ACRL Washington logo with white font over green tree icons and blue horizontal lines.ACRL-Washington

A chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries

2017 ACRL Washington & Oregon Joint Conference Program

"Tried & True or Shiny & New?"

October 19th, 11:45 am - October 20, 2:00 pm

Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest, Eatonville, WA


Preserving Principles and Transforming Practice:

LIS Expertise for the Data Age

Dr. Carole Palmer

This talk examines the unique and challenging position of academic libraries in the era of data-driven inquiry and open data. We will explore prevalent concepts and trends driving research and teaching in our colleges and universities and responses that are shaping the future of library and information science. Drawing on more than a decade of experience leading research and education initiatives in digital collections and data curation, we will also confront the weaknesses in current LIS expertise and educational programs. To meet our institutional missions, the profession will need to uphold many of the long-standing principles that currently guide our priorities and practices. At the same time, to provide information resources and services that truly meet the needs of our faculty and students, we will need to redouble our investments in state-of-the-art expert knowledge of all forms and functions of information for research, teaching, learning, and living in the data age.

Dr. Carole Palmer of the University of Washington

Dr. Carole Palmer is a Professor, Associate Dean for Research, and the current Interim Dean at the Information School at the University of Washington. She holds a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has over 10 years of experience in academic libraries in a range of professional and pre-professional roles in technical, reference, and access services. Her research investigates problems in scientific and scholarly information work, with a focus on data curation and digital research collections to support interdisciplinary inquiry. As an educator, she has been a leader in data curation workforce development for nearly a decade, recognized in 2013 with the Information Science Teacher of the Year Award from the Association for Information Science & Technology. Her portfolio of funded research includes nearly a decade of leadership on national federated digital collections, including a prototype for the Digital Public Library of America, and a series of cross-disciplinary collaborations
on emerging problems and best practices in data services. Dr. Palmer’s service contributions include membership on two National Academy of Sciences study committees and advisory boards for the Research Data Alliance, National Data Service, Council on Library & Information Resources/Digital Library Federation, and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC).


Thursday, October 19th
11:45 am - 1:45 pm: Registration and check-in (Scott Hall)
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Lunch (Dining Hall)
2:00 pm - 2:15 pm: Announcements & Awards (Scott Hall)
2:15 pm - 3:20 pm: Keynote: Dr. Carole Palmer (Scott Hall)
3:20 pm - 3:35 pm: Coffee Break
3:40 pm - 4:30 pm: Breakout sessions 1
  • Storytelling Fellows: A Digital Storytelling Workshop in the University of Washington's Libraries (MacBride 102)
  • TED my one-shot (Scott Hall)
  • Contemplative Pedagogy: An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem (MacBride 101)
4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Break
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Poster Session Happy Hour (Macbride 102)
    • Facilitating conversations across institutions: The annual summer unconference @ UW Libraries
    • #findingthefuturesubject
    • Just in Time Assessment: Flexible peer observation during classroom instruction
    • What do our faculty think about streaming video?
    • Informal Team-Building Creating Connections Across Departments: AKA, Lunch
    • Established doesn't mean static!
    • Presenting the shiny new PNW OER Directory… what’s next?
    • Revealing and Concealing Information: Arising Tensions in Using Geoinformation Services for Academic Research
    • Improving Customer Service Training Through Chat Transcript Analysis
      6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Dinner & Birds of a Feather Conversations (Dining Hall)
      7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Chapter meetings (ACRL-WA - Scott Hall; ACRL-OR - MacBride 102)
      8:00 pm - 11:00 pm: Party (Pack Hall)

      Friday, October 20th
      7:30 am - 8:30 am: Breakfast (Dining Hall)
      8:30 am - 9:00 am: Move out of dorms
      9:00 am - 9:05 am: Announcements 
      9:05 am - 9:20 am: ACRL National update with President Cheryl Middleton (Scott Hall)
      9:20 am - 10:20 am: Short Fail Talks (Scott Hall)
        • New Librarian Combines New Technology and First Impressions with Faculty: A Bold Move or Recipe for Failure?
        • What could go wrong? A nice white lady tackles diversity in the library profession
        • Potholes and pratfalls on the road to authentic assessment
        • Fail Fast and Often: How the NNLM Evaluation Office is Innovating a Multi-Site Evaluation Process
        • Even Free Pizza Wasn’t Enough: The Demise of the Library Student Advisory Group at Odegaard Undergraduate Library
        • “More Pictures of Cats”: a student-centered approach to library website design
          10:20 am - 10:30 am: Coffee Break
          10:30 am - 11:20 am: Breakout sessions 2  
          • Built to Last:  Integrating OER into Your Library’s Framework      
          • Call It a Comeback: Recreational Reading Collections in Academic Libraries          
          • Scholar or Technician? The Mutability of Today's Subject Specialist
          11:30 am - 12:20 pm: Breakout sessions 3
          • Changing Tides: Exploring Current Trends in Information Literacy Programs        
          • Shiny Happy Librarians: A Collaborative Model for Subject Area Redistribution  
          • Revisiting Residencies: Librarian Residencies as an Entry Point to the Profession
          12:30 pm - 1:00 pm: Wrap-up (Scott Hall)
          1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Lunch (Dining Hall)

          Breakout Sessions


          TED my one-shot

          Katy Lenn (University of Oregon)

          "The “shiny and new” smorgasbord of teaching techniques ranges from active learning, high-velocity learning, microlearning, to gamification.  Sometimes these techniques fall short of their promise. Sometimes roadblocks impede implementation - such as faculty resistance to assigning materials for a flipped classroom experience.  Sometimes trying to squeeze new techniques into a one-shot session makes you feel like an instructional contortionist.

          The reality is, most of us are given 50 minutes to tell a class “everything” about the library. Added to the magnitude of content is the fact that motivation may be minimal as “library” sessions do not often come preloaded as “exciting.”  Given these constraints, it is important to remember the tried and true lecture method is not dead and can still motivate.  If lectures were obsolete, why would millions be glued to TED talks?  Think of the impact of an 18-minute TED talk.  If you can begin and infuse a 50-minute classroom session with a TED-like talk, you’ll have a engaged and eager audience for your next 32 minutes of “shiny and new” or even just a great demonstration.   Learn some TED talk tricks that can help you tweak and possibly transform this established (tried) and viable (true) teaching practice.

          Built to Last:  Integrating OER into Your Library’s Framework

          Jennifer Snoek-Brown and Candice Watkins  (Tacoma Community College)

          The world of Open Educational Resources (OER) is still seen as “shiny & new” and often viewed as one more thing added to a librarian’s overflowing plate. At the same time, the core of OER is about access and equity, reflecting the“tried & true” principles of our librarian profession. At Tacoma Community College (TCC), the librarians have focused on a holistic, team-oriented approach to brainstorming and integrating OER into our library’s framework, including how we approach information literacy (IL) instruction, collection development, faculty liaison work, copyright education, and creation of LibGuides and other learning objects. In this presentation, TCC’s library director and the faculty OER librarian will outline this practical and grounded approach to OER, and invite colleagues to share their own ways and ideas for integrating OER into library services and workflows.

          Shiny Happy Librarians: A Collaborative Model for Subject Area Redistribution

          Kathleen Monks and Serin Anderson      (University of Washington Tacoma)

          Subject redistribution: words that make librarians, new and experienced, nervous. At the UW Tacoma Library, it was clear that (1) we needed to reassess how subjects were allocated and (2) our process would be collaborative. Librarians engaged in problem-based discussions, supported with lots of data and scaled visualizations, to address the large questions: How do we determine equitable workloads? What are our library's priorities? and How do we build in space for areas of growth? within the constraints of limited staffing. Through these discussions, librarians were able to gain perspective on the work of colleagues, challenge assumptions surrounding the roles of liaisons, and redistribute our subject areas with the input and consent of all those involved.

          Call It a Comeback: Recreational Reading Collections in Academic Libraries

          Elizabeth Brookbank, Anne Davis, Lydia Harlan   (Western Oregon University, University of Washington, University of Oregon)

          Popular books and readers’ advisory activities are for public libraries, right? Wrong! Despite the persisting notion that recreational reading does not have a place in the traditional mission of academic libraries, the majority of Summit libraries have recreational reading collections. The reasoning for having such collections ranges from the importance of leisure reading to student lifelong learning skills to the value the collections add to the physical library at a time when many libraries are striving to demonstrate their worth and relevance on campus. This “new” method for bringing people into the library and engaging students is actually quite old. Recreational reading collections used to be a common and important part of the collections of academic libraries, especially in the early twentieth century. During the latter half of the twentieth century these collections fell out of favor, but in recent years they have started popping up again in academic libraries across the U.S.

          This session will delve briefly into the history of popular collections in academic libraries to discuss the tension between the perceived “traditional” academic mission of our libraries and the “innovative” student-centered nature of popular collections. We will also share the surprising and enlightening results of a survey administered to Summit libraries, the goal of which was to assess just how much of a resurgence recreational reading collections are, in fact, enjoying in the U.S. Lastly, we will discuss how libraries that have established (or re-established) these collections are creating, managing, promoting, and sharing them – and how successful the collections are with students, the primary patrons of academic libraries. There will be time for questions and discussion, and we can share, as the audience is interested, key logistical takeaways from the survey for libraries with these collections, or that are considering creating them.

          Scholar or Technician? The Mutability of Today's Subject Specialist

          Jeff Staiger (University of Oregon) 

          In this presentation, I explore the changing role of subject expertise for librarians in the humanities.  In the past, in a relatively stable information world consisting monographs and journals and little else, a subject librarian’s professional identity was closely allied to his or her subject expertise.  The subject specialist was able to enjoy a certain sense of mastery over the lay of the research terrain in the discipline or disciplines for which he or she was responsible, a sense supported by the visibility of the physical items of the research collection.  Now of course that landscape has been drastically altered, not just by technological changes brought about by digital culture, but also by a wide range of other factors. These are as diverse as the evolution of the scholarly conversation towards cultural histories in which individual imaginative achievement is no longer the primary concern, and budget exigencies in libraries that have required selectors to focus on simply meeting the immediate needs of research community, a process accelerated by the advent of DDA programs.  That it is now typical for selectors to amalgamate additional disciplines to their profiles, disciplines in which they do not necessarily have a deep background, is yet another factor in this apparent decline.  In all of this, the librarian’s subject expertise can seem diminished, dissolved amidst the proliferating demands of a revolutionized information environment.  Yet I contend that the expanded profile of responsibilities of today’s subject librarian allows for a more fluid and supple understanding of one’s professional identity.  While it can seem that, pressured by our contemporary information environment, the subject specialist must be more technician than scholar, today’s subject librarian enjoys an expanded agency that requires a more reflexive understanding, a tighter philosophical grip on one’s professional objectives, than in the past.  

          Contemplative Pedagogy: An Ancient Solution to a Modern Problem

          Nicole Gustavsen & Heather Newcomer (University of Washington Bothell/Cascadia College Campus Library

          This session will provide an overview of contemplative pedagogy, which seeks to (re)introduce mindfulness and reflective practices into academia. We will discuss the impact of bringing this tried and true practice into our information literacy classrooms and lives as library workers. There are challenges in our fast-paced, result-oriented, and high-tech academic world for library workers as well as students. Neither students nor staff and faculty are given much space to step back from “doing” and take time to “be.” Growing evidence from disparate communities of practice has shown that there are powerful mental and physical benefits associated with prioritizing “being,” whether that looks like a formal mindfulness practice, yoga, or simply taking intentional moments  to engage with the present. Everyone can benefit from reflective self-care: we will share how mindfulness can address compassion fatigue in library workers, and library anxiety in students and other library users. We have narrowed our focus to examine the impact of mindfulness activities on library anxiety in students, and effective interventions to support them as they encounter their first college research project. We researched the effects of mindfulness on students in our information literacy classrooms during the Spring 2017 quarter by administering short interventions and asking students to self-report on their anxiety before and after their sessions. We see contemplative pedagogy as both a way of countering the pressures of academic life, and as an ideal complement to critical pedagogies, strengthening both theory and practice. We believe contemplative practices offer tools that would benefit library staff, and contemplative pedagogy provides a way to share those benefits with students. 

          Revisiting Residencies: Librarian Residencies as an Entry Point to the Profession

          Katherine Donaldson (University of Oregon)

               The homogeneity of the librarian profession has been widely noted in the literature. According to the 2010 ALA Diversity Counts data, nearly 88% of librarians are white, and while recent voluntary ALA demographic surveys suggest that the number of underrepresented librarians may be increasing, the gains appear to be minimal. At the same time, there are very few entry-level jobs in the academic library world, making it difficult for early career librarians, particularly those from underrepresented groups, to break into the profession. As demographics continue to change in the United States, librarianship is increasingly unrepresentative of the patrons we serve. One approach that academic libraries have taken to addressing this barrier is by creating resident librarian programs (sometimes explicitly diversity resident programs) at their institutions. These entry level positions are meant to give recent library school graduates professional level experience as a librarian, often by exposing them to different areas of librarianship through departmental rotations. While residencies are by no means a new idea, they are gaining in popularity, as demonstrated by the recent creation of the ACRL Diversity Alliance, a group of 33 universities (2016-2017) that have committed to creating residencies specifically for early career librarians from underrepresented groups. While the impact of this renewed interest in residency programs remains to be seen, it is important in the meantime to engage with the experiences of past and current residents. In this session, the presenter will introduce the concept, history, and present state of residency programs in the United States as well as share lessons learned from her own experience as a resident librarian. This discussion has broader implications for how we can support early career librarians and library students in entering the profession, including those from underrepresented groups.

          Storytelling Fellows: A Digital Storytelling Workshop in the University of Washington's Libraries

          Perry Yee and Elliott Stevens    (University of Washington)

          For the last three quarters, members of the University of Washington’s Libraries Instructional Design Team and the Research Commons have offered a new online workshop in digital storytelling for graduate students. This initiative came about as a response to graduate students who expressed they wanted more interaction with other graduate students, especially in fun, community-focused interdisciplinary contexts. As a result, we put together an online digital-storytelling workshop that simultaneously upholds time-tested digital-storytelling practices and also challenges them. We buck the trend of using a single online platform – the learning management system (LMS) – and a single method of communication (email) to deliver this workshop and communicate with our students. While we host content in the Canvas LMS and refer to it often, it is only one tool among many that is used during the course of this workshop. In fact, we utilize no less than four different platforms for engagement, communication, and video production throughout the course. By critically examining each tool and incorporating this suite into our pedagogical practices, we are able to develop an organic environment for conversing, sharing, learning, and understanding over time.  This three-week workshop provides students an opportunity to connect, to innovate, and to creatively thrive in a supportive online environment with peers and Libraries staff members alike. Though we use a “Teaching Team” model to provide assistance and support, we make it known to our students that we are all learning from one another. We steer away from prescribed notions of storytelling by fostering novel approaches to the storytelling medium and encourage students to share their ideas for feedback. It is truly an environment where peer learning is tantamount to staff instruction, and we have learned that user-driven content and conversation enables the workshop to succeed.


          Changing Tides: Exploring Current Trends in Information Literacy Programs

          Zoe Fisher (moderator), Danielle Rowland (UW Bothell/Cascadia Campus), Megan Smithling (Cornish College of the Arts), Ryan Randall (College of Western Idaho), Elizabeth Brown (Central Washington University)

          A panel of information literacy librarians representing a community college, a university, a small private college, and a shared academic library will discuss how they teach and assess information literacy, highlighting new trends and identifying outdated practices. In keeping with the conference theme, we will discuss: How do your students become information literate? What old practices/procedures have you discarded in your teaching program? Which new & upcoming initiatives at your institution will impact your information literacy program? There will be plenty of time for questions and answers from the audience, which will create a lively dialogue around the current trends in information literacy programs in our libraries. Join us!


          • Facilitating conversations across institutions: The annual summer unconference @ UW Libraries
            • Jessica Jerritt (Foster Business Library, University of Washington) Caitlan Maxwell (University of Washington Bothell)
          Since 2011, the University of Washington Libraries Teaching and Learning Group has organized an annual summer unconference for librarians around the Puget Sound. An unconference is participant-driven, with activities loosely designed to take maximum advantage of the experience, curiosity, and needs of participants. Rather than sessions being determined in advance, attendees create discussion groups on the spot depending on their interests. We try to choose a theme that is topical and broad enough to generate discussion in many different contexts. We always have several rounds of roundtable discussions, but mix up the framing events most years to keep it interesting and relevant. Some examples of activities are lightning talks, keynotes, a panel, and a technology petting zoo.

          As the conference has grown, we have developed partnerships with Central Washington University and the Association of Librarians of the University of Washington to help plan and run the event. The 2017 conference theme is Critical Librarianship in Practice, and for the first time we are at capacity with 90 registrants and waiting list. The unconference is a valuable experience because it allows librarians to connect with others at different institutions in a low-cost, friendly, and active environment. As one attendee mentioned in post-unconference survey “I learned so much and made great connections w/librarians I had never met.”
          • #findingthefuturesubject
            • Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen (Oregon Institute of Technology)
          Students research through internet searches, online videos, and content that is constantly changing by the hands of anyone with access to do so. If we have gone from a world of paper indexes lining the shelves of a reference department to one where user created hashtags on social media are just as useful, where will another 20 years take us? In 2015, focus groups on student research revealed Googles, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Instructables as more frequently used in student research than the university library. What do these have in common that a library does not? User created subject terms, aka tags. In the book, “The Inevitable,” by Kevin Kelly, a world where everything is linked by user created links and tags is explored. Is this the future of the subject term? Is this the future of organizing information? This poster will hypothesize these possibilities and discuss findings from focus groups and user surveys on how students are currently researching, to find how students may be researching in the future.
          • Just in Time Assessment: Flexible peer observation during classroom instruction
            • Laura Dimmit, Caitlan Maxwell, Chelsea Nesvig (UW Bothell & Cascadia College Campus Library)
          This ongoing research is focused on leveraging peer observation to improve teaching practice. We provide embedded information literacy instruction to courses at UW Bothell and Cascadia College. Observation of our teaching is not required, therefore reaching out to colleagues for a collaborative peer-observation process is a low stakes yet effective way to improve practice. Generally we see students once or twice over the course of a quarter; therefore, we needed to develop an observation plan that complemented our limited, “one-shot” structure.

          We began by designing an observation template informed by existing models, focusing specifically on open-ended and qualitative questions. Our goal was to design an observation process that would enable use of the “critical friend” model, a type of peer mentorship grounded in collaborative reflection and de-privatization of challenges. We also decided to include both pre and post-observation meetings for the observer and the observee. These meetings enabled the observee to specify the aspects of their instruction they wanted feedback on, and provided a space for more informal assessment prior to the observation summary letters each person received.

          After piloting this observation structure in Fall 2016, we organized a second ‘round’ for Spring 2017. By maintaining the same members, our group was able to revisit areas of focus from the fall, and track changes and growth. This model will create an iterative loop for continual instruction improvement. More broadly, this type of teaching observation has value for both instructors and students: it is individualized, allowing each participant to zero in on what is most relevant to their own practice and allows the observer to see how the librarian directly interacts with the students they are teaching.

          Our observation plan provides a practical and flexible way for librarians to incorporate feedback and reflection into their teaching practice.

          • What do our faculty think about streaming video?
            • Sam Lohmann (Washington State University Vancouver)
          This poster will present the methods and key findings of a recent survey study at Washington State University, Vancouver, which aimed to engage with faculty on video collection issues, specifically the use of streaming video. Although streaming video has been widely adopted in academic libraries, the market for such services is very much in flux, and practices are not yet standardized—or widely discussed—across institutions. In addition, library users are much less aware than librarians of streaming video in library collections. There has been a flurry of recent literature on streaming video, but surveys have primarily addressed librarians and students, rather than faculty.

          This study investigated whether faculty at WSU Vancouver were aware of the library’s subscribed streaming video services and if so, what barriers or challenges may have prevented wider use. In addition, the study sought to gather contextual information on faculty members’ preferences, interests, and awareness regarding library media collections, delivery formats for audiovisual media, and the use of streaming video for instruction. The results will inform actions and decisions about collections and outreach, and also provide valuable insight into faculty members’ use of video content and technologies for teaching, both in-person and online, across a broad range of disciplines.

          • Informal Team-Building Creating Connections Across Departments: AKA, Lunch
            • Penelope Wood, Tami Garrard, James Watkins (Campus Library at University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College)

          Three library employees (leadership, librarian, and classified staff) created a lunch exchange program responding to limited food options on campus. The process of developing a lunch exchange and engaging in a culture of care has unexpected benefits beyond just lunch. This project has proven to build connections across departments while supporting care for self and colleagues. The library employees informally practiced collaboration, built team effectiveness, and established commitment to sustainability, self-care, community care, and wellness. This poster details the planning process and benefits of a lunch exchange program and proposes that it can be used to increase positive team dynamics with potential to diffuse workplace tensions while disrupting hierarchies across departments.

          • Established doesn't mean static!
            • Ekaterini Papadopoulou (Bastyr University)
          At Bastyr we have a well-established information literacy program in the Naturopathic Doctorate (ND) degree. Information Literacy is taught through Evidence Informed Practice (EIP) modules, which make up part of the Integrated Case Studies classes in the first two years of the ND program. The EIP modules use a flipped classroom model with a series of online tutorials and assignments, followed by in-class sessions with a librarian.

          The current EIP program has had measurable success in building strong information literacy skills in the ND students; the robust pre- and post-assessments show the significant impact that the program has had on students’ ability to find, use and appraise information. The EIP modules have been part of the ND degree since 2012 and are core pieces of the case-based medical curriculum at Bastyr. In short the EIP program is well established, it works, it has strong faculty support and measurable impact.

          Does it need to change? We think so!

          The Information Literacy Framework and student feedback have informed our 2017 curriculum update: the core structure of the program will remain, but the content of the assignments and the student learning objectives are changing to reflect a more holistic approach to information literacy. The update considers students’ information needs after graduation, a renewed focus on the value of information, and a move away from prescriptive searching demonstrations in favor of modelling exploratory and inquisitive search.

          We beta-tested this approach in Spring 2017 and after positive preliminary feedback, we are expanding it out to the whole curriculum. To maintain the positive impact of our tried and true program, we need to allow it to change, and be responsive to emerging student needs. Everything that is tried and true started out as shiny and new, after all.

          • Presenting the shiny new PNW OER Directory… what’s next?
            • Amy Hofer (Open Oregon Educational Resources), Jennifer Lantrip (Umpqua Community College), Jennifer Snoek-Brown (Tacoma Community College), Peter Smith (Western Washington University), Chelle Batchelor (University of Washington)
          During the OER Pre-Conference at ACRL OR-WA 2016, participants determined that the PNW library community needs a textbook affordability directory to connect people and recommend resources. We asked, we listened, we took action, and now we want to share the evolving result: the PNW OER Directory, available via Our workshop offers a guided tour of the new site, provides an opportunity to enter your info in the directory, and seeks feedback to make sure it meets our shared needs. Now that we’ve planted our OER seeds through this collective effort, how can we ensure its continued growth? What’s next for the PNW OER library community?
          • Revealing and Concealing Information: Arising Tensions in Using Geoinformation Services for Academic Research
            • Leah Airt (Seattle Pacific University)
          Geoinformation services such as Google Street View (GSV) present opportunities and limitations for researchers from a wide variety of disciplines as they explore social, spatial, and environmental phenomena. GSV allows users and companies to present layers of information while providing an Application Programming Interface (API) for researchers to reveal information about the built environment or social composition of neighborhoods traditionally only explored through in-person or car-based audits. There is almost universal acceptance of GSV as a viable alternative to in-person observation while there is limited exploration of the underlying ethical components of using GSV in published literature.

          This presentation will discuss the findings of a comprehensive interdisciplinary literature review exploring researcher use of GSV and will invite participants to reflect on components of information ethics that underlie using geoinformation services for research purposes.

          Some questions discussed will include: What components of information ethics are relevant to geoinformation services as they’re used in research? How can librarians assist with research decisions as traditional methods of observation are replaced with geoinformation services? What questions might we have in the future as these services continue to grow, house more data, and contain crowdsourced or interactive components?
          • Improving Customer Service Training Through Chat Transcript Analysis
            • Katherine Donaldson (University of Oregon)
          Reference has historically been an important service that we have offered our patrons. However, with the increasing availability of electronic resources, some of these interactions with patrons have decreased, while others have moved online to the chat reference environment. Some libraries have moved away from a desk model to a consultation model. Whatever model of service, there is a need to evaluate the quality and demonstrate the value of the service(s) we are providing. Methods of evaluating in-person reference service (such as surveys, observation, or the mystery-shopper method) have certain subjective limitations. Chat reference, however, provides a rich opportunity for assessment because of the transcripts generated from these encounters. While room for subjectivity remains, the literature suggests that there is great potential in assessing chat transcripts. While our library has offered chat reference for many years, the quality of our service had never been evaluated.
          Both librarians and undergraduate student workers staff our chat service. Evaluating our chat transcripts has implications for the training of both librarians and student workers. Two librarians coded a sample of 160 chat transcripts. We coded for the type and difficulty level of each question as well as the accuracy/quality of the answer. We also looked at whether any referrals were made, and whether specific customer service behaviors were evident in the transcript. Our analysis highlighted several areas where we could improve our student worker and librarian training as well as provided a wealth of transcripts to use in training. By providing us with a better understanding of the types of questions asked through our chat service and where our staff may be struggling, analyzing chat transcripts holds promise as a way to periodically assess the service we are providing and to ensure it is adapting to meet the changing needs of our patrons.

            Short Talks:

            • New Librarian Combines New Technology and First Impressions with Faculty: A Bold Move or Recipe for Failure?
              • Katherine Curtis (University of Puget Sound)
            Building relationships with faculty in new subject areas often requires a step outside of one’s comfort zone, particularly for the new instruction librarian. Preparation, creativity, and enthusiasm in instructional design have the potential to lead to spectacular success or, in some cases, epic failure. In this brief FailTalk, Humanities Librarian Katherine Curtis will describe one such instance of the best laid plans gone awry and offer perspectives on flexibility, recovery, and what you can do when that course comes around again in your schedule. Can the new librarian bounce back from failing in front of faculty and students? Maybe this semester!
            • What could go wrong? A nice white lady tackles diversity in the library profession
              • Samantha Hines (Peninsula College)
            Motivated by the 2016 US Presidential Election and the dismal statistics around racial diversity in our profession as well as gender diversity in leadership roles in librarianship, I set out to ‘be the change.’ I created a two hour workshop for the inaugural WLA Learn Local in Seattle in April 2017 on the “Brave Spaces” concept for discussions on diversity. The workshop was an unmitigated disaster based on participant feedback, and I cancelled two further sessions for the good of the profession. I will return to the topic in a dramatically revamped way in August for the Pacific Northwest Library Association’s annual conference. In my Fail Talk, I will share what factors within my control led to the workshop’s failure, and what I have done differently in tackling the topic to become a better ally (I hope—feedback always appreciated!).
            • Potholes and pratfalls on the road to authentic assessment
              • Sam Lohmann (Washington State University Vancouver)
            One of the major challenges for instruction librarians is to assess the impact of instruction—and other forms of contact with the library—on students’ learning. Recent studies strongly support an “authentic assessment” approach, one that looks for evidence of skills and knowledge in artifacts of regular course work such as research papers and presentations, rather than trying to infer this evidence indirectly through tools such as surveys or tests. But how do we authentically assess information literacy skills in their various contexts, and connect them to the many forms of library contact? And how many things can possibly go wrong in the process?
            This talk will summarize the bittersweet tale of a surprisingly wayward, dismally attenuated, often exasperating, but ultimately informative and generative information literacy assessment undertaken by three librarians at a small academic library, beginning in 2013. A planned one-semester project became a two-year project and ultimately a hydra-like monster, as issues of interrater reliability, rubric scoring and norming—not to mention human behavior and communication--reared their heads. Although the initial project seemed modest and straightforward, the researchers found unplanned-for complications at each turn. While some significant and encouraging results were eventually obtained, the epic fail along the way may be the most informative part of the story. If you’re wondering what to expect—and what to avoid—when planning an authentic assessment, you’ll want to pull up a chair for this tale of woe.
            • Fail Fast and Often: How the NNLM Evaluation Office is Innovating a Multi-Site Evaluation Process
              • Kalyna Durbak (NNLM Evaluation Office (NEO), at the Health Sciences Library of the University of Washington)

              • The first thing I learned when I joined the NEO is that failure should be celebrated. What I did not know was that the NEO was in the middle of failing to create a comprehensive training session evaluation questionnaire to be used by all organizations in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, a large network of libraries and organizations doing health information outreach through a National Library of Medicine program. The NEO’s charge was design one evaluation form that would be used to evaluate training sessions of all NNLM-funded training session, which totaled more than 1300 sessions in the past year. Training audiences ranged from K-12 students and family caregivers to medical and library professionals. Many types of organizations, from community-based agencies to professional associations, hosted training and often had their own evaluation requirements in place. Participants came from populations with diverse levels of literacy and technical skill and access. While the questionnaire was short and simple, the setting for the evaluation made implementation infinitely complex. The original project timeline requested by our funding organization was one month. That one month turned into a year of vigorous testing, many meetings, and a lot of training. In my FailTalk, I will summarize how I learned to embrace failure, there's always room for improvement, and that failing quickly (and often) means more time for researching and developing a better process. The NEO might still be working on this project, but one day we will have a solution that works for everyone.

            • Even Free Pizza Wasn’t Enough: The Demise of the Library Student Advisory Group at Odegaard Undergraduate Library
              • Anne Davis, Linda Whang (University of Washington)
            The Library Student Advisory Committee (LSAC) at Odegaard Undergraduate Library at the University of Washington was created in 2003 as a way to give students an opportunity to get involved in the decision making processes that guide the enhancement of learning spaces and library services. In the 12 years it existed, the committee gave the Libraries valuable feedback on policies, collections, websites and even the planning of remodel of the Odegaard Library Building. The committee went on hiatus in 2015 and it’s unlikely to come back in the same form. The reason: students simply did not show up for meetings. We tried meeting at different times of day, including evenings, and enticing them with treats (including free pizza) and it was rare for more than 3 students to show up for any meeting. We tried recruiting from various student listservs, working with advisers, and looking for ways LSAC to meet departmental service requirements for students, but in the end we had to admit that the time and effort we put into recruiting students and scheduling meetings was not worth the results. Students have way too many other competing demands of classes, homework, jobs and social activities. We have been considering alternative ways to get student feedback that doesn’t require them to meet at particular time, such as an online listserv where students can respond on their own schedule, pop-up student feedback events, and the use of Design Thinking methodologies to gather input from specific student groups.
            • “More Pictures of Cats”: a student-centered approach to library website design
              • Chris Granatino and Caitlin Plovnick (Seattle University)

              • THE PROBLEM: We wanted to review our library’s website as part of a year-long assessment project. In order to get away from our own biases and perceptions, we needed to gather authentic student feedback about their experiences and frustrations using the website.

              • THE SOLUTION: During high traffic times, we put out white boards and flip charts in prominent places in the library with the prompt: “Tell us what you think! I wish the library’s website…” It would be easy for students to respond and help us understand pain points that could inform our project. What could go wrong??

              • THE PROBLEM WITH THE SOLUTION: While we did get some responses, they were not what we expected. In the process, we learned a lot about our students...and ourselves.

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