Category Archives: Dharma

Notes about organizing exhibits

From OLA/WLA Joint Conference 2008

  1. If at all possible, work with a partner (someone who has done it before).   

  2. Get planning documents for your state from the past exhibits chair.   

  3. If this is a joint conference- find out if either side has a contractual obligation to use certain companies (i.e., decorator).   

  4. Before going through a certain company- verify it makes sense (e.g., if the company is not local to the event venue, will it cost for them to travel?).    

  5. Okay it with your institution of employment and verify who will pay for your travel and other conference committee expenses.   

  6. If you send out the conference notifications too early, they get lost in the shuffle (we sent them out in Nov. and a couple of regular vendors did not register). Lynn usually sends out exhibit info in Jan. when people are back from winter break and ready to put things on the calendar.   

  7. Vendors want booth numbers (wow, do they!) so have them ready as soon as possible.   

  8. Vendors want conference name badges (wow, do they!) have them ready as soon as possible.   

  9. If someone staffs a vendor booth who does not have a name badge, be prepared to make one on the fly, because…see above.   

  10. Vendors want a conference schedule, so make sure that there are enough for them to have one, or an abbreviated version, or post one in the exhibit area…we did not have enough registration packets to give a full packet to each vendor, but they seemed to mainly just want a schedule, so if in doubt- run off copies of the schedule and have them on hand.   

  11. Showcases complimented the no-conflict times, it worked to have them near the vendor areas and I would do this again if possible.     

  12. Vendors wanted to leave early…really early (wow, did they!) so take this into consideration when scheduling. Also, clarify with the conference committee what if any expectation exists that vendors will remain set-up…do they need to agree to be there until a certain time?   

  13. There was a spelling error on a vendor sign- the problem originated with the decorator service, but there was no way to correct it during the conference…ask the decorator to bring an extra blank sign that could, in a pinch, be used to replace a sign with an error (something that can be written on).   

  14. Pass out “save the date” handouts with date and location a year in advance.   

  15. Pass out drink tickets to the vendors.   

  16. Offer snacks and coffee in vendor areas.    

  17. Organize raffle so people know how it is structured before they visit the vendors…our raffle was okay, but people looked at the exhibits and then realized there was a vendor quiz as part of the raffle entry…we spent a lot of time encouraging people to fill out the raffle forms.   

  18. Plan to be on the exhibits floor by 6:30-7:00am on the first day of conference. Be sure to eat something or bring healthy food to the vendor table for later. On the first day of the regular conference, morning hunger turned out to be a huge issue and by lunch time I was shakey.   

  19. Arrange for lunch coverage    

  20. Vendors supplied raffle prizes without being asked.   

  21. Plan to work late, especially the day of pre-conference when vendors are setting up. Have dinner plans and know ahead of time if you will be paid for work/dinner and if so, what kinds of receipts/paperwork you need to fill out.   

  22. Verify whether or not the conference committee pays for your hotel room.     

  23. We had potential vendors requesting exhibit space while the conference was in progress. When one vendor unexpectedly vacated their booth on the first day, we had an alternate who came in, paid an adjusted fee, and exhibited for the rest of the conference. It would not hurt to have one or two alternates just in case.   

  24. Put information about free tables on the website. Library groups will contact you to reserve free tables. Either arrange ahead of time for the decorator to bring signs or come prepared with 8 ½ X 11 signs for each table with the group name. Verify in advance whether or not the table needs electricity.   

  25. Advise vendors and free table folks to bring extension cords if needed as hotels often charge extra to borrow cords.   

  26. Get a copy of the information packet the decorator is sending to vendors.  Proof the packet and add clarification where necessary.   

  27. Put the exhibit cost on the web page (not just the exhibit application). I had many calls from exhibitors looking for costs on the website.
  28. Consider setting up a coat rack near the exhibits to encourage people to spend time in exhibit areas.






Cooperative Library Instruction Project

At the OWEAC meeting we discussed the Cooperative Library Instruction Project, an LSTA grant proposal for creating a shared collection of information literacy/library instruction tutorials. There seemed to be agreement that OWEAC supports the spirit of this project, but we wanted to know more about the specifics of the proposal before issuing an endorsement.
I contacted Allen McKiel, Dean of Library and Media Services at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. McKiel initiated the project and wrote the grant proposal. You can read his comments below.  
I feel compelled to clarify that I am not on the payroll trying to market this project. However, after reading the description, I  do believe it is a good starting point for building a shared resource. I recommended that OWEAC track the development of this project and form a liaison relationship with the project coordinator(s) so that the voices of Writing and English faculty are represented as this takes shape. I am happy to help set up this communication.  I also recommend that the project include teach-the-teacher tutorials as a resource for helping instructors incorporate IL into their subject curriculum.  

McKiel’s Description of The Cooperative Library Instruction Project:

Although the initial project will involve a subset of the libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance that will set up the standards for producing and sharing modules, the modules are meant to be open source for use by anyone. The precise mechanisms for participating in the production of modules by librarians or faculty will be an outcome of the processes set up through the grant. The Alliance provides the organizational and administrative infrastructure for cooperation. The processes set up for the ongoing development of standards and procedures will likely expand through the administrative structures of the Alliance. It would be important from my perspective to set up structures that provide for participation by non-Alliance members in the production of modules.

There are two focal areas for content development that reflect ACRL’s call for horizontal and vertical integration of information literacy instruction throughout the curriculum. Comprehensive horizontal integration requires that institutions of higher education find ways to ensure that all incoming students are able to effectively function within local institutional and the greater Internet information sphere. Below is an example list of some of the topics that basic modules could address. The list is an example of the types of modules intended. It is not comprehensive. The modules available would undergo constant expansion and revision as the information infrastructure and student and faculty experiences evolve and librarians continue to contribute modules. I have provided the list to show the relevance of this effort to OWEAC. The modules will be available for use as they are or for modification as modules for insertion into courses for students or as tutorials for faculty. It is intended that assessments be included—i.e. multiple choice questions and exercises that could be available through some mechanism of controlled access.


Knowledge of Institutional Information Infrastructure
Web Services, User ID and Password, and Email
WebCT, Moodle
Campus Resources
Library Physical Overview
Library Web Page Overview


Effective Use of Resources
E-books—Ebrary and Netlibrary
E-journals—Ebsco and Jstor
Government Documents
Accessing Physical Materials
Link Resolver
Serials Solutions
Federated Searching
Interlibrary Loan


Skills & Concepts
Evaluation of URLS
Research Strategies
Peer Review
Plagiarism and Citation
Search Terms

Vertical integration of information literacy is the second focal area of development that could benefit from cooperation. The information literacy needs of nursing, finance, education, or chemistry students are different. The information resources relevant to the various disciplines are in a state of rapid expansion in diversity and depth on the Internet. Much of the current expansion of the Internet is occurring through the integration of governmental, corporate, and organizational data structures. The interfaces to these data sets are often not intuitive. The interface to the Federal Government’s Census Datais an example. As librarians and faculty progressively identify relevant web sites and online resources that are relevant to the curriculum of the various disciplines, it will become increasingly important to share the instruction that librarians produce. 









IL discussion at Menucha (ACRL OR/WA Joint Fall Conference)

ACRL Oregon & Washington Joint Fall Conference 2008
The Once & Future Catalog
When: October 23-24, 2008
Menucha Conference Center, Corbett, Oregon.
Grab a beverage and join colleagues from Oregon and Washington to discuss Information Literacy. We have time set aside Thursday, October 23 @ 8:00pm, so this will be a pre-social-social. 
Oregon librarians are in the process of interpreting the revised AA/OT and JBAC recommendations.  Washington librarians from 2 and 4-year schools are continuing conversation about statewide IL articulation. We’re all interested in ways to embed IL in foundational courses. The Cooperative Information Literacy Project would start a pool of shared online IL tutorials for Summit libraries. Always lots to talk about- hope to see you there.

Overview of Assessment Activites at Chemeketa Community College

The following are notes from our May 29th meeting with Malia Stevens, Education Assessment Coordinator with the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Chemeketa Community College. Natalie, Beth Anne, Theresa, Janice and I attended.


We invited Malia Stevens to attend our reference meeting and provide an overview of assessment and outcome activities at Chemeketa.

Formal institution wide assessment efforts started approximately 4 years ago as Chemeketaprepared for accreditation. Malia works with academic assessment. Institutional assessment is handled by a different department.


Academic Assessment: Assessment should improve learning and service to students. The goal of assessment is to improve student experiences and our teaching. Assessment allows programs/disciplines/departments to plan for improvement and set realistic priorities.

Assessment Tool: Answers the question “how will we know”. An assessment tool is used to gauge how well the average student is meeting program/discipline outcomes. Examples of assessment tools  include a test or a random representative sample of student papers measured against an outcome rubric.  Our goal is to assess application in an authentic way…a test is the least favorite option.

Benchmarks: standards to measure against (e.g., what would you like to see on the average student paper?…what can 80% of students do successfully?…what are national standards?)

Outcome = if you call it an outcome, you must assess it. Outcomes are broad, inclusive statements of what students should know and be able to do).

Umbrella Outcome = big, broad general overarching outcome(s) for the discipline or program. The umbrella outcome should be inclusive and application/skill based. The skill should be something the student can use in multiple contexts (e.g., in or out of school) because we don’t know if they will or will not transfer. It should describe what you want the student to be able to do.

Discipline Outcomes= outcomes for Chemeketa General Education programs. The Gen. Ed. Programs are challenging to assess because there are required categories of classes, but no required sequences. We don’t know what students will be taking.

Program Outcomes= outcomes for Chemeketa Career and Technical programs. Career and Tech programs are less challenging to assess because students take a certain sequence of classes.

Student Outcomes = Specific outcomes you would find on a class outline or syllabus. Looking at the Information Literacy Proficiencies- the bullet points are examples of possible student outcomes.

Rubric= an assessment tool that should be written so anyone from that field can understand it and use it to score in a similar fashion. Students should receive rubrics ahead of time so they understand what the top standard is.

Steps in Chemeketa’s Assessment Process:

  1. Program/Discipline/Departments draft Outcomes
  2. Choose assessment tools  
  3. Set Benchmarks
  4. Collect data (findings, conclusions, and recommendations for change). Some areas collect term by term and then aggregate at the end of the year. Data may be used to support budget requests, and in fact are being required in many areas. Yearly reports go to the Associate Dean so he or she will have a snap shot of activities and quality.
    1. Library and tutoring will have a hybrid model combining elements of the academic report and the unit plan.
    2. Best to gather and analyze data in the spring in order to have time for making needed changes for fall term

Other notes from our discussion:

·         ESL and Dev. Ed have identified outcomes and standards

·         Visual Communication has a rubric that includes standard characteristics like scale and perspective, but also has an area crediting points for having a ‘wow’ factor (consider…what might constitute an information literacy wow factor?)

·         The revised AA/OT requires that IL be embedded in “foundational courses” and that those courses be designated as such. Maureen McGlynn is our CCC Contact for info about how to set up a course designation.  

o   DPR courses are “designated”,  but as a CCC internal initiative, it may or may not pan out in terms of becoming a requirement. Either way, we can look at the DPR program as one model of a process for training across the curriculum and designating courses.

o   The library is considering creating a series of online tutorials…possibly through elearn using the Quiz module. These tutorials may be used to embed the info lit piece into multiple areas of the curriculum

Information Literacy Group of Greater Portland…

…at least I think that’s our name! And because there have been a few questions, here’s who we are and what we are working on.

The IL group of the Greater Portland Area was formed just before the Oregon IL 2007 Summit and includes librarians from Portland State University, Mt. Hood Community College, Portland Community College and Chemeketa Community College (with guest appearances by Clackamas Community College). Our purpose is to create a shared understanding of IL proficiencies and outcomes in order to establish consistency and better service for the students who swirl among our institutions. 

Anna Johnson (MHCC), Bob Schroeder (PSU), Victoria Scott (PCC) and I (Chemeketa CC) worked on proficiencies prior to the fall Summit and then worked after the Summit to draft explanatory examples to describe each of the statewide IL proficiencies. When we completed our descriptive examples, Anna (channelling her past life experience in graphic design) created a poster for use as a visual at the PAIL meeting (Portland Areas Information Literacy group?…I think? the acronym plot thickens). I handed out copies of the poster at the OWEAC meeting last week and it seemed to be well received. There were requests for electronic copies of the poster and you can access that in Word (formatting of text boxes is touchy) or PDF (with notes).

For related information on IL in Oregon, see Undergraduate Information Literacy: Sharing Students, Sharing Standards, a site I set up to support a showcase we did for the 2008 OLA/WLA Joint Conference. I’m in the process of repurposing that site, so expect changes.


OWEAC 5/16/08 meeting

OWEAC = The Oregon Writing and English Advisory Committee…

Maybe you already know what OWEAC stands for, but it bears repeating as this group is a too-well kept secret. As I say in my notes from the Feb. 8th meeting at Linn Benton, tuning in to OWEAC is a great way for Oregon librarians to stay in the loop about the important issues affecting our collaboration with writing colleagues in higher ed. Here are my in process notes from the May 16th meeting at OIT in Klamath Falls. I’ll try to capture the flavor of the discussion and why it is important, then we can further discuss implications for academic librarians. If you are interested, I hope you’ll comment in the blog or contact me personally with questions, corrections, and to get in on the IL conversation. Cheers!

  1. Revisions to the AAOT (Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer) degree requirements went to the Joint Boards of Education for adoption on May 2. 2008. In brief, the revisions to the AAOT are done (here is my copy with scribbles). Note: Information Literacy is not listed as a foundational requirement, but it is called out in the notes and clarifications (page 2, number 7). The note on IL says: Information Literacy is included in the AAOT through embedding the appropriate content and analytical activity in courses that count toward Foundation Requirements or Discipline Studies. Colleges will designate courses that do so.  Looks like we need to think about how to designate a course as fulfilling the IL piece.
  2. The revised AAOT and the Oregon Transfer Model (OTM) describe the minimum writing requirement as …at least two courses totaling a minimum of eight credits of lower division collegiate writing courses and designated courses are WR 121, 122, 123, and 227. (see a copy of OTM with my scribbles).
  3. Many (most?) Oregon colleges and universities are making the conversion from 3 to 4-credit writing classes. English and writing instructors are sending outcomes to Eva Payne who is compiling a side-by-side list of existing 3 and 4-credit outcomes. Now is the time for librarians to chime in and work with Writing and English folks on incorporating IL outcomes into the 4-credit writing courses…ideally coming up with language that suits both purposes, rather than trying to squeeze in an IL outcome after the fact. As noted above, this is also a good time to think about how we will designate those foundational requirement classes with incorporated IL.
  4. There is a need for IL training for faculty. I mention the LSTA grant proposal to fund creating of shared IL tutorials. It was clear at OWEAC that there is a need/desire for a set of IL tutorials for faculty (full and part time, adjunct, and instructors in dual credit programs). I’m going to forward this OWEAC recommendation to McKiel. OWEAC is also interested in endorsing McKiel’s IL grant proposal, although it is only in spirit until we are able to read the text of the grant. Writing and English faculty expressed a strong desire for IL tutorials aimed at teaching faculty (full time and adjunct) to successfully incorporate IL into writing classes. In addition to training our regular college and university faculty, we also need a way to train Dual Enrollment instructors who teach writing classes in High Schools. I hope the shared online instruction resources McKiel envisions will include tutorials designed for our Writing and English faculty colleagues.

Here is the Information Literacy Proficiencies poste (pdf with notes OR word doc but be careful about losing formatting).

Oregon Virtual Reference Summit

After a quick introduction by Caleb,  Dave Lankes gave the keynote and you can listen to it and see slides and eventually video on Virtual Dave…Real Blog. I had to step out for two minutes and missed his version of the IT/Librarian Smackdown conversation, so Kathleen will be happy to hear that I listened to the pod cast. Funny! I also laughed out right at his impersonation of the 98-year-old new hire coming in with his walker to be “The New Librarian.” You’ll have to see the video, but that was cute and point well taken. I like his emphasis on knowledge work, rather than information work.

Our Quality Team session on the rubric for transcript review and reference instruction had about 16 attendees. This worked fine for our small group exercise. We were prepared for a larger group, but frankly, I think we would have run way short of time if we had many more people. As it was, we had just enough time and could have used a little more for discussion. People like to talk about transcripts! We reviewed one of the notable transcripts together, then each small group reviewed their own packet of transcripts. After 15 minutes, we came back together and each group reported their observations. Caleb designed a sharp looking postcard with the rubric that people were excited about having as a take-away. The rubric postcard is small enough to keep by a monitor. Sources of anxiety around VR tend to be one of three; worries about the software, worries about being able to ‘find the answer’ and worries about having a good back and forth chat with the patron. The rubric is a quick and easy way to make sure you’re covering the basics. It is not intended to be prescriptive or formulaic. The way each librarian creates a welcoming tone or conducts the reference interview…all of it is still individual. The rubric is also useful in training and reference instruction as it distills the essential elements- probably most useful for someone who is just learning to do reference or new to VR or even student workers helping to cover our service desks. In our small discussion group later in the afternoon, Janeanne talked about using the rubric and looking at WOUs IM transcripts from their institution for a reference training meeting.

I also attended Kate Gronemyer’s and Anne-Marie Deitering’s session on teaching search in VR. They showed clips of a couple of chats and attendees brainstormed other questions and techniques the librarian could have used to help the patron move closer to answering their question or learning what they need to know. They used a graphic from Exploratory Search: from finding to understanding to illustrate the relationship between the activities of Look up, Learn, and Investigate. The graphic worked as a reminder that learning is a process and we are helping patrons move a little further along.  Kate asked the question, can we provide the same level of instruction in VR as we can face to face?

It occurred to me that people interpret Kate’s question as can one person in one encounter provide the same level of instruction as one person in one face to face interaction- but if you look at the question as “can many visits to a VR service provide the same level of instruction as face to face” then I think we can say potentially.

It also occurred to me that in an ideal learning situation, we give a little instruction then students go away and struggle, then come back and we keep going. In VR, students pick their own point of struggle, pop in and ask a question, then go away to grapple with whatever new they learn. This is a different way of looking at the way they come and go abruptly. When we think about this in combination with the idea of VR as one big entity (I believe I’ve already mentioned my desire to swarm and destroy) and the transaction as having multiple pop-ins which the patron chooses based on point of struggle, it is a much more interesting scenario in terms of VRs ability to instruct.

We had break out time for disucssion groups. I led the disucssion for our group on transcript review and the rubric. Janeanne, Kathleen, Michael, Carol and I chatted and I eventually burst into such hysterical laughter at one of Kathleen’s stories that I was crying. Always great in a discussion group! We did talk about how nice it would be to use the VR service chat tool to contact colleagues when you need to run an idea by someone and are working a shift like Michael (4pm-1am). It would also be nice if the chat tool allowed patrons to establish a personal relationship with a librarian (if they chose) rather than being randomly selected at each visit. We also talked about Janeanne’s idea to use the rubric as a training tool for the WOU librarians who staff their IM reference service.

We came back together as a large group and Caleb gave an Lnet update. He described the projects he is working on and a new chat tool. It will be on video. Note: he mentioned an feature that could let multiple librarians decend upon a question and rip into it (swarm and destroy, Swarm and Destroy!).

About 13 of us went to the Blue Pepper for the after Summit and a really cool think happened: I met Hillary Garret. Hillary is from McMinnville Public Library, so we are related through CCRLS  and by virtue of our shared patrons, that is, Chemeketa students from our McMinnville Campus who visit McMinnvillePublic for service. I’m so happy to meet Hillary and have a contact at McMinnville so we can talk about outreach and service and all that good stuff. Janeanne and I wrapped up with dinner at Soba (name?), a Japanese restaurant downtown.

In general: I loved the fact that there was time built into the program for discussion and reflection, but later in the afternoon the atmosphere got a little sleepy. On the conference survey I brainstormed a few ideas for helping people meet other colleagues during the discussion groups. The Eola center was the perfect size for this small conference (I think there were about 70 attendees). Plenty of parking, great view, nice weather, and the food was fine (I helped with some of the arrangements, so I really hoped that everything would work and it did).