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CLAMS Newsletter

2014 Spring Conference Notes

posted Jun 12, 2014, 8:01 PM by Rowena McKernan   [ updated Jun 13, 2014, 12:03 PM by Ben DeCrease ]

By Andrea Gillaspy from Lower Columbia College


Quick Thoughts, from Bellingham Technical College – they got a grant for digital literacy, which has allowed them to create a suite of 1-shot courses for the business community, as well as for community users, students and faculty.  This suite of 1-shot courses includes:  collaborating tools (hangouts, skype, elluminate), cloud drives (drive.google, skydrive), cloud word processing (docs.google and others), MSIT and several other options.  They created a libguide specifically for this digital literacy program http://btc.ctc.libguides.com/content.php?pid=594450.  They have GOOD publicity, including the campus reader boards.


Whatcom CC was looking to redesign their library, so they put a whiteboard near the circulation desk with two questions:  Why are you here?  and What do we need to help you better?  They got a lot of good advice, and acted on it to rearrange their library. Takeaway- no matter what you THINK they want, the best way to find out what your students need is to ASK them. 


Keynote Speaker  Andrew Hersh Tudor spoke about Primo and Alma implementation.  History is required here:  20 years ago, the ctcs decided to go together to purchase Voyager, and share the technical slupport for the individual systems they would be running.  The shared support agency was ORCA.  LCC did not buy into this.  Since that time, library automation systems have moved on, and are primarily cloud based.  Voyager is out of date.  The LMDC (changed its name, LLC) would like to get a new statewide system.  There are some matching funds, if they do this quickly enough.

A system has been tentatively selected.  Instead of Voyager, it will probably  be ALMA.

However, one thing everyone looks for now is a simple search engine – rather than look in the catalog for books, the database for articles, another database for films, let’s get it all together. This is called “single search”.  Several places offer this.  This search place sits “on top” of the catalog or library automation system.  Hopefully, it can find items in your catalog system, in your databases, and pull them all together.

This simple search engine has also been selected.  It is called PRIMO.  Implementation of Primo came first, and several libraries already have PRIMO.  They are having trouble with it.  Some places have more trouble than others.  The students do not have as much trouble as the librarians, who know what they want it to do, and it may not do that.

Andrew’s presentation focused on helping us to clearly see the problem, and consider ways to work towards a solution.  He brought us tools including – identifying whether something is a problem or not,  reframing the way you look at the issue, the way you interact with other people about the issue.


Information Literacy as a Core Learning Ability:  Two librarians (Sally Sheedy, Kiki Tommila) from Whatcom talked about how they got their school to identify Information literacy, along with critical thinking, numeracy, communication, and global awareness, as Core Learning Abilities to be assessed campus-wide.  Information Literacy is the FIRST of their 5 core learning abilities.  Big steps on their route to establishing information literacy were:  getting involved in the Assessment Committee, getting on the Curriculum Committee, and having the pre-existing statewide and ACRL information competencies we have been developing  for 8 years. 

Keynote by Andrew Hersh-Tudor

posted Jun 12, 2014, 8:01 PM by Rowena McKernan

"Librarians have been campus change leaders for decades. They were among the first professionals to use computer networks to provide access to information. Where did computers, fax machines, CD-ROM drives, scanners and digital cameras make their first appearance on many campuses? The library! What is it about librarians that make them seek, use and refine new technologies? What does the app-wielding librarian of today have in common with the ProQuest-on-CD-ROM librarian of yesterday, and how can we ensure that we'll continue to provide that (whatever it is) to our colleges in the future?"

National Network of Libraries of Medicine

posted Jun 12, 2014, 7:58 PM by Rowena McKernan   [ updated Jun 13, 2014, 12:01 PM by Ben DeCrease ]

By Patricia Devine ~ NNLM-PNW Region Health Sciences Library and Information Center

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, which is part of the National Library of Medicine, is working to enhance outreach to community college librarians and the audiences they serve. We recognize the important role community colleges play in training the allied health and nursing workforce, and we wish to highlight the National Library of Medicine's free resources through training, funding and collaboration.

See our web site for more information, and consider applying for one of our funding awards in our next funding cycle, which will be announced in Fall 2014. We offer a Technology Improvement Award, "To enhance the capacity of a library or community organization to offer electronic health information services by supporting the purchase, installation, and/or upgrading of hardware and software":

We also offer a Health Information Services Award, "To support projects that promote the value of health information services":

In addition there is an Assessment and Planning Award available "To support activities that identify and learn about a potential health information outreach audience including demographics, information needs, and community resources or assets." To learn more about the National Library of Medicine's resources, attend the session I am presenting at the CLAMS meeting about using PubMed to find nursing research articles, and other free NLM resources for libraries, health professionals, and patient education.

C’est fantastique! Impressions of Ex Libris’ 2014 Technical Seminar

posted Jun 12, 2014, 7:58 PM by Rowena McKernan   [ updated Jun 13, 2014, 11:25 AM by Ben DeCrease ]

By Heather Jean Uhl  ~ Everett Community College


I was fortunate to attend the 2013 CLAMS conference, otherwise I wouldn’t have heard Dale Burke’s enthusiastic recount of the 2013 ELUNA conference. I’m relatively new to my institution and it’s been a while since I’ve used the Voyager integrated library system. Encouraged by the promise of, “Hands-on training from… developers, trainers and product experts,” I applied for and received a grant from EvCC’s Faculty Development Grant Committee to attend Ex Libris’ Technical Seminar in Montreal, Canada. Held Monday, April 28 and Tuesday, April 29 at the historic Reine Elizabeth Fairmont Hotel as a precursor to the ELUNA conference; Technical Seminar did not disappoint.

EvCC was in the first cohort of ORCA libraries to implement Primo in the 2013-14 academic year. While I’m not a systems librarian, because of my experience with integrated library systems and MARC I partner with our IT specialist to troubleshoot display issues in our OPAC and now in Primo. In hopes of better supporting this work, the first session I attended was on Voyager/Primo Interaction. Presented by Paul McBride, Primo Support Analyst, and Amy Rood, Voyager Senior Support Analyst, the session was a factual whirlwind describing how to get data out of Voyager and into Primo. Full disclosure: I might sound tech savvy, but most of the material flew right over my head. None-the-less, I had serious a-ha moments!

I now have a better understanding of how MARC data is harvested; restructured into MARC XML, and piped into Primo Normalized XML (PNX), the record structure used to display information in Primo. That alone made the session worthwhile. However, the most important thing I took away from this session was a different perspective on Primo. For a while I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around the difference between discovery layers like Primo and OPACs like WebVoyage. In a lateral satori moment, I had my most significant a-ha moment regarding this quandary in the Voyager/Primo interaction session. Funny that it came in the form of an SAT analogy. Our catalog records are to the OPAC what citations are to a periodical database. We still need the OPAC to support our catalog because there are some things that Primo can’t do, such as class reserves. Primo doesn’t replace the OPAC, it’s meant to supplement it.

What good then is Primo? Primo supports what I’m beginning to think of as exploratory searching, which is information seeking behavior we all experience at the beginning of a research project. Being able to get a sense of what is available on a topic in all formats can be extremely helpful for exploring possibilities. This is the strength and the benefit of discovery layers like Primo. Instead of having to search several separate databases, discovery layers provide patrons with a single interface in which they can discover many resources in multiple formats. The discover layer links the patron out to the original databases that hold those resources where richer interfaces provide more description and better access. I’m intrigued by the implications this holds for information literacy instruction.

This shift in thinking turned my mind to another quandary. In the past I have been reluctant to upload MARC records for our eBooks and streaming videos subscriptions directly into our catalog for fear of overwhelming our permanent collection. However, it seems such a shame, because it would be extremely helpful to patrons have that information integrated and discoverable. Upon seeing in this session how easily outside sources of data can be harvested, normalized, and piped into Primo, I was delighted by the prospect of using Primo to make these resources discoverable. Furthermore, Primo partners with many existing vendors, so it may be as simple as turning the collection on rather than importing it from outside. I’m currently working with our IT Specialist to pursue this possibility.

Another fascinating session I attended was EDI vs. EOD for order management, led by Donna Smith, Implementation and Training Consultant. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a function that exists inside the Voyager Acquisitions module. It can be used to send order data directly from Voyager to a vendor. Instead of duplicating work by setting up an order in a vendor’s online module, then having to create it again in Voyager, you can achieve both at the same time. Furthermore, the burden of manual entry can be lessened by using the subsequent embedded order data (EOD). Vendors will respond to these communications with EOD files, which include POs, bib records, and even invoice data. With a bit of set-up you can use bulk import to automatically create POs and their associated bib records without manual entry. This process is also scalable, and can be used for both small and large orders.

Split into two parts, the first session overviewed EDI/EOD possibilities in Voyager acquisitions. The second part was a brainstorming and discussion session. As a group we were able to pose and talk through various scenarios exploring the uses of EDI and EOD. The way this session was set up is exactly why Technical Seminar is so valuable. The seminars invite peer/trainer collaboration and conversation to build knowledge that supports problem solving. As a first time attendee it was so very refreshing to see a conference dedicated to practical skill building rather than over-reaching theory.

As a technical services librarian this kind of interaction is true nourishment for professional practice. If you’ve never been to Technical Seminar I urge you to go. I’m completely sold on Ex Libris’ Technical Seminar. I hope to attend again next year, and this time perhaps I can stay longer for the rest of the ELUNA conference. Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you there? ^_^

Introducing our 2014 Scholarship Winner, Shardé Milles !!

posted Jun 12, 2014, 7:46 PM by Rowena McKernan   [ updated Jun 13, 2014, 11:59 AM by Ben DeCrease ]

By: Shardé Milles

This is my first year as a professional librarian working at a community college and university. One of my main goals and contributions this year has been growing as an instructor, in order to provide quality resources and skills to students. I have really been thinking about the integration of the library and information literacy into various phases of the students’ education and beyond. For instance, within the first quarter of starting my position I created a video tutorial http://libguides.uwb.edu/content.php?pid=344737&sid=4730891 specifically for new students who have never used an academic library before.

The video introduced library resources and services, while highlighting the most pertinent information for them as new students. Not only was this video something they could refer back to on a regular basis, it allowed more time in the classroom for active learning and hands on research. Ultimately I think the community college plays a unique and essential role in helping all users become information literate individuals, inside and outside of the classroom. My contributions to their education help them achieve this goal and apply it in all facets of their lives.

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