Professional Development

2014 American Theological Library Association Annual Conference

Friday, June 27, 2014 3:52 pm

Last week I headed to New Orleans for the ATLA Annual Conference. I had never been to New Orleans before, so a big “thank you” to Roz, Jeff, Meghan, and Rebecca, who gave me some great recommendations!

“Common Ends: Libraries, Imagination, and the Conflict of Values in the Digital Moment”-Joe Lucia, Temple University

After the opening reception on Wednesday night, the conference started off with the plenary session on Thursday morning. Joe Lucia, dean of the Temple University Libraries (previously at Villanova/vufind, winner of the 2013 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award), spoke on the topic of “Common Ends.” He framed his discussion with the idea that we are currently in an “intertidal” period. Intertidal spaces are in-between places, where both/and is the norm and things are not black or white. While this can be frustrating for decision making or future planning, these intertidal places are also places of great creativity and fertility, and we should be capitalizing on the ideas they produce. This dichotomy is most prominent in the digital/physical transition we are currently experiencing; we all have seen the importance of ZSR as a place grow, especially over the last decade, but so many resources we provide are shifting to being digital.

At Temple, Lucia has been tasked with building a completely new library space, from the ground up (with a $200 million budget!). These are some of the ideas or principles they are using as the conceptualize what this new space will be:

  • library as commons: open space for access, meeting space, also a physical manifestation of the concepts of open access that libraries promote
  • library as catalyst: engages with change and flow, continues our cultural role of inspiration “even as the world of the book gives way to the world of the digital”
  • library as threshold: libraries are transformational spaces, should reflect the shift in what information/knowledge is, from physical to digital
  • library as exploratory space: combine scholars’ knowledge with our own technology/organizational skills to create new products (DPLA, digital humanities)

“Quest for Elusive Teaching Opportunities”-Jane Elder, Southern Methodist University, Elizabeth Leahy, Azusa Pacific University

“Librarian as Co-Teacher: Information Literacy Embedded in Theology Courses”-Martha Adkins and Mark Bilby, University of San Diego

“Preparing Librarians for Changes in Classroom Instruction”-Ken Boyd, Taylor University

I attended three sessions dealing with teaching and information literacy. Here are some of the main points/themes they touched on:

  • Survey faculty to find out what they see as consistent problems with student work, create a handout for students listing these and how to avoid them, create programming to respond to these issues
  • Short, 15-minute sessions on small topics or new products
  • Pointing out to faculty/administration that for the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), student interaction with the library is a criteria for accreditation. Need to create programming that can demonstrate this is happening!
  • Create a checklist/menu of options for what can be covered in an information literacy session, along with how long each would take to present. Offer the list to faculty so they can help create the instruction session that best fits their needs.
  • Frame sessions as timesavers: “Do you want more time to do X? We’ll help you with your citations!”
  • Quick instruction evaluation: “Tell your roommate one thing you learned about research in the class.”

A few resources mentioned:

I also attended an updated session that I attended last year, Teaching Analytical Reading Skills to Seminary Students, lead by Laura Harris from Iliff School of Theology. Here is my write-up of that session from last year. I’m planning on incorporate some of these ideas into some workshops in the Fall.

New and Forthcoming Resources on Dougherty, Baylor University, and Robert Martin, Pennsylvania State University

I encourage you all to explore the data that is presented at! The Association of Research Data Archives began in 1998, and organizes and presents the data collected by researchers who study religion. Beyond the statistical data, ARDA has collected syllabi, assignments, videos, and other classroom resources that can help instructors who are teaching about religion. All of the information on the site has been peer-reviewed (data collected for published studies, syllabi vetted for rigor), and all of the data sets are included, so if you know how to crunch the numbers, you can download them and do so!

A few points that might be of interest to those in other disciplines:

  • National constitutions and religion: From the International tab>national profiles>select country. The last tab for each country has excerpts from their constitution which delineate the religious rights granted in that country. Here’s Botswana.
  • Creating surveys, asking appropriate questions: The Measurement Wizard has 114 categories that are frequently surveyed and includes examples of questions asked in the topic. Here’s School Prayer, Attitude about. The Measurement Wizard is part of the larger Best Practices Center, which also includes useful information on surveys and understanding and interpreting data.
  • Demographic Data: The GIS Maps section allows you to enter the zipcode or city/state for a location and view demographic maps, as well as religious and congregation maps. Here’s 27103. You can select for different categories, including race, income, marital status, employment, etc… For example, when selecting income, you can then narrow to median household income, or average income by race, or households by income type.

“Part of the Furniture”: Family Bibles in Nation, Home, and Library-Bruce Eldevik, Luther Seminary

This session was a fascinating overview of the history of family bibles in the United States. As with the session on the publication history of Luther’s complete works that I attended last year, there was a lot here that I hadn’t considered or thought about. Changes in publication technology, family structure, economics, education and demographics can be traced by looking at family bibles.

The first illustrated bible in the US was published in 1791. It also included the first page dedicated to family info. Previously, this genealogical information was just recorded where there was space, like on the cover page. The illustrations in this bible were mostly of scenes or events in the text. As time went on and printing technology improved, illustrations shifted to be more “academic”, such as symbols of the twelve tribes of Israel or the parts of the tabernacle. These publications were also more academic (but not necessarily scholarly!) in the sense that they began to include concordances, histories (Egypt and Greece), scientific information (animals and plants), and timelines. In 1843, the Harper Brothers published what sounded like the most successful of these bibles, Harper’s Illuminated Bible. This bible was published by subscription and customers could select which sections they wanted to include in their individual bibles (all or portions of the “academic” content, the apocryphal books, etc…). 25,000 copies were printed in the first twelve years, at a profit of $500,000.

After 1900, the popularity of these types of bibles began to wane. Interiors were becoming more informal and these large books and the tables and stands they were usually displayed on were no longer fashionable, and they frequently ended up in closets or trunks. This made them prime fodder to be donated to libraries or special collections! There was some discussion regarding whether these types of books should be accepted as donations and what types of preservation issues they might have (flowers pressed in their pages!).

If anyone wants to talk more about this, I have more notes from the presentation, as well as a handout with a bibliography!

One Response to “2014 American Theological Library Association Annual Conference”

  1. Thanks for such a thorough report. Lots of good content here! I particularly enjoyed the section about data, ie the Measurement Wizard!

2008 North Carolina Serials Conference
2008 ONIX for Serials Webinar
2008 Open Access Day
2008 SPARC Digital Repositories
2008 Tri-IT Meeting
2009 Big Read
2009 code4lib
2009 Educause
2009 Handheld Librarian
2009 LAUNC-CH Conference
2009 LAUNCH-CH Research Forum
2009 NCLA Biennial Conference
2009 NISOForum
2009 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2009 RBMS Charlottesville
2009 SCLA
2010 ATLA
2010 Code4Lib
2010 EDUCAUSE Southeast
2010 Handheld Librarian
2010 ILLiad Conference
2010 LAUNC-CH Research Forum
2010 Metrolina
2010 North Carolina Serials Conference
2010 RBMS
2010 Sakai Conference
2011 CurateCamp
2011 Illiad Conference
2012 SNCA Annual Conference
acrl immersion
ALA Annual
ALA Editions
ALA Midwinter
ALCTS Webinars for Preservation Week
ARL Assessment Seminar 2014
Audio streaming
authority control
Berkman Webinar
bibliographic control
Book Repair Workshops
Career Development for Women Leaders Program
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
CIT Showcase
Coalition for Networked Information
Conference Planning
Copyright Conference
CurateGear 2013
CurateGear 2014
Designing Libraries II Conference
DigCCurr 2007
Digital Forsyth
Digital Humanities Symposium
Disaster Recovery
Discovery tools
Educause SE
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Elon Teaching and Learning Conference
Embedded Librarians
Entrepreneurial Conference
ERM Systems
evidence based librarianship
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA)
First-Year Experience Conference
Future of Libraries
Gaming in Libraries
Google Scholar
Handheld Librarian Online Conference
ILLiad Conference
information design
information ethics
Information Literacy
Innovation in Instruction
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship
Journal reading group
LAMS Customer Service Workshop
Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Learning spaces
Library 2.0
Library Assessment Conference
Library of Congress
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
MOUG 2010
Music Library Assoc. 07
Music Library Assoc. 09
Music Library Assoc. 2010
Music Library Association
National Library of Medicine
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
NCLA Biennial Conference 2013
NCLA Biennial Conference 2015
NHPRC-Electronic Records Research Fellowships Symposium
North Carolina Serial Conference 2014
North Carolina Serials Conference
Offsite Storage Project
OLE Project
online catalogs
online course
Online Learning Summit
open access
Open Repositories
Peabody Academic Library Leadership Institute
Preservation Activities
Preserving Forsyth LSTA Grant
Professional Development Center
rare books
Scholarly Communication
Social Stratification in the Deep South
Social Stratification in the Deep South 2009
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Southeast Music Library Association 08
Southeast Music Library Association 09
SPARC webinar
subject headings
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
Technical Services
ThinkTank Conference
UIPO Symposium
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
user studies
video-assisted learning
visual literacy
Web 2.0
WFU China Initiative
Women's History Symposium 2007
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
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