Professional Development

In the '2009 RBMS Charlottesville' Category...

RBMS day 2

Friday, June 19, 2009 8:26 am

Today was the first official day of the RBMS preconference in Charlottesville. It’s the 50th annual RBMS, so we learned a lot about the history of the section. Plenary sessions began with a reminiscence by David Stam, University Librarian Emeritus at Syracuse, who had attended the first RBMS as a 23-year-old brand new employee at NYPL. Then there was the Keynote by the President of UVA, John Casteen, who emphasized the importance of primary sources in scholarly research.

The second plenary session featured Beverly Lynch discussing the interrelationship and parallel development of ACRL, RBMS, and library education.

All of the speakers were interesting, but the session that had me furiously taking notes was the presentation by Francis Blouin, director of the Bentley Historical Library at U of Michigan. Blouin’s talk was titled “Working with Our Research Communities”, but he managed in the space of 30 minutes to sum up the major challenges facing special collections today and to suggest some approaches that librarians and archivists should take to meet these challenges.

In brief, the two most important developments for special collections in the past 50 yearswere the birth of the digital world and the changes in historical approaches in scholarly research.

The challenges of digitization are well known and frequently discussed: digital access to special collections materials forces us to reconsider the importance of owning actual objects and changes the relationship between librarian/archivist and user. The concept of special collections as physical spaces has to be reconsidered– collections will become like banks, with most users of materials never setting foot in the actual buildings. And the challenge of archiving digital materials is a huge one. Blouin suggested that special collections need to recognize the importance of conceptual frameworks over ownership: we need to explain our collections and put them into context, not just acquire and index items.

The second major challenge that Blouin discussed was what he termed the Archival Divide. He suggested that special collections and the historical scholarship it has traditionally supported are on divergent paths of development. Fifty years ago there was convergenceof how special collections were described and maintained and how they were used. Archives collected the materials that scholars agreed were important, and thus had a monopoly on authoritative historical understanding. However, developments in social history, deconstruction of language, etc. havechanged this relationship.Scholars now look for historical evidence in materials outside the scope of traditional archival collections. And they are using materials in ways not addressed by traditional descriptive formats. Meanwhile, special collections have been faced with many new issues: technical challenges of DB and systems design (which demand precision in language and authority control), changing demands of diverse constituencies, broader definitions of what constitutes a historical document.

In sum, researchers are looking to use special collections materials in complex ways which cannot be understood by traditional theories of information-seeking. Referring to the ACLS Committee on Cyberinfrastructure report, Blouin suggested that librarians andarchivists must take the lead in organizing new knowledge structures.

Blouin’s concluding points on the future relationship of special collections and academic research:

  • Scholars will have more responsibility for identifying information communities
  • Traditional finding aid structures will be supplemented by these information communities

  • There will be a need for more attention to EAD and cross-collection indexing– “subcatalogs” supplementing traditional catalog.

  • Special collections will continue to exist as an academic and intellectualcenter, not just collection of materials;emphasis on teaching with collections,visible academic personnel, special programs.
  • Special Collections, finally, are a point of mediation between old and new ways of creating and recording knowledge and ideas; special collections is a place of connection, not just a repository of static materials.

My afternoon seminar of choice was “Partners in Processing: Students, Volunteers, and Paraprofessionals in the Library”. Three presentations on using non-MLS personnel to address the ubiquitous problem of the special collections backlog. Presenters from UCLA, Yale, and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Library– all very different institutions from WFU, but still there were some interesting ideas. I was particularly intrigued by UCLA’s Center for Primary Research and Training, which provides fellowships for graduate students to work on processing manuscript collections in the library. Jack Robertson of the Jefferson Foundation described inspiringly ingenious solutions to the problems of a growing collection with a small professional staff. Aftertheir project of reconstructing Jefferson’s libraries was turned down for grant funding, the foundationgave Jefferson a membership on LibraryThing. And after six months of unsuccessful attempts to correct and enhance the Wikipedia entry on Jefferson, they gave up and started their own wiki (called the Jefferson Encyclopedia, because their BOT objected to the term wiki!).

The student/volunteer processingsuccess stories were very encouraging, since we’re about to undertake a similar project.

RBMS day 1: Special Collections in the Classroom

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 8:44 pm

First day at the Rare Books & Manuscripts Section preconference in Charlottesville, VA. Today was pre-pre-conference workshop day, and I attended “Beyond Show and Tell: Teaching Strategies for Special Collections Professionals”. Presenters were Julie Grob, Digital Projects and Instruction Librarian for Special Collections at U. of Houston, and Matt Ball, Outreach and Student Services Librarian at the undergrad library of UVA.There were about 30 participants from all over the U.S. (including one with the best job title I’ve heard this week: Curator of Puzzles at the Lilly Library at IU).

The goal of the workshop was for us to discuss the increased role of instruction in the special collections librarian’s job, to learn from current pedagogical theories, and to learn from colleagues’ experiences and innovations. We started out with lots of discussion about learning styles, which was OK but nothing I hadn’t heard before. Things improved a lot once we moved on to discussion of trends in higher ed toward inquiry based, active learning. Special collections instruction lends itself extremely well to this, and presenters and participants shared a lot of great ideas and examples of activities for getting students engaged and faculty convinced of the relevance ofour stuff to their curriculum.We ended up with a discussion of the importance of assessment and the need to develop assessment tools geared specifically toward special collections classes.

I was hoping to swap experiences with other special collections librarians who’d been embedded in classes outside the library, but apparently this isn’t as common as one would think (Julie Grob was the only other person who’d had an embedded experience). But I got loads of good ideas for next year’s class presentations and did a lot of bonding with other librarians who spend their time explaining old books to young students.


Pages
About
Categories
2007 ACRL Baltimore
2007 ALA Annual
2007 ALA Gaming Symposium
2007 ALA Midwinter
2007 ASERL New Age of Discovery
2007 Charleston Conference
2007 ECU Gaming Presentation
2007 ELUNA
2007 Evidence Based Librarianship
2007 Innovations in Instruction
2007 Kilgour Symposium
2007 LAUNC-CH Conference
2007 LITA National Forum
2007 NASIG Conference
2007 North Carolina Library Association
2007 North Carolina Serials Conference
2007 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2007 Open Repositories
2007 SAA Chicago
2007 SAMM
2007 SOLINET NC User Group
2007 UNC TLT
2007_ASIST
2008
2008 Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
2008 ACRL Immersion
2008 ACRL/LAMA JVI
2008 ALA Annual
2008 ALA Midwinter
2008 ASIS&T
2008 First-Year Experience Conference
2008 Lilly Conference
2008 LITA
2008 NASIG Conference
2008 NCAECT
2008 NCLA RTSS
2008 North Carolina Serials Conference
2008 ONIX for Serials Webinar
2008 Open Access Day
2008 SPARC Digital Repositories
2008 Tri-IT Meeting
2009
2009 ACRL Seattle
2009 ALA Annual
2009 ALA Annual Chicago
2009 ALA Midwinter
2009 ARLIS/NA
2009 Big Read
2009 code4lib
2009 Educause
2009 Handheld Librarian
2009 LAUNC-CH Conference
2009 LAUNCH-CH Research Forum
2009 Lilly Conference
2009 LITA National Forum
2009 NASIG Conference
2009 NCLA Biennial Conference
2009 NISOForum
2009 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2009 RBMS Charlottesville
2009 SCLA
2009 UNC TLT
2010
2010 ALA Annual
2010 ALA Midwinter
2010 ATLA
2010 Code4Lib
2010 EDUCAUSE Southeast
2010 Handheld Librarian
2010 ILLiad Conference
2010 LAUNC-CH Research Forum
2010 LITA National Forum
2010 Metrolina
2010 NASIG Conference
2010 North Carolina Serials Conference
2010 RBMS
2010 Sakai Conference
2011 ACRL Philadelphia
2011 ALA Annual
2011 ALA Midwinter
2011 CurateCamp
2011 Illiad Conference
2012 SNCA Annual Conference
ACRL
ACRL 2013
ACRL New England Chapter
ACRL-ANSS
ACRL-STS
ALA Annual
ALA Annual 2013
ALA Editions
ALA Midwinter
ALA Midwinter 2012
ALA Midwinter 2014
ALCTS Webinars for Preservation Week
ALFMO
APALA
ARL Assessment Seminar 2014
ARLIS
ASERL
ASU
Audio streaming
authority control
Berkman Webinar
bibliographic control
Book Repair Workshops
Career Development for Women Leaders Program
CASE Conference
cataloging
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
CIT Showcase
CITsymposium2008
Coalition for Networked Information
code4lib
commons
Conference Planning
Conferences
Copyright Conference
costs
COSWL
CurateGear 2013
CurateGear 2014
Designing Libraries II Conference
DigCCurr 2007
Digital Forsyth
Digital Humanities Symposium
Disaster Recovery
Discovery tools
E-books
EDUCAUSE
Educause SE
EDUCAUSE_SERC07
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Embedded Librarians
Entrepreneurial Conference
ERM Systems
evidence based librarianship
FDLP
FRBR
Future of Libraries
Gaming in Libraries
General
GODORT
Google Scholar
govdocs
Handheld Librarian Online Conference
Hurricane Preparedness/Solinet 3-part Workshop
ILS
information design
information ethics
Information Literacy
innovation
Innovation in Instruction
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Inspiration
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship
instruction
IRB101
Journal reading group
Keynote
LAMS Customer Service Workshop
LAUNC-CH
Leadership
Learning spaces
LibQUAL
Library 2.0
Library Assessment Conference
Library of Congress
licensing
Lilly Conference
LITA
LITA National Forum
LOEX
LOEX2008
Lyrasis
Management
Marketing
Mentoring Committee
MERLOT
metadata
Metrolina 2008
MOUG 09
MOUG 2010
Music Library Assoc. 07
Music Library Assoc. 09
Music Library Assoc. 2010
NASIG
National Library of Medicine
NC-LITe
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
NCICU
NCLA
NCLA Biennial Conference 2013
NCPC
NCSLA
NEDCC/SAA
NHPRC-Electronic Records Research Fellowships Symposium
NISO
North Carolina Serial Conference 2014
Offsite Storage Project
OLE Project
online catalogs
online course
OPAC
open access
Peabody Library Leadership Institute
plagiarism
Podcasting
Preservation
Preservation Activities
Preserving Forsyth LSTA Grant
Professional Development Center
rare books
RDA/FRBR
Reserves
RITS
RTSS 08
RUSA-CODES
SAA Class New York
SAMM 2008
SAMM 2009
Scholarly Communication
ScienceOnline2010
Social Stratification in the Deep South
Social Stratification in the Deep South 2009
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
SOLINET
Southeast Music Library Association
Southeast Music Library Association 08
Southeast Music Library Association 09
SPARC webinar
subject headings
Sun Webinar Series
tagging
TALA Conference
Technical Services
technology
ThinkTank Conference
Training
ULG
Uncategorized
user studies
Vendors
video-assisted learning
visual literacy
WakeSpace
Web 2.0
Webinar
WebWise
WFU China Initiative
Wikis
Women's History Symposium 2007
workshops
WSS
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
Tags
Archives
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by WordPress.org, protected by Akismet. Blog with WordPress.com.