Professional Development

During January 2013...

Lauren P. at ALA Midwinter

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:32 pm

I love ALA and governance work. I love LITA and my colleagues in that organization. I love conferences. And I love Seattle (more than any other city). I spent last Thursday through this Tuesday at the conference, getting only the smallest amount of time to see anything beyond the ALA campus, and still it was the best conference experience I can remember.

It takes a while to get used to ALA Council. I’m in my last year of my term, and I’m just now feeling like I really get it. I also just now understand my role in the group. It’s largely to talk to people behind the scenes and try to work with people individually to get to a productive place-not unlike some of my work in my day-to-day job! I do speak up at the mic, but largely when the issue is something about members that seems to disenfranchise library school students or non-ALA members. Otherwise, I am spending my time physically sitting in the meetingtweeting about the events of the body.

This time we took up a few issues of interest. Most notably:

  • Discussion of a dues increase. This isn’t to say that dues will increase. It’s just a proposal to put forth to membership for a vote. After a lot of discussion and debate, the final version is to recommend tying dues increases to the CPI for the next five years, and then to evaluate next steps at that point. ALA has only increased dues twice in the last sixteen years, and I can say from my perspective it’s absolutely amazing that they can do what they do with the limited funds they have. I’m glad the measure will be up for a vote, and I will be voting as a personal member for it.
  • We also passed a resolution affirming the first sale doctrine. The field depends on this so much that, as you might guess, there was no debate and only support voiced by council.
  • Finally, we passed a number of memorials. I want to particularly draw attention to one that I felt moved enough by to become a signatory on, recognizing the work of Aaron Swartz.
  • If you want more detail, you can find it written up from AL’s Inside Scoop: Council I, Council II, and Council III

LITA Board was very good as well. We heard from the presidential and treasurer candidates, reports from various offices that are dealing with issues relevant to libraries and technology, and reports from all of the LITA committees. Our incoming president always hosts a Town Hall meeting to inform their presidential year, and it would have felt fairly familiar to most ZSR employees: it was based in appreciative inquiry! In my role with the board I’m also liaising to the Web Coordinating Committee, the mentor for the new LITA Emerging Leader project, will soon be liaising to half the Interest Groups, and am a member of the Executive Committee for the Board. As you might guess: all very time intensive, but also very exciting work.

I haven’t talked about it here, but the final responsibility that took me to Midwinter was to participate in incoming President Barbara Stripling’s advisory committee. That group is amazing, and I’m humbled to be part of it. We discussed more about the theme of year presidential year and what initiatives she would like to make sure to do. I’m very excited to work with her, the committee, and to see the good work that she’ll do as president!

Finally, conferences are also about the people. As we live in a profession where we have colleagues around the country doing similar work and where we might connect with them through Twitter, Facebook, blogs, or some other network, it’s always reenergizing to reconnect in person. As much fun as I had at my meetings (and I am not joking at all-I really like governance work!) the lunch and dinners with colleagues and friends, drinks with friends and mentors, and a very late night talking with my roommate are what really made the conference for me. I’m sorry I won’t be part of the ZSR traveling crew at ACRL or Annual, but I look forward to connecting with those of you who make it to those and adding you to the list of people that I try to track down at each of these events.

Now: to finish those last few projects!

Saturday at ALA Midwinter 2013 in Seattle

Saturday, January 26, 2013 5:22 pm

Victor Steinbrueck Park
Victor Steinbrueck Park

It is wonderful to be back in Seattle, my third trip to this vibrant city. It brings back memories and not only because my first trip here was to attend my first ALA Midwinter in 2007. But what was also special about that first trip was that it was the inauguration of the ZSR Library Professional Development Blog. So, this week, we are celebrating 6 years of sharing our educational and professional activities with each other and the wider library world!

After a somewhat challenging trip west for group, Roz and I arrived early afternoon, before our rooms were ready. We checked in at the conference and then took advantage of the unexpected sunny skies and hiked to Pike Market Place. After 7 hours on a plane, it was a good way to stretch our legs and our brains so we were ready to dive into the conference!

Because we were delayed, my first event was the LITA Happy Hour which is a wonderful networking opportunity. I got to see old friends and colleagues and it sets an energetic tone for the other LITA events over the weekend.

Roz has already done a thorough report of our first presentation by Steven Bell this morning. So i’ll just point to some interesting resources that he mentioned during his talk:

This morning was my committee meeting (I’m on the 2013 LITA National Forum Planning Committee as past-chair). I attended the EBSCO luncheon where they once again focused on why EDS is far superior to ProQuest’s Summon. Since there is no official programming at midwinter, discussion groups are plentiful and I plan to attend a few of them this afternoon and tomorrow. One that is just wrapping up is considering the issue of how mid-size academic libraries decide about “Giving up the old to provide new services: Rethinking what you are currently doing to provide new services.” It’s been a most interesting sharing of approaches including withdrawing from the federal depository program, ceasing electronic reserves and discontinuing the digitization of little used archival materials. Very interesting!

More tomorrow!


Breakfast with Steven Bell – Roz at ALA MW

Saturday, January 26, 2013 1:17 pm

Susan, Mary Beth, Kyle, Molly and I started our day at a breakfast sponsored by ProQuest where Steven Bell, (current ACRL President among many, many other things) was the keynote. The title of his talk was “Unbundled and Rebooted: Library Leadership for Disrupted Higher Education” and it was very good. I will summarize here as best I can (while it is still fresh in my cold-muddled mind) so that others who blog later can add the parts that most resonated with them!

He started by showing a video clip from a series of articles done by the NY Times on Graduating into Debt. In the clip, students who had graduated were commenting on how their college degrees were not worth the price they paid for them. He then went on to say that recently, and for the first time, Moody’s gave Higher Education a negative rating. Students and parents are beginning to question the cost, value and necessity of traditional higher ed. Convenience, career potential and cost are now high on the consideration list as students evaluate what to do after high school.

The traditional model of academia has been very linear and stable from beginning to graduation. 4-5 years. But students these days are not seeing their educational path in this way. They may start in a Community College then move to traditional OR they may start traditional and then perhaps ‘reversetransfer” back to community college for cost reasons or because CC degrees can be more practical in terms of finding a job. They may stop and work for a while or go part-time – they may add in a MOOC for remedial content or to gain new knowledge that their school doesn’t have or that they can’t afford to take. An interesting analogy he used was the ‘unbundling’ of courses from the institution in the way the music industry has had to unbundle songs from the album. Why shouldn’t students be able to get the content they want in the bits they want it?

The question for libraries then becomes how and where do we reach these students in all these varying iterations of what being a ‘student’ now means?? He gave some interesting examples of how we can reconsider our traditional models of librarianship and library services in order to begin to think about the new ways that will be necessary to reach our students. I won’t comment in depth on all of these as I’m sure others who were there will have more to say about them.

Design Thinking – a la IDEO Deep Dive video – start with REALLY REALLY understanding what the problem is – then think of as many ways as you can to solve it.

Be a Gate Opener – instead of our traditional roles of gate keeper – think about how libraries can continue to open gates to information for our students wherever they are.

Non-Commissioned Worker – Dan Pink notes that artists do better work when they work on noncommissioned work projects – so try to find time for your employees to do this kind of work.

Salesperson – don’t be ashamed to tell people what we do and WHY we do it. People who don’t understand why you do something are not as loyal or interested in your products.

Functionally Free Thinking – (which grammatically might also say Functionality Free Thinking) – but stop trying to look just at our own fields – look outside librarianship for ideas that work and think about how they could apply to your library. Look for new uses for old thinsg.Read literature from your outside interests or your subject disciplines.

Value Driven – define what the value is that we deliver to our students and to our institutions

Grassroots leaders – work from the ground up to affect change.

Start with ‘Why’ – Showed a clip of Simon Sinek’s very popular Ted Talk on how starting with the ‘Why you do what you do’ question is the common characteristic of great movements, thoughts and even companies. Sinek makes the point that people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.

Lead the Change – find out what is not being done on your campus – where there is a need, and figure out how to do that. He gave the example of how Temple University (his institution) provided small grants to faculty to stop using traditional textbooks and create free/open ones. They started with the why of saving students money and got great buy in and products from faculty. (MB, Susan and I are already scheming about doing this at WFU – don’t worry). He also discussed an easy project they did by giving all their employees small notebooks to record thought, ideas, every time they tell someone no, frustrations they encounter, etc. and used those to spark some new services, etc. for patrons (MB and I are all over this one, too).

Bell ended the conversation by giving an acronymn that can help libraries think about leading that change:

T – Trust (we need for our students and our institutions to trust us)
W – Why (why do we do what we do)
E – Emotional Connection (connecting that why to our patrons with sticky messages)
E – Empower Staff (to think outside the box, to not fear failure)
P – Persist (sometimes todays idea is the answer to tomorrows problem so keep the ideas coming and don’t get discouraged).

There is a reason Steven Bell is a thought leader in libraries – he’s compelling, pragmatic and exceptionally well versed in the conversations going on around higher ed, broader cultural shifts and libraries as well. He does not expect radical immediate change. He encourages libraries to start small and keep working to find answers to our questions. Much food for thought from a rainy, dreary Seattle this morning!

Sarah at the Gatekeepers Workshop

Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:41 pm

I attended the Gatekeepers I Workshop: Enhancing our Community through Inclusion last November, and it was very interactive and reflective. I even learned something new about myself. I’ve always believed that people have more universal similar characteristics than differences. It was worthwhile, and I gained a lot from the afternoon workshop. I encourage others to attend, as well.

NCLA WILR Workshop: “Insider’s Guide to Your Potential: Trust, Leadership and Happiness in the Workplace”

Friday, January 11, 2013 5:15 pm

I was one of the workshop organizers as a member of the NCLA Women’s Issues in Libraries Round Table (WILR) Executive Committee of the November 2012 Raleigh workshop on “Insider’s Guide to Your Potential: Trust, Leadership and Happiness in the Workplace.” Stephanie Goddard led the morning session on “Building High-Trust Environments in the Workplace.” There were approximately 30 attendees, and the participants reflected on building and repairing trust in the workplace. Some themes of the discussion were the importance of being a team player, respectful of others, and a good listener.

In the afternoon, the invited panelists were Wanda Brown, NCLA President, Dale Cousins, NCLA Vice President & President-Elect and Cal Shepard, State Librarian. Each panelist shared her unique perspective on leadership. The attendees asked many questions and participants said that it was a great workshop to reflect and discuss these important issues.

CurateGear 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013 1:27 pm

Yesterday, I attended an interesting day-long “interactive event”, CurateGear 2013, sponsored by UNC SILS in Chapel Hill. This year’s theme for the day was “Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections.” The format of the day was new to me. There were five tracks, but they ran one after the other. Each track began with a short overview to all participants by each speaker. The speaker gave a 2-3 minute teaser about what he/she would be talking about. Then, at the end of the overview, participants moved to individual breakout sessions to hear in-depth presentations on the topic. The themes encompassed the major areas involved in data curation: repository management environments, planning and assessment, characterization and ingest, processing and transformation, and access and user environments. Most of the speakers were developers who demonstrated specific applications or projects for which they had received grant funding. I attended breakout sessions on

  • ArchivesSpace, the next-generation archives management tool. This will replace Archivist’s Toolkit which we currently use. Its organizational home will be Lyrasis and they will be using a membership model to aid future sustainability. The intention is to release the full 1.0 version of the product by SAA this summer. The application is completely browser-based and they have made a commitment to migrate data from AT.
  • Preservation Intent Statements from the National Library of Australia. Establishing procedures for the long-term preservation of digital objects is quite complex, and this is one institution’s approach to a way to make it more manageble. Intent statements are developed for each digital collection that spell out the purpose of the collection, how it will be preserved, who is responsible, what the general intent for preservation is for that collection, and identifies known issues to preserving it. IT people tend to think about digital preservation in term of document formats while those in charge of collections think in terms of intellectual entities. The speaker, David Pearson, used the example of a Word document which is thought of differently as part of a manuscript collection than it might be in a map collection. The intent statements are developed in partnership between IT and the collection owner as a way to establish a common language and understanding about what needs to be preserved and how.
  • CINCH. This is a tool developed by the State Library of NC to assist smaller institutions in transferring online content (like what we capture via ArchiveIt) into a repository. The potential benefit over capturing strictly via ArchiveIt is that you get a local copy and it is free of charge.
  • Archivematica. This is an open-source digital preservation system. This presentation focused on its ability to do normalization upon ingest and to use their format policy registry to help with file characterization and analysis.
  • Bitcurator. This is a product that is used for digital forensics. Collections that come to the archives now might contain born digital materials on a variety of devices. Digital forensics is a field often associated with computer crime, but that can be valuable in our library world in that it encompasses “recovery and investigation of material found in digital devices.” One purpose would be to provide an automated way identify types of information within donated files that the archives would not want to collect (ie student grades, personnel records, social security numbers, etc.).
  • Viewshare. This is a browser-based application developed by LOC for ” generating and customizing views(interactive maps, timelines, facets, tag clouds) that allow users to experience your digital collections.” I saw potential for easy methods to engage our users with our digital collections. The product can pull data from dSpace to generate interesting views. That can be embedded into our existing web pages to provide our look and feel. I’m looking forward to experimenting with it! Trevor Owens, the presenter, gave a live demonstration to show how easy it is to use and made his slides available.

One of the reasons I attended this particular conference is that I’m trying to get a clearer sense of the skill sets needed by the person who will eventually fill the Library’s Digital Initiatives Librarian position. Digital curation is one of the areas that we plan for this person to coordinate, so I wanted to see the kinds of positions this type of conference attract. I hoped to learn what overlap and gaps there might be between those that self-identify as digital curators and the more general “digital initiatives’ professional. What I found was that there were two distinct demographics at the event: library archivists (the practitioners) and IT developers. I heard a familiar refrain that IT and archivists don’t speak the same language and have to work at building a common understanding of what is needed in these tools.

At the end of the day, a wrap up session was held, led by Helen Tibbo and Bram van der Werf. Their observation was that there is still a divide between library archivists and developers, but the practitioners are the ones that should be in the drivers seat because, data curation is part of maintaining and preserving their collections and thus is really their problem. The approach being put forwarded by Tibbo and the SILS program is modeled after CNI (where institutional membership consists of the library Dean and the University CIO). The idea is a data curation team that includes both camps, archivists and IT.

A final end-of-day observation of interest was that open-source is a business model, and the types of “light weight tools” demonstrated throughout the day don’t usually have a long life. They open up when there is funding, but often stop being developed once the funding ends. Everyone agreed that sustainability of these tools remains a big unknown.

Coalition for Networked Information, December 2012

Monday, January 7, 2013 11:56 am

Thomas and I attended the Fall meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information in Washington, DC on December 10-11, 2012. CNI is a membership organization dedicated to best practices in information technology, from both the Library and IT sides.As happened last year, I had bad luck traveling to the meeting due to a delayed flight. By the time I finally got there, the keynote was already over.

For the first concurrent session, I chose “Establishing Infrastructures for Scholarly Publishing.” Kevin Hawkins, Head of Publishing Production from the University of Michigan, spoke about mPach, a system being developed to publish journals directly into the HathiTrust repository. It will be available to other institutions within the year and creates a one-step process for both publishing and archiving OA journals. Continuing the library publishing theme in the second session, I chose “Library Publishing Coalition Project.” I had heard about this earlier from my ASERL meeting. The project is meant to create a forum for professionals engaged in the field of library publishing. It is hosted by the Educopia Institute, with a large number of academic libraries participating. Membership at both the Founding and Contributing levels is now open. The stated mission is to mainstream library publishing in a range of forms, and the aim is to provide services to practitioners such as marketing, collective purchasing, advocacy, training, statistics, research, directory, and liaison with other communities. I ended the day by meeting ZSR’s good friends Dr. Earl Smith and Dr. Angela Hattery for dinner. They led the two South Course excursions in which ZSR participated in 2007 and 2009. It was great to catch up with them and hear about their new professional lives at George Mason University.

On Tuesday, the first session I attended was “Supporting Community and Open Source Software in Cultural Heritage Institutions.” I was particularly interested in the update on Kuali OLE, which is still in development on a pay-to-play basis. The OLE (Open Library Environment) project received a third year of funding from Mellon and joined the Kuali Foundation to take advantage of its governance structure and general infrastructure. The University of Chicago and Lehigh University will be the first adopters. Version 1.0 is scheduled for Q4 2013 with the release of a global open knowledgebase. In the same session, there was also an update on ArchiveSpave, which will combine Archon and Archivists Toolkit, which we use here at ZSR. The beta release is scheduled for May/June. Lyrasis has been chosen as the organizational home for training, help desk, upgrades, etc.

For the next session, I chose “HarvardX: Developing Communities of Practice for Innovation in Online Learning.” I am very interested in the MOOC movement (massive, open online courses), having taken several of them myself. Harvard and MIT announced EdX in May, 2012, and several other institutions were added shortly thereafter, including Texas, Berkeley Wellesley and Georgetown. Within EdX, Harvard uses the brand HarvardX with a goal to improve teaching, learning and research across the institution. The libraries at Harvard are trying to figure out how to support the endeavor. They have been looking at copyright implications, mostly. Perhaps the most insightful, and certainly the most amusing comment of the conference, came from a man now at Cornell, but previously with the British Open University. He said that there is nothing about MOOCs that is new, since it has been done in Britain, at least, for some time. Americans apparently think if they haven’t invented it themselves, it doesn’t count. He might have something there…

For the final session of the morning, I again choose MOOCs (can’t get enough). Our neighbor, Lynne O’Brien from Duke, presented on “Massive Open Online Courses as Drivers for Change.” Duke joined Coursera in July 2012 and has launched two courses, with eight more in development. Duke’s goals are to drive teaching innovation, extend its commitment to knowledge in service to society, and to expand Duke’s global brand. Her office helps promote, design, produce and provide media storage for the MOOCs on campus. The Provost’s office provides stipends, while the school or department also provides teaching assistants and other support. Duke’s Scholarly Communication office is providing copyright review. For some early courses, major publishers have been providing free versions of e-textbooks and some software companies have offered free or discounted software. Since the initial courses have just been completed, it is early to draw conclusions. They are estimating that development costs per course might be as high as $50,000. Faculty are doing it to build their personal brand, often without additional money or course reduction. Some faculty now want to use the Coursera platform for their own Duke courses and want the flexibility it offers in terms of the length of a course. (There is some movement there to re-think the “course is a course” approach for which Duke is known.) Overall, they are excited about the possibilities.

The conference ended with a final keynote by Hunter Rawlings, President of the Association of American Universities. He talked about the tidal wave of international students and the consequences it brings, both good and bad. He also highlighted the stress suffered by flagship state research universities and the inappropriate meddling by politicians in their mission and scope. While he does not currently have a high opinion of MOOCs, as a classicist (of special interest to me) he noted that ancient Greece was an oral, performance culture and the introduction of the written book was a massive disruption that eventually proved its worth. Plato predicted (correctly) that books would cause people to lose much of their memories, so when he wrote books he did it in dialog to mimic the best form of education and pursuit of truth (in his view). Perhaps we can think of MOOCs in the same way.

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