In April, Aaron Marshall, who is working with the Communications and External Relations Department at Wake Forest, spoke to my Lib100 students about using RSS feeds to manage your content from the web! He allowed me to video his presentation and post it on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/12059730 If you are interested in learning more about RSS feeds or his approach to teaching RSS to students, check out the video! He references two Common Craft videos for which I give the URLs in the video, but due to copyright could not include in the video! (Common Craft three-minute videos help educators and influencers introduce complex subjects and I would encourage everyone to check them out if you don’t already)
During May 2010...
I attended the 7th Annual Paraprofessional Conference at ECU on Thursday and Friday, May 13 and 14, 2010. Chris Turner, Staff Development and Training Coordinator, Dept. of HR, ECU, warmed us up with communication calisthenics as we performed the partial art of verbal judo. Like Judo itself, it uses the energy of others to master situations, generate cooperation and gain voluntary compliance under stressful situations. The positive energy you put in will give a positive result. Remain calm but don’t respond “calm down!” Don’t take it personal and you will be able to diffuse the patron’s ego. These and other techniques help to enhance safety, lessen stress at work and home, and decrease patron complaints to name a few benefits.
On Friday, the keynote address delivered by Christopher Harris, Coordinator of the School Library System for Genesee Valley BOCES was “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Libraries.” The traditional library was a sacred secular place of quiet patrons. It resisted any activity that interrupted the quiet enjoyment of another patron. We need culture as well as knowledge and libraries should do away with unnecessary restrictions. He suggested that today’s library should accept the zombies (digital natives) and use pop culture references to make the library an easier connection. We should learn the memes (LOLCats, Fail, etc.) and see how they apply in the library. To support his stance he provided research from Scott Nicholson at Syracuse University suggests about 75% of libraries already support gaming. We should not dissolve but evolve and embrace the net gens changing interests and media access methods, including gaming, e-books and more.
The first session I attended Advocacy on the Frontlines: Making a Difference from Where You Sit led by Eleanor Cook, Assistant Director, Collections & Technical Services J.Y. Joyner Library, ECU. The message was simple: articulate the value of the library to the community and of yourself as an employee of the library.
The second session led by NC State University Library Technicians Erin Pons and John Pommerich titled Scoping, Shepherding, and Pacing at the Service Desk: Next-Level Customer Service Strategies for Library Patron Across Generations. It was interactive using discussion and role-playing to demonstrate Scoping (being aware of your particular users’ needs), Shepherding (guiding patrons with digital media) and Pacing (keeping pace with media access to knowledge). When a patron’s perspective becomes evident through active listening, library staffs use these strategies to maximize patron satisfaction.
The third session led by Kathleen Grau, MBA titled Social Networking and Your Career covered the do’s and don’ts of using Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter. Be careful what you post and who you accept as friends because recruiters are being more persnickety in their employee selections, and they are using unconventional methods of candidate evaluation.
And the fourth session led by Maliha Farhadi, Library Technical Assistant Teaching Resources Center, J.Y. Joyner Library, ECU titled Diversity Awareness Makes Life Interesting was informative. We examined our own cultural identity and learned how that identity affects our relationship with others. Using name association role play we became aware of our own attitudes, perceptions, and feelings about various aspects of diversity while making a commitment to increase our understanding and knowledge of others.
Overall the Conference was informative and raised my awareness in digital media, social networking, quality customer service and cultural diversity.
On Wednesday and Thursday, May 12th and 13th, I participated in an online workshop, sponsored by Lyrasis, on “Interactive Information Literacy Teaching Methods”. The presenter was Russell Palmer, who while at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, developed and managed the library’s information literacy program. This four-hour workshop (two hours a day, over two days)
The workshop focused on developing teaching methods and strategies that would engage students and facilitate learning. I was pleased to discover that many issues and methods he touched on in the workshop were topics we had covered in our “Teaching Teaching” workshops led by Lauren and Roz!
Palmer began with the “coke can” example where the instructor shows an image of a coke can and ask the students to lists all the terms that describe it. This is an excellent exercise Roz taught me many years ago the helps students learn about “controlled vocabulary”. Palmer mentioned that many of his examples and methods came from presentations at LOEX. For anyone not familiar with LOEX, it is a self-supporting, non-profit educational clearinghouse for library instruction and information literacy information. (I’ll be adding LOEX to my list of potential conferences for presentation proposals based on Roz’s and Russell Palmer’s recommendations of the event.)
We discussed the value of students doing exercises that engaged them, got them moving and kept them thinking. There were some great examples of teaching tools in the workshop that can be found at the delicious links below.
Some of the cool strategies discussed included, SQ3R, a reading strategy formed from its letters: Survey! Question! Read! Recite! Review! SQ3R will help students build a framework for understanding reading assignments. We also discussed the use of games, assignment calculators, and exercises that involve peer teaching.
Day Two focused on engaging the students by letting them “drive” by using techniques like Problem Based Learning and a Constructivist approach to teaching and learning. This was an excellent workshop at just the right time for me. Having just finished teaching Lib100 this semester it is fresh on my mind and I’ll be revamping my course in the coming weeks for next Fall, using some of the techniques I learned in this workshop!
Earlier today, Erik, Sarah, and I took a quick jaunt to the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to participate in the NC LITe Group Meeting/mini-conference, a gathering of Library Instruction and Technology professionals from other schools in the state. We joined representatives from UNCG, UNC-CH, NCSU, Guilford College, and Appalachian State in discussing current and future trends in Library technology, instruction, and the vast gray area in-between, as well as a little networking between the libraries at each of these institutions.
The first part of the meeting was dedicated to a quick, round-the-room discussion of new happenings among the participating libraries, ranging from our talk of E-books and the opening of ZSR space to The Bridge and The Writing Center, emerging technology initiatives at UNC-CH and NCSU, and even the “Library Adventure Game” developed in house at App. State. We then voted on topics to discuss in smaller, “breakout” sessions drawn from topics each group had submitted earlier.
I personally attended the sections on Ebooks, E-pub, and in-house production as well as Training methods for Librarians. The Ebook section was submitted by ZSR. Erik led the discussion where we shared our experiences in working with the Epub format on the Cuala Irish Greeting Cards Catalog a few months back. The highlight of this talk was showing the Ebook on Erik’s borrowed iPad, and the discussion of the device and other E-Book readers and their future. It was interesting to see that peer institutions were also making moves to obtain new technologies, like the iPad, for patron circulation.
The Training methods discussion focused mainly around the idea of quick, easily digestible video content made available to the public 24/7, taking inspiration from Lauren P.’s Toolkit videos. We discussed how online content related to in-person training, the materials that training was requested for, and its changes over time. For instance, UNCG still has a high demand for basic computer skill training and competencies, such as Microsoft Office applications, while at Wake we have found that students are more interested in software for specific goals in research and collaboration.
After this second breakout, the group as a whole reconvened and discussed all of the breakout topics broadly, relaying to those who did not attend the basic gist of the conversation. It seemed like each session would have been interesting to attend.
2010 NC Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU),
Purchasing Committee Meeting, May 13
by Lauren Corbett
Carol and I attended only 1 of the 2 days of the Purchasing Committee meeting at Meredith College in Raleigh. Georgia Williams of Chowan University was Chair for 2010. Georgia thoughtfully broke with the tradition of being the host and arranged for the central location in consideration of travel costs for participants.
- INTEGRATED SEARCH SYSTEMS On the day that Carol and I were not present, the group looked at demonstrations of integrated search systems from Ex Libris (Primo), Serials Solutions (Summon), and EBSCO (Discovery). We heard comments about how expensive these systems are and it seems that most of the NCICU members are taking the same approach as we did — wait and see.
- NC LIVE Jill Robinson Morris gave an NC Live update. Foci for the past year were: 1) content, 2) access and integration, 3) awareness. NC Live will be dealing with about an $85,000 cut in budget next year. As a sidebar to this presentation, Lauren learned that NC Live “governance” is 4 Committees of Interest (COIs): 1) NCICU, 2) state universities, 3) community colleges, and 4) public libraries through the State Library. K-12 is not represented because they don’t have a formal, single, centralized body to represent them. Kathy Winslow is the representative to the Resources Committee for NCICU.
- SERIALS ASSESSMENT Carol enlivened her presentation on Serials Assessment, covering our cancellation project and weeding guidelines, by using humorous pictures to illustrate her points. She had the audience laughing about every 5 minutes. For example, her first slide was one of storm trooper action figures (Star Wars) killing Cheerios. (Serials cancellation is a killing action, n’est-ce pas?) Near the end of the day, Georgia used an index card process where each attendee recorded one great thing from the day and only items with unexpected benefits beyond the agenda were selected to be read aloud. Carol’s presentation was mentioned twice!
- COPYRIGHT Kevin Smith, a lawyer and Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University gave a presentation on copyright, most of which was very familiar since he spent quite a bit of time on the TEACH Act, but a particularly useful tidbit that was new to me and Carol was that while it is illegal for a French professor to circumvent DRM on DVDs to assemble a collection of film clips for a course, a new small exception allows a film studies professor to do this with films _from the Department’s collection_ (but not the library’s collection). Kevin concluded with a plug for librarians to play a role in getting professors to stop giving away their copyright.
Discussion in the business meeting at the end of the day concluded that the May meeting is the best opportunity for members to share questions and answers surrounding issues in libraries and that they wish to continue in this vein instead of limiting to the historical action agenda. Several members agreed that it is important to have a theme for the meeting so that each institution can send the appropriate representation for both learning and knowledge contribution. For example, if ILL is to be covered or reference desk services, Lauren would not be the most appropriate representative from WFU.
However, for May 2011, the plan is to have three e-book vendors present a proposal for consortial purchasing. David Brydon of High Point University is the Committee Chair for 2011 and will be hosting the meeting at his institution. Mary Roby of Gardner-Webb University was elected as Vice Chair/Chair Elect.
As part of the first Preservation Week (May 9-15) I attended a webinar hosted by the ALCTS (Association for Library Collections and Technical Services) Section of ALA. Preservation Week was held by ALA to encourage preserving personal, family and community collections. The title of this webinar was: Archival 101: Dealing with Suppliers of Archival Products.
Peter Verheyen, Head of Preservation and Conservation, at Syracuse University presented this workshop. Peter runs The Bonefolder, an online book arts journal and The Book Arts Web, an online resource for bookbinders and book artists. He spent time discussing ambiguous terms such as ‘archival’ and ‘acid-free.’ Verheyn says that “archival” is a hard to define term- it refers to the materials, the adhesive and the binding structure of a book. However, it is largely a marketing term. It can refer to almost any paper material. The primary issues in paper preservation are poor environment, poor storage methods, rough handling that leads to damage, disaster preparedness issues and the quality of the artifacts themselves. To solve these preservation issues, proper storage (binders, enclosures, boxes, etc.), the proper environment and proper repairs help materials last. One of the most common terms is “acid-free.” This means the paper and board has a near neutral pH level. In addition to using acid-free materials, boxes protect materials from light and dust and from handling damage. Buffered materials have an agent in them with keeps them near pH neutral (7.0). These materials will eventually absorb acid from air and dust and will become acidic over time. Lignin is a part of plant material used to make paper. Lignin is what accelerates the aging of newsprint and some other paper materials and makes them acidic. Lignin should be avoided in paper based materials.
Tapes and Glue Sticks should be avoided. Use Filmoplast tape if you have to-it has a buffered paper carrier and an acrylic adhesive and is pH neutral. Archival photo corners or strips are preferable to tapes.
How long will objects last in archival containers? This is a hard question to answer. Most archival materials are made to last 500 years. Handling and environmental conditions apply to the longevity of materials. PAT-The Photo Activity Test is performed on many materials to see if it is safe to use with photographs. This is one way to judge materials that can help when selecting enclosures. Why are these materials so expensive? Archival materials cost more to produce because there is a higher/purer grade of raw materials used to make them. Market forces also affect cost of archival materials. Some archival materials are now cheaper because they have entered the mainstream, such as copier paper (now acid free).
Many vendors have practical guides to help when purchasing archival materials (Gaylord, University products). When purchasing archival materials, compare prices for like items. Be flexible and combine products to get a creative result that meets your needs. Customer service departments at vendors can help answer preservation questions. In addition to Vendor Guides and Customer Service, one can always consult with Lyrasis.
Giz and I were invited to submit a presentation proposal for the LAUNC-CH Research Forum that was held on May 5, 2010 at UNC-Chapel Hill. LAUNCH-CH is the Librarians’ Association of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The afternoon event consisted of several poster sessions and 3 “paper presentations.” Giz and I talked about our current collaboration with Forsyth County Public Library to educate local non-profit organizations and county citizens about how to preserve, organize, describe and make accessible their cultural heritage materials. This project was made possible through an LSTA Outreach Services Grant.
We enjoyed telling the audience about our project, and, on a personal note, it was great to be on the podium once again with Giz! He is always an energetic speaker and we both thought the audience showed interest in the project! We did our visuals in Prezi, which you can see below: