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PaLRaP now accepting submissions

December 9, 2014

Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice (PaLRaP) is now accepting submissions for research, practice, and commentary articles and for news items for the March issue. Manuscripts are welcomed at any time; however, for full consideration for the March issue, please submit your manuscripts by January 30, 2015. See palrap.org for submission guidelines.

PaLRaP is a peer reviewed, online, open access publication of the Pennsylvania Library Association’s College & Research Division. This journal will provide an opportunity for librarians in Pennsylvania to share their knowledge and experience with practicing librarians across the Commonwealth and beyond. It includes articles from all areas of librarianship, with a special focus on activities at or of interest to Pennsylvania’s academic libraries.

When available, audio and video content will supplement text based documents.

Published biannually: March and October

Editors: Anne Behler, Penn State University; John Barnett, University of Pittsburgh

Peer reviewers: Members of the Pennsylvania library community.

#palrap

Connect & Communicate Event: Navigating Health Information for Academic Libraries

November 17, 2014

Navigating Health Information for Academic Libraries:
A National Network of Libraries of Medicine Presentation

Friday, December 5, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Have you been wondering how PA Forward PA Forward Logo RGBis relevant to you and your academic library? You won’t want to miss this health literacy presentation for academic librarians!

4_Health_4CPresenters:

Jody Cole, Director of the Shippensburg Public Library and Co-Chair of the Health Literacy Planning Team for PA Forward: Opening Comments: PA Forward and Health Literacy in the Academic Library

Missy Harvey, Technology & Communication Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR): Navigating Health Information for Academic Libraries

This class, presented by Missy Harvey of NN/LM MAR, is for academic librarians to learn more about how their faculty/students can research the health, chemical, and environmental literature; find consumer health information; and learn about mobile apps to find what they need. Includes introductions to PubMed, Medline Plus, PubChem, TOXNET, Genetics Home Reference, Drug Information Portal, ClinicalTrials.gov, as well as other free databases/services from the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Click here to REGISTER for the event.

  • For this program, participants will need a phone to provide audio—VoIP will not be used.
  • Instructions for how to join the class online will be emailed to all registrants on Deccember 4th.
  • A recording of the program will be made available to PaLA members following the program.

If you would like to be emailed directly about this and other upcoming Connect & Communicate Series events, you may provide us with your name and email address here: http://goo.gl/4urXl . (If you submitted previously, you are still on our list.)

Please continue to share your ideas for programming topics, speakers, or formats with us! We’re getting some great suggestions and themes are starting to emerge, but we could also use some more speaker names. If you or someone you know is doing something great in Pennsylvania’s academic libraries, tell us about it!

The Connect & Communicate Series of online programming offered by the PaLA College & Research Division aims to help foster a community of academic librarians in Pennsylvania. Please contact Jill Hallam-Miller at jillhallam-miller@centralpenn.edu or at 717-728-2415 with questions.

Fall 2014 issue of Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice is now available online

November 13, 2014

The Fall 2014 issue of Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice (PaLRaP) is now online at palrap.org

Articles include:

  • Pennsylvania Public Libraries and the Great Flood of 1936: Dark Clouds and Silver Linings (Bernadette Lear)
  •  Pennsylvania Academic Libraries and Student Retention and Graduation: A Preliminary Investigation with Confusing Results (Greg Crawford)
  • The Life Cycle of a PaLRaP Article and Other Updates (John Barnett & Tom Reinsfelder)
  • Perceptions of Value: A Story from One Pennsylvania Community (Linda Neyer)
  • Problem-Based Learning and Information Literacy: A Natural Partnership (Kate Wenger)
  • Capture All the URLs: First Steps in Web Archiving (Alexis Antracoli, Steven Duckworth, Judith Silva, Kristen Yarmey)
  • Weeding, Wine, and Cheese: Enticing Faculty to Cull a Collection (Judith Anne Koveleskie)
  • Noteworthy: News Briefs from PA Libraries (Linda Neyer & Larissa Gordon)

If you would like to comment on articles and/or receive individual email announcements for new issues, please register as a user at www.palrap.com. Also, when sharing articles via social media, please include our #palrap hashtag.

PaLRaP is an open access, peer reviewed publication sharing information about the research and practices at or of interest to Pennsylvania’s academic libraries. PaLRap is run by a volunteer staff of CRD members, each with two year terms in various journal management positions, and it is published by the University Library System (ULS), University of Pittsburgh, through its E-Journal Publishing Program.

Integrating scholarly ideas into popular websites

November 11, 2014

It seems like one of the most common pieces of advice for librarians is that we should try to “be where our students are,” or more generally, “be where our users are.” This can be accomplished in countless ways, whether it’s reaching out to students with your library’s Facebook page or embedding reference librarians in online courses. Even though it’s an ongoing effort, I feel like librarians have been pretty good at making themselves present in such environments. But what about information itself? That is – good information? Should we try to make that “be where our users are,” as well?

I’ve noticed a few trends that have made me think a lot about this lately. One is the rise of websites like BuzzFeed and Reddit which are increasingly being used (especially by young people) as information sources. According to a Chronicle blog post, one USC professor believes that we can harness the popularity of these sites in order to introduce students to more meaningful, in-depth topics; he’s even created a manifesto for “BuzzAdemia,” a new journal intended for ‘BuzzFeed-style scholarship.’ Rather than sharing ideas in the traditional scholarly format, authors would create a short, readable piece which incorporates the features that BuzzFeed is so popular for – humor, memes, “listicles,” and so on.

One example of what a “BuzzAdemia” article might look like is grad student Chris Rodley’s “Post-Structuralism Explained With Hipster Beards,” which has apparently gotten over 220,000 page views.

Another trend is students’ attraction to sources like Wikipedia which contain user-generated, easy-to-read content. One website that is rising to popularity is Genius.com, a place where user-generated annotations act as a supplement to various forms of text or media: lyrics, articles, audio scripts, book chapters, poems, medicine bottle labels, etc. Consider a TED talk given by physician Atul Gawande in 2012. Although TED talks are potentially rich sources of information, students could have trouble comprehending Gawande’s ideas for several reasons. If he uses the word, “digitalis,” how do they know what that means? If he claims that 2 million people per year are inflicted with hospital-acquired infections, how do they know that statement is true? And what kind of infections? By reading the annotations — which could consist of text, links, images, video, or all of the above —  the Genius platform provides an opportunity to learn such details.

(See Gawande’s TED talk on Genius.com. Click the highlighted passages for annotations.)

I think concepts like “BuzzAdemia” and Genius.com definitely provide potential for integrating scholarly ideas into popular websites. But I admit that I have some mixed feelings about it, too. Would students be any more receptive to scholarly content if it’s mixed in with popular content (or resembles popular content)? How would we determine if it had a positive impact on their learning or research processes? Would they even notice it?

What do you think?

Making Students Gritty

November 3, 2014

I am currently enrolled in a MOOC that examines designing and developing educational technologies. One of the topics in the course is helping students to develop non-cognitive skills that will help them succeed in school, specifically perseverance or, as it is sometimes called, “grit.” I hate to admit it, but I never took time to think about the development of non-cognitive skills that help students succeed. Maybe that’s because of the current focus on assessment and measuring skills and because everything I’ve ever learned about writing goals in education stresses writing goals that are specific and measurable; non-cognitive skills are often anything but specific and measurable. But this section of the course really got me thinking about how librarians can help to foster non-cognitive skills.
The following brief video clip was assigned as part of the lesson in the course, and in it Angela Duckworth discusses her theory of grit as a better predictor of success than IQ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H14bBuluwB8

After watching the video, I got to thinking how we as librarians help encourage our students to become grittier. I realized that fostering grit is an inherent part of information literacy and of the research process, especially when students receive encouragement during this time.

Students, particularly first year students who have never been required to use scholarly resources, often approach the library research process with an air of confidence – they are master searchers because they have been Googling since grade school. But library searching can quickly shatter this confidence because it isn’t always easy to find the answers they are looking for on the first search try, and especially on the first page of search results. Rather than students thinking this lack of success is natural because library databases are more difficult to search than Google and scholarly resources on a topic aren’t always as easy to uncover as websites, students seem to think the fault is within them. How many times does a student say to us, “This might be a stupid question, but…” or “Everyone else can find information on their topic, but I can’t,” or something along those lines? These are the teachable moments where I, without realizing it, have invoked Dr. Dweck’s growth mindset that was referenced in the video. I have explained to students that databases are difficult to search and that these search tips are easily forgotten if you don’t use them every day, but the more and more you use them, the better you will get at searching and understanding how to search databases. We must all make sure that when we are teaching students either at the reference desk or in a session, we are letting them know that an inability to find what they need does not mean they are stupid and incapable; it just means they need some guidance but they will get it in time.

In addition to utilizing growth mindset during information literacy moments, the research process itself teaches students that it’s natural to have to search multiple times in multiple ways before finding an answer. They are taught that it’s natural to not be able to find what you are looking for on the first page of results. And they are taught that it’s okay to not know the best way to search right away but they can ask for help and learn better ways to search. Essentially this process teaches them to not expect to get it right the first time (even professionals don’t always get it right the first time), but to keep digging until you find what you need and to seek advice to learn how to improve if you aren’t finding what you’re looking for. This teaches students that they can find what they need; failure is a natural part of succeeding but in order to succeed they must keep trying.

Essentially in our quest to teach students specific, measurable goals, our role as educators who work within a system with ever shrinking budgets often causes us to overlook the importance of non-cognitive skills. Have you ever thought about non-cognitive skills and your role as a librarian? How do you think we can help make students grittier? Please share your thoughts on these questions and on this topic.

PaLA West Branch “Chapter Chatter” Event

October 28, 2014
West Branch Chapter invites you to a “Chapter Chatter” event!

West Branch Chapter invites you to a “Chapter Chatter” event!

Please join the West Branch Chapter of PaLA on Friday, November 7, at Bucknell University, for discussion and dessert.  This meeting is open to PaLA members and non-members – please share this with all of your library colleagues!

RSVP to Barbara McGary by Thursday, November 6,  bmcgary@jvbrown.edu.    Hope to see you there!

Alison Gregory, Director of Library Services, Lycoming College

Discovery and the Future of the Catalog: Connect & Communicate Series

October 27, 2014

Discovery and the Future of the Catalog
A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, November 12, 1:00pm

How’s that new discovery service really working out in your library?
Join the Connect & Communicate series’ panel of academic librarians, from colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, for a discussion about discovery service and the future of the catalog.

Panelists include:
Sara Pike (Shippensburg University of PA)
Robert Flatley (Kutztown University of PA)
Sarah Hartman-Caverly (Delaware County Community College)
Amanda Avery (Marywood University)
Jamey Harris (Mansfield University)
Ashley Esposito (Shippensburg University of PA)

The Connect & Communicate Series Planning Committee is pleased to offer this virtual discussion, in which panelists will discuss what they learned and the challenges they encountered as they worked through the process of selection, implementation, and assessment of discovery services. Find out how discovery has changed instruction in their libraries, what faculty and students think about it, and where things are headed in the future.

Register at the following link: http://goo.gl/forms/0yUIOkAXYv

Join in on the conversation on Wednesday, November 12, at 1:00 p.m. at http://centralpenn.adobeconnect.com/crdccs/

  • For this program, participants will need speakers to hear the presenter speaking, but will not need any additional audio equipment. Participants may ask questions via the chat box; moderators will monitor the Chat box and facilitate question and response.
  • A recording of the program will be made available to PaLA members following the program.

Before the Discussion:

To test your computer (recommended): http://centralpenn.adobeconnect.com/crdccs/

To run the Adobe Connect Meeting Connection Diagnostic:http://admin.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

If you would like to be emailed directly about this and other upcoming Connect & Communicate Series events, you may provide us with your name and email address here: http://goo.gl/4urXl . (If you submitted previously, you are still on our list.)

Please continue to share your ideas for programming topics, speakers, or formats with us! We’re getting some great suggestions and themes are starting to emerge, but we could also use some more speaker names. If you or someone you know is doing something great in Pennsylvania’s academic libraries, tell us about it!

The Connect & Communicate Series of online programming offered by the PaLA College & Research Division aims to help foster a community of academic librarians in Pennsylvania. Please contact Jill Hallam-Miller at jillhallam-miller@centralpenn.edu or at 717-728-2415 with questions.

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