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Spring Fling 2012: Web of Languages
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Web of Languages: An Introduction to Usability and Developing Web Applications with AJAX and jQuery

This three-hour webinar was presented by CLA's Information Technology Interest Group in partnership with CLA's Technical Services Interest Group on Wednesday, May 30, 2012.

The program introduced the basic-to-early-intermediate librarian, library staff member, student, web developer or administrator to usability, as well as to developing applications with AJAX and jQuery. Sarah Houghton provided perspective on web usability with an overview of web development techniques for library websites and web applications; Derek Christiansen defined AJAX and presented a number of SJSU applications of AJAX; and Cary Gordon discussed the uses of jQuery in web development. The purpose of the program was to introduce these technologies and techniques so that librarians and library staff can better understand and visualize what is possible using these web development techniques.

To purchase access to the archive, please contact us.

  • $25 (members and non-members)

Attendees said:

  • "All the presenters had great information and provided great resources for learning more."
  • "Excellent program!"
  • "Very well run -- I was impressed... [It] was very long but excellent value."
  • "Sarah Houghton's presentation on web design principles was fantastic."



Questions? Please email Suzanna Conrad or Stephanie Roach.


Sarah Houghton is best known as the author of the award-winning She is also the Library Director for the San Rafael Public Library. Sarah is a big technology nerd and believes in the power of libraries to change lives. Combined, they make a fearsome cocktail. Sarah has been called an iconoclast, a contrarian, a future-pusher, and a general pain in the ass. She takes great pride in each. Her first book came out in 2010: Technology Training in Libraries and she is a frequent speaker for online and realspace worldwide events for libraries and other institutions.


Derek Christiansen is Web Technologist for the San José State School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS). Day-to-day activities include the maintenance of websites and web-based applications. At any time he may be called upon to access server data from a Unix command line, write and implement a native JavaScript form validation script, deploy a jQuery plugin, write PHP scripts to upload bulk data to databases, build SQL queries, design the table structure of a MySQL database, or just mark up plain vanilla HTML and CSS. In short, he’s an AJAX developer of web applications who also manages the school’s web presence. Flexibility and comfort in broadly diverse coding environments are keys to his successful development of web-based applications.

Derek holds degrees from San José State University (MLIS 2008), the University of Southern California (MBA 1995), and the University of California Irvine (BA 1990). He is a member of Beta Phi Mu and Beta Gamma Sigma. A lifelong learner, Derek is always learning new programming languages and methods. His favorite activity is writing SQL statements to query a database and is delighted to gracefully join multiple tables. A telecommuter and proponent of sustainable work environments, Derek’s wife is a public library manager and they are the parents of two sons. He lives and works in San Clemente, California.


Cary Gordon is a software developer, librarian, and president of the Cherry Hill Company, a software integration and development company in Los Angeles, California, specializing in libraries, non-profits and NGOs. Cary, along with his company, currently focuses on developing web sites and applications based on the Drupal content management system and development framework. He is deeply involved with the free and open-source Drupal project and sits on the board of the Drupal Association. Cary is a frequent presenter and instructor at library events including ALA Annual, Code4lib, Access, Internet Librarian and others. Cary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas.


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