Online Northwest Conference 2013

19 Feb


Seattle almost four weekends ago and Corvallis/Portland almost two weekends ago! 2013 is already becoming the year of libraries conferences in the Flynn house. Steve presented on screencasts, and there were lots of interesting sessions for me to attended so we both attended Online Northwest this year.

I doubt I’ll ever do conferences so close together again–one weekend at home in between then gone again. It’s a bit more frantic, and number of flights back-to-back than I prefer. But, never say never I suppose.

Online Northwest Conference offers regional librarians from any type of library a small yet robust conference to attend or contribute as a speaker, either a longer session or a lightening talk. Also, a handful of vendors were there as well, including Springer who gave away “Keep calm and ask a librarian” posters! (I’ll take a picture soon of mine and add it here!)

Though only a one-day event, it was jam-packed! The day began with a light breakfast and registration, then keynote followed by three sessions with short breaks in between, lunch, another session then lightening talks. Each session time had four different choices with a good variety of topics. Though no overall theme, one yearly attendee said there is an change of focus each year depending on what is submitted, so watching the program ahead of time lets you know what will be covered. If we lived closer, this would be a fun one to go to regularly, with about 200 people or so attending.

Let me give you a quick run-down of how my day went:

Keynote speaker: Virginia Eubanks, professor of women’s studies, University at Albany SUNY
Eubanks works with women in poverty to foster social justice and empowerment. She focuses on social justice activism in the everyday of the women as well as the movement beginning in the United States, having seen it take over in other countries. Though not a librarian, she struck a cord with her call to action for us as a society to help better people’s lives by meeting them at their needs, interest, and abilities.

Session 1: Accounting for Taste: An eTextbook Experiment – Cheryl Cuillier and 
Jason Dewland, University of Arizona Libraries
Cuillier and Dewland walked through their part in the integration of an etextbook in an economics course. The library, in general, has a hard time finding its place in providing ebooks and access, especially in the classroom. However, these librarians worked to incorporate the etextbook in the course management system in addition to providing reference and research services. They analyzed the use and effectiveness of the etextbook based on the stats at the end of the course.

Session 2: Science is a Moving Target: eScience, Team Science, The Data Deluge and More – Jackie Wirz, Oregon Health & Science Univ.
Amanda Whitmire, Oregon State University
Wirz and Whitmire, PhD students, discussed the science research cycle and how librarians should approach and help scientists in their research at all steps. Basically, the ebb and flow of the whole process is more malleable than most of us realize. Rather than just the typical research places in which librarians usually help out, they argue that data management and even very simple authority control and concepts are valuable offerings that scientist don’t realize we can offer. Also, librarians could help some scientists with finding and writing/preparing grants.

Session 3: Building Oregon: Leveraging Mobile Technologies to Present Digital Collections – Evviva Weinraub and Laurie Bridges, Oregon State University Libraries
Weinraub and Bridges shared their insights in the struggles and setbacks with the creation of a mobile website using the Building Oregon historical photo collection. Though still in the pre-production phase due to funding hold-ups, a previous campus walking tour app they made helps inform their plans for this project. I will definitely watch for the release, and any progress beforehand, of this mobile website.

Session 4 : Ditching Textbooks: The OER Faculty Fellowship at Lane Community College –
Jen Klaudinyi, Lane Community College
Klaudinyi covered online educational resources replacing physical textbooks at her community college. In order to save the students money and encourage the faculty to use open access and electronic resources, the library set up a program to help faculty take their courses completely online. As tangible incentives, the faculty earned iPads when they switched to using OER for their courses.

Lightening talks
These five-minute presentations packed lots of information and ideas into engaging, brief lessons and takeaways.

From 3×5 to LCD: Considerations and How-tos for Conducting Online Card Sort Studies
 – Emily Ford, Portland State University
Ford described how she used the Internet for a card sort activity with part-time, distance students.

Flipping the Distance Classroom 
- Amy Hofer, Portland State University
Hofer offered her suggestions for providing a flipped classroom, by fronting the lessons and homework before lecture, from her experience high school students.

We Ditched our Kindles and You Can, Too!
 – Uta Hussong-Christian, Oregon State University
Hussong-Christian shared the challenges faced and new plan moving forward at their library in using other tablets and apps for check-out to users.

TechShowcase: A Case Study of eReaders on Display – Nate Pedersen, Deschutes Public Library
Pedersen talked about the technology petting zoo on wheels at his library that allows users to test out multiple tablets and ask questions.

All About Word Stemming and Why You Should Care – Caleb Tucker-Raymond, (affiliation not listed)
Tucker-Raymond called attention to stemming in search terms, honing in on something most of us know intuitively, and encouraged more use and teaching of stemming.

Assessing a Library Situation: Using Google Forms Surveys to Assess What People Think, What They Want, What They Know, and What They Think They Know
 – Kim Read, Clark College
Read showed her use of Google Forms to gather and analyze feedback from students before, during, and after instruction sessions.

The Dog & Pony Show (AKA Demonstrating the Value of Your Library)
 – Lorie Vik, Eugene Public Library
Vik described her work in incorporating their public library into the greater community by reaching out to local businesses to help with their research needs by using the library’s resources and librarian’s skills and knowledge.


The hashtag #onc13 was well used throughout the day, if you want to search Twitter and see what’s out there. I re-Tweeted some presentation slides from the last session since the infographics room filled up early! ONC has there own handle as well, @OnlineNW, so follow them and be prepared for next year!

After the conference, we spent the weekend hanging out in Portland, which has a different feel than Seattle but also great. Of course, a couple of hours in Powell’s was a must and I kept myself from bringing home any more than one book. (Phew!)

Perhaps by June I’ll be well-rested to take on ALA Annual in Chicago. Let’s not think that far ahead right now, though. Sadly, it’s very much winter still as Ann Arbor got a dusting of snow today and blustery winds. End of June in Chicago, huh…

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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


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