Professional Development

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!

 

 

Chris at NASIG 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016 6:12 pm

The 2016 NASIG Annual Conference was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in early June, and it was my first conference serving as a Member-At-Large on the Executive Committee. It was a good experience, particularly to have (then) Past President Steve Kelley also representing ZSR on the national scene. I served as the Board Liaison to the Communications and Marketing Committee for the past year, which is one of the most active committees for NASIG since it handles matters related to the organization’s website, e-mails, and social media. It was a busy assignment, but the organization’s needs were met on more than one occasion thanks to the work of all of the volunteers that made it all happen.

The rest of the conference was represented by what NASIG does best: programming and vision sessions. Here are a few highlights.

Vision Sessions. This year, the speakers for the Vision Sessions had a diverse- and at times, contrasting- viewpoints on the topics of open access and entrepreneurial librarianship. T. Scott Plutchak spoke on the “Dialectic on the Aims of Institutional Repositories” with an emphasis on the role of open access in the process of research expansion, and Heather Joseph who focused on “The Power of Open” as open access, open educational resources, and open data are beginning to realize the mission of the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001. Not to be outdone, James J. O’Donnell asked “How Many Libraries Do We Need?” and suggested that libraries acquaint themselves with Ted Levitt’s “Marketing Myopia” article from the Harvard Business Review as reminder about their business should be in the 21st century.

What’s Next. Concurrent sessions addressed topics and technologies that are on their way for some libraries, but have already arrived for others. For instance, a session on text mining demonstrated how some providers have recognized the importance of this field as the next wave of tools for scholars. Another session relayed how the Canadian Linked Data Initiative (CLDI) was started to leverage the efforts of the largest libraries in Canada to develop a path of adoption for linked data for all libraries in that country. Other sessions of interest included streaming media, evidence-based acquisitions, and the use of institutional master agreements as alternatives with licensing to vendors/publishers.

In all, this year’s conference was a successful one. Next year’s conference will be in Indianapolis, and I will be serving as the Board Liaison for the NASIG Newsletter in addition to being the Profiles Editor for the publication. Albuquerque wasn’t without its sights, however, and I managed to get several pictures from around the city as well as the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum and Isotopes Park.

(I created a Flickr page for those photos here.)

Lauren at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando

Friday, July 8, 2016 5:32 pm

Productivity with vendors (book and ILS), committee obligations, and future of cataloging were the three main themes for me in Orlando. Meetings by chance also played a key role in making this an above average conference for me.

I caught up with our Casalini sales rep on how to implement a more Gobi-like version of their fresh interface which will help me and Linda, along with a few others here at ZSR. I met our Eastview sales rep, who had helped us with one of our year-end purchases and I finally broke a logjam around finalizing a license agreement with Springer. For about a year I’ve been talking with colleague and Springer employee Robert Boissy about overcoming discovery discovery problems (with linked data), so he mentioned an interesting new vendor, Yewno. The shortest way I can explain is that it is like a discovery service (e.g. Summon, EDS) but uses artificial intelligence and visualization. They ingest content after they have agreements in place, but I was told at the Yewno booth that it isn’t pre-indexing like the discovery services we know right now. It definitely bears watching as they grow. Maybe the Google of academic content? It reminds me of an internet search engine I used over a decade ago, KartOO, which has been completely closed down, but maybe it was just ahead of its time.

(captured from the Yewno website for illustration)

(captured from the Yewno website)

I continued work on two division-level committees: the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee and the ALCTS Advocacy and Policy Committee. Now that the conference is over, I’m officially the chair of latter. The group will be working on ALA’s Advocacy Implementation Plan. I saw WSSU colleagues Wanda Brown and Cindy Levine at the Opening Session. I commented to them that I felt like I had been to church after hearing the speaker, Michael Eric Dyson. (I believe he said he was a minister earlier in his life. His inflection surely seemed indicative of it!) Cindy may be joining the Advocacy Committee as a result of that chance meeting. I also attended the Closing Session where Jamie Lee Curtis captivated me with the way she revealed her forthcoming book and perspective on belonging and immigration, at a level that kids get. The title is This Is Me: The Story of Who We Are and Where we Came From — the library edition will not have the pop-up, because Curtis understands how that is a problem for libraries. Both speakers were highly complimentary of libraries and librarians, and far more dynamic and poignant on their topics than I can illustrate. You simply had to be there. I had the good fortune to get in line for the Closing Session with the exiting President of ALCTS, Norm Madeiros, and we conversed about the state of ALCTS membership (declining, like others) and the wonderful value we get from our association. Norm is sincerely worried and he has raised my level of concern, which I think will nicely feed into my work with ALCTS Advocacy. (See also Thomas’ post re: ALA Divisions and membership decline. Norm was at the same “free” lunch with Thomas.) Incidental meetings like this at ALA are just as important as the unexpected exchanges we have with colleagues in crossing the building here at ZSR in our daily work.

At Norm’s President’s Program, Dr. Michael R. Nelson, spoke about “Enabling Innovation in the Era of the Cloud–A Syllabus.” He had a great long list of books as “recommended reading.” In random order from my rough notes, here are just a few sample titles and my memory jogs about them: Drive by Daniel Pink (bonuses are bad unless done in way everyone thinks is fair); Words That Work by Frank Luntz (get complicated ideas into simple bumper stickers and add two good factoids); Beyond the Gig Economy (today’s kids will have about 20 jobs in their career); Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age by Steven Johnson (or watch this); Art of the Long View by Peter Schwartz (or his short essay in Wired in 2009, “Your Future in 5 Easy Steps” and see also the “app.”)

Regarding the future of cataloging: I attended a number of sessions where I heard updates about BIBFRAME and linked data and a little about library migrations from an integrated library system (ILS) to a library service platform (LSP). Come see me if you want more details. Carolyn’s , Jeff’s and Steve’s posts also offer some insights and they can also tell you more than they wrote. I heard details from them when we gathered with members of Special Collections earlier this week to share what we learned. Also Steve recently sent email about a series of webinars from ALCTS that many of us will watch. To my mind, the future of cataloging is a heavy consideration as we investigate next generation systems. I stopped by the booths of multiple vendors of LSPs and will share some observations at an upcoming meeting of the ILS Task Force.

 

 

Carolyn at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 9:24 pm

At this year’s Annual conference, most of my time was spent attending various committee meetings and fulfilling my duties as Secretary of the Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) of ACRL by taking minutes at said meetings. After serving on the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee for the past five years in some capacity (e.g. member, Co-Chair, Chair), I chaired my last meeting of the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee. Additionally, I attended the Anthropology Librarians’ Discussion Group where Dr. Richard Freeman, who is a librarian at the University of Florida at Gainesville, presented on the topic of visual anthropology in which he provided historical background on the topic and shared information about his own personal work in this area.

I was able to attend a few cataloging programs. At the Copy Cataloging Interest Group (CCIG), I heard Philip Schreur discuss Stanford University’s involvement with Linked Data for Production (LD4P), a project funded for 2 years by the Mellon Foundation that involves 5 other institutions (Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Library of Congress, and Princeton). Schreur reported the goals of LD4P are to redefine technical services workflows (acquisition to discovery) to ones based in Linked Open Data (LOD), produce metadata as LOD communally, enhance BIBFRAME (BF) to encompass multiple formats, and engage the broader academic community. Stanford has looked at their vendor supplied records from Casalini and have utilized tracer bullets in redefining their workflows. Stanford is working with Backstage so that they will become familiar in receiving BF records, and they’re also working with OCLC to be able to send them BF records instead of MARC. Also at CCIG, Dianne Hillman spoke on the benefits using Open Metadata Registry (OMR) to develop specialized vocabulary for specialized collection needs. Inclusion in OMR can help prevent the abandonment of good vocabulary. Catherine Oliver spoke about the issues she’s faced in cataloging Holocaust denial literature at Northern Michigan University. Having these works included in a library’s collection is challenging. They promote hate and often appear scholarly which in turn makes it difficult to know what to do with it. Ms. Oliver pointed out that the Library Bill of Rights provides guidance on avoiding prejudicial labeling of materials. Library of Congress does separate out Holocaust denial literature with 2 subject headings (Holocaust denial and Holocaust denial literature). Determining which of the 2 headings to apply can at times be tricky. She decided to examine cataloging records in OCLC of every English expression of 6 specific Holocaust denial titles, looking specifically at the records call numbers and subject headings. When cataloging Holocaust denial works, she made the decision to not include other subject headings (e.g. Anne Frank, Auschwitz) in the records because she did not want these titles collocated together. She does include additional access points for Holocaust denial literature presses so that people can search for works by a publisher’s name.

“It’s not a question of IF, but WHEN: Migrating to a Next Generation ILS” was the title of the program hosted by the Catalog Management Interest Group that I attended. Library staff from the University of Minnesota Libraries and University Miami Libraries both spoke about their individual experiences transitioning from Aleph and III’s Millennium respectively to Ex Libris Alma, and a librarian from Rutgers University Law Library spoke about her institution’s experience going from Millennium to Koha’s open-source system.

Steve Kelly and I both attended a program on open editorial and peer review that we heard about at the Technical Services Quarterly editorial board meeting/dinner. Cesar Berrios-Otero, Outreach Director for Faculty of 1000 (F1000), spoke about fixing scientific publishing’s archaic model and speeding up discovery. Per Mr. Berrios-Otero, the anonymity of peer review have caused journal retractions to skyrocket. At F1000, the publishing process has been flipped. Once a author submits their paper and open data, a cursory review takes place, and within 7 days or less, the paper is then published. Peer reviews by invited reviewers, which lends transparency to the publishing process, commences. Authors can resubmit revised versions of their paper after addressing reviewers’ comments. Referees and their affiliations are named, and their reports and comments are visible to anyone. The benefits of this new model include:

  • Publishing process has sped up.
  • There is visible discussion between referees, authors, and editors which aids in putting the paper in context.
  • Authors can demonstrate that their papers were reviewed by top people in their field.
  • Reviewers can take credit for their hard work as well as their experience as a reviewer.

Matthew Gold, Associate Professor of English and Digital Humanities at CUNY, Graduate Center, wants to see a hybrid publishing model utilized (i.e. a peer review stage with community feedback that then moves to a more traditional editorial mediated process with substantive comments). He outlined the benefits and dangers of a completely open peer review model tied to open access.

Benefits include:

  • Building a community around a text before it it’s published as well as an audience.
  • Enlarging the diversity and the number of perspectives brought to bear upon a text under review.
  • Connecting scholarship with public at an earlier stage of publishing process.

Dangers include:

  • Superficial comments rather than comprehensive, structural feedback or lack of feedback.
  • Reluctance to offer strong critique in public venue.
  • Opening up authors to abuse and mistreatment. Moderation must be considered.
  • Open review exhaustion. It takes time to build a community of reviewers.

Karen Estlund, Associate Dean for Digital Strategies and Technology at Penn State University Libraries, discussed the open peer reviewed journal with which she is involved publishing, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology. The journal’s origins came out of a conference and began publication in 2012 by Fembot and the University of Oregon. Experts in the field were recruited to set the journal’s standards. Experts in the field review submissions and provide authors 1-2 page reviews with suggestions on how to make their paper publishable elsewhere or suggestions for resubmission. Interactive works that the journal publishes also go through an open peer review process as well. Pizza and soda are served at the journal’s peer review editing parties.

 

 

 

TANSTAAFL: Thomas @ ALA

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 4:27 pm

ALA Annual marked the end of my year as president of LITA, which was a rewarding experience, even if it did lead to a number of Thomas @ ALA posts that were almost entirely about process and policy.

And this is another of them (lucky you!).

TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (or breakfast or dinner). You’d better believe it: I had one of each this trip. ALA for me started a day earlier than normal because the presidents and vice presidents of ALA and the separate divisions held a Thursday night meeting (free dinner!) to discuss ALA’s divisional structure, potential restructuring as membership numbers continue to shrink, and what the future holds for all professional membership organizations (it isn’t just us, it isn’t just a trend – it’s the new normal. ALA reported a May-to-May bump in members, but that’s largely from a one-time influx of library donors). A very informal group was given permission to think completely outside the box, stir up hornets’ nests, and rip off 25-year old bandaids to consider how ALA might be structured in the future to maintain and strengthen its place in the information world’s landscape. There’s interesting potential there, so we’ll see what happens.

My free lunch on Saturday was with my cohort – all the presidents in the same year as me. This was partly a debriefing on our presidential years, partly a strategy discussion, partly a check in on the first year of ALA’s “Libraries Transform” initiative.

And Sunday was the divisional presidents breakfast (at 7:30). Don’t be fooled by the name – at least five people from every division attend along with core ALA staff. All told, it’s about a 55-person meeting that, again, focused on strategy and making membership more attractive and useful to a generation of librarians that are increasingly being pulled elsewhere.

Those non-free meals aside, I spent my time chairing two LITA Governing Board meetings, largely focused on our own early work on a new strategic plan; meeting with LITA committee chairs and with the LITA 50th Anniversary Task Force, and waving the presidential flag at a few other LITA events.

My one actual “Why we go to conference in the first place” moment was hosting the LITA awards ceremony and president’s program. I had the pleasure to introduce Safiya Noble, who gave an illuminating and quite moving talk about the subjective aspects of search engine algorithms and how they disenfranchise and delegitimize at-risk communities. Dr. Noble referenced her own work from 2013, noting that a Google search for “Black girls” returned almost entirely pornography; more recent examples included a search for “Unprofessional hair” that returned images of African-American women; and an example from just last month on the stark differences between searching “three black teenagers” and “three white teenagers”. It’s worth noting that Google tends to tweak their algorithms to improve search results when incidents like these go public, but that might just prove that it’s a fixable (and ultimately preventable) problem. While Google and other search engines apply algorithms to raw web content, this meshes very closely with the growing awareness among librarians that the naming and description of things that are intrinsic to cataloging are not objective and neutral.

So that was my conference. And can I just say, this is the only Orlando I want to see again for a long, long time.

Tony Orlando and Dawn

Tanya and the Archives Leadership Institute (Berea College), 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 2:22 pm

I recently attended our second funded round of the Archives Leadership Institute (ALI), now based at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. Funded by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), the goal for the Institute is to “bring to tomorrow’s leaders the insights and understanding necessary for increasing public use and appreciation of archives.” I am a member of the Steering Committee: (Rachel Vagts, ALI Director) is now at Berea College as well as representatives from New York (Geof Huth), Massachusetts (Beth Myers), Ohio (Dan Noonan), Oregon (Terry Baxter), Texas (Brenda Gunn), and of course, North Carolina (Tanya).

View from Berea College, Kentucky

View from Berea College, Kentucky

For our first year at Berea, we worked with the faculty to revise the schedule and again reviewed applications (there were nearly 100 submissions for 25 slots). The Committee conducted daily evaluations of the curriculum, and monitored the overall process by serving as facilitators for small groups in the cohort.

My ALI Small Group

My ALI Small Group

We also had a new curriculum coordinator, Mark Nigro of Berea College’s Brushy Fork Institute. We started our week with Christopher Barth, from West Point, who spoke on Strategic Visioning and Team Development. Chris also incorporated a small group ethics discussion, focusing on an incredibly thought-provoking case study authored by our ZSR Dean Tim Pyatt. The CoHort held many opinions about various aspects of the case and there was lively discussion.

Sharon Leon (Director of Public Projects, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and Media, George Mason) who oversees OMEKA and Scripto, focused on project management for day two; our Coordinator, Mark Nigro presented on StrengthsFinder for Day 3; Barbara Teague (Library of Virginia) presented on Advocacy (Day 4); and we concluded with Dr. David Gracy (retired from the archives faculty at UT-Austin) Skyping in to have a discussion with us and answer questions. In between, there were team puzzles, energizers involving rubber chickens and creativity, broom making, diversity presentations, and lots of candy. One of the week’s highlights was visiting the bell hooks Institute, and listening to bell speak and answer questions.

bell hooks

bell hooks

Susan’s ALA Annual 2016 – Orlando Report

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 4:53 pm

The Orange County Convention Center welcomes ALA to Orlando

If it’s late June, it must be time to jump on a plane and travel to some uncomfortably warm location to attend ALA Annual. This year the conference was held in Orlando and prior to the start of the conference the national news was filled with multiple terrible events occurring there. So, it was a unsettling time to travel to Orlando. ALA responded with recognition and programming. There was a memorial service for the Pulse shooting victims (video 1, video 2) and a blood drive. I was fortunate to attend a scheduled session that featured Congressman John Lewis along with his co-authors of the graphic novel March. Because he had just been in the news the same week in the Congressional sit-in, his appearance and talk brought the audience to their feet in support of his efforts. It was an inspiring program.

John Lewis arrives to a standing ovation

Most of my conference was spent in LITA (Library Information and Technology Association) meetings and programs due to my role as LITA Director-at-Large. One of its signature events, Top Tech Trends, had 5 panelists this time around and a bit of a format change. After each panelist briefly proclaimed their “trend” (concepts, collecting real time data, virtual reality, balance of security against access, super easy application development), a half hour was spent asking for panelist responses about information security questions that were posed. This was followed by a discussion of maker space trends and examples. My favorite exchange were the questions “what may be the most useless trend?” [Answers: YikYak, IOT (Internet of Things)] and “What tech things are you sick of hearing about?” [Answers: 3D printers, smart watches, maker spaces].

It seems I went with the “top trends” theme this time in my limited program attendance between meetings. I heard one of the expert panel members (Lindley Shedd, U of Alabama) from the NMC Horizon Report – 2015 Library Edition. She talked a bit about the process for paring down a huge list of possible topics to 18 ( a focus on emerging technologies in libraries – six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments). You might enjoy looking at the project’s workspace wiki to more about how the project is implemented. It was interesting that she compared this report with the recently published 2016 Top Trends in Academic Libraries to see what correlated between the two.

My next “top trends” was a LLAMA-BES panel session on Top Building Trends 2016. The panel contained both architects and library directors. Some gems from the session:

  • (Looking for relevance in today’s environment?) Nothing transmits irrelevance like leaking roofs, old paint and furniture, outdated infrastructure.
  • Lost arts – a place for community to come together. Not so much maker spaces as most know them. These range from garden to cooking to candlemaking).
  • How can we make the collections (you know, those pesky books in stacks) attractive and focused part of the experience? Check out the book mountain in a Netherlands library. Maybe more useful in our library, consider lowing the stacks.
  • Restrooms are a top trend. The call for gender neutral has architects looking for new ways to design them.
  • Flexibility in a building means fewer permanent walls are being built.
  • A move toward pop-up instruction/event space.
  • Outdoor space is becoming more important – green space, outdoor movie screens, outdoor programming.
  • Look to other industries for trends that could be valuable. Example cited: the hospitality industry focuses on transforming people from one point to another (the first 25 feet sets the experience).

My final comment has to do with how much walking one does at a typical ALA conference. In Orlando, the West Convention Center was connected to hotels, North/South OCCC halls and heaven knows what else. I had no trouble exceeding my 10,000 steps per day goal!

Get Your Steps In

 

Meghan @ LOEX 2016: Learning from the Past, Building for the Future

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 10:17 am

This was my first LOEX experience, but I am certain it won’t be my last. Overall, I was very impressed with the amount of practical implementations that I took away from each session and the level of creativity, innovation and collegial support at this conference!

There was strong representation from first time attendees at LOEX (which once stood for ‘Library Orientation Exchange’, but is now a stand-alone title since library instruction has moved well-beyond the basic ‘orientation’ phase), and at the Thursday evening orientation session, I learned that every year approximately 20% of LOEX conference participants are first-time attendees.

What follows is a brief summary of the sessions I attended and some of my take-away thoughts.

Friday, May 6th

ReModeling the Library Tour: Active Learning through Active Spaces
(Matthew Pickens, Missour University of Science & Technoloy)
Inspired by the tableau set-up frequently used in haunted house attractions, the Curtis Laws Wilson Library (Missouri University of Science and Technology) re-designed their library tour to include short presentations that engage a variety of learning styles and integrate physical activity between each station. The re-design allowed them to incorporate kinesthetic elements to their tour and highlight some of the more entertaining aspects of library services, spaces, and collections. Using this tableau-style for tours and orientations seems to be a creative and fun way to engage students in a more holistic introduction to the library as space, resources and services. Something I hope to incorporate in future tours/orientations that I lead at ZSR!

Engaging Diverse Learners: Creating Accessible IL Instruction with Universal Design for Instruction
(Emilie Vrbancic, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs)

Universal design (coined by architect and designer Ronald L. Mace) describes the concept of “designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life”. During this session, Emilie Vrbancic demonstrated how integrating universal design into information literacy instruction anticipates the needs of diverse learners. What does instruction with universal design elements look like? Content and lesson plans that integrate equitable use (accessible, vocalized actions, use of sans-serif font), flexibility of use (varied instruction methods, appeal to variety of learning styles), simplistic and intuitive instruction (no jargon, draw of previous knowledge/use student-centered topics for demos), perceptible information (present info in multiple formats, shorten task instructions, use icons/images), tolerance for error (allocate time for individual work, encourage students to seek help), etc.

Engaging Students through IL Based Service Learning Assignments for Community Benefits and Academic Success
(Leah Galka, SUNY Buffalo State and Theresa McDevitt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
I was very excited to attend this session and learn about integrating service projects into IL based instruction– especially given the pro humanitate spirit here at Wake. Leah and Theresa shared their experiences with using service learning projects– “a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs, together with structured opportunities for reflection designed to achieve desired learning outcomes”– in their IL instruction. Overall, the program offered benefits to students (real world problem solving, personal growth, deeper understanding of complexity of social issues), librarians/instructors (engage and motivate students, demonstrate that IL skills are essential to complimentary real world tasks), and the university at large (experiential = high impact learning, opportunity to give back and improve community). Leah and Theresa acknowledged that working with the community partner to direct a clear understanding of what will be accomplished is key.

Recycling the First-Year One Shot Workshop: Using Interactive Technology to Flip the Classroom
(Crystal Goldman and Tamara Rhodes, UC San Diego)
Using technology to facilitate, library instructors developed online tutorials and activities for students to complete outside of the class in advance of library instruction session. This model worked well for the providing a in-depth one-shot instruction with limited resources. In addition to the online tutorial, the one shot workshop also included a research workshop and drop-in research consultation component to further develop research assignments and familiarize students with library services and resources.

Rework, Reuse, Reflect on Your Research: Writing Center and Library Collaborations
(Holly Jackson, and Jill Tussing, Wright State University)
This session focused on collaborative instruction and joint service offerings from librarians and tutors with the Writing Center at Wright State University. Both teams utilized the peer-to-peer model and trained student assistants to respond to initial drop-in appointments– student research assistants were embedded at the Writing Center to assist with research-specific inquiries, which helped greatly to bridge the physical space between both service points (Writing Center located in different building than library’s information desk). Location, timing and individuals involved were important factors in the strategies that were employed for this collaborative effort.

Saturday, May 7th

Everything We Do Is Pedagogy: Critical Pedagogy, the Framework and Library Practice
(Jeremy McGinniss, Summit University)
I really enjoyed Jeremy McGinniss’ application of critical pedagogy to our work in libraries — his discussion was refreshing and demonstrated incredible depth. Jeremy introduced the concept of critical pedagogy using a definition from Giroux’s On Critical Pedagogy: “Critical pedagogy . . . affords students the opportunity to read, write and learn from a position of agency- to engage in a culture of questions . . . imagining literacy as a mode of intervention, a way of learning about the word as a basis for intervening in the world.” I absolutely loved his conversation around the recognition of library space and library staff (specifically student labor) as pedagogical opportunities. The stories he shared of his engagement with student assistants in his work (meeting at the beginning and end of each semester, setting goals, encouraging students to self-identify with [and even challenge] staff processes) was inspiring. A powerful session that demonstrated how in libraries, critical pedagogy can be dug up, unpacked and provide a place for flourishing, justice and modes of opportunity.

Jeremy McGinniss reflects upon how the library, as a whole, engages in pedagogy.

Into the Gauntlet: Letting Students Teach One Another
(Jessica Crossfield and Amy Parsons, Otterbein University)
Building on the idea that nothing clarifies ideas better than explaining them to others, Jessica and Amy presented on efforts to integrate peer to peer instruction in their IL sessions. They set up a structured process that divided the classes into groups of 3 (in case you didn’t know, more than 3 is a party), led small groups to Google Doc assignment linked from online guide and gave them time to complete assignment before reporting back to the whole class. The think-pair-share model of cooperative learning strategies was primarily used, but other attendees recommended incorporating competitive elements (judging or multi-evaluative) could also work as both assessment measures and peer learning tools in the classroom.

A Sample Is a Tactic: Hip Hop Pedagogy in the Library Classroom
(Craig Arthur and Alyssa Archer, Radford University)
This was one of my favorite sessions at LOEX. Craig Arthur and Alyssa Archer demonstrated how integrating hip hop pedagogy in library instruction can help students grasp concepts related to the academic research process and the ACRL Framework- such as research as inquiry, scholarship as conversation, information has value. Craig spun samples from Beyonce’s Lemonade, “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza” by Mac Miller, “Work” by Rihanna (ft. Drake) to point out how sampling was handled by each artist and how this process of borrowing and re-use in MC/DJing conventions can be used as a comparison to academic and scholarly conventions. The session also touched on issues related to cultural appropriation, the differences between copyright in music vs print formats, and how personal interests are worthy of academic study. I thought this was an exceptionally creative way to instruct IL frames and share concepts related to academic research that are unfamiliar to most students.

Interactive lessons with turntable and mixer allow librarians at Radford University to demonstrate how creating a hip hop song can mirror the academic research process.

Interactive lessons with turntable and mixer allow librarians at Radford University to demonstrate how creating a hip hop song can mirror the academic research process.

Amanda, Joy and I were able to squeeze in visits to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the Andy Warhol Museum. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, I would recommend visiting both attractions! Do yourself a favor and make sure to stop by the Archives Dept. at the Andy Warhol Museum to see the “time capsule” collection. Incredible!


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