Friday, December 11, 2015

Dr. Husain at MAC-MLA - free meducation

In October I attended the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Medical Library Assn conference.  I presented on one of my projects, supporting online Kinesiology doctoral students.  I also picked up some interesting ideas.

Dr. Itifat Husain, founder of, discussed free medical apps and other info in medical education.  He reported heavy use of smartphones among the medical community, with over 75% of medical students and physicians using iOS devices.  His advice could have come from our own information literacy sessions "They key is to use Google and Wikipedia appropriately. Look at the references and summaries to get you into PubMed." 

Free Medical App - Legit or Not? 
  • Last updated? If more than 18 months, it might be an orphan app
  • App developer - is it a medical society or well known health care provider? what other apps have they developed?
  • Clear, detailed descriptions available before download?
  • Is there a landing page? not just a download page in iTunes or other app store or facebook page
  • References included so that you can verify the content?
  • iTunes and Google Play ratings are useless
The #FOAM movement
Free Open Access MEducation
  • free resources with open commentary: blogs, tweets, online videos, etc.
  • coin was termed by emergency physicians
  • advantages: free, appealing, rapid dissemination (authors don't want to wait months to years for traditional publication process)
  •  disadvantage: at this point a lot of the content is unusual/attention gathering rather than core foundational topics
  • concerns: sustainable? (MDs doing this in spare time); students shouldn't try to use FOAM w/out solid foundational knowledge
Peer review debate
     public comments are a form of "post publication" peer review
    a more formal open peer review process like the one being promoted at Academic Life in Medicine

Dr. Husain's predictions
  • digital medicine tools like these will be a core part of med ed curriculum  
  • medical textbook use will decline, but there is still be a need for foundational knowledge sources
Yes, this movement has spread to nursing!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Southeastern Library Assessment Conference

I attended this conference November 16-17 in Atlanta.  It was very useful. Below are some of the highlights for me.  All of the presentations are here (or will be soon).

Two librarians from UNC Charlotte presented on assessing e-resources.  They focused on Political Science but had a good protocol that could be applied to other subject areas.  The liaison to that area worked w/ their E-Resources Librarian.  They collaborated closely with teaching faculty to gain their input and used the data to cancel or promote underused resources.  See "Give e-resources a chance" on the program.

Librarians from MIT presented on "Design Thinking."  They worked with teams of students for a marathon over 2.5 days to gain input on library space design.  It was somewhat similar to our Idea-Thon and working with the IARC students a few years ago but with a different twist.

One of the most valuable presentations was from Grand Valley State.  The Information Literacy librarian conducted a study to examine the impact of library instruction on student retention.  She found a definite correlation. Interestingly, she used a method similar to what we've started here by recording the Genie course code for each instruction session.  She then worked with a statistician to compare it to retention rates.  Because she is working toward a publication she didn't post her PPT on the conference web site but will send it to individuals.  I've requested it and will share.

I presented with Crystal Baird from SACSCOC about how libraries can use assessment to prepare for accreditation.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Research Design and Librarianship - free ACRL webinar on 9/29

I just received message about this free webinar on 9/29, 2-3 pm EST -

Conducting research is an integral part of academic librarianship. To help equip librarians to design and conduct research projects the Loyola Marymount University William H. Hannon Library created the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship ( Hear from participants of this intensive two-week crash course in research methods and get their tips on research design. They’ll describe the projects they’ve created using their new skills and offer insights to inspire fellow librarians to conduct their own projects.


September 29, 2015 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm ET

Featured Presenter(s):

  • Marie R. Kennedy is the Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. She is the IRDL project co-director.
  • Frans Albarillo is a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. His research focuses on how immigrant students use academic libraries. Frans has finished his first IRDL project on foreign-born students, and is writing up the results. He is preparing to start a second project with an IRDL fellow in the second year cohort that focuses on how graduate students and faculty use mobile devices for teaching and research.
  • John Jackson is the Reference & Instruction Librarian for Wardman Library at Whittier College. His current research examines the values that undergraduates place on the knowledge practices outlined in the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.
  • Lisa Zilinski is the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries Research Data Specialist. As part of the Scholarly Publishing, Archives, and Data Services Division, Lisa consults with faculty to identify data literacy opportunities, develops learning plans and tools for data education, and investigates and develops programmatic and sustainable data services for the Libraries. Her research experience focuses on research data management education and literacy principles; integration of data services into the research process; and assessment and impact of data services and activities.
  • Moderated by Bronia Flett, Editor, Online Library Products, SAGE Publications


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Society of American Archivists annual meeting

From August 18-23, I was in Cleveland for the Society of American Archivists annual meeting. The week was packed with SAA committee meetings, section meetings, and sessions.

On Wednesday morning, SAA's Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) met to discuss our work plan for FY16 as well as our promotional events that were tied to the 2015 meeting (everything from branding to a StoryCorps booth to a promotional video that was played during the first plenary session). Because of this meeting, I missed the first half of a day-long pre-conference on Teaching with Primary Sources that I helped organize at the Cleveland Public Library. But, after lunch, I was able to join the pre-conference, where I sat in on sessions focused on integration of special collections into non-humanities curricula and ways to balance one-shot classes/presentations vs. in-depth instruction and teaching. I was particularly interested in a number of universities that have integrated critical primary source document analysis into their basic freshman writing course.

Outside of the Cleveland Public Library

On Thursday morning, the conference itself began. The plenary session debuted our video and featured speakers discussing the importance of storytelling in advocacy and awareness efforts. Effective storytelling was actually a theme that ran throughout the conference and tied into the work of COPA and outgoing SAA president Kathleen Roe to encourage archivists to tell stories of how "archives change lives." Many speakers throughout the conference noted the importance of telling the right story in the right way to the right audience -- something that is drilled into your mind when you're doing any kind of public relations work. And we also stressed that these aren't just stories that you find in the archives themselves, but stories of how the archives and the work of the archivist made an impact on someone's life in a critical way.

View from the park across the street from the convention center

On Thursday afternoon, I participated in the Reference, Access, and Outreach Section meeting. I'm an elected member of the RAO steering committee, and my responsibility throughout the section meeting was to use the RAO Twitter account to take the topics of conversation at our meeting (which was done in a kind of "world cafe" style) to SAA members who were unable to attend the conference.

Friday morning was a second plenary session where outgoing president Kathleen Roe once again emphasized the importance of stories, and incoming president Dennis Meissner unveiled that his presidential focus will be on building standards for assessment that will give us hard, reliable statistics to back up our stories. We also heard from one of the members of SAA Council about Council's new initiative on cultural competence for archives and archivists. This tied into another theme that ran through many of the sessions I attended -- archivists may have professional expertise in recordkeeping but they must recognize that the members of the communities they are documenting are the experts in their communities. More and more, this is manifesting as a post-custodial model of archives, where the archivist is simply educating community members on how to better manage the records of their community (as opposed to acquiring the records and bringing them into the holdings of the archival institution). While my primary responsibility focuses on university records (which are legally required to be transferred to our holdings), I'm hoping I can take the post-custodial model to some of our community groups and educate on recordkeeping (particularly digital record keeping) without an eye towards acquisition.

Statue behind the convention center

Friday was also the day for my session -- "No More Silence in the Library: Documenting Fans and Fandom in Special Collections and Archives." We had seven speakers crammed into an hour time slot, but we heard about the value of fan mail in the Louisville Underground Music Archive, outreach activities (including concerts in the library basement) at the DC Public Library's DC Punk Archive, a sci-fi zine digitization and cataloging project at the University of Iowa, a class project at UW-Stout where students create graphic novels based on historical campus events researched in University Archives, and a game (with cute badges and an armadillo guide) that the University of Texas is using to crowdsource cataloging of their local zines. It was a well attended session -- over 120 attendees and standing room only -- and was the 3rd most tweeted about session of the whole conference.

Outside of the sessions and committee meetings, I was able to explore Cleveland. Our all-attendee reception on Thursday night was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was also able to visit the Western Historical Society (where they have a fabulous collection of early American cars and planes) and the Cleveland Museum of Art (which is one of the best art museums I've visited in the US). The most exciting, however, was a trip to visit the Christmas Story House and Museum -- yes, Ralphie's house.
A Christmas Story house

Friday, June 12, 2015

Digital Library on American Slavery

Richard Cox did a very interesting session on this resource, and I would urge all to take a look.  It's one of our most heavily used resources, around 300,000 hits per year, mostly by users outside of the University.  is the main website and the largest portion is the Race and Slavery Petitions Project - used heavily by African American (and other) genealogists and researchers on the history of slavery.  The online source is an index but we also have microfilm of the actual handwritten petitions (the title is Race, Slavery and Free Blacks)  - there's a guide in the Ref collection at E441 .R280 and the Film numbers are 5294 and 4939.  We are one of the few libraries in the country that owns the entire set - most locations have the records only for their own states.    It's a tricky set to use because you need to use the PAR number which is explained in depth in the print volumes,   Essentially, you must have the state and the year from the online index to find them easily. We do appear to have online access to these through Proquest's History Vault but for some reason it's not on the Database list.  

Catalog Stuff - East Coast WMS User Gathering

This week I had the chance to go to the WMS East Coast User Meeting with a few others from our library.

The location was beautiful. And there were several sessions on WorldCat Discovery Services! A few takeaways from my perspective:
  • Beta testing for WorldCat Discovery will officially end after the July update
  • FirstSearch is supposed to go away in December 2015
  • OCLC has not yet set a "sunset date" for WorldCat Local, so libraries aren't being forced to move from WorldCat Local to WorldCat Discovery.  OCLC still supports WorldCat Local but won’t be developing it.
  • Apparently we're not supposed to be abbreviating WorldCat Discovery Services to WCD, but to WDS.  I'll spell it out frequently in case you don't want another set of acronyms in your life.
Upcoming developments for WorldCat Discovery 
  • "Knowledge cards" will appear in a banner across the top of the list of results.  These are brief blurbs, for instance biographical info with links to our holdings by an author and about an author (scheduled for June)
  • WorldCat Discovery records should have suggested citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago style (scheduled for July) & fyi they're working on getting Discovery to work with Zotero (not sure when this will happen)
  • Call numbers will be added to the temporary "bookmarked" list in Discovery (scheduled for July)
  • Users will be given some sort of mechanism for moving lists saved in WorldCat Local accounts over to WorldCat Discovery (scheduled for July)
  • "Editions and formats" lists don't have the cue of your library name next to the edition you own, as WCL does.  That sort of cue will be added to Discovery (not sure when)
  • Emails from the system - Don't include a permalink back to the record so you can check availability and other info like you can with emails from WorldCat Local.  This will be added (not sure when)
  • Although some librarians continue to request a comprehensive results display, for instance brief info for a book followed by a list of all locally owned years/formats/copies, "in the short term" OCLC will continue to display only "representative sample" of what a library owns. OCLC will start displaying your most recent copy as the sample. Those catalog records won't be quite as appealing, for example after this change we'll see less cover art in the results list (not sure when).  OCLC is exploring other results display options.
Other things to expect in June
  1. A new Community Center
--One user forum that will replace the WCL and WMS User Support Centers - existing centers will be available through the end of this year
--Users can create profiles that are private or are visible to other customers who subscribe to the same OCLC products
--Posting an enhancement request in the Community Center will automatically: send an email to a member of the product development team, and post the request to the community center where other members can rate and comment on it
--The listservs will continue
  1. WorldShare Report Designer - Product that allows customers to create customized reports. Available as an add-on (extra subscription fee required)

I don't have details on some of the things listed here, but feel free to ask me directly if there's anything else that I've heard from OCLC or from other librarians. 

In case you'd like other perspectives from the meeting, Terry, Mary Jane, Cathy G., Marcie, and Darinlee attended. Most of them also presented!!

Remember, we do have a library staff guide to WorldCat Discovery:  

It has a search box pre-limited to UNCG holdings, a link to Terry's blog and more.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

IASSIST Data Professionals Conference

I attended the IASSIST conference from June 1-June 5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can read about a few sessions and the plenaries on my blog. The conference is popular for data-related topics and trends.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Zotero workshop this Thursday 5/7, 4-5:30 pm

Jump start your summer research with an introduction to Zotero, a free tool for saving and organizing your references.  Get a free Zotero account!  Create in text citations and bibliographies in MS Word!

This Thursday 5/7, 4-5:30 pm (last 30 minutes for extra questions and practice).  Please register through the UNCG workshops calendar:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Kathy C's ACRL report

After a month I'm finally getting to this! It was a great conference and certainly a wonderful venue in Portland.  I'd never been there before and definitely want to go back purely for vacation.  I hadn't been to ACRL in many years either and I was glad to attend again.

ACRL is pretty overwhelming with many choices every hour which makes it hard to decide what to attend.  As Steve Cramer mentioned, it's heavy on information literacy and I usually find that we are certainly up to speed with our program here.  I found some sessions and posters on student employees very useful and would love to try out some ideas here -- look out supervisors!

I also went to some sessions on digital sources and incorporating them into the curriculum.  We have really ramped up our work in this area and, again, I got some good ideas.

I attended Steve & Lynda's presentation on our liaison reorganization and they did a super job!  I had the pleasure of presenting on our work with high impact practices and felt proud to showcase everyone's hard work in this area.

The final keynote by  Lawrence Lessig was inspirational.  He's know for his work with Creative Commons and open access but the broader theme was on the haves and have nots and he had many people in tears,  especially when talking about Aaron Swartz. 

On a personal note I had a wonderful reunion with a friend I hadn't seen in almost 30 years.  Where does the time go?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Librarians visit Welborn Academy

Post by Kathy Bradshaw.

On April 17, Gerald Holmes and I were guests at a career fair held at the Welborn Academy of Science and Technology in High Point to discuss librarianship as a career choice. Welborn Academy is a middle school. The students were curious about what we do as librarians (many of them didn't know about libraries other than school and public libraries) so were we able to share information about different kinds of libraries. Gerald talked about the teaching that academic librarians do, and told them about all the support librarians give to students. We were also able to tell the students about volunteer opportunities in libraries for students which would allow them to learn more about what libraries do, or as places to work as college students.

The students were excited to learn more about libraries (although we did have stiff competition from the Honda Jet 18 wheeler outside) and they even gave us thank you notes.

Here's a thank you note we received:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Special Libraries Association Arabian Gulf Chapter Annual Meeting       


Conference title:  The Internet and the Positive Change to Librarians and Information Professionals:  Creating Real Future Impact

Report from Mary Krautter

On March 2015, I traveled to the Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to present a pre-conference workshop and also a conference presentation with Mary Scanlon and Mary Beth Lock of Wake Forest University Libraries (we have billed ourselves as the 3 Marys).  We were invited to attend based on the book on entrepreneurial librarianship which we co-edited in 2012 and most of our expenses were covered by the Arabian Gulf Chapter.    The Arabian Gulf Chapter includes members from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.  Many of the librarians working there are  expatriates from Canada, Great Britain and the United States or have received a library degree in one of those countries, but there are also many native to the region who are eager for new information and training.  Approximately 300-400 people attended the conference.

One of the particular challenges faced by libraries in this region includes the lack of a strong Arabic catalog that is equivalent to WMS.  Some of the libraries own large ebook packages, but they have challenges with discovery applications.  We particularly enjoyed seeing the library at the Petroleum Institute – which has nearly 2000 undergraduate and graduate students studying engineering and other fields related to the energy industry.  Vanessa Middleton, Head of the Library, is a former colleague of Mary Beth Lock when both were at Wayne State University Library. 

While a few of the presentations were in Arabic, almost all were either translated or were delivered in English.  There were many vendors present that we’re very familiar with – Thomson Reuters, EBSCO, and Springer, among others.  I particularly enjoyed meeting one of the representatives from Press Reader, a company with whom I wasn’t familiar.  They have a news database with strong international coverage. 

The three Marys were all impressed with the connections between our presentation and workshop and the themes in other conference presentations.   Keynote speakers included Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai, and Professor Sherif Kamel Shaheen of Cairo University.  In both of their presentations the importance of higher education in their region was a central theme.  Dr. Bastaki in particular talked about leadership and innovation and the importance of human capital.   Creating an economy in which knowledge creation is an essential element was another theme that he stressed as critical for the region.  Keynote speaker Paula Kaufman spoke about translating ideas into action and creating an environment in which libraries in higher education collaborate  and build integrated services that support faculty and students.  Dr. Kaufman also participated in a second session on  ROI and assessment of the value of library services.    

One of the speakers whose presentation I attended was Rick Anderson, who was a reference librarian at UNCG even before I came here.  He has been at the University of Utah for many years, and  sent greetings to those he worked with – particularly Mark, Kathy Crowe and Nancy Ryckman.  He discussed PDA ebooks as essential to modern collections, which was a new concept for some at the conference.  He emphasized the need for patron driven acquisition, replacing the concept that libraries exist to preserve physical objects. 
Lisa Hinchcliffe, a very well-known expert on information literacy who has co-published with Amy Harris,  was part of a panel and presented on the Horizon Report on Information Literacy.  

Overall, I found many common themes and concerns among librarians from very different backgrounds and cultures.  The sessions were thought provoking and illuminating,  and the conference gave us plenty of opportunities to interact with others.  We were very grateful to the conference organizers for the opportunity to share our ideas of using entrepreneurial techniques in creating and promoting library services and giving us the chance to learn about librarianship in a different part of the world.  I’m also grateful to UNCG Libraries for encouraging me to pursue this opportunity. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ILLiad International Conference

March 18 and 19, I attended the ILLiad International Conference in Virginia Beach.  ILLiad is the software we use to manage Interlibrary Loan functions.  The conference is sponsored by Atlas Systems.

The key note speaker was Eric Miller of Zepheria. Zepheria and Atlas Systems are partners, with several other organizations, on the Libhub initiative which seeks to use BIBFRAME and the Linked Data in Libraries Movement to make library data integratable with the web in a way that makes it easy for search engines to find it.  An example used was an attempt to expose materials related to the Unsinkable Molly Brown owned by the public library in her home town.  Presently, the library’s holdings have no presence in the Google search results for Molly Brown.  Eric showed us the results of a test that used Libhub which put their holdings close to the top of the results and scattered them throughout.

Genie Powell, Chief Customer Service Officer for Atlas Systems, gave an ILLiad update.  Version 8.6 of ILLiad is due for release on May 26.  Version 8.4 support ends on 7/1. Fortunately, we are on 8.5. New features in 8.6 include the ability to customize the request statuses on the patron ILLiad accounts. For example, when we have requested that a book be sent to us by another library the patron account now says “Request Sent”; we could make it say “On Order” or something else that is more commonly understood.  In ILLiad, however, it would still say “Request Sent”.  Also in 8.6 patrons wanting notifications by text message will have to re-enter their mobile phone number into a newly provided mobile phone field in the Personal Information section of their ILLiad accounts.

One of more fun and interesting session each year is the OCLC Update given by Katie Birch.  Each year Katie presents the list of the top 10 requested ILL books from the previous year.  Of course, the audience tries to guess what’s number 1 on the list before it’s revealed…”Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades of Gray, Fifty Shades of Gray” has been the usual audience response for the past couple of years.  This year, Divergent was also a popular response.  We were wrong.  The most requested book was Dead Doctors Don’t Lie, which is about maximizing genetic potential for health and longevity.  Divergent made the list at number 8 with Allegiant and Insurgent at numbers 4 and 9 respectively. None of the Grey books were on the list…but everyone surmised that they will be back next year with the recent release of the movie!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Society of North Carolina Archivists Conference

This year's annual meeting for the Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA) was held on March 11-13 in Greenville, North Carolina.   Archivists from across the state gathered to hear presentations on the theme "Removing Barriers: Diversity and Outreach in Action."

UNCG was well represented among the presenters at the conference, including presentations by Stacey Krim, David Gwynn, Jada Jones (LIS student) and me.  On Thursday afternoon, I presented on the Diverse Approaches to Collection Development panel.  My talk, "Where are all the donors? In-reach and outreach as a means of building and growing collections at UNCG," focused on my efforts to increase collecting of creative writing collections, neighborhood organizational records, and women's organization organizational records.

At the plenary session, Wesley Hogan, Director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, delivered a presentation entitled "Framing Stories from the Inside-Out: Piloting a Fresh Approach to Collaborating with Groups on the Margin."  She discusses her work with SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and how she and her colleagues at Duke were able to bring members from this group together to tell their history through the website One Person, One Vote: The Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights.  Wesley also talked about the challenges in fostering collaboration between Duke and SNCC; ownership of the materials being a deal-breaker for earlier talks of a project between the groups.  If successful, the collaboration methods used during this project could become a model for future collaborations with underrepresented groups.

Other highlights from the presentations included "Outreach With a Purpose" from Tom Flynn, Winston-Salem State University Archivist.  His efforts to increase the holdings of the archive through the capture of micro oral histories are unique and effective.    Pam Mitchem from Appalachian State University gave a lightning round presentation on experimenting with treatment methods for mold and insects.  They used CO2 fire extinguishers to quickly kill insects in infected collections before bringing them to the archives for processing.

The conference included the annual business meeting, which was presided over by SNCA President Kathelene Smith.  Sean Mulligan gave a rousing treasurer's report and I, as Nominating Committee Chair, presented the slate of candidates for next year's SNCA executive board.

Overall, a busy and informative conference.  Looking forward to meeting next year in Charlotte.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Empirical Librarians Symposium

A few of us recently attended the first Empirical Librarians Symposium hosted at NC A&T. If interested, you can read my notes and thoughts on my blog.