Professional Development

Understanding the Medieval Book symposium

Monday, April 27, 2015 12:41 pm

I recently attended the fifth annual “Understanding the Medieval Book” symposium at the University of South Carolina. This event, organized each year by Dr. Scott Gwara of the USC English department, brings together about 20 participants for two days of lectures and workshops by an expert medievalist. Registration is free, and the symposium always draws a wide range of attendees– students, teaching faculty, librarians, rare-book dealers– who provide diverse perspectives on using medieval collections. Meetings are held in the Irvin Rare Books & Special Collections department of the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library, making use of the library’s extensive collection of medieval manuscript codices and fragments.

This year’s expert facilitator was Dr. David Gura, Curator of Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts, Early Imprints, and History of the Book at Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute. Dr. Gura led participants in a crash course on bibliographic description and citation of medieval manuscripts. He also gave a presentation on a fascinating project with which he is involved at Notre Dame– an attempt to reunite and digitize all pages of a Breton book of hours recently broken up and sold piecemeal by a dealer in Germany.

As usual, I came back from the symposium with useful information and some new ideas about ZSR’s small but interesting collection of medieval manuscripts. Dr. Gwara is also in the process of launching a new digital humanities initiative called Manuscriptlink, which will collect digitized fragments from libraries throughout the world. ZSR Special Collections will participate in this digital collection, and we are looking forward to making our previously “hidden” manuscripts available to a worldwide scholarly audience.

 

ALABI–Nashville, Tennessee by Tanya

Monday, April 27, 2015 11:50 am

I recently attended the Association of Librarians and Archivists at Baptist Institutions (ALABI) in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a great experience, and I had the opportunity to meet new people, learn about projects at other repositories, and even see a bit of Nashville.

For me, the professional highlights were sharing the plans for our Baptist collections in a presentation; hearing about other digitizing and outreach projects at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Mercer College, Samford University; and touring the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, which hosted the ALABI conference. There were also interesting presentations on transferring and digitizing audio recordings, glass plate negative care and storage, current pressures on libraries to dispose of print materials, and evaluating duplication policies and fees. The speakers for this last topic also handed out a booklet of policies submitted by ALABI institutions, so we could compare how each one of us is handling requests.

For the Nashville part of my trip, I visited the Johnny Cash Museum, went to a Nashville Sounds baseball game, and attended a Grand Ole Opry performance at the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman has been on my bucket list for years. What a great conference!

2015 Administrative Professionals Conference

Friday, April 24, 2015 4:22 pm

On Thursday I had the opportunity to attend the 2015 Administrative Professionals Conference at WinMock in Bermuda Run, NC. WinMock is a beautiful old barn that has been renovated to hold conferences, weddings, etc. Our audience was made up of Administrative Professionals from WFU, WF-Health Sciences, WSSU, UNC School of the Arts and Forsyth Technical Community College. We had 226 attendees.

I have been on the Administrative Professionals Committee, which plans the conference, for 12 years. This year, each attendee at the conference was able to win a door prize!

We had 3 great speakers!

Speaker 1 was Denise Ryan

Program Description “How to Get Along with Everyone Who Is Not Me?”

Who are you?

Controller/Director

Celebrate their action leadership and honest

  • Commander
  • Values getting the job done
  • Decisive risk taker
  • Good at delegating work to others
  • Results oriented

Promoter/Socializer

Celebrate their enthusiasm and joy

  • Entertainer
  • Values enjoyment and helping others with the same
  • Full of ideas and impulsive in trying them
  • Wants work to be fun for everyone
  • Optimist; nothing is beyond hope

Supporter/Relater

Celebrate their gentleness and mediation qualities

  • Harmonizer
  • Values acceptance and stability in circumstances
  • Slow with big decisions; dislikes change
  • Builds networks of friends to help do work
  • Easy-going; like slow, steady pace

Analyzer/Thinker

Celebrate their sensitivity and depth

  • Assessor
  • Values accuracy in details & being right
  • Plans thoroughly before deciding to act
  • Prefers to work alone
  • Introverted; quick to think and slow to speak; closed about personal matters

Speaker 2 was Susanne Gaddis – The Communications Doctor!

Program Description: “All Stressed Up, and No Place to Go”

Definition of what stress is: what occurs when the demands that are placed upon you exceed your capability for meeting those demands

We took an interactive stress quiz for instant health risk results!

Short-term stress, such as difficult meetings, sporting or other performances, or confrontational situations. Here, the emphasis is on short-term management of adrenaline to maximize performance.

Long-term stress, where fatigue and high adrenaline levels over a long period can lead to degraded performances. Here optimizing stress concentrates on management of fatigue, health, energy and morale.

Speaker 3 was Lisa Withers

Program Description “Building YOUR Brand”

The attendees all did the Logo Game, where you name which logo goes with which brand.

We learned about having positive emotions at work:

  • More productive
  • More focused
  • Higher satisfaction
  • Higher engagement

Results Pyramid

  • Results
  • Actions
  • Beliefs
  • Experiences

We also learned about wells and drains!

Wells: positive, look for the good, energetic, actions, refreshing, encouraging

Drains: dishonest, they don’t follow through, negative, point out everything you do wrong

It was a great day of learning! It is also a pleasure to help provide a great conference to a wonderful group of people!

 

 

Southeastern Library Association

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 5:18 pm

A trip to Alabama was the next stop on my journey as the NCLA Southeastern Library Association representative. The Alabama Library Association played host to SELA in the beautiful water front city of Point Clear April 7-10. During my report to the SELA Executive Board, I shared details around our upcoming conference. I unofficially invited the group to consider NCLA’s 2017 conference, which by the way will be held right here in Winston Salem, as a possible site for their next joint venture. A document detailing financial workings is forthcoming. I did take the opportunity to discuss the idea of NCLA hosting a regional Leadership Institute. The idea was well received by the other state reps in attendance. I suggested having the current SELA President attend the 2016 Leadership Institute might confirm or alter our thinking around this topic.

Whenever I attend the SELA conference I always look for ideas that I can bring back to NCLA. Here are a couple of things I noted. First, the conference planning committee members wore identical brightly colored t-shirts. This made them easily identifiable as those in the know. Secondly, the members of the committee monitored the session rooms and opened the doors when it was about three to five minutes remaining in time for the allotted program. This kept the flow of the day on schedule. The conference theme was around Super Heroes. Each exhibitor had a sticker which matched an entry on the Superheroes bingo card, for which the winner of got a prize. Each meal function was a $$ ticketed event.

Michael Dowling, the Director of ALA’s Chapter Relations Office was the featured facilitator for a session entitled, “Alabama Libraries into the Future.” Dowling facilitated a discussion around the future of the library profession. I thought this type session facilitated by our NCLA President, Executive Board members or even the New Members Round Table, might provide a means for open deliberate conversations around librarianship, member association growth, engagement and development. The opening session featured author Craig Johnson of the Walt Longmire mystery series. This was a lighthearted conversation that set the tone for a relaxed enjoyable conference. Though I never saw any official numbers, their attendance seemed much lower than ours. Attendees were able to choose amongst only five to six concurrent sessions at any time.

Some of the most notable sessions for me were those dealing with issues of management and leadership development. It seemed that there was at least one offering within each grouping of concurrent sessions. Sessions featured mostly collaborators from varying library types sharing experiences and lessons learned around similar topics. I elected to attend those focusing around the management of library student assistants, writing employee orientation manuals and designing content for personnel handbooks. I also found the sessions on engaging 1st year students and building community partnerships most informative.

If you want to hear more, just let me know.

Derrik at the NC Serials Conference, 2015 edition

Monday, April 20, 2015 2:03 pm

Well, the latest few PD blog posts have guilted me into finally writing about my trip to the 2015 NC Serials Conference. Now, if I can just find my notes …

Aha! Here we are.

Steve’s post already covered Katherine Skinner’s opening keynote address quite well. I’ll add an “Aha” moment I had. Do you know who invented the incandescent light bulb? Hint: It wasn’t Thomas Edison; he merely perfected the design. Skinner also said that the jukebox was not invented by the record industry. Lesson: Innovation per se isn’t the only thing that’s important, and positive changes can come from outside the area you’d normally think to look for them.

I presented a session on library-vendor negotiation, along with co-presenter Lesley Jackson, our EBSCO Account Manager. We presented nine different principles of negotiation, along with examples. There were things like “Be prepared,” “Don’t be afraid to ask,” and “Don’t take it personally.” We finished earlier than expected, but the audience participated and asked good questions. We had a number of vendor reps in the audience too, which made it more fun.

Another plenary session was a panel discussion about text and data mining. A fair amount of this was over my head, but one thing that was clear is that everybody’s still trying to figure it out. The vendor representative on the panel pointed out the difficulty vendors have with managing and licensing text mining because librarians can’t really articulate what “text mining” means. But it was also pointed out that (1) it means different things to different libraries and to different researchers; and (2) in many cases the researchers themselves don’t yet know where the research will take them, so it’s hard to know what permissions to ask for.

Empirical Librarians’ Conference

Monday, April 20, 2015 1:00 pm

Earlier this semester I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Empirical Librarians’ Conference at the F.D. Bluford Library at the N. Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University. This new, one-day conference was envisioned by Nina Exner and focused on two aspects of empirical research: conducting it and supporting it.
The keynote lecture was presented by Dr. Diane Kelly from the U.N.C. School of Library Science. She described how empiricism is:
• One way to create knowledge
• About accumulating evidence: there are no fixed truths
• Is a human invention
• Is a practice, like librarianship
• Is limited by the tools & instruments that area available

She went on to say that empirical librarianship is NOT synonymous with evidence-based librarianship (EBL). EBL uses rather than generates research. She reviewed a number of empirical approaches, including surveys, interviews, field studies and others. In evaluating the worthiness of research, one should consider the following: truth-value (internal validity), applicability (external validity), consistence (replicability), and neutrality (objectivity).

How does one become an empirical librarian? First, research is a practice and experience helps a lot. Just start. Research doesn’t happen the way it’s described in textbooks, so be prepared for surprises. Research is constrained in many ways, such as personal, pragmatic and professional. We all work within limits or boundaries.

After the keynote speech, the conference split into two tracks: those who conduct empirical research and those who support others doing empirical research. The session that followed the keynote talk consisted of 15-minute presentations on a range of topics. I presented “Data Sets for Business Faculty Research” in which I compared and contrasted the types of data sets used by business and economics faculty, including the scope of their topics and the sources and costs of data. Other presenters shared their experiences supporting student research, promoting information literacy, providing research support to students in online education programs.

After lunch, I attended 2 concurrent sessions in the supporting research track. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Chelcie Rowell’s talk, “A Research-Driven Approach to Providing Research Data Curation Services” during the last concurrent session because I had to teach a library instruction session in Accounting 782 back in Farrell Hall.

The two presentations that were most memorable were “Supporting the Patron Research Life Cycle” by Lynda Kellam and “Well Begun is Half Done: Developing Outcome Statements for Successful Assessment” by Kathy Crowe and Amy Harris Houk. Lynda Kellam talked about efforts to introduce library resources to UNC-Greensboro students earlier in their academic careers and how we can help students make a habit of using academic resources for their research. A question that has stayed with me is “How do outreach and information literacy instruction change throughout a student’s career?”

Kathy Crowe and Amy Harris Houk conducted a session on learning outcomes. After defining and describing them, they conducted several exercises in which the attendees wrote and then shared learning outcomes for a series of scenarios. The session was so helpful that we invited them to present the session at BLINC’s April workshop.

Congratulations to Nina Exner on a successful conference. It was a content-packed one-day conference that I look forward to attending in the future.

Next Stop…Vegas! ILLiad 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015 12:09 pm

I know what you are thinking, ‘what do gambling chips have to do with interlibrary loan software?’ Short answer: nothing. Long answer: everything.

I’ll let Tara explain.*

My first experience at an ILLiad conference was excellent. Tuesday, Atlas Systems hosted a Social –Casino Night that gave me the opportunity to meet and socialize with over 300 participants there to attend the conference. We played all types of Casino games. For being one of the highest scorers that night I won One year Access Services Concierge Membership (value: $4,999)* for the library.

As I look back on the sessions what really stood out to me was “Is Your Library Visible” presented by Eric Miller, Zepheira. He was addressing the web visibility of the Library. That content was very important to the aspect of Interlibrary Loan. I’m glad had the opportunity to attend this year’s conference.

*I feel it is important to note that Tara sent me her write up 3 days after the conference. It has taken me a month to post it. Yes, I am ashamed.

Tara certainly did jump right in to the conference flow. I missed Casino night, but I heard lots of reports of Tara smokin’ the Roulette wheel. I’m in negotiations with Atlas to leverage or prize to help all libraries in N.C. They seem open to the concept so stay tuned….

I attended several useful sessions. One on getting our requesting web pages mobile ready, and another on setting up auto hotkeys in ILLiad.

The most impressive was a presentation by Dr. Nobuhiko Kikuchi who is the head of resource sharing at the National Diet Library of Japan. In this case diet does not mean food and drink but congress. The NDL is the equivalent to the Library of Congress here in the U.S. This was Dr. Kikuchi’s first time in America, and the first time he has ever presented in English. Talk about nervous. He did wonderfully even using humor. The first time he told a joke and we laughed he said “thank you” and seemed to relax a little. I have looked to this library many times in my tenure as an interlibrary loan librarian. They are rolling out some new services and it was good to learn about them. It was also nice to meet the man responsible.

 

 

Steve at the 2015 NC Serials Conference

Sunday, April 19, 2015 8:10 pm

Sorry, I’m so late in writing about a conference that happened on March 6th, but the month of March and the first half of April pretty much ate my life. Anyway, Chris, Derrik and I drove to the conference, which started late due to a weather delay caused by a slight ice event (remember how crazy this winter was)? I was going to the conference to attend, but also to present and to staff an exhibits table on behalf of NASIG, so I was wearing three hats.

The most memorable session was the opening keynote given by Katherine Skinner of Educopia. If you’ve never heard Katherine speak, you really should if you get the chance, she’s always fascinating. She’ll be speaking at the E-Books Freakout on Friday, April 24th, so you should come. Her talk at the NC Serials Conference was called “Taking Action in a Critical Moment: From Innovation to Impact.” Skinner argued that innovation (as in an invention) would not solve the problems of scholarly communication. She said that we need a change to the system, not to look for left-field innovation to provide a magic bullet to solve our problems. She argued that innovations don’t typically come from the center, they come from unexpected locations, while system-wide changes require system-wide involvement. The problems associated with scholarly communication are system-wide, not merely incidental to a specific location. She pointed out that we in higher education (and really everywhere) are good at focusing on the problems in our own institution, rather than the system as a whole. She also made the very salient point that the problems of scholarly communications has essentially become the sole burden of librarians, even though they shouldn’t be. But, she argued that situation may be changing, as the problems in scholarly communications have started hitting scholars themselves, particularly in states that have seen massive cuts to higher education like Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. She argued forcefully that librarians need to work together with scholars and other parties involved in the scholarly communication process to to try to find systemic solutions to the problems we face in scholarly communication.

I also gave a presentation at the NC Serials Conference, although I’m not nearly as good a public speaker as Katherine Skinner. I was invited to speak about the changes going on in NASIG over the last year or so (basically the time since I became NASIG president). In late 2013, the NASIG Executive Board decided to appoint a task force to revise the vision and mission statements of the organization. The old ones were too focused on phrases like “the serials information chain” and didn’t reflect the fact that NASIG is also quite involved with electronic resource management and scholarly communications. I campaigned on the idea of revising these statements, so I was totally on board with this process. I recruited a task force, including our own Lauren Corbett, to update our vision and mission statements. The membership approved them in November, 2014. Related to that, the Board also discussed changing our official name from the North American Serial Interest Group to just NASIG. The old name made folks think we’re only interested in print serials, and “interest group” made us sound like we’re a smaller part of a larger group. We proposed the name change and the membership approved the change to simply NASIG on Feb. 2nd, 2015. Also, in the spring of 2014, the list moderators of the SERIALST listserv came to the NASIG Executive Board to ask us to consider NASIG taking on the management of the listserv. The founder and lead moderator of the listserv, Birdie McLennon, tragically passed away early in 2014 and her institution wasn’t interested in keeping the listserv. So NASIG took on the management of the listserv and its archives, using a commercial service. We also started a task force to develop a set of core competencies for scholarly communications librarians (to go along with NASIG’s sets of core competencies for electronic resource librarians and print serials librarians). We developed a formal code of conduct for our conference and other NASIG events. We became a strategic affiliate of the Library Publishing Coalition. We also looked at the possibility of hiring office staff for the first time in our history. And we’re doing all this while planning for our 30th anniversary conference in Washington, DC in May, which will not only include a 30th anniversary celebration, but also a joint program with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. Plus, we’re proud sponsors of the Wake the E-Books Festival coming up on April 23rd and 24th. We’ve been kinda busy.

Keeping Our Cool!

Thursday, April 16, 2015 1:56 pm

Let me start with having you listen to this TED talk entitled The Danger of a Single Story. It sets the tone for much of what was shared during the Winter Institute for Intercultural Communication (WIIC). During Spring Break, thanks to a scholarship from the WFU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, I was able to attend the WIIC which was held here in Winston Salem at the Embassy Suites Hotel. I enrolled in the 3-day course entitled, “Keeping Our Cool! Managing Cross Cultural Conflicts,” and taught by Donna Stringer. The primary objective of the workshop was to lead attendees through a process of understanding how our own culturally learned behaviors and perceptions can create cross-cultural misunderstandings and conflict.

During the session we took the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory (ICSI) assessment to identify our preferred approach or style for resolving conflict. Knowing more about ourselves, our own preferred conflict style, aids in resolving disagreements, managing stress levels, more accurately interpreting the statements and actions of others, and more effectively communicating our interest to others. The institute was chunked full of high energy and thoroughly engaging conversations coupled with numerous opportunities for role playing, scenario writing and reviewing of case studies.

Of particular interest was the discussion around the two primary ways of handling conflict which was categorized as “direct” vs “indirect”. It was no real surprise to me that the assessment results indicated that I was direct. I want to get right at it. However my other indicator was right down the middle with “engagement” but like one hatch mark away from being “discussion.” I would love to have our leadership team and any interested others take this assessment. It was really eye opening to me. I have the ICSI pamphlet which describes the results, but not the actual assessment questionnaire used. Below is the chart that explains in greater detail.

A couple of statements that really resonated with me were; intent does not minimize impact. Because you didn’t mean anything by your words or actions, doesn’t mean that what the receiver felt was any less real. The second was; conflict is an opportunity for greater intimacy. I truly welcome the opportunity for more discussion. A brown bag lunch time would be super. Would you be up for this?

MB’s March Conference travels (or From Abu Dhabi to Portland in 78 hours) in pictures and words

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 1:16 pm

Mary Scanlon, Mary Krautter (from UNCG) and I had the astute pleasure of presenting at the 21st Annual Conference and Exhibition of Special Library Association Arabian Gulf Chapter. The three of us did both a workshop on Developing an Entrepreneurial Culture in Libraries, and a presentation on Entrepreneurship in Libraries: Transforming Library Services. We were approached last July by email in what, I admit, I initially thought of just trashing because it was just so extraordinary to get an email from a representative of this conference across the world asking us to do them the honor of presenting at their conference. But after doing our due diligence, we began to prepare for this amazing opportunity. The representative who invited us, Mohamed Mubarak, was a most gracious host, and was anxious that everything be perfect for our presentation and our stay.

Mary Krautter, Mohamed Mubarak, Mary Beth Lock and Mary Scanlon

Mary Krautter, Mohamed Mubarak, Mary Beth Lock and Mary Scanlon

The workshop, held on Monday, March 16, was a pre-conference session attended by just 6 people. However, the small size allowed for a great deal of engagement and conversation. They were very interested in our presentation. All of the attendees were from special libraries, and interestingly, all of them did work related to tourism, either from post secondary schools that had programs that emphasized in tourism and hospitality, or from the government’s Department of Tourism and Culture. (We did note repeatedly that they take their hospitality very seriously in the United Arab Emirates.) While we carefully constructed our message owing to what we perceived as a more restrictive environment, we were delighted to learn that great strides had been made to increase transparency across the UAE. Their’s is a model that will go through growing pains for awhile, but there were definite signs of a relaxing of the rules to allow more entrepreneurial ideas and methodologies to take root.

Mary Scanlon at the Entrepreneurial Librarian workshop

Mary Scanlon at the Entrepreneurial Librarian workshop

The next morning, at the opening keynote, the themes of the conference became apparent as Dr. Essa AlBastaki, the President of Dubai University spoke about the need for expanding the economy beyond one that hinges entirely on the availability of oil. He mentioned the value of entrepreneurship and the importance of supporting it several times in his speech. We listened to this, (and other keynote speeches) through a simultaneous translator. This was also an interesting experience, and was again indicative of the hospitality extended to non-Arabic speakers. They were well prepared and willing to do whatever was necessary to make us feel welcome.

Our presentation was the afternoon of the first day. The session started a little late (we learned of what we termed the “elasticity of time” in the UAE) but the session was well attended and again they expressed a great deal of interest on advancing entrepreneurship in their libraries. Many people after the presentation came up to gather business cards and the questions posed in the Q&A indicated a deep understanding of the content. It was thrilling!

Mary Beth Lock presenting on Entrepreneurial  Librarianship

Mary Beth Lock presenting on Entrepreneurial Librarianship

Other presentations I attended included one with Rick Anderson from Utah University on e-books and the challenges of PDA models for ebook acquisition, and Lisa Hinchcliffe, from the University of Illinois on assessing the impact of information literacy education. I also caught up with former colleague Vanessa Middleton, who now works in Abu Dhabi in the Petroleum Institute, and she presented on how to develop better relationships between libraries and vendors.

Mary Beth and Vanessa Middleton

 

So aside from the occasional use of a translator, the issues in libraries are much the same the world over. That, I think, is the best takeaway of all.

Interested staff members from ZSR will be able to see many more photos (including non-conference photos) at a staff development session coming soon.

After a very brief turn around time, (arriving home Saturday morning at 3am and then leaving for the airport on Tuesday morning at 9am) I went to nearly the opposite side of the globe to attend ACRL in Portland, OR. The time difference between Abu Dhabi and Portland is 11 hours, so it is very nearly the opposite side of the world and the opposite side of the clock. (I can’t tell you how important coffee is to one’s body in this situation.) I attended the Ithaka S+R session that Roz already ably blogged about. I also was in the very enlightening and, frankly, inspiring session on Wellness and how libraries can impact wellness on campus that Susan wrote about.

I went to a session with three different library perspectives on emergency planning where I picked up this gem which unites my desire for simple signage, humor, and emergency planning.

In Case of Fire, Exit Building Before Tweeting About It

 

I attended two other sessions that were all about ebooks and their influence on researchers. One, entitled “STEM Users Prefer Ebooks. . . Or Do they?” provided a qualitative and quantitative study conducted at a large academic library which challenged the assumption that ebooks are welcomed, or at least not held in disdain, by the hard Sciences and Math researchers. Their assessment was very thorough and raised a lot of questions, not the least of which is that more assessment is needed. I had a meet up with the other “Assessment in Action” project coordinators who were at various stages of completing the research leg of their 18 month long assessment. Our final presentations are due at ALA in San Francisco. That is when I will be blogging next.

It was quite the whirlwind, (21 days of travel total) but now I’m glad to be back on Eastern time and home for a while. While I wouldn’t recommend it, neither would I give up the opportunity to do it again if the opportunity presented itself!

 

 

 

 


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