Listen & Learn and Discussion Sessions
To broaden multicultural learning on campus, the University of the Pacific’s University Library partnered with Multicultural Affairs to create book displays tailored to cultural heritage months, as well as events celebrating LGBT and Women’s history. The book displays boasted higher than average circulation rates, 20% - 53%, and promoted the rich co-curricular programming on campus. To assist with the promotion of these physical, in-Library book displays, the Library uses LibraryThing, an online, book-driven, virtual “social space.” LibraryThing beautifully displays book covers and generally provides patrons with a means of easily browsing thematically-grouped collections in an innovative and stimulating 2.0 environment. These displays help advertise diversity-based campus events programming – the Library is a high-traffic, central location on campus – and additionally help enhance student identity formation, while also promoting inclusiveness and engendering numerous opportunities for Pacific students to make their own discoveries and connections regarding the history of both our nation and our world, thus further equipping them with the knowledge needed to be informed and interculturally competent global citizens as called for in Pacific Rising 2008-1015, the University's strategic planning document. As a result of this session, attendees will understand the value of Multicultural Affairs / Library partnerships in promoting cultural understanding (as well as the benefits of student life/ library partnerships generally), and will learn how to create and sustain such partnerships. This session will provide attendees abundant opportunities to reflect, brainstorm and share ideas regarding Library / campus unit partnerships that would promote diversity and inclusiveness at their institutions.
The Next Generation Research Guide: You Too Can Move to LibGuides and Plan a Cheap, Fun Marketing Campaign in One Semester or Less
Nicole Allensworth, Diane Sands, and Hesper Wilson (San Francisco State University)
In Spring 2009, a group of San Francisco State University Librarians undertook a project to revolutionize our 75+ academic research guides. Realizing that the traditional static pathfinder was growing less and less relevant to our Googlecentric users, we decided to pick them up, dust them off and bring them into the modern Web 2.0 age. One of our central questions at the start of this project was: What about the librarians who authored these? Would they jump on our 2.0 bandwagon, or would we have to drag them kicking and screaming into the new age of interactive user-centered design? Using SpringShare’s LibGuides content management system as well as some good old fashioned training, support and cheerleading; we successfully accomplished our goal. In this session, we’ll discuss how we shepherded both our research guides and our librarian authors into the LibGuides system without tears, angst, or out-and-out civil war. We’ll describe the nitty-gritty of training and persuading reluctant (or simply distracted) authors to make the move and use all the cool tools: shared content boxes, embedded multi-media, RSS feeds and more. Finally, we’ll talk about our capstone research project to reach out to our users (and beyond) with no-cost social media marketing techniques, sharing our initial assessment and offering our audience an opportunity to learn from both our mistakes and our successes.
Mentoring is a service activity that librarians should participate to ensure a smooth integration of new library faculty member into the organization. However, program structure matters when evaluating the efficacy of mentoring models. Three tenure-track librarians at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) will describe their experiences as mentees in a new mentoring model approach, the Resource Team model (RTM). Based on the concepts of group and circle mentoring models, the RTM approach was designed to acclimatize new librarians to all areas of librarianship and to the culture of the organization. This presentation will focus on how the RTM ensures that mentees have the tools and support to work effectively within the organization and to flourish professionally as they move towards tenure. Presenters will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this model for mentees, examining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and pressures from the mentee perspective. Much has been written on mentorship programs in academic libraries from the mentor’s or organization’s perspective and less from the mentee’s point of view. Our research shows that most mentoring models are based on one-on-one relationships, whereas ours is a team-based model. California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) is already using our model to mentor two new librarians. This presentation will give you some interesting “food for thought” and ideas to implement the model at your library.
If you could choose three things related to information literacy that your students would understand before graduation, what would they be? Academic librarians are at the heart of their institutions' educational missions, especially in their roles as teachers. In front of the classroom, via chat widget and at the reference desk, we face a rapidly changing landscape of students with disparate information skill sets. At the same time, the nature of our collections and role as a campus resource is also shifting. Given these changes--and in light of our experiences working with students--we are constantly poised to question the value and relevance of what we teach. In this session, three teaching librarians will lead a discussion of future approaches to information literacy instruction. This discussion will consider the value of information skills and knowledge to evolving professions and whether librarians are prepared to teach these competencies. Participants will take part in a group brainstorm/backward design process, in which we reflect on our collective "on the ground" experience to determine some core information literacy threshold concepts. Let's ignore the standards for an hour and think through information literacy as a field of study, and discover where it takes us. Participants will: Brainstorm individual priorities for information literacy instruction. Collaboratively categorize these priorities into instructional themes and core content areas. Determine how and whether these core concepts can be used to transform information literacy instruction and integrate it more thoroughly into the broader curriculum.
Scavenger hunts, also known as "treasure hunts," have been much criticized, even hated by many instruction librarians. Advocates of "library as place" suggest that the role of the academic library should change from being a repository for materials to a place on campus that fosters learning, collaboration, and connects users to information resources. Without experiencing the physical library, students often lack the understanding of the organization of information, may not use library resources, and possess poor research skills. Adding a "library as place" component to library orientations or sessions can alleviate library anxiety and improve student learning. At CSU San Marcos, librarians teach two weeks of a semester long freshman experience course and two librarians added a group library exploration activity to their lesson plans so that students would understand the library as place and meet student learning outcomes (ex. using the catalog to look up a book and find it in the stacks). The feedback from students and faculty has been overwhelmingly positive. Presenters will discuss the impetus for the activity, development and continuous improvements, and best practices for creating (or recreating) effective scavenger hunts that include assessment of student learning. These discussions will be supported by student centered learning theory, Millennial student characteristics, the concept of library as place, and a literature review of the use of scavenger hunts in library instruction. Participants will come away with a full lesson plan and activity kit list to teach "library as place" at their institution.
In Fall 2009, the Health Sciences Branch (HSB) Library initiated a reference training program using wiki technology to provide basic reference services during all library hours, promote a uniform level of reference expertise, and develop staff competencies and skills. Implementation results have been promising as staff consistently exhibit more confidence when addressing reference questions and engaging in larger professional library issues. HSB is part of the University of the Pacific Library (Stockton, California) and primarily serves the Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, and Dental Hygiene Departments. HSB is staffed with one Sciences Librarian and two paraprofessional employees. HSB requires branch employees to share and assume various job duties and responsibilities, due to staffing concerns and the availability of the Science Librarian, who has subject liaison duties outside of Health Sciences, as well as obligations to the Main Library. To maximize staff presence and reference capabilities at HSB, reference training was implemented for the branch’s two paraprofessional employees. A wiki format was selected to collocate different resources and formats in a single location. The collaborative functions of the wiki complemented the branch's egalitarian organizational structure. Each staff member selected materials of interest and augmented the wiki conversation with their previous experiences. Content on the wiki was user-driven, as participants were able to dictate the materials featured on the wiki. For the staff, prominent benefits of using the wiki include the encouragement and exchange of dialogue, self-selected materials generated from personal interests, archival abilities, asynchronous communication, and a collaborative and constructivist learning environment.
In a time of transformation in the library profession, teaching or bringing knowledge out to patrons is seen as central to the future. The main form of library teaching remains the “one-shot” library session in which students are handed off from an instructor to a librarian who answers research questions. However, this transfer is hobbled by a major omission. Most library instruction consists of directing students to online databases and demonstrating how to select results and retrieve them. Very little attention is given to creating search statements that generate results in the first place. Having taught writing at the college level for 20 years as well as my share of library instruction sessions, I can say that writing teachers pay no attention to the formulation of keywords and search statements since they regard this as the purview of librarians. Librarians consider subject knowledge as the source of keywords. As a result, there is no instruction on formulating keywords at all, and students founder at the beginning of their search process. Studies show that this is a serious problem that is likely to get worse. The student population is socialized to the internet. As a result, they privilege keywords over directories and subject headings, and they favor the use of few, disconnected keywords over longer search statements. Studies indicate that 50% of student searches fail to find anything. The body of techniques available for generating keywords is limited: Boolean searching, concept mapping, synonyms, and broadening and narrowing search terms. Each has its uses and limitations although none really addresses the need that exists. The paper will discuss a specific exercise for generating keywords and speculate on the reasons for its success. These include principles of visual literacy and ways to cooperate with writing instructors in the teaching of critical thinking.
This session’s primary focus will describe how last year’s research led to a new study that uses ethnographic techniques to acquire data on how students actually use the Fresno State library’s web site to find information. Three librarians and one anthropology professor are working closely together on this effort. We will describe the study’s methodology, how decisions on processes/procedures were made, the technology we implemented to measure the ease or difficulty users experienced, and how results will be compiled and analyzed. While the project’s final report will not be finished by the conference date, the observational studies will be complete. We plan to talk about what worked and what did not work, the study’s next steps, and then some practical ethnographic applications participants can implement in their institutions.
This session shares the research on the experiences of beginning and expert librarians to ascertain the factors that predict practitioner success. In the process, the study compares southern California librarians (and their academic preparation) with the experiences of librarians in other representative countries. Factors are identified that link to librarian preparation, with the intent of determining: 1) what prior experiences and predispositions jumpstart librarians; 2) at what point in the academic-practice continuum identified skills, knowledge, and dispositions should be addressed; 2) what in-service activities optimize continued professional growth and success. The investigator also uncovers universal and culturally determined practices.
Since 1980 librarians have published research on best practices for business instruction. What does the evidence show? Do 70 published articles in the field show improvements in instruction over time? Has there been an increase in the quality of research methods used? Who and what are the foundational theorists or models on which this literature stands? Systematic analysis offers a model for summarizing and critiquing the literature and applying it to improve future practice and encourage higher levels of research methods. California academic librarians are well represented in this literature. A panel of three business librarians will describe aspects of this systematic analysis. Participants will hear results of the study with emphasis on the objectives associated with research methods used in the literature set as measured against two models used by health sciences librarianship for evidence-based librarianship. This study sought to categorize Jonathan Eldredge’s Levels of Evidence model to business instruction research studies and to test whether the Glynn Critical Appraisal Checklist could be applied as an inter-rater reliability tool. More than a report of the study itself, panelists and attendees will reflect on the opportunities for higher levels of evidence-based research methods indicated by this qualitative systematic analysis. Attendees will see and hear a report on an award winning research study (BRASS Emerald research award for 2009), receive recommended readings for research methods in systematic analysis, and participate in a reflection on how to the challenges and opportunities for academic librarians to improve the quality of research studies.
Digging into Our "Hidden Collections": Maximizing Staff Skills and Technology to Enhance Access to Special Collections
Elaine Franco and John Sherlock (University of California Davis), Sarah Buchanan (UC Los Angeles)
"Exposing Hidden Collections," the 2003 conference organized by ARL's
Special Collections Task Force, heightened awareness of the extent of
uncataloged and unprocessed special collections languishing in
academic and research libraries and the need to provide access to
these distinct, and sometimes unique, collections. Additional reports
and proposals at the national and state level have urged libraries to
set priorities, establish best practices, and streamline workflows in
order to optimize discovery of their hidden collections. The University of California, Davis, General Library has significantly reduced its arrearage of special collections materials (including rare books, pamphlets, and ephemera) and increased patron usage by focusing on UCD's research specialties, training paraprofessionals to catalog more difficult and specialized materials (resulting in one reclassification to "Specialist Cataloger"), utilizing staff language skills, streamlining workflows, carefully considering optional practices, and facilitating original cataloging and authority work
through selective and sometimes serendipitous searches of online and print resources. Original bibliographic records have been added to OCLC WorldCat, UC's Melvyl, and the ESTC. OCLC credits for original records, as well as for update and enhance transactions, have helped offset the expense of preparing more detailed bibliographic records for special collections. Specific projects, some grant-funded, have encompassed collections of British Romantic poetry, American Western history, viticulture and enology, California authors and fine presses, and pre-1801 imprints. With the ARL Conference as a guide, a project team at UCLA is focused on accelerating the description of undocumented rare books and archival materials held in Special Collections. Some unexpected "gems" have been discovered in the process.
The CalArts’ Student Behaviors and Habits (CASBAH) project, implemented in the spring of 2009, drew its inspiration from the widely publicized and discussed "Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester." The Rochester study made use of a number of anthropological and ethnographic methods to examine how undergraduate students write their research papers. Partly borrowing and adapting some of the qualitative methodologies used in the Rochester study, CalArts undertook the challenge to learn more holistically about the information-seeking behaviors of art school students. Our research question was simply: How do college students in an artistic and nontraditional setting view and act on the process of discovery? We expected to gain some interesting insights given the nonlinear approach to experiencing the world exhibited daily by our community of artists.
Studying students to learn about their information practices and perceptions has been a fruitful and refreshing development in library research. Among the most notable recent studies are the University of Minnesota’s study of scientists and graduate students and Rochester’s studies of undergraduates (both 2007). Ethnographic methods like those used in the Rochester studies have created much excitement in libraries. Through these methods libraries can gain insights into user needs that might never have resulted from library survey questions. In this session we’ll explore another way that libraries can benefit from the perspective of student library users. At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, undergraduate research is part of the university’s “learn by doing” pedagogy. In recent years the Library has been used as a research site for undergraduate students in a variety of fields, from architecture to business to computer science. Using case studies from individual, group, and classroom projects, we’ll discuss how students developed their research questions; interactions throughout the research projects between the students, their professors, and the library; the nature and form of the students’ findings; surprises and unexpected findings resulting from the students’ perspectives; and library actions based on these findings. At many universities there is a wide range of disciplines and courses where student research on library-related issues can be attractive to students and of great interest to libraries. Related issues include how to acknowledge and share student research results, and opportunities for creating an ongoing student-driven research program in libraries.
A panel consists of a mentor and 2 mentees will share their experience and tell their stories, and to exchange ideas with librarians from other academic libraries where librarian has faculty status on the survivorship in fast changing environments. Our experience is easy to duplicate to help junior librarians to work up her/his full potentials, to design/develop personal goals that fit into personal career expectations, to boost morale and productivity, to take one step a time to reach your goals, to better support the organizational goals and objectives, to develop leadership within the organization, and finally to enjoy your work.
Software for web-based research guides has allowed librarians to emerge from the stacks and put a face on their work. Web-based research guides highlight the people who select, organize, and provide access to information. Software such as Springshare’s LibGuides and Oregon State’s Library a la Carte present opportunities for librarians to create research guides that are learner-centered, personal, and that feature the subject specialist librarian among the library's key resources. Librarians from two universities will share how they are using modern tools to transform library services.
The discussion will be focused on various aspects of having the librarian as part of the information package. The speakers will share how they have used research guide tools to bring their pedagogical, technological, and discipline-based expertise to the online environment. They will discuss their experiences implementing best practices at each institution, specifically with regard to principles of learner-centered instruction and using technology to enhance access to library resources. Session leaders will engage participants in activities focused on developing practical strategies to create guides that will increase awareness and use of library resources, and facilitate a meaningful, personal, learner-centered experience. We will explore institutional differences and software options, as well as the associated concerns of intellectual property and academic freedom.
Although behind the scenes, Technical Services (TS) plays an important role in the expenditure of a library's materials and personnel budgets. Budgetary crises, increased user expectations, and growing workloads create challenges for TS staff to continually do more with less. When old practices cannot survive weakening budgets, it is time to dig into the layers of established procedures and see how they stand the test of relevance. TS at California State University Northridge (CSUN) Oviatt Library undertook such a study and discovered a not-so-gold mine of superfluous traditions, outdated mechanisms, and a noticeable lag behind the times. The discovery led to the re-organization of the department, the re-design of existing workflows, and the introduction of innovative technology.
Guess what -- you don't need to do learning assessment on a 45-minute one-shot presentation. Instruction librarians at Golden Gate University learned this and much more when an Assessment Coordinator arrived to help prepare our school for WASC. Oakleaf & Hinchliffe (2008) identify lack of coordination as one of the barriers librarians face in conducting assessment, and we found that having a smart, committed, and trustworthy coordinator made all the difference to our research project. We leveraged the Assessment Coordinator's expertise to stay focused on a project that produced valid and useful results from an in-depth learning assessment to measure student learning in an English Language Learners program. Our presentation focuses on the people connections that made this assessment work: between librarian collaborators, with students and instructors in the ELL program, and all the way upstairs to our University-wide assessment coordinator. We'll talk about how we designed our assessment and - phew - let go of post-instruction evaluation forms. Participants will get a fresh look at how information literacy assessment can benefit from upstairs-downstairs collaboration (floor plan not included)!
Do you want to do surveys, focus groups, interviews, or observations when you do research? Do you know about your institution’s research review process? Are you certified to do research on human subjects, and have you gone through the Institutional Review Board (IRB)? If any of these questions apply to you, and if you have no idea what we’re talking about, join our discussion. As library research grows more complex the rules of oversight have evolved. Ethical standards and guidelines within librarianship have a long, well regarded history with respect to patron rights and privileges, but academic research has another specific set of ethical standards and guidelines that apply to research on people. While human subjects’ protections originally applied to biomedical research, concerns about federal regulations, funding, and the Common Rule have lead to what some call “mission creep,” and increased oversight of social science research. Much of the library research intended for publication requires consultation from an IRB, and the level of oversight and length of the review process vary greatly across universities and disciplines. The session will begin with a primer on the Common Rule, Human Subjects Review (HSR), Human Subject Protection (HSP) Institutional Review Boards (IRB’s) and the approval process. Presenters will review literature from a number of fields about changes to the regulatory process and its implications for research ethics in the social sciences. We will share case studies of institutional review in library research and discuss participants’ concerns, experiences and knowledge on the topic.
Many academic libraries are using Twitter today. But, how valuable is this tool and how often are the tweets noticed? The Sonoma State Library pulled together a group of library staff and librarians to start a new twitter initiative in the summer of 2009. The group’s goal was to try a semester long pilot of using twitter on the library homepage. The interested librarians and staff agreed to contribute tweets on their various areas of responsibility and offered tweets on new library related resources, gallery events, workshop times, services for faculty, new online tutorials, campus lectures and more. A link was always associated with the tweet and stats were collected using the free tool HootSuite, the twitter client. Once the semester pilot was over, the tweets were analyzed and divided in to four main categories: workshops, resources, events and information about the library. The tweets were also divided into library related and non-library or campus related tweets. The tweets were evaluated based on how many clicks per tweet were recorded. Statistics were pulled to see if certain categories of tweets garnered more interest. The discussion session will focus on implementing a successful twitter program in a library. The focus will be on who should be involved in the twitter process, what statistics can be obtained to evaluate the process and what twitter best practices can be created by the people involved in the twitter program.
In an era when more and more classes are being shifted to online, the challenge for instruction librarians is finding creative ways to collaborate with adjunct faculty who in many instances are not "on campus". In this presentation, the speakers will highlight a couple of library initiatives spearheaded by the library staff that have made a difference not only in course outcomes, but have impacted program and institutional strategic planning as well. The first example comes from the general education information literacy course in the College of Letters and Sciences and the development of the iLibrary Orientation Tutorial, collaboration on library assignments, and forays as embedded librarians in online and hybrid classes. The second example is of the Library, Writing Center, and Writing Across the Curriculum program to co-develop guides and sponsor faculty workshops. The final two examples are collaborations with faculty that have moved from course-related library instruction to overarching program review of student learning outcomes and scaffolding of library skills to build program level learning environment that complements the University Assessment Plan.
The emergence of tagging (assignment of “keywords” to information resources by users) has engendered much debate about the usefulness of controlled subject indexing languages vs. tags for categorization of objects. There have been numerous implementations of tagging in library catalogs—from social OPACS (SOPACS) to tagging systems (e.g., PennTags), but few user studies about the use and usefulness of tags for resource discovery in the catalog. Current assessment tools only provide a glimpse at tag usage data, but not the in-depth analysis required for quantitative and qualitative assessment of the use of tags vs. subject headings. This session presents the results of our CARL Research Award based on the usability testing conducted to examine how users interact with controlled vocabularies (Library of Congress subject headings) and user-generated tags (based on the implementation of LibraryThing for Libraries tags) in the catalog for resource discovery.
Are you early in your career (< 5 years) as an academic librarian or a library school student thinking about pursuing a career in academic librarianship? Do you have questions or concerns about how to plan your career and stay on track (RPT, anyone?) or even how to land that first job as an academic librarian? Bring your questions, concerns, thoughts, and more and let’s talk! We’ll get out that “elephant in the living room” and have a discussion about the issues that matter most to early career librarians and library school students. Are you an experienced librarian with some advice and suggestions for those early in their careers or just starting out? Please join us and share your thoughts on how to navigate successfully through the bends and turns of the first few years as an academic librarian. This discussion will be 100% audience-driven. Participants will anonymously submit their questions at the beginning of the session, and we will have four 15-minute discussions on selected topics from those questions. Please join us for what is sure to be an engaging and important discussion.
Librarians and faculty at CSULB frequently complain about how poorly prepared our freshmen are for college-level research. Freshmen overwhelmingly use Google to conduct their research. Bibliographies include references to Wikipedia. Students want information with little effort. They don’t understand the research process. Five librarians at CSULB launched a study to examine this behavior. Will this research behavior change over time? Is it affected by librarians’ instruction? This session will present the preliminary results of a longitudinal study, which indicate that instruction does make a difference. The project is a collaborative effort among five librarians and the campus director of testing, with support from faculty and the library dean. In addition, we will have practical advice on launching similar research. This session will help librarians understand how to navigate the potential minefields of institutional research protections, recruitment, and grant administration. Sound dull? Wait ‘til you hear about grant-procedure hell, a 17-page application for institutional research approval (plus 19 appendices), and faculty who didn’t get it. On the way to recruiting 400+ students, we learned: how much five dollars would buy (less than a minute of an 18 year olds’ time), an attractive student at the sign-up table is more effective than librarians with an average age of 47 (duh!), and food attracts students (another duh!!).
You: I have an exciting new program, but my library is cutting back on some services and I have been asked to provide evidence that it's worth keeping. I have some positive anecdotal feedback, but I would like some data to back it up.
Us: That sounds great! You should do an evaluation.
You: That seems like a lot of work. Do you have any tips to get me started?
Us: Actually, we do!
This presentation will discuss a recent year-long evaluation of the College Outreach Program at the University of California, San Diego. We will discuss our evaluation process from creating a plan to designing and implementing it. While results and next steps will be included, the focus of the presentation will be on the process used to create the evaluation. We spent the first six months clarifying evaluation questions, identifying stakeholders, selecting methods, and designing instruments. The time spent planning the evaluation proved to be invaluable as it provided focus and ensured that information could be used to make a decision about future outreach activities. Attendees will leave this presentation with a clear understanding of the importance of having an evaluation plan and steps they can take to create one to evaluate a program within their own institution.