ACRL MD held its 2017 fall program on November 6, at Towson University in Northeastern Maryland. “Shape Shifting: Academic Libraries and Change Agents” drew forty-three attendees from throughout the state and a couple even traveled from Pennsylvania! Because change management concerns all levels of library workers, we had the opportunity to connect with and learn from paraprofessionals, librarians, and managers who are actively initiating change in their libraries. In areas as diverse as usability, social media, library scholarship, copyright, and human resources, program participants shared their ideas and experiences as change agents, shifting the shape and direction of their organizations.
The keynote address was given by Lauren Pressley, ACRL Vice President/President Elect, Director of the University of Washington Tacoma Library and Associate Dean of University Libraries.
Lauren’s talk highlighted imperatives for change in higher education, and consequently academic libraries. These familiar topics include the dynamic information environment and conversations of diversity and inclusion. Using frameworks like Bolman and Deal’s Four Frames, or a Strengths and Appreciate Inquiry perspective can help us organize and gain insight within our contexts. Lauren’s recommendations for being a change agent, from whatever position you hold, emphasized characteristics which we can adopt and hone. These include being adaptable, taking a problem-solving approach, and engaging people and relationships. The talk concluded with a tour of the tools our professional organization and networks can provide to support our efforts in making positive change.
Takeaway: Anyone can be a change agent. If you are not the one who sets the organizational agenda, communicates priorities, or distributes resources, you can still shape your environment by employing the tools, opportunities, relationships, and challenges in your environment, as well as your own abilities, to drive toward your vision.
In two concurrent 45-minute sessions, presenters gave in-depth demonstrations showing how they acted as change agents by implementing specific projects at their libraries.
Emily Spangler, Library Services Specialist, The Universities at Shady Grove
Leah Rufus, Graduate Assistant, The Universities at Shady Grove
Emily and Leah have evolved Priddy Library’s social media program into a robust web presence. They manage the library’s Facebook and Instagram posts through scheduling software and thoughtful approaches to content, keeping in mind audience, inclusivity, and efficiency. The presentation focused on Adobe Spark, free software with which you can produce attractive graphics even if you don’t have design experience. Emily and Leah also showed how they leveraged the talents of student workers, turning the students’ internships into a positive, creative experience.
Takeaway: With careful planning, even a library with a small, busy staff can create a dynamic social media presence.
Julia Caffrey, Web Services Librarian, Towson University Libraries
Bill Helman, IT Librarian, Towson University Libraries
Traditionally, libraries wait a long time to redesign their websites, at which point major changes are needed, making the project potentially overwhelming. Julia and Bill introduced us to an agile alternative employed by software development teams: the Scrum method enables you to roll out website improvements on a regular basis. Scrum emphasizes collaboration with users and responsiveness to needs rather than adhering to an inflexible plan.
Takeaway: Don’t wait until your library website needs a drastic overhaul. Employ agile methodologies to make regular, incremental changes. Such a model benefits your users and your staff.
Seven presenters spoke for 5-7 minutes each in a fun, informative round of lightning talks. The audience exchanged ideas with all presenters in a Q&A afterwards.
Kimberly Miller, Learning Technologies Librarian, Towson University
Kimberly showed how librarians can apply ideas set forth in Everett M. Rogers’ book, Diffusion of Innovations. By understanding networks within the library, we can leverage the influence of opinion leaders and innovation champions.
Takeaway: Applying innovation-management theory can bring practical results in your library.
Mike Kiel, Reference/Instruction Librarian, University of Baltimore
Mike proposes that Maryland academic librarians team up to replicate research studies from library literature. There is a need for that kind of research, and it can include partnerships with public librarians, too.
Takeaway: Maryland academic librarians can learn valuable research skills, pursue publication opportunities, and further library science by replicating research studies.
Julia Caffrey, Web Services Librarian, Towson University Libraries
Kimberly and Julia showed the value of open-source code to help create persistent links for off-campus users. The code can be useful during a proxy migration and adapted to the needs of different libraries.
Takeaway: A tool that easily creates proxied links to database resources will be welcome by library staff and users alike.
Danielle Whren Johnson, Copyright and Special Projects Librarian, Loyola Notre Dame Library
Though most academic librarians are not in a position to give legal advice, we can be campus leaders in copyright education. Danielle shared ways to prepare staff to provide much-needed answers to copyright questions.
Takeaway: Short of offering legal advice, librarians are uniquely qualified to offer copyright services to faculty, students, and campus staff.
Claire Holmes, Assistant University Librarian for Research & Instruction, Towson University Libraries
Claire showed how academic libraries can become leaders in campus programs that hire workers whose abilities match selected jobs. The jobs themselves are valuable opportunities and can also lead to further employment for differently-abled workers.
Takeaway: Individuals with varying abilities benefit from working in an academic library, and the library will benefit, too!
ACRL Delaware Valley Chapter’s Fall 2017 Conference | November 17, 2017 | University of Pennsylvania Law School
The current political climate has called into question basic ideals of information quality. Objectivity, bias, opinion, fact, and evidence are thrown into question at every turn. The old standbys for teaching source evaluation now seem insufficient. So how do we teach our students to be smart and ethical information consumers and producers? We will hear from media scholars and journalists about professional practices and principles and the impact of technology and other forces that shape the news. We will also hear from librarians who are using innovative methods for teaching students to critically examine sources of information.
The program will consist of a keynote presentation, panel discussion, lighting talks, and end with a Chapter meeting. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
December 8, 2017 | Priddy Library – Universities at Shady Grove | Cost: Free
Registration is open to staff from all types of libraries in Maryland, Virginia and DC. Registration is free, but space is limited.
More than ever technology is becoming integral to our libraries – from the experiences we provide for customers to the tools we use to serve them. This third MD Tech Connect 2017 is designed to continue the work of the past two years in building a library technology community in Maryland that is more inclusive than in the past – recognizing that our tech efforts touch ALL library staff, not just IT staff. The intended audience is “IT staff”, “technologists” and “technology enthusiasts.” The event is designed to bridge these various library technology worlds to be inclusive of all library staff.
December 8, 2017 | College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center | Cost: Free
NOTE: Registration is at currently at capacity. Organizers are working to extend capacity for the event. If you would like to be placed on a wait list, please register!
A day-long summit that will bring together faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and administrators from across Maryland’s higher education institutions to explore the promise of using open educational resources (OER) to replace costly textbooks with affordable, high-quality learning materials while giving instructors the opportunity to repurpose content to meet their students’ needs.
ACRL MD’s Fall program 2017 is taking shape and you won’t want to miss it!
Register online before Friday, October 27th, 2017. You can also contact the Maryland Library Association office by phone at 410-947-5090. Members: $35, Nonmembers: $53, Students: $30
Lauren Pressley, ACRL Vice President/President Elect, Director of the University of Washington Tacoma Library and Associate Dean of University Libraries, will share her vision for leading the way toward growth and new ideas in academic libraries.
This engaging program will address the new roles and changing landscapes that each of us faces every day, whatever our role. Check-in begins at 9:00 AM. The program will begin at 9:30 AM. Light breakfast and lunch are included in the cost. Monday, November 6, 2017. 9 am – 3:15 pm. Towson University in Northeastern Maryland. 510 Thomas Run Rd, Belair, MD 21015.
9:00 Check-in and Breakfast
11:00 Deep Dives (choose one)
Becoming More Agile: Web Change Management and the Academic Library Website – Julia Caffrey, Web Services Librarian, Towson University Libraries; Bill Helman, IT Librarian, Towson University Libraries
Observe a case study of a recent redesign of the website for Albert S. Cook Library of Towson University (libraries.towson.edu) with a model for rolling out incremental changes on a regular, iterative basis. Learn about planning process strategies, “Scrum” and “Agile” methodologies, and change frameworks (from the field of software development). See “before” and “after” shots and hear about the process used to demo, present, and gather feedback from library employee stakeholders.
Adobe Spark Your Social Media to Enhance Your Communications – Emily Spangler, Library Services Specialist, The Universities at Shady Grove; Leah Rufus, Graduate Assistant, The Universities at Shady Grove
Creating a profile for your library with a distinct personality can be a challenge, especially in the current digital age where social media and mobile platforms are patrons’ main sources of interaction and information-gathering. The Priddy Library is using Adobe Spark to upgrade its social media to engage with patrons at their level through the platforms they frequent the most, such as Instagram. Attendees will walk away with practical knowledge on using Adobe Spark and social media practices that can help take your library’s digital marketing to an entirely new level.
11:45 Lunch, Networking, and Business Meeting
1:30 Lightning Talks with Q&A, Discussion
Influencing Change: What We Can Learn from Diffusion of Innovations – Kimberly Miller, Learning Technologies Librarian, Towson University
Research and Replication Together – Mike Kiel, Reference/Instruction Librarian, University of Baltimore
Revamping Building Use Statistics: From Paper Forms to Google Forms and Dashboards – Kyle Breneman, Integrated Digital Services Librarian, University of Baltimore
Change that Link: A Simple Tool for Managing Off-Campus Links to E-Resources – Kimberly Arleth, Electronic Resources Librarian, Loyola Notre Dame Library; Julia Caffrey, Web Services Librarian, Towson University Libraries
I Am Not a Lawyer: Providing Copyright Services in Libraries – Danielle Whren Johnson, Copyright and Special Projects Librarian, Loyola Notre Dame Library
A New Way of Engaging First-Year Students: Library Tailgate Party – Kathleen B. Sterner, Research and Reference Librarian, Mount St. Mary’s University; Julie Shenk, Information Technology Librarian Mount St. Mary’s University (Cannot attend)
Conversion of the Branch Library to a 24/7 Professional Model – Cindy Frank, Architecture Librarian, University of Maryland
Supporting Library Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Varying Abilities – Claire Holmes, Assistant University Librarian for Research & Instruction, Towson University Libraries