Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Pennsylvania SSHELCO Meeting Notes

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Another new (to me) Pennsylvania library-related conference is the Annual State System of Higher Education Library Cooperative Organization (SSHELCO) Meeting.  The SSHELCO Meeting is the place where library people from all of the 14 state schools come together to learn about what we are doing individually and where we can go collaboratively. I thought it was great because I got to meet people and hear about projects from schools from all over the enormous state of PA.  Below are my (at times rather extensive) raw session notes.

Strategic Planning Discussion
w/ Dick Swain, Director of Library Services at West Chester University
Thursday, 4/2/2009 ~ 10:15-11:30AM

  • We don’t currently have a written statement of support – having this will give us something to refer to for national grants, etc.
  • In 10-15 years, what are the print collections going to look like? What are they going to be used for?
  • Are we opting for central rather than local for the future of libraries in the PASSHE?
  • Progressive, proactive, beyond our comfort zone – embrace the changes & look beyond what’s immediately before us.
  • SSHELCO Mission: PASSHE Libraries will advance the education, study, and research of PASSHE students, faculty, and staff; and they will enrich their local communities and regions in accord with the missions of PASSHE and their individual universities.
    • Goal 1 – “PASSHE libraries will collaborate to provide equitable, accessible, and forward-thinking library resources and services.
    • Goal 2 – “PASSHE libraries will collaborate to provide the best possible support for the accreditation of universities and academic programs.”
    • Goal 3 – “PASSHE libraries will provide flexible, functional facilities and technology-rich environments for study, teaching, learning, and the production of knowledge.”
  • Ensuing discussion of three goals:
    • Should we split up resources and services? Do they each deserve  separate goal?
    • Equitable vs equal – different because different universities have different programmatic needs (undergrad, master’s, doctoral).
    • What about the educational role of libraries related to information literacy?
    • What does “services” really mean? Could mean different things to different people– what about instruction, faculty collaboration and public outreach?
    • What is our “educational mission?”
    • We could add more goals or re-word the above.
    • When we frame these things we are doing it in custodial language – what about domain expertise? Domain authority – doesn’t seem to be established in libraries. We don’t assert this in our language (from Edward Owusu-Ansah, Dean of the Library & University Collections at East Stroudsburg University)
    • Distribution and handling of funds from university to university – this would be under goal #1
    • The system (by law) can control no more than 2% of the entire state budget, so funding changes can’t be top down.
    • “When you have inequitable access to resources, it is hard to provide equitable access to information.” (from Don Dilmore, Associate V.P. for University Libraries at Edinboro University)
    • How can we go where we want to go? We have an opportunity here.
    • There are multiple audiences and there are different ways to reach them with our message.
    • It’s almost impossible to collaborate without central buy-in, clout, organization.
    • Reality is always a question of imagination meets politics.
    • We need to make the picture to take back and lobby for on our campuses.
  • Discussion about possible objectives:
    • Could we have the database instead of local authority control? It’s a good idea and things are moving that way, who would fund and control such a venture? Do we have too much autonomy to make this happen? Is it a organizational or technical problem?
    • With ILL – what if the institution who requested it keeps it until someone else wants it? (OMG YES!) This would work with a centralized catalog.
    • Common authentication measures for increase in cross enrollment (from Jane Hutton, Electronic Resources Librarian at West Chester University – emphatic yes please from me!)
    • Centralized for rights management – what are the possibilities and implications  of  technology?
    • Other words: preservation & institutional repositories – what are our roles compared to research libraries, duplication of effort.
    • Assessment of information literacy – no successful tool right now, or ever? Interesting…

Library Brochures, LibGuides and…
w/ John H. Rosenhamer, Reference Librarian at Edinboro University
Thursday, 4/2/2009 ~ 1:15-2:30PM

  • You can build on other people’s work as long as you ask them.
  • You can change columns, colors, boxes
  • You have the option to allow user comments – Rosenhamer has gotten 1 comment in 9 months
  • If you change the original, it will change the rest.
  • Site is getting hits [but where are the hits coming from? Are these students or other librarians looking at the guides?]
  • You can have “friendly URLs”

Liaison Program Panel Discussion
w/ Ryan Sittler, Instructional Technology / Information Literacy Librarian at California University
Aaron Dobbs, Systems Librarian at Shippensburg University
Kelly Heider, Education Librarian at Indiana University
Renee Tkacik, Education and  Instructional Materials Center Librarian at Slippery Rock University
Brian Ardan, Electronic Collections Librarian at Lock Haven University
Stephanie Steely, Coordinator of Technical Services / Collection Development at Kutztown University
Thursday, 4/2/2009 ~ 2:30-3:30PM

  • Almost everyone in the audience (according to a show of hands) has some sort of liaison program in place.
  • Distinction between liaison programs and subject specialist?

Q1: What criteria does your library use to select bibliographers (collection development duties in a specific area)?

  • SRU each librarian has a specific subject area
  • LHU assigned based on background, time/inherited (he looks like the guy from American Beauty)
  • SHIP – degree, background, knowing the faculty
  • KUTZ- interests, background, degrees but sometimes just luck of the draw
  • CAL – degree/background, divide equally but needs to be redistributed

Q2: What criteria do your university’s departments use to select library liaisons? Does your library have any input into the selection of liaisons?

  • SRU – newest tenure track faculty
  • IUP – varies, some are long-timers and some have yearly overturn
  • LHU – varies, depends on how contacts are initially developed – try to meet early on and depend department meetings, dept. chair sometimes is defacto liaison, informal relationships seem to work
  • KUTZ – no choice, they decide or are appointed, depends on the department, some departments assign $ to faculty members
  • SHIP – depends on department, some long-time, some n00bs

Audience Q: How many attend department meetings? Some attend monthly chair meetings, some have an office in the department itself. It’s important to go to them because they are busy – embedded

Q3: What are the typical steps you take each year to interact and engage faculty in your liaison areas?

  • LHU – Get on the agenda for the department meeting early in the semester, good time to talk about instruction, find out when they are having events (projects, poster sessions, etc) and attend (visible)
  • CAL – Coffee dates seem to work better than going to a meeting – more open, personal
  • SHIP – asynchronous  POV, I’ll take the time you give me. Refer them to other situations and let them decide for themselves
  • LHU – @ department meeting, share information with them, show them don’t just ask ask ask
  • IUP – thank you luncheon at the end of the year, certificate with years of service – good for promotion/tenure binders

Q4: What are the challenges of a liaison program?

  • CAL – buy-in, getting people to talk to their department
  • SRU – time (for everyone), food is always good, electronic newsletter
  • KUTZ – certain departments just don’t want to participate, time challenges, faculty tend to collect more towards their personal research interest instead of what students will use, getting people to spend the money in time without a big rush at the end
  • KH – this isn’t their money, it’s the library’s money
  • AD- It’s our responsibility/job to create a balanced collection
  • LHU – never phrase as “orders”try “any suggestions for me to consider” then it’s not as hard to deny requests

Q5: What are the elements of a successful liaison program?

  • CAL – some kind of instructional manual, didn’t go over so well
  • SHIP – evaluation/assessment form
  • KUTZ – engages academic departments in a way greater than before

Q6: How much time do you put into your liaison program?

  • IUP – collection development is very time consuming, huge but worth it, gives the library good visibility

Q7: How do you define various levels or tiers of service for assessment?

  • No one really has yet

E-Collection Management
w/ Krista Prock, Instruction / Reference Librarian at Kutztown University
Bob Flatley, Coordinator of Electronic Resources, Interlibrary Loan & Periodicals at Kutztown University
Thursday, 4/2/2009 ~ 3:45-5:00PM

  • Not a lot of literature out there relating to subscription databases
  • Survey to colleagues (72 librarians/18 responses=32% response rate)
  • Asked what processes libraries use to evaluate what electronic resources to purchase and what to cancel.
  • Most libraries didn’t have a specific process for evaluating before purchase
  • Criteria for canceling: usage stats, budget, duplication, product letdown (and some haven’t canceled anything)
  • Most people didn’t have specific criteria (checklist/rubric) for evaluating resources. [Kutztown is working on a draft for this]
  • What do we do with usage statistics?
  • Criteria (overlap cutoff -of print and content- and stick to it) [YES!]
  • If we disbanded all of our committees, how would we restructure them?
  • Their goal is to develop best practices and then make them available online for other institutions.

Conducting an Oral History Project in Your Spare Time
w/ Judy Silva, Arts Librarian & Archivist at Slippery Rock University
Friday, 4/3/2009 ~ 9:00-10:15AM

  • Initiated and funded by University administration
  • Worked with student workers – no additional staff
  • Using calendar service to schedule equipment, interviews, transcription, etc.  – Airset
  • Celebrate the launch by inviting all of the interviewees to a reception
  • Created a spreadsheet of local language for *something* (similar to indexing)

Written by Erin Dorney

May 14, 2009 at 6:41 PM

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