ACRL-New England: Annual Conference 2008
Media & Popular Culture: Effects on Academic Libraries
A summary report of the Association of College & Research Libraries-New England (ACRL-NE) conference attended by: Joe Antonioli, Steve Bertolini, Richard Jenkins, Joy Pile, Jean Simmons, & Judy Watts. It was held at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, on April 18, 2008.
- Cyberculture, Academia, & the New Web -- Bryan Alexander, NITLE Director of Research
Abstract: More than a decade after the Web began, cyberculture develops rapidly,
offering new forms for communication and information. As the academy gradually extended itself into databases and course management systems, the world has populated diverse and booming social media networks. We will focus on two emergent areas, Web 2.0 and gaming, exploring their implications for higher education and emergent opportunities for teaching and learning. Networked pedagogy, information fluency, Library
2.0, citizen media and other topics will be raised.
- The Library in the Academy: Where Are We Going, and How Will We Get There, and Who Cares? -- James G. Neal, V.P. for Information Services & University Librarian, Columbia University
Abstract: This presentation will seek to identify critical imperatives for academic library impact and relevance on campus, and in the wider teaching/learning and scholarly communities. The focus will be new roles and responsibilities, essential infrastructure and resource requirements, and fundamental partnerships and relationships.
- Think Like a Media Mogul: Experiential Marketing for Academic Libraries -- Brian Mathews, User Experience Librarian, Georgia Tech
Abstract: To promote the library effectively you need to stop thinking like a librarian, and more like a media mogul. This talk will include ideas, experiments, and lessons learned in creating promotional campaigns for academic libraries. Topics will include: user segmentation, needs-states, workflow, social building blocks, and assessment. Discover tactics and techniques that you can use to transform your library into a experience.
- Panel of Keynote Speakers -- moderated by Linda Plunket, Head, Pickering Educational Resources Library School of Education, Boston University
- ACRL-NE Annual Business Meeting
- Poster Sessions
Three concurrent breakout sessions were available.
- Panel Discussion on Digital Media Facilities & Collections
- Media: Maintaining the Balance -- Julie DeCesare
- Planning & Creating the Digital Media Design Studio at Northeastern University Libraries -- Debra H. Mandel
- Opening Up Comprehensive Media to a Wider Student Population -- Steven Park
- Collaborative Development of Visual Literacy Tools -- Ian McDermott, Barbara Rockenbach, Danuta A. Nitecki
Abstract: Visual literacy remains an elusive topic for librarians, despite its prominence in museum literature and other academic disciplines. As part of the newly established Collaborative Learning Center in the Bass Library, a team of Yale librarians is collaborating with experts across the campus to create a toolset to support student and faculty development of visual literacy skills. These colleagues work in such departments as libraries, Center for Language Study, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Instructional Technology Group. This team will present a summary of current literature, propose a working definition of Visual Literacy, describe the Center and process of collaborative development of an instructional toolset, and highlight three of the instructional settings used to design and assess the toolset. Discussion with the audience members will be welcome.
- Do You Need a Videographer in Your Library? -- Nick Baker
Abstract: Can you use videos to reach out to your library patrons? Do you need a video specialist on staff? Nick Baker, creator of March of the Librarians and The L-Team, discusses how he got started making library videos, the reactions on campus, and his tips and tricks for making your own.
|Nick Baker's |
Overall Impressions of the Conference
Richard: For me, Brian Mathews presented the best combination of enthusiasm, theory, and practical applications. His recently created job title/position of "User Experience Librarian" allows him to fully concentrate on how to make the Georgia Tech library more visible, engaging, and accessible for users. Brian is also the creator of The Ubiquitous Librarian blog.
Judy: I went thinking that the afternoon session on visual literacy would be of most interest to me, but I agree with Richard, this was Brian Mathews show. To be fair, though, if I didn't already know Bryan Alexander, his whirlwind presentation might have taken top honors. For me, Brian Matthews finally made contemporary marketing terms make sense in an LIS setting. I have been in touch with him since to see if he might come for a visit with us. Here is his reply:
Glad you liked my talk. I was a little off on that one--trying to cram too much in, but if it got people thinking and talking about service and promotions-- that's a good thing. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to visit this summer. I am writing a book for ALA Editions (that sums up my advertising approach-- actually the whole user services/experience approach) and it's due Sept 1. Sadly I am going to struggle to make that deadline, but they need to go to print ASAP and plan to release it Feb or March 2009. I would be happy to chat with you via phone and/or perhaps we could arrange something for a later time-- but this summer I am just overbooked.
ps: I attached a draft of my position description-- but it's not in stone."
Too bad not to have him here in person, but we can certainly learn some things from Brian's blog. I found his job description to be an interesting mash-up of assessment, marketing, uber-liaison, and information assistance activities. It is suggestive of some of the things we may want to attempt. Here it is:
User Experience Librarian, Coordinator of Assessment & Communications
The User Experience Librarian will be activity engaged in measuring and assessing the perceptions and usage of the Georgia Tech Library, and will serve as a collaborative leader for communications and promotional efforts.
• Work with library administration and department heads to identify and coordinate assessment needs, and make recommendations based on findings.
• Work with Systems to develop and maintain a library-wide assessment web portal designed to aid decision-making, development, strategic planning, annual reports, ARL Statistics, accreditation requirements, and other library needs.
• Continuously gather opinions, experiences, and input from users, seeking opportunities to improve or expand services. (qualitative)
• Continuously collect and analyze library usage data, seeking opportunities to improve or expand services. (quantitative)
• Work with Systems and the Library Web Steering Committee to implement a web analytics program, and assist with web usability testing.
• Meet regularly with the Library Student Advisory Group and the Library Faculty Advisory Group to determine needs, assess services, and plan for future developments.
• Liaison with the Office of Assessment, the Student Government Association, and other campus groups.
• Conduct other marketing research as necessary.
• Regularly publish reports with findings, lead internal discussions, promote data-driven decision-making among departments, and chronicle organizational progress.
• Serve as a collaborator and consultant to all library departments and existing groups/committees for assessment, outreach, and advertising initiatives.
• Assist library staff to advocate for information literacy, to raise the awareness of scholarly communications, and to advance the value and visibility of the library on campus.
• Work with library staff and administrators to develop the “Library Brand” and manage long-range multi-platform identity campaigns.
• Direct the library’s presence with social and interactive media. (Examples: Facebook, Second Life, graphic novels, blogs, podcasts, web videos, etc.)
• Work with Information Services to support online instructional content. (Examples: Sakai modules, video tutorials, and online classes.)
• Offer training and seminars on web technology tools and topics.
• Provide assistance at the Circulation and Information Services Desk.
• Assist administration with library tours.
• Serve as a subject liaison.
• Supervise one fulltime staff member dedicated to graphical design, digital media, and other artistic projects.
This position will report directly to the Associate Director for Library Administration and Public Services."