Posted on July 15, 2013.
Which library characteristics correlate most closely with a parent organization’s profitability? How can a special library or information center help connect people to each other instead of to collections? How can information professionals identify the premier database in a research-intensive field of study?
Last month, information professionals from around the world gathered in San Diego to network with peers, learn from industry leaders, and meet with vendors to test drive the latest products and services. Some of them came for an additional reason–to present papers that addressed topics such as those in the paragraph above. These “contributed papers” were presented in dedicated conference sessions, with four papers delivered on each day of the conference.
The papers are now posted in the SLA 2013 Annual Conference online planner. Links to the papers are published below; the papers are organized according to the dates on which they were presented. The topic descriptions are excerpted from the papers themselves.
Sunday, June 9
Comparing the Indexing of Cited Journals to Identify the Premier Database for a Specific Discipline
“In research-intensive academic institutions, libraries often subscribe to more than one database to cover any given discipline. While databases overlap, they also often contain unique content and features that differentiate them from their competitors. From these databases, can we identify the premier database in a field?”
Determining Value: Using Rank to Identify Library Characteristics that Contribute to the Bottom Line
“Pressure to be a performing asset impacts a library the same as any division in a for-profit organization. Yet there remains little agreement as to best practices for delivering library value. A study was undertaken to learn which library characteristics relate to its parent organization’s net profitability. For the study, a research design was developed using rank to operationalize relative measures of value.”
Outgoogling Google: Connecting Your Users to Content through a Single Search
“For many libraries, Google remains the key challenge and indeed threat for the continued delivery of services. Attempts to downplay or criticize the reliability of this search tool have generally proved fruitless. The desire to route enquiries through libraries are, the author argues, a pointless and backward step that misunderstands the new paradigm for information retrieval. This paper outlines how the National Library of Scotland has taken a very different approach to information provision and, rather than encouraging users to make use of intermediaries such as librarians, instead positions the Google type interface as the principal means to enable relevant content to be delivered to the user.”
Social Media and Citation Metrics
“Assessing the impact of a scholar’s work can be measured by several factors, including the number of peer-reviewed publications, citations to these publications, and the influence of the publications. These metrics take a relatively long time to accumulate, [and] they do not tell the entire story. As scholars communicate more frequently and more meaningfully with social media tools, the important of quantifying these interactions is evident.”
Monday, June 10
After the Storm: Establishing Library and Information Services from a Temporary Location
“The McMillan Library provides services to the New York City Human Resources Administration [and is] located at the agency’s headquarters in downtown Manhattan. HRA’s building was badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy. It was unclear when the building would reopen. In this paper I describe our experience in re-establishing services to a large population without access to our equipment and files.”
Peeking Over Cubicles: An Ethnographic Approach to Knowledge Management
“Knowledge audits are the first and most critical step of any knowledge management initiative. In the literature, surveys and interviews are the standard method for conducting knowledge audits. Moving away from the traditional, this paper argues the effectiveness of a holistic ethnography, specifically participant observation.”
There’s an Elephant in the Room, but Your Staff Isn’t: Connecting and Collaborating with Your Off-Shore Team
“How do you build a team from a distance, particularly when team members come with different cultures, perspectives and objectives? How do you ensure high quality, timely responses across time zones and geography? Over the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to create and manage both captive and outsourced research teams, both in India. In this paper, I’d like to share some of the practices [that] worked.”
Using Mobile Technologies to Connect Face to Face
“Librarianship has been undergoing a transformation away from simply connecting people to collections and is increasingly moving toward connecting people with each other. David Weinberger at Harvard University advocates this in his ‘library as platform’ manifesto. Weinberger urges libraries to start thinking of themselves as part of the infrastructure rather than simply a portal that users go through. With these thoughts in mind, the question becomes: How can a small special library be a conduit for connecting its diverse and often siloed user communities?”
Tuesday, June 11
Beyond the Repository: Rethinking Data Services at the University of Maryland
“In recent years, academic libraries have become increasingly concerned with data management and data curation. When asked by campus administration to help develop support for data management and data-driven research on campus, librarians from the University of Maryland consciously sought to develop active, perhaps even interventionist, approaches to data. This paper describes both the benefits and the challenges encountered during the development of a ‘business case’ for the research data services program.”
Modern Tools Solve Ancient Riddle
“This paper demonstrates how to use the ‘connect, collaborate, strategize’ model to the fullest, as we describe how information professionals solved a classic information overload problem. The client, ICANN, now offers users a Web portal that pulls data from nearly 100 sources, combines and filters the information, and outputs the results into logical streams.”
A New Approach to Needs Assessment and Communication to Connect and Collaborate with Faculty
“In 2010, the [University of Arizona] Libraries began to look at its organizational structure. The Research Services Team (RST) was formed. The highest priority work for the team is two-way communication with UA instructional and research units and the assessment of their needs, as these inform all of the libraries’ other services.”
Supporting NIH Grantees through a Collaboration between the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library, the University of Michigan Medical School Office of Research and the University of Michigan Office of Research and Sponsored Projects
“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest provider of funds for medical research in the world. Since the University of Michigan Medical School receives a substantial amount of grant funding from NIH each fiscal year, the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library has built a strong collaboration with units at the University of Michigan that are instrumental in working with NIH grantees to manage all aspects of the grant process. This paper describes this collaboration.”
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