8th Annual Emerging Technology Symposium: Explore, Adapt and Transform (LIVE webinar from NEO)

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Event Details

This is a LIVE webinar available from our colleagues at the Northeast Regional Library System

Northeast Ohio Regional Library System - Event Information

Event Name:8th Annual Emerging Technology Symposium: Explore, Adapt and Transform
Competency:Emerging Technology
This year marks our 8th Emerging Technology Symposium - the 2nd time it has been held virtually, and the 1st time it has been sponsored as a statewide event by NEO-RLS, NORWELD, SERLS, SWON and the State Library of Ohio.  It will run throughout the entire month of September.
The theme of this year’s Symposium focuses on the incredible ability of the nation's libraries to explore, adapt and transform through the use of emerging technology.  Libraries are always seeking new and responsive ways in which to meet the needs of their communities.  In recent years libraries have engaged emerging technologies in a variety of creative ways to build tech literacy, bridge the tech and digital divide, and make innovation accessible to all. In the past year, libraries have responded and adapted swiftly during the pandemic, utilizing technology to evolve their services in a safe and inventive manner. As we enter a new landscape, the 2021 Symposium will celebrate libraries and their emerging tech ideas as they continue to transform their services in exceptional ways.
The Symposium will feature national speakers who have demonstrated an incredible ability to take emerging technology into new territories in libraries. Their projects highlight the value of thinking and generating big ideas but, even more importantly, they demonstrate that it takes a village and focus to execute and develop. They will explain their strategies, experiences, challenges, failures and successes, all of which are paths to innovation. We will also hear from multiple poster sessions throughout the month, showcasing projects that have employed emerging technology to enhance services or take library services to the next level. Join us to celebrate and learn how libraries have, and can, explore, adapt and transform.
Innovation in Libraries
Dr. Roslyn Dean, Broward County (FL) Library
Wednesday, September 8th, 10:00 am-11:00 am
 What is next for library innovation? As libraries continue their primary mission, to offer access to information, they garner ideas to implement emerging technologies that broaden the reach and access. Broward County Library recently implemented two innovative initiatives designed to expand access to the library in unique ways and reach customers beyond the walls of the library.
Broward County Library’s Project Welcome initiative innovatively invites and guides newcomers/immigrants – English Language Learners as they adjust to living in Broward. The multi-faceted initiative consists of several ways to offer programs and services in multiple languages so that limited or non-English speakers have access to information without the limitation of language. One way the initiative did this was through the implementation of Amazon Echo Dot voice assistance devices, using language translation skills to bridge the language barrier.
Virtual AARLCC, another Broward County Library innovation, is the 3D modeling program that expanded access to the African American Research Library and Culture Center’s special collections. The project team 3D scanned African artifacts in the special collections and made them available on a website designed especially for featuring the objects. Although accessible to the public by appointment, these objects were hidden treasures that some may have never been aware of until the inception of Virtual AARLCC. Now, the 3D images of these artifacts are accessible to anyone interested via a free website.
Participates in this presentation will leave understanding how voice assistance can work as a language-translation tool in their library and will be able to determine if 3D modeling is a viable option. Participants will also leave with the speaker’s ideas on what is next in innovation for libraries.
Learning Objectives:
The goal of this presentation is to help participants understand how voice assistance tools enhance library services. The speaker will also help participants identify ways to use digitization to expand access to library collections and explore new ways to innovate library services.
Dr. Roslyn Dean is the former Community Engagement Manager for Broward County Library in Fort Lauderdale, FL area. She supervised adult, youth, and learning program services for the library system as well as digital initiatives, outreach, volunteer services, and advantage marketing. In her over three years with Broward County Library, she spearheaded initiatives such as the library’s LSTA grant awarded projects on 3D scanning archived objects in the Special Collections, the Echo Dot language translation program, and bridging the digital divide through the library’s new “My Digital Summer Learning Program,” for students in grades K – 3 and a Chromebook lending program for job seekers. Roslyn was one of Library Journal’s 2020 Movers and Shakers for Innovation, and she implemented and oversaw the library’s virtual program model as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Dean’s primary focus is on bringing innovative library programs and services with a technology spin.

From Entertainment To Education:  VR for Skills Development
Bharani Rajakumar, founder and CEO of TRANSFR www.transfrvr.com and
Sam Chada, MLIS, Career Success Manager, TRANSFR, former NEO-RLS Library Member and M&S - Tech Innovator award winner
Friday, September 10th from 10:00-10:45am

NEO-RLS has expressed the importance of using technology to create a sense of community-and make technology  accessible to everyone. Open-access and unrestricted exploration via VR is the first step.  

What comes next?

What if libraries could use the existing Virtual Reality equipment and not just to inform but to inspire? How can VR be used to invite creativity, open doors to new exploration, teach, train, support and inspire library patrons of all ages? How can Media Centers adapt existing technology and networks to open doors to new opportunities and greater quality of life?

With TRANSFR’s hands-on simulation-based training, libraries can expose people to new careers they may love but have never even imagined. Currently, learners can study and watch but there is no realistic way to offer hands-on workplace training to ensure learners experience the tools and skills needed in the workplace. 
Libraries will be able to provide a way to close the skills gap, explore emerging industry technologies, and create a pathway to the many well-paying, in-demand jobs in America. 

In this interactive workshop, CEO and founder Bharani Rajakumar and CSM Sam Chada, MLIS will provide a glimpse inside a TRANSFR training Simulation,  share real-life examples of the transformative power of simulation-based training and  then move on to a roundtable discussion of how to best engage library patrons of all ages to explore new skills via the TRANSFR catalog, existing relationships and community connections.

Learning Objectives:
Together, the participants will explore:

  • What transforms VR from entertainment to education?  

  • How can libraries leverage TRANSFR to bridge the digital divide?

  • What should programming look like to get the best out of the TRANSFR partnership?


Bharani Rajakumar, founder and CEO of TRANSFR, is on a mission to create alternative pathways to career success through intuitive learning methods so more people can succeed and be upwardly mobile. A determined “Disruptor”, Bharani passionately leads the TRANSFR team in strategic partnerships to achieve his mission  “Our goal is to come up with a more effective and enjoyable way to get people jobs that pay well. What we’re disrupting is the idea that there’s only one way to get there. If we can work with schools to help people find their best career path so they are better trained and have a higher earnings potential while helping employers get the high caliber teammates they need then everyone wins”
This is Rajakumar’s second technology company with its sights set on transforming the way people learn and achieve. He was the co-founder of math tutoring software company LearnBop, which was acquired in 2014 by online learning company K12 Inc.

Sam Chada MLIS MBA is a TRANSFR career success manager with over ten years of experience successfully integrating emerging technologies into public libraries. An experienced collectionHQ/digital products customer success manager with Baker & Taylor, Sam has also served as an emerging technologies librarian at Sandusky Library (OH) and assistant director of Wayne County Public Library (OH).

In 2012, Library Journal recognized Sam as a Mover & Shaker – Tech Leader for her dedication to the professional and worked accomplished at Sandusky Library. Here, she rolled out the nation’s first Roku & WiFi lending program, as well as installed a state-of-the-art digital media lab and early literacy center.

Insights into Innovation (and why this "innovator" really just wants a warm brownie and a nap)
Rebecca Millerjohn, Madison Public Library, Wisconsin
Wednesday, September 15th, 10:00 am-11:00 am
In 2020, Rebecca Millerjohn was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker for the innovations she championed with Madison Public Library's learning and assessment practices. She has had many wonderful people in the last year jovially ask her, "How does it feel?!" If she were being honest, she would answer uncomfortable. She always assumed that innovating was a born trait, that some people just naturally generate brilliant new ideas and *poof* make them come true. Yet, she has been at the head of several successful innovations with the Bubbler at Madison Public Library over the last 6 years, and every time there is no *poof*. They generally start with trepidation, a lot of sighing, and even when there is giddiness about the possibilities and potential, there is also anxiety and the sobering truth that stepping out into the unknown is most likely going to take a lot of work. Yet when the outcomes are worthwhile - the chance to co-build opportunities with your community to enhance learning - we need to be able to say yes. We need to be able to acknowledge that discomfort while continuing to persist in exploring, adapting and transforming. This is a talk for all of the reluctant innovators out there. And when it’s over, we can all go eat a warm brownie and take a nap, because we deserve it. 
Rebecca Millerjohn is the youth services librarian with the Bubbler at Madison Public Library. Before entering the library world, she was a middle and high school classroom teacher in Houston, Texas and Chicago, Illinois. A 2020 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, her library work focuses on hands-on exploratory learning, educator support, and strategic partnerships with MPL's Bubbler program. As the Bubbler’s project manager for their Summer of Making Internship and Making Spaces initiatives, she loves sock monsters, power tools, paper circuits, and when kids get little scrunched faces that shows they are THINKING. Her current projects include community engagement with Madison educational partners, the creation of Madison Public Library’s Impact blog, and research into making & learning assessments and practices. When she grows up, she would like to go back to school to become a landscape architect or a furniture restorer. ​​

Prototype Your Professional Life
Julia Maddox, University of Rochester Libraries

Friday, September 17th, 10:00 am-11:00 am
 In this interactive session, we will learn how to use Stanford’s Design Thinking process to prototype out-of-the-box solutions for addressing challenges in our library and profession. Julia Maddox will help us begin by identifying problems we’re experiencing in our work. We’ll then imagine unexpected ideas for addressing those problems. Finally, we’ll design a prototype for testing out one of the ideas... within a week! In a year like no other, we’ve all had to learn to experiment with new ways of working. This session will help us continue that spirit of experimentation, agility, and risk-taking long after the pandemic.
Julia Maddox is an educator and consultant who helps teams build their capacity for creative problem solving. She is the founder of the Barbara J. Burger iZone at the University of Rochester Libraries, helping students make creative connections that spark action. In iZone’s vibrant innovation space (and now online!), our team helps students learn to explore ideas with creativity, empathy and resilience.

The Metamorphosis of a Special Collection: The Ashley Bryan Art Series at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
Lisa Jackson, Broward County Library System, Florida
Steven Marshall, African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Florida
Lauren Odom,  African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Florida
Tuesday, Septemeber 21, 2021 from 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
In 2020, the Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) received an ALA Carnegie-Whitney grant to create an electronic resource that highlights their unique Ashley Bryan Art collection and Coretta Scott King book collection. The intent was to use the bulk of the money to pay a web designer to create the resource and staff would research and provide content. After receiving the grant, we learned that Sirsi Dynix, a newly purchased ILS for our library system, has a platform called Sirsi Rooms that we could use to create our resource which would link directly to the library's catalog. The AARLCC Youth Services Team - Lisa Jackson, Steven Marshall and Lauren Odom - will discuss the process it took to completely switch gears, find new ways to expend the funds, learn how to use the new ILS and create a resource that is both functional and beautifully rendered.

Lisa Jackson has been a Librarian with the Broward County Library System in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for over 20 years and is currently the Supervisor of Youth Services at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center branch. Here she has the distinct pleasure of coordinating materials and services - with her team of committed librarians - geared toward youth from birth to 18 and their parents. She earned her Master of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. is an avid reader of non-fiction and works with the local Humane Society's Trap-And-Release program.

Steven Marshall is a Librarian Senior at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, Steven earned his Master’s of Library and Information Science degree from Florida State University and has worked at public and university libraries in Illinois and Florida. He has worked at AARLCC as a Youth Services Librarian since 2016.

Lauren Nicole Odom is a librarian at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. There she works in the youth services department and coordinates programs primarily for teens and tweens. Ms. Odom attended Nova Southeastern University for her undergraduate studies and went on to graduate from North Carolina Central University with a Master of Library Science. She enjoys the arts, including making masterpieces of her own creation and writing poetry as well as reading.

Practicing Empathy with Virtual Reality
Cecil Decker, Richland Library, South Carolina
Thursday, September 23rd from 2:00 pm - 3:00pm
Studies show that experiencing someone else’s life deepens understanding, understanding cultivates empathy, and empathy motivates action— thereby fostering a more welcoming, vibrant community. However, there are many reasons you might not be able to physically meet and learn directly from others: time, money, location, and more.

In this postmortem we break down Richland Library’s My Life Experience Empathy Lab to answer the questions: Why use virtual reality to build empathy? What programming challenges were faced? What kinds of equipment and training are necessary? And what changes have there been in the technology?

Cecil Decker is a teaching artist providing free access to professional media tools in Columbia, SC. They teach regular classes and workshops through Richland Library and the University of South Carolina. Most recently, they have worked in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab’s Public Library Innovation Exchange to help youth and adults explore creative coding through Scratch and micro:bits.

Virtual Story times with a Tech twist: How we use Livestreams, and Google Meet to share literacy apps and technology tools with families and teens​
Tawnee Isner, Kinsman Free Library
Friday, September 24, 2021 from 10:00 am - 10:45 am
Virtual story times with a tech twist. When we switched to all virtual programing, we took the groundwork of, our digital story time called Tap n’Read and turned it into a virtual programming that still allowed for traditional story time activities like songs, rhymes or crafts, as well as digital resource recommendations. The success of this program then led to the creation of our Teen Collaboratory that combined Makerspace thinking with tech gadgets and stories for Middle Schoolers through High School teens.  
Tawnee Isner graduated with her MLIS in 2020 from Kent State University. She has worked at the Kinsman Free Public Library for three years as an aide and then was promoted to Technology Trainer. When she is not at work, she can be found reading horror, crafting, and baking. 

Alexa, place that book on hold
Molly Howard, Granville Public Library
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 from 2:00 pm -- 2:45 pm
"Alexa, place that book on hold" talks about how we use our smart devices like your Alexa or Google Home AI to allow people to access their library account, check our catalog, and put books on hold. 

Molly Howard is the Technology Coordinator at the Granville Public Library in Granville, Ohio, where she teaches a wide range of technology classes for all ages. She was born and raised in Central Ohio, leaving for a short stint to Florida to earn her Associate of Science specializing in Video Production. When not at work, she lives with her husband, their teenage son, and three cats. She ups her nerd cred by playing Dungeons and Dragons and throwing rocks and trees competitively in a kilt at Highland Games around the midwest.

Why Not Us? The Case for AI in Libraries
Michael Hibben, Roanoke County Public Library
Thursday, September 30th from 10:00 am-11:00 am
 Over the past decade, artificial intelligence has gone from science fiction to science fact. From smart sensors in our homes, to virtual assistants in our phones, and our recommendations on Amazon, Netflix, Google, and social media feeds, AI’s rapid expansion into our daily lives is taking place with little oversight or regulation. What role should libraries play in helping our communities understand all the possibilities and possible pitfalls of artificial intelligence? In this session, Michael Hibben will make the case that libraries must take the lead with AI literacy. He’ll talk about the Roanoke County Public Library’s award-wining work with AI and high tech and show you the many options you have to start AI programming at your library.
Learning Objectives:
By attending this session, you’ll learn why libraries must lead with AI literacy, how to make the case for AI programing to your Director, staff, and community, and how to get started with AI programming.
Michael Hibben is Administrative Librarian with the Roanoke County Public Library in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where he oversees the system’s headquarters library. Named one of Library Journal’s 2020 Movers & Shakers, Michael leads technology initiatives for his system including the recruitment of SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper the humanoid robot and Misty the robot from Misty Robots – both first in the nation for public libraries. Before moving to Virginia, he lived in Los Angeles where he worked for the Los Angeles Public Library.
Event Date:9/8/2021 - 9/30/2021
Event Time:The entire Month of September
Via Zoom
Contact Person:Holly Klingler
Details:Who Should Attend:  Anyone interested in exploring, adapting and transforming via emerging technologies

Competency:  Emerging Technologies and  Programming

Cost:  FREE

This event is supported by the State Library of Ohio with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Event Registration:

Event Type(s): Issues and Trends, Online Course, All
Jay Burton
(740) 384-2103