ILA/ACRL Spring Conference 2014

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Breaking Down Our Silos:
Redefining Academic Libraries in the 21st Century

Friday, May 2, 2014
FFA Enrichment Center, DMACC-Ankeny


Registration is now open! Register using the online or paper form.

SILO is a word that has been discussed in business for over 30 years now, so, while not a new question, as academic libraries shift away from physical models to more digital ones, we find ourselves frequently confronting the problems created by the silo mentality inherent in subject specialization and highly technical work. How do we become more nimble in responding to changing environments and needs? How do we get involved outside our libraries? Do we need to create more empowered staff and more integrated and collaborative work arrangements? What is the best response of the academic library and academic librarians to this problem? 

Keynote Speaker: Bobbi Newman
Keynote Title: Escape the Silo: Why and How to Escape Your Professional Silo
Keynote Description: Silos are great for storage and containment but not so much as a place to work. Newman will explore the dangers of silos, the benefits of breaking out of your silos, and offer suggestions on creating new habits and patterns that will allow you to venture outside of your professional silos.

Dine-around restaurants have been chosen. Sign up by April 23rd!

Driving Directions & Lodging: Driving directions to the FFA Enrichment Center. A set of hotel rooms is reserved at the AmericInn in Ankeny, Iowa. Their phone number is 515.964.2004. The rooms are reserved under ILA/ACRL or library conference. The rate is $97.19 per night with 12% tax.  Reserve with your name/credit card. Register by April 9th for a room. There are other hotels in the area as well.

Presentations (full schedule with abstracts, PDF):

Thursday, May 1

4:30pm         Happy Hour with IPAL                                                Dos Rios (Des Moines)

                     Sponsored by EBSCO

6:30pm         Des Moines Dine-Arounds w/IPAL                                 Various restaurants

Friday, May 2

8:30am         Registration                                                             Lobby

9:00am         Welcome                                                               Conference Room A, 106

9:15am         Opening Keynote                                                      Conference Room A, 106

Escape the Silo:  Why and How to Escape Your Professional Silo - Bobbi Newman, Librarian by Day

10:00am       BREAK                                                                     Lobby

10:30am       Session 1                                                                Various Locations

11:30am       Lunch & Business Meeting                                           Conference Room B, 107

1:00pm         Unconference – variety of topics                                 Various Locations

1:45pm         BREAK                                                                      Lobby

2:00pm         Session 2                                                                Various Locations

3:00pm         Session 3                                                                Various Locations

3:50pm         Final Wrap-up                                                          Lobby

                     Snacks for the road, turn in evaluations; Evaluation URL:


  • Vending machines and additional restrooms located on the second floor
  • Please recycle pop cans and water bottles in bins provided.


Sessions 1


Breaking All the Rules - Lock-In at the Sciences Library
Sara Scheib and Brett Cloyd – University of Iowa 

Conference Room C, 108

Imagine forty first-year students at the library after hours, yelling and racing through the stacks, pulling books off the shelf before sprinting to another section.  It might sound like a librarian’s worst nightmare, but it was all according to plan.  In an effort to help overcome library anxiety and give our students a fun introduction to academic libraries, we broke all the rules to develop a Library Lock-In event. This collaborative effort supported by  the Library, Residence Life, and the Honors Program turned out to be very successful and was one of the most well-attended programs offered to the LLCs.  In this session, you will learn more about LLC program, how we worked with Residence Life and the Honors Program to plan and publicize the event, what activities worked well, what didn’t and what we’ve learned from our mistakes.


Using Shared Documents for Collaborative Collection Development: Two Practical Examples
Andi Beckendorf, Ryan Gjerde and Germano Streese – Luther College

Conference Room E, 112

A prime resource for collection development used by faculty and librarians has been CHOICE Reviews. Our traditional process for receiving feedback is to circulate review cards to faculty departments on a monthly basis. With collaborative document-sharing tools becoming a staple of other facets of our daily work, we wondered what benefits they could offer to the collection development process. This presentation will feature two projects that have explored the use of such tools for collection development.  The Music Department has been using a shared document to collect recommendations, with the reviews in a separate document. We are currently piloting a process for review of new reference materials among librarians, using a Google Doc to share CHOICE Reviews and collect acquisition recommendations. We are looking to the reference pilot to see if the more streamlined approach of a single document integrating the feedback with reviews would offer additional benefits.


Library Partnerships and First-Year Persistence in Historically Underrepresented Student Populations
Christine Elliott, Eric Leong and Jette Irgens - Wartburg College

Conference Room G, 114

The trend in student diversity in Iowa colleges and universities is increasing with each academic year.  Libraries play a critical role in supporting the success of these populations—CAP+ being one effort in minimizing this achievement gap. Library involvement in the CAP+ Program included informal information literacy workshops, specifically selected to highlight student needs. The team of librarians and student tutors that conducted these workshops avoided “classroom-like” lectures and focused on providing additional opportunities for assistance in becoming accomplished information consumers. This presentation will share the library’s experiences in partnering with other departments to teach information literacy to culturally diverse students in Iowa. Our methods and experiences in this program are a great way to continue conversation on how libraries can successfully provide stability and assistance to these students.


Open Source Software: Helping Libraries Break Down Silos
Julius Fleschner, Briar Cliff University and Adam Fullerton, Morningside College

Computer Lab, 116

Do you wish your library could offer more robust technology solutions to patrons, but lack the in house expertise to develop them? Are you trapped by your silo’s lack of personnel or technical expertise? This presentation will explore two open source solutions currently being deployed in small, liberal arts libraries in Iowa. Both solutions used know how from outside their respective silos.  We will share the story of one library customizing an open source archives/repository application to suit the needs of their community.  The other library will tell the tale of migrating from one ILS to an open source ILS, without a dedicated electronic services librarian. This library relied on the expertise of others, outside of their silo, to provide the knowledge and guidance to implement a new system.


Sessions 2

Demolishing Silos: A Community Effort
Julia Bauder, Chris Jones and Catherine Rod - Grinnell College

Conference Room C, 108

This session will describe the collaboration between a small liberal arts college library and our local public library to make local history resources more easily accessible.  Together, we developed a process to digitize privately held historical materials from around the county, allowing people to keep their family heirlooms while making digital copies of those items available around the world via the website of the public library.  This collaboration has strengthened the relationship between these two libraries and has begun breaking down many silos around the county. The college’s institutional repository is used for the long-term preservation of these items.  During this session, we will describe the process we developed and the technologies we used.  We will also demonstrate the website and talk about the training of local volunteers and the ongoing collaboration between our two institutions.


Breakout session: Explore Outside the Silo
Bobbi Newman, Librarian by Day

Computer Lab, 116

This breakout session is a follow up to the keynote, Escape The Silo. There is no time like the present! In session you’ll take the first steps to escaping your silo. Come prepared to talk!

Creating Partnerships for Student Success: Reflections on Building a Student-focused Learning Space
Kathy Magarrell, Amy Paulus and Brittney Thomas - University of Iowa Main Library

Conference Room E, 112

The creation of a learning space located in the Library was a collaborative effort among three campus entities:  the Provost’s office, Information Technology Services (ITS), and the Libraries.  This session will focus on the partnerships created, expanded, and sustained since the idea to build this space was first developed.  Many teams were created to plan and implement the learning space all of which involved departments outside of the Libraries. A coordinator position was a necessity to ensure the success of the space. It was decided to create a split-position reporting to ITS and the library. This single service point is collaboration in action.  Staff from three different departments work at the desk but also work closely with others on campus.  The space itself has led to many additional collaborative encounters and revitalized the library environment.


CI-CCI: A New Model for Shared Print Collections Develops in Iowa
Teri Koch, Drake University; Pam Rees, Grand View University and Cyd Dyer, Simpson College

Conference Room G, 114

CI-CCI (Central Iowa Collaborative Collections Initiative) was inspired by a 2012 Charleston pre-conference on data-driven shared print collections. In early 2013 two librarians decided to approach some Central Iowa academic libraries to see if there was interest in pursuing a similar project. Subsequently, a group of five private academic libraries decided to build upon this concept and take it a step further. The long term intent is to enhance access to scholarly resources and to manage acquisition costs and space allocations. Attendees of this session will hear how the partnership was initiated, what steps were taken to create it, what cost algorithms were used as well as what structures and governance were put in place to support the collaboration, particularly components related to expedited Interlibrary Loan and Acquisitions.  One college librarian will share their perspective as a participant and there will be a discussion of future plans and next steps after less than a year of collaboration.


Sessions 3

Catching Fire: Burning Down Our Silos to Fire-Up Our Communities
Sara Scheib and Leo Clougherty – University of Iowa

Conference Room C, 108

In this era of specialization and “target markets”, opportunities to partner with outside organizations to reach new groups of users are frequently overlooked or ignored.  We have to work together with other groups on campus and in the community in order to let people outside appreciate what we have gathered inside our walls and web sites.   Building these working relationships with museums, campus offices, and other library departments can have unexpectedly good results for everyone involved!  We have had success in collaborating with other campus units to develop presentations, host social events and create exhibits highlighting our libraries and museums by linking current events to our collections and to campus history.  These programs are attracting the attention of students, faculty and community members, resulting in increased contact with new and existing users and invitations from other groups to visit and talk. 

The Changing Landscape of Online Subject Research Guides
Kris Stacy-Bates and Rebecca Jackson - Iowa State University

Conference Room E, 112

This session reports on a study examining research/subject guides on websites of academic ARL English-language libraries.  Guides in philosophy, journalism, and chemistry were analyzed.  The presenters also surveyed the heads of reference services in these libraries, asking questions about local policies for guides, link checking, keeping guide statistics, the importance of guides to librarians’ evaluations, and the perceived value of these guides.  This study revisits a 2004 article co-authored by one of the presenters, allowing for comparisons with the current study results.  Since systems such as LibGuides now allow librarians more support for creating and updating online guides, the presenters expected to find differences in many aspects of guides analyzed in the previous study.  This updated analysis of subject research guides in academic libraries will interest anyone involved in the creation, management, and use of online library guides.

Taming Dragons! Institutional Repository Promotion Catching Fire through Successful Collaboration
Phillip Jones, Jieun Kang and R. Cecilia Knight - Grinnell College

Conference Room G, 114

While our institutional repository (IR) has been gradually developed with extensive collaboration with faculty, administrative offices, and academic support entities, both submission and interest have been slow to ‘catch fire,’ with the library carrying the torch of recruitment.  What helped us to develop excitement for our IR across and beyond our campus and attract more high quality content?  And how did we promote our IR as a showcase of scholarly and creative work by our students, faculty and staff, as well as highlighting campus history? The surprising answer to these questions: the dragon Beowulf, namesake of the Old English epic poem.  Come learn how the ambitious summer project of six undergraduate students and one faculty member to translate Beowulf into a modern English teaching edition has evolved into our own saga to tame the dragons surrounding our IR. 

Rocks vs. Sucks
Nicole Forsythe – Kirkwood Community College

Conference Room A, 106

In this session people in the room will divide themselves based on whether they think a given topic (you guessed it) “rocks” or “sucks” or is somewhere in between. The idea is modelled after similar events at other conferences and camps.  It is incredibly fun and very dynamic. Topics may include things like “PDA”, “Zotero”, “Silos” and others.