This talk examines the unique and challenging position of academic libraries in the era of data-driven inquiry and open data. We will explore prevalent concepts and trends driving research and teaching in our colleges and universities and responses that are shaping the future of library and information science. Drawing on more than a decade of experience leading research and education initiatives in digital collections and data curation, we will also confront the weaknesses in current LIS expertise and educational programs. To meet our institutional missions, the profession will need to uphold many of the long-standing principles that currently guide our priorities and practices. At the same time, to provide information resources and services that truly meet the needs of our faculty and students, we will need to redouble our investments in state-of-the-art expert knowledge of all forms and functions of information for research, teaching, learning, and living in the data age.
Dr. Carole Palmer is a Professor, Associate Dean for Research, and the current Interim Dean at the Information School at the University of Washington. She holds a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has over 10 years of experience in academic libraries in a range of professional and pre-professional roles in technical, reference, and access services. Her research investigates problems in scientific and scholarly information work, with a focus on data curation and digital research collections to support interdisciplinary inquiry. As an educator, she has been a leader in data curation workforce development for nearly a decade, recognized in 2013 with the Information Science Teacher of the Year Award from the Association for Information Science & Technology. Her portfolio of funded research includes nearly a decade of leadership on national federated digital collections, including a prototype for the Digital Public Library of America, and a series of cross-disciplinary collaborations on emerging problems and best practices in data services. Dr. Palmer’s service contributions include membership on two National Academy of Sciences study committees and advisory boards for the Research Data Alliance, National Data Service, Council on Library & Information Resources/Digital Library Federation, and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC).
Contemplative Pedagogy: An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem
Storytelling Fellows: A Digital Storytelling Workshop in the University of Washington's Libraries
Since 2011, the University of Washington Libraries Teaching and Learning Group has organized an annual summer unconference for librarians around the Puget Sound. An unconference is participant-driven, with activities loosely designed to take maximum advantage of the experience, curiosity, and needs of participants. Rather than sessions being determined in advance, attendees create discussion groups on the spot depending on their interests. We try to choose a theme that is topical and broad enough to generate discussion in many different contexts. We always have several rounds of roundtable discussions, but mix up the framing events most years to keep it interesting and relevant. Some examples of activities are lightning talks, keynotes, a panel, and a technology petting zoo.
As the conference has grown, we have developed partnerships with Central Washington University and the Association of Librarians of the University of Washington to help plan and run the event. The 2017 conference theme is Critical Librarianship in Practice, and for the first time we are at capacity with 90 registrants and waiting list. The unconference is a valuable experience because it allows librarians to connect with others at different institutions in a low-cost, friendly, and active environment. As one attendee mentioned in post-unconference survey “I learned so much and made great connections w/librarians I had never met.”
Students research through internet searches, online videos, and content that is constantly changing by the hands of anyone with access to do so. If we have gone from a world of paper indexes lining the shelves of a reference department to one where user created hashtags on social media are just as useful, where will another 20 years take us? In 2015, focus groups on student research revealed Googles, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Instructables as more frequently used in student research than the university library. What do these have in common that a library does not? User created subject terms, aka tags. In the book, “The Inevitable,” by Kevin Kelly, a world where everything is linked by user created links and tags is explored. Is this the future of the subject term? Is this the future of organizing information? This poster will hypothesize these possibilities and discuss findings from focus groups and user surveys on how students are currently researching, to find how students may be researching in the future.
This ongoing research is focused on leveraging peer observation to improve teaching practice. We provide embedded information literacy instruction to courses at UW Bothell and Cascadia College. Observation of our teaching is not required, therefore reaching out to colleagues for a collaborative peer-observation process is a low stakes yet effective way to improve practice. Generally we see students once or twice over the course of a quarter; therefore, we needed to develop an observation plan that complemented our limited, “one-shot” structure.
We began by designing an observation template informed by existing models, focusing specifically on open-ended and qualitative questions. Our goal was to design an observation process that would enable use of the “critical friend” model, a type of peer mentorship grounded in collaborative reflection and de-privatization of challenges. We also decided to include both pre and post-observation meetings for the observer and the observee. These meetings enabled the observee to specify the aspects of their instruction they wanted feedback on, and provided a space for more informal assessment prior to the observation summary letters each person received.
After piloting this observation structure in Fall 2016, we organized a second ‘round’ for Spring 2017. By maintaining the same members, our group was able to revisit areas of focus from the fall, and track changes and growth. This model will create an iterative loop for continual instruction improvement. More broadly, this type of teaching observation has value for both instructors and students: it is individualized, allowing each participant to zero in on what is most relevant to their own practice and allows the observer to see how the librarian directly interacts with the students they are teaching.
Our observation plan provides a practical and flexible way for librarians to incorporate feedback and reflection into their teaching practice.
This poster will present the methods and key findings of a recent survey study at Washington State University, Vancouver, which aimed to engage with faculty on video collection issues, specifically the use of streaming video. Although streaming video has been widely adopted in academic libraries, the market for such services is very much in flux, and practices are not yet standardized—or widely discussed—across institutions. In addition, library users are much less aware than librarians of streaming video in library collections. There has been a flurry of recent literature on streaming video, but surveys have primarily addressed librarians and students, rather than faculty.
This study investigated whether faculty at WSU Vancouver were aware of the library’s subscribed streaming video services and if so, what barriers or challenges may have prevented wider use. In addition, the study sought to gather contextual information on faculty members’ preferences, interests, and awareness regarding library media collections, delivery formats for audiovisual media, and the use of streaming video for instruction. The results will inform actions and decisions about collections and outreach, and also provide valuable insight into faculty members’ use of video content and technologies for teaching, both in-person and online, across a broad range of disciplines.
Three library employees (leadership, librarian, and classified staff) created a lunch exchange program responding to limited food options on campus. The process of developing a lunch exchange and engaging in a culture of care has unexpected benefits beyond just lunch. This project has proven to build connections across departments while supporting care for self and colleagues. The library employees informally practiced collaboration, built team effectiveness, and established commitment to sustainability, self-care, community care, and wellness. This poster details the planning process and benefits of a lunch exchange program and proposes that it can be used to increase positive team dynamics with potential to diffuse workplace tensions while disrupting hierarchies across departments.
At Bastyr we have a well-established information literacy program in the Naturopathic Doctorate (ND) degree. Information Literacy is taught through Evidence Informed Practice (EIP) modules, which make up part of the Integrated Case Studies classes in the first two years of the ND program. The EIP modules use a flipped classroom model with a series of online tutorials and assignments, followed by in-class sessions with a librarian.
The current EIP program has had measurable success in building strong information literacy skills in the ND students; the robust pre- and post-assessments show the significant impact that the program has had on students’ ability to find, use and appraise information. The EIP modules have been part of the ND degree since 2012 and are core pieces of the case-based medical curriculum at Bastyr. In short the EIP program is well established, it works, it has strong faculty support and measurable impact.
Does it need to change? We think so!
The Information Literacy Framework and student feedback have informed our 2017 curriculum update: the core structure of the program will remain, but the content of the assignments and the student learning objectives are changing to reflect a more holistic approach to information literacy. The update considers students’ information needs after graduation, a renewed focus on the value of information, and a move away from prescriptive searching demonstrations in favor of modelling exploratory and inquisitive search.
We beta-tested this approach in Spring 2017 and after positive preliminary feedback, we are expanding it out to the whole curriculum. To maintain the positive impact of our tried and true program, we need to allow it to change, and be responsive to emerging student needs. Everything that is tried and true started out as shiny and new, after all.
During the OER Pre-Conference at ACRL OR-WA 2016, participants determined that the PNW library community needs a textbook affordability directory to connect people and recommend resources. We asked, we listened, we took action, and now we want to share the evolving result: the PNW OER Directory, available via http://tinyurl.com/pnwoerdir. Our workshop offers a guided tour of the new site, provides an opportunity to enter your info in the directory, and seeks feedback to make sure it meets our shared needs. Now that we’ve planted our OER seeds through this collective effort, how can we ensure its continued growth? What’s next for the PNW OER library community?
Geoinformation services such as Google Street View (GSV) present opportunities and limitations for researchers from a wide variety of disciplines as they explore social, spatial, and environmental phenomena. GSV allows users and companies to present layers of information while providing an Application Programming Interface (API) for researchers to reveal information about the built environment or social composition of neighborhoods traditionally only explored through in-person or car-based audits. There is almost universal acceptance of GSV as a viable alternative to in-person observation while there is limited exploration of the underlying ethical components of using GSV in published literature.
This presentation will discuss the findings of a comprehensive interdisciplinary literature review exploring researcher use of GSV and will invite participants to reflect on components of information ethics that underlie using geoinformation services for research purposes.
Some questions discussed will include: What components of information ethics are relevant to geoinformation services as they’re used in research? How can librarians assist with research decisions as traditional methods of observation are replaced with geoinformation services? What questions might we have in the future as these services continue to grow, house more data, and contain crowdsourced or interactive components?
Reference has historically been an important service that we have offered our patrons. However, with the increasing availability of electronic resources, some of these interactions with patrons have decreased, while others have moved online to the chat reference environment. Some libraries have moved away from a desk model to a consultation model. Whatever model of service, there is a need to evaluate the quality and demonstrate the value of the service(s) we are providing. Methods of evaluating in-person reference service (such as surveys, observation, or the mystery-shopper method) have certain subjective limitations. Chat reference, however, provides a rich opportunity for assessment because of the transcripts generated from these encounters. While room for subjectivity remains, the literature suggests that there is great potential in assessing chat transcripts. While our library has offered chat reference for many years, the quality of our service had never been evaluated.
Both librarians and undergraduate student workers staff our chat service. Evaluating our chat transcripts has implications for the training of both librarians and student workers. Two librarians coded a sample of 160 chat transcripts. We coded for the type and difficulty level of each question as well as the accuracy/quality of the answer. We also looked at whether any referrals were made, and whether specific customer service behaviors were evident in the transcript. Our analysis highlighted several areas where we could improve our student worker and librarian training as well as provided a wealth of transcripts to use in training. By providing us with a better understanding of the types of questions asked through our chat service and where our staff may be struggling, analyzing chat transcripts holds promise as a way to periodically assess the service we are providing and to ensure it is adapting to meet the changing needs of our patrons.
- New Librarian Combines New Technology and First Impressions with Faculty: A Bold Move or Recipe for Failure?
- Katherine Curtis (University of Puget Sound)Building relationships with faculty in new subject areas often requires a step outside of one’s comfort zone, particularly for the new instruction librarian. Preparation, creativity, and enthusiasm in instructional design have the potential to lead to spectacular success or, in some cases, epic failure. In this brief FailTalk, Humanities Librarian Katherine Curtis will describe one such instance of the best laid plans gone awry and offer perspectives on flexibility, recovery, and what you can do when that course comes around again in your schedule. Can the new librarian bounce back from failing in front of faculty and students? Maybe this semester!
- What could go wrong? A nice white lady tackles diversity in the library profession
- Samantha Hines (Peninsula College)Motivated by the 2016 US Presidential Election and the dismal statistics around racial diversity in our profession as well as gender diversity in leadership roles in librarianship, I set out to ‘be the change.’ I created a two hour workshop for the inaugural WLA Learn Local in Seattle in April 2017 on the “Brave Spaces” concept for discussions on diversity. The workshop was an unmitigated disaster based on participant feedback, and I cancelled two further sessions for the good of the profession. I will return to the topic in a dramatically revamped way in August for the Pacific Northwest Library Association’s annual conference. In my Fail Talk, I will share what factors within my control led to the workshop’s failure, and what I have done differently in tackling the topic to become a better ally (I hope—feedback always appreciated!).
- Potholes and pratfalls on the road to authentic assessment
- Sam Lohmann (Washington State University Vancouver)One of the major challenges for instruction librarians is to assess the impact of instruction—and other forms of contact with the library—on students’ learning. Recent studies strongly support an “authentic assessment” approach, one that looks for evidence of skills and knowledge in artifacts of regular course work such as research papers and presentations, rather than trying to infer this evidence indirectly through tools such as surveys or tests. But how do we authentically assess information literacy skills in their various contexts, and connect them to the many forms of library contact? And how many things can possibly go wrong in the process?
This talk will summarize the bittersweet tale of a surprisingly wayward, dismally attenuated, often exasperating, but ultimately informative and generative information literacy assessment undertaken by three librarians at a small academic library, beginning in 2013. A planned one-semester project became a two-year project and ultimately a hydra-like monster, as issues of interrater reliability, rubric scoring and norming—not to mention human behavior and communication--reared their heads. Although the initial project seemed modest and straightforward, the researchers found unplanned-for complications at each turn. While some significant and encouraging results were eventually obtained, the epic fail along the way may be the most informative part of the story. If you’re wondering what to expect—and what to avoid—when planning an authentic assessment, you’ll want to pull up a chair for this tale of woe.
- Fail Fast and Often: How the NNLM Evaluation Office is Innovating a Multi-Site Evaluation Process
- Kalyna Durbak (NNLM Evaluation Office (NEO), at the Health Sciences Library of the University of Washington)
- The first thing I learned when I joined the NEO is that failure should be celebrated. What I did not know was that the NEO was in the middle of failing to create a comprehensive training session evaluation questionnaire to be used by all organizations in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, a large network of libraries and organizations doing health information outreach through a National Library of Medicine program. The NEO’s charge was design one evaluation form that would be used to evaluate training sessions of all NNLM-funded training session, which totaled more than 1300 sessions in the past year. Training audiences ranged from K-12 students and family caregivers to medical and library professionals. Many types of organizations, from community-based agencies to professional associations, hosted training and often had their own evaluation requirements in place. Participants came from populations with diverse levels of literacy and technical skill and access. While the questionnaire was short and simple, the setting for the evaluation made implementation infinitely complex. The original project timeline requested by our funding organization was one month. That one month turned into a year of vigorous testing, many meetings, and a lot of training. In my FailTalk, I will summarize how I learned to embrace failure, there's always room for improvement, and that failing quickly (and often) means more time for researching and developing a better process. The NEO might still be working on this project, but one day we will have a solution that works for everyone.
- Even Free Pizza Wasn’t Enough: The Demise of the Library Student Advisory Group at Odegaard Undergraduate Library
- Anne Davis, Linda Whang (University of Washington)The Library Student Advisory Committee (LSAC) at Odegaard Undergraduate Library at the University of Washington was created in 2003 as a way to give students an opportunity to get involved in the decision making processes that guide the enhancement of learning spaces and library services. In the 12 years it existed, the committee gave the Libraries valuable feedback on policies, collections, websites and even the planning of remodel of the Odegaard Library Building. The committee went on hiatus in 2015 and it’s unlikely to come back in the same form. The reason: students simply did not show up for meetings. We tried meeting at different times of day, including evenings, and enticing them with treats (including free pizza) and it was rare for more than 3 students to show up for any meeting. We tried recruiting from various student listservs, working with advisers, and looking for ways LSAC to meet departmental service requirements for students, but in the end we had to admit that the time and effort we put into recruiting students and scheduling meetings was not worth the results. Students have way too many other competing demands of classes, homework, jobs and social activities. We have been considering alternative ways to get student feedback that doesn’t require them to meet at particular time, such as an online listserv where students can respond on their own schedule, pop-up student feedback events, and the use of Design Thinking methodologies to gather input from specific student groups.
- “More Pictures of Cats”: a student-centered approach to library website design
- Chris Granatino and Caitlin Plovnick (Seattle University)
- THE PROBLEM: We wanted to review our library’s website as part of a year-long assessment project. In order to get away from our own biases and perceptions, we needed to gather authentic student feedback about their experiences and frustrations using the website.
THE SOLUTION: During high traffic times, we put out white boards and flip charts in prominent places in the library with the prompt: “Tell us what you think! I wish the library’s website…” It would be easy for students to respond and help us understand pain points that could inform our project. What could go wrong??
THE PROBLEM WITH THE SOLUTION: While we did get some responses, they were not what we expected. In the process, we learned a lot about our students...and ourselves.