• Barriers to Supporting Accessible VR in Academic Libraries

      Clark, Jasmine; Lischer-Katz, Zack (2020-05-20)
      Virtual reality (VR) shows great promise for enhancing the learning experience of students in higher education and academic libraries are at the forefront of efforts to bring VR into the curriculum as an innovative learning tool. This paper reviews some of the growing applications and benefits of VR technologies for supporting pedagogy in academic libraries and outlines the challenges of making VR accessible for disabled students. It defines existing regulations and guidelines for designing accessible digital technologies and offers two case studies drawn from each of the authors’ own academic libraries, at Temple University and at the University of Oklahoma, in order to provide insight into the challenges and benefits of making VR more accessible for students. The paper argues that to continue to serve their mission of equitable access to information for the entire student population, academic libraries that implement VR programs need to balance innovation with inclusion by allocating sufficient staff time and technical resources and bringing accessibility thinking into VR projects from the beginning. To accomplish this, libraries will need the assistance of software developers and accessibility experts, and librarians will need to act as strong advocates for better support from commercial software and hardware vendors and to promote change in their institutions.
    • Blended Librarianship: [Re]Envisioning the Role of Librarians as Educator in the Digital Information Age

      Shank, John D.; Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2011-12-05)
      Blended librarianship is intentionally not library centric (i.e., focused on the building and its physical collections) but, rather, it is librarian centric (i.e., focused on people's skill, knowledge they have to offer, and relationships they build).\n0 tools and emerging communication technologies can be directly present in both environments to provide course related instruction, deliver library resources and tutorials, as well as answer reference questions. [...] by integrating fundamental instructional design skills and knowledge, blended librarians become partners with faculty and other academic professionals in designing courses and incorporating information literacy and research skills into academic programs to achieve student learning outcomes.
    • Getting Organized for Action: Governance Structure Models for Statewide OER Projects

      Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2020)
      When academic librarians began to address the high cost of textbooks a decade ago, they typically created textbook affordability programs tailored to the needs of their own institutions. Acting independently allowed for fast implementation and progress, but the downside of going it alone is the potential lack of sustainability. While colleges and universities continue to develop local programs, the predominant trend more recently is the statewide open educational resources initiative. This article reports the findings of a survey of these state initiatives to learn more about their governance structures, as no one model has emerged. This information can benefit existing and future statewide initiatives to optimally structure their governance model for productivity, inclusiveness, and sustainability.
    • It’s Up to the Librarians: Establishing A Statewide OER Initiative

      Bell, Steven; Salem, Joseph A., Jr.; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2017-10-31)
      Academic librarians increasingly adopt roles as campus leaders to promote the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) and other strategies to encourage making textbook affordability for students an institutional priority. When it comes to a statewide strategy to support academic library efforts for textbook affordability, Pennsylvania is lagging more progressive states such as Oregon, Georgia, Ohio, Virginia and Louisiana. This article makes a case for and lays out a strategy by which Pennsylvania’s academic librarians can develop a statewide initiative to tackle the challenge of textbook affordability together in order to achieve substantial progress.
    • Patterns of Culture: Re-aligning Library Culture with User Needs

      Turner, Nancy B. (2009)
      Radical changes in technology and information access have given rise to new academic disciplinary connections, new research and teaching practices, and new modes of communication. With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Syracuse University Library has undertaken a research project to better understand these changes at the University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. We intend to develop an indepth understanding of one multi-disciplinary academic culture and then to examine the library’s culture and work practices to discover where services and resources are meeting needs and where they are not. The qualitative methods used in the Patterns of Culture project is informed by the ethnographic work conducted at the University of Rochester. The research team, four librarians and a graduate assistant, received training in interview and observational techniques from anthropologist Nancy Foster. Our data gathering, conducted from spring 2007 to spring 2008, involved interviews with faculty, librarians, and students about their work practice, eliciting photographic diaries from students and conducting observations in classrooms and public spaces. The goal of the Patterns of Culture (after Ruth Benedict’s landmark work) is threefold: to gain a better understanding of the needs, research, and work practices of the faculty and students and to gain the same type of understanding of library staff; to develop a plan to align library culture, resources, and services more closely with the needs of faculty and students; and to produce a model for data gathering and analysis that can be applied by the library to other academic settings. Our project is unusual in that it applies the same ethnographic methods to three groups, using comparison as a means for deeper understanding.
    • Reaching Them Where They Are: Put the Library Where Students are Learning with LMS Integration

      Given Castello, Olivia; DeSarno, Nicole; 0000-0002-2721-9809 (2020-01-06)
    • Staying True to the Core: Designing the Future Academic Library Experience

      Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2014-07)
      In 2014, the practice of user experience design in academic libraries continues to evolve. It is typically applied in the context of interactions with digital interfaces. Some academic librarians are applying user experience approaches more broadly to design both environments and services with human-centered strategies. As the competition for the time and attention of students and faculty increases, along with expanding options for acquiring scholarly content that more frequently circumvent traditional libraries, academic librarians will seek new methods to understand and engage with the members of their community. This article envisions a future where user experience design moves from the periphery to the core of academic library operations. While it is a future shaped by advanced technology that radically changes user expectations, the author imagines an experience that is futuristic but rooted in the core values of contemporary academic library practice.
    • We're Listening: Try a Textbook Listening Tour to Advance an OER Initiative

      Bell, Steven; Johnson, Ann; 0000-0003-3916-4013; 0000-0003-4021-2473 (2019-06)
      It’s little surprise that academic librarians at institutions of every size and type are launching initiatives to encourage instructors to adopt Open Education Resources (OER). Whether these programs offer incentives to faculty or simply promote the benefits of OER and other textbook affordability options, they are a win for students who save money and gain a better learning experience. The textbook affordability movement in higher education also places academic librarians in a new leadership role as they manage campus-wide efforts to promote the benefits of OER. ACRL’s “2018 Top Trends in Academic Libraries” report identifies multiple challenges to faculty adoption, such as the lack of OER resources or perceived quality, but that these are also “opportunities for librarians to cultivate partnerships with faculty in the discovery, advocacy and preservation of OER.”
    • Why Isn't The Library Link Linking To The Library?: Academic Libraries Confront The New Competitive Marketplace

      Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2001)
      Administrative portals, e-braries, and other commercial information providers are challenging the academic library’s traditional monopoly as the campus information gateway. Are these new information marketplace competitors a threat or opportunity for academic libraries? Might they draw away the library’s user base or can they be harnessed to provide access to more and better digital collections? This document examines the impact of these new competitors, presents results from a survey of library directors about their responses to information competition, and discusses strategies library directors can use to maintain the library’s status as the user’s first choice of information provider.