ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

ALA 2014 Recap July 11, 2014

Filed under: ALA 2014 — ellie @ 7:55 pm

I got in Friday afternoon, got settled in to my room and caught up with a few of my Lead Pipe colleagues then was off to dinner with the wonderful and amazing Allie. On our way to dinner we were recruited to be background for a flash mob wedding proposal. After dinner we stopped by the ALA Play event with enough time to get my picture taken by Kyle Cassidy for his Alexandria Still Burns project. We also played three quick new-to-me games, including one called Timeline, which has an Americana variant I will be getting for a friend to use in her teaching.

On Saturday morning I presented along with Brett Bonfield to the Electronic Resources Management Interest Group (ERMIG) about open access publishing as it applies to our journal, In the Library with the Lead Pipe. You can read the program description at the ERMIG link above. Additionally, from my notes:

  • Beth Bernhardt – spoke about getting the entire library staff involved in OA rather than having it be one person’s job
  • Athena Hoeppner – her library uses EBSCO’s discovery tool and SFX. She added an open access icon in to their discovery layer as well as making a entry point to search only OA materials. She views this as a teachable moment that promotes awareness of OA.
  • There was a movie suggestion for a library event – Terms and Conditions May Apply
  • We also learned from a search in Athena’s OA index that it does not have article level linking for In the Library with the Lead Pipe. SFX can’t interpret the DOAJ metadata.

I went to the EBSCO lunch on Saturday afternoon and was particularly unimpressed with the way they talked about their study of student research. They way they spoke about their results left me feeling like they thought they had charted new territory rather than confirmed what many LIS studies have already shown. Mad props for using ecofeminism as their search example though.

After lunch I went to the discussion session: Introduction to Women’s Issues: The Staff Potluck. There was a good discussion of gendered expectations in the workplace, class and race issues, and more. There was also some discussion of the low attendance. Despite the low attendance, I still managed to run into a colleague from Minneapolis and caught up with her. Afterwards I stopped by the exhibit floor to say hi to one of my former deans.

I poked in to the very tail end of the Student Retention Discussion Group and was a little alarmed at the embracing of copious data collection on students in the name of library assessment. There was a brief nod to talking about the data in aggregate, so hopefully I just missed some of the explanation.

My last Saturday session was the ACRL IS Current Topics Discussion. It was a little heavy on the presentation section for a discussion and the organizers weren’t expecting the turnout they got. It was a pleasant surprise for them, but left their activity a little awkward since we were supposed to collaboratively edit a Google Doc. We did have a decent discussion at our table, mostly about the new ACRL Framework, but found trying to follow the activity/discussion questions too confusing. They don’t seem to have added the Google Doc to the session in the scheduler either so I can’t link to it here.

Sunday morning I sat in on C&RL’s Editorial Board Committee Meeting. I’ve put my name in for their book review editor and my wonderful Lead Pipe colleague Emily Ford was presenting to them about open peer review. The board discussed the proposal to try an open peer review experiment. There were concerns about loosing rank/status and not counting towards tenure if they don’t have a double blind peer review process but there was also interest. No decision was made at that time.

ACRL is looking into moving to Open Journal System (OJS), an open source software and was soliciting feedback from the board. Board members shared their experiences with different platforms and vendors.

I made a note to myself to talk to the Lead Pipe editorial board about exploring the idea of open peer review earlier in the process, to help develop a research question and methodology.

I was able to catch the tail end of Rebranding Librarianship – Building a Knowledge Alliance. This seems like a fantastic initiative that is doing important work. I suggested they write something up for Lead Pipe. As a total aside, one of their swag items was personalized microwave popcorn. That seems like a fantastic idea for a library at a residential college to use too.

I was scheduled for a lunch with the #critlib people when I also saw that there was a group meeting about social justice in information literacy at the same time. We were able to combine forces! The social justice/information literacy group apparently grew out of teacher track. There was some discussion of what was wanted out of a group like this as well as discussion of other groups doing related work within ALA and without.

I tried to get into several sessions at the 1:00 slot, but they were all completely full past capacity.

My final session was Discussing Discovery Services: What’s Working, What’s Not and What’s Next? hosted by RUSA RSS Discovery Services Committee (Reference Services Section). I helped with the implementation of Summon at my last job and we’re getting ready to implement EBSCOs discovery layer at my current library. This was a really good reminder of some of the features I need to be thinking about.

  • Summon allowed you to have LibGuides be featured results based on certain keywords in the search terms, does EBSCO’s? (e.g. if someone types in “hours” the webpage with the library hours is the first result.
  • Linking to OA resources can be sketchy b/c of the metadata
  • Can we get it to point to our digital archives materials?
  • can we see what is typed into search box?
  • EBSCO has “research starters”

There was a question: How do you restructure your webpage to fix people typing JSTOR into Summon? I argued at my table that isn’t the question you should be asking. Instead, make JSTOR the first result in Summon based on all the common keyword variations. You could also have a LibGuide on how to choose which database to use be a top result for that search.

There was also discussion of what to name the tool – one library chose QuickSearch rather than OneSearch to show that it doesn’t do it all.

Instruction related notes from that session:

  • one person mentioned using the filter bubble TED talk to explain search results are impacted by past use
  • difficulty of tweaking results in Google Scholar
  • showing discovery as more powerful than Google as opposed to showing it as easy compared to databases