Friday, June 12, 2015

Digital Library on American Slavery

Richard Cox did a very interesting session on this resource, and I would urge all to take a look.  It's one of our most heavily used resources, around 300,000 hits per year, mostly by users outside of the University.  is the main website and the largest portion is the Race and Slavery Petitions Project - used heavily by African American (and other) genealogists and researchers on the history of slavery.  The online source is an index but we also have microfilm of the actual handwritten petitions (the title is Race, Slavery and Free Blacks)  - there's a guide in the Ref collection at E441 .R280 and the Film numbers are 5294 and 4939.  We are one of the few libraries in the country that owns the entire set - most locations have the records only for their own states.    It's a tricky set to use because you need to use the PAR number which is explained in depth in the print volumes,   Essentially, you must have the state and the year from the online index to find them easily. We do appear to have online access to these through Proquest's History Vault but for some reason it's not on the Database list.  

Catalog Stuff - East Coast WMS User Gathering

This week I had the chance to go to the WMS East Coast User Meeting with a few others from our library.

The location was beautiful. And there were several sessions on WorldCat Discovery Services! A few takeaways from my perspective:
  • Beta testing for WorldCat Discovery will officially end after the July update
  • FirstSearch is supposed to go away in December 2015
  • OCLC has not yet set a "sunset date" for WorldCat Local, so libraries aren't being forced to move from WorldCat Local to WorldCat Discovery.  OCLC still supports WorldCat Local but won’t be developing it.
  • Apparently we're not supposed to be abbreviating WorldCat Discovery Services to WCD, but to WDS.  I'll spell it out frequently in case you don't want another set of acronyms in your life.
Upcoming developments for WorldCat Discovery 
  • "Knowledge cards" will appear in a banner across the top of the list of results.  These are brief blurbs, for instance biographical info with links to our holdings by an author and about an author (scheduled for June)
  • WorldCat Discovery records should have suggested citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago style (scheduled for July) & fyi they're working on getting Discovery to work with Zotero (not sure when this will happen)
  • Call numbers will be added to the temporary "bookmarked" list in Discovery (scheduled for July)
  • Users will be given some sort of mechanism for moving lists saved in WorldCat Local accounts over to WorldCat Discovery (scheduled for July)
  • "Editions and formats" lists don't have the cue of your library name next to the edition you own, as WCL does.  That sort of cue will be added to Discovery (not sure when)
  • Emails from the system - Don't include a permalink back to the record so you can check availability and other info like you can with emails from WorldCat Local.  This will be added (not sure when)
  • Although some librarians continue to request a comprehensive results display, for instance brief info for a book followed by a list of all locally owned years/formats/copies, "in the short term" OCLC will continue to display only "representative sample" of what a library owns. OCLC will start displaying your most recent copy as the sample. Those catalog records won't be quite as appealing, for example after this change we'll see less cover art in the results list (not sure when).  OCLC is exploring other results display options.
Other things to expect in June
  1. A new Community Center
--One user forum that will replace the WCL and WMS User Support Centers - existing centers will be available through the end of this year
--Users can create profiles that are private or are visible to other customers who subscribe to the same OCLC products
--Posting an enhancement request in the Community Center will automatically: send an email to a member of the product development team, and post the request to the community center where other members can rate and comment on it
--The listservs will continue
  1. WorldShare Report Designer - Product that allows customers to create customized reports. Available as an add-on (extra subscription fee required)

I don't have details on some of the things listed here, but feel free to ask me directly if there's anything else that I've heard from OCLC or from other librarians. 

In case you'd like other perspectives from the meeting, Terry, Mary Jane, Cathy G., Marcie, and Darinlee attended. Most of them also presented!!

Remember, we do have a library staff guide to WorldCat Discovery:  

It has a search box pre-limited to UNCG holdings, a link to Terry's blog and more.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

IASSIST Data Professionals Conference

I attended the IASSIST conference from June 1-June 5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can read about a few sessions and the plenaries on my blog. The conference is popular for data-related topics and trends.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Zotero workshop this Thursday 5/7, 4-5:30 pm

Jump start your summer research with an introduction to Zotero, a free tool for saving and organizing your references.  Get a free Zotero account!  Create in text citations and bibliographies in MS Word!

This Thursday 5/7, 4-5:30 pm (last 30 minutes for extra questions and practice).  Please register through the UNCG workshops calendar:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Kathy C's ACRL report

After a month I'm finally getting to this! It was a great conference and certainly a wonderful venue in Portland.  I'd never been there before and definitely want to go back purely for vacation.  I hadn't been to ACRL in many years either and I was glad to attend again.

ACRL is pretty overwhelming with many choices every hour which makes it hard to decide what to attend.  As Steve Cramer mentioned, it's heavy on information literacy and I usually find that we are certainly up to speed with our program here.  I found some sessions and posters on student employees very useful and would love to try out some ideas here -- look out supervisors!

I also went to some sessions on digital sources and incorporating them into the curriculum.  We have really ramped up our work in this area and, again, I got some good ideas.

I attended Steve & Lynda's presentation on our liaison reorganization and they did a super job!  I had the pleasure of presenting on our work with high impact practices and felt proud to showcase everyone's hard work in this area.

The final keynote by  Lawrence Lessig was inspirational.  He's know for his work with Creative Commons and open access but the broader theme was on the haves and have nots and he had many people in tears,  especially when talking about Aaron Swartz. 

On a personal note I had a wonderful reunion with a friend I hadn't seen in almost 30 years.  Where does the time go?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Librarians visit Welborn Academy

Post by Kathy Bradshaw.

On April 17, Gerald Holmes and I were guests at a career fair held at the Welborn Academy of Science and Technology in High Point to discuss librarianship as a career choice. Welborn Academy is a middle school. The students were curious about what we do as librarians (many of them didn't know about libraries other than school and public libraries) so were we able to share information about different kinds of libraries. Gerald talked about the teaching that academic librarians do, and told them about all the support librarians give to students. We were also able to tell the students about volunteer opportunities in libraries for students which would allow them to learn more about what libraries do, or as places to work as college students.

The students were excited to learn more about libraries (although we did have stiff competition from the Honda Jet 18 wheeler outside) and they even gave us thank you notes.

Here's a thank you note we received:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Special Libraries Association Arabian Gulf Chapter Annual Meeting       


Conference title:  The Internet and the Positive Change to Librarians and Information Professionals:  Creating Real Future Impact

Report from Mary Krautter

On March 2015, I traveled to the Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to present a pre-conference workshop and also a conference presentation with Mary Scanlon and Mary Beth Lock of Wake Forest University Libraries (we have billed ourselves as the 3 Marys).  We were invited to attend based on the book on entrepreneurial librarianship which we co-edited in 2012 and most of our expenses were covered by the Arabian Gulf Chapter.    The Arabian Gulf Chapter includes members from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.  Many of the librarians working there are  expatriates from Canada, Great Britain and the United States or have received a library degree in one of those countries, but there are also many native to the region who are eager for new information and training.  Approximately 300-400 people attended the conference.

One of the particular challenges faced by libraries in this region includes the lack of a strong Arabic catalog that is equivalent to WMS.  Some of the libraries own large ebook packages, but they have challenges with discovery applications.  We particularly enjoyed seeing the library at the Petroleum Institute – which has nearly 2000 undergraduate and graduate students studying engineering and other fields related to the energy industry.  Vanessa Middleton, Head of the Library, is a former colleague of Mary Beth Lock when both were at Wayne State University Library. 

While a few of the presentations were in Arabic, almost all were either translated or were delivered in English.  There were many vendors present that we’re very familiar with – Thomson Reuters, EBSCO, and Springer, among others.  I particularly enjoyed meeting one of the representatives from Press Reader, a company with whom I wasn’t familiar.  They have a news database with strong international coverage. 

The three Marys were all impressed with the connections between our presentation and workshop and the themes in other conference presentations.   Keynote speakers included Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai, and Professor Sherif Kamel Shaheen of Cairo University.  In both of their presentations the importance of higher education in their region was a central theme.  Dr. Bastaki in particular talked about leadership and innovation and the importance of human capital.   Creating an economy in which knowledge creation is an essential element was another theme that he stressed as critical for the region.  Keynote speaker Paula Kaufman spoke about translating ideas into action and creating an environment in which libraries in higher education collaborate  and build integrated services that support faculty and students.  Dr. Kaufman also participated in a second session on  ROI and assessment of the value of library services.    

One of the speakers whose presentation I attended was Rick Anderson, who was a reference librarian at UNCG even before I came here.  He has been at the University of Utah for many years, and  sent greetings to those he worked with – particularly Mark, Kathy Crowe and Nancy Ryckman.  He discussed PDA ebooks as essential to modern collections, which was a new concept for some at the conference.  He emphasized the need for patron driven acquisition, replacing the concept that libraries exist to preserve physical objects. 
Lisa Hinchcliffe, a very well-known expert on information literacy who has co-published with Amy Harris,  was part of a panel and presented on the Horizon Report on Information Literacy.  

Overall, I found many common themes and concerns among librarians from very different backgrounds and cultures.  The sessions were thought provoking and illuminating,  and the conference gave us plenty of opportunities to interact with others.  We were very grateful to the conference organizers for the opportunity to share our ideas of using entrepreneurial techniques in creating and promoting library services and giving us the chance to learn about librarianship in a different part of the world.  I’m also grateful to UNCG Libraries for encouraging me to pursue this opportunity.