Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Special Libraries Association 2016, Philadelphia [from Sue Vazakas]

Here are some highlights from this year's SLA conference.

Portico (at the Mathematics Round Table)
  • A mathematics journal whose editorial board resigned is now available through Portico. Portico was persuaded that Springer's refusal to make it available online (because of what they said was a copyright snafu) constituted a "triggering event," as our catalog record shows
Value Proposition (at The Indispensable Librarian: Talking about Your Value Proposition So They Get It
  • Mary Ellen Bates reviewed ways to present what we do;  for example:
  • WHO do you talk to (make sure they need our services), WHAT do you talk about (make sure it's *their* work, *not* our services), HOW do you say it (don't use jargon), WHEN do you talk to them (when they're paying attention?), WHY are you talking to them (talk 100% about *their* outcomes)
  • It's our job to sell, *not* their job to buy
Grey Literature (at Hidden Treasures: Mastering Grey Literature)
  • Speakers discussed sources of grey info including Open Society Foundations, ResearchGate, and (which was soundly trashed by a later speaker)
  • University IR's -- Cornell's Digital Projects Coordinator reminded us that it's not hard to enter grey lit. Usually the creators have the rights, gov info is free and you can just grab it, etc. 

  • Guidestar also has up-to-date country information
  • mdrc is great for public policy
  • DeepWebTech now has Explorit
  • Datasets are available in
 Data Literacy (at Teaching Data Literacy)
  • U. Albany, which has an info lit requirement, also offers a 7-session class to undergrads about data literacy
  • For the class, she chose a data set from and did lots of hands-on exercises about the set's limitations, and asked questions like "why isn't a zip code numerical data?"
  • For grad students, here's Purdue's "Get a G.R.I.P." libguide
Value Added (at Value-added Services: Becoming a Strategic Research Partner)
  • The director of NIST's library described how they add value to the info they give the researchers, such as giving not only the lit review, but adding an Intro, Methodology (what they searched), and findings such as most cited authors and journals in the field
  • When asked for an H-index, they also add tables, graphs, citation maps, and/or data viz, as well as context: e.g., if the researcher has been in the field a long time, or whether the field is math or biology 
  • [I learned elsewhere that Indiana U. offers a MOOC on info viz]
Professional Competencies (at Professional Competencies and You)
  • SLA has a new set of professional competencies (last revised in 2003)
  • Intended for four audiences: (1) members of the profession (to help assess skills), (2) employers (why should I hire you?), (3) students and prospective students, (4) LIS educators (what should you be teaching?
  • An audience member said that the 5th intended audience should be HR departments, who mostly don't know about the specific skills that we have

If you have any questions about these notes or the conference, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer them! 

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