RALC Lightening Round Micro-Conference: Afternoon Sessions

Laura Westmoreland and Donna Coghill: “Walk-In Research & Writing Clinics: A Progress Report”
More in-depth than the library service desk, but less than what they’d get at the writing center, with the option to work with a librarian or writing consultant. They do it in two hour shifts that are regularly irregular, and each shift includes one librarian and one writing consultant. Last fall, they saw over two users an hour, but they weren’t coordinating with the writing center. In the spring, they coordinated with the writing center and reduced hours, which resulted in a decrease to under two users an hour. It might be seasonal, or something else about the service that wasn’t clicking as well with the students.

Erin White: “Mobilizing your library website”
Used analytics to determine the popular pages hit by mobile users. They paid close attention to what other libraries were doing with their mobile sites to avoid reinventing the wheel (i.e. NCSU Libraries). They also included a mini feedback form at the bottom of every page of the mobile site, and the message sent includes details about the device used. The most popular pages tend to be information pages like hours, events, and computer availability.

Olivia Reinauer: “Creating SLACers: The Formation of a Student Library Advisory Committee”
In 2006, a think team put together a recommendation to create a standing library advisory committee populated by students in order to have a better idea of the needs of current students. They copied liberally from VCU’s student advisory committee to create the charge and structure. One thing that VCU that was different was actually paying the students an honorarium, so they did that, either as cash or in the form of a gift card. They meet once a month to discuss ideas gathered from colleague’s work and go through the suggestions from the suggestion box, using the students as a sounding board. They also have guest speakers come and talk about things happening in the library, which the students like because it makes them feel engaged. Some issues involve getting them to do things outside of the meetings and providing more enticing compensation.

Abiodun Solanke: “Did you find my…?: Lost and Found Issues at UR Library”
Students leave physical and electronic materials all over the library, from books and clothing to unsaved documents on public computers. When we find the items, they are happy, and of course disappointed if not found. The student activities also keep lost and found items. If the item is not financial or an ID, they take photos and display them on the lost and found cart, along with “safer” physical items like clothing and books. If the items are never claimed, we repurpose them for use locally or send them to other organizations. Before that happens, several attempts are made to locate the owners and contact them.

Carrie Ludovico: “LibGuides for Foodies”
Using LibGuides to engage with the community. The campus has a strong green emphasis, from bikes to hybrid parking to a community garden. The newest benefit is a CSA option for employees from June – September for full and half shares that are delivered on campus, and it has been more popular than the organizers expected. So, they created a LibGuide to highlight interesting and supportive resources. The most used tab is the scholarly and government resources, more than books, cookbooks, and recipes.

Betty Dickie: “Read This!”
Anything by Christopher Moore, for certain. David Maine tends to take Bible stories and rewrite them in interesting ways. A Canticle for Leibowitz – the library plays an important role. Alessandro Boffa’s You’re an Animal, Viskovitz! is small but mighty. Louise Penny has gotten good reviews for good reason – recommended for murder mystery fans who like good stories and character development.

Carol Wittig: “Boatwright Knitters”
They meet one day a week at lunch. It encourages home/work balance, improves morale, addresses the whole person beyond the job, increases cross-campus outreach, and builds bridges to reach diverse groups. You can involve the whole staff by “sponsoring a knitter” to pay for the yarn. They have a Ravelry group, a blog, and a set of Flickr photos of projects. Right now, they are a student organization, but don’t have enough student participation, so they’re working on outreach in that area. They’ve done charity projects like Knit One To Save One and caps for chemo.

Travis Smith: “The End”
There are many negative connotations about “the end,” so he wrote a poem. You’ll have to ask him for a copy.

RALC Lightening Round Micro-Conference: Morning Sessions

Andy Morton:  “5-minute madness – The Madness Concept
He’s on the desk at the moment, so he made a video.

Teresa Doherty: “Cool sounds for Aleph Circ Transactions”
Originally presented at ELUNA as a poster session. They use custom sounds and colors to indicate specific circulation transaction alerts, i.e. checkin/checkout alerts. The sounds were selected because they’re short and fairly expressive without being offensive to users who may hear them.

Amanda Hartman: “Reaching Millennials: Understanding and Teaching the Next Generation” 
Those born 1980-1996-ish. These are generalizations, so they don’t describe everyone fully. They’re special and sheltered, team and goal oriented, more likely to be involved in community service, digital natives (mainly mobile tech) but don’t necessarily understand all of the implications or functions, impatient, and multi-taskers. They consider themselves to be relatively savvy searchers, so they may be less likely to ask for help. They have certain expectations about tech that libraries often can’t keep up with. They want learning to be participatory and active, with opportunities to express themselves online, and they have a sense of entitlement – get good grades for hard work, not necessarily for the product of the work. Libraries should have a mobile website. Hire staff that can support tech questions. Provide group workspaces. Explain why, not just how.

Deborah Vroman: “Errors, errors, everywhere! Common citation errors in Literature Resources from Gale”
Until recently, Gale was giving incorrect page ranges for citations for articles reprinted in their collections.  The problem is now fixed by removing the page numbers.

Anna Creech: “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Uh, that’s me.

Suzanne Sherry: “Goodreads: I read, you read, everybody READS”
Social networking site for readers. You start off with read, to-read, and currently reading, but you can add other tags that then form collections. Once you’ve read a book, you can rate it and write a review. While you’re reading the book, you can leave comments with updates of your progress. The social element is handy for recommending books to friends and discussing the books you read. There are tools for virtual book clubs and online communities for local book clubs.

Nell Chenault: “Scanning to Save or Send”
They have 12 scanning stations, both Mac and PC, including two slide scanners. Also, they have microform scanners instead of the old light box machines. In the past five years, they’ve seen use increase 325%.

Abiodun Solanke: “Netbooks or Laptops” 
In the last hardware replacement cycle, they replaced circulating laptops with netbooks. Cost, capabilities, and portability were factors considered. Some specialized programs could not be loaded, but there are many desktop computer alternatives. Student reaction appears to be divided along gender – male students thought they were too small, but female students liked them. They did a survey of users borrowing the netbooks, and found that over time the negative comments reduced. They concluded that initial reactions to new things aren’t always indicative of their success. Currently would like to add netbooks with Mac OS.

Darnell Law: “Up In The Air: Text-A-Librarian and Mobile Technologies at Johnston Memorial Library”
Implemented service at the end of the spring semester, so they haven’t seen much use yet. They’re using a service called Text a Librarian. Users enter a specific number and a short code at the beginning of the message. The questions are answered through the service website. The phone numbers are anonymized. Some of the advantages of this service include working with any carrier, not requiring a cell phone to answer the texts, relatively inexpensive (~$1100/yr), answer templates for quick responses, and promotional materials.