• 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.
    • From Gatekeepers to Gate Openers: Designing Meaningful Library Experiences

      Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2009-08)
      As gatekeepers and content buyers, academic librarians carve out only a limited higher education role - making information accessible - for themselves. Our future depends on our ability to differentiate what libraries offer and what library workers bring to their communities. This article lays out an alternate vision for the library profession - as gate-keeper - where the focus is on designing great library experiences and building relationships with community members.
    • Mastering Moderation

      Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2010-06)
      If what you do is emulate what you've seen most moderators do at library conferences, both physical and virtual, chances are you'll politely ask attendees to take their seats before you start reading off the presenters' names and their canned biographical statements. Here are some of the primary responsibilities the moderator should agree to accept: * Develop a timeline for preparation leading up to the program * Create a script or timeline that gives structure to the presentation * Bring presenters together for program planning * Identify strategies to engage the audience * Keep the speakers on time and the attendees invo ved * Orchestrate the program with flexibility * Wrap up the proceedings with authority Designing the program When attendees experience a great program, it's usually the result of intentional design. [...] each moderator should decide what works best for each individual program, the speakers, and the audience.
    • ACRL’s Hall of Fame: An Analysis of the Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award

      Krasulski, Michael J., Jr.; Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2010-07)
      The Association of College & Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Academic/Research Librarian of the Year awardees constitute a “hall of fame” for ACRL. This article reports research analyzing 30 years of awardees between 1978 and 2007. Studying the demographics and accomplishments of the awardees contributes to knowledge of how academic librarianship has evolved as a profession and how its values have shifted. As the profession begins to explore and better comprehend the outcomes of its award processes, it may choose to evaluate and redesign them. This study offers several recommendations for change to the Academic/Research Librarian of the Year Award.
    • Fit Libraries are Future Proof

      Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2010-10)
      Fitness is a condition that allows someone to persist, avoid serious health problems, and live longer. If fitness is lacking, decline and decay may ensue. In the case of libraries, fitness translates to increased longevity and less chances of failure that lead to irrelevance. In contrast to fitness in individuals, fitness in libraries is an ambiguous concept. One may point to the numbers, such as an increase in circulation or the delivery of more instruction sessions, as signs of a fit library. However, fitness is achieved by means of a combination of strategies involving discipline, commitment to change, consistent behaviors, and having fun. This article looks at several strategies that libraries can adopt to make themselves fitter and future-proofed. Adapted from the source document.
    • Librarians Do It Differently: Comparative Usability Testing of Students and Library Staff

      Turner, Nancy B. (2011)
      Our experience as librarians suggests that library staff search and locate library resources differently than college students. We bring to our work knowledge about library collections and search tool functionality that may inform our strategies for finding library resources. Through our training and experience, we have developed more accurate mental models for the information universe for which our library website is a portal. The purpose of this research is to explore that hypothesis and if it has merit, to articulate those differences in information seeking behaviors, particularly search strategy and tool use. As those patterns of difference are identified, the findings may be used to improve the usability of the website for students as well as illuminate real student behaviors for library staff. In general, library staff used different strategies, selected different tools and used facets and search limits in ways that were different than students carrying out the same tasks. Their “preknowledge” about library collections and differences in how search tools function informed their search strategies. Students were more interested in efficiency and assumed a “Googlelike” search functionality when presented with a search box.
    • 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.
    • When Computers Read: Literary Analysis and Digital Technology

      Jones, Sarah; 0000-0001-5277-4559 (2012-04-19)
      The study of literature is changing in dramatic ways, stimulated by new opportunities that digital technology presents. Data visualization upends the dynamic for literary analysis, focusing not on questions stemming from a critic's personal viewpoint but on revealing and displaying connections between elements of the literary experience. The dominant association between critic and text is downplayed, replaced with associations within the text and between it and its context. The basis of interpretation shifts from reading to seeing, from qualitative analysis to quantitative. The reader's role is transformed, as well, from following the critic's path of thinking to actively exploring a network of multisensory and interdisciplinary information. The distinction between the authoritative presenter/critic and the learner/explorer is blurred. By inviting literary scholars to ask different questions for computational analysis, digital technology and visualization inspire innovative investigations and enable new insights.
    • Coming in the Back Door: Leveraging Open Textbooks to Promote Scholarly Communications on Campus

      Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2012-05-15)
      Textbook affordability is a critical issue in higher education. Academic librarians have responded by creating programs to encourage faculty to become aware of the cost of textbooks and using open educational resources as an alternative. Another, less obvious reason to start a campus textbook affordability initiative is to establish a culture of openness for all types of open material. Faculty are often much more willing to confront textbook costs than they are costly, pay-walled journals. The author describes how he instituted a project to create more awareness of open content on his campus.
    • Visual Curriculum Mapping: Charting the Learner Experience

      Booth, Char; Chappell, Alexandra; Lowe, M. Sara; Stone, Sean M.; Tagge , Natalie; 0000-0001-6200-8217 (2013-06)