Professional Development

Bob at EBSLG in St. Petersburg, Russia

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 2:16 pm

In my role as chair of the (North American) Academic Business Library Directors (ABLD) group, I was invited to attend the annual meeting of the European Business School Librarians Group (EBSLG), held at the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University in Russia. Thanks to ABLD funding of the rather expensive airfare, I was able to attend the meeting from June 15-19.

Both ABLD and EBSLG are rather small, informal organizations composed of business school librarians representing the top 50 business schools on each continent. The two organizations have held joint meetings on four occasions, twice in Europe and twice in the United States. The most recent joint meeting, which also included representatives from the Asia-Pacific Business School Librarians Group (APBSLG), was at Stanford Business School in May, 2012.

Several years ago, the two groups established the tradition of having the leader of each group attend the annual meeting of the other group. This practice helps maintain and strengthen the bond between the two groups and helps to facilitate the planning of future joint meetings.

Planning my trip to St. Petersburg was a little more complicated than usual, mainly because I had to obtain a visa to enter Russia. However, I used a private visa agency to expedite the process and that helped a lot. I received my visa in about three weeks. The trip to Russia was a long one, requiring a change of planes in Washington, DC and Frankfurt, Germany. About 20 hours after I left home, I landed in St. Petersburg, eight time zones and 5,000+ miles away.

Mid-June is an ideal time to visit St. Petersburg, because it is the time of the White Nights. During the four days I was there, the sun rose at about 4:30 AM and set at about 11:30 PM, though it never seemed to get completely dark at any time of night. For example, I took this photo at 10:25 PM during our group cruise on the Neva River

Neva River Cruise 10:25PM June 18

The conference began Monday evening, June 16 with a reception and buffet dinner at the Finnish-owned Sokos Hotel next door to the School of Business building. After dinner we went on a late-evening bus tour of the city. We stopped at some of the major sights around the city and got out of the bus for a better view. Our guide, Victoria, gave us a good introduction to the city, its history and some of its famous rulers including the city founder, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, one of Peter’s successors.

Statue of Peter the Great, commissioned by Catherine the Great.

Two days of formal meetings began Tuesday morning, June 17. The theme of the conference was “Library Redesign for the Next User Generation.” As the theme suggests, business school librarians in Europe are facing the same kind of challenges we have, i.e., how to reconfigure, redesign and/or repurpose library space in a time when the most important business information resources are online and many business schools are reluctant to devote much space to a traditional library with a substantial print collection. I gave an updated version of my presentation about the story of establishing the Business Information Commons.

We also had presentations from European representatives of business information vendors such as ProQuest, EBSCO and the Financial Times, and from a couple representatives of the library community of Russia. For me the most interesting presentation was by Ms. Irina Lynden, Deputy Director General for International Relations (retired), National Library of Russia. She gave a fascinating and frank overview of the history of libraries in the Soviet Union and Russia from the time of the beginning of the Russian Revolution (1917) to the present day.

Ms. Irina Lynden

The highlight of the conference was the final night when we enjoyed an excellent dinner (thanks to the generosity of the vendors) at the historic Astoria Hotel and a sightseeing cruise on the Neva River. A river cruise is the best way to see the city, because when Peter the Great chose the location for his new capital of Russia in 1703, it was the river and access to the Baltic Sea that determined the location of the city.

Neva River, St. Petersburg

In sum, my trip to St. Petersburg was rewarding both professionally and personally. I was impressed with the School of Management and the school’s library and its staff. I loved the city, its sights and its people, all of whom that I encountered were friendly and welcoming to foreign guests. If you have ever wanted to visit this part of the world but not yet done so, then I recommend it highly.

Here are a couple additional photos:

Graduate School of Management Library.

EBSLG meeting room.

 

2014 ALA Annual in Las Vegas

Monday, July 7, 2014 4:31 pm

This year’s ALA Annual meeting marked my first visit to the very hot, colorful, and sensory-overloaded city of Las Vegas. After arriving Friday afternoon, I headed to the Las Vegas Hotel to attend an OLAC (Online Audiovisual Catalogers) meeting to hear about the upcoming publication of best practices for DVD-Blu ray cataloging. While I have yet to catalog many Blu-ray discs, I know this information will come in handy the next time I do so. Afterwards, I met up with Hu at the convention center to hear Jane McGonigal, game designer and opening keynote speaker, talk about the power and positive aspects of games/gaming. I am really excited about the prospect of working with Hu in hosting McGonigal’s game creation, “Find the Future”, at ZSR. Following the talk, Hu and I attended the ANSS social at Tamba Indian Cuisine.

On Saturday, I attended a session on international developments in library linked data that featured a panel of 3 speakers: Richard Wallis, Technology Evangelist at OCLC; Jodi Schneider of the Centre de Recherche, and Neil Wilson, Head of Collection Metadata at the British Library. Linked data is a popular conference topic and one that I need to study more in depth. Per, Mr. Wallis discussed the importance of using structured data on the web using markup as seen on schema.org. Schema.org tries to infer meaning from strings of data. In April 2014, WorldCat Entities was released. It is a database of 197+ million linked Work descriptions (i.e. a high-level description of a resource that contains information such as author, name, descriptions, subjects, etc., common to all editions of a work) and URIs (uniform resource identifier). Linked data:

  • takes one across the web and is navigated by a graph of knowledge
  • is standard on the web
  • identifies and links resources on the web
  • is a technology (i.e. entity based data architecture powered by linked data).

Wallis used the phrase “syndication of libraries.” Unlike the web, libraries don’t want to sell stuff, we want people to use our stuff. Libraries’ information is aggregated to a central site (e.g. National Library, consortia, WorldCat) and the details are then published to syndicate partners (e.g. Google). Syndication moves to linking users back directly to libraries. Individual libraries publish resource data. Utilizing linked data from authoritative hubs (e.g. Library of Congress, WorldCat Works, VIAF) in our records assists in the discovery of these resources as it makes them recognizable and identifiable on the web. Users will then be referred to available library resources.

What can libraries/librarians do in the area of linked data?

  1. Contribute to WorldCat.
  2. Apply schema.org across one’s library’s web site.
  3. Select systems that will link to entities on the web. We are “on the cusp of a wave”, says Wallis.
  4. Add URIs to cataloging records. The web will aggregate like information.

Jodi Schneider’s talk focused on linked data developments from Europe (i.e. Belgium, Norway, Ireland and France). The British Library’s Neil Wilson stated that better web integration of library resources increases a libraries’ visibility to new groups which can bring about wider utility and relevance libraries. During the Q&A, an individual posed a question about the stability of URIs, a topic that has come up in a recent ZSR discussion of which I was a part. The panel responded that URI stability depends upon who’s publishing them. An organization does saddle itself with the responsibility of making sure that URIs are persistent. It’s up to the reputation of organizations creating URIs to make sure they remain persistent. Libraries can add authority to URIs. One needs to realize that some outlying sources may go away, and for this very reason, preservation of linked data is becoming an emerging issue.

In addition to the session on linked data, I attended the following sessions:

  • becoming a community-engaged academic library which was co-sponsored by ANSS and EBSS
  • meeting of the ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee which I will be chairing 2014-2015
  • consulting and collaborating with faculty, staff, and students about metadata used in Digital Humanities projects
  • e-book backlogs
  • anthropology librarians discussion group
  • “Quiet Strengths of Introverts”

All in all, it was a great conference. I went to a couple of vendor parties, visited the Hoover Dam in 119 degree heat, and enjoyed a wonderful meal at Oscar’s with my coworkers, but I was very eager to get back home and in a quiet environment.

Steve at 2014 ALA Annual

Monday, July 7, 2014 1:32 pm

As with the past few conferences, my experience at the 2014 ALA Annual conference was dominated by work on ALCTS committees. As such, most of the stuff I did was pretty deep in the cataloging weeds, so I’ll try to pick out the items that might be of interest to a more general audience. Much of my time (4.5 hours one afternoon and a follow-up 3 hours one morning) was devoted to CC:DA (Cataloging Committee: Description and Access), which develops ALA’s position on RDA. Proposals approved by CC:DA are sent up to the JSC (Joint Steering Committee), the international body that is the final arbiter of the content of RDA. We passed a proposal from the Audio-Visual and Music communities that loosens the rules for recording statements of responsibility, which is particularly important for A/V and music catalogers. The current RDA instructions require catalogers to record composers as the primary party responsible for a music recording, which works fine for most classical music, but is terribly confusing for popular music (do you really want to have Jimi Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” to be primarily credited to Bob Dylan, or is Hendrix the important name?). We’re hoping that this proposal will be approved by the JSC. CC:DA also got a bit closer to resolving the problem playfully known as “the cascading vortex of horror,” which is a situation where RDA can be interpreted to mean that catalogers are required to record up to four production statements, depending on the information provided on a published item (if there is no publication info, you have to record that there is no publication info, then if there is no distribution info, you have to record that there is no distribution info, then you have to record whether or not there is manufacturing info, then you have to record copyright info). The proposal would say that you only record the info you have, you don’t have to say what you don’t have, other than the publication info. The proposal was not passed, as a new issue was brought up as to whether or not we should even say we don’t have publication info.

My other committee work was on the Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee. We met to discuss the forum we had planned for later in the conference, as well as tossing around ideas for programming at Midwinter. We seem to be gravitating toward the idea of having something on Bibframe to both explain it in terms catalogers can understand and to relate Bibframe specifically to the concerns of continuing resources catalogers. The committee’s forum on Monday afternoon was the last business event I attended at the conference. It covered a lot of continuing resources/serials cataloging stuff that would be of no interest to anybody but me, but there was one bit of info that might be of general interest. Regina Reynolds from the Library of Congress said that the ISSN Center (the international agency that issues International Standard Serials Numbers to serial publications) is working to deal with publishers it deems to be predatory. By predatory they mean fly-by-night publishers who produce sub-standard material with titles and/or logos that are very similar to the titles and logos of highly respected publications, or titles that are otherwise deceptive and designed to cause confusion in the reader. If the ISSN Center deems a title to be predatory, they may revoke the title’s ISSN, making it much harder for the publisher to sell their publication.

Let’s see, what else? I attended a session on Schema.org that confused the heck out of me. I fear that it’s something that I’ll need to have explained to me three of four times before I start to get it (like with FRBR), although I had a follow-up conversation with Lauren Corbett that helped clear some of my confusion. I also talked with a rep from OCLC about their new KnowledgeBase and their Notification service. I’m particularly excited about the Notification service, because if we sign up for it, if a record we have our holdings attached to gets edited in the OCLC database (like say, if the record is upgraded from AACR2 cataloging to RDA cataloging), we would get sent the newly edited version of the record. With the bib records in OCLC changing so quickly these days, this service would be very useful. And it doesn’t cost anything extra, the price is included in our subscription. Now, when I hear a big company say that something doesn’t cost extra, that’s usually when I check to make sure my wallet is still there, but I grilled the guy from OCLC and it seems like it’s for real. Which was certainly nice to hear.

Reduced to Space Debris at ALA

Monday, July 7, 2014 9:28 am

ALA 2014, Las Vegas: I have never experienced heat like that in my life. A stroll down the street felt like reentry into the atmosphere; except in reverse, in that you are exiting terra firma in favor of somewhere surreal and inhospitable to human life…yet oddly fascinating. ALA 2014 will remain memorable for me on multiple fronts.

Number one, it was my first. While ALA is bigger than AALL (the annual law librarian conference), one doesn’t so much perceive it. The exhibit hall must have been larger, and I enjoyed meeting reps from several of our vendors. There was an entire aisle devoted to comic book/graphic novel publishers, which was pretty cool, and certainly very un-law-like. The variety in subject matter represented by the various vendors was impressive, and fun. One could spend the whole conference in there.

Without my exactly planning it, a central theme of my conference program schedule ended up being ebooks: their rising cost, challenges in managing them, and, unmistakably, their importance. At a program on the rapidly rising cost of DDA short-term loans, representatives from ProQuest, Wiley, and Oxford took the stage alongside librarian Alison Scott from UC-Riverside and attempted to explain recent and upcoming hikes in short-term loan rates. They emphasized that we have all essentially been in a pilot period during which the ebook market was shaking out, and what publishers have found is that present DDA models give away too much access for too little money in return. In other words they aren’t profitable enough to counterbalance reduced print book sales and cover costs. It’s a tough sell to librarians, to be sure, but I do respect the publishers’ willingness to try.

How are libraries supposed to afford such substantially higher STL prices? There we come to an impasse. Ms. Scott referred to this as a “moment of evolutionary punctuation” and disequilibrium not only in library budgeting but in the academic library’s mission at large. However, we as customers do have the somewhat weird advantage (if you can call it that) of a relationship of mutual dependence with the publishers and vendors in question. At the same time I was struck by the fundamental opposition of interests between the two sides. It’s an interesting predicament, and one that I do believe will have to resolve itself, both at the broader ebook market level and the local library budgetary level. We can’t cut everything; but if necessary we can cut some things. That is me bravely standing my ground, cautiously. (I actually believe we’ll be alright.)

I sat in on the meeting of the ALCTS Acquisitions Organization and Management Committee, which I am on as of 7/1. (I’ve also joined the ALCTS Planning Committee, but I couldn’t make that meeting.) I’m excited to be involved with ALA at this level. It’s a way for me to meet colleagues at other institutions; a chance to broaden my awareness and affect the profession; and an excuse to attend Midwinter, which next year is in my home state of Illinois (Chicago). The OMC discussed programming ideas ranging from the highly relevant to the yeah-let’s-not-do-that, as well as a short webinar series. I was glad that Lauren suggested I attend this meeting even though I wasn’t officially yet a member; it allowed me the opportunity to put in my two cents.

To sum up the rest: I attended sessions on RDA enrichment of existing AACR2 records (which we at ZSR will be doing too, via Backstage); Kanopy’s streaming video PDA service and its potential for high return on investment of video funds; with Carolyn, ebook workflow and the importance of the handoff from acquisitions to cataloging as well as a clear line for reporting access problems; and others. I know several of us went to the talk “The Quiet Strength of Introverts” by Jennifer Kahnweiler. Given that many back here in Resource Services would likely call themselves introverts (as did most librarians in the lecture hall by a show of hands), this seemed like a fitting last-day session for the conference. Ms. Kahnweiler used the example of Fred Rogers as a quiet influencer; I can’t think of a better person to emulate. Introverts are red-hot right now. I’ve also seen a Ted Talk on the same subject, and there are books. We seem to be having our day in the sun, whether we sought it or not.

Finally, I can’t not mention the fact that I intentionally ate jellyfish. Perhaps I had become disoriented by the heat.

My Last ALA

Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:11 pm

I attended my first ALA in 1977 in Detroit, where I got my heel stuck in the escalator at the Renaissance Center. My last ALA turned out to be Las Vegas this past week, and there has been a large slice of Americana in between. For the first time in many years, I had no committee meetings and no required appearances so I had the luxury of going to the programs I wanted to attend. As others have mentioned, because of the extreme heat and long distances to walk, it sometimes made sense to conserve energy and stay in one location – most often the Convention Center.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and intended to go to UNLV for a tour of their library but it took an hour to check into the hotel and an hour to go through the pre-registration line, so I only had time to make dinner with our former colleague Lauren Pressley. She is very happy and it was a pleasure to talk to her! Highlights from the weekend include [I will spare you the duds]:

I have been exercising with Jane Fonda since the 80′s, so I couldn’t miss her talk. She showed some real insights on adolescent behavior in her newest book. The highlight was when someone in the audience asked her to consider writing a book for pre-teens and after pausing a moment, she said, “alright, I will!”

Another talk was “Libraries in the Publishing Game,” a topic that I follow with personal interest. Speakers from Columbia and the California Digital Library described big-library programs that are not very realistic for us. However, Cyril Oberlander from SUNY Geneseo has shown a great deal of creativity in a library smaller than ours. I like that.

The EBSCO luncheon featured some fascinating observations from a qualitative study of student behavior. Here are some pearls about millennials that I tweeted:

Google is their mother. Google is their oxygen.

Skimming and scanning as forms of speed reading. We are no longer linear readers. [Including me]

Students say: It’s about me. Not you. Me. [Sound familiar, ZSR?]

I was happy to attend the program by our friends at Forsyth County Public Library on “People Experiencing Homelessness.” Elizabeth Skinner of FCPL and Raye Oldham from the State Library spoke.They demonstrated that reading is of critical importance to people experiencing homelessness and that libraries can make a difference. It is such a noble program and made me proud of Winston-Salem. We might want to invite Elizabeth to a future staff meeting to talk about it.

One of the best programs was one on diversity residencies at Penn State, Tennessee, and UNC-Greensboro. One of my biggest regrets at ZSR was not being able to establish a diversity residency. Some of their observations are that a cohort of 2 or 3 is better than a single person and that two years is better than one. Collaborative relationships and strong mentoring are key.

I also met up with former colleagues and friends from around the country. In an amazing coincidence, two of them chose the same restaurant for dinner on consecutive nights. There must be a thousand restaurants in Vegas and I had dinner at the same place Saturday and Sunday nights! View on the walk home:

And thus ends my ALA career!

 

ALA Annual 2014 Las Vegas – Lauren

Thursday, July 3, 2014 4:08 pm

Three segments to my post: 1) Linked Data and Semantic Web, 2) Introverts at Work, and 3) Vendors and Books and Video — read just the part that interests you!

1. Linked Data and Semantic Web (or, Advances in Search and Discovery)

Steve Kelley sparked my interest in the Semantic Web and Linked Data with reports after conferences over the past few years. Now that I’ve been appointed to the joint ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee and attended a meeting at this conference, I’ve learned more:

Google Hummingbird is a recent update to how Google searching functions, utilizing all the words in the query to provide more meaningful results instead of just word matches.

Catalogers and Tech Team take note! Work is really happening now with Linked Data. In Jason Clark’s presentation,”Schema.org in Libraries,” see the slide with links to work being done at NCSU and Duke (p. 28 of the posted PDF version).

I’m looking forward to working with Erik Mitchell and other Metadata Standards Committee members in the coming year.

2. Introverts at Work!

The current culture of working in meetings (such as brainstorming) and reaching quick decisions in groups or teams is geared towards extroverts while about 50% of the population are introverts. Introverts can be most productive and provide great solutions when given adequate time for reflection. (Extrovert and introvert were defined in the Jung and MBTI sense of energy gain/drain.) So says Jennifer Kahnweiler, the speaker for the ALCTS President’s Program and author of Quiet Influence. Another book discussing the same topic is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Many ZSRians attended this session!

3.Vendors and Books and Video

I spent a lot of time talking with vendors. Most notable was the meeting that Derrik, Jeff, and I attended with some of the publishers that are raising DDA short term loan prices. This will affect our budget, but our plan is to watch it for a bit, to develop our knowledge and determine appropriate action. It was helpful to learn more from the publishers. Some publishers are able to switch to print on demand, while others cannot because traditional print runs are cheaper than print on demand and their customers still want print. Print-driven publishers have to come up with a sustainable model to cover all of the costs, so they are experimenting with DDA pricing. DDA overall is still an experiment for publishers, while librarians already have come to think of it as being a stable and welcome method of providing resources.

Derrik and I also started conversing with Proquest about how we will manage our existing DDA program in regards to the addition of ebrary Academic Complete to NC LIVE.

“The combined bookshops of Aux Amateurs de Livres and Touzot Librarie Internationale will be called Amalivre effective July 1, 2014.”

Regarding video, Mary Beth, Jeff, Derrik and I attended a presentation by two Australian librarians from different large universities (QUT and La Trobe, with FTE in tens of thousands). They reported on their shift to streaming video with Kanopy and here are a few bullets:

  • Among drivers for change were the flipped classroom and mobile use
  • 60% of the DVD collection had less than 5 views while streaming video titles licensed through Kanopy averaged over 50 views
  • 23% and 15% (two universities) of DVDs have never been viewed once
  • 1.7 and 1.8 (two universities) times is the true cost of DVD ownership
  • They have a keyboard accessibility arrangement for the visually impaired
  • Usage is growing for PDA and non-PDA titles in Kanopy [reminds us of our experience with e-books]
  • Discovery of the streaming videos came largely through faculty embedding videos in the CMS
  • Other discovery is not good for video, so they had Proquest add a radio button option for video to Summon to help promote discovery [can we do this?]
  • They concluded that because of greater use,online video is the greater value for the money spent

 

Roz @ ALA

Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:52 am

My ALA started on Friday afternoon with an ACRL Leadership meeting. As the incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the Law and Political Science Section (LPSS) of ACRL I was invited to attend. It turned out to be a two-hour fundraising pitch to get money for an additional 75 scholarships for the 2015 ACRL Biennial Conference in Portland, Oregon. I have a lot of opinions about how they are going about doing this but I’ll save you my commentary. The benefit of the session to me was a chance to get to know my incoming Chair as well as the Chair/Vice-Chair of the Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) much better. ACRL has made it very difficult for proposals to be accepted for Annual conferences unless you collaborate with other sections, so LPSS and ANSS are busy planning ideas for a co-sponsored program for ALA 2015 in San Francisco.

My Saturday was mostly taken up with committee and membership meetings for LPSS. Our invited speaker was Pat Mulroy formerly of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. She talked about water politics in the lower Colorado River Basin and was FASCINATING. A few interesting facts from her talk:

  • In Southern Nevada water is measured in ‘acre feet’ – that is an acre of land, one foot deep in water.
  • Las Vegas recycles 93% of the water it uses
  • The Strip, often vilified as an unnecessary drain on water, only uses 3% of the water – most of the rest comes from residential use, primarily people watering lawns.
  • Golf courses in Las Vegas are all watered with ‘grey water’
  • When the drought started (it’s now in its 14th year) they began paying people to take the grass out of their yards and replace it with desert landscape – within 6 years they had reduced water consumption by over 30%

On Sunday I presented on a panel put on by the Discovery Services Committee of the Reference Services Section (RSS) of ALA. Four speakers all presented on one aspect of Discovery Services (we have Summon) that we found interesting and then we divided up and spent time in smaller discussion groups. One presenter talked about a side by side comparison they did of discovery services, another spoke about a survey or librarians attitudes toward discovery and the third presented on a communication strategy implemented to keep library staff up to speed on their discover service. I presented on the new way I framed teaching Google and Summon for my LIB210 class and how I think deeper dives into the data Summon provides us can help us in instruction and in site design. I think I found a collaborator or two who may want to research and write about this. I was gratified that many people told me that they did not even know that you could see a list of all the searches done in Summon – so at least they learned that if nothing else. Also learned that Summon is the only discovery service that provides that kind of data (good on you, Proquest).

As usual I spent a good deal of time with vendors during this trip – meeting one-on-one with folks from SAGE/CQ Press (I’m on an advisory board for them) and with folks from ProQuest. Stopped by a few other booths to get some questions answered and discovered the existence (thanks Molly) of The Harry Potter Alliance. Bought a Granger-Lovegood 2016 t-shirt and am already scheming about how we can encourage WFU students to start a chapter here!!

ALA in Vegas was one we all will remember for a while but I suspect none of us want to repeat any time soon. I walked over 30 miles in my four days there (thank you, FitBit for keeping tabs on that) and probably drank 10 gallons of water. The city wears you out physically and mentally while at the same time having an energy that exists nowhere else I have ever been. There is no such thing as subtlety or understatement in Vegas and after about three days I start to crave a place with less sensory overload, so coming home was very welcome.

MB’s ALA in LV

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 2:52 pm

The first two days of my ALA Vegas experience were spent getting training on being a Team Leader for the Assessment in Action cohort, a grant funded competitive training program offered through ACRL. Assessment in Action trains librarian leaders to lead campus teams in conducting assessments that demonstrate the value of academic libraries to the academy. The training was intensive and included instruction from “writing a good Outcome statement that aligns with institutional and library values” to “how to lead your team” and “resolving conflict”. I’ve shared the information with the Assessment in Action team (consisting of Meghan Webb, Rachel Weaver, Ryan Shirey and John Champlin) who will be helping to assess spaces and services in ZSR this next year helping to identify and quantify how we help students succeed.

ALA proper started on Saturday morning with Jane Fonda’s session on her new book “Being a Teen“. She spoke about the difficulty young people face transitioning from childhood to adulthood and the influences that cause them to lose their identity. She didn’t reference it, but it is very like the message in the “Run Like a Girl” video that has been getting attention in the last few days. Her talk indicated that it is just as difficult for boys growing up and maintaining identity as it is for girls.

I had the opportunity to present at the conference in the 4th annual FEAST (it stands for “Future and Emerging Access Services Trends”) and I presented on our ZSRenews service. Other topics presented in the hour included “staffing for staying open 24/5″, “moving to offsite storage” and “utilizing ILLiad for scanning requests”, all of which we’d already done, so I’m confident that ZSR is staying ahead of the curve. MB @ FEAST

Prior to attending the conference I entered into a lottery for some one-on-one time with a space designer from Demco and I won. So, I spent an hour discussing our atrium space renovations and took away some great design and furniture ideas.

As usual, or perhaps more than usual, I had great opportunities to build and strengthen relationships with librarians I work with here in ZSR, know throughout North Carolina and Michigan, and meet through the conference. Vegas, even in the heat of summer, (it was 119 degrees at the Hover Dam!) was a very fun place. No need to go to a show, the whole town is a show! (And, I won $10 at the roulette table.) More photos are available here.

 

Hu’s Wrap-Up of ALA 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 4:38 pm

Clearly I’m still in search of a catchy title for these posts! On Saturday at ALA, I had a chance to meet with our contact at Media Education Foundation, (MEF) Alexandra Peterson. We talked about creative solutions to market out new streaming titles from MEF. You can check out our new streaming titles from MEF here.

After a long LITA meeting to work out the details for Sunday’s Top Tech Trends, I attended a interesting program on 3D printing and makerspaces in libraries without extra space! One library described having the 3D printers on carts by the Reference desk and another library did the same thing with 3D printers on carts by the Circulation desk! In both cases users were fascinated by these printers and enjoyed seeing them in action. Users appreciated having a place to experiment with this new technology!

Sunday began with the Alexander Street Press breakfast at 7:30am, which featured a wonderful talk byPaul Rusesabagina, the humanitarian Rwandan hotel manager who hid and protected 1,268 refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. Afterwards, I checked out the exhibits hall with Rosalind and Mary Beth, and then it was time to set up and prepare to stream the LITA Top Tech Trends Program and the LITA President’s Program!

This was my second and final year on the LITA Top Tech Trends committee. After serving on the LITA program planning committee (Thanks, Susan!) and streaming the LITA Annual Forum that year, I was asked to joinTop Tech Trends and have streamed that program for the last two years. The addition of the ZSR Library’s newVidiu encoder from Teradek (Thanks Thomas and Barry!) made it possible to stream HD video on YouTube of both events. If you are interested, both the Top Tech Trends Program and the President’s Program can be see on the LITA YouTube channel. While only 14people were watching the stream live, 100 have already watched the recording! The LITA President’s Program speaker, Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, was particularly wonderful. The story of how she came to create her non-profit was truly inspiring!

My ALA experience wrapped up on Sunday evening with the Proquest Intota launch party and a quick tour of the Las Vegas strip led by Rozas we walked and monorailed back to our hotel after the event! While it was a very productive weekend, I’m very happy to be back to my routine at ZSR!

 

Rebecca at RBMS LV

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 3:52 pm

Last week, I traveled to Las Vegas to attend the ACRL Rare Book and Manuscript Section (RBMS) pre-conference. The theme “Retrofit: Exploring Space, Place, and the Artifact in Special Collections” seemed to fit the location perfectly. The fact that it was the 55th RBMS (roman numeral LV) is perhaps the reason that this was the most attended RBMS pre-conference to date, or maybe people just wanted to go to Las Vegas. Either way, the conference was a great success in terms of attendance as well as powerhouse plenaries and jackpot panels.

Day 1 included a fascinating Plenary session titled “Book as Archive” featuring Brian Schottlander of The University of California, San Diego and Andrew Stauffer, an English professor from the University of Virginia. Schottlander discussed the broad reach of digitization projects, but also warned about the sometimes confusing and inconsistent results one gets when searching for digital content. He urged that metadata *is* the interface and searches across platforms including ArchivesGrid, OCLC, DPLA, and Google provided varied results. Andrew Stauffer’s presentation discussed “common” 19th century books in the circulating collections at University of Virginia. His discovery of marginalia emphasized the need for researchers to consider the historical book as a physical interface. The 19th century turned the corner on mass production and ownership of books, allowing many more people (including women) to own and interact with books at an intimate level. The problem today is that these books are too common and not considered “rare” based on their widespread availability in most libraries. With large scale digitization projects replacing physical with adigitized copy of a 19th century book, many of these books get weeded. Stauffer argues these books are more than printed test, they are also artifact and interface. Stauffer has put together what he calls a 1.0 version of a project that might help record unique and research worthy markings in otherwise common books called Booktraces.org. Heconsiders this a low barrier entrance into examining the non-rare books in our libraries. I found this plenary fascinating and the discussion that followed was lively.

Other highlights from Day 1 included a regional discussion and breakout session for people from the South. I joined the discussion group on regional identity and networking specifically to help inform me for my work as SNCA representative on SAAs Regional Archival Associations Consortium. We had a great discussion about networking and awareness of regional collections. I also ran into my past supervisor from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division, so it was a great chance to network and reconnect!

Day 2 was kicked off with an exciting Marketplace Plenary during which Michelle Light of UNLV flipped the monetary model for digitization. Light stressed that we as a profession spend too much time policing use of digital content rather than embracing the fact the “commercial” users tend to reach a larger audience. She touched upon the point that some of the profession’s practices of copyright permissions and monetary charges could be not quite legal. Although Light’s discussion of UNLV’s digitization business model may be a bit larger than we experience here at WFU, I intend to explore further UNLV’s new policies and procedures to see how we might be able to make some changes.

I presented on a panel along with Sara Logue of Emory University’s MARBL and Ronald Patkus of Vassar College. Our panel focused on “Space and Renovation” and got a very good turnout. As you can imagine, we are not alone when it comes to old buildings and space issues. The conversation was great after our presentations and the questions continued long after the allotted time. It was a valuableexperience and I would be happy to share my paper with anyone interested in reading it.

Other presentations that sparked my interest included Tom Hyry’s paper on the Susan Sontag born digital collection. Did you know Susan Sontag sent an email with the subject “Whasssuuup?” Elizabeth DeBold of Duke University presented on the Religion in North Carolina project, of which WFU is apartner. Yale University’s bookplate collection was the subject of Molly Dotson’s paper. She is using the bookplate collection to bridge the research of art students researching both design and historical aspects of design. I very much enjoyed this presentation and would love to think of more creative ways to integrate our collections into curriculum.

I found this conference a wonderfulexperience for idea sharing and networking. I would love to discuss further any of these points or other experiences I had on this trip. Thank to all who made my attendance possible, it was a great opportunity.

 


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