Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What Bird Are You?

I asked my library colleagues to take the "What bird are you most like?" Facebook test from Cornell Lab. I then had them fill out a brief survey stating which bird they were, on which side of the the classic division of public or technical services personnel, and whether they were faculty or paraprofessional staff.

The results were all I could hope for.  Of the 35 people working at the library 27 responded to the survey 19 staff and 8 faculty, 16 in public services and 10 technical services with one abstention on the division question.

5 ravens, 4 kestrels, 3 mallards, 2 crows, and 2 magpies.   So what happens when we add the two divisions of Public/Technical services and Faculty/Staff?

Overlap only occurred with three birds

  • Three staff Ravens in Public Services
  • Three staff Mallards in Public Services 
  • Two faculty Crows in Public Services

So why did I do this?  Diversity.  Diversity is more than what you can see when you look at someone. We are all different even when we seem mostly the same.  I'm hoping this opening gambit can lead to a larger and more far-reaching conversation of differences, respect, encouragement, inclusion and yes, diversity.

-- Jenny

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Domes for Libraries

Full disclosure: My father is David South, originator of Monolithic Domes.

I love these dome libraries!!!

The most recent Domed library is the Kasson Public Library in MN. More photos and information about this dome can be found at: http://www.monolithic.org/news-feed/kasson-public-library-opens-its-doors

Another adorable dome library part of an elementary school in the Philippines. http://www.monolithic.org/in-the-media/dry-library-opens-in-philippines

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Clever Collection Concept

One of my friends took this picture of the Lowell Observatory 'vote with your wallet' idea.

I wonder how we could adapt this to the world of libraries...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ready or Not, You're Now a Health Sciences Librarian!

Change,  you never know when it will happen to you.  Change, it's the new normal.  Right?  In the summer of 2015 for a variety of reasons someone needed to step up and help out our Idaho Health Sciences Library. It now consisted of one faculty and one staff person.  Someone needed to help out.  I was just finishing up a year as Faculty Senate co-chair, and two building projects (new carpet on two floors & earthquake bracing for all stacks) so of course, I had time to help out.  The department was moved into my domain and *poof* I was now going to be a health science librarian.  Well, not exactly.

I am not a health science librarian.  However, I can teach. I know how to use the databases to which the library subscribes (though I hadn't ever counted on knowing in any detail those belonging to the health sciences).  And I like learning new things.  What could possibly go wrong?   Innocence and bravado can take you places you never expected to go and I began the year armed with a little knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm.  It worked, at least to a degree.  I was able to teach orientations where faculty wanted me to show the scope of resources available to students.  I was able to teach searching using keywords and subject terms.  I watched a lot of online webinars on the various primary databases such as PubMed, CINAHL, Clinical Key etc.

As the semester wore on the 'intro' workshops finished and new more in-depth ones came on.  These in-depth sessions wanted me to teach topics such as research for Evidence Based Practice and Spanish for the Health Sciences. At this point I turned to the real Health Sciences librarian left at ISU.  Molly.  Molly is an amazing, knowledgeable, energetic librarian who has created a large number of online tutorials to help students learn the very things I needed to teach.  I watched her tutorials. And I rewatched them. I even included some in the various workshops.  I cannot thank Molly enough for her rescue.  Molly's YouTube

I'm still not a health sciences librarian.  I just don't have the depth of subject knowledge required. But I'd like to think that I'm effective of at least getting students started in the right direction with their research.  Interestingly enough I think this work has improved my own research abilities. (How could it not?)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Promotion and Tenure: Carnegie Reclassification Triggers a Revision

Image from Mike's Blog: http://mrs.sog.unc.edu/?p=1542
Last year my colleagues Sandra Shropshire, Karen Kearns (deceased) and I published an article on promotion and tenure and how it changed when Idaho State University was reclassified as a research institution.

When I began work here (1995) at the Oboler library  all you had to do was your job.  Do it well and you would be moved up the promotion chain. With a change in deans the emphasis became one of teaching.  'All faculty teach' therefore library faculty must teach.  Teaching became the most important factor for tenure and acquiring another advanced degree became the measurement for the rank of Professor. Then there was a change of University Presidents and with this change the emphasis became one of research.  No longer did the maxim 'all faculty teach' apply.  Instead it was one of 'all faculty research.'  All of this change occurred over a period of approximately 12 years.

The change of emphasis to research was turbulent across campus as faculty re-tooled for research. I must acknowledge that many departments, and faculty were already strong researchers and did not have any difficulty. A stop the clock policy was implemented by administration to assist in the retooling.This policy allowed faculty 1-2 years off the tenure clock to get researching.  One of the provosts during this time came to the library and gave us the minimum of two peer-reviewed publications for each promotion/review (approx 5 years).  It was recognized that library faculty are different than regular departmental teaching faculty and therefore the workload and output would also be different. Concurrently the university instituted new workload policies, new promotion and tenure policies and new post tenure review policies.  There was a lot of change going on.  It was as this turbulence was settling that we wrote our paper.

Shropshire, Sandra, Jenny Lynne Semenza, and Karen Kearns. "Promotion and Tenure: Carnegie Reclassification Triggers a Revision." Library Management 36, no. 4/5 (2015): 340-50. doi:10.1108/lm-09-2014-0113.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive assessment of promotion and tenure for librarians in light of increased scrutiny and expectations by the administration of Idaho State University (ISU). This increased rigour was prompted by a move up in the Carnegie Classification System. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review was performed using library databases, as well as assessing peer institution promotion and tenure documents. Additionally ongoing feedback from University administrators was solicited. The process took for the creation of a new promotion and tenure document for ISU library took two years from the beginning of the project to the final approved document. Findings – The study found a dearth of performance benchmarks in both literature and peer institution policies and required the authors, along with other library faculty, to create evidence based benchmarks for ISU aligned with traditional standards of teaching, research and service. Originality/value – This paper is an inclusive assessment of the literature on faculty promotion and tenure, the policies of ISU’s peer institutions, and the change of Carnegie Classification’s impact on the ISU policies
We rewrote our library workload policy, our promotion and tenure policy and created many guideline documents for ourselves and our colleagues to assist in navigating the paperwork processes. To manage these documents we used Google Sites to create a website where everyone could access the documents. Since the change there has been an increase in the publication record of library faculty here at ISU and several successful promotions and awards of tenure.

Image from: https://www.unlv.edu/diversityinitiatives/2015-climate-survey

Friday, August 05, 2016

Disability Awareness Training

Another great session, this one focused on updating our understanding of interactions, communications, services and resources for people with disabilities.

According to the 2006 Canadian Census every seventh person has a disability.  One of the new terms/concepts for me was the idea of aging into disability.

From a survey:
What is helpful
  • Accessing catalogue from home
  • Home delivery
  • Plain language
  • Staff accessing shelves on my behalf
  • Being given extra time
  • Staff open to various communication modes
What are barriers
  • Physical environment
  • Time on computer
  • Standing in line or carrying items
  • Crowded public seating
  • Cognitive demands
  • Asking for help and feeling like I take too much time
  • Confusing signage
  • Patronizing, impatient or insensitive staff
Universal Design
Fix the environment, the issue or barrier in the environment (not the individual)

Principles of Universal Design
  • Equitable Use
  • Flexibility in Use
  • Simple and Intuitive
  • Perceptible Information
  • Tolerance for Error
  • Low Physical Effort
  • Size and Space for Approach and Use
Diversity is normal

Take time to do more research on these topics:
  • Person First Language
  • Cognitive Disabilities

Safety, Security, & Self Defense

The session began with a video from Ohio State "Run Hide Fight"

 There are four sections to the comprehensive training plan as implemented by Eastern Washington University.

1. Safe environment
2. Self defense
3. Workplace safety
4. First aid

1. Safe Environment Training
They hired an outside consultant (Joe Fithian) to run a 7 hour training session.
2. Self Defense Training
Brought in someone from the Police department for ~2 hours
3. Preventative Measures
Situational awareness, plan of action,
3b. Workplace Safety Training
Police came in to analyze service points and workspace to assist in recognizing dangers and opportunities, such as escape routes, hiding places, and self defense options.
4. First Aid
Fire department, but could have brought in training from a variety of sources including hospital, or Red Cross

They distribute detailed building plans with exits marked and icons for the locations of First Aid Kits, Trauma Kits, and Disaster Kits.

In dangerous situations it's useful for everyone to recognize use the same code word or physical action like pulling on an ear a l'a Carol Burnett.

Policy to not verify students work status, schedules or other personal information via the phone.

2-4 times a year employees are invited to attend a safety session.  This is made up of a video and discussion.
Once a year or so for first aid training.

They have also hosted training for emergency and law enforcement personnel. They did it when the library was closed and the librarians were able to volunteer to be the victims.   This included classroom instruction for the personnel, then increasingly difficult scenarios.

This was a fascinating session and I have a lot of information to digest and training to implement.

Energized for Excellence

Health and Productivity Expert Michelle Cederberg:

She is an energetic and energizing speaker combining wit and wisdom. Here are my somewhat disjointed notes.  I'm definitely buying her book.

We all have excellence! Attack today with boldness. The energy within is a renewable resource Referred to her book "Energy Now"

Also referred to the book "First Things First" by Stephen R. Covey (the table below is adapted from this book).  How are you currently spending your time? Reprioritize! You can always find time for what you think is important. Move your growth tasks into obligations.

Urgent and Important
Important not Urgent
Not Important but Urgent
Distraction and Deception
Unimportant not Urgent

When it's hard to say no. Answer the request with a pause and the words "That sounds like a great idea. I'll get back to you in 24 hours."

 Physical, emotional, mental health = high performance

 "Stress does not like salad"

And there's another book by Michelle "If Your Life Sucks It's Your Fault" she describes it as a book that people buy to give away...

MESH: Move, Eat, Sleep, Hydrate
Move: Do more than is normal for you. Incremental improvement. Go big or go home doesn't work. 
Eat: bite sized changes
Sleep: do it
Slow down, pause, rest

There's a difference between Mind Full and Mindful

Prioritize your time
Protect your time
Power-up using MESH (Move, Eat, Sleep, Hydrate)
Pause and Breathe

 Small steps count. Do the work

Design Thinking for Libraries

We begin with the keynote address on Design Thinking.

This was a great, inspiration talk by Dan Buchner of the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute, Banff Centre. Very encouraging for collaborative, user centered, culture of yes thinking and leadership. Here are my disjointed notes.

Keep the change video from Bank of America an example of Design Thinking.

Putting people first is the basis of Design Thinking.

What are people's priorities, problems, interests. Design thinking is biased towards action, human centered, collaborative, iterative, learning. It's the 'try it' mentality.

Check out designthinkingforlibraries.com and get the downloadable .pdf.  Graphic below is from the site.

To start the problem solving process, frame an opportunity statement. This statement must follow this criteria:
  1. 7 to 10 words 
  2. Free of jargon 
  3. Free of criteria 
  4. Affirmative in orientation 
  5. Identify the owner of problem 
  6. Include action verbs 
  7. Include objective or goal 
  8.  Start with the word: How do we ..... Or In what ways might we..... Or How we might .... 
Design thinking is all based on listening. Listening without preconceived ideas or preferred outcomes. Asking open ended questions that do not lead the respondent. Interviewing: Focused, interactive.   Watch expressions of interviewee.   What don't they say?   What do they value?   What gets them energized?   Don't listen for affirmations.   Look for things that are challenges.    Avoid judgements.   Listen for things to help reframe.   Stay curious.  Start broad and go deep.

One person asks the questions, one person observes the interview The observer tracks what is observed and what is discussed

What do you like about where you live
What is important to you about the place where you live, what do you value
How did you find the this place

The question was: Selecting an apartment to rent/house to buy

Though the speaker didn't have time to go into it he did suggest that hand in hand with design thinking is the concept of Empathy Mapping.  There's a fairly good blog post at http://www.copyblogger.com/empathy-maps/ on the concept.

Wonderful speaker, definitely one that I'd recommend to any conference planner.