Professional Development

During March 2013...

Diversity & Inclusion Symposium

Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:38 pm

Wake Forest University held a Diversity & Inclusion Symposium at the Bridger Field House on Tuesday March 19. It was a beautiful sight to see the almost one hundred participants in attendance. Assistant Provost, Barbee Myers Oakes and Executive Director, Employer Relations, Mercy Eyadiel were the symposium planning co-chairs. The Symposium was co-sponsored by several University offices in conjunction with the North Carolina Diversity & Inclusion Partners. The partners are a consortium of public and private institutions of higher education in the State of North Carolina established to coordinate a statewide network among chief diversity officers. The schools are Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina Central, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington and Wake Forest. The symposium sought answers on how Wake Forest might ensure that there graduates were ready to compete in a multicultural environment.

Andy Chan, Vice President for Personal and Career Development moderated the first session where panelists were asked to address, “Defining Core Competencies for Graduates Entering a Global Marketplace.” Jeff Webster, Global Learning & Professional Development Manager, Exxon Mobile, Debra Langford, CEO & Principal The Langford Company, Rod Sides, Principal, Deloitte Consulting, LLP and Wake alumni along with Rachel Cheeks-Givan, Director of Global Diversity an Inclusion, PepsiCo each offered insights to the group. Among the comments that I captured were:
• Diversity used to be a code word for Black, but not any longer – it’s a much broader term.
• Are you as a leader saying what’s going on?
• Do you seek to understand the cultures you serve?
• Inclusion is when everything about you is valued and you’re free to be your authentic self.
• Relationships can prove vital. Let folks have fun together, let them connect.
• Inclusiveness is sometimes a lengthy journey.
• Don’t mistake a common language for a common understanding.
• Ask – what are you doing to mentor, what are doing to be inclusive?
• Graduates need to understand the value of others and what their differences bring to the table.
• Before you join a team, see if their leadership reflects an inclusive culture.

The continuing discussions focused on identifying how students might make the most of their time at Wake and within their internships. Students today want to know exactly what they need to do to get that A. They want it scripted. This leads to a worker who wants to be told exactly what to do to be productive. This could be somewhat of a downer. They haven’t had to figure it out. Their creative juices have not been tapped. Panelist recommended that professors be vaguer. They could use such statements as, once we finish X we can talk about how we’ll approach the next part. Assign more projects that require collaboration, connectivity and exploration.

An internship is more than just doing a job well and learning from that experience, but it is doing a job well while learning the culture, learning from the interactions and learning about the varying communication methods and styles. It is being in the game. An example used by one panelist compared a team player for the Lakers, the colors worn, the coach, the practice times, the strengths brought to the game by each player. Suddenly she moved over to the Los Angeles Clippers where there was a new coach, new players, new practice times and different folks bringing different strengths to the game. If she was going to be successful she had to pay attention, absorb the culture, all the while maintaining who she was. She used this same analogy to teach lessons to the students who seem to take their “entitled to attitudes” with them to work. There are out of bounds in any sport you play!

Melenie Lankau, Senior Associate Dean of Diversity and Graduate Programs served as moderator for the luncheon panelists. Tasked with speaking on “Diversity and Inclusion 50 years after Integration: Where Do We Go from Here? Panelist included Frank L. Matthews, publisher/Editor in Chief of Divers: Issues in Higher Education; Benjamin Reese, Vice-President of the Office for Institutional Equity, Duke University and our own Barbee Myers Oakes. Conversations around how minority candidates are invited to college campuses under a “culture of trust” to a campus climate which turns out to be far from welcoming and inclusive and many times the journey results in a failed attempt at tenure. So yes it is no wonder many college campuses lack the diversity amongst college faculty that would aid in preparing our graduates to work in an ever increasing diverse global community. This in reality is a catch 22, fewer minorities go in to Ph.D. programs and then even fewer of them get tenure. Barbee presented statistics showing that in 1998, some 6% of doctoral recipients were people of color. Unfortunately in 2008, ten years later, that 6% was an unchanged number.
Other highlights from this session revealed that Duke Chairs, Deans etc. have to prepare a summary outlining the progress made towards creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive school or department. They also indicate within the report any obstacles they faced in meeting their desired goals. Targeted search efforts were among the most successful strategies implemented.

The final speaker was Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon Networks Group. She left the audience with nine suggestions for how you could produce better qualified graduates.
• It’s not what students learn today that prepares them, but what they are willing to learn tomorrow.
• Use teaching techniques that engage the student. Ask them what went well, what didn’t, and how would you change it?
• If it ain’t broke fix it anyway. Constant reinvention is essential for success.
• Unleash the geekness.
• Good writers are not a dime a dozen.
• If a tree falls in an empty forest, it doesn’t make a sound. Learn to communicate.
• Have the capacity to be in the moment.
• Generalists are better than specialist. Flexibility is a must.
• Diversity is destiny! The wider we cast our net, the better the results.

Susan at ALFMO

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 10:06 pm

What in the world is ALFMO you ask? As did I when I first saw the call for presentations for its inaugural conference. What the acronym stands for is the “Association of Library Financial Management Officers.” As it turns out, this new association is being formed by Bob Kieserman, a professor of Business Administration at Arcadia University and a librarian. He has a business that includes forming “niche” library associations that are not necessarily covered by the big players like ALA and SLA. Along with this new association, he’s formed ones for communication and outreach, and human resource managers.

The conference was small in numbers but big in interest and enthusiasm. It was held at Kieserman’s institution, Arcadia University, outside of Philadalphia.

Grey Tower Castle

Grey Tower Castle on the campus of Arcadia University

To a person, all the attendees (who traveled great distances and were from both academic and public libraries) said that they were attracted by the opportunity to interact with other professionals who shared their passion for financial management in the library world. They looked forward to talking about their areas of expertise without having people’s eyes glaze over!

I became involved when contacted by our old friend and colleague, Mary Horton, who is Assistant Director of Administrative Services at Cooper Library, University of South Carolina. She thought people might be interested in how financial management varies between a public and private university. Her idea was accepted and so we gave one of the concurrent sessions at the conference:

Similarities & Differences in Financial Management Between a Small Private and A Large Public University from Susan Smith

Since I have only been working with the ZSR budget and finances for a bit over the year, I found the conference to be very helpful. Sessions covered forecasting, hidden costs in renovation, the connection between strategic planning and budgeting, cash handling (on a large scale), and managing the budget creation process through relationships. Because of its small size, there was ample opportunity to network with new colleagues and explore side areas of financial interests!

Leslie at MLA 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 7:48 pm

A welcome escape from the usual wintry rigors of traveling to a Music Library Association conference — mid-February this year found us in San Jose, soaking up sun, balmy breezes, and temps in the 70s. (Colleagues battered by the Midwest blizzards were especially appreciative.)

This was the title of a plenary session which yielded a number of high-level insights. For one, it was the first time I had heard the term “disintermediation” to describe the phenomenon of librarians being displaced by Google et al as the first place people go for information.

Henriette Hemmasi of Brown U analogized the MOOCs trend as “Diva to DJ”: that is, the role of the instructor is shifting from lone classroom diva to the collaborative role played by a disc jockey — selecting and presenting material for team-produced courses, working with experts in web development, video, etc. Her conclusion: 21st-century competencies must include not just knowledge, but also synthesizing and systems-thinking skills.

David Fenske, one of the founding developers of Indiana’s Ischool, noted that the rapid evolution of technology has rendered it impossible to make projections more than 5 or 10 years out (his reply to a boss who asked for a 20-year vision statement: “A 20-year vision can’t be done without drugs!”). He also observed that digital preservation is in many ways more difficult than the traditional kind: the scientific community is beginning to lose the ability to replicate experiments, because in many cases the raw data has been lost due to obsolete digital storage media. Fenske envisions the “library as socio-technical system” — a system based on user demographics, designed around “communities of thought leaders” as well as experts. Tech-services people have long mooted the concept of “good-enough” cataloging, in the face of overwhelming publication output; public-services librarians, in Fenske’s view, should start talking about the “good-enough” answer. Fenske wants to look “beyond metadata”: how can we leverage our metadata for analytics? semantic tools? How can we scale our answers and services to compete with Google, Amazon, and others?

Some interesting findings from two studies on the library needs of performing faculty and students (as opposed to musicologists and other researchers in the historical/theoretical branches of the discipline):

One study addressed the pros and cons of e-scores. Performers, always on the go and pressed for time, like e-scores for their instant availability and sharability; the fact that they’re quick and easy to print out; their portability (no more cramming a paper score into an instrument case for travel); easy page turns during performance (a pedal mechanism has been devised for this). Performers also like an e-score that can be annotated (i.e., not a PDF file) so they can insert their notes for performance; and the ability to get a lot of works quickly from one place (as from an online aggregator). On the other hand, academic users, who work with scholarly and critical editions, like the ability of the online versions to seamlessly integrate critical commentary with the musical text (print editions traditionally place the commentary in separate supplementary volumes). Third-party software can also be deployed to manipulate the musical text for analysis. But the limitations of the computer screen continue to pose viewability problems for purposes of analysis. Academic users regard e-scores as a compliment to, not an alternative to, print scores.

Another study interviewed performing faculty to find out how they use their library’s online catalog. Typically, they come to the library wanting to find known items, use an advanced-search mode, and search by author, title, and opus number (the latter not very effectively handled by many discovery layers; VuFind does a reasonably good job). Performing faculty often are also looking for specific editions and/or publishers (aspects that many discovery interfaces don’t offer as search limits/facets). Performing faculty (and students) study a work by using a score to follow along with a sound recording, so come to the library hoping to obtain multiple formats for the same work — icons or other aids for quickly identifying physical format are important to them, as for film users and others. There is also a lot of descriptive detail that performers need to see in a catalog display: contents, duration, performers’ names.

Stuff a lot of music librarians have observed or suspected, but good to see it quantified and confirmed in some formal studies.

This is a topic that has generated much interest in the library community, and music librarians have also been exploring collaborative options for acquiring the specialized materials of their field. Besides shared approval-plan profiles for books, and shared database subscriptions, music librarians have divvied up the collecting of composers’ collected editions, and contemporary composers whose works they want to collect comprehensively. Because music materials are often acquired and housed in multiple locations on the same campus, internal collaboration is as important as external. One thing that does not seem to lend itself to collaborative collection: media (sound recordings and videos). Many libraries don’t lend these out via ILL, and faculty tend to want specific performances — making on-request firm orders a more suitable solution. One consortium of small Maine colleges (Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin) divided the processing labor of their staffs by setting up rotating shipments for their shared approval plan: one library gets this month’s shipment of books, another library receives the next month’s shipment, and so on.

There was a good bit of discussion concerning demand-driven e-book acquisitions among colleagues whose institutions had recently implemented DDA services. On two separate occasions, attendees raised the question of DDA’s impact on the humanities, given those disciplines’ traditional reliance on browsing the stacks as a discovery method.

It was a very busy conference for music catalogers, as over a hundred of us convened to get prepared for RDA. There was a full-day workshop; a cataloging “hot topics” session; a town-hall meeting with the Bibliographic Control Committee, which recently produced a “RDA Best Practices for Cataloging Music” document; and a plenary session on RDA’s impact across library services (the latter reprising a lot of material covered by Steve and others in ZSR presentations — stay tuned for more!)

A very special experience was a visit to the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies (located on the San Jose State campus), the largest collection of Beethoveniana outside Europe. During a reception there, we got to play pianos dating from Beethoven’s time. Hearing the “Moonlight Sonata” up close on the model of instrument he wrote it for (Dulcken, a Flemish maker) was a true revelation.

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