NLS 2017 Conference

The 2017 NLS conference (August 3, 2017) was comprised of five one-hour workshop sessions led by selected speakers. Each session included a 20-30 minute presentation, as well as engaging group-based active learning exercises. Activity examples included round-robins, think-pair-share, white-boarding and scenario-based activities.


Raymond Pun, Andrew Carlos & Moon Joo Kim (Fresno State, CSU East Bay, CSU Fullerton)
Envisioning the Leadership Institute: CSU Librarians' Participation and Perspectives (Slides)

What is a vision or a visioning statement and how do they apply to our daily work? In this workshop, three CSU librarians who participated in an intensive two-day Visioning Institute (sponsored by CLA and Califa) will share their experiences about creating future library leaders through a leadership program. The presenters at the CSU workshop will talk about the creative ways to reimagine and integrate the concept of "visioning" within the academic library context. The presenters will share how academic libraries and librarians can create their own “visioning” statement - professionally, personally and institutionally - and offer their own experiences as case examples to be considered. Attendees will engage in the “visioning” process through a worksheet and be inspired to take back this concept for the development of their own careers and/or ideas for their institutions. The workshop will conclude with an opportunity for participants to discuss how to shape the library profession forward and ways to collaborate with our colleagues in different roles and in different types of libraries.

Learning objectives:
I. Attendees will learn about the concept of Visioning for their institutions and be able to explain ZingTrain’s visioning process
II. Attendees will also develop an outline for their personal vision in career success

Tricia Lantzy (CSU San Marcos)
Hitting the Ground Running: Build an Impactful Research Agenda and Start Publishing! (Slides)

For many early career librarians, the idea of publishing in their first few years is daunting. Many librarians are required to publish to meet tenure requirements, while others may want to publish to stay competitive in the field or share innovative practices. A common issue that can block early career librarians from making research progress is a lack of guidance on developing an impactful agenda. Even with a research agenda in place, some may feel unprepared to do the kind of research they want to do. Add to those obstacles the day-to-day functions of an academic librarian, and it is no wonder early career librarians can become discouraged about research and publishing.

In this session, attendees will hear how one early career librarian developed a research agenda and published a peer-reviewed article in a little over one year after starting in her tenure-track role. The speaker will briefly share her experiences and discuss general practices and tips that can increase personal accountability and motivation to publish.

Attendees will then have the opportunity to review the missions and strategic plans of their own universities or case study examples in order to build a research agenda that ties into the needs of the university. Not only will this strategy place new librarians firmly within the goals of their institution, their research will be more valued and supported on campus. Finally, attendees will discuss strategies and resources that can be used to fill perceived gaps in their knowledge of research design and publishing.

Learning objectives:
I. Attendees will learn to develop research agendas based on the missions and strategic plans of CSU universities and libraries.
II. Attendees will learn to develop realistic timelines spanning from project development to publishing.
III. Attendees will learn how to fill perceived knowledge gaps related to research and publishing.

Irene Korber & Jodi Shepherd (CSU Chico)
More Than Just “Front End” and “Back End”: How and Why Technical Services and Public Services Can Better Serve Users with a Collaborative Relationship (Slides)

Technical services and public services are all too often seen as divided and disconnected departments with differing purposes, aims, and objectives. Librarians new to the field may easily fall into perceiving this false dichotomy, but nothing could be further from the truth. More than just “front end” and “back end,” technical services and public services are two sides of the same coin that share the end goal of efficiently and effectively serving user and patron information and research needs.

Creating a collaborative relationship between the two departments creates an atmosphere of cooperation and understanding that is essential to improving and enhancing user services. Understanding issues faced by each department gives librarians the ability to recognize what information should to be communicated and distributed in order to achieve shared institutional goals.

The first half of this workshop will focus on ways that technical services should think about their work as it relates to the public, and what public services needs to communicate to technical services in order to streamline the user experience. The presenters of this session, one representing technical services and one representing public services at California State University, Chico, will detail ways in which the two departments can work together in a variety of avenues using examples from their own university in addition to commonly experienced challenges in the profession.

The second half of the workshop will feature scenario-based problem solving group activities. Attendees will breakout in groups and discuss an assortment of examples of potential issues between technical services and public services and how they could address these at their home institutions. Groups will then share their discussions with the session as a whole, with the goal of leaving early career librarians with the skills to develop a more collaborative relationship between departments.  

Learning objectives:
I. Attendees will be able to recognize and deconstruct common situations in which technical or public services need to communicate to provide successful patron services.
II. Attendees will be able to identify and apply strategies for collaborating across departments.
III. Attendees will be able to evaluate and reflect on the current relationships between technical and public services at their home intuitions, and apply strategies learned to improve said relationships.

Sheree Fu (Cal Poly)
Reaching Students on Their Terms (Slides)

It is important to communicate effectively using language students understand. Library jargon is confusing and foreign. What methods can librarians use to make library concepts more accessible to students, especially students will little educational capital? This workshop will introduce a tool that labels and organizes information using student vernacular. This strategy can be used to improve and assess LibGuides, class handouts, and instructional design and to improve learning experiences.

This workshop will provide an introduction to card sorting. It will briefly explain the theory behind card sorting. Benefits and pitfalls of the method will also be addressed. Attendees will gain practical experience as they take part in a card sort.

Card sorting provides a practical, quick, and inexpensive solution to address a common problem--engaging students. The well-honed approach makes library terminology accessible especially for  librarians who organize content and customize resource management systems such as Primo. Card sorting enables librarians to do their jobs better by connecting users to information.

Learning objectives:
I. Participants will summarize the pros and cons of card sorting.
II. Participants will give examples of how card sorting can be used.

Michelle M. DeMars, Marisa Soltz & Norah DeBellis (CSU Long Beach) 
‘Say Hello to My Little Friend’: Using Micro-assessments to Gather Reference Feedback (Slides)

The University Library at California State University, Long Beach provides reference services to students and staff catering to their unique research needs. Currently, the only reference desk is located on the first floor and staffed by a librarian six days a week. Recently, after realizing a need for more student space, the library was renovated to cater to our DIY style of student. These students come to the library with their own technological devices to complete projects and assignments. This renovation resulted in the library being voted one of the most popular buildings on campus. We now have a growing concern that the first floor reference desk is not adequate to service all floors. We decided to experiment with a “Pop-up” reference desk on a different floor to assess the research need at an alternative location. Given that full surveys can be tedious and time consuming we decided to use a few carefully worded questions to gather data. Micro-assessments, whether short answer questions or emoji based response scales, are not only easily administered but also easily altered. Micro-assessments provide a concise way to gather feedback from students about research and information needs.

The discussion will include the trials and tribulations we endured while designing and implementing micro-assessments. We will focus on how we designed micro-assessments including the literature and pop-culture influences we used to create them. This will be followed by an analysis of the data gathered from the micro-assessments. This discussion will include a group activity encouraging new librarians to design their own micro-assessment(s) based on relevant scenarios we will provide. Our goal with this presentation is to provide new librarians with the tools to identify where micro-assessments can be used and create their own micro-assessments to assess services at their own institutions.

Learning outcomes:
I. Attendees will be able to identify areas where micro-assessments can be used to capture meaningful data.
II. Attendees will learn how to design their own micro-assessments that can be used to gather feedback of various library services.