Tag Archives: Betty Thomas

Metrolina Library Association Tech Summit 2015


Librarians in the 21st Century are immersed in emerging technologies both in operating libraries and in helping patrons.  Each spring the Metrolina Library Association hosts a Tech Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. Usually the format includes four presenters on topics of interest to Charlotte area librarians.  The focus is on state-of-the-art technology developments that might find use in libraries. On Friday, March 13th Johnson and Wales University – Charlotte hosted this year’s Summit. A summary of the presentations follow:

Really Augmenting Your Library: AR Possibilities for Librarians

Presenter: Judy Walker, J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina – Charlotte

Describing augmented reality (AR) as QR codes on steroids, Judy got our attention. Augmented reality is along the spectrum from real world to virtual reality. Using augmented reality, graphics, audio, video, or text can be superimposed on real world items in real time. Information can be embedded in a “target” and read/played using a mobile device. She used her office sign as the “target.” Using Aurasma Studio she created an overlay (a video of her giving instructions) and then created an aura. By aiming a mobile device at the target, her video popped up. There are a number of free apps. ColAR, Elements 4D and Fetch Lunch are some interesting examples. Augmented reality could be used for creating after-hours messages, facilitating scavenger hunts, training student workers, putting information in different places within the library, or even having students talk about their art in a gallery display of student artwork. Short videos of different projects using AR can be found at Judy’s guide:  http://guides.library.uncc.edu/ar.

Telling the Library’s Story through Social Media

Presenter: Katy Rust, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Katy leads a team of 20 people, the Library 3.0: Social Media Team. These people come from all parts of the library and represent as diverse a mix as possible. Each person has access to the library’s social media platforms which include Tumbler, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. They divide up a schedule so that someone is always monitoring the online discussions. Some of the advice she gave during her presentation included the following:

  • Be really good where you are and not try to be everywhere.
  • Be there and manage the conversation.
  • Treat your community like people, not numbers. (Think of it as an extension of a branch.)
  • What happens on the internet stays there forever. (Don’t be defensive or argue.)
  • Carry the conversation in less public manner.
  • Social media is no quick fix.
  • Listen, then talk.

Since the project went into operation in January 2014, the team has worked to keep the library’s brand consistent in all places, found and created content that tells the library’s story, and constantly analyzed everything to see what works towards the organization’s goals and change what’s not going well.


Gestural Interfaces

Presenter: Beth Martin, J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Beth demonstrated Myo ($199), a bracelet like apparatus that reads gestures made by the electronic impulses in your arm. She was able to stand across the room and advance a PowerPoint presentation by moving her arm in a certain way.


The armband can also be used to control iTunes, Spotify, VLC Media Player and Netflix video players. For video gamers, Myo and Oculus Rift will be a natural combination.  As with most technology, the key is to play with the device to figure out its usefulness. Beth pointed to Kickstarter as a good place to look for new technology.

Mindful Librarianship

Presenter: Richard Moniz EdD, Johnson & Wales University – Charlotte Library

Many of us are overwhelmed with technology. Multitasking, we divide our attention on many different things at once. Technology often facilitates that behavior. After leading a short meditation session, Richard defined mindfulness as “the art of observing your physical, emotional, and mental experiences with deliberate, open and curious attention (Smalley & Winston).” The research findings show that mindfulness, whether meditation, yoga, tai-chi, or just self-reflection has demonstrable effect on the brain. Being in the moment also has a reference service application as it ties well with the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Standards requiring librarians to be present in the moment in interactions with others. Libraries are picking up on this trend by holding classes and workshops on the topic, setting up meditation rooms, and holding meditation sessions in student centers to help students reduce their stress and learn to be more mindful.


~Betty Thomas~

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April Sidebar and Coffee Event in the Law Library – From Matewan to the Upper Big Branch Disaster: The historical context, and current ramifications, of Caperton v. Massey

The history of coal mining in the United States is rife with drama – mining accidents, labor disputes, environmental issues, family feuds, not to mention greed and corruption.  Please join Professor Jason Huber on April 22nd, between 11-Noon in the East Reading Room of the CSL library as he discusses Caperton v. A.T.  Massey Coal Co., the U.S. Supreme Court decision which set the current judicial recusal standards.  Professor Huber will discuss the due process violations of that case and will also trace some of the history of coal mining in the U.S. and specifically in West Virginia.

If you can’t make it to the coffee talk, take a moment to check out our latest book display in the library!



April 22nd is Earth Day. In recognition of the event, we have created a new book display in the hallway near the Library User Experience (LUX) desk. Below the “I Love You Planet Earth” poster are three shelves of books dealing with environmental law. The first highlights management of and advocacy for our natural resources. The second shelf includes books on the topic of sustainable development. The third shelf has resources concerning climate change. These materials are available for check-out.

~Susan Catterall & Betty Thomas~

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A New Location for Study Aids!

The Charlotte School of Law Library’s collection of Study Aids has moved!  Before they were behind the circulation desk, but now they are in a new location….. Near the 5th floor copier/printer and across from the Research Zones.


The collection is on both sides of the bookcase and any items to be re-shelved are on the pink cart in front. The study aids are arranged in Library of Congress (LC) order. To help find a particular topic, consult the sign on top of the bookcase.

This relocation allows students to browse for just the right study aid. Although the study aids are much more accessible, they will still need to be checked out from the new Library User Experience (LUX) desk.  A reminder from the Students Rights and Responsibilities Manual:

No student may engage in any activity that gains or is intended to gain an unfair advantage in any law school activity or academic matter, either on behalf of the student personally or for another. An unfair advantage is one that is not generally available to all students. It encompasses, but is not limited to, failing to return needed Library books or other resources, cutting articles from books or periodicals, misappropriating or hoarding Library materials.

Come Check Them Out!

~Betty Thomas~

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Thomas Receives Lucile Elliott Scholarship Award

spotlight blog-04


Betty Thomas, Reference Librarian at Charlotte School of Law, has been awarded the Lucile Elliott Scholarship. The scholarship, sponsored by the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries (SEAALL), was established to provide financial aid to improve one’s career in law librarianship. Part of the purpose of this award is to encourage recipients to remain in the profession.  The selection committee considered the length of membership in SEAALL, participation and service to the library profession, and the intended use of the scholarship. Thomas will be using the scholarship to attend the SEAALL Annual Meeting and Conference in April in Lexington, Kentucky. As a requirement of the scholarship Betty will be writing an article for the chapter’s quarterly newsletter, Southeastern Law Librarian.  Betty says she is “honored to receive the Lucile Elliott Scholarship and excited about going to SEAALL.”

Betty is also appreciative of the significant support from the management of the Charlotte School of Law in helping her achieve this recognition.


Betty Thomas

Betty Thomas, Part-Time Reference Librarian

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Library Sidebar & Coffee Event: “The Legacy of Justice Ginsburg: Unfinished Business for Women’s Rights”

women in the law

There is debate as to who was the first woman lawyer in the United States.  Some count Margaret Brent who served as counsel to Lord Baltimore, Governor of Massachusetts.  Arabella Mansfield, in 1869, became the first woman to officially obtain a state license (Iowa) which permitted her to practice law. According to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, by the late 1990s, there were nearly 17,500 women in the legal profession and there have been four women who have served as justices on the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court.

Please join Professor Barbara Bernier on Monday, March 23 between 11-Noon in the East Reading Room of the Library as she discusses the influences women have had on the legal profession and what unfinished business is left.

If you can’t attend the coffee talk, then take a moment when you’re in the library next to browse our related book display.


Above is the book display that is currently in the library hallway near the East Reading Room. The poster above the books is a photograph of women suffragists picketing in front of the White House. Next to it is a photo of the current U.S. Supreme Court justices including three women: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. The top shelf of books are from the Charlotte Law collection on basic women’s rights through history; the middle shelf highlights the biographies of women judges and justices who have paved the way for current women in the law; and the bottom shelf has books and reports helpful to women practicing law today. A Charlotte Observer article about Sonia Sotomayor’s recent visit to Davidson College has been added. The books in this display are available for check out.

~Susan Catterall & Betty Thomas~

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