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I don’t want to repeat the excellent posts of my colleagues, so I’m focusing on sessions that were small, yet very engaging!

In the weeks leading up to ACRL I received emails looking for volunteers for an ACRL focus group and a Lexis/Nexis lunch session to help design a database interface. I jumped on these opportunities and was lucky enough to attend them both.

Due to plane delays on Wednesday, Susan and I arrived at the hotel around 12:45pm. I tossed my luggage in the room and raced to the 1pm ACRL focus group three blocks away. I managed to make it to the session where 9 other non-members of ACRL were participating in a focus group about ACRL and the other organizations Librarians most frequently join. The point was to reveal what we wanted from professional organizations, to discuss why we were members of some organizations and not others, and what would encourage us to join ACRL.

I learned more than I expected in this one-hour session. First, only 4 of us were ALA members, and half of the group belonged to no professional organization. The younger, newer librarians were more likely not to be members and made it clear they were not sure of the value provided by these organizations. They wanted more mentoring, help publishing and help getting on national committees and they wanted it at a lower cost. It was a very enlightening session and the moderator of the focus group did a wonderful job managing the discussion. This session reminded me what a great job ZSR (shout out to the Mentoring Committee!) does mentoring librarians.

On Thursday, I attended something called “The 2013 LexisNexis Academic Innovation Games. Our table of six librarians had a box lunch and used arts and crafts to create our ideal database (see photos). What we created was more of a “Discovery Service” by the time we were done, but we managed to developa three page list of ideas and incorporate them into our design! We wanted a search that was simple at the beginning, but with a smooth transition to more complex options as needed. It was a great exercise and a good way to meet some new people.

Tomorrow I’ll post about some creating a culture of assessment! I’m off to that session now!

list of database features and functionality

list of database features and functionality

Our database

Our database