Day one of the conference, I attended three breakout sessions on various topics. Here are my takeaways from each session.
Session 1: Rethinking Service Delivery and Creating Staff Buy-in
This session was presented by three speakers from different libraries. The first from an academic library discussed their transition to Alma. When they experienced problems with the rollout, they realized that they should have had a better strategy for handling these problems. What they learned was that in future experiences, they wanted to use a three step strategy of using an Interpersonal overture to connect with the patron, using their skills to help identify the problem they’re experiencing, and then having a referral strategy in place for those issues that could not be immediately solved. Based on the feedback that they received from their patrons, they should have conducted a longer testing period of Alma before rollout, conducted additional training for their staff, as well as some kind of disaster preparedness training so that they could better handle issues as they arise.
The second and third speakers were from public libraries. The biggest ideas that I took away from their presentations were to focus on the user experience, use fear as a catalyst for change, public engagement is a mindset change, and your community is the heart of the library. A couple of quotes that I found insightful were these.
- “Fear = the edge of your comfort zone. On the other side is opportunity.”
- “If you give into fear, you limit your ability to make an impact.”
Session 2: Open Access
In this session, the users spoke about adding open access journals to their libraries and the issues that they encountered during the process. The first speaker was from the University of California system and talked about how they approached providing access to journals after they severed ties with Elsevier. The other speaker talked about their initiative to promote open access publishing to their faculty and how they used donations to create an endowed award to create their Open Access Initiative.
Session 3: Exploring the Changing Relationships of Academic Libraries
This session focused on the library serving as the center for Institutional Research on campus. One of the interesting points that they made is that in one of their studies, they found that 80% of their students could locate an article on their own. The main problem that they had was in evaluating sources. This information helped them shift their instruction modality from the classroom to point-of-need online tutorials.