Friday, October 28, 2016

UNYOC - Jill Hurst-Wahl: Reach Out Across Your Organization with Information and Compassion

Shequaga Falls in Montour Falls, NYYesterday I had the pleasure of being one of the speakers at the Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter of the Medical Library Association (UNYOC) Annual Meeting in Watkins Glen, NY.  My talk was entitled "Reach Out Across Your Organization with Information and Compassion."   Over the course of an hour, I talked about:
  • Reaching out to our communities community and to meeting them - physically, mentally, emotionally - where they are...with emphasis on creative ways of being physically with them or in their space.
  • Seeing the human-ness of each person and serving the human-ness in each person.
  • Showing compassion and care for yourself, so that you can serve your community well.
In that last area, I provided five tips which I want to share with you. Those tips are (and I embellished on each in my talk):
  • Use an external brain.  If you decide to use paper or some digital device to help you keep track of your to-do's and other information, your brain will thank you.  And when your brain is happy, the rest of you will be happier.  It really is an act of self-care to give our brains some relief.  And rather than trying to remember a ga-zillion things, you can use that brain power on something else.
  • Seek clarity of purpose.  You might also use the word "goal." What is your purpose for today?  For this week?  For this year? When you're clear, everything else can fall into place.
  • Take a pause.  There is an old "B" movie called "The House of God" which is about a hospital.  In the movie, the young doctors are told to take their own pulse before taking the pulse of a patient.  Later there is a funny scene of them taking their pulse while standing around someone who is having a heart attack.  However, the idea is that they needed to know that they were okay and they needed to be calm.  You do that when you take a pause.
  • Find a partner.  Find someone whom you can confide in and you can give you advice about whatever.  It may be a friend or colleague.  It may be someone who is geographically far away.  It needs to be someone you can trust and who can keep your confidence.  And it needs to be someone who can be in it for the long haul.  That person can help you ground you, even when you're not sure where the ground is.
  • Create rituals.  Rituals calm us and create structure.  And I'm not just talking about religious rituals, but also rituals around how you start and end your day, or even how you prepare for a meeting.  Structure is actually freeing.  For example, the structure of a Japanese tea ceremony is meant to be relaxing.
I heard afterwards that those tips truly resonated with people, and I'm glad!  May the also resonate with you.

UNYOC - Elizabeth Stellrecht: Using Focus Groups to Make Effective Changes to a First-Year Evidence-Based Dentistry Course

Focus group questionsElizabeth Stellrecht, who works at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, did a short presentation about a class she co-taught with Elaine Davis and how they used a focus group to gather feedback on it. That focus group occurred with students after the class was over.

The questions asked during the focus group were simple, yet provided valuable and actionable feedback. The questions were:
  • What was the main takeaway from this class for you as an individual?
  • What did you like most about the class?
  • What did you like the least about this class?
  • How helpful was it having clinicians [practitioners] in the class?
  • How can we improve student buy-in?
Clearly these are questions that could be used to help evaluate and improve any class.

UNYOC - Nancy Fried Foster: Understanding Work Practices to Improve Information Services in Health Science Libraries

Nancy Fried FosterNancy Fried Foster provided the keynote presentation at the 2016 Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter (UNYOC) of the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in Watkins Glen, NY.

According to Foster, library design can be done at a low risk, while responding to the needs of your community and being relevant for the future.

Driving library change with research (her agenda):
  • User centered design is based on current evidence. 
  • It is participatory and inclusive. 
  • Solutions are not based on assumptions or outdated information. 
  • It is a research based approach.
People understand their own jobs and can contribute that knowledge to the design of new spaces and processes (i.e., whatever is being built).

  • One way of collecting evidence is a work practice study. What tools are people using? Where do they keep things? Can you video people doing their work, then review the video with them in order to gather more information.
    • In looking at classroom space, what will the work patterns of the students be in that space?
  • Can you get people to draw solutions and then talk to them about what they've drawn? That would allow you to annotate the drawing. That could be done in a design workshop.
  • Another method is observation. Observation can take many forms, depending on your project. This methods allows you to slow down, look, and listen.
  • In doing retrospective interviews, you ask people how they completed a piece of work. You annotate the story as the person tells it.
  • Workplace interviews allows you to gather information from the person while they are in their world. You might consider video recording the interview,which will might give you information about the space and how the person uses the space.
  • In photo elicitation interviews, you have people take photos based on prompts. For example, have students take a photo of what they have in front of them when they do homework. .
  • You can use a map diary to have people map or log their movements over the course of a day. The next day, the map prompts them to tell you the story of the day, what they did where and what resources they used. .
  • Reply cards are like a mini survey. Samples questions include:
    • What is the person doing? 
    • If the person had to work elsewhere, where would that be? 
    • What resources is the person using?
  • Snapshot interviews can be done anywhere and are brief. Are good to get quick input from people outside of the library.
 All of these help to answer: What do people need? What do people need to do? You might discover emerging practices and be able to anticipate new practices.

A few examples of analysis:
  • Co-view - videos, photos, transcripts 
  • Coding - with software or manually. Allows you to analyze transcripts and data.
  • Compare - visually inspect,categorize, compare and contrast.
For her, analyze means organizing and clustering the data.

Interpretation:  Foster noted that the process can be lengthy. In some instances, it can take years. She cautioned to start small and get a "win", if possible.

She noted that there was a 2015 presentation entitled "A day in the life of a medical student: applying ethnographic methods in academic health sciences settings."

She said that interesting work at the Miner Library at the University of Rochester (NY). [Lorraine Porcello is involved in this.]

Ethnographic research is not enough. It is also necessary to build collaboration all along the way. In other words, you cannot do this work in a vacuum. You need to understand what else is happening in your organization.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Abrupt Changes in the U.S. Copyright Office

Maria Pallante
Pallante before Congress
Friday (Oct. 21), the Registrar of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, was moved into a new position within the Library of Congress (LOC). Reports say that she was surprised by the move. She was also surprised to learn that her access to LOC computer systems changed that morning.  Removing someone's access to systems sends an unsettling signal both to the person and to those around her.  In this case, the unsettled signal is reverberating throughout the copyright community.  Today Pallante resigned her new position and left the LOC, leaving us to ask many question including:
  • Pallante was supportive of both creators and musicians.  Did this cause problems that could only be fixed by her removal?
  • Pallante had embarked on several initiatives to update Copyright Law.  Was this seen as too ambitious?  Did these initiatives cause problems with an industry that then lobbied for her removal?
  • Since we all love conspiracy this somehow Google's doing?
  • Did the fact that Pallante called for the Copyright Office to be separated from the Library of Congress cause her demise?
Clearly we'll need to wait for these answers (or rumors of answers).  We will also need to wait to see what impact this has on copyright reform.

There are numerous articles on this, including these:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trying to learn a three-dimesional language

Ever since the IFLA conference (#WLIC2016), I have been thinking more about digitization. It perhaps helped, too, that I guest lectured in a class last week talking about digitization and digital preservation, which means I've been mentally preparing for that for a few weeks.  Also last week, a colleague stopped by and showed me the not-final-version of two projects, one of which includes 3D images, which can be rotated on the screen. And that got me thinking about a language that I'm trying to learn which is three-dimensional.

Many people suffer a hearing loss (statistics). It is estimated that 2% of the U.S. population is deaf.  Given the number of people who could benefit from communicating in American Sign Language (ASL), I've been trying to learn some.  It is not an easy language to learn because word use and sentence construction is definitely different from oral English.  It is also a three-dimensional language that uses space and distance to communicate concepts as being in the past or future, or having a specific relationship.  Thus learning ASL from static photographs is difficult.  Imagine not understanding that a sign has movement to it or how the movement is to executed.  It can also be difficult to learn ASL from videos, since videos are also flat. You cannot see a standard video from the front and then watch it again from the side!

Having now seen images (example) that can be rotated, I am imaging people "digitizing" ASL so that signs can be seen from every angle.  That would be a huge undertaking, but then digitizing books was a huge undertaking and we're doing that.  This would could have the ability to improve communications and that would be a good thing. Anybody interested in getting started?

If you've never considered learning ASL, listen (and watch) Amber Galloway Gallego below.