Library Gazette

During August 2012...

LIB100 Template

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 9:42 am

Those directly involved with LIB100 are very familiar with our recent transition to a 1.5 credit hour course and the template that has been developing over the summer. However, I realize not everyone is so intimately involved, and wanted to let you know about the mammoth project conducted in the instruction unit this summer.

Joy Gambill has created a new template for the LIB100 courses, designed to take advantage of what we have learned in the decade we’ve been offering the class and the extra time we will now have in the classroom. To begin this process, Joy and I interviewed everyone who has taught LIB100 recently and asked about what they covered, what assignments they used, and any other information that might be helpful when thinking through developing a class. Joy took the ball from there and developed an outline for each day, presentations to guide librarians through the content, group activities to take advantage of active learning, and assignments to assess learning. The presentations are comprehensive, sometimes including clicker slides, screenshots for demonstrations, and transitions for class activities.

Perhaps the most fun part of the template is that it takes advantage of some of the most creative and interesting assignments and activities we’ve done. Several are things (or versions of things) that I have heard about for years but never taken the time to figure out how to fit them into my course. It’s really representative of the work that we all have done in developing our classes.

This template is not required for those who teach LIB100–we still maintain that faculty have academic freedom in their teaching. Yet, it is so thorough and integrates the best practices of all our instructors that I plan to use it starting with my class that kicks off this week. The LIB100 instructors have access both through Sakai and through a PDF of the course that contains all the material. However, if anyone else is interested in having access, let me know, and I’ll share the content with you as well.

Letterpress Arrives at ZSR

Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:54 pm

By some very good fortune and the support of Dean Sutton, ZSR Library is the recipient of a complete print shop. The equipment came from a Winston-Salem citizen, Carl Hein, who spent his entire life in printing and packaging, retiring eleven years ago as the President of RJR Packaging. As a teenager growing up in the Pittsburgh area in the 1950′s, Carl ran his own printing company as he attended Carnegie Mellon University. The printing equipment has been in his family for 60 years, moved numerous times by Carl and his wife, Mimi, and has been well loved and cared for. We are fortunate to have it.

Carl Hein and the Chandler & Price press

The equipment includes a 1906 Chandler & Price letterpress, an 1892 Peerless Gem paper cutter, 5 cabinets of lead type and all the tools needed for setting type and printing it.

ZSR print Shop

Back in the day (and as recently as the 1950′s) type was set one letter at a time. Large cabinets of type were stored for different uses. One drawer might have Caslon 24 point and another Goudy Italic 12 point type inside. Type was placed in a drawer full of small compartments and stored with the most common letters near the front.

A type drawer

Typesetters memorized these letter locations so well, they could set type without a thought. Setting type is more like shop class than what we do today as we select a font and point size using a drop-down menu in Microsoft Word. In traditional typesetting, each letter of type is selected from a drawer, and placed in a composition stick which holds the type securely. The typesetting is done upside down and backwards.
The type is set into a galley which is essentially a flat tray, until it is ready to print. In order to print a body of type, it must be locked into a chase. The chase is a metal rectangle that holds the type securely for printing and which fits easily into the press. The type is held into the chase by pressure using small pieces of wood or metal, called furniture. Furniture is packed around the type until there is almost no space, when small slices of wood called reglets fill in any remaining empty space. Devices called quoins that can be expanded using a key create pressure on the type to make everything secure.

A chase with type set inside, ready to print.

The chase is then locked into the press for printing. The press was made in Cleveland, Ohio in 1906 and weighs over 700 pounds. Seeing the press work is a marvel of design and function as pieces of the press move, roll and turn. The delivery of all this equipment was a complex operation of disassembling and re-assembling-plus lots of sweat and grunting by the moving crew. Thanks to Charles Bombeld, who helped Carl and I re-assemble the press and paper cutter. Please stop by Preservation for a first hand look at this equipment and an exciting future for it in ZSR.

“Find a Database” New Look!

Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:03 pm

By the time this article is posted, you may have already discovered the radical changes that have been made to our Library’s “Find a Database” page. What I would like for you to know is that there is a story behind these changes. The latest chapter in this story began in the spring of 2012, when Kevin, Lauren Pressley, and I had the opportunity to intensely observe students navigating our Library webpage. The premise of the occasion was usability testing of Summon, but the spillover effect was observing students stumbling through our webpages, most notably our “Find a Database” page. It quickly became evident that students were consistently using the search box on that page for keyword searching on their topics (like a Google box). We all cringed each time a student enthusiastically typed in their search which took them nowhere.

Earlier this summer, with that in mind,Kevin invited Derrik and me to serve on an ad hoc task force to give the ZSR Find A Database web page a long-overdue makeover. The three of us met several times over the summer with the overall goal to de-emphasize the search box. I shopped for various models that I liked, Kevin created a new and improved WFU version of those models, and Derrik changed the background data to complement the new design.

In between meetings we re-designed, revised, and reviewed. Then we met several times, looking at the draft page, and batting around ideas to help settle on more changes. We solicited opinions from other reference librarians to help guide our design, especially for identifying “Best Bets” for each subject area. Derrik entered the Best Bets into the xml file that drives Find A Database, Kevin devised a way to bring those to the top, and I practiced “guerrilla usability testing,” finding users to test the changes without having to schedule specific groups or times. We finally presented the updated page to the RIS team earlier this week and added a few more ideas from that meeting, then I ambushed a couple more students (thank you, generous student supervisors!) to test out the changes. We now feel it is ready to reveal to the public. We are excited for the changes, and hope you will find the new Find A Database to be much more helpful in your research!

Although the “new and improved” Find A Database is ready to go to work, the task force doesn’t consider it complete. We believe it is a step in the right direction – we hope it is a large step in the right direction – but we know it can be improved. Please take a look and let us know what you think!

This post was a collaborative effort between Derrik, Kevin, and Joy.

Lore Deighan – collage painter, art exhibit in ZSR

Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:50 pm

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The work of a Floyd, Virgina collage painter, Lore Deighan, is now being exhibited at the entrance of ZSR Library. Lore is a 2006 graduate of Virgina Commonwealth University with a concentration in painting and printmaking.

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Lore currently teaches at a private elementary school and is gallery coordinator of Hayloft Gallery of the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd.

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This is the second installment of art from our friends at the Asolare Art Foundation. Please drop by and enjoy this art.

RIS on Retreat!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 9:18 am

Monday, August 6th the Research and Instruction Team took a day out of ZSR for a team retreat.We had the full twelve (!) person team in attendance (not an easy feat to accomplish) including Bob Hebert (who is transitioning to RIS over the next year), Charles Hildebrandt and our newest RIS member, Kyle Denlinger who was a trooper to go through this on his fourth full day on the job. Hu was very happy to have three other males on the team and it was a great chance for us to get to know our newer members better.

We met at the START Gallery in Reynolda Village where Marcus Keeley, who many of us know, was a wonderful host. After breakfast goodies and conversation we started with a discussion of our Strengthfinders results. Some may remember that The Clifton Strengthsfinders is an assessment tool you take that returns to you a list of your top five strengths out of a list of thirty-four. The idea behind the assessment is that organizations and individuals perform best when building on their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses. The ZSR leadership team and the Special Collections and Archives teams have all done the Strengthsfinders assessment and RIS had a very interesting and lively discussion as we looked at our strengths. I think it really helped us learn more about each other and where the natural tendencies are in our team. We have (to no one’s surprise) lots of thinkers in the group, but also several people strong on the interpersonal traits. We even have one futuristic person and two with WOO!

After a brief discussion of notes from the last Admin Council, I broke the team up into three groups and prepared them for the lunch discussion. I gave them the prompt that the new Provost announced he was going to build us a brand new library (wouldn’t that be nice!) and their job was to come up with ideas of how the public services on the main floor might be configured. I told them to think big and they did not disappoint.

There were some great new ideas but some common themes emerged. First, all three groups designed new space that was round and full of light. Second, all had the public services desks separate but in close proximity to each other and a general information or concierge desk that would triage patrons and get them where they needed to be. There seemed to be agreement that having all the help students would need located centrally within sight of each other was much to be desired but that a central welcome desk that could point them to the correct expert desk would alleviate any anxiety people might have about who to approach first. Third, there was a lot of new classroom, collaboration, quiet and student-friendly spaces that served the many different types of users we have. Finally, all groups looked to other WFU services that might be brought into the library. These included the Interdisciplinary Centers and Institutes, Student tutoring services, The Math Center, and The University Information Desk (currently in Benson). I think this shows a real recognition of ZSR as the heart of the university and our willingness to collaborate with other units on campus to make sure the services our students need are as convenient for them as possible. If you want to see a bit more of what we came up with here are files from Group 1 (Lauren, Ellen, Kaeley and note the placement of my office in this one – VERY NICE), Group 2 (Hu, Charles, Sarah and Joy) and Group 3 (Kyle, Bobbie, Mary and Bob).

We wrapped up the day with a discussion of our Team Goals for next year and some general RIS business as we look forward to back to school. All in all I think it was a good day, and I hope my team does too! I apologize for not getting a picture of us.

BLINC comes to ZSR

Friday, August 3, 2012 5:18 pm

On Thursday, August 2nd, BLINC (Business Librarianship in N. Carolina) held its quarterly workshop in ZSR. BLINC is a state-wide professional association comprised of business librarians in public, academic and special libraries. We’re a section of NCLA.

Among the group of roughly 20 who attended was Jill Robinson Morris, Asst. Director of NCLive, Mark Stewart, Director, Small Business Center, Halifax Community College, and a Chinese librarian who’s participating in an exchange program at App State for 3 months.

In the morning, Lauren Pressley led a session on instructional design. She tailored it to suit both the public librarians who teach lots of single session classes with adults as well as the academic librarians who teach single session and semester long classes to college students. Her session was much appreciated. During the morning session, our Chinese guest spent time speaking with Thomas Dowling and Barry Davis; he’s on his university’s tech team and wanted to speak with fellow technology librarians.

At lunch, I had a chance to talk with Mark Stewart and learn about the Small Business Development Centers. Mark teaches hundreds of workshops and individually counsels many hundreds of small business owners and entrepreneurs. The SBDCs have resource centers and subscribe to databases. This network of support for economic development is distributed state-wide and located on community college campuses.

Following lunch at Shorty’s, we met with three representatives of Mergent which is now providing customer service for the Hoover’s Online database. They came to solicit our feedback on the beta version of some upcoming revisions. A lively session provided the trio with a long list of suggestions.

Dan Maynard of Campbell University updated us on a pilot program he initiated with the Small Business Development Centers. He’s been reaching out to the centers in the belief that business librarians could support the SBDC counselors who work with small business owners and entrepreneurs. In future, it’s possible that BLINC members might conduct training on NCLive databases for the SBDC counselors. It was Dan’s outreach that led Mark Stewart to attend our meeting.

It was a productive meeting that stimulated numerous conversations about potential initiatives. Our next workshop will take place in November.

Summer Activities at ZSR!

Friday, August 3, 2012 2:28 pm

Several RIS team members (and many others around ZSR!) have been involved in outreach programs this summer. In July, Bobbie provided a library tour for students participating in the Great American Writers’s Camp (see the post “Creative Writing Adventure Draws Students to Campus“). Additionally, Sarah, Mary and I gave a tour of ZSR to a group of students visiting from China, and Megan, Beth and I gave tours to groups from the Junior Classical League, just to name a few!
In June, Bobbie and I started planning with Michelle Klosterman, Ryan Shirey, and Leigh Stanfield for the third summer LENS program (A program that teaches rising high school juniors and senior about both the issue of sustainability and about writing at the college level). As part of my outreach efforts, Once again, I participated in the ropes course with the LENS students.
Bobbie conducted an IL class for the 32 students attending the LENS program on July 17. This year there are six project groups. Two groups partnered with Campus Kitchen at WFU while two other groups worked with WFU University Campus Garden. The other two groups were involved with the Shalom Project of Winston-Salem. The Shalom Project runs one of the largest food pantries in Winston-Salem.
As part of the IL class, students again were assigned library resources to retrieve from various locations in the library. This scavenger hunt also required students to answer three questions that were posted on the four whiteboards in Room 476. These whiteboards are great and so flexible! Also the new furniture and tables enhanced the learning experience this summer.
This year for the first time office hours were incorporated into the LENS schedule. The hours were announced to the students in advance. Several groups took advantage of these hours to receive research assistance. In addition to office hours, the week before their concluding ceremony and final presentations, we met with the students for two hours to assist them in mastering presentation software, creating their presentations and using the projection technology in the electronic classrooms.
On Friday, August 3, Bobbie and I attended the LENS Concluding Ceremony. During the buffet breakfast, we had the opportunity to meet and talk with some of the parents who attended the program. As part of the ceremony, the six groups presented their solutions for their projects. All of the groups did an excellent job summarizing their projects. Hard work, enthusiasm, creativity, and team work contributed to the overall success of each group’s presentation.The ceremony concluded with an entertaining video of the 2012 program. This was a great group of students, and we hope that they enjoyed their three-week experience at WFU.
-Bobbie Collins and Hu Womack (mostly Bobbie!)


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