2008 Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, June 15-18
Collaborative Communities in Physical and Virtual Environments: the Science Library and Beyond
Shared with the Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics, Engineering, Biomedical & Life Sciences, and Science-Technology Divisions
Moderators: William W. Armstrong, Louisiana State University; Irene S. Laursen, Wellesley College
Abstract: An important role for librarians in organizations is as a catalyst for information sharing. This role includes matching partners, building and maintaining channels of communication, and providing support for resulting communities. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has been developing internal communities of practice through both top-down and grassroots efforts. Librarians from the R.E. Gibson Library & Information Center have made key contributions to the initiation and growth of these communities. This poster will describe our experiences; best practices for using wikis, older technologies, and offline meetings to support communities; results so far; and planned next steps.
2. Science Experiments: Reaching Out to Our Users
Laura Barrett (Laura.Barrett@Dartmouth.edu); Maureen Nolan (firstname.lastname@example.org); Matthew Parsons (email@example.com); Lori Tschirhart (firstname.lastname@example.org); Linda Whang (email@example.com); Stephanie Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org). University of Washington
Abstract: As we all know, it has become increasingly important for librarians to reach out to their user communities and promote the value of libraries. Convincing the faculty and students in the sciences of the value of libraries and librarians can be a particularly “hard-sell” as more and more of their primary journal literature becomes available online anywhere from any computer.
Six science librarians from the University of Washington present both the traditional and unconventional ways we have tried to engage our users. Learn how we meet them in their spaces, lure them into ours, and use the middle ground that is the internet, all with fun and creative initiatives that utilize blogs, give-aways, geocaching, and more.
3. Moving Walls
Janette B. Carver (email@example.com), Chemistry Physics Library; Susan K. Smith, Head – Shaver Engineering Library. University of Kentucky
Abstract: Learn how several of the science libraries at the University of Kentucky are moving walls, literally. Follow the journey of two librarians who started at the University of Kentucky in 2004 and see how their paths diverged in two renovation projects on the same campus. Discover how they have created and developed collaborative work spaces to meet the needs of both students and faculty on very different budgets.
Learn how the Shaver Engineering Library renovation was driven by the ABET accreditation process while the “science library project” was fueled by the need to consolidate service points. The second scenario is that of the Chemistry/Physics Library, Geology Library and Math Library merger. These three libraries are in the process of merging collections into a space currently occupied by the Geology Library and several other residents. See how computer labs, Shaver Engineering Library and others all effect this merger.
Learn how these two librarians developed plans, managed consolidation, funding, structural and collection issues and faculty concerns. Their tales are educational, insightful and often hilarious. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” We have many.
Abstract: The Marston Science Library houses the collections for the Sciences, Agriculture and Engineering, as well as the Government Documents and Map & Imagery collections at the University of Florida. The building opened in 1987 and has passed its 20-year milestone. With no architect and few renovation funds on the horizon, the time came to leverage existing resources to renovate and update the Marston Science Library. This poster will present the low-cost and creative changes made at the Marston Science Library so the library and the staff within may better serve the scientific community of the University of Florida. We will highlight several aspects of this (very) low-cost remodeling project including: a furniture move to alleviate electricity problems and create group study space, a newly defined new books space to change the image of the library from computer lab to library, and a weeding project to carve out extra room.
5. The PAMS Reference Wiki: a New Way to Address Traditional Reference Needs
Josh Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Reference Librarian, Physical and Mathematical Sciences. North Carolina State University Libraries
Abstract: At the North Carolina State University Libraries, we have created a wiki to help address reference needs in the physical and mathematical sciences (PAMS), particularly in chemistry. In lieu of a traditional reliance on subject guides or instructional handouts and web pages, the wiki combines all of this material into one large, interlinked site. The wiki includes instructions and tips for frequently-used databases, guides to common research tasks (e.g., finding review articles), course pages, campus research group pages, and help sections for common questions. It also boasts all the strengths of a wiki: it is fully searchable, new pages and links are created easily, and all members of the NCSU community have editing privileges. We have begun an effort to promote the wiki to PAMS departments through direct e-mail and fliers, and make a point to mention it during library instruction and in reference interactions. Our hope is that PAMS faculty and students will adopt the wiki as a go-to guide for research questions — a source they can always turn to for tips and help, much like a handy desk reference book.
We optimistically hope they will further contribute their expertise towards the guides, adding the voices of library users to the collective knowledge presented in the wiki, and fostering a sense of community. The wiki can be found at http://wikis.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php/PAMS_reference.
6. Low-Tech Works Too: Low-Tech Tools Help Science Students Collaborate in the Library
Mary Lou Baker Jones (Marylou.email@example.com), Science & Math Librarian. University Libraries, Wright State University
Abstract: When Wright State University’s Dunbar Library downsized its print index and reference collections it used its newly-acquired physical space to give students mobile whiteboards, brainstorming tables, group-use computers, and group work space. The results: increased chemistry student use of the library’s physical facility for collaborative work and increased contact between the chemistry librarian and students for research consultations.
Since students have ready access to the Library’s science databases in their labs and to most of the Library’s journals online, they do not feel drawn to the physical library to start their research, even though they may need the assistance of an information professional without realizing that. However, they love to use the Library’s new whiteboards and brainstorming tables to study and plan collaboratively. And while at the Library, they run into the chemistry librarian and suddenly remember that they need help searching SciFinder Scholar, or locating that 1990′s journal article, or using a bibliographic management software, etc.
Thus the collaborative work space and tools together have become a way to draw the chemistry students to all of the Library’s resources. Gate counts, interviews with Chemistry Club members, a survey of students in the undergraduate capstone course, and anecdotal evidence support the popularity and usefulness of these low-tech library improvements.
7. Virtual plans, real projects: Second Life helps the UCSC S&E library plan its future
Christy Caldwell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Interim Head; Ann Hubble (email@example.com), Librarian; Danielle Kane (firstname.lastname@example.org), Librarian. Science & Engineering Library, University of California Santa Cruz
Abstract: If you were given a chance to redesign the main floor of your library, what would you do? What spaces would you create? What new services would you offer? How would your design make your Library the destination of choice by faculty and students?
We used these questions as blueprints for planning a potential renovation of the University of California, Santa Cruz Science & Engineering Library. 2D drawings or static computer-generated plans were too limiting. We wanted not only the ability to build and rebuild in an experimental way, but to experience the space by walking the virtual floor and evaluating different configurations and services.
As a user-generated virtual world, Second Life will allow us to recreate our Library virtually. Second Life offers flexibility and collaboration but also has unique requirements such as renting or buying virtual land, creating avatars, and training participants in Second Life protocols. We will build the basic floor plan, and then create service-oriented modules that can be experientially moved around. Once these objects are in place, there are many exciting applications possible. To start, other library users can be invited to assess the layout and services. We can bring potential donors to “see” their named spaces or rooms as they would appear in reality. Virtual instruction sessions or reference help are exciting options as well. Ultimately what we find will influence future changes in how we use the S&E Library and what services we offer to meet the needs of our users.
8. Transforming Library Spaces – Virtual and Physical at UCLA’s Science & Engineering Library
Marion Peters (email@example.com) and Audrey M. Jackson. UCLA Science & Engineering Library
Abstract: Chat boxes on Web pages, whiteboards on wheels, learning center/presentation studio, group study rooms, wireless everywhere, laptops to lend – UCLA’s Science & Engineering Library (SEL) is transforming its virtual and physical spaces to promote users interactions with each other as well as with library staff. Campus users, departments, and centers place links to virtual SEL (http://www.library.ucla.edu/sel) on their Web pages for easy access to e-resources. Instructional resources for classes (http://www.library.ucla.edu/sel/instruct), available 24/7, are linked from course Web pages and computing lab workstation screen displays. WebTrends statistics reflect increased visits to SEL Web pages. Enhancing the “library as a space” continues to promote SEL’s three physical spaces (http://wwwtest.library.ucla.edu/libraries/sel/services/impatica_withVCRcontrol/UCLA-SCIENCE—ENGINEERING-LIBRARY-AS-A-PLACESound.html).
The Tallman Science Today Collection features new trends, controversies, and frontiers with popular or semi-technical discussions of scientific and technological concepts so that the engineer or scientist can get useful facts in language that is vivid and understandable ( http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/sel/news/index.htm#item54 ). Subject librarians welcome new faculty to SEL at hosted lunches. Faculty are featured speakers at “Food for Thought” lunches with potential and current donors aka “Library Associates”. Works of art and mounted posters displayed in SEL Collections and graphics on Web pages reflect science and engineering themes.
9. Library 2.0: Collaborative – Interactive – Patron Focused
Jay Bhatt, Engineering Librarian; Margaret (Peggy) Dominy, Math & Science Librarian; Joshua Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org), Information Services Assistant for Science & Engineering. W.W. Hagerty Library, Drexel University
Abstract: Here at Drexel University the human interface between the Libraries and our patrons is rapidly evolving, in both our physical and virtual spaces. Students and faculty find demands pulling them in different directions, needing assistance around the clock and usually urgently. Facilitating communications and services have put additional demands on librarians leading us into new creative arenas, many drawing on Web 2.0 techniques and technologies. Some of these efforts will work and some will not, but we can no longer be passive.
In this poster, the authors will highlight the multifaceted ways in which the physical space of the various Drexel Libraries has changed; the new ways our librarians have approached patron interactions, including reaching out to students via instant messaging, Facebook, and other social software; and also collaborative efforts with faculty, specifically our annual Scholarly Communications Symposium and the Libraries’ role in supporting scholarship.
10. Using Instant Messaging at an Academic Library Reference Desk: Successes, Challenges, and Future Directions
Jeffrey D. Bond (email@example.com), Science Reference Librarian. Texas Christian University
Abstract: Texas Christian University’s Mary Couts Burnett Library recently started an instant message (IM) reference service, allowing faculty, staff, students, and guests to send questions via a variety of instant message platforms, as well as from mobile phones using text messaging. Reference librarians use a single piece of software to monitor incoming messages. While feedback has been largely positive, there have also been challenges.
The library allows patrons to send questions and get replies using six different messaging protocols: AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, text messaging, and the MeeboMe widget. The MeeboMe widget is an IM box on the library’s web pages that patrons type questions into without the need of special software or messenger accounts, and has proven to be a very popular part of the new reference service.
This poster will describe one method of implementing such a service. The poster will highlight successes, but also will show challenges encountered, especially in the early stages of the program’s development. Lastly, this poster will show some new directions for IM usage in an academic library environment.