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.
Lua Gregory and Shana Higgins, librarians at the University of Redlands and editors of Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis, facilitated a discussion on the importance of connecting the core values of librarianship with leadership and activism. They situated their work/research as emerging from previous and current activism that librarians have and continue to engaged in by having a fun trivia contest. Small groups were created and given a professional core value to process/imagine/generate ideas on how librarians can engage with each core value. It was a great way to end the day and start happy hour.
The two panelists, Christina Mune and Ann Agee, facilitated a mock debate on the pros and cons of Open Access (OA) journals and Open Educational Resources (OER). The room was separated into two groups and two questions were asked: 1) Can Open Access and OER replace paid publishing? and 2) Should libraries buy textbooks? The session not only produced useful counter-narratives that could support changing the minds of resistant faculty members, it also enabled a critical discussion on concerns that sympathetic librarians may have regarding the implementation, outcomes, and investment in alternative publishing models that might reproduce the same issues that OA and OER are attempting to deal with.
Annette Marines, an instruction librarian at UC-Santa Cruz, and Terry Terhaar, a lecturer in writing at UC-Santa Cruz, presented on their collaborative re-design of a LibGuide written to support information literacy in a lower-level writing course. The LibGuide came about after a reorganization of the library and changes to what librarians were charged of doing were implemented. The panel presented alternative relationships between librarians and other faculty members, alternative ways to think about collaborative efforts, and the processes taken to get from working with disgruntled faculty members that were worried about changes to library instruction to working with faculty members that saw librarians and library services as an instrumental component to improving student learning and research.
Patricia Iannuzzi’s talk during breakfast was both inspirational and practical. The speaker presented the idea that library managers function as choreographers that piece individual performances together to create patterns. The four areas discussed were Self-Awareness, Learning from the Good, Bad, and Ugly, Leadership Characteristics/Behaviors, and Positional Power. One statement that stuck with me was the idea that managers need to go beyond talking about, publishing about, and discussing management issues, and need to model leadership. The questions in the Q & A, as well as the responses to the questions, were great. The video clip of an Alvin Ailey dance performance at the end reminded me of Augusto Boal‘s work on the use of movement and sound to discuss collaboration, consensus building, and power within an organization or community.
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.
The reception was very well attended with excellent appetizers and a wide selection of beers and wine. However, the highlight of this reception was the poster sessions. I work at University of San Diego Copley Library and we have been considering a therapy dogs program as a stress reducer during finals. It was great to hear how Ann Hubble, Digital Services Librarian at UC Santa Cruz, was able to pilot a similar program: “Gone to the Dogs.” I also really enjoyed the poster by Nicole Lawson and Megan Kinney from Sonoma State University, “Reference in Perpetual Beta,” talking about how the reference model has changed and will they will continue to evolve to create a more flexible program. Their innovative use of student workers wearing “Got Questions?” vests within a tiered system of public services really caught my attention.
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.
Watch this space for upcoming posts!