I usually do conference ‘theme’ posts and I’m still figuring out what my themes will be (spaces and discovery most likely) but for now I’ll mention a few things from today. Breakfast was hosted by Serials Solutions and included presentations from three libraries using Summon, their discovery service. I know it’s not perfect, but each time I look into it I am more and more impressed. Joe Lucia from Villanova, who has brought Summon results into their Vufind instance, likened the adoption of these services as a deal with the devil that at the moment is necessary. He meant that until libraries can create an open source version of the kind of service that Summon provides, we do a disservice to our users by not seriously considering their benefits. More on this in my theme post, I’m sure.
I attended an interesting but brief session on people using podcasts as an assessment tool in a for-credit information literacy class. They had them do a brief podcast about their research strategies on day two of the class and again on the next to the last day. Then they had them listen back to both and reflect on them. They found that there were some deep learning outcomes that came through via this exercise and I am intrigued by its possibilities for giving us an additional window into our own classes and their benefits.
My presentation today on looking for the tipping point in the QR Code evolution was well attended and well received (or it seemed to be, anyway). Several people tweeted about it and others have stopped me in the hallways to say they enjoyed it so I consider that a success. I find QR Codes a fascinating but a ‘not quite there yet’ tool for libraries not because we aren’t doing cool things with them, but because we don’t yet have a saturation of QR Code users on our campuses. And alas, I don’t think libraries will be the application of QR codes that tip them into general use, but once they tip – I think we have some real opportunities.
I’ll save a great session I attended on renovations in service areas for my space planning theme post and just mention that Raj Patel, our keynote this afternoon, was beyond amazing. Patel is an economist, theorist, advocate, protester and so much more that it is hard to condense what he said into a few sentences. The main theme of his talk was the interdependence that we all know we have but seldom acknowledge. The talk spanned food politics, Cuban agricultural practices, women’s unpaid labor, the REAL price of a hamburger and so much more. I’m hoping they will post it online and we can schedule a staff development activity for those who want to watch it. He’s an amazing thinker and speaker and it will take me a while to absorb all that he discussed.
The evening ended with a lovely reception at the Franklin Institute where we got to see a great Leonardo da Vinci exhibit which astounds and at the same time makes you feel intellectually lazy. We then got to watch a librarian band of musicians play. Tomorrow I spend the morning with Sage looking at their new Sage Research Methods Online products and then some great sessions in the afternoon. More later!