Library Gazette

During March 2014...

Sources, Citations and Cookies!

Monday, March 31, 2014 2:24 pm

If you are working on a research paper or project this semester and would like a bit of help from one of the research experts at the ZSR Library, here’s your chance. We are holding three drop-in research help sessions during the end of the semester paper-writing season in ZSR Library classroom 476:

  • Sunday, April 6th from 3:30PM – 7PM
  • Monday, April 14th from 3:30PM – 7PM
  • Sunday, April 20th from 3:30PM- 7PM

We will have librarians available to help with any aspect of your research project from selecting a topic to citing tricky sources. Cookies and refreshments will also be available to help get you through the stress!

There is no need to sign up for a time, but if you would like to, you can reserve a time from the Professional Development Center website.

If these times don’t work, you can always use our Personal Research Session request form to schedule an appointment with a research librarian at a day and time that is convenient for you.

We look forward to seeing you!

The Research and Instruction Team, ZSR Library

 

ZSR Hosts Staycation

Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:58 pm

During spring break, The Office of Service and Social Action in Campus Life offers a program known as Wake Alternative Break (WAB). This program provides a number of service trips, both domestic and international. (See this WFU news story to learn about the most recent WAB trips.)

Over the past few months, a group of staff at ZSR and Campus Life collaborated to create a “Staycation,” a WAB trip offered to students who do not leave campus during spring break.

The Staycation took place Sunday, March 9th until Friday, March 14th. The trip was themed broadly around “Literacy”- (specifically language, technology, and information literacy). Six students, led by their student leaders Hannah Duane and Nora Kane, served their community and spent their afternoons volunteering at El Buen Pastor in Winston-Salem. During the morning however, they engaged in sessions with ZSR Staff.

The trip was packed with fun programs and events, and I had the privilege to coordinate and participate in many of them. I would like to share a few highlights from this fantastic week!

On the first night, ZSR hosted a kick-off pizza party after hours. The students loved being in the library late at night, and spent hours searching through the topographical maps of southeastern states that were offered!

On Monday morning, the Staycationers met with librarian Amanda Foster, and participated in her Lib-100 class. This was followed by a bell tower tour at the top of Wait Chapel. Associate Dean Susan Smith and I joined the students, and I was thrilled that we were not only able to go to the very top, but we were able to play “Dear Old Wake Forest” on the actual bells!

On Tuesday the Staycationers met with Director of Special Collections, Tanya Zanish-Belcher, and got a behind-the-scenes tour of Special Collections. They were enthused by the library’s vast collection, and were very surprised to learn about all the work that goes in to acquisitions, exhibitions, and preservation of rare books.

Our very own Hu and Roz kicked off a bright and bubbly Wednesday morning session on “all things Zotero,” which the students found extremely helpful! Wake Forest Fellow Linsday Schneider and I took the students to lunch at The Loop to discuss leadership, the meaning of pro-humanitate, and the importance of work-life balance in college. After a crazy afternoon thunderstorm, I met with the students for dinner at ZSR after hours again, and we proceeded to Creekside Bowling for some fun bonding time!

On the last day of the trip the students met with research librarian Sarah Jeong, and learned all about her knowledge and expertise on the sciences! Shortly after, the Staycationers went to Hanging Rock State Park to hike together. It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon!

I was so excited the group posted reflections from the week on their Tumblr. The social media presence was entertaining, and the students created #staycation #stayawesome together.

We are so happy that the students had a wonderful trip filled with opportunities to learn and serve. I hope that Staycation becomes a tradition between ZSR and Campus Life!

ZSRx Digital Publishing: The Reckoning

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 5:24 pm

Back in the Fall of 2013 (when we were all young and innocent), a young librarian named Billy was approached by a nice library dean and asked if he wanted to conduct a MOOC of his own. He agreed, under one condition: pro humanitate. As such, our (normally shy) hero enjoyed complete autonomy and/or academic freedom re the content of the thing. This is his story. This is history. This is the dramatic story of ZSRx Digital Publishing.

Our friend Kyle had a platform, but needed content. Billy happened to have content, but needed a platform. Either way, Lynn had the “students.” And so the deal went down: Bill would record three modules’ worth of digital publishing-related content, provide external links and readings, conduct online (and “plausibly live”) discussions going for about three weeks, and promise to keep the distracting Tom Waits clips to a minimum, with Kyle massaging said content into the Canvas platform, all while Lynn would recruit some registrants.

Meanwhile, I used primarily the (free) screen-capture program called ScreenCast-O-Matic, and it was awesome, in that it recorded my yammering in front of PowerPoint slides and online websites in such a way that I didn’t really even need a firm script, and so the clips had the distinct feel of a loosey-goosey (who me?) lecture — complete with my incessant stammering and ill-paced cadences. (Honestly, ten minutes of that at time is plenty.) These clips were published directly to my YouTube channel (everyone has one, btw), which Kyle would then “embed” into the Canvas platform, so we didn’t need to bother with fancy/costly video production (or lighting (or makeup (though we probably could’ve stood some of the latter))) or other hassles regarding video storage or distribution. (And I was ready with a rejoinder if anyone might’ve complained about the homemade/rickety aspects of the clips: you get what you pay for.)

Anyhow, we sent come-hither emails in January to various listservs (ASERL, Library Publishing Coaltion, WFU Alums, etc.) and waited. I bought a press release, which got picked up by LJ online, and we waited some more. By the time the course started in February, we had about 400 students signed up — librarians, publishers, vendors, parents, friends, neighbors, homeless people — mostly from North Carolina and the U.S., but some international folks. And since there were actually at least one student each from the continents of Europe, Asia, and Australia, it’s fair to say that ZSRx Digital Publishing was a global phenomenon by the time it officially launched in February (right after the SuperBowl).

We rolled out one “module” a week, for three weeks, with each module consisting of maybe 1 hour’s worth of video (in maybe 6- to 12-minute segments) and links and readings and discussion considerations. I would send a jaunty “announcement” each week, and Kyle and I would prompt some “engaging” discussions based on that week’s module’s content. The discussions turned out to be a hoot and a half — we had a nice handful of maybe a dozen regular contributors, who helped move things along.

Speaking of moving along, I better get around to telling the dark side of my mini-MOOC: there was some distinct attrition, participation-wise. That is, though we had ~400 folks sign up, and though those folks consumed thousands of pages of web content, the course analytics indicated a pretty significant (if typical, according to Kyle) drop-off:

Still, and though the formal exit survey is yet to come, I did fashion a fun little “final exam,” wherein I left some room for “final thoughts,” and here’s where I’ll perk back up by quoting exactly what some students said therein:

  • I appreciate the time that was spent putting this together!
  • I did learn a lot, although I was definitely a passive learner simply because of other commitments for my time!
  • This was an awesome MOOC!
  • I learned so much about digital publishing that I never had an inkling about!
  • Every MOOC should be this much fun!
  • Very interesting course. Thank you for offering it!
  • Enjoyed the course; lots of good information!
  • For my first “online” course…I really enjoyed this!
  • Thanks for your time and effort to put this together!
  • Mindboggling – the amount of digital information and books available!
  • Thanks!!

Not gonna lie, the exclamation points got to me.

And so I’ll close now by just stone-cold declaring my personal and genuine feelings about the whole deal (minus any and all hint of irony or sarcasm or impatience (of which I’m sometimes accused)): my participation in ZSRx has been the highlight of my career at Wake Forest University (and maybe anywhere) so far. And I can’t thank Kyle and Lynn and everyone at ZSR Library enough for allowing me the honor.

–wpk

 

 

An Enchanted Evening: The Dean’s List Gala

Sunday, March 9, 2014 7:19 pm

By Lauren Suffoletto, Wake Forest Fellow at ZSR Library

My experience as the Wake Forest Fellow at ZSR Library this year has been phenomenal. I have loved every opportunity to work on library events, student outreach, and fundraising initiatives. While it would be difficult for me to pick a favorite, the most memorable moment of the year occurred on Friday evening, February 28th in the library atrium.

Atrium is Gala Ready

It all began during a brainstorming discussion among Library colleagues. I discussed my experiences as an undergraduate at Wake in relation to the Friday Nights @ ZSR initiative, which promotes hosting events after hours at the library on Friday evenings. “Students who make the Dean’s List are sent a congratulatory email,” I explained to them. “It would be neat to host a reception in the Library that honors their academic achievement!” Thus, the Dean’s List Gala was created. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College, it was an exceptional event, as many of these students call ZSR their second home, and spend much of their undergraduate experience studying here.

It was an enchanted Friday evening. The atrium space betwinkled from floor to ceiling, transformed into a formal reception hall filled with flowers, bistro tables, and the sound of upbeat jazz. About 300 students, family members, and faculty gathered in the atrium to honor seniors who achieved the Dean’s List during their junior and senior years. Waiters strolled through the crowed to pass hors’ d’oeuvres and Arnold Palmers were served. Each senior was given a commemorative bookmark handmade on the Library letterpress, and their names flashed on our new digital signage congratulating them for their achievements. Students were delighted to see their names appear on the screen, and took pictures next to the board, proudly celebrating with their families.

At the Gala

Christy Buchanan, Associate Dean for Academic Advising and Lynn Sutton, our very own Dean of ZSR Library, gave remarks, and led everyone in a sparkling cider toast to the seniors. It was a memorable moment, and it embodied the caring, academic spirit that fills Wake Forest.

 

A Toast to the Dean's List Seniors

There are so many library and university colleagues who helped make this joyous event possible. The Library is grateful for the Office of the Dean of the College, Office of Parents Programs, and the Division of Campus Life for their contributions and support to the gala. Several Library faculty and staff played essential roles in all aspects of event planning and programming, and I cannot thank them enough for supporting this idea with such enthusiasm!

President Nathan Hatch and his wife Julie attended the entire event, and predicted it will become a new Wake Forest tradition. Dean Sutton proclaimed the night a spectacular success. The future of the Dean’s List Gala is bright, and I will be excited to see how this event expands over the years!

 

 


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