All posts by Kathlene Hanson

Day 3 – IGs and some final thoughts

This morning I went to CARL IT IG: ReBoot, ReFormat…. Though it was a small group and began at 8 in the morning, discussion was animated. Ian Chan, Chair of the IT IG talked about reactivating the IG after a number of years of inactivity. He talked about the CARL IT On Air sessions that he worked on with Danielle Kane where Google Hangouts and YouTube were used to present and record 30 minutes sessions on a variety of technology tools. The main topic of conversation, however, was how to get more involvement in the IT IG. To help the process along, Ian and Danielle put out a survey. Over sixty people responded. One of these lucky respondents won a gift card in a random drawing. The Steering Committee will be using the information from the survey to help frame their future efforts. Volunteers for the Steering Committee are needed. I can say from having watched two of the On Air sessions that they are well worth 30 minutes once a month. In addition, they are archived in YouTube so you can watch when you have time. The Steering Committee is tracking views of the content. Volunteers for presenting in On Air are also welcome. Thanks for sharing the survey results with us, Ian. It was very interesting to see the demographic information.

I also attended a session called IG: Sharing Library Innovations Northern California. The session was facilitated by two librarians from San Jose State University, Emily Chan and Christina Mune. This was designed as a unconference session and turned out to be very informative. Around 15 librarians attended, all from libraries in the North. Some of these librarians work solo, some are part of smaller or larger institutions, and all want to revive IG activity in the North, not just for programming, but also for collegial support. Our current IG Coordinator, Billy Pashaie was also in attendance. Emily and Christina led a brainstorming session on what the scope/content of these IGs might be. There was acknowledgement that North members are geographically dispersed and that the number of CARL members from the North is significantly less than that in the South. However, there was also a clear wish on everyone’s part to try to start meeting in person again. It looks like CARLDIG-North might be revived. It was great to meet with fellow librarians from the North, to hear the enthusiasm for trying to reestablish more IG activity in the region, and to see both new and long time librarians dedicated to the CARL community.

That brings me to a few final thoughts. It was great to be at CARL 2014. I always enjoy seeing old friends and meeting new people. Allie Carr, Conference Planner Extraordinaire and current President asked the Board members to think about what we valued most about the conference. The content was excellent, but it is still the personal and professional connections that are made that I value most. This goes beyond networking and collegial conversation, however. A phrase Michelle Van Hoeck described in her session on The Social Side of Research comes to mind — We are a “Community of Practice.” I hope everyone enjoyed the sessions, the conversations, and the food, drink and venue. Until next time.

Day Two – A day full of teaching and learning

There were a lot of options today. It’s always tough to choose. I see that Kenny has already blogged about a few of these. He described the content of the Keynote well. I agree completely with the statement that managers need to model leadership and, further, that “doing” should be part of leadership.

Of the other sessions I went to today, I’ll say that the work of the presenters demonstrates that librarian researchers are looking more and more to their students’ experiences. The focus of research is on trying to better understand what our students experiences are both in the library and beyond. Further, the focus is on providing services based on evidence of those experiences. Daniel tweeted that he saw an emerging theme about students looking to each other for help and that we should be thinking about how to help them help each other. Well said. We are only a part of our students’ academic lives. If we continue to focus on their needs, we can help more students have overall positive experiences in the short time they are with us. We can also be hopeful that they will leave our institutions with at least some of the key abilities they’ll need in their work life.

Thanks to Michelle for talking about The Social Side of Research and the PIL Project. I was glad to learn more about this aspect of research and was particularly interested in how research skills students acquire in college carry over into their work lives (and how some don’t). Thanks also to Sheree, Holly, and Mary (our Research Award winners from Claremont Colleges Library) for a peak into the daily lives of their students and how they deal with stress.

Tomorrow I’m off to a couple of IG Showcases and am looking forward to hearing what they have been doing and what they are contemplating for the future. Hope to see some of you there.

What makes for a great first night at conference?

The opening reception has become one of my favorite parts of conference. You might think that it’s the open bar. And , yes, that is inviting. ¬†What really draws me, though, is the combination of a party atmosphere, being able to catch up with old friends (and new), and the intellectually stimulating conversations the poster sessions invoke.

Kudos to Allie, Brena, and Joseph for a great first night. Kudos also go to Ken and the rest of the Poster Session Review Team. I’m sure I am not alone in being impressed with the work of our colleagues and their passion for sharing their experiences. Ann, what a great idea using dogs to help students with stress reduction at finals. Matt and Melissa, your research on the parallels between research and writing processes was thought provoking. It was clear from all the posters that there are many ways to lead. Congrats to all the presenters for giving participants lots to converse about and ideas to take back to their institutions.


Looking forward to seeing the poster sessions

Day One at Dolce Hayes Mansion. We had a productive board meeting followed by a great lunch. I heard through the grapevine that the LibGuides pre-conference was standing room only. So looking forward to the reception and poster sessions tonight. Hope to see you there.