Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Non Librarian Conferences

This Fall I attended and presented at 2 non-library conferences which I found worthwhile, seeing trends, gathering ideas and connecting with people beyond the library walls.

In October I headed west to
Denver, CO for AASHE - the Association of Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. My presentation - No Money, No Travel, No Problem! UNC Focus Forward 2010 - was about the virtual UNC system wide best practices in sustainability conference I helped plan and run last spring. The best part of this conference for me was the greenest of it (of course) - no paper handouts, compost bins by all trash cans, no water bottle (refill stations only), veggie/vegan meals way more than others, all compostable box lunches, etc (read more about the greening here). I enjoyed sessions though some not directly related to libraries:
  • Lots of green student run initiatives on campus like park(ing) day where they take over parking spots and make them a park; student led groups to bring campus beyond climate neutral; green RAs; Green Spring Break trip (have fun in Florida but service learning cleaning up and fixing up state park); one student group offers plate rentals for anyone having an event on campus for free!
  • Northwest Earth Institute in Portland creates and offers self directed, active learning, community based discussion guides.
  • There were some sessions on embedding green messages through campus garden, freshman sustainable read, sustainable play/theater, painted rain barrel contests.
  • A bike check out program was cool idea - students get one for 7 days, w/ helmet and lock - on campus where all parking is off campus w/ shuttles encourage pedestrian/biker friendly atmosphere.
  • There were presentations on the toxins in art materials in art programs on campus, creating a greener student theaters, a campus ban of "no idling on campus" (cars idling emit so much more CO2 so turn off your car when waiting), and student push to ban bottled water on campus (learn more about the marketing gimmick the water bottle industry wants you to believe) who's blind taste test show people prefer tap vs bottled which is unregulated, often from your own tap and costs $8/gallon vs free!
  • An interesting panel of administrations of campus discussed how to get your admin on board with a sustainability message from 4 very different campus.

In November I traveled to
Wilmington, NC for UNC Cause 2010 - an ITS conference for mainly UNC system schools. I presented with Jenny Dale: Going the Distance Without Leaving Your Desk discussing the library's new Elluminate virtual room and the workshops and orientations we hosted online. Being an IT conference, the wireless was great (well except the morning we presented when it was down!), no handouts were given (yea! save a tree!), people had their tech of choice to take notes and engage with the twitter feed and all presentations were online. I tended to go to the social media and instructional technology sessions than the heavy IT sessions:
  • Yammer Time - a microblogging platform that is a cross between Facebook and Twitter used at ECU for cross campus collaboration and communication;
  • UNC-CH's session on Poll Everywhere, which I have used for a polling groups via twitter, the web or txting, but learned a lot more about its functionally and users needs as they shared their survey of students and faculty (presentation);
  • Delivering Digital Classroom Content: The Hybrid Theory of Classroom Capture where a panel discussed Mediasite, Podcast Producer with iTunes U, Camtasia Relay, and Podcast Producer for classroom capture possibilities - a lot of discussion was on video recording faculty issues & legalities, and back up & storage issues of large video files but interesting to learn about other possible capture products;
  • Video Games as Instructional Tools session discussed using videos for training, education, problem solving, quizzes, staff development, etc. Zach offered the Library Adventure Games files free to use too (created by Scott Rice).
  • Zaneta Summers of WCU, discussed their new management of multi-format software education for students by students (unconf discussion, no presentation to share). They build a software system to help more efficiently manage services: their students who are there to support other students when they need assistance with various software can now be managed through this system with allows students works to add their available schedule times, testing them on skill level by software and thus can link up student needing help with one who is available and knowledgeable; and these students workers can co-teach with staff and take training themselves to learn better how to teach and how gain skills they are lacking.
  • Learning Space Smackdown panel discussed how each of their campus improved and expanded their learning spaces . Some had lots of staff, some utilized student tech help, some went high end, some built their own desks but all offered some ideas in planning learning spaces (hope their presentation will be online soon!)
  • Alternative Reality Games (ARGS) on Campus was presented by UNC-CH folks (including librarians) about their spring ShBANGE who's goal was toe help undergrads learn to communicate better in relationships while playing a game with lots of clues and puzzles. Read more about it here.
  • I really enjoyed listening and learning from the last presenter Tim Jones from NCSU(sorry but yea many ITS people can be dry when presenting :) Where U At? Location Based Services for Higher Education. Based on Fouraquare and Gowalla, they created their own location based mobile app to personalize the campus tours (get facts and history via phone), collect and share student geo-tagged info (involved the students, then they will get interested), and offer incentives for attendance at events (let students know there is an event nearby). Even their chancellor got involved!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Library Assessment Conference

Library Assessment Conference, October 24-27, 2010, Baltimore, MD

Mike Crumpton & I attended this conference for the 2nd time. Once again, it was very valuable in providing both philosophical overviews and practical advice for assessment projects. Rather than give a blow by blow account of the sessions I attended I’ll just give some highlights. The overall theme was that we need to emphasize our value. There weren’t a whole lot of solutions but that is the big question. I encourage folks to check out the presentations on the conference web site: http://libraryassessment.org/

The Proceedings will be published as well. And be thinking about the 2012 conference in September in Charlottesville, VA – nice and close!

  • We’ve gone through 7 stages of assessment from chaos to new metrics. We now focus on process rather than product.
  • We need to organize date by outcome
  • Some think library space is the future major purpose of libraries. We need to assess how space affects learning and creating new knowledge. Also need to take virtual space into consideration.
  • Assessment needs to be about value not quality. (does good rather than is good). Customer drives values.
  • We need to assess how we help achieve institutional goals

Monday, October 18, 2010

MAC/Medical Libn Assn Meeting - Lea's report

The 2010 meeting of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Medical Library Assn was an accessible, fun way to meet with other health science librarians and catch up on news. Here are some of the more interesting items...

-- Nifty ideas that I'd like to kick upstairs (for administrative attention) --

1. Annual Research Fair

Event started by the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University. They brought in the Office of Research Services, Creative Services, statisticians, and every other campus unit providing help somewhere along the research or publishing path. Each dept staffed a table, there were even vendor-sponsored booths.

2. Resources for Calculating Return on Investment/CBA (poster) - The report and guide include methods for evaluating “intangibles” and “social return on investment.”

3. What are the Effects that Two Author-fee Subsidy Programs Have on Researchers' Work Practices and Publishing Behaviors? -- UNC – CH provides $1,000/year to individual authors to reduce the impact of author fees.

4. Mapping patron needs and retooling staff duties

Information Sherpa: Assisting and Problem Solving along the Researcher's Path - Health Sciences Library, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO

Evaluated menu of reference and related services from the ground up – brainstormed to come up with a list of steps/needs along the “typical research path” for students and faculty. Used part of a vacant position to fill a large gap in services.

--Nifty ideas for me --

1. Mobile medical apps and mobile-friendly resources…

George Washington University developed a nice mobile-friendly site

* User surveys, content, library instruction/launch info reported in the poster Going Mobile: launching a mobile website and other mobile resources (pdf).
* LibGuide on mobile resources

The nice librarian staffing the poster confirmed the general, pain in the tush process for providing medical mobile resources to your patrons

* Mobile versions of vendor sites such as MD consult are easiest, since you just integrate them into your usual IP authentication system
* Mobile app download management can be time consuming, since each download (each patron) requires a serial number. The librarian must give a different serial number to each patron and keep a list (since the patron is likely to forget his/her number). She used to do this by sending a quick email to the students’ school email address (if they contacted her through a yahoo or gmail account, she would look up student info in their school directory). She has since delegated the provision and maintenance of serial numbers to a paraprofessional. VERY expensive, though DynaMed at least provides an unlimited number of downloads to academic institutions.

2. iPads are being adopted in health science and medical libraries. Deniz Ender (Rex Hospital Library and Information Research Center, Raleigh, NC) reported on the early stage of her grant funded project Using iPads in a Hospital Environment to Promote Clinical Applications. Ms. Ender compiled a list of the most popular free & paid medical mobile apps. She’ll make the iPads available to her users in November starting with an Open House.

Other librarians reported Open Houses or Sand box sessions in promoting new tech toys including iPads.

3. Updates from the NLM (National Library of Medicine) and the NN/LM SeA (National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeast Atlantic)

* PubMed Images database to launch in late October. Search for images in PubMed Central articles (will search the full text of image captions). PubMed abstract view will include image thumbnails.

* 1/4th of the abstracts added to PubMed are structured. Soon these will be searchable by section, eg “Methods.”

* The OLDMedline project (loading records from print indexes Cumulated Index Medicus 1960-65, Current List of Medical Literature 1947-59). Indexing records will go back to 1946, but budget issues have forced this project to come to a halt for the time being.

* Reminder that PubMed for handhelds is a research project (Lister Hill); it is NOT a production level system.

* Mobile Medlineplus http://m.medlineplus.gov/ - Reliable consumer health info with “universal” handheld device compatibility

* AIDSinfo mobile: http://m.aidsinfo.nih.gov

* TOXNET, including Hazardous Substances Data bank, Household Products database and more have additional content and linking

4. Upcoming workshops were mentioned w/out info on locations, dates, or links for calendar/registration pages

*2 day workshops from the NLM - Sequences, genomes, proteins, NCBI blast, human variation & disease (there “will be webinars” for these)
* Consumer Health – Dec workshop somewhere in the NNLM SeA region
* Nursing on the Net - Dec workshop somewhere in the NNLM SeA region
* Will duct tape cure my warts? – CAM workshop in Dec somewhere in the NNLM SeA region
* Health Literacy - Workshop somewhere in the NNLM SeA region, more details “available soon”
* Appraising the Evidence - Workshop somewhere in the NNLM SeA region, more details “available soon”
* PubMed for handhelds – Jan workshop somewhere in the NNLM SeA region
* E-science bootcamp – Summer 2011 workshop somewhere in the NNLM SeA region

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Find Webinars!

A blog post on the ALA learning round table offers some great resources for keeping current with online webinars:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall e-learning from ACRL

From online multi week seminars to 1-2 hour webcasts, check out some of these online learning sessions for academic libraries which you can attend without leaving your desk!

Here are the details from the 9/6/10 ALA News release:

Copyright and the Library Part 1: The Basics Including Fair Use (Sept. 13 - Oct. 1, 2010): Build an understanding of current copyright law, creating a “copyright palette” for your library and assessing a library’s legal risk with regard to current U.S. copyright law. Gain an understanding of the Fair Use clause, as well as how to legally apply fair use in the library, classroom and broader campus environments.

Designing Usable and Accessible Web Pages: Needs, Analysis, Design Planning, XHTML and CSS Standards, Accessibility Validation, and Usability Testing (Beginners) (Sept. 13 - Oct. 8, 2010): This hands-on course focuses on the basics of website planning, design and content development. The course will also examine Web standards, usability and accessibility. XHTML and CSS (external) will be introduced.

Creating Usable and Accessible Web Pages: XHTML and CSS Review, Navigation, Interactivity, CMS and Other Options (Intermediate) (Oct. 4 - Nov. 12, 2010): Participants in this online course will be able to use CSS layout to design highly accessible navigation and menus; create basic forms; use free JavaScripts to add functionality; design with multimedia; and understand strengths and limitations of CMS.

Successful Budgeting in Academic Libraries (Oct. 11-30, 2010): In this course, participants will learn essential budgeting skills, including how to develop and manage a budget and how to write a persuasive budget request.

Learning Objects: Creating Instruction To Go (Nov. 1-21, 2010): Find out more about learning objects and learn how to create a learning object using a Web 2.0 application or other suitable technology in this course.

The Not-So-Distant Librarian: Online Library Instruction to Engage Students and Faculty (Sept. 14, 2010): Learn practical tips and tools for designing, implementing and assessing online library instruction in this ACRL webcast.

From Idea to Publication Series: Understanding the Research Question (Sept. 23, 2010): Learn to formulate and define good research questions, select appropriate research methodologies and design the research study. Specific topics will include the development of useful questionnaires, techniques used in conducting telephone interviews, working with focus groups and constructing surveys to get the information they need.

So You Want to Create an Interactive Information Literacy Tutorial? (Oct. 19, 2010): Learn about the experience creating an interactive information literacy tutorial from beginning to end in collaboration with a multimedia designer in this webcast. Evaluate the potential of tutorial as an assessment tool and an opportunity for self-evaluation.

From Idea to Publication Series: Analysis and Writing (Nov. 4, 2010): Learn to apply the appropriate analysis methods to your project’s data or information, depending on the research methodology you are using. It is essential to have an understanding of the appropriate forms of analyses (along with their possibilities and limitations). Then comes writing. Readers must be able to comprehend your original question or problem, the process of selecting the appropriate methodology, your processes of analysis and the meaning of your findings.

Building a New Librarianship (Nov. 9, 2010): The future for librarians is bright, but not if we continue on our current path. We must bravely envision a new librarianship, one based on knowledge, activism and embedding ourselves deeply into the academy’s daily work. This session seeks to lay out a foundation for this new librarianship, with real world examples.

New Models for Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Courses (Nov. 16, 2010): Learn about best practices for credit-bearing information literacy courses in this ACRL webcast, based upon a literature review and several years of experimentation with various approaches to teaching a one-credit course.

From Idea to Publication Series: Submitting for Publication (Dec. 1, 2010): Learn how to select an appropriate journal or publisher, learn how to prepare a manuscript for submission and understand what the submission process will encompass. Also learn how to query editors and how to manage your own author rights, including open access licensing.

Online Forms: Interaction and Feedback without the “Paperwork” (Dec. 7, 2010): With courses and departments moving materials onto the Web or cloud computing platforms, review the possibilities available with interactive forms for the classroom and the department.

Complete details and registration information for all fall 2010 e-Learning opportunities are available online at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/proftools/elearning.cfm. Contact Kathryn Deiss at kdeiss@ala.org or (312) 280-2529 for more information.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Library Liaisons Meet

The Library Liaisons met for a luncheon workshop on Wednesday, August 11. Prior to the luncheon, everyone reviewed four documents that concerned liaison responsibilities and policies. One document was a dated work entitled “Liaison Functions,” which was accepted by the UNCG Collection Management Committee in April 1998. The other three documents concerned liaison responsibilities and policies at three other universities—the University of Connecticut, Indiana-University-Perdue-University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), and Boise State University. Although the “Liaisons Functions” document from UNCG is dated and excludes user services responsibilities, it does provide some good information on collection management and development, as well as emphasizing the importance of communication and cooperation with teaching faculty. After discussing all four documents, the liaisons agreed that UNCG needed a new document that would summarize liaison responsibilities. The UCONN and IUPUI documents provide a good outline for such a new document—being 2-to-4 pages in length and highlighting both collections and user services responsibilities, as well as emphasizing the importance of communication and cooperation with teaching faculty. Stephen Dew and Kathy Crowe agreed to write the first draft of a new document for UNCG, which will later be shared with all liaisons for review.

The liaisons agreed that the luncheon workshop was a worthwhile event and that it was good to meet occasionally as a separate group, outside the regular monthly Collection Management Committee meetings, which include other members and focus entirely on collection responsibilities and issues. This summer, the Reference Department started a series of Round Table Meetings for liaisons to discuss instruction and user services responsibilities, and these events will be continued (probably just during interim periods). The liaisons agreed to continue the workshop luncheons (like this one) and to hold two each year, December and May, at the end of each semester.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

ASERL's summer summit

I attended the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) workshop because it was focused on the future of the government documents depository system in the southeast region. ASERL is trying to work within the system (and Title 44) to create a new model for depository libraries. The restrictions for being in the Federal Depository Library Program can be overly strict and at times archaic, but its overarching goal is valid--ensuring future access to government information.

The ASERL proposal attempts to create a regional focus for our depositories and to create Centers of Excellence (depositories that commit to collecting comprehensively in a particular agency or sub-agency). These centers would ensure that schools in the southeast have access to stronger print collections than one individual regional school could produce alone. (And I hear you asking already: "Isn't everything already online?" No, not everything is born-digital and no, not everything is being digitized. Not even all of the important stuff is being digitized. No one has the money to digitize it all, even Google). The idea is great and needed, but it will be a long process to get to that point. The group met (mostly government docs librarians and deans) to work through the report and brainstorm and collaborate on improvement. Hopefully this approach will make the FDLP system stronger! UNCG may try to become a Center of Excellence for a smaller agency or sub-agency, but more to come as we move forward.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"3 Topics in 30 Minutes" Schedule

The ERIT department in conjunction with the Staff Development Committee welcomes you to join us in the CITI lab for the first two of five scheduled courses covering the Microsoft Office suite. Two sessions will be offered for each class, occuring at 9:00am and 3:00pm.

Excel I: String Manipulation
In this 30 minute session held in the CITI lab, you will explore Excel's functions that manipulate cells which contain text. Click on the link to open the invitation and sign up!

August 10th at 9:00am: http://www.evite.com/app/publicUrl/FMPUXTAYMKXYBMLGENRZ/excel1-9am

August 11th at 3:00pm: http://www.evite.com/app/publicUrl/EGNNRXSLKFJRQKEFURFI/excel1-3pm

PowerPoint I
This class will start with some presentation basics before examining techniques such as advanced transitions and importing video/audio to spice up the appearance of your presentations. Click on the link to open the invitation and sign up!

August 17th at 9:00am:

August 18th at 3:00pm: http://www.evite.com/app/publicUrl/FQFCCWLZTWQMOBTHQMLD/ppt1-3pm

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there!

-- The Staff Development Committee

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Free online classes through HP

Check out the classes available through the HP Learning Center - Free, online classes, available 24/7 in categories of digital photography, home office, business basics, IT basics, MS and Adobe, and graphic arts. Most classes contain 2-6 lessons with demos, quizzes, assignments, and message boards. Some are self paced and some have instructors w/ deadlines. You have to register to take classes but its free. More details here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ALA Conference 2010

ALA 2010 was held in Washington DC and during a hot weekend (I think it hit 99degrees one day) and of course, meetings were typically back to back, in one hotel and another one 2 miles away! But I love to walk and that is to be expected for ALA: lots of walking, lots of networking and lots of sessions from which to choose. This ALA for me was mainly committee meetings and networking events (and free meals and drinks when I could get them!)

I wrapped up my co-chairing of the ACRL Distance Learning Section's Bibliography Committee after 2 years of work with a fabulous committee, creating the 5th bibliography on Library Services for Distance Learning. Thanks to some of you UNCG Librarians who wrote some annotations for this bibliography!

I also met the wonderful ACRL University Libraries Section Executive Board, where I will now be co-chairing a committee Technology In University Libraries. I asked for this to be a virtual only committee - so none of us has to worry about money to travel to ALA next year and we can explore first hand virtual technologies. One of our committee goals will be to help the ULS carry on conversations and follow up after ALA annual meetings - including ways to collaborate, plan events, and meet - all virtually!

The exhibit hall had a vast amount to take in. I especially liked the Green Pavilion of exhibitors. The poster sessions were also interesting, particularly Games People Play (App State), and On Demand and Just in Time: Putting Tutorials into Subject Librarians' Hands (ASU).

The various socials allowed for time to network, discuss activities, share ideas and simply visit old friends and former co-workers. I showed off our new library video "Ask us @UNCG Libraries" to many people there and got lots of positive feedback and responses like "wow, you work at a awesome library!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

TLC workshops this summer

Be sure to check out the workshop offerings this summer on campus through the TLC:
  • Video 101
  • Online Learning Activities
  • Online Assessment
  • Web 2.0 Tools
  • TEACH Act and Fair Use

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NC-LITe Group Meeting May 18, @ UNCG

NC-LITe (North Carolina Library Instructional Technology experiences)

Interested in library instructional technology? Join us at UNCG on May 18, 2010 for an open-space style unconference for anyone interested in library instructional technology. This group initially was formed between UNCG and WFU libraries, and has expanded to include NCSU, Duke, and UNC libraries. For this first expanded group meeting at UNCG, we are inviting local Triad schools to join us as well. (and Scott Rice :)

Please fill out this form to RSVP and offer your suggestions on topics you'd like to discuss. We will gather initially in the Willow Room of the Elliot University Center (EUC). Schedule.

BFW & Instructional Technology team at UNCG


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Webinar, white paper : Improving Nursing Practice with Info & Technology

Hi all,

In lieu of travel, I'm tuning into as many relevant webinars as possible.

The session today was interesting b/c it reflected info gathered in our recent "Library To Go" marketing survey and included nifty tidbits that we hadn't investigated.

Improving Nursing Practice with Info & Technology (from Ovid LWW based on their marketing research, mostly internal unpublished reports)

Where do nurses access online info? 84% from home, 68% from work, tiny % at library. Pprint info had similar responses with slightly higher library use (n=1018)

Nurses and medical librarians reported that the most requested types of information are concise, evidence based, available through "Google-like" tools. FYI, Google was reported as the top information tool used by nurses. (since one of the top reason for going online was reportedly finding treatment info, this factoid is scary as H-E-double-hockey-sticks).

Nursing has been slower than other professions in moving to predominantly online information sources. Nursing2010 and AJN surveys reported 79% of nurses preferred print for reading full-text, in depth articles, though they preferred online for searching.

Top professional nursing websites:
  • NursingCenter.com
  • Medscape.com
  • PubMed/MEDLINE
  • Allnurses.com
  • Nurse.com
  • NursingWorld.com
  • WebRN.com
  • NurseZone.com

Nurses reported that staying up to date with nursing news was the primary professional reason for going online. They like to have information "pushed" to them, with electronic newsletters very popular.

31% of nurses reported using social media for professional purposes, with goals of learning about the profession, asking nursing-related questions, learning about upcoming conferences, etc. Top sources included listservs and YouTube (for educational and training purposes), though Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are gaining prominence. (n=700)

38% reported daily use of handheld, mobile devices such as smart phones. Most important professional reasons = finding general treatment info (61%), patient education info (48%), reading journal article abstracts (25%), viewing multimedia and podcasts (19%), etc.

The Ovid white paper stated that the use of mobile devices is growing quickly. The webinar emphasized the need for nursing administration to support the technology (adopt it to improve professional practices and deal with concerns about hipaa/privacy and frivolous/personal use of these devices).

Nursing topics most commonly researched using mobile devices: drug information, disease information, therapeutic recommendations, and differential diagnosis

Mostly commonly used handheld apps deliver synoptic rather than in depth info: ePocrates (drug db), Medscape daily news, etc.

Nurses ranked mobile app attributes (greatest to least impt): Readability of text, search ability, ease of download, cost of download, speed of download, visual appeal.

Top nursing blogs: AllNurses.com, NurseZone, and AJN’s blog, “Off the Charts”

Ovid predicts
  • the rise of simultaneous writing and peer review
  • multiple publishing/delivery methods (print, online, downloadable app) will become the norm
  • rich media will be ubiquitous

Last but not least, Ovid plans to develop for the iPad. Huzzah!!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NC SirsiDynix Users Group Meets May 26

For those of you who haven't already gotten the news via the listserv, the NC SirsiDynix Users Group (NCSUG) meets May 26th at Guilford College, right here in Greensboro. Our own Tim Bucknall will deliver the keynote speech, "If the OPAC is Dead, When is the Funeral?" Later, Marcie Burton and Jennifer Mincey will present "Reports: Tips and Tricks" as one of the four breakout sessions. We will also have sessions on loading E-book MARC records, on Circulation and ILL issues, and on the latest products and programs from SirsiDynix. As NCSUG Secretary, I am involved in planning and organizing the meeting as well as managing registrations. Here is a link to the registration form with program for your convenience.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Computers in Libraries 2010

April 12-15, Hannah, Amy, Lynda and I road tripped up to the Computers In Libraries conference in DC. We presented as a panel on Instructional Technology "its a team thing" and got some rave reviews from some librarians we admire including some blog posts (go us!) Lynda and I did an interactive presentation on Productivity Tools (read a review at LibConf.com) But we also attended some great sessions. I particularly enjoyed:
  • Library Engagement through Open Data Session - visualization: This session talked about data - how yes it can be boring and poorly used, but used correctly, it can be a an asset: to library benefactors - by highlighting where the library is lacking and generate additional funds; to Lib admin – justify, activities, success/trends, internal PR; to general public - marketing, clear msgs (ex: google map mashup of admissions and visitors to site) ; and to Librarians - find anomalies or data outliers and determine if on the right track. The panel discussed various data source and tools. Some worth mentioning: IMA dashboard, IBM Many Eyes, and Google Chart visualization tools. They ended with some key lessons learned: Get support from admin, Define audience, Define your story, A lot of data manipulation, Google doc as repository, Leverage your coworkers efforts, and Do and redo.
  • Gen X Librarians Leading from the middle: The panel discussed Gen X and Tech, @ work and w/ leadership. Gen X is only ½ the size of the generation before and after. They explained how we grew up seeing technology quickly evolve so we can (generally speaking) more easily adapt to tech changes (vs those before us who didn't have computer as kids and those after us who expect it and have always had it) An interesting comparison: 40 years ago a $10,000 mean income – $10, 600 "kitchen computer" and today $57,000 mean income - $3,499 home computer. At work we tend to be the sandwich generation, in the classroom & w/ coworkers, helping to bridge the gaps from print to electronic, understanding both sides, and become good trainers. With leadership, we show independence, innovation, and individualism (OR - is it self centered, skeptical slackers :) Generally speaking we are good at mediating change, translating cultural norms, promoting innovation and also tend to be loyal to our workplace. Some one posed a question at the end why aren't more Gen Xers in leadership positions - do they not want to lead or is it the org just not flexible for us? ... or are the position just not available yet.
  • Training in the Cloud: 30 things in 20 minutes was awesome and be sure to check it out on their google site.
  • Mobile Libraries panel was interesting - they mentioned tools and idea like:
    Boopsie (customized mobile library aps); walk in mobile msg center (dok) that sends txt msg automatically to phones "Welcome to the library" along w/ some general info; offering charging stations in library; market the library w/ mobile – no print bookmarks please; group texting textPlus (like a blast email); offer contests - people like FREE; Terra (MSU); browser detection & feature detection (ex: NCSU – WURFL); mobilize your content now- start with lowest common denominator (even a simple mobile page will work w/ smart phones) - they compared lack of ada compliance (like elevators) to lacking access to mobile for those people today.
  • Ebooks - check out Copia, a social ereading experience; in California, everyone is moving to electronic textbooks; when getting started think about relevance to your library, cost, impact for your library, implementing correctly, cataloging (talk to them/include them!), possible problems (user error – training programs needed!)
  • Help us out here! Adapting library programming to other audiences: remember in training, you have to deal with the range from curiosity and fear; ask the public services staff, do you know what the patrons are asking for? awareness is a start; their goals are not the same as your goals; get them to feel comfortable; encourage coop and collaboration; fishing cowboys concept (think “shane”); we are coaches not teachers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lilly Conference 2010

I attended my first Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching on February 5 & 6 (while you all were enjoying a "snow" day friday). The Lilly Conference was held at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro and this year's theme was Evidence Based Learning and Teaching. I believe it benefits librarians tremendously to attend non library conferences: not just for learning about topics from another discipline's perspective, but to chat with others in different disciplines, network, and build relationships to benefit libraries and those we teach and serve.

Summaries of sessions I attended - eventually the presentations and handouts will all be on the Lilly Conference web site:
  • Service & Experiential Learning Plenary Session by marin burton and emily janke of UNCG - They led an interactive plenary session about these 2 concepts: Experiential education - a philosophy and methodology in which educators purposefully engage learners in direct experiences w/ focused reflection in order to increase knowledge and develop skills and clarify values; includes reflection, critical analysis, and synthesis; learner is actively engaged; its not a dichotomy - need to keep traditional learning/reading/reflecting as well as experiential learning. Service learning: service (in non profits, schools, agencies, business etc) w/in academic course materials with critical reflections areas. Advantage in final course grade/retention, helps w/ career exploration, chance to apply theory to real situations, increases critical thinking/problem solving/prosocial reasoning, see others perspectives; show them how to construct new knowledge (co-construct). The library is a natural place for experiential (& even service) learning but how can we do more in this growing, important area?

  • Just in Time Teaching (JITT) by Scott Simkins NC A&T - Scott had the attendee fill out a survey in advance and used the responses in his session to demonstrate JITT - the idea is to gather info outside of class like a survey or post a question that might define learning gaps or engage students more effectively and use that in your teaching the next time you meet. Not only then do student know what to expect in class, they are connected better to material/readings from outside of class, and allows them a little reflection in the process. Scott handed out some great resources and examples that should be online soon.

  • Who's reading What and Why (in teaching and learning) by Donna Baily of UNC - some good suggestions and discussions on the best professional literature for various aspect of teaching. Some interesting books I want to check out:
    • Why don't students like school? : a cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for your classroom by Daniel T. Willingham (library record).
    • Brain Rules by John Medina (web site).
    • Building online learning communities : effective strategies for the virtual classroom by Rena M. Palloff, Keith Pratt (library record)

  • Howard Gardner Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Higher Education by Susan Autry of CPCC - always good to remember we all learn differently; understand how to reach more than one learning style is important and so is expanding your idea of what is "smart." Need to integrate other ideas and effective instruction to reach more students more effectively. Some interesting statistics (from meyers and jones 1993):
    • students only pay attend 40% of time
    • students take in 70% in first 10min and only 20% in rest of class
    • if you lecture more than 15min - student can take notes but not process info
    • 4 months after taking college survey course students only know 8% more than those never taking the class

  • Criteria Driven Approach to Instructional Technology by Jane Harris and Bonnie Canziani of UNCG - an excellent, interactive, sharing session on tools we have retained or dropped and a useful chart to evaluate instructional technology tools. All info and forms on their googlesite.

  • Civic Engagement: The Process of Learning by Doing - Prof Darlene Rodriguez and her PSC300 @ UNCG planned and moderated an open discussion for the campus community in Fall 09 called Democracy’s Challenge: Reclaiming the Public’s Role. what a wonderful example of civic engagement, experiential and service learning, giving students a chance to move beyond justtheory and apply knowledge first hand and reflect. Details.

  • Virtual Executive: Digital Problem Base Learning Object by Wade Maki of UNCG and Karen Hornsby of NC A&T - They demoed a few learning objects they created using Quandry - an open source tool to create case study type mazes (a choose your own adventure style). These tools are both digital and portable; offers multiple learning styles; its interactive and students can do it more than one time; its an example of formative assessment.

  • Evidenced Based Exploration and Discovery by Pam Carter of NC A&T -an example of engaged pedagogy, active co-learning evidence based exploration and discovery. Used the process model of curriculum design - facilitative teaching. The process of learning is central - not the content. For this class, students engaged in a Green IT project of their choosing. They created a website to educate students on campus, went around and looked at computer labs, researched and made recommendations to lower energy consumption to the campus.

  • What Research Tells Us: Principals for Making Feedback More Hearable
    By Kate Brinko of ASU - a very engaged interactive session where the attendees discussed in small groups stories of feedback - both positive and negative. From this we determined principals for hearable feedback: credible/knowledgeable/well-intentioned source; feedback told soon after event; sandwich negative btw positives; and give accurate, performance based (not personal), descriptive, and concrete feedback - and limit how much (people can only take in so much info at one time)

  • Feedback Session by Kim Cuny and Hema Yarragunta of UNCG Speaking Center - Discussed how feedback can be used in work environment, peer to peer, and subordinates to supervisor - basically create a more liner not hierarchical approach to feedback as they have done at the speaking center. How often as a supervisor/teacher do you ask you your students to give you feedback? In a diverse workplace today, feedback impt for all levels: helps newcomers learn the ropes in workplace, improves student performance, allows for consideration of opportunities of further development for all, maintains desired productivity which lead to students having a better chance to adjust their experiences; supervisors/teachers can learn from students as well and become better facilitators of knowledge.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

ALA Midwinter and Emerging Leaders

I wouldn't usually attend the ALA Midwinter meeting--it is committee meeting time rather than a true "conference", but this year I attended as an Emerging Leader, which meant that I participated in a day-long training session on leadership. Leslie Burger, former ALA President developed the Emerging Leader program in 2007 as a way to encourage leadership growth among newer members of the library profession and to encourage them to take active roles in ALA. Our own Mac Nelson was a member of the first cohort, and Jenny Dale was a 2008 Emerging Leader. Each EL is assigned to a project developed by an ALA organization. The groups start on the project at ALA Midwinter in January and then work towards ALA Annual where the project is presented to the group and to the wider community.

While it has had some growing pains--keep in mind how new it is--at the same time it has been a worthwhile program for many involved. The experience seems to depend partly on what people make of it, but also on the project to which you are assigned. My project is with the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of ALA. LITA tends to be one of the more innovative tech groups in ALA because a large portion of its members work with emerging technologies in their libraries--so, they focus their energy on discovery and developing tools to assist with library services. As such their projects are focused on technology. Below is a description of my project:

Project Description:
There seems to be confusion about when to use the LITA website vs the wiki vs the blog and now ALA Connect. Which tool is best for what purpose? LITA is comprised of multiple committees, interest groups, and task forces; these parts communicate to members in a number of ways using various media (print, electronic, social). What information is coming from where? Which communication channel can a person follow, when, or why? Team P will survey the "parts" of LITA and summarize the ways these parts contribute to the "whole" - i.e. the purpose of the organization - and detail the communication streams from each one, along with its strengths.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Team P will identify the various communication tools currently used by LITA Members and how each is being used to do the business and marketing of the Association.
  • Make recommendations for which communication tool is best used for each purpose.
While we are working for LITA, I realized that this project is important for many ALA groups. I asked my sponsorship group, the Government Documents Round Table, about their thoughts on this project, and they were enthusiastic about hearing the outcomes. Admittedly, the proliferation of web access points is a problem not just for ALA groups, but also for any organization. We hope to disseminate our findings widely. At this point though, I’m just happy to be working on a project that has wide implications for a large number of people.

Beyond the EL program, I also participated in the GODORT education committee. The Government Information Technology Committee talked about its list of tech tools that could be useful for instruction, both within our libraries and GODORT. The list includes Skype, dimdim, jing, delicious, google wave and other tools we use at our library. We also had small group discussions to share ideas about using these tools, which was helpful. Although I hated the small group format in school, I can really appreciate the usefulness of that format when the discussion is focused and purposeful. It worked well with this project.

I also attend some general membership meetings for GODORT and the ACRL Law and Political Science Section. The discussions were mostly focused on upcoming programs at Annual. I am excited about several of the proposed topics.

The final highlight was the LITA Top Tech Trends panel. You can read my notes at my personal blog if you wish.

It was a busy weekend and I have many things to absorb, but overall Midwinter was a great experience! Can’t wait for Annual!