On March 14, 2014 I attended the 23rd Annual North Carolina Serials Conference in Chapel Hill, having carpooled with Derrik, Chris, and Steve, and meeting Carol and Ellen there. In addition to these worthy colleagues I actually ran into someone whom I know from App State. This was my first un-orchestrated North Carolina librarian encounter. I admit it felt good.
David Crotty’s keynote address – “Altmetrics: Finding Meaningful Needles in the Data Haystack” – went into the inadequacy of Impact Factor as a measure of a scholarly work’s significance. Ellen has already described his talk well. Mr. Crotty observed that “Weird stuff draws attention.” This fact highlights just one of the manifold problems involved in attempting to capture data to reflect true scholarly importance as opposed (in this case) to mere novelty appeal. On this same point he referred his audience to a highly-ranked and oft-accessed article about certain clandestine activities that have been known to occur between two consenting fruit bats; which really is neither here nor there, yet which for some reason I feel compelled to mention before moving on. See? I’ve proved his point.
The main session I came to see was “Streaming Film: How to Serve Our Users,” as this subject will be important in my job going forward. Three employees at UNCG libraries talked about their organization’s choices of streaming video vendors, the decisions they’ve made on acquiring rights (they strongly favor perpetual access), their hosting strategy for in-house streaming video (using Google Drive), and their concerns about license-appropriate use by students and faculty. I was struck by the similarities in what different libraries seem to be experiencing right now: an increased demand for streaming video, a still-developing workflow, and an expectation of greater demand in the future. As I settle in at ZSR I’ll be seeking out information on how other organizations are handling this demand. It’s all very interesting, and it’s something that I look forward to getting into. The UNCG folks talked about the importance of gathering the right team of people to manage streaming video. I feel that we at ZSR have already taken some good steps in that direction.