Professional Development

The National Diversity in Libraries Conference 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016 1:42 pm

The National Diversity in Libraries Conference 2016

The National Diversity in Libraries Conference (NDLC ’16), co-sponsored by the UCLA Library and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), was held on the UCLA campus on August 10 – 13, 2016. This was the second NDLC, the first occurred in 2010, and in 2013, the UCLA Library agreed to host this event with the theme “Bridges to Inclusion”. Monesha and I are hopeful that the success of this NDLC will encourage ARL to hold another one soon!

For this Professional Development blog post on the conference, Monesha and I have decided to collaborate rather than post twice. Additionally, the ZSR Staff Development Committee has arranged for Monesha and I to host a discussion about the conference on Wednesday, September 28th from 10-11am in ZSR Library room 204. Please join us if you are interested!

NDLC from Monesha

The National Diversity in Libraries conference at UCLA was everything I expected and much more. Never had I experienced such passion about any topic at any conference ever! From the beginning our opening keynote speaker Lakota Harden had attendees in tears as she spoke from her heart not her head. Lakota’s experiences with injustices pertaining to her family’s homeland opened my mind and made me think how this relates to me and ZSR. The answer was easy. It’s everything. Every individual has a story and somehow we have to find a way to make our stories co-exist and we have to be open to listen to someone else’s story. My personal experiences and the things happening in my community are passionate to me and as Lakota said, “Don’t take it personal when I’m raging.” We have to have those uncomfortable conversations and create dialogue in order to bring forward awareness and create change. Diversity is not just the color of your skin. Privilege is not just man versus woman. It is much deeper and there are so many layers that we as a community have to be willing to get uncomfortable and start to build those bridges to inclusion which was the theme of this year’s conference. I attended sessions on Thursday and Friday on multiple topics including “Being the bridge”, “Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce,” and “Do we walk the walk, or just talk the talk?” Every session was interesting and made me think about what we are doing at ZSR and what we think we’re doing. It was a shock to me to find so many libraries and schools that don’t support diversity training.There are many schools that have a diversity committee only as a check box and don’t take the committee seriously at all. On many occasions I was proud to be a member of the ZSR family and was able to offer suggestions to staff members struggling just to get acknowledgement that there was a problem. Hu and I will be having a more in depth conversation about our takeaways from the conference at our talk on September 28th at 10am in room 204.

NDLC from Hu

After the challenges of getting from LAX to UCLA, I was happy to settle into a residence hall room and head to the Wednesday night opening reception at the Powell Library. After seeing people I knew, like Mary Horton, and meeting new people, I was ready to head back the residence hall, grab dinner in the cafeteria and get a good night’s sleep. I mention the accommodations, because UCLA was an amazing place, and with all the conference participants in such close proximity, we had many informal opportunities to gather and talk in places like the cafeteria and the wonderful outdoor gathering spots.

Thursday began with an excellent keynote by Lakota Harden, orator, activist, community organizer, workshop facilitator, radio host and poet. She led off with the fact that while she was happy to be there with us, she really wanted to be protesting at construction site for the Dakota Access Pipeline. She closed her keynote with this powerful video addressing the effects of historical trauma in tribal communities. Thursday and Friday were packed with sessions, ranging from “Making the Invisible Visible: Diversity, Dialogue and Multicultural Awareness Through Digital Projects” with Erin White, Norda Majekodunmi, Yemisi Dina, and Alice Campbell, to “Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities” with Jade Alburo, Cheryl Beredo, Tessa Dover, April Hathcock, and Mark A. Puente.

Wanda and I had prepared a presentation entitled “Scaling Up: The Next Level of Diversity and Inclusion Training” in which we talked about ZSR’s New Student Assistant bootcamp, and the module on “Serving Diverse Populations” within that training. Commitments at WSSU prevented Wanda from attending, and I was sorry she didn’t get to experience the positive reaction to our presentation.

I’ll stop here because April Hathcock does a much better job than I can do of summarizing the conference! Monesha and I are looking forward to our presentation on September 28th where we can further discuss this amazing experience!

SAA in Atlanta, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016 9:05 am

I recently returned from the Society of American Archivists annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia—it was a bit warm, but a nice shower every afternoon cooled things off. I am “in-between” on some of my governance duties and so I had the opportunity to attend some programming. In addition, all of the sessions are now available for anyone who attended, so I can listen to everything I missed.

I had the opportunity to attend a morning session of the Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference, which is a day-long series focusing on instruction. My session included speakers from the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking (Georgia Tech), the Fernbank Science Museum, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta focusing on their work with K-12 students. Some of the valuable observations they shared that are applicable to any teaching situation:
o For the Paper Museum, they realized that visitors wanted the practical, hands-on experience of making paper;
o For the Science Museum, the curators displayed objects at the beginning of a tour, and then after the visitors had chosen their favorites, a tour was tailored for their interests;
o The Science Museum also gave each of us in the audience a packet of shark teeth, as they do with their K-12 visitors. This was to illustrate that holding something in your hand helps you learn!
Another focus of the SAA meeting was the introduction of One Book, One Profession, where all SAA members read one book together. The book chosen was Teaching with Primary Sources–Ordered!

I completed my term as Chair of the Committee on Public Policy (COPP). Over the past year, COPP worked on letters and statements in regards to Copyright, the Los Angeles Port Authority Archives Closure, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and the issue of Replevin within the state of California. Finally, we drafted an Information Brief: Archivists and Climate Change based on an advocacy request by ProjectAARC (Archivists Responding to Climate Change). SAA Council approved it with some minor revisions. Next year, the Committee will be examining Classification and Declassification issues for federal records, Congressional Records as Public Records, and the Public Records Status of Police Body Cam Video.

SAA’s reception was held at the Coca-Cola Museum where they had exhibits and visitors could sample different types of soda (pop, in my Midwestern mind). I enjoyed several helpings of root beer. However, I will most remember my visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights across the way, which also welcomed us. The museum, which was visually stunning and emotionally wrenching, was hosting a loan of Dr. King’s Papers from Morehouse College. On display were a 1958 handwritten outline of Dr. King’s sermon “A Knock at Midnight” and a 1963 handwritten Draft of “Loving Your Enemies” that would be included as a chapter in Strength to Love. Seeing Dr. King’s handwriting was an incredible experience.

Finally, I gave a presentation as part of a panel focusing on Assessing Archives: Case Studies in Using Data as an Advocacy Tool. My main points focused on collection use analysis by using data from our outslips and LibAnswers; new efforts to better survey the faculty visiting Special Collections as we continue to build campus connections; and the history of assessing our web site and revising its content.

At the end of the week, during the Business Meeting, I was installed as the Vice-President/President-Elect for the Society of American Archivists. In 2016-2017, I will coordinate the Appointments Committee, which oversees volunteer and committee appointments for the entire organization. I am also assisting in organizing an SAA Council meeting with archivists in Mexico in order to build closer international relationships. There will be lots to do, and I am looking forward to getting started!

SAA 2016, finally

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 3:11 pm

I had an unusually busy Society of American Archivists meeting in Atlanta earlier this month, and I will blame the delay in writing this on all the other writing I’ve been doing after the meeting to advertise and inform fellow archivists about the meeting’s work. My whirlwind week went Monday through Saturday and included:

  • Attending the annual meeting’s 10th Research Forum and heard about the research work that so many of my colleagues are undertaking – I’m thinking about how I can join in!
  • Joining Tim, Stephen, and a group of Atlanta alumni at Monday Night Brewing (and learning about how odd Georgia’s liquor laws are)
  • Moderating a career planning and navigation panel that I pulled together this winter, which I wrote about briefly on my personal blog
  • Chairing a conference session titled “I Second That Emotion: Working with Emotionally Challenging Collections” (here’s a Storify of tweets related to the session)
  • Acting as a facilitator for the conference sessions “Deconstructing Whiteness in Archives: Opportunities for Self-Reflection
  • Accepting my election to the Issues & Advocacy Roundtable’s Steering Committee and giving a report on the work of a Roundtable research team that I participated in – we wrote a series of articles regarding the Archives So White hashtag and conversation
  • Watched and transcribed three Great Archives Advocates discuss their approach to advocacy and advice regarding advocating more effectively; more information about that event is here
  • Accepting my election as Vice Chair/Chair Elect to the Collections Management Tool Roundtable, which is an interest group related to tools that help facilitate collections access; ours is Archivist Toolkit but there are at least a dozen others, plus homegrown CMSes
  • Oh yeah, and attending sessions!

Whew. I did at least one thing a day that made me nervous – my normal tempo is something nerve-wracking every two weeks.

This year’s Society President, Dennis Meissner of the Minnesota Historical Society, spent this year particularly focused on increasing inclusive practices, behaviors, and work in the archives profession, and my session attendance indicated that. I spent one lunch learning about records and history of Louisiana-area Native groups, Jewish communities in Mexico, and a bit about the rich history of Atlanta thanks to a brown bag session put together by SAA’s Diversity Committee. I also attended a heart-rending session about documenting the Emmanuel AME Church massacre memorials.

My other focus this year was working with born-digital materials and I attended sessions on that subject. As we here at the ZSR increasingly create digital materials and acquire digital collections and hybrid collections (which contain digital and paper materials), I want to make use of the work other archivists have already done to corral and provide access to digital items.

If you have questions about archivists, archives work, or any of the above – let’s get coffee!

SAA in HOTlanta!

Saturday, August 6, 2016 1:47 pm

The meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Atlanta marked the end of my three year term on SAA Council, the society’s governing body. It was also fitting that I celebrated my one year anniversary while at SAA. I first learned about the ZSR dean opening at the November 2014 Council meeting when Tanya Zanish-Belcher asked me if I would like to be her boss. Then I was offered the position while at the May 2015 Council meeting. And the Wake connection continues as Tanya starts her term as SAA Vice President/President-elect.

This was a very productive meeting for me and Society. Diversity and inclusion was a major theme of the meeting and we approved an updated statement for SAA. I was Council liaison to several SAA groups, including the Standards Committee. The Committee sponsors three joint ACRL/RBMS/SAA task forces; two focus on new metrics for holdings and public services while the third addresses teaching with primary sources. All three should have reports out this year.

I also talked with some of developers and board members of ArchivesSpace, which is a collections management and finding aid authoring and discovery system. While at Penn State, we implemented ArchivesSpace and I was a member of their board. The tool is maturing and two vendors now offer hosting options — Lyrasis and Atlas (parent company for Illiad). Both Yale and Penn State recently moved to Lyrasis hosting and are happy with the service. This may be an option for us as the Archivists Toolkit is no longer supported.

Mark Puente, who leads the diverity program for Association of Research Libraries was present at the meeting. ARL and SAA sponsor the Mosaic Scholarship program, which supports 15 students pursuing careers in archives and libraries. I vounteered Wake Forest to be a potential Mosaic internship site. I also invited Mark to visit us at ZSR as we launch our Diversity & Inclusion Committee. And while not attending SAA, I was able to meet with John Burger, director of the Association of Southeast Research Libraries, which is based in Atlanta.

Finally, Stephen Edwards organized a fun ZSR awareness event while I was in Atlanta. With help from Stephanie Bennett, we met with 50 local alumni at Monday Night Brewing, a microbrewery co-owned by a Wake alum.

It was a busy, educational, and fun week. I had the chance to see many of my former staff members from Penn State, Duke, and UNC as well as a number of my former students. I now feel recharged and ready to start the semester!


Digital Production at Chapel Hill and Duke: Chelcie and Melde Visit Labs

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 4:55 pm

Shortly following my arrival to ZSR this past December, one of the goals discussed between Chelcie Rowell and I were to visit digital production labs at nearby universities over the summer. The goal was to witness how other well known institutions operated their digital production labs. This came to fruition on July 21 as we made the trek to UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University.

Specifically we wanted to observe and ask questions about how other operations managed workflows, performed quality assurance (QA/QC), color management and digital preservation.

Chelcie made the initial contacts this past May with Molly Bragg, the digital collections program manager at Duke’s Digital Production Center, and Lisa Gregory, the program coordinator at the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. The Digital Heritage Center is located on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill at Wilson Library.

The itinerary consisted of first traveling to Chapel Hill that morning, and Duke University in the afternoon. In between the two visits, we had lunch with both parties.

Lisa and Kristen Merryman were our Chapel Hill hosts that morning. Kristen is the digital projects librarian at the Digital Heritage Center. The organization is independent of UNC Chapel Hill, but the two groups share the Digital Production Center in Wilson Library. So this gave us the opportunity to also meet some UNC staff–specifically Kerry Bannen, a digitization support technician for the library’s preservation department, and Fred Stipe, who heads the Digital Production Center.

Mike Adamo demonstrates scanning film negatives with the Fextight X5

Mike Adamo demonstrates using the Flextight X5.

Both Kerry and Fred were in the midst of digitizing materials when we were escorted to the lab. The two were using Zeutschel overhead scanners similar to the Zeutschel workstations within ZSR. Kerry proved to be very knowledgeable about Omniscan, which is the designated software used to operate Zeutschel scanners. A drawback with Omniscan is that there is scant literature or other resources on how to use the software outside of its basic functions. So it was great to meet people who have extended knowledge.

In particular, Kerry shared awesome tips and ideas on the value of using additional clips in Omniscan, which we have now implemented. Clips represent an individual scan in Omniscan. In typical scanning sessions, we used two clips. Kerry provided some insight on how to add additional clips for different functions. For example, we applied a clip that will now generate a thumbnail image within a session.

This proves useful because we create thumbnail images for use in Wake Space to represent a digital object. A 300-plus biographical files upload will also need that many thumbnail images. Prior to our visit, we automated this process with an Adobe Photoshop script. But incorporating this step within Omniscan streamlines this process even further.

Setup at Duke for ldigitizing arge-scale materials

Setup at Duke for digitizing large-scale materials

Color management was also a key topic of discussion at both Chapel Hill and Duke. Having appropriate color calibration on a PC ensures colors and black levels on the screen are true for best results when editing and viewing images. At Duke, Mike Adamo demonstrated the color calibration and profiling system performed on their PC monitors. Mike is the digital production developer at Duke’s Digital Production Center, located at Perkins Library.

Molly also introduced us to the other staff at Duke’s lab: Alex Marsh, digitization specialist; Zeke Graves, audio digitization specialist; and Will Sexton, head of digital projects and production services. In addition to still images and documents, the staff also works heavily with audio and video. Alex spends much time digitizing analog video such as VHS tapes. And Zeke specializes in digitizing audio, such as vinyl records, cassette tapes and reels.

Audio station at Duke’s Digital Production Center

Both Alex and Zeke revealed to us that the equipment they use is hard to come by, mainly because electronics such as high end VCRs and cassette players are no longer manufactured. Coincidentally, that same week it was announced on many news outlets that the last company making VCRs would stop producing them in July. Alex said that some of the audio equipment used in the lab has been purchased on eBay.

Our meeting with Will closed out the the visit. In-part he presented a walkthrough of their digital collections. It was also a nice gesture that he invited us to attend upcoming Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) meetings. One of the group’s areas of interest is a Shared Digital Production, Access and Preservation platform.

What was pleasing about the two visits were how our hosts were so willing to accommodate and answer our questions, and even share their documentation. It was also great to make new connections and come back with new ideas.

Words and Pictures: Megan at Rare Book School

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 1:40 pm

I spent last week looking at pictures. Sounds relaxing, no? But since I was taking a class at the University of Virginia’s summer Rare Book School, it was enlightening but intense week, with a large amount of information absorbed in a very short time.

Illustration from Wenceslaus Hollar's Theatrum Mulierum

An illustration from Wenceslaus Hollar’s Theatrum Mulierum (1643) is an example of Chine-collé technique, in which a print is made on very fine, thin paper and then mounted onto a thicker backing page. From the ZSR Library Special Collections & Archives copy.


Rare Book School offers a variety of classes every year, on a wide array of special-collections-related topics. This year I was keen to take “History of Printed Book Illustration in the West,” taught by Erin Blake of the Folger Library.

ZSR’s special collections have a wealth of illustrated materials. And in recent years I’ve noticed a rapidly growing demand for our visual resources in teaching, research, social media, and other special projects.

Bernard Salomon woodcut from Vitruvius, De Architectura (Paris 1586)

Bernard Salomon’s woodcut illustrations for Vitruvius’s De Architectura went through many editions during the Renaissance. This example from ZSR’s Special Collections was printed in Paris in 1586.


I went into the class with a basic knowledge of the history of book illustration, but after a week under Erin’s tutelage, I now have a much enhanced understanding of illustration techniques, and I know more about the innovative and influential artists of the past 600 years. I can now with some confidence tell my etchings from my engravings and my collotypes from my photogravures.

American Entomology butterflies

An illustration from Thomas Say’s American Entomology (Philadelphia, 1824) is an etching hand-painted with watercolors. From the ZSR Library Special Collections’ copy.


I’m eager to deploy this new information in next year’s teaching. But I’ve also realized that I need to enhance the metadata for the visual aspects of our books. Academic library cataloging has traditionally viewed the text as primary, with illustrations, in most cases, of secondary importance. With better documentation, we’ll be able to make even more extensive use of special collections’ exciting visual resources.

Amanda at Immersion 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016 4:36 pm

Lake Champlain, overlooking the Adirondacks

What is Immersion?

From July 24-29th I visited Burlington, Vermont to attend Immersion, a week-long, intensive training for librarians working on information literacy. Immersion was located on the campus of Champlain College. I attended the “Teacher Track,” which is ideal for early-career instruction librarians who are interested in strengthening their knowledge of instructional techniques and theory. Here were some of my key takeaways:

Transformative Learning

We began the week by considering information literacy through the perspective of “GeST Windows.” In this model, learning outcomes (as in, what we hope students learn) are seen as fitting into one of three categories:

  • Generic – skills-based (e.g. search strategies for library databases)
  • Situational – situated within an authentic social/cultural context (e.g. giving correct attribution for a Creative Commons image in a blog post), or
  • Transformative – transforms oneself or society (e.g. writing a social critique that challenges the status quo/questions assumptions)

These perspectives are hierarchical, and (I think) they can be in tension with one another. For those like myself, who have both the time and the desire to focus on the transformative, it’s still all too easy to default to teaching only “generic skills,” rather than engaging in the difficult work of teaching ideas that might be transformative for the student. However, generic skills are still essential, and I think it is important not to negate the very real benefits that “generic skills” can have for our students.

Williams Hall on University of Vermont's beautiful "University Row." I climbed up this four story(!) fire escape to catch a better glimpse of Lake Champlain. /brag

Williams Hall on University of Vermont’s beautiful “University Row.” I climbed up this four story(!) fire escape to catch a better glimpse of Lake Champlain. /brag

Learning to “Unlearn”

Perhaps my favorite “tidbit” of the week is the notion that a big part of learning is un-learning the things that we think we know. We began by learning about assumptions — particularly our own assumptions, which can be hard to uncover because often we don’t know that we are making them. We grouped assumptions into three types, based on Brookfield’s Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher:

  • Causal Assumptions – an assumption about how something (like learning) works, and how to change it (e.g. making a mistake in front of students increases their trust in us). These are considered the easiest to uncover
  • Prescriptive Assumptions – an assumption about how we think something should be (e.g. What does a good teacher do?) These are often extensions of paradigmatic assumptions
  • Paradigmatic Assumptions – these are the hardest to identify, as to us they appear to be things that we know to be true, and deal with the way that we have ordered the world into fundamental categories (e.g. “adults are self-directed learners”)

So, we had a great activity in which we attempted to uncover our assumptions about our students (e.g. what do we “know” about our students vs. what we “think” we know). So, an assumption I’ve been known to have about Wake students is that they are generally well-prepared, academically speaking, for college. I’ve met a few students who have challenged that assumption, but it’s one that I know I hold and it directly relates to my classroom and instruction. Recognizing these assumptions, or having a critically reflective awareness of them, is important for furthering student-centered learning.

More of Lake Champlain at sunset, overlooking the Adirondacks

More of Lake Champlain at sunset, overlooking the Adirondacks

The Neoliberal Library Classroom

Immersion came at an interesting time. This summer, there has been a bit of controversy in the information literacy world over ACRL rescinding the Information Literacy Competency Standards in favor of the new Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education.

There have been a variety of different responses to this action, ranging from hurt to happiness to apathy. I like both documents, I find them both helpful, and I will continue to use both, but neither are the end-all-be-all for information literacy.

One of the smartest and more interesting responses I read was Emily Drabinski’s blog post What Standards Do and What They Don’t. It echoed many of Drabinski’s thoughts from Towards a Kairos of Library Instruction, which we discussed at Immersion. Essentially, both articles question our assumptions (there they are again!) about “standards” (and frameworks, for that matter) and what they do (e.g. create professional identity, allow us to bargain for resources) and don’t do (e.g. reveal “the truth” of information literacy, tell us how to teach/what to teach in our classrooms).

In the Kairos article in particular, Drabinski reminds us of what brought about our desire to create professional standards in the first place – an increasing notion that a liberal arts education be tied directly to employment/job-preparedness. Because of this, the “about-ness” of information literacy became defined by a set of skills meant to help students in the workforce. Drabinski reminds us that the focus of instruction should be, “on the particular students in a particular classroom with a particular set of learning experiences and needs” not defined by a list of frames or standards.

I think these ideas have been particularly revelatory (and dare I say, transformative) for me and my instructional practice. I’m super pumped to consider all of these ideas as I continue to revise LIB100 moving forward.

Obligatory Food Photo from Sherpa's Kitchen. This was my first experience with Nepalese cuisine.

Obligatory Food Photo from Sherpa’s Kitchen. This was my first experience with Nepalese cuisine.

Learning Outcomes, Peer Observation, Assessment, Oh, my!

We also spent a lot of time on the bread and butter of good instructional practice — learning outcomes, assessment, incorporating technology, peer observation. I can’t claim to be an expert in any of these areas, but I’m happy to share what I learned.

I will say Immersion served as a nice reminder to not backslide into poor instructional habits (“Lesson plan? I’ve taught this lesson over 30 times! I know what I’m doing!”). See those assumptions? It definitely inspired me to write learning outcomes for each and every lesson this semester, especially since I’m making a pretty big change by having my students create Wikipedia articles. So, thank you Immersion!

Everything Else

Burlington, Vermont was a neat town. The weather was amazing. The town was very walk-able and you can see Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks from just about anywhere. There’s also a lot of beer and ice cream, so, what else do you need to hear, really?

I could talk about Immersion for days. And I did, apparently. If you made it this far, I owe you a Heady Topper! (If it can be found!)

My dorm (yes, this beautiful home is a dorm!)

My dorm (yes, this beautiful home is a dorm!)

Sarah at the 2nd Science Boot Camp for Librarians Southeast

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:06 pm

On July 5th, I drove to the University of Georgia (UGA) to present at the 2nd Science Boot Camp for Librarians Southeast. It was great to be immersed for 3 days in presentations on coral reefs, climate change, public health, and science education by renowned researchers and faculty from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Georgia, Emory University as well as librarians who work at the CDC, Coca-Cola, and the Medical College of Georgia.

Dr. James Porter, who coined the term “coral bleaching” through his research on ocean temperature with graduate students (see second photo below), poignantly focused on the global effect of climate change into context of its impact on coral reefs. His history of science presentation highlighted Thomas Jefferson’s second expedition, the Marine Science Expedition, which returned after Lewis and Clarke’s Terrestrial Expedition.

On July 7th, the UGA Special Collections Library hosted a gala, which exhibited Dr. Porter’s “Antiquarian Books on Coral and Coral Reefs”.

Another talk on climate change by Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, former NASA Scientist and Past President of American Meteorological Society (AMS), was compelling in his analogy that “weather is like one’s mood” but “climate is like one’s personality” in order to demystify myths about climate change.

Public Health was another theme of this conference, and it was great to hear how Dr. Katherine Hendricks, Medical Officer in the Bacterial Special Pathogens Branch, collaborated with a CDC librarian to publish a systematic review of sytstemic anthrax. Dr. Hendricks spent 4 months cleaning the data that she collected, which was reassuring as I returned from short-term research leave after spending considerable time cleaning the data that I had collected for analysis.

Dr. Patricia Marsteller provided an engaging talk about her “Case-Based Learning (CBL) teaching methodology with science students and her grant-funded project on the Science Case Network.

There were also numerous librarian lightning talks, and I presented on the instructional technologies I used to flip my LIB220 course. This conference, organized by UGA science librarians, was especially meaningful, since I served as one the founding conference organizers two years ago, and worthwhile.

Kaeley at ATLA 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016 3:50 pm

I attended the 2016 American Theological Library Association Conference June 14-19 in Long Beach, CA. The location was great and I enjoyed cool temperatures, ocean breezes, and a water view from my hotel room!

Before the conference began, I attended a pre-conference excursion to the Getty Center. In addition to getting to see the Getty art collections, gardens, and amazing views of the city, we were taken on a behind the scenes tour of the Getty Research Institute Library. The Library supports the work of the curators and staff of the Getty, as well as the many outside researchers and grant recipients who come to use their extensive art resources. Their collections were originally stored in eight vaults on the Getty property, but have grown too large to be accommodated there (though one of the vaults we visited seemed to be larger than our off-site facility). The majority of the book collection has been moved to a storage facility about 30 miles away (along with their annual supply of toilet paper!) and their special collections and scanning operations are moving into the vaults. It was fascinating to see how such a large, but specialized, library operates!

Before discussing a few of the sessions I attended, I want to mention the three really interesting plenary speakers who were invited to present at the conference, and I would encourage you to check out their twitter feeds and projects:

  • Bobby Smiley, previously of Michigan State and currently at Vanderbilt , spoke about Theological Librarianship in the Age of Digital Humanities
  • Rahuldeep Singh Gill, Director of the Center for Equality and Justice and Associate Professor of Religion at California Lutheran University, spoke about Diversity: A Catalyst for Innovation. The soundbite I took away from his presentation was, “Diversity and pluralism is not the ‘why,’ it is the ‘what.’ You have to figure out your own ‘why.'”
  • Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, previously the Dean of the School of Information at the University of Michigan, currently UC Berkeley’s University Librarian and Chief Digital Scholarship Officer, discussed Wasn’t Digitization Supposed to be Easy? And Good For Us? He discussed some of the complex issues relating to the impact of the release of records held by UC Berkeley in their special collections, including politically and personally sensitive undercover documents from the Cold War era, and anthropological records of Native American tribes that some feel are too sacred for the public to see, while other tribal members think are important for their own cultural history.

As the Secretary of the Public Services Interest Group, I attended our panel presentation on “Ideas for Serving Distance Learners and Alumni.” We had four panelists representing differing service models and student populations, with about 50 attendees in the audience. Regarding alumni service, all the panelists mentioned the importance of the ATLAS for Alums program, which gives access to the ATLA database to alumni (ZSR includes this in our alumni offerings as well).

Two other sessions I would like to briefly highlight:

  • Make DIY Look Professional: Technology for Designing, Mapping and Connecting the Dots: Sarah Bogue of Pitts Theological Library at Emory gave examples of several free(ish) programs that can help us with visualizing data and updating our presentations:
    • canva: template based graphics, which you can use for PowerPoint slides and websites
    • voyant: a tool for data visualization and text mining of large files
    • carto: for use with datasets, she demonstrated a torque map of a twitter hashtag to show tweets on a topic over time
    • tiki-toki: allows users to create interactive timelines
  • Investigating the Needs of Scholars (Ithaka S+R): Danielle Cooper, an analyst at Ithaka S+R, described the partnership between ATLA, Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and 18 academic libraries, to study the research needs of religious studies scholars. At the 18 libraries, librarians and graduate students used the same set of questions to interview religious studies faculty members on their methodological/theoretical approaches to their scholarship, how they develop research projects, when and where their research is conducted, and their publishing habits and data storage. Interestingly, they also took photographs of the researchers primary research/work space. Each library will be writing up their own local report, and then a final report will be issued in January. This gives me some time to read the report they did on art history researchers in 2014, which I have printed out but not actually read!

I also attended sessions on the following topics. If you want to know more about any of them, let me know!

  • On Publishing Essay Collections
  • Determining the Value of Theological Journals
  • Relational Librarianship
  • Luke, Luther, Logos, and Libraries: Resources Preachers Use in Weekly Sermon Development
  • Which Should We Buy: Reconsidering Best Practices in the Purchase of Print versus Electronic Resources in Theological Libraries
  • Reframing Plagiarism: Problems of Virtue and Vice for International Students


2016 Z. Smith Reynolds Library Award Celebration

Monday, July 11, 2016 3:02 pm

On May 27, 2016, the Z. Smith Reynolds Library held its annual employee recognition luncheon. At the luncheon, Z. Smith Reynolds Library faculty and staff members were recognized for their hard work and dedication.

Unsung Hero Award winner is Patrick Ferrell

Helping Hand Award winner is Travis Manning

The 2016 Z. Smith Reynolds Library’s Outstanding Employee of the Year award winner is Ellen Makaravage

Dedicated Deacon Award winner is Amanda Foster

Congratulations to all!



Professional Development
September 2016
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