Social Sciences and Humanities

2018 Social Sciences & Humanities and Academic Joint Poster Session Submissions 

03-20-2019 13:09

Undergraduate research skills: Do students have the skills faculty expect? by Boglarka Huddleston, Jeffrey D. Bond, Linda Chenoweth, and Tracy L. Hull, Texas Christian University (Winning entry)

How do college faculty perceive undergraduate students’ library research skills? To answer this question, we developed a study which includes a series of faculty focus groups, as well as an extensive faculty survey. In this Texas Christian University-based study, we explore whether faculty members’ expectations and perceptions of student research skills match and determine which core research skills faculty members expect students to have. Both expected and perceived student skills vary among the academic disciplines and among the different classifications of undergraduate students. The results of this study will help teaching faculty and librarians build better collaborative teaching relationships and inform faculty and librarians as they seek to improve information literacy among undergraduate students. This research will affect the library in multiple ways, including its instructional program, reference practices, and marketing strategies.

Getting Feedback from Students: The Evolution of the InterProfessional Student Advisory Gatherings (#IPSAG) by Amanpreet Kaur, University of Pennsylvania Libraries and Barbara Cavanaugh, University of Pennsylvania Libraries

The InterProfessional Student Advisory Gatherings (#IPSAG) is a networking event series geared towards health sciences students hosted by the Penn Libraries as a way to get feedback for the Biomedical, Dental, and Vet Libraries. Originally, IPSAG was founded as the Penn Health Sciences Libraries InterProfessional Student Advisory Group, in which members were selected by schools, departments, and programs within the health sciences community. Over the years, health sciences librarians experimented with IPSAG with small changes including types of events, topics discussed, methods of publicity, time of the event, and locations as well as large changes including the expansion of eligible members and re-branding from a group to an event series. Feedback collected from #IPSAG has impacted the availability of library services, resources, and spaces at the Biomedical, Dental, and Vet Libraries. To date, #IPSAG is only successfully sustained library student advisory group at Penn Libraries. The Penn Libraries and the Undergraduate Assembly may consider the #IPSAG model to potentially create an undergraduate event series.

Visualizing the Geography of Environmental Justice by Victor Perez, University of Delaware and Bernie Langer, PolicyMap

Environmental justice can be measured and analyzed in a myriad of different ways, but for students not majoring in geography or social sciences, the subject can be daunting. Presenting environmental justice issues involves showing places that have disproportionate levels of environmental toxins and people exposed to them who lack social, political, and economic power. Professor Victor Perez at the University of Delaware uses online mapping tools to help his students not only understand his presentation, but let them do their own analyses, without spending hours learning to use sophisticated software they may not use again.

Looking at a map of Wilmington, Delaware, we can bring up data on the non-white population and poverty, seeing where both are in high concentration, showing a geographic pattern of racial and economic inequality. Locations of brownfields (former industrial sites that may have potential toxic hazards) can be added, to show these racial and economically unequal areas that also suffer from environmental degradation.

By using an online tool like PolicyMap, students can access this data and create analyses quickly, which lets them spend more time discussing the underlying issues.

Building an Impact Narrative: Assessing Library Support for the Business School Community by Amanda Click, American University

In the spring of 2018, I conducted an assessment project to explore the impact of library support and services for American University business school students, faculty, and staff. Inspired by a project at the University of Washington, a one-question qualitative survey designed using critical incident technique asked respondents to share stories about their experiences with the library. Initially, respondents indicated whether they could think of a time that the library’s staff, services, spaces, or resources had a positive impact on their academic work. If yes, respondents were asked to describe the experience in just a few sentences. If no, they were asked to briefly comment on this as well. This poster shares the preliminary findings of the study.

This assessment was designed to encourage respondents to think about their relationship with the library in terms of a critical incident, or specific experience. The qualitative data collected provides an opportunity to gather impact stories that may help communicate the value of the library across campus.  Themes from the data shed light on the ways that the library and I have been successful in supporting the business school community, and also help identify opportunities for improving existing services or trying new support models. This type of assessment goes beyond satisfaction ratings to build narratives that help us understand our patrons’ needs and be more innovative in our practice.

Digital Exhibits for Special Libraries : Connecting Specialized Collections with New Audiences by Rachel Cole, Northwestern University Transportation Library

The highly specialized collections held by special libraries can sometimes lead to the impression that our holdings have a very niche appeal. Online exhibits and other digital tools open up avenues to connect special libraries with to an expansive, global audience of researchers, scholars, and the general public, both within our fields of focus and more broadly. The Transportation Library at Northwestern University has cultivated a digital presence to connect with a far-reaching audience, including the creation of online exhibits and a robust social media presence. This poster draws from examples using the Transportation Library’s completed and ongoing projects: the exhibits Bicycles on Paper (2016), Lovers of the Open Road and the Flying Wheel: From Iowa to San Francisco in a Model T (2017), On Board With Design: Passenger Transportation and Design in the Mid-20th Century (2017), and the forthcoming 2018 project Independence in the Air: African Aviation in the 1960s. It covers the process of developing online exhibits, touching on how a special library decides what to select, as well as digitization, formats for presenting exhibits online, and, finally, distributing exhibits to a broad audience through promotion and social media.

More than books and cubicles: one library’s support of well-rounded well-being by Kelly Johnson, Cornell University

In the face of a rigorous curriculum and incredible student debt looming ahead of them, many veterinary students struggle to maintain a healthy school-life balance or a positive outlook on entering the profession. Preparing students to manage their stressors, or allowing them to temporarily step away from them, improves current and future well-being and, as a result, productivity. The Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library aims to improve the student experience across the curriculum by providing unique services and materials focused on improving mental health. Some efforts, like developing a Wellness Collection of books on stress-reduction and financial planning, align more closely with the library’s role as resource repository; others, such as the provision of games, study supplies, and a tea cart (our most treasured addition) offer noteworthy shifts away from that traditional role. Results from student surveys, formal requests, and personal conversations are continually used to anticipate and implement services that establish the library as an open, welcoming, and inviting space. A selection of efforts intended to address mental health, both directly and indirectly, are presented along with student feedback and plans for the future.

How Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of Academic Librarians Can Inform Innovative Instruction by Elizabeth Price and Lara Sapp, James Madison University

Academic librarians are often focused on trying to understand who their students are, but rarely have the chance to learn about who students think they are. This poster will highlight findings from a large study of how undergraduate students at a four-year comprehensive university perceive academic librarians. The investigators will synthesize responses to four research questions and present data that most closely relates to information literacy instruction in higher education settings:

  1. What education, knowledge, skills, and expertise do students think librarians have?
  2. Do students know which workers in their library are librarians? What do students think librarians do?
  3. Do students perceive librarians as valuable to their own work, and what role do they perceive librarians playing in their own education and to the university?
  4. What is the student’s perception of the librarian’s attitude toward their jobs and helping students?

This project updates two earlier studies (Hernon & Pastine, 1977; Fagan, 2003), adapting Fagan’s survey instrument and supplementing it with that of Bickley & Corrall (2011). Understanding the mindset of students can help academic librarians better prepare for in-person and asynchronous classes and create instructional materials to meet today’s students where they are.

Signature Projects and Leadership Foundations by Binh Le, The Pennsylvania State University

The libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance universities are among the largest academic and research libraries in the world.  Presently, these libraries are managed and led by some of the most dynamic and innovative library directors in the profession. This poster presentation presents the results of a larger study on the leadership attributes of the 15 library directors of the Big Ten Academic Alliance universities.  Specifically, it examines how some of the signature projects undertook by these future library directors in the early stages of their careers formed their leadership foundations. To be considered a signature project, besides accomplishing its established goals (e.g., create a totally new library service or improve an existing library service), it must include some of the following elements: (a) it has to be innovative, (b) it must contain some element of calculated risk, and (c) it has a significant impact on the profession. The preliminary results of this study shows that these future library directors played the key roles in initiating, managing, and leading in many of the signature projects under study.  Significantly, these signature projects formed not only their leadership foundations, but also propelled them to the highest leadership positions. This poster presentation should be of interest to those who aspire to higher leadership positions.

How can libraries “be more” in the fight against HIV/AIDS?  Lessons from Lubuto Library Partners in Lusaka, Zambia by Jane Kinney Meyers, Lubuto Library Partners

Exemplifying how Lubuto Library Partners’ assertion that public libraries are special libraries too (as presented at the 2013 SLA Annual Conference in San Diego), Lubuto is driving library development in Africa, showing colleagues how to “BMore” innovative, collaborative and inclusive by addressing central societal problems. The poster presents the example of Lubuto libraries’ programming to reverse the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

As public institutions highly responsive to the information and service needs of their communities, libraries have an especially critical role to play in the fight against HIV/AIDS, reaching vulnerable groups (street children, adolescent mothers, and youth with disabilities) typically excluded from settings where HIV prevention programs are delivered. In Lusaka, Zambia, Lubuto libraries have reached more than 1,020 vulnerable youth with innovative HIV prevention programs.

Lubuto runs a role-model mentoring program under a PEPFAR/DREAMS Innovation Challenge grant to equip adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 with sexual and reproductive health knowledge and access to services, and foster their determination to achieve. Key programs where Lubuto libraries have been outstandingly successful relative to traditional AIDS programming include:

  • Offering HIV testing and counselling services in a non-traditional yet trusted, inclusive, non-stigmatizing environment
  • Implementing an effective strategy to combat poverty-driven pressure towards transactional sex
  • The value of cross-sectoral partnerships to offer holistic support for adolescents

These lessons suggest that HIV prevention programs can benefit from partnerships to provide counselling at non-traditional community sites, such as public libraries,  and drive enrollment by addressing factors that influence behavior.

Atomic Energy Commission depository collection – shining a light on a hidden resource Linda Musser, Penn State University

Most librarians are familiar with the U.S. federal depository library program as a mechanism to provide free access to U.S. government publications. Similar programs to distribute publications exist at other levels of government (e.g., state or local), other countries (e.g., Canada), and other organizations (e.g., United Nations) as well as individual agencies (e.g., U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). Many of the resources distributed via these programs have been widely collected and organized by libraries. The AEC depository materials are much less well described and owned by libraries. From 1946-1974, the Atomic Energy Commission operated a depository program among a select group of approximately 40 to 70 university libraries in the United States. AEC depository libraries received publications on microfiche related to atomic energy and were tasked with making these publications freely available to the public. Topics range from medical effects of radiation to evaluation of uranium deposits. The total number of reports issued to AEC depository libraries is unclear but easily numbers in the tens of thousands, representing a formidable collection of information that is largely hidden. Efforts are currently underway to rectify the situation, with activities ranging from comparing holdings to gathering titles and other bibliographic information. A number of libraries in the Big Ten Academic Alliance are working together to bring the materials in the AEC depository collection to light. This poster will describe the AEC collection and how these libraries are collaborating to describe and catalog the AEC depository publications.

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