Professional Development

During May 2009...

Service learning on the south trip

Friday, May 29, 2009 8:11 am

On Thursday the Social Stratification course started our 3 day service project with the Southern Mutual Help Association. The day of work was punctuated with a great lunch at Rita’s Cafe (one of the work-sites), a discussion on the value of Zydeco music, and a great dinner at Bon Creole – the most recommended restaurant in town.

New Iberia was hit hard by Katrina and as our host told us, the work to rebuild is still ongoing. It was interesting to work alongside students and faculty on the trip particularly since the service project gave us all a good opportunity to experience the issues and environment that we have been discussing during the trip.

Check out the pics and videos from the first day of our project.

NCICU Assessment Conference

Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:38 pm

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is a consortium of private schools that provides lobbying in the North Carolina legislature and professional development programming for various units in universities including libraries. Besides the fact that you just can’t get too much information on assessment, I was interested in this conference because I have just been added to the list of potential reviewers for SACS. In the small world department, I started talking to the man next to me at lunch and learned that he grew up in the Detroit area and worked at Wayne State in the Center for Urban Studies at the same time I worked there. And he is also a big Red Wings fan (but who isn’t at this time of year)!

Keynote, Steven Sheeley, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

Sheeley talked about accountability in higher education increasing by a more vocal and demanding public. In this economic downturn, all institutions of higher education have been hit, but publics may have been hit the hardest. The book Turn Around (Johns Hopkins 2009) is prescient in examining fragile institutions that may not survive additional financial stress. There will be a focus on efficiencies across the campus. The recession will affect enrollment in both positive and negative ways (community colleges enrollment is expected to go through the roof). Strategic decision making, informed by data and analysis, becomes even more important in times of financial stress.

Navigating the SACS Accreditation Process, Steven Sheeley

Standards and Policies are equal responsibilities for institutions, but Guidelines (such as faculty qualifications) are informative, not normative. Some standards require a policy and require that the policy be followed. Decennial review is necessary, leading to reaffirmation of accreditation every ten years.

Tracks A (baccalaureate only) or Track B (master’s and above)

Off-site Committee: compliance certification document review; each “cluster” reviews 3 or 4 institutions with a 2 day meeting in Atlanta. Committee report goes to institutions and forms basis of On-site Committee report. They give findings of either compliant or non-compliant.

On-Site Committee: Focused report and QEP document sent to committee 6 weeks before visit. Final report is narrative, institution has chance to respond within 5 months. C&R reviews on-site report, response, chair’s evaluation of the response to make a decision.

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): should still be in the planning stage until approved as part of reaffirmation. QEP should come out of assessment activities, NOT just brainstorming. Needs to focus on student learning outcomes. QEP lead evaluator can be from the outside, even outside SACS region.

Common areas of off-site non-compliance: faculty competence (not sending in enough documentation), college-level competencies (Gen Ed), institutional effectiveness, administrative staff evaluations.

Common areas of on-site non-compliance: QEP, college level competencies, faculty competencies

Common areas of C&R (in monitoring) non-compliance: institutional effectiveness, college level competencies, QEP, library/learning resources, financial stability

Danger zones: institutional effectiveness

Some sound practices: think like the reviewer (get off your own campus), begin early, clear documentation is key, burden of persuasion is on the institution, READ standards carefully, assessment woven throughout, ask if you don’t understand.

Fifth Year Report: mini-compliance report on progress

Use what you’ve got and get what you need:Strengthening your library’s assessment program, Yvonne Belanger and Diane Harvey, Perkins Library, Duke

I met Yvonne when we toured the Center for Instructional Technology at Duke a few months ago. She does assessment for CIT and is a resource for the libraries as well.They presented a very practical program on the basics of library assessment. My favorite quote was “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” credited to Ford Motor Company in 2006. That rang true, because I once heard an ARL consultant say that it takes 15 years (give or take) to change a culture. So that got me thinking how I would describe the predominant culture at ZSR and I think I’d say intensely personal service. But I digress…

The growth in assessment programs in libraries mirrors the growth in assessment in higher education. On many campuses, SACS accreditors say that the library does a better job at assessment than most campus units (and probably 1/3 of the attendees here today are librarians). Libraries singled out for excellence in assessment efforts are: University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, and University of Virginia. A key in library assessment is demonstrating the impact on institutional goals. The most successful library assessment programs are those that are infused throughout the organization, rather than just being the responsibility of one coordinator or one committee, hence the “culture of assessment” that we hear about. A good rule of thumb, attributed to Susan Gibbons of the University of Rochester, is “don’t guess, just ask.” With the availability of easy web survey tools and built-in focus groups of student employees or Lib100 classes, this is good advice to follow. So for example, when I see our virtual reference statistics declining, which seems counter-intuitive to all other prevailing trends, it seems a good approach would be to get some focus groups of students together to ask them what is going on.

Other nuggets that I picked up and will bring to various people when I get home:

  • Bring together all assessment data in one place on the website so all can access and use it
  • Look into Lib Stats, as a free, open source resource
  • Build evaluative thinking by linking assessment to staff development
  • Give data back: eg. analyze instruction sections by academic department and report back to department chairs and liaisons
  • Our OCLC replication study given at ACRL was cited here as an example of how data tends to be local!

Better Assessment:The I-E-O Model Revisited, Libby Joyce and Rob Springer, Elon

They used the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE-spring semester of freshman year) and Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE- entering freshmen before they get to campus). They did a study of 331 matched pairs using the IEO model as a framework:Input (student profile), Environment (engagement), Output (outcome)

Impressively, they performed an ANOVA (analysis of variance) with

  • Dependent variable:retention
  • Fixed variables: NSSE cognitive variables
  • Covariates of BCSSE cognitive variables

They found very strong statistical significance in their outcomes by looking at the complete picture of the student profile coming in (BCSSE), the environmental intervention, and then the outcome as self-reported in the NSSE survey.

Always have to ask the question: how much data do you gather before it becomes a burden?

What does this mean and where do we go from here? Assessing an information literacy program, Jennifer Hanft and Susan McClintock, Meredith College

Assessment is hard to define, but has elements of: accountability, focus, outcomes alignment, measurement, and acknowledgement of professional knowledge. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive, unchanging, intimidating, exceptional, self-sufficient or expensive. You are already assessing your program if you are meeting regularly with instruction faculty to discuss best practices, conducting regular student evaluations, grading assignments, conducting pre-tests, or partnering with faculty on assignments

ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education: At Meredith, three tiered program (English 111, English 200, IL Thread), incremental and developmental. Where to go from here: continue as part of Gen Ed program (survived revision), extend to graduate programs, continue to assess.

How they tackle assessment in Information Literacy:

  • Identify a skill
  • Find the applicable ACRL standard
  • Identify appropriate level(s) of program
  • Align with program’s defined outcome
  • Decide how best to measure

LAUNCH-CH Research Forum, May 20, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009 11:48 am

On May 20th, a beautiful North Carolina afternoon, Ellen Daugman, Kaeley McMahan and Craig Fansler traveled to UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library to present posters in the LAUNCH-CH Research Forum. The Forum is made up of 2 hour-long poster sessions sandwiched around a paper presentation by three presenters. The poster sessions were arranged along a corridor in the library, where presenters arranged their posters, computers and handouts on tables and easels. An electronic version of each of our posters is viewable at:

Poster Sessions:

Planning an Interdisciplinary Information Literacy Course

“From Start to Finish: Planning an Interdisciplinary Information Literacy Course”
was presented by Ellen Daugman and Kaeley McMahan. The poster outlined the steps we took during the planning of our LIB250 course, what we taught during the course, and what improvements we plan to make for the next time the course is taught. We had great questions from the attendees and gave out lots of handouts. Leslie’s mindmaps were a big hit again!

The Library in the Classroom

“The Library in the Classroom” was presented by Craig Fansler. The poster described the process of introducing exhibit projects into classes at Wake Forest. The poster visualized the exhibit design process from idea to finished project through photos and text. There were also handouts which are given to WFU students doing these projects and a rotating Powerpoint with images of students working on each stage of their exhibits. All the comments were very positive and encouraging and it was terrific to network with a group of librarians from across North Carolina.

Paper Presentations:

Each paper presentation at the LAUNCH-CH Research Forum in Chapel Hill on May 20 was heralded as, “And now, for something completely different!” As they indeed all were. I’ll be summarizing the presentation of a unique program underway at one of the branches of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. Kaeley and Craig will each cover one of the other two presentations.

“Programming for Children with Special Needs and their Families in a Public Library”
Tricia Twarogowski, Children’s Services Manager at the Matthews Branch Libray of the PLCMC, described an innovative and need-specific approach to storytelling which she has initiated, in her talk entitled, “Programming for Children with Special Needs and their Families in a Public Library.” It all began in August 2008 when some parents expressed their wishes for library programs that could readily accommodate their special needs children, many of whom are autistic or have Down’s Syndrome. Tricia responded with a questionnaire about these children’s likes and dislikes and a focus group in September 2008, which posed queries regarding what an effective program would be like, tips for interacting well with their children, what resources the library needs, and what challenges they face when they come to the library with their children. In addition, she established a partnership with the Autism Society of North Carolina, attending their meetings, and also with the Allegro Foundation which works with children with disabilities. Avoiding any indication of special needs, the program is listed simply as “Rhythm and Rhyme: a storytime for special needs children and their families.

Children are allowed to roam freely during storytime, or can cuddle with soft pillows and animals. Librarians alternate between sitting in the middle of the group or walking around (in response to contradictory preference feedback). Parents, she said, are more supportive than those in other story groups both in terms of their own children as well as with other children and the librarians. Often children interact in ways other than they normally do with other children, and parents have described the time as additional therapy, sometimes tearfully watching their children blossom in their encounters with their storytime peers. Parents who normally head immediately to the back of the room with their autistic children, admitting to Tricia that they always need to know the nearest and quickest exit, now feel free to approach the center of activity and engagement. There has been local press coverage, and Tricia looks to the future to strengthen partnerships, to modify some aspects based on feedback and experience, and to extend programs through additional PLCMC branches. It was an impassioned and engaging presentation, and one librarian in the audience who has an autistic child testified to the merit of such a program.
Kaeley, Craig, and I enjoyed the time presenting our posters before and after the talks. Numerous people took the time to browse through the variegated assortment filling the hallway of the Wilson Library (Special Collections) and stopped to talk with us about our experiences with developing and teaching an Information Literacy course in the Humanities. -Ellen Daugman

“The Effect of Library Instruction on Undergraduate Library Use”

“The Effect of Library Instruction on Undergraduate Library Use” was presented by Katherine Knott, who wrote the study for her master’s project at UNC-CH. She wanted to study the effect of a one-shot library instruction session on students’ use of the library. She gave an initial survey to 300 students in English 101 and 102 courses before their library session for the course, then gave a follow-up survey a few weeks after the session. There was a control group of 250 students who did not have a library session. The survey consisted of six questions and measured how the students did or did not use the library (students were given multiple choice responses):
1) How many times have you physically entered the library?
2) On average, how long did you stay in the library?
3) What did you use the library for?
4) Where do you do most of your studying and classwork?
5) (She didn’t discuss, wasn’t on her slides)
6) Where do you do most of your research?
The survey results showed that while the number of student visits to the library increased after a library session, the length of time spent in the building actually decreased. She thought this might be because students actually knew how to use the building and how to locate what they were looking for and thus used the resources more efficiently than those who didn’t have a library session. Also, she found an increase in the number of students who used the library as a place to study after their library session, though the preferred place for studying and research remained the students’ dorm or apartment.
-Kaeley McMahan

“Going Global with Information Literacy” was presented by Angela Whitehurst, Distance Education Coordinator at the Joyner Library at East Carolina University. Angela began working with an anthropology class at ECU who was part of their Global Academic Initiatives Program. As a result of the economic climate, ECU experienced impediments to international travel but still wanted to capture a study abroad experience. The Global Academic Initiatives Program has two components: a Global Understanding Course and an International Lecture Exchange. The Global Understanding Course covers multiple disciplines and has 23 partner institutions in 18 countries who link to and chat with partners who also conduct research. The library and information literacy component of this is to pose concepts, find weaknesses, and build each course accordingly. The questions involve finding out:
• What knowledge do students have about the availability and use of country resources when entering the course?
• Would providing instruction to students related to their field increase their information literacy skills?
• Would the quality of student assignments improve after information literacy instruction?
• Would instruction using country/cultural resources be a useful avenue for libraries attempting to integrate information literacy instruction into a globalized curriculum?
The methodology used for this program was to train the faculty first, and then using a pre-test/post-test for students information literacy skills. The tests covered choosing appropriate resources, evaluating resources, and using citations.
Ms. Whitehurst stated that the results of this program were mixed, but that they were encouraged by increases in usage, identification and evaluation of source materials as well as positive feedback.
-Craig Fansler

LYRASIS Mass Digitization Collaborative Information Session-ASERL

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 11:06 am

On May 27th Lynn, Megan and Giz met in the ITC Screening Room at 10am for a Mass Digitization Collaborative Information Session by Lyrasis. Laurie Gemmill the Lyrasis Digital Services Program Manager was the speaker. After a quick test of the webinar tools, Laurie Gemmill wanted to get a feel for everyone’s location, so we marked our location on a map.

Palinet established this collaborative about a year ago to assist members with digitization needs. Recently members asked for help with the specific digitization work. Reached out to the Sloan Foundation and committed to do 60,000 books or 20,000,000 pages, includes books, serials, etc. They are also looking to expand this digitization to oversize books, and other media like video and audio.

Laurie Gemmill began with an explanation of the program. On her first day there were over a hundred messages asking for assistance thanks to an announcement of the Sloan Foundation grant. Began with some mini-pilots at a variety of institutions like the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Penn State. Over a dozen mini-pilots were held. Pilot experiences were positive despite the variety of goals across the institutions. The benefits as seen by the pilot participants included: centralized coordination, visibility, ease of startup and billing, collaborative collection development, sustainability, digitization and OCR, metadata, and digital files and preservation.

The service includes: digitization, including OCR and quality control, hosting and preservation of files, project coordination, selection assistance, a quote based on # of volumes (not pages) and a one time cost. The Sloan Foundation grant helps by subsidizing costs, bigger projects get bigger discounts.

The overall process begins with a request for a quote, sign the quote, and have an orientation. Then materials are selected, copyright and metadata are the main criteria. Items are shipped, digitized and returned. The digitization centers are all over, but the ones in our close proximity are at Princeton Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne and Allen County Public Library: Fort Wayne, Indiana and Historic Barrow Mansion: Jersey City, New Jersey. Staff turn each page by hand before lowering glass platen and digital cameras shoot from above, both left and right simultaneously.

To see books contributed by Lyrasis members visit

Items are digitized literally cover to cover. Flip book and Flip book beta let users page through the book. Full text comes from OCR. The “all files” options shows users a complete list of the file types available. Master files are JPEG 2000 files.

Microfilm is still done at San Francisco center. It will be rolled out to other centers once the process is optimized.

Items are digitized at dpi relative to size, 300-600 dpi range:

•14.2″x 9.4″= 300 dpi
•10.6″x 7″= 400 dpi
•8.5″x 5.5″= 500 dpi

-overall size limit: 14.5″tall x 9.7″page width
-can do fold outs

Books are digitized in entirety “cover to cover” including blank pages. Books are scanned in full color. Microfilm is scanned as grayscale.


•How will our materials be handled?
-Staff experienced with fragile material
-Can accommodate specific handling requirements
•Will we get copies of images?
-Yes.Once digitized, files are available to download
•Can we link to materials?
-Yes. Feel free to update catalog records; links are permanent

Collaborative Members:

•Bloomsburg University
•Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
•Curtis Institute of Music
•Duquesne University
•Elizabethtown College
•Free Library of Philadelphia
•Independence Seaport Museum
•Institute for Advanced Study
•Lancaster County Historical Society
•Lycoming College
•New Jersey State Library
•Paterson Free Public Library
•Pennsylvania College of Technology
•Penn State University
•Philadelphia Museum of Art
•Rutgers University
•St. Mary’s College of Maryland
•University of Maryland
-College Park
-School of Law
•University of Pennsylvania
•University of Pittsburgh
•University of Scranton
•Villanova University
•West Chester University
•West Virginia University

How to Participate:

•Go to Lyrasis website
-View MDC info
-Sign up for info session
-Request a quote

•Contact Laurie Gemmill
-800.233.3401 x 1291
-Sign up for listserv

Erik and Susan: Embedded and in Alabama

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 6:21 am

Technology Central

“Technology Central in Birmingham”

Greetings from the Deep South. Erik and I are traveling for 16 days with the 2009 iteration of Drs. Hattery and Smith’s “Social Stratification in the Deep South” experiential summer course. This year there are 19 students, 13 from Colgate University (where Hattery and Smith taught this past year), 5 from Wake Forest and 1 from NC State. Our role on this trip is to deliver the technology that makes the course interactive to our virtual audience and to document the course activities through video, still images, and audio. As you probably know already, our “course shell” is a facebook page, coupled with a twitter feed and flickr. We have been kept busy, particularly with our “just in time” learning on video editing. Barry, we miss you!

We have been in Alabama since Sunday and the course focus has been on Civil Rights issues and history. This morning, after we spend the morning at the South Poverty Law Center, we will get back on the bus for a 7 hour ride to New Iberia, LA. We will spend the next four days there in our service project, helping with the reconstruction of a diner damaged by Katrina and subsequent storms.

Thus far, we are totally impressed with the student engagement with the coursework. The students are sharp and enjoy initiating discussions on the wide range of issues that have been introduced in the first few days. On the first day, a spirited discussion was interrupted by a lunch stop. After we started back on the road, the students asked to resume the interchange and continue exploring the topic. As Lynn can attest to from last trip, usually, post-lunch riding was a prime time for an afternoon nap!

We invite you to keep an eye on our facebook page and see the activities that take place as the trip evolves.

On being a videobrarian

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 8:09 pm

Today I watched in amazement as our own Susan Smith taped, edited, and posted videos from our Social Stratification course to our Facebook course page. Susan and I spent the last few days recording video and have over 70 GB of data and, as we should have expected, it brought our machines to a crawl. Today we turned our attention to producing shorter, more manageable videos and things are going much better :)

The south trip has been pretty exciting so far with lots of great discussions and opportunities to see new things and we are just getting started.

Tomorrow we head to New Iberia to begin our service project. Wish us luck!

Lynn at SAMM

Monday, May 18, 2009 11:05 pm

Wanda covered much of the SAMM conference. I was only there one day, mostly because I am a SOLINET/Lyrasis Board member, so I will cover the sessions that I went to that Wanda did not. My flight from Charlotte was late so I missed the opening keynote…grrhgghhhh!

Google Book Search Settlement:Now What? Jonathan Band, Technology Law and Policy

Really complicated, lots of controversy; some love it, some hate it, some fear it. He represents ARL, ACRL, ALA. They filed comments with the judge overseeing the settlement.

Original Library Project (totally different from litigation)

Scanning 25 million books

Public domain: display full text (5 million)

In-copyright: 3 snippets (few lines) per book 20 million (2.5 million in print) 17.5 million orphans

Opt-out for authors and publishers (copyright owners) (prohibitive to ask permission)

Opt-in for partner program to share revenue

Why did publishers sue in 2005?

Act of scanning may be infringement, made copies for libraries, even though public could only see snippet and may have increased the market for the work

Opt-out wasn’t good enough, burden should have been on Google (so say publishers)

Core question:was this fair use?

Proposed settlement Oct 2008

Only applies to books published before 1/5/09, no books going forward

Google can go forward with scanning in exchange for payment to owners

Book Rights Registry manages copyright (run by owners) solves the legal problem without addressing fair use issue and binds all the owners

Court still needs to approve it, since it is class action

Settlement services

Applies only to US users

Previews: analogous to snippet but more content

Consumer purchase

Institutional subscription

Default rule for out of print books (17.5 million):immediately available for all 3 services unless rights holder shows up and opts out *these are the heart of the settlement and lessens the panicky impact*

Default rule for in print book (2.5 million): not available for purchase or subscription unless owner opts in (not likely, they will make their money without Google)

(in-print means commercially available in any format)

Owners can opt out of the settlement altogether and sue Google on their own, or permit uses different from default rules


Analogous to snippets

Public domain:100%

In copyright, out of print (17.5 million) : was 3 snippets, now 20%

In copyright, in print (2.5 million): was 3 snippets, now bibliographic info

Consumer Purchase

Consumer can purchase perpetual online access to full text of a book

Google will set price algorithmically between $1.99 and $29.99 (80% below $10)

Can print 20 pages with one command, cut and paste 4 pages, make book annotations

Institutional Subscriptions (to libraries)

Annual subscription to get access to full text of all books in copyright, out of print (17.5 million); discipline based subsets

Access limited to “appropriate individuals/authorized users”

Can print 20 pages with one command, cut and paste 4 pages, annotations, link to e-reserves, no ILL

Remote access only for higher education

Google’s overall model is free or very low cost; we’ll see

Public Access service

One terminal per building for public libraries and higher ed (one terminal for 4,000 ftes at 2 year associate colleges, one terminal for 10,000 fte at 4 year colleges)

Print pages on per page fee

Participating Libraries (Michigan, Wisconsin, UC, Stanford, etc)

Libraries provide book to be scanned, receive digital copy in return

Libraries now must sign agreement with Registry, (Here is where Harvard dropped out)

many constraints, almost like dark archive until it comes into public domain, but released from liability Cooperating libraries (different from participating libraries)

Research Corpus

Non-consumptive research, computational analysis not for intellectual content, possible but with strict security requirement

Google’s obligations

Within 5 years must provide services for 85% of in-copyright, out of print books it has scanned

Must accommodate visual disabilities (could be huge)

Revenue sharing (with copyright owner)

$60 for each book scanned

Google keeps 37% of future revenue from advertising, subscriptions, sales, gives 63% to Registry

Usage fees for popular books

$200 inclusion fee when enough revenues are collected

Owner has to register to get revenue


Google and Registry set price, if can’t agree, subject to arbitration

Based on FTE

Only higher ed has remote access

Status of Settlement

Library associations filed comments, asked court to closely supervise implementation

Court extended deadline to 9/4/09

Libraries worry about lack of competition, subscriptions could be priced too high, no matter what Google says,

Traditional library values of access, privacy, intellectual freedom could be undermined

Digital Preservation:the Future is Collaboration, Robin Dale, UC Santa Cruz

Think in terms of services that we can provide here and now rather than great repository in the sky.


  • Don’t do it for its own sake
  • Public good v pragmatism
  • Sustainability is hard
  • Cyclical drivers, evolve or die, sunset is sometimes a good thing

Local Digitization Imperatives

  • Digital preservation should be
    • an ongoing activity
    • understood responsibility
    • economically sustainable
    • cooperative effort

Shift from Silos to Service

  • In the beginning
    • Large institutional digital repositories
    • Major local investment
    • Low acceptance/use outside libraries
    • High cost, bit preservation with low sustainability
  • Now:
    • Incremental perspective with immediate action and future capabilities
    • Move away from imperative to tackle problem locally
    • Curation instead of preservation, look at the life cycle
    • Curation is an outcome, not a repository

University of California

  • First tried digital preservation repository
  • Shifted to

Web archiving service


LOCKSS (rise of Private LOCKSS Networks (PLN))

New flexible repository service to manage digital objects

Meta Archive Cooperative

LOCKSS-based distributed digital preservation network

Hathi Trust (13 CIC (Big 10+), 10 UC libraries)

Archive and share digitized collections from the Google project

Goal to create and sustain public good – searchable, not just dark archive

Currently at 2,839,932 volumes (16% in public domain)

Role for Lyrasis

  • Facilitator to obtain existing services for the collaborative
  • Manager of LOCKSS PLN’s
  • Enable immediate access to services with management possibilities downstream

ZSR library feeds, learns from teachers for DigitalForsyth project

Saturday, May 16, 2009 5:25 pm

Many many thanks go out to the attendees of today’s workshop, LearnNC, East Carolina University, Forsyth County Public Library, and our own ZSR and Coy C. Carpenter libraries for the tremendously successful DigitalForsyth education workshop that was held today at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library.

In total, we worked with 26 teachers to create lesson plans for DigitalForsyth during the day-long seminar. The morning kicked off with a presentation from David Walbert from LearnNC who talked with us about how to approach creating a lesson plan with digital objects. After a short break, Hazel Walker and Linda Teel from East Carolina University took the reins and led the teachers through some interactive lesson planning activities. It was a very exciting morning – exciting enough that at one point a brick was launched over a light in the ITC!

After a lunch in the atrium, the afternoon session focused on letting the teachers work their magic creating lesson plans using DigitalForsyth content. These lesson plans will be showing up on our DigitalForsyth site in the coming weeks.

Many thanks to Ruth Moskop who was invaluable not only in coordinating this workshop but in connecting us with Hazel and Linda who made this workshop an incredible success. Many thanks also to David, Linda and Hazel who generously gave us their time today and helped teachers create these great lesson plans. The members of the education working group really pulled one out from Megan Mulder’s efforts coordinating meals & communications, to Ali Shoaf creating the instructional videos that teachers used prior to the workshop. And of course thanks go to Tim for helping us get ready yesterday and everyone who showed up today including Susan, Ali, Megan, and Julie.

SAMM 09 – day 2

Friday, May 15, 2009 10:54 pm

My second day at SAMM lasted only until noon, but was full of several interesting sessions. I began the day hearing Jason Battles from the University of Alabama, share insights on “Building Environments and Tools to Engage Library Users.” The problem as he states it is that libraries wait until new products, new web pages and new programs are 100% ready before they share them with their users. Users need to be engaged in the production stages. Battles feels that marketing is the first step in engaging users, you must publicize the existence of new products and demonstrate how useful they are. He suggest using the google labs concept and Code4library programming to create databases where users are informed, engaged and invited to share opinions in the production stages. Battles used code language created by Vanderbilt University and has developed it for sharing. AJAX functionality was added to creat the comment box and ratings field have been added. The only glitch is that you must have an Intel based Mac for development. Here’s the link to the test sight at Vanderbilt.

My next session featured Kathleen Imhoff of Lexington Public Library, Kentucky who spoke on the importance of allowing “Creativity in the Workplace.” Upon entering the room all participants were given a fuzzy, shiny or brightly colored pipe cleaner. Our first assignment was to build something and share it with the group. We then answered most of the following questions. What color is a wish? What color is imagination? How does purple taste? What is the texture of a whisper? What color is today? These questions were examples of how supervisors can challenge staff to look at things differently. These are also options for making worklife more fun and for eliminating fear. Fear distorts perception. Our second assignment was to find one other person and create an object with our fuzzy pipe cleaners. My partner and I created a flower. Our final assginment was done in groups of four. This time my groupcreated three dogs and used the final pipe to walk the three dogs. These activities supported the concept of one works well, but sometimes two or more can be much more produtive. Our projects were all more complex and came with stories as more people joined the group. Imhoff concluded that libraries need to identify their most creative and also find ways to change attitudes so all are looking forward to the future.

“Trending Toward Lyrasis” was the topic of choice for Dr. Richard Madaus the closing keynoter. Madaus reviewed the path of libraries. The first mentality of libraries was to “search and locate.” Then with web 2.0 we became the ones to “find and deliver.” To be effective today we must equip others to “click and know.” Eighty-five % of our users are not in the building and will probably not come. How are we meeting their needs. How are we engaging them? Have we gained their support? Do we know what they are? Where is the library’s place within the google world? Have you ever noticed how often google repeats its mission. In every new product they release within their labs, they share their mission and how this particular product helps them tomeet it. Have libraries who dismiss Wikipedia as unreliable, noticed how much library terminology they have chosen to use?

If you have ever heard Madaus, you know he is famous for introducing new technology. He spoke of “Wolfram Alph” which is thought to be the google killer. Tonight at 8:00 pm. it was to be released. Its focus will be to make the world’s knowledge computable….? Universities will purchase Kindles for their students, download textbooks and and sell them for the price of the actual books. Madaus thinks our reference areas should have these type computers.

What is the value added by the library to the knowledge research process? Who are we? If we cling to the printed book we are in an ever shrinking box. Information is no longer site bound. The world is boldly moving into the “twisted network of strangers.” Strangers who visit a restaurant decide is wasn’t to their liking, post that and cause a multitude of folk to not eat there. Strangers assuming the role of those in the know. Libraries should be the strong voice for authenticity in information, realizing that they are a business as well as a service provider. Libraries need to move beyond our traditional comfort zones and actually stop giving costly services and activities that fail to add value. We are not who we are by the stuff we know, but by the choices we make.

SAMM – day 1

Friday, May 15, 2009 9:21 pm

The final SOLINET annual meeting is being held in Atlanta Thursday and Friday morning at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center. The SAMM 09 conference entitled, the Changing World, Changing Libraries featured as open keynoter the Executive Director and Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute, Dr. Tom Frey. Frey thinks our society is always looking backward to move forward. Frey soon shifted his thoughts to a hand held device that could be used as a shopping aid. Whenever someone you see with a cool pair of boots you could simply just point and click. Your handheld device finds it, in your size and if you choose to, it could be delivered to your door. Or how about a musical devise attached to your glasses inserted near the ears. This device selects the type of music you need to hear based on your mood and your reaction to previously played songs. In 2059 what form of payment will be used? Will it be from a chip on your finger or will it be from a scan of your eyes? In what year Frey ask, will the last book be printed? He predicts the kindle will sell for about $20 within the next few years. He thinks that libraries should become electronic outpost, equipped with multi searching stations and staffed with roving librarians.Within the next twenty years libraries will contain no books. The model for education will be completely revamped. It will be more of an itunes model. The transition will move away from teaching towards actual learning. This year MIT Open Course ware offered 1800 courses and Moodle 2,918,000 consortium courses. Courseware will be developed everywhere, real not just in an online environment, less dependent on teachers and schools. Libraries should become laboratories for the creation of new courses. They should embrace their role as the search command center, a place where folk come to get help identifying the appropriate databases to search in. Communities in the future will be developed around ways people can meet other people, empires of one.

Forty five million people currently are doing all or part of their jobs at home. People who work at home suffer from two things, isolation and distraction. Suppose libraries were designed to serve folk who work from home. What might they have? Well for one thing, perhaps day care centers or remote office space, art studios, mini planetariums and recreation centers. I must admit I loved the walk station. A computer with a treadmill attached. With this device you can type away on your computer while you get your twenty minute workout. Libraries could also offer expert series. This is a panel of experts formed to discuss and answer questions on a particular topic. Libraries should be about reaching out to communities and extending influence. Frey suggest using weekly online newsletters to acquaint the community of the library receipts, statistics and upcoming events.

For my second session I choose the Mass Digitization Collaborative. Designed to assist cultural heritage institutions with their digitization needs this initiative was a featured product from the legacy PALINET offices. It provides a service wherein libraries may ship off items to one of several scanning centers and have them digitized at a low cost. The cost of which could not be shared with the audience.

The luncheon speaker, author of Full of Grace, Dorothea Benton Frank shared humorous reflections on how she began her writing career down in Sullivan’s Island South Carolina. After lunch I attended “A Perfect Marriage: Advocacy & Fundraising.” Though the presenters asked for a show of hands of those representing academic libraries, they still choose to focus most of their message to public librarians. I did enjoy hearing 3M’s Dave Pointon, share with the audience their philosophy on service. They believe that the more successful libraries are the more successful 3M will be. The better libraries do in the community where we work and live, the easier it is to improve the quality of life around us and it also increases 3M’s ability to attract and retain a qualified workforce.

The final session of the day was the Lyrasis business meeting where Kate Nevins and others retold the path for SOLINET and PALINET to Lyrasis. They each spoke on the Lyrasis vision, to be more than what they each had been, offering improved library leadership, expansion of digital services, open source, cooperative collection management and re-energizied library operational planning. OCLC conducted a series of studies that showed that regional groups each had varying levels of service and pricing. They concluded that libraries needed more options and direct relationships. As a result of this, OCLC will offer libraries a choice, remain an affiliate of the regional groups such as Lyraris or go directly through OCLC. The first evidence of this new relationship was seen when OCLC dropped the service charge previously instituted by SOLINETfor pricingrelated to cataloging and interlibrary loan. In addition OCLC reduced compensation changes to the networks by almost 70%. The future seems most uncertain for Lyrasis, but if their commitment to member librariesremains at the highest levels and they continue tooffer the local touch, I think they will succeed.

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