ALA 2016, Orlando

Hello from ALA Annual in Orlando! It’s very hot here, but I’m enjoying the pools, plants, and birds. The first session I attended was Expanding Your Assessment Toolbox: Creative Assessment Design for the Novice Instruction Librarian with SUNY Geneseo’s Brandon West (who I saw talk about qualitative interviewing at SUNYLA), Michelle Costello, and Kimberly Hoffman from the University of Rochester. The three presenters had all done instruction-centered assessment projects as co-teachers or course integrated instructors. In the second part of the session, they discussed applying assessment to teaching within the ACRL framework. Many of the participants liked the conceptual nature of the ACRL framework for information literacy instruction, but found it difficult to assess the results of teaching to the framework.

The next session I attended was Executive Perspectives: A Strategic View of the Library Technology Industry which was a panel discussion moderated by Marshall Breeding and featuring five library technology representatives including Sam Brooks from EBSCO, Skip Prichard from OCLC, Jim Tallman from Innovative, Sebastian Hammer from Index Data, and Matti Shem-Tov from Ex Libris. One of the important topics the panel discussed was the move away from monolithic software providers in libraries towards modular licensing and interoperability. Libraries are purchasing and using many different software products from many different vendors and technology vendors increasingly have to work together to ensure that their products play nicely together. At the same time, there is increasing consolidation in the industry, so there is potential that this trend might swing back around; even though libraries may be licensing each component through sub-companies, in reality they’re working with only one of the major conglomerates.

I attended the 2016 East Asia & Pacific Forum to see Stony Brook’s Michael Huang present on the Transformation of Academic Libraries in China. Michael gave a great overview of the current landscape of academic libraries in China. The session also featured Kuanyuh Tony Lin from the New Taipei City Government who talked about the New Taipei City Library and the creation of their beautiful Main Branch Library:

The library is a green building that was built with universal design in mind. The branch is open 24/7 and is meant to be used by people of all ages and abilities. They have an automated on hold retrieving system that is very similar to the one my dad built for Best Buy. The library also makes great use of touch screens, offering an ebook wall, interactive storytimes, and electronic newspapers. The library is very high tech, but also offers several themed “slow read corners,” quiet, analog rooms where users can concentrate on deep study and reading. Sara Kuhn from Monash University Malaysia also spoke about “glocalizing” the liaison model at her institution. Monash University is based in Australia, but has institutions on four continents. Elaine Ng from the National Library Board in Singapore spoke about transforming libraries and communities.

Sunday opened with manning the Stony Brook table at the ALA Job Fair. After that I participated in the LITA Top Tech Trends Panel, presented a poster about our library renovation, and attended a committee meeting.

The last session I attended was Improve Services anbd Create Value: Using Data to Guide Your Library¬Ä’s Strategic Planning Process. Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Richard Mott from Jacksonville Public Library discussed ways to use data to improve the strategic design process.