Wednesday, April 23, 2008

MATS Blogging the 2008 WAPL Conference

The 2008 WAPL Conference will be a great place to be, but I know not everyone can get away to Stevens Point on April 30th-May 2nd. Good news -- WLA Media and Technology Section (MATS) members Terry Dawson & Joy Schwarz will be posting their notes about conference programs & sessions here on the WLA blog. In addition, Tasha Saecker will be blogging about WAPL programs at Sites & Soundbytes, and Nichole Fromm will be posting her WAPL musings at nichole's auxiliary storage and photos at jumbledpile's photostream.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

WAAL 2008: Standardization of Interlibrary Lending (ILL)

Standards-based ILL

Terry Wilcox, Reference and Loan Library
Bob Shaw, WiLS

• Directors don’t want to know more about ILL, just want it to work
• We’re using standards all the time, we just don’t know it
• Whenever you search an online database – it’s built on standards - the way it looks for a title, author, ISBN, etc.
• Standards are confusing, so no one talks about them

Why do we have standards?

• Helps software programs talk to eachother
• Help you retrieve information in a way you can understand
• Z39.50 – with Wiscat license (vs. free interface), you can see a lot of resources – takes you into other institution’s online catalog
• Can be developed by different companies, as long as use standards – allows searches across multiple catalogs and databases – can make ILL request
• State agency - we have to re-bid our projects at least every 5 years, regardless of whether there’s another vendor that can do it or not – may sound difficult, but it keeps things changing and evolving, so I don’t get bored

What standards are we using?

• ISO 10161-1 / 10161-2 – international exchange of good and services – could be a cell phone, PDA – much more than ILL/circ – might help you connect with OCLC
• SIP / SIP2 – was never actually adopted as standard, but gave an idea of how systems could connect to produce an end result – developed by 3M for remote patron identification – now NCIP
• NSIP – national standard for circulation


• Equivalency standards for fields across systems allows accurate, narrowed search results
• One interface to search many systems, don’t have to repeat over and over
• WisCat union catalog - 1,205 libraries of all types and sizes – 7 million records for 35 million holdings – 72 online catalogs (WI + MINITEX + LOC + NLM) – see actual availability [my question: what do you do if it’s at LOC?]

What have we done so far?

• Set ourselves up to be a lender through OCLC
• Wiscat libraries (AGent) can request from WiLS (direct into ILLiad)
• If you don’t want to lend out a certain type of material, you won’t get the request – this would be an improvement for OCLC
• WiLS is a broker (handles requests on behalf of multiple libraries) – UW-Madison might get same request 4 times, which makes sense because of multiple libraries – but ILLiad thinks if you cancel initial request, have to cancel all – we came up with workaround

Before you start

• Testing is crucial – every step
• Vendor may claim to have implemented a standard - but maybe not whole standard, or in same way as other vendors
• Test again anytime something changes!
• Small number of problems encountered shouldn’t necessarily stop you from going ahead
• Error messages may not be intuitive
• Address files may all be different, or just codes


• Z39.83 NISO allows actions in ILL or Circ, and opposite action will happen automatically in Circ or ILL (ex: “ship” > “checked out”)
• Not always completed implemented by vendor - may need to buy the fanciest version from vendor to get fullest implementation – ask specifically which ones
• Need to match up every little status change on both sides (ex: accept item, cancel request item, check in item…) – and indicate which side can initiate (or both)
• Many status messages aren’t on NCIP list (ex: recall)

What can you do?

• Encourage administration to request ILS vendors to include standardization
• Don’t recreate the wheel with RFPs – contact other libraries for theirs
• Communicate about potential time/money savings
• LITAC provides guidance to Reference & Loan Library – technology recommendations for all libraries in state – they support standardization
• Most states have systems clearinghouse with hierarchical structure – standards don’t yet recognize reality

Wiscat AGent and ILLiad at WiLS

• ILLiad is more robust and intuitive than AGent or OCLC Resource Sharing
• Consolidated locations to GZM
• 1,500 address records shared
• Just 1 type of “pick slip” for lenders to use – also used as mailing slip and return slip – library system as well as local library printed on slip
• Wanted to move everything online – can use Odyssey/Ariel or “E-doc” for free (by email)
• If citation is bad, or can’t lend but can offer scanning of TOC/index, that note goes into AGent - sometimes doesn’t make it to ILLiad – developing workaround
• Working on improving messages for end-user – rather than “Error – NISO xxxx…”
• Test again each time either side changes something!
• High success rate

Friday, April 18, 2008

WAAL 2008: Diversity and Undergrad Internship Programs

"ISIP: Diversity and the Information Specialist Internship Program at the UW-Madison"

Why an internship program?

  • Diversify future of the profession
  • Admin support - $$$ - so we can pay the interns
  • Provide variety of work experiences to spark interest

About the ISIP program

  • Work 8-10 hours/week within regular business hours - librarian supervisors are volunteering
  • Initially, thought 4 modules/year - now varying 1 16-week and 2 8-week modules - gives time to recruit both interns and supervisors
  • Breadth and depth - balanced experience
  • How recruit? Partnered with other diversity programs on campus, able to target 2nd-3rd year students - able to get many applicants - also went to student fairs, get it out there in front of students and staff - wanted to get on radar
  • Keisha is one of our 1st interns - very valuable feedback to improve
  • Not necessarily a goal for students to go on to LIS grad school and profession - helping to create more informed citizenry - more library supporters - better research skills

An intern's experience - Keisha

  • Looking for job - saw posting on student job website
  • Previous experience just with being a reader, checking out books at library
  • Great experience, now applying to grad school
  • Have completed 5 modules: life of a book, reference/instruction, special collections, branch library (Art), library technology support, digitization/metadata
  • Life of a book - from purchasing to discarding - good introduction
  • A lot more went into libraries than I thought - didn't know you needed a master's degree - thought librarians just went "ssshhhhhh!" [laughter]
  • Really enjoyed working at Art Library - hands-on Cuban artists' book display with faculty - mentor in art history had passion - I even go to the art museum now!
  • Mentorship - Nola Walker working on PhD at SLIS, met with other masters students at SLIS - what they love and hate - real feel for what goes into it

Running the program

  • Set goals for program - Defined an "information specialist" - beyond librarian
  • Collection management - including analysis to assess what we have and find out what we don't have that we should that interns could help with - gave budget
  • Other institutions - could make specific to your subject areas (ex: nursing)
  • Keep focus on the goals, big picture - here are the tasks, and here's why we do that - beyond training a student to do hourly work which is short-term + intensive
  • 8 week modules are short - need to find appropriate projects and work with them all along
  • 5 new students each year - currently have 5 new and 3 continuing
  • Detailed timeline across 2 years
  • Meet & greet at beginning of each module brings everyone together, interns can re-connect and discuss experiences, see old supervisors
  • Part of their hours include occasional activities - some in conjunction with SLIS
  • Remember: these are undergrads, pulled in many directions, they aren't in grad school
  • Contingency plans: relevant projects to work on day-to-day if supervisors get busy, something is cancelled, etc. - don't show up and find nothing to do
  • Supervisors asked to bring interns along to meetings, social events, etc.

What have we learned?

  • Successes: "Life of a Book" has a narrative with beginning and end
  • Projects that interns can complete and have tangible result they can take pride in
  • Seeing the behind-the-scenes work at meetings
  • Passionate volunteers who love what they do, and love ISIP program
  • Realistic: some of the work you do is boring, but fits into big picture
  • One-on-one meetings between steering committee member and intern - constant checking in, especially during 1st semester, so could change as we go - not necessarily with their current supervisor
  • Small group meetings - like focus groups, one intern's comment would spark others to share
  • Realized that we didn't have interns write anything 1st year - started module summaries - could share with next supervisor so they'd know what they'd already done, to customize (don't have to sit through 5 iterations of same workshop)
  • Needed more supervisor feedback - started supervisor trainings - had them also write module summaries, helpful with recommendation letters in future
  • Want supervisors to benefit from interns' work
  • 20 supervisors + 8 interns + steering committee = communication complex
  • Confusing to talk about both ISIP program and LIS grad school at same time - bring close SLIS ties into 2nd year
  • Marketing - "ISIP" as an acronym, or even spelled out, doesn't clearly communicate to potential interns or supervisors what the program is all about
  • 40 applicants 1st year, fewer 2nd year - why? we did the same things - timing, turnover at diversity programs
  • Requires more focus on why interns might be interested in what you do - that interest isn't necessarily already there
  • Interns becoming library advocates - telling their friends that library/librarians can offer some surprising things
  • 2 of 3 finishing interns from 1st cohort are going on to LIS grad school, 3rd more interested in museum studies
  • Will be hiring a project assistant to help with this program - what can we expect them to do? - has been challenging to have a committee-run program due to communication overlaps and gaps


  • UW-Eau Claire similar paid program in reference.
  • I've been a librarian for 23 years; some of these things we've been trained to do, and others you read about and have to try - way to rethink what you're doing and see if applicable across our "one system, one library" - perhaps a weekend CUWL training? How make scalable? Many supervisors also want to take the modules. 5 interns is a LOT - you could have 1. But cohort is good - 3 minimum? But doubles in 2nd year. Keisha would have still done program if only intern.
  • How get time commitment? Stress it from the beginning. Expand hours with evening/weekend librarians. These tend to be highly-involved students, differently involved from grad students.
  • Library administration seems to be missing? Starting this; one student has requested. Could have work with different directors for a week. What about issues that are of a sensitive nature?
  • 2 interns dropped out after end of 1st semester, another 2 dropped out after end of 2nd semester.
  • Grad students would be very envious of this program - what did SLIS students say to interns? Talked about the school aspect. Makes us think about what we can develop for grad students, and current librarians.
  • Important that this is an ongoing budget line item - not just a short-term project.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Resurface, and Thanks

Whew! The last two days for me have been filled with terrific lectures, fun activities, and more food and snacks than I could consume! My head can barely contain all the good ideas I learned. It was all capped off by tonight's tour of the submarine, the SS Cobia, at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Very claustrophobic, but nonetheless cool.
I just want to thank everyone involved with WAAL and the WLA for awarding me a scholarship to attend this year's WAAL conference. It has been an enlightening experience, and I have much to take back with me to Madison. Happy and safe journeys home, all!

WAAL 2008: User Surveys: Cost-effective Marketing Strategies

  • Larry Duerr and Dolores Skowronek, Alverno College

Cost-effective Marketing Strategies

  • Both of us are on campus library marketing committee
  • Previous committee members were more interested in promoting internally through bulletin boards, etc.
  • International Encyclopedia of Information and Library Science: "Marketing represents an organized way of offering library services cost-effectively and efficiently, baesd upon user interests, communication methods, imaginative design of service and products, and feedback that improves what the library is doing."
  • Rather than pulling an idea out of a hat and saying, "let's try this" - we needed data on our users
  • Last time we'd gathered data like this was 10 years ago
  • Info we wanted to gather: frequency of library use, demographics, reality of student tech proficiency vs. their self-assessment, satisfaction level with library

Data gathering & statistical analysis

  • Probability sampling - better option but requires more understanding of statistics, and more funds - everyone has same chance of being surveyed - yields statistically measurable results
  • Non-probability sampling - tends to be biased and not representative of whole population - not generalizable - convenience sampling (try to get as many people as possible who come into library on certain day/time to take survey) - handy when you aren't sure if there's a problem or not
  • Most librarians don't have the research methodology skills to do probability sampling
  • We had both taken a research methods class, but had never used in practice - we chose non-probability sampling
  • Used same categories in our demographic survey questions, as those used by college - could then compare
  • Educational institutions have tons of data on students - very helpful
  • Attempted to minimize bias when distributing surveys - handed out to absolutely everyone who passed by, whether or not we knew if they were students
  • Larger the sample size, the better - our goal was 331 (minimum sample size for our overall study body, if we'd used probability sampling)
  • You're welcome to use our survey questions - contact us

Our questions + results

  • We adopted a definition of a non-user: "somebody who uses the library once a year or less" - turned out that it wasn't good definition - very few people fit into that category - but it was good that we didn't seem to have the problem of non-use that we suspected
  • Identify and separate 1st-year students, because of course they didn't use library last year...
  • When analyze open-ended questions, need to go through "open coding" process - group into categories and assigned code to enter into analysis software - librarians are good at this!
  • Try to reduce bias by having more than one person work on open coding, separately
  • SPSS is great qualitative analysis software, but not intuitive - seek someone out with know-how
  • 377 usable surveys, 322 were students, 8 nonusable, 124 chose not to answer survey [a data point most people don't collect]
  • Happy to get small differences in percentage between our sample, and overall population by year in school, etc.
  • Grad students - higher non-use of physical facility, but higher use of website; don't necessarily know why
  • "Liked best about the library?" - generating talking points we can use with the administration - why have a library, why continue to staff it - leverage value-added component - high = library staff, quiet space
  • "Liked least?" - too few computers (we had anecdotal evidence about this, but now real data to use in requests for funding); too few hours (have made some changes)
  • "Where do you go first?" - internet (no surprise, not trying to compete there); library building 21%; library website; library databases

What changes have we made?

  • 1st/2nd year students don't use website - more focus by Librarians in Residence, and tutorial videos
  • Students say staff are friendly and easy to work with - confidence for librarians to serve on more curriculum committees, extend staff outside the building
  • Want more computers - budget request, opened nearby computer lab for drop-ins from 12-1pm during week
  • Focus group: more classes in how to do research - offering more workshops on APA citation format - got 5 people at each of 3 workshops [hmmm... not sure this is the right tactic]
  • Low use of web2.0 (blogs, wikis, rss) - continuing workshops on learning technologies, want to purchase Captivate license
  • High use of Facebook - created page, want to create link from website - communicating resources/services/events - gray area about crossing the line into student online communities - but we know it's being used, so good place to spend library time
  • Faculty focus groups: expect library to keep them informed about new technologies and research


  • Do more frequent surveys - not wait 10 years between
  • Target grad students
  • Short-term goals: more laptops, more embedded librarians for specific courses - "Librarian in Residence," promote website to freshmen
  • Long-term: new library building 4-5 years (ours is from 1950's) - get librarians involved, include Information Commons; create information literacy general education course taught by librarians (ACRL IL competencies); staff training - using technology

Lessons learned

  • Find and use experts on campus (ex: SPSS experts)
  • Redefine non-user = someone who uses library once a semester or less
  • Verify college data - use master set/codes, rather than info on the open web which might not match (oops!)
  • Detailed timelines would have been more helpful - tried to go back to analyze data after a semester, had lost momentum - this is common - loss of morale for staff as well as users who have answered survey
  • Offered online survey version after refused paper survey - not many takers - has to be exactly the same
  • Followed up survey with one focus group with students, one with faculty - wanted more, but very hard to schedule - good information - wanted to know what librarians "really do"
  • Need IRB approval, admin buy-in, above-board
  • Without funds for outside expert consultant, wanted to become good researchers - wonderful experience - will understand the literature better now - positive change - total cost was under $600


  • Let users know results? Haven't yet much; some info in annual report. Will make formal report to admin. Notepad at next "Institute" event where faculty meet - giveaway with facts about library.
  • Memorial Library at UW-Madison did a "know your librarian" display - what they do when they are and aren't on the job
  • Non-usable surveys? Filled out front and not back of survey.
  • Amanda's reaction: Yay! Assessment as part of marketing!

WAAL 2008: Web Site and Online Database Accessibility...

Web Site and Online Database Accessibility at Academic Libraries: A Critical Overview of the Recent Research and Policy Developments
Axel Schmetzke

Axel started by showing us a short video about using a screen reader to read online documents and surf the web.

"For people with print/sensory disabilities, the digitization of information offer unprecedented opportunities..." but we need to do it right. The accessibility of online stuff depends on its design.

Common barriers to web page accessibility:
  • images and maps without ALT
  • tables used for layout
  • scrolling/blinking elements
  • no meaningful link text
  • poor contrast between text and background
  • no "skip navigation" link
WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and Section 508 (federal requirements) are the standard "rules" for making online stuff accessible. 508 is becoming more widely used because vendors are motivated to meet federal requirements and many states (including WI) are adopting 508 as their standard.

Reasons for an accessible online environment:
  • Ethics -- it's the right thing to do
  • Economics -- it makes sense from a business point of view
  • Selfishness -- we may need it ourselves
  • Law -- we gotta do it
Title II (ADA):
Services must be provided that are... effective as those provided to other patrons
...the same -- unless different services are necessary to obtain equal results
...provided in the most integrated setting appropriate (no separate but equal)

Existence of a policy has a postive impact on accessiblity -- if your school or library has a policy requiring or recommending web accessibility, accessibility happens.

Study of SLIS and library web sites found that total site overhauls tended to reduce accessibility
SLIS sites tend to be less accessible than library sites generally.

As libraries, we should proactively think about accessibility as we build our online environment.
UWSP Collection Development policy includes accessibility for all, including people with disabilities -- need to, at least, consider accessibility: has the product been tested by users, documenting the reasons for selecting an inaccessible product...

Library Hi Tech special issue (2002)
database accessibility improved from 1999-2002, but usability remains a problem

Vendor survey
  • They're much more aware of accessibility issues
  • They're mostly working on it
  • Sales reps get training on how to respond
  • They're not marketing accessibility
  • They don't register accessible products with GSA Buy Accessible Data Center
  • They don't conduct usability studies with people with disabilities
Survey tools:
SurveyMonkey not currently accessible -- but may be better now.
Accommodations often don't work so well for surveys about private concerns

Things to remember:
  • Think about accessibility when buying products, when hiring web people, when designing websites
  • Provide feedback to vendors after purchasing decisions
  • Collaborate with assistive technologies person on campus
  • Insist on 508-compliant survey tools
  • Join discussion forums like AXSLIB
Axel's Survey Site:

Connecting with the Faculty

One of the most valuable elements of the session were the comments by the faculty member who stood in for Rea Kirk (sorry, I've forgotten his name). He served as strong, positive example of the good will and good works created by the UW-Platteville Staff.

In the photos, Jennifer Snoek-Brown shares that, among other things, she mentors psychology students on the group level as an integral part of the experimental psych curriculum. In the other, Regina Pauly shares that her faculty collaborations have gone far beyond the boundaries of campus, including China, and will soon involve sharing her contributions to a faculty research project in Oxford, England, this summer.

Cheers, ladies!

Images from Reinventing

Carrie Nelson serves up a heaping helping of transformative learning

WAAL 2008: Reinventing the Library Class Session

Eliot Finkelstein, Carrie Nelson, Trisha Prosise (UW-Madison's College Library)


  • "One-shots" - single 50-minute sessions - many, many of us teach these
  • Library instruction "module" is integrated by mandate into certain required courses at UW-Madison
  • 2006: 4,300 students get online tutorial followed by 50-minute session
  • Librarians were repeating content in tutorial and in-person sessions - taking up time
  • Got to a point that script was a Frankenstein's monster, after multiple re-writes
  • Started with desired outcomes, rather than jumping into the "fun part"
  • Literature search - Deb Gilchrist (assessment expert)
  • Bloom's taxonomy - set 7 learning outcomes


  • 3 volunteers from audience were taught in the old way (told how to complete all the steps, then did it), then 3 volunteers that had been waiting in the hallway were taught in the new way (why this might be important to you, you won't be able to do it correctly the first time, but I'll step in to talk you through it)
  • Scenario: How to order food at the "WLA Food Counter" - needed to provide structured, ordered commands from controlled vocabulary
  • Second group of "students" felt more prepared, confident; even though one wound up with peanut butter smeared on the table in front of her, with no plate :) - because she knew what not to do next time
  • Teachers gave context: on the job
  • Allowed learners to try before completely taught method
  • One learner modelled, then learners discussed together
  • Set at ease: told them "this is going to be complicated," "this isn't easy"


  • With old method, engagement was less than we wanted
  • Questions and comments from students indicated a disconnect in learning

Constructivist learning

  • Susan Cooperstein and Elizabeth Kocevar-Weidinger
  • We may think that hands-on computer work after a demonstration is "active", but that's not pedagogists' definition of active learning: activity leading to concepts (not vice versa)
  • Students more comfortable with learning among peers
  • Real-world problem to solve (from students' point of view)
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Teacher as coach or facilitator of learning by chunks, rather than Our Leader

Transformative learning

  • Kelly McGonigal
  • Have to realize that there's something you don't know - motivation
  • Safe to fail
  • Scaffolding - teaching/learning in chunks

Changes made

  • Real world: "If you were an intern in Washington, D.C. this summer, your boss would ask you to do this"
  • Failure is built in - showed them a reasonable search, with 0 results - am I in the right database? are my search terms good? - recovered together
  • Disorientation: search field for database names, not for research terms - we bring them there, then talk them through it
  • Safe failure: Pods of computers - see everyone else having same thing happen
  • Balance between support and challenge - chunking, clues, flexibility with finger on the pulse of the room so you can change the plan if gets too challenging


  • Great student engagement
  • They're realizing that they do not know how to do something they thought they did
  • They want to know how to do this - Problem-solving, Working together
  • Lots of activities
  • Online worksheet - not talking at them the whole time


  • Online worksheet kept in a database - research topic, journal database, search terms
  • Pulled 600 sheets - created a basic rubric
  • 1/4 hadn't chosen best database, 1/5 chose poor search terms
  • High percentage of instructors believe that library module improved student learning
  • Reviewed comments that indicated need to make changes
  • Librarians felt very engaged with new script
  • 80% students chose "librarian demonstrations" as the part of module that helped them most - they were really watching us, because they'd already done exercise


  • What if students don't do tutorial? Required, with embedded quizzes they need to turn in to instructor.
  • How would you do an exercise like this with different classes? 2nd script for separate class - chose hardest topic that I thought wouldn't work - went well. Work with instructor on assignment - ask "is it OK if the search fails the 1st time?"
  • Do you run out of time? Not any more than in past.
  • What do you cut out? Students working on their own topic at the end. We want them to come with a topic, but they might not start research on it during session.
  • Outcomes? How to find a book and article, how to get help, and positive attitude about the library.
  • Electronic worksheet? Web form - we get them there at beginning of class. Outline of some of class session. Narrative background of scenario. Paste in answers. Talk to the person next to you and find out... Students are okay with multi-tasking on computer. Students get copy of completed worksheet emailed to them (and us).
  • Non-traditional students? Mainly traditional undergrads, comfort with technology. In ELL class, did use paper worksheet.
  • Increased library use by these students? College Library is widely used by this user group, so getting them in the door isn't the issue. Anecdotally, getting better questions at the information desk. Recently, a student had already been in a database and found an article, but knew she needed better search terms and came to librarian - this is progress! Before, "I have a paper..."
  • Academic freedom of faculty? Some students can test out, so not required for all. Abbie Loomis, our campus instruction coordinator, was instrumental in getting library module mandated.
  • Used for more advanced classes? Not us yet. Sarah McDaniel, current campus instruction coordinator, has done similar project at other campus.

WAAL 2008: RapidILL at the UW-Madison

  • Eric Robinson (WiLS) and Heather Weltin (UW-Madison)

RapidILL is excellent -

  • "It isn't the software that makes this work, it's the mindset"
  • Fill rate is 95% within 24 hours turnaround = convenience
  • Cuts out multiple steps to save time = efficiency
  • Reloads (updates) your holding records for you = accuracy
  • There have only been a couple hours when system was down, since October 2007
  • Soon, all you'll need is Odyssey, which is free
  • Technically, you don't even need an ILL system to use RapidILL
  • Not for book loans or book chapters, just for journal articles

Why did we purchase it?

  • No budget increase since 1999-2000 biennium budget
  • UW-Madison library budget is lowest in the Big 10
  • 40,000 students, physically large campus, with dozens of libraries
  • Memorial Library ILL "shop" specific; our health sciences library uses it separately
  • January 2007 we consolidated our 6 ILL shops into 3
  • RapidILL searching and processing faster than anything we had before
  • Unmediated RapidILL would have no staff intervention on campus - on the horizon at UW-Madison
  • Replaces our "Cancelled Title Project" - started this idea at Madison - journals that had been cancelled on campus, select publishers - instead of going through traditional ILL channels, we bought directly from vendor - help offset hassle to researchers; prioritized these requests
  • Replaces our "Rush Service" - very time sensitive and a lot of work - limited to fac/staff/grads - no questions asked - we prioritized these requests to find any way to get article - British Library per-article cost could be up to $60
  • We had been charging $2 per article for on-campus article scanning - students manually entered their fund accounts - typing errors and closed accounts resulted in a low 50% collection rate
  • Primary reason for RapidILL = cost savings - we had been spending $40,000/month, now $7,000/year

How does it work?

  • Need ISSN or OCLC number, and year to query RapidILL database
  • Click the "little yellow dot/ball" icon
  • # of library matches, with unique query #
  • Click import to ILL software, and voila!
  • What happens if RapidILL can't fill request? - your "pod" or "friend" libraries don't have article - usually means input error - pursue regular ILL
  • Checks for duplicate requests - not perfect, but no other system does this
  • Currently need to go online to RapidILL site occasionally - but won't have to go to live web with Unmediated RapidILL - bad citations will be a thing of the past - automatically send to patron
  • Right now, we rely on our students to check and send out requested articles (~40/hour)

Results: Requests

  • Requests are up
  • Allows us to staff more creatively - from multiple locations on campus - 7 days/week
  • Improved turnaround time


  • This work has to be done by somebody, 24 hours a day
  • Doesn't mean you have to supply everything from your collection
  • You give RapidILL all your records so they know what you already have to compare against requests, but you just give them an exclusion list for lending - only took me 3 hours
  • Everyone says their catalog is terrible, but RapidILL says there's no catalog they can't handle - it's true!
  • Need to know your licenses - electronic journals available for lending?
  • Test phase - 2-4 weeks where you can borrow but don't have to lend
  • They have an algorithm for the load balance - you lend at same rate that you borrow
  • "Pods" are pools of institutions with similar needs, likes, dislikes - can be in multiple lending pools - ARL, Carnegie E, Carnegie I, Boston area (includes public), Taiwan, etc.
  • When Hurricane Katrina hit, RapidILL helped institutions by allowing them to borrow without lending

Can you do it?

  • You can already do it, you just don't know you can do it
  • Check the RapidILL list against your existing lending/borrowing institutions - if already working with them, probably won't change your statistics
  • Trust
  • Integrated with ILLiad if you want all your stats in the same place, and your requests to print multiple per page
  • Get very specific shelf location and call #, in addition to ID # (and barcode) and Ariel IP address (and barcode) - allows easy staffing
  • Odyssey will make things better, cut out steps
  • Ariel older versions not recognizing current version requests (only 2 since October)
  • Batch updating - filled/unfilled
  • Can send notes about unfilled requests in natural language
  • Simple to do "resends" (fix mistakes)
  • Peer pressure to keep up with 24 hour turnaround - color codes on each request
  • Caveat: If you need to turn lending off, you also turn off borrowing...
  • RapidILL encourages you to innovate, and give away monetary recognition awards


  • Book lending is a possibility for some institutions
  • We fill 70% requests through Odyssey, rest in Ariel - more Odyssey = better, faster
  • UW-Madison fills 85% of everything sent to us, compared to national RapidILL average of 76%
  • We fill 2-3 times as much as other lenders get in
  • Turnaround = .53 days (average = .59)
  • Electronic journals included makes things faster
  • 44% of our campus requests were filled through RapidILL within half a day
  • RapidILL also has database of open access articles - it automatically fills within minutes
  • No question about it, YES we're going to keep RapidILL
  • We've prepared patrons by sending out messages: "Did you know that we can fill your request faster if you make your request through WorldCat etc.?"
  • Copyright fees are still an issue
  • Wisconsin pod is being discussed - all academic libraries, not just UW System


  • Pods? Some exclusive, others inclusive
  • Cost? Based on workload, still mom & pop shop, so very flexible
  • 24/7? Weekends don't count for lending (not required)
  • Copyright? Every campus has different licensing with vendors. Can't do permanent links or re-copy articles. Electronic journal article "print" versioning is just a couple clicks.
  • Public libraries? Major ones around the country participate, but RapidILL isn't specialized for lending popular materials
  • Odyssey? Will take over. Lots more people have it than you think. ILLiad is a dying software.

WAAL 2008: Key thoughts and phrases

Just a few thoughts from Wednesday: (My personal comments are in red)
Keynote speaker, Mr. Price:

"Infopreneaur" (sp?)-- we deal with information, and making it available.

RSS feeds-- not really used that much, email still the best way to alert patrons about anything new. (People are too busy, a gentle reminder works better than maybe having time to read a feed.)

Most people still have no clue what libraries, librarians can offer.
"Right tool at the right time" -- Books, Web, Fee-based content (-- need a better word, even "subscription databases" is clumsy term. Lay people are thinking...?huh?).

Most people (even instructors) still have no clue what we can offer: Tools and Training.
Who's teaching the teachers? (Short discussion from audience.)
Can people use what they don't know about? Vendors not much help. They need to provide more support materials we can use to help promote to the public what they're providing us.

"If we do things right, we can save people time, effort, and aggravation." Especially time! We offer invaluable service in this regard. How do we let people know?? (Going back to the idea of us being "Infopreneaurs"?)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Poster Sessions!

A good time was had by all at the fabulous Poster Sessions on Wednesday evening.

WLA NMRT Round Table

Help! Becky Yoose and I will be manning a table at the poster session tonight promoting the revival of the WLA's New Members Round Table. We have a petition to get this going again, and we need your signature! You can also check out the WLA NMRT wiki and sign the petition there. See you tonight!

WAAL 2008: Next generation virtual reference

  • Steve Frye, UW-Madison College Library
  • Mark Beatty, WiLS
  • Valerie Beech, Marquette University
  • John Jentz, Marquette University

IM/chat at UW-Madison, and future of virtual reference

  • Steve:
  • UW-Madison started online reference in 2002 with Convey software
  • Needed to change software, and thought we'd look at new vendors
  • Instead, library powers that be asked us to look at virtual reference as a whole first
  • 2006 started with blended service (chat/IM)
  • "Ask a Librarian" link ubiquitous throughout library webpages
  • Decided early on that service would be staffed at desks, with staff of various levels
  • Needed to be stable, and simple - if needed more than 5 minutes of training, too much
  • Video: watching collaboration on virtual ref between reference staff
  • Choosing software - some useful websites
  • Will add Chat button within OPAC when "no results found"
  • Discussion btw. Writing Center, IT, libraries, tutoring service re: creating virtual Information Commons
  • Using Jing - free to download, screencasting for multi-step processes, free online hosting with URLs you can send patron
  • Takes 7 steps to order another book from another UW System library
  • #1: Virtual ref isn't the point - it's just another communication channel - we don't say "telephonic reference"
  • #2: What is it we do? - if you're thinking about doing it or not, does it fit in your mission? - 1876 Samuel Greene quote on what librarians do - doesn't mention a desk, or having to be there with a patron
  • #3: What do we call what we do? - TAIGA Forum 2006 - library directors - "Within the next 5 years..." - end of reference - library role is to project specialized services into research and learning workflows - Steve: they seem unable to conceive of "reference" beyond the desk
  • If you were building a new library, would you have a ref desk? If not, why do you have one now?
  • What is the future of providing support to students and faculty doing research? Bright.
  • Are we in the buggy business? Or the transportation business?

IM at Marquette University

  • IM = commercial free; VR = expensive client-based software (aka "chat")
  • 2006: John learns of Meebo; also looked at Pidgin (was GAIM) and Trillian
  • 2007: Use both ($$$) and Meebo
  • Meebo: entirely web-based (no download), allows anonymous chat
  • Students are used to being interrupted during reference, so prioritization of modality a non-issue
  • Hand-written log for ref stats, although can keep transcripts
  • In 3 months, IM has become 7.7% of ref Qs; less e-mail (fairly steady); less still VR
  • Think IM may level off at 10%
  • Types: ref (substantive) - mainly, ref (technical), directional (technical), directional (non-technical)
  • Minority of rude, impatient patrons
  • Ref staff really like IM; don't really like (complex national scheduling, etc.)
  • [Live demo]
  • Meebo sidebar in Firefox, so you can monitor as staffperson

QuestionPoint at WiLS

  • Finally able to do quality control - virtual ref staff previously worked in a vacuum
  • Both academic and public library patrons
  • AskAway
  • QuestionPoint introduced Qwidget one month ago - availability indicator, can re-direct to email for off-hours, or link to other live coverage when you aren't available
  • Starts anonymous; can enter email address; can still get a transcript if they don't share email with staff
  • [Live demo - email icon is small and not really obvious, but otherwise looks good!]
  • NWTC using on homepage, and integrated into LibGuides
  • I was able to get it into a MySpace page, and a regular Facebook profile (not a Facebook Page)
  • Would hate to think that librarians wouldn't do something because they were afraid of being inundated by reference questions
  • Could take a while if we ever need changes made to the software; QP is huge consortium with variety of opinions (ex: co-browsing - librarian can take over patron's desktop - Mark: this is dead; others insist they need it)
  • Steve: VR vendors should have talked to users, not librarians - too many features, it became unstable
  • Audience: I tried using public library chat, and Michigan person answered - I needed local knowledge, was referred to email
  • Mark: Garbage In, Garbage Out - need to make sure you put as much information as possible on your own website, so distant librarians can help. Signs in doors when closed - "here's how to get help online"


Info Lit Award Pic

Dave Dettman, UW Green Bay, accepting the information literacy award. Behind him is a Christmas pole from the Christmas Tree Ship.

Will You Be My Friend...On Facebook?

Julie Fricke and Ben Williard gave a thorough introduction to Facebook from both a historical and library perspective. They shared some of the capabilities, controversies, and social norms of the networking software from a librarian's perspective (Julie's) and from that of a former student (Ben's).

Even those of us that use Facebook regularly did discover something new here. I also learned from the audience questions that many of the library world are less familiar. My favorite question was someone wanting to know if the time spent with Facebook came back to users (I'm paraphrasing and interpreting, of course) in the form of enriched social lives!

Those of us who use Facebook and the like can easily answer that question.

Picture is of Julie showing one of the many Facebook applications, this one to show what areas of the world a user has been, lived, or to which she longs to travel.

Photo From Dave Dettman's Info Lit Session

WAAL 2008: Integrating and assessing information literacy

WAAL Information Literacy Award presentation
  • Dave Dettman, Coordinator of IL and Outreach, UW-Green Bay
  • UW System now looking at student learning assessment tools: iSkills, Project SAILS, ILT
  • Assessing learning outcomes is more difficult for IL than subject areas
  • How well is IL integrated into the curriculum at your campus?
  • "Assessment Loop" - want to complete all steps (goals, measurement, etc.), and close the loop (set new goals) - funders want to see this
  • Accreditation agencies starting to look at IL-related skills
  • Faculty had been afraid of IL - confusing it with technology literacy - can student use x piece of software/hardware?
  • We've been doing "one-shot" instruction sessions for a long time - faculty are used to this
  • Needed to document students' poor understanding of IL concepts for faculty who think that students have these skills
  • Need to approach library databases differently than the Wild West Web, not in same way that you'd ask one another a question
  • Action plan: Make failure visible, in order to move on to more effective approaches
  • Beyond one shot: librarian meets with students 2 times in computer labs where they can continue to research topics
  • Standardized tests: can be powerful for communicating a need for more integration
  • ETS iSkills ICTL test (Scale: 0-300) used at UWGB
  • No library instruction = 156.5
  • One-shot lecture = 164.4
  • Lecture + ICT literacy exercises = 171.2
  • National recommendation = at least 162
  • What does this score mean? Don't know, but he started to get invited by admin to serve on many instruction committees
  • UWGB revived freshman seminar concept, after ~15 years - beyond composition class
  • 1st assignment: Watch movie, pick 5 themes, find scholarly article related to each
  • Library e-guide - but faculty didn't promote, and complained about predominant website citations
  • 1st year (2006) = Failure
  • Would like to parse out data to an instructor level, but my data analyst isn't comfortable with that
  • Self-assessment of learning: increased on most measures (exception: "how to use" information)
  • People upstairs love this: "If the librarian's not doing much teaching right now, imagine the results if librarian was doing a bit more!"
  • Unfortunately, some students get to see me multiple times in their classes, others don't see me at all
  • Perception of what a librarian is the same, regardless of where they work - think the academic librarian is the same as their old kindergarten librarian
  • Really opening doors to faculty, institutional admin
  • Successfully advocated to expand freshman seminar in 2008-09 with IL to about 1/2 students
  • Planning to integrate more with 8 instructors
  • Want to convince 4 more instructors to require a similar assignment with one-shot, so not comparing apples to oranges
  • Many librarians find that they aren't able to use the data they collect in the way that they think, because the wind up trying to compare very different experiences
  • Now possible to make connections between IL scores (higher-level thinking) and post-grad hiring
  • Students finally get something back from assessment - see real-time results = higher motivation
  • We promoted campus interest in results, by some staff promising to shave their heads if score was higher than a certain level
  • Need to build IL assessment into a course, with class time
  • A different campus was offering $25 for students to take IL test - a student said "I'd rather give blood"
  • Awarded an IL "Lesson Study" grant - seed money is powerful on campus
  • Pre/post surveys, focus groups coordinated by Education students
  • Now working on MLLO Project: Assessing mission level student learning objectives
  • Faculty development - monetary rewards - make yourself visible there - with data, you'll become more welcome
  • LibQual at UWGB in 2004, again in 2008 - can show gains
  • UW System-wide assessment interest - we've been working in our own backyards for too long
  • Dave: Better to organically roll into an existing class, than to have a stand-alone "library class" for credit
  • Audience: Disagreement - our credit class is very popular among everyone


WAAL 2008: Adventures of the Roving Librarian: Morocco

Ripon College Librarian Valerie Viers talking about her trips to Morocco...

Language and gender issues

Cultural conflict between Arabists and Francophiles -- language use in higher education and elsewhere. Primary students learning both.

Coke and Sprite signs in Arabic

Colonial legacy very much in evidence in Moroccan schools -- French were there 130 years.

Independence movement meant many Arabs didn't want their kids to go to school.

Moroccan Arabic is very far from classical Arabic -- they weren't able to communicate effectively
with other Arabs. Arabist movement working to reverse.

Different languages: French (language of status, business, etc.), Arabic (language of religion and literature, Al-Jazeera), Berber -- each Berber has its own script, attempts to codify

Class differences become apparent in written culture.

Very high unemployment -- but people from Senegal come to Morocco looking for jobs.

Literacy rate among women: 11%
Some rural schools -- kids live up to 6 miles away, no motivation, especially for girls

Teaching academics along with trades make schools more acceptable.

6% of tribes don't have even basic rural schools.

Koranic schools -- where kids go to memorize the Koran. No critical thinking skills taught or encouraged.

Large numbers of people want to leave -- kids want to grow up and be emigres.

Al-Akhawayn University
Mohamed VI Library (named after king)
beautiful woodwork

Hand of Fatima: "don't touch my country" -- warding off terrorists

Moroccan scholars typically don't do leisure reading -- oral culture; they'd rather talk than read.

Fulla the Muslim Barbie -- with appropriate clothing

Bush Bin Laden game: Path Cra 911 (YouTube video)

Beyond the Veil
women going into public spaces causes chaos
concern about who sits next to whom
a woman's reputation is her most precious possession
avoid strange men

Food: really good organic, mint tea with lots of sugar, couscous on Friday

WAAL newbie

This is Brett Rohlwing chiming in. Just arrived this morning from Madison with my lovely wife in tow, I am attending the WAAL conference for the first time. I am a first-year student in the SLIS MA program at the UW, and a lucky recipient of one of the WAAL conference scholarships (for which I am thankful!) I attended my first meeting today, titled "Just Where Are We? Academic Librarianship in Wisconsin" with Kim LaPlante, Mary Rieder, Pete Gilbert, Pat Wilkinson, and Ed Van Gemert. Many of the things discussed were familiar to me from my class discussions. There was a lot of talk about changing needs in instructional services, the evolving needs and issues in academic libraries, and of course the influence of technology on the way patrons are helped and services are delivered. Still, one thing that hasn't changed, which Kim LaPlante touched on, is the necessity for enthusiasm in delivering library service. That will go a long way in keeping patrons coming into our libraries.

WAAL 2008: Where are we? Academic librarianship in Wisco


  • Kim LaPlante, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • Mary Rieder, UW Colleges
  • Ed Van Gemert, UW-Madison
  • Pat Wilkinson, UW-Oshkosh
  • Pete Gilbert, Lawrence University
  • Moderator: Gretchen Revie, Lawrence University

Role of library in higher education today

  • Kim:
  • WI Tech Coll system served 400,000 students last year
  • NWTC 43,000+ students, 6,000 FTE
  • Education: what you want, how you want it, where you want it
  • #1 teaching IL skills - find, evaluate, use - librarian is most important resource in the library
  • #2 gather materials - not so much in-house, but provide access; currency (ex: nursing or computer tech within past few years); get copyright permission to put online; video streaming online; cover many counties so has to be widely available
  • #3 fostering innovation; disseminate to admin and faculty re: trends, directions to take, grants
  • Mary:
  • Similar to Tech Coll, with multiple campuses/libraries (13) across state; 50 library staff (~3/library, not all FT)
  • Lots to do, little staff time to do it
  • Large and growing online student population (1,100 now)
  • Undergrad support vs. faculty research
  • Started online document delivery, use SCLS and UB forfor ILL
  • Non-traditional students doing research from work - needed proxy server
  • Online library support has been done from one campus, but will need to hire more
  • Templates for course Library Course Pages - citation guides, databases, catalog, ILL, websites - faculty can customize if want
  • Coursecasting - podcasting audio of lectures, campus activities (ex: poetry readings), access can be restricted to students
  • IL - wide range of students; life-long skills
  • Copyright education for instructors
  • Pete:
  • Googled phrase "role of library in higher education" - found article from 1982, Australian perspective
  • Dependent upon educational objectives of institution
  • WAICU - 19 private schools - Marquette to Nashoda Seminary - most 1000-2000 students - overall 57,000 students; 1/4 4-year students in state - more diversity and non-traditional students (25+ years old)
  • Independent schools: Personal connections, innovate with faculty, mission-driven, about teaching and learning primarily for undergrads, individualized learning, undergrads doing research with faculty
  • Pat:
  • Utilitarian definition of academic librarian
  • Means by which HE gets certain amount of scholarly information to students and faculty
  • 11 comprehensive colleges within UW System (2,500 to 10,000 students)
  • Academic libraries no longer have a near monopoly - once operated in information-scarce environment; now information-rich
  • Grappling with having to demonstrate our effectiveness now that libraries didn't need to 30 years ago
  • Admins contact me and ask about # of books in library to put in reports - that doesn't tell anyone anything
  • Ed:
  • We'll hear more about similarities than dissimilarities today
  • We have an incredible wealth of educational opportunities in this state - marvel at how and why that came about
  • Over 45 libraries on the UW-Madison campus [well...]
  • UW-Madison started 2 years after statehood, library collections go back further than that
  • Sister states benefit from multiple research universities
  • Wisconsin Idea - Charles Van Hise 1904 - boundaries of university extend beyond boundaries of the state
  • My grandfather's time: extension staff, lumbering - natural resources, Now: information technology
  • Support for big science, and digital arts and humanities
  • Important for quality of life in Wisconsin
  • People think "grad students and faculty research" but it's also undergrad education
  • Less about internal focus, than external - how library serves needs of campus, city, state
  • Article in Chronicle from Monday - UW-Madison difficulty retaining faculty and staff, scary article
Changes made in past 3-5 years to accomplish mission in HE? Considering?

  • Kim:
  • IL - more guides, online tours, virtual ref, more lab staff, hired coordinator for 3 campuses, customized guides for 3 programs, video streaming
  • for students who are used to doing their own Myspace and Facebook pages
  • Increasing tools at regional centers so anywhere in district students can get what they need
  • Cataloging learning objects alongside books, journals, etc.
  • Using Delicious account to bring students to recommended sites
  • Library blog with RSS feed
  • In Facebook - not alot of fans, but we are there - incorporate resources within so if seen, they can use
  • Innovation - joined a lot of committees, not just to market library, but to help out as researcher about new technology, trends; More integrated with curriculum dev process
  • College-wide online discussion with reading lists, instructors discuss articles posted by librarians
  • Want to increase team teaching of librarians and faculty
  • Want to make our interfaces more user-friendly; nextgen wants easy, nontrad want intuitive; Voyager 7 this year
  • Instructor development role - want to help train re: libraries, work with existing faculty, being added to search teams, so can market library before they're hired because so busy when they start
  • Mary:
  • Tried some of those things
  • Wisco virtual ref consortium - dropped out - staff small, hard to cover shifts - started to get questions about resources we didn't have
  • Tried chat and IM ref, our students tend to like email because you can get to it on own time
  • New strategic plan - assessment is big - survey a few years ago re: user feedback on Voyager catalog, and lots of changes were made, more streamlined; more campus surveys; 1st LibQual only 118 respondents (not as many as hoped) - will put into report for Library Council
  • Budget cuts - created our own licensed resource purchasing cooperative; more collaborative purchase decisions
  • Some students want to talk, others to be quiet - customizing spaces
  • Online social networking hasn't really gone big with us
  • Some of our libraries have LibraryThing and Google Books lists
  • May become a baccalaureate granting institution, and will need to support this
  • Want to tell faculty what we have, so they can tell students what we have
  • Want to digitize non-copyrighted materials
  • Want to look at internal and external funding sources
  • Pete:
  • Wayne Wiegand was my advisor in grad school - key phrase was "the library in the life of the user, as opposed to the user in the life of the library" - to achieve ubiquity, we try to customize our resources/services for users
  • Signs and business cards: "Ask us"
  • We're also spending a lot of time asking them - formal through SurveyMonkey, and informal through flipchart in library with question: "What one change would you like to see in the physical building?" that users write on
  • We ask ourselves "So what?" - what if we just stopped doing this? what would happen? because we have to stop something if we start something new.
  • IL causes increased reference statistics - make appointments for reference conferences, allows us to prepare more than drop-in desk questions
  • Going to where the students are, virtually - Moodle course management system on campus (free version of D2L, Blackboard) - created a library module to search catalog, will add federated searching, will be doing Delicious and RSS; working with faculty to use PURLs to link to articles
  • Librarians and art faculty talking about digital image provision to studio students - work on things as people ask for them
  • Senior experience - every department has to have a culminating experience; opportunity to integrate library across curriculum
  • Building new campus center - "living room" - library is like that right now; what will new role of library be? Remote services? Domino effect on other buildings - incorporate learning commons into library?
  • Pat:
  • Sharper, more public focus on faculty research
  • TOC service
  • Desktop document delivery - Promised to faculty that we'd get anything they wanted as fast as we could - $10,000/year - BadgerCat helpful as discovery tool, some UW funding
  • Less cumbersome for students - added MS Office suite, wireless, laptop checkout, allow people to do things from homepage
  • Tried minor physical improvements - quiet study, group study, new archives area (work with classes doing research)
  • More fun, fewer rules, no fines for overdues, murder mystery/IL, coffee/cookies during finals, custom-printed mousepads
  • Not only tried to handle cuts well, but have tried to improve services - got through to admin, they were happier with us
  • Not buried under IT in identity
  • Stress one-system, one-library - role of UW-Madison as flagship very important, elsewhere that doesn't happen
  • Reducing footprint of materials, to make room for information commons
  • Conscious transition to digital resources
  • Integrate with CMS
  • Increased funding, strengthening cooperative collection development
  • Ed:
  • Started 1971 as student assistant in library
  • Recent strategic planning exercise - not so important what directions and outcomes were - process on large campus (300 FTE) was interesting and informative - wouldn't hesitate to do again
  • Strategic partnerships - with faculty, students, other system institutions on digital collections, highlight work by faculty, with Google - transformative work for libraries
  • We can do big things, and we can change the world, that's part of our role - will continue to be
  • Library space is a physical asset; over 1 million square feet at UW-Madison; reduction of print, want to repurpose, also landgrab on campus; how partner with faculty, centers, etc. or it will be taken from us
  • Have lost 5 million dollars in journal collections from budget cuts; ILL/document delivery has done a great job
  • Lorcan Dempsey - critical of libraries not "in the flow"
  • NIH requirement of uploading publications to PubMed Central - libraries have taken central role, partnered with research admin
  • Culture of Sharing workshop last weekend - 50 students, starting Students for Free Culture org on campus - told it was the 1st such symposium in U.S.
  • Building collections based on buildings and people not appropriate; need to support multidisciplinarity
  • Librarians designed learning outcomes for learning objects - instructors bring images, skeletons, etc. - how help them place into CMS, provide ubiquity

What skills and abilities help librarians thrive?

  • Kim:
  • Instruction skills with enthusiasm - they just have to share!
  • Someone with imagination who has ideas they want to try
  • Mary:
  • Need IT skills because we're not that well supported, do our own web design
  • Multi-tasking - reference in person, circulation, email reference, committee work
  • Marketing resources, services, what we can do for faculty/admin/community
  • Networking with community - Campus Reads, library boards, helps at budget time
  • Ed:
  • Social intelligence - build into position descriptions - work as team, partnerships with limited resources and time regardless of subject expertise
  • Pat:
  • Ability to work in ambiguous situations, take a risk, take initiative; 30 years ago, libraries were run top-down
  • Business communication skills - we like academia, and we need to focus our communication on what people need to know, not what we want to show them
  • Pete:
  • Creativity - thinking energy - I have 9 pages of brainstorming from staff about better serving campus
  • Responsivity - reference "house calls"
  • Connectivity - knowing people by name, who's doing what

WAAL 2008: Gary Price keynote

Gary Price

  • Presentation:
  • Started this site
  • Updated daily, even during his honeymoon!
  • Calls himself an "intropreneur"
  • It's one thing to have a website, and it's another thing to keep people coming to your website
  • RSS isn't as widely-used as people think it is - many people don't know what it is or how to use it
  • I send out a weekly email reminder - everyone still knows what it is
  • 25-50 names added to email list a week - up to 50,000 subscribers (?)
  • Information overload
  • Started this site, maintained by Shirl Kennedy
  • Reports from think tanks, government agencies, universities, etc.
  • Also updated daily, with weekly e-mail reminders
  • People tell me that the only reason they come is the teaser email message: "This is a little bit of what we've posted this week..."
  • Both sites popular with journalists
  • Comes down to using the right tool at the right time: online tools, books, licensed databases
  • Many people have no idea what the library of today or future has to offer
  • "Go to the library" is important message, but not the only one
  • Share your experiences:
  • UW Sheboygan - instruction for Philosophy 101 class, student trying to cite sources, and all were ".com" websites, and the assignment called for books and articles. Were you in my class? Yeah, but I knew where I was going to get my sources.
  • Is it the instructors we need to get to?
  • UW Stout - depends on instructor. If they emphasize use variety of sources, then students will do it. Sometimes, instructors say I didn't even know you had this.
  • Can you use something you don't even know about?
  • Comment: Instructors are astounded, and then make their assignments more appropriate.
  • What does this mean in the long term? For libraries, licensed tools, companies?
  • Audience: If become an instructor, should take a "library course"
  • Gary: They're just as Googlified as anyone else?
  • Audience: Correct. In grad school, I surveyed high school teachers, and none of them had library training, only knew from being little kids - no one has been teaching the teachers.
  • I talked to teachers, and they're getting into turf wars with public libraries, which offer databases. Don't talk to each other. Money wasted.
  • Audience: Bigger problem. Teaching distance education for grad school. Assigned annotated bibliography, and grad students only sent websites. They "couldn't find anything"
  • Gary: Same thing happened to me. They don't know what their academic library can do for them.
  • Audience: I work at the public library in Manitowoc. College students come in and they don't know the difference. I got this at school, can I get it again. Customers are the same. They don't understand what we're doing.
  • I don't understand database vendors - they don't help us with their marketing know-how to get to end-users. Told they're afraid of placing ads in school newspapers because they'll step on librarians' toes.
  • Told to keep secret, because if too many people use them, vendors will raise prices, and then we won't have any access.
  • Once they sell database, should do more to support use of it. Librarians also need to do a better job of marketing - I've seen "Come use EBSCOHost" - federated searching solution?
  • BadgerNet is a best-kept secret in Wisconsin
  • Audience: Difficult time working with students - convince them to struggle as librarian is struggling.
  • Gary: 45 million things in Proquest, ABI, etc. - makes difficult. Remove duplicates. End user doesn't care where it comes from (vendor).
  • Audience: Better term than fee-based database?
  • Gary: Stuff you're not going to find in Google.
  • If we do things RIGHT, we get one of the most valuable commodities that everyone wants - we can save time, effort and aggravation finding the information they need.
  • I don't know what Web2.0 means - where do they get these names? some are junk, but we don't know what 2.0 means either.
  • - reviews the good and bad
  • Discussion/message boards are still big, in addition to blogs - some are moderated, without the spam
  • Blogpulse - like best, Nielsen Buzz Metrics
  • Bloglines
  • Technorati
  • I'm running Windows and Apple at the same time - had to send back computers, I'm addicted to Windows but I wanted an Apple so badly, so got MacBook Pro with VMware Fusion to run both OS's
  • Market Research Library - U.S. Commercial Service
  • Comment: this was online, then only supposed to be StatsBase, but now it looks like it's back for free
  • CiteSeerX - over 10 years - think Google Scholar, but just IT/CS - new interface
  • "Autonomous citation indexing"
  • Over a million citations - IEEE paper - "My CiteSeer / MetaCart" - list by # cites
  • From Penn State U.
  • Gotta be backing things up remotely - I learned the hard (and heart) way - your life can feel like it's about to be over
  • I use Mozy $100/year for 3 hard drives - every night, automatically to Utah
  • Teaching people how to back things up could be an entire instruction session from the libraries
  • I've had my hard drive fail on me, and $3,700 later, the data came back
  • VTuner and - trend - multimedia material - in lower grades can learn a language this way
  • PRF - what's playing on public radio around the world? listen online or download podcasts.
  • I've been told that I could be Michael Feldman's second or third cousin
  • CoolIris
  • Firefox users? Lots of people. I'm a huge users, so many addons.
  • "Price is my name. Free is my game."
  • MelissaData - lookups - demographics
  • MobiTV
  • Comment: Why search blogosphere?
  • Gary: Find out what people are talking about, including latest publications
  • Topix - 50,000+ mainstream news sources - more than Google News - local and browsable - metrics (?)
  • Used to work for chain of newspapers around Chicago called Pioneer Press - we used to learn about how ads placed near articles can change intention - online it's automatic, so you get "Anti-Christ" ads on "Pope" search
  • News Now - 31,000 sources, from UK but global news - by subject - auto refresh with new content - virtual news ticker
  • Comment: Are sources lasting? here today, gone tomorrow?
  • Gary: I try to show things that I think will be around - but alot of Web2.0 funding is from venture capital - they want to know "what's your endgame?" - and that may be to get bought out by Google, etc.
  • 99% of Google's revenue is from ads on side of pages, or syndicated to other sites (like NYT)
  • Google still a phenomenal search engine
  • people have problems with busy Yahoo homepage - now have, looks like Google
  • Aerial imagery - TerraFly from FL Intl U. - around before Google Earth - great data
  • MS Birdseye imagery is remarkable
  • MS also digitizing books
  • MS Live Search Academic - Google Scholar alternative - I'm sure linking will come in future -
  • G Scholar - what's the actual version that's published? Questionable.
  • SearchPickr - for different kinds of searches - one-stop search
  • "Is this new for everyone? Anyone using this? Good, there's x new resources."
  • - lots of options - including removing ads! - Search in Google, then run same search on other engines
  • What happens when more and more people remove ads from the results page?
  • Google used to have 8 ads per page - now up to 11
  • Jux2 - compare 2 search engines at one time - what ONLY google, yahoo, MSN found
  • Thumbshots - graphic comparison of search results
  • Exalead - from France, but in English - I like how results are presented - which can be of huge value to end user - point and click limits
  • Clusty - what you know, and what you don't know - dynamically clusters results using words on page (not pre-built categories)
  • ClusterMed - PubMed is fielded searching, so allows lots of clusters
  • Amazon "Search inside the book" - using to find new books? - metrics - readability - # characters, fun stats (words per dollar/ounce) - concordance of frequently used words - around a little longer than Google Books - determined by publisher for new books (not retrospective)
  • The Online Books Page - Univ of PA - full text, out of copyright, this person is completely out of his mind (tons added every day)
  • ChaCha - 800-2-chacha - Indiana Univ. - live voice-activated searching - response by text messaging - next generation virtual reference - all results have to come from open web, which is where we started our discussion... - focus on casual user - bar bets
  • Pandora - shows power and importance of good metadata - instruments, meter, etc. - several thousand musicians and musicologists to listen to tracks and tag - find related music
  • What is the deep/invisible web in 2008? (Wrote book 7 years ago) - General search engines weren't indexing much material - better, but invisible web is bigger than it was then - if it's not in first 5-6 results, may as well be invisible to user - need to show advanced searching and variety of searches and share individualized resources with people who can use them [liaison]
  • 85% people don't go to 2nd search results page
  • Search engines are also huge marketing tools - spammers do what they can - some optimizers do it above board (white hats) - that's why good to use multiple
  • most people do simple searches - used to be 2, now 2.8-3 words on average
  • Spock - people searching -
  • quality of information is what I worry about - anyone can go in and manipulate - huge on wikipedia
  • Zoominfo - takes open web info and builds dossiers - I never worked for Ask S.A, I worked for Ask S.A sells RFID.
  • Spokeo - track your online social network friends across 22 networks
  • Rubble88 = Gary Price
  • HouseFront - also works on mobile - nosy neighbor tool - data by property address - have blog: celebrity houses for sale with aerial views