Pre-Conference Courses

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Please note this schedule will be adjusted to reflect the new October dates. 

Pre-conference courses will be held preceding the conference in the Charlotte Convention Center. More information about each course will be posted in the coming weeks. Registration for pre-conference courses will open in late March. Please contact learning@sla.org with any questions.

What am I Supposed to Do with This (Taxonomy) Now?

Course Length: Full day
Date: Saturday, June 6
Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Content Level: Advanced

Taxonomies are a great intellectual exercise and can be the basis for the entire Knowledge Organization System for a body of knowledge or the organization's collections and staff. The promises are great but the implementation is frequently fraught with missteps. Managers may see it only as a "library or information center" project. What else can you do with a taxonomy and how do you get it implemented in search or on the web site? How can it be enabled in commercial transactions and orders? How are taxonomies used as descriptions of products and services the company has for sale or to auto-index special collections? How can taxonomy be used as a way to identify personnel with shareable areas of expertise or as a way to monitor trends in an industry? What are some of the myriad of things taxonomies are used for? The variety of people working with taxonomy or taxonomy-adjacent work need to know what to do after those initial steps of understanding and building a taxonomy. Assuming the role of taxonomist allows wide influence and affects the organizational perspective. This course will cover these topics in the context of what you can do with your taxonomy and how to implement it.

Intended Audience: Taxonomists who have been working on taxonomies as their primary focus for two or more years. This course assumes basic knowledge of what a taxonomy/thesaurus is.

Fundamentals of DAM: How to Select and Implement Like a Pro

Course Length: ½ day
Date: Saturday, June 6
Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Content Level: Fundamental

This course will discuss key concepts related to Digital Asset Management in any industry and include hands-on activities. We will review core characteristics of DAM, what to consider when selecting, implementing, and managing your DAM, and the benefits of having a DAM. Using real-life scenarios, attendees will work through a system evaluation and selection process. They will practice organizing a collection of items for a fictional company to learn about the differences in user needs and content, variations in user behavior, and how asset structure can be interpreted in different ways. Finally, participants will practice capturing metadata requirements and business rules in a succinct document and learn how to translate business requirements into configurations.

Intended Audience: Open to all (students, recent grads, DAM librarians, non-DAM librarians).


Pssst… what’s an ontology?

Course Length: ½ day
Date: Saturday, June 6
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Content Level: Fundamental

You’ve heard of them. Maybe you even know an elusive ontologist or two. However, do you know what an ontology is (like, what is it really)? Where do ontologies come from? Are they siblings to taxonomies? What can they be used for? Where do we interact with ontologies in our daily life? In this continuing education course, spearheaded by the SLA Taxonomy Division, participants will learn from experts how ontologies are about the analysis of the fundamental concepts within a domain of knowledge and their relationship to each other, as well as how they are about so much more than those relationships. There are many different ways to define ontology, just as there are many ways to define taxonomy but, in a nutshell, ontology is the study of being and the essence of things. An ontology is built to represent this concept and we will uncover how this is related to information access, particularly on the semantic web.

Intended Audience: Taxonomists and other ontologically-curious information professionals with little to no ontology experience.


Introduction to R Coding

Course Length: ½ day
Date: Saturday, June 6
Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Content Level: Intermediate

R is an extensible, open-source programming language and software for Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, and Linux platforms. RStudio is a very popular way to create R commands that interact with the R software. Using R, you can create code that combines statistical approaches from many scientific disciplines to best suit the analytical framework you need to analyze your data. R works on data of all shapes and sizes, and the plotting functions of R allow you to produce high-quality graphics. This beginner-friendly hands-on workshop is designed to teach non-programmers to write modular code and to introduce best practices for using R for data analysis. The workshop is divided into three topic areas: (1) Introduction to R and RStudio, (2) Introduction to Data Wrangling in R, and (3) Data Visualization in R. These skills will help propel research and your career forward.

Intended Audience: The course is open to anyone with a basic understanding of data analysis.  Previous scripting or programming language experience not required.


Chemistry for the Non-Chemist Librarian

Course Length: Full day
Date: Friday, June 5
Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Content Level: Fundamental

It is necessary that any information scientist with responsibilities for providing chemistry reference services understand the structure and language of chemistry. This course takes a hands-on approach to introduce learners to the basic principles of the five major divisions of chemistry, chemical terminology and drawing, and other intellectual tools that chemists need to do their work, punctuated by real-life chemistry experiments that offer insight into the research process and acquisition of research data. It will be composed of four basic sections: and introduction to chemistry as a science, strategies for effective communication with chemists, basic chemical concepts and research questions, and the ways in which chemists’ research needs dictate their information needs.

Intended Audience: Information professionals with either new or continuing responsibilities for chemistry reference work, who have little or no formal training in chemistry and feel that some additional understanding and vocabulary will help them communicate better with the chemists, chemical engineers, and materials scientists whom their libraries or information centers serve. 


Chemical Information Sources, Requests, and Reference

Course Length: ½ day
Date: Saturday, June 6
Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Content Level: Fundamental

The course takes a hands-on approach to introduce learners to the types of questions that chemical researchers ask and reference sources that can be used to answer them. It will provide an overview of the structure of the chemical literature, types of reference sources in the chemical sciences, unique access points for chemical information, and strategies for an effective search. Informal lectures, interspersed with hands-on reference questions, will compare and describe the major chemical information resources.

Intended Audience: Information professionals, with either new or continuing responsibilities for chemistry reference work, who have some familiarity with the language of chemistry. The course is also suitable for those who desire to update or augment their knowledge of both classic and newer chemistry reference sources.


Ten Lessons for the Age of Disinformation

Course Length: Full day
Date: Saturday, June 6
Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Content Level: Intermediate

Ten Lessons for the Age of Disinformation will provide pedagogical techniques to teach SLA members how to cope with our current environment, which the author calls the “Age of Disinformation.” It provides a multifaceted approach in which each facet reinforces the others: (1) characteristics of the Age of Disinformation; (2) the varieties of false information; (3) knowledge, opinion, and second-hand knowledge; (4) deception and self-deception; (5) psychological factors for the acceptance and perpetuation of fake news; (6) cognitive authorities, such as the Washington Post or Fox News; (7) intellectual freedom, freedom of expression and social media; (8) information ethics, media ethics, digital ethics and the violation of ethical principles; (9) logical fallacies in disinformation campaigns; and (10) the benefits and limitations of information literacy, media literacy and digital literacy. Each lesson outlines the key ideas for each lesson and provides exercises to confirm the key points. There will be suggested exercises to do before the class begins (e.g., identifying fake news sites), discussions in which to engage and online exercises to do as the class progresses, such as identifying violations of ethical or logical principles or discussing kinds of cognitive authorities, such as the New York Times or Fox News, and their influence.

Intended Audience: Anyone interested in the diverse aspects of the Age of Disinformation and strategies to cope with them.


Introduction to Systematic Reviews: Opportunities for Librarians

Course Length: ½ day
Date: Saturday, June 6
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Content Level: Fundamental

The systematic review method is an important and effective research tool that is being adopted across the spectrum of academic disciplines, from the hard sciences to the social sciences and education. Sometimes called a “study of studies,” the systematic review uses rigorous and transparent procedures to find, evaluate, and synthesize the results of relevant research to answer a specific research question. The method can be used by researchers and information professionals to sum up the best available research on a specific question. This course will provide a strong foundation to the method and describe opportunities for librarians in providing patron services.

Intended Audience: Librarians or administrators interested in learning about systematic reviews and services for clients.

 

INTEL-07: Human Source Intelligence

Course Length: Full Day
Date: Friday, June 5
Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Content Level: Fundamental

This course is part of the SLA Competitive and Decision Intelligence Certificate Program.

Information professionals know how to research using published sources, but we often stop there, missing out on a universe of available and vital information. As companies and organizations increasingly require high-value, unpublished information in order to remain competitive, information and intelligence from human sources become vital to effective and thorough research practices – and analysis. Through discussions and exercises, participants will learn how to design and manage a holistic and advanced research effort through human and published sources, including: how human source collection complements literature research, how to conduct various types of human source research, maintaining good ethical practices, managing human source collection efforts, and more. Learn more.

 

INTEL-09. Competitive Intelligence Analysis, Intermediate

Course Length: Full Day
Date: Saturday, June 6
Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Content Level: Intermediate

This course is part of the SLA Competitive and Decision Intelligence Certificate Program.

With scores of analytical models and tools that can support competitive intelligence, building your analytical capabilities is vital to designing more advanced research/monitoring strategies and generating the intelligence your organization needs. This course will focus on key frameworks and techniques that can help your organization understand, assess, and anticipate threats and opportunities, and identify and track key developments. See how a cost analysis project is conducted, learn how to understand competition through win-loss analysis, gain understanding of your industry’s strategic groups, and expand your monitoring efforts through developing an Early Warning System. Through discussions and exercises, we will learn how to select and apply these essential analytical tools, define research requirements, generate systematic and forward-looking intelligence, and more. Learn more.