Professional Development

Charleston Conference 2015 (Carol)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 4:39 pm

James O’Donnell Arizona State: Within a Star-Wars-themed keynote (complete with light saber), he remarked that if you buy a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag you expect it to fall apart. If you get a pirated PDF from an offshore website, you get better access and fewer hurdles.

Michael Levine-Clark at U. Denver did three local surveys in 2005, 2010, and 2015 regarding attitudes towards e-books and print books. Reasons to use e-books: “For searching” was at the top, but “easier than going to library” and “no print version available” were also cited. “Taking notes” was listed both as a reason to prefer print AND as a reason to prefer electronic. His slides go into more detail regarding user types (faculty/grad student/undergrad and different discipline areas). The upshot: Attitudes vary, so for right now a library would need to buy both print and electronic books to meet all user needs.

“Optimizing E-Resources Management” Athena Hoeppner (UCF) went through a litany of problem types. Fortunately (as I will soon be thrust back onto the front lines of solving more of these problems), I’ve heard them all before. Suggestions for improvement included Standards (NISO etc.). In the same presentation, Roën Janyk from Okanagan College mentioned that so far 92% of activity in their discovery system is from desktop computers (which must include laptops). Not very much mobile. Later she said that mobile device use of discovery is increasing.

“Shared Print in the Orbis Cascade Alliance and Colorado Alliance” had presenters from Oregon and (you guessed it) Colorado. One of the Colorado folks, in reference to their shared print program, noted that a library could designate a copy as “last copy” even when it’s not the last copy… yet. This enables weeding by others in the consortium. Overall, their experience sounded like what we’re considering with Scholars Trust.

The award for Best Alliteration in a Program Title goes to “Saying Sayonara to the STL: Strategy, Scale and Systematic Abandonment in the Ebook Marketplace.” Doug Way from UW-Madison spoke of his library’s experiment with the DDA/STL acquisition model – a model that they are now walking away from. Mr. Way structured his talk around the one-size-fits-all metaphor and emphasized that what works for his institution may not work for ours. Two key differences between them and us: larger (and more research intensive) user base + no budget increase for them in 15 years. While I will not be copying their decisions anytime soon, he did give me a framework that I can use to think about the future of STL/DDA.

John Vickery from NCSU presented on “Summon, EBSCO Discovery Service, and Google Scholar: Comparing Search Performance Using User Queries.” Human judges took a random sample of actual queries that users had input into NCSU’s discovery service. They put the queries into the three competing services. For known-item queries, the standard of excellence was having the correct result appear in the first three hits. For topical searches, they judged how many of the top 10 results were relevant. The results: for known-item queries, all three services tied. For topical searches, Google Scholar did slightly better than the other two (which were tied with each other). Vickery concluded that – based on the current status of the products – search performance does not need to be the deciding factor in choosing which discovery service to buy.

Erika Johnson from U. San Francisco and Rice Majors from Santa Clara U. – both medium-size Jesuit Universities in the Bay Area – co-presented. They examined usage/non-usage of locally purchased print books vs. usage of their unmediated regional consortium for book delivery (no exact ZSR parallel but more like NC Cardinal – the requests are done from a union catalog). One of the two libraries noted they have collection gaps in “food and culture” and transgender studies, inter alia. “Food and culture” in particular is a topic that falls between the cracks of their subject liaison structure (part anthropology, part agriculture…). Future plans include bringing a third library into their analysis (so they can better know what is normative) and examining the results of their shifted collection priorities – was it really helpful or was this process more like whack-a-mole or, rather, buying last year’s hot Christmas toy?

Charleston Conference 2015 (Lauren)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 4:03 pm

Contents: Alma from Ex Libris, take care in using downloads as a measure part 2, EPUB 3, NISO ODI (do we need to tweak Summon?), DPLA working on e-books, the Charlotte Initiative, Overdrive, ORCID, and the rising cost of e-book short-term loans with a DDA program part 2

My focus was networking to hear nitty gritty details from the field and to follow-up on items from last year! Charleston is a very good conference for informative chats in hallways. I learned about a number of retirements!

Alma – was the library service platform that I heard mentioned frequently again, but often in the context of post-migration this year. I asked anyone I met using Alma to tell me about their headaches. Members of the Orbis-Cascade consortium – early adopters of Alma – who spoke of undeveloped or underdeveloped aspects of the system. I would expect that in the case of early adopters. Other librarians who have come on board more recently spoke of issues of the type that can come with any system change and at least one reported that things are better now compared to the experiences of early adopters. Thank goodness for those who go before us! I also heard that Alma has had some downtime, something we know that OCLC’s WMS experienced to the point that CEO Skip Pritchard recently blast-emailed an apology. I’m beginning to wonder if that is a problem with these newer library service platforms. I sure hope that by the time we’re seriously looking at a new system, downtime is a thing of the past!

Carol Tenopir – Slides are online now from last year’s “To Boldly Go Beyond Downloads” (or download the text version from here). Last year Tenopir reported from research with focus groups and interviews that downloads were on the decline and “be careful about using it as a measure.” The interesting follow-up this year (and I had to sit on the floor in an over-full room) was that as faculty responded in the survey or interviews, they realized that sharing PDFs might be illegal, but they are focused on the goal of furthering their research, so they will do it anyway and they think of themselves as just “little fish.” Sharing the article instead of downloading at the source reduces the download count statistics, adding to why the publishers and librarians cannot totally rely upon these measures.

EPUB 3 is citable, is good for helping those with visual challenges, and could be pervasive if people would embrace it. I found a webpage that seems to cover much of what was said: The speakers in this session recommended training first year students to know how to download EPUB instead of PDF and to help faculty see the advantages. I’m mindful of the Betamax vs. VHS situation and how differently HD DVD vs. Blu-ray played out more recently, so the crystal ball seems a bit murky on this one.

I heard IEEE, Sage, and Gale report on participation in NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI). I was thunderstruck when I heard the speaker for IEEE say that the process helped them realize that 3000 of 6000 standards had not been submitted for indexing and that they’ve been able to rectify that. Gale’s speaker said that the internal audit helped them to think about what is next. An action item for libraries is to ask publishers if they have conformance statements. These publishers also learned that the configuration that a library implements in a discovery service can inhibit discovery and Gale is developing widgets for optimization. Guides should be posted to the NISO website in 2016.

Who knew DPLA is working on e-books? I didn’t! October Ivins, working with the Charlotte Initiative, was excited to learn about this. Our very own NC Home Grown eBooks (Bill Kane and I talked with Tim Rogers as he was shaping that project) was covered at this session by Jill Morris, formerly of NC LIVE (now at Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc.).

Overdrive has long focused on e-books for public libraries. The model is based on check-outs, meaning one user at a time, unless you buy multiple copies. Now Overdrive is moving into the academic market and they have developed some classroom set discounts and offer simultaneous use.

I heard a librarian from Texas talking about Elsevier’s Pure to manage the institution’s research and she said they realized they needed a campuswide implementation of ORCID, which provides numerical unique identification of researchers.

While there was talk about the death of the short-term loan (STL), there was also talk about changes to the pricing model for it. I’m sure other attendees from ZSR will mention e-book short term loans since many of us were at one session dedicated to the topic. For background on the problem, I’ll refer you again to my post from last year.






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.


Monday, November 9, 2015 4:45 pm

The North Carolina College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) met October 7 – 9 in Cherokee with about a 150 in attendance. It was a pleasure joining our campus HR colleagues, Christy Lennon, Chris Dinkins, Pearlie Patton and Kari Reese for the event. The opening keynoter, Jeffrey Mangum, a Chicago playwright and founder of the Theater-based Learning & Development, shared insight based upon a body of research conducted by Joseph Campbell. According to Campbell, research tells us that there are a set of specific needs that must be met on the leadership journey in order for one to become a “hero.” We learn more through our eyes than we ever will with our ears. We need to take seriously our obligation as leader in supporting those that report to us. Make sure each one feels safe enough around you to give their truest opinion. Each journey begins with a slight imbalance. There is always room to improve our retention, our ability to engage, productivity efforts, and improvement of team effectiveness.

There are six steps on the journey towards succeeding, (1) the call to adventure – most people will say no first, these are the ones you want; (2) supernatural aid – tempering your hero for the trials that come; (3) crossing the first threshold – this is what makes your place unique; (4) the trials – any obstacle that stands between the hero and the prize; (5) the prize – the more clarity you give it the more likely they are to achieve it; (6) the return – this is what the hero gets.

Beth Tyner Jones, from the Womble Carlyle Law Firm gave the HR update. It was during this session that I was reminded of some pending legislature surrounding positions classified as exempt. There are proposed salary changes that could take the current minimum from $23,660 a year to $50,440. Campuses should start now by conducting audits of all exempt positions. Do they meet the established criteria? Some employers may have classified a position as exempt in an effort to reduce overtime pay. Beth also discussed the ACA compliance. It was here that we learned that resident advisers are not counted as FLSA employees.

With laptops, email and the need to be online at all times, Beth asked the audience if we had considered when compensable time starts. Here are a couple of considerations to think about. Do you send your employee an email the night before with the expectation that they read it before they get to work? Does your employee travel to a conference, if so, are they gone more than the 7.5 hour work day?

During the session on the Intersection of Title IX and Human Resources, I was pleased to see that WFU has already complied with the necessary steps as outlined by the presenter. Among those recommendations was the establishment of a dedicated Title IX coordinator, engaging in ongoing efforts to educate students, faculty and staff about sex discrimination and what it means, conducting an assessment of the campus climate and establishing/communicating the grievance procedure.

Chris Dinkins joined a panel of presenters discussing the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) for which WFU is a contributing partner. Wake joins ECU, NCCU, Davison and Pitt Community College in this effort. HERC offers the largest database of higher education and related jobs in the world. All jobs are cross posted on the leading job board aggregators. The recruitment and retention of exceptional and diverse faculty and staff are critical to NC Colleges and Universities. Collaborating on strategies and methods to help in the area would be a huge win for North Carolina. Wake actually hosted on November 9 an informational meeting in an effort to recruit other interested NC schools.

Leslie at SEMLA 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 3:08 pm

This year’s meeting of the Southeast Music Library Association was at the University of Georgia in Athens. Good weather, great shoptalk over lunch and dinner, and we had a good turnout this year, affording opportunities to re-connect with colleagues I hadn’t seen in a long time.

A couple of presentations that stood out for me:

DDA for scores. While the demand-driven-acquisitions model for books has been on the scene for a while, music librarians have been waiting impatiently for music vendors to offer the same for scores. A colleague from the University of Florida described a pilot project they did with Harrassowitz, involving an initial load of 2000 (print) books and scores, focusing on the subject areas of ethnomusicology, contemporary repertoire, and music education materials. Cataloging is being done in-house (brief records upon receipt, full cataloging when a title is bought). Both the UF folks and the vendor seem to consider the experiment sufficiently cost-effective to be counted a success, and Harrassowitz is said to be “very interested” in expanding the pilot to other clients.

Collaborative projects. In a presentation titled “Exposing Hidden Collections using Interdepartmental Collaboration,” a colleague from UNC-Chapel Hill described how she dealt with a backlog of uncataloged music journals in the Southern Folklife Collection by enlisting the aid of the serials catalogers in the main graduate library — who, in a now-familiar trend, were finding they had more time to devote to special projects thanks to the growth of e-resources.

Classification. The Library of Congress does not classify its videos, so there are no tables in its classification system designed specifically for this medium. This leaves open a wide range of options for a creative cataloger who does want to organize music videos using LCC: for instance, an opera or musical could go under the corresponding number for the score; or for the libretto/lyrics; or in the literature tables, under the literary work the opera/musical is based on; or under a special topic in drama (e.g., the musical Camelot under “Arthurian romances”); or under scripts or criticism of motion pictures. A fellow cataloger at Auburn presented a survey she conducted of libraries that were classifying music videos using LCC. Most class their opera videos under M1500, for opera scores; but many class films of musicals under PN1997, the number for motion pictures. In large part, such a choice depends on how one anticipates the work to be used locally.

Our meeting venue was a new, and very impressive, building for UGA’s Special Collections. We were given a tour, including their underground storage vault, similar to our offsite storage facility, but about three times larger. In addition to UGA’s materials, the vault currently houses artifacts from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, which recently closed — its collections have come to UGA for safekeeping until a new home can be found.

OCLC Member Forum 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015 2:58 pm

On October 13, Jeff Eller, Leslie McCall and I attended the OCLC 2015 Member Forum at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.

Our first session was about resources and developments at OCLC presented by Meryl Cinnamon, OCLC Member Relations Liaison. Of particular interest was the development of an ILL cost calculator. Other links of interest included:

In addition to learning about OCLC products and developments, we had the opportunity to break into groups based on our roles in libraries and later on, our library “type” (academic v. public or special). I chose to attend the “FirstSearch and Discovery” session to see if I could learn how to better navigate the new WorldCat interface called WorldCat Discovery (formerly FirstSearch) to which ZSR recently migrated. As it turned out, many of the represented libraries now use WorldShare Management Services (WMS) which is OCLC’s Integrated Library System (ILS). I learned that the WMS interface does permit access to the MARC records for the OCLC record but the Discovery interface does not. I voiced my concern over the need for this additional information to facilitate research by some of our faculty members who have effectively used FirstSearch for many years. These sessions were productive in that many of the library representatives were frank in their feedback regarding OCLC services and were able to have their concerns heard by a high-level representative.

The last session of the day was led by Drew Borda, Vice President, Management and Customer Operations who spoke about the “purposeful” culture shift at OCLC with a focus on responsiveness and accountability.

Clamshell Box-making Workshop

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 11:42 am

Imagine winding your way through the Virginia countryside filled with 19th century homes, old barns and fall leaves lining the roads. It is beautiful, but why is my GPS taking me out here? I checked the address and it was correct. It does take a few minutes to get there, but the Cat Tail Run Hand Bindery is located in northwestern Virginia about 10 miles from Winchester.
When I finally saw their sign beside the road, I relaxed (I wasn’t lost!).

Clamshell box-making workshop at Cat Tail Run Hand Bindery

This bindery is out-of-the-way, but it is a fully equipped bindery which teaches many classes in preservation marbling, binding and box-making. The shop is a sweet little place with prayer flags and a fish pond by the entrance.

Clamshell box-making workshop at Cat Tail Run Hand Bindery

I had two teachers for the workshop: Jill Deiss, who runs the bindery and Dee Evetts, an exacting Englishman (32’s and 64’s of an inch exacting). The workshop was well structured. We were taught a basic activity by demonstration, and then we tried it out ourselves, under the supervision of Jill and Dee.

Clamshell box tray pieces ready to glue

We first measured the two interior trays and then cut out the pieces from 20 point binders board on the board shear. We glued the pieces together and held them in place to dry with weights. Each tray was then covered with book cloth and allowed to dry.

Clamshell box trays completed

Once we had the trays made, it was time to make the case. The case is very much like the cover on a book, with two covers and a spine-piece. When the case is made and covered with bookcloth, it is time to glue the trays into the case and put the whole thing in a press to dry.

Clamshell box in the press

While the case and trays were in the press, we hot-stamped the title of the book which would live inside the clamshell box onto a strip of leather and trimmed it.

Clamshell box label hot-stamped on leather

The label was glued onto the spine of the clamshell box and the box was now complete. Not only did I go through the process of making this box, but I was provided with several tools to help me. I have several small pieces of board with are 1/16″ and 1/32″ to help with measuring the size and space needed in each tray. I also have a model for the trays which shows how to trim and cut each side of the tray and in what order they should be glued down. Overall, this was a very well taught workshop. I learned the proper process for making this type of box and look forward to another trip to Cat Tail Run Hand Bindery next year.

Completed clamshell box - interior

Completed clamshell box- exterior

Tanya @SAA2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 5:50 pm

I recently returned from the Society of American Archivists annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio and per usual, it was a very busy week! I finished my third year and term as an SAA Council member. As before, much of my time was spent with governance issues during the week. However, not to worry—there is a special deal where I can purchase all of the sessions for $19.99 so I can catch up on everything I missed:

SAA Council met early in the week and approved an Arrangement and Description certificate program for SAA’s workshops and new criteria for issuing advocacy statements. Other hot topics were a proposal to reorganize SAA’s affinity groups and a dues increase—needless to say, these stimulated a lot of conversation! The dues increase is especially important for a small professional organization, is it will enable the purchase of a functional association management software system and also advance our advocacy efforts. I finished my liaison term for the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy, but the work is not over, as I have now been appointed Committee Chair. We are currently working on a number of issue briefs relating to privacy in public records, copyright, federal records, and the Transpacific Partnership Agreement. I attended an interesting forum on updating facilities standards for archives and was able to hear several interesting presentations from the Native American Archives, the Latin America and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives, and the Science, Technology, and Healthcare Roundtables (which featured Duke and UNC-CH).

I presented twice—first, I spoke about becoming involved with regional archival organizations to our Mosaic Scholarship Winners as part of their all-day workshop. I also participated in a panel focusing on the “Best Practices for Volunteers in Archives” with an excellent question and answer time with an active audience. Our reception was held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I still cannot get over how tiny Mick Jagger’s costumes are. The best part about Cleveland was the beautiful building architecture and arcades, many of which have been repurposed…


Rebecca @ SAA 2015

Friday, September 4, 2015 4:58 pm

Recently, I traveled to Cleveland for the Society of American Archivists (SAA) 2015 Annual Meeting. I found this to be a particularly engaging experience, as I am becoming more and more involved in SAA and the various interest groups. You may see two themes emerge in the blog post: web-archiving and Reference, Access, and Outreach.

My first day in Cleveland, I represented WFU and ZSR at the Archive-It Partner Meeting. You may know that Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) has been using Archive-It as a web archiving platform since 2008. I have been involved with the Wake Forest University Archives Archive-It collection and its managment since 2010 (along with Kevin Gilberston, Craig Fansler, and Stephanie Bennett). Although I wasn’t able to attend the entire meeting, I did mange to sit in on a breakout group about quality assurance that was eye opening and encouraging. Basically, the group exchanged best practices and swapped stories about the difficulty of web archiving. I got some good tips and made contacts that I hope will help our team fine tune our collection.

Day two was filled with the Reference, Access, and Outreach Section’s “Teaching With Primary Resources” unconference. This was a wonderful addition to the regular SAA schedule and it has really made me think about how to “flip” the student experience in Special Collections & Archives. One example is to encourage students to use all their senses (except for taste) to describe materials they are experiencing in Special Collections. This will (hopefully) help people get past the idea that “everything is online” and have them engage with the feel of vellum, the smell of microfilm, and the look of manuscripts. I am hoping to use some of the strategies I learned in the numerous LIB100 classes scheduled in SC&A this Fall.

Day three and I started things off participating on a panel called “Big Web, Small Staff: Web Archiving with Limited Resources.” This was a terrific opportunity to engage with other archivists who are working with web archives on a smaller scale than the usual presenters on this topic. Our panel attempted (and I think succeeded) in breaking down how to implement and manage a web archive with limited resources. What made this different from other panels was that no one presenting was from a large institution with ample staff committed to the project. Everyone on the panel was working with limited staff and funding. The panel simply explained our own best practices and encouraged the majority of the attendees who have not yet, but would like to, set up a web archiving program at their institution.

Some other sessions I attended and found very valuable were “Learning to Manage, Managing to Learn” (one of the panel members was our old friend Audra Eagle Yun!) and “Narrowing the Focus of Social Media” (featuring another former North Carolina colleague, Katie Nash). Although very different panels, I found both applicable to my work.

I have recently been elected to the Reference, Access, and Outreach (RAO) section’s Steering Committee, so spent a bit of time in Cleveland attending the SAA Leadership Orientation and Forum as well as the RAO section meeting. I believe this is a great opportunity to get involved on a national level and have enjoyed working with RAO in the past. They have an active and engaging membership with some fantastic ideas shared at the meeting every year. I am thrilled to be able to work behind the scenes to make this even better.

Every year I find the SAA meeting to be more and more rewarding as I become more active in the profession and this year was no exception. As the current President of the Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA) I met up with and talked to many NC colleagues about what they are doing at their institutions. As my involvement grows beyond NC, I look forward to learning more at further SAA conferences. Thank you to the Dean’s office for funding this trip. I am happy to continue the conversation with anyone who would like to hear more about my experience at SAA.

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