Professional Development

Author Archive

Designing Libraries: Technology Preconference

Sunday, October 6, 2013 10:23 pm

The Designing Libraries for the 21st Century conference begins in full tomorrow at the Hunt Library of NC State University in Raleigh. Today, I attended the day-long technology pre-conference, where I had the pleasure of catching up with former colleague, Lauren Pressley, as we were both assigned to the “blue group” set of breakout sessions. First of all, the visualization technology is spectacular. It is Las Vegas-style size and quality – more and bigger screens and monitors than you have ever seen in your life. Together with the bleeding edge furnishings, I would describe it as a “shock and awe” experience, i.e. a deliberate overstatement to make the point that this an entirely different kind of library.

Perhaps even more impressive than the technology itself, was the planning process that brought it about. They knew they wanted to do something that had never been done before. They blew right through traditional percentages allocated to media and infrastructure. They received no additional funding for staffing of this 220,000 sq ft building. Yet they let none of that stop them as they cajoled, persuaded, inspired, partnered, and used every creative funding technique heretofore known, and then some, to realize their dream. And realize it, they did.

I was most impressed by how well they know their patrons. Engineering and the other disciplines for which NC State is known are all about technology. They wanted to create a library that goes beyond “learning spaces” and create a building that is a research tool itself. Rather than traditional libraries that collect the products of scholarship, they wanted to be involved in the research process right from the beginning so they created spaces where faculty and graduate students could experience what they were trying to create, as they created it. That is good stuff.

I was struck by the clarity of their overall mission, to position the library as a competitive advantage to the university. That is as clear and unifying to them as our “helping our students, faculty and staff succeed” is to ZSR. And yet, I’m still trying to decide how much of this would be transferrable to WFU and ZSR. We are such a different institution. If the Hunt Library were brought to Wake Forest, it would look like a space ship had landed. That is neither good nor bad, just profoundly different.


Lynn at ASERL Spring 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 9:14 pm

I have been overdue on this post for a while, so here it is!

On April 23-24, I attended the Spring meeting of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. I normally attend all ASERL meetings, but I had two special reasons to attend this one: I was giving a presentation on ZSRx, and at the close of the meeting, I would assume Presidency of the Association.

First, the presentation. Kyle gave the definitive presentation of ZSRx at CNI in April, which we have already described. For this version, I called it ZSRx: The back story, since it was to my peer deans and directors and I could afford to be honest with them. Many of the slides will look familiar, as I “re-used” them, with Kyle’s permission, of course. I received many comments and questions afterward, as most people were stunned by the idea that a library could offer a MOOC, instead of just supporting it. Sarah Michalak from UNC-CH reported that they were considering offering a course on Metadata on Coursera later this year.

ZSRx: The Back Story from suttonls

I was part of a panel on Research Libraries and MOOCs (massive, open, online courses). Carrie Cooper of the College of William and Mary did a great job in introducing the topic and providing basic information as well as asking pertinent questions. Catherine Murray-Rust from Georgia Tech spoke about the way they support MOOCs given by their faculty members. She also presented material from Duke, as both of them are active in Coursera. Some people predict that MOOCs are the latest fad that will soon fade, but I think too many of the biggest names in higher education have invested too much money in them to let them go away very soon. They will change and adapt to whichever way the demand pulls them, but I think they will be with us for a while.

Here are the other programs at the meeting:

ASERL’s new Visiting Program Officer in Scholarly Communication is Christine Fruin from the University of Florida. She gave a remote presentation, flawlessly executed, on the recent big copyright cases: Georgia State and e-reserves, Kirtsaeng and right of first sale, ReDigi (first sale for music); as well as FASTR(legislation introduced in Congress to mandate open access), the White House directive on public access, and fair use issues on materials used with MOOCs.

In another session, there was discussion around the sustainability of the annual ASERL statistics, to which WFU contributes every year. Virginia Commonwealth has coordinated it for many years but feels the need to hand it off to others. It was recommended to contract with Counting Opinions, who is already the vendor for ACRL stats. ASERL libraries would have to pay $199 a year, but would also gain access to ARL data for that price.

Roger Schonfeld from Ithaka S+R presented the results of their latest Faculty Survey. This had been premiered at CNI earlier in April. Faculty from all institutions offering bachelor’s degrees were surveyed. Highlights of faculty opinion include:

Discovery and access: libraries do well with known item searching and scholarly databases; 78% use library resources; 65% use free material online.

Who is your primary audience? Faculty said (in order): my sub-discipline, my discipline, professionals outside academia, undergraduates (last).

What is the role of the library? Buyer, gateway, repository, teaching facilitator, research supporter. Humanists assigned the greatest value to the library, then social scientists, and scientists last.

Format transitioning: 66-75% still use scholarly monographs, preferably in print, with only searching and exploring references being features that are better in ebooks. Still, 16% say within five years there won’t be a need for print books.

Natasha Jankowski from the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment, co-located at the Universities of Illinois and Indiana, gave an overview of NILOA’s programs. She was not that familiar with library efforts with outcomes assessment (though she did mention RAILS, ACRL’s Assessment Immersion, and the Library Assessment Conference; she had nothing good to say about LibQUAL) so there was a good deal of learning on both sides. The purpose of learning assessment is to inform students of their learning and where they are in the path to their goals. She cited St. Olaf College and Miami-Dade as examples of best practices.

A presentation on CHARM, the Consortium for the History of Agricultural and Rural Mississippi, led to a call for a broader program on agriculture in the South, perhaps as the next digital collection following the Civil War portal. This will be taken up in the coming year.

There were updates on ASERL’s Gov Docs and Journal Retention projects. We, at ZSR, are much more invested in the journal project. ASERL has signed a collaborative agreement with a similar regional program in the Washington DC area, with combined holdings that make it even bigger than the well-known WEST program. Carol is our representative to this group, and I have served as the Chair, although I will need to step down in the coming year.

The grand finale of the meeting was to officially launch the ASERL Guide to Southern Barbecue! Lauren Corbett was one of the prime movers of this initiative. Enjoy!



ALADN in Pittsburgh

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:51 pm

I made a quick trip to Pittsburgh after Commencement on Monday to attend the remainder of the Academic Library Advancement and Development Network (ALADN) annual conference. I try to go at least every other year to keep up with what is going on in library fundraising. I knew I was in the right place when I went to the registration desk and the guy said, “Wake Forest? Didn’t you win the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award?” I am not making this up.

I missed the first day of programs, so I tried to catch up with others who had been there from the beginning. I loved seeing old friends and colleagues from other parts of the country, along with many of my buds from the Southeast.

The keynote on Tuesday was billed as “Hard Conversations at Work” and I have had my share of those, but it was really a leadership development kind of workshop. The best nugget I got was, “People don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.” A big HMMMM on that.

The best program I attended was on “Persuasive Writing: Getting Them to Say Yes Before You Ask.” Since we are getting to the stage in our WFU campaign where we need to prepare materials (they call it “collateral” in the trade), this was timely. The presenter was an experienced professional and she gave great advice. Especially useful was her categorization of the four types of donors:

  • expressives: they want ideas, new directions, and are easily bored,
  • analyticals: they want facts and figures, testimonials work well
  • bottom liners (that’s me): they value brevity, like summaries, and make quick decisions
  • amiables: they want to be your friend, tell you about their families, and value face-to-face conversations

In another session, a panel of library deans/directors answered these questions (with greatly simplified, bottom-line answers):

Q: How do you go about positioning your library? A: Success breeds success, and the squeaky wheel locks up over time.

Q: How do you come up with a theme to transcend all constituent groups? A: Go back to your mission and vision (here is where our ZSR mission beats all)

Q: What is your most difficult constituency? A: Faculty, faculty, faculty. (But also the most ardent advocates)

The rest of the programs did not give me any new information, sorry to say. But perhaps the most valuable experience of the trip was dinner with a couple from Pittsburgh who are ultra Deacs. Both are alums and they have two children at Wake. And both of them worked in the library as undergrads! They asked me lots of questions about libraries today and were very interested in how ZSR had changed since they were there. Lots of fun!

Keynote at ACRL New England Chapter

Friday, May 17, 2013 10:11 pm

On May 10, 2013 I had the honor of giving the keynote presentation at the ACRL New England Chapter Annual Conference. Last fall, I had seen a call for papers on a conference called “Communities in the Cloud, the Commons, and the College.” They were looking for papers on how academic libraries could engage their communities. Easy. We do that pretty well at ZSR. So I submitted a proposal listing all the things we do for faculty, staff and the community at large. Several weeks later I was contacted by the conference chair who said my proposal spoke so well to the theme of the conference that they wondered if I could give the keynote presentation. Sure!

Here is the presentation:

Community Building in Libraries: Success for Every user from suttonls

I had a great time doing it. Enjoy!

Lynn at ACRL in Indianapolis

Friday, April 12, 2013 11:05 pm

This is the room in which I spent nearly all of my time at the ACRL conference in Indianapolis. My biggest role here was as co-chair of the Cyber Zed Shed Committee, a strange name, but one with a long history at the conference. The “Zed Shed” was a place on a ship where people could try out new knots and new techniques of seamanship. So the Cyber Zed Shed at ACRL has been a place where innovative new applications of technology could be tried out and vetted. I stayed in this room for 8 sessions with three presentations each. It was fun to see the names and faces connected with the proposals that we judged back in December. I will give the highlights, rather than a blow-by-blow.

The most predominant theme was that of data visualization. A number of papers showed how much more dramatically images can portray meaning, compared to spreadsheets. Libraries have built informative and visually appealing dashboards for presentation of usage statistics, collection analysis, and user information. My imagination ran wild and I came back with all kinds of ideas on how we can spice up our statistical presentation.

A number of other papers addressed digital collections, digital humanities, and digital initiatives of every kind. Since we are recruiting for such a specialist right now, it was instructive to see how many different directions the digitalist could take. Some focused on institutional repositories, some on presentation of digital collections, some on analysis of BIG DATA. One even used a supercomputer facility to analyze subject headings from the catalog to create the most beautiful abstract images. Fun stuff.

Social media was another popular topic. One person creatively mined the Twitter feed on his campus to intercept and then respond to tweets from his students. One person gave up on Facebook and found much greater success with Instagram. One library changed from broadcasting mode to listening mode in their use of social media.

Instruction librarians used technology to implement “personal librarian” programs and to provide a digital orientation EXTRAVAGANZA for distance students. One adapted the SCVNGR game to update the old-fashioned library scavenger hunt. Two different libraries talked about replacing Meebo chat reference with even better products. A scholarly communication librarian devised an interactive decision tree to guide faculty members in copyright decisions.

One of the most fun talks was about the Makerspace concept, which has been more popular so far in public libraries than in academics. It involves the “maker” concept of 3D printing. If you can dream it, you can make it, is the philosophy. When they talked about Makey Makey software, I was hooked, and wanted one really badly. Who wouldn’t want to turn a banana into a piano?

Our neighbor Beth Filar Williams at UNCG talked about implementing HTML 5 for video in library tutorials. The chair of the IFLA Newspaper Section talked about crowdsourcing to correct millions of raw OCR conversion of newspaper text. The champion non-paid volunteer was from Australia who personally corrected 1.4 million records per year, just for the fun of it. People are really strange.

I got out for a few other non Zed Shed sessions, but they have all been covered by others. All in all, it was an exhiliarating experience and Indianapolis was a great host city. Tomorrow, I am meeting with our University Library Group peers, but I will save that for a separate post!


CNI with Lynn (and Kyle)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:21 pm

First off, Kyle was magnificent. I asked him to give a presentation on our groundbreaking ZSRx mini-MOOC course at the Coalition for Networked Information meeting in San Antonio, April 4-5, knowing that we were only half-way through implementation. He graciously agreed and gave a wonderful presentation on how he built the course. I will let him tell you more about that!

I like to go to CNI because it keeps me up to date on leading edge developments in the overlapping worlds of IT and libraries. They love to be the place where things are first announced, which is why I wanted us to do ZSRx here. Even when I sit through a very technical presentation that is way over my head (like the keynote here), a bit of it seeps into my consciousness and my world is broadened just a little. Besides, I get almost all of my good ideas while at library meetings away from home and I got a couple at this one (scary, I know, and you know who you are).

The first session after the keynote was on the new library at NC State, entitled “The Library Building as Research Platform.” I was prepared to be impressed, but I was not prepared for the mind-blowing explosion of visualization technologies for data-driven science that is the core of the building. Their aim is to have the experience of awe open up the imagination. Their vision is for the library to serve as a technology incubator. The building is an entirely new model; there aren’t any others like it – yet. It is a world very different from Wake Forest and ZSR, but they have captured the essence of their campus perfectly. I can’t wait to see it in person and I believe we are going to try to schedule another group visit this summer when things settle down.

I attended several presentations on big storage solutions. One was a cheap, local server-farm solution, that worked for the needs in its library. Another was an almost exact replica of our Amazon cloud experience, except that we did it three years ago for all web services and this library did it just recently but only for digital scholarship projects. Their reasons were the same as ours: the need for flexibility and independence.

SUNY Buffalo talked about the results of four e-textbook pilots in which they participated this past year, some on their own and some in collaboration with other campuses. One surprising fact was that on their campus, 40% of students buy no textbooks at all because they are so expensive and students can make do without them. One pilot involved their bookstore, but they tended to be inflexible and not willing to give discounts as big as could be achieved elsewhere. They were also involved in two of the EDUCAUSE pilot programs using commercial partners. In the most successful pilot, savings of up to 87% were achieved. In the end, the conclusion seemed to be that while the pilots were promising, the world is still not quite ready for e-texts. Students in the pilot still preferred print by a large margin. The only thing they liked about the e-version was the discount. I tend to agree with their conclusion that e-textbooks will be mature when kids have grown up with them. The presenter told the story of his three-year-old standing in front of the television swiping it in an attempt to change the channel. That child will be ready for e-textbooks!

The last presentation I went to was about the IMS Global Learning Consortium, about which I knew nothing. It is a non-profit organization comprised of both commercial providers and higher education institutions. IMS is focused on the exchange of digital content. Their goal is to have standards for open content so that all systems can “just work.” Three of their main programs are Common Cartridge, Learning Tools Operability (LTI) and Learning Information Services (LIS). They are trying to move technology in higher education for student information success to break the status quo of closed proprietary systems. I will try to follow their progress in the future.

We had to catch a plane before the last plenary session on the Ithaka S+R 2012 US Faculty survey, but CNI puts up video and slides for each of its meetings, so I will put the links up when I get them. All in all, a very useful meeting!


Midwinter in Seattle with Lynn

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 9:01 pm

My reason for attending the recent Midwinter Conference of the American Library Association in Seattle had to do with my committee responsibilities related to the upcoming ACRL Conference in April 2013. I am co-chair of the Cyber Zed Shed Committee (the name: I know, I know). Conference chairs met on Sunday afternoon to ensure overall coordination and my Committee met on Monday morning to go over our specific responsibilities. In this, it was a successful conference.

Whenever I travel, Angela Glover, our development officer, tries to arrange meetings with local alumni or potential donors. In Seattle, she arranged two dinners with prominent local alums. It was fun to get to know them better and to update them on ZSR’s activities. Thanks, Angela!

I tried to make good use of my time for the rest of the trip. I attended a SPARC-sponsored session of alternative metrics that lamented the “skinny shoulders” of glamour journals that publish only highlights of results, rather than providing the “broad shoulders” of methods and data that will allow others to replicate or extend the work. We need the shoulders of giants to stand on, was the creative way to express the message. I tried to attend the LITA Top Tech Trends on Sunday morning, but the line was out the door and I couldn’t hear from the hallway. Maybe someone else will report on that.

A highlight for me was a talk by Caroline Kennedy (yes, THAT Caroline Kennedy), who is an accomplished lawyer, author, and activist. Her keynote address was an inspiration that I thoroughly enjoyed. She talked about how her parents (yes, THOSE parents) instilled a love of reading in her and her brother and how she and JFK, Jr were required to memorize and recite poems for their mother’s birthday. She talked about her family and civic responsibility to support the JFK Museum and keep it relevant to children who view her father’s presidency as ancient history. She is clearly an advocate for libraries and literacy. My favorite quotes were that libraries were “tabernacles of personal freedom,” “librarians are the most committed community activists I know,” and “the best leaders are those that care the most.”

The one fun thing I did was to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit at the Seattle Center, next to the Space Needle. Truly, it is the most beautiful museum I have ever seen. Susan and Roz and crew went separately and took lots of wonderful photographs. I’m sure they will share!

In her Midwinter post, Lauren P. said that she LOVES governance work. I am so glad she does because ALA really needs it. It makes less and less sense for libraries like ours to send people clear across the country for committee meetings that take less than an hour and could easily be done online. It’s not like we don’t have plenty of other face-to-face opportunities as well. So Lauren, we will be hoping that your love for governance bears fruit, even if it stems from Blacksburg, VA :-(



Coalition for Networked Information, December 2012

Monday, January 7, 2013 11:56 am

Thomas and I attended the Fall meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information in Washington, DC on December 10-11, 2012. CNI is a membership organization dedicated to best practices in information technology, from both the Library and IT sides.As happened last year, I had bad luck traveling to the meeting due to a delayed flight. By the time I finally got there, the keynote was already over.

For the first concurrent session, I chose “Establishing Infrastructures for Scholarly Publishing.” Kevin Hawkins, Head of Publishing Production from the University of Michigan, spoke about mPach, a system being developed to publish journals directly into the HathiTrust repository. It will be available to other institutions within the year and creates a one-step process for both publishing and archiving OA journals. Continuing the library publishing theme in the second session, I chose “Library Publishing Coalition Project.” I had heard about this earlier from my ASERL meeting. The project is meant to create a forum for professionals engaged in the field of library publishing. It is hosted by the Educopia Institute, with a large number of academic libraries participating. Membership at both the Founding and Contributing levels is now open. The stated mission is to mainstream library publishing in a range of forms, and the aim is to provide services to practitioners such as marketing, collective purchasing, advocacy, training, statistics, research, directory, and liaison with other communities. I ended the day by meeting ZSR’s good friends Dr. Earl Smith and Dr. Angela Hattery for dinner. They led the two South Course excursions in which ZSR participated in 2007 and 2009. It was great to catch up with them and hear about their new professional lives at George Mason University.

On Tuesday, the first session I attended was “Supporting Community and Open Source Software in Cultural Heritage Institutions.” I was particularly interested in the update on Kuali OLE, which is still in development on a pay-to-play basis. The OLE (Open Library Environment) project received a third year of funding from Mellon and joined the Kuali Foundation to take advantage of its governance structure and general infrastructure. The University of Chicago and Lehigh University will be the first adopters. Version 1.0 is scheduled for Q4 2013 with the release of a global open knowledgebase. In the same session, there was also an update on ArchiveSpave, which will combine Archon and Archivists Toolkit, which we use here at ZSR. The beta release is scheduled for May/June. Lyrasis has been chosen as the organizational home for training, help desk, upgrades, etc.

For the next session, I chose “HarvardX: Developing Communities of Practice for Innovation in Online Learning.” I am very interested in the MOOC movement (massive, open online courses), having taken several of them myself. Harvard and MIT announced EdX in May, 2012, and several other institutions were added shortly thereafter, including Texas, Berkeley Wellesley and Georgetown. Within EdX, Harvard uses the brand HarvardX with a goal to improve teaching, learning and research across the institution. The libraries at Harvard are trying to figure out how to support the endeavor. They have been looking at copyright implications, mostly. Perhaps the most insightful, and certainly the most amusing comment of the conference, came from a man now at Cornell, but previously with the British Open University. He said that there is nothing about MOOCs that is new, since it has been done in Britain, at least, for some time. Americans apparently think if they haven’t invented it themselves, it doesn’t count. He might have something there…

For the final session of the morning, I again choose MOOCs (can’t get enough). Our neighbor, Lynne O’Brien from Duke, presented on “Massive Open Online Courses as Drivers for Change.” Duke joined Coursera in July 2012 and has launched two courses, with eight more in development. Duke’s goals are to drive teaching innovation, extend its commitment to knowledge in service to society, and to expand Duke’s global brand. Her office helps promote, design, produce and provide media storage for the MOOCs on campus. The Provost’s office provides stipends, while the school or department also provides teaching assistants and other support. Duke’s Scholarly Communication office is providing copyright review. For some early courses, major publishers have been providing free versions of e-textbooks and some software companies have offered free or discounted software. Since the initial courses have just been completed, it is early to draw conclusions. They are estimating that development costs per course might be as high as $50,000. Faculty are doing it to build their personal brand, often without additional money or course reduction. Some faculty now want to use the Coursera platform for their own Duke courses and want the flexibility it offers in terms of the length of a course. (There is some movement there to re-think the “course is a course” approach for which Duke is known.) Overall, they are excited about the possibilities.

The conference ended with a final keynote by Hunter Rawlings, President of the Association of American Universities. He talked about the tidal wave of international students and the consequences it brings, both good and bad. He also highlighted the stress suffered by flagship state research universities and the inappropriate meddling by politicians in their mission and scope. While he does not currently have a high opinion of MOOCs, as a classicist (of special interest to me) he noted that ancient Greece was an oral, performance culture and the introduction of the written book was a massive disruption that eventually proved its worth. Plato predicted (correctly) that books would cause people to lose much of their memories, so when he wrote books he did it in dialog to mimic the best form of education and pursuit of truth (in his view). Perhaps we can think of MOOCs in the same way.

ASERL Fall 2012 Meeting

Friday, November 30, 2012 3:52 pm

The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries held its Fall 2012 meeting in Atlanta (Decatur, actually) on November 13-14. The first night, I had dinner with a ZSR donor who happens to be a retired librarian, which was a very enjoyable experience considering that she was born and raised 3 doors down from my house in Beaufort! The next morning, I attended the Board meeting due to my position as President-elect.

The meeting itself started with a presentation by Tracey Campbell, a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, “A Shared Interest in the South: a Framework for Future ASERL Shared Digital Projects.” This is meant to be a potential sequel to ASERL’s acclaimed digital Civil War portal, to which ZSR has contributed digital items from Special Collections. Dr. Campbell is a student of the “New South” and spent some time describing the scope of the term. Basically, the New South is the old Confederacy today, shaped by the Civil War, with many of the same feelings and loyalties as the Old South. As a historian, he attested to the power of a rich, combined archive such as ASERL’s. It has helped his own research considerably. After his presentation, there were small-group discussions to determine next steps. There will likely be an effort to shape topics in broad subject areas like civil rights, women’s issues, music, literature, etc. Watch for more on this initiative.

The next session was a panel on best practices in assessment. The user experience librarian at Georgia Tech talked about their student advisory board and an attempt at the assessment of physical spaces using design charettes, focus groups, advisory boards, surveys, census, and 3rd party partnerships. Our friend Kathy Crowe at UNCG talked about their annual assessment plan tied to the university’s strategic plan. They work with the Office of Planning and Assessment and post results using a LibGuide format. They have used a “Mystery Shopper” approach, which aroused lots of interest. Their new Digital Media Commons was a result of an assessment that determined there was no other help available for students with media. Florida State used an ethnographic approach, similar to the University of Rochester, and generated 1500 pages of transcripts. They learned that the favorite working hours for faculty were 10:00 am-2:00 pm, but it was the opposite for students. Yep. Because they have turnstiles requiring a card swipe for entry, they could demonstrate that 80% of the entire undergraduate student body had visited the library during the year.

The day finished with a few business items:

  • The bylaws were amended to tighten the language on probation and suspension procedures in the membership sections.
  • A motion passed to endorse model language for data management plans developed jointly by ASERL and SURA (Southeastern Universities Research Association). I have since passed that along to others in the WFU administration.
  • There was a show of support to proceed with reciprocal sharing of ASERL’s print journal repository with the members of the Washington Research Library Consortium. Individual participants will be asked to sign an amendment to the existing Memorandum of Understanding.
  • ASERL’s federal depository library program is progressing well. The Steering Committee will follow up with members who have not yet signed up.
  • ASERL statistics are due by January 15. John Burger asked for volunteers to look at data collection in light of ARL significantly changing their data requirements.

The last day started with a presentation from Clemson on space and building planning. After several starts and stops, they used an incremental “Roadmap” approach to add group study rooms, classrooms, and other improved user spaces. Interestingly, they received a $6 million complete overhaul of their HVAC system as part of the regular deferred maintenance program on campus. Jealous!! I made a good contact with the architect member of the team, so that was valuable.

The next presentation was Brandon Butler, Director of Public Policy Initiatives for the Association of Research Libraries, entitled “Libraries and Copyright 2012: The Code, The Siege, and What’s Next.” I confess to having an unnatural fascination with copyright (my first year as a baby hospital librarian was the year the current law was enacted), so I found his talk highly informative and entertaining. “The Code” refers to the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic Libraries, which has enjoyed a positive reception from college and university attorneys and many success stories in libraries. “The Siege” refers to the siege of fair use repression under which libraries suffered for decades, which is now beginning to lift after a series of favorable court rulings including AIME v UCLA, Georgia State, and the stunning victory of Hathi Trust over the Authors Guild. “What’s Next” includes the Kirtsaeng v Wiley first sale doctrine case (and if Kirtsaeng loses that one, libraries may as well pack up and go home), Section 108, orphan works clarification, and access for the print disabled (bet on them, they always win). It was probably the best copyright talk I have ever heard.

The meeting ended with a series of brief updates:

  • Library Publishing Coalition is a new group to provide a forum for exchange with digital publishing initiatives in libraries. I gave the information to Bill.
  • ASERL Directory of Open Access Activities will soon be available. A listserv is being started for Scholarly Communication people like Molly. ASERL will be seeking a Visiting Program Officer in this area.
  • SCOAP3 has finally reached the implementation phase. ZSR signed up years ago as part of an international effort to wrest control of high energy physics journals back from commercial publishers. The good people at CERN (who brought you the Higgs boson particle) are now saving the world for high energy physics. Go get ‘em.
  • The next meeting will be April 23-24 in Memphis, TN. Can’t wait!

Engaging and Supporting the Wake Forest Student, Part 2: First Generation College and High-Need Students

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 11:15 pm

Kaeley, Lauren Pressley and I attended the second session in the series, Engaging and Supporting the Wake Forest Student: Pedagogical Approaches for Success. This one focused on first generation college and high needs students. It is of special interest to me because I was a first generation student myself, many years ago. This session followed the format of the first one, in that the situation was framed by facts and profiles of the current student body, followed by additional information on the group being studied, and then helpful pedagogical tips to address needs.

Tom Benza, Associate Director of Financial Aids, shared with us detailed facts about financial aid at Wake Forest. I wrote down only a few of the highlights. Total annual cost of undergraduate attendance at Wake Forest is $58,310. Wow. 40% of the student body gets financial aid; 61% of students coming from North Carolina get aid. $41,949 is the average package to students in North Carolina. A shocking $35,070 is the average debt from last year’s graduating class. Tom explained how need is determined from a family’s income. For instance, all students are expected to contribute $2400 toward their education from working. There is particular stress on middle income families ($100-150K), which are expected to provide $20,000-30,000 as a family contribution. ZSR was thanked publicly for hiring so many work study students, but still there are 70 students on the work study wait list at any given time. That is why it is so important for us to hire and retain work study students.

Nate French described the Magnolia Scholars Program, which he directs. There are 500 first generation students at Wake Forest (whom he affectionately calls “First in the Forest”). They are chosen after the students have enrolled, from a group that has been identified with high risk factors (less than $40,000 income, big family, weak high school, pressure from home). The program is deliberately designed to avoid a visible cohort, in order to avoid stigma. Over the last 4 years, Magnolia Scholars have been getting .1 to .2 higher GPA than the control group, are comfortable academically, do not have binge drinking problems, but are less interested in going abroad.

Then Catherine Ross got to the meat of the workshop by describing pedagogical techniques to help these first generation students succeed. As with the previous session, she pointed out how universal design principles are at work. What works for first generation students will also work for all students. She talked about motivation and meta-cognition, meaning, the more students engage, the better their chances for success. Catherine gave practical steps to help students, including giving early and ample feedback, using self-assessment, assigning a plan of work as a first assignment, helping students engage in self-correcting techniques, etc.

This proved to be another very helpful and practical session to understand the students that we encounter here at Wake Forest. The next session is Thursday, November 15 at 11:00 am. The focus is on International students, a constituency of particular interest to us at ZSR this year. Sign up at PDC if you are interested.

ALA Annual
ALA Midwinter
Career Development for Women Leaders
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
Coalition for Networked Information
Digital Forsyth
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Elon Teaching and Learning Conference
Entrepreneurial Conference
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Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
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Music Library Association
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
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online course
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Society of American Archivists
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Southeast Music Library Association
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
University Libraries Group
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
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