Monday, December 7, 2009

Staff devpt presentation - State health plan changes

Hi all,

Here are my notes from this afternoon's presentation by Melissa Barnes (UNCG HR) on state employee health plan changes. Sorry if they're confusing at times - some of this is up in the air and I'm no expert on our health care plan :)

If you have questions, Human Resources is the place to ask: 336.334.5009

If you are covering someone else on your state employee health plan, have proof ready that you're related (birth certificate, adoption or marriage certificate). You'll be asked to provide your proof at any time now.

There will be a health fair in February.

Starting this spring open enrollment for the state health plan will be online (shh! this will be publicly announced next month). Open enrollment will probably take place in March. In 2010-2011 everyone on campus will default to the 80/20 health plan. Remember to keep your ears peeled for info on how to get back on the 70/30 plan if that's the one that you want. One thing to watch for is an "I don't smoke" affadavit that will be included in open enrollment paperwork. If you don't return this affadavit during open enrollment, you'll be on the 80/20 health plan starting July 1, 2010.

Smoking initiative starting in the 2010-2011 health plan year
The 70/30 state health plan will ONLY be available to employees if they and their health plan dependents DO NOT smoke. There will probably be spot checks, possibly including making employees visit an office on campus to have their cheeks swabbed to test for nicotine. Human resources staff have been told that they will be involved, but the process is unknown at this time. HR staff are unsure as to how this rule would be enforced for dependents (they couldn’t really require dependents to visit campus to be tested, can they?). People will probably be allowed to stay on the 70/30 plan with a doctor’s note stating something to the effect of “So and so is using a smoking cessation program.” Important for anyone using nicotine gum or patches.

BMI initiative – Scheduled to begin Summer 2011
It is likely that in Summer 2011 the entire campus will once again be migrated to the 80/20 health plan. Only employees and their health plan dependents who are BELOW a certain BMI during open enrollment will qualify for the 70/30 health plan. At this point it is not known whether affidavits will be used, whether a doctor’s examination will also be required, etc.

BMI is a number calculated from your height and your weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • BMI 18.5-24.9 is normal
  • BMI 25.0-29.9 is overweight
  • BMI 30.0 and above is obese

At this time it is believed that the “cutoff” BMI will be 40 or over. Employees and health plan dependents would need to be under that BMI **and** take some as yet unknown action before open enrollment ends if they wanted to use the 70/30 health plan for the 2011-2012 health plan year.

It is likely that the BMI cutoff will be lowered to 35 for the following year, 2012-2013.

Want to calculate your BMI? Try this calculator from the CDC:

It is likely that 4 nutritionist visits per year will be allowed under the state health plan in order to support weight loss.

Questions about the state health plan can be addressed to Human Resources: 336.334.5009

Benefits – Employee Wellness page includes list of smoking cessation resources and a link to a BMI calculator from the CDC.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Finding health information online

Ever needed to see an image of an episiotomy? Wanted to learn about different approaches to treating lower back pain? Without using a medical dictionary to look up every other word?

The Consumer Health Complete database has encyclopedia articles, images, videos, and many other easy to understand materials on a wide range of health topics. Off campus access is restricted to current UNCG students, faculty, and staff with active Novell accounts. Consumer Health Complete is featured as the top subscription on the University Libraries' guide Consumer Health Information Online

By the way, if you have non-UNCG friends or family who would like to use Consumer Health Complete from home, just point them to this page on the NCLive site (Consumer Health Complete is the 3d db listed). They can contact their local NC public library for a password :)


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SD Institute webinar on demonstrating value

Thanks to Terry for forwarding notice of this afternoon's webinar We can count 'em...But do they count?

Ulla de Stricker discussed traditional library methods for demonstrating value (how much/how often we provide help/materials) versus making a business case for the library (why do we make these provisions/what impact do they have).

Some of the more interesting slides were text-heavy, but here were a few points that I liked...

Don't just report metrics, tell a story. Investigate the context of information needs
  • What is the universe of clients and needs?
  • What typical activities are they undertaking?
  • At what points and how often do they experience information needs (this can inform services that we should increase/develop)?
If we count attendees at events, do we segment by demographics and follow up to measure impact? We have lots of recent activity on this front in library instruction assessment :)

If we count reference questions, do we measure size/complexity of question, trace questions to dept, requestor, or even project?

For chat questions, do we follow up to ask why they use this medium and whether there are any difficulties in using this or other library services?

de Stricker emphasized the need to p/r (probe/realign) before undertaking traditional PR (public relations). She also listed steps that should accompany p/r such as investigating the market (context of clients and info needs).

The presenter suggested a number of PR activities. Overall she suggested that we "have the stakeholders/clients tell the story of library value" for us, though this requires that we reach out to get then deliver these stories. One example was a permanent "library value track" on the website/wikiyoutube (I believe that we currently have this in the library newsletter :)

The recording of the presentation and the ppt should be on the SirsiDynix Institute website in a week.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Upcoming campus presentations/workshops by Library Staff

Getting the Word Out: Alternatives to Traditional Scholarly Article Publication
Today's community-engaged researchers have many options for presenting their work to the global community. Tim Bucknall will discuss subject repositories, institutional repositories, Google Scholar, local journal hosting, and other nontraditional ways to present research to a global audience. Sponsored by the Office of Leadership and Service Learning... a brown bag lunch series - bring your lunch, drinks and desert will be provided.
Presenter: Tim Bucknall, Assistant Dean of Electronic Resources and Information Technology, Jackson Library
When: Nov. 10, 12–1 p.m.
Where: Faculty Center

Introduction to Creative Commons
The goal of this workshop is to introduce the concept of creative commons, how it relates to copyright, how to use a cc license, and how to find creative commons materials. Creative Commons licenses allow you to use and share materials such as music, pictures, videos, and other examples like the library's info literacy game and FIRST research tutorial. You can check it out on your own here or stop by the workshop and find out more!
Presenters: Lynda Kellam and Beth Filar Williams
When: Nov 16, 3-4pm
Where: CITI Lab/Jackson Library

Educating Yourself in Basic Herbalism: Be Your Own Medicine Man/Woman!

Jackson Library staff member, Stacey Krim, has been using and producing herbal remedies as her primary form of healthcare for about 15 years. With increased health care costs and a growing emphasis on preventative medicine, many consumers are turning to herbal remedies and dietary supplements to meet their health and nutrition needs. Stacey will discuss herbalism basics, varieties of information sources available, and how to educate yourself on finding good information, making intelligent choices when selecting herbal preparations, and using them safely. Sponsored by Staff Senate: Professional and Personal Development Committee
Drinks and Dessert Provided Seating Limited Reservations Required
Presenter: Stacey Krim
Where: Bryan School of Business, Room 416
When: Thursday, November 19, 2009
Time: 12:00 to 12:50 p.m.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Southwest Days Conference in Colorado

I recently attended the Southwest Days in Durango, CO on Oct 8-9. Being a place I use to live and a workshop I use to help organize, I was thrilled to be back and enjoyed presenting both days of the conference on Creating a Green Environment @ your library. We had some great discussions as a group and found some new tips and ideas (such as libraries lending Kill-a-watt devices to patrons) all within the gorgeous new LEED certified gold, Durango Public Library.

I attended a few other sessions as well. Norice Lee - Head of Access Services @ NMSU Libraries - presented on library leadership, based on Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence ideas. She offered ideas on how to be a highly succeessful organization - some non librarian-y ideas worth considering. Norice also mentioned a book worth reading called Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Marilee Adams of Brookings Institute.

Going Social and Two Point Woah sessions with Michael Cox (Youth Services Librarian at pueblo city-county library) and Victoria Peterson (Technology Manager at Mancos Public Library) used the cool prezi presentation software to offer a jumping off place for the group to talk about any of the many subtopics such as Twitter, facebook, friendfeed or any other free online tools. As a group we jumped around to various tools, websites and apps, offering suggestions to each other and sharing since there are always new tools to explore. I discovered zamzar for free online file converting, National Geographic's Wildlife filmmaker/video mashup and animoto - a way to make quick, cool videos w/ music from your images. Irma Minerva also made an appearance as her facebook page was shown as a great example of a library (not a building or librarian) on facebook reaching users in a fun way.

Future of Libraries session was facilitated by Sharon Morris, Library Development Director of the Colorado State Library. Sharon led a wonderful group discussion first asking us what we loved about our job and then what we wondered about the future of libraries. Being a group of school, public and academic libraries, comments ranged but the overall realization was that librarians and libraries provide lots of benefits to users from teaching information literacy skills to providing unique gathering spaces in our buildings or online. One of the big issues is that we don't promote what we do or could do for people (for free!) well enough so people are not aware of the benefits of their libraries. We also need to be willing to shift, change and rethink what libraries are in order to stay relevant in the future. In thinking about the future of libraries, we determined a few ways we can strive to become more relevant to our communities:
  • We are the aggregators and creators of information; lets create ways to make it easier for our users to find what they need and start digitizing more unique resources we own.
  • Schools may be about teaching but libraries are about listening and self directed learning. Lets build our collections and create spaces that engage our community with ideas and stories.
  • We are the leaders in our communities; lets model behavior and ideas to guide us into the future.
  • Advocacy! we may think we are relevant and important but are we telling - and showing - this to our patrons ... or our non patrons?
  • Take time to look at your future: analyze stats, assess your needs (such as what are you demographics?); research changes over time, patterns and/or cycles; and most importantly stayed tuned in to new disruptive or revolutionary technologies to determine where the world might be headed and how libraries can play an important role.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Library's Instructional Tech Team: annual summary of activities

The library's instructional tech team was created in summer 2008. The initial meeting involved a number of library staff working in areas of technology and instruction, in which we defined instructional technology, generated goals for the team, listed current projects, brainstormed various ideas, and created high/low matrix to prioritize all these possibilities. After this meeting the team consisting of Beth Filar Williams, Lynda Kellam, Amy Harris and Hannah Winkler, began meeting every other month and have accomplished a number of items - with help of others - over the past year:
  • Created and maintaining a weekly podcast blog of events, news, interviews - and now including videos created by BFW's LIS practicum student over the summer - relating to UNCG library called Irma Minerva's Audio Magazine. So far we have created 31 podcasts (or blog posts).
  • Shift Jackson Leaks from PDF newsletter format to blog format with 51 posts as of today.
  • Started the UNCG library's Professional Dev blog with 50 posts as of today.
  • Training and assisting librarians w/ Blackboard portal push of resources.
  • Netopschool software now installed in citi lab (thanks ERIT!) and has been used by several librarians for workshop/classes.
  • Clickers have been borrowed from TLC and used now in several classes and presentations
  • Worked with Terry & BethB to make sure the AskUs! icon, link and/or widget is embedded/available from a failed search in our catalog and in some of the major databases.
  • Created a blog for the instructional tech team to post links, ideas and cool tools.
  • Pre and post tests in Blackboard have been tested and now promoted with other librarians.
  • Tutorials: tested numerous tutorial software packages, and finally due to budget cuts, decided on using the free Jing software. Created over 20 new tutorials - mainly Flash screencast type with audio. Created a best practices guide for using Jing to create library tutorials. Also created a tutorial web page to better organize and make accessible these library tutorials. Tutorials are being disseminated through course guides and blogs as well.
  • Created a library Slideshare account to post presentation slides in blogs. (see Lynda for more info)
  • Facebook and twitter are now being used actively by the team to promote and inform others about library resources, services, and events.
  • Before budget freeze in spring, the team researched and purchased a video camera, tripod and wireless mic, for video tutorials & video podcasts.
  • Creating video introductions for librarian liaisons to use throughout the website/Blackboard. (Example on Steve's Econ Page)
  • Met with WFU and NCSU libraries for a multi-library instructional technology sharing day, which will be repeated each semester.
  • Assisted (Danny & Richard) with content for the creation of an assignment calculator which will assist students in planning their research papers, which is now available (eventually will also be available in blackboard)
  • Taught a few library instructional tech workshops such as on Zotero (w/ Lea!) and Intro to Creative Commons.
  • Created form & guide for planning an online class using Elluminate software. Taught one online class (BFW & MaryK), and are now promoting this service with all disciplines. The library now has its own "room" w/ Elluminate to teaching online workshops not connected to a specific course. (see BFW for details)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lilly Conference 2010

The 2010 Lilly Conference will be February 5-7, 2010 with the theme "Evidence-based learning and teaching." It will be held at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The call for proposals is out now, due by Nov 9. There are also mini-grants available through the TLC for UNCG faculty but there may be a limit on how many are awarded this year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Notes from Liaison Brown Bag Meeting

Liaison Brown Bag
Brainstorming about Liaison Qualities

From Stephen Dew:

On August 20, the Library Liaisons gathered in Jackson 574 for a Brown Bag Luncheon to discuss ideas and mutual concerns as the new academic year approached. Steve Cramer facilitated the discussion, and the brainstorming session resulted in the following list of qualities that are desired for liaisons, as well as the additional lists of actions that would support four of the desired qualities.

Q: What qualities would faculty like in their liaisons?

A: The liaison should be…
  1. Proactive
  2. Able to listen
  3. Flexible
  4. Informed about the department
  5. Responds to questions promptly
  6. Involved with teaching
  7. Informed about the discipline
  8. Open to change
  9. Communicates new trends in libraries
  10. Not annoying
  11. Available but not pushy
  12. Informative

Q: What can a liaison do to exhibit each quality?

We discussed the following four qualities:

Staying informed about the discipline:
  • Get a degree in that field
  • Read professional listservs and blogs; read library specialty listservs
  • Peruse the core journals
  • Work with student groups
  • Learn what the PhD students are working on – they are often more cutting edge than the faculty
  • Read the syllabi, especially for seminar classes
  • Ask
  • Join the academic (not librarian) professional association

Informed about the department
  • Go to faculty meetings
  • Review curriculum changes we learn about through Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
  • Keep up with Information Literacy mandates and plans, and info lit ideas
  • Use the Statement of Needs forms
  • Stay in touch regularly
  • Read their publications/listen to their performances: These are often posted on the departmental web site and NCDOCKS
  • C.V.’s posted online; Research projects (don’t always become peer-reviewed articles); Web of Science
  • Research assignments: Ask about; Talk to T.A.’s about; Get added to Blackboard; Bulletin; Look for syllabi posted online

Being available but not pushy
  • Have office hours
  • Reminders of your availability
  • Leave things in the student lounge / utilize those spaces
  • Attend receptions, events, special lectures – be seen, especially outside of normal business hours
  • Cold calls to teachers
  • Short visits
  • Use the Blackboard library interface; use liaison chat widgets

Don’t be annoying:
  • Limit your communication to important things
  • Don’t go to all events
  • Ask how you should communicate
  • AA = Avoid Acronyms
  • Stress positivity (remain realistic)
  • Remain user-centered, not library-centered

Monday, August 3, 2009

ETD 2009 -- Bridging the Knowledge Divide

ETD 2009: Bridging the Knowledge Divide, the international conference on electronic theses and dissertations organized by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), was held June 10-13. Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh,
the symposium was cosponsored by West Virginia University (WVU). Other sponsors included ProQuest/UMI, Open Thesis, and EBSCO. Right: photo of downtown Pittsburgh.

Travel fund freeze or no, I attended because I had a poster to present. Along with the inherent exposure and networking opportunities, I gleaned plenty of information on current developments in the field. A few highlights:

Keynote speaker Stevan Harnad (Universite du Quebec a Montreal, University of Southampton (UK)) was introduced as the "leader and theoretician of the green open access movement." As Harnad, a cognitive scientist, explains on his blog, open access (OA) is the free, immediate, and permanent full-text access to scholarly articles. Green OA is the self-archiving of all published journal articles, as opposed to Gold OA in which articles are published in only OA journals. I didn't realize that authors pay a fee to publish in a Gold OA journal (with Springer, for example, $3000 per article.) Southampton was the first university in the world to mandate open-access publishing for faculty in 2005; Harvard, in 2008, was the first US institution to do so. Freely available research has been shown to have a 25-250% greater impact across all disciplines. For students, open access (as in our IR NC DOCKS) can similarly increase the impact of an ETD, and early downloads of a paper correlate with its higher citations later.

Harnad recommends immediate deposit for even embargoed ETDs but with only the title and abstract displayed, along with a button to "request a copy" once the embargo has expired. Theses for creative writing are frequently embargoed because writers fear their work won't be picked up by a publisher if it has appeared online. One speaker's solution: allow the creative work itself to stay hidden, but require a thesis containing an academic analysis of that work to be made accessible.

The retroactive digitization and posting of older theses and dissertations is a growing trend, but must you obtain author permissions first? UNCG's lawyers advised us to do so, but several speakers' institutions do not -- they take down any whose authors object, which happens rarely.

We enjoyed welcoming speeches from conference co-chairs Rush Miller, Hillman University Librarian for the University of Pittsburgh; John Hagen, ETD Program Coordinator at West Virginia University; and Ed Fox, Director of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD). In addition to organizing the symposium, Hagan has created a thorough blog. All conference papers, posters, and presentations can be accessed at the conference web site. There are also NDLTD groups on Facebook, Flickr, and of course Twitter.

Each day included a choice of three breakout sessions in addition to the plenary sessions. Wednesday I chose "Practical Solutions for Workflows, Training and Systems," in which "ETDs, IRs, and open access" discussed a survey of ETD practices at small to medium sized institutions in the US and UK. Done two years ago, it found that the UK was way behind in moving to ETDs; many of its institutions have made the switch since then. A major factor: "outspoken academic departments" demanding greater accessibility of ETDs. Only half of US respondents had an institutional repository for ETDs; many of those used DSpace or Virginia Tech's open-source system. Also interesting: 25% of US institutions in the survey include bachelor's theses (we do not) while none do in the UK. Only half put ETD catalog records in their OPAC (we do) and those that do, say their IR and OPAC records are "equally detailed." Other topics: the creation of ETD training tools for students, cataloging and metadata migration, and ExLibris's Digitool.

The first two days included an hour-long poster session. I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss my poster, "Current ETD practices and workflows in North Carolina," distribute handouts to all who would take them, and peruse the other posters.

Like any good conference, ETD 2009 included great meals and celebrations. The first evening featured a welcome reception with hors d'oeuvre and drinks, live music, and speeches in the incredible Cathedral of Learning. (It has 2,529 windows!) We heard from Rush Miller and James Maher, University Librarian and Provost at U. Pittsburgh, and Frances O'Brien and E. Jane Martin, Dean of Libraries and Provost at West Virginia University.

The next day's program was packed with more fascinating presentations and panels on topics such as new trends in scholarly communication and repository building, inter-departmental collaboration, and the future of open access. After a "networking lunch" in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, we had two plenary panel sessions. Highlights:

The NDLTD Union Catalog is a collection of metadata for over 600,000 ETDs from universities around the world. It also does "focused crawling" of selected university repositories (like ours), and has developed a categorization system inspired by Library of Congress classifications and Wikipedia, to "organize the ETDs semantically."

ProQuest reported on their recent, "first large-scale survey of dissertation information-seeking behavior." Survey says -- almost half of users searching their database are working on their doctoral or master's degree, meaning that a majority are not studying for an advanced degree. Academic library websites are an "extremely important" influence in accessing the database; and the disciplines most often associated with these searches are the social sciences, business, and education.

The explication of the "Semantic Electronic Scientific Thesis" was simultaneously fascinating and baffling to my word-oriented brain between a "journal-eating robot that extracts semantic chemistry" and the technical arguments in favor of replacing the PDF with Scholarly HTML.

Thursday night's dinner at the Carnegie Music Hall was delightful. The incredibly ornate and beautiful Foyer (Photo, right) was the setting for the annual awards ceremony with live music provided by WVU's Samba Nova Quartet, featuring conference organizer John Hagan and speaker Dr. Daniel Ferreras.

Friday's program included more on global outreach, regional approaches, and open access, another networking lunch, and discussions of lessons learned. Disappointingly, I had to leave before the Gateway Clipper River Boat Cruise dinner banquet -- and the next day's optional tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater -- as I was staying over only two nights to minimize expenses.

I was not disappointed, however, to leave the dorm where I had spent those nights ... Panther Hall (photo, right) offers "amazing views" of Pittsburgh and the surrounding campus, thanks to its location atop a steep climb of maybe 200 steps. The first night, I made the climb fully laden with suitcase and bags, via the hairpin-curving streets; after that I used the stairs, never yielding to the temptation of the convenient shuttle bus. The dorm itself was a bargain and a great place to stay -- except that it was nearly empty. The eerie, deserted atmosphere was exaggerated by an invisible suite-mate, sheets with no blankets, the awkward height of my upper-bunk bed on the floor, and a malfunctioning window that couldn't seal out the noise of all-night construction and some very loud birds. (I knew someone was sharing my suite -- I heard her in the shower and saw the necklace she left briefly in the bathroom. I looked for that necklace on conference attenders all the next day, but our paths never crossed!)

Aside from the climbing and creepiness, attending the ETD 2009 conference was personally and professionally a wonderful and worthwhile excursion!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Intro to Creative Commons Workshop

On Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 2pm in the CitiLab, Lynda Kellam and Beth Filar Williams presented a workshop introducing Creative Commons. Creative Commons licenses allow you to use and share materials such as music, pictures, videos, sounds, etc. This workshop was an introduction to concept of creative commons, how it relates to copyright/fair use, how to use a cc license, how to find cc material, and how/why you might apply a cc license to your own materials. As a group we found some good examples of creative commons usage and engaged in interesting discussions on the complexity a copyright-creative commons-web 2.0 environment.

If you missed the workshop, check out our Intro to Creative Commons Web page. You can also view this fabulous overview video from

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tongji University Library Presentation, 7/20/09

Here is the powerpoint presentation from the Tongji University Library Presentation.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kathy Crowe's ALA Poster Session

I did a poster session at ALA on our work with Student Affairs. I want to thank everyone in the Libraries who participates in this program whether it's staffing a table at SOAR, serving as a liaison or providing a program. It’s a vital part of how we market our services and resources to students!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

UNCG Libraries Hosted a Delegation from Tongji University Library

By Sha Li Zhang

On July 20 -21, 2009 , The UNCG Libraries hosted a delegation from the Tongji University Library in Shanghai, China. Led by Dr. Jinhua Shen, Library Director, the Tongji University library’s delegation includes Mr. Furong Zeng, Deputy Director, Mr. Zhiming Lu, Head of Circulation Department, and Ms. Hong Wei, Head of Cataloging.

During their stay at UNCG, the members of the delegation had the opportunity of touring the Jackson Library and Music Library, met with librarians and staff, gave a presentation on library services and programs from their library, and had a meeting with AAG members at the University Libraries.

The delegation came to U.S. and attended the ALA 2009 Annual Conference held in Chicago in July 2009. At the Conference, the delegation received 2009 ALA President International Innovative Award on behalf of its library. The Library was awarded for its outreach programs to serve local industries. The Library launched an innovative program - the Auto Industry Information Services Platform in 2006. The platform was strategically designed for planning, collecting, integrating, managing of automobile data, and providing services to local communities. The Library has promoted the platform to local automobile industries through the internet. In past three years, the user group of the platform has been expanded to include 200 local auto companies and more than 2,000 individuals. The Library has conducted nine training sessions and workshops for end-users. The document delivery has reached to 2,650 end-users. Through the platform, the Library provides the users from the local auto industries with the table of contents of 24 auto periodicals. The platform is now being used by major auto companies in China such as Shanghai Auto Corporation. The Library’s innovative approaches to serve local industries are also being recognized by the city officials in Shanghai and the auto industry communities for its visionary leadership, innovative approach as the driving force to help economic development and research activities in Shanghai and beyond.

The Tongji University Library has been ranked as one of the top academic libraries in China for its innovative library services and programs. At the 2008 Chinese American Librarians Association’s 21st Century Librarian Seminar Series held in Kunming City, China, Dr. Jinhua Shen gave a presentation and shared this platform with the audience at the seminar. Mr. James Rettig, ALA President in 2008-2009, was also invited to give a keynote at the seminar. Mr. Rettig was very impressed with the innovative program at the Tongji University Library. In his blog, Twilight Librarian, Mr. Rettig states that “I commend Dr. Jinhua Shen and her staff for their innovation and strategic thinking. It has identified an under-served, perhaps even un-served, community and has developed services that will contribute to the community’s success.”

In her presentation, “Better service, better library” at UNCG Libraries in the morning of July 20, Dr. Shen gave an introduction to the Tongji University Library, its service and administration. Founded in1907, Tongji University offers a wide range of programs in science, engineering, medicine, arts, law, economics, and management. The University’s civil engineering, architecture and urban planning, automotive engineering, and life science programs are among the prominent programs in the country. The Library serves 6,187 faculty and staff, and over 55,000 students. With the Mission of Service Supreme and the professional values on People Oriented and User-centered Idea, the Library applies a variety of ways to enhance students’ learning experience at the University, including hosting lectures, exhibitions, movie weeks, dance performance, and essay-writing and creative multimedia competition at the Library and campus. To support research activities and the area economic development, the Library created automobile industry information platform, biomedical and life science subject service platform, and portals of construction information. In her presentation, Dr. Shen also outlined several trends at the university libraries in China, including the openings of new libraries with new space, furniture, and equipment at many universities; increased the proportion of the electronic recourses; remarkable differences between university libraries in eastern and western regions in China, and challenges on the increasing needs on physic space, qualified staff, and financial difficulty in the rapidly changing information acquisition environment. Dr. Shen’s presentation was well received by the UNCG Libraries’ librarians and staff. After the presentation, a Q &A session was followed.

At the meeting with Administrative Advisory Group (AAG) at the UNCG Libraries in the afternoon, Rosann Bazirjian, Dean of University Libraries, welcomed the delegation. She shared with the visitors the major initiatives at the UNCG Libraries: planning additional learning space at the Jackson Library based on LibQual survey results; using Blackboard to promote electronic resources to the end-users; providing 24/5 learning place at the Jackson Library for UNCG students; building NC DOCKS to support open access movement in disseminating UNCG scholarly publications; offering laptop computer checkout option to UNCG users; increasing electronic resources to meet teaching and research needs of the UNCG community; aggressively seeking external donations and funding to support the Libraries’ mission and goals, etc. The AAG members also answered questions from the delegation at the meeting.

The delegation spent another day visiting the UNC Chapel Hill on July 21. They visited the Davis Library and Wilson Library in Chapel Hill. The delegation heard the reports on “Academic Libraries at UNC Chapel Hill” and Public Services. The delegation also visited the production site of the Carolina Digital Library and Archives where they saw how a piece of a print document or artifact becomes a digital image . Sha Li Zhang, UNCG Libraries’ Assistant Dena for Collections & Technical Services, accompanied the delegation to their visit to UNC Chapel Hill. The delegation left for China on July 23, 2009.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Residency Featured in "Carolina Peacemaker"

From Jason Alston

I am just never short of shock when I think about the fact that the field of library and information science is having a difficult time bringing minorities – particularly young minorities – into the profession. Even though librarianship is rewarding work, stable work, and well-paying work, it seems that getting young ethnic minorities to consider becoming librarians is as difficult as pulling teeth… out of the mouth of an angry crocodile.

I have my own multi-pronged theory as to why it is difficult to get ethnic minorities to consider librarianship as a career, and these theories are, of course, the same theories shared by many other practitioners. One of the many prongs, naturally, is that librarians aren’t vocal enough in letting targeted groups know that librarianship is a legitimate, professional career path and that career opportunities in libraries are fair game for those young and old, male and female, black and white, and everything else.

While it’s no secret that librarians haven’t been vocal enough in selling the profession to its potential future practitioners, it seems, oddly enough, that little is being done to change the course and engage the public through a PR campaign to spread awareness of what today’s libraries do and who today’s librarians are. Librarians who are interested in recruiting and retaining a new generation of minority librarians need to realize that library science recruitment doesn’t have the natural PR that other fields like law, business, medicine, and even education have. If we are going to keep libraries alive through the 21st Century, we must diversify these institutions to keep pace with changes occurring in our ever-diversifying nation. And if we are to diversify libraries, we must use every single tool at our disposal to reach out to those populations that otherwise may have never considered the field.

So with all that said, I was elated earlier this July when I was contacted by the Carolina Peacemaker, Greensboro’s black newspaper, about doing a story on my residency position here at UNCG. I knew I needed to use this opportunity to urge the Peacemaker’s audience to consider librarianship as a career choice, but given that the print report would only capture a portion of what I discussed with the reporter, I was somewhat nervous about how the finished product would turn out.

Thankfully, the Peacemaker honored us with quite a spread.

The report does mention the thesis project I did while earning my MLS at North Carolina Central, a project with a focus on minority recruitment. Given that print inches in the news media are ever precious, however, the report was not able to go into great depth about the findings of the research project.

If you’d like to see highlights of the findings of that research project, I offer a brief synopsis below:

The main part of the study was me attempting to test six predetermined factors that may affect an African-American undergraduate's decision to enter library school after college or consider librarianship. The six factors were:

1. Would participant consider a graduate program they hadn't previously considered if offered a scholarship.

2. Would participant consider library school if offered a scholarship to do so.

3. Would participant at least learn more about librarianship if they thought they could get a scholarship to library school.

4. Did participant believe they would enjoy working in a library environment.

5. Did participant believe they would enjoy working with technology in a library environment.

6. Did participant believe African-American friends and family would be supportive of them if they pursued librarianship as a career choice.

88 black undergraduate students (and one student who identified himself as “non-black”, his ethnic background is unknown but he was counted with the other students in this study) at NCCU participated in the study, most of them sophomores. Some key findings:

38 males and 51 females participated. Of these:

-2 males and 0 females said they definitely wanted to be librarians.

-8 males and 8 females said they welcomed the possibility of being librarians even though it was not their first career choice.

-9 males and 21 females said they'd only consider librarianship as a last resort.

-19 males and 22 females said they would not become a librarian under any circumstance.

- It appears that maybe the affect of peer pressure if overstated. The central tendency for black males and females in this study appeared to be that they thought black friends and family would support them if they decided to become librarians.

- The central tendency for black females was to not believe that they would enjoy working in a library environment; however, the central tendency for black females was to believe that they would enjoy working in the library environment if they could work with technology. In the discussion, I mention that the field of librarianship needs to overcome the belief that librarians do nothing but work with books all day. Working with technology is a huge part of the reference, cataloging, and other types of librarians' job and if more black women understood this, more may be enticed to consider the field.

- The central tendency for participants who would consider becoming librarians under no circumstances was to not believe that they would enjoy working in a library environment but to believe they would enjoy working with technology in a library environment. The previously stated information about black females applies.

- Scholarships would not be an effective tool in drawing people who refuse to work in the field of librarianship. For those who would only consider librarianship as a last resort career however, scholarships could possibly be an effective recruitment tool.

Outside of this primary portion of the study, there were some other assorted pieces of information polled for and included. Interesting parts of this information were:

- There was no significant preference among those polled as to whether they felt black youth should be recruited by members of the library science field in elementary, middle, or high school. However, only 2.2% of participants thought it was appropriate to begin recruiting African-Americans into the field when they were in undergraduate school, so the belief is that it may be too late to sell them on the profession by this point.

- For some reason, 44% of the psychology majors who participated welcomed the idea of becoming librarians even though it wasn't their first career choice. This was a much higher percentage of positive response than any other major that I got participants from. I argue in further research that this is something that should perhaps be probed further.

- Unsurprisingly, 43.8% of participants who welcomed the idea of becoming librarians consider the ability to help and serve others as the most important trait of a new job.

- 95.5% of the participants said they had never spoken to a librarian about the possibility of becoming a librarian or what opportunities were out there in the field. These numbers, I believe, are applicable to the entire African-American undergraduate student population in the U.S.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Outreach at the University Archives

As part of our outreach at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s University Archives, Hermann Trojanowski offers two programs for the University Studies (UNS) students. UNS is a one-semester course designed to help students make a successful transition to the University and covers topics such as adjustment and expectations, time management, learning styles, personal responsibility, goal setting, choosing a major/registering for classes, wellness, leadership and citizenship; and skills such as writing, note-taking, studying, test-taking, and learning about the history of the University.

The first program is a presentation titled “The History of UNCG and Campus Ghosts” and is taught in the Hodges Reading Room located on the second floor of Jackson Library, Main Building. During the presentation, the UNS students learn about the history of UNCG as well as the three ghosts that allegedly haunt Aycock Auditorium, Mary Foust Residence Hall, and Spencer Residence Hall.
Charles Duncan McIver Death Mask

In addition to the presentation, Trojanowski sets up a small display for the students consisting of the 1906 Death Mask of founding president Charles D. McIver and several items from the University Archives Textile Collection such as a 1906 Marshal Dress, 1913 Gym Suit made of black wool, and a 1917 World War I military uniform worn by Dr. Anna Gove and made by Abercrombie & Fitch.

UNS Summer Launch Class in front of the Charles Duncan McIver Statue

The second program is a 50-minute historic walking tour of the campus. During the tour, students learn about the founding of the school in 1891, the typhoid epidemic of 1899 during which thirteen students and one staff member died, the burning of Brick Dormitory in 1904, and brief historical facts about the buildings on the tour as well as the three campus ghosts that allegedly haunt Aycock Auditorium, Mary Foust Residence Hall, and Spencer Residence Hall.

Trojanowski also offers historic campus walking tours to faculty, staff, and visitors as well as parents during the annual Parents Weekend each September.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

JiTT-Just in Time Teaching

RIS Dept
Lea Leininger

Big thanks to earlier posters for spreading the word about FREE professional development and July TLC workshops. Here's my summary of a nifty TLC session that was offered today.

Scott Simkins, Director of the NC A&T Academy for Teaching and Learning, spoke about "Just in Time Teaching."

JiTT is supposed to increase the interactivity and effectiveness of class meetings. You assign students to answer a few questions on the topic to be covered *before* class meets. In this way you could potentially skip or skim topics that are well understood. Realistically you'll spend more time clarifying muddy points. But it is important mud!! And you have evidence that you're in splashing around in the correct puddle.

You start class by showing responses (no names attached) to questions. Students get excited to see their info shown at the front of the room. This should be part of an active learning exercise, but I suppose it could be an intro to a standard lecture instead.

Simkins gives the following advice for creating and administering questions:
  1. Only ask one or at most two questions
  2. Questions should be tied to your instructional objectives
  3. Questions should call upon students to use skills on the upper end of Bloom's taxonomy. No asking "How do you get help from the library."
  4. Set due time as close as possible to class meeting time, between 3 and 12 hours beforehand.
I disagree with point 3, at least for library instruction. If you are able to get a professor to go along with JiTT for LI, why not shoot for the moon? Give a reasonably short list of questions ranging from basic to demanding so that you can "cross off" the easy stuff.

Anyway, interesting stuff. I especially liked Dr. Simkins' comment that the NC A&T Academy for Teaching and Learning likes to collaborate with UNCG, hence UNCG faculty are welcome to attend their workshops. If any instruction buffs out there want to supplement UNCG campus workshops on pedagogical methods, keep the ATL in mind. Very easy on the wallet :)

Current Literature and the State Budget

Acquisitions Department
Christine Fischer
20 July 2009

What to read when you want a break from scholarly material?

Popular new book releases are just the thing. For the past two years, we have participated in the McNaughton book lease plan offered by Brodart. Each month we received newly published general fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, thrillers, romance, science fiction, and biography. The collection has grown to 700+ titles.

For those of you who regularly visited the Current Literature area in the main reading room to pick up the latest by Sedaris, Patterson, or Evanovich, the reduction in the state budget means the cancellation of this service effective July 1, 2009. No more shipments will be received.

The University Libraries will take advantage of Brodart’s low price purchasing option to keep those books with the most checkouts as well as those most recently received. We’ll ship about half the collection back to the vendor (with free shipping due to the volume) within the next two months.

The Acquisitions Department has enjoyed working with these materials, and we know from circulation statistics and word of mouth that this collection has been very popular. Director’s Station statistics from today indicate that 87% of these books have been checked out at least once. Eric Jerome Dickey’s Waking with Enemies has circulated 35 times! One hundred of the books were borrowed 10 or more times. We’ll hope to reinstate popular book leasing in the future.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sirsi NC Users Group, May 20, 2009

The Sirsi NC Users Group met at the High Point University on May 20, 2009. Those present represented a cross section of public, academic, and consortial libraries. President Drew McNaughton of NC-Piedmont Automated Library System (NC-PALS) convened the business meeting. After Ruth H. Bryan, NC Community College System, provided the treasurers report, the new officers were announced. David A. Wright of Surry Community College is moving into the presidency for the coming year. Liz Wade of Guilford College is the new vice president/ president elect, a three year position. Ruth agrees to be treasurer for another year, and I have the honor of being secretary. Drew reported that he has developed a website for the Users’ Group and will stay on as webmaster for the time being.

Stephen Abram, Vice President of Innovation (how’s that for a position title?) at SirsiDynix delivered the keynote address, “Provocations about the future of libraries.” The speech was a dynamic, entertaining riff on the familiar themes of keeping up with changing technology and the importance of marketing librarians’ skills. Playing with my new netbook, I took unnecessarily copious notes, but I’ll give you just a few interesting tidbits. Did you know that the top ten donors in the recent presidential campaign were copyright owners? Or that having a library in a school system increases its test scores by twenty percent? How about this one: two-thirds of the money spent in the presidential campaigns went to search engine optimization. Because Google is geography-based, it gives different results on college campuses, and Google can charge more for ads targeted to the college demographic. Speaking of the young, when Sirsi mapped the eye movements of different generations, they found that people under 25 move their eyes differently when looking at a website. And because they spend more time on video games, boys now do more reading than girls. (I predict some raised eyebrows, but the new games I see my kids playing do contain big chunks of text.)

Of course, Sirsi has forecasted and prepared for change as they develop their products. They are working on an “advanced and different discovery model” since most retrieval systems are “just so last century.” Stephen is excited about mobile devices and apps, like Sirsi’s “pocket circ” that lets roving librarians check books in and out as they wander the stacks. In another arena, the company made medical databases accessible from doctors’ PDAs, and saw their institution’s death rate fall by five or ten percent.

Stephen concluded with a long list of recommendations for libraries; we’re right on target with many of them. Here is a sampling: rethink the operating model; focus on user needs, continuous innovation, digital identity, vision, leadership, etc.; expand the metrics (we use their statistics tool, Director’s Station). Libraries should have “bricks, clicks, and tricks” and to “watch the kids and their toys.” Build sustainable social networks because people take questions to their friends and colleagues first. (Did you know that half the librarians in Second Life have both cleavage and wings?) Libraries’ value is in the librarians, not the books. Think about e-book readers, embedded technology, and the “23 things” of web 2.0. Invent the future! Be the change!

Following the introduction of the new president, we were treated to company and product updates from SirsiDynix representatives. Software as a Service (SaaS) is Sirsi’s “most important trend.” They offer new training programs and subscriptions to help us keep up with updates and take advantage of all features (training should, of course, be done yearly). Hyperion, their digital media archive product, will release a new version by year end. Also expected is the Web Services Application Programming Interface (WS API), which adds a layer for interoperability of APIs. Enterprise 3.0, coming soon, is a new discovery layer that works on top of Symphony, Horizon, etc. and “sets a new standard for local control in a hosted discovery tool.” Finally, Symphony 3.3, the update to our ILS software, is coming soon, with exciting features like the Acquisitions Vendor Interface Port (VIP), Enhanced Usability Wizards, Group Item Circulation, and MSSQL support.

After a great lunch (which seemed familiar – I think they repeated last year’s menu) in the Slane Conference Room, we returned to a choice of afternoon sessions. The 1:00 lineup featured “Software as a Service (SaaS) Information Sharing session” by Dr. Carol Jordan, Library Director at Queens University of Charlotte, and Sarah Greene, Youth Services & Technology Librarian of Caldwell County Public Library; “Maestro, Musician or Wannabe? Community Building and Sharing for Symphony Users” by our own Terry W. Brandsma, Information Technology Librarian; and “The Adventures of Loading Authority and Bib Records” with Mary Jane Conger and Marcie Burton, UNCG Catalogers. I attended the latter session; Mary Jane and Marcie did a terrific job, as expected. After a break for refreshments, we went back for more: a Horizon Sharing session with Tommy Joseph and Mike Maynard of the Greensboro Public Library; "Doing the Numbers: Using Sirsi Reports for the NCES, NCHED, and Other Statistical Surveys" moderated by Christine Whittington, Library Director at Greensboro College; and “Methods of Discarding in Sirsi” with Lisa Kushner (Forsyth Public Library), Linda Sparks (Forsyth Public Library), and Cindy Zaruba (UNCG). Since weeding has been a hot topic lately at Jackson Library, I attended the discarding session. Cindy Z. had agreed to a “panel discussion” and adapted beautifully as it became more of a three-part presentation on an unexpectedly complex topic – who knew there were so many ways to discard items from the catalog?

As you can see, this year's Sirsi Users Group meeting was well worth the trip. I'm looking forward to the challenge of helping, as secretary, to organize next year's meeting.

Monday, July 13, 2009

FREE Professional Development...

Right here at UNCG! The University Teaching and Learning Center has a wide variety of workshops that faculty and staff can register for. For example, on Wednesday there's a workshop called Learning Styles that will teach participants about learning style inventories and how to teach people with diverse learning styles. Cool, huh?
For those of you more interested in technology-related training, there's an Intro to Powerpoint on July 21 and an Intro to Excel on the 23rd.
By now, you may be asking yourself, "How did Amy find all these great workshops?" Well, my friends, the answer is... The TLC Workshop and Events calendar. On the calendar, you can see all upcoming trainings and sign up. They even send you a reminder email the day before! To see the events coming up in the next 30 days, visit or the main page at New workshops are constantly being added. Happy Learning!!

July TLC Workshops

Free and open to anyone interested. Sign up now!

11:00 AM
12:00 PM
TEACH Act and Fair Use
Brown Bag
Ray Purdom McIver 140
02:30 PM
04:30 PM
Learning Styles
Ray Purdom McIver 140
12:30 PM
01:30 PM
Narrating PowerPoint Presentations
Amanda Schipman McIver 140
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
Just in Time Teaching (JiTT)
Led by Scott Simkins, Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning at NC A&T.
Ray Purdom McIver 140
02:30 PM
04:30 PM
Cool & FREE Technology Tools for Education
Amanda Schipman McIver 140

Monday, June 22, 2009

Preservation Committee Yearly Summary

Outgoing Preservation Committee Chair Hermann has asked that I (as outgoing secretary of the committee) post a summary of the committee's activities over the past year.


Our main concern this past year was addressing the preservation issues brought on by recent policy changes, specifically 24/5 *and* allowing food in the library. Both of these together means much more trash is left in the library, especially on the weekends when we have no trash service. This could lead to bug and rodent infestation.

-Members of the preservation committee took photographs of the trash and recycling bins on a Sunday afternoon, and presented these photos as well as a summary of our concerns to Rosann, who agreed that our concerns were significant and asked that we work with Michael Crumpton, who is now a member of the preservation committee, to address them.

-Carolyn worked with Ben Kuka (Office of Waste Reduction & Recycling) to secure 20 new recycling bins for the tower. Each tower floor now has 3 commingled bins, plus bins for each group study space. Michael also ordered 20 lidded trashcans, to help keep the food garbage from the detection of hungry six-legged scavengers. We will have five additional trash cans for the library first floor when school starts.

-We brought up the need for library staff to be aware of food trash at the yearly library meeting, and thanks go to Melvina for her weekly trash removal reminder emails.

-We have also looked into weekend trash service and installing clean-up stations in the tower, but each of these items remains on hold due to budget/staffing/liability concerns.

-We have also begun planning a public relations campaign to encourage students to help us keep the library infestation-free. Stefani has designed bookmarks and table "tent" signs encouraging awareness of common preservation concerns, and a subcommittee led by Stacey is working on videos, including one featuring a giant cockroach and one for the theme of "your mother doesn't work here (but what if she did?)."


Additional points:

-The committee decided to do the HF Group tour every other year to benefit new members.

-We do not want to do another preservation self-assessment until after renovations have commenced, but we can make the existing completed worksheets available to the designer.

-"Book-friendlier" bookdrops are on hold until we have money for them, but our outdoor bookdrop relocation might help-- Audrey Sage will keep the committee informed.

-Drain flies in the basement women's restroom: housekeeping added "liquid live" treatment twice a week.



Anectdotal evidence shows that housekeeping likes having fewer small bins to empty and students support our efforts to be greener.


Moving forward:

Hermann and Michelle are rotating off the committee. Beth Ann Koelsch and Jennifer Motszko have joined. The new Committee Chair is Beth Ann, with Stacey Krim as Secretary.

Friday, June 19, 2009

4th Annual Metrolina Library Association Info Lit Conference

Yesterday, Lynda and I went to the Metrolina Library Association Info Lit conference in Charlotte. It's a great conference that always has interesting keynotes and sessions. Plus, it's at Johnson and Wales University, so the food is always good. Since most of you probably aren't terribly interested in IL, I'll just throw a few relevant points at ya.

1. She used the phrase "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood Syndrome". This means that every library thinks it's special and can't use anybody else's idea since it's so unique. Won't you be my neighbor?
2. Self-studies are good. We should probably do one to see what it is we're actually doing here.

Our session
1. Was awesome. You shoulda been there.
2. I don't have notes on it because I lived it.
3. Take a look at our powerpoint if you are bored!

Library Instruction 2.0
1. Led by a colleague of former intern Amanda Click at American University in Cairo.
2. Lots of discussion of different technologies
3. The Ref Desk at Perkins Library @ Duke Twitters. Cool!

Evidence-Based Librarianship
1. A good way to gather evidence to improve services
2. Cool open-access journal called Evidence Based Library and Information Practice
3. I need to learn more about this.

There were also poster sessions, one of which was from two recently graduated interns Keeley and Kathy. They represented the University Libraries well. Overall, it was an awesome conference and a chance for me to meet up with other instructionophiles from libraries across NC. And (note to self) I probably shouldn't write these posts on Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From the Staff Development Committee’s “Open House Sub-Committee”

Over the past year, many people in departments throughout the Jackson Library and the Music Library hosted “Open Houses” inviting peers into their realms to experience what each department does for our patrons and faculty.

Through the Staff Development Committee and organized by the Open House Sub-Committee, the University Libraries staff was invited to visit each department for an hour where brief tours were performed of the departments, snacks were shared, and most importantly staff were given a chance to meet or re-acquaint with the faces behind all the great accomplishments that are done daily.

Although it was fun to see the “aged” donut in Preservation Services and to get a look at the Music Library’s organ, the intent of each open house was to bring to light the individuals who bring the University Libraries to life each and every day. Interest was regularly high with attendance by 20-25 people for each open house. Also, departments added their own personal touch by providing snacks – many of which were homemade and amazing!

The departments that participated in the open house program were SCUA, Reference, Access Services, Music Library, ERIT, Preservation Services, Acquisitions and Cataloging. The Administration Office will have an open house in the fall of ’09.

Thank you to everyone who attended the open houses and also, of course, thank you to the hosts of each open house as they invited their peers into their workspaces! Watch for the Administration Office open house in the fall and for the next round of open houses sometime in the future.