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.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Favorite takeaway from Spring 2014 Power Up

Other than more contact with my online teaching faculty?

padlet - free interactive whiteboards

Sort of like Poll Everywhere but easier and prettier.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

BLINC summer workshop on hitting the road for small business outreach

Because of teaching conflicts I haven't been to many BLINC (Business Librarianship in North Carolina) quarterly workshops lately. (And I'll miss the August one due to MBA orientation). But I was able to attend the recent workshop in the new WFU business school building. This has always been a wonderful group for sharing ideas and experiences with public library and academic library friends. Networking too. My recap at http://liaisonlife.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/blincatwfu/  --Steve

Lynda @ the NCLA Government Resources Section Meeting

I attended the North Carolina Library Association's Government Resources Section workshop and business meeting on June 13, 2014. Lots of good info on changes to the docs program and on free GIS mapping services.

Monday, June 9, 2014

NC-LITe meeting at UNCC Libraries notes

NC-LITe meets 2x a year usually May and December,  rotating host library. This May we went to UNCC for the first time, hosted by Mendy Ozan (former UNCG gal!) It was well organized, with a free lunch (thanks to their library director Stanley!), good break out sessions and lightening rounds, and with over 11 campuses represented we learned a lot from each other. Check out the notes from this meeting on the NCLITe google site space, see past meeting info, and join our google group if you have not already!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Colorado visit for the 16th Distance Library Services Conference

Got in some hiking too :)
I just got back from one of my favorite states of Colorado from attending the  16th Distance Library Service conference, a small conference in one hotel with about 230 attendees. Really good conference for new librarians getting into distance and online learning. It is well organized, good presenters with friendly people from all over even internationally. I found many of the session content not so relevant to me as we have implemented many of these ideas already at UNCG over recent years! But I have a few takeaways to share. I recommend the conference to those on fringe of distance, or instruction librarians trying to learn how to reach online students.

One session I did enjoy and glean some ideas was from Nova Southeastern, a large primary graduate school in. Florida, with a presentation of their library video repository. Check it out at http://sherman.library.nova.edu/sites/learn  Their slides are here and they talked us through the process of getting to this video repository site. I like how they created an actual map of where all their students were virtually coming in from. This helped determine how to host their videos (ex: YouTube not accessible to their students in china so not an option). They noted a key article to read for advice "Best practices for online video tutorials in academic libraries - a study of student performances  and understanding" by Bowels-Terry, Hensley and Hinchliffe. And gave us a few key things to keep in mind when creating tutorials (with my comments in parenthesis)
  • Most important content first in case student do not listen to it all (great point, but also just make them short with limited info so they will watch it all)
  • Brand the start of each video (*note - a poster session I went to later on had done a year long usability test of their tutorials with feedback from students saying "we hate the opening brand, as well as don't "start at library homepage - we want you to jump right into where we have issues/need help")
  • Not overly flashy but clean and straightforward
  • Captioning and transcripts a must (now switching .srt captioning file standard   - a summer project for me!)
  • Shorter the better, make them in chunks, modular
  • Central file storage, link from there with consisting naming (been doing this and it makes it so much easier to update, replace file w/o replacing it every place it's linked)

Other conference takeaways: 
  • One library tracks students in their LMS courses as to who looked at the libguide and videos embedded there, and how that impacted their grades and final assignments. Not easy to correlate but they are trying!
  • Another library is creating a digital badges program in Blackboard for information literacy skills/outcomes. They wanted to use for extrinsic motivators - for tracking learning outcome. In BB these are called "achievement"
  • a great way to travel with a poster, try getting it printed on fabric! easy to travel with (poster session takeaway - she used SpoonFlowers :)(
  • Also the conference organizers offered this cool Learning Forward session to wrap up the conference; choose a general topic and room, and attendees gather to discuss what they learned, found interesting, other ideas,  etc. A great way to starting applying what you learned and connect with others before you get back home to work and think to yourself "hmmm what did I learn there...?"!

Keynote Steven Bell (handout) was the most interesting to me, though he gave a lot of info + ideas in a short amount of time: 
  • " Alt-higher ed " --(article on it)  idea of how it's changing with online learning via MOOC like situations. Higher ed expensive, huge student debt, lots can be learned on your own online. Predictions of students going for a few years only enough to get some sort of a job (like an AA degree) but then use moocs for the key learning you need, at multiple institution,  3-7 years, non linear and unpredictable. Also companies are rising up to help train students in real world needs of employers by adding value to higher ed. Ex- Koru is a bootcamp for college grads from liberal arts institutions to learn key skills has already signed agreements w 13 institutions to get their grads into this bootcamp post graduation (costs extra though)
  • Virtual Gate Opening --  Next he talked about changing the online user experience. Focus on people not content as we are not gate keepers. One great example was the Enterprise Rental Car recent commercials  - "We all have the power to make it right" -  they redesigned their customer service instead of focusing on cars to people, as they discovered dealing w/ people's problems is always the biggest issue and provide s best customer service. They went from bottom in rental car company customer service to almost the top in 2 years. Can we do this in libraries?  Another example is the  Seattle  Pikes Fish Market. Joseph Michelli is the visionary behind this change from the fish market going under to where it is today. Called a "Way we serve statement" or an  "experiential brand statement" NOT marketing but empowering statement and way of changing behaviors. (For Pikes is was "treat people as if they are world famous")  Should be an easy to remember phrase that employees live not a marketing gimmick/mission statement. Michelli has a Way We Serve development tool you can use in your library! (pdf)    Check out the book - The new Gold Standard, about the Ritz Carleton hotels experience to a amazing customer service motel. Their service credo "we pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guest" w/ steps of service -  intro self, make eye contact, ask if you met their need. Why this is so impt- everyone is responsible and can't push it off on someone else! Also check out the Zappos Experience for a more online UX. Lots to read!
  • Customer journey mapping -- To change the experience, need to study the customers journey, map it out and find a better process. Carneige in Pittsburgh did this design process they mapped every customers potential journey.  Do this as a staff, virtual journey mapping,  even small processes such as ereserves, what are all the step for a customer and how many different processes are there!
  • 5 C's of distance library UX
    • Convenient - must be easy for them
    • Consistent  - things similar online so students can find what they need every time
    • Competent  - have everyone everywhere be ready to help in all areas
    • Connected - harder area to reach to make them feel connected
    • Community - this is the hardest!

photo courtesy of Tina Adams
Lastly my panel presentation -  Librarians as partners: Strategies for systematically embedding in online course development -  seemed like a positive learning experience for people too. Our goal was to tell our stories from three different libraries at various stages of embedding in online course development process  - one at early stages, one embedding in faculty environment, and one in a fully online program, fully integrated. My part was discussing how I collaborated and partnered with FTLC to create Power Up - a bootcamp for faculty development of online courses.  Surprisingly one of the popular takeaways from our last poll everywhere poll "what did you learn today that you can apply at your library" indicated most people gleaned Jenn's idea of spreadsheet of elearning objects for maintenance timetable. Actually all three of us do this sort of maintained and perhaps indicates a great idea for future presentation on how build a scalable, sustainable manageable elearning repository.