Academic and Special Libraries Conference 2015
I attended the Academic and Special Libraries Conference as a bursary winner, funded by the Academic and Special Libraries Section of the Library Association of Ireland. My conference report. notes and adjunct pieces of information are below. Conference videos and presentations are available online at: http://www.aslibraries.com/#!asl2015-presentations--videos/c1puf. Please note all errors and omissions are mine, for which I apologise in advance.
KEYNOTE: Finding Facts in the Heat of the Moment
Malachy Browne of Reported.ly.The conference opened with the key note speaker: Malachy Browne of Reported.ly. He gave an excellent overview of how he validates information and the credibility of his sources, outlining key tools and technologies that he leverages online to do so. This was a great presentation, and really brought home to me how online sources can be used to verify information. This is really transferable to the Academic Library environment where we provide support and training to researchers... some of whom are future journalists themselves.
As breaking news is often published to social media outlets first, it's imperative for Reported.ly, or any journalist /journalistic organisation, to be able to quick verify a story. As Reported.ly consists of a small team spread across the US and Europe, this gives Reported.ly the opportunity to respond and investigate in real-time. For Malachy, the key to successful reporting is to correct errors quickly and verify your sources.
Verification can take less than 1 hour, using online tools and services. In addition one should build up sources so that if social media sites are offline, they will know where and how to find you.
Here follows examples of the types of verification tools used by Malachy.
Uploading an image to Google allows you to access it's meta data, identifying if it is already indexed by Google. This is a reveres image search. Upload an image to Google images using the camera icon and it searches for it. [See... Angela Jolie shows in my matches!]
Sources / People / Organisations.
- Co-Everywhere (http://www.coeverywhere.com/ ) - Social Media by location
- Geo-feedia (http://geofeedia.com/) - Social Media monitoring by location
- Dataminr (https://www.dataminr.com/) - Real-time information discovery, converting Twitter feeds etc.
- API gee (http://apigee.com/about/) - data analysis / business intelligence.
- Twitter: create groups, which gives you a themes ticker of information on the group topic. Use Social Media management tools like TweetDeck.
Challenges for the reporter / researcher / verifier
- Disappearing archives
- Graphic footage
- Perspective / Representations
- Support for independent media
- Twitter accounts offline
Also of use: Pocket guide to verifying video: https://storify.com/reportedly/a-pocket-guide-to
and the 'Verification Handbook': http://www.verificationhandbook.com/
CASE STUDY: Promoting a Unique Collection: Maynooth University & The Ken Saro-Wiwa Archive.
Helen Fallon - Maynooth University
- The archive is available on flickr at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/22668824@N07/sets/72157636927385056/
- Interviews are available on soundcloud at: https://soundcloud.com/nui-maynooth-library
- More information on the archive is available at: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/research/humanities-practice-sources-resources-discourses/archives-data-infrastructures/projects/ken-saro-wiwa-archive
CASE STUDY 1: Librarian as Databrarian
Jennifer O'Neill - DRI Data Curator / Databrarian
In a nutshell...
The DRI database is a custom design which does on conform to any one standard. She described the issues with field description that were encountered, and the logic for deciding that Dublin Core was closest to the needs of the project for meta data. The key to all decisions regarding the selection of the meta data scheme was ensuring that researchers would have the greatest possible capacity for resource / information discovery when the DRI becomes available.
PECHA KUCHA SESSIONS
DIGITAL LITERACY AND SCHOLARSHIP: WHY LIBRARIES ARE CRITICAL TO TEACHING, LEARNING AND RESEARCH IN HIGHER EDUCATION / Mary Delaney, Institute Librarian - IT Carlow.Mary spoke about her PhD research into digital literacy and scholarship. She highlighted that the ability to assess research may become more important than being able to carry out research - in some contexts. She also noted that the assumption of technology skills for the current intake of students is a misnomer, and a method to bridge this gap in digital literacy is needed.
RIAM LIBRARY AND RIAM OPERA: PERFORMING IN PERFECT HARMONY / Laoise Doherty - RIAM
COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS - ESSENTIAL TO UNIVERSITY ORIENTATION / Jennifer Collery - UCD
In order to ensure delivery in time for student registration in the autumn, the process of agreeing to collaborate and plan induction activities began the previous February. Branding was matched for all orientation activities across the campus and across the services. Library staff were included in 'Welcome' talks. A unified hash tag was used for orientation. A virtual tour of the library was made in conjunction with media services using captivate. Peer mentors provided library visits.
LIGHTNING SESSION BY PLATINUM SPONSOR / Paul Canning - IEEE
CASE STUDY: From Crowd Surfing to crowd sourcing - collaboration & Sir Henrys @UCCLibrary
Martin O'Connor - UCC
Facebook was used to gather information for inclusion in the exhibition, and built a community around it. Using social media this way too time and effort.
However there is a list of reasons to commit to projects like this, as they have a very strong promotional pull for the library, and tie into some strategic objective for the university and the library:
200 people attended the opening night, and there were 200 pages in the comment book.
KEYNOTE: Transformative Shifts in Libraries
Helen Shenton - TCD
On the topic of collaborative content and collection development, Helen spoke of both the RECAP project and the 2CUL project in the USA, the UK Research Reserve, and IREL here in Ireland.
Side note: Information about these projects.ReCap : The Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP) is located on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus. ReCAP consists of a preservation repository and resource sharing services, jointly owned and operated by Columbia University, The New York Public Library and Princeton University. More than eleven million items are currently in ReCAP's care, and ReCAP fills well over 250,000 requests for materials each year, from its partners and from libraries around the world. See more at http://recap.princeton.edu/
2CUL is a transformative partnership between two major academic research libraries, the Columbia University Libraries (http://www.columbia.edu/library) and the Cornell University Library (http://library.cornell.edu), based on a broad integration of resources, collections, services, and expertise. The collaboration is supported by a two-year planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (http://www.mellon.org/). Ithaka (http://ithaka.org/) provides external consultation services to the project including project management, research, and data mining and analysis. See more at: https://www.2cul.org/node/1.
Research Reserve: UKRR is a collaborative and coordinated approach between Higher Education Libraries and the British Library to manage the long-term sustainability of retaining low-use print journals. Large collections of journal back-runs represent a valuable source of knowledge, meaning libraries need to provide a means of access for researchers in order to allow this content to be used. However the low levels of use for some of these titles means that holdings can potentially be consolidated off-site, allowing space to be released for other library uses. See more: http://www.ukrr.ac.uk/
IReL’s Collection IReL provides access to online resources in Science, Technology and Medicine, and Humanities and Social Sciences. Resources are selected for inclusion following consultation with researchers and academic staff at participating institutions. IReL consists of a wide variety of resource types: E-journals: 50 collections and 4 single title subscriptions, giving users access to approximately 25,000 full-text journals 26 databases 16 e-books / reference collections Funding Funding for IReL has come from the HEA (Higher Education Authority), SFI (Science Foundation Ireland), DJEI (Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) and the IUA Council (Irish Universities Association). Accessing Resources Staff and students of the seven participating universities have access to all IReL resources. Staff and students at RCSI and the Institutes of Technology have access to selected resources. Access to resources is managed by each institution’s library and they can be accessed by staff and students via their library’s website. See more: http://www.irelibrary.ie/
Digitization was the next topic addressed, with a brief discussion about democratization via digitization. Helen pointed out that it tends to be unique items which are digitized, and that these collections of unique items are becoming distinguishing factors between libraries. In addition the digitization of materials leads to increased demand for access to the originals.
Partnership and Collaboration was introduced to the audience next. While Helen finished this segment with the assertion that Bi & Tri lateral collaborations are easier, projects of this nature have a cost factor associated with them which needs to be acknowledged. Helen asserted that as the student experience becomes more focused on collaborative working this has changed the way that library space is used and allocated, in addition to the introduction of the ability to access services 24 hours a day.
Libraries are experienced in working with content, data and meta data, this has evolved into having expertise in dealing with big content and meta data (big), after all our library catalogues have to / should inspire research. The library is now many things to many people: laboratory, social space, cultural space - to name but a few. Students of the millennial generation need noise to work and that group sessions will often create a bubble of noise around the work table.
An innovative use of library data is the creation of heat maps of collection use. An example of this is 'Stack View' . Stack View from the Harvard Library Innovation Lab is a library browsing tool. It gives visual clues to the character of the holdings and their frequency of use.
Stack View from Harvard Library Innovation Lab on Vimeo.
The code is available on GitHub at https://github.com/harvard-lil/stackview
RLUK provides a unique and distinctive collection via a union catalogue / Database (COPAC) and opportunities for research libraries.
Side note: About RLUKResearch Libraries UK (RLUK) represents 34 of the leading and most significant research libraries in the UK and Ireland. They aim to optimise the contribution that research libraries and collections make to the economic, technological and cultural success of the UK and Ireland. There has never been a stronger link between the quality of the information infrastructure for research and digital literacy and the health of the economy by investing in and developing strategic projects, reports and innovations that are fomenting much greater engagement with and services for the research community. See more: http://www.rluk.ac.uk/
Skill sets still need to be further developed especially in the area of Digital Humanities (just now maturing), e-learning and teaching (know the impact of teaching), and Public Engagement. Concepts such as data curation, and mining, embedded librarians, User-centricity, all provide opportunities for up-skilling and re-skilling.
CASE STUDY: Bridging the Gap between 2nd and 3rd Level Education - A Maynooth University Case Study.
Elaine Bean - MU
CASE STUDY: Stepping Outside Of The Library Walls - Broadening our Role in Supporting Academic Skills.
Monica Crump - NUIGMonica spoke about steeping out beyond the walls of the library / traditional library based role. She highlighted how evolving roles necessitate this. Roles such as teacher, content manager, publishing expert. Monica spoke also about the lack of awareness outside of the library of the subject librarian role. To highlight the skill of these librarians, a few nights a week, group study rooms were used in the Academic Writing Centre. The growth in demand for workshops led to the development of an online module for students (http://vmserver83.nuigalway.ie/LARK/LARK/).
One of the challenges that the subject librarian team at NUIG faced was trying to balance the academic staff requests for library tours with the library staff desire to turn these into information literacy sessions. This led to a discussion about transition versus retention.
Discussions with staff based outside of the library showed that the library could not afford to be an 'ivory tower', that the library services were not known about and that study skills were needed for 1st year, by both Academics and Students.
Consequently the library became involved in Skills Support. This was rolled out across campus, but some issues with ongoing provision have arisen. Ongoing funding is not guaranteed, and sharing of information about funding sources is not part of the organisational culture. More support and better integration is needed.
A formal report was submitted with clear recommendations and findings. The key to moving forward seems to be peer assisted learning, with allows peers to accrue volunteering credits. Students relate to their peers better.
LIGHTENING SESSION BY PLATINUM SPONSOR: ProQuest
CASE STUDY 2. Getting the Measure of Analytics: Using Bibliometrics and Usage Statistics To Evaluate E-Journals.
Fintan Bracken - UL & Arlene Healy - TCD (IREL Monitoring Group)
A significant finding of the research was the identification of important journals where Irish Academics are not publishing.
It is planned that this analysis will be repeated on a 3 yearly basis. Altmetrics are on the radar for consideration for inclusion into the future.
WORKSHOP 1. The Scavenger Hunt: Is it an effective tool to teach & learn about collaboration.
Jane Burns, RCSI & UCD SILS.
- Ice Breaker (meet two people on the hunt too)
- QR code at the Poster Section, lead to a riddle to be solved.
- Locating a physical Item.
- Irrespective of how you put a scavenger hunt together some people are going to hate it.
- Keep the size small.
- Considerable time commitment is required to set up a scavenger hunt.
- Including the Metro newspaper timestamped the activity to prevent judicious additions subsequent to the official scavenger hunt date.
- The individual reflection piece needs to be weighted stronger than the group video component.