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