Professional Development

In the 'NCLA' Category...

NCLA Textbook Talks

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 10:05 am

Textbook costs were a popular topic at the NCLA Biennial Conference this year. Since this concern affects so many aspects of Access Services, I was particularly interested in seeing how other academic libraries have tried to help their students and faculty deal with the high cost of textbooks.

At the beginning of every semester in Interlibrary Loan we get a barrage of requests from our students and other libraries to borrow and lend textbooks. Having used ILL for textbooks in grad school myself, I can sympathize. In Course Reserves, we have instructors tell us that they are using readings in place of costly textbooks. At the Circulation Desk we are trying to determine the best balance between providing costly, highly-used textbooks and not buying “required readings” that end up not being circulated.

At the Conference, Johnson & Wales presented a poster session on their textbook program. They keep about 150 textbooks on a shelf where students can access them without assistance. Most of the books are donated and are non-circulating. I spoke to Justin Herman, a reference librarian at Johnson & Wales and he said that only a very few had gone missing. He also pointed out that there was a 71% increase in library usage in the last few years and they attribute some of that increase to the textbook program.

I also attended the presentation by UNC-Greensboro on open educational resource (OER) textbooks as reported by Susan. A good list of OER projects was included and will provide interesting further research.

UNC-Charlotte’s library presented a session on collection management that included information about their ebook program for textbooks. They enter into licensing agreements with publishers with stipulations including unlimited access, freedom of digital rights management (DRM) and retention of archival rights. I’m interested in exploring the costs involved and how that compares with copyright permissions in Course Reserves.

Further research into these textbook ideas could help us guide our students and faculty to quality resources that may help mitigate the cost issues.

Hu at NCLA: “A Librarian, an Archivist, and a Professor walk into…Collaboration that Matters”

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 11:38 am

Since others have already posted about NCLA, I thought I would use my post to talk about an exciting program I attended by Shanta Alvarez and Patrick Rudd from Elon University. This program focused on the use of primary sources in classes, most notably, the Cable School, a restored 1850s schoolhouse that was part of the first public school system in North Carolina, known as the Common Schools.

Courtesy of Elon School of Education:

Along with using the Cable School to teach about education, for Elon’s 125th anniversary, students in a first year English class wrote stories about buildings on campus. Additionally, photos of mills and mill villages from the LEARN NC collection were used by students as primary sources in field work in the school system.

As a result of attending this session, I would like to try the research and writing assignment around campus buildings with LIB100 students at WFU as a way of introducing both primary sources and Special Collections to them!

Susan At NCLA Biennial Conference

Monday, November 9, 2015 5:18 pm

My main objective for this year’s NCLA conference was to participate in a panel discussion with colleagues Mary Beth Lock, Hu Womack and Meghan Webb. In our presentation, we shared the variety of programming ZSR Library is doing that supports the University’s Thrive initiative. The audience was receptive and engaged in the topic, so we judged our effort a success!

A Library for the Whole Student: Creating a Multi-dimensional Culture of Health and Wellness at your Library from Susan Smith


I also enjoyed attending presentations given by other ZSR faculty – Wanda participated in the opening session keynote panel which discussed the state of North Carolina libraries and Mary Scanlon and Mary Beth Lock teamed up with Mary Krautter from UNCG to talk about entrepreneurial librarians.

NCLA Conference Opening Session

Concurrent Session

One presentation by other UNCG colleagues, Beth Bernhardt and Karen Stanley Grigg was of interest to report. They talked about their project where they offered Open Education Resources mini-grants for faculty to develop no-cost alternatives to textbooks. They partnered with the Provost’s Office to offer the grants. They received 25 applications for the grants and they awarded 10 $1000 grants. They estimate that they saved students $140,000 through the $10,000 investment.

NCLA GRS Annual Meeting & Workshop

Monday, June 23, 2014 11:42 am

Recently, I attended the NCLA Government Resources Section Annual Meeting & Workshop. This event was held on the campus of Elon University and was sponsored by the Carol Grotnes Belk Library. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues, and discuss current issues and upcoming changes within the Federal Depository Library Program and the NC statewide depository program.

Here are some of the highlights:

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Update
David Durant, GRS Chair & Federal Documents Librarian @ ECU
Beth Rowe, Federal Regional Depository Library Representative & Documents Librarian @ UNC-CH
During the 2014 FDLP Conference proceedings this past April, GPO unveiled a new strategic direction for the FDLP . Developed from external reports and feedback from library users and contributing institutions, the National Plan for the Future of the FDLPproposes some changes to the current program, while maintaining it’s original mission and core values. The plan has not yet been enacted, as GPO wanted to give member libraries and invested users an opportunity to provide input and feedback about what the program will become. The proposed changes include:

– a partnership with the Digital Public Library, which would serve as a host for collecting and housing materials.

– Rebranding efforts: (seems to be a trend, as GPO has adopted a new motto/slogan–Official. Digital. Secure.) FDLP (Federal Depository Library Program) will become FIALP (Federal Information Access Library Program). FIALP member libraries will become “Regional Federal Access Libraries” (currently Regional Depository Libraries) & “Federal Access Libraries” (currently Selective Depository Libraries). The possibility of changing GPO: Government Printing Office to GPO: Government Publishing Office was also mentioned (although there has already been a lot of back and forth discussion about this change with the increase of born-digital GovDocs).

– a collaborative network called the Government Information Access and Preservation Network, and a partnership program (the Federal Information Access Assurance Partners) to manage legacy print collections, promote investment in the preservation & digitization efforts, and to provide continued access to partnering government collections.

Because it is still in the planning phase, the plan is purposefully vague, presented without many details as to how the program will operate. During our discussion, concerns were expressed about how the proposed plan would impact current collaborative efforts by regional GovDocs consortia (such as ASERL). Additionally, some of my colleagues expressed their concerns over the varying tracks of focus that exist within Government Documents programs– one focused on access, and one focused on preservation, and how some depository programs may have to choose to prioritize one over the other. If you would like more information about the plan and current discussion about the proposed changes, please see GPO’s National Plan for the Future of the FDLP& ASERL Deans’ Letter to GPO re: “National Plan for the Future of FDLP”.

NC State Documents Update
Jennifer Davison, State Library of NC
Denise Jones, State Library of NC
The NC Government Publications Clearinghouseis currently focused on NC state digital publications and collections, and recent digitization efforts. The Clearinghouse manages more than 16,000 born-digital items, and 4,000 digitized items.

Jennifer shared some recent digitization projects that are available through the NC State Government Publications Collection, and some very useful Research Guides that pull together associated documents for themed NC research (such as ‘Agricultural Stats in NC‘ & ‘Native American History in NC‘). I am glad to know these exist!

Jennifer & Denise also discussed the challenges associated with managing digital state documents, such as collecting “Fugitive Documents“. These are online publications that meet all of the requirements for distribution through the government depository program, but were never submitted to the clearinghouse & therefore are not directly accessible to contributing libraries or agencies through the depository program. Apparently, it is estimated that about 50% of Federal documents are fugitive, and apparently, the percentage is even higher in NC state documents (!!).

Online Mapping Made Easy: Create a Map in 10 Minutes
Phil McDaniel, GIS Librarian @ UNC-Chapel Hill
Having a background in Geography, and an interest in datamapping and geocoding, I was admittedly jazzed for this presentation. Phil shared two mapping applications that are *free* and relatively easy for GIS beginners to create maps from their data– ArcGIS & Google Fusion Tables. Phil demonstrated uploading tabular data (that includes geographic values) with both programs, and how to modify the design and focus of your data map. Here is an example of a map that I created through the ArcGIS system, with data available from the Winston-Salem Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Winston-Salem Annual Average Daily Traffic (1981 vs 2013)

You may not believe me, but I’ve had three unique map requests from faculty members in the past year–not the typical reference request. Knowing what these programs are & the opportunities for data visualization that they provide is a good trick to have up my sleeve.
*sidebar: if you also geek-out over maps & all things GIS-related, drop me a line and let’s schedule a map-a-thon!

NC Open Government Coalition & Issues in Open Government
Jonathan Jones, Director of the NC Open Government Coalition
The North Carolina Open Government Coalitionis a nonpartisan organization that advocates for transparency in government, and the public’s access to government activity, records, and meetings. Jonathan shared with us the Coalition’s Mission and guiding principles, both of which are focused on ensuring and enhancing the public’s access to government activity, records, and meetings.

Jonathan also shared with us some common access issues that the NCOGC face, and exemptions to public record access laws (such as information related to criminal investigations, trial preparation materials, emergency response plans, autopsy photos, & email listservs).

There are some very useful resources available from the Sunshine Center’s website, aaand they have an app (NC Sunshine Center) that delightfully summarizes Public Record Laws, Open Meeting Laws, AND has a button to the NCOGC hotline (should you ever need clarification on your rights as a seeker of government information or a holder of government information).

All in all, a great meeting and workshop! I am looking forward to becoming more involved with the NCLA Government Resources Section in the future.

National Library Legislative Day

Friday, May 16, 2014 4:29 pm

On Monday May 5th I met up with some really cool people from across North Carolina and headed to Washington, DC for National Library Legislative Day. This year NCLA selected 12 students from an essay contest on the importance of libraries to also attend. Each winner was accompanied by one of their parents. State Librarian Cal Shepard, NCLA President Dale Cousins, and both chairs for the Advocacy Committee were also on board. The students were wonderful and their stories will make you “Happy” about the work of Librarians across our great state. You may meet the students and read their essays here.

This was indeed a tightly packed trip as we arrived just in time to join Librarians from all of the 50 States for the opening reception at the Hart Senate Building. The NC delegation was recognized for the second year in a row for having the most supporters attending. During the reception Rebecca Morris, choreographer for the “Happy Dance” and UNC-G LIS faculty member, taught the dance steps to all of the audiences willing participants. It was a lot of fun! Afterwards it was back to the bus for a late 9:00 pm dinner.

The next morning we were off to meet with NC Representatives and Senators. My group met with aides for Walter Jones, Jr. (3rd District), George Butterfield (1st District), David Price (4th District) and Senator Richard Burr. Our advocacy conversations focused on the Library Services and Technical Act (LSTA), the Innovative Approach to Literacy (IAL), and Workforce Development. New in format this year, we allowed the student winners to have a voice in our advocacy efforts. It was good to hear them plea for books so they wouldn’t have to stare at computer screens for extended periods of time and for more reliable broadband reducing the frequencies of which their work is lost. We were on the steps of the Capital preparing for our photo op with Senator Burr when we were suddenly TOLD to leave the area because a dignitary was arriving. It turned out that Vice-President Biden was the star of the moment coinciding with a scheduled press conference concerning the extension of unemployment benefits.

Our final event was the rally for libraries which we organized. It was held on the lawn across from the Capital. ALA President Barbara Stripling, ALA Legislative Day staff, as well as a few of the Librarians who learned the “Happy Dance” the night before, all joined in with our group giving speeches and holding signs. Each of the students shared their views on the importance and value of libraries. And of course the finale was the “Happy Dance.”



Molly at NCLA

Friday, November 1, 2013 1:40 pm

Despite living in North Carolina for my entire professional life (and barring one semester abroad, my entire life, period), this was my first time attending an NCLA conference. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, besides the opportunity to learn and network – and present! I was not disappointed in getting to do all three, and was especially happy to reconnect with friends from grad school whose career paths into non-academic libraries means we otherwise don’t usually connect. That alone would have made NCLA worth it to me, but fortunately it gave me much more.

Unlike other conferences I attend, there were very, very few scholarly communication-related sessions, so I took the opportunity to brush up on the latest happenings in other areas of librarianship that I often don’t have time to do: namely, liaison and instruction work. Other ZSR colleagues have already given reports on most of the following sessions, so I apologize if my take-away points are redundant.

Grumble Theory
Librarians at UNCG presented on Jackson Library’s ClimateQUAL survey administration and response in light of Grumble Theory. Maslow’s hierarchy emphasizes that motivation is based on needs, and as certain needs must be met before others, needs are order-driven. In Grumble Theory, motivation needs are ranked as:
– low = complaints regarding biological/physiological needs, such as food, shelter, sleep, rest, etc.
– high = concerns over esteem/self-esteem issues, respect, dignity, praise, rewards, etc.
– metagrumbles = higher level complaints concerning value of human life, truth, justice, beauty, perfection, etc.

Metagrumbles arise when other needs are met; e.g., complaining about the color of the carpet, or the break room art. Once low and high grumbles are addressed, an environment is created for self-actualizers to be the best they can be. Using Grumble Theory to help people become more aware, confident, and in control won’t mitigate all problems or complaints, but can reduce them. Much like Ellen shared in her coverage, I feel that much of our work-life balance discussions during 2012 were addressing Grumble Theory needs, despite not using that identifier. ZSR has done well to address our low and high grumbles, and we are now able to begin addressing metagrumbles.

Taming the Hydra, renamed Library Guides: Content Creation to Management
Carol and Ellen were in this session with me, and shared much of UNC’s experience. For a very rare LibGuides user (I think I have 2?), key points that struck me were:
– users view the library as reliable, so our LibGuides must be kept up-to-date to maintain reliability;
– have a management plan for periodic updating;
– limit to one row of tabs (if you need more, perhaps you need two guides);
– create a subject guide with a specific need in mind;
– “something better than nothing” not actually true with outdated guides.

From Resources to Relationships to Reinventing
Carol and Sarah were in this early Thursday morning session on academic liaisons, and again have already reported. Here are my highlights:
– avoid the “let me explain this to you” scenario with faculty (a difficulty in my position as SC librarian!);
– have an elevator speech as to why liaisons are important;
– advocacy role is emerging, and critical;
– success of liaison outreach – increased BIs, etc. – has real impacts on other work areas, and should be managed/acknowledged.

Always Be Closing
Chelcie was in this session with me, but in a different small group for the fun interactive part, and she did a great job explaining the session. My takeaways, both as a liaison and as someone with a specialized position:
– formerly focused on products of scholarship, now focusing on production of scholarship (big ol’ YES in my SC job!);
– engagement is more than “reaching out,” it’s trying to discover problem and apply library solutions to solve problem;
– even if we know what solutions we want to suggest, need to not just toss those off without helping faculty identify the problems – if they can’t see problem, won’t embrace solution;
– useful for thinking through selling new library services.

Research Literacy
This was the first of only two SC-related sessions I attended, which Sarah also sat in on. A librarian and research office administrator from NC A&T shared their work to develop “research literacy” among faculty seeking grants. They took the principles of info lit to apply to grant application process. Key points:
– librarians have expertise in areas that might assist in grant discovery and application writing: search skills, citation structures, literature discovery, writing/editing skills (not often a strong suit for STEM faculty);
– most obvious place to assist is to help ground the application in literature, as the impact of the research proposal must be framed by published research to support application;
– research literacy is info lit with added focus on original discoveries and the needs of original researchers;
– answers needed are not yet known in literature – literature used as building blocks to plan for future investigation;
– collaboration being driven by NIH, NSF calls for increased openness of research outputs in a time when securing funding is increasingly difficult – need to be as competitive and strategic as possible.

How the Judge Got It Wrong
The second directly SC-related session was from a librarian who traveled up from Georgia to discuss the GSU fair use lawsuit. Her talk was based on a research project she did for her PhD coursework; she is not a copyright expert. As Chelcie can attest, I mostly kept my mouth shut, but offered additional insight and clarity when I felt I had to. Overall, her point was that the judge was too narrow in her definition of fair use, establishing problematic “bright line” rules around amounts appropriate for being considered “fair,” and that if the publishers are successful in their appeal – oral arguments will be heard November 19th – the 1976 classroom guidelines risk becoming closer to law; if GSU wins appeal, compels increased licensing by publishers. I don’t fully agree with her assessment, but I also didn’t think she was flat-out wrong. Definitely this is an appeal I will be watching…

My last day at NCLA was an in-and-out situation: I came downtown only to co-present on altmetrics and bibliometrics with Sarah during our session, “The Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, and Altmetrics: From Theory to Analysis,” then dashed over to campus to help Hu and Roz in the library area of THE TENT during the capital campaign launch campus picnic. As Sarah shared, we had a small but highly engaged group for our presentation, and we’ve each received requests for our slides after the conference, so we’ve made an impact (pun intended).

In addition to the individual sessions, I greatly enjoyed the plenary sessions and WILR luncheon I attended, and overall had a very positive first NCLA!

Ellen @ NCLA 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 7:15 pm

At this year’s NCLA Conference I was able to find sessions relevant to my service on the ZSR Marketing Committee as well as others which can be applied more generally to librarianship.

“Grumble Theory in the Workplace” with Michael Crumpton and Kathy Bradshaw from UNCG was the first session I attended. They referred to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which, in its most basic form includes three levels of need:

  • Low – These are basic creature comforts such as temperature of your surroundings, food, sleep, etc.
  • High – More complex interpersonal needs including dignity, respect and praise
  • Meta – Includes concerns for values such as truth, justice, and perfection.

The speakers talked about how to identify the concerns of a library staff and work through these levels of need. The process reminded me of the Strategic Planning Refresh initiative at ZSR in January of 2012 and was a good reminder of the importance of listening to concerns and making people feel heard.

Wednesday afternoon I attended “Taming the Hydra” with Kim Vassiliadis, Emily King & Chad Haefele from UNC. As Carol has already reported, they spoke on LibGuides management and maintenance. They likened the lifecycle of a LibGuide to owning a cat. The initial stage was a “free kitten” which, in its infancy has good information and is heavily promoted. “Middle age” LibGuides are quirky, with outdated designer themes and incorrect navigation. In their “old age” they don’t look good, aren’t correct and have dead links. The final stage was the “undead” which you swore you deleted but kept showing up again.

The goal for the UNC LibGuides was to have the users view the library as reliable. If the content is wrong, the users lose faith. Consistency, timeliness, and accuracy were the key factors to accomplishing their goal.

On Thursday I worked a morning shift at the Registration Desk, checking in attendees. I was then able to attend the session, “Upstairs Downstairs: Reaching our Patrons and Staff” with April Everett from Rowan County. This session was marketed as presenting “low-cost, creative ideas for marketing”. Since that is just what the ZSR Marketing Committee needs, I attended.

April emphasized that you need to know your market and discover what their specifics needs/interests are. The next step is to put inexpensive promotional material (webpage, Facebook, flyer, pamphlet, bookmark, community calendar) into the “hands of influencers” that can pass on the information. Immediately after an event she suggested that promotional material be taken down so your target market trusts your information.

That afternoon at the Ogilvie Lecture, ALA President, Barbara Stripling spoke about her initiative regarding the Declaration for the Right to Libraries document. She outlined the motivating factors behind each of the statements and encouraged participation in signing and supporting the Declaration.

Friday morning I attended another marketing session presented by Nancy Dowd, the author of the book “Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Over-Worked Librarian”, and Pam Jaskot, a Library Consultant.

Some suggestions from this session:

  • Think about your audience – “If you try to market to everyone, you market to no one.”
  • Messaging – Use key values of your audience to craft your message. (use “winning” when targeting athletes, etc.)
  • Communication Plan – For this audience, what is most effective? (social media, newspaper article with pictures, targeted newsletter)
  • Communication Blueprint – grid format showing what communication medium was used for which program. Do this before and after a program and use it for evaluation of the effectiveness of your marketing
  • Partnerships – Go outside your own audience to reach people that don’t come into your library or read your marketing material
  • Cross Promotion – Once someone comes in to your library, be sure they have the opportunity to learn what else they can find there.
  • Give away free stuff – This is where the presenters gave away promotional material for

The last session I attended was, “Outreach to Faculty in the Digital Age” where academic librarians from UNC-G, GTCC, WSSU and Elon spoke about their personal experiences in supporting faculty which included:

  • Use of LibGuides and screenshots to communicate services and features to faculty
  • Attending meetings to raise awareness of library’s services
  • Understanding and supporting instructional needs of the faculty
  • Awareness of the format of courses to see how the library can fit in.
  • Identifying key, required courses to reach maximum number of students.

I hope to be able to put some of this information to use on the Marketing Committee and beyond. It was great to have the opportunity to attend.


Sarah at the NCLA Conference

Monday, October 28, 2013 11:46 am

This year at the NCLA Conference, I co-presented with Molly Keener on “The Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, and Altmetrics: From Theory to Analysis.” I covered the history of bibliometrics, and Molly covered altmetrics. Each of us provided an analysis with regards to science information literacy and research assessment. I posted our presentation slides on the NCLA conference website. We had a small, but engaged audience with many questions afterward.

In addition to presenting at the NCLA Conference, I completed my 4-year term on the Women’s Issues in Libraries Roundtable (WILR) Executive Committee as Web Coordinator. B.A. Shapiro was an excellent WILR luncheon speaker about her book The Art Forger, a New York Times bestseller.

Since other colleagues have written good summaries of some of the programs that I attended, I will provide highlights of other programs that I attended:

“Strengthening Instruction Through Curriculum Mapping: A Collaborative Strategy for Targeted Teaching” by Katy Kavanagh, ECU; Amy Harris Houk, UNCG; Catherin Tinglestad, Pitt CC; and Heigdi Buchanan, WCU

  • Map learning outcomes (destination) to instruction — Where are we now? Where do we want to go? Look at gaps in instruction
  • Look at how students progress in major over time through core courses and capstone courses and map them from basic to advanced learning outcomes
  • Moving to subject LibGuides instead of courses
  • Tiered LibGuides for Communication majors
  • LibGuides need to be mapped to ACRL Information Literacy Standards and not just to courses
  • Think of ideal learning outcomes; what does the ideal graduate look like in terms of information literacy? Are there courses that address those outcomes?
  • Reflect on what learning outcomes did I teach? Continually evaluate and update along with changes in syllabi

Closing General Session
“Stronger Together: Sustaining Excellence in Our Libraries” by Trevor Dawes, ACRL President

Some of my takeaways from his excellent talk:

  • Libraries should not be complacent and rest on laurels
  • “Institutions that stand still get left behind”
  • As the needs of the users change, how does the library change?
  • Develop staff
  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate


Chelcie at NCLA 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:01 am

The NCLA 60th Biennial Conference was the first conference I attended in my first professional library position – and what a great time it was! I enjoyed meeting lots of North Carolina librarians, including those who are doing similar work to me right now and those who like me are just starting out.

Most of the sessions I attended fell in the broad category of digital projects – North Carolina’s contribution to the National Digital Newspaper Program; social media strategies for special collections and digital projects; and the new NC ECHO, which harvests the metadata of digital collections across the state of North Carolina and provides simple keyword searching across the collections whose metadata was harvested.

But two of the most memorable sessions I attended were those that fell just a little bit outside my comfort zone but nevertheless still touch on my work.

Always Be Closing: Liaisons As Sales Force

Nathaniel King and Jacqueline Solis of UNC led this session. Drawing on both Karen Williams’ Framework for Articulating New Library Roles and Neil Rackham’s SPIN selling techniques, Nathaniel and Jacqueline argued that engagement requires offering library solutions to solve user problems – in essence, being a salesperson.

Applying the SPIN framework to liaison work looks something like this:

  • Situation questions
    • How long have you been in this department?
    • What are you working on now?
    • What kind of data do you collect in your research?
  • Problem questions – Get the customer to talk about difficulties or dissatisfaction with their current situation.
    • Do you have data sets without a way to easily store & retrieve?
  • Implication questions – Take the stated problem to its logical conclusion. How is the problem affecting the research/teaching/productivity of the customer?
    • How does not easily accessing data affect your research?
  • Needs-payoff questions – Customer describes the benefits of solving the identified problem and tells you the payoff they would receive by solving it.
    • How would it help your research if you had one secure place to store all your data? We have an IR…

Nathaniel and Jacqueline used role playing to demonstrate the framework and encouraged participants to practice during the session, as well. This framework gave me a lot of food for thought about strategies that I’d been using implicitly when engaging with humanities faculty at new faculty receptions, but having an explicit framework within which to place my strategies will, I’m sure, help me to close the sale more frequently in the future.

Telling Your Story with Data

Joyce Chapman and Beth Hayden of the State Library of North Carolina led this session, which focused on using data to support arguments. Joyce was the person behind the beautiful digitization progress charts for a collaborative digitization project among Duke, UNC, NC State, and NC Central so I was excited to attend her session. Most of the data sources Joyce and Beth highlighted were targeted towards public librarians, but the framework they provided for substantiating either claims of need or claims of excellence in service is applicable to all library contexts.

For me, the most useful exercise from their presentation was to take an anonymized example paragraph from an actual grant application and consider how its argument could be strengthened with data:

“This type of special collections materials is frequently accessed by users. The papers of X, Y, Z are among our most requested. The papers of A, B, and C were recently processed and therefore have been accessible for only a couple years. Nonetheless, they have seen growing research interest during that brief time.”

A reviewer of this grant application might ask “Well, how frequently are these materials requested or accessed by users? How do you know research interest has grown?” so it would be helpful to incorporate evidence into the claim. One might say a collection is among the top 10 most requested each year, or that it has been requested more than 40% of other collections. The most important takeaway was to contextualize your data – not to provide numbers in isolation but to answer the question “compared to what?”.

Attending this session gave me food for thought about how to track our digitization stats in such a way that we have data at the ready when we sit down to make an argument – either when reporting on the strength of our services or applying for a grant.

Derrik at NCLA 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013 12:13 pm

Here’s my summary of last week’s North Carolina Library Association conference. Overall, I thought it was a great conference, and I was glad I attended.


Christopher Harris, editor for the American Libraries e-content blog, gave a very good update on the e-book industry, although it was mostly geared toward public libraries. Some of my favorite sound bites and key concepts:

  • Don’t stress out about change. “Stuff is constantly changing; let it flow.”
  • The last disruptive technology we saw was the iPod and mp3’s. Experts (audiophiles) hate mp3’s because of the lower sound quality, but for the average user, an iPod & earbuds sure beats walking around with a phonograph or boombox. Librarians need to avoid being the nay-saying experts.
  • If all we’re doing is providing e-books, we’re in trouble because it can be outsourced at a much lower cost. Libraries can be filters and help users avoid “analysis paralysis,” like shopping at Trader Joe’s, where much of the selection has already been done for you.

Harris encouraged us to be willing to experiment with new models of purchase and access, and to think with our “math brains” instead of our “emotional” brains. For example, we all got up in arms when Harper Collins announced a 26-loan maximum, but Harris pointed out that for a $20 book that amounts to about $0.72 per loan. “How much per loan does a print book cost?” (in labor and building/shelving costs), he asked. Harris reviewed the current license models used by some of the “Big 6″ publishers. He pointed out that Macmillan does not sell to library consortia, and said (almost angrily), “That’s where we should plant our flag!” because resource sharing is much more important than a 26- or 52-loan limit.

Harris’ parting advice:

The next day, I attended a panel discussion and found out that NC LIVE is already working on a new model for shared e-books. I confess I didn’t understand all this very well, and it’s all still in Beta, but I’ll try to keep this general in hopes that I won’t go too far off track. NC LIVE has been working with Wake County Public Library to develop a shared platform for library e-books. Note that it will be the platform technology that is shared, not necessarily the e-books. It will be up to individual libraries to implement the platform (developed by NC LIVE) on their own websites. The vision is that each member library will be able to purchase e-books and place them on the NC LIVE platform, either shareable or private to the purchasing library. NC LIVE has started negotiating with several NC publishers to make their e-books available on the platform. It wasn’t clear to me whether those are e-books that NC LIVE will purchase, or if they’ll simply be available for member libraries to purchase. Target launch date for the platform is January 2014. There will be some content from one publisher (John Blair, based in Winston-Salem) available at that time, and NC LIVE hopes to have additional content from other publishers available by July. For now, the only access model for these e-books will be single concurrent user.


Digital/Digitized Library Collections

I went to a couple of presentations on digital collections available via the State Library. See There’s a lot of good stuff available for NC historical research, such as family bibles, wills, property records, cemetery photographs, a Civil War Roster index, an index of the Raleigh News & Observer covering 1926-1992, and an archive of all NC government websites. I also went to a session that gave an update on NC ECHO [], which searches across the digital collections of various libraries, museums, and archives in North Carolina (including Digital Forsyth, for example). NC ECHO uses the OAI-PMH standard to gather metadata from the various collections, then builds a searchable index of all these collections.


Electronic Resource Management Systems

I formed and participated in a panel discussion about E-Resource Management Systems (ERMS). Our panel included librarians using an open-source ERMS (me, talking about CORAL), a ILS-vendor’s ERMS, and a content-vendor’s ERMS. It was fun (in an e-resource-managing-geeky sort of way) to see how the strengths of the systems varied according to provider. The presentation was well attended, and I received some positive feedback afterward.



I won’t try to summarize the keynote addresses, but here are a couple of my favorite highlights:

In speaking of our responsibility to present readers with all sides of a controversial topic, ALA President Barbara Stripling pointed out that in a print environment, libraries could place all the relevant resources together on the shelf, so readers have to “at least trip over” other points of view on their way to the books they’re looking for. But in an online environment, it is too easy to limit yourself to resources that you already agree with, so libraries have a responsibility to teach users to look for those other points of view.

I’m sure others will offer a better description of ACRL President Trevor Dawes’ address, but the point that stood out the most to me was his explanation of why Financial Literacy is one of his main areas of focus. Dawes said that student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt in the United States. (Actually, that happened in 2010, but Yikes!)



If you’ve read my past conference summaries, you won’t be surprised that I had some productive conversations with vendors in the exhibit hall. I talked with the Gale rep about the Cengage bankruptcy, and was again assured that it’s “business as usual” for Gale; she compared the bankruptcy to refinancing a mortgage (yeah, I know it’s more complicated than that, but I still thought it was a good analogy). The Reference USA rep gave me a heads up on a new data visualization feature, and told me to contact our sales rep about it (I think it’s available at no additional cost, waiting to hear back). I got an update on the new Alexander Street Press platform for streaming music & video, which is scheduled to be released later this week (but they’ve already had to push it back once). And I had another license-unjamming conversation with a publisher (like happened at ALA earlier this year). I had gone months without hearing a reply, then talked to the sales rep at the conference on Thursday, and I heard back from the license contact within a day!


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
2008 Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
2008 ACRL Immersion
2008 ALA Annual
2008 ALA Midwinter
2008 ASIS&T
2008 First-Year Experience Conference
2008 Lilly Conference
2008 LITA
2008 NASIG Conference
2008 North Carolina Serials Conference
2008 ONIX for Serials Webinar
2008 Open Access Day
2008 SPARC Digital Repositories
2008 Tri-IT Meeting
2009 ACRL Seattle
2009 ALA Annual
2009 ALA Annual Chicago
2009 ALA Midwinter
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 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 2013
ACRL 2015
ACRL New England Chapter
ALA Annual
ALA Annual 2013
ALA Editions
ALA Midwinter
ALA Midwinter 2012
ALA Midwinter 2014
ALCTS Webinars for Preservation Week
ARL Assessment Seminar 2014
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authority control
Berkman Webinar
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Book Repair Workshops
Career Development for Women Leaders Program
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
CIT Showcase
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Copyright Conference
CurateGear 2013
CurateGear 2014
Designing Libraries II Conference
DigCCurr 2007
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Educause SE
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ERM Systems
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Future of Libraries
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Google Scholar
Handheld Librarian Online Conference
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information design
information ethics
Information Literacy
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Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship
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LAMS Customer Service Workshop
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Library Assessment Conference
Library of Congress
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
Metrolina 2008
MOUG 2010
Music Library Assoc. 07
Music Library Assoc. 09
Music Library Assoc. 2010
Music Library Association
National Library of Medicine
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
NCLA Biennial Conference 2013
NCLA Biennial Conference 2015
NHPRC-Electronic Records Research Fellowships Symposium
North Carolina Serial Conference 2014
North Carolina Serials Conference
Offsite Storage Project
OLE Project
online catalogs
online course
Online Learning Summit
open access
Peabody Library Leadership Institute
Preservation Activities
Preserving Forsyth LSTA Grant
Professional Development Center
rare books
SAA Class New York
SAMM 2008
SAMM 2009
Scholarly Communication
Social Stratification in the Deep South
Social Stratification in the Deep South 2009
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Southeast Music Library Association 08
Southeast Music Library Association 09
SPARC webinar
subject headings
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
Technical Services
ThinkTank Conference
UIPO Symposium
user studies
video-assisted learning
visual literacy
Web 2.0
WFU China Initiative
Women's History Symposium 2007
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
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