Monday, November 18, 2013

3 Archivists, 3 Conferences, 3 Presentations...

Let me set the scene. It's mid-October, the days are getting sorter and the leaves prettier.  Three archivists set out to do the impossible: give three unique presentations at three different conferences in less than one week....

October 16th brought Keith Gorman, Kathelene Smith, and I to the North Carolina Library Association conference in Winston-Salem for our first presentation with Curtis Rogers from the South Carolina State Library.
Evolution of the South Carolina Literary Map
Dr. Curtis R. Rogers
Curtis' portion of the presentation was titled "Evolution of the South Carolina Literary Map."  He gave an overview of the history of South Carolina Literary Map, which began in the early 2000s as a class project in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina.

The project had stagnated in the last decade, having outdated information as well as hard to navigate features.  Curtis worked with SLIS at USC to launch a revamped site ( which went live just days before our presentation. 

He then discussed future plans for sustaining the project, which included having a 'memorandum of understanding' with SLIS to define roles and responsibilities of each party and creating an author submission form for users to suggest writers to be added to the map.

The North Carolina Literary Map:
How to sustain online projects once they are launched

Keith, Kathelene, and I presented on sustaining the North Carolina Literary Map (  We discussed the push for state online literary maps from the National Center for the Book as well as the differences in mission and institutional support between our map and other state map projects. 

Research of other online literary maps lead us to some surprising discoveries.  Of the 22 state maps, only 6 had been updated in the last 2 years.  Sustainability is definitely an issue with these projects!

In seeking to sustain the North Carolina Literary map, we set the foundations for sustainability by identifying the map's audience, securing funding, and promoting outreach.  We then redesigned the website and enhanced search functions.  And finally, we are continuing to evolve by adding new collaborators to our advisory board who can assist with funding and assessment.

Reception at the Upcountry Museum,
 Greenville, SC
Following our brief stop at NCLA, we headed to Greenville, SC for the Tri-State Archivists Conference, October 17-18.  This conference provided a rare meeting among archivists from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  Kathelene and I served as the Programming Chairs for the Society of North Carolina Archivists.  Kathelene also headed up Local Arrangements for North Carolina.  I oversaw the call for panel proposal and worked with speakers and presenters to schedule the entire two-day conference.  Kathelene worked tirelessly to ensure registration, catering, and venues were organized and ran smoothly throughout the conference.  She also single-handedly organized a lovely wine and dessert reception for conference participants at the Upcountry Museum in Greenville.

But organizing the conference wasn't enough for us...we needed to present as well!  Keith, Kathelene, and I, along with Gene Hyde from the University of North Carolina at Asheville presented current students, recent graduates, and those re-entering the job market with tips for creating quality cover letters and CVs as well as important considerations for each step of the interview process. 
Keith beginning our talk on Career Planning 101 
Keith began by giving a survey of the archival field and informing participants of relevant literature.  Gene Hyde showed the results of a ACRL survey conducted in 2010 titled, "Academic Library Search Committees: What They Want You to Know."  The survey gathered qualitative and quantitative data from academic librarians through the United States.  Results confirmed what we and others involved in the search committee process had know only anecdotally until then; mistakes in cover letters and resumes greatly impacted whether or not candidates were asked for an interview.

Kathelene gave considerations for creating cover letters and resumes, including practical advice such as spellchecking the documents and avoiding confusing fonts and colors.  I presented the real-life example of my recent job search, citing examples of how I tailored my cover letter and CV to highlight how I fit the qualifications listed in the job posting.  Keith talked about both phone and in-person interviews, giving tips for how to prepare and successfully navigate the process.  We concluded by working one-on-one with those who had submitted cover letters and resumes to us prior to the conference, giving personalized

On Monday, October 21st, Kathelene and I set out to once again promote the North Carolina Literary Map.  This time we presented with Gail Buckner at the North Carolina Association for Elementary Educators (NCAEE) Conference.

As part of the 2012-2013 LSTA grant for the NC Lit Map, Gail had worked on creating lesson plans
A slide from our NCAEE presentation
which integrate using the map with various learning objectives.  We spoke about the history of the NC Lit Map, demonstrated how to effectively search for books and authors, and showed participants how they could use the newly developed tools in their classrooms.

This was a busy week in October...we are all still recovering...

Friday, November 8, 2013

NCLA highlights

At my professional blog I posted some takeaways from NCLA 2013.  --Steve

Friday, November 1, 2013

"Ethics in the Library" Presentation

Good morning all,
Last week, Professor Wade Maki gave a very insightful and engaging talk on ethics and how it relates to libraries.  He began his talk by focusing on the three different philosophies on ethics:
Virtue Ethics – Aristotle
Bumper sticker(s):
  • Virtue is the mean between excess and deficiency
  • Character counts!
  • Good people make good decisions
 Kantian Ethics – Immanuel Kant
 Bumper sticker(s):
  • Do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason
  • Always show respect for humanity – don’t use people
  • Treat people as ends in themselves not a means to your ends
 Utilitarian Ethics – Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Peter Singer
 Bumper sticker(s): 
  • Achieve the greatest good for the greatest number
  • The end justifies the means
  • Happiness is the ultimate  
He then discussed some general information on ethics noting that “ A “code of ethics” does not entail ethical behavior just ask the Mafia.”
We then broke out into small groups and discussed seven ethical scenarios related to libraries and discussed how we would have approached them.
For those who could not attend, I have provided a link to the handout HERE. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

DLF Forum Live Streaming

For those of us who can't be in lovely Austin, Texas, next week for the Digital Library Federation Forum, DLF is live streaming a number of presentations on Monday, November 4 and the keynote address on Wednesday, November 6. From the DLF website (note that the times are CST):

Live Stream Schedule (CST)

Monday, November 4
9–10:30 am — Welcome by Rachel Frick, Director of the DLF, Keynote Address by R. David Lankes
10:45 am–12 pm — Carpe Data: Data Curation Services at Four Different Institutions
1:30–3 pm — Geospatial Data and Digital Libraries
3:30–4:30 pm — Big Archival Data: Designing Workflows and Access to Large-Scale Digitized Collections
4:45–5:30 pm — Pathways to Stimulating Experiential Learning and Technological Innovation in Academic Libraries

Wednesday, November 6
10:45 am–12 pm — Keynote Address by Char Booth, Closing Remarks

Live stream link:

Other ways to participate:
Follow the conversation on Twitter #DLFForum.
Review the Community Notes Google docs (link in session description):

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Global Learning Technology Conference Notes

Oct 10-11th I attended a day and half conference -  the 2nd annual Global Learning Technology Conference hosted by UNCW.  My favorite session was the  Keynote Speaker: Disruptive Innovations  by Dr. Kyle L. Peck  Principal Investigator for the NASA Aerospace Education Services Project, Co-Director of the Center for Online Innovation in Learning ( and Professor of Education at Penn State University.  Peck discussed what he sees as 3 things that will together are disruptive innovations to higher education and learning.

1) open educational resources
2) moocs
  • Started in Canada actually, but really got going at Stanford. Dr Thrun taught comp science class online and had thousands sign up, some people in the end took the same quiz his real class took and his mooc class did and 200 better than his top kid at Stanford!!
  • Growing faster than Facebook.
  • Coursera now offers a "Signature track" which can track user keystrokes, students submit photo and using webcam show photo id, can then take tests w webcam, and with a fee, get certification they took the course - including access to a Coursea hosted “detailed course performance” (or their record of their performance)
  • Key for MOOCs  - must build in peer support. These apps and tools can be applied to other courses too.
  • BB now has mooc platform, "course sites"
  • Google will work with EdX to create a platform.
  • Though many sign up for moocs and don't finish, even with 200 finishing the mooc, out of 200,000 that is still more people than take the class on campus!
  • Idea- have alumni (or grad students) host a week in the mooc (give back to the campus) discussion board monitoring mainly
3) digital badges
  • Signifies life learning learning
  • Need to complete X criteria to earn the badge. Details on badge indicate the assessment, criteria, evaluation skills required...beyond just for motivation.
  • Recognize significant accomplishment such as a flipped classroom badge for faculty.Why not give  badges along the way like as you work through a phd program benchmarks. Can document people skills through badges beyond the degree.
  • Mozilla badge backpack.
  • Penn State has a badge within their LMS so easy for faculty to use!
  • Have potential to change things -- can allow lower level not big name school  to move ahead with creating real badges that align w rubrics and skills and applied!
  • one size doesn't fit it all. Differentiation will be expected.
  • can be called micro credentialing (aka digital badging)
  • can be considered competency based learning
Kyle's predictions--
  • Big changes are coming so we need to lead the way before outside HE started doing it
  • Moocs will grow (coursera is adding one engineer a week!)
  • Moocs will develop  tools to scaffold peer support and evaluation.
  • Course credit will be given soon. Credit by exam, by portfolio review, for a fee. (Pearson is creating centers around country now for this -  we in HE need to jump in and do this!)
  • Curriculum in all fields will be redesigned. According to taxonomies of cognitive design. Look at blooms taxonomy. Competency based approach. (Competency - take midterm get a c but final get an a, why should final grade be an a instead of b? you learned those skills right?). Make these skills into chunks of badges. Makes these little chunks aka badges into mooc.
  • "Flex mooc" users can pick their plan, personalized learning plan, what they want or need to learn. Can earn badge by peer reviews  by others and peer review of others. Can take a test too, over and over if necessary. Add to eportfolio. Submit portfolio with badges and at a cost to get credit. More flipped classroom all over education
  • Will end up with more students on campus but less time. So much on their own before or during actual classes. Also synchronous from a distance work too.
  • "Knowmads" - wander from school to school to earn badges
  • More collaboration w real world companies on competencies. But note -- there is a difference between education and training. Some good competencies come from companies for employment there, but students also need to learn general (critical thinking) skills to apply everywhere in real world and any job.
The first afternoon offered some hands on session  - something I love, as most of us really do learn when we are able (and have time!)  to play with the tool and not just sit and listen.  So I attended a very useful and fun session by some excellent  instructional designers/faculty at Appalachian State called Mobile Learning in Schools: Turning Distance Education Theory into Classroom Practice. They led the session using Apple TV and Airplay which was very cool to see in action. walking around the room, they could each throw up their ipad screen on the big screen for us to see. In turn as they had us do activities we could share via our ipads on the big screen too. They had ipads for each of us for the session though some people used their own. We did an actual activity you could do with students they called "place based education"  Each group had an image to view and QR code to scan with our ipad (using a tool called Qrafter) that pulled up google form with a few questions to answer reflection on the image. We also had to take a photo of the image as well do some research on what it was  (these were all dust bowl era images) and then record ourselves with a reflection on the image and our research. This mini project lead into the next tool we used called Explain Everything ($2.99 but worth it!) This tool allows you to annotate, animate,  narrate explanations and create  interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials! We took our stuff from the first mini project and then created a "presentation" using explain everything. Several people then used the AirPlay option to show their results to the whole "class."  Lastly one of the coolest apps I have seen which ventures into the Augmented Reality arena called Aurasma. This free app uses  image and pattern recognition to take real-world "things"  such as a painting or an object that leads the explorer  to interactive content such as videos and animations which they call “Auras”. (confused? watch some of their video tutorial for more examples)  You have to follow a channel on Aurasma or create your own channel to share with others.

The next day I attend a few more lecture style sessions. One was by a librarian (yeah!)  Anne Pemberton, from UNCW discussing some very interesting research she conducted "Can personalized learning improve motivation and student success in online  learning?"  (her ppt slides)  Anne did some major research and study to see if  by personalizing online learning could be a motivational factor for students. She discussed the  "Market of one" concept in companies advertising " it's for you, you are our only customer!"  Examples: iTunes personal music, grocery store coupons of what you bought, amazon recommending books, fb customized ads, etc. Can we apply this in education (wolf 2010) --- big shift in our culture to do so.  She applied a theory by Margaret Martinez on the whole person approach - an inventory combined with learners interests and goals using a learning orientation questionnaire. With one control group, one differentiated learning group and a full on personalized learning group of first year students in a required library skill courses she took the existing materials, aligned w learning objectives for course for all. All students took pretests. But only the second two groups took the the learning orientation inventory, got to view their results and then got  pushed only materials and activities related to their learner orientation style  - with the last group the ones who actually got to choose their options to make it truly personalized to them. This last group  got to see how well their did in each area and decide what they want to learn or not as some people got 80% and wanted to take that module/objective again and others said they did good enough to skip. Also at end of class they took a Motivation survey by John Keller instructional materials motivation survey. Unfortunately there was no statistical results that showed it mattered to have it personalized! And the group 3 actually scored  worse on post test!  Her conclusions were:
  • too time consuming to implement
  • First year freshman might not be the best for personalized learning
  • All asynchronous online so hard to get in and mentor and bring that personalized aspect to the course
  • Each group had solid instructional design so maybe it was so good it didn't matter about personalization
  • It would be good to talk to the students, focus group etc to learn what they really liked on not about it.
  • Should students really be able to select their own objectives ?

I also attended a few sessions focused on how to use virtual environment to enhance collaboration around the world global connections. Two sessions were about East Carolina U's global understanding program with  over 50 universities over 30 countries. My favorite quote to sum up these sessions  "Strangers in a new culture only see what they know (Arab proverb)"
  • Why global?  Only about 4%of us college study abroad -- but 100%of our students face challenges associated w globalize world.  Misunderstandings and stereotypes, from tv and media too, risks and fears about foreign travel, the diversity of the world
  • Goals are to build meaningful relationships and intercultural skills, how to work w people who see the world differently than you. "Global competence" ; Better understand their own culture by having to explain it to others; Learn to communicate better
  • Global understanding course offered in 19 classes at ECU could be matched w totally other course abroad, all disciplines, but with this shared components, academically and disciplinary independent.  But the core is shared format, procedures and board topics like:  college life, family and cultural traditions, meaning of life and religions, stereotypes. They learn 3 cultures each semester  (plus "your own" culture); 4-5 weeks long; Facilitated discussion by students , little lecture; Collaborative project - presented last day of class
  • Some of their global courses:  Youth Theatre course  (Learn other cultures, folk tales, fairy tales. One country class them performs one of those from another culture and perform via web conferencing for that country to see and vice verse);  Global climate change course started in 2010; Medical lecture series (Series for med students, various topics, panels of doctors volunteering their time ask the other countries how they would handle problems, alternatives bc they don't always have the tech in those countries); Lecture exchanges either w/in a class or as as a special lecture exchanges too; Special events- at international women's day, international education week.
  • Looking at having every English 101 section to have one time global session once, since they can't do global understanding  course in every class
  • Plan for:  Internet must be 256k upload and download; Videoconferencing H323 protocol; Web co,freeing (Saba meeting); Chat (irc) basic level works for all/no distracting like other chats might be;  Wiki (confluence); Skype as backup
  • Benefits:   Connects students to share stories w each other internationally about life studying abroad; International collaboration too (Faculty doing research on same topic connect virtually  to talk and share ideas);  Global partners in education journal created -  Online peer reviewed;  Global conference every 5 years
  • Challenges:  Comprehension; Accents; Meaning varies; Timing of semester schedules  (create a master calendar); Time zones; Different academic goals; Different standards; Technology access & proficiency 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Presenting at the Tri-State Archivists Conference

For the first time ever, the Society of North Carolina held its 2013 annual meeting in conjunction with the Society of Georgia Archivists and the South Carolina Archival Association from October 17-18 at Furman University in Greenville, SC. A number of UNCG Libraries staff members attended and presented at the conference.

On Friday morning at 9am, Richard Cox and I co-presenting on "Collaborating for a 21st Century Archives." I spoke about ways in which archivists can work effectively with library IT staff in order to truly document and provide optimal access to modern archival records. Richard then talked about the development process for our born-digital records management (BDRM) tool, and did a quick demonstration of the tool's key capabilities. We had about 70-80 folks attending our session, and we fielded lots of questions (and some queries from others about how they can use BDRM!).

Yes, that's a corgi photo on the slide
Also, as the second part of our time slot, Rachel Trent from the State Archives and Kathleen Kenney from the State Library discussed the State of North Carolina's efforts to manage the permanent records produced via social media (for instance, the Governor's official Facebook page). Of particular interest to me was their use of a newly-developed product (from a Durham-based start up) called ArchiveSocial. As we proceed in our effort to manage born-digital records across campus, tools like ArchiveSocial will come in handy in documenting some of the campus's most visible social media outlets.

The conference also presented numerous opportunities to talk with colleagues from across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. I'm a member of both SNCA and the Society of Georgia Archivists, and I always enjoy learning more about what's happening in our neighboring states. Our Thursday evening reception at the Upcountry History Museum was fun (in spite of the fact that the "Snoopy Soars with NASA" exhibit was closed because our reception was outside of their normal operating hours). And, for those who have not visited, downtown Greenville is quite nice -- lots of good restaurants and shops.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Beth Ann and her 2013 SAA annual meeting in New Orleans

August means that sweating archivists from academia, government, historical societies, museums, and non-profits come together for the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists. I lived in New Orleans from 1999-2001 while attending the University of New Orleans for an MFA, and had not been back there since. I was eager to see the city again while at the same time really dreading the humidity.  Thanks to the freakishly cool weather patterns, it was humane enough to venture outside the conference hotel to meet up with my old friends po'boys, beignets and cafes au lait, muffalettas, raw oysters, and seafood gumbo.

When I wasn't eating, I spent a lot of time networking with other archivists who work with women's collections, military collections and oral history collections.  I am very motivated to bridge these different worlds and work to break out of the silos archivists of specialized collections can find themselves in.

Tuesday August 13:

After throwing my suitcase into my hotel room, I took a taxi uptown to attend the pre-conference Women’s Archives/Women’s Collections:  What does the Future Hold at the Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University. Newcomb college was the women's college for Tulane, and I really enjoyed looking at the archival exhibits at Newcomb.  I had the opportunity to network with a lot of great women and swap some business cards!

Here's what I learned:
The Impact of Technology on Women’s Archives and Collections— Born-Digital, Digital Humanities, Digital Initiatives, and Social Media
Presenter: Leslie Fields (Archives and Special Collections, Mount Holyoke College)

Documenting Diverse Communities
Presenters: Danelle Moon (Special Collections, San Jose State University; Kelly Wooten (Sallie Bingham Center, Duke University); Courtney Dean, Stacy Wood, and Angel Diaz (together discussing the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archive at UCLA); Natalia Fernández (Oregon State University Libraries)

Women’s Collections Roundtable Dinner: A Celebration of our History 
Presenters: Elizabeth Novara (University of Maryland), Alexandra Krensky (History
Associates), Lucinda Manning (Independent Archivist), Fernanda Perrone (Rutgers University), Tanya Zanish-Belcher (Wake Forest University)

Wednesday August 14:

Wednesday was "military day". I went on a repository tour to meet the curators and was shown behind the scenes at the WWII museum (  If you look closely at the url, you will notice a telling clue about the museum's history. Originally, begun as the D-Day museum, Congress re-designated it to be about all U.S. involvement in WWII instead of just 6/6/1944.  The museum's holdings include a lot of REALLY LARGE OBJECTS such as planes, boats, jeeps and tanks. The curators told me that they collect everything except live ordnance and human remains, and that they also cannot fit any more Nazi flags into the collections.  I spoke to the curators about the WVHP and business cards were exchanged.

I also took a short tour about a PT boat restoration (
Later that day was the Military Archives Roundtable (MART) meeting. This is a new roundtable just getting off of the ground and I am part of the small social media and newsletter committees.
To continue the networking after the meeting, I joined the other MARTs at Mulate's, a cajun restaurant. More business card swapping.

Thursday August 15:
Thursday was "Oral History Day" as well as taking in a few instructional sessions. I attended the Oral history section networking brown-bag lunch and then oral history section meeting. Networking and card swapping ensued.

Hurricane Katrina: Disaster Recovery and Documentation in Archival Collections. Hurricane Katrina serves as a prism for examining a variety of archival issues. Subjects discussed included disaster recovery inside an affected repository; development of a large-scale digital collection preserving firsthand accounts, images, blogs, and podcasts; and management of constituent case files in congressional papers.

Lights, Camera, Archives! Working with the Media and Moviemakers
This session features archivists who have worked with documentary filmmakers, worked with television or movie productions, or made a media appearance. Each presenter briefly describes her or his repository’s holdings, the project/issue that is relevant to this topic, and one lesson learned.   (This was a very useful session for me as I have worked with filmmakers using the WVHP  as well as having been interviewed for television.)

And then was the Exhibition Hall opening/Happy Hour where I asked my new friend Ivan the Danish collector of books and ephemera on human sexuality to post for a photo with me. I'll network (a.k.a. schmooze) with anyone.

Friday August 16:
The first order of the day was locating the Ignatius G. Reilly statue on Canal Street (See the classic novel A Confederacy of Dunces).                                                                                          

After that victory was the session Advancing the Ask: Proactive Acquisitions for the Modern Age
The panelists share actual experiences from archivists who work to proactively identify, appraise, and acquire archival materials. They explain strategies and successes in reaching out to donors who are not necessarily cognizant of their role as record creators or of the value of their records to an archives. How can archivists educate donors and use new techniques and tools to gather evidence of  significant events and changes in their communities?

The rest of the day was "Women's Collections Day #2". I met with other members of  the Women’s Collections roundtable and worked to develop a session idea for women’s collections of traditionally male fields. More business cards.

Friday night was the all-attendee reception at Boeing building at WWII museum.

The night (and conference) was capped off by experiencing Dr. "Gris Gris" John at Tipitinas!

Saturday August 17:
The last (EARLY morning) session before catching the plane home was Thinking Beyond the Box: How Military Archivists are Meeting 21st Century Challenges.
James Ginther of the Marine Corps University examines innovative approaches to documenting military operations when traditional records retirement methods fail. Anthony Crawford from Kansas State University focuses on the relevance of military archives addressing the multidisciplinary research value of military collections. Joel Westphal from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management addresses the issues of processing the massive amounts of digital records from the war in Iraq using innovative management and processing techniques on an archives of national importance.

My hope is to use my contacts, both new and old, to promote the WVHP within all of the various archival communities it represents.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My SAA Annual Meeting Recap

While it’s fresh on my mind, I wanted to share with you my recap of events and activities at the 2013 Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, which took place August 11-17 in New Orleans. This was my 10th annual meeting (nine as a professional and one as a graduate student), and this one ranked as among the best. While I spent most of my time in meetings or presenting a paper or awards, I still felt that I came away with a greater sense of where the profession is going and innovative ways in which colleagues across the country are helping it get there

I flew out to New Orleans on Tuesday, and hit the ground running on Wednesday at 8am with a meeting of the Annual Meeting Task Force (AMTF). For the past two years, I’ve served on this appointed group that examined our current annual meeting structure and made recommendations for improvements and changes that might better meet member needs, address issues of social responsibility, and incorporate new technologies. In addition to our meeting on Wednesday, we hosted a “World Café” style brown bag forum on Thursday in which we solicited member feedback on our recommendations. Many of those recommendations have already been implemented, with the 2013 Program Committee actively soliciting sessions outside of the “three papers and a moderator” format, the introduction of an annual meeting mobile app that eliminates the need for an on-site paper program, and the SAA Council deciding to hold the 2015 annual meeting in a less expensive, “second tier” city (Cleveland).

River view from the Hilton Riverfront
In addition to AMTF, my appointment as the senior co-chair of the SAA Awards Committee kept me busy for a large portion of the annual meeting. We held a committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss logistics for the awards presentations as well as issues (such as vague language in the award description or questions of eligibility for certain awards) encountered during the 2013 awards season. With 70+ committee members and 20 awards (plus the selection of new SAA Fellows), we had a lot of awarding to do! Awards were presented at three different times during the annual meeting. At Plenary I on Thursday morning, four new SAA Fellows were introduced and the Council Exemplary Service Award and the Jameson Archival Advocacy Award were presented. On Friday morning, I opened the 8am Plenary II with the presentation of scholarships, travel awards, and writing awards to nine MLIS students from around the U.S. and Canada. And finally, at the Friday afternoon Awards Ceremony, we presented the remaining awards that honored excellence in publications, description, outreach, etc.

I was also elected to a second term on the steering committee of the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable. SAA doesn’t have the government affairs and advocacy framework that other groups like ALA has, so the I&A Roundtable serves as a site to discuss those issues and create opportunities for learning ways to reach out to funders, administrators, and politicians in order to advocate for certain issues, for individual archival repositories, or for the profession at large. At our meeting on Wednesday afternoon, we talked about the ways in which the Roundtable can collaborate with SAA’s Government Affairs Working Group on developing a set of issue briefs that can serve as official SAA position pieces and talking points on key issues.

Late Friday morning, I presented a paper as part of a session titled “Shout it from the Mountaintop: Changing Perceptions about Archival Advocacy.” My paper entitled “Get Your House in Order: Advocating for the Profession by Advocating for Your Archives” focused on the need for archivists to align their conversations with their institution’s mission. I discussed the need for archivists to go beyond a focus on their “specialness,” and instead focus on clearly articulating, assessing, and demonstrating how the work of the archives fits in with the larger whole of their parent organization (a library, corporation, government department, etc.). In doing so, they can build an army of advocates – non-archivist colleagues who can speak to how the archives impacts their work (and how it can potentially impact the work of others in the institution).

Two other meetings – both broken into really well run small group discussions – proved particularly fruitful in helping me think through my work here. One was at the Reference and Outreach Section’s meeting, where I took part in conversations on assessment of instruction in special collections and on engaging undergraduates through archival instruction. The other was at the College and University Archives Section meeting, where we had great talks about collaborating with IT staff and building a network for tenure support and professional mentoring.

Reception at the National WWII Museum
The other big events that I took part in were related to my participation in the 2013 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute. While ALI isn’t operated by or associated with SAA, they used the annual meeting as an opportunity to bring us all together to discuss our practicum projects, review some key take-awards from our time in Iowa, and allow us to talk about potential collaborative projects that might bridge institutional lines. We had a dinner for all of the ALI alumni (we’re the sixth cohort) on Saturday night, and a Practices Workshop at Tulane University on Sunday morning. Lots of great ideas were discussed, and I’ve already got plans for an SAA 2014 annual meeting session proposal, a possible collaborative grant focused on professional issues, and a number of possibilities for research collaboration.

Audubon Aquarium fish
Both at the SAA and ALI events, we also talked up Archival Practice, our new open-access, peer reviewed journal that is being hosted by UNCG using OJS. I held an informal meeting with many of the members of our wonderful Editorial Board. We handed out 500 postcards to promote the journal, and talked about in all of the roundtable meetings we attended. Folks are really excited about this new publishing opportunity, and we’re looking forward to going live with our first issue – hopefully in January 2014!

So, it was a busy week. I even had to talk a friend from Emory into bringing me beignets, since I didn’t have time to go out to Café du Monde. But there was still time for a little bit of fun – including touring around the National World War II Museum at the All Attendee Reception on Friday night and a trip to see the otters, penguins, and other critters at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas on Saturday afternoon. All in all, a great trip where I met loads of wonderful new people and learned lots of awesome new things.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

ALA Chicago Conference Summary!

It has taken me a few weeks to post a summary of my activities at ALA Annual in Chicago in late June/early July. Chicago is a fun city and I arrived downtown when the Chicago Blackhawks Parade for winning the Stanley Cup was happening so crazy, red shirt, screaming fans everywhere - but I found then all to be polite and not too annoying (though a rolling suitcase through a crowds helps clear a path :)
view from room
I stayed -  not in a hotel this time  - but a dorm-like University Center housing called Chicago Summer Housing, that was secure, great location, simple but with all basic necessities (like WiFi, free breakfast but no TV or any fancy hotel like things I never need) and cheap at $52/night! I had a librarian friend roommate and we share a joint bathroom with two other awesome librarians I know. Highly recommend checking it out if you are in Chicago for ALA next time
my room

ALA for me this year was a lot of meetings. As I was taking over as elected Chair of the ACRL University Libraries Section, I had a lot of business related events. Friday began with the ACRL Leadership Council Meeting focusing on Communities of Practices activities. I did like our "cafe style discussions" where we moved to new table every 10 minutes, to talk about the questions "what could we achieve? What challenges do we face? and What would we like to know?" rotating again and again, with a constant scribe staying at the table. Good way to meet others in ACRL outside my usual haunts and hear their ideas and directions. I liked that leaders in ACRL we want to see more of a "pull for knowledge rather than a push."  I also attended the ULS Executive meeting one early morning and enjoyed seeing those who could attend, sharing ideas (such as more ULS webinars or "virtual conversations"  to engage more than just at physical conferences, with more ULS members!) and celebrating our accomplishments.  I look forward to taking over as chair this year with such dynamic, and innovative ULS committee chairs, conveners and members!

I attended a few informative but fun sessions such as one from the GameRT on makerspace and fablabs happening in various libraries. Some public libraries has a fab lab on carts to roll out or move around locations in town. Also the push for STEM to shift to STEAM - adding the A for art - as art and creativity in the STEM environment is also just as important.  The ULS program this year was Busting Out of the Cubicle: Your Creative Self at Work - a fun interactive session where we played with Legos and more. The idea is that we ALL can be creative if given the time, strategies and facilitator. The presenters from U of Guelph were amazing and I highly recommend viewing their slides and ideas:

As co-chair of the Distance Learning Section's Program Planning Committee for Chicago, a big role for putting on our program "Is It Worth It? Assessing Online Instruction" We had over 310 attendees for this panel of 3 librarians and a moderator who keep the session interactive and yes NO powerpoints were used - a PBS NewsHour style session. Great ideas were suggested and interesting questions asked by attendees!  Following the program I also had to attend the DLS Exec meeting which is also nice time to meet other DE Libraries, share thoughts and catch up on projects.

As recently appointed co-chair of the Innovations Committee for the ACRL 2015 conference in Portland, OR (woot!) I attended a meeting for those taking over to learn tips and idea from those who were co-chairs for 2013 conference. Good information and I really look forward to this unique ACRL service over the next 2 years - being able to be creative and innovative with ideas and working with people on the committee with that same mindset. Let's see what cool innovations we can bring to 2015 with the theme Libraries Build Sustainable Communities.

SustainRT walk - photo by M. Egherman
This theme wraps into my last involvement at ALA which is the newly formed Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) which I helped get approval at ALA Seattle in January. In September ALA members will be able to sign up officially for SustainRT and spring 2014 there will be elections. For now its just a number of us sort of leading the way, and drawing in other interested people especially those who want to take the lead (as you can tell I need to cut back on service leadership activities :) Our meeting on Monday morning had an amazing 24 people attending  (at ALA Anaheim last year we had only 3 interested!) and hopefully they will get involved! We even had 2 international librarians from Aruba and St Maarten. These international folks were part of a session "How the Dutch Caribbean Goes Green with Libraries and Other Supporters: A Panel Presentation"Fascinating and inspiring how these islands are advancing in green energy and sustainability. The National Library of Aruba supports the annual Green Aruba Conference, Symposiums,  and a Sustainability Education program. The library in St Maarten had a solar energy project, adding 48 panels on their roof, 200kw hours saving $17700 in 40 months! Out SustainRT folks also met at the Chicago River Walk for a beautiful afternoon stroll along the waterfront.

Lastly there were fun social as well, which often are the best for networking and meting other librarians from all over the globe. The ULS Social was held outside on a rooftop location and I enjoyed seeing many of my DE librarians friends there as well:  (PS Recommended place eat at least once while in Chicago Native Foods Cafe!)
With librarians from Utah State, MS State, U of Central FL, JHU, and Winona

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


NCLA listserv just post a number of workshops, online, in person, at cost and free....

 Be sure to check out the listings at the Train Station, your one-stop destination for continuing education and professional development opportunities:
$ Connecting Readers to Books: Readers' Advisory for All Ages (Simmons GSLIS)
$ Crafts, Coffee Houses, and Other Cool Programs for School Libraries (Simmons GSLIS)
$ Integrating iPads, iPod Touches, and Tablets into your Library (Simmons GSLIS)
Discovery Services: The Future of Library Systems (American Libraries Live)
$ Harnessing Free Content with Web Services APIs (ALA Editions)
$ Building Web Applications with HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript: An Introduction to HTML5 (LITA)
$ Meet Them Where They Are: 6 Steps to Market Research Success (RUSA)
$ “What do I do with all these Images?” Getting Started with Digital Image Collections (Library Juice)
$ Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca (Library Juice)
$ Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing (Library Juice)
$ Embedded Librarianship (Library Juice)
$ Fundamentals of Collection Development & Management (ALCTS)
$ Introduction to Book Indexing (Library Juice)
$ Introduction to Genealogical Librarianship (Library Juice)
$ Introduction to XML (Library Juice)
$ Planning and Preparing for RDA: Resource Description and Access (ALA Editions)
$ Social Media for Libraries (Library Juice)
$ The Librarian as Scholar: Taking Part in Scholarly Communication (Library Juice)
$ Building Web Applications with HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript: An Introduction to HTML5 (LITA)
State of the Field: Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining (EDUCAUSE)
Get “Siri-Us” - How Voice Enablement Technologies Can Improve Productivity (Training Magazine)
Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Overview Training (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
Back to School with the Common Core (Booklist)
Trainer Smarts (InSync Training)
Fully Engaged Customer Service (State Library)
$ Building Web Applications with HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript: An Introduction to HTML5 (LITA)
$ Best Practices for Apps in Storytime (ALSC)
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats (Nonprofit Webinars)
$ Going Solo: Managing the One-person Library (LLAMA)
$ Rethinking Readers’ Advisory: An Interactive Approach (ALA Editions)
$ User Experience Research 101 (RUSA)
Fully Engaged Customer Service (State Library)
Climbing Capitol Hill: The Basics of Congressional Research (NCLA)
Health Insurance Marketplace 101 (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
Where Teens and Technology Meet: engaging teens with digital media (WebJunction)
$ Using Twitter for Marketing and Outreach (ALA Editions)
Fully Engaged Customer Service (State Library)
$ RDA 101 (NCSLA)
$ Building Web Applications with HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript: An Introduction to HTML5 (LITA)
$ Creating Great User Experiences: Taking Libraries beyond Customer Service (Infopeople)
Geek the Library Informational Webinar (Geek the Library)
Thank Goodness It's Monday TGIM: Enjoy your job, enjoy your life (InSync Training)
YA Announcements: Falling Into Books (Booklist)
$ Copyright Decisions: Impact of Recent Cases on Libraries and Publishers (NISO)
Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
$ Is Community Assessment a High Hurdle? Get Over It! (PLA)
LibPAS Chat (State Library)
$ Understanding Personalities in the Workplace (ASCLA)
Advanced Search for Beginners: Navigating the latest release of the American FactFinder – Part 2 (Infopeople)
$ The Power of Play for Early Childhood Learning in Your Library (ALSC)
Inspired Reading: New Titles in Christian Fiction (Library Journal)
People - Difficult or Different? (Effectiveness Institute)
$ Business Reference 101 (RUSA)
$ Fundamentals of Acquisitions (ALCTS)
A Framework for Institutional Adoption and Implementation of Blended Learning in Higher Education (EDUCAUSE)
$ Readers' Advisory Fundamentals (Infopeople)
Mobile Learning in Real Life: mLearning Case Studies (Training Magazine)
Email Marketing 101 – Beyond the Monthly Newsletter (Nonprofit Webinars)
Inclusive Library Programs for People with Intellectual Disabilities (Infopeople)
How to Navigate American FactFinder (Census Bureau)
$ Managing E-Resources Cataloging: Impact and Insight (ALCTS)
Going First: More from the Edge Pilot Libraries (TechSoup for Libraries)
Website Accessibility 101 (Accessible Technology Coalition)
$ Understanding Personalities in the Workplace (ASCLA)
Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Overview Training (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
The Economic Census and Other Economic Programs (Census Bureau)
Collections: Making Smart Choices within a Limited Materials Budget (Infopeople)
Change Your View of AT to Support Employees (Accessible Technology Coalition)
PowerPoint as a Graphics Editor: Simplified Visual Design for Elearning (Training Magazine)
Health Insurance Marketplace 101 (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
The Importance of Validating Your Statement of Need (Nonprofit Webinars)
State Library of NC Update August 2013
$ Understanding Personalities in the Workplace (ASCLA)
Applying for a Library Job - Don't Do This! (SJSU Colloquia)
Marketing Libraries: What the not-for-profits can learn from the lots-of-profits (WebJunction)
Understanding Census Geography (Census Bureau)
Designing Multi-Device Experiences (O'Reilly Media)