Keeping Up with the Things that Matter for Academic Libraries


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Would you like to do more to keep pace with the latest developments on the academic, library, user, and technology landscape? Have you assessed how current and emerging technologies and tools could help you enhance this process and be more systematic in your approach? Would you like to identify new content sources and tools to meet your needs? Of course, new current awareness options and capabilities are emerging every day, but trial and error comes at great cost because time is a precious and finite resource.

By refocusing and reinvigorating your keeping up efforts, you can enhance the value that you add for your institution, expand your personal growth potential, and act as an effective advocate and change agent within the library profession.

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  • Good afternoon everyone - I am Mike Diaz, Executive Director of Marketing at ProQuest, and I would like to thank the Charleston Conference for the opportunity to help facilitate a conversation on this critical topic.While access to digital information has continued to increase at an unprecedented rate, staying current is increasingly difficult because it is so hard to filter out critical insight from all of the noise. Of course, new current awareness options and capabilities are emerging every day, but trial and error comes at great cost because time is a precious and finite resource. And it is absolutely the case that in our Keeping Up efforts Something’s Gotta Give!Keeping up with the things that matter is difficult for the entire information community – all of the people who are here at this conference - but in academic libraries I would say that this challenge is particularly acute and the stakes are high.
  • Here is our very simple agenda for today. I will kick off the session with some background and plant some seeds for the discussion.Then you will get some insight from our panel of experts. We will spend the remainder of the time on Q&A. I encourage everyone to participate in this important discussion of best practices in order that our attendees can bring lots of goodideas back to their libraries.
  • One day, in his column From the Bell Tower, Steven Bell was stressing the importance of keeping up for academic librarians as he often does and it immediately struck me that this was an excellent opportunity for a best practices session at Charleston. I assembled a panel of experts that could help drive this discussion.
  • There have been lots of additional conversations that have focused on this topic since then, including a recent post from Wayne-Bivens Tatum from Princeton on his Academic Librarian Blog and an Interview that I did with Steven Bell on my blog InfoViews.
  • Charleston is always takes place at a very influential time for elections so I thought it would be a good time to expand my “keeping up” straw poll which I recently posted on InfoViews.First of all, I would like to see hands raised for those of you who would put your keeping up efforts in the good category. In other words, you usually know about things before your colleagues.Next, I would like you to raise your hand if you would put yourself in the excellent category. In other words, nothing gets by you.I encourage those of you who are most confident to share your best practices, ideas, tools and sources in this session and elsewhere to help everyone in their efforts._____Finally, let’s see a show of hands for those of you who would put yourself in the fair or struggling categories. I hope that you all will come away from this session with some good ideas to enhance your keeping up efforts.
  • If only keeping up and avoiding information overload were so simple!
  • Session ObjectiveThe session objective is to offer a best practices discussion that can help you identify the right tools and sources and develop and execute your own custom keeping up plan. This will help you to ensure that you are gathering the right information and can quickly discern what really matters for you.
  • Couldn’t resist this analogy, which is probably only a “home run” for those of you who just finished following the a very memorable World Series and the recently announced retirement of Tony LaRussa.First and foremost, it is critical for your keeping up efforts to define what you need to do to cover the bases. I offer regular updates on my blog in four areas - libraries, academia, technology and user trends. While covering the bases will definitely look different for all of you depending on your institutions and roles, this could at least provide a place to start.
  • As you continue to refine and streamline your keeping up efforts, be careful not to be hermetically sealed in your own personal “online filter bubble.” It makes perfect sense to focus your keeping up efforts on the sources, ideas, people and perspectives that are most meaningful and valuable for you. But you have to keep in mind that information that gets to you has been further winnowed by customization within social media and other digital tools that now tailor search results, content and updates just for you. The implications of this are explored in depth in a very interesting TED Talk by Eli Parisier. I encourage everyone to take a look at this. Good food for thought in your keeping up efforts.
  • Beyond your comfort zone, you will find new perspectives, fresh ideas, inspiration, and even best practices from a very diverse collection of people and organizations.
  • It is important to assess whether there are certain other types of sources that you are missing that might have real value based upon your objectives. There are lots of areas where you could branch out. The best areas depend upon your interests and what will be most helpful in your current role. Here are just a few that are worth a look….
  • Finally, I wanted to give some of my thoughts regarding tools that are available. You should always continue to search for new tools to enhance your keeping up efforts. All of these tools that I am highlighting for you today are available at no cost.
  • Evernote is my Swiss Army Knife for managing diverse types of information. It also offers easy recall via robust search capabilities and tagging and diverse options for sharing.It allows you to capture your own typed notes, voice notes, handwritten notes, photos, websites, business cards, with easy searching and tags for ready recall.
  • For those of your who are trying to find a better and more seamlessway to manage your information gathering and sharing via social channels, Hootsuite is an extremely valuable tool for seamlessly managing your social media presence. It offers a one-stop shop to access and manage all of your messages and for prescheduling of communications. It is also a great one-stop hub for managing and sharing information for all of your social media channels.
  • FeedDemon is the best tool that I have ever used for monitoring RSS feeds and social communications across diverse channels.It is a local tool which synchs with Google Reader and offers easy sharing of items via a number of channels.You can search for key words in any feed via 10 different channels including Google News, Twitter Feeds, MSN Search and YouTube.You can also get alerts for keywords broadly or by source. It can filter content in or out with particular keywords from each source such as “book review.” You can also tag items for later recall.Don’t forget that you have the opportunity to capture RSS Feeds from your own Library Sources!
  • Here are some suggestions for staying on track, managing time effectively, and staving off information overload, which were recently highlighted in a presentation by Steven Bell.
  • And now, I would like to introduce our panelists. As the Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, Clifford Lynch spends every day on the bleeding edge. Coalition for Networked Information’s wide-ranging agenda includes work in digital preservation, data intensive scholarship, teaching, learning and technology, and infrastructure and standards development. He is one of the world’s most foremost experts at the nexus of libraries, scholarship, teaching, learning and technology.Prior to joining Coalition for Networked Information, he spent 18 years at the University of California Office of the President, the last 10 as Director of Library Automation. Heholds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and is also an adjunct professor at Berkeley’s School of Information. Karen Downing is plays a important, multidimensional role for the libraries of the University of Michigan. She coordinates a team of librarians who provideresearch support for the institution’s executive officers and manages outreach fora wide array of learning communities on campus. She is also the Library's subject specialist for philanthropy, including grantsmanship and foundations. Karen is an Executive at Large for the American Library Association and was a participant on the team from ACRL that created the organization’s environmental scan for academic libraries.John Dupuis is head of the Steacie Science & Engineering Library at York University in Toronto.  Hiscollections and liaison areas include engineering, computer science, earth and space science, information technology, science and technology studies and the Natural Science program.His key topic areas for research writing and presentations are the future of academic libraries, blogging as professional development, and the use of web 2.0 technologies by the academic community, ie scholars and publishers.And now, let me introduce Clifford Lynch who will kick off the panel.
  • Keeping Up with the Things that Matter for Academic Libraries

    1. 1. Keeping Up with the Things That Matter:Current Awareness Tools and Strategies for Academic Libraries Charleston Conference 2011
    2. 2. Agenda  Introduction  Panel  Best practice ideas  Key information sources  Tools and technologies  Q&A
    3. 3. Where it All Began…
    4. 4. Blogs Calling Out Best Practices / bell-keeping-up-with-the-things-that-matter-for-academic- libraries/
    5. 5. Keeping Up – Charleston Conference Straw Poll
    6. 6. Distilling Critical Information from Noise
    7. 7. Covering the Bases Academy Library Tech Users
    8. 8. Careful of your online “Filter Bubble” Eli Parisier TED Talk
    9. 9. Moving Beyond Your Comfort Zone  New perspectives  Fresh ideas  Inspiration  Best practices from unrelated areas
    10. 10. Some Areas to Consider  Leadership/Management  Business  Innovation  Design  Social Media
    11. 11. Evernote
    12. 12. Hootsuite
    13. 13. FeedDemon
    14. 14. Getting Started and Keeping Going  Browse first  Organize info via email (note new capabilities of Gmail)  Use offline browsing  Make it a habit (same time each day)  Create a “keeping up” team  Delete when you must
    15. 15. Our Keeping Up Panel of Experts Clifford Lynch, Executive Director Coalition for Networked Information Karen Downing, Foundation and Grants Librarian University of Michigan John Dupuis Head of Steacie Science and Engineering Library York University
    16. 16. THANK YOU! Mike Diaz Executive Director, Marketing ProQuest Tel 734-707-2676 Email – InfoViews Blog: Twitter @mhdiaz