Professional Development

In the 'NCICU' Category...

2011 NCICU Purchasing Committee

Monday, May 16, 2011 12:41 pm

Derrik and I attended this year’s Purchasing Committee meeting at High Point University last week. This was the first time the group has done a 1 day format and they jam-packed it! The whole focus was e-books.

We heard a hilarious presentation from Tim Rogers of NC Live poking fun at the ad-hoc purchasing approach for e-books by NC Live to-date, but then he gave his serious plan for a more organized approach, which received resounding approval. We also had a Lyrasis update from Cal Shepherd.

The majority of the day was spent in hearing purchasing proposals from the various vendors who came in person to pitch — this marked a return to the style from the NCCIHE meetings that I experienced as a new librarian in NC, maintaining a strict focus on collective buying advantages. It became fairly clear that EBL and ebrary are the main players, while EBSCO’s pick-up of NetLibrary has some good potential since they will adopt more current access and pricing models as fast as they can arrange it with the publishers. We also learned that EBL has made a proposal to NC Live, but we have to remember that NC Live is waiting to find out about the state budget and has made preparations for cuts of products if necessary. No specific actions were taken by the NCICU Purchasing Committee with any particular vendor yet since the outcome of many presentations culminated in more info to come by email.

High Point University is impressive — lots of newer buildings. We were in the fancy new building for the Wilson School of Commerce for meals, and passed by the Boardroom and Trading Room (with electronic “ticker tape” board scrolling around the entire top perimeter) en route to the Banquet room, which had a projector that dropped down from hiding behind a ceiling tile. The rest of the time we were in Norton International Home Furnishings Center, and I hope 204 looks this good when upgraded. Now if we could just get those same La-Z-Boy Executive Chairs, we’d really be in business!

2010 NCICU Purchasing Committee

Monday, May 17, 2010 12:07 pm

2010 NC Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU),

Purchasing Committee Meeting, May 13

by Lauren Corbett

Carol and I attended only 1 of the 2 days of the Purchasing Committee meeting at Meredith College in Raleigh. Georgia Williams of Chowan University was Chair for 2010. Georgia thoughtfully broke with the tradition of being the host and arranged for the central location in consideration of travel costs for participants.

  • INTEGRATED SEARCH SYSTEMS On the day that Carol and I were not present, the group looked at demonstrations of integrated search systems from Ex Libris (Primo), Serials Solutions (Summon), and EBSCO (Discovery). We heard comments about how expensive these systems are and it seems that most of the NCICU members are taking the same approach as we did — wait and see.
  • NC LIVE Jill Robinson Morris gave an NC Live update. Foci for the past year were: 1) content, 2) access and integration, 3) awareness. NC Live will be dealing with about an $85,000 cut in budget next year. As a sidebar to this presentation, Lauren learned that NC Live “governance” is 4 Committees of Interest (COIs): 1) NCICU, 2) state universities, 3) community colleges, and 4) public libraries through the State Library. K-12 is not represented because they don’t have a formal, single, centralized body to represent them. Kathy Winslow is the representative to the Resources Committee for NCICU.
  • SERIALS ASSESSMENT Carol enlivened her presentation on Serials Assessment, covering our cancellation project and weeding guidelines, by using humorous pictures to illustrate her points. She had the audience laughing about every 5 minutes. For example, her first slide was one of storm trooper action figures (Star Wars) killing Cheerios. (Serials cancellation is a killing action, n’est-ce pas?) Near the end of the day, Georgia used an index card process where each attendee recorded one great thing from the day and only items with unexpected benefits beyond the agenda were selected to be read aloud. Carol’s presentation was mentioned twice!
  • COPYRIGHT Kevin Smith, a lawyer and Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University gave a presentation on copyright, most of which was very familiar since he spent quite a bit of time on the TEACH Act, but a particularly useful tidbit that was new to me and Carol was that while it is illegal for a French professor to circumvent DRM on DVDs to assemble a collection of film clips for a course, a new small exception allows a film studies professor to do this with films _from the Department’s collection_ (but not the library’s collection). Kevin concluded with a plug for librarians to play a role in getting professors to stop giving away their copyright.

Discussion in the business meeting at the end of the day concluded that the May meeting is the best opportunity for members to share questions and answers surrounding issues in libraries and that they wish to continue in this vein instead of limiting to the historical action agenda. Several members agreed that it is important to have a theme for the meeting so that each institution can send the appropriate representation for both learning and knowledge contribution. For example, if ILL is to be covered or reference desk services, Lauren would not be the most appropriate representative from WFU.

However, for May 2011, the plan is to have three e-book vendors present a proposal for consortial purchasing. David Brydon of High Point University is the Committee Chair for 2011 and will be hosting the meeting at his institution. Mary Roby of Gardner-Webb University was elected as Vice Chair/Chair Elect.

NCICU Assessment Conference

Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:38 pm

North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is a consortium of private schools that provides lobbying in the North Carolina legislature and professional development programming for various units in universities including libraries. Besides the fact that you just can’t get too much information on assessment, I was interested in this conference because I have just been added to the list of potential reviewers for SACS. In the small world department, I started talking to the man next to me at lunch and learned that he grew up in the Detroit area and worked at Wayne State in the Center for Urban Studies at the same time I worked there. And he is also a big Red Wings fan (but who isn’t at this time of year)!

Keynote, Steven Sheeley, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

Sheeley talked about accountability in higher education increasing by a more vocal and demanding public. In this economic downturn, all institutions of higher education have been hit, but publics may have been hit the hardest. The book Turn Around (Johns Hopkins 2009) is prescient in examining fragile institutions that may not survive additional financial stress. There will be a focus on efficiencies across the campus. The recession will affect enrollment in both positive and negative ways (community colleges enrollment is expected to go through the roof). Strategic decision making, informed by data and analysis, becomes even more important in times of financial stress.

Navigating the SACS Accreditation Process, Steven Sheeley

Standards and Policies are equal responsibilities for institutions, but Guidelines (such as faculty qualifications) are informative, not normative. Some standards require a policy and require that the policy be followed. Decennial review is necessary, leading to reaffirmation of accreditation every ten years.

Tracks A (baccalaureate only) or Track B (master’s and above)

Off-site Committee: compliance certification document review; each “cluster” reviews 3 or 4 institutions with a 2 day meeting in Atlanta. Committee report goes to institutions and forms basis of On-site Committee report. They give findings of either compliant or non-compliant.

On-Site Committee: Focused report and QEP document sent to committee 6 weeks before visit. Final report is narrative, institution has chance to respond within 5 months. C&R reviews on-site report, response, chair’s evaluation of the response to make a decision.

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): should still be in the planning stage until approved as part of reaffirmation. QEP should come out of assessment activities, NOT just brainstorming. Needs to focus on student learning outcomes. QEP lead evaluator can be from the outside, even outside SACS region.

Common areas of off-site non-compliance: faculty competence (not sending in enough documentation), college-level competencies (Gen Ed), institutional effectiveness, administrative staff evaluations.

Common areas of on-site non-compliance: QEP, college level competencies, faculty competencies

Common areas of C&R (in monitoring) non-compliance: institutional effectiveness, college level competencies, QEP, library/learning resources, financial stability

Danger zones: institutional effectiveness

Some sound practices: think like the reviewer (get off your own campus), begin early, clear documentation is key, burden of persuasion is on the institution, READ standards carefully, assessment woven throughout, ask if you don’t understand.

Fifth Year Report: mini-compliance report on progress

Use what you’ve got and get what you need:Strengthening your library’s assessment program, Yvonne Belanger and Diane Harvey, Perkins Library, Duke

I met Yvonne when we toured the Center for Instructional Technology at Duke a few months ago. She does assessment for CIT and is a resource for the libraries as well.They presented a very practical program on the basics of library assessment. My favorite quote was “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” credited to Ford Motor Company in 2006. That rang true, because I once heard an ARL consultant say that it takes 15 years (give or take) to change a culture. So that got me thinking how I would describe the predominant culture at ZSR and I think I’d say intensely personal service. But I digress…

The growth in assessment programs in libraries mirrors the growth in assessment in higher education. On many campuses, SACS accreditors say that the library does a better job at assessment than most campus units (and probably 1/3 of the attendees here today are librarians). Libraries singled out for excellence in assessment efforts are: University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, and University of Virginia. A key in library assessment is demonstrating the impact on institutional goals. The most successful library assessment programs are those that are infused throughout the organization, rather than just being the responsibility of one coordinator or one committee, hence the “culture of assessment” that we hear about. A good rule of thumb, attributed to Susan Gibbons of the University of Rochester, is “don’t guess, just ask.” With the availability of easy web survey tools and built-in focus groups of student employees or Lib100 classes, this is good advice to follow. So for example, when I see our virtual reference statistics declining, which seems counter-intuitive to all other prevailing trends, it seems a good approach would be to get some focus groups of students together to ask them what is going on.

Other nuggets that I picked up and will bring to various people when I get home:

  • Bring together all assessment data in one place on the website so all can access and use it
  • Look into Lib Stats, as a free, open source resource
  • Build evaluative thinking by linking assessment to staff development
  • Give data back: eg. analyze instruction sections by academic department and report back to department chairs and liaisons
  • Our OCLC replication study given at ACRL was cited here as an example of how data tends to be local!

Better Assessment:The I-E-O Model Revisited, Libby Joyce and Rob Springer, Elon

They used the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE-spring semester of freshman year) and Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE- entering freshmen before they get to campus). They did a study of 331 matched pairs using the IEO model as a framework:Input (student profile), Environment (engagement), Output (outcome)

Impressively, they performed an ANOVA (analysis of variance) with

  • Dependent variable:retention
  • Fixed variables: NSSE cognitive variables
  • Covariates of BCSSE cognitive variables

They found very strong statistical significance in their outcomes by looking at the complete picture of the student profile coming in (BCSSE), the environmental intervention, and then the outcome as self-reported in the NSSE survey.

Always have to ask the question: how much data do you gather before it becomes a burden?

What does this mean and where do we go from here? Assessing an information literacy program, Jennifer Hanft and Susan McClintock, Meredith College

Assessment is hard to define, but has elements of: accountability, focus, outcomes alignment, measurement, and acknowledgement of professional knowledge. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive, unchanging, intimidating, exceptional, self-sufficient or expensive. You are already assessing your program if you are meeting regularly with instruction faculty to discuss best practices, conducting regular student evaluations, grading assignments, conducting pre-tests, or partnering with faculty on assignments

ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education: At Meredith, three tiered program (English 111, English 200, IL Thread), incremental and developmental. Where to go from here: continue as part of Gen Ed program (survived revision), extend to graduate programs, continue to assess.

How they tackle assessment in Information Literacy:

  • Identify a skill
  • Find the applicable ACRL standard
  • Identify appropriate level(s) of program
  • Align with program’s defined outcome
  • Decide how best to measure

NCICU Library Purchasing Committee

Friday, May 15, 2009 10:20 am

On Wed. May 13th and Thurs. May 14th, I was a “virtual” attendee at the meeting of the N.C. Independent Colleges & Universities (NCICU) Library Purchasing Committee.The meeting was held at N.C. Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, and they used Elluminate web conferencing software so that people who couldn’t travel could participate online.Maybe I’m biased because of my experience as an online student, but I had fun being an online participant.The software was easy to use, it included audio and video feed, and the moderator kept a running commentary (e.g. transcribing comments/questions that were out of range of the microphone).

The first session was an update on Lyrasis (formerly SOLINET/PALINET).Nothing earth-shattering, but it was good for me (in the arena of consortial deals) to get an overview.The second session was an excellent presentation by Lisa Norberg (of UNC-CH) on strengthening the library’s website.I’m sure I’ll talk more about it with the Web Team.Her main idea was to focus not simply on usability, but on “Persuasive Design,” which is difficult to summarize here, but I think of it as the website being a part of the total “library” package.

Next was a group discussion on making library resources more accessible to users.The room was divided into 4 small groups; the online participants became group 5.Some of my favorite ideas presented were (1) making services more accessible by providing clear links and using natural-language terminology; (2) making books more accessible by explaining the classification system & subject browsing; and (3) making articles more accessible through document delivery and also by providing help with search terms (thesaurus-but call it something different).

Thursday’s presentations included updates from two book vendors, a discussion about streaming video of educational films, and an update on NC Live.The NC Live update, by Tim Rogers, was another good one for me, to help me understand more clearly how that arrangement works with regard to the online resources we get through them.He talked about some of the new resources they’re working on, as well as software they are working to develop (e.g. usage statistics, authentication).

Overall, I thought it was a good conference, and the online participation worked surprisingly well.

2008 NCICU Purchasing Committee

Monday, June 2, 2008 4:02 pm

2008 NC Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU),

Purchasing Committee Meeting, May 28-29

by Lauren Corbett and Carol Cramer

  • For the first time in the history of the group, sessions were not restricted to vendors and purchasing, which was discussed as a problem at the end of the meeting, with suggestions to divide into separate days for vendors/purchasing and other topics
  • This year information literacy was the topic for several presentations
  • References to SACS prep dominated the discussions
    • Make sure everyone knows the QEP
    • interdisciplinary learning was a SACS interest
    • feedback from users is required, not just statistics
  • Members gave demos of WorldCat Collection Analysis and RCL Web. Duke uses WCCA but RCL Web seemed to elicit the most interest, perhaps due to size of institution and cost
  • The Endeca implementation by Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) was demonstrated by Derek Rodriguez (formerly Davidson College’s systems librarian). It seemed resource-heavy in terms of programmers; definitely not an out-of-the box solution for faceted searching of library catalogs.
  • NC LIVE will send the bill in early fall for 2008-09, which is a timeline change in response to requests, so that both libraries and NC LIVE have better cash flow.
  • The only new info from the SOLINET/PALINET merger update (i.e. not already on the website) is that 2 more town hall meetings are to be scheduled for NC since several were canceled due to single person sign-ups.
  • In a session on user surveys, one suggestion was to have Institutional Research help write your questions, since they are more versed in writing surveys than we are.
  • And finally… Lauren and Carol brought identical T-shirts to use as sleepwear. We had both acquired these shirts at the 2007 Charleston Conference.

Twin T-shirts


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