Professional Development

During June 2013...

Thomas at ALA – The Show So Far

Saturday, June 29, 2013 11:15 pm

After a friendly conversation with a very patient lady at the ALA registration desk, it turned out that the reason they had no record of my registration was…I hadn’t actually remembered to register. So that’s a shining start to the conference.

Friday afternoon I went to LITA 101, a gentle introduction to ALA’s coolest little division. [Ever use technology in your work? Then you should join LITA.] I spent the session assuring prospective authors that, yes, LITA has a place for them to publish, whether they’re working up an article, a book, or something in between. Saturday morning was taken up with committee meetings: one with a committee of committee chairs discussing how to lead a discussion (I’ll let you reflect on how “meta” that is); and one where in fact we talked through how to support authors working on that “something in between” publication. I think LITA will be able to put some interesting options out for people with something clever to share about how they implement technology in their libraries.

Saturday afternoon included a program by the LITA Mobile Interest Group titled “We Went Mobile, Now What”. Presenters included a librarian from Portland State University who discussed the usability testing process for getting their mobile web site up and running; and two librarians from Oregon State University talking about the process of replacing their original, now five-year-old, mobile site with a new responsive design for mobile and desktop computers. An important lesson: you can bribe undergraduates with coffee in exchange for feedback.

Roz at ALA

Saturday, June 29, 2013 10:22 pm

My ALA started on Friday with an all-day ProQuest User Group meeting. This was the first time ProQuest had done one of these and it was really, really useful. Their goal was to hear from librarians about a variety of issues and to update us on what is coming with ProQuest products. I spent the first breakout period in a session about eBooks. Leslie Lee, the new product developer (among many other things) for the Ebrary/EBL product led the session. He asked really good questions of the group about the level of comfort with ebooks from our various constituencies, how we budget for ebooks, what our thoughts were about different pricing models (like platform fees vs. higher per-title prices), and what the one thing we would want from a new platform. The discussion was wide ranging and covered things like how we need to rethink departmental-specific budgets, the need for better ways to get books on mobile devices, and the rich data ebooks can give us about our users and their habits. The second and third sessions I went to were both about Summon. The first one was about the new features upcoming in the next big iteration of Summon. These features are really exciting and include bringing background/reference content to the user in a separate panel on the results page, morecustomizability, spotlighting content by format (think Google Images, News, etc), automated query expansion (if you search ‘heart attack’ it will also search ‘myocardial infarction’ as well) and some others. I can’t wait to see the new features in action. We will get access to a test site in mid July and then will go live at some point before January 31st 2014. Then we broke out into discussion tables. I joined a table that looked at the way libraries are managing Summon after the implementation is over. It was clear that we had more questions than answers. Who is ultimately responsible for keeping up with changes/features in Summon? A single person – a team – an advisory group?? how are decisions made about how to configure new features, etc. Vote? Benign dictatorship? It dawned on me that we probably need to give more deliberate attention to Summon to be sure it is as good as we can make it for our users. I’ll get a group together later in the summer to discuss all these new features and how we want to handle them.

All in all it was a very useful meeting. ProQuest very intentionally did a lot of listening and not any selling of their products. They really wanted to hear what we like, don’t like and what we feel is missing the landscapes of products they provide.

My Saturday was filled mostly with committee meetings for the Law and Political Science Section. I am the outgoing chair of the Marta Lange awards committee (our luncheon is tomorrow) and a member of the 2014 Program Planning Committee for the Las Vegas conference. We decided that our program in Las Vegas will be about water issues in the Southwest. Should be really good. I hit the exhibits – found out that the NY Times now has site licenses for libraries and got a good look at the new Statistical Datasets product. Will go back tomorrow for more vendor floor schmoozing.

Hu’s ALA 2013 (It’s all about LITA)

Saturday, June 29, 2013 4:51 pm

So maybe it was a little crazy getting to our hotel in the middle of a city-wide celebration, and maybe Susan, Carolyn and I looked a little strange wheeling our luggage through a sea of red shirts (and no shirts), but honestly, how often does crazy like that happen, and how often do you get to be right in the middle of it all? It was an adventure!

Susan and Carolyn and the Blackhawks Fans

Susan and Carolyn and the Blackhawks Fans

Upon arriving at our hotel, Susan, Carolyn and I headed to McCormick Convention center (my first time there!) to get our badges. Then Susan and I headed to the LITA 101 session where we met up with Thomas. One of my main purposes this weekend is the successfully stream the LITA Top Tech Trends program on Sunday afternoon! (2pm EST, 1pm CST) So I began giving out handbills to everyone in the room for “Sunday Afternoon with LITA” and talking up the event. I was a marketing machine! I didn’t even notice when I handed one to Cory Doctorow, which is good, because I might have been star-struck if I had realized it was him.

LITA 101

LITA 101

After LITA 101, Roz, Mary Beth and I heard Steven Levitt, of Freakonomics fame! He told about his failures rather than his successes (the failures made for much better stories) and he had a wonderful story on pricing models that really isn’t blog appropriate, but I’ll happily discuss with anyone who is interested! Oh, and did I mention that RahmEmanuelwelcomed us all to Chicago? It was a good day that only got better when Susan, Roz, Mary Beth, Thomas, Carolyn, and I met Chelcie Rowell for drinks and then dinner at the Italian Village (Thanks for a great dinner venue choice, Roz!)

Rahm Emanuel at ALA 2013

Rahm Emanuel at ALA 2013

But I digress, as I said in the title, “It’s all about LITA”. On Saturday, the Top Tech Trends committee met and reviewed all the details for our program on Sunday afternoon! We are trying to improve an already successful program, which is a challenge. I’m also responsible for streaming the program, a nerve-racking task as many of the key elements for successful streaming, like bandwith and audio feeds, are out of my hands and require me to have faith in the resources at the convention center. I’ll be very stressed until that part of the conference is over!

After inspecting the venue for “Sunday Afternoon with LITA”, I attend 19th Annual Reference Research Forum. There were several great presentations; one was a usability study of LibGuides that generated some great insights on how students use our resources, and another was on data visualization of reference transactions. The data visualization was impressive, but the human coding of the data was an arduous task. I followed this session with a trip to the Exhibits Hall where I walked half the exhibits and found a nice place to sit and write this before my next session, “The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron”.

Tonight I’ll test drive all the video equipment for streaming! Fingers crossed! Check out #ALA2013 on Twitter for more about the conference and check out #ALA2013TTT for more about the LITA Top Tech Trends program!


NASIG 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 2:24 pm

This year’s conference of the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) was held June 6-9 in Buffalo, NY. After a bumpy plane ride, Chris and I arrived safely in Buffalo. (NASIG VP/Pres-elect Steve Kelley got there a day ahead of us.)

The opening session was presented by Dr. Bryan Alexander, from the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE). His address was primarily an overview of technology trends, especially use of mobile devices. The audience seemed engaged, but the audio was terrible where I sat, and then I lost most of my notes on his talk due -ironically- to a technology error, so Steve or Chris will have to fill you in.

I thought Saturday’s plenary address was a good combination of “Libraries are important” and “Libraries must change” [nod to Carol]. The speaker, Megan Oakleaf of Syracuse University, focused on how to communicate the importance of libraries to stakeholders. She said there is a lot of information on the value of libraries in general, but not much on their value to the sponsoring organization. The usual value metrics-user satisfaction, service quality, collection counts, usage (“a lot of people downloaded a lot of things”)-don’t communicate a compelling message. Oakleaf said we should identify what the institution/community values, then tie the message of library outcomes to those values. How/what does the library contribute toward student recruitment? student success? faculty recruitment/tenure/promotion? research funding? local economy? Do students who use more library resources ultimately get better grades? She encouraged us to think about what data we need to collect in order to answer such questions.

Sunday’s plenary session featured Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry). He was scheduled to talk about “the Challenge of Big Data,” and it so happened that this session came just a few days after news of the NSA’s Prism surveillance program broke. I found his presentation fascinating. He pointed out that Google (along with other big-data endeavors) is in the prediction business, using the massive amounts of data on past user behavior to read our minds. He wondered aloud about the NSA’s ability to read and misread our information, and about how statistical correlation could kill the scientific method. This new system means no second chances; the stupid mistakes of our youth never go away. Yet most of us continue to carry GPS devices (aka cell phones) with us wherever we go, and we continue to use Google and grocery store “loyalty” cards. My favorite take-away was Vaidhyanathan’s explanation of privacy. He said that privacy is not about hiding all information, but is the ability to influence your reputation within certain contexts. There are some things you want your brother to know, but not your sister, or your clergy but not your coach. When the defaults are set to lock the flow of information open, then we lose that control and have no privacy. He said he sees a new digital divide, between those who are savvy enough to shape their digital profile and those who are victims of the system, who don’t understand, for instance, the connection between their poor credit score and their difficulty finding a job. He urged those of us on the savvier side to fight for those who don’t know how to protect their rights.

And that’s the short version of my notes on that session!

EBSCO Usage Consolidation
You probably didn’t know this, but ZSR recently subscribed to EBSCO Usage Consolidation (UC), an online service for aggregating journal usage statistics. So I went to a session in which librarians from two universities described their experience with the product. Their review was mixed. Specific problems noted included (1) a lot of up-front effort to reconcile title differences; (2) difficult user interface; (3) default cost-per-use display includes usage from aggregator databases without factoring in the cost. They liked having cost-per-use data, and the number of available reports, but librarians at one university found it too cumbersome for title-by-title review.

Designing User-Centered Services for Virtual Users
The main take-away from this session was how nice it is to work at ZSR. The presenters made a big deal out of public services and technical services working together, like it was something novel to get public services’ “endorsement” for customizing the EBSCOhost interface. Steve and I talked later about how nice it is that everybody here is focused on what is best for our users.

Aggregator Databases: Cornerstone or Annex?
The presenters in this session described their efforts to assess the value of full-text content in aggregator databases. Rather than looking just at title counts, they compared full-text aggregator titles against ISI’s top-ranked journals (i.e. highest impact factors) in various subjects. For example, they determined that Academic Search Premier contained 11 of ISI’s top 25 journals in Education. Not surprisingly, they said they ended up with more questions than answers, such as the value of the aggregators’ indexing for article discovery. It was an interesting (if tedious) methodology, but ultimately doesn’t apply much to us given the role of NC LIVE providing much of our access to aggregator databases.

FRBR, Linked Data, & New Possibilities for Serials Cataloging
This was a very good presentation about the potential of linked data to bring together catalog records for related resources. The presenters described a scenario of a patron looking for the English translation of an Einstein paper. The original German work was published as a journal article in 1903. After much digging, they discovered the English translation within a 1989 monograph, but there was nothing in the respective catalog records directly linking the two manifestations together. The principles of FRBR and linked data can overcome MARC’s weakness in showing such relationships between items. Journals, articles, authors, and even subject headings, are all described as individual entities, and the coding describes their relationships to each other. The presenters talked about BIBFRAME, the Library of Congress’ “Bibliographic Framework Initiative” that is working toward replacing MARC. I admit I didn’t understand all this very well, and I’ll definitely be looking to learn more about it.

Finally, I had the opportunity at NASIG to pick Selden Lamoureux’s brain to learn more about ONIX-PL. What’s that? I’m glad you asked. ONIX-PL is a NISO standard, kind of like MARC for e-resource licenses. The standard was released in 2009, but uptake has been slow (practically nil in the US). Learning to encode licenses in ONIX-PL isn’t easy, so there hasn’t been much incentive for publishers to start using the standard. NISO recently received a Mellon grant to encode a collection of license templates, to give publishers and libraries a starting point, and NISO has contracted with Selden Lamoureux to do the encoding. So it was a great opportunity for me to meet up with her and learn more about ONIX-PL and the encoding project (which I plan to write more about in an upcoming article).

Archives Leadership Institute 2013 (Decorah, Iowa)

Monday, June 24, 2013 10:05 am

All, I apologize for the length of this posting, but really didn’t want to split it up!

Five years ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to participate in the very first Archives Leadership Institute (ALI), hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Funded by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), the goal for the Institute was to “bring to tomorrow’s leaders the insights and understanding necessary for increasing public use and appreciation of archives.” The Institute provided a series of workshops on managing change, self-evaluation, working with external collaborators, and much, more more! We also worked in small groups and developed responses to specialized case studies. All in all, it was a excellent experience–I was able to meet new people, and build deeper friendships with those I already knew (FYI, the archives profession is extremely small, and even if you don’t know someone, you usually are only one degree away from a connection). My friend and colleague, Geof Huth, blogged about the entire week:

Now, in 2013, I am part of the Steering Committee, organizing the next 3-year set of ALI, held last week at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa (still sponsored by NHPRC):

The Committee consists of archivists (Rachel Vagts, ALI Director, and Sasha Griffin) from Luther College as well as representatives from New York (Geof Huth), Michigan (Beth Myers), Ohio (Dan Noonan), Oregon (Terry Baxter), Texas (Brenda Gunn), and of course, North Carolina (Tanya). The Steering Committee assisted in the development of the Institute content and logistics, and also reviewed applications (there were nearly 100 for 25 slots). For the Institute, the Committee conducted daily evaluations of the curriculum, and monitored the overall process by serving as facilitators for small groups in the cohort. All in all, we had a wonderful week (including a field trip to Seed Savers (which saves heirloom seeds) and a yoga class) and built many new relationships. The Institute also gained the moniker, “The Weight Gain” Institute because the food was so good.

For some photos (please note Audra Eagle Yun as she was one of the attendees):

The week began with a day dedicated to New Leadership Thinking and Methods. Our facilitator for the entire week was community organizer and consultant, Luther Snow, who is based in Decorah. I found his concepts on generativity to be extremely helpful-the focus is on what you have, not on the negative aspects of continually thinking about your weaknesses. During the afternoon, the group was presented with a number of physical team challenges for team groups to solve to build bonding, and then we went to the high ropes course. We were really not sure how the group would respond, but it was amazing-even if you didn’t take the challenge of crossing a log 30 feet up, you could participate by serving on the belay team or cheering everyone else on. I finally broke down and participated in the swing, which draws you up about 30 feet in the air, and after you pull the cord, swoosh, you swing through the air numerous times. I am afraid of heights, but after everyone else on the Steering Committee AND my small group tried at least one thing, I felt obligated as a point of pride. Next year, I am planning to tackle the diagonal log climb. See the photos on the Flickr site, yikes!

On Day two, Dan Noonan from Ohio State presented on Strategies for Born Digital Resources. The constant mantra of dealing with electronic records is never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. In other works, do something, even if it is not perfect. Day 3 brought Sharon Leon (Director of Public Projects, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and Media, George Mason) who oversees OMEKA and Scripto, focus on project management. Christopher Barth, from West Point, spoke on Strategic Visioning and Team Development. One of the best things about his presentation (in addition to the content) was his use of PollEv which enable the participants to text thoughts on various questions he asked, which were then displayed to everyone:

Finally, Day five brought Kathleen Roe to speak about Archival Advocacy and Awareness. Kathleen is an SAA Fellow and has been an archivist with the New York State Archives for nearly 35 years. She is also the incoming president for the Society of American Archivists, and has been a leader in building awareness of and financial support for archives. The week ended with a special celebratory dinner, which included heartfelt stories from the participants as well as inside jokes concerning bacon, shoes, and trolls. The group will be meeting again at the annual meeting for the Society of American Archivists, being held in New Orleans in August. There will be a dinner (including ALI alumni from past years) as well as a morning workshop to discuss potential service activities. ALI has had a tremendous impact on the archival profession by developing the potential leadership skills in a wide range of archival professionals throughout the country. I am glad I was able to participate in continuing this important program.

FYI-as I was recently elected to ZSR’s Mentoring Committee, I thought I would share a couple of items from ALI 2012, where I presented specifically on mentoring. The first is an outline of my presentation and a bibliography on mentoring-if you have questions about either, please do not hesitate to let me know!



2013 ATLA Conference-Day 1

Thursday, June 20, 2013 9:53 pm

The 2013 American Theological Library Association Conference is being held in Charlotte, and I have been on the local host committee, helping to prepare events and excursions for those who want some local color while they are here. We kicked things off on Wednesday night with a lovely reception at the Mint Museum, and then started our conference sessions early this morning.

The first session I attended was a conversation group on the topic of “Library Instruction and Advanced Researchers” and asked if there are differences between instruction sessions presented for doctoral students and masters students, and if so, what they might be. While our Divinity School does not offer a doctoral level program, it may in the future, and I thought this session might give me an idea of the support these more advanced students might need. The consensus in the room seemed to be the standard librarian answer of, “it depends!” It depends on whether your institution requires a master’s degree for admissions, or if a master’s is part of the doctoral program. It depends on whether your students are coming straight out of undergrad, or they have been out of academia for 20+ years. It depends on whether you are meeting them at the beginning of their studies, or at the point where they are having to make their dissertation topic proposal. It depends on whether the faculty make library sessions a priority or not. It also depends on the topics/degrees being covered (archaeology, exegesis, theology, church history and pastoral care are all vastly different areas of research and require different tools, D.Min., Ph.D., and Th.D. degrees also cover different areas)

In regards to specific content, these suggestions were made:

  • basic search strategies and religious studies databases
  • primary, secondary, tertiary sources
  • importance of archival sources/collections
  • importance of selecting a bibliographic management system at the start of their research
  • if faculty notice particular problems (lit reviews, bibliographies, level of research) you can adress those issues and possibly get faculty by-in
  • help prepare students for what their dissertation committees will want to see (lists of databases consulted, archival collections to investigate, LC subject headings and call numbers, etc…)

“Theological Libraries & the Theology of Hospitality” was a panel presentation of three reflections on the idea of hospitality in libraries. A few ideas that came up:

  • Definition: “Hospitality involves a space into which people are welcomed, a space into which they normally wouldn’t be allowed.” Do we think our libraries are hospitable because we are used to them ourselves (we have lost the outsider perspective”?
  • We see many of our patrons on a daily basis, or face to face, but what about those who never come into the building? How do we extend hospitality to them? On the website, on chat, email?
  • What do our patrons expect when they enter the library? Do they know what to expect before we show them what is possible (ala Steve Jobs)?
  • Different types of hospitality in a library environment: hospitality of resources (research resources and human resources-knowledge, assistance), hospitality of comfort (food/drinks, quiet space, temperature/light), hospitality of dialogue (library as a third space, interdisciplinary discourse), protective hospitality (safe space)
  • We practice hospitality in the context of our profession of furthering academic pursuits

“Support for Online Bible Studies” covered free and hosted tools to help students who might want to conduct or participate in online Bible studies as part of their course or ministerial work. Some of the tools were already familiar to me (Wabash Center Internet Guide to Religon, Princeton Theological Commons) but there were several that were new (Lectionary Greek, Working Preacher, Narrative Lectionary). There were a few questions suggested for students to think about as they start an online bible study program, especially because of the private and personal nature of the types of topics encountered in these discussions:

  • Will the group be open/public, or private only to members/registrants?
  • How will you create your online presence as a leader?
  • Do you need a covenant agreement between participants?
  • Is it better to meet via skype so there isn’t a record of the discussion?

One new aspect of this conference is that we are meeting in conjunction with annual conference of the Center for the Study of Information and Religion (CSIR). I attended one of their sessions today, “A Study on the Effects of Iranian Religions on Its House Architecture,” presented by Khosro Movahed of Shiraz Islamic Azad University. Movahed’s study compared the traditional house architecture of Islamic and Zoroastrian families by visiting 10 houses, looking at house plans, interviewing inhabitants and reviewing relevant scriptural passages with housing rules for both of the traditions. Traditional Zoroastrian houses were oriented on an east/west axis as sun/light worship was a significant part of their religious practice. They included a guest space that was set aside for visitors that were not of the Zoroastrian faith. The decor of the houses included symbolism taken from their scriptures, the Avesta (such as cedar trees), and construction followed prescriptions from the Vandidad portion of the Avesta. The plans of traditional Islamic houses were centered around the distinction of public and private spaces, who would be allowed to enter the private areas of the home (ie, the areas the women occupied), and signified the importance that Islam placed on hospitality. The entrance area of the house was set aside for guest rooms, and had no sightlines into the private area, and these areas were the most opulent and decorated in the home. The decorations were limited to geometric and floral patterns, as well as Qur’an verses. Muslim homes were oriented towards the southwest and Mecca, as are mosques. In cities and towns with multiple religions, there were specific quarters where each religious group lived, and these architectural types predominated in their respective quarters. In the last few decades, with population growth and socio-economic changes, these architectural patterns have been changing. New highrise apartments are western in style and don’t maintain these religious distinctions. Movahed suggested that it would be good for new construction and urban planning to re-incorporate some of these traditional ideas going forward.

2013 Metrolina Information Literacy Conference

Monday, June 17, 2013 5:26 pm

On Thursday, June 13, 2013, I attended the 8th Annual Metrolina Information Literacy Conference, held at Johnson & Wales University in downtown Charlotte. The day started with a keynote by ACRL President Steven Bell, and then separated into four breakout sessions along four tracks: pedagogy/instruction, assessment, diversity, and collaboration.

Steven Bell, Higher Education Rebooted: Exploring the New Mysteries of Information Literacy

Bell framed his discussion around the concept of mysteries and wicked problems. Mysteries are important because they bring new discoveries and knowledge, and make us tackle problems creatively. Rather than being complacent about the solutions we come up with, we should continue to adapt our solutions, which will lead to more growth. Wicked problems are complex challenges that are characterized by ambiguity and shifting qualities. His examples of current wicked problems in higher education were:

  • what are students learning that will get them jobs?
  • why does higher education cost so much?
  • can we make it less expensive?

Regarding information literacy, his wicked problems were:

  • are we making a difference?
  • do students learn what we say they do?
  • are we/they academically successful?
  • do students really become life-long learners?

Clearly, assessment is an important component of answering these wicked problems. One current solution is the project to update the ACRL Information Literacy Standards, which hasn’t been done since 2000, as well as the Assessment in Action project that just got started.

Session #1: Jennifer Resor Whicker & Lisa Vassady, Radford University, A Novel Approach to Assessment: Using Worksheet Observation Assessment in One-Shot Instruction Classes

Resor Whicker and Vassady presented the observational worksheet approach they developed at Radford University to assess student learning in their information literacy sessions, which are taught in conjunction with General Ed courses. They focused on assessing two sessions: search strategies and databases, and website evaluation. They created worksheets for the students to use in class, and then collected those worksheets at the end of each session. Immediately following each session, the librarian wrote a reflection on how they felt the class went (student engagement, faculty preparation, success of active learning exercises). After the librarian evaluated herself and how the session went, she evaluated the students’ worksheets using an assessment rubric, to see how successful the students were in following and applying the information and techniques the librarian presented. Using the results from the student worksheet assessment, the librarian then wrote another reflection on whether or not the student worksheets matched with their initial impression of student learning, or if they might need to make changes to their presentation or exercises. This evaluation and redevelopment process was continuous during the semester and not limited to the end of the semester.

I liked this idea and am trying to figure out how I might be able to apply it to LIB250. I already use worksheets in the course, but usually let the students keep them so they can use them as they work on their daily assignments. It may be most useful to be more purposeful and formal in my post-class reflection on how the session went and how it could be changed.

One exercise example they used that I really liked was in regards to website evaluation. They initially show the students a website that is unreliable for academic use, and tell them that it is and why. Then they pose a research question to the students, and ask them what qualities the “perfect” website on that topic would have by answering the five w’s: Who would have written/prepared/sponsored it? When would it have been written? Why would it have been made?, etc… Then they have to search for a website they think meets these criteria. I like this idea of the “perfect” website on a topic, as I think students just search for a website that is “good enough” rather than looking for something that really answers their question.

Session #2: Kaetrena Davis, USC-Lancaster, & Deborah Tritt, USC-Aiken, Serving Information Literacy via Digital Humanities

Davis and Tritt mapped the use of various tools to the standards and performance indicators that are shared by those who work in both information literacy and the digital humanities (identifies keywords & concepts, selects and uses appropriate documentation style, etc…). Many of these tools are familiar to most of us (Prezi, Zotero, Evernote) but there were a few that were new to me, so I’ll share those.

  • Text2mindmap: an easy way to create concept maps or outlines, helps students think of key words and how concepts are connected
  • VoiceThread: allows asynchronous discussion on presentations, images, etc…especially useful for online courses
  • Bamboo DiRT: this website is a clearinghouse for digital research tools. Organized by tool type, click on the various categories for a curated list of tools that will help you if you need to: brainstorm, transcribe notes, visualize data, etc…

A few other tools suggested during the discussion:

  • Screencast-O-Matic: a free and easy program that will record video tutorials using screen capture on either Macs or PCs. More flexible and has more features than Jing!
  • bubler & popplet: collaboration & brainstorming software
  • tiki-toki & Timeline JS: software for creating timelines

Session #3: Mae Rodney & Forest Foster, Winston-Salem State University, Moving From Output Measures to Confirming the Value of the Library

Rodney and Foster shared the ways that O’Kelly Library at WSSU has been working to demonstrate the value of the library to the educational mission of the university and its impact on the success of their students. They designed a (IRB approved) study that would look at student interactions with library services (study room reservations, instruction sessions attended, media lab logins) as tracked by the email address used to login on library computers, and correlate that to student success. Being on the dean’s list was decided to be the standard of student success. Students were also asked to take quick surveys, which were administered at the library entrance on iPads, and which collected more subjective information, such as how often the student thought they used the library, how using the library impacted them, etc… Once users were identified by their email logins and all of these various streams of data were collated, they were compared to the dean’s list to see what percentage of overlap there was. WSSU is still in the process of tallying the data, so they don’t know the outcome yet, but they are hoping this will be a strong way to demonstrate that library usage contributes directly to student success.

Session #4: Jenny Dale & Lynda Kellam, UNC-Greensboro, Lost in Emotion: Emotional Intelligence and the Teaching Librarian

Jenny and Lynda always give high-energy presentations, so this session was a lot of fun! Most of us went in to the session thinking of emotional intelligence as limited to empathy and compassion. While those qualities are certainly part of the whole, there are other aspects to consider. Using the work of Alan Mortiboys, Teaching with Emotional Intelligence, and Daniel Goleman’s Working with Emotional Intelligence, they outlined these two concepts:

  • Mortiboy’s three categories for teachers: (1): subject expertise, knowledge, authority, (2): organized, gives feedback, clarity, engaged, (3): affective, positive, empathetic, open: each of these areas contribute to a well-rounded teacher
  • Goleman’s five competencies in the workplace: (1): self-awareness, (2): self-regulation, (3): motivation, (4): empathy, (5): social skills: areas 1-3 are personal competencies, while 4 & 5 are social competencies

Their suggestions for teaching with empathy were to:

  • set ground rules and explain expectations
  • use active listening skills (move on if your students understand a concept)
  • acknowledge individual learners by making eye contact, learning their names and referring to their previous class contributions
  • know your style and play to your strengths
  • know what motivates you as a teacher
  • be aware of verbal and non-verbal communication

As always, I would be happy to talk more with anyone about these presentations! I have more notes and handouts that I would be glad to share, and the slides and prezi’s should be posted to the Metrolina Conference page soon.

Vicki at ALABI Conference

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 2:54 pm

From May 22-24th, I attended the annual conference of ALABI in Richmond, VA. (In case you’re wondering, ALABI stands for Association of Librarians and Archivists at Baptist Institutions). This was my first time taking part in this conference, and it was very well organized and informative. The theme was “From Church to Battlefield and Everywhere in Between: Documenting the Civil War in Baptist Libraries and Archives“. Sessions ran all day, and looked at a variety of topics in our different collections. Here are some of the presentation titles to give an idea of what we learned about:

*Grace and Glory: Documenting and African American Baptist Identity after the Civil War

*War Comes to the Churches: The Civil War as Documented in Baptist Records

*War Comes to the Home Front: The Civil War as Documented in Special Collections Materials

*Citizens, Saints, and Soldiers: Strategies for Researching Baptists and the Civil War (A shout out given for the Biblical Recorder digitization in this presentation! Woo Hoo! )

*Digitizing Dixie: Strategies for Placing Baptist Civil War Collections Online

I was happy to be part of the “Digitizing Dixie” session, along with the Assistant Archivist from Mercer University and the Director of Special Collections at Baylor University. We all described the Civil War materials that we had digitized from our collections, along with why we chose them, how we “made it happen” and the challenges and benefits of the projects. You can see examples of their work here: Mercer Special Collections and Baylor Special Collections

While the materials we digitized were similar, the projects themselves were very different. Mercer’s collection has a staff of three, a very small budget, and limited equipment. They have done a great job of getting started with digitizing and they plan to continue digitizing as much as they can with what they have. Baylor, on the other hand, has quite a large staff and budget (comparatively) as well as more equipment. They made a video for YouTube and unveiled their materials in a dramatic way. On each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from January through March, they launched one Civil War letter on the YouTube site. This created a loyal following who tuned in to read the letters, each of which was transcribed, digitized and “recorded” for the viewer to hear and see.

After the sessions we were able to tour the Virginia Baptist Historical Society, which is on the campus of the University of Richmond. The director, Fred Anderson, told our group about the facility as well as the history of the collection. Currently they have an exhibit called “Free Indeed”! which tells the story of African-Americans and Whites in antebellum Virginia. Original documents, church records and artifacts are on display and tell amazing stories of the history of this area. They have also compiled a name registry of over 51,000 names of slaves, freedmen and white surnames. The special projects assistant, Mike Whitt, researched over 200 antebellum church record books from the archives there to find and list all of these names! The names have been put on the public computers in the VBHS for people who want to research their ancestors. It is an amazing amount of information!







In addition to the ALABI conference, I attended the final session of the Baptist History and Heritage Society. This group always meets in conjunction with the ALABI group, either just before or after the ALABI conference. I had attended the BH&H conference last year to share the Biblical Recorder project information with them and they were quite excited about that resource! This year, there was a special reason for me to be at this meeting as well. Our very own NC Baptist Collection received the Davis C. Woolley award which is given in by the BH&HS in conjunction with ALABI! I was invited to receive the award at the luncheon that day, and was very proud to represent the WFU Special Collections and Archives Department. We received the award based on our efforts to use technology to make our materials accessible more widely (i.e. the Biblical Recorder project, our current partnering with Chapel Hill and Duke on the Religion in NC grant project) , the progress made on processing important Baptist collections and having finding aids available online (Wayne Oates, Bill Leonard, Warren Carr and Henlee Barnette specifically) and the amount of reference questions related to the Baptist collection that we answer (over 125 so far this year). It is so affirming to be recognized for the work that we have done and continue to do and know that it benefits researchers from all over.

*Side note* After I received the award, a gentleman came up to talk to me. He was a Wake alum (’64) and very excited to hear about our projects. He also mentioned that he took part in the MOOC that Kyle coordinated and enjoyed it very much! Small world…

The final day of the conference included a session on preservation of materials presented by a rep from Metal Edge and a conservationist from the Virginia State Library which was very informative and then a business meeting and “lightning round” where we each had a minute to tell what we are working on in out collections. There was talk of a possible Baptist Digital Library in the works to consolidate Baptist resources in one place, ongoing efforts to continue digitizing materials, hopes to digitize church records, and interest in future publishing opportunities. We covered a lot in two days and it was well worth the trip. If you would like information on anything I’ve mentioned here, I would be happy to share more with you.











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