Opportunities to "Tech it Up" at #NJLA16

This years conference has a wide variety of opportunities to engage with and learn about both emerging and current technologies as it applies to libraries. I just wanted to highlight a few examples to peak your interest.
First, I encourage you to visit our exhibits hall on Tuesday and Wednesday and talk with some of our newest STEM related vendors joining us this year including :
  • Nextfab - booth 721 - Nextfab is a makerspace located outside Philadelphia with a not only a truly inspiring facility (anyone looking to start a makerspace?) but offer classes and courses you may be able to bring to your library.
  • SparkleLabs - booth 422 - SparkleLabs is a family owned business from Montclair NJ that produced really fun and exciting STEM education kits which would go great with your maker or project sessions for kids K-12.
  • Lego Education - Booth 520 - Lego Education produces a variety of kits from WeDO to Lego Mindstorms, along with a significant content library of cirricular materials for incorporating their products in making, robotics, or other types of STEM sessions
Then, I hope you will consider attending some of the really unique tech related sessions planned this year covering topics from technology instruction, to social media, to privacy in the digital realm, to the Raspberry Pi. These programs are a great way to delve deeper into some really interested technology related topics and garner some great ideas and inspiration to bring back to your library. Here are some highlights:
"My Kids Bought Me an iPhone": Providing Tech Help to Patrons
Date/Time : Monday, May 16th / 11:10a-12p
Description : The purpose of libraries has historically been providing access to information patrons cannot get in their own homes. Today patrons come to the library looking for access to a computer, the internet, ebooks, and new technologies. With advanced technologies becoming more affordable, patrons should be able to look to the library to fill in the gaps about technology knowledge – how to use a device, how to access ebooks, how to make a webpage, how to code.
Note : This sessions is a virtual preconference session. All conference attendees will receive a link to attend.
10 Raspberry Pi Projects for Your Library
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 17th / 9-9:50a
Description:  The Raspberry Pi is a low cost computer that can be both useful and fun. Already popular in libraries throughout the country, this panel would focus on three types of projects that can be done with the Raspberry Pi in your library: Makerspace, utility, and “gee whiz” ideas that you might never have considered.
Room : Wildwood 12 & 13
Library Paparazzi: Next Level Tips for #LibrariesOfInstagram
Date/Time : Tuesday, May 17th / 3:10-4:30p
Description: Next-Level Tips for #LibrariesOfInstagram: Thousands of libraries are using Instagram. What's next for you in this space? Join in the practical fun with this hands-on session to learn how to use photos for community engagement and integrate Instagram into your library's overall PR & communications strategy. We'll share examples from libraries, museums and archives doing excellent work in this space & you'll leave with ideas you can implement immediately.
Room : Wildwood 8 & 9
Privacy in Libraries in the Electronic Age
Date/Time : May 17th / 4:10-5:00pm
Description: Digital footprints. Borrowing histories. Employer loyalty v. First Amendment rights. These privacy issues and more effect both patrons and staff everyday. Attorney Douglas Zucker will explore these issues and the policies and procedures you need to have in place to protect your public and your employees.
Room : Wildwood 10 & 11
In addition to some of these outstanding programs, we will be also featuring our ever-popular Brown Bag Lightning Tech Talks on Tuesday, May 17th from 12:30-2pm. This year's format will feature a longer form approach, where speakers will present on topics for 15 minutes. This means an even better opportunity to still get some quick tech bites, but with more meat on the bone! These are always a great way to spend a casual lunch and inspire some new ideas, service, or tool you may be able to use or share with others.
Finally, don't forget about the many social events including our Tuesday mixers and Pool party as great ways to network, talk tech, and find out something new while connecting with someone new! Who knows what you may learn, or even what someone may learn from you!
Hope to see you at conference, and for those who know me, I am ALWAYS ready to talk some tech :)
Doug Baldwin and the 2016 Conference Committee