As a Research and Instruction Librarian for Science, my role in instruction and liaison work has evolved into the bioinformatics domain in order to meet the needs of science students at the undergraduate and graduate level. The online Fundamentals in Bioinformatics and Searching course, which I completed last October-December, was a prerequisite for the National Library of Medicine’s A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI 5-day course taught by scientists at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and Diane Rein, Ph.D., M.L.S., Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology Liaison from the Health Science Library, University at Buffalo. It was intensive, and I reviewed numerous bioinformatics searching tools. My class was the second cohort, and the NCBI Director’s greeting was a highlight of the course. The week after I returned from NIH, I incorporated a bioinformatics discovery exercise into my LIB 220 Science Research Sources and Strategies course. I am excited to utilize my scientific background with the review of the NCBI bioinformatics databases and analytical tools. Thanks to ZSR Library for supporting my travel. It was worthwhile, and I received a National Library of Medicine certificate of 36 Medical Library Association CE credits.
On March 10th, I attended the LAUNC-CH Conference with Steve Kelley and Jeff Eller. In the keynote address, Nancy Foster spoke about participatory design in academic libraries. Jeff wrote a great summary of her talk. Another aspect of Foster’s research was asking researchers how they learned of the items they used for their research. Interestingly, Google was not the researchers’ first place to search.
Further reading for those interested:
Participatory Design in Academic Libraries: Methods, Findings, and Implementations (2012)
Participatory Design in Academic Libraries: New Reports and Findings (2014)
I attended a couple breakout sessions on instruction. The session on how art librarians used Sakai information literacy quizzes to replace or to augment in-person library instruction sessions could be applied to my LIB 220 course and library instruction at ZSR Library. In the second breakout session, UNC librarians talked about their participation in NCAA compliance training and consultation of the UNC Student-Athlete Handbook in order to do information literacy outreach to student-athlete tutors. Because I am currently collaborating with Tanya Zanish-Belcher on an oral history of women scientists project, I also attended a breakout session on Duke University’s Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture. It was also great to meet new people including a bioinformatics librarian and catch up with colleagues. I’d be happy to discuss the sessions if anyone would like to hear more about it.
On March 6th, I attended a one-day workshop on “Data in the Life Sciences: Managing, Protecting, and Complying” presented by N.C. A&T State University and Indiana University at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Stacy Konkiel, Science Data Management Librarian, poignantly stated that the data sharing mandate will accelerate the speed of discovery. The Science Data Management Librarian works with library metadata specialists on workflows. She also mentioned that IRB regulations are important to consider regarding the privacy and confidentiality of data, and reuse and distribution are subject to IRB regulation.
Here are some highlighted sites for further reading for those interested:
IUPUI Data Works
IU Scholar Works
IU Research Policies
UITS Scholarly Data Archive
Konkiel’s presentation slides are available here.
Thomas Doak talked about his work at the National Center for Genome Analysis Support. Since I am interested in bioinformatics and will go to NIH in April to participate in a second NLM bioinformatics course, I learned about two sites from Doak’s presentation:
Next Generation Genomics: World Map of High Throughput Sequencers
Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE)
Anurag Shankar spoke from a university IT service perspective about the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) on IT compliance. IT compliance requires knowledge of regulations, information security, and risk. His work at Indiana University involves assessing risk, performing gap analysis, filling gaps, and then creating and executing a risk management plan. He recommended performing semi-annual security reviews. This informative workshop increased my awareness of data management issues, and it will enhance my work as a science librarian and liaison.
Throughout last fall, I participated in monthly virtual Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) Executive Board meetings, and it was great to see the planned events come to fruition at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. I spent Friday afternoon at the Asian Arts Initiative, where I heard talks on the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) by Samip Mallick and about Philadelphia’s Asian American community by Amanda Bergson-Shilcock of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and Mary Yee of Asian Americans United. We had a great turnout and enjoyed a catered lunch from Philadelphia Chutney Company.
On Friday evening, I attended the APALA Executive Board meeting at the convention center, where I provided the APALA Mentoring Committee Report. Early Saturday morning, I participated in the ACRL Science & Technology Section (STS) Continuing Education Committee meeting. I am responsible for maintaining the Guide to Professional Development Resources for Science & Technology Librarians. On Saturday afternoon, I attended the APALA All Committees meeting and discussed plans of the Local Arrangements Task Force for the upcoming ALA Annual Conference.
On Saturday evening, I went to Karma Restaurant for the APALA Midwinter Dinner and listened to an excellent talk by authors Ellen Oh (The Prophecy Series, originally The Dragon King Chronicles), Soman Chainani (New York Times bestseller The School for Good and Evil) and publisher Phoebe Yeh of Crown Books for Young Readers.
Although my ALA Midwinter was busy with APALA and ACRL STS meetings, it was great to catch up with colleagues and meet new people, as well.
This year at the NCLA Conference, I co-presented with Molly Keener on “The Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, and Altmetrics: From Theory to Analysis.” I covered the history of bibliometrics, and Molly covered altmetrics. Each of us provided an analysis with regards to science information literacy and research assessment. I posted our presentation slides on the NCLA conference website. We had a small, but engaged audience with many questions afterward.
In addition to presenting at the NCLA Conference, I completed my 4-year term on the Women’s Issues in Libraries Roundtable (WILR) Executive Committee as Web Coordinator. B.A. Shapiro was an excellent WILR luncheon speaker about her book The Art Forger, a New York Times bestseller.
Since other colleagues have written good summaries of some of the programs that I attended, I will provide highlights of other programs that I attended:
“Strengthening Instruction Through Curriculum Mapping: A Collaborative Strategy for Targeted Teaching” by Katy Kavanagh, ECU; Amy Harris Houk, UNCG; Catherin Tinglestad, Pitt CC; and Heigdi Buchanan, WCU
- Map learning outcomes (destination) to instruction — Where are we now? Where do we want to go? Look at gaps in instruction
- Look at how students progress in major over time through core courses and capstone courses and map them from basic to advanced learning outcomes
- Moving to subject LibGuides instead of courses
- Tiered LibGuides for Communication majors
- LibGuides need to be mapped to ACRL Information Literacy Standards and not just to courses
- Think of ideal learning outcomes; what does the ideal graduate look like in terms of information literacy? Are there courses that address those outcomes?
- Reflect on what learning outcomes did I teach? Continually evaluate and update along with changes in syllabi
Closing General Session
“Stronger Together: Sustaining Excellence in Our Libraries” by Trevor Dawes, ACRL President
Some of my takeaways from his excellent talk:
- Libraries should not be complacent and rest on laurels
- “Institutions that stand still get left behind”
- As the needs of the users change, how does the library change?
- Develop staff
- Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
On August 15th, I attended the Teaching and Learning Conference at Elon University. This is an excellent, free conference that I have attended for 3 years. I attended many concurrent sessions including strategies for collaboration, which emphasized the importance of respect among group members. I also attended a concurrent session on data in the classroom and the presentation slides are here.
The session on flipping the classroom was very informative. Flipping is an instructional strategy where lessons become homework and homework becomes classwork. As a result, higher-order thinking can occur where students can receive more feedback from the instructor.
Elements of flipped instruction:
1. skill to be successful in the course
2. first exposure outside of class
3. incentive outside of class work (e.g., low stakes assessment)
4. application activities in class so students can receive immediate feedback
The keynote session focus on the “Intercultural Dimensions to Teaching and Learning” was excellent and resonated with me on many levels since I encounter intercultural communication every day. Here are some highlights of his inspiring talk:
- Individuals have differences in perspectives, behaviors, and communication styles
- Monocultural mindset –> Intercultural mindset
- Intercultural competency is the shift of one’s frame of reference to understanding the meaning and importance of culture in people’s lives
- Intercultural communication is the interaction between persons and groups from different cultural communities
- Intercultural perspective incorporates culture into our analyses of how people interact, communicate, make meaning, and exercise power with other persons and groups
- Notably, the keynote speaker challenges his students to explore new relationships across cultural boundaries
ALA Annual in Chicago was great this year, and I attended multiple programs sponsored by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and the Association of College & Research Libraries Science & Technology Section (ACRL STS). APALA is an affiliate of ALA, and I met some of my fellow Executive Board members when I volunteered at the Association Options Fair as incoming Board Member-at-Large.
One of the best sessions that I attended was the annual Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature Ceremony sponsored by APALA.
This year, the APALA President’s Program was co-sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) on “Pushing the Boundaries: LGBTQ Presentation and Representation of/by Asian/Pacific American Writers.” The panel was moderated by Mary Anne Mohanraj and included authors Malinda Lo, Dwight Okita, and MOONROOT zine collective members Sine Hwang Jensen and Linda Nguyen.
One of the highlights of ALA was attending the APALA Social at the Oak Park home of writer Mary Anne Mohanraj. Dr. Mohanraj is Professor of Fiction and Literature at the University of Illinois-Chicago. I enjoyed Sri Lankan cuisine and networking with other APALA members.
I am a member of the ACRL STS Continuing Education Committee, and over the last year I led the update of the STS Guide to Professional Development Resources for Science & Technology Librarians.
Monday morning, I attended a program co-sponsored by ACRL STS and the Health Sciences Interest Group (HSIG) on “There’s an App for That: The Use of Mobile Devices, Apps and Resources for Health and Sci-Tech Librarians and Their Users.” The takeaway from the presentation is to start with learning outcomes and then think about which apps and technology to support the learning outcomes in instruction. Other related issues with using mobile apps in instruction are cost, device, function and usability, security and privacy, support, reliability, and access. I brought up the point that it would be a good idea to do a pre-course clicker survey to assess how many students have an iPhone, Android smartphone or neither.
Resources and further reading:
The Handheld Library: Mobile Technology and the Librarian by Thomas Peters and Lori Bell
Mobile Library Services: Best Practices edited by Charles Harmon and Michael Messina
Tablet Computers in the Academic Library edited by Rebecca Miller, Heather Moorefield-Lang, and Carolyn Meier
Monday afternoon, I attended a program on “Altmetrics, the Decoupled Journal, and the Future of Scholarly Publishing” by Jason Priem. Here are some highlights from his talk:
- altmetrics is a new way of measuring impact
- “Communication is the soul of science”, and librarians are the experts of scholarly communication (pun intended)
- Philosophical Transactions was the first journal based on the available technology (printing press) to improve dissemination
- Instead of moving paper-native products, creating web-native science
- Favorite quote: “An article is a story about data”
- Bibliometrics mined impact on the first scholarly web by measuring citations
- The old way: counting citations but citations only tell part of the story
- Impact has multiple dimensions: PDF views, discussion on scholarly blogs and Twitter, Mendeley and CiteULike saves, citations, and recommendation
- ImpactStory is for researchers and is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
- Abstrac: “Your dynamic personal scientific journal”
- nanoHUB.org “Online simulation and more for nanotechnology”
I also made time to talk to vendors on the Exhibits floor and met with the Proquest Vice President STEM and provided input on the development of new science information resources. My summer reading list has become longer as a result of ALA, and I am looking forward to serving on the APALA Executive Board.
On May 16th-17th, I attended the the Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians: Social Entrepreneurship in Action held at UNCG. Here are some highlights of the programs that I attended:
Brian Mathews was the opening keynote speaker on “Engines of Change: Developing Platforms for Social, Civic, and Cultural Engagement”
- Social entrepreneurism: civic engagement, human rights, environment, illiteracy, poverty, health, ethics, food
- Value creation: shifting resources from low productivity to an area of higher productivity; library tours for an underserved community; reaching out to new groups
4 Defining Entrepreneurial Characteristics
- Alertness: being able to recognize opportunities when other people don’t; anticipate problems and develop changes
- Combiner: Steve Jobs brought the pieces together
- Empathy: understanding the needs of the customer
- Networked: alert people to things that are happening
“We’re surrounded by good ideas… we know what we need to do… But what we don’t know is how to take the knowledge we possess in bits and pieces and implement it at the scale of problems we are facing.” -David Bornstein
- “Fill our patron’s memory bank with positive associations of the library and what it stands for.”
- Invest in other people’s problems and how to help them
- Find the right nutrients and environment for ideas
“Igniting Change: Transforming Practice Through Dialogue with Diverse Information Professionals” moderated by Dr. Clara Chu presented by UNCG students in the ACE Scholars program
Public Libraries, Immigrants, and Refugees: partnered with Greensboro Public Library Multicultural Services Librarian
- Learn what they need: ESL classes, assimilation assistance in schools, information literacy classes
- Develop a community profile: culture, language, identify community leader
- Identify information resources from focus groups
- Develop information resources on health literacy and financial literacy
- Advanced ESL classes
- Promote cross-cultural understanding
- Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher
- The Spirit Catches and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child by Ann Fadliman
“Social Entrepreneurship in Action in Spanish Libraries” by Jose Antonio Merlo Vega
Economic recession affected libraries in Spain, and public libraries still support their communities despite reduced acquisition expenditures
- Local experiences are global experiences
- Libraries in Spain support open access to resources – OA seems more critical for countries in recession
- Social Action: Libraries help people with economic needs; libraries collect food and school supplies to give to community, often overdue fines are forgiven with donations; libraries provide job search services; libraries are a point of exchange of books between patrons
- Social responsibility: “People are important, and libraries are for the people.”
- Political action: Libraries and patrons protest against cuts and defend library services and funding; Library associations advocate for favorable legislation
- Yellow tide: Spanish libraries movement against cuts
- Digital action: Libraries use free technologies to offer services
- Economic action: Libraries adjust and redistribute their budgets; Libraries use indicators to cancel subscriptions; Libraries support OA to scientific articles and resources; Libraries re-negotiate licenses with e-resource providers
“Taking Risks and Forging New Collaborations for Environmental Causes” by Frederick Stoss, SUNY-Buffalo
- Promote Environmental ICE: Information, Communication, Education
- Literacy is more than reading: writing, expressing music, dance, drawing, communicating, telling stories, listening, learning, teaching, and sharing
- Science seeks to explain the complexity of the natural world and uses this understanding to make valid and useful predictions
- Technology utilizes innovative tools, materials, and processes to solve problems or satisfy the needs of individuals, society, and the environment
- http://www.naaee.net/ Guidelines for Excellence
Developing Cultural Competency Panel:
“An Award of Their Own: The Creation of a Book Award for the Arab American Community”
- Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, Michigan) Arab American Book Award
- Worked with museum staff to discuss mutual benefits of the award
- First Award Ceremony in 2007 at the museum
- Poetry category award, Non-fiction award
“Preserving Refugee Cultural Heritage: Taking Community and Culture into Account”
- Let underrepresented communities speak for themselves
- Multicultural and globalized digital libraries would guarantee the right for all cultural voices to be included
- Respect the culture with integrity
- “Our parents will never write, so we write for them.” Vang
- Preservation: We must ask what and observe how intangible cultural heritage objects are used
- Authentic Preservation: document for posterity; perpetuate (ongoing practice/survival within community
- Disseminate to the next generation and community at large
- Cannot assume refugees as a group have common issues
- Same country but different ethnicities, tribes, loyalties, religions, and languages
- Represents not only inherited traditions but contemporary rural and urban practices
- Inclusive: link the past, present, and the future; expressions are passed from one generation to another and evolve in response
- Model program of authentic preservation practices
- Project APRCH
Michael Porter, an Executive Board member of ALA, was the closing keynote speaker.
Presentation: “No, YOU Go Do It (or leave it up to somebody else and take what you get)”
- Solving problems is better than complaining about them
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: there is a reason why libraries are important
- Communities need libraries to thrive
- Libraries = content + community
- Optimism does not denote naivete; need to be realistically optimistic to help things get better
Life is short. Build stuff that matters.
It’s simple until you make it complicated.
Stop sketching and start building.
Experiment. Learn. Fail. Repeat.
“Be guided by the mission of the library and the university which lets us help other people and society”
Dean Lynn Sutton concluded the conference with closing remarks. Kudos to the UNCG and WFU conference planning committee for organizing an excellent conference.
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.
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.