The afternoon started with the speakers for the afternoon breakout sessions giving brief overviews/introductions of their presentations in Krutch auditorium. The theme of the afternoon panel was “Innovative Services & Tools.”
Mary Linn Bergstrom & Susan Shepherd spoke on “Undergraduates in a Science & Engineering Library.”
7 core traits of “millennials” (those born between 1980 and 1995):
achieving, specialness, confidence, team-oriented, conventional, sheltered, pressured
Millennial spaces in the library — should be comfortable, relaxed; celebrate technology; invite users to communicate
These qualities are reflected in the physical spaces at the UCSD S&E library; features there include:
Social activities @ USCD S&E:
Examples of science-focused activities:
Next up: Char Booth talking about “Informing Innovation with Local User Research”
Char’s report — Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies — is available at: tinyurl.com/ii-booth
her blog: infomational.com
Char emphasized the importance of using “locally informed, culturally contextual research” about users to inform choices about technology and services.
We as librarians have an “us vs them” mentality with users; and we tend to inform ourselves about users’ perceptions by reading national and international reports. e.g., this one (cover superimposed with image of evil child). This is wrong.
“Library 2.0″ is a forced attempt to bring us and them together, and it’s created a one-size-fits-all approach to technology environments.
We have to ask, “what motivates users to integrate libraries into their personal learning environment?” Surveying users locally can give you this information. Char’s survey (see links above) is a starting point for this, but it’s important to customize/modify the survey to your own institution.
Choose technology that gets you somewhere — technology with demonstrated value. “Technolust” is a poor way to use resources; through research you can decide what you want to understand about your local user community. Understanding local patron cultures is what makes your library valuable — an environmental scan is a scalable means of investigating needs and perceptions.
Finally, Jeff Rosen and Thoreau previewed their presentation, “Gaining a Foothold in Theirspace.”
The major expansion and renovation of the Leonard library at SFSU has been a catalyst to see how things can be done differently. The “library annex” being used while construction is underway is a “tent” with concrete floor 60 foot ceilings. It’s been popular with the students.
Emphasis on small changes with big impacts — not trying to invent next cool tool; strategically making changes to put services in line with what students want.
Services: — library is now on its 3rd iteration of virtual reference. Trying to stay open 24 hours — a lot of students want to study in middle of the night — peak hours now are 11-midnight. Laptop checkout, more ebooks, more full-text databases.
When looking at implementation of tech issues, asking “how we can build better collaboration between geeks and book freaks?”
I will graduate from library school in May, and have had a wonderful experience at San Jose State’s School of Library and Information Science. Over the course of my studies I’ve read many journal articles, attended a few conferences, and participated in several organizations. Here’s my request and advice; those who don’t agree can simply observe that I am not yet actually a librarian.
Please. Take your cue from the leaders who spoke at the October conference of the Librarians Association of the University of California. No more hyper-focusing on “Web 2.0″ and “Library 2.0.” No more chanting, “Podcasts and Wikis and Blogs, Oh My!” No more identifying each new technology, and then constructing a discreet library-branded example in response. It’s no longer impressive to say, “Our library now has a wiki. And, we also have a blog.”
The LAUC conference had an organic focus that can better serve education, and libraries, and users. Everything began with the students — the users. Everything started by studying what the users did; what they preferred; how they learn, and think, and play. And not one of the speakers suggested that a library “set up a blog” in order to reach these users.
Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out dealt, in part, with the devices, technologies, and worldviews experienced by the “digital generation.” Although my teenagers live under the same roof, their world is different from mine. I’ve long suspected…
What is meant by the term “digital media?” Why, it’s just all the new stuff that young people clamor for at gift-giving occasions. It explains why they weren’t really very interested when you invested in that beautiful, historically-accurate American Girl doll for their sixth birthday.
Today’s youth interact with digital media as they play, socialize, and study. Digital-plus-media includes and involves
Undoubtedly, I think of many more after publishing this post, but that’s a start.
Hanging Out, Messing Around & Geeking Out: Genres of Participation in the New Media Ecology: Heather Horst, UC Humanities Research Institute, UC-Irvine
DIGITAL YOUTH PROJECT
Major trends in new media for kids & young people:
- Increasing accessibility of tools for digital production. Part of everyday life and taken for granted.
- Distribute new media through networks: other people review and comment on their work
Kids often have 2 primary motivations for using digital media
Genres of Participation: Kids move through these genres all the time.
What can we do to create spaces that support the diverse modes of participation and the learning that happens within them?
YouMedia space in Chicago PL: http://vimeo.com/6384385
Nothing originally mine– these are just my notes from Joan Lippincott’s great presentation.
Joan K. Lippincott – Keynote Address “Reorienting Libraries for Today’s Students”
There are many ways that students use library spaces: group study, quiet study, taking a break with video games or on a couch. One student will have different needs at different times of day depending on coursework or social interaction.
What if we call students “learners” or “knowledge seekers” instead of “library users”? There are students that are not currently library users. We want to encourage all students to take advantage of the library services even if they haven’t been in the habit. Informal learning space where active, engaged learning is taking place.
What if we focused on developing physical and virtual learning environments? We know how to provide libraries; we mostly provide good library spaces for the books and traditional usage. What we don’t necessarily have covered yet are “learning environments.”
Some faculty are re-orienting their thinking around teaching: from “teaching” to “learning.” In a UMN Biology intro course, Professor Robin Wright assigns her lectures as homework. Instead of sitting at a lecture, students watch them at home and come into a classroom with round tables, appropriate technologies, and they do “problem-based learning”—an entire reorientation of the common wisdom.
Problem-based learning for freshmen engineering students (Wendy Newstetter, Georgia Tech). Professor does not “cover content;” instead, students learn the practice of the discipline.
Traditional libraries are set up for knowledge seekers—now we need to reconfigure to accommodate knowledge creators too. Provide environment for doing *and displaying* creative work as well. Most students (even some Ph.D.s) will be outside academe in jobs where they will produce some kind of digital content every day.
Inviting learners to connect. Inviting students to partner on information literacy materials. Collaborate with students on library guides. New type of engagement in curriculum: co-creators. Students as open access advocates and partners. Working with grad students as TAs for info literacy classes.
Revitalizing our facilities. How to provide new collaborative learning spaces? Practice presentation rooms, multimedia production areas, etc. Can we promote a sense of the library as a cultural center?
One of the main themes in this presentation was one I heard a lot throughout the conference — Experiment and Evaluate.
Sarah started by saying that public libraries have been working on a shoestring for a long time; with the budget crisis, many more libraries need to learn how to provide services with free or low-cost tools.
Library users today (Venn diagram)
- brick & mortar users (shrinking)
- dig lib users (growing)
- power users intersect both (growing)
Digital library usage is still very low per capita …Various reasons for low usage — in San Jose bandwidth problems present a barrier; people don’t want to wait for downloads.
Necessary library services (and how it’s done online):
*book and media
- ebooks : libraries should promote free ebook sites
- emusic, emovies, egaming, instructional videos — free and CC licensed
- digital special collections. scanner + wordpress = special collection
Concerns: DRM, formats, platforms, devices, ADA-compliance (many vendors – including OCLC – are not ADA-compliant. If it’s a concern for your community, you should test.)
*periodicals (free article sites & other resources work for undergraduate research) and ejournals (open access).
Concerns: DRM, formats, open access, sustainability of subscription model
*reference and research
Instant Messaging (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, GoogleTalk), web chat and widgets (meebo, plugoo), VOIP (Skype, AOL, video chats and Twitter), free
text messaging (be careful not to get blocked by wireless carrier)
Concerns: staffing models, co-ops
screencasts: Wink, CamStudio
podcasts: Audacity, OurMedia
video class recordings: avidemux, YouTube, blip.tv
class websites: WordPress, Blogger
live office hours: freeconferencecall (good regardless of equipment & bandwidth)
Concerns: use– will users even touch this?, learning models
free and low cost hardware on free after rebate
podcasts: Audacity, Ourmedia
vidcasts: Avidemux, YouTube or blip.tv
live webcasts: ustream.tv
event websites for comments and questions before and after — WordPress, Blogger, Google sites
Concerns: use, access
everyzing ($ based on hours/words you’re transcribing) audio & video to text
textaloud ($) text to audio eg class notes to podcast
social networks (FaceBook flyer — $10 = 5k FaceBook flyers to targeted audience )
concerns: going where your users go, where to distribute staff time
welcome comments on everything
respond like a human being
tools: google groups, google wave, WordPress PBworks
2) use cheap services
have a contingency plan — be able to re-purpose equipment
3) free web hosting, statistics and web gadgets
tinypics, Google apps, WordPress, statcounter, bravenet, google analytics, gimp, yousendit, survey monkey, openphoto, programmable web, zoomerang
(there were a lot more — see slides)
4) use LibraryThing
5) Project planning is very important but we often don’t give enough attention to planning and following up.
tools: MS project, Excel table
What we most often fail to do is evaluate projects after they’re done. e.g. blogging — analyze usage
It’s better to move on than continue to spend money supporting a service that no one is using
6) Getting staff buy-in:
- Let staff know about the project early
- Ask staff for their input and use it
- Keep everyone informed at all stages
- Managers must consistently support the new project or service
- survey users and staff 6 months after the launch. Simply ask: would you recommend this service to a friend? Why or why not?
- how much time is being used?
- how much is the service being accessed?
Evaluate the library’s follow through
- has adequate marketing and training been done?
Different type of statistics for different type of projects
- assess the usage you’re getting against how much money you’re putting into it
- analyze monthly usage
Evaluate results and then take the next step…
- continue service
- discontinue service
- extend pilot
- change aspect of the service
- do more promotion or training
“Failing to discontinue an unsuccessful service is failing”
8 ) Push for change
- Try new things
- Push administrators (they like 24/7 nature of web services, minmal staffing and cheap costs, highest ROI in library)
Rejoice in failures (it means you’re pushing boundaries)!
Regardless of what kind of library we work in, we democratize information and expertise — and we should applaud ourselves for this.
I. Lots to take in…
I am still taking time to digest it all. Going to the conference allowed me to become more aware–if I wasn’t already–about the attitudes, preferences and behaviors of current college students in the UC system.
II. Interesting speakers, great findings…
The afternoon panel discussions by Mary Linn Bergstrom and Susan Shepherd’s Undergraduate in a Science and Engineering Library; Char Booth’s Informing Innovation with Local User Research and Jeff Rosen and Thoreau Lovell’s Gaining a Foothold in Theirspace were excellent primers for what all the stuff I was going to miss. For me, choosing one breakout session over the other was difficult because each of the presenter’s work had something juicy.
III. Lesson learned: I need time away from all this and I’m not like the generation ahead of me…
In between drafting a blog about this and editing the pictures in my previous post, I really got the sense that people in younger generations are changing and adapting to different technologies. It’s the thing we must continue to learn from them. However, much can be learned from us. At least, I come from this school of silent spaces. You know spaces in libraries that are untouched by technology? No wires, no whirring of hard drives and no streaming media dancing off screens. I’m relieved that college libraries still have the “shuuuush” zones. Although, maybe the practice isn’t shushing as it were in my undergrad days.
Ironically, I read in the New York Times Magazine and interesting article on “self-binding” <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/magazine/25FOB-WWLN-t.html> in which Peggy Orenstein practices the non-use of Internet in order to find freedom (also a Mac program) from the hustle and bustle of banner ads, Google searches and unexpected trips to sordid videos on YouTube. Refreshingly, she interviews Fred Stutzman–a grad student in information and library science–who “writ[es] at a café without Internet access,” but sadly fails when the café adopts wireless access. Orenstein argues that the whole pursuit of information seeking online is akin to falling prey to a Siren’s song.
For me? My library and information science program increasingly demands that I hunt for relevant sources to do my projects and papers. However, deliverables I produce are somtimes hinged on Internet searches by using a variety of search tools from Bing to Resfseek. I even cull the restricted materials online at the King Library as much as I can. Mostly, I use the library–the (quiet) books part of it–because lots of time can be sucked up from lack of online self-discipline. So, instead of using a smart program like Mac’s Freedom, I have a more analog solution: I use an egg timer (setting it to a targeted amount of time to find something online). Once the alarm goes off, I jump on my yoga mat and do downward facing dog–holding the pose for several breaths until I get my sanity back. Too bad you can’t check out a zazen pillow or a yoga mat at a library for a little piece of self-reflection before studies, right?
I’ll close for now–my alarm just went off and it’s back on the mat for me.
Above. Yes, a bit off in alignment, but appropriate. I’d thought I’d catch this tree undergoing its transformation against the massive, bright, vibrant blue sky that didn’t seem at all affected by the season.
Joan Lippincott opened the conference by saying she was glad to be among an audience that is likely to act on the ideas discussed today — she thinks this because the UC librarians already are.
Describing her presentation as a way to provide a framework for the conference, she started with a series of questions:
“Who are today’s students and what do they want?”
“Would it make a difference if we called these students learners/knowledge seekers instead of library users?”
We know plenty of students in our universities are not library users — we don’t want to shape services just for library users, but encourage all to take advantage of library services.”
“Would it make a difference if we focused on developing physical/virtual learning environments rather than libraries? (We’re good at the book thing — need to focus on learning environments.) e.g. : photo of GIS workstation at NCSU learning commons.
Examples of active/engaged learning:
Wendy Newstetter at Georgia Tech sets up problem sets that include need to gather information, and sets up study rooms for duration of project.
Professor does not “cover” the content — the students learn the practice of the discipline.
“How can we translate this to libraries?”
Libraries are set up for knowledge seekers — now it should be an iterative/seamless process, therefore must reconfigure services AND spaces to enable creative work. It’s also good to display that work — let students / faculty see results of that work
Some results of “Project Tomorrow” survey work in California schools — that queried students/faculty/parents
67% h.s. students maintain a personal website
27% k-12 students say they create slideshows, webpages, and/or videos for assignments.
The library’s job is to encourage more of this in academic work.
Understanding our users:
The Beloit College Mindset identifies the experiences that have defined the lives of the students starting college each fall.
Most students today, even PhDs, will work outside academe and produce some kind of digital content every day.
46% think they’re very skilled & 33% think they are expert at searching information on the internet.
The MIT photo/diary study was a user needs assessment conducted in 2005-06. Findings included:
What can librarians do?
what do they want:
Post presentation question:
How can we let students know we’re doing these things to improve services?
Planning on tweeting about the conference? We’ve designated #laucb09 as our hashtag — please add it to your messages so we can track the online discussion!