Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Teaching Entrepreneurship Research to Professors of other Universities (2014 Coleman Fellows Summit)

I just posted a recap of the workshops I co-taught in Chicago two weekends ago with Prof. Welsh, and other tidbits from the 2014 Coleman Fellows summit. --Steve

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Society of American Archivist Conference 2014

The 2014 joint meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA), the Council of State Archivists (COSA), and the National Association of Government ARchives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) focused on the theme of "Ensuring Access" to records and archives.  Over 2000 records managers and archivists gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss different aspects of providing access to our collections.

Over the three day conference, I participated in numerous sessions.  Here are some highlights:

The State of Access: A Conversation with Miriam Nisbet and David Cuillier
This plenary session provided a look at the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the perspective of a journalist (David Cuillier) and a governmental records administrator (Miriam Nisbet).  Both agreed that the access to information, especially records created by the government, is vital for the public.  However, they disagreed on the extent to which FOIA needed to change.  Mr. Cuillier would like to see a new policy based on some European models which allow greater access to information, while Ms. Nisbet believes FOIA has been meeting the public's need for information.  An interesting debate.

Teaching With Primary Sources:
Featured five presenters who use primary sources to engage students of all ages in and outside of the archival setting.  Kim Fortney, from National History Day, Inc., discussed teaching the teachers who will be working with middle and high-school students to create History Day projects.  Even the idea of what a primary source really is can be intimidating in to instructors.  One activity she employs involves having a workshop where participants bring three items with them from home; a document, a photo, and an artifact.  All items are collected and placed on a central table.  Participants are asked to choose three items that are not their own and discussion begins, participants must observe and reflect on the item as a primary source.  A great way to tangibly demonstrate the idea of primary sources!

Related But Separated:
This session was of particular interest to me because I also have collections which are related to other materials and collections within SCUA and have been separated for various reasons.  Hearing others experiences with similar situations gave me some new ideas as well as affirmed decisions I have already made in arranging and describing my collections.  Important take-aways: understanding what you are trying to reunite (objects, surrogates, metadata) and understanding (as much as is possible) how and why materials where dispersed will help guide our decisions for bringing materials together again.

On Friday evening, the conference sponsored a reception in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress.  A beautiful space to gather with other archivists!
Library of Congress reading room

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pre-semester meeting - Science Team

On Monday 8/4, Karen and I welcomed Jen Motszko to the Science Team at our pre-semester meeting. Here are brief notes from our meeting.

1. Round robin - what are your sciencey plans for the semester?

  • Scopus has replaced Web of Science, Karen will attend a vendor webinar tomorrow and will offer Scopus training sessions to faculty in her liaison areas.
  • Also interested in learning community integration; LC representative names were sent out through email
Jen is interested in KIN outreach - past examples incl display of UNCG gym uniforms, books on physical education for women. FYI, SCUA tutorials are on the way! (not sciencey but will be helpful)

Lea is working on library instruction plans
  • First up are graduate student orientations then course integrated library instruction.  
  • Online!  Several nursing programs are going online, public health has a degree completion program online, and Lea has just taken over as Kinesiology librarian and they have a new online program.  Need practice with Blackboard Collaborate for online workshops.  Google hangouts is cool but it doesn't work with big groups
 2. Planning for Liaison Open House next week
  • ask Mary if we can get a table near the Qs
  • Karen will give a handout on her job duties and subject areas since she’ll be out of the office
  • Get incentive - Jolly Ranchers for our table
  • Exhibits - cooks illustrated, ipad set to ContentDM images of home ec pamphlets, book with health sciencey images Netter’s or other anatomy atlas
3. Science Team - What do you need?
  • Tutorial creation software and assistance.  Camtasia for tutorials for instance Scopus. Submit request to Mary.  Are there free alternatives?  Yes, try screencastomatic. For assistance, contact Armondo. Beth FW can help with posting, especially best practices.
  • Learning communities - How can we work across liaison teams for better outreach and to prevent duplication of effort in interdisciplinary areas? Can the liaisons discuss these questions as a group? - Lea will take these questions to the Team Leaders 
  • Jen needs more info on interests in history, primary sources in science groups outside the library
  • Lea needs to practice Blackboard Collaborate. Jen taught an online course recently, used this system, offered help.  Ty!!

4. Team Goals
  1. Coffee talk for liaisons Fri Dec 5th - Evidence Based Practice
  2. Provide workshops for other liaisons in the spring semester - Scopus; and ??
  3. Use variety of communication channels to disseminate science-related library initiatives and information
  4. Primary source promotion - when/if Lea and Karen get faculty meeting invitations, bring Jen so she can promote images and other primary sources for that discipline
5. Next meeting - mid-semester - Thurs 11/13, 2-3 pm

Society of American Archivists annual meeting in DC

For most of the week of August 11th, I attended the Society of American Archivists annual meeting in Washington, DC. We had a record-high attendance at SAA of over 2500 archivists from academic, government, corporate, museum, and other types of archives. I was able to attend some great sessions and fun events, including a Wednesday evening trip to Ben's Chili Bowl for a lecture on African American history in Washington, DC.

On Thursday, I hosted a discussion session with incoming SAA president Kathleen Roe and SAA Executive Director Nancy Beaumont. Titled "SAA Now and in the Future: A Town Hall Conversation with SAA Leadership," this session allowed members to ask questions about SAA's newly-adopted strategic priorities, recent (and upcoming) changes to the annual meeting, and development of new committees and task forces.

One of the new committees discussed was the Committee on Public Awareness, which I was appointed to earlier this summer. COPA also established an informational table at the annual meeting to begin building member awareness of our activities and ask for feedback on answering the question "what does an archivist do?" We were also mentioned at the Saturday afternoon business section, where President Kathleen Roe challenged all present to experience "a year of living dangerously" and advocate vocally about the power of archives and the importance of archival work.

The meeting of the Reference, Access, and Outreach Section was another conference highlight. This was my first meeting after being elected to the RAO steering committee for FY15. Instead of a traditional meeting, we held an "Idea Swap," where people participated in three 15-minute, moderated small-group discussions on a number of pre-selected topics. I was able to join discussions on outreach to faculty, providing access to born-digital records, and using social media for marketing and outreach.

Other sessions I attended included one focused on developing online tutorials for records management training (featuring a couple of speakers from our State Library and the State Archives), one focused on the use of primary sources in the sciences, one on the value of collecting and using science fiction archival collections, and one on partnering with allied professions/organizations to advocate and build awareness for archives. I was also able to meet up with friends and former professors at the annual Texas Roundup (the UT alumni event held during each annual meeting).

On a related note, I encourage all tenure-track or tenured faculty to check out the Scholars' Travel Fund, available through the Office of Research and Economic Development. The fund supports faculty who are presenting, serving as chairpersons, or participating as panelists at scholarly meetings in the US.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Library Assessment Conference

Mike Crumpton and I attended this biennial conference last week in Seattle.  I found it very productive.  They changed things from previous conferences and added lightning talks as well as longer papers and panels which provided the opportunity to gain a wider range of ideas.  Most of the presentations are available on the conference website.  Between us we had 3 presentations so UNCG was well-represented!

Rather than doing a blow-by-blow I'll summarize some main points from the conference and encourage you to look at the ppts.

 - Library should be indispensable partner
-  University needs to be able to find our data
-  Align w/ organizational goals (not new but good to remember)
-  Leverage data to reshape library
-  Create culture of inquiry
-  Libraries as educational leaders
-  Student confidence is key to retention and success and we can help them be confident!

Teaching and Learning

- several presentations on using rubrics to assess authentic student work products
- curriculum mapping by analyzing syllabi
- great presentation from UNCW about their embedding in Gen Ed
 - interesting presentation using Toulmin method to analyze research questions and critical thinking

Space and Services

 - Va Tech had roving students do regular observations and interview and took photos
 - Consortium in Ontario analyzed chat service and learned quick greeting and prompt replies very important
- U of Louisville did something similar to our IARC study to rearranged service areas on their 1st floor.

Assessing Liaisons

At the U of Maryland, they developed performance guidelines for liaisons  (these had actually been developed at Penn State; one of the presenters had worked there previously.  They developed competencies and criteria based on these guidelines and use rubrics to evaluate the liaisons.  These are part of the annual work plan performance evaluation and is discussed between the liaison and supervisor.  The process involved lots of forums and group meetings.  The presenters have an upcoming book on this from ACRL -- Daniel Mack and Gary White.

Friday, August 8, 2014

North Carolina Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Conference

Susan Hendrickson and I attended the NC ILL Conference in Asheville on July 25, 2014. Usually the conference is held at one meeting place in central NC. To reduce travel, this year something new was tried…2 simultaneous sessions were held at UNC Wilmington and at the Western Carolina University facility at Biltmore Park, Asheville.  Sessions were webcast between the 2 locations.  Thirty to thirty-five people were in attendance at each location.  The sessions went well, and at the end, our group concurred that the 2 location format worked well.  

Sessions focused on best practices in communication, packaging and shipping, scanning, and managing overdue loans.  Genie Powell, Chief Customer Officer of Atlas Systems, Inc., our ILLiad Resource Sharing Management software provider, provided an ILLiad update.  She discussed the current availability of software version 8.5 with an update expected in late 2014.  We are currently on version 8.4 and can wait for the update before upgrading or wait for version 8.6 which will be available in May 2015.  Once 8.6 is available, 8.4 will no longer be supported.

Version 8.5 adds a new In Transit status which allows libraries to place received loans in this status until they reach the pickup location, then mark them received which sends the borrower the pickup notification.  Presently, pickup notifications are sent before they actually reach the hold shelf.  It also allows staff to place virtual post it notes on records and for staff and patrons to clone requests for repeated and multiple volume loans.

It was a lovely day in Asheville, and Biltmore Park was a great location for this conference.  It was great to talk with other ILL’ers who have great ideas to share and who appreciate the service of our ILL operation!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to Work the System: A Report from the 2nd Annual Southeast WMS Users Group Meeting

A year ago the University Libraries migrated to a new library system, OCLC WorldShare Management Services (WMS).  We’ve all been learning constantly through webinars, online training, conversations with colleagues, and reading documentation. Gathering with peer institutions is another way to share what we know and learn from other users. The second Southeast WMS Users Group Meeting was held at Brenau University on June 2 & 3, 2014. I joined three colleagues – Terry Brandsma (Information Technology Librarian), Mary Jane Conger (Head of Cataloging), Cathy Griffith (Head of Access Services) – and traveled to Gainesville, Georgia, for this event that drew librarians from seven states along with representatives from OCLC. Some of the more than twenty participating institutions were early adopters that have been live for several years, others migrated more recently, and a number of the libraries were preparing to go live over the next several months. Being a cloud-based system, WMS is a single version for all users; everyone is working from the same release. That makes conversations at user group meetings much easier.

After the welcoming remarks, Andrew Pace of OCLC gave a WMS update. Attendees were particularly interested in hearing about new reporting options expected with releases over the summer. Pace noted that the system had started with only circulation and acquisitions; it has broadened to include analytics, license manager (we don’t have this add-on), interlibrary loan, and metadata. It is more complex, and installation downtimes have gotten too lengthy. OCLC is working on smaller and more focused development cycles.

Terry represented UNCG on a panel, Realizing Results. It provided librarians from three different institutions an opportunity to talk about their implementations.

During the first breakout session I joined others to talk about acquisitions issues. I took the opportunity to ask about closing out the budget, since we will be doing that for the first time in WMS on July 1. The process sounds relatively clear cut, but it helps to clean up the database and review open orders. I was able to share information on setting up fund codes and creating order templates.

Bill Forgette of OCLC discussed WorldCat Discovery Services, which libraries will transition to by spring 2015. The new mobile interface automatically adjusts to the device being used. Enhancements include known item searching and “did you mean?” [Note: Terry & Mary Jane are on the WorldCat Discovery Services Advisory Group. There is no date set for the University Libraries to make the transition; ILSC will be monitoring the status of the transition.]

OCLC hosted a reception at Brenau’s Downtown Center, which gave attendees a chance to talk informally and discuss topics of the day.

Two breakout sessions were offered Tuesday morning. I attended the discussion on serials. Some libraries do not receive print issues, while others feel that it is important to continue that activity for auditing purposes. The number of print title subscriptions is going down at all libraries, as is expected. OCLC will not develop a full-blown binding module, but they will likely incorporate some new options such as making it possible to collapse issues to create a volume in summary holdings. Claiming features are a focus of the June upgrade. The second session focused on acquisitions procedures and solutions to particular challenges.

A reports and analytics demonstration was offered by Sara Randall of OCLC via WebEx. The goal is to offer a single place – a data warehouse of statistics – to run predefined and user authored reports. Additional circulation stats will be available this summer, and additional acquisitions reports will be included in the subsequent release. OCLC is developing pricing for the report authoring tool, which will use a drag and drop interface for creating reports.

The third breakout session I attended was focused on cataloging and Records Manager. A librarian from an early adopter institution suggested that an audit of workflows would be helpful. There are multiple updates each year, and early workarounds may still be in use. He thought it would be helpful for OCLC or some other external auditors to review library workflows to recommend how new features from interim updates could be incorporated. A general suggestion was for staff to review release notes for each update cycle and be willing to change workflows to take advantage of improvements. OCLC encouraged staff to provide feedback to the User Support Center, explaining what problem a change to the system will help to solve, describing how it will save staff time, and outlining the problem without stating exactly what the solution is.

The conversation with other WMS users and with OCLC staff made this a valuable meeting. The library staff of Brenau University were wonderful hosts.