Ask WA- Mobile Access is Here!

by Nono Burling

As the mother of a recent college grad and a former Community College librarian I’m convinced that most college students are walking around with a phone practically glued to their body. It’s is the tool they go to for almost everything; texting with their friends, taking pictures, using a calculator, checking the time, or their to-do list, you name it it’s all there. So wouldn’t it be nice if we could also be there? Well now there is a way to provide quick and easy 24/7 mobile access to a librarian. Yes I know there’s been an Ask WA app for quite a while but have you used it lately? For me anyway it’s always seems to crash (working on that!). It also assumes that the students want to download one more app and will remember what it’s called. Since QuestionPoint updated the qwidget a few years ago mobile access has been a bit complicated, but not anymore; my personal victory for the week was finally cracking the puzzle.

Here is a spreadsheet that contains the unique URL for each Community College. This can easily be turned into a QR code and plastered anywhere you wish. I fancy temporary tattoos but I’m not sure if the students would go for that. Never made a QR code? It’s easy. The URL will open on a smartphone to fill the screen with a chat box that links right to your library. Here’s a little video to show it in action

You can even take the URL and change it. For example, this is the link for Everett Community College (yours will look identical except for the institution ID):

You could change the color by changing the word “green” to blue, red, black or any of the choices that are available when you make a qwidget. You can make the size smaller or even fill the entire page by changing the word “standard” to small or fill. The link will reflect the choices you’ve made for your qwidget, (title, wait times, requiring an email etc). If you plan to use this link you might want to go in and set those choices. Here is a video that shows how to get there and make those choices.

Then because I love fiddling with this sort of thing AND want to make it as easy as possible to promote Ask WA, I made a few posters on which you can add your QR code. They should print on an 8.5 x11 piece of paper. One even has a Halloween theme.

This summer I’ve been studying the Ask WA “power user” libraries and am planning an online user’s group meeting this fall to share some of the things I’ve learned. Shoreline CC had a highly successful Ask WA marketing campaign last spring. They went from receiving very few questions to receiving more than any other school in the Academic queue during summer quarter. Mike Woods and Deanna Sukkar from Shoreline will join me to share their tips and tricks.

At the CLAMS conference I showed you how Jennifer Rohan from Green River had inserted a link to Ask WA within Primo results. I promised to share the how-to with all of you but there have been technical difficulties along the way. We want to work out all the kinks before we pass the information on. So stay tuned, it hasn’t been forgotten.

Your fearless leader Teresa invited me to come and speak at your fall conference so I hope to see many of you in October. Now get out and enjoy the rest of your summer sunshine.

Don’t Forget the Fall Conference!!

Join us Thursday-Friday, October 16-17, 2014 at Green River Community College, Kent Station Campus, as we:

Delve into the opportunities offered by ALMA;

Explore how we can teach students AND faculty to effectively use PRIMO, and how to overcome some of its quirks;

And, solicit new ideas on what a Library Consortium SHOULD be, as ORCA swims off into the sunset.

Librarians will be presenting their best ideas for teaching, ExLibris will be listening to our questions and explaining answers, and the LLC will be discussing with us what we and they envision for the future.

Stay Posted for registration and information on the Fall Conference!

Digital Directions Conference in Portland, Oregon

Written by: Amanda Cain, Olympic College

The Northeast Document Conservation Center hosted the “Digital Directions: Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections” Conference in Portland, Oregon, July 21st – 23rd. The conference was attended by cultural preservation professionals—archivists, librarians, and curators—from around the country, as well as vendors from a number of digital services. Speakers from institutions including UC Berkeley, NEH, Digital Public Library of America, and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University presented on curation, funding, digitizing, and copyright.

Over the three days, a few recurring themes emerged. Two in particular stood out. 1) Successful, sustainable digitization projects require thorough planning. 2) Institutions need to determine their audience, long-term funding for storage, equipment, and staffing, and the value of a project with regard to their mission so they can determine if a proposed digitization project is really worth it.

Integrity and durability were also emphasized at the conference. Digital resources are inherently fragile. Digital projects require a series of managed activities that preserve the authenticity of materials and allow for stable, long-term access. Projects should also add value to content. Specifically, content should be fixed, be in a predictable location with a documented chain of custody, be discoverable, and have links to related objects. Conference presenters reiterated that there are no “complete solutions” applications for all the activities associated with digitizing materials, despite what vendors might promise.

Finally, the Northeast Document Conservation Center provides a number of free digital preservation resources.


Library Instruction West

by Dianne Carey, Library Faculty, Olympic College

Library Instruction West 2014 at Portland State University (LOEX) welcomed us on July 23-24, 2014. More than 250 librarians from the US, Canada, and the UK attended. The keynote speaker was Alison Head from the UW Information School and the Executive Director of Project Information Literacy (PIL). She gave a fascinating talk on the research habits of today’s students based on two studies that PIL conducted in 2012 and 2013, and a current study on lifelong learning that will be finished in 2015.

I attended a number of great sessions but there were two that stood out for me. The first was on open education resources given by Jane Secker of the London School of Economics. She talked about two of her projects: DELILA and CoPILOT . DELILA was a project with the University of Birmingham and the London School of Economics which turned existing information literacy objects into OERs. From its beginning in the UK, the librarians moved to CoPILOT, which supports librarians sharing these open resources internationally.

The second was offered by Meredith Farkas of Portland State University on using survey software used to create tutorials and do assessment. She had a dozen creative ideas on how to capitalize on the sophisticated features of survey software. In addition, she ran down the pros and cons of a number of different free and proprietary programs.

But I will have to say the absolute highlight of the conference was our dinner cruise aboard the Portland Spirit along the Willamette from Portland to Lake Oswego and back! The 2016 Library Instruction West will be held in Salt Lake City.

Also see News and Updates for presentations from our own CLAMS librarians at Library Instruction West 2014.

OER Summit June 3-5, 2014

by Andrea GillaspySteinhilper

[OER.  SugarLabs remix of UNESCO OER logo, accessed 18 August 2014 from Open_Educational_Resources
The OER Summit in Portland was designed as a set of working sessions to move colleges further along the OER path.  There were sessions on Institutional Policy, Faculty Involvement, Librarians, and Economic Models.   Each group was to come up with selling points for OER which could be applied across institutions, and possibly strategies or plans to be further developed after the conference.  

The group on Institutional Policy tried to identify boilerplate language to use as an OER policy, but more successfully had recommendations, notably to give faculty the same stipend for conversion to OER that they might give for conversion to an online course.  They also had many talking points on why OER are essential in todays schools (such as, increasing access to education; advancing and transforming the processes of teaching and learning). In addition, schools getting military funding ( and Tidewater is one of these) are not ALLOWED by the federal government to charge for their textbooks – they MUST go OER.  

The Faculty group suggested an OER sabbatical.  They also pointed out that when a course is marked as OER, enrollment skyrockets, as students know they won’t have to pay for a textbook.  

The Economic group pointed out that OER helps the school just as much as the bookstore payback, because more students complete courses if they are OER, and more students enroll for OER courses.  One school system (Tidewater, in Virginia), has initiated a “Z-Degree” (for zero cost), and their economics show that the increased tuition revenue is higher than the cost of providing the OER Z-degree.  

And, finally, the Librarians said that while we want to do everything, we have limited staff.  To deal with this problem, we thought that as collections move digitally, we can transform collection development people into folks who look for OER, and re-imagine catalogers into people who classify the OER.  Several librarians talked about developing a course to teach us ALL a modicum of OER savvy, similar to Boyoung Chae’s course.  SPARC has a section devoted to OER, headed by Nicole Allen, and she has made a google group/listserve on OER.  In addition, Nicole is working to bring OER exhibits to colleges across the country.  

This was a very worthwhile conference.  OER is booming around the country.   

Around the State – News and Updates from Community & Technical College Libraries

Bates Technical College (submitted by Jennie Vano):   

Librarian Sue Schub retired from Bates on June 30th after 10 years of service to the college. We welcomed Chelsea Nesvig as our substitute librarian on July 1. We hope that Chelsea will be working at the Downtown Campus until the Downtown Librarian position is filled.

Bates Technical College broke ground this summer on a new building at the Central Campus. The new building will house several career training programs, student services and a library – a first for that campus. The building is expected to be open late in 2015.

UW Bothell/Cascadia Community College (submitted by Nia Lam):

UWB/CCC Campus Library staff Althea Eannance Lazzaro, Shardé Mills, Tami Garrard, Emily Ferguson, Megan Watson, and Dave Ellenwood recently wrote an article for the June 2014 issue of C&RL News, “Cultural competency on campus: Applying ACRL’s Diversity Standards.” The article describes the Campus Library Diversity Team’s implementation of the ACRL Diversity Standards to diversity trainings and programming at the Library.

In July, several librarians attended the Library Instruction West conference in Portland, OR. Alyssa Berger, Dave Ellenwood, Dani Rowland, and Beth Sanderson presented “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: Seeding Library Instruction with Hip-Hop.” Their presentation described teaching research concepts through hip-hop metaphors, teaching library databases through interpreting/annotating rap lyrics, and teaching critical approaches to copyright using hip-hop examples. Dave Ellenwood, Althea Lazzaro, Sharde Mills, and Megan Watson presented “Opening Our Information Literacy Classrooms to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.” In this presentation, they shared examples of successes and failures designing culturally responsive information literacy sessions and discussed strategies for introducing culturally-grounded participation, problem-solving, and discourse styles into library instruction.

Jackie Belanger was promoted to Associate Librarian and Dave Ellenwood was promoted to Senior Assistant Librarian. Beth Sanderson and Dani Rowland were re-appointed as Senior Assistant Librarians. Kali Stoehr was appointed as full-time temporary Research & Instruction librarian, and joined our team in August.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (submitted by Heath R. Davis):   

The Library – Learning Commons at Lake Washington Institute of Technology has 2 new bachelors programs: Bachelor of Applied Science in Transportation & Logistics Management and Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Health.

Cheyenne Roduin is the new Library Program Coordinator for the Library-Learning Commons.

Skagit Valley College (submitted by Linda Hedrick):  

The Norwood Cole Library at Skagit Valley College is so happy to announce that Elena Bianco is now full-time, tenure track (imagine us all sighing: AT LAST!). Elena has been very busy redesigning our library website, incorporating ExLibris/Primo which we premiered in late August. The new website uses the college’s responsive design template to be more user-friendly for mobile devices.

Skagit Valley College is offering our first four-year degree, a Bachelors of Applied Science in Environmental Conservation. The library worked closely with instruction faculty to ensure students would have needed resources starting Fall Quarter.

New Consortium Will Lay Foundation for Future Collaboration

by Sue Kennedy, Chair, Library Leadership Council

For over a decade, Washington’s community and technical college library deans and directors have been working to implement a shared vision of 21st Century Libraries. The vision statement crafted in 2006: To empower all students with the skills, resources, and services essential to find and use information in a complex and competitive world.

We established goals in three areas: information literacy; digital resources; and access to library collections for students. In the interest of furthering these goals, LMDC approved a statement in 2012 on the adoption of a common integrated library system, which reads in part: Shared services delivered through this partnership will expand opportunities to share resources owned by member libraries, set the stage for cooperative purchasing, bring significant cost and administrative efficiencies, simplify data collection for evidence-based assessment, and improve end-user functionality for students, staff and faculty. A shared ILS will facilitate collaboration among community and technical college staff and faculty.

Since that statement was adopted there has been work toward a statewide option for an ILS. We started a year and a half ago with a day of vendor demonstrations. Our work since that time has resulted in a focused effort. In July 2014 the LLC passed a resolution stating that we are not pursuing a system-wide ILS option outside of a contract addendum with Ex Libris for Alma. Although the work toward Alma is firmly in motion, it became clear that there are two distinct paths of action necessary to reach our vision of 21st century libraries. The ILS is a key part; it also became apparent that forming a new consortium would provide both a philosophical and operational basis for statewide collaboration.

At the LLC summer retreat, we began work on building the framework for the new consortium. We invite your input on the structure (what will eventually become bylaws). A great opportunity for that will be at the CLAMS Conference on October 17th at Green River’s Kent campus. The function of the consortium bylaws will be to establish the purpose, scope, and functional components of the consortium. In driving these efforts, the LLC identified the overarching purpose of the consortium in these well-crafted words: To work cooperatively to achieve common goals, greater efficiencies, and enhanced access to evolving content, services and technology.

The work of the consortium does not revolve solely around shared technology systems. Indeed, the consortium will be an integrated part of LLC, irrespective of the use of Alma. All of the libraries in Washington’s community and technical college system will be part of the consortium. With that said, there are two very important points about this new consortium: 1) It will be the vehicle by which future collaborative efforts will be facilitated, and 2) Flexibility for libraries to take part in collaborative activities is important.

This is exciting work! It has the support of the Instruction Commission and the WACTC technology committee (a committee of the CTC presidents). Together we are building a foundation for a future where we can truly leverage our resources as a system to better serve our students and faculty. The members of the Executive Committees of both LLC and ORCA recognize that a shift to a system perspective will take time, but we have a solid start and strong cohort of early adopters. The new consortium mobilizes our capacity to turn a vision for 21st century libraries into reality.

Library as Open Education Leader (LOEL)

Our grant has been funded! In September, the leadership team for LOEL started planning next steps in a multi-year journey that will help librarians statewide develop our skills in open education planning, development, adoption, and advocacy. The LOEL LSTA grant project, with funding provided by the WA Office of the Secretary of State and IMLS, kicks off on November 7th with a workshop on open education advocacy and planning, at Tacoma Community College. It will offer us a chance to talk all things open, while taking the first steps in completing the annual grant activities. More details, and an agenda, will be available in late September. The grant also invites twenty WA-CTC libraries to apply for mini-grants to develop open education advocacy and promotion plans. In addition, the grant will fund ten subject faculty-librarian partnerships to adopt open courses next spring. We will also spend this year designing a professional development course for librarian open education advocates. Please watch the CLAMS list for more information about the LOEL grant. We’re looking forward to your involvement. For more information about LOEL please contact Quill West,