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Conference Report: USD Digital Initiatives Symposium

The University of San Diego hosted their first annual Digital Initiatives Symposium on April 9th.  Librarians from all over the country enjoyed 2 keynotes, 11 topical sessions, and a Digital Commons user group meeting.

In her opening remarks, Teresa Byrd (USD Dean of Libraries) identified three motivations for hosting this symposium. First, she believes that California librarians are highly segmented, both geographically and by type of library.  Second, she wanted to provide affordable and accessible professional development for librarians in California and neighboring states.  Lastly, she wanted to showcase emerging digital initiatives, which she sees as the future of libraries.

Throughout the day, speakers focused primarily on institutional repositories (IR) and open access (OA) publishing in academic libraries.  Several OA organizations were highlighted, including SHARE, SPARC, and COAPI.  Although OA is often thought of in terms of journal articles, presenters also discussed Open Educational Resources (OERs), which serve as free supplements or alternatives to traditional textbooks.  Major examples of OERs include Boundless Open Textbooks and MIT OpenCourseWare.

IRs and OA have converged within scholarly communication, as more and more academic libraries are offering OA publishing services through their IRs. Digital Commons, for example, enables in-house journal peer-review and publishing as well as conference organization and archiving. The Library Publishing Coalition provides resources for libraries interested in providing publishing services.

Digital CommonsSelectedWorks software was demonstrated as an easy way to highlight, preserve, and disseminate faculty research (as well as acknowledge the impact of grant funders’ support).  The software encourages professors to submit their own material, and outputs clean, user-friendly CVs for use on faculty and departmental websites.  To see these services in action, check out the implementations at GVSU and Caltech.

Speakers noted that IRs can be used for much more than archival digitization projects and electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).  At least two presenters noted that administrators actively use their IRs to archive current university policies and related documents, giving the library high-level support for their efforts.  Panelists from the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library discussed how many of their services are geared towards undergraduates. During accreditation examinations, they have pointed to their IR to demonstrate how their library supports faculty and graduate students. They also noted that digital initiatives are often cost-prohibitive for small institutions, but feasible through consortia; likewise, many grants require inter-institutional collaboration.

Multiple presenters noted that developing IRs in-house with open-source software (such as DSpace and Fedora) is often not feasible, due to the need for computer programmers. Cloud-based, TRAC compliant, hosted services may be expensive, but are cheaper and more reliable in the long-run.  Panelists also recommended using the standard installations of IR software; customization will be lost every time the software is upgraded, requiring a programmer to maintain the system.

CalPoly provided an overview of digital preservation requirements related to IRs.  Many libraries participate in LOCKSS networks to back up their data among multiple servers in multiple geographic locations.  LOCKSS (which stands for “Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe”) is an open source Stanford project which facilitates mutual, web-based backup of IR data by partner libraries, and is compatible with most IR software.  The Global LOCKSS Network was designed to preserve purchased e-resources, and has open membership at tiered pricing levels.  Alternatively, any institution can establish a Private LOCSKSS Network (PLN) for locally created content, and govern the consortium however it wishes.  CalPoly also reviewed the pros and cons of various preservation services, including Portico, Chronopolis, Amazon Glacier, Digital Commons PLN, Preservica, EVault, and MetaArchive (which was the solution they chose).  They analyzed these services in terms of cost (upfront and ongoing), how well-established the services were (both for sustainability and to avoid tech glitches), the use of digital curation best practices, and the ability to handle multiple kinds of content.

A common theme throughout the symposium was the need to generate faculty support for and participation in both IR and OA projects, lest we create “services with no market” (Debra Skinner, GSU).  Likewise, since IRs are very expensive and must have sustained, secured funding, librarians must continually reach out to stakeholders and demonstrate the value of IRs.  Fortunately, most IR services provide several options for tracking download statistics; Digital Commons even integrates IP address data to generate a world map of the IR’s usage, which tells a compelling story to faculty and administrators. Finally, to successfully engage in digital initiatives, librarians must be willing to continually learn new skills and learn from each other through conferences such as this one.

Despite the relevance of the program and the low registration fee ($35), there was relatively low attendance among San Diego librarians, and especially low attendance among junior librarians—those who will be implementing digital initiatives over the next 20 years.  Furthermore, no strategic librarians presented about digital initiatives in corporate libraries.  I strongly encourage my SLA San Diego colleagues to attend the symposium next year and submit session proposals about special libraries!

Note: the program and session abstracts are available here, with plans to archive session PowerPoints in USD’s IR this spring.

 

-Tim Gladson, SLA San Diego Communications Committee

Posted in Q1-20140 Comments

Spring Update

Greetings SLA-SD!

Hope everyone’s 2014 is going wonderfully!

Several members stepped forward in response to our call for committee volunteers and we thank them very much: Pat Alderman and Charlotte King-Mills, who will assist the Fall Seminar directors Isabelle Garcia and Helene Idels; and Tim Gladson, who is assisting Jamie Lin with blog management. In a recent post, Tim highlighted a few valuable resources on the SLA website that are available to members – if you missed it, visit here.

President-Elect Amy Jankowski would appreciate having a volunteer work with her to develop programming and help with event logistics. We had a great group in attendance at the first program of the year: the March 20 tour of the Central Library followed by an informal happy hour. Thanks Amy for organizing this fun event!

Subsequent to the February 2, 2014 board meeting, the Executive Board had a series of business items to complete and these actions have now been incorporated into the minutes (Thanks Kathy Elliot!). The minutes are now posted for your perusal on the blog.

As one of these tasks, the Executive Board approved the 2014 budget via electronic vote. We are happy to share that with SLA-San Diego members, but decided against posting it to the open web. Contact me or Treasurer Jennifer Silverman for a copy. In recognition of the healthy state of chapter finances, including reserves, we allowed some budget to help offset having to change member fees for regular programming. We also have money in the budget this year that is to be utilized specifically for member social events, based on a vote of the 2013 board. These funds are largely available as a result of the efforts of the 2013 Convention Planning committee, led by Kathy Quinn, and especially to Bobbi Weaver’s work in raising donations for the raffle baskets – thanks again to Kathy and all those who participated!

We’ve also made a few modifications to the Chapter Practices Manual, and Past President Talitha Matlin has finalled these changes and updated a few links in the manual.  It is posted to the website here. Thanks Talitha! The manual is an excellent resource for understanding how the chapter functions and what the roles and responsibilities are for chapter leaders. Please do peruse  and consider in particular if there are leadership areas, either executive or advisory board, that may be of interest to you.

As a reminder, I also encourage everyone to register on the blog to receive email notices and/or RSS updates when new items are posted to the blog. You can sign up for either tool by clicking on the relevant links under “Keep in Touch” on the right-hand side of the home page .

Feel free to send comments and suggestions anytime! I look forward to seeing you at the next SLA-San Diego event!!

Jill Blaemers, SLA-SD President 2014

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SLA Online Resources

Looking for information about special libraries? SLA has several online resources that can help you get started.

 Webinars: http://www.sla.org/learn/webinars/

Enjoy 29 free, archived SLA webinars on introductory topics.  Webinars are categorized under Careers, Copyright, Information Services, Search and Research, Skills, and Social Media.  Specific topics range from “Moving into Management and Team Leadership Roles”, to “Salary Negotiation”, to “What Is a Special Library?”.  Please note that these resources may take several minutes to download.

 Resource Guides: http://www.sla.org/learn/resource-guides-2/

SLA’s Resource Guides provide citations to articles, websites, and books on 7 topics: Career Planning and Competencies, Copyright and Licensing, Disaster Planning and Recovery, Embedded Information Services, Information Ethics, Information and Knowledge Audits, and Knowledge Management.  Although these citations are neither exhaustive nor current, they are excellent places to start your research.

 Calendar of Events: http://calendar.sla.org/

SLA puts on numerous webinars and programs every month of the year.  Although the Click University courses have registration fees, many chapter and division webinars are free.  Stay current and get in touch with colleagues who share your interests! Upcoming free events include WordPress (March 11), “The Accidental Learner: 40 sources (or more!) in 60 minutes” (March 12), Curriculum Media Centers (March 14), Business War Games (April 3), and Competitive Intelligence (April 17).

 

-Tim Gladson, SLA San Diego Communications Committee

Posted in News, Q1-2014Comments Off

Fall 2012 Newsletter is here!

The SLA-SD Fall 2012 Newsletter is now available!  Read a message from our president, get all the details if you missed the fall seminar, and view information on our upcoming annual meeting.

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Fall 2012 Newsletter is here!

The SLA-SD Fall 2012 Newsletter is now available!  Read SLA Conference chatter; meet one of our chapter members; and read about the keynote speaker at our upcoming Fall Seminar.

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SLA-SD Spring Newsletter!

The SLA-SD Spring 2012 Newsletter is now available!  Features include a message from our president, Carla Hernandez, a write up on the recent Qualcomm Library tour, and some great content from our chapter members.

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Winter 2012 SLA-SD Newsletter is here!

Hear ye, hear ye! The Winter 2012 newsletter is here. Get a word from our new SLA-SD President Carla Hernandez, see a recap of recent SLA events, meet SLA-SD member Amy Jankowski and more!

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SLA-SD Fall/Winter 2011 Newsletter

The end of the year has arrived, and with it comes the final SLA-SD newsletter of 2011. Reflect on the past year, meet SLA-SD member Carol Bodas, get pro tips from your peers, and more in this edition of the SLA-SD Newsletter.

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This just in: The summer newsletter is here!

Get a debriefing on the SLA 2011 in Philadephia, meet SLA-SD member Holland Kessinger, and check out Cindy Shamel’s tips for jazzing up your deliverables – all this and more in the Summer 2011 SLA-SD Newsletter. Download the SLA-SD Summer 2011 Newsletter

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Spring Newsletter!

It’s that time again! Check out the new version of the SLA-SD  newsletter.  Highlights include a member profile of Beth Autin, job interview tips from Anne Turhollow, and an Alignment Project update from Talitha Matlin.

Download SLASDNewsletterSpring2011

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