Professional Development

Susan’s NCLA Conference Experience

Sunday, October 20, 2013 7:47 pm
Wanda Brown Opens the NCLA Biennial Conference

Wanda Brown Opens the NCLA Biennial Conference

The return of the NCLA Biennial Conference to Winston-Salem provided the perfect chance to become reacquainted with the organization and all the dedicated library professionals from across the state that work hard to plan and put on the conference. As we are all aware, Associate Dean Wanda Brown has been the NCLA President for the past two years. Working in the ZSR Administrative offices some 20 feet from Wanda guaranteed that I would be encouraged to participate in some fashion! I was delighted when Wanda asked me serve as the conference photographer. Armed with a photo schedule covering Tuesday’s pre-conferences through the closing session on Friday, I was off and running. Between the photo assignment, the two concurrent session presentations I gave and a stint on the local information booth, by Friday afternoon, I had a full immersion conference experience.

Lessons Learned: Through a Librarian's Lens from Susan Smith

What ZSR Library Does to Build Value/Sage Value Research from Susan Smith

Networking is always a highlight of conferences and I enjoyed reconnecting with many colleagues from around the state (and many locals who I don’t get to catch up with as often as I would like). It was gratifying to see the large number of young librarians who attended and overall the quantity of people who came (over 900).

Here is the slideshow of my photos that played during the first part of the closing session on Friday:

Derrik at NCLA 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011 2:37 pm

I just realized I haven’t yet posted a report of my attendance at NCLA. Should be a good test of my note-taking. As I had observed at ALA this summer, I found the presentations by and one-on-one discussions with vendors to be a very valuable part of the conference.

During a presentation by the Executive Director on NC LIVE, I learned about a “vendor showcase” immediately afterward, highlighting EBSCO e-books. So I skipped the exhibits and poster sessions (sorry Carol) and went to learn more about this successor to NetLibrary. Through this presentation and subsequent discussions with the EBSCO Steves, I learned much about this new product, and I have already been able to make some improvements to our service. For instance, I obtained the correct database-level URL to direct users to the EBSCO e-books home page. I also learned how to set up a “notify” option so that when an EBSCO e-book is in use, the user can have an e-mail sent when the e-book becomes available (before NCLA, our users simply got the NetLibrary equivalent of a busy signal). I also learned that users can share notes, citations, etc., by creating shared folders in MyEBSCOhost.

I attended an informative presentation by Andrew Pace of OCLC about their new product Webscale Management Services (WMS). WMS is a cloud-based integrated library system; my impression was that they had added Circulation and Acquisitions functions to WorldCat. Three WMS Beta implementers-a public library system, Davidson College, and High Point Univ.-spoke about their experience thus far with WMS. All three spoke favorably of the product and of OCLC (perhaps because they were co-presenting with OCLC?). One said that “the support from OCLC has been wonderful”; another said that students have taken to the product with little or no training; and the librarian from Davidson said “I hope I never have to do another ILS migration in my career.”

I also had a couple of good conversations with our EBL representative about managing our DDA title files. We didn’t solve any problems (yet), but I learned more about how the process is designed to work, and he learned more about how we want it to work.

Other sessions I attended:

  • e-book approval – this enlightening discussion of the e-book approval plans at NC State and Duke was previously described by Carol
  • providing access to online resources – this presentation turned out to be too basic to be helpful, with its tab-by-tab tour of LibGuides and its very rudimentary explanation of how a proxy server works.
  • authentication on public computers – staff from the WCU Hunter Library reported on their research into academic libraries’ practices for authenticating users at public computers


Mary at NCLA

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:40 pm

I attended NCLA’s 59th Biennial Conference on Wednesday; my teaching schedule on Tuesday and Thursday limited my time at the conference, but it was valuable none-the-less. I attended a terrific panel discussion about LibGuides in which librarians from 7 different libraries shared their implementation processes, policies, and uses of this very useful tool. Most of the implementations were thoughtful and well-planned, but several were staged – class guides first, topical guides next, and so forth; and one library described a ‘shotgun wedding’ approach to implementation that was successful despite its rapidity. Like ZSR, most identified a person or small committee to plan and roll out their use. The main motivation for moving to LibGuides was the ease and speed with which guides can be created or revised. Several practices caught my attention: NC Central Law Library uses the LibGuide landing page as the home page for all of its public library computers. UNCG discovered that students don’t see the tabs along the top so they now place links to each tab in each guide’s welcome box. NCA& T adds a box in each LibGuide with links to related topics.

In the afternoon, I presented “Using the Economic Census to Support Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners”. I’ve long been a fan of this data-rich resource for business and economic research, having first discovered it when I was a business analyst with an investment firm. In its report “Making Cities Stronger: Public Library Contributions to Local Economic Development” the Urban Institute describes how libraries support regional economic development by providing specialized resources and research services to entrepreneurs and small business people. In the current budget environment free, reliable resources are even more valuable and the Economic Census is one such resource. The interface to the data is challenging and, therefore, the Census remains an underutilized resource among non-specialists. In my talk, I tried to de-mystify the Census and demonstrate how librarians can turn data into information for their business patrons. The audience actively engaged with the topic and we had a lively conversation about using this and other government sources. We also mourned the loss of “Statistical Abstract of the United States” another valuable source of data, which will print its last edition in 2013, after which budget cuts will cause the GPO to cease its publication.

BLINC, Business Librarians in North Carolina, was actively involved in the conference. Mine was one of 8 sessions presented in part or entirely by BLINC members; in addition, BLINC librarians led several poster sessions. Following the vendor reception, BLINC held its post-conference dinner, hosted by two of our vendors. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and each other’s company at Carrabba’s.

The conference represented the close of Steve Cramer’s tenure as Chair of BLINC and the beginning of my two-year term. During the conference I held my first cabinet meeting with Vice-Chair Leslie Farison of Appalachian State and Secretary/Treasurer Sara Thynne of Alamance Regional Public Library. We developed ideas for future workshop topics and I laid out several initiatives that I plan to pursue during my term.

It was a full and productive day in Hickory; while I wish I could have heard other programs on other days, I appreciated the time I was able to spend at the conference. Kudos to Sarah Jeong for the great job she did organizing the conference store which was the busiest spot in the exhibit hall and to Steve Kelley for his very well laid-out exhibit hall.

Ellen’s Tuesday at NCLA

Friday, October 7, 2011 6:28 pm

Tuesday I was able to attend the Pre-Conference Workshop, Everybody Teaches! Creating Effective Online e-learning Experiences, at NCLA presented by Lauren Pressley, Amy Archambault (UNCG) and Beth Filar Williams (UNCG).

The outline for the workshop centered on the ADDIE instructional design principles. (I was very glad that I had attended the recent Teaching, Teaching class and my group had been assigned this principle to explore!) We split into groups with similar teaching goals and discussed how we could apply the phases to our projects. Because there were different perspectives (public, academic, government) and different goals (online classes, tutorials, enhancing face-to-face teaching) the discussions were lively and helped spark ideas that we probably wouldn’t have thought of on our own.

The workshop gave me some good ideas for incorporating technology into upcoming face-to-face LIB 100 classes as well as thinking about how to create engaging online classes. I’m looking forward to playing with some of the tools that were suggested to inspire even more ideas.

Leslie at NCLA 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011 2:50 pm

It was really nice to be able to attend an NCLA conference again — one of my music conferences, as it happens, has been held at the same time for years.

I attended a session on RDA, the new cataloging standard recently beta-tested by LC. Christee Pascale of NCSU gave a very helpful, concise reprise of that school’s experience as a test participant; the staff training program and materials they developed; and advice to others planning to implement RDA.

Presenters from UNCG and UNCC shared a session titled “Technical Services: Changing Workflows, Changing Processes, Personnel Restructuring — Oh My!” Both sites have recently undergone library-wide re-organizations, including the re-purposing of tech services staff to other areas, resulting in pressure to ruthlessly eliminate inefficiencies. Many of the specific steps they mentioned are ones we’ve already taken in ZSR, but some interesting additional measures include:

  • Eliminating the Browsing Collection in favor of a New Books display.
  • Reducing the funds structure (for instance, 1 fund per academic department — no subfunds for material formats)

There also seems to be a trend towards re-locating Tech Services catalogers to Special Collections, in order to devote more resources to the task of making the library’s unique holdings more discoverable; outsourcing or automating as many tech services functions as possible, including “shelf-ready” services, authority control, and electronic ordering; and training support staff (whose time has putatively been freed by the outsourcing/automation of their other tasks) to do whatever in-house cataloging remains. That’s the vision, at any rate — our presenters pointed out the problems they’ve encountered in practice. For instance, UNCC at one point had one person doing the receiving, invoicing, and cataloging: they quickly found they needed to devote more people to the still-significant volume of in-house cataloging that remained to be done even after optimizing use of outsourced services. They’re also feeling the loss of subject expertise (in areas like music, religion, etc.) and of experienced catalogers to make the big decisions (i.e., preparing for RDA).

NCLA plans to post all presentations on their website:



Sarah at the NCLA Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:01 pm

Last Friday, October 29th, Lauren P., Mary Beth, and I attended the NCLA Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference.

I attended Lauren P.’s keynote speech on “Finding Our Students at Their Point of Need.” She did a great job and discussed how higher education is changing. She mentioned the Pew Internet and American Life Project, and her review of Bloom’s taxonomy and learning theory were helpful. I agreed with her concluding comment that “It’s not about us…it’s about them.”

Next, I attended Jennifer Arnold’s presentation on “Student Reflection in Library Instruction: What They Think They’ve Learned, What They Still Don’t Know, and How to Bridge the Gap.” Reflection is an emotional and cognitive process, which attempts to get students to think critically about their research process. As a result, students slow down and process what they learned and what they still needed to know more about. The importance of reflective skills in increasing student learning has been discussed across many disciplines. Here are some highlights from her presentation:

Reflection assignment was completed in-class during the writing workshop after 2 library instruction sessions.

Guided reflection questions:

  • What is one thing you learned about library?
  • What you learned about incorporating research?
  • What have you learned about citations?


  • Correlation between evidence of critical thinking on the reflection and higher scores on their research assignment
  • Informal feedback reflection between research paper and annotated bibliography tends to improve citations

Providing substantial feedback on their demonstrated performance in research is valuable in producing learning. Reflection process is inductive (beginning w/ experience of search database) rather than deductive (beginning with textbooks and theories).


Rogers, R. R. (2001). Reflection in higher education: A concept analysis. Innovative Higher Education, 26(1), 37-57.

Quinton, S., & Smallbone, T. (2010). Feeding forward: using feedback to promote student reflection and learning-a teaching model. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47(1), 125-135.

Ash, S. L., Clayton, P. H., & Atkinson, M. P. (2005). Integrating Reflection and Assessment to Capture and Improve Student Learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 11(2), 49-60.

Nutefall, J. (2004). Paper Trail: one method of information literacy assessment. Research Strategies 20(1/2), 89-98.

I also attended Jenny Dale and Amy Harris’ presentation on “Just-in-time Assessment: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Course-Integrated Library Instruction.” Just-in-time Assessment is based on Just-in-time Teaching, which is about creating a student-centered environment and improving faculty-student interaction and content mastery. It is a type of formative assessment, and they have used polling in LibGuides to teach about website evaluation and the differences between a popular and scholarly article. They’ve also used Poll Everywhere, which is free and easy to embed in LibGuides. They also shared other methods for active learning and assessment, which include matching keywords with research questions and a citation exercise where students put parts of a citation in order.

Last, Mary Beth and I gave a presentation on “Lessons Learned: Developing an Information Literacy Course for Science Majors and Pre-Med Students.” We provided an overview of LIB220, which incorporated the ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Science & Technology. We also highlighted the course goals and topics, which include the organization of scientific information, peer review process, scientific resources and databases, Endnote and Zotero, Open Access literature in the sciences, research ethics and IRB, and copyright and plagiarism. Types of formative assessments and summative assessments used in LIB220 were also highlighted, including a Nobel Prize winner Journals Assignment, finding relevant secondary and primary sources, and group presentations. In addition, each of us shared lessons learned through teaching LIB220, and I have found it rewarding when students apply the research strategies that they learned not only for LIB220 assignments but also for lab reports in their other science courses and future research. I also believe that since LIB220 students will become future scientific researchers and medical professionals, teaching research ethics at the undergraduate level is important and encourages them to start thinking about how to conduct research on human subjects ethically.

NCLA Library Instruction at the Point of Need Conference

Overall, it was a great conference, and it was great to reconnect with other colleagues from N.C.

Sarah at NCLA

Saturday, October 24, 2009 2:36 pm

On Wednesday, Oct. 7th, I attended the North Carolina Library Association Conference in Greenville. Keith Michaels Fiels, American Library Association Executive Director, was the keynote speaker at the Opening Session. I won’t rehash the details since Wanda has already summarized his presentation, but I agreed with his comment that “we need to assert our role in education because libraries are the other half of education system.” I also attended the Women’s Issues in Libraries Roundtable luncheon, which featured Linda Carlisle, N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources Secretary, as speaker. The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources includes the State Library, the State Archives, Historic Sites, History Museums, the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. She made a good point that “Libraries are important to the health and vitality of a community.” Also, Bryna Coonin from East Carolina University was a recipient of the Marilyn Miller Award for Professional Commitment of the Women’s Issues in Libraries Roundtable. I had served with Bryna Coonin on the Association of College & Research Libraries-Science & Technology Section (ACRL-STS) Research Committee, and it was great to see her win the award.

NCLA 2009 Google Tools Pre-conference

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 8:43 am

Google Tools Workshop - NCLA 2009

On Tuesday, October 6th, I led a pre-conference on Google Tools for TNT. I was expecting 16 attendees, but because of the cancellation of an earlier workshop, I ended up with 22 attendees. About half of them brought laptops as suggested, and this made for an excellent hands-on experience for those attending! The workshop was from 1:30-4pm, much longer than the normal 50-60 minute sessions I lead. It was amazing to have the extra time to cover the topic more thoroughly! I combined my Google Docs and Google Sites workshops and added a discussion of various other Google Tools (including Google Wave). By the time we were done, the participants agreed we had covered a lot of ground!

NCLA Library Instruction 2.0

Sunday, November 23, 2008 5:59 pm

On Monday and Tuesday I participated in the NCLA Library Instruction 2.0 Conference with Roz, Susan, and Giz. Roz, Susan, and I gave a panel presentation on Monday on the 2.0 techniques we teach with at ZSR.

We must be onto something at ZSR, because after the presentation I heard from several other librarians that they thought WFU must be a wonderful place to work and they were impressed with what we’re doing instructionally.

Roz, Giz, and I gave a workshop on Tuesday on using Google Docs, Reader, and Sites in teaching and other library work. It was a long session, but people appeared to stay engaged and the content was new to a lot of the audience.

Unfortunately, between the presentations, and teaching obligations back at ZSR, I didn’t attend many other sessions. I did get to hear Debra Gilchrist’s keynote, though. If you’re interested in my notes, you can find them in my blog.

NCLA Leadership Insitute

Saturday, November 1, 2008 12:37 pm

(Cross posted on my blog.)

I had hoped to write up every day of the institute and post as soon as possible, but internet connections were shaky, and we didn’t spend much time with computers, so instead you’re getting a summary.

The North Carolina Library Association Leadership Institute is The Best Leadership Training program that I’ve been through, and I’ve been through several. That’s not to say that the others weren’t good, just that the NCLA one paid attention to every possible detail, gave us all good opportunities to think about our own leadership practice, was a group of fantastic people, and was just what I needed at this point in time.

The entire workshop tended to run from 8am to 8pm, with three one-hour meal breaks and one one-hour break throughout the day. We met in large discussion/lectures, small group sessions, and had some individual work time. Every night we had a great speaker from other industries that focus on customer service.

The focus of the workshop is to understand our own authentic leadership style, how to share vision and think about employees/coworkers, and how to use that vision and good treatment of fellow workers to create the best possible experience for our users/clients/customers/patrons/etc. There were several mantras throughout the week, but the one that seemed to summarize the entire week was “It starts with you, but it’s not about you.” The “it” was up for discussion several times throughout the week.

The culmination of the week was our leadership statement of purpose. Mine was:

“My purpose is to use big picture, strategic thinking to help libraries remain relevant in today’s information environment. Through meeting and exceeding our users’ expectations, I hope to help create a library environment–both offline and online–which will inspire our users to be our advocates.”

And because I tend to be goal oriented, I included a how to section:

“To do this I will

  • foster an environment of learning, experimentation, and creative adaptation.
  • encourage innovative thinking and novel approaches in education and technology.
  • cultivate a culture of compassion within my own library, both with colleagues and library users.”

I knew most of this about me, but it was good to have a period to reflect, take some assessment tools, and really focus in on my values, motivations, and passions. Hopefully this will reflect in both my job at WFU and in my work for the profession.

It was particularly good timing, given that I was feeling a little burned out after working on the book for so long.

The schedule for the last day included sharing our statements. There was a little anxiety around that issue, and we talked about it in my group. I shared an idea about how to approach it, and before I knew it, everyone knew and that was how we all shared our statements on the last day. For that, I was given the Tiger and a few books on leadership, now living on my bookshelves. (Well, the Tiger at least… the books are on the way to Vienna with me. :) )


Now I’m off on some personal time. Hopefully this will complete the rejuvination and I’ll be ready to hit the ground running!

ALA Annual
ALA Midwinter
Career Development for Women Leaders
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
Coalition for Networked Information
Digital Forsyth
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Elon Teaching and Learning Conference
Entrepreneurial Conference
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA)
First-Year Experience Conference
Handheld Librarian
ILLiad Conference
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Journal reading group
Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Library Assessment Conference
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
Music Library Association
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
North Carolina Serials Conference
online course
Online Learning Summit
Open Repositories
Professional Development Center
Site Visits and Tours
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
University Libraries Group
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by, protected by Akismet. Blog with