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.
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
- 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.
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
- Faculty serving on Editorial Boards
- Faculty publishing in journals
- Usage statistics
- Impact Factor, SNIP, Eigenfactor
- Business model changes
- Faculty input
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.
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?
- 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).
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.
Overall, it was a great conference, and it was great to reconnect with other colleagues from N.C.
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.
On Wednesday, Oct. 7th, I attended the North Carolina Library Association Conference in Greenville. Keith Michaels Fiels, American Library Association Executive Director, was the keynote speaker at the Opening Session. I won’t rehash the details since Wanda has already summarized his presentation, but I agreed with his comment that “we need to assert our role in education because libraries are the other half of education system.” I also attended the Women’s Issues in Libraries Roundtable luncheon, which featured Linda Carlisle, N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources Secretary, as speaker. The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources includes the State Library, the State Archives, Historic Sites, History Museums, the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. She made a good point that “Libraries are important to the health and vitality of a community.” Also, Bryna Coonin from East Carolina University was a recipient of the Marilyn Miller Award for Professional Commitment of the Women’s Issues in Libraries Roundtable. I had served with Bryna Coonin on the Association of College & Research Libraries-Science & Technology Section (ACRL-STS) Research Committee, and it was great to see her win the award.
On Friday, September 25th, I attended the N.C. Special Libraries Association Government Information Workshop, which was held at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Research Triangle Park. Jean Porter, Reference Librarian at Meredith College and formerly Patent Librarian at N.C. State University gave a presentation on finding patent information through searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website and Google Patents, which also covers U.S. patents. Amanda Henley, Geographic Information Systems Librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill, also gave a presentation on “Geographic Information Systems – Resources and Applications.” She highlighted some useful online tools such as Batch Geocode and Juice Analytics Excel Geocoder. In addition, Susan Forbes, Assistant Director of the EPA Library in Research Triangle Park, gave an overview of “Finding Government Scientific and Technical Information.” She covered numerous sources of government information, including the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), which is the largest repository of government funded sci-tech reports, and Science.gov, which is a federated search of 14 federal agencies. Other useful websites are Science Accelerator, which is produced by the Dept. of Energy, and MedlinePlus, which is a great resource for consumer health information. Overall, it was a great and informative workshop!
Yesterday, Susan Smith, Mary Scanlon, and I viewed the online panel discussion on Kindle loan programs at various libraries at the Handheld Librarian Online Conference. At the River Forest Public Library in Illinois, e-books are pre-loaded onto each Kindle. The River Forest Public Library currently circulates three Kindles with fixed, selected content: Popular Fiction Kindle, Popular Non-Fiction Kindle, and Mystery and Suspense Kindle. The selector also considers suggestions for particular titles from patrons. Circulation policies range from 2-3 weeks, and renewal policies vary by library from no renewals to one renewal. At the Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha Library, the overdue fine is $5 per item. After 5 days, there is a “$10 additional processing fee and the replacement cost for each item is assessed.” It was interesting to hear the various ways these libraries are implementing their Kindle loan programs. More information about the Handheld Librarian Conference is available at http://www.handheldlibrarian.org
On Saturday, I represented the ACRL-Science & Technology Section (STS) at the “ACRL 101″ orientation session. ACRL has more than 12,500 members, and three new interest groups were recently formed. I also attended the ACRL-STS Membership and Recruitment Committee meeting. Our committee is currently working on some interesting projects, including developing a wiki for new members of ACRL-STS and sending brochures about careers in science librarianship to various library schools.
On Sunday morning, I went to Lauren Pressley’s book signing and also ran into a few ZSR folks. Next, I went to the Exhibits and talked with various vendors. I stopped by the National Library of Medicine’s booth and learned that there are some upcoming changes to the MEDLINE database. On Sunday afternoon, I participated in a panel discussion on “Information Technology and Communities of Color: Issues and Opportunities in a Global Context.” There was one representative from each ethnic caucus of ALA on the panel, and I represented the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). We had a lively discussion about the information technology needs of our respective communities. On Sunday evening, I joined other ZSR folks and Roz’s sister for dinner at an Italian restaurant.
On Monday morning, I attended the ACRL-STS program on “Big Science, Little Science, E-Science: The Science Librarian’s Role in the Conversation.” John Saylor from Cornell University Libraries, George Djorgovski from California Institute of Technology, Melissa Cragin from the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Chris Greer from the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development spoke about the role of science librarians with regards to E-Science. Djorgovski made a good point that “understanding complex phenomena requires complex data.” In addition, technology for information storage and access are evolving. Cragin also said that librarians need to be engaged with scientists during the research process. Next, I attended Roz’s presentation on the “Review of Web Guide Software for Libraries.” Roz spoke about LibGuides, and their presentation was informative. I was also able to attend the ACRL-STS Poster Session, which was focused on E-Science initiatives at various institutions.
It was also great roomming with Carolyn while at ALA Annual, and we were able to grab dinner a few evenings. The summer weather in Chicago was also nice. Overall, ALA Annual was busy yet productive and very informative this year.
On Thursday, June 18th, Bobbie Collins, Carolyn McCallum, Leslie McCall, and Sarah Jeong attended the 4th Annual Information Literacy Conference in Charlotte. As usual, the organizers of this conference did an excellent job pulling together an impressive group of speakers who addressed a variety of issues and trends relating to information literacy. The 100 attendees were able to select from several breakout sessions that focused on the broad areas of pedagogy, assessment, and technology. And for the first time attendees were able to view several poster sessions. The poster sessions added a new dimension to the conference and provided an opportunity for poster session presenters to exchange information with other attendees in a relaxed setting.
Bobbie, Carolyn, Leslie and Sarah submitted a poster session proposal to Metrolina and were very pleased when the proposal was accepted. During our assigned time period, we discussed with other conference participants the challenges that we faced in developing and teaching the subject specific IL credit courses for the Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities. Sarah and Carolyn were able to capture some pictures of the posters.
This year’s keynote speaker was Jill Gremmels, Leland M. Park Director of the Davidson College Library. Prior to her position at Davidson, Jill was the College Librarian at Warburg College in Iowa. In 2002, Warburg College was one of 10 institutions invited to the Best Practices in Information Literacy Conference. As part of her presentation, Jill discussed the “Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline.” Before the conference, attendees received a link in an email with a note to review this information before the conference: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/characteristics.cfm
This document which was approved by the ACRL Board in 2003 provides some excellent background information to help individuals develop, assess and improve IL programs. Moreover, the document notes that these characteristics may be useful for benchmarking purposes.
Jill mentioned that San Francisco State University undertook a self-study of its IL program and used the ACRL best practices characteristics as a benchmark to compare their data. For additional information about how they went about creating and implementing the survey instrument, Jill recommended reading the article by Kendra Van Cleave entitled “The Self-Study as an Information Literacy Program Assessment Tool” which appeared in the 2008 issue of College & Undergraduate Libraries Vol. 15(4), pp – 414-431. This article is available online if you are interested in reading it.
Mike Olson from UNC Charlotte asked the question: “How do we get students to discern?” During his presentation, he mentioned the ACRL standards and provided the ACRL defintion of IL. He noted that Donna Gunter (Coordinator, Information Literacy and Instructional Services at the J. Murrey Atkins Library) is busy preparing materials for a new online resource that will be up on the library’s website by August 24. Mike reported that 490 library instruction sessions were given during 2007-2008 and 690 sessions were provided during 2008-2009 reaching 14,794 students.
Joan Petit, who is the Instruction and Reference Librarian at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, led a session called Library Instruction 2.0. Many of the technologies she discussed, ZSR has been utilizing (i.e. Facebook, blogs, and wikis). According to Ms. Petit, students in Egypt are nuts about Facebook, so she created a FB page for her library. It took quite a while for her to get approval to create the page. AUC Main Library’s FB page has 966 fans. She uses WetPaint.com, a free website builder software program, to set up a wiki for her IL classes and wishes that her library would use Twitter. Ms. Petit authors a blog called The Chatty Librarian and can be followed on Twitter as well by the username chattylibrarian. One interesting thing she reported is that Duke has created an iPhone app. for individuals to browse Duke’s digital collections.
“I Never Wanted to be a Teacher” was the title of the session led by Nora Bird and Linda Gann, both of UNCG’s Department of Library and Information Studies. At the beginning, they asked attendees to write on a note card two job responsibilities one had when they were first hired and two responsibilities that one is currently doing in their job but wasn’t listed in the original job description. They feel there is a disconnect between library school curriculum and instruction/teaching and they are gathering information to determine how MLIS programs should respond. Using Powerpoint, they flashed job advertisements for public and academic libraries on a screen that dated back to the 70′s, 80′s, 90′s and today. One could definitely see a trend in advertisements going from “seeking a person with people skills” to ones that required skills in teaching and instruction of technology and other library resources.
Diane Harvey from Duke University led a session on “Assessing for Improvement: Student Learning Outcomes Assessment for Information Literacy Instruction.” Student Learning Outcomes Assessment is a systematic look at what students are learning. Learning Outcomes Assessment is not an evaluation of teaching, but it moves instruction away from “What am I going to teach today?” to “What do I want students to learn today?” Some examples of assessment methods include knowledge tests, the One Minute Paper, bibliography analysis, concept inventory, and standardized tests. Student Learning Outcomes Assessment provides a practical student-centered approach to teaching as well as a means to improve teaching.
Amy Gustavson and Clark Nall from East Carolina University led a session on “Evidence-Based Librarianship in Assessment of Information Literacy Instruction.” Gustavson and Nall’s presentation focused on the theory and different research methodologies of Evidence-Based Librarianship research. Evidence-Based Librarianship provides a foundation for the practitioner and helps practitioners make effective evidence-based decisions. Gustavson and Nall are currently researching the comparison of students’ self-reported confidence in their research skills and testing their knowledge of research skills.
Overall, this conference was very informative. We highly recommend it to those interested in information literacy. If you would like to discuss any of the sessions that we attended, please let us know!