images say about us? How are we engaging our communities with intentional graphic design?

This session highlights the practical considerations of the design process, technology choices, and where to find useful materials for including in designs. Attendees will leave with many free resource suggestions and an understanding of how to use design principles to create all kinds of engaging materials with tools like PicMonkey, Canva,, and Degraeve.

Session 2: Be a Databrarian! Using Weka to analyze Patron Use of Library Services

Presenter: Elaine Lasda Bergman, University at Albany

Learn about the use of Weka, an open source data analytics tool, which is easy to use. Preliminary findings of how this tool is used at the Dewey Graduate Library, University at Albany will be demonstrated and explained. The tool is being used at Dewey to understand quantitative and qualitative data about library users, their needs and behaviors, in order to target services and outreach more effectively.

Session 3:  Adding True SMS Service to Your Library OPAC

Presenter: Juan Denzer, Binghamton University

Many Libraries use SMS service to allow patron to send Call Numbers from the OPAC to their mobile phones. The problem that exists is that the libraries use email to SMS gateways. Users are required to enter their carrier, which is cumbersome. A better implementation would be to have users just enter their mobile number. This session will show you how to implement a true SMS gateway using Google Voice of any other 3rd party gateway that has an API. In this session you will learn how to create a java JAR wrapper class for your SMS gateway, configure and enable SMS for OPAC. The fully functional project will use ALEPH and free tools.

Session 4: Screencast-O-Matic: Enhance and Expand Technology and Information Literacy Training

Presenter: Gina Robinson, St. John’s University

Screencast-O-Matic is a useful tool for providing self-paced asynchronous instruction to members of your community. This tool enables information professionals to create tutorials on Information Literacy and technology skills by recording the actions on their computer screen while they narrate. This tool expands learning outside of scheduled information sessions and allows it to happen anytime and anywhere.

Session 5: Guide on the Side: Active Learning and Simple Design

Presenter: Trevor Riley, NY State College of Ceramics/Alfred University

As an embedded instruction tool, Guide on the Side has a number of potential applications. This presentation will provide examples of how Guide on the Side could be used to encourage active and flipped learning. It will also review the ease and simplicity of the back end where tutorials can be customized for any web-based resource.

Session 6: Using Edmondo to Facilitate Undergraduate Preservice Teacher Connections

Presenters: Michelle Costello, and Katie Rommel-Esham, SUNY Geneseo

This presentation will highlight the use of Edmondo, a web based learning management system, in a co-taught math and science methods course for undergraduate preservice teachers. Participants will have the opportunity to synchronously interact with the technology in ways similar to those used in the course.