Professional Development

In the 'LAUNC-CH' Category...

Steve at 2015 LAUNC-CH Conference

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 5:51 pm

Once again, I have to apologize for being so late in posting about a conference that happened in March (the 13th, to be precise), but March and April really were the months that ate my life.

So, the 2015 LAUNC-CH Conference. I found the most interesting session was the opening keynote, “Fostering Digital Literacy in the 21st Century,” by Jeffrey Greene, a professor in the Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies program at UNC-CH. Greene argued that Marc Prensky’s conception of the digital native is false. Why? Because the digital divide is still a very real thing and poor kids without access to computers are not digital natives, even if they’re part of the same generational cohort. Also, human brains don’t really work any differently in a digital environment, except in the most superficial ways. Plus, he argues that genuine multi-tasking is not possible, at least one activity suffers during multi-tasking. And finally, and perhaps most controversially, he argues that learning styles are bunk. Research has shown that there’s really nothing to learning styles. While it is true that the more ways we encounter information, the better able we are to master that information, no single style works best for one person. Greene went on to state that digital literacy, among other things, involves the knowledge and skills to understand tasks, make plans, and to navigate, critique, and integrate multiple sources. For Greene, a digitally literate person would be able to understand tasks, make plans, enact strategies, monitor their progress, evaluate and adapt, and essentially self-regulate their digital world. A more advanced type of digital literacy would involve thinking like a scholar, which leads to extensive, targeted searching, critical evaluation of sources, better integration of information, and deeper understanding of information. He wants students to become effective curators of digital information. (He also said one of my favorite sentences I’ve ever heard at a conference, “You can’t be intrinsically motivated about everything. That’s a crazy person.”)

I also saw Ellen, Kaeley and Leslie give a great presentation on their LIB 250 class, I did not know my colleagues were such fantastic presenters! There was also a very interesting, if somewhat underdeveloped, lightning session by a UNC-CH SILS student, Jaci Paige WIlkinson, called “Beats That Collected Dust: Hip Hop Sampling & Academic Metadata,” which discussed how because hip hop is often based on sampling, the music is effectively an inter-related text, with references to earlier recordings. She argued that we could use linked data to link derivative works and original works to show where samples came from. There seemed to be a lot of steps missing from her argument, but I think the short time frame really worked against her. I’d definitely be interested in seeing what her more developed research finds.

Jeff at LAUNC-CH 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015 11:07 am

On March 13, 2015 I traveled with Steve Kelley to the annual LAUNC-CH Conference in Chapel Hill. Unlike Leslie, Ellen, and Kaeley, I did so without the stress of a presentation engagement. What followed was a fairly relaxing day of programming. (Not wanting to add to anyone’s jitters, I opted not to watch my colleagues’ presentation; but I heard rave reviews.)

The keynote speaker, Dr. Jeffrey A. Greene, a professor at UNC, refuted the belief that modern students are truly “digital natives.” Oftentimes it is assumed that, having grown up with the internet, smart phones, etc., today’s students have a natural knack for digital literacy. Mr. Greene argued that this is not nearly so true as is commonly believed. For one thing, it is a false assumption that all students grow up with computers. Some do not. Nor has the human brain done a lot of evolving in the short space of time the internet has been around. Students still need help. And given that professors often don’t have time to teach kids how to learn, librarians fill an essential role in helping them navigate the complex information landscape.

Marc Bess and Somaly Kim Wu from UNC-Charlotte presented on their beta “49er Alerts” system whereby library patrons who opt in by downloading and activating a particular app receive (via Bluetooth or Apple’s iBeacon) helpful information as they move throughout the library. Such “proximity marketing” technology allows for the automatic sending of messages about circulation desk hours, new e-resources relevant to a particular subject range in the stacks, or library events, based on the physical location of the user’s device. It sounds like a cool program. They hope to share the code, which is being developed by one of their grad students, by the end of the year.

Will Cross and Greg Raschke from NC State talked about the brokenness of the current textbook market and students’ captivity to preposterously inflated book costs. NCSU’s Alt-Textbook project is a grant-funding program in which the Libraries provide money and support to instructors who are interested in exploring alternative teaching resources. Their goals are to improve instruction by tailoring course materials to individual instructors, to decrease cost for students, and to provide instructional support in the form of library experts in copyright, digitization, and online instruction. (Here I thought about our own library experts at ZSR, and how lucky we are to have them.) Mr. Cross, a lawyer, made the interesting point that cost-saving measures such as these ought to look pretty good to budget-conscious state legislators concerned with the cost of higher education.

Magnanimous, no? To close, I’ll skip to the lightning talks that ended the day. NC State’s Hunt Library has a nifty program of showing films digitized by A/V Geeks on a weekly basis alongside commentary from speakers in various disciplines. I was glad to learn that Skip from A/V Geeks is out there. Jaci Paige Wilkinson, a SILS student at UNC, then presented the interesting notion that hip-hop music provides a compelling case study for thinking about linked data given its heavy use of musical samples that relate to various works and creators in different ways (RDA relator codes, anyone?). It was a thought-provoking way to end the afternoon.

LAUNC-CH 2015 (Ellen)

Monday, March 23, 2015 11:00 am

Leslie has just covered the LAUNC-CH keynote address, so I will turn to concurrent sessions I attended.

“The Library Stories Project: Capturing and Promoting Everyday Innovation at the NCSU Libraries” was presented by Kim Duckett, Anne Burke, and Jason Evans Groth. This project, which has been going on for about a year, has been an attempt to capture and to share stories of innovation and collaboration across a range of activities in the university’s libraries: learning, teaching, and research. The impetus was the awareness that much of what librarians do happens—and then the evidence disappears. The Stories Project is staff-driven, and library staff serve as the on-the-ground reporters, capturing and promoting stories that highlight collaborations among various user groups. Staff created a process to capture and to promote stories, and the result has been a library-wide effort focusing on non-routine, after-the-fact, media-rich accounts, written for all. Stories vary in length, use of media, library departments represented, user communities represented, and types of engagement. For example, one such story has been a project by graduate students to interpret the State of History at NC State. It is a graduate level history class to build a digital history project using images from the libraries’ collections.

The lessons from this project? People want to share stories; one cannot meet every need; editorial role and workflow are important; and good visuals make the story.

Another afternoon session, “Does Forcing Students to Ask for Help Work? Assessing the Effect of Requiring Term Paper Consultations,” presented by Stephanie Brown and Lynne Jones of UNC-Chapel Hill, was a useful session that addressed a common problem in public services departments. The focus was a Journalism course on media management and policy, and the challenge was the typical problem of how to get students to come to librarians for assistance with their research projects. Extra credit? Cajoling? The course professor and librarians decided to require students to come, which made all the difference: 76-83% came for research assistance. After going through IRB, librarians assessed students and the initiative. Students said that they had found the consultations helpful for finding relevant articles, clarifying their topics, and for writing their papers. 100% said that they were likely or very likely to meet with a librarian in the future. The desired effect!

Leslie at LAUNC-CH 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015 10:21 am

I don’t often get to attend this annual conference, hosted by the Librarians Assembly of UNC-Chapel Hill, but always enjoy it when I do.


This year, we had an exceptionally engaging keynote speaker, Jeffrey A. Greene of the Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies program at Chapel Hill. He began by busting some common myths about learning:

  • Digital natives: Greene questions claims of physiological changes in young people’s brains; technology is just one of the life experiences of all sorts (whether you grew up on a farm or in suburbia, etc.) that informs thinking patterns. What is real, Greene says, is the digital divide — we can’t assume every student had a computer a home, is familiar with internet navigation, etc.
  • Multi-tasking: Greene contrasts the task of driving a car, which uses the automatic brain functions, with juggling “cognitively conscious” tasks — we just can’t do the latter effectively.
  • Learning styles: the style one uses at any given time depends on the content (try conveying the locations of the US states without resorting to any visual means).

Greene’s formula for self-regulated learning:

  • Understand the task.
  • Make a plan (a step many students skip).
  • Enact good strategies (many bright students who coasted through high school arrive in college with a very small toolbox of learning strategies).
  • Monitor progress (for anyone making their first attempt to master new material, it’s hard to add on this additional layer — students need our encouragement and guidance).
  • Evaluate and adapt (resisting the brain’s natural tendency to re-use automatic responses — to it, that’s more efficient than thinking, and re-thinking, about what you’re doing).

Greene’s presentation is posted on the LAUNC-CH website:


Another highlight was the presentation given by Ellen Daugman, Kaeley McMahan, and myself on LIB250 (our Humanities course). This was essentially an update on an article we published in 2012. We reviewed our initial development of the course, and described lessons we learned during the five years we’ve taught it, and how we adapted and improved it. We had a large and engaged audience, who offered thoughtful questions and an enthusiastic overall response. Discussions continued over lunch. A very gratifying outcome!

Our slides

Our article



Steve at 2014 LAUNC-CH Conference

Friday, March 21, 2014 2:52 pm

Last week I attended the 2014 LAUNC-CH Conference in Chapel Hill, with Sarah and Jeff. This year’s theme was “Every Step of the Way: Supporting Student and Faculty Research,” and there was a lot of talk about data sets and making research publically available. Jeff has already admirably covered Nancy Fried Foster’s keynote address, so I’ll talk a bit about the concurrent sessions. The most interesting one to me was a session by Michael Crumpton and Kathryn Crowe of UNC-G called “Defining the Libraries’ Role in Research: A Needs Assessment Case Study.” They talked about how the UNC-G libraries surveyed researchers in 2013 to find out how they store and manage data. The survey (which had a 13% response rate) found out that only 16% of researchers automatically generate back-ups. Furthermore, 75% of the researchers surveyed reported that they did not anticipate sharing their research data. The reasons were a mix of that they didn’t want to share their data and that they didn’t expect to share their data (so either data hoarding or thinking that nobody else would even want to see it). Analyzing the survey they found a number of barriers to researchers sharing their data, including the large size of data sets, copyright concerns about sharing data, and simply not knowing how to share data. They found that faculty weren’t using best practices in managing their data, and they need much more help in backing up their data. The survey found that many faculty were not even aware of the data management requirements of their university and of their funding agencies. To deal with these problems, the libraries at UNC-G have decided to initiate new education efforts, including expanding the time departmental liaisons have to work with their departments on data management issues. They had planned on hiring a new librarian to specialize in managing research data, but budget concerns killed the plan and forced them to re-direct their efforts into their existing liaison program.

Several of the other programs I attended discussed similar matters, but I found Kathy’s and Mike’s discussion to be the most fully developed. One interesting note, was that Debbie Curry and Mohan Ramaswamy of NCSU discussed how their library recruited data ambassadors, who are either members of or liaisons to departments. These data ambassadors take a hands-on role on teaching faculty about how to properly back-up, store and manage their data. One other interesting item I picked up at the conference came from one of their afternoon lightning talks, where Ann Cooper of UNC-Chapel Hill talked about efforts at UNC’s Wilson archives to preserve born-digital legacy media by converting material in outdated media formats to current formats. As a big music collector, I’m very interested in the process of converting material from outdated formats to usable formats.

Sarah at the LAUNC-CH Conference

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 8:54 am

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
Participatory Design in Academic Libraries: New Reports and Findings

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.




Steve at 2013 LAUNC-CH Conference

Friday, April 5, 2013 5:17 pm

I attended the 2013 LAUNC-CH Conference in Chapel Hill on March 11. This year’s theme was “True Collaborations: Creating New Structures, Services and Breakthroughs.” The session that most interested me the most was the keynote address by Rick Anderson, Interim Dean of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.
As is typical of Rick, his speech had a provocative approach, which was apparent in its title, “The Purpose of Collaboration Is Not to Collaborate.” By this, he means that there may be plenty of benefits to be gained by collaborating, but that you should never collaborate on something merely to collaborate. Here are his major points:

Ground Rules and First Principles:
– Humility
– Patrons come first (a guiding concern here at ZSR)
– Waste nothing
– Fail often, fail early, write an article, move on
– Know what is sacred and what is instrumental
– Keep means and ends in proper relation

Means and Ends:
– The purpose of innovation is not to innovate…but to improve.
– The purpose of committees is not to meet…but to solve problems.
– The purpose of risk-taking is not to take risks…but to do new and better things.
– The purpose of collaboration is not to collaborate.

Reasons to Collaborate:
– To create leverage
• Economies of scale
• Increased impact
– To improve services
• Draw on more brains
• Include multiple perspective
– To build relationships
• On campus
• External to campus
– To bring complexity indoors

Bringing Complexity Indoors
– Good complexity and bad complexity (AKA Richness vs. Confusion). You want to bring bad complexity indoors, not make patrons have to suffer with whatever is problematic.
– Who is paying and who is paid?
• Patrons as “customers”
– What is our goal?
• Education vs. frustration
Opportunities to Collaborate
– Osmotic (by osmosis, Anderson means, if you have open library space, it will be filled. Make sure your library is filled with stuff you want in it.)
– Serendipitous
– Strategic (Institutional)
• To advance university goals
• To advance library goals
– Strategic (Political)
• To bank political capital
• To strengthen library’s brand

Collaborating Better
– Think outside the ghetto. Don’t just focus on the library world, other fields may have fruitful areas for collaboration. Anderson gave a wonderful example of this, describing the Pumps and Pipes Conference, an annual conference in Houston that brings together heart doctors and people from the oil industry. Both fields are concerned with pumping viscous fluid through tubes, and have much to teach each other.
– Work from ends to means (not vice versa).
– Listen promiscuously
– Ask this question up front: “How will we know when the task is accomplished?”
– If project is open-ended, assess regularly
– Evaluate outcomes, not processes.

LAUNCH-CH Research Forum

Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:33 pm

Inside the Box Poster Session

By Craig and Audra

On Tuesday, March 10, Audra and I journeyed to Chapel Hill to present our poster at the Librarians’ Association of UNC-CH Research Forum held in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center. The forum is a combination of poster sessions and paper presentations: there were 10 posters and 3 papers presented. Poster Sessions were held outside the assembly room where papers were presented which allowed visitors to view and talk about posters with each presenter. Audra and I got lots of great comments and met a number of people interested in using archival material for information literacy. Our poster, entitled: Inside the Box: Incorporating Archival Material into Undergraduate Information Literacy Instruction described our LIB100 class last fall where we used materials from the Dolmen Press Collection for group research and exhibit projects.
Inside the Box poster

Interestingly, it seemed like the subtext of the Research Forum was library instruction and information literacy because most of the presenters dealt with the is subject in some way.

After our first hour of presenting our poster, we had an hour of paper presentations with the anchor leg of the presentation delivered expertly by Roz Tedford!

The first paper was given by Genya O’Gara from the NC State University Special Collections Research Center regarding the Student Leadership Initiative, a project to document student leadership in NCSU history through oral interviews and videos. Through a partnership with the Public History program at NCSU, their department was able to train students using the workshop method to create a cohort of students. This cohort could then connect to NCSU history through oral history interviews with past student leaders. Genya found that alums preferred to speak to current student students instead of librarians. Some of the benefits of the program have been new oral histories, collaboration with other departments, new collections donated by interviewed alumni, enhancing the University Archives’ web portal, creation of physical and digital exhibits, and new programs and events.

The second paper was presented by Lynda Kellam and Jenny Dale from UNCG and was entitled: “Living and Learning with the Library: Outreach to Campus Learning Communities.” At UNCG, they are attempting to give every freshman the opportunity to participate in a “learning community.” A learning community is described as a group who lives and learns together- so many (like the Warren Ashby Residential College) focus on certain issues-like social justice. Lynda and Ginny have been given the assignment of implementing this program by actually being ‘in residence’ at each learning community for several hours each week. This is really being ‘embedded.’ This is a great concept to bring a librarian directly to the students and make them available in a significant way.

The final paper of the day, presented by ZSR’s Roz Tedford was entitled: “How to Build it, so They Will Come: Designing and Implementing a Successful For-Credit Information Literacy Program.” Roz described Wake Forest and ZSR as well as the foundations of LIB100 as a team taught course initially. She went on to say that the first LIB100 efforts were quickly revamped into individually taught courses, which give each instructor the freedom to teach the course as they see fit. This freedom is part of the success of LIB100at ZSR. Roz said LIB100 at ZSR is so very successful because it is marketed by our students. When students tell other students a course is great, Roz says, “you’re done” and marketing really isn’t necessary. I was proud to sit there and listen to one of ZSR’s leaders tell of our success in information literacy. When the question session started, it was apparent that Roz had interested the crowd because most of the questions were directed to her.
Following the papers, Audra and I spent another hour talking to people about our project and visiting the other posters. All in all, this was a great day of swapping stories, sharing our experience in information literacy and knowing that our efforts are appreciated not only at ZSR, but in the library world at large.

Change is What Keeps it Interesting: My First LAUNC-CH

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 10:00 pm

On Monday I went to my first LAUNC-CH. It’s a conference put on by the librarians’ association at UNC-CH, and it’s a really good local, one-day conference. They keynote was Lee Rainie, who I have followed from afar for years. He’s at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project, which as he emphasized, is a fact tank not a think tank. His talk ran through really interesting statistics as you might guess, and really focused on the changing information environment and what is happening with our users. He’s a really engaging speaker.

It was fascinating, but as it turns out was a lot about what I was talking about next on the agenda.

Change is What Keeps it Interesting

I gave a modified and longer version of my Thursdays at Starling talk if you happened to see that one. I spent less time on the evolving information environment (especially because we’d already had such an engaging speaker cover that) and more time on new types of jobs that are evolving and what librarians can do to gain the skills necessary for these new jobs that didn’t exist when most of us were in library school. As part of this I looked at the directories for all the UNC system and NCICU schools to get a sense of trends. Fascinating stuff! If you’re interested, here are the updated slides:

I got really good questions ranging from an administrator who wanted to know more about how to go about finding information to write these job descriptions to someone asking about the necessity of a library degree in the future to someone asking about the bleeding at the edges of librarianship and when does someone quit being a librarian. I really enjoyed the questions and it made me realize that I’m interested in exploring these issues further and would like to write more on it… so hopefully more will come on the the topic in the future. I love conferences that have a lasting impact!

Susan and Giz at LAUNC-CH

Friday, May 7, 2010 3:32 pm

Giz and I were invited to submit a presentation proposal for the LAUNC-CH Research Forum that was held on May 5, 2010 at UNC-Chapel Hill. LAUNCH-CH is the Librarians’ Association of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The afternoon event consisted of several poster sessions and 3 “paper presentations.” Giz and I talked about our current collaboration with Forsyth County Public Library to educate local non-profit organizations and county citizens about how to preserve, organize, describe and make accessible their cultural heritage materials. This project was made possible through an LSTA Outreach Services Grant.

We enjoyed telling the audience about our project, and, on a personal note, it was great to be on the podium once again with Giz! He is always an energetic speaker and we both thought the audience showed interest in the project! We did our visuals in Prezi, which you can see below:

.prezi-player { width: 550px; } .prezi-player-links { text-align: center; }

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
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA)
First-Year Experience Conference
Handheld Librarian
ILLiad Conference
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Journal reading group
Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Library Assessment Conference
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
Music Library Association
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
North Carolina Serials Conference
online course
Online Learning Summit
Open Repositories
Professional Development Center
Site Visits and Tours
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
University Libraries Group
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
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, protected by Akismet. Blog with