by Tom Gilson (Associate Editor, Against the Grain)
and Katina Strauch (Editor, Against the Grain)
The annual poster session has proven to be one of the most popular events held during the Charleston Conference. In addition to the visually pleasing and informative posters, the presenters are also available to answer questions and discuss their posters during this 60-minute session that typically draws 250-300 attendees (And many of these posters are on display online indefinitely — see the link below.) Added to that, in an adjacent room, virtual posters — PDF poster images — of many of the posters are displayed on large flat screen monitors at six viewing stations. Attendees can examine these virtual posters in detail and send themselves copies of favorite posters and contact the presenters directly via email.
Living up to the standards set by past poster sessions, the 2018 edition provided an excellent venue to describe innovative programs, demonstrate practical problem-solving, and report the results of recent research. Featuring a total of 36 posters, the 2018 poster session dealt with topics of interest ranging from data analysis to the role of subject liaisons and from international copyright to discovery and access.
However, in order to provide an even better sense of the diversity of topics covered, we are offering the following sampler of posters, presenters, and accompanying abstracts.
Buy Wisdom or Borrow It? by Stacy Bruss, Collection Services Coordinator Librarian, Boulder Labs Library
“This poster presents the findings of a study on demand-driven acquisition (DDA) eBooks at a federal research library. A number of questions are answered: Examining the books that have been selected for perpetual access due to DDA use, is subsequent usage by customers commensurate with the cost of the purchase? Would other, newer models, such as short-term loans or access-to-own, better meet the needs of the library’s customers and its budget, or do the usage patterns of these books show it is more cost-effective when the library provides perpetual access?”
Corralling Data for Collection Decisions by Latisha Reynolds, Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian, University of Louisville and Susan Finley, Business Librarian, University of Louisville
“Subject liaisons and research librarians know multiple metrics and qualitative inputs are required to assess the full value of a given electronic resource, particularly within the context of a library’s entire collection.”
“This poster outlines how our library is incorporating both usage statistics provided by vendors and peer institution comparisons in a Sharepoint-based invoice tracking system. We also describe how we are mining faculty requests, interlibrary loan data, chat transcripts, and other reference/research inquiries as we strive to develop a consistent and simple, yet comprehensive, method for evaluating not only existing resources, but also potential new purchases and subscriptions.”
Data Analytics for Acquisitions Reports by Jeffrey Sowder, Head Order Services & Acquisitions, Emory University
“A poster displaying the steps for generating reports on staff work outputs using data analytics, in this case ExLibris Alma analytics. Library operations staff and managers will benefit from learning how to expose hidden work that doesn’t show up in standard library metrics reporting. Various reports are displayed along with steps performed in creating them from initial idea to execution.”
We Can’t Always Get What We Want, But If We Try Some Data, We Might Get What We Need! by Stephanie Baker, Library Information Systems Specialist, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, George Gottschalk, Acquisitions Operations Specialist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lynn Wiley, Head of Acquisitions, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
“Are you awash in order data? This major ARL library has a long history collecting purchase data by discipline and publisher, circulation data, online use data, evidence-based data, demand driven orders and use data. After several years of pilot programs and in looking at the most important academic books bought and used over five years from several angles — we merged it all. We combined that with user surveys and vendor plans to overhaul and automate book buying. The problems are many: fewer staff and fewer dollars, less shelf space, a large student population, and bibliographers too taxed for time to do title orders and an unpredictable book-publishing world. The goals: get users what they want and when they want it while making the best use of our time and collection dollars.”
“The poster traces our data collections, analysis and final morphing into a coherent plan to automate more shipments and expand multiple demand driven plans with cost containment built in and anticipating users’ needs for print or e formats. We can’t always get what we want… but we can spend some time and use data to get what we need!”
Doing the Math – Discovering Infinity Transitioning Monograph Standing Orders From Print To Online and Deriving A Variable Formula For Success by Mayu Ishida, Reference Librarian, University of British Columbia and Kat McGrath, Collections Librarian, University of British Columbia
“In retrospect, persuading the Math faculty at the University of British Columbia (UBC) of the value in switching their beloved monograph series from print to online format was a breeze. The tough part came in making this pledge a reality.”
“As with most academic institutions, the pursuit of online collection options is a logical objective, to help meet the demands of reduced space for print resources and the desire to provide access to more content to a broader range of users. Although stalwart defenders of the importance of print and physical proximity to their collections, the Math faculty at UBC were won over by arguments of greater discoverability, findability and access. In making our case, we knew that the series in question were available electronically, what we didn’t fully realize is they become different entities when they go digital…”
“This poster explores the logistical and financial issues to consider in making existing eBook purchase models work for our circumstances and is of interest to librarians and publishers involved in mathematical eBook collections.”
It Will Work: Adapting A Weighted Allocation Formula For A Different Climate by April Davies, Head of Technical & Public Services, SUNY Cobleskill
“Libraries are increasingly asked to justify every part of their spending. Such justification is easier if we can show evidence that our purchasing is tied to multiple measurable data points. This poster looks at the implementation of a weighted allocation formula for acquisitions at a small, underfunded public college.”
“For years, the library had been setting yearly allocations using an average of historical spending plus a small percentage to cover inflation, which was then tweaked based on liaison input. After attending a session at a previous Charleston Conference, we decided to adapt the models that we saw to our own, unique situation. We developed a statistically-driven formula using data such as circulation, enrollment, and cost of materials which we feel has resulted in a more equitable and user-focused allocation model.”
“The presenter addresses the impetus for our change in practice, details of the model, considerations that went into it, results to date, and future plans.”
Reimagining Research Services’ Outreach to Faculty and Students: A Tale of Two Research Departments by Linda Colding, Head of Reference, Research, & Instruction, Florida Gulf Coast University Library and Barbara Tierney, Head of Research & Information Services, University of Central Florida Libraries
“Two academic Research Managers look at innovative outreach strategies that they coordinate in their respective libraries to support faculty/student success.”
“At UCF, Subject Librarians reach out to their faculty to help them design ‘Research Intensive’ courses and identify ‘Textbook Alternatives.’ They also identify customized resources to support interdisciplinary Faculty Cluster initiatives and grant-seeking research faculty. Subject Librarians also send their faculty discipline-specific e-newsletters and congratulatory emails for various successes.”
“Some UCF Subject Librarians have been given ‘engagement assignments’ whereby they coordinate outreach to targeted student constituencies such as First-Time-In-College Students, Transfer Students, Honors in the Major Students, Undergraduate Research Students, International Students, and Graduate Students.”
“Other UCF student outreach strategies include planning engaging library programs (celebrating Total Eclipse-of-the-Sun and Mars-viewing, Day of the Dead, Earth Day) and ensuring high attendance by inviting faculty to bring entire classes.”
“FGCU Library’s Student Engagement Committee sponsors board game nights, an escape room, and National Novel Writing Month activities. ‘Library Ambassadors’ (graduate and upper division students) connect with their peers by participating in instruction sessions, Mobile Librarian, and Reference Desk services.
“FGCU Subject Librarians reach out to faculty by adding a Research Guide for every course in their Canvas LMS, sending e-newsletters, honoring Faculty Authors, and purchasing textbooks for courses with the largest DFW rates and largest student enrollment.”
When the Wind Blows: Changing Roles for Changing Times by Shelby Hallman, Research Librarian for Engineering & Entrepreneurship, North Carolina University Libraries and Mira Waller, Department Head, Research Engagement, North Carolina State University Libraries
“Subject liaisons have traditionally focused on providing services and collections. Recently, however, roles have shifted from a support model to actively engaging and collaborating with scholars throughout the academic life-cycle and research enterprise. At the same time, users increasingly require functional information support (e.g., for GIS, data visualization, or data mining) in place of or in addition to domain-specific services. As the liaison role continues to evolve, finding the right balance between the roles of generalist, subject specialist, and functional expert will provide both challenges and opportunities.”
“This poster session focuses on a case study of two librarians who started out in the Collections & Research Strategy department and ended up in a new department, Research Engagement. One librarian transitioned from being a Libraries Fellow into a new role as Research Librarian for Engineering & Entrepreneurship and the other librarian transitioned from being the Associate Head of the Collections & Research Strategy department into being the head of the new department. The librarians share their perspectives and experiences around helping to shape and form this new department including: building an identity, developing goals and priorities, and figuring out the role of the new department in the organization. The librarians also share what traditional skills are still needed in their new roles and what strategies can be employed for identifying and building new skills.”
If You Build It, Will They Come? Convincing Faculty To Utilize The Campus Repository by Jennifer L. Pate, Scholarly Communications and Instructional Services Librarian, University of North Alabama
“Faculty buy-in of an institutional repository can be an uphill battle. Even as IRs become more common and more popular, some faculty may still not understand what it is or how it can benefit them. Other faculty may understand the concept of an IR but might be frustrated by the thought of it being just another administrative task added to their ever-increasing to-do list. The need to educate faculty on why the repository is important and how it can support their pursuit of tenure and promotion goals remains a challenge for most IR administrators. Do you start with the faculty or the administration? Do you try to talk to faculty one-on-one or do you go to department meetings? Can you hold open sessions in the library or other central locations on campus? This poster addresses these questions and will provide a framework that you can take back to your campus and use to build rapport with faculty.”
Making Data Sharing the New Normal: Progress and Challenges by Mithu Lucraft, Marketing Director, Outreach and Open Research, Springer Nature
“The case for open data to support good research practice is increasingly inarguable. Open access to research data can help speed the pace of discovery and deliver more value by enabling reuse and reducing duplication. Good data practice also makes research more efficient, effective and fulfilling for researchers. A survey conducted in 2017 by Springer Nature with more than 7,000 researchers found that, despite the known benefits, there is still a significant proportion of data that is not being shared. The survey explored some of the main challenges for researchers in data sharing, including how data is organized; knowledge of copyright and licensing; knowledge about repositories; time; and costs. This poster summarizes the findings of this survey, and our considered views on increasing data sharing amongst researchers.”
Spotlight Your Gems: Enhancing Unique Collections Through Discovery, Access, and Digital Scholarship by Elaine Mael, Cataloging Librarian, Towson University
“Showcasing a specialized, unique collection in a large, multifaceted library can present a number of challenges for the library staff. The necessities of discoverability, access, promotion, and curatorship require a strategic plan that will support and enhance the smaller collection, yet preserve its distinctive character. Librarians at a large state university in Maryland have met this particular challenge with practicality and creativity. This poster’s goal is to demonstrate how a library can apply this approach to highlight any collection embedded within a larger one.”
“When Towson University incorporated the programs and faculty of the small, private Baltimore Hebrew University, it also absorbed its library of more than 70,000 volumes into its own. The collection included monographs, periodicals, audio-visual materials, electronic resources, and a rare items collection, comprised of books, manuscripts, and artifacts. Absorbing an entire specialized library collection into a larger diverse one created an opportunity to develop a plan to curate and accentuate it.”
“The library staff approached this daunting task enthusiastically, employing several methods to manage, improve, and feature this collection. Mindful of both current and potential end users, the staff has taken great care to emphasize discovery and accessibility. The collection provides curriculum support for students and offers extensive research opportunities for faculty and members of the academic community at large. Collaboration with other entities, digital scholarship, and library outreach are important realities for this collection, and each of these has expanded its reach.”
“This poster will demonstrate that by focusing on its distinctive content and potential value as a research goldmine, a library can increase a collection’s worth to a wide range of users. It will also provide other library professionals in both academic and public arenas with practical suggestions they can apply to other unique collections found within their own libraries.”
The full list of posters is available on the Charleston Conference website at: https://2018charlestonconference.sched.com/overview/type/Poster+Session?iframe=yes&w=100%&sidebar=yes&bg=.
Virtual posters are archived on the conference website. Viewing them requires a sign-in and they can be found at: https://www.morressier.com/event/clc/5b89434921c0500063b98433?.
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.