Professional Development

During June 2007...

Lauren’s Tuesday & some final thoughts

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 9:57 pm

Today started with a COSWL meeting, and finished with the Amtrak ride home. I’ve posted my COSWL notes over on the COSWL Cause blog.

Some general reflections from this conference:

  • It is NOT worth it to stay in the dorms.
  • It is less stressful to focus on meetings (rather than programs) if you have a lot of commitments.
  • I rarely see anyone from WFU at these things! Thank goodness I could follow the blog posts, it was nice to “feel” like I was catching up with everyone.
  • A lot of people aren’t familiar with women and gender issues in librarianship. If you have questions let me know–I’d love to chat! If you have any that are particularly pressing to you, let me know–I’d love to pass concerns on to the rest of the committee.
  • It’s really nice once you’ve been involved in your committee for a little while. This was the first ALA conference where I really felt like I knew what I was doing and felt like I had a real purpose in being there. I also got really got re-energized around some of the social issues/freedom of information issues in a way that I haven’t at ALA before.

Despite the terrible logistics, the meetings were really good & I felt like I came away from doing something really useful. Nice conference, but also nice to be home!

Lauren @ Once upon a Furl in a Podcast Long Ago: Using New Technologies to Support Library Instruction

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 9:56 pm

I was able to attend a program on Monday! I went to “Once upon a Furl in a Podcast Long Ago: Using New Technologies to Support Library Instruction.” Not only was this program all about some of my favorite topics (technology in education), but it was sponsored by the Women’s Studies Section (my home within ACRL).

The program started with awards. This year’s WSS award for significant achievement in Women’s Studies Librarianship went to Jennifer Gilley, Kayo Denda, Jenna Freedman, and Sharon Ladenson for their 2006 NWSA Conference presentation. This was a presentation at an academic conference for Women and Gender Studies scholars focusing on library research. The WSS award for career achievement in Women’s Studies Librarianship went to Sandy River, long time, active member. In her speech she talked about how WSS gave her a home in ALA and how she has received at least as much from WSS as she has given. Her speech really resonated with me because the WSS committee was the one that really brought me into the fold right away. It’s a great group of people, and they’re doing really great things at their institutions and in ACRL.

After the awards section, the program began. This was an overwhelmingly popular program! The crowd overflowed and the hotel staff had to take down one of the walls to make more room. I took a lot of notes, so I’ll try to keep it to the point (with links for more information) here:

From Joan K. Lippincott:

  • We’re at a critical point where we need to fundamentally rethink our services & information literacy
  • Emphasize information and content, technology as vehicle
  • What about non-traditional students who aren’t connected? They will need to be to function in today’s business world, so we should work to teach them to use these technologies.
    Convergence of literacies: Written Literacy, Information Literacy, Technology Literacy, Visual Literacy
  • Pointed towards MacArthur Foundation Project (Digital Media and Learning)
    Areas to consider (New T&L Partnerships): Center for Teaching and Learning, New Media Center, Instructional Technology Group, FIlm or Multimedia Studies Department (on our own campuses)
  • Columbia’s Shakespeare & the Book: Study Environment
  • Georgetown U, CNDLS
  • LINK Dartmouth RWIT: Center for research, writing, and IT (one stop shopping)
  • New Resources like PennTags, TeamSpot (at Stanford), Student Multi-media Design Center (U. Delaware), Practice Presentation Room (Georgia Tech)
  • We’re changing focus: from teaching about access to library resources to teaching about access to information and tools (Amen!)
  • Data for visualization is going to become more important in all fields
  • Webcasts, podcasts, blogs, images, etc. are rich resources for students, do we connect them to this type of resource, or limit our reference to library-purchased information?
  • Research Channel videos (high level academic content)
  • D-Lib article on Wikipedia to extend access to digital collections
  • Georgetown portal for community based research (about Washington DC)
  • George Mason History Tools
  • Showing information
  • Digital collections as screensavers on library computers
  • NCSU Learning Commons eBoards images
  • Changing focus: from teaching policies as rules, to focusing on policy awareness and discussion
  • Media Education Foundation’s fair(y) use tale
  • UPenn Library mashup Contest in conjunction with LL’s Free Culture
  • Creative Commons Licensing (are we teaching our students? grad students?)
  • Cornell’s Thoughts on Facebook (are we sharing our thoughts on these issues with our students?)
  • Methods: online tutorials, online games, contest, social networking sites, students collect resource before class & jointly critique, simulation, instruction in virtual worlds
    supporting materials: social sites like blogs developed by students, wikis, etc
  • Challenges for faculty: interest in inserting skills in faculty curriculum, willingness to collaborate, acceptance of new forms of projects, developing of grading for new forms of expressions
  • Challenges for librarians: broaden conception of information literacy, convergence, overall service program, not just classes, engagement in collaborative learning with students, development of new skills, promoting services to faculty
  • We must transform information literacy!
  • We will have to let go of some things (We can’t keep doing all we’ve done & add new, have to decide what to stop doing)
  • Assist in student transition from recreational use of technology to academic use
  • Provide with environment with engage students (both physically and virtually)
  • Promote creativity

From Dr. Kathleen Burnett:

  • 10 years from now the field of librarianship will mostly be digital natives
  • “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach .” Mark Prensky
  • Digital Natives assume connectivity & see the world through he lens of games and play.
  • “Over the past 20 years, young adults have declined from being the most likely to read literature to those least likely. The rate of decline for the youngest adults, aged 18 to 24 was 55% greater than the total adult population. ” Kelly Hill
  • “Even if the lecturer is charismatic, holding the attention of students for an entire lecture of fifty minutes or longer is impossible.” Joel Foreman
  • “It is clear from talking with them that they already know they don’t want to live and work the way we do. ” Brian O’Reilly (However LIS enrollment is increasing and age of first enrollment is lower than it has ever been.)
  • Cited D. Oblinger’s research of learning preferences
  • Ideal learning situation: customizable, immediate feedback, constructive to explore learning environments, motivates students to persist in excess of any externally imposed requirements, builds enduring conceptual structures. (Joel Forman)
  • Strategies: interaction & feedback, engage, accelerate, experiential learning, increase options, peer-to-peer, more “pull” web based options, more interactive multimedia.
  • Suggestions for implementation:
  • Podcasts & vodcasts: bring other voices and faces into discussion, or students can create presentations
  • Blogs & social networks: support class and discussion, or extend bounds of classroom (invite other participants), or to encourage individual responsibility for information
  • Wikis: support collaborative development of info resources and dissemination of information, or to teach consensus building and teamwork
  • Games and simulations: explore relationship between physical and virtual, or to teach the concepts of programming or to engage kinetic and spatial learners
  • Pew Internet & American Life Project: Web 2.0 Users
  • Men and women balanced in Omnivore, Females tend to be Connectors
  • This indicates we’re equalizing in terms of computer use skills in some ways

From Kathryn Shaughnessy:

This presentation was based on a specific distance program at St. John’s University. I’m only noting things that would be useful to us, too:

  • Used technology to improve library instruct: creation, distribution, and impact
  • Used open source alternatives that could be continue to be used after graduation
  • Again, brought up the synthesis of literacies
  • Technologies of choice: Captivate for tutorials, Audacity for podcasts, WordPress for blogging, PBwiki or Wikipm for wikis, also RSS, RefWorks, Skype, tagging, and courseware.
  • Said that if you only had time to learn one technology in the coming year, she would say “RSS, all the way.” This resonates with my “RSS will change your life!”
  • Updated Information Literacy (Modular) Tutorial in Captivate (with images, text, and demonstration)
  • Academic Podcasting Initiative
  • Uses RefWorks to generate RSS for courses. I wonder if there would be a way to do this for our podcasting pilot using EndNote Web?
  • for course bookmarks
  • Skype was the second most important technology according to Shaughnessy, certainly could be useful for distance education with our abroad houses (particularly with camera)
  • St. John’s uses podlinez to do an audio tour of library that you can dial into on your cell phone

From Heather Tompkins:

  • WGS as interdisciplinary: cutting edge, CV not yet developed, falls outside traditional resources, breaks down expert/novice barriers, emphasizes connections and process, considers materials informally published
  • She explained social bookmarking as a way to share bookmarks across the library professionally. Do you use or furl? Let me know, i’ll add you to my network! (My account username is laurenpressley)
  • Pulls social bookmarks to library page
  • Used Flickr to annotate floor maps of the library for her specific disciplines
  • Pointed to Google customized search engine
  • Pointed to meebo widget and Google Calendar
  • There is a potential information literacy tie in: looking at friends’ friends is like citation research, a blogroll is like bibliography, tagging is like controlled vocab, etc.

So, to be honest, I assumed I would know everything that this session would about, and I attended mostly just to be supportive. However, it was a really really good session! The speakers articulated ideas well and shared several new ones!

Sarah at ALA

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 3:50 pm

I attended the ACRL-Science & Technology Section (ACRL-STS) Council meeting on Friday evening. STS Council consists of the STS Executive Board and Co-chairs of STS committees and Discussion Groups. ACRL-STS has created 2 new Member at Large positions on the Executive Board.

On Saturday morning, I attended a program on collection assessment. Betty Galbraith and Diane Carroll from Washington State Univ. gave an informative presentation on “Using Journal-Use Statistics to Make Collections Decisions.” They use journal-use statistics in a variety of ways: considering journals for cancellation, considering backfile purchases, new subscription decisions, establishing core titles, and research on journal-use patterns at Washington State Univ.

On Saturday afternoon, I attended the ACRL/SPARC Forum on “The Progress of Open Access Publishing Models.” The panel included Mark Patterson from Public Library of Science (PLoS), Bryan Vickery from Biomed Central (BMC), and Paul Peters from Hindawi Publishing. According to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), there are currently approximately 2,500 open access journals. PLoS was originally an advocacy organization, but it reorganized into a publishing organization in 2003. PLoS has been innovative in the application of Web 2.0 tools to their electronic journals. Authors can include streaming video in their journal articles. PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed journal which covers all of the sciences, allows readers to electronically annotate articles by highlighting minor points and contribute to threaded discussions about the articles.

Biomed Central is the largest publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals. BMC currently publishes over 170 open access titles. BMC recently launched Chemistry Central and PhysMath Central, which provides access to peer-reviewed research on chemistry, math and physics in open access journals.

Hindawi Publishing Corp. was launched in 1997. Their journals cover mathematics, engineering, biomedicine, and the physical sciences. In 2007, Hindawi Publishing Corp. converted all of their journals to open access journals. They publish over 80 open access journals and have a 43% acceptance rate.

On Sunday morning, I attended the ACRL-Science & Technology Section (ACRL-STS) Breakfast meeting. We broke up into discussion groups on various topics. I participated in the discussion group on tenure-track v. non-tenure track. We discussed the need for mentoring programs at libraries with tenure-track programs. Dossier preparation workshops and writing working groups, where librarians can meet regularly to get feedback on their works in progress, were also discussed.

After the STS Breakfast Meeting, I attended a RUSA-CODES Liaisons with Users committee meeting. We discussed the results of a survey which was conducted last fall. The survey was on liaison responsibilities in collection development among academic and public librarians. Approximately 700 academic librarians and 200 public librarians responded to our survey.

On Sunday afternoon, I attended the STS College Librarians Discussion Group on “Replacing Subscriptions: Article Access via Pay-per-view (PPV).” Recently, the Trinity Univ. Library cancelled subscriptions from one major publisher and switched to a pay-per-view model. Benefits of PPV include greater immediate access and access to color copies of journal articles. Trinity University Library set up a username and password for each department and established a budget for each department. They discovered that faculty were accessing journals which were not available through their previous subscription.

I attended the ACRL-STS Research Forum Sunday afternoon. Amy Paster, Helen Smith, and Janet Hughes from the Life Sciences Library from Penn State University presented their research on “Assessing Reference Service in Academic Science and Technology Libraries.” They are using the Wisconsin-Ohio Reference Evaluation Program (WOREP) to assess the outcomes of reference transactions and compare their results with other science library reference services nationally. David Stern from Yale University served as guest commentator.

On Monday, I attended the ACRL-Science & Technology Section (ACRL-STS) Poster Session. As Co-chair of the ACRL-STS Research Committee, I organized the poster session and served on the committee which reviewed the poster proposals. Poster presentations focused on digital repositories which provide access to non-textual information. Over 100 people attended the poster session. One poster presenter brought a book on institutional repositories, which was recently published. It is entitled The Institutional Repository by Richard Jones, Theo Andrew, and John MacColl (Chandos Publishing, 2006).

Overall, this year’s programs at ALA Annual were informative and enlightening. On Monday evening, I had dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. This was my first taste of Ethiopian cuisine, and it was excellent!

Sunday Blisters with Lynn

Sunday, June 24, 2007 8:55 pm

Sunday morning I woke up late so I had to hustle to get to the Convention Center in time for the “Cutting Edge Technology” presentation I had chosen out of the three I wanted to attend in the morning time slot. On the bus, I saw Scott Muir, who used to work at DALNET cooperative at Wayne State, but now works at the Arizona State University Downtown campus in Phoenix. Scott reminded me that my son Derek had once been the “talent” for a DALNET promotional video when he was about 8. What a hoot!

The “Cutting Edge” session was supposed to be in the “Exhibits Stage” area so I wandered up and down the acres of exhibits until I finally found the tiny stage with hundreds of people crammed, standing around, and trying to hear the panel of speakers. Deciding it wasn’t worth it, and with blisters already bursting, I used the time-honored ALA trick of attending the next presentation that was closest to me in location. In this case, it was a very good session on institutional repositories. I got there in time to hear 2 of the 3 speakers from the University of Michigan (they are everywhere) and California Institute of Technology. They had lots of practical advice as people who had now done this for years. Since ZSR is just forming its Scholarly Communications Committee and trying to raise interest on campus, I noted how the UM speaker said it was most effective to sell the concept by calling it a service to faculty to self-archive their publications, rather than trying to sell it as an institutional repository, jargon that means nothing to faculty. I got lots of tips and caveats and questions to take back to our nascent committee. On the way out of the session, I ran into another former colleague from Wayne, Karen Bacsanyi, who said she was going to retire but hopefully come back to work part-time.

I ate a quick sandwich on the floor (literally) of the Convention Center and then bused up to the Mayflower Hotel to hear Theresa Chmara talk about the “Status of Recent Litigation Affecting Libraries.” I have long admired Theresa’s work as a First Amendment specialist at Jenner and Block in Washington. She is legal counsel for ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation. Since I recently signed on to write an article for the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science on the effects of filtering, I thought I should get back to the world of intellectual freedom. I saw lots of my former colleagues from ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, including Carrie Gardner, who is now a library science faculty member at Catholic University here in D.C. I cited Carrie’s doctoral dissertation in my own dissertation and book. Theresa gave a very lucid description of recent and current library freedom of expression litigation in the areas of patron behavior, censorship challenges, hostile work environment, meeting room policies and privacy/confidentiality.

Jack Walsdorf Then it was back to the Convention Center in time to surprise Jack Walsdorf with a retirement celebration and cake at the Alibris exhibit. Jack is a long-time bookman who came to ZSR with his popular Book Lovers Road Show in April 2006. He has helped out at Alibris for the last 7 years and is a truly good guy.

My final program of the day was supposed to be Robert F. Kennedy, Jr on the environment but I was about 10 minutes late getting there due to Jack’s party so when I arrived upstairs at the Ballroom the doors were closed and they wouldn’t let anyone else in due to “fire code” restrictions. Blagh.

Bill and Elizabeth To conclude the day, Bill and I met my beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, at the Coutts reception at the Gordon Biersch Brewery. Elizabeth works in the library of a law firm in Washington D.C. and after a drink at the party, we went across the street and had a lovely dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s seafood restaurant. Aaaaaah.

Susan Wraps Up

Sunday, June 24, 2007 8:43 pm

I’ve officially finished my participation at the ALA conference today, as I’m heading home in the morning. I attended one more session since my earlier post, the session on the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment. Sakai is an open source product for research collaboration and is designed to support teaching and learning. The presentation was made by Jim Eng at the University of Michigan and was called “Invading the CLE: Academic Libraries Carve out a Place Inside Sakai.” They have developed a tool that brings citation capabilities into Sakai. The project is called the Sakaibrary Project. If you’d like to test it out, check with me and I’ll give you the login information for the free instance they make available for demonstration purposes.

I hiked a mile up Massachusetts Ave. to meet Mary Horton for lunch. It’s funny, there are 6 of us from ZSR, but we never really see each other except by chance. So I enjoyed having some set plans to catch up with what Mary’s been up to the past few days.

I planned to finish up the day by attending the Top Technology Trends predictions. It’s always an interesting session with all the library technology gurus offering up their crystal balls. I had read about the time and place on the LITA Blog, and jotted down that it was at the Renaissance Hotel. I was just there yesterday for another session and it was right around the corner from where I parked my car. After our lunch, Mary and I caught one of the conference shuttles to get back there (and to the Internet Cafe for her!). The bus we boarded was loaded, we barely got seats. One of the stops was the Mayflower Hotel and 9/10ths of the passengers disembarked. We remarked: “this must be some popular session being held here.” We got back to the Center and were dropped off. I headed briskly over the 3 blocks to the Renaissance Hotel only to wander (with another befuddled librarian) all over the building looking for the assigned room. We never found it, so I gave up and left to head for my family get together in the Md. suburbs. Along the way (lots of stop lights), I studied the conference map that had hotels listed. That’s when I discovered there were two conference hotels with “Renaissance” in their titles, one of them being the “Renaissance Mayflower”. Doh! Well, happily, the trends are always listed on the LITA blog site (shown above).

That was really a fitting end to my conference. I’ll remember it as a productive two days, but one filled with directional and geographic challenges (I admit some were self-induced) that limited me from reporting a 100% satisfying experience.

Lauren @ COSWL

Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:48 pm

Today was COSWL’s first meeting… I posted notes on the COSWL blog. One thing I’m thrilled we’re discussing is women, technology, and librarianship. I think there’s fruitful area for research and action in that realm. We have a lot of big plans for the coming year. Here’s hoping that our committee members get involved in a big way!

Lauren @ LITA PPC

Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:17 pm

After a long and confusing telephone call with one of the conference Sheratons, I finally figured out where to head for my meeting with the LITA Program Planning Committee. My Interest Group wants to present a program at Annual 2008, and to do so we have to put something in this weekend.

Having NEVER done this, and having heard that ALA’s process is particularly daunting, we decided to meet with the PPC. Most people who go before the committee have a draft document of what they’d like to do and they get feedback. We went to learn about process, and it was really useful!

For those who might one day want to submit a program for ALA (LITA), here’s what we learned:

  • All LITA programs must come through the LITA PPC (unless it’s a managed discussion)
  • PPC understands the ALA programming plan, understands where there is potential overlap, and what divisions, etc, have what areas of expertise
  • LITA PPC will represent a submitted program at the October tracking meeting for the desired track and and at time slot
  • PPC helps Interest Groups flesh out their idea
  • LITA board has final say in programming, but typically agrees with the PPC
  • The final, official, no way it can work after this, deadline is the first week in July
  • Changes can be made up until Midwinter

We discussed several ideas, and are planning to focus around the issue of “everyone is a distance patron” and how that impacts staffing. We’d like to pull together a panel including an administrator, distance learning librarian, and someone who isn’t working in academia but is working with these issues. We’ll submit tomorrow… hopefully this will go well!

Lauren @ WSS Instruction Committee

Sunday, June 24, 2007 4:10 pm

Not a lot to report here (again, unless you want the inner workings of a committee group). We have a bunch of new, enthusiastic members (YAY!), and are planning on going forward on our Information Literacy Standards project. We want to rewrite the standards for people in Women and Gender Studies. We must be onto something, because a few months after we came up with the idea, we found out that ACRL is planning on working on a project like this for all the represented subject areas. It’s a daunting process, so in the next 3-6 months we’re only going to work on a literature review. And, just so you can know that I’m involved, we’re going to set up a Moodle account for communication and a wiki for document drafts. :)

Lauren @ the Alexander Street Press Breakfast

Sunday, June 24, 2007 3:57 pm

Most of my day was spent away from the convention center, but now that I’m in the COSWL booth in the exhibit hall, I have a few minutes to go online!

This morning I started out early to go to the Alexander Street Press Breakfast. I love that company. They have a few new products that are absolutely amazing (sounding, at least). Carol & Bobbie, I need to tell you about one that would be relevant for our Psychology folks!

The breakfasts typically start with a presentation by ASP about their products followed by a speaker. I have to say that I was just as interested in what’s going on at ASP as the speech! They discussed how changes in the resources that we provide have the potential to radically change how students research. Primary sources aren’t vetted, are messy, they’re about small people and small events, and are personal. Previous researchers had to do extensive work to track them down and tie them together in useful ways. ASP is pulling them together in some of their products and these types of materials are available for a whole new type of classwork. Soon, there will be the ability to use a map to geographically select the diaries/letters you want to examine. In this line of thinking, ASP pointed out that the internet enables new research: once we had to understand what medium might have the best answers to a question, now, we can look at an issue from a specific angle and retrieve various types of information. For example, by searching a name, you can retrieve newspapers, photographs, music, letters, diaries, and websites. For someone who is devouring Everything Is Miscellaneous, this type of talk is right up my alley!

The featured speaker was Pulitzer Prize winning historian James McPherson. He spoke on his specialty: the Civil War. Even though I am not a history buff, I enjoyed his speech and learned from it. McPherson did a great job of putting the Civil War in context, comparing stats from that war with others, and discussing the US as a “union” vs. “nation.” Very good talk!

I saw Jim across the large room, but unfortunately wasn’t able to catch up with him.

Sunday AM at ALA

Sunday, June 24, 2007 9:18 am

Good news for someone who checked out of her hotel and decided to drive into town this morning: street parking is available at 7:30 am on a Sunday and is free all day. My commute went from over an hour to 15 minutes this morning. A much more relaxed way to get an early start.

I decided to branch out from my usual comfort zone presentation and attended a session titled: “Why does my building project need an interior designer?” sponsored by LAMA. It was a panel discussion that included an architect, interior designer (not to be confused with an interior decorator), and two librarians – Donna Morris from the Oklahoma City Library system and Sarah Michalak, University Librarian and Associate Provost at UNC Chapel Hill.

Since our Environmental Scan effort and the Blue Sky group’s building recommendation, “Library as Place” has caught my attention. Renovation and building is an area that I don’t know a lot about, but that I find very intriguing. The session was a lively discussion of what interior design professionals can bring to a major project, from helping with the initial “building project document”, to analyzing client needs and goals, formulating conceptual design and design development, acting as the client’s agent for contract administration, the list went on and on.

The point that was really hammered is that it is very important to have someone who is a professional designer in on the project from the very beginning and that not all architectual firms have a design department. For a big project, you want this type of expertise as early as when the preliminary schematics are created, including preliminary furniture placement proposals for the purpose of planning lighting, electricity and other space use needs (was there a designer when the atrium and Wilson Wing were built?).

Now, back to my comfort zone, I’m heading to a session on Sakai collaborative open source software!

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