Digital Odyssey : Going Mobile : Friday, June 11th, Ryerson University

Digital Odyssey is a one-day conference that focuses on themes of research, learning, accessibility, and usability associated with technology in libraries. This year’s theme is Going Mobile! and our keynote speaker will be Jason Griffey.

Event Location:
Oakham House Conference Centre, Ryerson University
55 Gould Street, Toronto.
Map, directions, and nearby accommodations

Register online from the education institute
Official hashtag :  #OLITA


8:00 am: registration
9:00 am: welcome
9:10 am: our keynote speaker: Jason Griffey
10:15 am: break
10:30 am: concurrent sessions:

11:30 am: OLA Annual General Meeting

  • Peggy Thomas, 2009 OLA President, Presiding
  • keynote address: Beth Jefferson, founder and CEO, BiblioCommons

12:30 pm : lunch
1:30 pm: – Lightning sessions (4 x 15 minutes)

2:40 pm:  break
3:00 pm: concurrent sessions:

4:15 pm:  closing remarks & reception

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Please give us feedback!

The planning committee is interested in your thoughts regarding the recent OLITA Digital Odyssey – Going Mobile! Attendees, please fill out this quick survey…

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We are archiving our tweets

We’re keeping an archive of #OLITA tweets at

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Mobile Audio

Speaker: James Mason, University of Toronto Libraries
Convenor: Lesa Balch

James Mason is currently the Technical Services Librarian for the Faculty of Music at the  University of Toronto. Previously, James has worked as a Librarian at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Currently, much of James work focuses around methods for providing access to digital audio collections, which includes his work on creating a streaming audio database of the Faculty of Music’s events. James is currently an active member of the Music Library Associations Bibliographic Control Committees Subcommittee on Metadata. As well, James is an active member of professional organizations including the Music Library Association and the Canadian Association of Music Libraries and Archives. Bmus (Lakehead University), Mmus (UBC), MLIS (UBC)

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Experiences with Mobile Services

Speakers: Graham McCarthy, Sally Wilson: Ryerson University Library and Archives
Convener: Mita Williams

Graham McCarthy is the Innovative Technologies Librarian at Ryerson University located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He has been at Ryerson for 3 years, but as a librarian for only 8 months.  In his time at Ryerson, he has created many emerging technology services that link library data with social networking sites and push library data out onto mobile devices and within learning management systems.  In 2008 he won an award for the “Most Innovative Patron Service” for integrating library catalogue records with Facebook.  Graham received his Masters degree in Information from the University of Toronto in November 2009.

Sally Wilson is the Web Services Librarian at Ryerson University in Toronto, a role that affords her the opportunity to explore emerging technologies and their relationship to libraries.  She received her MLS from the University of Toronto and worked for a library automation vendor prior to joining Ryerson initially as the Systems Librarian.

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Thundertalks : QR Codes

Sally Wilson, Ryerson University and Archives

Sally Wilson is the Web Services Librarian at Ryerson University in Toronto, a role that affords her the opportunity to explore emerging technologies and their relationship to libraries.  She received her MLS from the University of Toronto and worked for a library automation vendor prior to joining Ryerson initially as the Systems Librarian.

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Thundertalk : Designing for Mobile

Amanda Etches-Johnson is the User Experience Librarian at McMaster University Library, a role that requires her to explore, evaluate, and implement emerging technologies and UX best practices to ensure the best possible online experience for the library’s users. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at The University of Western Ontario, where she teaches grad students about social media literacies & affordances. Amanda frequently writes and presents about web design & usability, user experience practices and trends, emerging technology, and social media. She can be found online at

Amanda’s slides for this presentation can be found on Slideshare.

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Thunder Talk: Reference From the Street

Brandon Weigel is entering his second year on the path to librarianship, and
enjoying it immensely.  His more unusual course projects include Street
Reference; the On-Demand Book Service, bringing reading material and
community publishing to the far north; and writing and directing an odd
short musical about cell phones.  He is particularly interested in universal
access to information and the role of libraries in developing communities.
This summer he managed a critical Web project for askOntario, and is
currently building a reference library at Bombardier Aerospace.

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Thunder Talk: Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality
Fiacre O’Duinn, Hamilton Public Library

Augmented reality is a mobile technology whose goal is to add information and meaning to a real object or space. This presentation will give an overview of the technology, the challenges it presents, and its implications for our understanding of information and place.

Fiacre O’Duinn is a Cataloguing Librarian at Hamilton Public Library with an interest in social media, maker culture and the impact of emerging technologies on libraries. He received his MLIS from the University of Western Ontario and holds an MA in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University.

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speakers: David Sharp, Carleton University Library & MJ Suhonos, TPL
convener: Thomas Brenndorfer

Among web and library technology circles, there is often a tacit belief that new technology must be inherently good, and conversely, the only way to build useful functionality is with the latest tools.  As a result, older technology tends to be overlooked, relegated solely to the original purposes for which it was designed.  However, sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem lies in finding new and creative ways to use existing tools.  This talk will showcase MyTPL (, a proof-of-concept web application intended to demonstrate that, with a little imagination, any library with a Z39.50 catalogue interface and a web server with some common open-source tools can readily provide their own location-aware mobile search application.

David Sharp is currently the GIS Librarian at Carleton University Library.  He started his career as a Government Documents Librarian at the University of Victoria; he then moved to Carleton University, where he achieved national recognition for his Canadian government documents custom search engine. He became Carleton Library’s GIS Librarian in 2007, and soon after developed an interest in mobile technology as a means of supplementing a geospatial collection, due to an increasing number of patron requests for unique and unavailable  data points.  He will be presenting on choosing a GPS unit, lending policies, software considerations, and metadata issues.

David Sharp’s GIS for GPS Going Mobile slides

MJ Suhonos is the Metadata Specialist at Toronto Public Library. While he provides TPL with guidance on best practices for creating, managing, and sharing metadata with the broader Internet community, he is unable to completely eschew his programming background and spends his free time hacking library metadata whenever possible.

MJ Suhonos’ MyTPL slides from his session.

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Ebooks and Academic Libraries: Going Backwards into the Future

Dan D’Agostino, University of Toronto Libraries, and Joanne Lombardo, TPL
Convenor: Peter Ellinger

Research shows that ebooks and traditional computer screens are a poor fit. Is it any wonder then that the latest Ithaka survey of faculty shows library ebooks as having only marginal value to their teaching and research? Meanwhile the market for trade ebooks designed to be read on dedictated ereaders and smart phones continues to explode. Could the classic “disruptive technology” scenario be at play here, with academic libraries investing heavily in a format that will soon be obsolete? Is Google planning to fill the vacuum by offering faculty and students cheap, ebook “rentals” for mobile devices?  Though it’s likely to be a bumpy ride, libraries can survive the shift to mobile devices by being more forceful with publishers, and building up our expertise on all things mobile.

Dan D’Agostino is the Social Sciences Selector at the University of Toronto Library. He has an interest in how changes in technology and user behaviour have impacted academic libraries and is an occasional contributor to the Teleread blog.

Joanne Lombardo
I have worked for TPL since beginning as a page at age 13 and have held positions at many levels of public service. Among them, I was a dedicated children’s librarian and eventually became the Collection Coordinator for Children’s Materials. As electronic resources entered the collection development arena in the late ‘80’s my interest there began to grow and I assumed my current role [as TPL collection librarian for Electronics Materials] when the City of Toronto amalgamation took place. I love the challenging, innovative aspects of the developing E-environment, and see it as a vital element in today’s librarianship.

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