Professional Development

During March 2012...

Barry’s Trip to Cisco

Thursday, March 29, 2012 1:01 pm

Last week I had the pleasure of taking a trip down to Cisco’s business center in the Research Triangle Park, along with several other staff members from across WFU’s campus. It was here that I sat in on several presentations of new technologies that Cisco is preparing and discussed how they could be useful at Wake and ZSR. I also had the opportunity of seeing several of their web conferencing technologies at work, such as using one of the “Full Immersion” rooms to video conference with Cisco employees across the country. Some parts will be a bit vague, as some of the information we were told regards future plans for Cisco products that they asked us not to discuss outside.

We began the day with a demo of Cisco Business Video Demo Center, ran by a Cisco employee in California. This was basically a showcase as to how Cisco can inter-operate a number of their technologies. For example, our presenter took a video of his screens showing our WFU group across three separate rooms with a Flip Cam, uploaded it to one of Cisco’s media servers that compiled the video, added titles, and then played back the video for us on the web within 15 minutes. It was an impressive demo, though a bit imposing and seemed unlikely to work as well without Cisco expertise on hand. They did touch on digital signage from Cisco which was a major interest to me, but didn’t go into great detail. The focused more on their ability to take data and push to their signs automatically than particulars of the signs themselves, which was disappointing. We were also running behind so the presenter had to hurry through things, so that may have had something to do with my feelings as well.

We then moved on to a “Casual Conversation” with Lance Ford, a Cisco Business Development Manager who works a great deal with educators using Telepresense tools in their teaching. This was a fun presentation with some interesting views on web teaching. After this talk we had a conference with a Webex engineer discussing the next step in the Webex program, which Wake will be a part of. A major topic of discussion in this and throughout the day was Webex integration with Google, specifically calendar functionality.

Cisco save the new, shiny stuff for after lunch though. We were given a demo of Cicso’s QUAD platform, basically a business version of Facebook. Instead of emails or shared google docs, you sign into QUAD and make posts. You then follow particular posts or invite others to edit them or attach documents. An interesting idea, but not one that I would see as particularly relevant in our environment. At least the consensus in the car I rode home in is that we didn’t need another social network to keep track of. We then saw a presentation on Cisco Jabber, which is a telephone/messaging solution Cisco is offering. What is really nice about it is its future integration with webex, so you can be on the phone on your handset and switch over to a webex meeting when needed. This would also allow for individual computers to communicate with larger telepresence and webex clients, making our awesome new setup in 204 even more useful. Finally we were given a presentation on Show and Share, Cisco’s video solution. It offers a media service that can transcode video, add titles, etc. to it, transcribe the video and map out specific topics of interest, tag it, and put it in a “youtube-like” interface basically with one box. It is designed to be a Youtube for the business world, which once again is cool but not something that would necessarily fit within the Library. And for me, it doesn’t really seem to do enough different from Youtube.

All in all it was an enjoyable trip. It was interesting to see where Cisco is going, especially with Wake becoming closer and closer with the company. It was also interesting to listen to some of the priorities of the ranking members if IS when it comes to those technologies.

Paper Mending Workshop @ Etherington Conservation Center

Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:00 pm


On Wednesday, March 28th, I was fortunate to travel to the Etheington Conserevation Center and attend a paper mending workshop sponsored as part of the Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA) Annual Conference at UNCG. The workshop was taught by Director of Conservation, Michael Lee, who is a trained conservator with a specialty in paper and photographic conservation, and who worked at the Northeast Document Conservation Centeer for 12 years prior to coming to ECC.


Michael first discussed the history of Japanese paper making and the characteristics of various types of Japanese paper which use fibers from natural plants including kozo and gampi. Farmers across Japan still make unique papers from plants harvested on their farms. Each winter, when the farmers are not able to farm, they harvest, steam, beat, and form papers sheets from plants that grow on their land. This paper is, quite frankly, the best in the world. These papers have unique qualities of strength and softness, and are made in a variety of thicknesses, which make them excellent choices for repairs to books, documents, maps, etc.


Michael then demonstrated various techniques for tearing Japanese paper for repairs using several tools: a bone folder, watercolor brush and even his tongue. We all got the chance to practice on repairing mends ourselves using severeal different adhesives: wheat and rice starch paste, methyl cellulose and a premixed wheat starch paste.

This allowed us to see how various adhesives worked.


The staff at ECC also demonstrated paste making the traditional way by cooking and straining wheat starch.


We were also treated to paste making using a microwave.


We all learned so much about the proper paper and paste to use for mending, as well as seeing real life applications of the mending in the ECC lab. This work included historic maps from the US and UK, as well as, Audubon prints. This was a great workshop and I have to thank SNCA for sponsoring it and letting me into it at the last minute! It is extremely hard to find this kind of training in my field, and so I am very appreciative to be able to attend such a good workshop taught by Michale Lee, a top professional in conservation and a good teacher with a cerebral side that is wonderful to experience.


Ellen M. at 2012 ILLiad International Conference

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Braving a hail storm on our way, Anna Dulin and I attended the 2012 ILLiad International Conference in Virginia Beach, VA on Thursday, March 22 and Friday, March 23. The conference is held by Atlas Systems, the company responsible for ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery) and Ares (Course Reserves). This was their 15th anniversary so Wednesday evening there was a Birthday Bash complete with a conga line of librarians. (No worries about stray pictures on Facebook or Flickr, we abstained.)

On Thursday morning, the keynote speaker was Jay Jordon, President and CEO of OCLC. He has been president since 1998 and gave an overview of the history of the growth of OCLC. I myself started working in ILL in 1999 so I could relate to the stages of development and how the OCLC interface has changed. On the subject of change, he gave examples of corporations that were not able to quickly adapt such as Kodak and Polaroid. He spoke about taking risks and quoted Wayne Gretzky saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Citing the book, “The Age of the Platform” by Phil Simon, Mr. Jordon introduced OCLC’s next big venture, the WorldShare Platfom. The book tells how Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple have entered into partnerships with companies that could be perceived as competitors. Mr. Jordan described the concept as coopetition. The WorldShare Platform will incorporate an “App Gallery” of applications built by OCLC, libraries and OCLC partners (EBSCO, Ex Libris, Google Books, etc.) with the web services, databases and infrastructure of OCLC. Overall, it was an interesting perspective of where Mr. Jordan plans to take OCLC.

Next, I attended a session about the development of Harvard’s electronic document delivery program, “Scan & Deliver”. Because Harvard has so many libraries, they decided to create a program that would provide scanned articles and chapters to their patrons rather than sending books between libraries. Requests are placed through a “Scan & Deliver” link that appears in their combined OPAC next to eligible items. (Eligible items would include those items not checked out and not on hold for course reserves.) Clicking on the link opens a pre-populated form that is then sent to the appropriate library through ILLiad. They use the borrowing feature in ILLiad as opposed to document delivery because each Harvard library has its own OCLC symbol. The article/chapter is then delivered directly to their patron via e-mail. While many of the features of this program are similar to what we do here at ZSR the main differences are that the link is located right next to the item so the correlation and option is obvious, the service is available to students as well as faculty and staff, and they do not charge for the service.

After lunch we attended, “Taking Cloud-based Delivery to New Heights: The future of delivery from OCLC,” which was presented by Katie Birch who oversees WorldCat Resource Sharing at OCLC. Following up on the keynote presentation and with Jay Jordan in the audience, Ms. Birch solicited ideas for the WorldShare Platform App Gallery. There were many “wish-list” suggestions. One of the apps that has already been submitted maps the location of a book in your stacks guiding you there with a line to show the path to take. Another one compares your library holdings to the NY Times Best Seller List and then creates an Amazon order for missing books. It was an interesting glimpse of the possibilities of the App Gallery.

The last session I attended was, “Juggling the 3-Ring Circus of Student Employees”. Dianne Davenport of Brigham Young University spoke about her experience supervising student employees in an ILL department. While much of the advice was common sense it was good to be reminded that taking extra time to train the students well, ultimately saves time. She recommended 3 “main ingredients” to having effective student employees. 1) Quality training. 2) Feeling empowered. 3) Supervisor follow up.

On Friday we had the privilege of presenting a program outlining the communication efforts between Interlibrary Loan and Special Collections & Archives here at ZSR. Our program was entitled, Preserving and Sharing: Bridging the Gap Between ILL and Special Collections. We were pleased with the audience engagement and hope our presentation was an encouragement to other ILL departments.

Anna at 2012 ILLiad International Conference

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:06 pm

From Thursday, March 22nd through Friday, March 23rd, Ellen Makaravage and I attended the ILLiad International Conference in Virginia Beach, VA. Jay Jordan, President and CEO of OCLC, was the keynote speaker for Thursday’s kickoff session (since Ellen will discuss his presentation in detail, I’ll say only that his goals for expanding WorldCat will revolutionize the way we search for and discover materials). Following his presentation, I ventured to “Fear and Trepidation: Entering the World of Campus Delivery for Graduate Students.” Collette Mak, of Notre Dame University libraries, facilitated the session, which focused on Notre Dame’s expansion of DocDel services to grad students. Although Notre Dame Libraries do not provide book chapter delivery services to grad students, they do deliver physical books and scan and deliver articles; physical items are delivered to the departmental library closest to the student (as opposed to their own departmental library). Since implementing the service, DocDel requests have increased by approximately 13,000 (including book and article delivery).

Pay-Per-View for article requests was a trending topic of this ILLiad conference; ILL departments are using PPV to provide on-demand access to articles (and eBook chapters), and although some libraries are relying on this service instead of traditional ILL for articles, others are using PPV when they exceed the Rule of 5. Cost per article, journal and publisher content, and mediated/unmediated options vary by vendor; some vendors offer package plans, where article tokens can cost as low as $12; some vendors offer what I call the “Costco plan”: you get articles for as low as $12, but you have to buy article tokens in bulk (at least 1,500 tokens to get the reduced price). Nathan Hosburgh (Florida Institute of Technology) assessed four of the big PPV vendors: Wiley, SciDirect, IngentaConnect, and Copyright Clearance Center’s “Get It Now.” After mostly working with Wiley in both mediated and unmediated PPV, Hosburgh indicated that Florida Tech will likely migrate to CCC’s “Get It Now,” with mediated PPV.

In a separate panel session, Heather Weltin (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Kristine Mogle (Drake University), and Kelly Smith (Eastern Kentucky University) discussed the pros and cons of CCC’s “Get It Now.” Pros include: “instant” access to articles (depending on mediated/unmediated), access to nearly 10,000 journals, fixed fee per article, and an alternative to paying royalties plus IFM when the Rule of 5 is exceeded. Cons include: cost per article, the need for exact citations/ISSNs in a request (otherwise, a tab in ILLiad won’t appear for ILL staff), and the possibility for duplicate orders and abuse through both mediated and unmediated PPV. Libraries using any of the vendors seemed to prefer mediated access, where all article requests are routed through ILL, matched against the library’s holdings by ILL staff, and then depending on local holdings, either purchased through a vendor or cancelled. The PPV model is beneficial to our patrons in a number of ways; first, access to articles occurs within minutes, as opposed to the days or weeks it could take a request to make its way through a lending string. Second, when we exceed the Rule of 5, ILL won’t pay copyright royalties as well as IFM costs assessed by lending libraries to acquire an article (both can exceed $30). Third, ILL staff aren’t sending requests for electronic journals and materials that, due to licensing agreements, lending libraries can’t send. The downside to all of this is that publishers will probably be less likely to work with libraries in allowing ILL of electronic materials, and libraries may lose all bargaining rights. As a result, ILL could become a purchase-only service, as opposed to a resource sharing service.

On Friday morning, following OCLC’s update and breakfast, Ellen and I presented “Preserving and Sharing: Bridging the Gap between ILL and Special Collections.” We discussed the history of filling ILL requests for Special Collections materials and unveiled our Scan-On-Demand ILLiad Addon, which Kevin Gilbertson created to help us streamline our request process. Our presentation generated a lot of conversation about the challenges both Special Colletions and ILL face in filling these requests. As always, we’re extremely grateful to our Special Collections staff for their willingness to fill so many of the requests we send their way, and for their time in helping to create a more efficient solution for both departments!

Steve at 2012 North Carolina Serials Conference

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:04 pm

On March 16, I attended the 2012 North Carolina Serials Conference at UNC-Chapel Hill, along with a number of folks from ZSR. I’m going to write about one session that really interested me, because I think it’s worth a fairly in-depth recap.
The session in question was the closing keynote address by Kevin Guthrie, who was the first employee of JSTOR (back when it was a one-person operation) and is a co-founder of the non-profit organization ITHAKA. Guthrie’s presentation, “Will Books Be Different?” examined the world of electronic books. He began with a brief history of the transition from print to electronic journals, emphasizing that the process was generally driven by the academic world, in the sense that publishers built their electronic journal models with the academic world as the intended audience for their products. Guthrie points out that the electronic book, particularly the scholarly electronic book, faces a very different set of circumstances. Library budgets in the 2010s are even tighter than they were in the ‘90s and ‘00s. Libraries have to figure out how to do more with fewer resources. At the same time, everyone is connected, and the scale of digital activity supports massive commercial investment by publishers. The academic world is now reacting to publishers, rather than the other way around.
The consumer web is influencing the availability of scholarly electronic books. It is on the consumer web where companies are taking advantage of new network and digital technologies in transformative ways, unlike in the ‘90s when electronic journals were developed. The Google Books Project and its audacity have made it actually seem possible that all books will eventually be digital, which is exciting, but that does not mean that scholarly books will be a priority of digital publishers. Commercial companies are becoming increasingly focused on what gets accessed as opposed to the intrinsic research value of sources. Furthermore, search and discovery capabilities could prove critical to what book content gets supported by e-publishers.
Licensing issues are also different in the world of e-books than with e-journals. At a basic level, libraries tend to want to own books, rather than license or subscribe to them. We have gotten over that tendency with journals, but, for many librarians, books somehow feel qualitatively different. Also, Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies can be difficult to manage. In addition, there is the question of what is the interaction between individual access and institutional access, when dealing with remotely accessible and downloadable e-book content. Consortial purchasing is also complicated by e-books. Historically, library consortia have purchased books to share, rather than each library purchasing their own copy. How do libraries share e-books with each other without violating licensing or access terms? Or, does the pricing model for e-books change such that consortia no longer make sense at all?
We are seeing the development of new versions of the Big Deal, like we have had for e-journals for years. There has been consolidation among publishers, and libraries are being offered access to more content at a package price. However, it is hard to measure good value. Usage statistics are generally far lower for books than for journals. Libraries may buy a big e-book package and have very little use, which can either indicate that the package is not worth it, or the use could justify the costs. We’re still in the early days of e-books, so no real benchmarks for what constitutes substantial use have developed.
Having said all that, despite the complications, libraries are buying more e-books. However, Guthrie argued that libraries are ahead of our users with regards to e-books. He pointed to a recent e-book usage survey which found the 53% of undergraduates prefer print books to e-books, which was a higher percentage than any other university population! We need to think about what resources our users need and how they use them, particularly where e-books are concerned.

Steve at 2012 LAUNC-CH Conference

Monday, March 12, 2012 5:39 pm

Last week I attended the 2012 conference for LAUNC-CH, the Librarians’ Association of UNC-Chapel Hill. This year’s theme was “Engage, Innovate, Assess: Doing More With Less.” The keynote address, “Doing More With Less,” was given by Dick Blackburn, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at UNC-CH’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. In his frequently humorous presentation, Blackburn discussed how innovation and creativity can help an organization do more with less. He outlined a cyclical creative/innovative process in six steps, which I will quote here:
1) Motivation – You really gotta wanna.
2) Preparation – Making the strange familiar (that is, learning about what materials/ideas you are working with).
3) Manipulation – Making the familiar strange (taking materials/ideas and putting them together in a new way).
4) Incubation – The occasional need for disruption, distraction, distancing, and/or disengagement from the idea process.
5) Illumination – The “Aha!” experience.
6) Verification/Evaluation – Testing the acceptability of the creative idea.
…and this process can then feed back to motivation.
After outlining this process, Blackburn argued that organizations should not only reward innovation that succeeds, but should also reward innovation that fails, so long as it is “smart failure,” that is, failure that you can learn from. If you punish failure, you stifle creativity. As long as an idea is planned out well and the risk taken is not too enormous (the phrase he used was “below the waterline,” meaning that it can sink the organization), the risk taker should be rewarded for trying. If anything, organizations should punish inaction, not failure. To that end, Blackburn encouraged the development of divergent thinking that takes risks.
I also attended a very interesting session called “Can the Past Be Prologue? What We Can Learn from How the UNC Library Weathered the Great Depression” by Eileen McGrath and Linda Jacobson. They discussed a number of useful lessons that could be drawn from UNC’s experience during the Depression and that were applicable in the current tough economic climate. First, the importance of cooperation. During the Depression, UNC and Duke developed the first cooperative collection development agreements between the two universities, sharing the load for buying expensive, rare, and little used materials. Duke library staff who attended library school classes at UNC would carry loaned books back and forth between the libraries. In order to further cooperative loaning, the library at UNC developed the first union catalog for the state. The second lesson McGrath and Jacobson drew was the importance of supporting and recognizing staff. During the Depression, library staff at UNC suffered a 30% pay cut. The library began a newsletter during this period, in which staff accomplishments were recognized. More effort was made by the library administration to congratulate staff and to encourage and reward initiative at work. The third lesson was to find new ways to develop the collection rather than purchasing materials. UNC was very successful at this task during the Depression. From 1929 to 1930, 70% of new materials were purchased, but from 1934 to 1935, only 32% of new materials were purchased. Also, during this period, the collection actually grew, and so did the rate of growth. This was accomplished by seeking out private donors, gifts, and exchanges. Also, in 1933, a new law required that the state government deposit 25 copies of every state document at UNC. Perhaps the most innovative approach was the work of history professor J.G. de Roulhac Hamilton, who pioneered the collection of manuscripts and family papers throughout the South. Hamilton was so successful in this endeavor that he was nicknamed “Ransack,” and there are stories that he was actually banned from entering some of our neighboring states because he was stripping the cultural heritage from our neighbors. The fourth major lesson from McGrath and Jacobson was that false economies catch up with you. Don’t try to do things on the cheap, because you will eventually pay and often much more than you would have. The Wilson Library was built during the Depression, but to save money, they cut the original useable stack space from 450,000 volumes to 300,000 volumes. They soon hit storage problems far sooner than projected. Similarly, they tried to be cheap with lighting in the public areas of the library. The students launched a very vocal campaign for better lighting, including editorials, petitions and protests that eventually resulted in new lighting being purchased. Sometimes it’s better to just pay the costs upfront.

ALA Annual
ALA Midwinter
Career Development for Women Leaders
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
Coalition for Networked Information
Digital Forsyth
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Elon Teaching and Learning Conference
Entrepreneurial Conference
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA)
First-Year Experience Conference
Handheld Librarian
ILLiad Conference
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Journal reading group
Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Library Assessment Conference
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
Music Library Association
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
North Carolina Serials Conference
online course
Online Learning Summit
Open Repositories
Professional Development Center
Site Visits and Tours
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
University Libraries Group
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by, protected by Akismet. Blog with