Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Maryland Library Association Conference, 2012

Maryland Library Association/Delaware Library Association
Joint Conference
Ocean City, Maryland
May 9-11, 2012

Mark Cyzyk

The thing about this conference is that it's geographically-determined, so the full range of the Library World within that geographic boundary is represented:  Research libraries; academic libraries; special libraries, school libraries; public libraries; even prison libraries, all represented in one form or another.  As always, the great diversity of Maryland's libraries is impressive; and the fact that they share most of the same challenges despite being differentiated by user group, funding sources, etc., seems always to be the moral of the story.

The Opening Remarks were supposed to have been by Alexander Sanchez, Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation -- but he left that post earlier in the week!  So his Deputy Secretary, Scott Jensen, appeared instead.  It so happens that Jensen is a Philosopher by training and education and is intimately familiar with the great research libraries of New York City.  So before he ever entered public service, he was a big fan of libraries.  However, now that he serves in the Maryland DLLR he's even more of a fan, noting the great symbiosis between that department and the mission of public libraries across the state, at least with respect to the promotion of job growth and vocational training.  He foresees a merging of the various DLLR One Stop centers across the state with local public libraries.  He is, in fact, currently working on getting DLLR-mandated GED testing services to be hosted physically by local public libraries.

Anirban Basu, he of WYPR/NPR Fame, gave the keynote, essentially an extended riff on the global economy, the national economy, the state economy, and our local economies, with attention paid, here and there, to where libraries, primarily public libraries, fit in.  Basu noted that public libraries are "in the business of promoting job growth."  Let's hope that's not all they're in the business of, but good point.  He then noted that over the past few years and despite the recession something like 1.8 million jobs were created in this country, mostly in the professional and business services sectors.  Public libraries are crucial to this growth.  Nevertheless, his numbers indicate that state and local financial support of public libraries is falling, while actual public library visitation and use is sharply climbing.  During down times in the economy, people turn, as they should, to their local libraries.

If you ever have a chance to see Basu speak, take it!  His delivery is rapid-fire and hilarious.

As I do each year, my notes from this conference are attached below, for whatever they're worth.  They give me just enough of a reminder of what I attended and the high points of each presentation just in case I ever need to go back and delve a little deeper.


GENERAL SESSION - Scott Jensen, Deputy Secretary, DLLR

GENERAL SESSION - The Dog Ate My Home, Anirban Basu

Technology Core Competencies for Library Staff
Beth Tribe and Maurice Coleman
Primarily public library staff.  Howard County/Harford County public librarians
Library users and random devices
Nook, eReaders, instruction
eBooks on smart phones, apps
"Dedicated eReaders are the eight track tape decks of our time"  "One trick ponies"
Public librarians WRESTLING with this issue!
anti-dedicated-eReaders.  We need Options.
Tablets, smart phones  Tablets Rule.
iOS and Android ecosystems.  Part of our jobs
Tablets and HDMI, librarians putting tablet display on large screen
"rooting" the Nook for full-blown tablet
Not everyone has Internet access at home.  Libraries to the rescue
Mobile Websites for Library or library catalog
Future is not OS dependent.  "Mobile site that lives in the Cloud..."
Must work in ALL browsers
Smart phones and barcode scanners
Pintrest -- photo sharing.  Local libraries participating
Quick Response QR code, smart phone scanning
QR code takes you directly to enhanced content
Google QR Generator
QR can send patrons directly to help
QR in the stacks
QR for room reservations
Creator/Maker/Hacker Spaces in public libraries
3D printers
STEM lab in Howard County Public Libraries.  Create mobile games.  Music production.  Peer instruction
Virtual training statewide
Shared training videos in the MD public library systems, eReaders and Overdrive
"There are two buttons on the thing -- one of them must turn it on.  Press one!"
iPads on loan.  Some public libraries doing this.  Loaning of Nooks.  Some eBooks cost more than the hardware.
Instruction crosses the line to tech support all the time.

Don't Miss the Hidden Treasures!  Ideas for Successful Library Outreach
Nedelina Tchangalova, Engineering and Physical Sciences Library, University of Maryland
Gergana Kostova, UMBC Library
Simmona Simmons, UMBC Library
At UMD, Library Award for Undergraduate Research
About 50 US Universities making such awards.  Open access to student research
Papers go into IR.  Selection for award is based on these submissions.
Evaluation rubric -- assign points to each submission.
Posters, ad in campus newspaper, ebulletin boards, library blog, library Website, social network sites
Subject librarians broadcast
33 applications in first year, including 6 teams
three awards of $1000 each
Most applications from the College of Arts and Humanities

Embedded Librarianship
embedded in department

International Coffee Hour
showcase library resources and services

Speaking of Books
conversations with campus authors
similar to public library book talks

UMBC Outreach:
to new students
attract students to new learning center
Coffee Hour, Mini-sessions, Branded events, Q&A sessions, Library orientations
collaboration with Undergraduate Education; Residential Life; Student Life; International Education
YouTube video:  "Don't miss the treasures!"

UMBC outreach to Faculty
high touch; low tech
Welcome email to new faculty, announcements of new resources, attend faculty meetings
Invite faculty to sit on library committees, hiring committees
Escort new faculty through library, quick tour

Making the Most of User Comments, Surveys, and Focus Groups with Qualitative Data Analysis
Patricia McDonald and Shana Gass, Albert S. Cook Library, Towson University
Prove value of libraries, improve services
quantitative vs. qualitative
open ended, free questions, observations
content analysis
Cook Library Assessment Committee
LibQUAL+  open comments at end of survey, ripe for content analysis methods
2500+ responses, 900 free comments
Observation study; focus groups
Steps toward content analysis:
What do you want to know?
Unitize data.  break comment down into the smallest categorizable unit
Taxonomy:  Categorize topics
Coding scheme:  rules to apply taxonomy to comments
Interrater reliabilty:  Make sure multiple graders agree on application of taxonomies
Report findings
Adapted Brown's LibQUAL taxonomy, 2005
Towson Taxonomy
nuggets of meaning within each comment
Software used:
NVivo <-- Towson used this
Weft QDA, open source
Demonstration of coding with NVivo
Interrater agreement of 80% == goal
Coding practice.  Interesting disagreements
Content categories must be mutually exclusive, equivalent, and exhaustive
"Wordled" to create tag clouds
MS Word Frequency macro

Through the Users' Eyes
Elias Darraj, Yoni  Glaser, Lucy Holman, University of Baltimore
Students are driven away from library Websites due to their unintuitive, complicated Natures
Discovery tools, multiple resources through single index.  Preharvested metadata
ExLibris Primo; Encore; Vufind; Summon; WorldCat; Ebsco Discovery Service
USMAI institutions, UMD System, plus St. Mary's and Morgan State
UBalt Interaction Design and Information Architecture program
user research design,  user centered design
task based design
three primary audiences:  Undergrad; Grad; Faculty
compared four tools across three audience types
six tasks, scenarios based on task
21 participants
UBalt usability lab
eye tracking software -- duration and intensity of participant's gaze.  Heat map of gaze.  Cool!  (yet I have no doubt this would NOT work with my eyes)
two known item searches; two topic searches; item save and retrieval

EDS interface:  Intuitive; facets; simple.  But "right-side" blindness for tools in right-side pane.  Easy search for known items.  Difficult for topic searches.  Students still going to Google to get basic info about a book! even when the EDS detail screen of that book is in front of them!

Summon:  Overwhelming main interface; pretty clear results page; inconsistent detail records.  Very confusing how to save results.

Primo:  Basic and Advanced on front screen.  Clean interface.  Simple, consistent interface.

Faceted search.  filter based on attributes in collection.  supports exploratory searching.  Most relevant filters near top of screen.  Provide many filtering options.  Allow multiple selections of filters before updating.  Display faceted search options on left side.  Avoid jargon.  Visual cues -- what you've clicked.

Summon:  Overwhelming main interface; pretty clear results page; inconsistent detail records.  Very confusing how to save results.

Need to mimic what Google has done.

Save/Retrieval functionality.  Must be clear indication that something has been saved.  Visual cues.

USMAI is going to go with EDS.  Content and cost figure in.  Go Live in Fall?

Google Plus or Google Minus
Patricia Anderson, Joel Shields, J. Shore, Julie Strange
NLM, AskUsNow, Western Maryland Consortium
Google+ more like Twitter than Facebook
Your Circles -- you control where your messages are going
Public and Limited posting
Google+ Hangouts
subject or audience or age-based Circles
sharing Circles with specific people or with other Circles
use as blogging tool
polling mechanism
Hangouts, plugin, similar to Adobe Connect.  10 people at a time in video window.  Free video conferencing
Screen sharing, share documents, collaborative editing, meeting in Google Hangout
Hangout On Air feature:  Broadcast push to public audience
automatically pushed to YouTube
Help Desk hangouts,  Reference hangouts, support group hangouts

Security and privacy:  SCARY STUFF.  Photos automatically uploaded from cellphone via Google account.
Google reruns its algorithm every 45 minutes based on YOUR data
Custom, focused advertising, personalized based on what's in your Google account

There is a woman sitting next to me who is KNITTING!  And when she's not knitting she's taking notes with a PENCIL and paper.  This is somewhat distracting -- and the juxtaposition of this old school technology with the glow of the video streaming in from the Google+ Hangout in the front of the room was at first jarring.

And yet, I now find it somehow comforting.

Maybe I should take up whittling wooden fisherman figurines while loading the latest Ubuntu?!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Research Data Access & Preservation Summit 2012

March 22nd and 23rd I attended and presented at the ASIS&T Research Data Access & Preservation Summit in New Orleans.  This is a small but focused meeting with about about a hundred attendees. Participation was highly encouraged with lots of questions being asked, spontaneous discussion, and spur of the moment lighting talks.  Everyone there was focused on issues related to managing, curating and preseving data.  Overall there was considerable discussion throughout the two days centering on solutions for addressing data managment requirements, with many institutions launching or using traditional institutional repositories to address this requirement seemingly in the absence of other options.  The other thread throughout the two days consisted of the need to create training in data management and curation for experienced librarians who are being asked to help support these endeavors. 

Some highlights from the panels which were centered around the following five themes.

Data management plans and policies - Suzanne Allard with DataOne emphasized the need to focus on developing the tools scientists need in order to shift the culture, in particular she pointed out their continued focus and work on interoperabily and the need for everyone to work together on this. RUCore at Rutgers, built on Fedora, was showcased as one model for data management.  They've integrated with the researcher's workflow system, created discipline specific portals, and are developing tools such as RUAnalytics that let researchers annotate video for example.  The Texas Digital Library is also looking at workflow and has integrated their repository with the Open Journal System for their community.

Data Citation - It was noted that ASIS&T will be publishing best practices for citing data soon. DataCite's Mark Martin spoke to the confusion around citing data e.g. no real acknowledgement, processed and packed forms, which mirror was used, which edition or version of th data, where to get the data, etc. The idea of citation landing pages garnered a heated discussion ranging from concerns of whether you'd need landing pages for subsets of collections and others noting that that this starts to sounds like a MARC record system. Paul Uhlir from the National Academy of Sciences spoke about philosophical differences between the US and Europe in the approach to developing a citation style.

Curation Services and Models - David Minor of the University of California San Diego spoke to their experiences with high performance computing and storage management and recent pilots in data curation ranging observational data of the human brain to archeology to geological collections. Michael Witt explained how Purdue's PURR is being set up to support data management and the process they plan to put in place for managing data. I was one of the panelists for the Curation Services and Models panel and presented on the services we've been developing and building at Johns Hopkins. There was good interest in the work we're doing particulary in how we've scoped and modeled service provision within the JHU DMS. 

Sustainability - The ArXiv.org presentation pointed out how their community is expanding into other scientific domains and the success of this resources.  Models for financially sustaining ArXiv.org are being reviewed including a potential membership model.  Dryad's Peggy Schaeffer talked about their financial model with involves working with publishers and charging them a fee everytime an author deposits data in Drayd in association with a publication. Fees are kept very low but so is the storage allocated for that fee.

Training Data Management Practitioners - Kirk Borne of George Masson University shared his experiences with training high school students in data mining and the importance of building these skills in young people.  Peter Fox talked about the Computer Science Programs at Rensselaer Poloytechnic Institute the need to think about application themes by domain.  Jian Qin of Syracuse University talked about their new online training opportunities in data services.  She noted that data literacy is not just important for science students but also important for librarians.

Besides panels there was a lively poster session and lots of opportunities to network and learn from others.  The models for data management and service provision range widely as the needs of researchers and communities differ from institution to institution.  - Barbara Pralle