Professional Development

Kyle at NC-LITe at NCSU

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 11:52 am

On June 12, I traveled as the lone emissary from ZSR to NC-LITe, the twice-annual mini-conference loosely focused on instructional technology in libraries. We had it here in ZSR back in December, if you recall.

This time we gathered at the D.H. Hill Library at NC State, where they’ve recently undergone a few changes, the most notable of which is a brand-new makerspace. (We got a sneak preview the day before it opened!) This is a purpose-designed space to the left of their main circulation desk, and it is pretty fantastic.

David shows the group the new makerspace

David shows the group the new makerspace

Campus updates

As with most NC-LITes, we started with some campus sharing. Among the most notable updates:

  • NCSU’s Library Stories project is a great example of a library being ahead of the game in sharing ways they can help faculty and students enhance their teaching and learning.
  • NCSU continues to churn out their popular “Teach Yourself” tutorials. They’re really carrying a lot of weight for the entire library instruction field: we use the heck out of their videos, including in our online LIB100 course. They added a new one on source evaluation. There was much rejoicing.
  • A representative from Davidson College joined us for the first time! It was great to connect with her, as Davidson is the closest cousin to Wake in its emphasis on teaching. Davidson is also interesting in that they’ve been doing MOOCs with edX for a few years now. The library has recently been involved in developing a new course on Electronic Literature that starts in October (join me!)
  • UNC Chapel Hill just hired a new digital scholarship librarian, who will be teaching a series of digital humanities workshops out of the library.
  • Duke just opened a new commons for technology, research, and collaboration that they call The Edge (er.. sorry, this is the actual link).
  • Kim Duckett, formerly of NCSU, a founding participant of NC-LITe, and an all-around awesome person, recently took a new job at Duke as their Head of Research & Instructional Services.

Lightning talks

We also got a few in-depth looks at some recent projects. These had the greatest takeaways for me.

Katy Webb of ECU shared how their reference department went to Youcanbook.me and a shared Google Calendar for patron-driven scheduling all of their personal research sessions. Youcanbook.me presents users a calendar with available time slots, allowing them to select the time that fits their calendar, eliminates all the email back-and-forth, and pushes the “messy” end of scheduling to happen behind-the-scenes. They call the service “Book a Librarian” and it seems like a great enhancement to their user experience! Check it out.

Hannah Rozear of Duke talked about a collaboration she’s part of with their writing program, in which she’s integrating critical digital pedagogy to make her instruction more student-centered and inclusive of diverse voices, and to challenge students to think critically about the online sources they use.

Rebecca Hyman at the State Library of NC and I shared our experience with developing and running RootsMOOC. We were (and still are) a little exhausted from a year of running the project at full-steam, but the course evaluations are in and and I promise to give the project a proper write-up soon!

Ideas from breakout sessions

I didn’t take copious notes during our breakout sessions (they’re loose, informal discussions), but I did jot down some ideas I wanted to share.

I maintain that Open Educational Resources will be an increasingly important part of the higher educational landscape as the traditional textbook model breaks down. Several libraries are offering grants to faculty who are interested in OER–small ones for attending OER workshops, larger ones for developing their own OER or integrating OER into their classes. As an institution, I don’t think we’re quite there culturally, but I’m keeping my eye on this. See also UNCG, Emory

Lots of people shared frustration with boosting workshop attendance. (Can I get an amen?) I heard some great ideas:

  • co-develop workshops with other groups on campus (example: a “Designing effective research assignments” workshop through the TLC);
  • host webinars instead of f2f workshops (and record the content!);
  • send personal invites to known partners and influencers in the academic departments (even better if there’s a lunch or coffee)
  • rather than advertising the thing you’re going to teach (eg, Zotero), advertise the compelling use case (Hey, grad students, come learn how to do a lit review!)

Always lots of good ideas from NC-LITe. Looking forward to next time!

 

Rebecca at CurateGear 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015 10:48 am

Last week, Tanya and I travelled to Chapel Hill for CurateGear 2015: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections. After reading Tanya’s acoount of her experience, I thought I would fill in some of my favorite bits of the day.

Susan Malsbury – The GMHC Hotline Database: Capturing a snapshot of AIDS service providers in NYC

Susan presented a fascinating demonstration of emulation of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis hotline database in the Manuscripts and Archives Division reading room at NYPL. She explained the very simple setup of an emulation experience for researchers to access a disk image of the original born-digital materials from the collections. They have a dedicated machine in the reading room, offline and USB blocked (so patrons cannot make copies). There is a reader login account to access the records. They also load a pdf of the finding aid on the machine so researchers can see what they are looking at (since there is no internet). Serving the disk images in this way allows researchers to experience and utilize the materials without any harm to the original records. Given the many disks in our collections here in Special Collections & Archives, I found this to be a very inspiring and accessible way to provide access to patrons.

Lori Donovan – Archive-It 5.0

Lori spent a lot of time discussing Archive-It’s 5.0 updates that started rolling out in October of 2014 and will continue in 2015. This was a great session, as I think about WFU’s use of Archive-It a lot and enjoy hearing about how we can do this better. Some of the highlights of her talk included the fact that Archive-It is overhauling the user interface for the first time since they started in 2006. This is great news! It’s not done yet, but the reports section has been released. The reports (and later everything else) has a much cleaner, streamlined look and dynamic visualization of the information in the reports. You can really mine down into the information in the reports and fine tune your crawls with a much better understanding of what information you have captured. I was truly excited about these changes and can’t wait to see the future rollouts of Archive-It 5.0

I found the whole day at CurateGear 2015 a very interesting and inspiring experience. I would be happy to talk more about the presentations I mentioned or any others that I attended at CurateGear 2015. Thank you to the Dean’s office for the opportunity to attend.

 

The Ellers Visit the In-Laws; Charleston 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:00 pm

Eleven-day-old daughter and sleep-deprived wife in tow, I attended the 2014 Charleston Conference flying arguably in the face of reason. I had the advantage of a free place to stay: my parents-in-law live out on James Island, a 15-minute drive to the Francis Marion Hotel where the conference is held. Given this fact and the conference’s unique focus on acquisitions, it makes sense for this meeting to become an annual excursion for me.

The opening speaker, Anthea Stratigos (apparently her real last name) from Outsell, Inc. talked about the importance of strategy, marketing, and branding the experience your library provides. She emphasized that in tough budgetary times it is all the more important to know your target users and to deliver the services, products, and environment they are looking for rather than mindlessly trying to keep up with the Joneses and do everything all at once. “Know your portfolio,” advised Ms. Stratigos. I would say that we at ZSR do a good job of this.

At “Metadata Challenges in Discovery Systems,” speakers from Ex Libris, SAGE, Queens University, and the University of Waterloo discussed the functionality gap that exists in library discovery systems. While tools like Summon have great potential and deliver generally good results, they are reliant on good metadata to function. In an environment in which records come from numerous sources, the task of normalizing data is a challenge for library, vendor, and system provider alike. Consistent and rational metadata practices, both across the industry and within a given library, are essential. To the extent that it is possible, a good discovery system ought to be able to smooth out issues with inconsistent/bad metadata; but the onus is largely on catalogers. I for one am glad that we are on top of authority control. I am also glad that at the time of implementation I was safely 800 miles away in Louisiana.

In a highly entertaining staged debate over the premise that “Wherever possible, library collections should be shaped by patrons instead of librarians,” Rick Anderson from Utah and David Magier from Princeton contested the question of how large a role PDA/DDA should play in collection development in an academic context. Arguing pro-DDA, Mr. Anderson claimed that we’ve confused the ends with the means in providing content: the selection process by librarians ought properly to be seen simply as a method for identifying needed content, and if another more automated process (DDA) can accomplish the same purpose (and perhaps do it better), then it ought to be embraced. Arguing the other side, Mr. Magier emphasized DDA’s limitations, eloquently comparing over-reliance on it to eating mashed potatoes with a screwdriver just because a screwdriver is a useful tool. He pointed out that even in the absence of DDA, librarians have always worked closely and directly with patrons to answer their collection needs. In truth, both debaters would have agreed that a balance of DDA and traditional selection by librarians is the ideal model.

One interesting program discussed the inadequacy of downloads as proxy for usage given the amount of resource-sharing that occurs post-download. At another, librarians from UMass-Amherst and Simmons College presented results of their Kanopy streaming video DDA (PDA to them) program, similar to the one we’ll be rolling out later this month; they found that promotion to faculty was essential in generating views. On Saturday morning, librarians from Utah State talked about the importance of interlibrary loan as a supplement to acquisitions budgets and collection development policies in a regional consortium context. On this point, they try to include in all e-resource license agreements a clause specifying that ILL shall be allowed “utilizing the prevailing technology of the day” – an attempt at guaranteeing that they will remain able to loan their e-materials regardless of format, platform changes, or any other new technological developments.

Also on Saturday Charlie Remy of UT-Chattanooga and Paul Moss from OCLC discussed adoption of OCLC’s Knowledge Base and Cooperative Management Initiative. This was of particular interest as we in Resource Services plan on exploring use of the Knowledge Base early next year. Mr. Remy shared some of the positives and negatives he has experienced: among the former, the main one would be the crowdsourcing of e-resource metadata maintenance in a cooperative environment; among the negatives were slow updating of the knowledge base, especially with record sets from new vendors, along with the usual problem of bad vendor-provided metadata. The final session I attended was about link resolvers and the crucial role that delivery plays in our mission. As speakers pointed out, we’ve spent the past few years focusing on discover, discovery, discovery. Now might be a good time to look again at how well the content our users find is being delivered.

OCLC Member Forum – UNCG

Thursday, October 9, 2014 9:55 am

I recently attended the first regional OCLC member forum held at UNCG. The meeting focused on the many changes happening with OCLC products and a better understanding of how the products work together. I went to the break out session pertaining to Cataloging and Metadata. Within this session, members were able to give feedback on issues that we have been having particularly with Connexion and make request for features that don’t exist. OCLC has a web page dedicated to the forums which include pictures, questions and feedback from the attendees. Feel free to explore at the following link https://oclc.org/en-US/events/member-forums/after-party.html

Chelcie at CurateGear 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014 12:23 pm

Last Wednesday I traveled with Rebecca and Tanya to CurateGear 2014 in Chapel Hill, NC. In its third year, CurateGear is a day-long event that showcases tools that facilitate digital curation. The three tools I found most interesting were MetaArchive, a TRAC review tool, and BitCurator.

MetaArchive

MetaArchive is a co-op of university libraries and independent research libraries who work together to preserve their digital content. Each MetaArchive member institution contributes a secure, closed-access, preservation server to the MetaArchive LOCKSS network. After an institution ingests content to its own preservation server, six other servers in the MetaArchive LOCKSS network replicate that content. Servers are assigned to content in order to maximize geographic distribution.New or changed content is stored alongside the original, and in fact, this support for versioning is a huge advantage of MetaArchive’s preservation strategy. The seven servers check in with each other periodically in order to perform fixity checks and verify that all seven copies remain identical. If a mismatch is identified, the servers reach consensus about which copy is “correct” and repair the mismatch. The repair is treated as a version and stored alongside the original. The co-op model offers economies of scale, and membership in MetaArchive seems very reasonable. The knowledge community of MetaArchive strikes me as an appealing alternative to preservation-as-a-service vendors such as DuraCloud and Preservica.

TRAC review tool

Acronyms abound in our profession, and for those who aren’t familiar, TRAC refers to Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification (TRAC): Criteria and Checklist, which is now ISO 16363. Essentially, TRAC is a method for demonstrating that a digital repository meets certain criteria for trustworthiness. There are 88 criteria on the checklist, and they fall into three categories:

  • Organizational Infrastructure – e.g. mission statement, succession plans, professional development, financial stability
  • Digital Object Management – e.g. metadata templates, persistent unique identifiers, registries of formats ingested, preservation planning
  • Technologies, Technical Infrastructure, and Security – e.g. detecting bit corruption, migration processes, off-site backup

While TRAC is designed for repositories to become certified as trustworthy, many institutions simply use it as a self-assessment tool. Developed by Nancy McGovern, the Head of Curation and Preservation Services at MIT Libraries, the TRAC review tool enables the assessor to provide evidence of how well a repository meets a TRAC criterion and rate its compliance on a five-point scale:

  • 4 = fully compliant – the repository can demonstrate that has comprehensively addressed the requirement
  • 3 = mostly compliant – the repository can demonstrate that it has mostly addressed the requirement and is on working on full compliance
  • 2 = half compliant – the repository has partially addressed the requirement and has significant work remaining to fully address the requirement
  • 1 = slightly compliant – the repository has something in place, but has a lot of work to do in addressing the requirement
  • 0 = non-compliant or not started – the repository has not yet addressed the requirement or has not started the review of the requirement

Of course, knowledge of whether a repository meets all of these 88 criteria isn’t the purview of one person, and another benefit of the TRAC review tool is that it enables the lead assessor to assign certain criteria to other people (such as admin or tech team), making the whole process of assessing repository activities more transparent across an organization.

Technically speaking, the TRAC review tool is simply a Drupal instance with a page for each TRAC criterion, so it’s very lightweight and easy to begin using after download!

BitCurator

BitCurator bundles open-source digital forensics tools to help memory institutions manage born-digital materials and perform tasks such as:

  • acquiring disk images of floppies, hard drives, laptops, or desktops
  • generating technical metadata for the disk images
  • identifying and retracting sensitive information such as SSNs, credit card information, etc.

Most of the tools that BitCurator is adapting for use by memory institutions originate in the law enforcement world, whose purposes are very different from our own. BitCurator repurposes these tools for the curation tasks of special collections and archives. For example, capturing a disk image (rather than file by file by file) not only preserves the environment in which the creator worked, but also in a certain sense preserves the “original order” of the records. Last summer I attended a BitCurator hackathon hosted by the Open Planets Foundation, where my main output was a detailed draft of a workflow for ingesting born-digital materials. At CurateGear 2014, I was pleased to hear about some updates to BitCurator 0.5.8 and pleased, too, that my draft workflow doesn’t yet need revision!

NC-LITe at High Point University

Friday, December 20, 2013 2:35 pm

On Wednesday, Amanda, Hu, Joy, and I made the quick drive to High Point University for the winter meeting of NC-LITe, a small (but growing!) group of North Carolina librarians interested in learning and sharing about technology and library instruction. It’s a great opportunity for cross-pollination, and I’m starting to make some great professional relationships with people I’ve met through NC-LITe. I’m always excited for NC-LITe, but this time I think all of us were excited for one reason in particular.

One of the *many* decorated trees. This building smelled like cookies.

One of the *many* decorated trees.

Sharing

The turnout this time was great–there were about 30 librarians from universities all over North Carolina. Each campus shared some updates, then there were a handful of lightning talks, including our own Hu Womack, who talked about the very exciting pilot project of using a class set of Kindle Fire tablets in his LIB210 class. Here are some other highlights:

  • HPU has some beautiful and heavily-used new library instruction spaces. They’re currently partnering with their English department to integrate online information literacy tutorials into first-year writing seminars, and currently five librarians are teaching a one-credit “research in writing” seminar in conjunction with the English department. They’re also doing a lot of support for faculty who want to assign multimedia projects.
  • UNCG just went to a new team-based model for their liaison and instruction folks: the way I understand it, instruction and scholarly communication people work in functional teams that support the work of liaisons in subject teams. For example, there’s a team for instructional design that can work alongside a subject team that wants to do some ID work. They’re also expanding the services and spaces they offer in their Digital Media Commons–they now have a gaming lab, a small makerspace, and lots of support for multimedia assignments (sensing a theme yet?).
  • Duke is continuing their work with MOOCs. Right now, each Duke MOOC (DOOC?) is assigned a subject librarian. It wasn’t mentioned what kind of work they do for the MOOCs, and I didn’t get a chance to ask, but you can read more about it here.
  • NCSU recently opened some new spaces in the new Hunt Library (which we visited last time). Their media spaces are now open, and to get them just right, they brought in a rock musician, who is also developing multimodal courses at NCSU, as a consultant. They seem to be focusing quite a lot on integrating themselves into multimodal courses and multimedia production, so the library has loose support teams that spin up every time an instructor wants students to create, say, podcasts or websites as part of a course.

Useful Tools & Resources

One of my favorite things about NC-LITe is that I always come away from it with a few new toys to play with and resources to explore. Here are some of the best that came out of the breakout sessions:

  • Amanda mentioned Doctopus and gClassFolders, two scripts in Google Drive that make collaborative student work a breeze. I’ve been using Doctopus for a while now, and I think it’s the bee’s knees.
  • Edmodo, which is used heavily in K-12, is more of a social network for learning–quite far removed from our nearest equivalent, Sakai.
  • Socrative is a rapid-feedback response system that seems to be getting a lot of attention lately.
  • Of those libraries that are supporting multimedia projects, nearly all of them mention Penn State University’s Media Commons and the University of Richmond’s Digital Storytelling as those efforts they’re trying to emulate. Samantha Harlow at HPU did a great job modifying the PSU multimedia assignment guide for her faculty.

Campus Tour

HPU’s campus is pretty impressive. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but what you can’t see from the photos is that everything smelled like fresh-baked cookies. More photos here and here. Thanks, Joy and Hu, for taking pictures!

Kyle and Hu embarrassing Amanda

Kyle and Hu embarrassing Amanda

We caught up with Anna!

We caught up with Anna!

Joy, in her element.

Joy, in her element.

Kyle, in a moment of thought.

Kyle, in a moment of thought.

Hu: "This is my dream retirement gig."

Hu: "This is my dream retirement gig."

Chelcie at 2013 DLF Forum

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 1:51 pm

I have attended the DLF Forum every year since I began library school, but this year was the first year that I attended as a full-fledged librarian. It was a very different experience to attend the Forum while constantly asking myself “What will I bring back to ZSR?” Below are three of my major takeaways, culled both from formal conference sessions and from informal conversations with other attendees.

Investigate moving towards large-scale digitization of archival materials.

The digitization of rare and unique materials broadens access to those materials beyond the reading room to any screen that can access the Web. Early digitization projects often cherry-picked specific items to digitize and created rich descriptions of those items, similar to how items might be selected for a physical exhibition. Increasingly, however, digital collection managers recognize that completely digitized collections support scholarly inquiry better than boutique digitization efforts. Both an access model and a content strategy, large-scale digitization¹ selects entire collections (or entire series within collections) for digitization, and online access replicates the reading room experience by contextualizing individual items within the archival arrangement of a processed collection. Rather than painstakingly creating metadata at the item level, large-scale digitization makes use of existing metadata from the finding aid at the container, series, and collection level. This approach can both streamline production workflows and better meet the needs of researchers.

At the DLF Forum, a panel presentation titled Big Archival Data: Designing Workflows and Access to Large-Scale Digitized Collections focused on how the principles of large-scale digitization were put into practice in different institutional contexts. Michael Doylen and Ann Hanlon of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee discussed the digitization of the Kwasniewski photographs, the collection of a Polish-American photographer who captured images of the Polish community in Milwaukee. 80% of the digitized photographs re-used existing item-level metadata transcribed from negative sleeves during processing of the collection; 20% of the digitized photographs were designated for further image processing and metadata enhancement – e.g. titles that are unique and more specific, description, and additional subject headings. By taking a comprehensive approach, this digital collection makes available “the rare, the lesser-known, the overlooked, the neglected, and the downright excluded.”² Following Michael and Ann, Karen Weiss of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art discussed the workflows that her institution have developed in order to link container lists in their finding aids to digital materials in their digital asset management system. Starting from a collection summary page, the researcher can browse to a particular series and then view all of the items that are contained within a particular folder. In this way, the digital collections experience better approximates the in-person reading room experience.

When performing digital humanities outreach to faculty and students, lead with content.

Another advantage of a large-scale digitization approach is that it enables the library to market its digital collections as corpora for digital humanities research. During THATCamp Digital Humanities & Libraries following the DLF Forum I had the opportunity to chat with Zoe Borovsky, who is the Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship at the UCLA Library. Zoe shared with me that one tack that she is taking more and more frequently is to demonstrate that UCLA’s digitized special collections support digital humanities modes of inquiry -because the more faculty who build digital projects on top of existing digital collections, the more digital projects the library can support. Thus far, I’ve reached out to a few faculty that I’ve met at social events to learn more about their digital scholarship and pedagogy and how the library might support those aspects of their work. But in the emerging area of digital humanities it’s not always the case that there’s an existing library solution to a faculty problem. At this stage, my goal is to build relationships and gather requirements. Do some faculty want to create crowd-sourced collections, which they could eventually contribute to WakeSpace? Do other faculty want to text mine newspapers? Do still other faculty want to use Omeka to incorporate building digital collections into course projects? These needs are quite heterogenous! In the presentation Testing Omeka for Core Digital Library Services Jenn Riley (formerly of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, now of McGill University) said that she is planning for a future when every humanities faculty member at her university is interested in creating a digital project. With that kind of scalability in mind, when I meet with faculty, in addition to gathering requirements, I will also market ZSR’s existing digital collections as potential corpora for digital humanities research.

Investigate adopting the DMPTool to support data management planning for faculty.

The DMPTool enables universities to provide investigators who are writing data management plans with custom guidance. The DMPTool has been available for some time now, but a new version was recently released, and the development team presented at the sessionDMPTool2: Improvements and Outreach at the DLF Forum. At our last Digital Scholarship team meeting, we discussed investigating the DMPTool as a goal for next year. When an institution adopts the DMPTool, admins are able to provide suggested answers for each question on a particular funder’s data management plan form. After modifying the suggested answers supplied in the DMPTool, the investigator can generate a PDF of their data management plan and append it to his or her grant application. Customization of the DMPTool now includes the option to provide Shibboleth authentication. DMPTool2 improvements for plan creators include the ability to:

  • copy existing plans into new plans
  • work collaboratively with colleagues – e.g. add co-owners of plan
  • request review of plans
  • share plans within institutions
  • provide public access to plans

DMPTool2 improvements for administrators include:

  • a module that enables direct editing of customized responses to different funder templates or the ability to create your own templates (before administrators had to email the DMPTool development team in order to enact this sort of customization)
  • several new administrator roles – e.g. institutional reviewer and institutional administrator
  • enhanced search and browse of plans
  • mandatory or optional review of plans

Outside of conference hours, I enjoyed exploring Austin. Highlights included visiting the flagship Whole Foods store, watching the bat colony emerge from under the First Street bridge at dusk, and eating fabulous mole at El Naranjo (an authentic Mexican restaurant recommended by the Texas Monthly). Work hard, play hard!

(1) For a formal definition of large-scale digitization, see page 55 of the 2010 OCLC Research report Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives.

(2) Flanders, Julia. (2009) The productive unease of 21st-century digital scholarship. Digital Humanities Quarterly,3(3). http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/3/000055/000055.html

Contributing ZSR Digital Collections to the DPLA!

Friday, October 25, 2013 4:07 pm

Tanya, Craig, and Vicki all mentioned the keynote about the DPLA (Digital Public Library of America) at the Tri-State Archivists’ Conference. Before Emily Gore of the DPLA headed to Greenville, SC to deliver her keynote, she was in Greensboro, NC meeting with digital collection managers. I attended the meeting to learn more about the nitty gritty how-to of contributing ZSR’s digital collections to the DPLA.

For those who aren’t familiar, the DPLA aggregates metadata from the digital collections of libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. In addition to providing a slick search interface at dp.la, the DPLA also makes its API open to developers and encourages the building of apps on top of this platform. By contributing our metadata to the DPLA, we will expose our collections to a national audience. In addition, we will drive traffic to our site from both the dp.la site and apps built on top of the DPLA API.

DPLA App Library

At DPLAfest 2013, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center was recognized as one of three new service hubs that will aggregate metadata from their regions and serve as a conduit to the DPLA. Over 120,000 records from North Carolina institutions are currently available at dp.la, including records from the State Library of North Carolina, State Archives of North Carolina, and the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in addition to all the records made available by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center itself at digitalnc.org.

When an institution contributes collections to the DPLA via a service hub such as the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, they share an item’s metadata as well as its thumbnail.

The DPLA record recognizes both the service hub (in the example above the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center) and the contributing institution (Transylvania County Library). Clicking on either the item’s thumbnail or “View Object” takes the user to the item as it appears on the original site, in this case digitalnc.org (see below).

One more interesting thing to note about the DPLA’s approach to aggregating digital collections is that metadata shared with the DPLA is made available under a CC0 license. By participating in the DPLA, we agree that others may re-use our metadata. However, it’s important to recognize that metadata rights are not equal to digital object rights. Rather, the digital objects we make available via Wake Space remain available under whatever terms we determine.

The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is currently in the process of evaluating our feeds before adding selected collections to the DPLA. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Joy, Kaeley, Roz, and Kyle at NC-LITe

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 5:22 pm

On Tuesday the 21st Joy, Kaeley, Roz, and I ventured to Raleigh to participate in the summer meeting of NC-LITe, the twice-annual meeting of NC librarians who are interested in library instruction and instructional technologies. It’s a very informal group and always a fun time with lots of idea-sharing. This year’s summer meeting was at the shiny new Hunt Library at NCSU, which was a sight to behold. Like all NC-LITe meetings, this one followed a familiar format.

Campus Sharing

Each campus got some time to share updates. Some of the most interesting were:

  • UNC-CH: A transition to a required ENG105 course in which librarians cooperate with instructors to create assignments and integrate information literacy learning outcomes into the curriculum

  • UNC-CH: A live-action Clue game held in their special collections department (which would be a good opportunity for both outreach and some light instruction)

  • NCSU: figuring out how they can integrate their new makerspace into their instruction beyond the traditional STEM applications

  • NCSU: moving past outdated LOBO tutorial by rethinking learning goals and producing high-quality animated “Big Picture” videos (Kaeley thought the best title was “Picking a Topic *IS* Research!”)

  • Duke: librarians assigned to every MOOC taught through Coursera, where they might develop libguides or help course developers find open educational resources to support the course

  • UNCG: just finished a 3-day Power-UP workshop for faculty who want to develop online or blended online courses

Lightning Presentations

Five of us (including me and Joy!) gave quick talks about bigger projects we’d tackled recently. Joy talked about the awesome LIB100 template and I struggled to condense our ZSRx mini-MOOC experiment into a 7-minute talk. Other things:

  • Emily Daly at Duke told us about their user-centered library website redesign (to be completed in the fall)

  • Kathy Shields at High Point told us about some information literacy modules they built in Blackboard

  • Kerri Brown-Parker at NCSU’s College of Education media center showed us Subtext, a very cool iPad app for guided literacy and social reading

There was also a rather interesting debate that sprung out of Joy’s presentation on the LIB100 template: what is the role of the library in preventing or educating students about plagiarism? Lots of opinions, but most felt that the library was central in this role, although a focus should be on educating students about the responsible use of ideas, not on “how to avoid plagiarism.”

Building Tour!

If you haven’t been to the new Hunt Library at NCSU, make sure to visit! It’s truly an amazing space that is probably only possible at a place like State. It’s hard to put into words, but the entire library was a lab for technology-enhanced and -facilitated learning and creation. Still, despite the impressive architecture and the awe-inspiring spaces, from the MakerSpace and the Game Lab to the Next-Gen Learning Commons and the BookBot, the thing we (and most others) found most impressive were the lockers with outlets in them. There were literally audible gasps, I kid you not.

Joy said it best, though: “it seemed to me that the star of yesterday’s show was the jaw-dropping Hunt Library. Words like ‘unbelievable’ and ‘incredible’ keep racing through my mind as I ponder this blow-your-mind building. To me, this experience made our library feel like Hagrid’s cottage in Harry Potter–cozy, warm, and a bit disheveled. While we might not have a Creativity Studio or designer chairs that cost thousands of dollars, we are greeted by Starbucks and Travis Manning when we come in the door. I’m very proud and glad to call ZSR ‘home.'”

If you’re interested in going to the next meeting or just keeping up with what’s going on with NC-LITe, we have a shiny new website and a Google Group you can join. We’d love to have you join us next time!

 

SpringyCamp: November, 2012 – Focusing on User Experience: Understanding & Meeting User Needs

Thursday, November 8, 2012 4:52 pm

Springshare hosted a four hour webinar today, focusing on the user experience. Lauren Pressley, Kyle Denlinger and I participated in the first half of this multi-presentation webinar in the ZSR screening room. Springshare supplies ZSR with LibGuides and LibAnswers.

The first presentation was by Chrissa Godbout, the Library and Information Technology Consultant at Mount Holyoke College. She discussed their recent redesign of LibGuides. She and others from the Library attended a web design workshop that led them to a plan to do focus groups with students and staff. They bribed students with chocolate covered strawberries and gave participants gift cards to the Library coffee shop. Focus group participants were shown the current LibGuide and then asked to draw their ideal research guide and describe it. From this information, the librarians created categories and ranked them by occurrence.

As a result of the focus groups, they cut way back on text, used fewer and more pleasing colors and repeated the navigation tabs at the top in the body of the home page of the guide, including descriptions of each tab. They also included RSS feeds of the articles for the professors in that department. One idea they used was the “squint test” where users squint at the web page and what pops out while squinting should be where the main contain resides!

The next program, “Going Mobile: LibAnswers SMS and the Mobile Reference Librarian” was by Darcy Gervasioa Reference & Instruction Librarian at Purchase College, SUNY. She is Text Message Reference Coordinator and the liaison librarian for Anthropology, Sociology, and Gender Studies. What Purchase discovered was that students used the texting feature from inside the building for quick answers. So Darcy and the other librarians marketed the service in that way. “Can’t find a book? Text Us!”

Emily O’Connor’s presentation, “LibCal and the Open Workshop: Bolstering Attendance, One Registration at a Time” demonstrated the LibCal application and showed me that many of the services LibCal provides, such as emailing participants, we get from posting content on the PDC site.There was a “tech time” during the break that showed how LibGuides can be embedded in a school’s default Blackboard course, making the LibGuide available to a much larger audience.

Stephanie Rollins, from Samford University, presented “Using Libanalytics to Close the Assessment Loop”Samford uses LibAnalytics to close the Instruction loop. Stephanie described how she uses this system from Initial Instruction Request to Instruction Statistics to Post-Instruction Assessment.

There were two other sessions in the afternoon, but they focused on Springshare products we don’t use at ZSR. All in all it was a very effective webinar. It was clearly popular as we were initially wait-listed to participate! The more I work with Springshare, the more impressed I am with their commitment to their customers and users. I look forward to their next webinar on a new topic.


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