VALA 2018 – Day Three – Thursday 15 February – Disruption Day

And finally – great finish to a great conference.


Keynote 5 – The C Equation: Content + Connection + Community = Contented Customers – David Lee King

Content – libraries have traditional forms of content, but also more cutting-edge forms. Some examples are ukuleles for loan, guitars, electronic EDM devices, checking things out to create other things. Makerspaces are more prolific – an ‘egg-bot’ is one example of something a little different. Libraries have recording studios – not just useful for music recording, but for oral histories. David’s library has different cake pans – it’s a very popular collection. Different content for different communities.

Events, classes and talks are another type of content that libraries provide. Digital content needs are one of the fastest growing areas. David’s library now has more digital than physical items. This change has the consequence of needing to consider your staffing structure, to support the changing library usage patterns. Content can also be the digital interfaces to our facilities and services, making content – in the form of blogs, social media posts, videos and more.

Not only do you need staff to shift with your change in content, but they may also need to market and create that content. This can be new skills and can be a challenge.

How does this affect customers? Our users still want books, but they also still need and want other things. 3D printers can help build community – as people gather around when something is printing. And classes can help change people’s lives.

Connections – more face to face. Libraries build many connections, through book clubs; face to face assistance – the skill of making eye contact and smiling is invaluable; make your spaces more open and your staff more mobile; make digital connections – David’s library has chat and text reference as well as email and Facebook. Some libraries have chat boxes within their catalogues.

In 2017, Topeka had 1,000,000 visits to their website and catalogue and 700,000 visits to their physical locations. This may require a shift in staff. The move to mobile also need to be take into consideration – last year was 27% mobile and 10% tablets but continuing to grow – be sure that your library website and catalogue is accessible through these forms. A more emotional connection through the various social media channels – and video is an amazing way of engaging through the socials. NOTE: Facebook prioritises video in peoples’ feeds and streaming even higher. Other sites to consider – Good Reads (Scottsdale Public)

Call to Action – CTA – more directed actions. Using business tools to create actions – after they engage with your content, what do you want them to do next. This should happen with all your content. Stay ahead of them, by using that carrot.

Community – going outside the building. Mobile Libraries, book drops spread around the community, seniors’ services (home library), library at work (holds delivered to the workplace). Smart lockers – from Biblioteca: they have 2 currently, in a community centre and a grocery store, with plans for more.

Partnerships: increasing your footprint out into the community – they have computer labs in their 6 community centres at which they run classes and have weekly tech support visits. They have put self-check units and a small collection into a local homeless shelter. A large cadre of their staff have had facilitation training, which has had two benefits – their own meetings run better, but they are also invited to come into the community and facilitate – which has the bonus of giving them a seat at the table that wasn’t open to them before.

How does that help the library? It gives you visibility in your community – you may not get immediate benefits, but people will then remember you when they have a need. They remember you and recognize your value and call on you when needed. They will then tell their friends and family and can support you. (they got a big cheque for a mobile library from someone who they had connected with).

Contented customers resulting? Not so much – what we are wanting is people learning – hungry for the next thing. We want people to want to better themselves, get involved civically, connect with others, start a business and we want to join them in that journey and help as required. The library can’t make our community a better place, but we can help people to do that.

Concurrent Session 14

Innovation and disruption in a legal library: bringing a library technician’s perpsective to precedent development – Geraldine Styles Meyer Vandenburg

Precedents are dynamic template documents, ranging from exemplars to automatically generated content – including communications in many forms created by legal professionals. This enabled tacit knowledge to be captured, increasing consistency and efficiency.

Coding was learned to be able to run this project – but with a new information professional, this was a good challenge.

Development timeframes were challenging as Geraldine had no experience in coding, running teams and running a project. Once they had some work to demonstrate though, they were able to get user feedback and the project started gaining momentum.

SQL was easy to learn and there were many free resources available to assist in the project.

To streamline the workflow: if the system isn’t working, be prepared to abandon and start again, verbal is preferable to electronic for most users, lack of documentation creates risks – these need to be managed.

Communication conundrums were another issue – but to combat these, simple things were done – using sticky notes and whiteboards in meetings so that everyone can see what is happening. The hardest thing about this project was never the hardest part. Discovering user needs and translating that into technical requirements were much more difficult.

As the project matured, it has moved from the IT team to the Knowledge Management team. The whole IT team has now moved to that department, making interactions between these teams more common and bringing greater benefit to the organisation.

Its OK if things don’t always go smoothly during the process. Important lessons can be learned when this happens. Communication is key and ultimately more important than the technology.

We need to talk about fake news – Glenn Harper Monash Public Library Service

Fake news is content that appear to be or presents as factual, but which is not. This could be accidental or deliberate and could involve opinions, lies and misinformation. It can be textual and visual.

The only way to change the way fake news creators behave, is to change the behaviours of the audience.” Nick Enfield – University of Sydney. Librarians have a goal to help people identify fake news – but they can also be victims, so for us to teach others, we will first have to learn ourselves.

Conducted a survey promoted through Facebook and received 179 responses. He posted stories online and asked respondents to rate whether they believed it or not, by liking, disliking or sharing and then saying why they did it.

Some ways that fake news is given validity is through the use of salacious headlines, through content being taken out of context (eg. snippet taken from satiric site but presented as true), fauxtography (images created or edited to appear as other than they were).

One thing that was lacking was librarians searching for the authenticity of the images and posts – including the source, the image using reverse image search and other reputable sources.

Convincing people of fake news is difficult, as presenting the facts to them doesn’t work. They can be convinced their source is the correct one and you are quoting from fake news.

Poe’s law is an adage of Internet culture stating that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression of the parodied views.

One query of those who were presented with this information, was that they were NOT prompted to fact check. This was deliberate as nothing out there prompts you to fact check but as librarians we should do this as a matter of course.

To fix this: transition from digital literacy to digital information literacy – tools to assist staff in this transition include Jump Start training from SLV and specific modules in eSmart Libraries. It may also help for libraries to run your own fake news workshops.

Note: doing this sort of research can muck up your Google preferences… and recommended sites.

Be warned – fake photography and fake video is on its way en masse. Original videos can be manipulated to change what is done/said and this can happen in real time.

Giving away free internet is harder than it sounds: how to help students and not sound like a scan – Andrew Kelly Armadale Library

Got funding from Council to give internet access to Year 12 students initially (expanded to 10, 11 and 7 later), who did not have home internet access. This was to help the students with their studies. The program involved 10 Telstra modems (pre-paid) and 5 laptops, all sponsored by Telstra. Loans were for a year and involved using pre-paid credit vouchers and filling out three surveys during the year loan. The library provided staff and time, Telstra provided the modems, tablets and pre-paid vouchers.

Getting students was a problem. Found 3 students through the Council, but then finding other students. Cold calling didn’t work and contacting the school where these students were going was not as fruitful as hoped. In the end, he was able to make contact to all five local schools, through contacts at Curtin University. Most of the success came through the recommendations of one teacher who became a valuable partner, although they were only able to get 8 students in the initial rollout.

Students were not good at filling out reports and most of those who completed by their partner teacher, who did it in person with them and on paper. Although the survey responses were sparse, the content was interesting. (see the paper).

Going in to the second year, five students are continuing with it and they will seek further students through their partners. Telstra continues to fund the project and has also offered career pathways for interested students.

Biggest problems with the project included engagement with the participants, including coming to the library and reporting back when collecting their vouchers; trying not to be too big an imposition on partners; having tech issues which were easy to resolve once they were known (one modem didn’t work for 2 months but was fixed within a day once discovered). Questioned whether public libraries should be running these programs for students – or should it be the schools or instead libraries dealing with mature age students?

Further questions around what sort of feedback should be expected from participants and how best to get it. Best advice is to partner with existing programs and organisations working in this area. May be better to align with similar projects already running, rather than trying to create and run your own program.

Program may work better if it is combined with other content, projects. It would be interesting to see the students in a few years and see what a difference it made.

Concurrent session 17

A sustainable approach to in-house e-learning resource development: a case study – Amy Han and Steven Yates Monash University

This is the most substantial staff learning project ever held at the library. Referred to as Research and Learning Online (RLO).

The library inherited this project from the Academic Research report unit which no longer exists. The library comprises both library staff and learning advisors. Even before the library took it over, it was a well-used and praised resource. However, its platform was becoming unmanageable, with external expertise and funds required to keep the content current and the look and feel was long overdue for an update, as was the content and navigation. – live as of last Friday – Steven took us on a quick demo, which included text, videos and interactive questions/responses.

RLO in numbers: 29 quick study guides, 56 tutorials, over 200 activities using H5P, Adobe Captivate and JavaScript, 15 videos and as of 14 February: 633,000 page views.

The technology they used had to be staff friendly, both for development and use, had to support active learning, had focus/key work areas, and then they had to create the staff resources and staff development.

They chose Joomla initially, but ended with Squiz Matrix (Univ’s CMS), H5P (eLearning tool) and Captivate, alongside YouTube. The most important selection factors were interactivity, ease of use, multimedia capacity and cross platform capabilities.

Project committee involved library directors, digital learning team and the research and learning team staff. Team was a project manager, storyboard writers, page builders and assistants, reviewers and buddies.

Timeline – first content went live in March 2016 and full site in February 2018. Staged changeover.

Focus areas – multi-stage development, storyboarding and review, site building and review – technology selection happened during page building (either in H5P or Captivate depending on complexity). Staff development was guided by social learning principles – supporting resources, workshops and retreats.

Steps: some were simultaneous: planning, IA design, storyboard writing, storyboard review and more. Supporting resources – templates, examples, guidelines-workshops-retreats. They had 13 formal workshops, 4 retreats ranging from one to five days.

Staff experience – positive feedback on the templates, reviews and retreats, which were valuable for the time and focus on the task. Workshop and examples could be improved. Guidelines and technology capabilities require further clarification. The model has helped create a larger community of practice.

On reflection; reusable processes, procedures and training, skills transfer, room for improvements. Time and staff turnover remain the biggest challenges.

Next – continue the community of practice – stage 5 for maintenance and content.

Upskilling by doing: integrating data management, planning and online learning – Jennifer Warburton and Peter Neish – University of Melbourne

Data management – what could go wrong? It applies to both digital and physical – and the governments most recent blunder may have been avoided if they had a proper data management plan.

Needed a plan for training and for compliance and is now in the University’ Plan.

How do you make compliance training interesting for time poor researchers? Apply adult learning principles, provide learning objectives, develop authentic activities, deliver in multiple formats, which is streamlined.

Managing Data @ Melbourne is based on the Mantra project in the UK, with reference to the work of SANDs. Jennifer and Peter came in 2016, after the pilot. Pilot feedback showed that they liked the content and format. However, they wanted more Australian content and interactive activities and staff wanted a more sustainable platform.

This resulted in reducing the number of modules and designed it for a specific audience – their 5000 graduate researchers/PhD students. It incorporated DMP online, so they completed their DMP whils they were working through the modules. Used the University’s LMS platform (Blackboard) – semi automatic registration and gain learning analytics.

Contributors were content developers, learning design experts, video participants and crew, editorial assistance, marketing communications and copyright and other compliance staff.

Evaluation: using statistics – usage and survey data, an insight into how the uptake by Uni departments and a research project, as well as evaluation by the research community. Usage shows the first page gets most attention overall, significantly and then for each of the 6 modules, the first page gets the most attention.

The percentage of each department was ruled by Engineering, although it is not the biggest department. Average time spent was longest in Arts. Participant feedback showed that they found it relevant to their research – with organizing data and privacy and ethics rating highest. Anecdotal comments gave interesting insights.

Another measure of success was how many DMPs were created. The number has grown dramatically in the last year.

Comparing the results to the original pilot – mostly even with reductions in usability and technical clarity. Although it was harder for them to use, it is good to challenge them. However, this will be followed up in focus groups.

Next steps – creating more streamlined models to meet slightly different audiences and suggested pathways going through smaller modules. Want to integrate better with their DMP tool, releasing it as Open Content, looking at hurdle requirements and new marketing opportunities for new and returning students.

Check it out: anyone can request access.

Plenary 6 – The Library is open. Or is it? Deb Verhoeven – UTS Sydney

Often librarianship is listed as a dying profession, but there continues to be growth in library staff and libraries, despite library closures, particularly in the UK.

We continue on, more due to persistence, but we need more than that. We need to be aspirational. How do we create a world in which we can live lives variously? It is urgent, reparative and difficult in a closing down world, but more important that what we already have.

We live in a closing down world, a rapidly developing world that encompasses extinction and closure. Libraries need to be doing this. How do we open ourselves to what we don’t already know? How do we make the unknown connections, take seriously the lives of others at the level of meaning? How do we develop a library infrastructure that embraces the digital and encompasses the goal of living lives variously?

What sort of world are we creating by working a library? We need to address the question of coexistence in all we do.

Deb works in the digital humanities field – which is about collaboration and doing – its about getting your hands dirty and doing stuff. They highly value complexity.

When we think about how digital systems are put together in libraries, we have not considered the collections as data theory that is growing in the US. FAIR – findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable – this is the standard for how collections as data should be established, maintained and access. However, it holds a social promise that it cannot keep. The model should be further adapted and more morally correct by adding e – ethical and r – revisable. FAIRER. We can reflect on the data that we have collected.

TUGG Project – music for musicians – the ultimate gig guide. First challenge was defining ‘gig’. There were many options to choose from. Then they had collected data from newspapers, ephemera and more sources, none of which was OCR readable. Whilst tracking the data of their gigs and where they were, they noticed a big gap – which was due to a horrific accident that affected them all.

We sang Max and the Meteor’s Slipping away – with waving candles/torches on phones. Awesome!

From the data collected, they were able to compile maps, but they couldn’t see time data and it didn’t scale well. To try and get that depth of data they decided to sonify it. We use sonification on our phone alerts and more. Although it worked OK, it was difficult to listen to. Instead they signified it – they added duration. A note duration represents length of time between gigs, for example. They performed the song – a gig about gig data. 😊

How do we increase meaning making capacity? Recognise the role of different media in shaping collections, not just communicating them. For genuine engagement to occur, we need to break down the divide between librarians as content managers and non-librarians as managing analysis. Accept that methods have an influence and we can adjust them and playing music – collaboration, ability to listen, drawing together disparate ideas.

Film industry involvement by women was the next project. Women being involved in the industry was dropping, but all efforts to increase this failed. Deb turned the focus around. Using social visualization showed that in a 10-year period, 40% of male producers only worked with males. Used criminal network analysis to show men who don’t work with women. Now that we can set it, we can change it.

Where do we draw the line at patriarchy and what happens when we expose patriarchy’s lines?

There is some soul searching to be done on ‘domination’ in our sector.

Patriarchy is highly resilient and will reshape itself with the loss of one or two nodes. It will take more change to make an impact on the whole patriarchy.

Human Networks Infrastructure (HuNi) – a virtual laboratory. 31 datasets have been mapped, more than 18 million entities created in the aggregated dataset. The lab was officially launched in 2014, openly available and currently in use, log in via social media and cloud services, with new graph search features launched July 2017. In Huni you can discover and explore, make connections and creatively link data, save and share data and findings, curate the imported data.

Huni champions the openness of data in that you can use your own descriptions, including NOT. It accommodates differences, opens the data to new possibilities and open researchers to the associative, expressive and ephemeral. We can have the whole described as we live in it, or as how we want it to be. Huni takes linked data a step further – it is open links, open data.

We didn’t build our bridges simply to avoid walking on water. Nothing so obvious. Jeanette Winterson.

We can use our infrastructure to reconfigure our local landscapes, across all channels.