Leslie has just covered the LAUNC-CH keynote address, so I will turn to concurrent sessions I attended.
“The Library Stories Project: Capturing and Promoting Everyday Innovation at the NCSU Libraries” was presented by Kim Duckett, Anne Burke, and Jason Evans Groth. This project, which has been going on for about a year, has been an attempt to capture and to share stories of innovation and collaboration across a range of activities in the university’s libraries: learning, teaching, and research. The impetus was the awareness that much of what librarians do happens—and then the evidence disappears. The Stories Project is staff-driven, and library staff serve as the on-the-ground reporters, capturing and promoting stories that highlight collaborations among various user groups. Staff created a process to capture and to promote stories, and the result has been a library-wide effort focusing on non-routine, after-the-fact, media-rich accounts, written for all. Stories vary in length, use of media, library departments represented, user communities represented, and types of engagement. For example, one such story has been a project by graduate students to interpret the State of History at NC State. It is a graduate level history class to build a digital history project using images from the libraries’ collections.
The lessons from this project? People want to share stories; one cannot meet every need; editorial role and workflow are important; and good visuals make the story.
Another afternoon session, “Does Forcing Students to Ask for Help Work? Assessing the Effect of Requiring Term Paper Consultations,” presented by Stephanie Brown and Lynne Jones of UNC-Chapel Hill, was a useful session that addressed a common problem in public services departments. The focus was a Journalism course on media management and policy, and the challenge was the typical problem of how to get students to come to librarians for assistance with their research projects. Extra credit? Cajoling? The course professor and librarians decided to require students to come, which made all the difference: 76-83% came for research assistance. After going through IRB, librarians assessed students and the initiative. Students said that they had found the consultations helpful for finding relevant articles, clarifying their topics, and for writing their papers. 100% said that they were likely or very likely to meet with a librarian in the future. The desired effect!