College & Research Libraries News

ACRL NATIONAL CONFERENCE: Learning to make a difference: Coverage from ACRL’s 11th National Conference, Part 1

More than 3,400 people attended ACRL’s 11th National Conference, “Learning to Make a Difference,” held in Charlotte, North Caro- lina, April 10-13, 2003, setting an attendance record. Attendees from all 50 states and 16 for- eign countries were able to choose from over 250 programs and preconferences, many of which at- tracted overflow crowds. Programs were offered for the following themed tracks: As- sessment & Account- ability, Collabora- tions & Competition, Innovations & Inno- vators, People & Places, Teaching & Learning, and Tech- nical & Access Ser- vices.

The conference featured three engag- ing keynote speakers. Hie opening keynote by Paul Duguid (re- search specialist, University of California at Berkeley), “Socializing Information: Research Libraries from Print to Packets,” was a lively session on the library’s role as a community and the necessary interrelationships between librarians, their users, and others. A guitar-toting Bill Ferris (chair of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina) entertained a lunch-time crowd with an informative talk about Southern heritage and a demonstration of the South’s role in blues, country, and rock-and-roll music. In the closing keynote session, Belle Wheelan (secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Virginia) shared her impressions of higher education today, ad- dressing the changing nature of the student popu- lation, budget challenges, and the impact of tech- nology.

Larry Hardesty, conference chair, and Helen H. Spalding, ACRL president, cut the ribbon to open the exhibits.

Another highlight of the conference was the launch of the Academic and Research Library Campaign, a national marketing effort that is part of @ your library, The Campaign for America’s Libraries. Conference attend- ees received comple- mentary copies of the new Toolkit for Academic and Re- search Libraries, fea- turing messages, ideas, and strategies to be used to develop a local marketing campaign (additional copies of the toolkit are available through ACRL, see p. 370) More than 60 librarians attended the preconference “Strategic Marketing for Academic and Research Libraries: Train the Trainer” to learn first-hand how to facilitate a marketing campaign.

“We had a jam-packed and exciting line-up this year, and it was gratifying to see so many standing-room-only sessions—from developing information commons to detecting plagiarism,” said ACRL President Helen Spalding. “It’s particularly gratifying to have so many scholarship winners with us this year. What better place to connect with potential mentors, learn more about areas of interest and make connections with colleagues?”

In addition to offering attendees a chance to interact with their colleagues, the confer- ence provided many opportunities for regis- trants to meet with corporate sponsors. More than l60 companies displayed their innovative products and services in the exhibit hall.

C&RL Newsis pleased to offer the following sum- maries of selected confer- ence programs; we wish to extend our thanks to every- one who volunteered to provide these reports. Part two will appear in the July issue of C&RL News.

National Survey of Student Engagement

In the lively, interactive ses- sion “Information Literacy and Student Engagement: What the National Survey of Student Engagement Re- veals about Your Campus,” presenters Amy E. Mark and Polly D. Bomff-Jones famil- iarized attendees with the

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and showed how survey results can be used to measure individual campus survey findings against national benchmarks. The findings can then be used to work with other constituencies on campus to identify weaknesses and promote stronger library instruction initiatives.

Mark and Bomff-Jones also went a step further by illustrating how one can examine statistically significant items on institutional NSSE reports and correlate them with ACRL standards and Bloom’s taxonomy to look at ways to address instructional goals. Conference participants were invited to work in groups to look at statistical benchmarks, to relate those to ACRL standards and Bloom’s taxonomy, and then think of ways in which library instruction programs, classes, and activities can address those areas of weakness.

For more information about this presentation see:

~aemark/NSSE.html.—Susan Ariew, Virginia Tech,

Paul Duguid, research specialist at the University of California-Berkeley, talked about socializing information.

Libraries and the first-year experience

Jane Carlin, Linda Cain, Cheryl Albrecht, James Krusling, and Barbara Macke, an enthusiastic panel from the University of Cincinnati, emphasized the importance of faculty collaboration to make students’ first-year experience (FYE) rewarding in “You Never Have a Sec- ond Chance to Make a First Impression: Libraries and the First Year Experience.”

Carlin, senior librarian, advised faculty that understanding the culture and mind-set of students helps in their academic success. “Engaging students is what we’re all about. You can teach a student a lesson for a day, but if you teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”

Cain, associate provost, noted, “It takes a campus to educate a student.” She urged librarians to look at their roles as educators who have a lot to contribute. Positive contact with even one faculty member can increase satisfaction and influence student retention. Faculty must collaborate on helping students to success.”

Albrecht, associate dean, urged librarians to be on committees with varied focus. She advocated connecting with the rest of the campus to help students have the best experience possible.

Krusling, FYE librarian, talked about the information commons approach. He stressed being actively approachable and taking leadership roles, such as giving brown bag sessions on plagiarism, databases, and other relevant topics.

Macke, information commons librarian, recommended that librarians, “Think of yourself as a conductor, helping students create new compositions.” Faculty needs to study learning styles, since they represent the way we travel from the known to the unknown. Librarians need to know the culture, and to learn to improvise in order to meet the expectations of students.—Virginia Bailey, Abilene Christian University,

Assessment to foster student success

In the panel presentation, “Connecting the Dots: Using the Assessment Cycle to Foster Student Success,” Judy Kvinsland (associate dean for planning and assessment at Pierce College), with Christie Flynn and Lynn Olson (reference/instruc- tion librarians at Pierce College), addressed the college’s use of the assessment cycle model based on outcomes.

After an introduction to the model, Olson explained the process used by library staff to write library and departmental mission and goal statements in outcomes language. Departments developed assessment tools and assessed at least one outcome in the first cycle. For instance, reference librarians wrote self-assessments after each reference shift for a short period. The results of assessments were reviewed and then the cycle began again to work toward continuous improvement. She noted library staff and faculty can now speak “outcomes-ese.”

Flynn explained how the cycle was applied in the area of library instruction. One of the tools is a pre/post student self-assessment in which students evaluate how their information competence improved over a semester. Kvinsland explained the library’s role in assisting the college in integrating information competence into the curriculum. They have achieved greater faculty buy-in and are serving more students.

Conference chair Larry Hardesty and wife Carol arrive in style for the Chairs Reception at the Duke mansion.

Assessment tips provided included: start with what you have, assess what is valued most, embed assessment in practice, and celebrate success.

Audience members asked whether any direct assessment measures of student learning outcomes had been developed. Panel members indicated they hope to develop those tools soon.

Presentation currently available at http:// This program is available as an e-Leaming Webcast.— Mary Ann Barton, University of Nebraska- Kearney,

Recruiting for the 21st century

The workshop “Recruiting for the 21st Century: Challenges and Choices,” led by Debra Engel (University of Oklahoma) and Sharon Saulmon, (Rose State College), garnered a group of enthusiastic attendees who discussed recruitment philosophies, activities, and avenues for developing new strategies.

The workshop began with an overview of the recruitment crisis. The history of librarianship shows a cycle of over- and under-supply over time, though the current crisis has its own permutations. One key element of a recruitment strategy is to poll ourselves: How did we enter into the profession? What’s the best way to recruit those we already work with, such as paraprofessional and student workers? Also notable are the recruitment campaigns being undertaken by local and regional associations, as well as ACRL and ALA, some of which have been quite active and creative.

In addition to recruiting new librarians to the profession, the panel and attendees discussed that all-important topic of recruiting the right librarians for our institutions with more creative ads. Recognizing and promoting the creative opportunities to be found in libraries seems essential.

Along with the encouragement of other attendees, most valuable in this workshop was the leaders’ view of the workshop as an ongoing conversation.

To this end, they provided useful lists of resources on recruitment. Since recruitment issues affect the health of the profession as a whole, all readers are encouraged to enter the conversation. Summaries of the presentations, the resource list, and other useful links can be found at http:// Reemit, recruit, recruit!—Carolyn Coates, Eastern Cormecticut State University,

Information commons

“[N]ot your father’s [or] your mother’s library… It’s a fresh, integrative perspective on information and knowledge seeking and service provision, a more dynamic relationship between high-touch resources, high-tech resources, and the patrons’ needs.” Thus Russ Bailey (Uni- versity of North Carolina- Charlotte) opened the panel session, “Information Com- mons Issues and Trends: Voices from the Frontline.” The pan- elists—Allison Cowgill (Colo- rado State University), Melanie Remy (University of Southern California), Dan Lee (University of Arizona), Mar- tin Halbert (Emory Univer- sity), Kate Hickey (Elon Uni- versity), and David Murray (Brookdale Community Col- lege)—described their librar- ies’ experiences implementing information commons (IC).

Diverse in student popu- lation and budget, these librar- ies changed the way they as- sess and respond to students’ information needs. By provid- ing full-service computer labs within the library, with “combined access to productivity applications, Internet, and proprietary research databases,” student use, and appreciation, of library facilities has substantially increased. These libraries provide “one stop shopping,” and offer technical assistance along with traditional reference service.

While not the heart of the IC, technology is critical. Therefore, endorsement from the highest levels of institutional leadership is essential. Costs include a commitment to a replacement cycle for the technology, licenses for and staff training in instructional technology, and chairs! An often repeated concept was “community.” Most students own personal computers yet prefer to work collaboratively in the IC, so workstations require more space and seating than traditional models.

IC force librarians to be flexible, adopting new roles; but our core purpose remains unchanged— being relevant to our students.—-Jeannie Colson, Columbia lntemational Univeisity,

Keynote speaker Bill Ferris shares a song during his talk on Southern heritage.

Research and assessment

In her introduction to the panel presentation, “Get Excited About Research and Assessment: An Interactive Look at Some Qualitative, Quantitative, and Historical Projects,” Connie Dalrymple (Wichita State University) stated that while it is our duty to practice “evidence based librarianship” and do research, “it is our passion that pushes the pen” (Inga H. Barnello,

“Librarians as Authors: Take the Plunge,” College & Un- dergraduate Libraries7, no. 1 (2000):71-4).

Acknowledging the popular lament that librarians should be inspired and trained to do research in library school, Dalrymple outlined the research process and encouraged the use of qualitative versus the familiar quantitative methodology. This includes naturalistic inquiry, historical research, bibliometric analysis, and the Delphi technique. Each of the other four panelists then described their successful research projects, outlining the pros and cons of the methods they used. They later hosted a poster session.

Janet Brown (Wichita State University) described a comparative analysis of four versions of the ERIC database, including a student survey, which was used to provide a cost benefit analysis for library administration and as a tool for determining which version to teach. Phil Howze (Southern Illinois University- Carbondale) described the Delphi technique, which is both a quantitative and qualitative survey method for gaining informed consensus, and how he used it to create a manual for a credit-bearing library instruction course. Gail McMillan (Virginia Tech) described how a campus research grant inspired her to create the International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) Biographic Database. Finally, Beth Smith (Wichita State University) used bibliometrics to determine the information needs of undergraduate engineers by analyzing citations from students’ assignments.— Katherine S. Dabbour, California State University- Northridge,

Cross training reference librarians to catalog

In a well-documented poster presentation, Micheline Brown, Margaret Fain, and Allison Faix (Kimbel Library at Coastal Carolina University) detailed the needs for and outcomes of training reference librarians to do copy cataloging. A shortage of professionals in technical services, a backlog of media materials, and limited access to the library’s varied holdings motivated Kimbel librarians to “think outside the box” and search for willing, interested, flexible reference staff to meet these needs.

A training plan was outlined that included assessment of the cataloging tools required and procedures, such as hands-on training and project management meetings were implemented. Five projects were chosen as priorities, and the talents and skills of each participant emerged as the training progressed.

The happy result of this cross-training was a 200 percent increase in the circulation of the media collection in two years. Greater interdepartmental communication and other collaborative projects were also created. As with all library projects, the greatest result of this endeavor was better service to the students and faculty of the university.—-Jana Davis, Abilene Christian University,

Conference attendees relax at the Duke Mansion after a busy day.


Three years ago, the libraries of the Association of Colleges of the South (ACS) jointly purchased 500 netLibrary e-books. This collection was later augmented with two shared e-book collections made available by the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET). James Rettig (university librarian, University of Richmond) and Janis Bandelin, (director of libraries at Furman Uni- versity) compared management and use of the initial, small purchase with the large SOLINET collections.

Using Ranganathan’s laws to illustrate points, Rettig presented statistics on use of e-books, de- scribed the user interface, and discussed results of an e-book collection management survey. Rettig listed current issues and added proposals to make e-books more usable. Bandelin predicted that li- brary collections will be a “hybrid” of print and digital formats for the foreseeable future. She de- scribed promoting e-book collections at Furman and users’ responses to them.

“Ever feel you’ve been set up?” joked Leland Park (library director, Davidson College). He said it was “distasteful” to purchasing large e-book pack- ages, where outsiders, in effect, select for a library. The e-books purchased initially by ACS libraries were chosen title by title. After the addition of 22,000 SOLINET e-books, Park said, “my name [will be] mud if faculty find out ‘Cliffs Notes’ are available online.”

Brad Norris (netLibrary’s division vice president of global sales) responded that “e-books are in their adolescence.” He defined e-books as “a collection of knowledge objects.” He challenged librarians to do formal studies of patrons’ responses to e-books and closed with the last of Ranganathan’s laws, “the library is a growing organism.”— Audrey Fenner; University of North Carolina-Greensboro,

Users choice

Librarians have always valued users’ suggestions in the selection of books and materials for library collections. With the development of electronic collections, users have even greater opportunities to participate in the selection process.

In her presentation, “Collaborating with Our Patrons: Letting the Users Select,” Lynn Sutton (associate dean of libraries at Wayne State University) discussed ways that her library involved faculty and students in the selection of electronic books and journals. WSU users have access to 16,000 e- books from netLibrary and have unlimited access to ejouinals from ScienceDirect. The library only purchases titles that are used under netLibrary’s Patron Driven Access (PDA) model or ScienceDirect’s Freedom Plan.

Sutton examined the titles selected by users against those titles selected by librarians and found that the rate of use of patron-selected books was “nearly tenfold” that of the library-selected books. Moreover, when the titles were examined by col- lection development librarians, 92 percent of the books were seen as appropriate to the WSU col- lection. Similar findings were found with e-jour- nals with If percent of the patron-selected jour- nals being titles that were not initially selected by librarians, “including the seventh highest usage title.” Details from this fascinating study can be found in the conference proceedings.—-Joseph Fennewald, PennsylvaniaStateUniveisity-Hazleton,

Cataloging electronic resources

The opening statement of this presentation was “Whether or not to catalog electronic resources is the question of the future for cataloging.” In her paper, The Catalog of the Future: lntegrating Electronic Resources,

Dana Caudle (Auburn University) presented an overview of the present and future of the catalog, with emphasis on the “one-stop-shopping” approach to accessing resources in all formats. She began by reviewing issues related to including records for electronic resources in the catalog, such as single vs. multiple records, labor intensity, and the overwhelming number of electronic resources available to catalog. Next, she discussed issues related to the gateway method of electronic resources access and, as an example, presented a lengthy gateway from the Auburn Library Web site.

As a response to these two not entirely satisfactory approaches, Caudle described efforts to develop global searching across portals made up of library catalogs, databases, digitized collections, and selected Web sites. She focused on the Endeavor Encompass software and how it provides access to these combined databases. The mechanics to enable this type of searching, such as crosswalks that convert one type of metadata into another, were detailed along with descriptions of various types of metadata and status reports on several crosswalk programs.

Caudle concluded by noting that while full cataloging of some key electronic resources may be valuable, an overall more effective approach would be to integrate the catalog in a unified package with other library electronic databases.—Sandy Folsom, Central Michigan University,

Keynote speaker Bell Wheelan (3rd from left) with (I. to r.) ACRL President Helen Spalding, Vice-President/President- Elect Tyrone Cannon, and Conference Chair Larry Hardesty.

Teaming up to teach

In the well-attended presentation, “Ideas, Incentives and Interaction: Integrating Information Literacy into the Curriculum through Faculty-Librarian Collaboration,” moderated by Jasmine Vaughan (Kenyon College), three faculty-librarian teams shared their experiences. Faculty at the Five Colleges of Ohio applied for grants funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to integrate information literacy into their courses. They worked with one or more librarians to revise or design courses and incorporate ACRL’s “Information Literacy Objectives” “into the fabric of each course.” The grant provided faculty with course release or stipends, while librarians received release time.

Librarian Donna Jacobs and associate professor Dean Fraga integrated information literacy with bioinformatics in a Cell Physiology course at the College of Wooster. Students had to write a grant proposal with ten or more relevant citations. Jacobs taught students effective search strategies, accessing resources through PubMed, and evaluating resources.

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