Professional Development

Cultivating Collaboration Across Learning Communities

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 2:12 pm

LAUNC-CH Conference
Cultivating Collaboration Across Learning Communities

Ellen Daugman and Mary Scanlon attended the recent LAUNC-CH conference in Chapel Hill. Here’s our report:

Keynote speaker: Abby Blachly from LibraryThing
Ellen and I attended this year’s LAUNC-CH conference in Chapel Hill; the focus was on collaboration across learning communities and the sessions were designed to present examples of groups that have accomplished this. The keynote speaker was Abby Blachly from the social cataloging site Library Thing. She provided the audience with a brief history of the site, describing how it began as a Classicist’s desire to catalog the Loeb volumes in his personal library. He put it on the web, invited his friends to add their books to it and it took off from there. The site was strongly influenced by librarians and it gathers much of the traditional data that library catalogs do, but with a twist. In a very Web2.0 fashion, it allows users to add new items to the catalog, to modify records, and to add social data such as tags, reviews and even message board conversations to the site. Several times she illustrated the aptness and currency of user-generated content such as tags, which unlike LCSH, reflect the books’ content much more accurately (it took a while, for instance, for “chick lit” to attain the exalted status of subject heading). Tags can also convey the subjective experience of a book, perhaps none more so than “Boring,” or “Unread.” LibraryThing has so many contributors that tag clouds at this site provide a much richer experience than one would find on even Amazon.com. In addition, LibraryThing serves as a social network, offering users a chance to connect with anything from favorite books and shared tags, to nearby libraries, bookstores, programs, and “friends.” Blachly emphasized the “unintentionality” of such Web 2.0 projects, where groups can form purely by happenstance, collaborate without meaning to, and organize without intent. These projects exist by tapping into the “uncredentialed masses” who are inspired to share their knowledge of obscure topics and to serve as ever-vigilant communities. LibraryThing now boasts more than 330,000 members, 800,000 book covers, and 32 million tags; it offers the opportunity to connect with other people based on the books one shares–other people who are, in short, book soulmates. Coincidentally, shortly after the conference, NPR aired a piece on these web sites that permit bibliophiles to indulge in virtual booksharing: in addition to LibraryThing, other options include Goodreads, Shelfari, aNobii and BookJetty.

Collaboration between UNC-CH SLS School and the surrounding county public libraries for teaching computer skills
The second session focused on an interesting collaboration, initiated in 2005, between the UNC School for Library Science and the surrounding county’s public library systems. SLS students are teaching classes in basic computer skills and information literacy in the public libraries. The public libraries identify their patrons’ learning needs and place requests with the Library School, which is then responsible for recruiting, training, and scheduling instructors. The PLs are responsible for promoting the classes and registering students, while the instructor/students prepare all instruction plans and materials. Since classes are offered during the libraries’ closed hours, the participants range from high school students, to senior citizens pressed for email skills to keep in touch with grandchildren–with a broad range of working citizenry in between. Interestingly, these classes are also being used for professional development purposes, to acquire computer skills; for example, the town of Chapel Hill has sent employees to attend relevant sessions. It has also enabled people to apply for jobs online and even to obtain W2s that Walmart and Costco employees could only obtain via the Internet. It’s a completely symbiotic relationship: the PLs are able to offer numerous classes that would otherwise be unavailable due to staffing demands and costs, and the SLS students get valuable teaching experience (not to mention subject matter for numerous MA theses). It works for the simplest of reasons: everyone benefits, and no budget is required. The program has received due recognition: in 2007, the ACRL Instruction Section gave its innovation award to the Community Workshop Program. Now it has targeted a new specific audience, promoting and marketing the classes to the Latino community.

Multi-librarian collaboration to create consumer health website
In this collaborative project, librarians and health educators came together and developed a website, NC Health Info, to provide consumers with health information. It is a local response to an era of truncated 12-minute long doctor visits and statistics indicating that approximately 50% of American adults have searched the Internet for health information. With a grant from the National Institutes of Health, they selected and approved web sites for each of a select group of illnesses and conditions. They also created a provider identification tool whereby consumers could choose a condition or disease and a city and receive a list of specialists that met the criteria. All content is approved by the committee before it’s put on the website. Broad categories include Diseases & Conditions, Mental Health, Treatments & Procedures, Medications, Healthy Living, and Health Care; in addition, there is a Reference section containing links to a handful of health-related websites. In the wake of the LibraryThing presentation, the website looked very rigid and old-fashioned, and the reference tools are a rather paltry lot. Vetting is done by sub-committees which make decisions and approve website content, design, and outreach efforts. There are no opportunities on this site for user-generated content or discussions.

UNC-CH – creating a mini-CH campus in Second Life
UNC-CH has created a miniature version of its campus in SecondLife, the virtual world, in an initiative to co-opt gaming for instructional purposes. It is a fascinating attempt to create an educational space in a virtual environment, and the session was a rapidly paced demonstration of the ongoing efforts to leverage the capabilities of SL in order to create educational surrogates. Inevitably, replicas of iconic structures like the well are there. After spending $800 to purchase an island, it took many, many hours to create the virtual campus. Its uses vary: there’s an exhibit of a digitized photo collection hanging in the virtual version of an original university building; there are virtual classrooms where online classes meet; and library students staff the virtual reference desk. However, since SecondLife is such a text-poor environment the reference librarians mostly answer questions about using SL. While the craftsmanship of the virtual campus was impressive, the efficacity of the virtual reference desk in the current SL environment seems dubious for now.

Role-play games as teaching tools; virtual environments as teaching spaces
The speakers reviewed the history of MMORGs – massively multi-player online role-playing games and their phenomenal growth; one example include World of Warcraft. The speaker discussed his research into the benefits of online games, including: learning in context, improving reading skills ( most of these games have backstories that drive the characters) problem-solving and developing teamwork.

Comments are closed.


Pages
About
Categories
2007 ACRL Baltimore
2007 ALA Annual
2007 ALA Gaming Symposium
2007 ALA Midwinter
2007 ASERL New Age of Discovery
2007 Charleston Conference
2007 ECU Gaming Presentation
2007 ELUNA
2007 Evidence Based Librarianship
2007 Innovations in Instruction
2007 Kilgour Symposium
2007 LAUNC-CH Conference
2007 LITA National Forum
2007 NASIG Conference
2007 North Carolina Library Association
2007 North Carolina Serials Conference
2007 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2007 Open Repositories
2007 SAA Chicago
2007 SAMM
2007 SOLINET NC User Group
2007 UNC TLT
2007_ASIST
2008
2008 Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
2008 ACRL Immersion
2008 ACRL/LAMA JVI
2008 ALA Annual
2008 ALA Midwinter
2008 ASIS&T
2008 First-Year Experience Conference
2008 Lilly Conference
2008 LITA
2008 NASIG Conference
2008 NCAECT
2008 NCLA RTSS
2008 North Carolina Serials Conference
2008 ONIX for Serials Webinar
2008 Open Access Day
2008 SPARC Digital Repositories
2008 Tri-IT Meeting
2009
2009 ACRL Seattle
2009 ALA Annual
2009 ALA Annual Chicago
2009 ALA Midwinter
2009 ARLIS/NA
2009 Big Read
2009 code4lib
2009 Educause
2009 Handheld Librarian
2009 LAUNC-CH Conference
2009 LAUNCH-CH Research Forum
2009 Lilly Conference
2009 LITA National Forum
2009 NASIG Conference
2009 NCLA Biennial Conference
2009 NISOForum
2009 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2009 RBMS Charlottesville
2009 SCLA
2009 UNC TLT
2010
2010 ALA Annual
2010 ALA Midwinter
2010 ATLA
2010 Code4Lib
2010 EDUCAUSE Southeast
2010 Handheld Librarian
2010 ILLiad Conference
2010 LAUNC-CH Research Forum
2010 LITA National Forum
2010 Metrolina
2010 NASIG Conference
2010 North Carolina Serials Conference
2010 RBMS
2010 Sakai Conference
2011 ACRL Philadelphia
2011 ALA Annual
2011 ALA Midwinter
2011 CurateCamp
2011 Illiad Conference
2012 SNCA Annual Conference
ACRL
ACRL 2013
ACRL New England Chapter
ACRL-ANSS
ACRL-STS
ALA Annual
ALA Annual 2013
ALA Editions
ALA Midwinter
ALA Midwinter 2012
ALA Midwinter 2014
ALCTS Webinars for Preservation Week
ALFMO
APALA
ARL Assessment Seminar 2014
ARLIS
ASERL
ASU
Audio streaming
authority control
Berkman Webinar
bibliographic control
Book Repair Workshops
Career Development for Women Leaders Program
CASE Conference
cataloging
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
CIT Showcase
CITsymposium2008
Coalition for Networked Information
code4lib
commons
Conference Planning
Conferences
Copyright Conference
costs
COSWL
CurateGear 2013
CurateGear 2014
Designing Libraries II Conference
DigCCurr 2007
Digital Forsyth
Digital Humanities Symposium
Disaster Recovery
Discovery tools
E-books
EDUCAUSE
Educause SE
EDUCAUSE_SERC07
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Embedded Librarians
Entrepreneurial Conference
ERM Systems
evidence based librarianship
FDLP
FRBR
Future of Libraries
Gaming in Libraries
General
GODORT
Google Scholar
govdocs
Handheld Librarian Online Conference
Hurricane Preparedness/Solinet 3-part Workshop
ILS
information design
information ethics
Information Literacy
innovation
Innovation in Instruction
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Inspiration
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship
instruction
IRB101
Journal reading group
Keynote
LAMS Customer Service Workshop
LAUNC-CH
Leadership
Learning spaces
LibQUAL
Library 2.0
Library Assessment Conference
Library of Congress
licensing
Lilly Conference
LITA
LITA National Forum
LOEX
LOEX2008
Lyrasis
Management
Marketing
Mentoring Committee
MERLOT
metadata
Metrolina 2008
MOUG 09
MOUG 2010
Music Library Assoc. 07
Music Library Assoc. 09
Music Library Assoc. 2010
NASIG
National Library of Medicine
NC-LITe
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
NCICU
NCLA
NCLA Biennial Conference 2013
NCPC
NCSLA
NEDCC/SAA
NHPRC-Electronic Records Research Fellowships Symposium
NISO
North Carolina Serial Conference 2014
Offsite Storage Project
OLE Project
online catalogs
online course
OPAC
open access
Peabody Library Leadership Institute
plagiarism
Podcasting
Preservation
Preservation Activities
Preserving Forsyth LSTA Grant
Professional Development Center
rare books
RDA/FRBR
Reserves
RITS
RTSS 08
RUSA-CODES
SAA Class New York
SAMM 2008
SAMM 2009
Scholarly Communication
ScienceOnline2010
Social Stratification in the Deep South
Social Stratification in the Deep South 2009
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
SOLINET
Southeast Music Library Association
Southeast Music Library Association 08
Southeast Music Library Association 09
SPARC webinar
subject headings
Sun Webinar Series
tagging
TALA Conference
Technical Services
technology
ThinkTank Conference
Training
ULG
Uncategorized
user studies
Vendors
video-assisted learning
visual literacy
WakeSpace
Web 2.0
Webinar
WebWise
WFU China Initiative
Wikis
Women's History Symposium 2007
workshops
WSS
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
Tags
Archives
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by WordPress.org, protected by Akismet. Blog with WordPress.com.