Friday, June 05, 2009

Reference Road Trip to Utah State Univ. Logan

We left early (7:00 a.m.) in the morning, no shining required, and arrived around 9:00 a.m. First was the tour where we saw & learned many interesting things. I'll post more specific blog entries based on my photographs soon. Then was the meetup with several of their public services librarians. This meetup and conversation was fascinating.

Here are my notes from that conversation.
  • Have IM reference up and running, pondering text messaging.
  • Blackboard
  • Facebook: don't friend students unless you already have a relationship with them, it borders on creepy. Do friend them if they friend you first.
  • Webfeat (federated searching) was being funded by the state. They will be losing this in the current round of budget cuts.
  • Will be using Ebsco Group Search as their federated search.
  • Promoting the use of Zotero ( a free Endnote like product
  • Have a yearly "staff day" held on lawn, in the library, or other part of campus.
  • 15,000 FTE (students)
  • The reference desk is staffed by librarians, computer lab techs, and the peer mentors.
  • Yearly luncheon for IT & Library
  • Check out PRIMO indexing information literacy/library tutorials on the web
  • Librarians in the reference/instruction department teach an average of 130 classes/year
  • They are also embedded in online classes through the bulletin board function in Blackboard.
  • Tracking consultations that happen because of classes.
  • Tracking prep-time for instruction sessions
Peer Mentor Program
The Office for the Academic Vice President for Research has been funding undergraduate teaching stipends, including 3 for the library.
These students are trained to help at the reference desk, teach the in the first year experience and assistance in the classroom with some of the freshman English classes.

Reference in the Business Building
Britt and Wendy were invited by the college of business to provide reference service in the business building. The college supplied the laptop and desk which was situated in a busy area. They are hoping for better signage this coming semester but were surprised by the traffic they did receive. Professors recommended students stop and use their services after class. Average time spent with a student was approximately 25 minutes. The average at the main library is 6 minutes.

A PHP based statistics tracking system designed for libraries. They are tracking who answered the question, the status of the patron, nature of the question, time/date (automatic), length of time spent with patron, the query, and the answer.

20 minutes in class sessions to introduce self, brainstorm topics & research questions. It breaks the ice and integrates the library experience. There is also the perception that the library is important because the professor brought them to the class.

Check out my full photo set from the trip at:

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