Professional Development

Author Archive

Sarah’s reflection on her studies in bibliometrics & altmetrics

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:40 pm

From April 3-30, 2013, I was a student in the online course, “Digital Scholarship: New Metrics, New Modes,” taught by Marcus Banks, Director of Library/Academic & Instructional Innovation at Samuel Merritt University, and offered by Library Juice Academy. It seemed to be similar to a traditional course, and homework assignments included reading seminal papers and watching videos on bibliometrics and altmetrics, as well as a critique of a research article from the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Altmetrics collection. For my final project, I did a comparison and analysis of bibliometrics and altmetrics indicators of the top scientific journals. Through this course, I became familiar with using ImpactStory, which is an altmetrics aggregator developed by Jason Priem, a Ph.D. student at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information & Library Science. Since I graduated from library school almost 10 years ago, my experience as a student will make me a better instructor as I reflect on my work in the course. Special thanks to Roz Tedford who encouraged me to take this course and ZSR Library for providing the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of bibliometrics and altmetrics.

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.

Sarah at ALA in Anaheim

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2:59 pm

Since I traveled to South Korea soon after ALA ended, I’ve had time to reflect on my time at ALA, which was rejuvenating for me. I was recently appointed to the ACRL-Science & Technology Section (STS) Continuing Education Committee, and we had our committee meeting on Saturday morning. It was also great to catch up with other academic science librarians at the ACRL-STS Member Meeting and Breakfast and the ACRL-STS Dinner. Based on the various STS programs that I attended at ALA, here are some highlights for further reading:

On Monday, I presented at the ACRL-Science & Technology Section Poster Session on “Expanding the Role of the Science Librarian to the Bioinformatics Domain.” My poster presentation highlighted the evolving, multifaceted aspects of my role in instruction and liaison work in bioinformatics in order to meet the needs of science students at the undergraduate and graduate level. My responsibilities have expanded in four directions: (1)Research interest, (2)Instruction, (3)Liaison work as an Embedded Librarian, and (4)Collection development for the Biomedical Informatics Graduate Program Proposal.
By advancing scientific knowledge through research and publication on bioinformatics, I was equipped to teach about data literacy in the following roles:

  • Instructor, LIB220 Science Research Sources and Strategies
  • Guest Lecturer, LIS612 Science and Technology Information Sources
  • Embedded Librarian in genetics and bioinformatics courses

I taught new trends in bioinformatics research to the following student populations:

  • Science majors in LIB220
  • Pre-health students in LIB220 & BIO213
  • Freshmen in Bioinformatics FYS
  • MLIS students in LIS612 at UNCG

Keeping at the forefront of bioinformatics research enabled me to offer innovative instruction and liaison work at the point of need to advance ZSR Library’s mission to help students and faculty succeed. Thanks to Lynn, Roz, and Hu for coming out to support my presentation.

 

Sarah at the SLA Conference

Monday, June 20, 2011 2:15 pm

On June 12th – 14th, I attended the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Annual Conference in Philadelphia. SLA consists of academic, corporate, and government librarians and numerous scientific divisions including the Biomedical & Life Sciences Division, Chemistry Division, and Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics (PAM) Division.

On Sunday morning, I attended a 4-hour pre-conference on “Chemistry Information Sources, Requests, and Reference,” which was taught by Judith Currano, Head of the Chemistry Library at the University of Pennsylvania and Dawn French, Sr. Analyst-Knowledge Services at Millennium Inorganic Chemicals Library. Topics covered during the session included case studies in chemical information retrieval, issues in patent searching, and physical and chemical properties of substances. As collection development moves more towards the acquisition of e-books, I came away from this session with ideas for acquiring chemistry handbooks and reference works in electronic format if funding becomes available. Substructure searching, which involves using a portion of a chemical structure to locate similar molecules in chemistry databases, was one of the most interesting and valuable aspects of the session. My knowledge of chemistry from college came in handy when answering the instructor’s questions about substructure searching, and I am excited to apply this to LIB220 in the future.

Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and 3-time Pulitzer Prize Winner, was the keynote speaker on Sunday evening. He stated that globalization and IT has led to the flattening of the world. The most important competitive advantage is between you and your imagination. The world is increasingly becoming a right-brained world in the sense we not only need critical thinking and reasoning in accomplishing our work but also creativity and synthesis. Friedman also predicted that in 10 years, the world is heading towards universal connectivity and everyone will be connected from Detroit to Damascus, and old-fashioned things such as trust, values and ethics will matter more in the future.

On Monday morning, I attended the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division Contributed Papers Session. Rolando Garcia-Milian, Health Science Center Libraries, University of Florida, presented his paper on VIVO: Enabling National Networking of Scientists. VIVO is an open source semantic web application for scientists which was founded at Cornell University in 2003.The mission of VIVO is to enable scientists to develop connections at the national level and partner institutions. Partner institutions include the University of Florida, Cornell University, Indiana University, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, The Scripps Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Ponce Medical College.

Taneya Y. Koonce, Associate Director for Research, Knowledge Management at Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University presented her paper on “Using Patient Literacy and Knowledge to Optimize the Delivery of Health Information.” This study created a workable model for generating patient-specific information prescriptions. The researchers used surveys to assess patients’ retention of health information about hypertension with 3 rounds of testing. Conclusions from the study are that knowledge assessment tools can identify misunderstanding, and educational materials can address knowledge gaps. Furthermore, assessment tools should be carefully developed, refined, and evaluated.

Next, I attended the Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics (PAM) Division Roundtable, where I heard about other librarians’ initiatives on data management and curation. I met the Physics Librarian from Cornell University, who shared about Cornell’s Research Data Management Service Group website, which is a directory of public services related to data management on campus. Data services at other libraries that were also mentioned during the PAM Roundtable include Texas Tech University and MIT’s Guide to Data Management and Publishing. The conclusion from our discussion was that the data management policy should not diverge from researchers’ workflows.

The 3rd session that I attended on Monday was a panel discussion on publishing. Panelists included Anita Ezzo, Editor of the Journal of Agricultural & Food Information, Leslie Reynolds, Editor of Practical Academic Librarianship, Tony Stankus, Editor of Science & Technology Libraries, and Lisa O’Connor, Editor of Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship. Here are some tips from the Editors:

  • Write about what interests you
  • Write regularly
  • Create goals with deadlines
  • Literature review should cite relevant studies in logical progression
  • Appropriate choice of methods
  • Logical, justifiable and well-reasoned conclusions
  • Articles should be understandable not just to a U.S. audience but also to an international audience

For more information:http://www.publishnotperish.org

Silvia, Paul J. 2007. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

On Tuesday morning, I attended a very informative panel discussion on “Developments in Informatics.” Featured speakers were Dr. Steve Heller, Project Director of the InChI Trust, Dr. Diane Rein, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology Information Resources Librarian at the University at Buffalo, and Dr. Alberto Accomazzi, Project Manager of the NASA Astrophysics Data System.

Dr. Steven Heller: “Why Librarians Love InChI
Chemists use diagrammatic representations to convey structural information. International Chemical Identifier (InChI) is a machine-readable string of symbols originally developed by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The objective of InchI is to create a unique, public domain, open source algorithm, freely available, non-proprietary identifier for compounds. InChI covers 99% of compounds found in computer readable databases. One of the limitations is that there are areas of chemistry not yet covered by the InchI algorithm. However, different stereoisomers are assigned unique InchIs, and the InchIKey can be used on search engines

Dr. Diane C. Rein: “Bioinformatics as Trend: Use and Users”
She provided an overview and history of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics originated from genetics, and biological research has evolved from a descriptive, observational science (hypothesis driven) to a predictive information science (discovery driven). Bioinformatics is a phenomenon of engineers, computer scientists, and statisticians, and one of the outcomes of this emerging field is collaboration and the concept of global data. One of the latest, important developments in bioinformatics is the 1000 Genomes Project, and their goal is to catalog genetic variations that occur at 1% in human populations.

Dr. Alberto Accomazzi: “Astroinformatics: e-Science meets Astronomy”
Astronomy research is funded as pure research and is immune from commercial interests. Astronomy is a data driven science about to be hit by a data deluge. Scientific research requires repeatability, and the lifecycle of a research project should be documented by capturing all artifacts and components (provenance information how data was generated; data, processes and results need to be properly described, accessible and linked together).

This was my first time attending the SLA Conference, and the sessions I attended on biology, chemistry, and physics were very interesting and worthwhile. Not only did I gain new ideas for teaching but also perspective on new trends in science librarianship.

Sarah at ANCHASL Meeting

Thursday, May 19, 2011 3:29 pm

On April 29th, I attended the Association of N.C. Health and Science Libraries (ANCHASL) Spring Meeting and a continuing education event on study design in Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) at Duke University Medical Library. This class was taught by Connie Schardt, Associate Director of Education Services and Public Services at Duke University Medical Center Library. She covered different types of study design including Case-Control Studies (retrospective), Cohort Studies (prospective), Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials (efficacy of a treatment), Systematic Reviews (literature review) and Meta-Analysis (statistical analysis of multiple studies). Critical appraisal of the medical literature was also discussed as well as the importance of reducing bias in studies through randomization, concealed allocation, equitable treatment of groups, etc. This trip also brought back memories of studying and searching PubMed for lab reports in Duke Medical Library, and it was interesting to see how this library has changed since I was a student. Overall, this class on EBM was very informative and engaging.

Sarah at the Lilly Conference

Thursday, February 17, 2011 4:17 pm

On Feb. 4th-6th, I attended the Lilly Conference on College University and Teaching with the support of the Faculty Teaching Initiative Grant sponsored by the Teaching and Learning Center. All of the sessions that I attended were thought-provoking and broadened my view of teaching. Here are some highlights from the conference:

I attended the session on “Defining Effective Teaching”. Leslie Layne from Lynchburg College surveyed students and faculty on how they define “effective teaching.” Both students and faculty agreed that it is important that the teacher “knows the subject material well.” Faculty also ranked important being “organized and well-prepared for class” and “[outlining] expectations clearly and accurately.” Interestingly, students’ responses differed from faculty responses and ranked the following as also important: 1) “is accessible to students”; 2) “uses a variety of teaching methods or formats”; 3) “keeps students interested for the whole class period; makes the class enjoyable”.

I also attended a crowded session on “What Makes a Great Teacher? (or What Makes a Teacher Great?)” At the beginning of the session, Scott Simkins, Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning at N.C. A&T State University, highlighted the “Professors (& Learners) of the Year,” which is an award given by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Simkins reported on empirical research on effective teaching, and here are some points that he raised from the professional literature:

  • Set big goals and high expectations for students
  • Pedagogical content knowledge
  • Work backwards from learning outcomes
  • Maintain focus on student learning
  • Frame questions that capture the students’ imaginations and challenge paradigms
  • Clarity
  • Organization
  • Build trust
  • Exploring not explaining

I attended the plenary session on “The Good, Bad, and Counterintuitive: How Evidence-Based Teaching Can Correct the Commonsense Approach to Instruction.” Ed Neal and Todd Zakrajsek from UNC-Chapel Hill presented a variety of evidence-based teaching principles:

  • Engage students’ preconceptions; students have preconceptions, but if their preconceptions aren’t engaged, then they may fail to learn new concepts.
  • Deep foundational knowledge that is retrieved; There are different levels of students’ learning: “I heard about it” –> “I understand it” –> “I can do it in my sleep”
  • Learners must be taught to take a metacognitive approach.

I’m always interested in attending sessions on science teaching, and I also learned about the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College and the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. It was also great catching up with other librarians from UNCG at the conference. I am still in the process of reflecting on all of the sessions that I attended, and I have collected bibliographies and articles on teaching if anyone is interested in reading them.

Sarah at the Charleston Conference

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 11:20 am

Last Friday, Nov. 5th, I attended the Charleston Conference in Charleston, SC and presented my paper which I am co-authoring with Dr. Seong-Tae Kim on “Core Resources on Time Series Analysis for Academic Libraries: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography.” Here are the slides from my presentation:

I also attended the morning plenary session on “What Can Our Readers Teach Us?” by John Sack, Associate Publisher and Director, Highwire Press, Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources. Highwire interviewed 25 researchers, mostly scientists and some postdocs. However, clinicians were not interviewed. Sack presented the results of their study. Users read articles to keep up with what they already know and use PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar; Google is used at the end of scholar discovery to catch things at the edge. Users read books for unfamiliar topics and use Amazon and GoogleBooks. In order to keep current, email alerts in PubMed and Web of Science and emailed Table of Contents of journals are utilized. However, discovery, browsing, and serendipity are missing. Sack posed the question, “What’s the iTunes for research literature?”

In the afternoon, I attended the session on “Next Generation Science Journals: Challenges and Opportunities” by Moshe Pritsker, Co-founder, JoVE: Journal of Visualized Experiments, which is a journal that recently became accessible to ZSR Library. JoVE covers Neuroscience, Immunology, Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Plant Biology, Psychology, Medicine, and other subjects. It is the first and only video journal accepted for indexing in PubMed. Most video articles come from scientists at Harvard, MIT, Yale, NIH, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, etc. JoVE has also set up a videographer network in the U.S.

Janet Carter, Collection Coordinator from UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, provided a librarian’s perspective on next-generation science journals. Factors considered in deciding to license journals include the following:

  • New journal indexed by PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus
  • Faculty and/or student recommendations v. direct mass marketing strategies by the publisher/vendor
  • ILL borrowing history
  • Costs-can our budget support the subscription?
  • Licensing agreement elements

Renewal issues:

  • Faculty serving on Editorial Boards
  • Faculty publishing in journals
  • Usage statistics
  • Impact Factor, SNIP, Eigenfactor
  • Business model changes
  • Faculty input

Recommended Practices for the Presentation and Identification of E-journals

Hawkins, L. (2009). Best Practices for Presentation of E-journal Titles on Provider Web Sites and in Other E-content Products. Serials Review, 35(3), 168-169.

I also attended the afternoon plenary session on “I Hear the Train a Comin’”, which compiled insights from scholarly communication experts on the future of publishing, libraries, and academic technology. Joseph Esposito’s presentation was enlightening and here are some highlights. Esposito quoted Niels Bohr: “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” New trends in publishing include publishers seeking growth in new territories in Asia, Eastern Europe, new classes of accounts (government) and direct to individuals. Supply-side publishing represents the evolution of Open Access, which is responsive to the need to make research results available. Public Library of Science, BioMedCentral, and Hindawi’s authors-pay models are successful. Demand-side publishing is the traditional model where the user pays. New methods include direct marketing to consumer (D2C) and collecting customer data, which is a privacy minefield. Attention publishing is borrowing from cable TV and Netflix, where publishers don’t sell books, but monopolize attention. Essentially, it’s the “Big deal” for consumers.

Another unexpected highlight was finding a Korean restaurant called Mama Kim’s in Charleston. Overall, it was a great conference to gain perspective on the bigger picture of publishing, libraries, and collection management.

Sarah at the NCLA Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:01 pm

Last Friday, October 29th, Lauren P., Mary Beth, and I attended the NCLA Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference.

I attended Lauren P.’s keynote speech on “Finding Our Students at Their Point of Need.” She did a great job and discussed how higher education is changing. She mentioned the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and her review of Bloom’s taxonomy and learning theory were helpful. I agreed with her concluding comment that “It’s not about us…it’s about them.”

Next, I attended Jennifer Arnold’s presentation on “Student Reflection in Library Instruction: What They Think They’ve Learned, What They Still Don’t Know, and How to Bridge the Gap.” Reflection is an emotional and cognitive process, which attempts to get students to think critically about their research process. As a result, students slow down and process what they learned and what they still needed to know more about. The importance of reflective skills in increasing student learning has been discussed across many disciplines. Here are some highlights from her presentation:

Reflection assignment was completed in-class during the writing workshop after 2 library instruction sessions.

Guided reflection questions:

  • What is one thing you learned about library?
  • What you learned about incorporating research?
  • What have you learned about citations?

Results:

  • Correlation between evidence of critical thinking on the reflection and higher scores on their research assignment
  • Informal feedback reflection between research paper and annotated bibliography tends to improve citations

Providing substantial feedback on their demonstrated performance in research is valuable in producing learning. Reflection process is inductive (beginning w/ experience of search database) rather than deductive (beginning with textbooks and theories).

References:

Rogers, R. R. (2001). Reflection in higher education: A concept analysis. Innovative Higher Education, 26(1), 37-57.

Quinton, S., & Smallbone, T. (2010). Feeding forward: using feedback to promote student reflection and learning-a teaching model. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47(1), 125-135.

Ash, S. L., Clayton, P. H., & Atkinson, M. P. (2005). Integrating Reflection and Assessment to Capture and Improve Student Learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 11(2), 49-60.

Nutefall, J. (2004). Paper Trail: one method of information literacy assessment. Research Strategies 20(1/2), 89-98.

I also attended Jenny Dale and Amy Harris’ presentation on “Just-in-time Assessment: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Course-Integrated Library Instruction.” Just-in-time Assessment is based on Just-in-time Teaching, which is about creating a student-centered environment and improving faculty-student interaction and content mastery. It is a type of formative assessment, and they have used polling in LibGuides to teach about website evaluation and the differences between a popular and scholarly article. They’ve also used Poll Everywhere, which is free and easy to embed in LibGuides. They also shared other methods for active learning and assessment, which include matching keywords with research questions and a citation exercise where students put parts of a citation in order.

Last, Mary Beth and I gave a presentation on “Lessons Learned: Developing an Information Literacy Course for Science Majors and Pre-Med Students.” We provided an overview of LIB220, which incorporated the ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Science & Technology. We also highlighted the course goals and topics, which include the organization of scientific information, peer review process, scientific resources and databases, Endnote and Zotero, Open Access literature in the sciences, research ethics and IRB, and copyright and plagiarism. Types of formative assessments and summative assessments used in LIB220 were also highlighted, including a Nobel Prize winner Journals Assignment, finding relevant secondary and primary sources, and group presentations. In addition, each of us shared lessons learned through teaching LIB220, and I have found it rewarding when students apply the research strategies that they learned not only for LIB220 assignments but also for lab reports in their other science courses and future research. I also believe that since LIB220 students will become future scientific researchers and medical professionals, teaching research ethics at the undergraduate level is important and encourages them to start thinking about how to conduct research on human subjects ethically.

NCLA Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference

Overall, it was a great conference, and it was great to reconnect with other colleagues from N.C.

Sarah at the ScienceOnline2010 Conference

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 12:24 pm

On January 16th-17th, I attended the ScienceOnline2010 Conference, which was held in Research Triangle Park and hosted by Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. On January 16th, I attended the session led by John Hogenesch on “Science in the Cloud,” which Molly has already blogged about. I learned about Public Library of Science Currents: Influenza, which is intended to rapidly disseminate data to readers. Expert moderators exclude unsuitable material but do not provide in-depth review for this publication. Interestingly, authors wrote their articles for this publication using Google knol. I also attended the session on “Citizen Science,” which is an emerging field where scientists and volunteers work together to collect data on research projects. Scienceforcitizens.net has recently been created to match citizen scientists with research projects. Ben MacNeill also spoke about his website, Trixie Tracker, which is a web tool that enables parents to understand their children’s sleep patterns, etc. I also attended the session led by Dorothea Salo and Stephanie Willen Brown on “Scientists! What Can your Librarian Do for You?” I won’t rehash the details already reported by Molly, but Dorothea Salo made a good point that the requirement for students to find print journals is an assignment that is growing obsolete, as access to journals is increasingly being provided in electronic format. I also attended Anil Dash’s presentation on “Government 2.0.” Dash works for Expert Labs, which is affiliated with AAAS and enables the federal government to solicit feedback from citizens. The government is currently soliciting feedback on the development of Data.gov 2.0. The gallery of open government innovations is also available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open/innovations. There were so many sessions that I wanted to attend at this conference, and I was able to attend part of the Demos on Saturday. I heard about PRI’s weekly science podcasts, which is a convenient way to keep up with the latest updates in science news.

On January 17th, I attended “Getting the Science Right: The Importance of Fact Checking mainstream science publications – An underappreciated and essential art,” which was led by Rebecca Skloot, Sheril Kirshenbaum and David Dobbs. Big magazines such as the New Yorker have fact-checking departments. Skloot hired a professional fact-checker when writing her book, The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, which is about the origin of the “first ‘immortal’ human cells grown in culture.” Dobbs made the point that science writers should consult with third party fact-checkers, as they would consult with external proofreaders. I also attended the session on “Open Notebook Science.” Jean-Claude Bradley, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Drexel University, made his raw data public, used Youtube to demonstrate his experimental set-up, and made his calculations public in Google Spreadsheets. Bradley made the point that “Open Notebook Science maintains the integrity of data provenance by making assumptions explicit.” The last session that I attended was on ChemSpider, which was acquired by the Royal Society of Chemistry and is a collaborative effort to create a database of chemical structures. Overall, this conference was informative, and it broadened my perspective on science librarianship.


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