On Wednesday, May 28, Joy, Amanda, Kyle, and Kaeley traveled to UNC-Charlotte’s Atkins Library to attend the biannual meeting of NC-LITe. In order to keep from repeating ourselves, this post is combined into one. For those of you who need a refresher on the NC-LITe, this is a biannual “unconference” that brings together college librarians interested in discussing instructional technology uses and ideas. UNC-Charlotte’s librarians were amazing hosts and they provided muffins and coffee when we arrived and they also provided our lunches.
There were ten colleges and universities represented with a total of about 30 librarians in attendance. The day kicked off with introductions and updates from each campus represented. It is fascinating to hear how technologies are being used in classrooms, both face-to-face and online. If you have not checked out NCSU’s newest 3 minute videos, “Picking Your Topic IS Research,” “From Idea to Library,” and “Peer Review in 3 Minutes,” I suggest you take some time to look at them. Appalachian, UNC-Charlotte, and NCSU all reported that they are in the process of combining their service desks into one. NCSU and UNC-Charlotte are also in the process of creating Makerspaces in their libraries. NCSU also has a grant for purchasing ebooks as an alternative to printed textbooks. About an hour of our day was spent listening to the updates from the various campuses.
After the campus updates, we had breakout session to discuss topics such as “Creating Tutorials for Freshmen,” “Using Google Communities & Google Hangout in the Classroom,” and “Creating Makerspaces.” Joy went to the breakout session on Google Communities and Hangouts and in typical “unconference” style, it turns out that none of us had ever looked at Google Communities. We watched the video about it and then a lively discussion ensued that covered everything from speculation about how this tool could be used with book clubs to a tangential discussion of how Google Scholar continues to improve. It was interesting to note that all of the librarians in my group frequently directed students to Google Scholar (if you have not tried it out lately, you should). “Unconferences” are great fun because of the informal ideas that come up such as using Trello for project management work.
After the lunch, there was a round of lightning talks. NCSU talked about a new program that refer to in-house as the “Walk-in Wisdom” program. It builds on the idea of what Hu does with bringing the Library to the students by setting up a table in a dorm lobby and just hanging out. They came up with the idea of a “popup” service station within their library that offers the answer to a specific question. They chose three days in mid-November from 10:00-1:30 and 1:00-2:30 and they located the table in a high traffic area. They hand-drew beautifully designed signs on whiteboards (they only displayed one “offering” at a time): “How to become a Google Scholar Power User,” and “How to get books & articles from Across the Universe with Tripsaver.” Tripsaver is NCSU’s Interlibrary Loan service. It was a big hit and they plan to do it in the future. They attributed the success of the program to the novelty of it and a big bowl of candy also helped lure the students over.
Another interesting lightning talk was presented by Samantha Harlow at High Point University. Samantha is their Media & Digital Resource Librarian and she has made some very helpful LibGuides related to media topics such copyright & visual resources. I especially liked her guide that offers a list of where to go for open source/acceptable images for academic papers and projects. Her guides offer many how-to instruction videos that are also very helpful.
After the meeting, the UNC-Charlotte librarians offered a tour of their Library. It is an impressive space that includes 35 study rooms and some awesome technology like the whiteboard we are posing in front of in the picture at the top of this article.
NC-Lite is always a fun and informative experience, but perhaps its greatest strength comes from having the opportunity to get to know other librarians in our state with similar interests and experiences. If we get approval, we are hoping that ZSR will be hosting NC-LITe in December!!