Thorngate and Hernandez Present at LibTech 2016

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

April 29, 2016

North Park University’s Sarah Thorngate, Assistant Professor of Information Literacy and Head of Digital Initiatives and Online Learning, and Northwestern University’s John Hernandez, Web & Mobile Learning Librarian, presented at this year’s Library Technology Conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, last month. Thorngate’s presentation, titled “Building a Usable Information Architecture in LibGuides 2”, discussed the various changes that Springshare made to its LibGuides in the recently-released version and how well the modifications worked for undergraduate students. The session included the results of a usability study focusing on the location of the navigation menu, the number of columns, and the integration of the LibGuides with the rest of the library website. Hernandez’s presentation, titled “Not Your Everyday LibGuide: Exploring Non-Traditional Uses of a Versatile Platform”, explored various uses for LibGuides beyond just providing research tools for students.  These further applications include reaching out to other constituencies on campus, such as staff members, by  using content from streaming videos, weblogs, and social media (instead of merely lists of library resources). The session reviewed specific examples of these “non-traditional” uses for LibGuides.


The Library Technology Conference is an annual event, held on the campus of Macalester College in St. Paul, that is intended for any library professionals and staff members, regardless of technical skill level, who are interested in the effects that evolving technologies have on libraries. Through attending conference sessions, including hands-on workshops, and engaging in discussions with other attendees, participants explore the ways in which technology affects library services and consider the best strategies for using technology to manage and promote library resources. Topics covered at this year’s conference ranged from computer coding and digital storytelling, to gamification and makerspaces. The 2017 conference will take place from March 15 to 16, 2017, at Macalester College. Registration opens in December and usually fills up within a few hours, since total attendance is limited to 500, in order to ensure as engaging and interactive a conference experience as possible. For more information about this year’s conference and future LibTech gatherings, go here.

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