<span class="padlock_text"></span> v27 #1 And They Were There

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Reports of Meetings — HELIN 2015 and the 34th Annual Charleston Conference

Column Editor: Sever Bordeianu  (Head, Print Resources Section, University Libraries, MSC05 3020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001;  Phone: 505-277-2645;  Fax: 505-277-9813)


 

HELIN Consortium Conference — George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology,
Bryant University — Smithfield, Rhode Island — January 14, 2015

Reported by:  John Riley  (Against the Grain Contributor)

Every year the HELIN Consortium holds its annual conference at Bryant University’s George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology.  Nearly 200 participants are treated to some of the best talks by leading writers and thinkers in the academic library world.  As icing on the cake, they are serenaded by a wonderful string trio during lunch.

Matthew Battles, from Harvard’s Berkman Center and its metaLAB, led off the day with an overview on how libraries are evolving, entitled “Libraries Beyond the Book: Residual, Dominant, Emergent.”Battles explained that he was employing a concept originally formulated by Raymond Williams to describe “a constant negotiation between the dominant, emergent, and residual cultures mediated by the processes of selective tradition and incorporation.”  Which, as applied to libraries, explains how current practices incorporate both historic forms as well as the pull of the future, employing both to keep culture alive and growing.

However academic the concept may ring, it is a very dynamic way of approaching librarianship.  It allows for simultaneous experimentation and curation of historic resources.  Battles gave a concrete example of this when he described the “Curarium.”

Find at:  curarium.com part of metaLAB http://metalab.harvard.edu/about/.

The Harvard Renaissance Library at I Tatti, in Florence, and the Graduate School of Design have cooperated to digitize a collection of seventeen thousand photographs of “Homeless Paintings” documented by Bernard Berenson nearly one hundred years ago.  What they have been able to do is to create a resource to help track down some of these lost or stolen works of art by leveraging their digital collection with crowd-sourced assistance.  Another concept informing the Curarium’s mission is derived from the thought of Aby Warburg and Andre Malraux, who sought to create links between all times and cultures: a comparative technique.

Battles also described a video documentation of the Harvard Depository that students from the Graduate School of Design have made.  They tried to understand the technology and seemingly alien atmosphere that envelopes the structure and how it fits into the culture of the book at the library.  They were intrigued with the notion that the books in the archive are estimated to last for five hundred years, while the structure itself is only built to last for seventy five years.  The result of their study is entitled “Cold Storage” and will be shown for the first time this February.  http://metalab.harvard.edu/2014/05/cold-storage-teaser-trailer/

The film is a direct response to French film director Alain Resnais’ “Toute la Memoire du Monde” about the Bibliotheque National made in 1956.  In Resnais’ film the library is seen as a kind of cathedral of knowledge.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0RVSZ_yDjs

Andrew Lippman, pioneer at MIT’s Media Lab and now head of its Viral Communications research group, spoke next.  He had some great tales from the early days of the Media Lab where he worked on projects such as touch screens, real world mapping (i.e., Google Street View), and even word processors where he had to instruct engineers what kerning was before they could proceed with designing their software.  Some of the changes in computer culture have been equally disruptive.  He mentioned that at one time a keyboard would never have been found in a living room or even in an executive’s office, where a secretary would have taken dictation.  Now we have keyboards and computers in our living rooms which have become locations for exploration with the rise of streaming technology and interactive televisions linked to the Internet.

He likened “old” television, where programs are exclusively owned by individual networks and their shows are strictly scheduled, to university education where enrollment is exclusive and courses are strictly scheduled.  He wondered if higher education will endure the same fate as television where a majority of viewers have already cut the cable.

His points were a good lead in for the next speaker, Jeffrey Young, an editor and writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education, who took us on a worldwide tour of the MOOC phenomenon with a talk entitled “Beyond the MOOC Hype.”  (Which is also the title of his eBook.)  He admitted that the feverish coverage of MOOCs at his journal has waned from two years ago, but pointed out the MOOC instructional model’s continued growth and popularity.

He traced the origins of MOOCs to the growth of interest in Artificial Intelligence, especially in Silicon Valley.  Many venture capitalists considered MOOCs the “killer app” for AI.  For profit companies such as EdEx and Coursera grew out of this conjunction.  Textbook companies grew interested as well.  The speaker noted that textbook companies don’t even want to be in the textbook business where they have to deal with thousands of individual professors instead of selling to a wider, more open market.

He also noted that many organizations other than universities are producing MOOCs, entities such as the Smithsonian Institution, the World Economic Forum, and Linux.  He even noted that individuals are creating MOOCs as profit-making ventures.  They often use the Udemysite to create them.  LinkedIn is even listing MOOCs on members’ profiles as part of their curriculum vitae.  It remains to be seen how much weight they carry in academic career advancement.

The speaker closed by noting some of the ancillary effects of MOOCs by mentioning questions they have helped raise, such as why should college cost so much, why should it last four years with two semesters per year, and finally, are lectures the best way to teach? The speaker theorized that MOOCs are a backlash against the professionalism of college education and that they were opening up learning as well as teaching to a wider world.  He believes that MOOCs have helped stimulate colleges to improve their classroom teaching and that MOOCs have led to a new culture of research in teaching.

The HELIN Consortium consists of 11 academic and 11 special libraries in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  This year Robert H. Aspri, executive director of HELIN, Martha Rice Sanders, Knowledge Management Librarian, Ruth E. Souto, Systems Librarian, and Ruth Sullivan, Chair HELIN Board of Directors, put together a particularly informative and lively set of speakers.  They were: Matthew Battles (https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/mbattles), Andrew Lippman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_B._Lippman), and Jeffery Young (http://www.jeffyoung.net/?page_id=18).

 


 

Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “The Importance of Being Earnest” — Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic Downtown, Courtyard Marriott Historic District, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, and School of Science and Mathematics Building, Charleston, SC — November 5-8, 2014

Charleston Conference Reports compiled by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)

Column Editor’s Note:  Thank you to all of the Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports that highlight sessions they attended at the 2014 conference.  All attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, and notes are included in the reports to reflect known changes in the session titles or presenters, highlighting those that were not printed in the conference’s final program (though some may have been reflected in the online program).  Please visit the Conference Website, http://www.katina.info/conference, for the online conference schedule from which there are links to many presentations’ PowerPoint slides and handouts, plenary session videos, and conference reports by the 2014 Charleston Conference blogger, Donald T. Hawkins.  Visit the conference blog at: https://www.against-the-grain.com/category/atg-originals/chsconfblog/.  The 2014 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in partnership with Purdue University Press in 2015.

In this issue of ATG you will find the first installment of 2014 conference reports.  We will continue to publish reports from the 2014 Charleston Conference in all of the 2015 (v.27) issues of ATG. — RKK

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2014
MORNING PRECONFERENCES

Libraries as Participants in Online Learning — Presented by Ann Okerson, Moderator(Center for Research Libraries);  Jeanne Richardson (Arizona State University);  John Wang (University of Notre Dame);  Mark Sandler (Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC))

NOTE:  Franny Lee (SIPX, Inc.) was an addition to the original program.

Reported by:  Morag Stewart  (University of Washington)  <mkstew@uw.edu>

This preconference highlighted library engagement with the changing online educational environment.  Okerson provided a framework for the presentations and offered timely comments and questions that kept things moving and the audience involved.  Richardson and Wang described current library involvement with online learning at their respective institutions.  Richardson’s description of Arizona State University’s online growth in enrollment underscored the issue of scalability of service — with more students come more requests for ILL, document delivery, and shipping books to students.  Notre Dame’s decision to create MOOCs opened the door to new opportunities for library involvement.  Wang described the inclusion of a librarian on Notre Dame’s Faculty Digital Strategy Committee, which was tasked with creating guidelines and best practices for online education and selecting the first round of MOOCs to be developed.  Other proposed new roles that libraries may take on in the future involve preserving digital content created by online courses and potentially publishing and distributing course textbooks.

Sandler addressed the broader perspective of the consortium and how the change in educational models from local to global, physical to online, impacts library resources and services.  To stay relevant, he proposed, libraries must adapt to push local content globally rather than pulling it in and distributing locally, as was necessary in a print book world.  He suggested the CIC (and presumably other consortia) could focus on providing greater organization of institutional efforts, archiving and aiding discoverability of course modules, and managing rights.  Lee (an addition to the original program), introduced SIPX as a tool to manage course materials.  Such a system could provide faculty and students better exposure to library materials than having to search multiple other discovery services.  Analytics generated by use would aid collection management decisions.

Moving from the local to the global, the presentations underscored issues relating to cost and sustainability of online education in general.  More than one speaker commented on discrepancies between librarian and faculty/university administrator perceptions of the library role in online learning.  More outreach seems in order.  In general, it was a broad coverage of integrated topics and engaging questions as to where online learning is going and how libraries can best support it.

 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2014
AFTERNOON PRECONFERENCES

Campus Open Access Policies:  The Importance of Being Open, Earnestly
This preconference was organized jointly by COAPI (the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions) and SPARC.  The session was jointly sponsored and planned across the two coalitions.

Session A: Open Access Policies and Library/Publisher Collaboration for Mutual Success — Presented by Ellen Duranceau (MIT);· Laura Bowering Mullen (Rutgers);  Dave Scherer (Purdue);  Julie Kimbrough (UNC Chapel Hill);  Dean Sanderson (Nature Publishing Group);  Elizabeth Marincola  (PLOS);  Moderaters: Andrew Wesolek, (Clemson University);  Shawn Daugherty (SPARC)

Reported by:  Crystal Hampson  (University of Saskatchewan)  <crystal.hampson@usask.ca>

A panel of speakers representing universities with Open Access (OA) policies, one traditional publisher, one OA publisher, and a legal expert contributed to a discussion moderated by representatives from COAPI and SPARC.  The result was an open, constructive, and freely flowing discussion among panel and audience members of OA policies (as compared to OA resolutions), author’s priorities, services to authors, the role of the library and librarians, the desire for standardization, and the complexities of current rights and agreement terms.  Both universities and publishers indicated the desire to reduce complexity in favour of “simple and easy” processes.  A potential role was identified for an objective third party, such as NISO, to help bring together the various sides and stakeholders to facilitate discussions aimed at increasing standardization and reducing the current complexity.  This session proceeded as advertised in the conference program.

 

Session B: The Library Role in Supporting and Implementing Campus Open Access Policies—Presented by Graham Stone (University of Huddersfield);  Jill Emery (Portland State University).  Jen Waller, Moderator (Miami University, Ohio)

NOTE:  The intended moderator, Jen Waller (Miami University, Ohio) was unable to attend;  Shawn Daugherty
(SPARC) served as moderator.

Reported by:  Crystal Hampson  (University of Saskatchewan) <crystal.hampson@usask.ca>

Stone and Emery described OAWAL (pronounced “owl”), a new initiative launched in March, 2014.  Similar to TERMS, OAWAL is an international effort to crowdsource best practice related to Open Access in six areas:  Advocacy, Workflows, Standards, Library as Publisher, Creative Commons, and Discovery.  OAWAL does not advocate any particular route to OA but practically considers different ways to approach OA without being prescriptive.  Current contributors are from countries such as the UK, U.S., Australia, and South Africa, but more North American participation is needed.  OAWAL is planning further discussions in 2015.  The initial presentation was followed by discussion with audience members regarding barriers (staffing and transitioning staff, reluctance to experiment with OA, insufficient funding for gold OA, discoverability issues for green OA) and successes (that gold OA is succeeding in the U.S. and, despite lack of funding, in the UK).  The need for cost transparency for gold OA, and for improved metadata standardization, was noted.  The session followed the program in part, but used an audience discussion instead of a group participation in contributing to OAWAL.

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2014
MORNING PLENARY SESSIONS

Being Earnest in the New Normal — Presented by Anthea Stratigos (Outsell, Inc.)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <r-kubilius@northwestern.edu> 

Veteran presenter and industry watcher Stratigos jumpstarted the 2014 conference with a big picture beginning and a conclusion filled with concrete suggestions.  Discussing the market share, she used the catchy phrase “shift happens” and highlighted the place of libraries in the information industry ecosystem.  Vendors are experiencing growth; there are talent gaps.  Key issues include real estate, open access, and the shift of print to digital.  Mergers occur because the market available is smaller than there are available products.  Executing and delivering value includes having the right team, and having the right team starts with having talent.  Having a strategy and mission is key (Ithaka reports that only half of libraries have a strategic plan or mission).  Over 70% of users still want a physical library (as a quiet place, to do research, to socialize, to access online resources, and other).  Libraries need to market what matters in purposeful rhythms and measure the return on investment and value.  Activity doesn’t equal results and outcomes.  She advised being tied in with the institution’s goals and being earnest, but enjoying the results (choose the future and have fun doing it).  There will be no universal solutions, and there needs to be a rallying goal.

 

From Course Reserves…to Course Reversed? The Library’s Changing Role in Providing Textbook Content — Presented by Charles Lyons (SUNY University of Buffalo);  Bob Nardini (Ingram Library Services);  Nicole Allen (SPARC)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <r-kubilius@northwestern.edu>

The session featured a spotlight on some trends in the curricular textbook world.  Allen mentioned a commercial model that seems out of sync (180 days, shorter than a semester), and proceeded to discuss Open Learning Initiatives at various institutions as well as entirely OA textbooks (alternatives to commercially published textbooks) at others.  Lyons provided arguments to address some myths including these: authors write textbooks for the money, the bookstore is the enemy (to the library), and the preference for online textbooks.  In some cases, universities are giving faculty funds to develop non-commercial alternatives.  “Print is king” to students and instructors still, according to an article in the January 27, 2013 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.  An example of win-win cooperation between a bookstore and library at one institution is the cross-promotion — eBook availability signs next to textbooks in the bookstore.  Roles for librarians in supporting instructors may include identifying, assessing, and curating OER materials.  Nardini gave some product examples in this new arena, such as Vital Source Technologies (an e-textbook platform for individual purchase or use in an institution’s virtual learning environment) and Ingram Construct (for custom development), and he mentioned the educational technology blog, e-literate.

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2014
CHARLESTON NEAPOLITAN SESSIONS

Driving Discovery: Do You Have the Keys to Fair Linking? (It’s About Knowledge and Library Control) — Presented by Todd Carpenter (NISO);  Bruce Heterick (JSTOR | Portico);  Brian Sherman (LSU-Shreveport);  Scott Bernier (EBSCO)

NOTE:  Brian Sherman was unable to attend and present in this session.

Reported by: Julia Blake  (Franklin University Nationwide University)  <julia.blake@franklin.edu>

Carpenter of NISO gave a history of discovery from the card catalog to indexed search engines.  Research does show increased usage with discovery tools, but there are still many problems with provider interactions and a lack of clarity on metadata inclusion and ranking.  This has led to the Open Discovery Initiative, a NISO standard designed to help standardize and recommend best practices.  Heterick of JSTOR talked about library responsibility in discovery processes by working with content providers to enable them to justify the investment.  He recommends that NISO include persistent URLs to providers to see where use is coming from.

Bernier of EBSCO  suggested that “fair” linking means the library has complete control over full-text links, what appears in results lists, and how.  EBSCO has a reputation for having a bias toward their own content in EDS.  He said they do have good metadata and many other vendors have rather minimal metadata, and that could be influencing the data.  (In questions, another vendor pointed out that all of their metadata is forced into EBSCO’s controlled vocab, which could also affect results).  In short, there is still a great deal of synchronization work that needs to happen between all three — even with things as simple as calling databases the same things across platforms!

 

DRM: A Publisher-Imposed Impediment to Progress, or a Legitimate Defense of Publisher/Author Intellectual Property Rights? —Presented by Adam Chesler (Business Expert Press/Momentum Press);  Jim Dooley (University of California, Merced);  David Parker (Alexander Street Press);  Zac Rolnik (now publishers)

Reported by:  Crystal Hampson  (University of Saskatchewan)  <crystal.hampson@usask.ca>

Dooley, the librarian on the panel, started the discussion.  DRM controls the use of digital content after sale.  Users find the number of variations confusing.  DRM can restrict libraries’ traditional role in preserving and archiving content and can also restrict fair use.  These are negative effects on scholarship. DRM becomes one criteria for evaluating offers.  Rolnik does not use DRM, in order to maximize access and distribution and to maintain a good experience for the user.  The cost to implement and manage DRM must be weighed against its benefits.  He does not believe that being DRM-free means he is losing business.  Some seepage may even promote the journal, book, or publisher.  Chesler uses DRM selectively. DRM is about risk management and also provides for more accurate usage information.  However, there are staffing and technology costs, and DRM can slow, rather than accelerate, the sales process.  Parker noted that eBook readers and platforms doubly trap the content, a disincentive for scholarly authors.  Piracy is less of an issue for scholarly content as some imagined and can positively increase exposure of the content and the publisher.  Creating a born digital pricing model, rather than transferring models from print, is an important discussion.

 

Science Education Gone Wilde: Creating Science References that Work — Presented by John Rennie
(McGraw-Hill Professional)

Reported by:  Laksamee Putnam  (Towson University, Albert S. Cook Library)  <lputnam@towson.edu>

Rennie concentrated his talk on the content of modern science texts, framed within the context of science education and science accessibility.  The session connected to the conference theme “The Importance of Being Earnest,” pulling quotes from the Wilde play and comparing the comedy of proper behavior to the way science can take itself too seriously.  Rennie emphasized the need for STEM literacy, in order for citizens to stay informed about important topics, such as climate change and GMOS, or even recently, the Ebola outbreak.

However, the public grasp of science is low, and the U.S. is falling behind in math and science achievements.  Rennie points toward the need to make science fun (like Myth Busters!) in order to break free of the serious tones science information is often presented in.  Comparing the covers and content for two publications, Scientific American and The Atlantic, Rennie argued that Scientific American lacked diversity in its presentation, producing only articles experts could understand, while The Atlantic constantly tried new things and always considered the needs of a wider audience.

The risk of science education being too fun borders along the “edu-tainment” world, and presenting disjointed, non-contextual information could be considered worse than the boring but accurate science discourse in traditional journals.  However, Rennie presented a need to “not let the soberness of a subject overwhelm the fun.”  Today, audiences have access to information in so many ways, and there is a need for science publishers to consider the online experiences of their users.  Rennie voiced the growing need to convince readers not only of the accuracy and completeness of a resource, but that this information is worth their time.  In order to grab a reader’s attention more needs to be provided such as a good story, an interactive interface, connections to additional resources, and a diversity of perspectives.  Ultimately, there is a need to find a balance between accurate and accessible when it comes to science education, and this change does not need to come just from the educators but from the scientific community as well.

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2014
MORNING CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Beyond the ‘Cool’ Factor: Which New Technology Driven Products Will Really Meet Your Needs? — Presented by Rick Anderson (University of Utah);  Phill Jones (Digital Science);  David Burgoyne (Taylor & Francis Group);  Michael Clarke (Clarke & Company)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <r-kubilius@northwestern.edu>

Moderator Jones introduced the session.  Anderson overviewed innovation as necessary but insufficient. Critical challenges for research libraries include meeting curricular and research needs (“Needs” of the library vs. what patrons “NEED”), managing flat budgets in face of rising prices, and staying relevant beyond curricular and research support.  He encouraged publishers not to try to fix patrons, but to fix systems, and noted that libraries don’t necessarily care about the details of publisher innovations such as new platforms, pricing, and publishing structures.  Libraries do care about being able to pay bills.  Burgoyne addressed which new tools should be adopted.  The challenge is to understand a problem and the opportunity.  Drivers should not be “because it’s exciting,” and some tools may be small but may elicit great feedback, may provide a great experience about which customers tell each other, or may be developed to send people elsewhere.  Clarke addressed innovation and value in information products.  Cost does not equal price (relative value and what the market will bear).  Successful innovation is based on customer needs, but “customers” can range from institutional users, libraries, authors to advertisers.  Ideas for innovation can target certain customers or be general — to be integrated into workflow, improve discovery, provide metrics, or be integrated into the scholarly ecosystem.

 

Building capacity in Your Library for Research Data Management Support (or What We Learned from Offering to Review DMPs) — Presented by Hillary Davis (NCSU Libraries);  WilliamCross (NCSU Libraries)

Reported by:  Susannah Gal  (Binghamton University Libraries)  <libdean@binghamton.edu>

A group of librarians from NCSU offered to review data management plans for research faculty.  Data management plans are required by researchers submitting grants to the National Science Foundation and are supposed to indicate how the research data and materials will be collected, archived, and disseminated.  The librarians (Davis, Interim Head of Collection Management and Director of Research Data Services, and Cross, Director, Copyright and Digital Scholarship) created a team of people including those from within the library as well as outside, those with statistics expertise, experience writing federal grants, and those understanding copyright.  The team used a comment system to internally review the submitted plans, then sent the final commented document to the faculty.  The team composition regularly rotated among different faculty and staff to keep the workload from becoming too onerous.  In the process, the librarians learned more about what the faculty needed to help archive their data, and the faculty learned more about the expertise of the librarians as well as the resources available in the libraries.

 

Collection Development, E-Resources, and Meeting the Needs of People with Disabilities — Presented by Axel Schmetzke (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point);  Cheryl Pruitt (California State University);  Michele Bruno (Cengage Learning)

Reported by:  Alice Eng  (University of North Florida)  <alice.eng@unf.edu>

Schmetzke’s research is based on his work at UW-Stevens Point.  To better accommodate users with disabilities he refers to WCAG 2 and Section 508, ALA document #52, and ASCLA’s toolkit for collection development.  Schmetzke uses these guidelines when negotiating contracts and licensing to ensure users with disabilities are included (e.g., vendors must make content readable for users using special devices).  Pruitt developed a four-step standardized protocol for purchasing at CSU.  She has worked with various vendors including Gale, SAGE, PQ, and EBSCO to make content accessible and adhere to ADA guidelines.  CSU has a team to evaluate and enforce the contracts and renewals.  Bruno spoke about Cengage’s steps to making their content accessible.  99% of their titles are available in eBook format.  Cengage accessibility tests include Web browsers, operating systems, and accessible technologies.

 

Developing a Weighted Collection Development Allocation Formula —Presented by Jeff Bailey (Arkansas State University);  Linda Creibaum  (Arkansas State University)

Reporter by:  Alana Verminski  (St. Mary’s College of Maryland)  <amverminski@smcm.edu>

Bailey and Creibaum delivered an abridged version of their preconference program to an overcrowded room of eager listeners.  The presentation highlighted the steps necessary to build an allocation formula from scratch:  selecting and gathering data, determining weights, implementation, and inevitable iterative adjustments and modification.  Presenters frequently reminded attendees to explore, experiment, and customize the demonstrated allocation formula to fit the unique needs of their own campus.  Audience members posed questions throughout the session, many of which focused on why decisions were made to include or exclude data in the formula, possible additional factors to consider, and how the new allocation formula was received by faculty and administrators.  The topic clearly lends itself to longer session format (such as a preconference program), but the presentation closely matched its program description.  Attendees were directed to a demonstration formula available online for download as an Excel file and detailed presentation slides to guide their own allocation formula development.

 

That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue.  Watch for more reports from the 2014 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain.  Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2014 sessions are available online.  Visit the Conference Website at www.katina.info/conference. — KS

 

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