My report back to my college from ALA 2012:
A brief description of new ideas and information obtained:
You can read my full conference report including my notes from each session I attended at:
“I Can Do It All By Myself”: Exploring new roles for libraries and mediating technologies in addressing the Do-It-Yourself mindset of library patrons
- The importance of the library as a collaborative space for students to work on projects and studying together with access to library resources, but also access to technology, whiteboards, being able to talk, etc.
- Creating self-service points
Addressing Global Diversity: Meeting the Needs of International Students in Academic Libraries
- Canada uses the phrase – English as a Subsequent Language (not assuming only 2 languages)
- Be conscious of how we use English when speaking to non-native speakers of English
- Correcting mistakes makes people not speak next time
- Ask “does this make sense to you” rather than “do you understand”
- Students may not have similar understanding of what a library is and how they work and won’t know terms. Library’s in their country may have different rules and behavioral expectations
Hot Topics in Community College Libraries / National Council for Learning Resources Report
- Many groups are working on Open Access to Educational Resources (free, open access etextbooks) (Flatword Knowledge, Rice, U of M, and more)
Forum on ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Initiative
- Hoping to get 300 institutions involved over 3 years, teams need at least 1 librarian and 2 others in institution that aren’t librarians
- Several good survey question phrasings
- E.g. – qualitative question from a famous Ohio survey (school librarians): Remember the last time you got help at the library. What help did you get? What did that help enable you to do?
Learning Styles: Fiction, Nonfiction, or Mystery?
- Research is showing video tutorials don’t work. Example story of a school with 2 versions of their tutorials – webpage with the screenshots was more effective than screencast regardless of learning style
Discovery Systems: The Promise and the Reality
- Good reminders about working with webscale discovery systems (Normandale has Summon aka Library Combined Search)
- When looking at future database stats the important stats will be full text downloads, not searches since users will search Summon more often than the individual interfaces
- Make sure any new database purchases play nice with Summon – The first question they ask database vendors is, “Does it work in our webscale system?”
Ideas Normandale Community College may want to consider implementing:
- Creating more group study rooms
- Look into implementing/participating in/repurposing questions from the MISO survey – http://www.misosurvey.org/ (“The MISO Survey is a web-based quantitative survey designed to measure how faculty, students, and staff view library and computing services in higher education.”)
- Look into open access etextbook models
- Consider applying to participate in the next level of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Initiative
- For tutorials – create webpages/pdfs with screenshots and instructions instead of or in addition to screencasts/videos
A description of the activity’s value to the college, your department and to yourself:
As the annual conference for my national professional organization, ALA included both a large chunk of practical takeaways (many of which are listed above) and many opportunities to strengthen relationships with colleagues around the country, as well as form new ones. In particular, I met and made plans to collaborate with several local Minnesotan librarians and was able to work face to face with several of my co-editors at In the Library with the Lead Pipe (a peer-reviewed online journal).
The college, my department and I (and our students) all benefit from the influx of new ideas, the increased network of colleagues to draw upon, and my own renewed energy and dedication.
Thank you for funding this incredibly fulfilling experience.
For a full conference report see: http://ellieheartslibraries.wordpress.com/category/conferences/ala-2012/