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LOEX 2015 Conference: Perfecting the Craft of Library Instruction

By: Ngoc-Yen Tran, ACRL-Oregon Member at Large (2013-2015)
Outreach & Student Engagement Librarian, and Manager of the Global Scholars Hall Library Commons, University of Oregon

LOEX 2015 logoI don’t know why I don’t attend LOEX very often, but every time that I do, I always ask myself why I don’t go every year because of the innovative ideas and knowledge that I gain by attending. This year’s LOEX conference was held in Denver, Colorado and the theme of the conference, “Perfect Your Craft,” was apropos to the location (craft beer central) and to the current state of library instruction. With the adoption of the Framework for Information Literacy, ideas have been brewing about how to incorporate them into our teaching; it is an exciting opportunity to rethink, reflect, and to refine library instruction pedagogy and practices.

As a teaching librarian, I am always looking for ways to continue to improve and innovate my formal and informal library instruction sessions and skills. Anne-Marie Deitering from Oregon State University (and an ACRL-OR member) was the Friday morning plenary speaker and she kicked off the conference by speaking eloquently about the importance of reflective thinking in our teaching practices. She asked us all to push ourselves to a point where we become uncomfortable and to places where we feel challenged, so that we can better reflect on and to critically evaluate our teaching. It is through this reflective process that we can improve our teaching in order to support student learning and academic success.

Lane Wilkinson from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga had us all reconsidering threshold concepts. In his session, “Reconsidering Threshold Concepts: A Critical Appraisal of the ACRL Framework for Information,” he offered criticism on the usage of threshold concepts as the basis for the Frameworks saying that troublesome knowledge is subjective, disciplines are not unified, and threshold concepts do not work well with interdisciplinarity. He asked what we wanted our students to become once they passed from novice to expert – do we want them to become… librarians?

Librarians from UC San Diego (Crystal Goldman, Amanda Roth, Lia Friedman, and Dominque Turnbow) had me rethinking my negative opinions of library scavenger hunts. They collaborated with their First Year Experience program to build a scavenger hunt using Edventure Builder software where the cost is minimal and all kinds of mobile games could be built using this software. They used instructional design practices and were strategic and thoughtful about the student learning experience in developing their game.

The session, “Teaching Students the “How” and “Why” of Source Evaluation: Pedagogies That Empower Communities of Learning and Scholarship” with Juliet Rumble, Toni Carter and Nancy Noe from Auburn University, had me refining how I teach source evaluation. Three interactive lesson plans were introduced to help students evaluate sources. For example, to teach students about scholarly and popular sources, the focus is in the process. Students are put into groups of 3-4 and given different types of sources for an event. They answer questions in a google form, describing the process of the author and the review or revision process. The instructor brings up the google doc responses and there is a discussion. The last question of the discussion asks the students to think about how the source’s research, review, or revision process affect their use of the source.

These are examples of a couple of the sessions that I attended. The practical nature of most of the sessions allows me to take what I learn from LOEX and to implement it within a day, a week, or a couple of weeks — and indeed, the Monday after the conference, I incorporated some of what I learned into an instruction session for a writing course. I would call that a win and will definitely make it a point to attend the next conference in Pittsburg!

ARCS 2015: New conference with a local connection

This week, the first ARCS (Advancing Research Communication and Scholarship) conference was held in Philadelphia.

ARCS conference header

Robin Champieux, Scholarly Communication Librarian at OHSU, was the driving force behind the new meeting; she was joined on the 2015 advisory board by other Oregon librarians from OHSU, PSU, and Pacific University. Unlike other conferences that focus on scholarly communication, one of the primary goals of ARCS is to cut across community and disciplinary boundaries to bring together the entire spectrum of people and organizations — “librarians, technology providers, researchers, students, professional societies, and publishers” — that “influence and advance knowledge communication in the digital age.” (For the source of these quotes, an interview with Robin and Jill Emery (PSU) about ARCS, please visit the Scholarly Kitchen blog). If the response from conference attendees is any indication, ARCS was successful in gathering a diverse community of stakeholders with an interest in transforming scholarly and scientific communication:

Of course, the goal of the conference was not only to bring together this “blended” community, but to initiate dialogue and collaborations that will improve the ways in which scholarship is developed, endorsed, and shared. A first night hackathon devoted to hacking not just technological, but also human/cultural issues related to publishing, helped set the tone:

The variety of ideas explored in the hackathon — from making green OA resources more discoverable, to aligning the efforts of university presses and library publishers, to creating more transparent OA publishing fees, to best practices for introducing OA and OERs to administrators, to “hacking” the existing model of promotion and tenure to better reward open practices, to making the humanities research process more transparent — carried over into the full conference program as researchers, librarians, publishers, and developers (primarily for alt metric tools) shared strategies and tools for making the creation and sharing of research more open, collaborative, efficient, and impactful. It was a unique conference experience, and one that I hope will be repeated next year (all signs point to yes).  So watch out for ARCS 2016 announcements — and you can be part of this next year:

(And if you weren’t able to be there this year, don’t worry — the Pacific University Libraries will be partnering with ARCS to publish the proceedings).

~ Isaac Gilman, ACRL-OR Past President (2014-2015)
Scholarly Communications & Research Services Librarian
Pacific University

Photos from OLA 2015 Conference

Below are a few photo memories from the OLA 2015 Conference, “Cultivating Creativity,” which took place April 15-17, 2015, in Eugene, Oregon.

Do you have more photos to share? Please share them! (See our Contact page for more info.) You can also view many more photos from OLA 2015 on Twitter at #OrLib15.

ACRL-Oregon | 2015 ACRL-Or Reception at OLA

2015 ACRL-OR Reception at OLA: Current and soon-to-be Oregon academic librarians enjoying excellent refreshments at First National Tap House in Eugene.

Creative Space whiteboard, OLA 2015

Creative Space whiteboard, OLA 2015

Haiku at the Creative Space whiteboard, OLA 2015

Haiku at the Creative Space whiteboard, OLA 2015

Creative Space goodies at OLA 2015

Stickers and glitter pens and stamps, oh my! Goodies at the Creative Space tables at OLA 2015

OLA Time Capsule

A look at the OLA Time Capsule from April 1990

OLA Time Capsule

Items from the OLA Time Capsule, April 1990

OLA Time Capsule

An interesting item from the OLA Time Capsule, April 1990

The well-attended ACRL-OR sponsored program and workshop, "Zines 101"

The well-attended ACRL-OR sponsored program and workshop, “Zines 101″

Audience participation post-its at the "Zines 101" program and workshop

Audience participation post-its at the “Zines 101″ program and workshop

Think Like a Scholar program panel at OLA 2015

Think Like a Scholar program panel at OLA 2015

ACRL-OR @ OLA Reception Wednesday evening

What:  ACRL-Oregon Reception (AKA – Hanging Out With Librarian Friends of All Stripes)

When:  Wednesday, April 15, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Where:  First National Taphouse, 51 W. Broadway, Eugene (an easy walk from the Convention Center)

Description:  Come enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar with fellow librarians. Everyone is welcome.

Hannah, ACRL-OR President, 2014-2015

Hannah Gascho Rempel
Associate Professor & Science Librarian
Oregon State University

More OLA Conference Sessions for Academic Librarians

OLA 2015 Conference ScheduleNow that ACRL in Portland has come and gone, it’s time to start gearing up for OLA’s annual conference. There are, of course, plenty of ACRL-OR sponsored and co-sponsored sessions at the conference, as we detailed here in an earlier blog post. We hope you’ll stop by the sessions we’re hosting, but here are a few more, broader interest sessions that might be of useful to academic librarians—and anyone else at the conference.

And don’t forget that we’ll be hosting the reception Wednesday evening from 5-7 p.m. at the First National Tap House, just a short walk away from the Eugene convention center. Hope to see you there!

Time:  Keynote Address, Thursday 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Title:  Living at the Edge of Mystery: Creativity, Information & the Experimental Life
Description:  J. Robert Oppenheimer wrote that “both the man of science and the man of action live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it.” The greatest of our creative institutions have sought to confront the singular mysteries of their time: the fundamental elements of life, the nature of gravity and light, and the atomic structure of matter. Ours is an age of overwhelming information that we seek to transform into comprehensible knowledge. I shall discuss several examples of creative institutions, all of which seek to make sense of the challenges of our age — the Media Lab at MIT, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. These all question the boundaries, boxes and constraints we place on thought and seek to render comprehensible our mysterious informational universe.
Speakers:  David Krakauer, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Time: Session 1, Thursday, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Title: Creative Marketing of Library Services
Description: How do libraries let the public know about their resources and expertise? Library service marketing helps libraries raise awareness about the valuable services they can provide. Please join Jeremy Graybill and Steve Roskoski as they discuss this important topic.
Speakers: Jeremy Graybill, Multnomah County Library; Steve Roskoski, Multnomah County Library

Time: Session 2, Thursday, 2:00 – 3:30pm
Title: BIBFRAME Basics: Beyond MARC
Description: BIBFRAME (the Bibliographic Framework Initiative) aims to provide the foundation for the future of bibliographic description on the web and in the networked world. It is intended to replace the MARC Format. This session will provide a basic overview of BIBFRAME, including the BIBFRAME Model and Vocabulary, the general differences between BIBFRAME and MARC, and the changes ahead for catalogers. The session will also included information about how some libraries are experimenting with and learning about BIBFRAME.
Speakers: Kelley McGrath, University of Oregon, Sandy Macke, Multnomah County Libary, Adam Schiff, University of Washington

Time: Session 4, Friday, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Title: OLA: Cultivating Creative Members
Description: Are you looking for a creative way to make a difference in OLA? In a panel format past and present OLA leaders will define and describe what they really do. The OLA Association Manager will explain support provided. Official responsibilities, unstated expectations, and actual time commitments will be acknowledged. The ultimate questions: “Why be involved” and “How to cope with being involved” will be answered. Audience members will have a chance to learn more about OLA Round Tables via a “speed dating” format.
Speakers: Connie Anderson-Cohoon, Southern Oregon University; Penny Hummel, Penny Hummel Consulting; Heather McNeil, Deschutes Public Library; Hannah Rempel, Oregon State University, Shirley Roberts, Eastern Oregon University and OLA Association Manager; Elvira Sanchez-Kisser, Woodburn Public Library

Be sure to check out all the programs online at the OLA 2015 Conference Schedule page. Are there any other programs you’re looking forward to? Please leave a comment!

Stewart Baker
ACRL-Oregon Member-at-Large (2014-2016)
Systems & Institutional Repository Librarian
Western Oregon University

Uta’s ACRL 2015 Conference Snapshot

So if you’ve read the posts below about ACRL 2015, you may have picked up on the fact that ACRL-OR was involved in a little reception for ACRL Leaders. I led the planning effort for that event, and am absolutely delighted that it turned out GREAT! We had about 80 guests during the course of the reception. ACRL board members, ACRL conference planners, ACRL chapter leaders and ACRL-OR and ACRL-WA members mingled and chatted in the lovely Crystal Ballroom of the Benson Hotel.

ACRL Leaders' Reception at ACRL 2015

At the ACRL Leaders’ Reception, left to right: Hannah Gascho Rempel (Oregon State and ACRL-OR President), Andrea Wirth (Oregon State), Isaac Gilman (Pacific University and ACRL-OR Past President), Laurie Bridges (Oregon State)

I am still ridiculously satisfied with the fact that we “went completely local” with funding. Generous support by local academic libraries and individual academic librarians made this event possible! My heartfelt thanks to all of them.

Beyond the reception, I did attend some great sessions focusing on ethnographic research techniques. I also very much enjoyed all three keynote speakers… not always a given for me. One takeaway that I can’t wait to share with students is the way that Thursday’s keynote speaker, Jad Abumrad, summarized his creative process.

“What? [pause] oh. [longer pause] What?? [pause] Oh. [longer pause] WHAT? [pause] Ohhhhhhhhh!”

For me, this perfectly summed up the information search process in general and really spoke to the iterative nature of research or other creative endeavors.

The rest of my takeaways are not this neatly packaged, but that is what post-conference processing is supposed to help with. Now I just have to make some time to do it!

~ Uta Hussong-Christian, ACRL-OR Vice-President (2014-2015)
Associate Professor & Instruction/Science Librarian
Oregon State University

Jennifer’s ACRL 2015 photo memories

We are posting a series of personal posts from ACRL-Oregon board members, highlighting personal experiences and perspectives of attending the ACRL 2015 Conference. Why? To help celebrate the national conference that took place in our state, to personalize the national conference experience for our local ACRL members, as well as to showcase the diversity of professional development and networking opportunities available through ACRL.

Would you like to add your own conference experience and/or photos to the ACRL-Oregon blog? Please contact us!

Next in our series…  photo memories from ACRL-Oregon Communications Coordinator Jennifer Snoek-Brown.

This was a conference of firsts for me:  my first time attending a national ACRL conference and my first time of living in the same city hosting a national conference. I took quite a few photos with my camera phone during the conference, so I thought a kind of photo essay would help me personally reflect on this experience.

ACRL 2015 Conference sign info

ACRL makes the big screen! I loved the luxury of being able to take one short bus ride down to the Convention Center to attend the conference.

ACRL 2015 tote bag

The conference orientation email emphasized that there wouldn’t be any tote bags… but I managed to snag one from a small stack of tote bags at the ACRL Lounge. Did someone go rogue with ordering conference tote bags? I got sooooooo many comments and compliments on this tote bag — and this is a very nice one with sturdy handles and a coated interior. OF COURSE they had to “put a bird on it”! ;) One of my favorite (literal) takeaways from my conference experience!

ACRL transit pass

Also one of my favorite parts of the conference — free transit passes for everyone! I was a little trepidatious walking up to register, half-thinking that locals wouldn’t merit transit passes. But I did get my own transit pass, and I used it as much as possible the rest of the week! To make sure I didn’t lose my transit pass, I slipped it into the final slot of my business card holder.

ACRL pocket program schedule

One more favorite was the mini-schedule of programs. So easy to track room numbers and program themes, and it all folded to fit in a pocket. Truly brilliant!

ACRL Big Foot sighting

Squatch out for Sasquatch! I found Big Foot lurking outside a panel presentation — I guess he was as interested in formative assessment techniques as I was! ;)

ACRL 2015 screen

Is it strange that (a) I totally thought they had misspelled “peer reviewed” at first, and then (b) I kept mentally mispronouncing “peer revered” as “Paul Revered”? (It’s ok if the answer to that question is yes. ;) )

ACRL Opening Keynote speaker G. Willow Wilson

Amazing keynote speakers! I really didn’t know what to expect, but each was so impressive in his/her own way. G. Willow Wilson was so naturally articulate and intelligent — as great a role model as her creation, the new Ms. Marvel!

I was able to sit in the reserved section during the keynote addresses, so I got a good view of all the speakers. A friend from Texas — and a conference scholarship recipient — stayed at my house during the conference, and all of the scholarship recipients got to sit in the reserved section and bring along another person with them. I felt super lucky to be my friend’s “plus 1″ for the keynotes!

ACRL Middle Keynote speaker  Jad Abumrad

Gut crunch alert! Now I want to record how my stomach sounds when I’m nervous, thanks to Jad Abumrad. ;) I picked this photo because Jad looked kind of like a rock star with that microphone pose.

ACRL Closing Keynote speaker Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig, academic and political activist, closed out the ACRL 2015 Conference with a heartfelt and stirring speech and presentation. I teared up several times during his address.

Each keynote was so different from the others, and yet each was so touching and thought-provoking. Kudos to the conference committee members responsible for the keynote speakers!

Public artwork in the Oregon Convention Center

Amazing public art in the Oregon Convention Center.

Oregon Convention Center tiles

Not-so-amazing art on the bathroom tiles in the Oregon Convention Center. I don’t mind the blue roses — we are the City of Roses, after all! — but the painted spiders freaked me out.

ACRL lunch food carts

We enjoyed amazingly sunny weather for most of the conference. Here is a shot I took at the plaza across from the Convention Center, where there were food trucks serving up different an delicious lunch options. So very Portland, and such a great idea for a distinctive and memorable conference memeory!

Portland t-shirt at OMSI during all-conference reception

This was the first time attending a conference in the city I live in, so I was much more aware of how attendees were reacting to Portland itself. I was so happy that everyone I talked to (and overheard) seemed to love Portland! I think we were an ideal host for the conference, especially for the sustainability theme. The weather was great, the transit passes were a hit, and attendees seemed to enjoy the behind-the-scenes experience of OMSI for the all-conference reception. I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of this t-shirt at the OMSI gift shop.

ACRL 2015 Leaders' reception donors sign

The ACRL 2015 Leaders’ Reception at The Benson Hotel’s Crystal Ballroom was a wonderful experience! Huge kudos to our sponsors and donors!

Detail of ACRL 2015 Leaders' reception donors sign

So nice to see some familiar names on the list of donors. ;)

ACRL Oregon badge as the conference begins

I captured what my name badge and conference program looked like, all shiny and new, on the first day of my conference experience, which included a pre-conference.

ACRL name badge and notes after the conference

And just for contrast, here’s a shot of my name badge and mess of notes on the last day of the conference! Well-worn, to be sure, but well-loved. I guess you could say my my name badge mirrored my personal conference experience! :)

~ Jennifer Snoek-Brown, ACRL-OR Communications Coordinator (2014-2016)
Faculty Librarian
Mt. Hood Community College


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