Professional Development

During December 2009...

NISO Webinar on ONIX-PL

Monday, December 21, 2009 1:09 pm

On Dec. 9, 2009, Lauren C., Carol, Chris, Erik, Jean-Paul, and I viewed a webinar, sponsored by NISO, on the ONIX-PL standard. (Special thanks to Chris for his work in getting audio set up when the initial plan failed.)

What is ONIX-PL? Well, I’m glad you asked!

ONIX-PL is a fairly new standard for encoding e-resource license terms. It is a communication standard; that is, its purpose is to enable libraries, publishers, and vendors to express e-resource license terms in machine-readable format. This would allow terms to be shared between different computer systems, such as being loaded into electronic resource management systems (ERMS) and being more easily shared among library staff as well as patrons.

Webinar presenters were Rick Burke, Exec. Director of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium; Wilma Mossink, Legal Adviser for the SURF Foundation, a higher-ed organization in the Netherlands; and Mark Bide, Exec. Dir. of EDItEUR (ONIX-PL is a joint project of NISO and EDItEUR). Burke spoke about a pilot project his consortium is working on with EDItEUR to develop and open-source ONIX-PL editor to help map license terms into an ERMS. Mossink spoke of the potential of ONIX-PL to help member libraries more easily access e-resource permissions, e.g. whether a particular resource can be used in course packs. She also stressed the importance of asking publishers and ERMS vendors to support the ONIX-PL standard. Bide spoke about a current project, in collaboration with JISC in the UK, to develop a Registry of electronic licenses that would, for example, allow an end-user to click on a link to see a pop-up window of specific license permissions/restrictions. Of course there are some significant challenges to be overcome before this will work smoothly, but the potential is exciting.

Slides from the webinar are available at http://www.niso.org/news/events/2009/onixpl09/onixpl09.pdf.

TRLN Instruction Group Meeting

Thursday, December 17, 2009 10:27 am

Yesterday I went to Duke for the inaugural meeting of the TRLN Instruction Group. The TRLN is the Triangle Research Libraries Network, comprised of Duke, Central, NCSU, and UNC. However, the organizer of this meeting invited several folks from other libraries including UNCG, Guilford, and here, making it something she referred to as “TRLN Plus.” At the end of the meeting everyone agreed that the group was a good one and discussed possible names for the Triangle/Triad group rather than affiliating with TRLN. I think that this meeting fits very well with the informal WFU/UNCG/NCSU meetings we’ve had a few times, and perhaps the two groups could be combined into one.

Tomorrow you’ll hear all about the WFU/UNCG/NCSU meeting, so this post will focus on yesterday’s meeting.

The Lilly Library at Duke hosted the event, providing refreshments as people arrived and a place to meet and network. I saw several familiar faces from the North Carolina library instruction world, including our friends at UNCG, some folks I’ve met along the way at Duke, someone that I know from Twitter, and another person who I should have known given that she and I were at NCSU running in the same circles at the same time!

The main event of the day was a one hour presentation by NCSU on their “back story” tutorial project. You can see their tutorials on their website or YouTube channel. This project has been going on for a little while, I think I first heard about it at MERLOT, but has been in the works long enough now that there are several tutorials available for use.

Their take has been about as different from ours as you would expect, given that their institution is so different from ours. Whereas we have a lot of face-to-face contact, and place high value on classroom interaction, there is no way that the NCSU libraries could have the same level of face-to-face contact and classroom interaction based on size of the institution alone. So where our tutorials are being built to deal with technical issues to free up our instruction time to do the critical thinking, NCSU creates tutorials to focus on the critical thinking since they know they won’t be able to cover that content with all students.

NCSU also puts a lot of time, energy, and resources into each tutorial, whereas ours are created inexpensively and quickly. There are certainly arguments for both, but in the case of their tutorials, which focus on longer term issues that aren’t likely to change, it makes sense to invest more energy into making something that will be useful for years. Ours focus on tools and resources that change fairly quickly (for example, we need to redo all our toolkit tools on the catalog already), so we have to use a quick and dirty method to produce them in quantity.

NCSU’s tutorials focus on the “back story” of information: how peer review works, what a literature review is, how Wikipedia works, the anatomy of a scholarly article, etc. (Does this sound to anyone else like a lot of what gets covered in Lib100?) One of the particularly lovely things about the tutorials is that they are about concepts that apply to all libraries, regardless of what vendors you use or products you provide. So NCSU is intentionally creating them to be unbranded so that anyone could include them in their teaching. (Hint, hint, you could embed these in Lib100!) A lot of work and energy goes into the creation of their tutorials, so they’d like to see them be useful to a lot of people.

The NCSU back story project has been up and running long enough now to begin thinking about marketing and assessment, so that’s where some of the future work lies. I, for one, am very excited about their project, and can’t wait to see what they do next!

Sun Webinar – DuraCloud pilot project report

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 2:48 pm

Today Wanda, Barry, Molly (K), Leslie, JP, Tim, and Erik attended a webinar offered through Sun Microsystems on the DuraCloud system. The presentation included Michele Kimpton, Martin Kalfatovic, Barbara Taranto, and Peter Pinch who talked about their beta projects and included a short discussion on how libraries can participate in the DuraCloud pilot program.

The session began with an overview of the experience of the first stage pilot partners. The overview included a discussion of several providers including Amazon, Atmos, Rackspace. While the initial project is focusing on the nuts and bolts of building a cloud-based repository it is also including some interesting open source services include Djakota, Taxon-finder, and Kaltura. For example, Martin talked about the Biodiversity Heritage Library and their experience with the DuraCloud pilot. They were interested in the Taxon-finder service in particular with a focus on making taxonomic literature available. Barbara talked about how their perspective on the pilot included developing a cost comparison model, examine data transfer, management, and transfer. Barbara reported on the migration from the jpeg standard to djakota JPEG 2000 image files. Peter talked about the efforts of WGBH (which completely rocks in general) to digitize archives during the pilot project. The are experimenting with Kaltura player for streaming and are looking at preservation services.

In the late spring the DuraCloud project will be opened up for other libraries to participate. At the moment they are looking to launch a production service in Q3 2010. Initial pilot partnerships will focus on those running dspace/fedora right now. Many thanks to Barry for setting the webinar up in the screening room!

Women’s Leadership Institute (Finale)

Friday, December 11, 2009 2:44 am

I really enjoyed the Women’s Leadership Institute (and so did this pair of pelicans at Fernandina Beach). What I liked best was talking to women leaders from other professions within higher education – which was the original reason that I wanted to attend the Institute. We all work on the campus but we each have a different perspective on the same mission. It was great getting to know the professional issues in units like Residence Life and Housing, Business Office and Human Resources. When I talk to people in these areas on our campus in the future, I will have a greater appreciation of what is going on with them. Now to a re-cap of the final day:

The morning session was about negotiating during hiring – from both sides of the process. The speaker was a partner in an executive search firm and was very no-nonsense. She spoke only a little on the resume/phone/interview stages of the process and spent more time on actual negotiations, which was very useful. She emphasized things like doing homework on competing market conditions, both for salary and for other conditions of employment, who should name the first salary figure, walkaway points on either side, etc. She also gave tips for the “on-boarding” experience, that is making the transition to the new job, learning the culture, how the search committee can be a resource for the new hire, and how to spend the first few months learning both the expressed and ‘stealth’ mandates in any job. This was a very useful session in a tactical way that you don’t usually get in a conference presentation.

The afternoon session was on decision-making. Since models have been de rigeur in this Institute, we all went through an exercise to determine our style of decision-making: Decisive, Hierarchic, Flexible or Integrative. I came out to be “Flexible,” meaning being able to quickly sift through options to determine the proper course of action. I thought maybe I should strive to be more ” Integrative,” meaning framing things broadly and involving others in an evolving course of action, but lo and behold the facilitator said that the most successful (and highly paid) CEO’s were found to have a predominantly Flexible style so that made me feel better, as I have been told by some in my family that i tend to make “snap” judgments. Now I can point to empirical evidence to show that is a highly desirable trait!

After another wellness break when I made friends with Pete and Patricia Pelican, the last evening session was about the effects of the current recession on higher education. In addition to the global economic collapse, the following trends in higher education were also noted: growth in digital students, price-cost-productivity squeeze, new paradigm competitors, globalization and evolving social contact networks. Strategies for dealing with the crisis include bridging (getting by from here to there), the now-famous “don’t waste a good crisis (by taking on sacred cows), and the most aggressive “through cycle” which is a strategic shift in resources to new priorities. At Wake Forest, we have been taking a fairly aggressive approach.

I had to leave very early Wednesday morning to get to my Lyrasis Board meeting in Atlanta so I missed the final closing ceremonies. All in all, it was a great experience that I highly recommend!

Webinar on Provider Neutral eBook Records

Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:37 pm

This afternoon, Carolyn, Patty, Lauren C. and I viewed an OCLC webinar on provider neutral eBook records. Many of you are probably asking, what are provider neutral eBook records? Well, currently, catalog records for eBooks specify which provider or publisher has created a given “copy” of an eBook. If the same book is published in electronic form by multiple providers, there is a different record for each provider, because each version is considered a different edition. As you can imagine, this causes a proliferation of records for what is essentially only one book, and creates a good deal of confusion for catalogers, not to mention patrons. So, in order to simplify this process, OCLC advocates creating eBook records that are “neutral” (that is, provide no information) about the provider. In January, OCLC will begin running a series of macros to convert their eBook bib records to the provider-neutral style, which will be followed by clean-up projects to convert those records that are not fixed by the macros. OCLC also plans to begin aggressively deleting duplicate records for eBooks from their database, in order to keep a clean, single, neutral record for every eBook title. The session ended with the presentation of two helpful links, one for a pdf of the OCLC report on provider neutral records that came out in July, and the other for a pdf of guide to creating provider neutral records. If you have any questions, or just like to be bored silly by cataloging talk, feel free to ask me about this webinar.

Women’s Leadership Institute (Monday)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 10:14 pm

OK, did I mention that the Women’s Leadership Institute is being held on Amelia Island, FL? What a lovely location. The weather has not been much better than at home, but the ocean view cures many ills. This conference has a “work-life balance” subtheme to it, so the sessions have been deliberately scheduled to leave time for walks on the beach, fitness, spa-time or shopping for those inclined. To make up for it, sessions are scheduled every night from 7-9 pm. I will admit that my German-Lutheran Midwestern work ethic barks back at me and it is hard for me to relax. I guess I have a lot to learn. I did take a short walk on the beach Sunday and a longer walk Monday, mostly because I am in training to walk the Kiawah half-marathon, along with a number of fellow ZSR Wake-OBXers. (If you don’t know what that means, ask Susan, who started the group.)

For Monday’s first concurrent session, I chose Mentoring and Coaching with Kathryn Deiss. She is from ACRL and I have heard her speak before. I was not disappointed. I did not really have a mentor in my career, but I would like to do a better job at both mentoring and coaching others, here at ZSR and elsewhere. Her first point was it’s not about you (the mentor), it’s about them (the mentee/protegee). (Sounds familiar, eh wot?) The difference between the two is that coaching is about improving performance with a short-term specific perspective. Mentoring is about tapping aspirations from a longer-term broad perspective. Mentors bring experience-based wisdom to the relationship, and it is entirely possible for a younger person with experience-based wisdom to coach an older person. Technology is a common example here. This was an excellent session and was one of the most highly rated at the Institute.

The second concurrent session was about Power and Influence – heady stuff. Power is the potential of an individual to influence another individual or group. Influence is the exercise of power to change the behavior, attitudes or values of that individual or group. As you might guess, but with notable exceptions, women have been historically reluctant to seize power and exert influence. In higher education, only 23% of positional leaders (college/university presidents) are women. Happily, the numbers are growing. Two powerful women presidents that I admire are Mary Sue Coleman from the University of Michigan and Amy Guttman at the University of Pennsylvania. We talked about Bolmen and Deal’s model of frames (they do this at the Harvard Leadership Institutes also). I came out high on the Political/Symbolic/Structural frames and relatively low on the Human Resources frame (hopefully that does not make me a bad person). We also covered unconscious derailers that often sabotage women seeking power and influence. These include familiar things like letting others speak first, needing to be liked, avoiding confrontation, apologizing, asking permission, smiling inappropriately, and on and on. We concluded by identifying action items to implement when we returned home. So look out world!

The final session of the evening was a discusison of our personal StrengthsQuest profiles. Many others at the Institute were familiar with it and had taken it before but this was the first I had ever heard of it. it is sort of like Myers-Briggs, but goes beyond personality typing (I am INTJ, as if you couldn’t guess) and speaks to building on personal strengths. The thing I liked best about this approach was the idea that you get much better results by focusing on a person’s strengths than by trying to correct their weaknesses. The facilitator said you really don’t get very far by marginally improving weaknesses, but you can get someone to soar from good to great by focusing on strengths. That made a lot of sense to me after 33 years in the library business. There are 34 themes in the StrengthsQuest program and my top five are…drum roll…Achiever, Relator, Responsibility, Strategic, and Learner. Leaders do well to intentionally surround themselves with direct reports who complement their strengths with other strengths, which I also thought made a lot of sense. I might investigate bringing this program to ZSR and using it in goal setting as it made a big impression on me.

MarcEdit

Monday, December 7, 2009 10:45 am

On November 13 I traveled to Cleveland, OH to attend a seminar on a batch marc editing tool called Marceditor. This was a unique and rare opportunity for me, as the creator of the software was coming to discuss the software. Upon arriving in Cleveland, I walked in to a packed room where they were setting up more tables as people walked in as it was so well attended. The first speaker was Roman Panchyshyn, cataloging librarian associate professor from Kent State University. He discussed different snatch and grab tools for uploading batch records in order to meet the needs of our patrons faster.

The main reason when I went was to be able to hear the creator of Marceditor, Terry Reese from Oregon State University to discuss the best practices to use his software. There was also a large portion of time devoted to questions which I had quite a few before even leaving Winston-Salem. Upon arriving and getting into the training the first thing I found out was that Terry Reese was ready to release a new version of Marceditor. He then went through all the new features of the upgrade and many of my questions and frustrations were addressed with the new version. They also announced a new listserv community for support and help from those who use the program. We were then given some hands on exercises so if we ran into problems we had the expert there to help us. We were given about an hour for questions.

If you would like the handouts or more information please let me know I would be happy to pass them along.

Women’s Leadership Institute (Sunday)

Monday, December 7, 2009 12:32 am

Last December I was signed up to attend the Women’s Leadership Institute, co-sponsored by ACRL, and couldn’t go at the last minute because my mom got sick. Fortunately, the Institute leaders and hotel staff were very cooperative and let me attend this year instead with no penalty. The reason I wanted to attend was because it is for women in different fields within higher education. Of the 95 women here, 19 are academic librarians and the others are from areas such as Housing, Student Life, Health and Wellness, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, etc. I always find it interesting to get a broader perspective on universities so I thought this would be a good thing.

Tonight started well with a presentation on Womenomics by Katty Kay, BBC news correspondent. She has a book out by the same name and we all got signed copies (which I will duly donate when I get back). Her point was that evidence now shows that women are finally being recognized for the value they bring to their employers. Studies have shown that companies who employ women in senior positions bring in significantly more profits. Since women also control the vast majority of retail spending, companies are beginning to realize that they need to employ and retain more women to remain viable. In order to keep women happy and productive in their work, companies have found it worthwhile to grant more flexibility in schedules for both men and women. It was a good way to begin the program.

Tomorrow: more sessions, wellness, and meeting more people.

Lynn


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