Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

ACRL 2011 Virtual Conference, Friday

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Please consider completing this evaluation for any of the virtual sessions you attended at the ACRL: You can fill it out as many times as you want for different sessions and it will be very helpful to the Virtual Conference Committee for future planning as well as presenters who would like to improve their skills. Thanks in advance!

9 AM: Harnessing Your Projects: Using Project Management Techniques and Basecamp in Libraries, featuring Barbara Lewis (Coordinator for Digital Collections at University of South Florida).

  • 105 audience members
  • Audience Poll: What experience do you have with project management? 49% I have managed many projects, 30% I have managed one or two projects
  • A project has a specific beginning and end, doesn’t go on and on forever (that would be more a program). There is a defined scope of work at the beginning to avoid project creep. It often requires multiple participants, skill sets, and resources to provide a deliverable.
  • Project management = skills, techniques and tools
    • Planning – what is the end product going to be? Put together a project team. What specific things need to happen? List of tasks to be completed along with schedule. What are the milestones? What are the risks?
    • Tracking – identify completed tasks, ensure quality, recognize and resolve bottlenecks.
    • Reporting – communication with your team, boss, and end-user/customer/client.
  • Work breakdown structure – list of tasks and sub-tasks
  • PERT chart (Program Evaluation Review Technique) – a visual graphic of the dependencies
  • Gannt chart – project task and schedule
  • Product breakdown structure – list of components for the deliverable
  • Project Management Tools – Microsoft Project, Open Proj, Trac,, AceProject, @task, Basecamp, Omniplan
  • Audience Poll: Have you ever used project management software before? Majority = no
  • Basecamp:
    • You can set up and RSS feed for updates
    • Not different levels of permission – you have access to the project or you don’t
    • You can customize your colors/settings
    • Can assign tasks and due dates to a specific person
    • You can have reminders sent to people before their tasks are due
    • You can track how long you spend on tasks – good for time management/tracking
    • Limitations – no calendar, tasks can only be assigned to one person, no view only users, search doesn’t search the Writeboards, can’t globally change users assigned to tasks (as when a student worker leaves), can’t covert a To Do list to a template.
  • How does Basecamp ensure user privacy? Not sure. Each institution has separate and secure space on their servers.
  • How steep is the learning curve? About an hour, then a few random questions. Very intuitive. Good video tutorials on the Basecamp site.
  • Can you archive files outside of Basecamp? You can do an XML output.

10:30 AM: Humanities by the numbers: evaluating usage data of collection areas, featuring Arianne Hartsell-Gundy (Humanities Librarian at Miami University), Masha Misco (Catalog & Slavic Librarian at Miami University), and Jeffrey Hartsell-Gundy (Miami University).

  • 101 audience members
  • Talking about their research project
  • Audience Poll: What areas of responsibility do you have? 74% Collection Development, 70% Public Services, 46% Subject Specialist, 44% Technical Services, 35% Administration, 35% Acquisition
  • Areas evaluated include folklore, communication, linguistics, composition and rhetoric, and theatre; Russian orthodoxy, history of Russia, political science, slavic literature
  • Research questions:
    • How close are we to the 80/20 rule?
    • Which call numbers in our collection circulate the least/most?
    • Break down numbers of materials in call number ranges.
  • Something happened to my computer at this point and I wasn’t able to follow the rest of the presentation 😦

12 PM: Integrating the Library into Online Courses, featuring Susan Thompson (Coordinator Library Systems at California State University San Marcos), Thoreau Lovell (Head of Library Information Technology & Media Services at Leonard Library, San Francisco State University), Hillary Kaplowitz (Instructional Designer at California State University, Northridge), Danielle Skaggs (Coordinator of Online Instructional Design at California State University, Northridge) and Christina Mayberry (Science and Engineering Librarian at California State University, Northridge).

  • 132 audience members
  • Online classes are increasing at their universities (classes only online AND hybrid with significant online component).
  • Changing assumptions of how students interact with the library – they expect to find their resources in the course container. Faculty may bypass library for course reserves and upload them directly into the CMS.
  • We can’t expect students to proactively come to the library – instead, we need to go to them. We have also lost control over what the student sees in the CMS, the professor has that control. We can’t provide a consistent set of information that we want students to have access to.
  • So, how can librarians participate in a meaningful way?
    • Independently contact and collaborate with individual instructors – takes a lot of time and is inconsistent.
  • Change in course management system = several campuses switched to Moodle due to funding. This allowed customization.
  • Audience Poll: What LMS does your institution use? 15% Moodle, 42% Blackboard, 12% Desire to Learn
  • San Marcos:
    • 7-year-old library building with solid technology infrastructure
    • Planning for Moodle required collaborative planning with library systems, web development librarian, reference/instruction librarians, access services staff and campus IT.
    • Things they wanted to offer: access to reserves, video, improve and simplify back-end processes, ability to contact librarians, search catalog and databases, ability to renew items, ILL…
    • Ended up offering 3 primary services: Reserves, Video on Demand, link to the library homepage.
    • 2 methods to add content: dedicated reserves role (campus IT/library controlled) librarian role (faculty controlled)
    • Reserves & Video on Demand = Convenient access for students at point of need, easy for the library to comply with copyright.
    • Future: want content to be automatically generated based on course subject & a “sticky” block to group all library material.
    • Audience Poll: Who manages the course management system at your institution? 52% Central IT, 32% Academic Technology, 10% Other
  • Northridge:
    • Site level block – includes link to library webpage with information about course resources (a pared-down page with the essentials). Appears in every course in Moodle, instructors cannot opt out. Sticky.
    • DIY embedding – actions instructors can take on their own without a librarian to embed the library into their course. Instructions within Moodle and on the library website.
    • Librarian role – similar to teacher role. Added by instructors within courses, can push resources, create activities, interact with students and provide assessments. Target instructors who are already using the library, who are already collaborating with you. It’s an easier sell and can spread visibility and create library advocates among faculty members.
    • Import librarian-created content.
    • Librarian-run Moodle sites – librarian in the teacher role. Library research site – classes can enroll. Having students view the lessons before an in-person instruction session made them more engaged. Could be stand alone, could be in addition to.
    • They have 1,800 (34%) courses with a Moodle component & 30,000+ student accounts
    • They wanted front-end enhancements not back-end modifications (hosted by vendor).
    • Multiple options for different levels of integration. Many opportunities available for collaboration.
    • Outreach to campus community = faculty retreat presentations, teaching and learning bytes, Moodle training workshops, and Library Message in a Minute (you tube videos on different topics).
  • San Francisco State:
    • Displaced due to a protracted library renovation project (I NEED TO CONTACT THEM RE: OUR PROJECT AT MU).
    • Are working from tent annexes (looks awesome).
    • Moodle re-branded as iLearn, managed by academic technology.
    • 2,400 courses using iLearn
    • Got a phone call at this point so I missed a large portion of this section 😦
    • Three tiers of integration: top-level, course level and instructor level.
    • Future: Want to improve article search, move eReserve system into iLearn, explore what student bookshelves would look like (instead of faculty bookshelf), add librarian role, and better understand how faculty and students would like to see library resources integrated into iLearn. More outreach, too.
    • Lessons learned: cross unit collaboration is always hard, it feels like losing control but the relationship is KEY!

1:30 PM: Listening to users…. Closing the feedback loop: Just do it! featuring Meg Scharf (Associate Director for Public Services at University of Central Florida) and Lisabeth Chabot (College Librarian at Ithaca College).

  • 120 audience members
  • Audience Poll: Does your library have a suggestion box? Electronic or print? How do you respond to questions?
  • Ithaca College – Ask us or Tell us – invites feedback, scolls FAQ with REAL answers right next to it. Librarian who answers has photo posted near response. Awesome idea! They use Subjects Plus.
  • Within 24-hour turnaround time.
  • Popular topics = heating, cooling, cell phone usage, comfortable seating, requests for food, need for outlets.
  • Central Florida gets more paper suggestions than electronic. 5 boxes are located throughout the building. Best questions come from the box in the staff lounge. Very interesting! Answered electronically on the website.
  • Also have a guestbook – look up article by John Lubbens (L&M Magazine). Sometimes this grows to a running commentary with students replying to one another. Using a homegrown form that feeds to their intranet for a response.
  • Interesting to look at the words that are being searched for on the library website. This can help in the development of FAQs and website design – give them more obvious options if they miss the drop down menu.
  • Dealing with inappropriate comments – skip over the curse words, don’t publish derogatory remarks. Very little misuse, more just emotional or dramatic. Kill them with kindness in the response to fight this.
  • Closing the loop with webpages – web is a customer service medium. Table with slips of paper with magnets on the back with categories/topics from webpage. Then students arrange them as they see fit. They take digital photographs. Do this with faculty as well. Also have red dots to indicate what is most important to them on the library website. Also a visibility thing – looks like a game, attracts attention.
  • Tell faculty members that you need their comments electronically or physically to use as evidence when trying to bring about change to services/resources.
  • Get rid of library-speak! Articles, not journals.
  • Tailor description of resources to course outcomes within course guides.
  • Mystery Shoppers – not used to “catch” your staff, but to reveal design flaws. They got some from human resources at their university (CHECK INTO THIS). Found out students were struggling with a consistent greeting when answering the phone. Easy to remedy.
  • Complaints – we all get them. A complaint not resolved or answered leaves the patron feeling they have been ignored on purpose.
  • Community dialogue about cell phone use in the library on the web. Identified different perspectives. Comes down to community ethos. Asked for student perspectives on how to address this. Distilled the comments and came out with some “best practices” and signage indicating “Phone friendly” areas.
  • When framing a reply, pause. Don’t escalate the situation by answering quickly. Get the whole story. Take your time, ask them questions. Give them your full attention. Make them think you have all the time in the world to devote to this. Even with email complaints. Then they know that this is important to you.
  • Librarians should aspire to surprise and delight their customers.

3 PM: When Nontraditional is the Norm: Shifting the Instruction Paradigm for Adult Online Students, featuring Erin Brothen (Education Librarian at Walden University), Erika Bennett (Information Literacy & Instruction Librarian at Capella University) and Kim Staley (Reference Librarian and Liaison to the School of Public Service Leadership at Capella University).

  • 120 audience members
  • Their courses are all online, asynchronous, libraries is completely online.
  • Audience Poll: 71% regularly work with adult learners
  • Origins of adult learning – 70% of adult learning is self-directed and highlights practical applications (Tuft).
  • Malcolm Knowles – Andragogy (adult learning theory, as opposed to pedagogy) 6 assumptions:
    • The need to know. It’s not enough that it’s just on the syllabus.
    • The learner’s self-concept. Adults want to be self-directed within the classroom.
    • The role of learner’s experience. Wealth of experience can enrich and impede classroom learning.
    • Readiness to learn. Best when there is a need for the learning.
    • Orientation to learning.
    • Motivation. Internal motivation drives adult learning.
  • Limitations to andragogy – it’s a model not a theory, not a lot of empirical evidence, is it exclusive to adult learners?
  • Constructivism vs. Instructivist/Objectivism.
  • Andragogy in the library – Ingram 2000 – Immediate need for practical help, fear of looking stupid (don’t underestimate this! It’s not enough to say call the library, say there’s no shame in calling the library. It’s not their fault), desire to become independent (crossover between millennials and adult learners).
  • Adult online students come with diverse technology skills. They don’t necessarily choose online because they like technology – convenience is one of the main factors.
  • Professional experiences seem very important e.g. business professionals (used to reaching trade journals) v. nursing professionals (are more familiar with continuing education). This can impact their experience of the library.
  • Conflict between need for practical help and desire for self-actualization. Time crunch dominates because things are DUE.
  • Audience Poll: Does your institution have standards or guides for publication or tutorial creation? 56% no, 31% working on it 13% yes
  • Design best practices:
    • Inclusion of level (basic, intermediate, etc) so that learners can pick and choose.
    • Have objectives to help situate students in the learning process.
    • Tutorials should be problem-based. Focused to solve immediate need.
    • Time – keep tutorials short and to the point, let them know how long it’s going to take. Break it into pieces for they don’t have to sit through the whole thing each time.
  • Accessibility concerns – font size, color, audio (pacing/narration and word choices), personalization (adjustable screen size, close captioning), format (text, video, printable version).
  • Example: Joyner Library –
    • + You can change size of screen, close captioning, pauses for you to review and volume control.
    • – Graphics make it hard to load on different connection speeds and screen readers.
  • Example 2: Syracuse University Library –
  • Example 3: Capella University Library –
  • All examples were PRIMO from ACRL.
  • Make sure your tutorials are findable!
  • Continue the discussion:

4:30 PM: Checklist Manifesto for Electronic Resources: Getting Ready for the Fiscal Year, featuring Lenore England (Digital Resources Librarian at University of Maryland University College), Li Fu (Digital Services Librarian at University of Maryland University College), and Stephen Miller (Associate Provost at the University of Maryland University College Library).

I was pretty much shot at this point in the day, so I am planning on viewing this webcast at a later point in time since they were all recorded (stroke of genius, ACRL!).


Written by Erin Dorney

April 1, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

One Response

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  1. Thanks for all of your work Erin. Look forward to listening to the recordings.


    April 2, 2011 at 7:11 AM

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