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Thursday, August 22, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 PM, ET

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This is an online event.



Database Design: Proven Principles for Creating and Maintaining Databases -
Webinar (08/22/19)

The art and science of creating databases to manage information and projects

Regardless of the kind of information you are organizing or the tools you are using to keep your data secure and available, the same simple principles apply. You start with establishing what are the characteristics of the information you are organizing, what you plan to do with the information, and how your needs might change and grow. (They always do.)

Practical databases might include those that help you schedule your meeting rooms, track materials in a special collection, such as musical scores, menus, or gardening equipment, list volunteers and their contact information for a special event, or record donations of fine art to a library fund-raiser, and create labels to mail thank-you notes. Given the many choices of software and the different theories for organization information, it can feel overwhelming (and expensive) to decide how to manage data, especially if there is no a simple, over-the-counter app designed for a particular task.

Topics include why simplicity and consistency are critical, key questions regarding software solutions, the pros and cons of user-generated folksonomies, when it’s better to use index cards and a cork board (seriously), the pitfalls of linking data between devices and applications, why the best solution is usually imperfect, the use of hashtags and keywords, and how to grow a database that will meet your needs tomorrow. This is not a webinar on the technical specifics of database applications, but we will review some outstanding databases and what experts do to get it right.

Virtual Trainer: Pat Wagner

Pat Wagner has been a consultant and trainer for libraries since 1978. She participated for several years in the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute and has been a frequent visitor to Florida libraries. In addition, she has been playing with computer database creation and management before electricity (ca. 1978).

Although not a cataloger, she still likes organizing information into categories and finding reasons to connect everything to everything else. She dislikes computer jargon and doesn’t mind when someone points to something and calls it a “thingie”, as long as they are specific. (e.g. “pink thingie”, “weird thingie”, “third thingie”, etc.) She is known for her good-humored and practical programs.

This is an online class. Access information will be emailed one week ahead.

Cost: NEFLIN classes are free of charge for Florida library staff. Registration is required for all classes and NEFLIN members get priority.