In the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to attend two conferences – one in Savannah and one a little closer to home.

Over September 27-29, I attended the Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy, which was held at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah. I was originally supposed to attend this conference last year, but it was cancelled because of Hurricane Irma. Thankfully, hurricanes didn’t affect this year’s conference, so I was able to present with my former colleagues from High Point University on our longitudinal study into how students understand research. A few sessions I’ll highlight:

The second conference that I attended was at Wake Downtown – the Entrepreneurial Librarians Conference. I had the honor of being asked to serve on this year’s planning committee, so I was stationed in one of the rooms throughout the conference and heard several great presentations. I was also busy making sure all of our food got set up, so I’m also thankful that the keynotes were recorded and that the slides from all the presentations are being made available on the conference website! Check it out if you haven’t already! A few sessions I’ll highlight:

  • “Designing Better Partnerships for Student Success” -Joan Ruelle, Elon & David Woodbury, NC State
    • Ruelle shared about the recent addition added to Belk Library, the Koenigsberger Learning Center, and the overall redesign of the space that has brought in the Learning Assistance Center, Academic Advising, and Disability Resources. Through intentionally partnering and communicating with these groups, they were able to gain more seats and more study space. Rather than marking out clear boundaries for each area, their goal has been to blur those lines so that it doesn’t matter where in the building the student is, they can get the help they need. She did share some of the challenges they’ve encountered about what to call the building, and how to define the library building and the library as a conceptual unit, but overall, this seems to have had an overall positive impact on campus.
    • The space that Woodbury talked about hasn’t actually been built yet. The new Academic Success Center will be opening in NC State’s Hill Library in 2020, and will house members of the Division of Student and Academic Affairs, including the Writing Center, Tutoring Center, Office of Undergraduate Research, and Career Development Center. Woodbury shared about their information gathering and planning ahead of building this space. Their service philosophy has been the driving force behind the planning process, and they have created a liaison model to establish partnerships and lines of communication with different units across campus.
  • “Content Liberation! How Increasing the Institutional Repository Content Turned into Faculty Outreach Services” – Jennifer Solomon & Rebekah Kati, UNC-CH
    • Solomon is the Open Access Librarian at UNC-CH, and Kati is the Institutional Repository Librarian. They shared about their efforts to increase the number of materials held in the Carolina Digital Repository. In 2016, UNC-CH faculty passed a resolution to endorse Open Access, and both Solomon and Kati were brought in to support that effort. (I’m sure Molly could tell us lots more about this!) They developed 3 approaches to bring in more content. 1) They used the Clarivate Analytics’ Highly Cited list to identify UNC-CH authors and their highly cited articles and worked to bring those into CDR. 2) They gathered author citations by setting alerts in databases and Google Scholar and used Zotero to capture the metadata for those articles to determine candidates for the CDR. 3) Both #1 & 2 were primarily focused on STM faculty, and could be completed without really interacting with them, so this approach involved working with humanities and social science faculty to gather their CVs and conduct an OA analysis. They discovered that this worked well as a 1-1 outreach tool, particularly with new faculty. From all 3 projects, they learned that faculty are confused about OA, and that they can’t count on people to self-deposit. They’re working on a new OA marketing campaign and will be launching a new IR platform. I was impressed by this commitment to OA and the work that both librarians have done to make the scholarship produced at their institution more widely available.
  • “Capturing Gray Literature for the Institutional Repository” – Lee Richardson & Barbara Rochen Renner, UNC-CH
    • This was the second half of the paired presentation above, and it revolved around capturing research posters created by graduate students in the Occupational Therapy program and archiving them in the CDR. The presenters shared about the initial challenges of getting non-article content into the CDR, as well as getting deposit agreements from students. In addition to the CDR, the posters are also up on a WordPress site, which is better for displaying them. This site has served as a marketing tool for the Allied Health program, as a way for students to link to their work for their e-portfolios, and as inspiration for future research. Richardson is now working with other programs in Allied Health to deposit their students’ research posters and to deposit other forms of grey literature, including faculty posters, capstone papers, and research materials. Since I talk about grey literature with my students, this is a great example that I could share with them.

I really enjoyed my first EntreLib Conference, and I’m thankful that most of our attendees and presenters were able to be there, despite the effects of the recent hurricane. Thanks to everyone who made this happen!