Library Staff Papers and Publications

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Evaluating Reference Consultations in the Academic Library

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-11-02
Abstract: 

In 2015, McGill University Library undertook a project to investigate, propose, and pilot test a method for evaluating the quality and outcomes of reference consultations. The goal of the project was to gather evidence to demonstrate the importance of reference consultations as part of librarians’ core contributions to the university. The evaluation tool was developed based on input from librarians, users, and a review of the literature. The evaluation was sent out to 98 users during the pilot test period. There were 53 responses to the evaluation tool for a response rate of 54%. Though preliminary, the results of the pilot test can be helpful in determining the usefulness of evaluating reference consultations, and the outcomes of engaging in assessment of this core library service. The results from this project suggest that implementing a tool to evaluate consultations can be used to inform services and to demonstrate the value of the library for research, teaching, and learning.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

The instructional library technician

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-06
Abstract: 

A lightening talk presentation for WILU 2016 looking at the role of library technicians in library instruction.

Document type: 
Conference presentation

Introducing Texture: An Open Source WYSIWYG Javascript Editor for JATS

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-04-26
Abstract: 

Texture is a WYSIWYG editor app that allows users to turn raw content into structured content, and add as much semantic information as needed for the production of scientific publications. Texture is open source software built on top of Substance (http://substance.io), an advanced Javascript content authoring library. While the Substance library is format agnostic, the Texture editor uses JATS XML as a native exchange format. The Substance library that Texture is built on already supports real-time collaborative authoring, and the easy-to-use WYSIWYG interface would make Texture an attractive alternative to Google Docs. For some editors, the interface could be toggled to more closely resemble a professional XML suite, allowing a user to pop out a raw attribute editor for any given element. Textureauthored documents could then be brought into the journal management system directly, skipping the conversion step, and move straight into a document-centric publishing workflow.

 

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Teaching Open, Social Learning

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-01
Abstract: 

The SFU Library’s new Digital Publishing (DP) division is focused on student learning and showcasing their research and writing. This goes beyond a commitment to “openness” to leverage the power of social learning at the university both in and out of the classroom. DP provides instructors with the opportunity to turn student research into course- based journals, and also works directly with students to create student led journals. For course journals, DP installs PKP’s open source Open Journal Systems (OJS) publishing software, creates a course journal for the instructor, who has the students submit their assignments for peer review. For student journals, DP installs OJS and works with student editors to develop their expertise in running their own publications. In both examples, not only do students learn about open source software, open access publishing, and the scholarly communication system, but also about working together to strengthen each other’s work, being part of a journal team, writing for a wider audience, and demonstrating their learning to the world. In this presentation, we’ll briefly outline how this program works, discuss best practices for smooth implementation, and share some results from students who have participated.

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

Neo-liberalism and Institutionalism in the Short Life of TechBC

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-10-31
Abstract: 

The Technical University of British Columbia (1999–2002) has received scant attention in the scholarly literature since it was folded into Simon Fraser University and became SFU’s Surrey branch campus. This article uses neo-liberal and institutional theory to understand the university’s economic mandate and the motivations of the staff and faculty who worked there. TechBC’s legislation and oral history interviews reveal neo-liberal influence in its purpose as an economic driver of the province, academic programs intended to satisfy the high-technology labour market, willingness to collaborate with industry, corporate governance structure, and reduced government funding support. TechBC employees were drawn to working at a startup university, building an interdisciplinary curriculum, and employing new online teaching and learning methods. TechBC’s institutional logic of non-conformity and its aspirations to transform the university experience accounts for its community’s positive memories of the short-lived university.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Pivot: Reconfiguring Information Literacy Instruction Space to Engage Students

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-05-30
Abstract: 

One-shot information literacy instruction sessions are widely recognized as some of the most important, yet tedious and uninspiring hours of an undergraduate’s life (Schiller, 2008). Many LIS studies have looked at ways to devise new active learning pedagogical methods in an effort to authentically engage students in these sessions (Hanz & Lange, 2013; Klipfel, 2014; Smith, 2004). While these studies are brimming with creative solutions to a plethora of problems, they tend to overlook one of the most basic elements of instructional sessions: classroom configuration. Those studies that do focus on classroom configuration and instructional space often approach the problem as one to be addressed by new technologies or extensive renovation (Beard & Dale, 2010; Gurzynski Weiss, Long, & Solon, 2015; Weaver, 2006). However, this need not be the case. Information literacy instruction sessions can be improved using existing technology in regular classrooms or computer labs. In autumn 2015, a project was initiated to compare the effectiveness of three different information literacy instruction classroom configurations at a Canadian comprehensive university. Building on the work of Julian (2013), the goal of this project was to bring classroom configuration and pedagogy together in an effort to illustrate the impact of incorporating authentic engagement activities to information literacy instruction sessions. This presentation will include a review of the existing literature, a description of the action research methods, and strategies for incorporating authentic engagement activities.

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

Consultants in Academic Libraries: Challenging, Renewing, and Extending the Dialogue

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018
Abstract: 

There is a trend in academic libraries to hire consultants for internal crises, change management projects, strategic planning processes, outcomes assessment, evidence-based decision making, information literacy instruction, and more. Although we hear informally about the use of consultants in academic libraries, the practice has gone unexamined. We employ a historical and linguistic analysis of consultants in academic libraries, using a critical framework for this research. A critical perspective provides a structure to discuss issues that librarians may not have been able to previously fit into library practice dialogue. A chronological history of consulting in libraries acts as our literature review. This review, along with a targeted examination of library and information science resources, is used to guide two lines of linguistic analysis. The first provides a critique of the core tenets used to define and characterize library consultants, namely, the claim that consultants are unbiased professionals who bring “expertise” and “fresh” ideas to libraries. The second analysis investigates the rhetorical strategies used in existing texts: polarizing language, straw man reasoning, and figurative and indirect language. The discussion section unpacks these linguistic strategies, reflects on what is missing from the texts, and considers how knowledge and power are exerted through language, making connections to the broader context of neoliberalism.

Document type: 
Article

On the Disparity Between What We Say and What We Do in Libraries

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017
Abstract: 

Uses Keller Easterling's concept of infrastructure space to probe the discrepancies between what we state to be our core purpose and values and what we do in libraries.

Document type: 
Book chapter
File(s): 

Inserting librarians into the Canadian oral history conversation

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-10-06
Abstract: 

Canadian archivists played prominent roles in collecting, preserving, and conducting oral history interviews as early as recording technology allowed interviews to be recorded. This conference paper discusses archivists' involvement in the early days of Canadian oral history, the debates they held regarding their engagement, and some implications that their activity has had. Academics currently dominate the field in Canada; however, librarians are poised to have a stronger presence in the future. Librarians have begun to engage as both interviewers and supporters of oral history practice: they are initiating projects as well as providing digital repositories, equipment, and makerspaces. 

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

An Examination of Oral History and Archival Practices among Graduate Students in Select Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-04-05
Abstract: 

Preserving oral history interviews is an important aspect of oral history practice. This article examines a sample of theses published by Canadian graduate students and asks two questions: first, how many researchers who conducted oral histories archived their interviews; second, how many researchers consulted oral history interviews as a secondary data source? Thirty-six theses from five universities were examined. 81% of the theses applied oral history as a methodology; 41% examined oral history interviews previously recorded; 22% conducted original interviews in addition to consulting previously recorded interviews. The archival rate of original interviews was 28%. Possible reasons for the low archival rate are discussed. Recent Tri-Agency funding agencies requiring Canadian scholars to adhere to new open access policies could result in higher preservation rates of oral history interviews

Document type: 
Article