Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Preparing to present

There is an interesting blog post over at In the Library with the Lead Pipe concerning presentations; Presentation = Speech + Slides, by Derek Badman. Conversation regarding power point is ongoing, consider: Should we use ppt? Should it be brief? Be careful not to overfill your slide. Don't read your presentation to the audience. Don't pass out handouts before the show. Don't use handouts at all. And who can forget Life After Death By PowerPoint, by Don McMillan on YouTube?

I will never forget the first time I viewed a PowerPoint presentation in library school. I was so enthralled by the presenter's use of every single bell and whistle available; I missed the entire point of the presentation. With ALA Midwinter Meetings just around the corner followed closely by ACRL's 14th National Conference and any number of state and national conferences and workshops, 'tis the season for viewing and presenting. It's time to once again take a look at how we craft our presentations - and to look at them from both a presenter and audience point of view.

Monday, December 15, 2008

SPARC & ACRL at Midwinter

SPARC and ACRL Announce Slate for Denver Forumon Open Educational Resources:

Washington, DC & Chicago, IL – December 15, 2008

Four pioneers from the Open Educational Resources community will offer their insights into “The transformative potential of Open Educational Resources (OER)” at the next SPARC-ACRL Forum, to be held during the 2009 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Denver, CO.

The forum, hosted by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), will introduce OER and the philosophy behind them to the wider library community, highlight examples of how different constituencies are currently advancing OER on campuses, and offer suggestions for how libraries can further engage to support OER.

OER are a logical extension of what the library community supports in the Open Access movement, and underscore the need for the larger playing field on which scholarly communication takes place to be made more equitable. OER focus not only on journals, but also on full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials or techniques that are critical in the learning environment.

Forum presenters will include:

  • Richard Baraniuk, an architect of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration which aims to accelerate efforts to promote open resources, technology and teaching practices in education; founder of Connexions, an environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the; and Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Rice University.
  • David Wiley, also a leader of the Cape Town Declaration; Chief Openness Officer for Flat World Knowledge, a new approach to college textbooks offering rigorously reviewed textbooks online free of cost to students and Associate Professor of Instructional Psychology & Technology at Brigham Young University.
  • Nicole Allen, leader of the Student PIRGs’ Make Textbooks Affordable campaign, which aims to develop a textbook market with both a vibrant used book market and a plethora of learning content that is priced and sold fairly.
  • Mark Nelson, Digital Content Strategist for the National Association of College Stores, the trade association representing the higher education retail industry. He facilitates NACS three-pronged digital course materials strategy—partnerships, enhanced trade infrastructure, and education and awareness.

The 18th biennial SPARC-ACRL Forum will be held from 4:00 – 5:30 PM on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Centennial D. The ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group will also host an open conversation about issues that surface at the Forum from 4:00 – 5:30 PM on Sunday, January 25 in room 403 of the Colorado Convention Center.

The Forum will be available via SPARC podcast at a later date. For more information, visit the SPARC Web site at - Jennifer McLennan, SPARC

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New ACRL website

Fresh from my email inbox this morning, a notice asking for input concerning the new ACRL website:

Dear ACRL member,

On Monday, September 22, ALA launched a new version of its Web site ( Since the launch of the new ALA site design, ACRL has been refining a prototype design for its website. ACRL recognizes that users of our site may have information needs that differ from those who visit the main ALA site. After drawing on the experience and knowledge gained during the ALA Web redesign process, we are now surveying ACRL members to determine the best way to serve you.

Please assist us by completing a short survey available at The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes.

We appreciate your help as we work to improve the ACRL Web site.

I just finished taking the survey and am happy to report it does not take much longer than the 10 - 15 minutes advertised and provides opportunity to work with the new site template on their staging server. It's very clean and follows the new ALA web site template making it more user friendly working between the two sites.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Lists... and more lists

As the year winds down, children's literature best books lists are published. Earlier this month I pulled books from our juvenile collection featured in both the Children's Choice and Teacher's Choice 2008 lists from The Reading Teacherto be placed on reserve for a children's literature course this spring. Read Roger, the Horn Book editor's blog, posted And the Hit's Just Keep on Comin yesterday; links to the Horn Book Fanfare List: Best Books of 2008.

This morning I had opportunity to check our collection against the Horn Book list and School Library Journals Best Books of 2008 list. While being on the list does not mean I automatically purchase any given title, it does mean I will re-evaluate reviews of titles we don't have, look at curriculum needs and OhioLINK holdings, and then consider purchase. It was interesting to see how many of the books already in our collection were currently circulating within the AU community and OhioLINK.

I was pleased to note I had read several fiction titles on the various lists. Sometimes what circulates does so via recommendation and discussion in the resource center (Did you read?.....), it helps. Included in that group were Waiting for Normal, Paper Towns, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox. Here are a few of the current "best books" lists for 2008: