Professional Development

Susan’s ALA Midwinter, Day 1 in San Diego

Sunday, January 9, 2011 2:01 pm

San Diego Convention Center

San Diego Convention Center

After arriving in San Diego in late afternoon Friday, I jumped right into conference mode first thing Saturday morning. Roz and I attended a Serials Solution breakfast and heard a very interesting talk by Carol Tenopir about “Beyond Topic: How Readers Choose What Articles to Read.” Roz did an admirable job explaining the context of the talk, so I won’t repeat here, but I’ve linked to what looks like a very similar slide presentation of the topic by Carol.

My focus for the day was distance learning. Since offering support to online education students will be new for ZSR Library and I’m chairing the work group to formulate a plan, I attended the LITA Distance Learning Interest Group meeting (Lauren P. used to chair this group). It was an informal gathering and there were two of us whose institutions are starting down the path of online education. The experienced people in the group were quite willing to share their expertise. We discussed issues including how to get books to remote students and whether it’s a good practice to have one set of policies for off-campus support and another for on-campus students. The consensus was that it is best to try not to have the “if….., then…..” type of policies (IF you are an online student, THEN this is the policy for document delivery, but IF you are on-campus, THEN…..). It’s becoming much more common that there are blended models of course delivery and an on-campus student might well take an online class as part of their overall program. Users shouldn’t have to figure out which services they are eligible for.

My second free meal of the day was courtesy of Ebsco and we got to see a comparison (from Ebsco’s view) of the value of their discovery product compared to Serials Solution’s Summon product. It ran a bit long, cutting into the next session time period, and when I rushed to the next hotel to arrive late, the sun came out. I did a U-turn and took a bicycle tour break to see the city up close and quickly :-) Following this much needed mental health break, I dove right into an evening of social networking (the face-to-face kind). I attended the Distance Learning Section reception and the University Libraries Section social prior to attending a dinner with my Top Tech Trends Committee members and panel speakers. It was most helpful to have a chance to meet with several distance learning librarians to exchange ideas and business cards. As we proceed to develop our plans to support the new counseling program, I expect to turn to these folks for input and feedback!

Today will be one focused on LITA and Top Tech Trends, so look for another report later today!

One Response to “Susan’s ALA Midwinter, Day 1 in San Diego”

  1. Good round up, Susan. One thing to note in the “if-then” scenario, (which I also believe we should shy away from) is that not only do the students have a harder time figuring out what services they qualify for, the staff who deliver the service also have a harder time figuring out what each student qualifies for. I think its a much better idea to let them all qualify and gear your services accordingly.


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