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