Spring 2015 CLAMS Conference Overview

by Andrea Gillaspy-Steinhilper, Lower Columbia College.

Congratulations all 82 of you people who made it to the Spring 2015 CLAMS conference in Elegant Everett Washington. The weather cooperated, the college cooperated, and our presenters cooperated to make it a wonderful session.

We began with a  pre-conference from ExLibris, featuring Tony Gibbons, our new Program manager for the migration from whatever existing ILS we have to Alma/Primo.  Tony’s goal is to make sure we feel comfortable with the product we are offering our students and our campus.  As a librarian in a previous existence, has worked with ILS migration from both the vendor and the librarian perspective, and will do his best to help us.

The “official” conference began with a presentation from Joe Tennis (University of Washington)  on how our use of words and descriptors changes the way we think and learn about the information we get.  The conference ended with a presentation from Bridget Nowlin (Cornish College) on how we learn and understand what we see from images.  Between them, we understand that both words AND images are essential to our understanding, and to how our students will understand and internalize what they learn.

Brenda Peterson spoke with us about memoirs, sea animals, and how we live in the world with them, and led us on an exploration of our beginnings as librarians.  More information on her presentation is in our article by Esther Sunde.

Friday offered us two presentations on the nuts and bolts of library presentations. In the first one,  Librarian Heather Uhl and Instructor Deborah Murphey demonstrated how they teach information literacy in an English 102 course, including flipping the classroom so only two sessions with Heather led to thorough research experience for the students.  An essential component for both Heather and Deborah was that the student pick something of interest to them, rather than from a canned list – and find the level of information that would address their questions.  (This image is from their slide presentation).

The second “nuts and bolts” presentation was from Kevin Seeber of Colorado State University.  He discussed his – and our – less fruitful workshops – and his route to a more meaningful workshop which actually led students to think.  He has students consider how much editing, time, reviewing, how many words, and other categories go into everything from tweets to scholarly articles.  Given that consideration, students need to decide what is the most useful kind of material for any given need.  He offered us links to his presentation.

This excellent conference gave us all great ideas to bring home to our colleges.

2015 Membership Meeting Update

A few unofficial notes from the Business meeting:

We did create a new position of Communications Officer – this is the person responsible for the newsletter and for promoting CLAMS events and activities.

Elections were held for new officers, and the 2015-2016 Executive Board includes:

  • Quill West, President
  • Heath Davis, President-elect.
  • Amy Herman, Communications Officer.
  • Traci Taylor, Secretary.
  • Leslie Potter-Henderson, Treasurer.
  • Teresa Jones, Past President.
  • Rowena McKernan, Web Developer

A Fall CLAMS business meeting will be held at the ACRL-WA Fall meeting in Pack Forest.

Next Spring we expect to have a CLAMS meeting in Bellevue – but the date may be different.  New President Quill will send out a survey to determine the best month for the membership.

meeting picture
“Meeting Outside” by Office Now is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Libraries as Natural Ecosystem and Portal to Other Worlds

By Esther Sunde

West Seattle author, Brenda Peterson, is a nature writer, memoirist, novelist, and writing teacher. She feels that it’s fitting to think of libraries as ecosystems made up of diverse interactive communities where the books are living organisms and we work to ensure that the future is nurtured and sustainable. Books and stories are alive and we are changing ourselves and the community as we read.

Peterson talked to CLAMS members about how her childhood experiences with a librarian shaped her life. Peterson grew up Southern Baptist, yet her grandmother in Missouri sent her to the library every summer and the librarian got her hooked on reading. Peterson credits the book A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, with sparking her imagination and inspiring her to tell stories. The librarian assured Peterson that it was okay to be different from others and encouraged Peterson to be her own person. Peterson was also influenced by growing up in Colorado, where her father worked for the National Park Service, and having many opportunities to interact with nature. She shared with the group about her passion for the marine environment and marine mammals. Peterson is the founder of Seal Sitters, http://www.sealsitters.org

Peterson has written a number of books including Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals, I Want to Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth, Animal Heart and Leopard and Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups. In 2012 Peterson self-published the young adult science-fiction novel, Drowning World, a book which ties together her love of nature and storytelling. The highly original plot contains shape-shifters and dolphins, a love story between a human boy and a mermaid, and a concern for the environment. Peter believes that kids today feel a lot of despair, and wrote this book to give them hope for the future.

Everyone attending the CLAMS conference received a copy of Peterson’s book on memoir-writing, Your Life is a Book. She had participants complete a short writing prompt that she uses with her students in which people worked together in small groups and shared either their first contact with a library or one scene that describes their whole life as a librarian. Many beautiful and interesting stories were told, and a number of them were shared with the entire group.

Becoming a Librarian

2 stories:

  • Muggs Mills “How I Became a Librarian”; and
  • Barbara Oldham “My First Library”.

How I Became a Librarian, by Muggs Mills, Skagit

When I was in 6th grade a local politician came to speak to my class.  I asked him a question about something I read in the paper.  Turns out, it was kind of a controversial subject. (Also turns out most 6th graders don’t read the newspaper like I did.) The politician laughed a bit nervously and said that I should be a reporter.  I snapped back that I was going to be a reporter.  And that was my goal for the next several years.  I was both a reporter and editor of my junior and  high school papers.  (By the way, the politician was arrested years later for shoplifting. I knew he was sneaky.)

When I was a junior in college, I suddenly had a revelation that I DID NOT WANT TO BE A REPORTER.  How could this be?  It had been my plan for seemingly my entire life.  So, I did the only thing I could think of.  With dramatic flair, I took to my bed for a weekend.   My roommates came into the room and tried to get me to get up.  My boyfriend came in and tried to coax me out.  In a very Marlena Dietrich fashion, I told them “I just want to be alone!”

Finally, my roommate and best friend, Jan said, “You are always reading; why don’t you become a librarian?”  I looked up at her.  I pondered.  I thought, “What does a librarian do?”  Hmm, this is something to think about.  So, I got up and dressed (and bathed) and went to the library where I found a print copy of Occupational Outlook Handbook in the reference collection.  I looked up librarian. Oh my gosh, I think I did a happy dance right there in the reference collection at McIntyre Library at UW- Eau Claire!  I thought, this is it, I AM A LIBRARIAN.  Some of my favorite reporting activities were listed right there.  I was going to get to do research and select new books – heaven.  Luckily, my university had a minor in library science.  I graduated with my journalism degree, minor in library science and headed off to UW- Madison for my MLIS.  I have been able to use my journalism background in every library I have ever worked in and I have been thankful to my roommate for her off the cuff remark ever since.

My First Library,   by Barbara Oldham, Wenatchee Valley

When I was a kid we moved to a different city every 4-5 years.  Still, one of the first things my mom would do is take us all to the library and get us a library card. When I was 10 we moved (again) this time, to a house with a large garage.   There was a space in the garage up above the garage door that you could climb up to – a private place.  I decided to turn it into a library for the kids in the neighborhood. We’d collect books – they could borrow them and bring them back “when they were done with them.”  That was my first foray into librarianship.

Better Films on Demand in Canvas

by Lily Kun, South Puget Sound Community College.

South Puget Sound just implemented an  LTI app for Films on Demand into Canvas. Basically, this will allow faculty to search for and embed FOD videos into the Canvas classroom without leaving Canvas. Best of all, once the videos are embedded in Canvas, students can watch it in Canvas without needing to login to FOD to access it. Works great!

Here’s a video tutorial we made to show faculty how to use it:

College Library Meet Up Group

Join Us for the New WA College Library Meet Up Group

by Caroline Conley, Shoreline Community College and Deb Moore, Highline College.
What: WA College Library Meet Up. We’re aiming to meet once a quarter at someone’s college and talk about a topic of interest to us. The topic we talked about at our first meeting was the new ACRL IL framework, but we could work on any topic that’s proposed.

When: We’re starting with 3 meet ups a year, one per quarter. The first one will be at my college (Shoreline) in the fall, probably in late October or early November.

How: Deb became my outside-institution mentor my first year of tenure at Shoreline. Our colleague set us up so we could get heavy, deep, and real regarding Information Literacy.  We’ve been trying to get together once a quarter since then to talk about whatever had meaning for our work. It’s been inspiring and revealing to get a slightly different perspective on the work I do from someone who works at another school. There are many similarities and differences in our work that make it beneficial and effortless to make great connections in my thinking. Now we want to widen and strengthen those connections with WA College Library Meet Up!

Caroline Conley, Shoreline Community College

Why: A few years ago, Caroline and I started meeting to talk about information literacy and all things related, and it’s been so helpful to have someone to talk things over with. When I lived in Southern California, I belonged to a group of librarians that would get together periodically to discuss current issues, articles we’d been reading, and new things we were working on or thinking about working on. I mentioned this group to Caroline, and we decided it would be nice to expand our partnership into a group.

Who: Reaching out to our CLAMS community is the natural starting place, so we invite any of you who are interested to join us for these group meetings.

Where: Watch for a fall 2015 meeting announcement to be held at Shoreline Community College, but after that we hope to come to a college near you too.

Deb Moore, Highline College

Building Bridges Conference, March 12-13, 2015.   

The aim of this conference was to Build Bridges between educators and technologists. There were some wonderful presentations on using technology to maximize student success.

by Barbara Oldham, Wenatchee Valley College

Recently I attended the 1st annual Building Bridges Washington State Higher Education Technology Conference. According to the website there were conference participants from across the northwest: 4 States, 54 institutions, and over 350 attendees. They have an interactive map to play — it was targeted to “all technology users.” http://www.buildingbridgeswatech.com/  This conference was sponsored in part by Eastern Washington University and The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and I hope there are many more to come.

The aim of this conference was to Build Bridges between educators and technologists.  There were some wonderful presentations on using technology to maximize student success. The first session I attended was called Beyond Portfolios which was all about getting a student to manage their identity online. AJ Barse from Western talked about getting the students early in their professional development to generate an online presence.  In this way, by the time they graduate students can showcase more than their diploma. Having a web-presence is equally as important as a solid resume and cover letter. He reviewed tools and services that technologists and educators can use to help students create their unique online presence. I though it seemed like a good idea.

There were many good sessions presented by librarians, including one from City University of Seattle, talking about how they turned the library into the center of everything, literally. A few sessions showcased 24/7 Ask WA. Chris Ewing from Eastern showed how the classroom in JFK library has been retro-fitted to become a totally wireless teaching environment for BYOD. There were also some sessions on turning your campus into an Open Education Resource campus and saving your student lots of money.

A very interesting concept was presented by EWU, which employs a hybrid model for faculty shared governance of IT resources.  Both faculty and administrators engage in direct dialog on IT issues. The hybrid committee that advises the university on technological resources that support scholarly activities at EWU act as a bridge to the rest of campus. The committee has improved communication and buy-in of tech projects.

All in all it was an excellent conference. I highly recommend you look for the 2nd annual Building Bridges Conference and plan on presenting or attending.