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Yesterday Mary Beth, Mary Scanlon, Sarah, Kaeley, Barry, and I went to NCSU for an NC-LITe meeting.

from nc-lite

This gathering has evolved quite a bit in the past few years. The first meet up was at UNCG, when Steve Cramer got in touch to see if we wanted to share information about some of the new and interesting work happening at both our libraries. Over time it’s evolved and grown and now includes representatives from NCSU, UNC-Ch, Duke, UNC-G, High Point, and WFU. Each time we get together we experiment with different approaches to the day, but we generally share information about Library Instruction & Technology.

This year’s was the most well attended with about 25 participants. We started the day with a round robin where we heard a bit about what different institutions are up to. UNC-G has created an instructional technology toolkit and a new tutorial, High Point is moving to OCLC Web-scale Management, Duke is about to host a retreat for librarians on data in the classroom, UNC is looking to move from Library à la Carte, NCSU has a new elearning team within their instruction unit and are looking at redoing their tutorial (that I remember taking a version of when I went there!). There was also a theme around new spaces as NCSU has a new building and grant for next generation learning spaces and UNC-G has a new Journal of Learning Spaces. All in all, it was a very informative round robin!

Next up, we heard more in-depth from UNC about their assessment strategies for their library instruction for first year english classes. They have 60-80 session for just these classes, and 4 full time librarians and 10 library school students to teach them. Given the scale, they are able to do a lot of custom training for these classes and want to make sure the experience is similar, so they talked about getting feedback from instructors, the value of qualitative feedback, and how to share the feedback they got. One of the most practically useful tips of the day for me was about an online stickies service. They highlighted how you can use this to get anonymous feedback or in active learning exercises. I look forward to experimenting with it!

UNCG went next, sharing about their PATH tutorial. I am generally not sold on library tutorials in this format unless academic faculty ask for it and build it into their classes. At UNCG, though, that is exactly the case. And if you’re going to make a tutorial like this, PATH has all the right elements: multimedia and text, varying quizzes (so you can’t just click each answer until you get it right), information and humor. It’s a really nice product. They also addressed possible ways to improve it over time. And since faculty have requested this, there is a way to email a professor after you’ve completed it (or along the way). This makes it really easy for any professor (think: first year seminars, introductory english, etc) to assign the tutorial as homework at some point in the semester and then they are able to mark the assignment as complete when they get the notification email.

Next up we broke up into groups: one on technology lending, one on teaching, and one on spaces. I was torn between the first two, and when I saw how big the teaching group was I went with technology lending. Maybe others who attended can speak up to the other group discussions. Barry and I were part of a small group that included someone from UNCG, High Point, and NCSU. We talked about using data (often quantitative from circulation records) to make decisions about technology purchases, about ebooks (together andseparatefrom readers), and the future of the book. The future of the book was about multimedia and text blurring with Our Choice as an example (thanks for the tip, Kevin!):

Al Gore’s Our Choice from Push Pop Press on Vimeo.

We stayed for a late lunch, but had to miss the technology tour to be back by 5:00 for various obligations. It was a great day and NCSU did a great job hosting. We’re up next, and they set the bar high!!