Professional Development

During March 2007...

Dinner with Debbie at ACRL

Friday, March 30, 2007 9:19 am

I met Debbie for dinner last night in Baltimore so that we could both catch up with what was going on in our respective libraries. She drove us to the Little Italy section of town, which has fabulous Italian restaurants. We chose one based on the availability of their gated parking lot, and discovered it was elegantly superb!

Her campus is very busy and undergoing change right now. Her Provost’s last day is today, which is disturbing to her because he was instrumental in her decision to go to Towson. She is busy with making budget appeals in a number of areas and is about to post two open positions, her first since she arrived. She wanted to know all about our strategic planning efforts and campus politics and everything about ZSR staff. She misses us and Wake Forest and especially her house on Faculty Drive. But she is busy, happy and healthy in her new environment and sends her love to all.


Lynn at ACRL

Friday, March 30, 2007 9:09 am

Here we are in the land of MoreBalts, as Bill likes to call it. The city is crowded, congested, and undergoing massive construction projects, from what I can see along E. Pratt Ave.

Opening Session – Michael Eric Dyson

When I attended the Wake Forest convocation with Leonard Pitts last fall, I thought it was the best speech I had ever heard. Well, that has now been topped by Michael Eric Dyson’s opening address at ACRL. He said he was a native of Detroit, but he sounded for all the world like a southern Baptist preacher to me. He is a professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania but loved to lapse into rap lyrics. His main message was the importance of the work that librarians do, acknowledging that he was preaching to the choir, but observing that the “choir gotta sing better.” He ranted against the Bush administration, Bill Cosby, and anyone who stands in the way of dissent, ideas, and an open view of learning. His philosophy is that you need to “meet people where they be, to take them where they need to be.” Hence, his embrace of the hip-hop genre, which he views as a “quest for self-determination in an environment that denies their legitimacy.” He describes librarians as “arbiters of enlightenment for the future of human civilization.” We don’t see that in Library School catalogs very often! He spoke without a note, barely drawing a breath, quoting long passages of Tennyson and Tupac Shakur from memory, all in the style and cadence of Martin Luther King. I loved it.

Women’s History Symposium

Friday, March 30, 2007 8:17 am

Old Salem is certainly among the most apt of locations for conferences and symposia pertaining to the history of the early American South, and on March 9, I attended a day-long symposium there devoted to the achievements of “Working Women of the Early South.” Presenters from Old Salem Museums and Gardens figured prominently, but speakers from Wake Forest University and Colonial Williamsburg contributed substantially as well to the program.

Dr. Michele Gillespie, Kahle Associate Professor of History here at WFU, provided the keynote address, an engrossing account of “Enterprising Women: A New Look at the Daughters of the Early South.” She summarized the record of scholarly inquiry and emphases of recent decades including the newer arenas of research and investigation, thus providing an academic basis and context for more specifically focused talks that were to follow. Not surprisingly, she commenced by noting how little attention has been paid to women’s work, its diverse nature and worth. Although there has been a veritable explosion of books about women in the early South, the locus of interest has been largely the plantation world, i.e. plantation mistresses and slaves. Challenging Tara-esque stereotypes, these studies have drawn substantially on a legacy of educated and literate women who wrote letters and diaries that have long since formed the core of collections of family papers and subsequently, university and state archives. These surviving private genres have revealed that long-standing stereotypes have been false, that these women frequently lived difficult rather than romantic lives running households, managing servants, even making business decisions–all punctuated of course by childbearing and by disease. Furthermore, these elite women were often lonely, depressed, overburdened, and oppressed by a sense of an imprisoned existence.

Slave women have only recently been discovered in the historical record. Until the 1980s the attention paid was “gender oblivious:” the slave experience was perceived as if it were exclusively male, and female slaves were regarded as genderless workers in fields and in houses.

However, Professor Gillespie pointed out that the vast majority of southern women obviously did not reside on plantations, and moreover, that this large segment of the population was in fact central to a developing southern economy. These women in the middle were mostly white (approximately 1% were free black) and generally have been omitted from the historical record, inhabiting instead a rather shadowy realm apparently invisible to historians’ eyes. Part of the problem is that women have been defined by men and valued only in relation to men. (I once heard another historian recount how difficult it was to track down archival records pertaining to women, since they were buried there only under the names of the men whose mothers, daughters, and wives they were.) But in fact, despite constraints imposed by both their reproductive and other productive labor, the roles they played in the development of the southern culture and economy form a rich and diverse mosaic of contributions.

Alluding to the much-lauded Jeffersonian ideal of yeoman farmers, Gillespie emphasized the centrality of these farmers’ wives and daughters in attaining and sustaining the sufficiency essential to the independence of this population. Women worked alongside men in the fields as well as in household production. In addition, early industrialization in the South benefited from women’s hands at the looms, utilizing poor white women and children as a labor force–as was also the case in New England, where farmers’ daughters worked in the Lowell mills. Thus, there was an early and significant working class that was in part a feminized force at the forefront of the transition from an agrarian to an industrialized economy. Lines separating white from black women were not universally clear; color boundaries were permeable. Black as well as white women owned shops, and even the world’s oldest profession could at once observe racial distinctions for clients, but also could offer cross-racial services!

This new area of women’s historical scholarship must rely perforce on records of business transactions and similar types of data as sources for research into the achievements of working women. Lamentably, there is for this group a dearth of private writings which exist for other, literate groups of women possessed of a modicum of leisure, and consequently the personal voice is clearly missing as is any account of working women’s interior lives.

The remainder of the symposium consisted of more specific accounts of working women who labored either singly or in groups. Johanna Brown, Director of Collections and Curator at Old Salem, described the work done by the women of the Single Sisters’ House. Deeming no task too menial, these women spun cloth, did needlework and laundry, gardened, worked for families, and taught school. So successful were they that they paid off Single Brothers’ debts no less than three times.

Sandy Hegstrom, Education Associate and Tour Manager at MESDA, spoke about some women who achieved a bizarre celebrity of sorts due to physical deformities and essentially gave (paid) performances demonstrating feats such as cutting silhouettes minus the benefits of fingers or hands. Strange as this seems to the modern sensibility, Ms. Taylor characterized this as an instance of a deformity permitting certain women to perform outside the constraints usually imposed on young ladies’ occupations.

A dramatic interlude came in the form of a theatrical interpretation in the St. Philips African American Church by Valarie Holmes of Colonial Williamsburg. She presented an interpretation of one Lydia Broadnax, a slave of George Wythe, who confronts the possibilities and challenges of new-found freedom. But she will not feel truly liberated until she finds her young daughter, from whom she was separated when the girl was 4 years old. Her account of this physical and emotional journey, which morphs into an intense experience of the present moment, received a standing ovation from the audience.

The final event of the day was an optional tour of the Single Sisters’ House, which is in the process of restoration. It will be used in part as office space for Salem, and in part as another site to visit in Old Salem. Interestingly, the House will not be entirely restored to pristine condition; rather, portions will remain “as is” to reveal old German construction methods: wood and brickwork, plastering, even eighteenth-century graffiti that has been exposed on early layers of plaster. (And there will be a re-creation of the original Lovefeast for the Single Sisters’ House on April 22, at 3 p.m. in the Old Salem Square.)

I always find it very enriching and exhilarating to attend occasional conferences outside of the borders of library land. They always underscore the point of so much of what we do here. This symposium fulfilled all such expectations.

unc-tlt wrap up

Friday, March 23, 2007 12:44 pm

The UNC TLT conference was a good one! There were a wide variety of programs, some more geared towards things that we’re doing than others. Some were really good at this point in time (like the Learning Commons presentation NCSU did) and others resonated with things that I’ve worked on in the past and inspired me to do more (like the Learning Objects one that UNCG did). My presentation with Bob King went well. It was a little less hands on than I had hoped, but there was good discussion–such as privacy regulations for publishing student work on the web. We had a good turn out, even though the workshop was a 5 minute drive from the conference hotel. Several people followed up saying that this is just the kind of thing their faculty are becoming interested in. So, overall, it was a good conference, and I got lots of good ideas. Thanks!

learning commons

Friday, March 23, 2007 10:54 am

Demonstration: The Learning Commons: Creating and Sustaining a Student-Focused Learning Space (Joe Williams, Janelle Joseph)

  • Background
    • Learning Commons: social, friendly, inviting, support learning
    • Access to resources, images, ideas, inspiration, research support, productivity support (applications, etc), as well as social components
    • Renovation of East Wing
    • Involved students, faculty, staff
  • Floor plan
    • You can see the PowerPoint here
    • Have in “information” desk, which is a little bit confusing… students ask “is this reference?”
    • Presentation room for practicing presentations
    • Different stations for different purposes
    • Group study spaces
    • Same feedback we’re getting: power, spaces, great wireless, etc.
    • Comfortable space
    • Circulation & reserve at one desk in another area (about 40 feet away)
    • This space has taken over the reference area
  • Services
    • Research & computing, device lending, social space & collaborative spaces
      • Even have a few game consoles set up permanently as a break from studying, no complains about noise/distractions
      • Website has real-time PC availability that students can check before coming over
      • Can see some of the devices they loan out on their FAQ sheet (Word doc)
    • Accessible staff (even low, clear information tables (rather than tall, fort-like desks)
      • Signage focuses on words (like “law” or “dictionaries”) rather than call numbers
  • Outreach
    • Week of celebration for opening of new learning commons
    • Student group involvement (multicultural students affairs office, union activities board, international scholars, student services, student organization resource center), went to their meetings to tell them about it
    • Campus partnerships (IT, center for teaching & learning, campus media, campus activities, eBoards)
    • Future events: with groups, maybe gaming, faculty lecture series (sound familiar)
  • Assessment
    • Observations, counts, usage statistics
      • Including hits on website
    • Focus groups, surveys
    • Standing committees
      • University library committee, subgroup of this is specifically for commons (just students), director has student advisory board
    • Web-based options
      • Text box, fill in comments, hit send (right on front page)
      • Discussion board on main commons page
        • Requires university login to create new posts
  • Interesting side effect
    • Business faculty bring students in to study how people use space, etc.
    • Some people teach in the space (not registering for spaces, though)
    • People LOVE roaming dry erase boards
    • Sound dampening furniture, more social space, louder than in previous space, some students shush other students, do query students when it seems like it might be too noisy
    • Staff didn’t need to be sold on this, but there was a need to do some retraining (printing options changed, etc)
    • Can rely on some grad assistants to help with advanced issues
  • Some good photos and student comments in the powerpoint (link above)
  • Funding
    • Bond, donations, Friends of the Library fundraising, library-specific campaign, education & technology fee allocation for computer equipment
    • 9 millions dollars, covered whole floor, includes learning commons, exhibits room, special collections reading room, etc.
    • 3 year refresh cycle for computing equipment
  • Last page of powerpoint shows other resources that are useful
  • Interested in knowing more? Listserv on that page, too
  • Looks similar to Emory, from what folks were saying; will see if I can get over there on the weekend and take some pictures
  • Maybe they’ll put together a bibliography on these topics

student production of multimedia learning solutions

Friday, March 23, 2007 10:02 am

Panel discussion: Tapping Student Resources to Produce Multimedia Learning Solutions (Amanda Robertson, Mike Cuales, David Howard, Ben Huckaby, David Shew)

  • Explained development of DELTA
  • Recognition of top design students, hired them
  • Have 9 interns, treat as part-time staff, to support multimedia solutions for professors
  • Commit to good training for students in areas they want
  • Creative with budget & location for student workers… sometimes hired/paid by department, but supervised by DELTA
  • Students bring in good, new ideas about what’s really going on
  • Students have good insight into student experience & help build relationships across campus
  • Students get good, real-world experience
  • Students get to be project managers on small scale projects, get management process experience
  • Saves faculty time, lets students work directly with faculty
  • Even simple flashcards and glossaries made major improvements
  • Students paid 8-12 dollars per hour. Also gearing up for a credit version (for folks within their own subject).

staying ahead of the curve

Friday, March 23, 2007 9:02 am

Plenary session: Staying Ahead of the Curve: The Open Croquet Consortium, (Marilyn Lombardi)

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

  • What is the future of online education we want?
  • Where is your teenager now?
    • Harbinger of social change
    • Pass around ideas like social items
    • Multitasking
  • Online socialization
  • Participatory culture
    • Media creators, remixing, passing media along
    • Multimodal interaction (visual, textual, audio)
    • Affinity-based self-organization
      • Fan fiction, online games, carving out own informal learning environments, joining apprenticeships/learning/on their own
    • Distributed cognition
      • Collective intelligence, virtual communities (including research communities), blur line of instructor & student, controlling is shifting from power holders, bottom-up contribution
  • Learning
    • Online Learning 1.0: Course-centered: package, deliver, CMS
    • Online Learning 2.0: Student-centered: connect, converse, Sakai/Moodle/eFramework
    • Online Learning 3.0: Context-centered: coalesce, co-create, open source, 3D meta-medium, Croquet
  • Context is everything
    • Proximity is important, but can you achieve this online?
    • Learning Commons
  • Learning in Authentic Contexts
    • Real world relevance, ill-defined challenges, sustained investigations, multiple sources and perspectives, collaborations, reflection, interdisciplinary, integrated assessment, polished products, multiple interpretations
  • Discussed using virtual environments (Second Life)
    • FERPA (may interact with anyone)
    • Use screen names (not real name)
    • Storing lessons, mission critical work on someone else’s servers (not yours or institutions)
    • Reliability? depend on SL servers, what if it’s down at a critical time?
  • Recommends going in & playing, getting used to it & piloting programs
    • Then, when institutions are ready to be in there, there will be open-source solutions ready for you
    • Croquet!
      • Open source, scalable architecture, will run on PCs/laptops/PDAs/mobile phones, will run on different OSs
  • Croquet
    • Share and co-edit resources in real time
    • Synchronous (how does this scale with DISTANCE learning?)
    • Allows browser in the game, but can be changed collaboratively
    • Allows hyperlinking to a new world
    • Privacy, authentications, etc (personalized workplace worlds, where they can interlock)
    • Visualizing abstract concepts
    • Collaborative white-board, CAD, etc
    • This is a developers’ environment, not an application
      • Very easy to create new objects!
    • Incorporates tagging & metadata for objects
    • Can make it so that some users see more of the world (in same location) as a reward for passing one level
    • Integrated VOIP power (Jabber), showed video of professor talking in corner of virtual world
    • Don’t need an avatar, can be yourself
  • Croquet Consortium
    • Will be releasing software developers’ kit 1.0
    • Institutions can consider joining
    • Want: long term viability for platform that we need, not the entertainment industry

Cristina at the 2007 ILLiad International Users Meeting

Friday, March 23, 2007 8:38 am

On March 14th, Heather and I went to the 10th OCLC ILLiad International Users Meeting in Virginia Beach for a two day conference, where Atlas system is headquartered.

According to their website, “Atlas Systems was founded in July of 1995 as a software development company. After the launch of ILLiad in 1999, Atlas has been primarily focused on the development and support of the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan System. Atlas continues to be the authorized service, training, and development arm of OCLC’s ILLiad.”

Because it is their 10th anniversary, Harry Kriz, the most recognizable founding father of ILLiad from Virginia Tech was the key note speaker. It was a very well-organized and informative conference with lots of perks. To start off, we each got a computer-sized bag with a box of salt water taffy candy. One nice touch, I thought was the three-letter symbol printed on the name tag along with the institution name. In ILL Land, the three-letter symbol is what is recognized first and foremost, not a library’s name. Sometimes, you are asked what your symbol is before your name is asked for.
Here is a summary of the sessions I went to.

OCLC Deflection

OCLC has installed an auto-deflection feature in OCLC Resource Sharing (formerly known as ILL). The new feature allows the auto-deflection of ILL requests based on lender-defined criteria in the ILL Policies Directory. Deflection can be based on request service type (i.e., copy or loan), group membership, or format type. We would have to set, for example, all Rare Books materials for “No ILL.” The “all or none” coverage has prohibited us from implementing the feature. In our practice, we have a lot of exceptions. If the requested item is in Rare Books or Archives, we will scan and send it on if Rare Books or Archives deems possible to photocopy.

With the new upgrade for Deflection, libraries can update their local holding records item by item or batch them at OCLC, which allows the ILL department the flexibility to deflect requests that they will not lend under any circumstances, such as “Sex and the City” and “Nip/Tuck” DVDs or journals that are too large or too tightly bound to be scanned or photocopied. It will save staff time by not having to go through those requests only to say “no.” ILL has a running list of journal titles that we routinely say “no” to due to their format or tightly bound conditions, such as Cutter Research Journal. I am currently going through the list and updating the local holding record to show “No ILL” for these titles.

We are, however, having difficulty with the TV series mentioned earlier. Carolyn and I couldn’t figure out how to change the status with the current setting. We are still awaiting OCLC’s response on this.

Unmediated Article ILL

With the new ILLiad 7.2 upgrade, it is possible to implement unmediated ILL article requests. However, we have to implement OCLC ILL Direct Request and set up Odyssey first. The ILL Direct Request service is a feature that facilitates unmediated interlibrary loan. With Direct Request, ILL requests with OCLC numbers are sent without staff intervention. We have not instituted the feature, because of possible wrong record association and book only limitation. Odyssey is a protocol used by ILLiad and the Odyssey Client to send documents electronically between institutions. It is a free software application developed by Atlas Systems. It enables libraries using ILLiad or the Odyssey Client to send and receive documents electronically.

The unmediated article ILL feature will allow requests sent by patrons that have an OCLC # or ISSN to be processed according to the routing rules set up in ILLiad 7.2. The benefits will be that ILL staff won’t have to handle those borrowing requests and the patrons can get the articles after hours and weekends as soon as the lending libraries have processed them. That ought to impress them.

Odyssey Round Table

There were not many of us there. But the hostility toward Ariel, an electronic delivery system we use to deliver ILL articles, was evident and overwhelming. “Death to Ariel” was being applauded. People are printing T-shirts and calling ofr the downfall of Ariel.
Ariel was rolled out by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) in 1996. It enables academic and research libraries to electronically convey and share scanned or digitized documents. It has seen better days. It is what we have been using to deliver articles electronically. It was acquired by Infotrieve in 2003. We have had upgrades in the past few years that basically halted all operations. So whenever we hear “upgrade,” it sends tremors down our spines and we cross our fingers.

As mentioned earlier, Odyssey is a free software application for electronic document delivery from Atlas Systems. It enables libraries using ILLiad or the Odyssey Client to send and receive documents electronically. Not surprisingly, Atlas representatives seemed to relish the fact that there is a push for their Odyssey product.

After the gripe session over Ariel was done, there was serious discussion about scanners. To my surprise, several libraries are already using the very desirable (to me) Minolta PS5000C color book scanner. It costs a whopping $13,000! It enables the scanning of journals that are too tightly bound without damaging the items. The color feature allows scanning of medical journals and photographs with satisfactory results. I was just drooling with envy!

ILLiad 7.2 Web in a Nutshell

The new ILLiad7.2 Web interface has a lot of bells and whistles that a web designer would love and probably has been asking for for years. I am looking forward to working with Kevin on improving our ILLiad pages which shall correct some of the quirkiness of the old pages.


This conference proved to be one of the best I have been to in years. It is organized, informative and very educational. One of the most valued benefits of going to a conference, to me, is meeting people you work with and talk to, either on the phone or online. We exchanged information and ideas. The atmosphere was cooperative and buzzing with excitement with the new developments and possibilities. I even got to meet a couple of ILLiad help desk people that I have bombarded with questions in the past couple of years.

Cristina Yu

evidence-based support for student-created learning objects

Thursday, March 22, 2007 1:56 pm

Formal presentation: Promoting Higher-Level Processing: Evidence-Based Support for Student-Created Digital Learning Objects (Robert Crow)

  • Test to see if elaboration is working
  • Can learn through different modes: image, text, etc,
  • Learning Objects
    • Any entity, digital or non-digital which can be used, reused, or referneced…
    • Deliverable over internet
    • Merlot used eSkeletons as an example
  • Based on Elaboration Theory
    • Essay writing activity
    • Narrated PowerPoint, Camtasia, podcasting, use many modalities
  • Grading was a challenge. Crow’s way of dealing with it was to grade by slide.
  • Did a study correlating experimental and control groups with overall GPA, etc.
    • Used tests on concepts to get numbers
  • Best correlation, Yes, having students construct learning object was a valid way to get them to hold onto concept over a longer period of time

online instruction

Thursday, March 22, 2007 1:22 pm

Formal presentation: Effective Practices for Online Instruction (Laura Rogers)

  • Focus on constructivist principles
  • Want a lot of interactive, thoughtful conversations, thinking transformed through interaction
  • ePedagogy interest group in TLT
    • maybe an eLearning coach for faculty?
  • Demo-ed Second Life

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Career Development for Women Leaders
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
Coalition for Networked Information
Digital Forsyth
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Elon Teaching and Learning Conference
Entrepreneurial Conference
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA)
First-Year Experience Conference
Handheld Librarian
ILLiad Conference
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
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Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Library Assessment Conference
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
Music Library Association
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
North Carolina Serials Conference
online course
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Professional Development Center
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Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
University Libraries Group
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
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