Professional Development

During April 2009...

ASERL (Day One)

Thursday, April 30, 2009 11:15 pm

ASERL (Association of Southeastern Research Libraries) began for me with the Education Committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon. We discussed a really exciting proposal for a professional development program for liaison librarians. How timely! Our own ZSR liaison development program will begin on May 12 with Carol Wittig from the University of Richmond. If the proposal is accepted by the membership tomorrow, planning will begin in earnest, which we will follow closely. There was also a proposal to work with the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Library Alliance in a joint recruiting effort. Finally, I learned that the Information Literacy 2.0 Summit tentatively planned for this summer is on hold due to travel difficulties in many libraries.

This morning, there was an optional Resource Sharing Summit that explored new ways to expand resource sharing among ASERL libraries. (ZSR is a participant in ASERL’s Kudzu resource sharing system as well as the Lanter delivery component.) Those present talked about exploiting digital capabilities and moving in the direction of unmediated direct ordering by patrons. I participated in the user-centric small group that talked about the possibilities of using digitization or purchase in lieu of ILL, delivery to mobile devices, and a shorter period of “lower-casing” (ILL folks will know what I mean!)

This afternoon the membership meeting began with a round robin of coping strategies for budget reductions. A poll was conducted last week on the current status of budgets in ASERL libraries, which I will share at the next Admin Council meeting. In general, we are better off than most libraries both for the current and upcoming fiscal years. Almost all libraries are using this crisis as an opportunity to reorganize, restructure, and eliminate non-essential functions.

Kate Nevins and Cathy Wilt from Lyrasis gave an update on the new organization and invited ASERL libraries to take advantage of the greatly expanded array of programs, e-resources and products. At ZSR, we should pay close attention to their Library Leadership Network, Mass Digitization Collaborative, and e-resource licensing opportunities.

CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) sent their President to talk about their programs. They have re-opened their Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant, to which we will surely apply. They have also re-absorbed the Digital Library Federation and plan to broaden its base of participation.

The final session of the day was a compilation and discussion of strategic priorities in ASERL libraries. The discussion never really got off the ground but I will distribute the document for us to use in our future planning. The day ended with a reception at Connie McCarthy’s (W&M) house and then dinner in town with four ASERL colleagues. More tomorrow.

ALADN

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 9:57 pm

ALADN (Academic Library Advancement and Development Network) is one of the most worthwhile conferences I attend. I started educating myself at ALADN after I came to Wake Forest because raising money for ZSR was one of my main goals. It was/is a challenge because I had no previous experience with library fundraising and we do not have a dedicated library development officer or volunteer board. ALADN is both for development professionals and library deans and directors. I saw a number of my colleagues from across the country, including Tom Moore, Central Michigan; Barbara Kriigel, UM-Dearborn; Helen Spalding, Oregon State; Beth Titus, New Mexico State; Bill Mayer, American; Adrian Alexander, Tulsa; Mary Reichl, Appalachian State; as well as some ASERL colleagues: Connie McCarthy, William and Mary; Sylverna Ford, Memphis; Julia Rholes, Mississippi; Laura Probst, Florida International; and Bill Garrison, South Florida.

This year’s conference was in Colonial Williamsburg (picture to the left is Bruton Parish Church). I was a day late getting there because my mom wasn’t discharged from the hospital until Monday, but there was still plenty of information waiting for me. The unofficial theme of the conference was the challenge in rasing money for libraries in higher education during the “Great Recession.” One of the good things about ALADN is the use of speakers and consultants from the greater world of fundraising. One consultant spoke at the beginning and end of the conference with great humor and confidence. One of his topics was the management of volunteer leadership boards. We do not have such a board yet for ZSR but it is one of our goals. The consultant emphasized the importance of clear expectations for giving, “getting” (leads to other donors), terms and conditions when setting up a new board. Some libraries (Pitt, for example) get along very well without a board. At Wake, all major academic units have a Board of Visitors and I believe we should follow that model. During the current economic climate where it is not always appropriate to be asking for money from people who are losing their fortunes, it is a good time to reconnect with the university’s goals, with our role in helping to meet those goals, and with present and future donors on a human level.

A particularly useful session was entitled Playing Nice in the Sandbox,” which talked about the relationships between departments in the university and within the Advancement office itself. Though some think Wake is a siloed institution, I think it is actually collaborative in nature and I can see developing positive relationships with all the various units that are needed in the fundraising process.

As mentioned above, I admire the development operation at the University of Pittsburgh. They have no Friends or volunteer boards, but instead focus on major gifts (defined as six figures). Their lead development person gave a talk on “Negotiation: From the Ask to Yes.” I wish I had more practice in closing the deal (for that matter, I wish I had more practice in opening the deal) but in the meantime, I can prepare with the tips provided in recognizing types of donors, specific techniques for closing, and dealing with objections.

One presentation gave two different approaches for development of the elevator speech. One used the business model of crafting a message based on features and benefits, while the other came from an academic model of storytelling. I think I tend more toward the storytelling side, but the major point is to develop and perfect a short piece about the library and be prepared to veer off in one desired direction or another depending on the interests of the donor.

That is a summary of my favorite sessions. Next year ALADN will be in Santa Monica, so I just might have to make that one!

Duke CIT Showcase

Monday, April 27, 2009 4:36 pm

I was very fortunate to spend Friday at the Duke CIT Showcase. I attended a bunch of interesting sessions on the Duke Digital Initiatives, video feedback on assignments, alumni readers/critiques, a student’s perspectives of blogs in the classroom, iTunes University, and the physical arrangement of classroom space. James Groom, of the EduPunk movement gave the keynote.

I am constantly impressed with Duke’s Center for Instructional Technology. I’ve been paying attention to them for a few years, but really became a fan after attending last year’s showcase. The showcase is really for the Duke community, though they’re kind enough to invite those of us who do this type of work, too. The presentations are all by Duke faculty for Duke faculty, focusing on really cutting edge or interesting ways of incorporating new technologies into the classroom. I normally feel really up on this type of thing, but both times I’ve come away with new ideas. The keynote is normally (at least based on the past two) a nationally known innovator in educational technology.

From the sessions I attended there were two main themes of the day:

  1. There is a benefit to having the “real world” view student work.
  2. Providing audio feedback allows you to give students more feedback.

I am totally down with theme number one. This is why I try to put so much of the courses I work with online in public places. This is one of the reasons I avoid traditional learning management systems (like Blackboard). Point two is new to me. Though I love multimedia, and think of it a lot for student assignments, I hadn’t thought about all that it could provide by incorporating it into my grading. I have a few FERPA related things I want to work through (for example, I would assume spoken comments are FERPA encumbered, so do we have to keep those off the network?) but I definitely want to find ways to incorporate this. It actually reminds me a bit of the old-school tutor model, where you could have conversations with students (or, at least, more conversational feedback).

Out of the showcase came a few things I want to try:

  • A syndication plugin for a blog, rather than using FriendFeed, for my next class
  • Voice comments in lieu of written comments

Another theme for me, though not a major theme of the showcase, was that information management issues are increasingly intertwined with educational technology issues. Again, this is one of the reasons why I tend to think that librarians are in an excellent place to lead here. As faculty start having questions about archiving, indexing, and preserving the scholarly material created by a class, librarians are in an excellent place to be able to answer them.

Great stuff, and certainly worth the drive! I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re up to next year.

Archivists’ Toolkit

Monday, April 20, 2009 4:08 pm

In bitterly cold January of this year, I attended an SAA-sponsored 2 day class in New York to learn how to use the Archivists’ Toolkit, a “shareware” database created for archival collections and developed by several schools. There aren’t lots of great archival databases currently, but this is one of the better ones I’ve seen and the fact that it is free makes it even more attractive! And to add to the excitement of a free database program, we were in NY the day that the US Air flight crashed in the Hudson river! It was just a few blocks from the hotel, but we were “down South” in the Village when it happened and didn’t have any idea until class let out. In spite of the cold and the plane crash, it was a good trip and I learned a lot of useful info.

Since each archives collection is unique to the intstitution that maintains it, it is difficult to design a database that will meet the needs of all users. But the Archivists’ Toolkit is flexible enough to let the user enter data that is specific to his or her collection and is also searchable by key words. This in itself is a big help compared to some older programs that have been used. The fact that it is designed by working archivists also helps, since they are familiar with terminology and ways of grouping information that are very different from a standard library catalog or arrangement.

We spent each of our two days in the basement computer lab of NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst library, practicing by entering fictitious archival collections from various fictitious donors. It took a lot of work to become familiar with the ins and outs of the database, but once we were more comfortable with it we could experiment witht the data input and then search to see how it would show up.

Our main goals were to create accession records, create descriptions for collections and their components, create and manage name and subject authorities, record and manage physical locations, produce reports and import legacy data. Needless to say, it was a lot to cover in two short days, and we had more luck with some aspects than with others. Even the computers seemed to feel a little overwhelmed at the end of both days, and they decided to freeze up several times which caused frustration for students and instructors alike.

But in the end we felt much more comfortable with the Archivists’ Toolkit and what it can do for collection management. There is still much to learn as we work to input our WFU collection, but it will be a huge help in locating and adding information as we consolidate our information.

ARLIS/NA 2009 Day 1

Saturday, April 18, 2009 10:52 pm

After the opening convocation and reception at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the Art Librarians Association of North America Conference got into full swing on Saturday morning.

The first session was the opening plenary, with remarks by James Neal of Columbia University Libraries, entitled, Progressive Change: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century Art Library, with responses by four librarians representing different aspects of art librarianship: art and design schools, academic, visual resources, and museum. Neal listed 15 key contextual trends for libraries as we move into the future:

  • ubiquitous computing
  • customization and personalization
  • web2.0, social networking and collective intelligence
  • massively distributed collaboration
  • constant partial attention
  • permanent state of beta development
  • radical restructuring
  • authorship and writing revolutions
  • self-service/ATM expectations
  • openness and collaboration
  • digital preservation, integrity and sustainablity
  • repository movement and version control
  • new majority learner
  • accountability and assessment
  • entrepreneurial imperative and resource attraction

He emphasized the importance of libraries and librarians being proactive and supporting open access and institutional repository initiatives, as well as being advocates for the “information policy agenda,” including issues of intellectual freedom and orphan works. He ended with the reminder to focus on “human” goals and outcomes of our work, what our faculty and students feel are successful outcomes.

The vendor exhibit opening was next, and I used most of that time to track down the easel for my poster presentation and find my table in the exhibits area. Before the poster session I attended the Academic Libraries Division Meeting. Besides discussing what programs the division would sponsor for next years conference in Boston, we discussed how different libraries deal with book covers. Depending on the type of library and their patron needs, there were different uses for the covers: some libraries sent their covers to the studio art departments, some kept if the image wasn’t in the book or if there was important series information on the cover, some threw them away, some used them for displays, and some considered them part of the book as an object and kept all covers.

The poster sessions were during the middle session of the afternoon, and were located amongst the vendor tables. The poster that Sharon, Leslie, Ellen and I prepared about our LIB250 course was one of four presented. I counted about 30 people who stopped by to look at the poster and most chatted for about 10 minutes, asking questions about our information literacy program in general and specifics about our course. Most were impressed by our program and one of the frequently asked questions was, “so how did you get this approved in the first place?” There was also a lot of interest in the mindmaps that Leslie created!

The last session for the day was entitled, If You Sit There, Will They Come?: The Changing Reference Landscape. Four panelists offered their experiences of how reference services are changing in different art library environments. The staffing of the reference desk seemed to be a hot topic no matter what type of library was involved. Using or not using professional, paraprofessional and student staff, in what ratio, and for what tasks were questions most of the panelists touched on, and was a topic of discussion among attendees as well. A few other points that were mentioned:

  • tech savvy doesn’t mean information savvy
  • marketing, marketing, marketing
  • assume that everyone needs help (even if they don’t know what they need help with!)

Saturday night is my only night without an activity, so I took advantage of the location of the hotel and walked around downtown Indianapolis. There are lots of interesting historic buildings, restaurants, shops and sports arenas within walking distance and the weather was perfect for walking. It’s supposed to rain Sunday and Monday, so I’m glad I had the chance tonight.

REFolution Day 2

Thursday, April 16, 2009 10:47 am

Moving Beyond the Reference Desk

This first session of the day was two presentations on how two different libraries have shifted the focus of their customer service away from the reference desk and the reference department and are meeting their patrons where they are.

Have Laptop Will Travel- Pat Dawson (Rider University)

Dawson is the science librarian at Rider, and in order to interact more with students taking science courses, she decided to have set hours in the science student study lounge in the science building. In order to not conflict with possible BI sessions (ie, the professor woudn’t schedule a session if they thought she would be providing this service), she set up times later in the semester, around Thanksgiving. Dawson posted signs in the study lounge letting students know when she would be having office hours there, and she emailed faculty members so they could announce in their classes.

Dawson ended up having some student contact during her sessions, but also felt that the faculty contact she had was just as valuable. She was able to meet with several new faculty members and set up library sessions for the following spring semester. She felt that the timing around Thanksgiving wasn’t right for the students, so she is planning on having the sessions several weeks before Thanksgiving in Fall 2009.

How We Stopped Manning the Fort and Became Virtual- Kate McGivern (Bergen Community College)

McGivern discussed several ways in which they have modified their reference area and services to be more accessible to their student population. During larger library renovations, they replaced their “fortress” desk with a low, dumbell, shaped desk. This made the desk more approachable and gave them more work stations where they could consult with students. They also added butterfly monitors so that students could see the searches more easily. (This is similar to what we have done over the last few years with our desk.) They also sent their entire reference collection to the stacks, and over the summer will make them circulating titles.

The reference librarians have also started doing “roaming” and “embedded” librarianship. Their usual staffing schedule is to have two librarians at the desk during a shift. One of those librarians is supposed to roam the library to see if there are patrons that need help. They wear nametags but don’t carry any sort of communication or handheld device. McGivern indicated (I think!) that their layout was such that they could see the service points from anywhere in the building (two floors) and that there were workstations on both floors that they could take patrons to if they needed extensive help (beyond deciphering LC and locating a book in the stacks). The embedded librarians were participants in courses via Blackboard. They created a “Librarian on Board” icon for those courses and the librarian had full access to the Blackboard course.

Both speakers highlighted their use of the book, The Desk and Beyond: Next Generation Reference Service by Sarah K. Steiner and M. Leslie Madden (Z675 U5 D425 2008, Reference Office).

Sending Out an SMS: Exploring Reference Via Text Messaging with Mobile Devices- Joe Murphy (Yale University)

Murphy discussed the implementation of texting services at the six Yale science libraries, and the evolution of text services in general. He strongly stressed the importance of text and mobile services to our student populations, several times saying that that was the main way that he got information. Our students are very comfortable with these methods of communication, but sometimes we are not. If libraries plan on implementing text services, we need to make sure that we manage staffing, cost and student expectations. We need to make sure we are answering questions as effieciently as possible, especially for those students who don’t have unlimited texting (ie, don’t answer the question as if it was an email, don’t assume that all students have unlimited texting). He also sees texting moving beyond reference services into other library services, such as catalog searching and overdue notices.

During the lunch break, there were two vendor presenations (AltaRama and Reference Universe) and time to look at vendor displays. I picked up information from Reference Universe, Credo Reference, LexisNexis and AltaRama.

AltaRama- Arthur Brady

AltaRama is another product that was designed by librarians, and the name is an aboriginal word for “the act of finding.” They have several different components and you can purchase them as a package or only the particular components that you need. The different components are: DeskStats, RefChatter (uses Library H3lp), RefTracker, RefScheduler, SMSReference and VRLPlus. He emphasized that they are all very customizible to each library.

Reference Universe- LuAnn Harrison

The Reference Universe product from Paratext has taken the indexes and articles from the major reference publishers (Gale, ABC-CLIO, etc…) and created an online database so that their contents are now searchable. Additionally, they have included the current online content from these publishers, making over 20 million citations searchable at the same time.

OK, This is Just too Weird- Elizabeth Edwards (George Washington University)

The last presentation of the conference was an interesting one discussing the Gelman Libraries study of Facebook use on their campus, and specifically, how students percieved the use of Facebook by the library and librarians. They worked with a graduate student in the anthropology department to do an ethnographic study of the student population. He did surveys and informal interviews with students who responded to a Facebook ad, a library webpage ad, or a Facebook group email. Most of the students felt that Facebook was a purely social space, the only academically related activity they used it for was to set up study group meetings. This made it difficult for students to understand why “authority” figures such as professors, librarians, or even family members, would be in that space, and it made them uncomfortable, but they weren’t sure why. When they looked at librarian facebook profiles, they liked the profiles that already matched what they thought librarians were like, i.e., included book recommendations, research tips, but not when they included personal information (though, interestingly, they felt like they were invading the librarians’ personal space). She recommended considering student perceptions of the library, taking the time to ask them how they felt about the library and Facebook as a social space, as this survey was specific to the George Washington student population, and other campuses could be very differerent.

Again, if anyone has questions or would like more information about any of the presentations, let me know! Lyrasis is supposed to post the powerpoints and other documents soon, so I can forward that to anyone who is interested.

Harrisburg Airport fun fact: In addition to a much-appreciated Starbucks and a lovely, non-desiel-fume- smelling waiting area, the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant is located at the end of the runway! Somehow I missed it when I arrived!

REFolution Day 1

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 8:58 pm

On Monday and Tuesday, April 6-7, I attended the REFolution: Reference Service in a Constantly Changing World conference in Hershey, PA. It was a busy two days with lots of content and not as much chocolate as you might expect!

Foreshadowing Reference Futures: Far Out or Forthcoming?- Mary Radford (Rutgers University)

After an early flight out of Greensboro, I arrived in time to check into my room and head to the ballroom for lunch and the keynote address. Mary Radford is a professor at Rutgers University and was a very engaging and energetic speaker. She began her talk by discussing all of the continuous change that we deal with, both in our jobs and at home, because of advances in technology. She shared the results of research she has done on how Millennials (born 1978-1994), and more specifically Screenagers (born 1988-1994), get their information. This research showed that Screenagers want instant access and use their phones for texting and IM rather than talking. Interestingly, they prefer to text rather than to call because there are no awkward silences with texting, and they can carry on multiple conversations at one time.

When discussing their responses to virtual reference specifically, Screenagers used the service because it was recommended to them, it was convenient and it was efficient. They didn’t use VR because they perceived that they got unhelpful answers when they did use it, and that those answers did not go beyond what they had already found via Google. They were also interested in interacting with subject specialists who could get them beyond the basics they had already located.

In terms of marketing reference, Radford suggested promoting our full range of options because our users want to know all of the ways they can contact us. To illustrate how we could promote the convenience and efficiency of using reference services, she shared a tag line from Harvard, “spend two hours doing research or 5 minutes with a Harvard librarian.”

Looking into the future, she sees continued growth in the following areas: distance education, technology innovation, the use of portable wireless services, ebook digitization, assessment, collaboration through consortial involvement and different models of staffing. She closed with, “we are change managers, don’t get in the way of change.”

READ Scale: Using Qualitative Data to Record Levels of Effort and Expertise in Answering Reference Questions- Lynn Berard (Carnegie Mellon University), Bella Karr Gerlich (Dominican University)

The traditional method of keeping statistics at public service desks is to just keep tick marks for each question or patron interaction. Obviously, a single tick mark does not reflect the variations in the time it takes to answer a question or the level of subject expertise needed. The READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data) is one method that can be used to reflect these aspects of our reference interactions. Each interaction is given a rating from one to six, one being directional and six being in-depth, labor intensive research assistance. Berard and Gerlich discussed their national study that focused on the implementation of this scale in academic libraries of various sizes around the country. They started by surveying the libraries involved to make sure that they all agreed on how different types of questions would be ranked. This is an important aspect to keep in mind, because it is crucial that each participant is using the same criteria to rank their interactions as everyone else. Beyond the time involved in answering the question, other criteria used to rank interactions included the number and types of sources consulted.

Most of the libraries in the study felt that the system was easy to use and easy to incorporate into their workflow at the reference desk. The libraries used the statistics they gathered to make staffing changes (maybe a student can handle the times when there are mostly one and two level questions) and to have on-going staff training and development (staff discussed how they might have answered the question differently, veteran reference librarians showed newer librarians different resources and vice versa).

Google Gems for Reference Librarians- Russell Palmer (Lyrasis)

This was a pretty interactive session, with lots of demonstrations and examples from attendees on how they use Google everyday in their workflow and at the reference desk. I was familiar with quite a few of the resources mentioned, but it is always good to have a refresher on all of the things you can do with Google. A few I liked were:

  • Google sets: fill in two or more words in a series, and Google will give you other related terms (enter hook and line, Google adds reel, lure, float, sinker, bait). It was suggested that this would be good for students to use when they need to think of additional search terms.
  • using the “:”: examples given were: define: , stocks: , allintitle: , and filetype: . The example for filetype was to search filetype:pdf coca-cola to locate annual reports and other company information that isn’t on the website but is located in pdf files.
  • Google news archive: useful for geneology searching and has a helpful timeline feature that allows you to see when in time the majority of references to your search topic appeared.

Scaling up IM Reference: Using Library H3lp- Rebekah Kilzer (Drexel University)

Rebekah Kilzer discussed the implementation of Library H3lp in the reference department of Hagerty Library at Drexel University, starting with the evolution of their virtual reference services. In 2006, they used AIM and Yahoo with an average of 30 chats per month. In 2007 they added gmail and MSN, and in 2008, meebo. Their IM traffic jumped from 100 chats per month in Winter 2008 to 600 chats per month in Fall of 2008. Their email traffic also rose during this time, partly because their IM requests were routed to email when the chat service was unavailable. The increase in chats and emails required a change in desk staffing, and they now have two librarians at the desk each hour and one in their office monitoring the chat service.

Library H3lp is an open source program, though there is a minimal fee based upon FTE (this wasn’t discussed in detail). The program was designed specifically for libraries and features queues, customizable widgets, the ability to transfer chats to another librarian, stat tracking and call logging. Other aspects that I found interesting were: patrons can email the transcript to themselves when they are done, it can convert text to chat, any previous IM clients can be forwarded to it, and the widget can be set to forward questions to email when there isn’t anyone staffing the desk.

Kilzer stressed the importance of staff training before the new system was active. They did a lot beforehand to make sure that they kept the good aspects of the previous system for both librarians and patrons. They also did a lot of practicing, with small groups of librarians sending and answering questions amongst themselves, so that they would be comfortable with the interface and features. They found that after they implemented Library H3lp, of the over 200 questions they answered, almost all were through the Library H3lp interface, with 2 from AIM and 2 from Google Talk.

Of these sessions, I really liked the presentations on the READ Scale and Library H3lp. I think there are aspects of each that we could implement and benefit from, even if we didn’t decide to adopt the entire system.

The Minute Taker Workshop

Thursday, April 9, 2009 11:43 am

Yesterday, Wanda, Prentice, and I attended a class, “The Minute Taker’s Workshop” offered through the PDC (Professional Development Center) here at Wake Forest. The workshop was intended to help a person know his or her role as minute taker and to learn the best techniques for producing accurate and informative minutes.

During the first half of the class we discussed the purpose of minutes, the tasks expected of you as a minute taker at the meeting, and some of the issues and problems that arise for the minute taker at meetings. During the open discussion it became apparent that many of the people there shared the same problems a few of which were; how do I know what’s important enough to records in the minutes and what isn’t and how do I take minutes of something when I don’t understand the topic they are discussing. The facilitator had guidelines to help on what to record and what not to record and that as a minute taker we should not be afraid to ask for clarification to make sure the minutes are accurate.

The second half of the class covered the writing of the rough draft and who should see it, proof reading to check on spelling and punctuation, and the filing of the final draft. It was recommended that the minutes be prepared immediately following the meeting because studies showed that immediately after listening to someone talk you can only recall 50% of what was heard and after a week the percentage drops to 10% and as a minute taker you should not depend on memory to recall important decisions.

The facilitator, Beth Malone, had good suggestions and made what could have been a boring class engaging and enjoyable.

OLE & CUFTS

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 5:03 pm

Erik, Chris, Lauren C. (sorry Lauren) , Mary Beth, Carol, Susan, and Tim atended an OLE sponsored webinar about CUFTS. CUFTS is a series of open source applicaitons including an OpenURL resolver, a database management application, an ERMS, and an open source knowledge base.

Part of the conversation centered around developing community support for the knowledge base and Carol had the intersting suggestion that community contributions to the knowledge base could build ‘credits’ to encourage contribution.

The webinar is archived at the OLE website.

Technology Forum – Day Two

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 10:51 pm

The Chronicle Technology Forum concluded today with a half-day session. The first session was about distance education so it wasn’t that relevant to Wake Forest, which is grounded in personal face-to-face relationships between student and faculty. I know that Lauren P. has found value in working with distance librarians because they tend to use technology in creative ways that can be relevant in a blended environment, but I didn’t find that value in this particular discussion. Still, it is good to remember that there is more than one way to deliver higher education and we at Wake Forest would do well to respect that.

I was looking forward to a session on enrollment management, as I am curiously interested in the topic. It was a rather shallow treatment, however, with a consultant hashing over past accomplishments and then a sales presentation on Blackboard Connect Ed. There were a couple of nuggets: recruiting costs $600 per freshman in a public environment and $2000 per freshman for privates. The Admissions arms race continues now in the social networking sphere. Schools are texting, twittering, and friending students as young as 8th grade!

The final session was a total loss on me as it was on “The Enemy Within: How to Predict and Prevent Computer Attacks from People Inside Your Institution.” Scary! I let Rick Matthews worry about that and instead used my time to construct an internal “hierarchy of thought” as I try to figure out the twitter/blogging art forms from private to public willingness:

  • thought stays in my head
  • thought is recorded in private notes
  • thought is put on Twitter/Facebook (but not on public group hashtag)
  • thought is put on Twitter/Facebook (and public group hashtag)
  • thought is put on Twitter/Facebook and hashtag with live projection during session
  • thought is put in blog (like this one) after daily reflection

I’m a Myers-Briggs INTJ, what can I say?

Lynn


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