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Master Schedule
The complete schedule of upcoming OPAL public online events.

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Recordings and other documents about previous OPAL programs.

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Upcoming Library and Information Science Events

    Note: To enter the online room and participate in an event, simply click on the title of the event and follow the instructions.

  • Wednesday, February 11, 2009 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT:
      Audio Description Workshop: Helping Blind and Low-Vision Users Enjoy Digital Images

      Host: Alliance Library System

      Online Location: OPAL Online Auditorium

        Audio Description is a narrative technique that makes visual images more accessible to blind and low-vision people by producing audible written descriptions of non-verbal visual information, such as digital photographs, television programs, motion pictures, and live events. This workshop will focus on uses of audio description by libraries with digital image collections, image-intensive websites, etc.

        Please Note: This workshop will last approximately 2.5 hours. It will be a "working workshop" in the sense that we will be writing and recording actual audio descriptions. Please provide a digital image for which you would like to create an audio description during this workshop.

        This workshop is free and open to all, but we do ask that your register at http://tinyurl.com/3cfvc2

        Also Note: Five in-person Audio Description workshops also are planned from Nov. 2008 through April 2009 at five locations around the state of Illinois: Joliet, East Peoria, Springfield, Champaign, and Chicago. If you would like more information about these in-person workshops, please visit the one-page flyer.

        This series of workshops is part of the Audio Description Illinois project managed by the Alliance Library System, and is made possible by an LSTA Grant administered by the Illinois State Library, Jesse White, Secretary of State and State Librarian.
  • Friday, February 13, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT:
      "Digital Archives -- Search and Discovery: Lincoln/Net: The Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project" presented by Drew VandeCreek from Northern Illinois University

      Lincoln/Net presents historical materials from Abraham Lincoln's Illinois years (1830-1861), including Lincoln's writings and speeches, as well as other materials illuminating antebellum Illinois. Lincoln/Net includes digital texts, images, videos, songs, maps, instructional support for teachers, and other interactive resources. Join us to celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth by exploring this fascinating digital resource.

      About This Series: The Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, and the Illinois State Library present the "Digital Archives -- Search and Discovery" series of free online programs, highlighting digital initiatives that are making it easier for users to find, use, enjoy, and add value to digital archives. Other programs in the series are listed below. More are planned.


      Host: Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, and the Illinois State Library

      Location: OPAL Auditorium
  • Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, 5:00 Pacific, and 1:00 a.m. Friday GMT:
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 8:00 Central, 7:00 Mountain, 6:00 Pacific, and 2:00 a.m. Thursday GMT:
      Book Discussion of "A Secular Age" by Charles Taylor

      Charles Taylor, a Professor Emeritus from McGill University, has written a book that asks and attempts to answer the basic question, "What does it mean to say that we life in a secular age?" Taylor thoughtfully examines the historical developments and meanings of the development within Western Christendom of the things that we label secular. A Secular Age has received many awards and citations, including recognition as a notable book of 2008 by the New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement.

      Host: TAP Information Services

      Location: OPAL Online Auditorium
  • Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT:
      "Digital Archives -- Search and Discovery: The Great Experiment: The Pullman Manufacturing Town" presented by Andrew Bullen from the Illinois State Library

      In the mid-1870s, George Mortimer Pullman decided to expand his very successful rail passenger car service. He chose Chicago as a location for his new factory complex. Pullman began acquiring land on the far south side of Chicago in 1880, commissioning a young architect named Solon Beman, 26, to design his factory complex and surrounding town. The Pullman area was much more than a rail car manufacturing facility. George Pullman wanted to create what he envisioned as a workers' paradise, charging Beman to design and build what was eventually to become 32 blocks of row houses laid out in neat neighborhoods directly north and south of the factory complex.

      As a response to cancelled orders and business downturns during the 1894 economic panic, Pullman laid off many workers and slashed the wages of his remaining employees. The effect of this disastrous decision was the greatest of the 19th century labor struggles, the Pullman strike of 1894. As a result of a 1907 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the company was forced to sell the town to private owners, and the Great Experiment ended. The city of Chicago annexed the town of Pullman, renumbering the properties and renaming the streets.

      Today, Pullman still has 98 percent of its original housing stock. Local residents and the professional staff of the Pullman State Historic Site have worked together to build an online museum, incorporating images, metadata, and demographic data that describe the residents of the town of Pullman. In addition, Andrew Bullen will describe how "nodal" images (images that easily lead to other historical events) can be used to give digital collections shape and depth.

      About This Series: The Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, and the Illinois State Library present the "Digital Archives -- Search and Discovery" series of free online programs, highlighting digital initiatives that are making it easier for users to find, use, enjoy, and add value to digital archives. Other programs in the series are listed below. More are planned.


      Host: Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, and the Illinois State Library

      Location: OPAL Auditorium
  • Friday, March 6, 2009 at noon Eastern Time, 11:00 a.m. Central, 10:00 Mountain, 9:00 Pacific, and 5:00 p.m. GMT:
  • Friday, March 13, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT:
      "Opening the Photo Vaults" presented by Helena Zinkham and Barbara Orbach Natanson from the Library of Congress

      "Opening the Photo Vaults" is a collaborative pilot project, launched in January 2008, involving the Library of Congress and The Commons, which is, quoting from the Final Report on the project, "...a designated area of Flickr where cultural heritage institutions can share photographs that have no known copyright restrictions to increase awareness of their collections." The goal of the project is to increase awareness and discovery of historical photo collections through engagement with a lively Web 2.0 community. Users of The Commons are encouraged to add tags and comments to the photos. Helena Zinkham is the Acting Chief of the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library Congress. Barbara Orbach Natanson is the Head of the Reference Section, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

      About This Series: The Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, and the Illinois State Library present the "Digital Archives -- Search and Discovery" series of free online programs, highlighting digital initiatives that are making it easier for users to find, use, enjoy, and add value to digital archives. Other programs in the series are listed below. More are planned.


      Host: Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, and the Illinois State Library

      Location: OPAL Auditorium
  • Friday, March 27, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 7:00 p.m. GMT:
      "Digital Archives -- Search and Discovery: Early Illinois History to YouTube" presented by Lori Bell from the Alliance Library System, John Walber from Learning Times, and other members of the project team.

      The "Early Illinois History to YouTube" project is creating new audio-based programs, podcasts, videocasts, and a podmap related to a previously digitized set of historical photos about central Illinois. Users of this expanded and re-purposed content will be able to add resources, tag items, and communicate with others with similar interests. The project also features an interactive "podmap" of Illinois. When users click on a city, town, or area, a list of related podcasts and videos will be displayed.

      About This Series: The Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, and the Illinois State Library present the "Digital Archives -- Search and Discovery" series of free online programs, highlighting digital initiatives that are making it easier for users to find, use, enjoy, and add value to digital archives. Other programs in the series are listed below. More are planned.


      Host: Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, and the Illinois State Library

      Location: OPAL Auditorium
  • Thursday, April 30, 2009 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 1:00 Central, noon Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, and 6:00 p.m. GMT:
      Audio Description Workshop: Helping Blind and Low-Vision Users Enjoy Digital Images

      Host: Alliance Library System

      Online Location: OPAL Online Auditorium

        Audio Description is a narrative technique that makes visual images more accessible to blind and low-vision people by producing audible written descriptions of non-verbal visual information, such as digital photographs, television programs, motion pictures, and live events. This workshop will focus on uses of audio description by libraries with digital image collections, image-intensive websites, etc.

        Please Note: This workshop will last approximately 2.5 hours. It will be a "working workshop" in the sense that we will be writing and recording actual audio descriptions. Please provide a digital image for which you would like to create an audio description during this workshop.

        This workshop is free and open to all, but we do ask that your register at http://tinyurl.com/3cfvc2

        Also Note: Five in-person Audio Description workshops also are planned from Nov. 2008 through April 2009 at five locations around the state of Illinois: Joliet, East Peoria, Springfield, Champaign, and Chicago. If you would like more information about these in-person workshops, please visit the one-page flyer.

        This series of workshops is part of the Audio Description Illinois project managed by the Alliance Library System, and is made possible by an LSTA Grant administered by the Illinois State Library, Jesse White, Secretary of State and State Librarian.

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