Professional Development

During November 2012...

ASERL Fall 2012 Meeting

Friday, November 30, 2012 3:52 pm

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries held its Fall 2012 meeting in Atlanta (Decatur, actually) on November 13-14. The first night, I had dinner with a ZSR donor who happens to be a retired librarian, which was a very enjoyable experience considering that she was born and raised 3 doors down from my house in Beaufort! The next morning, I attended the Board meeting due to my position as President-elect.

The meeting itself started with a presentation by Tracey Campbell, a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, “A Shared Interest in the South: a Framework for Future ASERL Shared Digital Projects.” This is meant to be a potential sequel to ASERL’s acclaimed digital Civil War portal, to which ZSR has contributed digital items from Special Collections. Dr. Campbell is a student of the “New South” and spent some time describing the scope of the term. Basically, the New South is the old Confederacy today, shaped by the Civil War, with many of the same feelings and loyalties as the Old South. As a historian, he attested to the power of a rich, combined archive such as ASERL’s. It has helped his own research considerably. After his presentation, there were small-group discussions to determine next steps. There will likely be an effort to shape topics in broad subject areas like civil rights, women’s issues, music, literature, etc. Watch for more on this initiative.

The next session was a panel on best practices in assessment. The user experience librarian at Georgia Tech talked about their student advisory board and an attempt at the assessment of physical spaces using design charettes, focus groups, advisory boards, surveys, census, and 3rd party partnerships. Our friend Kathy Crowe at UNCG talked about their annual assessment plan tied to the university’s strategic plan. They work with the Office of Planning and Assessment and post results using a LibGuide format. They have used a “Mystery Shopper” approach, which aroused lots of interest. Their new Digital Media Commons was a result of an assessment that determined there was no other help available for students with media. Florida State used an ethnographic approach, similar to the University of Rochester, and generated 1500 pages of transcripts. They learned that the favorite working hours for faculty were 10:00 am-2:00 pm, but it was the opposite for students. Yep. Because they have turnstiles requiring a card swipe for entry, they could demonstrate that 80% of the entire undergraduate student body had visited the library during the year.

The day finished with a few business items:

  • The bylaws were amended to tighten the language on probation and suspension procedures in the membership sections.
  • A motion passed to endorse model language for data management plans developed jointly by ASERL and SURA (Southeastern Universities Research Association). I have since passed that along to others in the WFU administration.
  • There was a show of support to proceed with reciprocal sharing of ASERL’s print journal repository with the members of the Washington Research Library Consortium. Individual participants will be asked to sign an amendment to the existing Memorandum of Understanding.
  • ASERL’s federal depository library program is progressing well. The Steering Committee will follow up with members who have not yet signed up.
  • ASERL statistics are due by January 15. John Burger asked for volunteers to look at data collection in light of ARL significantly changing their data requirements.

The last day started with a presentation from Clemson on space and building planning. After several starts and stops, they used an incremental “Roadmap” approach to add group study rooms, classrooms, and other improved user spaces. Interestingly, they received a $6 million complete overhaul of their HVAC system as part of the regular deferred maintenance program on campus. Jealous!! I made a good contact with the architect member of the team, so that was valuable.

The next presentation was Brandon Butler, Director of Public Policy Initiatives for the Association of Research Libraries, entitled “Libraries and Copyright 2012: The Code, The Siege, and What’s Next.” I confess to having an unnatural fascination with copyright (my first year as a baby hospital librarian was the year the current law was enacted), so I found his talk highly informative and entertaining. “The Code” refers to the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic Libraries, which has enjoyed a positive reception from college and university attorneys and many success stories in libraries. “The Siege” refers to the siege of fair use repression under which libraries suffered for decades, which is now beginning to lift after a series of favorable court rulings including AIME v UCLA, Georgia State, and the stunning victory of Hathi Trust over the Authors Guild. “What’s Next” includes the Kirtsaeng v Wiley first sale doctrine case (and if Kirtsaeng loses that one, libraries may as well pack up and go home), Section 108, orphan works clarification, and access for the print disabled (bet on them, they always win). It was probably the best copyright talk I have ever heard.

The meeting ended with a series of brief updates:

  • Library Publishing Coalition is a new group to provide a forum for exchange with digital publishing initiatives in libraries. I gave the information to Bill.
  • ASERL Directory of Open Access Activities will soon be available. A listserv is being started for Scholarly Communication people like Molly. ASERL will be seeking a Visiting Program Officer in this area.
  • SCOAP3 has finally reached the implementation phase. ZSR signed up years ago as part of an international effort to wrest control of high energy physics journals back from commercial publishers. The good people at CERN (who brought you the Higgs boson particle) are now saving the world for high energy physics. Go get ‘em.
  • The next meeting will be April 23-24 in Memphis, TN. Can’t wait!

EllenD at Charleston

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 3:20 pm

Charleston Conference 2012: “Accentuate the Positive!”

Nov. 8-10, 2012

For the first time, I attended the Charleston Conference and found it very rich and wide-ranging in its content, with myriad sessions, plenary and concurrent. I had no trouble filling my dance card, choosing to emphasize user- and liaison-related issues. Highlights from particularly useful and interesting sessions follow.

“Integrating Discovery and Access for Scholarly Articles: Success and Failures”
Anurag Acharya, Founder and Lead Engineer, Google Scholar

Acharya reviewed the progress (with shortfalls) that Google Scholar has made towards reaching its goal of being the single place to find scholarly literature, where researchers around the world can both discover and access articles. Discovery is limited to what one has access to, and that is at times tied to one’s area; however, increasing interdisciplinary work makes connections where previously none were known. He pronounced Google Scholar the largest scholarly source on the planet, comprising output of major and mid-size publishers and societies, and most smaller publishers, but conceded that access remains a crazy quilt with many pathways: library subscription, consortial subscription, free archival access, OA, pre-pubs, and individual subscriptions. Approaches to subscriber links have been variable: internationally it has worked well for libraries making explicit requests since there have been activist groups, such as the National Library in Australia. Not so well in the U.S., however, since most consortia have not seen it as their role, although some have stepped up, notably VIVA in Virginia and GALILEO in Georgia. Ultimately this helps to level the playing field for everyone. He noted as well Archive Access, initiatives taken by journal publisher to give free access to older articles with “succinct” moving walls. There are now 70 partners, including Oxford, Sage, JSTOR, and PNAS. This highlights public access that publishers provide, allowing researchers worldwide access and leveling the playing field. In addition, Developing Country Access covers all IPs in developing countries as offered by Highwire Press Program, and the JSTOR Africa Access Initiative, IP-based, requires libraries to sign up. Integration is similar to subscriber links, and can be specified by country, adding per article links.

 

“Does Format Matter? Comparing Usage of E-books and P-books”
Christopher Brown, Professor, Reference Technology Integration Librarian / Government Documents Librarian, University of Denver, Penrose Library
Michael Levine-Clark, Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections Services, University of Denver

This session addressed the question not only of comparing use of electronic and print books, but also the validity of such comparisons. The project began with the purchase in 2008 of the package of Duke University Press e- and p-books, through which 841 titles were available in both formats (the print were almost free and appeased faculty concerns!). They tracked cumulative circulation data every December during 2009-2011 as well as e-book usage data during that same time span. However, before proceeding to explanation of the results the presenters emphasized the interesting point that one cannot really compare use of the two formats-or at least it is like comparing apples and oranges. With print books, one counts check-outs (sometimes to faculty who can renew books until they retire), carrying potentially many uses; i.e. there is one check-out statistic but an unknown number of multiple uses within that loan period. By contrast, with e-books each use can be tracked: one time “in” the book is one use. In addition, there were additional complications: title variations, ISBN complexities, and multiple-volume issues. According to the counter, 36.7% of the e-books were used, and 66% of the print books were used, and 325 titles were used in both formats. There also were stats for “P Used, E Not,” and “E Used, P Not,” etc. At the end of the day, their observations were as follows: “Use of E does not seem to lead to use of P” and “Use of P does not seem to lead to use of E.” Furthermore, when both formats were used, they were used at a higher rate than average and at an apparently more meaningful level as measured by pages viewed and user sessions. Their suggestion posed at the end of the session was that if the dual format use increased, then perhaps the preference is for good content, and not so much format per se. Different formats may be used for different reasons and purposes. Despite all the statistics displayed rapidly across vanishing screens, this was an intriguing session and underscored the ambiguities in tracking use and user preferences.

 

“Keep Calm and Carry On: eBook Success @ Undergraduate Libraries”
Mary Barbosa-Jerez, Head of Collection Development, St. Olaf College
Cathy Goodwin, Head of Collection Management, Coastal Carolina University
Roberta Schwartz, Technical Services Manager, Bowdoin College

This session examined the e-book issues faced by smaller, predominantly undergraduate schools that lack the resources and staffing enjoyed by larger research institutions.

St. Olof College, with 3000 undergraduates, has a striking faculty demographic: a high percentage of newly minted professors with both expectations and familiarity with digital materials, so e-books are a non-issue for many newer faculty. In addition, nearly 90% of students study abroad, so e-access supports an important program at the school. These elements have facilitated a shift from “just in case” to “just in time” philosophies, and access rather than ownership. The goals outlined by Mary Barbosa-Jerez were: creating a seamless patron experience, offering multiple simultaneous users, universal downloading ability to all devices, quality MARC records, perpetual access, and relative stability of collection titles. Mary described herself as an early watcher rather than an early adopter, requiring that a system has to meet what she really wants. Experimentation outside of larger e-book collections has been challenging. She suppressed old Net-Library titles because of the single user access feature, which does not match her policies.

Cathy Goodwin of Coastal Carolina University described her institution of fewer than 9000 students (a few graduate and one doctoral program approved, plus a distance eduation program) as “state-limited” rather than state-funded. She pronounced NetLibrary a dreadful model, having preferred to go with ebrary’s Academic Complete subscription in 2009, and the Springer e-book collection. She purchases more for the curriculum, not so much for faculty research. She sent out a three-question survey to faculty, essentially asking if this was a good use of departmental funds, garnering a 17% response rate, including 33% tenture-track faculty, which was generally positive. She listed several familiar challenges, including multiple platforms, inconsistent modes of access, the e-reader proliferation which complicates access, and the need for a better aggregator model. In order to assist users, librarians have prepared a LibGuide for “Ebooks @ Kimbel Library” which has tabs for their various assorted families of e-books. (Another librarian in the audience pointed out that her library at Johns Hopkins also had a LibGuide for e-books: E-Books: How to Find Electronic Books and Resources in the Library’s Catalog.) Cathy’s concluding advice was an inspirational “Good luck!”

Roberta Schwartz of Bowdoin College in Maine, an all-undergraduate institution, outlined the collaborative approach taken by Bowdoin, Bates, and Colby for both print and e-book purchases: they are able to share each e-book among the three colleges, including the MARC records. They share a catalog and collections with the intention of minimizing frustration, and have acquired packages from Oxford, Duke, Cambridge, and Springer. She noted that students do not seem to favor e-books if they need to read the entire book; it is okay for only a few chapters, anthologies, etc., and they do favor the remote access. But despite such caveats, she acknowledges that e-books are a large part of the future landscape.

 

“Great Expectations: New Organizational Models for Overworked Liaisons”
Steve Cramer, Business Librarian, UNCG
Amy Harris, Reference Librarian and Information Literacy Coordinator, UNCG

ZSR liaisons met with UNCG counterparts earlier this year to discuss workload issues, so it was interesting to hear how this problem has been pursued at UNCG. The litany of responsibilities is similar, and there were many heads in the audience nodding in agreement: research instruction, outreach, collection development, weeding, embedding in classes, assessing both instruction and collections, developing online learning objects, and addressing scholarly communication issues–the list goes on. The question posed was whether such expectations are realistic!

Steve and Amy gave an overview of organizational structure vis-à-vis liaison work: a decentralized liaison structure with no official liaison leader, liaisons not really held accountable, most of them based in reference but spending most of their time on liaison activities. The Head of Reference acknowledges this mismatch.

Then came a “Perfect Storm:” a large weeding project, large budget cuts, reduced liaison staffing despite a decade of campus growth, increasing expectations of liaison responsibilities for bibliographic instruction, increasing research consultations, embedded librarians, evaluation of databases, creating LibGuides, collection assessment, outreach, and promoting scholarly communication issues. The consensus: this was an unsustainable workload.

In response, the Dean convened a Liaison Collection Responsibilities Task Force in March of this year to survey how other libraries deal with the complex array of liaison responsibilities in possibly innovative ways, and to recommend alternative organizational models for the range of collection development and public services of liaisons. The UNCG librarians discussed the issue with WFU colleagues, searched library literature (to little avail), raised questions at conferences, researched library web sites, and contacted libraries with interesting models. Most academic libraries have decentralized liaisons organization, such as Utah State, for example. Johns Hopkins and Villanova have more centralized departments for liaison work. Some libraries have co-liaisons in teams. Minnesota, Duke, Kansas, and Washington formally prioritize the responsibilities of liaisons, prioritizing engagement over collections.

The liaisons are considering a variety of proposed options: subject teams with coordinators for BI, collections, and reference; teams retaining a departmental structure; or having liaisons partnerships with subject components; or having subject teams with functional responsibilities. They would prioritize academic departments with the most teaching, and enable more teamwork, create more full-time liaison positions, and encourage more liaison partnerships. As next steps, they plan to implement task forces to address specific issues, and to provide staff support for collections projects.

 

 

 

Carol in Charleston, with Random Linguistic Side Notes

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 10:47 am

A keynote speaker used ‘gatekept’ as a past participle verb. The OED hasn’t caught on to that yet, but the Google Ngram shows a small but steady increase in the word since 1970.

In “The Changing World of eBooks,” Mike Shatzkin focused on the viewpoint of trade publishers. They’ve discovered that most readers just want to be alone with their books. They don’t care about enhanced content. (He pointed out that this applies to immersive reading for adults. It does not apply to children’s books, how-to, cookbooks and a few other categories.)

In “Ebook Availability Revisited” (the session I saw with Lauren C.), the authors advocated against buying (as opposed to renting) any e-books. They assume that the legal issues surrounding Hathi Trust and Google Books will resolve in a few years. Then we can just buy/lease from them. They promoted subscription over DDA, and came down strongly against doing e-book approvals when DDA is available.

Later that afternoon, I attended the “TRLN Oxford University Press Consortial E-Books Pilot” representatives from Duke, UNC-CH, NCSU, YBP and OUP described how they initiated a shared-cost model for the entire output of Oxford’s UPSO product. (BTW, the Charleston program copyeditors need to decide among ‘e-book,’ ‘eBook’ or ‘ebook.’) I’m skeptical about the ‘Big Deal’ model spreading to e-monographs, but I nonetheless heard this session with great interest. The schools shared costs based on what they thought fair, e.g. accounting for size of school, nature of school, etc. They also purchased one print copy of all non-STEM books. They placed the print in OSS. Records processing work was shared out, with one school processing all the print and another all the electronic. They didn’t go into this hoping to save money – their hope was to expand access for the same money. Access for alumni was also included. I wrote that down calmly in my notes, and then I got excited since that includes me! The speakers noted one significant challenge: OUP excludes some books from UPSO and releases others online after a delay. Therefore, if a selector sees an OUP book of interest, should they buy the print or not?

I ended the day by giving a “shotgun” presentation on the incentive program we ran last year. See my slides on slideshare.

On Friday, I attended “Overview of the Altmetrics Landscape.” The presenters outlined at least five alternatives to traditional journal-level metrics: Impact Story, Altmetric, Plum Analytics, Science Card and Mendeley. They also mentioned the attributes of an ideal altmetric system: free, API available, relevant, and immune to rigging/gaming. The next steps are to explore use cases, give context to numbers and continue to combat gaming.

My final Friday session was “Changing the DNA of Scholarly Publishing – The Impact of the Digital Leap.” Damon Zucca from OUP discussed how the Oxford Handbooks series changed when it became an online product. From the print world, they knew that authors who met the deadline didn’t want their chapters held hostage by those who didn’t meet deadline. They also learned that users often sought out specific essays. Therefore, the obvious decision was to make chapters available online as soon as possible and not worry as much about the container. Lisa Jones from Georgia Gwinnett College had the privilege of starting a brand-new collection when her college opened in 2006. She had an e-book subscription (i.e. the approach advocated by the Thursday presenter), but dropped it due to insufficient use. (I also heard a speaker in this session say ‘editors-in-chief.’ Google Ngrams reveals this is indeed the popular usage. Can you tell how much I love Google Ngrams?)

Finally on Saturday, various vendors hosted 30-minute sessions on new products. As Classics and Linguistics liaison, my obvious choice was a presentation on the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) and the Loeb Classical Library. Both online products are still in development, but I’ve signed up to beta-test DARE.

Susan @ the Charleston Conference: Talking About Providing Value

Friday, November 16, 2012 9:13 am

Earlier this year ZSR Library participated in a research study. The six month study was commissioned by SAGE and conducted by LISU, a national research and information center based in the Department of Information Science at Loughborough University. It sought to study how libraries show evidence of value to research and teaching staff and we were one of 8 case studies from the US, UK and Scandinavia. A final report with findings and recommendations was published last summer.

I was invited by SAGE to come to the Charleston Conference to co-present on the results of this study. My co-presenter was our old friend and colleague, Elisabeth Leonard, who now works for SAGE. Elisabeth reported on the results of the study and my job was to show the practical side of how we demonstrate value at ZSR Library. (My part of the presentation starts on slide 29)

Working Together, Evolving Value for Academic Libraries/Examples from One Library from Susan Smith

 

I was disappointed that home-front obligations on either side of our presentation schedule meant that I didn’t get to the conference until late Friday and so missed most of it. I’ve heard about The Charleston Conference for years, but since it isn’t in my area of responsibilities, I’ve never attended. I still didn’t get to attend any concurrent sessions, but I got the opportunity to see the energy of the conference and enjoy the final general session, a debate on the proposition that “the traditional research library is dead.” Arguing “yes” was Rick Anderson, Interim Dean, Marriott Library, Univ. of Utah against Derek Law, Professor Emeritus, University of Strathclyde, who emphasized his “no” position by wearing a traditional kilt! It was a spirited debate sprinkled with good-natured humor. My favorite line was delivered by Rick (note to all my cataloger friends, don’t shoot me!): He referenced the growing view that cataloging is dead by disagreeing. Instead, he said, catalogers are the “walking undead.” (laugh here). Twenty-first century polling was included as part of the session. Before the start of the debate, attendees were invited to text their yes or no position on the issue. At the end of the debate, a second poll was conducted to see if the debaters had changed peoples’ view. The end result was that the majority of attendees agree that “the traditional research library is dead.” The Conference Blog has a detailed report of what Anderson and Law had to say to support their positions and how the vote went. It was a fun session and makes me want to figure out a way to justify coming back next year.

I did manage to get in a little photography time (it was CHARLESTON after all), so I dragged myself out before dawn Saturday morning so I could watch the sunrise. My morning photo efforts are available on my flickr site.
Sunrise 6

Charleston Conference 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:53 pm

Seeing Lauren Pressley’s picture and book cover on the screen as an example of unglue.it gave me a moment of great pride during a plenary session at this Charleston Conference. We heard that there were 1500-1600 attendees, the most ever! E-book topics were definitely a theme and “big data” was mentioned in several sessions. A session on weeding, librarywide, was useful since the day will come when our storage facility is filled to capacity. And finally, a session on the Library Journal Patron Profiles gave Sue Polanka an opportunity to share some of her own observations relative to the results.

Regarding big data, I heard the success story of Duke University post-doc Heather Piwowar, who arranged with Elsevier to do text-mining of their whole corpus. (Heather had signed the boycott, but “believes that it is useful to work together.”) The big problems with big data are getting permission (Heather was “lucky” according to other speakers) and getting delivery — large loads of data are literally being shipped around the world. The fact that Heather is a post-doc means that in two years when she moves on, she won’t have the set she worked with at Duke and that is another problem.

Still on big data, I also went to a presentation by Hilary Davis (Associate Head, Collection Management, North Carolina State University Libraries) and Barrie Hayes (Bioinformatics and Translational Science Librarian, UNC Health Sciences Library). They said that storage and discovery, followed by access, are the biggest needs with big data. (Sound familiar?) They also said that being involved outweighs the risk for the libraries. They are working with research administrators, campus IT, and many library departments to tackle those needs. While UNC Chapel Hill uses Fedora with iRods,NSCU uses DSpace, like us. Easy i.d. and ORCA are used for identities (and I hope this means something useful to Thomas). Info sessions on campus have been successful (face-to-face and broadcast, and available for replay online). A data management committee at UNC is training subject librarians in how to talk about this topic with faculty. The last presentation slide has references and they have made good use of California’s DMPTool (data management plan tool) at both institutions. They first want the library to be a “collaborative campus connector” in 5 years and would like to work across the two institutions after that.

Carol and I take a divide-and-conquer tactic at this conference for the most part, but with standing room only in the hallway for one desirable session, we both ended up at the session on the state of the e-book industry. John McDonald (Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Claremont University Consortium) and Jason Price (Interim Library Director, Claremont Colleges Library) presented a lot of data, which should eventually appear on the Charleston Conference website. They also mentioned how hard it is if you have subscription e-books to exclude them from DDA offerings. That is why in our liaison meeting yesterday I was quite interested to hear the satisfaction of having one e-book supplier and one platform mainly. I was thinking we needed to explore subscription databases of e-books again, but as I mentioned, we would have to find out if the technology obstacles we saw in the past are still a problem or not. I’m glad Carol and I both were at the session because we can discuss future directions with common understanding of the current marketplace and the growth of HathiTrust and Google Scholar.

I mentioned that I also went to a session on librarywide weeding. One speaker, Pamela Grudzien (Head, Technical Services, Central Michigan University), was in Michigan and the other, Cheri Duncan (Director of Acquisitions & Cataloging at James Madison University) was in Virginia. Both used Sustainable Collection Services, but the situation in Michigan was a consortium-level project. (You’ve heard me mention SCS and we saw a webinar. You may recall that the idea is to use computer-driven matching to identify weeding candidates — titles of a certain age that are also held by many other libraries or in a trusted repository like HathiTrust.) The consortium added a dimension to this process, because they could agree to keep 3 copies of a title among the 7 members, allowing the others to weed their copies. A little “horsetrading” took place in determining retention commitments. One of the seven members in the Michigan consortium (CMU) was in the unique position of participating without space problems yet because they had 30 miles of compact shelving installed in a major renovation 10 years ago. CMU committed to keeping 204,000 volumes and Wayne State, 86,633. Remember this is just the commitments for unique titles or one of the agreed upon 3 copies, not the numbers of the entire library collection. The Michigan speaker noted that there is as much labor with the retention commitments as with the actual weeding. They used the 583 in the MARC record to document the retention, like we are doing with the ASERL commitments we’re making. The Virginia speaker explained the entire process at JMU, which included working over a period of years, a few subjects at a time. Business was first, followed by Education and Psychology. An aggregate 87% of titles identified by SCS were weeded (with wide variation of percentage at the subject level, naturally). They felt that this method was less disruptive to patrons and avoided an overload in Technical Services.

I’m just going to mention one more session that might appeal to many of you — Sue Polanka (Head, Reference & Instruction, Wright State University Libraries) and Lisa Carlucci Thomas (Director, Design Think Do) spoke about the new Library Journal Patron Profiles. The data from Academic Patron Profiles 2012 showed some of the same types of things that we learned from LibQual, but it seemed to me that there were more granular questions that targeted things we would like to know. And it seemed that it covered more than LibQual. Lisa said that “LJ is listening” and to let them know through her if we want to make the survey instrument available to individual libraries. I noted her email address, so ask me if you want it. Some observations that Sue has made in her own library that caught my ear: the personal librarian arrangement does not work as well as the subject librarian arrangement; make sure your link resolver is built into Google Scholar; put an IM widget not only in databases, but also the 404 error page and other webpages; focus as much on second year students as first year students.

This conference is always good, but this year seemed particularly on-target for our own planning here.

 

 

SpringyCamp: November, 2012 – Focusing on User Experience: Understanding & Meeting User Needs

Thursday, November 8, 2012 4:52 pm

Springshare hosted a four hour webinar today, focusing on the user experience. Lauren Pressley, Kyle Denlinger and I participated in the first half of this multi-presentation webinar in the ZSR screening room. Springshare supplies ZSR with LibGuides and LibAnswers.

The first presentation was by Chrissa Godbout, the Library and Information Technology Consultant at Mount Holyoke College. She discussed their recent redesign of LibGuides. She and others from the Library attended a web design workshop that led them to a plan to do focus groups with students and staff. They bribed students with chocolate covered strawberries and gave participants gift cards to the Library coffee shop. Focus group participants were shown the current LibGuide and then asked to draw their ideal research guide and describe it. From this information, the librarians created categories and ranked them by occurrence.

As a result of the focus groups, they cut way back on text, used fewer and more pleasing colors and repeated the navigation tabs at the top in the body of the home page of the guide, including descriptions of each tab. They also included RSS feeds of the articles for the professors in that department. One idea they used was the “squint test” where users squint at the web page and what pops out while squinting should be where the main contain resides!

The next program, “Going Mobile: LibAnswers SMS and the Mobile Reference Librarian” was by Darcy Gervasioa Reference & Instruction Librarian at Purchase College, SUNY. She is Text Message Reference Coordinator and the liaison librarian for Anthropology, Sociology, and Gender Studies. What Purchase discovered was that students used the texting feature from inside the building for quick answers. So Darcy and the other librarians marketed the service in that way. “Can’t find a book? Text Us!”

Emily O’Connor’s presentation, “LibCal and the Open Workshop: Bolstering Attendance, One Registration at a Time” demonstrated the LibCal application and showed me that many of the services LibCal provides, such as emailing participants, we get from posting content on the PDC site.There was a “tech time” during the break that showed how LibGuides can be embedded in a school’s default Blackboard course, making the LibGuide available to a much larger audience.

Stephanie Rollins, from Samford University, presented “Using Libanalytics to Close the Assessment Loop”Samford uses LibAnalytics to close the Instruction loop. Stephanie described how she uses this system from Initial Instruction Request to Instruction Statistics to Post-Instruction Assessment.

There were two other sessions in the afternoon, but they focused on Springshare products we don’t use at ZSR. All in all it was a very effective webinar. It was clearly popular as we were initially wait-listed to participate! The more I work with Springshare, the more impressed I am with their commitment to their customers and users. I look forward to their next webinar on a new topic.

Preserving Digital Heritage Collections- NCPC Annual Conference

Monday, November 5, 2012 4:54 pm

NC Museum of History-Raleigh

On Friday, November 2nd, I traveled to Raleigh and the North Carolina Museum of History for the NCPC Annual Conference. The theme this year was “Preserving Digital Heritage Collections.” The first order of business was giving out the 1st award for Collection Preservation Excellence and I’m happy to say this was given to the Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology.

The first presentation was by Jaime Pursuit, Partnership and Development Manager for Cyark. Cyark is a non-profit organization whose mission is to digitally preserved cultural heritage sites using laser scanning and other technologies. These are often world heritage sites often that are in danger of being destroyed by war or pollution. In one case, Cyark archived the Royal Tomb at Kasubi in Uganda, a site which was later destroyed by fire. Fortunately, the site now survives virtually. Cyark has digitally preserved over 70 sites around the world, including the Easter Island sculptures and Mount Rushmore. The Cyark work was inspiring as they continue to document, archive and make accessible this 3-dimensional documentation of physical sites.

Caroline Bruzelius, A.M. Cogan Professor of Art and Art History and Mark Olson, Assistant Professor of Visual and Media Studies at Duke presented on the Wired Lab for Digital Historical Visualization. They are part of an interdisciplinary and collaborative team. This team connects research in sculpture, architecture, urbanism, and painting with technology for visualizing and modeling cultural artifacts and historical environments. Noteworthy projects include visualization of artifacts from ancient Athens discovered during recent archaeological excavations and mortuary art in the historic Maplewood Cemetery of Durham. They attempt to engage students with active learning where they use Google Sketchup to create visualizations of the built world. They also emphasize ‘learning by making’ by creating a cathedral using Autocad or re-contextualizing bits of sculpture back into their original environment.

After lunch, there were presentations by Nick Graham, Program Coordinator for the NC Digital History Center Nick discussed his work into digitization, digital publishing and project planning. Most everyone was already familiar with Nick and his good work digitizing their university’s yearbooks or newspapers. Beyond this, the NCDHC has also created digital projects on quilts, license plates, and samplers.

Lisa Gregory, the Digital Collections manager at the State Library of North Carolina presented on their uses of CINCH (Capture, INjest and CHecksum). This digital preservation tool automates the transfer of online content to a repository, using ingest technologies appropriate. CINCH is a free through an IMLS grant and helps the State Library archive web content much as we do here at ZSR using Archive-It.

Brian Dietz, Digital program Librarian at NC State, presented on “The Built Heritage of North Carolina and Beaux Arts to Modernism.” These are digital collections that provide access to buildings and architecture in North Carolina from the 1700′s to the mid-1900′s.
NC State partnered with the Asheville Art Museum, Preservation North Carolina, UNC Charlotte and the State Library of North Carolina for this project. They used a systematic approach to archive these materials and providing access to over 17,000 documents through the NCSU Special Collections Research Center.

Finally, NCPC is going to be raffling art to raise funding for this organization. Keep your eyes on ncpreservation.org for details.


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2007 ACRL Baltimore
2007 ALA Annual
2007 ALA Gaming Symposium
2007 ALA Midwinter
2007 ASERL New Age of Discovery
2007 Charleston Conference
2007 ECU Gaming Presentation
2007 ELUNA
2007 Evidence Based Librarianship
2007 Innovations in Instruction
2007 Kilgour Symposium
2007 LAUNC-CH Conference
2007 LITA National Forum
2007 NASIG Conference
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