Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Charleston Conference (Sat)

with one comment

I had a fabulous time at the Charleston Conference this week. I decided to post my session notes from today while waiting for my airport shuttle. Should be back in PA by nightfall 🙂

Saturday session notes:

Jumping into the New Waters of Librarian Promotion and Appointment: How We Dove in and Survived

Bridget Euliano (Acquisitions Librarian, Duquesne University) & Carmel Yurochko (Serials/Electronic Resources Librarian, Duquesne University)

-They were a flat organization to begin with – considered non-tenure track faculty
-Pittsburg PA – private – 10,000 students – 12 FT librarians & 1 university librarian
-Wanted a tiered system for promotion for librarians
-Lots of waves: How do we create a system from scratch? Will we be reviewed fairly? Who will review us? Why should we do this?
-Timeline: took them 6 years (!)
-2002 – task force to develop documentation (looked at and cherry picked from other libraries
-2004- task force presents initial document (some people were happy, some people picked it apart)
-2005 – second task force to revise document (every task force had a different group of people)
-2007 – third and final task force (stumbling over certain words – RANK, for example)
-2008 – librarian tier process was implemented
-Initial process: everyone was considered Librarian 1 and you had 5 years to apply for promotion
-Had levels 1-4 with different requirements.
-After a year and a half, no one had applied yet
-So they created “The Expedited Process” – portfolios would be reviewed only by the University Librarian and Provost (removed intimidating aspect of traditional peer review by colleagues)
-Created informal positive peer review support group to make this a positive learning process
-2 options – initial process or expedited process
-All of the librarians except one decided to do the expedited process – all who applied were successfully promoted
-Euliano’s experience – was a new librarian there, had promotion experience from another institution, was told during the hiring process
-Yurochko’s experience – had never been through promotion process anywhere before, was told if she didn’t do this it would likely qualify as insubordination (!) because she was thinking she might retire before the application deadline, saw the organizational need for tiers so decided to participate
-Peer reviewed each others’ portfolios
-Was there a money incentive attached to tiered promotion? No guarantee at the beginning because it was new to the university and not yet, but it may come later.
-Administration didn’t know what librarians were doing, sharing the portfolios helped them learn about the publishing, presenting & research that was taking place
-Lessons learned: They want to revise the guidelines (use terminology to match that used at the university level; more clearly define which categories are appropriate for various accomplishments)
-Lessons learned: Importance of service opportunities (make them more widely available, particularly for newly hired librarians; actively seek new avenues of engagement at the university)
-Now in recruitment they can clearly delineate expectations for advertised positions
-More in line with other academic libraries

Tackling the Evolution of Libraries

Stephen Abram (Gale, Part of Cengage Learning)

-Major legislation is happening on copyright
-Moving from financial to information economy
-Google Editions – launching in the next 8 weeks – have built and algorithm to sell lower than anywhere else on the web
-What does it mean when all of the books are online? What happened when articles all went online? No one is begging for the paper copies.
-We should not be encouraging serendipitous browsing but immersive, targeted research skills
-We’re working in a non-fiction publishing space – you don’t read it from end to end (we don’t & student’s don’t)
-Each article has value on their own, but not really as a unit
-Format agnostic generation – they don’t care, it’s not helpful to them
-Geo-tagging on ads impacts what results you get
-They can contextualize ads based on the books you’re searching for/looking at
-Should we still be organizing our collection by format?
-If majority of learning is hybrid, what does your library team look like? What’s the depth of that talent when students’ primary access to learning is at the class level not the university level.
-We overwhelm them with how “smart” we are – i.e. offering 60 ways to cite instead of asking faculty preference and focusing on those three, creating widgets for their course guide
-FCC whitespace decision – people will be able to connect
-E-paper = more imagination, plasma screen = more experience
-Bloom’s taxonomy of learning – most librarians are probably text-based
-Universities are more full with more people with more learning styles
-How do libraries support this?
-Heart survey – which would make you feel better – I read the article last night OR I watched the video
-How can we support experienced based learning styles?
-15% of students at universities require some sort of adaptation
-Are we making decisions based on our end user preferences or our own preferences?
-They like to explore in layers rather than tabs (interface)
-We’re good at supporting text based learners, but how do we move beyond that?
-We have a smart generation – roe v. wade (every child is wanted), gaming, no lead paint
-Gaming changes the dynamics of how your brain works – spend 40 days to solve a videogame – this is episodic learning. This is reading.
-Print is a corpus that needs to be archived  preserved.
-How and why is library business, not who, what, where, when (that’s what Google is for)
-Most people are offended when you ask them if they need help – libraries can learn from this – connect with them as a person first
-We put our OPAC out there to show our inventory instead of inviting them to have an experience
-Do we know our top 10 reference questions? No business would ignore this – they would have the answers down pat.
-Someone looking for information about pregnancy – we can give them a better experience/better help if we know their gender
-Our value add – social dimension
-The people (librarians) are the value – how many pictures are there on the library website? How many links to Facebook are there? Are we saying we’re just a search engine?
-Social software – social institution (we can relate socially to our users)

Hyde Park Corner Sound-Off and Closing Remarks

Anthony Ferguson (University of Hong Kong)

-The Charleston Conference: “A Wonderful Place to Steal Ideas”
-Genius actionable ideas:
-Just in time print and electronic information killer APP: user initiated document delivery + purchase on demand/pay per view = you can save a lot of money
-Just in time collection development on steroids – Espresso Book Machine & Lightning Source
-Remote storage isn’t just a solution for homeless books – collaborate with other libraries for storage/access so that library as a place for study can be emphasized
-University of California’s e-scholarship program which cohesively packages Open Access components (
-Put discipline specific critical library information on flash drives and give them away to new students
-Catchy collection development motto: “Get it at Cal State Libraries”
-Hathitrust + Google Books = everyone can have a Harvard-like collection but without the stacks headache
-All collaborative projects should generate some income in order to be sustainable
-Avoid “free riders” in collaborative projects because they take up time and energy
-Mobile devices are growing – short treatments of serious topics are being sought. Condensed books.
-Support growing for bookless branch learning commons libraries (both inside and outside the field)
-Adopting a single discovery interface (Worldcat Local, Summon, EDS) is the most radical and potentially fruitful way of connecting readers to materials
-UC San Diego demonstrating the role of the library in providing stewardship for the scholarly record by giving away a single terabyte of memory to departments across campus
-Find out what it is about the library that your president values and build upon that
-Big concepts/no immediate application:
-Delivery speed is the single most important factor for cooperative collection development
-As a profession, when confronted with a lack of funding, where are our revolutionary ideas?
-It all comes down to trust, particularly in branding
-Look at the annual Edelman Trust Barometer for ideas on how to increase trust
-Some surveys show that people miss the ability to browse (then again, other surveys show different results)
-People want information, not formats
-Readers need help with information overload. They want it to be easier
-Look for the results of the European Community SOAP (survey of open access publishing) Researchers seem to want it, but funding is an issue


Written by Erin Dorney

November 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM

One Response

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erin Dorney, Kevin Butterfield. Kevin Butterfield said: RT @libscenester: Last bunch of Charleston Conference session notes (from Sat): #chsconf10 […]

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