A constant goal of librarians is to reach out and establish closer working relationships with faculty colleagues. Of course, there are many approaches to doing so. At Highline College, Jack Harton, a reference librarian, took the approach of working informally with the staff of the college’s Learning and Teaching Center (LTC). This has now evolved to where he is responsible for totally revamping and managing the website for Highline’s Learning and Teaching Center (http://ltc.highline.edu). The website, still very much a work in process, will focus on two major components. The first is providing information on professional development opportunities for instructional staff, at the local, state, and national level. The second component focuses on teacher effectiveness and what Highline faculty are doing in the classroom to promote student learning and achievement. The idea is for the website to act as an avenue for sharing this information with other Highline instructors. For librarians, this sharing includes promoting library services and resources, including collaborating with other faculty regarding, among other things, information literacy instruction and the use of open education resources. In soliciting information from campus faculty to be added to the LTC site, Jack will be able to share with his reference colleagues what other faculty are working on and possibly identify opportunities for further collaborative opportunities.
Lower Columbia College is pleased to introduce our new tenure track Faculty Librarian, Lindsay Keevy, who joined us in September. She comes to us from California State University, Stanislaus, where she has been working in academic advising and instructional support. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Stanislaus and her Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Lindsay’s background in higher education includes writing instruction, information technology support, and library reference and instruction. Lindsay has hit the ground running, offering a workshop on the first day of instruction, and providing 4 orientations her first week on the job. Welcome Lindsay.
Everett Community College is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year!
The college received a donation from Dale Chihuly of a Chantilly Green Seaform Set in honor of former English instructor, Marjorie Day. She and her husband Russell Day, a retired art instructor, are long-time friends of Chihuly.
The sculpture is located in a glass case in the Library Media Center.
In other news, ECC has also erected its first Little Free Library. It was designed by a staff member in the Social Sciences Communications Division who won our campus-wide design contest, built by employees in Facilities and Welding, stocked with book donations from people around campus, and will be maintained by Library Media staff:
We would love to give a campus tour to any of our colleagues!
I am a faculty librarian at Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech). From November 6th to November 9th, I attended the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Forum in Milwaukee, a conference that focuses on nearly every element and aspect of digital librarianship, both within and beyond higher education. Despite myself and my library not being holding membership within the DLF, I received a professional development (PD) grant through the Washington State Library to fund my attendance and participation. This grant, which aims to assist librarians in specific skill building and training opportunities, allowed me to fortify my pre-existing knowledge of digital librarianship and projects related to digital archives and preservation with new, specific knowledge pertinent to a current archive project here at LWTech. The archives at LWTech remain, at the moment (and hopefully not for much longer) relatively closed, sterile, and underutilized. The potential for archives within smaller institutions to serve a foundational role not only within the school but the greater community has inspired me to pick up the slack when it comes to the archive that is literally fifteen feet away from my desk. Working with Ari Lavigne (a graduate student at the Information School at University of Washington), Kate Magner (also a faculty librarian at LWTech), and Ellen Kinamon (library tech and catalog/archive expert at LWTech), I am attempting to explore how to open the archive up to the greater community within the school, as well as potentially utilize its functions as a space for exploring history, supporting activism, and enhanced digital literacies via the academic programs at LWTech.
This year’s DLF Forum, the second I have ever attended, was an amazing experience, and provided me with countless insights and opportunities into how I should feel and approach the archive and its future at my library and in my life. The DLF Forum’s keynote address by Stacie Williams, was worth the trip to the conference alone, as it explored the role of care in everyday labor, and empowered librarians to do more for the greater good. Additional explorations that resonated with me as a technologist and “forward-thinking” individual included managing static webpages using Jekyll, minimal computing, the power of digital exhibits using Omeka (which, for the record, is where LWTech is headed), and understanding the role of workflows in a project and its management. I could go on with plenty of amazing projects and fantastically inspiring work being done all over the country (and beyond), but doing so would be redundant (the resources are all available through community notes pages accessible via the DLF’s site). As a professional minority, a librarian representing a community and technical college background at the conference, I felt completely inspired to learn the amazing ideas being utilized by the larger schools across the information landscape and re-envision them as being relevant and possible under relatively constrained resources at LWTech. Going forward, I feel strongly about the role of experimentation and commitment to innovative realms of organizing and sharing information, and how that impacts the lives of anyone who comes across LWTech and its resources, either intentionally or serendipitously, will benefit from such pushes forward.
I trust anyone reading this that finds it of value or is curious about more details will send me a message. Thank you for reading this brief glimpse into wonderful new pathways in the professional field!
I was fortunate to be able to attend the 13th OpenEd Conference recently held from November 2-4, 2016 in Richmond Virginia. As one of the two faculty librarians, the other being Greg Bem, who are helping support the Achieve the Dream OER degree initiative at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, this conference was a great opportunity to hear more about the efforts, grant-funded or otherwise, that colleges and universities are doing across the country. To avoid droning on, I’ll stick to sharing my three main takeaways. Feel free to be in touch though, if you have comments or would like any additional information.
My first takeaway is the shift I saw from adoption of OER to a focus on pedagogical change through OER. Rather than stressing the cost saved by switching one textbook, sessions stressed the impact to teaching, to student engagement, and to learning that could come through the adoption of OER. One faculty even eliminated the cost saved from his OER adoption presentation and replaced it with the learning students will have achieve.
My second takeaway comes from the Keynote speaker Sara Goldrich-Rab, author of Paying the Price. Her speech and research highlighted, in a rather daunting and depressing way, how great the struggles can be for students seeking an education. Personal challenges aside, the financial and educational structures meant to support and provide a step forward in life is, according to her research, shoving people back and even removing the aspiration for higher education altogether.
My last, and brighter, takeaway is the growing work across institutions. Instead of degree paths or one changed course, there are growing efforts to work through consortiums or statewide to implement OER. Unfortunately, I wasn’t involved when OpenWa launched, but that seems to be a similar line of thinking. Some examples from this conference include those by OPEN SUNY and Maricopa Millions, as well as the newest endeavors through GO Open Massachusetts. I realize that there are unique instances and policies at each institution, but it seems like as OER becomes more widespread, this kind of collaboration and cooperation can take larger steps forward and help, what Richard Sebastian coined as, horizontal rather than vertical columns of adoption.
Dianne Carey, Library Faculty at Olympic College, was awarded a one-quarter sabbatical to further develop the Olympic College Libraries’ Digital Archives. She will be working on digitizing and describing the most significant artifacts of the Libraries’ George W. Martin Collection (mountaineering and outdoor education). She will also create digital stories of the Hank Blass mosaic that was removed from the demolished Science Building and will be installed on the new College Instruction Center building, and the College’s historic Barner house and property. The Barner house was designed by Elizabeth Ayer, the first woman graduate of the University of Washington’ School of Architecture and the first woman to be licensed as an architect in the Washington State.
Elizabeth Knight, Green River College Adjunct Faculty Librarian, who is also a Certified Archivist, keeps her fingers in the archives world by doing project-based consulting work with emerging archives in the region. She is presently developing a digital archive plan for the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive, which is located in Burien, WA. The project is funded by a capacity building grant awarded by 4Culture, a King County tax-exempt organization that supports citizen and groups who preserve cultural heritage, promote the arts, and foster cultural opportunities. In addition to working with cultural heritage organizations, Knight has also provided archives consulting expertise for a number of academic institutions such as University of Puget Sound, Oregon Institute of Technology, Bastyr University, and the Orbis Cascade Alliance.
The Holman Library is happy to announce the hire of a new adjunct faculty librarian for instruction and reference. Kaitlyn Straton is originally from Puyallup and a 2013 graduate from the University of Washington’s Information School. Kaitlyn most recently worked at Seattle Pacific University where she aided in the transition to Primo and Alma and was responsible for original and copy cataloging. She also works as an adjunct faculty librarian at Pierce College.
Nancy Vandermark joined Green River College’s Reference Librarian team at the beginning of Winter Quarter 2016. Nancy graduated in March 2015 with her MLIS from the Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics. She currently works both at the Circulation Desk during the week and at the Reference Desk on Saturdays.
Special Projects at Holman Library…
The Green River College Digital Archives – “The Current” Student Newspaper debuted in support of Green River College’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. This large-scale project is led by Philip Whitford and Jennifer Rohan (in addition to other librarians acknowledged in the archive home page). The archive makes accessible and searchable over 670 issues of the Green River student newspaper from 1965-2010 with ongoing work to add more content. This effort to preserve an incredibly important and rich piece of Green River College history began in Summer 2014 and included a search for and an inventory of scattered hardcopy and digital newspapers, quality-controlled scanning of hundreds of old issues, and consistent original cataloging in the digital repository.
Katie Cunnion created an online NoodleTools Citation Workshop in Canvas to assist students with understanding the importance of citing sources, identifying APA and MLA styles, and practice in creating citations using the NoodleTools citation generator. CLAMS members (or anyone for that matter) is welcome to link to that workshop for their students/institution, to use the workshop or to import to their Canvas site and make modifications.The Canvas workshop is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
OneBook Discussion Series:
Jody Segal organized and facilitated a successful OneBook Discussion Seriesfor students, staff and faculty around the book Redeployment by Phil Klay.Panels included “The Diverse Experiences of Women Veterans,” “Iraqi Narratives” and “How to Talk about Difficult Texts” among several others.
Gerie Ventura, Associate Director of the library, and Karen Fernandez are both active in the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association. Gerie serves on the Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Cultures, a family literacy project, and promotes children’s books on social media. Karen serves on the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature committee.Here’s the list of 2015 awards. This is Karen’s fifth year and she’s evaluating Adult Nonfiction for 2015/16. Winners are announced at ALA annual conference. Serving as a judge is rewarding and in addition to getting free books, she’s made new professional connections and helped promote diverse authors. Karen encourages you to become involved in ethnic caucuses or other professional organizations.
Librarians Deborah Moore and David Johnson are on the campus committee for National Poetry Month in April. The committee just finished judging a student poetry contest that received over 100 entries.Winning entries will be made into broadsides, which are large sheets of paper printed on only one side.These will be exhibited in the library gallery during April and May.
LCC has had a very successful start in Open Educational Resources for the year 2015-16. We spent 2014-15 working on an Advocacy Plan and beginning to build awareness of OER across our campus. Two courses worked on migrating from commercial textbooks to OE textbooks. We made those available from our bookstore as printed copies, where students paid only for the printing – so a 500 page text cost $20. These efforts kicked off Fall 2015.
LCC now uses the title Alternative Educational Resources (AER) instead of Open Educational Resources (OER) to include all course resources that cost students less than $30 to use. Some courses may include resources that are not openly licensed but still reduce costs for students, such as used or inexpensive books, library resources, and other alternatives to costly commercial textbooks.
Even before Fall 2015 quarter started, Alternative Education had spread. Our lead Psychology instructor decided to adopt AER for Sociology as well as Psychology, and brought another Sociology instructor along with her. Our Economics instructor looked at their textbooks (we were using OpenStax) and found Econ textbooks for all three of his courses at Open Stax. He adopted those. One English instructor created modules and an online accessible text for English 101, and that spread to another instructor. All together, twelve courses ended up with AER this fall who would not otherwise have used them.
As we printed these textbooks, they were sold in our bookstore. The bookstore keeps the files of any AER we adopt, and if the instructor wants printed copies available for their students, our bookstore manager forwards those to the print shop. Once they are printed, we can sell them in the bookstore for a fraction of the cost of commercial textbooks. While the bookstore does not make much money on any individual AER, far more students are purchasing their textbooks through the bookstore than did in the past. So, while the bookstore is losing money on individual textbooks, the traffic and volume of purchases has kept those losses down. And, the student savings are significant. According to Cliff Hicks, our Bookstore manager, “Students who are enrolled in the [alternative] education resource classes this quarter have saved $93,519! (Compared to the new cost of the last book that was required for that same class)”. Savings have continued – between Fall 2015 and Winter 2016, LCC is calculating a student savings of almost $208,000.
Students in the classes that used AER textbooks from our bookstore were asked to complete a short survey on how well these texts worked for them. We only got responses from 6 of the classes, but they were quite conclusive:
How did the cost of materials for this class compare with the cost of materials in other classes you have taken?
Compared with the course material in your other classes, how helpful was this course material?
42 more helpful
6 less helpful
How far into the quarter was it before you were able to access a copy of the course material in this class?
109 start of quarter
11 2 weeks in
5 more than 2 weeks in
Given the opportunity, would you take a class with open resources again?
How important to you is the cost of textbooks?
101 very important
20 somewhat important
4 not important.
According to our students, then, AER textbooks were at least as helpful as commercial ones, cost less, were available earlier in the quarter, and 100% of students said, yes, they would do this again.