Federal Depository Council Meeting and Conference

My Trip to the Federal Depository Council Meeting and Conference in Washington, D.C.
By Kellie Tilton

The Federal Depository Council Meeting and Conference in Washington, D.C., took place from Oct. 18 through Oct. 20.
The conference began with two introductory meetings: one for new attendees at the meeting and one for new depository librarians.

The introductory meeting to the conference provided information on what role the council played in the depository program and what distinguished the different sessions of the conference. At the new depository librarians meeting, the Outreach Librarians that work for GPO created a presentation that addressed some key things to remember as a new FDLP librarian. They also had a Q&A to answer any remaining questions.

This session was followed by the Council Session/GPO Welcome and Kick-off Meeting. At this meeting, Suzanne Sears (head of the Council), Robert Tapella (the Public Printer) and Ric Davis (Director of Library Services and Content) met to update the council and attendees on current GPO programs. There was a large focus on the 150th Anniversary of the Government Printing Office and how GPO plans to celebrate the anniversary and the implementation of FDSys. The Library of the Year award was handed out and the Council was able to ask questions about anything presented.

Three of my favorite sessions occurred over the next two days. The first was a session on efficient weeding and how to ensure that all weeding was done properly and legally. The second was about free databases produced by the government and how the University of Memphis included nearly 130 of these in their ERM. (Interestingly, MetaLib apparently is working on this.) The third session was how one librarian solved a conspiracy theory using a wide variety of government sources, both old and new.

Finally, there was an interesting council session about partnerships among depository libraries that was interesting, but many of the ideas and goals of these partnerships were still in their infancy and didn’t seem to apply to Bowling Green.

Overall, it was an incredibly informative conference. The sessions were practical and it was great to match faces to the names I have seen on a number of emails. It was also fantastic to discuss various aspects of the FDLP, like MARCIVE and weeding, with other depository librarians.

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ACRL webcast–So you want to create an interactive IL tutorial?

Cinthya Ippoliti of Paradise Valley Community College (part of Maricopa Community Colleges) led the ACRL webcast on creating interactive tutorials. She began with a needs assessment from faculty to determine how to structure the tutorial. A working group began the project, but then the group dwindled down to two people; as Cinthya said, “Sometimes, things don’t work better by committee.”

The group considered Acadia’s tutorial http://library.acadiau.ca/tutorials/websearching . My thoughts: while well-done and entertaining, this tutorial moves linearly, and interactive elements are limited to moving from one screen to the next, while pausing to read the text and watch the images.

Instead of building off existing tutorials, Cinthya started from scratch. She looked at over 100 tutorials and literature, and found that not much was specific to information literacy. Much of what was already available was in the fields of IT and Education, or were specifically targeted to math or other subject areas.

Interactivity means different things to different people, starting with merely clicking through one page to the next and reading text along the way. Greater interactivity was built into Maricopa’s tutorial, including elements such as free-form navigation, varying levels of difficulty, use of strategies, etc. Rollovers, drag and drop or clicking were all ways to increase engagement even during moments when students were viewing text. Passive viewing of the tutorial was not possible–students had to continually make decisions, even which tutorial piece to begin working in.

The overarching principle for the tutorial was the desire to conceptualize and boil down ACRL IL Competency Standards, to make the tutorials work toward increasing IL skills in students. The backbone of the tutorial began with storyboarding each page; a slide showed side by side images of storyboard versus the specific tutorial page. The multi-media designer (Sam) was integral in the creation of the tutorial.

The completed tutorial has 4 modules, and interactivity is slightly different in each one, depending on content of the module. Each module has the same set up–an intro blurb, a pre- and post- test (called quizzes), and, importantly, a small amount of text. Instead of text blocks, the tutorial uses lots of flash and popups. Cute analogy of Boolean terms as food choices–Boolean as ordering lunch. The tutorial stays away from using library jargon, skipping over the name Boolean but drawing the concept out for students. Hints are given for incorrect answers, instead of being told the correct answer–in this way, focus is kept on increasing skills rather than on correction.

Concerns with assessment: continued difficulty in capturing student results without a server–students need to print out their own results. No long term data was available due to this choice.

Usability study for the tutorial was conducted using 8 students. For the purpose of presenting the results, Cinthya had Institutional Review Board approval of the user testing. Afraid of researcher and tutorial bias, other people conducted the testing by observing users and asking them to talk through their thought process as they navigated the tutorial. Afterward, participants completed a post-assessment questionnaire to clarify the process. Results included the idea that more feedback is better–students desire immediate feedback, even on the pre-test. Their tendency was to focus on quiz scores as well as completing tasks. Students also did not notice they needed to scroll down to see the full page, so be aware of that when laying out tutorial slides or pages.

Assessment from the tutorial was used to change and refocus the in-person instruction given to classes during a library session; using the tutorial and gathering pre-test results could guide where more time should be spent in face to face instruction. Evaluation was the main area in her results.

The webcast matched ACRL’s description of the event. I am always hopeful that a webcast will be more like a workshop and the group can walk through a scenario of building a section of a tutorial together. I guess that is our job now.

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Gowalla — location based gaming platform

Finally, a “checkin” location based gaming platform that might actually be useful for library applications/instruction: Gowalla.

Check out the trips — if they could do it for Whole Foods, we can do it for the historic campus tour or the MLSRA!

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PRIMO Call for Submissions

The Peer Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) Committee of the ACRL Instruction Section invites you to submit your online information literacy tutorial, virtual tour, or other online library instruction project for review and possible inclusion in PRIMO:
Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online.

***Deadlines for Fall 2010***

Nominations: October 31, 2010
Submissions: November 14, 2010

Additional information about PRIMO, as well as the submission and nomination forms, is available from the following link:


Site submissions for PRIMO are accepted continually, but are reviewed for possible inclusion twice per year. For further information, please contact committee co-chairs David Wilson at dwilson2@trinity.edu and Carol Spector at carolsusanspector@hotmail.com.

**Important note**
All submissions will be acknowledged shortly after the submission deadline. We experienced problems with the database during the last round of submissions and reviews; therefore, if you submitted a project for review and do not receive an acknowledgment after the submission deadline, please contact the PRIMO co-chairs with a request for verification that your submission was transmitted successfully.

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Call for proposals and ideas – Library Hi Tech News

It’s not peer-reviewed, but it might be a way to get a foot in the door.

Journal call for papers from Library Hi Tech News

Library Hi Tech News (LHTN), is actively seeking submissions.
LHTN is an established (1984+) print and online monthly journal that quickly publishes articles of interest to our international readership. The journal’s major focus is on developments in library technology. Although not formally peer reviewed, LHTN is indexed in Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA), Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts (LISTA), Scopus, INSPEC, Current Index to Journals in Education and others.
Published by Emerald Publishing Group, LHTN is interested in articles of varying lengths, reports from relevant conferences, and case studies of library use of technology. The editors will work with authors that are new to LIS publishing, and those who are seeking outlets for reporting on practical uses of IT in libraries. Publishing your article in LHTN can be “a place to start,” analogous to a “poster session in print” and does not preclude publishing a more fulsome piece in a peer-reviewed journal at a later date. Readers consider LHTN the source to hear what’s coming next in terms of technology development for academic and public libraries.
Submissions particularly welcome in the following areas (for example):
* New Web Browsers/Search Engines
* Virtual Reference/Pilots/Experiments
* Library Uses of Skype/VOIP
* Integrated Library Systems (ILSs) and ILMS
* Blogging
* Discovery Tools/Federated Search
* Library Mobile Applications
* EContent/Ebooks/Digital Collections
* Social Networks/Collaboration
* Virtual Worlds
* Instructional Technology
* Content Management Systems
* Library as Publisher
* Twitter Applications for Libraries
* Gaming and Simulations
* Digital Textbooks
* New Library Learning Spaces
* Digital Preservation/Data Curation
* Virtual Conferencing
* Citation Managers
* Digital Video
* Technology for Library Users with Disabilities
* LibGuides and similar products
* Data Visualization
* EScience/EResearch/Cyberinfrastructure
* Open Source Software
* Cloud Computing
* Metadata and Tagging
* Crowdsourcing
* Web analytics tools
* Web 3.0 and the semantic web

For a free sample issue, please see:

We look forward to hearing your ideas, and to reading your submissions for LHTN.

Thank you very much,
Martin Kesselman and Laura Bowering Mullen, Co-Editors of LHTN
martyk[at]rci.rutgers.edu, lbmullen[at]rci.rutgers.edu

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Experience with Publisher: The Charleston Review

First, huge thanks to Stefanie for pointing us to this journal. She mentioned them in her talk on publication as a peer-reviewed venue for database and library online product reviews.

The Charleston Advisor (which is actually a library journal despite the name). They do database reviews — lengthy reviews, peer reviewed! Sign up.

I signed up Thursday morning using the web form, and by Thursday night had an email from the managing editor showing interest and giving me a wealth of information about guidelines, the author agreement, etc.  and a possible timeline for submission and publication. (Quick turnaround — review due in February 2011, publication in April 2011 if accepted. They publish quarterly, and it is online). Also, it looks like they do still pay if your review is accepted.

Their main focus is databases and other content publishers — so while I made a few suggestions for my particular expertise, those of you who work with specific databases should take a look at what’s been done already and see if we have anything new or exciting that would be a good candidate (you specify which products you are interested in reviewing in the sign up form). Open access and Open Source databases and products are accepted — they’ve done reviews of Google, Google Voice, LibStats, PLoS one, etc. They have a browsable Index of reviews on their site, and we do have access to the full text so you can take a look at their reviews.

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Conference Review: LITA National Forum 2010

I love LITA. It’s small, friendly, and full of geeks, but not overfull of  the kind of geeks that are incapable of speaking in anything but strings of acronyms.

This was my third LITA, but unfortunately (or fortunately) I was presenting on the last morning of the conference, so skipped the usual networking and socializing that goes on because I was practicing, practicing, practicing in my hotel room in every free moment. Atlanta was sunny and 75 degrees, but I only stepped outside getting out of the shuttle from the airport and getting back in (and yes, it went well — full room, lots of questions, positive tweets, and best of all, was introduced by a former BGSU cataloging student, Michael Witt at Purdue, who said his choice of librarianship as a career was influenced by the great experience he had at BGSU. And he has done very, very well, as you can see from his resume).

Theme: The Cloud and the Crowd

Adelle Frank, a LITA committee member and a Poster Session Presenter, did a great job of summarizing the twitter highlights for each session for some Insta-reviews.



John Davison and the OhioLINK DRC get mentioned TWICE as pioneers in cloud-based computing for libraries, once in the GALILEO presentation, and once in Roy Tennant’s keynote presentation, in which he quoted extensively from an email written by John about putting DSpace instances in the Amazon Cloud. (I just found this out in conversation with John  — he put the first Amazon cloud space on his personal credit card as proof of concept to show to OhioLINK that it could be done. This should make everyone respect and admire John even more.)

Tips for attending LITA:

There are 3 keynote sessions, and in the years I’ve been, they have been of uniformly high quality. So go.

Concurrent sessions are usually small (50-100 people or so) so there is plenty of useful conversation and question and answer at the end if the session warrants it. And you can usually see who is asking the question and engage with them later if interested, which is very nice.

They’ve introduced some 1/2 sessions of 30 minutes each, which is also nice — more variety and more opportunities for presenters.

Go to the daily continental breakfasts and the lunch provided on the second day and seek out those presenters that you liked. It’s a great opportunity to ask more questions and network. The middle day of the conference is when they usually schedule the Networking Dinners — there are sign up sheets at conference registration. People seem to sign up based on where they want to eat (the restaurants are specified) so you end up with a eclectic group of people with a variety of interests and experience, based on their preference for sushi or southern fried chicken.

Important vendors are usually there at the sessions (and not the sales reps who don’t know anything, either). Andrew Nagy of Summon was there, the CIO of Ebsco was there, and OCLC usually has a strong presence with multiple people — Roy Tennant of OCLC for example, and last year it was Andrew Pace.

Twitter is very, very critical at LITA, so if you don’t already have an account, get one just to keep track of what’s going on. It’s a technology conference, so showing up with some hot tech (“a magic social object” in Nina Simon’s terms) will win friends and influence people. Remember, it’s a library IT conference so iPads were already boring — it was Jason Griffey’s mifi that was the focus of envy (especially since there was no free wifi in the conference rooms. Yet another reason to grudgingly admit that the ATT-iPxxxx axis of influence actually works to your advantage much of the time.)

Tips for the Atlanta Downtown Hilton: There is a skyway on the 2nd floor that links the Hilton to the Marriot, where the Starbucks cafe is. Also a nicer and more fully stocked convenience store than in the Hilton. Take the skyway and then go up one floor (it’s easy to get lost in the Marriot). The skyway was the main reason I didn’t set foot out of “hotel space weather” for the duration of the conference. Also, the very good room service green salad with the addition of grilled chicken comes with fried cheese on it, which I found hilarious. Usually if one orders a grilled chicken green salad, one is interested in keeping the calories, fat and cholesterol on the low side.

Ross Singer’s closing keynote on the Linked Data Cloud was also very timely, for a slightly different definition of “cloud”.

ALA Connect  presentation materials

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Visual CV (or ePortfolios)

From ALA direct via Mashable:

VisualCV offers a platform that looks very useful and attractive for online portfolios and resumes.

VisualCV screenshot

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Writing a Book: Stefanie Dennis and Patty Falk

Today our guests are Stefanie Dennis and Patty Falk, who are talking about the process of writing and publishing their recent book “Cataloguing Outside the Box.” Buy it from Amazon!

How did the book contract come about? Email to Stefanie from Chandos publishing — call for authors explaining what sorts of things they publish, what they are looking for. Patty had just written a few drafts of articles, and Stefanie asked if Patty was interested. So Stefanie responded to Chandos and they sent link to book proposal — audience, brief outline, title (pubs didn’t like the title) — changed it to “Cataloging Outside the Box”. Publishers responded saying they were interested and some more information about the length, etc. (word length)

Contract — Stef/Patty had never seen a book contract. Consulted Linda Brown about the contract –British English terminology unfamiliar in legal context. Renegotiated some things — more time for indexing. Brit copyright was different than US copyright; royalties; Brit Moral Rights; Could we re-use it? Part of Moral Rights — can use the content, but not just make copies of the actual book/chapters. Agreed to 2nd edition if they wanted it; agreed to find authors if Stef/Patty didn’t want to do it (verbal agreement for five year span). Chandos set the time frame of one year.

Sent things periodically (every month or so). In the contract, said “floppies and hard copy” but they sent a huge word file via email.

Created a calendar for proofs, typesetting, etc. once the manuscript was done. October 2009 manuscript turned in, published in January. Had to do a lot of work/deadlines to review proofs, make revisions, etc. British spelling (Catalogue instead of Catalog, for example). Intended for international audience (switch spell-checker to Brit English in Word)?

Still don’t know exactly how they got Stefanie’s name — except she reviewed

Split work by formats — Patty did music; Stefanie did other things (daily work) collaborated on the authority work and the preface. Used Word and swapped files. Tried to use Google Docs, but the formatting issues were too time wasting.

Easy to write because our daily work; getting examples was hard (and had to correct a lot of cataloging from previous records).

Looked at other cataloging books; liked the ones that had examples; would start a chapter, and then talk about how they would present it, etc. Chandos had asked if it could be used as a textbook — and that’s how they came up with “Challenge Yourself” with answers in the appendixes. Used originals that they had done here.

First typeset had to be very well-proofed because of the MARC record format issues. Authorial “voice” had to be consistent but they write in similar styles to begin with, and the text was pretty cut and dried.

Examples for Challenge Yourself: Scripts often didn’t have titles, or had working titles; Fanzines don’t have consistent titles.

Made little tables with pertinent information so didn’t have to violate copyright with screenshots: title, author, info from the title page, etc. At one point had to contact the author of a score for more information.

What would you do differently? Nothing, really. Patty kept Stefanie on task; Stefanie would do the formatting, technical stuff, etc. Hard to get research time for Stefanie (kids) — used the 4 hours a week at work; late night, early mornings when small children aren’t up.

Publishers were easy to work with; time difference was difficult when had to make the few phone calls.

Index was the hardest part: split chapters up, went through and starting writing down terms with page numbers. MARC tags needed to be indexed. Paper forms to keep track. Didn’t ask for any revisions on indexing.

Kellie and Amy Fyn have indexing experience, for future reference.

Glossary of terms — acronyms, book terms, etc.

Process was easier than a lot of articles that Stefanie has done.

Revisions — “Comment Enabled PDF” comments and annotations on a PDF — comment, add sticky notes, etc. Some changes, etc. were done over the phone while both sides looked at the proof.

Copyright issues with MARC records? Reason they used own records from our own catalog.

[Showed proofs; calendar with specific dates] Calendar moved very quickly — 3 days for this, 2 days for that, etc.

Proposal in in July, took two months to get a response; took about a year and a half for the whole thing.

Okayed the cover, didn’t see it before it was designed. Publisher gave them flyers to hand out as marketing materials.

Updating “Popular Culture Collections in the US”– next project. Exploring how much work it might be.

Asked publisher if there have been reviews, and sales figures, but haven’t heard back. Get paid royalties annually.

Had to fill out a marketing questionnaire (which listservs should they advertise on, etc.)

3 author’s copies — initially sent the wrong book. Very anti-climactic to open the box.

Someone else did the authority record and catalog record in OCLC before they could do it!

Q: Where were some of the first places you were published? BGSU Libraries Newsletter; Abstracts for RILM (Patty) — short, consistent, keeps hand in. Stefanie was a reporter for ACRL conference. Lots of collaboration in LTL at the time because lots of probationers. IRAs for example — we started those here and published on it; first libraries in Ohio to do chat reference; FALCON online tutorial; Conference proceedings; Patty did a lot of poster sessions at MLA (National poster sessions easier to do than a presentation, still national). Collaborated with a social work instructor when changed the instruction method (Stefanie wrote that up with L. Rich)

Stefanie: Bad experience with that article (J of Law and Social Work) — three years until it got published. Editor moved universities, delayed the publication, tenure coming up, no word until actually published.

Patty — easy to co-author with Bill, he had already worked with that journal.

Susannah — ALA “holding a book hostage” — publication date keeps changing. As long as you have a date, you can use it in your probationary binder.

Stefanie — did a lot of reviews because recommended by boss to do a few things on her own. Did reviews in the Charleston Advisor (which is actually a library journal despite the name). They do database reviews — lengthy reviews, peer reviewed! Sign up

Journal of Web Librarianship

PTRC role questions:

Q: How much weight do the presentations carry in a binder? Poster Sessions at National versus a Presentation at a regional? Maybe weighted the same. Want to see variety of activities — how much involvement did you have? A presentation with 3 people versus a poster session that you were sole author. Stefanie is a reviewer for poster sessions — anonymous reviews, had to rank them, 2 different people review each proposal — very competitive. How easy was it to get accepted? ACRL publishes statistics of turn downs — helpful to add that as an accompanying piece of documentation.

Presentations — No one used to know if a presentation didn’t go well, but now with twitter and blogging… everyone knows. Music Cataloging — everyone is doing the same thing, hard to be innovative. Hard to find a niche in popular culture conferences because they aren’t catalogers and don’t really care. Find a niche — hard to stand out if a lot of people are doing the same thing.

Don’t have to be hard-core research study; just has to be peer reviewed. “How we did it good in our library” or “what we did in our library” genre.

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After Immersion

To hear ACRL Immersion graduates talk about it, Immersion is like the religious experience the name alludes to. Instruction librarians return home “changed”, inspired by the readings, conversations, and reworked instruction scenarios. We want to talk about what it was like, but can’t quite describe the spirit of the 4.5 days of focused sessions except to other Immersion grads. Like any cult conversion or Bachelor-style relationship, though, the proof, the lasting effects, can only been seen in what happens after. After you go home, after the spotlight is turned off, after the paparazzi have left the building. To me, more important than what happened at Immersion is what I did and will do with that knowledge.

Before we go there, though: a little background on Immersion. As Meredith Farkas blogged shortly after Immersion this summer, it is more retreat than conference. The best way I know to tease out the difference between the two is to look at the focus of each. At a conference, the focus is on the presenter/s research or work, and what they think you may want to know. Even though conferences may be grouped around a particular theme, there is little opportunity or pathway to build ties from one session to the next, and many choices that make many different paths. Conferences are a solo flight navigated by the individual. Immersion focuses on the attendees rather than the (truly awesome) presenters. The Immersion retreat builds a shared experience even before opening by assigning readings ahead of time. Participants in the Teacher track bring one presentation, one-shot instruction session, one semester long course, or one online tutorial to workshop throughout the week. Working on separate projects but with similar stumbling blocks and shared goals and deadlines gave many opportunities for immediate peer review.

Instruction best practices, such as writing meaningful learning outcomes, were pieces of the puzzle. Although the final picture of the jigsaw that is Immersion will be different for each participant, one similar feature is a clearer understanding of ourselves as learners and instructors, and the ability to see our students as a mix of learners and teachers as well. Active learning is another part of Immersion. By participating in it, we learn how valuable a learning tool student engagement is.

So, now that 2 months have passed, and the first teaching hurdle of the semester has been jumped, what differences in my teaching, if any, have resulted from my Immersion?

First off, I have to acknowledge Tiffani Travis’s Program Track group. They led our Teacher Track group in a discussion on how to advocate for change: talk to a faculty member about changing the library instruction session format you’ve done in the past; talk to colleagues about approaching library instruction sessions with defined learning outcomes and active learning; talk to supervisors and administration about what you can do for them.

Returning all charged up from Immersion, I advocated my way into additional instruction departments. Some of these are areas I hadn’t considered working with before, but since reference fields questions from all departments, this will continue to round out my skills. The first 4 weeks of the semester were spent breathlessly leaping from new instruction prep to the next, sometimes continuing the instruction practices of the previous librarian, but when possible (limited by time or faculty preference) making adjustments to the session to keep the focus on the students. Now I am in the process of updating my LibGuides for the new areas where needed, continuing to build ties with my new departments and schools, and conversing with my colleagues. Fall instruction is in a lull right now, and I hope to have more chances to share active learning activities within my library.

What am I doing differently? I’m looking at students more. I am speaking up. I am slowing down my movements, and breathing or sipping water to let students absorb what I just said. I am asking students directly “What do you already know about the library?” Then I fill in the gaps or correct misconceptions. The students are learning from each other, more than they would learn if I just told them what I know they need to know–useless unless they need it at that moment.

I met with a Journalism 101-type course whose professor’s personal learning outcomes for the session included getting the students into the library, realizing the library staff is helpful, and has books and other materials that will be useful. Building from this generic foundation I created a paired electronic scavenger hunt of library resources and features of our new homepage, moving from general into Journalism-specific resources so students would work together to find and use these resources. Hopefully they found me helpful, but more importantly learned that the library is not just books, and now they have experience using resources for their major. I then used much of the same setup for a 200 level intro to research course in another discipline, and I am already thinking about how I would revise this activity for next semester. In the past I might have turned down working with this class because the session was not tied to an assignment.

I still need work on designing learning outcomes and would like to involve faculty members in that step more in order to make our library sessions more collaborative and therefore more meaningful to students.

So far, I have had several more students hang back after library sessions to thank me for the class. Our students are generally polite, but that is something extra. A graduate instructor said “This was the least boring library session I’ve attended” after I worked with his class, but I’ll take that as a constructive comment and build on it.

For the first time, I see social networking having positive and direct effects on my work. Facebook posts by Laura Westmoreland introduced articles from Inside Higher Ed I might have otherwise missed, and Maria Accardi posted a fantastic library session activity for a fast peer review. Sure, I’m on listservs that do the same things, but much like our students I find I like learning about new things from people I can picture and remember.